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Saturday, September 24, 2005
 
Cindy's Bodyguards Carrying Heat?

Well, that's arguable from the description accompanying this photo:



Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, center, blows a kiss as she is surrounded by supporters and her private security detail during an anti-war protest march, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

(Boldface added) Uh, is that guy packing? I mean, it sure looks like it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Then You Got Your Creative Types

Perhaps a trifle obvious?



Horny protester tries novel method of giving out his cell-phone number.



"Look, Mom, I'm under the bird! I'm under the bird! I'm--yeccchhh!"



It's all about the oil!



Errr, maybe it's about health care.
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Yo, Jesse! It's There If You Want It!





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Shiny Happy People















Looks like a peace rally to me!

Some images gleaned from here.
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Demonstration Observations

1. They're doing a good job of getting people on and off the microphone, keeping up a rapid pace.

2. Every speaker seems to feel the need to reassure everybody else (and those watching at home) that the crowd is enormous. I'm suspicious.

3. Lots and lots of angry people. Could that be why leftism appeals to youth? I think it is quite apparent that people get less angry as they age.
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Antiwar Goofballs on C-Span

They're singing some version of Dinah Won't You Blow Your Horn. Cynthia McNinney was on earlier. It's mostly really far leftist stuff; already a couple mentions of Palestine and Haiti.
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Very Suspicious

This photograph is getting a fair amount of attention.

The timing of these hurricanes is certainly suspicious. Just when Cindy Sheehan seemed to have some momentum, along comes Katrina to drive her off the front page. Then, when the antiwar movement is prepared to have its biggest protest since before the war, Rita comes along making sure that all the news cameras are pointed elsewhere.

I'm just saying, is all. ;)
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Friday, September 23, 2005
 
The Irish Jig Continues....

If I had a dime for every time I've seen this news reported:

The outlawed Irish Republican Army is ready to dispose of its stockpiled arms in a long-sought peace move, possibly within the next week, Sinn Fein and Irish government leaders said Friday after their first meeting in eight months.
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How the Left Mainstreams Themselves

As I pointed out in one of the earliest posts on this blog, by saying they're mainstream to an uncritical press. Here's another good example, a "novice" protester who turns out to be a member of ANSWER.

Hat Tip: Ace
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Here Come the Arab Superheroes

It's arguable that this is a good trend.

"AK Comics characters are to represent a role model for Arab youth and also to promote, advocate and endorse a positive as well as civilized image of Arabs in the West", according to the company's mission statement.

Zein, Aya and Jalila live in an imaginary era, sometime after a 55-year-war, which ended with a peace in the Middle East that is maintained by the United Arab Forces.

Rakan, on the other hand, lives in the past, in a time when his parents perished in the Mongol invasion.

Of the four, who all have a profound distaste for violence, only Rakan kills his enemies, and then with the greatest reluctance.
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How Bad Are the Cardinals?

Since they moved to Arizona in 1988, they have won 96 games (counting postseason). None of the teams that played every year since then has won fewer. They have been endlessly mediocre. The NFL went to the 16-game season in 1978. Since that time, the Cardinals have gone 4-12 five times; no other NFL team has accomplished that record of futility as many times. They've also gone 5-11 in six other seasons, something that only the Tampa Bay Bucs can match.

We can take a look at all the expansion clubs since they entered the league. The Atlanta Falcons entered the league in 1966 and have won 242 games; the Cardinals have also won 242 games since 1966. The Miami Dolphins who entered the league that same year have won 374 games. The New Orleans Saints, not exactly a franchise covered in glory, started play in 1967; they've won 236 games against the Cardinals' 234 since then. The Cincinnati Bengals started up in 1968 and have won 249 games compared to the Cardinals' 228 over the same span.

The Seahawks and Bucs both entered the league in the bicentennial year and have won 218 and 177 games respectively compared to the Cardinals' 173. The Jaguars, Panthers and Ravens (see note and correction) all entered the league in 1995, and have won 87, 76 and 77 games respectively, compared to the 56 games the Cardinals have won.

The Browns reentered the league in 1999, since they both they and the Cardinals have won 31 games. The Houston Texans started play in 2002, they have won 16 games to the Cardinals' 15.

Note: The Ravens were considered a new team when they started play in 1995 (see correction) even though it was plainly the same squad that played as the Cleveland Browns the season before.

Correction: As noted in the comments by Suomynona, the Ravens started play in 1996, not 1995. They have won 77 games since then, while the Cardinals won 52.
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A Little Cindy Cheesecake



Hey, I hear pictures like this can really draw the traffic from Google.

Cindy met with another foxy lady on Thursday:



Neither Clinton or Reid, who both voted for the war, were willing to reverse tracks and push for a U.S. withdrawal now. Nevertheless, Sheehan reported feeling “fabulous coming out of the meeting.”

“I know their offices are going to be working with us; all we have to do is keep up the pressure on them,” Sheehan said, adding, “Now it’s up to the people of New York to put pressure on Clinton.”


Hillary, of course, looks pretty good next to Cindy the Clown:

“It’s just a painful experience because of their loss,” Clinton said of her meeting with Sheehan, who was accompanied by her sister Dede and by Lynn Bradach, whose 21-year-old son, Corporal Travis Bradach-Nall, was killed clearing a minefield outside Karbala two years ago.

But Clinton added: “My bottom line is that I don’t want their sons to die in vain.”

Asked when she thought those soldiers’ mission might be complete, Clinton responded: “I don’t believe it’s smart to set a date for withdrawal. I don’t think you should ever telegraph your intentions to the enemy so they can await you.”

“I’ve been very critical of the president’s policies and also supportive of the Iraqis who are trying to move forward and form a new government,” Clinton told the Voice.

“I think it is a much more complicated situation,” she continued. “I don’t think it’s the right time to withdraw, but we also have to stand up and send a message that we’re not going to be there indefinitely. We need to tell the Sunnis that they have to do their job and that we won’t be there forever. Because if you don’t, then what incentive is there for them to ever participate in the political process?”


Take out the pro-forma response about "the president's policies" and really there's nothing that a conservative could disagree with Hillary on.

For Moron Cindy Sheehan, see The Nose on Your Face.

Here's a little tidbit about Cindy's compassion for other people who've lost family members:

After a courageous pregnant veteran said she was 12 days from delivering the child she conceived with her late husband, a Navy corpsmen killed in Iraq by al-Qaeda operatives, Sheehan lovingly interjected, “Well, Sweetie, they weren't there before [U.S. troops] invaded and opened the doors borders to the terrorists.” Sheehan then taunted the widowed patriot, “You know what? Your baby is going to be fatherless for a lie, for two lies: Weapons of Mass Destruction and terrorism.” The grieving woman responded, “My child will never be fatherless because his father is an angel.”

I've commented before that Cindy Sheehan was well known among the Lefty antiwar crowd, as something of a kook before she became Mother Sheehan. The more time she spends onstage at this point, the more likely she will be to hurt the movement.
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Idiots Descend on DC

The Sun has the details:

This weekend's "mobilization" against the war in Iraq is being organized by a New York-based anti-war coalition, United for Peace and Justice, which has staged similar gatherings in the past. UFPJ will be joined by a constellation of left-leaning anti-war organizations from across the country, ranging from ANSWER to Code Pink to the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Unofficial anti-Israel events are scheduled to begin this evening, but the major festivities will kick off with a rally at the Ellipse tomorrow morning. From there, demonstrators are scheduled to parade around Washington, past the White House. Tomorrow evening brings an "Operation Ceasefire" concert, and Sunday's activities will include training in "non-violent resistance" for those who plan to participate in Monday's act of "massive non-violent direct action at the White House," according to the weekend's schedule.


Expect there to be photos emphasizing how big the protest is, even though most estimates are that they will draw a crowd smaller than Michigan drew for its 55-0 whipping of Eastern Michigan in football. Expect there to be lots of talk about "how mainstream" the protesters are, never mind the "unofficial" anti-Israel events, never mind the Stalinists from ANSWER or the Trotskyites surrounding Cindy Sheehan or the gals from Code Pinko.
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Thursday, September 22, 2005
 
Hillary Tacks Left

Her decision to vote against Roberts strikes me as a tactical mistake, but she does have three years before she has to face a non-liberal electorate, and she wants to avoid getting more of the Left angry at her.

Carol Platt Liebau points out that Hillary had originally indicated an intent to vote for Roberts.
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Survivor Notes

Hogeboom gets exposed by one of the gals on the other team as a pro quarterback.

The hotel doorman from New York appears to be shaping up as a villain at first, when he gripes about poor Blake, who despite his obvious breathing problems, still managed to win the reward challenge. But then Judd the doorman fantasizes about being the hero and sure enough, in the immunity challenge he comes up big. I'm tempted to like him from his bio, but I suspect his personality will prove to be just a little too abrasive over time.

Although the challenges appeared close, they were pretty humdrum affairs with a modest (at best) connection to the Mayan theme. I suppose you could make an argument about the spiderweb that the players had to climb around in being related to the local geography, although we've seen spiders and no webs to my recollection. Blake of course was the man in this challenge, despite the fact that we had just seen him wheezing like a fat man after a hill climb.

Judd comes through in the tug of war, beating Hogeboom, then one of the other players in a sudden burst of energy with only seconds left. Nakum will be tougher than they looked. Burnett obviously wanted us to be rooting for Yaxha today with all the highlighting of what a solid and hardworking tribe they are as compared to the ill and bickering Nakum. But at the end of the day the solid and hardworking guys are now 1-3 in challenges. Although it was highlighted last week that Steph had finally won an immunity challenge, this week there was no mention that Bobby Jon won his first IC tonight.

Morgan gets the knife at tribal council. Although I thought she would be the cutie pie this year (based on this pic), it seems obvious that Steph was picked for that honor. Morgan turned out to have acne on the other side of her face and really was gaunt to start with; I had a hard time imagining her making it late in the game. Lydia, despite the talk about her not doing well at challenges, did succeed in bringing back a bag in the reward challenge.

As predicted last week, despite all the talk about the crocodiles in the water, folks were dangling their feet in the lake.
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What If They Gave an Antiwar Demonstration and Nobody Showed Up

Sounds like the Democrats won't be around this weekend:

Nationally known Democratic war critics, including Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Russell Feingold of Wisconsin and John Kerry of Massachusetts, won't attend what sponsors say will be a big anti-war rally Saturday in Washington.

The only Democratic officeholders who plan to address the rally are Reps. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and John Conyers of Michigan.




Moron Cindy Sheehan from Byron York.

Note particularly this bit:

As the rest of the group added their signatures, Sheehan walked away to sit on the lawn behind the microphones. A few photographers followed her, and when she sat down she seemed to muse on the strangeness of it all. "Cindy Sheehan sitting on the grass," she said.

When they start to refer to themselves in the third person, you know they're getting self-important.
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Roberts Nomination Passes Judiciary Committee by 13-5 Vote

I guess the real surprise is that Russ Feingold, darling of the antiwar movement, voted in favor of confirmation. Predictably, this is causing some anguish and anger:

Law Dork is calling the three Democrats to vote for Roberts, his "Three Amigos". That's a pretty good one.

Suburban Guerilla is a little less original, terming them "turncoats".

The Tattered Coat wails, "Say it ain’t so, Russ."
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The Flaw in the California Death Penalty Study

Interestingly, they focus on the race/ethnicity of the victim:

California murder convicts are much more likely to receive death sentences if their victim is white rather than black or Latino, according to a study released Wednesday.

The study, conducted by Glenn Pierce of the College of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University and Michael Radelet, sociology professor at the University of Colorado, found that people who kill whites are four times more likely to be sentenced to die than those who kill Latinos and three times more likely to get death sentences than those who kill African Americans.


and

Eighty percent of the executions carried out in California from 1990 to 1999 were for the murders of white people, although whites made up 28 percent of the homicide victims in California during that decade.

and

African Americans were six times more likely to be homicide victims than whites.

"This study raises significant questions about whether the death penalty is administered fairly in this state," Donald Polden, dean of the Santa Clara University School of Law, said in a letter to the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.


Notice anything odd? Yep, there is no discussion of the race of the murderer. Now, if black murderers were being executed at a higher rate than white murderers, don't you think that would be mentioned quite prominently?

In fact, they are not. The study (PDF file) notes that 11 men have been executed in California since 1992. Eight were white, one was black, one was Asian, and one was Native American.

It is a quirk of murder statistics more than anything else that is going on. One of the oddities that anybody looking at murder stats will notice pretty quickly is that the race of the murderer is strongly correlated to the race of the victim. That is to say, there are fewer cross-racial murders than might be expected.

Proof? Here's the FBI report (Excel file) comparing murder victims by race to their offenders by race for the year 2003 (last year for which complete data is available).

....................................Race of offender
Race of victim.....Total......White...Black...Other...Unk
White................3,603......3,017.....501......44......41
Black.................3,147.........226..2,864........8......49
Other...................199...........47.......26....122........4
Unknown...............75...........33.......21........2......19

Whites are far more likely to kill whites than they are blacks, and blacks are far more likely to kill blacks than they are whites. The problem is that statistical fact means that one can draw racist implications in the application of the death penalty no matter what the government does.

For example, suppose the government decides that, say, 25% of all murders are deserving of the death penalty, and that it then ensures that this is carried out so that white victims and black victims are evenly likely to see their killers get the death penalty. Then blacks will be "disproportionately represented" on death row. The calculation is a little trickier than it might seem, because there is not a 1-1 relationship between murderers and their victims; some murderers kill more than one victim, and some victims are murdered by more than one person. But let's ignore that for now and assume that while the numbers may be slightly off, the proportions will be reasonably similar.

Then the government will execute 831 whites, and 853 blacks and 44 "others" (those of unknown race are clearly the ones who got away). Blacks, who are about 13% of the population will represent almost 50% of the death row inmates. It must be a racist system!

So we turn things around, and decide that no matter what, we have to make sure that blacks make up no more than 13% of those executed, and that they are equally likely to be executed for murdering whites as for murdering blacks. We'll stick with the 25% figure for white and other murderers to be executed, so that there are still 831 whites and 44 others on death row. Then in order for them not to be overrepresented on death row, there would be 291 condemned blacks.

If we apportion that back to the race of the victim, we'd have the killers of 808 white victims (or 22.4% of those victims) and 303 black victims (or 9.6% of those victims) facing the ultimate penalty. This means that the killer of a white person is about 2.3 times as likely to get the death penalty as the killer of a black person.

Get it? No matter what the government does on capital punishment, it will be considered racist. If it tries to limit the number of blacks executed, it will inevitably end up executing a smaller percentage of those who kill blacks than those who kill whites. If it executes those who kill blacks as often as it does those who kill whites, it will inevitably execute more blacks than their percentage of the general population (although not of the population of murderers).

The real issue, of course, is that blacks are far more likely to commit murders, about 7 times more likely according to the FBI. Blacks make up about 13% of the population, while whites (a grouping that includes Hispanics in the FBI's numbers) make up about 81% of the population. Hence there are about 7 times as many whites as blacks but the number of white murderers and black murderers were roughly equal in 2003. If we were to divide the number of murders by blacks by 7, it would become a fairly simple task to ensure that whites and blacks were proportionately represented on death row and that black victims and white victims were equally likely to see their killer face the death penalty. But until that happens chasing either of these goals will inevitably lead to squawks that the other proportion is unfair.

Notes:

1. California's statistics cited in the newspaper article and the US statistics from the FBI are not directly comparable because in this case the study distinguishes between whites and Hispanics. Oddly, however, it lumps the huge Hispanic population (about 25% of the state) in a grouping entitled "Asians and Other" that accounts for about 33.8% of the population. Big red flag that they're hiding something here (probably that the murder rate among Hispanics is high).
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Mother Sheehan Draws a Huge Crowd in Washington!

Well, huge by the standards of the left:



That's all, folks. I count 29 people. This is her entire protest party. Including Cindy.

Don't be fooled, though, there will be a much larger protest over the weekend, when all the communists from ANSWER show up.
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The Truth Hurts

Moron the BBC and Tony Blair's reaction to their coverage.

BBC journalists who covered Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans are mystified and angered by reports that the Prime Minister told Rupert Murdoch he thought the corporation's coverage was "full of hatred of America" and "gloating".

I have no doubt about the angered part; they thought they'd done a pretty good hatchet job, I'm sure. Mystified, though? Does anybody really believe that the BBC doesn't feel hatred for America?
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Wednesday, September 21, 2005
 
Guess Who's Back



I'm very disappointed. But this part is hilarious:

But Steve Hildebrand, director of the new committee and Daschle's former campaign manager, said the well-known Democrat from South Dakota "is not going to rule out opportunities to play important roles in public service."

"It could be president, it could be vice president, it could be something else," Hildebrand said. "It could be nothing."


I'm guessing lobbyist.
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Batman With Robin the Boy Wonder #2 Review

I'd put up a warning about spoilers, but there's nothing to spoil. Nothing happens in this issue. It's not an exaggeration to say that if you are interested in the series and liked the first issue, you can simply skip this one without missing anything.

Oh, there's something of a fight scene, but it only involves the Batmobile crunching a few (crooked) cop cars. Batman behaves as he has for the last 20 years or so, which is to say, like a homicidal maniac (symbolized, as seems to be the trend, by the fact that he shaves about as often as Brett Favre).
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Andrew Sullivan Is an Idiot

But you knew that already. Get this bit:

TWO KATRINAS REVISITED: I sloppily wrote yesterday that we are paying for two Katrinas a year on interest "on the Bush-Republican deficit." I should have written on interest "on the national debt inflated by the Bush-Republican deficit." Bush is not responsible for the entire national debt he inherited, just for about $1.5 trillion that he has added. That $1.5 trillion is, of course, a record amount in a mere five years (not counting the deficits racked up under Reagan). But the interest on that alone isn't two Katrinas' worth. My bad. Under Clinton, of course, we were actually paying back the debt. But that was when we had fiscal conservatives running the government.

Question: When were interest payments on the federal debt at their peak?

Answer: In 1997, during the Clinton Administration.

Here's the net interest paid by the US government by year (Millions):

1994: $202.9
1995: $232.1
1996: $241.1
1997: $244.0
1998: $241.1
1999: $229.8
2000: $222.9
2001: $206.2
2002: $170.9
2003: $153.1
2004: $160.2

As you can see, the amount of interest paid has dropped dramatically under Bush. Andrew also fallaciously claims that Bush's deficits are a record; but that's unadjusted for inflation. The Reagan-era deficits were much higher adjusted for inflation (or as a percentage of GDP) than the current ones. Of course, Andrew still loves Reagan, so you gotta wonder if it's fiscal insanity that has brought him to this point, or if it's just gay marriage.
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Air America Update

The Leather Penguin gets a chuckle from the chuckleheads at Air Idiot. Be sure to check out the "free stuff" that you can receive in return for contributing $50 or more. That's a mighty snazzy Air America tote bag!
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Cindy Sheehan "Hurt" At Rally

The Man has the story. My favorite bit was when Cindy's buddies referred to the police as "Stalinists". Just a guess here, but does anybody think that the Sheehan crowd is made up of Trokstyites? (DOH!--Trotskyites as pointed out by Mr Right in the comments.)
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Leahy to Back Roberts!

Wow, that was certainly unexpected. Maybe I'd better stick to my original prediction: Roberts gets 20 votes for confirmation from the Democrats. David Sirota's going to be mighty angry!
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President Bush Meets With Katrina Hero

Nice story here.



Bush praised Darden's "heroic acts" during Hurricane Katrina, and said the city water meter reading supervisor represents "the can-do spirit here in Mississippi that is taking this situation and making things better."

Darden and several of his neighbors in the low-lying Turkey Creek community braved swift flood waters during the storm to rescue more than 20 people trapped in their houses. The rescuers swam, clung to trees and at one point tied themselves together and pulled people onto a small boat and took them to the safety of a nearby church on higher ground.
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Global Warming Spotted... On Mars--Updated

Laurie David will no doubt condemn the Martians for driving those climate-destroying tripods.



And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress.

How much longer can Martian President John Carter continue to refuse to sign the Kyoto-Barsoom Treaty?

Hat Tip: Wizbang!

Update: More at Lifelike by Pam Meister.
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Why Did the Levees Break?

Captain Ed points us to this article on the levees breaching, which was (as President Bush and I have pointed out before) unexpected.

Louisiana's top hurricane experts have rejected the official explanations for the floodwall collapses that inundated much of New Orleans, concluding that Hurricane Katrina's storm surges were much smaller than authorities have suggested and that the city's flood- protection system should have kept most of the city dry.

Here at last is a Democrat who admits the president was right:

Former senator J. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) said he remembers numerous briefings from Corps officials about the danger of a hurricane overtopping the New Orleans levees. But he said he never envisioned a scenario like this one. "This came as a surprise," he said.

And I can't help but agree with this assessment:

"I don't know if it's bad construction or bad design, but whoever the contractor is has a problem," said Livingston, now a lobbyist on Capitol Hill.
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How Bush Can Get Back His Mojo

John Hawkins has eight simple proposals.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2005
 
I'm Forever Bloating Bodies....

Pat Hynes' latest, over at Townhall.

Big Media couldn’t swing a bloated cat without hitting a bloated body in New Orleans, but the number of first-hand accounts is being readjusted downward almost as fast as the death toll.

Great column.
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How Will The Democrats Vote on Roberts?

I haven't blogged much about Judge Roberts because the judiciary isn't really my beat, but the question of who will vote for and who will vote against is more about politics than about judicial philosophy.

I suspect that the votes will break nearly down the middle, maybe 20 Democrats for, 25 against (counting Jumpin' Jim as a Dem for the moment--and he will vote no). The groups that will vote in favor of his nomination:

Senators from red or purple states up for reelection in 2006. Ben Nelson from Nebraska, Kent Conrad from North Dakota. Possibly Maria Cantwell, although I tend to doubt it.

Legitimate Moderates: Joe Lieberman, Mark Pryor.

Faux Moderates: Hillary Clinton.

Democrats on the Gang of 14: Mary Landrieu's probably a coin toss, as is Ken Salazar. One thing that may help sway them is the fact that this is now Rehnquist's seat. Had it been O'Connor's they would have been more likely to vote nay (while not filibustering). Byrd and Akaka will vote against.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. Most speculation is that all 8 Democrats on the panel will vote against confirmation. Dianne Feinstein is probably Robert's best hope to pick off a vote.

That's nine at best. Maybe I'd better revise down my estimate.

Update: Captain Ed points out that even the LA Times (and the Washington Post) have decided to endorse Roberts. It does seem rather foolish for the Dems to battle this nomination. Because Roberts was proposed for Rehnquist's spot, the balance of power on the court does not even change. The Dems should keep their powder dry for O'Connor's replacement.
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Vietnam War Hero Remembered

Nice story here about a Medal of Honor recipient.

" 'Bernie, this is like the valley of the Little Big Horn.' That's the last thing he said to me," Baillargeon remembers.

And then Leisy saw a North Vietnamese sniper in a tree aim and fire a B-40 rocket at them.

In a fraction of a second, he smothered Baillargeon with his body. Gene Clark, 57 and a retired Macomb, Ill., police officer, was the medic who braved bullets to save lives that day. He saw that one of Leisy's hands was gone, his leg and abdomen shredded.

"He said, 'I'm not going to make it, am I?' " Clark recalls.

Yet Leisy continued to direct the fight, waving off Clark to help others.
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Carnival of the Clueless Time

Rick Moran has more links than Jimmy Dean.
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Aaron Broussard Story Gets More Interesting

I'm a little surprised I haven't covered this story more at Brainster's, but over at Lifelike I did have a post on the unfortunate residents of St. Rita's, the nursing home where more than 30 residents died during Hurricane Katrina. Aaron Broussard, the president of Jefferson Parish, related the story to Tim Russert in an emotional moment:

BROUSSARD: ... The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night.

There was just one minor problem. Mama didn't drown Friday night, she drowned Monday, the day of the storm.

Rodrigue said he didn’t see or hear Broussard’s comments on Meet the Press. When told of the sequence of phone calls that Broussard described on Meet the Press, Rodrigue said “No, no, that’s not true.”

“I can’t tell you what he said that day, why he was confused, I’m assuming he was under a tremendous amount of pressure,” Rodrigue told MSNBC.


Yes, he does indeed seem under a tremendous amount of pressure.

Others who acknowledged receipt of grand jury subpoenas in recent days were Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard and Metairie lawyer David Sherman, subpoenaed because of their official roles in Hand's campaigns, lawyers close to the case have said. Metairie lawyer Gerald Nielsen also got a subpoena because of his role in Chehardy's campaigns, his attorney said.

Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche said revelation of the recent subpoenas has surprised many court observers who had expected the investigation to wind down after Green's trial.

"The perception was that it was over, and these subpoenas point out that maybe those assumptions were incorrect, and there's still trails that the federal government is following," he said.


Hat Tip: Jamie Allman.
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Air America Story Continues to Simmer

The Sun reports that a former top executive of Air America stated in a deposition that the transfer of ownership of the radio network was done in a fraudulent manner in order to confound the creditors of the original owners.

The former White House official, David Goodfriend, said that Air America's investors created a new company soon after discovering the transfers. They were motivated, he said, in part by a desire to avoid the $875,000 liability to the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club.

Bear in mind that Goodfriend is a college buddy of Evan Cohen, whom Al Franken likes to refer to as "a crook", so there could be sides forming here. Still, Goodfriend does not appear to be defending Cohen:

Mr. Goodfriend said in the deposition that he thought Mr. Cohen borrowed the Gloria Wise funds and disguised them as his own personal investment in the radio network.

"The notion that money left the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club so that Evan could pretend that he was investing in Air America sickened me to my core," Mr. Goodfriend said in the deposition.


Brian Maloney has more. Michelle Malkin says more stories are coming from her and Brian.
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Allman & Smash in the Morning Debriefing

That was fun; although a little nervous at first I'd like to think I managed to keep the tone conversational. I was glad that two of the topics we discussed were the Aaron Broussard story and John Fraude Kerry, because those were areas I felt like I knew what I was talking about.

It was nice that they brought up Kitty Litter without me mentioning it. I did blow one fact; I said that I had talked to Kitty over the phone, but actually I've just heard her voice on audioblogger posts. Their producer indicated that they would be doing a rotation of bloggers every week, so I will probably be appearing on the show next some time in October. I'll certainly let you folks know beforehand.

Remember, you can listen live to Allman & Smash from 6:00-9:00 AM Central Time by clicking here. Thanks again, Jamie & Smash!
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Monday, September 19, 2005
 
Cowards Steal Hero's Plaque

I have a hard time believing this. Even in New York.

The simple message read, "In memory of Firefighter Dave Fontana, 1-0/17/63 - 9/11/01. Beloved husband, father, neighbor, artist, hero."

Its only anchor was a foot-long metal spike, as no one imagined it would be a target for thieves in the generally crime-free neighborhood, which is also home to Fontana's firehouse.


Let's hope that the thief gets a guilty conscience.
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Brainster On the Radio!

(This post will appear on top all day today--scroll down for newer content).

I am scheduled to appear tomorrow morning at 8:10 Central Time on St. Louis' 97.1 FM, with Allman & Smash in the Morning to talk about blogging in general and Brainster's in particular. You can listen online here (requires Internet Explorer).
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British Iraq War Hero Gets 1 Million Pound Advance

I've covered the story of Private Johnson Beharry in the past; nice to hear he's going to rewarded financially for his bravery.
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Corruption Scandal in New Mexico

If further evidence was needed that leaving any party (in this case the Democrats) in power for too long is bound to lead to problems, this story should provide it. Here are the basics:

The treasurer controls money from the sale of bonds, and that borrowed money is used for capital improvements in the state. The state receives the bond proceeds in one dose, but the money is spent over a period of time, often years.

During that time the state reinvests the unused money rather than letting it sit idle. In reinvesting it, the state can use commissioned investment advisers, and that, the federal allegations claim, is where Montoya and Vigil used the system to their advantage, demanding kickbacks from the investment advisers in return for state business.


Good blogging on what it all means by Joe Monahan.

Hat Tip: Lucky Dawg.
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Botoxicated Brahmin Spotted at NASCAR Race

Just in case you needed further proof that Kerry's running in 2008 (May take a moment or two to load, scroll down to "Just when you thought you were safe..."). I especially liked Chris' take on what Kerry probably told Kurt Busch about his own auto-racing career.
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The Story of the Hurricane

Mr Snitch puts Bob Dylan's old tune to new words.

Katrina took the town out with just one punch
But the press didn't like that story line all that much.
"It's our job", they said, "and we do it for pay."
"It's nothing personal, we just want the last say."
"Someone must pay the price
Maybe someone who hasn't treated us nice
And shown us the respect we're due.
Yeah, Bush and Rove are gonna rue, twice
over, turning media men into mice."


Definitely worth checking out. I vaguely recall that the Dylan song was a hit in early 1976. Unfortunately I was in England that spring, so I really don't remember much about it other than the obvious; that it was about the murder trial of Hurricane Carter.
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The Moss Effect?



Last year, Daunte Culpepper was the runner-up for MVP of the National Football League. He compiled an outstanding season, completing 69 percent of his passes for an average of 8.6 yards per pass attempted, with 39 touchdowns versus only 11 interceptions. His passer rating was 110.9, which is probably among the five highest ratings for a full season ever, certainly in the top ten.

This season he's played quite a bit less well, with the lowest passer rating in the NFC so far. He's completed only 61% of his passes for an average of 6.7 yards per attempt, with 0 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

It is tempting to attribute this to the loss of Randy Moss by the Vikings, and indeed, the Raiders' quarterback, Kerry Collins, has shown some improvement in his passing stats this season (even though the team is 0-2). Collins has completed 53% of his passes this year versus 56% last year, but his yards per attempt is up to 7.1 from 6.8 last year. More important, he's thrown 4 TDs and not been picked off yet, whereas last year he had 21 TDs and 20 interceptions.

However, I strongly doubt that one wide receiver, no matter how talented, has that much impact on his team. For evidence, just look at 2004. Moss was injured for three games in November last season. Culpepper showed no signs of decline with his #1 target off the field. Here's a look at Culpepper's stats with and without Moss in 2004:

................Comp%.....Y/A.....TD%....Int%
With Moss....69.3%.....8.7....7.1%....2.2%
W/o. Moss....68.4%.....8.1....7.4%....1.1%

Not really a significant difference there with the slightly higher completion percentage and yards per attempt outweighed by the much higher interception percentage.

And it's not as if Culpepper hasn't been inconsistent throughout his career. His passer ratings by year:

2000: 98.0
2001: 83.3
2002: 75.3
2003: 96.4
2004: 110.9
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Wilbon's Right

Never discount the NFL's ability to get things wrong.

Of course, it's a game that shouldn't be played on Monday night, nor should it be played eight miles outside of New York City on the Giants' home field. It's a New York-centric decision, an impossibly arrogant presumption that if you can't be where you want to be, you certainly want to be in New York. Boy, it's so nice of the executives on Park Avenue to be so kind to the Saints, who are displaced from Louisiana and have relocated to San Antonio.

It was a ridiculously bad decision to move the game to the Meadowlands, for reasons that Wilbon points out:

1. Unfair to Saints' fans, who could have made the drive to a game in Baton Rouge or Mississippi or Alabama.

2. Unfair to the other teams in the NFC East which now sees one of its teams with nine home games and seven road contests. Actually this is not quite as big a deal as Willbon makes it out to be. Last year home teams won 56.6% of the games, so a team that had nine home games and seven road games would be expected to win 8.1 games (literally impossible, but ten teams with a similar schedule should end up winning about 81 games) instead of 8.0. Of course, if the Giants win tonight, expect some griping in Philly and Dallas.

3. Unfair to the Saints, whom some have annointed "America's team". Of course, this is the flip side of the Giants' coin; essentially what the Saints have lost by playing on the road is about 1/10th of a game. But again, that's on the odds. Suppose the Saints lose a close game tonight, one that they can convince themselves they would have won at home. And suppose the Giants and Saints are tied at the end of the year for a wild card playoff spot; under the rules the Giants would go based on their head-to-head victory. If that knocks the Saints out of the playoffs expect a lot of anger at the league from their new fans. Another bad potential is if the Giants and Saints are tied for the top wild card spot; that would mean that the two teams would play in the Meadowlands in the first week of the playoffs.

Of course, if the Saints win...
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Mother Sheehan Draws 400 in Brooklyn--Updated!

As if further confirmation was needed that she's yesterday's news, Phil Donahue was in attendance.

Among the Sheehan supporters at Lafayette Avenue was Phil Donahue, the former talk show host. "I'm here to see and hear Cindy Sheehan, who just when we were about to give up has proven that dissent continues in America," Donahue said before she arrived.

"There is no democracy without dissent and Cindy Sheehan has kept that flame alive."


Sigh. Those of us on the right have certainly not seen any lack of dissent over the last five years. Indeed, as we have pointed out numerous times, it seems as if all the Democrats and the Left have to offer is dissent. And Cindy Sheehan really hasn't added to the dissent significantly; what she has done is given it a public face.

More important, she shows up in New York City and can only attract a crowd of 400?

Vicki Rovere, 61, a writer from the Lower East Side, sold anti-war buttons - including those stating "Cindy Sheehan for President" and "Stop this stupid war" - before Sheehan made it to the church.

We won't get lucky enough to have Cindy running for president.

Also check out the Man's take on Cindy's Manhattan appearance; sounds like the media have ridden the Cindy horse as far as they're willing.

Update: Check out this piece in the NY Sun, where Cindy threatens Hillary Clinton with the loss of her job. Looks like President Bush isn't the only person declining to meet with the new Lefty icon:

In an interview after her speech, Ms. Sheehan said she has requested a meeting with Mrs. Clinton but has not gotten a reply. Mrs. Clinton's office was not immediately available for comment last night.
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North Korea Pledges to Give Up Nukes?

Okay, their promises aren't worth much, but if this were happening in a Democratic administration it would be hailed as brilliant diplomacy.

North Korea promised to give up its nuclear weapons program on Monday, defusing a high-stakes crisis, but skeptics said the deal hammered out in Beijing was long on words and short of action.

South Korea, the United States, Japan, Russia and China -- the other players in the six-party talks -- in exchange expressed a willingness to provide oil, energy aid and security guarantees.


Hmmm, energy aid? Isn't the purpose of North Korea's nuclear power plants to provide energy?
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Sunday, September 18, 2005
 
NFL Week Two



Big day for the home teams in the early games; they were 7-1. Through those games, the NFL average home field advantage was a staggering 9.7 points. For comparison purposes the home field advantage last year was 2.5 points per game. In the late games we could be seeing something of a turnaround, in that the road teams are leading in 3 games and losing in 2. That could be something of a fluke, though, as the home teams have outscored the road teams (at this point) in the games by 59-54.

Late Game Update: Home teams go 3-2 to make the record 10-3 for the week so far. The overall home field advantage remains at an eye-popping 8.3 points per game. In fact, the home field advantage is so strong that 25 of the 32 teams in the league have already won a game. There are only 9 undefeated teams left and two of those will go down in the Monday night games absent ties.
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Will Dujail Be Remembered Alongside Lidice?

Here's a chilling story about what happened in a town where an assassination attempt aimed at Saddam Hussein failed.

What happened next will form the bulk of the prosecution case against Saddam. The people of Dujail call the events of the following months and years 'al karitha' - the disaster. Arrests and killings began immediately, followed by bombardments from helicopter gunships. Soldiers cut down the date palms on which the people depended, and bulldozed their houses.

Channel 4 News interviewed four of the more than 400 witnesses in Dujail who have been questioned by the lawyers prosecuting Saddam. Now aged 75, Um Abbas remembers her four sons, all killed after the assassination attempt - one shot trying to resist the security forces and three executed in prison.


Something to remember the next time the libs claim it was only about the WMD.
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Steyn On

The great one covers the Roberts' hearing.

Oh, dear. With enemies like Chuck, who needs amigos? Whatever happened to the party's fearsome forensic skills at "the politics of personal destruction"? Granted, blathering on about how, if the other guy doesn't agree with your views, he must be deficient in "compassion and humanity" is a lot of baloney even by mawkish Dem standards. But, if you're going to twitter about the fullness of somebody's heart, why get Chuck Schumer to play Senator Oprah? He has the shifty air of a mob accountant, even with every intern on his staff holding onions under his eyes. Likewise, sneering at Roberts' life of privilege may be a smart move, but not if you entrust it to Dianne Feinstein, one of the wealthiest women in the galaxy.
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Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

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Cited for Breaking the Christmas in Cambodia story (at Kerry Haters):

Hugh Hewitt: KerryHaters was on this story a long time ago. How could the elite media not have asked these questions before now?

Ankle-Biting Pundits: Our friends Pat and Kitty at Kerry Haters deserve the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer for their coverage of Kerry's intricate web of lies regarding Vietnam.

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Les Kinsolving

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What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

Lefty Bloggers on Gay Witchhunt (linked by 16 blogs including Instapundit)

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

Explanation of the Blog's Name

Power Ratings Explained



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