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Friday, February 23, 2007
 
Do-Over Dems

Talk about stupid ideas:

Senate Democratic leaders intend to unveil a plan next week to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing the war in Iraq in favor of narrower authority that restricts the military's role and begins withdrawals of combat troops.

House Democrats have pulled back from efforts to link additional funding for the war to strict troop-readiness standards after the proposal came under withering fire from Republicans and from their party's own moderates. That strategy was championed by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) and endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).


And do you know what's going to prevent this from happening? The fact that the Republicans did not use the nuclear option last year. If they had, there would be no 60 votes required for cloture. Since the Democrats will not get 60 votes in favor of cutting off debate, they will not be able to pass the repeal.

Boy, you know, John McCain looks smarter every day.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007
 
Lucianne to Appear on CPR!

My favorite person in the blogosphere has the details. Be sure to tune in tomorrow (Friday).

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
 
Will Gore Pop Obama's Balloon?

Although this article seems focused on Al and Hillary, really the candidate who's gotta be dreading the return of the Goron has to be Obama.

Mr Gore has reinvented himself: a wooden performer seven years ago, he is now a passionate and visionary advocate for action against climate change.

And unlike Hillary Clinton, with whom he had a testy relationship in her husband’s White House, he opposed the Iraq War from the outset.

Mrs Clinton, along with other Democratic candidates, is now said to be anxiously studying his girth, which expanded rapidly when he left office six years ago, as a measure of his political ambitions. If they can get their arms around him, he might be standing or, as Ms Brazile put it: “on Oscar night, if Al Gore has slimmed down 25 or 30 pounds, Lord knows.” She believes that over a drawn-out race for the presidency, other candidates will be facing “burn-out” by the autumn. “Al Gore could enter the race tomorrow, September or November.


And if he does, it's bye-bye to Barack. Hillary stands a chance against him, but Obama?
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Nutroots Continue to Target Moderate Democrats

As I remarked last year, it seemed like the liberal blogs last year had one goal in mind: to defeat a sitting Democrat (Joe Lieberman). They failed in that attempt, but the party they support succeeded wildly. And the liberal blogs, somehow convinced they pulled it off, are now readying the circular firing squad for some of the moderate Democrats who comprised the new majority.

Progressive blogs -- including two new ones, Ellen Tauscher Weekly and Dump Ellen Tauscher -- were bashing her as a traitor to her party. A new liberal political action committee had just named her its "Worst Offender." And in Tauscher's East Bay district office that day in January, eight MoveOn.org activists were accusing her of helping President Bush send more troops to Iraq.

Helping? Jennifer Barton, the lawmaker's district director, played them a DVD of Tauscher blasting the increase as an awful idea in a floor speech eight days earlier.

"The words are fine and good, but we are looking for leadership," scoffed Susan Schaller, one of the activists.


The WaPo points out the idiocy of this crusade:

She has annoyed the left by supporting legislation to scale back the estate tax, tighten bankruptcy rules and promote free-trade agreements. She served as vice chair of the pro-business Democratic Leadership Council, which many liberal activists dismiss as a quasi-Republican K Street front group. And she voted to authorize the Iraq war, although she did so with caveats, and she was quick to express her displeasure with its execution.

But liberal groups such as the Children's Defense Fund and the League of Conservation Voters give Tauscher impeccable report cards, while the National Rifle Association gives her straight F's.

"It's not just about her voting record," said Bob Brigham of San Francisco, an activist who recently started the Ellen Tauscher Weekly.


What is it about? That's not hard to gather:

The latest blog wars began simmering in December after Tauscher led a New Democrat delegation to meet with Bush about bipartisan cooperation, irritating the Net roots. They boiled after her former chief of staff, Katie Merrill, posted a scathing piece on a California Web site attacking the Net roots for attacking Tauscher. Outraged activists immediately began mobilizing for a fight in 2008. "I didn't even know who Tauscher was 5 mins ago, but now I support a primary challenge against her," one typical commenter replied.


The "politics of the last five minutes" has rarely been expressed so plainly. I suppose Republicans should be pleased with this push for more radicalism from Democratic moderates, but the concern is that they will succeed without losing control of congress, and then the entire country will suffer.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007
 
Romney on Abortion in 2002

Caught this over at the National Journal's Hotline:



In an effort at "balance", Hotline provides this McCain clip:



But notice the crucial difference? Romney pledges, "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose," abortion, while McCain wants "the elimination of abortion". McCain does say "I think that we can all be members of the Republican Party, whether we are pro-choice or pro-life," and certainly that seems to be the case. Nobody suggested kicking Mitt Romney out of the party in 2002.

My personal take on abortion is that it's wrong but not so clearly wrong that it should be banned. But I am 100% in favor of of the repeal of Roe v. Wade and allowing the states to make that decision for themselves.

Hotline also notes that John Thune has endorsed McCain, but oddly notes:

Recall how Thune was the '04 cycle's Barack Obama for Republicans. He was a Giant Killer, defeating Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) , and has been, for more than two years, on many pundits' short lists for the Republican vice presidential nomination. Thune tells the Washington Post that he somehow convinced McCain to promise to appoint "guys like Roberts and Alito" to the Supreme Court.


I don't get where Barack fits in as the '06 cycle's John Thune; he didn't defeat any giants.

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Fair Means Unbalanced

According to this article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

It's standard operating procedure for journalists covering a controversial issue to offer contrasting opinions in the interest of balance.

But for years there's been consensus on this topic among scientists, with just a few skeptics on the fringe. Sometimes the facts are so overwhelming on one side that it's unfair and inaccurate to give equal weight to both sides. This is one of those times.

Journalists have gradually accepted that, and people who follow climate change closely have noticed. When I asked a couple of scientists and a senior research fellow at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change why they thought this has happened, they answered along the lines of the Pew Center's Jay Gulledge, who said, “The science became all the more compelling in the last year.”


Ah, yes, that compelling science. But how compelling is it?

For staff writer Craig Rose, it was “a watershed moment” when the international report on climate change concluded that the chances are at least 90 percent that global warming is caused by human activity.


Well, if it's 90% certain, then it's 100% certain, I suppose. Errr.

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Monday, February 19, 2007
 
Link to My BBC Radio Appearance

You can download the file (MP3) here. My segment is cued up right at the beginning, so no need to skip ahead.

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McCain: Roe Should Be Overturned

I agree that Roe is terrible constitutional law:

"I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned," the Arizona senator told about 800 people in South Carolina, one of the early voting states.

McCain also vowed that if elected, he would appoint judges who "strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and do not legislate from the bench."


Although the article tries to portray this as some sort of pander to social conservatives, in fact McCain has been consistently pro-life. Check out his page over at NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League), a pro-abortion group:

2006 Senator McCain supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood 0 percent in 2006.

2005-2006 Senator McCain supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 75 percent in 2005-2006.

2005 Senator McCain supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2005.

2004 Senator McCain supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2004.

2003-2004 Senator McCain supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 82 percent in 2003-2004.

2003 Senator McCain supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2003.

2001-2002 Senator McCain supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 33 percent in 2001-2002.

2001 Senator McCain supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood 0 percent in 2001.

2001 Senator McCain supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2001.

2000 Senator McCain supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2000.

1999-2000 Senator McCain supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 66 percent in 1999-2000.

1999 Senator McCain supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood 0 percent in 1999.

1996-2003 Senator McCain supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood (Senate) 0 percent in 1996-2003.

1995-2004 On the votes that the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Assocation considered to be the most important in 1995-2004, Senator McCain voted their preferred position 0 percent of the time.


Contrast this to pro-choice Rudy Giuliani and Mitt "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country" Romney:

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Sunday, February 18, 2007
 
The Amazing Race All-Stars Part I

I watched the opening and I was pretty sure that the only former winners were Joyce & Uchenna. Rob & Ambuh were inevitable, pleased to see the dwarf gal and her good-looking sister, the Beauty Queens and David and Mary. Looks like two gay male couples. One of the Frat Boys returns with one of the gals who got eliminated early on that same season. No obvious villains, no screaming boyfriends from seasons past as far as I can see. We get the obligatory mention that Rob & Ambuh are reality TV royalty.

First task is to fly to Quito. There are two flights, but (obvously because of a layover, the first flight to depart is second to arrive, by a long time. Rob & Amber and a couple others are smart enough to figure out the important thing is when you get there, not when you leave. Team Coal Miner (my faves from last year) remind me why you don't root for dummies, by asking after they've been checked in. But they do con the BQs into sticking around too long to catch the other flight.

As it works out the teams are about divided in half for the two flights. Once in Ecuador, they must find the Plaza San Francisco.



This is a basic cluebox stop; next task is to find Pim's, a nearby restaurant and grab a departure time. Of course, this serves to bunch teams up compared to their arrival times in Ecuador, and thus there is only a half hour between them when the next day starts.

In the morning they must find their way to the Cotopaxi National Park, North Entrance. At least two teams go to the South Entrance and decide to muddle through the park rather than curcumnavigate it. Rob & Ambuh reach the cluebox first: Detour. In Wrangle It, teams must hold down a wild horse while it is being trimmed in the hooves and tail. In Recover It, teams must search a field for a sword, a button, and a pair of epaulets.

Rob & Ambuh try to recover it on the basis that animals are always tricky. But after awhile of looking they decide to do the horse trick. This seems to be the choice of everyone thereafter, and it does not appear particularly challenging which diminishes the drama. At first it looks like the dwarf gal and her sister will be in trouble, but they have come through the south entrance succesfully and gotten back on the path. Jon Vito and Jill, a couple from an earlier season are now apparently in last and sure enough, there is no real drama as they come to the mat last. Rob & Ambuh win the leg.

No roadblock this episode, probably because reintroducing the teams took so long.

Not sure if the Viking Pundit's going to post on the show this season; he's commenting on another amazing race from Sunday.
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Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

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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.

The Weekly Standard

Les Kinsolving

Greatest Hits

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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