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Saturday, November 25, 2006
 
Twisting Himself Into a Human Pretzel

Is MyDD's incredible 12-year-old blogger Matt Stoller. Matt is upset that people are portraying Nancy Pelousy as motivated by vindictiveness in committee assignments. At first, he admits that Alcee Hastings is inappropriate for the Intelligence Committee chair, but not because he was impeached:

I don't mean the rejection of Hastings, because substantively he's a cipher on Intelligence matters and that's reason enough to find someone more suitable to hold this critical post. I mean the way he's being insulted by the punditocracy. It's not an unusual situation to have a black man wrongfully accused of a crime in this country, and to so callously throw Hastings aside as tainted, even though he was acquitted of the charges and chosen repeatedly by voters to hold public office, looks insensitive at first, but when you combine this with the needless dig at Menendez, it looks a lot to me like a whole lot of brown people are considered tainted with no evidence whatsoever.

Yeah, it's because they're brown. Not because Hastings was impeached (and Pelousy voted in favor of impeachment), but because he was brown. And Menendez isn't a crook who rented space to a 501(c)(3) in his building that he arranged funding for, he's guilty of being in the Senate while brown.
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Friday, November 24, 2006
 
Grandma Go Boom

Geriatric suicide bombers?

In the first suicide bombing claimed by Hamas in nearly two years, a grandmother blew herself up today near Israeli troops operating inside Gaza near the town of Beit Lahiya.

The soldiers, who had warning, threw a stun grenade toward the woman, who then detonated her explosive belt. Two soldiers were lightly injured. The woman, identified as Fatima Omar Mahmud al-Najar, died. Her age was given as both 57 and 64. She was a mother of nine and a grandmother of more than 40, according to Agence France-Presse.


Sniff... pardon me for crying a little here. I was always a sucker for a happy ending.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006
 
Romney Faces Large Religious Hurdle

According to Rasmussen Polling, 43% of Americans "would never consider voting for a Mormon candidate." The numbers are worse among evangelicals:

Half (53%) of all Evangelical Christians say that they would not consider voting for a Mormon candidate.

Let me say here too that I have gotten to know many Mormons in the years I've lived in the Western United States, and I would have no concern about voting for an LDS candidate.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006
 
Donald Laverne Wheeler, American Hero

Army Spc. Donald L. Wheeler
Army Spc. Donald L. Wheeler
22 years old from Concord, Michigan
A Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
October 13, 2003


Spc. Donald Laverne Wheeler was affectionately known as "DJ" to his family, which included three sisters and eight brothers. In the military, he picked up the nickname "Sunshine." "They called him Sunshine at Fort Hood in Texas because he was so tall he stood out from everyone else and he was always smiling," said one of his sisters, Andrea Barrett. Wheeler died on October 13, 2003 in an attack in Tikrit. His mother, Mary Cay Wheeler, said he decided to enlist after the Sept. 11 attacks. "He loved the Army but at the same time he missed his family", she said. They had a photo of Wheeler blown up to near life size and brought it to his sister's wedding reception because he couldn't attend. "I shall always remember him, a big kid who gave everything he had on that dusty day," said Lt. Jason Price at a memorial service in Tikrit. "It's difficult to say goodbye."


These brave men and women have given their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

Kudos to our buddy Gawfer for forwarding this to my attention.
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Is Romney The Conservative Choice?

I don't want to get into bashing the other candidates for President in 2008, but here's a very thought-provoking article on Mitt Romney's conservative bona fides.

The 2002 Olympics – run by Mitt Romney – was the only Olympics that restricted the Boy Scouts from participating. According to news reports, this was apparently because of pressure from homosexual activists. (But also, according to reports, homosexual groups participated fairly prominently.) Romney would not respond to reporters’ questions about that action.

The largest Boy Scout council in the country responded to the call for volunteers issued by the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, but the welcome mat was rolled up and the door slammed in its face. Olympic spokesmen for the 2002 winter games say the exclusion has nothing to do with recent protests by gay activists. While the organizing committee for the Olympic event is prominently displaying a call for local volunteers, they have explicitly let it be known that the Boy Scouts need not apply. "For us not to be involved is discouraging, considering the Atlanta games. The Scouting council there was extremely involved," said Kay Godfrey, professional Scout executive for the Great Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts.
- NewsMax.com, Dec. 18, 2000.


This is something that deserves deeper digging. I don't mind Republican candidates who are pro-choice (as I am), pro-gay rights (as I am partially), as long as they admit it. I am very uncomfortable with folks who shift positions depending on the audience. And I despise those who fail to respect the Boy Scouts of America.

More on Romney's shifting positions here.
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Rangel's Draft Proposal Shot Down

Seems the Democrats don't want to be blamed for it, even if it would kick-start the anti-war movement:

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California told reporters on Monday that she does not support reinstating the draft, which was suspended in 1973 near the end of the Vietnam War and replaced by the all-volunteer army.

As Ways and Means panel chairman, Rangel will have a significant role in U.S. tax and health-care policy. That post will not necessarily give Rangel an effective forum for pursuing his military draft legislation, Pelosi observed.
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Monday, November 20, 2006
 
NFL Thoughts

Best Team? Indianapolis, even with the loss. The Bears are clearly the class of the NFC, but I'm uncomfortable about a team with effectively a rookie quarterback, and they absolutely should have lost that Monday night game against Arizona. I'd pick New England, but Indy beat them at the Blade. I still like the Pats against anybody in the postseason except Denver.

MVP: None of the quarterbacks has run away with it this season, and so I'd go with LT; he's just an astonishing player

Surprise Team: San Francisco. Have they really won 5 games already this year?
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Fox Uses Swift-Boating Term Disparagingly?

Andrea Shea-King and Mark Vance have the details. While you're there, be sure to check out their reports on Restoration Weekend. More here and here.
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John Kerry Is Right!

Four words I don't recall arranging in that order before, but I absolutely agree with him this time.

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry insisted on Sunday his "botched joke" about President Bush's Iraq policy would not undermine a possible White House campaign in 2008.

"Not in the least," Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in said when asked if the furor over his comment had caused him to reconsider a 2008 race. "The parlor game of who's up, who's down, today or tomorrow, if I listened to that stuff, I would never have won the nomination."


Yep, the joke will have absolutely no impact, for the simple reason that John Fraude Kerry's chances of getting the Democratic nomination were 0% before the "joke" and they are 0% now, afterwards.
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What If They Gave A Peace Demonstration and Nobody Came

That doesn't look like a problem this time, provided there's plenty of Viagra. Coming from the San Francisco lunatic fringe: Orgasms for peace.

Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter.

But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you just stay home.

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

"The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change."

The couple are no strangers to sex and social activism. Sheehan, no relation to anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, brought together nearly 50 women in 2002 who stripped naked and spelled out the word "Peace."


If you're looking for a good reason why the peace movement has not taken off, you could start with 76-year-old women getting naked. As for the "Big O for Peace", I'm up for it, but I got a hunch that Meg Ryan's going to be faking it.
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Sunday, November 19, 2006
 
The Amazing Race: Tanks for the Memories

Excellent episode with one of the best roadblocks I've seen and some memorable characterization.

The teams start out where we left off last week, with four teams still needing to rappel face-first down a large tower. Once they're done, the clue tells them to fly to the capital city of the country where Chernobyl is. Some momentary confusion as to whether this is the Ukraine or Russia, but it turns out to be the former as all discover when they get to the airport. There are two flights going to Kiev, one via Vienna and one by way of Warsaw. Team Recovery and the Beauty Queens snag the earlier flights, while the other three teams get on the latter. At firt it appears that both flights will arrive at the same time, but the Warsaw connection is delayed by a half-hour.

Clues at the cars tell the teams to drive to a location spelled out in Cyrillic. The Beauty Queens and Team Recovery hire a taxi driver to lead their cars to the location, as do Rob & Kimberley. However, the Chos and Team Gump make do with a map and directions, and quickly get lost. We can see that the Alabamans are getting annoyed at the Cho's constant stopping for directions.

The next clue is at a Tank school, and sure enough, the Roadblock requires one member of each team to drive a tank along an obstacle course. It looks like terrific fun. The Beauty Queens barely beat Team Recovery and both teams head back to Kiev, again following their taxi driver. Rob & Kimberley arrive next (with a little pointer from Team Recovery), then the Chos and Team Gump. The Cho brother makes it through the tank course quicker than the Gump woman, but they wait for their allies before leaving.

All teams must now find an apartment in Kiev. Once again the Chos are seemingly stopping every block for directions, and the Alabamans finally lose patience. But the Chos catch up to them at the apartment block. Meanwhile, Rob & Kimberley have had automobile problems (overheating) and must get a replacement car. But they still lead the remaining members of the Six-Pack.

The next task is a Detour: Make Music or Find Music. In the former, the team must go to a nightclub and create a rap song that includes the names of all the countries they've visited. In Find Music, they have to go to a symphony hall, find one particular piece of sheet music on a table loaded with sheet music, and then take it to a pianist who will perform it for them.

Well, it's not to hard to see that Make Music is easier, but Team Recovery decides to Find Music. Fortunately for them it works out as they find both the sheet music and the pianist fairly quickly. The next clue is the Pit Stop, at the Great Patriotic War Museum in Kiev. The Beauty Queens finish their rap and chase after the boys.



But in the end, Team Recovery finishes first and wins a trip to Puerto Vallarta. The Beauty Queens finish behind them, and Phil once again reminds them that no all-female team has yet won TAR. Rob & Kimberley follow. Now it is obvious that either the Chos or Team Gump will be on the chopping block.

Both teams choose the rap option, but the Chos refuse out of some misplaced sense of nobility to follow Team Gump to the disco, and they can't find anybody who knows where it's located. So they belatedly decide to head to the symphony hall. Team Gump shows a little smarts, making up their rap song in the car while driving. It appears to be neck and neck as both teams finish apparently close together in time. Who will get to the mat first?

Well, of course Team Gump gets a guide and the Chos fail to do so. Then they try to go down a closed street and get harassed by the Kiev cops. In the end, there's no real drama as Team Gump arrives much earlier than the Chos, who are Phil-Liminated. It's a shame, because I liked them and their honorable ways, but jeez, they had no idea of how to compete!

As always, check out Viking Pundit's excellent recap.
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The Last Man...

Here's a terrific post on the subject of Vietnam and Iraq:

Who was the last man to die for what John Kerry called a mistake? Was it that American soldier whose name is the last name on the last panel of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.? Was it a soldier in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, whichever true believer didn't strip off his uniform and desert in the end? The last of the 2 million Cambodian men, women and children to die in the Khmer Rouge killing fields in 1979. A Vietnamese boat person, thrown over the side when the pirates of the South China Sea took his money and his wife in the early 1980s?

This is why we can't abandon Iraq. We will certainly lose more men and women winning this war, but there would be far more deaths if we adopt the Vietnam "solution".
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