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Saturday, February 11, 2006
 
Inside the Hate Mosque

I don't play up the clash of civilizations stuff here, but this is an eye-opening article.

“Then I discovered how my brothers passed the day. Many were on benefits or living off charity so they could hang about discussing jihad all day. Whenever we were not praying, we were taken to watch TV. There were endless videos of mujaheddin activity around the globe.

“Jihadist nasheeds (songs) were played in the background, with medieval-style voice harmonies and deeply stirring lyrics about how brave mujhads are suffering for Allah and dying in order to defend Muslim lands. They sometimes climaxed with a question — are you going to stand by and watch Muslim civilians killed? “The atmosphere was intense. Any slight dissent was stamped on so quickly and aggressively that I realised that the best thing to do was nod and say ‘Inshallah’ with the rest of my brothers.”
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Humor Time

This is a hilarious spoof of romance novel covers. (One or two are in questionable taste).

Our buddy Chris points to this book cover. The only question is whether it's fact or fiction.

If anybody's got a humor post they'd like linked, do the trackback thing and I'll pull the posts out to the front page a little later.
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Swann Wins GOP Backing for PA Gov

While we're on the subject of the NFL Hall of Fame.

Pennsylvania's Republican Party leaders endorsed former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann for governor Saturday, virtually guaranteeing that he will be the candidate to face Democratic incumbent Ed Rendell this fall.

"I haven't cried this much since I was inducted into the Hall of Fame," Swann told the applauding crowd as he wiped tears from his eyes.


Swann is the one player who appeared the most often on the NFL Hall of Fame ballot; he finally was inducted in his 14th year as a finalist. Although his career numbers aren't impressive, he compiled them in the much less pass-happy 1970s. He absolutely was a major star on four Super Bowl winners, one of the most graceful athletes ever at his position. He belonged in the Hall; let's hope it doesn't take as many tries to win over the voters of Pennsylvania!
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Hillary Won't Run Says MacKinnon

I don't buy it.

The only way I could see Hillary not running is if the economy is running full steam and the Republicans look like easy winners. Of course, Poppy Bush looked like an easy winner in 1991, coming off the Gulf War, so you can't always predict these things well in advance. Remember, the only reason Bill Clinton got a shot in 1992 was that many of the top candidates from the Democrats stayed out of the race, thinking that they'd be better off in the next cycle.

If things are not grand and glorious for the Republicans, she'll respond to Kerry's question ("What states could she win that I couldn't") by saying that she'll win more states because more people are sick of the GOP.

She's running. Bank on it.



Update: Patrick Hynes points us to recent polling in New Hampshire.

In an early February poll, New Hampshire voters showed a clear early preference for Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain in the 2008 presidential primary.

According to American Research Group, which surveyed 600 likely voters in each party’s primary, 32 percent of the state’s Democrats favored Clinton, with 9 percent backing former vice presidential nominee John Edwards.

Nine other candidates received some support. Gen. Wesley Clark and Sen. John Kerry were at 7 percent and Al Gore at 5 percent. Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Russ Feingold, Bill Richardson and Mark Warner were all at 2 percent or less. Just under a third of the voters said they were undecided.


Gotta love it! Russ Feingold, the darling of the netkooks, is under 2%!
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Friday, February 10, 2006
 
The Structural Problem With the NFL Hall of Fame

I mentioned this briefly in the comments on my post on the 2006 NFL Hall of Fame inductees.

The problem that the NFL Hall of Fame has and has had since its inception, is a backlog of fully qualified candidates. For an illustration, let's take a look at the list of candidates for 1985:

Fred Biletnikoff
Buck Buchanan
Carl Eller
Frank Gatski
Paul Hornung
Willie Lanier
John Madden
Don Maynard
Joe Namath
Johnny Robinson
Pete Rozelle
OJ Simpson
Roger Staubach
Fran Tarkenton
Willie Wood

Now that's a pretty good bunch of candidates there; in fact since then all of them but Johnny Robinson have been inducted But that year, only Gatski, Namath, Rozelle, Simpson and Staubach were chosen, leaving nine future Hall of Famers waiting at least one more year (John Madden would wait 20 years for another chance as a finalist).

If we go back to 1975, we can see the pattern existed then as well.

Doug Atkins
Roosevelt Brown
Charley Conerly
George Connor
Len Ford
Frank Gifford
John Henry Johnson
Jerry Kramer
Yale Lary
Dante Lavelli
Lenny Moore
Jim Ringo
Clark Shaughnessy
Jim Taylor

Twelve of these men would give speeches at Canton eventually, although only four of them would do it that year. This inevitably clutters up the following year's ballot (and many years afterwards). When you consider that the Hall of Fame's procedures ensure that no more than six will be inducted in any given year, and maybe as few as three, there are definitely factions that form around players. Consider that the 15 finalists from 1985 appeared a total of 85 times on the ballot; that's almost six times apiece.

That's why players like Art Monk, who is ridiculously overqualified and will certainly eventually be honored, are still waiting. This was Monk's sixth straight year on the ballot.
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Blogroll Trimming

Say goodbye to Federalist X, Grendel's Dragon and a couple more; dropped for lack of activity in the last month. Liked them while they were around, sorry to see them go. I try to limit my blogroll to active posters; there are some blogs on some rather famous blogrolls that haven't been updated since 2003.
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The Problem With the Netroots

Is that they're just plain crazy. Check out this screed from a Lefty blogger to Democratic Senator Evan Bayh (Indiana).

As I read a Reuters article: “Vice President Dick Cheney directed his aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby to use classified material to discredit a critic of the Bush administration's Iraq war effort, the National Journal reported on Thursday." Shouldn't the N.S.A. be eaves dropping on Cheney? I would say that he is guilty of treason. It is NOT the terrorists that I am fearful of and angry at. It is this criminal and corrupt administration. By outing a CIA operative’s identity in retaliation lessens the security of this nation and it must be punished. Cheney and all who conspired in this action must be tried for treason. Go after Karl Rove’s jugular vein.

Amusingly, this is in response to Bayh's call for the Democrats to come out as tough on national defense and willing to battle the terrorists.

Karl Rove has claimed that Democrats are too weak to defend the nation, that President Bush is simply tougher. Tough is good, but six years into the Bush Presidency it is clear that tough is not enough.

We need a foreign policy that is both tough... and smart. The good news? That is the historic legacy of the Democratic Party.

As Democrats, we have a patriotic duty and political imperative to lay out our ideas for protecting America. Frankly, our fellow citizens have doubts about us. We have work to do.


David Sirota is angry at Bayh for daring to mention that folks think the Democrats are weak.

The pathetic nature of Bayh's behavior is two-pronged. First, from a political perspective, Bayh thinks he is making himself look "tough." In fact, he is making himself - and the party he claims to care about - look like a cowering, wimpy, whiney, gutless coward. He is behaving like a kid who was beaten up on the schoolyard, and now is so emotionally damaged by that treatment, he feels the need to run around as an adult telling everyone what a wimp he and his party is - when in fact its just not true.
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The Never-Ending Levee Story

This story is getting a lot of attention around the blogosphere this morning.

White House officials have confirmed to Congressional investigators that the report of the levee break arrived there at midnight, and Trent Duffy, the White House spokesman, acknowledged as much in an interview this week, though he said it was surrounded with conflicting reports.

But the alert did not seem to register. Even the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, was feeling relieved that New Orleans had "dodged the bullet," he later recalled. Mr. Chertoff, similarly confident, flew Tuesday to Atlanta for a briefing on avian flu. With power out from the high winds and movement limited, even news reporters in New Orleans remained unaware of the full extent of the levee breaches until Tuesday.


Liberal bloggers will of course try to spin this into "Bush Lied, Thousands Died" but the reality, as we have discussed extensively, is that almost all of the people who died in Katrina did not die from the levee failure, that the government could not have done much about the levee failure for several days. And the story acknowledges that:

Mr. Chertoff and White House officials have said that they were referring to official confirmation that the levee had broken, which they say they received Tuesday morning from the Army Corps of Engineers. They also say there were conflicting reports all day Monday about whether a breach had occurred and noted that they were not alone in failing to recognize the growing catastrophe.

Mr. Duffy, the White House spokesman, said it would not have made much difference even if the White House had realized the significance of the midnight report. "Like it or not, you cannot fix a levee overnight, or in an hour, or even six hours," he said.


See also Rick Moran's terrific dissection of this piece. Joust the Facts also takes his lance to the story.
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Congrats to Neander News--Updated

Although I haven't been covering the cartoons controversy over here extensively, I did want to give some kudos to a newer blog named Neander News which broke the story that one of the supposed "cartoons" of the Prophet Muhammed was in fact a photograph of a clown wearing a pig snout which had been converted from color to black and white.

We bloggers all dream that we'll discover a story that gets extensive coverage. Neander News has lived the dream!

Update: Kitty (in the comments) points us to this hilarious Sean Delonas cartoon on the controversy.
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Question Time for Shadegg and Hayworth

I was disturbed to note this post.

A Libertarian-leaning coalition, comprised of many conservative Republican groups, is now joining the chorus of Americans calling for a full Congressional investigation into George W. Bush's warrantless government eavesdropping program, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

In an open letter obtained from The Liberty Coalition, to be released publicly tomorrow, the group -- which features such noted true conservatives as former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) and the Republican Liberty Caucus -- is calling on Congress to hold comprehensive hearings into the warrantless NSA domestic wiretapping program. As well, the group calls on the Dept. of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter and stresses the need for Whistleblower protections to allow employees of national security agencies to come forward to testify to Congress about criminal behavior in their respective agencies.


Well, you know how it is, how many "conservative Republican groups" are in that coalition and who are they?

The letter is signed on behalf of the following groups:

Republican Liberty Caucus
American Policy Center
Democrats.com
Fairfax County Privacy Council
Rutherford Institute
Former Congressman Bob Barr
Multiracial Activists
Cyber Privacy Project
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation
Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances
National Lawyers Guild/National Office
Consumer Action
First Amendment Foundation
NCARL, National Committee Against Repressive Legislation
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR)
National Security Whistleblower Coalition
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Velvet Revolution (VR)


Okay, you know how it goes. Democrats.com is Fruitcake Bob Fertik and his group, so it hardly qualifies as conservative Republican. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committeee, I doubt, the National Lawyers Guild is a famed communist front organization...

But the Republican Liberty Caucus has some 'splaining to do. It bills itself as "The Conscience of the Republican Party", but apparently it's not a "social justice" organization. Rather it's something of a libertarian group.

Who's on it that we should know? Well, a couple of congressmen are listed on the board:

John Culberson (TX)
Mark Foley (FL)
J.D. Hayworth (AZ)
Sam Johnson (TX)
Ron Paul (TX) [also former chair of the RLC]
John Shadegg (AZ)
Nick Smith (MI)
Todd Tiahrt (KS)


Paul of course is a former big-L Libertarian who joined the Republican party to steer it on a more libertarian course, so it's not surprising that he'd be on board. But some of the other members need to be pinned down as to where they stand on this call for an independent prosecutor and special whistleblower protections. Shadegg's my congressman and my office is in Hayworth's district, so I'm going to be calling them this morning. If you live in the district of one of these other congressmen, why not give them a buzz and find out whether they endorse this letter personally.
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Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2006

The fifteen finalists this year were:

Troy Aikman - Quarterback - 1989-2000 Dallas Cowboys
Harry Carson - Linebacker - 1976-1988 New York Giants
L.C. Greenwood - Defensive End - 1969-1981 Pittsburgh Steelers
Russ Grimm - Guard - 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Claude Humphrey - Defensive End - 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles (injured reserve - 1975)
Michael Irvin - Wide Receiver - 1988-1999 Dallas Cowboys
Bob Kuechenberg - Guard - 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins (injured reserve - 1984)
John Madden - Coach - 1969-1978 Oakland Raiders
Art Monk - Wide Receiver - 1980-1993 Washington Redskins, 1994 New York Jets, 1995 Philadelphia Eagles
Warren Moon - Quarterback - 1984-1993 Houston Oilers, 1994-1996 Minnesota Vikings, 1997-1998 Seattle Seahawks, 1999-2000 Kansas City Chiefs
Derrick Thomas - Linebacker - 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Thurman Thomas - Running Back - 1988-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Miami Dolphins
Reggie White - Defensive End/Defensive Tackle - 1985-1992 Philadelphia Eagles, 1993-1998 Green Bay Packers, 2000 Carolina Panthers
Rayfield Wright - Tackle - 1967-1979 Dallas Cowboys
Gary Zimmerman - Tackle - 1986-1992 Minnesota Vikings, 1993-1997 Denver Broncos

The inductees were Troy Aikman, Harry Carson, John Madden, Warren Moon, Reggie White and Rayfield Wright.

My thoughts:

Aikman: An obvious first year inductee. Three Super Bowl wins as a starting quarterback.

Carson: Surprised he wasn't in before this. Fine player.

Madden: Should have been in long before this. His career winning percentage (including postseason games) was only a shade behind that of Vince Lombardi. An average season for Madden saw the Raiders go 10-4.

Moon: A debatable pick. Racked up lots of yards and TDs, had two terrific years (1990 and 1995, in each of which he threw 33 TDs), and a lot of good years. Obviously if you consider his CFL career, where he led his team to five consecutive championships, he tips the scales towards induction.

White: No question first rounder. The kind of player the Hall of Fame was made for.

Wright: Don't remember him very well, but his bio at the HOF website says he was selected to the NFL's all-decade team, which is good enough for me. He had not been on the ballot in a long time; I assume he was one of the "veteran" picks.

Almost all of the other players listed on this ballot will be inducted eventually. I'd personally vote for Art Monk, Thurman Thomas and Bob Kuechenberg. Irvin's the only one I'd definitely not vote for. But as I said, almost all of these guys will get in eventually, probably including Irvin.
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Say It Ain't So, Cindy!

Via Michelle Malkin, we learn that Cindy Sheehan has decided against running for the Senate seat held by DiFi.
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If I Had a Hundred Dollars....

Raw Story asked a group of lefty bloggers where they'd donate $100.

As you might expect there are a lot of PACs and lobbying groups on the list. But nobody even suggests targeting donations to candidates who are in tight races. The political candidates for national office in 2006 mentioned are:

Bill Winter (Congressional candidate in Colorodo 6--running against incumbent Republican Tom Tancredo).
Ned Lamont (Senate candidate for Connecticut--running against incumbent Democrat Joe Lieberman).
Ciro Rodriguez (Congressional candidate in Texas 28--running against incumbent Democrat Henry Cuellar.
Nick Lampson (Congressional candidate in Texas 22--running against incumbent Republican Tom DeLay).

First bit of hilarity: Two of the candidates are running against incumbent Democrats. In those races, even if the donations are effective and result in a change, the Democrats do not pick up a seat.

Lampson may have a chance against DeLay, who got 55% in 2004 with President Bush on the ballot. That's Kevin Drum's pick (check out the profanity in his response), and is the only one that shows any sense. Bill Winter's not going to knock off Tom Tancredo, who got 60% in his last reelection bid.

So out of 20 lefty bloggers, only one could come up with a candidate that they send money who has a chance of winning and who could help change the balance of power. There's an old Chinese blessing that says, "May you be fortunate in your enemies". We conservative bloggers certainly are.
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Moron John Kerry--Updated and Bumped to Top

The Boston Globe pushes his chances for a second run:

Actually, Kerry is in better shape than that.

If there's no big appetite for a second Kerry campaign, it's also true that he has largely escaped the scathing recriminations that have faced other failed nominees.

As with most things Kerry, his 2004 campaign lends itself to several interpretations.

Although he likes to note that he was just half a football stadium away from winning in Ohio, which would have given him an Electoral College victory, it's also true that nationally, Kerry ran 3 million votes behind George W. Bush, a president whose polling numbers were so bad many Democrats felt he couldn't be reelected.

While Kerry defenders justifiably cite his crisp, focused, poll-moving debate performances as the campaign highlight, he had several conspicuous low points as well. Certainly "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it" will live in self-immolating infamy. And after repeatedly warning Republicans not to challenge his patriotism, Kerry was remarkably flat-footed when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth distorted his war record.


Sigh. I'm not going to fight that battle anymore. Let the media say what they will; the Swiftees exposed Kerry's war record, they did not distort it.

Update: mAc Chaos asked (in the comments on this post):

Hey Pat, could you demonstrate how the Swiftees were correct and the charges that they're liars is wrong? I tend to believe them, but it's always assumed that they're automatically liars, and it's hard to disprove it unless you know what you're supposed to defend. I recall Snopes seeming to indicate that they were less than truthful as well, but I've withheld judgement.


The Snopes page on the Swiftees is here. Oddly, it was last updated 7/30/04, about a week before the Swift Boat Vets started running ads, and before Unfit for Command, the book by Swiftee John O'Neill, detailed specific charges against Kerry. It's mostly fair, although it does include this quote from David Alston:

"I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shouting orders through the smoke and chaos . . . Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool.

I had to sit on my hands [after a firefight], I was shaking so hard . . . He went to every man on that boat and put his arm around them and asked them how they're doing. I've never had an officer do that before or since. That's the mettle of the man, John Kerry."3

— David Alston


We helped debunk the "I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16" part of this post. Listen to this description of a January 29, 1969 incident from Tour of Duty, Douglas Brinkley's hagiography of Kerry:

... suddenly there was a booming explosion that literally lifted PCF-94 right out of the water. Peck was standing in the pilothouse doorway with an M-16 at the ready to start strafing the jungle. Just as he pulled the trigger he was hit by two machine-gun bullets, one in his arm and one in his chest... [a]lthough bleeding profusely, Peck managed to continue firing back...

Sounds like the incident Alston was describing, but Kerry was not there.

Some specific incidents where Kerry was proven wrong and the Swiftees proven right:

Christmas in Cambodia

Where was Rassman?

And two of Kerry's Swift Boat Pals who appeared on stage with him at the DNC were exposed as exaggerating their claims of being with Kerry during the incidents which resulted in his Bronze and Silver Stars.

Even putting the best face on it for Kerry, about all you can say is that some of the Swiftees' claims about Kerry were unable to be proven. It is true that some of the men who opposed him were previously supportive (most notably Admiral Roy Hoffman who started the SBVfT and who campaigned for Kerry during his 1996 reelection effort). But Hoffman was slammed in Tour of Duty, which explains at least partly why he changed his position. It can certainly be argued as well that after the exhaustive review of Kerry's record done by the Swiftee researchers (most notably by our longtime buddy Tom "River Rat" Mortensen and The Bandit), that he changed his mind on Kerry's performance.

This is silly:

Kerry, like Nixon, would hardly start as the favorite for his party's nomination. That would obviously be Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And yet, Clinton's polling numbers probably reflect as much nostalgia for her husband's presidency as they do genuine support for the New York senator herself, who hasn't displayed his political skill or nimbleness.

Moreover, several recent polls -- one showing her being beaten handily by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona; another revealing that a (slim) majority of registered voters polled said they would never vote for her - have Democratic insiders edgy.

What state could Hillary Clinton win that he didn't, Kerry has pointedly asked some associates?


Turn it around. What state could Kerry win that Hillary couldn't? It's a crappy argument anyway, because it can be turned around on Kerry by Mark Warner, who can say that he could take Virginia, which Kerry couldn't.

Look over at Tradesports, which has Kerry at between 2 and 3 cents (payoff $1.00 if he's the nominee. Hillary's at 40 cents, Mark Warner's at 20. Even the Breck Girl's at over 5 cents.

And this is ridiculous:

Despite the disdain some Washington types have for him, Kerry remains reasonably well thought of by grass-roots Democrats, which is important in a crowded field. In 2004, his status as a second choice for many primary voters gave him room to grow when others faltered.

Oh, yeah? Over at MyDD, a major Lefty blog, they have monthly straw polls for the Democratic nomination. As you can see, the grass roots activists aren't too thrilled with Nuancy Boy. He gets about 1/18th of the vote that Russ Feingold gets. Now, Hillary also gets crushed in this poll, but nobody's claiming she's got the support of the "grass-roots".
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John Hawkins Interviews Kate O'Beirne

With his usual aplomb. Kate's book on the feminists, Women Who Make the World Worse, is getting a lot of attention. She's a clear-headed thinker, as this snippet shows:

I do not believe the defense of America should rest on the shoulders of single mothers and teenage girls. Then, of course, we see the unique physical demands of combat. The plain fact is that the average woman is simply not as fast or as strong as the average man. The advocates for integrating combat argue that women should serve in any position the military has to offer, “as long as they meet the physical standards.” But in fact, women in uniform do not meet the same physical standards as men.

In the interest of integrating the services, every service has had to adopt gender norm scores for its physical tests to account for the fact that women simply aren’t as physically strong or fast as men. So those physical tests have been gender normed and physical standards have been lowered in order to accommodate large numbers of women.


I remember reading a few years back that the required time for an 18-year-old military woman in the one-mile run was the same as the required time for a 50-year-old man. I can't find backup for that right now, but here are the air force standards for the two-mile run.

Men Two Mile Run - 16:45
Women Two Mile Run - 19:45
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Cenk Uygur, Standing Up for Child Rapists

I link to this guy a fair amount because he's an exemplar of the absolute moral stupidity of most of the folks who post over at Airiheadda's blog.

Did you know that there was another hot 37 year old woman in Tennessee (she was a former model) who had sex with a 16 year old boy? That’s awesome. Of course, they gave her jail time for that, which is unconscionable. That’s almost as bad as when Bush accidentally invaded Iraq.

It’s a crime these days to make a young boy’s dreams come true but not a crime to ignore federal laws against warrantless eavesdropping. Go figure. I’m just happy that the kid got laid before they locked the lady up.


As I commented on this particularly foolish post, maybe we should only arrest women for statutory rape if they're ugly?
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The Newest Muhammed Cartoon Meme--Updated!

Is that those who are not publishing the Mohammed cartoons are only avoiding publishing them out of fear of retaliation from militant Islamists.

Of course, in CNN's case, there's at least reason to be suspicious, given their history of white-washing their coverage of Saddam's Iraq in return for continuous access. But decent, honorable, unafraid people can look at the cartoons and conclude that there's nothing to be gained by provoking non-militant Islamists.

Radioblogger has a terrific roundtable on this subject with Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and Joe Carter of Evangelical Outpost.

I concur with Carter's opening statement:

JC: Unfortunately, it's one situation where there's no winners here. There's no good guys. There's nobody we should be siding on. But unfortunately, in situations like this, we always feel like we have to side with somebody, and so a lot of people are just siding with the cartoonists, even though their actions were juvenile and provocative for almost no reason at all.

Patrick Hynes is on the same wavelength:

I did not say – nor do I believe – that we should not provoke Muslims by denigrating their spiritual progenitor “because we are afraid of them.” I prefer not to “provoke” them because saying hateful things about another’s religion is inherently wrong. I don’t like it or appreciate it when Hollywood leftist depict Jesus as a goof-off, Devil-may-care hipster. While I’m not about to bust into a riot over it, I can understand why Muslims get irritated when their revered spiritual leader is mocked in the public square.

Update: For a more forceful expression of "a plague on both their houses," see Jackie Lewis.
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Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
Moron Scott Ritter

He gave a speech in Santa Fe the other day, in which he claimed that war with Iran is going to be forced by the administration:

He predicted the matter will wind up before the U.N. Security Council, which will determine there is no evidence of a weapons program. Then, he said, John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, “will deliver a speech that has already been written. It says America cannot allow Iran to threaten the United States and we must unilaterally defend ourselves.”

“How do I know this? I’ve talked to Bolton’s speechwriter,” Ritter said.


Of course! It's so logical! And get this little detail:

He also said he was a Marine in the Persian Gulf War and was part of an assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s.
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Stop the Presses!

A lobbyist claims to have closer ties to the president than he actually does. Shocking, shocking, I know!

Note as well that while Think Progress claims to have the original emails, they do not reproduce them on the site.
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Moron Janice Karpinski

I blogged about this a week ago; it looks like it's starting to register on radar screens elsewhere (not a criticism; I wouldn't have found the story if I hadn't been searching around some of the Lefty blogs).

Mudville Gazette notes:

Like any other urban legend, this one has its basis in truth.

Dark? Few lights? - True. Light tends to help terrorists aim mortars.

Latrines are located away from sleeping quarters - also true. In 120 degree heat you don't want to sleep next to the latrine. And there are health concerns beyond the unpleasant (to all but the flies) smell. But this means that when nature calls, you must walk. And if nature calls in the middle of the night, you get out of your bunk, don all your gear (including Kevlar and armor, depending on the threat level) and take a moonlight stroll.


More Than Loans caught the point I noticed; that the specific incident of a female Master Sergeant dying in Iraq has not happened.
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I Was Right!

I commented a couple weeks ago on some Wikipedia nonsense regarding the entry on Joe Biden and the plagiarism scandal he got caught up in during the 1988 campaign. Guess what? Biden's entry was scrubbed by his staff to downplay the controversy, making it sound as if Biden had been unfairly tarred.
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New to the Blogroll

I've added the Astute Blogger (aka Reliapundit) to the blogroll; to be honest I'm a little surprised he wasn't already on there. He's a terrific and prolific blogger with lots of varied posts on the political scene.

Memeorandum is getting a lot of hat tips from me lately. It's a great place to go when you haven't got anything specific to blog about; it shows what's hot.
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Alabama Burning

The arson attacks on nine Alabama churches in the last week or so have been making some news.

State and federal officials were investigating the four rural west Alabama fires as intentional, the state fire marshal's office said in a statement.

All four churches torched were Baptist, like the five churches burned in the central part of the state late Thursday, three of which were completely destroyed.


Chris Matthews speculated a few days ago that perhaps it was liberals or gays who were responsible. Obviously he was kidding, but you wouldn't guess that from the reactions of the Lefty blogs.

Maybe Dr Rusty Shackleford is kidding with this post, but it sure doesn't come off that way:

We, however, are not free to speculate that there might be a connection between global unrest over a series of cartoons depicting Muhammed and a series of arson attacks against churches attended by people that might be seen as sympathetic to those who blaspheme the Prophet (sawt), on the heels of that unrest. Nor to connect the dots between the actual murder of Christians, the bombing of Christian churches, and death fatwas against blasphemers over a cartoon and the torching of Christian churches here.

If he's making a point about media bias, he's got a valid argument. But there is no particular reason to assume that militant Islamists are to blame.
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Heather Wilson Getting Praise From An Unlikely Source

I don't cover all news stories here, but I can't credibly ignore this one.

A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.

The lawmaker, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had "serious concerns" about the surveillance program. By withholding information about its operations from many lawmakers, she said, the administration has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why.


She's getting praised for this in the worst places imaginable.

I am not pleased with the call for an "inquiry"; we all know what a circus that would turn into.

On the other hand, House Majority Leader Boehner's on the same page, so maybe there's reason to believe that the Republicans are confident the administration will come out well in any hearings.
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Carnival of the Clueless Is Up!



Rick Moran's got another generous helping of Hot Links!
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Maybe They Could Appoint Seinfeld As Their Spokesman?

The New York Times reports on the absence of ideas in today's Democratic Party:

Ms. Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, did not dispute that argument. But, pointing to the Democratic strategy in defeating Mr. Bush's Social Security proposal last year, she said there was no rush.

"People said, 'You can't beat something with nothing,' " she said, arguing that the Democrats had in fact accomplished precisely that this year. "I feel very confident about where we are."


Hat Tip: Memeorandum. Also covered at Captain's Quarters.
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Then Again, Maybe It Wasn't That Bad--Updated

Ruth Marcus talks about Betty Friedan and marvels at how much things have changed:

I write this not to belittle Friedan's metaphor but rather to revel in its obsolescence. For to reread the "The Feminine Mystique," as I did after Friedan's death last weekend, is to be reminded of the transformation of American women -- indeed, American society -- in the 43 years since the publication of her then-shocking manifesto. There have been remarkable advances, and not just in the technology of no-wax floors.

This change -- the long way that women have, in fact, come -- is easy to forget, in part because we are still picking our way unsteadily along the path that Friedan helped cut, still enmeshed in work-vs.-family debates that are at once stale and impassioned.


I have often thought that one of the major reasons for the feminist movement was that women's work had become so automated that the household chores that had filled their days became much easier. Washing clothes and washing dishes became simpler when they didn't have to be done by hand. I have read that women spent eight hours a week just dusting in the 1920s; not because they were fussbudgets, but because coal (which was used to heat houses in those days) caused so much dust.

Update: L-Dotter David999 pointed us to this article on Betty Friedan's past as a communist.

Professor Horowitz documents that Friedan was from her college days, and until her mid-30s, a Stalinist Marxist, the political intimate of the leaders of America's Cold War fifth column and for a time even the lover of a young Communist physicist working on atomic bomb projects in Berkeley's radiation lab with J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Jeez, next thing you'll be telling me Rosa Parks wasn't just tired one day and refused to give up her seat on the bus!
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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
 
Hitching Post



I've seen a couple other bloggers do this and thought it might be nice. Pick a favorite recent post and edit it so it links to this post. Send a trackback ping (explained here) to my blog. This evening I will pull all the trackbacks out to the front page with a brief introduction. Only rule is to keep it (reasonably) clean.

Kitty's got the mid-winter blues and thinking that Nevada sounds pretty good right now. Also, get the picture of Marilyn Monroe nude!

Alex Nunez talks about the disgraceful performance by speakers at the Coretta Scott King memorial service. I didn't hear the service myself but apparently it turned into a festival of Bush and Iraq-bashing.

John Ruberry's off to D'yer Mak'er.

Want to know where all the mosques are in the USA? Third Wave Dave has the link.

Thanks to these excellent bloggers for participating in my first hitching post!
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The Sheehan Circus Lumbers On

Barbara Boxer is now urging Cindy Sheehan not to run against DiFi.

Sheehan, who was arrested and removed from President Bush's State of the Union speech last week for wearing an anti-war T-shirt, spent part of her time in Washington asking Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, whether she should run for the Senate. A former Vacaville resident who now lives in Berkeley, she told the Chronicle she was leaning toward entering the race.

Run, Cindy, run!
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The New And Improved Lucky Dawg

Now with permalinks! Go check out the latest poem by our buddy from the Kerry Haters' days and poet laureate of the 2004 election, Russ Vaughn.
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Rock The Vote Crumbling

Here's a bit of good news:

But as it moves into its 16th year, Rock the Vote itself is being rocked by crisis.

Saddled with about $700,000 in debt, the group has cut its staff from more than 20 people in 2004 to just two today. Its president, who left last summer amid disagreement about the organization's direction, has yet to be replaced. And last month, Rock the Vote was sued for the second time in just eight months.

Fred Goldring, a music attorney and chairman of Rock the Vote's board, says dwindling donations are to blame.
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What Attorney General Gonzales Said

The left is engaging in peals of laughter, but Gonzales had a good point. The subject of my latest post over at Lifelike Pundits
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Another Take on the Danish Cartoons--Updated!

I haven't been hitting this story very hard because I've basically said the same thing from the beginning: The newspaper was wrong to print them and the Muslims are wrong to riot and burn down buildings in retaliation. As Lucianne puts it on her home page, the best response is a plague on both their houses.

Update: Of course, Jack Kelly is right when he points out that both sides are not equally wrong. Murder and arson are a lot worse than offending somebody's religion.

So the only entertaining thing left to do is to look at the reactions of Lefty bloggers. For the most part, as Myrhaf points out, they've been pretty quiet on this issue, probably because either side conflicts with their core beliefs.

On the one hand, most liberals are free speech enthusiasts. But they do make an exception for what they term "hate speech". But even in hate speech there are gradations. Liberals certainly have plenty of tolerance for hate speech directed at Christian religion. But minorities also come in for special consideration; can't offend anybody who's not in the majority.

In addition, it's pretty clear that for the last three years, the liberals have been hoping that the "Arab street" would rise up against the American Imperialists. Indeed, many of them seem to be rooting for the insurgency, which of course is at least partly inspired by religion.

Some of the comments on this post over at the Huffpo are revealing.

It appears easy for westerners to insist that muslims abide by our 'superior' cultural norms. We feel we can glibly tell them what they should think and feel and do like they are children. I've been reading comments like this all over the blogs.

But when you treat people like children, they can eventually get mad and finally boil over.

We need to stop telling 'them' how to act and feel and believe and look more clearly at ourselves. This situation has been baited. When the schoolyard bully goes outside and beats up little kids, it shocks him no end when the little kids riot and destroy the playground. We've brought war to an innocent muslim country, therefore I regard us as the bully. Yet we insist that they are supposed to cringe and just take it. That they are the ones who now must be 'tolerant.'
I see no tolerance whatsoever in this insistance.
Hey all you critics - it takes two to tango and you are one side of this.

Posted by: timemagician on February 06, 2006 at 09:34pm


But of course, mostly the "screw all religions" card comes out.

As to "respect" for "diversity", a distinction I feel is important is this: If your "difference" is something innate, such as race, gender, disability or sexual orientation, it is crucial to be tolerant and inclusive. If your "difference" is due to a belief system, it is YOUR responsibility to be fair, inclusive and rational in your dealings with others; you cannot claim my respect for your irrationality, but rather have to earn it through an ethical contribution to the social compact.

In the current War of Nutty Superstitions, Islam seems to be ahead, with Christianity and Scientology about tied for a close second place.

If you adhere to one of these, I do not respect your beliefs! And I do not apologize. Your beliefs are irrational, bigoted and destructive.

Free speech is about a marketplace of ideas. If you disagree with someone's opinion, you counter it with the best presentation you can muster for your own. If religions can't compete, so much the better for humankind.

Posted by: HereComesEverybody on February 06, 2006 at 10:31pm


I expect that eventually the Left will coalesce around this latter argument.

Update: Kudos to the New York Times (words you won't often see on this blog):

The easy points to make about the continuing crisis are that (a) people are bound to be offended if their religion is publicly mocked, and (b) the proper response is not to go on a rampage and burn down buildings. If Muslim organizations want to stage peaceful marches or organize boycotts of Danish goods, they're certainly within their rights.

The American Thinker points out that the Times was not quite so solicitous when it came to running an anti-Israel cartoon, and several commenters at News Busters note that anti-Christian imagery frequently makes its way into the Grey Lady. I strongly suspect that the Times ran a picture of the Virgin Mary made of elephant dung and Serrano's Piss Christ.

Hat Tip: Memeorandum
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A Tribute to Kurt Browning

Our buddy Gayle has a terrific post on the Canadian figure skater. With the Olympics coming up, this is a timely topic.
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I Predict a Torrent of Angry Nukes--Err, Letters to the Editor

Iran to publish Holocaust cartoons
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Monday, February 06, 2006
 
NFL Playoff Streaks Updated

As an update to this post early in the NFL season:

Longest Wait for a Playoff Berth:

Never made the playoffs: Texans

1998 Cardinals
1999 Bills, Lions
2000 Saints
2001 Dolphins
2002 49ers, Browns, Raiders, Chiefs
2003 Cowboys, Ravens, Titans
2004 Chargers, Eagles, Falcons, Jets, Packers, Rams, Vikings
2005 Bengals, Colts, Steelers, Seahawks, Patriots, Broncos, Panthers, Bears, Redskins, Jaguars, Bucs, Giants

Longest Wait for a Playoff Win:

Never Won a Playoff Game: Texans

1990 Bengals
1991 Lions
1993 Chiefs
1994 Bears, Browns, Chargers
1995 Bills
1996 Cowboys
1998 Cardinals
1999 Jaguars
2000 Saints, Dolphins, Giants
2001 Ravens
2002 49ers, Bucs, Raiders
2003 Titans, Packers
2004 Colts, Eagles, Falcons, Jets, Rams, Vikings
2005 Seahawks, Patriots, Steelers, Panthers, Redskins, Broncos

Longest Wait for a Super Bowl Appearance:

Teams That Have Never Appeared in the Super Bowl (Years Missed in Parentheses): Cardinals (40), Lions (40), Saints (39), Browns(37), Jaguars (11) and Texans (4)

1968 Jets
1969 Chiefs
1970 Colts
1976 Vikings
1984 Dolphins
1985 Bears
1988 Bengals
1991 Redskins
1993 Bills
1994 Chargers, 49ers
1995 Cowboys
1997 Packers
1998 Broncos, Falcons
1999 Titans
2000 Giants, Ravens
2001 Rams
2002 Bucs, Raiders
2003 Panthers
2004 Eagles, Patriots
2005 Steelers, Seahawks

Longest Wait for a Super Bowl Win:

Teams That Have Never Won the Super Bowl (Years Missed in Parentheses):

Cardinals (40), Vikings (40) Lions (40), Chargers (40), Falcons (40), Titans/Oilers (40), Eagles (40), Bills (40) Saints (39), Bengals (38) Browns (37), Seahawks (30), Panthers (11), Jaguars (11) and Texans (4)



1968 Jets
1969 Chiefs
1970 Colts
1973 Dolphins
1983 Raiders
1985 Bears
1990 Giants
1991 Redskins
1994 49ers
1995 Cowboys
1996 Packers
1998 Broncos
1999 Rams
2000 Ravens
2002 Bucs
2004 Patriots
2005 Steelers

Comments: The above list is also the list of the only teams that have won the Super Bowl. The only teams that started play after 1960 to win the Super Bowl are the Ravens (who are considered an expansion team from 1996 despite obvious problems with that interpretation), the Buccaneers (genuine 1976 expansion) and the Miami Dolphins (1966 arrival).

Of the teams that have not won a Super Bowl, the Cardinals, Browns, Eagles, Bills, Chargers, Lions and Oilers can claim one or more pre-Super Bowl championships in either the NFL or AFL.

Note: Years given are the year as of the beginning of the NFL season. Per numerous league rulings the current Cleveland Browns are the same team that played in Cleveland until 1995, and they are considered to have gone dormant as a franchise for three seasons.
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PJ Media Does the News

This was pretty cool. Turban Dick Durbin gets ambushed by Paul Mirengoff of Power Line.
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Super Bowl Trivia Answers

1. Weeb Ewbank won NFL titles with the Baltimore Colts following the 1957 and 1958 seasons, and won the AFL Title and the Super Bowl with the New York Jets following the 1968 season.

2. As several commenters noted, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys have met three times in the Super Bowl.

3. James of the Chief Brief was quick to catch that Super Bowl III is the only Super Bowl that could never be rematched, since it featured the New York Jets and Baltimore (now Indianapolis) Colts, which are both AFC teams.
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The Return of the Idiots

Back in the early 1970s I was a trendy radical with long hair, faded jeans and an army jacket. I hated Amerikkka, hated the Vietnam War, hated Nixon, hated capitalism... you get the picture.

I got over it. One of my strengths is that I'm willing to reexamine my conclusions based on new evidence. It's not fun at times, because I'm an opinionated guy and admitting being wrong on something that I held loud and vociferous debates on is never fun.

But as a result, I also respect a heck of a lot of people who've also been willing to reexamine their past beliefs, and disrespect a lot of the people who haven't. One who clearly hasn't is Paul Krassner.

Get this bit:

We met in 1965 when I was invited to emcee the first Vietnam Teach-In on the UC-Berkeley campus. He was on the Vietnam Day Committee, and became the first activist to turn me on to marijuana, with Thai stick.

Of course, Krassner's full of it; Thai stick was an early 1970s pot gimmick.

Krassner does point to something rather ominous:

When Stew heard about this, he made that question the title of his memoir. Previously, he had co-edited with his wife, Judy Clavir, "The Sixties Papers," a collection of documents behind the countercultural history of that era, from Tom Hayden's "Port Huron Statement"--the credo of Students For a Democratic Society, currently undergoing a rebirth on campuses--to Robin Morgan's feminist manifesto, "Goodbye to All That."

The Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS, was one of the worst of the 1960s radical groups, where buffoons like Tom Hayden and Todd Gitlin got their start. It also spawned the Weather Underground, a group that specialized in bombing and bank robbery.

Here's a discussion of the return of the SDS. However, judging by the lack of activity on SDS message boards at Dartmouth and Eastern Michigan, it look like this baby's having a tough time being born.
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Contradictions

This is pretty stupid. A website called "Bastards of the Blogs" is advertising on Polipundit (bottom of left sidebar). Today they are pushing a downloadable Michelle Malkin Bastards of the Blogs Card.

But get this text from the back of the card:

Malkin toes the conservative line, but she does call out missteps by Republicans; her criticism of the Harriet Miers nomination for U.S. Supreme Court was a prime example.

So which is it? Does she toe the line, or does she call out missteps by Republicans? The card claims that "The talking points come down and I get bloggin'... Karl Rove's my daddy!" Apparently the talking points on Brownie and Harriet Miers and immigration got lost somewhere along the way.

Some of the other criticism is lame or bizarre:

Her book In Defense of Internment defends the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans by the U.S. Government during World War II, and it was criticized by both conservatives and liberals. Did we mention she's Filipino-American?

What does her ancestry have to do with it? Is this the old "race traitor" canard, under which all people of Asian ancestry are supposed to stick together? Note particularly that the only folks who ever accuse anybody of being traitors to the white race are neo-Nazis.

And get this:

Her meteoric rise in the blogosphere is attributed by some to an aggressive cross linking program with Powerline.

Actually, her meteoric rise in the blogosphere is more likely due to the fact that she's a nationally syndicated columnist, best-selling author and frequent TV commenter. Of course that would only get her so far if she were a mediocre blogger. I mean, think about this for a second, if an agressive cross-linking program with Power Line would get you up to the top of the blogosphere then why doesn't everybody do it? The answer, of course, is that everybody doesn't have the kind of traffic Michelle Malkin does.
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Charles Pickering Interview

John Hawkins does a terrific job with these interviews, and this one is particularly timely, coming on the heels of the Alito hearings.

Charles Pickering: Now the politicians and the groups, absolutely, there’s no question in my mind that the extreme far left, secularist groups that fought me and the other Bush nominees – they would twist words to mean what they wanted to -- and some of their supporters in the Senate who were willing to go just as far as these groups were concerned, but I like to think the judges who have the responsibility of their being impartial are going to have some intellectual integrity. Now is this an absolute sure thing, they couldn’t get around it? No, nothing in life is, but I like the proposal that I make a lot better than I do hand wringing saying there’s nothing we can do about an activist court.
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NRO: Let's Give The Democrats One to Start

I realize I'm in the minority among Republicans on this issue, but tossing Lincoln Chafee overboard is not going to help the Republicans retain control of the Senate.

The argument that conservatives should support Chafee rests entirely on the assumption that he's the only Republican who can win in Rhode Island. This logic may be what has led the National Republican Senatorial Committee to continue throwing resources behind him. The assumption may or may not be true, but, whatever the case, it is far from clear that the GOP — to say nothing of conservatives — gains anything from Chafee's continued presence in the Senate.

But earlier in discussing Chafee's voting record:

It would be unreasonable to expect Chafee to earn a 100-percent rating from the American Conservative Union. Yet his lifetime score of 41 percent is pathetic. No Republican senator, including Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, ranks lower.

Let's flesh that out a little. There is no denying that 41 is a low score. Sounds pretty pathetic until you start looking where Democrats in the area rank. Jack Reed, the other senator from Rhode Island rates an 8; in other words, he votes the right way fewer than 2 times out of 20. So that's 6 fewer votes than Chafee. Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer rate a 9 and a 6 respectively. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry get a 3 and a 5. Joe Lieberman, who many Democrats apparently feel is in the wrong party? He's a 17.

You know how it is. If Chafee gets beat in the primaries by challenger Steven Laffey who goes on to win in the general election, I'll be happy. But if Laffey loses a close race that Chafee could have won, then the Republicans will have shot themselves in the foot. They will have lost the extra 6-7 votes that Chafee's rating represents.
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Sunday, February 05, 2006
 
Congrats to the Steelers

Hard to believe it, but I come out of this game thinking that Roethlisberger suddenly looks human. He did what he had to do to win a championship, but while he picked up an important marker, it was certainly not in impressive fashion.

Congrats to Hines Ward, the game MVP; I've had him in my fantasy league the last two years and he's always been the kind of player who gives his all on every play.
0 comments links to this post
 
Fearless Super Bowl Prediction

I'll take Pittsburgh, but I do think Seattle's not getting enough respect. I could absolutely see the Seahawks take control of the game and win easily; if Pittsburgh wins it will be a close game.

Some Super Bowl trivia bits:

1. If Seattle wins, then Mike Holmgren will become the first coach to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises. Can you name the only coach to win NFL title games (including Super Bowls and NFL Championships prior to 1966) with two different franchises?

2. True or false: While there have been several rematches of earlier Super Bowls, the same two teams have never met three times in the Super Bowl.

3. While we're on the subject of Super Bowl rematches, what is the only Super Bowl that cannot be rematched?
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Europe Girding Up for War With Iran?

That's the message in this article:

Last month, French President Jacques Chirac, in what was viewed as a reference to Iran, said France might launch a nuclear strike against any country that sponsored a terrorist attack against French interests.

"So who are the cheese-eating surrender monkeys now?" asked Timothy Garton Ash in a column in the Guardian, a British newspaper.


The Europeans may look down on us as cowboys, but they aren't going to sit back and watch a threat to their countries develop.
0 comments links to this post

 

 
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Brainster in the Media

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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.

The Weekly Standard

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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)

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