Bush has selected Carlos Gutierrez to become the new Secretary of Commerce, replacing Don Evans. Once again he has selected a diverse and interesting candidate who happens to be a conservative. Even so, I expect the height of liberal discussion of the subject to be on the level of calling him a “flake.”
Among his many exploits, he rose through the ranks after first being involved in sales in Mexico. In his tenure as CEO he acquired and employed the Keebler elves. Also, he sat on the board of Colgate-Palmolive. I expect all of that responsibility with be trusted away from his direct influence due to the nature of his new job.
James Jenness is coming in to run Kellogg after Gutierrez leaves. He is CEO of Integrated Merchandizing Systems LLC, but also sits on the board of Kellogg.
Reuters reports an Iraqi Minister tells us a laboratory for the manufacture of chemical weapons has been found by the Iraqi National Guard in Fallujah.
Fox News reports that in addition to this find Marine have found the largest cache of weapons yet found as well as a mobile bomb-making factory.
An additional report of interest is that Zarqawi used a Swiss SIM to make phone calls all over the world to coordinate terrorist activities. Why someone would let this leak out? Does anyone care about what intelligence we do discover?
As Drudge like to say, “developing…”
I suspect the Democrats we'll keep demanding recounts until they win. King County hasn't found another pile of ballots in a while.
Via Anil Dash's blog we find a link to the G-Cans Project and an amazing set of photographs of a storm drain system in Japan. As Anil points out, whoever designed it must have also designed Quake levels.
Also, they are huge. They must have a lot of run-off in monsoon season.
So, Dan Rather has retired from his role as CBS anchor, probably to prepare for his run for Hillary's open seat when she runs for President. Dan's legacy is huge, overshadowing the liberal bias of his predecessor Walter Cronkite (best known for losing the Viet Nam war by failing to point out that we actually beat the bad guys in the Tet Offensive and instead insisting that we lost).
No news on the probe into the forged documents. Perhaps they forgot that the issue could have been ignored only if Kerry won.
Rossi recount +25 = 286
Yes, I'm 36 today.
It looks like 60% of the shareholders of Peoplesoft voted to accept the $24/share offer from Oracle. That means a major application vendor will get eaten by the database engine and services giant.
Having been an Oracle competitor in the past (first with Informix, then with IBM's DB2) I appreciate why Peoplesoft's management didn't like the idea. Oracle did not treat independent software vendors very well. Often they would try to sell database engines to the ISVs and their customers at the same time they would compete against those same ISVs with their own products. I may be biased, but IBM seems to handle this kind of situation better.
Now it is time to see what sort of “poison pill” measures Peoplesoft management may have had in place in order to gild their parachutes (from the Wall Street Journal:
PeopleSoft's board also has refused to dissolve the company's poison pill defense, an antibuyout mechanism that can be triggered when Oracle purchases 20% or more of PeopleSoft stock. The pill would issue new shares to existing investors, making a takeover prohibitively expensive.
There is also a large measure of merger and acquisition fever amongst the customers:
In a survey conducted last week, AMR Research found many PeopleSoft customers have reservations about a merger. AMR Vice President Bill Swanton said 150 customers were contacted, the majority of which used J.D. Edwards products.
Sixty-three percent said they would stop paying maintenance fees to Oracle either immediately or if Oracle stops enhancing their products, provided they could find maintenance from a third party. Forty-seven percent said they expected Oracle to add no new features to their software, suggesting an unease with the merger.
This one will continue to be interesting to watch.
Via Clayton Cramer's Blog we find a quote discovered by David Kopel:
Rice has said memories of Birmingham's racial turmoil shaped some of her core values.
During the bombings of the summer of 1963, her father and other neighborhood men guarded the streets at night to keep white vigilantes at bay. Rice said her staunch defense of gun rights comes from those days. She has argued that if the guns her father and neighbors carried had been registered, they could have been confiscated by the authorities, leaving the black community defenseless.
So, apparently Rossi wins, by 261 votes. Machine recount coming, but all the weirdness came from hand counts. I'm amazed that King County didn't find another 10,000 mystery ballots.
Lots of roundup at Sound Politics here.
I drew a comment from Murdoc Online who predicts a Rossi win. The current numbers are better than last night:
I am not exactly thrilled by the giant lead of 19 votes.
The folks at Sound Politics are still optimistic that Rossi will win by a few hundred points.
However, since it's less than 2,000 in their projections that generates an automatic recount. I suspect the recount will be somewhat different because of the counting improprieties we've had so far.
Frankly, I'm glad my absentee ballot was likely to have been counted. Every little slip of paper in each precinct seems to matter.
It appears that some folks don't like Halo 2 as much as you might think, because the story ends poorly. I admit the only reason I'd buy an Xbox is to play Halo and Halo 2. Otherwise I have a Playstation 2 and a PC.
Bungie was one of the best game makers, in my opinion. I loved Myth and Myth II and I appreciated the fact that they looked at multiple platforms when they made new games. I even bought Oni even though it didn't play all that well for me. I'm not a 3-D fighting game kinda guy, although I like Doom and Unreal as much as the next geek.
I guess I just need to look forward to Ratchet & Clank 3, Jak 3, and Gran Turismo 4. Oh darn.
Update: I'm reminded that I liked playing Tiger Woods 2004 on an Xbox, but I understand that plays pretty much the same on any platform. These days for golf I play Hot Shots Fore!
Update 2: My favorite PC games are Civilization (all versions) and Starcraft.
I got it wrong. The “Anonymous” author within the CIA was Michael Scheuer, a senior CIA official even George Tenet told to shut up.
Latest counts from vote.wa.gov:
Dino Rossi 1,349,384
Christine Gregoire 1,347,396
Update at 5pm:
Still more counting to go.
Update at 7:30pm:
Via The Volokh Conspiracy we find a link to a Legal Affairs debate over notoriously student-run Law Reviews: “Are Law Reviews Really Rubbish?” Judge Richard A. Posner debates law clerk and former articles committee chair of the Harvard Law Review Randy Kozel.
Kozel: First, I don't think things are quite so bad at student-edited journals. Second, with respect to the problems that do exist, I'm not sure that student editing is the cause, or that faculty editing is the cure.
Kozel: At my law review, we conducted our own time-intensive analysis of each article's arguments and contribution to the existing literature, but we also never accepted an article for publication without sending it for comment to a few scholars in the relevant field.
Some of the response:
Posner: I agree that showing a submitted article to a faculty member for advice on whether to publish—a gesture in the direction of peer reviewing—is an excellent idea. My impression is that it is done rarely.
This should be interesting.
The nation seems to have greeted with a yawn the announced resignations of Sec'y of State Colin Powell, Sec'y of Education Rod Paige, Sec'y of Energy Spencer Abraham, and Sec'y of Agriculture Ann Veneman. Much of these changes have been forseen as part and parcel of the tradition of cleaning house even if an incumbent is reelected. After all, before today we saw Sec'y of Commerce Don Evans and most visibly Attorney General John Ashcroft submit their resignations. So far only Alberto Gonzalez has been put forward as a replacement, destined to be the top cop.
What is more unusual is Direct Porter Goss's continued cleanup of the CIA where he has been rooting out disloyal leakers an ineffective middle managers in order to comply with the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. DDO Stephen Kappes and his immediate deputy, Michael Sulick are only the latest to leave. After all, this purge started with the one-retained Clinton appointee George Tenet. We saw other high-profile resignations, like Deputy Director John E. McLaughlin. Heck, the CIA hasn't been in the headlines this much since a secret agent recommended that her husband be sent on a diplomatic mission to discover the truth behind Nigerian yellowcake and turned Joe Wilson into the biggest liar to overshadow Sandy Berger's documented underwear.
However, Kappes is special. He is the “anonymous leaker” that has been undermining Bush to the delight of the anti-war left. Goss brought in his own staff, and has ignored the pleadings of an entrenched bureaucracy… one that hasn't seen a purge like this since the Clinton administration.
We can only hope that there's less politics and more effectiveness as the source of these latest changes. Bush, as the first MBA president, hopefully knows how to set clear objectives and put aside interpersonal differences to accomplish them. I expect him to say something about implementing 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley today, since we have reached another deadline.
Update: Via Drudge we discover ABC News is reporting that its inside sources at the White House say Powell's replacement will be National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
WindsOfChange.Net has started examining the threat posed by Iran especially in relation to the insurgency in the Sunni triangle as well as with their nuclear saber-rattling.
Interesting theories in the article include the planned assassination of Paul Bremer and the similarities of that plan with the actual attack, in Baghdad, on Paul Wolfowitz in October of 2003, Iranian support of Iraqi terrorism in the form of cash, weapons, and medicines, and significant ties between Al-Sadr and Iran.
He quotes US News and World Report:
Iran set up a massive intelligence network in Iraq, flooding the country with agents in the months after the U.S.-led coalition toppled Saddam Hussein's regime. Sources told American intelligence analysts that Iranian agents were tasked with finding information on U.S. military plans and identifying Iraqis who would be willing to conduct attacks on U.S. forces that would not be linked to Iran.
…and adds his own comments:
These would be all of those “pilgrims” that flooded across the Iraqi border after Saddam's fall. They were most likely contacting Iranian assets across Iraq as well as reaffirming their ties to the al-Qaeda and allied jihadi forces and the nascent Iraqi Islamists. As I noted above, Sunnis—who formed the bulk of the insurgency from its onset to the beginning of the Sadr Uprising in April 2004 would be the preferred means that the Iranians would use to go after the US.
Excellent analysis pervades his posting, and he ends with this:
…by the time all of this is over I promise that I will address the question of why Iran is a greater threat to the US than Pakistan.
I'm looking forward to it.
According to Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters Blog, the haul for Saddam from the corrupt UN Oil-For-Food program was twenty-one billion dollars!
Apparently this new figure only includes those transactions that the committee could verify. Coleman told reporters that he was angered at the UN's refusal to cooperate more fully with their probe. This lack of cooperation should temper any enthusiasm for using the UN to solve global issues of any import, let alone nuclear disarmament and security. Saddam proved that the UN could be bought, along with a healthy chunk of the Security Council, and the Senate committee final report hopefully will point out who bought whom, and at what price.
Getting close to the Enron scam record of thirty billion dollars…
Ann Althouse, being a law professor, has some interesting commentary on a New York Times article on what sort of Supreme Court Dubya will be packing with foaming-at-the-mouth conservative justices.
She derides the idea that law schools are churning out Scalias:
I very much doubt that many law students are being “reared and trained” to think like Justice Scalia! My sense is that the Warren Court vision of constitutional law still prevails among law professors. In fact, it's probably safe to guess that Justice Scalia's positions are routinely derided in most law school classrooms!
Since my Dad is a 3L at a fairly conservative law school, I eagerly await his opinion.
No idea how many votes are left to count. The news sources are pretty clueless.
I should include the Washington Governor stats too: Rossi at 1,328,611, Gregoire at 1,325,017. Counting of provisional ballots continues. Approximately 85,000 ballots remain to be considered.
This morning's stats: Bush has 60,358,656 vs Kerry's 56,931,166. Still ahead by just a little under 3.5M, but he's made it over the 60M mark!
Some folks may notice I got rid of the Technorati and other cruft in the sidebar. Frankly that stuff really wasn't doing me any good and it cluttered up the sidebar. If they get their collective stuff together and make for nice icons maybe I'll put them back.
I did add the category archives to the sidebar. For some odd reason the politics and terrorism categories get the most postings.
I'm overdue for posting a review of The Incredibles but I've been pretty busy lately. Essentially my MST classes are over at the end of next week, except for some homework assignments. I have some reading due today, a paper due tomorrow, a group presentation to give on next weekend, etc.
I should post a review of Winning at New Products by Robert Cooper, too. I like the book a lot, even though it was used for a class.
Okay, it was embarassing that I reported Arafat dead a few days ago, but I think this time we can state with confidence that he is gone.
I wonder if it will be misreported as another person depressed by voting results…
Happy 229th Birthday, Marines!
Here is the critical information that you will need this evening.
1775 Rum Punch
4 parts Dark Rum
2 parts Lime Juice
1 part Pure Maple Syrup
Add Grenadine to taste.
Dave Ries, one of the Marines I have known, died in Fallujah yesterday. The Marine Corps birthday will always be both a proud and humbling day.
Only 3 Democratic candidates for president—in U.S. History—Andrew Jackson, FDR & LBJ have received a higher percentage of the popular vote than did our man W in last week’s presidential election.
That would be a “Put that in your pipe and smoke it!” kind of quote to give back to any whiners.
Update: I forgot to add, it's 59,769,829 vs. 56,308,724 in the overall popular vote at the moment, and in Washington Dino Rossi is ahead of Christine Gregoire 1,286,534 to 1,284,411.
Via Drudge we discover that Bush has selected Alberto Gonzales to be the successor to John Ashcroft as Attorney General. Gonzales is the White House counsel, so now we need to find someone to do that job. The dominos start to fall.
Commerce Secretary Don Evans and Attorney General John Ashcroft have resigned today. This will take away a lightning rod from the liberal elites. They loved to hate Ashcroft.
Choice quote from Ashcroft's resignation letter:
The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved. The rule of law has been strengthened and upheld in the courts. Yet, I believe that the Department of Justice would be well served by new leadership and fresh inspiration.
Well, that was the objective after 9/11. What about his objectives before then?
Now the fights begin on fresh meat for the confirmation process.
When you have a nearly-5-year-old boy, you can get away with buying all sorts of weird stuff.
I'm trying a new style, based on “Tiny Blue” from MovableStyle.com. So far I like it, although I tweaked a few things, to be sure. I'm having trouble getting the calendar to behave but I'm getting close.
In related news, I made my pun.org home page reflect my old blog style, which was based on the “Movable Type Clean” style.
Update: Enough little things were bugging me that I sacked the whole mess and tweaked “Tiny Blue” into what you see now. Same style sheet for the home page as well as the blog. It will be a while before I roll updates out to the other statis top pages. They are not trivial and require a lot of updates anyway.
Alt Althouse is buying a new car. She loves to drive cross-country and looking for recommendations between the Audi TT Coupe and the Corvette Coupe. However, I don't like either one. I'd prefer the AWD Chrysler 300C… Heck, it's cheaper than the other two options, shares some Mercedes characteristics in its construction, has a decent powerplant, and has a version of the Mercedes 4Matic (supposedly) when it's released later this year.
Her poll doesn't let me pick that nor post a comment, but I'll send her an email.
Update: She thinks the 300C is ugly!
As of the moment, 59,582,796 vs 56,086,834 still shows about a 3.5M lead for Bush.
But, if you're looking for good reading, try “The Liberal Heart Still Bleats” at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.
Forgive the language, but his caustic wit is well-aimed:
We're supposed to take strategic advice from a group that tried and failed to pick-up 0.001% more votes than Gore. Endless blather about Al-qaqaa and quagmires, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and Hitler; unbelievable press bias; forged documents, and moving the goal posts from the end zone to the parking lot; and still all they managed was to turn certain victory into ignominious, stark defeat. Frankly, I've met more successful eggplants in the produce department.
They staged the largest protests in the history of the entire fucking world and all they manage is to take home a lousy T-shirt. They thought marching in clown suits and skeleton masks, throwing bottles at police before shitting on the sidewalk under signs emblazoned with “Hitler” would do the trick, but the rest of America sat back, popped open a beer, stared in disbelief at the TV, and said “Jesus those people are fucking stupid.”
Off to see The Incredibles.
Update: In the time it took to edit out the typos on this post, the popular vote went up to 59,609,600 vs 56,116,134… and we still don't know who the governor of Washington will be.
Jayson at Polipundit gives us a little perspective on the election we just had.
In 1991, the Democratic Party held 267 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As of today’s date, with three contests not yet called, they hold 200 seats.
In 1991, the Democratic Party held 56 seats in the U.S. Senate.
Today, they hold 44 seats…
… The last time a Democratic nominee pulled 51 or more percent of the popular vote was back in 1964.
Beyond the numbers there is analysis of conservative turnout. It could have been better and it faced the full onslaught of what the left could muster. After all, the MoveOn folks were the largest employer in Ohio for that fatefull day…
According to Drudge, Arafat has died.
Update: The AP reports that some say Arafat is clinically dead, but the Palestinian PM denies it.
Here's Wizbang's list:
Even so, only 68% of the people that could vote did so. What does it take?
Me, I think voting should inconvenient enough for people to take it seriously when they do it, but geesh, it's pretty doggone easy. What does it take? Internet voting? I dread the day.
Of course, I sat there with my absentee ballot, the voters' pamphlet and a web browser and researched my choices. That was pretty cool.
According to the AP, Kerry has conceded.
I think Andy Card's statement this morning has the important detail:
We are convinced that President Bush has won re-election with at least 286 Electoral College votes.
And, the critical 58,362,962 to 54,844,299 popular vote:
And he also had a margin of more than 3.5 million popular votes.
And, to put to rest the Badnarik and Nader “spoiler” issue:
President Bush's decisive margin of victory makes this the first presidential election since 1988 in which the winner received a majority of the popular vote.
Even so, my dashboard shows three states as not confirmed. Ohio is the big one, but what we do have has Bush ahead there 51% to 49%. Iowa and New Mexico are %50 to 49% in favor of Bush.
While this is hardly over, I think the lawsuits and divisiveness will be missing from this round. Florida was won by a wide margin. Election procedures were improved in most areas. Now we are not arguing about hanging chads but rather we are now interested in provisional and absentee ballots.
In the state of Washington, however, things are not as good. At the moment Dino Rossi is less than a thousand votes ahead of his Democratic challenger. Bin Laden apologist Patty Murry handily beat Nethercutt for the Senate seat. Brian Baird beat the pro-gun Crowson in my district.
In the far more local races, Republicans Zarelli, Curtis and Orcutt appear to have won. The local C-Tran measure appears to have failed. Betty Sue Morris beat Mielke, but Marc Boldt beat Jeanne Harris. The local fire district didn't get it's tax increase and the Ridgefield local property tax measure for the schools lost badly.
Barry submits this article that shows that some are carrying on the tradition of threatening and killing those that dissent against Islam.
I found a related article here.
Gunman kills Dutch film director
Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, who made a controversial film about Islamic culture, has been stabbed and shot dead in Amsterdam, Dutch police say.
Police arrested a man in a nearby park after an exchange of gunfire. The man, aged 26, had joint Dutch and Moroccan nationality, they said.
Van Gogh, 47, had received death threats after his film Submission was shown on Dutch TV.
It portrayed violence against women in Islamic societies.
The film was made with liberal Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who fled an arranged marriage.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been under police protection since the film was aired. She has also received death threats and has renounced the Islamic faith.
Eyewitnesses quoted by Radio Netherlands said Van Gogh was attacked while cycling by a man dressed in a traditional Moroccan jallaba.
Both the suspect and a policeman suffered bullet wounds and are now in hospital.
Van Gogh—who was related to the famous Dutch painter—had also been making a film about Pim Fortuyn, the populist right-wing, anti-immigration politician assassinated in May 2002.
The film Submission told the story of a Muslim woman forced into an arranged marriage who is abused by her husband and raped by her uncle. It triggered an outcry from Dutch Muslims.
In one scene the film showed an actress in see-through garments with Koranic script written on her body, which also bore whip marks.
The Netherlands is home to nearly one million Muslims or 5.5% of the population.
One of the film maker's colleagues at the film production company said Van Gogh had received death threats “but he never took them quite seriously.”
“He was a controversial figure and a champion of free speech,” he told Reuters.
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said “it is unacceptable if expressing your opinion would be the cause of this brutal murder.”
“On a day like this we are reminded of the murder of Fortuyn. We cannot resign ourselves to such a climate,” he added.
And Queen Beatrix said she was shocked and appalled at the killing, AFP news agency reported.
Via the Volokh Conspiracy we find Al Jazeera has released the full transcript of Usama's videotape. As they say, go read the whole thing.
Upgraded to latest Moveabletype release. I wasn't hitting bugs anymore but it's nice to get to the latest, greatest thing after people check it out. Good toolbar additions in the editor…
Via John Robb's Weblog we get a link to this article at the Middle East Media Research Institute pointing out the appropriate translation of Usama Bin Laden's videotape is that “each US state” will be punished if it interferes with the freedom of Al Quaeda. Since this implicitly indicates that every state that votes Bush will be punished that must mean that even this terrorist mastermind thinks Kerry is not a threat to terrorism. Great endorsement!
This morning the New York Post is also noticing this detail.