Clintonism Breaks Out
The Kerry eyewitnesses' fuzzy phrasing ...
D'Vera Cohn buries ledes in mass grave! Yes, it's possible the decline in unwed births in D.C. was mainly caused by an exodus of young black women. The District is a small place and normal city-suburb flows can produce big demographic shifts. But look at the good news Cohn buries:
The Korenman study concluded that a small part of the District's reduction in unwed births was due to fewer women choosing to have babies out of wedlock -- mainly teenagers and women older than 35.
Reducing teen single motherhood is not chopped liver! Also:
The study .. .[snip] also looked at the two other big bonus winners, Alabama and Michigan, and concluded that demographic change completely explained the decline in Alabama's unwed births, but not Michigan's.
Michigan is not chopped liver either! And the teen birth trend is not just local:
Nationally, one in three babies is born to an unmarried mother, and the rising national rate leveled off in the mid-1990s. But births to unmarried teenagers are still dropping, nationally and in the District, a trend experts say is especially important because those babies are most at risk of poverty, behavior problems and other ills.
Compensatory emphasis added. 11:54 A.M.
Fudging Breaks Out: Alert reader A.F. notes close reading reveals that the pro-Kerry eyewitness account of Pat Runyon--like the pro-Kerry eyewitness account of William Rood--contains some seemingly clever wording. In Runyon's case, it fudges the issue of whether Kerry was actually under fire in the incident for which he won his first Purple Heart:
Runyon said Kerry was wounded after one vessel tried to avoid an inspection.
"Lt. Kerry said, 'I'm going to pop a flare, and when I do, I want that engine started,' " Runyon said. But the outboard would not crank. Meanwhile, the sampan's crew steered it to the riverbank, and people started running on the shore. Runyon said shooting broke out.
Somehow, Kerry's weapon stopped firing. Runyon thinks he ran out of ammunition. He said Kerry bent down to pick up another gun and got hit in the arm.
"It wasn't a serious wound," Runyon said, and Kerry was able to start shooting again. When the firefight was over, Runyon said Kerry told him all he felt was a "burning sensation." [Emph. added]
"Shooting broke out"? Shooting by the people on the riverbank, or shooting only by Kerry and his crew? The story leaves the impression there was a two-sided firefight, but it doesn't quite say that, does it? ... Again, the ambiguity may be inadvertent. Or not! ... P.S.: According to the Swifties, the Boston Globe'sKerry book has Runyon saying "I can't say for sure that we got return fire or how [Kerry] got nicked." [Why not check the Globe book yourself?--ed I'm in Richfield, Utah and it's the middle of the night is why. I'm sure they have a fine local bookstore but not a 24-hour bookstore.] 11:18.A.M.
Photograph of Howard Dean on the Slate home page by Jim Bourg/Reuters.