Tuesday, November 30, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: THIS JUST IN--CNN IS WACKY!
Check them out HERE.
Good for them for poking fun at themselves. Somewhat.
(via my sis)
POLITICS AS USUAL: SMILIN' JACK STRIKES AGAIN
After he attends the protest, he's going to attend the dinner for Dubya later that evening. There, he will have a "brief" meeting with the President where he will "challenge him" on climate change and missile defence.
Hey Jack--you're not on Toronto City Council anymore.
Why won't the NDP ever learn that there was a reason why Ed Broadbent won so many (relative to other elections for the Dippers, anyway) Commons seats when he was leader. Because he was a statesman. That doesn't mean you ditch your values or beliefs. If fact, I'd be disappointed if the NDP leadership did that. It just means you grow up. No one takes a person seriously when they are leader of a national party and then choose to spend the 5 minutes they have with the leader of the free world chastising him for his "globalization" policies.
You're in the big leagues now, Jack. Its time to show that you can swing at the pitches. Its beneath you to link arms with the great unwashed on the road to a pepper-spraying at the hands of the RCMP. That's fine for Svend "Sticky Fingers" Robinson. But not the Party leader. If you every want to come even close to being the PM, you need to allow voters to visualize *shudder* you there. You need to "act" Prime Ministerial.
Even if you never will be.
B! TALK DAILY: NOW, IF I COULD JUST SPELL SCHWARZEGEEGERRR....DAMN IT!
I'd put a FREEZE on spending!
Even when wifey Maria Schriver has a tough-talking interview with Vanity Fair when she states that Ahh-nold won't be running for President, the Governator still gets the last word. You gotta respect a guy who can say this about his in-laws, especiall when they're Kenendy affiliates:
Schwarzenegger told Vanity Fair he understood his wife's need to break away, calling the Shriver family "the clones."
"Everyone in the family thinks exactly the same," he said. "If her mother says it is green, it is green. If her father says it is black, it is black. When you are in the family, you think this is normal, and then you meet someone from the outside and the lights go on. Here was WARXZa guy who was free.... If he wants to be a Republican, he is a Republican. If he wants to be a movie star, he is a movie star."
Monday, November 29, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: BREAKING NEWS--U.N. DISPLAYS COMMON SENSE
Only cowards hide behind masks
Apparently, the U.N. is finally recognizing that even "freedom fighters" don't kill innocent civilians.
It's about time the got on board in this fight. This isn't a debate about East vs. West, Islam vs. Christianity. Individuals cutting the heads off of female hostages deserve no sympathy from the U.N. or any other body, despite their claims of fighting a "holy war".
POLITICS AS USUAL: BREAKING NEWS--LIBERAL DISPLAYS COMMON SENSE
"In a bluntly worded essay published in the International Journal, Thomas Axworthy outlines how Canada has lost so much influence with the U.S. and offers a prescription for how to correct the problem.
"Americans respect power and we have not been prepared to pay for our power assets," writes Mr. Axworthy. "Therefore, while Americans continue to like us, they no longer respect us; that is a terrible position for a proud, wealthy, activist middle power."
He writes that "prestige is the currency of international relations" and that countries gain that reputation by being known as effective players in defence, diplomacy or development.
But in recent decades, budget cuts have steadily diminished Canada's capacity to be effective in those areas -- which means it is now critical to dramatically reinvest to restore this country's influence in Washington.
"Canadian pronouncements are now often ignored because there is nothing behind the words. Canada's vulnerability has increased, not because of an independent stance on critical issues, but because we no longer have the capacity to be effective or make a difference."
Mr. Axworthy writes that of the "three Ds" (defence, diplomacy and development), it is this nation's cuts to defence that have fallen the farthest."
Only one problem--the author, Thomas Axworthy, was a senior aide to Trudeau. It was Trudeau that began the slide Canada' military is currently enjoying by drastically reducing our commitments in NATO.
Oh well--sometimes it take a decade or so for people to to see the errors of their ways.
Friday, November 26, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: YOU WANT CUTS? I'LL SHOW YOU CUTS
Here's your crown, your majesty....
Note to all MPs:
Eliminating $400K out of a $19 M budget isn't "cutting".
Its not even "trimming".
Good job, folks. Way to reign her in. You sure did show her who's boss.
POLITICS AS USUAL: HOW'S THE VIEW OF THAT GIFT HORSE'S MOUTH?
How's that ticker?
Good to know he's greatful.
I'm sure you've heard about young Djamshid, the Afgan boy that was flown here for heart surgery a few months ago. Sick Kids Hospital of Eastern Ontario performed the surgery and he's doing well it seems.
But now the father is claiming that he doesn't have a job to go back to and that he wants the rest of the money that was raised by the Muslim Association of Hamilton.
Huh? I guess flying your boy over here, treating him, paying for your stay and providing follow up treatment and medication is somwthing every government should do--for other country's citizens. But what have we done for him lately?
I have to be honest, this kind of takes the sheen of the whole operation. Look, Afganistan is no picnic. I get that. But Canada, its citizens, its army or its doctors didn't have to lift a finger to help. But they did. And we didn't even get a thank-you card.
To now ask for more money is a little crass and selfish, don't you think?
I'll think twice next time I'm asked to perform life saving heart surgery!
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2--YOU DON'T NEED EXPERIENCE TO CRAP OUT
As faithful CH readers will remember, I predicted that if Andy didn't step up to the plate, he was gone. Well, Andy did step up to the plate--he just struck out swinging. There have been a few times when one team has pistol-whipped the other. Apex did it again with Mosaic. In the contest to design the new bottle/promotional campaign for "Pepsi Edge" cola, it wasn't even close. Andy's nerd background shown through when Mosaic focused their campaign on the hip, young trendy subject of--wait for it--geography! That sure does say "street cred".
Anyway, some thoughts:
- Kelly might not have eyebrows, but he does have skills. He locked this competition down.
- The troika of Kevin, Ivana and Kelly is pretty impressive. They're running the show right now.
- Too much Pepsi is clearly not a good thing in a high-powered, high pressure situation. Ask Andy.
- "Cash incentives" demeans us all.
- I would have paid thousands of dollars I don't have to watch Ivana crash the Lambourghini. That would have been better than the final episode.
- Memo to Andy--defend yourself. Others got nailed for the same thing. The Big D hates people who turtle.
- Sandy's next.
This was a good episode. Its started to get heated with it coming down to the final four. Looking forward the rest of the season.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: SOMETHING ABOUT NOTHING
The Fantastic Four
In light of the Seinfeld Reunion special on tonight, I wanted to give my Top 10 list of Seinfeld episodes:
10) The Limo (George posing as a white supremacist)
9) "The Jimmy" (people think Kramer is mentally disabled)
8) Bubble Boy
7) The Butter Shave
6) Yada Yada
5) The Merv Griffin Show
4) The Contest ("Master of Your Domain")
3) "Little Kicks" (Worth it for Elaine's dance routine)
2) Soup Nazi
1) Kramer vs. Kenny Rogers' Roasters
B! TALK DAILY: THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PULL OUT TOO EARLY...
"I'm a porn star? Now THAT'S funny!"
It seems the New Brunswick Comedy Festival had to be cancelled due to porn-star and hero-to-millions-of-average-guys Ron Jeremy would be participating. If I was them, I would have put Ron's ugly...mug on all the posters promoting this thing!
But that's just me.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: JEAN-DROPPING STATEMENT
Oh, how the worm turns.
This lovely quote appeared in today's Montreal Gazette:
“The government will do whatever it takes to stop the English language from gaining ground in the workplace, Premier Jean Charest said yesterday.
"We will always be very vigilant in Quebec on the issue of language," Charest said. "We will always be very rigorous in measuring how we're doing. ... That's the very essence of the mandate that any government of Quebec has."
You know what? He might be right. But he just eliminated his chances of becoming the leader of the Conservative Party or, in my opinion, becoming Prime Minister.
That might not be such a bad thing.
POLITICS AS USUAL: L-20 OR L-OSER?
“But before it starts carrying the weight of the world, Canada must start pulling its own. It's fine to talk about L20 and institution-building and the “responsibility to protect,” but as former deputy prime minister John Manley once put it, Canada heads for the bathroom when the bill comes. Our military spending is a mere 1 per cent of gross domestic product, half of what NATO expects. Our foreign-aid spending has fallen to 0.28 of GDP, or about $100 per Canadian….
If only Mr. Martin could have been in the room this week when a delegation from Human Rights Watch visited this newspaper. Each campaigner asked plaintively why Canada wasn't helping more. Those from Afghanistan wondered why Canada had pulled out its troops instead of staying to stabilize the country. Those from the Congo asked why Canadian and other international troops weren't protecting them as they pursue mass murderers for war crimes. Those fighting for the rights of refugees in Sudan wondered why Mr. Martin had offered flak jackets to the African troops stationed there, instead of Canadian troops or equipment and transport?”
Its called a "commitment-credibility gap", Mr. Prime Minister. I won't support joining another multilateral group until the Canadian government proves its not just another way of trying to be a voice in the global community without working or paying for it. The real "soft power" here is our lack of ability to hold influence on the world stage.
That's what's soft.
If PM Martin really wanted to have influence, he'd back up his grand ideas to change the world with well trained, well equiped, fully dependent and fully functional military.
As I've said before, next time a leftie cries that we are not being heard about our calls for action in plces like Darfur, tell them its because the PM and Party he/she elected isn't stepping up to the plate.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE MONEY QUOTE
Kudos to Premier Ralph Klein and the Alberta Tories for scoring their 10th majority. Well done.
However, I'd like to tip my hat to Premier Klein for the quote below:
"You don't set my agenda. The opposition doesn't set my agenda. I set my agenda. And I have other things to do."
That was the Premier to reporters in a scrum during the election. I respect any politican (even Trudeau!) who has the ability to slap the mainstream media around like that.
If it was anyone else, I'd call it arrogance. But for Ralph, its just tellin' it like it is!
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: REMEMBERING THE FALLEN
If you have a relative that fell in those wars, it gives some great information about where they served, their regiment, and where their memorial site is.
Even if you don't have a relative who fought in those wars, its worth looking at.
Monday, November 22, 2004
NEW POLL: WHAT FAD DIET IS CURRENTLY PUNISHING YOU?
Please participate. Once the winning diet regimen has been choosen, I will pay homage to its popularity by go on it for a day, then promptly go back to my old habits.
B! TALK DAILY: FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY?
I like video games.
I don't like limits on free speech.
But THIS is over the top.
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2--KILLING TWO DOPES WITH ONE STONE
The Dyspeptic Duo
Sorry for the extreme delay. I was *gasp* unable to watch The Apprentice on Thursday, but I managed to avoid finding out who got fired and I watched the re-run last night on Prime.
I guess the dual firing was supposed to be "shocking", but I have noticed for the last two weeks that the numbers didn't add up. There were two more (so, one more double dose of "you're fired" to come) candidates than there were weeks left to go, so I knew the Big D was going to have to find some way to bring it back in line.
- While I'm sure you all noticed my TV crush on Maria, she was getting wierder and wierder. As my astute (and of course, far more beautiful) wife pointed out, when Maria is in full "spin mode" her eyes start blinking rapidly. She spent almost the entire time blinking like a stunned cat.
- What was with her blitzkrieg-like march to failure? Why did Maria seem so bent on taking over this project? I would have let Wes do what he was born to do: fail miserably.
- DT was right to fire them both. In their own way, both totally owned the Apex failure. Wes couldn't put his foot down and Maria tried to once again apply her "sex sells anything" motto--without using the one part of the body they wanted: the bee-hind. Which is a tragedy, in my humble opinion.
- On the other side, Jen totally went down in my eyes. Yeah, she's hot (not as hot as my wife), but she demonstrated two huge character flaws that trump (pun!) hotness: stupidity and outright theft of someone else's glory.
- Ivana's an idiot, but she nailed the task. It was all about her. I couldn't believe Jen--who didn't even understand the "wheel" concept to begin with--was up their taking credit. Maybe Ivana was distracted by the pool Sweaty McGee was creating while making his pitch and Jen was able to jump in.
- Andy's dead unless he's a hero next week.
As I said before, I think this is going to come down to two guys: Sweaty (read: Kevin) and Whoopie* (read: Kelly). All the rest are just along for the slaughter.
Let the carnage commence!
*A lifetime subscription to CH if you can figure out the reference
Thursday, November 18, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: SEPARATED AT BIRTH?
POLITICS AS USUAL: PARRISH THE THOUGHT
I frankly don't care if she doesn't support Dubya. That's her right. I just wonder if she recognizes that she's becoming a caricature. That the more she takes part in skits like the one on "This Hour Has 22 Minutes", the more her position is laughable.
I'm sure she's enjoying the notoriety right now--being the darling of the anti-war movementarians, getting on the idiot box almost every night. But she doesn't carry much weight.
I'm sure her antics are affecting everything she's trying to do for her real job. You know, representing her constituents. She's already alienated the Martin cabal. And I know she might positioning it as her "raging against the machine", but it might not be so much fun when the infrastructure funding for her riding is at the bottom of the list of government priorities.
Enjoy that fame, Carolyn. You're at about 13 minues, 20 seconds.
POLITICS AS USUAL: SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL...
Am I funny to you? Like a clown funny?
An FBI report claims that former Fiberal CabMin Gagliano is a member of the Bonanno crime family. Here's the story.
Zero coverage in the Canadian media.
A senior member of the Chretien government is a "made" soldier in the New York Mob.
Zero coverage in the Canadian media.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: STOP THE PRESSES
I've heard the arguments: productivity will be down, how do we pay for it, everyone will just go shopping, etc. Every province already observes Nov 11th as a holiday except Ontario and Quebec.
Forthwith are my solutions:
- Exchange the useless August holiday for November 11th.
- Use some of the $9B surplus the feds have been hiding to fund something worthwhile (like tax cuts to offset the productivity concerns).
- Make it a stat holiday so nothing can be open. Like Christmas Day.
- Use more of that aforementioned surplus to fund veteran programs and memorial ceremonies. And hey, it would give Adrienne a chance to blow more of our money on rememberance day tours across the country!
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: CHOCK FULL OF ARTERY-HARDENING GOODNESS
Although there are no Hardee's in Canada, I might have to bring a few of my grease-loving friends South of the Border for some ol' fashioned meat eatin'! Check out the "Monster Thickster":
104 grams of fat.
All good. Can I get some fries with that?
Bring on the angioplasty!
POLITICS AS USUAL: NOW THEY"RE JUST BEING STUPID
Comparing Bush to the yahoos murdering their own people in Sudan.
Even from a lefty rag like the Star, I'm surprised.
Monday, November 15, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: I JUST LIKE THIS PICTURE
POLITICS AS USUAL: CHANGE THE GAME
I know this is insider ball at this point, with real interest only existing for those observers of the "hackery" variety like myself. But it could change the way Canadians participate in and look at the political system in Canada.
If we take the proposed B.C. model, the basis of which centres on the concept of proportional representation, it would radically change the face of politics in Canada. I have personally always found party politics somewhat boring, as the 24-hour media cycle have boiled down issues to sound bites and polling. Adding to the lack of true discussion of issues is the massive power a majority goverment has in Canada. While it makes for stable government, old pros like Jean Chretien have showcased how unresponsive they can be to activities of the Official Opposition. These changes would arguably eliminate the Liberal hegemony that we ALL benefit from on a daily basis. Which makes me wondering why they're doing it.
But are they?
The Globe reported today on the format the federal "discussions" would take:
"If it goes ahead, Ottawa would be following in the footsteps of several Canadian provinces, which are deep into their own deliberations over how to change their systems.
Sources said one notion being considered by the minister is for a series of five or so regional town-hall meetings, where citizens, academics and other groups would be asked to provide their views and suggest changes."
I think "town-hall meetings" puts everything on the wrong footing right from the beginning. Meetings like those, by design, always attract vested interests, both in the public and with the government. Its too easy to have people tell you what you want to hear, or hijack the meeting so only one point of view is really heard.
For this kind of initiative to work, it must truely be a relection of the opinons of Canadians and it must be above reproach. It would be fatal for an initiative--touted to kickstart voter participation and involvement in the political process--to be seen as just a puppet show going through the motions to get the goverment where they wanted to go in the first place.
That's why the B.C. Citizens Assembly, is so brilliant. Its 160 members were randomly selected to sit on the panel. They weren't neccesarily experts. In fact, many come from backgrounds completely removed from the political process. Frankly, those are the kinds of people that I want making these decisions. Clearly, there is a high level of apathy and disconnect. I want the people that feel that way to help design a system that appeals to them; people with no vested interest (especially political) in the outcome of these changes should be the ones ultimately deciding. Politicans deciding how they are elected is a clear conflict of interest.
Its good to see that it looks like Ontario will be following that model of consultation. Hopefully the feds will move towards that kind of consultative strategy--and that Ontario follws through on the panel's recommedations.
Friday, November 12, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2--WAKE ME WHEN ITS OVER
"The accent heard round the world"
My god, I'm disappointed. Is this where the show was by last season? Had all the annoying (read: interesting) candidates been fired? Was it basically a homogeneous, bland group of "young executives"? I almost fast forwarded the show (which I taped) just to get to the end.
But nooooooooo....... I had to watch the whole thing to see if there was something worth watching. Besides the alpha male showcase between Kelly and Andy and Wes' horrifying skills behind the wheel of a moving van, there wasn't much there.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....huh? Oh, sorry. Nodded off there.
So, this week was a contest to see which team could run a bridal boutique. Guess which team won? The one with the wedding planner on it! Mosaic and Sandy should have been handicapped for this particular task. Not because I'm all about fairness, its because it made the predictable and boring. I have to admit, I did love watching Chris, Apex's PM, basically give up in the first 5 minutes of the task. That was worth seeing. Although, I would have fired him for that even if he came behind and won.
Actually, Chris looked like I feel--no enthusiasm. The whole Apex team was like, "Whatever. We lost". Even Carolyn and Georgey boy were saying the whole team should get fired for lack of spark. And I actually though it was going to happen. It was the math. DT at the beginning said that there are only 5 weeks left to go in the "interview". There were 8 candidates at the beginning of the episode. So, it was conceivable that the three that were in the Boardroom (Kevin, Ivana and Chris) could have all been fired.
At least that would have reduced the length of my suffering. But it was not to be.
Predictably, Apex got spanked--again--and they ended up in the Boardroom. Predictably, the PM got fired due to "lack of leadership" (see my last Apprentice post for the episode formula).
As a side note, I think Ivana will be the next to go if she ends up in the Boardroom again. Both Trump and Carolyn basically attacked her for "being in the Boardroom alot". I think (thankfully) her time is nigh.
As well, here is a link to an article spitballing the odds for the remaining candidates.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: LEST WE FORGET
To both my grandfathers
and all other veterans of World War I, II and Korea
Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice for freedom, democracy and liberty.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: CAN HILLARY WIN?
Luke, I am your father...
I won't bore you with the various links to pundits speculating on Hillary "The R stand for Ripping your freakin' head off" Clinton and her run for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
Am I way off base here? I think she doesn't stand a chance. But various friends (Conservative and those that are wrong alike), colleagues and pundits say I'm way wrong.
I thought my political accumen was decent. Or am I the one that's right?
Here'a my top 6 reasons Li'l Hi'l won't win the nomination (or if she does won't win the Presidency):
- Flaming New York/Hollywood liberal;
- She might be married to Slick Willie, bus she ain't Billy Boy;
- Personality, warmth and compassion of a shrew;
- She's a woman (not saying its right, just saying its true);
- Believeability--could you see this woman fighting the War On Terror(TM)?
- Enough baggage to fly to Europe;
You think Kerry was a tough sell? I think we're talking "Monty Burns for Governor" here.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: CALL LAW & ORDER: SVU
Not sure if anyone heard about the 29-year old wacko who has been in a relationship with her 8-YEAR OLD "boyfriend". After being charged with sexual assault, here's her defence:
"The divorced Birch Drive resident has told investigators the boy — a playmate of her own 7-year-old daughter — was the aggressor in their relationship. Imre said he ordered her to dump an adult boyfriend and told her not to take birth control pills.
"That's a lie!" the boy's mother angrily retorted later. "He doesn't even watch things like that on television."
Now THAT'S a lie! If you're going to go out, go out big.
POLITICS AS USUAL: ELECTION NIGHT II: RETURN OF THE POMPOUS ASS
This part of a recent article says it all, I think:
"In the wake of the unexpectedly emphatic Bush victory, Democrats got bad news from Hollywood. Instead of announcing plans to immigrate to France or Canada, the leading entertainment industry activists solemnly pledged to intensify their already impassioned commitment to partisan politics--thereby greatly complicating Democrats' efforts to shed their elitist image and reconnect with the American mainstream.
Consider the example of John Cameron Mitchell, flamboyant creator of the critically acclaimed transsexual musical comedy "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." He traveled to Ohio to get out the vote for John Kerry and refused to feel discouraged by the disappointing results. "Ultimately, after a period of depression yesterday, today I feel even more energized!" he proudly told the New York Times."
Monday, November 08, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: ASSASSINATION OF ANOTHER KIND?
Read this article and weigh in: medical diagnosis or character assassination?
POLITICS AS USUAL: TAKEN WITH A GRAIN OF SALT, BUT....
POLITICS AS USUAL: TALK ABOUT SORE LOSERS...
Great. Just what Canada needs--more pompous liberals.
Friday, November 05, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2--REQUIEM FOR A BOW TIE
Raj Against the Machine
The Apprentice just got a lot less colourful. My man Raj has been fired. No longer will we have his wild-eyed schemes, bright slacks (I figure he calls them slacks) or shameless flirtation with the ladies to kick around anymore. Ding dong the Raj is dead. I don;t think Raj's real estate practice will be taking off considering that he went from 4 rooms to 3--intentionally. Not exactly a firm grasp on housing market fundamentals there, Raj. I think he just wanted the opportunity to knock down a wall with his bare hands.
While he put too much faith in the contractor, letting him eat his tacos while his chances of winning slipped away, he did totally redeem himself by asking Trump receptionist Robin for her phone number before he took his "elevator ride of shame". Well done, my boy. Well done.
So, Raj got fired, Apex lost--again, and I'm bored.
I'm just not as enthralled with this season as I was last. What's the problem? I think I've narrowed it down to a few things. Firstly, the tasks are basically the same thing. They're asked to produce something, they get a team of "experts" to do it for them and then they are judged on the results. Sometimes the person choosen means all the difference (i.e. the crazy designer Ivanka or whatever her name was). Unfortunately, it just puts the teams in a management role and the outcome is based on one particular mistake, etc. That's all fair--evaluating mistakes is probably a good basis for deciding whether to fire someone--but it makes for boring TV.
Secondly, there are so many people on each team who contribute NOTHING to each task. They vary from each episode, but the issues in the BOREDroom are always about one particular person or event. Not the team as a whole. When they list off the candidates who weren't picked in the Boardroom to go back up to the suite, there's always one or two who I didn't even know were there! I think a lot of them are just plain subpar and boring to watch.
Thirdly, I'm getting repetitive stress disorder from the way each episode goes down:
- Project Manager (PM) is choosen.
- PM talks to team--gives ideas.
- Team criticizes PM for their ideas, think direction is wrong.
- (Losing) team put in lackluster effort, loses.
- Team members state "if they only did it my way..."
- Team goes in Boardroom, decries PM's "lack of leadership"
- PM is fired.
I know, there were a few exceptions to that rule (Bradford, Stacie J, etc), but it is the norm. Most team members, regardless of the validity of the PM's ideas or leadership style, just talk about how "everything is drifting". It gets tired after a while. Being a good candidate also means working well in a team environment--not just being a contrarian.
Anyway, I thought Apex deserved to lose, and Chris is obviously not reading this blog. He was in the clear, was being asked to go backup to the suite when he HAD to open his mouth and badmouth his team. Big mistake. DT hates disloyalty and he hates people who talk for no reason. As he's the PM next time around, I'm assuming the Bronx mouthpiece will be punted. No big loss.
I'm hoping things pick up, becuase I don't want to have to resort to watch "Desperate Housewives" for my fill of exciting TV.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: X-MAS COMES EARLY
For any of you who feel so inclined to get me a Christmas gift (or just a "you're a hellova guy doing a hellova job" gift) I would like to not-so-subtly point you to this particular product.
Salvation, thy name is LocationFree!
B! TALK DAILY: I'D "RATHER" HE SPOKE PLAIN ENGLISH...
A communist dictator.... and Fidel Castro
Here is a great lists of "Danisms" from Dan Rather's election night reporting:
"Do you hear that knocking...President Bush's re-election is at the door..."
"Thin as turnip soup."
"Put on another cup of coffee...we may be all in the waiting room for quite awhile."
"If you have to bet the double wide…”
"This race is humming along like Ray Charles."
"We had a slight hitch in our giddy up, but we corrected that."
"If you believe that, you believe that rocks can grow."
"What John Kerry needs is the equivalent of Tom Brady coming off the bench."
"These electoral votes are swinging like Count Basie"
"They can play Johnny Be Good in Illinois"
"Hotter than a Times Square Rolex"
"We need Billy Crystal to Analyze This"
"Let's hit these biscuits with a dab of gravy." As he wraps up information so far at 7:26 p.m. "Don't taunt the alligator until you cross the creek." On Joe Lockhart's saying the big voter turnout will help Kerry.
"Bush is sweeping through the South like a big wheel through a cotton field." On early Bush victories projected in Southern states.
"This race is hotter than the devil's anvil." On Kerry and Bush's electoral vote counts getting tighter around 8:00 p.m.
"In some ways, George Bush's lead is as thin as November ice." On the fact it's still early and key states not counted yet.
"It don't mean a thing if they don't get those swing states."
As a so-called "respected newsman", his phrases make me as nervous as a pregnant nun.
POLITICS AS USUAL: OH HAPPY DAY
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE REAL LOSERS IN THIS ELECTION
Victim #2: Exit Polls.
Both died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head.
POLITICS AS USUAL: PART II--THE PARTISAN
- Self-righteous hollywood elites
- Professional hot dog eater Michael Moore
- Every student who wears a Che Guevera t-shirt, but knows nothing about his true history
- Every Canadian who things Americans are "so stupid" for last night's vote
- Every person who thinks Saddam Hussein should have been left alone
- Members of the Main Stream Media who so spent hours writing Democratic talking points in the guise of true journalism
- Al Franken and his liberal radio buddies
- Osama Bin Laden
- Every artist on the "Vote for Change" tour
- All the TV networks who are STILL trying to figure out how Kerry could win
- Every employee and volunteer at MoveOn
- George Soros
- John Kerry's rich friends with deep pockets
- All the organizations that spent hundreds of millions of dollars campaigning against Bush
You lost. Huge.
POLITICS AS USUAL: PART I--THE PUNDIT
I have decided that I would like to express my thoughts in two seperate posts, as they will be two distinct ways of looking at last night's election. The first will be "pure punditry", where I will provide my thoughts and analysis on the events of the night. The second will be what I call "pure partisanship" where I spout off on why last night's victory for Dubya was so great. But first, lets get to the punditry.
There is no question George W. Bush has won re-election. The question will be by how much. As I write this, the good folks in Ohio are still counting ballots (provisional and otherwise) and a decision has not been reached. I will get to that ina minute. First I wanted to go through the evening in chronological order.
Having watched the news tickers all day at work (don't tell the boss) I was obviously keeping tabs on the progression of the vote, as I have done in the past. The interesting part of this evening was how I was able to gather intelligence on the ground. For the first time, members of the "Blogosphere" were providing a real sense of what was happening across America--in real time. I have to admit, I was refreshing my browser repeatedly on a number of site to get the most current updates. It was an amazing feeling to hear from individuals their experiences and feelings leading up to this (supposedly) tight election night.
I had also had to endure the nervous chatter from various bloggers on the exit polls that were showing such a heavy return for Kerry. The concerns spread like wildfire on various sites. So much so that numerous GOP officials needed to weigh in to tell them not to panic and concentrate on their GOTV effort. Regardless of the distraction they inadvertantly caused, I think bloggers really came into their own during the election and last night. Just by the response they received from the Main Stream Media and campaign officials (on both sides) it shows that the Blogosphere IS being taken seriously. In fact, GOP officials were commenting on the exit polls on blogs before they were commenting on CNN.
It was interesting--but not suprising--to watch the results come in. I find it funny that the MSM was spending so much time talking about how the results were so much up in the air and they were not able to predict what would happen. Well, if you looked at the wide crop of polling that was done leading up to election night, it should have been obvious: Bush was leading Kerry 51% to 48%. With 1% undecided, what was to guess? Both teams got their vote out. The Dems just didn't have enough votes.
Anyway, I could babble forever, so here are my thoughts:
- Karl Rove's strategy obviously paid off. His plan was to expand his base on the right and he did so--in convincing fashion;
- This election was a referendum on leadership. While major issues such as Iraq had a specific dynamic that played for and against Bush, leadership was the overall "ballot question". Bush polled high on leadership. His win should be no surprise;
- The GOP brilliantly placed same-sex marriage on various ballots in battleground states to help drive their votes (they all went down to defeat);
- Kerry underperformed as a candidate. If you had a strong canadidate from a Gubernatorial background who had a clear and decisive track record (from the Midwest and on the rigth side of the party), Bush could have been beaten. The Dems chose a serial waffler with no real record of substance to stand on and the results speak for themselves;
- Once you get passed the "horserace" popular vote spread, predicting the results becomes much easier. Kerry's favourables were low and his numbers on the number one issue for Americans (terror and Iraq) were also low;
- Americans don't vote out a President in Wartime. This was NOT a referendum on Iraq itself;
- Americans don't vote for legislators. Only 3 Senators/Congressmen have been elected. In total they only served 5 years in the history of the Presidency;
So, the question now becomes what does Bush do now? My view is that he should use this strong victory to bury the Democrats--but not in the way you might think. Bush will not be running for reelection. He was to start thinking about his legacy and his predecessor. For the last 4 years, Bush has been acting on behalf of his base on the religious right: he has stood against the popular Stem Cell research initiatives, he strongly went on the record against same sex marriage and he has put through policies that were pro-family. Some might say that Bush's base delivered for him last night. I would say it has been the other way around for the last four years.
Now Bush needs to use his majority in the House and Senate to not push through his own narrow agenda--he needs to use it to expand the GOP base. That is not to say he should abandon his base or his principles. Far from it. But he does need to focus on issues that affect everyone: the war on terror, the economy, social programs, etc. If he was smart, he would spend less time on banning abortion and more time ensuring the budget is balanced and people have jobs.
I believe he has proven to his base that he is there for them. If he uses his majority to crush the Democrats and forward an agenda that appeals to only a small section of the population, then he could tarnish the GOP for decades. Remember--the U.S. won't be in Iraq in 4 years. There won't be a "wartime president" to support. Bush, his advisors and the GOP need to start thinking beyond Iraq. The question isn't who will be Presdient FOR the next 4 years--the question is who will be President IN 4 years.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE ONLY HONEST GUY IN THE KERRY CAMP...
But not Kerry's pollster.
Read his comments here.
Oh, and I'll read through his lines--51.6% of the popular vote is a clear win. In both the vote and the electoral college.
Looks like someone is buttressing his professional credibility. If he said this and Kerry won, he'd be finished. So I take his comments with quite a bit of weight.
POLITICS AS USUAL: LET THE LAWYERS DECEND...
POLITICS AS USUAL: FROM THE FRONT LINE
"The line was already out the door when I arrived at the polling place at 6:20 am. It took me an hour to get through the line. "
POLITICS AS USUAL: ONE REASON TO VOTE FOR KERRY
Hide the Children
Three words: Hillary in 2008. Dear God. Article here.
Monday, November 01, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE FUTURE OF ELECTIONS?
The Citizens' Assembly on Democratic Reform out of British Columbia has just overwhelmingly voted (146 to 7) on a proposal that would radically alter the way politicians are elected in B.C.
Before I mention the proposal itself, I shoudl note that the Assembly itself is just as interesting. The Assembly, which was promised in the last election by Premier Gordon Campbell (hey--a Liberal who keeps his promises!) is made up of 160 randomly selected B.C. citizens. Assembly members are a wide ranging group, from a former RCMP officer to a 19 year old UBC student to an acupuncturist. This is as representative a group as it gets.
The proposal recommends that B.C. change its voting system to a "single transferable vote" (or STV) which means you would pick multiple candidates in order of preference. A candidate could basically get elected with 20% of the vote. Each riding would have up to 7 members, depending on its size. The results are expected to mirror the popular vote, meaning that if the NDP received 35% of the popular vote, they would likely receive 35% of the seats in the Legislature.
As Gordon Gibson (who also designed the Assembly) explains in today's Globe:
"B.C. citizens' assembly chairman Jack Blaney said members' top four priorities were local representation, a rough proportionality of party seats to party votes, expanded voter choice and reducing the control of party bosses over the election process and elected MLAs.
STV delivers all of these desiderata better than our current "first past the post" system. The STV system is not widely used — since 1922, Ireland has been the main example. That's because politicians almost always design the electoral system, and politicians don't like this one because it reduces party control. Irish governments have tried twice to do away with theirs; the people have said "No!"
Large parties trying to perpetuate our traditional four-year-elected-dictatorship model don't like the proposed system because it increases the likelihood of minority or coalition governments. But this didn't bother the voters who elected the current government in Ottawa. And minority governments are normal in other developed countries. (Indeed, citizens' assembly members kept returning to the theme that Canada has evolved, and so should our voting system.)"
Andrew Coyne also gives his thoughts on the process. The last word on the whole STV system will be left to the voters of B.C., who will cast ballots on STV in a referendum in the next provincial election, on May 17, 2005. This is one provincial election that could have lasting effects across the entire country.
POLITICS AS USUAL: MY ELECTION PREDICTION
I think they're wrong.
I know, we've been obsessed with polls that place the race for the White House neck-and-neck, with each man taking the lead at one time or another. But I suspect these polls might be asking the wrong questions.
Consider, if you will, the latest poll done by the New York Times and CBS. Amongst other more obvious findings, this poll creates some interesting data:
John Kerry has a 41% favorable, 47% unfavorable rating. This is his worst rating ever.
President Bush has a 48% favorable, 41% unfavorable rating. That is his best rating since last December.
Undecided voters lean to President Bush 50%-47%, validating the Pew finding and calling the Gallup number into question.
66% of Bush voters strongly favor their candidate.
50% of Kerry voters strongly favor their candidate.
By a 49%-34% margin, voters expect President Bush to win.
President Bush has a 49%-44% job approval rating.
The right track today is 43%. In 1996, it was only 39%.
48% of voters will vote on national security issues; only 33% on domestic issues.
By a 54%-29%, voters believe the Bush Administration has made them safer.
53% of Americans say we did the right think in Iraq. Only 42% disagree.
If these stats are accurate, Bush will win. I believe that's true, despite what the "polling trends" are saying. Here's why I think Bush will win:
- The entire election has been centred on Iraq and terror--a Bush strength;
- The Osama tape will push people towards someone strong on that issue;
- The Bush campaign has spent YEARS cultivating the 4 million evangelicals who didn't vote for Bush last time--it will pay off.
- This all comes down to who will vote--the Bush campaign has an all-volunteer effort, while the Kerry camp has farmed it out to a company. Nothing can replace the effort you get for creating a grassroots "friends and neighbours" vote drive.
- For all the talk about the "cell phone underrepresentation" in all these polls, I suspect Bush's vote is underrepresented. People are embarrassed to say they're voting for Bush. They're worried their neighbours will look down on them. I've campaigned for controversial politicians. I know that happens.
I won't be so brave to put numbers on the Electoral College, but I do think Bush will win. And frankly, to see all the media and hollywood elites have to eat that? Hell, I'm pulling out my VCR so I can tape their reactions and watch it over and over and over......
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