Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ridge Out

With Ridge leaving DHS, to the surprise of no one, names are being circulated as to his possible replacement. At the top of the list are the following people:

Bernard Kerik: Interim Minister of the Interior for Iraq and former New York City police commissioner

Joe Albaugh: Federal Emergency Management Agency Director

Mike Leavitt: EPA Admin.

Fran Townsend: White House Homeland Security Adviser

I'd like to add another, but rather unlikely, name to the list. How about Giuliani? It would not only be a position he's more than qualified for (or at least, if not more, qualified than Ridge was) but it would also give him a stepping stone to run for President in 2008. This way he doesn't have to mess with a nasty Clinton Senate battle. Plus, Bush owes him one after all that he did this election for not only the Bush/Cheney campaign but for all the Republican candidates across the country.

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The Mess We Call the U.N.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday weekend and I guess it's finally time to get back to work.

Senator Coleman today continued the attacks on U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Normally, I try to keep my nose out of that whole mess of a process that we call the U.N., but I think we've reached a point where it has become clear that either Annan was 1) closely tied to severe wrongdoing in the U.N. Oil-for-Food program, or 2) is disrupting the process of investigating who is to blame. I'm not sure what the right answer is at this point but I do believe that the best thing at this point for the process would be for Mr. Annan to cut his losses and leave the helm of the U.N.

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Thursday, November 25, 2004

Attacking Rehnquist

Today, the AP reported on the pending Supreme Court case Ashcroft v. Raich. This case, if decided in some definitive manner by the Court, will hopefully put to rest the issue of states' rights in the realm of medical marijuana laws. Raich, the plantiff, had the following sensitive comment to add to the story regarding the ailing Chief Justice Rehnquist:

Raich, whose legal team includes her husband, Robert, said she hopes the chemotherapy Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is undergoing for thyroid cancer "would soften his heart about the issue."
"I think," she said, "he would find that cannabis would help him a lot."


I don't know if I'm extra sensitive because I actually care that the Chief Justice is undoubtedly going through a lot right now, but I found Raich's comments downright rude and uncalled for. Maybe making fun of people with life-threatening illnesses is her thing though.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Just to spite that principal in San Francisco I've decided to post one of those pieces she undoubtedly banned in her school. Today is Thanksgiving day and thus here is Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1789:


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 thanks-giving 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 course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of 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 shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease 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.



Look, I don't care if you're religious or not, this stuff is a part of our history and to deny children the chance to read it is just plain ridiculous. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thankful for many things...but not San Francisco Bay

This is absolutely outrageous. I'm at a loss of words and cannot even begin to express my anger. BANNING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE because it mentions God? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

Drudge Report posted the phone # of the principal who made this decision. Here's the #:

Patricia Vidmar- Principal, Stevens Creek School- 408-245-3312

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Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen!

Dan Rather recently announced his departure from the CBS Evening News anchor position, not to mention his managing editor duties. Frankly, I'm shocked that Rather would announce his surprise decision to leave so soon. He is attempting to claim that the controversy surrounding the forged Bush-Guard documents has nothing to do with his decision to leave but one wonders then why wouldn't he wait. It seems with a bit of time people wouldn't be so quick to make the connection. Hey, what do I know? I'm sure Rather has his reasons. For those that haven't seen it though, this is a great quote on Rather's departure, supplied by Representative Bill Shuster (R-PA):

"Dan Rather has been a legend in media for more than a quarter-century to many people around the world, but not to me," Rep. Bill Shuster said. "For the entirety of his career, Rather has allowed his liberal bias to shape the news rather than report it."

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Tightening the Belt

I am sure my fellow bloggers join me in extending my approval of Congress's ability to rein in the spending for FY2005. Discretionary spending will increase by only 1.0%, which is below the rate of inflation. The President wanted 0.8% but 1.0% is still admirable. We hope that Congress continues to exercise such fiscal discretion and prudence in the 109th Congress.

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Friday, November 19, 2004

An Optional Flat Tax?

Dick Morris' column in The Hill today actually had something good to offer. The flat tax is, to the shock of no one, a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I'm tired of the class warfare and tired of the backlash that something like a "national sales tax" might attract. Granted, I'm not too fond of listening to Steve Forbes either, but here he has it right in my opinion. The flat tax is an equitable approach to taxes that says if you make more you pay more, but all at a consistent percent of your income. The advantages are numerous, except for the nation's CPAs of course, no deductions, no convoluted tax forms, no saving receipts. Now, some people, namely Washington lobbyists, are opposed to this concept. "What about the precious child tax credit or deductions for your mortgage?!" Oh heavens no! But what Morris proposes is actually a sound answer to these folks. Make the flat tax optional. Personal choice is something that I've always been behind and allowing our citizens to make an informed decision as to whether they'd like to spend the months crunching numbers (which might come out better for them if they have the help of a talented accountant). This would accomplish Bush's goal of simplifying the tax code and deliver to conservatives something that they've been going nuts over for years. Choice is important and the tax code is no exception to this rule.

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Guess what Chirac says (shouldn't be too hard to figure out!)

French President Jacques Chirac, in what couldn't be a more clear thumbing of the nose to the U.S., declared that only the U.N. can start wars and intervene in other countries.

"It's not for any given country to consider that a situation is open to stepping in and interfering," he told a question-and-answer session with students at Oxford University, according to the UK's Press Association.

"It's up to the international community to do so and particularly the U.N., which alone has the authority to interfere," he said in remarks apparently aimed at the United States.

I cannot state this enough: France is not interested in multilateralism or appealing to international law and institutions such as the U.N. They are using the U.N. to check the United States in any way, shape, or form possible. Basically, there is no such thing as 'legitimacy' or 'multilateralism' without France's approval. If the French are on board, it's multilateral and peachy. If they say no, it's unilateral and utterly abysmal. The only thing France is intersted in doing is creating their multi-polar world to strip the U.S. of its power. Fine, they are pursuing their interest. But so are we. And we have no time for a country that is way past its prime to block our way.

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Say it ain't so!

Snarlin' Arlen Specter, the bane of many conservatives' existence, has been promoted to chair of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. We all knew this would happen, but that doesn't make it any less painfull.

T

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Clinton Presidential Library

Today marked the grand opening of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. On hand for the festivities were President George W. Bush and former-Presidents Carter, Bush, and of course Clinton.



Each man had kind words for the controversial President, as they led what ended up being a roast of sorts (at least for the Republicans on hand):

George W. Bush:
"Arkansas is a state that knows political skill when you see it. A fellow in Saline County was asked by his son why he liked Governor Clinton so much. He said, 'Son, he'll look you in the eye, he'll shake your hand, he'll hold your baby, he'll pet your dog — all at the same time.'"

George H.W. Bush:
Clinton was “one of the most gifted American political figures. Trust me, I learned it the hard way. ... Simply put, he was a natural. And he made it look too easy. And oh, how I hated him for that.”

Whatever your thoughts on Clinton (I don't think mine would shock anyone), let's give credit where credit is due. President Clinton was amazingly charismatic and could with a single speech sway thousands to his message. More importantly, he successfully nuanced his progressive politics in moderate words. And that, in and of itself, is a major accomplishment. Congratulations President Clinton.

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Dino Wins!

Yesterday the final counting of WA's provisional and absentee ballots ended, giving Dino Rossi (R) the Governorship by a whole 261 votes. The election was obscenely close and Rossi managed to pull it off by winning many of the WA suburbs that haven't swung the Republicans' way for several decades. Now comes the mandatory recount of the ballots. So I guess we'll see if Rossi is still Governor-elect in a week, but in the mean time: Congratulations, Governor-elect Rossi!



Oh, and just so there's no confusion, that makes the results of the 2004 election as follows:

Presidency: Republican
U.S. Senate: +4 Republicans
U.S. House: +4 Republicans
Governorships: +1 Republican

A clean sweep!

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Pardon me?

"Some 527 organizations got involved, including Barnyard Animals for Truth. There was a scurrilous film that came out, 'Fahrenheit 375 Degrees at 10 Minutes Per Pound'"

-- President Bush, on the Thanksgiving turkey pardon campaign

Michael Moore would take a lot longer to burn than any turkey, given his burly mass.

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No, we're not kidding!

To follow up on Kris's post, I present you with this editorial from the NY Daily News (i agree with the editorial up until the suggestion that Sandra Day O'Connor be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court). So while we have all this lavish attention showered upon Obama (the news stations already started this on Election Night when they realized the Dems were going to lose and touted him as the one 'bright shining' star of the evening, as to suggest that the Republicans winning was tantamount to the Apocalypse).

Excerpt:

"Limousine-liberal Democrats and their media poodles, many of whom send their children to near-segregated private schools, have basically ignored the racial triumphs Powell and Rice embody.

Had a Democratic President made those appointments, the celebratory coverage would invoke Harry Truman's integrating the armed forces or Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson's battle for civil rights.

Talk about your double standards."


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You Must Be Kidding...

Today the AP proved again just how in love it is with "rising star" Senator-elect Obama (D-IL). As if his constant exposure during the DNC, the campaign, and the election weren't enough now we're getting to read articles about Obama's "mundane tasks." Namely, we get to know how his D.C. house buying experience is going and how his hunt for a staff is treating him. Oh boy! If that isn't important coverage of Congress, I don't know what is.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Many Faces of Harry Reid (aka Photo of the Day)

Today Harry Reid (D-NV) was picked as the successor for ousted Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. This came as no surprise as Reid has been Daschle's deputy for years. What I did find interesting though was while campaigning in NV I caught a glimpse of Reid's reelection signs: "Independent like Nevada." Hmmmm I find it difficult to be independent and an entrenched member of the Senate Democratic leadership. We'll see how Reid is able to reconcile this problem now that he's the Minority Leader and certainly won't be leading any "independent fights." You never know, he might be ousted in 6 years also. But on to the humorous part of this post. I've heard that stress gets to members of Congress and the President and does cause premature aging, but what I've seen in Harry Reid over the timeframe of just under a week is astonishing. You compare and let me know:

Reid in his Senate office on Nov. 10, 2004:


Now, Reid in his office today, Nov. 16, 2004:


Yikes! Just so everyone knows these are AP photos so I haven't tampered with them. Talk about bad lighting. One week on the job and Reid ages several decades; I shudder to think how he'll look after the midterms.

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Ridiculous

From TIMES ONLINE - Britain:

"JACQUES CHIRAC dealt a blow to Tony Blair’s attempt to heal the wounds between the US and Europe last night by saying that the Prime Minister had won nothing for supporting the war against Iraq. "

And people say we should attempt to reconcile ourselves with France. I'm all for multilateralism but with that attitude I can't imagine a task more difficult.

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Powell Out

Secretary of State Colin Powell's resignation from the Bush Administration became public today. While I'm not as fond of Powell's moderate tendencies as some may be I do admire him as a statesman and public servant. If I had my choice Secretary of State Colin Powell would have stayed in the cabinet for at least another couple of years. Nat. Security Advisor Rice is viewed as Powell's likely successor, which many conservatives are overjoyed about; I myself must say I'm indifferent if not hesitant regarding this switch. Powell, while moderate, had a great deal of international clout. His reputation was untouchable, the problems in Iraq withstanding, and his power and stature was only rivaled by a select few. When then President-elect Bush announced his selections for his cabinet in 2000 there wasn't a name I was more fond of. All this gushing aside though I do have my problems with Powell. I think his contributions to the Woodward books, portraying the infighting of the Bush White House wasn't the smartest of moves for the Administration. Sometimes I also felt that his moderation, while admirable, gave the Left a little too much to celebrate. But either way Secretary of State Powell will be missed by me and all that admired his dedicated service. My hope is that Rice's intelligence, which no one can deny, will help guide the State Department in the same skillful manner she has guided Bush on many issues of foreign policy in the past.

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the wisdom of george will

Not much time to blog today, but I leave you with the wisdom of George Will, who really sums up what just is wrong with Democrats today. Read it here.

An excerpt:

The culture of victimhood, and of the presumed incompetence of individuals, is both a cause and a consequence of a society sprinkled with warning labels written for imbeciles. Such as? On an iron: DO NOT IRON CLOTHES ON BODY. On a fold-up child's stroller: REMOVE CHILD BEFORE FOLDING. These warnings are, in part, defensive measures designed to protect manufacturers against an important Democratic constituency—trial lawyers wielding their premise that when anything goes wrong for anyone, someone else is culpable and should be made to pay.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

WA Governor

If you haven't been following this you should. Even though I may be a biased Washingtonian this race has significance for the rest of the country, or rather, the rest of the Republican parts of the country. Right now the Republicans stand poised to sweep the 2004 election. They've picked up seats in the House & Senate, won back the Presidency, and are even on Governorships. Washington's Governor has yet to be decided with only a few thousand votes separating each candidate. As the absentees trickle in the results change. Keep checking...November 2nd isn't over yet.

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Myth of the Racist Republican

Read the article. The man has a compelling argument and I think comes to sound conclusions. Not to mention the fact that Professor Alexander is an excellent speaker.

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Intolerance Run Rampant

I consider myself a reasonable person but when it comes to name calling (outside the realm of fun) and harassing someone due to their political affiliation, I draw the line. Calling Republicans racists and assholes is taking it a bit too far. I'm all for civil political discourse; heck, that's why we started this blog. I'm all for freedom of speech after all, but maybe we all should have paid a little closer attention to the lessons we learned in Kindergarten: keep your hands to yourself and if you don't have anything reasonable to say then don't say it at all.

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No sympathy here

I will go on the record and say that I have no sympathy nor will share any kind words regarding the death of the terrorist/anti-Semitic leader, Yasser Arafat. As far as I am concerned, his Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 should retroactively stripped from his possession. There's a purveying sense of admiration throughout the Left (the terrorist apologetics who blame America first)and the media (witness that idiot BBC reporter explaining her tears of sympathy for Arafat) for Arafat's 'leadership' and 'toughness' in leading the Palestinean struggle.

I share none of that. Call me heartless. Call me horrible. I could care less.

There is nothing to be admired about a man who defined modern terrorism, who delayed the hopes of any peace between Israel and Palestine by rejecting the most generous extended olive branch from former Prime Minister Ehud Barak. There is nothing kind to say about a man who encouraged an Intifada instead of brokering for peace, a man who supports the notion that "every Zionist must be ran off the cliffs into the Red Sea".

Arafat should only be remembered as the man who delayed peace and subverted the Palestinean people for his own lust for power. Good riddance to him.

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Line Item Veto

Ahhh the line item veto, the wildest dream of every president. I'm not sure how exactly Bush intends to rectify the problems with this veto that the Court suggested in the 1990s. If he and Congress are able to then look out for a powerful political weapon that this president sorely needs to cut the fat in Congressional spending. Well, Congress could probably use a few vetos themselves for Bush's spending proposals but that's a topic for another day. Either way, I'm a fan of the line item veto. I think it is what we need to help combat these mounting deficits. Though getting around that pesky thing we call the Constitution could prove difficult...

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

New AG

White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales will be replacing Attorney General Ashcroft at the head of the Justice Dept. Ashcroft, who has been the lightning rod for the Bush Administration, commented that he was honored for the time that he spent as AG but retirement time had come. In Gonzales we get a bit of a wild card. He's been a Bush friend and confidante since the Texas Governor's mansion and has even spent time serving on the Texas Supreme Court. Sources in the Bush White House claim that Gonzales has been a proponent of the President's policies in combating the war on terror but his record is shaky at best. We knew exactly what we were getting with John Ashcroft; with Alberto Gonzales we all have to do a little guessing.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Oh I Hope So...

From the Washington Post:

Democrat John F. Kerry plans to use his Senate seat and long lists of supporters to remain a major voice in American politics despite losing the presidential race last Tuesday, and he is assessing the feasibility of trying again in 2008, friends and aides said yesterday.

A fresh and new direction for the Democratic Party obviously seems like running John Kerry again in 2008. Congrats Senator Kerry on your newfound vigor and determination; we'll see you in 2008...at least I hope so!

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Farewell Johnny

Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of Commerce Don Evans resigned from the President's cabinet today. More to come.

T

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Not in '08

To all the Democrats out there that are absolutely terrified that Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) might run for the presidency in '08 can breathe a sigh of relief. It seems that Gov. Bush doesn't have presidential ambitions...yet. I can't blame him for giving it some time; after all, I don't know if Americans would be ready for an all-out Bush dynasty. But give it some time and we might not be seeing the last of a President Bush.

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55

Stop the presses! We can all breathe a sigh of relief! It looks like Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) will be "remaining" with the GOP, though I'm sure he'll continue to never vote with the party. Senator Chafee raised many eyebrows when he commented last week that he would consider switching parties if George W. Bush was reelected. He also made it public that he didn't even vote for this Bush for President, but rather George H.W. Bush (as a symbolic protest). But then November 2nd came around and the election results started pouring in. The GOP was no longer "about to lose control of the Senate" and suddenly Chafee's only leverage was from inside his own party. Suddenly he couldn't have a change of heart and find himself with a committee chairmanship (...cough...Jeffords...cough). Either way, Chafee really is not as consequential as Jeffords. 55 or 54, the Republicans will be just fine. Now if only Ben Nelson (D-NE) wanted a committee chairmanship...

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Photo of the Day

That's a lot of red....(Republican wins by county)


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YEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGG!

The scream machine, Howard Dean, is being talked about to replace Terry MacAullife as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. This regime change is precisely what the Dems need. They just won an overwhelming victory in the House and the Senate and put Kerry in the White House thanks to a well-thought-out center-leaning agenda...

Wait, no. All of that did not happen. Republicans gained seats in both the House and Senate and Bush reclaimed the Presidency with a rare increase in votes. Clearly the agenda and ideology of the Republican party are currently more in sync with mainstream America. The liberal ideals espoused by Howard Dean in his short-lived run for the Presidency did not resonate with voters. He was too liberal. Same with John Kerry and the rest of the Democratic party in 2004. The Democrats need to move back closer to the center. They need a candidate more like Bill Clinton, not a Massachussets liberal. If the Democrats continue their leftward movements, it will be easy for Reps to pick up even more seats in 2006.

So please, please choose Dean to chair the DNC!

T

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Looking Ahead

2008...it's all that's on the mind of Democrats. Will 2008 bring success back to the Democratic Party (in the White House that is)? Only time will tell. But either way I figure that it's time to let the speculating begin.

Democratic Front-Runners (as reported in The Hill):
John Edwards
Hillary Clinton
"Rising Star" Barack Obama (?): He wasn't covered in The Hill's piece, but there is a great deal of speculation.

I am often reminded of the final scene in Naked Gun 2 1/2 where Leslie Nielsen proclaims that he wants to live in an America where the Democrats put someone up worth voting for. Were the Democrats to run a Clinton/"Rising Star" Obama ticket, or maybe an Edwards/Clinton ticket it would spell out electoral suicide for the Democrats. I know many on the Left that would agree with my assessment. Hillary Clinton, who I'm sure is a fabulous lady and is indisputably qualified for the White House, just can't win a general election. Just like Bob Dole in 1996, no one can doubt her credentials but the electorate is sure to dismiss any promise that she might hold. Clinton is a remarkably polarizing figure and any Republican running against her would simply have to run on the "I'm Not Hillary" platform to get elected. As a respected Professor of mine once explained, if you want to see a Republican go wild with hatred just mention the name Clinton. Edwards on the other hand is not polarizing and in fact could be a uniting force with that charm and 12 year old smile. The only problem with Edwards is that he won't have a soap box to stand on for the next four years. Without a seat in the Senate, Edwards is going to have trouble keeping his face in the papers. Finally, I come to "Rising Star" Obama. I know the media has made a darling out of this once obscure state senator, now senator-elect, but with only a few years of Senate experience under his belt when Electoin 2008 rolls around, I'd look for Obama at the VP spot more than at the head of any ticket. But if the media keeps pushing Obama as the best thing since sliced bread, and the rising star of the Democratic Party then we just might see an Obama/? ticket in '08.

The Republicans:
John McCain
Bill Frist (gulp)
Rick Santorum (double gulp)
Rudy Giuliani
George Pataki
Bill Owens
...the list goes on...

All this hype about Frist being the candidate in '08 better be bologna. I've never been much of a fan of Frist and don't find him that good of a Senate Majority Leader either (but I'll bite my tongue due to our pickups in the Senate this election). I don't find him particularly engaging nor do I believe anyone outside the beltway would welcome his candidacy. Rick Santorum...well I don't even need to start on the often times "outspoken" junior senator from Pennsylvania. All this talk of Santorum being what the Religious Right want in a candidate is crap. While I know the Religious Right is fun to taunt and tease for the Left, I can tell you they're not stupid. Santorum would not be a good candidate, even if he was made of gold. John McCain and his "straight talk express" style has never been that appealing to me, but I would say he stands the greatest chance in '08. Besides the fact that the Republicans seem to nominate whichever candidate whose "time has come," McCain was at Bush's side throughout the entire campaign and showed himself to be a team player. He's solid enough for religious conservatives on the issue of abortion and is a staunch free-trader and war hawk. Only problem is that pesky thing called age. John McCain, if elected in '08, would be older than Reagan when he took office. Giuliani seems to be another choice, and even though many believe he could get past it, I don't know how the credentials of "former mayor" (even if he is "America's Mayor") would play out with the electorate. How about a run against Hillary in '06 for the NY Senate seat and then a campaign as "America's Mayor" + "America's Senator?" Governor Pataki, who did remarkably well in the wake of 9/11, doesn't exactly have the charisma to be nominated, let alone elected, for the presidency. Owens is a bit of a wild card from a key swing state, so who knows how he'll play with the general public. Either way, while it's definitely too early to make any certain prediction, I think if I had to bet on '08 I'd give the Republicans a 60% chance of retaining the White House (pending of course Santorum not getting nominated). Only time will tell though.

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Sunday, November 07, 2004

Chief Justice....Thomas?

While I know Drudge is far from definitive in the "news business," this piece does raise some interest in me. A few months ago, I was sitting around and speculating with a friend of mine, who happens to be of the liberal persuasion, about who Bush would nominate for his next Chief Justice. Now that we can safely say that Bush is here to stay for another four years I would like to return to this discussion. I felt then, as I do now, that Justice Clarence Thomas would be an excellent choice for Chief Justice. Bush had previously hinted that Justice Antonin Scalia's jurisprudence was the one nearest and dearest to his heart, but Thomas is closely aligned with Scalia. In only a few decisions do they disagree and the best part is Thomas is almost 20 years younger than Scalia. While Justice Scalia has a long and distinguished record on the Court, Thomas's 10 years of court opinions leave no mystery of how he feels on Bush's key issues. Only time will tell if Thomas, or anyone for that matter, will get the nod from Bush regarding the position of Chief Justice. One thing is for certain though, whoever Bush nominates will certainly have to overcome a filibuster by the Senate Democrats. After all, 45 votes is as strong as 55 in the U.S. Senate.

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Friday, November 05, 2004

Why the Left will continue to lose

I've been meaning to comment on the rabid and putrid hatred and discontent that I've seen in the past few days in reaction to the election results. I'm going to hold off on making any remarks for a few more days to let it ride out and see how people I know who swing way to the Left continue to carry themselves. But I can say that the level of disgust and resentment not just for Bush, but for fellow Americans, is disturbing.

Here's a taste of that from Slate:

The reason the Democrats have lost five of the last seven presidential elections is simple: A generation ago, the big capitalists, who have no morals, as we know, decided to make use of the religious right in their class war against the middle class and against the regulations that were protecting those whom they considered to be their rightful prey—workers and consumers. The architects of this strategy knew perfectly well that they were exploiting, among other unsavory qualities, a long American habit of virulent racism, but they did it anyway, and we see the outcome now—Cheney is the capitalist arm and Bush is the religious arm. They know no boundaries or rules. They are predatory and resentful, amoral, avaricious, and arrogant. Lots of Americans like and admire them because lots of Americans, even those who don't share those same qualities, don't know which end is up. Can the Democrats appeal to such voters? Do they want to? The Republicans have sold their souls for power. Must everyone?

Progressives have only one course of action now: React quickly to every outrage—red state types love to cheat and intimidate, so we have to assume the worst and call them on it every time. We have to give them more to think about than they can handle—to always appeal to reason and common sense, and the law, even when they can't understand it and don't respond. They cannot be allowed to keep any secrets. Tens of millions of people didn't vote—they are watching, too, and have to be shown that we are ready and willing to fight, and that the battle is worth fighting. And in addition, we have to remember that threats to democracy from the right always collapse. Whatever their short-term appeal, they are borne of hubris and hatred, and will destroy their purveyors in the end.

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Employment report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. jobs soared at the sharpest rate in seven months in October, the government reported on Friday, helped by a surge in construction activity as hurricane-battered areas in the Southeast were rebuilt.
A surprisingly strong 337,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month -- twice the 169,000-job growth that Wall Street economists had forecast and the strongest since March when 353,000 jobs were created, the Labor Department said.
Still, the unemployment rate edged up to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent in September, but that was because more people joined the search for employment, a potentially hopeful sign.
Not only was October a strong month but the number of jobs created in the two prior months was revised up -- to 139,000 in September instead of 96,000 and to 198,000 in August instead of 128,000.

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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Specter: Courage, Conviction, and Clout?

Arlen Specter (R-PA), my favorite RINO, won his bid for reelection (or rather his primary bid) because of President Bush and the Republican leadership in the Senate. These conservatives deserted one of their own to help out Specter. Now, Specter is testing the water and challenging the Bush Administration on their judicial nominees. Perhaps it was naive to think that he would suddenly become a team player and avoid this type of challenge but I thought Snarlin' Arlen would actually be a new man. I'm not exactly what one would call an "abortion zealot" but I do favor conservative jurists. If Specter shows his willingness to get in the way of these judges, like he did Robert Bork almost 20 years ago, then his time as upcoming chair of the Judiciary Committee will be awfully short.

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quick review

After campaigning in the dreary, wet, and windy Buffalo-area for Nancy Naples, I was ecstatic to celebrate the resounding Republican victory on Election Day. Not only was POTUS re-elected; the House increased its majority to 231 seats (with 2 Lousiana seats still to be decided in the December run-off) and the Senate now stands at 55-44-1.

Biggest upset: John Thune toppling Minority Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota. Huge loss for the Democrats. A pretty good example of what happens when you lose touch with your constituency and try to make up for it with pork. Chief Obstructionist Daschle is no longer around to cause trouble, and with Harry Reid vying for the spot, it's going to be interesting to see how the Dems play themselves out (Reid is pretty conservative compared to most Democrats).

Biggest disappointment: Incumbent Phil Crane of Illinois losing his House seat to challenger Melissa Bean. Yet another example of how not to be a Congress member. Disappointing loss for the Republicans here.

Biggest "Almost a Loss": Sen. Bunning in Kentucky. 51%-49%? This should have never been close.

To follow up with the POTUS race, I hope that Bush is able to achieve what I had highlighted before in his second term. I'm hesitant to label his victory as a 'mandate', but I look forward to seeing what he will do. If you forgot, these are the 4 points I expect Bush to follow and succed upon:

1. stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan
2. tax reform
3. social security reform/health-savings account/retirement accounts
4. Supreme Court Justice and federal judge appointments

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

So It Wasn't A Tie...

Four More Years!

That's the words that I think many of us will remember most from this campaign. As I discussed in the days before the election, I never truly felt that this election was about Senator Kerry, an admirable public servant, but rather it was always about President Bush. The last four years have been controversial, to say the least, and America is still reeling from all that has happened. The War in Iraq, while I personally agree with it, isn't going phenomenally. The economy is variable depending on what spin you attach to it. Finally, the correct focus for the War on Terror is still as contested as ever. But all this said, it seems that we fought most of the campaign on what the President has or hasn't done. This was never about what John Kerry could do. My biggest surprises of the night came in the great states of South Dakota and Washington, where South Dakota ousted Senate Minority Leader Daschle and Washington seems poised to elect a Republican Governor (pending a recount of course). Congratulations to both Mr. Rossi and Congressman Thune.

As Tim stated earlier, President Bush has much to accomplish in this second term. He has already broken countless trends and traditions; now, let's try to break the tradition of a do-nothing second term. Good luck, Mr. President; you'll need all the luck you can get.

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Americans Re-Elect George Walker Bush

At approximately 2 p.m. on November 3, 2004 , Senator John F. Kerry called President George W. Bush and conceded the presidential election. The final tally as of the time of concession was 274-252 with Iowa and New Mexico yet to be called. The key to this election was the state of Ohio and its 20 electoral votes. There was a difference of opinion last night as to whether or not the outcome of the state could be predicted or not. Fox News and NBC called Ohio late in the night, but CNN and ABC refused to the make the call until they determined the number of provisional ballots. I decided to hold off my celebrating until it was made official, that meant when Senator Kerry called and conceded. I hope that President Bush can step up to the plate and deliver. In his second term he has many things to accomplish. He has to clean up the situation in Iraq and eventually bring home as many troops as possible. Iran and North Korea will need to be dealt with and their nuclear hopes and dreams dashed. The economy will need to recover, while it has been slowly growing over the past year, the President needs to jumpstart the economy. The issues of Gay Marriage and Stem Cell Research will be on the table in full-force. Plus many other unforseen high points and low points. We shall see what happens.

Congratulations to the President of the United States of America.

T

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Monday, November 01, 2004

My Baseless Prediction

So, tomorrow is election day and I’ve officially had enough. I do nothing but think about the polls and the direction of the latest trends. I can’t stop thinking about different scenarios and what would “happen if…” That having been said I’m making my prediction for tomorrow and sitting back. I hope tomorrow we’ll have President Bush reelected for another four years but I’m a realist; this election is anyone’s game:

Electoral Votes:
Bush: 289
Kerry: 249

Popular Vote:
Who the hell knows

Red States:
NV – 5
ID – 4
UT – 5
AZ – 10
CO – 9
NM – 5
WY – 3
MT – 3
ND – 3
SD – 3
NE – 5
KS – 6
OK – 7
TX – 34
MO – 11
AR – 6
LA – 9
AK – 3
MS – 6
AL – 9
GA – 15
FL – 27
SC – 8
NC -15
VA – 13
WV – 5
KY – 8
IN – 11
TN – 11
WI – 10
OH – 20

Blue States:
ME – 4
NH – 4
NY – 31
MA – 12
NJ – 15
VT – 3
RI – 4
CT – 7
DE – 3
MD – 10
DC – 3
PA – 21
MI – 17
MN – 10
IA – 7
CA – 55
OR – 7
WA – 11
HI – 4
IL - 21

If I’m correct then we should have an idea of a winner by shortly after 5 p.m. PST tomorrow. If not, it will definitely be in for a long night. I just hope we don’t have to wait until Hawaii…

Everyone vote tomorrow and brace yourselves for a wild ride.

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Timmy's Prediction

This election is close, in fact, it is very close. People have made various predictions and they could quite possibly be correct. This is my guess, so we'll see what happens in 24 hours.

Popular Vote:
Kerry - 50%
Bush - 49%
Nader - 1%

Electoral Votes:
Kerry - 269
Bush - 269

Red States:
Nevada
Idaho
Montana
North Dakota
South Dakota
Wyoming
Nebraska
Utah
Arizona
Alaska
New Mexico
Colorado
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Missouri
Arkansas
Louisiana
Wisconsin
Indiana
West Virginia
Kentucky
Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Mississippi
Alabama
Georgia
Florida

Blue States:
Washington
Oregon
California
Hawaii
Minnesota
Iowa
Illinois
Michigan
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Delware
District of Columbia
Maryland
New Jersey
New York
Connecticut
Rhode Island
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Vermont
Maine

The election will go to the House of Representatives, where Bush will get elected.

Final Winner:
BUSH

T

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Largely Irrelevant

Well, I’m back. After a long and difficult weekend in Nevada, I can safely say that I’ve done my part for the Bush campaign. The 72-hour task force amazed me; I didn’t know Republicans could be mobilized like that. It seems that both campaigns had hit the area very well, with the Kerry campaign moving from a GOTV effort to an all-out assault on the voters. While I do commend the Democrats for their efforts and abilities, I should point out that I spoke to several disgruntled households who were upset that the Kerry/Edwards campaign had come to their house three times in three days. These nice people finally replied they were voting for Bush just to get the Kerry campaign to go away. This seems to be counterproductive to the Democrats’ efforts; but hey, what do I know?

Regarding the topic at hand, I read an interesting piece by Bob Novak. He declared Kerry to be largely irrelevant in this election. This is not to say that Kerry couldn’t very well win on Tuesday, but rather saying that if he did, it would merely be a mandate on Bush’s presidency. I’m not sure if he’s right, but he is right to point out how poor of a campaigner Kerry tended to be. The missing explosives, as Bob Novak points out, were the revised “end game” for the Kerry camp. Unfortunately for the Senator, he stuck with it even as it appeared that the location of the weapons was uncertain. I understand that he probably thought this issue could be beneficial in exemplifying Bush’s weaknesses in Iraq, but to shift your entire focus to it seems a little absurd. Either way, I think it will be a great election day tomorrow and make sure to vote on November 2nd.

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