Sunday, October 31, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor


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By Steven L. Taylor

I think it cool that we live in a country where the guys who want to be not only our President, but arguably the most powerful man in the world, has to run around asking for our vote. And, not only do they ask, but they mean it, and that that vote does matter.

Quite cool indeed.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Today’s Krauthammer:

Within days of Sept. 11, the clueless airhead president that inhabits Michael Moore’s films and Tina Brown’s dinner parties had done this: forced Pakistan into alliance with us, isolated the Taliban, secured military cooperation from Afghanistan’s northern neighbors, and authorized a radical war plan involving just a handful of Americans on the ground, using high technology and local militias to utterly rout the Taliban.

President Bush put in place a military campaign that did in two months what everyone had said was impossible: defeat an entrenched, fanatical, ruthless regime in a territory that had forced the great British and Soviet empires into ignominious retreat. Bush followed that by creating in less than three years a fledgling pro-American democracy in a land that had no history of democratic culture and was just emerging from 25 years of civil war.


This election comes down to a choice between one man’s evolution and the other man’s resolution. With his endlessly repeated Tora Bora charges, Kerry has made Afghanistan a major campaign issue. So be it. Whom do you want as president? The man who conceived the Afghan campaign, carried it through without flinching when it was being called a “quagmire” during its second week and has seen it through to Afghanistan’s transition to democracy? Or the retroactive genius, who always knows what needs to be done after it has already happened — who would have done “everything” differently in Iraq, yet in Afghanistan would have replicated Bush’s every correct, courageous, radical and risky decision — except one. Which, of course, he would have done differently. He says. Now.


The whole thing is worth a read.

The funny thing is I have read/heard plenty of Democrats who praise Afghanistan, whilst pretending that the same defense/foreign policy team that “must go” because of Iraq had nothing to do with it.

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By Steven L. Taylor

As unlikley as it may seem this close to the election, I agree with Kevin Drum’s basic assessment of BCRA (a.k.a., McCain-Feingold):

I have a feeling we should all be able to agree on one thing: that whole McCain-Feingold deal didn’t work out so well, did it?

Now, Kevin seems distressed by the fact that one of BCRA’s failings was that it did not limit the overall amount of money spent (nothing is going to do that, btw). I am by no means distressed by the amount. I find the twisted ways that the money must flow (e.g., 527s) in order to become speech to be problematic. I think it relieves the campaigns of responsibility for the message being disseminated.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: Moore to Have Cameras at Polling Places.

Certainly Mr. Moore is a premiere journalist and will no doubt capture only the more honest portrayal of the events in question.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: Yahoo! News – Colo. Teacher Kicks Student for GOP Shirt

Fort Lewis College student Mark O’Donnell said he was showing people his College Republicans sweat shirt, which said “Work for us now … or work for us later,” when Maria Spero kicked him in the leg at an off-campus restaurant.

Spero then said “she should have kicked me harder and higher,” said O’Donnell. “To physically take that out on someone because you disagree with them, that is completely wrong.”


Spero, a visiting instructor of modern languages, apologized to O’Donnell in a letter dated Oct. 29.

“I acted entirely inappropriately by kicking you, giving vent to a thoughtless knee-jerk [literally--Ed.] political reaction that should never have happened,” she wrote. “Before the incident, I did not know you and that you are a Fort Lewis student.” [Would it have been better had the guy not been a student?-Ed.]

A hint to Ms. Spero: it is hard to turn that visiting instructor position into a tenure-track one when one goes around kicking students.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: Man Living in Cave on Los Alamos Lab Land

And here’s a shocker:

Ten marijuana plants were found outside the cave. Moore, 56, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court documents. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond.


Tucker said that as fire crews and lab security force members approached the cave after its discovery, they saw Moore and discovered “numerous” marijuana plants growing around the cave.

“From the campsite that I saw, he had been there quite a long time. … I was really impressed with his ability to set up a camp,” Tucker said.

Which, of course, makes me wonder out loud: if a guy can live in a cave for years near a major US research facility with high security and grow marijuana plants there, then how in the world can we think that we are going to eliminate coca leave, herin poppies and marijuana plants around the globe?

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By Steven L. Taylor

From the AP via the Opelika-Auburn News: Nearly 2 Million Vote Early in Florida

More than 1.8 million Floridians have cast their ballots through early or absentee voting _ nearly 2 1/2 times the number of people who voted early in 2024.

That’s roughly 20% of the state’s registered voters. Rather impressive.

And in regards to ballot/voting troubles:

Common Cause, a nonpartisan government watchdog, said Saturday it received more than 7,500 calls from Floridians with voting trouble issues.

I will grant, this is just one measure. However, that would account for roughly .41% of the votes cast. That strikes me as a pretty good error rate (although granted, the actual error rate is probably between 2% and 4%). However, if there was as much widespread mayhem as some suggest that there has been/will be, I am guessing Common Cause would’ve found more than 7,500 out of 1.8 million examples.

Further, it begs the question as to what the operationalization of “trobling issues” is.

Polling places were packed Saturday as people continued to stream in to vote early, with some localities reporting lines several hundred deep and waits up to four hours.

At a mall in Broward County, Patti Bryant voted at 1:25 p.m. _ 3 hours, 55 minutes after she got in line.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Reuters: Wall St. Wants a Quick, Clean Election

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By Steven L. Taylor

White House Race a Dead Heat – Reuters Poll

Kerry and Bush were deadlocked at 48 percent in the latest three-day national tracking poll, which included one day of polling taken after the airing of a videotape from Osama bin Laden. Kerry led Bush 47-46 percent on Saturday.

In re: undecideds and the bases:

Only 2 percent of voters remain undecided as Bush and Kerry scour about 10 remaining battleground states to find the 270 electoral votes they need to win on Tuesday.

“Each man has consolidated his own base,” pollster John Zogby said.

In re: new registrants:

The Massachusetts senator had a 51-41 percent edge among newly registered voters

I re: battleground states:

Kerry had the lead on Saturday in six of 10 battleground states being polled separately, but Bush expanded his lead to five percentage points in the showdown state of Ohio.

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