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Monthly Archives: September 2004

Don’t Ask, Just Read

September 27th, 2004 - 3:12 pm

Senator Kerry’s Spandex Paradox.

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Flip Flop to Hip Hop?*

September 27th, 2004 - 11:00 am

*AKA, “Abandon Hip?”

For a few weeks now, I’ve been collecting advice from pundits to John Kerry and headlining them under “Abandon Ship!” The idea is, guys who appear to be winning don’t get that kind of advice. But this has got to be the strangest one yet – John Tierney in yesterday’s New York Times:

So how can the ever-patrician Mr. Kerry appeal to poor and working-class voters? Russell Simmons, the hip-hop music and fashion mogul, recommends that Mr. Kerry spend more time visiting inner-city neighborhoods, preferably accompanied by rap stars, while still remaining true to his class. Mr. Simmons points to his own success as a marketing consultant to Courvoisier, the cognac with a Thurston Howell image that became a staple of hip-hop culture.

If you hear Kerry use the words “homies,” “bling-bling,” or “chillin’” this week, you’ll know why.

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Basement Blegging

September 27th, 2004 - 10:49 am

First up, apologies to Steve, as well as VodkaPundit’s regular readers, for taking up space with an entirely personal request.

I have an occasional problem with water in my basement. Since I bought my house (summer 2001), I’ve had to rip up and replace the carpet pad twice, most recently this last week after Hurricane Ivan dumped about a million gallons on Atlanta. I also have a very noticable damp spot in the basement’s “low point” after other heavy rainfalls.


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September 27th, 2004 - 10:43 am

After a thoughtful discussion with my bride – a discussion involving, mostly, me begging, “Please, may I?” – it’s been decided that I’ll be drunkblogging Thursday’s Presidential Debate.

Syncronize your watches.

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Stuffed Ballot Boxes, Empty Head

September 27th, 2004 - 10:28 am

Jimmy Carter – friend to democracy:

Voting arrangements in Florida do not meet “basic international requirements” and could undermine the US election, former US President Jimmy Carter says.
He said a repeat of the irregularities of the much-disputed 2000 election – which gave President George W Bush the narrowest of wins – “seems likely”.

Mr Carter, a veteran observer of polls worldwide, also accused Florida’s top election official of “bias”.

You know, if Carter had been half as tough on Iran’s mullahs 25 years ago as he is on Florida today. . .

. . . then Western Civilization might not be, once again, in a global war against a fascist ideology.

Some friend.

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Wargaming the Electoral College

September 27th, 2004 - 10:17 am

This week, Bush has another Florida-proof majority. Pennsylvania has slipped away, but I’m not sure it was ever really Bush’s. His one-week lead there was so slim, that I should probably have never bothered coloring it red. Same goes for Oregon. It’s red this week, but only by the barest of majorities. On the other hand, I’ve given New Mexico to Kerry, even though his lead there now looks as weak as Bush’s in Oregon.

Only five more of these to go, each and every Monday, before the Big Day.

UPDATE: Speaking of Florida-proof majorities, give Electoral-Vote.com‘s new projection a look. They give Florida to Kerry, and the election to Bush.

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Abandon Ship!

September 27th, 2004 - 10:05 am

Time’s Peter Beinart argues that Howard Dean would have been a better candidate than John Kerry:

Last winter Democratic-primary voters played political consultant. They tried to step inside the minds of swing voters and figure out which Democratic presidential candidate could beat George W. Bush. With an eye cast coldly on November, they rejected the man who had first won their hearts, Howard Dean, and flocked to the more “electable” choice, John Kerry. Among New Hampshire voters who said beating Bush was their biggest concern, Kerry beat Dean by a whopping 52 points.

Democratic voters should stick to their day jobs.

Read the whole thing to find out why.

NOTE: Over a year ago, I said that Dean might be the Democrat’s best choice, although for slightly different reasons.

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Silly Question

September 27th, 2004 - 9:48 am

Patterico asks, “How clueless is the Los Angeles Times?

Answer: Very.

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This Blast-Off Brought to You By VodkaPundit

September 27th, 2004 - 9:41 am

In space news, Paul Allen is going for the X-Prize starting this week. Not only that, but now they have a sponsor – Virgin Galactic – for sending parties of five into orbit.

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New Blogs

September 27th, 2004 - 9:35 am

Thursday is the day Melissa and I get ready for the weekend – planning, shopping and all that.

There’s a new blog in town, and we’ll be visiting it every Thursday at the very least.

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September 27th, 2004 - 9:24 am

Server went down last night, so I eventually gave up and went to bed. Catching up now.

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A (Partisan) Act of God?

September 26th, 2004 - 9:59 pm

You might have already read this on InstaPundit:

Seismic activity at Mount St. Helens has changed significantly during the past 24 hours and the changes make us believe that there is an increased likelihood of a hazardous event, which warrants release of this Notice of Volcanic Unrest. The swarm of very small, shallow earthquakes (less than Magnitude 1) that began on the morning of 23 September peaked about mid-day on 24 September and slowly declined through yesterday morning. However, since then the character of the swarm has changed to include more than ten larger earthquakes (Magnitude 2-2.8), the most in a 24-hr period since the eruption of October 1986. In addition, some of the earthquakes are of a type that suggests the involvement of pressurized fluids (water and steam) or perhaps magma. The events are still occurring at shallow depths (less than one mile) below the lava dome that formed in the crater between 1980 and 1986. The cause and outcome of the earthquake swarm are uncertain at this time.

What Glenn didn’t mention, however, is that the sudden threat of earthquakes or a volcanic eruption comes just as John Kerry is gaining some traction against George Bush. A convenient distraction, no?

I question the timing.

UPDATE: On the other hand, maybe God is a Democrat.

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Required Linking

September 24th, 2004 - 10:27 am

Command Post contributor Ed Moltzen interviews former deputy Central Command commander, Gen. Michael DeLong, on the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Required Reading

September 24th, 2004 - 10:08 am

Two must-read essays on Iran. On from new-to-me blogger, The Key Monk, and the other from Michael Ledeen.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Iraq*

September 23rd, 2004 - 11:09 pm

*but were afraid John Kerry would tell you.

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Fifth Thought: Lame Blog Entry

September 23rd, 2004 - 11:06 pm

Here’s a cravenly political move:

The Bush administration is moving toward releasing oil from the nation’s emergency stockpiles as a result of disruptions to production and imports caused by Hurricane Ivan.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said yesterday afternoon that he had authorized negotiations with refiners for oil to be loaned on a short-term basis from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Officials said the Energy Department had received requests from refiners who said they were running short on supply.

At least “cravenly political” was my first instinct. Here we are, at the end of summer, when gas prices usually ease all by themselves. But this is no ordinary end of summer – oh, no. This end of summer also signals the beginning of Presidential Campaign Season. In fact, I remember Clinton doing something similar in the Fall of ’00 to help Gore. It’s called “the advantage of incumbency.”

(To abuse a bad old joke about tourists: if it’s campaign season, why can’t we shoot the candidates? Anyway.)

My next thought was, a lot of the Gulf Coast got hammered recently. We refine a lot of petroleum down there.

Third thought: Well, at least they have a good excuse for a cravenly political move.

Fourth thought: My drink is almost empty.

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Last Night with David Letterman

September 23rd, 2004 - 3:44 pm

A classic Top Ten:

Top Ten Ways CBS News Can Improve Its Reputation

10. Stick to stories everyone can agree on, like cookies are delicious.

9. Move nightly “happy hour” to after the broadcast.

8. Stop hiring guys with crazy names like “Morley.”

7. Can’t figure out if a news story is true? Let Judge Joe Brown decide.

6. Every time Mike Wallace tells a lie he gets a life-threatening electrical shock.

5. Newsroom patrolled by some kind of lovable but strict “truth monkey.”

4. If it turns out the story is wrong, give away 276 brand new cars.

3. After delivering a report, correspondent must add, “or maybe not–who knows?”

2. Newscast consists of Dan Rather sitting down to watch Tom Brokaw.

1. Oh, I dunno, stop making up crap?

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Sumner Redstone: Closet Republican?

September 23rd, 2004 - 2:37 pm

Not hardly.

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September 23rd, 2004 - 2:36 pm

There’s not much beyond some Republican cheerleading from Karl Rove in this Washington Times article. It does, however, contain at least one hard fact:

Yesterday, the Kerry team canceled plans to begin a $5 million TV commercial campaign in Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri.

Campaign officials told the Associated Press that advisers concluded Mr. Kerry isn’t doing well enough in those states to justify the cost.

Kerry could win without any of those four states. But – just a few weeks ago, they were all considered battlegrounds. Now, they’re hardly being contested.

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September 23rd, 2004 - 1:51 pm

Had some dental work done. Trying not to drool on the keyboard.

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This Bud’s for You

September 23rd, 2004 - 10:05 am

Here’s the problem:


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Late Night Rambling

September 23rd, 2004 - 12:16 am

This Late Night Ramble will be more incoherent than most, and that’s saying something. But I was well into my second evening cocktail before deciding not to even try outlining the thing. Hardly a great start for an important subject, but, as always, you get what you pay for here at VodkaPundit. In other words, there is such thing as a free lunch

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Reporting for Doody

September 22nd, 2004 - 10:51 pm

I’m John Kerry, and I won’t listen to the best available advice.”

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September 22nd, 2004 - 10:28 pm

Yeah, I’m working. Honest. Had to finish up a TCS column and catch up on day-old email before I could get to the blog. Sadly, I think the email was fresher than the column.


Time to run upstairs, pour another martini, and get to blogging.


Thanks to an email from my old high school buddy Kiril Dickinson, I’ve got a serious essay to write. Check back later.

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Review Of 2/3 Of A Movie

September 22nd, 2004 - 3:36 pm

While I was stuck in Hellhole, Virginia last week, I decided to kill and hour and a half watching “Alien Vs. Predator.”

Yes, I know, I know, that’s time out of my life that I’ll never get back. But bear with me.


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September 22nd, 2004 - 9:55 am

Light blogging again today. Just too much real life to do.

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Don’t Panic

September 21st, 2004 - 10:43 pm

Tomorrow – er, today, as I’m writing this Tuesday night but you won’t read it until Wednesday – the Big Fear will be John Kerry’s seeming rebound in the polls. Specifically, in the latest Wall Street Journal/Zogby poll.

Take a deep breath and remember: I warned you just yesterday this would happen.

Now then, let’s look at the numbers.

The big one is, of course, Florida. There, Zogby has Kerry up by half a point, with a 2.9-point margin of error. Zogby is also the only major pollster to color Florida with the blue crayon. Also keep in mind that Zogby’s last call in 2000 was a 2-point Gore advantage. Even Democratic partisan (and unusually fair-minded pollster) Larry Sabato still has Florida in the Bush column.

A sure thing? Hardly. But nothing to get too excited about.

Pennsylvania is blue, but that’s no big deal. There are lots of scenarios where Bush could win without it, but hardly any where Kerry could.

Really, the only interesting thing Zogby has, is Arkansas going for Kerry. Could it happen? Sure. And AK’s six EC votes might even matter in a close race. Then remember that according to Zogby, Kerry leads there by one tenth of one percent, with a whopping 4.1% margin of error.

Now, you might fairly complain that I’m unfairly dissing Zogby. I’m just as happy to dis Gallup, Pew, and the rest

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Demon Customer Star Wars DVD Deal Alert

September 21st, 2004 - 3:16 pm

For those who haven’t snapped up their Star Wars DVD set, here’s the best deal I found, with a big hat-tip to FatWallet:

If there’s a Fry’s Electronics in your area, they’re selling the set for $36.99. Get a copy of their ad, and take it to Sears. Sears’ price match brings the price down to $36.19. Then use the $5 off $35 Sears coupon on this FatWallet page to bring your pre-sales tax total all the way down to $31.19. That’s just $10 a movie, plus the great extras disc for $1.19.

To paraphrase Cheech in “From Dusk Til Dawn,” if you can find a better deal than that–BUY IT.

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Speaking Truth to the Powerless

September 21st, 2004 - 11:15 am

I’m an idiot. So are you. Some professor guy says so.

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Rare Bird

September 21st, 2004 - 11:10 am

Mysterious Unseen Veep Candidate John Edwards has been spotted in Ohio:

Sen. John Edwards on Monday chided the president for his handling of the Iraq war, but the brunt of his speech at a Bond Hill rally focused on domestic issues that resonate with the residents of this blue-collar, predominantly African-American neighborhood.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee from North Carolina spent most of his 30-minute speech at the Bond Hill Recreation Center talking about presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry’s plan to create jobs, provide health care for all Americans, and provide affordable, quality education.

In an almost certainly unrelated story:

A new Ohio poll out today shows President George W. Bush with an 11-point lead over Sen. John Kerry.

The poll from the University of Cincinnati shows Bush with 54 percent and Kerry with 43 percent. Ralph Nader has two percent. Just one month ago the same poll showed Kerry and Bush statistically tied. A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Ohio poll earlier this month showed a similar post-convention bounce for Bush.

Completely related story here.

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