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Saturday, August 13, 2005
 
A Local Moonbat

There's a first for everything; today I saw my first anti-war protestor. Remember, I live in Phoenix which is one of the more conservative big cities in America and my neighborhood is conservative for Phoenix. I did not see a Kerry sign anywhere around me during 2004, and only rarely when I was in other parts of town.

So I was rather surprised to see this gentleman parading along Cactus Road in front of Paradise Valley Mall this afternoon, and his get-up inspired me to snap a few quick photos.



You can see that he's quite creative with his "Not-See (get it?) Wartch-Dogs". Unfortunately the other side is not as visually engaging.



I was tempted to switch the camera to videotape mode and start a little Evan Coyne Maloney dialogue with him, but his gear was outrageous enough that he was getting some flack from people stuck at the intersection, and I reasoned that getting beat up as a peacenik, however ironic it might sound here on the blog, was not how I wanted to spend the next few minutes. Not that I think he got beat up; in all probability he did get the bird a few times.
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Why Not Drive Them Batty?

Franken was griping about this graph on the radio, and how unfair it was that they highlighted that job growth took off when the biggest part of the tax cuts took effect. But I did think that the graph, in its original format left something to be desired.

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The German Chancellor? How Many Divisions Has He?

Gerhard Schroeder fantasizes he's leading the old Germany:

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has warned the US to back away from the possibility of military action against Iran over its nuclear programme.

His comments come a day after President Bush reiterated that force remained an option but only as a last resort.


See, that wily Schroeder knows its far easier to negotiate tough terms with the Iranians if you take military action off the table.
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Able Danger Stories Popping

Uber-blogger Lucianne has some great links on her home page:

To this story about a woman who claimed to have been approached by Atta to get a small business loan to purchase a crop-dusting plane.

Her claims were ignored in last year's 9/11 commission report on the events leading up to the terrorist attacks. The commission accepted the advice of US immigration authorities that Atta did not arrive until June 2000.

But revelations that a military intelligence unit known as Able Danger believed Atta had actually arrived in the US in late 1999, or at the latest very early in 2000, have lent new credibility to Ms Bryant's claims, while at the same time raising questions about the exchange of intelligence between US security agencies.

Can I say the obvious here? Able Danger reportedly did data mining to reach its conclusion. Obviously they had some datum that indicated Atta was in the US. Well, what is it?

Spokesman Al Felzenberg admitted this week the commission had been sceptical when an Able Danger officer briefed it in July last year and said Atta had been in the US in late 1999 or early 2000. The investigators knew this was impossible, Mr Felzenberg said, since travel records confirmed he had not entered until June 2000.

"The information that (the officer) provided us did not mesh with other conclusions that we were drawing," he said. "There was no way that Atta could have been in the US at that time."

But British columnist Mark Steyn, who wrote an opinion article for The Australian last month describing Ms Bryant's meeting with Atta as "the defining encounter of the age", claims US immigration did not keep then -- and still does not keep now -- reliable and comprehensive records of entry by foreigners.

"It (US immigration) cannot authoritatively state the date of Atta's first visit to the US," Steyn said. "If you choose to believe June 3, 2000, as the definitive date of his first visit, that's basically an act of faith. There were a number of sightings of Atta in the US before that time, in Florida and elsewhere."


The commission is admitting that they did hear the tie to Atta at least once in July 2004 (it is claimed by others that they heard it in October of 2003), but they didn't consider it "historically significant", heh!

The Sept. 11 commission concluded that an intelligence program known as Able Danger "did not turn out to be historically significant," despite hearing a claim that the program had identified the future plot leader Mohammed Atta as a potential terrorist threat more than a year before the 2001 attacks, the commission's former leaders said in a statement on Friday evening.

Let me guess, they can round up a panel of 2500 historians to sign a letter saying in their opinion it was less significant than Enron? You know what this is, folks? It's butt-covering. They got caught and now they're trying to save their "masterpiece" as I believe the New Yorker called it.
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Get Set to Laugh

Greg Gutfeld does Crawfordapalooza.

No one sent me the email about it being ALL-CINDY FRIDAY, and now I feel like a wallflower at an orgy. A BIG FAT HAIRY WALLFLOWER. It's like showing up at a costume party, and everyone but me came dressed as a blood-sucking ghoul!

But I will give it a shot:

GREG'S OBLIGATORY CINDY SHEEHAN POST !

Sitting here with my can of beer online shopping for a new gardening hat, I can't help but think: what do the thoughtful Huffposters really want out of this media-inflated standoff with President Bush?
It must be:

The CHIEF BRODY SLAP.

THE CHIEF BRODY SLAP is based on the infamous scene in Jaws when a distraught mom slaps Roy Scheider across the face. Her son was eaten by a shark, but she blames the sheriff. Because he didn't do enough. It's not the shark, it's the sheriff. It's like me blaming Arianna for Christine Lahti's post. But unjustified. And with a shark.


Omigosh, what are they going to do at the Huffpo about Gutfeld? He's the breakout superstar of the blog and he's poking devastating fun at everything most of the rest of the posters hold dear!

Hat Tip: Roger L. Simon
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Friday, August 12, 2005
 
Dead-Blogging The O'Franken Factor--Several Updates!

(Welcome fellow Michelle Malkin and Ankle-Biting Pundits readers!)

So that I don't get accused of burying the lede here, the big news in this post is contained in the audioblogger segment (scroll down to "Play this audio post" and click. It turns out that Al Franken did not plan to admit the Air Enron story on Monday, but it was sprung on him by surprise from a caller, who specifically called it "Air Enron", which Michelle Malkin appears to have created.

As requested by Mrs M, I've gone ahead and listened to the entire broadcast of Monday's show. My summary of impressions and approximate times:

(0:00-7:20) Rambling tribute to Peter Jennings, whom Al had lunch with while researching a project called "Lateline". Unsurprisingly, much of the tribute is about Al, and not Peter.

(7:20-10:45) Introduction of new affiliates: Missoula, Lafayette (La), Victor Valley, CA. Quick facts about the towns. Neither of them can remember who wrote Evangeline (I would have guessed Tennyson, but it's Longfellow.).

(10:45-17:50) Break, followed by rant about Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. Al disagrees that the 2003 Bush tax cuts led to employment gains. Gripes that they don't note the earlier tax cuts (which is actually a reasonable point, although the counter argument is that nothing works overnight, and job gains don't show up early in an economic recovery). Starts playing some notes on a slide whistle-type instrument to punctuate his argument, which is distracting, but I guess his point is that the new claim is that more people are working than ever before in the United States. Which, he rants, is meaningless because there are more people than ever before in the United States. Lanpher joins in with something about this being where "they" point out that more people own homes than ever before, and Franken agrees.

Well, there's two little bits to nibble on. The current total number of nonfarm jobs, seasonally adjusted is 133,786,000. The highest number of jobs during the Clinton Administration seems to be around 131,800,000, so yeah, I'd say that's a record number of jobs.

As for the housing situation, Lanpher's just woefully uninformed. In fact, the measure used is homeownership percentage, which has been increasing steadily. The census takes us from 1940's rate of 44%, steadily rising to 66% as of 2000. Since then it has continued to increase to 68.6%. And no, Kathleen, it's not just rising population; homeownership is rising faster than the population, otherwise the percentage wouldn't be rising.

Then Franken goes off on another mistake he found the other day that they've apparently already talked about, where some guy claimed that the unemployment rate was the lowest it had been in decades. Which, as Franken notes, is false. But then he goes into the whole "a lot of people just stopped looking for work rant" which is silly. The unemployment rate is 5% and people are discouraged from looking for work? And if so, weren't they discouraged also during the first Clinton Administration, when the unemployment rate never got below 5.1%?

(17:50-27:40) Break, followed by "We had Bin Laden at Tora Bora." Book called Jawbreaker written by a CIA guy (yet again) making this claim that we blew it. Kerry made the claim during the election. They do a little role-playing, with Al playing Dick Cheney and Kathleen playing Diane Sawyer and Tim Russert, with Cheney supposedly saying at the time that Bin Laden was at Tora Bora.

Implication by Franken that Gen. Tommy Franks only said that we didn't come close because he got a medal (at 21:25). You know what they say about prostitutes Al, they all think everybody else is a whore as well. He then goes off onto how the other guys who got medals (Bremer and Tennent) didn't deserve them. Argumentation about concrete walls, and how they have to build them, but they could have used local cement companies...

This is worse than root canal. I'm getting a headache listening to Franken.

(27:40-30:45) Cindy Sheehan comes up. Immediate comparison to Max Cleland. Looks like Franken recognizes Crawfordapalooza (TM). Sound clip of her claiming Bush killed her son. Franken even admits that her comments aren't fair(!) (at 30:20). Interesting to see how the left was a little leery of her until the media picked the story, and suddenly she's everybody's darling. Let's remember, she's been giving her pitch around the Lefty carnival for well over a year now; it's just the rest of America that's paying attention to her for the first time.

(30:45-38:00) Break. Franken sings! Introducing Christie Harvey. Rick Santorum supposedly said that Intelligent Design shouldn't be taught in school. But apparently he wrote an op-ed that said the opposite and was pushing for ID in NCLB. They then go off on Santorum's gaffes... Civil Liberties: The 9-11 Commission asked for a task force on the Patriot Act, but it hasn't met yet. Of course, remember this show takes place before the "Able Danger" revelations about the 9-11 Commission.

(38:00-48:38) Steve Robinson Gulf War vet at Center for American Progress (liberal think tank). Commitment to our troops not great. Attempt to cut hazard pay, attempt to cut death benefit. I don't have time to fisk that, I suspect the hazard pay cut proposal came in the lull after the initial combat; they do acknowledge that it was restored by Congress (and I suppose approved by the President since we know he has yet to veto anything).

Update: Dave (in the comments) pointed me to this story about how the Bush Administration is actually proposing a major increase in the death benefit.

The plan to increase the tax-free "death gratuity," now $12,420, to $100,000 and provide an extra $150,000 in life insurance payouts will be part the 2006 budget proposal submitted to Congress next week, the Pentagon's personnel chief said in an Associated Press interview. Veterans groups and many in Congress have been pushing for such increases.

Boy, Steve Robinson couldn't be more wrong. Great catch, Dave! Thanks!

It is obvious why AA is not making the grade. It's painful to listen to: it's all doom and gloom. Everything's awful and getting worse.

Need for mental health screening. Sounds good but he goes into the "psycho vet" stuff, listing all the bad things that folks who don't get help do--alcoholism, wife-beating, etc. Reinforces the image of Vietnam vets as nuts (which I learned very quickly was not factual from the many vet friends we made at Kerry Haters).

(48:38-55:23) Break, then the same Gulf War vet talks about Cindy Sheehan. He admits that the President has met a lot of the soldiers who are at Walter Read, but doesn't think it's too much for him to meet with her/parents who've lost their children. He apparently doesn't know that Bush has met with her. He says he knows Cindy (remember, she didn't come out of nowhere, she's been around); just a hint of hesitancy to talk about her.

Back to the psycho vets coming back from Iraq are going to be just like Vietnam. Rolling my eyes here. Talk about the IED situation resulting in truck driver soldiers getting killed.

(55:23-69:06) Break. Time for phone calls on Cindy Sheehan. What should the President do, or (alternate topic) is Bob Novak crazy?

Call: Not screened. Brad, veteran of Gulf War. Experimental pills, exposed to nerve gas, Sarin. He's doing well, but son was born with birth defects. Son going to need a heart transplant. Sad story of course. Franken does press him a bit as to whether there have been studies about this. In Gulf War vets, fewer kids with birth defects. Franken offers to have the staff do some research.

Second caller says Cindy's grandstanding, but the people are shut out from the policies being made. He rambles a bit and Franken forgets to ask him about the comment about grandstanding, so Al and Kathleen have to talk about that for awhile. Then he goes onto a rant about the deficit and tax cuts.

Third Caller: Peter from Columbus. What Cindy's doing is useful for stirring discussion, but that she's not going to change anything. Dems should claim national security being undermined. Catchphrase to "frame it". Franken loves it. Rambles onto pensions and social security. Franken claims he learned something about talk radio--how integral health care is to everything. We need universal health care.

The miracle cure for the Democrats.

Sign off says he'll take another call, then a boring correction.

(69:06-75:40) Break. Boring mistake correction coming up. Humorous music. He confused Iceland with Greenland.

Abby from Madison. She cried on Al Franken's shoulder sometime. She was in Iraq also. And at a fundraiser for Operation Truth. Read article in NY Times about Sheehan. She thinks President Bush should invite her in.

Dan from Switzerland. Teaches English there. Says it's a great opportunity for Bush to take advantage of the situation. Says he heard about Air Enron! on conservative talk radio--Heading to break, Al promises to talk about it. I was skipping through and didn't catch that the first time around!

Here's the clip of Dan springing the question on him out of nowhere:

this is an audio post - click to play


Woohoo! Here's to Dan from Switzerland. I have to admit, I was under the impression that Al decided he had to fess up about the Boys & Girls Club scheme; instead he got stung by a caller!

Okay, that discovery makes this whole exercise worthwhile. I was beginning to think that sticking my head in the microwave sounded better than listening to another 30 minutes of misery and woe. And there's no doubt in my mind that this guy was what Rush would term a seminar caller--he does the "Love the show, love the book bit, gives a quick (and probably fake) indication of his thoughts on Cindy Sheehan, and then wham!

(75:40-82:45) Starts with something about a guy named Norm. New Yorker Senior Editor Henrik Hertzberg. Praises Hertzberg's writing in Talk of the Town. Finally brings up the Air Enron story. Mentions the Post story. Then we go the part that has been transcribed by Brian at Radio Equalizer.

(82:45-87:55) Hertzberg gets to talk about Intelligent Design. Some joking about what should be taught. Hertzberg compares ID to the Iroqois creation myth. Dull bit which Franken tries to liven up with his cackling. Says ID can't be tested because it's magical. Franken says spiritual. Lampher points out Santorum's surprising objection to ID being taught in school.

(87:55-93:31) Break. Hertzberg back. Wrote a book called Politics. Bush approval ratings discussion. Handling of the war down to 38%. Franken says Norm Ornstein says intelligence is bad on Iraq. More of the slide-whistle gag. Blah blah, horrible mess, few Americans are asked to make a sacrifice. More pretense that the Democrats care about the soldiers and their families.

(93:31-1:07:25) Break. Franken sings again (I think) Born in the USA as "Norm in the USA". Claims Air America Institute polled on Rove/Plame. Lots of numbers thrown around. 43% said he committed a crime. Gag about whether Rove was in Aruba. The whole segment is silly, and no, they didn't poll people. Then they get serious and Ornstein says he talked to "senior people" who said Iraq is going bad. Who plans this stuff? They put on a funny skit where it is obvious that Ornstein is being faux serious, followed immediately by a segment where he's supposed to be really serious. That's incredibly poor design to sell the message in the second segment. They ask him about support for the insurgents from Iran, but he says he hasn't heard of it (despite the well-known story from about two weeks ago).

(1:07:25-1:13:33) Almost done! Novak's explosion comes up. Mention of the word "bullsh*t" by Ornstein, not bleeped at all. Be interesting to see if it went out over the air--isn't that a guaranteed FCC fine? Signoff!

Okay, that was relatively painful, but it's over. (shudders)

Later observations: They are clearly running AA on a shoestring. Several callers (including the first two of the day) were unscreened. I've called into right-wing shows and only gotten on unscreened when they were on remote. Oddly enough the MP3 download contains the same bumper--a Grateful Dead riff--over and over again. It gets annoying about the 15th time, unless you hate the Dead like me, in which case it only takes once.

Let me point here to two other bloggers who have been doing yeoman's work on Air America when it wasn't the hot story. Our buddy the Leather Penguin sometimes uses rough language but he's got a good sense of humor and a long history of posting on Air Idiot, as he refers to them.

And Bore America has been dedicated to covering the Airheads since the start.
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Speaking of Blogging At Its Best

Rick Moran has just been blowing me away with his posts over at Rightwing Nuthouse. There are times reading his posts where I feel like he's Ward Cleaver and I'm the Beav. Every post seems to be a textbook example of terrific writing, intelligent thinking and the links to prove his case.

His top post as I write this is about the duelling blogswarms on the Left and Right. He points out (somewhat to my surprise) that not everybody on the Left has gone nuts over the Cindy Sheehan story. Wonkette, of all people, has a very sane comment.

His next post down he says probably the smartest thing I've read on her:

I have no doubt that Cindy Sheehan remembers her meeting with the President the way she described it two days ago on Air America. She’s not lying. She has replayed that meeting over and over in her mind and where she first thought the President showed compassion, she now sees flippancy. She re-runs every word, every gesture of the President’s and each time she does, she becomes more convinced that the President is an unfeeling, uncaring monster. The two descriptions may not sound the same, but they reflect what she actually felt back then as well as the way she feels now.
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Pathetic Attempt to Smear Hillary's Opponent--Updated!

The headline tells the whole story: Records: Pirro took mob cash.

Or does it? The Bulldog Pundit was a little curious about this story and dug a little deeper, and found out the real story.

This is blogging at its absolute finest. Congrats to BDP!

Update: For a real laugh, don't miss the Sean Delonas cartoon over at Kitty's.
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It's Always The Jews

John Ruberry points out that even for Cindy Sheehan, it's about Israel.
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Why Blog?

Our buddy Buckley F. Williams at The Nose On Your Face posts the results of a blogging survey with hilarious answers I'm sure we all can agree on:

What type of blog do you consider your blog to be?

* Awesome. (3%)
* Wicked awesome. (5%)
* Why the f*&! doesn't Instapundit link me every day?!? (92%)


Terrific post! Who says the conservative blogosphere doesn't have any funny folks?
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More Able Danger

Here's a report from Fox that indicates why the Commission supposedly ignored the Able Danger intelligence:

Felzenberg said the information about Atta was considered suspect because it didn't jibe with many other findings. For example, the intelligence officer said Atta was in the United States in late 1999, but travel records confirmed that he did not enter the country until late 2000.

Let me get this straight; a CIA group highlighted Atta's connection with Al Qaeda in 2000, but the 9-11 Commission discounted their information because there were conflicts with travel records? And let me say the obvious here: That travel records show Atta came here in 2000 does not mean that he couldn't have been here earlier.

Also see Jim Geraghty's comments on what is known and not known.

Countdown to liberals claiming that the Able Danger story is just a distraction from Cindy Sheehan (or Karl Rove): 10,9,8.....
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The Wackos Around Cindy Sheehan

Ben Johnson has a terrific backgrounder on Cindy Sheehan's friends with loads o' links, but perhaps the more damning article comes from Counterpunch, which is certainly sympathetic to Crawfordapalooza.

I refer to it as Crawfordapaloooza because it's become an annual event, with some liberal or other heading out to the Western White House demanding to see President Bush. Last year it was Max Cleland, this year it's Cindy Sheehan. Anyway, get these bits from the Counterpunch article:

Thursday is only a few minutes young, but Cindy Sheehan is already running late. Rumors are percolating that police will swoop into Camp Casey at midnight to arrest everyone, and she dare not be late for a date like that.

Yes, heaven forbid that she miss out on getting her picture taken being arrested! Always good PR, who knows she might need it when she runs for President:



Sitting next to Rusty in our clockwise review, Melvin is telling a story about how he was working for Dick Cheney's company Brown and Root when they dropped a machine on him, crushing his body from jaw to pelvis.

"They" did, eh?

Dot's turn to tell her story gets interrupted about one o'clock in the morning when up the short sidewalk from the highway walks a woman barely middle aged. She has just driven in from Iowa. Her son is a soldier stationed in California. She figures she has a year to stop the war before he completes his training. He wouldn't like it that she's here, "but we all have to do what we must," she says softly.
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Day-O: The Racism of the Left

Chris from Lucky Dawg takes off on the Harry Belafonte quote to highlight some of the more racist and anti-Semitic things that famous leftists have said in the past. I have to admit, the Nancy Pelosi comment is pretty shocking and I hadn't heard that one before. Note: You'll have to scroll down a bit to "We have Harry Belafonte's racist comments..."
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Able Danger Story Heating Up

Here's a good backgrounder:

The unit that fingered Atta and connected him to a suspected Al Qaeda terror cell in Brooklyn was code-named, "Able Danger," according to the congressman and officials at the Pentagon. "Able Danger" involved staff from the Army's Information Dominance Center who operated under instruction from the Special Operations Command.

At some point in mid-2000, while the unit was running data-mining experiments, the computer produced Mohammed Atta's name along with a suggestion he was linked to other suspected Al Qaeda operatives. "Those connections led back to a Brooklyn cell, and that Brooklyn cell contained four of the terrorists," Mr. Weldon said yesterday.


Many on our side are tying this to Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick, the Justice Department lawyer who wrote a memo creating a wall between intelligence operations and the FBI. However, this seems short-sighted. Clinton's retired and Gorelick is not going anywhere. The more interesting point is here:

While the "Able Danger" project was little discussed until recently, a broader Pentagon data-mining effort, known originally by the Orwellian name, "Total Information Awareness," was shuttered in 2003 after an outcry from privacy advocates. Some who were critics of that program say the recent developments suggest that the data-intensive technologies now deserve a second look.

Unfortunately, it won't be able to be used in a purely partisan fashion, as the Senate voted unanimously against TIA. (Brainster's Rule #1: When Republicans and Democrats vote unanimously in favor of something, they're usually wrong.) But that's not to say that their public statements about TIA can't be used against them by their opponents. I'd suspect that there are a bunch of "Big Brother" comments out there against the program by prominent Democrats.
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Possible Statistical Bias?

The report that as many as four percent of all children are being raised by fathers who don't realize the child is not theirs is getting some attention.

It's possible that there's a bias in that number, however. Presumably the children getting paternity tested are not selected randomly. That is, in all probability there is already some question of their paternity.
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Thursday, August 11, 2005
 
NY Times Has Major Scoop!--Updated

There's some sort of funny business involving loans to Air America by a charitable organization.

The state attorney general's office and the city's Department of Investigation are looking into whether a boys and girls club serving poor children and ailing elderly people in the Bronx had improper financial dealings, including loans to the Air America radio network, state and city officials said yesterday.

(Translation: They said this to us when we finally called them up and asked about the reports appearing on the blogs and in the other New York papers. We decided to run this today because everybody's paying attention to Cindy Sheehan, so we thought we could slip it out without attracting a lot of attention.)

Nonetheless, word of the investigations ignited a firestorm of criticism on the Internet, especially among conservative-leaning blogs that have essentially accused the network of robbing from the poor to pay its bills.

(Not to mention accused the New York Times of shirking its duty to inform its readers of the scandal.)

Hat Tip: Mrs M

Updated: Brian at the Radio Equalizer has an excellent post on the Times' coverage.
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Punk'd on the Videogame Death Story

Looks like I fell for it along with the rest of the media.

Hat Tip: LaShawn Barber
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Cindy Sheehan in Heavy Rotation at HuffPo

This is a little ridiculous. Of the top 15 posts on the blog now (it will change, so if you're checking up on me, I'm starting with Christine Lahti's "Cindy Sheehan is my hero"), 14 are on the featured attraction at Crawfordapalooza. Then there's one about some Keith Olbermann/Rita Cosby dustup, and then Cindy herself guest-blogs.
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Here's a Non-Story

There seem to be a lot of these stories suddenly:

Nearly four in 10 Arizonans are racial or ethnic minorities, and the state is heading for a day when people of color or Hispanic backgrounds will be in the majority.

Census estimates prepared for release today show that as of July 2004, Texas became the fourth so-called majority-minority state, where minorities predominate. The others are Hawaii, New Mexico and California.


I have a couple of friends who are second and third generation Mexican-Americans, and they have almost nothing in common with illegals and just about everything in common with me, an Irish Catholic originally from suburban New Jersey.
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Right of Center Bloggers' Favorite Person on the Right?--Updated!

Well, what do you know? There was one person who finished ahead of President Bush, and it's a person who has been discussed quite a bit over here in the last day or two!

Update: Rachel from Tinkerty Tonk has her list here.
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The New Michelle Malkin Meme--Updated!

Okay, I've been harassing a couple of the bloggers who dowdified her quote, and the semi-intelligent response I'm getting back is that it's not about her supposed attack on Cindy Sheehan, it's about her daring to speak for a dead soldier. And you know, I'd almost agree with that criticism if it were not for what she actually dared to say for that soldier. To repeat:

"She has aligned herself now with Michael Moore, who considers those very Iraqi terrorists Minutemen. That's what he calls them! He's likening them to the American revolutionaries and considers them heroes. I can't imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior, conduct and rhetoric."


The nerve of the woman, daring to say that perhaps Casey Sheehan might not agree with somebody who characterized the people who killed him, as "Minutemen"!

BTW, here's a couple of people who don't think Cindy Sheehan speaks for her son:

The Sheehan Family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the the expense of her son's good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect.

Sincerely,

Casey Sheehan's grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.


Be sure to read the comments on that post--there is some controversy as to whether this was actually written by a Sheehan family member, and whether it accurately reflects the feelings of the relatives mentioned. Yellow light on this one.

Update: Looks like the email was accurate:

Sheehan says she's always been at odds politically with her Republican in-laws.

Mrs. Media Matters has some thoughts on a related topic. I should mention here that I personally don't care for O'Reilly and almost never watch his show.

Another Note: The comments are out of hand. I'm not going to continue editing them, so be warned all who enter. As Mrs G likes to say, this is a salon, not a saloon, but I don't have the time or the inclination to clean it up right now.

BTW, guess who finished ahead of President Bush in a poll of Right of Center Bloggers' favorite person on the Right?

Pam Meister has some thoughts on why the Left despises Mrs M that I heartily endorse.

Tel-Chai Nation, an Israeli blogger, comments on a part of the story that I haven't covered as yet, Mrs Sheehan's association with a bunch of anti-Semitic groups. This may be where Crawfordapalooza grinds to a halt eventually, when people realize the extremism of the folks around her.
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It's a Good Thing Bush Isn't President of the EU

One can only imagine how Paul Krugman would pan this economy:

Economic growth in the European Union as a whole and the euro zone nations that use the euro currency slowed to 0.3 percent in the second quarter, the EU said Thursday, but growth in the 12 nations using the common currency is expected to pick up by the end of the year.

The EU's statistics agency Eurostat said the 0.3 percent expansion followed first-quarter growth of 0.5 percent in both the euro zone and the entire EU.

The EU head office kept its third-quarter forecast range for euro-zone growth at 0.2 percent to 0.6 percent, but forecast 0.6 percent expansion in the fourth quarter on the back of more favorable euro exchange rates and a stronger global economy.

European Commission spokesman Stefaan De Rynck said this was the highest EU growth forecast since 2000.


How's the economic growth in the United States?

U.S. second-quarter GDP rose 3.4 percent on an annualized basis, as expected, compared with 3.8 percent in the first quarter of 2005.
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Michelle Malkin Taking a Lot of Hate from the Left--Update!

I certainly appreciated her link yesterday, which resulted in an extraordinary amount of traffic. And I've been reading her posts all day, but it didn't occur to me to look at what the lefty blogosphere was doing until I saw a Technorati search for her name and Cindy Sheehan in my referring logs and clicked on over there.

It's ugly.

Andrew Sullivan's guest blogger, Dan Savage (famed for doorknobjobs while sick), says Michelle's Ann Coulter’s stunt double. Puh-leeze! And that's really the kindest thing out there. But like most of the left, he's lying about the story:

Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter’s stunt double, on Cindy Sheehan: “I can’t imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior.”

More important, they seem to be Dowdifying what Mrs Malkin said. Let's quote Crooks & Liars (apparently aptly named):

Bill: I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this [publicity] and also for the responsibility for the other American families who lost sons and daughters in Iraq who feel this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.

Michelle: I can't imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior.


Now, what did Michelle actually say?

"She has aligned herself now with Michael Moore, who considers those very Iraqi terrorists Minutemen. That's what he calls them! He's likening them to the American revolutionaries and considers them heroes. I can't imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior, conduct and rhetoric."


Well, I mean how easy is that? Crooks and Liars is a huge blog, a top 10 liberal blog. And they have completely Dowdified that quote despite providing a link to the original video that proves them wrong. They want to make it sound like Mrs Malkin said that Casey would not have approved of what his mother was doing, when in fact what she said was that he would not have approved of Michael Moore's behavior, conduct, and rhetoric.

And they are whipping themselves into a frenzy over this nonsense. Atrios sinks so low as to mention her child gratuitously and nastily; no link for that one. How disgusting is that? Who's going to be the brave soul on the left end of the blogosphere who points out that Michelle was insulting Michael Moore, not Cindy Sheehan?

On the right we hone our arguments off the arguments of others. We obsessively correct each other and ourselves. We quickly point out the BS nature of anybody who would dare to Dowdify a statement like that, because it brings discredit on us all. And all the big leftie blogs are reporting this completely falsely.

Update: Not surprisingly, the emails Michelle is getting from the mouth-breathers surpass anything that Hatrios and his ilk would dare put on their sites (although you'll find as bad or worse in the comments sections). But let's not forget who's prodding them to write this disgusting garbage. It's Hatrios, Crooks and Liars, and Think Progress.

Further update: Well, one of the hate emailers got canned for his efforts.

One of the other emailers was a "Dan Opaki". Obviously there is no way of knowing at this point if that is his real name, but it's a unique enough last name that I googled it and found that there was a Dan Opaki involved with the University of Massachusetts writing program as a "Peer Tutor". Judging from the caliber of his writing submitted to Mrs M, you can't help wondering whether he should be tutoring anybody.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005
 
McCain/Kerry

I suppose somebody had to suggest it, but this is silly:

McCain obviously turned Kerry down, but as the 2008 election approaches there are signs that an equally intriguing McCain-Kerry ticket could be in the works. If such an improbable thing comes to pass, its genesis might well be traced back to a one-on-one breakfast meeting July 27, when the two decorated Vietnam veterans huddled for more than an hour at La Colline restaurant on Capitol Hill.

Obvious question: What does Kerry bring to the ticket? Nada, zip, zilch. And this is ridiculous:

Guess it’s unlikely there will be a Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign if McCain and Kerry team up in 2008.

Guess again.
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Salon Gets It Wrong

But I repeat myself. Eric Boehlert notes:

Right-wing bloggers are attacking military mom Cindy Sheehan for changing her mind about Iraq. But so have millions of other citizens.

But did she really change her mind, or was she always opposed to the war? This post at Michelle Malkin's indicates that she was always opposed to the war, which sort of puts her in the same position as Nick Berg's father: Unknown moonbat before my son died, famous moonbat after.
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Great Minds

Pat Hynes from Ankle-Biting Pundits has a superb column in today's Manchester (NH) Union-Leader on Howard Dean's 50-state strategy, which the libs are all aglow about after Paul Hackett's deferred victory in Ohio's second district.

There is a reason Democrats haven't spent a great deal of time, energy and resources in states like Mississippi and Utah in recent elections, just as Republicans have largely ignored, say, Vermont. Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman would love to make next year's Vermont open seat Senate race competitive by dumping hundreds of operatives and millions of dollars up there. But not only would such an effort be for naught, it would also rob genuinely competitive races of those resources.

Same for Dean's Democratic National Committee. Imagine all the DNC's resources for 2006 are a pie. Dean could cut that pie into 20 pieces and give healthy portions to the truly competitive states. Or he could cut the pie into 50 smaller portions and give every state a little piece. By choosing to distribute small pieces to more states, Dean might starve the candidates that can make the best use of resources.


Exactly! By furnishing resources to candidates who are going to lose by 20 points or more, you are denying them to candidates who are going to lose by 5 points or less. This is Poly Sci 101 stuff. Dean (along with much of the left wing of the Democrats), apparently believes in what I like to call "The Lost Tribe" theory, which is that there is an untapped group of radicals around the country who would vote Democratic, but nobody's speaking to them, so instead of voting they stay home.

This seems quite dubious at best, but let's assume they're right, and there's another 5% of non-voters who would be energized by a more Leftist policy from the Democrats. Where do you put your money then? Quite obviously in the closest races; the ones where an additional 5% could put you over the top. Dean and the bozos over at Swing State Project are leading the Democrats to disaster.

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America Without The Sword

John Hawkins asks:

You hear all these left-wingers who advocate tucking our tails between our legs, running out of Iraq, closing Gitmo on the way home, and then -- although they won't admit it -- they want to hunker down in America, hope we don't get hit with another attack, but still plan to blame George Bush if we do.

Why?


John takes it on a slightly different tangent than I would, answering it politically rather than philosophically.

I'm reminded of a terrific Mark Steyn column from about a year ago. He described the unfortunate son of a peacenik, who didn't let him play with toy weapons. When somebody gave the boy a plastic sword and shield combination, the mother decided to discard the sword, but let him play with the shield. Steyn went on to describe the boy playing in the yard, practicing cowering.

Now why did the mother take the sword from her boy? Because she wrongly believed that he was a part of the problem. Unless she refused him the opportunity to use toy weapons, he'd become a bully in his teen years and a wife beater as an adult. This is of course, silly stuff; effectively this mom was punishing him for being a bully when in reality he was almost certainly not headed down that path. Indeed, as soon as the word got around that he wouldn't hit back, he was probably doomed to victim status during adolescence.

Why do liberals want to take the sword from America? Because their mindset is stuck on America's potential to become the bully of the world. They want America to be taught a lesson in Iraq, so that we don't go around beating up defenseless little countries, when of course that's not what we do.
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IRA Not the Only Villains in Northern Ireland

I have concentrated on them because their main base of support is in the USA. However, the Loyalist (Protestant) side is quite capable of evil themselves:

Police last night vowed to "leave no stone unturned" in the search for the bigots behind a series of pipe-bomb attacks in Co Antrim yesterday.

Detectives are treating the incidents as attempted murder and said they are determined to bring those responsible for the separate attacks to justice.

The first device exploded outside a house at Cypress Park in Cloughmills at about 5am.

The second object, which was underneath a van in the Rosemount area of the village, exploded about half-an-hour later.

"The devices were left outside the homes of Catholic people so I am sure there was a sectarian motive for the attacks.

"There is no doubt in my mind that these devices were meant to kill and maim.

"I thought we had moved past this and that we were making progress, but when something like this happens it makes you realise that some people are intent on causing damage and death.

"However, I am taking this extremely seriously and will leave no stone unturned to find the people who carried out these attacks."


Hat Tip: Slugger

However, the IRA doesn't get off scot-free:

Army bomb experts have made safe "a crude but viable" bomb in Lurgan in County Armagh.

It was left in a car which was hijacked in the town and abandoned outside St Peter's gaelic athletic club.

It is believed the driver had been told to take the car to Lurgan police station, which is nearby.

Police came under attack from youths who threw more than 30 petrol bombs in the mainly nationalist part of the town. Seven officers were injured.
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Phony Sale of Air America?--Updated

Captain Ed does some digging and discovers that apparently the main purpose of the sale to Piquant was to shed the debt that Air America had acquired; newspapers at the time even noted this purpose.

Note that this contradicts what Al Franken claimed on Monday, that the debt was discovered during a "forensic accounting" examination by the company, and that Rob Glaser had said that legally they didn't owe the money, but morally they did, so they decided to make arrangements to pay it.

Update: Macho Nachos was all over this awhile ago. There are times when good small bloggers are ahead of the story and then don't get credit for that when the rest of the blogosphere catches up; kudos to Captain Ed for recognizing Macho Nachos.
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Tuesday, August 09, 2005
 
Slo-Mo Returns

Egad what a train wreck! I rubberneck her first new column in months at Lifelike.
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Terrific Email

This was forwarded to me from a liberal friend who's also a former Marine, so even though we don't see eye to eye on the President and the war, we do agree on respect for the troops and especially those killed serving their country:

What follows is a message from Vicki Pierce about her nephew James' funeral (he was serving our country in Iraq):

"I'm back, it was certainly a quick trip, but I have to also say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There is a lot to be said for growing up in a small town in Texas. The service itself was impressive with wonderful flowers and sprays, a portrait of James, his uniform and boots, his awards and ribbons. There was lots of military brass and an eloquent (though inappropriately longwinded) Baptist preacher. There were easily 1000 people at the service, filling the church sanctuary as well as the fellowship hall and spilling out into the parking lot.

However, the most incredible thing was what happened following the service on the way to the cemetery. We went to our cars and drove to the cemetery escorted by at least 10 police cars with lights flashing and some other emergency vehicles, with Texas Rangers handling traffic. Everyone on the road who was not in the procession, pulled over, got out of their cars, and stood silently and respectfully, some put their hands over their hearts.

When we turned off the highway suddenly there were teenage boys along both sides of the street about every 20 feet or so, all holding large American flags on long flag poles, and again with their hands on their hearts. We thought at first it was the Boy Scouts or 4H club or something, but it continued .... for two and a half miles. Hundreds of young people, standing silently on the side of the road with flags. At one point we passed an elementary school, and all the children were outside, shoulder to shoulder holding flags . kindergartners, handicapped, teachers, staff, everyone. Some held signs of love and support. Then came teenage girls and younger boys, all holding flags. Then adults. Then families. All standing silently on the side of the road. No one spoke, not even the very young children.

The military presence..at least two generals, a fist full of colonels, and representatives from every branch of the service, plus the color guard which attended James, and some who served with him ... was very impressive and respectful, but the love and pride from this community who had lost one of their own was the most amazing thing I've ever been privileged to witness.





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It Was the Quitting That Killed Him

The headline:

S. Korean man dies after 50 hours of computer games

A South Korean man who played computer games for 50 hours almost non-stop died of heart failure minutes after finishing his mammoth session in an Internet cafe, authorities said Tuesday.
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Dumb as This Post?

Mithras wonders where all the funny conservative blogs are.

Is there a genetic link between humor and political outlook? Is there just some birth defect that prevents right-wingers from being funny? In my apology yesterday, I sarcastically asserted there was such a connection, but now I think I may have been right at that. Perhaps people who are born with a natural disposition to see the humor in life, and to be able to laugh at themselves, may develop a sense of empathy and compassion that leads them to liberalism.

This is of course, nonsense. There are plenty of funny conservative bloggers, and there are plenty of funny liberal bloggers. It's just that folks who find the conservative blogs funny are unlikely to laugh at those humorous liberal bloggers, and vice-versa. Just as people who are likely to find the endless twists and turns of Plamegate fascinating are also mostly the ones who hollered "Whitewater? Boooorrrrinnnng!"

Frank at IMAO points out:

KEY HUMOR ASPECT NUMBER ONE: Humor involves shared, unsaid beliefs between who tells joke and who hears it.

Exactly. A relative recently played a song for me that he thought was terrific. It was about a group of drivers on Route 80 in New Jersey who got caught up in road rage, and all kept driving on the highway even though they'd passed their exit. And while I'm not a big fan of idiots on the highway expressing their road rage, it went on to mock them as bank presidents and secretaries and hairdressers. There was a sneering, self-congratulatory air to the piece that was completely off-putting.

And yet, when I was a liberal I probably would have enjoyed it and thought it was quite amusing. And this wasn't a particularly political song; for all I know the hairdresser and the bank president were Democrats.

That seems to me to be the essence of liberal humor: sneering at the lowbrows who clutter up your highway. Check out some of the blogs Mithras highlights as funny, and surf over to them. Here, for example, are a few examples of James Wolcott's humor:

Now in normal times this wouldn’t have raised one of my big eyebrows. But these aren’t normal times. These are Bush Times. When Ann Coulter is on the cover of Time and Darwin is supposed to take a powder for God the Esquisite Swiss Watchmaker Who Sent His only Begotten Son to Supply Mel Gibson with a Box Office Smash.

If any further evidence was needed of how slickly and slitheringly adept the neocons have become at prostituting themselves to power, get a peep at one of its most prominent members nimbly working his forked tongue.

Indeed, this is why so many liberals think the word f*cktard is an excellent insult; because it implies the recipient is retarded and thus certainly sneerworthy.
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Moron Fred Phelps

Check out the idiotic signs that his "flock" are waving at soldiers' funerals, but only if you've had your blood pressure medication today. Kudos to Chicago Alderman Brian Balcer for opposing these creeps. I don't know if he's an "R" or a "D" but he deserves our support.
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Moron Kos

As Mark Steyn noted, the Democrats have come upon a unique new way of keeping their troops happy; they aren't losing elections anymore, they're just having deferred success. Mr Right riffs on that theme with a hilarious post on their moral victories:

To further the stated goal of losing as many elections as possible, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, publisher of the leading liberal weblog, Daily Kos, is lobbying for a position as a Democrat Party Campaign Manager.

"Kos" cited his "perfect 0-16 record" supporting Democrat candidates for elected office in recent elections as proof of his immeasurable qualification for such a position.
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Here's The Isolated Audio of Franken on the Air America Scandal--Updated

(Welcome to my fellow Michelle Malkin readers!)

this is an audio post - click to play


I found it about 79 minutes into the program (they bury the bad news like the New York Times).

Update: The Radio Equalizer took the next step and transcribed Franken's comments.
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Franken: I Wuz Robbed

Michelle Malkin has the link to the NY Post article.
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Monday, August 08, 2005
 
Ten Things I Like About Comics, Part V

(This has been Crossposted to Silver Age Comics, which contains yet more about Cookie's exploits)

This is Cookie O'Toole. (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them).



He lives in a typical small town in America with Mom and Pop. Mom's pretty much the sole sane person in the comic. Dad, on the other hand, falls for every get rich quick scheme that comes down the pike.



Cookie's steady gal is Angelpuss. Va-va-va-voom!



Every story needs a villain. In the Cookie stories, it's usually this fellow:



Zoot is a sneaky ne'er do well compared to the good-hearted Cookie, although much the nattier dresser and clearly from a wealthier background.

Fortunately Cookie is aided by his best pal, Jitterbuck Jones. Jitterbuck is prone to coming up with great ideas, which frequently involve Cookie in drag.



The main thing I like about Cookie is the mayhem. Cookie stories all feature people doing absolutely crazy things. As one of my friends commented, it's amazing this comic didn't catch the eye of 1950s anti-comic crusader Fredric Werthmam, because it seems to be a rare issue that doesn't have cross-dressing, adult babies and mannequin fetishes; all in a perfectly harmless G-rated setting.







Cookie first appeared in Topsy-Turvy Comics #1, in April 1945. He next popped up exactly three years later (an eternity in comics time) in his own book. There were 55 issues published, with the series finally coming to an end in August of 1955.

One of the charms of Cookie, much like the Simpsons, is the clever use of the (fairly large) cast. At Harelip High, where the younger members are enrolled, there's his teacher, Miss Bibblesnicker, and Principal Lockjaw. Cookie's scientifically-inclined friend is the Brain, although his inventions tend to be a little unpredictable.



Cookie's chubby buddy is Hep, who seems to take a particular enjoyment in beating up Zoot at appropriate moments. To add more dynamics to the situation, Angelpuss's father is Cookie's pop's employer, and Mom does have some social aspirations for the family at times.
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Eleanor Clift Is Nuts

Oh, I recognized it years ago with her absurd performances on the McLaughlin Group, but then a funny thing happened. I borrowed a book from the library called War Without Bloodshed, written by Eleanor and her late husband, Tom Brazaitis. And it was a terrific political primer on the political world as it existed in 1993. It even had a plot (the HillaryCare debacle) where the good guys win out in the end.

Since then I've always had a grudging respect for her. But this column definitely used up a lot of that respect. Clift gives a completely trite and naive spin on the special election held last week in Ohio's second district, that comes straight from the Kos's mouth.

The national Democratic Party had written off the Ohio seat because the district is the second-most Republican in the state, but Moulitsas and like-minded bloggers saw it as a chance to put everything they’d been saying to the test. They didn’t expect to win, though there was always that hope, but if they could turn a foregone Republican conclusion into a close race where the GOP had to spend money and sweat the outcome, that would be victory enough.

Goalpost shifting? I read a fair number of the left-wing blogs the week before the election, and I don't remember anybody over there saying that "We won't win, but let's at least keep it close."

So the left-wing blogs are now the toast of Eleanor Clift, and Kos gets a write-up we might expect from a lovesick sixteen-year-old girl:

The boyishly slight Moulitsas responded with an engaging smile, saying that he wished he could claim he was a grand visionary and that his blog was part of a master plan to take over the world. He had no idea it would take off the way it has. It was his way of dealing with the angst he felt as an Army veteran who opposed the Iraq war at a time when any disagreement with President Bush was thought to be almost treasonous. Moulitsas is no stranger to war. He had spent part of his youth in El Salvador, his mother’s native land, during that country’s brutal civil war. Back home in Chicago, he enlisted in the Army at age 17 and spent two and a half years with an artillery unit in Germany. After college and law school, he ended up designing Web pages in San Francisco. He supported the bombing in Afghanistan but was so viscerally opposed to the invasion of Iraq that he was driving his wife and boss and cubicle mate crazy, he recalls. “It was either start a blog and just vent or lose my entire social circle,” he said. Pretty soon he had 100 online visitors, more than he could accommodate in his house, he remembers thinking. When he hit 1,000, he thought to himself, “I’m done,” but he kept going--and now he’s Moses leading Democrats to the promised land.

I have a hunch that the promised land for the Democrats is a long way off if Kos is Moses.
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Sheehan Story Reprinted

In the Vacaville Reporter.
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This'll Work

The Germans have figured out how to stop the terrorists says Mark Steyn:

Responding to Islamist terrorism in Britain and elsewhere, Germany is considering introducing a Muslim public holiday. As Mathias Dopfner, chief executive of Axel Springer, put it: "A substantial fraction of Germany's government - and, if polls are to be believed, the German people - believe that creating an official state Muslim holiday will somehow spare us from the wrath of fanatical Islamists."

And if it doesn't at least it's another day off!
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Cindy Sheehan's Changing Tune

The mother of a soldier who died in Iraq has been changing her tune, notes Drudge.

These days, it's all "Bush lied, my son died," but last year in an interview with the Vacaville reporter, she said:

"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."

The meeting didn't last long, but in their time with Bush, Cindy spoke about Casey and asked the president to make her son's sacrifice count for something. They also spoke of their faith.

While meeting with Bush, as well as Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, was an honor, it was almost a tangent benefit of the trip. The Sheehans said they enjoyed meeting the other families of fallen soldiers, sharing stories, contact information, grief and support.

For some, grief was still visceral and raw, while for others it had melted into the background of their lives, the pain as common as breathing. Cindy said she saw her reflection in the troubled eyes of each.

"It's hard to lose a son," she said. "But we (all) lost a son in the Iraqi war."

The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected.

For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle.

For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.

"That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together," Cindy said.


You want to know the funny part? You can still read this article on Cindy Sheehan's web page. Note: If the page seems to be blank (completely white) try clicking and dragging to highlight the page--the text pops right up then!

Update: Well, that was quick--they've taken down that page.
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Operation Soldier a Big Hit at Fresno Ballgame!

Our buddy John Bush has the details:

Attending the game with Operation Soldier was US ARMY Sergeant, Justin Bond, from the 1072 TC Company, of Fresno, CA, who was wounded in Iraq, on April 9th, 2004, when he was shot in both knees with an AK-47 assault rifle, by terrorists.

SGT Bond had an opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. When SGT Bond was introduced to the crowd estimated to be 7,000 people, the crowd rose to their feet and gave SGT Bond a standing ovation and thanked him for his service.
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Krugman's Latest

Fisked by me over at Lifelike.
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Air America Delaying Paychecks?

Brian at the Radio Equalizer has the story.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005
 
Peter Jennings Dead

Wow, that was pretty quick.

One of my least favorite newsreaders, but my sympathies to his family.
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Ways to Waste Time on Technorati--Updated

This is kind of fun. Pick out a really outrageous phrase that the left likes to use, like, oh, "Bush is worse than Hitler". Note the quotes; that makes sure that the words were written in that exact order. As of today, there have been 53 posts to use that exact formulation, and 20 in the last 218 days.

Now, if you check them out, you'll probably find that a good half of them are from conservative bloggers, mocking the way liberals talk about Bush, but there are a healthy number of numbskulls who do really believe it:

The New Found Freedom Blog says:

Why is Bush worse than Hitler in every sense except killing lots of jews.

Which sounds like it might be ironic, but it's not.

The Chris Saliba Web Experience says:

I’m not one for comparing George W. Bush to Hitler, but when Ritter does it, with such conviction, I’m willing to listen....

Fresno Liberal wants us to know:

George W. Bush has emulated Hitler in attacking other countries, but certainly not in providing jobs, food, or low taxes for most of us. It's pretty stunning to realize that Bush, in some ways, is worse than Hitler.

The Emperor's New Clothes advises us:

You, the rest of the world, must pound the message out, in simple child-like terms, that Bush is worse than Hitler. Bush's administration is the "Gang of Four." Help. Help. Help. If we go down, I know my corrupt leaders will take you with us.

Update: The Leather Penguin suggests another phrase, which has apparently resulted in lots of hits. To which I can only say, all your hot lesbian monkey porn base are belong to us!
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I'll Bet the Left is Bonkers Over This One

Pro-war guy shoots and kills anti-war guy.

It happened at Floyd County flea market on Thursday, when two friends, who were firearms vendors there, drew guns after quarreling about the war. Douglas Moore, 65, of Martin, who backs the war, shot and killed Harold Wayne Smith, 56, of Manchester, who opposed it, according to investigators.

Moore was released without being charged after he convinced police he had acted in self-defense. A grand jury may yet hear evidence in the case.


Rox Populi says it's the culture of life.
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The Next Air America?

The effort to replicate the success of the Republicans continues:

At least 80 wealthy liberals have pledged to contribute $1 million or more apiece to fund a network of think tanks and advocacy groups to compete with the potent conservative infrastructure built up over the past three decades.

The money will be channeled through a new partnership called the Democracy Alliance, which was founded last spring -- the latest in a series of liberal initiatives as the Democratic Party and its allies continue to struggle with the loss of the House and the Senate in 1994 and the presidency in 2000. Many influential Democratic contributors were left angry and despairing over the party's poor showing in last year's elections, and are looking for what they hope will be more effective ways to invest their support.


Pirates' Cove has similar thoughts.

Stop the caterwauling, stop the hysterics, stop the hijinx, stop the "blame everyone else," stop being, as Michelle Malkin puts it, unhinged. That is how you appear to the right of center folks, as well as the swing voters.

To which I can only add, find something that you support, rather than telling us what you're against. And please, don't tell us universal health care; that's been in the Democratic Party playbook since at least 1948.
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Dave Reinhard Scoops the Times

Portland Oregonian Associate Editor writes a column on the Air America Scandal.

First, its listeners should unleash their "we know better" candlepower and their you-can't-fool-us cynicism to get to the bottom of the Air America's kids-for-kilowatts scandal. And, clearly, a scheme that hurts children and Alzheimer's patients to fund left-wing outreach should appeal to progressives' dark sense of irony.

Second, Air America's listeners should go beyond the network owners on the financial front. Simply repaying funds to club isn't enough. Really, how cover-your-assets corporatist is that? Leftist listeners need to really showcase that storied compassion of theirs. Yes, how about a radio-thon to raise funds for kids and Alzheimer's patients across this broad land? Lefty listeners could, well, "Give piece of change."
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Day Nine: NY Times Held Hostage!

Still no mention of the Air America scandal at "The Paper of Record".
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Steyn on the Democrats

One of the funny columns:

Sitting behind yet another Vermont granolamobile bearing the bumper sticker "Bush Scares Me," I found myself thinking that perhaps the easiest way to reduce childhood obesity in American families might just to be to shout out, "Look! There's big scary Bush! Run! Run for your lives! No, wait, there's John Bolton, too! Better cut through the park before he puts his hands on his hips in an aggressive manner!" Indeed, when yesterday's coming man John Edwards dusts off his "Two Americas" stump speech -- the one with the heartwarming Dickensian vignette about the shivering girl whose parents can't afford to buy her a winter coat ($9.99 brand new from Wal-Mart) -- he might want to add a section about how an easy way for shivering coatless girls to keep warm is to run around the block a couple of times.
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