24 November 2006

Casino Royale

Saw Casino Royale on Sunday, so I may as well say a few words about it. Don't worry, I won't spoil it for you.

So 7 points (since it's 007, geddit?):
  1. Daniel Craig is a good Bond. He can do the action scenes brilliantly and his less "Bondian" moments can be explained by the fact that this is a more human Bond.
  2. Eva Green- great as Vesper Lynd.
  3. Mads Mikkelsen was good as Le Chiffre.
  4. Good plot, if slightly unclear at times.
  5. Q and Moneypenny's absence was a good thing.
  6. Great lines and jokes.
  7. Stunts were great.

All in all a good Bond film.

By the way, I've put comment moderation back on. Much as I don't like the idea of censorship in advance, the spam must stop. Only spam will be blocked.

EDIT- To make the second sentence more gramatically correct.

12 November 2006

Remembrance Sunday

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

We will remember them.

11 November 2006

USA 2006- The Analysis

It became rather obvious that Allen had conceded when at 8.23 pm GMT on Thursday, the US Election Atlas forum gave me the “Connection Problems” page.

I think we’re all aware of the saying that “Oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them”. And the Republicans certainly lost this one.

So now the reasons.

Why the Republicans lost:
Iraq. This is the primary reason why they lost. Little has gone right in Iraq over the last two years, in fact the last three and people were highly frustrated. Thus they voted against the party they deemed responsible. Bush’s “stay the course” rhetoric ultimately didn’t help.
Corruption- both moral and financial. Foleygate was really the moment when the House became unsalvageable for the GOP. Ney cost the GOP OH-18, Foley FL-16.
The evangelicals didn’t turn out. Mostly for reason 2.
Hurricane Katrina. If the federal government hadn’t been so incompetent when it came to dealing with this disaster, George W. Bush wouldn’t have lost a great deal of popularity.
The Latino vote. There was a 15% swing against the Republicans among this group and it probably cost them some close races. Appeasing the base by a tough stance on immigration meant that this group was annoyed.
The economy got wildly misinterpreted. Despite the DOW going over 12,000 and the lowest unemployment rate for 5 years, 50% of the CNN exit poll sample thought the economy was not very good or poor.
Virginia. I think it’s safe to say that if Allen hadn’t made the comment he did, the Republicans would have retained the Senate on Cheney’s casting vote.

Why the Democrats won:
Managed to avoid any major gaffes. Kerry’s botched joke was the worst, which is saying something.
Didn’t define their Iraq policy. If they’d specified an Iraq policy, they’d have been attacked on it. All they needed to do was say “we need to change course”. I’d have preferred an alternative policy, but you can’t have everything.
I’d have to agree with what someone said at US Election Atlas- they effectively portrayed the entire Congressional GOP as uncritical Bush followers.

So, Congress has changed, for better or worse.

Now onto 2008…

Edited to make the last Democrat point clearer.

10 November 2006

32 out of 33

That's how many Senate races I called correctly. I was wrong in Virginia. Because I was wrong in Virginia, I called the balance of power incorrectly. Oh, well, you can't win them all.

I'm glad the Democrats won. While I supported (and continue to support) the Iraq war, it's become monumentarily clear that a) this thing was very poorly handled and b) that it's a mess. Rumsfeld should have gone after Abu Ghraib.

I just hope there really is bi-partisanship in Washington this time...

Expect a fuller analysis over the next few days.

06 November 2006

Hilary Benn, you rock


Hopefully this will get adopted as government policy, but I sadly doubt it.

Keep this up, Hilary and you'll be my new favourite Cabinet Minister.