November 30, 2004
Kevin's post on a pet law in Utah reminds me of my favorite movie line of all time:*
Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria!
I'll let the audience guess the movie and actor. It shouldn't take too long.
"Cats And Dogs Don't Mix"
UPDATE: I'm surprised--no, shocked--no one's guessed the quote. Maybe since I'm not a movie geek it's not enough of a challenge to be worth the effort.
*It's true it's one of the few movie lines I can remember, but we'll just let that little detail pass.
Another Wal-Mart Theory
Joe Carter thinks Wal-Mart's bad news isn't really bad. The secret: gift cards.
"The Retailer’s Ruse Redux: What’s Going on with Wal-Mart?"
The Jennings Streak is Over
Ken Jennings finally lost on Jeopardy! The questions were really hard. Plus Jennings missed some Daily Doubles. His mistakes combined with Nancy Zerg's, the eventual winner, lack of mistakes only gave Jenning a $4400 lead going into Final Jeopardy. The Zerg got the correct answer while Jennings got it wrong while wagering too much. He couldn't reach 75 wins, but he walked away with over $2.5 million and becomes one of the greatest players in American gameshow history. Now he does the talk show circuit and will even have an A&E Biography devoted to him.
"Ken Jennings' Jeopardy! Streak Ends"
"Jeopardy! Whiz Finally Meets His Match"
Sounds Good to Me
Send Jonah to the New York Times
What Hath Man Wrought!
In a startling announcement even for the morally lax Netherlands a hospital has admitted it kills children in the name of "mercy."
The Health Ministry is preparing its response to the request, a spokesman said, and it may come as soon as December.
A Western nation has come to the point where it's acceptable for doctors to commit an act that leads to a child's death. I'm not talking about an act of omission where care is denied and a patient dies because of that. I'm referring to an overt act where a poison is delivered that kills the patient. It starts with children with awful ailments, but it will eventually move onto children with lesser medical problems. It will even move to those who don't meet the subjective standards of parents or society. It will become a form of eugenics, but on a family scale. That doesn't make it any less decadent or evil than the early 20th century government directed version.
This is the same nation that is having convulsions over the Islamist murder of Theo Van Gough. It seems the able-bodied is considered more deserving of life than some unknown newborn afflicted in a Dutch hospital.
I'd like to think the U.S. was better, but our courts won't even allow a partial-birth abortion ban to become law. I can see how a non-Westerner could view the West as morally bankrupt by how we allow the legal killing of the unborn and now the medically vulnerable.
"Netherlands Hospital Euthanizes Babies"
Divining da Da Vinci Code
Michele's review of The Da Vinci Code makes me happy I've ignored that neverending bestseller. She writes,
As a novel, TDC is pedestrian. The plot is thin, the codes are easily seen by the reader before the characters break them, the plot twists are either telegraphed or inconceivable to the point of absurdity and the ending is contrived. It's a page turner only because Brown is a master manipulator; he drags you in with theories and near blasphemies that make you think, but he never puts these things to great use. Instead, you end up turning the page just to see how the damn thing ends. As one who grew up with a love for cryptograms, Encyclopedia Brown, logic puzzles and adventure games, I felt let down by the book; it could have offered me so much more than it did.
Yet she finished the book.
Worst part about the whole TDC phenomenon is that a few people think the fictional parts are fact. It doesn't help that Dan Brown creates the confusion. What this has done is create a cottage industry of TDC debunking books.
"The Da Vinci Code - A Review of Sorts"
[One "fact" that would drive some Red Staters nuts is the notion that Jesus lived out his days as a Frenchman. Just imagine hearing the Sermon on the Mount in a French accent.]
Weblogging can be said to have "made it" when the most well-known legal scholar and a Nobel Prize winner are teaming up for their own personal publishing enterprise.
Midwest Christmas Shopping
In Milwaukee and the Midwest Black Friday's shopping was brisk but it tailed off on Saturday and Sunday. A manager of a Milwaukee mall said, "Saturday was pretty flat, or down." In the story we may have an explanation for Wal-Mart's lackluster November:
While retailers Boston Store, J.C. Penney and Sears, Roebuck & Co. drew crowds on Friday for early-bird deals on jewelry, toys, tools and electronics, some discounters didn't fare as well.
Also "books, music and video games" were the items of choice this weekend. I would argue that Wal-Mart is only really strong in the video game market. They just don't have the selection of books and music like a Barnes & Noble or Best Buy respectively have. Instead of an income effect, shoppers so far just aren't into what Wal-Mart's selling.
"Shoppers' Pace Slowed on Weekend"
The Legend Continues
That is the amazing career of Brett Favre. Last night, he started his 200th consecutive regular season game at quarterback. He set that record years ago. Through pain and occasional lousy play Favre persevered. Against the Rams he through for just over 200 yards and tossed three touchdowns. It sounds cliche, but we may never see anyone like him again.
November 29, 2004
Spying on Chat Rooms
Consider this the next time you're using IRC (Internet Relay Chat):
In April 2003, the CIA agreed to fund a series of research projects that the documents indicate were intended to create "new capabilities to combat terrorism through advanced technology." One of those projects is research at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., devoted to automated monitoring and profiling of the behavior of chat-room users.
I figured government intel agencies were already monitoring certain chat rooms. Maybe the importance of the research is that a program would be developed to monitor conversations silently. But all this means is that terrorists will stop using IRC and move on to other chat systems including plain old instant message. The neverending game of espionage cat and mouse would continue.
"Security Officials to Spy on Chat Rooms"
Sluggish Wal-Mart Sales
While I'm watching the Packers battle the Rams (hopefully the succeed better than my fantasy football team) ponder the possiblity of Wal-Mart having sluggish early Christmas season sales while retail as a whole appearing to be doing well. Professor Bainbridge thinks we're seeing an income effect. With a stronger economy than in year's past people may be shopping more for quality rather than price. With more consumer purchasing power due to greater employment, better pay, and lower taxes price may not be as important in a shopping decision. While Wal-Mart can trump anyone on everyday items (groceries, toiletries, paper products) Christmas shoppers may be more interested in higher quality, name brands. Wal-Mart current product mix maybe unable to pique shoppers' interest. An indication that this may be what's happening we should look to Target's sales. That company's strategy has been to emphasis style rather than price. While Target too offers plenty of low prices they have an image of placing more emphasis on appearance, aethetics, and quality. If Target's sales better match the entire retail field then Professor Bainbridge's theory has more weight.
If you're a worried Wal-Mart investor I wouldn't fret too much. Wal-Mart has the best internal computer system in retail. When you combine that with their buying power Wal-Mart has the ability to figure out what customers want and get those goods to them. I don't think even it is fast enough to make changes in the middle of this shopping season, but don't be surprised if you see more name brands and higher quality goods in their stores.
"Wal-Mart's Woes, Online Shopping, and the Economy: A Comment"
Brett Favre Day
Brett Favre will start for an unprecedented 200th straight game tonight against the St. Louis Ram. Because of this Gov. Doyle has declared today Brett Favre Day. So wear your #4 jersey, reminisce about last year's incredible Monday night game against Oakland, and wonder if the Packers can scrounge up a defense good enough to give the 35-year old quarterback one more shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
"200 Reasons to Admire Favre"
November 28, 2004
The Razor of the Future
Laurence imagines a razor that hasn't even been invented yet. When it does you'll read about it here.
I've created at new catagory devoted to "new stuff." This isn't Engadget or Gizmodo. It's much broader than that. I'm talking about new flavors of soda, new fast food items, new home products...new stuff. If you find something new send me an e-mail, and I'll see if it catches my eye.
Another Teri Hatcher Junkie
I'm glad someone else admits that Desparate Housewives satisfies their Teri Hatcher fix. But I don't concur with Jay Tea that it's a "chick show." It has hot women, always a positive, but its darkly comedic with touching moments of real humanity--especially tonight's show. It's easily the best show on television.
The work done by some reporters may shut up Keith "Go Back to Sports" Olbermann, but I guarantee you years from now some Lefties will passionately believe Karl Rove did something to steal Florida.
"Bush Wins, Again..."
Walker was Right
Before the election there was a tiff between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker over how many ballots would be printed for the City of Milwaukee. The city wanted 938,000 ballots while the county offered 679,000. Last Wednesday, the city returned 665,000 unused ballots. Had the county's lower amount been used no ward would have run out of ballots.
This conflict was merely political. Barrett, a Democrat, used the issue to claim Walker, a Republican, was part of a nefarious plot to prevent voters in the highly Democratic city of Milwaukee from voting. Gov. Jim Doyle, also a Democrat, stuck his nose into it to take some shots at Walker. Doyle did this because in two years he'll be facing re-election and one of most likely opponents is the fiscally-responsible Walker. Expect Doyle or his surrogates to claim that Walker was trying to keep down the black vote. They'll point out how Walker was being stingy about ballots but "forget" to mention how many were actually used. In essence, this ballot battle was the first clash of the 2006 governor's race.
Owen at Boots & Sabers writes,
In the end, the Republicans were right. Mayor Tom Barrett, Governor Doyle, and the rest of the Democratic establishment wasted the taxpayers’ money by printing a ridiculous number of ballots. Worse, they did so for no other reason than to create a partisan political issue that they thought would help John Kerry. Do you think that we can expect the Democratic Party to repay the taxpayers for all of the wasted ballots? Don’t hold your breath.
There's one important detail that should be mentioned. The ballots were returned to the county on Wednesday. A great time to make sure something gets reported but not read is just before a major holiday. Talk radio yappers are away and won't comment on it until Monday when some will consider it "old news."
"665,000 Unused Ballots Returned"
Yes Virginia, There is Parking
Mayfair Mall manager Steve Smith says there's more parking now than there was last year. That may explain why I easily found a parking spot (in the middle of no where) yet was running around the store helping customers.
The first two days of the Christmas shopping season were busy, but not that busy. I expect it to get progressively busier the closer we get to the big day. The Saturday before will be really busy, but the Wednesday and Thursday before Christmas to be really hectic. I figure quick a lot of people will take off a few days to make it a really long weekend. So what will they do? Shop.
"Believe It Or Not, There Is Parking At Mayfair Mall"
March 11 Linked to Sept. 11
The FBI believes a member of al Qaeda in Spain played a significant role in planing both the Madrid bombings and the Sept. 11 attacks:
Investigators have long concluded that the Sept. 11 attacks were partially planned in Spain in July 2001.
"Report: FBI Finds Link Between 9/11, Madrid Bombs"
November 27, 2004
Christmas Shopping Update
Black Friday went well, too well. I expect today to be busier at my mall-based Barnes & Noble. Since lots of stores had early-bird specials yesterday I'm guessing many customers went there instead of stores like mine that don't need gimmicks--just lots of copies of the new Brett Favre book. I expect to get slammed today. I offer you shoppers another piece of advice: if you're in search of a book, get as much information as you can about it. Just telling me it's blue and had to do with horses doesn't work. You'd be amazed at the strange looks I get when I ask them for more information. With thousands of books coming out every year I'm not necessarily going to know the one you want. But at least you're not saving these vague questions until the last days before Christmas.
At least vandals didn't glue the locks to my store.
"Vandals Glue Store Locks on 'Black Friday'"
Last Call for Nominations
By the end of this weekend the first days of Christmas shopping will past. More importantly nominations to the 2004 Weblog Awards will be closed. Get your picks in soon.
"2004 Weblog Awards - Nomination Close Sunday"
November 26, 2004
Glenn Reynolds Gives Us the Bird
See for yourself.
Some Good, Some Bad
One reason I'm thankful is the lovely Bush twins are one year older, making me feel less squimish for my infatuation.
"Bush Twins Turn 23 on Thanksgiving"
What I'm not thankful for is the hordes I'll be dealing with at the bookstore today. Here's a piece of advice to those brave souls shopping on Black Friday: everyone else is shopping today so be patient. Getting angry at employees or other customers won't help anyone.
"The Price is Right"
"Retailers Usher in the Holiday Season"
November 25, 2004
Have a Great Thanksgiving
I wish all of you a bountiful, pleasant Thanksgiving. Eat, drink, be merry, and be thankful for all that we have been blessed with. I leave you with this story of a nation remembering her soldiers during the holiday and some details about the sleep-inducing tryptophan. One could skip the turkey and still be sleepy after gorging.
"Giving Thanks in Wartime"
November 24, 2004
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is in my hands. All the hype along with a brilliant piggy back on Apple's iPod got me excited. But the U2 website was streaming the album so I listened and was let down. This is suppose to be U2's rock album. (If so, then what kind of music were they putting out before?) Nothing else besides "Vertigo" got my heart pumping. It's not that the album is bad, I haven't listen to it enough yet, but I have to change my expectations. For those of you who don't know if they should get HTDAAB here's Mark Saleski's review.
Turkey Day Carnival
With Thanksgiving tomorrow and Black Friday after that fresh weblog posts may be as rare as empty spaces on couches. So you'll have plenty of time to go through this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
Are They Reading Rand at Pixar?
Critics may see Ayn Rand themes in The Incredibles, but I highly doubt any filmgoers are running to the bookstore to dive into Atlas Shrugged*. I wish they would, because a dose of her ideas can build a healthy skepticism to government interference in the economy.
*I've read Atlas Shrugged but don't consider it her best work. The characters' dialogue ended up more often being Objectivist polemics. They were there not so much to move the story as to be fictional versions of Rand herself. For a better read there's Anthem. It's a slim tome that focuses beautifully on the importance of individualism.
Getting Carried Away
MEMRI has threatened legal action against history professor and weblogger Juan Cole. I don't read Cole's weblog, but I assume I would disagree with his many of his views. But from MEMRI's letter I see no accuastions that would rise to the level of libel. Either MEMRI can constructively refute Cole's accusations, or he should be ignored. A lawsuit would only waste all parties' time and hurt MEMRI's reputation.
Grandpa, Tea, or Milk?
From the Read the Package Closely Department:
The instant coffee a group of friends drank as they tried to sober up after a night out on the tiles tasted a bit odd.
"Grave Mistake - You've Drunk Grandad" [via Electric Venom]
Waiting for an Opponent
Despite two losses at the end of the regular season that cost them a Rose Bowl appearance the Wisconsin Badgers will still be playing on New Year's Day. Tampa will be the place, and the Outback Bowl will be the game. The only question is who their opponent will be.
It certainly didn't take long for travel packages to be put together. The Badgers travel well so you know you wouldn't be lonely in Tampa.
"UW Accepts Invite to Outback Bowl"
Imbibing at the Dinner Table
I asked Stephen Bainbridge for a wine recommendation for Thanksgiving, and he delivered. I'll be on the hunt later today.
"Wine for Thanksgiving: Principles and Recommendations"
New Stuff II
The second installment of new products that catch my eye is devoted to only one item: the Black & Decker Automatic Jar Opener. Is this a sign that the U.S.'s obesity battle won't be won anytime soon? If some are too lazy to open a jar I doubt they'll be willing to take a walk after eating whatever was in that jar.
I'm not married but would any self-respecting husband allow something like this into his house? The next thing you'll know someone will invent a device to take out the garbage with just a press of a button. When that happens what will be the point of husbands?
With my luck I'll be getting this for Christmas. If so I'll put that unopened box right next to the unopened soft-serve ice cream dispenser I got last year.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
November 23, 2004
Nominate Your Favorite Weblogs
There will be a second-annual TAM Weblog Awards this year. It's only the opinion of one person. For something more democratic there are the 2004 Weblog Awards. The catagories TAM would have the best chance in (however slim) are the Best Conservative Blog and the appropriate Ecosystem level.
Out of the Mouth of a Killer
If TAM were to do a list of "most despicable people" O.J. Simpson earned his way onto it with his comments.
"The Ultimate Denigration"
Just Don't Burn the Turkey
Read this week's Bonfire of the Vanities before sitting down for your Thanksgiving feast. Do so afterwards is sure to cause indigestion.
Expect a new TAM feature soon to help you out with your Christmas shopping. Think Oprah's Favorite Things except nobody's getting anything for free (including me), and they'll be things you can actually buy without requiring a billionaire's bank account. I'm working out some of the details but I can't resist not pointing out that Buck Rogers is available on DVD. This was a fun television show running from 1979-81. It had its camp (what show of its time didn't), Tweeky was a talking, walking rip-off of R2-D2, but it satisfied the sci-fi cravings of this person waiting to consume more Star Wars movies. And what red-blooded (not red state) American didn't like Wilma Deering in those jump suits?
UPDATE: If Buck Rogers isn't up to your liking, there's always Duck Dodgers.
Vilsack Turns Down DNC
Steven Taylor is right about Dr. Dean running the DNC. Unfortunately for the Democrats he might just get the job by default.
"Vilsack: Thanks, but No Thanks"
November 22, 2004
Michele Does it Again
Right now, Michele has one of the greatest pics ever gracing the top of her weblog. Her kid's (I'm assuming) cooler than me since I only have a Packers hat and a couple jerseys from ex-Packers in my wardrobe.
The Hammer Comes Down
Credit has to be given to David Stern for his tough response to the Motown Melee. Suspending Ron Artest for the season was a no-brainer for me, but I wasn't sure the NBA understood the seriousness of Friday's fight. I'm happy to say they knew a poor reaction to this black eye could have been the begining of a slow, ugly death of the NBA. Now, Stern has to make sure local Detroit authorities go after the people (I refuse to call them "fans") who acted like barbarians. While none of their actions justified what Artest, Stephen Jackson, and Jermain O'Neal did, for the good of basketball a positive, entertaining environment has to be maintained. That means great play on the court, and civil actions in the stands.
"The Artest Suspension"
"Artest Suspended for Remainder of NBA Season in Record Ban"
"No Charges Imminent After Basketball Brawl"
November 21, 2004
Experts: Kmart is Doomed
A bunch of people who get paid to talk about retail said pretty much the same stuff I did about the death of Kmart. But you got it from me two days sooner.
November 20, 2004
If you missed the Motown Melee Friday night you couldn't miss the replays on news networks and ESPN. (I gave up on the game at half time since Pacers were controlling the Pistons.) It started with Detroit's Ben Wallace pushing Indiana's Ron Artest. They pushed and shoved. Eventually Artest was lying down on a table when a fan threw ice on him. I guess that fan thought the hot-headed Artest needed to cool off. That set the Pacer off, and he stormed into the stands flailing away at people. Fellow Pacer Stephen Jackson joined Artest in swinging wildly. Watching a brawl break out at a basketball game was awful enough, but what was most disturbing was Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal walking up to a fan and punching him.
There's plenty of blame to go around. Wallace shouldn't have shoved Ron Artest. Security could have been better. Fans shouldn't have tossed anything at any players. The garbage throwing when Artest was escorted off the court was disgusting. The referees should have done more to end the Artest-Wallace confrontation.
Many are at fault, but there's is one person who transformed this incident from an on-the-court affair into a league disgrace: Ron Artest. He's the one who responded to the ice toss by jumping into the stands and creating a mini riot. He's the one who created an environment where a host of people could have gotten seriously hurt. Ron Artest is a man with a long history of uncontrollable rage. Usually he just expressed his anger through technical fouls. Now it's escaladed considerably.
Players are suspended, and the local district attorney is investigating. Artest, Jackson, and O'Neal should be arrested. But beyond that, Artest, at minimum, should be suspended for the rest of the season. The NBA needs to do this. Simply creating another Michael Jordan won't solve their black eye.
"Basketball Brawl Hits NBA Hard"
Intelligence Bill Dies
The reconfiguring of intelligence agencies failed to pass Congress today. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi can blame this "failure" on Republicans who "control the House, the Senate, and the White House." But let's be serious. This was a lame duck Congress who only really needed to pass a spending bill and increase the debt ceiling. In the big picture waiting a few months for the next Congress to pass an intelligence reform will not do damage.
"Rebellious Republicans Derail 9/11 Reform"
November 19, 2004
Wolfe: Marketing Maven
Besides his unique writing style, Tom Wolfe is a successful author because he knows how to promote his books. For weeks, he's been quoted in newspapers and interviewed on television all in preparation for the release of I Am Charlotte Simmons. Ed Driscoll attended a talk in San Francisco and reports.
"The Man, In Full"
When Will the Protest Start?
Madison radio yapper John "Sly" Sylvester's racial insults to Condi Rice and Colin Powell have made national news.
While Mark Belling initially joked around about his uttering of a racial slur he eventually issued an apology. Sylvester won't back down. Instead of apologizing to Rice he apologized to Aunt Jemima.
I ask that those individuals who went bonkers over Mark Belling's utterance of a racial slur march over to the state capital and demand the Sylvester lose his job. Silence by them will only demonstrate their hypocrisy.
Hunt Leave WSJ
It's a bummer liberal Al Hunt is leaving the Wall Street Journal. While more often than not I disagreed with his weekly column, he broke up the right-wing editorial page. Hopefully Paul Gigot realizes he page will be stronger and more interesting if there's a regular Lefty writing. He should even go so far as to pluck star from the blogosphere. How about Kevin Drum?
"Al Hunt Leaves WSJ for Bloomberg"
Moving from Pledge to Air Jordan
Another big business story hit us this week with Nike's CEO and President Phil Knight announcing he's stepping down and becoming Chairman of the Board. Replacing him will be William Perez. Perez was the CEO of Racine's S.C. Johnson and a running maniac.
"Johnson Boss to Fill Big Shoes at Nike"
Too Little Too Late
It looks like John Kerry is being brow beaten into giving up some of his post-election cash.
Two advisers who have spoken to Kerry about the money said he likely will donate a substantial amount to Democratic committees and candidates for the 2005 contests and 2006 congressional midterm elections.
That may ease Kerry's conscience, but it won't assuage critics who wonder what the outcome could have been had Kerry spent everything he had.
Because of this flap, Michael Dukakis would have a better chance at winning the 2008 nomination. Take a good final look at Kerry because he'll be fading into obscurity.
November 18, 2004
Quarters for a Cad
Ann Althouse digs out John Kerry's concession speech. At the time I thought it was classy and dignified. Now, in light of the news that he didn't spend all the campaign money he asked supporters to give, he comes off as a cad.
"Can that Kid Get His Quarters Back?"
After reading Peggy Noonan's latest column I feel better about not posting as much as I did during the election. My traffic's down, but time should always be made for "ssssshhhhhhhh."
2004 National Book Award Winners
The 2004 National Bood Award Winners:
I may sell books, but I've never heard of any of the winners. The National Book Awards allow me to announce that naming the winners of the TAM Book Awards. They go to the best non-fiction books published in the past year. While I've already mentally placed some books on the list suggestions for the best in non-fiction are welcome.
Dr. Dean Goes to Washington
Howard Dean, M.D. has been campaigning for the chairmanship of the DNC. On Capital Hill those that like him talk about his grassroots style and energy. Those that aren't fond of him sound like Rep. Robert Matsui: "We need someone who is part of the Democratic establishment. Someone who is more of a known quantity. It’s extremely important that we don’t go through a debate about ideology."
"Members Hot, Cold on Dean"
If you're one of those nuts who relishes the idea of taking on thousands of your fellow citizens to snatch bargains the day after Thanksgiving I have a website for your.
As for me, I'll be one of those nuts who'll be waiting on those shopping nuts in the bookstore.
November 17, 2004
Kmart Buys Sears; Will Dump Kmart
Ed Lampert sees the future of retail. It includes Sears but not Kmart. That's the conclusion I've come to after thinking about the Sears-Kmart merger announced today.
Kmart ran smack-dab into the retail hurricane that is Wal-Mart and got blown away driving the company into bankruptcy. Lampert got the company out of its problems, not by boosting sales, but by closing stores. That effort has worked. Now, Lampert sees the Kmart brand as something of little value. They can't out Wal-Mart Sam Walton's creation. That was tried. Other than the Martha Stewart line, the store chain isn't known for style so it would be hard to battle Target on its turf. Just being the store with the Blue Light Special won't cut it.
Sears is in the position of being a hardware store and an appliance store and an apparel store in an age when customers think of Home Depot, Best Buy, and The Gap. Being all things to all people may work, but just not as shopping mall anchor stores where specialization is the word, and stores like Barnes & Noble become new anchors.
Sears Holdings gets Kmart's non-mall real estate plus Sears staid but reliable sensibility. More importantly the new company loses Kmart's bad reputation. There will be places where Kmart will survive, but expect most of the old Kmarts to become new Sears.
Don't think Kmart is doomed? The 50 stores Sears just bought from Kmart will still be turned into Sears. The old Sears CEO and CFO will hold the same titles in Neo-Sears. At least one "industry consultant" (whatever that means), George Whalin, agrees with me:
This is more a real estate deal than anything else. I would be very surprised if Kmart doesn't completely go away in the two to three years, or become something completely different.
Merging two stores loaded with great real estate and some proprietary brands won't be enough to produce a Wal-Mart or Target killer. Stephen Karlson poo-poos the merger as a mediocre combination of mediocre parts. The new Sears, now dubbed "Neo-Sears," will have to find some aspect of the shopping experience that neither Wal-Mart of Target satisfy and deliver on it in a cost effective way.
Wal-Mart wins on price, and Target wins on style. Neo-Sears should try to win on customer service. Neither of the two competitors offer much of it, but that doesn't stop customers from buying from them. Customers may be willing to pay a little more to get more than a greeting from an elderly person and fast check out. It will mean putting a customer service desk in the open instead of tucked away in a corner. It also means hiring and training employees to do more than find a product for the customer. They'll have to suggest complementary items. In essence Neo-Sears should have Marshall Fields' (or another high-end department store) service at value prices. Exclusive brands can get bodies into stores, but great customer service can additional incremental sales.
"Kmart to Acquire Sears in $11 Billion Deal"
"Sears and Kmart to Merge"
"Sears is Kmart is Sears"
"Kmart Buys Sears...Our Analysis"
"Screw the Softer Side"
Nix Kerry in '08
When a candidate is given their party's Presidential nomination he's just not a Presidential preference. The nominee becomes the leader of his party. Losing may not be tolerable to those Bush bashers who hate Jesusland, but the seasoned, smart Democratic players could understand that defeat is possible. What the Democrats won't be happy with is a leader who failed to help his party when he had the opportunity to do so. John Kerry still has $15 million in the bank for his general election campaign. If he wasn't willing to spend all that on beating the President he could have giving it to his party's Congression election committees. Instead they had to borrow $13 million in total.
It makes me wonder if at some point in the race Kerry thought he wasn't going to win. So he held back his money to save for 2008 when Hillary Clinton is presumed to run. Kerry used Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender" as his campaign's theme song. It would be ironic the candidate had already given up.
What we can be sure of is Kerry will have to answer some tough questions (unfortunately in private) about how his campaign was run. Even if he offers satisfactory answers any chance of him picking the next DNC chairman got flushed down the toilet. (Who would Kerry's pick be the abrasive Tad Devine?) This news helps Howard Dean, the anti-Kerry. But are Democratic leaders dumb enough to do that?
Saddam siphoned off money from the U.N. Oil-for-Food program and funneled it to the families of Palestinian terrorists. Saddam was enabled by the U.N. to fund Islamist terrorism, the biggest threat the Free World faces.
I have read nothing that proves for disproves the validity of the documents linking Saddam to terrorist organizations. In fact, I've read nothing about them since their dissemination last month. Presuming Rep. Henry Hyde's committee didn't get snookered we are starting to see just how extensive Saddam's terrorist ties were.
The election may be over but the evidence supporting the President's war decision continues to come in.
"Probe: Oil-for-Food Money Went to Palestinian Bombers' Families"
November 16, 2004
One Effect of MS Antitrust Attacks
Paul has a problem with Windows XP not having a useable DVD player as part of the operating system. For that he can blame the Justice Department and over-zealous state attorneys general. They spent years going after Microsoft for "unfairly" bundling Internet Explorer. Microsoft doesn't want to have to deal with that again so a Windows XP user must use a third-party player. I guess there is a consumer benefit to bundling new features into an operating system. That was one failed argument Microsoft used in their antitrust defense.
"Why Windows Sucks Today"
Now All I Need is a Stadium
November 15, 2004
Mark Belling returned to the airwaves today after a one-week suspension. For those who think Belling will tone things down he replied, "This show ain't changing at all."
Welcome back, Mark.
"Back on the Air after Suspension, Belling Says Talk Show Will not Change"
He's Back, but He Never Left
It's weird that Patrick Ruffini is back as a weblogger, but he didn't really leave. Seventeen months ago Ruffini became the webmaster of the Bush campaign. That meant part of his job was to post for the President--there are hundreds of people jealous. So while Ruffini the individual was silent his voice could still be heard. Now, I want to hear some good war stories. He doesn't know what he'll be doing next, but I recommend a campaign memoir. Let's just hope he doesn't save all the best stories for the book.
"Back from Victory"
Chicks DO Love Dick
W may stand for Women, but they really dig Cheney.
"Dick Cheney's Shock And Awe"
Colin Powell is resigning along with a bunch of other cabinet members. One surprise is that so many stayed so long in the administration. Another surprise is who hasn't turned in his resignation--HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. It's been rumored he has no love for Washington, D.C. Some Thompson supporters tried to get his name into consideration to be the next president of the University of Wisconsin system. That didn't happen. There has been speculation Thompson would challenge either Russ Feingold or Herb Kohl for a U.S. Senate seat. Obviously, he didn't take on Feingold, but if he loathing of D.C. is true he won't be targeting Kohl. What will Tommy Do?
As for cabinet replacements the big buzz is Condi Rice as the new Secretary of State. Hopefully she would transform that it from the weak-willed institution it's been for decades.
"Sources: Powell Resigns - Three Other Cabinet Members to Resign"
"The Cabinet Empties"
November 14, 2004
Egg Foo Carville.
James Carville can be a loud-mouthed jerk, but he does have a sense of humor. That's probably why he's such a darn-good political consultant.
"Let's Gloat Some More"
Frist's Choice Words
I don't see how Sen. Arlen Specter doesn't become Judiciary Chairman. After a solid set of victories, the last thing the GOP needs to do is start a civil war. That being said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist warned Specter that he's part of a governing coalition. On Fox News Sunday he said, "I would expect Chairman Specter ... if it's Chairman Specter ... to have a strong predisposition to supporting that nominee sent over by President Bush." He also warned Specter he better tow the party line by being "responsible to the feelings, the wishes, the beliefs, the values, the procedures that are held by ... the Republican committee members."
Unless Specter says something stupid between now and when Senate Republicans choose committee chairman he'll get his leadership position. Unlike Sen. John Kerry, Specter's Senate record is his best defense. Even though he's pro-abortion Specter has never opposed any of President Bush's judicial nominees. He also strongly supported Clarence Thomas' nomination, but did vote against Robert Bork.
November 13, 2004
Blue Staters, Take Notes
To those trying to figure out "Jesusland" Joe Carter has collected many of his posts into "A Primer on Evangelicals." It's fascinating reading. Evangelicalism is not anti-intellectual dogma. Many self-professed evangelicals need to realize this fact.
A group of Mark Belling fans held a rally outside WISN's building. I'm not quite sure what the point of it was since Clear Channel, WISN's owner, said they won't be firing Belling. We just don't know when he'll be back on the air. I wouldn't be surprised if he's back on the air Monday.
"Back from Belling Rally"
"Belling Backers Rally to Get Radio Host Back on Air"
Some of Each
Where Does the Money Go?
Besides the fact I couldn't stand the local politics, here's another reason I'm never moving to Madison:
I live in the city of Madison, Wisconsin, which is about to mail me its annual property tax bill for well over $10,000.
My god, Madtown is a tax hell inside a tax hell.
"So What about that Car?"
What a Spanking
The dream is over. The Wisconsin Badgers had an outside chance at playing for the national championship. They needed to win their last two games and hope a couple teams ranked above them would falter. The Badgers failed to do their part by being slammed by a very passionate Michigan State team. For the first time all year the vaunted Badgers defense crumbled giving up 432 yards rushing.
Now, Wisconsin has to regroup, beat Iowa on the road, and pray Ohio State can get their act together and beat Michigan. Only then will the Badgers play in the Rose Bowl.
"Michigan St. 49, Wisconsin 14"
November 12, 2004
Little Diversity at BloggerCon
Since I attended the first BloggerCon last year and was a rare Bush backer I have plenty of thoughts on why there is a lack of right-wing voices at these events. Unfortunately I think my BC notes are on an old computer--I hope. Until I can dig them up and make something coherent out of them I leave you with Dean Esmay, Robert Cox, and Ed Cone.
Talking about the Weather
I consider a conversation to be a disaster (especially on a date) when the topic of the weather comes up. It doesn't work much better when one incorporates weather-like attributes to a weblog post. Sorry, Steven. And what does it say about me since I felt the need to post on that post?
What's Old is New Again
Reebok has brought back the pump. Only this time you can say, "Look mom, no hands."
"Reebok Unveils High Tech Sneaker Pump 2.0"
November 11, 2004
Hug a Veteran
The eleventh day of the eleventh month is reserved (no pun intended) for veterans. Ceremonies are held and speeches are made. Only one family member of mine fought in a war, and he has never had any desire to talk about his experience. I did find out this evening someone from my high school class in in Iraq now, but I haven't seen him in ten years.
If you're a veteran reading this, I want to thank you for helping to keep this great nation safe.
I leave you with this story about how American improvisation saved one soldier's life.
"A Vet Story"
Iris Chang Dead
The author of the critically acclaimed book The Rape of Nanking, Iris Chang, was found dead along a road near San Francisco. Police believe she committed suicide since a gun was found in her car, and she suffered depression.
Chang was only 29 when The Rape of Nanking was published. Until then, that horrific event was little more than a bit of trivia barely remembered from high school history. She brought the atrocities to light and forced the Japanese to deal with the historic blood on their hands. A BrothersJudd.com review wrote, "Chang's excellent book implicates all of these issues and should engender much soul searching."
While knowing as a child about that horrible event, when she went to a conference on it, she got sick from seeing pictures of the atrocities. I asked her how the reasearch for her latest book differed from Rape. She told me that the research and writing about Nanking made her physicially ill, and she had to recuperate after finishing the book.
It's not a stretch to speculate that the subject that gave her fame ended up killing her.
"Author Chang Found Dead Aged 36"
UPDATE: Jay Reding has some nice words about Chang's work.
November 10, 2004
Belling Won't Be Fired
Clear Channel won't give in to Milwaukee Leftists who want Mark Belling fired. When he will be allowed to broadcast his show and what changes will be made (if any) are still unknown.
"Radio Officials Tell Latino Community Leaders that Belling Won't be Fired over Remark"
November 09, 2004
The Left banked high hopes on toppling President Bush last Tuesday. For years, they steamed over his "lies" and poor policies. All the while they organized for 11.02.04 when their collective anger could be transformed into a giant boot aimed squarely at the backside of the man from Crawford, TX. There was just one problem: most voters didn't agree with the Left. President Bush was re-elected. They must now endure another four years of the Bush Doctrine and mispronounciations. Instead of dealing with the political loss the Left in Southeast Wisconsin has decided to take out its anger and frustration on a radio talk show host.
On 10.27.04, Mark Belling was raging on about potential vote fraud. He knew the Presidential election would be close in Wisconsin. The suspicious voter registration operations in the area sent red flags waving in his mind. He worried the Democrats would steel the Badger State's ten electoral votes and, with them, the Presidency. It was in that context that he said,
You watch the voter turnout on the near south side, heavily Hispanic, and compare it to the voter turnout in any other election, and you're going to see every wetback and every other non-citizen out there voting.
Yes, Belling said the racial slur "wetback" to thousands of listeners across the Milwaukee area.
Having uttered a word on par with "nigger" in sheer offensiveness Belling should have quickly apologized and admitted fault. He didn't do that. In fact, he didn't mention the incident until the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel started asking questions. At that time, he had another opportunity to apologize, take a little heat, then move on. Instead, he sarcastically apologized again and again and again for days. This flippant attitude only enflamed passions. Leftist groups began protesting outside the building of his radio station.
Finally last Saturday, Mark Belling released a written apology. In it he took full responsiblity for the slur and for prolonging the incident. Yesterday, when Belling was to declare to his audience that he was "standing up for Milwaukee" a WISN announcer read this statement:
WISN Milwaukee is adamantly opposed to the use of racially offensive language. As a result of his comment and subsequent actions, Mark Belling is currently not on the air. We regret that this incident occurred, and we look forward to educating the public about ethnic diversity. Our focus is to rebuild relations with the Milwaukee community. We now invite you to listen to the Sean Hannity show on new talk 1130 WISN.
That was it. The only one who knows how long Belling will be off the air is Clear Channel who owns WISN, and they're not talking. The station is keeping such a tight lip that it's morning radio duo, Weber & Dolan, won't take listener calls on the issue.
For reasonable people, a public apology along with a suspension would be sufficent punishment. Not for the local Left. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Maria Monreal-Cameron showed that their case against Belling isn't just about the radio yapper's use of a racial slur. "In the name of decency, human dignity and brotherhood, Mark Belling and his bigoted views must be removed from the airwaves," Monreal-Cameron wrote in a statement. Note the plural "views." This goes beyond a one-word mistake. The Left wants Belling off the air because he's an opponent to their political agenda. He opposes higher taxes, tough on criminals, and suspicious of many government programs loved by the Left. Not only does Belling criticize he gets listeners to complain and lobby. Leftist politicans don't like it when conservative voters weigh in on public policy. This is a power play plain and simple. If the Left can knock off the biggest conservative voice in Milwaukee others may hold back in their criticisms.
Today, another vocal critic of Belling learned first-hand how an off-the-cuff remark can hurt others. On Charlie Sykes' radio show Victor Huyke, publisher of El Conquistador, told Sykes and his audience that the Hispanic community would no longer be treated like a "retarded stepchild." Sykes immediately pointed out that some would find that remark as hurtful as the term Belling used. Huyke was taken aback and immediately apologized. Sykes told him he could demand he be fired, but accepted the apology. Hopefully, Huyke takes to heart want can sometimes be said in the heat of the moment. If so, he should extend that to Mark Belling.
UPDATE: Owen at Boots & Sabers calls the response to Belling's racial slur "utterly disproportionate, bordering on lunacy."
UPDATE II: My oh my. Another of Belling's critics spouted some awful remarks of his own. Something about glass houses suddenly popped into my head.
Square Peg, Round Hole
Barbara Streisand decided to stuff a Thomas Jefferson quote into today's world. Ironcially, the part she snipped out of the quote counters some of her fellow Lefties' desire to secede.
"Streisand Dowdifies Jefferson"
Way Too Soon
My goal right now is to get out of this mild post-election weblogging funk. Worrying about a possible President Hillary won't help.
But the guy who created the weblog did get some free publicity.
The northern lights weren't just seen in Wisconsin. NPR has some pictures from across the continent.
"Aurora Borealis Lights Up the U.S. Sky"
SDS Still Lives
Lynne Stewart's defense of anti-capitalistic revolution reminds me of the stories in David Horowitz's and Peter Collier's Destructive Generation. The call for revolution and the hatred of capitalism still lives in the heads of some. Stewart tried to combine 60s radicalism with Islamism to create a deadly union.
"Stewart Defends Violence"
How Valuable Were "Values?"
Steven Taylor writes, "As such, I would argue that far, far, far too much is being made, on both sides, of the significance of the “moral values” number." He claims the term is quite nebulous and wasn't the issue of the campaign. He's along the same lines as me.
"The 'Values' Question"
Worse than Spam
A spammer has decided to use one of my e-mail addresses for bulk mailing. I'm now getting all the bounced spam that can't be delivered. I actually find this more annoying and time consuming than dealing with spam. Is there any way to stop this? Do I have to go to the draconian measure of ditching my primary e-mail address that I've had for years?
Fight the Chill
It finally got cold in Wisconsin so I'm getting close to this week's Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by Sean Gleeson. Read the best of the worst of the blogosphere.
November 08, 2004
The blogosphere is egalitarian in that anyone can start publishing. It's the quality of ideas that count not the writer's background. Eventually, the physical world creeps in and you notice some webloggers are on different rungs of society's ladder. If I were looking for a car none of Ann Althouse's choices would be on my list. But I merely hawk books instead of shaping the minds of future lawyers.
"Should I Buy a New Car?"
"Althouse's No Brainer"
Please, Oh Pretty Please
Let me be the first to fully support Howard Dean, M.D. as the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Giving Dr. Dean a platform to continue promoting conspiracy theories about the President as well as leading a loud, angry Democratic Party will only help the Right.
But seriously, are the Democrats this dumb? Dean, M.D. was the biggest flame out is modern Presidential election history. He found a way to raise vast amounts of money and build a community (some would day cult) around a candidate. He was lauded with endorsements. What was he left with? Zilch except for an unforgetable scream. How does one blow through $40 million and not win the nomination? Ask Howard Dean, M.D.
If we want the Democratic Party to get its act together so as to prevent the GOP from ossifing due to lack of competition then Dean should be denied.
Do realize this is against my own self-interest. I would like nothing more than to revive the Duck Hunt just to rip on the howls from the fowl. (I'd also like to get more mileage out of this graphic. I put a lot of work into it.)
"Dean Ponders Bid to Become DNC Chairman"
The bombing of a Dutch Muslim schools is as horrible as the murder of Theo van Gogh. It shows (as if we didn't know) that Islamists don't hold a monopoly on terrorism.
I hope we're not seeing the beginning of an anti-Muslim crack-up in Europe. Historically, it would demonstrate that the continent hasn't learned anything from the dark days of Nazism. Practically, Europe needs the influx of Muslim immigrants for aging societies. The extremists on all sides may not realize it, but they all need each other.
"Dutch Muslim School Hit by Bomb"
"Muslim School Bombed in Netherlands"
November 07, 2004
Tonight, above the night sky charged particles from places far beyond are slamming into the magnetic field. What results is a ghostly, everchanging glow. The aurora's angelic presence is fleeting. Rarely does she allow her shimmering veil to visit this far south. Yet her aura is sublime and welcome.
Another sky was lit up. Only the glow was from a harsh rain of destruction. The Battle of Fallujah has begun. May God's blessings and a few guardian angels rain down upon that troubled city.
"U.S. Soldiers Storm Part of Fallujah"
November 06, 2004
One thing depressed Lefties can do to deal with President Bush's re-election is dump the "reality-based [fill-in-the-blank]" line. It's insulting toward the people you will need next election to vote for your candidates.
Pulling Back the Curtins
If you're too cheap or lazy to buy yourself the post-election issue of Newsweek, Kevin's got the links for you. I'm about half-way through it and am astounded at how chaotic the Democratic campaigns were. Sen. John Kerry was on his cell phone so much asking for political advice that staffers took way his phone twice. He was so desparate for Sen. John McCain to join his ticket that Kerry offered to make him VP and Secretary of Defense.
Populist, anti-war, screaming Lefty Howard Dean, M.D. would have imploded whether or not he uttered the "Dean Scream." Dean, M.D. and his campaign manager Joe Trippi were at odds already in October. Even then Trippi didn't think Dean, M.D. was ready for prime time.
"Inside Campaign 2004"
November 05, 2004
The sons of one-time mayoral candidate Marvin Pratt and Congressman-elect Gwen Moore--both Democrats--will be questioned by Milwaukee police about the tire slashing of GOP vans on Election Day.
"Tire-Slashing Questions Await Democrats' Sons"
November 04, 2004
Losers' First Reaction: Bigotry
Bitterness and vitrol from the Left became bigotry toward Christians. I'd like to think that such mean-spiritedness rests solely with pundits and webloggers. Unfortunately, I saw an ugly side to my Kerry-supporting co-workers today. One person declared "crazy people" were the ones who supported the state referendums defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Two others joked that Bush voters had to pray in the voting booth before making their pick. All these people don't understand the role of faith in many people's lives. Red staters have found a way to allow both reason and religion to co-exist.
Garry Wills derides Red Staters as those who believe more in the Virgin Birth than Darwinian evolution. He thinks they have abandoned the Enlightenment. He tries to make it appear the rubes that voted for Bush believe the world is flat and the earth is the center of the universe.
What does he base this on? An exit poll where 22% of respondents said "moral values" were the number one concern on their minds. For Wills and the Left that means gay marriage. However, that term is very nebulous. Truthfulness and integrity are also moral issues and they were part of the messages of both campaigns. Kerry Edwards relentlessly accused President Bush of misleading the nation into war. The two Johns also pounded on the administration for favoring the rich over everyone else. The anti-Bush 527s used plenty of moral imagry. They didn't think the President was wrong on Iraq and other issues. Rather, he was evil. The President in turn used his character as an advantage. Bush blasted Kerry on his flip-flops and vacillations. Bush questioned Kerry's integrity. Did Bush's faith and moral appearance play to his base? No question. Is that what decided the election? We don't know yet. Michael Van Winkle concurs: "we don't know what 'values' means [to] those few respondents." [That means I'm not leaping to Joe Carter's conclusion that this election was a "wake-up call" to the rest of America that isn't evangelical.]
Mark Hasty has some good thoughts on how the Democrats can win over "Red America." I want to add another. Demeaning and belittling those who voted another way from you will not make them as open to you in the next election. It's stupid to insult those you're trying to persuade. It also doesn't follow the fine example John Kerry set in his concession speech:
We are required now to work together for the good of our country. In the days ahead, we must find common cause. We must join in common effort without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor. America is in need of unity and longing for a larger measure of compassion.
I admit I've been gloating, but I've kept it to my Bush-backing friends. It's not that I'm better than anyone else. I just know I wouldn't want that done toward me if the tables were turned. My guide I fail often is the Golden Rule. Nashing of teeth is all right. Just realize we're all still Americans and (baring any succession) are stuck with each other.
"The Liberal Elites Really do Hate the Rest of Us"
November 03, 2004
The Two Sides of Moby
After reading this, I thought Moby was being gracious--dissapointed but gracious.
Later, he calls for succession.
OK, It's Done
I don't think he'd like the company he now joins.
Iowa: Twice as Nice
Two reasons Iowa is cool:
The New Geography
Instead of living in a red part of a (*sigh*) blue state, according to Matthew Yglesias ("semi-serious"-ly) I live in Jesusland.
Well, I am a Christian.
Since Matthew seems fine with his lame anti-Christian humor is it alright if I rename his United States of Canada "Heathenland?"
"A Modest Proposal"
UPDATE: Oops on my part. Wisconsin is part of the USC (and I'm not talking Trojans). Guess I better start liking back bacon and Labatt's. The latter will be very easy.
Some Post-Election Reaction
Andrew Sullivan, who backed Kerry mostly on the gay marriage issue, has gone back to supporting the President.
I've been more than a little frustrated by the president's handling of this war in the past year; but we have to draw a line under that now. The past is the past. And George W. Bush is our president. He deserves a fresh start, a chance to prove himself again, and the constructive criticism of those of us who decided to back his opponent. He needs our prayers and our support for the enormous tasks still ahead of him. He has mine. Unequivocally.
I hope the Democrats take Kos' advice and have Howard Dean, M.D. lead their party. That should insure continued Republican victories.
"Terry Out. Get Howard in."
Michael Moore continues to be a disgusting pig.
Michael Totten found other reaction. Some is old fashioned handwringing. Some is a sign the deep-seated hatred for Bush will continue.
As for my reaction, it will be a little while. I was up to 5am today. I'm just taking it easy savoring the victory and doing some non-politics stuff. One reason I'm really glad this is all over is I can get back to some serious reading. Some potentially great books have come out or will come out this year, and I want to get through some of them to give them a shot at a coveted TAM Book Award.
Bush Wins Ohio
At least Fox News is calling it. By their count that means the President only needs one more electoral vote to retain the Presidency.
As for Wisconsin, Kerry leads by about 22,000 votes. Waukesha County, a GOP stronghold is giving Bush a 120,000 vote edge which makes up for the 100,000 vote advantage for Kerry in Milwaukee County.
November 02, 2004
Wisconsin Exit Polls III
Here are some data from the final exit polls. No mention of who respondents voted for:
Inside the numbers: 53% of those voting in the state were women, 47% men; 28% came from union households, 72% non-union households; 36% had college degrees, 64% did not.
I'd give the edge to Bush, but Milwaukee, Madison, and Racine, all Democratic strongholds haven't called in their numbers yet.
"Exit poll: Dead-Heat in Wisconsin"
P.S. If any of you heard me this evening on the Northern Alliance radio show, shout out and give me some love. Expect to hear more from me later on tonight.
City Renegs on Agreement
Over the weekend, the Wisconsin GOP and the City of Milwaukee agreed on a list of over 5,000 addresses of voters who would have to offer up identification before voting. According to two reports by the Journal Sentinel some polling places never received the list.
"GOP Attorney Says Deal not Followed"
"More Questions on Watch List of 5,500 Addresses"
Wisconsin Exit Polls II
The Journal Sentinel released more exit poll data except the most important one: who's ahead. Based on what's published, Bush is leading. 40% say they're conservative; 20% say they're liberal. "Asked if the country is safer from terrorism than it was four years ago, 55% say yes, 43% say no." The two pluses for Kerry are 53% of the voters are women and new voters account for 9%. I'd like to say the issues ranking favors the President too, but they're too nebulous. 20% say terrorism is the #1 issue and 18% say Iraq is, but we don't know how they feel about the issues. Are voters positive about Iraq? Did the bin Laden tape affect their vote?
"More Early Exit Poll Results"
The Power of Weblogs
Weblogs moved the market. That's was one Wall Street trader claimed when the market went down on rumors that John Kerry was doing well.
"Exit Poll Talk Hits the Stock Market"
UPDATE: Wall Street wasn't the only market affected by the early exit polls.
Wisconsin Exit Polls
I'm not going to freak out over leaked exit polls. After 2000's mess I'm very suspicious about them. So, I'm taking this Wisconsin exit polling data with a grain of salt even if it seems to favor President Bush.
"Early Exit Polls"
The tires of 30 GOP vans were slashed while the police came to a Kerry Edwards office to move two people who were blocking the parking lot entrance.
"Police Blotter: Slashed Tires and Spitting"
UPDATE: Milwaukee police have a description of a suspect.
I'm off to door knock. Bush supporters, get out there and vote. Then find two other people who were wavering for Bush, and get them to vote. Kerry Edwards supporters, take a long, long nap. ;-)
If you have any trouble at the polls or see suspicious activity call the Wisconsin GOP voter fraud hotline at 1-877-297-8923. Lawyers will be standing by. *shudder*
It now appears that the 15,000-20,000 voter registration forms not processed by the city weren't dropped on them at the last minute. Instead, the city stopped processing them on 10.25 and focused on handling absentee ballots. It's not wonder Mayor Barrett previously was telling voters to bring identification with them to the polls. He probably knew how bad the backlog was. The mayor's chief of staff, Patrick Curley said all registrations were on the rolls, but who knows how accurate they are. Still expect chaos at Milwaukee's polls today.
"City Employees Race to Record 20,000 Voters"
Bush Needs 20,000 Votes
That's how many Jim Lindgren thinks he'll need to make up for the massive fraud in Milwaukee. Maybe, but with 10,000 volunteers getting out the vote and monitoring the polls it will be harder for the Democrats to cheat.
This is when all hell breaks loose. The real battle has begun.
Can we stop now?
"Bush Wins Dixville Notch"
November 01, 2004
Feel the Love
More on Mountain of Registrations
The biggest effect of 15,000-20,000 voter registration cards not being processed is many people who already thought they were registered will have to do so at the polls. That will clog things up on a day expected to be very, very busy. It will also inflame already short tempers.
I'd like to think this was some kind of snafu, but the paranoid part of me wonders if the cards were turned in so close to Election Day to cause long lines at the polls. That way if it's late in the evening and the Democrats believe they still need more votes for Kerry they could convince a judge to keep the polls open longer.
"Thousands of Registrations in Milwaukee Unprocessed"
[Added to Wizbang's open post.]
"The Final Battle"
Simon Jenkins takes the prize for best article of the political season. His contains eloquence and drama that moves the piece from mere reportage to literature.
I'm going to consume a little drama of my own by popping in a movie to get my mind off of tomorrow. If you're stressed out over the election, I order you to do the same.
Interview with a SwiftVet
If for some odd reason you're still undecided between Bush and Kerry, read this interview of Steve Gardner who served with John Kerry in Vietnam.
"From Kerry's Own Boat: Interview With Swift Boat Vet Steve Gardner"
Starr, not Favre, Endorses Bush
I've given up hope that Brett Favre robo-calls are being made for the President even as you read this. Whoever thought it was Favre got the caller mixed up with Bart Starr and isn't much of a Packers fan.
As a completely non-election aside, check out (I assume) Michele's daughter. The costume isn't scary, but anyone wearing a Brett Favre jersey outside of Wisconsin is cool in my book.
"There's Got to be a Morning After"
There are two good items (among many) in today's "Best of the Web." First, we have a Democrat using the Bush twins to assault the President. Then James Taranto found a streak that bodes well for the President:
Speaking of courts, Republicans who are superstitious about sports and politics can take comfort in another trend: Every time the Minneapolis or Los Angeles Lakers have gone to the NBA finals in an election year, win or lose--and it's happened seven times before, in 1952, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 2000--a Republican has gone to the White House. This year, of course, the Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons in five games. The Pistons (then of Fort Wayne, Ind.) were also in the finals in 1956, the only year a Republican won the presidency without the Lakers making it to the finals.
Two Candidates, Two Rallies, One City
Bush backers had the better of the rallies. While Kerry Edwards fans were braving the cold and rain, the President and 11,000 of his closest friends were dry inside U.S. Cellular Arena.
A Power Line reader reports that the Kerry rally's attendence was lackluster. But Kerry supporters were all over Wauwatosa on Sunday.
"On Election Eve, Bush and Kerry Campaign Minutes Apart in Milwaukee"
Milwaukee Buried in Cards
Mark Belling reports that Lefty voter registration groups have dropped 15,000-20,000 registration cards on Milwaukee City Hall this afternoon. City workers will not have time to get all these names and addresses onto the rolls by tomorrow. This is going to create even more chaos at the polls and open the door to fraud.
Kerry Edwards is taking Hawaii for granted--and for good reason. Dick Cheney flew there Sunday while Kerry Edwards sent Howard Dean, M.D. and Alexandra Kerry. I have a feeling it didn't take much arm twisting to get them to go.
"VP's Weekend Takes Him all the Way to Hawaii"
[via Betsy's Page]
Lost in Translation
Osama bin Laden's video-taped message may not have it's full effect because the MSM may have mistranslated an important word. MEMRI president Yigal Carmon writes,
The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera(1) on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state")(2) to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."
If indeed bin Laden was mistranslated there's little chance his accurate message will permeate the electorate. There's only one day left until voters go to the polls. Even in our highly-compressed news cycle life, it would still take a few days for voters to digest bin Laden's threat to individual states. If bin Laden wanted to affect the election it may have been botched by someone messing up one word.
Deal on Voter List
The Wisconsin GOP and the City of Milwaukee agreed to pass out a list of 5512 suspicious address to poll workers. Those voters with the suspcious address will have to fill out a change-of-address form or registration form and show proof-of-address. If they refuse, they can still vote, but the vote will be marked as challenged. I'm guessing it will be treated like a provision ballot.
"GOP, City Reach Deal on Voter List"
Favre Backs Bush
Who needs the Terminator when you have a living legend at your side. A Power Line reader reports that pro-Bush calls from the second-greatest Packer (I'll let you guess who he's behind) are going out across the state. Hopefully Brett Favre mentions Kerry's "Lambert Field" gaffe. If enough people hear this it will have an impact. That shouldn't be a problem. A few nights ago, Tommy Thompson "called" my bookstore urging me to vote on Tuesday. The GOP's blanketing the state with calls. Hindrocket is correct, "I think this could make the difference in Wisconsin. I mean, really." Heck, Favre could beat both Bush and Kerry if he were on the ballot.
"Athletes for Bush"
UPDATE: There's no confirmation Favre has endorsed Bush. The Packers second-greatest quarterback, Bart Starr has.
Voodoo is in the Air
It's Halloween so it's the perfect time to accept the supernatural. The Washington Redskins lost to my beloved Green Bay Packers. If history holds then Sen. John Kerry will be the next President of the United States.
Which streak has more power: the Weekly Reader poll or the Washington Redskins? And how will the Halloween mask streak fit in?
"Kerry Claims Victory after Redskins' Loss"
"Packers Win -- Kerry’s in!"
"The Pack & Skins"