Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mark Foley. Ick

If you haven't heard about this story just google Mark Foley. Keep vomit bag close by. As a result of his horridness, Foley resigned from the Florida 16th. This makes an already interesting mid-term even harder to call. Republican's will be able to place a new name on the ballot but that candidate will have only 39 days to start a campaign from nothing. This district is normally a lock cinch for Republicans but the madness is so intense that even CQ is placing it in the No Clear Favorite column.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Possible Weirdness

I'm getting ready to convert The Drift over to Blogger Beta so things may get completely effed up. Here we go! heh-heh-heh. Thank you. Drive Through.

UPDATE: Everything seems to be going well. The new features are pretty nice. You will notice now you can browse old post by subject. That was the one feature I really wanted. But HOLY CRAP! I've got a lot of old post to label!

UDPATE II: About a third of the way through updating the posts. Two things I've noticed. Things seem to be faster. I suspect this has to do with the google takeover. I bet they moved to more stable hosting. My visits have gone through the roof! When you update, you are put in the "next blog" queue on Blogger. I suspect that it's picking up all these news tags as updates and putting me to the front every few minutes.

UPDATE III: I've got to navigate through Blogger's new fetch codes to figure out how to get my logo back up. Maybe I need a new one anyway.

UPDATE IV: Exactly half way on labelling the archives. That's enough for today. It's Friday for gods sake!

UPDATE V: I got in a late night fit and tagged the rest of the entries. You can now view the entire Ga/DC/Ga and Gulf Road trips by clicking on the Road Trips link. I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. I still have a little more parsing to do. I'm pleased that most of the entries have been about Georgia or Florida politics. That was the purpose when I set out to do this. I'm a little surprised by excess of diary-like entries but I suppose that's to be expected. Late night brings restlessness. Seeing the road trip post has me restless again. I think another road trip is in the cards. Maybe in a couple of weeks.


Laws that trample our rights horrify me. Laws well known to be unconstitutional infuriate me. Roll both into one big vomit ball and I want to run screaming into traffic.

Republican Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon on the striking of Habeas Corpus in the Detainee bill and the likelihood that the Surpreme Court will overturn:

“We should have done it right, because we’re going to have to do it again,”
said Senator Gordon Smith, a Republican from Oregon, who had voted to strike the
habeas corpus provision, yet supported the bill.

So, even though there are an abundance of lawyers in Congress, no one considered that we might have to go through this sturm und drang again? What would your boss say to you if you said, sorry, I know I didn't do it right the first time and was just waiting to do it again? You would be fired. Your representatives should not be held to an lesser standard. Remember that come election time.

h/t: Midtopia

Never End The Day On A Down Note

Blackburn beat SV Salzburg 2-0 for an aggregate 4-2 win.

Welcome to UEFA group play Rovers!

20 Years From Now

Will today be seen as turning point in the War On Terror or a dark day in American history?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Feeling Of Dread

As I sit watching CSPAN2 as yet another amendment goes down to defeat a cold feeling permeates my innards. I keep wishing someone would stand up and scream that can't everyone see what we are doing is wrong. Senator Leahy came the closest as he stated the august group was rushing willy nilly to alter the Constitution so that everyone could back to the campaign trail. He called it a farce and angrily through down his microphone.

For you Georgians out there, Chambliss and Isakson have both voted to kill every amendment including the Habeas. Chambliss is up for election in two years. Do not forget this day when it comes time for him to be held accountable.

All Torture All The Time

I just haven't had much to say today. All the talk is torture and it just depresses me.

Torture, torture, torture, torture.

Later today, the Senate will pass the "torture compromise". I would love to write a long deep analysis filled with flowery prose on this piece of darkness. Instead, all I can think is this is what we have become? This is what used to be the shining city on the hill?

UPDATED: As I wrote this, the Senate killed Arlen Specter's Habeas amendment that would have allowed federal judges to review the legitimacy of cases. I have gone from depression to anger. How dare they. How dare they trample every priniciple that has made out country great for over 200 years. These are the same men and women that roll out the Founder's name at every opportunity. The ones that claim sole ownership of the Founder's legacy. How dare they.

I would also note that John McCain voted to kill the amendment. For any of you independents out who were still considering voting for him.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NIE First Blush

I haven't had time to wade through it yet but Andrew Sullivan has and his summary is worth reading.

we've made real progress against the organized professional leadership of
al Qaeda. Everywhere else, we've lost ground. One reason we've lost ground -
both strategically, ideologically and politically - is because of the bungled
war in Iraq, which has produced the worst of all worlds: an ineffective
occupation that doesn't bring democracy, has turned the image of the U.S. into
Abu Ghraib, and has inspired many more decentralized and dangerous Jihadists
across the globe

A caveat. Andrew and I completely disagree on the need for this war. However, despite a few nuances, I do agree with him on the result and the desperate outlook it has caused.

UPDATE: Joe has stepped in with his opinion. Another worthwhile read.

6 Months

It just occured to me that I started this hoo-hah six months ago today.

Thanks for your support.

Harris To Appear On Hardball

Today at 5:00!

I've got my DVR set!

Late Night Poker Moment

For three years now many have said that Chris Moneymaker was the best thing and the worst thing that has happened to poker.

After tonight I can say the worst thing that has happened to poker is no longer named Moneymaker.

Its name is Gold.

I fear what this exhibition will lead to in this great game.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More On Guns

Somehow Jason Pye of and I managed to turn a post at Peach Pundit about down ticket races into the age old gun debate.

Feel free to drop by and comment.

Edited to add: I should say I consider Jason a Hardline Libertarian (despite his love for Boortz) and generally a good guy. Our conversations have always been genial and interesting.

Bush To Declassify NIE On Terrorism

President Bush has ordered the National Intelligence Estimate on terror declassified.

Now maybe Senator Frist will get a chance to read it.

In the meantime, some members of the press are digging around about another report that is specifically about Iraq.

Is this the prelude, Act I or Act II? I'm beginning to wonder when Banquo's ghost will show up.

Can't Possibly Be True Files

Competitors at the World Angling Championships have to submit to drug testing.

It gives the sport credibility because we are subject to the same
anti-doping tests as other sports. At this level, we all take angling very
seriously...We want it to be in the Olympics one day, so we have to fall in line
with other sports.

A confession. I have watched competitive fishing on tv. But still...

h/t: Hit and Run

This Is A Big One

No, I am not exaggerating.

The Associated Builders & Contractors in Florida have backed Democrat Alex Sink for Florida CFO.

This is large in many ways. First, let me get this out of the way. Georgians, you think you know something about growth? In an one onomatopeia word, heh.

Over the past ten years, Florida has exhibited almost brain blasting growth. In a state where there is no income tax, property tax rules. And property values and the taxes with them have been soaring. It's gotten so bad there are now stories in south Georgia about people from Florida moving north to get away from the insane valuations.

Now here's the bad news. Florida has grown fat off development and that time may be over. The real estate market has grown soft and there are whispers in the RE/Max offices of the bubble bursting.

There's a lot to riff on here but the fact is Florida depends on development. And Florida moves with all that is good and all that is bad with rampant development. That means an endorsement from a huge construction lobby merits notice. A lot of notice.

Ms. Sink you have the endorsement. It may carry you to Tallahassee. If you get there, remember Damocles.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Florida Race Tightening Up

New polls are out showing Davis trailing Crist by only 4-6 points. Perhaps the national Dem party should rethink giving up this race?

Georgia 82nd Updated

And Levitas is on the board!

Got my first mailer today. In my unprofessional opinion, it's pretty good. It lists upcoming meet and greets. That's always good. Everything else is boilerplate but that's okay because local races are won based on three words. Visibility, visibility, visibility. Now how about some yard signs...

I'll try to get a picture up a little later.

There's A Disturbance In The Force

An interesting new poll regarding down ticket races in Georgia.

Attorney General:
Thurbert Baker: 39%
Perry McGuire: 34%
Don't Know/Undecided: 27%

Georgia Supreme Court:
Carol Hunstein: 20%
Mike Wiggins: 10%
Don't Know/Undecided: 70%

That's a lot of undecided voters. Even for races that don't generate a lot of interest. This new info combined with the fact that Libertarians in Georgia are pulling nearly 10% in some of the major races tells me the electorate are beyond restless. They appear to be moody. Possibly mean. An ill wind may blow many out of office in November.

Sad Clown

Poor Katherine. Could it be that she's sad because once again she's in corruption trouble.

Thanks to Cartmorlari at Carp Circles for the pic.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Giving It For The Team

Talk about giving it all.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms had his spleen removed following a loss to the Carolina Panthers.

I watched the game and Simms looked like death warmed over but a damaged spleen?!?! And he played the rest of the game! That's a tough kid.

Frist on This Week

When questioned about the startling National Intelligence Estimate leaked to the NY Times, Senator Bill Frist did the equivalent of a small child pulling the covers over his face and muttering "if I don't see the monsters, they don't exist".

In between a litany of right wing memes (fight them over there, all the attacks during Clinton years, cut and run, blah blah blah), Frist kept insisting that he could not comment on the report since it's classified and has not been presented to the Senate. The report was generated in April. Almost six months ago.

Is there any way any one can find credibility that a report that bluntly states the ground situation in Iraq has been kept on the shelf all this time?

Credibility. It's in the dictionary under the letter "c", Senator. Look it up.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Football Update

After a miserable 0-2-1 start the Rovers have now won two in a row to move to the middle of the table!

Oh. Y'all were expecting something else?

Okay. The Pack is 3-0 and starting region play next week. The Falcons are 2-0 and looking at a 3-0 division start. And FSU.....I still can't talk about FSU. Maybe next week.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Democrats Conceding Florida?

There is mucho fretting in Georgia Democrat circles about nominee Mark Taylor's apparent dearth of money. It looks like Florida nominee Jim Davis may have similar problems. And the Florida Republicans are chortling with glee.

What's interesting is that while in Georgia Mark Taylor is desperately trying to out-conservative Sonny Perdue, in Florida Charlile Crist has outflanked Jim Davis on practically every flank. Davis has just about nowhere to go except hard left and anyone who knows Florida knows that's a loser.

Looks like both Georgia and Florida governor's mansions will stay comfortably red. I will say that I have more sympathy for Davis. Both he and Taylor are getting out politicked but at least Davis isn't looking panicked. Yet.

A Little Off

No internet all day.

A little muddy in the brain.

Poker has been off.

I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Those Darn Gays

Just one more reason The Daily Show is the best show on TV.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More Corn In South Georgia

Looks like another ethanol plant is getting read to fire up.

The article is a little slim on details. I'm going to try to dig up a little info to see how it measures up to the plant in Camilla I wrote about earlier this year. But it's another good reminder that not all progress in Georgia originates ITP*.

*inside the perimeter for you non-Atlanta heathens.

Ride Grim

New blog on the roll.

Yeah, it's commercial but being a free wheeling laissez-faire guy, I got no guilt.

So here's the plug.



Okay, as I sit here with a quarter stuck to my foot from the change scattered on the floor, I shouldn't be the one to talk about throwing crap all over the place, but...

The Space Shuttle has now found a total of three pieces of debris floating in space! All crap that they somehow lost!

Jesus Christ! I'm going to pick up my change now. It's the least I can do to set a good example.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Where's Katherine?

It's been two weeks since the Florida primary and nary a Katherine Harris story in sight. It's like she's gone into hiding. Maybe this is why my blogging has been quiet. I've been secretly pining.

Georgia House District 82

Yeah, that's my house district. Time for a little local noodling.

Driving back from lunch today, I noticed that Steve Schultz signs had popped up in my neighborhood like mushrooms after a rain storm.

I will admit that I havent' followed this race very closely. Until now.

Schultz is a Republican running against Democrat Kevin Levitas.

The yard sign poppage makes sense as Schultz is a local boy in Embry Hills. Generally, the 82nd is a Democrat district but it did narrowly elect Republican Paul Jennings in 2004. I also remember quite a few Paul Jennings signs in my neighborhood. An interesting corollary is my area heavily supported Hank Johnson against Cynthia McKinney.

I think it's time to do a little more digging here. I think I will fire off a couple of emails to the candidates about one of my favorite pet topics to get the ball rolling. Also, all you Dekalb Dems and Reps out there feel free to drop an opinion.

UPDATE: Ahhhh, nothing like a little local poltics to inflame the passions. Already got an anonymous tip that Schultz had some not so nice dealings as a Republican consultant. Something about a previous house race and rumors regarding the Democrat candidate. More later.


It's talk like a pirate day! A revered and holy day among us pastafarians!


Saxby Chambliss' Slip Of The Tongue

I hate that I even feel the need to comment on this. Currently simmering, hopefully that is all it will do, is controversy over the following quote by Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss:

We need better intelligence. If we had better intelligence in the Civil War
we’d be quoting Jefferson Davis, not Lincoln.

It should be noted that Senator Chambliss' office disputes the quote.

Even though he is from the south, even though he represents my state, even though he is from my hometown, I am not going to defend Chambliss. There is no need for any defense. In my mind, the only thing Chambliss is guilty of is a poorly worded analogy.

Chambliss and I agree on practically nothing but I do not believe he is a closet racist or Confederate apologist. Any attempt to crucify him over this statement borders on the ridiculous. There are plenty of areas to criticize and question Chambliss. This is not one of them.

Studio 60


And if you want to see the genesis get Sportsnight NOW!

Late Night Lighting Designer Moment

A History Of Violence is the best lit film I've ever seen.


Monday, September 18, 2006

End Of The Day

Bad cards

Bad poker

Gonna watch a movie

Day Off

I know I've been slow lately but it was a long weekend, a long drive and I have to rest up for some poker.

So go read elsewhere for a while you varmaints!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Republican Quote Of The Day

On Face The Nation, when asked by Bob Scheiffer if he might face a primary opponent due to his stance against President Bush on torture, Senator Lindsey Graham responded:

(paraphrase)...our nation can survive without Lindsey Graham, it cannot
survive if we undermine the rule of law...


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Football Saturday


Friday, September 15, 2006

Bush Press Conference At 11:15

Probably more of the same but with yesterday's Senate hoo-hah it could be interesting.

I'm going to watch and see if pigs fly.

UPDATE: He just conflated Powell's letter into Powell comparing Americans to terrorists. For gods sake.

UPDATE II: I used my DVR to get the exact quote. Make of it what you will.

Reporter: Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. If the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State feels this way, don't you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether your following a flawed strategy?

President Bush: If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorists tactics of extremists it's flawed logic. I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the actions of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.

UPDATE III: Two questions about torture and the rift with Congress. TWO QUESTIONS! Both fairly soft. Liberal press my ass. Until we get to David Gregory who actually has the sack to ask a specific question about torture.

UPDATE IV: Okay Gregory and Bush are really getting into it. Gregory refuses to give the microphone up. The talk radio nuts are going to go crazy this afternoon.

New License Plates. Why?

Somewhere in my dear departed grandmother's garage lies a license plate from the early 70s. It's a little rusted but the letters and numbers are still crystal clear. My own license plate has rested comfortably on the back of my car for five years. None of that matters to the powers that be in Georgia. We're getting new license plates. Starting in the spring, a whole new batch of pretty plates will be rolled out.

Plates have a life of five or more years, so they will be
doled out to drivers over time. Georgians with current plates will be able to
purchase the new plates for a nominal fee, but Graham hasn't set a price.

First of all, who the heck commissions a study on how long license plates last and how much did that sucker cost? More importantly based on anecdotal evidence, I lean more towards the more part of that statement.

The answer to the question why is more revenue. This is a fairly innocuous way for the government to generate a surge in revenue. But it is an unneeded tax and fine example of governmeant waste. Why don't we keep our perfectly good license plates a little longer and allow the citizens of Georgia to keep their money just a little longer?

Why Does Bush Not Trust The Military? Part III

Now the Bush administration is pressuring the JAGs to agree to their twisted version of coercion.

For God's Sake, even Lindsey Graham is pissed. Is there anyone outside of AM radio that this adminstration hasn't caused to vomit in their mouth over this issue?

For years, the social conservatives have said we are in the middle of a war for the soul of America. Well, they finally got it right. We stand on the hill staring at the abyss. It is time for those who would be heard to stand up.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Afternoon Funny


More From The Liberal Military

And now Colin Powell comes out against Bush's proposal for the military tribunals.

"The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," Powell, a retired Army four-star general, wrote in a letter Wednesday to McCain, whose amendment last year opposed the use of torture...To redefine Common Article III would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk"

Is anyone starting to get the feeling that it's not us "weak willed liberals" that are out of touch?

Pelosi, Bush and Bin Laden

Over the weekend, Nancy Pelosi said the following in regard to Osama Bin Laden:

The damage that he has done is done. And even to capture him now I don’t
think makes us any safer.

I would think it would be obvious to anyone with an ninth grade education that Pelosi is pointing out that terrorism has matastisized to the point that even the capture of the most dangerous terrorist would have little overall effect. Arguable but not necessarily inaccurate.

But that ain't the way some Georgia congressman see it.

First, Phil Gingrey jumped in stating that Pelosi meant that Bin Laden was not a threat. Then, today, Jack King jumped on the scare mongering band wagon.

Do Republicans really believe that Democrats want Americans to die? Do they really believe that Americans are so blind they will buy that tripe?

But that's really not the point right now. I hope that at some point the honorable gentlemen from Georgia will address another politician who doesn't equate the capture of Bin Laden with American safety.

I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's
not that important. It's not our priority.

That would be the words of our great leader, George W. Bush.

Cultural Question Of The Day

Do you put salt in your beer?

Jim Davis Picks A Running Mate

Yesterday, down in Florida, Republican Charlie Crist picked what I would call a safe running mate.

Today, Democrat Jim Davis made his choice. And his choice is infinitely more interesting and, dare I say, more politically astute.

An F-16 fighter pilot, [Daryl] Jones is a colonel in the Air Force reserves who
lives in Miami-Dade. He served two years in the House (1990-1992) before being
elected to the Senate, where he served for a decade. He ran unsuccessfully for
governor in 2002...Jones, 51, raised in a segregated Mississippi who was his
high school valedictorian and went to law school, would be the first
African-American lieutenant governor in Florida's history.

This is going to be a helluva an interesting race. Definitely stay tuned.

Just Another Win


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why Does Bush Not Trust The Military? Part II

Over and over again current and former military plead with this administration to not only follow the rule of basic human dignity but also to follow international law concerning detainees that have served well for more 60 years.

"There is nothing good about it," John Hutson, former judge advocate general of
the Navy, said about the authority to conduct harsh interrogations codified in
the Bush plan. "It is not effective in terms of gaining good intelligence. It is
not good for the U.S. in terms of being a world leader. And it is not good for
U.S. troops in terms of being the victims of it or perpetrating it."

If Bush will not listen to the military, just who in the hell will he listen to?

Crist Picks A Running Mate

Florida Republican candidate for governor Charlie Crist has picked a running mate. It's state house member Jeff Kottkamp. Whose vanillaness matches nicely with Charlies vanillaness.

I always find it odd that Florida allows candidates for Governor to select a running mate. Do other states do this? Here in Georgia, we elect our Lt. Governors separately. This can lead to split tickets which can lead to incidents of utter hilarity such as the three governors incident of 1947.

Florida is nuts! Why would states actually use common sense in structuring a government when you can have weird arcane laws that causes monumental political upheavals every 30 years or so?

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Day Of Reflection

Not much to say today. I did not watch the controversial ABC mini-series last night, nor will I tonight. Instead I watched the CBS '9/11' documentary that followed the members of FDNY Ladder 1 and Engine 7. I made the right choice.

Take a moment today.

Back to the ravings tomorrow.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Southbound And Down

I'm taking off for the weekend. Have a good one! And please Mr. President, don't blow up the world!

Why Does Bush Not Trust The Military?

Now that the Supreme Court has told "King" George that you are required to have some rules in trying combatants, the administration and congress are attempting to hammer out what those rules should be.

Apparently, the big bone of contention is whether a defendant should be able to see the prosecution's evidence. Congress says yes. Bush says no.

Of course those hard core lefties in the military agree with Congress.

Brig, Gen. James C. Walker, the top uniformed lawyer for the Marines, said that
no civilized country should deny a defendant the right to see the evidence
against him and that the United States 'should not be the first.

The quote reminded me of a congressional hearing I witnessed where all four JAG commanders testified. Each was asked the question, can we win the war on terror and still abide by the Geneva Convention? All four without hesitation answered yes. One went so far as to say he believed we could not win the war if we did not follow the Geneva Convention.

The military gets it. Why doesn't their Commander in Chief?

Source: Andrew Sullivan and NY Times.

They Got The Cake

Damn you Wonkette! Damn you to hell!

I need better operatives nee stalkers.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Rick Santorum - Creepilicious

Maybe I am just piling on but there is something about this Rick Santorum ad that just creeps the hell out of me.


h/t: Moderate Voice


The youngers Drift readers are saying, "do what"?

The more elder of us (Aging Hipster, I'm looking your way) are saying, "wow, that was a long time ago"!

The PMRC was an early 80s advocacy group that included several wives of prominent U.S. Senators, including Tipper Gore. They were upset at some of the lyrics of the day and demanded that the record companies take some action to protect the children. The result were the now very familiar Parental Warning labels. Being a teenager at the time, I was very passionate and vocal about such goings on. I actually used it as one of the reasons to not vote for Al Gore in 2000. I still cannot forgive Tipper.

Now the point of all this.

Shakespeare's Sister has a very interesting take on this bit of history. You can see my disagreement in the comments. You are welcome to comment here or there but comment you should. Definitely if you are one of us geezers that actually remember watching the hearings. Frank Zappa, god bless your departed soul.

The Forgotten War

Before the war on terror became all Iraq all the time, there was this little excursion in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and Iraq: Know The Differences!

Iraq - No connection to 9-11
Afghanistan - Taliban government harbored actual 9-11 conspirators

Iraq - Enemy everywhere
Afghanistan - Enemy contained in a specific region

Iraq - Nobody sure who to like
Afganistan - Nobody likes the Taliban

Iraq - Analogies to WWII specious
Afghanistan - Given there is a stable front line and a single united enemy, WWII analogies might make political and historical sense

Iraq - Other than UK, US practically forced to go it alone
Afghanistan - Worldwide coalition supported invasion and current fighting is multinational including UK, Canada and Netherlands

Iraq - Needs more troops
Afghanistan - Needs more troops

Hey! Both actually have something in common! The reason I bring this up is Afghanistan NATO commander James Jones is requesting more troops for the very hot battle in southern Afghanistan. You probably will not see much made of this in the news but this is the real front line of the war on terror. In recent months, the Taliban have made a resurgence in southern Afghanistan. Allied NATO troops opened a new offensive to not only contain the enemy in a single area but destroy them once and for all. Like a cornered animal, the enemy is fighting back fiercely and our allies need help. Due to our choice to open a second front, it is help we will likely be unable to provide.

While I fervently hope that General Jones and his forces are able to finally wipe this scourge off the face of the Earth, I am also saddened.

All of the rhetoric we have faced in the past three years could have worked politically, morally and militarily. If only we had not forgotten Afghanistan.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Florida Primary Wrap Up

It was a record low turnout. As I predicted it skewed to the low end of predictions. 15.5% of registered votes. Maybe primaries just don't work any more. State leaders may want to brainstorm some new ideas.

Turnout at the Katherine Harris celebration was a bit light, only about 100 supporters. They ate cake which had a picture of Harris in the middle. I must get a picture of this cake! The only question is will I beat Wonkette!

Democrats have to be worried about the vote totals. Around 1 million voted in the Republican primary. Only about 700k voted in the Democrat primary.

The Florida governor's race may be the most interesting in the nation. You have two centrists in a centrist state. At this point, Republican Crist has to be the favorite simply because I'm not sure on what flanks Davis can attack.

The AG race could be bruising as both candidates started slinging mud even before the totals were in.

It's going to be a fun two months in the sunshine state.

Sources: SP Times, Florida Politics, Orlando Sentinel

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Katherine Harris Wins!

YAY! You go Kitty! On to November!

Florida Primary Results

The St Pete Times will be updating Florida primary results here as the night goes along.

Pasco County is already in and it went heavily for Davis and Crist. No big surprise there. It was practically their home turf.

UPDATE: With almost 20% of precints reporting there are few close races. Katherine Harris is holding a 20 point lead on Will McBride. Jim Davis has a comfortable 11 point lead on Rod Smith and Charlie Crist is absolutely slaughtering Tom Gallagher. I doubt there will be any surprises tonight. I imagine the low turnout is really hurting Smith.

UPDATE II: Topped 30% precints now and Smith has closed the gap with Davis. It's down to 5 points now. But the central time zone panhandle has yet to trickle in and I just down think left flank Smith is going to pick up a lot of ground there.

UPDATE III: I may be jinxing Davis. His lead has shrunk to 17,000 votes or less than 5% with over 50% of precints reporting. This could actually be a long night after all.

UPDATE IV: Davis is maintaining a 5 point lead (about 30k votes). What has to be truly bothersome to Democrats is so far about 750k voted in the Republican primary to about 550k in the Democratic primary. I've heard indications that the weather is some Dem strongholds, i.e. "senior" communities, kept voters at home. But pay attention to the vote totals tomorrow, it could be very interesting.

UPDATE V: St Pete times has declared Davis the winner. He's up almost 40k with over 80% of the precints. Smith hasn't gained any ground in the past few hours. That's enough for tonight. No real surprises. Now the real fun begins.

Rainy Primaries In Florida

It's raining heavily in south Florida (as you would know if you saw FSU beat Miami last night, woooo!). Secretary of State Sue Cobb is predicting turnout between 15 and 30 percent. With the weather, I bet it will skew to the lower number. But my real question is, who the hell schedules a primary the day after Labor Day? As screwed up as Georgia's electoral system is...

Florida Requires Photo ID To Vote

Checking around some of my favorite Florida online publications, I noticed this in the Jasper News.

"Florida Statute 101.043 requires photo and signature identification at the polling place. Any combination of the following documents may be presented to fulfill the photo and signature requirements: Accepted documents are: Florida driver’s license; Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; United States passport; employee badge or identification; buyer’s club identification; debit or credit card; military identification; student identification; retirement center identification; neighborhood association identification; and public assistance identification."

Photo ID is required but there are many more options than the controversial Georgia law. Which brings a question to mind for Georgian opponents of that law. If your law was adjusted to include this list would it be acceptable?

Florida Primary Day

I predict FSU alum Charlie Crist will win. That is all. For now.


The Moderate Voice




Monday, September 04, 2006

Very Bad News

Sistani no longer wants to be a political leader.

I'm going to hold off on the "told you so" but as we learn more about this I certainly hope this is not another result of this administration's naivete, bravado and incompetence. If it is, there should be hell to pay.

Labor Day

On this labor day many are paying tribute to workers of America.

I want to pay homage to my personal favorite workers: servers and bartenders.

I spend a lot of time in watering holes and to me the relationship between customer and server/bartender is sacrosanct.

So as you are out and about today, make sure you not only tip but you tip well. For every drunk that hits on them, demanding jackass that runs them ragged, screaming baby, and cheap bastard, they deserve it.

Ummmmmm Sausage

112 year old man lived primarily on sausage and waffles.

George Johnson, considered California’s oldest living person at 112 and the
state’s last surviving World War I veteran, had experts shaking their heads over
his junk food diet.
“He had terrible bad habits. He had a diet largely of
sausages and waffles"

That's it. I'm headed to Waffle House.

Florida Primary Reminder

Florida's primary is tomorrow.

The big race is for governor. All indications is that moderates on both sides will win. Davis on the Dem side and Crist on the Repub side. However, latest polls show Democrat Rod Smith pulling within 4 points of Davis. It could be a long night in Florida.

And of course, we can't forget Katherine Harris. She will likely win the Republican primary but challenger Will McBride has pulled within 16 points. That sounds like a lot until you realize there are still 20% undecided. Of course Democrats (and of course griftdrift) are silently praying for another two months of Harris.

I'll be headed to south Georgia tomorrow so hopefully can get some local impressions later this week.

Don't Forget The Kurds

The Kurds are rumbling about secession.

The Kurds seem to be the forgotten variable in the equation. Yes, they have been our staunchest allies in the region and "Kurdistan" is the most stable part of Iraq, but the Kurds have never been secretive about desires for their own nation. Don't forget, even though it only registered a blip in U.S. news, it was just a month ago that the Turks were threatening to cross the border to address incursions by Kurdish nationals.

This is serious stuff and deserves watching. If the Kurds do make a run at nationhood there will be no more arguments whether there is civil war in Iraq or not.

Weird Late Night News

Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin killed by a stingray.

Do not speak ill of the dead, griftdrift, do not speak ill of the dead...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Drive Invasion Pics

A few pics from yesterday's Drive Invasion. Very cool. And yes that is a PBR can wrapped around a solenoid.

The Weird Politics Of Rhode Island

Lincoln Chafee and his primary opponent Stephen Laffey both appeared on ABC's This Week this morning.

What many may not know is the office Chafee held before Senator. He was the mayor of Warwick.

Laffey's political background? Mayor of Cranston.

Yes, children when you live in a state as small as Rhode Island, you shoot straight from Mayor to U.S. Senator.

This weird political track leads to some bizarre campaign discussions. Chafee and Laffey (sounds like a failed Warner Bros cartoon tandem) took shots at each other on tax issues. Not uncommon for politicians, but since these guys were mayors, it took a twist. A discussion of bond ratings. BOND RATINGS! Bond ratings and property taxes are very important issues on a local level, but I challenge anyone to find a previous instance of discussions of municipal bonds in a U.S. Senate campaign.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Liquored Up, Lacquered Down

Headed to Drive-Invasion

Welcome To Dragon*Con. Welcome To The Crazy

It was a glorious night. But there are certain things that should always be out of reach when drunk. Cell phones, the internet and most definitely microphones.

Podcast at Georgia Podcast Network.


Quote of the night: "I stepped on a pregnant midget. I felt bad"

True Crazy

Just when you think things can't get more ridiculous along comes David Warren. He's a wee bit upset that journalists Steven Centanni and Olaf Wiig didn't "martyr" themselves while held captive. Instead, in his eyes, they showed their "cowardice" by "converting" to Islam at gunpoint.

You think I exaggerate? I'm just another weak willed liberal? Well, let's just take a look at Warren's own words.

Let's start with the truly absurd.

I assume they are not Christians (few journalists are)

Do what? I don't know if this is true or not and I doubt Warren knows either. Are we to assume that most journalists are pagans? Smearing blood on their naked bodies while dancing in the moonlight? No, I think the clear insinuation here is most journalists are souless atheist doomed to burn in the pits of hell.

...they might have grasped that conversion to Islam means denial of Christ,
and that is something many millions of Christians (few of them intellectuals)
have refused to do, even at the cost of excruciating deaths.

So those poor pitiful martyrs were dumbasses? Well, that's an argument for another day. I'm pretty sure what Warren is getting at here is "smart" people are cowardly. Faith trumps intelligence. Always.

You don't necessarily have to be a Christian, to be Western.

I bet the thousands of Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs living in the U.S. are glad to hear that!

This is the world that David Warren envisions. Everyone Christian. Academics, journalists and people of intelligence not admired for their success but disdained for their lack of true belief. Non-Christians tolerated as long as they are suffeciently "western".

Truly crazy. Truly frightening.

A post-script. There are many conservatives already calling out Warren for his idiocy. Including Michael van der Galien at TMV , Captain Ed and Jules Crittenden. I am sure others will follow suit. Just as liberal does not equal idiot neither does conservative. Individuals are idiots and David Warren certainly is quite an individual.

h/t: David Schraub

Friday, September 01, 2006

Good Sport Award Of The Day

Good for Kyra Philips.

For anyone living under a rock, she was the CNN anchor with the live mic as she went potty resulting in some casual comments about certain family members being broadcast on top of a live Bush speech.

Last night, she appeared on David Letterman to deliver the Top Ten.

Top Ten Kyra Phillips Excuses Presented by CNN Anchor Kyra Phillips

10. "Still haven't mastered complicated On/Off switch."
9. "Larry King told me he does this all the time."
8. "How was I supposed to know we had a reporter embedded in the bathroom?"
7. "I honestly never knew this sort of thing was frowned upon."
6. "Couldn't resist chance to win $10,000 on 'America's Funniest Home Videos.'"
5. "I was set up by those bastards at Fox News."
4. "Oh, like YOU'VE never gone to the bathroom and had it broadcast on national television!"
3. "I just wanted that hunky Lou Dobbs to notice me."
2. "OK, so I was drunk and couldn't think straight."
1. "You have to admit, it made the speech a lot more interesting."

Dragon Con 2006

Going to Dragon Con tomorrow.

There could even be podcasting!