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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Pols should stand up to the voters when they disagree with them 

Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online: "Once an entitlement becomes widely held, it is permanent. Once any group swells its ranks to sufficient size that it becomes, well, a 'group' in democratic parlance, its members begin to be treated with increasing respect, no matter how wrong or 'deviant' we might have thought them not long ago. Wiccans, Druids, Goths, even fans of Margaret Cho, and, to a very limited extent, pedophiles have gained grudging acceptance.

The reasons for all this are complex, with some trends dating back to the French Revolution, when the Jacobins deified the masses and democratized God. Identity politics, pandering, multiculturalism, pragmatism, the decline of political parties, etc. all factor in too. In a sense this is just one more gripe about modernity. I do have some suggestions about how to fix things, but they'll just have to wait for another column. Fostering an appreciation for delayed gratification is Step Number 1."

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Just not a good year... 

...as far as mother nature is concerned. 4 hurricanes in Florida, an earthquake in California, and now Mt. St. Helens is acting like it might blow it's top. Yeesh.

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Reports and their sources 

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: The Runaway Prosecutor

Safire is right, reporters should be able to keep their sources confidential.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Democracy doesn't have to be perfect to work 

The WaPo gets it right.

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The Investors have decided? 

IEM 2004 US Presidential Election Winner Takes All Market Price Graph

From this graph it looks like those with money riding on the election have made their choice pretty definately right now. Rasumussen has Bush with a slight lead over Kerry, but I guess that's all it takes to win a winner take all system.

UPDATE: According to the ABC/Washington Post poll, Bush has a sizable lead going into the first debate tomorrow.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Holy... 

IEM 2004 US Presidential Election Winner Takes All Market Price Graph

Just look at that graph. It's sublime.

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Saturday, September 18, 2004

True Lies 

washingtonpost.com: Differences in Documents

Look and see the real truth.

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First Year Move-in Day... 

...is today at the UofC, so blogging will be light while I try to make sure that the first years' computers don't explode when exposed to the campus network and the raw, unadulterated internet.

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The Enemy? 

This picture is awesome, imho (thanks to Hugh Hewitt):

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Friday, September 17, 2004

The Sixth Borough of New York City 

Bet you didn't know there was a sixth borough, did you?

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The Smackdown continues 

CBS News | Poll: Bush Opens Lead Over Kerry | September 17, 2004�20:29:42

Not looking any better for Kerry. Looks like that Gallup poll from yesterday was pretty accurate after all.

UPDATE: Via Glenn Reynolds--Bush has a solid lead over Kerry among female voters. For a democratic candidate, I think such a fact means almost certain defeat. Especially when the last succeessful democratic presidential candidate, 'ol Bill, had a solid lead among female voters.

Also, I think I like "Danron" better than "Rathergate" myself.

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54-40? 

Is it time for Kerry to fight? (I hope someone gets that historical reference) If not, I think he's going to lose in a landslide sort of way.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds asks whether that poll is a fluke, and my answer is perhaps not. Bush had a big jump in the normally steady Rasmussen poll today. Could public opinion be beggining to shift in a major way? I guess we'll see.

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I've been saying this for months... 

Instapundit.com: "Worse yet, if it does somehow get Kerry elected, he'll be a cripple as soon as he's sworn in. The anybody-but-Bush crowd won't have any particular reason to support him once he's given them what they want, and he doesn't have much in the way of another constituency. It's telling that he doesn't really even have the usual tight-knit 'mafia' of longtime supporters the way that Bush, or Clinton, had. He's got a revolving-door assembly of party apparatchiks and paid consultants. That's a bad sign."

He will be weak and impotent. In a war for our nations survival as an open and free society, I don't think that is a good idea at all.

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Illinois and New Jersey toss-ups 

The Kerry Spot on National Review Online

Shocking, really. This might turn into a landslide if all of the states going from the safe column of Kerry's to toss-up end up going for Bush on election day.

I hope that happens. A mandate would be nice.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

'Pajamahadeen' 

The Corner on National Review Online: "Jim Geraghty in TKS coined the word 'Pajamahadeen' yesterday for the blogosphere."

I like it. (see this to get the pajama reference if you don't already)

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Poll on Rathergate 

Election 2004

More people think the docs are forgeries than not. I guess more people than not have an ounce of common sense and discerning judgement.

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Status 

Moved into the dorm at UChicago tonight. Unpacking right now, although it'll probably take me a few days to get everything in place in my room. I have a long day of training for my technical job helping first years get their computers up and running, so blogging will continue to be light.

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Getting 'blogged' down is no fun 

Newsday.com - News Columnists

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Monday, September 13, 2004

Safire to Rather: "Courage" 

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Those Discredited Memos: "Hey, Dan: On this, recognize the preponderance of doubt. Call for a panel of old CBS hands and independent editors to re-examine sources and papers. Courage."

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Off to Chicago Today 

Moving back to the University of Chicago today. Blogging will be light to nonexistant until at least tomorrow night and probably the night after.

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Media Bias Revealed 

Some economists have studied how major news outlets have spun economic news in headlines under the different Presidential administrations since 1991, and *gasp* they've discovered that Mr. Clinton recieved better headlines covering economic news even after adjustments are made for the respective states of the economy under each president.

What a surprise. At least the NYTs ran the story, although I'm curious as to what page they buried it on in the print edition.

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Sunday, September 12, 2004

9-11 

What can I say that hasn't already been said. Consider a moment of silence my salute to my country. And read this poetic rememberance.

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Friday, September 10, 2004

But first, some good news 

You may have been weeping that I'll be busy for the next week (although now that I've begun reading news sites, who knows how much blogging I'll do today). Since I feel your pain, let me give you something to cheer you up: Bush 52% Kerry 43%

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Transitioning Back to UChicago 

I'm beginning to prep for the move from Ohio back to the University of Chicago for the academic year. Blogging will probably be light for the next week because of the time it'll take me to move in and settle. I'll try to keep up with the news, though, so I won't be cluelessly opining at the end of next week.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Mr. Reynolds laying the smackdown... 

...with the cold, hard truth.

MSNBC - GlennReynolds.com: "Kerry's candidacy, like the 'Dead Body That Claims It Isn't' in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is not dead yet, and will soon be claiming, 'I feel fine.' But it's hurting, and most of its wounds are self-inflicted."

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A Bad Comparison... 

but I couldn't resist putting these two images side by side after I read the article about Kerry's bill banning certain firearms that included the image of him with a shotgun (courtesy of Drudge).


UPDATE: Glenn has a lengthy post on this story of Kerry's gun legislation.

Another UPDATE: And Kerry shoots himself in the foot! Ahhh, what a great day for theme posting.

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Get your undergrad papers published 

The Undergraduate Quarterly Journal

Hey, better than nothing, right? I'll probably send in a few if I find the fine print agreable.

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Miracles of modern medicine. 

The casualty to death ratio of Americans in Iraq is historically low.

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Ouch...(will the bleeding stop?) 

Apparently Kerry recieved some boos from a hard-core democratic town here in Ohio. (One again, thanks to Mr. Reynolds).

Some more exclusive bad news for Kerry here at MaroonBlog (Must credit MaroonBlog!!!!!!!!!). This resident of the swing state of Ohio is voting for Bush.

Yep...MaroonBlog keeps deliving the bad news to Kerry.

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Instapundit: Dukakis Watch Continues 

Glenn Reynolds continues his coverage of this meme. Let me include the following visual joy if you haven't seen it yet:

UPDATE: This picture on the frontpage of the NYT site doesn't help Kerry much either. He looks like he overdosed on his zoloft this morning and is now hallucinating and trying to relive his navy days by directing an F-14 in for a landing:

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Vacation's Over 

Think my hiatus for the holiday is over now, so I'll be back at full strength either later tonight or tomorrow. Welcome to new readers Scroll down if you'd like=)

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Saturday, September 04, 2004

John Forbes Dukakis? 

Glenn Reynolds has a piece on Kerry's floundering campaign which includes a quote of the following humerous bit:
A friend of mine tracked me down a little while ago to relate a dream. He was walking through a big office that he realized was the headquarters of the Kerry campaign. He saw a door marked 'Campaign Manager' and entered, to see Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, appropriately enough, sitting behind the desk. As he drew nearer, however, the woman suddenly ripped off her Cahill mask, behind which was ... Susan Estrich, Michael Dukakis' campaign manager! At that point, he woke up screaming.
Glenn also makes a very gripping observation: "One question for voters -- among many, many others that we're apparently not supposed to be asking -- is this: If Kerry can't run a campaign, how can he run the Presidency?"

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RNC had better ratings than DNC 

Thanks to Pejman for the heads up:

Reuters: "Although the election is not until November, President Bush and his Republican party have bested John Kerry and the Democrats as far as U.S. television ratings are concerned, research showed on Friday

Nearly 28 million Americans -- more than a quarter of them watching cable's Fox News Channel alone -- tuned in to see Bush accept his nomination for a second term at the climax of the Republican National Convention on Thursday, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Bush's national TV audience topped Kerry's speech at the Democratic convention in July by just over 3 million viewers, among those watching Big Three commercial networks ABC, CBS and NBC and the three leading cable news outlets -- Fox, CNN and MSNBC.

The Republican meeting as a whole also drew bigger audiences than the Democrats, averaging 22.6 million viewers over four nights at New York City's Madison Square Garden, compared with 20.4 million mustered by Kerry and his party in Boston in July."

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Eurocrats are funny 

Thanks to Mr. Belton of Oxblog to this very funny article in the Economist.

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Bush: Second Term to be transformational? 

That's what David Brooks thinks it could be if Bush lives up to what he said in his acceptance speech.

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Is 'Kerry Screwed'? 

Perhaps.

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Bush Bounce substantive 

Mr. Reynolds has a very extensive post on new poll numbers that confirm the Time poll from yesterday was not a fluke: Bush has an 11 point lead in the new Newsweek poll as well.

Rasmussen
has had Bush at over a 5 point lead for the past three days as well. Generally, his fluctuations have been smaller than other polls, so this lead is significant.

The finding that Bush jumped 4-5 points between before and after his speech makes sense to me. It was a spectacular speech.

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Good line 

On FNC, the following line grabbed me as both clever and wise: "Saying 'its the economy, stupid' is like shouting that you're stupid.".

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King Kong a mistake? 

Is Peter Jackson's remaking of King Kong a mistake? I don't see how he can turn this idea into a good movie. But, then again, no one thought that Lord of the Rings could be done successfully. As we know, Jackson succeeded resoundingly in that endeavor. I wish him success, but I'm skeptical.

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"What If Bush Wins" by a panel of 16 experts 

That's what the Washington Monthly has on its website. I'm going to read through some of these opinions and blog about it, most likely.

Now that Bush seems to have a sizable lead, these articles seem to have more value since it looks like Bush has a good shot to win.

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Time Magazin Poll: Bush 11 points over Kerry 

Wow! I'm speechless. CNN just reported this. And even before Bush's speech (numbers from Tuesday through Thursday, I think). Crap. He gets a 15-20 point lead, which is quite possible since we still have to get poll data from his speech I'm going on vacation until after the election (well probably not). This is spectacular. Calling the GOP convention a resounding success might be an understatement at this point.

What's ridiculous, though, is that CNN only mentioned the numbers for a sec and then broke out to a weather report on the hurricane. Don't want to spread this bad news for fear of a bandwagon effect, maybe?

UPDATE: Glenn's got Time's press release on his site with some more specific data.

Here's Time's link to the poll press release.

I'm still giddy from this. Spectacular! And Time's poll is usually slanted against Bush. Does this mean other polls will have an even bigger bump? I guess we'll see. I bet there will be.

UPDATE: Now that my emotions have calmed down, I notice that my excitement may come off as being a partisan hack. Well, I've been watching the convention all week, and the speakers really moved me into supporting the President more strongly, especially the remarks of the President last night. What he said and conveyed really moved me. Like I said last night, he's a man I will follow. I don't think my honest support of Bush is being a partisan hack. I feel that I'm a patriotic American that's putting his spirit behind the candidate he supports. And isn't that what citizens are supposed to do?

On the other hand, when I criticize the NYTs or the Washington Post for unbalanced coverage, I think I'm still being fair. They are a major source of news that many people rely on, not a small blog. They should present both sides of an issue fairly, especially since they claim that's what they do right now. I claim to give opinions, they claim to give news. That's a major diference.

If Kerry was more appealing, maybe I'd have more good things to say about him. But compared to Bush, I really can't see anything about him that I like as a candidate for president. So, I'm going to say that, because I want my country being led for the next four years by George W. Bush.

Another UPDATE: CNN finally got to the data. They said it looked like Bush had gotten a bounce, showed a graphic with the numbers, and then moved on. Not much analysis. Maybe more later?

UPDATE: Thanks to Mr. Reynolds, here's another link to poll info at Powerline.

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Cool: OSD.mil 

Someone was reading my blog from osd.mil (office of the secretary of defense, I believe). I could only hope it'd be rumsfeld or even the awesome (The Economist called him a velociraptor, which I think is a complement) Wolfowitz=)

Anyway, back to regularly scheduled blogging.

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WaPo is being unfair 

if not biased in one of its assesment's of Bush's speech. It says that Bush said little about his plan for his second term, but I don't see how that's true. Aside from laying out the guiding principles of his foreign policy, he listed off many sorts of reforms that he would like to enact if granted a second term and provided the web address for an extensive, detailed policy document. If that's not specific enough to at least not warrant complaints by the WaPo, than nothing will be. The WaPo is just not being fair, and this after it publishes a fair editorial regarding the speech.

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Krugman must exagerate or lie 

"The promised economic boom hasn't materialized, Iraq is a bloody quagmire, and Osama bin Laden has gone from "dead or alive" to he-who-must-not-be-named." Thus spoketh the pundit. He also preaches that Zell Miller said political opposition is "treason" (the quote being from Krugman. Zell said no such thing).

I use this religious trope because those that believe Krugman must take what he says as a matter of faith. However, unlike evidence of God, we don't have to search our hearts for evidence on these subjects. Well, unless we want to come to the conclusions Krugman does. Real evidence and not the exagerations of a pundit that one's mind can disect do not point to quagmire in Iraq, does not point to a failed economy, and does not point to Osama bin Laden as the end-all of the war on terror. Mr. Krugman asserts that these ideas are in fact true. However, an unbiased observer can understand that they're not.

Good GDP growth, falling unemployment, coming Iraqi and Afghani elections, and the constant death of terrorists abroad instead of citizens at home point to successes, not failures. They, however, don't agree with Mr. Krugman's political sensibilities, so such facts must be ignored. Mr. Krugman seems to be attempting to follow the lead of the NYTs writer Mr. Bush quoted last night that called the occupation of Germany a failure. It's unfortunate that he is so biased. Does a biased member of the media, the 'fourth estate' that feels its task is to safeguard the people by informing them, subvert democracy by opining this way?

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Rasmussen Poll Lead Holds for Bush 

Prez track 2004

Most of the interviews happened before Zell's speech. We'll have to see what happens the next few days. I expect Bush to gain several more points, especially after the full force of his speech is felt in the polls a few days from now.

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The vote of Vodkapundit 

Vodkapundit has some great thoughts even while recovering from his tipsy liveblogging of the speech:
There was no overriding theme to President Bush’s speech, except for the unspoken one: “This is who I am.” No, wait -- let me amend that. The unspoken theme was, “This is who we are.” As Americans.

For all its faults, for all its overtly- and overly-religious tones, this small-l libertarian prefers George Bush’s America to John Kerry’s. I don’t care for NASCAR. I’m not much for country music, Sundays at church, blue-eyed soul, or faith-based initiatives.

But Bush made me feel welcome all the same. No, wait – let me amend that statement, too. Bush made me feel like his place is somewhere I’d like to spend some time and get to know the locals. You know -- down a few beers, chat up the natives and learn their quaint customs.

I don’t feel as welcome, as at home, in the America Kerry painted for us tonight.

My brain does, too.
This assesment is interesting, but his conclusion about the nature of each campaign and candidate is even more interesting:
John Kerry, the challenger, is running as an incumbent. He’s hoping you’ll vote based on his history (even if that history is 35 years in the past). He’s relying on endorsements from people he served with. He’s betting on the status quo, only better.

George W. Bush, the incumbent, revealed tonight that he’s running as a challenger. He wants to shake things up on the domestic front. He wants to fight the good fight abroad. He’s betting he can change the status quo, even though he’s responsible for some of it.

A challenger-as-incumbent is someone with nothing to offer. An incumbent-as-challenger is someone who, despite four years in office, has yet to go stale.

Personally, I like my presidents how I like my news, my website, and pretty girls in short skirts:

Fresh.
I think he's right. Bush is running to change the country. Kerry is running to beat Bush. I'd much rather change the country and the world for the better. That's why I support Bush.

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Bush swings for the fences and triumphs 

It looks that way at least, from the latest focus group news: "From a Frank Luntz focus group tonight: Bush beat Kerry by 15 to 6 among our swing voters. Fully 13 of them decided because of Bush's speech."

Must be because people are think of the speech in a similar fashion to Pejman:
None of that matters, however. Because the President's address was--to my mind--the best speech he gave since September 20, 2001.
...
But overall, this speech was a boffo performance. Gone was the stilted delivery and the awkward body language that marked so many Bush speeches. Instead, we had a polished delivery that was backed with passion and conviction. George W. Bush got up this evening and gave a speech he believed in to his very bones. Some will agree and some will disagree with the content of that speech. But few will be able to deny that on a night when the President's political fortunes demanded that he stand and deliver, he did just that.
The President's speech that day was amazing. The events of nine days before had caused the President to speak with an honest confidence and authority. I think he spoke with such qualities today as well, so think I agree with such high praise of tonight's remarks.

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A Good Editorial 

Mr. Bush's Case (washingtonpost.com)

The WaPo doesn't agree with Bush, but they do present him rather fairly in their editorial. I commend them for this, and incourage you to read it.

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Not good reporting in critique articles 

Opening his piece in an attempt to sound clever, NYTimes reporter Todd Purdum does a poor job as a reporter: "For a nation divided over his stewardship, distressed about the economy and dubious about the war with Iraq, President Bush had one overriding message last night: He's still the one."

That statement makes Bush sound self-centered, which his speech obviously showed that he isn't. Mr. Purdum, stop trying to be Maureen Dowd. You'll be better off for it.

The WaPo article is better, but they first begin with criticism--but it is a political article. However, it might be better to give a summary of the good and bad in the first paragraph and then elaborate in case people are skimming.

UPDATE: Let's also compare the first two paragraphs of the news articles on the speech. First, the WaPo:
NEW YORK, Sept. 2 -- President George W. Bush accepted the Republican nomination for a second term Thursday night with a lofty speech casting his reelection as crucial to the spread of democracy across the world and to the security of Americans at home.

In an address that subordinated domestic policy proposals to the campaign against terrorism, Bush delivered an emotional appeal that he be viewed as the leader best suited to keep the nation safe. The president proposed a simplification of the federal tax code and renewed his call for a revamped Social Security program and a host of smaller initiatives ranging from medical savings accounts to more testing of high-school seniors. But he devoted the bulk of his speech, and his rhetorical flourishes, to the national security message that forms the core of his candidacy.
Now the NYTs:
George W. Bush accepted the Republican nomination to run for a second term as president last night, outlining proposals that he vowed would create new jobs and expand health care and educational opportunities over the next four years, while he battered Senator John Kerry for what Mr. Bush said was a wavering record on national security and the economy.

At the culmination of a four-day convention in New York, Mr. Bush repeatedly and soberly referred to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as he portrayed his first term in the White House as one shaped by that tragedy. Defining his presidency with historic sweep, he suggested that Mr. Kerry would falter in the face of the continuing threat to America.

I think one can clearly see that the NYTs article, in comparison to the WaPo article, is much more slanted, since it discusses Bush attacking Kerry as being the center of the speech. The WaPo, on the other hand, notes both the domestic and national security parts of the speech, and notes that national security was at the heart of Bush's message.

I have a possible explanation for the NYTs bias. If you're supporting Kerry, than naturally the parts that are critiquing Kerry will jump out at the reporter. If the major media would understand that their political viewpoints influence their coverage, they might be better at giving more balanced, better coverage. Of course, they can only do that if they want to.

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Zell grabbing swingers? 

It seems that what people needed was someone who sounded serious and urgent to tell them that national security matters. He convinced one swing voter. Says Peter Robinson of NRO:
The question bouncing around the Corner yesterday: Although we conservatives loved Zell Miller, did Miller’s speech change any votes?

Well, folks, this just in from Paul Crichton, my publicist at HarperCollins. Paul is a hip young denizen of Manhattan and master of media—not, in other words, the most promising material for the GOP. But just listen:

“What a speech by Miller last night. He might have secured my vote for Bush with that speech. Being the loose free spirit that I am, I don't necessarily agree with Bush's social and moral values -- FCC media censorship, religious fundamentalism etc. But I think I really have to put those issues on the back-burner and look at the real issue at hand--national security.”

National security, the real issue. Zell done did it.

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Kerry Scream? (Midnight Press Conference) Kind of a Liveblog 

(*Note* The following is a bit rough, but I was trying to type as things happened on the TV)

His nervous giggling is scaring me. Will he flip out more?

UPDATE: His jokes are really bad too.

LOL. Fox broke out of the rally, and CNN broke in late.

Now that Kerry's going in his normal, unpassionate speaking style, he just looks tired. Must be all that worrying.

Another UPDATE: The crowd really isn't that reved up either. They're not reacting very strongly to his lines, even the 'good' ones.

Another UPDATE: Fox isn't covering the rally. They never broke back in. Maybe they should, Kerry is really not very good, and pales in comparison to the President tonight.

Yet Another UPDATE: Kerry is talking about stuff, but he's not being specific. He's just kind of rambling. I mean, Bush gives the link to a massive policy document, and Kerry gives us stuff like "We need a president who understands that we need to be less energy-dependent"(paraphrase". Okay, Kerry.

Kerry is just really negative. Bush talked about tought decisions and tough moments, but didn't seem negative, even when he was taking on Kerry. All Kerry is doing is bashing Bush. You'd think the dems would have moved past that. Howard Dean started running for president over a year ago. You've had time to build on the message!

"We need to get the target off of...the american soldier." And what, move it to the American civilian?

UPDATE: Larry King just called Kerry "rip-roaring". He really doesn't seem really rip-roaring to me. He seems flat.

Larry also called this an "unprecidented response". I agree that such a move by a candidate is unprecidented--I think it shows Kerry's desperation. However, I don't think I'd call it a response. It's not articulate enough to deserve that title. Unless Kerry really has imploded. He'll be hoping people ignore this moment in the coming weeks...unless he's gone nuts completely. Then maybe we'll be getting some 'I have a scream' speeches after all.

CNN just broke from the rally. Glad they noticed it was poor as well. I'd rather hear the pundits talk. At least they have move substance than Kerry (low-blow, I know).

UPDATE: "Ok, I definitely think we now need to see his medical records."

Oh, Larry just called the Kerry rally a speech while he was introdusing Cuomo. Didn't look like a speech to me. Looked more like a stream of conciousness.

Cuomo just said that the RNC was the best thing that could happen to Democrats. He's cracked and not offering sane analysis. Why does Larry have him on there? The repub commentator is very articulate, and the MTV guy isn't bad either. They think, but Cuomo is nuts.

The BET woman Larry has on thinks he made connections out in the viewing audience. She's a dem, but she has sense. If Kerry doesn't get serious and realize that Bush now has an edge and they need to be really smart to come back. They're going to be screwed.

"The gloves came off" with Kerry's rally. Too bad he's punching himself.

UPDATE: Yes! The guy with the bowtie on Larry King just said that it looked like Kerry was rambling, while Bush didn't because he had a prepared speech. Mo Roca just called Kerry a "buzzkill". Heh.

UPDATE: A Kerry Implosion?

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Zell a uniter and not divider? 

Goldberg says it's a good think he wasn't named Cleophus.

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Kerry Implodes? 

That's what NRO's Kerry spot thinks, and they might be right. This press conference is bad. If he can't be more articulate than Bush this close after people just watched Bush on TV, he just makes himself look bad because people will compare the two.
KERRY IMPLODES [09/02 11:58 PM]

Kerry, just now: “Now that the president has finally finished his speech…”

Finally? Finally, drone-man? My hair has turned gray waiting for you to finish a sentence!

“I have five words for Americans: This is your wake up call!”

That’s six, bonehead.

Mark it. 11:56, September 2, 2004, the Kerry campaign imploded during a hastily-thrown-together, poorly-thought-out late night rally in Ohio.

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*Sigh* 

Atrios is wacked.

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Softballs 

Aaron Brown is throwing a lot of them to Maureen Dowd on CNN.

UPDATE: Unrelated, Maureen seems to be an introvert like me. I can't hate her nearly as much now.

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A Liveblog of Bush's Speech UPDATED 

ProfessorBainbridge.com: Live-blogging the RNC: Bush's Night

UPDATE: Here's also some thoughts from Oxblog:"10:56 PM – Democracy discredits hate. Democracy will transform the Middle East. Stop it! Stop it! George, if you keep sounding so idealistic, I’m going to have vote for you!...It was a masterful performance. In a word, presidential."

Here's another one, from Jay Nordlinger, which includes the following:
Ladies and gentlemen, I will be blunt: This was easily one of the best political speeches I have ever heard. It was one of the best texts, and one of the best performances. I thought, when it was through, "If America doesn't want to reelect this man — this measured, proven, smart, brave, canny, compassionate, balanced, inspired man — then America is a country with extremely serious problems."
I agree. It was masterfully written, especially the second half, and the president's honest delivery just made it all the better. This convention has been filled with great speeches, Rudy, Arnold, Zell, but I think Bush wins. It may be because he's president and ads weight to his words, or it may just be because he's a great guy, but that's irrelevant. I loved the speech.

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After the laundry list 

Bush had some good policy ideas, although I wonder how much they will cost. However, the second part of the speech was brilliant. I want this man to be my President because I have faith in him and can follow him.

UPDATE: This line was dynamite. I love it: "some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called 'walking'".

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I will follow that man to the ends of the earth. 

Home run or slam dunk doesn't come close to how good that speech was. When Bush was talking about the survivors of soldiers killed in combat and looked for a moment to be on the verge of tears, he sold me. I'll follow him as my President to the ends of the earth. George W. Bush is a great man.

UPDATE: Here is the text of his speech. I think his delivery was very good, and gives more meaning than the text itself.

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Bed Wetting attack ad? 

I don't know if it's a joke by 700 WLW Cincinnati, a great radio station that is known for running humerious tongue-in-cheek ads, but there is currently an attack ad targeting a man named Robert Peters that accuses him of bed wetting until he was 13 and being stood up by his high school prom date. It ended with the line "A failed past and a failed future". I was a bit shocked by the ridiculous nature of the accusations. There have been other commercials that have accused him of making fun of old people and being racist as well. But this latest one is just too much.

If it's actually real, I hope such negative ads aren't highly effective; however, I imagine they are. But bed wetting?!!!

I'll see what I can find out about this ad.

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Slate leaning left 

MSN Slate Magazine

Wow. Looking at Slate's front page today, one can see that there is almost no positive remarks about he GOP, the President, or his policies. It's all negative.

Guess we know that Slate stands with the 'Times'.

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Dow Liked Zell? 

Dow is up by over 100 points right now. I bet traders likes hearing about a strong American foreign policy. Safety is good for business.

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A Goldwater Revival 

A Goldwater Revival (washingtonpost.com):
Four decades after a Republican convention in San Francisco nominated Sen. Goldwater, sealing the ascendancy of conservatism in the party, his kind of conservatism made a comeback at the convention here. That conservatism -- muscular foreign policy backing unapologetic nationalism; economic policies of low taxation and light regulation; a libertarian inclination regarding cultural questions -- is not fully ascendant in the party. But the prominent display and rapturous reception of Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger demonstrated that such conservatism is not an insurmountable impediment to a person's reaching the party's highest echelons.
...
The reemergence into Republican respectability of conservatism with a socially libertarian cast -- Goldwaterism -- is a development with a large potential to discomfort the Democratic Party. The reemergence can make the Republican Party more appealing to many young and suburban voters, two cohorts in which Democrats have recently made substantial gains.
...
The Republican Party's challenge is to keep its old fissures closed while relaxing the stringency of its social issues catechism. Republicans can derive encouragement from a long-lived coalition that was composed of elements far more discordant than a Republican Party that includes John Ashcroft as well as Giuliani and Schwarzenegger. FDR's "Roosevelt Coalition," which was born with the New Deal and did not crumble for four decades, balanced Northern liberals, intellectuals, organized labor and Southern segregationists.
...
The Republican Party remains firmly on the side of the pro-life and religiously motivated social conservatives. But here this week the party began in earnest the task of making others not only more comfortable within the party but eligible to rank among its leaders.

Goldwater was, in a way, the first angry man of the angry '60s. But he actually smiled far more than he scowled. In his last years some conservatives excommunicated him because of his support for abortion rights and his relaxed views regarding homosexuality. However, this week his spirit is smiling broadly.

I have no problem with Guiliani or Arnold being in the party. In fact, I'm proud of it. I may agree with the social conservative strain, since I'm evangelical myself, but libertarian strains don't fundamentally offend me. If it supports federalism and lets states determine if they want to have conservative policies, I can live with that. The only reason conservatism has to institute national policies is because courts have been preventing federalism from being allowed to flourish.

If the Republican party has a litmus test (the dems seem to have many, like national candidates must be for abortion), than it should be a strong American foreign policy that makes it safe. That, after all, is the most important issue. Domestic issues are very contingent on domestic safety--one can't live their life in America and discuss what freedoms come with that life if they're being attacked by villains.

Guiliani and Arnold support a strong America, and I can proudly stand with them as both a Republican and an American.

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GOP: Evolutionary Advantage 

Political Victory: From Here to Maternity (washingtonpost.com):
"If Gore's America (and presumably John Kerry's) is reproducing at a slower pace than Bush's America, what does this imply for the future? Well, as the comedian Dick Cavett remarked, 'If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either.' When secular-minded Americans decide to have few if any children, they unwittingly give a strong evolutionary advantage to the other side of the culture divide. Sure, some children who grow up in fundamentalist families will become secularists, and vice versa. But most people, particularly if they have children, wind up with pretty much the same religious and political orientations as their parents. If 'Metros' don't start having more children, America's future is 'Retro.'"

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Wine and its critics 

From the New Yorker: "Remarkably, nowhere in wine writing, including Parker’s and Echikson’s, would a Martian learn that the first reason people drink wine is to get drunk."

Indeed.

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What does it take to be a prolific writer? 

The answer? "[T]ea and sociopathy."

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Bush Bounce 

Prez track 2004

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Zell and Jackson 

Glenn Reynolds have a post on Zell, the reaction to his speech last night (among focus groups of swing voters, it looks good so far), Zell's throwback style of speaking, and his relation to Jackson.

Guess I have some Jackson in me, even though I'm not a great fan of his presidency either.

UPDATE: More on Jackson and how he was at the podium and Zell was merely an illusion.

Another UPDATE: Here's some articulate points from a reader of NRO on positive reactions to Zell.

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More praise of 'Giving them Zell" UPDATED 

Peter Robinson has this to say:
Zell Miller? What a speech. Genuine emotion is rare enough in politics, but anger? Righteous anger? Zell Miller stands in a line that runs all the way back to Jeremiah — but of which we see almost nothing in today’s Oprahfied context. And once again, the contrast with the Democratic convention could hardly have proven any sharper: Whereas the Democrats suppressed any display of anger in Boston, in the Republicans, the milquetoasts of American politics, went right ahead and cut loose in New York, cheering Miller with gorgeous abandon. And take a look at Miller’s text. Political prose just don’t get any hotter — or more memorable — than this:

[I]t is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.

No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.

But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution.


I suppose I’d have to grant that at least Dick Cheney did his job, conveying a sobriety and maturity that contrast with the boyishness and, well, lightness of John Edwards. But Zell Miller? Mine eyes have seen the glory.


UPDATE: Pejman has a very nice critique of tonights speeches and their implications for the future of the campaign.

On the other hand, Andrew Sullivan is not very happy with Zell Miller's red meat. He says that the 'anger' in Miller's speech in contrast with Obama's 'inclusive' message is a turning point in the history of the Republican Party. Well, maybe as much of a turning point as Dean's Scream or the insanity of Michael Moore. Except that at least Zell was in the tradition of fiery political oratory of the past, and full of great zingers. Zell is much better at speaking and stinging than other, anti-republican democrats have been.

Another UPDATE: Robert Tagorda has thoughts and a roundup on both Zell and Cheney, both worth reading.

A third UPDATE: Political Animal thinks that the Republicans went to far, that they "roared too loudly" and that it'll hurt them with swing voters. We'll see, but I think that because Zell's speech was so well delivered and well-written that it'll either have no effect or more likely hurt the image of Kerry in the minds of swing voters, thus either discouraging them from voting at all or voting Bush, which for Republicans is good because Bush is ahead in the polls right now.


Last UPDATE: I couldn't resist quoting Mr. Dreher from NRO's Corner:
For the record, I don't think there will be a more compelling speech given this fall on Bush's behalf than the one Zell Miller delivered last night. He would surely resent the comparison, but Zell blitzkrieged Kerry like Sherman did Atlanta. I kept thinking last night: this is like listening to my dad in 1979, when the rage and contempt we Southerners felt toward Jimmy Carter for his weakness, which brought on national humiliation, drove so many Democrats to the Reagan camp. If you ask me, I think Zell just dug up the stinking corpse of the effete Carter presidency, and rubbed it all over John Kerry. On the national security issue, and to a lesser extent the God thing, Zell reminded Reagan Democrats why they became GOP voters in the first place. If the Republicans are smart, they'd turn Zell loose this fall in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other battleground states where there were a lot of Reagan Democrats a generation ago.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Speeches: Give me Fire! UPDATED 

Here's the text of Zell's speech, and the text of Cheney's speech.

I wish American politics had more of the flavor that it used to. I want more speeches like Zell Miller's. I want more 'Cross of Gold'-style speeches. Alas, I won't get my wish, since people want politicians to be sensitive.

Too bad. Zell was great.

UPDATE: Here's some thoughts on the interviews Zell had after his speech.

Also, Mr. Glenn Reynolds reports that Jennings and Stephanopoulos looked unhappy. I guess that means that the speeches weren't so bad for Republican chances=)

Another UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg says the following about Zell: "But man-o-man-o-shevitz. Kerry must have smashed a bottle of chablis against the wall after hearing that."

Heh and Indeed all at once.

Here's also my favorite lines: After listing the weapons systems Kerry voted to kill, Zell had the following slam: "This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?"

Also: "
I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together. I admire this man. I am moved by the respect he shows the first lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America."

A great way of merging patriotism and faith. I agree with his sentiments wholeheartedly.

A third UPDATE: Here's some great lines from Zell's speech and some feedback from Zell and the pundits. A notable one is Zell challenging Chris Mathews to a duel.

A fourth UPDATE: Well, Political Animal has given me some political fire. And I think his anger probably reflects how rhetorically devestating Zell's speech was.

A fifth UPDATE: David Adesnik writes very favorably of Cheney's speech and calls it "Presidential". He, however, calls Zell "pathetic". He points out that there was loud cheering to the "lie" that Zell said that Kerry would let Paris decide American foreign policy. True, it's not word for word correct. But it's a rhetorically just point, that Kerry wants to listen to Paris' opinion. Such lines used to be par for the course in politics. They're clever, they're biting, and they're rhetorically strong. Hence the crowd's response.

I think it's important to understand that one can make a legitimate rhetorical point through exageration, satire, irony. I want that back in political speech. More William Jennings Bryan and less Bill Clinton.

A Sixth UPDATE: Here a video of Zell's speech.

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Not an economic girlie-man 

Larry Kudlow puts some numbers behind Arnold's strong words on economic issues, and shows there's substance behind the brilliant rhetoric.

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That winning feeling 

Mr. Derbyshire writes that the Republicans are much more inclusive than the democrats at their convention:
Similarly with Monday night's speeches from John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Good, solid, stirring speeches, both of them, right on target. Again, these guys aren't on my personal top-ten list of favorite Republicans, but who cares? George W. Bush is on that list, and if they help him get re-elected, and help bring out voters for the congressional races, they are welcome at my house any time. Besides, as Brit Hume pointed out in the after-show commentary, one thing being demonstrated here is that Republicans have a way bigger tent than the Democrats, with far wider tolerance of dissent on policy positions. All of this helps appeal to ordinary non-political people.
I tend to agree. When was the last time you saw an anti-abortion politico speak at a Democratic convention?

Mr. Derbyshire also writes that these last two days have boosted his spirits:
All in all, it's been a great two days. This time last week I was glum, with the polls wobbling around 50-50 and the media droning on about Iraq, gas prices, a flat economy, and the rest. Now, seeing these great speakers — big-name American stars and heroes with wide appeal — praising the president, speaking forthrightly about the war, expressing good American optimism and faith, I'm getting that winning feeling.

Sure, a lot can happen in nine weeks. The Bush haters still hate Bush, Soros and the Hollywood crowd still have plenty of money to hose around, and Iraq is still unstable. Sure, sure, things might go wrong; but I do believe we're going to win this one.
They've boosted mine too. Things seem to be looking up for the Bush crowd.

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*Sigh* 

I clearly went to the wrong college to be finding many fit GOP ladies.

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Communists for KERRY 

Heh.

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Appeasement bites...back 

"C'est l'appeasement"

link | posted by Jason Broander : 3:45 PM
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NATO Incompetency foils spy efforts 

Oxblog has the story. The more I read stuff like this, and how the CIA is the wipping boy of the government, the lower it falls on my list of potential jobs after college.

link | posted by Jason Broander : 3:41 PM
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Not hip to be square 

Republicans hipper than democrats? Maybe the fact that the speeches are so much better at the RNC partially reflects this?

link | posted by Jason Broander : 3:33 PM
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Blogs vs Big Media Bias Redux 

Mr. Reynolds again writes on blogs versus big media bias, and this time includes a new and interesting conclusion on why more blogs seem to favor Republican causes:
... there are plenty of lefty blogs doing their best to beat Mr. Bush. But so long as the mainstream media are lazy, and biased -- and strongly in favor of a Democrat -- the fact-checking and media-bypassing power of the blogosphere is likely to disproportionately favor Republicans. That's not so much a reflection on blogs, alas, as it is a reflection on big media.

link | posted by Jason Broander : 3:26 PM
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Alan Keyes: Bush's Stalking Horse? 

Interesting theory from Vodkapundit. Is Karl Rove really a svengali?

link | posted by Jason Broander : 3:16 PM
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Troubling News in Iran 

There are reports that the mullahs are planning to turn many tons of 'yellowcake' Uranium into weapons-grade material. This is quite troubling.

I'm really unsure what the US can or should do (invading and possibly having to institute a draft because of such infvasion is only an option in the event of an attack at this point - although it should be noted we have troops in countries on both sides of Iran, so this time we could actually wage a two front war if necessary), but I certainly know that the UN really doesn't seem to care what Iran is doing at this point. Where are the strongly-worded security council declarations from the UN? Or did the fact that the US actually honored one of them when it invaded Iraq discourage the Security Council from such actions?

link | posted by Jason Broander : 2:59 PM
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Getting pretty bad in Russia 

I think the latest development in Russia only reinforces why we need to have a strong and committed chief executive willing to continue to lead us in the hard fight against terrorism.

link | posted by Jason Broander : 2:42 PM
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IEM Irregularities 

I keep touting how great the IEM is, but Mr. Reynolds and a reader of his have enlightened me to the fact that the way that the final price for the day is determined is quite screwy. Guess I might need to look at more than one electronic market to get a better picture.

UPDATE: Could Enron Veterans for Truth have anything to do with this?

link | posted by Jason Broander : 2:32 PM
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Girlie-Man 

Mr. Reynolds has a nice post on Mr. Kerry's anger that the aides leading him along haven't been running his (maybe that's generous, using 'his') campaign that well lately. I think Arnold's famous (and humerous) invective might include Kerry under it's wide umbrella. And as one of Mr. Reynolds' readers points out, "Not the most reassuring picture of someone who wants to be the world's most powerful executive."

link | posted by Jason Broander : 2:27 PM
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Freedom and Order 

From Pejman:

Politics is the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social order.

--Barry Goldwater

Of course, the obvious questions arise: what is 'freedom', what is 'order', and how much order is necessary. But the statement still strikes a cord with me.

link | posted by Jason Broander : 1:47 AM
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Swift Boats and Double Standards 

Nice to see the WaPo print an OpEd on this issue of the conservative 527s attracting more scrutiny than the liberal ones.

UPDATE: Vodkapundit has some more bullet points for the list (hat tip: Mr. Reynolds.)

link | posted by Jason Broander : 1:45 AM
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Nice Piece of Photography 


The appropriatness of the comparison aside, this is a skillfully shot photo.


link | posted by Jason Broander : 1:35 AM
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Hurricanes not in New York 

While the Governator (or, but not to his face, Gubernator), may have wipped up the delegates like a Texas Twister (this post is making me feel shameless now) hurricane Francis looks pretty darn bad. I'll be praying for Floridians.

link | posted by Jason Broander : 1:25 AM
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