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Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Ridge stepping down

Not exactly the most exciting announcement. Nobody seemed to hate him, but nobody seemed to really like him either.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:53 PM in Politics/Government



Monday, November 29, 2004
Joe Loeffler of Chevelle supports President Bush

And apparently you can't drive a Hummer if you voted for Kerry.

What kind of car does a guy in Chevelle drive?
  • We have a lot of cars. I have a 2005 H2.
  • Are you serious?

  • I love it.

  • ...
    If you have a Hummer, you must have supported Bush.

  • Oh yeah.
  • Why?

  • I agree with everything he stands for. I voted for him four years ago. But this election was just plain obvious. The choice was to vote for a politician or vote in a President. Kerry had nothing. The polls of people who voted for Kerry found that they voted for him because he wasn't Bush, which doesn't make sense to me. I don't see why people didn't vote for Bush. I heard, “Well, he went to Iraq and we didn't find weapons of mass destruction.” What? That's why you don't like him. That's all you got. We're saving lives here. We liberated 50 million people and we took Saddam out of power.
  • --Free Times

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:21 PM in Politics/Government
    Ohio count update

    The current (still unofficial) tally listed on the Ohio Secretary of State's site now has Bush's lead over Kerry at 146,483, up from the previous 137,617, a gain of 8,866 votes for President Bush. There's no indication on that page of how many counties have finished counting their provisional ballots or how many of them are included in that tally.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:12 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government
    Bearcats going to a Bowl
    UC will be playing on December 23rd in the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.

    This will be UC's 4th bowl appearance in the last 5 years and 8th overall.

    Guidugli will hopefully be recovered from his broken hand by then. It certainly can't go worse than the Louisville game.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:22 PM in Cincinnati
    Internal calender

    I don't know about you, but the Thanksgiving holiday's really thrown off my internal calender. Thursday felt like Saturday, then Friday felt like Sunday and then Saturday and Sunday both felt like Sundays or something... I think by this point in my head it's like Tuesday 2 weeks from now. Anyone need lotto numbers while I'm here?

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:15 PM in Miscellaneous



    Friday, November 26, 2004
    Black Friday review

    Certain gifts have been glossed over to preserve the surprise of the recipient(s).

    Managed to get ~30 minutes of sleep, left the house at 5:45. I signed up for the Target wake up call. Darth Vader was supposed to call me at 5:15, instead a storm trooper called at 6:05. Got to Target at ~6:10 (They, and pretty much every other store, opened at 6.) I picked up the last copy of The Simpsons Season 4 they had and they were sold out of Buffy Season 7 and they didn't have another gift we were looking for. It was busy, but to their credit there were no more than 2-3 people in any checkout lane.

    Next stop was Circuit City, got there at ~6:30. The Flash Drive I was looking for was sold out already. Checkout lanes were by no means the worst of the day, but the lines were still at least 20 people deep. Didn't end up buying anything at Circuit City.

    Next stop was Best Buy. Wheww! Incredibly busy. There was a line just to get in the door 50 minutes after opening. It took ~5 minutes to get in the door. They were very well stocked; everything I wanted was still there. Picked up a 512MB Flash Drive, Aladdin for $10 and a Christmas present for a family member. The stocking level was good, but the checkout process was simply horrendous. The single file line ended at the registers, snaked through 7 aisles in Appliances, 3 aisles in small appliances, past the car audio and through 6 aisles back in the Audio department, and began in the aisle between Audio and the DVDs. It took my brother and I 2 hours to make it through the line. A woman collapsed 2 aisles behind us in the line in Appliances and had to be carried away on a stretcher by paramedics. Finally got out of Best Buy at 9:05.

    Next we headed to Staples, but they were out of what we wanted. They said however that we could order it online for the same price so we went to our Grandparents place nearby and tried that only to find that the web site was out of them too. Eventually we wound up ordering it online elsewhere.

    After picking up my grandfather from dropping off his car at the mechanic we headed over to another Target. This store had Buffy Season 7 and the gift that the first Target didn't have so money was exchanged for goods and they left the store with us. My brother and I then helped set up my grandparents' Christmas decorations, passed out from exhaustion for a short while and then headed out for Kroger and another store to pick up one last gift.

    Upon getting home we discovered that the gift from Best Buy that we thought came with a $20 rebate didn't have a rebate form or receipt. My brother took it back where it was discovered that the display was mislabeled and there was no rebate. To Best Buy's credit they price matched the incorrect price and credited my credit card.

    And now I come to the end of a VERY long day, as evidenced by the numerous spelling errors I’ve had to correct so far in this post, including, ironically enough. “speling” in this very sentence. Must sleep now.

    --Addendum--
    I really have to compliment th people who designed the roads around th Mall at Fairfield Commons, they really did something right. The traffic always seems to flow smoothly, and it's even more noticable when compared to an area like the Dayton Mall where even on a normal summer day traffic can get backed up.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:54 PM in Miscellaneous
    Shopping

    Looks like I'll be heading out to shop at the crack of dawn with 0 to 1 hours of sleep. When you're on my sleep schedule and you need to be up at 6 it really makes more sense to just power through and nap when it's over with.

    On my list today:
    Target has Simpsons Season 4 and Buffy Season 7 on DVD for $17.77.

    Circuit City has a 512MB Flash Drive for $29.99.

    Best Buy has Aladdin on DVD for $9.99.

    Barnes & Noble has a Starbucks which has coffee. Actual coffee, not he decaf stuff that seems to be all we have here.

    And a couple things for my parents which I can't list here where it would be read. :)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:50 AM in Miscellaneous



    Thursday, November 25, 2004
    Happy Thanksgiving

    Probably my one comment for the day, and it likely will upset some people:

    Cranberry sauce should be can shaped.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:01 AM in Miscellaneous



    Wednesday, November 24, 2004
    Looks like the 3rd party candidates may not have enough for an Ohio recount after all

    Stranded on Blue Islands brings to light that the $10 per precint number being thrown around for the cost of an Ohio recount isn't the full cost to those requesting it, it's just the deposit. They would then be responsible for all costs incurred by the Boards of Election in doing the recount. Those costs are estimated at $1.5 million, much more than the $235,000 they currently have.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:50 PM in Politics/Government
    Judge throws out Ohio recount request (plus some provisional ballot math)

    First some recount news:

    A federal judge denied a request by third-party presidential candidates who wanted to force a recount of Ohio ballots even before the official count was finished.

    Judge James G. Carr in Toledo ruled Tuesday that the candidates have a right under Ohio law to a recount, but said it can wait. The judge wrote that he saw no reason to interfere with the final stages of Ohio's electoral process. Officials have said the results will be certified by December 6.

    The lawsuit by Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik had asked Carr to issue an order requiring Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to immediately begin a statewide recount of November 2 voting results.

    The candidates received a combined 0.26 percent of the vote in unofficial results. But they contend a recount is necessary to ensure accuracy.

    --CNN


    And now a little provisional ballot math.

    Looking at the provisional ballots, 78%(61,536) of the 79,256 ballots counted so far have been found to be valid. There were 155,337 provisional ballots cast. If every remaining provisional ballot were found to be valid there would be 137,617 provisional ballots. Before the provisional ballots President Bush led in Ohio by 136,483. For the election to swing to Kerry (assuming again that all the remaining provisionals were valid) then Kerry would have to win the provisional vote 137,051 to 566 (99.59% to .41%). If less than 98.5% of the remaining provisional ballots are valid then Kerry could not possibly win.

    Now let's look at the results from only one county. After the completion of Greene County's provisional count, Kerry gained 1,181. President Bush gained 1,536 votes. Now remember, in the hypothetical every-remaining-ballot-is-valid scenario if Kerry is to win Bush could only pick up 566 of the provisional votes statewide.

    It's been assumed for some time, but John Kerry officially can not win Ohio through the counting of the remaining provisional ballots.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:59 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government



    Tuesday, November 23, 2004
    Rather out at CBS
    Dan Rather announced Tuesday that he will step down as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News in March, 24 years after his first broadcast in that position.

    Rather will continue to work full-time at CBS News as a correspondent for both editions of 60 Minutes, as well as on other assignments for the news division.

    CBS made no mention of a potential successor.

    Rather, 73, has come under fire for his 60 Minutes report on President Bush's service in the National Guard during the Vietnam War. The report relied on documents that cast Mr. Bush's service in a negative light. Critics charged that the documents were forgeries, and CBS News was unable to vouch for their authenticity. An independent commission is now investigating the matter.

    --CBS

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:13 PM in Media



    Monday, November 22, 2004
    Goldberg on President Bush: Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't
    The president can do nothing right.

    This has been a constant theme of the last four years. When Bush was allegedly acting unilaterally (Iraq), he was denounced for not being multilateral. When he was multilateral (North Korea), he was denounced for not being unilateral. When Europeans are excluded, that's bad (again, allegedly Iraq); when Europeans are allowed to take the lead (Iran), that's bad, too. When Bush "outsourced" the war in Afghanistan by using non-American troops, that was a monumental mistake, according to Kerry and others. When we didn't outsource the war in Iraq, that was a monumental mistake as well. And so on.

    To understand the president's Catch-22 with his critics, consider his latest move as he prepares for his second term: shaking up the Central Intelligence Agency. Ever since 9/11 a cacophonic chorus has been calling for shake-ups at the CIA. "Why hasn't anyone been fired?" demanded everyone from the New York Times and the Democratic party to the so-called 9/11 families. The 9/11 commission demanded a huge shake-up not only of our intelligence bureaucracy but of the way we think about national security more broadly.

    Well, the administration is attempting to do that. Porter Goss, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a one-time CIA operative himself, is shaking things up. Several longtime and senior veterans of the agency have resigned in protest over Goss's supposedly rough and rude tactics.

    --Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:41 PM in Politics/Government
    New name for the Expos

    It's official, the Montreal Expos are now the Washington Nationals.

    City and team officials announced at a Monday press conference at Union Station that Washington, D.C.'s baseball team will be named the Nationals.

    The name change comes almost two months after Major League Baseball announced that the team was relocating from Montreal to Washington, D.C. The team will play its home games at RFK Stadium during the 2005 season.

    With team president Tony Tavares and interim general manager Jim Bowden in attendance, the Nationals also revealed a new logo and uniform color scheme, which is red, blue and gold.

    --MLB.com


    I like it. It's definitely better than the Senators.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:37 PM in Baseball
    Tales from a Turkey help-line
    Mary Clingman serves as director of the Butterball Turkey Talk Line in Downers Grove, Ill. It expects to take more than 100,000 inquiries through Christmas.

    Some past callers stand out.

    "We got a call from a guy last year whose turkey wouldn't fit in his pan. He wrapped it in a towel and stomped on it until it did," Clingman said.

    Another caller cut a turkey in half with a chain saw, then worried that oil on the saw might have transferred onto the turkey. A woman in Colorado who left her turkey outside to keep it frozen realized she couldn't find it when more snow fell.

    And one phone call began: "You don't know anything about kitty litter, do you?" Clingman said a woman called after her husband poured kitty litter on the bottom of a new grill in hopes of absorbing drippings. Fortunately, the grill hadn't been lit yet, so the turkey was pulled off and cooked more conventionally, she said.

    Kathy Bernard with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (news - web sites)'s Meat and Poultry Hotline in Beltsville, Md., said a caller last year wanted to make her bird inside a roasting bag, but didn't have one, so had improvised.

    "She pulled a dry cleaning bag off her husband's suit, and it melted onto the bird," Bernard said.

    --Yahoo! News

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:01 PM in Miscellaneous
    Date set for Iraqi elections
    Iraq's Electoral Commission on Sunday set national elections for Jan. 30, and a spokesman said ballots would be cast nationwide, including in areas now wracked by violence. ... Iraqis will go to the polls to choose a national assembly, which will among other things draft a permanent constitution. The vote is seen as a major step toward building democracy after years of rule by Saddam Hussein. ... Sunday was the first time a date for national elections was set; the commission was charged with choosing a date before the end of January.

    "Having elections in Iraq are very important, and having them in time is also so important for the Iraqi people to have more security in Iraq," said Salama al-Khafaji, a Shiite member of the interim Iraqi National Assembly.

    Iraqi voters will choose representatives for a 275-member national assembly, provincial councils and the national council for Kurdistan. Ayar said that 122 political parties out of 195 applications were accepted and registered for the elections.

    --ABC News

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:50 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East



    Saturday, November 20, 2004
    Well, some good news for Ron Artest

    Looks like he might be getting a little time off to focus on his Rap career after all.

    Indiana's Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson charged into the stands and fought with fans in the final minute of their game against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, and the brawl forced an early and ugly end to the Pacers' 97-82 win.

    Officials stopped the game with 45.9 seconds remaining after pushing and shoving between the teams spilled into the stands once fans got involved by throwing things at the players near the scorer's table.

    "It's the ugliest thing I've seen as a coach or player," said Pistons coach Larry Brown, who was in the middle of the confrontation, trying to break it up.

    After several minutes of players fighting with fans in the stands, a chair, beer, ice, and popcorn were thrown at the Pacers as they made their way to the locker-room in one of the scariest brawls in an NBA game.

    "I felt like I was fighting for my life out there," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "I'm sorry the game had to end this way."

    --The Globe and Mail

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:29 AM in Politics/Government



    Friday, November 19, 2004
    The Ba'th party seems to be setting up shop in France
    With the defeat of the Saddam Hussein regime on April 9, 2003, the Ba'th ruling party was outlawed and a committee for the de-Ba'thification of Iraq was established. [1] However, the Ba'th's propaganda machine appears to have found a new abode in Paris, France, whence threats to the U.S. are issued regularly in three languages - English, French, and Spanish. Not surprisingly, the Ba'thist propagandists use the word "resistance" (in French, "la resistance") to underscore the association with the struggle against the Nazi occupation of France during WWII.

    The resurrection of the Ba'th Party on French soil was further strengthened by France's proposal that representatives of "la resistance" should participate in any future conference that will be convened to discuss the future of Iraq. This position was clearly stated by Michel Barnier, the French Foreign Minister, in an interview with the French TV station " France Inter." In the interview, Mr. Barnier called for a political process in Iraq that would include "a number of groups and people who have today opted for the path of resistance through the use of weapons."

    --MEMRI


    Gee, imagine that...

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:58 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
    Kofi Annan faces vote of no confidence
    UN staff are expected to make an unprecedented vote of no confidence in Secretary-General Kofi Annan, union sources say, after a series of scandals tainted his term in charge of the world body.

    The UN staff union, in what officials said was the first vote of its kind in the almost 60-year history of the United Nations, was set to approve a resolution withdrawing support for Annan and senior UN management.

    Annan has been in the line of fire over a series of scandals including controversy about a UN aid program that investigators say allowed deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to embezzle billions of dollars.

    Staffers said the trigger for the no-confidence measure was an announcement this week that Annan had pardoned the UN's top oversight official, who was facing allegations of favouritism and sexual harassment.

    --Yahoo! News

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:35 PM in Politics/Government



    Thursday, November 18, 2004
    Not exactly the French participation in Iraq we were looking for

    Frenchmen are dying alongside on the other side of our troops in Iraq.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:47 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
    This won't make the Lefties happy

    Looks like the Kerry campaign ended up with somewhere between 15 and 45 million dollars left over. (This is in addition to the $7 million he had on hand for legal fights.) Yet another sign of just how terrible a campaign the Kerry camp ran.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:37 AM in Politics/Government
    Hehe
    During the presidential campaign, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia received a strange letter in his home mailbox. It was a fundraising flier from Democratic strategist James Carville. The appeal invoked an issue apparently thought to be so frightening that it would prompt recipients to fork over massive amounts of money to the Kerry campaign.

    The "terrifying" message came with the headline: "What Would You Think of CHIEF JUSTICE Scalia?"

    --CSMonitor (hat tip Kirk)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:18 AM in Politics/Government



    Tuesday, November 16, 2004
    Condi's it

    NSA Condoleeza Rice is officially President Bush's choice to replace Powell as Secretary of State.

    President Bush on Tuesday nominated a trusted confidant, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state in Bush's second term.

    "During the last four years I've relied on her counsel, benefited from her great experience and appreciated her sound and steady judgment. And now I'm honored that she's agreed to serve in my Cabinet," Bush said.

    --Yahoo! News

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:25 PM in Politics/Government
    Recount

    Looks like there will be a recount here in Ohio. Cobb and Badnarik have raised enough money to carry it out.

    And this will change absolutely nothing. This isn't some 1,360 vote margin, this is a 136,000 vote margin. You can't make that up in a recount. Though maybe Cobb thinks he can make a comeback. I mean, he did get all of 24 votes in Ohio. If he can come up with just 2,796,124 more votes in a recount he wins!

    And I have to say I'm curious about why Ohio is being singled out here. If the recount idea is so pure of motive why aren't they fighting to recount in Pennsylvania? That's a bigger state and Kerry only won there by 127,470 votes and there were actual accusations of fraud.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:59 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government



    Monday, November 15, 2004
    4 more cabinet members out

    Secretary of State Colin Powell, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham have resigned. The insiders seem to be saying Rice is the choice to replace Powell.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:50 PM in Politics/Government
    Keith Olbermann: The thinking man's idiot and idiot's thinking man

    Robert Cox of The National Debate lays out what Olbermann's been up to lately. Geez, can a story get on the show nowadays without a questionable or phony source? (Hat tip Hobbs)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:24 PM in TV
    An astounding number

    The battle in Fallujah was supposed to be the worst possible conditions for our military to fight in. Urban combat. Street-to-street, door-to-door. As things stand now, the enemy is said to be "broken" and 1,000-2,000 insurgents have been killed to the coaltion's 44. That's a ratio of between 22:1 and 45:1. I think that number says a lot about the abilities of our military. They took what are widely seen to be the worst possible conditions for a traditional military battle and crushed the enemy.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:55 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East



    Saturday, November 13, 2004
    Debunking the myths & conspiracy theories of the stolen election

    Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg Times has a very good summary of why the various conspiracy theories about the election being stolen are wrong.

    A couple examples:

    Several impressive-looking charts and graphs are flying around. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann singled out five Florida counties for what he called a "sudden" outbreak of "irregularities:" Baker, Dixie, Holmes, Lafayette and Liberty.

    In those counties, Republicans make up only 7 to 24 percent of registered voters. But Bush won there with between 64 and 78 percent of the vote.

    How can this be? Easy. They are northern "Dixiecrat" counties where being a registered Democrat but voting Republican is an old habit. The same counties voted overwhelmingly for Bush in 2000, and his father in 1988 - when registered Republicans made up as little as 2 percent of the electorate!

    By the way, to make this claim, the conspiracy folks have had to contend that voting was more suspicious in counties without electronic machines.

    CLAIM: Touch screen machines in Broward County started "counting backwards."

    No, they didn't. The voting machines in the precincts worked fine.

    Broward's central vote-counter was not programmed to expect more than 32,000 votes in any single precinct.

    With the limit exceeded, the running totals in four races (all constitutional amendments) did, indeed, start declining.

    Observers quickly noticed it. It got fixed. The accuracy of the individual voting machines was never in question. Nobody's vote was a "negative" that subtracted from the vote totals.

    --St. Petersburg Times

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:40 PM in Politics/Government



    Thursday, November 11, 2004
    From the frontline of Fallujah

    Slate has an engrossing piece from Fallujah on how our soldiers are seeking out the enemy.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:11 PM in
    The good and the bad

    The good: Watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tonight. Excellent, excellent movie, better the second time around.

    The bad: That sinking feeling when "This film has been formatted to fit your screen" pops up and you realize you made a mistake at the video store. D'oh! Stupid Pan & Scan!!!

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:41 AM in Movies
    Done!

    Late last May I wrote a post in which I listed which of the movies on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list I'd seen. At the time I had seen 61 of the 100. I sort of started a quest to see all 100 and I've been updating the page each time I got through a new one. Yesterday I finished with AFI's #92, A Place in the Sun. Tivo, TCM and the Library were big helps along the way.

    I guess I need to find a new goal now.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:34 AM in Miscellaneous
    Ok, this time he's really dead
    [Palestinian Authority President Yasser] Arafat had been sick with an unknown illness that had been variously described as the flu, a stomach virus or gallstones. He flew to Paris October 29 seeking medical treatment and was hospitalized with what Palestinian officials said was a blood disorder.

    He had been on a respirator since slipping into a coma November 3.

    A hospital spokesman said he died at 3:30 a.m. Thursday (9:30 p.m. Wednesday ET).

    Arafat's body will be taken from France to Cairo, where the Egyptian government will host a state funeral for him, Erakat said.

    He will be buried outside the Palestinian Authority headquarters compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

    --CNN


    Don't hold your breath for a gushing eulogy. Maybe now a Palestinian can step up who's actually willing to work towards peace.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:19 AM in Politics/Government



    Wednesday, November 10, 2004
    2000 v. 2004

    Realclearpolitics has pulled together the Presidential results from each state from 2000 and 2004 and it shows that Bush did better against Kerry than he did against Gore in every single state except South Dakota and Vermont.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:19 PM in Politics/Government
    White House counsel Alberto Gonzales nominated as the next Attorney General
    White House counsel Alberto Gonzales is President Bush's pick to replace Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    "His sharp intellect and sound judgment have helped shape our policies in the war on terror," Bush said Wednesday afternoon from the White House.

    Gonzales said the day was one of "conflicting emotions." He said if confirmed he would miss interacting with the members of the White House staff on a daily basis.

    "I will work hard to build upon [Ashcroft's] record," he said.

    Gonzales, a former Texas Supreme Court justice appointed by then-Gov. Bush, was named White House counsel in January 2001. He had also served as Texas' secretary of state.

    As White House counsel he has been intimately involved in many of the issues that he would confront as attorney general, including the legal handling of detainees in the war on terror, and the Justice Department's administration of the Patriot Act.

    If confirmed in the post, Gonzales will be the first Hispanic American to hold the Cabinet position.

    --CNN


    Now this one is a bit of a surprise, I think the conventional wisdom said that if there was a new post for him it would be on the Supreme Court.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:52 PM in Politics/Government



    Tuesday, November 9, 2004
    Attorney General Ashcroft & Secretary of Commerce Don Evans out
    Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans have resigned, the White House said Tuesday evening.

    Ashcroft's resignation will be effective upon confirmation of his successor, a Justice Department official said.

    The White House released their resignation letters Tuesday evening. Ashcroft's was hand-written and dated November 2, the day Bush was re-elected; Evans' was dated Tuesday.

    --CNN


    All those who are surprised or upset raise your hands. Wait, I don't see any hands...

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:30 PM in Politics/Government



    Sunday, November 7, 2004
    An Ohio GOP poll observer's story

    Over at Wizblog.

    Whatever happened to all that chaos, intimidation and disenfranchisement the Left was so certain would happen?

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:11 PM in Ohio , Politics/Government
    The things we'd do to get President Bush reelected

    I've got quite a cold going right now from spending so much time out in the cold rain on election day getting the vote out. But hey, if that's the price I have to pay for 4 more years I'll gladly do so.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:31 AM in Politics/Government



    Saturday, November 6, 2004
    Secret Service admits the bulge was a bulletproof vest
    Call off the conspiracy freaks. Now it can be told: That mysterious bulge on President Bush’s back during the first presidential debate was not an electronic device feeding him answers, but a strap holding his bulletproof vest in place.

    Speculation about the bulge on the Internet only increased since Georges de Paris, the Washington tailor who makes Bush’s suits, told The Hill last month that it was nothing more than a pucker on the back of Bush’s coat caused when he crossed his arms.

    But sources in the Secret Service told The Hill that Bush was wearing a bulletproof vest, as he does most of the time when appearing in public. The president’s handlers did not want to admit as much during the campaign, for fear of disclosing information related to his personal security while he was on the campaign trail.

    --The Hill.com=

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:28 PM in Politics/Government
    Intolerant in their tolerance
    MY FAVOURITE example of Democratic incomprehension in the wake of Tuesday’s election was the latte-clutching film producer from the Upper West Side, who offered, in apparent earnest, to take her neighbourhood’s “way of life” on a road show around the country, to teach the gap-toothed residents of Middle America about “honoring diversity and having compassion for people with different lifestyles.”

    Ah, Democrats: so intolerant in their tolerance, conformist in their nonconformism, preachy in their militant secularism. If any of the columnists and academics and film stars bodying forth to denounce the 60 million Americans who voted for George Bush as so many right-wing religious wackos (the novelist Jane Smiley’s piece in Slate magazine -- “Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states” -- is of particular note) had ever met any of the people they treat with such hysterical scorn, they might realize how narrow their conception of “diversity” really is. But then, if they had any interest in finding out how other people think, and why, rather than merely confirming themselves in their infinite self-regard, they might not have lost the election.

    --Andrew Coyne


    It's true. The Left is more than willing to accept anyone, so long as they think and act exactly like the Left. Are you black? They'll accept you. Unless you're a Republican. Are you gay? They'll accept you. Unless you disagree with how they're trying to establish gay marriage. Are you religious? They'll accept you so long as you care more about social justice, abortion and being anti-death penalty than morality and responsibility. Are you from the South? They'll accept you. Unless you believe the things a majority of Southerners believe.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:17 PM in Politics/Government



    Friday, November 5, 2004
    Scott Speicher's remains may have been found in Iraq
    First Coast News has learned a body has been found in Iraq and DNA testing is underway.

    Multiple sources tell First Coast News Captain Scott Speicher's family has been notified.

    They will not disclose the details of why they believe these are his remains only to say they have reason to feel confident these are his remains.

    Test results are expected within weeks.
    ...
    [Speicher was believed to have died in a plane crash in the first Gulf War. --ed]

    First Coast News has learned the human remains, thought to be Speichers, were not found at the crash site.

    The remains being tested were found in another part of Iraq.

    After the initial discovery of the crash site, in an unprecedented move, the Pentagon changed Speicher's status from Killed in Action, to Missing in Action, and then later, Missing Captured.

    The president even included Speicher and the fact that he was still in Iraq in a speech he gave to the nation.

    Shortly into the second Gulf War, the initials M.S.S were found in a Baghdad prison.

    Sources are now telling First Coast News they have information that indicates Speicher was captured after the crash and held as a prisoner for some time before he died.

    However, DNA tests performed on the materials used to make the markings failed to confirm those initials found in a cell were made by Michael Scott Speicher.

    His friends and family were not discouraged saying they knew the wall had been painted over several times and other things found in other prison cells supported their theory that Scott had been held at that prison.

    --First Coast News


    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:58 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
    Jobs up big

    337,000 new jobs in October. There are now 156,000 more jobs than at the end of December '01, the last full month of Clinton's presidency and jobs have 3 months to increase 112,000 to match the number from January '01 which would show that the notion that President Bush is the first president to lose jobs since Hoover was premature.

    (And of course the Household Survey shows 5,895,000 more jobs since January '01.)

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:13 AM in Politics/Government



    Thursday, November 4, 2004
    Zell Miller on the Democrats' choice
    The most recent failed nominee for president stands as proof that the national Democratic Party will continue to dwindle. The South has gone from just one-fourth of the Electoral College in 1960 to almost a third today.

    To put this in perspective, that gain is equal to all the electoral votes in Ohio. Yet there was not a single Southern state where John Kerry had any real chance. Would anyone like to place bets on the electoral strength of the South by 2012? Maybe they should tax stupidity.

    When you write off centrist and conservative policies that reflect the will of people in the South and Midwest, you write off the South and Midwest. Democrats have never learned from the second or third or fifth kick of a mule. They continue to change only the makeup on, rather than makeup of, the Democrat Party.

    And so we have a realignment election. For the first time, in an "us vs. them" election and in the toughest of situations, Republicans have been re-elected to the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    Confronting an opposition that can win a divided electorate in the worst of times and that has a growing electoral base, the national Democratic Party has a choice: continue down this path toward irrelevance or reverse course. As the last Truman Democrat, I hope my party makes the right choice but know I will not be allowed to be part of it. Such is the price you pay when you love your nation more than your party.

    And so while I retire with little hope for the near-term viability of the party I've spent my life building, I retire with a quiet satisfaction that after witnessing the struggle of democracy over communism and fascism, the fear I once held that America might not rise to meet this new challenge of terrorism has vanished like a fog under the radiance of a new dawn. While the threat is still real, the shadow looming across a promising future is gone.

    --Atlanta Journal Constitution (via The Kerry Spot)


    The Democrats are going to have to learn a lesson from this election. If it's that they need to be angrier or be more liberal or fight nastier - if they decide that they need to play to the far left that is filled with hatred and spews nothing but vitriol then they're in serious trouble. If they can see the error in their ways and ressurect the Scoop Jackson wing of the party then the Republicans will have a fight on their hands.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:12 PM in Politics/Government
    Reports indicate that Arafat is dead
    Palestinian President Yasser Arafat died in the Percy military hospital near Paris, Proche Orient Info, a French newspaper that covers the Middle East reported Thursday evening.

    Radio Monte-Carlo also reported on Thursday evening that Yasser Arafat is clinically dead.

    Proche Orient reported that doctors decided to take Arafat off the artificial respirator.

    The commanders of the Palestinian security forces have been summoned to an urgent meeting in Ramallah Thursday night following reports that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat was in critical condition.

    --Jerusalem Post

    --Update--
    Of course other reports indicate he isn't.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:45 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
    The GOTV effort

    Peter Bronson's got a column on the GOTV effort here in Ohio in the Enquirer

    [Doug Corn is] one reason Bush won Ohio and the election.

    To understand why, you need to know terms such as "voter flush," "micro-targeting," and "personal voter contact."

    They were all happening Tuesday afternoon at the Bush-Cheney headquarters in a storefront on Seventh Street.

    It was highly organized chaos. Pizza boxes, Halloween candy, rubber bands and Sharpie boxes littered the few square inches of tables that were not jammed with volunteers, huddled elbow-to-elbow, talking to likely voters like air-traffic controllers trying to bring Air Force One in for a safe landing.

    They call it GOTV - Get Out The Vote. After years of getting smoked on Election Day by union-label phone banks, the Republicans finally took apart the Democratic Party machine and rebuilt it, new and improved.

    It works like this: During the final four days, Bush-Cheney volunteers in Hamilton County made more than 100,000 phone calls. They were not dumb-bomb "lit drops" of fliers to paper a neighborhood. That's old school. GOTV calls were smart bombs, guided with GPS accuracy.

    "The key is personal voter contacts," said Alex Trantafilou, vice chairman of Hamilton County Bush-Cheney 2004. "We made 2 million voter contacts in Ohio over the last 96 hours."

    Doorknockers were given books of names on the same street, showing the breakdown of Rs and Ds at each house.

    Then on Tuesday, field teams scrambled to polling places for public postings of people who had voted. Those were called in to teams of college students who sat on the floor, deleting those voters from a database in hand-held PDAs. The updates were then downloaded to PCs, to print new lists for callers to "flush out" anyone who had not voted yet.

    Trantafilou believes his eager army of unpaid volunteers gave Republicans a big edge over Democratic field workers who were paid by the hour.

    Fox News proved him right at 12:40 a.m., by calling Ohio for Bush - based on GOP turnout in Hamilton County that offset Kerry votes in Cleveland. NBC called Ohio for Bush 15 minutes later.

    "One guy knocked on 500 doors and worked 12 hours a day," Trantafilou said. That guy was Doug Corn. He worked 9 to 9 for nearly a week. Unpaid. At financial cost to his business. And although he's a Bush "Ranger" who raised more than $200,000 in donations, it was his first time in the trenches.

    --Cincinnati Enquirer


    Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:38 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government



    Wednesday, November 3, 2004
    Wictory Wednesday


    This week Wictory Wednesday is much more literal than previous weeks.

    I think there has to be a moment of recognition for every person who had a hand in President Bush's reelection. Those who voted, those who donated, those who spoke out and especially those who volunteered their time and energy. A lot of people nationwide put a lot of effort into it.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:22 PM in Politics/Government
    Kerry concedes
    President Bush won a second term from a divided and anxious nation, his promise of steady, strong wartime leadership trumping John Kerry's fresh-start approach to Iraq and joblessness. After a long, tense night of vote counting, the Democrat called Bush Wednesday to concede Ohio and the presidency, The Associated Press learned.

    Kerry ended his quest, concluding one of the most expensive and bitterly contested races on record, with a call to the president shortly after 11 a.m. EST, according to two officials familiar with the conversation.

    The victory gave Bush four more years to pursue the war on terror and a conservative, tax-cutting agenda — and probably the opportunity to name one or more justices to an aging Supreme Court.

    He also will preside over expanded Republican majorities in Congress.

    --Yahoo! News

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:23 AM in Politics/Government
    Some quick number crunching

    Regarding the miniscule chances that the outstanding ballots could change the result here in Ohio:

    President Bush currently leads by 144,000. Cuyahoga County was the most lopsided county win for Kerry at 67% for Kerry. Let's say there were 350,000 outstanding ballots (which by all accounts is extraordinarily high) and let's say they matched exactly the results from Cuyahoga. That would result in 234k votes for Kerry and 116k for Bush, that would only close Bush's lead to 26k. That would give Bush 50.08% and Kerry 49.55%. That's a difference of .53%. The automatic recount in Ohio doesn't kick in until it's closer than .25%.

    For the outstanding ballots to overcome President Bush's lead they'd have to be even more pro-Kerry than the most lopsided of all the counties. The chances of those ballots, from every county in the state even coming close to matching Cuyahoga County's would itself be almost 0.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:58 AM in Politics/Government
    This feels good, this feels damn good

    I'm at a bit of a loss for words. It was a looooooong day down at Headquarters. I attribute the win in VERY large part to the Bush campaign's greatly increased focus on the GOTV campaign. It was really quite amazing the level of contact that was made with people known to support President Bush. I don't know that there was a Bush supporter in the county that wasn't contacted if their name didn't show up on the list of people who had voted. Dozens of volunteers were criscrossing the county to make sure that everybody who supported President Bush had voted. 4 years ago the Dems whooped up on the Reps on GOTV, this year I think it was dead even.

    The rush of being on the frontlines of a victorious battle is really tremendous. And being involved in the get out the vote effort in a county like Greene County in an election like this election really does feel like you're on the front lines and when your side comes out on top it kind of feels like it was your company that helped save all the other troops on the field.

    Oh yeah, and where was all the chaos that people were so sure the Challngers would cause?

    And just think, it looks like we can finally do away with the whole "selected, not elected" meme.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:30 AM in Politics/Government



    Tuesday, November 2, 2004
    A bunch of election day thoughts

    I think the range on the result probably runs from a close Kerry win to a Bush win with about 310 EV. My official prediction is 296-292 in favor of Bush.

    I think the expectations of chaos are being overblown. I think people have looked at 2000 and become convinced that something that's only ever happened once is actually an every-four-years occurrence. I think the threat of drawn out legal battle is actually far smaller than most seem to think. Similarly I think the Challenger situation has been overblown. (And the earlier rulings have been overturned and there will be Challengers.) They're not going to be challenging every third voter. They're probably going to have a fairly small list of voters they're worried about because they've voted absentee or died or are registered multiple times. Heck, here in Greene County we've got Observers and/or Challengers at something like 78 precincts. This county is one of the most Republican in Ohio, if they were really looking to intimidate voters they certainly wouldn't be doing it in Greene County. And let's remember that making sure somebody who isn't supposed to vote doesn't vote is just as important as making sure that somebody who can vote does. Each situation results in a valid vote being eliminated. When somebody who's allowed to vote is kept from voting their vote doesn't count. Likewise when an invalid vote is cast it negates a legal voter that voted for the other choice.

    I think Bush wins both Ohio and Florida. The RCP average in both states favors Bush.

    I also think the Bush grassroots campaign in Ohio is being greatly underestimated. The GOP GOTV efforts are stronger than ever before. There are a bunch of Leftist organizations trying to get out the vote, but they're just that, a bunch of organizations. The Bush team isn't being outnumbered in workers and has a much easier time of coordination. (I was volunteering today, walked door-to-door and came back and made 250 phone calls. Met Senator DeWine when he came through Headquarters. If you have some time to volunteer tomorrow call your county GOP Headquarters and ask what they need. I imagine they'll be happy to have you.) Many, many Bush supporters have been identified through literally millions of volunteer phone calls throughout Ohio. (Volunteer phone calls being different than the bajillion prerecorded messages voters are receiving.) The Bush team knows who supports President Bush and they're prepared to get them to the polls today. They plan on knowing which supporters haven't voted and are ready to call and remind them or even show up at their door and drive them to the polls. They're going to do everything possible to ensure that the support for President Bush is reflected at the polls tomorrow.

    Notable endorsements

    President:
    George W. Bush

    US Senator:
    George Voinovich

    US House of Representatives (7th District):
    Dave Hobson

    Greene County Commission:
    Ralph C. Harper and Rick Perales

    2nd District Court of Appeals:
    Mary Donovan

    Issue 1:
    No - A lot of thought went into this, I really didn't make up my mind until just as I wrote this. In the end, this amendment isn't written nearly clearly enough. I'd be willing to support an amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman, and maybe, just maybe, one dealing with civil unions, but I can't support this one. Give me one that more clearly simply constitutionalizes the status quo and there's a good chance I could support that.

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:46 AM in Politics/Government



    Monday, November 1, 2004
    27,000 registered in both Ohio and Florida
    Hundreds of voters could easily cast ballots Tuesday in both Ohio and Florida because they are eligible to vote in both states and have received absentee ballots from election officials in Ohio, The Plain Dealer has found.

    And if they do, they almost certainly will go undetected.

    These people are among more than 27,000 listed as active voters in both Ohio and Florida who could cast ballots in either of the two states, both among the most closely contested in the presidential race.
    ...
    As many as 400 people voted in Ohio and Florida in the same election over the past four years, records show. In the 2000 presidential election, about 100 Ohio voters also cast ballots in Florida - where the presidential race was decided by just 537 votes.
    ...
    More than 300 voters from Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Franklin counties received Ohio absentee ballots for Tuesday's election, though they are also eligible to vote in Florida. Many of these voters requested their Ohio ballots within days or weeks of registering to vote in Florida.

    At least a handful of voters from the three counties requested absentee ballots from both states - potentially allowing them to vote twice without even going to a polling place.

    Some voters registered in both states within the same month.

    Besides double-voters, records also show that thousands of voters have toggled from Ohio to Florida and back again since 2000. For example, 1,400 voters cast ballots in Ohio in 2000 and 2002 after registering in Florida.

    --Plain Dealer

    Posted by Rob Bernard at 2:26 AM in Ohio , Politics/Government



     
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