Thursday, January 29, 2004

Bathroom Blues
I hate it when somebody comes into the bathroom and starts talking to you. That's the last place that conversation should be undertaken. Here's an interesting story about a guy's mens room encounter with a talkative Senator.

News Alert
Considering the meltdown of journalism ethics at The New York Times and now the BBC, I think criticism of Fox News, notably by Michael Moore and Al Franken, et. al is enormously misplaced. Preening on about Right leaning bias at Fox while ignoring the manufactured lies of the Left at the NYTimes and the BBC does nothing but make Fox News' case that much stronger - that it provides a fairer, more balanced scope of news and opinion.

Fox News has yet to be accused of rigging truck gas tanks to explode so as to have a scoop for its news magazine show (NBC), succumb to Jayson Blair style fabrications (new York Times), or hound a government so ruthlessly as to employ whatever lies necessary (BBC). Criticism of Fox rings hollow in the absence of criticism of far greater media crimes.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

The Gravy Train
We hear a lot about how lobbyists give gifts and donations to Senators and Representatives in exchange for votes. Rather than demanding an end to this, we should be demanding more! Really, the ultimate recipient of all that gift giving and largesse should be us, the most important vote caster of them all. Kreblog lists a scorecard of what schwag and food the candidates are offering in order to curry favor with voters. How can we be critical of lobbyists when we ourselves dig the same treatment coming from the candidates? So if the candidates are listening, I propose that our votes be dependant upon which candidates offer the most extravagant gifts and appealing enticements. How bout tickets to the Red Sox, or luxury cruises, or shopping sprees at Best Buy? When it comes voting time, all you need to do is have the person who collects the votes at the polling station look at your ballot, see who you voted for, and then notarize any applicable coupons or vouchers that you got from that particular candidate. Quid Pro Quo!

Let's forget job training, universal health insurance, prescription drugs, Americorps, or other useless programs. Show us the goods! Our votes are valuable.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Phat Beats of a Gov Gone Wild
I can't get enough of the Dean speech. It will go down in history as a great political moment. It will be added to the Pantheon of Political Bloopers, ranking with Gary Hart's Monkey Business, George Bush puking out Japanese food, George W. Bush falling over the Segway, Bill Clinton and his cigar fetish, and Michael Dukakis in the tank.

For a walk down memory lane, here's an audio clip of the Dean
rant. And for added fun, here's a techno remix of Dean's meltdown.

WrestleMania Main Event: Howard Dean
I almost expected to see The Rock run onto the stage and smack Dean with a folding chair during Dean's post-results speech. Dean looked like a nut!

Regarding the overall caucus results, I was half right and half wrong. I predicted to LNotes that Dean was going to win. I figure he had a lock on the Hate Bush crowd and was going to drive them to the caucuses in large numbers. However, some pundits are saying that some of those people may have shifted to Kerry at the last moment, reducing Dean's numbers. On the otherhand, I think the real winner of Iowa is John Edwards, who surprised everyone with his second place showing. Edwards is running a classy campaign, and he is tapping into the appreciation that the electorate has (but never tells pollsters) for Nice Guys that I think wins elections in the end.

Personally, I don't think Kerry has what it takes. I maintain that his positions are a bit nonsensical and in some cases hypocritical, but given the flip-flopping he has done to this point, I wouldn't be surprised if we see some flop-flipping from Kerry once the race shifts South. In the end I think the mountain of incoherence will topple over and terminate Kerry's election chances. New Hampshire, I believe, will see a dramatic ramp up of outrageous rhetoric. Kerry's rival at this point is not Edwards, it is Clark. and the two will try to do leapfrogs over each other to come out with the most inane quotations. Edwards will continue to do his nice guy shtick, and Dean will continue to vent steam in humorous trajectories. Stay Tuned.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Suicide Seagull
Man, it is so cold.

How cold is it?

It is so cold that even the wild animals want to die.

I was driving to work and I thought that a lump of snow or ice was in the road. But as I got closer I saw that it was a seagull. So I jammed on the breaks, barely stirring the bird. I had to blast the horn to convince it to move, and it did so with extreme reluctance. You know winter is in its cruelest month when not even the wild animals have the will to live.

Friday, January 09, 2004

The Reverend John Kerry
A friend once told me that the reason he adopted the leftist view of things was that he felt it was a more nuanced viewpoint. To be honest, I couldn't think of a greater delusion, and after witnessing in person John Kerry's stump speech, nuanced is the last word I would choose to describe the Left.

The event was held at the Dover Elks and began normal enough. Fantastic chili was served up by the Special Interests, er, I mean local firefighter's union who have thrown their support to Sen. Kerry. Obviously, the downtime at the firehouse has been put to good use because the chili was superb. (I had three bowls). Then, after a not too brief delay, Sen. Kerry was announced to the packed house and did the handshake thing while wearing a down-home Carhardt outdoorsman's jacket (with courduroy collar). After a few thank yous to the various Special Interests, er, supporters who had set up the event, Sen. Kerry launched into his stump speech, instantly transforming the staid event into a religious revival - complete with fire and brimstone.

Seriously, for a moment there I thought I was listening to a version of Jerry Falwell. America is being destroyed by various forces. Instead of Hollywood it is Halliburton. Instead of Gays it is Guns. Instead of the sins of Spring Break it is the evil of tax breaks. Falwell thunders that our minds are being poisoned. Kerry drones that our water is. Falwell complains that God's Mission is uncompleted here on Earth. Kerry complains about the incomplete Mission Accomplished over in Iraq. My wife said that by her count the first 20 minutes of Kerry's speech was pure anger, with Kerry listing out a litany of evils committed by Bush. Bush has done this to you, Bush has done that to you. A lot of it was pure nonsense. Kerry said that the middle class did not benefit from the tax cut. But a quick look around the room revealed many parents who brought their kids. At $500 a pop in instant tax credits per child, I saw many families taking $500, $1000, $1500, $2000 instantly off their tax liability. How does Kerry's rhetoric square with that?

The parade of hate ended, which signaled for Kerry to take off his jacket and get more comfortable. A truck driver's change of gears moved the speech away from Bush hate and towards the more softer tone of frightening the elderly. Incomprehensibly, Kerry trashed the pharmaceutical companies and then virtually a second later said that as President he would get them a real prescription drug benefit. Hey guys, we hate you, but we love the products you make. I tell you though, it was fun to watch the gymnastics, Kerry's flips and flops, pirouettes and spins as he tried to cover up the glaring contradictions between his current anti-Iraq war rhetoric and statements he made barely more than a year ago.

My wife and I had heard enough. The angry politics of a man getting beaten in the polls by an even angrier man do not entice. Thanks for the tasty chili, Senator, but we're not buying your religion.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

President Hillary Clinton
Bush 1988-1992
Clinton 1993-2000
Bush 2001-2008
Clinton 2009-?

I think Sen. Hillary Clinton will be our next President after Bush leaves office. Why do I say that? First, she has repositioned herself and crafted an image of seriousness. As Senator, she has refrained from the kind of political grandstanding that she was known for as First Lady. Contrast her with Howard Dean. She'd portray the same toughness that Dean exudes without the nuttiness. Plus, I think her politics will mesh well in the post-Bush years. Bush will win a second term. I can't see Dean or anyone else unseating him. Cheney appears to remain as Bush's VP choice, which makes a difference for the 2008 race since I am positive that Cheney won't run for President then. This means the 2008 race is wide open, both for Democrats and Republicans. Right now, I don't see anyone coming from the ranks of the Republicans that would be a clear frontrunner. (Prediction: I wouldn't be surprised if Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts runs in 2008). And I think at that time there may be a natural element of Bush fatigue/Republican fatigue that would perhaps give an advantage to the Democrats. Given the post-9/11 foreign policy atmosphere, I would also expect that the Democrat nominee foreign policy position lean towards the Bush policy rather than away from it. Chalk it all up and this is how I see it. Hillary's big government liberalism won't be that much of a departure from Bush's big government conservatism. Hillary's foreign policy will retain the muscularity of Bush's with tweaks to present a softer image. (There will already be a built in perception that a Hillary foreign policy will be softer and more nuanced: 1) because she is a woman; 2)she is a Democrat). A softer image, sure. But I don't expect it to be a radical departure from the Bush Doctrine. Plus, I expect a certain Bill Clinton nostalgia to set in and work in favor of the former First Lady.

Hillary Clinton: Serious but not angry. Liberal, but not overwhelmingly Liberal (things could change, who knows), Center-Left versus Bush's Center-Right. Perfectly positioned for the post-Bush political landscape. Say hello to President Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Magnetic Perversion
You know, if Wal-Mart is not going to sell Maxim magazine and certain rap titles because of obscene content, it should also ban sales of Magnetic Poetry. I don't think it's me or anything, but when you see the word choices that a set offers up, you really have no other option but to spell out a sentence rife with perversion. This past New Year's Eve, the muse inspired (actually, more like the brews inspired) me to flex my ode crafting abilities on our friend's refrigerator. But what to do with the word shaved? Or elongated?