Notes: I'm starting to like Dick Cheney just for entertainment value. This guy is as clear-cut a heavy as one cast as a character in a movie. It's fun to watch someone express his talent. Last Wednesday in a story by Dana Milbank and Spencer S. Hsu in the Washington Post, the following took place at a Cheney campaign rally:

" 'In Des Moines, Cheney went beyond previous restraints to suggest that the country would be more vulnerable to attack under Kerry. 'It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again,' the vice president said, 'that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind-set, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we are not really at war.' "

The piece reported that later in the day Cheney's staff gave the appearance of softening what he'd said:

"Cheney spokeswoman Anne Womack ... said Cheney 'wasn't trying to connect the dots' between a Kerry victory and a terrorist attack. 'Whoever is elected in November faces the prospect of another terrorist attack,' she said. 'The question is whether or not the right policies are in place to best protect our country. That's what the vice president was saying.' "

A similar report about Cheney was in the September 8, New York Times by David E. Sanger and Davide M. Halbfinger.

By Friday, Cheney was saying he didn't say what he said as reported by Reuters. Cheney spun it that all he was saying was that Kerry wouldn't apply the doctrine of preemptive action. On reading the piece, I didn't think Cheney changed much from his earlier statement. Regardless, he put concept out there, and that can't be taken back. It reminds me of when inappropriated evidence comes into a trial and the judge instructs the jury to disregard it. Sure.