February 29, 2004
Carnival of the Capitalists
Ignore Oscar and read the results on the wires tomorrow morning. Econ and biz posts galore are at the Carnival of the Capitalists hosted this week by D. F. Moore.
My Five Minutes With Oscar
I got plenty of pleasure watching Billy Crystal's intro to the Oscars. A satisfying smile came on my face and a chuckle left my mouth after seeing Michael Moore get crushed by a giant elephant from the Lord of the Rings. That was enough for me. I'll read the list of winners later tonight when they finally get through that endless ego-fest.
February 27, 2004
I don't know how much posting I'll do this weekend. It's one of the rare ones where I'm not working. However, it's filled with activities: the Milwaukee Auto Show; seeing Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ (My sis surprised me with the tickets.); doing some reading; and taking a good chunk out of the 1 1/2 seasons of The Sopranos I have to see before the start of season five, 03.07.
I do have some responsibilities to my readers to continue to deserve their attention. It's time for a new installment of Kerry's House of Ketchup to get us all ready for Super Tuesday. I want to write about Peg Lautenschlager's apology. And I might even take up same-sex marriage again. (It certainly has drawn lively conversation.) It is a weekend, and I have a tendency to be lazy. So bear with me if you don't find much to read in the next few days.
Overtaken by Events has been weblogging for two years yet has never gotten an Instalanche. Methinks this is his off-handed way of finally getting one. If so, it hasn't worked.
February 26, 2004
More on My Marriage Compromise
Kevin (of Reductio Ad Absurdum fame) asks how my compromise would deal with polygamy. It would deal with it by letting states define civil unions as only being between two people, but I know that with legal same sex marriages as a precedent, "anything goes" would eventually become the legal norm. That means that while individual religious institutions could decide what is marriage, the state would probably have to consider any grouping of people to constitute a civil union. With the end result of anything being a union, nothing is. With respect to the government, the institution of marriage is doomed. Culturally it may survive, but as a institution with legal privileges, it will not exist. Will that mean the end of American family as we know it? I don't know. What I can be sure of is there will be unintended consequences.
Proponents of SSM can't and won't respond to the polygamy question. Here's a portion from Tuesday's airing of Crossfire where Tucker Carlson asks Cheryl Jacques, president and executive director of the Human Rights Campaign about polygamy:
CARLSON: I beg your pardon. I want to -- I want to ask you a question. And I want you to answer it. No one ever answers this question. And perhaps you will.
With the legalization of SSM we will have a slippery slope. First, SSM, then polygamy, then consentual incest. Any form of consentual intimate relationship will be recognized (baring some public health argument).
I hope I'm wrong. I hope our culture can rise above the relativism and radical egalitarianism to set a standard to preserve and extend itself.
Now, it's possible that companies and other institutions could define for themselves what a married couple is for insurance and other contractual purposes. Some companies would extend marriage/civil union benefits to only one partner, while other companies would recognize more unique intimate relationships. But with our legitous society and its moral relativism, I don't think courts would put up with such forms of private discrimination. Pro-SSM libertarians should be willing to extend their "live-and-let-live" moral philosophy to the beliefs and actions to those not willing to accept marriage defined as something other than man and woman.
Let's be clear to those who support same-sex marriage: it's a radical alteration to American society. My gut instinct (as well as that of a majority of Americans) is that SSM shouldn't be legal. But it's just that, a gut instinct. The problem is making a coherant case in light of the past century where many instances of sexual and racial discrimination were conquered. Despite Andrew Sullivan's passionate arguments, a "conservative" case for same-sex marriage is no where close to being so. My compromise tries to find a solution, but even I didn't think it would be a good one.
UPDATE: Cam Edwards has a good post on the subject and even better comments.
Friedman Gets It
Tom Friedman is right on the money when it comes to outsourcing, globalization, and a growing, dynamic economy:
[W]e must design the right public policies to keep America competitive in an increasingly networked world, where every company — Indian or American — will seek to assemble the best skills from around the globe. And we must cushion those Americans hurt by the outsourcing of their jobs. But let's not be stupid and just start throwing up protectionist walls, in reaction to what seems to be happening on the surface. Because beneath the surface, what's going around is also coming around. Even an Indian cartoon company isn't just taking American jobs, it's also making them.
The debate shouldn't be about protectionism vs. free trade. What it should be about is what's the best public policy to encourage the business creation and job growth. Friedman and I would probably disagree on details big and small, but we're both looking in the same direction. This is easily the best column Friedman has written in some time.
"What Goes Around . . ."
February 25, 2004
Volokh: Ahead of the Curve
You know a gay marriage case will soon reach the Supreme Court (prediction: within two years), and when it comes up media, law professors, and webloggers will be digging into an 1888 Supreme Court case mentioned by Eugene Volokh.
"Abolition of Gay Marriage and the Contracts Clause"
For some so-called French intellectuals it will require an awful Islamist terrorist attack on their homeland before they can truly understand the evil that befell the U.S. on Sep. 11, 2001. How sad.
Thanks for Linking to TAM
Kudos go to the following weblogs for having TAM on their blogrolls:
I'm sure I'm missing somebody. Sorry. I don't acknowledge new linkers enough, but I do appreciate all those who think TAM is of value to their readers.
How about this for a compromise in the gay marriage debate: end state sanctioning of the concept of "marriage." Instead, have the state recognize homosexual and heterosexual "civil unions" with all rights and privileges that marriage previously had. Let churches, mosques, and synagogues determine what a marriage is and isn't. It treats all couples as equals before the law. The religious institutions decide what a marriage is and isn't. The separate-but-equal argument gets tossed out the window. What this compromise does is keep marriage as a sacred, religious institution while recognizing committed homosexual couples even if we don't approve of their behavior morally or religiously. Homosexual couples won't go away even if a marriage amendment was added to the constitution.
Three other thoughts:
"Bush Endorses Amendment to Ban Same-Sex Marriage"
February 24, 2004
Kerry's House of Ketchup #1
I can't resist gimmicks involving mediocre photoshop skills. Kerry's House of Ketchup will be a periodic gathering of interesting John Kerry posts throughout the blogosphere. I hope I don't put the hex on the Kerry campaign like I might have done to Howard Dean, M.D.'s. Sen. John Edwards is a tougher opponent for President Bush.
On to the posts:
Join in by linking to the House of Ketchup. If you have an MT-powered weblog, just trackback to this post, and it will appear below. If your weblog software is incapable of trackbacks use Kevin's Trackback Form.
DUI for AG
State Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager (very distant relative, I believe) ran off the side of the road last night in Dodge County. She was on her way home to Fond du Lac from Madison. Police found her and had her breate into a breathalyzer. She was at 0.12, 0.04 over the legal limit. Dodge County officers took her to Beaver Dam. There she refused to take a blood test until she spoke with a lawyer. She was released to her husband a little over an hour after her arrest. Her court hearing is scheduled for March 29.
Here is her statement to employees of the Wisconsin Department of Justice:
I am sorry to tell you that I made a terrible mistake last night. While driving home, I fell asleep and drove off the road, and was subsequently cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
From what I know so far, it doesn't appear Lautenschlager received special treatment. Sheriff Todd Nehls said she behaved like "a true professional." It's quite embarassing for Wisconsin's top cop to be arrested, but unless more is discovered about last night's incident or some harmful behavior pattern this may just go away. But it might haunt her. When Sen. Russ Feingold beat Sen. Bob Kasten in 1992 part of Kasten's loss could be attributed to his drunk driving conviction. This incident could hurt Lautenschlager's political future.
"Lautenschlager Arrested for DUI"
There's good and bad economic news:
U.S. factory production will increase this year at the fastest pace since 1999, the National Association of Manufacturers forecast Monday.
As the head of a manufacturing trade group you'd think Jasinowski would be in favor of trade restrictions of the John Edwards' type. No.
But with more U.S. companies counting on exports, Jasinowski warned that the government should not repeal international trade agreements.
To get a better picture, we need to know the status of business creation.
"Factory Output is Headed Up; Jobs Aren't"
I'm Leaving You in Suspense
I have an announcement planned for later today. It has to do with a certain Vietnam veteran.
Stealth Jobs and the Radio Shack Factor
In her latest NY Times column, Virginia Postrel makes a point that can't be said enough:
In a quickly evolving economy, in which increased productivity constantly makes some jobs redundant, we notice the job losses. It is much harder to spot where new jobs are emerging. Our mental categories tend to be behind the times. When we think of jobs, we see factories, secretarial pools, police officers, lawyers. We forget all about jobs we see every day.
Government statisticians are having trouble too which may partially explain why the economy seems to have recovered, but job creation has been nil.
For a whole lot of econ/biz reading, there's this week's Carnival of the Capitalists at Forgotten Fronts.
"A Prettier Jobs Picture?"
The "Good" Paul Krugman
Once upon a time Paul Krugman was an interesting economist. Before he got a job with the NY Times and went on a crusade to berate the Bush administration at every opportunity Krugman was a well-respected economist. An essay about how he goes about his research is a facinating window into an insightful mind. In his lecture on "pop internationalism" he cuts through the cliches surrounding the trade/outsourcing/imports/exports debate. At a time like this when both political parties harbor protectionist notions (The Dems denigrate NAFTA, while Bush raised steel tariffs.) clear thinking is needed.
"What Do Undergrad Need to Know about Trade?" [via Chip Taylor]
February 23, 2004
Actors: Stay Away from South Park
The Screen Actors Guild is a union of actors. Like any other union, it's power lies in its ability to restrict the supply of labor. Working on South Park is a no-no, a "RULE ONE VIOLATION" no-no, because the show doesn't provide "SAG wages, benefits and conditions of employment." What happens to those who commit a Rule One violation?
Members who violate Rule One could be required to appear before a Trial Board conducted by a group of their peers. A Trial Board has the authority to Discipline to impose fines, suspend, or expel a member from the union.
Why does a Soviet show trial come to mind only without the obligatory execution?
This information will only swell the ranks of "South Park" conservatives.
"You Will Respect My Authority!!!"
Suppose U.S. special forces do know exactly where Osama bin Laden is. Why would Bush take the chance of him escaping during an election year? There's too much political risk. This is like Iraq War critics' theory that Bush let loose the dogs of war for political reasons. There's too much downside even if Fox News is supposedly in Bush's back pocket.
Also, why would "a well-placed intelligence source" (to use the Sunday Times' phrase) make it know to the world that bin Laden's been found? Unless there is a spy hidden amongst Osama's circle there is no way he could be constantly tracked. These two big holes make me very skeptical about this story.
UPDATE: Steven Taylor is skeptical too.
Stupid Education Secretary
After dealing with the NEA for years as a school superintendent and Secretary of Education, I'd be frustrated with their Washington, D.C. lobbyists who oppose any non-liberal reform of public education. That being said, Ron Paige was over the line in telling governors that "the NEA is a terrorist organization." During this time of war, labling anyone that is the equivalent of calling the group traitors. No matter how misguided and wrong the NEA is, they don't strive for the violent destruction of Americans and our way of life. I'll go so far as to claim that Paige isn't taking the Islamic War seriously if he's jokingly calling his political opposition, "terrorists." By calling the NEA terrorists, Paige and the administration look like the side that's outrageous. The NEA is about to sue the federal government for not properly funding education. Since education is part of the budget that's ballooned since President Bush has been in office, a suit seeking even more money should seem ridiculous. Paige's terrorist comment only gives the NEA sympathy.
Paige issued an "apology" [via Drudge]:
It was an inappropriate choice of words to describe the obstructionist scare tactics the NEA's Washington lobbyists have employed against No Child Left Behind's historic education reforms. I also said, as I have repeatedly, that our nation's teachers, who have dedicated their lives to service in the classroom, are the real soldiers of democracy, whereas the NEA's high-priced Washington lobbyists have made no secret that they will fight against bringing real, rock-solid improvements in the way we educate all our children regardless of skin color, accent or where they live. But, as one who grew up on the receiving end of insensitive remarks, I should have chosen my words better.
I take it as another jab at the NEA instead of not seriously using the word "terrorist." This shows to me that Paige might not have the temperment to get things done in D.C. After his tasteless joke, it will be even harder to deal with the NEA, and that's to the detriment of the kids he wants so hard to help.
Does the White House have to send out a memo telling cabinet members that only real terrorists should be called "terrorists?" You would think individuals in an administration in an election year would realize any and all comments can be politically dangerous.
"Paige Apologizes for Teachers Union Quip"
Army Helicopter Grounded
The Comanche, the "centerpiece of the U.S. Army's aviation modernization plan," got the ax. Add that to Rumsfeld ending the Crusader program. The Defense department also has the F/A-22 Raptor in their cost-cutting sights.
Defense Tech has a note on how much killing the program will cost the government.
"Army to End Comanche Helicopter Program"
February 22, 2004
Someone forgot to tell these Dr. Duck supporters that he's out of the race. Could someone get me a number for a good cult de-programmer? That lucky person would be in business for years.
February 21, 2004
A Use for Your Tax Refund
BloggerCon II will have to go on without me. Dave Winer has tentatively scheduled it for 04.10. My spring travel plan is catching some Brewers spring training baseball next month. This BC has no cost and I'd have a chance to talk to Oliver Willis in person again (we'd have to talk about Washington's strange post-season moves), but besides the travel expense I don't want to be the token conservative/Republican there.
"Reserve this Date: April 10, 2004"
The White House is trying to soothe a possible conservative rebellion (it's what killed Bush I's re-election) with lots of face time. But the Heritage Foundation's Michael Franc put it correctly that actions speak louder than words. The first test is to see if Bush vetos a bloated highway bill.
One other note: Does Reuters consider "libertarian" to be a synonym for "conservative?" Both words are used to describe the Cato Institute.
"Bush Reaches Out to Conservatives to Quell Revolt"
February 20, 2004
Duck is "Nuts"
Just because the Duck Hunt is dead and gone doesn't mean I stopped posting on my favorite waterfowl. The head of AFSCME called Dr. Dean "nuts." And after reading this short NY Times story, you know there's much more we don't know about. For one, I'd like to know where that $40 million in campaign contributions went.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page named Dr. Duck "the most consequential loser since Barry Goldwater." However, if Gerald McEntee's are any indication, Dean, M.D. will have a hard time growing his "new initiative" beyond rabid, kool-aid drinking Deaniacs.
"Dean the Dream"
February 19, 2004
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Start Car
The New Mexico House passed a bill that would mandate breathalizers for every vehicle. The bill's sponsor says it would save lives. If we really want drivers to drive safely the government should mandate that a steel spike be installed on every steering wheel. That would certainly provide an incentive to drive safely.
Rush Tour Dates
Rush will go out on tour to celebrate their 30 years as a band. They'll be in Milwaukee 06.07 barring any further Alex Lifeson legal problems.
Duck Hunt #11
Sad to say, ladies and gentlemen, but this is the last Duck Hunt. Howard Dean, M.D. quit so the DH has run its course. This was a fun, but short-lived, gimmick. I had fun making the graphic. It was the best Photoshopping job I've ever done, and I didn't even use Photoshop. Dr. Duck and his raft gave me and other webloggers plenty of material to write about. Like Duck, M.D.'s campaign, the Duck Hunt has run its course, and it's time to move on. I want to thank everyone who linked to the DH. I especially want to thank Dean Esmay for some much-needed guidance. Let's get to the *sniff* *sniff* last entries.
Join in by linking to the Duck Hunt. If you have an MT-powered weblog, just trackback to this post, and it will appear below. If your weblog software is incapable of trackbacks use Kevin's Trackback Form.
P.S. Jay, are you happy? It's over. It's finished. The DH is done, dead, kaput.
P.P.S. One last time for old time's sake: Dr. Duck's "I Have a Scream Speech."
February 18, 2004
Kerry's Anti-War Lies
Oliver Willis wonders about the attacks on Sen. John Kerry for his anti-war activities after returning from Vietnam a war hero. If Kerry would have just returned to the states and publically protested the need for American troops there or on the effectiveness of the military strategy, that would be one thing. But what Kerry did as a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War was advance falsehoods about war crimes. I'd like to say things have changed for Kerry, but at Sunday's debate he labeled the Vietnam War as "Nixon's war" ignoring the facts that President Eisenhower first sent military advisors to South Vietnam with more troops sent by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
If so many atrocities took place in Vietnam, Kerry wouldn't have needed to lie. On the campaign trail, he proudly wears his own bloody shirt in as cynical a manner as his anti-war Senate testimony.
"Vetting the Vet Record"
"Heads Should Roll"
I'm glad someone with a voice to the administration wonder why George Tenet still has a job.
Dean is Done
"I am no longer actively pursuing the presidency."
With those words, Howard Dean, M.D. threw in the towel...kind of. He'll still be on the ballot, people can still vote for him, and he'll still have delegates going into the Democratic convention.
As I predicted, Dr. Dean is converting his
We will, however, continue to build a new organization, using our enormous grassroots network, to continue the effort to transform the Democratic Party and to change our country.
Secondly, Dean for America will be converted into a new grassroots organization. We need everybody to stay involved. We are -- as we always have -- going to look at what you had to say about which directions we ought to be going in, and what we ought to continue to do together.
If you want to know why I opposed Dr. Duck, I offer this nugget from today's speech,
And what we set out to do was make the rest of the country more like Vermont. And so far we haven't succeeded, but we have a long way to go.
For a man whose followers claimed to favor decentralization his approach is one-size-fits-all. Arnold Kling has called this types, "Walden Puddle contingent on the Internet." But to be honest, the only decentralization was the campagin. Dr. Dean did proclaim last year that, as President, he would "re-regulate" utilities, large media companies and any business that offers stock options." That must be how it's done in Vermont.
I'm gathering weblog posts for the final Duck Hunt (*sniff* *sniff*) later tonight.
The Future of Weblogging
Glenn Reynolds offers some advice for finding your niche in the blogosphere.
P.S. Thanks Glenn, for another link. Three in two weeks. I must be doing something right.
"Blogging: The Next Wave"
Laugh at Us
Kin's Kouch is hosting this week's collection of bad weblog posts, the Bonfire of the Vanities.
After the Wisconsin primary we have a two-man race that could be very interesting. Sen. Kerry beat Sen. Edwards by only 6%. Tuesday's results stopped the Kerry steamroller. I expected Kerry to top 50% since most think his nomination is inevitable. However, Edwards' performance in Sunday's debate (something I didn't notice), the endorsement from the Journal Sentinel, and his anti-trade and pro-American jobs message gives him a reason for opptimism going into next month's Super Tuesday. According to exit polls, Edwards got 55% of those who picked their candidate in the last three days. What this means is Edwards needs to do more to show the differences between him and Kerry. States with sluggish manufacturing economies (Ohio? New York?) seem open to Edwards' free trade bashing. The problem is going after a fellow Senator would take away from the positive sheen Edwards has done so much to polish. To balance attack with proactive campaiging requires skill and risk-taking. We'll see in a few days how much Edwards wants the nomination or would be happy with positioning himself for the VP spot. Kerry would be stupid not to choose him.
With the loss of manufacturing jobs as the theme of this primary (Wisconsin has lost 80,000 in the last three years), with Milwaukee as still the state's manufacturing center, and with Edwards' strong anti-trade rhetoric, I'm surprised Kerry beat him in Milwaukee County by 10%. Edwards beat Kerry in the Republican bastions of Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha county.
How badly did Howard Dean, M.D. do? Sure, he got enough of the vote (18%) to get some delegates, but this is another disappointment. His strength is supposed to be the anti-war types, young people, and the Left in general. Not only did Dr. Duck get clobbered overall in Wisconsin, he got pummeled in Dane County where the peoples' paradise of Madison is located. The Lefties there chose the staid Vietnam War hero. They preferred Kerry, who touts how he fought for America instead of Dean, M.D., the anti-warrior. During the war, Madison was the center of loud, violent protests. Sterling Hall was bombed as an anti-war protest. If you go there, you can find plenty of people willing to talk about those wild old days. These people had a chance to re-live a part of their youth by voting for Dean, M.D. Not many did, which tells you how dead-in-the water he is. He just doesn't know it.
What's even more telling about how far Dr. Duck has fallen, an exit poll had Kerry beating Dean, M.D. for the 18-29 vote 35%-29%. Kerry also beat Dean, M.D. for the anti-war vote 42%-18%. Kerry outpolled Dean, M.D. in the liberal vote two to one. Dean, M.D. couldn't even win the "hate Bush" vote. Kerry beat him 43%-20%. [Note that 44% of primary voters are "angry" with President Bush. Dean, M.D. lost every part of his constituency to Kerry. Then there's this striking fact: 39% of voters at one point planned on voting for Dr. Dean. He ended up with 18% while campaigning hard here for the past few weeks.
During last night's concession speech, he told his
"Kerry Wins State; Edwards Surprises"
"Edwards Cashed in on Economic Issues"
"Democrats on Course for More Competition"
"The Edwards Surprise"
February 17, 2004
Dean Won't Quit
Dr. Duck has made a complete 180-degree turn. He now says he's going on to Super Tuesday whatever the results of today's primary. He's addicted to campaigning. He's addicted to taking part in debates--while barely attacking the front runner--he's addicted to shouting about how evil President Bush is to (dwindling) crowds. He knows he can't win, yet he continues. If he keeps this up his campaign will go full circle. He started as a former governor from a small state with as great a chance of getting the nomination as that loon Rep. Kucinich. If he continues, he'll end up as a former governor from a small state with as great a chance of getting the nomination as that loon Rep. Kucinich.
"Dean Insists Run Won't End in Wisconsin"
Men's Journal named Brett Favre the "Toughest Guy in America."
"The 25 Toughest Guys in America"
[Cross-posted to SportsBlog.org.]
Tasty Manatees is hosting this week's Carnival of the Capitalists. Plenty of econ and biz posts to keep all you money geeks happy for a few hours.
February 16, 2004
If the U.S. was so unilateral in the Iraq War, how come Dutch troops are training future Iraqi police? Can the Bush bashers please stop using this canard? The facts make them look like fools.
Adam Curry is providing some great pictures (the one linked above is one) and coverage about what's really going on there besides bombings and attacks.
Zogby has Kerry at 47%, Dean at 23%, and Edwards at 20%. The poll was taken from 02.13-02.15 so it doesn't take into account Edwards solid debate performance and his endorsement by the Journal Sentinel. My gut tells me Edwards should beat Dean, M.D. If not, stick a fork in Edwards, he's done.
[via Political Wire]
Paper Endorses Edwards
We'll see if lightning strikes twice for Sen. John Edwards. In Iowa, the big newspaper endorsed him, and he wound up with a surprising second place finish. Let's see how Edwards does tomorrow with the endorsement of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"Editorial: Edwards for the Democrats"
A Confused Duck
I don't think Dean, M.D. really knows what to do. Does he stay in the race while his staff scatters in thirteen different directions? It will be hard mounting a challenge to Sen. Kerry if its all run by volunteers. Or does he admit defeat and potentially betray the Deaniacs who placed so much psychic captial in his Internet-powered "revolution?"
I'd feel sorry for the guy, but then I remember how he's twisted and mischaracterized the Iraq War, propagated conspiracy theories, and put the darkest spin on everything President Bush has done. He's an angry man who vented publically for over a year and directed his fury at Bush. All the while, mesmerized followers fed off the anger and reinforced it with their own. This "echo chamber" was no revolution. Instead it was a visible and frightening hate cult.
"Dean Rejects Calls to Quit Presidential Campaign"
Good Political Advice
Dave Winer does a little preaching to the choir when he writes, "Talk first, form your own policies, then look for a candidate who matches your interests." Serious webloggers (not those who list superficially there daily activities) are engaged in a lot of conversations with others. However, Dave's advice is good for those who don't like following politics constantly (i.e. much of America).
"Why Caucuses and Jury Duty Make You Smarter"
The Bucks gave up Tim Thomas and Joel Przybilla for Keith Van Horn. Details at SportsBlog.org.
February 15, 2004
Duck Hunt #10
Will this be the last Duck Hunt with Dr. Dean still a candidate? It's not too clear. Steve Grossman, Dean, M.D.'s chairman told the NY Times that he'll back Kerry if Dr. Dean doesn't win Wisconsin, Tuesday. (He trails Kerry by 40 points.) But, ever the fighter, Dean, M.D. said, "We're not dropping out after Tuesday, period." The future of the Duck Hunt will be determined by what transpires in Burlington, VT later this week.
Now, on to the blogosphere. Some of these posts are a bit old, but I think they're still good and viable--unlike the Dr. Duck campaign.
Join in by linking to the Duck Hunt. If you have an MT-powered weblog, just trackback to this post, and it will appear below. If your weblog software is incapable of trackbacks use Kevin's Trackback Form.
[NY Times story via Political Wire.]
Steve Verdon posts on Intelligent Design (ID) not being science. He may be correct (the post is persuasive), but here's why I've never written about the creationism vs. evolutionism debate. Both ideas to an extent rely on faith. Creationists are blatant with their belief that God created the world, but evolutionists should concede that they place a high level of faith on human rationality. I can accept that evolutionary processes operate in the world I live in, yet I believe God created the world in six days. My view isn't based on science, nor can it be scientificially proven. It's simply a matter of faith. I believe in God's infinite wisdom that He has the ability to create the universe in such a way to make evolution to be the only logical explanation. It becomes a test. Do we accept what our eyes see and mind rationalizes, or do we step beyond the powers of our faculties? Faith is what allows a person to transcend Man's reason. Faith is believing is something when everything around tells you you're wrong. It's both beautiful and terrifying.
The arguments about what view should be taught in schools is mostly irrelevant to me. I don't have kids yet, and if I did I'd do my best to make sure they were taught in a religious school where their faith could be strengthened while learning about the world around them. Give me a few school-age kids, and I might change my mind.
"Time Again For....Intelligent Design Bashing"
I've been slow to get to it and biased, but I think the Bush ad going after Kerry on special interest money is really good. Too long, but good.
Like the other debates, this one didn't have fur flying and few attacks at each other. Gov. Doyle was happy that the debate was positive and "cordial." But thank goodness for Al Sharpton. It would have been a real snoozer until Al called President Bush a liar. And coming from Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton it's very ironic. He then claimed Bush had either deliberately lied about the Iraq War or has "some kind of crazy, psychological breakdown."
The closest we had to a real, engaged exchange was when Sen. John Edwards pointed out that candidates shouldn't promise the world:
One thing, though, I want us to be very careful about, you know, I listen to candidates talk about health care. They say, "Oh, we're going to cover 97 percent. Everybody is going to be covered. All the kids are going to be covered. We're going to give you all these tax cuts for the middle class, and oh, by the way, we're also going to balance the budget in the next four years."
But then after saying this, he touted how he wants to begin lifting 35 million Americans above the poverty line. How much will that cost when he also wants to start down the path of universal health care?
What the debate didn't do is stop the Kerry monster. I saw no reason for Kerry supporters to drop him for Dean or Edwards.
I noticed a problem with any of the candidates when it comes to the general election. All these candidates don't see the Islamist War as the most important issue facing the country. President Bush does when he calls himself a "war President." It doesn't matter if people are employed if they're killed by a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon. Plus, it's hard to get people to take risks on starting a businesses that would create more jobs when the fear of a terrorist attack is on peoples' minds. Defending the nation has to be the primary mission of the President.
Porphyrogenitus beat me to Kerry's Vietnam as "Nixon's War" quip.
Transcript of tonight's debate.
Wisconsin Debate Coverage
Click below to follow my raw coverage of the Wisconsin debate.
UPDATE: Welcome InstaPundit readers. Glenn, thanks for the link.
Kerry gets question on Bush's National Guard duty:
"Not qualified to answer." Bush hasn't learned lessons of Vietnam War. Bush "rushed" to war. Have suggested to Democrats to stop using the AWOL charge.
Edwards: "Disconnect" between what administration told country about war, and what was found. [Not right.]
Borger: Stupid process question about how Bush is using Dean's criticism of Kerry in a commercial.
Dean: President Bush is "looting the American treasury" in drug and energy bills. Weird references to old Wisconsin politicians like Bob LaFollite and William Proxmire.
Kerry: Fought against "Nixon's war" in Vietnam.
Kerry, in vague reference to the Drudge affair rumor, will stand up to any attack. He vaguely blaming Republicans for the rumor, "resorting to the personal."
Sharpton: "Where's bin Laden?" "Why didn't we put all our energies into finding him?" Iraq is a "distraction" to the war on terrorism. Iraq is an "imagined threat."
Wisconsin has lost 90,000 manufacturing jobs since the 1990s.
Kerry: Bush administration has refused to used trade side agreements. Doesn't regret signing NAFTA, but regrets lack of enforcement.
120 day review of all trade agreements. Won't sign Central American and Free Trade for the Americas trage agreements unless it has
Edwards: Opposes NAFTA. He'll "stand up and fight" for those lost jobs, but offered nothing of substance.
Dean: Free trade agreements are justified. Labor and environmental rights haven't been "globalized." What does that mean? Dean willing to force people to pay more for goods by dumping bad trade agreements.
Kucinich: Would dump NAFTA and the WTO and go back to bilateral trade agreements based on workers' rights.
Sharpton: Would cancel NAFTA too. Was against it in the beginning. "Indecent" to pay foreign workers such low wages.
Edwards: "Some of these jobs are gone." Will wake up everyday in the White House to fight for jobs.
Dean: Middle class never got tax cuts. Repealing Bush tax cuts don't amount to a tax increase. Thinks balancing the budgets would create jobs.
Kucinich: Number one domestic priority is creating a "non-profit" health care system.
Kerry: Will tax the rich and close loopholes to pay for 97% of all Americans in three years. Extend Congressional health care plan to everyone.
Edwards: Wants states to import drugs from Canada. Can only afford to "start down road to universal health care." Have to lift 35 million out of poverty.
Holt asks hard question about Kerry's waivering on No Child Left Behind and PATRIOT ACT.
Kerry: Bills isn't the problem, bad enforcemnt and John Ashcroft are the problems. Won't promise to balance the budget, because he doesn't think it can be done.
Kucinich: "Create wealth by putting people to work."
Sharpton: Vouchers don't help everyone. [Just means vouchers should be extended to all.]
Kerry: Would have government pay for 4-year in-state tuition if person works in local community for 2 years.
Dean: Supported Gulf War I, Afghanistan, and Bosnia. Congressmen and Senators are responsible for sending troops to war. National Guardsmen and reservists shouldn't spend 12 months in combat. [How else to have enough troops to fight?]
Kerry: "President choose the wrong way" to fight the Iraq War. Doesn't think Bush did enough to build international backing. [What about the many countries who joined the coalition? Interested more in process over knocking off Saddam and his threat.]
Edwards: Accepts responsibility for voting for the war. We're fighting the war alone. [Once again, what about the Brits, the Poles, and others.] Thinks NATO could and should guard Iraq boarders while Americans focus on the Sunni Triangle.
Kucinich: Thinks the administration knew Iraq had nothing to do with the Islamist War. "President lied to American people" about the war. Doesn't know why. [Got applause for his anti-war stance.]
Sharpton: "Clearly he lied." "Absolutely it was a lie." "Why do people lie? Because they are liars?" [Doesn't know the difference between lying and just being wrong. Sharpton then got a bunch of cheers.]
Dean: Gave three trillion dollars to his pals. Administration hasn't bought enriched uranium. Still stands behind his "America isn't safer with Saddam's capture" statement. Capturing bin Laden would make America safer. Bush hasn't gone after him and al-Qaeda.
Kerry: Sees himself first as a jobs President. Bush has ignored North Korea. Has ignored AIDS. Will develop more global cooperation on fighting terrorism.
Kucinich: Iraq War "wasn't necessary." Will dump all nuclear weapons and hog-tie the country with international treaties.
Dean: Ends don't justify the means with regard to Iraq. "We don't know how history will just the war in Iraq."
Kerry: Used affirmative action while prosectutor in Massachusetts.
Sharpton: Fought all his life for diversity. [Including Tawana Brawly?] Thinks D.C. Congressional representation is a civil right issue.
Kerry: Personally believes marriage is between a man and a woman, but is for civil unions and partnership rights. Let states decide their own policies. [Smells of moral relativism.]
Edwards: Has "seen up close" how losing a job effects people. Kerry and Dean have "good hearts."
Sharpton: Rich can be compassionate; poor can be cold-hearted. "Clarance Thomas is my color but not my kind." [Not black enough?]
Another Gloria Borger lame process question.
Dean: Will support Kerry if/when he gets the nomination. "We have changed the face of campaigning." Won't owe anyone anything if sent to D.C. [Would Dean be happy with a rich, Perot-type to self fund a winning campaign?]
Kucinich: Got the E Pluribis Unum translation right; better than AlGore.
Kerry: He said the most boring "I'm a fighter" I've ever heard.
Show Me the Money
Ed Cone seems to be the only reporter willing to ask the biggest question surrounding Howard Dean, M.D.'s campaign: Where did all that money go? Ex-campaign manager Joe Trippi doesn't know and wasn't responsible for knowing.
Almost Debate Time
UPDATE: InstaPundit readers, my coverage is here.
It's less than one hour until the Democratic Presidential Debate in Milwaukee. This will be the last important debate until this fall when (presumably) Sen. John Kerry will take on President Bush. With word surrounding the Dr. Dean campaign that he'll quit Wednesday after losing (again) to Kerry, this is his last chance to stop the Kerry momentum and give him a few shots. Dr. Duck denies this saying, "In fact, we are staying in the race. The forum we will use to stay in the race remains to be seen." I don't think even Dean, M.D. knows what he's going to do. I'm guessing a suspension of the campaign, an eventual (weak) endorsement of Kerry (probably at the convention), and the creation of a liberal advocacy organization (think an Internet-powered lefty version of the Christian Coalition). Sen. John Edwards is teetering as well, but he might not want to slug it out with the Vietnam war protester because he's on the short list for VP.
TAM will be weblogging the debate. Afterword, there will be post-debate analaysis, links, maybe even a Duck Hunt.
"Debate Spotlight Brighter, Narrower"
"Dean to Advisers: 'We Are Not Bowing Out'"
"Dean has Given Wisconsin His Best Shot"
I go to Sheboygan often. Green Bay Packers football, hunting, fishing, beer and bratwurst come to mind, but not rich, single men (not that I'm looking).
"Report: Eligible Bachelors Abound in Sheboygan"
February 14, 2004
Why Michele is Cool
Who are your sporting heroes? > Thurman Munson. Mike Bossy. Bret (sic) Favre.
UPDATE: I think I used "sic" incorrectly. I think it's fixed, but my future career as a copy editor has run into a big roadblock.
Duck's Done Wednesday
It looks like Howard Dean, M.D. will be ending his campaign after getting plucked here in Wisconsin. Wednesday, he goes back to Vermont to "regroup and assess his strategy" to use Reuters' words. Then there's this from the Boston Globe:
His calendar for next week is not booked beyond Wednesday, when he plans to return home to Burlington, Vt.
One of Dr. Duck's staff, chief weblogger Matt Gross has left the campaign due to "family medical reasons." The American Prospect got him to answer a few questions, but I can't wait until when he talks about when and how the campaign collapsed. While Gross and I disagree most thinks political, I agree with him that the long-term effect of the Dean, M.D. campaign is to turn these operations into "their own media channels."
"Dean Bid Shows Signs of Ending"
"As Fortune Changes, So Has Dean's Campaign"
[via Political Wire]
Once in a Lifetime
Google is a weird contraption. If you want the dirt on Sen. Kerry's so-called affair you'd go to Drudge, right? Then why does Google have TAM ranked higher? I'm not sitting on any breaking news. Like others, I'm waiting for Drudge to drop another bombshell.
That "Other" Duck Hunt
Steven Taylor has his pre-Wisconsin Toast-O-Meter up. As for my man/duck Dr. Dean, it's looking really, really bad. Taylor has declared him "Burnt Limberger Cheese Toast." (Note: There is only one place left in America that makes limburger, and it's in Wisconsin. It's near Monroe to be exact.) Here's how bad it's gotten for Dean, M.D.:
Democrat Howard Dean faced scores of empty chairs in a half-empty hall on Saturday as he neared an anticipated defeat in Wisconsin's primary next week that could end his White House hopes.
Maybe he can surprise us all with a dominating performance in tomorrow's debate, but the track record of these tame events makes me doubt it.
"Dean Faces Empty Seats as He Nears Possible End"
February 13, 2004
Live from China
Bush's Guard Records
Another question: What are the Democrats really looking for by demanding to see every scrap of paper dealing with President Bush's National Guard service? They might just be desparate and have no particular item in mind. However, I'm guessing they're trying to dig into Bush's wild days when rumor has it he had a drinking problem. Heck, they might just be trying to find some hint that Bush was arrested on a cocaine charge. Whatever it is the Democrats are looking for, Steve Verdon is right, it is a "fishing expedition."
I'm still in the question asking mood. What was the point of a group of governors visiting Iraq? Sure it was nice of them to visit soldiers from their own states, but what do the governors have to offer in winning the peace? What it looks to me was that this was nothing more than a chance for people outside the Bush administration to defend the administration. That's pretty expensive PR. There is this funny story Gov. Tim Pawlenty told:
Pawlenty said Americans should measure progress in Iraq against conditions that existed there a year ago.
To plagerize Glenn Reynolds, "Heh!"
"Pawlenty, Other Governors, Brief Bush on Iraq Trip"
'Riders Selling Shares
I found another story mentioning the Packers' unique ownership. This time it was used right. The CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders want to sell shares to their fans to pay off debt and improve their facilities. No mention was made of a government buying the team. Shares will just be sold to fans. Like the Packers, what it is is a convoluted form of charity.
"Cash from Shares Aimed at Upgrades"
February 12, 2004
Meta Thoughts on Kerry "Affair"
Only in the blogosphere can webloggers constantly complain about John Kerry's affair. By doing so they just perpetuate the story.
What's with Wesley Clark? Will he actually endorse a man who he has tried to destory? What's he up to?
Will the Deaniacs go crazy thinking their bird is more like a phoenix than a waterfowl?
What's going to happen at Sunday's debate? The Wisconsin primary now is important again.
When I look at Bush's "AWOL" and Kerry's "affair" it reminds me of the really nasty politics of the 19th century. The American body politic survived those times, and it will survive this one.
It's give sports fans warm fuzzies to know the Green Bay Packers are owned by their fans. Sometimes people misconstrue the actual ownership structure of the team. Gary West, executive director of the Bowling Green (OH) Area Convention and Visitors Bureau thinks the city of Green Bay owns the team. He's using the Packers as an example of how the ownership of a possible minor league baseball team could be organized. Let me set the record straight: The Packers are not some form of sports socialism. They are a private company owned by shareholders, not the City of Green Bay, Brown County, nor the State of Wisconsin. A governmental body was created to fund the remodeling of Lambeau Field. To do that, a tax on Brown County sales was created. That is about as close to socialism as the Packers get.
"City May Try to Lure Baseball Team"
Some reporters have acknowledged that Wesley Clark (Weasley in the Kerry campaign) said off the record that Sen. John Kerry has an "intern problem." Yet in the Plame affair the White House is accused of trying to pass on information to a number of reporters. None of them have come forward to admit to the White House leak. Some sense of honor in the journalist crowd. Since Clark is a has-been candidate his confidence can be violated, but when it comes to access to the White House all lips are sealed. Am I missing something besides the fact that the whole Kerry affair (pun intended) is a hoax?
No offense to Michele, a top-notch weblogger, but how can she write that she has no idea what the Presidential candidates stand for? Being a weblogger, she reads lots of stuff everyday. Heck, she even helps run a news weblog where part of it is devoted to covering the Presidential election. Sure, the stands of all the candidates aren't firmly spelled out. We don't know every candidates' position on every issue. We probably aren't happy with the positions of our favorite candidates. However, we certainly can get a pretty good idea of what they are for by reading the newspapers and browsing through campaign websites.
"On Special Request: Electioneering, V.2"
UPDATE: I want to be fair to Michele. She reminded me that the post I linked to was from pre-primary season. What got me worked up about it is I've heard the comment from people that they don't know what the candidates stand for. If all they hear about the campaign is the junk on tv news I can understand, but all you have to do is read a newspaper a few times a week to be fairly up to speed. I can't stand whining when there's an easy solution in plain sight.
Lecture Next Friday
Barring some unforseen event, I plan on attending a lecture given by Austrian economist and Foundation for Economic Education president Dr. Richard Ebeling. If you're in the Milwaukee area at that time contact me. The event should provide some good intellectual fodder over drinks or a late meal. If it turns out to be awful, I should have some juicy material for a few Paleowatches.
"On the Road with FEE: Winning Freedom"
February 11, 2004
South Korean scientists have "mined" stem cells from a human embryo. Mark today as a historic date when a whole class of human beings began to be created and destroyed to satisfy the needs, desires, and whims of others. Sure many may benefit, but even the pleasant facade Antebellum South was built on the backs of African slaves.
"Stem Cells Mined From Human Embryo Clone"
Comcast Wants to Grow Ears
This smells of AOL-TimeWarner. At the time, I thought it was some business innovation of historic proportions. What was I smoking? For the most part Comcast is a hardware company while Disney is a software company. They have two different cores. How does having lots of cable help Disney make more successful movies like Finding Nemo and Miracle? What X factor should make this combination work? If Comcast wanted exclusive access to Disney content they could negotiate individual contracts. What kind of economy of scale do they hope to achieve? If I was a gambling man I'd short the combo if they actually merge.
For more reading, check out Professor Bainbridge's take on the situation.
I Smell a Conspiracy
Not really, but it's very coincidental for Howard Dean, M.D. to be out of the state on the only day of the week I'm not working. He claims it's because of his son's hockey game. It's obvious he's dodging me. He fears the Duck Hunt, I just know it.
Alright, enough of my delusion of grandure. It's off to bed for me.
"Dean Bounces Across State Rallying Raucous Support"
Galactica is a Go
Thirteen episodes of Battlestar Galactica, sweet!
"Battlestar Galactica Greenlit for Series"
February 10, 2004
I'll be at work the rest of the day and night so no posting until really late. But since you're here fell free to help build my Kings of Chaos army (just a few clicks are needed) and GoaticusMaximus' army too.
Creativity and Maddness
Harvard researchers have found that people who don't/can't ignore irrelevent data (low "latent inhibition") and have "exceptional flexibility in thought" are more susceptible to mental illness and great creative accomplishments. One of the researchers said,
Getting swamped by new information that you have difficulty handling may predispose you to a mental disorder. But if you have high intelligence and a good working memory, you are more likely to be able to combine bits of new information in creative ways."
There may be a few webloggers shuddering after reading this.
"Creativity Tied to Mental Illness"
Who you gonna call? Steven "PoliBlog" Taylor. He takes on some political myths and comes out triumphant.
"Political Myth Busting"
February 09, 2004
Flying Past Wisconsin
Howard Dean, M.D. will not let a probable Wisconsin loss stop his pursuit of the nomination. That's what he told reporters in Green Bay today.
This announcement certainly deflates the importance of Wisconsin. The 02.17 primary just doesn't have the same "last stand" drama if Duck, M.D. says he'll continue even if he loses. Dean, M.D. knows it's not likely he'll get the nomination. If he really thinks he still has a shot then he's as delusional as some of his Deaniacs. Sure it's possible Sen. John Kerry could do something to blow up his smooth path to the nomination. Steven Taylor writes, "Kerry would probably have to shoot a man in Reno, just to watch him die, to lose the nomination at this point." Of course, he thought Dean, M.D. was going to get the nomination (heck, so did I).
What doesn't help is AFSCME dropping their support for Dr. Dean. That means fewer workers on the front lines calling voters and other get out the vote activities. It also doesn't help that 34% of poll respondents said they don't want Howard the Duck as the nominee.
Strangely, there is no mention of Dean, M.D. backing away from his make-or-break statement on the campaign website. It's like they don't think their supporters who read the weblog read any other news.
"Dean Now Says He Will Stay in Race After Wisconsin"
"Commanding Lead for Kerry"
"Living in Wisconsin"
Oh, I love this:
We're pretty much going to be living in Wisconsin until February 17th.
Look's like I have a new neighbor. Monday's schedule is set, while Tuesday's is still to be determined.
UPDATE: In an interesting twist, the Duck, M.D. campaign is letting the raft pick a commerical to be run in the state. The two I watched (the first one, "Max," wasn't working for me) were kinda cute and reminded me of the winning ads run by Sen. Russ Feingold. Will they save Dean, M.D.'s campaign? Probably not.
UPDATE II: A poster at Daily Kos (possibly first and only link to that weblog) just rips on the ads calling them "the most disappointing, unprofessional, inept, lame move ever made by the spectacularly unsuccessful Dean media team, led by Steve McMahon."
Kings of Chaos has been restarted. I'm staring from scratch. That means I'm asking you to click to build my army. It's easy, it's not that much fun, but since I don't have any tip jars for you to fill, it's one way of showing your love for TAM.
Oh, and click to build GoaticusMaximus' army too.
February 08, 2004
Pontificating at the Grammys
The head of the Grammys gave his traditional speech tonight during the ceremony. This year it was about music education and digital downloading. The argument is that reducing music and arts education in schools is harmful to children.
The Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences doesn't seem to understand the basic economic idea of tradeoffs. Because Man has unlimited wants he has to decide which are most important. A middle income family can choose to go either to Disney World or Yellowstone. They can't afford to go to both. A growing company can choose either to spend their advertising budget on an expensive Super Bowl commerical or a farther-reaching direct mail campaign. They can't choose both. When it comes to education, schools have limited financial resources and time. If a school is failing to teach its students to read and write other less important subjects have to be sacrificed. It isn't a question of not considering music and art important. It's just a question of priorities. If the Academy really wants to help schools, they should be promoting effective, efficient reading methods so money and time can be spent on enriching music and art classes. Ripping on President Bush for not finding WMD in Iraq doesn't solve the problem.
The next topic was digital downloading. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow announced the debut of What's the Download a website focused on informing the public about music downloading issues. Will it help clarify some of the confusion surrounding downloading? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure opponents of Big Music will have a field day ripping apart the website.
For more Grammy coverage there are few better places than Blogcritics.org.
UPDATE: For a more lighter re-cap, there's the Journal Sentinel's Dave Tianen
February 07, 2004
I have made a mistake. I've been thinking that since the Democrats were having a primary in Wisconsin on 02.17 then the race to decide the Republican challenger to Sen. Russ "I Hate the First Amendment" Feingold. I was wrong. That primary won't be until September. That explains why I've heard or read zero coverage. I don't feel bad in not covering the race. There's plenty of time.
"Russ Darrow: Doing Retail Politics"
Clark in Racine Sunday
Gen. Wesley Clark will be in Racine, WI tomorrow at the Racine Labor Center, 2100 Layard Ave. He will be the guest of Gov. Jim Doyle. Doors open at 1:30 and the event will be from 1:45 to 3:00. I'm thinking about checking it out.
As for my
"Dean Casts for Votes in Milwaukee"
Don't Forget that Other Dictator
Let me help the Commissar with his quest to build up a Bush=Stalin meme.
"Equal Time for Stalin"
February 06, 2004
As of this morning there's still no mention of Roy Neel's backpeddling from Dr. Dean's do-or-die Wisconsin statement on the Dean, M.D. weblog.
China or Bust
Matthew Stinson is off to China. Wish him luck.
February 05, 2004
Clark and Edwards Coming to Wisconsin
Sen. John Edwards will be coming to Milwaukee Saturday. A rally at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee is set for 12:30. This coincides with the ad he's started running here today. An Edwards staffer called the Wisconsin primary the "Super Bowl."
Two officials close to Clark, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the retired Army general considered dropping out of the race Tuesday night after scoring a single victory, a nail-biter in Oklahoma. They said his wife, Gert, helped talk him into staying in the race against the advice of some backers.
Let's see what happens if he does poorly on 02.17.
All the candidates are expected to be in Milwaukee on 02.15 for a debate to be held at Marquette University.
"State Primary is a Political Crossroads"
Dean's Last Stand: Wisconsin
Howard Dean, M.D.'s statement places Wisconsin at the center of his campaign. He told his followers, "[W]e must win Wisconsin." The response has been very, very good. He's raised over $700,000, enough to run ads here. (Oh, joy, I can't wait to see them.)
Most news reporters interpeted Dr. Duck's statement as meaning he's done if he loses on 02.17. Roy Neel, the campaign's CEO, begged to differ. He didn't read the message the "same way you [reporters] are interpreting it." It's interesting that Neel's version of Dr. Dean's statement isn't on the campaign's weblog.
Yes, Jay, I'm happy about this announcement. A win for Dean, M.D. means more issues of the Duck Hunt. A loss means I will have to think of something clever for Sen. Kerry. (And it won't be half as much fun picking on him.) If there wasn't a Republican U.S. Senate primary race and my belief that only Democrats should choose the Democratic Presidential nominee, I'd be really, really tempted to vote for Dean, M.D. just to keep him around.
I don't know what Dr. Dean's schedule is tomorrow. A "roundtable discussion on jobs and the economy" is planned for tomorrow, but I don't know where or when. And with this snowstorm who knows if anybody (including Duck, M.D.) will be able to attend.
"Dean Shifts Campaign Focus to Wisconsin"
"Wisconsin or Bust"
Like We Didn't Need Anymore Proof
Dr. Dean's operation is more cult than campaign. Here's a quote from one die-hard Deaniac, Jim Moore:
Giving is the sacrament that brings the Dean community together.
I'm glad Duck, M.D. is raking in the dough. That means he'll stay in the race longer, and that means the Duck Hunt still has a pulse.
Janet and Breast Feeding
There have been a couple comments decrying the complaints over Janet Jackson's exposed breast. Their argument is since Americans accept breast feeding we shouldn't complain about Janet's bare boob. This canard must have its head knocked off. First, I don't know what anyone else was watching, but breast feeding was the last thing on Justin Timberlake's mind when he copped a feel and ripped off part of Janet's costume. The stunt was about titilation and shock, not the caring of a baby. Second, even if Janet were breast feeding a very, very young Justin, halftime of the Super Bowl is not the appropriate time and place to show that. I've never seen a mother whip out her breast in a public place feed her child. So, it seems to me most breast feeding mothers have the decency and respect for others that Janet and Justin didn't.
As a local talk radio yapper said last Monday, this incident isn't the end of the world. American culture isn't permanently scarred. The stunt was the straw that broke the camel's back. Many people are tired of the increasing sexualization of media. It's not that we're all prudes. In fact, I'm very confident that behind closed doors of the loudest critics very kinky thinks go on that would put the Janet-Justin stunt to shame. But that's just it: they do it in private and not flaunt it in the faces of everyone else.
[This post has been added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
February 04, 2004
What a Team
The Packers are the third most Ultimate Team according to ESPN.
If Howard Dean, M.D. had much money left I'd be offering him some local product for his campaign. The AP reports he spent almost $7,000 on Vermont chocolate. I wonder how much Ben & Jerry's was purchased?
In a video taped apology, Janet Jackson took responsiblity for the Super Bowl stunt. She claims the "shocking moment" went "wrong." Alright, so the intention wasn't to expose her right breast to the world. Then what was her intention? To just let Justin Timberlake cop a feel in front of millions? If everything would have "gone right" it still would have been inappropriate.
CBS isn't taking any chances with the Grammys. Janet's been dumped and a five-minute delay will be in place.
In Dr. Duck's latest message to his
We took a risk in Iowa by trying to win this race early. We were disappointed after a full assault by the other candidates and the special interest groups, but we picked ourselves up and got stronger. Now, as the field of candidates narrows, we continue to build toward a win in Wisconsin—setting up a clear choice for the voters.
Sounds like he's written off Washington State and Michigan. Dean, M.D. is coming back to Wisconsin on Friday (no details yet), and he's declared the state "up for grabs." He also said, "Let's pay all the taxes we had when Bill Clinton was president." Those tax cuts you've gotten the past few years, they'd vanish under a Duck, M.D. Presidency.
And Dean? For America? is sad.
"Message from Howard Dean"
[via Discount Blogger]
Good for Traffic
No wonder TAM's been swamped with people Googling for Janet Jackson's boob. As of this moment TAM is #3 for the keywords "janet jackson's breast pic."
Bashing Bush from the Right
John Hawkins on ripping on President Bush:
But, that doesn't mean we should hold our tongues when Bush, on certain issues at least, acts more like Ted Kennedy than Ronald Reagan. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm a conservative first and a Republican second and if conservatism is best served by going after a Republican, it doesn't bother me one bit to do it.
The point about criticizing the President is to nudge him into getting his act together. I'm sure if the choice is between Sen. John Kerry and President Bush, Hawkins will vote for the latter. He, like me, hopes he doesn't have to hold his nose doing it.
"Conservatives Should Criticize Bush When He Deserves It"
Look Beyond the Numbers
A Little Aardvark makes an awfully perceptive point about racial profiling by police:
So the big news last night is that most police departments in Texas are two to three times more likely to stop blacks and Hispanics than other folks and when stopped, they are much more likely to do vehicle searches on cars driven by blacks and Hispanics. On the face of it, it looks like, gasp, RACIAL PROFILING. And unfortunately, that's as far as most people will get. What they don't tell you is WHERE and WHEN the stops occur, and what the crime rate is, and what the racial mix is, and what percentage of crimes are committed by each racial group. If the Hispanics/Anglo mix of the local populace is 50/50, but 75% of the crimes are committed by Hispanics, shouldn't the police be looking at a ratio of 3:1 in stops (75/25) instead of 1:1 (50/50)? I can tell you the three highest crime areas in Fort Worth: Stop Six - predominantly black, Northside - predominantly Hispanic, Como - predominantly black. Guess where the police spend a lot of time? So if they are patrolling Como, and see a car full of teenagers at 3:00 in the morning, they should just ignore them? If the racial profilers have their way, the answer is 'yes'.
"I'm Always Amazed"
How Could They Be So Wrong?
Bush needs to get out front and tell the public that given the information available and the past actions by Saddam Hussein it was reasonable to conclude that there were WMD in Iraq. Getting absolutely conclusive proof is a metaphysical endevor. Even in a court the standards of proof are "reasonable doubt" (in criminal cases) and "preponderance of the evidence" (in civil cases). With the data and analysis available at the time what would a Democratic President have done? A sensible one would have come to a similar conclusion: Saddam was a WMD threat. How to respond may have been different. A President Gore may have let U.N. inspections go on while his diplomatic team tried to get backing from Russia, France, and Germany.
However, President Gore might have chose to go war even sooner. The Iraq War took place at a time only 1 1/2 years after the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. For decades, Democrats have been viewed by the public as soft on military issues. They trust Republicans more to fight wars. After a swift victory in knocking off the Taliban and liberating Afghanistan, easing up on Saddam's Iraq would have brought up the spectre of a Democrat getting weak again on war. Perception wouldn't necessarily equal reality, but deep-seated views like this slowly change.
Here in the real world we have to deal with probablities and possibilities. Mistakes were made, but no one can seriously claim Iraq, the region, and the world aren't safer with Saddam Hussein removed from power. In the case of Iraq, over-estimating the threat was prudent.
This intelligence failure is a bipartisan issue. Robert Einhorn, who worked at the State Department in both the Clinton and Bush administration said, "If we were massively wrong, we were all massively wrong. Everybody."
"A Desert Mirage: How U.S. Misjudged Iraq's Arsenal"
[This post has been added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
February 03, 2004
After the 2000 election I take exit polls with a small grain of salt. That being said, here are some from Political Wire:
South Carolina: Edwards 44, Kerry 30, Sharpton 10
Kerry's doing well, Edwards has plenty of fight in him, and Dr. Dean is being crushed. Guess that's what happens when you abandon today's states to make a last-stand in Wisconsin.
Pickin' a Fight
John Cole just blasts Joshua Micah Marshall over the President Bush AWOL claim.
"The Weird World of Josh Marshall"
"Intent" Justified War
Colin Powell told reporters,
I think it was clear that this was a regime with intent, capability and it was a risk the president felt strongly we could not take and it was something we all agreed to and would probably agree to it again under any other set of circumstances.
Maybe I missed it but I would feel better about my pro-war support had Saddam's WMD intents have been emphasized more.
And why does George Tenet still have a job?
"Powell Says Invasion Justified by Iraqi 'Intent'"
Call the Fire Department
Outside the Beltway is hosting this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
February 02, 2004
Duck Hunt #9
DH is back. Even though Dr. Dean lost New Hampshire, dumped his campaign manager-turned-rock star, Joe Trippi, and blew through $30 million with only a third and second place to show for it we here a DH HQ persevere. Jon Chait has stopped his Dean-bashing weblog, but since Dean, M.D hasn't thrown in the towel neither will TAM. Dean, M.D. has to come back just for sheer entertainment value, and so I have a reason to buy a Mean Dean talking doll [Thanks, James].
The most interesting Dr. Duck story today is the campaign started paying its workers again. Part of it is from raising $200,000 a day, and part of it is from laying off some of the staff. I hope those ex-employees got a good severence package. Yeah, right. At least they can have the satisfaction of knowing they're only a URL away from the campaign.
Now, on to the blogosphere:
Join in by linking to the Duck Hunt. If you have an MT-powered weblog, just trackback to this post, and it will appear below. If your weblog software is incapable of trackbacks use Kevin's Trackback Form.
Like the incredible story told by Bill Safire, it will be years and years before the public finds out about some of the successful secret operations in the Islamist War. That makes it hard for the public and politicians to measure its progress. The best measurement we have is to note that there haven't been any al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. since Sep. 11.
KM Links to TAM
Thanks go to Kevin's Mind for having the good sense to put TAM on his blogroll. Go there to read a good post on WMD intelligence.
"Endorsing The Commission?"
No, not for TAM for Dan Wismar's Wizblog. Change blogrolls and bookmarks accordingly.
The Naked Truth
Blogcritics.org has plenty of posts to satisfy your interest in "wardrobe malfunctions."
Dave Winer on Janet Jackson't halftime peek-a-boo:
For the record, I missed Janet Jackson's breast because I was writing something at halftime yesterday. Women's breasts are great. I think there should be a requirement that all women bare their breasts if they want to when they're on television. It should be a choice thing. It might be more comfortable. It's unbelievable that Michael Powell is having a hissy fit over this. More breasts, not less. That's my opinion.
I'm guessing Dave doesn't have kids.
UPDATE: This is only one little sliver that shouldn't represent all kids, but these eighth-graders give me hope that they saw through that "crass" Justin-Janet halftime stunt.
While some kids seem to comprehend the outrage, Howard the Duck is cluesless.
February 01, 2004
Duck in Milwaukee
Howard Dean, M.D. has found God outside the South. When attending a church in Milwaukee today, he told the congregation, "I am blessed, I am grateful and I thank you. Praise the Lord."
And here's the Meet the Press transcript of Duck, M.D. vs. Tim Russert. I haven't gotten through it yet. When something interesting pops out at me, I'll let you know.
"Dean Seeks Support at North Side Church"
Super Bowl Ads Review
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tim Cuprisin reviews the commericals. Here's his funny take on one of the anti-smoking ads:
What if we could get through one Super Bowl without one sledgehammer subtle anti-smoking ad? Yes, they're so annoying that it makes some of us non-smokers want to light up.
He also writes about Janet Jackson's breast.
"Super Bowl Halftime's Breast-Baring Stunt Spurs CBS Apology"
Immediately after seeing it, I knew Janet Jackson's breast would be on the Net. Wizbang didn't let me down. Is she wearing a pasty? And will CBS get fined?
Oh, by the way, the New England Patriots won.
"In Case You Missed The
UPDATE: Links and a pic from Oliver Willis.
TAM's getting crushed. It looks like elimination, but there's still a chance to vote for me. I'd appreciate it.
Beware of the Seven of Spades
"DemCom Deck of Cards for Operation Bloggi Freedom"
That's Not Wisconsin Chili
I don't know where Cold Spring Shops got his chili recipe, but I'm sure it wasn't from Northeastern Wisconsin. His recipe has too many peppers in it. I'd love to try his sometime, but the chili I grew up with (30 miles south of Green Bay) consisted of kidney beans, ground beef, tomato sauce, elbow macaroni, water, and spices (no cayanne) cooked for a long time. When I was growing up, we never heard of a habanero. The only heat from that stuff was from it cooking on the stove.