damnum absque injuria

September 30, 2004

Watcher’s Council

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:44 pm

I guess today just wasn’t my day. In baseball, the Angels lost, and Frisco Jr. won. In politics, Bush probably lost the debate; he certainly didn’t win it. And I didn’t win the Watchers Council race, either. Oh well. But my deepest congratulations to e-Claire for the winning Council entry, “Sometimes Ya Gotta Speak Up,” and to Citizen Frank for the winning non-Council entry, “Update 11 – The Sep. 12 Attack.”

OK, I’ll confess; I wasn’t a complete loser for the day. Tonight after work, I went to the range with a co-worker, and I kicked shot his ass. Thank goodness for small favors.

Who Won the Debate?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:56 pm

Boi From Troy catches the Boston Globe laphaming the first Presidential debate. If you’re like me, you may have missed it thinking it was coming later tonight. I’m sure the transcript will be up soon enough.

Last Weekend as a Free Man

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:05 am

Regular readers are aware that Mrs. Xrlq is at the final stages of her pregnancy. Baby Xrlq, whose tentative real name is Ryan Wolf Bishop, is scheduled to be born on Wednesday. In light of that, Mrs. X has suggested I go out and do something fun this weekend, to make up for the fact that anything that would pass for “fun” right now will soon be off the table. Also off the table are road trips that put me more than an hour or two away from home; else I’d attend my law school class reunion.

Any suggestions?

Clam Up Already

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:54 am

If I had a nickel for every comment I’ve received complaining about the defunct status of the Angry Clam’s once-great blog (albeit one hosted on the never-great Blog*Splat), I’d be rich enough to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Well, Clammy won’t be exhuming his blog anytime soon, as he wants to work as a “clerk” in some store, or maybe a federal court, or whatever. But he is returning, for one week only, to Patterico’s Pontifications, a blog that went almost overnight from piddly, almost Xrlq-level traffic to the stratosphere. Here’s his first entry.

September 29, 2004


Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:57 pm

Stop by and congratulate Jay and Deb Solo on their accidentally verbose daughter. And don’t forget, another blogbaby will be entering the world next Wednesday. If I could only remember who…

Dogs, Not Diaries

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:26 pm

Looks like someone is a bit unclear on the concept.

BSL in North Carolina

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 2:23 pm

Please sign this petition urging the Charlotte, NC City Council to reject breed-specific legislation.

Coattail Kerry

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:37 pm

Uncle observes that both Paul Krugman and SK Bubba have predicted that the MSM will declare President Bush to be the winner of tomorrow’s “debate.” Both base their predictions not on the respective debating skills of the two candidates, but on the silly theory that if the MSM is less liberal than they are, it must be conservative. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. The media tilts overwhelmingly toward Kerry, so if it’s close, they’ll call it for him. If Bush wins hands-down, they’ll spin it as a draw. If the New York Times comes out and says Bush won the “debate,” then Kerry’s in more trouble than anyone would have thought.

My prediction is that by all objective measures, there won’t be a clear winner of tomorrow’s pseudo-debate. If it were a genuine debate, with canmdidates asking each other questions and scowling on camera while each other speak, then there might be some real potential for either candidate to “get” the other. There’s not, so what we’ll probably end up with is more like both candidates holding a press conference at the same time, pitching the newest versions of their best sound bites from their respective conventions, while we, the viewers, constantly flip the channels back and forth between them. If you think Kerry “won” the convention battle, he’ll “win” the debate, too, for the same reason. If Bush did, he will.

If I am right, then the principal effect of tomorrow’s “debate” will be to confirm the views voters hold already, in which case Bush will have “won” by default. For one thing, Bush clearly did win the convention war, receiving a much larger post-convention bounce than Kerry did, if indeed Kerry received one at all, so more of the same may lead to a real increase in the polling gap between the candidates. For another, even if the numbers stand still, they probably will become less volatile, with both sides becoming further convinced of whatever it is they’re convinced about now.

To be sure, Kerry does have a long history of coming back at the last minute to win races he was supposed to lose badly. This does tend to get overstated, however. Beating William Weld by a whopping 7-point margin in 1996 sounds nifty enough, but scarcely so when you consider that incumbents are usually re-elected by margins like that, especially if everyone thinks they are Irish. In any event, Kerry’s comeback coincided with a Clinton landslide in the same state. With Clinton carrying the state by almost five times Kerry’s margin, I have to wonder if, even in Massachusetts, “Comeback Kerry” was really “Coattail Kerry.” If so, he’d better get his act together, and fast. Coattail Kerry pulled off the primary by running as the anti-Dean, only to ride Dean’s coattails later. But even that only goes so far. By election day, everyone will know they are not on Howard Dean for President. Who else’s coattails can he ride? Chirac’s? Annan’s? Please. The buck stops at the White House, and so do the coattails. If Coattail Kerry is going to win this one, he’s going to need to find a way to win this on his own steam, and fast. This time, he has to be the one providing the coattails; he can’t ride on anyone else’s.

In the past, I’ve chided other bloggers for predicting the outcome of the election far too early in the game. Even now, a mere 34 days before Colorado votes to disenfranchise itself and every other state elects a challenge-proof slate of electors for Bush or Kerry, a lot could happen. Maybe Kerry will tank tomorrow’s “debate” and come back swinging in the next two. Maybe, but probably not. So I’m going to stick my neck out just a little bit and make a prediction that can go one of two ways: either Kerry takes it away tomorrow, or he’s toast. The only caveat is that we won’t necessarily know the winner immediately after the “debate.” I recently spoke to a well-known pollster, and he said it always takes a few days for perceptions about the “winner” or “loser” of any debate to sink into the public psyche. So I’m giving this French-looking, French-acting, formerly fake Irish American until next Monday to convince the public that we had a debate on Thursday, September 30, 2004, and that he won it. Stay tuned.

Ticketbastard: More Evil Than Paypal

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:23 pm

Right now, my Angels and Frisco Jr.’s Athletics are tied for first place. Boston has clinched the wild card position, so one of these teams will be going to the playoffs and the other will not. If the Angels pull it off, there may or may not be a third home game of the Division Series. If there is, I just bought a $20.00 ticket for $29.30, which I’m willing to do for a post-season game. If there isn’t, I just paid Ticketmaster $9.30 for the “convenience” of being forced to buy my ticket through their web site. Oh yeah, I almost forgot – that’s the charge for getting emailed a PDF file that I can print out myself. Actually receiving a paper ticket from these crooks would have cost even more.

Photo Stamps: Going, Going, Gone?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:14 pm

Thanks in large part to these jerks, PhotoStamps may not be available much longer. I don’t have a link handy but if I recall correctly, the program will be suspended indefinitely after tomorrow, and may or may not be resumed later. So if you have any small children, cats, dogs, chinchillas, etc. that you’d like to see on a postage stamp, place your order now.


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