Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Two Giants in Today's News: Stott and Lewis

David Brooks in today's (Tuesday's) NY Times on John R. W. Stott:
He is the author of more than 40 books, which have been translated into over 72 languages and have sold in the millions. Now rector emeritus at All Souls, Langham Place, in London, he has traveled the world preaching and teaching.

When you read Stott, you encounter first a tone of voice. Tom Wolfe once noticed that at a certain moment all airline pilots came to speak like Chuck Yeager. The parallel is inexact, but over the years I've heard hundreds of evangelicals who sound like Stott.

It is a voice that is friendly, courteous and natural. It is humble and self-critical, but also confident, joyful and optimistic. Stott's mission is to pierce through all the encrustations and share direct contact with Jesus. Stott says that the central message of the gospel is not the teachings of Jesus, but Jesus himself, the human/divine figure. He is always bringing people back to the concrete reality of Jesus' life and sacrifice.

There's been a lot of twaddle written recently about the supposed opposition between faith and reason. To read Stott is to see someone practicing "thoughtful allegiance" to scripture. For him, Christianity means probing the mysteries of Christ. He is always exploring paradoxes. Jesus teaches humility, so why does he talk about himself so much? What does it mean to gain power through weakness, or freedom through obedience? In many cases the truth is not found in the middle of apparent opposites, but on both extremes simultaneously.

Read the whole thing by Brooks on Stott here (free online registration required).

Chuck Colson, today, on the 106th birthday of C. S. Lewis:

Lewis warned that naturalism turns humans into objects to be controlled. It turns values into “mere natural phenomena”—which can be selected and inculcated into a passive population by powerful Conditioners. Lewis predicted a time when those who want to remold human nature “will be armed with the powers of an omnicompetent state and an irresistible scientific technique.” Sounds like the biotech debate today, doesn’t it?

Why was Lewis so uncannily prophetic? At first glance he seems an unlikely candidate. He was not a theologian; he was an English professor. What was it that made him such a keen observer of cultural and intellectual trends?

The answer may be somewhat discomfiting to modern evangelicals: One reason is precisely that Lewis was not an evangelical. He was a professor in the academy, with a specialty in medieval literature, which gave him a mental framework shaped by the whole scope of intellectual history and Christian thought. As a result, he was liberated from the narrow confines of the religious views of the day—which meant he was able to analyze and critique them.
Read the whole thing on Lewis here.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Smile Al-Zawahri! We Can See You!

The US Marines have new toy. It's a 4-foot-long spy plane manufactured by Boeing that has a 10-foot wingspan and can fly up to 15 hours at a time on less than two gallons of fuel. The news announcement stated that...

It travels above insurgent positions and sends real-time video images to Marines on the ground. The unmanned device can relay facial expressions on enemy soldiers, and can transmit in such detail that it shows steam rising from their coffee[, or whatever that sludge is in their nasty coffee cups.]
This news comes at a good time. In a videotape aired today (Monday), Osama bin Laden's number 2 zealot, Ayman Al-Zawahri, "vowed to continue fighting the United States until Washington changes its policies."

"We are a nation of patience and we will continue fighting you (United States) until the last hour," Zawahri said in the tape, which was aired by Arab satellite television al-Jazeera. We're wondering if this is a sign of battle fatigue.

Well, we're a patient nation too, only we can see the look at their ugly faces and even see their breathing when the air temperature gets a little colder.

Now we need to start using this new aircraft in Iraq.

With thanks to Instapundit for the headsup.

Washington and Ohio

It's time for a little juxtaposition. Here is an op-ed piece in today's Providence Journal, written by Green party presidential candidate David Cobb. And here is a piece by John Fund on the Washington state governor's race which we've been covering.

Note that there is a recorded differential of 136,000 votes between Bush and Kerry in Ohio, and for some reason the Green Party candidate and purportedly the Libertarian party candidate want to see a Florida type hold-your-horses recount there. Thank God no one listened to these oafs. Who would have wanted an unnecessary replay of Florida in Ohio?

But Fund's column goes a step deeper. The race, won twice (in the election count and the recount) by Dino Rossi in Ohio, is in jeopardy. The Dems want to do another "selective" recount. In the last recount they "found" votes in a district heavily leaning toward Democrat Christine Gregoire. Who knows what else they may "find" in these "selected" counties.

Spare us.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Phenom Annan II

Belmont Club blog has an outstanding post documenting several sources on the corruption at the UN beginning at the top. As Don Corleone once said, the fish stinks from the head.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Massive U.S. Casualties on Omaha Beach; Hitler's Reich Remains Intact, Defiant

From tomorrow's Weekly Standard, an excerpt from an article by Mackubin Thomas Owens, with compliments to Jonathan V. Last:

Critics are asking what the operation in Fallujah really accomplished. They note that the insurgents' leaders appear to have escaped and that violence has erupted elsewhere in northern Iraq. Media accounts also routinely describe the fighting outside Fallujah as a "rebel counter-offensive" that surprised the U.S. military, implying that the reduction of Fallujah merely created more insurgents.

But the view conveyed by these headlines is myopic. An equivalent headline in June 1944 would have read: "Massive U.S. Casualties on Omaha Beach; Hitler's Reich Remains Intact, Defiant." Such stories fail to place Fallujah, Mosul, Tal Afar, and other cities in northern Iraq in context. The fact is that Fallujah is part of a campaign, a series of coordinated events--movements, battles, and supporting operations--designed to achieve strategic or operational objectives within a military theater. Fallujah is just one battle, albeit an extremely important one, in a comprehensive campaign to stabilize the Sunni Triangle.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving 2004

(With thanks from MSNBC)

What is The Senescent Man thankful for? Many things, including this growing legion of Iraqi Police Officers who are not only fighting crimes being committed by the thousands of hooligans released from the prisons of Iraq by Saddam, but also battling a ferocious insurgency. To them and to our wonderful and matchless US war-fighters in Iraq, we offer our humble THANKS, and may Almighty God bless and keep you!

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Dino Dropping?

Jim Miller of (Puget) Sound Politics has modified his odds for Dino Rossi from 3 to 1 in his favor to even odds. We're still calling the race for Dino, but dem Dems are up to no good. Here is an excerpt:

The margin after the first recount, 42 votes, is so small that it is easy to see that it might not survive another recount. (Those of you who follow my site closely may recall that I originally set the odds at 3 to 1 in Rossi's favor. But that was before King county discovered so many votes.)

King county, the heart of the Christine Gregoire's strength, did what amounted to a manual recount, and so I would not expect her to gain more than few votes here. But she could gain more in the rest of the state, even though she lost badly to Dino Rossi in most of Washington's counties. The votes that she might gain would come from voters who did not fill out their ballots correctly. Those voters tend to be less educated than the average voter and the less educated tend to be Democrats. (As well as the most educated. The Republicans have the edge with in between voters, from high school graduates up to those with post graduate educations.) Kerry had just a 1 point advantage over Bush this year among those with less than a high school education, according to the New York Times exit poll, but in the three previous presidential elections, the Democratic advantage was more than more than 20 percent in that group.
There is concern that selective hand counting could move Christine Gregoire into the win column. Stay tuned. You can read my previous posts on this topic here and here.

Not so Starry Night

Today's (Wednesday's) The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal offers an excellent piece on the silence of Hollywood on the grotesque murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, whose short film "Submission," about the adverse treatment of women in Islam, became the basis for his murder by Islamo-fascists. Roger L. Simon, too, has been noticing this strange paradox since the death of van Gogh, who is related to the great Vincent. You wouldn't have called van Gogh a conservative - he was cynical and critical about all religious faiths, but was right to point out the universally recognizable unjustice done to women in some versions of Islam - or at least this aberrant ones which appear to be driving the geopolitical rhelm these days. The price van Gogh paid was his life. Hollywood is strangely silent.

Our view is that this is an interesting position for the normally outspoken liberals in Hollywood. In the 1920's and 30's, many in Hollywood, so opposed to injustice against the little guy, that many became overt supporters of Lenin and Stalin to the point of being blacklisted. This new Hollywood generation are a little circumscpect, perhaps, at least about their precious derrieres.

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Rossi Rising

We must say, the gubernatorial race in Washington state remains facinating. The official vote count left Dino Rossi (R) with a mere 261 votes ahead of his Democrat opponent, Christine Gregoire. The recount has begun, and as of the end of the day today, Rossi is ahead, but we've a ways to go. As our readers are sick of hearing by now, we've been predicting a Rossi victory.

Why should a New Englander care? We are enamored of Democratic states moving, every so gradually, to the Republican column. The tradition in Washington state has been election and re-election of Democratic governors, but Washington is also known for its pleasantly surprising razor thin victories for fresh, Republican newcomers like Congressman George Nethercutt, Jr., who came to the US House in 1994, beating Speaker of the House, Tom Foley. It's been ten years, and Nethercutt is still on the cutting edge (so to speak).

So it's root root root for the away team! And maybe someday it will come home. Go Dino!

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Rather Gone, Officially

The news is good today. Dan Rather will be gone by March 2005. But there are those among us who believe the truth about Rathergate still needs to be revealed. Indeed.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Marines Shoot Insurgent Who Was 'Playing Dead'

Courtesy of The Corner

The US military says Marines in Fallujah have shot and killed an insurgent who engaged them as he was faking being dead, a week after footage of a marine killing an apparently unarmed and wounded Iraqi caused a stir in the region.

"Marines from the 1st Marine Division shot and killed an insurgent who while faking dead opened fire on the marines who were conducting a security and clearing patrol through the streets," a military statement said.

The point-blank shooting on November 13 of a wounded Iraqi was caught on tape and beamed around the world.

It raised questions about the degree of military restraint and fanned Arab resentment.

The marine was withdrawn from combat and an investigation launched.

Military sources had said that the rules of engagement were looser during the operation launched in Fallujah, for fear that rebels would be disguised, fake death or wear suicide explosives belts.

The US military and Iraqi government troops are still carrying house-to-house searches in the rebel bastion but two weeks after it was launched, the largest post-Saddam military operation in Iraq is all but over.

According to US military figures, more than 1,200 insurgents have been killed in the intense fighting, as well as 51 US troops and eight Iraqi personnel.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

WWII Parallels to the War on Terror?

The photo above was taken in April 1945 during the liberation of the Concentration Camp at Dachau. It shows Waffen-SS soldiers being lined up and executed by American soldiers.

The Belmont Club has a thorough and well documented piece on the moral depravity of Hitler and his minions. In it, he refers to a site which contained this and similar photographic records of the time.

Below is an excerpt:

If Hitler was altogether more evil than we can conceive, he arose from a time and circumstance which few if any can still remember. Any comparisons between the 1945 and 2004 are likely to be inexact. Those who point to the shooting of Jihadi in Fallujah by a US Marine as evidence that America is drifting into Nazism would do well to remember that in 1945, American troops who arrived in Dachau were so disgusted by what they saw they executed hundreds of SS guards on the spot. This is a link to remarkable photographs of the incident.

"The killing of unarmed POWs did not trouble many of the men in I company that day for to them the SS guards did not deserve the same protected status as enemy soldiers who have been captured after a valiant fight. To many of the men in I company, the SS were nothing more than wild, vicious animals whose role in this war was to starve, brutalize, torment, torture and murder helpless civilians."

Flint Whitlock, The Rock of Anzio, From Sicily to Dachau: A history of the U.S. 45th Infantry Division

Are there parallels to the recent events in Fallujah? The floor is open.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Iran and Chirac - Multipolarism versus Anti-Terrorism

Roger L. Simon has queued us to an interesting piece in Town Hall by Caroline B. Glick, the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. In it, among other things, Glick parses through the animadversions of French President Jacques Chirac on the Iran nuclear weapons program.

An excerpt below from the Town Hall post which originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post:

Speaking to British reporters on Monday, Chirac said, "Britain gave its support [to the US in Iraq] but I did not see much in return. I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favors." Chirac added that he had told Blair that his friendship with Bush could be of use if the US adopted the EU position on Israel and the Palestinians. Since Bush has refused to do so, Chirac argued, Bush has played Blair for a fool.

From these statements, two things about the European agenda become clear. First, by bringing Britain into the talks with Iran, the French have managed to ensure that the Americans, if they decide to do something about Iran's nuclear weapons programs, will be forced to act without British backing and at the expense of the British government, thus causing a serious fissure in the Anglo-American alliance. Straw's statement is breathtaking in that it shows that on the issue of Iranian nuclear weapons, the British prefer to see Iran gain nuclear weapons to having anyone act to prevent them from doing so.

Chirac's statement exposes, once again, France's main interest in international affairs today. To wit: France wishes only to box in the US to the point that the Americans will not be able to continue to fight the war against terrorism. The French do this not because they necessarily like terrorists. They do this because as Chirac has said many times, he views the central challenge of our time as developing a "multipolar" world. France's obsession with multipolarity stems from Chirac's perception that his country's primary aim is not to free the world from Islamic terror, but to weaken the US.
Chirac's words muddies the waters as to how the US may ally itself in the event of an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran. It also acts to further alienate liberal German and British citizens opposed to US intervention in the Middle East. In the end, Glick predicts the Brits will stand by the US.

Ah, but what to make of the French? French toast perhaps?

Uncle Alan is back at it

Jude Wanniski, proponent of supply-side economics, periodically criticizes Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, for his failures in managing the economy. Here is the opening of a NY Time article that got Jude going today.

"Alan Greenspan came to the home of the euro on Friday and suggested that the relentless decline of the dollar might well continue, offering little relief to those here who worry that the United States is seeking to gain a competitive advantage for its industries from a weaker currency. In a speech to a banking congress here, Mr. Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said that ballooning foreign borrowing on the part of the United States poses a future risk to the dollar`s value. He said that foreign investors, who help finance the large American trade and budget deficits by buying Treasury securities and other dollar-denominated assets, would eventually resist lending more money to the United States, causing the dollar to fall further. When this news hit the wires Friday, the Dow Jones Industrials lost 115 points, the dollar fell sharply against the euro and the Japanese yen, the bond market sank, and the price of gold jumped to $448, up $5 an ounce."

Jude says: "Nice job, Alan" and goes on to explain how Greenspan is blaming everything but the real culprit -- Fed policy -- for the way the dollar's value whips around.

The fully formatted report and much more may be found at Supply Side University (wanniski.com)

For Those Packing Up and Moving to Canada, Can You Say Cheesesteak Avec Poutine?

The day after the election, Philadelphia Daily News columnist Jill Porter wrote a clever piece about what to do if you are among all those folks who said they were moving to Canada if Bush was re-elected.

We picked it up on the Op-Ed page of the
Providence Journal on Friday, November 19th.

Here is an excerpt, but you can read the whole thing

...brace yourselves for some other cultural adjustments.

1. The second language in Canada is French. Can you say cheesesteak avec?

2. Not that they have Cheez Whiz. In fact, their favorite fast food - called poutine - is French fries covered with hard cheese and meat gravy. Bleagh.

3. And forget Krispy Kreme. You'll have to settle for a donut from Tim Horton's, a chain named for a deceased hockey player.

4. Yes, hockey is the national pastime. So say goodbye to baseball, which, for a Philadelphian, might just be a blessing.

5. Finally, some trivia: they have a one-dollar coin they call a "loonie" and a two-dollar coin they call a "toonie." Which presumably means they have a sense of humor. Though not a good one.

These are small sacrifices - except for the Cheez Whiz - to make for sanity. There's no death penalty, real gun control and legal gay marriage.
To which we would add: Allez! Allez! And be mindful of the door as it attempts to collide with your backside on your way out of the country.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Jim Taricani

Let me begin with the fact that I am a fan of veteran reporter Jim Taricani. Taricani has been a valiant investigative journalist in Rhode Island for decades, and he is highly regarded by peers, the public and the pols. Lately he's been the topic of national news.

As the Wall Street Journal Commentary page noted today, Jim, who faces jail time in his sentencing scheduled for December 9th, committed no crime in receiving and then airing footage of a bribe in Providence City Hall captured on tape during the FBI surveillance of alleged scoundrals involved with former Providence Mayor Vincent (Buddy) Cianci in what was called the Thunder Dome Scandal.

But, as John Carroll of Greater Boston on WGBH noted this evening, Taricani committed a crime when he was found in contempt of court for being uncooperative with authorities in the court's quest to identify the person who leaked the tape to him.

Ah, but a reporter must be free to protect his sources, you say? But his source committed a crime which, by providing Taricani the tape, and by Taricani’s subsequent airing of the tape, jeopardized the right of due process to several defendants in that case.

Jim has not been in good health, having had by-pass surgery a few years ago. We do not wish the man be sentenced to jail. But we do believe if the judge decides to place him in home confinement, that would be appropriate. Unfortunate, but appropriate.

Protecting journalistic sources is one thing, but protecting criminals is another. A little complicated perhaps as the issue juxtaposes one set of rights (freedom of speech and of the press) against another set of equally important rights (the right to due process of law), both of which appear in the same Bill of Rights.

United States Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) is attempting to introduce legislation which would exempt journalists from revealing their sources under any circumstance. We’re in that minority that thinks the pendulum has swung too far in favor of the Press, given the excesses of the MSM. Time to place emphasis on the rights of the common man, including those facing a court of law with a jury pool that may have been tainted by the gross exaggerations of an overzealous press.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Dino's the One

We're sticking with our prediction that Dino Rossi will emerge the victor in the Washington State gubernatorial race.

The race remains quite close, closer than we had originally thought. As of the end of the day today (Thursday), Rossi was ahead of his Democrat opponent Christine Gregoire by less than 300 votes out of a total of 2.8 million counted thus far. That's less than a 0.1% differential! Over the past few days the differential was as small as 20 or less, and at one point slightly in favor of Gregoire.

It's a nail biter.

See daily updated count/graph from the Washington State Secretary of State's Office. Be watching for the eventual recount.

Why We Favor Joseph Lieberman for the Bush Cabinet

Rumors abound that Senator Joseph Lieberman (D- CT) is being considered for a post in the Bush Cabinet. There are a lot of good reasons for Bush to appoint Lieberman to a Cabinet position.

(1) Lieberman has been a staunch supporter of the war against terrorism, including the war in Iraq for which is fellow Democrats consider him anathema. He continues to support the war today, and if you visit his web site, he explains why he was right to support the president. He believes in President Bush’s policy on preemption, and while he was running for president in the Democratic primary, he stuck with that tough position to the ridicule of his opponents and colleagues.

(2) Lieberman is a man of faith. He believes it is not nutty to allow religious institutions into the public square.

(3) He was never a fan of the rabid Dr. Howard Dean, but rather a moderate Democrat, one of a dying breed, and the kind of Democrat the Democrats need but continue to scourge. His fellow Democrats continue to ridicule him today, calling him a cryptic Republican which can be better seen in web sites like this one.

(4) He’s from New England, and New Englanders can use another seat at the table beyond Andrew Card's.

(5) And, hopefully, appointing a Democrat to the Bush Cabinet would bolster support from the many ignored, more moderate Democrats, who might support and accept Bush's policies.

(6) Last, but not least, were he to leave his Senate seat, the Republican governor would appoint his replacement, bringing the Senate to a 56 - 43 - 1 ratio for Republicans - Democrats - Independents, which is even better for Bush's potential judicial appointments.

Here is the beginnings of how the Hartford Courant [online registration required] is covering this unfolding story,...

WASHINGTON -- Joe Lieberman respects the presidency and likes being wooed. And so, he said Tuesday, he's not ruling out a Bush Cabinet appointment.

"I am a traditionalist," the Connecticut Democratic senator said. "If the president ever calls, you'd have to consider it. But I am very happy to be in the Senate."

At the same time, said Lieberman, "I don't expect an offer, and I have no indications that it will happen."
Well see.

To Be Sarin or Not to Be Sarin, That is the Question

Powerline has some credible feedback that the viles believed to be Sarin recently found in Fallujah may, in fact, be Sarin antidote. Follow the thread here. As a follow up to our earlier post, we want to keep our readers informed on this developing story.

The MSM are Either With Us, or They're With the Terrorists

In today's (Thursday's) WSJ Opinion Journal:

Some 40 Marines have just lost their lives cleaning out one of the world's worst terror dens, in Fallujah, yet all the world wants to talk about is the NBC videotape of a Marine shooting a prostrate Iraqi inside a mosque. Have we lost all sense of moral proportion?

The al-Zarqawi TV network, also known as Al-Jazeera, has broadcast the tape to the Arab world, and U.S. media have also played it up. The point seems to be to conjure up images again of Abu Ghraib, further maligning the American purpose in Iraq. Never mind that the pictures don't come close to telling us about the context of the incident, much less what was on the mind of the soldier after days of combat.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

It's 3 PM and There is Still No Announcement from the MSM on the Sarin Gas Found in Fallujah

Both Powerline and LGF have a photo of the Sarin gas found in Fallujah today.

The Miserable MSM Mess

What is the duty of the Blogmeisters of the Blogosphere now that the election is over and, it is quite noticeable, many Blogmen and Blogwomen have taken a (well deserved) hiatus?

I'll tell you what our duty is, besides writing some excellent new novels and such like Lileks, it is to expose the old media, the MSM, for what they really are and what they continue to do with unabashed brazenness.

What have they done this morning?

MSNBC and Fox News are dramatizing 10 new deaths in a car bomb explosion north of Fallujah. Are they Americans? Don't know yet, but they want to continue to drum in the idea that we are feeling the raw end of the stick in this war. Not a peep about the fact that 1,000 to 1,200 rotten, scummy terrorist insurgents were killed in the successful Fallujah offensive. This mornings WSJ has an excellent piece on what the MSM is missing in the reporting of such matters in this war.

Then there is Chris Matthews. What to do with this blithering baffoon? Hugh Hewitt and Roger L. Simon (on Hewitt's Show) picked up on his slip of the tongue by this miserable knucklehead (Matthews) on his talking heads program, Hardball. He said, raising a question regarding the Marine killing of the faking insurgent in Falluja, and I quote:

"If this were the other side, and we were watching an enemy soldier --a rival, I mean they're not bad guys especially, just people who just disagree with us, they are in fact the insurgents, fighting us in their country-- if we saw one of them do what we saw our guy do to that guy, would we consider that worthy of a war crimes charge?"
You know, NBC wants us to believe this guy is a conservative, or even fair and balanced. I tell you he is a very hard ball of left wing lunacy. In the view of this senescent, crotchety old New Englander, and Chris Matthews is originally from my neck of the woods, he is stupifaction incarnate, and he really has to go. Chris: I know Tim Russert. Tim Russert is a friend of mine. Chris, you are no Tim Russert. A wannabe perhaps, but you don't even measure up to half a Tim, who is by-the-way no conservative either.

Then there is this excellent short piece by Andrew Stuttaford in The Corner at NRO. It highlighted an interesting news item that the MSM seems to have overlooked - surprise - surprise. Here it is:

"What, I wonder, will Al-Jazeera have to say about this? From the London Times:

"In the south of Fallujah yesterday, US Marines found the armless, legless body of a blonde woman, her throat slashed and her entrails cut out. Benjamin Finnell, a hospital apprentice with the US Navy Corps, said that she had been dead for a while, but at that location for only a day or two. The woman was wearing a blue dress; her face had been disfigured. It was unclear if the remains were the body of the Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan, 59, or of Teresa Borcz, 54, a Pole abducted two weeks ago. Both were married to Iraqis and held Iraqi citizenship; both were kidnapped in Baghdad last month. US and Iraqi troops have discovered kidnappers’ lairs filled with corpses or emaciated prisoners half-mad with fear, and piles of bodies of men who had refused to fight with the insurgents. As the guerrillas run their last sprint from death, sympathy for their cause is running out among Iraqis."
What do we have to do? We have to keep exposing these MSM baffoons.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Specter Revisited

See the thorough analysis of the spector of a Specter leadership of the Judiciary here at the Stones Cry Out blog. I haven't seen anything as thorough on the subject. It is quite good, and it has changed my view.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Da Vinci Load - Coming to a Theater Near You

I am a big fan of Tom Hanks, but I don't plan on wasting a minute of my time watching his next "big" film, "The Da Vinci Code" which is to be announced in the November 22 issue of Newsweek. Dan Brown's book, though very popular, is nonetheless a travesty, which has spawned a series of counter arguments about the major premises of the book (Jesus was married to Mary Magdalen, the Holy Grail is not what you think it is, Mary appears in Da Vinci's Last Supper, and on and on, ad nauseum).

Okay, it is fiction, but it is reminiscent of the controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ." I don't like the idea of an actor I happen to like being forever associated with what will end up being hyped up schlock and bore.

Administrative Message

The Senescent Man has added Post Tracking by Haloscan. As a result, previous comments have been deleted (though they are not lost).

What Would You Do If You Were Lincoln Chafee?

Anchor Rising, has an excellent take on the Sunday Providence Journal article by M. Charles Bakst on the enimatic Senator Lincoln Chafee, so-called Republican (RINO) from Rhode Island. You can find it here.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Brazenness of Academia

Today’s (Sunday’s) Providence Journal posts an article on the plight of the quazi-conservative student of social work at Rhode Island College. The student, 41 year old Bill Felkner, who is pursuing a Masters Degree in Social work, is not even a conservative in the strictest sense as the article refers to him as a libertarian having “liberal views on social issues and conservative views on economics.”

From the Projo:

“AT RHODE ISLAND College, the controversy began with a movie, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, a documentary deeply critical of the Bush administration. A professor in the School of Social Work showed the film to his students. Felkner, who was not in a class where the movie was showed, rented it.

Afterward, Felkner asked one of his professors, Jim Ryczek, to show a movie called FahrenHYPE 9/11, which challenges Moore's point of view.

Ryczek, in an e-mail to Felkner, declined to show the movie in his class, but said Felkner was welcome to show it on campus. (FahrenHYPE 9/11 was later shown in several classes taught by another professor.)

Then [Professor] Ryczek sent an e-mail to Felkner telling him:
"I will be the first to admit a bias toward a certain point of view. . . . In the words of a colleague, I revel in my biases.

"So I think anyone who consistently holds antithetical views to those espoused by the profession might ask themselves whether social work is the profession for them. . . . "

Ryczek concluded by saying, "I don't want you to think that I am suggesting that you are such a person. But then again, you may be. Only you can make that determination….

…According to Ryczek, social workers are committed to helping poor and oppressed communities become empowered to make positive changes. That theory, he says, "is not consistent with the most conservative views."

Ryczek believes, for example, that a comprehensive welfare state is the optimal form of government.

"I talk about my views," he says. "The students need to decide whether they agree with them and whether they belong in social work."
Whatever happened to academic freedom, and the free exchange of ideas? How did academe become so dogmatic and brazen in their liberal views which have been tried and found wanting?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

From the Milwaukee Police Files

And from The Weekly Standard Scrapbook (subscription required) we get the following update on those slashed tires in Milwaukee on Election Day:

Remember, back on Election Day, how somebody slashed the tires on 20 vans and cars rented by Republicans to get out the vote in Milwaukee? The story was all over the national news--for about 12 hours. And then it pretty much disappeared. Outside of Wisconsin itself, no major daily has since published a single word's worth of update on the resulting police investigation. This, even though--we'll call it a SCRAPBOOK exclusive, with apologies and thanks to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel--at least three arrests have now been made in the case. And two of the arrestees have been publicly identified.

On Nov. 5, accompanied by his attorney, 25-year-old Sowande Ajumoke Omokunde was booked at Milwaukee police headquarters. Omokunde--who apparently prefers to be called "Supreme Solar Allah"--lives with his mother, Gwen Moore, who's just been elected to Congress as a Democrat.

Also arrested: 33-year-old Opel E. Simmons, an official in the Virginia state Democratic party who'd been dispatched to Milwaukee to oversee Election Day canvassing on the city's north side. Police tell local reporters that a Kerry campaign automobile assigned to Simmons is "linked to the incident."

Still wanted for questioning: Michael Pratt, son of former acting Milwaukee mayor Marvin Pratt, Kerry's campaign chairman in the city.

Rossi Will Win Governorship in Washington State

The Senescent Man will make a prediction that Republican Dino Rossi will win that squeaker of a gubernatorial race in Washington state. The results are still being analyzed, but we think it's over. Why?

(1) Rossi is ahead by ~ 2,000 votes over his Democrat opponent Christine Gregoire. See graph here.

(2) Democrats have been winning in this race on a regular basis, but they got complacent.

(3) Rossi is an attractive candidate with a great Italo-American name (don't you think?).

(4) Sound Poltics gives the statistical edge to Rossi.

Remember, you heard it here first.

Friday, November 12, 2004

It's the Ideology stupid!

The big gatekeepers for the liberal elite are working desperately to blame their losses on the religious right, instead of wondering whether they might be totally out of step with the majority of Americans. Charles Krauthammer writes about the myth of Moral Values and how they influenced this election - great article. Never mind that the democrats selected the most extreme candidate they could find, and drove away many of the moderate democratic votes they needed to win. Never mind that the Democratic Party continues to drift towards the extreme left, embodying principles and values that were formed by the social attitudes and hippies of the 60's. These days, no democratic candidate has a chance of achieving the nomination of their party unless they adhere to the basic tenets of the extreme left....no controls on abortions, including PBA, constant support for unions at any expense, increased spending on social programs at the expense of economic support for small businesses and investment in the growth of business, reductions in defense spending, extreme environmental policies....the list goes on. These principles ensure that they will continue to advance candidates that are too far to the left for mainstream America.
Until the leaders of the Democratic Party start looking inward, instead of complaining about who showed up at the polls and who didn't, there will be no change in strategy, and this country will continue to become more and more conservative.


The AraFAT LADY SINGS! as the NY Post put it earlier today. Cartoon is courtesy of The Discerning Texan Blog.

Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Ara-fffft Obit Omissions

Powerline has some information that has been omitted from the recent obituaries on Arafat:

"He personally ordered the assassination of American Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel, Jr. and charge d'affaires Curtis Moore in Khartoum on March 2, 1973. Arafat himself presided over the Khartoum operation and ordered the assassination of Noel and Moore by short wave radio from PLO headquarters in Beirut. Moore and Noel were only the first of many Americans murdered by Arafat's terrorist thugs."
In addition, he claims that the "blood disease" from which Arafat eventually succumbed was actually AIDS:

"In the notorious tradition of the "175ers" among the Nazi leadership, Arafat led an incredibly dissolute life. It was his dissolution that ultimately resulted in his contraction of AIDS, the disease that led to his death outside Paris yesterday. As with so many basic facts about this utterly vile human being, the truth (although baldly reported by Oriana Fallaci in the fall of 1981) remains shrouded in myth, deception and outright lies. "
No doubt the MSM will be extolling his virues over the next days and weeks. Ugh!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Thank You - No, Thank You - No, Thank YOU!

A final word on the election results, then on to new things. Columnist George Will suggests we have a few Democrats to thank for the re-election of W:

Republicans should send a thank-you note to San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom -- liberalism's George Wallace, apostle of ``progressive'' lawlessness. He did even more than the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to energize the 11 state campaigns to proscribe same-sex marriage. All 11 measures passed, nine with more than 60 percent of the vote. They passed in Oregon and Michigan, while those states were voting for Kerry. Ohio's measure, by increasing conservative turnout, may have given Bush the presidency. Kentucky's may have saved Sen. Jim Bunning.

Newsom's heavily televised grandstanding -- illegally issuing nearly 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses -- underscored what many Americans find really insufferable. It is not so much same-sex marriage that enrages them: Most Americans oppose an anti-same-sex amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is why it fell 49 votes short of the required two-thirds in the House and 19 short in the Senate. Rather, what provokes people is moral arrogance expressed in disdain for democratic due process.

Republicans should send a large spray of flowers to thank the British newspaper The Guardian. It urged readers to write letters to residents of Ohio's Clark County -- the city of Springfield and environs -- urging them to defeat Bush. The backfire from Ohio was so strong (e.g., one resident told The Guardian, ``If you want to save the world, begin with your own worthless corner of it,''), the paper quickly canceled its intervention. In 2000 Bush lost Clark County to Al Gore. This year Clark was the only one of Ohio's 88 counties to support Bush after opposing him in 2000.

TNR Votes NO on Kerry as Lead Dem

The Boston Globe and the Washington Post have reported that John Kerry wants to have a prominent role in the Democratic Party.

The Reaction of the liberal New Republic Magazine On-line:

"Our reaction to this is ... how to put it? Well, here goes: No. Please. Stop.

"If the election results somehow failed to make this clear, we'd like to remind Senator Kerry that he is not an effective communicator. He tends to blather on, circling round and round his point without coming close to it. He regularly utters phrases --"global test," "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it"--that play directly into his opponents' hands. And he projects the image of an out-of-touch patrician that is precisely the opposite of what the Democratic Party needs.

"Kerry's inner circle has come away from the election apparently convinced that he represents the aspirations of nearly half the country. Kerry, his brother told the Globe, will "be a voice for the 55 million people who voted for him." David Wade, Kerry's communications director, chimed in, "There are millions upon millions of Americans who want the same change for our country that he fought for."

"It is certainly true that the election saw an enormous outpouring of activism on Kerry's behalf. That activism, though, was motivated by opposition to Bush rather than by support for Kerry.

So now we know how his base REALLY felt about him.

Guess those Dems will have to find some one else to lead the charge. Hillary? Bill?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Specter of Arlen as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee

My first reaction to Arlen Specter chairing the Judiciary committee in the Senate was a grab-the-vomit-bag revulsion, especially when he intimated that he might filter any Bush nominees through his left wing prism. But Hugh Hewitt has an excellent post, an excerpt appearing below, which debates the pragmatism of acquiescing in a Specter chairmanship. My gut tells me to push for Orin Hatch, but my brain says, maybe this could work. You can read the entire Hewitt post here.

The effort to stop Arlen Specter from gaining the chairmanship of the Committee on the Judiciary continues, though Karl Rove's comments yesterday signal the president's confidence that Specter will get the job done. I haven't persuaded anyone at The Corner yet, so time to try again. Opponents of Specter have to ask themselves a few questions. In fact, I'd like to see them answer these questions in text:

Would stopping Specter make it more or less likely that he would vote for Bush nominees to move from the committee to the floor?

Would stopping Specter make it more or less likely that Specter would vote to end filibusters on the floor?

Would stopping Specter make it more or less likely that Specter would vote to confirm nominees once they had made it to the floor and once a filibuster had been broken?

What would the effect of blocking Specter have on the conduct of his colleagues from the GOP's "center-left" wing, especially Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine and Chafee of Rhode Island? Would blocking Specter increase the likelihood of their opposition to Bush nominees?

Can opponents of Specter guarantee that they can have their cake and eat it to, or might these four (and perhaps Hagel of Nebraska) respond by returning fire on nominees?

Specter's opposition to Bork in 1987 was 15 years ago. Specter supported Clarence Thomas and every Bush nominee since W's election in 2000. On what basis do opponents of Specter base their belief that he will oppose Bush nominees in the second term?

What would the effect of blocking Specter be on the re-election of Rick Santorum in 2006? What would the effect of blocking Specter be on the chances of turning Pennsylvania "red" in '08?

If Specter in fact blocked any future nominee from coming to the floor and obtaining an up-or-down vote, I would then join the call for his demotion. But the first act of governing as a majority should not be the rejection of part of the governing coalition's majority because of ideology. Majorities are fleeting and have to be nurtured, not disciplined unless the nurturing fails. There are a couple of Democrats worth wooing in a reverse Jeffords (remember him?) Blocking Specter ends that and any other attempts to regularize the nomination process, returning it to its constitutional design.

It is the process that is broken, not the individual. Specter committed himself to a timetable for nominees and the entire Republican caucus needs to make this the priority. It might feel good to have a little purge, but that would be destructive of the ends for which this majority has been assembled, and the center-right needs to keep its eyes on the ball, which is the Supreme Court, not the man in the chair.

Better the Chairman you know (and have to watch closely) than the Jeffords (one, two, three or four of them?) you don't.

The Washington Post has a great post on the evangelical vote. This is one of the two great stories of election '04, the other being the surge in the Latino vote to Bush. I hope those Rove-Mehlman lieutenants in charge of organizing these groups get a bonus and a plea to stay on and keep working. Salutes to Dr. Dobson and other key leaders, World Magazine, my evangelical colleagues in broadcasting and blogging and other forces in the evangelical community for tireless efforts to prompt people of faith towards participation. It is a start, but by no means an end.

It may strike some readers as odd that I devote most of this post to arguing against the blocking of Senator Specter's chairmanship and end it with a salute to evangelical voting strength. But the two are tied together closely. Evangelicals have to give the majority coalition in which they are dominant part the opportunity to deliver political accomplishments over a period of time, and they must accept less than perfection on the part of the coalition --because it is a coalition, not a pure majority.

This is why I wrote my book this past year, and why it remains necessary to keep reminding people that there are not enough conservatives in this country to gain a governing majority. It is easy to lose sight of that undeniable fact just after a sweeping win. But if the center-right does forget, it will be back in the minority in two short years. Keep the elections of 1986 in mind. Weakened by Iran-Contra, the Republicans lost control of the Senate and lost seats in the House. Losing control of the Senate brought on the Borking of Bork. The majority matters, and it would be disastrous if the maneuvering of late 2004 contributed to a replay of November 1986 leading to a 2007 replay of the confirmation debacle of Robert Bork.

What do you think? Specter might even get Chafee on board with at least some of Bush's judicial nominees? Am I smoking something here or could this work?

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Final Word on Zogby - We Can Disregard Him

Polipundit picked up on this Sunday New York Times piece which, among other things, provides clarity into the subject of why Zogby was so way off this year. As many who follow this blog may know, we originally watched Zogby's findings closely because of his amazing accuracy in 1996 and his prediction on Florida's closeness in 2000. But that was until The Horserace Blog set us straight on Zogby a few weeks ago, highlighting his screwy methodologies this year, and his overt bias towards Kerry:

In what he described as a "bungee jump," the pollster flatly predicted in May that Mr. Kerry would win the election. He went on maintaining through the summer that the race was "Kerry's to lose." Then, even though his own election-eve poll showed Mr. Bush a point ahead, Mr. Zogby took an even bigger plunge on Election Day.

Late Tuesday afternoon he predicted that Mr. Kerry would win Florida, Ohio, Iowa and New Mexico (none of which he did) and get at least 311 votes in the Electoral College, while Mr. Bush was assured of only 213. (Mr. Zogby modestly declined to forecast the remaining 14 electoral votes).

"I did something I shouldn't have," Mr. Zogby cheerfully confessed on Thursday. "I am a better pollster than predictor."

He said that his Election Day prediction was inspired not by the faulty exit polls but mainly by his own polling among young voters and field reports of high turnout among the young.

"I don't know that anyone was hospitalized over my prediction," he said. "If there are any orphans that are out there, from the bottom of my heart I apologize. We'll try to start up a fund."
Perhaps the friends and relatives of that Georgian lab worker can sue Zogby for giving him false hopes?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Mainstream Media Blame Bush for Suicide at Ground Zero

The Associated Press reported on the suicide death of Andrew Veal, a 25 year old lab technician from Georgia who, purportedly "was distraught over President Bush’s re-election ."

Supposedly, Veal, who was about to be married, drove all the way to Ground Zero in New York City, climbed the tall fence surrounding the World Trade Center, then shot and killed himself. His former supervisor at the lab where he worked said, “I’m absolutely sure it’s a protest, I don’t know what made him commit suicide, but where he did it was symbolic.”

Now that's news!

The Mainstream Media are at it again, folks. And I suppose all the road kill down my street are comprised of dead squirrels who couldn't live another day in a world governed by the W!

Please! Give us a break!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The "Moral Majority" Did Not Defeat Kerry

So it was NOT a groundswell of right wing hyper moralists who won the election for George W. Bush after all. In today's (Saturday's) NY Times, David Brooks shares some interesting facts and observations about just who voted on Tuesday:

"Here are the facts. As Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center [the winner, by the way, of the most accurate pre-election polling prediction] points out, there was no disproportionate surge in the evangelical vote this year. Evangelicals made up the same share of the electorate this year as they did in 2000. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who are pro-life. Sixteen percent of voters said abortions should be illegal in all circumstances. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who say they pray daily....

"Much of the misinterpretation of this election derives from a poorly worded question in the exit polls. When asked about the issue that most influenced their vote, voters were given the option of saying "moral values." But that phrase can mean anything - or nothing. Who doesn't vote on moral values? If you ask an inept question, you get a misleading result.

"The reality is that this was a broad victory for the president. Bush did better this year than he did in 2000 in 45 out of the 50 states. He did better in New York, Connecticut and, amazingly, Massachusetts. That's hardly the Bible Belt. Bush, on the other hand, did not gain significantly in the 11 states with gay marriage referendums...

"What we are seeing is a diverse but stable Republican coalition gradually eclipsing a diverse and stable Democratic coalition. Social issues are important, but they don't come close to telling the whole story. Some of the liberal reaction reminds me of a phrase I came across recently: The rage of the drowning man."
Don't, then, believe the lie that it was a bunch of homophobic, moral majority types that came out in droves to defeat Kerry. Kerry defeated Kerry with his waffling, his aristocratic Northeastern style, his record and where he stood on the issues in general. Period.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Paul Krugman: Before and After the Election

Here's NYT Columnist Paul Krugman on the morning of November 2nd:

"I always get a little choked up when I go to the local school to cast my vote. The humbleness of the surroundings only emphasizes the majesty of the process: this is democracy, America’s great gift to the world, in action.

"But over the last few days I’ve been seeing pictures from Florida that are even more majestic. They show long lines of voters, snaking through buildings and on down the sidewalk: citizens patiently waiting to do their civic duty. Those people still believe in American democracy; and because they do, so do I.

"Regular readers won’t be in any doubt about who I want to win, though New York Times rules prevent me from giving any explicit endorsement. (Hint: it’s the side that benefits from large turnout.) Above all, though, I want to see democracy vindicated, and the stain of 2000 eradicated, by a clean election in which as many people as possible get to cast their votes, and have those votes counted."
Well, a large turnout is what he got, only he didn't like the outcome.

On November 5th, Krugman was whistling a less happy tune:

"President Bush isn’t a conservative. He’s a radical — the leader of a coalition that deeply dislikes America as it is … thanks to a heavy turnout by evangelical Christians, Mr. Bush has four more years to advance that radical agenda. ... Mr. Bush did not win in a landslide. Without the fading but still potent aura of 9/11, when the nation was ready to rally around any leader, he wouldn’t have won at all."
Krugman now goes on a badly needed sabbatical. Bye bye, Paul. Have a nice vacation. Sorry to see you go.

This piece comes courtesy of Donald Luskin of NRO.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The future of Zogby?

Since the topic of the Zogby polls has been discussed so much recently, let's take a look at how he really did in this election by comparing his results to the actuals now known, and the predictions of a much better pollster, Mason Dixon.

These are the Zogby vs. real numbers, as of noon Wednesday. Done. De-mythed. 2000 was a fluke. He has no pulse on the nation.

Zogby had it +6% for Bush
Mason Dixon did not consider Arizona to be close enough to poll
Final +11% for Bush

Zogby had it +3% for Bush
Mason Dixon had it +8% for Bush
Final +9% for Bush

Zogby had it too close to call - even
Mason Dixon had it +7% for Bush
Final +7% for Bush

Zogby had it +.1% for Kerry and trending Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +4% for Bush
Final +5% for Bush

Zogby had it +5% for Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +5% for Bush
Final still TBD – looking like Bush +1%

Zogby had it +6% for Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +2% for Kerry
Final Result +3% for Kerry

Zogby had it +6% for Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +1% for Bush
Final Result +3% for Kerry

Zogby had it +3% for Bush
Mason Dixon had it +5% for Bush
Final Result +8% for Bush

Zogby had it too close to call – even
Mason Dixon had it +6% for Bush
Final +3% for Bush

New Hampshire
Zogby had it +5% for Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +1% for Kerry
Final Result +1% for Kerry

New Mexico
Zogby had it +3% for Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +4% for Bush
Final +5% for Bush

North Carolina
Zogby had it +3% for Bush
Mason Dixon did not consider North Carolina to be close enough to poll
Final Result +13% for Bush

Zogby had it +10% for Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +6% for Kerry
Final Result +5% for Kerry

Zogby had it +2% for Bush but trending Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +2% for Bush
Final Result +3 for Bush

Zogby had it trending Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +2% for Kerry
Final Result +3% for Kerry

Zogby had it +4% for Bush
Mason Dixon did not consider Tennessee to be close enough to poll
Final +14% for Bush

Zogby had it slight edge for Bush
Mason Dixon did not consider Virginia to be close enough to poll
Final +8% for Bush

Zogby had it +10% for Kerry
Mason Dixon did not consider Washington to be close enough to poll
Final Result +7% for Kerry

West Virginia
Zogby had it +4% for Bush
Mason Dixon had it +8% for Bush
Final +14% for Bush

Zogby had it +6% for Kerry
Mason Dixon had it +2% for Kerry
Final Result +1% for Kerry

Of course, he released a statement on his website proclaiming the accuracy of their poll results.

Statement from John Zogby on 2004 Presidential Election Results:

“We feel strongly that our pre-election polls were accurate on virtually every state. Our predictions on many of the key battleground states like Ohio and Florida were within the margin of error. I thought we captured a trend, but apparently that result didn’t materialize."

This should answer any remaining questions about the accuracy and the partisanship of Zogby!

A Post Election Retrospective

This blog made several observations before the election on Tuesday, some of which are now coming out of the MSM as "key factors" contributing to the outcome.

One factor was "Ohio." The Horserace Blog (THB) repeatedly reassured his visitors that Bush had a lock on Ohio albeit by a razor, but the statistical foundation was there - we shared his analysis. He hit it on the nose.

Another factor was Zogby. Zogby was accurate in 1996, and in 2000 the only pollster to indicate that Florida would be the key, but in 2004 his polling was irratic. His daily polls in the same states would shift by 4 to 6 percentage points, and his methodology was questionable. He has also always been biased toward the Democrat, and in May had declared Kerry would win. THB said he was not credible any longer, and he wasn't. Initially The Senescent Man said to keep an eye on him. It is a good thing we abandoned him in recent weeks and went with THB.

Still another factor was Exit Polling. THB said they were bogus this time around, and boy were they ever this year. Around mid-day the Kerry campaign felt like they couldn't lose, while the Bush squad began to feel a depressing 10,000 pound weight on their shoulders. We, at The Senescent Man, refused to believe them. On election night we continued to watch the ever increasing differential in the popular vote favoring Bush (it did not waiver), and to monitor THB for reassurances on Florida and Ohio, all of which turned out to be on the money.

Penultimately, we chided the MSM for its unending, overt bias against Bush. On every morning news program, and every nightly news program it was one relentless attack after another, unabashed bias, with no attempt at balance, and from those who purported to be "fair and balanced" as well. In the end, we said it was a loss for Kerry and MSM, and a victory for Bush and the Blogosphere. We were not alone in that conclusion, and I'm sure we'll hear and read more of this in the weeks to come. But for now, we turn to Peggy Noonan from today's (Thursday's) WSJ:

"But I do think the biggest loser was the mainstream media, the famous MSM, the initials that became popular in this election cycle. Every time the big networks and big broadsheet national newspapers tried to pull off a bit of pro-liberal mischief--CBS and the fabricated Bush National Guard documents, the New York Times and bombgate, CBS's "60 Minutes" attempting to coordinate the breaking of bombgate on the Sunday before the election--the yeomen of the blogosphere and AM radio and the Internet took them down. It was to me a great historical development in the history of politics in America. It was Agincourt. It was the yeomen of King Harry taking down the French aristocracy with new technology and rough guts. God bless the pajama-clad yeomen of America. Some day, when America is hit again, and lines go down, and media are hard to get, these bloggers and site runners and independent Internetters of all sorts will find a way to file, and get their word out, and it will be part of the saving of our country."

Bravo Brother Bloggers!

Finally, we commend you to an excellent post in THB which offers an outstanding post election analysis which you can read here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What an embarrassment!

How much longer will Linc (the Dink) Chafee embarrass himself and the State of Rhode Island?

This is what today's Providence Journal reports: "Sen. Lincoln Chafee made good on his pledge yesterday: As a form of 'symbolic protest,' he cast a write-in ballot for former President George H.W. Bush instead of voting for his son, President George W. Bush. He also did not rule out the prospect of changing parties if the incumbent president is reelected." Read more....

While I sympathize with writing in a better candidate than GWB, c'mon Linc, stop being such a doofus. Go join the minority (and fading) party. Marginalize RI even more. You don't give evidence of being smart enough to realize you actually might have some (albeit declining) leverage nationally if you stayed and stopped saying dumb things. Rhode Islanders may like you and your quaint maverick positions, but boy are you ever painting a target on your back for a primary challenge and/or eventual defeat by a Democrat in a couple of years. After this kind of treatment do your really think you are going to get any RNC help against challengers?

Or is it you just don't like the job and want to go back to the farm?

And is this a misquote where you say you favored the elder Bush for several reasons, because he was a president "who did the right thing by invading Kuwait and starting the Gulf War. I don't think he would have gone into Baghdad." Whew, where to start? 1. GHWB did not invade Kuwait, he LIBERATED it from an invader. 2. The Gulf War STARTED with the Iraqi invasion. 3. GHWB deliberately decided NOT to press on to Baghdad (why is there any supposition that he might have when its 13-year-old history he didn't?).

What an embarrassment.

MSM (and Kerry) Loses - Blogosphere (and Bush) Wins

A quick post to announce Bush the victor.

The Senescent Man Blog got it right on Ohio being the pivotal state (see Ohio - Ohio - Ohio) and we also called that state narrowly for Bush with help from the Blogosphere, particularly The Horserace Blog which was right on the money regarding Florida, Ohio and most of the other close states.

The BIG loser besides Kerry-Edwards? The mainstream media. What shameful and overt bias to hold off declaring Bush the winner (two giving OH to Bush but not NV and NM, and two doing the converse). FOR SHAME!

This morning Tom Brokaw complained about the diversity of laws in the states making the process "messy" in times like these. Our reaction: This is pure democracy - uniformity and conformity means less freedom and more dictatorship.

Last point - 120 M voters was supposed to mean absolute victory for Kerry in the popular vote. Well, well, well. It didn't. The reason, the MSM claims, all those evangelical Christians. My goodness.

If I could fire the MSM for poor performance I would.

Winner: Bush-Cheney and the Blogosphere.

More later. Have a good morning.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Exit Polls - Don't Trust Them

Mystery Pollster has an excellent piece explaining everything you need to know about Exit Polling. I have a quick summary below, but click on the link above to get the whole story. The message, in short, is: don't trust them - it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings. An abbreviated version below:

A quick summary of how exit polls work: The exit pollster begins by drawing a random sampling of precincts within a state, selected so that the odds of any precinct being selected are proportionate to the number that typically vote in that precinct. The National Election Pool Exit Poll, which is conducting the exit polling for the six major networks today, will send exit pollsters to 1,495 precincts across the country...

So if this poll is so sophisticated, why can't we rely on the leaked mid-day “numbers” that will soon spread like wildfire across the web?

1) It is still just a survey

2) The mid-day numbers do not reflect weighting by actual turnout

3) Voting patterns may be different early in the day

4) Early or absentee voting

5) They could be fictional

6) The people who do exit polls would rather you ignored them

Who Is Going To Win?

The following is The Horserace Blog's prediction which I share:

Well I have thought long and hard about this and have moved back and forth over the past few days. I must say I thought I was going to have to predict something I thought I would never have had to say. But the events of the past two days have led me to my final prediction. In the Presidential Election, President George W Bush will win both the Electoral Vote and Popular Vote, thereby remaining president for another four years. The final tally will be as follows:


Bush 50.0%
Kerry 48.9%
Nader 0.7%
Badnarik 0.4%


Bush 294
Kerry 244

President Bush will carry all 2000 states except for New Hampshire. President Bush will also win Minnesota and Wisconsin which gives him a net 16 EV gain from 2000.

In the race for the Senate, every open seat except OK will switch parties and John Thune will defeat Daschle, thereby giving the Republicans a net gain of 3 seats and a 54-45-1 Senate makeup.

AK - Knowles will beat Murkowski (Dem PU)
CO - Salazar will beat Beer Man (Dem PU)
FL - Martinez will beat Castor (GOP PU)
GA - Isakson will beat Majette (GOP PU)
IL - Obama will beat Keyes (Dem PU)
LA - Votter will win Runoff Election (GOP PU)
NC - Burr will beat Bowles (GOP PU)
OK - Coburn will beat Carson (Stays GOP)
SC - DeMint will beat Tennenbaum (GOP PU)
SD - Thune will beat Daschle (GOP PU)

Theater of the Absurd

It was bizarre watching Dan (all to much frequency, Kenneth) Rather sign off the CBS Nightly News last night. He reassured viewers that the network would be very careful before declaring a winner in the Presidential race tonight, saying "we would rather be last, than wrong."

Hey, Dan, we've got news for you: you've been last and wrong for a long time as far as truthful reporting goes. And he gets paid beaucoup bucks for this.

Watch some other network for the results.

Ohio - Ohio - Ohio

From the Horserace Blog...

Nixguy has taken a look at the OH registration data. Once again, the "lie" is put to all these Democratic 527s. His conclusion:

In a perfect replay of 2000, if each county in Ohio voted according to the same percentages Republican and Democrat, with the same turnout figures, Bush gets 157,431 more votes (than he did in 2000); Kerry gets 120,780 more votes than Gore did.

That would be a net 36,651 votes for Dubya due to registration changes alone. Something tells me George Soros is going to regret having dumped so much Ohio GOTV cash in the hands of Dean's Iowa GOTV Director.


Bush: 48.45%

Kerry: 47.42%

MOE: +/- 1.5%

(Respondents: 5,614; Polls Used: Fox News 11/01, Cleveland Plain-Dealer 10/30, Strategic Vision 11/01, Mason-Dixon 10/30, Gallup 10/31, University of Cincinatti 10/31)

Based on these results, we can be 86.43% confident that Bush currently has a lead.

How far to the Left is Kerry?

If anyone has wondered how far to the Left John Kerry really is, Michael Moore has posted a letter to his fellow Democrats. Though it was addressed to those on the left/liberal side of the spectrum it is revealing to anyone who doubted that Bush was correct in calling Kerry a liberal who will cut and run in Iraq.


An excerpt:

"To My Friends on the Left:
Okay, Kerry isn’t everything you wished he would be. You’re right. He’s not you! Or me. But we’re not on the ballot – Kerry is. Yes, Kerry was wrong to vote for authorization for war in Iraq but he was in step with 70% of the American public who was being lied to by Bush & Co. And once everyone learned the truth, the majority turned against the war. Kerry has had only one position on the war – he believed his president.
President Kerry had better bring the troops home right away. My prediction: Kerry’s roots are anti-war. He has seen the horrors of war and because of that he will avoid war unless it is absolutely necessary. Ask most vets. But don’t ask someone whose only horror was when he arrived too late for a kegger in Alabama.
There’s a reason Bush calls Kerry the Number One Liberal in the Senate – THAT’S BECAUSE HE IS THE NUMBER ONE LIBERAL IN THE SENATE! What more do you want? My friends, this is about as good as it gets when voting for the Democrat. We don’t have the #29 Liberal running or the #14 Liberal or even the #2 Liberal – we got #1! When has that ever happened?
Those of us who may be to the left of the #1 liberal Democrat should remember that this year conservative Democrats have had to make a far greater shift in their position to back Kerry than we have. We’re the ones always being asked to make the huge compromises and to always vote holding our noses. No nose holding this time. This #1 liberal is not the tweedledee to Bush’s tweedledum."

It's hard to imagine that this election could really be so close with a candidate like this.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Blow by Blow over the Next Crucial 24 Hours - And What the Best Polls are Predicting

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY, and though we’ll be grinding away during the workaday hours, we will be monitoring a number of excellent blogs and other resources that will provide clear insight as to how the day is going for George W. Bush.

Personally, through their tactics, I see a confidence in the Bush / Cheney team: Cheney spending time in Colorado campaigning for Coors' US Senate race, flying off to Hawaii to campaign in that state's unusually close race – a state that has not seen a top of the ticket candidate since 1960. Bush is focusing on Ohio, Michigan, New Mexico, and leaving Florida out of the mix.

I think they know something that the MSM is not getting across because it behooves the MSM to make it a close race – even if it isn’t -- maybe they sell more ads?

The one fly in the ointment is the excellent analysis from The Horserace Blog (THB). Up to this point, THB has been projecting better outcomes for Bush / Cheney than what was measured this weekend. I don’t believe that the temperament has changed all that much in a single weekend against the President. I can’t see how it has – the news has all been positive for him, and negative for Kerry. Yet the polls have tightened as you can see by the excerpt from THB below.

I provide this excerpt because it is an excellent and realistic analysis and explanation of the best methodologies in polling. It is also a clarion call to all those in the Bush camp to remain calm despite the tightening; despite the MSM continuing its unrelenting assault on the Bush / Cheney team.

You can read the entire transcript from THB here. Nonetheless, below is a very good excerpt from THB. Let's see how these predictions stand up tomorrow night. I think they will be close:

Greetings, all! Here are some news and notes for you.

1. Continue not-sweating the Fox poll. They are working off a 100% weekend sample.

2. I know many of you are nervous. I exhort you to remember the Von Neumann-Morgenstern utility function. What is the Von Neumann-Morgenstern utility function? It is a formula for calculating expected utility. It strikes me as being applicable to psychology. Von Neumann and Morgenstern argued that you could calculate the expected "utility" (or, in common parlance, benefits) from multiplying the probability of an event occurring by the expected benefits from that event. Thus, for example, suppose that you have a 30% chance of winning a game and would win $50.00 if you won. Von Neumann and Morgenstern would argue that your expected "utility" is $15.

Similarly, you are undoubtedly worried about this election, as am I. I am worried not because I think Bush is likely, but the consequence of a Bush loss would be grave. You "multiply" the former by the latter, and you wind up with a high number. This is not because the probability is high, but because the consequence of its occurrence is high.

3. My election night project is coming along swimmingly. Note that I will not be able to "call races" as the networks do. I do not believe I will have access to exit polling data, and further I am skeptical that my mathematical knowledge is sufficiently high to evaluate it in relation to exit returns to make a call.

4. Do not sweat the stories about Democrats outdoing GOPers in terms of early turnout, especially in IA and FL. The number of early voters in IA in the Des Moines Register survey was something like 90. The number of early voters in FL in the Gallup survey was something like 150. While these numbers are large enough to draw inferences about the population, the margin of error is exceedingly high. The Dems know this. They are clinging to these numbers purely for spin purposes.

5. Update on polls. Gerry Daly has convinced me to excise both the St. Cloud State University poll and the Star-Tribune poll from my analysis of Minnesota. Here are the updated results. I have also excised the Columbus Dispatch poll, as it was done by mail.

Finally, I added the new Quinnipiac and University of Cincinatti Polls. Here are the results:


Bush: 47.12% Kerry: 47.79% MOE: +/- 1.2% (Respondents: ; 6,199; Polls Used: Fox News, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, LA Times, Strategic Vision, Mason-Dixon, Gallup, University of Cincinatti). Based on these results, we can be 64.43% confident that Bush currently has a lead.


Bush: 48.12% Kerry: 46.41% MOE: +/- 1.3% (Respondents: 6,074; Polls Used: Fox News 11/01, Mason-Dixon 10/30, Insider Advantage 10/29, Strategic Vision 10/28, NY Times 10/28, Quinnipiac 11/01, LA Times 10/27, Gallup 10/31). Based on these results, we can be 97.13% confident that Bush currently has a lead.


Bush: 46.52% Kerry: 48.02% MOE: +/- 1.7% (Respondents: 3,259; Polls Used: St. Paul Pioneer Press 10/31; Strategic Vision 10/27; Humphrey Institute 10/27; Mason-Dixon 10/30; Gallup 10/31). Based on these results, we can be 88.69% confident that Kerry currently has a lead.


Bush: 47.68% Kerry: 47.85% MOE: +/- 1.4% (Respondents: 5,373; Polls Used: West Chester Univ. 10/28, Gallup 10/31, Quinnipiac 10/27, LA Times 10/27, Temple University 10/27, Mason Dixon 10/30). Based on these results, we can be 57.14% confident that Kerry currently has a lead.


Bush: 49.06% Kerry: 45.41% MOE: +/- 1.4% (Respondents: 3,790; Polls Used: Fox News 11/01, Strategic Vision 10/28, Badger Poll 10/28,Mason-Dixon 10/30, Gallup 10/31). Based on these results, we can be 99.99% confident that Bush currently has a lead.


Bush: 47.92% Kerry: 46.03% MOE: +/- 1.4% (Respondents: 4,651; Polls Used: Fox News 11/01, Des Moines Register 10/31, Research 2000 10/28, Strategic Vision 10/28, Gallup 10/31, Mason-Dixon 10/30). Based on these results, we can be 96.56% confident that Bush currently has a lead.


Bush: 48.55 Kerry: 46.37 MOE: +/- 0.9% (Respondents: 13,671; Polls Used: Marist 11/1, Newsweek 10/30, ABC News 10/31, Gallup 10/31 (sans leaners), GWU/Battleground 10/28-10/31, Fox News 10/27-11/01, Pew 10/31 (sans leaners), NBC News/WSJ 10/31, CBS News/ NY Times 10/31, Battleground 10/31). Based on these results, we can be 99.99% confident that Bush currently has a lead.

Current best probability of a minimal Bush win in the Electoral College (FL, WI, NM): 94.57%. Current best probability of a minimal Kerry win in the Electoral College (OH, PA, FL): 0.69%. Bottom Line: Kerry's best shot a winning is to sweep the "Big 3:" PA, FL, OH. Currently, the chances of that happening -- assuming that the poll averages are accurate -- is less than 1%.7.

The Top 10 Reasons Why NOT to Vote for Bush Tomorrow

From today's (Monday's) WSJ:

10. Do you really think it's a good idea to be Hitler, George? Hitler killed millions of people and his approval ratings are in the toilet. Why can't you be somebody people like? Regis, maybe, or the Prophet Mohammed. Anybody but Hitler! Being Hitler = BAD IDEA.

9. Two words: You. Are. Dumb.

Read the remaining 8 reasons here.

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