Thursday, January 29, 2004

John Kerry had better get used to this sort of thing. He equivocates and triangulates on everything and it is going to come back in the form of a media induced ball-kicking.
Here is slightly rosier take on the NEA issue. While I am fundamentally opposed to government involvement in this arena, it looks as if the NEA is shaping up under current chairman Dana Gioia and pandering much less to the " repellent "transgressive" freaks" of the recent past.
Here's another point regarding the National Endowment for the Arts: I went to an art school back in the days where the NEA was under attack. There was much concern about this at the school and many students and faculty members were talking about an organized response. Their solution (never implemented) was to produce a show who's intention was to offend what they saw as traditional sensibilities. In other words, they wanted to shock, offend, and piss off the people who were looking to get rid of the NEA. Instead of creating a show that would prove the value of public funding for the arts, they wanted to show how impetuous and irresponsible they could be with taxpayer money, as if that would help their cause. While they were furious about the potential demise of the NEA, they also showed great contempt for the funding at the same time. Those who used NEA funding to produce work that didn't carry a controversial leftist political message were considered patsies for the Republicans.

On principle, I oppose the NEA because I do not believe it is the government's job to subsidize this sort of thing (I would be equally opposed if the money were going to a group of churches.) After seeing first hand the mindset of the potential recipients of this grant, I oppose it even more. People like Andres Serrano, who used NEA money to produce such juvenile works as "Piss Christ" (I refuse to link) are viewed as heroes by anti establishment artists, but if the NEA is abolished they will still blame conservatives. American citizens, no matter how ignorant or knowledgeable they are about the arts, deserve accountability when their money is being spent. Better to leave artists to their own affairs than to piss away money on Piss Christ.
If you guys haven't read it yet, there is an open letter to Dean from Ali regarding his comments on Iraq and Iraqis. I think that Ali can claim "gravitas" on this issue being the Iraqi. I read it last evening, but spent my time e mailing it to all of the big sites to get it out there, instead of posting it here, which I should have done at the same time.

Anyway, as Instapundit says, it's a must read.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Put this one in the WTF file!

From Drudge:
BUSH TO SEEK BIG BUDGET INCREASE FOR NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS... Laura Bush plans to announce the request -- for the largest increase in two decades -- on Thursday... Developing...

When will the madness end?

I'm really starting to get pissed off. Senators are going to get sick of me, so are Reps. Hell we only have two reps since we are Maine, but I'll heckle them just the same, esp Tom Allen who drives me batty.

Regarding the comments on Edwards:

You know Edwards reminds me a bit too much of Clinton without the immorality issues (at least so far). The young, hip, fresh candidate, Scott? Remember how everyone felt about Clinton in 92? Some guy out of nowhere from the south became just that. Less governmental experience, but lawyer is as close to politician as you can get and certainly gives you plenty of practice in debating and the show that goes with it. Edwards is better looking than Clinton, but I think that looks are overrated. When was the last time that we had a really "handsome" President? I mean, I know that it definitely precludes Joe Liebermans who just don't look "Presidential" but as far as I know the last President that anyone swooned for was Kennedy, and even then it was likely the charisma (not unlike Clinton, though I never got any charisma there, just mistrust from the moment I saw the guy give a speech the first time). The looks are about more than the looks for women. Rumsfeld is a great example, he is so confident in himself, has a great sense of humor, and still has his boyish grin in his early 70's, that's attractive. But then again, I was the only girl in college that preferred "intellectual actors" like William Hurt, to all of the posters of Costner in his Bull Durham get up hanging in the dorm rooms, so what the hell do I know?
(I know that I married well, so that must say something!)
Taking a break from the primaries...

Our man Walter Williams takes a look at the silly sweat shop paranoia that's so popular in liberal circles these days.

Of particular interest in this piece is the observation that minimum wage laws imposed on impoverished nations do a lot more harm to the "exploited" work force than the act of hiring them at a rate lower than the average western worker could ever hope to. Of course, minimum wage laws have the same effect in America and everywhere else.

Again we see the alleged compassion of the left exposed for what it is: Socialists (unions in particular) protecting themselves from Capitalist competition. Setting up price and wage controls is great for the short term interests of western workers who already have jobs, and for the politicians who are looking to buy their votes. Unfortunately, this tactic always harms those whom it is purported to protect, the unemployed and impoverished citizens of the world, who would gladly take a low paying job over no job at all. It also has the backlash effect of slowing economic growth, as corporations struggle against artificially high labor costs. Of course, this leads to the coddled western workers getting laid off. Once this happens, the left will scream for MORE protectionism, which is exactly what caused the problem in the first place.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Next phase:

I'm betting that when Lieberman gets out, his votes go to Edwards. Maybe a few to Kerry, but Edwards is the closest one left to Lieberman's views on the war in Iraq, etc. (not that he's that close, but he is the closest). This will pull into a three man race between Kerry, Edwards, and Dean. Kerry and Edwards will likely end up together on the ticket anyway, they can afford to do that this year, as there are no blacks or females of worthiness that they'd be leaving out (Sharptongue the immoral and CMB the nonexistant), and with Bush/Cheney running the same way.

In fact, it strikes me that this would be all too similar. Edwards the "young, inexperienced, southern boy" with Kerry the "elder, been around forever, gravitas giver". Kind of like Bush and Cheney in 2000, huh?

But up against Bush and Cheney in 2004, I can't see it working. 'Course, a lot depends on the Iraq situation, especially with the government handover this summer.
I've been making the rounds on the Iraqi blogsites. It is both heartening and depressing. Read Mohammed's post for a brave thought process that shows Iraqis that they are so used to being "lead" that they hardly can imagine how to begin to lead themselves. Read Alaa for some suggestions and an interesting citizen's view on the current security issues. Read Zeyad, who has been struggling with the rollercoaster of emotions that this war has created. Fantastic stuff out there, and better news than you'll get at any source over here in America.
Why Dennis Kucinich must be elected the next President of the United States. These are actual reasons for which people support "Dennis". I am NOT making this up:

She explained how it is important that the United States focus on helping the world's poor, such as keeping people in the Himalayas who have calluses on their feet from walking barefoot all the time.

"Our goal is to raise the issue of youth politics and music."

"I love Dennis because he shows me how we can have a world where I can be free to be who I am, I can feel safe, and everyone in the country can be safe and happy. Um, yeah."

"I feel the idea that you can defeat terrorism through war is absurd." Also, "I enjoy his ideas on medical insurance and education. They should be human rights."

Read the entire thing at NRO here.
I would pay Al Franken to try this with me. I'd go all ninja on him.

Regarding David Kay, did you see this? I haven't heard anything in the mainstream press about the Syrian connection.
What do you guys think of this?

I saw David Kay interviewed on NBC this morning. I expected it to be a frustrating experience, but it was actually pretty encouraging. Kay pretty much put a bullet in this whole "Bush lied" hysteria, even going so far as to say that despite the lack of WMD's found in Iraq, the war was still a prudent undertaking. He brought up a point that I found to be very interesting. He said that from about 1998 on, Iraq was crumbling from within, and was unable to really do anything that required any organization. Saddam's scientists were taking money, but not producing the weapons Saddam wanted, although there were active weapons programs. Because of this lack of stability, terrorist organizations were taking notice, and beginning to infiltrate with the hopes of making off with whatever weapons technology they could find. Essentially, he proved there was an imminent threat and a link to terrorism, both points that are hotly contested by the left.

Another bonus was that Matt Lauer, not exactly a champion of the right, wasn't trying to spin Kay's statements at all. He actually was doing a lot to help Kay make his point. I still think the left will use the Kay report to try and hang Bush, but it looks like this one isn't going to have any legs.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Hold on to your wallets, folks. This piece points out that despite President Bush's current spending extravaganza, every single one of the current democratic candidates would increase the amount of federal spending even more.

While I find the current amount of spending truly appalling, at least the Republicans believe in a somewhat reasonable distribution of income taxation. These Democrats think they can pull this off while making the so called rich pay an even more disproportionate share of the load. Perhaps the Dems don't think they can achieve the popularity enjoyed by FDR until there is a full scale depression in place.

And here's the post that mentions that maybe Edwards wants Kerry for his VP instead of the other way around.
Here's a reason that Kerry doesn't like Kerry.
( WSJ OP article, requires e mail address)
Oh what the Hell, just to be cantankerous and contrarian:

1) Dean

2) Kerry

3) Edwards

So much for my NH predictions, I should have stuck with the NH always votes "angry" theme apparently....
Thankfully I was at least right about Clark!

According to Zogby these are the numbers now...
Well, I can't claim any New Hampshire residency, but both of my parents are New Hampshire natives, and I think Kerry is right about their political tendencies. Here's a few of my own predictions:

Kerry (John, not our beloved blogger) will win.

Lieberman will do poorly, and leave the race soon thereafter.

Clark will do poorly, and continue a slow slide into oblivion.

Dean will do ok, perhaps even squeaking out second place, but then join Clark on a slide into oblivion in the following primaries.

Sharpton and Kucinich will wait patiently in oblivion for Dean and Clark to arrive.

Edwards will do well enough to remain relevant, and will go on to a strong showing in the south, which will solidify his position as the most likely VP candidate.

Look for a Kerry/ Edwards ticket when all of this eventually shakes out.

The Patriots will win the Super Bowl. Tom Brady will stiff John Kerry on an endorsement.
NH predictions:

I am a born, bred, raised Granite Stater. I worked in NH politics for awhile, and lived in both the southern and northern parts of the state, and summers in the middle.

Here's the thing about NH: they are known for their "cantankerous" nature, loving to pick the underdog (they haven't picked an actual winner of a primary in ages), and for their "independant Yankee spirit". Some of this NH is still around, but the southern part, which is by far the most populous, is made up of many transplanted MA people now, so it has started to turn left in the past few years, (Shaheen was the first Dem governor in NH since I was born, and was well respected, and is backing Kerry). There is however, general disdain for VT, which in the past 20 years has changed from NH's Yankee neighbor to "The People's Socialist Repbulic of VT". While NH generally likes the "angry types" in the primaries (think McCain, Buchanan), when it comes to their own state they go for the fiscally responsible, so basically their primary vote is usually a "message". All that said, here's my guess on how it will play out.

Kerry will remain the frontrunner and win the primary there. (I'm guessing around 33-35%)
Dean and Lieberman will get about the same numbers each. (I'm guessing 18%)
Clark will do terrible, or NH is a lot worse than I believed it to have become (6%).

Edwards is the factor here for me, it could go one of two ways. He's a lawyer, and most NHites are not trusting of lawyers in general. On the other hand, he was such a surprise factor in Iowa, and NH likes surprise factors. He could do as well as I think that Dean and Lieberman will do coming in with 18% or so, or he could blow Lieberman out of the water, and be the second, with Dean as a third and Lieberman pushed to 4th.

The rest will get their 0-3%, depending on the whackos out there tomorrow. The cold weather should help with that!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Pom perompompom…pomperompompom…pomperompompom…. Actually it’s not so bad to be alone in the house…reminds me of those days when my folks and sisters had gone off and I was able to sniff in the oldest one’s drawers without fear of being detected…just had to make sure her stuff looked like untouched upon leaving the premises… She was just in full Duran Duran swing and I knew she kept some tutorial bookies for young girls with here and there a nice pic in it…ah….memories….


…yup…am definitely feeling like I’m starring in Home Alone 5…but before the wackos try to break in…almost wished some hacker ‘d show up… just to break the monotony…

............................(checking comments section)......................

Uh-oh. Mark from Colorado wrote: "You're really spoiling for a fight, huh. I'm up for it if you are.". I would be very careful making such bold statements Mark. Extreeeemely careful. According to my old Rand McNally '93 Colorado has about 3,400,000 inhabitants and Maine some 1,300,000. Which means that Belgium with 10,300,000 is still outnumbering the two of you by more than two to one.

OK ok...after all you're not that bad Americanos. [RANT OFF].

I'm off till the end of the week to Florida! Booked an Air France flight to Miami. Will try do do the Keys too. So see you by Friday!