quasi in rem

Friday, October 29, 2004

Market based indicators getting very tight...

Can this be true?

If so, where do I sign up for those dogs trained to get me a beer when I feel thirsty?

Or sober?

Why do elephants have such good memories?
If this is true:

"Elephants do have remarkable memories. In the wild, elephants appear to remember for years the relationships with dozens, perhaps hundreds of other elephants, some of whom they may see only occasionally. They also have an impressive memory for places to drink and to find food. This information gets passed on from generation to generation."

And this is true:

"With the amount of food elephants eat every day, their teeth wear down at alarming rates, and that's why they grow not two but six sets of chewing teeth (molars) in their lifetimes. "


Then can it also be true that memory is intrinsically related to our teeth?

Here is something else wierd about elephants:

"Elephants are unusual among mammals in that they continue to grow throughout their life, although their rate of growth slows after they reach sexual maturity"

Would it matter if John Kerry recieved an "Other than Honorable Discharge?"

Lefty site with honest Al Qa Qaa analysis

Does Bush/Redskins have a chance?: "Green Bay Packers (news) star quarterback Brett Favre (news) and top running back Ahman Green (news) both missed Thursday's practice with injuries. "

Rookie safety Sean Taylor will not be playing.

So if Micehal Moore tells a lie...

And then Osama Bin Laden believes it, and then tells that lie back to the American people, does that make the initial lie more or less true?

In other words, if Osama Bin laden repeats what you say as a his reasons for attacking the United States, does that make you Osama's accomplice, even if what you said was false?

I don't know the answer to that question but for your edification, here is OBL, apparently just minutes after seeing Farnheit 9/11 (he loved it by the way, thought it was better than "Cats" he is going to see it again and again):

"We didn't find difficulty dealing with Bush and his administration due to the similarity of his regime and the regims in our countries. Whish half of them are ruled by military and the other half by sons of kings and presidents and our experience with them is long. Both parties are arrogant and stubborn and the greediness and taking money without right and that similarity appeared during the visits of Bush to the region while people from our side were impressed by the US and hoped that these visits would influence our countries. Here he is being influenced by these regimes, Royal and military. And was feeling jealous they were staying for decades in power stealing the nations finances without anybody overseeing them. So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son and they call it th e Patriot Law to fight terrorism. He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states and he didn't forget to transfer his experience from the rulers of our region to Florida to falsify elections to benefit from it in critical times. "

This is good news from Colorado!

Your 2005 Washington Expos?

Right now it looks like Carl Everett, Livan Hernandez and Jose Vidro.

It's going to be a loooong season.

This is a touch over the top...

It's going to be a busy weekend...: "The first on tap, evidently, is what is clearly the carefully timed release in the British medical journal Lancet of a Johns Hopkins report of an estimated one hundred thousand dead in Iraq. Of course publishing figures like this on the eve of an election is unconscionable because they cannot in any way be checked, even assuming that there would be a method of ascertaining such a thing n the first place under present conditions, which is doubtful. It's time to be skeptical of people making rash charges. As a dieing woman once said, 'Intergity, integrity, integrity.'"


I do not see how Bush can overcome this press onslaught.

Photos point to removal of weapons - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - October 29, 2004

Tom Harkin, King of all tools!

With Fritz "It's the Jews" Hollings retiring, another Democratic Senator must jump in to fill the breach and become the most idiotic Democratic Senator. Senator Tom Harkin has entered his opnening salvo. Here is his op-ed from today.

"Why Bush will restart the draft if re-elected

A major terrorist attack could easily serve as the pretext for setting the draft in motion.

By Sen. Tom Harkin


President George W. Bush may or may not have a secret plan to reinstate the draft. But this is besides the point..."

Is there a more offensive and irresponsible way to start an opinion piece. How about this:

"Tom Harkin's may or may not be delusional due to rampant syphillis. But this is besides the point"

or

"John Kerry may or may sold influence to the Chinese government, but that is beside the point."

I am almost speechleess and that is just the first line. THis is a sitting Senator mind you. A Senator! He continues:

"The deteriorating facts on the ground in Iraq, plus the Bush doctrine of acting pre-emptively and unilaterally against hostile regimes, will soon leave him no choice. If Bush is re-elected, he will have to restart the draft. "

Well at least he had the dignity to call Iraq a "hostile" regime. But I am curious as to how he will distinguish Bush from Kerry.

Ok, now the lies begin:

"Indeed, Bush has already imposed stage one of a new draft. Many soldiers whose enlistment period is up are not being allowed to leave the service, and those who left the service years ago are being forced to put on the uniform again against their wills. It is clear that we already have a back-door draft. Bush has effectively ended the all-volunteer military. "

Forced against their wills? They are called members of the reserve. They signed up for that.

"And stage two of a reinstated draft would be easy to implement. Draft boards are already in place in every county in the United States, and young men who turn 18 are already required to register with their local draft board. "

That situation has been in place since the draft ended. He is announcing this as if it is news and just discovered it.

And now for the stunning conclusion:

"A major terrorist attack could easily serve as the pretext for flipping the switch and setting this apparatus in motion."

Were were the A & B that lead to this C? Did I miss it?

Ohh here they are:

"What if all-out civil war breaks out in Iraq and we have to increase our troop strength to 200,000 or 300,000 to quell it? What if a newly re-elected Bush decides to act pre-emptively against Iran, Syria or North Korea? "

In the first case, what would Kerry do? Just bolt and run?
And I feel very confident in saying that based on, ahem, past results, case #2 is highly unlikely.


And he says this:

"Today, people are hesitant to join the National Guard or reserves because of skyrocketing odds of being sent into combat or kept away from family and jobs for a year or longer. Morale, enlistments and re-enlistments are falling, at the same time that military manpower needs are rising dramatically. "

By the way, guard rention rates are high,: " Army Guard is meeting its retention goal this year and finding re-enlistments are higher in units that deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan than those that did not. " And the missed goal is more due to logistics than desire.

It gets worse:

"So where would a re-elected Bush get the manpower to pacify Iraq while pursuing the next phases of his doctrine of pre-emptive, unilateral war? There is only one viable option: a reinstated draft.

It is probably too much to expect Bush to acknowledge this before Election Day. "

Umm, did you watch the debates Senator Harkin?

And then his closing shot:

"So Americans, today we have good reasons to fear the return of the draft. Bush might have avoided the draft when he was a young man. But if re-elected, he will not be able to avoid the draft as president. "

Nice. Especially coming from someone who lied about their own service record.

The message for Democrats this week:

Lie. Cheat. Steal. Do anything to win this election. Nothing is out of bounds. Even if you a United States Senator.

More proof that I don't drink enough...: "Researchers say they may have found yet another health benefit conferred by red wine -- it seems to reduce the risk of lung cancer, at least in men."

Thursday, October 28, 2004



This is an IAEA seal.

i don't see that on any of the stuff in the news report.

1 Billion dead from bird flu?

Well that would be bad news...

Syria is sooooo next!: " Syria tested chemical weapons on civilians in Sudan's troubled western Darfur region in June and killed dozens of people.

The German daily Die Welt newspaper, in an advance release of its Wednesday edition, citing unnamed western security sources, said that injuries apparently caused by chemical arms were found on the bodies of the victims. "

Jib jab type flash based on Bohemian Rhapsody...

Not to bad.

Holy COw!!!: EYEWITNESS NEWS video may be linked to missing explosives in Iraq

They have video stills of the site!

I wonder if this is the missing stuff, at the site on April 18th.

BTW, each of those wood boxes is listed as 40 Kg, which means 25 of them per tonne, or 2500 of them per 100 tonnes, or over 6000 of them for the amount claimed to be missing.

Also, I do not see anything that says IAEA on any of the materials. How were they sealed by the IAEA?

4 Straight Polls... have Kerry up in Ohio.

Bush can still win if he gets Wisconsin and Iowa.

A nice list of electoral college articles here.

I really like this one from the Amar brothers (although I disagree with it):

10 Arguments in Favor of Keeping the Electoral College -- Refuted!

More on the Electoral college...

Simple but comprehensive arguments on either side of the E.C. debate. I think that we should just have all governors vote every for years for the Presidency. And whoever gets the majority governor vote gets to be President.

Sean Taylor in custody?

Things are looking bad for the President and the Washington Redskins for their coincidental victories coming this week. The Redskins star rookie Sean Taylor may be in custody after being arrested at 4:30 am for driving under the influence....

Telegraph | News | UN inspectors uncover proof of Saddam's nuclear bomb plans:


Here's a blast from the past...as long as we are digging up old stories that should not effect the election..

"The revelation follows last Thursday's discovery of a number of warheads at an ammunition storage facility south of Baghdad that had been designed for carrying chemical and biological weapons.

Although UN officials say that they have no comment to make at present on the documents found at the scientists' homes, a Western diplomat closely involved with the investigation into Saddam's nuclear capability yesterday confirmed that the documents showed that Iraq was still attempting to develop its own atomic weapons.

"These are not old documents. They are new and they relate to on-going work taking place in Iraq to develop nuclear weapons," the official told The Telegraph.

"They had been hidden at the scientists' homes on Saddam's personal orders. Furthermore, no mention of this work is made in the Iraqi dossier that was submitted to the UN last December."

"

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Time to Fisk the New York Times article...

Ok here is the original article from the New York Times...let's see where they screwed up...

Actually it sort of fisks itself at this point...I am just going to cut and paste sections that now contain erroneous infromation.

Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq



"The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations."

...

"The International Atomic Energy Agency publicly warned about the danger of these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United States officials about the need to keep the explosives secured, European diplomats said in interviews last week. Administration officials say they cannot explain why the explosives were not safeguarded, beyond the fact that the occupation force was overwhelmed by the amount of munitions they found throughout the country."

...

"After the invasion, when widespread looting began in Iraq, the international weapons experts grew concerned that the Qaqaa stockpile could fall into unfriendly hands. In May, an internal I.A.E.A. memorandum warned that terrorists might be helping "themselves to the greatest explosives bonanza in history."

...

"Earlier this month, in a letter to the I.A.E.A. in Vienna, a senior official from Iraq's Ministry of Science and Technology wrote that the stockpile disappeared after early April 2003 because of "the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security."

In an interview with The Times and "60 Minutes" in Baghdad, the minister of science and technology, Rashad M. Omar, confirmed the facts described in the letter. "Yes, they are missing," Dr. Omar said. "We don't know what happened." The I.A.E.A. says it also does not know, and has reported that machine tools that can be used for either nuclear or non-nuclear purposes have also been looted. "

...

"None of the explosives were destroyed, arms experts familiar with the decision recalled, because Iraq argued that it should be allowed to keep them for eventual use in mining and civilian construction. But Al Qaqaa was still under the authority of the Military Industrial Council, which ran Iraq's sensitive weapons programs and was led for a time by Hussein Kamel, Mr. Hussein's son-in-law. He defected to the West, then returned to Iraq and was immediately killed. "

...

"The Qaqaa stockpile went unmonitored from late 1998, when United Nations inspectors left Iraq, to late 2002, when they came back. Upon their return, the inspectors discovered that about 35 tons of HMX were missing. The Iraqis said they had used the explosive mainly in civilian programs.

The remaining stockpile was no secret. Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the arms agency, frequently talked about it publicly as he investigated - in late 2002 and early 2003 - the Bush administration's claims that Iraq was secretly renewing its pursuit of nuclear arms. He ordered his weapons inspectors to conduct an inventory, and publicly reported their findings to the Security Council on Jan. 9, 2003. "

"A European diplomat reported that Jacques Baute, head of the arms agency's Iraq nuclear inspection team, warned officials at the United States mission in Vienna about the danger of the nuclear sites and materials once under I.A.E.A. supervision, including Al Qaqaa.

But apparently, little was done. A senior Bush administration official said that during the initial race to Baghdad, American forces "went through the bunkers, but saw no materials bearing the I.A.E.A. seal." It is unclear whether troops ever returned. "

"Some were damaged but not devastated. I.A.E.A. experts say they assume that just before the invasion the Iraqis followed their standard practice of moving crucial explosives out of buildings, so they would not be tempting targets. If so, the experts say, the Iraqi must have broken seals from the arms agency on bunker doors and moved most of the HMX to nearby fields, where it would have been lightly camouflaged - and ripe for looting."

"Two weeks ago, on Oct. 10, Dr. Mohammed J. Abbas of the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology wrote a letter to the I.A.E.A. to say the Qaqaa stockpile had been lost. He added that his ministry had judged that an "urgent updating of the registered materials is required."

A chart in his letter listed 341.7 metric tons, about 377 American tons, of HMX, RDX and PETN as missing."

"The explosives missing from Al Qaqaa are the strongest and fastest in common use by militaries around the globe. The Iraqi letter identified the vanished stockpile as containing 194.7 metric tons of HMX, which stands for "high melting point explosive," 141.2 metric tons of RDX, which stands for "rapid detonation explosive," among other designations, and 5.8 metric tons of PETN, which stands for "pentaerythritol tetranitrate." The total is roughly 340 metric tons or nearly 380 American tons.

"

"Five days later, on Oct. 15, European diplomats said, the arms agency wrote the United States mission in Vienna to forward the Iraqi letter and ask that the American authorities inform the international coalition in Iraq of the missing explosives.

Dr. ElBaradei, a European diplomat said, is "extremely concerned" about the potentially "devastating consequences" of the vanished stockpile.

Its fate remains unknown. Glenn Earhart, manager of an Army Corps of Engineers program in Huntsville, Ala., that is in charge of rounding up and destroying lost Iraqi munitions, said he and his colleagues knew nothing of the whereabouts of the Qaqaa stockpile.

Administration officials say Iraq was awash in munitions, including other stockpiles of exotic explosives.

"The only reason this stockpile was under seal," said one senior administration official, "is because it was located at Al Qaqaa," where nuclear work had gone on years ago.

"

I wonder what exactly the New York times considers "investigative reporting."

Was it just 3 tons?????

Now that could have benn looted.

Wonder how you poll this jury pool?

Only accept Nader voters?

Source and destination answered....

Sourde of the weapons: Russia.
Destination: Syria

I fully support my President...

But it strikes me that this statement:

"A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not the person you want as the commander in chief,'"

Is possibly the most ironic thing ever said by anyone ever in the entire history of irony. Ever.

If I was running the Kerry campaign, I would just run the loop of Bush saying that with scenes of the Iraq War running in the background. It is possible they have no money left, but if they have any...

More analysis:

I like this type of thinking...

"Using the most recent averages of the Battleground polls found on RealClearPolitics.com I created a table that determines the number of undecided voters from each state that would be required for either Bush or Kerry to win. This is done by assuming that 20% of the overall ranks of the undecided won't vote at all and then arriving at the majority point by reducing that non-voter number as well as the numbers of third-party candidates (Ralph Nader plus an assume 0.5% for other third-party candidates) and dividing by two. The results are as follows:

Florida - Bush 23.78%, Kerry 56.22%
Ohio - Bush 37.87%, Kerry 42.13%
Pennsylvania - Bush 96.76%, Kerry -16.76%
Wisconsin - Bush 27.80%, Kerry 52.20%
Iowa - Bush 2.22%, Kerry 77.78%
Minnesota - Bush 34.55%, Kerry 45.45%
Michigan - Bush 79.62%, Kerry 0.38%
Missouri - Bush -8.96%, Kerry 88.96%
New Mexico - Bush 17.97%, Kerry 62.03%
Nevada - Bush -13.06%, Kerry 93.06%
Colorado - Bush -20.26%, Kerry 100.26%
New Hampshire - Bush 58.46%, Kerry 21.54%
Maine - Bush 110.83%, Kerry -30.83%
West Virginia - Bush -4.44%, Kerry 84.44%
Oregon - Bush 89.02%, Kerry -9.02%
New Jersey - Bush 84.44%, Kerry -4.44%
Arkansas - Bush -20.00%, Kerry 100.00%
Hawaii - Bush 35.91%, Kerry 44.09%
If Bush gets a third of the undecideds to break his way (as Dick Morris and John Zogby insist is the historical norm) then the president wins the following Battleground states and ends up with 276 Electoral Votes: Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, West Virginia and Arkansas (as of today's polls)."

Maybe syria was the destination...: "Two days before March 19, 2003, we saw quite a number of vehicles going into Syria. We could not go after them because we said we'd give Saddam 48 hours. A lot of (Iraqi) leaders went into Syria, and a lot of WMD went into Syria. We've gotten indications some went into Lebanon, and probably some went into Iran. �We've done calculations that you could probably bury 16 Eiffel Towers or Empire State Buildings and never find them in the desert.� "

I really like Jack Bogle, and think he's the only honest mutual fund guy out there right now..
(Not to mention the fact that my entire retirement is in his precious hands)

I was unaware of his politics before now, I probably would have guessed he was a Republican. It turns out he is a Republican, but this year he is voting for John Kerry.


"Patience, persistence, courage and commitment were key to Vanguard's success, but blind courage and reflexive commitment can be dangerous, Bogle says. 'Commitment is admirable in a leader,' he says, 'but there's no virtue in committing yourself to the wrong idea. Staying the course just to stay the course is folly that invites tragedy.'"

Democrats never let facts get in the way of a good story...:


"The rumor I heard, from a good source, was that the poll showed Kerry up nine in Florida. Maybe the poll is flawed, but they should at least release it. Include whatever caveats they want. After all, flawed polls never stop Gallup or Mason-Dixon from public release. "

Yeah. That would be a good idea. The caveat would have to be...this is completely untrue but go ahead and spin it anyway.

Timeline Now Down to 4 weeks...
Form the Corner. It appears that the longest possible time that anyone could have had to loot these items was 4 weeks.

Which strikes me as just about impossible.

What's more. If Sadam was able to move 350 tons of explosives to some hidden location during thewar, as it now appears clear that he did, and we haven't heard hide nor hair of them since...what would prevent him from movign other stuff in that same time period?


"BRET BAIER'S REPORT ON AL QAQAA [Rich Lowry]
DAVID ASMAN: well a full week before the 101st airborne visited the weapons facility, members of the third infantry division were there. bret bair live from the pept know gon.

BRET BAIER: the key is the time line. let's start with the iaea. they sealed and tagged at least some of the 377 tons of missing explosives at this facility. and now in march 8, 2003, they went back to the site. the iaea says they checked on some of though explosives at the site but did not see all of explosives. they did not check on all of them. they leave and the war starts. and the next date is april 3. that is when the third infantry division arrives at the site. there you see the front gate. this is seven days before dana lewis and the 101st airborne division gets there. they engage iraqi forces who are firing on u.s. troops from inside the facility. the facility is open, they're getting engaged by iraqi forces inside the facility. the third i.d. takes them out and they do a primary search and they are not looking specifically for the iaea marked materials but it's not noted in any of the commander's reports. and then the 101st moves in and they do cursory searches and they move on, and nothing is noted. the next date is may 8, 2003, when the 75th exploytation task force comes in. they search the bunkers and don't find any of the marked material. u.s. commanders point out if you're to believe that all of this was looted between april 11 and may 8, that's 28 days, when convoys are moving up and down the road on those very roads, moving to baghdad, the u.s. troops are pushing forward. it would be tough to get 28 truckloads they say, out of that facility without being engaged by u.s. troops on those roads during that war. because at the time they point out that they were engaging anybody t"

Is this guy making crazytapes? - Adam Yahiye Gadahn

I think it's in Syria...

"MCINTYRE (voice-over): The Pentagon acknowledges there was a window of about six weeks after the invasion of Iraq when it's possible the stockpile of high explosives could have been stolen from the sprawling al Qa Qaa facility south of Baghdad.

But Pentagon officials argue it's more likely the explosives were moved as part of the prewar dispersal ordered by Saddam Hussein. That would have come sometime after March 3, 2003, the last time the International Atomic Energy Agency checked that security seals placed on the bunkers were in tact and before the war actually began March 20.

"On April 10 of 2003, the day after the fall of Baghdad, troops from the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division reached the site. No weapons under IAEA seal were found, but the soldiers were advancing on Baghdad and officials acknowledge they didn't conduct a thorough inspection.

Sometime in the next month, May 2003, the IAEA says it relayed concerns to the U.S. government about the stockpile falling into the wrong hands.

Finally, on May 27, more than six weeks after the April visit, a special U.S. exploitation team looking for weapons of mass destruction searched all 32 bunkers and 87 buildings. Again, the stockpile was not found.

While Pentagon officials admit the facility was not completely secured between April 10 and May 27, they say many U.S. troops remained in the general area, and, although small-scale looting was certainly possible, officials scoff at the idea the large number of heavy trucks that would have been required to transport the 380 tons of missing explosives could have been moved into and out of the facility unnoticed during that time."

Democrats begin the election litigation!!!

Wooo hooo!

I know JMM has gone over this but is looting even possible?

I know JMM has gone over this but is looting even possible?
It is reported that there was 380 tons of explosives, which is 760,000 lbs of explosives.

For the administration to be at fault for failure to monitor the site post invasion the explosives would have had to be there on April 4rth and disappeared sometme after. Surely something was there. We have a report that there were thousands of small boxes (2 inch by 4.5 inches)with 3 vials of white powder in them. For that type of packing to be 380 tons you would need millions of those type of boxes. But that is beside the point.

Lets assume it was all there in April. By the end of May it was all gone according to Weapons Inspector Micheal Kay.

Considering that this place was revisted on April 10th, it is highly unlikely that anything was taken in between April 4th and April 10th. The stories indicate there were road blocks all over the place around the site.

Not to mention this place fairly close to Baghdad. So those roadblocks likely continued to exist for the next few months.

So how would one go about moving all of this stuff. Especially if you could not use the roads.

If it was in those small boxes, which could'nt weigh more than a half pound each, (compare to a pound of coffee which has a larger container and is not seperately packed in vials) but lets say they each weigh a pound, that means that 760,000 boxes would have to be removed in a matter of days.

Even at 10,000 lbs, or 10,000 boxes, a day that would take 76 days.

How does that even happen with a major moving operation?

If it was looted aren't you talking about small groups of people in small numbers.

But by May it was all gone...Kay said it was likely moved post war, but I still do not see how....especially considering the short time frame.

I am still curious as to what was meant by "thousands of boxes" in the April 4rth report and also what was meant when the Iraqi's indicated they had moved the stuff before the war, and also exactly what was checked by the IAEA on March 8th, but still, this appears to be

We did bomb this place during the war BTW, 2 of the ten bunkers where the stuf was stored were blown to bits during the war, so maybe there is less of this stuff out there than we think, if it was still there.

If as it turns out, Saddam moved this stuff just prior to or during the war, then that is not a problem with lack of troops or rush to war, but instead it means that we did not go to war quickly enough.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Guess the candidate that this person is endorsing?:

"Jacob Weisberg, Editor: ?????

I remain totally unimpressed by John Kerry. Outside of his opposition to the death penalty, I've never seen him demonstrate any real political courage. His baby steps in the direction of reform liberalism during the 1990s were all followed by hasty retreats. His Senate vote against the 1991 Gulf War demonstrates an instinctive aversion to the use of American force, even when it's clearly justified. Kerry's major policy proposals in this campaign range from implausible to ill-conceived. He has no real idea what to do differently in Iraq. His health-care plan costs too much to be practical and conflicts with his commitment to reducing the deficit. At a personal level, he strikes me as the kind of windbag that can only emerge when a naturally pompous and self-regarding person marinates for two decades inside the U.S. Senate. If elected, Kerry would probably be a mediocre, unloved president on the order of Jimmy Carter...."

Click the link to find out.....

51% of polled have already voted for Bush...

Interesting.

Poll: Consumer confidence unchanged before election. - Oct. 26, 2004

Tracking Inspections: 14 January 2003: "A team of five International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors went to the Al-Qa'qa State Company, some 50 kilometers south of Baghdad to weigh, sample, inspect, and seal warehouses containing HMX"

Where did Iraq get all of the HMX?: "Iraq imported hundreds of tons of HMX high explosives, the most desirable conventional explosive for nuclear weapons. Western intelligence believes that Chilean explosives expert Carlos Cardoen exported most of the HMX to Iraq. Cardoen, who set up a cluster bomb factory near Baghdad, is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Who made the explosive and how it got to Iraq is unknown, although Eastern Europe is suspected."

How much is a tonne?: "The relocation and consumption of some dual use materials has been among the questions raised in connection with Iraq's backlog of semi-annual declarations. The high explosive 'HMX' is a prime example of such material. The removal of Agency seals on the HMX and the declared relocation and consumption of some of the HMX must be explained and documented by Iraq before the Agency can reach a conclusion with regard to the use of such material. The Iraqi declarations indicate that out, of the 228 tonnes of HMX available in Iraq at the end of 1998, 196 remained at the facility where the HMX was previously under IAEA seal. Iraq also declared that it had blended the remaining 32 tonnes with sulphur and turned them into 45.6 tonnes of 'industrial explosive' provided mainly to cement plants for mining. The material balance, current stock, whereabouts and final use of such material are currently being investigated. "

Internal Bush documents posted on website...

And relied on.

I think that a few fake emails to a georgewbush.org might stop this...mmm...

The non-story that never dies...

Mostly what this shows is that law professors have waaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands.

Some questions answered...:

"RDX (Hexogen)
RDX is also known as Hexogen, Cyclonite and Cyclotri-methylene Trinitramine. This explosive compound has an extremely low volatility. It is a white solid with a density of 1.806 g/cc and nitrogen content of 37.84%. Military grade RDX is offered in accordance with MIL-R-398C.

Pure RDX is used in press-loaded projectiles. Cast loading is accomplished by blending RDX with a relatively low melting point substance. RDX is also used as a base charge in detonators and in blasting caps.
Compositions in which RDX is melted with wax are called Composition A (see details below).
Compositions in which RDX is mixed with TNT are called Composition B (see details below).
Compositions in which RDX is blended with a non-explosive plasticizer are called Composition C (see details below).
IPI also offers a specific grade of RDX containing 1% desensitizing wax and 0.5% graphite for the oil drilling industry. This grade of RDX is used to produce shaped charges such as open-faced perforators and encapsulated perforators. It may also be used in boosters and explosive cartridges.
HMX (Octogen)
HMX is also known as Octogen. This explosive compound is a white, crystalline solid with a nitrogen content of 37.84%. Military grade HMX is offered in accordance with MIL-H-45444B.
HMX is used as an explosive charge when desensitized, as a booster charge in mixtures with TNT (octols), and as an oxidizer in solid rocket and gun propellants.
Two grades of HMX are used for military applications:
Grade A has a minimum purity of 93% and a 7% maximum RDX content.
Grade B has a minimum purity of 98% and a 2% maximum RDX content.
IPI also offers an ultra high purity grade of HMX containing 99.8% minimum HMX. This grade is primarily used in the manufacturing of perforators for the oil "

Some answers...: "RDX (Hexogen)
RDX is also known as Hexogen, Cyclonite and Cyclotri-methylene Trinitramine. This explosive compound has an extremely low volatility. It is a white solid with a density of 1.806 g/cc and nitrogen content of 37.84%. Military grade RDX is offered in accordance with MIL-R-398C.

Pure RDX is used in press-loaded projectiles. Cast loading is accomplished by blending RDX with a relatively low melting point substance. RDX is also used as a base charge in detonators and in blasting caps.
Compositions in which RDX is melted with wax are called Composition A (see details below).
Compositions in which RDX is mixed with TNT are called Composition B (see details below).
Compositions in which RDX is blended with a non-explosive plasticizer are called Composition C (see details below).
IPI also offers a specific grade of RDX containing 1% desensitizing wax and 0.5% graphite for the oil drilling industry. This grade of RDX is used to produce shaped charges such as open-faced perforators and encapsulated perforators. It may also be used in boosters and explosive cartridges.
HMX (Octogen)
HMX is also known as Octogen. This explosive compound is a white, crystalline solid with a nitrogen content of 37.84%. Military grade HMX is offered in accordance with MIL-H-45444B.
HMX is used as an explosive charge when desensitized, as a booster charge in mixtures with TNT (octols), and as an oxidizer in solid rocket and gun propellants.
Two grades of HMX are used for military applications:
Grade A has a minimum purity of 93% and a 7% maximum RDX content.
Grade B has a minimum purity of 98% and a 2% maximum RDX content.
IPI also offers an ultra high purity grade of HMX containing 99.8% minimum HMX. This grade is primarily used in the manufacturing of perforators for the oil "

IPI Explosive Chemistry: "RDX (Hexogen)
RDX is also known as Hexogen, Cyclonite and Cyclotri-methylene Trinitramine. This explosive compound has an extremely low volatility. It is a white solid with a density of 1.806 g/cc and nitrogen content of 37.84%. Military grade RDX is offered in accordance with MIL-R-398C.

Pure RDX is used in press-loaded projectiles. Cast loading is accomplished by blending RDX with a relatively low melting point substance. RDX is also used as a base charge in detonators and in blasting caps.
Compositions in which RDX is melted with wax are called Composition A (see details below).
Compositions in which RDX is mixed with TNT are called Composition B (see details below).
Compositions in which RDX is blended with a non-explosive plasticizer are called Composition C (see details below).
IPI also offers a specific grade of RDX containing 1% desensitizing wax and 0.5% graphite for the oil drilling industry. This grade of RDX is used to produce shaped charges such as open-faced perforators and encapsulated perforators. It may also be used in boosters and explosive cartridges.
HMX (Octogen)
HMX is also known as Octogen. This explosive compound is a white, crystalline solid with a nitrogen content of 37.84%. Military grade HMX is offered in accordance with MIL-H-45444B.
HMX is used as an explosive charge when desensitized, as a booster charge in mixtures with TNT (octols), and as an oxidizer in solid rocket and gun propellants.
Two grades of HMX are used for military applications:
Grade A has a minimum purity of 93% and a 7% maximum RDX content.
Grade B has a minimum purity of 98% and a 2% maximum RDX content.
IPI also offers an ultra high purity grade of HMX containing 99.8% minimum HMX. This grade is primarily used in the manufacturing of perforators for the oil "

Questions on the Explosives...

And I have been reading all these stories..

On the munitions:

What exactly is HMX and RDX?

How are they different?

Why would one need both?

How is it transformed into C-4? Or other explosives?

Has any been found since the invasion?

How many explosives caches and munitions caches have been found since the invasion, and have any of these included HMX RDX or explosives made from those materials?

Has any C-4 been identified as being used in IED's or other attacks since the invasion?

How much of each material indivdually was at the site?

What other materials were at the site?

Were any of those materials found after the invasion?

Can HMX and RDX be found anywhere else in Iraq or the middle east?

How does this missing amount of HMX and RDX compare to all missing Iraqi munitions?

What other weapons were there which we thought the Iraq's had on March 1rst, but were missing on May 1rst?

On the IAEA:

What is an IAEA seal?

How is it checked?

How were these materials sealed?

What did the IAEA check when they visited in January 2003?

What did they check in February?

Did they really get news that the materials were moved by Sadam in February of 2003?

Did the IAEA return on MArch 8th of 2003, and if so, what did they check?

Why were these items just sealed and not destroyed?

On the U.S.:

Why didn't we bomb this area to hell during the war?

How deep were those bunkers?

What happens if you bomb a chemical weapons storage area relatively close to a population center?

Did the U.S. choose not to bomb this location because it could have held WMD's which would have justified the invasion and therefore the administration thought it would be better POLITICALLY to save this site as opposed to blowing it to hell?

Was this a priority site to find and guard before the war started?

How were the priority sites determined if this was nto a priority site?

Was the priority site list to guard determined based on troop strength?

When did the first troops get there?

What did they find?

Did they guard it?

Were roadblocks stationed around the site?

Did they remove any munitions?

Why did they leave?

Did everyone leave?

Did they just check for WMD's and then leave when they found none? Were those their orders?

Who was the next group to get there?

What did they find?

When did David Kay get there?

Was anyone guarding it then?

What was there when he got there?

On the media:

If David Kay publicly reported that this stuff was gone in May of 2003 then why is it news today?

Just asking...

Questions on the explosives...

I don't know the definitive answer to these questions and I doubt I ever will but here goes:

And I have been reading all these stories..
On the munitions:

What exactly is HMX and RDX?
How are they different?
Why would one need both?
How is it transformed into C-4? Or other explosives?
Has any been found since the invasion?
Has any C-4 been identified as being used in IED's or other attacks since the invasion?
How much of each material indivdually was at the site?
What other materials were at the site?
Were any of those materials found?
Can HMX and RDX be found anywhere else?
How does this missing amount of HMX and RDX compare to all missing Iraqi munitions?
What other weapons were ther which we thought the Iraq's had on March 1rst, but were missing on May 1rst?

On the IAEA:
What is an IAEA seal?
How is it checked?
How were these materials sealed?
What did the IAEA check when they visited in January 2003?
What did they check in February?
Did they really get news that the materials were moved by Saddma in February of 2003?
Did the IAEA return on MArch 8th of 2003, and if so, what did they check?
Why were these items just sealed and not destroyed?

On the U.S.:
Why didn't we bomb this area to hell during the war?
How deep were those bunkers?
What happens if you bomb a chemical weapons storage area relatively close to a population center?
Did the U.S. choose not to bomb this location because it could have held WMD's which would have justified the invasion and therefore the administration thought it would be better POLITICALLY to save this site as opposed to blowing it to hell?
Was this a priority site to find and guard before the war started?
How were the priority sites determined if this was nto a priority site?
Was the priority site list to guard determined based on troop strength?
When did the first troops get there?
What did they find?
Did they guard it?
Were roadblocks stationed around the site?
Did they remove any munitions?
Why did they leave?
Did everyone leave?
Did they just check for WMD's and then
Who was the next group to get there?
What did they find?
When did David Kay get there?
Was anyone guarding it then?
What was there when he got there?

On the media:
If David Kay publicly reported that this stuff was gone in May of 2003 then why is it news today?

Just asking...

Usually the Note is crappy, but this is very funny...

The Note has an election day schedule that is really fantastic.

Here is a taste:

"8:46 am — consider calling friends at the networks to get early exit poll results, but recall that they don't get the first data until the early afternoon

8:47 am — call friends at the networks to get early exit poll results, thinking maybe they have some.
"

Somoe one should just call John Peabody and ask him ...

After you found all that stuff at Al-Quaqaa hwat did you do?

Did the 3D Id just leave?

Did they leave anyone to guard it?

Was it destroyed?

It seems to me that would answer all the questions about the missing weapons.

This would seem to discredit the NBC report...

Unless the weapons were moved in 4-5 days.

Al Qa Qaa - Some background...

And yes this is the same complex where Col Peaboby found lots and lots of stuff on April 4rth.

But was it gone by April 10th?

Monday, October 25, 2004

For a decision as to where the Campaigns should spend their money... see - election.princeton.edu

Right now campaigners should focus on:

"The top states are IA (686 jerseyvotes), OH (528), NV (508), FL (372), NM (304), WI (295), PA (295), MO (199), AR (151). "

Also he has this breakdown of the undecideds:

5 points towards Kerry: Kerry 349 EV, Bush 189 EV, Kerry win 100%.
4 points towards Kerry: Kerry 335 EV, Bush 203 EV, Kerry win 99.98%.
3 points towards Kerry: Kerry 319 EV, Bush 219 EV, Kerry win 99.3%.
2 points towards Kerry: Kerry 299 EV, Bush 239 EV, Kerry win 92%.
1 points towards Kerry: Kerry 279 EV, Bush 259 EV, Kerry win 67%.
no swing (decideds only, flat turnout): Kerry 259 EV, Bush 279 EV, Kerry win 32%.
1 points towards Bush: Kerry 243 EV, Bush 295 EV, Bush win 91%.
2 points towards Bush: Kerry 232 EV, Bush 306 EV, Bush win 99%.
3 points towards Bush: Kerry 220 EV, Bush 318 EV, Bush win 99.9%.

Uh-oh...

There is a fine line between satire and illegal campaign activity...

I am not entirely positive where this lands on that line...

Pat Robertson is really having a bad week by the way...

I am starting to think that Pat may not be speaking to God, by just some janitor from Mexico named Jesus.

Crazy Year...

I have no idea who will win these states on election day:

Florida (27 EV's)
Pennsylvania (21 EV's)
Ohio (20 EV's)
Michigan (17 EVs)
Minnesota (10 EV's)
Wisconsin (10 EV's)
Colorado (9 EV's)
Iowa (7 EV's)
Arkansas (6 EV's)
New MExico (5 EV's)
Nevada (5 EV's)
New Hampshire (4 EV's)
Hawaii (4 EV's)
Maine Dist #2 (2 EV's)

That is 147 EV's up for grabs. I have no idea how the campaigns are coordinating thier resources at this point but it will take a nice bit of strategery to make sure they get it right.

So far I have seen NOTHING from Terry McCauliffe indicating he has any clue how to run a campaign so perhaps the uncertainty of the race plays into the Republican hands.

ABC News: Rehnquist Hospitalized With Cancer in Md.

He had a tracheotomy. Does that mean he will be speaking with one of those voice box things?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Freedom on the MArch...

What would Chairman Mao say?

I'm guessing it would somehow invovle a double order of wings!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

This year's #1 Couple halloween Costume..

Kyrgyzstan, Birthplace of Democracy

By the way my wife has an autographed copy of Prsident Akayev's book and a picture with the man in front of thr White House in Bishkek.

Duck Duck Goooooooose!

John Kerry, Asshole.

" Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said he bagged a goose on his swing-state hunting trip Thursday, but his real target was the voters who may harbor doubts about him.

Kerry returned after a two-hour hunting trip wearing a camouflage jacket and carrying a 12-gauge shotgun, but someone else carried the bird he said he shot.

"I'm too lazy," Kerry joked. "I'm still giddy over the Red Sox. It was hard to focus.""

What a dick.

Gary L. Gregg on Electoral College on National Review Online

Gregg has several scenarios for a post election tie but the most likely one is left off. if everything goes at it did in 2000 except that Kerry wins Ohio and Bush wins Wisconsin then both candidates would have 269.

Unfortunately if it is a tie then all sorts of pressure will be put on electors to switch their votes.

Our long national nightmare is finally over, oh and by the way, now another country totally hates us.:

"American gymnast Paul Hamm (news - web sites) will keep his Olympic all-round gold medal after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected Thursday an appeal from South Korea (news - web sites)'s Yang Tae-young.

'The Court of Arbitration has decided to dismiss the appeal,' a court spokesman told reporters. 'This means that the ranking of the men's individual gymnastics all-round event remains the same.'
Hamm became the first American man to win the Games all-round title in Athens on August 18 but just three days later it transpired he had been awarded the title due to a scoring error.
The governing body of gymnastics (FIG) ruled bronze medallist Yang should have been awarded the gold as he was incorrectly docked a 10th of a point from his parallel bars routine but refused to redistribute the medals.
At a hearing at Lausanne headquarters last month, CAS upheld the original result. "

Taj Ma - Fall?

India has its own leaning tower now that one of the four minarets surrounding the Taj has tilted 8.5 inches outward. This represents well less than a degree of inclination so it has a long way to go before it reaches leaning tower of Pisa status.

The Taj is located right on a river bank so it is not inconceivable that the foundation is not quite as solid as was thught by its builders.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

What rhymes with itch?

This is from a q&a with Madame Tear-ay-za:

Q: You'd be different from Laura Bush?

A: Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I'm older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience is a little bit bigger — because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about.



We may have been to harsh on HRH Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I voted!

But at least it is all over.

Now I can watch the decrepit mass of last minute electioneering wash over me like so much raw sewage.

I don't care anymore, my election season is over.

Say what you will you political hacks.

It's up to the lawyers now, anyway.


I actually voted "absentee - in person", which makes no sense to me. It is possible I just voted for Bush before I voted agianst him.

In D.C. they now have the option of using electronic voting machines using a little palstic card or paper. If given that option, take paper over plastic. The machine does not easily allow for write in votes (sorry Calinka!), and it takes longer than the paper votes. Plus at the end of the process all you get is a little pop-up window that says you voted, and may also be eligble for a penis enlargement trial drug.

SUlly asks for the impossible..

Sullivan is asking for examples of a Bush mention of a Kerry child that would be similar to the Kerry mention of Mary Cheney except that he would agree that it was innappropriate. There are so many unknown indices of his request that I think it impossible, and when Jonah Goldberg suggested that Bush could raise Kerry's divorce, a topic I find similar, Sully poo poo's it.

Well here are two more examples:

q: President Bush what is your position on embryonic stem cell research?

a: Well, i think that we may never know when and how life begins. but we do know that an important step in the creation of life is the embryonic stage. I think we should protect that life. For example, John Kerry's daughters were both embryo's at one point. i don't think we should destroy embryo's. John Kerry does.


There is nothing wrong with being an embryo. Heck everyone (except maybe Carlos Beltran who is approaching meesianic levels at this point) was an embryo, but Bush would have been using Kerry's children's status for political gain. Not nice.

Or this one:


q: President Bush, what role does religion play in your life and our nation's welfare?

a: Religion plays a very strong position in my mife. Our country was founded on Christian ideals and we have long welcomed people of many religions to our country and also those who do not believe in a personal God. For example, John Heinz IV, who was raised a Christian, is now a Zen Buddhist, and I am sure that Senator Kerry would tell you that he is just a fantastic kid.


Once again, nothing wrong with being a Zen Buddhist. But still why would anyone bring it up during a Presidential debate is beyond me.

Ok here's another one:

q: President Bush, do you think that the Hollywood film and television industry has a positive or negative influence on our lives?

a: I think that role Hollywood does play an important educational and influential role in our country, but at times the sex and violence put on screen does have a deleterious influence. It's important never to get into bed with Hollywood for this exact reason. Now Senator Kerry has gotten into bed with Morgan Fairchild, Dana Delaney and his son in law shagged that one chick who that oscar in the one movie and who has a kid named after a fruit...what was her name...."


Ok the last one is sort of ridiculous, but I think Goldberg's point is a good one. There is rarely, if ever, a reason to bring up the personal life of the children of your political opponent in a nationally televised debate for political purpose. Kerry did so, and that was wrong. Sullivan is just glad he did so because he feels it exposes the hypocrisy of the right on the issue of gay marriage. Well so be it. But if the only way a person can prove their point is by dragging an opponent's child into the fray, then maybe their point isn't so great to begin with.

I'll go with C: None of the above

A girl in India has been discovered to weep small stones. This report states:

"At the girl's village in Jharkhand, they have two explanations. Either she is possessed by an evil spirit, or she is an incarnation of a goddess."

Well it would oviously have to be one of those....

I am glad that South Park made fun of this idiot.

What a retard.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bush shows once again why he's a great campaigner...

(registration required use this ... http://bugmenot.com/view.php?url=philly.com )

At a campaign stop in Philly he asked about TO. That's Terrell Owens for all those not following the Eagles. Smart campaigner. And highlights the difference between his and Kerry's football I.Q..

Sullivan, posts something quite remarkable.

Best ad of the year...

(By the way I think the Moveon ad that shows the kids doing work to pay off the deficit is equally as good but I cannot find the link..will update.)

After watching the ad I feel much better about the President's chances in Ohio. I only wish they had 10 million dollars to show it in New Jersey.

Questions:

1. Does the fact that this is not an RNC or a DNC ad indicate a significant shift in the running of an election? Will this shift become more noticeable in future elections?

2. Is it possible that there was RNC involvement in this ad considering that it plays to so many Bush needs (Ohio, cares about regular people, war on terror...)?

3. Will it have an effect on this election season?

4. Because it is a positive ad, that does not even mention Kerry, does that limit its impact so close to an election?

Seems like old times

Tonight an aging Red Sox warrior will take the field in New York wearing an ankle brace and hoping for the best.

Seems just like old times...

If Kerry loses....

I wonder if Clinton will announce his wife's intention to run in 2008 at this event...

The final sprint...

There are 2 silly seasons in American politics. The first begins with the final primary in the election season that determines the candidates and ends at the end of the conventions. The second begins at the end of the debates and extends to the elections.

Nothing worthwhile ever happens during these seasons. Nobody changes their minds. Nobody says anything that has any political import.

It just gets really really ugly.

Here is the preview:

[b]1. The Polls.[/b] Screw em'. Forget about them. There will be only one poll left that makes any difference whatsoever. On the Friday October 29, Zogby will release a poll showin Kerry with a significant lead and polling above 50% (52-47 maybe). TIPP and Time will follow with simialr polls. This will dominate the news cycle for the weekend. These polls will be exactly as meaningful as the polls last year showing Bush with a 4 point lead going into election Teusday. But they will be all that is talked about.

The truth is that this election will be 50-49-1 in one direction or the other. Everyone knew this in January. Everyone knew this in August. Everyone knows this know. And by the way, none of that matters one bit. The only thing that matters is how many people show up to vote in Ohio. Vote early, vote once.

[b]2. The insults.[/b] They will fly and they will be ugly. Edwards has already called Bush a con man. He will start calling him a liar at every appearance. Kerry and Edwards, or a Senator designate, will float the idea that Bush should be impeached. Bush and Cheney, or a major Republican, will say that Kerry is a traitor. An ad will come out from Move-On showing Bush doing cocaine. An ad will come out from Swift Vets showing Kerry selling guns to the Viet-Cong.

3. The past crime. A thirty year old charge will come out that will have no new information on a candidate and be played in the press. Kerry will accused of being constitutionally unfit to hold office due to his meeting with the Vietcong whil still in the Navy. A story will float that Cheney is a subject in the Oil-for-Food scandal/investigation. Yet another old Bush conviction, or drug charge, will be floated on Thursday night before the election.

4. Scaring old people. I am little behind the times here. Usually they wait until the last week to start throwing around threats that candidate x will take away Social Security from old people. Well Kerry said so yesterday. Bush will tell old people that Kerry will take away their useless prescription drug card.

By the way, I predict the first law suit filed by a party concerning the legality of the actual vote will be filed at least 3 days before November 2nd and continue all the way through Christmas.

When in doubt...blame the wife!

"Homestead exemption

A tax break claimed by Daschle on the Washington, D.C., house he and his wife, Linda, own is drawing fire from Thune.

To claim the District of Columbia's homestead exemption worth a few hundred bucks off his property taxes, Daschle signed a document declaring the D.C. house his primary residence.

The Web-based conservative Talon news obtained the document Daschle signed to get that tax break through a Freedom of Information Act request to the District of Columbia.

Talon's report last week cited a state law outlining South Dakota's residency requirements for those seeking elected office. That law applies to state-level candidates but not to federal-level candidates. That was the case when term limits passed in several states about a decade ago. State lawmakers are living under those limits, but federal lawmakers aren't.

In August 2003, Daschle campaign manager Steve Hildebrand said it was Linda Daschle who was claiming the tax break.

'Linda Daschle pays income taxes in Washington, D.C. That makes Linda Daschle eligible to receive this homestead tax on behalf of the Daschles,' Hildebrand told Roll Call.

The newly released documents bearing Tom Daschle's signature belie that explanation. Now, Daschle campaign officials say it is 'the house' that qualifies for the tax break rather than any person.

Thune says Daschle's signature belies 'where his heart and head and priorities are.' That being Washington, D.C., if you ask Thune.

'It's symbolic. It's a window into the soul of his priorities,' Thune said.

For the record, the Daschles own a house in Aberdeen, where Tom Daschle's mother lives"


"A window into the soul of his priorities" is a touch hyperbolic.

What is instructive is that his campaign's first instinct was to blame the wife. Kerry did that too. I just hate that. First it is blatantly untrue. Anyone who has ever been married for more than 10 minutes knows that the fault for just about every mistake in a marriage lies at the feet of the husband. Second, step up man. Be a team!

If you are curious as to why the campaign thought to pin this on Linda in the first place... here is why.

That link also tells you why there have been so many airline buyouts during Daschle's reign in the Senate. The man is flat out trading votes for sex. Anyone who has been married for more than 10 minutes knows that is true as well.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on the Election..

I am a big fan of Vonnegut, but often I have a problem distinguishing whther the things he writes are clever, but with a deeper meaning, or just clever for clever's sake.

For example this selection strikes me as exceedingly clever:

"TROUT: It’s about how the future has as much to do with the present as the past does. Giraffes can only have come from the future. There’s no way evolution in the past would have let something that defenseless and impractical live for 15 minutes.

KV: If you say so.

TROUT: Try this: The First World War was caused by the second one. Otherwise the first one makes no sense, wasn’t about anything. And all Picasso had to do was paint pictures that were already hanging in museums in the future."

But does it mean anything?

Clean Slate Politics?

Is a Bush victory the only thing that can truly unite this country again? I think that maybe one of the reasons for the entrenchment along party and idealogical lines is the lack of a true "new blood" two party race that lets the parties redefine themselves around new personalities.

In once sense we haven't had an open election since 1952, when 2 non-incumbents ran against each other, but in a truer sense, since 1980 the Republican Party has been the party of Reagan and his heirs and since 1992 the Democrats have been the party of Clinton. Because of this, the sense of team has over-ridden any battle of ideas.

The most unfortunate thing about the presidential race this year is that the Democrats have defined themselves not as for anything, but simply as "not Bush." Simultaneously, this administration has chosen not to run on their own record but instead run against their opponents record.

It is unclear what anyone is "for" in this race.

On the other hand, if Bush wins, there will be no incumbant on the Presidential level. There will be no point to attacking Bush, just for the sake of attacking him, so as to weaken his chances at re-election, after all, he is not going to be re-elected any more. As long as he keeps his hands off the help, it should be fairly workmanlike four years in D.C..

And then in 2008, The Democrats will be able to cull their ranks for the best overall candidate, and NOT just the candidate who they think will have the best chance at matching up against an incumbant. Maybe it will come down to who has the best ideas...but then again it is the primaries.

Same with the Republicans. They will get to choose whether or not they want to be the Party of Bush or the Party of Pataki. I have a feeling I know who it will be, it is after all the primaries. The primaries will absolutely be a battle of ideas, followed quickly by allegations of minority babies.

But on both sides the voter will have a clean slate. No entrenched team interest at the presidential level. And I think this may be all that it will take to bring the country together somewhat. The crazy thing is that I have faith in the voters. If you look at the state polls there is difference in party alignment and support between the Presidential and Senatorial ballots. Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Alaska, etc., etc., all show significant differences in their support for the President as compared to their Senate candidates. There are a large number of voters who choose not to vote by party in this country. A strong leader, with strong ideas could presumably get most of those votes (cough Giuliani cough).

This race is far from over, but if Kerry wins, look for 4 more years of pure party politics at the Presidential level.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Early voting has started in Florida...

And based on the evidence from the above picture in Palm Beach County, it looks like Reform Candidate Ralph Nader has taken an early lead.

Texas voting Districts...safe for now..

The Court has sent back the Texas redistricting cases for reconsideration. However this should not impact this election.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

We're in the black baby!: "In its final monthly budget statement for fiscal 2004, the Treasury Department also said the government posted a $24.36 billion surplus for September. "

Going to the Mattresses

I was exhausted by the recount in 2000. Days upon weeks of legal shenanigans and unexpected plot twists. Because it was all new, the force of adrenaline kept it interesting and kept both sides in the fight for the first few days. But by December, what at one point had been a rollicking misadventure pushed on by excitement, turned into an eminently serious 24 hour a day slugfest, where preparation, stamina and resources became determining factors. The Republicans seem to have won on all three of these aspects.

One of my favorite stories of the 2000 recount came from a friend who was on the ground for the Bush campaign in Palm Beach County during the early days of the recount. She was in charge of organizing some of the protests outside the courthouse and she confided in me that she could always count on the Cubans in the community to come out and loudly voice their support.

“I love the Cubans, “she told me,”They all own their own personal megaphones.”

Well everyone has their own megaphone now. And whether it be a blog, an internet message board, or the anchor seat of a major network news show, Democrats have organized themselves and are more than prepared to fight the fights necessary after this election to ensure the win, no matter what the outcome of the actual vote. They are cornered. They have control of no part of the federal government for the first time in almost 150 years. Not the Supreme Court*, not the Presidency, not the Senate and not the House of Representatives. Their prospects of winning control in the House are negligible, and in the Senate, unlikely, and so they must win the Presidency.

And even though we are weeks away for the vote, election litigation is already off and running. Claims of voter fraud, vote suppression and voter intimidation are already beginning to fly. The Drudge Report has reported that the Kerry/Edwards Campaign handbook instructs local party offices to file complaints of voter intimidation whether or not any intimidation actually occurs. Massive fund raising efforts to pay for the post-vote litigation is already underway by the Democratic Party.

States that were close last time, and will be close again, Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, and Pennsylvania have now joined Florida as definite loci of post-election contention. States that were not close on the Presidential race, but that will have close Senate races this year, Colorado, South Dakota, and Alaska, are also on the radar as places where registration, voter intimidation and ballot issues will be raised in court. Do a Google search on the Google News site for “vote fraud” if you want a sneak preview of all of the different districts where the Democrats will file suit on November 3, to contest the outcome of the vote. And because it is unlikely that Bush would win with more than 300 electoral votes, every single state matters. If they can’t win back Florida, they can get Ohio and Wisconsin, or New Hampshire, Minnesota and Missouri. And combination of 20-30 Electoral votes and the outcome of the election is completely different. In 2000, Iowa, New Mexico and Wisconsin were all decided by around 5000 votes or less, and yet no major litigation was filed by either party in those states to contest the vote count. Those were indeed halcyon days.

In the last election, Republicans won the legal, and political, struggle for the election, not only because the law was on their side, which it was, but also because the struggle took place in Florida, where the GOP had strong network of campaign and legal resources. Not to mention a friendly Secretary of State. That will not be the case this year. The legal struggle will be pandemic across the nation under a vast variety of legal and political regimes. And the Democrats are ready. They are mad as hell that they are out of power. They are mad as hell that their guy gave up last time when there was some gas left in the tank. They are mad as hell the this President is their President. They are mad as hell and they aren’t about to retreat and they are not going to surrender. They have gone to the mattresses. And they will stay there through January 19th of next year regardless of any deleterious impact on our Constitutional system of government.

Are Republicans similarly prepared? It sure does not feel that way and that is understandable. After all, even if Republicans lose the Presidency, they will still control the other two branches of government.* Not to mention the fact that Republicans won the fight in 2000, and in the past four years have managed to move the debate from how and where to spend the government’s money, but how big and how permanent the tax cuts should be. And, while incumbency has it privileges, one of them is not inspiring a sense of irrational desire in their party members. A certain element of irrational desire is necessary to throw bogus claims at your opponents, to show up at midnight to protest a vote count, and to institute litigation even where there is no evidence of malfeasance.

I do not sense the desire from the national party, nor among the local voting public, but then again it is easier to find an honest man in the general public of Washington D.C. than it is to find a Republican (not that those two population subsets are mutually exclusive). It seems to me that this year, where even the date of December 13th seems a pipe dream for certification of the election, the party that is willing to go to the ends of the earth, and stay there, will be the victor. So far, all indications are that the party ready to make that sacrifice is the Democratic party.



* Note: I share the sentiments of all of those who believe that this Court is not a Republican court. However in the wake of Bush v. Gore, which seems to be a litmus test of sorts for most who measure the partisan nature of individual judges, the general consensus is that this is a majority Republican court.

Do not click this link...

unless you want to be deeply concerned with the possibility that the election fight in 2000 may have just been a walk in the park compared to what is coming this year.

Dozens of districts in dozens of swing states have found cases of voter registration fraud.

Litigation is already underway in some states.

December 13th may just be a pipe dream for certification of the election.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Something was supposed to happen today that did not.

Guess what it was. The link gives a clue.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Is New York the Evil Empire?

If New York is the Evil Empire that means:

That George Steinbrenner is the Dark Emperor
Joe Torre is Darth Vader
Derek Jeter is Darth Maul
Alex Rodriguez , the hired gun, is Bobba Fett


On the Red Sox Side:
Curt Schilling is Han Solo
Pedro Martinez is Princess Leia
(remeber he said the the Yankees were his daddy?)
Johnny Damon is Chewbacca
Manny Ramirez is Luke Skywalker
Nelson de la Rosa is Yoda


Will evil triumph again? I hope so, if only because I know that John Kerry is rooting for the Red Sox.

Is New York the Evil Empire?

If New York is the Evil Empire that means:

That George Steinbrenner is the Dark Emperor
Joe Torre is Darth Vader
Derek Jeter is Darth Maul
Alex Rodriguez , the hired gun, is Bobba Fett


Only the Red Sox Side:
Curt Schilling is Han Solo
Pedro Martinez is Princess Leia
(remeber he said the the Yankees were his daddy?)
Johnny Damon is Chewbacca
Manny Ramirez is Luke Skywalker
Nelson de la Rosa is Yoda


Will evil triumph again? I hope so, if only because I know that John Kerry is rooting for the Red Sox.

Call me a traitor to the cause.

I was at the concert last night.

All 5 1/2 hours of it.

And it was awesome.

I think there were more than just a few Republicans there also.

If Bush loses, you can blame me.

But I regret Nothing!

Friday, October 08, 2004

They just keep going and going and going....: "The Mars rovers have found fresh evidence that water was plentiful in both the hills and plains of the now-barren Red Planet, scientists at NASA (news - web sites) Jet Propulsion Laboratory said on Thursday. "

As amazing as the Rover's discoveries are, what is more amazing to me is the longevity of these robots.

I need to get a solar powered car.

(By the way, no more political blogging until after the election, I just cannot take it anymore. Today's job numbers, including the household number, just killed me.)

Is this a plan for Iraq? Sounds like it to me....

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The good news is that AP has reported that Bush willwin the election...

The bad news is that AP is often wrong.

Maybe New Jersey is in play?: "Speaking of Blue states, Senator John Edwards heads into New Jersey today for the second time in nine days. The state which went for Gore in 2000 by 15 percentage points in 2000 has slowly emerged as a bit of a battleground this time around. The latest post-presidential debate Quinnipiac University poll, gave Kerry a 3% lead, barely outside the margin of error of 2.9%"

Unconventional Weapons: Saddam Hussein Sowed Confusion About Iraq's Arsenal as a Tactic of War

In a Florida Poll with more women then men and more Democrats than Republicans...

Bush still has a lead in Florida.

Turnout Turnout Turnout.

WHy isn't Kerry making a bigger deal out of this?

Oil prices are at an all time high.

Bush/Cheney are oil guys.

The Iraq war somewhat involved oil.

Truth be told I have no clue how much gas costs. I walk to work. The woman on the hill walks to work. We walk to the store sometimes. On the weekend we walk around the market.

I don't think we have filled up the car for weeks.

But it seems to mean that gas prices are probably sqeezing the avereage consumer like nobody's business, and this presents a nice opening for the Kerry campaign.

Maybe it will come up on Friday.

I hope Bush mentions ANWR.

Jim Clymer challenging Arlen Specter's lead in PA

Constitution Party national chairman Jim Clymer is running for Senate in Pennsylvania and is having some success at sapping votes from Arlen Specter.

According to PennLive.com: "among likely voters, Specter, the four-term Republican senator, had 44 percent of the vote. Hoeffel, a Democratic congressman from suburban Philadelphia, had 35 percent. Constitution Party nominee Jim Clymer, a Lancaster County attorney, was at 7 percent. Libertarian nominee Betsy Summers of Wilkes-Barre was not included in the poll.

Among registered voters, Specter led Hoeffel by 46 percent to 32 percent and 6 percent for Clymer.

In September, Specter led 51-25 over Hoeffel with Clymer scoring 5 percent. "

It will be interesting to see the Clymer effect on the election in PA. Strangely enough it is both good news and bad news for the President. People will go to the polls specifically to vote for Clymer, and the vast majority of those people will also vote for the President.

However, if even people show up to vote for Clymer, then Specter could lose his seat, which would be a very bad thing....

I think I may have to update my Senate predictions, because I think that there is no way a Democratic candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania would get under 40% of the vote unless his name was Alan Keyes.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Every apocalyptic horror movie starts with this headline....

Daily Kos :: ALERT Michigan absentee ballot shenanigans

Here is the story on Daily Kos...

Check out this ballot...

Is this for real?

In for a dime...in for $630,000

This story is interesting. Senator Mikulski has filed an FEC complaint arguing that State Senator Pipkin failed to notify her campaign that he had passed a personal campaign financing spending limit.

Regardless of how the complaint turns out, likely nothing, the interesting thing is that Pipkin has financed his campaign to the tune of over $600,000.

Now, this isn't a whole lot, Corzine was in for over 60 million I think, but it is a substantial sum for a man with little to no shot at victory. i wonder what his plans are for the future?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Registration successes?

It will interesting to see the registration numbers in the swing states as registration periods begin to end around the country.

For example in Missourri, despite registration efforts among both parties claiming success, registration numbers are down from 2000.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Kerry uses debate momentum to....declare defeat!

Kerry leaves Virginia to the Republicans. Moves staff to Minnesota...MINNESOTA!!!

I thought things were going so well.

Quick Senate Update...

It looks as if the Senate will remain largely similar in 2005 as it is today. Perhaps the Republicans will pick up one seat. Or two. While the polls are interesting in themselves, I think the Tradesports options are a more accurate view of the likelihoods right now, and they are linked above.

Here are the races that bear little to no mention.

Definite Incumbent Wins:
Senators Shelby, McCain, Dodd, Inouye, Grassley, Crapo, Bayh, Brownback, Gregg, Schumer, Bunning, Mikulski, Dorgan, Reid, Bennett, Voinovich, Wyden, and Leahy could all suspend their campaigns right now and go campaign for other Senators or the President and still all win with huge margins. And actually several of them are. Heck Senator McCain is taking time out his schedule to make football picks on ESPN Radio (he went 7-1 against the spread last week) and introduce movies on Bravo.

It is nice to be an incumbent in the era of McCain-Feingold. (Unless you are Russ Feingold).

Likely Incumbent Wins
These races should fall to the incumbent but the RSCC and DSCC may have to spend some of their national money to shore up the seats just in case. They probably will not be sending anyone to these states. And not too much money mind you, but some:

Boxer (D-CA): Because of the expense of advertising in California it is unlikely that either national party will float much money into California. Which is good news for Boxer. She will likely win this, but it is closer than it should be.

Christopher Bond (R-MO): Missouri is always tough to call, unless one of the candidates is dead, but at this point the RNC will want to focus more on Presidential advertising in Missouri as opposed to Senate advertising.

Arlen Specter (R-PA): Hoeffel's campaign just hasn't seemed to get off the ground. Maybe it was smart for the administration to stick with the winner in Specter in the primary despite his centrist predilictions. Right now Specter is polling higher than Bush is in PA. And that’s with the marbles in his mouth.

Probable Incumbent Wins

Murray (D-WA) Senator Murray is running against the hard fighting giant killer George Nethercutt in Washington State and the race is much closer than it should be. Possibly because Senator Murray said some rather complimentary things about Osama Bin Laden in 2002. National money will flow to Washington to help retain this seat.

Feingold (D-Wis) This race should not be close...but it is. There has been a Bush resurgence in Wisconsin, possibly because he remembers POLAND, and a rising tide lifts all ships. This race was not even on the radar earlier this year, but unless Senator Russ and the party hunker down, this could be a lost seat.

Toss-Ups Called for Incumbent Parties

Both parties had several retirements this year that created races where there were none in the past. Both parties will have to flood these markets with money to retain the seats.

Pete Coors (R-Col) Coors is trying to win the seat of retiring Republican Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell. He faces a tough uphill battle against highly qualified candidate Ken Salazar. Coors does have the advantage of using his own money and some name recognition. Plus he has John Friggin Elway out there campaigning with him. And that is worth at least 5% in Colorado. This could come down to a few thousand votes, but Coors should win.

Erskine Bowles (D-NC) Bowles in running in the seat vacated by John Edwards. Strangely the conventional wisdom was that Edwards could not win re-election in North Carolina and so that was why he went for the Presidency. But now Bowles is slightly ahead in the polls. This one will be tight as well, but I am throwing this one to Bowles by a nose.


Now onto the races that will affect the balance of power. The Senate is currently at 51R -48D-1I right now so a switch of 1 seat, with a change in the oval office, or a switch of 2 seats without that change, will affect the balance of power. (Even if Kerry wins the Presidency, there is a special election held to fill his seat and it looks like D-Barney Frank will ascend to that role.)

Definite Seat Switches:

Barrack Obama (D-IL) Despite the huge margins of victory that many incumbents enjoy right now, however, the biggest lock to win this fall is not a sitting United States Senator, but an Illinois State Senator, and Democrat, Barrack Obama, who is going to take over a Republican seat. In fact he is actually on the stump campaigning for other Democrats, namely Joe Hoeffel of Pennsylvania, due to the fact that the more Alan Keyes talks, the wider Obama's lead grows. If Obama wasn’t aiming for higher office it would be entertaining to see just how crazy he could get and still win. Right now he could naked down Michigan Ave, stopping only to get some popcorn at Garrett’s, and still maintain a healthy 60 point lead in the polls.

Obama Wins Illinois- Democrats +1.

Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Similarly strong is Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia. While Denise Majette will run a fine campaign, and will get a number of votes, this state has had a de facto Republican Senator in Democrat Zell Miller for the last few years and that will not change.

Isakson wins Georgia- Even

Likely Seat Switches

David Vitter (R-LA), with Senator Breaux's retirement, this long time Democratic seat should fall to a Republican. There is a wacky voting system in Louisiana so anything could happen. But it looks possible that Vitter may get over 50% on November 2, thereby obviating the need for a run-off election in December.

Vitter wins Louisiana- Republicans +1

Jim Demint (R-SC) Demint looks to replace departing Senate legend, and last of the great Fritz’s, Senator Fritz Hollings. It has not hurt him that his opponent Inez Tennenbaum, has had a rocky campaign, which is just unnacceptable in a largely Republican state.

DeMint wins South Carolina- Republicans +2

Toss-Ups Called against the Incumbent Parties

Tony Knowles (D-AK) This is a very close one, but I think that Knowles will pull it out in a squeaker over Senator Lisa Murkowski. There is going to be a ton of money spent in Alaska over the next month. We will see how effective that will be....

Knowles wins Alaska- Republicans +1

Mel Martinez (R-Fl). Martinez looks to take over the seat left by departing Senator Bob Graham. Predicting elections in Florida is only slightly more difficult than predicting Hurricane paths, and, much like the hurricanes, these things seem to go which ever way the prevailing wind is blowing. If the President wins Florida, Martinez is likely a shoe in, otherwise.....? But I am callling this one for Martinze.

Martinez wins Florida- Republicans +2

Brad Carson (D-OK) Carson should not be winning this race. But he is. I do not believe that he will win by more than a percent or two. Unless his opponent starts sterilizing more women, that is.

Carson wins Oklahoma-Republicans +1


And finally the big one: Thune v Daschle.

Right now Daschle is at 56/61 to win this race on Tradesports. If gambling on the internet wasn’t STRICTLY ILLEGAL I would take that bet. Thune is winning in the polls right now, which means nothing, as pollsters don’t let people vote twice. cough ahem cough. A sitting Democratic Leader should not lose his seat given all of the power of that office, but Thune is a very disciplined candidate.

So right now I am calling it for Thune, by 87 votes.

Final tally, Republicans +2.

The Republicans will retain the Senate.

How have I not heard of this recipe before?
"BEEF AND GUINNESS PIE"

I like Beef. I like Guinness. I like pie.

This could be the perfect meal.

4 days in...New D.C. Baseball team is anti-gay.

That is not a joke headline. It has only taken 4 days before the first special interest group has declared that the Washington D.C. Baseball team disporportionately affects them and therefore is racist/bigoted/anti something.

First up to the plate: The Homosexual Lobby.

As it turns out, the new Ballpark, which is slated to open in three years, is to be constructed in a generally awful neighborhood in South East near the Anacostia River near M and South Capitol streets SE. "The $435.2 million stadium would replace about 60 properties in what is now largely a warehouse district in Southeast, including homosexual strip bars, dance clubs, adult theaters and bookstores lining O and Half streets. "

Clearly this is a death-strike at the hearts of gay activists.

"The most gay commercial strip in D.C. is going to be wiped out, and [Mr. Williams] doesn't say anything about that," said Mr. Siegel, who is an Advisory Neighborhood Commission member for the area. "It's like a fly swatter coming down and — boom — we are gone." "

Now as someone who has been to the Dupont Circle area, I would contest that statement. Of course I have never been to the Anacostia area because I do not want to get shot.

By the way, here is one of the proposed store closures:
" Lenny Davis, manager of Glorious Health & Amusement, an X-rated homosexual movie house and video store, said many of the store's patrons are ready to lobby the council or even demonstrate to defend the Southeast's homosexual entertainment zone. "

Now if you were to rewrite that sentence but remove 'homosexual' most residents would be fairly happy about the decision to replace a porn shop with a ballfield. That sounds nice to me. But noooooooooo...

Ok, so we have one activist group down. Next up I believe will be the African American community, lead by Marion Barry, then the Sierra Club, then NOW, and probably NARAL and MoveOn.Org for some reason.

By the end of this process the team will have to be named the Washington Indigenously Special Alternatively Lifestyled Pro-Choice Snail Darters.