Saturday, March 23, 2002
Romney 2008? That's Patrick Ruffini's thought for Dubya's replacement. Let's get Romney into the statehouse before we get him in the White House. It would be hard for a abortion-rights backer to get the nomination. I don't have any polls in front of me, but let's break down the GOP as follows-35% hard-core pro-lifers, 40% mild anti-abortionist and 25% pro-choice. A abortion rights backer has to pitch a near-shutout on the 65% of the party that would consider voting for him. Colin Powell could have a shot at it, but Romney doesn't have the gravitas of Powell. Simon with a good 1.5 terms would be a possibility, as would Jeb. I keep thinking Steve Largent, who's running for Oklahoma governor, might be a playa with 1.5 terms in come 2008. He's may be more conservative that Patrick might like, but he's smart, personable and can go over the middle. This all assumes that VP Rice doesn't have the nomination sewed up.
Indiana 81-KSU 69. Nice while it lasted.
Maybe we can put the riot to rest- It's still sinking in, Kent State's a win away from the Final Four. Eileen and I are experiencing very rare bit of acrimony, as she spent the first decade of her life in northern Indiana and is a IU fan. I'm debating whether to watch the game with her at 7PM or to slap a tape in and watch it later. Maybe after the next week, people will think of Trevor Huffman or Stan Heath rather than Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young when they hear "Kent State." People of a certain age (or recent history buffs) think of what happened there on May 4, 1970. Kevin's one of them (somehow I missed this bon mot last week). What the historically literate call "Kent State", KSU denizens call "May Fourth." The campus takes 12-2 off for a memorial service on May 4th each year. My second May 4th in Kent in 1992 was notable. My best friend from high school on had died the day before in an accident. It was mid-morning on the 4th when Dave's sister Ellen called me with the news. I was teaching a noon Portfolio Theory class that was cancelled due to the memorial, which was fortuitous because I wasn't in any shape to teach at noon. I had shaken off the grief enough to teach my 2:30 basic Financial Management class. My Real Jukebox is on random play, and just called up Madness' "One Step Beyond"- fitting for a March Madness post. The contents are about 85% Christian, but I've got an eclectic collection of pop stuff, too.
Goin' South? I might be bringing Jeb two votes for November. I had a good telephone interview with the business school chair at Warner-Southern College yesterday. I don't want to get too cocky about it, since Dr. Wiseman might be Googling me. After this story that Kevin posted, one should be circumspect about what you post. However, the interview went very well and it seems like a good fit. The school's evangelical (Church of God-Anderson affiliated) and is located in Lake Wales, a half-hour south of Da Mouse on US-27. UCF in Orlando and USF in Tampa would be commutable for Eileen to finish off her MA in English and for me to beef up my math and econ skills. I've dreamed of teaching at a small Christian college with a research university within driving distance; this might be it.
Minianimation Festival-I get a kick out of the animated icons over at Samizdata- the one that tickled me this morning was the cartoon-cursing red dot in a malfunctioning mail server post. Is there a good name, other than "cartoon cursing," for that stream of Shift-Number characters that is universally used to signify generic expletives in a cartoon dialog bubble?
The Check-out Lane I remember an old novelty song circa 1970, "Saturday Morning Confusion", about a harried dad on the weekend. Possumblog's living it, with a modern soccer-dad twist. [Update-Google Rides Again-Bobby Russell- 1971-made it to #28] James Haney joins the growing ranks of what Democrats will call Mitt's Twits with a appreciation of Romney and a backing away from libetarian darling Carla Howell. Flint native Rand Simburg goes to great lengths to point out that Chunkybutt grew up not in Flint but the exurb of Davidson and was a anal orifice even as a teen. Stand tall, Rand. After giving us Moore and Don Reigle, Flint recovered to give us the MSU Flintstones (Cleaves, Charlie Bell, MoPete) as well as Glenn Rice, Jim Abbott, Andre Rison and Rick "the guts and glue of the Maize and Blue" Leach.
Quip du jour-"64 teams start the tournament. 63 will end their season with a loss."-anon. Edifier du jour-"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up." Romans 15:1-2
Friday, March 22, 2002
Am I a Carpetbagger in this Reconstruction? Kathy Kinsley and Glenn Reynolds are trying to associate conservative Christians with Restorationists/Reconstructionists. Neither makes the accusation directly. Here’s Kinsley gambit
I can see Rand's point, but I will only vote for religiously moderate Republicans. They do exist, despite the continuing efforts of Christian Reconstructionist sympathizers to take over the Republican Party.How come I hear “I have here a list of 32 known Reconstructionist sympathizers in the GOP” coming from that paragraph? Reynolds links to a Reason (natch) article on Gary North, one of the big guns of the Reconstructionist movement. If anyone deserves the Taliban label on the Christian right, it’s these guys. They want to gradually restore Old Testament law, including stoning adulterers and homosexuals and bringing back slavery. Here's a Baptist-oriented piece on the Reconstruction movement and a good, but left-slanted, piece on the movement and how it may have influenced the Religious Right. However, this is a small minority in evangelical circles. In 16 years of hanging out in various evangelical circles, I have met a grand total of one (count ‘em) Gary North fan. They may travel in evangelical circles and be an active part of conservative causes, but they don’t represent the evangelical community. My McCarthy riff on Kinlsey’s comments may have been a bit over the top, but it's a trick of long standing on both sides of the aisle to associate your opponent with the most disagreeable element of his coalition. The even slicker trick in the guilt-by-association gambit is pointing out where your foe and the nut cases agree on things. The antidote for the trick is pointing out the differences. The key difference is that Restorationsts have a post-millennial theology, meaning that there will be a 1000-year reign of the Church prior to Jesus' return. A plurality of evangelicals will have a pre-millennial view, expecting Jesus to come and set up his kingdom himself. Post-millennial theology places more stress on improving the world and leads post-millennialists like Pat Robertson (who could be loosely described as a fellow traveler with the Restorationsts) to place more focus on improving government. The pre-millennialist will be more fatalistic about politics, seeing the world irretrievably going to Hell in a hand-basket and are motivated to save as many souls as they can before the Rapture comes and the manure hits the fan for those left behind. Even most post-milliennalists or amillennialists would disagree with reestablishing Old Testament law. It's always a good conversation starter to ask what parts of the Old Testament are still binding today; the vast majority of evangelicals wouldn't be interested in bringing back stoning for adultery or dissing your parents. The dispensational view (IIRC) would be that the Law was for the pre-Jesus era, and the redemptive power of the cross trumps the Law for the modern believer. I may agree with Reconstructionists in looking to ban most abortions (life-of-mom exception) and to pass laws encouraging marriage and looking to avoid encouraging and subsidizing extra-marital sex, but stoning adulterers isn't on my agenda. Even if Kevin, Louder and I were a three-man Council of Augustinian Mullahs, R. Kelly and Andrew Sullivan could take home their sex partner of choice for the evening, but shouldn't expect our government to subsidize those relationships outside of marriage. They also shouldn't expect schools to tell kids that their behavior is just as good as a monogamous married couple's. Other than abortion, drugs, statutory rape, child porn and prostitution, conservatives aren't looking to criminalize behavior, but to avoid governmental actions that subsidies or fail to discourage immoral behavior. "The Handmaiden’s Tail" was a popular book amongst liberals, creating a theocratic dystopia where some women were breeding slaves. Remember that it is fiction, not prophecy. If conservatives were running things, life would go on pretty much as it does today for the libertines in society, with the exception that they'll have more problems getting an abortion and would have to be more careful avoiding "jail bait." The only other downside that comes to mind would be that some reproductive-based biotech would be shelved and the biotech sector might grow a bit slower than otherwise. If that's what you're giving up by voting Republican, look at the disrespect for non-sexual liberties the liberals represent. Is prudish dynamism a worse evil that sexually-permissive statism? Discuss amongst yourselves. [update 3/25 My apologies to Mr. Kelly. I was thinking of a heterosexual who was quick with the ladies. Sean [insert current nom de playa] Combs was on my mind, but R. Kelly came out on the keyboard. Kelly started out raunchy but has cleaned up his act recently. Louder's already used the original quote, so an apology will have to do.]
Don't get desensitized-Over in Israel, the near-daily bombings and shootings are starting to blur into one large mosaic of carnage. There was two of them in the news yesterday. I'm reminded of the Lebanese civil war, where bombings in Beirut were commonplace. In that era, there was a Libyan-sponsored attack on a GI-frequented West Berlin disco. The news didn't register at first, since my mind heard West Beirut (tune out-bombings aren't news anymore) rather than West Berlin. The defense mechanism is to mentally write off the carnage. If the terrorists can't inspire terror, they'll settle for a numbed apathy. I'm not in the mood to be a zombie.
Candidate for Tushnet's Rejected Slogans-"Help the mentally handicapped-vote for a Democrat."
It's 12:30AM, Am I Dreaming? Kent State 78-Pittsburgh 73. To the best of my knowledge, this is the deepest a MAC team has gone in the tourney.
Quip du jour-"It's not the size of the dog in the fight that counts, it's the size of the fight in the dog"-anon. Edifier du jour-But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."-I Samuel 16:7
Thursday, March 21, 2002
Duke of Hurl-One of the crazier endings of a game I've seen. Duke's down four, 11 seconds left. They launch a quick three, miss, then Jason Williams gets the rebound and makes a three with 4.6 left while being fouled. A free-throw would set up OT, but he misses. Duke get the rebound but misses the putback. Thank you, IU, for setting a pick for the Golden Flashes. We took you last year, we'll take you again.
The Gorilla in Manilla- Watching the Pistons-Suns game. It's 23-23 at the end of one. Muhammad Ali's in the house. The Phoenix Gorilla gets boxing gloves and Apollo Creed trunks and is play-boxing with Da Champ.
Vocabulary Expansion I've started to get responses to the Finance Professor applications. One of the schools has scheduled a telephone interview tomorrow afternoon and another sent a nice letter asking for an essay-"Please give a brief description of your experiences and andragogy and how it will integrate with the mission and core values of the College..." OK, once I figure out what the heck andragogy is. Try my Webster's New World. No such luck. Try the hernia-inducing two-volume World Book dictionary. Nada. Try the online dictionary that got meme when others were stuck. Nope. When all else fails, try Google. Bingo. It's the science of Adult Ed. Another site that Google cached pointed out that the standard term for the science of teaching is pedagogy, with the child root that we get pediatrician and pedophile from. Making it an adult thing morphs it into andragogy. If your not careful, you might just learn something. The Check-out Lane Andrew Sullivan's got a pair of Bellicose Catholic Women, Eve Tushnet and Amy Wellborn, performing a stereo vivisection of his latest liberal Catholic rants. Louder Fenn's already put in a plug, but it's worth another. I had 'em on my "blog this when I get home" 3-by-5 card, but he beat me to it. Kevin's got a good response to libertarians who are reluctant Republicans on the moral-issues front. I've be weighing in on that this weekend. While your over at Mr. Fenn's, check out his sleepless night's musings. George Will has an interesting piece on the Nebraska and Maine electoral vote system, where instead of putting up all the electors winner-take-all state-wide, they elect two electors statewide and then each congressional district gets an elector. California's looking to move that direction. I'll have an essay on that topic sometime this weekend. John Ellis has a nice piece on Mitt Romney. USA Today has a good article on the Florida Gubernatorial race and how Janet Reno may not get the nomination. The Pistons and Kent State are on, I'm outa here for now.
More on the Instant Runoff System-Both Sneaking Suspicions and Capt. Clueless have chimed in on the issue. Fritz Schranck over at the Sneak is uneasy-"Something doesn’t feel right, though." The proposal was likely passed in San Francisco by establishment liberals afraid of being outflanked on the left. Picture a tight race between a leftist and a moderate with some whacked-out Naderite polling well as a protest candidate. Let's say that its 48% centrist, 44% liberal and 8% Sister Boom-Boom. The Naderite vote would then go the the liberal on the second go-round, blocking the centrist candidate. Liberals would prefer to avoid having the Green Party take away protest votes and help swing close elections to the Republicans, like the 2000 Presidental race where Nader is blamed for tipping the election to Bush. This will work for the Republicans when protest candidates on the right get in the way. Back in '97, pro-life Libertarian candidate Murray Sabrin polled 4.7%, nearly costing Chrisitne Whitman a second term in a 47-46 race. In the 1994 Pennsylvania Governor's race, pro-life protest candidate Peg Luksik got 13% of the vote, nearly costing Tom Ridge the election. In fact, while driving into Pittsburgh to do reseach that year, I heard the Democrat, Mark Singel, running ads on Christian radio pointing out that both he and Ridge were pro-choice and Luksik was the only real pro-life candidate in the race, egging the listeners into a protest vote. In both cases, the moderate Republican won, but there are likely other races where third parties threw the election off-kilter. This instant-runoff plan will allow third parties to develop and possibly start to challange to nudge past one of the big two parties for a spot in the second round. My libertarian readers in the crowd could vote their conscience and then hold their nose and vote Republican. I don't see the downside to this, except that the current climate has the Greens playing spoiler more often than the Libertarians or the Constitution Party.
Canadian Alliance Under New Management-Steven Harper surprised a lot of pundits with a first-round win, beating former party leader Stockwell Day 55-37. People had been expecting a closer race. Harper will have to heal the party's wounds from a nasty campaign where he was seen as unfriendly to the evangelical backers of Day. The media seem to like Harper, but how long will it be before the same fundi-bashing games get played with Harper? He wasn't much to the left of Day on most issues and probably won't be getting good press for long. The fun part now is where will Harper serve from. Harper's a former Reform PM and isn't in parliament currently. The Calgary riding of newly retired Reform founder Preston Manning is the most likely option, but they'll have to elbow aside Ezra Levant, the current Alliance candidate.
Quip du jour-"When the law's against you, argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. When both are against you, call the other guy names"-anon. Edifier du jour-"He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished." Proverbs 17:5 (don't worry, the 20th hijacker will get his in due time)
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Veto it, Dubya-Shays-Meehan passed 60-40. Here's the Wall of Shame of the 10 Republicans who voted for it- Collins, Cochran, Chafee, Domenici, Lugar, McCain , Snowe, Spector, Thompson, Warner. Cochran is the one I don't get. The moderates make up most of the list. Thompson's other odd duck, but he's danced to his own band for a while. [Correction-make that 11-I missed Fitzgerald-Thumbs up to Breaux and Nelson for breaking ranks from the Dark Side]
The Check-out Lane Dr. Weevil has a solid in-depth piece on gerrymandering. I'm new to his site, but it looks like a keeper and a strong permalink candidate. Two good essays over at Samizdata-Perry has a good riff on British nationalism versus Contenental nativism, whiele Dale Amon has a good take on Islam and WWIV. Blithering Idiot supplies a good Joe Bob Briggs piece on recent priestly sexual misdeeds. Beauty of Gray comes off of hiatus swinging with a good essay on Israel and what do do with the West Bank.
How the South Saved Civilization- I wasn’t asking Possumblog’s Terry Oglesby to write the piece, I was positing a future essay I’d write, although the story about Oglesby’s dog Civ is touching. The title overstates things a little, but I was thinking of the recent book “How the Irish Saved Civilization.” Its hypothesis (I’ve read about it, but haven’t read it) was that when the Roman Empire fell, it was the Irish church that hung on to its civilized Christian roots and slowly began to reintroduce the church to the rest of Europe. Likewise, there are a number of key features of Southern culture (at least what I know about it from a distance as a Michigan guy) that made the advances of the 20th century possible. One key feature that helped the 20th century was the pro-military bent of Southern culture. The South produced a disproportionate share of soldiers and officers for both World Wars and in the Cold War era. A strong sense of honor, a tradition of marksmanship learned via hunting made young Southerners willing to go to war. A warrior tradition that had Confederate heroes such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson (and on the dark side, Nathan Bedford Forrest) added to the mix. Southern military colleges such as VMI and The Citadel produced a steady flow of officers to run the US Army. Winning the wars of the 20th century would have been a lot tougher without the sons of the South. The second key feature is the South as the Bible Belt. The South was less prone to theological liberalism than the North. A quick list of the major American heterodox sects finds that most of them came from the North. Mormonism started in New York, Christian Science and Unitarianism started in New England and Jehovah’s Witnesses started in Pittsburgh. In contrast, the Southern churches kept the faith and send thousands of missionaries around the world, extending both the Word of God and American values around the globe, as well as bringing that faith north to a society that needed the extra boost of Biblical values. The third key feature is the South’s political conservatism. There’s a sense of self-reliance and reliance on neighbors that looks down upon a big, intrusive government. There might be some racist overtones to this independence, as part of that big federal government’s job was taking apart Jim Crow, but the conservatism seems to go deeper than that. This has allowed the US to have a smaller government than Europe. Without the South, American politics and economics would look more like Canada’s, more amoral and more socialist. The fourth key feature is the struggle for equality. The detractors of the South will head to Jim Crow and the Klan as the main counts of their indictment. However, the fight to get rid of Jim Crow produced leaders that inspired the world. The black church grew a batch of stoic, patient leaders who pricked the conscience of the world with their peaceful protests during the civil rights movement. While we have a long ways to go in bringing blacks up to economic parity, we’ve come a long way as well. Other countries have learned that we can bridge racial differences with prayer and grit and can take Martin Luther King and others as role models for a changing the bigotry of a society. The US, and the world, would be a worse place if it weren’t for the positive influences of the South. [update 3/22 -A good daughter of the South-the Spinster Lee Ann Morawski noted that Forrest's first name was Nathan, not William as I had down originally. He founded the KKK-She doesn't like Forest but is a good fact-checker]
All Hits, All the Time-Added a hit counter. I spotted the CQ one on Kyle Still's site, and liked what they were providing. It'll be interesting to see what traffic I'm getting and from where.
Bragging on the Pistons-It's been over a decade since the Pistons have been this good. After last night's win over Utah, they're three games up on Milwaukee in the Central Division and only 2.5 games back of New Jersey for the Eastern Conference lead, after a slow-fingered timer in Cleveland let the Cavs beat the Nets last night. Who'd of thought in October that Slotman and I could be trading trash in May over who'll win the East. New Jersey has a better two-man combo of Kidd and Van Horn, but Detroit counters with a killer nine-deep rotation. Stackhouse is turning in to a leader, Ben Wallace makes Rodman look like a wuss in the paint and Big Nasty and Jon Barry lead the Bench Brigade. More basketball fun than I've had in a while.
Italy-Politics by Other Means-A key labor ministry aide, Marco Biagi, was assassinated yesterday, seemingly by leftists upset with his plans to deregulate the labor markets. This act was in my mind as I read this Pete DuPont essay on European socialist elitism. Socialism is the new religion in Europe, and a member of the (dare I say it) socialist al Qaeda rose up and killed the infidel. Berlusconi is Public Enemy #1 to the Euroweenies, a billionaire media tycoon who loves America and is arguably the best ambassador for the Anglosphere on the Continent.
Random Groggy Musings San Francisco did something right for a change-they approved an instant runoff system that was up for a vote on the March 5th primary ballot. This would allow voters to list a second and third choice on their ballots. If no one gets 50%, the lowest vote getter is thrown out and his voter's ballots are checked for their next choices. Australia and Ireland use comparable systems. This will allow people to cast a vote for a third party without "throwing their vote away" and may lead to stronger third parties since they can grow in popularity and still allow their voters to vote for one of the two big parties. Third parties might even become one of the big two and win a few seats if they catch on. Got a permalink from Next Right-thanks. Possumblog was taken aback by my "high-tech redneck" (borrowing from a mid-90s George Jones song title) remarks. The man's a true man of the South and mastermind of the Axis of Weevil as he was offended by the high-tech part. This is a gentleman of the good south, where the small pleasures like good churches, good ribs and pretty girls (not necessarily in that order) are still appreciated. Upcoming essay-"How the South saved civilization."
Quip du jour-"It is easier to tear something down than to build something up."-anon. Edifier du jour-The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." --Romans 13:9
Tuesday, March 19, 2002
The Check Out Lane- Two good NRO pieces- Derb has an excellent piece on Ireland and Jonah gives the Palestinians both barrels and reloads Lee Bockhorn in the Weekly Standard on a America-loving left. There's an essay there, but not tonight. Ben Domenech breaks down a flap between Democratic Governor Warner and Republican AG Kilgore over redistricting and who's Kilgore's suppose to serve. More March Madness Trash Talk from Preston and Cornett Rand Simberg planning to sic the Corps of Engeneers on the killer comet scenerio
Swift Exit-Massachusetts governor Jane Swift dropped out of the governor's race today, as polls were showing her getting beat like a stepchild by Mitt Romney in the Republican primary. Swift was stinking up the joint so bad, there was a shot that the Libertarian candidate could outpoll her. Romney's a bit too centrist for my taste, which makes him perfect for the genetically-liberal Massachusetts (our best doctors are working on it, someday there will be a cure), especially as the Democrats head to the left.
"Release the Hounds! But wait until June first to spread out the cap hit"- In another blow against the English aristocracy, the House of Commons voted to ban hunting with dogs on Monday. The non-binding vote was to instruct committees how to go about crafting a bill on the topic, and was a "free vote" in that there wasn't a party line on the vote. This coupled with the reform of the House of Lords to take power away from hereditary peers and give it to appointed life peers who wags christened "Tony's Cronies" may mark the beginning of the end for the British nobility.
Quip du jour-"I certainly wouldn't want to join any organization that would be willing to have me as a member"-Groucho Marx Edifier du jour-“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” -Matthew 18:20 Groaner du jour- There were two brother boil weevils. One was notorious, eating lots of cotton. The other one didn't do much, and was thus known as the lesser of the two weevils.
Monday, March 18, 2002
The Check-out Lane Good NRO piece by Dave Curtin on the race to suceed Mike Harris as Ontario premier. The Kolkata Liberatarian gives a killer linkset on an ongoing debate on the meaning of the Anglosphere. Bryan Preston (Maryland) of Junkyard Blog and Susanna Cornett (Kentucky) of Cut on the Bias trade trash about the upcoming Sweet Sixteen game. Any Pittsburgh fans I can get angry by talking up Kent State's longest active winning streak in the country? Possumblog in general-He's got the high-tech redneck tongue-in-cheek going down. Just scroll down and have some fun.
To Infinity and Beyond- Catholic blogger Eve Tushnet tries to dialog with Randroids over at her daughter-blog Questions for Objectivists. Interesting, if sometimes maddening, reading. A recent sequence had her looking at the infinity of God. I remember hearing a piece a few years ago on the history of infinity; most of the mathematicians that tackled the issue would up going crazy in the process. One maddening thought is that all infinities are not created equal. For instance, there are an infinite number of integers, and a larger (some thinkers will disagree) infinity of real numbers. Here's my case. First, let's limit the real numbers to cents. Moving from 1 to 2 will have but one integer but 100 cent possibilities. An "near infinite" string N long will have 100N cent numbers. This I would make the case that the cent string has 100 times more numbers than the integer string, even if both are infinitely long. The cent string has an higher order of infinity, as this site would phrase it. God can be infinite without including all things. The creator isn’t part of creation, having an higher order of infinity. God exists outside of the physical universal yet interacts with it. The word transcendent comes to mind, as he’s beyond both space and time. When introducing himself to Moses, God used the stage name I Am, Yahweh in Hebrew, which is translated “the LORD” (all caps) in most English Bibles. He can be anywhere, anywhen he wants. Jesus harkened to this in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” The Randian mind trick tries to force the Christian into either a pantheistic or atheistic answer; “If God isn’t everything, he’s not infinite, and if he isn’t infinite, he’s not God.” If he is everything, you get pushed into a Hinduesque pantheism, where the Shirley McClains of the world can holler “I am God” with a straight face. I remember Frank Peretti riffing on a vision of God looking down on her; “Hey, Gabriel, Michael, [snicker], check this out.” That's because God's dealing with a higher order of infinity than the Randians want to deal with. Paul riffed on the transcendence of God in Romans 8-38:39-
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.You can run, fly or teleport, but you can't hide.
Quick Thank You-Thanks to Bill Kirtley for finding some bad links. Busy day at work-catch y'all after dinner.
Portugal Moves to the Right-One less Euroweenie, as the center-right Social Democrats and Popular Parties squeaked in as the likely new government. The SD leader, Jose Barroso, ran on a tax-cutting and privatization platform. With right-of-center governments in Spain and Italy, the Mediterranean is turning into a conservative playground. May the meme spread north. [Update-It looks like the proper surname for the prospective PM is Durao Barroso. For geographic consistancy, change Mediterranean to Southern Europe, since Portugal is on the Atlantic side of the Iberian Peninsula]
Quip du jour-"...it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Shakespeare (MacBeth) (Freely use whenever certain columnists are allowed used of a keyboard) Edifier du jour-"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"-Romans 10:14-15 (Hang in there, you who delivers the Word via the ether)
Sunday, March 17, 2002
Meeting God Early-I'm not in a pithy mood tonight, but I do have the church attacks in Pakistan today on my mind . There were 18 killed at a Catholic church in Bahawalpur by gunmen and the bigger PR story of the 5 killed by grenades at a Protestant church in Islamabad, including two Americans. This shows the weakness of the militant Islamics, not their strength. They don't have the power to bring down the government, but they can make the government's life miserable. More on this tomorrow.
Lettuce Raise Prices-Yes, Mr. Fenn, there is a lettuce shortage. Bad weather in California and Arizona has cut the lettuce supply in the short term.
G-Rated C-SPAN2-No Gore in the Senate- In a move that improves the Democrats chances to keep the Senate, Tipper Gore decided not to run for the Senate. Bob Clement looks to be more centrist and thus more electable that Tipper. For all the press on her record labeling crusade of the late 80s, she’s a standard liberal like her husband. I did a Senate prediction piece in January, but looked at a lot less data. For different reasons than before, I’ll stick by my prediction of 51 Republicans in the Senate come January. Based on more data than I had in January, the Republicans should pick up three Democratic seats and lose one. I’d think 52 is more likely that 50, so make my morning over-and-under 51.5. Democrats Locks- Biden (Del), Kerry(Mass) , Rockefeller (WV) Strong Favorites-Durbin (IL), Harkin(IA), Levin(MI), Baucus(MT), Torricelli(NJ) Reed(RI) Favored-Cleland(GA),. Landrieu(LA) Iffy-Wellstone(MN), Carnahan(MO), Johnson(SD) Republicans Locks-Craig (ID), Roberts (KN), McConnell (KY), Collins( ME), Cochrane (MS), Hagel (NB), Enzi(WY) Strong Favorites-Domenici (NM), Dole (NC), Inhofe(OK), G. Smith(OR), Graham(SC),Warner(VA) Favored-Sununu(NH), Alexander(TN), Cornyn(TX) The Republicans need just one seat to take back the Senate. The Democrats won all the squeakers in 2000, it’s time for some of the luck to reverse. At this point, John Thune leads Tim Johnson in South Dakota, which is a promising sign for a challenger, albeit a challenger who runs statewide every two years. The races in Minnesota and Missouri are too close to call and the Republicans should pick up one of those two. Norm Coleman is the kind of Durenburgeresque moderate that Minnesota could send to the Senate, if he can note that Wellstone is like Bartlet in that they both have MS and they are both arch-liberals. Jean Carnahan will have to run as Senator rather than Widow; Jim Talent has an excellent chance of making her stay in DC short. Saxby Chambliss has a good shot of beating Max Cleland in Georgia if he runs a good campaign and makes the race a liberal-versus-conservative one and take the wheelchair-vet factor out of the loop. Likewise, John Cooksey has a shot at Mary Landrieu if he runs a solid campaign. The Democrats will be lucky to get away with only one loss in the five contested races, which means they have to steal one from the Republicans. Texas looks to be their best bet, if Ron Kirk can win some swing voters over to steal the seat from John Cornyn. However, he’ll have to make Cornyn look like Clayton Williams to do it. Not likely. With Tipper out of the Tennesee race, it looks like Bob Clement and Alexander the Plaid for Fred Thompson’s senate seat. Clement has a shot, but with two moderates running, the affable Alexander will most likely win. Clement might actually have a better shot at Alexander that Gore would. In New Hampshire, John Sununu the younger is favored to beat Sen Bob Smith in the primary and beat Gov. Jean Shaheen in the general. I don't see the Republicans losing any of those three seats, but a good campaign for Shaheen or Kirk or some faux pas from Sununu or Cornyn could bag the Democrats a seat. Alexander's big weak spots from his Presidential campaign days were some sweetheart-looking financial deals that would make great attack ad fodder. I'm assuming that lightning will strike in one of those three races.
Sudden-Death Tourney Check out the Global March Madness at Satire Wire-A true hoot. Japan deserved better than a 15 seed, but they'll take out the Surrender Monkeys in the first round. Thanks to Dispatches for the link.
Quip du jour-"On St. Patrick's Day, everyone's Irish"-anon Edifier du jour-Romans 9:20
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'"(A good companion to the anti-universalist essay from yesterday) Groaner du jour- "Irish Feminism-Erin Go Braghless"