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Monday, November 22, 2004

ALAN COLMES TO FAR-LEFT WACKOS: "YOU DON'T REPRESENT ME!"

Alan Colmes, the liberal answer to Sean Hannity on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes, has been forced to denounce many of his fellow Democrats over the past couple of weeks because of their embarrassing statements following their resounding election losses. Last week, a female Democratic strategist began comparing Bush to Hitler. When the conservative host (Sean Hannity was gone at the time) jumped her for the comparison, she backtracked and tried to compare Bush to "good Hitler"; the pre-1939 Polish invasion Hitler. Both hosts and the other guest were absolutely aghast at what she was saying, and her subsequent refusal to admit that it was a bad comparison. Alan Colmes, who I rarely agree with, finally shut her up when he told her that her views were an embarrassment to him and other liberals, and that such talk would only ensure that Democrats would forever be associated with wild-eyed liberal idiocy.

Today, Hannity and Colmes had the despicable Ted Rall as a guest. Rall, a political cartoonist, is well known for mocking 9/11 widows, Pat Tillman, and firefighters (among others), and a very recent cartoon openly mocked the mentally handicapped. The Washington Post subsequently dropped him, as well they should have. Colmes again distanced himself from such a far-left wacko, telling Rall that he was only doing damage to liberal ideology and the Democratic Party.

Alan Colmes decried some other cartoons that took a racist look at Condoleeza Rice. I find it very hypocritical that the Democrats claim to be the party of minorities. That seems to only apply if the minorities share their ideology and cast votes for them. Clarence Thomas, JC Watts, Colin Powell, and Condoleeza Rice are criticized by some liberals for "forgetting they're minorities". Sorry folks, but being a minority doesn't mean they have to be Democrats. Now the race card can be thrown back at the Democrats, who were always so quick to play it in the first place. When conservatives take issue with a prominent liberal minority (ie: Jesse Jackson), they're criticized for "just being racist". No - we just don't like his views. Now the tables have turned. Democrats are seeing what it is like to disagree with a minority, and I'm sure they wouldn't like to be arbitrarily accused of racism for that.

Perhaps the Democrats don't get it. Rall's recurring mantra was, "Kerry almost won." Colmes countered with, "Yes, but ultimately we lost." If the Democratic party can't get these nutjobs under control, they'll be looking at permanent minority status. If they continue to embrace Michael Moore and Ted Rall, they will lose again and again. Their lack of understanding at why they lost this election is so pathetic that it really does make me feel sorry for them; it's like your classmate that is so booksmart that he's common sense stupid. You just want to slap 'em upside the head, sometimes.

BUSH IN ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT



In the middle of the above picture is President Bush, reaching into a shoving match to physically remove one of his Secret Service agents from the fray. At an economic summit in Chile, the President has encountered setbacks and problems, one right after the other. Due to security concerns, he wasn't able to attend a dinner held yesterday, and instead was going to be at a much smaller (yet more formal) gathering with the Chilean president.

Some Chilean security guards would not let Bush's Secret Service accompany him into the dinner, and a fight ensued. Bush, who was posing for pictures with three other world leaders at the time, angrily marched over toward the fight and pulled one of the agents out by his arm. Good for him.

There are two ways to interpret the obstacles that the President has encountered on this visit. The first interpretation is probably how the media will report things: Bush's Secret Service agents are displaying the typical American arrogance and superiority, starting fights everywhere they go and lending credence to the perception that the United States is a bully. The second interpretation is how I see things: Bush does have his diplomatic problems in other nations, but I think the Chileans seized on this opportunity to draw the Secret Service into a fight. Of course the agents will look bad (and they obviously didn't impress the President), but why on earth would Chilean security not realize that the Secret Service accompanies Bush everywhere. I think they knew this and were just trying to make the US look bad.

As far as I see it, they didn't succeed. And how many other world leaders do you know who would physically enter a scuffle and put himself in danger to drag one of his own men out of the fight? Certainly not Jacques Chirac. He probably would have wet his pants.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

CLINTON LIBRARY OPENS



I always think that it's an impressive scene when a Presidential library opens. Bill Clinton's was dedicated today, and the ceremony was attended by Clinton, current-President Bush, and former-Presidents Bush and Carter. The President gave a gracious speech, Clinton made an impressive one, and former-President Bush gave a brief but funny and generous speech. They all seemed to agree that the Presidents' Club is an exclusive one, and instead of carrying on their rivalries outside of the political arena, they've put those aside and become friends. Certainly that's true for Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, who regularly appear together in public.

Missing from the dedication was the 91-year-old fomrer-President Gerald Ford. He doesn't make many public appearances anymore, likely because of his advanced age. I do like photographs of Presidential gatherings, and have a copy of the picture of Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, and Nixon at the dedication of Reagan's library in 1992. Presidents seem to be a long-lived breed, at least nowadays. Reagan was 93 when he passed away in June. Bush Sr. is 80 years old, as is Jimmy Carter. Clinton and Bush, both 58, likely have a lot of time left for post-Presidential careers.

I had forgotten how good of a speaker Bill Clinton was. He's still got that appeal that won over so many voters. The architecture of his library is different, for sure, but I think I like it. The British newspapers are calling it a "glorified trailer-house". Maybe that's appropriate, given Bill Clinton's background. I don't know that we appreciate Presidential Libraries as much as we should. Eisenhower's library is just 45 minutes down the road from me, but I've never been there. Perhaps it's time to visit.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

ARAFAT DIES

There will be a lot of mourning going on throughout the Arab world. That's understandable. Likewise, US media sources will be glorifying and celebrating Yasser Arafat's "accomplishments". That's misplaced. We would not mourn Osama bin Laden. No one shed a tear when Saddam Hussein was captured. Nor should we falsely praise Yasser Arafat for leading his people. He was nothing more than a "terrorist-in-chief" for a wild-eyed Palestinian people who want nothing to do with peace.

Arafat had his chance. In 2000, Bill Clinton brokered the best deal that the Palestinians could ever hope for: 97% of the West Bank and half of Jerusalem. Clinton rightly convinced Ehud Barak to sacrifice his own political career to offer such a deal. The only drawback was that Arafat turned it down. He was too proud to accept the deal; he was too stupid to see that a deal from Israel would never get any better. A few months later, the Palestinian intifada started and hasn't let up since. Arafat, publicly denouncing terrorism, was a driving force behind it. His blunders and ineptitude as a leader fueled the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

He was no better than bin Laden. He's no different from Saddam Hussein. He should not have been dealt with as if he was a leader of a legitimate government. Jimmy Carter tried to broker with him. Bill Clinton offered him the best deal he would ever see. George W. Bush would not deal with him; he recognized him for what he was: just another terrorist. Arafat did not die a martyr. He died a sick, old, weak terrorist seeking refuge in a Paris hospital bed. Perhaps with his obstructionist character out of the way, a true peace deal can be worked out between Israel and the PLO. It's time for President Bush to begin brokering a new deal. It's time for the Palestinians to accept one.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

THE CULTURE WAR AND SIGNS FROM THE MAFIA

The red state vs. blue state culture war is keeping the media buzzing. I don't really buy the "two Americas" theory, since many states were close, and even in Kansas (undoubtedly a red state), over 1/3 of residents did vote for Kerry. It is clear, though, that liberal elitists do not appeal to middle America, regardless of how down-to-earth they try to appear; Michael Moore's perpetual slob appearance surely wouldn't be welcome in one of Teresa Kerry's mansions. It's quite evident that the blue-staters not only have differing opinions from the red-staters, but that they don't respect or try to understand the red state point-of-view. They don't believe in freedom of choice if our opinions are different from their opinions.

Interestingly, the culture war may thrust itself right into the middle of Hollywood. The Passion of the Christ could be right up against Fahrenheit 9/11 for best picture. Interesting, huh?

You know that sign from the Mafia when they put a horse head in your bed? I think it was in The Godfather. Well, I had to work the midnight to 3:00am shift at the dairy last night (this morning, actually), and I could have sworn that the mob was giving me a sign.

Somehow I'd missed it the first two rounds I'd made around the farm, checking on all of the pregnant cows. At my 2:00am walkthrough the maternity barn, I spotted a dead calf by the squeeze shute. It was likely that it had died earlier, but I suppose it was possible that it had been born, crawled over by the squeeze shute and died. I walked up to check it but stopped when I saw it was covered in blood (and there was a lot of blood all over the ground, too). Its head was gone!!!

There were some cats around that had been...well...licking the calf's wounds, but I thought, "there's NO WAY that they've eaten an entire head!" I turned around to leave the maternity barn (a little weirded out), and there it was - the calf's head staring up at me!!! After a couple seconds of looking behind me to make sure I wasn't about to get my own head lopped off, I bent down and checked the calf's body. Stiff as a board. It had been dead for hours; likely all day, as stiff as it felt. For some reason, though, it had been decapitated. For all I knew, it was a sign from the Mafia! That, and it was a little creepy to stumble on at 2:00 in the morning all alone at a farm outside of town!

It turns out the calf was premature and the cow wasn't dialated yet when she'd started to give birth. It had to be cut up to get it out, though it was apparently just one cut: the head from the body. That kind of stuff happens at the dairy...life and death. I just wish someone would have cleaned up the death before I walked right into it!

THE INCREDIBLES



If you haven't gotten a chance to see The Incredibles yet, I'd recommend it. Wow. Just...wow. Pixar is, well, incredible. They haven't made a bad film yet. But this one is the best in my book. I'm a little partial to superhero stories, which might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think this one trumps them all. Pixar's other work has included the blockbuster hits Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., A Bug's Life, and Finding Nemo. I liked each and every one of them, but The Incredibles was just amazing.

LJ and I went to watch it on Saturday, and I laughed the whole way through it. The story is hilarious: an ungrateful public starts suing their city's superheroes because of the damage that's caused in the process of saving the citizenry. Mr. Incredible, the star of the show, is the first one sued because he saves a suicide jumper who didn't want to be saved. So, superheroes everywhere join the government's "superhero relocation program" and we find Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl living in disguise (or rather out of disguise) in suburbia 15 years later, trying their best to be ordinary. Of course, they're called back into action through a series of events in which the malaise of being ordinary is mocked right along with their extraordinary powers.

This is one worth going to the theater for. Certainly it's a must-buy when it comes out on DVD. With $70 million in the bank already (from just one weekend), Pixar is set to make an incredible fortune.

Friday, November 05, 2004

POST-ELECTION ANALYSIS FROM SOMEONE IN-THE-KNOW

I received this e-mail from a pollster friend of mine. He currently lives in Canada, but he follows American politics closely as he used to be a professional pollster here in the States. He predicted a Bush victory a few days before the election; he was never rash in making his predictions, which were fluid and always changing based on the trends that he saw. But he predicted Bush's victory, only calling three states wrong - Iowa for Kerry and Wisconsin and Minnesota for Bush. I'd like to be able to show him up by saying my Bush prediction of 296-242 that I posted over the weekend was off by only one state - Wisconsin - but I had to get reactionary and lose faith in Bush's victory on Tuesday afternoon. Dang emotions!

Here's a brief look at what the election has told him:

I was looking at the county by country results and Bush was just blowing away what he did in 2000.

There were literally dozens and dozens of small counties in Ohio that bush won by 2 or 3 thousand votes in 2000 that he was winning by 5 and 6 thousand in 2004. Same in Florida. Bush's total vote in Florida went from 2.9 million to 3.8 million - the GOP GOTV effort just blew the doors off the Dems in these two states.

I don't know if you saw it, but about 2 or 3 days before the election I posted why I though Bush would win.

The Dems and GOP actually registered almost the idential number of new voters.

The Dems used $8.00 an hour crack heads just out of prison, while the GOP used eductated articulate volunteers who were doing it because they belived in the cause.

The GOP had good quality control, the Dems didn't. The GOP knew who they registered, could verify and follow up with the voter, the dems couldn't.

It's not how many you register, it's how many you get to the polls.

It is no more complicated than that actually. :)

Take care, glad the election worked out ok.

And never, never, ever trust the exit polls :)




Thursday, November 04, 2004

WHY I THOUGHT KERRY WOULD WIN

In hindsight, it seems that I posted something rather rash and foolish on the blog on Tuesday. By mid-afternoon, I was convinced that John Kerry was going to not only win the Presidential election, but win quite handily. All of the indicators seemed to be going for him.

Polls over the weekend either showed the race even or Kerry with a slight lead, which could not possibly bode well for the President. After all, most polls showed him ahead by Election Day in 2000, and we all know how that turned out.

Bush hadn’t had a good week. There were missing weapons at al Qaqaa and a new bin Laden tape. Surely that made voters question the President’s credibility on national security issues: his strongest subject.

The news reported that there were a record number of voters lined up outside of polling places and that a record number of early voting had taken place. The media says that large turnouts have historically been good for Democrats.

And then there was the exit polling data. Good Lord, it looked terrible for the President. He was down by five points in Florida; eight points in Ohio; Pennsylvania was showing Kerry with a 58-42 lead. When I saw those numbers and coupled them with the reported voter turnout and the recent polls, I lost faith in my candidate. I thought Bush was going to lose for sure.

Though I think Zogby’s polls are complete bunk, his final predictions loomed large: Kerry 311, Bush 227. Tradesports.com followed suit, and Bush shares were selling like crazy. Every political wonk-gambler in the country was buying up shares of Kerry. Their end result matched Zogby’s, with Kerry winning in Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, Pennsylvania…well, you get the picture: every battleground state.

So I posted my updated prediction. It was rushed and done in frustration, perhaps, but I still posted it. Kerry 298, Bush 240. To illustrate how rushed that prediction was: I hurried so much that I did the math wrong and allocated Washington and Oregon to Bush. The actual prediction should have been: Kerry 316, Bush 222.

I fell into the trap. I got emotionally caught up with the unfounded numbers I was seeing on the internet and being gossiped about on TV. I was flat-out wrong.

Before the polls started closing, I looked up the popular vote totals from 2000 in two states: Indiana and Kentucky. Bush had carried Indiana with 56.65% of the vote and Kentucky with 56.5%. Those are the first two states to close their polls, and I suspected they would again be called for Bush. What I wanted to pay attention to was Bush’s vote totals from 2004 as compared to 2000. If his percentages in Kentucky and Indiana were lower, it could signal a massive defeat looming on the horizon. If they were the same or larger, there may be hope. At that point, I felt my first glimmer of optimism for the night.

When Indiana and Kentucky came in, I watched their precinct reports closely. It seemed that Bush was winning a higher percentage of votes than he did in 2000; that was good. I became a bit more optimistic and wondered if I had made a bad call with my earlier prediction that Kerry would win.

The votes were slow to come in, but inexplicably, things looked to be in the President’s favor. Blue states were running very close. Red states were voting to re-elect the President by enormous margins. And, of course, we all know how the rest of the night on into Wendesday played out: it came to hinge on Ohio, where Bush’s 137,000 vote lead was enough to nullify any gains Kerry could make from counting provisional ballots. I was stunned. Bush had easily carried Florida, carried Ohio and all of the rest of his 2000 states (save for New Hampshire); he looked on track to pick up New Mexico and Iowa, and he’d won more popular votes than any candidate in history, garnering a majority – 51% - of the vote. Not even Bill Clinton could win over 50% of the popular vote. Bush had done it.

Kerry showed enormous class in conceding yesterday. Though I thought Gore dragged us into a 36-day nightmare, he did have a right to ask for recounts. In 2000, Gore lost Florida by literally hundreds of votes, not to mention he’d won the popular vote by 450,000+. Kerry was losing Ohio by an insurmountable margin. Nothing would have been gained by contesting any votes. He had a hard time giving his concession speech, and who wouldn’t? He’s spent the last two years of his life interviewing for this job, and the American public said no. They made the right choice.

That was my Election Day, which stretched on into today. Politics is, well, what I do; it’s what I think about, what I study, and the field in which I want to work. Naturally, elections are exciting for me. Not many other people understand that, though my roommates were pretty good to stay up late watching returns with me. I tried explaining it to one of them (he’s a baseball fan): I said, “Presidential elections are like the World Series for me. They only happen once every four years, but my team is always in the game.”

And so, the analysis can start. I’ve decided that I’m much better at analyzing things that have already happened than predicting what may happen. And that will come over the next few days and probably weeks to come. There are lots of numbers to pour over, and there are plenty of Democrats whining about how "stupid" those of us who voted for Bush are. It seems they don't respect freedom of choice after all. I'm going to hit them and hit them hard, because this time around, we've got a chance to make the Democrats into a near-permanent minority party.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

RE: MY PREVIOUS POST

Uhhhh...whoops.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

ELECTION DAY

If you haven't voted, do. I'll be watching all of my races closely. Click here to keep up with Josh's race so you can see his victory tonight. Needless to say, I'm much more confident in Josh's chances than in Bush's. Bush is finished, and Kerry has won. The only question is how big his loss is going to be. I still think it may be close, but it looks like Bush will definitely lose. Turnout is the largest that it has been since 1992, the election that ousted Bush's father from office. My guess is that all of those extra voters are turning out to vote against the President. Republicans will keep the House and the Senate, but I would almost guarantee that John Kerry will be our President-elect by tomorrow morning.

That's a big change from my prediction of a few months ago. My new electoral prediction: Kerry 298, Bush 240.

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