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New Vocab of the Day

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:49 AM

One of the fun things about listening to politicians is hearing their foibles in speaking. Everyone reading this knows about Bushisms, unless I am misunderestimating my audience. Tonight two new, catchy words were added to our great language during the Grand Old Party presidential debate.

Losed This sounds like a word that a poet would come up with out of desperation of maintaining a meter or rhyme. Giuliani presented us with this gem as a replacement for “lost.” It does roll off the tongue nicely.

Actuarily This is the fancy-schmancy Massachusetts variant of what we lowly Midwesterners would call “actually.” It adds a statistically impressive background of an actuary or, perhaps, the adverb “actuarially” to the plain, uninteresting word focused on the truth. Why not mix the third type of lie with the truth? It's the ultimate combo.

Enjoy our new, larger language in your conversations tomorrow. It's sure to impress the politically (if not the linguistically) savvy amongst your friends.

What an Interesting Day in Politics

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:05 AM

Wow, what a day. Most notably, in politics, what do you suppose happened with Missouri's Gov. Blunt? A young, promising politician (whom I assumed had a presidential bid in the future), with a strong poltical family (his dad is Congress's minority whip) and a huge campaign war chest suddenly drops plans to run for a second term in an election year? Something smells rotten in Denmark.

And then there is Fred Thompson. Who will he endorse? Will anyone care? Can anything stop McCain?

And who will Rush Limbaugh vote for if McCain gets the nod? He's said in such a case he may not vote Republican this year. Surely he won't vote for the Dems, will he?

What a day…

Making the Choice

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:44 AM

Early on, I became fascinated with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) since he is a libertarian Republican, one of our best bets of seeing libertarian philosophy on the national stage. That his campaign has some traction (unlike, say, Kucinich's on the Dem side) is an added bonus. But, while I'd like to give him the thumbs up, I cannot. First and foremost, is the Ron Paul newsletter controversy. It seems he allowed a newsletter to be published with his name on it for decades that spewed racist garbage. That's putting it kindly. Now, he claims he was unaware of what was being published, but accepts “moral responsibility” for that wrong. That's nice, but assuming the claim is true, what does that say about his attentiveness as a presidential hopeful? If it is a lie, then that is even worse: he is lying and is apparently a white supremacist. Sadly, I cannot see a route to deal with this issue that doesn't make me feel obliged to reject Paul as a candidate, much as I wish it were otherwise.

Three other candidate fit in my overall political spectrum: Thompson, Romney and Huckabee. Thompson I'm not really considering, because he seems to be lacking in the enthusiasm to win and the polls echo that. Romney and Huckabee are so close to me on issues that they make suitable options, but also confusing options because neither is vastly better on issues. I like that Romney was able to be elected in a Democratic state, and I think religion could actually work to his advantage as a member of a “minority.” However, I'm dubious either can be elected. Particularly Huckabee, though, as an ordained pastor. That said, I feel that given his more reliable stance on social issues and his down-to-earth, midwestern character, Huckabee is the best choice for the job. As I review his policies, I like many of them, such as the FairTax plan. What does give me pause is his positions on Homeland Security and foreign wars, but Ron Paul is the only one talking the talk I want to hear on that, and I've already explained why I can't vote for him. And, I do disagree with Paul on the idea of an immediate withdrawal from Iraq — that's irresponsible.

So, Huckabee is not someone I can pick without some reservations, but overall I feel good about him as a candidate. I like most of his position statements quite a bit. I'd like to see him get the nomination and I'd like to see him in the White House. Barring that, I'll take Romney. If a Democrat wins, who do I want? Well, I'll leave that for another day.

It Feels Good...

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:41 AM

…to be in the midst of analyzing Campaign '08. I've not been this excited about politics in at least a year. I need to keep my inner political junkie under control, but a little fun every so often never hurts. And what a start! Who knows what will happen at this point.

Well, I don't, but I am going to make “official” my endorsements for President in both major parties tomorrow. Aren't you excited? The person to guess my pick on both sides correctly gets 25 asisaid points.

Gone Fish'in, Go Read Elsewhere

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:07 AM

Ok, I'm not really out fishing at midnight (and I'm not going fishing tomorrow either, in fact, I don't like fishing). But, I am drawing a blank on something to post. So instead, let me point you to my latest column on Open for Business.

Archbishop Raymond Burke is not the type of man you would label as a conciliator. Since he came to St. Louis a few years ago, he has inflamed via his vocal opposition of politicians who support abortion, his suppression of a parish that ignored his orders and now his resignation from a charity board after it brought Sheryl Crow, a supporter of embryonic stem cell research, to play at a benefit concert. The common wisdom says he must be wrong, but is he really?

Feel free to let me know what you think either over on OFB or here.

Let Me Pat Myself on the Back

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:35 AM

Ok, I don't normally do this, but I happened to run into an old blog post of mine, and just had to revel in it for a moment — well, sort of, I would have preferred being wrong, for the most part.

“For those, like me, of the Right, we have a serious problem. As the
saying goes, if these are our friends, we hardly need enemies. I
predict a Democratic landslide in 2006, unless we get our collective
acts together.”

-October 18, 2005

As I wrote on a mailing list today, as a free market kind of guy, I'm not excited about the Republicans at the moment — they are now the “big government party,” and though I don't trust the Dems talk of smaller government (since it doesn't fit with their overall agenda), I think the fact that people like me, as members of the base, are unexcited was damaging. Moreover, the wishy-washiness of the Republicans on issues like cloning, etc., hasn't given social conservatives like myself much reason to be terribly excited about the GOP either. So, I think the Republicans ended up going for some illusory “moderates” that do not actually exist, or at least do not exist in large enough quantities to win an election, while leaving behind the bases that propelled them into power in '94, and helped for the big wins ten years later in '04. This was worsened by the close association of the GOP with the USA PATRIOT Act, despite the fact that people from both parties stupidly supported this bill. Why the GOP pushed to reup it is beyond me in as much as they actually wanted to win in the election a few weeks ago. Really, the election was all about the stupidity of forgetting what people elected you to do and not even doing a good job lying about it.

US2006: At 10:30, STILL TOO CLOSE TO CALL

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:36 PM

Amendment 2 is still failing at 52.6-47.4 with just over 50% of precincts reporting. The margin is lower than I'd like, but at least it is still failing. Let's hope it stay that way.

Talent is leading 51.3-45.1 still with just a few more precincts reporting.

Update (22:59): Clearly my projections have been off so far. The Dems appear to be taking the house, perhaps leaving the Senate to the GOP. My projection has been Talent will lose and Amendment 2 will win. I hope I'm wrong with those projections too — so far the results are still looking good, but nail bitingly tight. 52.4-47.6 for the no's in Amendment 2; 51-45 for Talent in the Senate.

Update (11/09 00:24): Not looking good. Talent is losing and Amendment 2 is winning. Let's hope the remaining 20% of the precincts will switch that back in the coming hours.

US2006: My Projections and More Results

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:53 PM

My Projection: I think the Democrats will take the Senate, based on early results (if only because of independents supporting the Democratic caucus), while the Republicans will maintain a tenuous majority in the House. If this happens, you read it here first.

Talent and the fight against Amendment 2 are both still ahead, but with many rural counties tallies complete and St. Louis City still in motion, I fear the rapidly shrinking margins of the leads.

It seems that the choice to make English the official language of Arizona is popular so far; CNN is projecting it as passing. Likewise, CNN shows most of the bans on same-sex marriage as passing hence far, with several projections already given.

AMENDMENT 2: Presently, the Missouri Stem Cells/Cloning amendment is still failing at 53.8-46.2, the no's leading, although that is only with 33% of precincts reporting and hence too close to call — especially since exit polling still favors the amendment.

TALENT-MCCASKILL: Talent is leading 53-43 with 33% of the votes tallied.

US2006: Cautiously Optimistic

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:00 PM

OK, it is way to soon to even say there is a chance for victory. I know as well as anyone that things could change — especially as more results come in from St. Louis City and Kansas City. But with 9% of precincts reporting, Talent is leading by about 10 points and Amendment 2 is losing by about 5. I expected that all the news would be bad, so even if only the early results are good, it is better than I expected. Still, maybe?

In other news, I'm pleased to see that Sen. Lieberman (I-CT) won over Democrat Ned Lamont. I personally like the man, as I've said before, though I disagree with him on quite a few issues. The big point is this: I disagree with Lieberman less than I disagree with Lamont, and ultimately politics is a pragmatic game. Moreover, any independent, even one who is a Democrat who lost his primary, is a good step toward getting more independent and third party candidates on the ballot.

Update (21:24 CST): I noticed in the current STLtoday report, the Post-Dispatch (as in its election guide) is being unusually honest on Amendment 2. The article states, “The Senate contest blended with the proposed constitutional amendment to protect research known as somatic cell nuclear ransfer, the medical term for cloning.” Very few supports of the amendment — and the Post was one of them — have honestly admitted they are supporting cloning.

Supposedly the results in so far are a blend of heavily Republican and Democratic counties, which is good to hear, though as the article referenced above notes, it does look like it could be a long night.

Update (21:39 CST): Don't forget that my fellow Cranium Leaker, Michael, is posting live updates and commentary.

Please Vote NO on 2 TODAY!

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:49 AM

Please vote “No” on Amendment 2 in Missouri today and help reject protections for human cloning. If you aren't already aware of the amendment's implications, please see my earlier article. Thanks.

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