Monday, November 29, 2004
The United States faced a secession crisis, as most people know, in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. Eleven states announced their secession from the United States of America, on the argument that the states are bound to the nation only by their choice. Another device used for leverage is the United States' treaty annexing Texas, which appeared to grant Texas the right to secede. A right granted to one state must apply to all, was the reasoning.
That reasoning, however, was built on a false premise. Because of the strategic value Texas represented in American expansion to the Pacific Ocean, as well as military value locking off Mexico from the U.S., the treaty came in two parts, which did different things.
There was a U.S. Congressional Resolution making Texas a State, and granting it the right to split into as many as five states, created in 1845. That resolution, however, said nothing about the State having a right to leave the USA. That's because of a treaty from a year before, where Texas essentially dissolved its sovereignty to become part of the United States. In other words, the Republic of Texas became a territory of the United States, then a State. That means that the State of Texas, while it had (and still has) special privileges because of the treaty which made it a State, never had a right to become sovereign on its own again. Any such thought or claim is a mistake at best.
Now, you may wonder why this history lesson is relevant to the rants from Sore Loser Left. I mean, even if it were somehow legal for the 'Blue' States to quit the country and become 'New France West' or the like, surely they understand how the dissolution of the union would impact them, economically as well as politically. I guess most Liberals don't realize that in such a secession, the NYSE would simply close up shop in NYC, and reform as something like the Omaha Stock Exchange, but then perhaps it is necessary to recall how poorly the Left does in Economics; anyone who can read Marx without laughing out loud at his blunders, is quite capable of believing in Utopia. To this day, there are those who would insist Lenin and Castro were right, even if those who believe them and follow their advice always seem to end up insolvent.
It's also worth looking at the question of just how 'blue' those blue states are, anyway. In California, for example, of its 55 counties, Bush won in 36, Kerry in only 19. So, if Cali wants to secede, less than half the counties are going, and a look at the map basically shows the new 'People's Republic of California' would pretty much claim only the coast, which gives them the beaches, the celebrities, and the barrios; the parts of California which are low-crime and prosperous would stay with the rest of the country. The same thing happens in New York, where Bush took 40 of its 62 counties. The rest of Kerry's territory is the same, or worse. And frankly, if these 'blue' states were to take a vote on seceding, it doesn't look like the votes would be there for the move.
It only goes to prove, even the blue states don't agree, all in all, with the claims made by their leadership. So long as they continue to wallow in denial, reasonable voters will find only the Republicans responsive to their issues and priorities.
Friday, November 26, 2004
I first began to suspect this front years ago, long before I had read my first blog. Baylor University, where I earned my degree, was asking me for money. Again. In fact, the heavy majority of Baylor's mail to me has always been asking for money. Money for the Liberal Arts, Money for the Football team, Money for new Scholarships and Endowments. Now, don't misunderstand me; Baylor is a pretty good school, as universities go. But, when I was in a bad way eonomically, Baylor's response was to tell me that my family made too much money to qualify, even though we couldn't afford the three of us in school at that time. Grants which I qualified for, I was not told about, as well as Scholarships. On-campus employment was denied to me, largely because the people deciding the employments had no standards to satisfy; those in particular need or especially qualified were ignored; the epitome of "it's who you know".
I'm not trying to trash Baylor. Like I said, for a university, they're pretty good. But they're badly run and poorly organized. Worse, they won't admit it. And when you get right down to it, unless you decide for yourself what you're going to do with your pricey education, the Guidance Counselors at Baylor won't be much help preparing you for the Real World. Absolutely none of the classmates I knew ever got so much as a single interview from the Counselors, and I would have changed my major and planning at age 18 if I had received proper direction, instead of learning the hard way what does and does not work.
Fast forward to 1988. Having worked hard and received several promotions over 5 years with one Corporation, I opened a facility and hired a staff of sixty employees. While there were very specific skills I looked for and helped my team develop, the simple fact is that in many careers, while a formal degree can help you get a better position and pay, the quality of work you do is not tied to your classwork and grades. It's very important for managers and supervisors to know what skills and talents to look for in employees, but in many companies, the policy is strictly tied to formal education, and it's casually assumed that a degree means a certain level of competency. That myth is finally breaking apart, and the need for a better standard of competency must take its place.
If Bill Gates did nothing else, he helped to revolutionize the Workplace by creating a new class of employee; the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). In companies using the Microsoft platforms, having an MCSE on staff became critical, and the IT guy would often be better-paid than some Senior VP's. It didn't matter if he hadn't spent a day in college, so long as Microsoft had certified him. Alternatives to the standard degree became obvious, even critical.
Now that Information Management has been recognized as a discipline and talent in its own right, corporations and major employers are re-evaluating the criteria they use in selecting employees. And as for college degrees? With the new technology available, remote classwork is possible, along with variable scheduling, so that a new wave of fully-accredited colleges have arrived for the full-time worker to gain the degree proving academic accomplishment. Universities are on notice: Reputations must be confirmed, not used for laurel beds.
When Dan Rather leaves the anchor desk at CBS News next March (and hopefully, sterner measures will preventing him from continuing to collect paychecks from that company), he may be joined by some of the more arrogant professors from elitist universities. Reality has a way of showing up unexpectedly.
And for the record, no, I will not be sending Baylor University any of my money. They haven't earned it.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
I walked into the break room a few minutes ago, and saw "Divorce Court" on TV. What in the world would possess a couple going through a painful thing like divorce, to hang out their dirty laundry on national television? For that matter, why is there an audience for that kind of thing. I don't need or want to know about anyone's sex life or personal maturity crises or 4th wife, and that includes "Oprah", "Maury", "PrimeTime", or any of these shows which fixate on the bizarre and the depraved. I do not need to know about Paris Hilton's sex life, or whether Britney Spears thinks Ashley Simpson is a good singer. The fact is, easily 90% of TV's programs are useless, serving no purpose for the common good, and in a number of cases, quite the opposite.
"60 Minutes" tried to trash President Bush with forged papers. Numerous "news" reporters scurried around all year to keep us infomed on the latest Swift Boat or National Guard rumor, but precious few checked into the details of either candidate's plans for Immigration Reform or revisions to the Tax Code. Modern television and the movies are getting to be like letting your kid choose the menu; anything healthy gets rejected early on.
Ironically, the Internet is proving to be a refuge for information. But the Old Media is hard at work there, as well. Did you think it was a coincidence, that so many sites with information and details now expect you to register with them to read the articles? They want to know who's leaving, and why. And the bigger news sites are learning how to play "Pravda" with their mistakes and data they want to go away. For instance, Larry Bord made a few statements defending the unexcusable thuggery of Ron Artest, and sites started to note them. When Mr. Bird expressed his displeasure, these records were wiped clean; you can still find the reference in "Google", but when you click the link, it's been erased. 'All the news, except for the stuff we don't want you to see', seems to be the new motto. Fortunately, many bloggers (though sadly, not me) are savvy enough to snapshot such screens before the incriminating data goes bye-bye.
I also learned that Modern Technology, like Car Salesmen, promises far more than it delivers. Consider Monster.com, for example. The site would have you believe that it has revolutionized job and employee searching, and to a degree, it's good. But neither of the last 2 jobs I found, had anything to do with Monster. In fact, Monster never got me a single interview, and the resume format they use, frankly, is garbage, both from the job-hunter and employer point of view. I've been both, so I know. In the end, networking with people you know at church and from school remains the best way to find the interview and job offer.
Since I've touched on money and politics, the next logical step is sex. What is it with the media? Sure, I like sex, but c'mon! Nicollette Sheridan shows up on Monday Night Football in just a towel. Why? I go to MFN for football, OK, not to have the wife think I'm looking for smut. And speaking of smut, is there one single positive quality to 'Desperate Housewives'? For crying out loud, somebody please insert a plot, some dialogue, maybe just a hint of intelligence? Oh yes, I forgot, this is ABC TV, the guys who thought 'NYPD Blue' wasn't 'blue' enough, so we had to see Dennis Franz' naked butt. Just because someone hypothesized that an infinite number of monkeys would eventually write all the great works, doesn't mean that anything that comes out of a chimpanzee's typewriter should get a show. But I'm being mean; most TV 'celebrities' couldn't survive in the Real World.
Which brings up 'Reality TV'. As if. My idea of 'Reality TV', would be making some of these network execs try to make it as retail managers with direct contact by the public, or some college professors forced to work in a corporation, and learn first-hand that a false story from even a local TV station can and will hurt a company, and cost real people their jobs. I'd like to see Dan Rather have to prove his claims and show his work, at a station where they check the facts before they go on the air. I'd like to see 'models' who have same shape and condition as ordinary people, and never again be leactured on TV by a single actress with no kids, how she thinks I should raise my children. I'd like to see shows where normal people aren't ridiculed, where people who go to church are the good guys, where people who don't use foul language and don't disrepect other groups are the 'cool' crowd, and where community, courtesy, and self-discipline are recognized as not only worthy of praise, but essential.
Use technology then, but don't trust it.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Forty-one years ago today, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot to death in Dallas. That much is agreed upon by almost everyone. Since the assassination of JFK, however, almost no one has been able to establish a stable consensus on just what happened there on that day.
Before I go too far into this article, let me be clear that I do not generally hold conspiracy theories to be viable. It’s simple when you think about it; a secret on this scale, kept for this long by any number of people, would have revealed something of itself by now. If you think Nixon’s White House tapes or the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib was a big deal, killing a sitting President is much more significant, on a level which begs disbelief that all the major participants would keep their secrets all these years. So, the notions of a coup de etat do not sit well with me, nor do I believe that there is a ‘secret government’ controlling things.
But it’s also apparent, from what we know now, that the conventional wisdom is also wrong; all three versions of it. Let’s go through them one by one:
 Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy – There are literally dozens of books and films out which completely destroy this notion, yet a large segment of the public still holds on to this myth, including the Mainstream Media, and even more particularly those talking heads who vaulted their reputations and careers ahead of others by toeing the line when the Warren Commission put the heaviest coat of whitewash on the assassination. A detailed debunking can be had with a quick check of any library or comparison between the presented claims and the evidence, but here are some highlights:
* The rifle allegedly used was so poor, that FBI marksmen were unable to repeat the feat using the actual gun; the closest they could manage was to fire the weapon four times without aiming it in the 7.9 seconds allowed; aimed shots never came close to the necessary accuracy or speed. If they could not do it, how are we supposed to believe Oswald did?
* Oswald left no prints on the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. Although a palm print was produced later, this was produced after Oswald’s death, and witnesses saw agents take Oswald’s prints in his casket.
* The view from the alleged “sniper perch” on the 6th floor of the TSBD had only an obstructed view of the motorcade, blocked by several trees. While the Warren Commission claimed that the trees would have lost their leaves in November, films of the day show this was not true (nor uncommon in sunny Texas)
* Oswald was seen on the 2nd floor between 1 and 2 minutes after the assassination by his supervisor and a Dallas policeman. No one in the stairwells at that time saw Oswald, and the elevator was on the ground floor at this time. Therefore, there is no explanation for how Oswald is supposed to have moved from the 6th floor to the 2nd, without so much as breathing heavy.
* Oswald denied shooting anyone, an action clearly different from the pattern of political assassins, who have always boasted of their deed. No motive was ever established, as to why Oswald would have wanted Kennedy dead.
I could go on, but the blunt fact is, Oswald doesn’t fit. When you get to the ballistics and witness testimony, it only becomes more obvious. In 1978, giving in to the overwhelming witness testimony, film and acoustic evidence, the House sub-Committee on Assassinations ruled that the Kennedy assassination was the result of a conspiracy. The official policy of the United States Government has been that a Conspiracy killed a sitting President, yet no action has been taken on that policy in 26 years.
 A Secret Government is running the nation, and has been ever since 1963. This is actually a favorite in some parts of Europe. Rather than accept that we really let the average American decide who leads the nation, the notion of a hidden Central government is held and embraced. It’s so strong, that when Viktor Belenko flew a MiG-25 to Japan and defected to the West, he was convinced that Washington D.C. was a façade only, that real decisions were made by some American version of the Politburo. This sort of thinking, which keeps LaRouche politically active and supplies an audience for Oliver Stone, misses the significance of the Watergate Scandal, the Middle East Peace Summit under Carter, the Reagan Revolution and the Victory over the Iron Curtain, the Clinton redirection of Welfare and Education policies, and the Bush Doctrine against Terrorism. It reminds me of the X-files episodes where we see secret committees, dark and nefarious, yet somehow unable to do anything but complain about things getting out of control. In a way, that part might be accurate; I can accept the notion of the Council on Foreign Relations muttering that Dubya is not taking their sage advice, the angry complaints of this U.N. committee or that, that the Americans are not being fair and submitting to the wise oversight of foreign nations, or the complaints by the heads of the Old Media Networks, that Americans are foolishly rejecting the commentary from Rather, Brokaw, and Jennings, in preference of making up their own minds. If a secret cabal killed Kennedy, I don’t think they knew what to do afterwards.
 The CIA did it. It always strikes me as strange, to believe how an agency too incompetent to kill Castro in 1961, was somehow able to pull off a much more complex operation against Kennedy. Also, the sieve-like nature of the CIA makes it impossible to believe that the details would not have been made public long ago. Also, the constant feuding between the FBI and CIA in the 1960s, makes it impossible to accept the claim that they would tolerate such a plot by the other, let alone work together.
So, what happened? I have my ideas, but the point here is that we owe it to the citizens of this nation, to fully investigate great crimes against the nation. Like the killing of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy, the assassination of John Kennedy is a major offense demanding answers, and the task is worthy of our full effort and candor. So long as something like this is simply ignored or put aside, the people of the United States will have little reason to believe their government is truly accountable to them.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
America remains sharply divided between the values of the Democratic and Republican parties, yet
President Bush's re-election this year was decisive in all respects.
A look at the demographics helps illustrate this peculiar condition. Younger voters tended to support Kerry, while older voters preferred Bush. Single voters supported Kerry, while married voters preferred Bush. Urban voters preferred Kerry, while Rural voters preferred Bush. And of course, the Coasts (as states) went for Kerry, while the Heartlands went for Bush.
On the other hand, when compared to his 2000 numbers, President Bush in 2004 improved his results in every major demographic sector. Also, Bush did well with Catholics and better in Massachusetts against Kerry than he did against Gore in 2000; additional evidence that Bush was gaining national support, even in his opponent's base.
I don't know, however, that I agree with the assumption that the United States is rejecting the Democrats as a major party. History shows that even an overwhelming win, which 2004 was most definitely not, or a series of wins, may not accurately foretell a dynastic dominance. On the other hand, it would be wise for Democrats to understand and accept that George W. Bush has now exceeded expectations in five consecutive high-profile elections. His two elections as Governor of Texas were upsets in their caliber; the first was a stunning victory of Ann Richards, whom the Democrats not only considered unbeatable in Texas but a rising star with national ambitions. His victory over then Vice President Al Gore in a time of peace and prosperity in 2000 was so unexpected, some Democrats today remain in denial about it. In 2002, Democrats were so sure they would gain in both the House and Senate's elections that they began to leak speculations about changes in Committee leadership, yet when the results were known, it was the Republicans, not the Democrats, who had gained in both the House and Senate, and later examination revealed that it was personal campaigning by President Bush in key contests which made the difference. And of course, this year's campaign included the use of forged documents by CBS in a blatant smear attempt, a major motion picture was produced and distributed for the specific purpose of propaganda, a foreign billionaire personally vowed to try to buy the election out of spite, and Democrat '527' groups outspent Republican '527's by a factor of 12, yet when the votes were counted, George W. Bush withstood everything thrown at him, and won.
Another way to look at the present balance, is to consult America's Paternity source, the Declaration of Independence, specifically those Rights named from the beginning: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
To Democrats, values which some label as "Liberal" are very important, and one key disappointment many leading Democrats feel from Clinton's Presidency, is that they feel Bill Clinton was forced to water-down his programs and goals, and to compromise his politics to appease the Republican-controlled Congress. In many Democrats' minds, there has not been a truly Democratic Presidency in full power since Johnson. I don't agree with that, nor do all Democrats, but this sense of frustration is what is driving the Liberal wing of the Democratic Party, especially that the lesson has been made again, that only a Moderate Democrat can win the White House in this climate.
As I just mentioned, there are essentially two wings to the Democratic Party, but they both hold the same values, if to differing degrees. The value of "Life" means that most Democrats oppose the Death Penalty or the unilateral use of Military Force. The meaning of "Liberty", to Democrats, means that Social Values outweight individual preferences, that freedom of the group is the essential, but also that special accomodations must be made for any and all declared minority groups, excepting traditional groups, who are presumed to enjoy privilege. The "Pursuit of Happiness" applies to protection of individual preferences, including minority beliefs and protection from the presumed oppression by the majority. Many aspects of these values have virtue in their own right, but it bears noting, that they are generally focused on the minority of every debate, which suggests a political cost.
Republicans, despite the foul imprecations by the Left, represent the heart of America, and have enjoyed a growing base since Reagan declared his candidacy for the 1980 Presidential campaign. Republicans are actually a 3-wing party, which is not understood by most of the Old Media and the Liberals of the Democratic Party.
Republicans are Conservatives, Moderates, and 'Big Tent' Republicans. Like the Democrats, Republicans tend to hold the same values, but again to different degrees. Republicans believe in "Life" in the most essential terms; so precious that a murderer should lose his life for taking one, and the innocent are so precious that their life is inviolate even before their first breath. "Liberty" means that the Rights enumerated specifically in the Bill of Rights must be observed and protected without dilution or compromise. "The Pursuit of Happiness" means that using the powers of government to promote a 'social values' position or opinion is wrong, and does nothing but corrode the trust given by the public to those in office.
Democrats believe in using government to solve social problems; Republicans believe that government must act only where individuals and smaller governments cannot handle the task.
Democrats believe in limiting America's authority outside our borders; Republicans believe in establishing American authority worldwide in the protection of our national interests.
Only extremists hold only to the absolutes in these values, but there is a clear difference between the Left and Right in all of this. One benefit from this last election, is the clarity of position. Everyone is confirming or learning their position, and this will bear results in the coming elections.
The best course for everyone, in my opinion, is to consider your values carefully, and discuss them. You won't win over everyone, but there is a larger audience now, than ever before.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Last week, my daughter had Pink Eye. Two days ago, I wrote a piece about disease. And yes, today, I have Pink Eye.
Being a 44-year-old with a disease commonly thought of as a childhood ailment really sucks. It also sucks, that I have to keep my distance from my daughter, so I don't re-infect her; this is a bigger problem than you might think, because my little princess considers it her God-given right to receive or dispense hugs and kisses to and from Daddy at her perogative.
My novel is progressing, if only in circles. I remember Tom Lehrer making fun of Beethoven once, pointing out that some of his symphonies seem to have trouble ending, as if Ludwig wasn't quite sure how to stop. I'd laugh more about that, except that, being an idiot, I entered a contest to write my novel, and the thing is due to be finished in one week.
Maybe I'll just kill off the main character with a really bad case of Pink Eye.
On another board, I've been trying to explain the election to some very hard-core Liberals. Once you realize that Liberals operate in a Logic-Optional Reality mode, you see how pointless it is to present evidence or facts. I'd have better luck convincing my daughter to enjoy broccoli.
I really like the CSI shows, but it occurs to me, that one reason we have trouble solving crimes like they do on the show, is that cities and counties only spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a facility, if it involves a professional sports team. The real Las Vegas Crime Lab, I suspect, does not enjoy multi-million-dollar-budget labs, with 50-gig computers and Summa cum Laude graduates on the staff.
Last thought for this article. If you really want to know the diff between Liberal and Conservative, consider that one has big problems with killing criminals, but is fine with killing babies, while the other accepts a jury verdict of death for a convicted murderer, but fights for every child's life. For all the debate, that divide always seems to show up.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
On October 2, 2001, a photo editor for American Media Inc. (who publish weekly newspapers like the National Enquirer and the Sun) named Bob Stevens was admitted to the JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida. Three days later he died, from Anthrax inhalation. Stevens was the first documented case of a wave of 23 Anthrax victims, who touched or inhaled spores from Anthrax-laced letters. Five people died from Anthrax inhalation during this wave of attacks, which abruptly ceased in October. Targets for the letters included the weekly newspapers published by AMI, New York media ABC, CBS, NBC and the New York Post, and two letters sent to Senators Daschle and Leahy. There appear to have been three waves to the attacks:
The letter to AMI (and possibly others not discovered) was received sometime prior to September 25, with no notice about the Anthrax poison. Witnesses reported a “soapy” odor and texture to the powder, indicating the sender intended for the Anthrax to kill without warning.
The letters to the New York television networks and the New York Post, were postmarked September 18 with no return address, and included the following text in block letters:
YOU CANNOT STOP US.
WE HAVE THIS ANTHAX.
YOU DIE NOW.
ARE YOU AFRAID?
DEATH TO AMERICA.
DEATH TO ISRAEL.
ALLAH IS GREAT.
The letters sent to Senators Daschle and Leahy were postmarked October 9 and included the same fictitious return address in New Jersey, and included the following text, again in block letters:
THIS IS NEXT
TAKE PENACILIN NOW
DEATH TO AMERICA
DEATH TO ISRAEL
ALLAH IS GREAT
The FBI says all the letters appear to have been written by the same person, and all the letters were a photocopy. One oddity is that the paper size differed from letter to letter; the letter to the New York Post, for example, was printed on a paper size not normally found in the U.S., with a height-to-width ration of about 1.41 to 1, which Erich Speckin (who runs a private forensic lab) says is common to European business letters. Another possibility is that the letters were trimmed to remove gripper marks from a copier, which would help confirm the machine used to make the copies, or some other identifying marks.
There were differences in the Anthrax sent, as well. While the FBI contends that all of the Anthrax was from the same batch, some of it appeared to be more finely milled than others, indicating that the Anthrax was either processed by the letter sender himself, or that it was more finely milled between the first and second wave, for better sporulation.
After the October 9 letters, they stopped, and never started again.
This makes for an interesting detective story, but it also sheds light on part of the decision to invade Iraq. Why?
Following the loss to Coalition forces in 1991, Saddam Hussein’s military was forced to open their bases to inspectors, and in the course of those inspections, it was discovered that Saddam’s WMD programs had progressed much further than expected. Accordingly, the cease-fire was conditional on, among other things, the supervised destruction of all WMD stockpiles, tools, and research. As we know, that requirement was never met.
Fast forward to 2001. Iraq is on the desk of everyone concerned with National Security, because of their continuing interesting in acquiring/developing WMD, their support for a number of terrorist groups, and the law making regime change in Iraq official U.S. policy. Invading Iraq is on the back burner, but it’s on the burner.
September 11 hits, and all hell breaks loose. In addition to fighting Al Qaeda and bin Laden, all major threats to U.S. National Security move up the ladder. A dictator who has already attempted to assassinate a U.S. President, who is known to hate America generally and the Bush family in particular, who is also known to support terrorists and who is seeking WMD if he does not already have them, yeah he gets attention.
Early October, letters with Anthrax are showing up in Florida, in the same community where the 9/11 hijackers lived, in New York, and at the Senate. The Anthrax is a strain known to be in Iraqi hands as recently as 1998, and the best intelligence indicates they have kept it and are making more. Hans Blix admits privately that he believes Iraq has about 10,000 liters of weaponized Anthrax, on the basis of the intelligence he sees, and Dr. Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, or ‘Mrs. Anthrax’, has been photographed spending time in Saddam’s council recently. When the Anthrax is discovered to be more refined or ‘sporulated’ than any known samples in U.S. possession, additional speculation and concern is evident.
A private question went out about the consequences of the terrorist use of weaponized Anthrax. The answer received, is that the deliberate use of Anthrax as an attack on the U.S. population would constitute a WMD attack, and any response, up to and including nuclear strikes, would be legitimate.
In that light, President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq seems not only very reasonable, but also remarkably restrained. Also, I find it very interesting that the letters abruptly stopped in October, just after there success as a weapon and as a terror device began to become evident. I have no proof, but suspect that if a U.S. force were to discover and intercept a foreign group dispersing such a disease as Anthrax, that deadly force would readily be authorized.
Just something to think about.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
One distinct side effect of the present day methods of education so commonly empoloyed, is that many high-school graduates have little grasp of historically significant events. Many times even college graduates are unable to name the significance of America's very existence, much less the import of the last two generations of History. The need to address that canyon of ignorance is one of my most pressing motives for writing this blog. It also occurs to me, that far too many people are unaware of the wars in which we are all presently engaged.
Wars also overlap, a fact lost on people who think that the end of military action means the end of the conflict. Consider the American War for Independence. Most people think it ended in 1781 at the Battle of Yorktown, if indeed they think of it at all. Perhaps others consider that it did not end until 1783, when the British finally got around to an Armistice. Others might recall that the British Empire did not enact even one of the agreed elements of the Treaty until 1787. But since the British invaded the American mainland after that, sacking a number of cities including Washington, D.C., it is quite fair to say that the American Revolution did not, in fact, truly end until 1814, when the British finally acknowledge once and for all, that they could not end our existence, and began to treat us as something like a real nation. The War for Independence and the War of 1812 were, from our perspective, bookend actions on the same war.
Many people think the Civil War began in 1861 and ended in 1865. But for farmers in the middle states, who saw violence as early as 1841, they might tell you something else. And with the rise of the KKK in the South, essentially domestic terrorism which was not stamped out for nearly a century after Lee surrendered, it's hard to say when the country in total was at "peace".
After the War of 1812, the United States and England joined together to rid the oceans of international piracy. The combination of allied and unilateral actions removed the threat of international sea marauders from the world, until breakdowns in cooperation (thanks to Japanese and Southeast Asia's indifference) allowed piracy to reform in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The effort continued even as the nations were involved in other wars, demonstrating the ability to fight wars in multiple fronts against multiple enemies for multiple goals.
Many conflicts of our own generation actually began long ago. The destruction wrought by drug abuse was long known, and by the end of the 19th Century, proscription of Opium was the law in most nations. After World War 1, drug use by veterans skyrocketed, especially with the introduction of heroin and the retail availability of cocaine. This was in large part due to the horrific nature of WW1; the battlefield use of gas, futile assaults against machine-gun emplacements, and the lack of effective field hospitals led to horrific casualties, both in number and damage. Survivors were often in constant pain for the rest of their life.
Another war long in progress, but not much-considered, is the war against Organized Crime. American historians are familiar with J. Edgar Hoover's response, to deny that OC even existed; unfortunately, that was not an uncommon response. The Mafia, various domestic criminal gangs, the Yakuza, and of course the Triads and Tongs have all affected the course of governments, in wars and peacetime both. The history there is so involved and significant, it deserves notmerely its own article, but a book with detailed notes and cross-references. It is worth noting for here, however, that even nations which consider their own political philosophy incompatible with the United States, nonetheless cooperate with the U.S.A. to defeat international crime syndicates.
The list goes on, but space and attention have limits. For here and now, it's important to consider the conflicts going on at present:
 The War Against International and State-Sponsored Terrorism;
 The War to Establish a Functioning Arab Democratic Republic;
 The War to Convince the Totalitarian Regimes, That They Cannot Win a Military Conflict Against the United States, Regardless of Their Strategy or Tactics;
 The War to Prove Communism Futile as a Political System;
 The War to Prove Socialism Futile as a Political System;
 The War to Pre-Emptively Remove Threats to American Citizens;
 The War to Secure American Influence for the Century to Come;
 The War to Separate Religion From National Policy;
 The War to Advance Africa and the Middle East to a Better Standard of Life and Civil Rights; and
 The War to Prove the Truth of the United States Constitution.
Many of these conflicts seem related, and some can be accomplished through coordinated moves. Others will require a different sort of conflict than military action, and will take longer to accomplish their objectives. But these are all important objectives, and some of them predate the Bush Administration (even the first Bush), and some will go on for as long as we can see ahead. But it remains important to see that higher dimensions exist, and that our nation's identity will be determined by the resolution of these conflicts.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
I am not saying, by any means, that there was no valid reason to try the Nazis for what they did during the Second World War. But it is important to realize that the world changed in the years between 1939 and 1945, enough that old definitions had to be replaced to deal with new conditions. Carpet bombing, the development and use of Atomic bombs, occupation and redirection of previously sovereign nations had to be addressed as actions taken by the Allied forces. Conspiracy and execution of Genocide, Slavery and Rape on a national scale, and unforseen atrocities like organized Cannibalism and deliberate Decapitation as Official Policy, were Axis offenses which had to be considered and addressed. One reason given by a number of WW2 vets for not talking much about their experiences, is that a number of those experiences were too ghastly for the friends and family they knew before the War.
Critics on the Left have spoken out about the morality of the War in Iraq. Certainly, it is wise to discuss a war in detail, rather than casually accept an event which will affect the lives of so many, and which causes so much death and destruction. However, it is not right to ignore the conditions making the war necessary, or to apply old conditions to a situation not suited to them.
When we discuss the War in Iraq, the first obvious topic is WMD. A lot of people on the Left now say, that because we have not (yet) found WMD stockpiles, that the war was wrong. First off, that claim ignores the smuggling of unknown materials across the border to Iran and Syria before the war, during the time Bush was working with the United Nations and negotiating to get Saddam to step down. You know, that delay of several months that the Democrats ignored while claiming he "rushed to war". Also, considering how unstable the country is, the very real possibility that there are WMD stockpiles, which just haven't been found yet. But even granting the absence of WMD, the other reasons for going to war were right, and with what we have discovered since, the war is not a thing we should feel guilty about.
The arguments for and against the war have been done so many times, that I will not dwell on them, but to consider three critical points:
1. Iraq now has a government with the potential to become a full-fledged Democratic Republic, which would stabilize that country better than anytime before in its history. This is not only valuable to the 25 million Iraqis, but also to every nation which has to deal with it. returning to Germany, consider the many wars between Prussia/Germany and her European allies before World War 2, and the stable relationships since. This is the possible future for Iraq, which is also good for everyone in the region.
2. Iraq was a harbor and home for more than a dozen major terrorist organizations before the U.S. invasion, including Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal, and Abu Abbas. Despite claims that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, the fact is clear that only by wiping out these terrorist organizations could the U.S. proceed with the War on Terror. And yes, in case you were wondering, that's why all thsoe terrorists in Iraq are fighting us. When we clear them out of Iraq, it's going to get a lot harder to be a terrorist.
3. When you separate all the noise from the facts, we really did not know that 9/11 was coming, not even the day before. General rumblings were enough to cause concern, but the world really was different. We cannot go back to where we were on September 10. While debate is still very right and necessary, pre-emptive War cannot be rejected for the reasons used in the old wars. We need to find the threats to our nation, and remove them. There is a natural friction against it, and a point where it is not even feasible to be done, but where there is a need and the means exist, we must consider the option of pre-emptive attack on unstable nations.
The War in Iraq has cost over a thousand lives of American Soldiers. That is reason to question its worth. However, the claims that "Bush Lied" (or, as if it was somehow less offensive, "misled") simply don't hold up logically. Since the President knew the U.S. would win in Iraq, it follows that he knew any statements he made would be reviewed in the light of that time, it is simply ludicrous to believe that President Bush would make statements (and defend them) which he knew would not hold up later. I mention this, only to show that many on the Left need to explain the morality of their own claims and arguments.
As we approach the second term of President Bush, the War in Iraq is evolving into a new phase. The one point we should be able to agree on now, is that this war should be resolved as quickly and thoroughly as possible. And that means no more hindering of the plans in place by law. The President clearly won the election, and the Republicans made gains in both the House and Senate. The mandate now, certainly includes letting the war be run as it is planned by the men and women in charge. Anything else, and the Liberals are more immoral than any claim they have made about the President so far.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Along with the clear majority President Bush claimed in this election (his tally crossed sixty million votes today), there have been many posts about "Bush Country", showing the huge advantage Bush has, not only in States won but also by Counties led. But the results show another message, one both parties should heed.
In ancient Greece, power was held by city-states. Small wonder; each city not only represented a focus of military power, but also a center for commerce and art and learning. To read Plato or Socrates, you could easily conclude that no one lived anywhere in Greece, except for cities like Sparta or Athens, but there were a lot of people, in small villages and the like; they just got ignored by the sophisticates. Sound familiar? For all the talk of the heart of Democracy, however, in Greece it amounted to mob rule, and the Greek despots knew how to control large mobs in large cities, and so gain power through manipulation of the masses. A lot of people who think themselves wise in their support for pure Democracy, have never thought through the wisdom of a Democratic Republic, where the whole of the nation, geographically as well as in population, is considered in the administration of power. Alexander Hamilton and George Washington were wiser here, than were Al Gore or Terry McAuliffe.
In the Presidential election just concluded, President Bush took 31 states to Kerry's 19 (Kerry also took D.C.) , but as many have noted, the majority for Bush is much more pronounced when the counties are examined. But it goes even further than that. Take a look at the major cities, and Kerry's strong suit becomes obivous. Kerry took New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit for example, and was strong in Bush states in cities like Miami, Austin, Columbus and Las Vegas. There is a point of demarcation; above a certain concentration or urban development, the Democrat message gains appeal, and where populations are less concentrated, the Republican message is strongly favored.
At first look, some Republicans may be inclined to shrug and note, that since Bush won the election, it's more a problem for the Democrats, and to a degree that's true. If the Democrats don't start listening to the people in the whole country, they will have committed themselves to second-tier as a political party, occasionally taking the White House but gradually fading to irrelevance. Since the Democrats in the main are unwilling to take the hard look at their recent losses (2000, 2002, now 2004), this is a bad situation for them. But Republicans need to be aware of a weak spot for them, signified by their weak results in major cities. Note also that this aligns with minority results; the question is whether poor support from minorities hurts Republicans in large cities, whether the rejection by large cities causes minority results to be low (since minorities still mainly live in cities, rather than in small towns), or some combination of each.
There has been extensive polling throughout this election year, and the information taken can be very useful. Americans have consistently said the top 4 issues in this election were Terrorism, the War in Iraq, the Economy in General, or Jobs in Particular. John Kerry gained by making the War in Iraq an issue, and by questioning Job Security during Bush's first term. Kerry also gained for a while in the Economy overall, but Bush was able to regain much of his losses there. The strongest suits for Bush, the War on Terrorism and National Security in the wake of 9/11, were not only important to all Americans, but Kerry's poor explanation of his plans in those issues hurt him badly. It could fairly be said, that except for 9/11 Kerry could have won this election. That should warn Republicans to pay attention to domestic and economic issues before planning on 2006 or 2008.
As for the Democrats, their solution may be amazingly simple, or nearly impossible. If I were in charge of the Democratic strategy for a Presidential campaign, I would take copious notes from the Clinton campaigns, especially 1996. First off, Bill Clinton had a lot of things working for him in 1992, but one very smart move, was he stayed away from attacking the President he was trying to beat. Every winning President does that. Next, Bill Clinton was careful to note his strengths and weaknesses, and to avoid calling attention to the opponent's strengths or his weaknesses. In the case of Kerry, he did exactly the opposite. It's very possible, that the Democrat's nominee for President in 2008, can win by just learning to go in through the door, not to attack walls. Of course, it could also be that Kerry was facing other opposing factors, not so obvious, and if that is the case, nothing but a complete review and reformation of the Democratic Party will be enough. The evidence for that lies in the way that Republicans took the White House in 2000 in time of peace and prosperity, against a VP in a popular Administration, and in 2002 against the normal historical flow of mid-term elections, and again in 2004 under conditions which have historically ended other Administrations. I like George W. Bush, but he's not articulate or charming enough to explain his streak of wins like that. That suggests an underlying strength for the GOP/weakness in the Democrats that is not immediately obvious.
A lot more looking is in order. For now, though, I would suggest to Republicans to consider tailoring an urban message to win some of those cities, and the Democrats need to take some bitter medicine, and listen to the people in those red states and counties, no matter how much they may hate what they learn.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Reading articles and comments across the world, however, I am struck by the large number of people determined to make Arafat a victim, to somehow excuse his many crimes, and instead, as is the Liberal custom now, to put all at the feet of others, no matter how obscene the claim. Many blame the victims, while many more try to explain away the deliberate murders of so many innocents, including women and children, Palestinian as often as anyone else, for the cause of "Social Justice". Somewhere in his dank astral dungeon as he awaits his final judgment, Der Fuhrer must smile grimly at the knowledge that so many are carryiong his vision of exterminating the Jews. The ways in which murder and deliberate targeting of schoolchildren and civilians are excused and defended by these puerile villains would dismay Orwell.
But, thank God, there is hope. Real hope. The Palestinians have managed to make the wrong choice in every decision of the past 150 years, but there is still a chance for them to have a homeland. Let me be clear, though - there is no right to a Palestinian homeland, because racially there is no 'Palestinian' people. "Palestine" was a name used by the British to define the geographic territory of their Mandate in the Middle East, and has no more historical or cultural significance than, say, Waller County in Texas. Moreover, most of the people who call themsleves 'Palestinian' today, have no direct connection to the arabs who lived in the present-day Israel before 1948. Accordingly, the establishment of a Palestinian state is nothing more or less than a means to resolve old grievances without more bloodshed and rancor. The Palestinians, whether they admit it or not, have an unexpected and powerful ally this time around: President Bush. But to succeed thie time, they must put down the terrorist groups, disavow any and all who would advocate violence and murder for political gain. And the Palestinian Authority must become a legitimate and responsible agency for keeping the peace and protecting all innocents.
Unfortunately, History warns us that even if this comes to pass, there will be more and different troubles later. So long as we humans rule our lives, Evil is not destroyed, but only in transition.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Border Security in the United States really comes down to four fronts:
 Air and Sea Port Security
 Alaska and Hawaii Territorial Security
 The Canada-U.S. Border
 The Mexico-U.S. Border
Air and Sea Port Security is not often discussed, much less comprehensively, and I have to admit, a full examination of this facet is beyond me here. Blogs work best with pithy issues and succinct discussions, so I am really only able to provide a sketchy overview, but that may still be useful. The simple fact is, throughout history people have been trying to keep out the unsavory types; locked doors are not indicative of paranoia, nor are metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs. John Kerry may have displayed the best example of functional stupidity on the security issue, by comparing the safety of Americans to checking each and every vessel passing through our ports. Rather like stopping every car in traffic, or inspecting every package in the mail; it simply is not feasible, and there are functional alternatives. In the case of nuclear materials, for example, Magnetic Anomaly Detectors can be used by aircraft to scan approaching vessels long before they reach U.S. territorial waters (Kerry suggested we stop ships at the ports themselves, never considering what would happen if a dirty bomb was detonated at the inspection point), which would pick up heavy metals in even minute quantities. Ultimately, though, we depend on the sorts of tools which have always worked in the past, and which we have always needed; common sense protections and good HUMINT. In short, President Bush has done what is reasonable, establishing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and beefing up border security’s budget and tools.
Alaska and Hawaii Territorial Security have not, to my knowledge, been discussed anywhere, and that is a bit alarming. While AK and HI are not geographically joined to the ‘contiguous 48’, they are very definitely U.S. states, and if you show up in, say, Honolulu or Anchorage and board a plane to, say, New York or Los Angeles, you won’t need passports or other proof of citizenship. Fortunately, the DHS and Customs have taken some steps to address that matter, which is why Al Qaeda has not tried to enter the U.S. via the Hula. It’s also why “Whiner John” Kerry couldn’t bring up the extra-continental states as a point in his campaigns.
The Canada-U.S. Border has actually been the historical weak spot for our territory. For all the talk about the Southern border, in World Wars 1 and 2, it was the Canadian border which saw the most enemy infiltrations, and during the Cold War the most Soviet traffic. Also, in the events following the 9/11 attacks, DHS and FBI agents found terrorist support groups in Northern locations near Dearborn Michigan and Seattle Washington, but none near the Rio Grande. The Bush Administration has been working to address this danger with the Martin Administration, but with only limited success. While cooperation between the FBI and the RCMP has been exemplary, deliberate interference and hostility from MP’s like Carolyn Parrish has endangered the security of both nations.
The Mexico-U.S. Border has received the most attention of all these factors, yet it is in many ways the least understood. A good example of that rests in the way President Bush has been heckled by both Left and Right for his plans regarding relations between Mexico and the United States. To understand the matter better, I would like to point out the objectives, some history, and a quick glance at likely consequences of different alternatives.
A lot of people, even on the Left, have made noise demanding that our borders be sealed. Sounds like a good idea, but how practical is that, really? As an example, remember the Iron Curtain, how the Soviet Union sealed its borders? I mean, if you want a textbook for how to use overwhelming military force to seal a border, you look at the USSR. Yet all those guns, soldiers, and missiles did not stop Matias Rust from flying right into Moscow and landing his rented Cessna right in Red Square in June of 1987, did they? I also recall an incident a few years back, where a Mexican shepherd in the Rio Grande Valley came across a National Guardsman on maneuvers. The young man foolishly aimed a rifle at the soldier, who fired in self-defense, killing the Mexican. The fact is, putting guns on a border will likely mean killing people, sometimes by accidents like that one. The fact is, migrants, smugglers, pirates and all sundry of people salesmen have been crossing borders throughout history; there just is no way to stop it from happening. The best answer then, is to control the flow as best you can, and that, to me, means addressing the causes of border crossings.
A lot of people also forget the history of migrant families. While most of us prefer the stability and relative prosperity of settling in one town and country, there are those whose lives have been in constant motion, for a variety of reasons. While many people have only recently been made aware of it, the fact is that migrant workers in the Southwest United States go back several generations. This complicates the issue, because the common stereotypes just don’t work. It doesn’t fit everyone by any means, but it’s obvious to me that any successful plan for controlling the Southern borders means addressing the million or so migrant workers who aren’t going to change their behavior just because someone makes a speech or wins an election. I’m sure that I don’t need to explain the potentially serious cultural and economic effects which would result from suddenly wrecking the system in place now.
People also forget the fact that there are real limits on what we can accomplish in the immediate future, and to understand that, you have to recall a bit of Mexican history. Before I go into that, take a look at the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Governor of California. Was he everything a rock-solid Conservative would like in a Governor? Of course not, but he was a distinct jump up from the previous fraud, Gray Davis, or the Democrats’ choice to replace him, Cruz Bustamante. You take what you can get, and that applies to the border issue, as well.
Most Americans forget that Mexico did not become an Independent nation with her own President until 1824. In fact, many Americans are unaware that Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, a man known as the villain at the Alamo massacre, is revered in Mexican history as a great patriot, and was once Mexico’s President (1833, again in 1834-1835). The problem was, that Mexico lacked the unity of the American system, wherein a strong central government also embodied protection of individual rights, and a Federal government enjoyed the respect and cooperation from the states. Mexico had an army, but beyond that the government was often unable to enforce the laws enacted. Even today, there remain revolutionaries in the country, attempting to assassinate and overthrow the existing government (the Zapatistas, for instance).
But a great obstacle to true reform in Mexico was the monster known as PRI, the “Institutional Revolutionary Party” which came to power following the 1921 Revolution and came to control every major office in Mexican government. I could go on, but there has been a potential watershed event; the election of Vicente Fox. Fox is the first “opposition-party” candidate to be elected President of Mexico since 1910, and he represents an opportunity Bush knows very well. Fortunately, President Bush was Governor Bush of Texas at the time Fox was elected, so he knows better than most the conditions in Mexico, as well as the opportunity for growth in relations and opportunity on both sides of the border. Fox has had to overcome stubborn resistance from PRI holdouts (to say nothing of attempts on his life at least 3 times) to institute critical reforms in Mexican government. We are fortunate that Fox is also determined to root out narco-terrorists, who have established fortified complexes in a number of towns on Mexico’s north and south borders, and the FBI has assisted GAFE in ridding a number of regions of these threats to both the U.S. and Mexico. Fox and Bush have met numerous times, and the media has somehow failed to recognize that cooperation between the two leaders has been handled adroitly and quietly. Professionals often receive less credit than they deserve, and that is certainly the case here.
Now, as to the “guest worker” issue, some people would like to see an “iron fist” approach, but all that would do, really, is prevent people from cooperating with authorities. Let me elaborate on that.
There are, in basic, four classes of people who want to cross our border from Mexico:
 People who want to come here for a better life
 People who want to come here and sell their products, expanding their range of business (NAFTA)
 People who want to smuggle things or people in, like drugs
 People who want to come into the U.S. to commit violence
Think for a moment about those people. Do they all think alike, and would they all want the same things? Obviously not. More, it’s just reasonable to think that the first two groups are far more numerous than the other two, and are also the most likely to notice people in the last two groups. So, it would seem to me that the best course of action is to establish a situation, where the first two groups are encouraged, at least well enough that they would work to expose the last two groups.
I’m not saying that people who break the law to get into the USA should get rewarded for it, but I do think there is a problem, where a citizen who drives drunk may be treated more leniently than a man who comes into our country to try to help feed his family. And I know there’s a problem, when people who could be helping authorities catch the really bad guys, run at the sight of a badge, because they have no reason to expect any kind of break.
Is the “guest worker” concept the best solution? Maybe not, but think. We already know that passing laws to punish illegal aliens doesn’t really stop them from coming across; we just make life really hard on the ones we catch. We know that we need to catch terrorists and smugglers, and the people who know where to catch those guys are afraid of the INS and DHS.
If we put a bunch of soldiers and guns on the border, the terrorist will just look for an easier way (like planes from other countries, or that Canada border I talked about), we’ll spend a ton of money and sooner or later some people will get killed in an incident, and Vicente Fox will look to the Mexican voters like a man who can’t protect Mexicans. Yeah, the Democrats play up the story that Bush is a unilateralist, but in point of fact, Bush is thinking more about helping our allies than any Democrat I know.
No, there won’t be a wave of happy Mexicans rushing to work with the United States, but gradually there can be a foundation of trust. And frankly, something has got to be done about this problem, which respects not only our need for National Security, but a fair and effective resolution which improves conditions for the nation as a whole. It will help Mexico stabilize, which improves their chances for becoming a First-world nation, which is, all in all, the best and quickest way to stem the tide of illegal immigration. When a man can make a life for his family without crossing borders, then he won’t have that motive. And no, it’s not a handout, but simply recognizing that helping Mexico now in 2004 will pay our nation dividends in generations to come.
I am, of course, willing to consider alternate solutions. I just haven’t read or heard any. Whining by people unfamiliar with the issue doesn’t count. Carping by people trying to get in a cheap shot is even less acceptable.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
I should know the person who said that, and yeah, I'm probably misquoting it slightly too, but for here it's enough to dwell a bot on that thought.
One week removed from "The Most Important Election in Our Lifetimes" (so says Senator Kerry, after all) , it's interesting to watch the direction each faction takes in digesting the results. Particularly interesting to me, is to speculate on the future of the Old Media.
Earlier this year, I wrote that we should not expect to see radical or sudden changes in the way most people get their news and information; while the New Media is a real force, and in time will simply abolish those bastions of elitism and blatant bias in the guise of objective journalism, it's a gradual process, and in any case, we will always need to be careful about trusting everything we read or hear, no matter the source. Also, since the Main Pain Media is the only source for most front-line reporting, hairspray and condescension will be in sharp focus in many television sets for the forseeable future. But then again, maybe not as long as I originally thought.
As you have doubtless heard from countless Home Entertainment salepeople, we are entering the where it is possible to integrate all your electronics, from cell phones to televisions to CD players and computers... you get the idea. What I find interesting is that sites like Ananova make it possible for you to specialize your news, and that's a trend worth thinking about. In a future world, Joe 'Merican is going to be able to program his news for the category, style, you name it. Imagine a world where you can program your computer to seek links to verify statements made by the newscaster, or where you can submit search queries to balance, say, CBS against positions by Little Green Footballs or Instapundit? Imagine programs which score the veracity of news aencies by measuring their claims against support? The simple fact is, the technology is already there, and the audience is heading there. It's entirely possible that the MPM will choose not to go there, fearing the loss of their influence, and so abrogate the evolution of Information Retrieval to a new competitor, as yet unnamed.
Wait and see, I guess. But I would remind Dan Rather, et al, that their game plan has been tried before. And there's a reason people speak dismissively of anyone who is a 'dinosaur'.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Richard Milhous Nixon had stunned the Establishment. A man elected with barely 43% of the Popular Vote in 1968, who seemed unable to proceed with anything not supported by both the Republican Party leadership and the majority of the House and Senate (both dominated by Democrats), Nixon had managed to end the war in Vietnam, establish the Environmental Protection Agency, reach critical new agreements with both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, and survive a recession without significant consequences. In his re-election bid in 1972, Nixon took more than 60% of the Popular Vote and all but one state in the Electoral Vote. Nixon had centralized Federal power in the White House beyond the dreams of most Presidents, and certainly far beyond the expectations of any Congressional Republican or Democrat. The Congress, to put it plainly, did not like this balance one bit.
While the excesses of the Nixon Administration are clearly inexcusable, it bears noting that Nixon may reasonably be compared to Lyndon Johnson or Bill Clinton in his arrogance of power, yet neither LBJ nor Clinton was ever in significant danger of losing their office (yes, Clinton was impeached, but even a number of Republicans in the Senate said they were not sure about voting for conviction. In the event, less than half the Senate voted to convict Clinton). The difference, among other factors, was that both Johnson and Clinton made sure to mend fences in key relationships, while Nixon took on all opponents full-bore.
Many Democrats might like to compare the characters of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, but there is no such similarity. However, just like Nixon, then Reagan, Dubya finds himself in time of rising power at his hand. If he is careless in his positions, then challenges like the one shot by Arlen "Benedict Arnold" Specter will be repeated, but if Bush is careful to build his coalition and make clear that the heart of the GOP comes from his support (remember the effect of Bush campaigning in 2002, and the coat-tails acknowledged even by Dan Rather this year), then the President may proceed to accomplish more lasting effect than any Republican President in a century.
It's not only the Democrats who need to look at that Election results map by County, and note that the title is "Bush Country".
Saturday, November 06, 2004
First, it's nothing more than a desperate Liberal pipe dream, to think that President Bush does not have a mandate to lead. After all, eighteen Presidential elections were won by a candidate who claimed less than 50% of the Popular Vote, including some who are honored as among our best Presidents. I've already written about that on Polipundit. So, there really is no question that President Bush has a mandate, more than many Presidents.
The real questions should be: What sort of mandate does President Bush own, and what should the Democrats' position be in the next 4 years? Also, since there is a clear sense of division between the Left and Right, what can be done to move ahead?
Simply put, since the GOP controls the White House, the House and Senate, and from that position has increased its numbers in both the House and Senate, the GOP may reasonably be called the Majority Party, who sets the agenda, makes the rules, and runs the show. It's quite reasonable for Democrats to say that the Republicans should be held responsible for whatever happens in the next 4 years, but it's also reasonable that if the GOP will face all the consequences for whatever happens in the next 4 years, then they have every right to tell the Democrats to take the back seat and shut up. This is especially the case after the nasty hypocrisy shown by Democrats, who got a lot of consideration from Bush during the first term, but refused to grant any sort of credit to the President. In consideration of the Democrats' boorish and sometimes thuggish tactics, I suspect that Republicans rallied and Undecideds were swayed to support a man unfairly attacked. But it remains a plain fact, that the Republicans have done a number of things in the past 4 years to work with the Democrats, while the Democrats have done nothing to cooperate with the Republicans, and we now know that they even intended to pretend cooperation in order to hide manipulation of security issues for political advantage (remember the Rockefeller memo?). There simply exists no basis for trusting the Democrats. Fool me once, shame on you, try it again and your name is Pelosi.
The problem with "All GOP Leadership", is that not all Republicans are the same. RINO is not a mispelt African animal, after all. We all know that Senators like Specter, McCain, and far too many others do exactly as they please, and hide behind the party when they run for re-election. A lot of people don't realize that this game has been played for many, many years.
Before I go on with Republicans, I think it's important to note the difference, operationally, between the Republicans and the Democrats, and the difference between the House and the Senate.
Maybe it has something to do with running for office more often than the Senate, but House members are a lot more willing to cross the aisle. It's also probably due to the fact, that with 435 Representatives, it's easier to blend in than in the hundred-member Senate. Pay attention to the news, and you'll notice that the average Senator is likely to spin the party line, while the parties usually send out the leadership from the House. Then again, maybe it's the egos; you hear Senator A and B talk all the time about the White House, often implying they belong there themselves, but the only time you hear about a Representative in connection with the White House, is when someone is discussing the Constitutional Succession of the Presidency. All in all, then, it means that most of the trouble comes from the better-paid, bigger-ego'd Senators.
Now, about Democrats. There's a lot of talk about organization, and in different comparisons each party has its advantages, but in the case of lining up the Senators, there's a clear difference. The GOP seems to go hat in hand to their Senators, asking them to support the President. The Democrat leadership tells their Senators that anyone who bucks against the President (when a Democrat is in office) can expect to lose campaign money and support they need for the bills their state is watching for them to deliver. If I was going to put it on one thing, I think the Democrats learned discipline back in the FDR days, and got it taught again under LBJ, while the Republicans still act like they think they're the minority party. That's one reason why Bush needs to be brash and claim the country for his plans; Bush needs to simply say the Republicans are in control, and he should follow it up with a little meeting here and there, to privately explain to Senators and Congressmen that their futures rest on supporting him. Because Bush can follow through on that threat, when it hits the GOP pretenders, they will realize that Bush is where the money comes from, that his support means winning and his absence wil cost them. Some people think "Bush Dynasty" means that Bush plans on keeping the White House in the family, but it actually better describes the fact that President Bush can make or break the political career of anyone in Washington, and his family will control that kind of influence for a number of years to come, even after he leaves office.
As for the country, there are three critical missions which must not fail. First, Supreme Court appointments must be set up. The Democrats can and will whine, but there are 2 or 3 positions which need to be filled. It doesn't matter who Bush presents, the Democrats will demonize him/her. Tough it out, though, and the nation will be better for it. We need justices who will obey the Constitution, not try to read new "rights" into it.
Second, the Bush Doctrine must prevail in Iraq. Hundreds of millions of lives will be directly be bettered directly by the eradication of structured terrorist groups in the Middle East, and supporting a genuine Arab Democratic Republic is a win for the planet, though every dictator and backwards oligarchy and repressive theocracy will decry it.
Third, there is always a consequence for every action. It is well past time, when Americans in general can trust their government to be responsible, and to demand that our history be celebrated, not perverted. Kids need to be taught what's right with America, to be optimistic about the system and our government, and to judge people as individuals, putting away Class Warfare and the rhetoric of hate spewing from the Left. Liberal values are important, but balance is essential, and frankly, long overdue.
The Mandate matters. President Bush knows it, and we are fortunate that this man, who has met a number of tough challenges already, is up to this one as well.
Friday, November 05, 2004
The two teams walked out onto the field, and the officials led the Captains to the 50-yard line for the toss. As the two Captains shook hands, the linebacker I had seen being cautioned by his coach grasped his opponent's hand firmly, looked him straight in the eye, and in a voice loud enough to be heard at the sidelines, informed him "gonna f--- you up" .
fwip! went the Crew Chief's flag, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the coach drop his jaw and his clipboard. His team got a 15-yard Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty before even the first kickoff, and they simply never recovered from that.
I mention this, not only because it was one of those interesting things I got to experience as a ref, but also because I sense the same sort of blunder by the Democrats. To be it bluntly, they had a really good chance to win the White House, but started off with the wrong message.
The Democrats had an impressive set of advantages and clever tactics for this campaign: The press was distinctly on the side of the Left, to such degree that Dan Rather kept trying to use forged documents to smear the President, even weeks after admitting they were as phony as his claim to objectivity. Michael Moore had managed to sell a slanderous pack of lies to the world as a "documentary", in defiance of all decency and most Federal Election law. George Soros, not even an American citizen, had personally poured anywhere from 30 to 40 million dollars into a boorish attempt to buy the election. Hollywood, never representative of America, did its best to lie about the President's work and personal character to sway the gullible. Several Democrat-supporting groups compared Bush to Hitler and the GOP to Nazis, even as they physically assaulted GOP volunteers, slashing tires of vans to prevent Republicans from voting, and in three documented cases, fired guns into or at Bush campaign offices (Nazis are as Nazis do, you thugs), as well as numerous vandal attacks and break-ins of GOP offices (If it was wrong for Nixon's thugs to do it, why is it OK for Democrats to do it?). And the Democrats had managed to evade any serious discussion of Kerry's qualifications, working hard to make the election solely an attack on the President. Kerry's questionable claim to his medals was ignored, and when decorated veterans brought up the question, Kerry's attack dogs shouted them down and claimed that while it was critical for the President to answer rumors and unsupported allegations about his service in the National Guard, it was unacceptable for hundreds of war veterans to challenge Kerry's fairy-tale accounts. Kerry's treason, by meeting with Viet Cong leaders in Paris while the United States was still at war in Vietnam and Kerry remained a Naval Reserve Officer, was hushed up. Kerry's membership in a group which advocated assassination of U.S. Congressmen was side-stepped. Kerry second-guessed every decision Bush made about the Iraq War, including the ones Kerry supported when Bush made those decisions. And Kerry continued to press the lie about the "bad" economy, long after its recovery was obvious to everyone not a Liberal lawyer with a huge political ego to feed.
With all these advantages, assisted by Bush's clumsy public speaking and difficulty explaining complex decisions in a 90-second or 2-minute span, Kerry edged to a lead, especially in the Midwest, where it became obvious the election would be decided. Yet Kerry lost. How did this happen?
There are 4 major parts to the election chemistry; Money, Image, the Official Message and the Unofficial Message. Somehow Kerry forgot that the message is delivered on more than one level. Bush was careful to decry the 527's, knowing many Americans disliked the ads. He remained aware, of course, that he could not rein in the Swift Boat Vets, as they were a private group with1st Amendment rights, just as MoveOn.org was. But Bush, who probably didn't like the negative attacks on Kerry (though he did attack his record, which is not a negative tactic at all, by the way), was careful to make sure the American voter knew that the unofficial message attacking Kerry was not coming from him. Kerry, on the other hand, used profanity in describing the President early on, he specifically called Bush's supporters the "biggest bunch of crooks" - Kerry essentially echoed a lot of the cheap shots, and he never bothered to step away from the hate. That tied Kerry to personal attacks and no-class sniping, and it hurt him when it counted.
Bill Cinton defeated a popular President Bush in 1992, using the Economy issue effectively, but never suggesting publicly that he had anything but great respect for the President. That took the edge off some GOP attacks on Clinton, because clinton looked better than the image they were projecting. In Kerry's case, instead of proving his detractors wrong, over and over again he proved them right. He tripped over a Secret Service man, then blamed the other guy. He went to a Wendy's while his real gourmet meal was being prepared on a bus, and blew that photo op by insulting a group of Marines there because they supported the President. He tried to sell exclusive resorts and expensive sports as evidence he was a regular-guy, and he reminded every living person on the planet about his Vietnam experience, long after it had lost any virtue in supporting his claim to a responsible character.
To be sure, there are honorable aspects to John Kerry. He did serve in Vietnam, and he did see combat, whatever else is said about him. He is very supportive of his wife Tereza, and clearly loves his daughters very much. His long tenure as a Senator shows that the people of Massachusetts have repeatedly found him worthy of their trust. But the message John Kerry sent to America, more than anything else, was that he was not qualified to be President. Like that football Captain at the start of this article, John Kerry was chosen to lead his team, but before the contest even began, he set a tone for sure defeat.
Four years from now, there will be another run for the White House. I hope when that time comes again, the Democrats will think longer and harder about the they want to send to America. Defeatism and cheap shots at the Right (supported by 59 million voters this last time) is just going to hurt them before they even get started.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
I noticed my sitemeter is way down from its normal pace. Small wonder really, since a lot of people were coming by to check on the Reader's Presidential Poll, and my work on the polls leading up to the election. Now that the election is over, small guys like me are, well, smaller. Just sixty people have come by today. Six-oh.
I admit, I was a little depressed when I first saw the numbers. After all, I blog because I want to share my thoughts. But after some thought, I realized that in a way, this site is becoming like an exclusive locale, known only to the truly adventerous and discerning. The people who come here now are the ones who understand the issues better, and who share a common appetite for exchanging ideas and learning. At least, I hope that's the case. I will continue to post on politics, but also on other moral and life issues. Don't forget the comments sections will still be there, so if there is something you'd like to see or want me to cut out, please sound off.
But especially, thank you all for coming by and reading my articles. I really do appreciate it, and hope that I will be a worthy contributor to your reading pleasure.
When we apply this to Politics, we see the emergence of many patterns and phenomena, but for this article, I would submit that in general, we see three types of politicians: The Selfish, the Idealist, and the Leader. This is not to judge them overly kindly or harshly; each official faces a situation pretty much unique to its time and place. But there is a pattern of method I see in the way these officials address their responsibilities.
The Selfish politicians will meet their responsibilities more or less, but are known for doing things in whatever way gets them credit, and fits into their existing plans. The best recent example of such a politician is President Clinton, who was able to produce legislation, display canny tactics, and get his way even when he lacked a majority of support (note that in neither of his two election victories, did he match or exceed 50% of the vote). But Clinton accomplished no lasting work; as an example, look at his attempt to reform Healthcare. When Clinton's socialist approach failed in 1993, he simply discarded the effort and moved on to other things. In comparison, George W. Bush accomplished more in his first term for Healthcare reform, than Clinton managed in two. Other examples include President Coolidge and President Andrew Johnson.
The Idealist politicians have grand notions of what they hope to accomplish, but often fail to understand the pragmatic requirements, or the limits of what can be done. A recent example of that sort, is President G.H.W. Bush, who envisioned a Middle East at peace after the first Gulf War, but who failed to foresee the enmity of repressive states in the region, or the duplicity of his political opponents. Like Clinton, the first President Bush failed to establish any lasting results from his work. Other examples include President Wilson and President Carter.
The Leaders are politicians who set aside their personal preferences for the good of the nation, who choose a course because it is necessary, and who are willing to face personal loss in order to do what is right. It's no surprise to people who know me, that I consider President George W. Bush such a man, but to present a better example, I would submit Presidents Kennedy and Reagan. While some would suggest that the two men had little in common, I would say that in both cases, what the men wanted when they entered office had to be set aside in favor of what the country needed. Kennedy was a Democrat who cut taxes; Reagan was a Republican who made treaties with the Soviets. Kennedy was willing to risk his political future to face down Khruschev; Reagan was willing to risk his political future to face down Andropov and Chernenko.
The lesson for today? George W. Bush and John F. Kerry are two completely different kinds of politicians. I warrant that Americans recognized the difference, and chose accordingly.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
I took the Popular Vote numbers from CNN, as well as the EV tally (presuming Bush takes Ohio, Iowa, and New Mexico, since he is leading all three states), and here’s the tentative numbers:
President Bush ======== 58,489,865 ==== 51.4% ====== 286 EV
Senator Kerry========= 54,970,878 ==== 48.3% ====== 252 EV
Ralph Nader============ 391,533 ===== 00.3%
Looking at these numbers, I can begin to comment on the people who nailed either the Popular Vote or the Electoral Vote. I will post another version Friday, either correcting the numbers if they change, or confirming these winners.
No one got it exactly right, but three people got Bush’s PV mark exactly right. And one pundit was less than half-point off.
Bruce Campbell, who posted on October 27 at 3:02 PM, predicted Bush 51.4%, Kerry 47.7%, which was off by an aggregate 0.6 points. Bruce got Bush’s number exactly right, and closer than the other two posters who got it exactly right. If the PV stands up, Bruce is our winner!
Bill, who posted on October 13 at 4:06 PM, predicted Bush 51.5%, Kerry 48.5%, which was off by only 0.3 aggregate points. Well done!
dukeblondie, who posted on October 12 at 2:51 PM, predicted Bush 51.4%, Kerry 46.6%, off by an aggregate 1.7 points.
And IJB, who posted on October 14 at 9:23 PM, predicted Bush 51.4%, Kerry 46.3%, off by an aggregate 2.0 points.
Also worth noting, are the people who got the EV pick exactly right:
Anthony Roberts posted at 8:46 PM on October 30, picking 286-252 for the EV mark. The 51-48.5 PV prediction was only 0.6 aggregate points off!
soccer4ever posted at 12:38 PM on October 25, also picking 286-252 for the EV mark. The 51-47 PV prediction was 1.7 aggregate points off.
Duncan Currie posted at 11:30 AM on October 29, also picking 286-252 for the EV mark. The 52-47 PV prediction was 1.9 aggregate points off.
Finally, Carl Richardson posted at 1:50 AM on October 31, also picking 286-252 for the EV mark. The 50.1-49.3 PV prediction was 2.3 aggregate points off.
Congratulations to our winners! The entire Scoreboard is still up, if you want to check the whole list.
CHANGES LOCKED OUT AS OF FRIDAY, FINAL PREDICTIONS NOW CLOSED
This board started three weeks out; Close enough to the election, that a lot of people have their idea of who will win, and far enough out that the numbers may not be obvious. I have put up the predictions from everyone who wants to put it up in front of everyone. This board will be on top of this site every day through the election, with the nominations for specific Popular and Electoral Vote balances noted. The winner gets bragging rights (hey, I do this for free), which is a nice prize in the Blogosphere.
Predictions have been added to this board in the Comments section here or over on Polipundit on the "Scoreboard" thread. The predictions include the Popular Vote breakdown expected, the Electoral Vote if desired (also for tiebreakers), and include your email to validate. I will post all predictions, by PV and EV and date and post name.
NOTE: Gates will close for predictions on November 1st!
Through 11:00 AM, November 1:
 Bush 67.5, Kerry 32 [EV unk] beavereater, 10.29.04, 6:19 PM
 Bush 63, Kerry 34 [B519-019] Emile Zola, 1012.04, 4:12 PM
 Bush 63, Kerry 35 [B320-218] Ron Steele, 10.28.04, 4:39 PM
 Bush 61.5, Kerry 32.4 [B403-130] JTB in Texas, 10.29.04, 1:13 PM
 Bush 61, Kerry 38 [EV unk] HL Shancken, 10.17.04, 3:39 PM
 Bush 60, Kerry 38 [EV unk] Drew, 10.15.04, 12:39 PM
 Bush 60, Kerry+Nader 40 [EV unk] G Galvan, 10.21.04, 2:46 PM
 Bush 58.7, Kerry 41 [B395-143] Ovi, 10.12.04, 11:32 PM
 Bush 58.6, Kerry 41.4 [B465-073] Robert Modean, 10.12.04, 3:16 PM
 Bush 58.1, Kerry 43.8 [EV unk] Joe Schmoe, 10.28.04, 4:33 PM
 Bush 58, Kerry 40 [EV unk] Paula, 10.23.04, 11:03 PM
 Bush 58, Kerry 40 [EV unk] Todd, 10.27.04, 3:08 PM
 Bush 58, Kerry 41 [B312-226] Gabe Gabaldon, 10.29.04, 11:40 PM
 Bush 57.5, Kerry 40.5 [B395-143] pawnking, 10.29.04, 12:44 PM
 Bush 57, Kerry 41 [B396-142] Kevin McClenathan, 10.17.04, 4:05 PM
 Bush 57, Kerry 41 [EV unk] Larry Meiring, 10.23.04, 9:28 PM
 Bush 57, Kerry 42 [B350-188] Randy Nelson, 10.18.04, 6:19 PM
 Bush 57, Kerry 42 [B347-191] daniel a, 10.17.04, 6:01 PM
 Bush 57, Kerry 42 [B302-236] Robin Burk, 10.30.04, 6:43 PM
 Bush 57, Kerry 42 [EV unk ] Bill Roberts, 10.12.04, 2:11 PM
 Bush 57, Kerry 42 [EV unk] Bill K, 10.12.04, 2:29 PM
 Bush 57, Kerry 43 [B350-089] Carl, 10.26.04, 1:08 PM
 Bush 56.6, Kerry 40.7 [B342-196] Spitfire, 10.30.04, 8:33 PM
 Bush 56.5, Kerry 42 [B359-179] Michael Ihle, 10.13.04, 4:55 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 38 [EV unk], George, 10.23.04, 10:33 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 41 [B353-185] Gordy Hulten, 10.21.04, 4:50 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 42 [B350-188] medscribe, 10.12.04 2:10 PM (1st to cite EV picks)
 Bush 56, Kerry 42 [EV unk] Another Thought, 10.27.04, 3:20 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 43 [B353-185] Judd Bandry, 10.12.04, 6:18 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 43 [B342-196] Recycler, 10.25.04, 12:19 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 43 [B335-203] Myron, 10.12.04, 3:15 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 43 [B335-103] max, 10.30.04, 8:30 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 43 [B291-248] Patrick, 10.26.04, 6:23 PM
 Bush 56, Kerry 44 [B356-182] Alvar N.C.de Vaca, 10.14.04, 12:32 PM
 Bush 55.9, Kerry 43 [EV unk] kcourt, 10.23.04, 10:24 PM
 Bush 55.8, Kerry 42.4 [B318-220] Joe Cox, 10.12.04, 3:34 PM
 Bush 55.5, Kerry 42.5 [B356-182] Jayson Javitz, 10.29.04, 2:12 PM
 Bush 55.5, Kerry 43 [B353-185] Lloyd, 10.15.04, 12:54 PM
 Bush 55.5, Kerry 44 [EV unk], D.C. Weir, 10.29.04, 12:08 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 39 [B335-203] Geoff, 10.23.04, 9:25 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 42 [B377-161] Gary, 10.18.04, 7:26 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [B440-098] Dennis, 10.18.04, 1:42 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [B405-133] Brad Huston, 10.12.04, 2:31 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [B404-134] TomS, 10.15.04, 12:14 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [B395-143] DJ Drummond, 03.01.04
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [B357-181] Iblis, 10.15.04, 7:18 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [B350-188] Duano, 10.16.04, 9:06 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [B320-218] retired military, 10.15.04, 11:45 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [B318-220] Darrell Harris, 10.18.04, 5:21 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [EV unk] GerryG, 10.18.04, 8:36 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 43 [EV unk] Duane Roelands, 10.26.04, 3:10 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 44 [B374-164] Cincinnatus, 10.30.04, 8:13 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 44 [B371-166] Michael, 10.15.04, 4:37 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 44 [B320-218] Schneide, 10.19.04, 6:13 AM
 Bush 55, Kerry 44 [B310-228] Jason dru-net, 10.31.04, 2:59 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 44 [B305-233] Solly, 10.23.04, 9:19 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 44 [EV unk] Steve Larrimore, 10.14.04, 12:37 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 45 [B388-150] Rutherford, 10.15.04, 2:48 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 45 [B312-226] Andreas, 10.17.04, 12:32 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 45 [EV unk] M Evans, 10.12.04, 4:31 PM
 Bush 55, Kerry 48 [B298-220] Linda, 10.31.04, 12:02 AM
 Bush 54.7, Kerry unk [B295-243] Joel Collinsworth, 10.15.04, 3:37 PM
 Bush 54.6, Kerry 44.0 [B339-199] Kenneth Gankofskie, 10.24.04, 5:00 AM
 Bush 54.6, Kerry 44.3 [B396-142] Joe Tetreault, 10.26.04, 2:21 PM
 Bush 54.5, Kerry 43.5 [B352-186] Bradley Hampton, 10.31.04, 1:38 PM
 Bush 54.5, Kerry 44.3 [EV unk] Chris Hopkins, 10.14.04, 9:57 AM
 Bush 54.5, Kerry 44.5 [B393-144] Albert Jones, 10.28.04, 5:04 PM
 Bush 54.4, Kerry 44.2 [B331-207] WyGuy, 10.18.04, 9:18 PM
 Bush 54.4, Kerry 44.5 [B374-164] Twi, 10.29.04, 10:16 PM
 Bush 54.3, Kerry 41.6 [B279-259] Michelle Z., 10.28.04, 4:38 PM
 Bush 54.2, Kerry 43.9 [B341-198] Shmuel Melamed, 10.24.04, 9:16 PM
 Bush 54.2, Kerry 44.8 [B300-238] Norman Conquest, 10.29.04, 1:46 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 43 [EV unk] jvr, 10.12.04, 2:59 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 43 [EV unk] howard the liberal, 10.18.04, 12:14 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [B374-164] Blinkblogger, 10.17.04, 11:05 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [B352-186] erkoch, 10.30.04, 11:57 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [B335-203] pat, 10.24.04, 7:22 AM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [B315-223] Mark L, 10.18.04, 9:56 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [B312-226] ddoolin, 10.12.04, 5:11 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [K303-235] Robin, 10.29.04, 1:05 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [B300-238] Craddock, 10.15.04, 12:17 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [EV unk] JB, 10.12.04, 4:18 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [EV unk] Gmac, 10.15.04, 3:13 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44 [EV unk] Julie, 10.22.04, 5:20 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 44.5 [B320-218] Vic, 10.16.04, 9:28 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B374-164] bw, 10.30.04, 10:27 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B369-169] CoolPa, 10.19.04, 6:11 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B349-189] Stephen Nichols, 10.15.04, 7:45 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B345-193] Evinx, 10.12.04, 8:44 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B343-195] wendy forward’s mom, 10.12.04, 3:21 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B336-185] fritz, 10.12.04, 2:40 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B331-207] Lyon Jewett, 10.26.04, 1:16 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B320-218] Andy, 10.31.04, 6:55 AM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B315-224] Bill S, 10.27.04, 3:54 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B315-223] Tony in Maine, 10.29.04, 1:23 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B312-226] Wally Lind, 10.19.04, 6:49 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B311-227] Aaron, 10.28.04, 5:53 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B310-238] Behind Enemy Lines, 10.12.04, 2:56 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [B305-233] Adam Lawson, 10.12.04, 3:12 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [EV unk] Todd, 10.12.04, 3:39 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [EV unk] Diamond bar Mike, 10.12.04, 5:26 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [EV unk] ty gregg, 10.15.04, 3:30 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 45 [EV unk] cincysux, 10.19.04, 5:08 PM
 Bush 54, Kerry 46 [B293-245] Jonathan V. Last, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 54, Kerry 46 [B291-247] James4, 10.26.04, 3:20 PM
 Bush 53.8, Kerry 44.9 [B305-233] Greg H, 10.12.04, 5:08 PM
 Bush 53.8, Kerry 45.1 [B349-189] Jeff Guentensberger, 10.26.04, 1:33 PM
 Bush 53.7, Kerry 45.1 [B335-203] Stuart S., 10.24.04, 1:55 AM
 Bush 53.6, Kerry 45.5 [B317-221] David H., 10.31.04, 12:20 AM
 Bush 53.5, Kerry 45 [B312-226] PineapplePaul, 10.16.04, 9:44 PM
 Bush 53.4, Kerry 43.2 [EV unk] A Alejandro, 10.18.04, 10:05 PM
 Bush 53.3, Kerry 45.2 [B301-237] Steve, 10.15.04, 6:13 PM
 Bush 53.2, Kerry 46.2 [B311-227] Brantley Smith, 10.12.04, 4:22 PM
 Bush 53.1, Kerry 45.3 [B301-234] oblomov, 10.19.04, 5:40 PM
 Bush 53.1, Kerry unk [B310-238] Jack, 10.16.04, 9:30 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 41 [EV unk] lykhach, 10.12.04, 3:01 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 44 [B310-228] Corie Schweitzer, 10.18.04, 5:29 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 44 [B291-247] Chemboss, 10.25.04, 12:50 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 44 [B290-248] David, 10.31.04, 10:22 AM
 Bush 53, Kerry 44.5 [B354-184] Michael Fabiano, 10.15.04, 1:49 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B371-167] Gary Matthew Miller, 10.12.04, 4:51 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B374-164] Charlotte, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B325-213] Pete Harrigan, 10.15.04, 5:45 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B311-227] Brandon, 10.24.04, 1:37 AM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B310-228] Gad, 10.18.04, 4:30 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B308-230] Kelli, 10.15.04, 7:46 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B306-232] Alexander, 10.15.04, 5:07 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B306-232] Peggy Oberg, 10.21.04, 3:45 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B284-254] MWB, 10.29.04, 10:10 AM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [B276-262] E Tennessee Republican, 10.27.04, 3:32 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45 [EV unk] Addison, 10.12.04, 2:28 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 45.4 [B320-218] Kevin Jackson, 10.12.04, 3:59 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B368-170] Mr. Right, 11.01.04, 1:30 AM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B343-195] Michelle, 10.12.04, 3:22 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B340-198] Brent T, 10.12.04, 2:22 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B334-204] Perry, 10.19.04, 4:40 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B332-206] Anthony, 10.18.04, 8:18 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B332-206] cwenger, 10.22.04, 5:15 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B331-206] Sammy Boy, 10.12.04, 3:37 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B331-207] Tom Gordon, 10.18.04, 12:41 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B328-210] totally sirius, 10.12.04, 3:19 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B328-210] TN Conservative, 10.12.04, 3:28 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B321-214] GayPaytriot, 10.13.04, 12:13 AM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B321-217] Penny Silver, 10.15.04, 2:12 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B317-221] AWW, 10.12.04, 2:34 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B311-227] Dan, 10.12.04, 6:31 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B310-228] jpg, 10.12.04, 3:12 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B310-165] Jonathan Petramala, 10.31.04, 11:52 AM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B305-233] INC, 10.24.04, 2:39 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B303-235] Rusty, 10.15.04, 2:38 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B300-238] Southern Boy, 10.20.04, 10:30 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B297-241] kdeweb, 10.14.04, 1:43 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B297-232] Patrick Casey, 10.24.04, 11:37 AM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B296-242] Positivethinking, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B295-243] Doud S, 10.31.04, 12:10 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B292-246] Dave Schmidt, 10.12.04, 4:05 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B291-247] bob friedman, 10.15.04, 12:00 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B291-247] Scott Rosenthal, 10.28.04, 7:12 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B290-248] Ellis Wyatt, 10.15.04, 1:35 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B290-248] mategethoff, 10.17.04, 5:08 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B289-249] Eric Lindholm, 10.15.04, 7:38 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [B274-264] Kent, 10.18.04, 11:55 AM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [EV unk] Midwest Kay, 10.12.04, 3:13 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [EV unk] blw321, 10.14.04, 1:22 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [EV unk] Joanne, 10.15.04, 3:05 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 46 [EV unk] CT, 10.27.04, 3:43 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 47 [B300-238] Susan, 10.12.04, 3:08 PM
 Bush 53, Kerry 47 [B291-247] Cableguy, 10.12.04, 3:40 PM
 Bush 52.95, Kerry 46.35 [B304-231] HHU TuttoMatto, 10.29.04, 6:46
 Bush 52.9, Kerry 45.3 [B333-205] Gary Smith, 10.18.04, 7:22 PM
 Bush 52.9, Kerry 45.7 [B296-242] GWB Senior, 10.29.04, 6:48 PM
 Bush 52.9, Kerry 47.9 [B295-243] Mark Galliher, 10.12.04, 6:32 PM
 Bush 52.8, Kerry 44.6 [B310-228] Neville Trinidade, 10.23.04, 10:04 PM
 Bush 52.8, Kerry 45.6 [B314-224] David Harrill, 10.17.04, 12:26 PM
 Bush 52.7, Kerry 45.3 [B331-207] Don D, 10.15.04, 1:02 PM
 Bush 52.6, Kerry 45.7 [EV unk] LibraryLady, 10.15.04 6:29 PM
 Bush 52.6, Kerry 45.8 [B356-182] Scott Elliott, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 52.6, Kerry 46.3 [B306-232] Lawrence Person, 10.26.04, 1:22 PM
 Bush 52.6, Kerry 47.1 [EV unk] Dan Frazier, 10.15.04, 1:44 PM
 Bush 52.55, Kerry 44.95 [EV unk] HolyHumpa, 10.18.04, 4:01 PM
 Bush 52.5, Kerry 45 [B321-217] freddy caple, 10.17.04, 8:17 PM
 Bush 52.5, Kerry 45.3 [EV unk] Alan H., 10.15.04, 1:33 PM
 Bush 52.5, Kerry 45.8 [EV unk] Rocketman, 10.12.04 5:44 PM
 Bush 52.5, Kerry 46.3 [B317-221] farmGolfer, 10.30.04, 8:36 PM
 Bush 52.5, Kerry 46.5 [B308-230] Jim Edholm, 10.12.04, 7:54 PM
 Bush 52.5, Kerry 46.5 [EV unk] Cohiba, 10.23.04, 10:07 PM
 Bush 52.5, Kerry 47.5 [B324-214] Ipse Dixit, 10.15.04, 11:26 PM
 Bush 52.4, Kerry 46.2 [B310-229] EyesofTX, 10.29.04, 1:14 PM
 Bush 52.4, Kerry 46.9 [B342-196] matt, 10.27.04, 11:58 AM
 Bush 52.3, Kerry 46.6 [B373-162] S Santomauro, 10.12.04, 7:10 PM
 Bush 52.3, Kerry 46.7 [B300-238] Richard, 10.25.04, 1:51 PM
 Bush 52.3, Kerry 47.0 [B306-232] Go Dawgs, 10.25.04, 1:16 PM
 Bush 52.2, Kerry 47.0 [B307-231] JeanneB, 10.26.04, 2:04 PM
 Bush 52.2, Kerry 47.0 [B288-250] CGB54, 10.15.04, 10:00 PM
 Bush 52.1, Kerry 46.0 [B360-178] AuH2Orepublican, 10.28.04, 9:16 PM
 Bush 52.1, Kerry 46.8 [EV unk] nwoods, 10.28.04, 4:42 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 45 [B320-218] John K., 10.12.04, 2:43 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 45 [B300-238] Grumps, 10.12.04, 7:02 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 45 [EV unk] RAZ, 10.12.04, 3:25 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 45 [EV unk] jbas, 10.12.04, 2:51 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 45 [EV unk] Sau-Wing Lam, 10.15.04, 12:07 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B371-168] CA Conservative, 10.13.04, 1:13 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B363-175] Blackjack, 10.28.04, 5:03 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B347-191] Mike in Ohio, 10.29.04, 3:05 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B339-199] Lyford, 10.15.04, 1:50 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B338-200] Albert Hodges, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B327-211] Bill W., 10.12.04, 3:24 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B325-213] Spike, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B324-214] Terry Kelly, 10.12.04, 2:28 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B324-214] BillyW, 10.13.04, 5:59 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B323-215] Eric W, 10.15.04, 1:31 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B316-242] Gary Lewis, 10.18.04, 9:35 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B311-227] Shawn M, 10.15.04, 6:52 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B311-227] Tstoelting, 10.18.04, 6:10 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B310-228] bdog57, 10.27.04, 3:29 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B310-228] Noel, 10.31.04, 12:39 AM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B306-232] Joe, 10.18.04, 5:49 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B296-242] Pericles, 10.12.04, 8:11 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B289-249] Brian Barker, 10.18.04, 2:48 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [B280-258] Danny Tesvich, 10.27.04, 3:03 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [EV unk] NYC Steve, 10.12.04, 1:10 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [EV unk] Jason, 10.12.04, 4:20 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [EV unk] Mark, 10.15.04, 1:00 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [EV unk] thomas, 10.18.04, 11:50 AM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46 [EV unk] Bob Cmelak, 10.18.04, 2:46 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 46.5 [B316-222] pduffau, 10.28.04, 10:59 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B349-189] d sherwood, 10.30.04, 11:49 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B348-190] William Kristol, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B332-206] DarthKosh, 10.12.04, 7:04 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B331-207] Chris, 10.25.04, 1:46 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B326-212] UAW_republican, 10.12.04, 2:51 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B325-218] Ken, 10.14.04, 12:36 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B317-221] Section 9, 10.29.04, 1:32 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B306-232] JC, 10.24.04, 4:39 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B306-232] Fred Barnes, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B306-232] Athena, 10.28.04, 5:35 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B306-232] Jayson’s girl Kim, 10.30.04, 11:35 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B305-233] Ace, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B305-233] PJO, 10.12.04, 2:13 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B300-238] Gactimus, 10.12.04, 2:48 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B300-238] Duncan, 10.12.04, 3:02 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B299-239] ravi, 10.18.04, 12:49 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B297-241] Gordon Shumway, 10.16.04, 1:12 AM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B296-242] John Cox, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B296-242] SamuelV, 10.12.04, 2:12 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B296-242] awr000, 10.18.04, 12:23 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B296-242] reliapundit, 10.24.04, 10:35 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B295-243] Jean Dussault, 10.18.04, 5:58 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B295-242] Jeroboam, 10.29.04, 5:58 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B294-244] Pollmaniac, 10.12.04, 3:38 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B291-247] Knighthawk, 10.12.04, 2:03 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B290-248] wendy forward, 10.12.04, 3:18 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B289-249] Mart Martin, 10.15.04, 12:57 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B289-249] M.E., 10.22.04, 5:37 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B286-252] Duncan Currie, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B285-249] Steve Plunk, 10.12.04, 3:28 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B284-249] Frank, 10.12.04, 2:54 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B284-254] Guido Sandulli, 10.12.04, 2:16 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B283-250] Jim Harvey, 10.12.04, 2:34 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [B270-268] Patrick, 10.27.04, 1:22 AM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47.5 [EV unk] Mark, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 52, Kerry 47 [EV unk] Rick, 10.27.04, 8:55 AM
 Bush 51.9, Kerry 47.1 [B284-254] gpapa, 10.17.04, 12:41 AM
 Bush 51.8, Kerry 46.2 [B317-221] Eric Soderlund, 10.12.04, 3:01 PM
 Bush 51.8, Kerry 46.3 [B355-183] Dave, 10.14.04, 4:03 PM
 Bush 51.8, Kerry 47.1 [B311-227] Ross, 10.18.04, 12:35 PM
 Bush 51.8, Kerry 47.2 [B296-242] PhillyScott, 10.30.04, 7:35 PM
 Bush 51.8, Kerry 47.8 [B306-232] Todd Schmidt, 10.26.04, 1:56 PM
 Bush 51.7, Kerry 46.5 [B323-215] BoomerBob, 10.15.04, 12:41 PM
 Bush 51.7, Kerry 46.6 [B291-247] CJ, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 51.7, Kerry 47 [B291-247] Paul Deignan, 10.18.04, 9:16 PM
 Bush 51.7, Kerry 47.1 [B292-246] Niccolo Machiavelli, 10.24.04, 5:53 AM
 Bush 51.6, Kerry 46.8 [B306-232] Jim Durbin, 10.26.04, 1:09 PM
 Bush 51.6, Kerry 47.2 [B306-232] Moqul, 10.17.04, 12:51 PM
 Bush 51.6, Kerry 48.1 [B303-235] Oak Leaf, 10.30.04, 7:09 PM
 Bush 51.5, Kerry 46.5 [B305-233] Nick in NY, 10.16.04, 4:32 PM
 Bush 51.5, Kerry 47 [B294-244] irish guard, 10.12.04, 3:13 PM
 Bush 51.5, Kerry 47.2 [B291-247] John Adams, 10.27.04, 4:40 PM
 Bush 51.5, Kerry 47.3 [B297-241] dlacy, 10.15.04, 1:24 PM
 Bush 51.5, Kerry 47.5 [B312-226] Morrie, 10.19.04, 8:49 AM
 Bush 51.5, Kerry 47.5 [B310-220] Eye Doc, 10.15.04, 1:08 PM
 Bush 51.5, Kerry 47.5 [B310-228] STLScott, 10.27.04, 3:30 PM
 Bush 51.5, Kerry 47.5 [B276-262] ripley, 10.25.04, 4:15 PM
 Bush 51.5. Kerry 48.5 [B296-242] Bill, 10.13.04, 4:06 PM
 Bush 51.4, Kerry 46.3 [B322-216] IJB, 10.14.04, 9:23 PM
 Bush 51.4, Kerry 46.6 [B344-194] dukeblondie, 10.12.04, 2:51 PM
 Bush 51.4, Kerry 47.7 [B321-217] Bruce Campbell, 10.27.04, 3:02 PM
 Bush 51.3, Kerry 47.3 [B305-233] Glacomo, 10.29.04, 4:46 PM
 Bush 51.3, Kerry 47.4 [B322-216] ECS, 10.14.04, 1:56 PM
 Bush 51.3, Kerry 47.5 [B314-224] Doug, 10.29.04, 8:33 PM
 Bush 51.3, Kerry 47.8 [B301-237] MichaelK, 10.15.04, 4:49 PM
 Bush 51.25, Kerry 47.5 [EV unk] taino, 10.15.04, 12:57 PM
 Bush 51.25, Kerry 47.75 [EV unk] Darwin Finch, 10.12.04, 2:41 PM
 Bush 51.2, Kerry 47.3 [B311-227] Kip Miller, 10.24.04, 2:57 AM
 Bush 51.2, Kerry 47.4 [B295-243] Jon, 10.28.04, 1:03 AM
 Bush 51.2, Kerry 48.0 [B279-259] Charles Fulner, 10.12.04 3:31 PM
 Bush 51.2, Kerry 48.9 [B296-242] Finnman, 1028.04, 5:03 PM
 Bush 51.1, Kerry 46.4 [B298-240] Joe, 10.12.04, 3:27 PM
 Bush 51.1, Kerry 47 [B296-242] Sean, 10.27.04, 2:50 PM
 Bush 51.1, Kerry 47.1 [B306-232] Barry Johnson, 10.15.04, 1:34 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 45 [B299-239] MEC2, 10.15.04, 5:45 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B334-208] MikeKS, 10.13.04, 3:56 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B310-228] Modad, 10.30.04, 11:50 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B307-231] Evan3457, 10.12.04, 4:35 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B307-231] Martin Karo, 10.19.04, 4:30 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B306-232] Alanb, 10.13.04, 4:08 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B305-233] Jim, 10.27.04, 4:10 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B301-237] Violent Kitten, 10.12.04, 3:23 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B300-238] JPSchroer, 10.12.04, 2:40 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B297-241] WinstonPundit, 10.19.04, 5:54 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 46 [B296-242] Texas_Dawg, 10.15.04, 5:23 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B323-215] Gregg the Obscure, 10.17.04, 9:31 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B311-227] Jeff M, 10.12.04, 3:22 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B311-227] Kent Alcott, 10.15.04, 10:07 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B310-228] Ray, 10.25.04, 12:07 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B301-237] Brandon, 10.12.04, 10:37 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B300-238] J, 10.14.04, 11:12 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B298-240] Montyf13, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B297-241] Michael, 10.15.04, 9:08 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B296-242] Dennis Strickland, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B296-242] Smooth Jazz, 10.12.04, 2:35 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B296-242] tester, 10.24.04, 4:28 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B296-242] Armin Tamzarian, 10.28.04, 4:38 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B295-243] Mike Maurer, 10.12.04, 2:52 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B291-247] Lawson Lambert , 10.19.04, 2:46 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B286-252] soccer4ever, 10.25.04, 12:38 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B285-250] Mikey, 10.13.04, 5:29 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B282-256] gavin, 10.18.04, 5:19 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 47 [B276-262] Mark L., 10.27.04, 9:48 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B312-226] Rich F, 10.15.04, 1:13 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B306-232] Excelsior, 10.27.04, 11:19 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B301-237] Dominick S., 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B301-237] mike the analyst, 10.21.04, 11:27 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B298-240] Rachel DiCarlo, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B297-241] Michael Call, 10.15.04, 6:20 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B296-242] SGG, 10.12.04, 3:00 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B296-242] Paul, 10.24.04, 10:19 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B296-242] VACons, 10.26.04, 8:02 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B295-243] Van Pham, 10.12.04, 2:08 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B292-246] Larry, 10.15.04, 3:31 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B291-247] JB, 10.12.04, 3:05 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [B290-248] RoBear, 10.12.04, 3:18 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48 [EV unk] Jerryx, 10.31.04, 2:33 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48.5 [B310-228] Dennis Logue, 10.27.04, 9:56 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48.5 [B304-234] Dan Judd, 10.29.04, 2:48 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48.5 [B286-252] Anthony Roberts, 10.30.04, 8:46 PM
 Bush 51, Kerry 48.5 [B283-255] Trey Jackson, 10.28.04, 10:34 AM
 Bush 51, Kerry 49 [B271-267] David Skinner, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 50.9, Kerry 46.5 [B317-221] Tim McDonald, 10.17.04, 1:43 PM
 Bush 50.8, Kerry 47.4 [B322-216] Marc, 10.12.04, 2:37 PM
 Bush 50.8, Kerry 47.5 [B296-242] Thaddeus Billman, 10.31.04, 12:09 AM
 Bush 50.8, Kerry 47.8 [B307-231] Ben Maller, 10.31.04, 12:18 AM
 Bush 50.8, Kerry 48.2 [B301-237] Doc Steve, 10.23.04, 9:39 PM
 Bush 50.8, Kerry 48.6 [B291-247] David M. McClory, 10.30.04, 11:29 PM
 Bush 50.7, Kerry 47.2 [B291-247] Rick Hine, 10.12.04, 7:41 PM
 Bush 50.7, Kerry 48.2 [B300-238] George Tobin, 10.27.04, 3:34 PM
 Bush 50.7, Kerry 48.3 [B276-249] William Winfield, 10.29.04, 1:51 PM
 Bush 50.7, Kerry 48.5 [B292-246] Scott Carlson, 10.18.04, 5:12 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 47.5 [B374-164] Polish Immigrant, 10.30.04, 11:00 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 47.5 [EV unk] MD, 10.24.04, 8:32 AM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 47.8 [B296-242] basokla, 10.27.04, 4:06 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 48 [B304-238] T Brewer, 10.14.04, 3:53 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 48 [B302-236] Michael Fabiano, 10.14.04, 10:55 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 48 [B300-238] Pete Gardiner, 10.31.04, 10:30 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 48.5 [B284-254] Keith, 10.18.04, 12:02 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 48.5 [EV unk] badriverdave, 10.12.04, 3:08 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 49 [EV unk], Juristex, 10.18.04, 6:39 PM
 Bush 50.5, Kerry 49.5 [B296-242] george purcell, 10.30.04, 11:46 PM
 Bush 50.4, Kerry 47.3 [B296-242] Jeff, 10.24.04, 10:28 PM
 Bush 50.4, Kerry 48.6 [B306-232] Will Franklin, 10.29.04, 2:13 PM
 Bush 50.3, Kerry 48.8 [B273-265] William m Johnson, 10.24.04, 11:00 AM
 Bush 50.2, Kerry 47.5 [B280-258] Leonard, 10.29.04, 8:49 AM
 Bush 50.2, Kerry 48 [B279-259] Paul, 10.12.04, 10:58 PM
 Bush 50.2, Kerry 48.6 [EV unk] Ace Perry, 10.18.04, 12:12 PM
 Bush 50.2, Kerry 49.0 [K311-227] JosephA, 10.30.04, 8:04 PM
 Bush 50.1, Kerry 48 [B291-247] LogCabin, 10.12.04, 10:48 PM
 Bush 50.1, Kerry 48.1 [EV unk] Joe Rambus, 10.14.04, 12:52 PM
 Bush 50.1, Kerry 48.2 [B270-268] The Mose, 10.12.04, 2:29 PM
 Bush 50.1, Kerry 48.5 [B285-254] Obsidian Order, 10.21.04, 8:08 PM
 Bush 50.1, Kerry 49.1 [B276-262] John Kim, 10.28.04, 3:53 PM
 Bush 50.1, Kerry 49.3 [B286-252] Carl Richardson, 10.31.04, 1:50 AM
 Bush 50.1, Kerry 49.9 [B284-253] GOP Wins, 10.12.04, 2:14 PM
 Bush 50.04, Kerry 47.92 [B284-254] Pat, 10.13.04, 12:04 AM
 Bush 50, Kerry 44 [EV unk] Wes Wetherell, 10.18.04, 8:48 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 46 [B310-228] Pat Hajovsky, 10.12.04, 7:54 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 46 [B297-241] Howard, 10.27.04, 3:23 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 47 [B300-238] Nahanni, 10.15.04, 5:10 AM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48 [B300-238] Ryan, 10.12.04, 2:53 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48 [B291-247] Tom, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48 [B291-247] VictoryArgus, 10.23.04, 9:19 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48 [B287-251] Kevin Martin, 10.12.04, 3:04 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48 [B284-254] Chris Atkins, 10.12.04, 2:17 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48 [B273-265] Mike Paranzino, 10.30.04, 11:42 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48 [EV unk] ras, 10.18.04, 12:26 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48.5 [B305-233] J Boz, 10.12.04, 9:05 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 48.5 [B303-235] Paul Bauer, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [B297-241] Michael Goldfarb, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [B296-242] John, 10.18.04, 8:24 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [B296-242] Terry Eastland, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [B284-254] Gerry Owen, 10.14.04, 4:28 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [B284-254] Dutch Buckhead, 10.12.04, 3:36 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [B281-257] Matthew Continetti, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [B276-262] Chas, 10.12.04, 6:21 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [B271-267] Nathan Lim, 10.12.04, 2:49 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [EV unk] News guy, 10.14.04, 1:04 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 49 [EV unk] Ebon, 10.30.04, 4:56 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 50 [B285-253] Jack, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 50, Kerry 50 [T269-269] Katherine Mangu-Ward, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Kerry 51, Bush 50 [EV unk] Arron Mathew Arnwine, 10.12.04, 2:10 PM
 Bush 49.9, Kerry 48.1 [B295-243] C.H. Truth, 10.12.04, 3:02 PM
 Bush 49.9, Kerry 49.1 [B283-255] Richard Starr, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Bush 49.8, Kerry 46 [B290-248] Jacob Swain, 10.28.04, 4:54 PM
 Bush 49.8, Kerry 47.9 [B310-228] darkgenius, 10.28.04, 6:59 PM
 Bush 49.8, Kerry 48.8 [B273-265] Ed Wagner, 10.24.04, 4:37 AM
 Bush 49.7, Kerry 47.9 [B309-229] Nathan, 10.30.04, 7:12 PM
 Bush 49.7, Kerry 47.9 [B296-242] RRSchwab, 10.15.04, 8:22 PM
 Bush 49.6, Kerry 47.2 [B290-248] JL in Berkeley, 10.18.04, 10:56 PM
 Bush 49.6, Kerry 48.2 [K279-259] David#1, 10.29.04, 7:52 AM
 Bush 49.5, Kerry 48.5 [B310-228] Mike G, 10.30.04, 9:20 PM
 Bush 49.5, Kerry 48.5 [B295-243] The Opinionator, 10.26.04, 1:09 PM
 Bush 49.5, Kerry 48.5 [B270-267] John Berner, 10.22.04, 6:15 PM
 Bush 49.5, Kerry 49 [B285-253] Ben Bauman. 10.17.04, 11:58 AM
 Bush 49.5, Kerry 49 [B272-260] A Tom C, 10.29.04, 2:56 PM
 Kerry 49.5, Bush 49.5 [EV unk] David S. Lott, 10.12.04, 3:55 PM
 Bush 49.46, Kerry 49.27 [B276-262] Ed Mick, 10.29.04, 12:26 AM
 Bush 49.4, Kerry 48.2 [K277-261] Ryan, 10.23.04, 11:55 PM
 Bush 49.4, Kerry 49.1 [B284-254] excelsior, 10.14.04, 9:55 PM
 Bush 49.2, Kerry 48.1 [EV unk] Brian, 10.27.04, 4:58 PM
 Bush 49.2, Kerry 48.6 [B280-258] Rezuls, 10.24.04, 8:00 PM
 Bush 49.1, Kerry 48.7 [B277-261] Patrick, 10.27.04, 4:40 PM
 Bush 49, Kerry 44 [B304-234] Donovan, 10.26.04, 7:55 PM
 Bush 49, Kerry 47 [B274-264] Will, 10.18.04, 1:39 PM
 Bush 49, Kerry 48 [B280-258] Kenny, 10.12.04, 2:53 PM
 Bush 49, Kerry 48.5 [B289-249] RM Stanley, 10.29.04, 1:02 PM
 Bush 49, Kerry 49 [B278-260] Adrian, 10.12.04, 2:51 PM
 Bush 49, Kerry 49 [T269-269] Tim Cameron, 10.13.04, 12:32 AM
 Bush 49, Kerry 49 [EV unk] Textbook Stupidity, 10.12.04, 3:21 PM
 Bush 49, Kerry 49 [EV unk] Senator Spitball, 10.12.04, 3:34 PM
 Kerry 50, Bush 49 [B274-264] ubaldus, 10.14.04, 3:31 PM
 Kerry 50, Bush 49 [B271-267] Daisy, 10.18.04, 6:17 PM
 Kerry 50, Bush 49 [T269-269] Slickrock, 10.12.04, 2:21 PM
 Kerry 50, Bush 49 [K276-262] Ben, 10.12.04, 3:17 PM
 Kerry 50, Bush 49 [K295-243] Matt Labash, 10.29.04, 11:30 PM
 Kerry 50, Bush 49 [K300-238] Karl Marx, 10.12.04 2:10 PM
 Kerry 50.5, Bush 49 [K299-239] Eric, 10.12.04, 9:32 PM
 Kerry 51, Bush 49 [K289-249] Harold Showalter, 10.20.04, 1:47 PM
 Kerry 51, Bush 49 [K306-232] mac, 10.18.04, 8:27 PM
 Bush 48.8, Kerry 48.7 [K278-260] Cory, 10.25.04, 4:27 PM
 Kerry 49.4, Bush 48.8 [B270-267] David Tell, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Kerry 49.7, Bush 48.8 [B276-261] Gameboy, 10.12.04, 10:05 PM
 Kerry 49.8, Bush 48.8 [K289-249] Brian Alexander, 10.12.04, 5:13 PM
 Kerry 49.3, Bush 48.7 [K294-244] Verniebaby, 10.30.04, 10:38 PM
 Bush 48.6, Kerry 48.3 [B270-268] MG, 10.14.04, 12:38 PM
 Kerry 49.9, Bush 48.6 [K302-233] p.lukasiak, 10.18.04, 6:42 PM
 Kerry 48.75, Bush 48.5 [K274-264] Shawn Showers, 10.18.04, 6:02 PM
 Kerry 50.5, Bush 48.5 [K296-242] mark, 10.18.04, 5:58 PM
 Kerry 49, Bush 48 [K272-268] Ripple180, 10.29.04, 7:20 PM
 Kerry 49, Bush 48 [EV unk] Lee, 10.31.04, 5:33 AM
 Kerry 50, Bush 48 [K284-254] Jack, 10.12.04, 7:49 PM
 Kerry 50, Bush 48 [K291-247] Stephen Hayes, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Kerry 52, Bush 48 [K277-261] Becky, 10.18.04, 6:01 PM
 Kerry 51, Bush 48 [K284-254] tired of blogs, 10.28.04, 10:46 PM
 Kerry 51, Bush 48 [EV unk] Susan Petrarca, 10.23.04, 11:00 PM
 Kerry 49.1, Bush 47.9 [K306-232] Jason R., 10.29.04, 10:49 AM
 Kerry 50.2, Bush 47.6 [K285-253] akaDoug, 10.12.04, 6:12 PM
 Kerry 48.1, Bush 47.4 [K278-260] Phillipe, 10.12.04, 3:35 PM
 Kerry 50.6, Bush 47.2 [K330-208] Dizzy, 10.18.04, 6:07 PM
 Kerry 49, Bush 47 [B284-244] Craig Edwards, 10.24.04, 10:09 AM
 Kerry 49, Bush 47 [K280-258] Dan, 10.14.04, 11:18 PM
 Kerry 49, Bush 47 [K285-253] Victorino Matus, 10.29.04, 11:30 AM
 Kerry 50, Bush 47 [K297-241] Steve, 10.29.04, 7:23 PM
 Kerry 51, Bush 47 [K274-264] seaprog, 10.18.04, 6:19 PM
 Kerry 51, Bush 47 [K291-247] freddyd, 10.12.04, 4:36 PM
 Kerry 51.7, Bush 46.5 [K288-250] Ted666, 10.28.04, 1:19 PM
 Kerry 52, Bush 46 [K289-249] Howie, 10.18.04, 6:03 PM
 Kerry 52, Bush 46 [K322-216] Babak Talebi, 10.18.04, 5:03 PM
 Kerry 53.5, Bush 45.6 [K290-248] CalDoc, 10.18.04, 6:02 PM
 Kerry 54, Bush 45 [K317-221] Sailships, 10.12.04 3:10 PM
 Kerry 54, Bush 45 [K390-148] Bikram Simpson, 10.18.04, 6:17 PM
 Kerry 54, Bush 45 [K390-148] Bob, 10.18.04, 6:46 PM
 Kerry 54, Bush 45 [K330-208] Liberal Chris, 10.14.04, 12:51 PM
 Kerry 49, Bush 44 [EV unk] Ali Karim Bey, 10.15.04, 12:02 PM
 Nader 65, B 24, K 11 [N227 B207 K104] Marcin,
 Kerry 96, Bush 02 [EV unk] pighound, 10.19.04, 4:45 PM
There were 485 predictions, with an average breakdown of 51.4% Bush, 46.0% Kerry (EV 303.5-230.5 Bush).
There have been 341 predictions since the final Presidential Debate, averaging 52.0% Bush, 46.5% Kerry (EV 304.4-233.2 Bush).
425 predicted Bush would win both the PV and EV,
39 predicted Kerry would win both the PV and EV,
5 predicted Bush would win the PV but Kerry the EV,
6 predicted Kerry would win the PV but Bush the EV,
2 said the PV would be a tie, but Bush would win the EV,
1 said Kerry would win the PV but the EV would be a tie,
1 said Bush would win the PV but no one would reach 270 EV,
1 said Nader would win the PV but no one would reach 270 EV, and
5 said both the PV and EV would result in a tie.
405 said Bush would take at least 50% of the PV, while 13 said Kerry would take at least 50% of the PV. 7 said Bush would take at least 60% of the PV, while 1 said Kerry would take at least 60% of the PV.
OK, that's the picks from our readers! I'm keeping the Scoreboard on top over here through the end of the week, and I will note the results from Election Day.
As of Friday, corrections or alterations to existing predictions were locked out; no more changes may be made. Original predictions were close this morning, Monday, November 1.
Closest guesses will be praised, worst guesses will be mocked (see how crazy at least one guess is, already!).