Friday, October 29, 2004

The UBL Turnout

This VodkaPundit post is just one example of reports about very high turnout this year. This is not surprising given that emotions started off at a rolling boil after the 2000 election with 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq adding to the passion, and more superlatives of all sorts from both sides anyone with even an intermittent heartbeat has a reason to vote.

With the return to video releases today by Usama bin Laden we have likely seen the only event shy of an event none of us wants to happen again that could have added significantly to an already high voter turnout. We’ll know Tuesday or later who the video helped or if it did at all, through exit polling.

I only have one question. If voter turnout is so high that people don’t get to vote, will anyone suggest we sue bin Laden for disenfranchising voters?

Slate's Report on Polling Organizations

Wondering about what goes into polls?

Check out this Slate Post.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The QaQaa Stinks

According to this Kerry/Edwards press release, the missing Iraqi weapons could be in the hands of terrorists.

"After being warned about the danger of major stockpiles of explosives in Iraq, this administration failed to guard those stockpiles - where nearly 380 tons of highly explosive weapons were kept. Today we learned that these explosives are missing, unaccounted for and could be in the hands of terrorists. "Terrorists could use this material to kill our troops and our people, blow up airplanes and level buildings. "In May of this year, the administration was warned that terrorists may be helping themselves to 'the greatest explosives bonanza in history."

There is only one problem with this. If the weapons were in Iraq at the start of the war, we did not find the weapons when we arrived, and terrorists have them, then terrorists were in Iraq ready to pounce BEFORE the start of the war AND organized enough to get these weapons as Saddam’s government was collapsing. However, Kerry/Edwards keep telling us that terrorists were not in Iraq before the war.

Finally, we have Russia Tied to Iraq's Missing Arms from Bill Gertz at the Washington Times with some convincing evidence that Russia moved the weapons before the war started.

John "Bob Dole" Kerry

Slate has published a series of endorsements from staff, editors and contributors. What was most impressive about the article was not that almost to a person, Slate is behind Kerry/Edwards or their tepid attitude towards their preferred candidate. What is most impressive about the piece is that it is blogger friendly. In the first paragraph, Slate provides a link to its own historical data; how they voted in 2000. Readers don’t even need to go as far as their Google Toolbar to discover that George Bush is down 2 endorsements this time around.

Something else jumps out in reading these endorsements. John Kerry is as exciting to his supporters as Bob Dole was. How well does that bode for him? Stay tuned for Tuesday's results.

Monday, October 25, 2004

They're Not Making It Easy

Earlier this afternoon, I was presented with yet another example of why I am having difficulty voting for George Bush. I was driving down the road doing what I usually do in the car - listening to talk radio. In this case, the barely tolerable Sean Hannity was trying to comfort a 25-year old woman from Illinois who was literally crying at the prospect of Bush not being reelected. One, one-thousand, two, one-thousand, three, one-thousand….Nope, couldn’t take it anymore and the switch to the local sports talk station ensued.

Just a bit ago, though, I was reminded about why I am loath to vote for Kerry. Via Instapundit, this Michael Totten post (read the Slate article too). These two anecdotal accounts are perfect mirrors of about 90% of my interactions with Democrats. Democrats are, well, mean and bitter.

One of the right’s favorite targets when identifying angry liberals is James Carville. During college I had the privilege to meat Carville through a group that brought high-profile speakers to campus. As the reception after his speech was winding down and the number of us present waned, Carville, engaged a small group of us in some political banter. Carville was the same guy you can see to this day on CNN, impassioned and articulate. We were equally passionate, and hopefully almost as articulate as he. At the end of our brief encounter Carville, with a big smile on his face, shook our hands and told us that he had a good time debating us.

I try to emulate Carville in that regard whenever I engage in debate with friends and acquaintances who are Democrats. The feeling, however, never seems to be mutual.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Weird Numbers

I have a hunch, a weird feeling really.

If George Bush doesn’t open up a big lead between now and Election Day I just have this feeling that the results this year will be exactly reversed from 2000; Bush will win the popular vote and lose the electoral vote. …and Ohio is going to be at the center of it all.

If it comes true, you heard it here first, otherwise forget I ever mentioned it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bob Evans and The New York Times

There was an article in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine that really got my attention. No, the George Bush feature story was not it. In this article reporter Rebecca Skloot takes the reader on a journey between Bob Evans and Baristas, in New Martinsville, WV.

It is perhaps more than apropos to pick up the theme of John Edwards' Presidential bid this year and give it new life in the daily lives of West Virginians, or residents of any other state for that matter. Even though, I’m not inclined to vote for Democrats on a national level, it was not hard for me to understand the appeal Edward’s was making. Since this was not the appeal of the Kerry campaign, and seems relegated to the back burner of the current national debate, the idea remains there waiting for the embrace of others.

Ms. Skloot did just that in her review of the eating habits of New Martinsville’s residents. From a culinary perspective, I tend to side with the diners at Baristas. As a reader of the New York Times, I’m left wondering why the article was in the magazine in the first place. That isn’t to suggest that Ms. Skloot doesn’t come across as a good writer able to captivate the readers attention (not only did I read it, but I’m writing about it).

What I am suggesting (and narrowly, as well) is that it was a bad choice by the editorial staff of the Times to publish this article. It was a mistake because for people who live in cities larger than New Martinsville and smaller than New York City, the conclusion of the article is a no-brainer:
Maybe I had an idea that I could convert people -- that I could persuade some Bob Evans folks that they should be open to change, that the food really was better at Baristas; and maybe persuade some Baristas people that the Bob Evans people are interesting and funny and friendly, too. But in all my time shuttling back and forth between the two restaurants, I didn't change a single person's mind. At some point, it hit me: it's not just New Martinsville. Bob Evans people and Baristas people live together all over the United States. [emphasis added] They often go to the same stores and send their kids to the same schools, but try as they might, they simply can't understand why anyone in his right mind wouldn't eat the way they do, think the way they do and vote the way they do. Unfortunately, I'm not sure a burger can change that, not even a really, really good one.
This kind of observation, while more than appropriate for a nice comfortable piece on CBS Sunday Morning, does not belong in a magazine like this. Observations of this sort are, well, a lot like Bob Evans.