Misc Commentary For Jan 26, 2004

— As most of you know, Christine Gregoire defeated Dino Rossi in the Washington Governor’s race by 129 votes in a shady looking manual recount after losing the first two machine counts of the vote. Well, Rossi is going to court to try to get a “do-over” and this news makes his case even stronger…

“State Republican Party officials say they have verified 737 illegal votes in the governor’s election.

State Party Chairman Chris Vance says the votes came from felons, dead people, people who voted twice, and from provisional ballots that were illegally fed directly into voting machines.

A 129 vote margin for a candidate who lost the first two counts and 737 confirmed illegal votes? There’s no way to say for sure which way a judge will go on this, but Rossi certainly seems to have a strong case.

— Interestingly enough, I was telling my brother earlier this week that this is exactly what I expected to happen in Iraq this year…

“IRAQ’S top military commander claimed that Iraqi security forces will be in charge of the country by end-2005, with US troops out of the cities and scaled back to possibly one or two bases nationwide.

…”Between six months to a year maximum, the multi-national forces can go to their bases. We’ll be able to control the security situation,” General Zebari, the commander of Iraq’s armed forces, said.

“Once we can control the security, we won’t need them (the Americans) any more. We’ll need maybe one or two bases just to make sure no foreign countries try to invade,” he said.”

Politically, if you’re George Bush, this is exactly what you want to happen by the end of the year, before the 2006 election cycle gets going. If we’re still seeing American soldiers dying regularly when 2006 rolls around, Republicans running for election and many conservative pundits will start trying to CYA and then the American public will really sour on the war. On the other hand, if the American public sees a Democratic Iraq handling their own security by the end of the year and American casualties drop off to nothing, then I suspect you’ll see a significant bounce in the polling numbers on the war.

So politically, you want to be done by the end of the year and down to a couple of military bases. Moreover, strategically, you’ll have a Democratically elected Iraqi government, enough troops to handle the job, and 100,000+ cops and soldiers with a year of experience by the end of 2005. So the Iraqis should be ready, willing, and able to handle their security situation without needing our soldiers patrolling the streets to keep order.

Bush won’t come out and say this because if he does, the terrorists will try to kill time, save their strength, and wait it out. But, my guess is that the end of this year is roughly going to be the date the Bush admin is aiming at for letting the Iraqis handle their own internal security…

— Finally, there’s something I can agree with Kos on…

“Yeah yeah, this is navel gazing, but blogging isn’t a phenomenon limited to the political realm. I believe sports blogging will be the next “Big Thing”, which is why I’ve started a company in that realm (details coming soon).”

As I’ve gotten more into politics over the last few years, I’ve for the most part lost interest in sports. However, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that well done sports blogs or even fantasy sports blogs have the potential to pull in monster traffic especially given the paucity of really good “A-List” sports sites out there…

This story, which was passed along to me by Alarming News, is infuriating…

“A professor who likened victims in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann will headline a discussion at Hamilton College, a campus that has been a lightning rod for controversy in recent months.

Ward Churchill, chairman of the ethnic studies program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will be on the Clinton campus Feb. 3 to discuss his essay “Some people push back,” a treatise written the day after the terrorist attacks.

“True enough, they were civilians of a sort,” he writes of the victims. “But innocent? Gimme a break.”

In the piece, the Native American rights activist argues that the 3,000 people killed in the World Trade Center attacks worked for “the mighty engine of profit,” calling them “little Eichmanns,” a reference to the man who implemented Adolf Hitler’s plan to exterminate Europe’s Jews.

…Kirkland Project Director Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz said allowing discourse on a variety of positions is what academic institutions are supposed to do.

“There are people who are going to be very upset, and there are people who think they want to hear what he has to say,” Rabinowitz said. “They are savvy enough to separate out what they agree with and what they don’t.”

What in the world is the point of bringing in someone to a college campus who spouts this sort of garbage? Oh, it’s about “allowing discourse” — well hey, what about standards? Is any sort of nutjob, scumbag, or pervert going to be given a forum to speak at Hamilton College? If this guy meets their standards, then what’s next? Perverts advocating pedophilia and incest? Modern day Nazis who want a new holocaust? Some of Robert Byrd’s KKK buddies who want to go back to slavery? Conspiracy theorist whackos who think lizards are running the planet?

Why are parents paying money to Hamilton College to educate their kids when the school is obviously run by people with such poor judgement that they’re giving a kook like this a platform to speak instead of shunning him like the lunatic that he is?

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