Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rudy, Rudy !!!!!

No, I'm not talking about the sappy movie about a too small, too slow walk-on to Notre Dame's football team that generated a screenplay and a hobbit-starring movie, but rather the potential presidential aspirations of the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. He is considered a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, albeit one with plenty of warts. Here's some of my random thoughts:

If megalomania as an important qualification for president, Rudy is without peer (and mind you that's no small win when you consider the egos of the folks that run for president). That said, he is not without some credibility as a leader.

His most notable claim to fame is his admirable actions during and following the attacks of 9/11. Moreover, his efforts to improve the quality of life within New York City, while often controversial, are appropriately credited with returning much of NYC to its past glory including iconic areas like Time Square. At the same time, it's worthy to note that prior to the 9/11 attacks, Rudy's approval ratings were at a nadir. His arrogance and mean-spiritedness exhausted the body politic.

He sought unsuccessfully to extend his mayoral term following the 9/11 attacks.

Before becoming Mayor of NYC, he was a prominent, publicity seeking U.S. District Attorney in NYC, leading at least for press purposes, a number of prosecutions of New York crime bosses.

Since 9/11 he's made a fortune parlaying his high profile consulting and as a speaker.

He has enjoyed decidedly less success in the areas of personal relationships. While currently married, he is the veteran of two failed marriages.

He is a polarizing character to say the least. Former associates alternatively love or hate him

His handpicked choice for New York City Police Commissioner, Bernie Kerik, later imploded after being selected to succeed Tom Ridge as Director of Homeland Security. President Bush ignored standard vetting protocol and incautiously named Kerik as Ridge's successor based solely on Rudy's endorsement. The press did the vetting for the President and less than a week later "Lawbreakin'" Bernie requesting his nomination be withdrawn (note that Bernie Kerik is definitely worthy of a post of his own). Rudy has been persona non grata with the Bush White House ever since.

I don't think his chances in '08 are very good. My view is that he has a "puncher's chance." Should the country sustain a significant terrorist attack between now and 4/08, I think he becomes the odds on favorite to not only get nominated by the Republicans (the real battle), but he wins the Presidency in a walk.

The Enemy - Redefined

Based upon the President's news conference this morning it appears that GWOT, The Global War on Terror, has gone the way of "Stay the Course" and least for the moment.

The terminology was imprecise and not particularly additive to discussion or debate. Moreover, definitionally, the "war" was interminable and thus, unwinable. The enemy (at least in Iraq) are now described as "extremists." Is this change in nomenclature a positive sign? Perhaps.

Uh oh, btw switchgrass is back (GWB mentioned it again today). I for one can't wait to go cruisin' in my switchgrass powered Hundai.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm Gonna Listen to My Generals . . .except . . .

when they have the audacity to speak their mind. The well-worn claim by the President that he was following the advice of his generals as it relates to Iraq has been exposed for what it is/was - horse shit.

According to multiple reports, including today's lead in the WaPo, the Joint Chiefs is unanimous in its opposition to President Bush's apparent intent to increase forces in Iraq by 20,000 or more. The Joint Chiefs, seemingly buoyed by the sacking of Donald Rumsfeld, apparently are strenuously opposing the plan to increase US forces in Iraq. Note that Tony Snow deftly attempted to dismiss the story, but he did not go as far as to say the underpinnings of the story were untrue.

The Joint Chiefs' failure to stand up to the authoritarian rule of Rumsfeld has been well documented in books like, State of Denial, Hubris, Chaos and Cobra II. They seem, at least momentarily, empowered by Rummy's sacking. Bush is desperate to prove that despite all data to the contrary, Iraq isn't a lost cause in the short term.

The fact is not only is GWB intellectually lazy, he's intellectually dishonest.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tom Friedman - Sartorial Train Wreck

Tom Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist of the New York Times, appeared on Meet the Press today primarily to discuss Iraq. While Tom took the time to get his nails done, apparently with polish - not a mere buffing, his tie was, beyond troubling. A multi-colored number that he must have acquired in 1982 at the Ford City Mall Chess King, it's safe to say that no animals were harmed in the manufacture of that tie.

On the same show, fellow NYT columnist, David Brooks was the other round table guest. I enjoy reading and listening to David's ideas. That said, is there another talking head more uncomfortable on television? Admittedly, he is operating outside his chosen medium, but he's been doing it for years now with no discernible improvement of his carriage.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Delay in Bush Iraq Policy Speech - My Take

Official and unofficial sources have squelched the notion that Pres. Bush will issue a major speech prior to Christmas to signal changes to policy in Iraq. The aforementioned speech is now expected early in the new year. My read is that the speech is being delayed for practical political and policy reasons. I expect Bush to accede to the McCain approach, ignored by the Iraqi Strategy Group (because they were told that such an approach was practically a non-starter), and call for a significant increase in troop levels in Iraq. I expect that he may also propose a significant increase in the number of active military personnel.

The President will cite Iraq, Afghanistan and the worldwide threat of terror, but perhaps he could just skip that and offer more succinctly "and you know, yada, yada, yada." Expect to hear the catchphrase of the moment "surrender is not an option," sandwiched with nonsensical claims that leaving Iraq dishonors those soldiers that have died in Iraq, a none to subtle, and well-worn attack on the patriotism of those that may disagree.

Arguments certainly exist as to why out troops should continue to operate in harm's way, but the President is either unwilling or incapable putting forward a compelling and/or honest argument to the American electorate. Instead he continues to petulantly offer the intellectual equivalent of "I fuckin' know better than you - don't you realize I'm the President."

Anyone expecting a more dramatic change in direction are either deluded or simply not paying attention.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thwarting Terrorists or Encouraging Knuckleheads?

While I take some comfort from the fact that there hasn't been a terrorist attack in the US since 9/11/01, today's arrest of a guy who was entertaining the notion of attacking a Rockford, IL mall before Christmas does not make me feel appreciably safer. The devil it seems is in the details. The case only became public today so all the details are not yet available, but intriguing facts lurk behind the SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC HEADLINES. Two other "thwarted" domestic terrorist plots similarly, upon closer inspection, may not represent the grave threat to Americans that was initially claimed.

Before exploring the details I think the "fault" sits with a variety of players. Firstly, the FBI, stung by its well-documented failures in following up on information that may have resulted in stopping the 9/11 attacks, has rabidly investigated any and all potential threats. Secondly, the desire to play up the fruits of the substantial resources dedicated to the anti-terrorism effort virtually ensure that any and all arrests are announced with grave seriousness and unflinching sincerity. Finally, there is the press that absolutely loves to front reports of foiled terrorist plots. The reports are framed grandly and seldom address the bald reality behind the grandiose headlines.

The Rockford arrest and the Miami case share at least one significant element, a confidential informant that penetrated the plot. Closer reflection in the Miami case reveals the terrorist plotters as extreme slackers, it was the confidential informant who forcefully lambasted the group for its in transience, going so far as to threatening to quit if they didn't blow something up soon. The public was also informed that the group considered both the FBI HQ in Miami and
the Sears Tower in Chicago. Closer scrutiny reveals that the informer bought the digital camera and encouraged group members to take pictures of the FBI HQ. The Sears Tower threat was even more attenuated, the only apparent connection was that one of the group used to work or make deliveries to the Sears Tower. These guys weren't zealots, they were a running joke in the neighborhood they were based in. Unfortunately for these unclever lads they are screwed. Not admittedly, these guys aren't model citizens and weren't likely to making significant contributions to society - but those things were not crimes serious enough to land these jokers in super-max jails for most if not all of their remaining lives.

In the Rockford the government informer reportedly encouraged this naer-do-well to focus his efforts on waging jihad upon shoppers at a local mall. He likely encouraged the two recent trips to the mall ostensibly to case the target. The informer then set up a meeting where the perp was to exchange audio speakers for hand grenades. Is that normal operating procedures for weapon merchants, I mean really did the guy first try to offer his Pez holder collection for the grenades. We have also been informed that the terrorism plotter only weapon during this time was a pocket knife.

I'm not trying to be excessively glib, but I admit to becoming a bit circumspect when I see reports exhorting another grave threat thwarted. The charges brought against the former Chicago gang member initially accused of planning to explode a nuclear "dirty" bomb are perplexing. He faces charges that have nothing to do with the supposed plot that was strewn across the front pages of newspapers just prior to the 2002 congressional midterm elections. These facts garner precious little attention today because the press has moved on. Similarities also exist with regard to the London plot to blow up airlines. Again the reality behind the splashy headlines raises numerous questions regarding the extent of the threat. A number of people initially detained have been released. Many of those detained hadn't even applied for a passport and enabling the explosive that was proposed was an incredibly difficult and delicate job.

I am not suggesting that the FBI or Scotland Yard be any less vigilant in tracking potential threats, but citizens should better understand the reality behind the headlines. There is a line where the benefits of added security are outweighed by the cost - liberty. I believe there is a balance, I do expect and desire security for my person and my loved ones, but risk is a fact of life.

I think these issues are worthy of a vigorous and open debate and that reasonable people will differ on where the lines should be drawn. My concern is that the issues are not being actively debated. Moreover, dampening or extinguishing discussion by dismissing advocates of personal liberties and constitutional protections as weak or unpatriotic is disingenuous and does our republic a great disservice.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Who Leaked the Hadley Memo?

Today's NYT front page leads with details of a "classified" memo issued by Steven Hadley, the Bush admin's National Security Director, that calls into question whether Al-Maliki is up to the job in Iraq. The resulting firestorm lead to Bush being stood up by Al-Maliki this evening in Jordan. Notable is the lack of screaming of treason by administration wonks regarding the "leak" of the classified memo.

My take - this administration intentionally and conscientiously "leaked" this message to send a message that it felt needed to be sent, but would have been difficult to deliver mano a mano by Bush to Al-Maliki. Fair game no doubt, but it should be noted that this administration, like its predessors (arguably more deftly and frequently than most), uses leaks to get out messages when it is politically expedient to do so.

What I find disingenuous and objectionable is when newspapers are labeled as treasonous. A free press is one of the best things about living in this republic. Attempts to silence or trivialize the press are ill-advised.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cheney "Summoned" to Saudi Arabia to Talk with the King?

Reports apparently have it that VP Cheney's recent trip to Saudi Arabia was at the behest of the Saudi's. I'll try to ferret out some more details, but such a request is at the very least humbling. It's worth noting that in State of Denial, Bob Woodward's recent book on the Administration's mishandling of Iraq, it is readily apparent that Prince Bandar, the long-time Saudi ambassitor to the US, was a significant source of Woodward's. Bandar's relationship with the Bush family and GWB in particular is said to be extremely close. Moreover, Bandar made it clear that the Saudi's had serious misgivings about invading Iraq - GWB, despite not understanding the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite, knew better. OUCH.

Blogging Detail

Just a note on what's happening here at BFT International. Following the election our effort level suffered. That ennui morphed into pre-Turkey day excitement followed by an extended food coma. Despite the lack of visible product tepid efforts were being made on a couple of fronts. First, the staff does have a couple of postings in development, you know, like Ernest & Julio Gallo (per the late Orson Welles), we sell no wine before its time - or something like that.

The staff has also fighting off terminal laziness and are individually and collectively trying to improve my blogging technical knowledge to the level of an average 9 year old. Specifically, sources suggest I need to upload this blog to an FTP, some cyber-server. While some steps have been taken in this regard, the effort may not come to fruition until some young punk walks me through the process. I also need to assign a separate "file" (I know my nomenclature is wrong, but tough shit) for each posting. Doing so will make linking to specific articles a breeze. I think its pretty easy (I think just an additional step in the editing process), but the staff's enthusiasm waned prior to completing the task. On we toil.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dog Chapman Crackhead?

The National Enquirer recently printed an explosive piece claiming Duane "The Dog" Chapman despite his ubiquitous preaching regarding the evils of drug use likes to smoke crack. I happen to be a fan of Chapman's unintentionally campy tv reality show, The Bounty Hunter. Chapman readily admits to have served hard time for previous actions and seems to imply that drugs and alcohol abuse was part of the problem. His sermons lamenting the perils of drug use and touting his relationship with god are weekly features. Needless to say, the story, if true, may cost Dog big.

The article cites a former spouse and a crack dealer.....

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mel Martinez to Head RNC - Was this Karl's Idea?

I'm not really ready to blame this uninspired pick on Karl Rove, but it does strike me a Rovian move. What's clear now (and was not when I began drafting this post) is the choice has many conservatives steaming.

First some background on Magic Mel (note, this is from my addled memory, I'll fact check to the extent practicable and offer corrections where appropriate). He served as a HUD secretary in GWB's admin prior to running for Senate. His senate campaign was far closer than predicted, primarily because Mel isn't particularly articulate, moreover, he lacks charisma and vision. His campaign , summarized, "elect me I'm the president 's guy".

Controversy surrounded his anointment as the party's senate candidate in Fla . Katherine Harris thought she was promised the chance to run as a quid pro quo for meritorious service during the 2000 Florida recount. With the benefit of hindsight the choice was easy, one need only look to the wacky campaign run by Katherine "What Do You Think of THESE" Harris in the recent Fla senate campaign. However, the decision was more about 2004 electoral politics than anything else. Magic, a Cuban-American, was run in 2004 to solidify the Hispanic vote in Florida.

His appointment to the RNC post appears to be an effort to extend a hand to Hispanic voters that departed the GOP in droves during the '06 midterms following the immigration debate. No one in their right mind would compare Magic to his predecessor, Ken Mehlman. Unless he is a masterful prestidigitator, he lacks the strategic skills Mehlman clearly possesses.

That said, the pick's appeal to the "Decider" is apparent. Bush knows him and views the pick through rose colored glasses. In fact, the choice is patronizing in the extreme. While it was ultimately Bush's choice, there is no doubt that Karl signed off on the pick.

Immediately following the election, Michael Steele's, the Republican candidate for Senate in MD, surfaced as a candidate for the position. Steele, an African-American, ran an wonderful campaign and came close to stealing (pardon the pun) a Senate seat in deep-blue MD. Steele appears to have a marvelous future in the party and placing Steele as head of the RNC, seems like a perfect fit on so many levels. I just don't get it - I suspect it's a case of Rove out-thinking himself.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Laziness

While I do not frequently agree with Rush Limbaugh, I listen whenever I have the chance. I sincerely believe that those unwilling to entertain contrary points of view do a disservice to their intellectual development. Putting aside those issues that rise to the level of media firestorms (i.e. the Michael J. Fox and Donovan McNabb debacles), he often provides well-crafted arguments in defense of his points of view. At least as often however, he spouts disingenuous nonsense by cherry-picking "evidence."

One recent instance that comes to mind is Rush extensive reading of a WaPo piece regarding Nancy Pelosi's fashion sense juxtaposed against outgoing Speaker Hastert's anti-fashion sense. Rush stated emphatically that this was prime evidence of the "drive-by media's" bias against republicans. Breathlessly, he decried the placement of the piece of the "first page of section C."

The piece was extraordinarily complimentary to future Speaker Pelosi's fashion sense, and said it wouldn't even get into Hastert's fashion sense. Rush dedicated at least 10 minutes of his show to this article. Never during his soliloquy did he tell his listeners what should have been readily evident to any media savvy listener - he was quoting the lead article in the WaPo's Style section. While the piece was written by a Pulitzer winning journalist, the journalist is the fashion editor. Rush skipped this little detail and thunderously warns his listeners that this is a mere harbinger of the kid glove treatment to come.

That is really bullshit. Moreover, it often seems that much of Rush's topic "research " is lifted (often with citation) daily from the Drudge Report. While I check Drudge at least daily, and it possesses an impressive number of links to an array of media sources, it headlines ain't exactly a one-stop shop for the well-informed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rummy - The Unrepentant Warrior

Rummy fell on his sword for the Bush administration. Even in leaving the stage, he was the same arrogant, self-consumed SOB. In his last words , he protested that we the public and the leaders (other than GWB) we have chosen simply are incapable of understanding what he, the warrior Christ, has seen. What a crock of horseshit. He is incapable of contrition or humility. Leadership is not simply knowing the right path, it is more about successfully conveying the nature of the challenge.

The most interesting thing about Rumsfeld's departure is that someone within the president's inner circle contemporaneous to this announcement leaked that the VP didn't agree with this decision. Not only did the VP supposedly oppose the sacking of Rummy, but once he accepted the reality of Rummy's departure, he suggested ideologically similar replacements. The president rejected both suggestions according to the detailed leak and named a GHWB acolyte, Robert Gates. A significant departure from what has been standard operating procedure

Interesting Evening

Dems win the House with a +29, the Senate is technically up in the air, but despite the reticence of the news media MT and VA will likely go to the dems. The biggest surprise seems to be the breath of the MO democratic victory.

Quick takes

Tom Reynolds (R-NY, 24th)holds thanks god for early snow and the power of the executive to commit fast cash

Webb (D- VA Senate) leads by more than 700, recount won't save gorgeous George

Burns (R-MT Senate) being followed assiduously by journalists waiting for a Kodak moment

Hayworth (R-AZ 5th) loses and decries the consolidation in the radio industry, he could be the only ex-congressman that need to find a real job

Menendez (D-NJ Senate) grateful for insipid wimps from monied families willing to ignore their kids speech impediments

more to follow as the coffee takes hold

VA Senate Too Late to Count?

Why can't I make my font work, argh!!!!!!!!!! webb by roughly 2,500. This is big fun.

FNC Projects Corker - Senate Stays w/ the Republicans

  • Per Rich Lowery : the 2 most "winsome" candidates lose - both happen to be blackis there asubtle racial slur here somewhere, more importantly what does winsome mean.

Webb Ahead - A FNC Lead Team Signs Off . . .

Webb takes the lead by 3,000 votes with approximately 98% counted. A certain recount situation, but a big practical difference between being the declared count winner versus a challenger (that is if it isn't the state of Washington). Flipping over to Matthews MSNBC - is he paying attention - Webb somehow surged, after correcting Todd, now the Senate is back in play. WHy has no one called TN - please someone give me analysis in the midst of this blah blah.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

President Sleeps Late- Had Too Many Pops?

Per FNC President Bush will have a 1 p.m. press conference. He ain't gettin' up early after bangin' back a couple of bourbons while he's tossin' pretzels at Rove. To me he looks like he's been sneakin' a couple of pops before the election, what's going to happen when he's dealin' with Speaker Pelosi on a daily basis - hey, George consider hitting a meeting.

House Done - Why No Decision on TN??

The House is now merely a matter of numbers. I guess the drapes can be measured now, didn't the President's comment strike anyone else as a bit sexist or am I just too p.c. What's up in MD, WaPo retracted its projection of Cardin as the winner, but 46% counted as of 11:30, oh yeah, it's a blue state give'em time.

The real question I have that hasn't been addressed is why TN hasn't been declared? It appears like a no-brainer, but I have yet to hear any detail that would suggest that it's still in play - what gives?

Kristol's House Number

He says +30 11:06

MSNBC Mehlman Looks Good - Matthews Voice Fades


Fox News Barone Best Guess - A Draw - Going to Recount!!!


Barone analyzing things on a precinct by precinct basis sees Allen vote going to 0, apparently under VA election law, a candidate that loses by less than 1% can force a recount.

difference is less than 5,000 votes

Democrats Will Control the House

Now it is merely a matter of how many, without going race-by-race, I'm guessing a margin of 11. It's a great day for lawyers that specialize in election law - talk about full employment!

Fashion EMERGENCY!!!!!!!! Why is Nora O'Donnell Wearing a Burka Without the Headress?

Please no more full length shots!!

90%+ Votes Counted in VA - Exit Polls the Clear Loser

Get Kristol off the Telestrator!! He's out-of-control

Why Hasn't TN Been Projested as a Corker Win?

What's the hold up. Let's face it, assuming MT goes to Tester as expected, control of the Senate rests on the voters of VA and MO

MSNBC Predicts Cardin Win in MD

No decision on Fox yet, Mehlman is talking with Chris Wallace

9:21 Fox follows suit

9:33 MSNBC projects Whitehouse (D) Fox is there too

Exit polls in VA are appearing to be increasingly suspect

Best Throwdown of the Night

Matthews takes a shot at Scarborough, Scarborough comes back diplomatically, defending himself. Matthews acts like a snide dick. Normally I am a big fan of Matthews, but he's been a bit of a prick lately. His behavior here was absurd and his railing against those who support Joe Liebermann has been a bit too strident for my liking. He has consistently bashed those those who support Joe, but express discomfort with the occupation of Iraq.

Early Results - Senate

NJ Menendez (D) hold
PA Casey (D)
OH Brown (D)

TN looks like a republican hold with Corker, VA results appear closer to the pre-election polls rather than the exit polls.

How long until the first must watch of the evening, Santorum's concession speech.

Hannity Calls MO and VA "Very Tight"

The Razor seems to indicate Allen in trouble as well as Talent. Claims Burns (MT), may just pull it out. Has Gingrich on now. Newtie's seconds the concern about Allen - to me that means Gorgeous George is dead. Optimism seems limited to that arch-conservative Lincoln (please call me my Dad's name John) Chafee.

The "Architect" Dismisses Exit Polls, Claims He's Not Looking at Them

Leading off the third hour Hannity has Karl Rove on. Rove, staying on message, dismisses exit polls in anticipation of dismissing voting soon. Rove's message is consistent with Mehlman early statements and semi-hysterical comments displayed of the RNC webpage. No smugness is recognizable in Rove's voice - genius status in jeopardy. Stay tuned.

More Indications Early Exit Polls WIll Favor Dems

Sean "The Razor" Hannity opened his show with a fifteen minute diatribe begging the faithful to ignore the evil early polling data that will "inevitably" come out after5 p.m. EST. Since it is no revelation where the Razor gets his marching orders (note the info contained in my previous post), and given the fervor of his rant, it seems quite likely that the early numbers will strongly favor the democrats. Somewhat surprisingly, the Razor spent an inordinate amount of time on a race many had already placed pretty safely in the Republican column - TN. Does that portend a late night in TN - at this point I suspect so.

RNC Chairman On Rush

Ken Mehlman was just on Rush Limbaugh at the top of the 2nd hour. Not much new here other than Mehlman warning republicans to ignore early exit poll results. Cited flaws in '04,'02 and '00. I thought the flaws in those prior years were primarily the result of early result dissemination of the data. That is the data had not yet been properly weighted.

Mehlman then stressed his comments were not based upon any information he had regarding the current election. Does he protest to much? My guess is that early info from IN and KY will break significantly for the dems and the republicans don't want that info to have the effect of reducing its turnout in the mountain west or the west coast.

Midterm Predictions

If you expected to get any real insights on what will transpire in today's elections, good luck. Today is all spin tv with an aim to keep you watching, The rub is no real news until after 5 p.m. est when exit poll data should begin to become publicly available. That said here are my predictions for what they are worth.


(highest level of confidence to least)

PA - Casey (D)
OH-Brown (D)
NJ -Menendez (D)
MD - Cardin (D)
RI - Whitehouse (D)
TN - Corker (R)
MT - Tester (D)
VA - Allen (R)
MO - Talent (R)

Quick Notes:
In TN, a huge no. of early votes and bad weather in eastern TN, a republican stronghold, keep it close, but ultimately Ford falls. The defining moment wasn't when Ford "ambushed" Corker before a planned press conference, but rather when Ford decided to go for the upturned collar polo shirt under the navy sport coat. Way too edgy for the senate.

Republicans in NJ are (or should be) kicking themselves for not fielding a more formidable candidate than Kean Jr. He's got the charisma day old diner coffee. The twoubling speech impediment doesn't help either. Menendez was incredibly vulnerable in powder blue NJ in a lousy year for republicans. What does that tell ya?

Cardin is a lousy candidate that owes his job to a deep blue state. Steele ran a great campaign, but really didn't say much of substance. That said, he's a comer and will be back.

Tester beats Burns, barely. Any chance we can reconsider this whole deal with giving equal representation in the Senate?

Allen earns the reward for worst campaign (what the hell is Ed Gillespe doing?) and the largest fall from grace. Jim Webb likes dirty stories. I'm guessing Allen's name recognition nudges him to a narrow victory. This is a very iffy pick. Republicans were so sure of this seat, the vaunted 72 hour get-out-the-vote tactic is not in place in VA. Will Karl beat Ken Mehlman's ass if Webb wins?

MO is a true crap shoot. My pick is more about deference to Rove and the RNC. Talent is a good candidate with no apparent warts, McCaskill is a decent candidate, we may have to wait until morning to determine the winner.


No republican Hail Mary for a touchdown, but no democratic tsunami either.

Dems +21

Monday, November 06, 2006

This is almost sad . . .

if it wasn't so insidious. Reasonable people gave up the WMD issue long ago. David Kay, former UN weapon inspector who went to Iraq at the behest of the US gov't has made best efforts to put this issue to bed. He has stated for various Congressional committees and was interviewed extensively for Woodward's, State of Denial and Isikoff & Corn's, Hubris that Saddam's Iraq; (a) did not have chemical or biological weapons, (b)had no nuclear weapons program, (c) found no evidence to support the existence of mobile chemical/biological weapons labs, and (d) found it did not possess unmanned airborne drones to deliver any such non-existent weapons. These findings were arrived at despite his sincere belief that such weapons existed prior to the invasion of Iraq. Mr. Kay's testimony is not equivocal and his bona fides are beyond reproach. Yet the tinfoil hat crew ain't ready to give up the fight. What is far more disturbing than that is that the Administration has the audacity to try and revive this fantasy, despite the fact that the president has been explicit that no WMDs existed in Iraq at the time of the US invasion.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Full Speed Ahead

Tomorrow George Stephanopolis will air his interview will VP Cheney. In the promos to that interview a quote of the VP has been highlighted. The VP says that the administration will continue “full speed ahead” in Iraq, no matter what voters say. “We’re not running for office.” “We’re doing what we think is right.”

You know what? I think, I think he's right. Not that I agree with either his methodology nor his manner, but it is up to a feckless congress to step up to the plate. The arrogance of the administration is galling. Not only do they earnestly believe that the democrats are not smart enough to comprehend the threat from terrorism - they don't think the American people get are either.

Suspend reality for a moment and accept that canard. After six years of trumpeting a singular message, who is to blame for this lack of understanding, those elected to lead and they have failed. Americans understand what constitutes sound judgment, responsibility and accountability Those traits sorely lacking within the Bush administration. How many times can you ask people to "trust me." Trust is earned. I was told, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Leadership is all about trust, competence, judgment and gravitas. It is not about telling people what to do. Irrespective of the midterm results, let's hope that congress has received the message that the status quo is not acceptable. That, as I teach my children, mistakes have consequences. Moreover, without a vigorous and engaged legislature our republic is a shell.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bully Politics - Simply Objectionable

Battering political opponents is par for the course. Highlighting differences and disparaging one's opponents is standard practice in American politics. It began once George Washington decided to step down as the country's first president. As is frequently pointed out, the acrimonious tone of today's campaigns pales in comparison to some of the scurrilous personal attacks of the past.

That said, I find it absolutely objectionable to have the president of the United States seemingly delight in the playing in the pig sty. Politics aside, the president is the most prominent leader in the world. His public statements are front page news across the world. How is it then that it is acceptable for him to say as he did on Tuesday, that "a victory by the democrats is a victory for the terrorists". That is impolitic and beyond the pale. Moreover, it is entirely inappropriate for the president to personally make these statements. While on one hand he repeatedly states that he isn't questioning the patriotism of his opponents, his words belie a different truth.

In the past such hyperbole would have been properly left to key lieutenants of the president, especially the vice president. Unfortunately, the VP is so marginalized, his approval ratings so anemic, that he can only be sent to deep red territory not true battleground areas. What does Bush say if the democrats win the house (and possibly the senate)? Can he reasonably expect to be able to effectively govern with those he has so savagely disparaged? Has he ensured gridlock, in effect encouraged payback through endless congressional inquiries?

Ugh, this sucks.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Giant Passes - Red Auerbach Dies

I rarely mark the passing of a public figure, especially one that I never met. Red Auerbach is an exception. Seldom does a man so clearly distinguish himself as the best at what he did. He lived a full life by any one's measure, but I feel a sense of loss.

No, I'm not from Boston nor am I a Celtics fan, but I am a fan of the game of basketball.

Where to start, great coach, 8 consecutive NBA championships, 11 overall. Great basketball executive. When he retired from coaching he named his star player, Bill Russell, to succeed him as coach. Oh by the way, Mr. Russell just happened to be the first African-American hired to coach a team in professional sports. Russell was named by Auerbach in 1966. It's worth mentioning that this was long before professional sports franchises were shamed into interviewing let alone hiring qualified candidates of color. Naming Russell occurred more than 20 years before Al Campanis, then the LA Dodgers GM, uttered on national tv that the dearth of black coaches was because they "may not have some of the necessities.." required to coach. In Russell first three years of coaching he lead his team to two championships. Red wasn't just smarter, he had the guts to make the right decision irrespective of what the other guys thought.

Moreover, he was a brilliant judge of talent. He drafted a slow white guy from French Lick even though the kid already committed to returning for his last year of college eligibility. That player, Larry Bird, became the cornerstone of more championships for the Celtics. He subsequently engineered the most one-sided trade in NBA history, trading the first pick in the 1980 draft for Robert "The Chief" Parrish and the third pick in the draft. Oh yeah, he used the third pick to obtain Kevin McHale. The counter party in that trade, the Golden State Warriors got Joe Barry Carroll, a center out of Purdue. These are two prominent tales, but the examples of his basketball acumen are legion.

These items are merely intended to illustrate the foresight and insight this man possessed. He also was brash and opinionated. He considered Bill Russell the greatest player ever and as much as I love Michael Jordan (and as a lifelong Bulls fan, I do), I have to defer to Red. (BTW, for those of you that have never had the pleasure - I strongly advise you to douse yourself in a Russell retrospective - he was simply unbelievable, 11 Championships in 13 seasons, that after leading his team to 2 consecutive NCAA championships).

All that said, I loved what Red did for me. I learned more about basketball from Red Auerbach than from all the coaches I played for or against. In the late 70's/early 80's he hosted a half-time feature on the NBA game of the week on ABC. On that segment, he illustrated fundamentals of the game and drills he believed made you a better basketball player. More importantly, he also explained the why behind these fundamentals and drills.

I absolutely lived for that segment. I was in third or fourth grade when I started watching and I'd stare intently at the screen shushing my siblings, unwilling to miss any pearl Red was willing to toss my way. The segment, unknown to me at the time was based on Red's book, Basketball for the Player, the Fan and Coach. I saw it in paperback about that time and bought with my own money. It was my basketball bible, I read it frequently and practiced every drill contained in the book. I lived for basketball then and for many years thereafter. It remains the best book on basketball I have ever read.

My eldest son, 11, shares my passion for the game. I've been able to pass along some of the knowledge I gleaned from Red. I looked for that book recently, eager to see if I might witness the same magic I experienced manifested in my son's eyes, but I couldn't find the book. I think I'll try a little harder.

Red Auerbach gave me a gift, yet he never met me - light that cigar Red, rest in peace.

Since I posted this I read the excellent obit in the NYT, but for definitive coverage go to the Boston Globe website. They even have a link to the 1980 story regarding the trade that resulted in the Celtics getting Parrish and McHale, precious.

Friday, October 27, 2006

New Jersey Special - Menendez V. Kean Jr.

A few quick thoughts on NJ Senate race that constitutes a true toss-up. The closeness of this campaign is more a result of Menendez being a poor candidate and a worse campaigner than it is about Kean Jr. being a quality opponent. The Democrats choose to go with Menendez as a replacement for Jon Corzine when he took his Goldman Sachs millions to Trenton as Governor.

Menendez in many respects was the natural choice as the senior democrat in the NJ congressional delegation. The only real option to Menendez was Richard Codey, the man who replaced "Meet me at the Parkway Rest Stop" McGreevy when he resigned in disgrace. Codey is a long-time "old school" Essex county democrat without apparent significant warts. That said, he ain't sexy, he's white and his relationship with Corzine appears to be pretty distant if not somewhat hostile. While Menendez would have had a hissy fit, a case could have made that not giving up his position in the House minority leadership was in NJ's best interests. It also would have generated considerable noise within a significant segment of the NJ democratic party.

[Side Note: For those unfamiliar with NJ politics, NJ has a very significant latino population and latino voters in NJ have remained almost exclusively democratic. Moreover, Latino leaders have complained bitterly in recent years regarding the lack of latino appointments to the NJ Supreme Court and within the party generally. This issue is probably worthy of a post of its own, 'cause there's lots of material.]

The fact is, however, that Codey likely would have won against Kean Jr. in a walk. Kean Jr. is summarily unimpressive. He's young, his list of accomplishments as a state senator are unimpressive, he isn't charismatic, he looks squirelly, I don't think he's ever had a real job and he's got a painfully obvious speech impediment. On the the positive side he's the scion of the Kean family - the equivalent of NJ royalty. Moreover, he's run a very effective campaign in a difficult national environment for republicans.

Kean Jr. if you listen close distances himself from Bush as much as possible. If you don't listen real close all you'll hear are slams against Menendez. It's effective because Menendez ain't a paragon of personal or professional ethics. It is unlikely he's technically a crook, but he does know quite a few and his judgement leaves more than a bit to be desired.

A few quick thoughts, who I am trying to kid - I'm only halfway done, I'll add more tomorrow....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hubris - Initial Thoughts

I'm 150 pages into Isikoff & Corm's book on the run up to the Iraq war, Hubris. On the heels of Woodard's book, differences in style and depth are readily apparent. Hubris is thick with reporting. While I think Woodward's book is a must read for a US policy wonk like me due to his unique access to Administration leadership and the careful sourcing of his reporting, Isikoff and Corn get their hands dirty in the details and it's fascinating. I have some empathy for Isikoff's comments at a press event following the publishing of Woodward's book where he bemoaned all the attention given to State of Denial. Reports had it that Isikoff scoffed at Woodward's book, essentially calling it tired drivel and almost unreadable(he later sought to render those (alcohol-induced?) comments off-the-record with a phone call the next day to no avail).

Based on my reading of Hubris thus far, I have to agree with him. It is a much more detailed account. I'll render a highlight blog on it when I'm done, but q couple of quick hits. In October, 2002 just prior to the vote to authorize force against Iraq, polls showed 52% of Americans supported the notion of going to war against Iraq. I must be developing Alzheimer's, I simply don't recall such a narrow split amongst the populace. It might be that my recollection is influenced by the circles I run in. Morris County, New Jersey bleeds Republican red so there was little doubt regarding the Administration's case for the seriousness of the Iraqi threat. Moreover, my memory also might be dulled because I'm more conscious of the ease with which the authorization passed in Congress. While there was Democratic opposition to the authorization, such opposition was more ceremonial than it was a serious threat. Bully politics - propose divisive, yet often consequential legislation just prior to elections - was effectively utilized to minimize debate and intimidate feckless politicians who stand for little more than job security - their own!

Secondly, Dick Armey, former Congressman from Texas and number two at the time in the House leadership, is apparently a primary source as to the political machinations of the Administration. He is quoted as being deeply troubled regarding his role - effectively silently assenting to an ill-conceived policy constructed upon intel that was far less substantive than the Administration (and the CIA) was leading the public to believe. His mea culpa is that, I should've known better, a position shared by many of the contributors to this book. More to follow.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Obama Mania?

Oodles of press for the current golden child of US politics Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois. Covers of GQ, Newsweek and Time. What gives? Why now? Aesthetically, this guy has a resume to die for: son of an Kenyan immigrant and a Kansas mom, editor of Harvard Law Review.

Truth is I've reworked an initial Obama post for so long its hardly relevant. Anyway, he's as hot as he can be right now and while pundits can claim he lacks the gravitas necessary for the position (hey, wait I thought GWB extinguished that prerequisite for good already) given a mere two years on the national scene, this time may be his single best shot. Firstly, if you're hot now don't think that 4 more years of refinement guarantees you anything, grab lightening when it's stormin'.

Just ask Mario Cuomo who probably had the '92 democratic nomination for the asking but was scared away by Poppy Bush's sky-high poll numbers following the vanquishing of Saddam in Kuwait. He demurred, intending to grab the brass ring at a more politically opportune moment. The only problem was a bulbous-nosed politician from Arkansas, who came form nowhere while Mario ended up where Bill started - no where.

Obama's lack of a senate record is a distinct advantage, legislative records are difficult to explain. Tonight he's in NYC with big money folks trying to figure out who's going to pony up. My guess is that plenty are willing to give plenty at this point, but it is far too early to discount Senator Clinton.

Say It and Make It So or Shock and Befuddle

Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman and the RNC are understandably in full court press mode with regard to the upcoming midterm elections. Much of the press appears stunned when the Team rolled out a coordinated effort, spearheaded by the President, two weeks ago claiming that not only would the Republicans retain the Senate, but the House as well. Flummoxed press members respond by saying that the polls seem to indicate otherwise. The Rove machine undeterred, pushes forward, smirking knowingly as if they know something the rest of us do not.

The responses of the press and the Democrats are interesting. I believe I've detected a pattern of sorts. First, visceral response is smug bemusement - what are these guys smokin'? Next, facts are cited (read, poll data) that suggest differently. That reaction is countered by what appear to be RNC talking points; claims of more detailed polling data and mention of the abundant cash that's going to be spent before the campaign is through. That is followed by a fear concussion grenade of quick mentions of increased taxes, S.F. Nancy and terrorism.

The reaction of the press/Democrat at that point is stunned self-doubt, is that SOB going to do it again. You can almost hear them muttering at the end of the discussion. PSYCH!! You can be sure that there's a ton of towel snapping and giddy spider barkin' goin' on in the White House locker room watching the reaction to this posturing.

Let's look at this intelligently. Rove and the RNC do have more detailed polling data including internal polls that aren't readily available to the public, so do the Democrats. That said, the fact is the races that are in play are being polled to death right now by multiple organizations. Those polls taken collectively along with the trend data tell a story. The numbers are the numbers. That is not to say the the House is a fait acompli. Even if you ain't a fan of the Rove show he deserves some credit for innovation. Tsunami, what stinking tsunami - it's just low tide.....

Monday, October 23, 2006

November Bump For Republicans?

I'm not sure whether it will have a measurable impact. but a verdict is expected to be rendered soon in Saddam's current trial (for killing 148 Shi'ite villagers in the 1980s). It would be the first time anything in that circus came off on time and I'm sure the timing is mere happenstance, but it would give a (lame) rallying cry for the otherwise desperate Republicans.

Hey, that reminds me, what exactly was the basis for removing the previous judge in Saddam's trial. My recollection was that he contradicted a witness that claimed Saddam was a dictator and said, no, Saddam was elected (technically, true and probably as competitive as any election held for mayor in the city of Chicago during the 60's and early 70's).

Saddam earnestly thanked him. Shockingly, the judge was removed from the case the next week, although the basis for the removal was a bit fuzzy - funny how that works. What is frankly more amazing is that the judge was allowed to preside in the first place as he was initially named to the bench by Saddam himself. Ain't this Iraq stuff a hoot.

Update on My Bill O'Reilly Post

Initially, I somehow missed the portion of the interview with President Bush where Bill first laments that he is the most attacked individual on the planet after Bush. Wow, great men bonding! But "Loofah Bill" wasn't done, he went on to shamelessly plug his book Culture Warrior to the President strenuously encouraging the President to "read the free copy I sent you." Bush was stunned - I honestly can't blame him.

I was embarrassed and I was watching a clip on TV. This guy is certifiable, he is like watching the proverbial train wreck - you want to avert your eyes but you're drawn to the carnage. BTW the reviews of the book echoed my assessment, that O'Reilly is a paranoid megalomaniac. In one interview hawking the book he even claimed to having been told by the FBI that he was on an al Queda hit list (YES, I AM SERIOUS, Fox staffers said they were unaware of any such threat). The man is simply just too much.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Steven A.Smith Pays Homage to Brother

From Phil Mushnck's column in today's NY Post.

Two weeks ago, ESPN 1050's Stephen A. Smith said he never celebrates
> his birthday because it's the anniversary of his brother's death.
> We're not sure why he'd choose to bring up such a sad, personal thing,
> but OK, he did.
> This past week, Smith spoke of how he's hung over, having spent the
> weekend drinking, clubbing and partying - in celebration of his birthday.
> Remarkable.
> An instant classic

Note, I also forwarded this on to, a sports blog that is one of the Gawker family of blog sites. The host hadn't seen it loved it, I then requested a precious invite to become a Gawker contributor (I actually blogged about my desire to get one awhile ago) and I got one. I know it's ridiculous but I'm thrilled. Maybe the item will get mentioned on their site tomorrow. They are huge anti-fan of the chees doodle eating megalomanical Steven A.

If I'm able to figure out how to effectively link, I might actually generate a bit of traffic(I really mean any - not including my sister - a shout-out to you Mar!) to this self-indulgent blog.

Deadspin posted my tip!

New Course in Iraq Regardless of Midterms

If the statements of Republicans on the campaign trail and the Sunday talk shows is any indication the Administration will have to alter its playbook vis a vis Iraq. Kay Baily Hutchinson (Texas Sen (R))said this week that a plan similar to that offered by Joe Biden (Del Sen. (D)) to pratition Iraq into 3 semi-autonomous regions made sense. Arlen Specter (PA Sen. (R))on CNN's Late Edition stated Iraq is already in a state of civil war.

The status quo is no longer acceptable. The body politic is speaking too loudly to be ignored. "Stay the Course" is working far more effectively as a knock against the Administration and its supporters than "Cut and Run" is working against the Administration's opponents. It appears that the much anticpated tipping point has been reached in Iraq, what exactly that means is anyone's guess at this point. The only thing inevitable is change.

BTW NYT Select has an op-ed by David Brooks today that skewers Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity as fools willing to completely undermine the Republican party by excoriating any Republican that doesn't abide their strict orthodoxy. It appears even the Democrats aren't the only onesthat know how to self-destruct. Republicans are now the party that seems to be able to maintain party discipline. I guess they do miss the Hammer.

Drudge Report Disinformation

The man with the omnipresent siren lead for much of the morning with a exclusive of a Barron's article that opined based "on a state-by-state, district-by-district analysis", the GOP was going to retain both houses. A shocking headline given what I've benn reading on either side of the political spectrum. I quickly clicked through to the breathy exclusive. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that there was a lot more sizzle to his story than steak. Apparently, the primary basis for the article's analysis was who had more money to spend. UGH. There was no "there there."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

State of Denial - Random Thoughts

I'm down to the last fifty pages of Woodward's latest. I think it's overly cynical (even for Washington) to dismiss this book as a feeble attempt to for Bob to get back on the "right side" of Washington. It's well researched and no one, despite feverish attempts,has been able to poke any serious holes into Woodward's reporting. It's readable, though frequently humdrum. Woodward in this book, as in others, has the tendency to seemingly randomly toss in stories that don't seem to fit neatly in the narrative, but give rise to quotable items for book reviews and/or talking heads book discussions (i.e.; Bush and Rove's predilection for fart jokes).

That said, I found the chapter discussing the 2004 election day compelling (okay,I admit I'm a loser). Much to my surprise, Rove and the troops were sweating it out like the rest of the political junkies. Apparently, while they have extremely detailed voter results and polling coming in that allows them to assess trends, they actually utilize information very similar to the info publicly available to the networks and over the internets(intentional inside reference to that national treasure, the architect of the bridge to nowhere, the Senior Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens - who by the way takes the time to pile on Donny Rumsfeld in the book).

No surprise that virtually anyone that deals or has dealt with SECDEF Rumsfeld thinks he's an asshole, although often this characterization is made with grudging respect. He's a consummate bureaucratic infighter and a zen master at Hot Potato, the potato is never in his hands when the music stops - just like the responsibility for missteps in Iraq.

VP "Shoot'em Up" Dick Cheney gets short shrift. We know he did speak to Woodward extensively regarding the previous book, Plan of Attack as well as for a book Woodward is working on now. Those discussions lead to the disclosure that Henry Kissinger has met regularly with Cheney and Bush regarding Iraq. According to a recent tv interview with Woodward, Cheney called him regarding that disclosure pissed off, claiming that the disclosure was purely on background and not for attribution. Woodward disagreed and said that Cheney mentioned it in a rather off-hand fashion at the start of a recent interview regarding the new book (Woodward claims emphatically that the tapes of that interview support his position). At that point, according to Woodward the VP said "Bullshit" and hung up. Class act. You half expect Big Dick to send over a couple of guys from Balck Ops to poison Woodward's goldfish or something.

Otherwise, Cheney sits silently in meetings with the President and principals that are used to one-on-one sessions with the President (i.e.: Sec of State Powell) with a Darth Vader-like presence. He appears to relish the reputation he has built and everybody around him treds very softly and avoids fights with him at all costs.

Sec. of State Rice is skewered as too weak for the task and too interested in cheerleading for GWB to tell him what he really needs to hear. Throughout the book military and policy professionals complain that the truth is sugarcoated for easy digestion for a President that lacks intellectual curiousity and doesn't fancy internal dissent.

Oh sure there's ample discussion of the Administration keeping disturbing facts from timely entering the public domain, particularly at politically inopportune moments, but that's no shock to anyone that pays attention. Overall, I've found it interesting and informative. People in positions of power in large part are willing to tell their side of the story to Woodward.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nuance is Clearly Beyond O'Reilly's Ken

I'm a regular viewer of The O'Reilly Factor. I'm not exactly sure why, he does frequently get good guests, including, as last night, an exclusve interview with the President. Unfortunately, Big Bill rarely delves deeply into substantive issues. His interview was Larry Kingesque - almost fawning. He followed it up, to his credit, with an interview with Bob Woodward. He asked Woodward good questions, but gave me the dstinct impression that he wasn't listening to the answers offered to the questions he posed. Woodward stated, based upon his reporting, that the policies in Iraq weren't wotking. Bill responded that Woodward was claiming the efforts in Iraq therefore, were for a "lost cause." Woodward disagreed with Bill's characterizaton, to which Bill said, "well same thing." Come on Bill,are you even trying to make an effort? There is a substantive difference, why can't Bill get that. He's savy enough to host a show that dominates Cable news talk - lookin' out for the folks, but he seems intellectually lazy if not outright dim.

Intelligent people can disagree regarding our efforts in Iraq, but the "we just need to tough it out a little longer" line (Bill) rings hollow without some substantive changes in approach. Recent polling in Iraq seems to confirm what many have feared for quite some time, that we have lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Overcoming an insurgency without the support of the people strikes me as a losing battle. That said, complete withdrawl from Iraq is a nonstarter at this point because of the political vacuum it would create and the more dangerous situation it would create for U.S. interests.

Maybe Bill should just focus on more important issues that he can get his hands around like the liberal bias on the Oprah show that keeps him off her guest list (much to Bill's obvious consternation) and shamelessly hawking his books and "Factor" gear by cherry-picking reader e-mails. Does anyone else find the huckster a bit of a joke? I welcome viewpoints from across the political spectrum, but I expect a little thought and fact-checking.

Poor Poor Buzzsaw

What can you say [fill in sports cliche here]. Bears lucky? Yes. Bears defense impressive? Emphatically, yes. Rex Grossman putrid? No, worse. The Bears won a game that they simply had no business winning.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rex Poops the Bed

First half disaster, if he could have played worse, I'm not sure how. Ouch!

Indiana Steals, I Mean Lands Top Recruit

Eric Gordon's supposed to be the real deal, just ask Bruce Weber and those mildly dejected (alright, really pissed) Ilini fans.

Bear Down Chicago Bears put up the fight for the right to...


Note, the picture at left is Urlacher look-a-like getting trimmed up before tonight's big game - he looks ready to me!

At this point of the season the Bears are the class of the NFL. Tonight they go into the Pink Taco that houses that NFL buzzsaw, the Arizona Cardinals. I, for one, don't envision a Dan Marino moment like the 1985 Bears experienced against the Dolphins on a Monday night that season.

For those who follow such thing, it is interesting to note that the betting line in the game moved 3 points since yesterday. The Bears are now favored by 14. I guess the upsets yesterday have more than a few degenerate gamblers are tryin' to recoup those losses tonight. Gambling lore suggests that the bookies make more money on Monday night than they do all weekend. Do you buy it? Anyway, I hope the Bears (read, recently deified Rex Grossman) doesn't poop the bed.

Prediction: Bears 27 The Buzzsaw 6

October Surprise?

With polling in key districts seeming to indicate an almost certain shift to the Democrats in the House as well as gains in the Senate , the question the Dems have to be asking is: Does Karl have a Hail Mary pass play that can change the outcome? The talking heads on both sides of the political spectrum appear dubious that such a gambit is imminent. Maybe Karl will find a bug behind a picture in his office placed by the Dems or al Queda (same diff, right?). Oh no, that already happened once before in Texas (pity I'm too lazy to look for a link).

I note that very little has been said regarding apparently faulty polling in '04, '02 and '00 that seemed to underestimate the Republican turnout, although Karl said as much to someone at WaPo and to Freddie "Beatle: Barnes. On the other hand, wary pundits do keep referringto the superior turnout efforts of the RNC. That view was reinforced by the amazing resuscitation of the moribund campaign of Lincoln Chaffee in this summer's Republican primary in Rhode Island.

Political junkies like me just live for times like this, stay tuned.

I'm Not Dead

Despite suspicions, I have not yet passed from this realm. I found out today that someone other than me actually checks this so I will commit to at least a short term burst of activity and try and come up with something relevant. Furthermore, I pledge to spice up this site with something more than mere prose by learning how to upgrade my blog. Onward and upward.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"I got eckolecktic readin' list"

The president's comment to Brian Williams' inquiry reading his recent book reading claims. Per the WaPo (per the WH), he's read 60 books this year so far and in the interview with Brian Williamshe mentioned that he's read "three Shakespeares." WHo's buyin' it?

Gawker Media Invite

I'm not sure why, but I'm looking for an invite. I'm a regular visitor to Deadspin, Gawker, Gizmodo and Defamer and I've got stuff to say. While I recognize that no reads this, I'll plead anyway - if someone's got an invite, can you throw a brother a bone. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What 'bout That Anthrax Terrorism

Does anyone remember that innocent civilians died from anthrax, yetthe case remains unsolved. My recollection is that the anthrax had certain chemical traits that limited the pool of suspects. I also seem to recall that there was a "person of interest" in the case, but attempts to get the good on him were going nowhere, despite draining a pond. But really, there's been more progress on the Jimmy Hoffa case. Didn't these random attacks constitute terrorism, why doesn't anyone seem to care? Just wondering.

Hypocrisy in Neon

Students of politics recognize that internatonal geopolitics creates strange bedfellows. The Bush administration appears eager to bring political hypocrisy to a higher level. Practical folks can begrudgingly accept the need to cozy up with Pakistan despite its leader's ascension to power at the end of an AK-47, its rogue nuke program, its prior tacit acceptance of A.Q. Kahn's "Nukes R Us" superstore, but boundries don't seem to be the administration's long suit.

While the administration offers a daily dose of angry rhetoric regarding the need to democratize the world, and so rid the world of terrorists, this apparently only goes so far. Now the White House gets ready to welcome that paragon of freedom, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. Not only does he get a white house hug, but he also gets a special visit to the Bush family compound in Maine. Wow, and how has this gent earned such a deluxe end of summer vacation? Well let's just say a lil' graft, a lil' greed and access to airfields.

See WaPo's article

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Quick Hits

Democrats win the House (despite themselves)

Republicans hold the Senate (despite themselves)

Leaving Iraq right now is a nonstarter - from a practical geopolitical perspective

Katrina - Democrats unable to effectively exploit domestic failings\insensitivity of Bush admin. When did we as taxpayers accept ".. well we approved and alloctaed the money" as an acceptable answer when we are talking about $100+ BILLION!! R U KIDDIN ME???

Democrats inexplicably allow Ray Nagin to seem to represent their collective voice 'cause they r gutless

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tuff to be Hopeless

Signed on the blog to Technorati. To show just how lame I am, while I had Technorati bookmarked, I hadn't lnked my feeeble blog. I actually had to see a mini feature on no less than CNBC to figure out that I needed to sign up.

Now I guess I need to lurch into relevance. Maybe I should consider figuring out how to dress this thing up and get some links. Oh well, just another tomorrow project.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

More Feel Good News From Bagdad,0,7735942.story?track=tothtml

The democrats are the only ones so completely incompetent that they are unable to coherently bring to light what's really going on in Iraq. While Al Quaeda in Iraq remains an issue, it's far from the main problem. Sectarian violence is omnipresent. Is anyone else noticing the admnistration's increasing willingness to admit (albeit quite subtlely) that the police are largely compromised. Reports of police tacit and in fact participation in brutal sectarian killings can be found more than once a week.

I'm not advocating for our departure either immediately or even in the near term, but rest assured as these reports get more play, support for the staus quo will drift lower still.

GWB's Snappy Comeback to Putin Smackdown

Ouch . . . that's gotta hurt

Friday, July 14, 2006

How's Things in Bagdad This Evening?

I'm not sure but, this article won't make you feel warm and fuzzy,,3-2268585_2,00.html

Can MSNBC Become Relevant

I don't know, but I'm rooting for them. Their numbers are so anemic, moreover they lack CNN cachet as the "original" and FNC's position as the supposed counter-balance to the omnipresent MSM (BTW how is it that FNC is able to crow about its numbers, rightfully so in most cases, yet still claim to be outsiders).

why i haven't blogged

Lazy? yep. Not much say? yep. Disgusted by my lack of knowledge as to how to make my site even arguably visually interesting ? definitely.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Porter "I Like to do the Nasty at the Watergate" Goss Goes

Late Friday afternoon announcement, no replacement named - sudden ain't the word. Ths can't be good for the administration. Suspicion is that Mr. Goss is likely to be named in the Duke Hookergate net. If that isn't the explanation, an equally catastrophic problem is emerging for zany ole Porter. Can it get worse for GWB and the troops. Depending on how long this story takes to run its course, it may further strengthen Democratic hopes for November.

Oh BTW, Rep. Kennedy is in a heap of trouble-rehab is his only option (I don't mean that to sound cynical).

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Karl Rove - Political Genius

I find it intellectually lazy for every article to accept without challenge that Mr. Rove is a political genius. This does not mean that I question his acumen as a political operative nor his intelligence. I merely believe that a much finer point must be made regarding the precise nature of his gift and the readily apparent limitations of that gift.

Simply put Karl knows elections. He seems to have learned the true unstated genius of Ronald Wilson Reagan. The body politic in this country are not interested in the subtle details of international diplomacy - the relate to good versus evil, the black hats versus the white hats. Karl is also exceptionally well schooled in hardball politics (or dirty tricks, depending on who you ask). Karl's credo, if ya can't beat 'em, smear 'em (there is at least one worthwhile blog piece on this topic).

When it comes to the politics of administering the power he has helped to acquire I would argue that he kinda sucks. Without going into a lengthy discussion (maybe I'll add detail later, I just want to get something published), where was basic political acumen (let alone "genius") when it came to virtually every domestic policy initiative and/or challenge. Witness the social security reform proposal that thepresident continued to pitifully try to hawk for months after it was clear to anyone conscious that his proposal was DOA. So how's 'bout his stellar response to Katrina, the "Mission Accomplished" photo flop, Harriet "the most qualified attorney" Myers appointment to the Supreme Court or more recently the UAE port deal.

Give Karl credit where credit is due. He realized that terrrorism and the attendant threat issue were winners for GWB. But absent that issue, this administration has been a diasater politically. When it comes to the politics of governing and advancing a politcal agenda, it strkes me that its Karl "the genius" deserves criticism having a tin ear or arguably vilification for being inept.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Oops, Did I Say That Out Loud

More from Condi, I was just kiddin'around, c'mon guys, nobody takes this stuff seriously do they?

Friday, March 31, 2006

"Thousands of Tactical Errors"

Ouch, Secretary of State Rice eschews mincing words and states that the administraton has made "thousands of tactical errors" with respect to Iraq (see, Wow, that's a lot and Secretary Rice desreves kudos for her refreshing (and increasing less rare) candor. Sure, anyone paying attenton knew that ths was the case, but such an admission by the most powerful woman in the world is definitely worthy of note. For those watching, the fair and balanced folks of Fox News haven't mentioned it yet. Update Fox has the story in its 7p.m. news update.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bud "No It Ain't Real Squirrel On My Head" Selig Launches a (Self)Righteous Inquiry

So Bud "Can I interest you in a gentlely used 1978 Chevy Monte Carlo" Selig knighted former Senator George Mitchell to lead an inquiry in to the use of steroids in baseball. Whop dee doo! "I am shocked, shocked that gambling is going on here (feeble Casablanca reference)."

I predict no expungement of records nor asterices (note the pitchers were taking the juice too). Moreover, it wasn't against the rules at the time. It'll be known as the "Steroid Era," akin to the dead ball era, but with a stronger touch of disdain. Note, the mound was higher when Bob Gibson had an era of 1.12, a fact that neither diminishes Gibson status as a great pitcher nor the high level of excellence he displayed in achieving the mark. Bonds is an all-timer irrespective. The press doesn't like him and he doesn't like them. IMHO much of it stems from his failure to hit during the playoffs when he was with the Pirates. He was a cocky kid that had a monster set of seasons, but laid an egg in the playoffs. The press slammed him for that and he never forgot it. From there the relationship more closely resembled the Liza Minelli-David Guest "marriage".

From a business standpoint the home run boom was baseball saving grace and the owners loved it. They knew what the score was with respect to steroid use and mindfully turned a blind eye. This is an attempt to appear to be an effective self-governing business in order to keep the politicians from getting their grimey paws around this matter (in greater depth than those ridiculous inept hearings they held). Is there anything worse than listening to a bunch of grandstanding political hacks attempt to appear knowledgeable. Many don't understand the basics of constitutional law let alone the idiosyncrancies of the infield fly rule. It waspainful to watch those sessons.

Remember, above all else baseball doesn't want to lose its Holy Grail - its exemption from the federal anti-trust laws.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Patriot SIgning Statement

What is the established precedent for the legal import of executive signing statements. How and or when will this somewhat novel twist on legislative intent be addresssed the Supreme Court. When will the rule of law return? I do not consider myself an alarmist and frankly I am personally unlikely to be impacted by the unrelenting march of the imperialistic executive. This is not what the framers of the constitution envisioned. Depending upon one's political pursuasion the unilateral power grab by this president is either benign paternalism or illegal despotism. One thing for sure, future presidents will seize upon the precedent now being set at least until such time that the Supreme Court is able to restore the balance of powers between the branches.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Secretary Snow's Eyebrows Finally Brought Under Control

Hasn't anyone else noticed that Treasury Secretary Snow finally got his completely out-of-control eyebrows trimmed. My clarion call for action has finally been answered, albeit about four years late. I cannot believe that someone, anyone didn't tell this wealthy old coot that he looked like a cartoon character before now. CNBC broadcasts were bad enough, but when he was occasionally shown on network TV in HD he was downright frightening.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Miscellaneous Rambling

Spring is in the air, plants are showing life and hope is pervasive. Despite the fact that I dislike the cold, four distinct seasons are wonderful. The quiet deparation of winter gives way to the optimism of spring. I like to dream big in the spring and attempt to move some items into the completion column.

March madness is also upon us and thankfully the Hoosiers appear to have secured a spot. I really want the best for Mike Davis (and the Hoosiers, of course). I think he came into an almost impossible situation. He's a top drawer recruiter and a C-plus game coach. I believe his coaching instincts are good and he may become a top-flight coach if he finds the right spot. Irrespective of the difficulty inherent in the current job Mr. Davis is an extremely emotional fellow. He'll need to develop a thicker skin in order to be successful at a big time program (note, the fewer references he initially makes to the IU situation the better off he'll be). I have a lot of thoughts on this topic I may blog further in the future.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why Am I Blogging

Is this merely a journal that I'm leaving on a table rarely passed? I don't know. On one level it provides an outlet for thoughts that I wish to outwardly express. On another, it allows me to write. I subscribe to the thought that writing is a skill that atrophies and strengthens when engaged in regularly. I find I use few action verbs. My writing is far too passive. I guess I need to add Strunks, Elements of Style to my ever expanding reading "To Do" list. Thinking of this type often paralyzes me, leading to mindless internet surfing or TiVo watching.

Remember being conscious isn't a synonym for sloth.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

AG Gonzales's Hannity Interview

The Admin has found its spot for getttin' out the message, and surprise its the Fox News Channel. Ths time the AG decides to go toe-to-toe with the Larry King of the political set, Sean Hannity, to defend the DP World port deal.

Firstly, it's notable that the admin has decided to make him the point man on this. I guess Mr. Chertoff wasn't available following the Katrina report (BTW, how did he keep his job or is this this a portent of his imminent departure). I simply find Gonzales to be a lightweight and not very pursuasive.

Sean did twice ask the AG if the UAE's failure to recognize Israel was an indication that it was beholden to radical Islamic influence and accordingly should preclude it from operating US ports. The AG just ignored the question. The first time more deftly, as the question was one tine of a multipart question. To Mr. Hannity's credit, however, he followed up, asking the question on its own and Gonzales simply ignored the question. Interestng.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Machine Gun Cheney

If the only realtime investigation of the incident was conducted by the local Sheriff over the phone with members of VP Cheney's Secert Service detail as the Kenedy County Sheriff's press release indicates, how was it that he\they determined that there was no alcohol involved ('cause the Agent wasn't slurring)?

Vice President Quail

The emerging timeline certainly seems to indicate that someone (can you say Karl . . . sure sure . . . I knew ya could) decided to sit on this story. Was the thought to get the story straight and avoid a Sunday morning press-fest? It would have been a big story on a snowy Sunday in the northeast
when we were otherwise a captive audience. Hhmmmm.

"Big, Swinging" DIck, "Draft-dodging, Deferment" Dick, now "Dead-Eye" Dick

This one is too rich for words. How's 'bout the report that a secret servce agent stopped a local deputy sheriff from questioning the VP? What's the basis for that action? One report is that the SS and the VP already had a "deal" to discuss it with the sheriff the next mornng. Boy, that sounds fishy. Note this ain't Dick's first run in with the law, was it one or two DWI's.

I'm not even remotely implying that this incident was intentional, but absent an investigation, how can it beknown whether the VP's conduct was reckless. I believe most similar incidents, especially those that give rise to hospitalization (ICU in this instance), are worthy of immediate questioning. Ya know the coppers are on to that whole takin' your time to get the story straight bit.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

NSA Wiretapping-Honest Assessment is the Enemy

While the trckle of information regarding this program continues what becomes more readily apparent as time goes on is that the administration wants no part of a true assessment over the value of the information garnered by the program vis a vis the amount ofor breath of the intrusions. While VP "Big Swinging" Dick Cheney claimed on CNN in December of '05 that the program "has saved thousands of lives." Admiral Hayden, who leads the program was a tad more reserved when he "cannot personnally estimate" that figure. Hhm, the VP wouldn't be engaging in a bit of overstatement would he?

While poll numbers show a small but solid of respondents approve the president's program (althoug if its illegal, it frankly doesn't make any difference what they think), I think that the numbers are reflective of the administration's strong effort to defend and in fact advocate for the necessisity of the program. In now appears clear that the notion that the program overreaches is widely-held not only by card carrying members of the ACLU, but by (most now former) high-level administration lawyers. For the near term the debate is almost entirely political. How, when and if the matter will be resolved in the courts is a more intringung queston. The argument put forward by the administration and proferred by AG Alberto Gonzalez in his prepared remarks for Monday's Senate hearings simply doesn't suffice. Stating that heeding the 1978 law would be too cumbersome strikes me as lending support to critics. Moreover, that it's too cumbersome to follow the law ain't a defense to law breaking, just ask any current resident of a penal institution.

That all said I think the president and the administration do (or at least did) have a colorable argumenis in support of the program. I just believe that their argument is undermined by the express admission that they considered complying with FISA, but found it too cumbersome
and the fact that they continued to operate in this arguably grey area for over four years.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

NSA's Warrantless Wiretapping

The issue is the failure to secure warrants to make searches not as Bush ardently attempts to claim the he is committed to making the searches. No one - NO ONE in their right mind is going to deny the governments ability to make searches within the U.S. pursuant to the issuance of a warrant. The original intent of the founders was to ensure that there were checks and balances on the searches of one's person or property. This proscription was intentionally broad and has been whittled down over 200+ years of jurisprudence. It continues to be a rich area of controversy. Yet despite the fact that the courts have been incredibly deferential to the government, the government is constantly seeking to expand its authority. The so-called Terrorist Surveilence Program is merely the latest, perhaps most insidious attempt to expand governmental reach. Any claims of adequate oversight in this area are specious. C'mon George get a warrant. when the president defines the debate with straw men he easy disposes of, he has the ostensible support of the American people. If the debate was addressed honestly and clearly, few would accept the bald power grab. Even if we assume that this administration will use this "power" in a measured fashion, such a power is subject to significant abuse.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Note to Democrats

If you wish to become relevant again, learn to avoid nuance. The Democrats nuance you to death, I mean god forbid you don't appear sensitive to the [fill in the group\name\cause here]. Jeez, ya simply can please everyone and govern. Governing requires priorities and priorities definitionally mean some things are more important than others. Governing is much harder than being the opposition, although you wouldn't know that by watching the Democrats. Effective governing requires a nuance, somethng that ain't a long suit for the current Admin.

The Republicans have repeatedly outflanked the Democrats since '94 with the sole exception of Clinton's reelection by intentionally painting with a broad brush and respectfully stepping to the side to allow Democrats to do a Cleavon Little impresion. (For those who haven't seen Blazing Saddles, he plays a sheriff that points a gun to his own head and warns, "Don't come any closer or I'll shoot").

How's 'bout just keepin' it simple, don't argue just jab,

-where is the federal government on New Orleans (focus on the problem, don't nuance and don't discuss the whole gulf coast),

-financial malfeasance of hurricane relief funds (note, I'm not saying that these items are really any one's fault necessarily, but the idea is merely stay on offense - do what the Republicans have done so effectively, sell doom and gloom),

-focus on Iraqi oil production, or better said the lack thereof,

-focus on the fact that electricity delivery within Iraq remains (Today!) at a level lower than the day we took over management Iraq

-how much was deposing Saddam going to cost? Didn't Wolfowitz tell us it was going to paid for by the Iraqi people through the production and sale of oil. I mean really talk about miscalculation

-demur as to the legal analysis of the NSA wiretapping program, rather hammer on the fact that Alberto Gonzalez by his own words (later echoed Pres. Bush) undermined the legal argument proferred by the Administraion --- they considered asking for a law change but ether (a) didn't think they'd get it or (b) that it would expose methods and tactics (a strained argument that never has been satisfactorily explained, I mean unless they have a mind reading ray. I think that when we're talking methods and tactics it's about all cell phones, sat.phones, e-mails, text msgs., websites, snail mail etc.

-the Iraq war effort is a financial black hole, compare the money spent to the amount spent on education, yes, U.S. education

-how does the administration reconcile Homeland's Security's objective's with our country's de facto [illegal] immigration policy

-how did Chertoff keep his job

-keep talking about Harriet Myers, Bernie Kerik, Mike Brown - don't let 'em die
maybe i'll continue to rant. . .

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bill Frist's Appearance on Meet the Press

I have never seen Sen. Frist looking so unnerved. From the beginning of interview he appeared terribly off his game. It went from bad to worse. By the time he got to the HCA stock situation, he looked pale and nervous. He tried to profer the "blind trust" defense that Russert challenged in a shockingly direct manner that the trust remained at all times self-directed. A "blind trust" in this instance is an absolute oxymoron andFrist seemed to quickly and contritely abandon his feeble defense.

The other big question was regarding his presidential aspirations. He predictably demurred, but I simply don't see it happening. A year and one-half ago, I considered him a leading candidate. He had seemed to carefully cultivate the religiously conservative portion of the republican party that always seem interested in any alternatve to John McCain (let alone Rudy Guiliani). Since Karl Rove effectively engineering his ascention to majority leader (by remaning conspicuously silent when Trent Lott faced challenges as a result of his comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday party), he sought to carefully cultivate that most powerful wing of the party('cept for stem cell). I fear those efforts will now come to naught. For now I rate Frist chances of the '08 nomination a 1 on a scale of 1-10.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Super Bowl Pick

I saying lay the points and take the Steelers. I think that player for player Pittsburgh has a slight edge, but I think the Steelers get the nod on the coaching\game plan aspect. Cowher and his staff have had this team extraordinarly well-prepared throughout the playoffs and there's no reason that changes here. I think the 'hawks may suffer from the "it's great to be here" blues.

While the Steelers haven't been to the big game in a long time they have knocked on the door a number of times dutring the Cowher era. Steelers win and Ben and the Bus head to Disneyworld.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Frey Comes Clean, Sort of . . .

I watched Oprah's show with great interest. I've read both of Mr. Frey's books and followed his story before and subsequent to The Smoking Gun's account.

Quick thoughts:

Oprah scores for effectively admitting being duped,

Oprah gets too much credit for coming clean (with the benefit of hindsight to have done otherwise would have been foolhardy and indefensiveable),

"Non" Nan Talese (the publisher), appeared like a poorly prepared apologist, in the end she accepted no responsibility, although I guessing she's still cashing the checks from the brisk sales of A Million Little Pieces and its follow-up My Friend Leonard (note the sequel starts during Mr. Frey's make-believe 87 day jail term),

Mr. Frey deserves some points for subjecting himself to a public credibility castration, although he seemed to remain intent on dribbling out truth pellets (my guess is that additional "clarificatons" will continue to come out in the near term),

So will Mr. Frey enjoy the great American redemption we afford to those that we publically flog (i.e. Martha, Richard Nixon Pat O'Brien et. al.). I'm not sure, he's all that compelling a character, but there's always reality tv.

That said, I don't think he'll ever hurt for a paycheck (given his recent book sales I don't think he's got any problems in the near term). My real question is whether he's going to go out and drink or use. I certainly don't wish it upon him nor anyone else for that matter, but he's certainly at risk right now. His "My Way" self-prescribed recovery plan, is a risky propostion in the best of circumstances and these, these ain't the best of circumstances.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yikes!! James "Lies" Frey Live on Oprah 1/26/06

Will Oprah be tough or will she pull a Larry King. Unfortunately, I think Oprah's going to take a dive on this one. I think Frey will be well-prepped to answer questions that appear on the surface to be tough. I hope I'm wrong.

While I like to think I'm an even-handed, open-minded person, I think Frey is a fraud and I'd be shocked if he (and Oprah) can change my mind. His account strains credulity in virtually every chapter, yet I wanted to believe it. Even if the book was written without any creative license, I found it troubling. Show me an addict\alcoholic that successfully recovers by buying a bottle of fortified wine (which he then carries around with for a number of months) or stops at a bar and orders a $20 glass of whiskey (that he eyes, sniffs and admires) all on their first day of freedom (the first after discharge from rehab and the second after being released from jail).

Come On!! We are beng asked to buy this horseshit after all the puffery (I'm being kind) that has been exposed regarding his legal problems. I have the privilege of knowing a number of people that have gotten sober and stayed sober for decades. Ask any one of them how hard they had to work to remain sober, yet we are supposed to accept that Mr. Frey was so impervious to temptation that he spent nght after night in bars. Possible, yes. Probable, no.

Bad Follow Thru - An Apt Moniker

God, I'm either incredibly lazy, empty-headed or unwilling to blog about the things that really matter to me. Probably some combination of all ofthe above. Oh well, I'll keep trying. In the meanwhile I thnk I'll head to Costco and buy some stuff I probably won't use. I'll try to comeup with something while I'm out.

Friday, January 20, 2006

UBL Speaks

God, the news networks live for this. Most of the talking heads seem to barely listen to the answers their guests provide. O'Reilly had Gary Schoer (sp.?) former CIA Middle East operative and author of the book Imperil Hubris. Mr. Schoer tried in vain to explain that the "war" was long-tailed" and, as such, progress is not easily measurable. O'Reilly was absolutely befuddled. His lack of intellectual ability to comprehend anything that can't be shoehorned into a 30 second snippet that jibes with his preconceived black and white notions never ceases to amaze me. The only thing more amazing is that I continue to watch his show regularly. I feel like a daily commuter that can't seem to stop myself from slowing down and gawking at the fender bender of the day.

Market Drop

While I've generally been a mediocre prognosticator of market movements, today's drop didn't surpise me. Oil prices nudge back towards $70, market professionals are fully invested, earnings projections have dimmed a bit, what do ya expect? Well, I expect a couple a gentle rallies next week followed by some blocking and tackling. I'm guessing S&P sits at just below 1250 by month's end. We'll see. I'd suggest that for the near term we're in a stock picker's market.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I'd better figure this out soon . . .

I'm trying to make this all work, not sure why. I guess it's a bit like the classic mountain climbing comment, because it's t[here]. No multimedia yet. Christ, I don't even have pictures. Hey, I did set up a gmail drive that's accessible on my computer and I think it works. Wow, at this pace I'm going to be crashing into 1998 at any moment. Oh yeah, and now I send text messages too, amazin!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rove Meetings with Cap'n Jack?

Why is the WH stonewalling requests as to staff (read Karl Rove) meeting with disgraced former lobbyist Cap'n Jack Abramoff? Scott McClellan got positively steamed yesterday when reporters asked him whether meetings had been held between Cap'n Jack and WH staff members. You know the WH knows dates, times and participants for each of these meetings.

Senator Richard Santorem

Can it get any worse for Sen. Santorem. Only a year and one-half ago it seemed as though this guy was destined for political deification. Already the number 3 guy in the Senate, young, good looking - he seemed to be the Republican poster boy destined to be ordained by the Republican right for national office. Now it appears that he'll be lucky to keep his Senate seat in '06. The last poll I saw showed him behind his Democratic challenger by double digits. Moreover, he appears to have been the Senate liason for the K Street Republican lobbyists with their now unfortunate connections to Rep. DeLay and "Captain" Jack Abramoff. Ouch....

At today's press conference he looked as though he was about to cry when he was being questioned on his role with the lobbyists and Cap'n Jack specifically.