Friday, November 08, 2002
Peggy Noonan, in her current column
, writes about how, over the years, the Democrats established programs for the poor, the elderly, the handicapped, etc. Then she goes on to say:
Mr. Bush stole the Democrats' free lunch. That's what compassionate conservatism is.
Thursday, November 07, 2002
A new era:
Now that the Republicans are going to control Congress and the White House, we look forward to the era of Personal Responsibility
- You will be personally responsible for saving enough for retirement.
- You will be personally responsible for all your medical bills - even when you get old.
- You will be personally responsible for the full tuition costs of college - when state/federal subsidies are eliminated.
- You will be personally responsible for your own safety - so go out and purchase a gun or two.
- You will be personally responsible for having enough money to tide you over when you get laid off - don't count on (much) unemployment insurance.
- You will be personally responsible for figuring out which companies are reporting honest financial figures - so brush up on your accounting skills before investing.
- You will be personally responsible for any debts you have, even if you run into unanticipated difficulties - bankruptcy is not (really) an option anymore.
- You will be personally responsible for whatever happens should you choose an incompetent doctor - when caps on lawsuits are instituted.
- You will be personally responsible for establishing connections with the rich and powerful in order to be successful in life - this is not a meritocracy anymore.
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
In the wake of the mid-term election there has been a lot of grumbling about top Democrats. Terry McAuliffe and Richard Gephardt and Tom Daschle are most often mentioned. We agree that McAuliffe and Gephardt have much to answer for. But Daschle, in our opinion, has done a pretty good job in the circumstances. Remember, it was because of him (and Reid of Nevada) that Jim Jeffords jumped. After that, Democrats controlled the calendar and chaired the committees for almost two years. The result? Delay of Bush's agenda, and modification - for the better - of legislation. Also, being Senate Majority Leader is one of the more difficult jobs out there (especially with a one-seat margin and Zell Miller "on your side"). So give the guy a break.
Not as bad as people would have you think.
A few items:
- Where is that emerging Democratic majority? Didn't see it on Tuesday.
- NBC invited Rush Limbaugh to participate in their election night coverage, where he was given several minutes to pontificate (5min 20sec virtually uninterrupted). That was a huge portion of their one-hour program (excluding commercials and local election updates, it's more like 40 minutes). Congratulations to NBC for bringing in a guy who recently called Mondale and Lautenberg "cadavers" and who regularly refers to the Democratic leadership as "creeps".
- The Supreme Court's 2000 Bush-Gore ruling was said to dispirit Democrats. Then there was the steamrolling for the tax cuts. Then there was September 11. Now this election. Is there any energy left to go on?
- Tim Russert tells the truth. On NBC's Today show he mentioned that Bush had campaigned very hard. Then he said:
"People voted for the President over their economic concerns."
- Small satisfaction: It doesn't appear that any races were decided as a result of the Greens.
- Everybody is saying that now that the Republicans have control of Congress and the White House, there will be "no excuses" should there be problems in the next couple of years. Oh yeah? Look for any difficulties to be blamed on the Democrats - at least in right-wing AM land.
- We repeat ourselves. Remember this item about DNC head Terry McAuliffe?
Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic national chairman, said today that his No. 1 goal in the Nov. 5 elections was to defeat Gov. Jeb Bush in Florida. 24 OCT 2002Moron.
- Did you know? In the Mississippi Senate race, the two candidates were a Republican incumbent (Cochran, who won) and a Reform challenger (O'Hara). No Democrat ran. What's with that?
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
You failed to achieve the most important objective for 2002: keeping the Senate Democratic.
Monday, November 04, 2002
Truth and fiction:
From the Los Angeles Times (link
) front page, lead story, November 4:
Allies Find No Links Between Iraq, Al Qaeda
Evidence isn't there, officials in Europe say, adding that an attack on Hussein would worsen the threat of terrorism by Islamic radicals.
"We have found no evidence of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda," said Jean-Louis Bruguiere, the French judge who is the dean of the region's investigators after two decades fighting Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorists. "And we are working on 50 cases involving Al Qaeda or radical Islamic cells. I think if there were such links, we would have found them. But we have found no serious connections whatsoever." Even in Britain, a loyal U.S. partner in the campaign against Iraq, it's hard to find anyone in the government making the case that Al Qaeda and the Iraqi regime are close allies.
The criticism in Europe reinforces the misgivings of some U.S. congressional leaders and intelligence officials about hawks in the Bush administration who allege that Iraq could have even played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks. Critics say that the evidence is weak and that intelligence agencies are feeling political pressure to implicate Iraq in terrorism. In the last two months, Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and others have periodically revived and expanded on the allegations.
From the White House website, Bush's comments about Saddam Hussein: (Campaign speeches only. For period of October 10 - November 04.)
- OCT 28 Remarks by the President at New Mexico Welcome
"This is a person who has had contacts with al Qaeda."
- OCT 28 Remarks by the President in Colorado Welcome
"He's got connections with al Qaeda."
- OCT 31 Remarks by the President at South Dakota Welcome
"This is a guy who has had connections with these shadowy terrorist networks."
- NOV 01 Remarks by the President at New Hampshire Welcome
"We know he's got ties with al Qaeda."
- NOV 02 Remarks by the President in Florida Welcome
"We know that he's had connections with al Qaeda."
- NOV 02 Remarks by the President in Atlanta, Georgia Welcome
"He's had connections with shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda."
- NOV 02 Remarks by the President at Tennessee Welcome
"We know that he has had contacts with terrorist networks like al Qaeda."
- NOV 03 Remarks by the President in Minnesota Welcome
"This is a man who has had contacts with al Qaeda."
- NOV 04 Remarks by the President at Missouri Welcome
"This is a man who has had al Qaeda connections."
- NOV 04 Remarks by the President at Arkansas Welcome
"He's had contacts with al Qaeda."
- NOV 04 Remarks by the President in Texas Welcome
"This is a man who has got connections with al Qaeda."
Plus this speculation:
- OCT 14 Remarks by the President in Michigan Welcome
"... we need to think about Saddam Hussein using al Qaeda to do his dirty work, to not leave fingerprints behind."
- NOV 03 Remarks by the President in South Dakota Welcome
"And, not only that, he is -- would like nothing better than to hook-up with one of these shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, provide some weapons and training to them, let them come and do his dirty work, and we wouldn't be able to see his fingerprints on his action. "
- NOV 03 Remarks by the President at Illinois Welcome
"He is a man who would likely -- he is a man who would likely team up with al Qaeda. He could provide the arsenal for one of these shadowy terrorist networks. He would love to use somebody else to attack us, and not leave fingerprints behind. "
Bush Barnstorming schedule:
Sunday, November 03, 2002
Economics and politics:
Remember back in 2000 when a number of scholars predicted an easy win for Gore? They came to that conclusion based on a formula that tied economic performance
(among other things) to election returns.
The formula was wrong.
Does that mean that economic issues are less salient these days? Seems likely. Thus, we are somewhat skeptical of those who think the recent economic news will cause a last-minute break towards Democrats. It might happen, and that's our hope, but we cannot but help thinking back to the failed prediction for 2000.