Election News and Coverage

Last night

...I didn't get to sleep at all...no...noooooo...

Ugh. Next time I start singing 70's love songs, you may give me a toadstool and razor-blade enema.

On to the post...

I play indoor soccer....a passtime that I enjoy, and that is good for me as well, save the quarter-sized astroturf burn on the top of my knee. Well, I was drinking a beer, and the subject of the Inauguration came up.

Well, of course, a sizable part of the team are ABB's (Anybody But Bush), to varying degrees. One said, "He's nuts." OK...whatever...everyone's entitled, right? Anyone that can look at the man, listen to what he says, and think he's insane has already made up their mind. He's idealistic, yet easily understandable. He's an expansive thinker, but he's not nuts.

I then found myself in a conversation with two other people....

Chris: Anti-Bush. Iraq was wrong, and all about money. Bush is all about money. Democratic because Bush is a Republican (admitted to voting for Republicans all the time, but didn't like Bush, so he was voting the other way currently).

John: Moderate (the first true moderate I have ever talked to), pro WoT, anti-Iraq. Holds that the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force (large armored formations, 400,000 troops, WWII-like engagements) should have been used. Fiscal conservative, socially moderate, politically moderate. Very intelligent.

Me: Well, you know me. Conservative, independent. Pro-Bush, pro WoT, pro-war in Iraq.

We went from Iraq, to Iran, to the WoT, to oil, to governance, to gun control, and the chaturbate Inauguration. I shared with them the RR/RC theorem I shared with you last week, and both agreed, but the other subjects were a bit of a jumble.

Chris didn't realize that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was not part of official United States policy, and would not believe it when I said it was in the Congressional record. That's fine, because that's not opinion....that's reality, apart from the discussion. He also is in the Babs Boxer school of thought where it was only WMD's that Bush discussed when talking about Iraq. In fact, there were several reasons he had, some of which I mentioned. But that still wasn't good enough....Bush had no reason to go to Iraq.

OK.....I'm not going to go into what John talked about, but he made his points very good and literately. What bothers me is that I got a huge amount of ideas and thoughts about this subject....12 hours later.

Doesn't that suck? However, it gives me a chance to share them with you.

Oil is a strategic item, one which we cannot currently be without. We want to maintain the current flow of oil, because we depend on that flow. Can we all agree on that?

OK....to that end, we have invested all sorts of business resources into the Middle East, Canada, and Mexico. Oil is the most inexpensive was to cheap hydrocarbons...that stuff that helps make our computers, plastics, tablecloths, clothes, shoes, cars, roads, etc... We use oil for all those things, and many of us don't realize that. Without a suitable replacement, at a comparable cost, the creation of these things would be much costlier, and we could afford less. The economy would be affected, and one of the pillars of our national strength and security is our wealth and means of production and consumption. We can do so much, because we can afford to. We can afford to because we have a huge ecomonic reserve....we are wealthy, and we pay taxes, which allows our government the ability to outspend everyone else where defense, trade, and security are concerned. Our economic well-being is a strategic issue. So, the free flow of oil is a strategic burden we shoulder, at least until the replacement for fossil fuels is discovered and implemented at an 'economy of scale' quantity.

Of course, the oil-producing countries don't want that....if we develop a replacement for oil, they're in trouble. The despots over there lose power if the value of their oil is lessened. So, some tow the line (Saudi), while some lean towards the Europeans for their financial security, and sell their oil there (Iran, pre-war Iraq). Our purchasing power, and need, for oil forces some governments to do what is needed to stay in our graces....if they didn't , we could either go elsewhere (location-wise or tech-wise), or, in an extreme case, go to war.

This, in and of itself, tends towards disproving the idea that Bush went to war for oil...why? Because we could use the market forces to reduce the price of oil, by mandating less oil usage (as in the late 70's and early 80's), by buying oil elsewhere (we get more oil from Canada than from anywhere else), and by developing other means of production. If oil were a huge problem, then, sure, we could make a move for a military solution. However, I submit that, with our technological base, our ability to import from other sources (who are happy to have our money), and our our supply, we don't have that huge problem.

Why the war, then?

To spread liberty. Exactly what the President said.

Look....a hundred years ago, people traveled to this continent by boat. here was no way one could reach the shores of our nation unless they had the money to get here, some way or the other. If a passage on a freighter cost roughly 5 days of a rich man's salary, then the cost was one paid from affluence or desperation. I am guessing it was at least the equivalent of $1000, based upon the last two links (60 florins being 15 per deims for an important government official). Now, from the same spot in Europe, if costs less than a quarter of that. Anyone can go from 'there' to 'here'...it's cheap, and the restricting that travel is difficult. Back in the 20's and 30's, it was far more simple to control foreigner entry into the country....there were the main ports and the borders with Canada and Mexico. Now, there are hundreds of points of entry, some very far away from the shores.

To reduce the threats of terrorists coming in through our borders (which are porous, and purposefully so, but thatis a topic for another time), we have to address the threats and causes where they come from. The discernment of the two main causes of terrorism.....political discontent and economic subjugation...isn't hard to understand. Look at the Catholic uprising in North Ireland to see that this isn't totally an slamic condition. To combat those two threats, Bush has had to become classically liberal in his policy outlook.

He has a truly expansive outlook, much like Wilson did. We went to WWI to save democracy, or, at least, make the world safe for it. Now, we are going to spread liberty, or, the right to live and work freely under a common law. It is a uniquely American outlook, for we wish to do it for them AND for us. for them, because they (whoever they are) can prosper and stride away from economic slavery and political repression. Once these nations (Afghanistan and Iraq being the first, and most logical starting points) start operating under this new set of orders, there will be much less of a temptation to lash out.

Political tensions are handled regularly through the ballot box. Judicial authority and restraint become the norm, as the independent judiciary stops the executive from running roughshod. People are respected by the government as indivuduals, and as part of the process, as opposed to means of production or fodder for armies. There is a common trust built, and people are more motivated to work for the right reasons, and towards a lofty goal, then by fear, or humiliation.

If the people in Iraq trust their government, they will participate. There are great resources there, they are agriculturally stable, they have plentiful water, and they have a relatively educated populace. Their economy can take off, and with our help, they will become a valuable trading parter, with them buying our products, and us buying theirs. We benefit because we have eliminated a source of funding and recruitment for terrorists, and secured an ally, both economically and strategically.

I just wish I could have said all this last night...well, it's off to church. Then, an early night...

because, you know, last night...I didn't get to sleep...didn't get to sleep...no, I...


Sorry, but I'm just exhausted, and hurting so much I can't really sleep.

Anyhow, while many of the networks are operating in an excess of caution, refusing to claim that one state or other has yet to be decided, despite there being no mathematical way that Kerry can pull out enough votes unless he won every single one of the votes remaining to be counted, the issue is no longer in any doubt.

I will also admit that I was wrong about one thing - I thought Steve would be able to pull Michigan out for Bush, giving him the 300 EVs I predicted back on the 19th. But the popular vote majority, a clear victory in almost every state, plus the sweet, sweet victory over Tom Daschle in the Senate by Senator-Elect Thune, makes me a very happy live sex show blogger this morning.

I had just over 620 voters processed, plus the estimated 25-30% mailed-in absentee votes, out of a precinct of about 1500, and I had heard that they were estimating a turnout of about 80% in Los Angeles, with waiting times measured in hours.

Long hours, but a happy result, and I am extraordinarily glad. Too pooped to pop, though, and I appreciate John doing the Jasmine live blogging.

Blogging the Election

...I'll post to this thread when something interesting happens. If Drummy, Steve of Norway, or Kevin (or anyone else, for that matter) have something to add, they can e-mail me at jcross1kirk@ameritech.net, and, if salient, I will post it on the thread. Bill me for the bandwidth, Drummy!

1805 EST: The Kentucky and Indiana polls within the Eastern time Zone just closed. I don't know how long it will take for the people to count enough to get a mathematically large enough sample for a proper projection. RCP has Kentucky going to Bush by 21 points, and Indiana to Bush by 19 or so. These projections may be later than expected, as a good chunk of the two states are still voting. When I hear something, I'll post it here.

1823 EST: Just note....Guam went big-time for Bush. It was 17,264 for Bush, 9,540 for Kerry.

1901 EST: Bush gets Georgia and Indiana, and Kerry gets Vermont. That, and the sun rose today. So, early, Bush has the lead, 26 EV's to 3. Waiting for a percentage from the projections.

1906 EST: Kentucky goes to the President. 34 to 3 now.

1911 EST: FOX reports that the Florida absentee ballots will not be completely counted until Thursday. They also say that the Republicans believe that they will have a big advantage in those absentee ballots. Remember 2000? There will be no way that these ballots will not be counted this year. And, to make you feel better, there are tens of thousands of those absentee ballots. If Florida is Bush's at the end of the night (by more than 1%), Kerry is going to have little chance.

Last thought. If Kerry loses Pennsylvania, it's over.

1931 EST: Ohio, the first of the Big Three (Including Pennsylvania and Florida) just closed its polls. West Virginia was just projected to go into the Bush column. making it 39-3. Virginia and South Carolina look to be next, and, sorry, Ohio is gonna take a while. I have to go bathe my daughters, so the next update might not be for about 15-20 minutes.

1952 EST: I'm back....at a commercial break. Darnit! The FOX website seems to be 3-5 minutes behind the www.livejasmin.cc broadcast.

2000 EST: Motherlode time of closing polls. The other two of the Big Three (Pennsylvania and Florida) are closing. Surprised on FOX not calling Virginia yet. Their percentages show Bush up by 12 or so.

2005 EST: Bush has won some more, and so has Kerry. New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Illinois, Connecticut, and Maryland have gone to Kerry. That nets him a BIG amount of electoral votes....74 more. Bush has been awarded Alabama, Tennessee, and Oklaholma. That brings his total to 66.

2012 EST: World Mag is a good website.

2015 EST: Waiting for a call for Virginia.....Bush is 16 points ahead. South Carolina has just been called for the President, with a lead of 11 points.

2028 EST: Waiting sucks. Monitoring three websites. The aforementioned world Mag, Yahoo's election page, and Fox News website, which I am strongly thinking of dropping. EV's are currently even. Looks like Republican Senators are going to be coming from North and South Carolina. Voinovich, the moderate Republican from Ohio, is going to retain his seat.

2033 EST: North Carolina and Virginia just got called for Bush. That takes him from 77 EV's to 102 EV's...we're 35% of the way there, and Florida looks GREAT so far!

2045 EST: I e-mailed Steve at Vodkapundit, and told him about our little running commentary over here...let's see how it goes (i.e. if we get shaken and stirred by some VodkaPundit visitors). Now, more waiting. FOX guys talking about how strong Bush looks in Florida. One can only hope.

2051 EST: Susan Estrich is on FOX right now. I will fight the urge to claw my eyes out. Time for a scorecard for RCP:

KY--17-21% for Bush. Current total: 19% for Bush

NC--6-9% for Bush. Current total: 12% for Bush

SC--13-16% for Bush. Current total: 13% for Bush

Most of the Kerry states have such low voter numbers, I can wait for a little while before making comparisons. Looks good for RCP, though. GOOD JOB OVER THERE, GUYS!!

2059 EST: Bush is leading Kerry 56-43 in Florida, with 35% counted. That means that Kerry has to win the rest of the votes by 7%, at a minimum. Good so far, right? Knock on a big piece of wood. Next to close, the Northern tier, and the important states of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

2102 EST: Texas to Bush. Be still, my beating heart. Bush to 136 EV's...halfway there. Kerry is given New York and Rhode Island. That adds 35 to his total, and that gives us 112 for Kerry. No surprises yet, and no real big difference in the popular vote, though it seems that Florida is stronger for Bush than it was last time.

2111 EST: The Great Plains have gone to Bush. Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas, adding a grand total of 27 more EV's....he's at 163 at this time. Kerry is still at 112. Ohio is still too close, and Michigan and Pennsylvania haven't had enough votes counted. Oops....Vermont, to Kerry? OK...three more to Kerry. That takes him to 115.

2119 EST: Florida just closed up to a 7-point Bush lead. I shouldn't have opened my mouth....However, Bush has an early lead in Ohio. If Bush wins those two, it will end for Kerry. If Kerry wins one or the other, Bush is in danger. Another surprise is Missouri....pretty close, within 1700 votes with 7% of the precincts counted. Lastly, Arkansas is closer than I thought it would be. Bush losing those two states (and their 17 EV's) would be devestating. Do I think Bush will win those states? Yeah, but it's closer than what I would be comfortable with. He could lose one, and still be OK, but I don't need the stress. Note: Popular vote so far is 54-46 Bush, but California and the West haven't been counted.

2126 EST: Pennsylvania vote totals are way outta wack, but I have to believe that the urban centers are reporting their totals first.

2133 EST: NEWS! World Mag just pushed Mississippi and Louisiana to Bush....that bops him up to 169 (per World Mag), 156 per RCP, and 170 per me. However, in order to piss on that parade, it looks like a large city (St Louis?) input it's numbers into the Missouri numbers, and Bush is behind by 29,000 votes. Ugh.

2144 EST: Missouri is back into our column....another 2% of the precincts, and Bush is now up by 32,000. Ohio is looking surprisingly strong (knock, knock, knock), with 16% of precincts reporting, and Bush up by 5%. That means Kerry has to win the rest of the precincts by more than 1%, at least 50-49%. If he does not, Ohio goes to Bush, and Kerry is in a very dire position. Florida is 65% counted, and Bush is ahead by 6%...Kerry has to win the rest of the state by 12% in order to catch him, and the Panhandle is left to count. That takes a load off of my shoulders.

2152 EST: Took an in-depth look at Ohio, and it is gonna close up a bit. Not a lot of the NE (Heavily Democrat) area has been counted, and though that will be countered by the South and West parts of the state, there are a lot of people that are more than likely to vote Kerry in the Northeast of the state. Hang on. The breakdown of Florida is much better.

2203 EST: Wife just got home, saying that Kerry said that he wouldn't concede, even if he lost. That would not surprise me in the least. Also, first beer of the night..Michelob Ultra. OK....Montana and Utah just got put into the Bush Column...that takes him (according to my count) to 178. Looks like they are also going to call Arkansas for Bush. Seems early to me..I'll sit on that for a while.

2213 EST: Looked into Pennsylvania a bit...the returns from the really conservative center of the state haven't been addressed yet. Most are less than 30% counted. That will end up closer than it is right now. FOX is now calling Arkansas and Missouri. Again, I'll sit for a while on those....Missouri has bounced all around tonight.

2235 EST: Took a bit of a break. Ate some chips and salsa, and watched the FOX news guys. New states? Well, I'll go ahead and add Arkansas and Missouri to the Bush list, and that takes him, according to me, to 195 EV's. Florida looks very good for Bush...with 85% counted, Bush is still ahead by 5%....that means that Kerry is going to have to win the remaining 15% of Precincts by an average of 25%...I don't think that is going to happen. However, I think that Florida will be called for Bush by 2300.

2246 EST: I think that Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico are all going to go to Bush. They should be so by 2330 EST. If Florida goes to Bush, and these three do as well, that will give Bush 51 EV's in addition to what he has right now. That would be 246 EV's.....Idaho and Nevada are going to go to Bush as well....that takes him to 255 EV's. After that, Ohio, or Wisconsin and Iowa, or Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Alaska will win it for Bush. Kerry has a long row to hoe.

2254 EST: I'm about ready to give Pennsylvania to Kerry, but I'll wait on that one, like I waited on Missouri.

2257 EST: FOX did it for me. Pennsylvania goes to John Kerry. That makes our total 195 to 133. Kerry is going to get three quick states very soon...California, Oregon, and Washington. That block is 73 EV's, and it will even out the EV's real quick. In other thoughts, Ohio looks good to me, with the heavily Democratic areas having been counted more than the heavily Republican areas. At this point, Ohio is the key.

2315 EST: Arizona has gone to the Republican Candidate. That takes Bush up another 10 EV's, and he breaks the 200 barrier. Kerry gains Washington (11 EV's), taking him up to 144. We'll go ahead and give him California as well. That gives him 199 (according to me). so we are sitting at 205 to 199.

Note: Lost my DSL for about 10 minutes. Sorry!

2330 EST: The networks are burnt out on Florida...Bush is ahead 5% with 5% to be counted.....Kerry would have to win by an 10 to 1 margin in order to win. Bush leads by enough so that the absentee ballots, should they fall 3-to-1 in Kerry's favor, wouldn't be enough. I'm this far (holds up fingers an inch apart) from giving Bush the win in Florida. I was wrong about the people calling it for Bush by 2300, but if they don't do it by midnight, I'll do it myself.

2349 EST: Iowa is still hanging out there....still there. It looks like that the Des Moines precincts have been counted, and that Kerry has a slight lead, with the rural parts of the state still needing to be counted. I'd love to see that occur, and Bush gain back the 30,000 or so votes he needs to garner the EV's.

Here's what I see at Midnight, November 3. Within an hour, we should know a couple things. Florida has got to be called.....it's out of Kerry's reach. Bush is 4.7% ahead with 3% of the precincts remaining. Kerry can't win that many votes. That makes it 232-199, Bush. Ohio is a puzzle, since a lot of Cleveland and the NE has still not been counted yet. Let's leave that alone. Let's give Minnesota, and Oregon to Kerry. That takes him to 216. Add Michigan, and he's at 233. So, 233 for Kerry, and 232 for Bush, with Ohio, New Hampshire, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, and New Mexico remaining.

Alaska is going to go to Bush...that takes him to 235. Colorado and New Mexico are over 70% counted, and Bush is leading in both. Giving him those votes will put him at 249. He needs 21 more.....

0023 EST: Florida is now a Bush win. YES!! That makes the official Drumwaster count 232 to 199 in favor of GWB. Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, and Alaska would take W to 275. Yeah....still, it's Ohio.

0035 EST: Hello to Captain's Quarters, who shares that the urban vote is mostly counted, and that the rural, consevative vote is still outstanding. Look for Bush's numbers to close. Winning this state helps a ton. The good Captain has also told us that Minnesota should start closing up, but I don't think that it will close fast enough for the good guys to pull it out there.

0041 EST: FOX just called Ohio for Bush. Hold your horses. Don't get goofy. Kerry is taking New Hampshire, making his total 203. If true, this takes Bush's CONFIRMED EV's to 252 (where I'm at). Colorado....Went to Bush! That makes his total 261..? We need to review with RCP:

Presidential Race - State by State Results

Bush - 266 --------------Kerry - 211

Indiana (11) ---------Vermont (3)

Kentucky (8) --------Connecticut (7)

Georgia (15) -----------Maine (4)

West Virginia (5) --------New Jersey (15)

Oklahoma (7) --------Massachusetts (12)

Alabama (9) ----------Delaware (3)

Tennessee (11) ----------D.C. (3)

South Carolina (8) -------Maryland (10)

Virginia (13) ----------Illinois (21)

North Carolina (15) -------Rhode Island (4)

Texas (34) ------------New York (31)

Wyoming (3) -------Pennsylvania (21)

North Dakota (3) --------California (55)

South Dakota (3) --------Washington (11)

Nebraska (5) ---------- Oregon (7)

Kansas (6) ---------New Hampshire (4)

Mississippi (6)

Louisiana (9)

Missouri (11)

Utah (5)

Montana (3)

Arizona (10)

Idaho (4)

Colorado (9)

Florida (27)

Ohio (20)

Arkansas (6)

New Mexico and Alaska are all that we need, now. Or, Wisconsin. Minnesota looks as if it is going to Kerry, and that takes his EV count to 221. Now, of course, FOX is saying that the vote count is closing up. Gadzooks.....

0104 EST: 16% of precincts remain in Ohio. Bush is ahead by 2%. Kerry has to win the remaining precincts by at least 7% in order to win. I can't see how they can do that.

0122 EST: Now, 10% remain in Ohio, and Bush is climbing back up in lead...up to 3%. Kerry appears doomed in Ohio. Alaska is now considered Bush Country....that takes him, including Ohio, to 269. Ever. So. Close. Iowa's vote count has shifted towards Bush, and New Mexico has become stable, with a 5% Bush lead. New Mexico looks to be the final state. Wisconsin is hanging around as well.....there is a possibility that we will get all three.

0151 EST: Waiting for New Mexico, Iowa, or Wisconsin. As expected, Kerry isn't going to concede...what a loser! No grace in defeat, thus making solid all the opinions about him being an arrogant jerk.

0159 EST: Waiting on one of three.....New Mexico, Nevada, or Iowa. Bush is leading by 11,000 or so in Iowa, 27,000 in New Mexico, and is trailing by a thousand votes in Nevada. It isn't a stretch that he would win all three (thus giving him 17 more EV's, or 286). I'm just waiting for the call.

AND...I know about the Electoral College, and House/Senate votes in case of a tie. I really don't want that to happen, so I would like to see GWB win by a challenge-proof margin. This is dragging out a bit, now. C'mon....

0206 EST: Bush has a lead in New Mexico of 29,000 with 96% of precincts reporting. It's done. Just waiting for FOX......and.....

0226 EST: This will be my second to last post. I expect that Bush, with 98% of the precincts reporting, and a 29,000 vote lead in New Mexico, is going to get that state called...at some point. He's also leading in Nevada by 11,000 votes as of right now, and by a similar margin in Iowa. OK....Edwards is on the stage right now...I'll be back after he speaks.

OK....Edwards statement, in one sentence: "We are going to count every possible vote, and since we couldn't win at the ballot box, we will via the lawwsuit." Great. Oh, Kerry won Michigan (it was called for Kerry, though it is closer than Ohio). That makes it 269-238 in the EV department....just a padding of the stats for Kerry at this point. Mr. Barone came on the TV, and told all of us that New Mexico has distinct problems with it's voting, so they probably won't get passed to one candidate or the other. I still say Bush will get Nevada (up by 13,000 now), NM, and Iowa (the lead there, with 97% of precincts counted, is 12,000). Give Kerry Hawaii and Wisconsin (sadly), and the final total is 286-252.

0245 EST: Thanks everyone, for your attention and your patronage at Drumwaster's Rants. GWB won, and the Left has been stood off again. Thank you God.

Now...I'm goin' to BED.

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