10.28.2003

MY TAKES

Two things from yesterday caught my attention, both of them from Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review.

1) In his column yesterday, Ramesh ponders whether the Clinton's pushed General Clark into the race to HELP Howard Dean.

Maybe the Clintons knew that Clark would crash and burn, to Dean's benefit, and pushed his candidacy anyway — because they want Dean to win the nomination and Bush to win the election.

I agree with this sentiment, though not the conclusion.

For starters, I believe Dean is the ONLY candidate that can beat Bush, with my prediction being that Bush will win because he'll find a way to exploit Dean's temper. But back to this, though Dean is campaigning as an ultra-liberal RIGHT NOW, he has a very moderate record to fall back on. As Governor, the Cato Institute scores him better than many Republicans fiscally. He believes in State's Rights and isn't a gun grabber. Liberals ask how a White NorthEastern Democrat can win the South? By being good on guns and state's rights, that's how!

And the Clinton's, if nothing else, believe in just one thing...power. I'm not sure I buy into the Clinton-supports-Dean-to-help-Bush-win scenario. By Clinton NOT endorsing any candidate, it's a win for Dean. I think this has all been orchestrated. Clinton stays out in the Primary, only to come on strong in the General helping trumpet Dean's moderate (ie, DLC-approved) record, rallying the Party faithful who may otherwise be alienated by Dean. In the process, Clinton would become again relevent in the Party, perhaps taking a cabinet position, an ambassadorship, or a spot as DNC Chairman himself?

But, going back, Clark getting in the race does nothing but help Dean. Think for a moment of the psychology of a Clark voter. WHO, before Clark got in, was that voter supporting? Clark draws from Edwards (South), Kerry (military experience), Gephardt (big healthcare), and the others. But he doesn't really do much to draw from Dean. Clark weakens Dean's opponents, and doesn't do much to bring him down other than a)lower expectations and b)steal some earned media. Clark at this point, is one of Dean's best supporters!

2)Ramesh's other brain teaser from yesterday was a Corner Post on the "New Investor Class" - a name I'm glad has remained and not replaced with something as awful as "Nascar Dads"!

His post links primarily to a Washington Post article that reports on a poll they conducted to find the political leanings of those who have their money invested, be it directly in stocks, in mutual funds, in 401(k)'s, etc. The conclusion of the poll is that those invested directly in stocks are more likely to be Republicans, with those even in non-direct investments (funds, 401(k)s, pensions, etc) still holding some of the policy views of Republicans, but with actual partisan support much less obvious than those directly invested.

After reading his pieces on the topic that he links from the post (especially the one from the RNC's 'Rising Tide' - the best of the links), I still remain unconvinced...Note, my questions aren't whether Republican policies are more helpful to investors, or taking issue with the results of the poll itself...No. I agree with all of that. My question is whether the poll is putting the cart before the horse. Are investors Republicans, or are Republicans investors? The difference is subtle, but critical.

I don't have an answer, I just raise the question...

AREN'T THEY ALL ACTIVIST PRIMARIES?

Dick Morris, Clinton's politico, offers this in today's New York Post, a column entitled, "The Activist Primary" -

THE Democratic presidential races usually feature a thematic competition that foreshadows the earliest of primaries and determines the eventual nominee. The tough part is figuring out what this pivotal contest is about. Often, it is only apparent after one candidate has won it.

For example, Mike Dukakis won the 1988 nomination because he proved that he could raise more money than any of his rivals. By beating Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson and the others in the financial primary, he was able to pile up victories in the various key states and secure the nomination.

In 1992, Bill Clinton won the image primary. A party adrift, lacking confidence in its ideas, found the "new" Democratic Party heralded by the moderate governor from the Democratic Leadership Council most attractive. By offering a way out of the liberal dogma that had doomed Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Dukakis, the three previous nominees, Clinton turned on the party's thinkers, writers, and movers with his pledges to "end welfare as we know it," to support a "middle-class tax cut" and to back capital punishment.

In 2000, Al Gore defeated former Sen. Bill Bradley in the audition primary, waged largely in their debates, where the two competed to see who could be more aggressive and forceful in attacking the Republicans. Bradley's diffidence and restraint, contrasted with Gore's tough attacks, made the former athlete seem too weak to take on Bush.

In 2004, it appears that the activist primary is the key. By using the Internet to mobilize hundreds of thousands of cyber-roots volunteers and donors, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has staked out an early lead that is likely to hold up and give him the nomination. Using his 500,000 online supporters to raise $15 million in the past quarter (three times his nearest rival's take), Dean has built up a substantial national base while challenging Gephardt in Iowa and John Kerry in New Hampshire.

Dean realizes that four years of GOP rule have left Democrats angry, frustrated and determined to lash back. By opening his Internet portal to these militants, he has offered a living, interactive campaign where ordinary men and women can make a difference.

In the Gephardt or Kerry campaigns, you are invited to write a check. In the Wes Clark campaign, one can tune in and watch the candidate on television. But Dean urges activists to bring in their family and friends, clicking on the Web as they migrate to his candidacy. As a result, the Dean campaign is just larger than anybody else's - more donors, more workers, more activists.

Clark thinks he is still back in 1992, using the Clinton playbook to win the image primary. He hopes that by tapping into the historical paradigm of the general-as-a-man-of-peace, he can score where past generals have.

He's read his history. Ulysses S. Grant was elected president not only for his military prowess, but for his words at Appomattox: "Let us have peace." Dwight D. Eisenhower surged to victory in 1952 not only by summoning the memories of D-Day, but also by pledging "I shall go to Korea" to end the sanguinary stalemate that drained more than 40,000 American lives.

Clark has won his image primary and Dean has won the activist primary. No candidate can match the attractive image Clark has created as the general-as-a-man-of-peace, nor can any come close to equaling the swelling ranks of the Dean campaign.

Kerry, Gephardt, Joe Lieberman and John Edwards have lost out on both counts - their images attract no coverage and their campaigns get few volunteers.

In a sense, Clark vs. Dean is the classic confrontation of the TV-image candidate vs. the party activists' choice. It's either the first battle of the post-TV era or the last hurrah of media power. My bet is that it is the herald of the new age.


Though thought provoking, this goes overboard in simplifying primaries. In fact, ALL primaries are activist primaries, the variable from one to the next is in the medium used to rally them. Dukakis was able to blast his message all over TV, Clinton earned all sorts of free media because of his image (CNN having grown enourmously recently with the Gulf War), Gore's audition was a combination of these; using tons of earned and paid media to promote his image.

Dean's winds are in many ways the perfect storm for Democrat activists. He brings a dovish message in an agressive manner to them in new ways. But that alone won't win it for him. The Internet is a tool he's brilliantly figured out how to use. But if he backed off paid TV because of his Internet prominance, he'd be as good as dead.

Agressive fundraising, creating an image, and promoting a message of being able to win are all now integral pieces of a campaign. What Morris' column provides is a history lesson of how they all came to bear. Dean's use of the internet would be better compared to Kennedy's use of TV, LBJ's use of attack ads, and Deukmajian's use of direct mail. Dean has caught the next wave of campaign technology. He's figured out how to take something that exists commonly and utilize it for his campaign.

All primaries are activist primaries. Howard Dean has just figured out a way to mobilize his online warriors.

10.27.2003

SIMPLY STUNNING

10.23.2003

ENCOURAGING, IF NOTHING ELSE

The Man and the Message
By ROBERT D. MCTEER JR.

I'm not a movie star. Lord knows, I'm no bodybuilder. No matter. I've discovered I have a kinship with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. We're both devotees of economist Milton Friedman, champion of free enterprise and economic freedom.

Before winning the recent California recall vote, Gov. Schwarzenegger wrote in The Wall Street Journal that Mr. Friedman and Adam Smith are his economic beacons. He gives his friends Mr. Friedman's classic, "Free to Choose," for Christmas.

Mr. Friedman has been on my mind lately because the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas will pay homage to the Nobel laureate's life and work today and tomorrow, with a conference titled "Free to Choose: Economic Liberalism at the Turn of the 21st Century." Mr. Friedman and wife Rose, his collaborator, will attend.

Gov. Schwarzenegger confirmed what we at the Dallas Fed have come to believe: Mr. Friedman's message of economic freedom is more compelling and relevant than ever in an era of high economic transition, rapid technological change, and globalization.

Shortly after becoming president of the Dallas Fed, I wrote Mr. Friedman with a monetary policy question, and he was very generous with his time, as he has been on several occasions since. There's always a lot to gain in Mr. Friedman's wealth of wisdom -- not just for central bankers like myself but for all Americans.

Mr. Friedman's famous maxim about the impossibility of free lunches, for example, reminds us that there are costs and trade-offs in everything we do, and we should look at what the alternatives are and who picks up the tab. Mr. Friedman recognized the power of free enterprise to create wealth and jobs, while warning that what Gov. Schwarzenegger calls "the heavy fist of government" will bring nothing but stagnation. On the academic side, Mr. Friedman forged a consensus for a monetary policy to stabilize prices and keep inflation low.

Most important, Mr. Friedman made economics a moral matter as well as one of productivity, jobs and growth. Economic freedom, he tells us, is every bit as precious as the other freedoms we hold dear.

I don't know how Arnold Schwarzenegger will fare meeting California's challenges. But I'm convinced he's gone into the battle with the right armor -- the ideas of Milton Friedman.


Bob McTeer is a guy who is almost universally respected among economists. One of my favorite economists, Larry Kudlow, even went so far as suggesting that when the time comes, McTeer should replace Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Fed. Lets just hope Arnold is more sincere about his understanding of and belief in Milton Friedman, than he is about "representing all of Kah-lee-for-neee-aah."

10.22.2003

SHAME!

When I woke up this morning, I thought it was impossible for there to be a Republican Senator I dislike more than Arlen Specter (evidence here, here, and here). Someone must have passed that note along to Senator Richard Shelby because by the end of the day he’d submitted his resume in triplicate to take a seat beside Arlen on my shit-list.

Today, in a simply baffling move, Shelby took part in filibustering a Republican Tort Reform Bill. With Class Action suits simply out of control and damages annually equaling 2% of GDP, this would have gone a LONG way towards legal fairness, not to mention the economic boom that would’ve ensued.

SHAME RICHARD SHELBY! SHAME!

CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF...

Bush does better with college students

The Associated Press
10/22/2003, 12:02 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush has more support among college students than the general public, according to a new poll that also says students have lost trust in Bush over the last year.

The poll done for the Harvard University Institute of Politics found that 61 percent of college students approve of the job done by Bush — about 10 points higher than the president's approval rating in several recent polls of the general population.

But the students indicated they also have concerns about the president's policies, with 86 percent saying the Bush administration has been hiding something or not telling the truth about Iraq.

Seven in 10 students said they think it will be difficult finding a job when they graduate.

The poll found two-thirds of college students say political involvement can show real benefits, 17 points higher than the number who said that in 2000.

Institute Director Dan Glickman, agriculture secretary under President Clinton, said political candidates should pay attention to this potential source of support in addition to their traditional courtship of senior citizens.

"This is a large resource of several million potential voters who should not be ignored," Glickman said.

The poll of 1,202 college students nationwide was taken Oct. 3-12 and it has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


This astounds even me. Some 9 out of 10 university profs nationwide are registered as Democrats or members of other liberal parties. Students in PolySci classes around the country are subjected to tirades against George W. And yet, somehow, still more than 60% think he is doing a good job. This just reinforces what a survey conducted by UC Berkeley found last year, the today's youth are more conservative than their parents.

The next step though, is to transfer this to any sort of political success. Though these students may hold conservative beliefs, THEY STILL FAIL TO SHOW IT WHERE IT COUNTS. Politicians and campaigns continue to ignore students and issues which may be of interest and concern to them. However, if even in a small way, a campaign decided to seriously address higher education, or social security reform, or consumer credit, they might find a great source of new support. I doubt whether it'll happen any time soon, but it'd sure be fun to see if it did.

10.21.2003

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Larry Kudlow, one of my favorite economists, had an interesting comment tonight at the close of his great show, Kudlow & Cramer.

Talking budgets, and putting this one into some historical context, he harkened back to the Reagan White House (in which he worked) and reminded us that coming out of recession, Reagan’s budgets were 6.5% of GDP. Today, Bush’s are less than half that.

In my mind that still does not excuse Bush’s unwillingness to veto ANYTHING. But, it does at least give me some hope that his excess spending isn’t slowing otherwise natural growth. Onward and Upward!

I'M PROTECTED FOR LIFE!!!

Coffee May Protect Against Colon Cancer

TUESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDayNews) -- That morning cup of java might do more than just kickstart your day -- it could actually help protect you against colon cancer.

German researchers say they've found a highly active compound, called methylpyridinium, in coffee that may prevent colon cancer. In studies with animals, this potent antioxidant compound appears to boost the activity of phase II enzymes, which are believed to protect against colon cancer.

The study results appear in the Nov. 5 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Scientists have suspected for years that coffee may offer some cancer protection. This is the first study that's identified a specific, highly active anticancer compound in coffee.

"Until human studies are done, no one knows exactly how much coffee is needed to have a protective effect against colon cancer," study co-leader Thomas Hofman, professor and head of the Institute for Food Chemistry at the University of Munster, says in a prepared statement.

"However, our studies suggest that drinking coffee may offer some protection, especially if it's strong," Hofman says.

He notes that espresso-type coffee contains about two to three times more of the anticancer compound than a medium roast coffee.

Methylpyridinium is found almost exclusively in coffee and coffee products. It's not present in raw coffee beans. It's formed during the roasting process from its chemical precursor, trigonellin.

The anticancer compound is present in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and is even found in instant coffee.

JUST ANOTHER REASON TO MOCK THE FRENCH

Judge masturbates while lawyer pleads her case, police say

Reuters

October 20, 2003, 11:47 AM EDT

BORDEAUX, France - A French judge was placed under official investigation for ``sexual exposure'' in a courtroom, prosecutors said after a newspaper reported the judge masturbated while a lawyer pleaded her case.

The 39-year-old judge masturbated for several minutes last week while listening to a female lawyer addressing the court in a case dealing with a dispute between neighbors, regional paper La Charente Libre said Friday.

One of the paper's reporters saw the judge ``making unambiguous gestures after discretely lifting his judicial robe and opening his trousers,'' it said.

The judge was temporarily suspended from his professional duties and examined by a psychiatrist, a prosecutor in the southwestern town of Angouleme said.

10.20.2003

SURPRISE, SURPRISE!

Grade inflation takes a toll on students
By Fredreka Schouten, Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON — High school graduates in Nevada with at least a B grade average can win $10,000 college scholarships — a free ride through any public university in the state.
But that ride has proved rough for many. Nearly a third of the kids who get the scholarships, which were created to keep the state's most promising students in Nevada, have to take remedial classes when they start college.

They are not alone. Around the country, even students with stellar high school records have discovered that they don't have all the skills to survive in college. In Georgia, for instance, four out of 10 students who earn the popular Hope Scholarships to the state's university system lose the scholarship after they earn about 30 credits — roughly a year's worth of work — because they can't keep their grades up.

Performances on college admissions tests point to possible grade inflation. Fifteen years ago, students with A averages accounted for 28% of SAT test takers, says Wayne Camara, who oversees research for the College Board.

Today, 42% of college-bound seniors have A averages, but they score no better on the college admissions tests than did A students a decade earlier.

Some education experts say the trend is a clear sign that high school teachers are handing out high grades for weak work. But many say the real culprit is the typical high school course load. Students just aren't taking the rigorous math, science and writing classes in high school that they need to succeed in college and the workplace.

Only 1 in 3 18-year-olds is even minimally prepared for college, according to a report by the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based think tank. The picture is even bleaker for minorities: Only 20% of black students in the class of 2001 were college-ready.

Ivrekia Stanley thought her prospects were bright when she graduated from Forest Park High School in suburban Atlanta in 1999. Her 3.6 grade-point average earned her a Hope Scholarship, but when she entered Georgia Perimeter College, a two-year community college, she had to take remedial classes in reading and math.

"You get discouraged. You don't want to tell anybody you're in these classes," Stanley says. She recalls she kept telling herself, "I have a Hope Scholarship. I'm smarter than this."

This fall, the 22-year-old transferred to Georgia State, where she majors in criminal justice. She has a 3.8 grade-point average and has retained the Hope Scholarship.

But about 40% of Hope Scholars who entered Georgia schools as freshmen in fall 2000 failed to maintain the minimum 3.0 GPA in their first 30 credit hours of college work.

Statistics like those have inspired officials in Nevada to set up mentoring programs to help Millennium Scholarship recipients and students from the state's rural areas stay in school, says Barbara King, who oversees tutoring programs at the University of Nevada-Reno.

King runs an Internet mailing list for the students where she posts reminders about finding tutors and deadlines for dropping classes. She also tries to improve their study habits.

"I tell them to pay attention to repetition during lecture," King says. "The second time a professor says something, underline it. The third time, put a 'T' for 'test' next to it. It probably will be on the test."

Researchers say that when it comes to college success, what students study in high school is as important as their study skills.

Those who study math for four years in high school, taking classes such as trigonometry and calculus that are harder than second-year algebra, double their chances of earning a bachelor's degree, says Clifford Adelman, a U.S. Department of Education researcher who has examined thousands of high school and college transcripts.

His advice to parents: "Encourage your kids to be challenged in (high) school, and worry less about grades."


Does anyone find it odd that similar stories abound for recipients of Affirmative Action who were placed at a school above their head?

10.19.2003

OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK!

SB 328 (Escutia) establishes an application process for student financial aid and services at the California Community Colleges for individuals who do not have the legal immigration status necessary for federal processing of the financial aid application.
Status: On Governor's Desk.

10.18.2003

GREAT COLUMN...FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES?!?!?!

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
By DAVID BROOKS

When it comes to the future of Iraq, there's not just one Democratic Party; there are three.

First, there are the Nancy Pelosi Democrats. These Democrats voted against Paul Bremer's $87 billion plan for the reconstruction of Iraq. The essence of their case is that the Bush administration is too corrupt and incompetent to reconstruct Iraq. If Bush is for it, they're against it.

Their hatred for Bush is so dense, it's hard for them to see through it to the consequences of their vote. But if Pelosi's arguments had carried the day, our troops in Iraq would be reading this morning about the death of the Bremer plan and the ruination of our efforts to rebuild Iraq.

Saddam Hussein would be jubilant in Pelosi's Iraq. He has long argued that America is a decadent country that will buckle at the first sign of trouble. If the Pelosi Democrats had won yesterday's vote, the Saddam Doctrine would be enshrined in every terrorist cave and dictator's palace around the world: kill some Americans and watch the empire buckle.

A few days ago the Pelosi Democrats came up with a fig leaf alternative to the Bremer plan, which would have reduced U.S. control of reconstruction and shifted power to the World Bank. When that plan went nowhere, the Pelosi Democrats were faced with a choice: trust Americans or choke off the funds. They voted to choke off the funds.

And so in Pelosi's Iraq, there would be little money for children's hospitals, jails, clean water and schools. In Pelosi's Iraq, everyone would begin preparing for the post-U.S. power vacuum. The Kurds would rush to independence, the Sunnis would stock up on weapons, and the Shiites would call in Iran to help them in the coming civil war. The dream of an Iraqi constitution would die in its crib.

For the roster of the Pelosi Democrats, look at those who voted against the Bremer plan. Some names are obvious: Dennis Kucinich, Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer. But there are some names you wouldn't expect to see on that list: John Kerry and John Edwards. France, Russia and Syria don't oppose the Bremer plan, but the Pelosi Democrats are to the left of Bashar al-Assad.

Next we come to the Evan Bayh Democrats, named after the Indiana senator. These Democrats can see past their dislike of the president. They would appropriate some money for Iraqi reconstruction. But siding with the anti-foreign-aid Republicans, they'd turn the rest of the aid into loans. The Iraqi people have been raped, tortured and left bloodied on the floor. The Bayh Democrats say to them: Here's a credit card. Go buy yourself some treatment, and you can pay us back later.

The Bayh Democrats are centrist but not visionary, and they seem to worry more about adding an extra $10 billion to the deficit than about the future of the Middle East. They may have read memos from the Democratic pollsters on the unpopularity of the $87 billion plan, but they don't seem to have read about the Versailles Treaty and what happens when strong nations impose punitive burdens on proud ones.

Finally we come to the Cantwell Democrats. This group could be named after Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman or Dick Gephardt, but Maria Cantwell, the Washington senator, sits at Scoop Jackson's old desk on the Senate floor. The Cantwell Democrats are dismayed with how the Bush administration has handled the postwar period. They'd like to see the rich pay a bigger share of the reconstruction cost. But they knew yesterday's vote wasn't about George Bush. It was about doing what's right for the Iraqi people and what's right, over the long term, for the American people. These Democrats supported the aid package, and were willing to pay a price to give the Iraqis their best shot at a decent future. This week, Gephardt, who has to win over Iowa liberals to have any shot at the White House, is the bravest man in Washington.

Those are the three Democratic visions — the good, the bad and the ugly. Right now the Pelosi wing of the party is dominant, and the Cantwell wing is beleaguered. So this is a party teetering on the brink of full-bore liberal isolationism.

Who is going to pull it back? Probably not Wesley Clark. The Clark Democrats are actually the fourth category in the party: the ones who are too mealy-mouthed to take a stand either way.

10.15.2003

GREAT ARTICLE FROM DINESH D'SOUZA

Not So 'Bright'
Atheists aren't as rational as they think.

BY DINESH D'SOUZA
Sunday, October 12, 2003 12:01 a.m. EDT

"We have always had atheists among us," the philosopher Edmund Burke wrote in his "Reflections on the Revolution in France," "but now they have grown turbulent and seditious." It seems that in our own day some prominent atheists are agitating for greater political and social influence. In this connection, leading atheist thinkers have been writing articles declaring that they should no longer be called "atheists." Rather, they want to be called "brights."

Yes, "brights," as in "I am a bright." In a recent article in the New York Times, philosopher Daniel Dennett defined a bright as "a person with a naturalist as opposed to a supernaturalist world view." Mr. Dennett added that "we brights don't believe in ghosts or elves or the Easter bunny or God." His implication was clear: Brights are the smart people who don't fall for silly superstitions.

Mr. Dennett, like many atheists, is confident that atheists are simply brighter--more rational--than religious believers. Their assumption is: We nonbelievers employ critical reason while the theists rely on blind faith. But Mr. Dennett and his fellow "brights," for all their credentials and learning, have been duped by a fallacy. This may be called the Fallacy of the Enlightenment, and it was first pointed out by the philosopher Immanuel Kant.

The Fallacy of the Enlightenment is the glib assumption that there is only one limit to what human beings can know, and that limit is reality itself. In this view, widely held by atheists, agnostics and other self-styled rationalists, human beings can continually find out more and more until eventually there is nothing more to discover. The Enlightenment Fallacy holds that human reason and science can, in principle, unmask the whole of reality.

In his "Critique of Pure Reason," Kant showed that this premise is false. In fact, he argued, there is a much greater limit to what human beings can know. The only way that we apprehend reality is through our five senses. But why should we believe, Kant asked, that our five-mode instrument for apprehending reality is sufficient for capturing all of reality? What makes us think that there is no reality that goes beyond, one that simply cannot be apprehended by our five senses?

Kant persuasively noted that there is no reason whatsoever for us to believe that we can know everything that exists. Indeed what we do know, Kant said, we know only through the refracted filter of our experience. Kant argued that we cannot even be sure that our experience of a thing is the same as the thing-in-itself. After all, we see in pretty much the same way that a camera does, and yet who would argue that a picture of a boat is the same thing as a boat?

Kant isn't arguing against the validity of perception or science or reason. He is simply showing their significant limits. These limits cannot be erased by the passage of time or by further investigation and experimentation. Rather, the limits on reason are intrinsic to the kind of beings that humans are, and to the kind of apparatus that we possess for perceiving reality. The implication of Kant's argument is that reality as a whole is, in principle, inaccessible to human beings. Put another way, there is a great deal that human beings simply will never know.

Notice that Kant's argument is entirely secular: It does not employ any religious vocabulary, nor does it rely on any kind of faith. But in showing the limits of reason, Kant's philosophy "opens the door to faith," as the philosopher himself noted.

If Mr. Dennett and the rest of the so-called brights have produced refutations of Kant that have eluded the philosophical community, they should share them with the rest of us. But until then, they should refrain from the ignorant boast that atheism operates on a higher intellectual plane than theism. Rather, as Kant showed, reason must know its limits in order to be truly reasonable. The atheist foolishly presumes that reason is in principle capable of figuring out all that there is, while the theist at least knows that there is a reality greater than, and beyond, that which our senses and our minds can ever apprehend.

WHY CAN'T THE GOP CATCH UP?

Behind Dean Surge:
A Gang of Bloggers
And Webmasters


Young, Techie Devotees Flock
To Democratic Candidate
And Build an Online Army
By JEANNE CUMMINGS
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Two years ago, Joe Trippi was a burned-out Democratic operative who had fled Washington for California. Working as a marketing consultant for dot-coms, he was awed to learn how millions of computer whizzes had designed the Linux operating system through a free-form grass-roots collaboration and taken on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows. He wondered if a political campaign could work the same way.

Today he is managing Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean's campaign and he's stopped wondering. The former Vermont governor is using the Internet to transform political fund raising. About half of the campaign's $25 million take so far was raised over the Web, mostly in small donations -- a funding base the Democratic Party all but abandoned in recent decades.


Mr. Dean's Internet-fueled rise from backbencher to front-runner is a story of desperation, risk and luck. "This thing kind of evolved because of the Internet community, not us," Mr. Dean said in an interview. "The community taught us."

Politicians have been mining cash from cyberspace since 1996, when Bob Dole blurted out an incorrect home-page address while debating Bill Clinton. Despite the goof, the site raked in $200,000 overnight. Two years later, the Internet helped Jesse Ventura fund and promote his bid to become Minnesota's governor. In 2000, John McCain got a two-day, $2 million windfall in Web donations after beating George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary. Mr. Dean's Internet donations have propelled him way ahead of his rivals; in all, he has collected about $5 million more than the second-place Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, whose fund-raising pace slowed as Mr. Dean's accelerated. Everyone else is $10 million or more behind.

"Jesse Ventura was the hop. John McCain was the skip. And Howard Dean is the quantum leap," says Michael Cornfield of George Washington University's Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet.

During his California exile, Mr. Trippi couldn't completely disengage from Washington and got addicted to political "blogs." Blogs are Web soapboxes where hosts post news and opinions and readers respond, often rapidly. The effect is a never-ending virtual town-hall meeting.

Last fall, Mr. Trippi was lured back East to run the Dean campaign. Mr. Dean had become the party's most outspoken critic of the war with Iraq, and crowds flocked to his events. But by January, the campaign had just $157,000.

"We will never have any money," the governor complained, according to Mr. Trippi.

"We have to use the Internet" to build a base, Mr. Trippi responded.

Mr. Dean understood the concept, but the details escaped him. "What's a blog?" he asked.

At the time, the blog buzz about Mr. Dean was growing, and William Finkel saw a business opportunity. Mr. Finkel, 24, had just joined New York-based Meetup Inc., which sets up gatherings for people with common interests in bars and restaurants that pay fees to have business steered their way. The company, which started last spring and expects soon to turn a profit, had focused on nonpolitical get-togethers, soliciting names of, say, breast-cancer survivors, sorting them by zip code and setting up local "meetups" for them.

On Jan. 10, Meetup initiated gatherings focused on the three Democratic presidential contenders whom Mr. Finkel felt had Internet drawing power: North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Kerry and Mr. Dean. Within a day, 150 people had signed up for each of the two senators. More than 400 registered for Mr. Dean.

The response was helped by a Dean devotee in Oregon, Jerome Armstrong, a graduate student who promoted Meetup's Dean invitation on his blog, "MyDD," for "my due diligence." MyDD, as it happened, was one of Mr. Trippi's favorites and he had debated Mr. Armstrong via e-mail about an Internet-based presidential campaign. Mr. Armstrong figured Meetup could help Mr. Dean and urged Mr. Trippi to hire the company. On Jan. 27 he did, bargaining the company's proposed monthly fee down to $2,200 from $10,000. The deal allowed the campaign to sponsor its own meetups and, most important, collect e-mails from anyone who expressed interest.


A couple of weeks later, Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a 51-year-old environmental writer in rural Maryland, bought a $50 ticket for a Dean fund-raiser in Washington, at the suggestion of friends from Vermont. She had been fuming over the impending war and the Democrats' meek opposition to President Bush. The campaign asked for her e-mail address, as it did with every prospective supporter. This would become key to its fund-raising success as the campaign's list of 8,000 addresses grew.

On March 5, the campaign held its first official meetup in New York. The Essex Restaurant was told to prepare for 200 people, but 500 mobbed it, with more in a line outside. Mr. Dean emerged from his taxi and froze. "I was just shocked, stunned," he recalls. "I didn't understand the implications of [the meetups]. Trippi understood it immediately."

The campaign still lacked money or manpower and had only one Internet expert. But virtual-world supporters soon showed up on the campaign's real-world doorstep.

Mathew Gross, a 31-year-old environmental activist living in Moab, Utah, had been praising Mr. Dean on blogs for months. In March, he quit his job serving burritos and flew east to join the Dean campaign -- without calling ahead.

After stopping to buy a $10 tie, he took a cheap motel room in Burlington, near campaign headquarters. On his first day as a volunteer, he stuffed envelopes. That night he stayed up late writing a memo on the importance of blogs. The next morning, he marched toward Mr. Trippi's office to deliver it, pausing at the door just long enough for senior aides to start escorting him away. Mr. Gross threw the memo toward the boss. "I write on MyDD!" he shouted, guessing Mr. Trippi would understand.

Mr. Trippi's head shot up. "You're hired!" he yelled back.

The new hire's first assignment: create a campaign blog. That took a week and it wasn't fancy -- readers couldn't directly post comments yet -- but it was the first official campaign blog in presidential election history.

Like most campaign Web sites, Mr. Dean's had a donation mechanism. Four days before the first financial quarter ended on March 31, the finance team sent a sheepish appeal for money to the 25,000 people now on the campaign's e-mail list. Mr. Trippi was astounded when about $83,000 arrived via the Web on the last day. He wondered if aggressively soliciting money over the Internet could yield more.

In May, Mr. Trippi enlisted another Web phenomenon: MoveOn.org, a nonprofit liberal group. Wes Boyd, an Internet entrepreneur, started the site to oppose Bill Clinton's impeachment, e-mailing a petition to 50 friends and relatives that said: Censure President Clinton and move on. Within three weeks, 250,000 people had signed on. Since then, MoveOn has expanded its activism. Last December, Mr. Boyd e-mailed MoveOn's members seeking donations for a $40,000 antiwar ad in the New York Times. In two days, he had enough. The lesson: People donate if they see quick results.

Mr. Boyd offered MoveOn's expertise to all the Democratic contenders. Only the Dean campaign accepted, paying MoveOn employee Zack Exley's salary for two weeks. Mr. Exley, 33, made the Dean Web site more user-friendly and preached about e-mail's organizing and fund-raising power.

The advice took hold. In June, the campaign launched its first serious Internet fund-raising effort. Nine days before the second quarter closed on June 30 -- a key moment for measuring each presidential contender's viability -- Mr. Trippi appealed to everyone on the campaign's e-mail list. The list now had 150,000 addresses, thanks in part to the Meetup deal.

In Maryland, Ms. Choukas-Bradley settled into her home office overlooking an herb garden, opened the e-mail and immediately responded with a $50 contribution -- the second Web credit-card transaction of her life, the first being a donation to MoveOn's antiwar ad.

"I wanted to support Howard Dean, but I [also] wanted to show all the Democrats that this is a tool they can use," she says.

Within days, tens of thousands of donors had together given nearly $3 million, doubling the campaign's second-quarter take.


On June 28, top Dean staffers met in the storage closet that served as the Internet team's office. They decided to make another online appeal by announcing that the campaign had raised $6 million but wanted $500,000 more for a show of strength.

To encourage giving, they wanted a distinctive image to measure contributions for the Web site, rejecting the timeworn thermometer. Larry Biddle, Mr. Dean's deputy finance director and a New York Yankees fan, suggested a slugger holding a baseball bat and pointing to the outfield fence a la Babe Ruth. Nicco Mele, the campaign's new Webmaster, launched the appeal at 3 a.m. on Sunday, June 29.

It was a bold step. Campaigns rarely disclose fund-raising goals, lest they fall short. And Mr. Trippi authorized the move without telling the boss.

Mr. Dean logged onto his home page from a Seattle hotel and panicked, thinking unauthorized information had been put on his site. "We've been hacked," Mr. Dean told Mr. Trippi on the phone. Mr. Trippi assured him that the site was secure and that he really had raised $6 million.

Mr. Dean approved an e-mail appeal to go out under his own name. "We now have the opportunity to truly shock the press and the pundits," it said.

A gusher ensued -- $303,000 on that Sunday alone. At one point, the campaign's blog crashed as supporters egged each other on. "Wow! Keep on giving -- we'll need it to defeat Bush's corporate money machine," posted one supporter. The campaign's second-quarter take soared to $7.6 million. Mr. Dean, until then a sideshow, became a major force -- and political fund-raising entered a new era.

In 1972, Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern was the first national candidate to raise lots of small donations using direct mail. Efficiency soared: Banquet events raise as little as 30 cents per dollar donated, while direct mail can net 75 cents. Republicans soon mastered the art and long have dominated the Democrats in small donations through superior mailing lists. Today the Democratic National Committee's list has 800,000 addresses, while the Republican National Committee has two million.

Internet fund raising is even more efficient, netting at least 95 cents for every dollar given and broadening a campaign's small-donor base. Nearly half of Mr. Dean's six-month take of $10.5 million came from donations of less than $200. The four other top Democratic fund-raisers -- each had raised at least $7 million -- got no more than 13% of their totals from small donors. President Bush, the king of high-dollar fund raising, received 9% from small donors.

Other candidates began emulating Mr. Dean's techniques. Sen. Kerry used the image of a hammer on his homepage to call for donations. Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt's site urged supporters to prove that Mr. Dean wasn't alone in cyberspace. Even the Bush campaign imitated Mr. Dean, unveiling a blog.

By mid-summer, the Dean campaign had enough money to replace its lone Internet server with three better ones. The Dean blog was upgraded and came alive. The Web team grew to 12, including Mr. Armstrong, the Oregon man who used his MyDD blog to promote a Dean meetup. When Dean headquarters moved, the Web group got prime space outside Mr. Trippi's office.

In July, an image of Mr. Dean eating a turkey sandwich encouraged supporters to donate $250,000 in three days to match a big-donor dinner by Vice President Dick Cheney. They gave $500,000, including $35 from Ms. Choukas-Bradley, who thought the food contrast was hilarious and e-mailed 20 friends about it. In August, the campaign successfully asked for $1 million in four days to match an Oregon event by President Bush. While the money poured in, Mr. Dean campaigned in Texas and Virginia, registering new supporters and collecting their e-mail addresses.

The latest Internet appeal began shortly after midnight on Sunday, Sept. 21, when Mr. Gross, the blogger who joined the campaign from Utah, clicked his computer mouse and shouted, "The bat is up!" as the slugger's image hit the screen. Fellow staffers cheered.

This pitch was the campaign's most audacious: $5 million in nine days before the third quarter ended. Less then 24 hours after it was launched -- via the bat and e-mails to the 411,000 addresses now on the campaign's list -- Mr. Trippi gripped a Diet Pepsi can and paced the headquarters.

Running a hand through his wavy, graying hair, he fretted he should have set a lower goal. "What were we thinking?" he said.

The effort ended up raising $4.8 million, just shy of the goal, including another $50 from Ms. Choukas-Bradley. "I really feel like I'm part of the momentum of this campaign," she says.

The campaign's e-mail list now stands at 450,600, including 120,000 from the Meetup deal. Mr. Dean hopes to have 900,000 by year's end and enough money to follow President Bush's lead by opting out of public financing for primaries. He'd still be far behind Mr. Bush, who has raised $85 million so far, but opting out would free Mr. Dean from spending limits and give him an advantage over his Democratic rivals.


10.13.2003

SOMEONE FIND THIS MAN A JOB


Al Gore’s new TV Network, “all liberal-all the time” claims that they are going to try to avoid automatically being perceived as “liberal” and are instead going to try to appeal to a “younger, hipper audience.”

I’m sure it’ll work too! Because when I think Al Gore, the first words that come to my mind are YOUNG and HIP!

10.10.2003

NO COMMENT

10.08.2003

A NEW BEGINNING
Right now, conservatives in California are more disorganized than any other time in recent history. That’s the bad news.

The good news is there is finally someone who can bring them together. Tom McClintock is that someone.

Perhaps only with Goldwater in ’64 and Reagan in ’76, ’80, and ’84 have conservatives had a figure so easy to rally around. Right now Tom’s numbers are astronomical: 88% approval among Republicans, 91% among self-described conservatives. It’d be a waste if Tom’s sky-high numbers didn’t go to some good. Conservatives have to start from scratch. Recent actions by the Party PROVE that we conservatives control a grand total of nothing. From AD Central Committee members, to County Chairs, to Delegate Selection, to Legislative Primary candidates, conservatives need to come together now or together continue wandering aimlessly in the political wilderness.

We need to get on the same page, work off the same game plan, and stand united in a common cause. Tom is the guy who can make that happen.

Many people who have abandoned us now will come back to fight with us in this battle. Ray Haynes obviously isn’t a moderate sympathizer. Even abandoners like Shawn Steel still fancy themselves conservatives and wish longingly things were different where pragmatism and conservatism coincided more often.

It’s sad to watch people like Tom (and even Bill Simon, though to a far lesser extent) get screwed so royally by passionately ideologically moderate buffoons. It’s silly for conservatives to be split so radically. Though maybe unrealistic, it just seems that we should be able to combine pragmatism and conservatism. It also seems that Tom is the only guy capable of accomplishing as much. There’s no point in Tom having such political capital if he fails to use it. If he leads, the rest will follow.

SO I SUPPOSE I SHOULD COMMENT ON LAST NIGHTS FIASCO (ELECTION)…

Republicans in this state showed last night a penchant for what they criticized Bill Clinton about for years, and I’m not talking about groping women at all. Republicans beat up Bill Clinton for governing by polls, for leading by pragmatism rather than principle. Last night, Republicans throughout California showed their absolute dedication to pragmatism with the overwhelming abandonment of principles (Tom McClintock) for politics (Ahhnuld). (Oh, and just for kicks, Republicans shot down Props 53 & 54, which this Monkey voted FOR!)

This morning, most of the conversations I’ve had with politicos have gone something like:

FM: “So how’s your conscience this morning?”
Politico: “Fine.”
FM: “So you voted for McClintock I take it?”
P: “Well, no. I was going to, but we needed to make sure Arnold had a mandate to govern.”
FM: (series of semi-coherent expletives).

YAAA! Because Sheila Keuhl really cares whether Arnold has a 'mandate' (something she'll never have) or not. Partisan politics govern Sacramento, and mandate or not, Arnold's going to hit a wall in Sacramento. It's only whether he moves left or right to govern. For the sake of the state, I sure hope Arnold has more of a commitment to principle than do his supporters!


For weeks, I’d been talking about a great exodus that would take place. Once Arnold took the lead, I saw one of two things as possible scenarios: either conservatives who had supported Arnold would come back home, seeing that they could vote their conscience and not risk costing Arnold the election, OR everyone would jump on the Arnold bandwagon. Last night we saw the latter.


Now we go on with the governing portion of Arnold’s reign of terror. Now conservatives can go back to despising moderates, and fighting all that they (don’t) stand for. Pete Wilson regularly felt the wrath of the united conservative front. And more times than not, Wilson chose to not stand in front of the oncoming charge. More than once Wilson stood ready to sign some awful gun bill, for instance, but when conservatives raised hell, he tucked his tail between his legs and went and hid under his desk until Bob White told him the coast was clear. He knew he could not alienate conservatives, or risk losing reelection.

Our mission now is to make Arnold equally accountable.

In the words of Arnie Steinberg:

"(C)onservative Republicans — elected officials, grassroots organizations, talk-show hosts — set Arnold up for victory. Without conservatives, Arnold would have lost, bringing the recall down with him. Don't forget this, and don't let him forget this."

At least this airborne primate, for one, wont ever let him forget!


UPDATE: In his news conference today, Arnold showed burgeoning signs of begrudging acceptability. When asked about the prospect of raising taxes, Arnold responded saying that a major theme of his campaign was that he would not raise taxes, "I say it again," he told reporters. "I will not raise taxes." I know he came short of saying “Read my lips,” but I guess this is at least a step in the right direction.

10.07.2003

GOOD NEWS FOR GRAY DAVIS

The Governor was uneasy over the election. Even though his party's polls had shown a narrower margin in the recall vote itself, he knew that all the other polls indicated that his days as chief executive of the most populous state in the union were numbered. He needed a miracle, he knew it, and he knew that so far none had been forthcoming.


Finally one of the Governor's aides knocked quietly on the door.


"Come in," said the Governor calmly.


"Governor," said the aide as he closed the door behind him. "I have the latest reports on how the voting is going."


"I know," said the Governor, holding up his hands. "I really am not in the mood to hear bad news right now, so..."


"Well, actually, Governor, there is some good news."


The Governor looked up, not quite believing his ears. "Good news? Are you sure?"


"Yes sir."


"Let me guess. That strutting, musclebound Nazi just got deported."


"Well," said the aide, leafing quickly through the papers in his hand. "Uh, no."


The Governor sat forward, a predatory smile starting to appear. "That traitor Bustamante got attacked and eaten by a pack of wild, slavering badgers."


The aide blinked, consulted his papers again. "I'm sorry, Governor, no."


The Governor stood up and leaned across the desk, his eyes gleaming dangerously. "A giant redwood fell on Arianna Huffington's f%&king hybrid vehicle."


"Uh-uh." The aide, sensing danger, began backing away toward the door, but the Governor followed.


"Those stupid idiot judges on the 9th Circuit came to their senses and declared the Republican Party unconstitutional."


The aide uttered a high-pitched giggle. "Sorry, Governor, no. I've been praying for that just like you ordered..."


It was too late. "WHAT'S THE F%&KING GOOD NEWS!!??" shrieked the Governor as he grabbed the aide by the throat, punched him in the face, and shook him until his teeth rattled. "ENOUGH WITH THE F%&KING GUESSING GAMES YOU F%&KING F%&KER! JUST TELL ME! TELL ME!!!"


The aide pried the Governor's fingers from around his throat and squeaked, "I just saved a ton of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO."

MY BOLD (AND SURE TO BE WRONG) PREDICTIONS FOR TODAY...

RECALL

Passes 58% - 42%

REPLACEMENT

Arnold – 39%
Cruz – 33%
Tom – 20%

TURNOUT

60%

INTERESTING OPPORTUNITY


Senator Don Nickles (R – OK) is apparently headed off to retirement, which is a shame because he’s one of the best we’ve got. Nickles was passed over by the White House for Senate Leader, a move that would’ve given the Party someone strong in the Leader’s spot. The White House instead strong-armed Senators to elevate the weenie Bill Frist to that spot.

This gives the Republican Party a very interesting opportunity, to have the ONLY TWO black Senators in the country be a part of the GOP. And better yet, they’d both be conservatives. Herman Cain, CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, is running in the crowded Republican Primary in Georgia to replace Zel Miller. And with Nickles stepping down, there will surely be at least 100 calls to JC Watts trying to convince the former Congressman to return to Washington.

10.05.2003

BAD WEEK FOR THE MAHA


What must come as a shock to many liberals,Rush Limbaugh isn’t universally revered, even among Republicans. Sure, most at least acknowledge his impact at making conservative beliefs mainstream, but some just see him as being to egocentric and sometimes just plain dumb to really care to listen to. That said, everyone must admit it’s been a bad week for the Maha Rushie.

First, he resigned his post as commentator on ESPN’s SUNDAY NIGHT COUNTDOWN. Then, timed oddly coincidently, citing the always-reputable National Enquirer, Rush was targeted at the center of an illegal prescription pain killer drug investigation.

While it’s obviously too early for anyone to speak with any authority about the drug investigation, as an ex-jock of sorts, let me offer my two cents on the ESPN situation.

First, Rush’s actual comments:

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well." He continued, "There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

The criticism, as expressed in Rush’s very first sentence is aimed at “social concern in the NFL,” not at blacks or black quarterbacks, or at quarterbacks who wear black eye paint. And in that point, while I AGREE with Rush’s thesis wholeheartedly, where he got himself into trouble was with the target he chose to aim his errant pass at.

Donovan McNabb is legitimately one of the superstars in the NFL. Does he make the occasional bad pass? Of course, every QB does. But, a)he has an amazing arm that’s improved every season, b)his legs strike fear into the hearts of every defensive coordinator in the NFL, c)between his running and passing, McNabb has been in some way responsible for 70% of Philadelphia’s total offense in year’s of late, and d)MOST IMPORTANTLY, McNabb has led the Eagles to TWO NFC Championship games. McNabb is the real deal, but that doesn’t mean Rush was wrong.

What Rush SHOULD have said, as evidence of “social concern in the NFL” is the media’s ogling of Michael Vick. Sure, he’s a good, and eventually will be a great player. But to be on the cover of John Madden Football, be picked by many to lead the just-average Falcons into the Super Bowl, and grace the cover of countless pre-season NFL magazines is a bit extreme.

Rush was right that the media is desirous of successful black quarterbacks, elevating them to undeserved levels. Donovan McNabb just wasn’t the right one to pick on.

THE MONKEY IS WAFFLING


I admit it, I’m a waffler. I was adamant in voting no on the recall. I figured that it’d be better to save the Republican Party, and further alienate California from the Democrat Party, than to have Arnold come into office and push similar policies but under the Republican umbrella. I was wrong.

Looking at the recall itself, from a purely theoretical point of view, I love it. I think it’s great, I think it’s the ultimate accountability, the ultimate check on government. However, fearing Arnold and the damage he would do to both the state and to the Republican Party, I found it worthwhile to vote NO, so as to keep him out.

Gray Davis has changed my mind.

After counseling sessions with former President Clinton, Davis emerged determined to seem Gubernatorial. He’s made a point to be seen signing bills, doing the work a Governor does. However, where Clinton differed is that he pushed bills that didn’t completely enrage his opponents. This is where Davis has failed.

In his quest to look like a Governor, Davis has held lavish ceremonies for bill signings, all of which have received the anticipated press attention. His problem, and what is costing him my vote on the recall is the content of those bills.

SB60 – Davis gave Driver’s Licenses to illegal aliens without any security safeguards.

AB205 – Davis signed a bill expanding Domestic Partner rights. In Senator Pete Knight’s words, “It's a sham. It's a backdoor, roundabout mechanism to override Proposition 22. ... What they're saying is they want to have the benefits without calling it marriage."

SB2 – Now today Davis signed the Socialist Healthcare Act, or some such name.

These are just about the three worst bills around, and Davis, in acts of desperation, signed all three. Sure he was trying to reach out to his base, but in the process he’s reaffirming the resolve of everyone else. I hate this man, and he has got to go. Even if Arnold is the best we can do replacing him.

10.03.2003

NO WONDER HE’S RUNNING

Throughout the Primary season for Governor in 2002, Dick Riordan time and time again chastised Republicans for not doing enough to reach out to women. Having taken a true HANDS-ON approach throughout the years, Arnold I guess thought this qualified him to run for office.

STRENGTHENING MY RESOLVE

As if I needed another reason to hate Arnold, John McCain has enorsed him!

It's a tossup who I hate more, McCain or Arlen Specter...they both suck!

If Arnold thinks this is going to bring conservatives to his side, he's WRONG!

A HOPE AND A PRAYER…HEY, STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED!

The rumor mill in Sacramento has been working overtime since the recall began. Many seemingly-ridiculous things coming out of it, that normally would be dismissed off-hand have actually come to pass, and so the latest pickings ought to at least be pondered if for nothing else than hope’s sake.

According to the California Political Review, high level Democrats are saying there’s a 9/10 chance that Bustamante will withdraw from the race, now just a few days away in hopes of killing the recall altogether. While defeating the recall remains a longshot, with ~30% of Democrats currently supporting it, switching them to voting “NO” could be the Dems’ only chance left to retain power…

But this would also produce an unexpected byproduct…a head-to-head matchup between Arnold and Tom.

To this point the argument for Arnold by many has gone like this, “Ya, Tom is smarter, more qualified, he deserves it more, and would do a much better job as Governor, but since he can’t win I’m going with Arnold.”

Well, what if there were no Democrat to vote for?

Many conservatives such as Ray Haynes, Shawn Steel, Bill Simon, and Darrell Issa would then be put in a precarious position. Do they stay with the horse they’ve already backed, or do they cut bait and go for the one they liked all along???

Though my gut tells me many of the Party leaders would stick with Arnold because of backroom deals already cut, there would be an exodus of rank-and-file Republicans to Team Tom.

The same thing happened with Riordan and Issa. The entire pillar of Riordan was built on
”he can win.” When it became clear that Simon actually feasibly could win, down came the tower. And because of the type of support Arnold has been receiving (LOW propensity voters), and the current attacks’ suppression effects, combined with the exodus to Team Tom, there remains an outside chance that Tom could pull this off.

It’s a Hail Mary to be sure, but hanging on by hope and prayer is better than not hanging on at all!!!

10.02.2003

POLL SHOWS REPUBLICAN PARTY SUCKS

In looking to find a word to define Republicans here in California, perhaps ‘crapweasel’ or ‘asshat’ is most appropriate. In all the country I can’t imagine a group of people more afraid of their own shadows than Republicans in California.

Finally breaking down and looking inside the most recent LA Times poll, the findings shocked me beyond belief.

Question 33 reads:

“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Tom McClintock is too politically conservative to have a realistic chance at being elected governor?”

While only 46% of Democrats agreed with this statement, 52% of Republicans did. More Republicans are afraid of the electability of a conservative than Democrats. No wonder we can’t ever win!

Also amazing is that while 46% of Latinos DISAGREED with that statement, only 29% of Whites did!

While overall, 49% of respondents agreed, it is just amazing how that breaks down….CRAPWEASELS!! ASSHATS!!! If they’d just vote their damned conscience, we’d win. End of story!

10.01.2003

Contra Costa Times Endorses Tom McClintock for Governor
Contra Costa Times Editorial
October 1, 2003

"The only candidate with a combination of long experience and specific ideas on how to combat California's budget woes is McClintock. He understands that little positive is going to occur in California without an economic rebound and fiscal responsibility in Sacramento.

"McClintock has not done well in polls, perhaps because of his unpopular views on a variety of social issues. But this election is not about social views. It is about economics and budgets.

"McClintock does understand the political workings of Sacramento and has a vast knowledge of economics and the budgetary process. He also has the desire and fortitude to make unpopular, but necessary, decisions to cut spending.

"Despite his long-shot chance of winning, we endorse Tom McClintock, who would be able to move into the governor's position quickly and competently."