"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Short Cuts 

Today, Weintraub has an excellent pair of articles in his daily campaign weblog, California Insider. His first take is something I agree with. It is a rather gentle criticism of Arnold's campaign style. Schwarzenegger can be mind-numbingly vague on some issues, such as repeal of California's state family leave law. However, Weintraub notes that his raw political talent for bonding with people and crowds is superb. Arnold is perfecting his stump speech right now, and that's what I think is giving Weintraub pause and cause for some concern.This is to be expected from a political editor. Stump speeches are notoriously vague and tend towards the basest of assertions and squalid demagoguery. Reporters, especially editors, want some meat to put on the table the next morning; the thin gruel of the stump speech does not make for good copy. Arnold and Press

Arnold feeds the Beast on the stump

Cruz Bustamante comes in for some criticism from the same columnist, who criticizes the Lt. Governor for pandering to the Mexican vote by attacking Schwarzenegger for spreading division (something that Arnold simply hasn't done). This column is farther down the page, beneath his admonitions towards Arnold's campaign. Another good read from Weintraub, today, folks.

Meanwhile, the California State Republican Convention is coming up in Los Angeles. Rick Orlov in today's Daily News pens this column detailing the excitement surrounding the usually staid affair. Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Senator Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) are scheduled to address the gathering. McClintock swears he is in to stay. I think he is in to stay until at least after the Convention. McClintock is inflicting some pain on Arnold right now, freezing conservative voters in place until he can go to Arnold and start bargaining. McClintock doesn't want to be the turd in the punchbowl by staying in past the point where he would do little more than draw enough votes from Arnold to allow Bustamante to sneak in. There is a reason the liberal talking heads are pointing out how conservative Tom is and how Arnold shares little in common with the senator. There's also a reason most of Tom's colleagues in the State Assembly are getting on Arnold's bandwagon. They want a Republican Governor. The assemblymen and state senators don't want to be on the outside looking in.

My take is that McClintock starts sending feelers to Schwarzenegger between the convention and the big debate in the third week of this month. If Arnold can go into the debate with a united front, then he wins the election. That's my suspicion, anyway.

Meanwhile, the burial of Ayatollah al-Hakim is being readied. Several hundred thousand Iraqis are converging on al-Najaf. Coalition troops are gathering water and emergency medical supplies for the expected throng.

In Afghanistan, Al Jazeera reports that U.S. Special Forces and Afghan regulars have upwards to a thousand Talib surrounded. Mullah Omar may be among the Taliban occupying the villiage of Sarang, three hundred miles southwest of Kabul. Now I take these numbers with a grain of salt, as I'd be very surprised if the Taliban allowed themselves to be penned up like that. However, there may be a large number of Taliban present if command personnel are with them. Air strikes are continuing as I write this.

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