Monday, October 30, 2006

Anchor Rising's Justin Katz was on BSR (Brown Student Radio 88.1 FM) for all of about a nanosecond this evening commenting on the Casino Issue. A replay is available on the BSR web site.

But, I should add, that that is all he needed to square away proponents of a casino in RI. This one is going down on Tuesday, November 7.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

This recent RIC poll by Victor Profughi goes to point of my post below that only Carcieri will emerge as the sole Republican victor in the RI state races, though Centracchio has a shot if Republicans can get out the vote. Chafee will be hoist on his own petard. Mark Shields on the Lehrer News Hour this weekend chalked up the RI Senate race to Democrats.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This race is over!

Matt Drudge tonight reports on a press release from the George Allen campaign. Allen is running against James Webb for a US Senate seat in Virginia. Several weeks ago Allen was tangled up in controversy when he mispoke at a campaign rally. Well it seems that James Webb has quite a few skeletons in his closets. Evidently Webb used to write novels with very unnerving story lines. Here is an excerpt from one of his novels:

"A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy’s ***** in his mouth.”
Bantam Books, NY, 1st Edition, 2001, (hard cover), page 333. Quote is from para. 10,.Chap. 34.

Virginians are sure to vote for a candidate that understands their values this well and presents himself as such an upstanding citizen.

Chalk one up for the Republicans here.!

Monday, October 23, 2006

There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

In a stunning reversal of its history of calling bad casino deals what they are, the Providence Journal endorsed the West Warwick proposal this time around.

In the editorial they conveniently ignore their reasons for opposition in the past and basically say, "What the heck, we're already awash in gambling venues that pilfer their customer's bank accounts, so what's one more?"

The also just happen to forget that more gambling creates more problem gamblers, the political shennanigans in the General Assmebly are as bad as ever and the GA will shape the deal ex post facto, the Constitution will be amended in a truly bizarre way, there will be a significant distortion of the local economy, the vapor-promises of the promoters have a back-door clause that benefits them at the expense of the taxpayers....

One could go on and on listing the overwhelming number of drawbacks to any casino scheme, but there's only a single question that needs to be asked: what has changed to cause the Journal to go over to the Dark Side?

The only thing that seems to advocate for a casino is the millions spent in advertising - with a good chunk at the ProJo. Let's forget the figleaf of Tribal economic development. This is a Harrahs casino, not an Indian Casino. From here it sure looks like somebody sold out to the high bidder.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Conservatives will Decide Election - But Not How You Think

Something David Brooks said on the Lehrer News Hour last Friday has been weighing on my mind. He said that this will be a very bad election year for "moderates." I thought about this in the context of all the feedback from disappointed conservatives who are saying outright that they will sit out certain races, like Chafee's, and came to some conclusions.

Conservatives will decide the outcome of this election nationwide, but not like we would have wanted or intended. Because they have lost enthusiasm, and are mostly against the moderate Republicans still standing after the primary, and because even Conservative Republican candidates are running away from principles in many cases, conservatives, and particularly social conservatives will sit out the election.

Originally, I was under the optimistic impression that maybe the Republicans would lose some seats in the House and Senate, and maybe they'd even lose the House, but that would be the worst of it. However, after now having read Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard, I have come to some new conclusions. I am now ready to make some pronoucements on the coming election.
Of course I may change my mind before then, but if all things remain the same, here is where I think we're at:

Chafee loses to Whitehouse.

The only Republican elected in RI at the state offices level is Governor Carcieri.

In local races in RI, Fung loses in Cranston.

The governors in MD and MA revert back to the Democratic column.

Lieberman wins in CT, and as an independent, joins - and is allowed back into - the Democrat caucus.

Kean, Allen and Talent barely win in NJ, VA and MO, respectively.

Santorum loses to Casey in PA.

DeWine loses to Brown in OH.

Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives and very likely the Senate.

Perhaps this will be a needed purging, and Republicans can reboot after the election, but I fear for the judgeship appointments. I also have concern about the aftermath of a cut and run policy in Iraq.

Brooks also mentioned something important about Iraq. He said Iraq is NOT like Vietnam. When we cut and run from Vietnam, Vietnam did not come to America. If and when we cut and run from Iraq, the terrorists will be on our doorsteps.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Chafee - Whitehouse Debate

Some observations on the debate between Sheldon Whitehouse and Lincoln Chafee on Channel 12 this evening:

1. Laffey was right, there is not that much difference between these candidates. I think the give away to this fact was one of the questions towards the end when we learn that both Chafee's and Whitehouse's fathers were close friends who attended Yale. Now which one was born with a silver foot in his mouth?

2. Whitehouse was the more attractive on the outside. Forthright, excellent hand movements while Chafee was his usual awkward and jerky caricature. often reading and stumbling about, while Whitehouse looked often into the camera.

3. Chafee absolutely nailed Whitehouse on his inconsistent and crazy views on bringing the troops home from Iraq. I mean really - December? Even before he is to be sworn in assuming he wins? He also nailed him solidly, I think, on the Roger Williams Hospital scandal that occurred on his watch. Whitehouse's explanation for doing nothing was weak.

4. Of course, Chafee's position on Iraq was almost the same as Whitehouse's.

5. Finally, and the winner goes to....I don't think it matters much. I thought Laffey handily won his debates against Chafee, yet Chafee still won by 8%. I think people will be deciding how to vote even closer to November 7, and that the deluge of negative ads that Chafee will shower down on Whitehouse in the final days will make the difference - as it did in the primary against Laffey. I expect to see a Chafee negative ad a minute in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This is a most excellent piece by Peggy Noonan. If you haven't seen it in the WSJ, you've got to read this. She discusses liberal disrespect for freedom of speech. Larry Lovering refers to this in a comment on one of the posts below.

I am adding this important piece to The Senescent Man Library Blog, Oblogatory Reading. You can find it here.

NPR Reports that Republicans Can't Win in RI

Want to listen to a bunch of bunk?

NPR's Mara Liason
reports on the Chafee and Whitehouse race.

The hyperliberals at NPR are writing him off to Whitehouse in this report on how the blue state of RI -- who never votes for Republicans, particularly conservative Republicans (ahem: Carcieri - who will slaughter Fogarty if you have been paying attention to the debates) -- will knock off Chafee like a gnat.

Okay, Chafee is a dweeb, and I, for one, will be holding my nose to vote for him, but NPR has it all wrong about him and Republicans in RI in general. You'll have to hear it for yourself.

Note the last few words from Mara in the report. People want a Democrat Senate (oh yeah?)!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I am beginning to think that all those rumors of a big take over by Democrats in the House and Senate are greatly exaggerated. Am I wrong?

BTW, here is a handy cheat sheet you can use on election day to monitor progress (or coming disaster).

Monday, October 16, 2006

Chafee's Sick TV Ads

It appears that Senator Chafee has abandoned his right flank entirely. He's decided to place all his bets on his left liberal, make-believe "right in the middle with you" fantasy,

His recent TV ads are touting his anti-Bush liberal message, so he can basically out liberal Sheldon Whitehouse. Somehow that's going to secure his base. How? As it is many Republicans have decided to, at best, sit out the race - which i think is a mistake. But pronouncing these views make people like me who are willing to squint and hold our noses while we vote for Chafee ponder whether that's the right move.

Why vote for a liberal in Republican's clothing?

Wouldn't you think he'd need at least some of the real Republican vote in RI to defeat Whitehouse? In this ad, he basically tells Republicans that he's proud he's not voting with them.

Conservatives are not afforded a choice in that race. Too bad Laffey lost.

Unlikely Republicans

Lt. Gov. Michael Steele has an uphill battle to win the open U.S. Senate seat for Maryland. He is battling a long time Democratic representative, in a state that holds a two-thirds majority of Democrats over Republicans. But, he is using his African American heritage to change some long held beliefs about the Republican party in the state's African American communities, while his opponent cohorts with failed Presidential candidate John Kerry. Read about the latest progress Here and Here

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Stuck in the Middle with Chafee

RightRI has a post on Chafee's consistently strange voting patterns.

With the race between Chafee and Whitehouse being so close, one would think that Chafee would have the common sense to reach out to those in his own party. But I think his recent TV ad tells it all -- he says, and I paraphrase, "after being attacked by the Right these past few months, I'm now being attacked from the Left. But I'm right in the middle" (and then he adds) "with you." Yup luke warm - in a place where there is no passion or conviction - a place where very few of us really are, but most of us are stuck with.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Jihadist or Islamic Fascist?

From Jonathan Last:

What's in a name? We've been going through a series of linguistic somersaults ever since 9/11 as we tried to fairly and accurately portray our terrorist enemies. We originally referred to our foes as "radical" Muslims and then, when that proved unsatisfactory, coined strange words, such as "Islamism." The latest iteration came a month or so ago when President Bush settled on "Islamic fascists." This phrase struck me as being no better or worse than others, until I read an interview with Steve Centanni, the Fox News journalist who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. Centanni told the journal Broadcasting and Cable:

They wanted us to learn that Islam is the true religion and that Bush was wrong to invade Iraq, wrong to "wage war on Islam," as they put it, wrong to say things like "Islamic fascists."

Well, then. If bad-guy terrorists are upset about being called "Islamic fascists," then it seems that the president has either done an excellent job in picking a label or is waging a nice bit of psy-ops. (Or both.) Regardless, any term that upsets terrorists is okay by me.

Richard John Neuhaus, the founder of my favorite journal, First Things, says that our enemies are best described as "Jihadists." He's going to flesh his argument out in the next issue, but the nub of it seems to be that the key to winning the (poorly named) war on terrorism is for Muslims to abandon the notion of violent jihad.

"Jihadist" may or may not be a better term than "Islamic fascist," but it is important to understand that this debate is not academic. We face a real, ideological threat. A framework of intellectual opposition must be constructed and at the heart of it will be the definition of the other side. We know that we're in a serious fight. In order to win it, we need to be able to talk about who it is we're fighting.

Two Views on Denial

Regarding the folderol about Bob Woodward's new book "State of Denial" here are a couple of conservative perspectives They differ a bit, but I think the points can be coalesced into a single perspective; that being, look, we're at war, things happen, get over it. In the mean time, the enemy will try to take advantage of any weakness, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

This view is from William Kristol of The Weekly Standard. An excerpt:

Consider developments over the last week. Democrats hyped last Sunday's news stories breathlessly reporting on one judgment from April's National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)--that the war in Iraq has created more terrorists. More than would otherwise have been created if Saddam were still in power? Who knows? The NIE seems not even to have contemplated how many terrorists might have been created by our backing down, by Saddam's remaining in power to sponsor and inspire terror, and the like. (To read the sections of the NIE subsequently released is to despair about the quality of our intelligence agencies. But that's another story.) In any case, the NIE also made the obvious points that, going forward, "perceived jihadist success [in Iraq] would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere," while jihadist failure in Iraq would inspire "fewer fighters . . . to carry on the fight."

What is the Democratic response to these latter judgments? Silence.

Here is an interesting perspective from Peggy Noonan. Another excerpt:

To the central thesis. Was the White House, from the beginning, in a state of denial? I doubt denial is the word. They were in a state of unknowingness. (I have come to give greater credence to the importance, in the age of terror, among our leaders, of having served in the military. For you need personal experience that you absorbed deep down in your bones, or a kind of imaginative wisdom that tells you even though you were never there what war is like, what invasion is, what building a foreign nation entails.) They were in a state of conviction: They really thought Saddam had those WMDs. (Yes, so did Bill Clinton, so did The New Yorker, so did I, and so likely did you. But Mr. Bush moved on, insisted on, intelligence that was faulty, inadequate.) They were in a state of propulsion: 9/11 had just wounded a great nation. Strong action was needed.

Here I add something I have been thinking about the past year. It is about the young guys at the table in the Reagan era. The young, mid-level guys who came to Washington in the Reagan years were always at the table in the meeting with the career State Department guy. And the man from State, timid in all ways except bureaucratic warfare, was always going "Ooh, aah, you can't do that, the Soviet Union is so big, Galbraith told us how strong their economy is, the Sandinistas have the passionate support of the people, there's nothing we can do, stop with your evil empire and your Grenada invasion, it's needlessly aggressive!" Those guys from State--they were almost always wrong. Their caution was timorousness, their prudence a way to evade responsibility. The young Reagan guys at the table grew up to be the heavyweights of the Bush era. They walked into the White House knowing who'd been wrong at the table 20 years before. And so when State and others came in and said, "The intelligence doesn't support it, we see no WMDs," the Bush men knew who not to believe.

I like Noonan's perspective. She also ended up praising the Woodward book, thinking before she read it that it would be off the mark.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Punt the House

I wake up most mornings to the shrill of NPR's Morning Addition, and lately every morning there is a lecture from either Maura Liason or Cokie Roberts or Nina Totenberg on why the Republicans are losing ground. How George W. has dropped a few percentage points when it comes to "approval" ratings.

Rich Karlgaard at Forbes has an interesting idea. He suggests that maybe it's time to let the Dems take over the House.

But, he adds, let's imagine:

Now let's suppose Democrats take the House by a slim majority. There will be joyous posts at the Daily Kos followed by loud singing of "Happy Days Are Here Again," "Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)" or whatever it is that Democrats sing these days. But then comes January 2007--and cold reality. Consider this leadership lineup:

  • Speaker of the House: Nancy Pelosi
  • Chairman, Ways & Means Committee: Charles Rangel
  • Chairman, House Judiciary Committee: John Conyers
  • Chairman, House Appropriations Committee: David Obey
  • Chairman, Government Reform Committee: Henry Waxman
  • Chairman, Energy & Commerce Committee: John Dingell

  • The average age of these congressmen is 72. By contrast, Newt Gingrich was 51 and Dick Armey was 54 when they led the Republican revolution and takeover in 1994. Revolution favors the young.

    He adds:

    Another number to keep in mind is 98--the above lineup's average voting-record rating, as scored by the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. Poor Dingell scores only 95. The Michigan congressman once served as a board member of the National Rifle Association. Obviously, this right-winger will have to go.

    What would the incoming Democratic House leadership make its top priorities? Thwarting terrorism? Growing the economy? Based on their recent legislative efforts, Pelosi and Dingell would try to nationalize health care. Obey would want more aid for farmers, because $180 billion over ten years is not enough. Rangel would raise taxes on income and capital gains, penalize outsourcers and institute a draft. Conyers would try to impeach President Bush. Waxman would strike evil at America's heart with a ban on Krispy Kreme (nyse: KKD - news - people ) doughnuts.

    That would secure a Republican manjority for awhile.

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