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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Judge rules money unfair for blind people

See the ruling here.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson said keeping all U.S. currency the same size and texture violates the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in government programs. "Of the more than 180 countries that issue paper currency, only the United States prints bills that are identical in size and color in all their denominations...More than 100 of the other issuers vary their bills in size according to denomination, and every other issuer includes at least some features that help the visually impaired."

Gee, I am sure this is what Congress intended when they passed the Rehabilitation Act... It sounds like a good idea - that is to make money more accessible to the Blind, but why let a Court do it. How gross.

UPDATE: No surprise that Robertson was appointed by Clinton in 1994.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

It seems that debit and credit cards are more than sufficient to cover the tactile needs of the blind. Will we now require car manufacturers to produce all cars with an auto-navigate system to accommodate the blind? That must be why drive-up ATMs have Braille buttons.

7:44 AM, November 30, 2006  

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A stunt

It is pretty clear now that the kicking off of 6 muslim imams from a US Air flight in Minneapolis was a stunt executed by the 6 Imams who conspired to bring attention to themselves and to possibly extort money from the airline.

Because this conspiracy resulted in economic damages for the airline, it seems only just that the airline sue the 6 imams for damages. Perhaps it would be difficult to sue the lone wacko for a mistake, but the conspiracy makes it much easier to prove. The airline should go for punitive damages too. Wouldn't it be great to see a jury award US Airways $1 billion... and if they did it in the name of their mosque, maybe they can sue the mosques too... just like the Catholic Church paid up for its abuse.

At some point, companies need to take a stand against the rampant extortion brought on by these so called victims in our society. We all pay for this BS with higher consumer prices. What a joke.

Also, why is it that the Washington Times scooped the local Minneapolis Star Tribune on this story?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure what you mean by "scooped." If you mean the part of the narrative where the truth came out, then naturally ANY media outlet would be ahead of the Red Star in letting /that/ out to the public.

J. Ewing

8:46 AM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

It's a desensitization campaign.

7:45 AM, November 30, 2006  

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Friday, November 24, 2006

City Pages -- Is it legal?

I had to google City Pages as I have not seen the story referenced below. I wouldn't even know where or how to get an actual copy of City Pages. Is it like knowing how to buy pot? I wouldn't have a clue how to do that either.

So I found City Pages online. No kegger story. I think there was a story on how I could buy pot. And the lovely Live Nude Weblog was available. Next to the City Pages Personals. Hmmmm. City Pages Personals. Next to the events column featuring persons of heavily metalled membranes and random hair chunks. I didn't go there. The City Pages Personals gentlemen (may I call them gentlemen?) probably enjoy a slightly different culture (the kind in a petri dish). I imagine they make use of [street terms] as does City Pages itself.

Perhaps Courier A and Retorte would care to slog through City Pages online to find the kegger story for our reading pleasure. We'd also like to know exactly what you were doing to cause a paper copy of City Pages to find its way into your hands.

Blogger Courier A said...

It wouldn't be true to use the standard response to defend my interest in such an unciviized rag. I don't buy it for the articles; you can get it for free. I pick it up to find out the self-absorbed, knee-jerk liberal reaction to the rest of the world. Occasionally, they stumble into and uncover some interesting information in their own surroundings that the more conventional media outlets have neglected. They are too self-absorbed, however, to ever have anything meaningful to say about international relations. I also occasionally get info. from them about local shows and entertainment.

I skip the "personals" section, though, because there is nothing that a married conservative would ever gain from a personal relationship with a rabid fan of the gospel according to City Pages.

You will search in vain if you're looking for a "Spawn of McClung" story; my piece was fully inspired in this case by the cover photo and the caption inside the cover. I would rank it as the second most memorable City Pages cover ever, with the caricature of Gov. Pawlenty as a flasher being the most memorable.

By the way, I would not be opposed to restricting minors' access to the City Pages rag. But since I hear from other bloggers that the youth of today don't read papers, surely that would be a waste of effort, right?

9:48 AM, November 25, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Libertarianism is a much more attractive concept when one is not subjected to the libertine sector of society. Nevertheless, I would defend to my death (that's just an expression) City Pages' right to publish. I'll just confine myself to cozy little Excelsior and be blissfully ignorant of the "culture" deprived me.

My disapproval of the rag is mildly exaggerated. There was a time when I did occasionally read the thing. I cannot for the life of me now recall why.

3:36 PM, November 25, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Every major city has these free "alternative" newspapers which are invariably very leftist. It is at least somewhat ironic that for all the liberal whining about how we exploit women, an indispensable source of revenue for these rags is the large number of ads for "escorts."

"Alternative weeklies: Pimping our way to a better world."

8:45 AM, November 26, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

It's ironic that the "alternative" paper is leftist, as in alternative to what? An "alternative" paper in this town would more correctly be to the right of me.

1:41 PM, November 26, 2006  
Anonymous sloanasaurus said...

The Radicals at City Pages probably see the Star and Sickle as their arch conservative enemy - I suppose because the Strib has in the past printed Letters to the Editor from the likes of Lance Rimpi.

10:41 PM, November 26, 2006  
Blogger King Oliver said...

Perhaps someone can shed light on why all these left-wing urban rags are identical in viewpoint, voice, chosen subject matter, kind of advertising, graphics, format, and target audience? Are they part of a syndicate of some kind? It is hard to believe such uniformity could result purely spontaneously.

5:53 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I always found it odd that they were delivered by black helicopters.

3:05 PM, November 30, 2006  

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Shaken, Not Stirred

Last night, while cooking apple pie and stuffing for today, I tried out the martini recipe from Ian Fleming's Casino Royale.

3 parts gin.
1 part vodka.
1/2 part vermouth (this is controversial. He asked for a brand of French apertif, Kina Lillet, that is supposedly not actually a vermouth, but he also called his drink a martini, which suggests vermouth for this part.)
A large thin slice of lemon peel.

Shaken with ice until it is very cold and strained into a glass.

It is VERY good.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

You made your stuffing the night before?

6:18 AM, November 24, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Of course. It gets it out of the way
and lets the flavors mix together in the fridge. I don't put in the bird until I'm just about to cook it however.

9:50 AM, November 24, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

Had I only known earlier in the day. I had two 'normal' martinis while doing the birds on the grill. One for each of them - seemed appropriate.

On my list for tomorrow (for tonight, it's out to Solera)

2:13 PM, November 24, 2006  

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hayek and Hayek

I was looking up some images of Fredrich Hayek for my wall of fame. I googled "Hayek" in google images and I came upon a whole page of images interlaced between Selma and Friedrich Hayek. It was a strange visual experience. Try it yourself....

Here is an example...

UPDATE: Someone mentioned that the prior pics of the Hayeks I put up were a bit too much. I tried to tone it down a little....

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Iraq war and the Nativists

We all know that most of the paleocons are against the Iraq war and also against large immigration. However, it is possible the experience of the Iraq war may aid the nativists in their immigration goals, at least as far as muslim immigration. One of the problems with Europe is they feel sorry for the plights of various muslim peoples such as the Palestinians, etc.. Consequently, they have imported millions of them and urged the muslims to retain their own identity. This is and wll be a disaster for Europe, the consequences of which are not yet known.

In contrast, the Iraq war may permanetly scar Americans with the sentiment that muslims, when handed a gift of opportunity in Iraq, chose to be anti-american suicide bombing terrorists instead. This could be enough even for the multi cultural liberals to put the squash on large future muslim immigration, thus sparing us from the intifada now brewing in europe.

Maybe....it's just speculation. I will send my theory to Keith Ellison.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

The liberals won't care. They will open their arms and our borders even wider while patting themselves on the back for their tolerance.

5:27 PM, November 20, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Fraid Scribbler has got it right.

7:31 PM, November 20, 2006  
Blogger King Oliver said...

They will be grateful to the Iraqis for helping them get elected. That will make them all the more eager to share power with them.

5:57 PM, November 29, 2006  

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Spawn of McClung

Anyone concerned over the future of the Republican Party (and as much as I hate to admit it, we need to be because it remains the only viable way of electing any conservatives) should get a copy of the Nov. 15 City Pages cover. That drunken reveler is the type of person who has been recruited to form the ranks of Young Republicans today.

Dude, Republicans have just suffered significant losses in Congress and in both branches of the MN legislature, pretty much ensuring that no conservative policies will be advanced for at least the next two years. And if the election would have been held just before the Hatch-Dutcher campaign self-destructed, the DFL would have won the governorship in MN in addition to all the other statewide contests they won. As it was, the incumbent Republican won only by a narrow plurality in a contest against two other liberals. Wiping the sweat from one's forehead or commiserating with others about how fortunate they were to still have some impact in MN government would make sense, but mugging for the camera and gloating with a full drink in hand? A little humility is in order, dude.

Pawlenty's base of support came from three distinct groups: social conservatives with low expectations content to merely elect someone who was one of them, established corporate figures scared that a Hatch administration would bring negative attention to their business at some point, and drunken frat-boy bandwagon hoppers who look like the guy on the City Pages cover. The first two groups were naturally drawn to Pawlenty, but the governor and his sidekick McClung had to work hard to put out an image that would attract the drunken frat-boy group.

Frat-boy bandwagon hoppers are obviously followers, not leaders, but they will only follow someone who's seen as a winner and who has a cool image. They are obnoxious and not prone to ever engaging in deep thought, and tend to repel anyone different from them. They make up the bulk of the entry-level marketing associates in most mid-to-large-sized corporations. Pawlenty spoke against things it was safe for them to personally be against--tax increases, illiegal immigrants, and violent criminals. At the same time, he reassured them he was not against more spending, he just wanted to focus it on a few priorities (schools, transportation, and big-city entertainment). Meanwhile, he incorporated enough pop-culture lingo to build his "hipster" credibility.

Politics for frat-boy bandwagon hoppers is like fantasy sports. They want to draft someone who can win and deliver goodies: subsidies targeted to their interests. They even gave their favorite candidate for governor a moniker, "T-Paw", to make him sound cooler and enhance his marketability.

So what are the implications of this phenomenon on the future of the Republicanism and/or conservatism in Minnesota? When Hatch fades from the spotlight, the always-tenuous connection that big corporate figures have to Republicans will diminish. Social conservatives don't update their tactics enough to ever build much momentum and get on the offensive. Which means the party's future prospects are now linked to the frat boys. There are no bold principles that guide their politics, they don't want fewer services from government, they don't have much in common with social conservatives, and they don't appeal to intelligent men or women with decent self-esteem.

And they don't have enough basic common sense to know that election night this year was not a time for raucously celebrating.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Reminds me of that old classic Election/Induction Caucus dichotomy . . .

6:37 AM, November 20, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I am still too shocked by thw whole Democratic sweep in Minnesota to be complaining about Pawlenty. If Pawlenty went out in front of the dems to say he supported health care for kids, when we all know the dems are sharpening their knives to propose a state wide mommy health care program for all along with a giant tax increase, maybe Pawlenty will look like a genius for setting the bar before the democrats could do it.

If Pawlenty can get out of the next 4 years without any new state government programs, we should hail him as the greatest Minnesota governor of all time.

What is really going on? I mean did a bunch of conservative democrats just retake the Minnesota legislature as all the pundits are saying about Congress or did a bunch of communists win an election from an stupid electorate that was mad at Bush for the Iraq war and was not paying attention. Take the new Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, he does not even deserve to hold a park commissioners job, and now he is our State Elections Officer.

God help us.

12:06 PM, November 20, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

" . . . Pawlenty will look like a genius . . ."

Oh, barf. By this logic, if some creep attempts to rape me, I should offer him a [street term for a sex act] instead. No, that's not quite right. For a precise analogy, I should go around prophylactically offering [street term for sex acts] to avoid being raped. I'll look like a genius. Or something.

10:06 PM, November 21, 2006  
Blogger ReTorte said...

Looking at the cover I was amazed at the fact that this was "City Pages" and not "The Onion" Drunk of the Week... I wonder how many lit drops they had to say they did to be invited to the Governor's Kegger?

3:24 PM, November 24, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Say Courier, what are you doing reading "The Pages" anyway?

8:34 PM, December 01, 2006  

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I laughed my ass of

....when I found out that Barack Obama's full name is "Barack Hussein Obama, jr."

How ridiculous. Imagine if FDR's opponent in 1944 was Thomas Tojo Hipler.

Is he kidding himself?

Friday, November 17, 2006

What Republicans Should Do

One of the benefits of being a conservative in politics is that more often than not, it is beneficial when government does less. Therefore, despite the U.S. Senate being in the minority, we hope that it will use its power of obstruction to get the things that conservatives really want.

For example, the minimum wage. As Pencil discussed in a prior post, the minimum wage, at $7.00 per hour is pretty meaningless. Therefore, at the very least, the Republicans in the Senate should get some of the previously filibustered judges through as a compromise for not filibustering the minimum wage. After all, Bush won re-election in 2004 with a mandate that the people wanted his judges... just as the democrats won in 2006 with a mandate to.... well at the very least to raise the minimum wage.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The heck with that! I want the current Senate to confirm as many judges (and Ambassador Bolton) as they can find /before/they become the minority. I don't care if they work through Christmas!

J. Ewing

1:22 PM, November 17, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Amen, brother, AMEN!

7:38 PM, November 17, 2006  

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Death of a Giant

Most of the readers of this blog know Milton Friedman as a political intellectual. I know him (not personally) for his achievements as an academic economist and as the professor of several of my professors. He won the Nobel prize for economics in (I think) 1976 for his achievements as an academic economist, not for anything most of the public has ever heard of him for. Further, there are Nobel winners and then there are Nobel winners. We all take the list of economics winners and divide them into categories of "well, I guess you could make a case for that guy" and "of course." Friedman is hailed by all to be the latter. In fact, Friedman is even bigger than that. He is fairly considered to be among economists to be one of the, say, five most important economists of the 20th century. As public intellectuals go, that makes the guy a colossus, straddling real academic achievement and the public square. In fact, I can't think of any public intellectual who had the stature among his peers that Friedman did. (A colleague just pointed out to me that Noam Chomsky probably qualifies.)

What Friedman actually did was lay the foundation for the complete destruction of Keynesianism as a scientific theory (as opposed to a set of policies). His first major work
was known simply as the theory of consumption. A big part of Keynesianism was the idea that households have a "marginal propensity to consume" of about .8 (due to the fact that on average households tend to consume 80% of the income and save 20%.) An incorrect inference from this was that if you give households some extra money, they will save 20% of it and spend 80% leading to what Keynesians called the multiplier. (You give people money, they spend 80% of it, that money is income to someone else, they spend 80% of it, and so on). To correct this, Friedman had to develop an entire theory of how households choose how much to save and how much to consume today, and from this came the idea that the answer depends crucially on whether you expect the money to continue (if you think the extra money is one time you will save more of it than if you think it will keep coming). The upshot was that the "marginal propensity to consume" simply didn't exist. Keynesianism was simply not coherent as a scientific theory. His other major contribution, on the relationship between unemployment and inflation, was similar: it cut out another leg from the table that was Keynesianism. All of this incorporated into our thinking that what people expect to happen in the future is key to determining what will happen today. Keynesianism allowed for none of this and for this reason it died a well deserved death. Friedman's work foreshadowed how academic economics would be conducted for (at least) the next fifty years.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I am quite surprised and very disappointed that this is not on the front page of major news sites, including FoxNews. Am I out of touch in thinking Friedman's death is greater than that of, say, Frank Sinatra? Okay, that's a tough call. But Friedman had a greater influence on our nation than some presidents I can think of. Why is this not the top story on every news site?

8:21 PM, November 16, 2006  

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Milton Friedman R.I.P.

It is a sad day for free-marketeers, but we should celebrate, not mourn, the life and tremendous contributions of the Nobel Prize winning economist. Thank God we had Milton Friedman when we did. FoxNews story here, or a better story at Forbes.

(Forbes states, ". . . died Thursday in San Francisco at age 94. The cause wasn't immediately known." Hello. He was 94.)

The Chicago Tribune has a good, in depth article about Friedman, his ideas, and contributions:

Taxes, he said, should be cut and simplified. Society benefits when personal choice reigns supreme.

In the 1960s, he argued that personal retirement accounts made more sense than a mandatory system of Social Security . . .


Similarly, he contended that parents should be allowed to choose what schools their children attend . . .

"Why do America's universities have a greater reputation around the world than its public schools?" he once asked aloud. 'You have choice. That makes all the difference in the world.
In particular, he was moved by an economics professor named Friedrich Hayek, whose intellectual attacks on socialism galvanized a small group of true-believers under the banner of "liberalism."

At the time, mainstream Democrats and Republicans assumed the federal government would retain a huge, ambitious role throughout society, serving as an equalizer for the disadvantaged and softening the sharp edges of a Darwinian marketplace.

It is unfortunate that, for all the knowledge Friedman bestowed upon us, very little has changed politically.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Zinni's a neo-con!

I thought it was interesting that General Zinni, a hero of Federal Farmers because he is a critic of the Iraq war is against withdrawing American troops from Iraq, and is actually advocating sending more troops!

Poor Farmer. There is still Jim Webb!

Blogger Air Marshall said...

What's a neo-con?

8:29 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I'm not sure.

SC Wersal must be one now based on his speech last week.

8:53 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I can tell you, without having heard SC Wersal's speech, that he is a Neocon. A very pleasant and gentile neocon, but a neocon nonetheless.

Why? What did he say last week that I missed?

1:34 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

SC Wersal gave an excellent speech about his nephew who is currently fighting in Iraq.

this followed a speech by Federal Farmer

3:48 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I believe Capt. Farmer also served in Iraq. But I am obviously missing most of the context.

4:48 PM, November 17, 2006  

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Webb Reveals Himself

Jim Webb just revealed his true insidious liberalism in this Op-ed piece. Too bad Allen didn't know the truth otherwise he could have campaigned on real issues rather than defending Macaca.

America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes....

But the true challenge is for everyone to understand that the current economic divisions in society are harmful to our future. It should be the first order of business for the new Congress to begin addressing these divisions, and to work to bring true fairness back to economic life. Workers already understand this, as they see stagnant wages and disappearing jobs....

The politics of the Karl Rove era were designed to distract and divide the very people who would ordinarily be rebelling against the deterioration of their way of life. Working Americans have been repeatedly seduced at the polls by emotional issues such as the predictable mantra of "God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag" while their way of life shifted ineluctably beneath their feet. But this election cycle showed an electorate that intends to hold government leaders accountable for allowing every American a fair opportunity to succeed.

What is Webb talking about? Maybe people don't send their kids to public schools because the public schools in many places suck. In South Minneapolis, Washburn High School used to be considered decent. Today it is a cestpool.

What does Webb mean by this: "They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people.." Is he referring back to the golden era where working people owned stocks? When was that? How ridiculous. In fact today the stock market is more spread out among the population then at any time in history, up to more than 40% from 20% in 1980.

It is true that the gap between the super wealthly and average Americans has widened recently, but it is also true that we went through a massive period of economic growth where billionares like Bill Gates grew out of nothing. At the same time, these new companies like Microsoft created a lot of wealth among a lot of people not just the super rich.

What does Webb mean by the tax code protecting the Super Rich. The last stat I saw showed that the top 1% paid 35% of all the taxes (yet according to Webb they only earn 16% of the national income). In 1980, the top 1% only paid 20% of income taxes.

In the end Webb is another equality over freedom politician. The last thing we need are socialists like Webb trying to make everyone equal. That will surely lead to ruin for us all.

And regarding who fights our wars, I am not sure what he means - does he think we should have a draft?

Blogger Air Marshall said...

When I went to Washburn High School it was one of the top college prep schools in the State.

8:43 AM, November 15, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

I'm not sure I agree with this post. What's the economy for? That is, suppose we found out that if we institute the policies that Saurus wants, within ten years everyone but the top .1% would be very poor and the top .1% would be fabulously rich. Are we supposed to go along with these policies just because they are right? Even if you think the answer is yes, that's irrelevant since it would get voted out anyway. The conservative answer is that freedom doesn't benefit only the rich. Look at BestBuy. All those plasma TV's are not being bought by the top 1%.

2:56 PM, November 15, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Har Har... I think I get it.

I thought it was the lack of policies advocated in my post that made it worth reading....

8:51 PM, November 15, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

I think we are both being misunderstood. I wasn't trying to be funny. I was trying to make the point that (IMHO) there is nothing unconservative about worrying whether too much of the economy's fruits are going to too small a segment of society.

6:38 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Well, I never made the point that it was not.

Worrying about something is one thing. What you do about it is another.

8:59 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Let everyone own stock: Privatize Social Security!

1:37 PM, November 16, 2006  

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Property Tax Bill

I just got my property tax bill for 2007. It went up 8.1%. A little ridiculous considering there have been 5 houses for sale in the neighborhood for over 5 months.

And they say they need to raise taxes.


Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Mine went up 11.1% Ridiculous. It is nothing more than a perpetual tax increase.

7:36 AM, November 16, 2006  

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Giuliani or Not

Now that Giuliani has officially formed his "exploratory committee." It's time to consider whether he has a chance. Many people I have talked to say that he does not have the social conservative background for him to be able to win the nomination. I don't know much about Giuliani's conservatism except that he believes in law and order and lacks political correctness.
Lets, for the moment, assume that Giuliani is conservative in all other respects but social issues.

Can Giuliani win the nomination. Maybe, but he will have to make a pact with social conservatives. In the 2000 campaign, Bush essentially promised "pro-choice" republicans that he would not press the issue of banning abortion from the federal level, but will appoint judges in the image of Scalia and Thomas. He has more or less kept this promise.

Perhaps Giuliani can make a similar promise to social conservatives, Guiliani could promise that he will not press to add federal laws/rules to protect abortion (leave that to the states), and will appoint judges in the same league as Roberts and Alito.

In reality, the fight over abortion and other social issues such as gay marriage will be from the judiciary and the state level and not the federal level from the President. Thus, I think Giuliani will be acceptable if he makes promises to appoint conservative judges. (I won't be surprised if the democratic candidate promises to appoint judges like Sandra Day O Conner).

Friday, November 10, 2006

German Prosecutors

Drudge is reporting that Germany intends to issue criminal indictments against Rumsfeld, George Tenant, and Gonzalez, for the goings on at Abu Garib and Guantanamo Bay.

This is serious stuff. If it is true, we should pull our ambassador out of Germany and ask the Congress to block all trade with Germany. We should also pull all our troops out. We should not let leftist leaders in other countries intimidate our leaders. Germany should pay until they put a stop to it.

Blogger festivus said...

Agreed! Pulling the troops out of Germany immediately would be a good start.

Maybe it would also be a good time to finally submit that invoice to them for WWII and the rebuilding. I guess we could just agree to ignore the interest, but I think prorating the amount to today's dollars would be appropriate.

2:18 PM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

The suit is not being brought by Germany, but by a bunch of former detainees at Abu whatever and Guantanamo, trying to take advantage of a German law that claims worldwide jurisdiction for war crimes. Up to now, German prosecutors have ignored earlier requests to indict Rumsfeld because, among other reasons, he was a U.S. official. Now that he has resigned, the plaintiffs are asking the German prosecutors to proceed. There has been no indication from them that they will

10:53 PM, November 10, 2006  

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What will the Dems do in the next few years

GW Bush in his first term was able to pass a series of bills through a narrowly held Republican House and Senate. These included his tax cuts which came with a sunset clause in order to get 60 Senate votes; The no child left behind act that Kennedy voted for, and a series of anti-terror legisation that democrats generally supported.
GW was also able to pass the heavy spending Prescription Drug bill on razor thin margins in the House (with Democratic support).

The largest legislative failure came with Social Security Reform, something the republican congress refused to ever really support (they were scared of losing control)... ha ha ha.

Knowing these successes and failures, what then will the Democratic House be able to enact....Minimum wage will get by, possibly with some small business tax relief in the senate. Bush will sign it.

Immigration Reform. I believe that this will ultimately die in the House. It would be death for most of the new democrats to come out swinging for illegal aliens. If anything comes out it will be little stuff and not major reform.

Stem Cells. The democratic Congress will pass stem cell funding, which Bush will veto. It will fall short of an override.

I think that is it. Dems may try to monkey around with the war funding - make threats etc..., however, they will ultimately fund the war.

The democrats will ultimately be compared to the 104th Congress. And the comparison will be ugly for the democrats because Bush is not up for reelection and thus doesn't have to sign any democratic bills.

IN 1995-7, the new 104th Republican Congress rammed through a series of legislation (the contract with America), much of it becoming law from a frightened President Clinton:

This included a Balanced Budget Amendment, a large crime bill, welfare reform, the $500 child tax credit, tort reform (which was vetoed), and many government reform measures. The 104th congress also shaved off a full percent to GDP of spending or about $80 billion at the time from 21.75% to 20.75%. The Republican congress also enacted House reform, such as limiting committee chair terms to encourage fresh blood. It doesn't appear that the dems will learn from this as I have heard that Dingle age 81 will chair E&C, Charlie Rangel age 76 will chair Ways and Means, and Conyers age 77 will chair Judiciary. How wrong is this? Why would the Dems just revert back to 1993?

These comparisons will come out as the year goes on and people will soon realize that the Democratic congress has little power and little mandate to do anything but investigate Bush over Iraq. People will also be reminded how great 1994 was and will yearn for its return.

Republicans would be smart to come up with a new contract, with new leaders for 2008. The new contract should be domestic reform and should include legislation that has a chance to be passed. It should include reform to social security, health care reform, etc... In the meantime, 2006-2008 should be spent showing how hapless the Democrats really are.

Anonymous Airmarshall said...

I expect some form of Assault Weapon Ban to be resurected, that Bush should veto but won't.

9:28 AM, November 10, 2006  
Anonymous Air Marshall said...

I also expect the local Dems to repeal the Concealed Carry Law in Mn., but Pawlenty should be able veto that. I don't think they can override.

10:24 AM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

I disagree with AirMarshall. One thing the Democrats seemed to understand is that they needed to stop taking so many stupid pills if they wanted to win. As far as I can tell, not one Democratic candidate ran on an anti-gun platform. They correctly diagnosed that this was killing them in the past. I don't think they will be so stupid as to make this a big deal either at the federal or state level.

10:53 AM, November 10, 2006  
Anonymous Air Marshall said...

Cun control is a solid plank in the Democrat party platform. It is in accordance with UN resolutions, and much other "internationalist" thought. It has been a losing issue to run on but that does not stop them from attempting "reasonable" measures while in office. Start small work up from there. It has always worked for them in the past. They will have to throw some sort of bone to that wing of the party on this issue. I would expect it to come sooner rather than latter to keep it off the next election's hot topic list. I think we have givin this issue too much credit for conservative victories in the past. Many otherwise conservative people are uncomfortable with both concealed carry and so called "assault weapons".

11:45 AM, November 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the state level, Democrats will throw huge gobs of money at the teachers union, in humble obeisance of their masters. Any attempts to actually reform the public education system will be dismissed out of hand. If there isn't enough money (and there never can be), Democrats will raise taxes. Perhaps the biggest question ought to be whether Tim Pawlenty will show some spine and veto this profligate taxing and spending.

Nationally, the Democrats will do everything in their power to lose the war on terror, specifically in what the terrorists themselves concede is the central front of that war in Iraq. Again, the question here is whether Bush will have the spine to slap these idiots down early and often, and whether the Republicans hold together to sustain the veto, and if they can succeed in making political hay out of the Democrats foolhardy perfidy.

J. Ewing

11:50 AM, November 10, 2006  
Anonymous Air Marshall said...

Two things I forgot to mention harsh pencil. One, Joe Olson of CCRN has stated there is a draft bill ready to go into the hopper at the State Legislature cutely nicknamed "Repeal Conceal" (catchy eh?). I see no reason why this won't be introduced. It may pass both houses and it will be up to Pawlenty to veto it. At the Federal level we need to remember that the Assault Weapon Ban was never repealed, despite twelve years of Republican control. It just went away with a sunset provision. The Dems in the Senate tried hard to reinstate it at the time so they weren't afraid to do it then, right before an election. The House refused to consider it, and that is what stopped it, not fear of the voters. John Kline even told me he and other Republicans in the house were scared to death to have to do an open vote against it for fear of the Soccer Moms. All that has changed now. Also, at the time Bush said he would sign it if it made it to his desk. No reason for him to not do so now. Spitting in the Dems eye won't do anything for him but bring the media down on his head. He has no more elections to win,so it is in his best interest to cultivate a peacful last two years. He has never really been in the Second Amendment camp so I would not expect him to start now.

8:33 PM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Pawlenty's foremost campaign promise was to throw more money into the education abyss. So don't look to him as a control on spending.

3:44 PM, November 11, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Given his taste for throwing money into the abyss of mass transit, I agree.

11:09 PM, November 11, 2006  

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Furious at Rumsfeld

Some in the GOP are furious at Bush's timing for firing Rumsfeld.

Donald Rumsfeld's abrupt resignation from the Pentagon the day after Republicans lost both chambers of Congress has infuriated some GOP officials on and off Capitol Hill. Members and staff still reeling from Tuesday's rout are furious about the administration's decision to dump the controversial defense secretary one day after their historic loss, they said in a series of interviews about the election results.

I am crying too. Maybe if the GOP would have cut spending in their last 6 years, they would have had something to talk about during the election.

Here is my favorite whiner from the Corner:

I wanted him replaced two years ago, and said so. (I wanted Condi replaced too, for that matter). I thought he was a bad manager, and a poor judge of people (some of his top aides don't belong there).

And while I thought he should be replaced, I found the manner and the moment of his purge utterly disgusting. What was the rush? It was one of the worst moments of W's presidency. It was a double surrender by the president, throwing a severed head to the Democrats and to the terrorists. You can be quite sure that the terror masters saw the election as a great victory, and Rumsfeld's ritual sacrifice as a moment of glory. It will encourage them to redouble their efforts, both in Iraq/Afghanistan, and elsewhere. They believe they have Bush's number, that they have broken him, and all they must do now is keep the blood flowing to accelerate our retreat. My heart breaks for the Iraqis.

I think this is a stretch. Yeah the terrorists might find it a victory, however, they also might get really frustrated when nothing changes for them. They probably think Bush is done, only to still see him in charge... "

Wait, you mean you can lose an election in the U.S. and still be in charge? THEY LIE! Ahmed says....

Imagine the looks on the terrorist's faces when they find out they have been hoodwinked by American politicans.

The democrats said they were going to pull out.... but they are still here, states Rashid. That Keith Oberman was not telling the truth!

I recall reading about Hitler's elation when Roosevelt died. It lasted about 15 minutes. Hitler shot himself a few weeks later.

The whole changing course and firing or Rumsfeld is a charade by the Democrats and Bush to continue the status quo. The Dems want to satisfy their supporters that they are "changing course" except the course is not going to be changed and we will end up sticking to the current plan which is to stick it out until the Iraqis can take over. Sure, they may change tactics, as they are alwasy changing tactics, but the strategic goal will remain the same. Eventually the Iraqis will take over - it could be next year, it could be in 5 years. Pelosi wants to stay in power and this is her plan to do so - she wants to share in the victory.

The charade will work because the Dems and the media won't critise it (they will be in on it). I support the charade because I support sticking it out until we win. However, its still something to be laughed at.

Anonymous Air Marshall said...

I read it that Bush is now in the "Curry favor with the Media" phase of his Presidency and Dumping Rumsfeld is just the first step. He owes his own party nothing and has no office left to run for so he is free to try and be popular, which I think in the end means a lot to him. I look for him to "work well" with the "other side of the isle" on most things from SS to the war to gun control.

10:36 AM, November 10, 2006  

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Don't Hang Saddam

So says a fellow dictator Hosni Mubarak.

"Carrying out this verdict will explode violence like waterfalls in Iraq," Mubarak was quoted as saying by state-run Egyptian newspapers. Hanging Saddam "will transform (Iraq) into blood pools and lead to a deepening of the sectarian and ethnic conflicts."

Hmmm.., I wonder if Mubarak is really worried about his own neck.

I remember voices in the "International Committee" saying that Saddam should be tried in The Hague. What a joke that would have been. We would still be on the opening statement.

It was a great move to let the Iraqis try their own guy. Now he will hang.

Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

I agree with Mubarek. Saddam shouldn't be hanged.

He should be shot in the head.

9:51 PM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Is drawing and quartering out of style?

9:13 PM, November 10, 2006  

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Index the Minimum Wage

It turns out that in Missouri and Montana that state referenda on minimum wages just killed us. They passed overwhelmingly and like gay marriage amendments in reverse, brought those most disinclined to vote Republican to the polls. It's time to end this by giving in.

Every time the minimum wage is on the ballot or part of a campaign, we lose. Further, while they are bad economics, relatively low minimum wages are not THAT bad. So conservatives need to push for simply getting this issue settled so it doesn't keep coming up. We should agree to a $7.50 minimum wage that automatically goes up with the CPI just like Social Security payments, or perhaps instead indexed to average wage growth. This would be like liberals agreeing to constitutional amendments against gay marriage just to keep from getting hit every time. The difference is that they really really care about eventually getting gay marriage, so they would never do this. We, on the other hand, don't (or shouldn't) care about permanently being stuck with a relatively low minimum wage. Like I said, it's bad policy, but it's not that bad.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Interesting - using referendums to get people to the polls for a pay raise.

According to the US Dept of Labor, there are 475,000 workers in the US earning the minimum wage. One half of these were under age 25. One quarter were under age 19.

So, maybe there are not all that many people who would be voting for their own salaries.

However, the real myth is that a boost in the minimum wage will increase your own wage by the same amount. I remember working in college when the minimum wage went up from $3.35 to $3.80. I was making roughly $6 per hour at the time. I remember thinking I would also get a 50 cent raise.

I didn't.

So maybe Pencil is right. Lets increase the minimum wage.

10:16 PM, November 09, 2006  

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"They got way too arrogant"

I was talking this morning to a friend of mine who has done quite well for himself. I asked him how much he thought the outcome of the election was going to cost him in tax increases. He told me that he didn't really care - he voted straight Democrat up and down the line. He's never been a straight party line voter, but in the past 20 or so years I've know him, I'd be willing to bet that 90% of his votes were for Republicans.

He continued: "I couldn't be happier with what happened. I've got enough money that it doesn't really matter what they do to the tax structure [this is a HUGE change from the past for him, which probably indicates how really angry he is on the other stuff], but I'm so pissed off at the Republicans. They got way too arrogant and there are more important things that they should be dealing with."

Hopefully the "now in the minority" Republicans will get this kind of message and listen to it.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

The stuff like tax increases won't actually hit home until it happens. It will be especially risky for the dems to raise taxes while the economy is humming along. The best time politically to raise taxes is when Clinton did it, during a perceived bad economy. If the economy turns down after the tax increases, dems will lose in a landslide election.

Again, minorites have the benefit of not having to propose legislation or come up with plans. Dems will now be proposing stuff like state controlled health care, global warming taxes, etc... The liberal ones have been telling their districts this is what they are for.

The public needs to be reminded why they voted dems out of power in 1994.

10:34 AM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

My favorite recent gripe comes from the Pat Bucannan/Federal Farmer wing... those who said they were staying home or voting for democrats to punish the non-conservative republicans.

Their recent complaint: Now it could be possible that Bush may compromise with the Dems over Immigration... well DUH what a revelation! Why did you stay home then you idiots... why do you think the immigration measure failed this past year...maybe because the Congress was all Republican?

10:37 AM, November 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me that the economy is doing well enough now that, regardless of what Dems do, the GOP can lambast them in '08 for "ruining the economy." It would help to make the case, of course, if Republicans could put up a united opposition to the more obvious idiocies.

J. Ewing

1:16 PM, November 13, 2006  

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lecture and Debate Tonight

Professor Dale Carpenter, U of M Law School, will be giving a Society Lecture on Conservatisms tonight at the University Club at 7:00 PM.

Following at 7:30 will be the regular debate caucus to discuss,

Resolved: George Bush is a Conservative

Coming soon....

You will start to hear stats like this very soon:

The Republican Congress came in January 1995 when federal spending was near an all time high of 21.75% GDP. When Republicans left, federal spending was 20.5% GDP... a reduction in government spending of $175 billion per year. What will (or have) democrats done....

The reason why you haven't heard this stat lately is because Federal spending was down at 19% in 1998. Republicans have been on a spending binge since then and everyone in the Republican party knows it. However, overall, the Republican Congress cut federal spending during their 12 years - facts don't lie. As time goes on we will forget about emotionalism tied to the spending binge and be left with the basic facts.

Democrats will not look back on this victory fondly

Ok, so the sleep deprevation has been finally overcome by coffee (I woke up early this morning some time, which is rare, and flipped on the TV just in time to catch T-Paw's victory speech live, and couldn't go back to sleep much after that), and I've had time to think about this.

Two things you should read - go ahead, I'll wait. Thing 1 and Thing 2.

I think that this will be the wake up call that has been so badly needed by the Republicans. There will be a lot of soul searching, some needed leadership change, but when all is said and done, I think that the Democrats will not see this election as the sweeping mandate for change that they undoubtedly think it is. Now that the electorate has gotten this temper tantrum out of their system, I suspect they will come to their senses in 2008 return the power to where it belongs - a conservative Republican party.

I'm not just rationalizing when I say that I think we should consider this a victory for Conservatives and hopefully a final nail in the coffin of "compassionate conservativism", whatever that silly philosophy is.

The Silver Lining

There is a very big silver lining from this election. It occurred in Michigan:

Proposed amendment to Michigan Constitution would "prohibit the University of Michigan and other state universities, the state, and all other state entities from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin." On June 23, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, ruled in favor of affirmative action in the University of Michigan's admissions policies. The Bush administration opposed the university's pro-affirmative action admission policies.

Here is a link to the text.

The measure passed 59-41 in a BLUE state.

This Amendment could be a huge victory for conservatism. Look for it to start appearing in other states.

Could it have been different?

So it's basically a worst case scenario. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.

Could it have been different?

Certainly, when House candidates' best arguments are "My mistress is lying when she said I strangled her" and "I'm an alcoholic who was abused by a priest" those particular races are trouble, but this election was worse than this or that race. It was a blowout.

H.L. Mencken said something to the effect of "In a democracy, you get the government you deserve, usually good and hard." In economics (and formal, or theoretical, political science) there is the "median voter theorem." That is, the median voter is the voter in which half the voters are to his left and half to his right, and almost every quasi democratic election system has the preferences of this voter ruling.

So in this election, a lot of our losers were chumps that deserved to lose (and a lot weren't). But a lot of their winners are complete idiots who deserved to lose as well, but they won. The people chose their idiots over our idiots, and in many cases, their idiots over our good candidates. So I'm not at all sure that if we simply reform and put up better candidates, we will do dramatically better.

The Northeast has become more liberal. Minnesota has become more liberal. Iowa has moved left. Ohio, Missouri and Virginia have moved left. Overall, I'm not seeing a lot of silver linings, only the need to move the median voter back to the right, as opposed to trying this or that tactic.

Blogger festivus said...

Well said, Pencil. My big silver lining for the evening was Dean Johnson going down, but we lost some good guys - Wilkin, LeClair, Krinkie.

The reason for this is clear, and it wasn't Iraq (although that helped). It's that Republicans forgot how to be Republicans. When they act tough, they win. When they don't, you get last night.

My fear is that the lesson they will learn is "act more like moderates, since that's a big reason we lost a lot of seats. The Democrats recruited people who were more moderate to run against our guys." Instead the intepretation should be "The Dems recruited people who were more conservative."

8:01 AM, November 08, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

It could have been a lot worse. Instead of people like Jim Webb and Heath Schuler winning it could have been a liberal wave. It wasn't. The Dems went Red to win this election. Contrast that with 1994, where many of the Republican winners were much more conservative.

The country has been divided since the 2000 elections. The Kettle was bubbling over. Republicans had been in power too long and got to old and stale. That is why Republicans lost.

It's kind of a relief, I can go back and start repeating great Reagan rhetoric again such as the government (Dems) is sticking its hand in my pocket without feeling like a hypocrite.

9:16 AM, November 08, 2006  

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The Polls Always Favor the Democrats

except when they don't.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

They were wrong for Pawlenty.

Charlie Cook said this would be a wave election - it wasn't

9:10 AM, November 08, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

I believe not a single Democratic congressional incumbent lost, nor did any Democratic incumbent governor lose. I don't think a single legislative body in any state went Democratic to Republican. I used to call 1994 the Republican Passover, for the same thing happened to Republicans then.

Of course this was a wave. Just because we held on to some incumbents and one some open seats doesn't make it not a wave. It wasn't just a wave, it was a big one.

12:04 PM, November 08, 2006  

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Elections and a Question

The election results look grim - Pawlenty and Bachmann are bright spots.

Okay, here is a question:

Will the election of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and leader of the Democrats sour America on strong liberal women leading the country (i.e. Hillary Clinton)?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Predictions Update

I am reposting my predictions since no one else will post predictions:

I still predict that the Dems will gain 19 seats in the House. However, everyone is now predicting 19, so I am changing my prediction to 18 1/2.

In the Senate I am still predicting +3 for Dems (Steele wins, Burns wins, Talent wins, Corker wins, Chaffee Loses, Allen loses, Santorum loses, Dewine loses, Kean loses,).

I predict the Dems will take Delays seat, Republicans will keep Foley's seat. (Punching Foley for Negron sounds like too much fun to pass up).


I predict Pawlenty by 4, Klobachar by 4, Bachmann by 13.

Pat Awada Wins; Kiffmeyer wins; Jeff Johnson wins.

Blogger The Strongman said...

Here are my predictions - just because the ensuing chaos would be fun to watch, I predict the Dems pick up 15 seats, to take the majority by 1.

Following that, I predict multiple recounts, lawsuits, calls for congressmen under indictment to resign immediately, and scandals galore as any one seat out of 435 could change the balance of power.

I also predict that such a close race would prevent Nancy Pelosi from becoming Speaker, as there are plenty of moderate dems who would not support her, and no doubt more than one higher profile Dem waiting in the Shadows to be the "compromise candidate" - the infighting could be fun to watch. In order for it to be so close, several races have to break the right way, including the Foley seat in FL, which I think will go Republican.

In the Senate, I think the net loss for Republicans will be 1 seat. I'm optomistic that Talent, Burns, and Allen, will all hold their seats, and most polls show Corker winning big in Tennessee. Out of the remianing contested seats, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, I believe the Republicans will win two, my best guess being Rhode Island and Maryland.

So, in summary:
House: Dems +15
Senate: Dems +1

In Minnesota, I expect the following:

Pawlenty wins 51-46
Kennedy loses 45-54
Bachman wins 57-42
Kiffmeyer wins
Patty Awada wins
Jeff Johnson loses

MN House - no net change
MN Senate - no net change

3:15 PM, November 07, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...


Your predictions sucked!


I told you the polls were right.

12:14 AM, November 08, 2006  

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I voted this morning. The poll worker said it was busy, but not as busy as 2004.

It will be interesting to see how the polls mirror the actual election results this evening. As I said in some prior posts, there is a possibility that technology has caught up to phone pollers, causing a skew in their results. This skew should show up in every poll. How much of a skew there is remains to be seen.

It will also be fun to see how far off the Star Tribune poll is.

There are a lot of Democtratic pundits trying to lower expectations or others saying that a narrow majority in the House will not be a victory. I think a take over of the House by Democrats should be a victory for them. However, just because Democrats control the House doesn't mean its a victory for liberalism... they take over will be largley attributed to conservative democrats winning in conservative districts.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Three Candidates Offer No Choice

The Star Tribune reports the goals for each of the three top candidates for governor, from last night's debate,

Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson said, "I'd like to dedicate the first four years and maybe even the second four years to health care."

GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he would focus on education accountability, improvement and reform. "We need to get our schools more money," he said.

DFL Attorney General Mike Hatch said he wants to try to "maintain some semblance of a middle class" by attacking health-care costs, lowering college tuition and improving K-12 education.

Where, praytell, is a conservative supposed to go in this election? Hint: rhymes with "praytell."

Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

An adult conservative votes for the most conservative candidate.

A child pouts, grabs his football and goes home.

8:38 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

It's better to be optomistic. Vote for the one most likely to support your views. Pessimism will get you killed.

As Colsen said... Pawlenty may only be with us 70% of the time. But that is better than negative percent.

8:51 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

Ignoring for a moment that I have been public with my statements about staying home tomorrow, I think one loses one's right to complain about the results if one voluntarily takes oneself out of the process of the decision. And a John Adams Society member without the right to complain is in a sorry state indeed.

8:52 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

My dear boys, you are being simplistic with your answer to settle for the least objectionable candidate. How can the sin of the stadium be brushed aside so easily? To look the other way will be to accept a continuing degradation of what used to be the righteous and frugal party.

That, my friends, is not something I cannot accept. I am a puritan, wanting only the best for our party and state. To embrace mediocrity is not an option in any pursuit.

9:03 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

Agreed, the sin of the stadium is indeed a most evil one, and not easily overlooked. Yet I fear for our state under a Hatch administration. Pawlenty as CEO might drive up expenses and drive down the stock price, but CEO Hatch might just put us into receivership.

Scrib, under your logic, President Kerry might be preferrable to President Bush just to teach him a lesson, and I shudder to think where we would be now if Ohio had gone the other way.

9:32 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

The entire point of primaries -- scratch that -- the entire point of PARTIES, is to work out our differences before the general election, and then present a unified front on election day. Republicans have historically been able to hit above their weight precisely because we've been more disciplined about this than democrats. We won in 2000 only because of Nader and we lost in 1992 because of Perot.

I understand you may not think GWB is the best President. But one reason we got such a "compassionate conservative" in 2000 was because we lost the last two elections, partly due to disunity.

So here's a question. If we lose badly, does anyone think this will help reform the Republican party or will it make them say "hey, the democrats won. Maybe if we are more like them, we will win too."

9:47 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

As always festivus and Pencil say it all.

Too many Americans get content about their anger... they always forget all of the things that could have happened that didn't. Instead they just concentrate on their own pet issues. For example, we could have had national health care by now, but we have a Republican president and a Republican Congress, so that was not even in the cards. We could be living in a high tax low growth economy right now. But, we aren't. Bush cut taxes rather than raised them.

We should fear the democrats and the stupid things they will attempt to accomplish. More fear needs to be spread around.

10:24 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Having voted, I'm off to see the Knife. Next time I blog I will be on painkillers, and we may find that I loooove Pawlenty and think the stadium deal groovy.

In fact, if the cadaver in whose knees my soon-to-be ligaments used to reside was a democrat, my knee-jerk disposition may be cured. Get it? Ligaments? Knee-jerk? Aw, never mind. I'll be much funnier on painkillers. Or at least I'll think I'm funny.

9:52 AM, November 07, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

Best of luck, Scribbler. We'll be thinking of you during your time on the table.

10:04 AM, November 07, 2006  

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What Year Is It?

Q: What do all these election years have in common? (None of them have been in my kitchen.) No really.





A: All of them I can distinctly remember being told Republicans were going to lose badly, but at the last moment things started to trend Republican. My worry? In 1996 all the good late news was just kidding ourselves. Dole really was about to get shellacked. In 2002 and 2004, things turned out better.

So I'm hoping that the polls are wrong, and there are some good reasons to think that they might be, but they might also be right.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

That's lame. You should at least try and make some predictions...

2:06 PM, November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anti War Crusty Conservative said...

Who cares what you say Neocon Marxist.

2:08 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Ok fine. 1996 worries me, but I still think it's 2002 or 2004.


GOP to Dems: PA, RI, VA, OH.

Retentions (stays GOP): TN, MT, MO.

Dems to GOP: MD.

Dems to Dems: MN, NJ and all other Dem held seats.

Net loss of 3 Senate seats.


Net loss of 19 seats. Foley's seat is kept. Delay's is lost. Bachmann wins.

2:15 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Gee, looks familiar...


2:29 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Well Gosh, maybe the reason I originally wrote about my worries rather than give my predictions had a little bit to do with the fact that my predictions were pretty close to yours. Doesn't make for a great post.

2:33 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Great marxists think alike I guess.

2:45 PM, November 06, 2006  

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The GOP GOTV machine

I was part of our local GOTV (Get Out The Vote - when I first heard the acronym as a political newbie, I thought "WOW - we have our own TV channel?") over the weekend, pulling a 3 hour shift each of Sat and Sun. We got a ton of voice mail boxes, as you might expect, but of the people I talked to, I'd say full 90% were enthusiastic. I got one "Die Republican Scum", one "oh, sonny, I'm a Democrat, so I'm really sorry, but I can't vote for those guys" and one really nice "I think you've got me on the wrong list - I work for DFL house candidates". Of the other lukewarm responses, the most common were "I'm not decided yet" and "I'm voting for some of them, but not all".

I also read this on Hugh Hewitt's site this morning, and his words "powered by polite volunteers who understand the need to persuade not merely berate" got me thinking about something one of our volunteers said. He's a fellow who always comes out to help, but really hates doing the calling. This year, as he was leaving, he commented "Next year I think I'll hire some one and pay them $10/hr to take my place. That way, I'm helping, but don't have to actually do the work".

My response was "Interesting idea, but it makes it far less effective. One of the reasons that I believe the Republicans GOTV effort is so much better than that of the Democrats is that we concentrate on volunteers, and much of the Democrat effort is concentrated on paid phone banking. If I get a caller who needs a little persuasion, I'm in a position to do that. A paid caller who doesn't believe in the message and only has a script can't do that."

Yesterday, I got one lady who, after I asked if we could count on her support for Kennedy, Pawlenty (ug!), Ramstad (UG!!) and our local legislative candidates, she said "I just don't think I can vote for Pawlenty. That stadium, doncha know." I replied "yes, ma'am, I'm very frustrated by it too. But I'm going to hold my nose and punch Pawlenty. He's with us 70% of the time and I suspect a Gov. Hatch will only make me happy 20% of the time. Which do you prefer?" After a pause, she replied "yes, I guess you're right. Thanks for the call".

Every one counts. That's just one story out of the hundreds of thousands, and why the GOTV effort is probably underestimated by the polsters and the Democrats. I am not feeling really optimistic about tomorrow, but I am not feeling as bad as the polls and major media might wish me to believe.

Oh, I'm still staying home tomorrow.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I also got a call this weekend from the Kennedy campaign.

In 2004, I went door knocking for the President. This time around I have been unable to participate (other than donating money and blogging). However, I am thankful for all the GOTV volunteers!

And shame those who are staying home throwing tantrums...

9:54 AM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

It's been pointed out to me that "punch Pawlenty" could be taken to be a threat against our Governor, so as to avoid investigation by large men with dark glasses, I'd like to clarify that I'll be instead filling out the oval next to Pawlenty's name. Punch is just a figure of speech, honest!

10:33 AM, November 06, 2006  

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Predictions for 2006

Here are my predictions for the Elections.

Minnesota Governor: Pawlenty wins by 4 points - this despite the scribbler staying at home. I think Pawlenty has always been ahead.

Mn-6: Bachmann by 13 pts. Wetterling gets crushed. People are motivated to vote for Bachmann more than Kennedy and Pawlenty.

Senate: Unfortuantley, I have to predict a Klobachar victory by 4 points. Minnesota is still a blue state. The victory margin will be small because noone is very enthusiastic about voting for Hatch or Klobachar. Kennedy would have won in any other year.

United States House:

I think Democrats will win 19 seats. Enough to take control barely. However, many of the seats will be won by conservative democrats or very weak democrats who will either vote mostly with the Republicans or be defeated in 2008. Pelosi will have trouble being elected speaker... and eventually her bid fails because of new members being worried already about 2008 (they don't want to have voted for Pelosi).

I think republicans win one of either Delay's or Foley's seat.

Because everyone will know that the Dems grip on the House will be coming to an end in 2008, it will accomplish nothing. Dems will have one legislative success - the minimum wage, which will also include a compromise on the estate tax on the same bill.

Republicans will re-elect Boehner as minority leader. The rest of the leadership will go to reformers.

U.S. Senate - I predict the Republicans lose a net 3 seats:

Burns wins in Montana. He has the late election momentum in a Red State.

Michael Steele wins in Maryland in a squeaker and gets a suprising 33% of the black vote; Cardin just doesn't motivate people enough.

Webb beats Allen in Virgina. Except that Webb becomes the Democrat's Lincoln Chafee.

Talent wins in Missouri after a recount and various legal challenges.

Corker wins by 8 pts in Tenn.

Menendez wins in New Jersey by 6 pts on low turnout. Menendez is a crappy candidate, but so is Kean. No one is motivated to to vote for Kean.

Chaffee loses.

Dewine loses in Ohio.

Santorum loses, but by only a few.

Lieberman wins.

People forget that Bush is president on Nov 8, 2006. The 2008 elections become all about tax cuts. Too many democrats are on record saying they want to "roll back the Bush tax cuts." When people find out this includes the $1000 per child tax credit, people get pissed.

NOTE: The above predictions are based on what I have seen in public polls. I have a gut feeling, however, that the polls this year are junk because of the maturity of caller ID and cell phones among certain segments of voters (i.e. younger-middle aged married people with kids screen all their calls and therefore a least likely to be in a poll).

Friday, November 03, 2006

That's it! I'm staying home on Tuesday.

I've finally had enough. Now that Rev. Ted Haggard has admitted to buying meth and getting a 'massage' (well, we don't yet know what the good Rev.'s definition is, now do we) from a 49-year old gay prostitute with the nice average name of Mike Jones, I just don't know what to do.

  • I could shake my head sadly in shame over the hypocracy of our moral leaders.
  • I could try and find humor in the whole situation, and think about what the late night talk shows are going to say
  • I could try and consider if it's truly hypocritical to preach against certain sins while committing those sins, or if I instead think that one who sins might actually be in a better position to espouse on the wrongness of those actions
  • I could wonder what induces a man in his position to take actions that surely will do nothing but cause him severe anguish when discovered, as they surely would be

However, as interesting as these positions are, I've instead chosen the best path: I intend to stay home on Tuesday rather than voting as I usually do for Republican candidates.

I know, this may seem odd to some of you, but rest assured that I have not arrived at this decision lightly. I know that by not voting, I will help assure victory by candidates that I completely disagree with, and whose election will, I believe, cause great harm to our state and our nation.

I realize that Democratic candidates in control of the Senate will virtually ensure that quality Federal Judicial candidates will not have a prayer of getting confirmed.

I realize that Democrats in control of the House will sentence me to seeing much more of Nancy Pelosi.

I realize that Democrats in control of the House will put a bunch of nuts in charge of powerful committees, which will almost certainly raise my taxes and do other great harm.

I realized that Democrats in control of Congress will add additional pressure to the White House to abandon our war on terror, which up until this time, has prevented another 9/11 attack on our soil.

There are numerous other fears I have, but the logic is the same. None of these things matter one whit in comparision with my burning desire to punish Rev. Haggard for his actions. And nothing will make my point more than simply staying at home on Tuesday. I urge all real conservatives to do the same

So THERE!!!! Take that, Rev. Haggard.

(As an aside, I would like to ask Lt. Gov. candidate Dutcher what her position is on using E85 as a lubricant when one is receiving a massage from a 49 year old gay prostitude. Enquiring minds want to know....)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems you forgot the :-^ (tongue firmly in cheek). Might I suggest a vote for Republicans, and then a personal letter of rebuke to the good Reverend?

The Left in this country has been playing this game for several election cycles now, of sliming religious and conservative leaders (truthfully or otherwise) to suppress religious and coservative turnout. I think it's time we start punishing Democrats at the polls, and our own in some other way, IF and WHEN the charges are proven and weighed.

J. Ewing

8:58 PM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

It didn't work, Festivus. No amount of shaming, coaxing, bribing or Festivian tactics will get me to pull the lever for Pawlenty. Add Ramstad and John Berns (legislative candidate) to the list I will NOT be voting for, and I'm half-way to staying home.

I will go, however, to dot the circle -- it occurs to me we do not pull levers in Minnesota -- for Johnson, Kiffmeyer and Awada (or whatever her name is this week).

Uncharacteristically, I have all but tuned out to the election this year.

7:53 AM, November 04, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Scribbler, you should instead vote against Mike Hatch......

11:45 PM, November 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just baffles me why intelligent people would vote against (or not vote for) someone who has not lived up completely to your principles, and thereby allow someone who is openly hostile to those principles to take power!

Some days, you need to take 1/2 a loaf, or 1/4 of a loaf, or even no loaf at all, if it helps keep the thieves out of your granary.

J. Ewing

6:37 PM, November 06, 2006  

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bomb making plans on the Internet

The New York Times reports that the government posted some of Iraqs highly sensitive nuclear program on the internet which may have provided helpful information to countries such as Iran.
A senior American intelligence official who deals routinely with atomic issues said the documents showed “where the Iraqis failed and how to get around the failures.” The documents, he added, could perhaps help Iran or other nations making a serious effort to develop nuclear arms, but probably not terrorists or poorly equipped states. The official, who requested anonymity because of his agency’s rules against public comment, called the papers “a road map that helps you get from point A to point B, but only if you already have a car.”

This is basically a hit piece against Republicans. Iran already knows how to build a bomb. They got everything they need from AQ Kahn, who successfully built a bomb for the Pakistanis. In fact they still get info from AQ Kahn. Why would the Iranians want info from an Iraq program that never completed the bomb?

Funny about the Times... they were forced to admit that Iraq actually had a nuke program and that the program was serious.

Update: Jim Geraghty has a more in depth discussion.

Ideology is Genetic

So claims this article:

So far, the political connection has relied on studies by Lindon Eaves, professor of human genetics and psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University. About 8,000 sets of identical and fraternal twins answered a series of questions on topics such as school prayer, nuclear power, women’s liberation and the death penalty. Identical twins, who share their entire genetic code, answered more similarly than fraternal twins, who are no more similar than non-twin siblings.

I totally believe this to be true. Except that it probably has more to do with intelligence rather than some other trait. Liberals generally have stupid ideas, therefore it doesn't surprise me that more stupid people are liberals.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Hormonal imbalances may also play a role, as may physical brain abnormalities.

9:59 PM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

"Physical brain abnormalities" like those that seem to be a requirement for membership in the DFL?

10:39 PM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Conservatives have more kids. Discuss implications.

11:33 PM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

It is ironic that conservatives have more children. Conservatives are more responsible; they are planners. They are conservative. On the other hand, just the families of Pencil and SSC skew the numbers much higher.

6:21 AM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger Dan tdaxp said...

This is a manual trackback.

I enjoyed your comments on the article, and replied on my own blog. This issue is also being discussed on digg.

1:36 PM, November 03, 2006  

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AARP Encourages Voter Fraud

I listened to the MN Senate Debate this evening, and heard an ad sponsored by the AARP encouraging people to vote. During this ad, the announcer says "so this Tuesday, visit your nearest polling place and spend 10 minutes voting" or something similar. The key words are "your nearest polling place".

Unfortunately, the AARP misunderstands basic voting. People cannot simply visit "their nearest polling place" and cast their vote. They have to go to their specific polling place for their precinct and cast their vote there.

I'm really amazed that such a basic error got into this commercial. I don't actually go so far as to believe that they are encouraging voter fraud, notwithstanding the title of this post, one has to wonder how they could make so basic an error.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Didn't catch that -- good ear. I did wonder why candidates would allow a left-wing organization to host a debate. But the League of Women Voters does it all the time. Conservatives don't seem to have a problem with being doormats.

Did anyone distinguish any difference between the Independent candidate and the DFL candidate? Is if possible the GOP put this Fitzgerald in place to siphon off votes from Klobuchar?

9:11 PM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

Credit for the catch belongs to my wife who, by sheer coincidence, I had just picked up from her election judge training. It was no doubt top of mind with her at that point.

I actually thought the Independent Candidate was slightly more nutty than Ms. K. He is vocally for immediate withdrawal from Irak (my tip-o-the-hat to the MN National Guard troops - they of "the banner"), and sounded like there's not a tax in the world he wouldn't raise in order to solve all our problems. But yes, it's amazing how DFL-like they all are.

I sometimes wonder how an Independent candidate who is a lot more like a Republican would do in a 3 way race.

10:38 PM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Can't you guys see that this is another Rovian stroke of genius? Aunt Milly shows up at her nearest voting place to vote for more money from the public treasury, finds out it isn't her precinct, can't vote, gets confused and goes home. Genius!

10:42 PM, November 02, 2006  

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My take on Kerry's latest

When I first heard Sen. Kerry's comments, I went through a quick range of emotion. Shock and surprise was first, followed immediately by gleeful thoughts similar to those I felt when I first heard the now infamous "$87 billion" comment. I mean, it's election season after all.

Then I started thinking about it, and watched it (over and over, courtesy of all my cable news channels). Here's my take.

Those comments are offensive. Really offensive. Yet, I really don't think he meant to demean the troops. He's stupid, but he's not that stupid, nor are his advisors. Come on - in the final days of an election that's this close to actually PLAN to come out and offend a huge chunk of America and potentially swing the middle? No way, no how. I actually DO buy his "flubbed joke" excuse. Even executed better, I'm not sure that I understand his joke nor do I think it would have been very funny if he'd have actually made the Bush tie-in, but I just can't believe that this was a planned "dis" of the troops.

Be that as it may, the fact still remains that:
  • Kerry has done stuff like this before (most notably his 1971 comments), which makes this all that more believable.
  • He IS a patrician and about as much of an elitist as there is
  • Most impotantly, I believe he actually DOES look down upon our military and those who serve in it. I don't think he even realizes that he does, because it's just so ingrained in his psyche. In his mind, they are the little people who didn't have the smarts, connections or cash to go to an Ivy League college, marry money (twice!) and become a liberal Senator from Massachusetts and a failed Presidential candidate.

It is for that latter reason that I think he flubbed the joke. People tend to make extemporaneous verbal mistakes in favor of positions they already hold. True feelings usually come out. And his really lame attempt to fight through this one is exactly the opposite of what he needed to do.

Imagine if he'd come out immediately and said "I am so sorry. I was trying to make a joke about the President's intelligence, but I flubbed it, and after watching my poor attempt at comedy, it's clear to me that my comments can easily (and probably should) be taken as offensive to our men and women in the military. I meant no such insult, and I am deeply sorry". Poof! Problem solved in a day or so, and he looks so much better. At this point, the "I apologize to no one" line makes it virtually impossible for him to apologize, or if he does, for it to be taken seriously by anyone.

John Kerry. Patrician. Brahmin. Elistist. And fortunately for Republicans, a man with perhaps the worst political instincts of all time.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I don't buy the joke part. How can what Kerry said be reconstructed into a joke?

It was clear that he flubbed - stating something he truly believes.

9:56 AM, November 01, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

I think the intended joke was "if you don't study hard and try to be smart LIKE PRESIDENT BUSH, the results are that you get stuck in Iraq LIKE THIS ADMINSTRATION IS NOW". Admitttedly not a good joke, but I think that's what he intended.

The freudian slip, however, illustrates his underlying disdain for the military and those who serve.

10:30 AM, November 01, 2006  
Blogger Clashing Devil said...

Of course Kerry would not plan to ‘dis’ the troops (by the way ‘dis’ is an abomination of the English language, but I digress), but his attempt at levity reveals much about his character. I do not for one minute buy his lame explanation that it was intended to be a joke aimed at President Bush. The operative word he used was ‘you’… either you do well in school or you end up in Iraq. Clearly, in his view, those serving in the military could not make it in academia. Here we see Kerry again attempting to appeal to whatever audience he happens to be in front of at that time. Let’s face it, if he had really meant to point fun at President Bush and his academic record, he would have had much better choices for his punch line:

Either you do well in school or…

… you become the 43rd President
… you say things like nuke-ler and strateegery
… you end up living in Crawford, Texas (this might have upset a few people in Crawford, but who cares about those bible-thumping rednecks anyways)

I can only imagine the outrage that would have spewed out from the left had a republican said this.

10:46 AM, November 01, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

I think it really was a flub. All he did was drop the word "us". That is, if you study, ..., you can do well, but if you goof off, you'll get us stuck in Iraq."

But this still tells a lot about Kerry. Any non-idiot would say "I meant to say (what I said above) but by accident dropped the word "us". I of course understand why everyone is upset. As I actually spoke the words, as opposed to how I actually meant to speak the words, they are indeed offensive. And for this carelessness in speech on my part, I apologize for the justified offense I caused."

Of course, he did no such thing, but went ballistic about how anyone who doesn't immediately conclude that this was a slip of the tongue is awful person and so forth. Well since a whole lot of military people did take offense, he has now, with intent, insulted them.

As Jonah Goldberg says, "What a tool".

12:10 PM, November 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching the tape, it seems obvious to me that, joke or not, this was an elitist speaking to a group of potential elitists, sharing his disdain of the "lower classes" that he, by virtue of his intellectual and moral superiority, was destined to rule over. He was urging them to "be smart" and avoid becoming like "them"- the brave men and women of the military and those who support them. He is beneath contempt.

12:44 AM, November 02, 2006  

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Kerry's Flub

Kerry's freudian slip may energize previously discontented conservatives.

I often end up listening to radio shows such as Michael Savage or Jerry Doyle (I ahve time then0, both of whom have been blasting Bush and Republicans in general for the past year. Although I find Savage's show entertaining, I tend to disagree with his approach to conservatism and his opposition to the Republicans on everything. However, tonight Savage said the Kerry comment pissed him off so much that he was now ready to go vote for all Republicans. This was a shocker especially considering Savage's constant diatribes against Congressional Republicans. Maybe it's telling for the election to come, maybe it is not.

Kerry's comments should be a reminder of what the modern Democratic party is all about. It is about disdain for traditional America. The American soldier is part of this tradition and thus is disparaged by Kerry and his ilk. Sure you can come out against the Iraq policy - there have been opponents to every war. But, the goal of the Iraq policy is to conserve traditional America by going on the offensive. An America on the defensive with baggage checkers on every bus ride and cops on every corner to maintain security would not be traditional.

Why would you elect a party who has a different goal - a new America. I don't want a new America. I like the existing one.