Saturday, October 30, 2004

A Comment on Comments

I've been reading a lot of comments lately from all sorts of readers. I have also been getting a lot of mail, from readers who want a more direct approach. Come to that, my virus filter has been more busy than usual, suggesting that some others prefer a more malicious approach to expressing themselves (remember that, if you start up your own blog).

Many of the comments have been entertaining, and some quite intriguing for their perspectives and observations. But I also read a lot of notes and posts from people on both ends of the range, suggesting that they respected and enjoyed my work - as long as I agreed with them. To these, there is something wrong with having my own opinion, and they reject my positions out of hand, simply for being different from their own opinion. Tough tookies. I write my opinion honestly, neither forgetting the President's errors, nor excusing the thuggish tactics shown by the Democrats in this campaign. If this is a problem for you, well, there's plenty of sites which only consider the Hard Left or the Far Right, where maturity is not expected nor encouraged, or where honesty is considered an unfortunate lapse in message.

It is entirely possible that Senator Kerry will win. While I do not believe this will happen, if it does, Kerry will be the legitimately-elected President, and I will post my opinion acording to his performance, giving credit or fault as appropriate. In such a case, I will be interested to see which of his many contradictory promises John Kerry will keep, if any.

It is likely, I deem, that President Bush will win re-election. Well enough, and in this election I certainly think we have been presented no rational alternative to the sitting President. But that does not mean that I will give Dubya a pass on whatever he wants to do. Whether we are talking about the War on Terrorism, the Economy, Deficit, Taxes, Immigration, Judicial Appointments, or any of countless potential crises, I will be writing from my own perspective on the virtue or foolishness of his acts in a second term.

I have every intention of being as opinionated and wordy over the next four years, as I have been in the past few months. If you find my articles reasonable, thanks and plan on more on that level. If you find my honesty too blunt for your taste, then that's your matter.

As always, thanks to my readers and also for your comments.

Friday, October 29, 2004


I have always held an inordinate interest in politics, especially Presidential Elections. I have to say, I'm fairly amused when I read and hear how different this election is, when compared to all the ones before it. But I agree, that there seem to be lessons in each of the elections I've seen, and it seems we'll all learn a new one next week.

The first election I was able to participate in, was the 1972 race between Richard Nixon and George McGovern. I remember how bitter everyone was, even at my Junior High School. I also thought it was obvious, that McGovern didn't understand the needs of the country. From the results, I think that was obvious to the voters. The lesson in 1972 was, if you can't explain how you'll protect the nation, you can't be the President.

In 1976, I saw Gerald Ford lose a narrow race to Jimmy Carter. Even though there were serious questions about Carter's ability, President Ford couldn't overcome the curse for Watergate. The lesson in 1976 was, if you cheat the nation as Nixon did, everyone pays for it.

In 1980, I saw the media attack and try to ignore Governor Ronald Reagan, but President Carter's bumbling, matched against Reagan's clear optimism and clarity, proved the course. The lesson in 1980 was, you can try to hide the opinion of the people, but the mood catches hold anyway.

In 1984, Democrats tried very hard to hit Reagan with some kind of scandal, very much as they attack Bush today. When the public figured out it was just dirty tricks from the Left, the result was the biggest landslide in a generation. The lesson in 1984 was, dirty tricks can backfire.

In 1988, VP George Bush trailed Governor Dukakis for most of the early going. But Dukakis' record did not stand up to inspection, and in the end, the man couldn't answer serious questions. The lesson in 1988 was, be true to your convictions for the best result.

In 1992, a manufactured image by the media and the Democrats tore down a President wearied by attacks abroad and at home. The Congress made promises to the President, then broke them, and the media made sure every success was suppressed. The lesson in 1992 was, trusting your enemies gets you a knife in your back.

In 1996, Bill Clinton successfully hid his lies and shortcuts to a second term, largely because the GOP settled on a dull contender. The lesson in 1996 is, style can and does trump substance in elections.

In 2000, Governor George W. Bush trailed Vice-President Al Gore for most of the late summer, then took a late lead, only to see it evaporate with a cheap-shot slander, combined with a very effective Democratic GOTV effort. Bush was able to win the election with the Electoral Vote, but lost the Popular Vote narrowly. The lesson in 2000 is, assume nothing and never let up until the race is over.

My opinion in this election is known, but if somehow I am wrong and Senator Kerry is able to win the election, it will prove that dirty tricks can get anyone elected. If I am right that Bush wins, but only narrowly, it will still give Democrats confidence that more lies and mud is always teh best strategy. If I am right, however, this won't be a problem. It won't be a problem, because Americans are generally smarter than they're given credit for being. They saw the difference between Truman's substance and Dewey's acting in 1948, between Eisenhower's ability and Stevenson's pretense, between Reagan's optimism and Carter's confusion. Yeah, they bought into Slick Willy, but John Kerry is not Bill Clinton. If I'm right, George W, Bush will not only win, he'll stomp Kerry big-time in both the PV and EV. There are many reasons why I expect this, but at its heart, it really comes down to the lesson of 2004: Amercians love this country, and will not forget 9/11 anytime soon.

We will see.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


A lot of people have been talking about 'Red-State-Blue-State', as if the race has been an even tie all these months. That's just not so.

Kerry started, effectively, where Al Gore left off, with 20 states and D.C. to think of as his turf, worth 267 EV in 2000 but only 260 today (after the Census redistribution). So, in order to be President, John Kerry has had to chase down all Gore had in 2000, plus another 10 EV somewhere from Bush territory. The starting lines then, were not even, but 278-260 Bush.

Kerry has managed to put Florida, Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, West Virginia, Colorado, and Arkansas in play, of the 'Red' states. That's 8 Bush states, worth 87 Electoral Votes. Bush's 'safe' tally drops from 278 to 191 EV. We'll come back in a minute to look again at these states.

But Bush has managed to put Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine, and Hawaii into play, of the 'Blue' states. That's 10 'Gore/Kerry' states, worth 100 Electoral Votes. Kerry's 'safe' tally drops from 260 to 160 EV, so as we prepare to look at these states a second time, that puts Bush still ahead of Kerry by 31 EV, 191 to 160.

Taking the RCP averages in hand, here are how the states stand:

Maine: Kerry + 8.5
Oregon: Kerry + 4.5
Michigan: Kerry + 4.0
New Jersey: Kerry + 4.0
Pennsylvania: Kerry + 3.2
New Hampshire: Kerry + 2.4
Florida: Bush + 0.5
Ohio: Bush + 0.6
Hawaii: Bush + 0.9
Minnesota: Bush + 1.0
Arkansas: Bush + 2.0
Wisconsin: Bush + 2.0
New Mexico: Bush + 2.7
Iowa: Bush + 3.3
West Virginia: Bush + 4.0
Colorado: Bush + 4.4
Missouri: Bush + 5.3
Nevada: Bush + 5.4

Of those 18 states, Kerry leads in 6, Bush the other 12 states. If I also look at the Average Variance (or bias) I identified in an earlier review of state polling, the simple fact is that Kerry is in big trouble. The net effect of all of this, is that President Bush is trending stronger, gaining every week. If Kerry cannot win Florida or Ohio, he cannot win. Since the overall race is so close in many Blue states, the last few days will have to be spent travelling to all close contests, meaning Pennsylvania-Ohio-Iowa-Wisconsin-Minnesota will be the dominant circuit. It also shows, that if the present trend continues, the chance of a Bush win remains strong and the chance of a Bush landslide is getting stronger every day.

How Texas Does Landslides (originally posted Aug 27)

Some November 3rd Conversations...

Pic 1: "I don't believe it!

"OK, I lost to Bush, I can deal with that. But then, he takes out the mansion, the lake house, the summer place, all three campaign jets, even the yacht! Tereza is royally annoyed!

"I wanted to sue him, but Edwards has plain disappeared.

"George W. Bush has destroyed my aspirations, in a manner reminiscent of Jenjhis Khan..."

Pic 2: "Ha! You are sooooo lucky!

"Bush trashed all twenty-four of my palaces, except for the ones he gave to his Marines!

"I not only lost my job, and all my palaces and everyone hits my pictures with shoes and feces, he has me arrested!

"You lost millions, but I lost BILLIONS, and now everyone in Islam calls me "Spider Hole Wuss"!"

Pic 3: Dubya - "Thanks, guys!"

Pilot 1 - "Hey, the oath we take, says ALL enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC..."

Pilot 2 - "Yeah, and some parts of Massachusetts remind me of Iraq!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

See Kerry Sweat

Just an observation:

In both Florida and Ohio, where Kerry thought he could make a play, Bush numbers are coming back up.

Pennsylvania and New Hampshire are both in the Kerry column, but now by less than their Margins of Error.

Michigan is supposed to be secure for Kerry, but a new poll shows Bush ahead.

Kerry now trails the President in the following "Blue" states:

New Mexico

When the Botox wears off, it is not pretty.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Lessons From Lawyers

We are told, over and over again, about how partisan this election is, and how we can't trust the other side. While there are some mean and petty types out there (and yes, I figure about 98% of the really bad guys are Democrats this time), I don't buy the idea that the average citizen is some mind-controlled robot or deluded fanatic. As evidence, take a look at the recent court decisions.

Yes, it's true that Senator Kerry has sent out teams of "pre-emptive strike" lawyers, like the ninjas in countless bad movies, but the results so far have been encouraging. Courts in Ohio, Michigan, and Florida have all upheld state law preventing funny business with provisional ballots, and in short, have told the lawyers that they are distinctly not inclined to repeat the shenanigans that ran the 2000 Election into absurdity. yes, one partisan judge tried to subvert the law in Ohio, but the Appeals Court spanked him for it almost immediately. And the Florida Supreme Court, the same guys who tried to sneak the state for Al Gore, unanimously rejected the notion of messing with Florida election law this year.

There is sanity, at least signs of it, at work this year. And that is very good for all of us.