Sunday, October 31, 2004

Voters Guide

I don't know how your state and local elections are looking, but here in CA there is a ton of information to go through because of all the propositions and candidates on the ballot. We're being urged to spend time this weekend researching and doing homework, to determine how we want to vote this coming tuesday. The local TV news has interviewed folks who plan on hunkering down this weekend reviewing the information. One person said that she's already spent one day, and plans on spending another!

That's one approach.

I've figured out a way to save a bunch of time. I usually just go the opposite of the recommendations in the Op-Ed section of my local paper, the Sacramento Bee. You see, there was a time where I'd do all the research and homework on the issues and candidates; but, I found that 99.9% of the time, my conclusions were exactly the opposite of the Bee Op-Ed writers!

If they've done their homework as I suspect, I can enjoy the weekend assured that they've come to the wrong conclusions. There are some awesome football games on. You think I was going to miss that great finale to the Michigan St. vs Michigan game to hammer out the pros and cons of ballot initiatives? Skip the game winning field goal by the rookie in North Carolina as they beat #3 Miami, going over the pro vs. con arguments for the Stem Cell initiative?

No way! Not when I've got the Sacramento Bee staff doing my homework for me!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Does Kerry Have a Plan for Osama?

With the Osama Bin Ladin tape out, I wondered what Kerry might say in response? My guess is that it would be something like this:

"I have a plan. The first thing is to have a summit. A global summit. We'll get our friends and allies around the world together, and I'll tell them that we must all join together, to kill Osama Bin Ladin. I have a plan for those who don't want to join our coalition. Unlike this administration, I know what's best for other countries. That's what I'll tell them at the global summit. I'll tell them that I know what's best, and I have a plan. And we'll find Osama Bin Ladin and shoot him. I'll shoot him myself, with my goose hunting rifle. Help is on the way. That's my plan."

Ted Nugent Speaks to Me

* I was watching The Apprentice last night, and a commercial came on where Ted Nugent was urging viewers to go vote. I had this incredible sense of deja vous, since I had a dream recently where I met Ted Nugent.

* My friend has a job interview that just got underway. In the liberal mecca of Berkeley. I wished him luck, and gave him some ideas from my blog entry The Presidential Interviews. Think he'll use 'em? I'd love to do that, by the way. Maybe I'll apply for a job I'm not interested in, and just spend the hour blasting the other job candidates.

* Yes, I refaced my blog a little. Seems a little more tidy this way.

* I listened to most of the Stolen Honor being streamed on KFBK at 1:00pm, and it was pretty good. They have a website, where you can watch it if you want.

* Stocks? Fridays "tend" to move opposite of the weekly trend, so it was interesting to see the market hold up well today of all fridays. We have an election on tuesday, that looks like a nail-biter because the country is so divided. We have terrorist tapes hitting the wires. It's all very interesting that the market held up today. I wonder how much is priced in already? I wonder if the strength in price and volume we saw this week was "the big boys" beginning their move?

* Sacramento's Tom Sullivan makes a good point, that when surveys ask folks how the economy is, they say "Not so good." But when asked how they're doing personally, "I'm doing fine." It's the perception of how other people are doing that jades the stats. Most of us are doing better now than 4 years ago. I though it was a good point.

Why Democrats Should Vote for Bush

Why Democrats Should Vote for Bush.

I've heard other left-leaning friends echo some of her sentiments.

Election Quick Hits

* Electoral Vote Predictor 2004 has Bush winning.

* The economic numbers keep coming in strong, with the GDP coming in at 3.7% today for the 3rd quarter. Not too hot that Greenspan would get his panties in a bunch about it. But nice sustainable growth.

* If folks vote their pocketbooks, Bush should get the nod. Things were rough early in the term with the stock bubble bursting in 2000-2 and 9/11, but his economic policies has the economy clicking.

* Bush polls strong in foreign policy, and combine that with the strong economic data, I think it looks good. Although, the voting polls are all within the statistical margin of error. Make sure to go vote. And vote for Bush! ;)

* Kerry is out with Springsteen. Bush out with Arnold. I think the latter has more curb appeal. Curt Schilling, of the World Series champs Boston Red Sox, cancelled his plans to tour with Bush due to his injury.

* Kerry was wrong to jump to conclusions about the missing explosives in Iraq. I don't know if that will bite him in the butt, but that's the same thing he criticizes Bush for, isn't it?

* The stock market has rallied about 4%, give or take, prior to the election. Historically, the market rallies prior to the election and declines afterwards. Of course, that doesn't mean it will happen this year, but we did see a nice bump in October, and now that "everyone" is saying we'll rally after the election, I'd be skeptical of that view... (Not that I'd try and trade that, mind you).

* Homeowners (around 70% of Americans) have to feel pretty good about the real estate market the last few years.

* 1:00pm PDT today, KFBK in Sacramento will stream Stolen Honor over the web.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Al Qaeda and US Elections



Kerry's 20-20 Hindsight

Do you have a coworker in the office who takes credit for your work, or second guesses everything that goes wrong or creates issues? Sometimes, these folks are called "Me, too" people. They don't work that hard. Love to take credit for others' work. They love to point the finger and blame when something goes wrong. Instead of taking risks, working hard, and creating solutions, they roam the office seeking opportunities to pounce on others trying to advance themselves.

Doesn't John Kerry's recent campaign rhetoric remind you of that coworker in your office? I think that's what is behind all his flip-flops. He's for the war. He's against the war. Saddam is a threat. Saddam wasn't a threat. He's just being that guy in the office; the coworker seeking to look good no matter what happens. I think that's what's more troubling than the flip-flops. It's difficult to imagine this guy leading anything. He's great at second guessing, but what about taking charge?

The Congress will remain in GOP control after tuesday, no matter who wins the Presidential race. I wonder, if Kerry does win, will Congress be leading the country while Kerry waits until the results are in, and then criticizes or takes credit for Congressional leadership?

That's the feeling I get. The John Kerry in my office came in today with a Red Sox cap. I've never seen him with a Red Sox cap before. I bet if I go ask him, he'll tell me he's always been a Red Sox fan. What do you think?

Market Rally!

* Market is up again. Funny how that works. TV gurus are saying folks will want to step aside to avoid the election uncertainties. The exact opposite happens. Am I glad to be long? You bet! These strong market moves happen very quickly and are usually almost over by the time the crowd tries to get a little piece of the pie.

* Kerry is up in the electoral count, according to polls. The polls keep swinging, because we're within the statistical margin of error of 2-3%. So, call a 1000 people one day, call 1000 people the next day, and you could get flipping and flopping of who's in front. It's close!

* Are you watching Lost? I like it.

* Red Sox in an anti-climatic World Series. Congratulations!

* Life at the Fun Factory is kind of boring the past week. In between projects. Good time for that, so I can follow stocks and blogs! And election stuffs.

* I'm so tired of veggie sandwiches. I'm walking tons. Eating healthy. Feeling fit and all. But geez, I think I want a fish burrito or something for a change.

* Red Sox Curt Shilling endorsed Bush. So you know, cookie!

* Remember to set the clock back an hour saturday night before you go to sleep. Change your air filter, fire alarm batteries, and the cat box, too.

* Ralph Nader says the reason Bush and Kerry are basically tied in the polls and the race is so close, is because they basically have the same views on everything and there's not enough difference between them.

* So, importing drugs from Canada. Canada imports them from the US based on some price agreements with the drug companies. Drug companies raise prices to US customers to subsidize lower rates to foreign customers. What happens when US customers start buying from foreign sources? You got it. Drug prices go up for those folks. And then there won't be much advantage to buying from Canada anymore. Why doesn't Bush say that instead of the gobbly-gook about "safety?"

* I'm out walking around in the Fun Factory, evesdropping on conversations as I pass folks. Mostly women out walking, talking about this and that, nothing too interesting. Shoes or something. Then I pass a couple of guys, and one is giving directions to the other on where the strip clubs are. Just a different perspective.

* Yeah, a grilled fish burrito.

* Election fiascos underway. Lost absentee ballots, dead people voting, etc. Predictable. You just hope that if there is cheating, both sides are cheating equally enough to cancel out the effect. C'mon, lets get an accurate vote, okay?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Stolen Honor on The Radio

* Stolen Honor will be broadcast live over the radio, Friday 10/29 at 1:00pm on KFBK of Sacramento. They stream live!

* The news is out: Americans are a little taller and quite a bit heavier:

Yahoo! News - Americans a Bit Taller, Much Heavier, Report Says

* The knee-jerk reaction: Increase education spending and go after the fast-food industry.

The Institute of Medicine, which advises the federal government on health matters, last month said a range of measures would be needed to tackle childhood obesity, including nationwide school exercise programs and changes in fast-food advertising.

* Red Sox up 3-0!

* Gary Kaltbaum of radio's Investors Edge, said of Ashlee Simpson's live performance this week, that she sounded like a moose in heat!

* Kerry is closing the gap on Bush in the polls. Bush is up by 1%, but the battleground states are all that matter. Troubling for Kerry is the surge for Bush in Michigan, though. It's going to be close... I just hope we have a clear winner. Either way.

* If Kerry wins, I think he'd carry out the same foreign policy, and he'd run into a Congressional brick wall domestically. Lots of late budgets for four years.

* Two days in a row for the surging stock market! Has the fall rally begun? Even the financials are participating. Tech is strong. Google seems a bit bubbly, but I love their website.

Life Imitates Commercials

Have you seen the commercial where the 4 guys are in the car, and the driver tells a joke?

Driver: "Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9!"

Everyone in the car splits a gut laughing, and then one guy says, "Good one boss!" The driver, the boss, then realizes that he's not one of the guys, and that he's being kissed-up.

Today, I'm walking back from the cafe with a to-go lunch, and my boss sees me.

Boss: "What's for lunch?"

Me: "A veggie sandwich."

Boss: "Are you a vegetarian?"

Me: "Yeah, what the heck."

Boss: "You know what the Native American translation is for vegetarian? 'Lousy Hunter.'"


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Tube Socks?

* With one week to go, why not watch (again) the Saturday Night Live debate skit from early October? It's funny everytime you watch it!

* I haven't commented on the stock market lately, but I do think we're close to the seasonal pattern where the rally starts. Month-end strength as 401k contributions kick in might get the party started. And if there are no terrorist attacks before the election, pressure on oil might subside. If Bush wins, the tax cuts stay. If Kerry wins, the tax cuts stay as we'll have gridlock and the GOP Congress basically tries to run out the clock on Kerry's term.

* Can you believe that basketball season is about here? Shaq in Miami, Vlade in Los Angeles, and Kobe a free man...

* My favorite new TV show? Desperate Housewives!

* I think Bush will win. He's up in the major polls. No more undecideds. Zogby.

* Ashlee Simpson is getting tons of flack, but have you heard her sing? If I were there, I'd hope for the lip synch.

* One thing that will be interesting next tuesday, is the election day coverage. The online world will be buzzing, while the TV networks will be trying to keep it mum until the polls are closed. Good luck!

* So, whatever happened to Hockey? Does anyone care?

* Tube socks for dusting?

* Kerry is trailing Bush among women, youth, and seniors. Will it come down to Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania? Yup! That's where the candidates are. I think Bush takes Ohio and Florida.

* If anyone has any links to this last weekend's Saturday Night Live clips, I'd appreciate it!!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Dealing With Monopolies

For all the cries of "freedom" and "capitalism," there are many facets of our life that are in government control. If you have a landline phone, pay for energy and utilities, choice is not an option. You can't decide to opt out of water or garbage service or not have power. You can't decide you'd like to use ATT, if SBC is your phone company. There is no local competition in energy providers, you have one, and only one, option. You want Comcast Cable when Charter Cable is your local provider? Good luck!

In the private sector, you have the option to opt out. If you don't like the flowers or produce from one store, you just drive to another. Competition tends to bring better prices and services to us. If a worker at a private firm screws up, they get disciplined, fired, or moved aside. Not so at our socialist monopolies.

Futhermore, you know it's going to happen. You know, that if you call the phone company to turn on your phone service, it's highly probably that you're phone won't work on Day 1. I'm to the point, that when I call whatever utility, the conversation goes something like this:

Ring ring ring, 20 voice response questions later, a help desk person picks up the phone...

Them: "Hello, thanks for calling SEI (Socialist Energy Inc.). How may I provide excellent customer service for you today?"

Me: "I just moved, and I'd like to have my energy services turned on."

Them: "Have you had SEI services before?"

Me: "No, I just moved in."

Them: "Sir, did you just move in?"

Me: "Yes, I just said that."

Them: "Thank you, sir. I'm showing that property is registered to someone else. They'll need to cancel their service before you can start yours."

Me, with George Bush scowly face : "That's absurd."

Them: "We can switch it over to you. When did escrow close/you move in?"

Me: "Today."

They then ask for information Lord only knows why it matters for energy service.

Them: "Thank you, sir. Okay, we'll turn power on today. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Me: "Yes, I'd like to schedule a technician appointment for tomorrow."

Them: "Sir?"

Me: "Sorry, I know that when I hang up with you, that by the time 5:00pm rolls around, power won't work so I want to make sure someone is here first thing in the morning."

That's the way it goes. You know the first time, the phone won't work. The power is dead. The garbage cans sit out on the street without being picked up. The internet won't work. Mail isn't delivered. Etc.

Them (nervous laughter): "It will work, sir. Thank you for being an excellent customer of SEI."

** The Next Day, 9:45am, No Power **

Ring ring ring, 20 voice response questions later, a help desk person picks up the phone...

Them: "Hello, thanks for calling SEI. How may I provide excellent customer service for you today?"

Me: "I talked with you yesterday. Power's not working."

They then ask for tons of personal information to validate it's you.

Them: "Okay sir, we show power being on for over a day."

Me: "It's not."

Them: "We can send out a technician. It will cost $50 for the visit. If there are any problems, you can either choose SEI to do the repairs, or do them yourself."

Me, again with the Bush scowly face: "That's absurd. You never turned it on in the first place."

Them: "Do you want a repair technician to come out?"

Me: "Yes, I have to have power..."

Them: "The first appointment we have, is next thursday between 12:00-5:00pm..."

That's the way it goes here. I'm not sure it would be better with competition, but at least someone might get fired once and awhile. Maybe they'd tighten up their services a bit, and do things right the first time. That's all I'm really asking for. Is that possible with monopolies?

Watch Stolen Honor for Free

Passing it along, if you want to see it try one of these:

Site 1

Site 2

Site 3

Quick Hits

* One of the funniest things that happened over the weekend, was the goof on Saturday Night Live where Ashlee Simpson took the stage and was planning on lip synching her song. The only problem was that her band played one song, and the sound crew played the lyrics from another song! I didn't see it live, but it's been on the news!

* The election numbers are tight, but it looks like Bush should get over 300 electoral votes. During the final week, Kerry is touring with Bill Clinton and Bush is out with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

* Red Sox looked dominating the first two games. Cards have been a weak road team, and strong home team. I'm hoping it goes seven games.

* Miami Dolphins scored 31 points and won a game?

* John Kerry keeps targetting one group one day, and another group another day. One day he's making up nonsense about a draft. The next day, he's telling seniors Bush is going to cancel Social Security. Then, he decides he's a goose hunter for a day to try and gain the middle America votes in Ohio. People see right through this, I think. Not sure why Kerry doesn't try targetting overweight Americans, and announce he's on the Atkins diet. He could link it in with his recent hunting trip. Goose protein!

* Tennessee got lucky against Alabama. I thought. Tennessee looks to be a little over-rated.

* Lunch today? Mexican.

* Finaly watched the first Kill Bill. As in, volume one. Gruesome. Good grief. Yeah, I was hooked. But good grief. Now I can Netflix volume two!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Stolen Honor

There's been an interesting battle going onwith Sinclair Broadcasting regarding the John Kerry documentary, "Stolen Honor." For those who want to watch, check out this story at the Washington Post that says on monday, the film will be available on the internet.

Stolen Honor available for free - (United Press International)

Producer Carlton Sherwood said "Stolen Honor" would be available on the Internet Monday and would also be available for screening or broadcasting.

300 Electoral Votes?

* Bush is up around 3-4% on average now in the polls. I think it's probably a little tighter than that, but that could produce a big win on election tuesday. Bush seems to have all the momentum now, and there can't be enough undecideds at this point to matter.

* Stocks? I like the rallying in technology stocks despite the warnings and such. True, today there is a little pullback. Watch the SP500 and Nasdaq, and not so much the DOW. The DOW is only 30 companies, and technology seems to be leading.

* Whoever ends up winning the election, I hope it's decisive enough that we don't have to have a repeat of the 2000 recount fiasco.

* Oil! Black gold! Texas Tea! You'd think folks would be more concerned about high fuel prices, but I think we're married to our SUVs and our driving patterns are not part of our discretionary income. We're more likely to cut back on the supersized meals or grande lattes than reduce driving. I believe most of us believe our commutes are non-negotiable. We'll see how it goes when the home heating bills hit!

* Kerry windsurfs. He rides bike. And now, he's a big game hunter. We have over a week to go, so I wonder which niche group he'll try to appeal to next? Maybe he could put on a Bengals cap and tote around a wireless PDA? If anyone can't see through this, it's because they've got their eyes shut! I think most can; again, Bush up 3-4% in the polls.

* I wonder if another thing affecting our ignoring fuel prices, is that most baby boomers are in their peak earnings period? Home ownership is higher than ever, and many have been taking equity out of their homes. Many have cash to burn, in John Kerry's "worst economy since Hoover."

* No dreams of Ted Nugent and Hollywood Squares last night. No fair. I won in my dream the previous night, shouldn't I be invited back the next night? Isn't that how it works?

* Red Sox or Cardinals?

* If Kerry does end up winning, how likely is it that a GOP Congress would sign legislation raising taxes or creating government health care? Exactly. We'd have gridlock. That's what we had from 1994-2000, and it worked quite well.

* Lunch time! I have no lunch bunch here yet. I usually just eat and go for a long walk.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Please Make Another Selection

As the afternoon goes on, I start thinking that I'd like something a little salty. Chips! I meander over to the vending machine, and notice that they've actually stocked the thing with baked chips, peanuts, and other more-healthy or less-harmful snack products. I think to myself, "Even better! I can get something with the ingredients of corn and salt, skip the fat and chemicals, and everyone's a winner."

I fish out a dollar from my wallet, that's there thanks to the George Bush tax cuts the last few years, feed the machine and enter the two-digit code for the baked chips.

"Please make another selection," an error code flashes.

Huh? How can that be? The row is full of baked chips! I try the two-digit combo again.

"Please make another selection."

I try all the healthy items. None work. I get my money back, and go through the process again. Zip. Nothing. Nada. I repeat my attempt at the baked chips code in one final try.

"Please make another selection."

I wonder if the same problem exists for the unhealthy items? I punch in a code for Snack 'ems.

"Zoooosh!" My money is accepted and I get a high-fat, salty snack with an ingredients list a mile long.

We have the technology to put a man on the moon, satellites in orbit, communicate with each other wirelessly, open doors automatically, keep cool things cool and keep hot things hot, but why can't we get vending machines to work? Does John Kerry have a plan to fix the vending machine crisis that's been created due to the Bush administration taking their eyes off the ball?

Wango Tango Gets the X

I had the strangest dream.

I was playing Hollywood Squares, and in the bottom, center box was Ted Nugent. He hung a big, American flag in the back of his square and he was constant rocking back and forth and twirling around in his chair. To his right (my left) in the corner was Gabe Kaplan, from Welcome Back Kotter.

Whenever anyone would ask Ted Nugent a question, in his answer, he'd use a lyric from one of his songs. The audience would howl in laughter and applause every time, and Gabe Kaplan would just stare and scowl at Ted Nugent as if "it's just not that funny, Ted."

After the show, I was asked if I'd like to meet Ted Nugent. I went down to the stage and Ted Nugent came out. He shook my hand, told me I played the game well, and that I was a "Great American Hero."

For the record, I had an Amy's Vegetarian Tamale Pie for dinner. Maybe I'll explore more of the Amy's product line. I'd like to meet more famous celebrities from the 70's. Lord knows, I could use the game show prize money, too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Cookie Baking Contest

One story that's been a little buried as we come down to the home stretch, is the results of the cookie bake-off between Laura Bush and Teresa Heinz Kerry. Family Circle was supposed to run the contest and announce the results, but there appears to be a little controversy.

As the story goes, Laura Bush's "Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk Cookies" are up against Teresa Heinz Kerry's "Pumpkin Spice Cookies." Now you don't have to be a rocket scientist to predict the likely outcome of this contest. It's a no brainer. Any recipe that includes pumpkin isn't going to win.

But the story isn't about the cookies, it's about what exactly Teresa Heinz Kerry meant to submit. Initially, she sent in a recipe for "Yummy Wonders," but Family Circle said that the cookie recipe didn't work. So then they got another recipe for the "pumpkin spice" cookies; they were horrible, and Bush's cookies won by a huge margin. Teresa says that it wasn't her recipe. She doesn't even like pumpkin spice cookies. In an NPR interview, she said "Somebody at my office gave that recipe out and, in fact, I think somebody really made it on purpose to give a nasty recipe. I never made pumpkin cookies; I don't like pumpkin spice cookies."

We're getting used to this byline from anyone named Kerry. Anything that was done or said is subject to future revision and clarification, as no matter what the topic is there seems to be mass confusion. From the Vietnam War, to voting records, to the Iraq War and the War on Terror, to baking cookies. Nothing is ever simple for the Kerry family. No matter how much they tell us that they're consistant and steadfast, we're always left debating what they meant or intended. The story changes depending on the outcome.

This was just a cookie baking contest. Imagine if it were something of national importance.

For the record, the winner of the cookie bake off has won the election. Laura Bush's cookies won in a landslide.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Polling the Night Away

Have you noticed the attention the polls are getting this election year? It's not enough to say that "Bush is ahead" or "Kerry is ahead." In the light of alleged attempts by media groups to influence the election, it seems as if newscasters are going out of their way to present both sides down to the most minute minutia.

"Today's Superpoll has Bush leading by 3% among likely voters. But in today's Wonderpoll, Kerry continues to hold a slim lead."

It's not enough to mention "likely voters" or "registered voters," the media is giving us the breakdown of all kinds of groups.

"Superpoll asked dog owners who have a past history of voting in election years divisible by the number eight. Superpoll also showed that the President was picking up support from voters who owned koi. But in what must be disturbing to the Bush administration, is that parakeet owners overwhelming prefer Kerry, and Bush lost this key voting block to Al Gore in 2000 94% to 4%, with 2% voting for Ralph Nader."

The media likes to ask the candidate pressing questions about their failures to move the polls, which usually ends up creating some response during a speech out on campaign.

"In response to the dismal polling support from parakeet owners, President George Bush said that making parakeets safe has been a priority during his administration. 'My opponent won't mention his voting record regarding cats. Cats have been terrorizing parakeets for the past 30 years while he's been in the Senate. On every Senate vote, if he bothers to show up, my opponent has been on the wrong side of the parakeet issue. Spending on parakeet issues has increased during my administration. And there won't be a draft.'"

For balance, the media then goes to the challenger, who seizes on the polling data that favors him trying to lock in that vote.

"This administration has failed parakeet owners. If he can't help parakeets, how is he going to solve America's health care crisis? I have a plan for all Americans, including parakeets."

We're left scratching our heads, not sure of what the polls are telling us. The sound clips from the candidates are delivered out of context, so it influences us for the next 10 hours or however long our memory retention lasts. Then it's off to the next news story.

"And in bad news for coffee drinkers, it seems to cause the same kind of low-level inflamation seen not only from those who have a high risk of heart attacks, but from parakeets being chased by cats."

Worst Economy Since Hoover?

Listening to John Kerry and John Edwards, you'd think the middle class had vanished and that tens of millions of Americans were living in cardboard boxes on the sides of the freeways, and wrapped around city blocks standing in lines for food handouts. I decided to go out on a bike ride in my middle class neighborhood, to see what the "Worst Economy Since Hoover" looked like.

The first signs of poverty and the struggling middle class, were the number of newer model SUVs parked in driveways and alongside the streets. At first, I thought maybe because that's where these people were sleeping and living. But it turns out, that these are the homeowners and the reason that they can't park in their garages is because there homes are too small to hold all their possessions. In this "worst economy since Hoover," it seems like folks are cramped and stuffed into 2500-4000 sq ft. homes, and unable to fit their families of four and their possessions. So what doesn't fit, like the Bowflex, stairmasters, treadmills, pool tables, and etc., have to go into the 3-car garage. I wonder, if Al Gore had won in 2000, would people have bigger homes and maybe a storage shed out back to hold their stuff? Clearly, Bush has failed to lead. If John Kerry wins, will these struggling people get the same kind of storage facilities that the members of the Senate get? Lord, I sure hope so.

Next, I saw kids riding around on bikes and talking about their new Playstation and Xbox games. And I thought the kids in the 30's had it tough! At one home in my struggling middle class neighborhood, the kids had to clear out from the driveway as Dad pulled up in his SUV with a new plasma TV from Best Buy. I stopped to check it out, and he said he wanted it in before the NBA season started. He was getting a satellite dish installed and subscribing to the NBA package. Now, if the middle class weren't being squeezed, perhaps this fellow could afford season tickets. Bush took his eye off the ball the last four years. No doubt, Kerry has a plan to fix this problem.

In any case, I hoped he left the empty boxes out on the street. No doubt, in this "worst economy since Hoover," folks will need a place to sleep. An ice cream truck drove by and the kids flocked in line to get some ice cream. This probably resembled the food lines in the days of Hoover that John Kerry is talking about. I felt sorry for the kids, that they didn't have ice cream in their homes and actually had to come out and stand in line to get some. Bush clearly has neglected the needs of children these past 4 years.

Just some observations here in these dire times for the middle class. I had to get back in time to watch the Yankees-Red Sox game.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Monday Already

* Polls are showing Bush is back out front. I think things are looking good for "four more years."

* I know there are lots of gloom and doom predictions for the housing market out there. Real estate has had an incredible run since Clinton cut capital gains taxes in 1997. I wonder how a young family can afford a home today, without moving to Idaho.

* I have broadband again. Hallelujah.

* I'm hooked on Desperate Housewives. Clever show!

* As interest rates rise, variable mortgage payments will go up.

* Stocks are up a little today. Interesting. Normally, the week after options weeks tends to be down. "Tends to be."

* I have about 5 redesigns of this site, and I don't like any of them. So until then...

* Are you tired of diet fads? They seem a little ridiculous to me. Eat low fat. Eat low carbs. Blah blah blah. And America's kids are fat, so the schools are banning sodas, as if that'd have an impact. Yet, they still sell fruit juices which often times have more sugar and calories than the soda. Go figure.

* I'm taking an early lunch. F'em!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Debate Quick Hits III

Just one more...

SNL Kerry idea: "You just heard the President misrepresent my accomplishments in the Senate. He said that I've only authored five bills, but those are only the ones that are under my name. Many times, your name isn't listed on your work. For example, during my term I've written thousands of things. Perhaps you read 'Jurrasic Park.' Sure, the book says it was Michael Crichton's work, but I wrote most of it. Have you seen any of the 'Star Wars' movies? Me again. And whenever you download software from the internet, and it asks you to read and validate the license agreement before the software can be installed? I write those license agreements. You see, fellow Americans, in order to lead you have to be able to write and let others take the credit for your work. I have a strong track record of letting others take credit for my work. That's part of my plan for my administration. Help is on the way, America. And I'll be somewhere in the background, doing the hard work."

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Debate Quick Hits II

More help for Saturday Night Live debate skits...

* SNL Kerry idea: "Thank you for the question. Homosexuality and gay marriage are real issues for America. I was speaking with Dick Cheney's daughter before tonight's debate, out backstage. And she said that she supports her dad and President Bush, even though she disagrees with the party platform. I understand that. As President, I would embrace our differences. I then told her, that I've often fantasized about having a 3-way with Teresa and another woman. I told her that I have a plan, and it's a gooooood plan."

* SNL Bush idea: "My opponent is for a government takeover of health care. With our troops out fighting for freedom, where is my opponent going to find the troops to invade hospitals and clinics? You see that's a bait and switch. Most of our troops have no medical training whatsoever. If tanks and planes bombed our hospitals and clinics, there would be a shortage in medical professionals and that would lead to rationing and poor health care. I think that's just a fundamental difference of opinion between me and my opponent."

* SNL Bush idea: "My opponent says he wants to raise taxes on the rich. That's not leadership. That would hurt small businesses. I have a successful small business, I made $84 last year in my timber company. But this year, my office is receiving lots of faxes for orders of timber for rebuilding Iraq. Dick says his friends at Halliburton will be ordering more wood, too. Jeb says Florida needs some wood, so I might need some help from Tony Blair down at the ranch. He told me he knows how to use a chainsaw. That's leadership. Raising taxes on small timber companies isn't going to create jobs."

* SNL Kerry idea: "Fellow Americans, this administration is misrepresenting my tax plan. Let me be clear on my plan. I'm going to ask those who can afford it, to pitch in and help out. Those making over $200,000 are going to be asked to help. In addition, those who have a job and work for a living, and those who are retired and receive a pension income will also be asked to help. Kids who receive a weekly allowance will also be called to pitch in. If you run a lemonade stand during the summer, you're going to be asked to make a contribution. High school students running a car wash to raise money for a school program will be required to chip in. If you return aluminum cans or plastic bottles to a recycling facility, we're coming after that income. If you received any money from a Fantasy Football league, you had better declare it on your tax return form once I'm president."

Debate Quick Hits

I'm a little disappointed in Saturday Night Live's election skits. The debate one last weekend was weak. They need to focus in on the Kerry "I have a plan" and "this administration has been a disaster" rhetoric. Some ideas...

* SNL Kerry idea: "If you saw on the news, Mt St. Helens started to erupt this week. Now, this administration, has done nothing to stop volcanic eruptions. During the 8 years before President Bush, there were no eruptions. It's been a failure of leadership. I have a plan, consisting of may sub-plans. Each plan has a goal and an expected outcome. I've been doing this sort of thing since I was an alter boy at church. The Father always checked to make sure that I had a plan. And I did."

* SNL Bush idea: "My opponent just said that I've been President for the past four years. That's news to me."

* SNL Kerry idea: "Thanks for the question. Faith has been an important part of my life. As an alter boy, the Father would take me aside and... (puzzled expression) Oh, he told me to keep that part a secret. My administration, will consist of many alter boys, and alter girls. We'll be inclusive, and reach out to all those who have and have not served at the alter. This administration, has made the wrong decision time and time again, and John Edwards and I have a plan."

* SNL Bush idea: "I pray everyday. Faith is im-por-tant to me. It's part of my life. That's what I do. I pray for faith. I pray that we kill as many terrorists as possible. That's part of my strategeric vision. We hunt them down and kill as many as possible one day. Then tomorrow, we try and break that record. So yes, I believe in prayer. "

More later....

Who Won the Debates?

We all know that the nation is divided enough that the answer to that question depends on who you want to win in November.

In the first debate, most viewed Kerry as the winner. Reviews came in that Bush seemed unprepared, and very uncomfortable. He scowled, seemed angry, and was very repetitive. Kerry was on the attack, and Bush seemed unable to get any points across. Kerry had Bush on the ropes. Everyone seemed surprised, because Bush was supposed to clean Kerry's clock on the topic of the War on Terror. All the energy was in the Kerry corner, and he gained back some points in the polls that he had lost after the Republican convention.

The second debate started out much the same, but sometime after the start, there was a change in momentum. I think everyone sensed it. A smile came back to Bush's face, and Kerry started stumbling on the domestic questions. Bush seemed to gain some confidence that he could stand up there with the debate champ Kerry, and hold his own. The format was good for Bush, as he seems more comfortable in an informal setting interacting with people; while Kerry seems more comfortable behind a podium speaking to a vacuum.

By the time the first 10 minutes passed in the third debate, you could sense that Kerry had lost his energy and momentum. Kerry found himself on the defensive, fending off some challenges from a more charasmatic Bush. Bush smiled, looked in the camera, and made America laugh a few times; while it was Kerry who had to explain himself and seemed defensive, unenergized, and plain tired.

One of the key moments in the third debate was the question on faith. Bush came across as genuine, with a heartfelt response that inspires confidence and trust. Kerry responded as if his faith was something he experienced at one time. In addition, Kerry contradicted himself (on yet another topic), as he said that his faith couldn't dictate what he'd decide on abortion or gay marriage for America; yet, it would dictate what he'd decide on the environment for America. Some Catholics have expressed some outrage over his political positions. On the otherhand, Bush clearly energized his base, and spoke to the majority of Americans who do say that faith plays a roll in their lives.

We're racing to the home stretch, and Bush left the last debate in a sprint.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

George Bush Killed Superman!

(Before I start, please understand that I do grieve for the loss of Christopher Reeve. He has truly been an inspiration.)

If you're out surfing for a job candidate, you might come across the resume of Lex Luther. You see, it wasn't kryptonite, some elaborate scheme, or even villians from Krypton that were Superman's undoing. George Bush didn't spend money on stem cell research, and denied the world cures for diseases and other various handicaps. George Bush has taken the job of ultimate super-villian, and has caused yet another job loss, that of Lex Luther.

I'm being ridiculous, but the death of Superman in the past few days has really created an opportunity for Kerry (tonight) and those who favor government spending on embryonic stem cell research. Nevermind, that private companies are free to spend at will, but don't. The results so far haven't been too promising. Adult stem cells have actually fostered more hope.

If private companies won't invest in embryonic stem cells, is it the job of our tax dollars? Californians are being asked to float a $3B bond measure, that will even create a new state agency! Seems to me that there are some big bucks to be made from government spending in this field, so I have to question the motivation.

I truly hope we can find cures. But I do detest the politicizing of this issue at the expense of common sense.

Fall Swoon and the Debate

As if on seasonal cue, Novellus and Sandisk are bombing the afterhours, despite a great report from Apple. For those looking for the normal fall swoon, looks like the reasons in 2004 for the wall of worry are: High oil prices, terrorism, Iraq, election uncertainties, and a slowing economy. No doubt, John Kerry should have some fun with all of this tonight.

I'm not seeing much love in the stock market. Everyone seems skittish.

On a side note, do you think folks will watch the Red Sox vs. Yankees, Astros vs. Cardinals, or Kerry vs. Bush? Normally, I'd say sports win, but with the popularity of reality TV, I think America might just tune into the Presidential debate.

A sweet ironic twist would be if they could convince an Arizona Diamondback to throw out the first question...

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Presidential Interviews

Can you imagine if you interviewed for a job, the way Bush and Kerry are conducting their debates?

"Muckdog, why do you think you're qualified for this job?"

"First of all, I'd like to thank the panel for coming here today to this interview, and I'd like to thank you for the question. It's a good question. You know, my opponents for this job are seriously underqualified. I've worked with many of them over the years, and time and time again they've failed in tasks that have led to project failures. They've been a disaster. Now, if you hire me, I'm going to put an end to that. I have a plan to be successful."

"Okay, thank you. Can you name some of your successes and failures, and in the latter, what you did to remedy the situations?"

"That's a good question. In order to be successful, you have to have a plan and work diligently to complete assignments and deliverables. You have to be steadfast. It's hard work. You have to work on the right tasks, and not distract yourself with the wrong tasks at the wrong time. My opponents for this job have blown every opportunity they've had to complete deliverables. I think they're the only people on the planet who think they have a clue to what they're doing. I have a plan to be successful."

"If we hire you, one of your first assignments would be a new project. Tell us how you would begin."

"I appreciate that question. You have to have a plan. I've got one. My opponents don't. Listen carefully to what they tell you when you're interviewing them. First, they say they have a plan, but then they start the work without a plan. They're flip-floppers, trying to be on both sides of having a plan and not having a plan. I wake up everyday, thinking of a plan. That's the first thing on my mind. That's my job!"

"Very well, that completes this interview. Do you have anything to add?"

"I'd like to thank the interview panel. You've asked great questions here today. In a few days, you're going to have to make a decision. Should the organization hire one of my opponents? They'll talk tough during their 30-minute interview. But look at their track record over their careers. The only thing consistent about them, is their inconsistency. They've gone through their careers, without a plan. I have a plan. It's a good plan, and I've shared that with you here today. I have a website, where you can get more information about my plan. When you make that decision in a few days, I'm asking you to hire me. I think the best days of this organization are in front of it! God bless you, and God bless this organization!"

Friday, October 08, 2004

TGIF's Quick Hits

* SJ Mercury News says half of the California tech workers have left the field. I don't have the link, but it's there. I think a lot of make-believe companies (sselling pet food online, etc) are gone, some jobs got outsourced, and some companies left California.

* Are you annoyed with this flu vaccine crisis? Seems like every year, there's some crisis and not enough vaccine around. I wonder, being cynical, if the manufacturers are gaming the system and running up prices?

* Coffee... Dark roast or Light roast?

* Turns out that the coalition of the bribed and coerced included the UN, France, Russia, and China. The oil for food program was a farce. Will Bush rip Kerry on this tonight? Or just make faces?

* I still think a Saturday Night Live skit with Bush and Kerry going to Trump's boardroom would be good.

* I like the Light roast coffees more, in general.

* I'm thinking, Bush is going to get spanked tonight at the debate. If I were Bush, I'd throw in a line like "There's a saying that if you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. My opponent is doing a lot of tough talking on this campaign and during the debates. He's talking the talk. But if you look at his 30 year record, he hasn't walked the walked." Then insert his votes to hike taxes, against tax cuts, and his lack of accomplishment in the Senate. Maybe throw in the line Cheney used, about changing positions once Howard Dean was leading in the primaries. Add in, "Talk, talk, talk."

* The economy has been growing, steady. Not overheating. If it were hotter, interest rates would be flying up. Yet, they're still down. Home ownership is at record levels. This is pretty good.

* Notice how drug stocks have reversed to the downside with Bush losing the lead in the polls and now in a dead heat? If Kerry pulls ahead, will drug stocks continue to go down? (Merck's news was bad, but other companies initially rallied on this.)

* I love football season.

* Life at the Fun Factory? Well, I'm about 2 months in here, and I still miss my friends from the Salt Mine. But making new ones here.

* Thanks for the emails!

The Apprentice

I think it was Julie who was let go last night. I may have the name wrong, but it was a good show. Trump moved Julie from the boys team to the girls team, and the two teams had to sell a product on QVC. One new addition this season, is that Trump gives a comment on the important factor in the task. So far, failure at this has led to who gets fired. Yesterday, he said that pricing was everything when trying to sell volume. I was watching for that as the boys bickered about how much to price their grill, and the girls bickered about pricing their miracle eraser.

The men won by $10 in total sales. The women were devastated, and into the boardroom they went. Julie's crime was in the inproper pricing of the eraser, and not assigning the right folks to the right tasks. Although, those women seem to do more fighting than working.

I was thinking, a good Saturday Night Live skit would be Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards being sent to Donald Trump's boardroom, where somebody would be fired!

John Kerry's Allies

Where's the real Coalition of the Coerced? This is a big story that isn't getting much play.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Quick Hits

* I read with interest that the Atkins diet related stocks are losing some of their luster. Companies are reporting decling sales. Is the low-carb fad over?

* "American Idol" doesn't start until January. Seems a long ways off; but, it's not.

* Stocks? Well, many emails from friends suggesting that FINALY! THE SELL OFF HAS BEGUN! Not sure I concur. But, can't blame them for expecting an October crash.

* Ricky Williams wants to come back and play football. If I were Miami, I'd tell him to go fly a kite.

* I'm tired of all the politics, too. But it's so engaging. Like a reality show!

* Pass the chocolate cake, please. With ice cream! Ooh, hot fudge, too!

* My liberal buddy emailed me and said he was voting for Bush. Huh?

* I wonder how well Home Depot is doing? On one hand, lots of sales to folks rebuilding homes from the hurricanes. On the otherhand, lots of cash going to fuel that used to be spent out shopping.

* Whenever I see somebody walking a dachshund, I notice that the wiener dog has to work really hard to keep up with the owner. Pretty cute! Those things are built pretty low to the ground. Walking in the snow must be a drag!

* Political blogs are too much. I'll try and stop.

* Mt. St. Helens calming down? I'll miss gazing at the volcano cam.

Why John Kerry is Wrong

Some news out this morning on the UN oil for food program. While John Kerry is on the campaign and debate circuits, he's talking about a "global test" in getting more international approval and participation in the war on terror. Everyone agrees that more participation would help. But is John Kerry naive in thinking that other countries play by the same rules that we do? I think so. The US has to look out for our own interests, because when an article like the following comes out showing Saddam paying off France, Russia, and China, we can't count on anyone having the same values and ethics that we do.

Saddam and the French Connection

I hope Bush points this out. The world is not a level playing field, there is no standard set of rules.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Random Thoughts

* I thought Cheney did a little better, but I can't tell if Cheney won or Edwards won. Both sides probably feel that they did well.

* Oh boy, the government wants to get involved in trying to "help America's children from spiraling into obesity." Senator Chris Dodd wants to pass legislation aimed at reducing obesity. $60 million. Good grief. Any excuse for more government spending. Ridiculous. This is not the roll of government! Seems like my parents used to turn the TV off and tell me to "go outside and play."

* Everyone is anticipating a Yankees-Red Sox playoff series. Seems like nobody sent the memo to the Minnesota Twins. 1-0, Twinks.

* The eye candy at the Fun Factory isn't too bad...

* Much of Investors Business Daily is free online, and yesterday they had a great column about the UN oil-for-food scandal. It's not getting a lot of media attention, but the article makes a credible case that the reason we didn't have a larger coalition in Iraq is because France, Russia, and China were taking money on the sly from Saddam. The investigation is under way...

* is my favorite place to, well, check facts.

* My blog has become a little boring, I realize. I'm caught up in the political stuff. It's a grand diversion from the real world. I did muck with the look and feel a bit, but this is just temporary ...

* Last weekend, a good friend had a barbeque and there was lots of beer. Oh, and cigars. I could barely stand by the end of the day. Combine all that with a little touch football? Sore hamstrings for days. We're lucky we didn't do more damage to ourselves. Something about getting together with your friends and alcohol, the next thing you feel like you're 17 again. But... you're not. Hah. Darn hamstrings.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Stocks: October Jitters

I receive emails and IMs from friends who are predicting an October swoon, to be followed by a big rally into the end of the year. In addition, the seasonal investors are predicting a bottom in October-November, to be followed by a rally. My concern, is that if everyone is on the same page, will the market throw the masses a bone and cooperate? Will the market do what everyone is expecting it to do? Rarely does the market give-in to the demands of the crowd. The market likes to ying when everyone is expecting a yang.

There are more theories out there that deserve attention and that I mentioned earlier. That is the presidential year cycle where the market rallies to the election, then falls back or moves sideways in the months following. The administration tries to game the markets ahead of the election by spending tons of money, and manufacture positive sentiment among voters. There is also the theory that the stock market performs poorly in the early part of the decade, and rallies in the latter half of the decade. If so, we could be heading for the sweet spot.

I do like the seasonality angle in general. I don't think one can say that the bottom always happens in October. Maybe it's September or November, just to keep folks guessing.

I'm feeling fairly optimistic about the market. I could be wrong, but I think the market has held up fairly well in the face of terrorism, uncertainty in Iraq, high oil prices, a heated political race, and an economy that's cooled off (but still growing slowly).

Should Taxes Go Up?

One of John Kerry's campaign promises, is that he'll raise taxes on the rich to help balance the budget and pay for new spending initiatives. The Republicans counter that just increasing taxes on the rich won't generate enough tax revenue, and that Kerry would have to raise taxes on the middle class to make up the difference.

Neither side seems interested in addressing the spending side of the equation. Kerry believes we're spending too much in Iraq, and that this money should be used on more social programs. Of course, he also said that we should spend whatever it takes to win in Iraq, so draw your own conclusions if you can figure out what his actual plan is. (Good luck).

As we head into week 2 of the debates, the economy will be in focus and whether or not to hike taxes will take center focus. This is never a popular campaign platform to run on. Both Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis ran on a platform of higher taxes. But Kerry is trying a new angle, just tax the rich. Bush will probably be very repetitive about Kerry's plan to hike taxes, but if it's just on the rich folks, Bush may look like he's protecting the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

It will be interesting if Bush can counter Kerry's claim that taxes should be increased on the rich. It's a popular message. But to counter, Bush will have to point out who it is that will pay the taxes. Small business owners who provide the majority of this nation's jobs. That'd be a place to start.

The reality is, that while this nation has emerged from the recession, the GDP is clicking along at a slow pace. Raising taxes at this point is not a wise venture. But we'll see how effective Bush is at making this argument.

Politics: Is Saturday Night Live Ready?

Instead of rehashing what everyone else is saying about John Kerry's "Global Test" gaff, or the annoyed look from Bush, I'd rather look at the possibilities...

Can you envision a Saturday Night Live debate skit, where the actor portraying Kerry, mentions a global test? He could have a sample scantron form, and some multiple choice questions at the ready.

"Who's responsible for global warming? A) George Bush; B) Dick Cheney; C) A and B."

"Who's responsible for all the world's problems? A) George Bush; B) Dick Cheney; C) A and B."

"Who are the right candidates to fix all the world's problems? A) John Kerry; B) John Edwards; C) A and B."

"We consider a 70% score to be passing; however, we may consider grading on a curve. Some of the countries most victimized by this Bush Administration, will receive a 15% bonus."

SNL could get jiggy with the Kerry hand movements and his verbosity.

On Bush? They have that down. I would envision a very repetitive, "hard work," and "wrong this, wrong that, wrong the other thing" comments. Of course, mispronouncing as many words as possible. (2000's "Strategery" is still part of my vocabulary!)

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bin Laden Deputy Thanks Kerry

ScrappleFace: Bin Laden Deputy Thanks Kerry for 'Great Ideas'

Other Interesting Stuff

* The debate spin preoccupies all? Well, Mount St. Helens looks like she's about to blow, so check out the VolcanoCam!

* The Denver Nuggers are considering Dennis Rodman? Puh-leeeeez!

* Regarding the pharmaceutical comments below? I do believe that many of our common disease are diet and lifestyle related. For more info.

* Dodgers-Giants. Isn't this what it is supposed to be all about? One Dodgers win, and they win the West.

* A's-Angels: Ditto.

* Oil is above $50. Plus 12-cents.

* Life at the Fun Factory? Well, a little better than the Salt Mine.

* I can't believe it's October already. Coworkers have already started putting up Halloween decorations. Did you know that next to Christmas, Halloween is the next biggest money maker for the stores? (I'm on my second bag of Halloween candy already!)

* The Apprentice? Jen C had to go. Have you ever seen such catty women? Unlike last year, the guys are winning in the early rounds. How long before The Donald mixes up the teams? Are you overdosed on Donald Trump yet? He's certainly maximizing this exposure while he's got the spotlight.

Stocks: The John Kerry Rally?

Republicans like to say that the stock market prefers Republicans. Historically, this isn't true. The stock market has averaged higher returns under Democrats. While Republicans have said that the recent lift off the summer lows was due to Bush getting a bounce at the polls after the Republican convention, how will they explain today's huge gain after what is viewed in the media as a Kerry win at the first Presidential debate?

Beginning of the month inflow of 401(k) money?

Kerry's win at the debate was priced in during the recent decline, and today was shorts covering and cashing in after the debate?

Stronger economic data?

I like the latter reason best. The economy has seen some upward revisions to previously released numbers and continues to grow and expand. I largely believe that the stock market cares more about the business cycle than who occupies the White House. And at this point, we all know the Federal Reserve has more influence on that than the President!

Politics: Kerry's Mistakes

There's a saying about "giving a man enough rope to hang himself." John Kerry made a few comments last night that could unravel rather ugly on him in the days ahead.

The first was his comment on a "global test" before taking action. This gets back to his "asking the world for a permission slip" theme. Is that leading, or following? Is that putting the interests of America and American lives at the top of the agenda? I think the GOP might exploit his opinion on this. This is the kind of sound bite that leaves a nasty aftertaste in people's minds. President Bush came back that his first priority is making America safer. That requires tough decisions. Kerry seems to not want to make decisions. He'd take a poll. Ask the UN what they think.

Next, his calling for unilateral disarmament via cancelling the research into a bunker busting nuclear program. Kerry claimed that nuclear proliferation was his worst fear, yet the kinds of weapons systems to combat his fears he would ban.

Of course, many flips and flops in his presentation last night. For example, he whined about the $200 billion spent in Iraq. Not only did he get the amount wrong (it's over $100 billion), he contradicted an earlier statement where he called for spending "whatever it takes" in Iraq. (Maybe the flip-flopping has been played too much already, but I don't see how anyone can take this guy seriously.)

Bush's best retort to Kerry all night was when he said "that's absurd" in one of the follow-ups. Much of Kerry's presentation was absurd, so I understand why the President looked a bit frustrated trying to debate this guy.

Politics: Kerry on Style, Bush on Substance

I watched it, and ignored the spin zone afterwards, where each side claims victory. I wanted to see what Americans thought.

The post-debate polls are out from USA Today, and like most Americans, I agree that Kerry was more refined and articulate. (Even though I disagree with most of his talking points). I think Kerry wowed America with his lawyer-like ability to make his case, on his latest reincarnation of opinions.

The problem Kerry is having, is on the substance side. General Tommy Frank came on after the debate, and disputed what Kerry claimed he said. Kerry's plan for Iraq was, well, no plan. His comments on North Korea were troublesome.

It's not surprising to see the following polls:

From USA Today


Who won the debate? Kerry 53%; Bush 37%
Who expressed himself more clearly? Kerry 60%; Bush 32%


Who'd handle Iraq better? Bush 54%; Kerry 43%
Who'd be a better commander-in-chief? Bush 54%; Kerry 44%
Who agrees with you on the issues? Bush 49%; Kerry 46%
Who has a good understanding of the issues? Bush 41%; Kerry 41%
Who was more believable? Bush 50%; Kerry 45%
Who was more likeable? Bush 48%; Kerry 41%
Who is tough enough for the job? Bush 54%; Kerry 37%

The American people have sounded off. Not exactly what Kerry was hoping for, and on the style side, I think Bush would like to see his image there improve...