October 31, 2004
Redskins, Packers, and the Election
Today's Packers game will be the strangest one I may ever experience. That's because I'll be rooting for the Redskins. Run Clinton run!
The rational side of my brain tells me the strange Redskins-election streak has no bearing on who in Ohio, Florida, or Wisconsin will vote for on Tuesday. Another part of my brain tells me to not tempt fate. Going by Vegas, Bush is doomed since Green Bay is favored. But since the Red Sox finally won the World Series we know all streaks are bound to end.
I hope Brett Favre, Grady Jackson, and the rest of the Packers have a good season, but I want Joe Gibbs and company to grab a win today. Does that make me a bad Packers fan?
UPDATE: I want to smile that Vikings' coach Mike Tice is a big Bush backer, but I can only go so far in my pro-Bush/anti-Pack stuff. Praising a Viking crosses a line.
It Could Get Ugly, Really Ugly
Monday morning Kerry and Bush will have a showdown at competing rallies in downtown Milwaukee, but the real showdowns will take place across the city the next day. The Wisconsin GOP has as list of 37,000 addresses on the voter rolls they consider suspicous. The party is threatening to challenge each individual on the list if the city doesn't require them to provide identification on Election Day.
This is hardball. It's not hard to imagine a situation where a voter gets upset with a GOP poll watcher who either doesn't have ID on them or refuses to offer any (for whatever reason). Words will be exchanged and fists may even fly.
While the GOP maneuver will increase tensions as some Milwaukee polls it will not prevent anyone from voting. Ignore the screams from Democrats that this amounts to voter intimidation and supression. It doesn't. If a voter is challenged, all he or she would have to do is register at the poll, something allowed in Wisconsin. All that's needed is ID and proof-of-residence. So if Joe Schmoe of 123 W National Ave. is challenged, he could simply flip out his driver's license, fill out a new registration card, then flip off the GOP poll watcher and vote. The only people who will be prevented from voting are those who can't demonstrate they are who they claim they are, i.e. those trying to cheat.
In order for the Wisconsin GOP to pull off such an audacious action they must have hundreds of volunteers ready to cover Milwaukee. I worry the party is trading off poll workers for GOTV workers. But Owen's experience may mean the party knows what it's doing.
"GOP Demands IDs of 37,000 in City"
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin points out that Michael Moore-ians (or Moore-ons!), Michael Moore-ian watchers, "Republican crusaders," "European nosybodies," and who knows who else will be together in a observational circle jerk.
Remember to "Fall Back"
I have a mild obsession watching my "Recently Played" list on iTunes. I thought something was wrong with the software when it stopped listing just played songs. Then I looked at the time stamps and compared it with the clock in the system tray. It looked liked some songs were played in the future. Then it hit me: daylight savings time ended. Our clocks "fall back" and we get an extra hour of sleep. All is now well in my little corner of reality.
October 30, 2004
Showdown in Milwaukee
Milwaukee didn't host any of the Presidential debates. But both candidates will tie up downtown Monday morning. The President will be at U.S. Cellular Arena while Sen. John Kerry will be at City Hall, only four blocks apart.
"Kerry, Bush to Rally Downtown"
Kerry's Qa Qaa
The al Qa Qaa story may have run out of steam for Sen. Kerry. That's what Wizbang's Paul thinks.
"Kerry Steps in Deep Qa Qaa"
Cronkite: Old Coot
Last night on Larry King Live, Walter Cronkite took up the conspiracy flag of many Bush bashers when commenting on the Osama bin Laden tape:
KING: OK, Walter. What do you make of this?
I blame much of this thinking on Cronkite's age as demonstrated later in the show when he couldn't remember when the last Presidential election was:
CRONKITE: Well, I think it's one of the biggest messes we've had in a long time. I believe that we're undoubtedly not going to know the results of this election. I don't want to knock you off the air on Monday night or anything, or Tuesday night. But I suspect that we're not going to know who the next president is, whether it is Bush or the new man, until very probably sometime in the early spring. There's so much controversy that they're planting, deliberately planting at the polls, that there's almost certainly to be a suit going back to the Supreme Court eventually, going through the other courts slowly first.
What Does the NRSC Know?
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is pumping last-minute money into Tim Michels' campaign. The national Republicans would waste money on a losing campaign. GOP tracking numbers show a significant narrowing of the race. With Bush slightly leading in Wisconsin similar voters may be seeing Michels as the Senate version of the President.
October 29, 2004
More Bush Event Into
To get tickets for the Bush rally Monday go to Agnos State Fair Court at 1516 South 84th Street. It's a strip mall. Here's a map to it. I don't know if tickets are still available, and I don't have a phone number so call directory service to get the Bush-Cheney office number.
Cheney to Hawaii
Vice President Cheney going to Hawaii is part of the last-minute game. A few polls have shown Bush tied or within reach of Kerry. By having Cheney go to the island state he may force Kerry Edwards to pump some cash into ads there. The only thing better would be Cheney's visit scaring Kerry or Edwards enough to visit themselves. I give 10-1 odds Bush nabs Hawaii, but precious Kerry Edwards money or time may get drained from better targets like Iowa, Ohio, or Wisconsin.
There could still be a Bush Beach Bash, but I don't want to see either Dick or Lynne in swimwear.
Two points on the KSTP al Qa Qaa stories:
What the stories tell us is there were lots of explosives at a few bunkers at al Qa Qaa. There was also an IAEA-sealed bunker. It does not tell us if HMX or RDX was there. It also does not tell us if they were looted.
"The Latest Word on Al Qaqaa"
"ABC News Getting Ahead of the Facts"
October 28, 2004
John Kerry had this quip at the Madison Kerry rally featuring Bruce Springsteen:
When George Bush heard the Boss was playing, and was going to be here with me today, he thought they meant Dick Cheney!
Kerry should leave the bad anti-Bush humor to Jon Stewart and Michael Moore.
"The Boss Brings out 80,000 for Kerry"
No Aloha for Bush
It doesn't sound like Bush will go to Hawaii. A speech at Pearl Harbor would be a stunning visual, but I still like my idea of a Bush Beach Bash starring the twins.
"Reaction to the Hawaii Idea"
Which Party is Pro-Tech?
CNET News.com put together a scorecard to show which party is more pro-technology. Note that this scorecard, like any other, is very subjective. CNET News.com plainly states, "Scores were assigned solely based on the editorial opinions of CNET News.com." But also note that Declan McCullagh is their chief politics writer, and he's not known as being in the GOP's pocket.
The GOP ended up scoring better than the Democrats. As for the Kerry Edwards two-headed monster, Kerry received a score of 44 while Edwards got a 50. Both are below the average U.S. Senator's score of 53.
"GOP Beats Dems on Tech-Friendliness"
Study Claims 100,000 Iraqi Civilian Deaths
President Bush has the blood of 100,000 Iraqi civilians on his hands. Expect that to be the spin from Bush bashers and Kerry Edwards. I wonder a little about extrapolating from interviews. I also wonder why this study differs by a large magnitude from this anti-war bodycount.
This isn't knee-jerk pro-war spin but I wonder about this claim from Johns Hopkins University researchers on civilian deaths in Iraq:
Most of the casualties occurred after the end of major hostilities in May 2003, researchers said in the study. Observations suggest that civilian deaths since the war are mostly caused by air strikes, the survey said. Two-thirds of the deaths were in the insurgent-held Sunni Muslim Iraqi city of Fallujah, the study said.
Two-thirds of 100,000 is about 66,000. According to this Asia Times article, Fallujah's population in 09.03 was 500,000. Thus over 13% of Fallujah's population has been wiped out.
This analysis doesn't so much support the anti-war claim that the U.S. invasion was wrong. Instead, it demonstrates what happens when the U.S. is too soft on insurgents. If the Marines cleaned out the city earlier this year instead of hoping the Fallujah Brigade would bring order, then many lives would have been saved. By not going in hard into Fallujah, it only empowered the insurgents who thought they discovered America's achilles' heal.
Very Expensive Yard Signs
The Glenn Grothman-Mary Panzer State Senate race was the most expensive legislative race in state history. Oddly, the only advertising I noticed was yard signs and supporters at the Allenton parade. But then, I had my mind made up as soon as Grothman jumped into the race.
"Grothman-Panzer Race Sets Record"
Must Have Been Some Stale Brew
Here's a weird story:
A woman is arrested for allegedly stealing her boyfriend's ashes more than a decade ago. Sheriff's officials in Columbia County say the now 44-year-old woman also drank the beer that was buried with him, possibly out of spite for his family. Detective Wayne Smith calls the case "twisted and bizarre." The woman now lives in Sheboygan, where district attorney Joe De Cecco says he'll decide this week whether to file charges. Her 27-year-old boyfriend committed suicide in 1992, and his family contacted police three weeks ago after learning his remains were stolen. An exhumation revealed Hendrickson's cremated remains were missing from Cambria Cemetery in Columbia County. Beer and cigarettes that were buried with him were also missing.
"Woman Arrested for Stealing Ashes"
Wisconsin Election Update
Ann Althouse wrote about the possibility of a large number of people from Illinois attending the Madison Kerry rally featuring Bruce Springsteen. It moved from possiblity to fact. WTMJ radio reported this morning that lots and lots of cars with Illinois license plates and Kerry Edwards stickers were headed northwest on I-94.
When I first heard about a possible 60,000 people at the rally I was concerned Kerry Edwards was doing a better job energizing its supporters. With the presence of plenty of Illinois people plus thousands of teachers who are in Madison for a convention my fear was relieved. Then I read this from Ann Althouse:
The crowd, predicted to be 60,000, will be encouraged to go right over to City Hall (a block away) and vote immediately, and City Hall is going to stay open until 8 p.m. tonight to accommodate the crowd. As I've written here, no I.D. is required to vote absentee at City Hall. Knowing that people are flowing in from Illinois, I'm feeling especially nervous about voter fraud today. If the election in the end comes down to a fight over Wisconsin's electoral votes, that pile of absentee ballots here is going to be the subject of a huge fight, don't you think?
The GOP's GOTV effort will have to be really, really good.
The Wisconsin GOP questioned the legitimacy of 5,619 addresses on Milwaukee voter rolls. Some of the suspicous addresses are for empty lots, a gyros stand, and a space between two houses. This morning the Milwaukee Election Commission quickly dismissed the challenge. There will be no further investigation and all the addresses, including the ones documented vio photographs, will remain on the rolls.
"Republicans Challenge 5,600 Addresses that May Not Exist"
"GOP Challenge to Voting List Denied"
"Republicans Challenge Registrations in Ohio, Nevada, and Wisconsin"
Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent William Andrekopoulos put an end to a program exploiting school children to help get out the vote. The program was run in conjuction with Wisconsin Citizen Action, a Left-wing organization that backs Sen. John Kerry.
Wisconsin Citizen Action's Larry Marx--a fitting name--said Andrekopoulos caved into "pressure from right-wing radio talk show hosts." I have a feeling it had more to do with the superintendent learning on Charlie Sykes' show yesterday how pro-Kerry Wisconsin Citizen Action was.
"MPS Pulls Plug on Student Canvassing"
Don't believe voter fraud is happening? Owen at Boots & Sabers has been "fraudulently registered to vote in Milwaukee."
Let's end this update where I started with Ann Althouse. She reports on the Madison Kerry rally featuring Bruce Springsteen.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Hollywood liberal/Bush supporter, David Zucker made the Milwaukee media rounds and has a brief interview in the Journal Sentinel.
"David Zucker 'Takes Five'"
Nothing to Brag About
The Chicago Tribune's Frank James has a story today on what Sen. Kerry has been avoiding throughout the campaign: his Senate record. In the story, we find Kerry didn't get much legislation passed. Bush says five pieces, Kerry says 56, and FactCheck.org counts 11. There's quantity, but then there's quality. Here's how James describes some of Kerry's legislation:
Kerry's 11 pieces of passed legislation included a bill signed into law in April 1994 to better protect marine mammals, especially from commercial fishermen, and another, a bill amending the Small Business Act to allow the federal government to fund non-profit groups running projects that helped women business owners.
At the Democratic National Convention, Kerry told viewers to "[J]udge me by my record." His legislative record has little addressing the critical issues facing the U.S. There's nothing about the military, entitlement reform is non-existent, and there's zero about addressing the need for smaller government.
Where Sen. Kerry was most successful was his investigations of corruption, international drug smuggling, and Vietnam POWs/MIAs. However, do we really want a President who is constantly investigating instead of acting? I have a terrible suspicion that if a terrorist attack would occur during a Kerry Presidency that too much time would be wasted making sure enough evidence was gathered to "convince" France and other AINOs (Allies In Name Only) that military attack was justified. That's why I and others have hammered so hard on Kerry's mention of a "global test." That term fit well with Kerry's history of over-the-top internationalism.
Another aspect of Kerry that's been AWOL in the campaign is his strong environmentalist streak. An editor for the Boston Globe speculates Kerry could be the most friendly President toward the environment since Teddy Roosevelt. Do we have an AlGore in Brahmin's clothing?
"Kerry's Senate Record"
I Am Sick
Yesterday, I wondered if I was coming down with something. This morning I woke up with a sore throat and an upset stomach. Some bug got me combined with a case of mild food poisoning.
Who Knows What?
The IAEA isn't even sure how much explosive was at al Qa Qaa:
The Iraqi interim government has told the United States and international weapons inspectors that 377 tons of conventional explosives are missing from the Al-Qaqaa installation, which was supposed to be under U.S. military control.
There's also some question about how secure the HMX stored at al Qa Qaa was:
The documents show IAEA inspectors looked at nine bunkers containing more than 194 tons of HMX at the facility. Although these bunkers were still under IAEA seal, the inspectors said the seals may be potentially ineffective because they had ventilation slats on the sides. These slats could be easily removed to remove the materials inside the bunkers without breaking the seals, the inspectors noted.
I'll add another possibility. Suppose Iraqis (with possible Russian help) found another way around the seals or (oh, my!) removed the seals, moved the HMX, then put the seals right back where they found them. Let's realize, Saddam's Iraq spent oodles on palaces and bunkers to hide WMD programs. It's not a stretch to think that engineers wouldn't have let some IAEA seals stop them.
For an "October Surprise" the only surprise has been how pathetic this attempt to smear Bush is.
"Discrepancy Found in Explosives Amounts"
The Journal Sentinel Speaks
Unlike in 2000, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorses a Presidential candidate. That's surprising because there was talk the paper wouldn't do so for a second election in a row. Not surprising is who they endorsed.
"Endorsement: John Kerry for President"
Someone remind me after the election to make Paleowatch more than a once-in-a-lunar-eclipse thing. By way of SCSUScholars I found a Anarchy Lew Rockwell rant. To those libertarians supporting President Bush Anarchy Lew writes,
that is no argument for believing in the system, or ceasing to try to find a way out of it. To love one's captors and appreciate their favors is a psychosis, but one that gains a mass following in the weeks before a presidential election.
It amazes me that a man who lives a life where he's free and even paid to promote anarchism (without ever saying it) isn't the least bit grateful of the blessings he has.
Anarchy Lew seeks an anarcho-capitalist "paradise," one where government doesn't exist. That, my friends, is the state of nature. It's one where life is brutish and short. We had an example of just such a state when Saddam's government melted away. I'm fairly confident residents there weren't clamoring for that environment to remain.
"The Myth of a Kerry Calamity"
October 27, 2004
The Curse is Reversed
The Boston Red Sox finally win a World Series. 86 years of heartbreak vanish in victorious glee.
Does this championship vindicate sabermetrics? That's a question best saved for another time by someone much more knowledgable of the subject. For tonight, Red Sox Nation is standing tall.
"Red Sox World Champions"
"Red Sox Nation Rejoice"
"Red Sox Win First World Series Since 1918"
In Come the Russians
The Russians moved the explosives. That's what John Shaw, a deputy under-secretary of defense, claims.
Did Vladimir Putin think this information (if true) would soon come out? Is that why he made comments recently supporting the Bush administration?
At the very least, the Russian possibility has as much credence as what the NY Times wanted you to believe. I'm just not sure it will stop Kerry Edwards from continuing to use this issue to bash the President.
As for Bill Gertz's story, the Washington Times servers can handle the Drudge link. I'll have to remember to read it tomorrow morning before work.
In Racine County, if you're an illegal alien and want to vote register with Voces de la Frontera. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) sent two staffers to Voces' office to be registered. The two made sure to mention they were illegal aliens. They were both registered.
FAIR pulled a similar stunt in Milwaukee. At least a staffer told the fake illegals that it was against the law for non-citizens to vote. Nevertheless, the both were allowed to fill out voter registration forms. It seems one Voces staffer was suspicious enough to tear up a form. Milwaukee District Attorney Michael McCann said neither of the forms have been found by the Election Commission.
McCann didn't stop there. He went on to say, "Anyone who tries to test the system from now on will be criminally prosecuted no matter who they claim they are working for or what they're testing." Huh? An organization concerned about voter fraud may have gotten a little over zealous and McCann is "nice" enough not to prosecute them? How about some concern that two felons illegally were registering voters? We know they weren't doing anything in the least bit positive. In contrast, the Racine County District Attorney continues his voter fraud investigation.
"Group Sent Couple to 'Test' Voter Registration Sites"
Pols in the Patch
I'll stick with my Bush bear, thank you.
The New JibJab
Let's all chill out and laugh to "Political Bohemian Rhapsody."
[via California Yankee]
Back for One More
President Bush will be at a rally somewhere in Milwaukee on Monday, 11.01. (I'm guessing State Fair, but won't be surprised if it's U.S. Cellular Arena.) I just got the automated call this evening telling me where to get tickets. I had trouble hearing it but I did hear something 1516 South 84th Street and a reference to State Fair Park. However, I typed the address into Mapquest and saw that it's south of State Fair. Last month, for Bush's previous visit people got tickets at the West Allis GOP office, but that's not at the address in the phone call. I'm sure Steve of Norway or Lisa got the same call so I hope they can help me (and the rest of us) out.
UPDATE: Lisa and Steve let me down. No problem. I'll just stop at the Bush-Cheney office after work tomorrow to get the 411.
Am I Sick?
It's been almost two days and I've hardly eaten anything. Only a brownie and a couple small sandwiches have been consumed. Yet I haven't been hungry. I'm usually a habitual grazer munching on this or that throughout the day. Other than a twinge in my throat, I feel fine. Should I be expecting to call in sick soon? I hope not.
Bruce Springsteen will join John Kerry at a Madison rally, Thursday.
Evangelicals are thought of as a lock for President Bush. The LA Times found some in Wisconsin who aren't so sure about voting for him.
"Conflicted Evangelicals Could Cost Bush Votes"
I've written again and again that voter turnout will decide Wisconsin. I've also been impressed with the GOP's GOTV efforts. This Slate article looks into both sides' operations. Kerry Edwards is relying on independent operations in Madison and Milwaukee while Bush has built a vast grassroots effort. Julia Turner may have found what to look at when figuring out which candidate takes the Badger State's 10 electoral votes:
This GOTV strategy may succeed: The people behind independent groups are smart, energized, and working full-tilt. But it doesn't seem particularly tailored to the ways in which Wisconsin is different from other hotly contested states. Like GOTV drives everywhere, the Wisconsin effort is concentrating on urban areas, where left-leaning voters are abundant, and the small lots are canvass-friendly. But in Wisconsin, a substantial portion of Democratic voters live in more sparsely populated regions. Except for some ACT organizing in the counties surrounding Stevens Point in central Wisconsin, the independent groups have largely neglected rural areas. Bush lost Wisconsin in 2000 by ignoring its rural counties. Could the independent groups lose Wisconsin for Kerry by making the same mistake?
"Wisconsin: The Blue State Kerry Could Easily Lose.
Boom! There Went that Story
380 tons of HMX and RDX couldn't blow a bigger hole in the NY Times' and Kerry Edwards' accusation that the Bush-led invasion allowed the explosives to disappear. Forget whatever the NBC News embeds with the 101st Airborne reported because the 3rd Infantry Division was at al Qa Qaa almost one week before.
On what the 3ID found Wretchard writes,
The contemporaneous CBS report, written before anyone knew al Qa Qaa would be a big deal, establishes two important things. The first is that 3ID knew it was looking through an IAEA inspection site. The second was that the site had shown unmistakable signs of tampering before the arrival of US troops. "Peabody said troops found thousands of boxes, each of which contained three vials of white powder, together with documents written in Arabic that dealt with how to engage in chemical warfare." Now presumably those thousands of boxes were not all packaged and labeled with chemical warfare instructions under IAEA supervision, so the inescapable conclusion is that a fairly large and organized type of activity had been under way in Al Qa Qaa for some time. It is important to reiterate that these are contemporaneous CBS reports which were filed no with foreknowledge of the political controversy to come.
James Glassman then uses the al Qa Qaa story to defend the Iraq War:
Kerry and Edwards say that Bush didn't do enough to prevent the disappearance of the explosives, which could be used against Americans here at home. But the very existence of such explosives -- whether defined as weapons of mass destruction or not -- was the reason Bush led the nation into Iraq in the first place.
Obviously mistakes have been made in the war. Find the current "dead tree" issue of National Review and read Rich Lowry's critique of the war. Most of the problems had to do with poor pre-war intelligence--something the President has failed to fix--and not being forceful enough--Fallujah earlier this year. Al Qa Qaa, so far, is just that, ca-ca.
[Links via Power Line.]
David Zucker: Completely Serious about Bush
David Zucker has a long history of making people laugh with movies like Airplane, Naked Gun, and Scary Movie 3. He made a very funny commercial bashing Kerry, but he's very, very serious about the need for a Bush victory.
Zucker hasn't become a flaming right-wing Hollywood Republican. On Charlie Sykes' show this morning he told the host that he's still active in anti-nuclear and other Lefty environmental causes. He didn't defend President Bush because of tax cuts or stem cell research. Zucker supports him because the Sep. 11 attacks showed our country faced a "fight for our civilization" that John Kerry is unable to conduct. "He can't make a decision. He isn't a good leader," said Zucker.
The Wisconsin native worries about a Kerry Presidency. In Zucker's mind, Kerry is "far to the Left" and "the Left is bad for Israel." He used Michael Moore as an example. Moore got a great at the Democratic National Convention sitting next to ex-President Jimmy Carter. Moore is no friend of Israel. He also is proud of the fact that Sen. Kerry is a liberal.
October 26, 2004
"And Don't Call Me 'Shirley'"
David Zucker is a rare species, a Bush backer in Hollywood. The Wisconsin native will be on Charlie Sykes' radio program tomorrow morning.
Here's what we know about the missing explosives that were at al Qa Qaa:
I'm fairly confident IAEA personnel didn't leave Iraq the day before the war started. Let's assume they left one week before the "shock and awe" began, 03.12.03. We don't know if IAEA inspectors were at al Qa Qaa right until they left Iraq, but let's assume that also. That means 23 days passed between IAEA leaving Iraq and the 3rd Infantry Division arriving at al Qa Qaa. That's certainly enough time for a number of trucks to load up 380 tons of explosives and move them someplace else. The problem with this possiblity is wouldn't U.S. intelligence have noticed the activity at al Qa Qaa?
The looting explanation fails, first, because of pure logistical considerations as noted in this Captain's Quarters post. Another problem is the clean job the looters had to have done. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said, "Some explosive material at the time was discovered, although none of it carried IAEA seals, and this discovery was reported to coalition forces for removal of the material." If the disappearance was due to looting then it was a very clean job that left no trace.
The most sensible possiblity is Saddam ordered the explosives moved. Maybe they were sent to neighboring Syria or stored away in a secret location to be used in guerrilla warfare to defeat the U.S. occupation and topple the new Iraqi government.
Note that the only reason we know the explosives are missing was the war. With the intelligence failures by France, Germany, Russia, the U.N., the U.S., and even the NY Times it's not safe to assume the IAEA knew the explosives remained in the bunker. In the lead up to the war, no one claimed Saddam didn't have WMD. The debate wasn't if he had them, it was how to deal with their existence. Post-war searches have shown Saddam didn't have the WMD everyone thought he did. This was an intelligence failure by more than just the Bush administration. With this recent history, I'm not convinced the IAEA wasn't fooled by Saddam.
After thinking and writing about this I have a feeling Ann Althouse is correct:
This is a pesky issue to be dealing with so late in the game, but for those already convinced the war was woefully mismanaged, it may not matter that much. Indeed, those who accept the raggedness of the post-war effort and stand by Bush may also not care that much.
This election will depend on each campaign getting their voters to the polls. Al Qa Qaa reinforces the perception of Bush supporters (me included) that the MSM wants Kerry to win. It may get more Bush backers to work harder to compensate for this media bias. Since this story only reinforces the feeling Bush has bungled Iraq, I suspect this story doesn't further energize the anti-Bushies who are already highly motivated.
"Report: Explosives Could not be Found when U.S. Troops Arrived"
Early Voting and Exit Polls
Nine percent of voters have already cast their ballots. I wonder how this will effect the exit polls the networks use to determine who wins a state. In 2000, the networks' consortium messed up badly allowing some networks to declare AlGore the winner of Florida only to change it to undecided later. What this means is that when networks do declare Bush or Kerry a winner of a particular state take it with a grain of salt until substantial vote counts come in.
An Intergalactic Bonfire
It takes a special person to get a bonfire burning in the cold of space. Overtaken by Events pulls it off.
"The Bonfire of the Vanities (The 69th Post in a Trilogy)"
The Kerry Edwards Times
John Cole isn't too happy with the NY Times:
I don't (sic) think my faith in the media has ever sunk this low before, but I simply am astonished by what has taken place over the last six months.
"A Failed October Surprise?"
Project Vote Strikes Again
Two felons were found registering voters in Milwaukee. That's illegal as much as it's illegal for felons either in jail or on parole to vote. Both Tonsie Wilson and Corethious Taylor both work for Project Vote. That's the operation being investigated by the Racine County district attorney for voter registration fraud. While Milwaukee Election Commissioner Lisa Artison did revoke Wilson's and Taylor's deputy registrar status, she did not say whether she would investigate if the two registered ineligible voters or if she would ask Milwaukee's district attorney to investigate. For all we know there are hundreds of false names on Milwaukee's voter rolls. All someone has to do is know the name and precinct registered and they can vote as them. Realize that voters aren't required to provide ID before voting in Wisconsin.
"Felons Served as Election Deputies"
All the Pro-Kerry News Fit to Print
Let's end all pretenses (what little intelligent readers still had) that the NY Times cares about getting the story right. That newsroom is so sloppy and Kerry-centric that they ran a story blaming the Bush administration for something it had no power over.
The paper accused the administration of failing to guard very powerful explosives that Saddam had in his arsenal. What New York's smelliest rag didn't bother to check was whether the explosives were there when U.S. troops arrived last year. All they would have had to do was ask NBC News who had embedded reporters with troops at the Al Qaqaa site.
The story gave Kerry plenty to bash the administration with today calling the failure to guard the explosives "incredible incompetence." Instead of having to answer for a full-blown lie about his pre-war vote discussions with the U.N. Kerry got to go on the offensive.
Bush's Stopping This Time
Later today, President Bush will arrive in Cuba City, WI. It's a small town he snubbed last May by zipping through the "City of Presidents." In August, Sen. Kerry took time to stop there zinging the President in the process. Today, President Bush is one-upping Kerry by holding a rally in the town's high school.
Back in 1992, President George H. W. Bush was doing a whistle stop campaign through Wisconsin. He was to past through my humble little Allenton. Plenty of locals gathered around the railroad tracks hoping he'd stop and say a few words. The train came from the south, and those of us with signs began holding them up. The closer the train got the more excited we became. The train entered town but offered no sign of stopping. We began shouting and waving anyway. The President just rolled through Allenton with the man himself waving from the back of the train.
I understood at the time that President Bush couldn't stop everywhere, but I wonder how I would have voted had he stopped. In 1992, my first Presidential election, I voted for Ross Perot. (Feel free to make fun of me. I'm man enough to admit my most embarassing Presidential vote was my first.)
"Bush Visiting Cuba City, and this Time He'll Stop"
October 25, 2004
Some Fate is on Bush's Side
If you believe in Presidential election fate then you feel good about President Bush's re-election. Weekly Reader asked readers to vote for President and they choose Bush. Since the magazine's first poll in 1956 it has correctly picked the winner in the election.
Now, all political junkies' eyes fall on the Green Bay Packers-Washington Redskins game.
If the Redskins lose or tie the game before the presidential election, the party in the White House gets ousted. A Redskins win is a win for the incumbent party, too. At least, that’s how it has played out in the past 18 presidential elections.
There's mixed opinion in Las Vegas. The Stardust and MGM-Mirage are making Washington the favorite while Stations has made Green Bay a two-point favorite. With three starters very questionable to play next Sunday the Packers will soon be the consensus underdogs.
I have a dilemma: Do I support my President and root for the Redskins or test fate and root for my beloved Packers? I have no animosity against Joe Gibbs and any player on the Washington roster. It's not like I'd be rooting for the Vikings or the Bears. Or do I be like Rep. Mark Green and hope this strange streak is snapped?
Vote by Issue
After answering all 20 questions of the Vote by Issue Quiz I discovered I agreed most with President Bush. In a fairly close second place was the Libertarian Party's nut candidate Michael Badnarik. It feels good to know I'm not just voting for the party but for the man as well.
Caught in a Sticker Vortex
Someone really knows how to persuade potential voters:
It started out to be a glorious Packer Sunday...for the first five minutes. I awoke to find my car and every other car in my parking lot on the East side covered with rainbow Kerry/Edwards stickers. My car has eight stickers plastered on and there's one car with at least 20. Is this another hidden tax for living in the city? That's a can of worms for another time.
"It's Getting Ugly Out There, Folks"
Campaign Doesn't Stop on Weekends
Saturday saw Al Sharpton and Zell Miller come to Milwaukee to stump for John Kerry and George W. Bush respectively. There was plenty of red meat in both men's speeches. For what voters should tell the President, Sharpton used Donald Trump's quip, "You're fired." Miller said the President "will not wobble or go weak in the knees when it comes to fighting terrorists."
"Region Teems with Campaign Activity"
Called on a Pointless Lie
Kerry is like AlGore in that both men's desire for the Presidency is so great that they engage in embellishments that only do themselves harm. Kerry would still be in striking distance of knocking off an incumbant President if he describe his U.N. meetings accurately. What this lie does is force his campaign to go on the defensive wasting time on this when he could be getting his message out. In both men's case obtaining the Presidency trumps truthfulness with the electorate. That's especially troublesome when John Kerry constantly criticizes the President for being untruthful about the Iraq War.
October 24, 2004
Bush Leads in Hawaii
In one poll, President Bush is tied with Sen. Kerry in Hawaii. Hawaii! This is not a good sign for Kerry if he's having trouble in a long-standing Democratic stronghold.
The campaigns are at a point where funds are dwindling, yet they don't want any left over. Stategists are pouring over polls electoral vote maps to best allocate cash. Gamesmanship is being played. Last week, the President gave a speech in New Jersey, a state that should be safe for Kerry. It's close there giving the President an opening to turn a blue state red. Buy even more importantly Bush's visit may have forced Kerry Edwards to spend more money than they wanted to in a "safe" state preventing that money from going to real battleground states like Ohio and Florida. Bush probably won't get either New Jersey or Hawaii, but scaring his opponent into putting resources there could be beneficial in the overall "strategery."
If Bush wants to take a longshot at winning Hawaii and can't fit the long Air Force One flight into his schedule he should send the twins. A beach party for Bush would draw attention, especially if Jenna and Barbara turned it into a bikini bash.
President Bush is the consensus pick of the right wing blogosphere. The Iowa Electronic Markets agrees. I hope they're not resting on their prognosticating laurels and are planning on getting as many people as they can to vote for Bush on Election Day.
"Right-Of-Center Bloggers Make Their Predictions For The 2004 Elections"
Chad Evan on Stolen Honor:
There aren’t any Hollywood special effects, there’s not a great soundtrack or any kind of acting, but there is one eye-opening, shocking and at times tearful story that is told through the stories of former Vietnam Prisoners of War. This film gets to the root cause of the intense disgust at John Kerry for his days when he aligned himself with the anti-war movement and called his fellow soldiers war criminals not only in front of the Senate and the nation, but in front of the Vietnamese interrogators who used Kerry’s words and Kerry’s allegations to torture and brutalize United States Prisoners of War.
A film that scares Lefties enough to almost cause a riot outside a theater makes me wonder what's on display. You can watch what Kerry Edwards is afraid of for just $4.99.
"Stolen Honor Review"
October 23, 2004
Now, THAT's a Good Plan
Michele found one John Kerry plan I can totally support.
"Get Out the Vote"
The Wisconsin Badgers will again, beating Northwestern 24-12. Next week the team has a bye then three winnable games to either get into the national title game or destroy the BCS.
Kudos go to Journal Sentinel sports writer Jeff Potrykus for his really close prediction of 27-17 Badgers.
"UW Steamrolls Wildcats to Remain Perfect"
Real Voter Intimidation
Democrats have plans to make up voter intimidation even if non exist. In Florida, we see the real thing.
One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?"
Unlike the Dems, the GOP doesn't need to pretend.
October 22, 2004
Will W Win Wisconsin?
I want to join the party and put Wisconsin in the Bush column, but I will be cautiously opptimistic. Sure, Gallup gives the President a six-point lead, and Captain Ed points out some good internals.
I've written often that turnout will decide who wins the Badger state. The Democrats, labor unions, and other Left wing groups will be running time-tested GOTV operations. According to talk radio yapper Mark Belling the Dems will run a mock GOTV this weekend to prepare for the real thing. The GOP has finally taken GOTV seriously and will run the most impressive operation in the party's history. Will that be enough? Can Bush conquer years of Wisconsin political history and go Republican? Will the extensive voter registration operations lead to questionable votes? And can the strong GOP Milwaukee suburbs and the Fox River Valley outpace the Democratic strongholds of Madison and Milwaukee?
In other Wisconsin political news, the Left wing Wisconsin Citizen's Action sent out 42,000 flyers with incorrect polling place information. If Kerry loses in a nail-biter this could be an excuse.
"Mailings Had Wrong Polling Place Data"
Kerry Makes a Discovery
About the SwiftVets' accusations, Sen. John Kerry told Rolling Stone, "I was surprised that the media, even when they knew it was lies, continued to cover it and treat it as entertainment."
This man has been a U.S. Senator for years, and only now does he realized the large entertainment component of the news. I guess he was too busy with guiding all his mountains of legislation through the Senate to notice. Someone tell Kerry he needs to read TAM daily.
"Kerry Feels the Pressure of Presidential Campaign"
Behold, the Toast-O-Meter. Steven Taylor's take on the Presidential race.
October 21, 2004
Mind Your Own Business
That's what I'd tell a foreign observer if I spotted them at my polling place. Thankfully for them they're not headed to Wisconsin. These radical internationalists who see the nation-state being consumed by a global bureaucracy need to go help Iraq prepare for January's elections and quit wasting time on a nation that's held elections longer than anyone else in human history.
Two counties in Missouri have gone over the deep end and are letting foreign observers actually recount the ballots. If Missouri were a real toss-up, I'd be worried. Imagine if the local officials declared more votes for Bush only to have the foreign busybodies offer a contrary count.
"Vote Observers: Access to US Polling Places Difficult"
Kerry Edwards and the Democrats may sneak their way to victory in less than two weeks, but they may have lost an entire generation.
This is sure to garner some (hopefully) clever jokes, but I think these Bush-Cheney pumpkins are neat. The best part is they're Wisconsin creations.
"Bush-Cheney Pumpkin Carving!"
Athletes for Bush
With razor-thin margins in many state races any edge a campaign can find will be used. The Bush-Cheney campaign pulled out their sports card. Here's the list of athletic Bush backers:
If I had known that two Houston Astros were pro-Bush I would have rooted for them tonight even though Phil Garner has no right to manage any team in the World Series.
Unlike the pro-GOP actors at the national convention, Bush-Cheney didn't get stuck with a lot of second-tier talent--although a water polo players counts as third-tier in my book. These are about as intellectually valuable as the Hollywood crowd backing John Kerry. What does it say about an undecided voter that moves to President Bush because of Kerri Strug?
The trend in national polls favors Bush. However, that doesn't really matter since the Electoral College is picks the President. With lots of states still in play an intelligent observer should say it's too close to call, but I'm not one of those.
"Election 2004 By The Numbers"
Prisoner Tries to Vote
Republican fears of illegal prisoner voting were realized when Clough Thompson checked off John Kerry on an absentee ballot. Thompson is in the Dane County jail for battery to a police officer, a felony. Thompson's excuse was ignorance. "They told me I could vote." "They" being the NAACP. We know that organization doesn't care about the status of those they're registering. Beverly Hicks, president of the Racine chapter of the NAACP said, "They are being taken off the street for the crime they committed. However, their right to vote, I don't see that having anything to do with the crime they committed." In Ms. Hicks world, felons should be allowed to vote. However that's not up to her now. If she wants that law changed, then she should lobby Madison. Right now, she should obey the law as it is.
Fortunately a jail guard investigated Thompson's background and informed superiors. That person is about the only government offical doing anything to prevent further voter fraud. One Dane County official pretty much said there wasn't anything she could do to stop felons from voting.
"Jailed Felon's Effort to Vote Stokes GOP Fraud Fears"
I have a feeling as soon as the words "real job" left Teresa Heinz Kerry's lips she knew she'd regret it. She came back and apologzied quickly. Laura Bush accepted the apology through a spokesman, but Karen Hughes decided to make political mincemeat out of the gaffe. Give me a break. Teresa graciously said she was sorry, and Laura accepted. There was no need for Hughes to shoot off her mouth. Now there's just one apology left: Hughes to Teresa, but even I'm not expecting it.
"Teresa Heinz Kerry Apologizes for Laura Bush Comment"
October 20, 2004
Another Teresa Tantrum
Teresa Heinz Kerry opened her mouth and inserted her foot...again!
Q: You'd be different from Laura Bush?
What does Teresa consider to be a "real job?" Running a multimillion dollar charity operation? That's something most Americans can really relate to.
The battle-hardened Kerry Edwards campaign didn't let Teresa in on bit of wisdom: "Know thy enemy." If they had, Teresa could have done a quick Google search to come up with this about Laura Bush:
She then taught in public schools in Dallas and Houston. In 1973 she earned a master of library science degree from the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a public school librarian in Austin. In 1977 she met and married George Walker Bush. They are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, who are named for their grandmothers.
I guess working in a public school doesn't qualify as a "real job." Somebody better tell the teachers that back Kerry Edwards so strongly.
Will a non-apology apology to Mrs. Bush come faster than the non-apology apology about John Kerry's Mary Cheney remark? That will be interesting to see.
"The Real Running Mates"
Democratic Scare Tactics
The closer we get to Election Day means we'll be seeing more racially-charged scare tactics. Will James Byrd's ghost rise up to haunt the President? Don't be surprised if we do.
Early Christmas Present Idea
Here's an idea for that someone special who really loves to wear a piece of foam on their head while watching a Packers game.
Public School Endorses Kerry
At least one could assume from this bulletin board in a Fond du Lac classroom.
Wisconsin Prisoners Voting
One would expect government officials to care about possible voter fraud. That's not the case in Dane and Racine Counties when it comes to prisoners in their jails.
In Wisconsin, one cannot vote if they're serving a sentence including parole. Those serving time in jail for misdemeanors can still vote. The NAACP is setting up prisoners with absentee ballots. The problem is no one is checking to make sure the prisoners are eligible. Sharon Christensen a Madison deputy city clerk told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "If they fill out the form and they sign it, they are stating they meet the eligibility requirements. If someone knows different, they could challenge that on election day." Madison, a strong Democratic enclave, is taking the word of convicted criminals. The city government will make no effort to ensure the legitimacy of the vote.
Rick Graber, Wisconsin GOP chairman, was correct when he said, "If this is not being monitored, if people are not closely watching this, people who are not allowed to vote will be given the right to vote."
Critics could claim that the possibility for this kind of voter fraud is slim. However, the Journal Sentinel reports differently:
A Journal Sentinel investigation after the 2000 presidential election found that at least 361 felons voted while they were still under state supervision in Milwaukee. Three men were charged with illegal voting after the stories ran, but those charges were later dismissed after prosecutors were unable to prove the three knew it was illegal for felons to vote.
"NAACP Defends Its Effort to Register Voters in Jails"
Kudos go to Tom Held and Tom Kertscher for working on this story. I'm as guilty as most of the blogosphere for ripping on the media at the drop of a hat (or fake memo). When good, important investigation is done, it should be praised.
Missouri's Mega Voter Rolls
Colorado isn't the only state with weird voter registration numbers:
A record 4.2 million Missourians are registered to vote on Nov. 2 — a figure so high that election officials acknowledge it likely is inflated by a large number of people who are registered more than once.
"State Voter Rolls at Record Levels, Lists Likely Inflated"
October 19, 2004
Crowded Colorado Rolls
From the Denver Post:
Colorado's swollen voter rolls have passed the 3 million mark, but as many as 55,000 names appear in the secretary of state's voter list more than once.
This is an open opportunity for voter fraud. I've figured out the tactic. Clerks get flooded with new voter registrations. County and state offices run out of time to completely clean the voter rolls. Come Election Day, illegal voters run around trying to vote more than once. If they're turned away at one polling place, they go to another or fill out a provisional ballot. If the election goes their way, the Left smiles on a job well done. If the election results are close enough they scream about voter suppression and incompetent maintanence of voter rolls. The lawyers then take over.
What this means is Bush backers have to get out and vote and drag as many Bush voters with them to the polls. Because "if it's not close, they can't cheat."
"Repeats Fill Voter Rolls"
"Ashley's Story" may be the most powerful Presidential ad of the season. It's poignant, moving, and touching. Sappy and Oprah-esque, yes, but you have no soul if you aren't moved after watching it.
The second ad is from the College Republicans. I'm plugging it because 1) I used to be one; and 2) there's some smart leadership running the show. Using the CRs as another 527-type conduit to promote Bush is just good strategy. As for the ad, there's potential there with the goofy pictures of Kerry, but the narrator sounds flat and the visuals overall look cheap. It's a good demo, but not ready for primetime. Some donations would help them out.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
A Washington Post story on voter registration makes me feel better about GOP GOTV efforts.
After spending millions of dollars and untold energy to register voters this year, Republicans and Democrats are running neck and neck in registration drives in five battleground states, while Democrats have made notable gains in two others, a survey of recent figures suggests.
The paper notes that this doesn't necessarily mean registration means more votes for either party. It does mean the GOP is finally doing what it takes to find new voters. It may mean the GOP's GOTV operation (the best I've ever seen it) will complete with the veteran operations of the Democrats, labor unions, and other Lefty organizations.
The Michael Moore Antidote
When I first walked into the theater last night to watch Team America I was worried. I was the only person there. Part of comedy is the communal experience. Years ago I saw Best in Show in an almost empty theater and thought I missed out on some of the humor. Shortly after the previews began two people sat down so my worry was slightly assuaged.
All fear went away when I saw how over-the-top the action scenes were as well as how deadpan the puppets were. The funniest aspect of Team America was the feeling that this was a serious action flick like Die Hard or any Arnold Schwartenegger movie.
One of my favorite parts was when Kim Jung Il took full advantage of Hans Blix's internationalist naiveness and tossed him to the sharks. The other one was when the Hollywood anti-warriors fought (and died) for peace.
It's raunchy, REALLY raunchy. There are more f-bombs launched than at a Pat Leahy-Dick Cheney dinner party. There's a scene where one puppet vomits up more vile content than the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District has dumped into Lake Michigan. Then there's the puppet sex. All this is hysterical, but definitely not for kids.
"Team America: F*** Yeah!"
From Where It All Started
The heart of Bush hatred may lie in Austin, Texas. The amazing Andrew Ferguson, The Weekly Standard's best writer, went to the state capital and found this jumble of connections:
For our purposes, however, what was most interesting about the 60 Minutes imbroglio was the light it shed on the tiny, hermetic world of Texas Bush-hating. Rather himself--perhaps the world's most prominent Texas Bush-hater--has a daughter, Robin, who is an activist in, and future contender for the chairmanship of, Austin's Travis County Democratic party, which Rather once helped raise money for and whose chairman at that time, David Van Os, now serves as the attorney for Bill Burkett, who gave 60 Minutes the bogus documents and who has worked as a source for James C. Moore, who discovered the Austin4Kerry tape and whose book, Bush's Brain, was co-written by Wayne Slater, Austin bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News, whose News colleague, Mark Wrolstad, is married to Mapes, who produced the 60 Minutes segment and who knew Moore when both were TV reporters in Houston, where Mapes still lives. It's dizzying to think what Bush-haters would do with this web of intimacies if they were on the other side. (And inevitably, Rather-haters have tried to spin a controversy here, too, with elaborate box charts spreading across anti-Kerry sites on the Internet.)
That's more incestuous than the right side of the blogosphere.
Ferguson see a parallel between Bush hatred and Clinton hatred. They both sprung from geography:
Republicans learned this lesson themselves, suffering a lengthy, and equally pointless and debilitating, epidemic of Clinton-hating for most of the 1990s, when it bubbled up from the fever swamps of Arkansas and laid waste to vast stretches of the national party. Like Clinton-hating, Bush hatred is the creature of a marginalized mentality--the irritable gesture of the perennial loser.
"The Birthplace of Bush Paranoia"
October 18, 2004
It's a War, Stupid!
Hey, anti-war types who complain about prisoner mistreatment, a few of those released terrorists decided to lie and fight again.
There's a certain Presidential candidate who thinks the Islamist War would be better fought as a law enforcement problem akin to gambling and prostitution. As this AP story demonstrates that approach will get people killed.
FDR could have put Japan on "double secret probation" after Pearl Harbor, but he didn't because he knew only victory would keep America safe. Too bad John Kerry doesn't realize this.
Dems GOTV Effort
A massive GOTV operation is in the works to elect John Kerry in Wisconsin. The Kerry Edwards campaign wants to knock on 122,000 doors in Milwaukee County alone*. And this is the legit efforts. It doesn't count potential voting fraud. To counter that voters in Republican-rich areas in the Milwaukee suburbs have to be contacted, cajoled, and bothered to vote for President Bush. If that doesn't happen Kerry takes Wisconsin and its precious 10 electoral votes. I've planned ahead and taken off Election Day to help Bush, have you?
[*source: Mark Belling]
Look Who Endored Bush
Pat Buchanan writes,
If Bush loses, his conversion to neoconservatism, the Arian heresy of the American Right, will have killed his presidency. Yet, in the contest between Bush and Kerry, I am compelled to endorse the president of the United States. Why? Because, while Bush and Kerry are both wrong on Iraq, Sharon, NAFTA, the WTO, open borders, affirmative action, amnesty, free trade, foreign aid, and Big Government, Bush is right on taxes, judges, sovereignty, and values. Kerry is right on nothing.
Not glowing but I'm sure the President will take it anyway--just not publically.
Spain Attacked to Influence Election
Al Qaeda attacked Madrid in March to affect the elections. That's what the Washington Post reports. It's just a reaffirmation of our initial thoughts. The bombings occured three days before the national election. The timing was perfect.
I just hope there are no plans to attack the U.S. in the next two weeks. The Bush administration are in a political bind. If they raise an alert, Kerry Edwards and their band of Bush bashers will accuse the President of playing politics with terrorism. But if the administration didn't issue a warning and al Qaeda attacked then they'd be bashed for not protecting the nation.
Down the Tubes
Cecil Fielder's life is worse than an episode of Behind the Music. He's in debt up to his ears because of gambling, is in a fierce divorce, and his seclusion forced a lawyer to serve his son Prince after a minor league baseball game.
Kevin Holtsberry returns to his old haunt and pumps out a very good piece contrasting Sen. John Kerry's "global test" with President Bush's international approach.
"The International Global Truth Standard Test?"
Journal Sentinel Probably Won't Endorse
With two weeks left in the campaign the nation's newspapers are starting to weigh in with endorsements. One paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, may go a second election cycle without endorsing a Presidential candidate. Either the powers that be at the paper want to institute a new tradition or they're not enamored with either candidate.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Who Will Get Nominated?
Will the Oscars be Moore vs. Mel? I thought so last month, but Sean Smith makes me wonder:
Millions of people surely believe that Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" and Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" deserve best-picture Oscar nominations. Unfortunately, most of them don't vote for the Academy Awards. Despite shattering box-office records and dominating headlines for months, these two films face real obstacles in the race for Hollywood's top prize. Of the many high-placed studio executives, producers, Oscar strategists, publicists and Academy members interviewed for this story, most think that "Fahrenheit's" chances depend on the results of the presidential election, and all say that a "Passion" best-picture nod is almost unthinkable. Hollywood, with its Jewish roots, did not experience "The Passion" as a transcendent religious and emotional event, as so many other viewers did. Some haven't forgiven Gibson for even making the film, let alone forgotten his father, Hutton, and his inflammatory statements about the history of the Jews. "I'll tell you why 'The Passion' won't be nominated," snaps one industry executive. "Happily, there are too many people in the Academy who believe the Holocaust actually happened."
"Will Oscar Listen?"
Desparate for Teri
Years before my infatuation with the Bush twins I was consumed by Lois Lane. I didn't think much of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman since I can't recall much about a single episode, but Teri Hatcher was simply stunning, radiating a sexual glow along with a girl-next-door likeability.
Now, I get to have a weekly Teri Hatcher fix with Desparate Housewives. Hatcher's enough to keep me occupied for an hour a week, but the twisted, dark comedic plots are what makes me really like the show.
Get It Right
John Kerry messed up another Wisconsin icon. The Packers must put him on a list of people never allowed to watch a home football game. First, he doesn't know where the games are played (it's "Lambeau" not "Lambert" Field), and second, he'll try ordering a "braaat" (as opposed to "brahhht") and the concession worker will just stare at him in disgust.
Next thing you know Kerry will declare that California makes better cheese.
"Kerry Actually did Mispronounce "Brat"!"
"Give the Guy a Break"
October 17, 2004
Will the TAM endorsement get even a smidgen of attention as that of the NY Times? I doubt it, but in both cases anyone with a brain won't be surprised by who gets it.
"John Kerry for President"
Badgers Burst Boilermakers' Bubble
That was a fun headline to write.
Oh to have been able to see that game. Strangely, at work I didn't hear any customers mention the game. Either I wasn't paying attention or those that did watch the game didn't bother going to the bookstore afterwards.
The Badgers have a great chance at going to another Rose Bowl and an outside chance to play in the National Title game. Next is giant killers Northwestern.
"Return to Glory"
"(10) Wisconsin 20, (5) Purdue 17
UPDATE: I almost forgot, we have to dance in celebration.
October 16, 2004
Newsweek Poll: Reader Beware
Newsweek's poll gives President Bush a 50-44% advantage among likely voters. Since Newsweek has a track record of wacked-out polls with poor methodology I'm not going to do backflips over this.
"Too Close to Call"
Milwaukee Gets Its Ballot Request
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker agreed to print up 938,000 ballots. Any unused ballots will be returned to the county so all ballots are accounted for.
Let's put this large number of ballots into perspective. In September, 382,000 people registered to vote. The population of Milwaukee is just under 600,000. A request of 938,000 ballots assumes every registered voter will need 2.45 ballots. Let's assume GOTV brings out 100,000 new voters who will register at the polls. Then each voter would need 1.94 ballots. Does the city think its voters are idiots who can't figure out how to cast a ballot? Milwaukee doesn't use the infamous butterfly ballot, and with recent investigations into voter registration fraud such a large request understandibly raised Scott Walker's eyebrows.
Gov. Jim Doyle stuck his nose in this local spat. He called for the state election commission to investigate. He then went over the top when he said, "I've personally never seen or heard anything like this in all of the years that I have been in politics, that anybody is somehow suggesting that we shouldn't have enough ballots for people." This was smart politics by Doyle because in two years he'll face re-election. His opponent probably will be none other than Scott Walker. This was Doyle's first shot in the 2006 governor's race.
Then we have John Kerry continuing his habit of demogoging every issue to scare his base and tar Republicans. He told the Journal Sentinel,
What is this notion that the printing of a ballot is going to be an entitlement to fraud? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
There's no concern from him about the very investigations into voter registration fraud in Wisconsin, but he certainly wanted to accuse the GOP of voter suppression. Why would you when those accused are Leftist groups trying to get you elected?
"County Agrees to Print Ballots Requested by City"
In a 10.12.04 column, John Podhoretz wrote:
[ABC News' Mark Halperin] also knows that it would be illegal for the Kerry campaign to be coordinating with left-liberal 527s, which have raised more than $150 million to defeat President Bush — as opposed to the paltry $158,000 raised by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth so far.
My truth antennae came up upon reading this. How could a group continue to make and air television commercials all over the country for over two months with only $158,000? I also recall reports of people giving them money. This $158,000 number shouldn't have passed Podhoretz's smell test.
Turns out I don't have to take my truth antennae into the shop. There's this from the NY Times:
The Swift Vets reported raising almost $9 million and spent more than $7 million in the third quarter, reports show. Members say they have raised closer to $15.5 million through this month.
Sloppy, John. Very sloppy.
"'527' Groups Still at Work Raising Millions for Ads"
October 15, 2004
Let's Play Psychic
Erick wonders what I think Jenna Bush is thinking. Easy answer: "I wonder what Sean's writing at TAM?"
I Feel Like I'm in an Apple Commercial
A surprise was waiting for me when I got home from work: my new iPod. The 20GB model now has 4300+ songs on it--it took about 90 minutes. At one point tonight I had my iPod in one pocket and my digital camera in the other. I've joined the Gadget Geek Gang, and I don't know how to feel about this. Maybe I'll figure it out while I'm reading The Pentagon's New Map.
[Yes, this post became a virtual Amazon.com commercial. It's Friday, I'm having fun, and hardly anyone's reading this.]
Deja Vu All Over Again
Tomorrow's contest between Wisconsin (Go Badgers!) and Purdue marks the third time the two schools will face each other with both in the top ten.
The big question is can the Wisconsin defense contain Purdue's passing attack. With Wisconsin's great defensive line they can generate a pass rush without blitzing--take note, Mike Sherman. What I think will be even more important is for Anthony Davis to have a big game. If he can run the ball well that will consume time, keep Purdue's offense off the field, and keep Wisconsin's defense fresh.
Partisan Tempers Flaring
USA Today lists a few of the many voting shenanigans going on before Election Day. Included is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's request for 938,000 ballots from Milwaukee County. Wisconsin's largest city only has 596,974.
For more on voter fraud, visit Bill Hobbs' weblog.
"Election Protests Already Started"
October 14, 2004
Scott Ott found some levity in John Kerry's Mary Cheney quip.
"Kerry Sorry for Remark About Cheney's Lesbian Child"
The Command Post is looking for state correspondents to cover Election Day. As Michele writes,
What do you get out of it? Well, if you have a blog you get your links in your coverage and most likely plenty of traffic to your site. But the best part is really being part of something bigger than that - you’ll be showing the world just how much the internet has changed the way the world get its news. You’ll be part of the largest information gathering on Election Day. History is made each Election Day. This year, you can be part of bringing that history into millions of homes as people from around the world keep an eye on the U.S. Election results.
This is certainly an opportunity to get great exposure for your weblog.
"Election Day Coverage: Command Post Recruitment Notice!"
New Duck Sighting
I'm not surprised to see Howard Dean quacking away before Election Day.
"Holy Bat Thingies! Howard Dean Needs Me!"
Teresa on Children's Privacy
Teresa Heinz Kerry made an interesting quote on her children's privacy:
If some god of taxes would want to come in and look at all of my portfolio, I'd let them...but I don't think I have the right to put my children's privacy out into the open.
However, her husband can use Mary Cheney's sex life for political gain.
"No 1040s, but More Navy Records"
Sen. Kerry is not only trying to scare homophobic, waivering Bush supporters, but is also scaring the gay and lesbian community. In The Advocate he's quoted as saying:
The difference between me and George Bush will be the difference to gay and lesbian couples and individuals across this country - whether rights are afforded them or whether or not they are discriminated against. If people take a walk on those things, life's going to be worse.
"Kerry Lesbian Remark Angers Cheney"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
How Christian Conservatives Think
Dean Esmay gets us into the Christian Conservative mind:
Mind you, I'm no conservative. I considered myself one for a brief while, but it was long ago. And I'm not a Christian. Yet I understand the mindset pretty well. I'm not sure how to explain this, but I can only say that anyone who snickers over Mary Cheney and thinks that she's a liability among Bush's conservative Christian base is simply failing to understand how conservative Christians think. What those folks really think when confronted with such information is one of two things:
So, Dean thinks Christian conservatives are upset campaign propriety has been breeched. Conservatives in general believe all human activities require limits to prevent anarchy. The term "ordered liberty" comes to mind. In political economy that means the conservative (generally) argues for government limited by a constitution. In the social realm, stigma and shame are used to shape tradition. Since I know of no recent Presidential election where a candidate used the private life of an opponent's child, Kerry Edwards' breech is history in the making.
"Failure To Understand Your Enemy's Mind Is A Devastating Weakness"
Imagine if John Kemp, circa 1996, said, "And I think if you were to talk to Bill Clinton's daughter, who is one ugly girl, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as." There would be outrage.
"Politicizing Presidential Children: Mary Cheney Edition"
Elizabeth Edwards Makes Things Worse
John Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, decided to play pop psychologist by saying Lynne Cheney "overreacted to this and treated it as if it's shameful to have this discussion. I think that's a very sad state of affairs. ... I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences. ... It makes me really sad that that's Lynne's response."
Imagine what Mrs. Edwards would have said had President Bush used her daughter as an example in favor of abstinence-based sex education. I have to make this clear because people like Oliver Willis have a hard time understanding my posts. I don't know anything about Cate Edwards' sex life, and I don't want to. It's none of my business, and it would be wrong if Bush had invoked her name.
Remember Democrats were screaming during the Clinton impeachment that digging into someone's private sex life for political gain was wrong. For them it's only wrong if Republicans are doing it. Kerry invoking Mary Cheney is one example, and Illinois media's successful attack on Jack Ryan is another.
There's been an unwritten rule that candidates' children are off limits. Kerry Edwards has decided all rules are made to be broken in order to achieve victory. It may work, but by doing so he will have failed to bring the nation together.
"Bush Official: Debates Gave Lift to Kerry"
UPDATE: Cam Edwards writes:
My original thought was that this wasn't going to play well with women. I don't think this going to play well with parents in general.
UPDATE II: Rosemary Esmay writes,
It doesn't matter that she's "out". Using your opponent's child for a political gain is just rude. Lynn Cheney is rightly angry about it and I would be too. Kerry and Edwards should be ashamed of themselves.
Oliver Willis engages in dishonest word manipulation. Unless he's become psychic or a stalker the man has no idea how I feel about homosexuality or my relations to gays and lesbians. Even though the post Oliver addresses is the next one below here's the pertinent paragraph:
A real low blow came when Sen. Kerry brought up Mary Cheney's sexuality. He decided to tell the world that she was a lesbian and used her to try to score political points. In this election Kerry Edwards has decided that the sex life of someone with no bearing on the race is an issue. This is from a party that cried foul when Bill Clinton's sexual acts in the oval office became a political issue. It's Democratic hypocrisy plain and simple. Should the personal lives of Kerry's daughters now be an issue? Should we bring up any strange fetishes Teresa Heinz Kerry might have?
I assumed reasonable people would imply that I didn't want such tawdry details brought up in the election. Let me make it clearer for those, like Oliver, who only see the worst in conservatives: using the personal lives of candidates' relatives crosses a line. Mary Cheney isn't running for office. She doesn't deserve to have her sex life dropped into the campaign. This is attention she doesn't need.
Let's look at the facts: in two debates Kerry Edwards has used the sexuality of a non-candidate as a political prop. Few people know Dick Cheney has a daughter let alone that she's a lesbian. The point of the tactic was to scare homophobic Republicans--who do exist just like intolerant Democrats exist. In the words of Mary Beth Cahill, a Kerry Edwards spokesman, someone's sex life is "fair game" in the campaign. This is from a party that wailed on the GOP for using Bill Clinton's sex life against him.
There's been times I could have accused Oliver of anti-Americanism. His critiques of the Bush administration have been over-the-top on many occasions. I haven't. I'll admit I called him a "Bush basher." I don't think I've said worse. (If so, let me know and a correction can be made.)
In private conversation Oliver has said he considers me one of the saner weblogers on the right side of the blogosphere. You'd never know it from some of his recent posts. Such flippant accusations of bigotry don't add to the political discussion. In the past, I've tried to handle any misunderstanding between Oliver and me in a private manner. Public, personal shoutfests can lead to even more strained relations that the rest of the world has no reason to see. Our civil conversations haven't translated to more civil writing on his website. I'm disappointed. Oliver's better than that.
I'm not the only one upset with a woman's sex life as a political prop. Lynne Cheney isn't happy about Kerry's remark either, saying "he is not a good man." Oddly, last night, Kerry told voters he would do all he could to bridge the nation's partisan divide. I guess that doesn't count in the election.
"The Mary Cheney 'Issue'"
UPDATE: James Joyner has other blogospheric reaction.
October 13, 2004
Post-Debate III Spin
There had to have been more excitement in the Houston-St. Louis baseball game. Tonight's debate was dry, full of wonkish policy details. Kerry sounded like the know-it-all, well-prepared debate veteran we know he is. One would come away thinking policy was all Kerry thought about. Such technocratic habits can be a blessing because he's well versed on the issues but also a curse because a technocrat's inclination is bigger government.
President Bush held his own with facts and figures of his own. He mentioned how many times Kerry voted to increase taxes (98 times). Kerry had no defense. Bush mentioned how few bills Kerry got into law. Kerry disputed that number. Kerry voted 277 times to waive budget caps that would have reduced the deficit. Kerry offered no defense. Bush brought up Kerry's "global test." The Senator's response wasn't to disavow the term, but to state multiple times that he wouldn't give foreign nations a veto on U.S. action. Too bad for Kerry that his global test fell into a long pattern of putting internationalism ahead of U.S. interests. Finally, the President made Kerry try to defend his political past. Bush could have been more forceful and more focused but put Kerry on the defensive.
My initial view was Kerry won again on style. The man is a seasoned debater who can easily go from any question asked into his talking point and attack against the President. On the issues, the substance, Bush won. Kerry talked about plans he can't pay for, better foreign relations he can't be sure of, higher taxes on the most productive members of the economy. While doing this he barely mentioned anything he accomplished in a long career as Massachussets Senator.
To get into some Kerry specifics, he again said he's increase the army by two divisions without noting that doing so doesn't come by simply hiring 40,000 more troops. He claimed he'd bring health care costs down by increased federal government involvement yet people would still have heath care freedom. Anytime the government gets involved they exert control. Then on the minimum wage, Kerry thought that simply increasing it would lift the incomes of millions of women. That's static economic thinking. The Law of Demand is clear: when prices go up demand for something goes down. That happens with oil, baseball cards, and wages. Unless employers see a corresponding increase in labor value, an increased minimum wage just takes away from their bottom line. A rise in the minimum wage WITHOUT an increase in workers' productivity results in increased unemployment.
What was striking tonght was Kerry's demagogery. He blamed the President for the highly polarized political climate, but didn't admit the role Democrats have played. Kerry was the man who let Michael Moore sit in a box with President Jimmy Carter at his party's national convention in Boston. Kerry blamed the President for poor relations with the NAACP without mentioned the hateful remarks and actions by that organization's leadership. Kerry said Bush "turned his back on the wellness of America." I guess it's the President's fault there's so much obesity.
To Kerry, the President's call for partial privatization of Social Security is an "invitation to disaster." He claims Bush is responsible for a "separate and unequal school system." The Senator even went so far as to compare the President to fictional mob boss Tony Soprano.
A real low blow came when Sen. Kerry brought up Mary Cheney's sexuality. He decided to tell the world that she was a lesbian and used her to try to score political points. In this election Kerry Edwards has decided that the sex life of someone with no bearing on the race is an issue. This is from a party that cried foul when Bill Clinton's sexual acts in the oval office became a political issue. It's Democratic hypocrisy plain and simple. Should the personal lives of Kerry's daughters now be an issue? Should we bring up any strange fetishes Teresa Heinz Kerry might have?
Kerry's cynical use of Mary Cheney could be the negative meme coming out of this debate. Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that there were groans by reporters in Tempe when Kerry brought up Ms. Cheney. Morton Kondracke was appalled and called it a "low blow." This could put Kerry Edwards on the defensive for a day or two.
This was President Bush's best performance and Sen. Kerry once again showed he was the stylistically-superior debater. If you go by expectations, then Bush won because domestic issues was supposed to be Kerry's strong point. He offered his ideas, but had to defend them from the liberal, big government label. Bush had lowered expectations with his history of below-average speaking, yet he confronted Kerry with his Senate record (got him on his "no" vote on the Persian Gulf War) and made him defend it. Bush's tenacity only emboldens his supporters. Since getting one's base to the polls is key to victory this year I give President Bush a slight victory.
I will update this post with other post-debate reaction. Feel free to trackback this post, leave your link as a comment, or e-mail me.
I'm done. Good night.
Tonight's debate is on domestic policy. That means we'll be hearing lots on taxes and health care. President Bush has an advantage on the former and Sen. Kerry on the latter. It may sound like I'm lowering my expectations for Bush, but Kerry has been polling better on the economy. And with this two solid performances already I expect him to do well again.
I wonder how many people will watch the whole thing since two baseball playoff games will be on simultaneously. Bush may again go with his tactic of repeating talking points over and over to those viewers bouncing in and out. That's not wise because the MSM post-game reporting is very important. Having them tell their audience that the President was repetitive won't make a great impression.
Let me repeat again that this election will come down to voter turnout and which candidate gets their base out to vote. To rally his base, Bush will have to point out the long liberal record of Kerry in the Senate. He'll have to make it clear Kerry has a history of voting for tax increases. On health care, he'll have to convince voters that Kerry's health care plans is a big government plan that will cost too much and only make the situation worse.
But the President can't merely scare the voters into thinking Kerry is too liberal to be President. Bush should offer his vision of the future. At the GOP convention he called it the "opportunity society." Medical Savings Accounts, personal retirement accounts as part of Social Security, and permanent tax cuts will bring more choice to individual's lives. On all these, Bush will fight off Kerry's relentless call for taxing the rich. He'll have to hammer on the point that Kerry thinks the rich are those that make more than $200,000 a year. Many people make than and more and don't feel rich.
Stylistically, neither candidate needs to raise their voices like they both did during last Friday night's debate. Bush may be frustrated with how the Left has demonized him, but Kerry isn't an ogre, and he isn't evil. Treating Kerry (and moderator Bob Scheiffer) in a respectful manner with plenty of his Texas warmth will only do him well.
Like the previous debates, I won't be covering it live. I will be taking notes, but if you want to leave comments while watching feel free, and I'll try to pop in when I can.
"The Final Debate: What Each Candidate Must Do (With Roundup)"
Is the Post Joking with Kerry?
In the blogosphere, John Kerry has often been linked to Lurch from the Addams' Family. Now it seems the Washington Post has joined in. On the front page of the paper's website the hyperlink to a Kerry story reads, "A Lurching, Chaotic Style." The actual story has a different headline which doesn't complement the Senator either--"collector of data?" I've made a screen capture (don't have time to post it now) just in case it changes later.
This might give Oliver Willis more "proof" of the powerful conservative MSM trying to stop the Kerry Edwards rampage.
"Lifelong Collector of Data Can Bog Down His Staffs"
Evidence Found at Sabotage Site
Gloves and and a metal spike were found at the site of the downed electrical towers. Either these items were stolen (more likely) or our saboteur is an idiot. On the gloves are the initials "B.G."
No other transmission towers have any sign of being tampered with. This appears to have been a one-time event, but as one commenter wrote this could have been a "possible test run" to find a way around airport security.
"Investigators Find Gloves, Tool at Site of Sabotaged Power Line Towers"
October 12, 2004
While watching the story notice who admitted to committing fraud? Two blacks. Also notice the multilingual sign on ACORN's building. This operation's goal is to register as many Democratic-leaning voters as possible. ACORN and their Project Vote affiliate don't register people in conservative areas. They're strictly a blue state operation focusing on minorities and the poor.
Intellectually dishonest people like Oliver Willis can believe I long for the days of Jim Crow (I wasn't even born yet), but I will continue to point out the ways the Left is attempting to rig the election.
Who knows how many people have registered falsely? Who knows how many have already voted using absentee ballots? Who knows how many people will show up to multiple polling places and vote more than once on Election Day? Just like the Sep. 11 attacks showed how our airline network was vulnerable to terrorist attack Nov. 2 may show how vulnerable our election system is to election theft.
Colorado Bush Rally
Speaking of pictures, a TAM reader sent me some from a Janesville, WI Bush rally last month.
Scandal in South Dakota
In South Dakota an absentee voting scandal erupted involving the nephew of GOP candidate Rep. John Thune. The state GOP GOTV operation resigned. In a close race like this a scandal could tip the election to Daschle.
To follow this important and close Senate race, there are few better places than the Daschle v. Thune weblog.
"State GOP Staffers Step Down Amid Probe"
A Realistic View of the Economy
Economic growth requires businesses developing better ways to satisfy consumers' desires. To do this an environment of innovation and incentive is needed. When businesses are free to try out different methods of fulfilling consumers' cravings, and the know they will be rewarded for it you will see more and better goods and services. In short, a growing economy requires an environment of limited regulation and low taxation.
If there were only more stories like this in the USA Today, the American public wouldn't look so much to Washington to solve their economic problems.
"U.S. Job Picture Isn't Drawn in the Oval Office"
Contrasting Styles on the Stump
The Washington Post compares the events of both Bush and Kerry:
The Republican faithful love their candidate; the Democratic faithful have less such enthusiasm for Kerry but know he is their vessel for defeating Bush -- about which they are passionate.
One Kerry supporter said, "It's not the guy, it's the policies." An ex-Deaniac said, "George Bush has blown it for me." (Did this man ever support Bush?)
Part of this is campaign strategy. Rove's plan has been to excite the GOP base. He thinks that will bring victory. Kerry may think his base--the ABB (Anyone But Bush) crowd--has no where to go so he can target undecideds. But Kerry might be focusing on swing voters because he's assuming labor unions and other Lefty groups will take care of the GOTV operation. Since the GOP doesn't have a history of great GOTV (other than some evangelical churches) Bush-Cheney has to do do much of it internally. I give Kerry a slight edge, but I've written before that this is the most impressive GOTV effort by the GOP I've ever seen.
"Diverse Tactics on the Stump"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Where's the Good Stuff?
My miserable early season fantasy football performance (not as bad as my Packers) has distracted me from commenting on the stories of the moment. Be patient. I'll be back to normal soon.
Joe Grossberg hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
October 11, 2004
Independents Pick Kerry
Good news for Kerry Edwards. In the second debate, he won over independents. But since it was on a Friday night and there's hardly any talk about the debate today not much should be made of anything from the second debate.
"A Second Look at the Second Debate"
Blogosphere, Have at It
CNSNews.com has published a bunch of memos that link Saddam to terrorism. Now, let's see if this news outfit got Rathered.
"CNSNews.com Publishes Iraqi Intelligence Docs"
An Ugly Half
Brett Favre is trying to keep the Packers in the game, but when you defense rarely gets a three-and-out and gives up over 300 yards of total offense in the first half one man--one legend--can do only so much. The problem isn't the defense is bad, it's that they've gotten worse as the season's gone on.
Kerry's House of Ketchup #27
It's been a few weeks, but the greatest, most stupendous, most scintillating linkfest devoted to the windsurfing Senator is back! Since the last KHoK we've endured two Presidential "debates" and one Vice Presidential "debate." These events are glorified dual press conferences when the goals are to spit out the talking points and to not embarass yourself on live television. If the debates wouldn't take place the polls would still be pretty much were they are. If they actually debated each other then we'd have something, but I'm not holding my breath.
Enough of my debate bashing (I watched all of them so far so I shouldn't complaing at all) we need to know who the markets think is winning. On the Iowa Electronic Markets we see John Kerry making a comeback. Either traders think he did well in the first debate (he did) or they think Bush was going to high--a case of "irrational exuberance." On TradeSports.com, President Bush leads 58.4 to 40.7. Both markets think Bush will win, but the gap has narrowed.
Now we come to the best part of KHoK. Here's what some of the blogosphere is thinking:
A wrench anyone could buy at a Home Depot was used to lossen the 2-inch bolts that toppled two electrical towers. American Transmission Company, the owner of the downed towers, has put up a $10,000 reward for information about this incident.
The FBI still isn't calling it a terrorist act, but haven't say it wasn't. No one has claimed responsiblity.
"$10,000 Reward Offered in Collapse of Towers"
Another Teresa Tantrum
What's worse: Teresa Heinz Kerry saying the Iraq War was because of "greed for oil" or the fact she spoke for almost an hour? Listening to her for almost an hour? That requires stamina. Kerry Edwards backers must really hate the President to put up with that. I'm not sure if I should be impressed or sympathetic.
Turnout, Turnout, Turnout
Michael Barone writes that this election "is about turnout." It's not a startling observation since we know how polarized and agitated many people are. But I'm glad someone smarter than me is agreeing with me.
Speaking of boosting turnout for the President, this weekend is a Walk for the President where volunteers go door to door to remind their fellow citizens how important it is to vote. This is easily the most active GOP GOTV I've ever seen. We'll see how well it works on Election Day.
The FBI has decided that the two downed electrical transmission towers just south of Milwaukee were deliberately tampered with. They just won't go so far as to declare it a terrorist attack. The FBI has alerted other offices and are warning other municipalities.
If this was a terrorist attack no one has claimed responsiblity, but it could put fear into America's heartland. No longer would cities on the East Coast be the only successful targets.
"Bolts Taken from Towers, Police Say"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
October 10, 2004
Sing Along Everyone
Here's another JibJab hit.
Kerry got his information from an article we posted Sept. 23 stating that Bush on his 2001 federal income-tax returns "reported $84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise." We should clarify: the $84 in Schedule C income was from Bush's Lone Star Trust, which is actually described on the 2001 income-tax returns as an "oil and gas production" business. The Lone Star Trust now owns 50% of the tree-growing company, but didn't get into that business until two years after the $84 in question. So we should have described the $84 as coming from an "oil and gas" business in 2001, and will amend that in our earlier article.
I'm happy to know FactCheck.org is intellectually honest enough to point out their error.
Winner is Wacko
How is anyone supposed to take the Nobel Peace Prize seriously when they choose weirdos like this:
Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, today reiterated her claim that the AIDS virus was a deliberately created biological agent.
Last year, Jimmy Carter won to stick it to President Bush. This year, they give it to a conspiratorial wacko who like trees. Expect Art Bell to win next year.
UPDATE: Laurence Simon goes off on Ms. Maathai.
Good News Down Under
This bodes well for President Bush's re-election. Had John Howard lost Kerry Edwards and the MSM would have yapped on and on and on about how voters across the ocean are rethinking the Iraq War. Instead, little mention of the election and the Australian voters' dismissal of anti-war candidates will be made which is a bias in itself.
"Howard Sweeps to Historic Victory in Australian Election"
October 09, 2004
Sure, Jacques Derrida died, but David Carr's faux tribute is spot on.
"The End of an Earache"
Why'd They Fall Down?
A power outage hit southern Milwaukee keeping 17,000 in the dark and shutting down Mitchell International Airport. Local news is reporting that two transmission towers fell down and and that some of the towers' bolts were missing. The FBI is investigating. A terrorist attack? A prank? A spokesman for American Transmission Company said, "It's a beautiful Saturday afternoon and the towers tipped over. It's not an act of God."
"Power Outage Brings Mitchell to a Halt"
FactCheck.org isn't Perfect
For the most part FactCheck.org (not .com, Vice President Cheney) is pretty reliable. But even it is not immune to pro-Kerry bias. Compare what was written on last night's debate. Here's a criticism of President Bush (emphasis mine):
Bush got a laugh when he scoffed at Kerry's contention that he had received $84 from "a timber company." Said Bush, "I own a timber company? That's news to me."
Then on Kerry:
Kerry claimed, as he had in the first debate, that the Army's Chief of Staff, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, was forced to retire for saying before the invasion of Iraq that many more troops were needed than the administration was planning to send.
Of the two answers Kerry's was more manipulative. Bush's timber income was from a trust. It's safe to assume it's a blind trust so Bush would have no conflict of interest (which Kerry would have used in the campaign by now). How is Bush suposed to know every detail of his financial dealings while being President AND running for re-election?
Kerry's comment on Shinseki ignored the fact that it was known a year in advance the then Army Chief of Staff was going to retire. FactCheck.org pointed this out but still wrote, "There was some truth to Kerry's comment." It would have been nice of them to be as generous to the President.
"Distortions Galore at Second Presidential Debate"
October 08, 2004
Post-Debate II Spin
This will be quick because I didn't take notes tonight. Bush was more aggressive. At times he was too aggressive stepping on Kerry's last words and arguing with Charlie Gibson. But the aggression showed the passion of his beliefs. For years, he's had to put up with loud, abusive critics. Now, he can finally and forcefully defend himself. Even undecided voters should know by now Bush means what he says and knows where he stands.
With Kerry is was all about his "plans." Anyone can say they have a plan. Anyone can have a plan. What Kerry lacked was the ability to say what he will do when his plan has to be changed. France and Germany won't go into Iraq for any reason. Yet Kerry still talks about building alliances. Kerry talks about his health care and budget plans, but won't admit he can't pay for them all without either raising taxes or running even larger deficits than the current President.
In the expectations game--which I hate--Bush won because many people thought he did so poorly in Debate I. I call it a draw, but Bush has plenty to add to his stump speech.
In the scope of the whole race, this debate has less importance than even this week's Vice Presidential event. That's because this debate was held on a Friday night. A good tactic to get something into the papers without much attention is to release it on a Friday afternoon or evening. Saturday papers are the least read. Weekend newscasts are the least watched. Saturday college football, Sunday NFL games, and baseball playoffs will distract people until Monday. By then this debate will be old news.
This election will hinge on turnout. Bush succeeded in reassuring his base that he can fight. Kerry hasn't let up. This will be close to the end.
For blogospheric reaction here's a short list:
Line of the Night
"Need some wood?" --President Bush
Halperin's Choosing Sides
More comment later, but I want to post this memo via Drudge before he makes it disappear.
Expect President Bush to get hit by the MSM and Kerry Edwards for this morning's employment numbers. But remember Ed Moltzen's keen point about the 5.4% unemployment rate:
That's also the same unemployment rate President Clinton had when he ran for re-election in 1996.
CNN's "Balanced" Event
When the Journal Sentinel reports a CNN townhall meeting in Racine filled with "equal numbers of Bush supporters, Kerry fans and undecided voters" sounded decidedly Democratic it must have been that obvious. But it is Racine, a union town. It was probably pretty hard to find Bush backers there. Why else do you think Project Vote has targeted the area?
"Crowd at CNN Event Leans Democratic"
October 07, 2004
The Foam Wedge's Time Has Passed
Owen is correct. I'd even go so far as to ban cheeseheads in public places. There's more to Wisconsin than cheese. Sure, more cheese is made here than in any other state, but good beer is produced here, as well as some great motorcycles. Rockwell Automation, S.C. Johnson, and GE Medical demostrate the state is more than agriculture. On the cultural side, Wisconsin was the home of Frank Lloyd Wright, and more recently, Santiago Calatrava's first U.S. design was an addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
A Shot in the Dark
A co-worker told me that gunshots outside his apartment building woke him up last night. They were aimed at a Bush-Cheney sign. This took place in Waukesha, WI a GOP hotbed.
Calling the perpetrators of recent political violence "brownshirts" is probably too much. I'll just stick with calling them "thugs."
Less than a month to go. I hope no one gets killed before Election Day.
"The Rise of American Brown Shirts"
Post Defends Bush
The Washington Post editorial page understands that hindsight is always 20-20, and that to properly evaluate a decision we must understand the information known at the time. On Iraq and WMD they write (emphasis mine):
In the meantime the report will surely fuel the debate between Mr. Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry about whether the war should have been undertaken. The two have staked out dramatically contrasting positions, focusing on a theoretical question: If the president had known what the Iraq Survey Group now reports, would he have been right to order an invasion? Mr. Bush says he would have made the same decision; Mr. Kerry says he would not have. Yet in reality no president could have known what is known now. As long as Saddam Hussein remained in power and refused to cooperate fully with the United Nations, there could have been no certainty about his weapons. Mr. Bush had to decide whether the risks of invading outweighed those of standing pat without knowing for sure what U.S. forces would find in Iraq or what would happen once they were there.
There's a difference between lying and being wrong. The President and "most other Western intelligence agencies" were the latter. (An interesting question from the Bush bashers would be "After the intelligence failure of 09.11.01 why did the President have faith in them when it came to Saddam's WMD?) MoveOn.org, Michael Moore, and Kerry Edwards cannot simply use the lack of WMD to prove Bush lied. They must find some evidence that Bush knew there weren't WMD but said there were anyway. They must then explain (with evidence) why it would be politically smart for Bush to take the country to war. The anti-Bushies can't do either so instead they should "Bush lied, people died!" and use the Halliburton smear.
The Duelfer Report and Kerry's Own Words
No one is opposing the conclusions of the Iraq Survey Group on whether Saddam's Iraq had WMD. What's interesting and scarry is how quickly Saddam thought he could restart his weapons programs once international sanctons were lifted (via Power Line):
Saddam asked in 1999 how long it would take to build a production line for CW [chemical weapons] agents, accordingto the former Minister of Military Industrialization. Huwaysh investigated and responded that experts could readily prepare a production line for mustard, which could be produced within six months. VX and Sarin production was more complicated and would take longer. Huwaysh relayed this answer to Saddam, who never requested follow-up information. An Iraqi CW expert separately estimated Iraq would require only a few days to start producing mustard—if it was prepared to sacrifice the production equipment.
It doesn't matter if vast quantities of WMD weren't found if production could be easily and quickly started. After a few months, Saddam could have passed on WMD to Islamist terrorists. Then who would have been a victim, Israel, Great Britain, the U.S.? How about Saddam blackmailing the U.S. to remove all military forces from the Middle East so he could become the dominant player? As a U.S. Senator said in 2002,
Who can say that this master of miscalculation will not develop a weapon of mass destruction even greater--a nuclear weapon--then reinvade Kuwait, push the Kurds out, attack Israel, any number of scenarios to try to further his ambitions to be the pan-Arab leader or simply to confront in the region, and once again miscalculate the response, to believe he is stronger because he has those weapons?
The Senator who said those words was none other than Sen. John Kerry. He was correct then. What does he say now? "You don't make up or find reasons to go to war after the fact." In 2002, Kerry believed the same conventional wisdom as Bush that Saddam had WMD. Kerry was just as wrong as the President, yet he hasn't admitted he was wrong. At least the President has. Kerry has the audacity to claim Bush and Cheney "won't face the truth about Iraq." He won't even face the truth of his own words.
But Kerry can't say he was as wrong as the President. Agreeing with your opponent doesn't give voters a reason to dump the other guy. Through the Democratic primaries and into the general election we've seen and heard John Kerry take multiple positions on issues to win his party's nomination and to best position himself against Bush. The political posturing continues.
"Saddam Worked Secretly on WMDs"
"U.S. Report Finds Iraqis Eliminated Illicit Arms in 90's"
"Bush, Cheney Concede Saddam Had No WMDs"
"President Bush Shares Hopeful Vision After Seeing America's Spirit Through Good Times and Bad"
Possible Florida Fraud
Something's fishy when lots of photocopied voter registration forms come in with the party marked GOP from an area traditionally Democratic, but that's what happened in Leon County, Florida.
October 06, 2004
"Lambert" Field Billboard
If John Kerry loses Wisconsin much of the blame could lay on him incorrectly pronoucing the home of the "Frozen Tundra." It would be ironic that Kerry could be the candidate who's damaged by a faulty mouth.
Jerkyness is Bipartisan
I'm feeling awfully evenhanded tonight. Running Scared has examples of bad GOP behavior. I guess I better update my previous post: EVERYBODY, CHILL OUT! We're all still stuck with each other after the election is over.
Early Fall in Wisconsin
Yesterday, I was at a wayside near Columbus, WI. The combination of the late afternoon sunshine with the small lake was irresistable. I gave my new digital camera a workout. I think the photos turned out pretty good. A hang-up I have is the Olympus D-540 sucked the life out of the rechargeable batteries. I don't know if it's the camera or the batteries, but I wouldn't think ten minutes of shooting would get the battery indicator flashing.
Last night, John Edwards told voters not to believe Bush's and Cheney's positive words about Iraq. Instead, he wanted them to simply believe all they read in the newspapers and saw on television news. But knowing that the MSM isn't reporting the whole story certainly ruins what Edwards said.
"Iraq Missions that Work Out are Missing from Mainstream Media"
UPDATE: Tim Chavez has not admitted he was wrong in his column linked above. Pretty much ignore this whole piece since I have nothing at the moment to support my claim. Move along. Nothing to see here. Thanks to Lis for pointing out Chavez's correction.
"Mea Culpa: I Was Wrong When I Wrote of Samarra Success"
Pederson May Be Finished
Doug Pederson was the second Packers QB to get knocked out of last Sunday's game. At first, doctors thought he just had a broken rib. We now know Pederson also has a broken bone in his back. He said he'll consider retirement if he's put on the injured reserve list.
"Favre Feeling Better but Pederson Could be Done"
Where There's Fire, There's Smoke
Hear that crackling? That's the Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by the Llama Butchers.
More Post-VP Debate Reaction
Kerry and Edwards denigrate and demean the leadership of Prime Minister Allawi and those Iraqis who have died fighting against terrorists and those still loyal to the Saddam Hussein tyranny. Is this really surprising behavior from Kerry? After all when he returned from Viet Nam in the 1970s he called the soldiers left behind a bunch of war criminals. Kerry always seems to have a knife aimed at your back.
From Bill Hobbs:
Edwards comes off as a slightly more serious Dan Quayle - too young, too eager and too inexperienced to lead the world's most important nation in a critical time of war.
From Peppermint Patty:
If John Edwards babysat my children, he'd entertain them and make them smile for a while, and then they'd think he was kind a dopey in a good way and start ignoring him as he jumped around in that clown suit with that big smile and hope he'd just go watch TV so they wouldn't have to be nice to him. They'd be pretty relieved when I came home because anyone that chipper is just damned annoying after a while.
And Cox & Forkum "draw" blood on John Edwards.
It feels a little inside baseballish but here's a great quote from Dick Cheney:
Now if they couldn't stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to al Qaeda?
Bush-Cheney has a winner if they can tie Dean to Kerry then hammer Kerry with his flip-flops. There's makings of a good commerical there.
"Help Is On the Way"
The Whole Shebang
Lots of copies of the book are in my bookstore, and I'm hoping to sell them quickly.
Democrats, Chill Out
It's only an election for pete's sake!
If John Kerry wanted to look Presidential and have a "Sista Soulja" moment he should denouce them, say he doesn't want their vote, and urge restraint.
UPDATE: Add West Allis, WI to the list of victims of Democratic attacks.
More than 50 demonstrators supporting Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry stormed a Republican campaign office in West Allis at mid-day today, trespassing, creating a disturbance through the use of a bullhorn in the office and then refusing to leave when asked.
I forgot to mention that in the Orlando tv story it's mentioned that the two protests/attacks were coordinated nationwide. That might be criminal conspiracy.
I have an answer to any angry Republicans who want to fight fire with fire: Don't. Too many of us are tense enough all ready. Don't start playing tit-for-tat. Someone will get hurt or killed.
Post-VP Debate Spin
This Vice Presidential debate was not vital to either campaign. Few voters go to the polls and make their decision based on who the VP would be. George Bush and John Kerry are the ones voters are deciding between. The role of this debate was for both campaigns to hone arguments that will be used later in the campaign and to maintain or regain momentum. Kerry seems to have "won" the first debate mostly because many Republicans were dissapointed in the President's performance. (I wasn't since I declared it a draw.) The polls (except for the goofy Newsweek one) remained almost the same before and after.
I'm going to agree with Fred Barnes' post-debate reaction. He thought Dick Cheney won when discussing foreign policy, but John Edwards did well when talk came back to domestic issues. That's not a surprise. Both men were good at stating their cases in the areas their campaigns have been focusing on.
First on foreign policy, especially Iraq, Edwards was on the offensive. He attacked Cheney for claiming there was a Iraq connection to the Sep. 11 attacks. Cheney responded by saying he made no such connection. Instead, he's emphasised again and again Saddam's connection to terrorist organizations. In Cheney's defense, Sep. 11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton went further than the Vice President when he said, "[T]here were contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq going back clear to the early 1990s when Osama bin Laden was in Sudan, then when he was In Afghanistan. I don't think there's any dispute about that."
Cheney later said Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's people had assistance from Saddam, were in Baghdad before the war, and are still there. That was in response to Edwards' use of a story saying the CIA isn't so sure about Zarqawi's connections to al Qaeda. Let's be reasonable: Zarqawi didn't have to be directly connected to Osama bin Laden or take orders from him. The man is a known Islamist terrorist who is currently trying to keep Iraq from her God-given liberty.
Edwards used 20-20 hindsight to criticize the Bush administration. The best way to evaluate whether President Bush did the right thing is to put oneself in his shoes. On Sep. 11, 2001, the nation was attacked by Islamist terrorists. The President quickly attacked al Qaeda in Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban. But the President was thinking beyond just Osama bin Laden. He realized that the global environment changed. Theats existed that weren't realized before the September attacks. It wasn't enough to just go to Afghanistan. Places where rogue nations mixed with Islamist terrorists were potential hotspots. Saddam's Iraq had a track record of defying the international community. They invaded two neighbors and used WMD. Saddam allowed Abu Nidal to stay in his country and gave money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Terrorist connections combined with a history of WMD and aggression made Saddam a threat in the post-Sep. 11 world. No one argued otherwise, not John Kerry or John Edwards.
Intelligence isn't perfect. Sometimes it's really, really wrong. In the question of if Saddam had WMD, the world intelligence community was wrong, because no one argued before the war that Saddam didn't have WMD. The question was how to deal with them.
The President had to act with the intelligence at hand. No one, not John Kerry or John Edwards, can wave a magic wand and give the pre-war President Bush all that we know today. If one could then we wouldn't be arguing about Iraq, because we probably wouldn't be there. An intellectually honest arguement would understand what the President knew then. That's something Kerry Edwards can't and won't do.
Reasonable people can disagree on whether Bush should have invaded Iraq. But we do know he acted. We still don't know how a Kerry Edwards administration would fight the Islamist War. Kerry's "global test" came up tonight, and Edwards couldn't defend it. He did state that Kerry would go out and kill those to want to attack us. However, he couldn't explain what a global test was and how it would apply in Kerry's decision-making process. The most he could explain was it had something to do with U.S. international credibility.
If so, how about this scenerio: a suitcase-sized nuclear weapon is detonated in Columbus, Ohio killing 50,000 people. U.S. intelligence indicates the culprits were Islamists headquartered in Armenia. However, the intel isn't rock solid. It's based upon incomplete phone records, e-mails, and informants who aren't entirely trustworthy. Despite the problems with the information, the intelligence community is very sure Armenian Islamists were behind the attack. A President Kerry takes this information to the Russians, French, Germans, etc. They look at it, but don't buy it. They may not dispute any of it, but have political positions of their own to maintain--certainly Russia would. For whatever reason the international community doesn't accept the U.S.'s conclusion. What does President Kerry do? I don't think this information meets Kerry's global test, yet just about every American is screaming for vengence. Would Kerry invade Chechnya? Would he nuke the place? We don't know what a President Kerry would do, and that should frighten all Americans. Edwards could have sat right up and said those two words were a mistake, but he didn't. Not saying much says a lot about John Kerry's foreign policy views.
On how things were going in Iraq, Edwards said things were going poorly, and the public knew things were going poorly because of what they saw and read in the media. What the Senator fails to realize is the MSM is just a window upon reality. It doesn't display everything. When you take into account that much (not all) of the MSM has a strong "news as entertainment" element along with a Leftist bias one should conclude that a complete picture isn't shown. There is a lot of good being done is Iraq that's left off the front pages of newspapers and ignored as top stories on newscasts.
An arguement from the foreign policy discussion that I think will last beyond the expiration date of this debate was Cheney accusing Kerry Edwards of politicizing their Iraq votes in response to the surge of Howard Dean. Publically, the doctor is seen as the firebrand Bush basher who was leading an anti-war crusade only to flame out with his "Dean Scream." It demonstrates the political (mis)calculations the Democratic ticket has made.
When it came to domestic issues, John Edwards was in full stride. He delivered parts of his stump speech but not sounding like that's what he was doing. He emphasised health care tonight. Edwards even answered a question on AIDS among black American women by talking about health care as a whole. There was plenty of talk from him about the problems, but his solution was standard Lefy big government. All Cheney responded with was with the administration's Medicare bill that pays for prescription drugs--a compassionate conservative version of big government--and how lawyers run amuck are causing costs to go up. He didn't go after Edwards and tie him to socialized medicine A.K.A. HillaryCare.
At one point, Edwards admitted there were "too many lawsuits." Cheney, at least, could have built upon that. To Cheney's credit he did make the case that excessive lawsuits are causing malpractice insurance to skyrocket and force doctors to avoid high-risk patients.
No surprise that taxes came up as an issue. Dick Cheney defended the Bush tax cuts and pointed out all the times John Kerry voted to raise taxes. John Edwards talked about how Kerry would raise taxes on those making more than $200,000 a year. Mark that down, because Edwards stated before millions of people that if his ticket won, taxes would go up. Cheney spoke of the impact of such a tax hike. Many small business would fall into Kerry Edwards' version of the affluent. A tax hike on them would prevent them from growing their enterprises and hiring more people. In short, the Democrats' tax increase would be a job killer. And Edwards complained about all the jobs losses during the Bush administration. (The Washington Post has already declared both candidates' arguments to be misleading.)
There were some some fireworks. Much more than at last Thursday's debate between Senator John Kerry and President George W. Bush. One was an interesting back and forth had on Halliburton, the company Dick Cheney used to run. John Edwards went off on the no-bid contract the company got to provide services for the military in Iraq. Edwards went on to mention all the criminal problems the company is dealing with (bribery, cooked books, deals with Iran and Libya) in an attempt to smear Cheney by association.
The Vice President countered it by calling it a "smoke screen." Edwards didn't attempt to connect any crime to Cheney. It was merely mudslinging that FactCheck.org doesn't buy.
Cheney zinged Edwards by pointing out how little Kerry Edwards has been doing anything in the Senate. He said, "Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you 'Senator Gone.'" Then he said that he presided over the Senate but "The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight."
Who won? I give the edge to Cheney because he dealt with the election's most important issue, the Islamist War, in a serious way. Cheney reinforced the attitude that the Bush administration would be steadfast in fighting the war and would have no hesitation in striking back at America's enemies. Edwards was good on domestic issues using stories to connect policy with everyday life. However, in Edwards' America you'd think it was the Great Depression redux. Everyone is out of work. Jobs are going overseas. Nobody has health care. Edwards used to speak about Two Americas. Tonight, it seemed only the downtrodden one existed. Most importantly for Edwards, he didn't clarify Kerry's foreign policy vision, especially his global test. Inconsistent leadership could bring serious harm to the United States. For showing consistency and toughness, Cheney won tonight. As for the election, the debate reinforced the conventional wisdom: If the Islamist War remains the most important issue Bush wins. If somehow it moves to the back burner, then Kerry will be the next resident of the White House.
Transcript: Vice Presidential Debate"
"Cheney and Edwards Go Toe to Toe"
UPDATE: If you slogged throught this much-too-long analysis of an event that won't affect the campaign much, then you're a full-fledged political junkie who needs for to read. Here you go:
October 05, 2004
What do you have to say about tonght's VP debate? Leave a comment. I'm working on my analysis right now. If you want something to read, Allah is collecting blogospheric reaction.
My thoughts on the season so far are posted at SportsBlog.
"What a Mess"
NBC News is scoffing at the letters "ILIE" next to President Bush in a video clip. However, the Media Research Center points out NBC News spent two days on a similar coincidental configuration of letters in a Bush ad in 2000.
Actually, I think it was a slow news day for the MRC. Someone was watching Tom Brokaw WAY too closely to find this. Sorry, Bryon, this isn't liberal bias. Weird things happen. Was it deliberate? I doubt it. Should NBC News get badgered about it as much as they badgered the Bush campaign? Absolutely. It will make them think twice about creating news instead of reporting it.
Question to the Audience
Does anyone have a theory on why someone or some thing is constantly doing searches for "pathogen," "anthrax," "Smith," and "sheep goat pox" in the TAM search form in the left-hand column? I can't imagine it being some type of spamming technique. Could it be an attempt to tie up the server, a DOS attack?
Dumping the Draft
The House GOP is playing smart politics by bringing up Rep. Charlie Rangle's (D-NY) bill to reinstate the draft. Let me underscore the importance of this. Charlie Rangle, a Democrat, is sponsoring a bill to bring back the draft. Republicans aren't sponsoring this, and the Bush administration has said time and again that they have no plans to draft anyone.
Will this stop John Kerry and the Bush bashing crowd from lying to college kids about this? Probably not, but it will shine the light on their false charges.
"House Set to Crush Bill to Reinstitute the Draft"
Mad Pooper Sued
Packers running back (and former fullback) Najeh Davenport is being sued for breaking into a woman's dorm room in 2002 and defecating in a laundry basket.
I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner. Maybe it had something to do with Davenport's recent success as a football player. Would Mary McCarthy have bothered if the "Mad Pooper" was hawking stereo equipment at Best Buy?
Here's some advice to Kerry Edwards: insulting voters is not the best way to win them over.
Jay and Deb are new parents.
October 04, 2004
Yesterday was Captain Ed's one-year anniversary as a weblogger.
Happy Birthday to Me
Today's been a lazy day at TAM Central. No, it's not a Packers-induced depression. Today's my birthday and I've been relaxing and taking it easy. If my partner-in-crime, the "other" Shawn wasn't knee-deep in a new job you might have more interesting items to read.
This is one of those milestone birthdays (I'll let you guess), but I'm not sure what to make of it. I don't feel any different. The world continues to turn and with me on it. I'm at an age where my life might have been quite different if I were born only a generation earlier. By the time my parents got to my age they had two young kids. Me, I'm not even seeing anyone to have kids with. I'm swimming in the Internet Age while my parents only had three channels of television. I'm not complaining. We all made choices, and I made mine.
Birthdays usually mean presents, and I guess I was a good enough boy to get some. From my sister came a gift fitting for the season and my political junkiness.
My parents have helped me with my recent fascination with wine. Last Christmas, I received a case of the vinous beverage. Today, I got something to store it in.
Memos Purport Iraq-Terrorism Connection
CNSNews.com is reporting that memos found in Iraq prove Saddam had WMD as recently as 2000. Also an 11-page memo lists a host of terrorist organizations Iraq had relations with.
We know Saddam did have WMD. He used them on the Kurds. We also know Saddam paid off the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. These memos back up many of Stephen Hayes' claims.
Unfortuantely these feels too good to be true. At an opportune time in the Presidential race documents appear to support one candidate while tearing down an important premise of another. This feels a lot like the forged Killian forged memos. Only in this case Bush is the winner and Kerry the loser. So I'm skeptical.
It would be nice if CNSNews.com posted the documents on the internet so experts and curious readers could examine them. As a start outside translators could double check to see if the memos actually say what CNSNews.com claims they say. Instead they've only placed the first of 42 pages up for display in Arabic. Even then, you can't read the script. To see the rest you have to be a "credentialed" journalist or counter-terrorism expert and go to CNSNews.com headquarters in Virginia. They fear the webloggers--or at least the anti-Bush, anti-war ones. But this doesn't help my skepticism.
Here's one element that may help in authenticating the documents. A memo contains an order from Saddam's secretary that "the party should move to hunt the Americans who are on Arabian land, especially in Somalia, by using Arabian elements, or Asian (Muslims) or friends." Somalia isn't part of the Arabian penninsula. Are there previous Iraqi or Arab references calling Somalia part of Arabia? Or since Islam is dominant in Somalia did Saddam consider it a part of Arabia?
These documents could be a blockbuster or just a conservative bust.
"Exclusive: Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties"
UPDATE: Oliver Willis thinks you're a "loon" if you think this story is plausible. I guess my skepticism doesn't count in his eyes. But also realize Oliver thinks I'm in favor of Jim Crow law because I'm against voter fraud.
Is Rush Limbaugh Reading TAM?
Probably not, but today he's saying President Bush was playing a prevent defense during last Thursday's debate. I called it a "soft zone."
Courtesy of the Adam Smith Institute.
Not Renouncing "Global Test"
Thanks to Poliart I learned Kerry Edwards has released an ad to counteract President Bush's fruitful addition of Kerry's "global test" to his stump speech. The ad declares Bush a liar, but doesn't say what he lied about. More importantly it doesn't explain what Kerry meant by a global test. The ad doesn't renounce it or call it a verbal mistake like when he said he voted for the $87 billion military aid package before he voted against it. It's safe to assume Kerry would require a global test before acting in the nation's defense.
The reason this is most disturbing is that Kerry could have come out and said the American people that he misspoke. He could have restated, as he did in his commerical that, "the president always has the right to pre-emptive strike." This would have the an honest approach to the situation. Now, why did Kerry not do this? My belief is that the Bush ad is true. Kerry does want to outsource our authority to declare war to other nations. Kerry must keep up this facade to the public that he is both against but for the war. While listening to the radio, watching television, and talking to people since the debate, it is clear why the Kerry campaign won. I have heard from those on the left that Kerry will pull out of Iraq as quickly as possible and end this illegal war, and I have heard some say that he will stay there as long as we need to be there and help to internationalize the cause. Kerry is effectively putting out two messages. If you are an anti-war Kerry supporter you believe that he will get us out of their quick. If you think we should finish the job in Iraq, he is talking for you as well. It is really quite amazing to see this man talk out of both sides of his mouth, and not be called on it.
It's interesting how what isn't said is so much more important that was is said.
October 03, 2004
Almost a WOW
Way Out West could have been thought of as Nick Warren's gig when he wasn't zooming across the globe DJing. That certainly seemed like it when he and fellow DJ and producer Jody Wisternoff wrote "Intensify" on their second album of the same name. Three years later WOW has a new album. The dance vibe is still there but the twelve songs on Don't Look Now feel more like actual songs, not just dance tracks. Drums and guitars join the synths, drum machines, and computer cut-ups. But what really lifts this album is the new third member of WOW. Omi is what Warren and Wisternoff call their "secret weapon." She's not your standard issue dance track diva. Her voice is warm and breathy. Imagine a deeper sounding Kirsty Hawkshaw, and you'll be in the ballpark. Omi's emotional connection to the lyrics carries the tracks "Anything But You," "Don't Forget Me," and "Just Like a Man."
The songs are full of air. That's a compliment. They're full of space and breathe. They fit perfectly with Omi's voice. The music matches the vocals. That's a big aesthetic plus.
I don't want to say Don't Look Now is bereft of the energy needed for a good electronic dance album, because it's not. "Anything But You" immediately kicks it with a strong break beat. "Fear" has an ex-Echo and the Bunnymen drummer flailing away. "Killa" starts with an big space-filling synth intro followed by a pumping break beat.
Don't be surprised with all the trance elements. Nick Warren is/was one of the best trance DJs in the world. Fans of BT's Emotional Technology will find no complaints with this album. Both are similar sonically in their use of break beats and vocals. WOW tops BT because of Omi's emotional depth.
Giving Don't Look Now a big WOW may be going too far. The last few songs felt too similar and began to melt together in my brain. It is a solid album that lets electronic music fans know artists want to stretch the boundaries of this limitless genre. Given the talent, they can succeed.
Speaking of Kerry's "global test" Bush-Cheney has a new ad.
Bush's numbers are taking a dive on the Iowa Electronic Markets. Much of it coming from the drop in the "Bush with at least 52% of the popular vote" future. But as King pointed out to me in an e-mail the IEM has such little volume a $30 trade can significantly move the market.
On TradeSports Bush's numbers are diving as well. However, Kerry's haven't gone up as steeply.
This comes on the newest Newsweek poll giving Kerry a 47%-45% lead among registered voters. That may explain Bush's dramatic drop on the markets. However, Bush's constant refrain about Kerry's "global test" may be giving traders pause.
Should we be surprised the media will call this a close race? Not if you've been reading TAM enough.
"The Race is On"
Reuters Gets It Right
Friday night was the beginning of the Vote for Change tour. Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, and others going to battleground states to sing songs and get John Kerry elected. The tour's name is merely a euphemism. These rock stars don't want change in the abstract. They want a particular kind of change--namely the defeat of President Bush. The tour should be named "Vote for Kerry." At least in their headline Reuters points it out for readers.
By the way, I'm so furious as these artists for mixing politics and music in such a partisan way (see Alice Cooper) that I will no longer buy their music new. If I find it used, I'll jump on it because my cash won't be headed their way. They're speaking out which is their right, and I'm speaking out by not financially supporting them.
"Rockers Mix Music, Politics at Pro-Kerry Concerts"
October 02, 2004
Misleading Memo Report
There's been no mention of David Hailey's analysis of the Killian memos because the first few explanations weren't that effective. The most I could gleen was the professor was dumb enough to have his working files exposed on the net and was changing his report went some began criticizing him. Jim Lindgren has come to my rescue with a post that shows how misleading Hailey's report is.
Voter Fraud Investigations
Next, the acting Racine city clerk asked the district attorney to investigate some voter registration applications. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, "In seven of the cases, residents told the clerk's office that they had not signed the forms that were filed in their names."
Suspicions aren't localized to Racine. The Milwaukee Election Commission has also asked the district attorney to investigate some "suspicious" applications.
The problems in Racine deal with an outfit called Project Vote. They claim they are a non-partisan organization that registers low-income and minority voters--prime targets for Democrats. In fact, Project Vote wants people to donate to the Working Assets Voter Registration Fund which helps "Project Vote, US Action, the NAACP National Voter Fund." Working Assets is a Lefty operation that donates a portion of phone and credit card sales to Lefty groups. This organization can claim all it wants that it's non-partisan, but much can be divined from the company it keeps.
It's not a coincidence that GOP-dominated Ozaukee and Washington counties haven't noticed suspicious voter registration activity. Project Vote and other like outfits are targeting Democratic areas to generate as many Kerry votes legally or illegally.
Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the state Elections Board, said, "The problems we're having are volume problems, not fraud problems." He is either the most naive state official in recent memory or incompetent. He obviously doesn't realize (or doesn't care) that a massive increase in voter registrations when Wisconsin lets voters register at the polls makes it easier for fraud to take place. Red flags should be popping up in his mind. Why are so many groups interested in registering so many voters before the election? Will many of these new voters then ask for absentee ballots? Or will people spend Election Day going from polling place to polling place claiming to be multiple new voters? Since Wisconsin only requires an ID during the registration process none is needed to vote.
People like Milwaukee alderman Mike D'Amato claim people like me who are publicizing the potential for voter fraud are trying to "intimidate individuals, including first-time voters." We're not intimidating anyone. Pointing out the possibility of illegal activity won't prevent a single legitimate voter from exercising their right to vote. What we're doing is defending the integrity of the ballot so the will of the people is accurately heard.
"Deputy Registrar May Have Violated State Election Law"
"2 Voter Registration Workers in Court on Criminal Charges"
"Milwaukee Seeks Voter Form Probe"
October 01, 2004
It's too early to know who got the best out of last night's debate. Unfortunately for Kerry, an early indicator shows he won the debate, but made up little ground on Bush. The Iowa Electronic Markets have both candidates up, and on TradeSports Bush was slightly up as of this morning.
UPDATE: Now we're starting to see that the IEM thought Kerry won. The gap is still large, but it's a positive for Kerry Edwards.
I figured there had to be more to Scalia's comment on orgies. According to the AP (reader beware!) he's used the racy word to make a point about judges imposing their personal morality instead of interpreting the law.
An Angry President
Jonathan Last has a second thought about last night's debate:
The problem for Bush was that he looked a bit like the angry Al Gore from that 2000 debate. He sighed and made strange noises. He was tart and, at times, peevish. The message he seemed to be projecting was, Hey, I'm trying to protect the free world against nut-ball terrorists and you want me to debate this guy? Just go ahead and vote for me already.
I think the President let his emotions get the better of him. For years he's put up with some horrible verbal abuse. He's been compared to a chimp and Hitler. Some claim he's only a figurehead with Dick Cheney pulling his strings. He's endured so much over-the-top rhetoric from AlGore, Howard Dean, and now John Kerry. When you're fighting a war that you believe is in the defense of the nation and your opponent calls it a "colossal failure" it's understandable to be angry. It's just risky to display that anger in front of 55 million viewers.
President of the United States has to be the world's loneliest job. Only four other people alive have any idea what it's like, and only one knows about being a President at war. When Bush mentioned over and over that the Iraq War and occupation was "hard work" he meant what the troops there were doing. The term can also be applied to his efforts. The easy thing to do would have been to continue passing worthless U.N. resolutions that Saddam would ignore. It's hard to act against world opinion and send American men and women to a far-off land to fight and maybe die.
While Bush's opponents should offer him a little empathy no one should feel sorry for the man. He wanted the job and got it.
Fox News' Boo-Boo
Left-wing "objective" MSM aren't the only ones suseptible to shoddy journalism. Fox News ran a story full of fake John Kerry quotes. The Left side of the blogosphere called them on it, and it was removed. Fox News has apologized. This event will not earn Fox News any points from Joshua Micha Marshall and those of his ilk, but it must be pointed out that the cable news channel acknowledged the error, fixed it, and apologized. That's more than can be said for CBS News and USA Today.
Nader Back on Ballot
State Democrats tried and failed to Keep Ralph Nader off the Presidential ballot. The State Supreme court ordered his name put back on.
"Justices Return Nader to Ballot"
And the Market Says...
The morning after the first Presidential debate and the Iowa Electronic Markets have Bush rising, but Kerry is too.
What Are They Doing at the Supreme Court?
Well, you can't say Antonin Scalia doesn't speak his mind. There has to be more to this.
"Orgies are the Way to Ease Social Tensions, Claims US Judge"
Only Hugh Hewitt said Bush whupped Kerry. The other blogospheric reaction considered the debate a draw. That feeling is echoed by a Reuters focus group in New Hampshire and a group of readers of the Journal Sentinel. Both Kerry and Bush supports saw enough good things in their man. Kerry won on debating style and appearance (he ditched the orange) while Bush got points for his common man connecting and warmth.
What's very interesting is Der Spiegel picked Bush as the winner.
"Focus Group Gives Slight Edge to Kerry"
"Reaction: Area Voters Weigh in on Debate"
More MSM Spin
This from Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
After spending much of the last two months on the political defensive, Democrat John Kerry went on the offense Thursday night, attacking President Bush's record and leadership so persistently that Bush asked moderator Jim Lehrer four or five times for another chance to respond.
"Candidates' Differences Clearly Defined in Debate"
Some MSM Spin
The Washington Post's Mike Allen:
Bush's aides knew that his temper was a potential vulnerability, and his debate coaching sessions included practice in not getting rattled. But the camera shutters started snapping as the president shot a look into the University of Miami Convocation Center when Kerry seized on Bush's refrain that "the enemy hit us" and to point out that was not Saddam Hussein.
"Kerry vs. the Rules, Bush vs. His Temper"
The NY Times misses Kerry's mid-answer Darfur flip-flop:
On the Sudan, Mr. Kerry strongly suggested he was prepared to send United States forces in to end the killing. "I'll tell you this: As president, if it took American forces to some degree to coalesce the African Union, I'd be prepared to do it, because we could never allow another Rwanda. It's a moral responsibility for us in the world."
"Bush Sees a Safer America, While Kerry Sees a 'Colossal Error'"
Then there is the front page Washington Post story:
There were no glaring mistakes by either candidate during the 90-minute debate at the University of Miami, although Bush often appeared agitated, scowling at times as Kerry leveled his charges.
"Iraq Takes Center Stage in Debate"