Pic of the Day
Today is the 57th anniversary of the vote on UN resolution 181, establishing a Jewish nation in the land of Israel. IsraPundit is participating in a "BlogBurst" with other blogs to commemorate this anniversary. This led (after the surrounding Arab armies attacked the Jewish population and were defeated) to the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel in May 1948, which is pictured above.
Pic of the Day
Things have been a little rough at Chez Bean. Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had seventeen grown-up friends and relatives and all their kids. There was much food, frivolity, and gratitude to God. The evening was a huge success largely due to the indefatigable ball-and-chain and my mom (who came in from out of town and made the turkey).
We’re still recovering. I’m doing my best on the turkey leftovers. For dinner tonight, I made myself a turkey sandwich with larger than necessary sides of yams and parsnips. (Still have plenty of both.)
What does this have to do with the PotD? Stay with me.
Over the weekend, we ran out of Diet Coke. Not a big deal, typically, but we were way too busy to go get some, and I’m the only one who drinks it with any regularity. Now, caffeine is a fairly important part of my day. I only drink two or three caffeinated beverages a day, but without them I’m tired and cranky. Some people are mean drunks; I’m mean when withdrawing from caffeine. (Please don’t comment with a lecture about caffeine withdrawal. I know; I’m a doctor.) So my typical schedule is: a single cup of coffee in the morning, a Diet Coke with lunch, and then sometimes another DC in the afternoon. I’m the opposite of a coffee connoisseur. I drink coffee strictly for the caffeine. I don’t know bad coffee from good coffee, and am not interested in learning the difference. I drink Folgers Instant because it takes me seconds to make. I drink it as a warm liquid just because it’s a little more pleasurable than chewing on the crystals.
So at lunch I thought that I should make myself a yummy cold coffee drink to replace my usual caffeine vehicle. Here’s what I did in case you want to cut and paste it to your recipe files:
Folgers instant coffee, 1 teaspoon, in a coffee cup
Add just enough hot water to dissolve entirely (fill the cup no more than an inch deep) and stir
Pour into a tall glass full of ice cubes
Add Crystal Geyser lemon flavored sparkling mineral water until the glass is full
I thought I was making a yummy lemon flavored iced coffee drink. What I made was hideous. The initial taste had the bitterness of unsweetened coffee followed what-seemed-like-weeks-later by a gnarly lemon fizz that nearly resulted in the Puke of the Day. ball-and-chain saw it on my desk and thought it was root beer, so she had a sip. Not good.
Pic of the Day
Iran Dug Tunnel for Military Nuclear Work
I hate to keep blogging on the same story, but I really believe that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous current problem in the Middle East and will have a major effect on our success in Iraq.
German news magazine Der Spiegel reports what apparently everyone except for the UN have been suspecting -- that while Iran tells the EU and the UN that it is developing nuclear power for the sake of electricity (which is laughable given its abundant oil), it is developing a nuclear weapon as quickly as it can. Once it has one it will certainly report this openly and gain much esteem in the Muslim world by doing so. It sees itself (rightly) as pinched between two countries currently occupied by the American military and believes (also rightly) that nuclear weapons would prevent a military invasion in much the same way that North Korea now deters the US. We can't do anything unilateral about North Korea without them possibly melting Seoul. In about a year, Iran will be able to realistically threaten doing the same to Tel Aviv. I'm a big supporter of our actions in Iraq, but Iran is about to become a much bigger problem than Saddam Hussein ever was.
FARC plot to assasinate Bush revealed
RTE News - FARC plot to assasinate Bush revealed
There was a brief mention of this on Fox News just now. I was feeling very uncomfortable about the incident in Chile, where Bush's security detail was detained inexplicably by armed Chilean police. I'm not entirely convinced it was innocent. This news from Colombia makes me even more uneasy about Bush's travels abroad.
Pic of the Day
LGF. They have terrific conservative (actually libertarian) cartoons that are frequently very thought provoking. ball-and-chain and I bought their book about a year ago. (You can get it from their website.) It's great.
Pic of the Day
Supporting Deployed Troops Has Never Been Easier
Read on to find out more.
Dozens of independent organizations are ready and willing to help those who want
to support the troops. They generally fall into two basic categories. The first
is the organizations that collect cash or goods to create care packages to be
sent to troops who wish to receive them.
On this Thanksgiving, we should keep our service men and women overseas foremost on our list of those for whom to be thankful. They'd rather be here with their families. They're over there making sure we can be. May God bless them and keep them safe.
A composite mosaic of the images obtained by the Cassini spacecraft during its recent approach of Saturn's moon Titan provides the clearest view of its surface we've ever seen. In about a month, Cassini will drop the European Space Agency probe Huygens, which will descend to Titan's surface and show us even more.
Geeky Math Puzzle
This post has even narrower interest than most, if such a thing is possible. So as not to take up lots of space on the front page, I am posting it as the first comment. If you’d care for some recreational math, check it out.
The Thanksgiving Proclamation
[New York, 3 October 1789]
By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor--and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be--That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions--to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
I'm sure the rest of you were as pissed off as I was when the so-called Battlestar Gallactica "miniseries" that aired on SciFi last year turned out to be 2 freakin' episodes, left all of us hanging, and the ragtag fleet suspended in space for an indefinite period.
On a lark, I decided to see if any progress had been made on remedying the situation, and to my delight, YES! Coming January 14th to a cable channel near you: "Battlestar Gallactica: the SERIES"!! Just in time to give me something to watch after I finish geeking out on the "Return of the King" extended edition 5 DVD set that I plan to purchase a month earlier. The winter couching season is shaping up nicely.
Thoughts on Fox, Blogs, Media Impartiality
Having long-since dropped CNN and the networks from my list of primary news sources, I've decided that I like transparency of idealogy in my news sources.
The old model was based on a premise that journalists could divorce themselves from their own personal idealogies and bias, and report the news as if they had none. While some have successfully built solid journalism careers out of this approach, it is fundamentally flawed from both the producer and consumer sides of the equation.
From the producer side, keeping personal biases out of the story is terribly difficult. Even when stories are wordsmithed in a non-biased manner, the paradigm on which the story is founded is often a product of the internal beliefs of the author, even if the author doesn't realize it. Beyond that angle, the choice of stories on which to focus one's journalistic intentions is influenced by what a reporter believes is important or relevant.
From the consumers' perspective, a belief that their sources of news information are impartial, or more fundamentally that a human being is even capable of removing all personal bias from his profession as a conveyor of information, causes them to put more trust than they should in established sources. This not only leaves them open to unintentional bias that is almost impossible to completely remove from journalism, but to the intentional bias that is certain to creep into a journalistic paradigm that cloaks itself in mythical impartiality.
The rising paradigm is one in which people gather their information from sources about which they know from the outset their basic beliefs and idealogies. By removing the misleading shroud of impartiality from information sources, the reporter is now free to speak his mind without compromising a nearly impossible ideal, and the consumer is able to seek different angles on the same story and view them through his own idealogical prism in order to form a truly informed perspective. I think that this represents a positive step toward the goal of a better educated population.
Will Fox News' success force competitors to take sides?
Priceless through-the-looking-glass stuff. The gist of this column is that since Fox's orientation as a partisan outfit for the Right is the reason for its success, perhaps other networks should align themselves with a political movement.
Oh, no! Does this mean that some networks and newspapers will now exhibit a liberal bias? Ah, it'd never happen.
Out of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Our blog is one month old today! It's gaining weight nicely and looks better all the time. It's out of the NICU and to a regular hospital room for observation. We'll see how month two goes. Good job everyone! I think you will all join me in a salute to Godby, who's really gone above and beyond the call of duty to make this a success.
I'm pretty sure I know where we would be without his help.
Nomad: one link to a great columnist deserves another. VDH has consistently and clearly expressed the importance and genius of Bush's global vision while the rest of the media stirred the Kool Aid. He gets it right every time and writes as clearly as anyone I've read.
I've added him to the columnist links. (I also got rid of a link that was broken.)
I have a crush on Peggy Noonan. Naturally beautiful, with a gift of phrase that turns prose into opus, a demeanor that softens and restores the optimism of a Reaganesque world view, and a resume that sees her working with Laura Ingraham (for whom I have a smaller crush) on some of Reagan's greatest oratory.
In light of her return to Wall Street Journal duty after volunteering to help the GOP cause in 2004, I'm placing a link to her column in the Kerckhoff side bar.
I'm neither an evangelical Christian, gun-owner, homophobe or abortion clinic bomber. But, after listening to the media's dissection of the Bush vote for the past few weeks, I'm starting to wonder if I really did vote for Bush.
Pic of the Day
Very late, but still very sweet.
Powell Urges Israeli, Palestinian Leaders To Grab Peace Chance
It would be more useful if it read "Powell Urges Israeli Leaders To Grab Palestinian Leaders".
Powell also stressed that the new leaders must tackle violence. "What we really need is for the Palestinian side in this new era to speak out against terrorism," he said.Sure! That will happen right away. The leaders most interested in having a goon from Hamas whack them with a burst from an automatic rifle will immediately start speaking out against terrorism. The ones with a sense of self-preservation will be thinking "Arafat had a pretty sweet deal going: ripping off the Europeans, selling peace to the Israeli left, and selling jihad to the Palestinians. A nice job, if you can get it. Oh, and you get to murder Jews."
Bring on Condi, please!
Pic of the Day
Red states - so intolerant!
Jewish-Muslim bridge building in my favorite Texas city.
Controversy at big gathering of non-profit Jewish organization?
Once I got to the end of this article, I felt the story was much ado about nothing. It's about a couple of incidents at the United Jewish Communities 2004 General Assembly last week. The first is about some remarks a speaker made about the "Christian values" of the country. The controversy was supposedly about her remarks about Bush. But then, like I said, once you read it and see that a.) she claims to have voted for Bush and b.) she also claims she was asked to present her view on the challenges to the Jewish community, it all seems pretty tame. I don't think one can deny that the U.S. is largely a Christian country, but I do object to thinking of it as merely a "host" country for Jews (and, no, I don't think that conflicts with Zionist or even Jewish religious ideology but that's another story).
What I object to is the phrase "speaks her mind." I think this is not a big deal because of the content of what she said - but if I did have a problem, it would still be with the content and not with the idea that she "spoke her mind." I hated this kind of thing with Teresa H-K. She'd say something idiotic and her handlers or even her husband would say, Well, she sure speaks her mind!
This is offensive on two levels. It is offensive to me as a listener/reader/voter because if she says something idiotic, either acknowledge it by agreeing or disagreeing, but don't dodge the issue with that claptrapish phrase. And it is offensive to women, I think, because it seems condescending - "Hey, what can you do, she speaks her mind! I have no control over her." Why do you think you should control over her? Or, maybe this is still offensive to me and the rest of the populace - did you expect me to think you can control her? Of course she, and you, and everyone else should speak your minds. And then be ready to defend your comments, which, if I didn't mention before, are idiotic.
Anyhoo, the other controversy is more annoying to me. Apparently some committee or another was drafting a congrats letter to President Bush and some people thought it shouldn't be done. Now, it passed with a vast majority, but the fact that this had to have a vote is ridiculous. No, it is not partisan to send a note to the winner of the election, even though by definition the winner is from one party and, well, not from the other.
And, I know it's not fair to say this kind of thing, but does anyone think for a millisecond that anyone would have objected if Mssr. Kerry had won? As they say in France, pul-lease.
Movie Review -- Tora! Tora! Tora!
Last night ball-and-chain and I saw Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) after duct-taping the kids in bed. (Netflix has improved our marriage in magical ways.) Neither of us had seen it before. It tells the story of the days leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from both the American and Japanese point of view. The introduction states that it is historically accurate.
We both loved it. Despite the fact that we obviously knew how it was going to end, there was still quite a bit of suspense. I also liked that the Japanese characters were shown with some complexity -- some yearned for peace, others for the glory of battle, others for their own career advancement.
A notable quote from one of the Japanese commander, speaking to his men as the final plans were made:
Finally gentlemen, many misinformed Japanese believe that America is a nation divided, isolationist, and that Americans are only interested in enjoying a life of luxury and are spiritually and morally corrupt. But that is a great mistake. If war becomes inevitable, America would be the most formidable foe we have ever fought.I hope that still can be said of us.
When will Hollywood make us another war movie?
Pic of the Day
Insert smoldering Crater Here
Employees work in the Isfahan nuclear facility 400 kilometers south of Tehran on November 20, 2004. Iran promised to meet the November 22, 2004 deadline for suspending a uranium enrichment program that could be used for making nuclear weapons -- a freeze that will spare it possible U.N. sanctions.Translation from Reuters to English: Iran continues its program to develop nuclear weapons as quickly as it can while the Europeans and UN rely on diplomatic half-measures and hand-wringing. Iran has threatened to use nuclear weapons against Israel, and Israel's missile defense isn't reliable enough to assure that this won't happen. The only nations that realize what a catastrophe a nuclear-armed mullahcracy would be are the US and Israel. Israel can't risk a flattened Tel Aviv on Iran's fear of Israeli retaliation, so deterrence like in the Cold War won't work. Look for preemptive action in the next twelve months if an internal revolution in Iran doesn't happen.
Worth a Click
I've added two more blogs to our list of links in the left column. I've been enjoying them for a few months.
Redsugar Muse is a blog by Tanya, a conservative thirty-something year-old information technology gal who lives in Missouri, and apparently likes firearms. What's not to like?
Treppenwitz is the blog of David Bogner, an American ex-pat living in Israel. His journal is largely apolitical and mostly about family life, life in Israel, and random reflections.
Give 'em a read, why don't you?
Pic of the Day
A Wake-Up Call From God
I was up late last night reading some other blogs. This is of course idiotic since I have to actually get up in the morning to heal the sick so as to feed the little Beans. So I forgot to set my alarm when I collapsed into bed last night (the fetching ball-and-chain having already lost consciousness hours ago). I usually set my alarm to 6 am.
This morning at 6 sharp I get a page. It’s one of my elderly patients who recently had a stroke. He’s a friendly guy, but even before the stroke wasn’t a rocket scientist, and now is a bit forgetful. He paged me basically to tell me something that was of no urgency whatsoever and told me that it was 7 o’clock. That means that he still hasn’t set his watch back from daylight savings time. So I got up right on time and started my day. Strange, no?
The Real Humanists
Another must-read from VDH.
We are living in historic times, as all the landmarks of the past half-century are in the midst of passing away. The old left-wing critique is in shambles — as the United States is proving to be the most radical engine for world democratic change and liberalization of the age. A reactionary Old Europe, in concert with the ossified American leftist elite, unleashed everything within its ample cultural arsenal: novels, plays, and op-ed columns calling for the assassination of President Bush; propaganda documentaries reminiscent of the oeuvre of Pravda or Leni Riefenstahl; and transparent bias passed off as front-page news and lead-ins on the evening network news.Read the whole thing.
Pic of the Day
Pic of the Day
Dr. Bean and I were invited to a lovely evening at our synagogue. Dr. Bean, never one to hide his politics, started a spirited argument with a friend. This friend hates W. The reason for her hatred evolved into a discussion about abortion rights. Since returning home (with a splitting headache) some thoughts have occurred to me:
1-Women always ask how I would feel about bringing up girls (we have three) in a society that limits abortion. I realized that only in my darkest nightmares do my daughters accidentally get pregnant out of wedlock. I do not see abortion in their futures and even if one of them does become pregnant, I would probably suggest that she put the child up for adoption. Why on earth should she terminate the life of a child simply because she made a mistake?
2-There have been approximately 40 million abortions since Roe v. Wade. Does anyone think that is just way too many? Will no-one on the left ever consider that those numbers are extremely high?
3-Many attitudes about both women and medicine have changed since the sixties. I do not believe that the US will ever outlaw abortion in all cases. I do not fear that if my married daughter is found to be carrying a very deformed fetus that she will be denied an abortion.
4-The same way that those on the left do not understand why any woman would vote Republican, I cannot understand how any mother can be in favor of abortion on demand. Any woman who has carried a child knows about the bond you have with the baby in utero and how the instant of birth does not suddenly turn a fetus into a baby.
Gotta go, time for "Law and Order"
Pic of the Day
The unmanned X-43A supersonic combustion ramjet flew at Mach 9.6, making it the fastest jet ever.
Office Chair Luge
In high-school, Eric used to play Flaming Sponge Tag. This is almost as good.
It Is a Puzzlement
Can anyone help me solve this? ball-and-chain and I got to level 3 and now we're stuck. We've Googled extensively in the hopes of cheating but to little avail. We've found out that it seems to be a promotional site developed by a site called Worth1000.
If you want hints (or just the answers to the first two levels) let me know.
Chinese Nuclear Sub Violates Japanese Territorial Waters
China again probes its enemies' defenses and then retreats to fight another day. Remember Chinese pilots harassing US planes in international airspace? This is clearly a test run for a future blockade of Taiwan.
But the Japanese government spokesman, Hiroyuki Hosoda, said in Tokyo that Koreshige was called in Tuesday and told the submarine accidentally veered into Japanese territorial waters because of technical problems last Wednesday and that the Chinese government regrets the mistake.Sure! The technical mistake wasn't the incursion. The technical mistake was that they were caught. That's the important outcome of this -- that Japan detected China's sub, and let China know it. (Better get back to work on that cloaking shield.) Next time this happens Japan should sink it.
Pic of the Day
Imaged by NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
By now you've figured out that I'm a bit of an amateur astronomer. The high resolution image you can get by clicking on the picture is occasionally my desktop wallpaper. Cool fact: 99% of the mass of the solar system is in the sun. (Half of the rest is in Jupiter.) So when your child in elementary school has to make a clay model of the solar system, take 99% of the clay and set that aside for the sun. Make the 9 planets from what's left over. (My son did exactly that in 3rd grade, making planets that were no more than teeny pinheads of clay, which earned him confusion from his friends, but much praise from me.) Wanna teach your kids a little about the sun? I knew you did. Here's a fun song from "They Might Be Giants" about the sun, and here are the lyrics. Enjoy!
Man Sets Himself Ablaze at White House
WASHINGTON — A man set himself afire Monday just outside a White House gate and repeatedly yelled "Allah Allah" after Secret Service officers put out the flames and one held him facedown on the sidewalk.
Um, no thanks
OK, so my family will go without dinner so I can post this. Being the wife of a doctor is difficult-the late-night phone calls, the missed parties, the sleep deprivation. However,the most annoying part of being a doctor's wife has to be the disgusting magazines that come to our home. Every one has a lurid picture of something disgusting on the front cover-warts, yellow eyes half swollen shut with pus, more pus, photos of anuses (or is that ani)? You get the picture. Each magazine promises to be our last if we don't renew our subscriptions. I have ceased getting my hopes up. It has been ten years. Ten long years filled with spots, oozing sores and did I mention pus? Now, the rest of you can join me in my quesiness. Adams Respiratory Therapeutics has unveiled............. Mr. Mucus. They expect him to join the ranks of Mr. Clean and Pop-n-Fresh. I say, if they have an extra 22 million I could put it to better use.
Pic of the Day
Iraqis Congratulate Bush
Iraq The Model is a blog of an Iraqi physician who comments on the war from the Iraqi people's point of view. In this post he translates an open letter from an Iraqi website to President Bush that is open for any Iraqi to sign. As of his post, over 1000 had signed it.
On behalf of the families of the victims of the mass graves, on behalf of the martyrs of “Halabja” and “Anfal” and on behalf of all the Iraqis that you liberated from dictatorship and oppression; we have prayed for you and now we want to send you our congratulations on being reelected as a president of the United States.
Mr. President, we’d love to congratulate you and the people of the United States on the beginning of a new phase of democracy, freedom and prosperity and we wish you and the American people the best, as they have led the liberation of Iraq and sacrificed their sons and daughters for the freedom of the Iraqis; the historical achievement that the United States has accomplished together with the other liberating countries.
Pic of the Day
The Nomads are going to Vegas!
Blog you later.
'Redneck vote' is a liberal myth
Krauthammer chimes in on the "redneck vote" myth.
Ah, yes. But the fallback is then to attribute Bush's victory to the gay marriage referendums that pushed Bush over the top, particularly in Ohio. This is more nonsense. Bush increased his vote in 2004 over 2000 by an average of 3.1% nationwide. In Ohio, the increase was 1% - less than a third of the national average. In the 11 states in which the gay marriage referendums were held, Bush increased his vote by less than he did in the 39 states that did not have the referendum. The great anti-gay surge was pure fiction.
Help Them Leave
Finally, some help for the residentially challenged.
Thanks to Fox News' "Special Report" for the tip.
Who Voted for Bush?
An email I sent to a liberal friend who was playing the "Bush won because of religious nut-cases who think he's the Messiah" angle that's become popular with Leftists and their poodles in the old media.
I'm pretty much not religious. I voted for Bush because he's killing terrorists, and changing the dynamic in the area of the world that produces them. I also like that I pay fewer taxes with Bush in office. I think Kerry would have completely (screwed) up the war by being overpreoccupied with world (particularly French and UN) opinion. His legendary indecisiveness (check out the behind-the-scenes report in Newsweek) would have been made substantially worse by adding even more input from sources who don't have the United States' best interests at the top of their priority chart.
I voted against the California proposition banning gay marriage in '00 or '02 (whenever it was). I think abortion should be legal in the first trimester. I think it should be illegal after that. 3 months is long enough to ponder killing your offspring.
Contrary to your stereotype, the typical Bush voter is no more ignorant, bigoted or whacky than the typical Kerry supporter. By imagining them to be so, your party is piddling away its opportunity to learn from this election.
Another member of the email distribution list was more thoughtful in his response:
ha ha - your guy lost!!!! Sucker!!!
That's what you get!!!!
Get over it, sore losers. Let that be a lesson to you.
4 more years!!! 4 more years!
The Peterson Verdict
I'm probably in a minority on this, but the Peterson verdict makes me uncomfortable. I think it's likely that Scott Peterson killed his wife and baby. I just don't see the proof.
Best I can tell is that the most damning pieces evidence against him were a comment he made to his mistress where he, (before Laci's death), referred to himself as a widower, and the fact that his alibi puts him in the viscinity of where the bodies were found. Never mind the fact that the bodies were found in a location that just happens to be surrounded by a population of roughly 2 million people.
No cause of death. No scene of the crime.
Please forgive me, but how on Earth do you convict anybody of murder when you can't even demonstrate conclusively by what means the victim died? And special circumstances? Malice of forethought? Without even having the foggiest inkling of how, where or even when the crime was carried out?
If this is the standard of proof by which we now conclude a capital case, I might have to rethink my support of the death penalty.
Gigantic headline above the fold in the NYT. Top story for a week before the election (until UBL stepped up to the plate). Al Qaqaa was all the rage.
Then came November 2nd, and George W. Bush's reelection.
Question: Has there been so much as a whisper on the networks about this story since the election? This humongous story, which dominated the airwaves for a full week... DISAPPEARED from the radar once the President secured reelection.
Did Arafat Have AIDS?
I have absolutely no idea about the credibility of this source. Having said that, since the Palestinians have been so secretive about Arafat's illness and death, we have no choice but to make wild, and probably irresponsible speculation. At the end of the day, Arafat was terrorist scum... I don't really care how he died; just glad he did. But, it is interesting.
It's Never Too Soon
RCP's got some early handicapping on the '06 midterms. Here's an excerpt:
On the Senate side, the playing field of competitive races looks a bit smaller, but the names that pop out are more problematic for the Dems. The GOP will likely target first-termers Mark Dayton in Minnesota and Debbie Stabenow in Michigan, as well as Maria Cantwell in Washington and Bill Nelson in Florida.
Other potential problems for Democrats include Robert Byrd of West Virginia who will be 89 years old in 2006. Aside from the possibility that age (and health) could become an issue, should Byrd choose not to run Democrats would face defending an open seat in a Republican-trending state.
Also, the latest word is that Jon Corzine is "inclined" to run for Governor of New Jersey in 2005 which would leave another open seat for the Democrats, though they probably have an edge in keeping it in the Democratic-leaning Garden State.
Finally, keep your eye on Ben Nelson in Nebraska and Kent Conrad in North Dakota. Both are relatively popular Democratic Senators in deep-red states, which is exactly what Tom Daschle was - and we know how that turned out.
Seems somebody around here was looking at Nelson and Conrad last week. ;-)
Pic of the Day
Had the opportunity to spend the day with Inger and Flemming, a twenty-something couple from Ilulissat this week. As recently as last winter, I wasn't even sure if anyone (other than some United States Airforce personnel) lived in Greenland. What I now know is that there are roughly 55,000 inhabitants, about 35,000 of which are Inuit, (Inger being Inuit, and Flemming being a Danish immigrant). It was fascinating to learn a bit about Inuit culture, and life in a town that sees months of solid icepack covering Disko Bay in winter, 24 hour sunshine for a couple months during the summer, and where dogsleds outnumber automobiles.
Reason: Two Sides to Global Warming: Is it proven fact, or just conventional wisdom?
Reason: Two Sides to Global Warming: Is it proven fact, or just conventional wisdom?:
"So is dangerous rapid global warming merely the new conventional wisdom, or a credible forecast of our climatic future? "
Which Side Is Supposed to Have the Toothless Morons?
I stumbled across a blog by a guy named Barry Mauer who is a lefty with much scorn for those who disagree with him. There is a post about Fahrenheit 9/11, and one opposing Bush's appointment of Gonzales for AG. The one that I really liked though, was "Jews for Hitler!" in which he wonders why "oppressed groups of people" vote Republican. Then he basically calls me a Kapo. I left a comment or two to try to educate him. Perhaps y'all can help. I hate to link to him since it'll just increase his traffic, but it's all in the spirit of mutual understanding. My favorite comment on that post, though, was the first who anonymously quipped "Wow.. you sound crazy."
That was fast
Arafat croaked yesterday and already the Palestinians are having elections.
Okay, not really.
Dreamer: You're Nothing But a Dreamer...
This story has been blogged elsewhere, but a friend of mine points out this line:
"Such was his devotion to the cause that Arafat, who died early today at age 75 in a military hospital outside Paris, was willing to tolerate and embrace bloody acts of terror that made him an international pariah..."
A.) Yeah, he just tolerated them. That's all. Poor guy.
B.) International pariah. Yup. Everybody hated him. The world was against him and his "cause." Puh-leese.
This Hockstader guy is smoking some gooooood stuff.
Sorry, just the straight-up sarcasm. Nothing fancy.
Pic of the Day
To all the veterans: thank you.
MoveOn.org: Investigate the Vote
Does anyone else find this ironic? I mean, like, the epitome of irony? An outfit called "MoveOn" that wants to "investigate the vote" because it doesn't like the results? I'm sorry, but I need to beat this into the ground:
This is dripping with irony. It is laden with irony. It is not dissimilar from the small appliance with which you remove wrinkles from garments. If it were on the Periodic table, its symbol would be Fe. If it were a superhero, its secret identity would be Tony Stark.
Am I making myself clear?
Well, that's over. The eulogy from AP is priceless. Some of the better lines....
He was to the end a man of many mysteries and paradoxes — terrorist,
statesman, autocrat and peacemaker.
Well, they finally used the word "terrorist." Why now? He was a "militant" just last week. statesman-well I guess if you count rambling speeches about forcing the Jews into the ocean. Autocrat-sure. Peacemaker? Are they kidding? Just because someone wins the Nobel Peace prize, doesn't mean they are a peacemaker, quite the contrary. There has been nothing but death and destruction since the signing of "peace accords" at the White House.
Arafat's failure to groom a successor complicated his passing, raising the danger of factional conflict among Palestinians
This is the thing that drives me crazy about the entire "peace process." Am I the only person who has noticed that during the entire "peace process," Arafat has been the head of the Palestinians. His career has spanned dozens of Israeli Prime Ministers and many American Presidents. Who "grooms successors?" Dictators, that's who! Why we accorded him any relevance is beyond me.
Revered by his own people, Arafat was reviled by others. He was accused of secretly fomenting attacks on Israelis while proclaiming brotherhood and claiming to have put terrorism aside. Many Israelis felt the paunchy 5-foot, 2-inch (1.57 meters) Palestinian's real goal remained the destruction of the Jewish state.
Secretly! That's a laugh.
I hope he burns in hell for all eternity.
A Call From Who? Tell Him I'm Asleep.
Spanish PM Phones, Bush Doesn't Pick Up
"Um... Mr. President, Prime Minister Zapatero says he knows you're awake because he just spoke to Prime Minister Blair who told him that he just got off the phone with you."
"Oh. OK. Then tell him I'm on the phone with Arafat."
Pic of the Day
Arafat 'stable', hospital says
I've always preferred instability in the middle east...
Palestinians Master Understatement
This story just keeps making a parody of itself. It could not have been written any funnier if it was fictional.
It's difficult to be optimistic when you're in deep coma.-- The Palestinian envoy to France, Leila Shahid.
That is so so true.
Top Ten Headlines When Arafat Dies
10. Arafat Discharged From Hospital, Quite Stinky
9. Fatah Emissary: Arafat Still Dead
8. Arafat Described as Improving, Cheerful, Awaits Autopsy
7. Suddenly Suha: Fat Broke Widow
6. Arafat Removed From Life Support, Regains Consciousness, Stabbed Repeatedly With Silver Stake
5. Gaza Heats Up. Arafat Room Temperature.
4. French Ambassador: Arafat Better. Transferred from ICU to Morgue for Further Testing.
3. PA Spokesman: Arafat’s Condition Really Stable
2. Arafat Discovers New Level of Coma
And the number one headline when Arafat dies:
Arafat Gives Up Terrorism
Sex Disease Cases Soar in London (Via Drudge)
Thank goodness I'm here to explain medical news in the media to our valued web surfers. Here's my summary of this article.
The Problem: More people are being diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in London now than a few years ago. The article makes it clear that this does not mean that more people have STDs. It may mean that screening programs are more effective at diagnosing more cases. Or it may mean that more people have STDs.
The Solution: More government spending! Predictable. Free advice to our British brothers and sisters. Use condoms all the time. Women: see a gynecologist annually. Men: see your doctor at the first sign of discharge from your how-do-you-do.
That was easy. Think of all the money I just saved Her Majesty's Chlamydia Clinic. It's the least I could do given England's support of the US in these turbulent times. No need to thank me.
Who will replace Ashcroft
It's official. Ashcroft has stepped down. I think it's a good thing. Too much of a lightning rod.
I'm curious who people think will take over. I've heard speculation about one of Ashcroft's deputies. But, I'm rooting for Giuliani. If ever there was a perfect man for the job, it's Rudy.
Pic of the Day
Arafat Dead,Say Palestinian Sources Amid Confusion
Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, in a strenuous denial, said the Palestinian president, 75, was "very much alive," but at least five senior sources said he had succumbed to the mystery illness that led to his being flown to Paris on Oct. 29.Beeeauuuutiful pluuuumage!
Belmont Club has an excellent commentary on developments on the ground in Fallujah. Inspiring for our side. Terrifying for the enemy. Hat tip: Powerline
SoldiersAngels' Operation Holiday Spirit
Hewitt points to a way to support the US marines and other troops sacrificing on our behalf in Iraq.
SoldiersAngels' Operation Holiday Spirit
Prediction: no matter what happens, the Left will run with stories of atrocities committed in Falluja. Okay, I'm a cynic.
Nomad was channeling Drudge
BUSH CONSIDERS CLARENCE THOMAS FOR CHIEF JUSTICE
Dean Ponders Bid to Become DNC Chairman
The roughly 240 members of the DNC will elect a new chair early next year. Several names are already being mentioned, including former Clinton aide Harold Ickes; Donna Brazile, who ran Al Gore (news - web sites)'s presidential campaign, and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.
Seems to me that Dean would guarantee the continuing presence of a destructive anti-war voice as the center of the Democratic Party. Brazile's association with Gore makes me think she'd probably be more incompetent than McAulliffe, who's been an unmitigated disaster.
If I remember correctly, Vilsack threw in with Kerry in the primaries. At the time, Kerry appeared to be a moderate candidate. That could indicate that Vilsack might be the most moderate of the current crop of likelies. Although I know nothing else about him, so I could be completely wrong.
Ickes just makes me think of Monica's blue dress (ick). I don't remember his position with the Clintons, but it seemed like his name came up a lot in association with Clinton's worst side. On the other hand, if he's a Southern moderate, he might be a good choice to wrest control away from the whack jobs currently running the show.
On the third hand, after McAulliffe, who was Clinton's boy, drove the Party into the can, I'm thinking the Party might not be favorable to another of the 'nistas.
Based on the denial rhetoric coming from the Dems over the past week, I'm inclined to think a lot of them would be willing to jump off the Dean cliff. I'm hoping I'm wrong, and that this election was the first step in muting the shrill activists who've done serious damage to our efforts in the wars in Iraq and Afgahnistan over the past 2 years.
Next Chief Justice
Something Specter said the other day about knowing before the election that Rehnquist's condition was worse than had been let on got me thinking. There's been a lot of talk about new nominees to the Supreme Court, but I haven't yet heard speculation on Rehnquist's replacement as the Chief Justice. I'm no expert on the Court, but it seems to me that Bush's best option is Justice Thomas.
You've currently got the triumvirate of conservative justices: Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas. Bush has already stated that Scalia and Thomas are his model Justices. Of the two, Scalia is the more controversial among the masses... although he's considered the panacea among hard-core conservatives. I think Scalia could yield an early battle in the Senate that wouldn't be a good way for Bush to start his second term.
Thomas is also very conservative (and the youngest member of the Court at 56), but not as much of a firebrand (Anita Hill aside) as Scalia. He's also... wait for it... black. It think that turns it around on the Democrats. Their only choice in opposing his nomination is to filibuster. Do they really want to dig in on a filibuster in appointing a black Justice to the highest judicial office in the land?
Bush's other options:
The Liberal Triumvirate:
Stevens: Too old, too liberal.
Ginsberg: NOT (too liberal)
Breyer: See Ginsberg.
The Moderate Triumvirate:
O'Connor: Would be a safe center-right choice, but she's too old.
Souter: Won't make the same mistake his dad made. The most liberal of the three.
Kennedy: I guess Kennedy is really the only other choice. Reagan appointee (so no bad blood as with Souter). Ideologically, he's right around O'Connor's neighborhood. He's also reasonably young by current court standards (66), and has more tenure than Thomas. I believe he's been to the left on abortion decisions. I think his nomination would therefore alienate the base.
To reiterate, I'm no legal scholar. I watch the Court with the interest of a layman, and it's likely that my observations are pretty superficial.
Still, while the appointment will be one of governance, it will be necessarily political as well. My hunch is Thomas. I think the public endorsement (in the debates of both Thomas and Scalia) told us his preference in no uncertain terms. The Democrats and the media will want Kennedy, but will have difficulty opposing a black man to one of the most powerful positions in the nation.
The New York Times > Opinion > David Brooks: The Values-Vote Myth
I know this is cited below, but I wanted to highlight it here. Good stuff.
Pic of the Day
Go with God. Be safe. Win.
Jonah Goldberg nicely sums up the Dem's feelings of superiority even in defeat.
Did you ever consider the possibility that someone who disagrees with you is not an idiot? That you both might have legitimate reasons for believing what you believe? Or, just maybe, that you might be the idiot?
Here's my new favorite word of the season: Hubris.
Hizb'Allah Asks for a Pounding
Hizbullah Sends Drone Over Border
In a technical feat unusual for an Arab country, Hizb'Allah has flown an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into Israel's airspace from Lebanon. This gives them some press and bragging rights, but it also gives Israel an excuse to go after them aggressively in Lebanon. Someone in Hizb'Allah's command structure didn't get the memo about who won on November 2. When Israel finds their UAV staging camp and turns it into a crater, there won't be any calls for "restraint" from the White House. There will either be silence or an acknowledgement of Israel's right to defend itself.
Also, Hizb'Allah is no more capable of building a UAV than me and my kids are able to build a mission to Mars. They got help from Syria, Iran, or both (as the linked article makes clear). Again, after the American election, that's just one more piece of evidence of their destabilizing role in the region that will be soberly read to the Kneset or to Congress after either Israel or the U.S. takes Syria or Iran's military down a few pegs.
Drummond Grades the State Polls
A good post to keep handy for the next election cycle. Drummond grades 12 polling firms that conducted state-by-state surveys. The LA Times comes in last. Zogby's 6th. You'll have to click the title for the rest.
Bill Clinton Told You So
I'm surprised to admit that this election has made me respect President Clinton much more. Though I never voted for him, I understand now what he tried to achieve. Prior to his first campaign, he was the leader of the Democratic Leadership Council, a conservative Democratic group that was trying to steer the party to the center. Dennis Prager predicted before Clinton's election that the Democrat who distanced himself from the Jesse Jackson left wing of his party would win the support of the broad center of the nation. Clinton did exactly that in his first campaign.
Though the Republican Congress deserves much of the credit, Clinton then passed some landmarks in conservative legislation, like NAFTA and welfare reform, both of which have been huge successes and have received almost no accolades in the press. When welfare reform passed there was much hand wringing that poverty would increase, children would go hungry, the sky would fall. None of this happened. People mostly just got jobs when their benefits ran out. The media has been silent about how effectively and humanely the welfare rolls were slashed.
Clinton tried to make it clear to his party that liberalism was dead. It had either already won important issues that were now accepted by the American mainstream (civil rights, women's rights) or had taken basic liberties and morphed them into entitlements that the mainstream would never accept (quotas, abortion on demand). It had no winning issues left to fight for. In 2004 the Democratic rank-and-file fell in love with Dean. The establishment was so appalled that they nominated the most liberal man in the Senate. They completely ignored Clinton's message, and spent George Soros's millions on nothing more than grape flavored Kool-Aid. Clinton tried to steer his party to the center; Kerry just drove it off a cliff. Oh, yeah!
Three Out Of Four American Jews Voted For Kerry
The depressing statistics are detailed in an article on the Republican Jewish Coalition website. The only silver lining was that more religious Jews tended to vote like more religious Christians.
Luntz’s poll also showed a strong Orthodox trend toward Bush, with 69 percent of Orthodox respondents in Florida and Ohio saying they voted for the president.I sometimes feel like a Martian in my blue state and blue county going to a largely liberal synagogue. I'm a minority within a minority. The trend is in the right direction, but so slow that I have to believe that some Jews will simply vote Democrat even if the Democrat starts the first debate by eating a baby. I'm encouraged by the friends in my synagogue that voted for Gore and now voted for Bush. They get it. I hope in retrospect, when we can see the results of the Iraq war, more will realize that the mainstream media lied to them, and that we on the conservative fringe were right. Ed Koch says it better than I could:
It’s not adequate from my point of view,” said Ed Koch, a former mayor of New York City who stumped hard for Bush among Jews from Iowa to Florida.Thank you, Mr. Koch. You're a good man.
Koch, a Democrat who said Bush deserved Jewish votes because of his unstinting support for Israel, sounded a familiar Republican Jewish theme: The president deserves Jewish gratitude.
“I’m glad it was an improvement,” Koch told JTA, but added, “I think he deserved much more.”
I Thought They Only Had Troops For Parades
French Troops Clash With Mobs in Ivory Coast
Bwaaaahahahahahaha teeheeeheeheee!! Sorry. Fighting. For. Composure. Will read on:
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — French troops clashed with soldiers and angry mobs Saturday after Ivory Coast warplanes killed at least nine French peacekeepers and an American civilian in an airstrike — mayhem that threatened to draw foreign troops deeper into the West African country's escalating civil war.Hmmmm... Sounds like some serious fighting. No wonder that they don't have any troops to spare to help us in Iraq. Let's read on:
France hit back, destroying what it said was the entire Ivory Coast air force — two Russian-made Sukhoi jets used in the bombing and five helicopter gunships.Ohoooohoooo bwahahaha! [falls out of chair]
Early Arafat Terrorism
Who Murdered Cleo Noel?
Column by Scott Johnson of Powerline, who will be on Fox News tomorrow to discuss.
Contrary to Sullivan's assertions, the cables demonstrate that in March 1973 the State Department had promptly concluded that Black September was nothing more than a front for Fatah and that Arafat himself had directed the operation resulting in the assassination of Noel and Moore. Both points are made over and over again in the cables to and from the Secretary of State.
It's Michael Moore Stupid.
I agree with Tom Bevan's take on the motivation behind the GOP victory Tuesday.
Republicans across the country went to the polls on Tuesday with an anger of their own. The increased turnout wasn't driven by some right-wing bigotry toward gays (as Brooks points out) but I believe a bitterness toward people like Michael Moore. Middle America was simply pissed off at listening to a fat schlub like Michael Moore and his ilk on the far left tell them how oppressive, greedy, militaristic, and imperialistic we are as a country and what a liar and a moron our President is.
Exactly. The insular Left is seeking to take comfort in their trouncing by characterizing it as some kind of appeal by the "Bushies" to the natural homophobic tendencies of the Center and Right in America. Hogwash.
The simple fact of the matter is that the Democratic Party has not drifted; they've powered full-speed away from the Center with their embrace of the Michael Moores and Sean Penn's of the world. Even 20 years ago, these radicals would have been relegated to the fringes of thought they ought to occupy. Today, they are placed in the hightest esteem; seated next to former presidents in a position of honor, their film openings attended by the who's who of Democratic politics.
I would have voted GOP regardless of Michael Moore. The party simply comes closer to my philosophical bent than others. But the coveted, America-loving swing voter, who isn't as philosophically attached to either party's base ideology saw Michael Moore and had the bejeebers scared out of them. Here was a man that routinely trashed not just the war in Iraq, but Americans. A man whose vitriol for the core values of this country spewed out like regurgitated liver.
I've reminded people of the following quote from Moore on numerous occassions:
The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?
He said this about Muqtada al Sadr's militia, a punk-ass gang of thugs, murdering innocent Iraqis in an opportunistic and cynical quest for power.
Americans listened and concluded that this man is not on our side. They then looked, and saw him seated in the presidential box at the Democratic National Convention next to former President Jimmy Carter, and concluded that they were no longer convinced that the Democratic Party was capable of discerning which side was which.
Also read David Brooks, who inspired Bevan's thoughts.
Early Glance at 2006 Senate Races
I don't know anything about them, but I think in the wake of Daschle's unceremonious departure from the chambers, pressure should be applied to Ben Nelson (D) of Red Nebraska, and Kent Conrad (D) of Red North Dakota to steer clear of judicial filibusters.
Pro-Dubya Iraqi Blog
A nice Congratulations for the President. Excerpt:
In Iraq we expect to crush and end all terrorists, get real democracy and
freedom, reconstruct Iraq to a strong economy and be partner with the USA
towards stable and safe region and world.
and info on the situation in Fallujah. Excerpt:
Several intelligent information detected communications between terrorists'
bases in Jordan and Syria with the terrorists in Falluja to try to secure more
than one exit for the big heads from the area. There is news about arranging
exits via Syria with the help of Syrian security systems.
Other good stuff too.
Geraghty on the Afterglow
The following excerpt SO describes me:
Anybody else feel like a ten-ton weight has been lifted from his shoulders? Anybody else feel like every muscle had been tensed and clenched for about two months, and a steadily increasing vice-like pressure had been squeezing him, day by day, as the election approached? Just me? Boy, since that last debate, I just wanted the race to end. Just vote and get it over with.
And this one SO describes why:
The only thing at stake in this election was the future of Western Civilization. In seemingly every conceivable way, John Kerry was the wrong man to lead this nation in the war we're in right now. His 1971 testimony, his defense-cutting record, his obsession with a "global test," his disturbing pride in the endorsements from unnamed foreign leaders, his naïve belief that the leaders of France and Germany are concerned with American security, his contradictory statements, suggesting he didn't grasp the stakes in Iraq...
... and that damnable Monday Morning Quarterbacking that he dared call a vision! All he ever had to say about the war on terror was that Bush had messed up, and that he would fix it with a plan (details to come at a later date). Serious mainstream media would have demanded those details, and laughed him off the stage when he refused to divulge them.
Bill Maher had it right when he called Kerry a Frankenstein's monster of the worst Democratic candidates in recent memory: the I-know-better-than-you arrogance of Al Gore; the toxic inability to relate to human beings of Michael Dukakis; the dippy never-lost-faith-in-liberalism outlook of Walter Mondale. And, one might add, the decisiveness of Bill Clinton.
(When the networks' anti-Bush propaganda — er, I mean the "exit polls" — broke, I readied myself for a Bush defeat. I thoroughly believed Kerry was the wrong guy for this era, and that his ill-considered policies meant Americans would die over the next four years.
Go. Fight. Win.
Iraqi Prime Minister: Fallujah Assault Imminent
"This will be a key test for Iraqi forces," U.S. Army Lt. Col. Tim Eads told FOX News on Friday. "Everybody will be watching these guys. I imagine that they know it too and don't want to fail ... I think no matter what, it's going to be pretty quick."
The U.S.-led offensive will target not only regular Iraqi insurgents, but also Islamist followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search), the Jordanian militant who recently swore allegiance to Al Qaeda and by his own admission has kidnapped and beheaded several Americans and other foreigners.
"I think the one thing al-Zarqawi knows after Nov. 2 [when President Bush was re-elected] is that he's a dead man," Eads told FOX.
I know this means I'll probably have to read a book, but I was just wondering about the social/historical/psychological reasons why urban areas are, at least currently, so liberal. Also, why at this particular point in time does social conservatism for the most part go hand-in-hand with a strong commitment to defense in foreign policy?
For the record, I don't really care enough to actually read no books.
As he lived...
So he is dying. Arafat, I mean. How perfect is it that even in his demise, he can't put out a straight story. It's just whatever tale is most useful.
And where to bury him. Hmmmm - well, obviously France is the best place, and not just cause it would be the most convenient. But to be honest with you I wasn't thinking burial so much as sunk to the bottom of a major body of water, or wound up in suicide belts and lit up like a Christmas tree, or frozen in liquid nitrogen and shattered by an Austrian intoning, "Hasta La Vista, Baby."
But that's just me.
Wednesday I had a workplace experience reminiscent of Ralphie’s.
I live in a very liberal town, so the vast majority of my patients are life-long Dems. This is especially so among my older patients who think they’re still voting for FDR and probably never had a conversation with a conservative nor read a conservative publication. Needless to say, I’m in the closet as a right-winger. (When two years ago a patient offered me an American flag pin to put on the lapel of my white coat, I thought very seriously about it, since it may alter the neutral, professional image I try to maintain. I finally decided to wear it and will do so until Islamofascism is crushed.)
I take my duty to care for all of my patients very seriously and always try to project compassion regardless of my personal feelings. It’s not just that I take the best care I can of Democrats. Some of my patients have been adulterers, criminals convicted in Federal court, addicts, and general miscreants. I always try to leave my judgment of their behavior at home and give them the best care and advice I can.
But Wednesday the Dems really bugged me. My patients that day were universally sleep-deprived and depressed. They came in for their various ailments, but were sleepy, miserable, and coming to me for comfort and encouragement, assuming that I was in the same boat. Of course I was sleep-deprived and jubilant, and I had to somehow figure out how to comfort these confused losers. I’m not sure I did a good job. “Well, at least you (we?) got Boxer!” I offered one patient. “Yeah, all of my patients are having a very rough day,” I said to another with my best I-feel-your-pain smile. What irritated me isn’t that they came to me for support; that’s part of my job. What irks is the automatic assumption that I’m in their camp. Did they even consider for one second that I’m ecstatic? Could the wealthy 70-something female activist who bemoaned Daschle’s fate imagine that I sent Thune $75? Beneath the therapeutic exterior was a happy warrior yelling “You are clueless and defeated! The nation is done with you! Pursue your private pleasures in your dark-blue counties and torment America no more!”
Has to be said...
I think there's more than enough conciliatory magnanimity going around. So to add a little bit of balance, I'd just like to say to all y'all that spent the past 2 years (4 in many cases) hating on the Commander in Chief:
That is all. :-)
Get Dead Soon!
French Doctors Deny Arafat Death Reports
PARIS — A gravely ill Yasser Arafat reportedly slipped into a coma and anxious Palestinian officials held an emergency meeting Thursday on how to prevent unrest while their 75-year-old leader was fighting for his life.Could we be so fortunate as to see Bush win and Arafat die in the same week? Pinch me!
"Arafat has no type of brain death," Kurdi told Al-Arabiya.That's reassuring! How many types are there?
Prediction for tomorrow: "Arafat has a very mild type of brain death." Hamas and Hizb'Allah are probably sharpening their knives and loading their rifles. Things are about to get very ugly.
Thanks to Ed from Captain's Quarters. I've been looking for a copy of this since yesterday afternoon.
Election Night Mini Narrative
My vote tracking site was cnn.com, which has consistantly had the best information from election to election. I particularly like being able to drill into the county-by-county numbers as they roll in.
On the way back from voting, I was listening to Hannity. He sounded stressed. Talking down the reliability of exit polls, urging people to get out and vote in a way that smelled of desperation. I'd seen the early afternoon exit polling. Coupled with Hannity's attitude, I was starting to get a little stressed myself.
When I got home, I got the late afternoon exit polls. Universally bad news for the President. I got a knot in my stomach that tightened progressively over the next couple hours. When the Fox News All Stars came on, they sounded morose, and the analysis all seemed aimed at explaining why Bush lost. My attitude was bordering on suicidal. A call from Ohio Mike did nothing to abate the dread.
I opened a bottle of wine, gave up on getting any work done, and started digging into the real numbers, hoping against hope that maybe... just maybe... the exit polling was off. It was a new systtem, the old VNS one having been scrapped after the 2002 debacle.
Other than a few positive messages from Kerry Spot's inside source, my first glimmer of hope came when Jay Cost reported Bush significantly overperforming in GOP counties in Florida. A few of these from him were enough to prompt a call to Ohio Mike, and we started looking at the counties on CNN, and comparing the 2000 and 2004 numbers. Try as I might, I couldn't find bad news. Bush was overperforming statewide by significant margins. I decided not to get excited about things until the big 3 Democrat stronghold counties in the south started reporting. When they did, and it was clear that Bush was exceeding his 2000 numbers by an average of 2% in each, I started to climb out of my depression. Bush's 5 poing margin had held steady as the votes rolled in, and we had our first solid evidence that the exit polling was WAY off in Florida... and therefore maybe in the rest of the country.
We played the same game in Ohio for the rest of the night. Mike had good knowledge of which counties to watch (aside from the obvious Cuyahoga). As the Democratic counties reported, but didn't erase what had held steady as about a 120K to 150K lead, cautious optimism became real hope. We concluded that Kerry couldn't win Ohio about 10 minutes before Fox called it.
I waited for Mrs. Nomad to get home before popping the California sparkly (no French stuff in this house), and spent the rest of the night waiting for Kerry to concede. I got angry when Edwards hinted at litigation. It was clear that there was no way Kerry could win. I didn't need the prospect of weeks of whacked out moveon.org types to mess with my elation.
After some angry words directed at the former senator from North Carolina, I called it an evening and hit the hay. By the time I got up, Kerry had ended it with a phone call.
Four more years. Sweet.
That's me. See, our company has this cloying diversity initiative. It's actually quite a big deal. And it makes me sick. Here's a cute tidbit from our literature:
How Can You Demonstrate Diversity?
- Enroll in a group language class and practice a language other than your native language.
- Read one book per month written from the perspective of someone from a racial identity group other than your own.
- Intitiate a personal relationship with someone from a different identity group.
Now, that first one I can get behind. But the second two are hooey. The last one is, frankly, offensive: Make friends with someone not because he's a good person, but just because his skin is a particular color! Anyway, you get the picture.
Well, I was a victim of anti-diversity bias today at work. I'm not kidding. A comment was made, a few consenting quips followed, and I'm telling you I was shaken up. Heart beating fast. About this close to speaking up, letting them know that not everyone is like them, but I knew it could damage my working relationship and possibly interfere with my career here at some point. So I kept my mouth shut, and felt like I was compromising my integrity. I know I'm a wuss, but I actually had to excuse myself and go get some water.
As I'm sure you've guessed by now, the comment was anti-Republican. Earlier in the day, people had mentioned they were depressed because of the election. That's fine. But in this meeting, the boss asked if there was anyone who had a problem with a particular action item. Someone said, "I have a problem, but not with that." Her point was unclear, so the boss asked, genuinely concerned, "What is it that you have a problem with?" "Bush," came the answer, with a little follow-up I missed. Others chimed in, commiserating, and someone said that we could at least take solace that our state hadn't supported him. Typing this out, it seems lame to complain. But I was just so taken aback at the audacity - isn't assuming everyone is the same as you - in this case (the most important case, in my opinion), the same in thought - the very antithesis of this diversity movement?
So, how does any of this make me a hypocrite? After the meeting, I made a beeline to our "diversity website" to log an anonymous complaint. Turns out that capability isn't available, but still... So, now I'm thinking about either sending an anonymous note to the head of the diversity thing, talking to my manager, or just addressing the group civilly and, after explaining the importance of diversity, outing myself. Truth is I'll probably do nothing other than this blog.
A Call From Who? Tell Him I'm Asleep.
Arafat Congratulates Bush, Touts 'Road Map'
PARIS — An ailing Yasser Arafat congratulated President Bush on his re-election and expressed hope that a second term will spark new life to the Middle East peace process, an aide to the Palestinian leader said Wednesday.Thanks a lot for your support, Yasser! That really means a lot to me. By the way, I'm in the smallest room in the White House right now, talking to you on the cordless phone. I call it Potty One! Ha ha! Get it? I've got your Roadmap To Peace fax in front of me, but as soon as we hang up, it'll be behind me, if you know what I mean.
This was a solid and sobering repudiation of
- John Edwards
- Tom Daschle -- Nomad: The posterboy for the obstructionist Democrats in the Senate. South Dakota tossed him out on his butt. Freakin' awesome!
- George Soros -- What a delightfully breathtaking waste of his money.
- The United Nations
- Radical Islam
- Yasser Arafat -- Firmly on the roadmap to obscurity.
- Syria's President Bashar al-Asad -- Syria is a problem and we know it. We also have tens of thousands of troops in a neighboring country. The war on terror just got a big boost of support
- Iran's Regime -- This will all be behind the scenes, but with a nuclear weapon maybe a year away, you can bet Bush's administration will be working with Israel and with Iranian "insurgents" to topple the regime or destroy their reactors (or both).
- CBS / Dan Rather -- Will CBS do something about the memogate story now that they no longer have to work for Kerry's campaign?
- Michael Moore -- Has clearly maxed out his fame and credibility. Destined for anonymity in about two years.
- Hollywood -- Can we now please have a war movie. You know like you used to make in WWII?
- the moonbatty left slanderous blogosphere -- OK. You can keep calling him Bushitler, but every single prediction you made was wrong. Time to increase the Seroquel dose.
Coming later (another one of you may wish to start it) "The Winners"...
Not a movie, but...
F/X is developing a series about the ongoing war in Iraq. Network Hero Steven Bochco will produce. Sure to be squishy. Too bad they couldn't get David Milch...
Election Night Coverage
It is 11:10 PM. Fox News called OH for Bush. NBC followed suit, and that's when Kathy and I popped the cork on a bottle of champagne. As of this writing, ABC and CBS haven't the stomach to call OH for Bush, and I'm chuckling to myself at their self-proclaimed journalistic integrity.
The LA Times website was my favorite source for Presidential election results. Surprising but true. They've got an easy-to-read Electoral map (red states and blue states) with close-to-real-time results from each state when you drag your mouse over each state.
Some of the California election results have disappointed me (I'm talking Propositions now), but I'm not all that surprised. California is what it is.
Y'all have a good night. Our country is in good hands.
It's OVER!!! BUSH WINS!!!!
After spending the evening on the phone with Ohio Mike, it came down to FL and OH. Both were looking grim after the exit polling, but the numbers that came in from the actual polling never confirmed the exit polling. Finally, there were simply not enough votes for Kerry to pick up to overcome the Bush votes, and Fox called it.
It's over. Bush wins. At this point, he's got 269 votes with NV, NH and HI outstanding. I can't wait for Kerry's concession speech.
Also... it looks like Daschle is gone. WHAT A REPUDIATION!!!!!
Time for the Dems to reevaluate.
No Surprises So Far
California polls are open for another half hour. By my count 31 states have been called by various networks. None have been swing states and every one has been called the same as in 2000. Might be a long night...
While the exit polling had Kerry up in Florida by 2% to 4%, the real numbers (so far) are telling a different story. Bush is consistantly overperforming in counties outside of the south, and Kerry is (so far) underperforming in Broward and Palm Beach by a few percent.
The real numbers have been all good news for Bush to this point. Watch Horserace for updates, and check the following at CNN.com:
Current Florida Race:
2000 Florida Race:
First Four States Called
FNC projects for Bush: Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky. Vermont for Kerry. Current electoral vote totals: Bush 34 - Kerry 3.
After hearing about long lines and other horror stories, boy, am I glad I voted early (if not often).
All eyes on Michigan
This is indeed a night I have waited for for a long time. Finally, the NBA season starts, and with my team the Rockets, yet (at Detroit, hence my subject)! At least we'll know the outcome of this one tonight.
Electioneering in PA Voting Locations
From a friend of mine in PA:
When Mary went to our voting location this morning there were Kerry campaigners IN THE BUILDING handing out literature. And Kerry signs ON THE DOORS!!!
Mary wrote down the posted number to call but said nothing. Another woman civilly said to the campaigners "You are not allowed to be in here." Then another man in line shouted at her telling her to shut up.
By the time I just voted (9:30 vs. Mary 7:30) a TV station was at our poll and the campaigners had been removed.
Well, that's done. I was in line for about 25 minutes. I've never seen such a long line at our precinct. It either means a higher overall turn out, or that those who are going to vote want to vote early in the day, or both. I feel a lot better now. Only 12 hours to go... If I was smart I would ignore all news sources until 8 pm and just think about other things, but I'm not smart.
Early Morning Polls
Not to push W down the page, but good news from the early morning polls (I really need to go to bed):
Rasmussen: Bush by 1.7
Battleground: Bush by 4
Tarrance Group (who are they?): Bush by 3.4
TIPP: Bush by 2.1
Marist: Kerry by 1
This could be the late Bush surge we were all expecting/hoping for.
Commander in Chief
I just liked this picture from Powerline. I liked the thought of it mastheading our blog on Election Day morning.
What's at Stake in This Election
I haven't listened to Rush much since I began working at home (no commute, no radio). And, I reckon he's probably a bit out of vogue since the pill scandal. Whatever.
This piece hits it on the head.
But the point is you haven't heard anybody in the Democratic Party renounce this for three years. For the last nine months, you haven't heard anybody in the Kerry campaign, not one voice, not one reasonable, responsible voice from the Democrat Party reject any of the slanderous, libelous, vicious, totally made-up lies and attacks about George W. Bush, as "the next Hitler," as "worse than Saddam." You know the list of things. They have encouraged this thinking. You might say, "Why?" The acquisition of their power is crucial to them. They care more about that than anything else, and they are in their minds because they have a superior attitude over America. They have an arrogant, condescending attitude to those they live with and live near. They believe that it is their entitlement, that they are born to power. It's their right, and that right has been interrupted since 1994 and it's time for them to get it back. And they, in their minds, are permitted to lie for "the common good," as they define it.
Tighter than a drum. Mrs. Nomad heading to store for bottle of wine. Last night's dreams were a leviathan mix of politics and baseball. Hitting refresh on RCP every 5 to 10 minutes even though I know McIntyre and Bevan are fast asleep. Watching reruns of "Hardball", even though I can't stand Chris Matthews, just because I've already seen "Special Report with Brit Hume" twice. Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Minnesota. Even Hawaii. The numbers from each are seared... SEARED into my memory. And, yet they yield no conclusive relief. Just incapacitating uncertainty.
This election is not about politics. It is about something far more fundamental: safety. Not in the abstract, but very much in the concrete, buildings falling, people burning to death kind of a way. Make no mistake. The wrong vote would represent a substantial defeat for the United States in the war against the facist punks who would see you, me, our wives and children, our mothers and fathers slaughtered in their own hedonistic quest for a few dozen virgins in the afterlife.
So, here I sit. A few hours from voting. Wound up like a coil. Not possessing the focus to even proofread what I've just written. Those who would weaken this country must be defeated tomorrow. Get out and vote people.
Election Eve News and Notes (for Mike in Ohio)
My good friend, Mike, has been working tirelessly for the reelection of the President in Ohio. He lives at Ground Zero of the 2004 election, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He's taken the day off from work today and tomorrow to work phones and doors as part of the massive GOTV effort implemented by Rove and Co. I heard from his wife this morning, asking me to bullet point election issues for her so he can get a fix on where we stand tonight.
I'm going to do one better. He has internet access at home; but not email access. So, this thread is here for any of us to add bullet points and links that'll provide (hopefully) encouraging information to one of the guys doing the hard work of the 2004 campaign. Feel free to add to this list throughout the day.
Mike, click the comments link below to add a comment to this thread. We'd all be interested to hear how it went on the campaign trail today.
Campaign Eve Bulletpoints:
- The Beltway Boys both called it for Bush last night. The prediction included a loss of OH, and pickups in WI, IA, MN and NM for 286 Evs. They also called a Senate pickup of 3 seats (although Daschle retained his seat), and a House pickup of several seats.
- Bush's JA in RCP's average is at 49.7%. That's not bad news.
- RCP state averages: FL: Bush +1.1, OH: Bush + 1.6, PA: Kerry +0.8, WI: Bush +0.7, IA: Bush +0.5, MN: Kerry +2.2, MI: Kerry +3.3, NM: Bush +2.0, NV: Bush +4.0, NH: Kerry +1.3.
- Important links:
This one is key. I like this guy's analysis. The link is brand new. I haven't even read it yet.
- For some reason, the direct link isn't working, so you'll just have to scroll. Jay's Election Eve poll analysis gives the President a 94.57% chance of achieving the minimal win in the Electoral College based on the most recent state-by-state polling. Read his whole state breakdown today for the numbers that lead to that conclusion.
- Okay, Zogby is all over the freakin' map. He's got one side up 6 one day, and the other up 8 in the same state the following day. It just doesn't pass the smell test of reliability. It's not just me; I'm reading criticisms of Zogby from several reputable analysts, and nobody defending him. He's also a well-known partisan, whose brother runs to a partisan Arab advocacy group. HENCE, I'm tired of seeing Zogby's results skew the RCP averages, and I've decided to see for myself where the averages would be without Mr. Zogby. I basically just took the major battleground state polls, and took Zogby out of the mix. Note that I did this regardless of whether Zogby had Bush or Kerry up. Here are the results:
Florida (avg. of 7 polls): Bush by 1.14 (Bush by 0.88 w/ Zogby)
Ohio (avg. of 6 polls): Bush by 1.48 (Bush by 1.84 w/ Zogby)
Pennsylvania (avg. of 4 polls): TIE (Kerry by 1.00 w/ Zogby)
Wisconsin (avg. of 5 polls): Bush by 2.20 (Bush by 0.67 w/ Zogby)
Iowa (avg. of 7 polls): Bush by 1.43 (Bush by 0.50 w/ Zogby)
Minnesota (avg. of 5 polls): Kerry by 3.10 (Kerry by 2.92 w/ Zogby)
The net result is that it's still tight, but the non-Zogby numbers give Bush a significantly more comfortable margin. Jay Cost's analysis is probably way more statistically sound than mine, but I think this gives a good look at it without getting too complicated.
FinalHarris' Poll gives Bush the election by FOUR POINTS!! Harris was the only poll to call the 2000 election correctly as a popular vote tie. I've been waiting for this one, and am delighted to see them giving Bush a stastistically significant lead.
Update: This actually isn't their final poll. They're continuing to poll through today, and will release their final poll in the morning.
- Breaking: Eleventh hour Circuit Court decision overturns two previous federal court decisions. Poll watchers WILL be allowed in Ohio precincts.
Update: Heard from Mike as he stopped at home for a Snickers between taking abuse at the doorsteps of Kerry supporters. He's working heavily Republican precincts in a balls-to-the-wall GOTV effort. He'll be manning the phone banks tonight after the sun sets. Those of us supporting the President owe guys like Mike our gratitude for work above-and-beyond the call.
The Electoral College is Good
First of all, kudos to Nomad for a top-flight job tracking the polls.
I've heard some talk that the Electoral College should be replaced with some other system. Do any readers feel this way? If so, I'll gladly explain why they're wrong, and the reasons are as valid today as when the framers of the Constitution created the Great Compromise.
So get up early tomorrow and make voting for your political party's slate of Electors your first priority. To quote P. Diddy, Vote or Die!
Homicide Blast Kills Three in Tel Aviv
TEL AVIV, Israel — A 16-year-old Palestinian blew himself up in a crowded outdoor market in central Tel Aviv on Monday, killing three Israelis and wounding 32 in the first such attack since Yasser Arafat left last week for medical treatment in France.