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October 31, 2004

What the bin Laden Tape Actually Said

From The Middle East Media Research Institute:

The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera(1) on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state")(2) to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."

The Islamist website Al-Qal'a explained what this sentence meant: "This message was a warning to every U.S. state separately. When he [Osama Bin Laden] said, 'Every state will be determining its own security, and will be responsible for its choice,' it means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president has chosen to fight us, and we will consider it our enemy, and any state that will vote against Bush has chosen to make peace with us, and we will not characterize it as an enemy. By this characterization, Sheikh Osama wants to drive a wedge in the American body, to weaken it, and he wants to divide the American people itself between enemies of Islam and the Muslims, and those who fight for us, so that he doesn't treat all American people as if they're the same. This letter will have great implications inside the American society, part of which are connected to the American elections, and part of which are connected to what will come after the elections."(3)

Another interesting aspect of the speech is the fact that while bin Laden made his specific threat to each U.S. state, he also offered an election deal to the American voters, attempting to influence the election by these means rather than influencing it through terrorist attacks.(4) This peace offer is a theme that follows up on his April speech directed to Europe, in which he offered a truce.(5) The Islamist website Al-Islah explains: "Some people ask 'what's new in this tape?' [The answer is that] this tape is the second of its kind, after the previous tape of the Sheikh [Osama bin Laden], in which he offered a truce to the Europeans a few months ago, and it is a completion of this move, and it brings together the complementary elements of politics and religion, political savvy and force, the sword and justice. The Sheikh reminds the West in this tape of the great Islamic civilization and pure Islamic religion, and of Islamic justice..."

Posted by Jeff at 11:59 PM | Comments (2)

Try the Hip Hop Debate

Click on the six dance moves listed at the bottom of the applet:

Hip Hop Debate

When you're done, you'll get an opportunity to see who most people think won the debate. Does it match any predictors that you've seen lately?

Posted by Jeff at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2004

Presidential Vote Equation

The Ray C. Fair Presidential Vote Prediction has been updated.

Presidential Vote Equation--October 29, 2004

The predictions of GROWTH, INFLATION, and GOODNEWS for the previous forecast from the US model (July 31, 2004) were 2.7 percent, 2.1 percent, and 2, respectively. With the release of the NIPA data on October 29, 2004, all the actual economic data are available for the vote prediction. The actual values (as of October 29, 2004) of GROWTH, INFLATION, and GOODNEWS are 2.9 percent, 2.0 percent, and 2, respectively.

Given that the actual economic values are close to the values used for the previous vote prediction, the current vote prediction is little changed. The new economic values give a prediction of 57.70 percent of the two-party vote for President Bush rather than 57.48 percent before.

Happy Halloween!

Posted by Jeff at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2004

Red Sox Hero: Curt Schilling

Gotta love this:

Red Sox Hero Curt Schilling: 'Vote Bush'

ABC'S CHARLIE GIBSON: "Well, well said, Curt and Shonda. You both have certainly lifelong membership now in the Red Sox nation. It was a great thing to watch, and I think everybody -- whether they were great Red Sox fans or not -- had to admire what this team did. It was extraordinary, and one of the great stories of sport. And sport always produces such great stories. Curt, Shonda, great to have you with us. Congratulations."

CURT AND SHONDA SCHILLING: "Thank You."

CURT SCHILLING: "And make sure you tell everybody to vote, and vote Bush next week."

Source: ABC's "Good Morning America," 10/28/04

Rock on, Curt.

Posted by Jeff at 03:00 PM | Comments (1)

Bush, unlike Democrats, shares values of black voters

I found this article on zogby.com to be very interesting:

Bush, unlike Democrats, shares values of black voters

No one voting bloc remains so faithful, and yet feels so unappreciated. While African Americans continue to vote overwhelmingly Democratic in presidential elections, those for whom they vote don't always feel the need to reciprocate their affection.

Black America's Political Action Committee, in its 2003 National Poll of Registered African-American Voters, found that while over 80 percent of black Americans have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party; a full 43 percent believe that the party takes them for granted. In the same poll, only 37 percent have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party while 48 percent have an unfavorable opinion.

While Democrats have long enjoyed the steadfast support of African-American voters, it seems ironic that the Republican Party -- the party of Abraham Lincoln -- has done so little to reach out to such an important and justifiably skeptical segment of American society. That is until President George W. Bush.

Even though elected with less than 9 percent of the African-American vote, Bush, more than any other president, has appointed blacks to positions of real and meaningful power within his administration. Bush's cabinet includes Colin Powell as secretary of State; Rod Paige as secretary of Education, and Alphonso Jackson as secretary of Housing and Development. In fact, Condoleezza Rice, as national security advisor, is arguably the most powerful woman in the world.

While addressing the Urban League here in Detroit earlier this year, Bush willingly admitted he has a lot of work to do to secure the trust of black Americans. But African Americans need to recognize that it is Bush who strongly supports two important cultural issues that appear to resonate deeply within the black community -- the protection of life and the protection of marriage....

The gist of the article is that Bush is not only colorblind in his choices of people to hire into strong positions in government, but he's protective of the values of black voters while Kerry trys to destroy what blacks care about.

I now am very interested to see how the black vote will compare to 2000. Already polls are suggesting that Bush will receive twice as high of a percentage of black voters in 2004 as he had in 2000.

Posted by Jeff at 01:17 AM | Comments (2)

October 09, 2004

Rasmussen: Today is the first time all year that either candidate has hit 50%

Presidential Tracking Poll: Bush-Kerry

Saturday October 09, 2004--The latest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll shows President George W. Bush with 50% of the vote and Senator John Kerry with 46%. Today is the first time all year that either candidate has hit the 50% mark in our survey.

95% of the polling for that poll was done before last night's debate. If the people of Rasmussen get their butts in gear and get a new poll out within the next 2-3 days, it'd be a great measure of who benefitted most from last night's debate.

Posted by Jeff at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2004

John Edwards, You Offend Me

That little speech he gave at the end of the debate, the one where he likened America to a little light that is flickering and is about to go out. The guy spoke as if we're some third world country, our citizens desperate and hungry...and he's offering us...hope.

"Hope"?!

We don't need no stinkin' hope, little man...we're Americans. We're collossally rich by the standards of the rest of the world...obesity is one of our primary health problems, fergodsakes...we have two car commercials in nearly every commercial break...we party with Pepsi, Coke, Pizza Hut, and Dominoes because we actually have the luxury to be that lazy. We have color televisions, microwave ovens, broadband Internet, and high performance video cards to run state of the art video games which we purchase in multi-milliondollar volumes the first week that the damned things come out. We have X-Boxes, Game Cubes, and $100 sneakers on our kids' feet.

"Hope"?! Give us a break! We're AMERICANS - we MAKE things happen, we don't elect smegging politicians to make things happen for us. How dare you insult us that way, jerk?

John Edwards is sort of the "anti-Ronald Reagan". Ronald Reagan went out of his way to speak of America's virtues, made us remember of just how proud we should be to be Americans - because of who we are. John Edwards makes us out to be a bunch of limps desperate for some politician out there to reach down and give us a helping hand...because we can't do it on our own.

Someone needs to thoroughly let this guy have it live on national television. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

John Edwards...if I ever find myself near you, I'm going to wipe my feet as I leave your presence. You offend me.

Posted by Jeff at 02:09 AM | Comments (3)

October 05, 2004

What is a Flip-Flopper?

I saw this posted on a bulletin board:

Originally posted by Demogorgon
Has it ever occured to people that re-evaluating ones position is a good thing?

I find it odd that anyone could ask something so elementary, so I answered:

Yes, and it's obvious way past the point that it becomes an issue of "Duh!". It's occurred to and has been accepted by me, by virtually every Republican out there, by President Bush, by everyone. The question that you are asking is so obvious and so simplistic that everyone would agree with its implications. And yet you asked it as if to suggest that there is actually someone, anyone, who would disagree with its obvious underlying theme.

The issue isn't changing positions. [Another party on the bulletin board], for example, has brought up plenty of issues where President Bush has changed positions (demonstrating that President Bush is aware of and practices the central principle of your question, himself). Yet the charge of "flip-flopper" does not stick to Bush because changing one's decision when new information compels it is not the issue; doing so does not make one a "flip-flopper".

The issue is the type of facts which compel a person to change positions. With President Bush, it's facts that are inherent to the operations in question. That's why he's not a flip-flopper. Instead, he's just acting intelligently and responsibly.

With Senator Kerry, the facts which change his position are public reactions to his position. He takes a stand for something, loses some support from voters who don't agree with him, then he does a 180_deg turn to get those voters back. In doing so, he loses other voters, panics, then does it again! For him, the issue isn't figuring out from the facts the right thing to do and then doing it; instead, his mission is to escape criticism.

That's a flip-flopper, and that's what he is.

His biggest problem with this has been the Iraq war. Around half of the Democrats are for the war having happened while the other half are against. ANY stand he takes on this issue alienates half of who he's hoping to vote for him. That's why he's flip-flopped all around that issue and why he's been so evasive; it's also why he's attempted to focus his candidacy on the American economy.

Posted by Jeff at 05:31 PM | Comments (1)

October 04, 2004

George W. Bush's "Hard Work"

People make decisions emotionally, then they attempt to justify their decisions rationally. However, this is a self-checking process. People are passionate about being rational, so if their initial emotional decision cannot be rationalized, it'll be altered until it can. What this means is that people choose the decision that appeals to them the most which can also be rationalized. And Bush's phrase, "hard work", is a source of an emotional issue which will bolster Bush's position by creeping into the back door of the voters' thought processes.

You can divide America's workforce into two categories: 1) The working class. 2) The risking class. The irony is that the risking class works much harder than the working class (the average millionairre, for example, works 60-65 hours per week and does so for decades before reaching that economic landmark).

Now, if you were one of those people who was bugged - or even just plain embarrassed by - Bush's referring to his job as "hard work" fully 11 times during the debates, then chances are that you're a member of the working class, not the risking class.

Members of the working class do not risk (that is, their level of risk is so low as to be inconsiderable). Most members of this class hold protected positions in unions, civil services, and universities. Even in non-unionized companies, the ability of managers to fire or discipline employees is severely limited by the threat of lawsuits based upon "wrongful termination" or specious claims of racism (or based upon other protected classes).

The risking class has no such benefits. They protect themselves from risk with education, intelligence, foresight, and planning. But these are just tools in their arsenal to manage risk. The necessary condition for these people to succeed is to work really, really hard. These people get up earlier, work harder, stay more consistently on task, go home later, and work more days than the working class, and even take their work with them on vacations.

The working class tends to relate to the arguments of the Democratic party. These people see the spoils of the risking class (money), but they don't understand or acknowledge the work of the risking class.

The members of the risking class tend to be Republicans. They know the meaning of the term: deserve.

President Bush used the term "hard work" 11 times during his debate, forcing the phrase to seep into the back of the minds of those who work really hard for a living. He conveyed the message: Hey, I understand what it is that you're doing out there every day, because that's what I do: I work really hard to manage risk. (And when we acknowledge that the risk he's managing includes the risk of terrorism, we're even more humbled.)

To those with a working class mentality, Bush's repetition of "hard work" seemed like clumsy everyday language. But those who risk for a living picked up on its true implications immediately, but subconsciously. It did not bother them to hear him repeat it over and over, and it's impact did not likely weigh in on their analysis of who won the debate. Instead, it helped to solidify their good feelings about President Bush and will weigh in strongly when they make their emotional decision about who to vote for in the coming election.

ps: as a side note, isn't it interesting that while President Bush has kept up his more-than-full-time job as President while he campaigns on the side, that Senator Kerry seems to have just walked away from his duties as a senator and campaigns full time?

Posted by Jeff at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Why Kerry isn't Getting Ahead

An interesting article:

Where's the Resonance, Kerry?

Why hasn't Senator John Kerry's newly formulated Iraq policy gained traction among voters? Even in the wake of a relatively strong performance in the first debate, and more than a week after he delivered what a majority of commentators called his most impressive address of the campaign, in which he leveled his harshest criticism to date of President Bush's performance in Iraq, Kerry's poll numbers haven't moved much.

Why, then, has this aggressive tack not paid dividends? While some pundits have attributed the failure of the new line to strategic missteps, and others have pointed to the inappropriateness of "rooting for failure" in Iraq, the simplest explanation is the most compelling: the substance of Kerry's Iraq plan is redundant, unrealistic, or just plain wrong.

That, and maybe: It's the economy, stupid!

Economy Grows at 3.3 Percent Rate in Q2

All 50 States Post Personal Income Growth

Not surprisingly, the Kerry campaign has gone into full Vietnamization mode vis-a-vis Iraq, even getting a boost from reliable ally CBS who gleefully reported on the likelihood of a reinstatement of the draft, the source for which seems to be an Internet hoax.

So the economy continues to improve, though it seems to be walking - not running - to the finish line.

Mostly, I think, it has to do with the media (as a whole, as opposed to individual outlets) overblowing the stories that it tells. For days we've been hit with articles saying: "KERRY WON!" But in reality, only a minority of those polled thought that Kerry won; the majority thought that it was either a tie or Bush won. So it shouldn't be expected to be any kind of Earth shattering event.

Posted by Jeff at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2004

What IS it about this photo?

It just seems to convey the essence of John Kerry, personally, as well as politically:

The Essence of John Kerry

Posted by Jeff at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2004

Are You Throwing Money Away?

I received this letter in the mail today from the Republican Party Headquarters:

Envelope - Money in the Mail

I've donated to the Republican party this year, which means that I've been getting one mailer right after another from them ever since, most of which I throw away because if I'm going to do anything, I'm going to do it online. Junking up my mailbox with stuff ranks low on my list of things that happen in life. Anyway, I was literally standing over my outside garbage can when I decided to open this letter, and as I did I was dropping parts of it directly into the trash. I was just planning to glance to see what was in there. This is what I found:

Letter - Money in the Mail

That's a real dollar. THAT was an attention getter, so I guess it worked.

Posted by Jeff at 06:04 PM | Comments (3)

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