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Bookstores say customers protest as demand outpaces supply of anti-Kerry book
AP ^ | 8/24/04

Posted on 08/24/2004 3:05:46 PM PDT by ambrose

Bookstores say customers protest as demand outpaces supply of anti-Kerry book

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's two biggest bookstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Borders, say angry customers are accusing them of political bias as the retailers struggle to keep up with demand for a best seller that questions John Kerry's military service in Vietnam.

"Unfit for Command," which went on sale Aug. 11 with a first printing of 85,000, will have 550,000 copies in print by next week, according to Regnery Publishing.

Sales have soared as allegations about the Democratic nominee's wartime actions dominate the presidential campaign.

A co-author of the book, John O'Neill, is a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has ran a series of commercials claiming Kerry distorted his past. Kerry and fellow Democrats say the spots are untrue and have demanded that President Bush condemn them. Bush replied Monday that broadcast attacks by outside groups, no matter which side, should have no place in the race for the White House.

"Unfit for Command," by O'Neill and Jerome Corsi, accuses Kerry of lying about his decorated wartime record and betraying comrades by returning from Vietnam and alleging widespread atrocities by U.S. troops. Kerry has made his military service a central part of his campaign.

Copies of the book are scarce. Barnes & Noble said that "Unfit for Command" is out of stock and that thousands of complaints have been received, with some customers saying the book was deliberately not being sold and others saying it shouldn't be sold.

More copies will not be available until later this week, and that order also will not meet demand, Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio said Monday. "We've been put in the difficult position of having to defend ourselves over a title we can't seem to get enough copies of from the publisher," Riggio said.

Borders said Tuesday that "available stock is limited right now" and that it has received hundreds of calls accusing the superstore of bias against the book.

"The misunderstanding among customers seems to be that we are somehow taking an ideological stand," Borders spokeswoman Jenie Dahlmann said Tuesday. "We would gladly sell the book, but ... can't get an adequate supply."

Regnery spokeswoman Kelley Keeler said Tuesday that the company — a longtime publisher of conservative authors such as William F. Buckley Jr. and Pat Buchanan — can't keep up with the "huge" demand, in part because the book's September publication date was moved up as interest in the book grew.

"We're trying to get more copies out as fast as we can," spokeswoman Keeler said.

Amazon.com, where "Unfit for Command" has been No. 1 on the best-seller list for days, said Tuesday that it was also out of copies. A spokeswoman said she knew of no complaints, but added that customer reviews have been so frequent (more than 900 as of Tuesday) and so political, that a special message was posted on the book's Web page announcing a suspension of "normal customer review policies and rules."

"We usually prohibit ad hominem attacks," the message reads. "That policy in particular seems to be incompatible with presidential election year politics. Therefore, short of obscenities, reviews on this book are now a free-for-all."

The book claims Kerry earned his Silver Star not in a barrage of enemy fire, but by killing a fleeing Viet Cong teenager. It also questions the three Purple Hearts that Kerry earned, saying that none were for serious injuries and two wounds were self-inflicted.

According to Kerry's medical records from his naval service, he still has shrapnel in his thigh from a war injury.

Several of Kerry's fellow servicemen have attacked "Unfit for Command" as inaccurate and politically motivated, and a Kerry campaign spokesman, Chad Clanton, said Tuesday the book had "blatantly false accusations that have been disproved by Navy records."

Keeler said Regnery was "proud to have published the book" and that no revisions were planned for future editions.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: barnesandnoble; booksales; borders; unfitforcommand
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1 posted on 08/24/2004 3:05:47 PM PDT by ambrose
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To: ambrose
Freeper N. Theknow says:
"It’s faster than a checkbook, more powerful than a Democratic demagogue, able to lay waste to a liar Kerry with the single click of a mouse. It's a little bird of truth, it's plain to see Kerry's unfit... it's... it's...SuperFReep!

Want to join in the fun?
Click the logo to donate to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth!

2 posted on 08/24/2004 3:07:14 PM PDT by Chieftain (Support the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and expose Hanoi John's FRAUD!)
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To: ambrose

You know, we really wouldn't suspect a conspiracy to keep these off of the shelves if that wasn't exactly the tactic that John Kerry tried to use.

Not that I ever suspected that the corporate offices for these bookstores would involve themselves in politics. I think the fault lies with their store managers and employees.


3 posted on 08/24/2004 3:08:04 PM PDT by coconutt2000
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To: ambrose

Funny how Hillary!'s book sales were national top-story news, but the fact major bookstores can't keep the shelves stocked with this one isn't mentioned in the front-page national headlines.


4 posted on 08/24/2004 3:11:18 PM PDT by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: ambrose

I went into a Books a Million on Sunday, and they said they would have them in on Thursday. :-)


5 posted on 08/24/2004 3:11:23 PM PDT by AmericanMade1776 (John Kerry The Fraud, or as some call him Rice-A-Phony.)
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To: ambrose

> ... say angry customers are accusing them of
> political bias as the retailers ...

And the customers wouldn't do this if the stores took the
simple step of placing copies of the book cover at
expected locations with a small sign saying:
- out of stock, but on-order
- expected arrival ...
- get on our list for priority treatment

But they don't do this, do they.
Can't offend their lib customers, I suppose.
Take the hint.


6 posted on 08/24/2004 3:11:41 PM PDT by Boundless
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To: ambrose
Its interesting. While Kerry ads still air, Kerry himself seems to be keeping a low profile lately.

I like it! :)

7 posted on 08/24/2004 3:13:51 PM PDT by ET(end tyranny) (For our borders, there is no hope on the way.)
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To: Chieftain
I see they got their server upgraded - just donated and, now awaiting my copy of the book to arrive.

Go Swifty's!!

8 posted on 08/24/2004 3:15:52 PM PDT by capydick ("Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington)
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To: coconutt2000
You know, we really wouldn't suspect a conspiracy to keep these off of the shelves if that wasn't exactly the tactic that John Kerry tried to use.

I suppose Kerry could buy up all the copies so that others can't read it, course that might encourage a second printing of the book! LOL

9 posted on 08/24/2004 3:17:08 PM PDT by ET(end tyranny) (For our borders, there is no hope on the way.)
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To: ambrose

In the mean time there is no shortage of pat buchanan's latest book attacking President Bush. His book was released on Friday and had already been slashed in price by 20% by it's third day of sales on Amazon.com. It would appear buchanan's new book is tanked even faster then his last campaign.


10 posted on 08/24/2004 3:18:51 PM PDT by CWOJackson
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To: ET(end tyranny)
I suppose Kerry could buy up all the copies so that others can't read it, course that might encourage a second printing of the book!

Try to pay attention! The seventh printing will be shiupped this week!

11 posted on 08/24/2004 3:20:50 PM PDT by vox humana
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To: ambrose
A first printing of only 85,000 explains a lot.

I was lucky, I guess. I ordered mine last thursday from Amazon.com and received it Saturday.

12 posted on 08/24/2004 3:22:22 PM PDT by Publius6961 (I don't do diplomacy either.)
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To: ambrose

They have a bad track record on non-leftie books. So it is hard to beleive any of this crap even if true.


13 posted on 08/24/2004 3:23:08 PM PDT by Brimack34
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To: ambrose
A co-author of the book, John O'Neill, is a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has ran a series of commercials claiming Kerry distorted his past.

AP must be using third grade children for stringers.

14 posted on 08/24/2004 3:23:52 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: ambrose
I heard the caller to Sean's show the other day. I live near the Borders she referred to and called them up confronting them on her accusation.

They claim they have not banned it from their store. The manager asked me if I wanted to make a special order for it. I told them no, but I would be in sometime next week and would hope that they would have the book on display like any of their other books

The first person I spoke to sounded very upset when I told them their store was mentioned specifically on syndicated radio.

15 posted on 08/24/2004 3:23:57 PM PDT by mware
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To: mware

Yesterday Borders in DC had a whole table full of copies of O'Neill's book.


16 posted on 08/24/2004 3:28:46 PM PDT by Dante3
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To: mware

From "My Borders" inventory search:


Store Availability
Yes

Want me to go get it for you?....:))








17 posted on 08/24/2004 3:29:47 PM PDT by Salamander (Is my schadenfreudian slip showing?)
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To: vox humana
Try to pay attention! The seventh printing will be shiupped this week!

Sorry I missed that from the article. Can you post the paragraph for me? Thanks.

18 posted on 08/24/2004 3:32:20 PM PDT by ET(end tyranny) (For our borders, there is no hope on the way.)
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To: AmericanMade1776
Called my local Books a Million yesterday and got on the waiting list. They said they were expecting a drop shipment in the afternoon or today. Got a call this afternoon and they said my copy was in. The cashier said they wont be able to put any out as they're all committed to the reserve list. She said they get so few that they wont even be able to fill all of the orders on the list if even half of the people come and pick one up. She also said they still show Sept 1st as the release date. She seemed amazed that the book was selling so well.

Reading my copy now.
19 posted on 08/24/2004 3:33:09 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult ("I hate going to places like Austin and Dubuque to raise large sums of money. But I have to," Kerry)
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To: Dante3
Just reading from all of the other posts, it seems that Borders, Books a Million, and Hastings (?) seem like they have less trouble getting copies. It seems like a distribution problem for B&N more than a political one.
20 posted on 08/24/2004 3:38:05 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult ("I hate going to places like Austin and Dubuque to raise large sums of money. But I have to," Kerry)
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To: capydick

My copy of the book came this morning and I finished it just a minute ago. While I have read much of the info here at FR, there is new (to me) info and the cumulative effect is devastating to John F'n Kerry.


21 posted on 08/24/2004 3:39:22 PM PDT by Carolinamom (Guilty as charged, Your Honor; I DID contribute to the Swiftboat vets campaign ads.)
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To: vox humana
Try to pay attention! The seventh printing will be shiupped this week!

I've read the entire article a second time now and I STILL cannot find any mention of the 'seventh' printing that you are chastising me for not knowing about. Please show me where that is in this article. Thanks.

22 posted on 08/24/2004 3:41:38 PM PDT by ET(end tyranny) (For our borders, there is no hope on the way.)
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To: coconutt2000
WELL BARNES AND NOBLE ceo'S ARE BIG contributors to kerrys campaign coffers! link here http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=4837

So i have my suspicions.
23 posted on 08/24/2004 3:46:19 PM PDT by suzyq5558 (Sayyyyyy....isn't disingenuous dissembler just a fancy way of saying your a LIAR???)
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To: ambrose
Several of Kerry's fellow servicemen have attacked "Unfit for Command" as inaccurate and politically motivated, and a Kerry campaign spokesman, Chad Clanton, said Tuesday the book had "blatantly false accusations that have been disproved by Navy records."

Then let's put the whole thing to bed...Mr Kerry, sign the Form 180 and release all your military and medical records

24 posted on 08/24/2004 3:52:37 PM PDT by hattend (I'm on the Mark Steyn Ping List! I'm somebody!)
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To: suzyq5558

Suspicions, sure. But it is bad for business for them to involve their bookstores in a political campaign. They make money from selling books on both sides of the aisle, not to mention the simple fact that "conservatives" probably tend to buy more books, music, and magazines, so why risk alienating at least half of their customer base?

Those CEOs would be booted so fast if they involved their politics in their business. Or rather, they'd be booted if they were caught.

So the question is if there is a memo stating that liberal, bush bashing books be given prominence over conservative, Kerry bashing books. If so, that memo should be outed to the board of directors and the shareholders.


25 posted on 08/24/2004 3:53:54 PM PDT by coconutt2000
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To: ambrose

Regnery seems to have screwed up Big Time on this one, by vastly underestimating the demand. They had better keep their presses running night and day.


26 posted on 08/24/2004 3:55:03 PM PDT by jackbill
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To: ambrose
According to Kerry's medical records from his naval service, he still has shrapnel in his thigh from a war injury.

Are we supposed to take his word on this, or should he just produce an X-Ray with his medical records? With all the windsurfing, biking & other yuppie sports, I'd say that that "shrapnel" is definitely a non-factor.

27 posted on 08/24/2004 3:58:19 PM PDT by Tallguy (If Clinton did a good job stopping the Millenium Bomber, I've got 2 Towers in NYC to sell you...)
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To: ambrose

What "ani-Kerry" book? It is a book that tells the truth about a chapter in Nam. What business does AP have in characterizing the intent of a book for us? I understand that many AP folks are working for the CIA and Mossad in the middle-east and this gives them cover, but at least, let's pretent to have some objectivity. What was that hilarious phrase the Oliphant used the other night, "meet minimal journalistic integrity standards," yeah that was it. Funniest thing I've heard in years!!


28 posted on 08/24/2004 4:05:17 PM PDT by Tacis (KERRY: RESIGN AND APOLOGIZE!!! Benedict Arnold had a few good months, too!!)
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To: ambrose
"According to Kerry's medical records from his naval service, he still has shrapnel in his thigh from a war injury."

And rice still in his ass from playing with high explosives. Would his medical records show he was stoned while doing that?

29 posted on 08/24/2004 4:08:33 PM PDT by BobS
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To: Salamander
I just did a search for our Border store. Availability: Yes.

I am heading out that way and will see if they do have it or not. I will report back after I return

30 posted on 08/24/2004 4:10:34 PM PDT by Kaslin (Was Kerry a hero? .......Yes for the North Vietnamese communist)
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To: Kaslin

Okeydoke....:)


31 posted on 08/24/2004 4:28:03 PM PDT by Salamander (Is my schadenfreudian slip showing?)
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To: ambrose; Petronski
I had a chance to stop in a B&N today. Before I could inquire, the man ahead of me asked about "Unfit for Command". He was given the company line, nervously stammered out by a sheepish clerk who seemed to change his tone midway through. The clerk said something about the CEO issuing a statement that demand had far outpaced supply and the publisher simply wasn't printing enough copies fast enough and no, he didn't know when or if more copies would be coming. The customer walked off in a huff, muttering something like 'It figures', and the clerk blushed. Another lady, off to the side stacking shelves, commented something to the clerk to the effect that it was trash and she hoped they never stocked anymore copies. She blushed and darted away when she saw me listening as I waited in line.

Naturally, there were copies aplenty of Clinton's book, Moore's books, and a wall of several other books trashing Bush. All prominently displayed near the entrance to the store, some in a special section called 'New Releases'. We did find, in the appropriate sections further back, but not in the 'New Releases', copies of books by Peggy Noonan, Ben Stein, Michelle Malkin and Laura Ingraham. At least 3 of these were new or recent releases, certainly as new as Clinton's or Moore's, but apparently undeserving of prominent display.

32 posted on 08/24/2004 4:51:49 PM PDT by fortunecookie (My grandparents didn't flee communism so that I could live in Kerry's Kommune.)
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To: Tallguy

Concur. Does he set off the metal detector at the airport. Does he need to bring medical proof to the airport each time he flies, like my friend with "real" shrapnel in his leg?


33 posted on 08/24/2004 4:55:16 PM PDT by Conservative Infidel
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To: ambrose

34 posted on 08/24/2004 4:56:47 PM PDT by BJungNan (Stop Spam - Do NOT buy from junk email.)
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To: coconutt2000
Check out the problem Wardaddy had with a store he went to in an attempt to find the book.

Bookstore Employees LIE About UNFIT FOR COMMAND in Nashville

35 posted on 08/24/2004 4:58:20 PM PDT by Maigrey (For the record I wouldn't vote for John Kerry if he were the last man on earth. - Notpolcorewrkd)
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To: jackbill
Regnery seems to have screwed up Big Time on this one, by vastly underestimating the demand. They had better keep their presses running night and day.

They sure did. The entire country is talking about this book and how demand has stripped bookstores clean across the fruited plain. Regnery must just be sick with remorse.

Okay, that's my sarcasm quotient for today.

36 posted on 08/24/2004 4:59:12 PM PDT by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult

I went to our local BAMM today to pick up my copy. When I checked out, the young lady said she had her copy and was going to start reading it tonight.


37 posted on 08/24/2004 5:04:55 PM PDT by MamaB (mom to an angel)
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To: Maigrey

That doesn't dispute my premise. I do think that lower level employees are bringing partisan politics to their job. I don't think this is being orchestrated by the corporate office.

I've said before that if anyone runs into someone spouting lies like the employee in that link, we should get their name and submit a complaint to corporate. This is something that can hurt corporate and I'm sure corporate would like to know if employees are making official sounding statements and claims, without official sanction.

The store managers should also be turned in if they are doing the same. The power of the complaint, and if we do this right, more conservative and fair managers will be in place and conservative books will get equal prominent placement as befits their sales status, not the opinion of the manager.


38 posted on 08/24/2004 5:05:07 PM PDT by coconutt2000
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To: ambrose

Just paid top price at AMAZON to not have to wait 5-7 weeks for delivery


39 posted on 08/24/2004 5:07:53 PM PDT by y2k_free_radical (ESSE QUAM VIDERA-to be rather than to seem)
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To: Salamander
I just got back. It was a waste of time and a waste of gas. They are out and only had 10 books to beginn with.

Arrrgh

40 posted on 08/24/2004 5:08:59 PM PDT by Kaslin (Was Kerry a hero? .......Yes for the North Vietnamese communist)
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To: Publius6961

You were-now 5-7 weeks from AMAZON direct-all others for quicker delivery are much higher


41 posted on 08/24/2004 5:09:36 PM PDT by y2k_free_radical (ESSE QUAM VIDERA-to be rather than to seem)
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To: Kaslin; Brad's Gramma
BG had some earlier this week, and if demand was sufficient, she was going to purchase another case directly from the publisher.

BG - say you may?

42 posted on 08/24/2004 5:11:48 PM PDT by Maigrey (For the record I wouldn't vote for John Kerry if he were the last man on earth. - Notpolcorewrkd)
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To: fortunecookie

its an engineered "shortage", I am convinced of it. B&N and all the rest is hoping this demand bubble blows over, so they don't have stock in it right now when people want it, and hope people won't come back to get it after the hoopla blows over.


43 posted on 08/24/2004 5:14:56 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: oceanview
I thought so, too. And it really centers on the issue of them not wanting to meet the demand because they disagree with the topic and our right to read it. Who, really, who can remember when a book publisher and a book seller didn't want to work overtime and take pre-orders to try to SELL books and meet the demand and make money!!

I can be very patient. I think, too, they are hoping, if we REALLY must have it, that we will order online and not pollute their store with it - even though their job is ...books! And the snide clerks who are so far leftie they can barely function, just absolutely gritting their teeth when they have to deal with one of 'those' people. (My experience when I tried to find Peggy Noonan's book at a Waldenbook).

Just looking around today, I saw all manner of books with every kind of opinion and fact and subject matter. That this one book can be so offensive and that one man can have so much power as to stifle - or try to- free speech, while shelves are stocked with Moore's filth, is a little scary and Hitleresque.

44 posted on 08/24/2004 5:27:18 PM PDT by fortunecookie (My grandparents didn't flee communism so that I could live in Kerry's Kommune.)
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To: y2k_free_radical

I bought mine at B&N online yesterday and it shipped today.


45 posted on 08/24/2004 5:34:19 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: jackbill

Regnery says nothing about backorders on their web site.


46 posted on 08/24/2004 5:34:45 PM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: Maigrey

I did order a copy last Thursday from Amazon.com. The shipping estimate was supposed to have been yesterday and the delivery between August 26-30. It has not been shipped yet and the delivery date has not changed yet, as I just checked on my order


47 posted on 08/24/2004 5:45:48 PM PDT by Kaslin (Was Kerry a hero? .......Yes for the North Vietnamese communist)
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To: Publius6961
I was lucky, I guess. I ordered mine last thursday from Amazon.com and received it Saturday.

I got one copy through amazon.com and a second one from my local independent bookstore.

I've been lending out my second copy to reasonable (but ignorant) lib acquaintances and asking them to read just the introduction and chapter 1, only 15 or so pages.

So far, two have read the whole book and a third is reading it now. It really is a quick read and comes across with a lot of credibility.

Responses so far have been: 'Oh my God!' and 'He's toast.' I can't be sure but I think I may have cost kerry two votes in the People's Republic of Kalifornia, South Bay Area.

48 posted on 08/24/2004 5:55:34 PM PDT by Bob
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To: All

I am watching Hannity and Colmes and John O'Neill is the guest. I just had to mute my TV because Alan claims there are inconsistensy in what the Swiftboaters say. What a liar. John O'Neill and the other swift boaters have been consistend unlike Kerry who keeps changing his story at every turn


49 posted on 08/24/2004 6:10:11 PM PDT by Kaslin (Was Kerry a hero? .......Yes for the North Vietnamese communist)
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To: ambrose

Gee, and I thought the MSM was saying the whole Vietnam thing was 'old'...no wait, that was TerAYsa who said that.


50 posted on 08/24/2004 6:15:38 PM PDT by hershey
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