I assume Bush will also get one electoral vote from Maine which gives him 233 electoral votes by this count, while reducing Kerry to 189. The following states are listed as tossups, with their electoral votes in parenthesis:
New Hampshire (4)
If Bush wins Florida, which is looking increasingly likely, he will have 260 electoral votes and will only need 10 more electoral votes -- actually, only 9 since he would win if the election is thrown to the House of Representatives. Of the remaining 7 states in play, any one of Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin gives Bush the election. So much for Bush having to win Ohio or Pennsylvania to prevail. Bush can also win by taking only Iowa and New Hampshire. Therefore, the only way Kerry can win is to have almost everything break in his direction the last two days. I consider that unlikely given that in the changes tracked at RealClear Politics over the last two weeks, 9 have broken for Bush while only 5 have broken for Kerry:
10/31: MI - Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 232 - Kerry 190)
10/28: NM - Toss Up >> Leaning Bush (Bush 232 - Kerry 207)
10/28: NC - Leaning Bush >> Solid Bush (Bush 227 - Kerry 207)
10/28: IA - Leaning Bush >> Toss Up (Bush 227 - Kerry 207)
10/28: PA - Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 234 - Kerry 207)
10/26: MI - Toss Up >> Leaning Kerry (Bush 234 - Kerry 228)
10/23: HI - Solid Kerry >> Leaning Kerry (Bush 234 - Kerry 211)
10/22: PA - Toss Up >> Leaning Kerry (Bush 234 - Kerry 211)
10/22: ME/1 - Toss Up >> Leaning Kerry (Bush 234 - Kerry 190)
10/22: IA - Toss Up >> Leaning Bush (Bush 234 - Kerry 189)
10/21: MI - Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 227 - Kerry 189)
10/20: NH - Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 227 - Kerry 206)
10/19: MN - Leaning Kerry >> Toss Up (Bush 227 - Kerry 210)
10/18: FL - Leaning Bush >> Toss Up (Bush 227 - Kerry 220)
There are still 128 different ways for the other 7 states to break. If Bush wins Florida, only 3 of those 128 combinations favor Kerry (Kerry winning all the states, Bush winning only Iowa, or Bush winning only New Hampshire), whereas if Kerry wins Florida, 48 combinations still give Bush the 46 electoral votes he needs to win. It is obviously less likely that Bush will win if he loses Florida, but not ridiculously so, while Bush winning Florida pushes his chances up over 97%, assuming each of the other 7 states really are toss-ups.
While this is cause for confidence, it must not generate complacency. See you, in spirit, at the polls on Tuesday.
Charles and readers, I must apologize, but due to a disgusting spam-o-storm (all nasty pr0n spam) in the comments I have had to close the commenting script for this time. This is only temporary; I will open comments sometime tomorrow morning.
Update: I've turned the comments back on.
So does Tom Harkin talk to God?
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says John Kerry has been gaining in the polls every day since Oct. 21, and George Bush has been going down every day. "That's how God wants it to be," Harkin told a group of about 25 people at the Benton County Headquarters in Vinton on Thursday afternoon.
Nah, that can't be it. We all know that Chimpy McSmirk thinks that he talks to God, and only extremist fundamentalist whackos believe the voices in their heads are God. Maybe Tom Harkin tells God what to do! Yeah, that must be it. That's how the Great Liberal well deliver utopia, or heaven on earth, to us.
I've read that the US has destroyed 400,000 tons of high explosives thus far in Iraq. Just to get an idea of what that means, 400,000 tons is the equivalent of 31.53 pounds of high explosives for every man, woman and child in Iraq, assuming an Iraqi population of 25,374,691. Or only 31.40 pounds of high explosives if these people are to be believed.
But hey, check out this story from the BBC:
The explosives mostly consist of 195 metric tons of HMX and 141 metric tons of RDX - key components in plastic explosives, which have been widely used in car bombings in Iraq... The amounts apparently taken from the al-Qaqaa site could have filled three trucks.
There are trucks that can carry 112 metric tons of high explosives? Jeebus, I sure hope they don't have a flat tire.
I got the largest contract my company has renewed today for FOUR MORE YEARS.
I watched most of HBO's Real Sports last night for the first time since, well, since I saw that the execrable Bryant Gumbel was its host. Mr. Gumbel finished the show last night with his personal commentary on the lack of athletes who are publicly taking political stands these days. He asked, where are the Muhammad Ali's, the Tommy Smith's and John Carlos', the Jim Brown's, and the Billie Jean King's. Mr. Gumbel accused them all of being too interested in their seven figures to act as responsible public figures.
I would liked to have been a fly on the wall when Mr. Gumbel heard about Curt Schilling's "Vote for Bush" comment yesterday on Good Morning America? How pleased do you think Bryant would be if lots of athletes suddenly announced their support for President George W. Bush, tax cuts, school vouchers, the Patriot Act, or heaven forbid, the Liberation of Iraq?
Oh, and as for the greedy athletes Mr. Gumbel, ever heard of Pat Tillman?
If you're an avid reader of the blogosphere then you've undoubtedly read something by a serious person who has written something to the effect that they are voting for John Kerry, despite his past record of being wrong on every major foreign policy issue for the last thirty years, because this time he will do the right thing.
This reminds me of Albert Einstein's definition of insanity as, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." And right on cue, John Kerry tells Tom Brokaw:
"That's what you have inspectors for. That's why I voted for the threat of force, because he only does things when you have a legitimate threat of force. It's irresponsible to suggest that if I were President, he wouldn't be gone. He [Saddam Hussein] might be gone, because if he hadn't complied, we might have had to go to war, but if we did, we would have gone with allies, so the American people weren't carrying the entire burden. And the entire world would understand why we did it."
I'm sure that a President John Kerry would have responded to an attack on America by Saddam Hussein, because he told us he would. It is just as obvious that preemption will never pass a global test. If you are looking for a reactionary response to terrorism and defending America, then John Kerry's your man, no doubt about it.
I thought France wanted John Kerry to win:
France will be always on the side of the Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier declared Thursday.
"France, as I told you (Arafat) in Ramallah on June 30, will be always on your side to back your effort in favor of a just and negotiated peace," Barnier said.
"It is with concern and sympathy that I keep informed of the development of your health," said Barnier.
"I wish to express my most sincere wishes for your recovery, hoping that you can return rapidly to your place to lead the Palestinian Authority," he said.
Oh yeah, it's important to have the right allies.
War, Famine, Pestilence, and the Other One:
The world is on the brink of a major flu epidemic — one that could claim more than a billion lives, the head of the Russian Virology Institute, Academician Dmitry Lvov said at a press conference organized by the RIA-Novosti news agency on Thursday.
“Up to one billion people could die around the whole world in six months,” Lvov said. The expert did not give a timeframe for the epidemic, but said that it is highly probable that it will start this year. “We are half a step away from a worldwide pandemic catastrophe,” the academic said.
At least the Greens would be happy about the rider on the Pale Horse doing his worst.
The difference between Big Media and the blogosphere cannot be illustrated more clearly than by what ABC is doing with its supposed Al Qaeda tape. Is it real? I don't know, although the CIA and FBI have apparently authenticated it. But did that matter to ABC yesterday? It certainly seemed to. Does that matter to ABC today? Apparently not. Now why would that be?
Before the tape was authenticated, ABC was worried about its authenticity, and rightly so given the spate of forged "news" items of late. Now that the tape has been authenticated, the self-appointed gatekeepers of the "news" are now concerned about the political impact the release of the tape might have. Gee, it's a good thing we have ABC to think for us, isn't it? All us rubes cannot be depended upon to make up our own minds as to the validity and appropriateness of this tape and the information on it. If this tape had been sent to, say, Rusty Shackleford, he'd put it up and let the world decide what to think of it.
If ABC news waits until after the election and then decides to show the tape, it will be clear that they are nothing more than another branch of the DNC, as the NY Times and CBS have been revealed to be. Why should political considerations weigh on their decision to show the tape unless, of course, they have a stake in the outcome of the election? If it is news, it is news now, not just beginning on 3 November.
It is becoming increasingly difficult not to think that the fourth estate has become a fifth column.
I'll get the barbeque ready.
DOWNDATE: I don't know where Fox got the picture of the lunar eclipse but the cloud cover here in St. Louis was so thick you couldn't see a star, much less the moon.
I have an idea that will make a fortune. I'll invent a batting glove that doesn't have to be readjusted after every pitch, especially the pitches where the bat never leads the batters shoulder.
Summary: I predicted to friends here two months ago that the Cardinals pitching was going to be a problem in the post-season. Their 1-2 starters (Williams, Morris) turned out to be their 4-5 starters. Three guys new to the team (Carpenter, Marquis, Suppan) all had career years and most had trouble in the past lasting a full season. Morris was the only power pitcher the Cardinals had and he was far too erratic to count on. Did you know they brought Rick Ankiel up in September, remember him? They lost Carpenter before the playoffs, Kline got injured leaving them with only one left-hander in the bullpen, and Tavares stupidly broke his non-throwing hand, though it didn't seem to affect him too much. The Cardinals had a good bullpen and a great defense, but their starting pitching cost them dearly, as did the dead zone in the middle of the order. Pujols hit for average but not power, Rolen had no hits in the entire series, Edmonds had a bunt single for the entire series. I think LaRussa made a number of errors, but the series sweep was so complete that isn't anyone's fault -- this was a team effort. Between the remarkably poor pitching (all those walks and hit batsmen), the terrible hitting, the bizarre baserunning mistakes, and LaRussa's mismanagement, the Red Sox thoroughly dominated the Cardinals, never trailing in the whole series. Kind of a shock for a team that was so used to being dominant for most of the year.
One of the guys that works for me was at the game tonight. He also attended the World Series here in 1964, 1967, 1968 and 1985. Yeah, I'm jealous. But as we say in Chicago, there's always next year.
Oh, and Tim McCarver still sucks as a baseball announcer.
As a mildly interested Cub fan living in St. Louis, I put up with a lot of crap this year; well, every year, actually. Nonetheless, I'll still root for the Cardinals tonight. If the Cardinals can win four in a row, then a lot of people in Boston will go to their graves believing the curse will last as long as the game is played. On the other hand, if the Red Sox can lift the curse and put the Bambino's shade to rest, then perhaps we can all refocus our energies on that damn goat.
Hope Thumbsucking is on the way!
And since John Kerry brought Goose into it this week: "John Edwards? (Sniff.) You stink."
There are fourteen states in the United States of America whose borders are only those of other states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Every single one of those states in what I'll call the Heartland, and all of their 91 electoral votes, are going to go to President George W. Bush according to the latest electoral college projection at RealClear Politics.
Maybe it's because I grew up here in the Heartland (well, Illinois, which I have not technically included in the Heartland because of its border with Lake Michigan; and, yes, Lake Michigan does butt up against Canada; but I digress), but for reasons far too numerous to list in a short blog post, I trust the Heartland of America more than anywhere else when it comes to these kind of big national decisions. I'm not saying that those people who live in states bordering huge bodies of water or foreign nations are untrustworthy, stupid, evil, or always wrong. It's just that the influences that cause poor decision making when it comes to electing politicians seems to be tempered, neutered, or negated to a greater degree by the lifestyles, climates, and mores of states in the Heartland than they are states where sun, surf, si, or c'est are more common.
Feel free to add your reason(s) in the comment section as to why you believe Middle America is more trustworthy, more grounded, or more clear-headed than the rest of America.
The first party to appeal to the courts are the Democrats:
Democrats in Florida already are pursuing nine election-related lawsuits, accusing state election officials of conspiring to disenfranchise minority voters.
Led by the Florida Democratic Party, the People for the American Way, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the AFL-CIO, the lawsuits target, among others, Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, President Bush's brother.
The suits say Republican officials refused to count provisional ballots, improperly disqualified incomplete voter registrations, established overly restrictive rules to disproportionately hurt minority voters and actively sought to disenfranchise blacks.
This is just the beginning. I've read in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Representative Lacy Clay is preparing to get his last minute suits filed to keep the polls open late in St. Louis again this year. It sure does seem as though the Democratic Party has decided to dispense with this troublesome democracy thing if they can't win. My God, I can only hope that the Democrats go down to such a cruching defeat on Tuesday that the adults in their party will clean house and present a viable alternative once again.
It now seems as though there are no rules when it comes to elections. No rules. Nothing, except a postmodern will to power where truth and justice will be whatever the strongest, cleverest, and those least constrained by ethics or morality decide. Gee, where have I heard that before.
DOWNDATE: I remain convinced that all of this is nothing but a ploy to prepare the country for a refusal to accept the results when they lose. Is the end nigh?
At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a Mrs. Powel anxiously awaited the results, and as Benjamin Franklin emerged from the long task now finished, asked him directly: "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" "A republic if you can keep it" responded Franklin.
... and now we know the UN likes John Kerry:
Several hundred tons of conventional explosives were looted from a former Iraqi military facility that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the U.N. nuclear agency told the Security Council on Monday.
A “lack of security” resulted in the loss of 377 tons of high explosives from the sprawling Al-Qaqaa military installation about 30 miles south of Baghdad, said Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.
The IAEA fears “that these explosives could have fallen into the wrong hands,” said Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the agency.
ElBaradei told the council the IAEA had been trying to give the U.S.-led multinational force and Iraq’s interim government “an opportunity to attempt to recover the explosives before this matter was put into the public domain.”
And of course, John Kerry picks it up and, like, in a total coincidence, runs with it:
The disappearance of the explosives quickly became an issue in the presidential race, with the Democratic candidate, Sen. John Kerry, accusing President Bush of committing “one of the greatest blunders” of his administration in failing to secure the materials.
“George W. Bush, who talks tough ... and brags about making America safer, has once again failed to deliver,” Kerry told supporters in Dover, N.H. “After being warned about the danger of major stockpiles of explosives in Iraq, this president failed to guard those stockpiles.”
“This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the greatest blunders of this administration, and the incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and this country at greater risk.”
But there's a fly in the ointment:
The 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives were already missing back in April 10, 2003 -- when U.S. troops arrived at the installation south of Baghdad!
An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.
According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.
Oh, but you'll love this next bit:
It is not clear why the NYTIMES failed to report the cache had been missing for 18 months -- and was reportedly missing before troops even arrived.
Ha, ha, ha. We all know Big Media is trying to get John Kerry elected, but now even the UN is trying to get John Kerry elected. This is totally unacceptable. Folks, they are trying to steal our government from us right before our very eyes. But, fortunately for us, the UN is no better at this than they are at anything else. The US out of the UN now!
I was wrong yesterday when I said that John Kerry would cut and run because he has Vietnam seared -- seared -- into his memory. Oh, I was right about John Kerry having Vietnam seared -- seared -- into his memory, but my greater fear now is that, like LBJ, he will want to micromanage the War on Terrorism. Does John Kerry really think it is the President's job to decide which facilities to attack or protect in order? We know he'll listen to the generals if they ask for more men, but will he listen to them about anything else? (Well, technically, we don't know. I mean, he said that he would listen to the generals if they asked for more men, but then he has said a lot of things we can't believe, hasn't he?) Doesn't John Kerry realize that his criticisms of Bush on everything that happens in Iraq are fundamentally criticism of the Armed Forces carrying out the policy set by the President? Or is it that he doesn't care?
Supporter: Kerry's going to take PA.
Liz Edwards: I know that.
Supporter: I'm just worried there's going to be riots afterwards.
Liz Edwards: Uh.....well...not if we win.
Is this an admission that those voting for Bush cherish civility, law, and order over winning? Or that the people she hangs out with are potentially unstable lunatics who will not accept the will of the people if it goes against them?
Either that or great minds truly do think alike:
VP Cheney Predicts on NBCNEWS TODAY SHOW Monday: Election Results Will 52% Bush, 47% Kerry...
I've been predicting Bush will get 52% of the popular vote for a long, long time.
Sine Qua Non Pundit Bush!
John Kerry cannot stop talking about Vietnam. It is clear that Vietnam weighs heavily on his mind and that his experiences there and afterward have influenced him tremendously. There is nothing inherently bad about that, but, alas, like so many, I am afraid that John Kerry learned the wrong lessons from Vietnam. That John Kerry and the Democratic Party see the War in Iraq as another Vietnam is beyond dispute as he and his allies continue to call it a quagmire, a mistake, wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, etc. All of which leads to what really worries me. If Iraq is Vietnam all over again then I expect John Kerry to come up with the same solution to Iraq that we had in Vietnam, i.e., to declare victory and leave.
That, my friends, is one of the primary reasons why I try so hard to convince folks to vote for George W. Bush. The false hope I've seen so many invest in John Kerry that when elected he'll do the right thing is another perfect example of the triumph of hope over experience. Everything in John Kerry's past indicates that he will cut and run in Iraq since not only is America wrong, but in John Kerry's opinion America can never be right, unless, of course, we have the approval of the hopelessly corrupt UN.
It is profoundly disturbing to me that John Kerry, who has been more wrong, more often, on the foreign policy issues of the last thirty years than anyone is taken as a serious candidate for the presidency of the United States of America. And people banking on him suddenly changing course just because he becomes president are either naive fools or inveterate liars.
Wow. It was 3-0 when I left for Team America: World Police. I expected the game to be over when I got home.
Does every game in baseball now have to take at least four hours?
Picking it up in the 7th inning.
Kelly Clarkson really isn't very good.
Why wasn't Pujols or the pitcher covering first on Manny's hit?
Manny Ramirez really screwed up the first time. I also think Marquis was out at home. I don't think, like Tim McCarver, that it was a good call at all.
The second time Manny tried to slide to make the catch and his cleat caught which threw him off terribly. I'm surprised he wasn't injured, but more surprised this hasn't been mentioned by Joe Buck or Tim McCarver. Manny's second mistake is still an error but it is a hell of a lot more understandable and not nearly as goofy as Jason Marquis tripping over a pebble. Maybe it was the same pebble the ball that hit Tony Womack bounced off of.
Back to 9-9.
And now Renteria makes an error.
And now it's 11-9, with the bottom of St. Louis' order coming up in the 9th.
It may make for good ratings, but it ain't good baseball.
Red Sox up 1-0.
By the way, anybody see a problem with this image?
Don't they have software that does this, or do they actually have someone putting the totals in separately?
Well, I hope no one dies in Boston tonight. If the Red Sox win, what do you want to bet John Kerry tries to hone in on, or even preempt, the President's congratulatory call?
My wife and I went to see Team America: World Police tonight. There were ten people in the theater, so perhaps the reactions weren't what they might have been. The reason there were only ten people is that we live in St. Louis, and apparently everyone here is watching the World Series. Even the roads were empty driving to the theater. But, I digress.
Crude, rude, and totally ruled, dude. But I don't think I'll be taking my teenager to see it.
The technical achievements are pretty damn impressive. The story was a little weak, IMHO. I liked it, but not as much as South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Their treatement of the F.A.G.s is a little unfair, but it wouldn't be so uncomfortable for them if it didn't hit so close to home.
The extended entry has some questions and comments that contain spoilers, for those who haven't seen it yet.
That was the bar scene from Star Wars wasn't it? I haven't seen anyone else mention that yet. I'd like to see Trey's notes to see how many movies they spoofed.
Don't you wonder what they had to cut out to get to an R rating? Especially considering that they had no genitalia. I wondered more if it wasn't the scene between Gary and Spottswoode, as I was cringing a little as Gary's head started to come up. I guess we'll have to wait for the director's cut DVD to come out -- about three months after the first DVD release, of course.
Some of the puppets were uncanny, but I would have had a lot of trouble identifying the Tim Robbins and Alec Baldwin puppets as Tim Robbins and Alec Baldwin ,respectively, without the name tags.
Here's a slightly updated version of the comment I left over at Tim Blair's place:
Come on Tim, this is just some of the nuanced British irony that us Yanks and you Aussies are too simplistic to appreciate. When Charlie Brooker says, "John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?", he's making a sly reference to Republican attempts to suppress the black vote by keeping them away from the voting booths as John Wilkes wanted to do; he is merely expressing his support for John Kerry, as Lee Harvey Oswald killed another former senator from Massachusetts who had been elected president; and, um ..., well ..., I guess Hinckley must be rhyming slang for something related to a respectful approach to democratic elections and the will of the people. I mean, if he was talking about murdering US presidents, why is John Hinckley Jr in this list instead of Leon Czolgosz?
Either that or Mr. Brooker is a tendentious, mayhem-seeking lowlife who wishes the US to imitate what he must imagine is the highpoint of British democracy -- 18th century elections like those depicted in William Hogarth's prints.
An Election Entertainment
Chairing the Members
DOWNDATE: I've corrected Mr. Brooker's name above. I certainly don't want anyone to assume anyone named Charlie Booker or Charlie Parker wrote this. I am beginning to worry about my dyslexia though.
The universe is stranger than we can imagine. Catch these highlights from CHER ISSUES BUSH WARNING AT DISCO:
"There were supposed to be thousands of people here tonight. I'm not sure why that didn't happen, obviously the people putting on this thing were just not very good at it," an embarrassed Cher explained to the crowd.
Oh, I've got a pretty good idea why very few people showed up, but you go ahead and blame other people. That technique has such a fine pedigree on the Angry Left.
"All the gay guys, all my friends, all my gay friends, you guys you have got to vote, alright? Because it would only be a matter of time before you guys would be so screwed, I cannot tell you."
Because, you know, the people, like, in the very right wing of this party, of these Republicans, the very very right wing, the Jerry Falwell element, if they get any more power, you guys are going to be living in some state by yourselves."
I can either say nothing or go on for about 10,000 words on this one sentence. In the interest of time, I'll allow Cher's wisdom to speak for itself.
"So, I hate scare tactics, but I really believe that that's true."
Sure you hate to do it, but since hate seems to be your primary motivating factor these days, oh, go ahead.
"I think that as Bush will, if Bush gets elected, he will put in new Superior Court judges, and these guys are not going to want to see gay pride week."
Like, totally superior.
Cher declared that Abraham Lincoln "looks like Kerry on a crappy day."
Well, Abraham Lincoln has been dead for 140 years.
N.Z. Bear is soliciting entries for his Heroes for Bush. Here are mine:
Magnum Force --
John Kerry: "I've served twenty years in the Senate without ever having to pass a meaningful peace of legislation."
Harry Callahan: "A man's got to know his limitations."
Tracy Flick: None of this would have happened if those Swiftboat Vets hadn't meddled the way they did. They should have just accepted things as they are instead of trying to interfere with destiny. You see, you can't interfere with destiny. That's why it's destiny. And if you try to interfere, the same thing's going to happen anyway, and you'll just suffer.
Die Hard (the European vs. John McCain, uh, I mean John McClane)--
Hans Gruber (as John Kerry) : "You know my name but who are you? Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he's John Wayne? Rambo? Marshall Dillon?"
John McClane (as George W. Bush): "Was always kinda' partial to Roy Rogers actually. I really dig those sequined shirts."
Hans Gruber (as John Kerry): "Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mister Cowboy?"
John McClane (as George W. Bush): "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf****r."
Marathon Man --
Christian Szell (Big Media): "Is it safe?"
Babe (as John Kerry): "Yes, it's safe, it's very safe, it's so safe you wouldn't believe it."
Christian Szell (Big Media): "Is it safe?"
Babe (as John Kerry): "No. It's not safe, it's... very dangerous, be careful."
High Noon --
Helen Ramirez: "You're a good-looking boy, you've big, broad shoulders. But he's a man. And it takes more than big, broad shoulders to make a man."
Rick (as John Kerry): "Don't you sometimes wonder if it's worth all this? I mean what you're fighting for."
Victor Laszlo (as George W. Bush): "You might as well question why we breathe. If we stop breathing, we'll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die."
Rick (as John Kerry): "Well, what of it? It'll be out of its misery."
Victor Laszlo (as George Bush): "You know how you sound, Mr. Blaine? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart."
But we won't leave Rick hanging there since he had a change of heart --
Rick (as George Bush): But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid.
According to a nationwide (England) poll of Odeon managers, here are the top 10 movie catchphrases of all time:
1. "You talkin' to me?" - Taxi Driver (1976)
2. "The name's Bond, James Bond." - Dr No (1962)
3. "What's it all about?" - Alfie (1966)
4. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." - Gone with the Wind (1939)
5. "We're gonna need a bigger boat." - Jaws (1975)
6. "No one puts baby in the corner." - Dirty Dancing (1987)
7. "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" - The Italian Job (1969)
8. "May the force be with you." - Star Wars (1977)
9. "Show me the money!" - Jerry Maguire (1996)
10. "Yeah baby, yeah!" - Austin Powers (1997)
Bull. Here are the top 21 movie catchphrases of all time with each actor or actress only getting one entry, some with intros to set it up properly:
1. "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." - The Godfather (1972)
2. "Plastics." - The Graduate (1967)
3. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow." - To Have and Have Not (1944)
4. "Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects." - Casablanca (1942)
5. "May the force be with you." - Star Wars (1977)
6. "What we have here is a failure to communicate." - Cool Hand Luke (1967)
7. "You talkin' to me?" - Taxi Driver (1976)
8. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." - Gone with the Wind (1939)
9. "I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids." - Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
10. "I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?" - Dirty Harry (1971)
11. "My precious." - LOTR (2001, 2002, 2003)
12. "Yippie-ky-yay motherf*****r." - Die Hard (1988)
13. "You'll put your eye out." - A Christmas Story (1983)
14. "What is the problem with Michael Jackson?" - Three Kings (1999)
15. "Is it safe?" - The Marathon Man (1976)
16. "As of now, they're on Double SECRET Probation!" - Animal House (1978)
17. "I'll be back." - The Terminator (1984, 1991, 2003)
18. "I'm gonna get medieval on your ass." - Pulp Fiction (1994)
19. "Rommel, you magnificent bastard. I read your book." - Patton (1970)
20. "We're gonna need a bigger boat." - Jaws (1975)
21. "The name's Bond, James Bond." - Dr No (1962), etc.
Link courtesy of FAD.
Everytime I read something like this:
Eyewitness News has learned the Democratic National Committee plans a legal offensive on the voting process in Nevada.
I start to wonder, are we about to substitute the rule of law with the rule of lawyers?
Everybody, sing along:
Clad in camouflage clothing, a 12-gauge double-barreled shotgun under his arm, Senator John Kerry and three fellow hunters emerged from an eastern Ohio cornfield Thursday morning with four dead geese and an image his aides hope will help shore up his macho bona fides among rural voters.
You really do have to aprpeciate the nuanced approach to winning over the rubes, dont you?
"Everybody got one, everybody got one," said Mr. Kerry, his hand stained with goose blood, though he was the only member of the hunting party not carrying a carcass.
No Blood for Photo-Ops!
An aide said later that two of the birds would soon be sent back to Mr. Kerry for consumption.
Later this week another aide says, ...
"Mr. Kerry, your goose is cooked."
What strikes me most about these short snippets from "serious" people on who they are going to vote for is how profoundly unserious it reveals most of them to be. It is easy enough to skip over the glib answers by people like Drew Carey or Penn Gillette, but the disdain so many literati show for the necessity of compromise by a chief executive is indicative of a mindset that prefers a clean dictatorship to a messy democracy.
Jeez. Without question, I'm always going to be a small "l" libertarian.
You need to read Roger Ebert's review of Team America: World Police to see what happens when a liberal takes himself and his policy positions a little too seriously. Since I haven't seen the movie yet, I don't think I should fisk his criticism, but it still makes for educational reading.
Poor Roger is so preoccupied with the skewering of his liberal shibboleths he didn't even notice that one of the primary targets of satire in Team America: World Police is Hollywood itself. Maybe Roger was too incensed about his sacred cows being carved up and served rare to notice.
Take it away, George Tenet, D-CIA:
Although he emphasized that the Central Intelligence Agency boasts "tremendously talented men and women," former CIA Director George Tenet said it "did not live up to our expectations as professionals" regarding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the search for nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"We had inconsistent information, and we did not inform others in the community of gaps in our intelligence," Tenet said. "The extraordinary men and women who do magnificent work in the CIA are held accountable every day for what they do, and as part of keeping our faith with the American people, we will tell you when we're right or wrong."
Tenet called the war on Iraq "wrong" in a speech Wednesday night to 2,000 members of The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan at Lake Michigan College's Mendel Center.
I am still amazed at how incompetent the CIA became starting on January 21, 2001.
Even ABC's taking old wooden Al to task:
Gore to Stump for Kerry in Florida
You go, ghoulfriend:
Medics and witnesses said a missile from an Israeli drone slammed into a vehicle and killed Adnan al-Ghoul, a senior Hamas leader and master bombmaker for the Islamic militant group who has been on Israel's most wanted list since 1987.
Merriam-Webster defines a ghoul as:
A legendary evil being that robs graves and feeds on corpses.
This legendary evil focused on creating graves and fed on the generation of corpses. Good riddance, and say hello to Gulbuth the Rampant for me.
Does this strike anyone else as, well, strange?
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said he bagged a goose on his swing-state hunting trip Thursday, but his real target was the voters who may harbor doubts about him.
Holy crap, run for the hills!
Kerry returned after a two-hour hunting trip wearing a camouflage jacket and carrying a 12-gauge shotgun, but someone else carried the bird he said he shot.
"I'm too lazy," Kerry joked. "I'm still giddy over the Red Sox. It was hard to focus."
Yeah, his favorite home town team of the century of the week.
The Massachusetts senator was referring to Boston's American League championship Wednesday night. He stayed up late cheering his hometown team onto victory, then got up for a 7 a.m. hunting trip at a supporter's produce farm.
Kerry adviser Mike McCurry said it's important in the final days of the campaign that voters "get a better sense of John Kerry, the guy."
That means the Democratic senator is spending some of the dwindling time before Election Day hunting, talking about his faith and watching his beloved Red Sox.
It's all part of an effort to win over swing voters who may be open to voting against President Bush but aren't sure they feel any connection with Kerry.
But not everyone is fooled!
The National Rifle Association said it bought a full-page ad in Thursday's Youngstown newspaper that says Kerry is posing as a sportsman while opposing gun-owners' rights. Kerry has denied NRA claims that he wants to "take away" guns, but he supported the ban on assault-type weapons and requiring background checks at gun shows
"If John Kerry thinks the Second Amendment is about photo ops, he's Daffy," says the ad the NRA said would run in The Vindicator. It features a large photo of Kerry with his finger on a shotgun trigger but looking in another direction.
A rather fitting summary for the gang that couldn't shoot straight. Or maybe Jeff Goldstein has been right all along, if you have to choose between rabbits and ducks, go with the bunnies.
Or as purported news service Reuters has it headlined:
Bush Brothers Love Fest--Is It Fair to Voters?
Well, you can see where this is going:
When President Bush campaigns in battleground Florida, it's usually at the side of his brother, popular Gov. Jeb Bush, accused by opponents of putting fraternal devotion ahead of fair elections.
Got any names Reuters? No, I didn't think so. After all, somebody said it and it's the seriousness of the charge more than any actual intent or evidence supporting ithe charge, right?
And as in 2000, when President Bush defeated former Vice President Al Gore by 537 votes in a protracted recount battle decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Bush opponents accuse the governor of rigging the state election system to ensure his brother's victory.
Again, any possibility that we can face or question the accusers who are so free, or dare I say, liberal with their groundless accusations?
Democrats cite the election division's flawed list of suspected felons tagged for deletion from the voter rolls, which was scrapped after it proved to be full of errors and heavily weighted with likely Democratic voters.
Ah, it's Democrats making the accusations. But still, who exactly? And if the list was scrapped, how can it be evidence of a fixed election? And is it really part of Bush's nefarious plan if the law says that felons cannot vote and the felon demographic just happens to tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats?
They also cite the decision to put Ralph Nader on the ballot before a court settled a dispute over his eligibility.
Still no names, eh? Oh and see the post below about the necessity of actually being able to issue a ballot at some point, rather than holding all ballots up in the courts.
I think I may rename this blog Democrats Piss Me Off.
Now the battle will be in the courtrooms and Big Media studios after the election:
Six so-called "SWAT teams" of lawyers and political operatives will be situated around the country with fueled-up jets awaiting Kerry's orders to speed to a battleground state. The teams have been told to be ready to fly on the evening of the election to begin mounting legal and political fights. Every battleground state will have a SWAT team within an hour of its borders.
The Kerry campaign has recount office space in every battleground state, with plans so detailed they include the number of staplers and coffee machines needed to mount legal challenges.
"Right now, we have 10,000 lawyers out in the battleground states on Election Day, and that number is growing by the day," said Michael Whouley, a Kerry confidant who is running election operations at the Democratic National Committee.
While the lawyers litigate, political operatives will try to shape public perception. Their goal would be to persuade voters that Kerry has the best claim to the presidency and that Republicans are trying to steal it.
Democrats are already laying the public relations groundwork by pointing to every possible voting irregularity before the Nov. 2 election and accusing Republicans of wrongdoing.
Or as Terry McAuliffe might as well put it, paraphrasing Bluto Blutarsky, "This election isn't over until we say it's over." The Democrats faith in, and respect for, the will of the people has reached a new low as the DNC has apparently started to substitute its own bathwater for Kool-Aid. They've been repeating the tired lies about stolen elections, a hopelessly corrupt electoral process, and RNC efforts to disenfranchise voters for so long that they now are acting as though no election result, except one giving them a victory, will be valid.
Remember, though, that while 2000 was somewhat ad hoc on the part of everyone, this time the chaos and complete lack of goodwill is premeditated:
Gore didn't plan for the legal showdown, though few could have predicted it before Election Day. And he watched as Bush seized political advantage during the 36-day recount by publicly discussing a transition to the White House.
Not this time, promise Kerry's advisers. If there is doubt about the results, they will fight without delay.
"...as Bush seized political advantage ...," as usual, their language betrays their true feelings. But I'm curious what the criteria for "doubt" might be, and in whose mind must that "doubt" must reside. But why would there be any doubt about the results? I mean, aside from the Angry Left's blatant efforts to sow discord, contempt, and fear in the electorate. Prepare to reap the whirlwind.
"The first thing we will do is make sure everybody has an opportunity to vote and every vote is counted," said Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter.
Their respect for the process is touching. Or, rather, it would be if they weren't going out of their way to prevent the mailing of absentee ballots to those overseas, i.e., the United States Armed Forces, by waiting until the last moment to file their anti-Nader lawsuits.
But it's not as though they really accepted the results in 2000 either. In the next paragraph notice the rather smarmy neglect to note that every single announced result from 3 November 2000 on awarded Bush the election. Why wouldn't he act as though he won?
Amid the tumult of the 2000 recount, Bush sought to make his presidency appear inevitable time by leaking word of his national security team and bringing news cameras into his transition meetings. Gore and his staff were more reluctant to talk about the appointment process.
Folks, we really are on the verge of becoming a Banana Republic here.
Hometown hottie Matt Damon doesn't rest when it comes to politicking for his presidential pick John Kerry - even whilst in Germany! "I would pay $1 million to have Kerry in the White House," the actor said at the premiere of "The Bourne Supremacy" in Berlin the other night.
Gosh, I can't wait to see Team America: World Police.
Due to some troll activity on one of the Spleenville blogs the commenting capability has been shut down by the hosting service for all Movable Type blogs here for the time being. I have no idea how long it will last; until their server cools off, however long that takes.
In the final episode of his A History of Britain, titled The Two Winstons, Simon Schama provides an exposition on British history in the 20th Century focusing primarily on Winston Churchill and George Orwell. The title of the episode comes from the given names of the former and the protaganist of the latter's novel, 1984, Winston Smith.
Winston Churchill and George Orwell could hardly be more different in their political and social views, and yet, each independently and accurately recognized the growing menace of Nazism in the 1930's, realized the necessity of fighting and defeating fascism in WW II, and feared the growing menace of Stalinism after WW II. Simon Schama captured both the divergence of their political views and their convergence of thought on these matters, by playing an audio clip of Winston's famous blood, toil, tears, and sweat speech before the House of Commons three days after being named Prime Minister on May 10, 1940, and then saying the following:
This kind of indefatigible defiance was why George Orwell, for all his mistrust of Churchill's conservatism, was so relieved that at last Britain had a leader who realized, as he wrote, "that wars are won by fighting."
Although the socialist and the old aristocrat were so different, the one loved the empire and the other detested it, both understood that their differences were nothing compared to what seperated them both from the Nazis and the defeatists.
I mention this because there are some who are refusing to vote to re-elect President George W. Bush on November 2, for one reason or another, even though their political philosophies are generally much closer to President Bush's than to John Kerry's. I do not seek to address the issues they may have with President George W. Bush. They are entitled to be disgusted at any number of the sins of ommission and the sins of commission he has made, and I have no desire here to try and dissuade them of their beliefs or opinions. I share many, though probably not all, of the concerns they may have with President George W. Bush as well, yet I will be voting to re-elect him on November 2 because I believe we have to choose sides in this war.
Yes, I'm going to mention the war. Disregarding the fundamental differences in political views and the many more sins I believe John Kerry and his campaign have committed for the moment, I believe it is important to defeat John Kerry in his bid to become the forty-fourth President of the United States for one primary reason. We are at war, and I am certain that it is far from over and that we have not yet seen the worst of it. Unfortunately, John Kerry chooses to downplay the seriousness of the war, seemingly constricting the War on Terrorism to the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and I fear if elected he will pursue what appears to me to be a strategy of appeasement to gather the approval of erstwhile friends and foes, whether they will supply material support or not.
President George W. Bush has demonstrated forcefully that he is willing to fight this war to win it. He may not move as fast or on as broad a front as many of us would like, and he may not use the tactics or strategies we prefer, but he is fighting the war. I am a proponent of Michael Ledeen's "Faster, please" approach to the War on Terrorism, but I also understand that most of the American public is not yet ready for that. I believe it is shortsighted to claim that this is evidence of a lack of leadership, since we have already seen how small steps to do the right thing have been exploited by John Kerry to try and derail the entire War on Terrorism. It is more important that we win the war rather than every battle in that war, and especially every battle on an abbreviated timetable.
You must choose a side in this battle in the War on Terrorism, and as we have seen with the election in Spain and Australia, our general election on November 2 is another battle in that war. But keep in mind that there are three sides in this battle, rather than two. You can vote to allow President George W. Bush to continue to lead the fight in the War on Terrorism, you can vote to allow John Kerry to lead the fight in the War on Terrorism, or you can sit on your hands and accept the outcome dictated by the will of others -- including our enemies. I do not believe that a vote for John Kerry is a vote for our enemies though I believe it is a vote to fight the War on Terror in a way that I believe is misguided and likely to lead to more death and destruction in the short and long term.
A vote to re-elect President George W. Bush is not, and should not be taken to be a vote to endorse everything he advocates. It is useful to remember that he can only serve another four years and that he is likely to have, at best, only small majorities in Congress to work with. It is also useful to remember that even Winston Churchill was thrown out of office by the people of Great Britain in a resounding defeat in the elections of 1945. Their democracy survived and so shall ours, though I don't know if I would be able to write that had Lord Halifax become Prime Minister in 1940 and proceeded to broker a deal with Hitler as he desired rather than fight a protracted war with an uncertain outcome to defeat Germany unconditionally.
I like that word -- unconditionally. It is how we used to fight and win wars by demanding the unconditional surrender or destruction of our enemies on the battlefield. It sounds very harsh to our sensibilities today, yet it was only sixty years ago when we followed through with our demand for unconditional surrender by destroying our enemies in the Pacific when they would not surrender. I recently watched Hell in the Pacific, which documented in the clearest terms possible, and with shockingly graphic footage, what the destruction of our enemies on the field of battle meant and why it was necessary. It seems to me that it is only when we abandoned the idea of complete victory with the unconditional surrender or destruction of our enemies in Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, Bosnia, and again in Iraq that we have had left bleeding, festering wounds that will not heal rather than pursuing decisive, though undoubtedly painful, final results from which we can move forward.
Our enemies have a desired outcome for our election, though I will freely admit that I'm unsure of exactly what it may be. Whether we re-elect President George W. Bush or elect John Kerry as president on November 2, we may be giving our enemies what they want, but if you do not vote, you are making it easier for them to achieve their aims, whatever those aims may be. To that end, I suppose I am arguing that I'd rather you vote for John Kerry than not vote at all. If that is what you choose, then so be it, but at least choose or accept the consequences. At the very least it shows that you have not been intimidated into not voting out of fear or self-paralyzed into inaction by pathetic arguments that conclude with a pox upon both their houses, especially since a pox upon all of our houses is what might well result.
Whatever your reasons for disliking President George W. Bush and his policies, I feel comfortable stating that your political and policy differences with him cannot possibly be greater than those separating Winston Churchill and George Orwell. And yet, even the great, unrepentant socialist found common cause with virtually the last defender of the British Empire when it came to fighting a war of survival for Britain, however the political landscape might change after the war. But as Simon Schama also said:
Churchill wasn't fighting for the Vale of York or for some unreal dream of village England. He wasn't fighting for Britain at all understood just as a piece of geography. He was fighting for what he thought was the meaning of being British and that meaning was an idea. A precious idea we'd given to the world -- freedom and rule of law. Without it, having to endure an existence by permission of the Fuehrer, all we had was a mock Britain, not worthy of the name really, let alone of our long history. Better by far to die fighting than to live with the shame of being a slave state.
I leave it to the reader to connect the dots and draw the appropriate parallels from the world of 1940 and the challenges Britain faced then with Nazism to 2004 and the challenges the United States (and Britain, Australia, Poland and so many others!) face today with Islamofacism and the War on Terror. I pray your vision is as clear in this matter as I believe mine to be.
As I am no Bill Whittle, lacking the sufficient goodwill of readers to slog through an extended essay, I have tried to keep this plea to a manageable length to avoid readers skipping right past it. I could go on for many pages to try and address the thoughts, arguments, and objections that occured to me as I composed virtually each sentence, but I thought it better to limit the scope to something that serious readers can review within five minutes. Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
Are you shocked that some soldiers are acting upon what they've heard from the man who wants to lead them?
The Army is investigating reports that several members of a reservist supply unit in Iraq refused to go on a convoy mission, the military said Friday. Relatives of the soldiers said the troops considered the mission too dangerous.
The reservists are from the 343rd Quartermaster Company, which is based in Rock Hill, S.C. The unit delivers food and water in combat zones.
According to The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Miss., a platoon of 17 soldiers refused to go on a fuel supply mission Wednesday because their vehicles were in poor shape and they did not have a capable armed escort.
The paper cited interviews with family members of some of the soldiers, who said the soldiers had been confined after their refusals.
Another source says:
"I got a call from an officer in another unit early (Thursday) morning who told me that my husband and his platoon had been arrested on a bogus charge because they refused to go on a suicide mission," said Jackie Butler of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Michael Butler, a 24-year reservist. "When my husband refuses to follow an order, it has to be something major."
..."They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to get ambushed or fired at," Hill said her daughter told her. "They would have had no way to fight back."
But as it happens:
The mission was carried out by other soldiers from the 343rd, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said.
If I've learned anything after blogging for a while it is to treat items like this as data points and to wait a few days for the full story to come out. I don't know beyond what I've read here what motivated these men to disobey an order and make the lives of other soldiers more difficult and dangerous. I won't call them cowards and I certainly won't applaud them. I trust the authorities will investigate and do what is right in this instance whatever that is.
Maybe it's a cheap shot to lay this at the feet of Senator Kerry's rhetoric. Then again, maybe it isn't if you read the previous post.
I promise to never, ever again believe that I have seen the worst from John Kerry:
There is a "great potential of a draft" to replenish U.S. forces in Iraq if President Bush wins a second term, Democratic challenger John Kerry said in an Iowa newspaper interview published Friday.
On one hand, this level of mendacity is heartening because it indicates how desperate he is becoming. The internal poll results must have become brutal. On the other hand, if he does win with disgracefully wicked lies like this, I expect the electoral process in our great country to only become further degraded until it has been destroyed. My God, I only hope there is someone other than Zell on the other side of the aisle to call him out on this.
"Hey, I love lesbians, I mean, who doesn't? Teresa and Elizabeth love lesbians too, don't ya girls?"
According to Drudge:
KERRY/EDWARDS ELECTION DIRECTIVE: CHARGE VOTER INTIMIDATION, EVEN IF NONE EXISTS
The Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee are advising election operatives to declare voter intimidation -- even if none exists, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.
A 66-page mobilization plan to be issued by the Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee states: "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a 'pre-emptive strike.'"
The provocative Dem battle plan is to be distributed in dozens of states, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
One top DNC official confirmed the manual's authenticity, but claimed the notion of crying wolf on any voter intimidation is "absurd."
"We all know the Republicans are going to try to steal the election by scaring people and confusing people," the top DNC source explained.
Because we all know.
When I read something like this I wonder if perhaps the death penalty is too harsh for those that perpetrate vote fraud or otherwise try to abuse the election process. If we lose the ability to elect our representatives then we have lost self governance.
In the immortal words of Eric Cartman, "Democrats piss me off."
I'm thinking of treating myself to a couple of new toys for my birthday: a .22 handgun and a .22 long gun. Both will be used for target and technique practice (cheaper ammo) and to teach my girls to shoot.
Any suggestions? Should I use a scope on the long gun?
Oh, and maybe I'll start the paperwork for concealed carry while I'm at it.
When are folks going to figure out that at least half the controversy surrounding a film like Team America: World Police is done simply for the sake of publicity?
Well, this is bad:
Colorado health officials Wednesday warned the public to beware of black-market flu vaccine after the theft of 620 doses from a pediatrician's office.
Bush wins 3 falls to 2.
MSNBC's "young" voter reporter still doesn't know what's going to happen with the draft. Jeez.
Is there anything more useless than minutes 4 - 2004 of the post-debate commentary?
That's the name of my fantasy football team this year. It's a small gesture, but one that has been noticed.
Eric McErlain has a rundown on Jake Plummer's battles with the NFL for wearing Pat Tillman's 40 on his helmet. Eric also has a link you can visit to buy a Pat Tillman jersey which until recently had been embargoed, and a link to donate to the Pat Tillman Foundation.
At some point this evening, probably right after the obligatory, "Thank you for having me," the debate will deteriorate into a variant of:
(Et cetera, ad infinitum.)
Why anyone is going to suddenly start believing either candidate tonight if they didn't already boggles the mind if you think on it too much. So you are on your own if you choose to watch. The only real reasons to watch tonight are to see if Bush will ask Bob Scheiffer whether Dan Rather put out a memo like Mark Halperin did for Charlie Gibson's network last week demanding that they keep it (un)fair; if Bob Scheiffer will ask Kerry if he favors using the government to limit free speech that doesn't favor him; if Bush will ask Kerry when he converted from Roman Catholicism to a laying-of-the-hands Christian fundamentalism; if Bush will ask Kerry to call off the burglaries and destruction of his campaign offices; or if Bob Scheiffer will ask Kerry whether he finds any of these questions a "nuisance." But, of course, none of this will happen.
In another highly irrelevant contest, I predict Big Media will declare Kerry the winner, as usual, on style over subtance. If this election were to be contested on subtance Kerry wouldn't even get 30% of the vote.
And they call me a geek.
Look at what happens when a Big Media journalist tries to venture into the rough and tumble world of science and politics:
In the second presidential debate, President Bush said: "I'm a good steward of the land. The quality of the air's cleaner since I've been the president. Fewer water complaints since I've been the president."
Sen. John Kerry responded this way: "The president, I don't think, is living in a world of reality with respect to the environment. We're going backwards." He vows to reverse many of Bush's policies.
Which presidential candidate is right? How has America's environment fared under Bush?
Gosh, I don't know. Pray tell:
Over the past 30 years, the nation's air and water have become dramatically cleaner, but the steady improvement has stalled or gone into reverse in several areas since Bush took office, according to government statistics. On Bush's watch, America's environment deteriorated in many critical areas - including the quality of air in cities and the quality of water that people drink - and gained in very few.
Knight Ridder compiled 14 pollution-oriented indicators from government and university statistics. Nine of the 14 indicators showed a worsening trend, two showed improvements and three others zigzagged.
Wow, let's see what has gotten worse:
Superfund cleanups of toxic waste fell by 52 percent.
Fish-consumption warnings for rivers doubled.
Fish-consumption advisories for lakes increased 39 percent.
The number of beach closings rose 26 percent.
Civil citations issued to polluters fell 57 percent.
Criminal pollution prosecutions dropped 17 percent.
Asthma attacks increased by 6 percent.
There were small increases in global temperatures and unhealthy air days.
Whoa there Nelly, let's take these one by one:
Superfund cleanups of toxic waste fell by 52 percent. Well, you might not like that, but that's not evidence of a worsening trend. I certainly would think that some 24 years after the creation of the EPA's Superfund that new sites weren't being created as fast now as they were pre-1980. So maybe, there are fewer sites to clean up, or maybe the easy sites have been cleaned up and now all that's left are the tougher, more expensive sites. The decline in a government meta-statistic should not be confused with a decline in what is being measured.
Fish-consumption warnings for rivers doubled. But has pollution in rivers increased? An increase in warnings does not necessarily mean that pollution is worse. It may only indicate more attentive enforcement, which would seem to be a good thing under President Bush, no? Jeez.
Fish-consumption advisories for lakes increased 39 percent. But has pollution in lakes increased? An increase in warnings does not necessarily mean that pollution is worse. It may only indicate more attentive enforcement, which would seem to be a good thing under President Bush, no? Double jeez.
The number of beach closings rose 26 percent. But has pollution increased? An increase in closings does not necessarily mean that pollution is worse. It may only indicate more attentive enforcement, which would seem to be a good thing under President Bush, no? Triple jeez.
Civil citations issued to polluters fell 57 percent. Maybe because the evil capitalist polluters have been cleaning up their acts over the years. Do you really think all the fines and lawsuits over the years that Big International Conglomerates are actually more anxious to subject themselves to civil citations?
Criminal pollution prosecutions dropped 17 percent. Or criminal prosecutions? Sigh. Jeez to inifinity.
Asthma attacks increased by 6 percent. But is that because of increased pollution? Maybe it is, but there may well be other significant factors involved here as well.
There were small increases in global temperatures and unhealthy air days. First of all, the evidence that the earth is getting warmer may not be true, and even if it is whether it is because of "pollution" is debatable. But granting that it is, is this really something you think President Bush can control? Have you seen how much more energy China is using these days -- that would be the China not subject to the Kyoto Accords, so please don't bring up that red herring. And finally, do the number of unhealthy air days really indicate a worsening pollution problem or might it once again be more attentive enforcement, a byproduct of some weather cycles in some areas, huge wildfires in Southern California, or other events far, far beyond the control of President Bush, or even a President Kerry?
So, do you actually have any instances or data that support your contention that the environment has gotten worse under President Bush?
No, I didn't think so. Any good news?
There were signs of pollution improvement, though. Major air-emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes dropped 9 percent, and greenhouse-gas emissions were reduced by 0.5 percent.
Nice of you to pack that into one paragraph rather than double spaced bullets for effect, by the way. But do you know what's different about the two areas just cited and the nine previously cited? In the latter, there are real statistics quoted about pollution levels, wheras in the former all that are quoted are statistics about the government's measurement of pollution. Big difference.
So what about the three areas that fluctuated?
Statistics that have fluctuated are the number of people living in smoggy cities; the number of people drinking from tainted water supplies; and overall toxic pollution releases by industry.
What does fluctuated mean? Are they higher or lower? And, incidentally, these measures are pathetic. Smog levels could be going down in L.A. for instance, but if more people move in then there are still more people living in smoggy L.A. than before. To quote King Theoden, "Is this all you've got Saruman?"
In land-use policy under Bush, another 12 indicators reveal record-low additions to national parks, wilderness, wildlife refuges and the endangered species list. The Bush administration also approved 74 percent more permits to drill for oil and gas on public lands in its first three years than were granted in the previous three years.
Bush also has ordered dozens of sweeping changes to existing environmental policies, usually to benefit business interests. He reversed the government's course on global warming, power plant emissions, roadless areas of national forests, environmental law enforcement and agricultural run-off.
Two major Bush administration proposals still languish in Congress. One would change the way air pollution from power plants is regulated, with gradually shrinking limits on emissions and the first-ever limits for mercury pollution. Critics say Bush's approach would require fewer pollution reductions than current law.
The other pending Bush proposal is his energy bill, which calls for more drilling on public lands, including Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - which Kerry has been a leader in opposing.
Kerry vows to reverse Bush's efforts to make it easier for older power plants to expand without additional pollution controls. He promises to "plug loopholes" in industrial air-pollution regulations, limit suburban sprawl and mount a new program to protect America's waterways.
Over nearly two decades in the Senate, Kerry has gotten extremely high marks from environmental groups, including from the League of Conservation Voters. Henry Lee, Harvard University's environment and natural resources program director, said Kerry didn't initiate any environmental legislation that became landmark law, but he often was "out in front on the issue."
If Kerry is friendly with environmental activists, "the Bush administration is sympathetic to the concerns of business," said Eban Goodstein, the chairman of the environmental-studies program at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. "They're bringing in people that are really hostile to the current regulatory framework."
Wow, that sounds like a nice objective press release from, well, from the DNC. There's more quoting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Carol Browner, but really, what's the point.
It is surprising what passes for journalism these days isn't it?
FCC Commissioner Micheal J. Copps on Sinclair airing an anti-Kerry documentary:
“This is an abuse of the public trust. And it is proof positive of media consolidation run amok when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology -- whether liberal or conservative. Some will undoubtedly question if this is appropriate stewardship of the public airwaves. This is the same corporation that refused to air Nightline’s reading of our war dead in Iraq."
It seems to me that Mr. Copps advocates broadcasting pro-Kerry propoganda but gets severely bent out of shape when someone tries to broadcast anti-Kerry propoganda. Thanks goodness the government is loooking out for us and will determine what it is safe for us to see, dont ya think?
The tough run away:
Sen. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he is closing his Washington office because of a classified intelligence report that made him fear for the safety of his staff.
Dayton, D-Minn., said the office will be closed while Congress is in recess through Election Day, with his staff working out of his Minnesota office and in Senate space off Capitol Hill.
"I take this step out of extreme, but necessary, precaution to protect the lives and safety of my Senate staff and my Minnesota constituents, who might otherwise be visiting my Senate office in the next three weeks," he said on a call with reporters.
"I feel compelled to do so because I will not be here in Washington to share what I consider to be an unacceptably greater risk to their safety," he said.
Of course, this is all predicated on the going getting tough:
CBS News Correspondent Bob Orr reports that federal officials said they knew of no new, specific intelligence information that would have prompted Dayton to close his office.
Brian Roehrkasse, a Homeland Security Department spokesman, said the department had no intelligence indicating al-Qaida intends to target any specific U.S. locations.
Added Capitol police spokesman Michael Lauer: "There's been no specific threats against the Capitol complex. We continue to be on guard now, all the way up to the election and all the way through
Rather than leadership, this strikes me as cheap grandstanding bordering on cowardice. You asked for the tough job of being senator for the good people of Minnesota, Mr. Dayton. Even if your concern was legitimate, which doesn't seem to be the opinion of anyone else in Washington, if you want to take a position of leadership you must lead and demonstrate bravery and wisdom.
Maybe this is a DNC trial balloon to see how it plays out. If it goes over well, I expect the Democrats to leave Washington en masse to try and make Bush look bad. Of course, maybe some of them should clean out their offices now and save themselves the trip back to do it after the election.
John Edwards says:
'When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again'...
The ellipsis cut off the important section of the Senator's remarks:
"Or I'm going to sue every last one of the doctors working on spinal cord research!"
Ya know, what Senator Edwards and his fellow ambulance chasers do illustrates the problem with eating the rich better than anything else I can think of. What do you do once they are gone? (Ed. Aside from identifying a new
victim righteous cause.) Obstetricians and gynecologists are disappearing from Illinois in the metropolitan area around St. Louis and some of the hospitals here are shutting their maternity wards -- for one simple reason. The doctors here are closing up shop as the civil justice system in Illinois' Madison County is now owned by the plaintiff's bar. Insurance rates are skyrocketing and no doctor wants to have to compete with lawyers who can channel the thoughts of the unborn (after the fact) with a tear in his eye and a lump in his throat in front of a jury of people that has been fully Oprahfied. Naturally evidence that stem cell research can probably do little for those suffering from spinal cord injuries will be of little importance to Senator Edwards when there are demogogic points to be scored, as Christopher Reeve himself recently said:
I advocate it because I think scientists should be free to pursue every possible avenue. It appears though, at the moment, that embryonic stem cells are effective in treating acute injuries and are not able to do much about chronic injuries.
But I digress.
I expect a new commercial soon from Kerry, Edwards, Shrum, and Cahill, asking if you have recently suffered a chronic spinal injury and offering you the stem cell research money you deserve.
All problems resolved, so until Monday, look for me over at Jeff's place.
I want Wolpertingers!
Let's see Senator Edwards handle these babies.
(Note: This has been cross-posted at Protein Wisdom if I can ever figure out how to get in.)
But $50.00 for boobies!
It's for a good cause, and with any luck will put to rest the endless fascination with Jeff's nipples around here.
(Note: This has been cross-posted at Protein Wisdom.)
I live in Kirkwood, Missouri, which is a "suburb" of St. Louis and not too far from Washington University, which possesses the third largest endowment in the United States, where tomorrow night President George W. Bush will once again face off in a Town Hall forum with Massachussetts' junior Senator John Kerry, or as I like to call him, the Mass. Debater.
Rabbit season, indeed.
Bad, tasteless commentary involving Oliver (hands of) Stone, Onan the Barbarian, Lene Lovich, debating the definition of the word "(rhymes with is)", Bambi and Thumper, and lyrics from Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick, were all deleted in a fleeting, momentary spasm of prudence.
(Note: This has been cross-posted at Protein Wisdom if I can ever figure out how to get in.)
Didn't you used to be...
(Note: This will be cross-posted at Protein Wisdom if I can ever figure out how to get in.)
Now that's a shocker:
Sen. John Kerry has opened up an early lead in the number -- and potential impact -- of newspaper endorsements, according to E&P's exclusive tabulation covering the race for president.
Counting every editorial endorsement we know of, Kerry has won the backing of five daily newspapers, with a total daily circulation of 881,012.
President Bush has gotten the nod from four papers, with a total daily circulation of 323,743.
I'm curious, when's the last time a Republican won the "circulation" election?
(Note: This has been cross-posted at Protein Wisdom if I can ever figure out how to get in.)
I’m getting paid by the word while Jeff’s gone to Baltimore, Maryland; or Balmer, Merlin, if you’re from there or nearby Glen Burnie; or Bodymore, Murderland, if you watch HBO’s The Wire.
(Note: This has been cross-posted at Protein Wisdom if I can ever figure out how to get in.)
Gwen Ifill: “Senator, when Vice President Cheney said the topiary bunnies were responsible for the Iraqi insurgency, how did you respond?”
Senator Edwards: "I corrected him."
Johnny looks like Jack Torrance in a Kevin Pollack as Jack Nicholson as William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk sort of way.
(Note: This has been cross-posted at Protein Wisdom if I can ever figure out how to get in.)
I realize I'm pretty far from the norm on this one, but for the life of me I can't figure out why people are crediting John Edwards as a serious player after his performance last night. What I saw was a well-rehearsed lawyer out of his controlled element whose substance started and ended with soundbites that could have been uttered by Huey Long. So the real enemies are Big Insurance and Big Pharmaceutical? (Ed., anything but Big Government.) Frankly, I saw little evidence that Senator Edwards could think on his feet as he had to keep falling back on his memorized talking points. Some call this staying on message, but that may be nothing more than convenient spin to polish the proverbial turd. Name one ad hoc comment you think Senator Edwards made last night that would display his spontaneous wit or the fact that he was even paying close attention to what was being said outside the voices in his head. His inability to follow Gwen Ifill's simple instructions to not mention Senator Kerry's name in his well-rehearsed response belies his ability to craft a response in real time, IMHO.
Personally, I believe half the bloggers listed in Instapundit's list of Pure Bloggers could whip Senator Edwards in a true debate of the facts on the ground and the strategies needed to win the War on Terrorism. But I also realize that none of the bloggers listed in Instapundit's list of Pure Bloggers are ever going to be in a position to run for vice president, much less debate Senator Edwards. Furthermore, after Senators Kerry and Edward lose this election, what is Senator Edwards going to do? Little John is being hyped as a future star on the Democratic ticket, but what better answer to "What qualifies you to be vice president?" is he going to have four years or eight years hence?
The willingness of so many to project their hopes and beliefs onto a pretty face is a profoundly troubling thought to me. And I'm talking about the supposedly well educated and well informed "elites" here as much as the great unwashed masses. Chris Kanis gives me something of a back-handed compliment over on his site for a related observation. Of course, I know that I'm not the target audience for either speaker in the debate, or the entire campaign for that matter, but I won't fall into the trap of perception being reality. The fact that there are polls indicating that some poorly informed or willfully deceptive people think Edwards won the debate doesn't change or invalidate my better informed perception of reality that Senator Edwards was terribly weak and dissembling when it came to the facts on the ground and the conclusions to draw from those facts.
What the hell is wrong with people?
Tom Raum of the Associated Press, a purported "serious" news organization where neither journalists nor editors work in their pajamas, in an article ostensibly about the President's remarks today, apparently forget to re-engage with reality after suspending disbelief to watch a few movies:
The Democrat also said that as a member of Congress representing Wyoming more than a decade ago, Cheney voted against Head Start and banning plastic guns that can escape detection in metal detectors.
Plastic guns. This doesn't even live down to the minimal journalistic standards of fake, but accurate, since there are no such things as plastic guns except in the movies.
But what about Halliburton? Don't forget Halliburton Tom! And Bush knew about 9/11 before it happened! And he was AWOL too!
I'm surprised at how unready to be president John Edwards revealed himself to be tonight. Scary stuff. Seriously. Cheney came out as the big, swinging Dick and took it right to the pretty boy who hadn't been hit yet.
Gwen Ifill did well, aside from her mistakes, of course. I only winced at the editorializing in her questions twice, which was a lot less than during Jim Lehrer's turn last week.
"What about the Dingell-Norwood bill?"
Tonight, I suppose the moderator could ask what the candidates' position on the Kerry-Edwards bill might be, but, of course, that would have required Senators Kerry and Edwards to have actually sponsored any meaningful legislation at some point during their collective 26 years in the Senate.
According to the Daily Kos, here are some of the fifty most important pieces of legislation Senator Kerry sponsored that have been signed into law:
1. S.AMDT.112 to S.960 To express the sense of the Senate that Congress should encourage the revitalization of democracy in the Philippines.
2. S.AMDT.239 to S.1160 To establish a moratorium during the fiscal years 1985 and 1986 on the testing of anti-satellite weapons against objects in space.
3. S.AMDT.396 to H.R.2577 To provide that none of the monies appropriated in this Act can be used to fund directly, or indirectly, activities against the government of Nicaragua which have not been authorized by or pursuant to law, and for other purposes.
5. S.AMDT.1396 to H.J.RES.465 To prohibit the use of funds to conduct, in connection with the Strategic Defense Initiative program, development, test, or evaluation involving any explosive device which uses fissionable material.
10. S.AMDT.932 to S.1394 Urging the President to continue to make every effort to cooperate with the other nations of the United Nations to bring about an end to government-sponsored torture in Iranian prisons and to pressure Iran to permit inspection of Iranian prisons by an international delegation.
12. S.AMDT.2775 to H.R.4784 To provide funding for the farmers' market coupon demonstration project.
19. S.AMDT.3157 to H.R.3977 To strengthen environmental protection of Antarctica.
20. S.RES.144: A resolution to encourage the European Community to vote to ban driftnets for all European Community fishing fleets on July 8 and for other purposes.
25. S.RES.183: A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the action taken by the Government of France against United States seafood products is a totally unwarranted action that is having severe repercussions on United States seafood producers and, in general, the United States fishing industry.
26. S.AMDT.1354 to S.1281 Expressing the sense of the Senate that the President should not restrict the exchange of humanitarian activities between the United States and any other country.
29. S.AMDT.1153 to S.CON.RES.13 To maintain public funding for Presidential campaigns.
33. S.AMDT.2695 to H.R.1976 To prohibit the use of appropriated funds for providing assistance to the United States Mink Export Development Council or a mink industry trade association.
34. S.AMDT.2745 to H.R.1868 To express the sense of the Senate concerning the provision of spare parts and other military equipment to Peru.
37. S.AMDT.5046 to H.R.3540 To promote the establishment of a permanent multilateral regime to govern the transfer of conventional arms.
38. S.469: A bill to designate a portion of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
39. S.AMDT.279 to Treaty 105-5 To require a compliance report on Armenia and other States Parties in the Caucasus region.
47. S.AMDT.1882 to S.1650 To express the sense of the Senate regarding comprehensive education reform.
49. S.RES.264: A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that small business participation is vital to the defense of our Nation, and that Federal, State, and local governments should aggressively seek out and purchase innovative technologies and services from American small businesses to help in homeland defense and the fight against terrorism.
And remember, this is how Senator Kerry's friends defend his legislative record. No shortage of "Sense of the Senate" resolutions for baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and mom in there.
I'd list some of the important legislation Senator Edwards has sponsored that became law, but here are the search results from the Library of Congress for the 108th Congress when looking for any legislation sponsored by Senator Edwards that had actually been signed into law by the President:
No items were found for the search.
Here are the search results of the same query from the 107th Congress:
No items were found for the search.
And here are the search results of the same query from the 106th Congress:
No items were found for the search.
Of course, prior to the 106th Congress, John Edwards was just another rich trial lawyer channeling the thoughts of the unborn for money.
Al has got a lockbox, an old oaken chest. At night when Tipper gets home, she never gets no rest, 'cause he's playin' all night...
Well there's a metaphor that merits more abuse, don't ya think? Of course, it's no gravitas, mind you, but it's still one of the lasting memories of the 2000 debates.
And now right on cue, Mr. Gravitas, his bad self, let's us all know that:
"I'd say if you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you've lost your mind."
Guess John-boy has found another use for all those leftover lockboxes Al had made up. And while this post should end with the last sentence, I can't help but quote further from Senator Edwards' interview with Judy Woodruff:
WOODRUFF: "There's been criticism that you have been too soft."
EDWARDS: "Do I seem soft to you?"
One word: Bunnies.
Remember how important it was in 2000, before 9/11? Now, three years after 9/11, Big Media seems to have forgotten how important it was in a president and a vice president.
Yeah, gravitas. That's what I think of whenever I see their smiling faces.