Sunday, October 31, 2004

Bush will win

Post your predictions. Mine:

Bush wins:

Easily: AL, AR, AK, AZ, CO, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, MT, NE, NC, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WY = 222

Close: FL 27
IA 7
MI 17
NV 5
NM 5
OH 20
WI 10
91 + 222 = 313 electoral votes

Popular vote -- Bush 50.1, Kerry 48.7

UPDATE: The Plaintiff has made her prediction: Bush 52, Kerry 47; EV -- 306

Vote for Bush (a pictorial rationale)

Very moving. What a bunch of all-around badasses our soldiers are. Whenever I see pictures like this, it makes me want to eliminate every other Department in Washington and expand the DoD's budget to unimagined levels, my reason being that somehow that influx of dollars will help us kill more terrorists and save more of our own soldiers.

The other thing is that when I see pictures of a Palestinian baby wearing knives and machine gun rounds or pictures of Paul Johnson beheaded or pictures of those four charred bodies of contractors in Fallujah and am reminded of what pieces of human garbage we are fighting against, I really would have no problem if our military became a lot more aggressive with these killers. And I mean a LOT more aggressive, as in giving the terrorists in Fallujah 24 hours to clear out of town (at which point we arrested them) and then we turn that place to glass.

I'm certainly no military expert, and perhaps the terrorists on the ground are starting to get the idea that we shouldn't be screwed with, but from what little I have seen/heard/read about the Middle East and the Islamism-terrorist mindset, the only thing that they respect are displays of brutal, crushing force. I think that would explain how the Fallujah terrorists became so emboldened; they burned 4 contractors in plain view of the military and we looked the other way. It certainly would explain bin Laden's whole MO in the 90's.

This is very controversial and I shouldn't be writing this, but I think the Islamofascists need one prime example of American strength. Which isn't really the right word; they need one example of American ruthlessness, however remote of a possibility that is (thanks, State Department). Imagine if our government finally decided that the times of bargaining with Iraqi "insurgents" (a nice euphemism courtesy of the MSM) are over, and from now on, we're just going to shoot first and ask questions later. And then we proceed to annihilate one small battalion of insurgents in plain view of their buddies; and by annihilate, I mean leave absolutely no trace of remains. I think this would get the attention of those assholes cutting off the heads of innocents. I guess my major complaint, which frustrates me to no end (particularly when I see pictures like Paul Johnson's) is that sometimes all the rules that we play by are not the same as the ones the terrorists play by, and if we would give our troops, even for just a day, permission to eviscerate insurgents with brutal ruthlessness, then our problems would soon be over in Iraq. Sort of a "we're happy to help out those of you who want help, but vengeance will be swift and merciless to those who choose to oppose us."

Personally, I think if there is another major terrorist attack in America, then the American people will say the hell with this pussy-footing around and will want some serious blood to be shed. Imagine if bin Laden succeeds in killing 50,000 at one time. Horrible, but if it happened, I suspect that any organized state who has anything to do with terrorism (or really any nation that has assumed a threatening posture against us) will be worrying about a potential American nuclear attack. Hopefully it never comes to this.

I'd welcome some comments here too. Anyone else think that a temporary relaxing of our military's code would produce some massively effective results? I should also note that I could give a shit less if the Marines did get a little more ruthless - if we were fighting a typical enemy, who stood across from us on a battlefield, then it'd be one thing. But terrorists now shoot at us, then throw down their weapon and pretend to be civilians when we approach; they kill innocent people to intimidate; they refuse to fight us face-to-face; they use women and children as human shields. With people like that, I could care less if we decided to employ some marginally acceptable tactics. I certainly won't lose any sleep over it.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bush taking MN by storm

Cool Powerline post about a rally in MN. Some of the pics are pretty cool: Mike Tice introduces Bush and gives him a Vikings jersey. Which led me to reflect once again on how awesome it is that star athletes and coaches are Republicans - has John Kerry earned the endorsement of any significant athlete? He can have the Dixie Chicks and Jason Biggs, particularly since Biggs ship has been sinking since he first became famous. Given the choice between casting lots with the best athletes in the world or the most famous movie/music stars, I'm thankful we got the athletes.

Also, check out Miss Minnesota's pic in the post. My only explanation for her attractiveness is her parents must be from the South, which would explain both her looks and the fact that she's a Republican.

Why Bush Must Win, and Kerry Must Be Defeated

Historian Paul Johnson writes the most comprehensive, most compelling argument for Bush's re-election (and perhaps as importantly, Kerry's defeat) that I have read this election season. And I have read a lot of these kinds of pieces over the last three months.

You must read this.

Schilling on GMA

Here's the video. I didn't realize he also sent a big shout-out to the troops, and deflected the use of the host's word "warrior" to characterize Schilling's efforts in the Series. Thumbs up.

His wife is also a babe. Good for him.

Memos: Balco execs said Bonds used 'roids

Friday, October 29, 2004

Who'd have thunk it?

As you may have read elsewhere, the lead singer of the 70's band Orleans has stated that he wants the Bush campaign to stop using the song "Still the One" (which he wrote) because he's not a Bush supporter. He also notes that all of the other members of the band support Kerry, as well.

Nah, you're kidding. You mean that these guys are Kerry supporters?


This is awesome.


This is awesome.

Bush strategist Dowd: "We're cautiously optimistic"

The most pro-abortion president ever?

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

A President John F. Kerry would shape the direction of the court, starting with the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the courts with pro-choice appointments, and rejecting pro-life judges. Kerry would be the most staunchly pro-choice president ever. At the 2003 NARAL Pro-Choice America Dinner, where he described pro-lifers as "the forces of intolerance," Kerry boasted that his maiden speech as a freshman senator had been in support of Roe vs. Wade. On Aug. 2, 1994, on the Senate floor, he stated: "The right thing to do is to treat abortions as exactly what they are -- a medical procedure that any doctor is free to provide and any pregnant woman free to obtain. Consequently, abortions should not have to be performed in tightly guarded clinics on the edge of town; they should be performed and obtained in the same locations as any other medical procedure.... [A]bortions need to be moved out of the fringes of medicine and into the mainstream of medical practice."

Sounds like a man who "personally" believes that "life begins at conception" to me. If life begins at conception, Senator, then "treating abortions as exactly what they are" would mean throwing the cuffs on doctors and women immediately after they commit them. If life begins at conception, "exactly" what abortions "are" is MURDER.

You know, it's really one thing for politicians to try and have it both ways on some issues, like taxes or the environment or farm subsidies. But this kind of hypocrisy is disgusting.

Dick Morris: "Why Bush Will Win"

I tend to think Morris is right: it's not specifically what the candidates say that matters, but rather what the candidates are talking about. Since the focus of the last week of the election has been and will continue to be Iraq/War on Terror -- issues on which President Bush has a 10-20 point lead -- Bush will prevail on Tuesday.

UPDATE: Then again, there is this theory, that the focus on the "lost explosives" story is hurting Bush in Michigan.

OK, this is getting ridiculous

As I told Bo the other day, I've had to step back from this election the last few days, as it seems to be dominating my life. That's the reason you haven't seen much action on the blog from me -- I can't possibly comment on everything that's going through my mind right now. I'm on lockdown.

I'll just throw this little nugget out there.

Tell me -- what more could the MSM do without going full-out Mr. Subliminal? "Yet President Bush has been powerless (VOTE KERRY) to halt a recent tide of bad news (BUSH'S FAULT) from surging violence (BUSH IS EVIL) and missing weapons in Iraq (WHAT A DUMBASS), to missteps by his own campaign (VOTE KERRY), to a potentially damaging new probe by his own FBI (HALLIBURTON -- FILTHY BASTARDS)."

This is getting intolerable.

Apologies - and Schilling

For being absent for the past few days. I'll get back on the wagon tomorrow.

Mitchell, great post on Schilling. The more I hear about him, the cooler he sounds. Clay, my roommates were two of the large mass of individuals who got disgusted with Schilling for his thanking God, for reasons that are an utter mystery to me.

Let me ask: what would the response had been if Schilling had thanked Allah? Everyone would be scrambling for the nearest PC-o-meter and stumbling over themselves to express the utmost reverence and respect for his religion. The same goes for the movie "Saved," the Mandy Moore "film" that lampooned Christian teenagers for 2 hours. What would the response of Ebert have been if a studio had produced a movie satirizing Muslims or Buddhists? Outrage. It's the same way the Left is constantly fretting (to be generous) about Bush's Christianity, and how his religious beliefs are being legislated, how the Religious Right has hijacked the White House, etc, but I have yet to read a liberal (save Hitchens, who isn't really even liberal, in the Howard Dean sense, on foreign policy now) stridently condemn Islamic terrorists. They are dutifully hostile to terrorists and terrorism, but seemingly cannot find it within themselves to note that the only terrorists blowing up civilians these days are Muslims.

Which is one reason why Matt Stone and Trey Parker are badasses; at least they stick it to everyone equally, instead of abiding by the regnant PC laws which dictate that Christianity is fair game but other religions are off-limits. Really, it's a bunch of horseshit.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Schilling = Stallion

Curt Schilling on GMA this morning:

GIBSON: "Well, well said, Curt and Shonda. You both have certainly lifelong membership now in the Red Sox nation. It was a great thing to watch, and I think everybody – whether they were great Red Sox fans or not — had to admire what this team did. It was extraordinary, and one of the great stories of sport. And sport always produces such great stories. Curt, Shonda, great to have you with us. Congratulations."

SCHILLING: "And make sure you tell everybody to vote, and vote Bush next week."

Also, He was asked by Dan Patrick recently if A-Rod slapping the ball out of Arroyo's glove was "bush league," and Schilling said, "no--it was Kerry league."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Is Ohio safe for Bush?

According to this guy, it is. A nice analysis of the GOTV efforts in Ohio.

UPDATE: Looking around this blog, and it's chock-full of statistical analysis of the various battleground states, but presented in a way that an idiot like myself can understand. (And, of course, I love having sunshine pumped up my skirt -- and this guy says Ohio and Florida are 90% safe.)

Anyway, here's the address:

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bush = Evil

That's basically the jist of this point/counterpoint, of which I wrote the dissenting view. The question is whether the government should fund embryonic stem cell research. Or at least, that's what I thought the question was. Turns out that the girl opposing me wrote a hit piece on Bush, conveniently disguised as a discussion on stem cell research. This wouldn't be a problem, except I actually wrote a piece on stem cells, not on Bush and Kerry, and thus come across like a declawed, neutered kitten in the argument. Which is a bunch of horseshit, since I could have at least put up a strong case for Bush and most likely eaten this girl's lunch.

I think I won the argument on merits (owing mainly to the fact that she doesn't discuss the nuances of stem cell research or even address the dissenting view except to denigrate it as Christian crackpotism), but certainly lost on partisan bashing.

Friday, October 22, 2004

A True Goose Hunting For Geese

You guys have to read this entry on Powerline regarding Kerry's hunting excursion. Taken collectively with the other instances in which Kerry seemed determined to prove his manhood at the expense of the truth (e.g. claiming to have run in the Boston Marathon although he couldn't say what year and there's absolutely no record of his participation), it's pretty damning (as the entry notes) and absolutely hilarious.

New Victor Davis Hanson

And you guys thought Kerry was a bad candidate...

Check this out. I'll withhold any chauvinistic thoughts I might be thinking.

Carrying Kerry's water yet again

This time, it's the lovely folks over at AP. I can't recall seeing a similar article appear when Fahrenheit 9/11 was released; that is, one that dissected all the looney claims Moore passes off as "facts." I wonder why they decided to do it in this case. . .

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Village Voice

Unintentional comedy at its best. My favorite line comes in the first paragraph of the fourth section, where the author cites an example of the evil grubby Republicans who "allegedly" shredded voter registration forms in Arizona. Ha! That's the best he could come up with, an "alleged" shredding of voter registration forms? What a joke. My other favorite line comes when Perlstein says John Kerry "mildly suggested" that Allawi's speech with Bush attempted to put the best face on Iraq war. Really? Does calling the prime minister a "puppet," as Joe Lockhart did, count as a mild suggestion? I'm not really sure why this is on Real Clear Politics, since it's not so much a reasoned argument (something Kinsley, Slate, TNR, etc. would advance) so much as a hit piece on Bush.

If you're looking for a fun read, then give this a go. If you've been looking for someone who thinks the media is overly conservative, then this article is for you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Six Meat has much, much more on these maroons. I'm still laughing.

UPDATE: Seriously, click on the links above, and the links from those links. I am seriously doubled-over in laughter at these people. Click here. And here. And here. You will thank me.

UPDATE II: OK, now I'm actually crying. I'm dying here.

In the words of Al Gore...

"How DARE they!"

A lot has been made about THK's comments today that Laura Bush has never held a "real job" -- and rightly so. It boggles the mind that Kerry's wife could have "forgotten" that the First Lady was a librarian/teacher for nine years (a period of time lil' Ron-Ron Reagan described as "brief" on his god-awful show on MSNBC -- but that tirade will have to wait); how many times has the President said on the stump that "I like teachers so much that I married one"? But I'll give her the benefit of the doubt on that point.

I'll even take it easy on THK for not including stay-at-home mom as a "real job." While housewife is a demanding role, there is a sense in which it is not a "real job" -- you don't get paid to do it, for example. Perhaps this is what THK meant. So I'll give her that one, too.

But what pisses me off is the underlying assumption in THK's comments: that she can tell --just by looking at Laura Bush, knowing who she married, knowing where she's from and how she talks, and considering her politics -- that she must have been a housewife. (Queue Al again: "How DARE they!")

Pure elitism. Pure snot.

I told The Plaintiff about THK's comments this evening, and she picked up on this immediately. She reminded me of JK's comment during the second debate that there were only "three people in this room" who would pay more taxes in a Kerry Presidency: JK could tell, just by looking around the room of 150 voters, that only he, Bush, and Charlie Gibson earned more than $200,000 a year (or maybe I should say, Kerry + wife = more than 200K).

And this -- not the forgetfulness about LB's former occupation as teacher, not the omission of housewife in the definition of "real job" -- is what really just sets me off. It's the feeling I get when classmates assume that I must not have made good grades because I have decided to go back down South after law school. (Not true -- not to toot the horn, but top 20% -- pretty good for a kid from the 49th best public school system in the country.) Or the outrage I felt when one of my classmates, a Harvard College grad, crashed the interview session of one of the Birmingham firms and stated that they must be happy to get anyone from UVa. (He was then informed by one of the interviewing attorneys that he graduated, ahem, first in his class at UVa and clerked for CJ Rehnquist. Last I heard, the kid still hadn't found a job for next summer, despite interviewing with firms in just about every major city.)

Such enlightenment. Such tolerance. Such open-mindedness. Such BS.

Volokh vs. Slate

I think Volokh is right. Not only that, if I were Slate's movie review man, I'd be hesitant about engaging Volokh in a debate. Recall that this man is a law professor at UCLA, he graduated from college at 15 (with a computer science degree, no less), and clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor. It appears that he's razor sharp, to put it mildly, and has a legally-trained mind at that. I'm not sure what Slate is thinking.

I leave for 4 days and this is what happens. . .

This editorial, which masquerades as a foreign policy criticism of the United States, actually morphs into a Bush hit piece in the last several paragraphs. It is also so poorly contrived and so parochial in its criticism that it's hardly worth mentioning here. But here are a couple nuggets:

1)The idea that a change in our president will somehow bring liberation to the woman of Saudi Arabia is beyond a joke. Kerry will not do anything differently in regards to the Sauds; in fact, no US politician will do anything differently, because the public outrage of gas hitting $5 a gallon would be mutinous, not to mention the ways in which it would cripple our economy. To suggest that a vote for John Kerry would somehow end the plight of Saudi women is irresponsible at best, and a grim lie at worst.

2)There are no good answers to Saudi Arabia. The country is a disaster waiting to happen. Economic sanctions won't work - the place, as the article condescendingly notes, is "dripping with oil" (this description also sucks; they should have said "awash in oil" or "immersed in oil", since dripping makes me think of a leaking faucet, not a veritable tidal wave) and has massive cash reserves. Who else in the world would join us in sanctions anyway? No one, because no other foreign leader is that stupid.

So instead of offering any real solutions, this piece would rather throw shit on the wall and hope it sticks, and in the process mislead the reader. I'm going to chew somebody's ass in meeting today.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Oh boy

MSR, check this out from Six Meat.

Cuckoo Carter

Via LGF, from Hardball interview with Jimmy Carter:

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the question about—this is going to cause some trouble with people—but as an historian now and studying the Revolutionary War as it was fought out in the South in those last years of the War, insurgency against a powerful British force, do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?
CARTER: Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we’ve fought. I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war.
Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonial’s really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely, and of course now we would have been a free country now as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a nonviolent way.

Hendrix to the Tide

That's absolutely huge. Bama undoubtedly has a top 5 class with Hendrix on board--maybe even top 2. This after pulling in the #8 class in the country last year. If Gottfried continues to grow as a coach and can keep the talent from leaving too early, we are in store for some great years.

And to think I once verbally assaulted Richard's dad with an expletive-laden tirade.

Tucker Carlson. . .

goes after Jon Stewart on "Crossfire." I haven't seen the clip yet, so probably shouldn't comment too thoroughly, but it does seem lowbrow of Stewart to appear on "Crossfire," then during that appearance deride the show. Poor taste.

It's odd to be rooting for Tucker Carlson. I never thought he was a bad guy or anything, but since his cojones are kept in a jar offstage for "Crossfire," it's just always annoyed me to no end that Carville/Begala would eat his lunch and then laugh at him for it. Maybe he's just not the best host for the program, since he's not willing or not able to be the partisan blowhard that the show's format requires. I wish Tucker luck going up against Jon Stewart, who despite being an arrogant liberal is also quick on his feet and funny. Of course, I have yet to understand why anyone would take Jon Stewart's opinions seriously on anything political, since his job is to spoof news events and his primary function as a host is to make people laugh (he's no Krauthammer or George Will).

Also back

but that week break was nice. Now it's cold and rainy in Iowa, and most likely will be for the next 5 months. Grrr. . .

Read David Brooks today

I know he's not your favorite, Bo, but he is all over it today.

Money quote:

But there is a deeper assumption, which has marred Democratic politics for years. Some Democrats have been unable to face the reality that people have been voting for Republicans because they agree with them. So these Democrats have invented the comforting theory that they've been losing because they are too virtuous for the country.

Back at it

Nice break last week.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

War on terror is a "nuisance?"

Okay, I'll be honest, at first blush I almost agreed with Kedwards that Kerry's quote was taken out of context. But then you read what Racicot and Gillespie do with it: they show that it reflects Kerry's belief that we're in a pre-9/11 world. I don't think that's unfair at all, and I do believe that Kerry's quote illustrates just that. How else can you want to reduce the activity of terrorists to a nuisance level? I mean, I thought terrorists were a nuisance back in the 90s; every few years they'd blow something up and kill a few Americans. It sucked and pissed me off, but I didn't regard it as the end of the world. And look at how naive I (and the nation) was in regards to the capacity of al Qaeda to pull of a spectacular attack.

Basically, I don't think terrorism, after 9/11, can ever again be regarded as a nuisance activity, no matter how far it recedes into the background of the public's consciousness. Nor does the fact that terrorism MIGHT become a fourth-tier concern of America's public (something that is already happening, to some degree - how else to explain the "undecided voter") mean that the government should ever regard it as such. Which is exactly what Kerry is suggesting here.

I also don't see this as the same sort of slip of tongue as Bush's comment about never winning the war on terror. Kerry really does believe, as his overtures and previous record make apparent, that the war on terror is a law-enforcement issue. Bush's comment was such an aberration from everything else he has done and said up to this point that, in the minds of everyone except the NYTimes, there was no question that he misspoke. I don't know that Kerry can make the same claim - or rather, pass this off as a misquote, since he has said similar things in the past.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Kerry's Undeclared War

Mark Bai shows that Kerry doesn't really believe in the "war on terror."

Tortfeasor's quick debate analysis

Can't write much now, as I'll got to prepare to travel several hundred miles this weekend, so here are the quick highlights:

Winner: Bush. And God I loved it when he just ignored Charlie Gibson.

Style: Bush appeared a little too jacked up for the first 15-20 minutes -- reminded me of Uncle Leo on Seinfeld screaming into the telephone because he doesn't understand how a telephone works. However, Bush yelling is better than Bush stammering and scowling, and after a few minutes, Bush settled down.

Kerry looked a little cartoonish tonight, I thought, which may be a result of the format. That is, Kerry looks better than Bush behind a podium, whereas Bush moves more naturally and decisively than Kerry's lanky frame allows him.

Also, I think Bush's straightforward approach is pretty effective in contrast to Kerry's meandering answers. The federal funding for abortion question was the perfect example.

Humor: simply put, Bush gets it and Kerry, um, doesn't. Kerry's apparent Red Sox joke was abysmal. Bush's "need some wood?" line was priceless.

Substance: it's really hard to judge the "substance" without injecting one's political biases. Obviously, I think the issues are pretty squarely on Bush's side, but I do fear that too many people do not really understand that the War on Terror is a REAL WAR against a new kind of enemy. If the voters don't get this, Bush loses, as Kerry's Iraq-as-a-diversion charges will begin to make sense.

Scary moment: when Bush mentioned the words "Dred Scott," I almost hyperventilated. I really thought Bush was about to make the gaffe that would cost him the election. Thankfully, Bush somehow made it come together and basically got the holding right. And then I found myself a little impressed that W. knew what Dred Scott was.

Bottom line: Kerry is a goob, and Bush is the cool kid. Kerry's incessant "I have a plan" is enough to make me contemplate suicide; his constant hand motions are absurdly unnatural and coached. He is the kid in AP English who, when the teacher made everyone learn a Shakespearean sonnet, would practice at home in front of mirror so that he could be the best in the class, even though everyone would get the same grade regardless. And of course, the rest of the class would snicker and act like they were sneezing or coughing. (MSR, he is Ben Gray.)

Bush's strut, his wink, his use of the plural "internets" reminds me of the coolest man on the planet: Big Daddy (my grandfather).

Friday, October 08, 2004

I don't think she liked my column

Here's a nice piece of fan mail I got today. If any parents are reading, I apologize for the cuss words:

I hope I have the right Robert Schneider- the one who wrote "Abortion on
demand?" If I am addressing the wrong person I'm sorry!

Anyway, I read your article this morning and felt really astonished.  I
realize that your opinions on the issue of abortions are based on an attempt
you are making to be a good person, who strives to fight for good in the
world.  But, you have to know that you can't begin to imagine and then judge
any percentage of women and their decisions regarding giving birth to a child.

I know that you believe you understand Amy Richards to be a shallow,
egocentric, irresponsible, cold, calculated woman consumed by her self-
absorption and utilitarian narcissism.  But, come on, isn't that quite
ridiculous of you to say when you don't know her?
 Of course it might have been "irresponsible" of her to go off of birth
control and not use condoms, but she would be much more prepared to deal with
the consequences if they would be normal.  Having triplets is not something
she would have probably even imagined would happen- because it hardly ever
does happen to anyone.  Any unprepared person would feel panicked when delt
with that suprise scenario- maybe even you.  

You know what, fuck it.  I have been writing this article like I am talking to
a little kid, just because I know what an impossible thing it is to get
through to a person like you.  The bottom line is you are an asshole who
doesn't unerstand what it is like to be a pregnant woman.  When a woman has a
child she gives up her life.  You probably think that if she is not happy
about this then she is "selfish." In reality she is scared, scared of being an
inadequate mother and of not being able to be happy making such a big
sacrifice.  You'll never be able to imagine what that is like.  
Reading your article made me, my boyfriend, my roommate, and probably many
others feel like puking.  I could tell what a naive prick you were going to be
as soon as I read the line "the average voter is more concerned with Islamo-
fascists hell-bent on slaughtering his wife and children..." I don't know
anyone who regards that as their main concern, and the fact that you buy into
that bullshit is funny.  Other people are more concerned that Bush and people
like you will run and ruin their lives.  
The reason the number of people who read your article that will side with you
are "in the single digits" is that Iowa City is a great place to live.  
Also, who uses the work "ilk"?  
Also, you are an ugly bastard.


Nice, huh? I like how she called me an "ugly bastard," which I'm not disputing, but it's sure a mark of maturity. It's also funny how she said she "doesn't know" anyone whose main concern is terrorism. Perhaps she should consider reading the newspapers sometime, or just look at her man John Kerry, who has abandoned social issues to campaign almost exclusively on the war on terror.

Flip-flop label was a ruse?

This post from Kerry Spot (lifted from quotes an interview with a Bush official, who says that the campaign will move into the final offensive here in the next few weeks. The new plan of attack? Kerry as liberal. Let's hope this plays out well.

When you think about it, very little has been said by the Bush campaign itself about Kerry's liberal record. For the most part they've focused on his flip-flopping, notably with the wind-surfing ad (which was brilliant and hysterical). Maybe with the domestic debates coming up, Bush can start unleashing the Kerry-as-liberal theme.

The poop is about to hit the fan

I wrote a column on abortion for tomorrow, which should light the fire under the bottoms of nearly everyone in Iowa City. I'll keep you all posted on any fun e-mails, phone calls, hurled Molotov cocktails, etc, that I receive.

Question: is anyone on our blog in favor of abortion?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Bush's speech

UPDATE: I was just reading Bush's speech again. If you haven't read it yet, YOU NEED TO READ IT.

Now, if only the president can make these same points in a debate format...

UPDATE, II: Because I fear some of you won't take my advice, here are a couple of beautiful lines:

My opponent's endless back-and-forth on Iraq is part of a larger misunderstanding. In the war on terror, Senator Kerry is proposing policies and doctrines that would weaken America and make the world more dangerous. His — Senator Kerry approaches the world with a September the 10th mind-set. He declared in his convention speech that "any attack will be met with a swift and certain response." That was the mind-set of the 1990s, while al Qaeda was planning the attacks on America. After September the 11th, our object in the war on terror is not to wait for the next attack and respond, but to prevent attacks by taking the fight to the enemy....

Tyrants and terrorists will not give us polite notice before they launch an attack on our country.
(Applause.) I refuse to stand by while dangers gather. In the world after September the 11th, the path to safety is the path of action. And I will continue to defend the people of the United States of America. (Applause.) Thank you all. Thank you all....

Instead, the Senator would have America bend over backwards to satisfy a handful of governments with agendas different from our own. This is my opponent's alliance-building strategy: brush off your best friends, fawn over your critics. And that is no way to gain the respect of the world....

Cuckoo for Kerry Puffs?

Six Meat in (not-so) rare form.

The fundamental difference

In class this morning, several students around me, all Donks, celebrated what they believed to be a victory for the Kerry-Edwards team. One girl summed it up: “I thought they were about even until the closing statements. Edwards was soooooo much better; Cheney was terrible. Edwards was all hope and sunshine, clearly talking to the jury; Cheney was all war and death.”

No and yes.

First – Cheney was incisive, cogent, articulate, and calm. His closing statement, I thought, was brilliant, presenting himself as a serious man for serious times. Edwards, on the other hand, was at times slick and quick, but more often seemed to searching for substance. (This effect was especially apparent when he would draw out certain conjunctions, like “aaaaaaaand…,” “buuuuuuuuuuuuut…”, and so forth.) I thought Edwards’ closing statement, with the story about his father blah blah, was a terrible attempt to analogize personal experience to the current circumstances. It seemed obvious to me that he even knew it was a tremendous stretch.

Now that we have that out of the way…

The closing statements should tell the American people all they need to know about these two tickets. One ticket is the September 10th ticket. The other is the September 12th ticket.

John Edwards is the perfect September 10th politician, and his selection as Kerry’s running mate a perfect September 10th political decision: young, good-looking, hopeful, pain-feeling, and possibly able to deliver a state otherwise not in play (won’t happen, of course). His selection, just like his position on Iraq, was based entirely on electoral expediency, certainly not on Edwards’ fitness to serve as commander in chief. Theme song: “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” or perhaps “Imagine.” Maybe “Carolina in my Mind.”

Dick Cheney, and the president, are September 12th leaders, and although the decision was made prior to 9/11, Bush’s selection of Cheney as his running mate reflected September 12th thinking: substance over style, reality over fantasy, guts over glamour. Theme song: “Enter Sandman,” or most appropriately, “Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nails:

“Head like a hole,Black as your soul!I'd rather die,Than give you control!... ”Bow down before the one you serve,You're going to get what you deserve...”

This election really is that simple. One ticket recognizes the true nature of our enemy. The other promises to “hunt down and kill the terrorists,” but one senses that they mean this in a retributive sense – the terrorists from 9/11, dummy! – rather than in a pre-emptive and strategic sense.

And this, in my opinion, is the way Bush should frame the election: is the war on terror simply about trying to round up terrorists, or are we engaged in a war against islamofascism? The people’s answer to that question should decide this election.

Stem cells

The stem-cell debate is kind of an interesting one, more so than abortion (I feel) because there are some scientific merits to generating embryonic stem cells. I think a lot of people in the ol US of A will be more receptive to research utilizing these embryos than are currently receptive to abortion, simply because of the potential scientific value; that is, their principles are somewhat malleable in this regard. Which I can kind of understand: it's a lot easier to smile on embryonic research used to cure diabetes/AIDS/etc. than it is to look favorably upon removing an embryo (and human life) simply because you don't want to more out to the suburbs and buy jars of mayonnaise at Costco, a la Amy Richards and her NYTimes piece. There's at least some semblance of social utility in embryonic stem-cell research. . .in my opinion.

Of course, I still think it's a human life that is being experimented upon - brought into existence, I might add, to be experimented upon. Ramesh Ponnuru had a good post on this subject today:

Todd Seavey is a smart guy, but he has written a silly critique of my position to embryonic stem-cell research—or rather, of what he takes my position to be. His method is to explain part of the basis for his own beliefs about the moral status of the early-stage embryo, and then to speculate about the alleged religious basis for my differing take. Let me try to clear up a few things.

1. I wrote that reflective pro-lifers oppose embryonic stem-cell research, abortion, and similar acts not because they destroy “potential life” but because they destroy actual lives. Seavey says that he has known pro-lifers who do make the argument from potential personhood. So have I. But I don’t think this casts much doubt on the accuracy of my description of the case that the pro-life movement makes. One of its most popular slogans has been that “life begins at conception,” after all, not that “potential life” does. Now I suppose it is possible that some pro-lifers who say this mean, “Life begins at conception, but that life doesn’t yet qualify as a person, but even potential persons deserve protection.” But I don’t think that is true of most pro-lifers.

2. Seavey argues that you have to have a mind to be a person. “There is a reason, after all, that we think someone who loses an arm is still a person while someone who loses a head ceases to be one, and it's not just the fact that it’s much harder to keep someone's heart and lungs pumping when he loses his head. It’s that his mind—which is what made him a person rather than just a big lump of flesh and blood—is gone.” If “we” thought what Seavey claims we think, then we would use cerebral death as the criterion for death. Instead, we count people as dead when their whole brains have died. When someone dies, we do not have an organism of the human species who is no longer a person (which is what Seavey thinks the early embryo is). We don’t have an organism any more. The implicit parallel doesn’t work.

3. My argument, boiled down, is that human organisms have an intrinsic right to life because they are human organisms, and that denying that right to some class of them because of accidental qualities they happen to possess is wrong and dangerous. (Moreover—although this is not central to my argument—I don’t believe that anyone would believe that the early human embryo is anything other than a human being if we did not see advantages in denying the proposition.) That’s the basic argument. Stated in that way, it’s open to various objections, all of which, I believe, could then be knocked down. But at no point does my argument either invoke or depend on any religious revelation. I do not believe, and have never claimed, that the Bible yields a definitive answer to the ethics of stem-cell research (although it may well be that it has something to say about the subject when read in light of a previous conviction on the issue that was reached for extra-biblical reasons). I do not believe that my church teaches that ensoulment happens at conception.

But Seavey, for whatever reason, wastes a lot of space suggesting that “what Ponnuru really thinks is that he knows exactly when God puts the magic in the blastocyst and knows that it's the magic, not any mind, that makes a person” and that I should “come clean” (italics his). I suppose it is possible that there are various connections between my religious convictions and my views on the ethics of killing human embryos—just as it is possible that some people on the other side have allowed their hostility to certain religions, or other things, to distort their reasoning. But for what it’s worth, my convictions about embryo-killing predate my embrace of theism. And my actual view on ensoulment is this: It is because I think human embryos are human beings that I suspect they have souls, not the reverse.

4. Seavey says he has a “loftier vision of what a person is” than someone who thinks that “a microscopic ball of cells is a person.” I think what he’s getting at is something I’ve heard from other people on his side of the embryo-killing debate: Personhood has to mean something more than just having the right string of proteins, etc. People like me are “reductionist.” I don’t think so. The early embryo is a member of the human species. I think it’s Seavey is reductively redescribing it as a “microscopic ball of cells.” And I would rather not have a “lofty” vision that ends up sanctioning a lot of unjust killing.

Posted at 12:02 PM

Interesting stuff.

More VP debate analysis

Courtesy of David Frum. Very funny stuff:

OK just caught debate rerun on CNN. What can one say about John Edwards's performance? He certainly did not make Al Gore's error in 1996: With his repeated and worshipful descriptions of John Kerry--not to mention Edwards's moist good looks--you have to say that he would fill the role of First Lady much better than Teresa Heinz is likely to do. It would all have been very impressive--if Cheney's scalpel had not so swiftly and mercilessly sliced Edwards's living liver out of his body, impaled it quivering on a stick, and paraded it before Edwards' soulful eyes before the poor man expired.

A certain public representative

just came in and said, "man, I'd hate to debate Dick Cheney...he was awesome." He later followed up with, "I love Dick Cheney...Cheney kicked his ass."

It was great.

VP Debate

I have the worst cold in the history of mankind and spent most of the day sleeping or blowing my nose, so I missed most of the debate. From the ten minutes I did see, which was right before closing statements, I thought Cheney was devastating. I can see where he might turn off suburban soccer moms, since he's a lot more brusque and businesslike than Edwards, but if the WOT is your A#1 priority this election, then you were extremely impressed by Cheney's quiet tone. Edwards' closing statement was so saccharine and manufactured it was pathetic - I guess that's what a plaintiff's trial lawyer has to offer. Again, I can see how his "father learned math by the TV" narrative appeals to women and moms, but what does that have to do with anything you spoke of during the debate? There was some tenuous transition to the "empty chairs at your table" regarding the war, but otherwise it was so obnoxious I couldn't watch (I felt embarrassed FOR him having to sit across the table from Cheney, who ate John-Boy's lunch and then wiped his face with the Senator's $2000 suit).

My favorite quote came from Polipundit, via Kerry Spot:

"Will the family of a Veep wannabe, dark suit, dark hair, Dark Side, license # I-S-U-E-U, please come and claim the carcass? Your junior lawyer has been trampled, pummeled, thumped, whupped, sliced, diced, julienned, fried, pureed, laughed out of the county, and has dismayed fellow slimebags across the nation. You may claim the remains, collected in a large number of small baggies, at the BreckTM booth."

Haha. Nicely put.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Plaintiff says it all

She just said, "Cheney's calm -- he speaks softly, but carries a big stick." Indeed.

UPDATE: Not to inundate y'all with The Plaintiff's wisdom, but: "Why don't we drink every time Edwards says 'we have a plan'?"

Kerry's rapier-like wit

This story won't surprise anyone, but man, is it funny.

Kerry's "No Nukes" stance

One Fine Jay makes some great points, insightful and original. Read this.

Ad Report Card -- Slate

Body spray?

Could Kerry rise to the challenge?

Kerry = Carter?

Media on board for Bush or Kerry?

This should be an easy question to answer, but that would preclude the surreal world inhabited by liberals, particularly Iowa City ones. This is the piece I wrote for the DI responding to the question above, plus the counterargument from another staff writer. I think we ended up looking good on this one ("we" being the intellectual giants here at this cutting-edge blog). Brendan didn't use any stats, excepting the one about Rathergate and that didn't really serve a purpose in his editorial anyways. He might be better served asking what exactly Rather's initial story suggested, not what the subsequent coverage of it did.

It's also unbelievable that we're having a discussion about Bush's flip-flops. You'd think any good liberal would just change the subject when that topic is brought up, since any rational mind would conclude Kerry's not in any position to throw stones. Or the Swift Boat Vets topic: how long before the media even covered that story? And has there been any mention of Christmas in Cambodia since then? If the media wasn't so busy digging around for George Bush's National Guard records (because the previous three feeding frenzies didn't sate their appetite), perhaps they'd quit carrying water for Kerry and do their goddamn job.

If you check out the piece, let me know what you think.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Disdain for. . .firefighters???

That's right, you read the post headline correctly. Check out this editorial by the NY Times, where they complain about firefighters speaking out on political issues. In a remarkable bit of smarmy eliticism, the Times, speaking on behalf of all New Yorkers evidently, sniffs "New Yorkers don't admire their firefighters for their political savvy or keen judgments on economic developments." In other words, butt out of political commentary, which is our job - oh, and go put out the fire at my house while you're at it.

Stuttaford linked to this on The Corner earlier, but this bit of blantant snobbery should get a lot more attention than just a few internet bloggers. And as Stuttaford asks, where was the Gray Lady when celebrities were pounding on Bush?

For the Tortfeasor

Check out the new photo of Kerry attempting to snap a football. Nate, this one is even funnier than the last one you sent out, I believe. I can't stop laughing. . .just click on the link above and it's the first picture posted on the page.


I don't know if you guys have seen this yet or not (it was linked on Drudge), but this story is absolutely incredible. I won't ruin it for you. I'll just say that this left me speechless.

More on Jacketgate

side note: I really like all the "-gates" around this year's election, in a shallow way. Makes things fun, though makes politics seem ultra-shady (which, evidently, it is)

This video from LGF provides definitive proof that Kerry pulled something out of his jacket, and that something very much looks like a piece of paper. The guys at Powerline think we're in danger of becoming too obsessive about this stuff, but at the same time, if Kerry pulled out notes (even if they were just talking points on a 5/7 notecard), that's cheating. Why shouldn't he be called on it?

Moving on up

This is shameless tooting of my own horn, but check out the link above: I got picked up by Lexis for their Campaign 2004 coverage. As far as I can tell, I first got syndicated by U-Wire (the same university wire press that syndicated my other column this summer) and then Lexis picked me up from the U-Wire, uh, wires.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Kerry cheated

In clear material violation of the negotiated-and-agreed-upon debate rules, video clearly shows that Kerry took what appears to be a piece of paper out of his jacket pocket and unfolded it as he stood behind the podium.

Can democracy grow in Iraq?

Read this column, and please comment.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Before you flip out about the Newsweek poll...

...see this post from Powerline:

UPDATE: Reader Meg Kreikemeier points out that according to RealClearPolitics, Newsweek's most recent poll included 345 Republicans, 364 Democrats and 278 independents. This compares to Newsweek's published data for their most recent prior poll, which showed President Bush with a comfortable lead: 391 Republicans,300 Democrats and 270 independents. Yes, if you drop 46 Republicans and add 64 Democrats, you will get considerably better results for the Democratic nominee. This is a good reminder of why poll data always need to be taken with a grain of salt, especially until you see the underlying data.


Just click. (Via Vodkapundit.)

Anybody watch GameDay?

The story about how thirty Georgia players ride those little scooters around campus was hilarious.

David Pollack: "You can just hop on 'em and get anywhere so fast, you know all the fat kids are gonna have 'em."

Lots of "bear on a tricycle" jokes, too.

(I bring this up b/c MSR and I bitch about the unbelievable proliferation of those little scooters in recent months.)

Friday, October 01, 2004

MSR -- Need you to weigh in

...on the "Eastern Motors" commercials featuring Lavar Arrington and Carmelo Anthony that appear in the DC television market.

Bo comes through -- AGAIN

The latest from our very own Bo in the Daily Iowan is must-read material. Really on top of his game this week.

Unfortunately, Bo doesn't write his own headlines--the headline doesn't really reflect the thrust of the column.

It's hard to pick a money quote -- the whole thing is money. Here's an excerpt:

Yet do liberals think Al Qaeda and the insurgents in Iraq are oblivious to American politics? Does the left think al-Zarqawi and his disciples do not tremble with glee when John Kerry alludes to looming American troop withdrawal in his stump speeches? If the American public can sense Bush is stronger on terrorism than Kerry, as the polls overwhelmingly indicate, certainly terrorists are attuned to this disparity as well. Terrorists are also more aware of which candidate would wage war on countries that harbor them, without regard for the lurching, lethargic mechanism that is the United Nations. This conclusion is self-evident, which is why Orrin Hatch notes that terrorists will attempt to influence this election in favor of Kerry and why Richard Armitage said the Iraqi insurgents wish to turn this election against President Bush.

Scalia Update From the Cohna

RE: SCALIA [Stanley Kurtz]

Kathryn, re the Scalia remarks, I just received the following comment from Ed Whelan, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington DC, where Scalia made the remarks I heard:

Justice Scalia gave a speech here on Sept. 20. (That’s the one Stanley Kurtz attended.) In that speech, he made the point that even if one were to adopt arguendo the assumption that orgies are socially beneficial, that assumption wouldn’t entitle judges to strike down laws against orgies. As a former clerk of his, I am certain that he made this same arguendo point at Harvard. Evidently it was a tad too subtle for the Crimson reporter.

Chatter around the law school

Things overheard about the debate up at the law school:

-- Many Kerry supporters do not feel like Kerry really "won" the debate last night; they felt that the post-debate spin was positive for Bush enough to blunt Kerry's "victory."

-- Overheard a Democrat say that he was totally frustrated through the first half-hour of the debate--that Bush killed Kerry during that period. I felt the same way. Bush came out much stronger than Kerry, I thought, and closed well. However, Bush really struggled from 9:30 to 10:15 as Kerry hit his stride. A lot of this has to do with the fact that Bush's positions are clear and simple: go and kill the terrorists where they are, do not wait for them to strike again in the US, and protect US interests regardless of international support. There are only so many ways to say this, and I think Bush became frustrated with trying to fill time with new ways to re-articulate his clear positions. He is no wordsmith. And I believe 90 minutes is waaaaaay too long for a presidential debate, especially when limited to a single topic.

-- Overheard two people talking about the debate while I was looking at the softball schedule. Both agreed the debate was pretty much a draw, and felt that the post-debate spin was even for Bush and Kerry. One of them said to the other, "Is Andrea Mitchell not the most biased reporter you have ever seen? It's unbelievable! She so clearly wants Kerry to win." Thinking that I was in the presence of fellow conservatives, I said, "Good grief, I know. Her face just gives it away." He responded, "God, I know--and I'm a Democrat." How's that for your column, Bo?

-- Overheard two other Dems arguing over whether Kerry has nailed down a coherent position on Iraq. One believes he has, the other feels that Kerry has truly painted himself into a corner, and the Bush team will continue to exploit this for all it's worth.

What was Scalia thinking?

How did he slip this one by the Senate Judiciary? How disgraceful.

I also hate these "feel-good" meetings with students, like the one Clinton had on MTV (back in '92, I think) when he was asked if he would inhale if given another chance and if he preferred boxers or briefs. I realize there's a difference between a presidential candidate doing this and a Supreme Court judge (the judge doesn't have to shamelessly pander to votes), but if the young people demographic, the 18-26 year-old MTV demographic that we hear so much about, can't seriously engage a politician/judge on real issues, then politicians shouldn't show up for these events. Shame on Scalia for embarrassing himself and the people who stood up for him as representing conservatism.

It's particularly galling on MTV, where the boxers/briefs shit passes as serious discourse.

By the way, I think this Scalia comment will turn out to be a huge deal, given that he's one of the two most conservative members of SCOTUS. Does the poli-sci crowd here know of any way he can be censured or reprimanded?

UPDATE: Stanley Kurtz thinks Scalia was misquoted. I sure hope so; if he was, that is one hell of a misquote.

Winning ugly

Back in the early and mid 90s, I and several thousand other Alabama fans used to gripe, whine, bitch and moan about the conservative, boring style of Stallings-coached Crimson Tide teams. Every week on “Tide Talk,” Bama fans would ask the same questions: why don’t you throw it more, Coach? Why not go up top on first down? Why do you run it up the middle 60 times a game? Why did you run out the clock before the end of the half instead of trying to put another score on the board? Why did you kick the 20 yard field goal instead of trying to stick it in for a TD?

When Stallings retired after 7 seasons as Bama’s head coach, we glanced back over his record, a little surprised at the results: 70 wins in 7 seasons, and a national championship to boot. Not bad—actually, pretty damn dominant.

Every time I watch W. debate, I get that familiar Stallings feeling. His opponent, time after time, leaves a hole in his defense big enough to drive a truck through—in this case, the vote against troop funding, or the “coerced and bribed” comment, or the suggestion that Allawi is a mere puppet of the U.S., or take your pick of about ten other examples—and what does W. do? Three more yards and a cloud of unintelligible gibberish. Sometimes, W. manages to hit the hole, but a la Dennis Riddle, he trips over his own feet and takes a facemask full of turf; other times, he looks up top to a wide-open receiver, but a la Freddie Kitchens, he tosses the ball three rows deep into the stands or bounces it off his lineman’s helmet. I scream and cuss at the television while banging my forehead into the coffee table.

And then the 90 minutes is up. The post-debate reaction begins. And once again, W. wins ugly by pounding away and refusing to fumble.

Yes, I know the popular opinion is that Kerry “won” the debate—but so did Gore in 2000. W. is playing a different game; “winning” the debates is the political equivalent of racking up gaudy offensive stats. Meanwhile, Bush remains focused on the November 2nd scoreboard—the only statistic that matters at all.

As Kerry scored big Debate Club points, he managed to turn the ball over a couple of times—most notably with the “global test” comment. And just as Gene Stallings knew, winning the turnover battle—screwing up less than your opponent—is the ultimate key to winning the game.

And looking back at Bush’s record—taking apart the vaunted Ann Richards, staying out of the way as Professor Gore self-destructed—one must admit: whether Bush is a good debater or not, he is an effective politician. Bebes Stallings would be proud.

Aren't professors supposed to be smart?

You'd think after all that schooling and writing and reading, they'd have a little more common sense than this doorknob. Major ups to Wizbang on this story.