Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Huck stuck on opponents of illegal immigration

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee engages in some mischaracterization:
“I do not believe in amnesty, I don’t believe in sanctuary cities, I believe [illegal aliens] who commit crimes ought to be deported, and I believe we ought to go after the employers,” Huckabee said.

(Well, that's good. So?)

“But do I have a seething anger toward immigrants?” he went on. “No. I definitely have anger toward the incompetence of our government; I am just livid over it. But immigrants just love our country like we do.”

Well, the vast majority of those concerned about illegal immigration aren't fired by a "seething anger" either, Mr. Huckabee. And it's unfair of you to portray us that way. It's what we call a "straw man" argument. Knock it off.

Bad news from Iraq that might not have happened

Did you hear that 20 headless corpses had recently been found in Iraq?
Time magazine reported it as fact--but it likely didn't happen.
Just so you know...

Liberalism dept, Paul Krugman speaking

And you always know what you're g0ing to hear.
Nothing much new--as always, the NY Times oft-hysterical typical liberal columnist recently again suggested Republicans and conservatives are racists, this time in complaining about the Bush administration's war on terror: "But the Republican base, which lapped up the administration’s rhetoric about the axis of evil and the war on terror, remains infected by the fear the Bushies stirred up — perhaps because fear of terrorists maps so easily into the base’s older fears, including fear of dark-skinned people in general."

Accusations of racism are slowly replacing arguments in some quarters.

The Democrats debate (again), but...

...this time it may have been important. Because Senator Clinton for the first time got bad marks. Why? See her answers to a question concerning a plan by New York Governor Spitzer to make driver's licenses available to illegal immigrants. Answer 1: "What Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform," she said. "We know in New York we have several million at any one time who are in New York illegally. They are undocumented workers. They are driving on our roads. The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds. It's probability. So what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is to fill the vacuum."

Answer 2: "Then Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., took issue with Spitzer's proposal.
Clinton then interjected -- "Well, I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do…"

Answer 3: "Senator Clinton, I just want to make sure of what I heard," said Russert. "Do you, the New York senator, Hillary Clinton, support the New York governor's plan to give illegal immigrants a driver's license?You told the New Hampshire paper that it made a lot of sense. Do you support his plan?" Clinton got defensive. "You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays 'gotcha.' It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do? He is dealing with a serious problems. We have failed. And George Bush has failed. Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York, we want to know who's in New York. We want people to come out of the shadows. He's making an honest effort to do it. We should have passed immigration reform."

Wow! What duplicity and double-talk.

No wonder Edwards and Obama pounced. This is exactly what they wanted out of this debate. Maybe it was bound to happen. Here's a summary of the media's unanimous hammering of Clinton for her poor performance. The Politico's Roger Simon had perhaps the best summary:
"We now know something that we did not know before: When Hillary Clinton has a bad night, she really has a bad night...And when it was over, both the Barack Obama and John Edwards campaigns signaled that in the weeks ahead they intend to hammer home a simple message: Hillary Clinton does not say what she means or mean what she says."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Paul over Hillary's polling numbers

Meaning--how does she do in a hypothetical matchup with Ron Paul?
Well: "The Influence Peddler and Patrick Ruffini think yesterday's revelation - that Hillary gets 48 percent against Ron Paul, including 48 percent among those who know who Ron Paul is, and 48 percent against those who don't know who he is - is worth more attention.
The middle number probably ought to concern Hillary backers the most. Ron Paul doesn't have the highest name recognition. Among those who do recognize him, they probably have some idea of his, uh, eclectic collection of views: get out of Iraq, withdraw troops from Afghanistan, abolish the Federal Reserve, legalize narcotics, issue letters of marque and reprisal for al-Qaeda, repealing the 17th Amendment allowing for direct election of Senators, eliminate the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, FEMA, DHS, withdrawing from the United Nations, and "ending the legal monopoly of the U.S. Postal Service on first class mail delivery"......and she still can't break 50 percent against that?"

Those who are against her--are really against her.
It will be tougher for her in the general election than many think.

Who's watching all these presidential debates?

Answer: maybe there's a tiny bit more interest than in 2004.
But not that much: "Nielsen provided a breakdown of the audiences for all of the debates so far, and the answer is: Far fewer than would watch the lowest-rated prime-time show, but, that said, they have at times drawn at least a couple of million viewers."

Always remember: most Americans don't care that much about politics, and don't follow it too closely.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nancy Pelosi: making the Republican case

Sometimes she has a tin ear:
Last week the House held its one-thousandth roll call vote this year, the first time Congress had reached that level since the ratification of the Constitution. Pelosi's office demanded that Democrats mark the event as a victory for the party, against the advice of Hoyer and other party leaders. "It only served to highlight just how little we've actually achieved compared to what we promised," says the House aide. "Out of those thousand votes, about ten percent were bills that became law and half of those were namings of federal buildings and such. Fifty bills in a year doesn't compare to what we promised, and she wanted to put a spotlight on it. She just doesn't get it sometime."

Question for John Edwards

How would he "instantly" reform the U.S. health care system?
Oatmeal can be "instant." Not health care reform.
"Spoken like a man who has never run anything."

We'll always have Paris dept

But she's doing good! I had not heard this before: "Paris [Hilton] gave Pop Tarts a peek at her "provocative" fragrance fresh from France. And while the name, Can Can, was inspired by the moves of the "Moulin Rouge" (which was originally a party palace of Parisian prostitutes), the sweet smell of this particular Paris is more nice than it is naughty, especially because a portion of proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles Children's Hospital."

Good for her!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

When the DEA is dumb...'s really dumb. Recently, Montana legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. One particular woman needed it, and had been a leader in the fight for Montana's legalization of its use. But: "...DEA agents seized less than a half ounce of marijuana sent to her by her registered caregiver in Flathead County. At the time, the DEA special agent in charge of the Rocky Mountain Field Division said federal agents were “protecting people from their own state laws” by seizing such shipments."

Recently she committed suicide. Read the whole post.
Is the war on pot worth it? It doesn't seem so. Some conservatives have already gotten onto the drug legalization bandwagon. Y'all come--there's still plenty of room.

Is Rudy Giuliani a conservative dept

The Mayor is about to step up his efforts in New Hampshire, with the focus on health care.
His message: "You and I should be making the decisions about what kind of health care we get with our doctors, not with a government bureaucrat," Giuliani says in the ad.
The mail piece echoes that message. "Rudy Giuliani's health care plan offers freedom to choose a health plan that fits your needs and the freedom to keep it if you change jobs," the flier reads, above a graphic that shows Giuliani's plan does not amount to "government mandated health insurance" or require a tax increase."

Doesn't sound too liberal to me.

Obama opens up...

...stepping up his attacks against the front-running Senator Clinton. The Clinton campaign (as they have done with this as well) has a st0ck response: accusing Senator Obama of abandoning the "politics of hope." This time an Obama spokesman had a good reply: "Obama Communications Director Rob Gibbs surmised that the Clinton campaign's own "politics of hope" meant hoping that nobody asked any questions."

That's about it.
To be fair, surely Obama is changing tone a bit, too, because he's behind.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

NFL Picks: week 8

Let's see if I can do better. Week 1 was my best---I've been kinda downhill from there.

BEARS 5 over Lions. PICK: Chicago. I'm still not a believer in the Lions on the road (see their game vs the Redskins of a couple weeks ago.)

Steelers 3.5 over BENGALS. PICK: PITTSBURGH. Kinda hard to be a Bengals believer based on their overall performance this year, home or away.

TITANS 7 over Raiders. PICK: TENNESSEE. I gather Vince Young will play; and they're at home.

Browns 3 over RAMS. PICK: CLEVELAND. I've been picking the Rams to rebound over and over; and they never have. The Browns have exceeded expectations this year.

Giants 9.5 over Dolphins (in London). PICK: NEW YORK. That's a lot of points, but the Dolphins have been pretty horrible and have shown no signs of improvement.

Eagles 1 over VIKINGS. PICK: MINNESOTA. They're at home. I've picked Philly several times, and they've bombed. And have shown little improvement--while the Vikings have Adrian Peterson, and played Dallas tough on the road.

Colts 7 over PANTHERS. PICK: INDY. The Colts covered on the road last week in a hostile atmosphere. I'm not a David Carr believer (he will start for Carolina). Only thing for Indy to watch for is the trap game scenario--the Pats loom next week.

JETS 3 over Bills. PICK: NEW YORK. Pennington will play; Buffalo meanwhile has the handicap of a young QB (Trent Edwards) playing on the road--always tough.

CHARGERS 9 over Texans. PICK: SAN DIEGO. Schaub is questionable for Houston. The game will be played in SD; the fires are going out; my guess is the Chargers will retain focus.

BUCS 3.5 over Jaguars. PICK: TAMPA BAY. No Garrard for the Jags. Bucs have a tough defense. It's in Tampa. All signs point--Bucs.

PATRIOTS 16 over Redskins. PICK: NEW ENGLAND. 16 pts is a lot. But how can you pick against the Pats? They've covered every single time this year, 7-0 vs the spread. The Redskins will try to run it; the Pats will expect it.

Saints 2 over 49ERS. Pick: NEW ORLEANS. Tough one--both teams 2-4; Alex Smith returns to the Niners. But: Saints appear to be coming on; Smith may be rusty; in any case Drew Brees is a big edge for the Saints.

BRONCOS 3 over Packers. PICK: DENVER. Shaky--the Pack is 4-1 vs the spread, Broncos only 1-5. But Denver won a big game last week--momentum. This too is at home for them. The Pack still with little running game. That can especially hurt on the road.

The Edwards campaign flunks journalism

The campaign dislikes a story done on it by a University of North Carolina student journalist. The campaign's response? "Ms. Babb’s professor, C. A. Tuggle, said in an interview that after the report first appeared on YouTube on Tuesday night he received calls of complaint from a deputy in Mr. Edwards’s national press office, and, then, his communications director.
Mr. Tuggle said the aides told him they felt “blind-sided by the way the reporter presented the piece in the pitch,” adding unapologetically, “The focus of stories change all of the time.”
“We told them we were not interested in taking it down or holding it from broadcast on our show on Monday,” Mr. Tuggle said, adding that the campaign responded by telling him that, “campus media would have real trouble getting any sort of access to the Edwards campaign, and so might other parts of the university.”

It's hard to believe that the campaign believes that that kind of intimidation can do anything but make the situation worse. But then, the Edwards camp, behind in the polls, would appear to be a bit touchy.

Today's good news from Iraq

Hmmm. Well, now, what do we have here? Reports ABC News: "In yet another sign of trouble for al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden publicly conceded that his like-minded militants in Iraq "made mistakes." In an audiotape broadcast by Al Jazeera this week, he sounds deeply anxious about the survival of al Qaeda in Iraq -- a group that is largely independent of his own organization but adheres to a similar ideology. Al Qaeda's top leader appealed to Sunni Arab tribes and other armed Iraqi Sunni groups to stop fighting al Qaeda members and unite against the real enemy -- the U.S.-led coalition. Al Qaeda in Iraq faces growing indignation from fellow Sunni Iraqis fed up with its indiscriminate killing of civilians and its Taliban-like religious laws. In the past year, Sunni tribes and fighters have risen against al Qaeda's branch in Iraq and, working jointly with U.S. troops, killed and expelled scores of its militants from their neighborhoods, particularly from Anbar Province. Besieged both internally and externally, al Qaeda in Iraq struggles to survive and absorb these catastrophic military setbacks."

And yet some people in this country wish to claim that we're losing in Iraq? That we've lost? That we should bug out immediately?

They're wrong.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Another university forbidding free speech

In this case, Valdosta State University expels a student for peacefully protesting a new parking garage. Read the whole story, including the university president's bizarre conclusion as to who and what constitutes a "threat."

The Clinton presidential campaign flunks writing

Here apparently is a verbatim quote from an e-mail sent by Hillary Clinton's campaign to reporters in the last 24 hours, criticizing Barack Obama: "Stagnant in the polls and struggling to revive his once-buoyant campaign, Senator Obama has abandoned the politics of hope and embarked on a journey in search of a campaign issue to use against Senator Clinton,” the e-mail said. “Nevermind that he made the very argument he is now criticizing back in November 2006,” it adds. “Nevermind that he he co-sponsored a bill designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a global terrorist group back in April.”

Never mind the rather petulant anti-Obama blast. My question is this: who in the heck in the Clinton campaign has the strange idea that "nevermind" is a word????

Putin flunks history

He was trying today to denounce a U.S. plan to deploy an anti-missile shield in eastern Europe.
And then came this howler: "Mr. Putin, who criticized American plans for additional sanctions against Iran on Thursday, spoke again today about Russia’s objections to an American antimissile system to be deployed near Russia’s borders in Poland and the Czech Republic.
“Analogous actions by the Soviet Union, when it deployed rockets on Cuba, provoked the Cuban missile crisis,” Mr. Putin said. “Thank God, we do not have any Cuban missile crisis now, and this is above all because of the fundamental way relations between Russia and the United States and Europe have changed.”

Er, no, Mr. Putin. We don't, and shouldn't, have any missile crisis now between our two countries because there is no analogy to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the proposed American plan.

The Soviet Union in 1962 sought to place offensive nuclear weapons in Cuba.
Meanwhile, in eastern Europe, the U.S. seeks to place an anti-missile shield, which of course would have no capability to engage in offensive actions vs Russia.

Can he really not see the difference???
If you read the rest of the article, you'll see that fortunately Sean McCormack, of the U.S. State Department, fortunately can see the difference, and pointed it out.

It's not all bad news for the GOP

Take for example Louisiana, turning solidly Republican in Katrina's wake: "Mr. [Bobby] Jindal's [gubernatorial] victory is only the icing on the cake. The Republicans are expected to take five of the six elected state offices in Louisiana when the run-off votes are counted next month."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Give credit where credit is due

On the pop culture scene--who's had more bad news lately than Britney Spears?
But guess what: her new good!: "But Spears emerges on “Blackout” as the antithesis of her tabloid persona — confident, sensual, and in control."

Given all the negativity (much of which she created for herself), that shows real fortitude.
Good for her.

Guess who denied one of the most well-documented historical events ever...again

Yes, it was our friend, the leader of Iran, Ahmadinejad--again. How indeed can we seek to do business with this guy? Here's what he said:

"After World War II, they invented the so-called 'genocide of the Jews.' Throughout Europe, and in countries under the control of the Western superpowers, they established an anti-Jewish movement. By means of propaganda and a certain psychological atmosphere, and by using the issue of the so-called 'crematoria,' they created the sense that the European Jews were oppressed. They used the pretext that some Jews were oppressed and were harmed during World War II and by the wave of anti-Judaism in order to lay the foundations for the establishment of the Zionist regime. Later, of course, they called it 'the massacre of the Jews,' and only after World War II did they call it 'the Holocaust.' They made this issue more sacred than all the sacred things in the world."[...]
"You Have Turned This Phenomenon... Which You Yourself Invented After The War, And Which You Began Calling 'Holocaust' Only In 1975 - Into Something So Sacred...?"

He should Barack away from that

Candidate Barack Obama recently, while on the stump, criticized Bush administration policy on Iran--and showed why, in foreign policy, he's not yet ready for prime time: "It is important to have tough sanctions on Iran, particularly on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard which supports terrorism,” Mr. Obama said. “But these sanctions must not be linked to any attempt to keep our troops in Iraq, or to take military action against Iran.”

No, he's not saying anything here he hasn't said before.
But it reminds us of what Candidate Obama still hasn't learned. He has yet to grasp that, in foreign policy, you need to keep your opponents guessing. He has failed to understand that, especially in dealing with hostile nations, especially in seeking to pressure them, you mustn't publicly take ANYTHING off the table. Sure, it could be that, privately, national leaders will have decided that there are some things we won't do. But you don't admit that publicly. That will keep the opponent guessing, and thus feeling more pressure, and perhaps being more flexible.

Slightly shaved Che spins in his grave... a lock of the communist revolutionary's hair is sold at a capitalist auction.
If he's in hell, he should have to pay to watch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Faux outrage of the day

Jonathan Martin of The Politico just can't understand it: "None of the five major Republican presidential candidates has issued any public statement about the fires ravaging Southern Califorina nor have any of them posted much of anything on their websites about the natural disaster."

Er--well, I'm pretty certain that when it comes to these raging fires and the damage they've caused, Republicans are agin' 'em.

Aren't you?
(I bet the Republican candidates are all against blizzards, too.) (In case you were wondering.)

The anti-antiwar-film crowd

It appears to include the majority of Americans: "It doesn't matter how many Oscar winners are in front of or behind the camera — audiences are proving to be conscientious objectors when it comes to this fall's surge of anti-war and anti-Bush films. Both "In the Valley of Elah" and, more recently, "Rendition" drew miniscule crowds upon their release, which doesn't bode well for the ongoing stream of films critical of the Iraq War and the Bush administration's wider war on terror. "Rendition," which features three Oscar winners in key roles, grossed $4.1 million over the weekend in 2,250 screens for a ninth place finish. A re-release of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" beat it, and it's 14 years old."

I'm sure the Hollywood Left will find a reason to blame the Bush administration for this...

Why Republicans lost in 2006

This was the biggest reason: "George W. Bush, despite all his recent bravado about being an apostle of small government and budget-slashing, is the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson. In fact, he's arguably an even bigger spender than LBJ."

It hurt the GOP with its base.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hollywood cover up

Halle Berry, on Jay Leno's show last night, said something anti-Semitic--but the show's producers edited it out before broadcast.

Well, now--suppose a conservative celebrity or, heaven forbid, a conservative politician, made a joke about Jewish noses? Wonder if they'd have received the same consideration...

By the way, when pundits say more people than usual are following the prez campaign right now... a little skeptical: "A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows more people are interested in the presidential campaign than were at similar times in 2003, 1999, 1995, 1991, and 1987. But not a lot more people. Twenty percent of those surveyed by Pew say they are following the race very closely; that number was 13 percent in 2003 and 16 percent in 1999."

I mean, this tells us that 80% of Americans AREN'T following it. That's an overwhelming majority.

Approaching an immigration fundamental

I tend to agree with those who think that, so far, Fred Thompson's presidential campaign has been, well, spotty at best. But here he got it right:
"They set up a false choice — either we get giant busloads of people tomorrow, and round them all up, or we have to grant amnesty. Attrition by enforcement is what makes the most sense." — Fred Thompson

The trouble withf Mitt Romney

Dan Balz of the Washington Post sums it up nicely. Fundamental: if folks have a hard time identifying one or two big things you stand for, you're in trouble. Quote:
In part Romney's challenge is to articulate a bigger message than sweeps some of these issues to the side. He has had many messages throughout the year -- competence, freshness, conservatism, a three-legged stool. Lately, because of the jumbled nature of the Republican race, he has been focused on persuading Republicans he is the true conservative.
But it is difficult to sum up exactly what his candidacy is based upon and exactly who he is. That's not the case for Giuliani, certainly, even though his conservative credentials are open to challenge because of his liberal views on abortion and gay rights.

Senator Clinton slams them Southern yahoo hicks

She suggests maybe she's not doing so well in states like Iowa and Mississippi because states like that have never elected a woman. Mississippi doesn't surprise her; but Iowa does, she says:
"I think Iowa poses a special burden, or a special obstacle to me because when you look at the numbers, how can Iowa be ranked with Mississippi? That's not what I see. That's not the quality. That's not the communitarianism, that's not the openness I see in Iowa."

So Mississippi's got no "openness", got no "quality"?
Say goodbye to the South, Mrs. Clinton!
Is she really going to have what it takes to hack it on the national stage as a major party candidate for the next year?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Outrage of the day

And remember, when you read this, that Senator Clinton rips the Bush administration for its "secrecy." But guess who's really hiding secrets:
Nearly three years after the Clinton Library opened—and more than 21 months after its trove of records became subject to the Freedom of Information Act—barely one half of 1 percent of the 78 million pages of documents and 20 million e-mail messages at the federally funded facility are public, according to the National Archives. The lack of access is emerging as an issue in Hillary's presidential campaign: she cites her years of experience as First Lady as one of her prime qualifications to be president. Like other Democratic candidates, she has decried the "stunning record of secrecy" of the Bush administration; her campaign Web site vows to bring a "return to transparency" to government. But Clinton's appointment calendar as First Lady, her notes at strategy meetings, what advice she gave her husband and his advisers, what policy memos she wrote, even some key papers from her health-care task force—all of this, and much more documenting her years as First Lady, remains locked away, most likely through the entire campaign season. With nearly 300 FOIA requests pending for Clinton documents, and only six archivists at the library to process them, Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper says it is "really hard to predict" if any of this material will be released before the election.

Values voters can't find a candidate to value

Social conservatives, who met in convention Saturday, endorse no one.
Not Mitt Romney, who's aggressively courted them; not Mike Huckabee, who's an ordained minister.

How do you know when you've found an extremist/sectarian? He or she is someone who can NEVER find anyone/anything good enough. The good news is, these folks probably could never agree on a third party candidate, either.

Yet another GOP debate

A good summary here of last night's festivities in Orlando. I didn't see it, as I was on a trip. I don't get the feeling any candidate broke new ground. I do get the feeling that the differences between them, and the conservative principles that most of them share, are clear. All seem to be enunciating their stands and principles quite well. (They should be, by now!)

An analysis roundup: Dan Balz of the Washington Post suggests that McCain is still alive and kicking.

Today's good news from Iraq

Bin Laden urges unity, because the factions are divided. Quote: "It's always good news when they are divided," said Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism adviser, now an ABC News consultant. "It's reflective that U.S. tactics are having some success."

There's been a lot of good news lately...

Back from a trip...

...and better than ever. I was in Texas over the weekend. Some warm weather there, some good barbecue...
No chance to do NFL picks either, unfortunately. Well, that's OK; I'm sure Buffalo's upset over the Ravens and the Steelers losing to the Broncos etc etc would have left me with a losing record again.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A crucial moment in the presidential campaign for the Mayor

...and he just may have come through big time.
He made a major address to social conservatives today. He said things like this: "Mr. Giuliani spoke with a tone of humility, saying at one point: “I come to you today as I would if I were your president, with an open mind and an open heart, and all I ask is that you do the same. Please know this, you have absolutely nothing to fear from me.” His speech, which was frequently interrupted by applause, was peppered in the latter half with assurances that he would work to ensure that people of faith were not banished from the public square, to reduce abortion and increase adoptions, to appoint strict constructionist judges and to protect school choice, an important issue to many evangelicals. “I’ll continue to extend my hand to you,” he concluded, “and I hope you’ll take it.”

This may go down as a similar moment to that enjoyed by John F. Kennedy in 1960.
Then, many doubted that America would elect a Catholic president. But Kennedy, in a speech to a group of Protestant ministers in Houston, assured them that he was simply a presidential candidate who happened to be Catholic. It helped make him president. We'll see how this speech works out for Mr. Giuliani. Apparently even those who still oppose him were impressed by his speech.

Brick-throwers for peace dept

Anti-IMF protesters in Washington D.C. yesterday claim to be marching against "wealth and privilege."

So naturally a brick they throw harms a clerk, the very type of worker one would assume they're claiming to represent. Good thinking.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Voices of moderation dept

A liberal Democrat explodes on the House floor concerning the war in Iraq: "You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement."

Will he get the Ann Coulter treatment?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A big endorsement for the Mayor

From the social conservative governor of Texas, Rick Perry: "Perry, who is the first governor currently in office to endorse Giuliani, was asked about supporting a candidate who had views on social issues with which he disagreed:

When I go to buy a pickup truck, if it's got one option on it that I’m either not particularly fond of or not looking for, it doesn't mean I discard that pickup truck. I'm looking at the results. And I think that's what Americans will coalesce to. They'll look to the results. What is the result of his candidacy going to be?When I talk about Rudy Giuliani will put strict constructionists on the Supreme Court, that covers a watershed of issues. It makes me comfortable that we are going to have Supreme Court justices that will look at a host of issues that are important to me as an American, to me as a governor of a large and powerful economic engine in this country, and knowing that, versus the kind of judges that Hillary Clinton will put on that Court, gives me not only great comfort that Rudy Giuliani is the right candidate, but it also kind of fires me up about the kind of work that I'm going to do for him to make sure that he, and that result, is what is at the White House, and not the alternative."

Mayor Giuliani will surely be citing this endorsement in the days and weeks to come.

The World Series is coming...

...and did you know...(I certainly didn't, before I read this)...that while the Colorado Rockies will be in it for the first time, they haven't exactly been a TV darling this year. In fact: "But, you say, Fox didn’t carry a single Rockies game this season. And neither did ESPN or ESPN2 on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays or holidays."

When was the last time a team made the World Series in the TV age, but wasn't shown on national TV a SINGLE time that year??? Maybe never.

Speaking of falsehoods...

Did you catch these? A couple of months ago, the inimitable New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (as always) tried to slam Republicans and conservatives, but (as always) mainly opened yet another window into the liberal mind. For example: "It has long been clear that President Bush doesn’t feel other people’s pain."

(To the Krugmans of the world, that kind of vacuous emotionalism is for some reason most important in a president.) And:

"To appeal to the G.O.P. base, however, you have to say very stupid things..."

(Because, hey, all members of the Republican base are stupid. Or, at least, such is what the Krugmans of the world believe, in order to console themselves.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The real Al Gore is here

John Podhoretz, on Al Gore: "I found myself feeling a strange sort of admiration for Al Gore. Doesn't it seem as though his 2000 loss, devastating though it must have been for Gore, was a huge liberation? As a politician, Gore never seemed comfortable in his own skin. The warmth and amused intelligence people insist he displays in private were never evident in public.
Instead, for the most part, he seemed calculating and false, going through personae the way Joan Crawford went through her wardrobe — the conservative Democrat, the national-security expert, the suffering solon trying to get the Gulf War right, the shameless utilizer of family tragedy, the killer NAFTA debater, Ozone Man, the Guy Who Kissed His Wife on Television, the fiery populist decrying the powerful, the sighing debater, the extraordinarily gracious conceder. Since that concession, Gore has let himself loose in all kinds of ways. He no longer has to pretend, as all politicians most. He is clearly happiest and freest as an autodidact preaching populist pseudoscientist. And everything has gone his way. He's gotten rich off Oracle stock. He's started a cable-television network. He's written a bestselling jeremiad. He has starred in a hagiographic documentary. He promoted a worldwide rock concert. He offers unrestrained Hyde Park rants about those he disagrees with using rhetoric (brown shirts, etc.) he could never have deployed as president. Whatever else you can say about Gore, he has clearly been having the time of his life."

True. And even though I don't agree with much of what Gore says, hey--good for him that finally he's free at last, free at last, lord God Almighty, free at last. Which is why it's well-nigh impossible to see him going back to being a politician.

The Mayor on foreign policy

Candidate Giuliani gives a major foreign policy speech today. I especially agree with this: "You have to stand up to dictators, to tyrants, to terrorists. Weakness invites attack. Strength keeps you safe," he said. "You cannot negotiate with someone who is threatening to destroy you and your family. This is the great fallacy in this now very strong Democratic desire to negotiate, negotiate, negotiate and negotiate," he said. "You've got to know with whom to negotiate and with whom you should not negotiate."

And this: "Mr. Giuliani told Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, who justified his pledge to negotiate with enemy leaders by pointing to Mr. Reagan's negotiations with Soviet leaders, that he got his history wrong. "I say this most respectfully — you're not Ronald Reagan," he said. "Here's what Ronald Reagan did before he negotiated with the communists. First, he called them the 'Evil Empire.' Then he took missiles — he put them in European cities, and he pointed the missiles at Russian cities with names on them. And then he said, in his very nice way, 'Let's negotiate,' ..." Mr. Giuliani said, drawing waves of laughter and applause."

Maybe the mayor has been reading my blog regarding Obama and Reagan. Good for him!

Holy balls of fire...

...was this Pope John Paul II appearing from beyond the grave?
I doubt it, but it's quite a picture.

Jumping to conclusions dept

A liberal radio talk jock, Randi Rhodes, is apparently mugged near her apartment.
It's an unfortunate thing, and I'm sorry she was hurt.
But then, her fellow talkers at Air America got into the act: "According to the blog, Elliott then said, "This does not appear to me to be a standard grab-the- money-and-run mugging," and, "Is this an attempt by the right wing hate machine to silence one of our own?" Elliot also suggested that the act might have been meant to intimidate left-wing radio, the blog reported."
But she has not reported the crime to the police. As for Air America? "In a brief statement posted on its Web site Tuesday, Air America said Rhodes "experienced an unfortunate incident hindering her from hosting the show. The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded."


Monday, October 15, 2007

A social conservative with sense

That would be conservative leader Gary Bauer.
If the Republican Party nominates Rudy Giuliani, he doesn't want to go the third-party route:
"Veteran conservative leader Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families does not want to follow James Dobson's rejectionist course, which could pave Hillary Clinton's path to the Oval Office. "If [Giuliani] is nominated," Bauer told me, "the leaders of the values voters movement need to sit down and do everything possible to avoid a split that would guarantee a disaster for social, economic and foreign policy conservatism. It would require some serious discussions."

Good for him. I'm not particularly enthralled right now with Governor Romney, but if he became the GOP nominee, it would never enter my mind to start calling for the creation of a third party etc etc etc. I think many other Republicans and conservatives feel the same way.

When a comic strip isn't comical

Such has been the case with the strip "Funky Winkerbean" (which I usually read), as one of the show's characters dies of cancer. Some readers can't stand it: "I just can't stand [this] story line. … Comics are suppose to be interesting, funny and relieve some sadness. It is really awful that you would take up such a story in [the] comics section." (my response: then you're under no obligation to read the strip. Certainly no one's forcing you to do so.)

The strip's creator, Tim Batiuk, has an even better answer: "To readers who feel I owe them a funny strip, I would say I owe them the best work I can do. In order to do that, I have to challenge my expectations of myself and then I challenge my readers' expectations."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Today's good news from Iraq

From today's Washington Post (via NRO's The Corner) When will more mainstream media outlets give this the attention it deserves?

NEWS COVERAGE and debate about Iraq during the past couple of weeks have centered on the alleged abuses of private security firms like Blackwater USA. Getting such firms into a legal regime is vital, as we've said. But meanwhile, some seemingly important facts about the main subject of discussion last month — whether there has been a decrease in violence in Iraq — have gotten relatively little attention. A congressional study and several news stories in September questioned reports by the U.S. military that casualties were down. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), challenging the testimony of Gen. David H. Petraeus, asserted that "civilian deaths have risen" during this year's surge of American forces.A month later, there isn't much room for such debate, at least about the latest figures. In September, Iraqi civilian deaths were down 52 percent from August and 77 percent from September 2006, according to the Web site The Iraqi Health Ministry and the Associated Press reported similar results. U.S. soldiers killed in action numbered 43 — down 43 percent from August and 64 percent from May, which had the highest monthly figure so far this year. The American combat death total was the lowest since July 2006 and was one of the five lowest monthly counts since the insurgency in Iraq took off in April 2004....
And here's the kicker:
This doesn't necessarily mean the war is being won. U.S. military commanders have said that no reduction in violence will be sustainable unless Iraqis reach political solutions — and there has been little progress on that front. Nevertheless, it's looking more and more as though those in and outside of Congress who last month were assailing Gen. Petraeus's credibility and insisting that there was no letup in Iraq's bloodshed were — to put it simply — wrong.

NFL picks: week 6

I was again only 5-9 last week. Today begins the comeback!

Cincinnati 3 over Kansas City (home). PICK: BENGALS. A hard one to pick. Both teams have been disappointing. But KC has a hard time scoring; and the Bengals are due to break out.

Jacksonville (home) 6.5 over Houston. Pick: TEXANS. Just a gut feeling. The Texans are improving.

Cleveland (home) 4 over Miami. PICK: BROWNS. Cleveland's been a solid home team--just ask the Bengals and Ravens.

Chicago (home) 4.5 over Minnesota. PICK: BEARS. This game was originally a 6 pt spread. I still like the Bears coming off last week's win.

Philadelphia 3.5 over NY Jets (home). PICK: EAGLES. McNabb to cover the spread with his arm.

Baltimore (home) 9 over St. Louis. PICK: RAVENS. I don't think the Rams have covered a spread all year.

Tampa Bay (home) 3 over Tennessee. PICK: TITANS. The Bucs' injuries at running back are key here.

Green Bay (home) 3 over Washington. PICK: PACKERS. They would have won last week if they'd only held onto the ball. They'll do so this week.

Arizona (home) 4.5 over Carolina. PICK: CARDINALS. Even the Cards won't be able to mess up the prosperity of Carolina perhaps having to start Vinny Testaverde.

New England 5.5 over Dallas (home). PICK: PATRIOTS. How can one go against them? They've covered every week, and look awfully dominant.

San Diego (home) 9.5 over the Raiders. PICK: RAIDERS. San Diego to win, but not cover--I'm not convinced yet that all their problems are solved.

Seattle (home) 6.5 over New Orleans. PICK: SEAHAWKS. The Saints appear to be a mess.

NY Giants 3.5 over Atlanta (home). PICK: FALCONS. Joey Harrington is playing better, and the Giants are always inconsistent.

Stop it already, Mr. Romney

So John McCain criticizes Mitt Romney. Well, naturally the Romney campaign won't like it and will fire back. Fine. But how on earth can Romneyites say the following with a straight face?
Quote: "It's truly unfortunate that at an event designed to bring the Republican party together, Senator McCain chose, instead, to break Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment in an attempt to divide us," said Craig Stevens, Romney's press secretary in New Hampshire."

This, after the Romney campaign spent days attacking Rudy Giuliani over tax and spending policy. Unbelievable. From the same article: "The campaign of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani entered the fray on Romney's comments as well, calling them "one of those moments where you sit back and just say 'huh?'"


The Israeli strike

Ah--so this is what really happened: "An Israeli airstrike on Syria last month targeted a partially built nuclear reactor that was years away from completion, the New York Times reported Saturday, citing U.S. and foreign officials. The report said President Bush's administration had intense discussions with the Israeli government before the strike and U.S. officials were divided over whether it would be premature."

So: 1] The reactor may have been "years away from completion"--but upon completion, it would have posed a threat to Israel's security. Why expect the Israelis to wait that long.
2] The Bush administration may have been "divided" about this, but I'm glad it has not condemned the act. 3] Could this also have been an Israeli signal sent to Iran? Makes sense to me. 4] Note: when the Israelis set out to do something? It gets done.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

An amazing flip-flop/spin move; how will the judges score it...

Unsurprisingly, the move comes from Senator Clinton. Firstcame the flip-flop; then, when her opponents caught her, came the spin. Watch--it's amazing:
Obama noted on Friday that when he said in July he would meet with such leaders without setting any conditions, Clinton called his stance “irresponsible and frankly naive.”
Questioned Thursday by a voter in New Hampshire, Clinton said twice that she would negotiate with Iran “with no conditions.”
“I would engage in negotiations with Iran, with no conditions, because we don’t really understand how Iran works. We think we do, from the outside, but I think that is misleading,” she said.
Obama said Friday, “So I’m not sure if any of us knows exactly where she is standing on this issue. But I can tell you this — when I am president of the United States, the American people and the world will always know where I stand.”

Clinton said Friday her remarks on Thursday weren’t different from anything she has said in the past.
“I would begin a process of negotiations with Iran. There would be no conditions set to what could be negotiated — and that is what is meant by no conditions,” Clinton said in an interview with The Associated Press in Columbia, S.C.
Clinton said the process would be handled by aides, not the president — similar to the way the U.S. has handled North Korea.
“That’s very different from saying that if you were president, you would personally meet in your first year, without conditions, with these odious dictators,” Clinton said.

The NY Times eyes Mr. Gore's prize

So Al Gore won a Nobel peace prize. The NY Times of course is delighted.
Of course, the Times says nothing about the fact that Mr. Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth", is full of errors. And what about the fact that some argue that this award, by the Nobel committee, really amounts to a political statement? Why, the Times' editors simply...admit it:

"There will also be those who complain that this prize — like the committee’s earlier awards to Jimmy Carter and the chief United Nations nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei — is an intentional slap at President Bush. It should be. We only wish that it would finally wake up the president."

So liberals choose to give an award to a liberal, and we're to be impressed? Wow.

Keeping an open mind

Gary Bauer urges such for Christian conservatives regarding the candidacy of former Senator Fred Thompson: "I hope pro-family, pro-life Christians will continue to keep an open mind about Senator Thompson's candidacy, even as we work with him to strengthen his stand on some key issues," Mr. Bauer wrote in an e-mail addressed to supporters. "A Thompson vs. Hillary [Clinton] race would be an easy call for me to make."

He should make the same call regarding Rudy Giuliani.
A Giuliani-Clinton race should be an easy call, too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dissatisfied with the GOP field?

Then read this:
Feelings are very mixed about the field. Republicans are depressed — there doesn't seem to be a candidate with the right mix of ideas and positions and character.
And it was ever thus. Democrats hated their field in 2004. Many Republicans and conservatives were uncomfortable with George W. Bush through 1999 and enough of them were sufficiently disenchanted to give John McCain a serious look. Think about the Democrats in 1992, longing for the late entry of Mario Cuomo to save them. In 1987, George Bush the Elder didn't look tough enough, and had to face down Pat Robertson and Bob Dole. In 1980 it was far from certain that the GOP would coalesce around Reagan.
The point is that there never is a candidacy that breeds joyous enthusiasm. Politicians are flawed beings. The ones who speak well often seem false. The ones who are substantive bore. The ones who are tough enough for the job seem too mean. The ones who are likable enough seem too soft. Both parties and all ideological camps express the same reservations, regrets and anxieties. Always. And then they fall in love — or they try to, desperately, like a bride in an arranged marriage.

Democratic spittle

Or, Michael Ledeen rightly suggests that the Democrats' suggestion that they will improve our standing with our allies if only they get the White House is spit in those allies' face: "Unable to deal with serious questions, they unload on the weak and the distant. First, led by that great buffoon Joe Biden, they decide to declare their desire for the partition of Iraq, thereby delivering a mouthful of spittle into the face of our ally. Then, looking about desperately for some other Middle Eastern ally to insult, they find the Turks, and SPLAT-O! They denounce the whole country for the massacre of Armenians a hundred years ago. Another triumph of statecraft over the idiocies of Cowboy W. There's one other democracy in the region that needs a few insults, and that would be Israel. Hang on, there's still a working day in Washington this week...And these guys want the White House? On the grounds that they will have happier relations with the world at large? Bwaaaaahahaha."

Good points. I'd add that demanding a bugout from Iraq won't exactly encourage our other allies to have faith that we will stand by them when crises come, either.

And so you would suggest...?

Some border-town Texas mayors don't want the 700 mile fence being built on our border with Mexico. Quote: "Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster said he had received hate e-mails from Americans outside Texas who accuse him of being soft on security. But the mayors argue there are better ways to stop illegal immigrants and drug traffickers.
"The perception in some parts of the United States is that you build a fence and then migration stops. The reality is that it will slow down migrants by three to four minutes," he said."

The mayors do claim to have solutions: "Mayors advocate deepening and widening the Rio Grande to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking, as well as increasing the number of Border Patrol agents and cutting back the Carrizo cane reeds growing on the river banks that allow people to hide in the river banks."

Doing all that, but not adding a fence as well, makes no sense, however. You have to put up roadblocks on the easy access routes, as well as the hard ones.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Outrage of the day

Hamline University suspends a student for voicing conservative views concerning guns: "Hamline University has suspended a student after he sent an e-mail suggesting that the Virginia Tech massacre might have been stopped if students had been allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Student Troy Scheffler is now required to undergo a mandatory “mental health evaluation” before being allowed to return to school. Scheffler, who was suspended without due process just two days after sending the e-mail, has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help."

But the student in question has a real friend in FIRE--see for example the organization's courageous battle, and pretty much total victory gained, in this recent battle.

Thinking inside the box

College basketball coaches this year better watch out: "Cursing or venturing onto the court could draw college basketball coaches a quick technical foul this season. The NCAA is making bench decorum a point of emphasis for 2007-08 and warns coaches to expect a whistle without warning for a variety of unsportsmanlike actions..."The bench decorum rules, which include staying in the prescribed coaching box, have been interpreted in various ways for some time," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said Thursday. "This initiative for strengthened, consistent enforcement has significant ramifications. Coaches and game officials who do not strictly adhere to the rules will be penalized."

That's funny--because Jim Boeheim has always been one of the biggest whiners, ref-yappers, and bench-wanderers among college hoops coaches. I guess he wanted to rein himself in.

The gallopng Coulter

Ann Coulter once again proves that she knows how to shock:

DEUTSCH: Christian — so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?
DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?
COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?

Actually, if one truly believed in Christianity, doesn't one believe that others "should" believe, too? That is, that it would be better for them if they did (when it comes to the afterlife, etc).

That doesn't mean you're going to force anyone to believe, and Ms. Coulter didn't suggest otherwisse.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"That was to make his girlfriend jealous"

Another celeb (Denise Richards) going non-adult on us:
Addressing [Charlie] Sheen’s allegations [she's in a bitter divorce battle with him] that she wanted sperm from him so that she could have a third child, Richards tells Adams:
“Never. I do not want another child. That was to make his girlfriend Brooke jealous, make her think I wanted to get back together. I’m a single mom. I do not want more children.”

Be careful how you use that word

From Ann Althouse: ""When you're attacked continually in American politics, you either give up or get disoriented or you either lose or leave...... or you persevere and show your resilience."Hillary Clinton makes an observation, and she's talking about herself. Of course, the same thing applies to President Bush. "Resilient" — it's a good word, a good substitute for relentless, remorseless, impervious, incurious..."

Now, now, Ms. Althouse, I doubt Senator Clinton intended anyone to make that connection...

Who's a conservative

An interesting debate going on right now on National Review Online's "The Corner", concerning Rudy Giuliani and other candidates, and who's a conservative. NR's Mark Levin says this: "I believe you are trying to focus us in a way that seeks to limit our observations about Rudy and the meaning of conservatism. I don't blame you. As I said, however, taking conservative positions on certain issues, such as law enforcement, doesn't make you a conservative, in my view. Is Joe Lieberman a conservative because he's strong on national security? I don't know anyone who defines conservatism by cherry-picking issues. I understand why some candidates try it — in fact, to some extent, they're all doing it. But we need not. And my point, underscored by your concluding paragraph, is that Rudy's supporters insist that we do so — as they must. And that's okay, but I dissent. Let me put it this way: what is Rudy's political philosophy? He repeatedly refers to Ronald Reagan, he has appointed Ted Olson to head his judicial advisory committee, but apart from trying to glean his political philosophy through association, what is it?"

Well, but---don't we almost always have to "cherry-pick" issues? Even our greatest American conservative icons, such as Frank Meyer or Russell Kirk, disagreed when on issues, on emphasis, on some fundamentals. James Burnham once endorsed Medicare. Ronald Reagan once as governor of California agreed to tax increases and liberalized abortion laws. Were none of those guys conservatives?

K-Lo at NRO had a very good point on all this:
Rudy as nominee is going to be a problem for a pro-life party — and I obviously encourage people to figure out a solution to that (he either won't be the nominee and someone pro-life will be or Rudy will have to try to solve the problem by teaming up with a pro-lifer with some gravitas —and the promise of a bit of a domestic portfolio — as his veep) but Sean's bottom line is a worthwhile one to bear in mind as friends get hot and angry in 2007: Most of us are going to be uniting behind one of these guys a few months down the road. Hillary must be stopped.

Debating debates

Is this the way we should judge candidates' performances at presidential debates?
"Fred Thompson delivered a gaffe-free performance at his first Republican presidential primary debate yesterday as he, Mitt Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani all scrambled to assert themselves as the leader that Republican voters are looking for."

"Gaffe-free"? That's the most important thing?
Nor am I picking on this particular reporter--much debate coverage is like this.
Perhaps our 24-7/all-news-all-the-time/YouTube culture helps drive this.
There's an insatiable appetite for news, but of course there's never enough to go around.
Hence "gaffes" from the famous or from politicians is always great stuff for online and cable news outlets. But does it edify our political discussion? Nah.

She'll never change

Senator Hillary Clinton gives an interview to the Washington Post. Towards its end, she's asked why former Clinton administration national security adviser Sandy Berger, who after all not longer was prosecuted for, and admitted, improperly purloining classified documents from a federal archive, was part of her campaign. Typically, she evaded: "Asked about reports that Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, who was one of President Bill Clinton's national security advisers, had been brought in to advise her campaign, despite his conviction on charges of stealing national security documents, Clinton said his role is strictly unofficial. "I've known him for 30-plus years, and he is one of many people who offers ideas, but he has no official role in the campaign," she said."

Yes, right, it depends on our defintion of "role" and of "campaign." But not of "is" this time.
She'll never change.

"It was so important for us to drive down the president's numbers"

Nancy Pelosi gives us a revealing look at her calculating, partisan side: "Holders of high office typically avoid discussions like that because it makes them look, well, political. But Pelosi did not hesitate to plunge into the political, explaining that "it was so important for us to bring the president's numbers down two years ago on Social Security" because it discouraged Republican candidates from running for Congress."

Did she and the other members of the Democrat leadership in Congress even care about the details of Bush's Social Security proposal? Or were they simply going to bash and demagogue the proposal, no matter what? My vote right now goes to the latter.

Hair-raising silliness

So a few months ago, a then-associate editor of Glamour magazine went to give a presentation on fashion dos-and-don'ts to a corporate audience. Then all hell broke loose: "In June, then-associate editor Ashley Baker spoke to a group of about 40 lawyers at the offices of Cleary Gottlieb in Manhattan. The idea was that Baker would offer the "dos and don'ts" of corporate fashion, so far so good. But, when Baker got to a slide showing a black woman sporting an Afro, it read "Just say no to the 'fro." Outrage ensued.... In the firestorm that followed, Baker was forced to resign. Glamour's web site sports a front-page response from editor Cindi Leive that reads, in part "Glamour did not, does not, and would never endorse the comments made; we are a magazine that believes in the beauty of all women."

Well, oddly enough, Editor Leive, Ms. Baker didn't challenge the notion that all women are beautiful, nor was she criticizing all black women. Instead, she didn't like a hairstyle. (And in critiquing that hairstyle, she appears to have plenty of company, as the linked piece suggests). There are other hairstyles worn primarily by white women. If someone criticizes those, is that a racial slam against the white race? The ubiquity of the thought police out there right now when it comes to any comments touching anything to do with race, and their endless demands for apologies, firings, and the silencing of those who don't toe their line, is remarkable, and alarming.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More on the fall of the Yankees

We have kind of a sports theme going today.
But since I blogged about the Yankees and Joe Torre earlier, I thought this column today published on too is relevant--it speaks to the problems I think many Yankees' fans, and top brass, have:
When did a baseball season in New York become solely about the finish line, and not about the journey? How can a team that clawed its way out of a 14½-game hole be deemed a failure for falling to a team -- the Cleveland Indians -- that features two of the league's top five starting pitchers? Do the memories of Alex Rodriguez's 54 home runs and Chien-Ming Wang's 19 wins and Derek Jeter's steely determination and Joba Chamberlain's meteoric rise fade to ashes without a diamond-studded ring?
Is this who we are?
Is this what we've become?

Why some conservatives worry...

...about a Hillary Clinton presidency.: "The same with energy. You know, we can’t keep talking about our dependence on foreign oil and the need to deal with global warming and the challenge that it poses to our climate and to God’s creation and just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."Hillary Clinton June 5, 2007."

I'm surprised she was so unguarded in what she said.
And yes, she said it--the event at which she said it, and the transcript, are right from CNN.

End of an era?

The New York Yankees last night were eliminated from the American League playoffs, with their 6-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians. And so the Yankees are now considering firing their manager, Joe Torre. The thinking is that with their huge payroll, high expectations, and winning tradition, the Yankees expect more.

But the Yankee brass are wrong. They don't realize how difficult it is to make the playoffs in baseball, period. They don't realize how many organizations would kill to have 13 consecutive playoff appearances. They don't realize that that's what Joe Torre has helped bring them. And yet, despite that they think of firing him. Mr. Steinbrenner has every right to hire and fire whom he wishes. But we have every right to judge for ourselves the fairness of his decision.

And I think firing Joe Torre is reminiscent of killing the goose who laid the golden eggs...

Monday, October 8, 2007

A cat causes a riot

Or, to be precise, this cartoon involving a cat...(scroll down to the bottom to read its translation)--has still got some Muslims rioting about it days later.

Amazing, when you think about it.

"Give them the same right"

Hmmm, encouraging--an anti-Ahmadinejad demonstration today in Iran.
A protester: "you called for a referendum of the Palestinian people. You must give the Iranian people the same right."


The Kingdom of Obama

Barack Obama, yesterday: "I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."
Hmmm. Isn't creating the kingdom the job of the Man Upstairs?

A fundamental difference between conservatives and non-conservatives is that the Right knows that the heavenly kingdom can never be created on earth. It's good that Senator Obama reminds us of that (unintentionally).

Gotta love that morality

Did you catch this? More historical revisionism concerning the U.S. and the Vietnam war.
It came after President Bush's speech back in August comparing the dangers of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq to the tragedy of Vietnam.
Sure, says Michael Hirsh, after the U.S. pullout, some boat people died. But...
Quote: "Yes, a lot of Vietnamese boat people died on the high seas; but many others have returned to visit in the ensuing years."

I'm sure that's a real comfor to the thousands who died. Such morality!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Strange (comparative) justice

(Via Instapundit) Sometimes punishments really don't make sense: "Comparative Justice: you really can’t compare the two cases. But. Woman fined $222,000 for file sharing. School Bus driver fined $482 for drinking on the job."

As Instapundit said, hey, so what if kids are put at risk?

Money can't buy you happiness dept

In baseball news, the Yankees trail their American League Divisional Series matchup with the Cleveland Indians, 2 games to none. One more Indians victory, and the Yanks are done. Which is kind of amazing, really, given how much money the Yankees have to spend:
In the 13 consecutive years that the Yankees have played postseason games, 1995 through 2007, they have spent just short of $1.6 billion on their payrolls — $1,589,672,681 to be more precise.
This figure is not readily available, like batting averages and earned run averages. But it was compiled from data obtained from various baseball offices. It’s a real number. It’s a mind-boggling number. The man [George Steinbrenner] spends between $1 billion and $2 billion, and he expects to get the return he wants. You spend $50,000 a year for college tuition, you expect your child to get a degree.
All right, the Yankees gave Steinbrenner four World Series championships in a five-year stretch, but what have they done for him lately? Right now they are down by two games to none to a team with a payroll not quite one-third of theirs. A team from his hometown yet.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

NFL picks: week 5

Let's see if I can do better than last week, when I was only 5-9.

Tennessee (home) by 8 over Atlanta. PICK: TITANS. They play well at home; Joey Harrington is not a good road QB.

Kansas City (home) 2 over Jacksonville. Pick: CHIEFS. They're better at home, and they have some momentum.

St. Louis (home) 3.5 over Arizona. Pick: CARDINALS. The Rams have been horrible, and now Marc Bulger is hurting.

New England (home) 16.5 over Cleveland. Pick: BROWNS. No, not to win; but 16 and 1/2 is a heck of a lot to cover. Derek Anderson has the Browns' offense humming; I think they can keep this a 10 to 14 pt game.

New Orleans (home) 3 over Carolina. Pick: SAINTS. Mainly because David Carr will have to start again for the Panthers.

Giants (home) 3.5 over the Jets. Pick: GIANTS. Their defense is improving; the Jets continue to struggle offensively.

Pittsburgh (home) 6 over Seattle. Pick: STEELERS. The Steelers have been a good home team.

Washington (home) 3.5 over Detroit. Pick: REDSKINS. The Redskins' D will shut the Lions down; they have good corners.

Houston (home) 5 over Miami. Pick: TEXANS. They play well at home; Miami has yet to play well anywhere.

Indianapolis (home) 9.5 over Tampa Bay. Pick: BUCS. The Colts will win this game, but their injuries, plus the Bucs' improvement, will make this a close call.

San Diego at Denver--EVEN. Pick: BRONCOS. They're at home, and what have the Chargers shown so far this year? Little.

San Francisco (home) 3 over Baltimore. Pick: RAVENS. Mainly because Trent Dilfer, who looked horrible last week, has to start at QB for the Niners.

Green Bay (home) 3.5 over Chicago. Pick: PACKERS. They have momentum, the Bears are banged up in the secondary, and it doesn't appear Brian Griese is the answer.

Dallas (away) 10 over Buffalo (home). Pick: COWBOYS. Buffalo will play hard and keep it close for a half. But only for a half; then Romo and co. break out.

Poll watch

There haven't been too many changes in the polls recently, but I did catch something today that grabbed me: for the longest time, Mitt Romney, perhaps driven by the fact that he has ties to Michigan, given that his father was the governor of the state for years and thus some still recognize the family name, has had a decent lead in Michigan in polling for the Republican primary there.

But scroll down a bit when you click the link above and you'll see that on Friday, an Insider Advantage poll in Michigan shows, for the first time I believe, Rudy Giuliani with a slight (3%) lead there. Interesting.

Creating a victim

And a liberal blogger says--it's Hillary: "Hillary, by contrast, is polarizing not because she wants to be, but because the right-wing attack machine made her that way. She's 'polarizing' only because a certain deranged slice of conservative nutjobs detest her."

Yes, none of it's her fault. The 1993 health care plan? Her husband's lies (including to a judge)? The idea of a "vast right-wing conspiracy"? None of it came from her. Maybe we can start calling this kind of thing "victim politics."

Continuing rise of the nanny state dept

They're after you. Not Blackwater. Doctors: "I found this out after my 13-year-old daughter’s annual checkup. Her pediatrician grilled her about alcohol and drug abuse.
Not my daughter’s boozing. Mine. “The doctor wanted to know how much you and mom drink, and if I think it’s too much,” my daughter told us afterward, rolling her eyes in that exasperated 13-year-old way. “She asked if you two did drugs, or if there are drugs in the house.”...I turned to my wife. “You took her to the doctor. Why didn’t you say something?” She couldn’t, she told me, because she knew nothing about it. All these questions were asked in private, without my wife’s knowledge or consent. “The doctor wanted to know how we get along,” my daughter continued. Then she paused. “And if, well, Daddy, if you made me feel uncomfortable.” Great. I send my daughter to the pediatrician to find out if she’s fit to play lacrosse, and the doctor spends her time trying to find out if her mom and I are drunk, drug-addicted sex criminals.
We’re not alone, either. Thanks to guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and supported by the commonwealth, doctors across Massachusetts are interrogating our kids about mom and dad’s “bad” behavior."

If they find out you own a gun (legally), they can report you to the authorities. In fact, the guideline requires it.

Edwards goes on the attack

John Edwards, behind in the polls, goes on the offensive vs Hillary Clinton: "In a scathing attack, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards went after front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Friday, calling her a "corporate Democrat," comparing top Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn to former Bush aide Karl Rove and assailing Penn's ties to Blackwater USA, the embattled private firm of military contractors accused by the Iraqi government of firing upon and killing 11 unarmed Iraqi civilians last month. "Bush has been a perfect example of cronyism because Blackwater has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republicans and to President Bush," Edwards said in an interview with the Associated Press while campaigning in Iowa. "I also saw this morning that Sen. Clinton's primary adviser, Mark Penn, who is like her Karl Rove -- his firm is representing Blackwater."

This reflects the general line of attack that anti-Clinton Democrats have been taking--that Senator Clinton and her campaign won't act as an agent of change, that it's establishmentarian, almost pseudo-conservative. There's an element of truth to it. One would think that Democratic primary voters--they tend to be to the left of the general electorate--would be sympathetic to it. Yet so far it hasn't worked, judging by the national polls. On the other hand, could Senator Clinton begin to suffer from these bites and cuts? Norman Hsu, her obvious question-dodging in the last debate, now this...?

Friday, October 5, 2007

More Reagan revisionism

Once again it's from Democrats. Majority Leader Reid: “I’m a great believer in the Ronald Reagan theory of diplomacy,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced last week. “Ronald Reagan was a true anti-Communist. ...But what did Ronald Reagan do when he became president? The first day, he sent his emissaries off to talk to the evil Soviet Union.”

Ugh. Barack Obama tried this same tack in a Democratic presidential debate a number of weeks ago, and we addressed it in this space. Again: yes, Reagan established back-channel, at-the-time-unknown contacts with the Soviets. But he wouldn't meet with them publicly just for the sake of meeting with them. He didn't hold a summit meeting with a Soviet leader until 1985. He wouldn't make major concessions just to get a deal. And in response to all this toughness, Democrats like Senator Reid screamed their opposition to Reagan for most of his presidency, castigating him as a warmonger, as a danger to peace in the world, etc etc etc. Now they ignore all that and try to cast themselves as the Gipper's admirers. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised.

"They didn't believe us"

Democratic Senator Harry Reid and his staffers demand that the Pentagon pull Rush Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio. Oooops: "That Democrats had not done their homework became clear on Wednesday, when Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid had his staff call over demanding that the Pentagon put liberal radio hosts on Armed Forces Radio. The problem: Armed Forces Radio already broadcasts extensive shows from National Public Radio, as well as the Ed Schulz radio show."They didn't believe us," says a Pentagon staffer based in the media affairs office.Retired Gen. Wesley Clark was also unaware that Schulz and NPR were staples of the military's entertainment and information broadcasts. And Clark headed the NATO command."

And some say George W. Bush is dumb. Sheesh!


From the "Shenanigans" blog on "Is "Fox News Sunday" waving a white flag?
Whispers have it that the channel will be devoted to all Democrats this weekend, including House Dem Top Dog Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And Chris Wallace's "Power Player of the Week" for his "Fox News Sunday" show is none other than HRC Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle."

Uh--no. Maybe instead it means that the ridiculous notion possessed by some that Fox News will never allow Democrats to appear on their shows, or that FNC is purely a Republican mouthpiece, is just plain wrong. And further maybe it means that the notion that Democrats will never appear on Fox News is wrong too. Maybe the real question here is for Democrats--how come you'll appear on Fox News Sunday, but an FNC-sponsored debate is a no-go???

Now who's being rude?

You know, in the 1930s, before World War II, Nazis in Germany used to talk about, not killing Jews in Germany--oh, no--but of relocating them. To the island of Madagascar, for example.
I mention that because today Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again did his modernate-Nazi impression: "Millions of Iranians once again held annual International Qods Day rallies on Friday, with a call by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Israel to be relocated, away the Middle East and the Islamic world. "Canada and Alaska have vast lands, why don't you relocate them (Israel) over there and keep helping them over there with (aid of) 30 to 40 billion dollars per year for building a new existence over there," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech."

And some people claimed that Americans were rude to this guy?

Is Giuliani a conservative dept

Let's keep looking at what he says. From today's NY Times, addressing conservative economic group: Giuliani "had plenty of harsh words for the Democrats, but he also turned his sights on Republicans in Congress on spending, saying they had become “just like the Democrats as far as spending money is concerned,’’ adding: “Shame on us! Shame on us!”...[he promised] to make “the Bush tax cuts” permanent. He promised to index the Alternative Minimum Tax for inflation. He promised to push for new “tax savings accounts” and “health savings accounts.” And he promised to end “anonymous earmarks” and create a new, “one-page tax form.”
He saved his main zingers for the Democrats, calling the Democratic candidates the “professional spenders” and saying they were, as a class, pushing for “socialized medicine.” He made fun of Senator Hillary Clinton’s idea of a $5,000 bond for newborns – again – saying of the price tag, “Hillary, that’s real money,’’ adding, “you and Bill can’t afford it.”

Doesn't sound like a liberal to me.

Just declare the debate finished, and you win every time

Which is what Al Gore is doing with some critics of his film An Inconvenient Truth: "Seven hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money to spend to try to get someone to talk to you and not get an answer. That's how much the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based libertarian think tank, has forked over in six months for advertisements in national newspapers trying to persuade Al Gore to debate one of its experts on global warming issues. "We have tried, repeatedly, to contact Gore directly, with registered letters and calls to his office, and have never received a reply," says Joseph Bast, Heartland president. A spokeswoman for Gore told me by e-mail that Heartland is an oil-company-funded group that denies that global warming is real and caused by human activities. "The debate has shifted to how to solve the climate crisis, not if there is one," said Kalee Kreider. "It does not make sense for him to engage in a dialogue with them at this time."

Shutting off debate is a part of trying to control the debate.
Conservatives and those who believe the entire environmental issue needs more debate, not less, must not let this kind of thing stand.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fred Thompson on the dumb conservatives

On Sean Hannity's show, Thompson when asked about James Dobson basically tells the divisive ones to take a hike:
A gentleman who has never met me, who has never talked to me, I've never talked to him on the phone. I did have one of his aides call me up and kind of apologize, the first time he attacked me and said I wasn't a Christian…I don't know the gentleman. I do know that I have a lot of people who are of strong faith and are involved in the same organizations that he is in, that I've met with, Jeri and I both have met with, and I like to think that we have some strong friendships and support there…

...I don't particularly care to have a conversation with him. If he wants to call up and apologize again, that's ok with me. But I'm not going to dance to anybody's tune.

This is no accident

1300 illegal immigrants in southern California are rounded up by the feds.
The Bush administration has heard the calls for a crackdown.
The question is: will the administration sustain this, or is it just for show?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The irony this time

Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin has been one of those on the Senate floor blasting Rush Limbaugh the loudest. He even wondered aloud if Rush was "high" on his "drugs" when he said it. Which, as Jim Geraghty noted, is supreme irony:
What's really amazing about Tom Harkin's comment about Rush Limbaugh, speculating "maybe he was just high on his drugs again" is that it comes literally in between a statement that Rush saying something "provocative" is "despicable", and a subsequent sentence urging people to listen to "more responsible talk show hosts."

Hillary and liberal Democrats

There's definitely plenty of unrest there. Whether it will mean anything is anyone's guess. But there's unrest. Take for example this recent piece by Nicholas von Hoffman, appearing at the website of The Nation magazine, perhaps the leading liberal journal of opinion in the U.S. The reason for the unrest? Bill and Hillary Clinton's fundraising practices, which at root has to do with the kind of thing the Norman Hsu case has raised. See below--and note in the first paragraph below how Mr. Von Hoffman really is reviewing charges that Republicans and conservatives made against Mrs. Clinton back in the 1990s, charges that liberals and Democrats used to claim were baseless and unproven. They don't seem to feel that way now. I wonder why.
The woman has always had an affinity for gold. You can trace her appetite for bling back to her Arkansas days, when she was a partner in the Rose Law Firm. Questions arose about her billing clients, which have not yet been satisfactorily answered. Nor have the suspicions about her picking up that quick 100 grand in the commodities market been allayed. The commodities market is where they bet on the price of things like oil and pork belly futures; amateur investors get swindled but not Hillary. No amateur she when it comes to the dough-ray-me...

Both of the Clintons seem to have gone money-crazy. Bill is out loose on the world taking enormous amounts of money from anyone who pays him to appear anywhere and bragging about it. With a pension of $186,000 a year plus innumerable other perks, another ex-President might rein in the itchy palm urge, but Bill is not known as a self-control artist. Whether he is also acting as a bag man for his wife is something for future grand juries to investigate.

Changing life in these United States dept

Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom notes that increasingly these days, you can't strike up conversations with strangers next to you on a plane or in line somewhere--because they're all talking on cell phones or have Ipods stuck in their ears:
Do we even know how to be at rest anymore? Have we become so addicted to input -- noise, ads, Internet, cell phones -- that being still is alien?
I think about that tall guy at the airport, nodding his head at me, and I wonder if he ever knew I was there. They used to say if a stranger smiles at you, check his eyes. Today you check his ears.

The Culture of Shock strikes again dept

How in the media do you get peoples' attention these days?
Seems like you have to push the envelope, find new ways to shock people.
Case in point: a radio station near Detroit had a contest going: guess when Britney Spears would kill herself, having lost custody of her three children.

So appropriate.
Today sanity, along with the tiny bit of good taste that a few people have preserved, finally re-asserted itself (a bit tardily) and the contest was ended.

Getting whipped on SCHIP?

So President Bush vetoed the SCHIP bill today. The bill would have expanded a federal government program providing health insurance for children. The President tried to explain why he made his veto in a speech today: "The intent of the program was to focus on poorer children, not adults or families earning up to $83,000 a year. It is estimated that if this program were to become law, one out of every three person(s) that would subscribe to the new expanded SCHIP would leave private insurance. The policies of the government ought to be to help poor children and to focus on poor children."

President Bush is on firm, principled ground when he emphasizes that this is about keeping people in private insurance, and out of government-run insurance programs (though he needs to do a lot more frequent explaining of why that's important).

But these kind of vetoes also get him in trouble. He says he's not necessarily against all federalized, governmental insurance programs for kids. He just wants those programs geared to poor kids. In other words, governmental involvement is OK. Bush just wants to argue about how much. There's really no principled difference there, then--and so I think many Americans wind up saying that if you're going to go part of the way, why not throw in more money and have the government insure more children? Why argue so much over money details?

It's where moderate Republicanism runs into big trouble. Many voters say--why go Democrat lite? If some are willing to go part way, why not go the whole way?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Is Giuliani a real conservative dept

From today's NY Post: "I believe we are reaching out very, very well to Republicans. The emphasis is on fiscal conservatism, which brings Republicans together."
The Giuliani campaign also released his conservative record in cutting taxes, crime and welfare and fighting to remove smut from Times Square."

Yeah, s0unds like a real liberal to me.

Jennifer Granholm's budget extremism

So the other day, Michigan state legislators and Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm averted a budget crisis and a government shutdown by--at the last minute--making a deal. But it came with a hefty tax increase. Many Michiganders are not amused. Some are even talking about attempts to recall state legislators, and the governor herself.

Ms. Granholm is not amused: "I'm very angry at those on the fringe who would attack legislators who voted their conscience."

Er, Governor--first of all, labeling those who strongly oppose tax increases as part of "the fringe" ignores nearly 30 years of history--the history of elections being won by tax-cutting politicians. Anti-tax sentiment isn't the "fringe" anymore. It's the mainstream. And secondly, the question isn't whether many legislators voted their "conscience." That's not the question. Nor is it relevant. Just because one voted one's "conscience" doesn't give one a pass, doesn't mean that whatever you did has to be accepted. Many people see it as wrong, morally wrong, desperately wrong, to balance bloated governmental budgets on the backs of the taxpayers. That's why they're thinking of recalls. It's not because they think you and others didn't vote your "consciences." Rather, it's because they think your "conscience" was badly mistaken, and needs a shakeup.

Obey more taxey

Congressman David Obey of Wisconsin says he's just not going to take it anymore: "A top congressman, saying Democrats "have had it with being maneuvered and jerked around" on the war in Iraq, offered a new approach Tuesday to change the course of funding for the ongoing war: A war tax. Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said he will not allow a bill to come for debate to provide emergency supplemental funds for the war and suggested Americans should be compelled to pay for it through a "surtax."

All these years, all this money spent, and only NOW does Obey say we need to raise taxes? Smacks of politics to me.

I think Republicans should say that if Democrats want to continue to be the taxing party, it's fine with them.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Funding Hillary

We know that Senator Hillary Clinton is running for president. We know to a degree the platform on which she's running (though she's dodging a lot of questions lately). But one thing we don't know about her campaign--as Ed Morrissey asks today, why are there so many "shell-game con-men funding it"?

The story isn't going away.

Speaking of rudeness and such

I mean, after all, last week many people criticized the president of Columbia for being rude to Iranian president Ahmadinejad. Well, so, speaking of being rude, here is what Hasan Rahimpur Azghadi of the Iranian Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution had to say about America and the West, in a speech given on September 3rd of this year: "Today, one of the most prosperous and lucrative trades in the world is the trafficking in sex slaves – mostly women and small children. They trade small children like slaves and use them for sex. They are worse than the most monstrous beasts in history."

Yes, right, everyone in the West does that...
And we're the rude ones. Ugh!

Rudy and the Right dept

This will now be a regular feature. So some on conservatives say Giuliani is no conservative.
Well, then, so why for example, as Byron York today points out on NRO, in a Gallup Poll of Republican voters, does Rudy lead among those GOPers who call themselves conservatives? Why does he lead among those who identify themselves as attending church weekly?

Please, let's stop this nonsense that Republicans-and-conservatives-don't-really-know-where-Rudy-stands-yet. Of course they know. He's been campaigning for months.

Dumb conservatives

ABC's politics-watchers at "The Note" report today that a few extremist conservatives are upset at the possibility of Rudy Giuliani being the Republican nominee in '08: "The GOP ballot is still filled with question marks -- and the one next to former mayor Rudolph Giuliani's name is growing bigger by the day. This is Rudy's nightmare (and should be just as scary for everyone in a party that's in growing danger of coming apart at its seams): "A powerful group of conservative Christian leaders decided Saturday at a private meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if a pro-choice nominee like Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination,"'s Michael Scherer reports.
"Giuliani is beyond the pale," Richard Viguerie, a veteran conservative activist and author, told ABC's Jake Tapper after the meeting. "Maybe it's just time to never support another Republican establishment candidate, and support principled conservative candidates -- win or lose." This is about Giuliani, but it's also a measure of how former senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., has failed to unite/excite/appease conservatives. "In his short time on the campaign trail, Thompson has demonstrated a moderate temperament and an independent streak belying hype that he would be the answer to [James] Dobson's prayers," Tapper writes. "

Even Fred Thompson isn't good enough for them.
This is dumb, just dumb. First of all, Rudy Giuliani, while not perfect, is no liberal; he's an acceptable conservative candidate. I've been presenting evidence on this point regularly over the past months, and will continue to do so. And these guys were all begging Fred Thompson to get into the race---and now suddenly he appears to be unsatisfactory, too.

You know, back in the old days of the 20th century, we used to see just this kind of thing, only it mainly occurred among Communists. They constantly argued over who was the "purest" Marxist, the most devoted to the principles of Lenin, the reddest "Red." Stalinists fought with Trotskyists, Khrushchevian communists fought with Maoist communists, they all battled to expel the heretics and the infidels and to banish impure thought. One of the great founding senior editors of National Review magazine, James Burnham, who used to be a Trotskyite in his younger days, called this kind of thing "sectarian" thought, and worried that conservatives would fall into the same trap. He always tried to warn the Right away from it.

Now I see it happening again. All this kind of third party talk will do is divide conservatives, elect a Democrat (who I guarantee you will do a ton of things that we won't like, and will make the Bush administration look like a conservative heyday), and banish conservatives to political irrelevance. We cannot and must not go down that path.

Forget those NFL picks

I was 4-9 yesterday...ugh!
Good thing I don't gamble for a living (or at all).