Friday, August 17, 2007

Daily political roundup

Clinton comfortably in command, says this Times of London piece. It is safe to say that she has exceeded expectations as a candidate thus far, as the author notes.

Senate Guru is up with his Friday roundup of the movement of the week in 08 Senate races.

The Friday Line, via WaPo / Cilizza, ranks the same Senate races for the first time in a while. Still looks good for us heading into next year's elections. CO, VA, NH, MN, KY (you read that right), ME, OR and maybe AK look good for red to blue flips. Recruitment has become a factor in the Republicans' travails. Louisiana (Landrieu) is starting to look more like a missed opportunity for them particularly.

Rainbow Bright on pole...again

Gordon on pole, Biffle on outside pole for Michigan. Sadler, Labonte and Kahne round out top five. What a strange lineup.

Lineup here

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Michigan Picks

The NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit moves to Brookland, MI this weekend for the second of two Cup races at MIS for the year. My picks below:

17-Kenseth- winner - Matt, like the other Roush Fords, is good at MIS. He won this race last year and was strong in June. I happen to think that Matt Kenseth is the master of mile and a half tracks, and as soon as Roush gets its COT program up to speed (pardon the pun) I think he is due another championship.

48- Johnson- never won at Michigan (which is an amazing stat in itself) but is good at these cookie cutter tracks, generally speaking. I think he'll be in the top ten, but I doubt he'll win.

20- Stewart- has also never won at MIS, but he is HOT right now. I don't know that he'll make it four out of five (he might), but I definately see him in the top 10 on Sunday.

12- Newman- won back to back races at Michigan in 03 and 04. He needs a good run to get firmly back into the Chase hunt. I see the 12 in the top 10.

2- Busch- will also be in the top 10. He is in 12th with a mildly comfortable 100 point cushion. He knows how to get around Michigan, and given his new, so far very effective pairing with crew chief Tryson, will be in the thick of the Michigan race.

8- Earnhardt Jr. - has has terrible luck recently and will have to experience great luck to clich a Chase berth. However, he has finished top 6 in his last three MIS starts. If he is going to gain enough points on Busch to get a Chase spot, it will have to start this weekend. Another bad finish will put him out of the playoffs for good.

24 - Gordon- has been in the top 10 in an incredible 20 of 22 races this year. I can't bet against that, much as I would like to.

16 - Biffle- will be in the top 10. He is another member of the Roush squad who does very well at the cookie cutters. He has been off lately, but there have been signs of life in his team.

99 - Edwards - won the June Michigan race. Another Roushie. I am sure that he will be in the top ten, and could very well be the repear winner.

31 - Burton - JB is the best mile and a halfer in the Childress garage, and he is a very good points racer. I am sure he will post a top ten finish.

Pretty safe list, but I think I should have at least 6 or 7 right out of these lists. Statistics are very powerful predictors of finishes in these intermediate races. Ironically, the ones that I feel the least sure of are the three who each need strong finishes here vis a vis the Chase: the 12, 2, and 8.

Thursday Roundup

Interesting piece on the debates actually diminishing the standing of Hillary Clinton's challengers for the Dem nomination. I think that this article is spot on.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee should leverage his good showing in the Ames straw poll to become the conservative alternative to the current frontrunners of GOP candidates, according to the National Review. They're probably right. Large numbers of likely GOP primary voters say that they are disenchanted with their current choices, but they don't know Mike Huckabee really well. He has been very under the radar so far.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Barack Obama Must Be Defeated

I have made no secret in posting to this blog that I have a favorite candidate for President--one who I think is overwhelmingly likely to be nominated by the Democratic party and probably elected President. But, as a good Democrat, I would likely support almost anyone that the Democrats nominated for President. I, as of today, have serious doubts about whether I could, in good conscience, pull a lever for Barack Obama.

We live in dangerous times, and people of seriousness are required to lead us. Experience is not a bad word and it should be valued in potential commanders-in-chief. Good judgement is key. Obama demonstrates none of the above.

In the last three weeks, he has promised to meet with the likes of Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong Il in the first year of an Obama Presidency, he has taken the use of nuclear weapons (ever) off the table, he has advocated invading Pakistan in certain circumstances. All of these claims and promises are not only inconsistent with each other in some ways, but they are also extremely bad policy.

Yesterday, with this statement about the war in Afghanistan, Barack Obama went too far:

We've got to get the job done there,and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there."

In uttering this statement, Obama has lost the Presidential election. If he were to be the nominee of the Democratic party, the Republican filth machine would use this quote in advertising with a frequency so great that we would all be able to recite it. And they would not be wrong. Because, as bad as the Bush execution of the war in Afghanistan has been, as bad as their policy has been there- this is not the policy. I don't like George Bush. He is as bad a President as we have seen in modern times. But his policy is not the indescriminate creation of collateral damage. I am sure that that has happened, but it is not the intent. Futher, and most importantly, this comment comes very close to being a slander of our troops. That has never won an election, not even in 1968. A candidate who is willing to do this should never win an election.

In fact, the utterly justified piling on has begun. Governor Romney, no great font of seriousness himself, had plenty to say about this today. Others will follow.

I thought for a while that Obama was suffering from a naivete that was to be expected of a first-term Senator who had bitten off more ego than he could chew by running for President. But the truth is, I don't know of many other Senators, of any length of service, who would say things that are quite this bizarre with such alarming frequency. It does not speak well of Barack Obama, and it would be a death knell for the party in next year's elections. And, as I pointed out, we would deserve it.

We have other good options. I have a favorite, but I could vote for Dodd or Biden. I could cast my lot with Richardson if circumstances required. The same is true of almost every other Democratic candidate. I think that we would be making a severe mistake in nominating Obama. He had demonstrated that he has only a cursory understanding of extremely important foreign policy issues, and starlingly bad judgement in what he says about them.

The last time we elected a President with such a dearth of experience, with such wreckless disregard for good policy, and who lacks basic good judgement, we got George W. Bush. We don't need to repeat that mistake, regardless of party.

Video of Obama's statement on Afghanistan.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards Goes on Attack...Again

Eliabeth Edwards is attacking Clinton and Obama again. She says Obama is "holier than thou," which he is sometimes, and brings up the old Hillary not-apologizing-for-her-Iraq vote canard again. She is making her husband look weak, and her constant criticisms will ultimately backfire, I believe.

Link to ABC story.

Hillary Clinton up with first ad in Iowa

It's fantastic.
I really believe Hillary Clinton is going to be the President of the United States.

Rove gone!

Karl Rove is leaving the White House. Given that he was up to his rather substantial derriere in the Valerie Plame mess, this is about two years too late.

NYT wrap.

Bill Plante of CBS asked the President a good question at the Rove departure announcement:

"...the solemnity of the moment was shattered by Bill Plante of CBS, who bellowed to Bush: "If he's so smart, how come you lost Congress?" (Fishbowl DC) He was, of course, ignored.

John Edwards issued the best statement of the day: "Goodbye, good riddance." Says it best, I think.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Update: No penalties for Harvick, Montoya



Not since the shoving match between Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth in Bristol last spring have drivers nearly come to blows at the track. But it was just a few weeks ago that Stewart was penalized for an explicative on live television.

Stewart used a curse word after winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and was fined $25,000 and 25 driver points. However, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Harvick will not be penalized for using the word "ass" on live television.

"It doesn't violate FCC [Federal Communications Commission] regulations," Tharp said.
And Tharp doesn't expect any penalties to come from the shoving match between the two drivers either.

Watkins Glen Wrap

Tony Stewart wins again. Thanks to wheel hopping by Rainbow Bright on the next to last lap, Tony now has three wins in four races. A couple of other developments of note:

* Martin Truex had a strong finish, but punted Juan Pablo Montoya, who then collected Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton. An on-racetrack physical altercation between Harvick and Montoya ensued. It was amusing to watch, but their ire probably should have been directed at the #1 car. Harvick, on ESPN, expressed a desire to "kick his ass," in reference to Montoya. It will be interesting to see the penalties that come out of this mess on Tuesday.

*Junior blew a motor, devastating his Chase hopes. He came into upstate NY in 13th place, seven points behind Kurt Busch. He left in 14th, 100 points out of the Chase. And the Earnhart nation runs rock through their collective hair.

Standings post-WG


Tony didn't climb a fence today--- this is the image I took at Chicago, at the beginning of his late summer run.

Bio Pieces Today on Dem Frontrunners

Really fascinating stuff.

  1. Obama's unlikely rise to power is profiled in today's Washington Post. Even his brother-in-law likes him, apparently. What a marvel!
  2. Hillary Clinton is considered a plausible commander-in-cheif by many in the military. Here is the lengthy piece on her national security creds in the Boston Globe.

Ames Straw Poll: Vol. 2

David Yepsen from the Des Moines Register weighs in:
Republicans don't like their choices for President.

Chris Cilizza: WP

My impressions last night remain my impressions: Not a great showing for Romney, a great day for Huckabee, neutral to bad for Brownback, and really awful for everyone else. Mitt Romney can't be too thrilled by his narrower-than-expected win in a small turnout.