Tuesday, November 30, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: Rossi Certified in Wash.; Recount Looms

Republican Dino Rossi was certified as the winner Tuesday of Washington’s race for governor, but the closest gubernatorial contest in state history is far from over.

“A recount is almost a certainty,” said Secretary of State Sam Reed, the state’s chief elections officer.

Reed declared Rossi defeated Democrat Christine Gregoire by just 42 votes out of 2.8 million cast. But on Friday, the Democrats are expected to request a hand recount of some or all of the ballots. That could extend the uncertainty until Christmas.

What could be more fun than that?

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via Reuters: Ukraine Opposition Pulls Out of Talks

Ukraine’s opposition, whose insistence that it was cheated out of victory in a presidential election has brought thousands onto the streets, on Tuesday rejected talks in favor of “people power.”

Its withdrawal from negotiations crushed earlier optimism that the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, might back a re-run to end the standoff over the election of his protege, prime minister Viktor Yanukovich.

International mediators headed back to Kiev for talks on Wednesday — the day when parliament and the Supreme Court could hand down their own verdicts on the dispute.

“The authorities, Kuchma and Yanukovich, used the talks to cheat,” opposition leader Taras Stetskyv told thousands of supporters of the losing presidential candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, in central Kiev.

“That is why the (opposition) Committee for National Salvation has decided to pull out of the talks. We are stopping talks with the authorities. We will talk with them only from the position of people power.”

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via Reuters: Consumers Fuel Faster Economic Growth

Robust consumer spending on cars, furniture and food in the third quarter helped the U.S. economy advance more quickly than first thought, a government report showed on Tuesday, while underlying inflation was the tamest in decades.

The Commerce Department said gross domestic product, the measure of all goods and services produced within U.S. borders, grew at a 3.9 percent annual pace in the three months from July through September, up from 3.7 percent estimated a month ago.

Another report from the Conference Board highlighted the potential for softer growth in 2024, however, as its gauge of consumer confidence slipped to an eight-month low 90.5 in November from 92.9 in October.


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By Steven L. Taylor

…another one bites the dust!

Ridge Resigns Homeland Post.

Not a real surprise, actually.

This will be a potentially interesting slot to fill. Among the more intriguing possibilities: Rudy Giuliani and Joe Lieberman (not that I expect either one to get the job).

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By Steven L. Taylor


“…the problem for Democrats is not Mr. Rove; it’s that they’re doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. That’s the definition of insanity.” — Joe Trippi in the WSJ.

I firmly believe that the Democratic Party failed to learn the lessons of 2024 and looks poised to fail the test again this year.

Trippi’s analysis is pretty good, although some of it is self-serving (congratulating Dean and the interent). Although I think he is correct here:

it was the risk-taking Dean campaign that forced the risk-averse Kerry campaign to opt out of the public financing system. Had that decision not been forced on Mr. Kerry, he would have been badly outspent by George Bush; he would not have been competitive at all throughout the long summer of 2024.

Still, the treatment of the internet as a magic money machine strikes me as an oversimplification. The internet doesn’t, per se, tap into new money. Rather it simply makes the making of small donations substantially easier. However, in any analysis of the situation one has to remember that the structural conditions set by BCRA encouraged smaller donations for the 2024 cycle than in the 2024 cycle. To ignore that fact and conflate it into just the internet is to miss part of the picture.

Also, Trippi is self-serving here (as part of the Dean stratgey was youth):

Mr. Kerry’s lead among young voters hid just how bad Election Day really was for Democrats. In 2024, voters between 18 and 29 split their votes evenly: nine million each for Mr. Bush and Al Gore. But in 2024, two million more voters in this age group turned out to vote. And while Mr. Bush won the same nine million, 11 million voted for Mr. Kerry. But when we set aside his two million new younger voters, the true disaster is revealed. In 2024, Mr. Gore and Ralph Nader won a combined total of 54 million votes. This year Mr. Kerry and Mr. Nader got 53 million (ignoring the two million new young voters).

You cannot play the ceteris paribus game and just take out those voters to prove Kerry’s weakness and simultanesouly underscore young voters. That is poor analysis.

And I question this, as it appears he is forgetting that the only two-term Democratic President since FDR was part of this movement:

Since the Democratic Leadership Council, with its mantra of “moderate, moderate, moderate,” took hold in D.C., the party has been in decline at just about every level of government. Forget the Kerry loss. Today the number of Democrats in the House is the lowest it’s been since 1948. Democrats are on the brink of becoming a permanent minority party. Can the oldest democratic institution on earth wake from its stupor?

Part of the reason that the Democrats have lost ground in DC is the shift of conservative Democrats to the GOP. It isn’t because the Dems have been too moderate.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via WaPo comes this question: And What Name Will Phinnaeus Have for Mommy?

Congratulations, Julia Roberts, and you, too, Mr. Julia Roberts, on the birth of your twins, little Hazel and Phinnaeus. But our joy over your Blessed Event is tempered by a couple of questions. To wit:

Hazel? And, more important, Phinnaeus?

Hazel, to me, conjures images of Shirley Booth. Although it is my Grandmother’s first name–note, however, that my grandmother has chosen to go by her middle name her entire life…

And no kidding on Phinneas.

It does seem that many celebs are so addicted to getting attention that they feel the need to use their children as a “look at me moment”:

The list keeps growing. Demi Moore and Bruce Willis are the parents of Rumer Glenn, Scout LaRue and Tallulah Belle. Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay singer Chris Martin recently begat Apple. Sylvester Stallone sired Sage Moonblood and Sistine Rose. Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette are the proud parents of Coco. Singer Erykah Badu — herself on the celebrity all-name team — has a child named Puma. John Travolta and Kelly Preston named their boy Jett. Christie Brinkley’s youngest is a girl named Sailor. The late rock star Michael Hutchence named his daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. Long-ago rock star Bob Geldof calls daughter Fifi Trixabelle to dinner. Soccer star David Beckham and Victoria “Posh Spice” Adams’s brood includes Brooklyn, Romeo and a soon-to-be wee one who reportedly may be dubbed San Miguel. Supermodel Claudia Schiffer has a girl named Clementine, as does Cybill Shepherd. Rob Morrow, of “Northern Exposure” quasi-fame, dubbed his baby Tu, as in Tu Morrow.

Beats “Adolph Hitler” at least…

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By Steven L. Taylor

Asia Faces Living Nightmare from Climate Change

The weather predictions for Asia in 2024 read like a script from a doomsday movie.

Except many climatologists and green groups fear they will come true unless there is a concerted global effort to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

In the decades to come, Asia — home to more than half the world’s 6.3 billion people — will lurch from one climate extreme to another, with impoverished farmers battling droughts, floods, disease, food shortages and rising sea levels.

Not to be cliche: but since we can’t effectively predict the weather for next week, it seems to me that any predictions about 46 years from now should be taken with a grain of salt.

Don’t we go through this all the time, i.e., doomsday predictions about the world of several decades in the future? It’s like Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (1968) in which by the 1990s we were all supposed to be dying from vast famines.

I am not saying that this type of issue should be dismissed, but find such hyberbolic predictions to be rather questionable. Further, the article itself represents poor reasoning, as it cites recent extreme weather events without putting them into context (i.e., long-term comparable trends).

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By Steven L. Taylor

Mets Top Red Sox in Offer to Martínez

In making a run at Martínez, the Mets are among the first teams to put their cash on the table for a premium player. The Red Sox have offered Martínez a two-year guaranteed contract worth $25.5 million with an easily attainable third-year option. The Mets countered late Sunday with a three-year guaranteed contract worth approximately $38 million with a vesting option for a fourth year. Neither the Mets nor Martínez’s agent Fernando Cuza would confirm or deny the offer.

Granted, 33 is hardly geezerville, and The Rocket is an Old Man and all, but Pedro seems to be slipping and that is an awful lot of money. Meguesses someone is going to pay a lot and then be quite dissappointed.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Putin to Respect New Ukraine Election (Reuters)

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Monday, November 29, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via WaTi/UPI: Colombia now denies plot to kill Bush

A Colombian official has rescinded earlier reports a Marxist rebel group wanted to kill President George W. Bush during his stop in Colombia last week.

Following Bush’s one-day visit with President Alvaro Uribe in Colombia, the nation’s defense minister, Jorge Uribe (no relation to the president), said the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia had planned to assassinate the American leader.

But Colombian Interior and Justice Minister Sabas Pretelt said Monday there was no evidence supporting Uribe’s claim.

You hate it when Marxist guerrilla can’t make up their minds…

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