Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The three-way Dean (no not a porno industry title)

Slate's Mickey Kaus makes a good point today, would Dean really quit if he lost in the Democratic primary? Not if he is smart, says Kaus.

Picture this, Dean loses to a Gephardt type (after narrowly losing IA of course) establishment, pro-war Democrat. Dean could re-migrate to the left and take his own machine which is completely independent of the Democratic Party "his own lists, his own money, his own organization" and stake out the presidency on the war issue alone. That could be enough for 35-40% of the population to vote his way, assuming Geppy moves to the Center and Bush to the hard right. TNR even thinks that "Heck, Dean might even be the favorite in this scenario ..."

While I am done having nightmares, DLC types would love to let Dean have the party, if they could get enough folks to jump ship into a McCain Bullmoose party. The centrists think that more people believe their stuff, reggardless of party, so why not prove it? If we had a Green/Gore/Dean party and a Clinton-McCain party and a Bush-Lott party, guess who would win? I am afraid it would be the far out right wing, there are more of those wackos than the tree hugger wackos (just ask Ralph Nader).

Although folks say, well Dean has already said he would support the nominee, would it really be smart for him in the long run or short run? And when was the last time he kept his word? Or when was the last time he conceded? The man is pretty arrogant, and I can see why. He has already beat 4 sitting senators and one ex-senator, a congressman and might beat out another congressman and a 4 star general, not to mention some civil rights guy. Why wouldn't you think you could beat a sitting president after coming out of nowhere to do so well, even if all those loser senators ganged up on you and let their friend punch you in the stomach for the nomination.

This seems like some think my "BOP" friends would like this idea:"You can put up a Web site and fill out some forms, and you can have a party-like political organization in all 50 states in a few weeks. Who needs Terry McAuliffe?" I we can hope for then as Democrats is either pacifying Dean in some way or that he wins and then loses badly enough that the party wakes up after the ruins of 2004 and nominates someone good in 2008, if the planet will still be here.
And now for some analysis

In short, dispite the questionable methods of this polling firm, I think it shows that it is increasingly become a two-man race between Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. And really, if I had told anyone that this time last year, they would have said "Who?" and then laughed in my face after I explained who they were.

Remember how everyone wanted some McCain magic in the primary, they wanted to compare themselves to and snuggle up with ol' Johnny? Well this quote tells you who it won't be: Dean. "I would feel some sense of confidence about picking up every one of them if Governor Dean heads the ticket." -- John McCain, on the open Southern SEN seats, "Hardball," 12/16.

McCain has a pretty good sense of what it takes to win in the south, after all Bush creamed him there.

The ideal senerio for Clark is a narrow Dean win in IA, knocking out Gephardt but leaving folks dissipointed about Dean, and then a sneak attack at second in NH, at around 15-20+% Clark will have gone from 3% in the summer to 20% by January. Pretty amazing, "pretty Comeback Kid" like. Then on to 2/3 states. If he can win most of them-- OK SC are musts-- and finish a strong second in the is a Clark vs. Dean show down for the next rounds up to super Tuesday. Kerry, Edwards, and Gephardt (and Lieberman) folks will break toward Clark mostly, since the only reason most of them supported their guy was A winnability and B anti-Deanism, especially Kerry and Gephardt folks since they will be mad at Dean for beating their guy.
Groundhog Tuesday Numbers from questioned polling firm:


Dean 31
Clark 29
"Other" 11
Lieberman 10
Gephardt 9
Kerry 7
Undecided 3


Clark 34
Dean 21
Lieberman 11
"Other" 11
(all others single digits)

South Carolina:

Dean 21
Clark 20
Edwards 15
Sharpton 15
Gephardt 10
Undecided 7
(all others bottom feeders)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Was Saddam rescued by the US Army?

The Israeli-based military/intelligence site DEBKAfile seems to thinks so.

"A number of questions are raised by the incredibly bedraggled, tired and crushed condition of this once savage, dapper and pampered ruler who was discovered in a hole in the ground on Saturday, December 13:

1. The length and state of his hair indicated he had not seen a barber or even had a shampoo for several weeks.

2. The wild state of his beard indicated he had not shaved for the same period

3. The hole dug in the floor of a cellar in a farm compound near Tikrit was primitive indeed: 6ft across and 8ft across with minimal sanitary arrangements - a far cry from his opulent palaces.

4. Saddam looked beaten and hungry.

5. Detained trying to escape were two unidentified men. Left with him were two AK-47 assault guns and a pistol, none of which were used.

6. The hole had only one opening. It was not only camouflaged with mud and bricks; it was blocked. He could not have climbed out without someone on the outside removing the covering.

7. And most important, $750,000 in 100-dollar notes were found with him (a pittance for his captors who expected a $25m reward), but no communications equipment of any kind, whether cell phone or even a carrier pigeon for contacting the outside world.

According to DEBKAfile analysts, these seven anomalies point to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein was not in hiding; he was a prisoner. "

The article goes on to claim that PUK leader (leading party of the Kurds in Northern Iraq) Jalal Talabani (not related to the Taliban in Afghanistan, but his family tribal name) was negotiating to get the $25 bounty on Hussein's head.

In other bits of bad news, DEBKAfile claims "the notorious Lebanese terrorist and hostage-taker Imad Mughniyeh, who figures on the most wanted list of 22 men published by the FBI after 9/11, had arrived in southern Iraq and was organizing a new anti-US terror campaign to be launched in March-April 2004, marking the first year of the American invasion. "

During the War in Iraq, DEBKAfile had some of the best intelligence on what was actually happening on the ground, although it is definitely an unfiltered intell-dump. Way back in the spring, they had sources that claimed that Saddam was in Minsk.

Where are the WMD? DEBKAfile says Dr. David Kay knows: "The search has narrowed down to a section of the Syrian Desert known as Dayr Az-Zawr in Syria?s 600 sq. mile Al Jazirah province, which is wedged between the Turkish and Iraqi borders. The missing weapons systems are thought to be buried somewhere under these desert sands. "

All of this points a disturbing picture, one that makes US Rep. Jim McDermott (Dean supporter from WA) seem correct "I'm sure they could have found him a long time ago if they wanted to." He added: "There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing" Remember this is the same guy that went to Iraq just before the war and critiqued Bush there-- and a favorite whipping boy of the Right Wing.

Could we find the WMD's, Osama Bin Laden all in time for November 2004? Maybe, but if it happens in September or October, Mr. McDermott will prove to be a wise sage after all.