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Monday, October 31, 2005

Dem's Ticked About Sam

(Updated at 9:50pm)
Democratic stalwarts Chuck Shumer and Harry Reid are ticked about the Alito nomination. Shumer because Alito has pretty well made it clear in previous opinions that he doesn't consider abortion a sacred right. The judge had the gall to say kids should have to notify their parents before having an abortion, and wives should notify husbands, and be given counseling on the known side effects.

Reid because GWB didn't bother to consult him again, as he did with Miers. After the Miers debacle, why would Bush consult him again? Besides, Harry presented a list of "agreeable choices" before both Roberts and Miers were nominated. I'm sure George kept it around, and consulted it.

Ted Kennedy, NARAL and Pat Leahy are also ticked about the choice. What this tells everyone is that Bush made a good choice for his base, and probably most moderate conservatives, and conservative Democrats. The folks who will be the most miffed are the far left, who make the most noise anyway.

Stand by to get bombed by ads from the far left about how Sam is going to destroy civil rights, vote to turn the forests over to megacorporations, and probably force women to move to back alleys to even discuss abortion.

Hugh Hewitt has a poll on the nomination, and the idea of busting a filibuster. Check it out.

The MSM isn't doing much better:
News Busters has a good breakdown of this mornings coverage on the Today Show.
Drudgereport has a good write up of CBS's White House Correspondent John Roberts asking if Alito is "sloppy seconds".
Political Teen has the video of Chris Matthews skewering the Democrats over their talking points about Alito. The first one, not abortion, not civil rights. Nope, the first one was that he didn't get a conviction on some Italian American mobsters in 1988!
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Liberal Hypocrite Quiz

Hat Tip to Charlie Sykes on this one, if nothing else it will open your eyes to the reality of the some of the defenders of the little guy, the environment, and your tax dollars.
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Sam's Da' Man

Okay, I'll eat crow, Sam Alito has been selected for the Supreme Court. I know I said GW would defer to Laura and select another woman, and I wonder about the at home issues he'll now face because of it.

Here are my problems with the selection. 1, the Pro-Choice groups are going to have fits because of his current paper trail. 2. The feminists are going to have fits, saying he caved to the far right idealogues.

There were at least 3 well qualified women he could have picked that have good conservative credentials to satisfy the base, less well defined records on abortion, and would have kept the NOW crowd out of the fight.

Standby for round 1 of the battle.

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The Other Tact

Lou Cannon at the Washington Post has an interesting article up today, using a new tact to urge President Bush to fire Karl Rove. Now, instead of demands, and accusations of guilt, he's invoking Reagan and his firng of Don Regan, and the new beginning after his scandals.

He also brings up Clinton and his scandals, but doesn't delve into it, maybe because Clinton was never trusted by about half the population.

The fact is, Rove has been a thorn to the Dem's for the last five years. They still can't comprehend the amount of money Soros, et. al. spent in 2004 and they still lost. He's played hardball with them, and won for the most part, and they want him gone. The shrieks of Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy aren't going to do it. Bush will keep Rove if only to antagonize them, and remind them He, not they, control the White House.

I'm doubting Lou's soft sell on the idea is going to get him to fire Rove either.
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Sunday, October 30, 2005

She's A 1 not a 10

(my nonpolitical post for the week)
I went to my favorite sports bar today to watch my beloved, but 1-6 Packers blow another game. Thank god I was driving, or I'd have drank heavily.

The guy next to me commented on the waitress, who was cute beyond belief, with a butt that, well, it was perfect. He made one of those standard, sexist, rate the chick with a number type comments, to which I replied, "She's a one".

He didn't get it, but having been married for over twenty years, the 1-10 hot scale no longer works for me. Instead, if I'm going to act sophmoric in a sports bar (where better?), I use a scale of 1 through 3.

1- The woman is so unbelievably hot I'd take her home, toss her on the couch, and ask the wife to keep score.

2- She's pretty hot, but I'd be discreet and get a hotel room.

3- She wouldn't be worth the legal hassles if I got caught.

The waitress was definitely a two . She was too young to be a one, I'd have to put up with the "you have kids her age" crap.

What kind of scale are you using?

Funny, right after writing this, I find Maureen Dowd's latest editorial piece on the anti-feminist movement among women, check it out here.
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Time for a New Mood

It's time for a new mood in Washington, and it's time for some resignations. In fact, I think Harry Reid and Chuck Shumer should be the first to go. When they leave town, Nancy Pelosi should follow.

Wait, I'm sorry, they are calling for Karl Rove to resign because he wasn't indicted Friday, and evidently didn't break the law in speaking of Valerie Plame.

Here's a suggestion for the senior Democrats in congress. If you want a new mood in DC, SHUT UP! With the exception of your rabid left base, this story isn't going to resonate in about a month, when a new Supreme Court nominee surfaces. It might pop up in a year or so, when Libby goes to trial (if he does), but again, it won't resonate.

Wasting time on this is wasting time you could be using to come up with a plan, on anything, since you haven't presented any in the last 5 years, only complaints, moans and groans.
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More on Libby (updated)

Here's a link to David Ignatius' take on the Libby affair. He's basically saying that the real "crime" in Libby/Plamegate was the White House battle with the CIA over intelligence. I'll have to say that for the most part, I do agree with that assessment, though it wasn't a crime. What it really was was a lack of clear communication between the two, and it was allowed to turn into a pissing contest.

The CIA feeling they were being questioned about their work, and the White House folks feeling like they weren't getting enough info, and that the press was getting too much.

The problem is, that neither group acted like adults, for whatever reason, and worked it out face to face. It ended up being a behind the back, "gotcha game" for the two sides. Not a great way to run a government.

I think when Bush leaves office George Tenent will probably write a book similar to the one Louis Freeh wrote about the Clinton years at the FBI.

For more on the infighting, and whole proceeding, here's a link to Time Magazine's article on the indictments, it's pretty balanced, which isn't always the case with them.
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Praise For Judicial Activism

Check out Below the Beltway's post on Colbert King's Washington Post Editorial today, being thankful for liberal judicial activism. To say Mr. King got it completely wrong is an understatement, but I can't say it any better than Doug did, so read his post.

Welcome to the Blogroll BtB, nice writing.
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For a Laugh

For a laugh, head over to the Washington Post Blogs, and check out Emily Messner's "The Debate" on ethics in DC, and the current Libby scandal. She points out (and links to) a lot of good writing in the MSM and online over the Libby indictment.

The online edition of US News and World Report has an article about "Cheney Resignation Rumors Fly", because Libby was Cheney's CofS folks think it will bring him down. (You can ask Clinton, it takes more to bring down a Dick than a couple of rumors).

That rumor started because Cheney showed Libby the documents that had Plames info in them. Think about it for a second, though and the idea of Cheney doing something wrong makes no sense. Cheney was trying to find out why Joe Wilson wrote he was sent by Cheney in his op/ed piece. Does anyone realistically think the VP would do all the investigating of who actually sent Wilson on his own? The fact is he'd discuss the stuff with his Chief of Staff and have him work on it (probably delegating it even further).

Make sure to read the comments, at "The Debate", the rabid left is out in force and trying to turn perjury into treason, I guess they spent too much time watching Franken last week, and trying to figure out how to use Fitzgeralds report as a reason the war was a lie. They should read Fitzgeralds comments, since he said specifically he didn't look into anything concerning that question, and his report will answer no questions about it.

If you need another good laugh on this, read Stephen Schlesinger at the Huffington Post. He's already speculating that Bush could pardon Libby before his trial, to keep anything from coming out. That probably won't happen. What could happen, in the great tradition of President #42, would be that on the last day of his term Bush could pardon him. (Think Henry Cisneros).
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Saturday, October 29, 2005

David Brooks Weighs in

David Brooks of the NY Times has weighed in on the Libby indictments, and Democrats reactions to it.

He has two great quotes in his piece:
"Leading Democratic politicians filled the air with grand conspiracy theories that would be at home in the John Birch Society."

Which is about right. They are getting as bad as the GOP during Clinton's years, when we were all getting turned over the UN, remember the markings on your road signs?

His summary is perfect, just take a trip around the left end of the blogosphere and you'll see how right on he is, or read Kristof's editorial in the same paper demanding Cheney explain.

"So some Democrats were not content with Libby's indictment, but had to stretch, distort and exaggerate. The tragic thing is that at the exact moment when the Republican Party is staggering under the weight of its own mistakes, the Democratic Party's loudest voices are in the grip of passions that render them untrustworthy."

He's pretty well on target with that remark. Hillary, John and Ted are making their usual noises, but not making any sense. Maybe if they'd come up with an actual game plan other than "Bush Lied" people would be listening to them.

I'll have to watch Joe Wilson's interview tomorrow night on 60 Minutes and see what he has to say, it should be pretty funny. Drudge has a preview if you are interested. The CBS spin out to be great.
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Paradise Operations

(h/t to North American Patroit)

Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it, "Paradise Operations", actually its Al-Jazeera's new name for suicide bombings:

Al-Jazeera, the Arab news service growing by leaps and bounds worldwide and spreading its reach into the western world, has a new name for suicide bombings – "Paradise Operations." [...]
In a story about the Russian foreign minister criticizing the Palestinian Authority for failing to combat terrorist movements, a paragraph reads: "Ariel Sharon ordered the defense minister Shaul Mofaz previously to undertake wide attacks on the movement of the Islamic Jihad, whose military wing yesterday undertook (am-ma-li-a al cha-deer-ra) operations of paradise, which killed five Israelis and injured tens of Israelis – or whoever was standing around."

Between stuff like that, Iran's call to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, and the jihadists in Iraq killing mostly innocent civilians, the Arabic/Muslim world shouldn't have to wonder why they have such a PR problem.

Iran rebuked the UN Security Council resolution condemning their remarks, in part because they didn't actually call for someone to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, they just said it was a good idea. NO, I am not making this stuff up! Read it here.

If you need more arguments against appeasing folks like these, let me know the papers are full of them every day.
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High Oil Prices GOP Fault

John Dingell, D-Mich in the weekly radio address has decided the GOP is to blame for high energy prices. Now, I kind of agree with the idea that there has been a little bit of gouging since Katrina and Rita. At the same time, because of layoffs and shutdowns of refineries, etc, the oil industry has had a lower cost base since the storms, but market prices have gone up, which always results in profits. (Econ 101). Consider the savings to an oil company if it has to shut a refinery for two or three weeks. Just the electricity savings are tremendous.

I will take exception with Mr. Dingell on the idea the GOP is to blame for all energy woes. What needs to be asked is:

1)Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep a single new refinery from being built here in 30 years?
2) Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep the coast of California from expanding it's oil production?
3) Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep to keep the coast of Florida from being explored for oil and natural gas?
4) Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep any new LNG terminals from being built to allow the import of liquified natural gas?
5) Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep a new natural gas pipeline from Canada from being built?
6) Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep a new natural gas pipeline from Alaska from being built?
7) Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep any new nuclear reactors from being built?
8) Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep the ANR from being explored?
9) Which politicial party's allied special interests have fought to keep clean coal technology from the market, and force electricity producers to use natural gas turbines? (See #4-6 to see if this makes sense!)
10) Which political party had a president sign a law allowing the export of north slope crude from Alaska?

If you answered the Democratic party to all of the above, give yourself a cookie. The truth is, the environmental activists that the Democrats are beholden to are as much to blame for our current energy situation as anyone. Their nimby policies and politics, scare tactics have kept us from keeping pace with our needs in the energy realm.
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Liberal Media Starts Rationalizing

The liberals in the media have started rationalizing that Libby's indictment should be the starting point for Fitzgerald to move farther, and investigate the war itself.

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal
Fitzgerald on Friday said pro- or anti-war folks should not look to his investigation to answer these types of questions. Sorry, that can't be done. No reasonable person could look at what amounts to an investigation into a coverup and not ask why it was so important to cover anything up.

Actually, if one wants to think beyond the "Hate Bush" ideology, it's easy to figure it out. It's called political retribution. Plain and simple, the Administration used the media to attack someone they didn't like. Just like administrations have for years.

From the NY Times:
And as absorbing as this criminal investigation has been, the big point Americans need to keep in mind is this: There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

There were WMD found, they were just in small quantities, like the three dozen or so artillery shells found by the Dutch troops. And the other question would be, if Saddam really did destroy them all, why not just provide the proof? Sure would have saved a lot of trouble. Hell, we'd have probably had a hard time keeping the sanctions and no fly zones intact.

The LA Times added:
Those charges are at once disappointing and inspiring. They do not go to the heart of the matter Fitzgerald is investigating — namely, who leaked Plame's identity, or even whether doing so was a crime. What they do show is the rule of law working to hold officials accountable to the public they serve.

Actually, if he wasn't indicted for the crime of leaking her name, it seems pretty obvious it wasn't a crime. The indictment basically says he's the guy who gave out her name to the press, but that charge isn't in it, so you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.

For a more measured and logical conclusion go to the Washington Post... Did I just type that???
The public record offers no indication that Mr. Libby or any other official deliberately exposed Ms. Plame to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. Rather, Mr. Libby and other officials, including Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff, apparently were seeking to combat the sensational allegations of a critic.
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Friday, October 28, 2005

NY Times Omission

(Thanks to Michelle Malkin for posting the rest of Cpl. Jeffrey Starr's letter.)

The NY Times recently did a piece on the 2000th servicemember killed in Iraq, and included Cpl. Starr, and two lines of what is known in the military as a death letter. The one you write and hope no one has to send home for you. Relatives and friends who were in ground combat in wars past have mentioned them to me at one time or another.

This is the NY Times Piece:
Another member of the 1/5, Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr, rejected a $24,000 bonus to re-enlist. Corporal Starr believed strongly in the war, his father said, but was tired of the harsh life and nearness of death in Iraq. So he enrolled at Everett Community College near his parents' home in Snohomish, Wash., planning to study psychology after his enlistment ended in August.
But he died in a firefight in Ramadi on April 30 during his third tour in Iraq. He was 22.
Sifting through Corporal Starr's laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the Marines girlfriend. ''I kind of predicted this,'' Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. ''A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances.''

It looks like the poor guy was burned out, ready to come home, and who would blame him. However, they only included part of the letter, and it was pointed out by his uncle.

This is the whole letter he wrote to his girlfriend:

Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

Reading the article in the Times it looks like they did the "snippet" job on a lot of letters. I wonder how many other folks felt more deeply about what they were doing than the Times showed in their profiles. And if they were only going to use two sentences, why not start with "A third time.." and move to the next sentence?
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The Left, Convicting on Indictments as Expected (updated)

So, I figured I'd have to hit the 'Kos and News Blog when I got home from work today, and see what they had to say about ol' Scooter's indictment.

The big thing with the lefties seems to be a paragraph buried on page five that says Scooter was told by the VP that Plame worked in the Counter Proliferation Division of the CIA. From that, they've decided that since that is under the Directorate of Operations, where spies come from, that Libby should have automatically assumed she was a covert operative.

Well, that's a bunch of hooey, to put it scientifically. Not everyone who works in a division under the Ops is automatically an operative. Just like not everyone who is in the Army is automatically a "ground pounder", and not every Navy Sailor gets underway on ships (strange but true). Sorry guys, but not everyone in a branch of Directorate of Ops is a spy. They actually have secretaries, program managers, HR people, all kinds of folk who have nothing what so ever to do with spying, who aren't covert, and who aren't hiding their identities.

If you'd like to confirm that, the number to the press office at Langley is (703) 482-0623, they are open M-F 7am-5pm and are more than willing to answer your questions. What you'll find out is that only a small percentage of folks in those branches are actual operatives. In fact, in contrast to 'Kos's rant, they also have analysts working there!

Of course the "official" voices of the Democratic Party, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have all spoken of the horrors of the indictment, and the loss of confidence of the US abroad, lack of integrity in the White House, etc. Is it just me, or is Kerry sounding more like a candidate again than a Senator? I gotta say, Hillary talking about acts of retribution are pretty funny, considering the way her and Bill let their folks hang out to dry for 8 years. Don't they still have friends in prison? more here.

The investigation is not over, as the left is pointing out, still holding hope of seeing Rove in cuffs, but they are taking that part out of context, here's what Fitzgerald had to say about it. (From ABC news):

"Is the investigation finished? It's not over," Fitzgerald said at a news conference. "But … very rarely do you bring a charge in a case that's going to be tried in which you ever end a grand jury investigation. I can tell you that the substantial bulk of the work of this investigation is concluded."

In other words, there probably aren't any charges coming Rove's way, and much to the chagrine of the left, no one looks to be charged with knowingly outing a CIA agent under the 1982 law.

Full text of the Indictment can be found here.
(No unnamed sources were used, and no agents outed in the writing of this story)
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Will Franken and Wilson Jump From a Bridge?

Al Franken has been on TV screaming for a treason charge, and Joe Wilson has been waxing poetic about seeing Karl Rove frog marched in hand cuffs.

But if the New York Times is correct, the two may be crying in their chardonnay on Friday. The Times is reporting that "Scooter" Libby is going to get a perjury charge laid on him on Friday, and Rove won't be charged at all, though the investigation may stay open on him for a while longer.

The Washington Post is also reporting that Libby has been shopping for a White Collar defense attorney, and that Rove has been working on both criminal and political defense teams just in case.

While the left will try and make hay of a Libby Indictment, lets face it they will be horribly disappointed, probably dejected, if Rove doesn't get charged. To the left Karl Rove is evil incarnate, period. If something bad doesn't happen to him, it will hurt them terribly, hell, they may start claiming that he stole the investigation. A Rove non-indictment will be as bad to them as the 2000 and 2004 elections, because in their minds he is the administration.

While the press is totally consumed with the administration angle to this, I'm wondering if there won't be charges against some in the press in the matter. Cooper, Miller and Novak are all still out there, and apparently as involved as anyone inside the administration in getting Plame's name out there.
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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Kos takes on Kaine

The Daily Kos has decided to take up the Kaine ad pulling on his website, also, calling Kaine "spineless" for not wanting his campaign associated with a totally tasteless doctored photo.

First off to the bloggers who are screaming from the left about this, get a grip. I spend a bunch of my free time just surfing to different blogs, and I'm getting the impression that a lot of the bloggers on both sides spent too much time in the "Usenet flame wars" of the past, where they were more anonymous than they are now. Blogs are much more open and widely read, and therefore are going to get reactions you might not be used to getting.

Any blogger (or business for that matter) that is going to accept paid advertising has to understand that there is a relationship between you and the person paying. When you damage it by the content of your blog, you may well have an advertiser pull out. That's what happened at News Blog, plain and simple. In the world of political advertising, that is doubly true, a candidate can't even appear to support someone who does something that controversial.

Scripps Howard News Service has story on the controversy.
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So Who Is Next?

The Washington Post has two lists, the one they developed and the Associated Press list of who the President might nominate, now that Miers has withdrawn her name for SCotUS.

Bloggers, such as Charlie Sykes and Jessica McBride, and others, have started tossing the name of Diane Sykes into the ring. She received bipartisan approval for the 7th Circuit job, and was a topic of discussion and some mild buzz before the Miers fiasco started.

You can bet that it will be a woman, and Sykes, Edith Brown Clement and others should be heartened by that. However, both have at least one issue that came up during the Roberts hearings, they are members of the Federalist Society. Even though it didn't seem to matter when they were confirmed to their current posts, the fact is now that the name is in the air, you can bet the left wing activist groups will grab onto it. Roberts reaction to speculation he belonged to the Federalists didn't do any favors for those who following him in nomination.
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Update On "Rush Would Be Crucified"

News Blog has another rant today, this time about being asked to pull their advertising for Tim Kaine, a Democratic Candidate for Governor, because of the inflammatory post they had up yesterday.

Andrew Sullivan and others had also posted about it, and evidently Kaine got enough e-mails and notices of the picture and post it to pull his ads.

The rant that the author over there goes on about the ads being pulled makes me wonder if he's lived under a rock for the last 20 years. Think about advertisers that pulled out from The Masters, both over race and sex issues in that time. Why didn't Rush get to keep doing MNF, he wouldn't have lasted more than one season even without his comments, but once he made them, advertisers demanded he leave, or they would pull chocks.

The authors excuse that he should be allowed to attack Steele in that manner, because he too is black is a crock. There are lots of facts about Mr. Steele that could have been used in a well thought out rant, without the childish picture to make his point, instead of the manner he went about it, which was offensive.
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Okay, now that Miers is history as the SCotUS nominee, who's next? I've said already that I'd like to see Janice Rogers Brown as the choice, but I wonder if she, like Priscilla Owen, hasn't told him no already, because they don't want to deal with the process. Rumor had it a few weeks ago that Miers got the nod because a number of higher rated candidates pulled their names. I'm sure that the Miers saga won't make any of them run up to GW and say "Hey, I'd like my name in the hat".

Now, this will hurt some folks, but the truth is, if the next nominee goes down in flames, the GOP has absolutely no one to blame but themselves. They shot themselves in the foot with this nomination, good or bad. By showing no unity whatsoever, they allowed Miers to go down like an anchor, with barely a peep from the left. In the past the GOP has done a pretty good job of making Democrats look like the obstructionists in the nominee process. Now they've basically killed any "home team" advantage the President had in this process.

While I've always hated the left being hijacked by their special interests, the fact that when it comes to court nominees it looks like the right has now fallen into the same trap with their own groups. Now the next nominee has to look both ways before crossing the nomination street, because the obstructionist bus could be coming from the left or the right.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rush Would be Crucified For This

The left is evidently very upset about the idea of Lt. Governor Steele from Maryland running for the US Senate. The kind folks at "The News Blog" have nicknamed the African American "Simple Sambo" for being a Republican, and even doctored a photo to put him in black face makeup, evidently if you are already black, but a Republican, you aren't truly black.

I don't know Mr. Steele, or even follow Maryland politics, though I live in the next state and work just a few miles from the state line. However, this is twice he's been whacked by the left. The first being when a couple of Democratic workers on Chuck Shumer's payroll ran an illegal credit check on him. What, you didn't hear about that... Oh yeah, the MSM ignored it. In these days of rampant fear of identity theft it's okay to do if you work for Chuck.

If you really want to get sick about it, though, go to the comments, it shows the left's true colors.

They show once again, their disdain for anyone who jumps from the Democratic party. So, Mr. Steele, through your decision to run, you've helped show the world the fallacy of the Democrats, that blacks are only useful if they vote for them, and run as them. Otherwise, you might as well be , well, a rich white guy.

Charlie Sykes has a pretty strong opinion on this one, too.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Someone Who Gets It

Faces from the Front has a wonderful piece about the obsession over casualty #2000 in Iraq. Click the title to read.
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Bush Must Withdraw the Nomination!

President Bush must withdraw his nomination. Not for the US Supreme Court, but instead Ben Bernanke for the job of Chairman of the Federal reserve.

If you are wondering why I say this, it's very easy. Click on the title, it's a link to an editorial in the New York Times praising the choice of Bernanke. If the Times is happy about it, there is just no way this can be a good, conservative choice for the job.

Though if you need an alternate neo-liberal opinion on the subject, you can go to the Washington Post, who's columnist
E.J. Dionne Jr. is concerned that Bush has appointed an 'idealogue' to the job. I'm not as concerned with the Post column because it came from one writer, unlike the Times, which was an editorial board column.

Besides, Dionne would call
Paul Krugman a partisan neo-con hack if Bush had appointed him. For those who don't know, Krugman was a respected economist until he became a noted partisan neo-liberal hack.
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RIP Rosa Parks

Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks passed away last night at the age of 92. Her refusal to move to the back of the bus in 1955, the 380 day bus boycott that followed is generally considered one of the first major milestones in the civil rights movement that blossomed in the 1960's.
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Monday, October 24, 2005

What Was Franken Thinking?

NewsBusters has a great piece on Al Franken's appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman Friday night.

Al makes light of the Plamegate investigation, claiming Rove and Libby will be shot for treason in the end.

Letterman's take was that the real crime is a guy name Scooter being as high in the government as Libby is.

Now one of the questions that comes up about Al's appearance is "What was Franken thinking?"
Most of the MSM has already decided that maybe a perjury charge for Libby is coming, so where does he come off with the treason thing?

Through my amazing psychic powers, I was able to figure out exactly what was going through his mind while he was there:

"Holy Shit, Letterman has more people in his studio audience than I do in syndicated radioland!"

And, just for clarification, Al, David didn't have to "borrow" $800 grand from the Boys and Girls Club to stay on the air.
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Will the Spanish Issue an Arrest Warrant?

The Palestine Hotel in Baghdad was attacked by suicide bombers today. 3 vehicles, in a coordinated attack attempted to blow up the building. Speculation by one Iraqi minister was that they wanted to take foreign journalists as hostages. Another said that was only speculation, and since there were no gunmen following the car and truck bombers in, it probably wasn't so.

I'm wondering, if there were any Spanish journalists in the hotel will the courts in Spain issue warrants for the arrest of the leaders of the insurgency?

The other question is, now that they appear to be targets, will this change the tone of the some of the newsies over there?
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This picture sums it up

This picture was stolen from Maricopacabana
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New Blogs

I added some new stuff over on the Blog Roll recently. For a laugh, check out "What the....", he's got some great stuff that was pulled from newspapers. Spent a while laughing to hard to drink my coffee.

God Bless America, Chief Brief, and MyView are my standard political fair.
Finally, Blog of Satu is a UNCW student's blog. Single mother, working full time, and working on her degree.
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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Steyn Could Become My Hero

Mark Steyn's column today is must read stuff. Find it here... Suffice it to say he's whacks the media, the UN, the left, and most everyone I don't like (except that bully from 7th grade).
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PlameGate Will Have to Wrap This Week

The Grand Jury investigating the Valerie Plame "outing" wraps this week, meaning that if charges are to be filed, we'll know pretty soon. My guess is that we'll see a couple of perjury charges at best, and maybe an obstruction, but I'm not sure if even those will happen. Normally a "target letter" is sent well before the GJ ends it session, to allow the lawyers to try and work a deal before indictments are handed down, and so far no one has said they've gotten one.

Going back through the timeline of this, I found the second Robert Novak column on the matter, from October 2003. Pay close attention to the 3rd from last paragraph, which discusses the matter of Valerie Wilson's "secret identity". I knew I'd read this column before, but couldn't find it on the Sun Times where I normally read Novak.

That paragraph, written shortly after the Special Prosecutor was assigned points out a HUGE fact in the case that the MSM has completely ignored for over 2 years now. How could Libby, Rove, Miller, Cooper, or Novak been responsible for the "outing" of Ms. Plame, when prior to the July Novak column her covert name was already published, in the "Who's Who in America" listing Ambassador Wilson's wife as Valerie Elise Plame! (link to "Who's Who via Talkingpointsmemo.com)

I'm wondering if ol' Joe Wilson was called to testify, since he had to submit the paperwork for Who's Who, and would have been the one writing her name. Joe Wilson outed his own wife, if the publishing of her name is indeed a crime!

I think the saddest thing about the affair is it will probably be the end of Patrick Fitzgerald as a US Attorney, however it turns out. If he indicts Rove or Libby the right will call him a partisan hack, which he isn't. If he doesn't the left will use his work in Chicago dismantling Mayor Daley's patronage machine as proof he is one for the right. His term as US Attorney expires soon, and the firestorm around indictments or lack thereof while mean a replacement will probably be named.

Just something to chew on....
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Saturday, October 22, 2005

How To Tell If You Are A Democrat

(Click the title for link to post)

This is over at Elphant In My Coffee and it's hillarious. Give it a read if you get a chance.
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Not Over Yet

(click title for link)
It's not over yet folks, the link is to the advisory at the National Hurricane Center for tropical storm Alpha, the 22nd named storm of the year. This is the first time the NHC has had to use the greek alphabet for a hurricane name!

Luckily it looks like it won't hit land here, but it will cover a few areas that look to be near misses for Wilma.

This is getting a little crazy.
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Moonbats Still Parading

If you want to have some fun (after you read my blog) just start clicking the "next blog" button at the top of the screen.

I got to find a bunch of moonbats still on parade, the best of them being "Still Fighting" a blog dedicated to the 2000 and 2004 election's and how Bush really lost... I'm not kidding. If the Dem's wonder why they aren't gaining much ground, it's a good place to start. If their base is still living in the last two elections, how are they planning for the next one?

Another was the standard "Bush Lied" blog, which every comment pointing to a Democrat who agreed there were WMD in Iraq was replied to with a "fuck you Limbaugh lover" type thing.

The best one (which I posted a comment on) got the owner to send me a message that started with "you react instead of comprehending" and then ended with "Quit drinking Limbaugh's Kool-Aid". I'd point you to the blog, but I forgot to write down the address, but it really doesn't matter, seems she already deleted my comments. Evidently progressive "inclusive" folks don't like including those who disagree with them.

I also spent a lot of time putting flags on "spamblogs" that are nothing but ads put up by porno and other companies. Might want to watch it if the kids are watching over your shoulder, never know when a set of hooters is going to pop up on the screen. Google has got to fix that. I'd like to see them go to a confirmation e-mail type system to let folks start new blogs. While it is a little incovenient, it would sure keep some crap out of here.
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Spoiled Brat Benched by Soccer Coach

I'm not a soccer fan, in fact I think the game is less exciting than watching grass grow. I believe that Huligans come from the fact that they like to jam 90,000 people in stadiums and bore them to tears for 3 hours.

Normally a kid throwing a hissy fit at his coach for not enough playing time on a soccer team wouldn't make it to the AP and ESPN's radar. However, when the spoiled brat is Freddy Adu, the 16 year old phenom in his 2nd pro season, it makes the news.

Freddy complained a few days ago about not starting every game, and how the coach was wrecking his chance for a World Cup roster spot, and it just wasn't fair. WHAAAAAA WHAAAA WHAAAA....

Last night the coach suspended Freddy, bidding him Adeau, at least for one game, for conduct detrimental to the team. I love the idea. The kid seems to think he's the reason for soccer's popularity in the country (Freddy, last nights playoff game drew less than the Bulls preseason game!) and should be "special".

So heres to the coach, in a sport I hate, doing the right thing!
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For Your Morning Laugh....

I stole this from Infinitely Prolonged's Headline of the Day. It was just too funny not to steal.
From the New York Observer, the headline is :

If she would have found a way to do that 15 years ago maybe Bill wouldn't have been hanging with all those skanks that he did back in the 90's. Now if she could just do something about those linebacker legs of her's.
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Friday, October 21, 2005

Award Winning Blog

This blog was just awarded Nedreck Milhunky's famous "Eclectic Blog of The Week" award. I believe with the award and $1.75 I can get a cup of coffee at Denny's. But hey, any recognition is good right.

Thanks Nedreck!
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The Net, The EU and The UN

The EU switched it's position this week on the internet, deciding that they also will request the ICANN and the US Commerce Department give control of domain names and addresses to a UN run council instead.

The reasoning is that if one country controls the net, they could shut others out of it. So instead of the US running the net (which we invented, and spread) a UN committee, with Iran, Cuba and China pushing for membership, would decide who gets what address blocks. Now think about your news in the last month. China is cracking down, asking Microsloth for new filtering software to censor content. They've asked Yahoo! to turn over records of use by disadents. Cuba doesn't allow most of it's folks on the net, and Iran is more restrictive than China.

These are the folks we should let run the net?

To China, the EU, et. al. FUCK OFF! The US developed, built and allowed the internet to spread, and it's works quite well. If you are so worried about bandwidth and folks being locked out, develop another that you control. You can even let it work with the existing one, I'm sure a few first year IT students could explain how translation tables could be worked to merge two networks with identical ID's on each (not easy, but not impossible). China could build their own, too.

The fact is, the UN can't manage the remodeling of it's offices (5 years behind, 300% over budget) what makes them think they could handle something complex? And why do they think the US will just hand over the keys to the Domain Name Servers?
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I decided to change the template for the blog. The old "rounders" template didn't allow me to increase the area for posts and sidebars, some of it's graphics got really weird, and I hated how much of the screen was wasted by that template.

So I picked the "Scribe" template, added an extra sidebar, and increased the area from 700 to 800 pixels, giving most to the posting area, and a few extra to the sidebars.

The blogroll is working, as is the site meter.
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Newspaper War?

I've noticed recently that the Washington Post has been spending a lot of space, both in articles and editorials on the Plame affair. However, while some of it has been aimed at the White House and potential charges for Rove and Libby, more has been aimed elsewhere.

Over the last 2 days there have been at least 3 editorials and 2 stories about the NY Times coverage of the affair, and Judith Miller. Specifically the Post has been rabid about the Times and their seeming lack of control over what Miller reported on, and who she worked for at the paper.

For as long as I can remember, the NY Times has billed itself as "America's Paper of Record", but I don't wonder if the Post is trying to wrest that title from them, by pointing out the flaws in the the Times over the last couple of years.

It's not just the Miller thing recently, but the Times own public editor (whom I've written of before) blasting the papers columnists for not doing thorough corrections when they are shown to be completely wrong. The Post has picked up on both of those items, and tossed a few "Jason Blair" references in, seemingly to paint the picture of a newpaper with no controls in place.

I will say this about what seems to me to be a possible feud between them. The Post has been much more balanced than the Times in covering Plamegate. While some folks at the Times are calling for heads, the Post is calling for calm waiting for the Special Prosecutor to finish; the Times did have one such editorial, 4 months ago.

I guess a real question is, does it really matter? With more people getting their news from TV, the internet, and other sources, can any paper really call itself "America's Paper of Record" anymore?
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Interesting Comment...

(re-edited portion in italics)
I was reading a story this morning in the Free Lance-Star about recruiting difficulties in the area for the Army.

One of the recruiters interviewed pointed out a little tidbit of info that probably won't make it into larger newspapers, or onto CNN anytime soon.

He was pointing out to the reporter, and does to students, that the media's 24 hour coverage of Iraq sometimes skews perspectives. His reasoning? Since 9/11 more military members have been killed driving their own cars than have been killed in combat! I haven't been able to confirm that statement, in fact I think it might be off. However, if you look at total off duty accidental deaths then the numbers are very close.

I doubt we'll see much about that statistic on the news channels or anywhere else, it sure makes the whole quagmire thing sound a little silly. Though if the moonbats catch on to it, they may decide folks in the military shouldn't be allowed to own cars, because it's too dangerous.
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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Screw Spain!

A Spanish judge has issued international arrest warrants for 3 US Army tank crew members who fired on a hotel in Bahgdad in 2003 while advancing on the city. The shot killed a pair of Spanish journalists.

The US Army has conducted two investigations, an internation group that monitors journalists in war zones conducted their own investigation and all three came up with the same answer. The crew didn't know that the hotel they fired on (due to sniper fire from the roof) was housing the journalists.

Spanish law allows for the trial if (according to AP) the country of origin failed to investigate the incident. I'm trying to figure out how THREE investigations didn't fit the bill.

My take is this, I feel sorry for the reporters, and their families. However, they were in a war zone, things blow up in war zones. They were also in one which a group of combatants had been making it plainly clear for months that they would hide behind civilians to prevent themselves from being shot.

Evidently they (reporters) had missed that propoganda, and the groups of celebs urging folks to go act as human shields.

So, while I feel sorry for them, the Spanish shouldn't have been totally surprised by the outcome. I also believe the judges actions are not based on law, but politics and grandstanding. Personally, I think the US should freeze all arms sales to Spain until they drop the warrants. (this wouldn't be good for me, I work for a company that sells them arms, and trains them, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year).

A little economic pressure might be required to get the new Spanish leaders to start looking at things from a different perspective.
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Poetic Justice?

The AP is reporting that Bob Schwartz of New Mexico, who helped author a law increasing penalties for dog owners who's pets attack was hospitalized after being bitten by his dog!

Mr Schwartz is a special assistant to the Governor and is expected to make a full recovery.

My guess is he won't be telling fido about his day at work anymore!
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Piglet Still not Free!

For those who don't know, another of the PC things going on in Britain, a city council banned just about anything related to pork being on display for fear of offending muslims....

(This is the same Europe where 250lb men regularly wear speedos... now that's offensive!)

From Lost Budgie....

Dudley Council Backing Down over Piglet Ban? Not

Maybe. A little bit. Sort of.
Dudley Council members in Britain had previously
banned toy pigs and other pig-related items in
municipal offices as a result of a single complaint
from a Muslim. Among the banned items were piggy
banks, novelty pig calendars and a tissue box
featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
Now, the same Council leaders say they will not accept
"extreme forms of political correctness" - but neither
have they rescinded the ban. The Council is going to
have "an urgent review of the procedures."
"Urgent review" is not a victory for Piglet.
Also, if "extreme forms of political correctness" are
not acceptable, the Council position seems to be that
"MILD forms of political correctness" are acceptable.
The war over Dhimmitude still rages - and there has
been no victory yet won in Dudley Council.
Elsewhere in Britain, England's St. George's flag is
still banned from the workplace as being "offensive"
to Islamists. The Battle of Burger King was lost to a
surrender - not a defeat. The Union Jack is still
under attack as being "offensive" to Muslims.
Islamists have threatened to destroy a one hundred
year old statue of a wild boar if it is repaired.
"Winne the Pooh" and "Charlotte's Web" have been
banned from British schools as being "offensive to
In Canada, some want to replace Ontario's flag because
of it's Christian origin.
In the United States, a woman was fired for eating a
bacon sandwich at work - "offends Muslims".
To paraphrase one of Lost Budgie's favourite leaders
as he spoke on November 10, 1942:
"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of
the end. Neither is it the end of the beginning.
The Free Piglet! Campaign Must OINK On!"
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THIS is from the Washington Post????

This is from an editorial from today in the Washington Post, concerning Plamegate (or NadaGate) the majority of it deals with Judith Miller and her stand on the first amendment.

However, the last two paragraphs really stuck out to me....

This affair began with a trip to Niger undertaken by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, which he said disproved one of the Bush administration's contentions about Saddam Hussein and nuclear weapons. Columnist Robert D. Novak reported that Mr. Wilson had been chosen in part because Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA; Mr. Wilson then charged that administration officials had deliberately blown his wife's undercover status to punish him for his truth-telling.

If so, they should be punished. Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald may have evidence that they did; there is a still a great deal that is not publicly known. But so far, in the accounts given by reporters about their conversations with administration officials, no such crime has been described. What has been depicted is an administration effort to refute the allegations of a critic (some of which did in fact prove to be untrue) and to undermine his credibility, including by suggesting that nepotism rather than qualifications led to his selection. If such conversations are deemed a crime, journalism and the public will be the losers.

Is the Post actually taking the side of many conservative commentators, saying this really wasn't the crime some folks would like it to be? If so, that would be two generally liberal major daily newspapers who've editorialized that this is a case of nothing. The Nadagate title was coined by an editorial writer for the N.Y. Times in July of this year.

A few points the editorial doesn't make, Valerie Plame returned to the US in 1997, six years before the Novak story. The statute that folks would like Rove, et.al. prosecuted under states the agent had to be posted overseas in the last five years. She returned because the CIA thought she'd already been outed to the Russian's; at least according to her story in Vanity Fair; so the idea she was still a deep cover agent sounds pretty silly.
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What the HELL!

Okay, so I'm reading this news story about a guy getting charged with trespassing for allowing people to have sex with the neighbors horses, and thinking wow, that's really stupid.

The arrest came because a man died doing this. Now, when I lived in San Diego ions ago a man was arrested for "mounting horses" in a rather unusual manner, but this guy in Washington State takes the cake.

Follow the link, read the story, then come back and leave a comment if you figured out how the person died doing this.

All I can say is What was he thinking!!!!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Breaking News.....

This just in from Breitbart.com, Karl Rove has a garage, and it looks just like yours!

No kidding folks, the story is available online, and you can check it out. Karl has boxes, ladders, and even a snow shovel in his garage, there wasn't a car there though. However, having been in my Dad's garage, I'm not sure they looked hard enough for the car. Dad's had one in his for 3 years, and if the door is open you can miss it, even though it's an 1980's Olds station wagon.

I'm not sure what the reporters thought they would see in there, but evidently the fact that someone in DC has moving boxes and shovels in their garage is newsworthy.

I wouldn't be surprised if Darlene Superville got a pulitzer or something for this huge coup in investigative journalism.
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Zen For Those Who Take Life Too Seriously

Thought we needed some humor around here, so I thought I'd toss up this stuff I got from a friend of mine at work...
Zen For Those Who Take Life Too Seriously

1. Save The Whales. Collect The Whole Set.
2. A Day Without Sunshine Is Like, Night.
3. On The Other Hand, You Have Different Fingers.
4. I Just Got Lost In Thought. It Wasn't Familiar Territory.
5. 42.7 Percent Of All Statistics Are Made Up On The Spot.
6. 99 Percent Of Lawyers Give The Rest A Bad Name.
7. I Feel Like I'm Diagonally Parked In A Parallel Universe.
8. Honk If You Love Peace And Quiet.
9. Remember, Half The People You Know Are Below Average.
10. He Who Laughs Last Thinks Slowest.
11. Depression Is Merely Anger Without Enthusiasm.
12. The Early Bird May Get The Worm, But The Second Mouse Gets The Cheese.
13. I Drive Way Too Fast To Worry About Cholesterol.
14. Support Bacteria. They're The Only Culture Some People Have.
15. Monday Is An Awful Way To Spend 1/7 Of Your Week.
16. A Clear Conscience Is Usually The Sign Of A Bad Memory.
17. Change Is Inevitable, Except From Vending Machines.
18. Get A New Car For Your Spouse. It'll Be A Great Trade!
19. Plan To Be Spontaneous Tomorrow.
20. Always Try To Be Modest, And Be Proud Of It!
21. If You Think Nobody Cares, Try Missing A Couple Of Payments.
22. How Many Of You Believe In Psycho-Kinesis? Raise My Hand.
23. Ok, So What's The Speed Of Dark?
24. How Do You Tell When You're Out Of Invisible Ink?
25. If Everything Seems To Be Going Well, You Have Obviously Overlooked Something.
26. When Everything Is Coming Your Way, You're In The Wrong Lane.
27. Hard Work Pays Off In The Future. Laziness Pays Off Now.
28. Everyone Has A Photographic Memory. Some Just Do Not Have Film.
29. If Barbie Is So Popular, Why Do You Have To Buy Her Friends?
30. How Much Deeper Would The Ocean Be Without Sponges?
31. Eagles May Soar, But Weasels Do Not Get Sucked Into Jet Engines.
32. What Happens If You Get Scared Half To Death Twice?
33. I Used To Have An Open Mind But My Brains Kept Falling Out.
34. I Couldn't Repair Your Brakes, So I Made Your Horn Louder.
35. Why Do Psychics Have To Ask You For Your Name?
36. Inside Every Older Person Is A Younger Person Wondering What Happened?
37. Just Remember - If The World Did Not Suck, We Would All Fall Off.
38. Light Travels Faster Than Sound, Which Is Why Some People Appear Bright Until You Hear Them Speak.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Friggin ACLU!

Over at Right is Right they've posted a picture from California, a home owner hung a (fake) soldier in effigy on his home. The city required him to take it down to due to signage ordances, and guess who rushed to his defense, you guessed it, the American Criminal's Liberty Union.

30 or so years ago the ACLU did mostly good work, mostly helping folks who couldn't afford a decent legal defense. Today they've become the leading symbol of the lefts lack of connection to the real world and this universe.
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They Are Making It Too Easy

What is with the British lately? They are making it too easy for me and others to make fun of them.

QT's column today at the Chicago Sun Times had this one in it....

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:

*A police officer in Manchester, England, lectured the victim of a hit-and-run driver for describing the driver as "fat," citing diversity sensitivity guidelines.

So, for those who have a problem with the word "fat", or are afraid you'll be scolded for being insensitive, try using these....

portly; of added girth; extremely non-bulemic; larger than a breadbox, smaller than a bread truck; less than athletic build; underheight for his/her weight; more than amply sized; hefty;

There are many other ways to describe, as the airlines call them, "persons of size", so feel free to use any of these if you are in need of a word to keep the PC Police at bay.
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Hope for Ted Kennedy?

Maybe there is hope for Ted Kennedy. He recently tried to rescue 6 men trapped by rising waters off the family compound at Hyannis Port.

It's taken 36 years, but maybe his fear of the water is finally past him, and he won't let folks drown anymore, at least if there is good publicity in it for him.

It is worth noting that he tried to use a boat to get to them, and didn't actually swim out to help them, so he may still be working on some of his old hangups.

What he should have done was got that brave chick from NBC to come help, between the two of them, I'm sure they'd have gotten out there and got the guys off the jetty they were stuck on.
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For the Woman who has Everything

For that special lady in your life who has ALMOST everything, Victoria's Secret has come up with a $12.5 million bra! That's right, complete with a 101 carat diamond, and over 1000 other diamonds, in 18 carat white gold. It will be in the company's Christmas Dreams and Fantasies catalog.

Even if Gisele Bundchen, who modeled the bra, came with it I don't think I could possibly justify spending that kind of money on something I'd just want to rip off and toss on the floor anyway.

But, if your wife or special lady has almost everything, maybe you should pick up one of these for her.
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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Can't Look at Mecca While Taking a Dump...

If this wasn't so stupid and insulting, it would be funny....

(original post and supporting links can be found at

Muslim-Friendly Public Housing: Toilets Do Not Face

Interesting design specifications for some new public
housing projects in Britain.

Now that tax dollars have been used to make the
government-funded public housing project "pleasing to
all members of the community", who will be on the list
for one of these choice flats?
Government officials say that all applicants for
public housing will be considered equally regardless
of race, religion or culture...

(Are you waiting for the "BUT..." ? You won't be

"...But where there are two households of equal
priority who qualify for an Aashyana home, we would
offer to the household who would most benefit from the
culturally- sensitive services that Aashyana
...Bristol City Council spokeswoman Kate Hartas

Imagine the outcry if tax dollars were used to build a
public housing project designed to the religious
specifications of Christians or Jews - who were then
given priority because they would most benefit from
the "culturally-sensitive" design?

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more
equal than others."

Dhimmitude... one tiny push at a time.

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Here's a funny One

Check out this Blog, http://gloomeress.blogspot.com/, she's got something very important posted on it; namingly, the "Beer Bill of Rights".

We should all read it, then raise a glass of cold brew and pledge allegiance to the Constitution of Beer!
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Totally Off the Political Topics....

It's 8:30 pm on a Sunday, I have a class to teach at 8am and need to be to work at least 90 minutes early tomorrow to prep, so of course I should be drinking coffe, right.

Except it's not just any coffee, it's cold brewed coffee, made with my Toddy Cold Brew System, and damn it's good.

A friend of mine got me hooked on this stuff a bunch of years ago and I love it. I've got acid reflux and coffee can cause some problems at times, but not this stuff. When you cold brew the coffee you only get about 1/3 of the acid from it so its easier on my gut than regular coffee. (If I'd get off my butt and get my aciphex refilled it probably wouldn't be an issue).

If you know anyone with a sensitive stomach, who loves coffee but can't drink it, give this a try.

So, thank the coffee for the newpaper links I added a little while ago, I'll probably be posting a few more things tonight, since I won't be sleeping ;)
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New Links in the Roll

I think the Blog Roll is working correctly now. I added some new links today, Downeast Blog, a nice conservative read, McBride Media Matters, a former reporter from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal who tells it like it is in the media.

The Political Teen is another good read, check out his post on AP/ABC reporting on the riots in North Toledo (OOPS, they got the headline wrong!)

Drunken Blogging from London is another good read, get a British take on the world.

Finally, FactCheck.Org, a great resource for anyone who's trying to find out the truth. They've got no axe to grind, and beat up on everyone equally, pointing out media miscues regularly.

Enjoy the new links, send me some suggestions if you have them.
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Few Changes In Progess

I've been messing around today with adding a BlogRoll to the page. So for a while at least there will be two sets of links, many of them duplicate, while I get it set up correctly. Please excuse the "untidyness" of it while I'm working on the Blog.
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Would More Be Hurt If....

I just went grocery shopping, at Super Wal-Mart, and realized, I spent about $20 dollars less there than I do at my normal grocery store. Since I live alone, I spend about $60 per week at my normal grocery store, if I don't buy any meat (I usually buy large packages about once a month). Today I spent $41.50 at Wal Mart.

That got me to thinking, if a single guy can save $20 a week on groceries there, a family of four can probably save double that. So that got me onto the thought of unions wanting to raise the wages of Wal-Mart workers (already averaging over double minimum wage).

The big question is, would it hurt more people than it helped to do that? Unions like to advertise the assumption that the only thing that will change if they get into a business is your wages going up, but anyone who knows anything knows that's a false assumption. Yes, wages, and benefits probably will rise. But in an industry like retail, where margins aren't very wide, something has to be cut. (Wal-Mart runs about a 4% after expense margin, which isn't huge. )

The way a company has to deal with wage and benefit increases is pretty basic, either cut the number of workers to offset the added costs, or raise prices. So look at the two scenarios, if Wal-Mart were to increase wages and benefits by 20% for their workers, you could expect to see a loss of jobs equal to that, to offset it. So are those who lose their jobs better off? Other retailers actually pay less than Wal-Mart, but because they arne't as large aren't the target of unions. So those displaced workers would probably take a pay cut staying in the same sector.

The other way to recoup the losses is through higher prices, but who does that hurt? The other working stiffs who are shopping there because they can afford it. While some would love to see Wal-Mart lose business, once again, that loss will be reflected in cost cutting, and the easiest way to do that is to lay off workers. Again, the same folks the union is trying to help would be the first to go.

As an example of this scenario, I once worked as a government liason on a $30 million dollar construction contract. The company providing the laborers was forced by politics to use union workers, who averages (hold on to your hat) $24.00 per hour! In talking to their manager I found that the company had two branches, one that used union workers, one that used non-union. The non-union guys made $18.75 per hour, and paid $1.25/hr for full coverage health care (company picked up the rest) and were in a 401(k) with a 5% match from the company, and 2% paid by the company even if the worker didn't contribute.

They hadn't laid anyone off from that end of the company in over 17 years. On the union side they had two permanant managers and two foreman who were permanent. The rest of their workers were hired on a per job basis from the union hall, then laid off as soon as the job was done.

When I talked to one of the guys he told me he averaged about 7 months of work per year, but wouldn't take the pay cut to work for the non-union side. He was evidently a laborer because he couldn't do math. 7 months at $24.00 and hour meant he was taking home less than he would working twelve at $18.75!

So, what do you think would it hurt more people by raising prices on the working people who shop there, and the jobs it would likely cost for the current workers, or should those folks just have to suck it up?
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Friday, October 14, 2005

Ruining Liberal Tax Theory (updated)

Bruce Bartlett at Washington Times blows up liberal tax theory in today's opinion page by attacking a New York Times Op/Ed piece by Teresa Tritch.

Bartlett points out that while "Soak the Rich" is the cry of the left, the tact has been tried before, and failed. In the 1970's "the rich" (top 1%) were taxed in a 70% bracket and paid just under 20% of all income taxes; today they are taxed at 35% and pay in 34% of taxes. The top 10% are paying over two thirds of today's income taxes.

So how exactly does raising their rate increase income. If anything, it's been shown that the harder the government tries to confiscate "rich folks" money, the better they become at hiding it so Uncle Sugar can't have it.

The other great thing Bruce does in the article is point out that the top 0.1% of taxpayers (all 129,000 of them) paid FOUR TIMES as much in taxes in 2003 as the entire bottom 50% of tax payers (64 million of them!).

It's gotta suck to be on the left, and have the numbers work so far against you. While they scream and scream and scream the rich aren't paying taxes, the truth is, they are paying the vast majority of them.

For more of a breakdown look at the Tax Foundation's study of the 2003 tax data. It definitely shows that since GWB took office the tax burden, both in terms of percentage of taxes paid, and percentage of income spent on taxes has gone DOWN for the bottom 50% of taxpapers. Maybe he didn't give all the breaks to the rich.....

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Just Maybe.....

Just maybe conservatives are being stupid with all the racket over Harriet Miers nomination for the Supreme Court.

GWB still has 3 years in office, and the fact is there is very possibly going to be a 3rd nomination to the court by him, if John Paul Stevens retires (doubtful without a Democrat in the White House) or keels over (he's 85, it could happen).

I'm starting to wonder if the reason he nominated Miers is because he knows she's a conservative, though through a self reform movement of her own; he also knows that the left really can't toss many grenades at her, without hitting Harry Reid since she was on his list of acceptable candidates. If they do they've neutered their leader in the Senate, which would be bad. So Miers should have an easy ride though the Senate, except the GOP has their own undies in a bundle over her.

While I'm not happy with her nomination, as I've pointed out before, I'd prefer Rogers-Brown, just maybe George realizes he's getting a third shot, and having a knock down drag out over number 2 wouldn't make that one easier. Could it be possible that she's a also a weapon to be used in a third battle, a "See Harry, I've nominated folks on your list, now get your folks in line" type of thing.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

All I can say is What a Dipshit!

I love reading Charlie Sykes blog at http://www.620wtmj.com.He's a talk host on a radio station I listen to when I'm at my northern Illinois (silent "s") abode. Today he posted a letter from a moron, about 9/11 and the next terrorist attack to mobilize more support for the war against "Isreal's enemies". The title of the post on Charlie's Blog is "Sick Anti-war Bigot"

Evidently the author doesn't believe that a 400,000 lb aircraft (767-200) with 20,000 gallons of fuel is enough force to drop the buildings (Or the 300,000 lb, 10,000 gallon 757-200).

He obviously missed the History Channel special on 9/11, in which members of the Trade Center design team noted that while they had modeled the idea of a 707 hitting the buildings (about 300,000 lbs in the 320B configuration) they had never taken into account the buring fuel and it's effect on the structure, thinking the sprinklers would probably take care of any fire. In fact a major reason for the exoskelton design of the buildings was to absorb the impact, which they did quite well.

The problem is, as anyone who's dealt with fire in enclosed spaces can tell you, heat is a bitch. And when you heat up say, 20,000 gallons of Jet A fuel, you're going to cause problems with the steel structures around it, causing collapses.

Though this idiot didn't bring it up, cyberspace is full of loons who say that the glass blowing out of the building is proof of demolition charges. BULLSHIT..... When the steel that holds up a concrete slab floor gives way, the concrete falls (gravity is a pain!), creating an area of great air pressure under it as it compresses, since the windows were the weak point, they blew out. If you still don't believe that, do a simple experiment, place some confetti on the floor, from a few feet above drop a pillow down on the confetti, and see if it says put, or moves outward from the pillow.

Sorry, but to all the folks who believe Isreal blew up the Trade Center so we'd start a war, your crap is getting old. I am glad Charlie posted the letter though, it reminds me of the numbskulls that are out there.

(thanks for the linkback Charlie)
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Great Take on Community

It's been announced that the Million Man March will make it's return to DC. I hope that the speakers start and end the march by reading this Leonard Pitts column about 10 years after the original March.

Pitts is one of the columnists I read every chance I get, not because I always agree with him, but because he makes great points, has an open mind, and causes me to think even when I disagree

I'm sure some black leaders will take him to task for not laying all the blame at the feet of others, but his column speaks volumes of truth, for people of any race. He's got about 10 or 12 items on a list of things that can fix communities without someone else's consent, and it really doesn't matter who's community it is.

His point on education is the one, in my opinion, that needs to get beaten (figuratively) into people of the lower class, of any race, more than anything. Not just "graduate from high school" but continue with your schooling.

Our communities and schools need to do a better job of getting folks to fill out the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Assistance. I think once a student knows he or she can go to a state or community college basically for free if they apply it would get more thinking about continuing after high school.

Both of my kids graduated high school in a less than wealthy area, but my son knew nothing about FAFSA until his younger sister started applying for colleges, at that point the colleges sent up paperwork telling us we needed to do the application. Why wasn't that something stressed at the High School, for four years?
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More Links Coming

I'll be adding some new links here in the next few days, I've found a bunch of good new blogs to add to the sidebar. Gotta do something while the family is asleep in the morning and I'm wide awake at 5am.
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Friday, October 07, 2005

One More Before I Hit the Road

Just figured I'd toss one more post up before my mini-vacation starts. Just read a great article from the Washington Post on the Democratic Party and who it needs to court to win elections. Surprise Surprise Surprise, it's NOT Mike Moore and his cadre that are going to get them back into the White House, according to the article.

That's not a big surprise to the folks in the blogosphere, or the moderate pundits that this is the case, we said during the 2000 and 2004 elections that openly courting the extreme left was a death knell for the party.

The question now is, with guys like Russ Feingold getting ready to run for President, and Howard Dean as the President of the DNC, will this report be followed? Or will it take another loss in 2008 to convince the Dem's that they are losing touch with the 60% of voters who aren't on the extreme end of either party. That 60% is where elections are run and won, not on the fringe they've been playing on.
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Thursday, October 06, 2005

New links Before a Break.

Added two new blogs to the links today, 13 Sides and Nedreck Milhunky both are rather conservative type blogs, 13 sides is funny and kind of off the wall, Nedreck is a little more straight forward. Both good reads.

Also, I'll be taking a break for a few days, have to go visit some family and just get the hell away from my office, my students and my computer for a few days. Wish I was taking the guitar though, that's something I can hang with.
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My New Toy

About a month ago I decided I was going to start playing guitar. In my younger days I played a little bit of bass, and know where all the notes are on a guitar neck, but wanted to actually learn the chords, and eventually be able to play something decently.

So, I went to my local Guitar Center, looking for a cheap starter guitar, and ended up finding a late 1960's or early 1970's Silvertone semi-hollow body guitar for $99.00. I was treated kind of like a thief when I bought it, because the original tag was $299.00, which would have been a rip off. It took two managers and a long conversation to decide they didn't have a choice but give it to me at that price.

I've changed the strings twice, once when I bought it, and last weekend. The original strings were horrible, and the D'Addario strings the store gave me were worse, they were so light they buzzed horribly on the very hot pickups on this thing.

I tried using the internet to find good info and exercises for learning to play, but found that no one (free) site was very good, and putting a logical learning program together was tough. So I broke down and bought a book. The Dummies Guide to Guitar is the one I chose (after two hourss and three latte's at Borders). It's turned out to be a good guide, which starts you with the chords, and putting them together, so you can get to some actual music instead of scale exercises.

I've gotten most of the easy major, minor and some of the 7th chords down, and due to the Ernie Ball Not Even Slinky strings I'm now using, have built up a good set of callouses on my fingers.

Now, after about 4 days where I won't be playing due to vacation, my next job is to start learning some songs. I've got a few in mind to play when the wife is visiting next month.
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I Normally Don't Agree With Him, But...

Al Gore made a speech Wednesday that for the first half was quite accurate, and on the money about the problem with America's media. Here's a link to the whole speech.

I agree with him that it's too bad that TV has overtaken the written press as the way most folks get their news. News can't be truly had in 30 second sound bites and two minute interviews, and too much of the news today on TV is fluff, not news.

Where I disagree with him is that the demise of the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time laws were bad. The idea of the old fairness doctrine was that if someone was on the air and made political comments, someone from the opposite side had to get equal time.

While it sounds great, it really didn't work. Occasionally, during elections mostly, you got points of view on political issues, other than that, if you didn't go to the library for the congressional record every quarter, you didn't have much of an idea what, other than large things, was going on in DC or your state capital.

The reason liberals don't like the demise of those laws is that they haven't been able to find a personality, and message, that resonates enough to garner a large audience. Air America Radio, by any objective standard has been an abject failure. Very few personalities have come up in the ranks to make splash in a big market or syndication the way Limbaugh and other conservatives have, and it seems to irk them.

I do agree with him that the tone of today's political speech has gotten beyond the point of discourse, and turned too sour. Of course both sides are guilty of this, though you wouldn't know it by reading his speech.

Again, I agree Al, democracy could be in trouble because of the disgression of our news industry, and the tone of rhetoric elsewhere, however, it's a two way street and both sides need to take a break.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

With Friends Like These.....

As I was reading through my normal group of opinion columns and other news drivel today, I came across Richard Cohen's Washington Post piece, which is a scathing blast at the Democratic Party and the hate they spew.

For those who don't read the opinion pages of the Post very often, Mr. Cohen is usually pretty soft on Democrats. Today's column though blasts them for their glee at Tom Delay's indictment, there handling of Bill Bennett's comments on radio last week, and the general tone of their rhetoric.

I'm not sure if the Cohen published the column because he's truly sick of the Democrat's tone, or if it was more of a warning from a normally friendly columnist that this schtick isn't working for them.
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Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers for Justice?

I'm starting to wonder what GWB is thinking, maybe he got whacked in the head while in the storm damaged areas of New Orleans.

Harriet Miers might be a good lawyer and friend, and even a pitbull in size 6 shoes as the President has said before. But she was also on Harry Reid's list of folks he'd have no problem with being nominated, meaning that she's gotta be another Souter, at best.

My personal pick was Janice Brown, because of her high profile recently with the Appeals court confirmation issues, but would have settled for Ted Olsen of Solicitor General fame.

My guess is that if anything, the court may have been moved left by Bush's latest selection.
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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Not All Columnists are Skewering Bennett

Just read Mary Mitchell's column at the Chicago Sun Times, and it seems she doesn't think Bill Bennett is a racist. She thinks he and the folks who wrote Freakonomics are offensive, but not racist.

I sent her a link to the Planned Parenthood Fact Sheet that on page 3 equates legalized abortion to reduced crime. I'm not sure if I'll get a response from her, but I'll let you know if I do.
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Senator Obama Takes on Kos and Interest Groups.

Senator Barack Obama, who represents one of the two states I currently live in, has a very good piece on his blog about his "no" vote to confirm Chief Justice Roberts. It was in reponse to some ramblings over at DailyKos about comments he made about advocacy groups who have made a mockery of the confirmation. These groups have lashed out a Pat Leahy, for saying he could see no reason to vote against Roberts, and the president of NOW claims Harry Reid voted against him because "...he got the message loud and clear".

Senator Obama doesn't share a ton of values with me, and I didn't vote for him, but after reading his reasoning on Roberts, I can respect his vote as one of conscience, not one of either convience for the fight on the next nomination, or one of pandering.

I also have a great deal of respect for his comments on special interests and their effects on politics and specifically his party. I'm sure it will piss a lot of them off, but the fact that he'll say they need to back off is refreshing.

As a conservative I hope a lot of folks in his party don't read his words or do and fail to heed his advice. If the Democrats all start acting like him they might have a chance at winning national elections again.
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Saturday, October 01, 2005

More on Bennett

There's a great post on Marquette Warrior about the Bill Bennett fiasco, and specifically about a Planned Parenthood brochure that actually states that abortion is a cause of the reduction in crime since Roe v. Wade.

Notice not many media outlets have pointed that tidbit of info out!
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