Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Iranians: Moore is a "Blowhard" ... 

The Mullahs in Iran recently allowed screenings of Michael Moore-on's Farenheit 9-11 crockumentary, in the hopes of fanning the anti-Bush flames.

Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, writing for Frontpage Magazine reports that the results were less than expected ...
I have also been asked to express the judgment of a number of Iranians who saw the film in Iran. They sent e-mails, faxes and even phoned me to ask me to report their reviews.

First, other than David Lynch’s film, ‘The Straight Story’, Iranians have not really been exposed to any western films in their cinemas. The Mullahs’ film board forbids the display of women’s uncovered hair and all the other “corruption” Western filmmakers spread. For Iranians, therefore, viewing Michael Moore’s film was a tremendously novel experience.

After 25 years of living in a virtual concentration camp, Iranians have become exceedingly socio-politically savvy. Moore’s anti-American propaganda did not attract anywhere near as many viewers as the Mullahs had hoped for. Tehran’s despots had hoped the film would challenge the Iranian people’s favourable notion of President Bush and promote John Kerry.

But Iranians are too smart.

A group of 12 university students, for example, composed of both men and women who had seen the film, collectively wrote me and signed an e-mail which said: “Wow, this guy complains that Bush lied once. What would this windbag do if he lived here where our president lies to us once an hour?”

Another comment was: “This guy gets to publicly accuse Bush of lying and becomes famous and adored worldwide. We, here, complain about some decrepit and inconsequential government lackey and we not only go to prison but some of us get death sentences. He ought to thank his lucky stars he lives in a country where he’s allowed and even encouraged to be this obnoxious…”

Someone else quipped: “If he thinks that the U.S. is so bad, he’s welcome to trade places with us…since he’s so forgiving of brutal Middle Eastern dictators!”

Another young man said: “They are showing this film to erase from our minds the idea of America being the great liberator; maybe Americans themselves don’t appreciate what they have but we sure do!”
Go read the whole thing !

Kerry the Terror-Warrior ... 

Kerry gave a speech at Temple University, trying in this speech to once again "reposition" himself on the Iraq issue.

The Kerry Spot at NRO thoroughly deconstructs the speech here.

Definitely a must read

Scare Tactics ... 

Scare Tactics

(Courtesy of Cox and Forkum)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Some Successes in Iraq ... 

Here's some news that you won't see on the networks ...
FALLUJAH, Iraq - At approximately 8 a.m., Iraqi National Guard soldiers and U.S. Marines thwarted two separate suicide-car bomber attacks on a joint forward operating base near Karmah.

The first vehicle was a black BMW that exploded while driving through
the barrier system outside the base. It was followed seconds later by a
blue Kia pick-up truck, which also detonated in the barrier system
outside compound.

The close partnership and swift actions of Iraqi Security Forces and
Marines guarding the compound are credited with identifying and
preventing the attackers from entering the base. There were no serious
Multi-National Forces-Iraq injuries.

Terrorists and insurgents are unsuccessfully attempting to interrupt the
progress of a free Iraq. Multi-National Force-Iraq is committed to
assisting the Iraqi Interim Government in organizing, training and
equipping Iraqi Security Forces to provide security for the people of
And the capture of a significant anti-coalition terrorist ...
TIKRIT, Iraq -- Task Force Danger Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment detained the suspected leader of an anti-Iraqi forces insurgent cell during a raid in Kirkuk on Sept. 27 at about 3 p.m.
The Soldiers detained Husayn Salman Muhammad Al-Jabburi, suspected of leading a Kirkuk-Hawaijah based cell aligning itself with Ansar Al Sunna.

Ansar Al Sunna is a faction of Ansar Al Islam and reportedly has close ties with the Al-Zarqawi network. The Soldiers transported Al-Jabburi to a Multi-National Forces detention facility for questioning. No injuries were reported in the incident.
You see Dan, if you report real news, you wouldn't have to make it up !!

(Hat Tip to the Junkyard Blog)

The Ultimate John Kerry Campaign Ad ... 

Be warned ...

Do not be eating or drinking anything when you listen to this (spit-takes are messy !) ...

The Ultimate John Kerry Campaign Ad

(Hat Tip to Polipundit)

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Choice ... 

Ann Althouse (who voted for Edwards in the primaries) explains how Kerry "lost her".

Proof of the VWRC !!!! 

It exists !! The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy ! ... Hard evidence that the evil Karl Rove is coordinating the conspiracy !

More here !

And here !

Kerry Diplomacy ... 

A picture is worth a thousand words ...

Preemptive Diplomacy

(Courtesy of Cox and Forkum)

A Music Video Worth Watching ... 

This music video is one of the most remarkable, and certainly one of the most
watchable I've ever seen.

Makes you wonder about the hypocrisy of the celebri-liberals, huh ?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Kerry: Cut and Run ... 

From the Captain's Quarters blog, Captain Ed received an e-mail forwarded by the father of an Army Captain currently serving in Iraq, who is working to train Iraqi security forces.

Think that Kerry's latest position on Iraq does anything to lessen the threat of terrorism ?

Think again ...

Straight from the frontlines ...
I also wonder if Senator Kerry realizes that he is partially responsible for the recent upswing in violence. This, by the way, is not speculation... this is straight from one of my interpreter's mouth.

When Senator Kerry said that, if elected, he would pull us out of here in four years, the insurgent leadership had a rousing round of celebratory automatic weapons fire. The insurgents can easily hang out another four years, taking 10 casualties here, 3 there and they know it. And they know that a massive upswing in violence with resulting casualties will make President Bush look really bad and increase the Senator's chances of election.

So, Senator Kerry, would you like to explain to me how your announcement was supposed to make my life better? He screwed us and I will never forget that. Should I ever get the chance to be in his presence, I will be more than happy to let him know that. I can think of about 22 guys who will never get the chance and I owe it to them.
Go read the whole thing.

The Dark Side ... 

Bunker Mulligan apologizes for almost succumbing to "The Dark Side" ...
I'm being overcome by the Dark Side. The last couple of days have been evil, and it is trying to envelop me. It goes beyond Dan Rather, but he is the catalyst.

We have many people in this country, folks like MoveOn.org, Michael Moore, and the DNC heirarchy, who celebrate in their hearts every death in Iraq. They bemoan the deaths of American soldiers with pity, and the deaths of Iraqis and others with false angst. Because these haters despise Dubya, any death is part of their tally toward his defeat, another stone on the scale. I resent that. Life is precious. Apologizers might say these folks really don't want people to die, and they are trying to prevent death. Bull. They weren't crying about all the deaths in Iraq prior to our invasion. They aren't crying about all the deaths in Sudan.

I've had to reassess my view of the Democratic Party and its supporters. Death and misery seem to be at their core. It is as if they feel they can succeed in gaining power only if people in the world are dying or near death. They claim to be passionate about helping folks, sharing their altruistic nature in campaigns. In reality, they do nothing to help once they have power. Charity begins at home, yet how many of them actually contribute anything more than words to helping others? Talk is cheap.

Go read the whole thing.

Kerry: Gave Aid and Comfort ... 

From today's FT. Worth Star-Telegram, Cal Thomas gives his take on Kerry's impact on two wars ...
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has achieved something that may be unique in the history of our country. He has managed to oppose two wars while they are being fought, undermine the objective of the nation and give aid and comfort to those who are killing American soldiers and kidnapping American civilians.

In a speech at New York University on Monday, Kerry questioned President Bush's judgment in ordering American troops to topple Saddam Hussein, saying the president had exchanged a brutal dictator for "chaos."

While acknowledging that "there has been some progress, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our soldiers and civilians in Iraq, [and] schools, shops and hospitals have been opened, [and] in parts of Iraq, normalcy actually prevails," Kerry claimed that "most Iraqis have lost faith in our ability to deliver meaningful improvements to their lives. So they're sitting on the fence … instead of siding with us against the insurgents."

Kerry is an expert at fence-sitting, having sat on one most of his life. He has taken both sides in the war and tried even in this speech to distinguish between granting Bush authority to wage war and reserving his right to micromanage the war that the president wages if it doesn't immediately produce victory.
Go read the whole thing.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Kerry on Letterman ... 

Kerry's a guest on the Dave Letterman show tonight, and according to The Kerry Spot he's bombing ...
Oh, God, he’s bombing. Letterman asks him a direct question — “If you were elected in 2000, and you had the same intelligence information Bush had, would we be in Iraq right now?” Kerry is incapable of giving a yes or no answer. Turns to his “Bush rushed" stuff. Talks about how it isn't a true multilateral coalition. Now he's into a how he wants to double the number of special forces. "I want to do better intelligence."

I'm going to have to get the full transcript. This is a stunningly bad performance. Senator, you go on Letterman, you just give Dave a straight answer and he'll love you. Leave the usual political caveats and spin at home.
Kerry appears to have shown again that not only can't he give a straight answer, he just cannot "connect" with the "unwashed masses".

...Do you really think that this waffler has the judgement to lead the country in times of crisis ???

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Rewind .... 

On March 11th of this year, in the heat of the Democratic primary season, Senator Kerry was caught in an "off the cuff" moment stating:
"... these guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen"
In breaking news today, an anonymous source reveals that the recorded comments were edited, and did not reflect the entirety of Kerry's comments.

This "unimpeachable source" reports that Kerry's actual comments were:
"We're gonna' (sic) win this thing!

I've got the absolute best campaign team there is, and between their efforts and the efforts of my friends over at CBS ...

Well, let me just tell you confidentially ... these guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen"
This report has been authenticated by the crack research team at CBS.

Note to readers: This post may be considered "Fake, but Accurate".

Thursday, September 16, 2004

More: Fake but Accurate ... 

Fake but Accurate

(Courtesy of Cox and Forkum)

Democrats: The Party of "Tolerance" ... 

Yeah! That's tolerance ...

From the Associated Press ...
Three-year-old Sophia Parlock cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards made a brief stop at the airport as he concluded his two-day bus tour to locations in West Virginia and Ohio.
(AP Photo/Randy Snyder)
But Democrats are the party of "tolerance" !?!?

I know that not all Dem's are as thoughtless as this lowlife, but as a parent, the smug look on the idiot's face as he watches the little girl cry disgusts me. I'm sure that he feels "like a real man" now ...

"Accurate" Forgeries ... 

Yesterday, CBS restated their support for the obviously forged Killian memos, and then further stated ...
Statement by the President of CBS News, Andrew Heyward:

"We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television. There was a great deal of coroborating [sic] evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that's what we are doing."
So we now have an "accurate" forgery ...

Shamelessly Xeroxed from Citizen Smash...
For illustration purposes, the following is an "accurate" representation of a $50 bill (at least the part presented):

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

If you harbor any confusion as to the distinction between the meaning of the words "accurate" and "authentic", try printing out the above image (complete of course) and using it to purchase something at your local store.

(Please don't do this -- counterfeiting is a federal crime. Fraud, too.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

One More 9-11 Tribute ... 

This was compiled in 2002, but is still as applicable this year as last, and will still be applicable on September 11th for years to come (don't forget to turn up the sound!)...

Up in Smoke .... 

What Credibility?

(Courtesy of Cox and Forkum)

Monday, September 13, 2004

New MS Office Software ... 

In a late addition to the MS Office Software Suite, Microsoft is adding the following new package ... (wait for it...)

MS Forger

Check out this new product here, and hold onto your sides ...

Submit !!! 

The Rather Chronicles

(Courtesy of Cox and Forkum)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remembering 9-11 ... 

I was driving to work that morning, listening to talk radio and traffic reports. The announcer came on the air stating that an airplane had struck a World Trade Center tower.

My immediate reaction was, "This was a terrorist strike".

As the next days and weeks passed, and the turmoil of the aftermath unfolded, I fell into deep depression, alternating with intense anger.

Then President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001. I listened to this man in awe. For a person ridiculed for his lack of speaking skills, he stunned me with his eloquence ...
Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow Americans:

In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the Union. Tonight, no such report is needed. It has already been delivered by the American people.

We have seen it in the courage of passengers, who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground -- passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer. And would you please help me to welcome his wife, Lisa Beamer, here tonight.

We have seen the state of our Union in the endurance of rescuers, working past exhaustion. We have seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers -- in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own.

My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union -- and it is strong.
President Bush then made a promise to the American people ... a promise that resonated strongly with me ...
Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done ...

... Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
President Bush closed the address by stating ...
I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.

The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.

Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice -- assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America.
With these words, President Bush lifted me from my depression, and banked the fire of my anger.

I was able to continue, knowing that this man of true character would live up to his promises.

... And he has ...

Remember September 11, 2001 ... and remember that "freedom isn't free".

Never Forget

Steven Headley: September 11, 2004

Friday, September 10, 2004

MS Windows to the Rescue ... 


CBS Nightly News .... 

Rather Biased

(Courtesy of RatherBiased.com via the Betsy's Page blog)

Rather: "It's True ... I Swear It ! " 

As reported by the Powerline blog, Dan Rather has commented on CNN that he knows the Jerry Killian documents to be authentic, and knows that they are not forgeries. Therefore, he said, there will be no retraction, no correction, and -- apparently -- no investigation.

Powerline comments ...
This would appear to signal the end of Rather's career. If the documents are ultimately accepted as forgeries, which seems inevitable to us, he can't survive. My guess: Rather knows that he will be retiring soon in any event, so as his last public contribution, he is doing whatever he can to elect John Kerry.
I have to say, it couldn't happen to a better nicer more biased journalist.

Bernard Goldberg must be laughing his ass off ...

Meanwhile, The Prowler reports that the forged memos may have come from the Kerry campaign ...
More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.
The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.

"More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity."

The concerns arose from the sourcing. "It wasn't clear that our source for the documents would have had access to them. Our person couldn't confirm from what file, from what original source they came from."

A CBS producer, who initially tipped off The Prowler about the 60 Minutes story, says that despite seeking professional assurances that the documents were legitimate, there was uncertainty even among the group of producers and researchers working on the story.

"The problem was we had one set of documents from Bush's file that had Killian calling Bush 'an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot.' And someone who Killian said 'performed in an outstanding manner.' Then you have these new documents and the tone and content are so different."

The CBS producer said that some alarms bells went off last week when the signatures and initials of Killian on the documents in hand did not match up with other documents available on the public record, but producers chose to move ahead with the story. "This was too hot not to push. If there were doubts, those people didn't show it," says the producer, who works on a rival CBS News program.

Now, the producer says, there is growing concern inside the building on 57th Street that they may have been suckered by the Kerry campaign.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Forgeries ??? 

In a previous post, I commented on the 60 Minutes hit piece last night that again attacked GWB's National Guard record.

During the presentation of the segment, Danny boy produced several "new" damning memos that supposedly proved that GWB's commander had covered for his absence from service.

The Powerline site is now reporting that these memos may be forgeries ...
Every single one of the memos to file regarding Bush's failure to attend a physical and meet other requirements is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman. In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing (especially in the military), and typewriters used mono-spaced fonts.

The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction high-end word processing systems from Xerox and Wang, and later of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's.

Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang and other systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used mono-spaced fonts. I doubt the TANG had typesetting or high-end 1st generation word processing systems.

I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued aggressively.
It wouldn't surprise me ...

UPDATE: See, and judge for yourself ...

A previously released memo, obviously typewritten, compared to a "new memo", obviously the product of a modern word processor/printer.

(Links courtesy of Blaster's Blog)

From the Kerry Spot at NRO further evidence that the "new" memos were produced with modern technology ...
Now it appears this document includes include the superscript "th" in 187th, and as a Powerline correspondent points out, "There are no keys on any typewriter in common use in 1973 which could produce a tiny "th."

From Kerry Spot reader Christopher: "As a graphic designer, another thing pops out at me in that supposed Guard memo...the apostrophes. They don't seem consistent with a typewriter. A typewriter would have straight apostrophes, not the curly-queue kind."
Also a relevant comment from Blaster's blog ... If you're writing a memo to "cover your ass", you very likely wouldn't put "CYA" in the subject line !

If these "new memos" can be conclusively proven to be forgeries, someone should nail CBS to the wall ...

UPDATE II: The evidence is mounting ... these documents certainly appear to be forgeries! For more evidence read this post at the Junkyard Blog.

UPDATE III: Bill, over at INDC Journal contacted a noted forensic document examiner, and the examiner's opinion is that there is a high probability that the memos are forgeries.

UPDATE IV: Powerline continues to pound away on this issue, and with their latest findings I'm 100% convinced that the documents are forgeries. Go read the whole thing.

UPDATE V: Rather Biased reports that CBS is in Turmoil.

UPDATE VI: Steven Hayes, over at The Weekly Standard has published his latest article that addresses this issue.

UPDATE VII: Via Instapundit this story will be discussed on ABC's Nightline tonight.

Evasion Tactics ... 

The Polipundit blog has a daily running post keeping track of the elapsed time since John Kerry last answered questions from a real reporter (after claiming he would hold at least weekly press conferences).

I like the idea so much that I will be duplicating it here ...

It has now been one month and eight days since John Kerry last answered questions from a real reporter

Senator Kerry! Sign form 180! Release ALL of your records!

(Small) Milestone ... 

Just a note to say that the previous post was my 600th post to this blog since February 15th of this year.

Not too bad considering that I have spent at least two of the months between February and the present traveling for business !

Bush Fulfilled His TANG Obligations ... 

Captain Ed, over at the Captain's Quarters blog, reports that The Hill, a DC based newspaper, has analyzed the new data released by Bush earlier this year, and their analysis shows a much different picture than that painted by Kerry or the media:
The future president joined the Guard in May 1968. Almost immediately, he began an extended period of training. Six weeks of basic training. Fifty-three weeks of flight training. Twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training.
That was 80 weeks to begin with, and there were other training periods thrown in as well. It was full-time work. By the time it was over, Bush had served nearly two years.

Not two years of weekends. Two years.
There is much more ... Go read the whole thing.

Kerry Supports Small Businesses ... (NOT !) 

Captain Ed, over at the Captain's Quarters blog, notes this report detailing Kerry's voting record with regard to small businesses. Here's a sample ...
• Of the 101 votes in the U.S. Senate that SBSC has rated since the 103rd Congress Senator Kerry’s record is unsettling. He has voted on the side of small business a mere 13 times out of the 101 votes that SBSC rated during the past decade – giving him a weak 13 percent rating on key small business issues.
• Senator Kerry voted against small business 94 percent of the time on tax-related legislation rated by SBSC. Given 34 different opportunities to support small business on tax issues, Kerry chose to do so on only two occasions.

• Given 30 different opportunities to vote on the side of small business on regulatory initiatives, Kerry chose to vote against small business 25 times.

• SBSC has rated four votes concerning the starting wage, and on every single occasion Kerry voted in favor of the wage hikes and in opposition to small business. ...

• SBSC rated eight votes on health coverage reform issues. These ranged from votes supporting the passage of health savings accounts (HSAs) to allowing self-employed small business owners to deduct their health insurance expenses to help make health coverage more
affordable. Senator Kerry voted against the interest of small business 100 percent of the time.

• Of ten votes rated by SBSC in the area of legal reform, Kerry voted in opposition to small business 90 percent of the time.
Ed then remarks ...
For a man who intends to run against George Bush on the economy, Kerry's dismal record of supporting the main component of American dynamism should not go unnoticed by the electorate. Be sure to read the entire SBSC report to learn how a Kerry/Edwards administration would unleash its hostility towards small business. John Kerry not only is wrong on the war, he's bad for the economy as well.
Go read the whole thing.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Tabloid Journalism ... 

I lost my resolve tonight ....

I broke down and watched Dan Kerry's Rather's hit piece on 60 Minutes tonight. I just had to see how bad Dan's case of "cranio-rectal inversion" would be.

It was bad ... there's no hope for Dan, "medically" speaking.

As expected, Ben Barnes came out lying swinging, stating that he felt remorseful after 30 years, because while he was Lt. Governor of Texas, he used his influence to get GWB into the National Guard.

Unfortunately, he neglected to mention that by the time he began his term as Lt. Governor in 1969, Bush had already been in the Guard for 6 months.

Danny boy didn't correct him ...

Neither did Danny boy see fit, as a balanced, fair, and unbiased journalist, to describe to the viewers Barnes' connections to the Kerry campaign, or the large credibility gap that this man might have due to his involvement in numerous scandals including a kickback scheme from the sale of lottery tickets.

But at least it's true ... with Rather you get what you expect!

And they wonder why viewership is down ...

However, I'm sure that Rather was preaching to the choir as far as his regular viewers (both of them) are concerned.

Tonight Rather confirmed to the world that he is on par with the best at the National Enquirer !

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Jaws ...... 


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The VP on Kerry ... 

Dick Cheney, speaking tonight at the convention (paraphrased)...
Senator Kerry says he can lead a more "sensitive" War on Terror, as if Al Qaeda will be impressed by our "softer side" ...

... Senator Kerry says he will respond forcefully after any attack on America ... Senator Kerry, America has already been attacked !

... Senator Kerry says he sees "two Americas" ... America sees two John Kerry's

OUT OF THE PARK ......!!!!! 

Oh WOW !

Senator Zell Miller, the Democrat, speaking at the convention tonight, just belted one out of the park !

If you missed his speech, you'll be sorry you did !

UPDATE: Bryan Preston, over at the Junkyard blog agrees, and notes that during the ABC news coverage, Peter Jennings and George Stephanopolous looked "very unhappy".

He then goes on to comment ...
Those two tried peeing all over Zell Miller only to find themselves up against a 90 mile per hour headwind.

You'd be pretty unhappy if that happened to you, no?
Bwaahahahahah !

Freedom of Speech ??? 

Take a look at this video of the "peaceful" anarchists protesting in NY city,

and realize that ...
This is the new face of the Democrat party