Monthly Archives: January 2004

Advantage Bush

Michael Barone declines to predict the identity of the Democratic presidential nominee, but offers a sensible analysis of that nominee’s prospects in the general election. Says Barone, “To gauge where the general electorate is, I look not only at current polls but also at actual vote totals–the 2002 popular vote for the House, which has become a good proxy for the parties’ national standing. It was 51 percent Republican and »

The Latest From New Hampshire

The latest Zogby poll shows Kerry with a seven-point lead over Dean, 30% to 23%, on a three-day tracking basis. But the race appears even tighter than than that, as yesterday, Kerry outpolled Dean only 28% to 25%. At this stage of the race, everyone is playing the expectations game, so Dean happily told the press he was “poised for a comeback.” And perceptions are obviously important. But in another »

Howard Dean: The Como variation

Mark Steyn’s Chicago Sun-Times column today is “Mad Dr. Dean jolts Kerry campaign to life.” Steyn is having too much fun kicking Howard Dean around to let him go yet. Today the humor is derived from the transformation of Howard Dean’s persona since losing the Iowa caucus. But buried in the humor is an unfunny insight: “Dean has been so subdued and demoralized that some of his wackier support has »

The guests who are coming to stay

Rep. Tom Tancredo argues that President Bush’s guest worker proposal “is both dangerous and unworkable.” Tancredo is much more of a hard-liner on immigration issues than I am. However, I find most of what he says here to be persuasive. »

Hanging in there

Hugh Hewitt, a “full-throated Dean booster,” believes that it’s too early to conclude that Dean will crash in New Hampshire. Hugh cites Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke for the proposition that a medium-to-low single-digit loss of any sort gives Dean bragging rights and new momentum, and believes that such a showing is attainable. Dean may well have bottomed out, but apparently not before falling more than low single-digits behind. So »

David Kay Update

David Kay appears to be giving interviews in piecemeal fashion, and dropping different tidbits to different news sources (or maybe Reuters heavily censored the partial interview transcript that it released yesterday). Today the Telegraph said that it also interviewed Kay, and reported: In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Kay,who last week resigned as head of the Iraq Survey Group, said that he had uncovered evidence that unspecified materials »

New Hampshire, South Carolina, and beyond

The Washington Post is the latest to report that “the Clark express is losing steam” in New Hampshire. The Post suggests that Clark’s problem is that, after Iowa, there is no need for an un-Dean. But Clark’s status as the possible un-Dean was never the reason for his support. The rationale for a Clark vote was always the thought that he had the best chance to defeat President Bush. After »

Mixed Feelings About Winter

It was three degrees below zero this morning when I drove one of my daughters to school. A little warmer than the last couple of days, but not much. Looking on the bright side, the St. Paul Winter Carnival got underway last night with the opening of this year’s Ice Palace, the most elaborate in decades: The palace is made out of 500-pound blocks of ice–27,000 of them. I assume »

David Kay Comes Home

As long rumored, David Kay has resigned as head of the Iraq Survey Group. On his way out, he gave an “exit interview” to Reuters. It is being widely reported that he told Reuters that he thinks there were no illicit weapons in Iraq prior to the start of the recent war, and that Iraq’s WMD programs were never restarted on a large scale after the Gulf War. This may »

Mondale endorses Kerry

We doubt that the rest of the country has been holding its breath for Walter Mondale’s endorsement of a Democratic candidate for president, but in Minnesota it’s big news. Yesterday Mondale endorsed John Kerry for president. (To make the endorsement sweeter for Kerry, Mondale’s son Ted is the head of the Dean campaign in Minnesota.) The AP story helpfully reminds readers younger than we are that Mondale is a former »

Name that liberal

Today, the Washington Post’s op-ed page ran two liberal perspectives on the State of the Union address, one by Michael Kinsley and the other by E.J. Dionne. One piece contains a critical yet perceptive analysis of compassionate conservatism. The other is an incompetent attempt at a hatchet job. Can anybody guess which liberal wrote which piece? Kinsley recalls that “when Bush started calling himself a ‘compassionate conservative’ during the 2000 »

The man who invented soul

Sam Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on January 22, 1931, grew up a son of the church in Chicago, and died a violent death under unsavory circumstances in Los Angeles on December 11, 1964. Yesterday was the anniversary of his birth; let us now praise famous men. In the beginning, writes Cooke biographer Joe McEwen, Cooke was black America’s favorite gospel singer. At age 19 Cooke replaced the lead »

The Post Debates Dick Cheney

The Washington Post’s election-year advocacy continues this morning with a news article–not an opinion piece–by staunch Democrats Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus. The article is an attack on the administration’s position that there were connections between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, and that Iraq had active illegal weapons programs, and perhaps stocks of such weapons. The purported basis for the Post’s story is the fact that »

Prescriptions for Democrats

Reader Dr. Stephen Marmer caught the Democratic response to the State of the Union message, the Democratic candidates’ response to the Iowa caucus results, and the past two Democratic presidential candidates’ debates. However, he did not view the proceedings with his undivided attention; he found plenty of time to continue his professional activities during the broadcasts. Dr. Marmer has forwarded us his findings: Howard Dean needs more Valium. John Kerry »

Meet Sonning Prize winner Mona Hatoum

Scott Burgess of the Daily Ablution has written to advise us of his post on this year’s winner of the Sonning Prize, awarded bienially for “outstanding contribution to the advancement of European Civilization.” Joining past Sonning Prize winners like Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Niels Bohr, Bertrand Russell and Vaclav Havel will be Mona Hatoum, a Palestinian artist now living in London. Scott takes us on a guided tour of Ms. »

The Battle of the Mosque

General Robert Barrow (ret.) is the former Commandant of the Marine Corps. We have obtained a copy of General Barrow’s summary of First Marine Division interviews for an internal military “lessons learned” project. A reader has kindly forwarded General Barrow’s summary received courtesy of a Marine officer who prefaces General Barrow’s summary with the statement that “General Barrow is easily one of the top five human beings I have known »

Too good to be true

Conservatives react in one of two ways to the Dean meltdown. Some react high-mindedly — they express relief that “the oldest political party” has regained its sanity, that the democratic process worked, that the election will be between two adults, etc. Others react more naturally, i.e., with deep partisan disappointment. Charles Krauthammer places himself squarely in the latter camp, albeit with tongue perhaps slightly in cheek. Put me in that »