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Saturday, November 29, 2003
By Steven Taylor

The dead tree version of the WSJ reported on Wednesday the 26th:

The Commerce Department reported that profits at American companies rose 30% in the third quarter, compared with a year earlier. That was the largest one-year growth in profits in 19 years and was enough to lift the annual pace of profits above the $1 trillion for the first time i history.

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By Steven Taylor

Wal-Mart kicks things off

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said that sales at its U.S. stores grew 6.3 percent to a record $1.52 billion on the day after Thanksgiving, up from $1.43 billion on the same day a year earlier.

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By Steven Taylor

Dean Esmay has an excellent post on the issue of Bush and military funerals.

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By Steven Taylor

I wish I had seen this prior to this week’s Toast-O-Meter–it would have been a perfect link fr Mr. Kucinich.

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By Steven Taylor

I am exceptionally weary of this kind of argument:

Mobile lawyer Jim Zeigler filed the suit on behalf of Christian talk show host Kelly McGinley of Mobile, who alleges that she has been “disenfranchised” as a voter by the removal of Moore. The Court of the Judiciary expelled Moore for his refusal to obey a federal court order to move his Ten Commandments monument from the state Judicial Building rotunda.

If an elected official is removed through legitimate means, it is not disenfranchisement. If the cops show up and threaten to beat you up if you try to vote, that’s disenfranchisement, or if you aren’t allowed to vote because of your gender, that’s disenfranchisment.

If an elected official is impeached and removed, recalled, or removed through some other legal/constitutional means, that isn’t disenfranchisement.

If you failed to register, that’s your fault, not the state’s.

If you are late and the polls are closed, again the fault is yours.

If you can’t read the ballot, and therefore you’re not sure who you voted for, guess what?

If your candidates loses a really, really close election, and all the recounts go against you, your candidate lost, believe it or not.

And the list goes on…

Source: Pryor objects to Moore suit

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By Steven Taylor

N. Z. Bear reports some SiteMeter chicanery and is threatening suspensions.

The Commissar has the goods.

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By Steven Taylor

Interesting: Move Over Starbucks, Juan Valdez Is Coming

The Colombian Coffee Federation, which represents more than 500,000 Colombian coffee growers, is planning to open its first coffee shops – all bearing the name Juan Valdez, after the federation’s signature character – in the United States by early 2004. Gabriel Silva, the president of the federation, which is based in Bogotá, says the coffee growers have been “too passive” in claiming a larger piece of the $8.4 billion specialty coffee industry.

“In a cup of coffee that you get at a coffee shop, between 1 and 2 cents goes back to the farmer,” Mr. Silva said, referring to Colombian growers. “We need to build our own solutions and take the destiny in our hands and really fight for our share of the industry.”

[...]

By selling its own coffee at its own coffee shops, the federation, which represents both small and large coffee growers, plans to return 4 to 5 cents for each cup of coffee sold. Each of the federation’s 560,000 farmers will also have an ownership stake in the shops, Mr. Silva said. The profits from the retail operation will go back to the federation, which said it would put marketing dollars behind the Juan Valdez brand and work to improve Colombia’s coffee-growing regions by building roads, schools, health centers and housing.

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By Steven Taylor

I would have to concur with BeldarBlog

If you “get” the President, if you understand what drives him, then this is so much in character that you say to yourself afterwards, “Duh, I shoulda expected him to want to eat his Thanksgiving turkey with the troops, and I wish I coulda been there.”

I consider The Visit to be something fully within the President’s personality and character. However, since his pesonality is part of what rubs the left the wrong way, I expect that this trip will annoy them greatly.

Hat tip: Reductio Ad Absurdum Blog

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By Steven Taylor

The after-action analysis on The Visit by Bush to Iraq is predictable: With Iraq Trip, an Afterglow, but Uncertain Aftermath. The issues seem to be 1) will this improve the situation militarily in Iraq and 2) will it help Bush politically?

I would submit that neither was the main purpose of the trip. Is is not possible that Bush sincerely wanted to make a symbolic gesture to thank the troops? I think that it is.

I do think that there is a hope in the White House that this will improve morale, and hence improve the general situation on the ground. And there is no doubt that Karl Rove and Co. see the political advantage of the trip. Indeed, it is foolish to think that any President and his staff fail to see the political implications of everything that they do.

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Friday, November 28, 2003
By Steven Taylor

It’s always great to see those fighting for social justice and the defenseless exploiting, well, the defenseless: Marxist Rebels Hail Tourist Kidnap Success

Colombian rebels who kidnapped seven foreign backpackers in September have hailed it as a propaganda victory and said they aim to free their remaining five young hostages soon.

“This has been one of the best political operations we have carried out for years in the northern coast of Colombia,” said Dairo Martinez, a local commander of the National Liberation Army, or ELN, in an interview with Reuters in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

At least they are planning to release the hostages.

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