Archive for November, 2004
This Harvard News article is interesting (and timely):
A John F. Kennedy School of Government researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation’s level of political freedom.
To those of us committed to the principle of limiting government and expanding freedom, this is not surprising.
Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation’s wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences.
Instead, Abadie detected a peculiar relationship between the levels of political freedom a nation affords and the severity of terrorism. Though terrorism declined among nations with high levels of political freedom, it was the intermediate nations that seemed most vulnerable.
Like those with much political freedom, nations at the other extreme – with tightly controlled autocratic governments – also experienced low levels of terrorism.
And one quote particularly apropos Iraq:
“When you go from an autocratic regime and make the transition to democracy, you may expect a temporary increase in terrorism,” Abadie said.
Read the whole thing. For some people, it’s just another pile of facts to toss into the “doesn’t matter, don’t wanna hear it, I still feeeeeel that it’s true.” But otherwise, you might find it fascinating.
Uber-RINO Senator Arlen Specter, fresh from winning his 37th term in the Senate, took the opportunity to thank President Bush yesterday for saving his bacon in the Republican primary against Pat Toomey. His thanks took the form of a ‘warning’ to President Bush not to “try to bring none of those fundie God-obsessed wife-beatin’ Klan-member Bible-thumping abortion-hating wymyn-and-minority-oppressin’ HATE-mongerin’ judge nominations into MY Judiciary Committee, or I’ll havta open up a CAN on him” (the quote is from memory; I might not have it precisely worded).
Stephen Moore suggested in February that Specter would be a perfect running mate for Kerry. And campaign-style “Kerry/Specter” signs seen in NE Philly drew the ire of Specter’s Senate opponent Hoeffel. Presumably, the ire was drawn because Hoeffel (and Specter’s campaign) recognized that (1) Kerry and Specter are a matched pair, and (2) the connection was beneficial to Specter (REEEE-noooo, REEEE-noooo, REEEE-noooo).
Specter, now 114, is serving his last Senate term, and apparently intends to make the most of it in the service of his liberal friends. Note to Senate Republicans: It’s his last term; do you know what that means? It means that you don’t have to let him have the Judiciary Committee. Shoot, you don’t have to let him have anything. For once, just for something new to do, stand up him and tell him to shut up.
UPDATE: Well, apparently the backlash from Arlen’s spouting has been felt rather – warmly – in the Senator’s office. So warmly, in fact, that he felt compelled to release this little bit of spin:
â€œContrary to press accounts, I did not warn the President about anything and was very respectful of his Constitutional authority on the appointment of federal judges.
â€œAs the record shows, I have supported every one of President Bushâ€™s nominees in the Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor. I have never and would never apply any litmus test on the abortion issue and, as the record shows, I have voted to confirm Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justice Oâ€™Connor, and Justice Kennedy and led the fight to confirm Justice Thomas.
OK. Right. Check. Disinginuity meter: completely pegged. Pants on fire and all of that. But at least he is having to run away from his own statements, and less than 24 hours later.
Please, I urge you: contact the Republican Senators who will be making committee appointments. Don’t let this man near the levers of power in this upcoming Senate.
George Neumayer has a great article at The American Spectator this morning. An excerpt:
The elite were so out to lunch that it came as great revelation to them last night that many Americans named as their most important issue not Iraq, not the economy, but “moral issues.” This was an election about “God, guns and gays,” to use Howard Dean’s phrase, and Kerry with his newly-bought Red Sox cap batted 0 for 3.
The American people did not want to entrust one nation under God to a Massachusetts liberal who campaigned with Bruce Springsteen and Peter, Paul, and Mary, a Senator who voted with NARAL 100% of the time, and a renegade Catholic who wouldn’t recognize a moral teaching of his own church if it hit him coming around the corner.
Read the whole thing.
I support the Club for Growth, both financially and in principal; you should, too. But, that ferocious recruitment effort over, let me say that I am unaware of any political organization that gets better, more focused results from their efforts than Steve Moore and his gang. A bit of gloating is therefore irresistible.
PoliPundit wonders: Will the Democrats now call for the abolishment of the popular vote?
It’s a fair question, given that the Democrat idea of “the process working” is “whatever makes my guy win”.
The President not only has won the electoral vote, he won the popular vote by 3.5 million votes (remember how much the Donks have howled about this over the last 4 years? I wonder how important it will seem to them now…). The post seems to have disappeared now, but I saw a quote last night that the “heartland, tribal, wise, had once again shaken itself, looked around, and said, ‘$%@! Yes, we’re going to stand up to those terrorist thugs and fight this war!’” Or words to that effect.
NRO’s John Hillen nails it:
It is a victory of historical proportions for Bush. Decisive control of the House and Senate and a popular majority of 3.5 million that even Michael Moore must notice. Kerry is an experienced politician – he doesn’t want to be President in that environment even if every provisional ballot in Ohio was accepted and went 100% Kerry – which it can’t of course.
In the grand tradition of quoting smarter and more eloquent people to say what I wish I’d said, I’ll let The Horserace Blog speak for me on the network “coverage”:
Shame on them. Shame on all of them. What lousy coverage tonight (Fox’s was atrocious!). What lousy exit polls, what stupid, slavish reliance on these exit polls in the early part of the evening. What generally inane babbling from start to finish. Nobody in the MSM had a single decent thing to say all year. They spent their time pondering the effects of “new voters,” of the Redskins loss yesterday, of Kerry’s picture at NASA. They paraded campaign flack after campaign flack, peddling nothing but the same empty talking points, every hour on the hour — and chalked it up to “analysis” or “debate.” They had nothing intelligent or insightful to say about anything for 13 months. They slavishly paid attention to polls with bad methodology, and poll “averages” that were not even close to it. What a puffed up, egotistical bunch of dunderheads. They had their heads up their you-know-what since the Dean “phenomenon,” and though this denouement disgusts me, it does not surprise me.
What a cheap, cheap ploy at the end of the race. It caps off what I believe to be just a generally pathetic coverage of this horserace. I cannot express how despicable I find this whole thing.
Man, I’m tired. But what a great election this was, and what a great demonstration of the wisdom of American voters when it matters most. Don’t think that it’s an accident that in a year of record voter turnout, this president broke the great Ronaldus Magnus’ record for votes received by a presidential candidate. Congrats again, to our President (again!) and to our great country!
A controversial Dutch filmmaker accused by Muslims of ridiculing their religion was stabbed and shot dead in Amsterdam on Tuesday, shocking the Netherlands where the killing was denounced as an attack on free speech.
You can join me in holding our breath while we wait for the Hollywood Left’s outraged denunciation of this assault on a fellow film-maker. All together, big breath now…
I now have a new policy: I will link to every article that begins with this line: “Last night, Tom Daschle threw his campaign into the shredder.”. I think that’s a policy I can live with.
For more of the gory details, and to keep up with Daschle’s impending defeat, you’ll want to keep an eye on Daschle vs. Thune.
Will this election be decided by experience or hearsay? PoliPundit has a nice analysis of the latest NYT/CBS poll. They point out how, from top to bottom, Bush is ahead either by a little or a whole lot on issues that are essentially personal:
- Which candidate am I favorable toward (Bush 48%, Kerry 41%)?
- Has Bush made me safer (54% Yes to 29% No)
- Which candidate agrees with my priorities (Bush 49%, Kerry 42%)
- Which candidate opposes my priorities? (Bush 48%, Kerry 53% (here, lower is better))
- Which candidate has leadership qualities? (Bush 62%, Kerry 52%)
- Is my family better off, the same, or worse off than 4 years ago? (31% better, 29% worse (40% same))
Powerline has it right: “If Kerry wins with numbers like these, voters will have a serious and instantaneous case of buyer’s remorse.”
Kerry has been running around the campaign trail throwing around outright lies about the economy (the “1.6 million jobs lost” canard, e.g.), blaming the president for things that simply aren’t true. And poll numbers have frequently reflected people’s concerns about the economy, in the midst of a clear, across-the-board recovery. What this reflects is that Americans are fundamentally sympathetic to the plight of others (nothing new here). And when someone who should be trustworthy is telling far and wide that the economy is failing, that jobs are vanishing, that everyone is broke, then people will worry about it, in spite of the fact that it’s not affecting them personally.
But, like the polling data from CBS/NYT, the fact is that when people consider only their own experience, their own instincts, Bush is a clear and consistent winner on nearly every issue (even the economy). And I believe that what will drive the results tomorrow into a landslide for Bush or a narrow victory for Kerry is simply this: Will voters, once inside that voting booth, trust their personal experience and instinct, or will they attempt to vote based on the dissonant stories they’ve been told for 2 years now by a pair of professional liars and their lapdop partisan press?
If people vote based on their own situation, then the reality of a vigorous and growing economy, a vastly safer America, a restored patriotism, will roll Kerry and Edwards and their disaffected and deceitful and destructive hordes of election lawyers right out on their lizardly reptilian backsides.
If, however, people decide to ignore what their own senses and experience tell them, and instead vote someone else’s view of America, then Kerry has a chance.