Saturday, November 06, 2004

Italy in trouble?

I have recently been looking at the general state of affairs in Italy and am growing concerned about the way that the country is shaping up. Their negative population growth is troubling for their own internal economy. The pension system in that country is almost identical to the United States in the set up and problems that it faces. For the most part the negative population growth will lead to severe ability to pay. The Italian Banking system is seeing increases in the cost of capital and cost to rent. The advent of the Euro has made huge profit drops in the currency appreciation to quickly which hurt the loans. The long terms loans were completely devalued and the effects are still being felt. The southern part of Italy is completely underdeveloped and it is a drain on the economy of Italy. Combined with their fear of immigrants economic development is losing out to the population loss which cannot be turned around without immigrants. The family structure is also changing in Italy. Lack of day care and social services for children leads parents to have at most one child but in order to take care of the child and offer a good standard of living the mother must work as well. Many people used to have family owned small businesses but education no longer leans towards innovation in business and as such the children are not taking over these businesses. The university system is under a complete overhaul and fascism still has torn apart an elementary education system that needs overhaul. The entire education system is very European and is at the low end of those standards. With the oldest university in the world there is a small claim to fame but it is not widely used. Labor is in serious need of reform as the laws favor the unions. The unions protect an almost life time employment combined with an inability to lay off during bad periods. This is a detriment to the companies and does not allow the process of creative destruction to occur. The final thing hurting Italy is a lack of infrastructure. Land lines are sorely missing from the country and many people use cell phones. While mobile phone use is higher in other countries of Europe (97 out of 100 people in the Czech Republic) the number is still very high. Mobile phone companies are still targeting use to the people and offering services to induce use. Roads are another major problem as they are widely underdeveloped and almost unusable for transportation. There are efforts being made by the EU to address this problem but they are far and away from solutions. Giving these problems we will see how Italy responds and if they can reverse this disastrous course.

Italy Falling Apart!!!

I have recently been looking at the general state of affairs in Italy and am growing concerned about the way that the country is shaping up. Their negative population growth is troubling for their own internal economy. The pension system in that country is almost identical to the United States in the set up and problems that it faces. For the most part the negative population growth will lead to severe ability to pay. The Italian Banking system is seeing increases in the cost of capital and cost to rent. The advent of the Euro has made huge profit drops in the currency appreciation to quickly which hurt the loans. The long terms loans were completely devalued and the effects are still being felt. The southern part of Italy is completely underdeveloped and it is a drain on the economy of Italy. Combined with their fear of immigrants economic development is losing out to the population loss which cannot be turned around without immigrants. The family structure is also changing in Italy. Lack of day care and social services for children leads parents to have at most one child but in order to take care of the child and offer a good standard of living the mother must work as well. Many people used to have family owned small businesses but education no longer leans towards innovation in business and as such the children are not taking over these businesses. The university system is under a complete overhaul and fascism still has torn apart an elementary education system that needs overhaul. The entire education system is very European and is at the low end of those standards. With the oldest university in the world there is a small claim to fame but it is not widely used. Labor is in serious need of reform as the laws favor the unions. The unions protect an almost life time employment combined with an inability to lay off during bad periods. This is a detriment to the companies and does not allow the process of creative destruction to occur. The final thing hurting Italy is a lack of infrastructure. Land lines are sorely missing from the country and many people use cell phones. While mobile phone use is higher in other countries of Europe (97 out of 100 people in the Czech Republic) the number is still very high. Mobile phone companies are still targeting use to the people and offering services to induce use. Roads are another major problem as they are widely underdeveloped and almost unusable for transportation. There are efforts being made by the EU to address this problem but they are far and away from solutions. Giving these problems we will see how Italy responds and if they can reverse this disastrous course.

Election Wrap Up

With regards to Arlen Specter’s comments about Bush Judicial nominees we see now why this man was elected in a state that Kerry one. He was actually palatable to the moderates. There must be a more deserving senator who can take the judicial committee away from this madman and his false policies. He is as stated by Ann Coulter and David a “RINO” sucm (for those unfamiliar with the term RINO is Republican in Name Only) who will never help the conservative side. It is a wonder if he will even help the republican side since he does vote against it 70 percent of the time. I think he and Zell Miller need to switch parties and we can have a true balance in the senate.

There was an interesting discussion on forbes on fox today that said we need to bring democrats into Bush’s cabinet to unify the country and move us forward. I think this is a terrible idea as it will only cause more friction. (Although I did like Jim Michaels suggestion that Zell Miller take a cabinet position). We do not need any more friction and it is time for the democrats to realize it is time to help this country and pass the things we need to do it. It is also time for the republicans to stick with the idea that he deficit needs to be reduced and knock off this tax and spend liberal crap. If this occurs we will actually be able to stop the disaster of an economic meltdown and thwart another IR professors dream.

"Mid East Turmoil"

With Arafat in a coma and on his way to dying will we actually see something come from the mideast peace process. In the opinions of one of the IR professors here one of the way s to fix Iraq is through the Arab Israeli problem. By showing that we want to resolve that we can draw more allies into Iraq to help us fix both and stabilize the region. At the moment there appears to be no direct successor however abbas is doing a nice job of holding the region together. Israeli military is on high alert preparing for riots and I hope that for a change we can see a Palestinian leadership that will discourage violence and not be seen as a terrorist. We have a historical moment here that if seized upon we have a chance of bringing peace to one of the most volatile regions in the world. I have hopes for the future and with time the “road map” can be put back into place and talks can start once again.

Book Review "Bias"

I will keep this one short. This book is one of the best looks I have ever seen about the bias in the news media and should be a must read for everyone.

Colorado

Clay Calhoun links this article in the Rocky Mountain News for an explanation of what went on in Colorado. essentially, they attribute it to a bunch of liberal groups pumping money in to defeating Republicans. Clay seems to be thinking along the same lines as I am, though: we were just distracted by the national races.

Links to Close Out Election Week

I just thought I'd point out some of the more interesting commentary I've seen in the past couple of days. A lot of it comes from the Corner.

To start, though, head on over to Captain's Quarters, and scroll down all the way back to Wednesday. Captain Ed is on a major roll.

What liberal media? Oh, that liberal media.

Dick Morris is convinced those exit polls had foul play involved.

If you want to have fun gloating and revel in the absolute despondency or insanity of liberals,you must read this fantastic screed by Jane Smiley at Slate. The Northern Alliance and the Corner had a lot of fun with this today. For a glimpse into the bottom of the liberal whiskey bottle, check out this "woe is us" editorial in the Guardian. Can you say "just desserts?"

Also of interest are the county-by-county election maps from this time around. You can see the usual one here. An interesting twist on it can be found here.

Arlen Specter Strikes Back

It was not more than a day after he and the president had been re-elected that Arlen Specter decided that it was important to test how much political weight he actually has by saying, as the senator slated to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee, that he considers the right to abortion "inviolate" and wants to move the GOP to the center.

This statement catapulted him into the national spotlight, after having been in the news during his primary fight back in April. Specter tried to clarify things with a press release and a press conference. He's not really fooling anyone, though. Conservatives are well aware of Specter's liberal record, specifically his tradition of voting with the Democrats over Republicans 70% of the time, voting against Robert Bork, being adamantly pro-abortion, and being one of the biggest pork spenders ever. He's been bad enough by himself, which is why Pennsylvania conservatives mounted a strong challenge to him in the primary in the person of Pat Toomey. Unfortunately, Toomey lost, and many Pennsylvania Republicans were confronted with the unappealing choices of voting for Specter, voting for his Democrat opponent, voting for a 3rd party nobody, or not voting in the Senate race at all. Even more frustrating is that everyone was well aware that Specter was next in line to be the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Specter won, but his rush to grab attention and challenge the president was just appalling. I don't think Specter would have beat Toomey if it wasn't for the immensely disappointing endorsement of the Senator by President Bush and his colleague senator Rick Santorum. For Specter to immediately come out and threaten Bush's judicial nominees after there seemed to be an imminent end to four years of obstructionist in the Senate was amazingly selfish and unhelpful.

However, it opens an opportunity for conservatives to speak up and demand that Specter not be given that chair. After an electoral victory like the one we achieved on Tuesday (Colorado nonwithstanding) it's just unacceptable that a liberal RINO will stand in the way of the judges we've worked so hard to pave the way for, not to mention the American people's approval of the President's vision for them. National Review Online is leading the charge with this editorial and many many posts in the Corner, discussing Specter and asking concerned citizens to contact their Republican senators and members of the Judiciary Committee before leadership roles are determined in the next couple of weeks.

Redstate has contributed Not Specter.com to the effort, which looks like it will become the group blog for this movement. But it's not just the blogs. Rush mentioned Specter a couple of times this week, Hannity spent time on it on his program today (though he seems to like Specter for some reason) and Laura Ingraham is all over it. Filling in for Hugh Hewitt today, the Northern Alliance also spent time on this subject. Captain Ed adds his $.02 here. This is a big deal, and conservatives are not going to just roll over and take it. If you want to do something, you can call your Republican senators or Bill Frist. Wayne Allard has gotten several calls about this, and I'm sure my co-bloggers in Pennsylvania would love to let Rick Santorum know what they think.

For a summary of the problem with Specter, make sure you read John J. Miller's piece about why Arlen Specter is "The Worst Republican Senator."

I suppose I should make my own position a little clearer, though. It's not so much about abortion for me as it is Specter. Liberal Republicans should not be rewarded like this. And I'm not talking about people like Rudy Giuliani, I'm talking about people like Specter and Lincoln Chaffee. I don't want a liberal Republican helping the Democrats oppose Bush's judicial nominees, and I just don't like Specter to begin with. I will not be happy if Specter winds up hurting the chances of judges who will be trying to take back out society from creeping ultra-liberalism because he doesn't like their views on abortion.

Friday, November 05, 2004

What Happened in Colorado?

I'm not so sure about other states, but I think Colorado has got to be the biggest disappointment for the Republican Party this election. And this is bizarre for a solidly Red state that has a very conservative governor in Bill Owens, two Republican senators, one of whom sponsored the FMA, a House delegation with only 2 Democrats, and a 53-47 win for George W. Bush this year.

Yet, Pete Coors lost to Ken Salazar, and Republicans lost both houses of the State legislature for the first time in 40 years. What happened? I don't pretend I have the answers, but I certainly have some thoughts.

First, let me make clear that El Paso County did its job. El Paso is in a small pantheon of counties across the country including Orange County, California, as one of the most conservative counties in the nation. That also makes us the most conservative in Colorado, and in statewide elections, El Paso is counted on to get big numbers for Republicans to offset Pueblo, Denver, and the People's Republic of Boulder, heavily liberal areas. Then the rest of Colorado's generally conservative areas in the mountains (except Aspen and Vail) and plains can push candidates over the top.

El Paso County was asked by the state party to come up with a 55,000 vote margin for Pete Coors. In other words, they wanted 55,000 more votes for Pete beyond the votes cast for Salazar in the county. Well, El Paso's 96-Hour Victory team delivered a 68,000 vote margin for Pete and an even greater margin for President Bush.

So what happened? The rest of the state dropped the ball, particularly Arapahoe County, which holds the southern suburbs of Denver, fairly Republican areas. Not enough Republicans voted for Pete. I'm not quite sure why. It could be that he was not an exciting enough candidate, though he's a fantastic guy and has been active in Colorado issues for years. However, he was never that great a public speaker. Talk to the guy one-on-one and you'll come away thinking he's one of the nicest people you've ever met. But put him on stage, and he's just not a stump speaker. Nor is he a particularly great debater. He's definitely got the right ideas, but Salazar is a lawyer and he just outshone Pete. Salazar looked calm and in command of the facts and able to roll with things. Pete seemed to get flustered when he had to leave talking points, and was never great on the fly.

However, I suspect that his loss also has to do with lingering issues from the primary. Pete's opponent, former Congressman Bob Schaffer, made conservative credentials a major issue, which strategically makes sense in such a normally conservative state. Schaffer attacked Pete for allegedly wanting to lower the drinking age, which Salazar also seized on. What really seemed to stick, though, were the charges that the Coors Brewing Company was sponsoring gay pride parades and was giving benefits to same-sex partners. In the northeast, this would be a qualifying factor, but in the Colorado GOP, this is not helpful at all. Scoffer went after Pete hard on the conservative issue and deluged talk radio with ads questioning his ideas right before the primary in August. Scaffer was gracious and conciliatory in defeat, though, and immediately joined a Republican Unity bus tour across the state. However, the damage was done.

This was made clear to me at a Q&A session Pete had with GOP voters and volunteers in Colorado Springs in mid-October. Popular Senator Wayne Allard and respected Congressman Joel Hefley were also in attendance for this event at Coors headquarters in El Paso County. Pete gave a short speech and asked the crowd for questions. Many were the same questions Schaffer had raised. One woman simply would not let up on Pete about the gay parade thing. Finally, Allard and Hefley stepped in, saying this is a time for unity and that Pete is an excellent candidate, etc. But it was clear that some in the base were not entirely comfortable with Pete. Similarly, when Senator Bill Frist came to town the week before the election and they held a joint press conference, Pete was hammered with questions about immigration. Immigration is a big issue among conservatives in Colorado, but it really wasn't the time or place for that. (Not that Republicans are not to be held accountable for it in this Congress. There are no excuses now.)

So, I think in the end, Republicans just didn't vote for Pete Coors. I don't think they necessarily voted for Ken Salazar, but I think it was Schaffer's attacks that kept people uneasy. It's not really Schaffer's fault; it's Colorado Republicans' fault. You have to vote for your candidate. Salazar has always been rather popular, he plays a centrist well (though that's essential for Democrats to get elected statewide here). He also looks good in a cowboy hat. Coors looked good in the coat and flannel shirt of the beer ads, but I think the hat really added to Salazar. But, this is silly. Bottom line, the base did not turn out for Pete Coors, and now we have a Democrat representing us. However, you can't blame it on El Paso County.

Now, what the heck happened in the state legislature. Again, I really have no idea, just speculation. My suspicion is that the focus on the federal races left the state races lacking and the Democrats seized on this.

In El Paso County it was all about Bush and Coors, except for that pesky Mike Merrifield. Kent Lambert actually began his campaign for Merrifield's seat in February and many people worked hard for him all the way up through Tuesday. Many people were confident that the GOP could unseat Merrifield, the only Democrat in the El Paso delegation. Merrifield has a history of playing dirty. In 2002, he was caught electioneering inside polling places. He had been going through voting lines within the one hundred foot limit, shaking hands and asking for votes until he was finally stopped sometime in the afternoon. This year, he and his supporters were part of the pandemic of sign-stealing that swept the nation. His wife was actually caught on tape removing Kent Lambert, Pete Coors, and Bush-Cheney signs from neighbors' lawns. Merrifield actually said that he would have been doing it, had he not just had eye surgery. He gave a lame excuse about his neighbors asking him to do it since, as he claims, they didn't want those signs. He was challenged about this incident by local talk radio host Joseph Michelli, and Merrifield got quite upset. He had been a regular and respected guest on Michelli's show for many years but after the sign incident he issued a statement saying he would never come on the show again. So, Republicans really thought they had Merrifield this time.

The Democrats rallied, though, taking advantage of Merrifield's district, which is probably the most liberal in the city, as it includes Downtown Colorado Springs and the cosmopolitan yet historic Old Colorado City. And again, attention was diverted to the federal races even in El Paso County. None of the other state representatives or senators made much in the way of campaign efforts, except for Representative Mark Cloer, who most El Paso Republicans cannot abide because he is sloppy and disrespectful of his office. He faced a strong challenge during the primary, but managed to eke out a victory thanks to his incumbent status. It was the primaries that really got attention on state issues, with contentious races for the Senate nomination, for House seats, for the District Attorney, and for the County Commission. Once the primary was over though, all attention turned to the federal races.

I imagine it was similar in the rest of the state. No one from the El Paso County delegation lost their seat, but elsewhere in the state Democrats blindsided Republicans who were too distracted with Bush vs. Kerry. This may have actually been a deliberate strategy on the part of the Dems. I don't think there was anyone in the Kerry camp that seriously expected to win Colorado, but the Republicans in the state enjoyed having swing state status, as it brought attention from the media and visits from the wildly popular president and vice president. Thus distracted, the Democrats left the Republicans to worry about Bush while they likely looked for vulnerable areas and pounced when the time was right. They were further able to take advantage of the state's budget problems and sluggish economy.

So, while things turned out okay on a national level, Colorado is headed for a very contentious 2005 legislative session and Republicans may be frustrated for two years. It may still be difficult to retake the legislature in 2006, as Bill Owens is term-limited, and a heated primary is expected. It's possible this could be avoided if rumors that Owens is to be tapped for a cabinet position prove true and Lt. Governor Jane Norton is promoted. Things will be interesting in Colorado, though they may not be favorable to Republicans.

Actually, there was one more perplexing thing. Amendment 37, which mandated utility companies to have a certain percentage of their energy come from "renewable" sources by certain dates (although hydroelectric dams are moronically not included in this). This is going to drive up already high utility rates and will be a major hassle for power companies and electric co-ops in Colorado. I have no idea why Colorado voters approved this. It was overwhelmingly rejected in El Paso County, but I just don't know what happened statewide.

Election Day Reflections

Before I get to Tuesday proper, let me write a bit about the 96-Hour Campaign. I'd been volunteering a couple times per week before this, but this was the final push to get Republicans out and to the polls. The week before this final push was pretty busy, though, getting all the materials for 96-Hour ready, preparing and putting up signs, recruiting College Republicans and showing themy Fahrenhype 9/11 and making lit drops.

I wound up mostly walking precincts, which wasn't the greatest thing to do, though I suppose it was better than phone banking. Don't get me wrong, I had fun, and it felt really good to be doing something to ensure the president's re-election, but I often felt like a jerk bothering people at home either by knocking on their door or calling them on the phone. Oh, and the dogs, don't get me started on that...

Still, the group of volunteers here in El Paso County did a great job, walking most of the precincts in the county on Saturday, and finishing them the next few days. Then there were all the people who made phone calls, and the fantastic team that organized everything and kept it going. We did our job in El Paso County. More on that in my next post.

When Election Day finally came, it almost felt to me like we'd done everything there was to do, but we still had to remind people one more time to vote. To that end, I spent the whole morning making phone calls, imploring people to go vote for George Bush and Pete Coors. By lunchtime, though, I was sick of that and wanted to get out and do something concrete, so I went out with some people in one of the famous vans to knock on people's doors and ask them if they wanted a ride to the polling place if they hadn't voted yet.

It was about the time we were heading out on the first of these missions when word started coming in of those exit polls. We were told, "Kerry's up 2 in Ohio and Florida, so get out and get every single vote." Panicked phone calls to people in those states confirmed that those were indeed what was being reported. A wave of fear and helplessness swept many in the campaign, and I was definitely among that number. We didn't want to be talking to voters in Colorado; we all wanted to drive to Florida and Ohio and drag Republicans to the polls. Since we couldn't, though, I figured in the worst-case scenario, by dragging voters to the Colorado polls, we could get Pete Coors in the Senate to help things. As we drove from house to house, we looked to Sean Hannity for the reassuring, "let not your heart be troubled," yet even he was discussing the numbers. Ever the optimist, though, he begged people to get out and vote everywhere and he brought on regional managers for the Bush campaign who tried to say the numbers were bogus, and that certainly provided some consolation. Though I was extremely worried, I have to thank Sean for trying to be a calming yet realistic voice. It helped get me through until the polls closed. By the way, it now appears those numbers were disseminated from the Kerry campaign.

Toward the end of Hannity's show, we were called back to reorganize and try some other precincts. I guess I must have been in the wrong ones, since every door I knocked on either no one was home or they'd already voted. I heard that in several other ones they got a whole bunch of people to come with them in the vans to vote.

With the polls still open for about an hour and forty-five minutes, we came to a consensus in our precinct that since we had found no one who hadn't voted, we should head back and see if there was anything else we could do. Getting back about an hour before the polls closed, I got on the phones one last time and called for about a half hour. By that point, though, it just felt like there was nothing else we could do without teleporting to Ohio. So, I helped with some clean-up activities and then headed to the county victory party.

I arrived about 45 minutes after the polls closed in Colorado and though few people were saying anything substantive about the national races, I was heartened to learn that it was clear that the vile Amendment 36 was clearly going to be defeated. This was, of course, the liberal scheme to split Colorado's electoral votes and steal some for Kerry. Fortunately, Coloradans realized what a horrible idea it was and did away with it.

When I got there, most of the Southeast had been called for Bush and most of the Northeast for Kerry. People were anxiously watching the numbers come in from Florida and Ohio as polls closed in the West. I was still incredibly worried. I later learned that it was at this point (actually even earlier) that Dick Morris, who had joined the ranks of the despondant earlier in the day, saw the numbers from Kentucky and Georgia and realized that Bush was doing much better than he had done four years earlier. I kind of wish I'd had those numbers in front of me. It's certainly possible that Brit Hume or someone mentioned them, but I could not hear the TV most of the night because it was a party, after all.

Disappointingly, there was little to eat. Most of the food had been consumed by the time I got there leaving only something that I could not decide if it was a wonton or gyoza. Either way it was a tasty but insufficient little dumpling.

Though I was nervous throughout the night, I was heartened as things progressed. The early numbers showed Bush ahead in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Iowa. It was clear that Kerry would get Minnesota, which disappointed me, because I really wanted to believe Lileks, the Northern Alliance, and Hugh Hewitt that it would go for Bush. It also appeared that Pete Coors was winning and Arlen Specter was losing, the latter of which I had a good laugh about.

As the night wore on, Pete kept falling behind, New Hampshire and Wisconsin tightened, but Bush appeared to be building leads in crucial Ohio and Florida. Every time those two states scrolled past, people would see a slight Bush lead and then wait breathlessly for the number of precints reporting. Every time that percentage increased, a mighty cheer went up. It was like leading 4 goals to 3 in the last 5 minutes of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and you're just begging every single second to drop off that clock faster and faster. It wasn't quite the "Miracle" game in 1980, though the stakes made it feel like that. What did get increasingly frustrating was the cowardice of the networks in calling certain states. Fox refused to call Florida until 97% of the precincts were in. But when they, did, oh man.

There were rousing cheers as states were called for Bush, boos as they were called for Kerry. Cheers for Fred Barns, jeers for Susan Estrich, cheers for John thune, Mel Martinez, Jim Demint, and Senator Bunning. But when Brit Hume said it was clear that with a 300,000 vote lead, Bush was the winner of Florida, there huge, sustained yelling and cheering. This was the way it should have gone in 2000, and one key to the door was in place. More importantly, most of us knew that Kerry could not win without Florida, and could at best tie, sending the vote to the House. But still, it was nerve-wracking.

Soon, though, the president built up an impressive lead in Ohio, and people began really believing it was going to happen. Then we saw Daschle falling and the excitement began to build. Our attention was briefly diverted as the El Paso County numbers began to come out and we saw Pete Coors, who had fallen behind by some 70,000 votes at that point suddenly get a 60,000 vote boost, thanks to us. But then, Fox called Ohio for Bush, and that was the true moment of catharsis. All the anxiety, the hope, and the earlier despair, just washed away in a wave of cheering and yelling. Bush was at 266. Then the chant, "One more state! One more state! One more state!" And we watched the numbers even closer. Would it be Wisconsin, Iowa, or the newly counting Nevada or New Mexico? Bush quickly took the lead in New Mexico and people chanted the name of our southern neighbor, hping Bush could pull through with those 20,000 votes.

Then the polls closed in Alaska and it was 269. "One more vote, one more vote!" But stubbornly, they would not declare New Mexico, Nevada was slow in reporting, Iowa remained agonizingly close, and Wisconsin and New Hampshire slipped from our grasp. Later, Kerry was given Minnesota and Hawaii, two disappointments, but we ust needed one more state.

It was about this time that the sobering news began to hit us all. Pete Coors was too far behind. El Paso County's only Democrat, State Rep. Mike Merrifield, whose wife had been caught on tape stealing signs, was soundly beating challenger Kent Lambert. And then came the shocker of the night: the Democrats had taken the Colorado House and Senate. Everyone was simply stunned. No one had any idea how this happened, and the various state officials in attendance started to scramble to find out what was going on.

And the night wore on with no decision in any of the remaining states. Energy returned when it was clear that Daschle had been truely Dumped. But people were tired and worried about local issues and bummed about Pete. The crowd thinned, and then Edwards came on vowing to "fight for every vote" in Ohio. At that point visions of Florida 2000 dominated and everyone simply decided to go home, because they were tired, and in my case, hungry.

Though it ended on a down note, the party really was a blast, and I'm sure I'll remember it for a long time. Wednesday morning was vindication, though, as Kerry took the high road and conceeded and Nevada was the state that pushed the president across the finish line.

I have to say that I count myself fortunate not only to be an American, a New Yorker, and a Coloradan, but to have been able to vote in and participate in two of the most memorable elections in American history. I'll be able to tell people I lived Florida 2000 and assisted in Campaign 2004. I just need a convention visit to make it complete.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Election Aftermath

Sorry I didn't have reactions up sooner, but I was recovering from the 96-Hour Campaign, which I think was very successful. Well, I still haven't quite recovered, but the next couple of days should take care of that.

So despite my extreme anxiety leading up to and during Election Day, in the back of my mind a little voice said, "The American People will make the right choice. They know the stakes and they have seen the candidates." Still, I couldn't help but pray during the day Tuesday (even as I did what I could myself) that the people of the United States would have the wisdom to do what's right. And they did. We did.

When presented with a clear choice, conservative values and strong leadership won the day. This was a vote for steadfastness in the War on Terror, a vote for traditional values, a vote for optimism, and a vote for belief in the basic goodness of America. It was a rejection of self-loathing, of Europe, of eltisim, of the Old Media, of the 60's, of obstructionism, of appeasement, of class envy, race-baiting, and outright deceit. It was a rejection of letting John Kerry, John Edwards, and Tom Daschle determine the course for this country. It was a rejection of Dan Rather, of Micheal Moore, of Bruce Springsteen, and of Whoppi Goldberg. We saw what these people stood for and said we would no longer stand for it. We remembered September 11th, we approved of fighting the terrorists in their home instead in our homes, and we rejected the idea of saying you support the troops without supporting their mission. We heard our soldiers when they said, "Give us George W. Bush as our Commander-in-Chief." The American people saw two competing visions for this country, and we chose the only responsible and appropriate one.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Fox Article

ountdown for 2008 Election Begins
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
WASHINGTON — The day that dropped the curtain on the 2004 presidential race raised one for the 2008 contest, with Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) and John Edwards (search) jockeying for advantage among Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (search) the first on the stage for Republicans.
It's only four more years to go — minus a day. Who's counting? Lots of folks.
"You can be disappointed, but you cannot walk away. This fight has just begun," Edwards told Democratic loyalists in Boston in a concession speech that also could qualify as the leadoff stump speech of the next presidential campaign.
The Democratic decks are cleared with John Kerry's defeat, and Edwards and Clinton start off as early favorites within their party for 2008. Not that they — or Kerry — are talking about any plans so soon.
Since Bush cannot run again, the race is wide open on the Republican side as well, even more so than it would normally be. Usually the outgoing incumbent's vice president is the automatic favorite for the nomination. For instance, Democratic Vice Presidents Walter Mondale (search) in 1984 and Al Gore in 2000, Republican Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988.
But Vice President Dick Cheney (search), who is 63 and has a history of heart disease, has ruled out a run on his own for president.
google_ad_client = 'foxnews_440x100';google_ad_width = 440;google_ad_height = 100;google_ad_format = '440x100_pas_abgn';google_safe = 'high';
That leaves a potentially crowded field — including Sens. Frist of Tennessee, John McCain of Arizona, George Allen of Virginia, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, New York Gov. George Pataki and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — with no early favorite.
Frist wasted no time in putting himself into play, beginning a "victory tour" of the South on Wednesday that included stops in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina with victorious GOP Senate candidates.
"Last night was a monumental victory" for the GOP-led Senate, Frist said. Wins included a five-state sweep of the South and the defeat of Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota. Frist's expanded GOP majority gives him a high-profile platform at least for the next two years. Frist said he will stick with a pledge to resign from the chamber when his second term is up in 2006.
Clinton, who would have been sidelined in 2008 with a Kerry-Edwards victory, is now front and center among would-be Democratic contenders. And her supporters were busy getting her name in circulation.
The former first lady has plenty of name recognition and a wide following. But some analysts suggest she could meet the same fate as Kerry as a liberal senator from a Northeastern state, despite the years she spent in Arkansas.
"She's already known. The public is already polarized around her," said political analyst Stuart Rothenberg.
Doug Schoen, who served as former President Bill Clinton's presidential pollster, said it was too early "to talk personalities. The party's got to get repositioned first. It has to get back to the center with an aggressive assertion of traditional values."
Edwards might seem to have an advantage, being from the South. He drew high likability ratings on the campaign trail, both during the Democratic primaries and as Kerry's running mate. But his liabilities include a lack of political and foreign policy experience. And his decision not to seek re-election this year will make it hard for him to stay in the spotlight.
A trial lawyer, Edwards urged Kerry on Wednesday not to concede so quickly, but to make sure all options were explored.
Other Democrats who might run for the nomination in 2008 include Kerry himself, Sen. Evan Bayh (news, bio, voting record) of Indiana and Govs. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois and Tom Vilsack of Iowa. And, up and coming, the party's rising star, Barack Obama, of Illinois, who will be the only black member of the Senate when he is sworn in January.
"There is an abundance of people" willing and eager to run, said Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University.
And Baker said a campaign like the past one — long, bitter and costly — may be becoming the norm in American politics. "It's like the Iditarod. It's this long race. You're exhausted and the dogs die," Baker said.

Woohoo!!!!!!!!

It has been a good night. Bush winning, Daschle losing. Although I am sure my fellow bloggers are disappointed that PA went to the dems for the presidency I encourage them to look at it as an overall victory. I have many many many times (since I have been following politics in fact) watch my home state go for a democrat. We have a huge victory to celebrate (and Edwards seat to a republican) so let’s enjoy it while we can.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Book Review: “The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming our Young Men"

I recently finished reading Christina Hoff Summers Book “The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming our Young Men.” The book was very interesting and while the arguments for some things were a little weak the overall idea is one worth considering. We see such an emphasis placed on special education programs for girls in order to help them with self-esteem issues that we today do not get a look at men. Now I am sure all you fun loving feminists out there will be saying how as a guy I have no right to talk about this but it is time to consider both sides. Men have just as many developmental problems as women and they are being ignored in our schools systems because the feminist agenda has gone on to hijack education. While not completely taking over it is still worth acknowledging that the role of women’s groups in education plays a large difference. The idea of Columbine being more noticeable had the boy’s erratic behavior not been seen as typical male violence is an interesting one. The idea that males must naturally be bellicose is something that should not be accepted as true but also realizing that a more active lifestyle is required. I was one of the few boys who were happy when in 5th grade they started shortening recess. I hated the idea of being forced outside to sit around and do nothing because I was not a sports player; however, I was in the minority as a great many boys were very upset. This move is a bad one because many boys need that release that recess provides and the move to shorten or remove recess from elementary school is a bad one. A focus needs to be brought on equal education of both sexes. Girls are attending college more than boys and are dropping out less more than boys. It is time to start paying attention to both sexes and stop discrimination against men in elementary schools.

Moore, Moore, Moore

Michael Moore’s appearance on Lehigh’s campus has been absolutely disgusting. The atmosphere of hate this man creates is utterly ridiculous and the university should be ashamed of the way it has conducted itself. Liberal tolerance (which is an oxymoron) has been shown to be nothing more than spiteful and hate filled. Tearing down advertisements for Mr. Hardy has been the order of the day. The democrats respond to this notion with it not being a big deal. Let’s see how they would like it if they started tearing down their property. More to the point we have seen members of our club physically assaulted for handing out information in a place they were invited to be at. The behavior of the Moorites (for definition see David Hardy’s Book) was on par with what one would suspect and once again shows the republicans in the more shall we say cultured class.


PS to the Kutztown College Republicans go screw yourselves. You DID NOT organize that protest and you had NO RIGHT to end it early.

Go W!!!!!

Let’s all pray for W!!!!! It is a big day at the polls.

David Good Luck to Mr. Coors I know the numbers have been looking down recently but as we all know democrats are lazy and republicans rally!!!!!

Monday, November 01, 2004

More Liberal Thuggery

I'm sure that by now everyone is well aware of the widespread intimidation and vandalism that is being brought to bear against the Republicans this year, but I have two tales to add to this sorry list.

First, we had our own here in Colorado Springs. The 96-Hour Campaign had rented several vans for Tuesday, to drive voters to and from the polls. They were all parked at the top level of the Kiowa St. parking garage near Bush/Cheney-Pete Coors headquarters. I, along with a few others, had decorated the vans with Bush/Cheney and Coors signs Friday night. They were left in those spots as we went home, since it was after midnight. Apparently one of the vans was not locked properly (we didn't go into the vans to decorate them; we just taped signs onto the outside) and a group of socialist thugs stole it.

Thy drove it through one of the gates of Ft. Carson, the largest military installation in town, and then set fire to the van.

These people are absolutely unhinged. I wasn't surprised by what the protesters did, but this was such an outrageous act, that I'm shocked people are this angry and disrepectful. I just cannot fathom the depths of insanity of the brain of a Bush-hater. I just hope the police catch these jackasses so charges can be pressed.

Meanwhile, a fellow campaign worker related to me a story out of Florida. Apparently a group of toughs rented a bus and dropped one member off at a Bush/Cheney headquarters with a shotgun, where he attempted to shoot up the place. I was told Bush staffers chased him and he was arrested by a number of police officers. I haven't been able to find a news story to verify this, however.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

hopefully to appear in the BW on moore

Lehigh University was wrong

I will remember Friday night for the rest of my life. I went up to watch my fellow College Republicans protest outside, from both inside and outside the ropes, but I did not participate (I’ve never enjoyed protesting). Regardless, my “W ‘04” hat was enough after the show to cause people to tell me to “enjoy my tax cut” and suggest that I should “make something of my eighteen years and go die in Iraq.” I watched as Moore fans creatively flipped off the protestors, told them to get ready for the draft, and invited them to do plenty of colorful things with themselves. I listened from outside the ropes to a few people who were suggesting that the difference between liberals and conservatives is that “we (liberals) believe in free speech and democracy and they (conservatives) don’t.” What a brilliant and well-supported comment, especially since it was Kerry/Edwards/Moore supporters who, at the CR information table at Stabler, physically and verbally assaulted our club members and destroyed our property. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Lehigh and Lower Saucon Police officers who stepped in to ensure our safety after the show.

But one part of the university (Lehigh Police) should not have to protect another part of the university (CRs) because of the actions of a third wing of the school. UP, VLC, and the Humanities Center should be ashamed of what their actions accomplished. We were force-fed, largely from writers in the Brown and White, the belief that this Michael Moore show was an event to spark debate and discussion and a get out the vote effort. In reality it was a “get out the vote for John Kerry” campaign rally, which we were saying it was going to be for weeks. I hope the administration is looking into this matter seriously, because a school-funded political campaign rally could be seen as an endorsement of a political candidate which could be seen as a violation of our tax exempt status as a non-for-profit institution. I would sure hate to see our tuition skyrocket because a select few low-level administration members decided they would push their own political agenda by exerting their influence to bring in Michael Moore.

Mike Paquet, in your column “Forget Moore” you incorrectly stated that we “right-wingers” were against Moore coming because he is “too partisan.” We never questioned Michael Moore’s right to have his opinions, just the validity of the statements in his books and movies. We said that it is wrong for UP and VLC to only present one side of the spectrum (which is something you said makes us “blind in [our] stupidity”). Moore had the backing of two well-funded groups, whereas College Republicans is a small, not well-funded group of students that is always climbing straight uphill trying to balance political debate on this campus. Beyond that, it was obvious from the start that Moore would try to get people to vote for John Kerry, which raises many legal questions. Mr. Paquet, I challenge you to a debate, one on one, about the merits of bringing Michael Moore to Lehigh, especially now that all our suspicions about this event have been proven correct. The UP, VLC, and every other co-sponsor, if they took half a minute to figure out what Moore would be “lecturing” on or “entertaining” us with (by either reading his press release on the tour or going to any of the online newspapers from the dozens of colleges he visited before Lehigh), would have easily seen that this event was going to be a political rally to get the vote out for John Kerry. Lehigh University financially supported an event where a very persuasive and influential personality repeatedly screamed “vote Kerry”, told the “slackers” in the crowd to follow the motto “sleep ‘til noon, drink beer, vote Kerry November 2nd,” and urged everyone in the crowd to volunteer with America Coming Together and MoveOn.org in the next three days to help get John Kerry elected. That, my fellow students, was a wrong move for the university to make.

Jessi Schimmel, in your column ironically titled “Missing the Point,” you said “don’t tell me he is going to change a majority of student voters’ minds because of the timing of his show” because of absentee voting. I don’t know if you were at the show, but the lines afterward for the two Kerry campaign groups were rather long. Everyone in those lines is going to be out campaigning for Kerry in these next three days that you basically suggested were irrelevant. Furthermore, let’s just say campaigning for Kerry was not an idea that popped into their heads by coincidence because a speaker they were listening to said something non-partisan like “it’s important to get involved in the political process and campaign for a candidate.” No, I think the two hours of venomous anti-Bush, anti-republican rhetoric and screams of “vote Kerry” had a tad to do with their decision. Their votes may not have changed, but their going to be out trying to get others to change their votes which they would have been unlikely to do had Lehigh not graciously provided the support for this event. Statistically there had to have been a few truly undecided voters in that room whom Moore convinced. And why wouldn’t he be able to convince them? God forbid Lehigh would have the guts to ensure an alternative view, demand that Moore be challenged by someone, or realize that it is fundamentally wrong for a university to support a candidate for president of the United States.

Finally, to Michael Moore: when the conservatives retain power, I can assure you that we won’t associate the name of a democratic presidential candidate with an upside-down American flag. If one does, I pledge that I will fight my hardest to de-legitimize that person. I ask that you do the same by making an adjustment to your commercials and apologize for the original content.

Kevin Frost ‘06

Worth Reading

I'm dead tired after the first day of the 96-Hour campaign, but I think we did pretty well today. Before I rest up for the next leg, I just wanted to point out a couple of things I didn't get to post yesterday.

First, Rush had an amazing caller on Friday. Christopher hails from Northern Ireland, a place that has known terrorism first hand and he understands what it takes to combat it. He wholeheartedly supports George W. Bush and his fellow residents of Belfast seem to as well, since a poll byt the Belfast Newsletter turned out to have 95% of respondents supporting the President. Heh, I wonder what the Guardian thinks of that. Anyway, you have to hear this call. If not, at least read the transcript.

Hugh Hewitt was still in Colorado Friday, and he broadcast from Pete Coors headquarters in Highlands Ranch, with guests including Senator Wayne Allard, Governor Bill Owens, Pete himself, and many others. The most interesting by far, though, was Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo. I happen to like Tancredo as he is, a no-nonsense guy who relentlessly pursues the problems of immigration and border security. However, yesterday, Tancredo told Hugh all about his visit to Beslan, Russia, the site of the school massacre. It is disturbing and revealing of the enemy we face. The Congressman made an excellent point in that the terrorists would love to do this here and reminded everyone that our soldiers have found floor plans and emergency plans for school districts across the country in the posession of terrorists captured in Iraq. You can read Tancredo's journal of his trip here.

On a lighter note, the Media Research Center has posted its list of "The Ten Worst Media Distortions of Campaign 2004." Unsurprisingly, Rathergate tops the list, but don't miss their handling of the Swift Vets and their misreporting of Iraq-Al Qaeda connections. It's bais for the whole family!