Saturday, November 27, 2004

Traveling Delays

Will be in D.C. on business again on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, so I'll probably be scarce until Wednesday. I had hoped to fly out on Sunday evening (I have an appointment there first thing Monday morning), but I failed to realize that Sunday is the second busiest travel day of the year. The only seat I could get was on a 7am Sunday morning flight. Ugh.

The good news is, I get into Reagan National at about 9:30am, so if I move quickly, I just might be able to make it over to Mark Dever's Capitol Hill Baptist Church in time for the 10:45am service.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Larry King-Like Non-Sequiturs

Discoshaman is doing some riveting blogging from the front lines of the Ukrainian election crisis.

The New York Daily News says Dan Rather ended up just like the Richard Nixon he despised.

According to the New York Observer, Rather all but admits that the memo scandal pushed him out the door. And Keith Olbermann is evidently still peddling voting conspiracy theories on his MSNBC show (which raises that old philosophical question: If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it....?)

They still make Strat-o-Matic baseball, and I just bought it for my 12-year-old baseball-nut son for Christmas. Don't tell him, though.

That video game where you shoot JFK is sick and disgusting. It's also annoyingly slow to download...

NRO has a laugh-out-loud parody of Dan Brown (of Da Vinci Code fame) today. A snippet:
That could only be my friend, Sir Leigh Teabing, the Royal Historian and Ambassador-Plenipotentiary to the Exchequer...

"Good evening, old fruit!," he exclaimed as he shimmered in, his monocle popping out. "I say, how the devil are you, old bean? Lawks-a-mercy, had a spot of bother getting up the apples and pears, don't you know! Good lord, is that settee kosher or wot? Must 'ave a knees-up round the old Joanna, eh!"
Thanksgiving has been ruined for me by Adam Sandler. I find myself walking around singing in my highest-pitch voice "Thanksgiiiiiiiving, is a special night; Jimmy Waaaaalker, used to say 'Dy-no-mite!'...."

"Ebay" Is Pig Latin For "Be"

I have a burned hamburger patty that looks a little bit like Gene Shalit. Do you think it might be worth anything?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Fat Lady Sings

It took a while, but the forged memos fiasco has finally cost Dan Rather his anchor chair at CBS.

Of course, they waited a respectable interval so that all parties could unconvincingly claim Rather’s exit had nothing to do with the scandal. Why, Dan was just waiting for that benchmark standard which we all aim for: the vaunted 24th anniversary.

My guess is that it went down like this: Rather planned to stay through his silver anniversary. After the memo disaster, CBS executives told him “No way. We won’t bounce you out now because you’ve been here since Murrow was a teenager. We’ll let you keep some dignity. But as soon as the furor dies down, you’re announcing your departure from the ‘Evening News.’”

Of course, the fact that they thought Rather still has some dignity means they haven’t watched any of his recent election night performances, where he’s been crazier than Aunt Minnie at midnight drinking mason jars of Kentucky moonshine on the back porch during a full moon.

(P.S. How fascinating that chose to categorize this story under the "Showbiz" section of their website. It's unusually perceptive and revealing on their part.)

President John Wayne

The reaction in Chile to the scuffle involving President Bush and his Secret Service detail has been entirely predictable.

Evidently the Chileans cancelled a state dinner for 200 because they refused to subject the guests to the ignominy of passing through a metal detector in order to dine with the President of the United States. Lest there be any misunderstanding, it is only the president's presence at one of these tin-pot events that gives it any meaning to begin with.

Perhaps you don't normally need this level of security for the president of Chile. That's because nobody cares about the president of Chile. Whether he lives or dies is of little consequence outside his immediate family. But when the President of the United States comes to town, you're playing in the big leagues. If you can't handle the pressure in the majors, fine. It's not as if the world will be profoundly affected if a president never sets foot again in Chile. You have two choices: either the president comes with his own security and all that entails, or he doesn't come. It's up to you.

Here's a snippet from the Washington Post's coverage:
Chilean journalists were critical of Bush's actions. Marcelo Romero, a reporter with Santiago's newspaper La Cuarta, said: "All of us journalists agree that President Bush looked like a cowboy. It was total breach of protocol. I've seen a lot of John Wayne movies, and President Bush was definitely acting like a cowboy."
The more I read of this nonsense and the more I contemplate the notion of some Third World thugs separating the President of the United States from his security detail, the more convinced I am that the agents should have simply shot the Chilean goons in the face. How long have whiny and effete foreigners been trotting out this old "John Wayne/cowboy" saw? John Wayne characters actually killed people. They want to see John Wayne? I say we show 'em John Wayne.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Hot Dogs In Chile

As a kid, I remember being extraordinarily moved by the image of Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy turning to face John Hinkley's revolver and spreading out his body in an effort to make himself a bigger target and absorb any bullet headed for President Reagan. McCarthy was shot in the stomach protecting the president that day outside the Washington Hilton.

That picture taught me what honor was.

These are people who, because of love of country, are trained to willingly trade their lives for the president's in the event of an assasination attempt. One who has made the decision to take a bullet for his leader is not likely to hand his charge over to some Third World rent-a-cop.

All of that to say: good for the Secret Service agents who took a swipe at Chilean officials who had essentially sealed President Bush off from part of his security detail. The Chileans had blocked some of the agents outside the cultural center where the state dinner was being held--after the president had already entered the building. The Chilean goons are lucky they didn't get shot right then and there.

And good for President Bush, who saw the incident and returned to the door to literally pull his lead agent out of the throng and into the building. He's rightfully loyal to the men who've pledged their lives to protect him.

Will the incident engender foreign hostility? Will Bush and his entourage be seen as American bullies in the eyes of the world? I can't tell you how little I care. I know the lead agent's face well, since it appears in all the photographs I have from my brief greeting with President Bush in Tampa a few months ago. It was this agent's eyes that intently watched every move of my hand as it clasped with the president's. It was this agent who was prepared to thrust his body between the president and me if I were to suddenly produce a weapon. No Chilean security clown is going to do that for the president of a country that most of the world hates.

Secret Service agents are genuine heroes, and need not bow to any Third World Barney Fifes.

Feelin' Shakespearean

How much do thy Rams sucketh? Let me count the ways.

Heel, Boy, Heel

The always-enterprising Robert Novak has the behind-the-scenes scoop on Arlen Specter's desperate scramble for the Senate Judiciary Committee chairmanship.

The bottom line: Under the arm-twisting of Bill Frist and with his cherished chairmanship about to be killed, Specter had to pledge absolute support, in writing, for all of President Bush's judicial nominees.

We'll see how it all plays out when the time actually comes. But on the face of it, this may have been the best of all possible resolutions (considering the Bush administration's botching of it by supporting Specter's re-election to begin with).

Friday, November 19, 2004

You Bet Your Life

The free market works. It works for just about everything. And no matter how often you say it, there are still people--lots of people--who will try to dispute it against all evidence. Commonly, they're called "Democrats."

Glenn Beck brought this to mind again this morning as I was listening to his show on my way into work. He was talking about the fact that TradeSports, a "futures market" website where people can actually place money on all sorts of future events, was the most accurate (by far) pre-election poll, perfectly picking all 50 states and Washington D.C. the day before the election.

As it turns out, people with good information like to make money on that information. And when money is riding on it, people tend to use only the absolute best information. With money on the line, bias is minimized and people have a financial stake in predicting the true outcome. Put all of that together, and you're pooling vast knowledge (in the form of money) about any given event, much more so than a pundit or even a polling company is able to do. It's a beautiful illustration of how the free market works to disseminate knowledge and information in a way that no other system does (which is part of the reason I am one of the few people opposed to "insider trading" laws).

The uncanny predictive success of the futures market in the presidential election naturally brings to mind the plan the Pentagon hatched last year to launch a futures market for terrorism, in which people would be able to put their money on the line predicting terrorist acts. It was an unusually inventive, savvy, and daring idea.

Such a system would have brought together vast pools of knowledge from people worldwide who had good information on terrorists' plans. But the entirely predictable hue and cry rose up against such a "callous" idea that people could make money betting on terrorism, and it was quickly scotched. (Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer called it "very sick" and demanded the firings of those responsible for the idea.)

The Pentagon caved to the political pressure. That's a shame, since such a market almost undoubtedly would have had greater predictive ability on terrorism issues than our nation's centralized (and limited) intelligence agencies. But heaven forbid that we be safer if it means someone might try to profit from it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Bizarro World

This is the most purely weird analysis of the evangelical impact on the election yet. (Hat tip to Michael Spencer at the BHT.)

Just listen to leftist Barbara Ehrenreich's take in the fever-liberal magazine The Nation:
Where secular-type liberals and centrists go wrong is in categorizing religion as a form of "irrationality," akin to spirituality, sports mania and emotion generally. They fail to see that the current "Christianization" of red-state America bears no resemblance to the Great Revival of the early nineteenth century, an ecstatic movement that filled the fields of Virginia with the rolling, shrieking and jerking bodies of the revived. In contrast, today's right-leaning Christian churches represent a coldly Calvinist tradition in which even speaking in tongues, if it occurs at all, has been increasingly routinized and restricted to the pastor. What these churches have to offer, in addition to intangibles like eternal salvation, is concrete, material assistance. They have become an alternative welfare state, whose support rests not only on "faith" but also on the loyalty of the grateful recipients.

What makes the typical evangelicals' social welfare efforts sinister is their implicit--and sometimes not so implicit--linkage to a program for the destruction of public and secular services. This year the connecting code words were "abortion" and "gay marriage": To vote for the candidate who opposed these supposed moral atrocities, as the Christian Coalition and so many churches strongly advised, was to vote against public housing subsidies, childcare and expanded public forms of health insurance. While Hamas operates in a nonexistent welfare state, the Christian right advances by attacking the existing one.

Of course, Bush's faith-based social welfare strategy only accelerates the downward spiral toward theocracy. Not only do the right-leaning evangelical churches offer their own, shamelessly proselytizing social services; not only do they attack candidates who favor expanded public services--but they stand to gain public money by doing so. It is this dangerous positive feedback loop, and not any new spiritual or moral dimension of American life, that the Democrats have failed to comprehend: The evangelical church-based welfare system is being fed by the deliberate destruction of the secular welfare state.
In case you missed it, Ehrenreich (who evidently lives in some whacked-out parallel universe) is actually upset that the church is usurping the rightful role of the welfare state. It's not their crazy theology that's the danger, it's their sinister programs for clothing the poor and feeding the hungry!

I've heard it said before that leftists believe the state is God, but I've never seen the notion quite so clearly expressed by one of its advocates.

"I, the Federal Government, am the lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me."

Every orthodoxy has its defenders, and Barbara Ehrenreich is not about to let a bunch of red state Goobers commit heresy against the fundamentalist orthodoxy of Secular Humanism.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Just So Our Priorities Are Straight

CBS has fired a producer who interrupted the last five minutes of the network feed of "CSI: NY" to bring the world news of the death of Yasser Arafat last week.

Meanwhile, Mary Mapes, the "60 Minutes" producer who put together a falsified story that relied on blatantly forged documents to accuse the president of the United States of shirking his National Guard duty, is still employed by the network.

Just in case you're keeping score.

More Of That Vaunted Kerry-Voter Rationality

A friend of mine was getting into the hot tub at his South Florida apartment complex Saturday night when an old guy already in the tub began complaining about the temperature of the water.

"This water is way too hot!" the guy said. "It's ridiculous that it would be this hot!"

My friend just sort of nodded and smiled, not paying too much attention, since it was, after all, a hot tub. But the guy continued on.

"This is absolutely nuts!" he ranted. "The people in this state are crazy! I need to move up to a blue state, where people have some brains. People here can't even think straight. They can't make good decisions on anything."

My friend considered asking the guy if he really believed that the water temperature in the hot tub was directly related to the state's voting habits. He also considered pointing out that Kerry won Broward County, the county in which the scalding hot tub sits, by about 30 points. But ultimately he decided not to pursue further discussion with an obviously crazy person.

Friday, November 12, 2004

A Fluid Situation

Great line today from Brian at Terrible Swift Word:
Fox News is reporting that Yasser Arafat is dead ... CNN has it still too close to call.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Bush's Speedy Gonzales Appointment

I suspect many of my conservative compadres will be up in arms over Alberto Gonzales' fast appointment as Attorney General in the wake of John Ashcroft's resignation. I, on the other hand, think the appointment may be a good thing.

Though Gonzales served on the Texas Supreme Court after being appointed by Governor George W. Bush, he doesn't have a long list of rulings to his credit by which one can judge his judicial philosophy. He's also been tight-lipped when asked about it.

But one particular Gonzales ruling has stirred the ire of conservatives. In a confusing parental notification/abortion case, Gonzales joined the majority in ruling that a lower court erred on its basis for denying a 17-year-old girl a judicial waver that would have allowed her to get an abortion without the consent of her parents, and ordered them to rehear her case.

Though any pro-lifer is understandably concerned about such a ruling, it may not be the "pro-abortion" decision it appears to be. Though details of the case are hard to come by, no less a liberal wacko than Molly Ivins thinks that Gonzales' ruling was no indication of a "moderate" stance--which she would clearly prefer. In a column penned back in 2000, Ivins wrote:
Bush's appointees to the court - James A. Baker, Greg Abbott, Deborah Hankinson and Alberto Gonzalez [sic] - have something of a reputation for being more moderate than their elected Republican colleagues, many of whom are favorites of the right-to-life movement. The reputation may be a misimpression. It is based largely on the court's decisions in parental notification cases. Three of Bush's appointees were part of a 6-3 majority giving a teen-age girl a second hearing on ending her pregnancy. Under the state's parental notification law, a girl can seek a "judicial bypass" of the law's requirement that her parents be notified of an abortion. The girl must convince a judge that she is mature enough to make the decision herself or that notifying her parents would be harmful.

One elected Republican on the court, Nathan Hecht, accused the majority of "deep-seated ideology that minors should have the right to an abortion without notice to their parents, free of any significant restriction." However, there are no signs that the Bush appointees favor abortion rights. The decisions can be read as classic strict constructionism, since the legislature, to put it mildly, did not write the law with any precision. It's also pretty clear that this court thinks judicial bypass cases are a waste of its time.
[Emphasis added]
While not defending Gonzales' vote (especially since I'm lacking much pertinent information), I've said all along that the solution to the current runaway judiciary is not remedial conservative judicial activism, but rather a return to the legislature making the laws and the judiciary applying them. Our system was designed for the people to be able to make their laws, rather than having an unelected judiciary make laws for them.

But a restrained judiciary is not a panacea for our problems. To my mind, a restrained judiciary merely returns many of these questions back to the people. At that point, conservatives will still have to do the hard work of convincing the majority of their position through the political process, which is the way the system was designed to work in the first place. A conservative judiciary will not suddenly make all abortion nationally illegal. It will instead return the question to the people, where it belongs.

From a conservative standpoint, Gonzales' job in the Texas case was not to simply rewrite the state law in a way more to his own personal liking. It was to apply the duly passed law of the people. I'm in no position to decide if he did that correctly or not, but a vote with a result that conservatives don't like is not necessarily de facto evidence of liberalism or activism.

But even granting legitimate conservative concerns over Gonzales (and they are legitimate, when one considers, say, David Souter), here's why I think the Attorney General appointment is a good thing: it takes Gonzalez off the short list for the Supreme Court. Though the job of Attorney General is an important one, it does not have the long-term significance of Supreme Court rulings. The A.G. is essentially a cop and a prosecutor. It's not a lawmaking position. There was no question Bush, for whatever reason, was going to give him a big appointment. If Gonzales' conservatism is shaky, he won't be able to do significant damage from the Justice Department. Everything in his past demonstrates that he will prosecute the laws that are there and that he'll be effective in organizing domestic counterterrorism operations.

Meanwhile, he's off the Supreme Court list, and if Bush's other judicial nominations are any indication, we can expect a solid, unshakeable conservative in the mold of Thomas or Scalia to be appointed. Gonzalez will be a fine A.G., and frankly I'll sleep better with his name scratched off the Supreme Court list. The rest of the list looks outstanding.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Look At The Record

Shannen W. Coffin, a former Justice Department employee, has her own excellent tribute to John Ashcroft's record at NRO.

Among the cold, hard facts she throws out (that you've somehow never heard in the mainstream media):
Violent crime is at a 30-year low, declining by 27 percent during the three-year period between 2001-2003. While a staunch supporter of gun ownership, Ashcroft also realized what many of his predecessors had not — that the way to stop violent crime is to enforce the gun laws that are on the books. Thus, federal gun-crime prosecutions are up over 75 percent in the last four years. In 2003 alone, more federal gun charges were brought than any prior year on record. The result was that 250,000 fewer gun crimes were committed in the last three years than in the prior three. Drug trafficking and human trafficking have been heavily targeted by the Justice Department, resulting in severe disruptions in criminal syndicates operating in both areas. The list goes on.
History will show Ashcroft as one of America's greatest AGs. And it will look with shame on the media's behavior during the early years of the 21st century.

True Story

One time in the middle of the night, my wife rolled over, woke me up, and asked "Is Abe Vigoda still alive?"

A Job Well Done

To no one's surprise, John Ashcroft has announced his resignation as attorney general of the United States.

There has not been, in my lifetime, a public figure more unfairly, viscously maligned than Ashcroft. To hear his critics tell it, he's nothing more than a tyrannical, rednecked bumpkin intent on establishing an American theocracy. He's been hated with a vehemence usually directed towards dictators and serial killers, mainly for the capital crime of professing Christian faith and having a few Bible studies in his office.

But outside of the fevered, irrational imaginations of addle-brained liberals, Ashcroft is in reality a decent, accomplished, and great man who has reached the highest points of electoral politics short of the presidency. He's humble and low-key, in startling contrast to the power-grabbing zealot he's caricatured as.

In his career, he's graduated from Yale with honors, written several legal textbooks, been the two-term governor of Missouri, a United States senator, and the U.S. attorney general during one of the most difficult periods in recent American history. Offhand, I can't think of a single one of his detractors who can boast of such credentials...though their pronounced inferiority to him doesn't stop them from ignorantly flapping their gums.

Thank you and God bless you, General Ashcroft, for a job well done.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Hugh Are You?

The more I read Hugh Hewitt's blog, the more I begin to sympathize with the annoyance of my friends to the right (yes, there really are people--lots of them--to my right) with Christians over-identifying with the Republican Party. Hewitt's beginning to have about as much credibility as one of Joel Siegel's gushing movie reviews.

His "the parrot-is-pining-for-the-fjords" assesments of Bush's debate performances were bad enough, but his ridiculous support for Arlen Specter as Judiciary Chairman is simply over the top. It's this kind of craven political expediency that got Republicans into this Specter jam to begin with. If Christians are going to start playing Hewitt's margin-parsing calculus game with him, then they ought not to attach the word "Christian" to it and instead call it what it really is: unprincipled, gutless, political gamesmanship.

Just Say No

If I may take a moment to tout my own foresightedness, here is something I wrote in a post last April, shortly after Arlen Specter narrowly won his Republican primary (with the help of the White House) against an actual conservative:
If I were a Republican living in Pennsylvania, I would honestly vote for Specter's Democrat opponent in the general election in November. It would be infinitely better to have the Republicans lose their Senate majority (with which they've done precisely nothing anyway) than to have Specter chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee. We're talking about the man who led the "borking" of Robert Bork leading the committee that is already obstructing all of the excellent judicial nominees it faces.
As we all know, Specter did win the general election, and in his first press conference rushed to declare his intention to be a huge pain in the presidential posterior as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Fortunately, his stupidly impulsive move is now endangering his chairmanship. If voters keep the heat on, Specter will not be chairing that committee come next session.

The Family Research Council has an excellent page of phone numbers and email links for the other members of the Judiciary Committee. Blocking Specter's chairmanship would be a breach of the usual niceties of the senatorial men's club, but if the backlash continues, these senators will have the necessary political cover to do it anyway. Let them hear from you by telephone and email.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Line Of The Day

NRO's Jonah Goldberg has the line of the day, comparing New York Times columnists Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman:

"As we all know, one's a whining self-parody of a hysterical liberal who lets feminine emotion and fear defeat reason and fact in almost every column. The other used to date Michael Douglas."

Good Thing There's Plexiglass Around The Cage

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, never the picture of stability to begin with, has become completely unhinged at the reelection of George W. Bush. On Sunday, the bitter old spinster boozehound completely flipped.

At this point, it's nothing more than pure monkey rage (as my friend Revjab calls it). This is not punditry. Maureen Dowd is now simply flinging her own poop around her cage:
W.'s presidency rushes backward, stifling possibilities, stirring intolerance, confusing church with state, blowing off the world, replacing science with religion, and facts with faith. We're entering another dark age, more creationist than cutting edge, more premodern than postmodern. Instead of leading America to an exciting new reality, the Bushies cocoon in a scary, paranoid, regressive reality. Their new health care plan will probably be a return to leeches.
Oh, well as long as we're being reasonable about it....

Ooooh, it's impressive how cool and rational and scientific these blue state intellectuals are!

It's Olber, Mann

The pear-shaped (he really is; you should see him) Keith Olbermann says that Dark Forces in Ohio are stealing the election for Bush. (Thanks to Bud for the tip.) And Susan Sarandon, on Bill Maher's HBO show Friday night, claimed the election is not over yet due to those oft-invoked "voting irregularities."

Even Maher was disgusted enough to say (of Kerry), "Oh come on. He lost. By a lot."

Amusingly, many of the more fevered liberals are accusing Americans of having taken leave of rationality in reelecting Bush. In case there was any doubt about which side has departed from rationality, just keep listening to the likes of these clowns.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Rudy Awakening

The number one name being bandied about for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination is that of Rudolph Giuliani.

Giuliani, of course, did a great job during 9/11, and he was funny when he hosted "Saturday Night Live." But the nomination will never happen, unless the Republican Party decides to suddenly commit political suicide.

The big story of the 2004 election is the decisive role played by "values voters." Giuliani is a trainwreck on values issues. He's pro gay-rights, pro-abortion, and has an abysmal "values" record in his adulterous personal life (having initiated a messy divorce with his wife, of which he famously notified her through a press conference).

Believe me, it's not even worth worrying about. He'll get a lot of play because he's the media's favorite kind of Republican: a liberal one. But the guy won't be able to win a single primary. Mark my words.

It would be fun to watch that fat kid of his go haywire behind him while he takes the oath of office again, though, wouldn't it? Of course, the kid would be like 21 then, which will be a little gross, but still.....

Post Mortem

As much as I've been enjoying the weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Democrat Party as the recriminations fly and they begin to consume one another like cannibals, it's worth looking back on some of the most notable mistakes of the Bush campaign this year. Though it ended well for them, it was a distinct possibility even as late as 7pm on election day that he'd get slaughtered.

Here then, in no particular order, are some of the things the Bush campaign did that could have lost them the election had they not been running against an inept candidate from a party that has completely lost it's moorings:
  • Scheduling three presidential debates. What in the world was that? The incumbent has little to gain and everything to lose in debates. The Bush campaign took a hard line in negotiations, to the point where many were wondering if there would even be debates this year. Then, suddenly and inexplicably, three debates...three...are announced. What in the world did the Bush campaign get out of the negotiations? Was Kerry asking for ten and they felt they got a good deal? It was as if the Bushies had told Kerry "We've decided to agree to whatever number of debates you write on this here napkin."
  • Bush's disastrous performance in the first debate. Bush had a solid lead over Kerry throughout the campaign season. Then came the first debate, where Bush came off like a heavily medicated Boo Radley. There were times when one wondered if he was even going to answer the question. A pause would last two seconds, then five, then eight, and you'd be thinking "Oh my, the President has had an aneurysm." Fact is, the Bush campaign never completely recovered from this debate performance. Kerry surged in the polls, and his lead only began to recede very late in the game.
  • The endorsement of Arlen Specter in his state Republican primary. Specter, the quintessential RINO (Republican In Name Only), was receiving strong opposition from a solidly conservative, pro-life Republican. Foolishly, the White House decided to back Specter for reelection, despite the fact that he's been nothing but a thorn in the side of Republican presidents for his entire career. He's the man who led the "Borking" of Robert Bork. The Bush Administration made a deal with the devil to try to maintain what they saw as a narrow majority in the Senate. Now, they have a much larger majority than expected, but an incoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee who has already vowed to oppose conservative judicial appointments. This is the mistake of the campaign that will haunt Bush the longest. And it cost him conservative enthusiasm in Pennsylvania, a state he wound up losing.
  • The failure to even attempt a rebuttal of Kerry's Tora Bora charge. In all three debates and in stump speeches around the country, Kerry accused Bush of having Osama Bin Laden "cornered" and then "outsourcing the job to Afghan warlords." And all three times, Bush did not offer one word of response to it. Even I was starting to wonder what the story on it was. It's a serious charge, and the Bush campaign's failure to respond to it damaged their credibility on Bush's main point--national security.
  • Over-reliance on the "flip-flopper" issue. It's an important point, to be sure, but the Bushies incorrectly believed for far too long that they could ride that single issue all the way to victory. They couldn't. They never did mount a proper attack on Kerry's abysmal Senate record. Though Bush finally mentioned it in the third debate, I never saw one ad showing that, for all his talk of coalition building, Kerry voted against the first Gulf War.
  • The makeup Bush wore in the Sean Hannity interview the other night. Okay, in reality I don't actually think this was a factor. But I still had to mention it because it was just so....disturbing. I remember seeing my grandfather looking that way and feeling that the mortician had really overdone it. They must've used the same guy. One coat heavier and he's Cesar Romero on "Batman."
The fact that Bush won a convincing victory despite all of this says a lot for him and against his opponent. Still, had these mistakes been avoided, I believe Bush's could have won it walking away.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Kerry On My Wayward Son

Reporting for duty? Dismissed.

It’s all over except for the formalities, and yesterday’s prediction is about as close as I’ll ever get to being right on one of these things. It’s a narrow but decisive win for GWB, and the results became a foregone conclusion last night (between 1am and 2am, I think?) when NBC and Fox News called Ohio for Bush.

A few observations:

  • I wonder how many Democrats will still be out there trumpeting the “popular vote” today?
  • I heard a host on the fever-swamp liberal Air America network this morning sounding incredulous that Ohio’s Republican secretary of state “is actually going to let the vote-counting process play out, rather than just bringing the curtain down on it and certifying the results like Katherine Harris did.”

    Of course, there’s an explanation for that, though nobody at Air America is likely to understand it: it’s called “rule of law.” Ohio’s secretary of state is following his state’s laws exactly as Katherine Harris followed hers. Only Democrats could be amazed when public officials follow the law.
  • I feel none of the pangs of sympathy for the losing side that one normally feels in these situations. None. The Democrat Party is now the party of Michael Moore, Al Sharpton, and Patricia Ireland. They’re evil. This election, following on the heels of the 2002 shocker, might very well be the death knell of the Democrat Party as a significant national force.

    Good riddance.
  • President Bush in 2002 cut off American funding for the United Nations Population Fund, money which had been used for millions of abortions (possibly including forced abortions in China). John Kerry had promised in his campaign to restore “full funding” to the Fund. Don’t you holier-than-thou utopian political purists tell me this choice didn’t matter.
  • Has any public figure ever more deserved to have his public career come to an ignominious end than Tom Daschle?
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you Howard Dean! You won this election for George W. Bush. (Oh, c'mon Michael Moore, you know we haven't forgotten you...) Some Dems are now clamoring for you to become the new DNC chairman. After holding the presidency, kicking out Daschle, and picking up four Senate votes, I wouldn’t have thought it could get any better. But if Howard Dean become the DNC chairman, I was wrong—it can get better!
  • The mainstream of the Democrat party was hijacked by radical extremists. Dems had somehow convinced themselves that the reason they lost the 2000 election is because they hadn’t run far enough to the left. One wonders how much electoral repudiation will be required before the remaining sane members of the party take it back?
  • About 4am, I saw a Democrat talking about how President Bush was going to need to make some “bold appointments” in his second term in order to “heal the division.” Translation: Bush owes it to us to appoint more Democrats to his cabinet.

    My response: You’ve got to be kidding me. The Dems moved further to the Left, Bush soundly defeated them, Republicans picked up four seats in the Senate and a handful in the House, the left-wing Senate majority leader was unceremoniously dumped by his own state, and the Republicans need to move to “heal the division?” Wake up, Democrats! The nation has abandoned you. Your recent policies and ideas have been repudiated on an almost unimaginable scale. The nation has demonstrated in every way available to it that you don’t represent its views.

    Sorry, it’s not Bush and the Republicans’ jobs to find their way to you after yet another resounding national win. You’re the ones that need to do some major changing.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

So Far, So Good

I just cast my vote at my precinct here in Broward County, Florida about an hour and a half ago, and it couldn't have been smoother. There were only a couple of people in front of me, and I was in and out and 15 minutes. No intimidating thugs for either side at the polling place, and no lawyers asking me if I thought I had been well-treated. I didn't even see any of Michael Moore's camera people.

Let's hope the rest of Florida goes that well.

I woke up with a pretty good case of butterflies this morning. I'm ready for it to all be over.

It's hard to get a handle on what will happen, but here's my prediction, for what it's worth: George W. Bush scores a narrow but decisive win. There will not be a repeat of 2000, because the confluence of events that caused that debacle are just too difficult to replicate. I believe we'll know who the next president is by about midnight Eastern time.

Osama McAuliff?

Good grief. The rest of the Osama Bin Laden transcript has been released, and it sounds even more like the Democrat talking points than the first six-minute segment did.

It's all there, the Terry McAuliff/Michael Moore/John Kerry parade of hits. Halliburton. The deficit. Bush went to war to make money for his business cronies.

According to, Bin Laden says:
It is true that this shows that al Qaeda has gained, but on the other hand it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something that anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Halliburton and its kind, will be convinced.

And it all shows that the real loser is you. It is the American people and their economy.
Sound familiar? There's more:
[T]he darkness of black gold blurred his vision and insight, and he gave priority to private interests over the public interests of America.

So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq that threaten his future.
Does at any point a Democrat voter step into the booth and think "Holy mackerel! My candidate sounds just like Osama Bin Laden!"

I'm telling you, Bin Laden could win a Senate seat right now in Vermont.

Monday, November 01, 2004

More Tilted Than Mrs. Edwards' Side Of The Car

Regardless of what happens in tomorrow's election, this year will be remembered as the nadir (and last gasp) of the so-called mainstream media. Never has the media worked harder to get one candidate elected.

Evan Thomas of Newsweek (who's no conservative; his grandfather was the Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas) estimated that the severe media tilt would be worth as many as 15 polling points for Kerry/Edwards. They've worked hard to live up to Thomas' prediction.

Among the contributions of the mainstream media during this election year:

  • The dropping of the Sandy Berger story. Bill Clinton's National Security Advisor was caught stealing classified documents relating to the Clinton Administration's handling of terrorism from the National Archives, and we haven't heard a peep about it since the day after it became public.
  • The breathless run-up to the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, followed by a virtual media blackout after it turned out that the report was largely favorable to Bush.
  • CBS News' still-unretracted false Alabama Guard Memos story, in which Dan Rather was clearly shown to have credulously relied upon blatantly forged documents to "prove" that President Bush did not live up to his Guard responsibilities. Not one word of the story has been documented to be true, and much of it has been proved false. But after a weeklong firestorm, the story died out while Dan Rather still sits as managing editor of CBS News.
  • Not to be deterred by one major exposing of their partisan motives, CBS News also tried to hold onto the Iraq ammo dump story to run on last night's "60 Minutes," a mere 36 hours before the election. When the New York Times prepared to run the story (which it also had), a CBS producer begged them to hold it until just before the election. Even the ethically challenged Times was horrified. According to the Washington Post's Howie Kurtz, Times editor Bill Keller refused to hold the story until Sunday, saying that to do so "wouldn't give the White House a fair opportunity to respond." Which was clearly CBS's goal.
  • Their complete ignoring of the Swift Boat Veterans, hundreds of whom served with John Kerry and vociferously oppose his candidacy. The only time the mainstream media ever referred to them was as a supposed example of how low the Bush campaign was willing to sink.
  • Their relentless flogging of the Abu Graibe story, which, while abhorrent, is certainly no more egregious than the war crimes that John Kerry himself has admitted to.
  • Etc. Etc. Etc., ad nauseum.
As Kurtz reveals in that right wing rag, the Washington Post (citing a study from the non-partisan Project for Excellence in Journalism), anti-Bush media coverage dominated 59% of the time during the two weeks of the debates. Over 1/3 of the stories during that period were labeled as "clearly positive" towards John Kerry, as compared with 14% for Bush.

The media has worked its hardest as the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. We'll see tomorrow how successful their fevered efforts have been.

Osama Endorses Kerry

Perhaps the most amazing story of the weekend is the extent the news media has gone to obscure the real contents of the Osama Bin Laden tape released on Friday.

In the tape, Osama sounds almost exactly like a Democrat Party spokesman. At one point in the tape, according to a now-buried transcript on, Bin Laden says:
Then, what happened was that [George H.W. Bush] was impressed by the monarchies and the military regimes, and he was jealous of them staying in power for tens of years, embezzling the public money without any accountability. And he moved the tyranny and suppression of freedom to his own country, and they called it the Patriot Act, under the disguise of fighting terrorism. And Bush, the father, found it good to install his children as governors and leaders...

...And we never knew that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his people in the two towers to face those events by themselves when they were in the most urgent need of their leader.

He was more interested in listening to the child's story about the goat rather than worry about what was happening to the towers. So, we had three times the time necessary to accomplish the events.
In other words, Osama Bin Laden is now taking his talking points from Michael Moore.

That's the same Michael Moore who sat in the presidential box at the Democratic National Convention. This is straight out of "Fahrenheit 9/11," which former Democrat president Jimmy Carter says is one of his two favorite movies.

The tape is so devastating to the Democrat Party that the increasingly senile Walter Cronkite was left to insanely opine Friday night on Larry King Live:
So now the question is basically right now, how will this affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaigns right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa explosive dump. Right now, that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign. [emphasis added]
Now that's sad desperation. Someone needs to put this addled old gasbag to sleep before he hurts himself or the sterling reputation of his former employer CBS News....oops, too late.

Others see the problems for Democrats too. Saturday on MSNBC, Joe Trippi, who was the campaign chairman for wild-eyed leftist Howard Dean, said "I don't see any way that this doesn't hurt the Kerry campaign."

Visceral Bush-hater Bill Maher said on his HBO program Friday night, "This statement looks like something that could have been put out by the Democratic Party," leaving former Dem presidential candidate Wesley Clark to weakly object "Well, I don't know if I'd agree with that."

Yet most people are not aware of the similarities between Bin Laden's rhetoric and that of the Democrat Party. Why? Because the media, recognizing a disaster when they see one, are intentionally obscuring it.

The whitewash had been so successful by Sunday night that Candy Crowley could say on CNN with a straight face, "The Kerry camp believe the ammo dump and Osama tape stories are working in their favor in the polls."

Only with the help of a wildly friendly media could a candidate benefit from the endorsement of the nation's chief enemy, Osama Bin Laden.