July 31, 2004
World's Shortest Movie Review
The Manchurian Candidate: Avoid it.
July 30, 2004
Vouching for Father
I'll give you my take on Kerry's speech late tonight.
Return of the Superfriends
I know nothing about Kerry's speech other than the convention gave the Dems a five-point lead in a Zogby poll. On the more interesting Iowa Electronic Markets Bush and Kerry are virtually dead even in the Presidential Vote Share Market, and Bush took back the lead in the Winner Takes All Market. There's no big convention bounce in the markets, but they might not react the same way to conventions as polls do. We'd need to look at how the markets reacted in previous elections.
What did catch my eye was this picture of the Kerry Edwards team.
Notice the smug grin on Edwards, the defensive stance by Teresa, and the weird frat-boy pointing by Kerry. They look like a team ready to take on the bad guys. They may think they're The Avengers--remember Florida--but they're really the Superfriends. Not those, these
"Zogby Poll Shows Democratic Ticket Up 5 Points"
July 29, 2004
Hornsby Over Kerry
Here's my theory of what will happen tonight: With Clinton, Obama, and Edwards setting the bar high, the expectations are that John Kerry will look lifeless compared to them. However, he will deliver a good speech. The man has been public speaking since he was a high school debater. However, the talk will be that he found a way to rise up to the level of Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. Thus, Kerry will get high praise for just a good performance.
I'm skipping out on watching John Kerry's speech live. I'll be savoring the sweet sound of Bruce Hornsby.
UPDATE: I didn't get to see Hornsby because the show sold out. Since I could still buy tickets last night I figured I was okay. Instead, I saw Napoleon Dynamite.
Something Nice About the Dems
More powerful than a link from a sex weblog, even more powerful than an Instalanche is a link from CNN. TAM's "suffering" under one right now, and it's all about my juvenile (yet important) question: "Who's Hotter?"
July 28, 2004
Two Can Play This Game
Being the married man with kids, I'm not surprised Kevin noticed Cate Edwards. (I see a little of Jackie O. in her. The delegates must have swooned over her.) I wish I could give you pictures of Alexandra and Vanessa Kerry, Karenna and Kristin Gore, as well as Cate. Instead, I'll give you this story on the "cover-girl Democratic daughters."
"The Party's Girls: Daughters Debut"
Feet to the Fire
Here's more proof that what's happening outside the Fleet Center is more interesting than what's happening inside:
The next day, the pantomime Gongsters are gone from Copley Square. In their place are shoes--thousands and thousands of shoes. Multitudes of boots are arranged carefully on the lawn, with a sign explaining, "These 907 pairs of boots represent the U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq war." Then there's a sloppy pile of shoes with another sign: "These 1,000 pairs of shoes represent a small fraction of the estimated 16,000 Iraqis killed in the war."
Follow the Bouncing Poll Number
Well, well, well. Kerry Edwards is subdued about the effect of the convention on the polls.
Former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen told the group that her daughter graduated from USC Law School and that her son-in-law had been stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter. She thanked the delegation for the state’s hospitality to her kin.
Is KE defining success down? If they do get a "huge bounce" will they claim it was a massive public endorsement?
I wonder what the strongly anti-war delegates thought when hearing these words from Sen. John Edwards:
John understands personally about fighting in a war. And he knows what our brave men and women are going through in another war -- the war in Iraq.
and how about these words:
The anti-war Deaniac pacifists must have been tearing their hair out. Their guys want more weapons programs. They must be hoping Kerry sticks to his voting record rather than what's stated in campaign speeches.
Kerry Edwards' foreign policy plan is whimsical. John-John assumes everything will be hunky-dory with France et al if Bush is booted. What makes them think the strong anti-war constituencies of those foreign lands will accept further involvement? What makes Kerry Edwards think the Iraqi insurgents will stop killing hostages that scare countries away? The U.N. has had plenty of opportunities to expand their Iraq presence. They've shyed away. Maybe those nations that were first opposed to Iraqi intervention would come around and help the U.S. But to assume it will happen is foolishness.
Suppose in the first term of a Kerry Edwards administration it was found Iran had a factory making nuclear weapons. Then suppose that even with all Kerry Edwards' diplomatic skills, France et al turned their heads and said, "Send in the inspectors"? Would a Kerry Edwards administration defy the will of the world and "unilaterally" (probably with Great Britain's help) attack? We have no idea, and because of that it shows the Democratic ticket isn't serious about defending America.
Chad Evans and James Joyner both comment on the speech. Steven Taylor writes, "I must say, I tire of this idea that most of us live on the brink of utter ruin." He then pops Edwards' "Two Americas" theme.
UPDATE: I have to link to Deacon's humorous take on the speech. "10:48 If you have stubbed your toe, help is on the way."
What's happening outside the Fleet Center is much more interesting than what's going on inside. Andy Carvin's coverage (with audio and pictures) of an anti-war rally tops everything I've read from the credentialed webloggers so far.
"Speeches, Songs and Arguments at Copley Square"
Kerry's House of Ketchup #21
This is another special edition of your favorite condiment connection, Kerry's House of Ketchup.
Is it just me or are the convention webloggers just offering mildly interesting pictures and "what I did today" stories? So far, not so good when David Weinberger considered covering the convention via C-SPAN instead of the Fleet Center.
Here's a scary quote from defense analyst Loren Thompson:
If you look at the people around Kerry. what you see is the Clinton national security team.
Kerry got another endorsement. Along with the Communists, the Socialists are backing him. Plus, the original "Two Americas" speech was delivered before the Socialist Workers Party Convention. [via PrestoPundit]
Speaking of "Two Americas," we can't forget John Edwards. He's speaking tonight. I wonder if he'll try to defend his record as a trial lawyer from the blistering critique of John Stossel?
We have a Dukakis sighting.
On a sad note to you pro-Bush Natalie Portman fans. She's backing Kerry.
Jonathan Last comments on Bill Richardson's introduction of Jimmy Carter:
By way of introduction, Bill Richardson says that President Carter gave us "a strong America." Hmmm. Now I'm just asking, but will John Kerry's "stronger America" be like Jimmy Carter's "strong America," only more so? Don't say you weren't warned.
Now, on to the links (and I don't mean you should pull out your driver):
Join in the fun 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.
Celebrity Republican Spotted
Alright! If I wanted to only consume pro-Republican music I found an artist I can listen to: Sammy Hagar.
Hacking the Report
I downloaded the PDF version of the Sep. 11 report, but it sits on my computer untouched. I'm waiting for more copies of the bound version to get back into my store. An HTML version sounds much better for linking from this weblog.
July 27, 2004
Frozen Original Kreme
Sean, Had your Frozen Original Kreme yet?
Get a Grip
You can not like what stories Fox News covers or how their personalities comport themselves. That's one thing but to say Pravda "had more editorial integrity" is a Howard Dean-like moment. Pravda was the official voice of a brutal government that killed millions and kept even more in bondage. Fox News is an alternative to the liberal spin conservatives put up with for too long. Oliver, see the difference?
Is it any worse than CNN and MSNBC? If you want "pure" journalism switch to C-SPAN.
And there's all that silence from him about Daniel Okrent's admission that the NY Times, the "Paper of Record" is liberal. See, that liberal media!
"'News', Fox Style"
UPDATE: Paul at Wizbang pulls apart another Oliver Willis argument. It's not been a good day for my Redskin-loving friend.
King's Reading Assignment
King needs some help figuring what to read (and post about) on his upcoming trip to Armenia. Stop by and give him some suggestions.
This summer, I've had some time to read. Here's what I've knocked off:
King's into the Super spy novels, as you can see that I am. The Sovereign Individual is what I am reading now. It's a little dated, what they are going through now is the Y2K computer issues, but it's interesting nonetheless, especially watching how to the forefront blogs and "point/click" shopping has become.
Too Many Cars?
Those pesky documents. They really have a way of coming around to bite you in the ass.
Republican Rep. Phil Krinkie of Shoreview released a stack of e-mails and other correspondence from top Department of Transportation officials mentioning congestion that might result in the Hiawatha corridor. Krinkie accused the department of disregarding open-records laws to keep their concerns private as long as possible.
It should be no secret that there would be some traffic issues. But the DOT, The Metropolitan Council and others told the taxpayers and opponents of LRT that congestion would be eased.
Approaching trains trigger traffic signals, stopping cars on cross streets. This interrupts the normal cycle of traffic signals. Since the line opened in late June, the setup has caused delays at cross streets, for drivers trying to turn off the highway and even for north-south traffic on Highway 55, which runs parallel to the tracks.
There you go. Let's just keep this to ourselves. We don't want someone to get upset, for Pete's sake. Let's just wait and see what happens? Deal with the anger later?
The Hiawatha Corridor was just opened after years of construction. As anyone who has driven along the new Highway 55 in Southeast Minneapolis knows, this project was long overdue. But now, if the road isn't driveable because of the train, was all that money spent for naught?
Kudos to Representative Krinkie for continuing to follow this issue.
The Washington Post is running a Best Weblogs contest. If you think TAM's good enough, please nominate it.
Hey, Seattle Times
The American Mind is taken.
Will John Kerry make any smart-ass remarks about President Bush falling off his bike again?
"Bush Takes Another Tumble on Mountain Bike"
You can bring cannoli into the Fleet Center but not bananas. There's a Bill Clinton joke in there somewhere. Can you bring in Krispy Kremes? How about cigars?
"Leave The Banana. Take The Cannolis"
I put up with Bill Clinton's speech for about five minutes. He's not nicknamed "Slick Willy" for nothing. The smooth polish, the down home demeanor, and the self-deprecation put a shiny veneer upon a speech of revisionism, class warfare, and disingenuous.
And oh do I hate Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop."
July 26, 2004
Kerry's House of Ketchup #20
Welcome to a special edition of Kerry's House of Ketchup. Normally to maintain the sanity of my readers and myself KHoK is published once a week. But this week we have the Democratic National Convention. Democratic dignitaries will be honored, the base fired up, and John Kerry will be unveiled to the American public. With so much media scribbling and yapping focused on the election the blogosphere is filled with related chatter. Thus, I have to give these links to you before they overflow my bookmarks folder. Enjoy.
Join in the fun 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.
July 25, 2004
Tracking the Webloggers
Feedster has set up a site to track the posts of the webloggers at the DNC.
Hurrah for Toast!
Steven Taylor's Toast-O-Meter is back.
[I shouldn't be this happy. Now, I have competition in the Kerry-related linkfest market. A buyout might be in order. I wonder if Steven accepts Krispy Kremes as payment? And do anti-trust laws cover weblogs?]
A Tale of Two Men
One man surprised troops in a far off land and had Thanksgiving dinner with them.
Another surprised reporters because "The idea of missing a Yankees - Red Sox series right before a convention is unacceptable."
Take it however you'd like.
"Kerry Arrives in Boston Early"
"Kerry Makes Surprise Visit to Boston"
Not Music to My Ears
As an update to this post on Big Music donating oodles of CDs to libraries here are what some Wisconsin libraries are getting:
Among the 592 CDs shipped to the Marshfield Public Library, there are 22 copies of Ricky Martin's "Sound Loaded," 20 copies of Samantha Mumba's "Gotta Tell You," 16 copies of "The Three Tenors in Concert," 12 copies of Georg Philipp Telemann's "String Concertos/Musica Antiqua Koln-Goebel," and 12 copies of Mandy Moore's self-titled album.
To Jewish TAM Readers
Soccer Dad had discovered W Ketchup is Kosher. I'm still sticking with Heinz.
"Armstrong Takes Victory Lap"
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For...
Results posted in a day or two.
July 24, 2004
More Fun Than A Human Being Should Be Allowed To Have
This afternoon, I had to mow the grass. This being America, I wanted to listen to the radio while I mowed. Instead of punishing my ears solely with the noise of the lawn tractor, I added in more noise, as loud as the radio would do pump it out.
Being where I live, it's very difficult to get a strong signal from am1280 The Patriot, host (Saturday's from 12p-3p) of The Northern Alliance Radio Network. This is a show done by Minnesota's, and some of the Country's finest bloggers: Mitch Berg of Shot In The Dark, The Elder, Saint Paul, Atomizer and JB Doubtless of Fraters Libertas, John "Rocket Man" Hinderaker and Scott "The Big Trunk" Johnson of PowerLine, Captain Ed Morrisey of Captain's Quarters, and (last but most certainly not least!) King Banaian of SCSU Scholars. Today, among other things, they interviewed James Taranto, he of Best Of The Web. Best of the Web is one of the best reasons to have email, arriving each afternoon in your inbox for your reading pleasure. Wish I could have heard it; instead I listened to 101.7, The Red House That Rocks, WHMH FM.
Tonight at Keegan's Pub in Minneapolis, The Northern Alliance hosted their first "get together" of bloggers in the Minnesota area, and your's truly attended. I had the pleasure and honor of meeting most of the above people, and putting a face to the website. Also in attendance was the Uber Scribe, James Lileks. The man with the most listenable radio show on the Twin Cities former talk radio powerhouse am1500 KSTP, Bob Davis also graced us with his presence. I had a most enjoyable conversation with Flash from Centrisity, who happens to be a member of the finest Senior Drum & Bugle Corps in the world, Minnesota Brass, Incorporated. While he is a little more left-of-center than I, he's in a drum corps, which is one of my favorite summer pasttimes: watching Drum & Bugle Corps as they take the field for competition. Jay Reding came up too, and it was great to meet him; his blog is another daily must read. And, of the local "big time" pundits (i.e., she gets paid for her opinions unlike the rest of us) Sarah Janecek of MN-Politics.com.
Those, and more, were there, and many likely still are. I have some commitments tomorrow, namely responsibilities at church in the morning, so I bailed out early. These people are all as genuinely nice (and smart) as they appear on the screen. Special Thanks to all of them for the great props that they gave this site and Sean. Next time He will have to make the trip to get the props himself. Me, I'm just lucky enough to get a guest slot here, and grateful for it.
The Only Numbers that Count
Going into the Democratic Convention Bush leads Kerry in the all-important electoral vote count. There's still too much time until Election Day to pay much attention to polls, but one thing's for sure: because of the Electoral College any national poll is meaningless--ask AlGore. It all comes down to individual states.
"Bush Leads Kerry in Electoral Votes"
John Kerry may want to connect with the average American voter--he does need their votes. While not having anything against blue collar Joe Sixpack-types he and his campaign remain tone deaf towards them.
For example, this past week Kerry went to Detroit, the heart of America's auto industry, to speak before the Urban League. Workers are very loyal to their employer's cars and to American products in general. The press badge for the trip proudly displayed a product of German construction, a Rolls-Royce 100EX. It could have been any car in the world, but it had to be 1.) a German automobile (imagine if it had been a Pugeot?); 2.) something complete out of reach to most Americans. He could have gotten away with a Chrysler Crossfire, an American coupe that look and performs like it's Mercedes-Benz cousins.
It's not as big a deal as partisan yappers make it out to be (note auto worker Sam Burwell's over-the-top comments), but it is telling in how out of touch Kerry Edwards is.
"Kerry Camp Spins its Wheels"
UPDATE II: There's some confusion about where the pictured Rolls-Royce was made. The Times story says the 100EX was built in Munich. BMW bought Rolls-Royce in 2003 and has a plant in Great Britain. I'm guessing design work takes place in Germany while the production cars are made in Great Britain.
You Have Your Orders
I expect the TAM Nation to vote for the correct entry in Backcountry Conservative's Food & Clothing Contest. HINT: It's #10.
Sunday morning, Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor will be inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. They are the 99th and 100th inductees.
Aside: If you ever get a chance to go to Cooperstown, it's a wonderful little town, and the Hall of Fame and Baseball Museum are a delightful place to spend a day. I recall my visit fondly and will return some time.
Molly is going into the Hall of Fame with a Brew Crew cap on his head, and he should. All time with the Brewers:
Category -- Rank -- Total
(stats courtesy of the Star Tribune)
Hate Crime Laws
Yesterday, I commented on a story about some crosses that were destroyed in front of a church. I wondered aloud if the perp, if caught, would be charged with a "hate crime."
In the comment section, Matt commented that he is against hate crimes:
I'm kind of against hate crimes anyway, I think most violent crimes are crimes of hate of some sort or another, hate crimes set a precident of thought crime: If there is a seperate/more severe punishment for being racist or prejudiced while commiting a crime then it follows that racism or prejudice by itself is a crime. But being racist or prejudiced is protected by the first amendment.
He's right. And while many of my friends know that I feel the same way, I forget that I haven't written here long enough for the readers here to know how I feel, and that in my pithy comments you would all suddenly say "Oh, Shawn is against hate crimes."
I pretty much come down where Matt is. If someone kills me, they have killed me. Punishing them additionally for their bias against my faith/sexuality/race/etc. doesn't do anything to bring me back, or make my survivors feel any better about me being dead.
We're all human beings. All crimes against us are because of hate or greed or jealousy or some other thing. Why make any other crime less severe because the victim and perp are both of the same race/sexuality/religion?
Will There Be Justice?
Today it is reported that the Anoka County attorney will not bring any charges against her. Though she was cited and was acting in Hennepin County, the Hennepin County Attorney, Amy Klobuchar, opted to not get involved as she and Phyllis have worked together in the past.
The case was referred to the Hennepin County attorney's office, which declined the case on possible conflict-of-interest grounds and referred it to the Anoka County attorney. As a member of the Minneapolis legislative delegation, Kahn frequently works with Hennepin County officials. On Friday, Anoka County officials said the case was at most a misdemeanor theft, which the New Hope city attorney would have to review.
Hopefully the city of
Oh, am I so glad I won't be bothering with My Life. One sentence by Pejman only reinforce my good sense:
This is a lousy book . . . and I measure my words carefully in saying that.
The review is lengthy, but it just has to be better than the book.
Since she isn't funny or interesting when talking about anal sex I don't think I need to answer her question.
July 23, 2004
Michael Moore: Liar
Readers should know I don't toss around the label "liar" loosely, but that's what Michael Moore did with some creative Photoshopping.
"Moore F9/11 Lies"
While hunting for the last remaining Krispy Kreme doughnut to go with his waffles and ketchup, Sandy Berger, wandering the house without pants or socks (what a horrible mental picture) and dreaming about his next job (part of it involving asking customers if they would like fries with that), gave up, turned on the television, and consumed waffles of another sort: a John Kerry speech.
Good enough for you, Michele?
This has been added to Jeff's little collection.
What Democrats Will Do
What if Phyllis Kahn was a Republican?
State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, a 32-year veteran from Minneapolis and a key figure in the DFL House caucus, was stopped by New Hope police earlier this week after a citizen complained that she was removing a Republican House member's campaign literature from doorsteps and replacing it with a DFL opponent's material.
If this was a Republican removing DFL literature, the candidate would have their booking photo all over the news. Well, perhaps I am too cynical.
As previously noted, there are going to be added costs and dangers for the Twin Cities Light Rail project along Hiawatha Avenue.
Today's highlight: Gate arms at crossings, used to keep people and cars off the tracks as a train approaches.
In the first 26 days since light-rail trains began carrying passengers in Minneapolis, cars and trucks have broken 15 gate-crossing arms designed to keep vehicles off the tracks.
The average cost to fix or replace the gate arms is $300. So, we're into repairs so far for about $4500. I doubt that the drivers are being billed, as they should be (the article doesn't mention as to whether or not they are).
What do you think the chances are that if the police find who drove through a display of crosses at a church, that the person will be charged with a hate crime?
Broken crosses littered the tire track-covered lawn of Gethsemane Covenant Church, 4479 Ugstad Road, on Thursday morning as volunteers surveyed damage to the "Cemetery of Innocence," a display of 400 three-foot crosses each representing 10 abortions.
Since it's "politically correct" to be pro-choice and anti-Christian, my guess is that anyone charged would be only charged with vandalism.
I'm Working on It
Michele inspired me. The first draft is done.
Break It Down Again
Do people think I'm losing it when writing an edition of House of Ketchup? What's with Power Line's Big Trunk calling the latest the "nineteenth nervous breakdown edition." In my frazzled state, I'll take it as a complement.
I'd like to think the Sep. 11 Commission reads TAM, but I realize I'm just a keyboard jockey in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, they agree with me that a "war on terrorism" is too nebulous and open-ended a concept.
The Golf Tournament Formerly Known as the GMO
Wisconsin's annual PGA stop, the U.S. Bank Championship is the toughest it's ever been since coming to Brown Deer Park. Paul Azinger called it "a mini-U.S. Open." It used to be that the winner racked up an outrageous (20+ under par) score. The course is one of the shortest on the tour but the roughs are think. Wisconsin native, Jerry Kelly described one as "a bird's nest in a hawk's nest."
But wait until a few weeks when all the PGA stars go 40 miles north to challenge the monster Whistling Straights in the PGA Championship. Earlier this month after playing the course, 2002 PGA champion Rich Beam said, "Maybe it was just the setup that was throwing me off, but I think some of the long holes, with the narrow landing area . . . That's insane. It just doesn't seem fair."
"Eight-Way Tie for First at Brown Deer"
Mort Kondracke's wife, Milly died of Parkinson's Disease. His ode to her is contained in Saving Milly. Wish their family the best.
July 22, 2004
In the last day TAM's been getting hit hard with comment spam attempts . I'm a little flattered with the attacks because it indicates this weblog's growing influence in the blogosphere. Thank goodness for the MT-Blacklist. How are Word Press users dealing with comment spam? Is the WP Blacklist as effective as MT-Blacklist? This issue will now become a major reason for TAM to ever move to another weblogging platform in the future.
Below are some pictures as the Bush twins start helping their dad get reelected.
Kerry's House of Ketchup #19
Welcome to the 19th edition of the most stupendous John Kerry linkfest of the entire Internet. (If Sandy Berger can claim he was "sloppy" in handling classified documents, I can be sloppy with my hyperbole.) There will be lots of stuff here to help you with the breaking news about "Sloppy Sandy" as well as other good Kerry-related tidbits.
In non-Berger-related news, a San Francisco Chronicle editor has been suspended for donating to the John-John ticket.
On the Kerry Edwards weblog is this mocking rendition of the GOP platform. Who wants to do a (funnier) satire of the Dems document?
If you got tired of John Kerry's constant refrain that he served in Vietnam then don't watch the Democratic Convention. They'll be everywhere all talking about Kerry the war hero.
It's still too early to really care about polls. Most of them have Kerry leading. On the Iowa Electronic Markets we have a different prediction. In the Winner Takes All Market Bush has widened his lead since Kerry chose Edwards. In the Vote Share Market Bush continues to lead. In a related note, a pollster told GOP governors that Kerry is doing a better job talking about the economy.
Let's get to the good stuff. Here are your lycopene-filled links:
Join in the fun 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.
The Encore, an end-of-summer bash from the Summerfest crew, has already announced some of the acts for the three-day "little gig."
Confirmed artists include: Jimmy Eat World, The Temptations, Local H, Los Lonely Boys and Blue County.
That's a good start. I'll definitely try to get there to see JEW.
July 21, 2004
Yippee for WSJ
The Wall Street Journal now has RSS feeds.
[via Scripting News]
I am an AT&T Wireless Services customer for my cellular phone. I used to have the digital one rate program, which was slick for all the traveling I did, and when I got laid off my priority was to keep the phone and number, not switch to some other plan. That time will come.
Well, as a customer, I get their emails. Yay. But here's the new feature they tell me about today in an email:
Think about all the times you've heard a cool new song and wanted to know its name or who the artist is. With MusicID™, a new service for AT&T Wireless customers, you can be the first to know.
Now, that, to me, is just cool. Unbelievable.
Russ, Make Up Your Mind
I'm not in favor of the flag burning amendment so I don't gripe Sen. Russ Feingold for voting against it. However, I'm opposed to his so-called "campaign finance reform" (AKA First Amendment restriction) legislation. The Wisconsin GOP calls Feingold on his double standard:
Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) Chairman Rick Graber pointed out Feingold’s contradictory stances on free speech issues, considering Feingold has made a career out of banning issues-oriented political speech through his misnamed campaign finance ‘reform’ law.
"New! Feingold's Free Speech Flip-Flop"
Swimming in CDs
Big Music settled a price-fixing suit with a bunch of states. Besides paying out a boatload of money to consumers they donated CDs to local libraries. Here are some of the "hits" Southeast Wisconsin libraries received:
What, no King's X? The selection was determined by "how much time artists spent on the Billboard charts" which means the public has some really bad musical tastes.
"Music to Whose Ears?"
"Liberal" Still a Bad Word
While not doing a great job holding down the expansion of government, conservatives have done a great job putting a negative connotation on the term "liberal." The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) has come out defending John Kerry as not being a liberal. They'd only do that if they knew voters cringe at them. This is a reversal of the 50s and 60s when liberals effectively bashed Right-wing candidates as "conservative."
Sean's First Rule of Argument is "He who controls the definitions wins." At least the Right is winning that battle.
"John Kerry Not Liberal, 'Centrist' Democrats Insist"
The Viewmaster is 65.
The public got its first good look at View-Master at the 1940 World's Fair in New York, a year after its creator, amateur stereo photographer William Gruber, introduced it in Portland, Ore. By 1941, more than 100,000 stores were carrying it.
It's amazing, the things you learn every day.
Understatement of the Day
On Bush bashing by celebrities, there's this graph from USA Today (emphasis mine):
Fahrenheit 9/11 has further rallied celebs, many who ''aren't deep intellectual thinkers,'' Brinkley says.
And we wonder why Israel decided to build a wall.
Michael Moore Is Dumb
"What a statement!" is what I am sure all you are saying.
From his open letter to the Aladdin Casino:
I understand from the news reports I've read that, after Linda Ronstadt, one of America's greatest singers, dedicated a song to me from your stage on Saturday night, you instructed your security guards to remove her from the Aladdin, which they did.
Now, let's check that pesky First Amendment thing:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Hmmm, "Congress shall make no law..." Not "The Aladdin Casino shall make no law..." The Aladdin is a private establishment. They can make whatever rules they want. They can invite in anyone and ask anyone to leave, for whatever reason they want.
Get it right, there Big Mike.
What's Dave Think?
Dave, as in Dave Mustaine, of Megadeth fame.
"People in the music business, in American, are talking bad about Bush…you know what? Shut the fuck up! You're a musician; you don't know a thing about running a country! If there would have been a better man to run the States right now, we would have picked him, it's a democratic process. There are a couple of guys who run for office, everybody picks him, he goes to the next level. Shut up, he's the fucking president! There's gonna be an election, if you don't like him go for the other guy. Don't sit back there and just piss and moan. I see all these guys like Michael Moore going off and I'm like, 'Dude, you don't have a fucking idea about what you're talking about. . .
Mustaine doesn't align himself with the right here, he's just saying "hey, shut up!"
It's great that some people are speaking up. OpinionJournal.com today had an Extra talking about Hollywood's Rebels, those actors who are aligned with the Republican party.
Along with not succumbing to the casting couch and not dating your co-stars, one of the unwritten rules in Hollywood has been not coming out of the GOP closet. Actress Emma Caulfield ("Darkness Falls") was slammed when she said she would campaign for Elizabeth Dole. "I would never fully admit to being a Republican in this town," she later told Premiere magazine. "I want to work."
This goes again to my point earlier about professors, which students are counting on for a grade, pushing their ideology in the classroom.
I imagine this happens in most places; fortunately I have been employed places or involved with places where many of the people I am around align with my views.
Speaking Of Multiple Choice...
When I got laid off at the end of April, I became a "Dislocated Worker" because my position at my company was "permanently eliminated." And, being a DW provides for the me to get some training to update my skills or change careers.
But, before the money is available, I have to take some tests and evaluation to see what jobs I value or that interest me.
Today I took the "Interest Inventory" to see what jobs would interest me. The test is the "fill in the bubble with a Number 2 pencil" test. My choices are:
Some of the job "choices" that I had to rate:
Study the long term effects of air pollution. "D".
Direct an international import-export company. "D". But, then I thought, hey, don't spies always work for "import-export companies"? Great front. But the answer is still "D" because I don't think they let me use my imagination on this test.
Operate a cookie factory. "d". I'm not into that day-to-day operate a factory, and do budgets and hire/fire and deal with all that. But, hey, it's cookies and so because I figured I'd get some free cookies it was only "d" instead of "D."
Pilot the course of a ship. "L". Especially the Starship Enterprise. It's five year mission...
Put into action plans to reduce government spending. "L". I'd answer "L" three times for that question if I could.
Design the living areas of a space or underwater experimental station. "L" I've seen "Aliens" about 30 times, I got some great ideas for improved security.
Check food products for freshness. "D". Well, maybe when I was a bachelor it would have been "D". We do better now. Especially The Beer Fridge. That stuff never goes bad.
168 questions. I hope they figure out that I like my job with computers and doing pre-sales work and/or training.
Who owns the office door? The faculty? Or the University? The short answer is that this sort of thing is Constitutionally protected free-speech.
In my time at The University of Minnesota - Duluth I got the distinct impression from similar adornments that some of the faculty were environmentalists, or supporters of gay "rights," for example. What is a student who is offended or disagrees with the pronouncements of the professor supposed to do?
At UMD I was able to work my schedule so that for certain classes taught by some of these faculty members, I wouldn't have to be in there for 12 weeks to be subjected to their ideology, which did come out in the class. Because some things I am so opposed to I wouldn't have been able to keep my mouth shut.
Timing is Everything
Like the Democrats, Captain Ed wonders about the timing of Sandy Berger's investigation.
"Trousergate Timing Gets More Curious"
July 20, 2004
C-Log asked for some suggestions for a new MoveOn.org slogan. They're all right, but I think TAM readers can do better. Think hard and give me your best shot.
While no one's blamed Israel for Palestine's chaos, Sen. Joe Biden is blaming President Bush:
The Foreign Relations Committee's ranking Democrat, Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden, said the Bush administration is responsible for the current stalemate and that there was no indication that a "sustained effort" had been made to implement a U.S.-backed road map for peace this year.
Yeah, I'm sure sending Colin Powell on fruitless missions to the region would have stopped all the corruption Arafat has allowed to fester there.
"Palestinians Said to be 'Sickened' by Lack of Leadership"
Pipes on Palestine
Daniel Pipes notes that the "Somali model" of armed gangs and lawlessness is the norm in Palestine. The "good news," if can call it that, is the Palestinians aren't blaming Israel for their predicament.
"Palestinian Descent into Chaos"
Good News in Iraq
For those pro-warriors who are down about the state of Iraq Arthur Chrenkoff has a round-up of good news.
Don't worry. It's just Practical Penumbra hosting the Bonfire of the Vanities.
Tax Cuts For The Rich
[T]oday marked the end of the tax-cut spending orgy. I’ve spent more than my taxes were reduced, but these improvements were spurred by the tax cut. I just plain felt flush, and that led to this mad spasm of extravagance – fixing a roof, repairing the garage, shoring up the storage room, and replacing windows that were installed during the Woodrow Wilson administration. It’s called “consumer confidence.” It’s a force-multiplier.
We've done the same here, notably taking a cruise last February after a 4-day trip to Miami. Also, while not hiring people to do the work, finishing a level of our basement (our basement is a split level of the house), and other things around here. When the Sarazin Consumer Confidence index rises, you can bet some other activities are going to take place around here, including some land clearing to erect a swing set for my daughter, a new (newer, probably will be a used or "certified Pre-owned") car for me, new clothes/wardrobe for the new job.
Read the whole Lileks piece. I'm changing my DirecTV service provider soon, will be buying my service directly from DirecTV. Lileks' experience leaves me a little weary of making that change. What I did here though, as part of the basement project, was have 2 CAT-5 and a Satellite cable run to several locations in the house, when the basement was all naked. All 3 upstairs bedrooms, the living room, and 2 sets in the downstairs living room and in the downstairs office. While I don't plan to activate the TV/phone/network connections in the guest or daughter's bedrooms, the capabilities are there for it for the next family that lives in this house. I did the "homerun" wiring plan. Now if I get the service switched over to DirecTV, they will install a 3-room service; well, now the wires just come in one place in the house, and I can determine, from the basement, which rooms are "hot" and which are not.
This movement started at the "peace" rallies in the San Francisco area last year, when Kfir Alfia and Alan Lipton walked amongst the rally with signs that many there didn't seem to understand.
Stop by the PW website, get yourself a PW t-shirt. Once I am gainfully employed, its something I am going to do.
SEAN'S UPDATE: Last year TAM interviewed Kfir Alfia.
If You Build It...
The Twin Cities Light Rail Line is not even a month old yet. Yesterday, for the first time, train service was disrupted when a truck turned on a Minneapolis city street over the train tracks.
Service was delayed on the new Hiawatha Light Rail line for about two hours on Monday after a truck hit a pole in downtown Minneapolis around 12:18 p.m.
He hit the pole about 12:18 p.m.? Or pretty much right on the money at 12:18 p.m. (I know, the dispatcher recieved a call at 12:18 p.m. first reporting the incident. But do they have to be
The light pole the driver hit carries a sign that reads, "Do Not Turn on To Tracks.''
Bwah hahahahaha. Those signs will stop everyone. Maybe a better idea would have been to elevate the tracks instead of having them be at street level. KSTP Eywitness News 5 reported earlier in the month about people just wandering across the tracks, or in some cases, people driving right down the tracks.
This is just the first incident of many.
Also, in LRT news, the train is holding up traffic.
Despite previous optimism for a solution to traffic problems caused by the Hiawatha Light Rail line, Minneapolis engineers say they've exhausted most of their options.
Granted, we're only in the first month of service and some glitches are to be expected. What makes me laugh is the whole "traffic will be eased by the light rail" argument the proponents made as we awaited the arrival of The Train.
No Dress Code Here
The Federal Air Marshal's Service requires its air marshals to dress to the 9's for a flight, complete with a clean shave and a fresh shine on the shoes. Doing so sort of sets them out from the crowd, as was reported over the weekend.
In a previous life (a.k.a, before the layoff) I was a frequent traveler for my job. In each of the last two years, I am a Gold Elite traveler on Northwest Airlines. Traveling that much, safety is always on my mind. I welcome the marshal's on board, irregardless of how they are dressed. If they want to look like a beach bum, it's of no difference to me if s/he has to make their presence known. My safety, not to mention that of the plane and other passengers, shouldn't be put into danger because some bureaucrat in DC wants his "image" to be upheld.
July 19, 2004
Drezner on Palestine
Daniel Drezner has a load of links on the collapse of Arafat's Palestine.
Left Suing Fox News
Two (actually three) can play this game. Someone should file suit against Common Cause to argue that their name is misleading. They advocate a left-wing agenda that isn't "common" to all Americans. Someone should also sue MoveOn.org because they're not "moving on" past the Iraq War.
Give me a break.
"Advocacy Groups Challenge Fox News Slogan"
Bang Bang, You're Dead
I'm not a huge fan of our current drug laws. I'm not an opponent either. Consider me on the fence. One thing I'm sure about is Brazil's new law is major overkill (pun intended).
I'm glad TAM has a #1 Google ranking for something other than my name.
July 18, 2004
Revolt in Palestine
It's getting uglier in Palestine.
Dozens of masked gunmen marched through the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza after sundown Sunday, chanting, "No to Moussa Arafat, yes to reform."
"Militants Sack, Burn Palestinian Offices"
Webloggers League Update
The Webloggers League has ten willing
It appears the Kerry Sisters vs. the Bush Twins traffic influx is finally ebbing, but Monday starts a new week with randy Net users going back to the office.
Notice that first peak on 07.09. That was from an Instalanche. Not bad, but three days later the Sisters v. Twins hit the sex weblogs including Wonkette (which is a sex weblog with a politics shtick).
Here's how powerful the sex weblogs are: Shawn got Hugh Hewitt, the rightwing blogosphere's favorite radio host, to link to TAM. Looking through the Site Meter data, you wouldn't be able to tell because it's swamped with hits from Your Dirty Mind. I dub it the "Your Dirty Mind-lanche." I know, there's no ring to it.
You may have noticed that TAM was quiet yesterday. In DreamHost's never ending quest to be the best hosting service around they messed up a setting that prevented the Sean & Shawn Express from publishing anything. It's been fixed (obviously), and things seem fine from this end. If you notice anything out of wack, let me know.
July 17, 2004
We're seeing the beginnings of a Palestinian Civil War. It won't be pretty. You know for sure when it gets really ugly Palestinian supporters will blame Israel for starting it all by pulling out of Gaza.
"Arafat's Panel Declares State of Emergency"
"Chaos in Gaza as French Hostages Seized, Then Freed"
LCMS: 1 Man + 1 Woman = Marriage
The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod, home synod to both Sean and myself, held its triennial convention this week in St. Louis, MO.
At the convention, delegates overwhelming voted, 1163 - 22, to affirm marriage as a covenant between one man, one woman, and Our Lord.
This is hardly surprising news. The Synod is quite conservative on all matters. I am grateful that even the Star Tribune would publish the results. Whereas this is a topic that the Episcopalians or Methodists and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) may be debating fiercely, it is not up for debate within the LC-MS.
To that end, the convention, in passing the resolution, also called on it's members and congregations to not be silent in the matter.
The statement referred to how "many in society are demanding legal recognition of same-sex unions as 'marriages' by appeals to 'equality under the law' " and declared that "for our Synod to be silent, especially in the present context, could be viewed as acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle."
While my faith and beliefs are important to me, I am hesitant to preach them to others, or to provide testament to them in public or to others. Growing in my faith to a point in which I am comfortable in that role is something I am working on each week.
Health Care Costs
Perhaps we don't spend enough on healthcare costs in the United States.
A Romanian surgeon who underwent a fit of madness while operating on a man's testicles proceeded to amputate his penis and cut it into three pieces.
Cell Phone Madness
A fracas developed over an over-heard cell phone conversation in St. Paul on Thursday, because the guy on the cell phone was bringing the conversations to the patrons of a bagel shop.
Bill W. Stevenson, 79, and Sten Gerfast, 74, both retired 3M employees, were eating at the Sun Ray Shopping Center Bruegger's Bagels when they heard a man cursing loudly on his cell phone, they said Friday.
So, then one of the elder gentlemen tries to take away the cell phone. Tussling ensues and a couple of them fall to the floor. Perhaps the cell phone is damaged, perhaps not. A table is knocked over and food spills to the floor. One of the older guys has some damage to his glasses. All end up with citations for disorderly conduct.
Now, I might say "bully" for the old guys. Certainly they were right to ask this guy to step outside if he was being vile and cursing loudly on the phone. Should they have jumped him? Ah, maybe not.
The Duluth News Tribune picked up the story and ran it this morning as well. Their tale has an additional line:
After hearing the obscenities, Gerfast said he approached the man and said, "Would you mind, sir, to go outside and take your call?"
Well, come on. Why not Whoopi Goldberg?
The newspapers wonder why their circulation numbers are dropping. It's because of crap like this; enough people aren't willing to stand for it any longer.
July 16, 2004
Click Here to make your appointment.
As Smooth As Sippin' Whiskey
Stephen Green and Will Collier at Vodkapundit have a new layout.
Very nice, sez me.
Twin Cities Light Rail
Minneapolis's light rail line just opened for business last week.
Fraters Libertas's The Elder (not that there is a Younger) points us to an article in The Economist discussing the light rail line. (The article is "premium content" so you have to pay to read the article.) The Elder breaks it down for us a little more sensibly:
And, to conclude that "the return of rail has given the Twin Cities something of a boost" is ridiculously pre-mature. The line opened this month for farg's sake. If there's been a "boost", I'd like someone to please point it out to me.
It certainly will be quite some time before any impact can be realized. Early ridership was "above projections" but that's the novelty of the thing talking. I wonder in the coming months if we will hear from the local news media about the ridership numbers; have they increased? Stayed the same? Dropped?
Friday mean's it is time for Captain's Quarter's Caption Contest. What wacky fun!
If You Can Find This Book, Buy It
Now, I haven't read the book, he's just trying to sell it and keep it high on the Amazon list of most sold books or something like that. (It's at #12 as I type this.)
Earlier this week, Sean said he'd miss seeing The President because he would be schlepping books, and linked to "My Life" and "Dude, Where's My Country?" I asked in the comment section if Hewitt's tome was "displayed prominently" and he indicated that it was, and under word from On High to maintain political balance.
Later in the week, Talk Radio Host, Saint Cloud State University Economics Professor and Blogger King Banian of SCSU Scholars wondered if Hewitt was right; if The Book is selling well, do brick-and-mortar stores need to give Hewitt's book space along side other books? I commented there what Sean had said: Yes, it's prominently displayed alongside other books.
Well, at least in the Milwaukee.
Yesterday, King perhaps took my comment as a challenge, and went to the local B&N to see. And he found one copy, spine out, on the shelf. On the shelf, yes, is not "prominently displayed." And he indicated he didn't see The Book out on other shelves/tables.
It didn't seem right to me, and after a short IM session with My Benefactor Sean, I figured I'd check it out myself. That, and after being in pretty much 100% contact with my 2-year-old daughter and my wife for nearly 80 straight days and nights, I had to get out of the house for a bit.
King's right; there is only one book on the shelf, spine out. However, I did spy 3 additional copies on the "Current Political Books" table, directly in front of the Information Pillbox. They were below the level of other books; that is to say, I believe his books are selling and others around it were not. They were not on the same plane. I wouldn't call the placement "prominent" because it was on the inner tracks of the table, and because having sold some copies it was not at the same level as the others on the table.
Now that my secret mission was complete, I stopped for a beer.
In the complex which houses B&N in St. Cloud is "My Favorite Place To Eat And Drink In St. Cloud(tm)". Granite City Food & Brewery. The food is fine, I am partial to the meatloaf dinner at dinner time and any sandwich during the lunch run. But, let's move past the food, to what I truly love and that is their selection of hand-crafted beers. They always have an IPA, a Stout, a Lager and a Mai Bock on tap. Then, depending upon the season and whim of the brewmaster, there may be a little something different, last night a Pilsener. Me, I chose the IPA. It's damn tasty, and for me and the other members of the Brewmaster's Club, only $3.00 for a 25-oz mug. Anytime of day, $3.00 for 25-oz of liquid refreshment. And, they do have a couple hand-pumps too, for when those who prefer their beer to be a little closer to room temperature want one. They are also delicious. They have Eight Locations in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska. Oh, and North Dakota; stop by one if you're close.
End result? King's right, and I found a few more copies. My intention was not to prove King wrong; I needed to get out of my house for a little while and have a beer and watch the Twins game (they lost, 3-1 to Kansas City). Doing "research" for The Cause was a great excuse.
Now if we can only get a gratuitous link from
Dave's Marching Orders
Dave Winer writes, "Okay, our mission when covering the DNC is to figure out what goes on at a DNC." Wow, I didn't know Winer was the leader of the webloggers going to Boston. Heck, I didn't know those lucky few even wanted a leader to tell them their "mission." I thought one of the beautiful aspects of weblogs was their decentralization. The individual weblogger can go down the path of their choosing and explore what they want to. Winer (unintentionally or not) is trying to turn this pioneering experience into a BloggerCon-type experiment.
July 15, 2004
Must See Chat
The Thune ad starring his teenage daughters ("Fresh Start") is the best political add I've seen all year. It's funny, cute, and has a positive message. Unless your a rabid Daschle supporter (there must be a joke in there) it's impossible to come away without smiling. Great stuff. Now, when do we see an ad staring the Bush twins?
To the dirty old men and horney teenagers: Sorry, I don't care if you think the Thune daughters are hot. I'll save that for women at least college-age [and here]. I do have a feeling a lot of women swoon over Thune. If I were female (or gay) I would.
[via Power Line]
Webloggers League Update
So far, seven people have decided to throw their hat into the most intense and super-fantastic fantasy football league in the blogosphere. That means three spots are left. You better hurry, only 40 days until draft day. Read this for how to join (and get beaten by me).
I was cringing enough with the idea of "Iron" Mike Ditka as a Senate candidate. Now, I drop my head in shame for the idea of "Sweaty" Teddy Nugent.
[via Oliver Willis]
Rush to be exact. Josh Cohen has given this week's Carnival of the Vanities a Rush theme.
Joe Wilson: Liar
Joe Wilson is getting raked over the coals by Robert Novak and the Wall Street Journal editorial board. In a previous post, I held back in declaring Wilson a liar. I wanted to see of more information would come out. In the meantime, I have the former ambassador the benefit of the doubt. Since the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report nothing new has come out. Nothing has arisen to explain the contradicitons between the report and what Wilson has said and written. His claims that Bush, Cheney, and others in the administration were liars "had no basis in fact," to use Sen. Pat Roberts' words. Bush ended up being correct with those "16 words." When will Wilson and the Bush bashers who used him as the centerpiece for their attack on the President come out and admit they were wrong? Also, when will John Kerry remove Wilson's endorsement from his website? Honesty and Joe Wilson don't go together.
"Errant Former Ambassador"
"The Yellowcake Con"
Surprise News Of The Day
John Kerry is going to court the NAACP, after Bush chose not to speak to them.
"I will be a president who talks with everyone those who agree with me and those who don't," Kerry says in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday in Philadelphia before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Wow, Mr. Kerry. Sounds like you're all open-minded and stuff.
Why wouldn't Bush speak to the NAACP? Let's see:
1. Bush has not spoken to the NAACP since he was campaigning in 2000. He was angered when, during that race, the NAACP National Voter Fund ran an ad that portrayed Bush as unsympathetic to the dragging death of James Byrd in Texas.
Sounds simple to me. The DFL Party here in Minnesota doesn't call me to solicit my funds or my time for their candidates. Why not? It's simple; I don't support them. Why would they waste their time and money asking me for money/time/votes when they know it's not coming. It's the same reason Bush wouldn't speak there. The NAACP has trash-talked President Bush for 4 years; why would he think that the best use of his time would be to address their assembly?
Famed Chicago Bear Mike Ditka has opted to not the enter the race as the GOP Candidate for United States Senator from Illinois.
"There was a moment when I said, God, I'd like to take this and run with it, and then I said, you know, put your head on straight and think about what you're getting into," Ditka said outside his restaurant.
Bully for Mike. The public eye is something I'm not willing to withstand. Some can, and as head coach a Super Bowl Champion team, he certainly could withstand some pressure. But that was in football, a sport that he personally excelled in as a player before he coached, whereas politics is an entirely different animal.
Kerry's House of Ketchup #18
Ladies and gentleman, boys, girls, and political spinners of all ages, I present you the 18th edition of the blogosphere's coolest, hippest, and sometimes most head scratching-est linkfest around. Behold, Kerry's House of Ketchup.
I'm warning you right away. This may not be the best House of Ketchup you read. I've been a little distracted with a question that needed to be asked this silly season: Who's hotter, the Kerry sisters or the Bush twins? My concentration might be off. Sorry.
We learned that John Edwards was on Kerry's VP list as soon as Edwards dropped out of the Presidential race. Here's some advice for pols who want to be a VP candidate: Do whatever the nominee-to-be wants you to do and look good doing it.
David Gelernter doesn't think Edwards' "Two Americas" schtick will work for long on the campaign trail because Edwards' achievement contradicts his message.
If Kerry follows Jonathan Rauch's advice he'd emulate his hero, the other JFK, by going to the Right on defense and making that the centerpiece of his campaign. Rauch probably hates Kerry's recent mushy talk about "values."
If you're a long-time reader of KHoK, you know I'm fond of the Iowa Electronic Markets as a predictor. I think that a whole different thought process happens when real money is on the line. In the Winner Take All Market it's neck-and-neck between the Republican and the Democrat. In the Vote-Share Market, Bush still leads. This may not bode well for Kerry. Picking Edwards gave him a lot of good press, yet those with money on the line think it's pretty much an even race. No big bounce for Kerry Edwards. Maybe the Democratic convention later this month will do it. That should make David Freddoso comfortable with his prediction of a big Bush win.
One last thing: no more anti-Heinz ketchup.
Now, on to the blogosphere:
July 14, 2004
Hangin' With the Prez
Lisa found President Bush and waved to him. He waved back. Too bad she has no pictures as proof.
"The Greatest Fish Story Ever Told"
Now, with the release of these awesome pictures in the latest Vogue it's a slam dunk victory for the twins.
They're so good Oliver Willis has taken off his partisan glasses for a moment. It also doesn't help when USA Today takes an awful photograph of the Kerrys [more here].
"Bush Twins Take to Campaigning"
No More Whoopi
Slim-Fast dumped Whoopi Goldberg because of her vulger Bush bashing at a John Kerry fundraiser last week. Let's see if anyone starts crying that Whoopi's First Amendment rights have been squelched.
Bush is Back
Power Line's Hindrocket is in Milwaukee. In fact, he's staying in the same hotel as President Bush. (I'm guessing it's the Pfister.) Yours truly won't be able to catch the President--even since he might stop a few miles away from my house--because I'll be books like this and this. :-(
"Bush Returns to Woo Wisconsin"
"Bush to Visit Firm that Succeeded in Hard Times"
"President Bush Tours the Heartland"
July 13, 2004
Wow! A TAM link to Lew Rockwell's site that isn't a Paleowatch. It's about some ugly "sausage-making" that went on last week in the House of Representatives.
"Re: The Party of Big Government (the Full Story)"
Show the Tape
Will the Kerry campaign give in to the request by Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman to show what happened at last week's Kerry fundraiser in NYC? Mehlman has pledged "to refrain from using audio, video or transcripts of the event for any television, cable, satellite or radio advertising." The weasely thing to do would be to make an Internet-only ad. If the tape is released I hope that doesn't happen since it would turn an embarassment for Kerry into a disengenous broken promise by Bush.
Fantasy Football Time
Traning camp hasn't even started (I was watching baseball's All-Star Game tonight), but I've already made arrangements for the second year of the Webloggers League. If this season was anything like last season the greatest fantasy football minds in the blogosphere (at least three players had Ph.Ds--just not in fantasy football) will make it a tough, exciting contest filled with plenty of trash talk.
Will King attempt to repeat as league champion? Or will yours truly get over the hump and be victorious? Or will someone else take the title? I am offering a prize this year: one dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts (or 12 Tim Horton's goodies should a Canadian take part and win). That should provide even more incentive than plain-old bragging rights.
Just go to Yahoo's page to register. Here's the league info:
Teresa Heinz Kerry said this on the campaign trail:
I have to say that John Edwards is beautiful. And my husband's very smart."
"Gov't Search Engines Link to Kerry Critics"
Barbara is on the campaign trail with her father in the Midwest. Also, Vogue has an interview and spread with the twins in their next issue.
"Bush Daughters Barbara and Jenna Enter the Spotlight with Campaigning, Interview"
No Kindling Needed
INCITE hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
STOP THE PRESSES!
Al Franken is changing the name of his radio show.
Al Franken's radio show, "The O'Franken Factor," is changing its name to "The Al Franken Show."
Why is this news? Okay, I fell into the trap myself by writing about it, but WHAT'S THE STORY? No new hosts, no new listeners, no change in airtime. If Laura Ingraham changed the name of her show, would it get national press? Doubt it.
Bring the Message to the People
In Minneapolis, trucks are coming through with the intent of enraging people.
If you frequent downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul, you'll probably see them this week -- grisly images of tiny body parts said to be the byproducts of abortions -- 22 feet long and 8 feet high, rolling by on truck after truck as a caravan sponsored by abortion foes hits town.
He's right. I am pretty upfront about my politics and am very prolife. Being out front and vocal, even confrontational, is the way I play things some times. I'm not in or near Minneapolis this week, so I won't likely see them, unless they show them on the local news.
I don't think they will win any converts on their mission, just make people mad. But shocking people is sometimes the only way to get through to them.
When Bernard Goldberg wrote a best-selling book on liberal media bias, the Left decried him. When a documentary looks at the conservative Fox News Channel it's lauded. Would a similar project done about CNN draw similar liberal interest?
"Documentary Aims to Show Bias on Fox News"
Glenn's Got nothing on These Guys
Here's something more powerful than an Instalanche: getting linked by porn weblogs. Specifically Your Dirty Mind and now Fleshbot. Oh who will ask about the Kerry sisters vs. the Bush twins next? Drudge?
If I had a smart business mind I'd get some ads up soon.
July 12, 2004
Weblog Ads: The New New Thing
There are a few webloggers who are raking in some solid dough through advertising. Some are doing so well they've garnered the attention of the Chicago Tribune. No one's asked me to run an ad on TAM and since my traffic hasn't been huge (at least before I posted about this) I figured there isn't a demand. Now this story might be a sign we've reached the high point only to have TAM jump in when the weblog ad bubble bursts.
Through all the Instalanches and what not I'd conservatively guess TAM has been averaging 300 unique visitors a day for the last year. Not bad. But realize I've been weblogging longer than Glenn Reynolds. That just means longevity doesn't equal traffic in the blogosphere.
Are there TAM readers out there who would be interested in sponsoring this hobby? Let me know. You can't be any worse than the zip I'm getting from Amazon.com. If not ads would you consider plunking a little bit into a tip jar? Or would you rather buy me something off my Amazon.com wish list? Or does the thought of BlogAds and blegging for money turn you off?
Don't feel any pressure. I'm just trying to get a sense from my audience. There are no fiscal nightmares looming that would shut down TAM. I'm a writer, and this is one great way to write stuff that people actually read.
"Blog Ad Boom"
Econ Links Galore
The Outsourcing Weblog is hosting this week's Carnival of the Capitalists.
July 11, 2004
Reagan to Speak Before Dems
The only people who will be upset about Ronald Reagan's son speaking at the Democratic National Convention are unthinking, thin-skinned Reagan worshipers who think a political viewpoint is passed on genetically.
To the substance of what Reagan will speak about--embryonic stem cell research--he is in disagreement with his late father. (So, ignore where Ron says, "The Republican Party now is not the Republican Party of my father.") He told a Knight Ridder reporter:
The conservative right has a rather simplistic way of characterizing it as baby killing. We're not talking about fingers and toes and brains. This is a mass of a couple hundred undifferentiated cells.
Ah yes, the old "undifferentiated cells" argument. If it's just a mass of tissue, then why not perform potentially life-saving research? That would make sense unless you have the moral imagination to see that tissue mass as the beginnings of person with a unique genetic make-up.
When it comes to denying liberty to an individual we have high standards--"beyond a reasonable doubt" for criminal cases and "by a preponderance of the evidence" for civil cases. When it comes to the beginnings of human life legally, we don't err on the side of caution, but leave it up to the unborn's mother. That looks horribly similar to the relationship between slavemasters and their slaves in the pre-emancipation South.
The Truth and Joe Wilson II
By not branding Joe Wilson a liar I hoped to lessen the caustic state of our politics. The problem is evidence is piling up against the former ambassador.
Thankfully, Mark Steyn has the intellectual honesty to no declare that someone lied--even Joe Wilson:
Bush didn't LIE!!!! He was right, and the CIA were wrong. That doesn't mean they LIED!!!! either. Intelligence is never 100 percent. You make a judgment, and in this instance the judgments of the British and Europeans were right, and the judgment of the principal intelligence agency of the world's hyperpower was wrong. That should be a cause of great concern -- for all Americans.
"Happy Anniversary to Joseph C. Wilson IV"
"Bush's State of the Union Speech Redeemed"
UPDATE: Regardless of whether Wilson was lying or was wrong outing Valarie Plame as a CIA agent could still be illegal. Daniel Drezner writes,
Nevertheless, there's a reason this has political traction. The apparent disconnect between what Wilson said in his report versus what he said in June 2003 -- combined with Plame's role in hiring Wilson in the first place, contrary to previous reports -- make it appear that both of them were lying in order to try to embrrass the administration.
Even if there are indictments the muddy swirl surrounding Wilson gives no political advantage to Kerry and the Democrats.
Big NBA News
Shaq might be headed to Miami.
No, I'm not talking about Kerry's and Edwards' cozy, new-found relationship. Instead I'm talking about Jim VandeHei and Dan Balz of the Washington Post starting to dig into Edwards' view of human life and abortion. Here's a portion of an interview with the running mates:
Kerry, who recently said he agrees with the Roman Catholic Church that life begins at conception, said he disagrees with his church's teaching that homosexuality is a sin. Edwards twice did not respond when asked if he, too, believes life begins at conception.
The reporters needed to follow up Edwards' non-answer by having him explain what values he was displaying when he "channeled the words of an unborn baby girl" before a jurry in 1985.
"Kerry Vows To Restore 'Truth' to Presidency"
The Kerry Sisters vs. the Bush Twins is a hit on this sex weblog. I'll add another contest to the silly season that is the Presidential race. Who has the better cookie recipe: Laura Bush or Teresa Heinz Kerry? Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk vs. Pumpkin Spice.
"The Great Bush-Kerry Bake-Off"
July 10, 2004
The Truth and Joe Wilson
Besides the conclusion that the Bush White House didn't pressure intelligence analysts to "sex up" their information, the most interesting part of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Iraq intelligence failures is Joe Wilson's role. Wilson denies that his wife offered him up to investigate the possible sale of Niger yellowcake uranium to Iraq. The report says otherwise:
The report states that a CIA official told the Senate committee that Plame "offered up" Wilson's name for the Niger trip, then on Feb. 12, 2002, sent a memo to a deputy chief in the CIA's Directorate of Operations saying her husband "has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." The next day, the operations official cabled an overseas officer seeking concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson, the report said.
We have two claims that directly contradict each other. Here are a few possibilities:
Number one is possible because of all the hell coming down on that agency someone wanted to do some CYT--cover your tush. Number two is also quite possible since Wilson has been such a harsh critic of the President then and now.
Number four is pretty weak since a Democratic Senator could just step up to a microphone and declare the Wilson portion of the report as a sham and discrediting the whole document.
That brings us to number three, Plame is a liar. The Wilsons have been taking full advantage of "Plame Game" by the couple accepting interviews and Joe selling lots of copies of his book (when will Valerie's come out?). How long could Valerie keep her secret away from her husband? When it would come out it would make him look like a fool? So this possibility doesn't seem likely.
We're down to the claim of an annoynmous CIA official versus a former ambassador. The former is unknown so we can't do much to critically evaluate his claim. The latter has a vendetta against the administration. This is where we stand.
I did this exercise to show my pro- and anti-Bush brethren that there's a difference between lying and being wrong. While one of the most likely possibilities is that Joe Wilson lied about his wife's role there is also the possibility that he was left in the dark. I didn't titled this post "Joe Wilson is a Liar!!!!" for a reason. We don't know... yet. It takes a lot more thought to dig into what might have happened than just doing the perverbial scream.
July 09, 2004
Live with Cam
If everything goes well, I'll be on Cam & Company at 3:00 CDT today.
He Was Joking
California Education Secretary Richard Riordan made a dumb joke by quipping that a six-year old girl's name meant "stupid dirty girl." Watch the video and you'll see it was a (failed) attempt at humor. Get off Riordan's back.
"Stupid, Inappropriate Commissioner"
Hersh Proven Wrong
Seymour Hersh got a lot of attention for a New Yorker article accusing the Bush administration of "stovepiping" pro-war intelligence past traditional vetting procedures. The Senate Intelligence Committee (D.C.'s most obvious oxymoron right now) nixes that theory:
The committee found no evidence that the intelligence community's mischaracterization or misinterpretation "was the result or politics or pressure," [Republican Senator Pat] Roberts said. "In the end, what the president and the Congress used to send the country to war was info that was provided by the intelligence community and that information was flawed."
This view is also bipartisan:
"I think it's important to know that the intelligence they gave was under their judgment — the right perception," Sen. John Corzine, D-N.J., told FOX News on Friday.
Roberts nicely sums up what happened, "This was a global intelligence failure." As Francis Fukuyama wrote last year, "What is at stake is not the credibility of one administration, but of a system designed to protect the world against weapons of mass destruction."
One Fine Jay thinks "that the worst that Bush And Friends are going to come out in this whole matter is that they were inept."
"Senate Report Blasts Iraq Intel Failures"
Kerry Sister Speak
This is speculative, third-hand info so take it with a grain of salt:
Top three things said by Kerry's daughter, Alex, and overheard by our correspondent:
Don't tell Mrs. Edwards.
"From The Trail"
July 08, 2004
The Michigan GOP is helping Ralph Nader get on the ballot. All's fair in love and elections, I guess.
"Michigan GOP Gathers Names for Nader"
WELCOME CNN READERS!!!
Forget issues for a moment. Take a break from debating the virtues of invading Iraq and whether correct national building is taking place. Ignore if taxes should be raised or lowered. Take a break from arguing the virtues of Social Security reform. This Maxim-ized TAM post asks an important question: "Who's hotter?"
The Kerry sisters
or the Bush twins?
For the record, Alexandra Kerry looks much better when her clothes aren't transparent.
UPDATE: Here's another (better) Bush twins photo. If you find some more of either set of women, let me know.
And Kevin at Wizbang is doing his Florida election impersonation and has the ballot.
UPDATE II: Drudge posted this picture of Jenna walking with her dad.
Now, we need some more Kerry sisters pics for balance.
UPDATE III: Here are more Bush twins photos, and am still looking for more Kerry sisters pics.
UPDATE IV: Tech Law Advisor sent me this nice pic of Jenna. Hello Kerry fans, I need some pics of Vanessa and Alexandra.
UPDATE V: Barbara has joined her father on the campaign trail.
UPDATE VI: I've posted the Bush twin Vogue photos. Nice. Very nice. I think we have a winner.
UPDATE VII: Wait! The Kerrys are back in the running with these shots from the DNC.
A Perfect Ten
The voters at Michele's weblog had the good sense and taste to pick Pearl Jam's Ten over Nirvana's Nevermind as the best album of the 90s. I would have been happy with Metallica's black album too as long as the overrated Cobain disk didn't win.
"Best Album Poll Winner: Exit Sandman"
The Real Kerry Edwards
Kerry Edwards is a real person. No, not a soap opera actor but a bail bondsman.
UPDATE: This is the 4000th TAM post (not including the months I hand coded my weblog on Angelfire). Who knows how many words that comes out to. I'd like to thank the academy, but there isn't one for weblogging. Instead, I'll thank my family, my friends, the Lord above and the guy who invented the Krispy Kreme doughnut.
Kerry's House of Ketchup #17
Welcome to the greatest political linkfest since...well ever! But enough of the lack of modesty there is news to cover.
The most exciting story surrounding Sen. John Kerry's campaign is the selection of Sen. John Edwards as his running mate. It's Kerry Edwards, the John-John/bad soap opera actor ticket.
Mustard is seen as the accompaniment to ketchup but I've been unable to make a Edwards-mustard connection. Carolina barbecue uses a vinegar-based sauce that doesn't resemble mustard. Edwards doesn't sport mustard-blond hair (although Kerry quipped that the Democratic ticket tops the Republicans in the coif category). Edwards isn't the more sour of the two so there goes that angle. If you can figure out an Edwards-mustard link that's funny but not stupid (tough to do as shown by my linkfests) let me know. I may need to make a new logo.
After all the swooning over the Edwards pick hopefully the media will see the abortion problem Edwards and Kerry both have. Kerry told an Iowa newspaper that he believes human life begins at conception but "can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist."
Boston Globe columnist, Eileen McNamara took Kerry to task. She understands a pro-life activist better than the Democratic Presidential candidate.
So, Kerry's conscience is not at odds with church teaching, just with his voting record? By any measure, that is an odd definition of conscience. Forget church teaching for a moment. Conscience is a moral concept, as well as a religious one, after all. If you believe that life begins at conception, doesn't your conscience compel you to vote in concert with that belief? Just as, if your conscience tells you capital punishment is state-sanctioned murder, you would vote against the death penalty? Or if you believe that gay marriage is a fundamental civil right, you would vote against a constitutional amendment to ban it?
Edwards' abortion problem comes from a winning trial 19 years ago where he stood "before a jury and channeled the words of an unborn baby girl." Two NY Times reports went on to describe Edwards' closing argument:
Referring to an hour-by-hour record of a fetal heartbeat monitor, Mr. Edwards told the jury: "She said at 3, `I'm fine.' She said at 4, `I'm having a little trouble, but I'm doing O.K.' Five, she said, `I'm having problems.' At 5:30, she said, `I need out.' "
For Edwards, did the unborn only speak through him then, or do they still cry out to him now? Does he believe like he appears to have in 1985 that the unborn can feel pain and suffer in the womb, or was it just a cynical plucking of a jury's emotional heartstrings?
Big media may not dig into this issue specifically, but Reason's Charles Paul Freund thinks Edwards' "media bubble is bursting."
Since Election Day is still too far away, polls don't really matter. However, I want to point out that despite Wisconsinites low rating of Bush's efforts in Iraq he leads Kerry by 4%. (That's within the margin of error.) At the Iowa Electronic Markets the Edwards pick moved Kerry even with Bush for a day in the Winner Take All Market. Bush then bounced back ahead of Kerry. In the Vote Share Market the spread between Kerry and Bush has narrowed but not as much as in late May.
Now, onto the links.
July 07, 2004
Update from Iraq
From the front lines... It's a bit long, please read through to see what is happening that the media is not making all of us aware of. And, please continue to pray for our soldiers there, not only for their well-being and safety, but also for their mission, which is much more encompassing than what we think or hear about. As you will see, these guys deal with a lot more than we know, including some health issues. I've left the soldier's name off, but do have his permission to post this.
Update from Iraq….just want to start by saying “Thanks” to everyone that has sent letters, email, packages, and most of all your prayers. Great to hear what is going on back home, helps me to keep in touch. We call ourselves ‘short-timers’ because we have only 11 months left (hopefully). Still very busy here, some days we wake up and don’t even know what day of the week it is. Just tell me if I’m going back outside the wire, running Entry Control Points or just name the detail. Our schedule (if you want to call it that) shifts from days to nights and back again so often we sometimes look like zombies when we get up. Guess I won’t complain about set work schedules ever again. For the most part we are doing well. No injuries, so if we look at that angle we are actually doing very well.
I think I’m dwindling away to nothing… should be under 180 lbs. I left the states around 200 lbs. My pants are always falling down, so I had to start using suspenders. I suppose it doesn’t help that I have a pistol strapped to my belt and cargo pockets full of gear… I always thought Tim [his son] looked funny carrying around all his toys, camping gear and stuff on his belt and more coins and collectables in his pockets than the pawn shops. I guess “Dear ol’ Dad” took after his son this time.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Just when I thought the Bush administration got it together on trade with agreements with Morocco and Central American countries they just have to raise tariffs on imported shrimp. I feel like Charlie Brown. UGH!
A Tax that Will Not Die
We can all agree that World War I is over, right? Then why are we still stuck with a "luxury" tax on telephone calls that origniated in during the Spanish-American War and was revived to pay for WWI? The answer is government inertia and the concept of concentrated benefits verus distributed costs. A 3% tax on phone calls winds up being a small portion of a consumer's total phone bill. For him the effort to lobby his Congressman to nix the tax isn't worth the benefits. On the other side are those inside the government who turn white when there's the possibility of reduced revenue coming to the federal government. These people, for ideological purposes or to protect their bureaucratic turf, lobby heavily to continue the revenue stream. This may have been what happened to the phone call excise tax. In 2000, the House of Representatives voted 420-2 to ax the tax, but the Senate didn't even take up the bill.
"IRS Eyes Net Phone Taxes"
"Public Choice Theory"
Advice to RNC
Conservative North Carolinian John Hood recommends the national GOP lay off the John Edwards-as-trial-lawyer meme. That's because swing voters "admire lawyers more than they do the CEOs and HMO bureaucrats being sued." Instead, the GOP should focus on Edwards' liberal voting record, calling it "Massachusetts-like."
"The Edwardian Confrontation"
UPDATE: Hood is probably right, but Jim Pinkerton's column on Edwards and the trial lawyers makes me burn. A very harmful Democratic constituency is taken hold of that party.
"John Edwards and the Strangest Mutation of Liberalism Yet"
It's time to point out a distortion by ommission by the Center for American Progress. In a post titled "White House Trumps up New WMD Charges" CAP pooh-poohed the news that nearly two tons of radioactive material was taken out of Iraq so terrorists couldn't lay their evil hands on them. CAP discounts this achievement because the "material moved was not weapons grade, but instead in the form 'commonly used to provide radiation for cancer treatments, or for industrial X-rays' and 'to sterilize medical equipment or kill bacteria in food.' The magazine dispels the possibility that the material could be used to make a "dirty bomb"--an idea mentioned in the NY Times article CAP linked to. The AP story CAP refers to claims "uranium is not suitable for making a dirty bomb." The report cites no one to back this claim. But even if that is the case a conventional explosive that spread uranium over an area (Times Square or Chicago's Millenium Park for example) would cause terror? An entire area would be shut down for weeks, months, or years. That would be the definition of a terrorist attack. And how much derision would CAP have poured on President Bush if terrorists would have attacked someplace with the radioactive material they failed to contain? (That's a rhetorical question because the President can't win in the eyes of his bashers.)
"US Moves Radioactive Materials Out of Iraq"
"Radioactive Material Seized From a Nuclear Plant in Iraq"
[via Oliver Willis]
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Cars for the Poor
The free market argument for why passenger rail shouldn't get government subsidies is that if the service were valued enough by riders they would pay enough in fares to cover the costs. This is very simplistic and doesn't add externalities into the calculation of social cost (if even such a beast actually exists). One arguement of proponents of passenger rail is the poor need means to get to jobs. In a thought experiment, the Heartland Institute's Wendell Cox concludes that giving the poor automobiles would be less costly than subsidizing transit.
[This is analgous to the thought that handing out cash payments (or a negative income tax) to the poor would be cheaper than funding bureaucratic welfare programs.]
"Why Not Just Buy Them Cars?"
July 06, 2004
AA in Mayor's Office
No one should be surprised affirmative action is in full force in Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett's office. Find me a Democrat who doesn't view the world through the prisms of sex and race. But it's unfortunate that a smart, savy ex-alderman like Tom Nardelli can't find a job in Barrett's administration.
Jon Lauck of Daschle v. Thune discovered the two-facedness of Sen. Tom Daschle.
"Hypocrisy Watch: Daschle Embraces Moore in DC, Denies It in South Dakota"
John-John Event Cancelled
For those TAM readers with their hearts set on the Kerry Edwards (still sounds like the name of a soap opera actor) event tomorrow in Milwaukee, you'll be disappointed. A TAM source has told him it's been canceled. Sorry, no Senator John and his friend John-Boy for you.
Let me add a few links I've found that don't deserve lengthy commentary:
Battling Bill's Book
I'm glad Ed Moltzen is doing his chapter-by-chapter review of My Life. By suffering through all 900+ pages he pulls out some zingers like these:
In the 1980 movie Airplane!, there is a pretty funny running gag: The character Ted Striker, played by Robert Hays, boards an airplane in an attempt to win back his girlfriend. During the flight, he sits next to one passenger after another, recounting his life story. The tales are so long, dull and painful that, one by one, each passenger commits suicide on board (one commits hari-kari; another pours gasoline on himself and lights a match; another even hangs himself.)
Seriously, though, Clinton believes there is only one version of civil rights: the one he and his friends (black and white) support.
"His Life: Pages 20 through 100"
"His Life: Pages 100-200 (Black Like Bill)"
Where are the Profits?
One theory Bush-bashing anti-war kooks spout is the President went to war to fatten the pockets of his rich business buddies. One HUGE problem: KBR, the contraction unit of "evil" Haliburton is barely making a profit.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Problems in Kosovo
Someone tell John Kerry that U.N. and NATO cooperation don't ensure a successful nation-building operation.
"Insurgency in Kosovo"
[I'm sure others did the same thing. I just happened to spot Oliver's error first.]
That Was Fast
The DNC as already countered the Bush McCain ad.
[via Oliver Willis]
Golf Fans, Begin Drooling
The Clock's Ticking
To the RNC and the GOP Convention Committee:
If you want webloggers at your big gig in NYC, you better get cracking on how webloggers can request credentials. Remember that just about all webloggers have another job so planning ahead is essential. Also, the sooner you hand out those precious passes the sooner we can make our travel plans before the get too expensive. So hurray up!
Someone Should Have Listened to Kakutani
Mindles Dreck spent good money on some mindless dreck by buying My Life. Poor guy.
The editor's red pen must have been out of ink. Every page contains a useless phrase or sentences, such as "It was an interesting experience" or "it was an exciting time to me" or, despite a molehill of subsequent evidence to the contrary "A lot happened to me while I lived on Thirteenth Street." Yawn.
Ketchup and Mustard
Sen. John Edwards is Kerry's pick for running mate. We now have the John-John ticket (the John-Boy ticket?). This smart decision isn't a surprise. During the Democratic primairies Edwards was lauded by party activists while Kerry won almost all the elections. Edwards ran on a positive, populist "Two Americas" that especially conflicted with Kerry's view on free trade. The traditional mission of the VP candidate is to be a pit bull and attack his opponents. Dick Cheney does that well. If Edwards goes on the warpath how does he square that with the emphasis on positive campaigning he took during the primairies? More importantly, will the media hold Edwards accountable?
The RNC is already on the warpath attacking Edwards for being "a disingenuous, unaccomplished liberal and friend to personal injury trial lawyers." Most interesting are Kerry's quotes about Edwards' lack of political and foreign policy experience. Also interesting is the non-partisan National Journal ranked Edwards as the fourth-most liberal member of the Senate. He was more liberal than Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer.
Maybe even more biting to Kerry is the new ad from the Bush-Cheney campaign about Kerry's "first choice" for running mate.
Steven Taylor thinks Edwards was picked for his charism, energy, and to boost the base. "Like the GOP excitement over Jack Kemp in 1996, this situation serves to underscore how un-exciting the nominee is."
James Joyner writes that Edwards' inclusion in the race won't be what hands victory or defeat to Kerry.
Andrew Sullivan calls it a "very smart pick" because of "the profound weakness of Kerry's candidacy - the man himself." That's a back-handed compliment if I ever heard one.
The result of this pick will be a significant bounce in Kerry's poll numbers. He should also narrow the spread in the Iowa Electronic Markets. I wouldn't be surprised to see a 5-10% lead through the Democratic convention and into the GOP convention in September. That lead will evaporate then, and it will be a dogfight until Election Day. I won't make a prediction--way too soon--except that will be very close.
One more thing: is it just me or does "Kerry Edwards" sound like the name of a bad soap opera actor? Just an observation.
"Blue-Blooded Kerry Taps Edwards's Southern Charm"
July 04, 2004
A Pro-American Fourth
I hope you all had a good, relaxing 4th. Stay safe, and God bless America.
July 03, 2004
Colin Powell doesn't look anything like the original construction worker from the Village People, but I'm glad he didn't go for the leather look.
"It's Fun for Powell at the 'YMCA'"
What a way to get pumped up for July 4th.
My Life Reviewed Again
Iny the NY Times Book Review, Larry McMurtry reviews My Life and calls it "the richest American presidential autobiography." That's a far cry from NY Times weekday book reviewer Michiko Kakutani's scathing review.
It's interesting that the Times published two reviews of the book. The book's tremendous sales and Clinton's persona do justify it. Also, in the review, McMurtry wrote that he was waiting a while for the tome. So, the Book Review was planning on reviewing it for some time. I just wonder if the McMurtry review would have disappeared if Kakutani's were the least bit sympathetic.
"My Life: His True Love Is Politics"
"Asking" for a Tax Hike
In all his rambling about how Republicans are starving kids and kicking them out of after-school programs, Bill Clinton told a Rainbow/PUSH audience that Democrats wanted to "ask the 200,000 Americans who paid income taxes on more than a million dollars to reduce their tax cut -- listen to this -- from $88,000 to $83,000 a year. That would give us a billion dollars a year" (emphasis mine). It's a nice bit of rhetoric, but Clinton knows darn well raising taxes doesn't involve asking anyone. It's coercion plain and simple. Whether it's justified coercion is debatable, but what isn't contestable is whether a tax hike is voluntary.
"Clinton Says He's 'Most Important Person in the World' to GOP"
Israelis at Abu Ghraib?
Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, former commander of Abu Ghraib says she knows that at least one Israeli was involved with Iraqi interrogations there. Other than ticking off a lot of anti-Semetic Muslims I don't see the big deal. The Israeli government says there are no Israeli personel in Iraq, but that doesn't mean Israeli civilians were part of the contractors hired by the U.S. And even if Israelis were involved in interrogations there's so much bad blood between Israel and Muslims that it could hardly get any worse.
Also, could this be a method of Karpinski to draw responsibility away from her?
"PM's Bureau Denies Reports Israelis Operating in Iraq"
Watch Kerry Stage Dive
At a John Kerry event in Wisconsin a punk rock concert broke out.
"Kerry to Announce Running Mate in E-Mail"
July 02, 2004
One Tough Cookie
Ed is slogging through My Life.
So far, the book is just like "Mayberry RFD" without all of that distracting entertainment value.
"His Life: First In An Occasional Series"
Sun Myung Moon had an "interesting" ceremony last March in a Senate building where he declared himself "messiah." Add this weirdness to his penchant for mass weddings and other cult stuff involving his Unification Church.
For me, Moon has always been an uncomfortable element of American Conservatism. He owns the Washington Times and UPI. I've never come across evidence of manipulation from Moon. I'm sure other media outlets have looked and would just love to break that story.
It doesn't take much creativity to weave a conspiracy tale with Moon in the center. However, if there really was a conspiracy wouldn't a prominent conservative expose him? William F. Buckley had a row with the John Birch Society that protected the nascent movement from becoming infected with outlandish conspiracy beliefs. A conservative movement run by a Korean wacko wouldn't be too endearing to the American public.
In this case, this bit of very odd smoke doesn't lead to much of a fire.
"Moonie Leader 'Crowned' in Senate"
A Little Cranky
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the jailed big thinker behind the first terrorist attack on the WTC, can't drink the tea he wants. In retaliation, he has stopped taking his insulin and is eating M&M's in order to hurt himself and blame it on the U.S. to inspire his terrorist followers.
Let's help the blind guy out. Which kind of M&M's have the most sugar? Or how about sending Abdel-Rahman a little gift to help him get to Paradise sooner? With the power of modern capitalism, not only can we choose from a plethora of M&M's colors (what goes best with prison orange?), but we can also add a message. "You bastard," "Hello Killer," and "USA USA" are good ideas to irritate the Islamist scum.
Or skip the M&M's and let's chip in to get him some golden glazed goodies.
"WTC Bomb Leader Making Himself Sick"
Kerry's House of Ketchup #16
Welcome to the July 4th Weekend edition of the blogosphere's favorite (and probably only) John Kerry link-fest. Find a flag and wave it proudly. Read the Declaration of Independence or learn a little about the founding fathers when you're not watching a parade, having a picnic, or viewing fireworks. No House of Ketchup last week because I was on vacation (or Iraq?) so you'll find some posts that are a little old (in Internet time) but still interesting.
Gov. Bill Richardson joins Sen. John McCain as those who don't want to be Kerry's running mate.
TAM's favorite indicator, the Iowa Electronic Markets continues to predict a Bush victory. The polls give Kerry a popular vote victory but an electoral vote defeat a la 2000. Then there are the propellerheads who think Bush will win big.
Reason's Jeff Taylor has an idea for Kerry so striking "Karl Rove would have a coronary."
And now, the blogosphere speaks.
July 01, 2004
Clay Whittaker notes that Sen. Kerry is distressed that female college students aren't proportionally represented in math and science. There's no reason to get into whether men and women are hardwired to excell in different subjects. What should really disturb freedom lovers is this passage as quoted by Whittaker:
If elected president, I will help children know whether they want to get a scientific degree by nudging them in the correct direction.
Call me a constitutional literalist, but I find nothing in that founding document giving the President the power or responsibility to decide what citizens should study in college. In this time of the Islamist War, budget deficits, an entitlement situation ready to implode, and other problems whether there are "enough" people with XX chromosomes studying math and science should be near the bottom of any President's priority list.
Then there's also the arrogance that Kerry knows what the "correct direction" is for an individual. Even with the intellegence Kerry possesses he cannot have the time nor the ability to collect and evaluate the information needed to make those kind of decisions for people he knows little about. He can certainly "nudge" his children and close friends since he's more aware of their individual situations, but to advise Jane in Michigan whether to major in math instead of theater or business or education is worth little more than the guess it is.
I link often to F. A. Hayek's essay "The Use of Knowledge in Society" (possibly the most important economic work of the 20th Century) because it's insights are so profound. This has to be required reading for Kerry.