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Friday, August 29, 2003
By Steven Taylor

Next time I play, I will be smart out of the rough, and instead of trying to get it all at once, and as as result, hitting a horrible shot, I will play out to the fairway.

I will, I will, I will.

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By Steven Taylor

Here’s an amusing, and telling, litany of quotation from Bill O’Reilly via Slate: Bill O’Reilly Wants You To Shut Up.

They certainly help illustrate why he isn’t taken seriously in many quarters, and why I rarely watch his program. Indeed, if I do watch any of it, it the from channel-flipping, not from deliberately tuning in.

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Thursday, August 28, 2003
By Steven Taylor

Rodney King sentenced to jail and treatment in DUI case

Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police officers sparked the Los Angeles riots of 1992, has been sentenced to drug treatment and jail for driving under the influence and reckless driving.

[...]

Police said King raced through an intersection in Rialto at more than 100 mph on April 13 before losing control of his new SUV, striking a utility pole, crashing into a fence and hitting a house. King, 38, of Rialto, suffered a fractured pelvis and cracked ribs.

Authorities said tests revealed he had a “significant amount” of the drug PCP in his system.

[...]

He had several run-ins with the law in the years that followed and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and four years probation in 1999 for spousal abuse. In 2001 he pleaded no contest to indecent exposure and being under the influence of PCP and was sentenced to a year in a drug treatment center.

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By Steven Taylor

Comments in the post below on Clark raise the following that is worth considering as well: since the adoption of the current primary system for nominating presidential candidates (in 1972) there has been no political neophyte (defined as not holding prior elected office) able to capture a major party nomination:

2000: Gov Bush v. VP Gore
1996: Pres Clinton v. Sen Dole
1992: Pres Bush v Gov Clinton
1988: VP Bush v. Gov Dukakis
1984: VP Mondale v. Pres Reagan
1980: Pres Carter v. Gov Reagan
1976: Pres Ford v. Gov Carter
1972: Pres Nixon v. Sen McGovern

and even before the modern primary system was established, you have to go back to 1952 (fifty years ago) and Dwight Eisenhower to find a political newcomer being nominated (and elected):

1968: Sen McCarthy (brain fade) VP Humphrey v. VP Nixon
1964: Pres Johnson v. Sen Goldwater
1960: VP Nixon v. Sen Kennedy
1956: Pres Eisenhower v. Gov Stevenson
1952: General Eisenhower v. Gov Stevenson

Now, before people say: “see! it was a GENERAL! It proves Clark has a significant shot!” let’s remember: being the victorious Supreme Commander of Allied Forces after World War II, and being a global hero, is a tad more impressive than being the commander of NATO who oversaw the Kosovo campaign. I am not denigrating General Clark’s career, but one has to admit, those are two rather different resumes.

And one can keep going:

1948: Pres Truman v. Gov. Dewey
1944: Pres FDR v. Gov Dewey

Then you get to 1940 and Republican nominee Wendell Wilkie, who was drafted from the business community to run against FDR. He lost.

In 1936 and 1932 it was Gov’s v Presidents.

In 1928 Herbert Hoover won the Presidency, despite not holding prior elected office, although he had served as Secretary of Commerce in both the Harding and Coolidge administrations and had other governmental service on his resume. He beat a Governor (Alfred Smith) in 1928, before being beaten by a Governor (FDR) in 1932.

This historical pattern, amongst several key other reasons, is why I am of the informed opinion that Clark is a longshot at best. Ther is no denying that he has an impressive military career, but that simply isn’t enough.

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By Steven Taylor

If true, and barring some dramatic turn of events with Dean and Co., he won’t get in:

Wesley K. Clark, the retired four-star general who has been contemplating a run for president, has told close friends that he wants to join the Democratic race and is delaying a final decision only until he feels he has a legitimate chance of winning the nomination.

“It’s safe to say he wants to run,” said a longtime friend who has had frequent political conversations with General Clark. “But he approaches this like a military man. He wants to know, Can I win the battle? He doesn’t want to have a situation where he could embarrass himself, but I’m absolutely certain he wants to run.”

Of course, a given potential candidate often sees his/her own chances differently than those on the outside. As I have argued before, his chances of winning the nomination are slim. And before I gets comments that say “you never know” and so forth, let’s look at some facts:

  • He has no natural consituency amongst Democratic primary voters.
  • He is waaaay behind in the money primary–how can he hope to catch up with Dean at this point, or compete with Kerry or Edwards who have personal fortunes to use, if need be?
  • He has not been battle-tested in the national spotlight. Yes, he was an analyst for CNN during the war (and provided a plethora of potential soundbite predicting the wrong outcomes early on), but he hasn’t been grilled on domestic policy issues at this point.
  • Much of the interest in him is predicated on the fact that no one knows much about him, and therefore can project whatever they want onto him.

    And, interesting:

    While General Clark has consistently maintained that he has not yet made up his mind, his friends said a major obstacle has been cleared — family approval. They said his wife, Gert, who had initially expressed reservations, now favors his running.

    Source: General Is Said to Want to Join ’04 Race

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  • By Steven Taylor

    There is a new collective, non-political blog in town, SportsBlog, to which I will be contributing (but haven’t yet, but, then again, I haven’t had much time the last day or so to put much up here).

    The project, which is still in its beta stage, more or less, was spearheded by Kevin Alyward of Wizbang! and Sean Hackbarth of The American Mind.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 2003
    By Steven Taylor

    CNN has an interesting profile of Roy Moore

    Something I didn’t know that surprised me:

    Moore moved to Texas where he trained as a full-contact karate fighter. He later spent several months in the Australian outback, wrangling wild cattle.

    Something I semi-knew that didn’t surprise me:

    He later served as a military policeman in Vietnam, where being a stickler for constant salutes and regulation haircuts in the midst of war almost made him a target of the men under him.

    “His policies damn near got him killed in Vietnam,” Barrey Hall, who served under Moore, told The Associated Press. “He was a strutter.”

    And, as you likely know, they moved monument.

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    By Steven Taylor

    The Carnival, installment #49, is at Creative Slips. The silver anniversary edition will at The Rhetorica Network, where your host will be Dr. Andrew Cline.

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    By Steven Taylor

    For those of you with interest in comics (and I know you’re out there–that fluffy post on the Hellblazer movie got more comments in a short period of time than practically any of my “serious” posts), there is an interesting little article in the NYT on Jack Kirby: Jack Kirby Heroes Thrive in Comic Books and Film

    My geeky observation is that while it is true that Kirby help create the X-Men, he didn’t create any of the ones cited in the piece: Storm, Colossus, Rogue or Wolverine. I mean, yeesh! Get with the program. But then again, it is the Times

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    By Steven Taylor

    Colombia’s leftist rebels unite | csmonitor.com

    Just as momentum is building for President Alvaro Uribe’s push to end Colombia’s four-decade civil war, the country’s two main leftist rebel groups have renewed their efforts to stop him.

    The 17,000-member Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the 5,000-member National Liberation Army (ELN) publicly declared on Monday that they had joined forces in their war against the government. Until the declaration, the ELN was thought to be amenable to a possible peace deal.

    You’d think they’d grow weary of fighting a stalemate for forty years…

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