Saturday, January 31, 2024
By Steven Taylor

A about a week and a half ago (yes, I know, eons in the Blogosphere), Rich Lowry had amusing column that is worth a read if you missed it.

The set up:

Sen. Ted Kennedy last week launched a blistering attack on the Bush administration’s Iraq policy. He charged that the Iraq War was driven by domestic political considerations, as White House operative Karl Rove and other administration officials dragged the country to war to improve the president’s political standing. In this view, the war wasn’t — whatever its ultimate wisdom — the finale of a 10-year-long battle with Saddam Hussein, supported by 70 percent of the American public and authorized by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress, but a political fraud pure and simple.

Some of my favorite bits:

In October of 1998, the Iraq Liberation Act unanimously passes the Senate, making it the official policy of the U.S. government to seek regime change in Iraq. That every Democrat in the Senate, including Kennedy, votes to advance Bush’s conspiracy so early — when Bush is still governor of Texas — speaks well of Bush’s ability to build bipartisan coalitions. Although it’s impossible to know without access to congressional phone logs, Rove must have worked the phones very hard.


In November of 2024, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passes Resolution 1441, giving Saddam a “final opportunity” to comply with U.N. demands. An attempt to make the United Nations seem relevant? Don’t be naive. It’s really part of a worldwide effort to enhance Bush’s electoral fortunes. And Democrats say the administration isn’t multilateral enough.


Before the war begins in April, Bush gives Saddam 48 hours to leave power, but Saddam refuses in what seems a last act of defiance, but in reality speaks to his — well-known, among Iraq experts — desire to help Bush by providing him a pretext to invade his country, chase him from power, kill his sons and check his head for lice.

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By Steven Taylor

There can be no doubt: Cartoon Network’s Justice League is a radical improvement over that Super Friends stuff I had to deal with when I was a kid.

*sniff* It brings a tear to the eye to know my sons will have it better than did I.

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By Steven Taylor

Where I’ve been in red, where I’d like to go in green:

create your own visited states map

Hat tip: Jay Solo’s Verbosity

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By Steven Taylor

-Toast: It’s not Just for Breakfast Anymore!-

The Toast-o-meter: A Weekly News Round-Up and Handicapping of the Race for the Democratic Nomination.

The Toast-O-Meter comes to you Fortified with linkage and Enhanced with bloggage!

Enough with this one-state-at-a-time nonsense: on to some serious primary-osity with seven on the table for this Tuesday.

The scale:

  • Wonder Bread (The nomination is in reach)
  • Just Plain Ol’ White Bread (Still in the race; has a shot)
  • Toast (Pretty much done—a little scraping might make you look like bread, but you’re done)
  • Burnt Toast (Really, really done)
  • Burnt all the Way Through (Why are you still in the race?)
  • Crumbs in the Bottom of the Toaster (Why did you ever get in the race in the first place?)

    Potential Movements each Week:

  • Dough is on the Rise
  • Heat’s Off This Week
  • The heat is on.
  • Got Scraped a Bit
  • Getting Darker

    The Whole Loaf: Can any of the Nine make Bush into Texas Toast?

  • el
  • pt
  • (Bush is fresh, the Loaf is stale)

  • The 4Q 2024 GDP figures were below targets, which gives the Democrats fodder for use in attacking the President’s economic policies.
  • Although there is good news for Bush: Consumer Confidence Index climbed 5 points in January.
  • The Hedgehog Report has the latest Bush approval numbers. The President hovers around 50% overall–a few have him above, and few below (The current average is 52.6%).

    Considering that the news is dominated by the the Democrats deriding the President, it is no surprise that his numbers have suffered a bit of late.


    There are seven primaries on February Third. In alphabetical order they are:

    New Mexico
    North Dakota
    South Carolina

    In terms of significance I would rank in three tiers::

    TIER 1

    South Carolina: The big Southern test. And Edwards has to win.
    Missouri: The most delegate at state to date. Plus, who gets the Gephardt vote?


    Arizona/New Mexico: The west rises to the fore.
    Oklahoma: Semi-Southern, and one of the places early polling showed Clark having a shot.


    Delaware: We’ve already done the New England bit/small state
    North Dakota: Small pop, not a bellwether of any kind.


    Winning is: If he wins MO and several other contests, then he will continue to be considered the frontrunner—any combo with MO, AZ will be solid. If he get OK, and beats off Clark, he will be in even better shape, as Clark’s freefall will accelerate. If he manages a win in SC, then he will be crowned, perhaps rightly, as unstoppable.

    Losing is: Losing both MO and SC.

    Can still claim victory if: As long as he wins MO and one other states while doing reasonably well elsewhere. However only two wins, even with MO, will result in a blood in the water effect.


    Winning is: He has to win SC to credibly say that he has won on Tuesday. Although outlandish scenarios like a surprise win in MO, or taking several other states would work as well. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath on those possibilities. He has to take SC, or the whole “I can win in the South” argument is blown out the window—and without a doubt, that is one of his key strengths.

    Losing is: The direct converse of winning: losing SC, even by a point.

    Can still claim victory if: After losing SC he gets high on goes on TV he can claim victory all he likes, and if under sufficient influence of illicit substances, he may well believe it. However, he can claim no victory sans SC. If he does lose, I’d go find Dennis, cuz maybe he’ll share whatever it is he’s been smoking.


    Winning is: A win somewhere. However (and remarkably) this is rather unlikely.

    Losing is: Probably what’s going to happen.

    Can still claim victory if: If his insurgent strategy of simply playing for the delegates nets some decent numbers, he can at least spin his way into saying that he’s still in it. However, I don’t think that such a strategy is viable at this point. And further, since he had to yank his tv spots, he may have a hard time getting to the magic 15% in enough states to achieve viability.


    Winning is: He has to win somewhere, OK being the most likely place. A solid showing with veterans and moderate-to-conservative Democrats in SC will be useful for his electability spin.

    Losing is: If he doesn’t get at least one win, he is nearing Crumb Pile status.

    Can still claim victory if: He will claim victory even if he doesn’t win anything, especially if he in in close second in OK. However, that and 500 pesos will buy you cup of coffee in Bogota. No wins, spin or no, means defeat.


    Winning is: Recognizing that he has lost and officially pulling out before Tuesday so as to spare us (and himself) the misery. Now, in fantasy-land, winning is a surprise win in Oklahoma, or a strong second in SC.

    Losing is: The sad, sorry truth of the matter and the sooner he realizes it, the sooner we can stop having to watch the painful spectacle of him pretending to have support.

    Can still claim victory if: See Edwards.


    Winning is: Coming in second in SC.

    Losing is: Third or worse: especially if he fails t get 15%

    Can still claim victory if: He gets some delegates.


    No clever lines this week. Make up your own.



    Kerry: Wonderific French Bread in a week (Dough is on the Rise).

    Kerry can now be said to have achieved Wonder Bread status, as the nomination is now within his reach. A good showing Tuesday will solidify his position.

  • Zogby’s tracking polls have Kerry written all over them.
  • Kerry picked up several key endorsements this week, such as Jim Clyburn’s and some union help as well.
  • And he is likely to get a big Michigan endorement.
  • Dave Wissing has the latest Missouri numbers and they are looking quite Kerry-ish.
  • Money likes a winner: Kerry Raises $500,000 Online in Two Days.
  • I’m shocked: Kerry Leads in Lobby Money.
  • James Joyner has a blast from Kerry’s past in terms of the comic page.


    Edwards Plain ol’ White Bread (Heat’s Off this Week)

    I have had a ton of poor predictions in this process to date, one that has proved to be correct is that Edwards has to have South Carolina to have a chance. If he can’t demonstrate the ability to win a southern state in a Democratic process, he will fall off the radar.

    While a loss in SC won’t be a death blow, it will be a wound of substantial proportion. If he loses SC he will come out of the 3rd the way Dean came out of NH: functional, but only barely so.

  • No shock here: Edwards Woos South Carolinians with Southern Pride.
  • James Joyner deals with Edwards’ concern about legacy admissions to colleges and universities and wonders how the NC Senator is going to stop having one’s family life affect one’s development.
  • Robert Tagorda notes that thus far Edwards has managed to avoid the negatives that go along with his chosen profession.

    Clark Toasting White Bread (the Heat is on)

    There is some hope of emerging from the 3rd in decent shape, but he seems pretty toasty to me at this stage. He stays on the Supermarket Shelf for one more week

  • James Joyner of OTB has some interesting commentary on the Moore endorsement of Clark. One is known by the company one keeps, and Moore’s endorsement has a hypocritical and cynical feel to it. Connect the dots as one wishes…


    Dean: Toast (the Heat is on)

    From Wonder Bread to Toast in a few short weeks: ain’t politics fun? Getting scrapped is possible, but not probable.

  • This is never good: Intriguing: Dean Shake-Up. I will admit that Kerry did it early on, and I thought it spelled trouble hm, however it ended up working out. I don’t think that Dean has the time for it to work for him. WaPo notes: Dean Staff Shake-Up Long Coming and has a lengthy story on the matter.

  • Dean, once the money man, is now having serious money troubles.
  • WaPo also notes: Dean’s Money Advantage Dwindles.
  • Robert Tagorda comments on the Good Doctor’s travails.
  • Meanwhile, Sean Hackbarth thinks that the Good Doctor has been reading The American Mind.
  • Dean Esmay provides A Good Reason To Vote For Howard Dean (an no, it has nothing to do with his name).


    Lieberman: Crumbling Burnt Toast (he’s done)

    He’s done. He’s lost. He has no prayer. I know it, you know it. The mystery is: why doesn’t he?

  • He’s even losing in CT: Lieberman Lagging Behind on Home Turf: “Forty-three percent of those who said they are likely to vote in the state’s March 2 presidential primary said they would vote for Kerry. Lieberman had the support of 18 percent of those surveyed.”

    Sharpton: He remains burnt toast (and the heat continues)

    While some have opined that the Reverend could be a serious player in SC, my guess is that he will be lucky to reach the 15% needed for viability and a delegate.

  • Wishful thinking, methinks: Sharpton To give candidates a run for their money in S.C.
  • Sharpton left out of La. primary–of course, that means instead getting 1% of the vote (after rounding, of course) he’ll get 0%.

    Kucinich Zen crumbs, but crumbs nonetheless (so burnt, the head was turned off)

  • And the prize for most misleading headline of the week: Kucinich gaining traction, of a sort. The description of the bus is amusing, however.

  • Another amusing headline: Thick skin serves Kucinich in S.C.. Plus, he continues his convention-related delusions in this piece.



    Dave Wissing of The Hedgehog Report has a report on a rumor I heard earlier in the week: that Edwards would ask Hillary to be his veep, should he win the nomination. I still have a hard time seeing Hillary accepting a veep nod.


    The talk of a Kerry-Edwards ticket continues. This week Edwards insisted that he wouldn’t go there. We shall see.

    I still think that a Senator-Senator ticket strikes me as an odd idea.

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  • By Steven Taylor

    Kerry Leads in Lobby Money.

    This politics things thing is so confusing.

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    By Steven Taylor

    Something’s amiss at The Truth Laid Bear, as no doubt many of you have noticed. He has acquired partial Blank Blog Syndrome, for one thing and while scans have been taking place, one can’t get to the actual listing on the Ecosystem.

    Measuring and amanging the Blogosphere appears to be getting harder and harder. The original Technorati has been busted for a while, leading to the new improved beta version that still appears to have some kinks in need of work (although as of this morning it appears to be working better than ever). And blogrolling’s search feature still doesn’t work properly.

    Not to mention that Sitemeter has the occasional problem–and qute a few this week.

    Heck, even Hosting Matters was having trouble on Tuesday.

    What’s a stats-obsessed blogoholic to do?

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    By Steven Taylor

    And yes, I am making the toast.

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    By Steven Taylor

    Time flies, but a year in the blogosphere, especially a year of sustained growth and success, is a long time.

    Keeping that in mind, I would like to extend a hearty congratulation to James Joyner of Outside the Beltway, who has been blogging for a full year now.

    I was there at birth, so to speak, as I received an e-mail with his original B*S page and the statement “What the hell.” Now, as he notes in his State of the Blog Address celebrating his first full year, I was quite used to receiving e-mails from him with commentary of various types. I initially took the note to mean: “What the hell?!?” and so I was at first confused as to what was so objectionable to the first couple of OTB posts, until I realized the content was his.

    Also, you can blame him for the existence of PoliBlog, as OTB inspired me to give this blogging thing a try as well.

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    By Steven Taylor

    The headline is dramatic: Edwards Widens Lead on Kerry in South Carolina, but it’s only a 4 point gap, which is almost certainly within the MOE, so no big story here.

    Kerry continues to have a huge lead in MO and a solid one in AZ. He is in a statistical tie with Clark in OK.

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    Friday, January 30, 2024
    By Steven Taylor

    John Kerry Scoops Up Key Endorsements

    John Kerry scooped up key union endorsements Friday as presidential rivals criticized his nearly 20-year Senate record, calling the Democratic front-runner all-talk, no-action on affirmative action and health care.


    Polls showed the Massachusetts senator with a commanding lead in Missouri, Arizona and North Dakota — states with 143 of the 269 delegates at stake. Kerry shared the lead in two others, South Carolina and Oklahoma, and party strategists gave him the edge in New Mexico and Delaware.


    In Washington, the Communications Workers of America, with 700,000 members, endorsed Kerry and Michigan’s largest teachers union, the 157,000-member Michigan Education Association, gave its support. A third union, the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, plans to announce its backing next week.

    Two members of the Congressional Black Caucus also announced their endorsements Friday, with Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., backing Edwards and Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., supporting Kerry.

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