October 30, 2004
— Ace This seemed so absurd to me I didn't even feel much like blogging it, but if a poll shows Bush up by a point in Hawaii, I guess it has to be noted for the record. (Don't bother with the link for specific numbers; they're not provided.)
From Son of Nixon, who also reports on a true Patriot who supports Bush.
— Ace A repeat, but as they say on NBC, if you haven't seen it yet, it's new to you.
— Ace Uh-oh. Maybe they have a last ace up their sleeves after all.
Update: Atomic Amish tells me there's some question about whether this rally is really going to happen. Apparently threads announcing it have been pulled.
— Ace A six point lead, 50-44. But that's not the fun part. The fun part is watching hyperliberal Newsweek attempt to claim that "anything less than a nine point lead" is a "statistical tie," and that a six point lead really means nothing with a four point MoE, etc.
Let them coccoon.
The coccoon gets ripped open on Tuesday.
I Still Know What You Did Last Update: Polls and analysis from Secure Liberty.\
Yet Another Teenage Update: Vegas & the electronic markets break for Bush, too.
October 29, 2004
— Ace Only 8 percent of the electorate remains in play, but it seems late deciders are breaking for the incumbent:
Oct. 29, 2004 -- A better showing among movable voters has helped put George W. Bush back at the 50 percent mark, with 47 percent support for John Kerry among likely voters as the 2004 presidential campaign enters its closing days.
The ABC News tracking poll shows no impact from the controversy over missing munitions in Iraq.
This poll is based on interviews Monday through Thursday; results from last Saturday and Sunday, which were two of Kerry's three best days since this tracking poll began Oct. 1, have rolled out of the average. The results the past four days have been quite stable a small numerical advantage for Bush, within the margin of error, each night.
Movables in today's results favor Bush by 52-33 percent, a change from 46-36 percent in Kerry's favor as of Sunday. It's a small group eight percent of likely voters, down from 14 percent when tracking began but in a close race, an important one.
Is there any doubt?
Other polling news ranges from mixed to light Kim Richards.
October 30, 2004 -- President Bush jumped to a 5-point nationwide lead in a Fox News poll out yesterday amid growing but very cautious optimism among Republicans that the president will win Florida and the swing state of Iowa.
Nationally, Bush was at 50 percent to Kerry's 45 with Ralph Nader under 1 percent in the Fox poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday evening. It has an error margin of 3 percentage points.
The ABC national tracking poll also had Bush moving ahead to a 50-47 percent lead, but the Zogby national tracking poll had a tie at 47 percent each. Unlike the others, which show a pro-Bush trend, Zogby showed a slight trend toward Kerry.
The article notes the obvious-- Bush can lose Ohio, but then he'd have to pick up a couple of Gore states to win.
ABC/Wash Post: Bush 50, Kerry 47, Nader <1
FOX/Op Dyn: Bush 50, Kerry 45, Nader <1 | Bush JA @ 49
Battleground (w/leaners | 10/25-10/2 : Bush 51, Kerry 46 | Bush JA @ 53
Rasmussen: Bush 50, Kerry 48 |
Zogby: Bush 47, Kerry 47, Nader 1
TIPP: Bush 46, Kerry 46, Nader 2 | Bush 45, Kerry 45
Kick the dog and brew the coffee, it's going to be a long Tuesday Night.
— Ace I think the SwiftVets have already done all political damage they're capable of, but if they do have a rally this weekend as this unverified comment suggests, perhaps as many people as possible ought to show up, just to thank them for their guts and bravery.
— Ace Continuing to prove that exclamation points aren't only for junior-high girls, Mickey Kaus continues his ridiculous spinning that OBL wants Bush as President, or at least is neutral on him:
Insta-OBL: 1) At least judging from the Drudge transcript, it doesn't read like a pro-Kerry pitch. It's a straddle!
Gee, that's awfully funny, Mick. I guess the fact that OBL releases the tape on election eve, finally confirming he's alive, isn't meant to denigrate Bush as a terrorist-fighter at all.
And I guess it doesn't mean much that he's picking up Michael Moore/John Kerry/Terry McAuliffe themes:
In the video, Bin Laden accused Bush of misleading Americans by saying the attack was carried out because al-Qaida "hates freedom." The terrorist leader said his followers have left alone countries that do not threaten Muslims.
Hm. Bill Maher says that three times a show. Is he, too, a Bush supporter?
Bin Laden suggested Bush was slow to react to the Sept. 11 attacks, giving the hijackers more time than they expected. At the time of the attacks, the president was listening to schoolchildren in Florida reading a book.
"It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face these horrors alone," he said, referring to the number of people who worked at the World Trade Center.
"It appeared to him (Bush) that a little girl's talk about her goat and its butting was more important than the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers. That gave us three times the required time to carry out the operations, thank God," he said.
Hmmmm... that picks up directly on a John Kerry attack. If he's "straddling" between the men, I wonder, where are the Swift Vets references? Seems to me he might have poked fun at Kerry's three, ahem, Purple Hearts. Everyone else has (except partisan liberals, natch).
Bin Laden compared the Bush administration to repressive Arab regimes "in that half of them are ruled by the military and the other half are ruled by the sons of kings and presidents."
He said the resemblance became clear when Bush's father was president and visited Arab countries.
"He wound up being impressed by the royal and military regimes and envied them for staying decades in their positions and embezzling the nation's money with no supervision," bin Laden said.
"He passed on tyranny and oppression to his son, and they called it the Patriot Act, under the pretext of fighting terror. Bush the father did well in placing his sons as governors and did not forget to pass on the expertise in fraud from the leaders of the (Mideast) region to Florida to use it in critical moments."
Jeepers, Mickey, I see a lot of anti-Bush rhetoric, and yet no anti-Kerry rhetoric.
I guess Osama bin Ladin is "straddling" his choice, "wrestling with the issues" between them, much as Andrew Sullivan was since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court announcement of forced gay marriage and, oh, three days ago.
Perhaps Osama bin Ladin, too, is an "independent eagle," a sort of Guiliani-Schwarzenegger-McCain Republican.
Keep me posted, Mick. You're analysis is, err, entertaining, at the very least.
A NEW YORKER FOR BUSH: A thoughtful, thorough and cogent argument from Megan McCardle. I wish more pro-Bush endorsements were like this one. Instead of the usual "Vote for Bush or You're a Pussy" crap we get so much.
Unlike the "Vote for Kerry because he's a conservative but what I really want to say is I wanna marry a man" crap that is Sullivan's stock in trade.
Is this prick actually accusing his opponents of making cheap, vicious, emotional arguments? After six months of calling everyone who didn't join little Andrew in his gay evolution some sort of partisan robot?
— Ace Osama bin Ladin, echoing Andrew Sullivan, states "This is the endorsement I never thought I'd make"
For years I suspected Osama might be dead because I could not imagine why he would not triumphantly announce his survival, were he in fact alive.
I knew he was waiting for a big event to announce he was alive-- but I thought that Madrid, for example, was a big enough event for him to show his demonic face, were still capable of doing so.
Turns out he was waiting for an even bigger event-- the chance to endorse Senator John Forbes Kerry for President on the eve of the American elections.
If you have any ideas that you're not voting on Tuesday: I don't even know what to say to you. I know I'd think less of you.
Osama bin Ladin is the only endorsement that counts, and he sure the hell has secured my vote.
Coming Soon: Mickey Kaus argues that Osama bin Ladin is, after all, just one member of Al Qaeda, but that the rest of this fine organization really are big Bush supporters!
— Ace Well, idiot that I am, I had my big post for today whited out and invisible for hours.
It should be displaying properly now. Man, that was stupid.
If you're really jonesing to know who I endorsed and can't even wait to scroll down for the answer, I'll give you a hint: sometimes people misunderestimate his strategeries.
— Ace A woman who poisoned ten has been executed in China.
One week after she poisoned her victims.
Texas, y'all got yourself some competition. Get on it.
Thanks to Harriet.
— Ace Looks like I will not be helping out the cause in NJ, so I think I'll do what I can from my luxurious corporate headquarters on the secret 103rd floor of the Empire State Building.
This weekend I'll be on a workday schedule, or close to it. I'll blog as much as possible, both because there's an election coming up, and because everyone's been so generous about donating.
— Ace George W. Bush for President
I heartily endorse George W. Bush for re-election on three grounds, the most important of which is of course the War on Terror, which I will address last.
On social and cultural issues, this is perhaps the most important election in modern history. Judges have been putting off retirement in order to secure ideologically-similar replacements, but the Court is venerable, and this cannot go on much longer. It will not go on much longer-- 3-5 justices will retire during the next Presidential term, and I'd guess it will be five.
Liberals like to speak of "conservative judicial activism." There is really no such thing, or, at least, not much of such a thing. When conservatives "scale back" constitutional protections and guarantees, they do not eradicate such protections. Rather, they simply refuse to mandate a particular outcome, and repose the decision-making on such issues in the care of the political branches of government-- where it should be.
While there are cases where a good case can be made for an anti-democratic branch of government mandating a certain political outcome, such instances are few and far between; certainly, by this point, America is one of the most free nations the world has ever known. Without explicit textual support for a ruling -- like the Fifth Amendment's clear statement that property shall not be taken without fair compensation -- jurists simply act as monarchs, imposing their idiosyncratic ideas about The Good on the public without so much as a by your leave. They're somtimes called "superlegislators" when they behave in this fashion, a Congress of Jurists, but that's inaccurate. A "superlegislator" would be expected to stand for re-election on occasion. Federal judges are never elected, and serve until they chose to resign, or die in chambers, or are impeached.
Liberals can speak of a liberal judiciary "expanding freedom" through their mandates-- but what they're actually doing is reducing democracy. Every time a liberal judge imposes the Rule of Five Men on a nation of millions, the promise of American democracy is diminished a little. If we wanted a nation ruled by an oligarchy of the learned, we could have set our Constitution up that way. But we did not. Unlike the judges, we citizens actually trust ourselves, and each other, to get the big questions right. And even when we get the big questions wrong-- well, that is the price one pays for self-governing.
If you're only allowed to democratically choose your laws and policies when a council of judges deems that you're choosing properly, you're not living in a democracy, or even a republic. You're living in, at best, a provisional democracy with most important and contentious matters decided by a quasi-House of Lords (and back when the House of Lords actually had some power).
Liberals are always willing to avoid actual democracy when it's expedient. Is the country opposed to gay marriage? No matter; we can find five judges in some liberal state who believe they know better than the public.
I'm not so willing. And if Kerry is elected President, you can count on such judges filling the Supreme Court, as well as the lower courts.
The economy never became an unambiguously positive issue for George Bush. Although it is growing -- and quite quickly, actually, despite the summer swoon over Iraq and oil prices -- job creation remains not quite subpar, but not as vigorous as one would expect in a strongly recovering economy.
I think many people fail to appreciate what a tremendous economic shock the 9-11 attacks were, and how the shock of that black day continues to weight our economy down-- unavoidably. Those who make decisions about hiring and capital investment have a new consideration never before seen in the modern age-- all decisions to spend money and expand business are taxed by a "terror premium," the economic risk that a fresh instance of mega-terrorism will suddenly put the economy into a recession (or worse) once again. Those who criticize Bush for failing to produce Clinton-style job creation should bear in mind that employers under Clinton were confident in the recovery, and had little fear that nuclear attack -- yes, a nuclear attack -- could destroy the nation's largest economic center at virtually any time.
Conservatives grouse especially about Bush's failure to adequately restrain the rate of government spending. And I too joined in that grousing, particularly after Laura Bush's suprise announcement of a big increase in NEA funding.
But I'd like to partially defend Bush on this score-- partially. Let's all keep in mind the man does NOT in fact have a working majority of conservatives in the Senate. He as a bare majority of Republicans/RINOs, but not a conservative majority. It is a bit much to ask that he restrain the growth of government when Lincoln Chafee makes noises about leaving the Repubican Party every few months.
And let us once again remember 9-11. I'm not a Keynesian -- to be honest, I have so little economic training that I'm not really qualified to call myself a disciple of any school of economic thought -- but it does occur to me that after the massive, system-wide shock of 9-11, perhaps the government should not have begun tightening its belt much at all. Companies were already doing that. If the government had also begun paring back on spending -- and shedding employees -- we would not have had the government playing a counter-cyclical role, but rather reinforcing the tendency of the private sector to save, scrimp, and reduce the number of dollars at risk.
Would I prefer that Bush had restrained spending more? Indeed. But I also must bear in mind the risks that, post 9-11, fighting for the conservative model of government was not the greatest priority. Keeping our nation from plunging into a true economic depression was our greatest economic priority. And if that required a bit of priming the pump with borrowed money spent on generally useless programs, so be it.
That may seem like foolish talk, because our economy did in fact remain more resilient than some might have expected. But what if we had chosen another path? Just because something did not happen does not mean it could not have happened. There was a time during 2002-2003 when most economists thought that deflation was the greatest risk to our economy. In such a climate, reducing the number of dollars in circulation is very risky indeed.
Finally, there is the first, last, and best reason I endorse George W. Bush: for his remarkable leadership and courage in the War on Terror.
After 9-11, I became radicalized and bloodthirsty. I savaged Bush for what I thought, at the time, was a too-merciful campaign to merely unseat the Taliban thugs from Kabul. They hit one of my cities; I wanted to hit theirs. I was no longer interested at all in the normal restraints of the Laws of War; I wanted the Islamist world to know that we would no longer respond to the slaughter of innocents with strikes on radio masts and airports. (And, of course, Afghanistan had precious little in that regard, anyway.)
I was angered by Bush's ethic of Christian mercy. Those who fault Bush for his devotion to God ought to bear in mind what a man unrestrained by a contemplation of religious mercy might have done in his stead. I know I personally would not have been restrained, except by the calculation of how much horror I could inflict on Afghanistan without being impeached by an outraged America.
But Bush's plan worked. It did not just succeed; it succeeded brilliantly. A combined CIA-Special Forces-precision bombing-light infantry campaign succeeded in dislodging this loathesome regime from power, all without inflicting near-genocidal carpet bombing on Afghanistan's cities.
We had won-- and won without compromising our fundamental respect for human life.
Bush is attempting something similar in Iraq. "Plymouth, Iraq," a friend calls it. Liberals like to talk about the "root causes" of terrorism but they don't seem to have any plan for addressing those "root causes," other than rewarding terrorists and terrorist-harboring states by paying them great sums from the US Treasury and perhaps sacrificing several million Israelis in the interests of goodwill.
I think there are two clocks counting down simultaneously. One measures how long it will take the Islamist world to shake itself out of its current pathology of psychopathic slaughter. The other measures how long it will be before an Islamist-leaning country gets the bomb. Well, the first clock has a while to go, and the second clock is three minutes to midnight. (Past midnight, actually, if you count Pakistan, which we probably should.)
Bush needed to speed up the first clock. He is attempting to show the Muslim world a better way, a way of progress, prosperity, and respect for human life, rather than a way of resentment, "humiliation," and racist mass-murder. I do not know if Bush's way will work-- let's face it, the optimistic projections of two years ago have been fairly well rubbished.
But I do know we need to do something, to try something. If we do not, then I'm afraid that one day New York City will in fact be destroyed, and I will most likely be killed. And then, we will have little opportunity to address "root causes," which take decades to address even if you're game for the challenge. Our only option will be a return of nuclear fire the likes of which the world has never seen, and hopefully will not be seen again.
I am not heartened by Senator Kerry's promise that he will defend this country the moment after I am killed by a terrorist strike. I am not sanguine about his apparent need for perfect intelligence before taking action-- there is no such thing as perfect intelligence, except for when the attack actually comes. Only then can you retroactively guage your enemy's previous intentions with perfect precision.
But only after several thousand have died. Again.
I am not willing to wait. And furthermore, like George W. Bush, I am willing to make mistakes along the way, if those mistakes are likely to result in my survival. I don't wish to seem inhuman and unfeeling, but if we are in a state of war, cold, hot, cool, or whatever with a significant fraction of the world's population, there are going to be deaths. We didn't start this war; we would prefer it simply ended with a big group hug, as the liberals and Senator Kerry so devoutly wished. But if there are to be deaths, I am fairly strenuous on the proposition that those deaths should be, to the extent possible, suffered by non-Americans, and more specifically, by persons who are not me.
Senator Kerry, I don't want to die. And I'm not willing to die as some sort of moral tripwire, just so you don't have to face the moral dilemma of killing another without provocation. If killing on less-than-perfect-intelligence would give you nightmares, I'm afraid that's something you're just going to have to suffer.
But you have announced your refusal to make that sacrifice on your fellow Americans' behalf.
For Bush's steadfast and merciful leadership in the war on terror -- for his wise if not perfect stewardship on the economy -- and for his determination to keep democracy alive, with decisions made by the people's representatives, rather than councils of the wise -- I endorse him for re-election as President of the United States.
— Ace The man has no convictions, and he doesn't even have the courage of his non-convictions:
John Kerry's zeal in pursuing insurgents and terrorists was second to none in 1989, when he chaired the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations, and the bad guys were in Latin America. The subcommittee's report excoriated U.S. foreign-policy planners for failing to take the "drug war" seriously. Senator Kerry's letter of transmittal cautioned, "The United States has too often in the past allowed other foreign policy objectives to interfere with the war on drugs."
Today, Senator Kerry acknowledges that nuclear-armed terrorists are America's "single greatest threat" (although he and Senator Edwards are rightly exercised about Afghanistan's revived opium trade). So you have to stop and ask: Why doesn't Senator Kerry show the same enthusiasm for the war on terror that he showed for the war on drugs?
Granted, it wasn't all outrage at drug trafficking that motivated Senator Kerry; politics (are you shocked?) played a part. According to a Boston Globe biography of Kerry, the senator first became interested in investigating narcotics policy because of its connection to U.S. support for Nicaragua's Contras: "
he US was embroiled in another anti-communist crusade in a distant land, and Kerry was determined to prevent a repeat of Vietnam."
The Kerry Report advocated the State Department exercise tighter control of visas from suspect countries. It also favored giving the president extraordinary powers to sanction trafficking nations, for example by prohibiting aircraft from suspect countries from landing or prohibiting ships that have stopped in their ports from unloading in the U.S. for 60 days. The report even recommended allowing the president to sanction uncooperative drug-producing countries by "denying or limiting non-immigrant visas to nationals of any such nation."
After September 11, Senator Kerry has yet to recommend a similar crackdown on visas or vessels from nations with links to terror. During the September 30 debate, Kerry criticized President Bush for failing to inspect containers entering American ports, but for some reason he never thought to advance the same severe measures for securing our ports from nuclear weapons that he once advocated for stopping drug traffickers.
Read the whole thing.
What's Andrew Sullivan going to do when he finds out John Kerry wants to crack down on his Ecstasy suppliers?
Oh, wait. That's mostly domestically synthesized. Never mind.
— Ace This video -- especially the sound -- gives you an idea of the terrifying risks our boys are facing.
The media thinks they're better than I am. These guys are better.
— Ace Note: This post was made sticky-- accidentally, actually, and it seems to be staying at the top of the queue, for reasons I don't quite get. There are new posts coming in below, though.
Alas, the fundraising drive continues, but I have to say I am extraodinarily grateful for everyone's response so far. I got a little behind on thank-you notes -- yahoo has this strange tendency to occasionally post new messages back three or four pages into the queue, plus a lot of people donated -- but, until I do write you a letter of appreciation, let me say thank you, as a general matter.
A couple of donors aren't getting a thank you right away, because their email screener keep bouncing my attempts to them. I have to ask permission to respond. But I'll do that.
— Ace Just reminding you.
Look, if we win, then I get to use the headline just suggested to me by Carin: "Why the Long Face, Senator?"
Is that funny? I don't know if it's so much funny as true.
Please. I want to use that damn headline. If I can't use that damn headline, I just might quit blogging altogether.
— Ace DRUDGE BLARE:
FLASH 10.29.04 11:36:56 ET /// Soldier to brief reporters at Pentagon within the hour that he was tasked with removing explosives from al QaQaa and he and his unit removed 200+ tons... Officer was ordered to join the 101st airborne on April 13 -- to destroy conventional explosives at the al QaQaa complex... Developing...
MAJOR: WE REMOVED 200+ TONS OF EXPLOSIVES FROM FACILITY
New York Times, how does it feel to be Drudge's bitch?
Let me put it in terms that even your moronic publisher (who couldn't get into a top college, despite tens of millions of dollars and family connections out the wazoo):
You, Coyote. Bush, Roadrunner. Lame October Surprise: one ACME rocket and pair of ACME roller skates, plus a big ACME slingshot and ACME Roadrunner-decoy-robot.
Douchebag says what?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
— Ace Sweet:
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in the third quarter of 2004, according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 3.3 percent.
I kinda don't want this guy around, because he scares Kim Richards (and who could blame her?), but conservatism is nothing if not a respect for tradition, so:
October 28, 2004
— Ace Reading Kausfiles, I came across this interesting link:
I approve of [the Economists' endorsement of Kerry]--though it's always a shaky moment in these non-peacenik endorsements when the writer tries to convince himself or herself that Kerry won't bail out on Iraq prematurely, isn't it? (Kerry has been "forthright about the need to win in Iraq," but do you trust him and if so why? Because Andrew Sullivan's blogging will keep him honest?) ...
What on earth could he man by that last question? Did Andrew Sullivan actually suggest that he'd keep Kerry focused like a laser on victory in Iraq?
It couldn't be. It just could not be. Not even someone as obviously vain and solipsistic as the Shrill Shill could possible suggest something like that.
Then again: Maybe he could after all.
John Kerry speaks, not unfairly, of George W. Bush's habits of denial. But Kerry himself is in denial. He is in denial about the United Nations. He is in denial about the Australian election that returned to office for an unprecedented fourth term its prime minister who has been, with his country, a pillar of the Iraq coalition. He is in denial about Japan, whose government, unlike Germany's and France's, does not carp at the United States. He is in denial about Afghanistan, where, for the first time in history, men and women, riding on donkeys and walking barefoot across great distances, have exercised the right to choose those who govern them. He is in denial about Iraq itself. The Jordanian daily Al Ra'i recently called Moqtada Al Sadr's apparent retreat from armed struggle "a farewell to arms" that is as politically significant as the establishment of the provisional authority. Has Kerry come close to recognizing this? Has he acknowledged that the Bush administration has negotiated with nato a plan to send, starting in November, up to 3,000 soldiers to train Iraqi troops? These soldiers will be under the command of General David Petraeus, who is mustering the military might and political will to retake much of the Sunni triangle. Many Iraqis now have second thoughts about opposing the coalition. Even the BBC has said as much. But Kerry hasn't.
Sounds pretty damning. What's Sullivan's response?
Yes, there's denial on both sides. Whose is more dangerous? That's the question. And if Kerry wins, he can expect to be subjected to relentless scrutiny from pro-war types like Marty and, ahem, your humble blogger.
Ah. I see. Sullivan is now making the case to "independent eagles" that it's safe to vote for Kerry -- despite his profoundly McGovernite worldview -- because, after all, Andrew Sullivan and his scary-important blog will make the world safe for democracy.
Is Ecstacy a hallucinogen? How about a euphoric? It's both, right?
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