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Monthly Archives: January 2004

Ugh

January 26th, 2004 - 12:29 am

Whatever the crud is that’s going around, it’s going around my head. I’ll be back in plenty of time for the New Hampshire primary tomorrow.

Meantime, may I interest you in a shot of Robitussin?

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How to Kick Off a Boring Weekend

January 23rd, 2004 - 10:12 am

Complete computer meltdown. Spent last night backing up 40 or 50 gig of files. Will spend today reformatting and reinstalling everything.

Oh, joy.

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Notice

January 22nd, 2004 - 7:43 pm

Got back from the eye doc over four hours ago — and I’m only now able to read the computer screen.

Pupils are still slightly dilated. It’s just like doing drugs, only without any of the fun.

Be back after dinner.

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Notice

January 22nd, 2004 - 9:22 am

Taking the day off from blogging to catch up on chores.

Back late this afternoon.

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Shop Talk

January 21st, 2004 - 6:51 pm

The latest Zogby tracking poll figures from New Hampshire:

Dean 25%
Kerry 23
Clark 16
Edwards 7
Lieberman 7
Kucinich 2
Sharpton 0.1
Undecided 16

The most interesting number here is the undecideds, which at 16% is only about half of what it was in Iowa going into Monday’s caucus. So, there seems to be less room for another come-from-behind surprise for John Edwards.

Unless. Dean’s negatives are going to go nowhere but up over the next week, as he continues to be more an object of ridicule than worry. At which point, the media will decide they’ve gone too far, and will build him back up the four or five days before the primary.

I won’t predict who will win, place, or show — but seeing which way the media herd will turn isn’t a hard art to master.

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Another Plague from the Hague

January 21st, 2004 - 3:56 pm

More silliness from the headquarters of the would-be Fourth Reich (aka the New Continental System, aka Greater Belgium):

British use of cluster bombs in the Iraq war could count as a war crime and justifies further investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor in the Hague, a group of international lawyers say.

Seven academics from Britain, Ireland, France and Canada interviewed eyewitnesses and examined evidence to see if there was a case for referring British conduct to the court, said the pressure group Peacerights, which organised the review.

Also under review are such heinous acts as shooting back, putting on a “military looking” cap, and late-night dorm sessions spent playing Axis & Allies.

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You Say You Want a Revolution?

January 21st, 2004 - 11:47 am

Still interested in that plan for a Free Iran?

Roger Simon was kind enough to forward me a link to the transcript, which he called, “Not as big a deal as I had hoped.” After reading it, I agree.

Oh well.

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Fletch Lives

January 21st, 2004 - 11:12 am

An alternate Fletch-inspired explanation for Dean’s howl: “Got the whole hand in there, doc?”

But if Dean breaks out with “Moon River,” I’m leaving the country.

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Sore Loser

January 21st, 2004 - 11:03 am

From the man who eschewed matching funds, so that he could buy his way to a third-place finish in Iowa, comes this:

Dean said for every $100 that someone donates to a presidential campaign, the government should match it with $500 and give the donor a $100 tax credit. He said the government should raise spending limits in the primary elections and increase the incentive for candidates to stay within the public financing system.

The way I read this is, Dean now wants you to buy him a third-place finish in Iowa.

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New Blogs

January 21st, 2004 - 10:49 am

With a hat tip to Chief Wiggles, today’s new-to-me blog is Budaechigae — written by an American soldier in South Korea.

Check it out.

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Axis of Evil, Northern Pacific Front

January 21st, 2004 - 10:46 am

Some 18th Century wag once defined Prussia as “an army with a country attached to it.” The same could be said — only more so — about North Korea:

The food and fuel situation up north is pretty grim, and it’s making the security forces up there nervous. Lots more North Koreans are openly expressing a “I don’t give a damn” attitude. Just like Eastern Europe in 1989. The current food crises is a result of foreign donors refusing to contribute food for North Korea because the government has not allowed foreigners to observe where the donated food goes. Other witnesses have consistently reported that the donated food goes to the armed forces and is not sent to areas where there has been unrest, or where the government suspects there might be unrest (because a number of locals have fled to China or Russia.) Currently, some twelve percent of North Korea’s population, that was getting food aid, has been cut off. New supplies will not arrive for several months. But after that, the food aid could dry up again if the North Korean government does not become more cooperative. The government is showing signs of easing up on building nuclear weapons and controlling foreign aid. But signs are not the same as a done deal, so the people still starve.

At a bare minimum, 12 percent of the country is hungry today — and if this StrategyPage report is accurate, many more no longer “give a damn.”

Now think back to the late summer of 1989, and the unrest in East Germany. By November, the Wall came down.

How much longer can North Korea survive?

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Required Reading

January 21st, 2004 - 10:34 am

Roger Simon on the New (Old) Anti-Semitism.

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Late Night Caucusing

January 21st, 2004 - 10:16 am

From Letterman:

Top Ten Howard Dean Excuses

10. “The Iowans turned it into a popularity contest”

9. “People don’t seem to find shouting ‘Presidential’”

8. “Weekend before the caucus, wasted 55 crucial hours marrying Britney Spears”

7. “By mistake, campaigned in Ohio”

6. “Due to fatigue on campaign trail, kissed hands and shook babies”

5. “Dennis Kucinich stole one percent of my vote”

4. “Saddam Hussein endorsement didn’t help”

3. “In retrospect, shouldn’t have opened speeches with ‘Yo Mama’ jokes”

2. “Bad idea to keep asking self, ‘What would Dukakis do?’”

1. “Majority of voter base stayed home to watch ‘My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance’”

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Obscure Pop Culture Reference

January 21st, 2004 - 9:54 am

Will Collier asks:

Isn’t anybody going to note that Howie Dean blatantly ripped off the movie “Fletch” when he launched into the national anthem at that rally yesterday?

Since you beat me to that one, Will, let me be the first to say that in Iowa, Dean hit a water buffalo. Won’t someone lend him a towel?

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One Last Thing

January 21st, 2004 - 2:07 am

Donald Lambro notes that

Early projections indicate passage of Mr. Bush’s proposals will increase non-defense spending well beyond the 4 percent to 5 percent the administration has budgeted for the current fiscal year, nearly double the average annual increases of about 2.5 percent by President Clinton during his two terms.

Did no one go over the numbers in his speech before he gave it, or did they think no one would notice?

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Karaoke Candidate

January 21st, 2004 - 1:15 am

The meltdown continues:

Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean on Tuesday unleashed an unlikely weapon to disarm hecklers — the U.S. national anthem.

When a rally at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord was interrupted for a second time, the former Vermont governor led his supporters in a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner to drown them out.

The last time I remember seeing something this odd from a Presidential contender, it was Dennis Kucinich singing “America the Beautiful” in a lovely falsetto.

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The Pink Menace

January 21st, 2004 - 12:54 am

Regarding the SOTU and gay marriage, it seems I read too much into what Bush said — he did not, in fact, endorse a Constitutional amendment. But then there is what he did say, and a reader here summed it up nicely:

Regardless of the legal reality, he just used the bully pulpit to paint my relationship as a threat to America.

Guess the big tent isn’t so big, after all.

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Around the Blogosphere

January 20th, 2004 - 8:23 pm

James Joyner was live-blogging, too — and was probably a lot more together than I was.

Glenn Reynolds: “I guess you have to do some of this [spending] if you’re President. But I don’t have to like it.

Then go to the Poliblogger, and just read and scroll.

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SOTU Response

January 20th, 2004 - 8:17 pm

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t look like she’s got enough something to be delivering the Democratic response. She looks barely serious enough to sell me real estate.

And even then I’d be shopping for a different agent.

UPDATE: Tom Daschle would never make it as a salesman in the private sector, and he’s too much of a priss to make it as a factory worker, or even a manager. Keep him off welfare and in the Senate!

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SOTU Wrap-Up to Follow

January 20th, 2004 - 8:09 pm

33 posts in 50 minutes — I need a break.

Back in a few.

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SOTU 33

January 20th, 2004 - 8:07 pm

“…it is the cause of all mankind.”

He’s talking about liberty, and he’s right.

That’s what Bush gets about foreign policy, and it’s what none of the major Democratic presidential hopefuls don’t — or won’t — understand.

And it’s why I’ll almost certainly vote for him next fall. We live in dangerous times, and it looks (so far) like he’s the only serious candidate.

Now if only he were as serious — and less “Clintonian” as one MSNBC commenter just said — about domestic issues.

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SOTU 32

January 20th, 2004 - 8:04 pm

OK, I’m a sap.

The letter from 10-year-old Ashley Pearson (sp?) got me all chokey in a genuine awwww moment.

Moments like that one make it easier to hold my nose and vote for the guy come November.

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SOTU 31

January 20th, 2004 - 8:01 pm

300 million bucks to train and house ex-cons.

Cheaper than keeping them locked up, but. . .who says we won’t have to do so again, anyway?

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SOTU 30

January 20th, 2004 - 8:00 pm

“If judges insist on enforcing their arbitrary will on the people…”

Bush just caved in to those who would amend the Constitution to forbid gay marriage.

I’ll be checking in later with Andrew Sullivan for a reply more coherent (and more personal) than anything I could write right now.

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SOTU 29

January 20th, 2004 - 7:58 pm

Schools, parents, AND government must fight population culture’s influence on children?

One outta three, Mr. President — that’s pretty bad.

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SOTU 28

January 20th, 2004 - 7:56 pm

Federal action against STEROIDS?

On domestic policy, Bush is the Republican Bill Clinton. No issue is too small to get his attention, if he can throw a few million dollars at it and claim “progress.”

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SOTU 27

January 20th, 2004 - 7:55 pm

More money for school drug testing, because “we love you.”

You know, I wish I’d heard that line when I was still single. In the bars, “Grab your ankles; I love you” might have worked wonders.

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SOTU 26

January 20th, 2004 - 7:54 pm

Just got an email telling me I typo’ed — Bush wants a 4% limit in spending growth, not 2% as I said earlier.

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SOTU 25

January 20th, 2004 - 7:53 pm

I’m right now watching Hillary Clinton applaud tort reform for medical lawsuits.

Either she’s really moving to the center — which would explain the lack of lightning bolts, earth not opening to swallow her whole, etc. — or god doesn’t watch the news.

On a similar note, they caught Charles Rangel napping.

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SOTU 24

January 20th, 2004 - 7:51 pm

So NOW he threatens a veto? Over Medical Savings Accounts?

Weak.

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