Thursday, January 22, 2004

Dean, the Iowa Scream and the unending wisdom of Calvin & Hobbes 

Some more thoughts on Dean.

Steven Taylor stated today that his first reaction to Dean's Iowa Yell, was "perhaps the worst political observation of my career". Well, maybe. No I don't mean that he has made worse observations, but that it was not that bad of an observation.

The more I thought about the situation and the speech and the event itself, the more I thought Dean gave a very good performance. And it was, for his supporters. The folks in his room were thrilled by Dean's speech.

Quick aside; I have many comic strip books from the 80's and early 90's that I still read. One of my favorites is Calvin and Hobbes. Well in flipping through "The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson" I came across a Sunday strip that went like this:

Calvin. Panel 3 - In my opinion television validates existence.
Calvin. Panel 4 - Take this sled ride, for instance. The experience is fleeting and elusive. By tomorrow, we'll have forgotten it, and it may as well have not even happened.
Calvin. Panel 5 - But if we were on TV now, countless viewers would share in the event and confirm it! This ride would become a part of mass consciousness!
Calvin. Panel 6 - And on TV, the impact of an event is determined by the image, not it's substance.
Calvin. Panel 7 - So with some strong visuals, our sled ride could conceivably make us cultural icons!

Apply this to Dean's Speech. The impact of the event is determined by the image, not it's substance. The substance was fine, and even appropriate. The image was of a man flying off his rocker. And well, with a strong visual, Dean has become a cultural icon.

To further prove the cultural icon status of this yell, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser on Pardon the Interruption an ESPN sports talk program, took time to discuss the Dean Yell. When ESPN parodies a political speech, your at icon status.

Howard, welcome to your Dukakis moment. Goodbye.

Let's hear it for Joe 

this may be the funniest thing I have ever seen.


Hale DeMar Fan Club 

Count me as a member of the Hale DeMar Fan Club

I don't have a gun in my house, not because I don't belive in them but because I just don't feel comfortable around them. They freak me out. But I am not worried if folks like Mr. DeMar have them. More power to ya, Hale.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Andrew Sullivan is talking about the Pre-emption doctrine today. I think he could be wrong. (I may be wrong about my interpretation.) Andrew states "But - and it's a big but - we made the case on the existence of actual, operational WMDs and stockpiles of the same. We did so publicly, openly, clearly to as big a global audience as we could find.?

Actually didn't Bush and Powell make the case on the non-reported destruction of actual, operational WMD's and stockpiles of the same? We said that Saddam had them. The UN said that Saddam had them. And Saddam admitted to having them and has not reported destroying them.

To quote from Powell?s UN speech;

"Iraq declared 8500 liters of anthrax. But UNSCOM estimates that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoonful of this deadly material. And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had.

Dr. Blix told this Council that Iraq has provided little evidence to verify anthrax production and no convincing evidence of its destruction.

We have evidence these weapons existed. What we don't have is evidence from Iraq that they have been destroyed or where they are. That is what we are still waiting for.

UNSCOM also gained forensic evidence that Iraq had produced VX and put it into weapons for delivery, yet to this day Iraq denies it had ever weaponized VX. And on January 27, UNMOVIC told this Council that it has information that conflicts with the Iraqi account of its VX program.

Now, of course, Iraq will argue that these items can also be used for legitimate purposes. But if that is true, why do we have to learn about them by intercepting communications and risking the lives of human agents?

With Iraq's well-documented history on biological and chemical weapons, why should any of us give Iraq the benefit of the doubt? I don't."

From the 2003 SOTU speech;

The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax -- enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.
The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin -- enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.
Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

So our case was based on Saddam said he had x but could not show what happened to x.

The question we have to ask is; if our intel was too conservative in one direction (Saddam has weapons and will use them) and it was. Would it be better to have been conservative in the other direction?

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Excerpt from Dean's first speech in Florida 

"And you know something? You know something? Not only are we going to Miami, we're going to Oakaloosa and Ona and the Daytona Beaches and Naples and Wachula! We're going to Yulee and Christmas and Havana! And we're going to Tampa and Seabring and Homestead and Key Largo! And then we're going to Tallahassee. To Take Back The Florida Capitol! YEEEAAARGH!! "

Thanks to Tim Blair for the Dean Challenge.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Elections Coverage - Iowa 

So on MSNBC you can watch Tim Russert and Chris Mathews. Is this going to be their line-up for the rest of the year? If so then I have a new prediction; the biggest winners this year is going to be MSNBC. I can watch this all night long. Cool.

God, I am a dork.

Iowa and beyond 

Looking into my crystal ball, I see;

As far as Dean is concerned, I think he has had his high-water mark. A major story out of Iowa will be the fact that the undecided went to other candidates. Dean can’t seem to expand beyond his 25-30%. Granted his third of the party will make him a player in all the primaries but as others drop out look for those voters to go away from Dean. Why? I think part of it is the adults of the Democratic Party are starting to reassert control. I mean being angry is fun but does anyone really think that is what they want in a President?

Old man Gephardt is done if not now then soon. One okay showing in Iowa (1st or 2nd) followed by distant losses in New Hampshire, SC and Virginia spell doom.

Kerry gets a huge bounce from his 2nd place showing in Iowa but still faces too much trouble from Clark & Dean & Edwards in New Hampshire. The expectation game will make NH a must win for him, the same way Iowa was for Gephardt.

Edwards makes the jump into respectability in Iowa. Now people can talk about supporting him without their friends staring at them as if they have a third eye. Okay showing in NH but with such low expectations it is good. By the time we get to the south he becomes a force. If SC goes Edwards, Sharpton, Dean, we have a whole new ballgame. And look for the White House to take notice.


Monday, January 12, 2004

Bad News for Dean and Sen. Clinton 

Iowa and some new polls could spell trouble for Gov. Dean and Sen. Clinton.

A new poll claims that most democrats would be happy with Dean or Clark. If Dean has problems and losses the nomination and Bush wins relection then many Democrats will rally behind Dean as the defacto party leader.

Clinton is sitting back and waiting to be the uncontested leader in 08. If Dean can continue to offer a real alternative to the Clark/Clinton wing of the party, he could pose a great threat.

Republican should hope for this type of Democratic infighting. It may be the only way to prevent HRC from becoming the first female President.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Race to replace Bob Graham 

Actually, I think I can state that the race is half over. Well at least the Republican nomination is over. Allow me to present GOP nominee Mel Martinez.

Why, well lets look at the facts.
1 - Backed by Pres George Bush (and will raise money, lots of money)
2 - From the ever important I-4 corridor
3 - Hispanic (can pull crossover votes in the General and command Dade County's Cuban population in the primary, which is massive)
4 - Has a large natural base (Orange County)

Those 4 reasons each give him an advantage over the other Republicans. But there is more. Right now Johnny Byrd and Dan Webster are fighting over the "Christian Coalition" members of the GOP. For a statewide GOP primary this is a huge, huge group. As of today Mel Martinez has the inside tract to win this group. In fact, he may have it all but locked up. Note the headline for today's Orlando Sentinel: Ken Connor files papers for Martinez Senate candidacy in Washington...

Ken Connor is the unquestioned head of the religious right in Florida. Ken Connor is to the Florida religious right what Ralph Reed was to the Christian coalition. If today is not an endorsement of Mel (who was Connor's Lt. Gov. choice in 1994) then I don't know nuthin. Mr. Connor has the lists, the access, the "street cred" and the pull needed to sway the religious right.

By June, I predict, all other candidates have dropped out of the race and Martinez has a lead over Cong. Peter Deustch in fundraising. Oh and Mel may mean a swing of 5,000 votes in Orange county alone, to the GOP column. I would bet that Karl Rove knows that.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Bush is Vader 

Sinc MoveOn.org is now stuck on the Bush is Hitler thing, Michele at A Small Victory is calling on Democrats to be more creative.

How bout Bush is; here is a link to the American Fim Institutes top 50 villians

Bush is "the Leader"

Va Tech, welcome to the ACC 

Why are there not more studies like this one done by Va Tech?

Study: Football Hits Similar to Crashes

I really think that the NCAA and the NFL Players association should mainstream this type of study next year. At least 10 college teams, in each division, should participate and every team in the NFL should participate. And don't tell me that between the NFL and NCAA they could not find the money to perform this study.

Sports medicine has come a very long way but it is appalling about how little we know about the damage done to the human body by participating in sports. Studies like this can help and money should be no object.

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