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Saturday, November 05, 2005
Kerry Gets That Old Time Religion

On the campaign trail.

"As a Christian, as a Catholic, I think hard about those responsibilities that are moral and how you translate them into public life," the Massachusetts senator said at a rally Saturday in support of Democratic Mayor Bob Baines, who is running for re-election.

"There is not anywhere in the three-year ministry of Jesus Christ, anything that remotely suggests - not one miracle, not one parable, not one utterance - that says you ought to cut children's health care or take money from the poorest people in our nation to give it to the wealthiest people in our nation," he said.

Kerry criticized the Senate spending plan, which would cut an estimated $36 billion over five years, saying it would reduce funds for police, after-school programs and children's health care.

Pork; it's for Christians!
I Imagine the No-Nukes Crowd Will Have Fun With This

The Tampa Tribune published an editorial today in favor of nuclear power:

Modern plants are reliable and have an impressive safety record. The Chernobyl tragedy occurred at a poorly designed and maintained Soviet facility. Rigorous design standards minimize the chances of even a minor mishap at an American plant. France, which uses American nuclear technology, safely generates about 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear plants.

I happen to agree that nuclear power is necessary and safe. But you gotta wonder what genius came up with the headline:

A Glowing Future For Nuclear Power
Clooney in Drunken Brawl?

Gotta love this story.

The actor lost his customary cool after an attempt to dodge the paparazzi by using the back exit of Meze went disastrously wrong, leaving him stranded in a Soho alley at 2am.

A clearly tired and emotional Clooney then blew his top when he saw one of the bar's security staff walk off, uninterested in his plight.

One onlooker said: "The security guard was walking down the alley and George screamed at him, 'come back here' and then he said, 'I am going to f**king have you!'"

Clooney then took a run at the guard and a pushing match started, with his ex-girlfriend Lisa Snowdon getting involved.

Ah, these men of the people, always standing up for the little guy in principle, but not the little guy who has to deal with them.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Carnival of the Clueless

Rick Moran's got the hot links!
Hard To Know Which Side to Take In Denmark

The Islamists or the anti-religion nuts:

Jyllands-Posten, Denmark's leading daily, defied Islam's ban on images of the Prophet by printing cartoons by 12 different artists.

In one he is depicted as a sabre-wielding terrorist accompanied by women in burqas, in another his turban appears to be a bomb and in a third he is portrayed as a schoolboy by a blackboard.

Now, don't get me wrong, that would be no excuse for rioting. But that does not appear to be what's happening in Denmark, unlike in Paris.

Thousands of Muslims have taken to the streets in protest at the caricatures, the newspaper that published them has received death threats and two of its cartoonists have been forced into hiding.

Taking to the streets is fine. Death threats are no good, but hardly unusual for people expressing provocative opinions.

Carsten Juste, the editor of Jyllands-Posten, spurned demands that he apologise, saying he "would not dream" of saying sorry.

"To demand that we take religious feelings into consideration is irreconcilable with western democracy and freedom of expression," he said. "This doesn't mean that we want to insult any Muslims."

And here's a rather amusing quote from one of the cartoonists:

One artist, Franz Füchsel, said he intended no offence. "But I live in 2005, not 905 and I use my quill in the way that Danish law allows me."
Don't Cry For Me Maradona

Michelle Malkin has a roundup of the moonbattery in Argentina, where President Bush is attending the Summit of the Americas, including a picture of former soccer star Diego Maradona in a shirt that accuses President Bush of being a war criminal.

Maradona was a great footballer, arguably one of the greatest of all time. Unfortunately, like many sports stars, he was also a thorough jerk as some of these snippets from his bio on Wikipedia reveal:

He arrived at the 1994 World Cup and played two games (scoring one goal) before being sent home after failing a drug test for ephedrine doping.

In Naples, where he is still beloved (having brought the local team their first scudetto), he also faced a scandal regarding an illegitimate son and was the object of some suspicion over his friendship with the Camorra, the local mafia.

Maradona left Napoli in 1992, after serving a 15-month ban for failing the drug test for cocaine, and played for Sevilla FC (1992–93), Newell's Old Boys (1993) and Boca Juniors (1995–97).

Maradona married long-time fiancée Claudia Villafañe on November 7, 1989 in Buenos Aires, after she gave birth to their two daughters, Dalma Nerea (b. 1987) and Giannina Dinorah (b. 1989). In his autobiography, Maradona admits not always being faithful to Claudia, even though he refers to her as the love of his life.

Diego and Claudia divorced in 2004. Daughter Dalma has since asserted that the divorce was the best solution for all, as her parents remained on friendly terms. Diego and Claudia traveled together to Napoli for a series of homages in June 2005.

During the divorce proceedings, Maradona admitted that he was the father of Diego Sinagra (b. Naples, 1986), as was claimed by his mother, Cristiana Sinagra.

Since the 1990s, Maradona has been battling a cocaine addiction, which included spells in Swiss and Cuban detox clinics. Between 2001 and 2005, Maradona lived mostly in Cuba, becoming friends with President Fidel Castro.

On April 18, 2004, doctors reported that Maradona had suffered a major heart attack following a cocaine overdose; he was admitted to intensive care in a Buenos Aires hospital.

He remains a national hero in Argentina for his soccer abilities.

Alex Nunez has more, including Maradona's run-ins with the press. He also brings up the infamous "Hand of God" goal Maradona "scored" by cheating in a World Cup match.

Hat Tip: Mrs Media Matters
Some Important Anniversaries

Today is Laura Bush's birthday; Kitty reminds us that it's impolite to state her age, but you can do the math.

Today is also the 25th anniversary of the day that Americans got rid of one of the worst presidents in history and replaced him with one of the best:

(Yeah, it's an atypical photo, but this is football season.)
How To Reduce Bush's Poll Numbers When Nothing Bad's Happening

Undersample Republicans. And if you can't undersample them, just change the weighting.

Hat Tip: Jamie Allman, who points out that even using the contaminated numbers that the media disseminated, 2/3rds of all respondents rated the President as equal or better than most public figures in honesty and integrity.
Hero Girl Meets Clinton

Tilly Smith, the young girl who recognized the signs of a tsunami from a geography lesson, met with Bill Clinton.

Two weeks before the Dec. 26, 2004, disaster that took at least 178,000 lives, Tilly had studied tsunamis in her geography class in Oxshott, a community of about 5,000 just south of London. The children were shown a video from an earlier tsunami.

Tilly was armed with that knowledge when the Smith family decided to go for a morning walk on the idyllic beach near the JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa.

Suddenly, "I saw this bubbling on the water, right on the edge, and foam sizzling just like in a frying pan," she remembered. "The water was coming in, but it wasn't going out again. It was coming in, and then in, and then in, towards the hotel."

She recognized it as an indication that earthquake-driven waves were only minutes away.

While Colin Smith relayed Tilly's warning to the hotel staff, the girl dashed back toward the beach filled with about 100 people. She told the Japanese-born hotel chef of the danger, "and he knew the word tsunami because it's Japanese. But he never saw one."

The chef and a nearby hotel security agent both spread the warning and the beach was swiftly evacuated minutes before the devastating waves struck.

The beach near the Marriott Hotel was one of the few in Phuket where no one was killed or seriously hurt.

Yes, I know what you're thinking.
Young Nationalist Changing Names

To The YNC. Apparently the Nationalist part was causing advertisers some concern. Believe me, having started a blog called Kerry Haters, I know how it goes; name in haste, repent at leisure.
Is Paris Burning?

Detailed posts at Instapundit and Michelle Malkin; I thought I'd add some pictures to the pot:

Blather from Rather

If a frog had any sense, he'd get out of the blender.

"News is something people need to know which someone, somewhere, doesn’t want them to know,” Rather said. "All the rest is advertising.”

Okay, Dan, if you say so. Then election results, the weather, sports scores, riots, etc., aren't news.

Rather - who was driven from his anchor seat largely because bloggers and other "new media” outlets, such as, exposed his use of forged documents last year to falsely attack President Bush of shirking National Guard duty - says that such media sources should be viewed critically.

"You need to ask yourself: Is more better, and is all that calls itself news really news?" said Rather, who turned 74 this week.

Well, Dan we know that you're not news. You're his-to-ry.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Tom Wolfe On the Simpsons

Kitty pointed to this article on the author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and The Bonfire of the Vanities, where it was revealed that he's going to appear as himself in an episode of The Simpsons.

But what caught my eye was this:

He said the only honor that came close was when he appeared in a 1969 copy of Marvel Comics' "Dr. Strange" and uttered the line, "Don't worry, Doc, I won't hit you up for any free aspirin."

Well, I found an electronic copy of that appearance and thought I'd post it here since it amounts to only two panels. From Doctor Strange #180, May 1969:

Pre-white hair and (I guess pre-white suit as well). Art by the amazing Gene Colan, who went on to great stints at Daredevil and Batman, story by the prolific and talented Roy Thomas.
Survivor Update

Interesting episode. We begin with the Yaxha tribe members stumbling in the dark; guess they don't let them use their torches during the trip back to the campground for fear they'll burn donw the jungle. Then it turns out that they're merging with Nukum in the dead of night.

There's some brief welcome, but then Jamie spoils the mood by commenting that there's no room in the tent. For the rest of the episode the former Yaxha are obsessing over the fact that they're doomed to be Pagonged. The Nukum seem to be happy to have people doing the work for them, but they sound determined to vote off the Yaxha. At first, only Rafe seems bothered by this and he gets off the evening's best line: "Am I in the Axis of Evil?"

Then, the tree mail tells everybody that there's a small idol in the woods somewhere that anybody can use for immunity. The Yaxha now have a reason to be even more active than they have been. Even Judd and Jamie start searching, apparently to make sure that nobody from the former Yaxha has an out.

There is some discussion about the order Yaxha will be voted off. Bobby Jon, taking advantage of his friendship with Steph from Palau, gets her to promise to save him at least one more week so he can be on the jury. The order is Brandon, Bobby Jon, Danni and Gary. Interesting how many people like Gary in this show; if he were to make it to the finals he'd have an excellent chance of winning.

There is no reward challenge this episode, so we go right to the Immunity Challenge. But this time there's a twist. They lay out a spread on a picnic table with food, wine, grapes, you name it. Anybody who feels confident that they're not in danger can sit down and have a meal. Anybody who wants to have a chance at immunity has to pass up the feast. Predictably, all four former Yaxha chose to try for the necklace, joined by Judd (who had looked great at balancing earlier in the episode) and Cindy, who's been a cipher despite making it this far.

This is of course, a variation on the old "make folks balance on something and then offer them pizza or an ice-cream sundae if they come down" challenge that appeared in Palau and the Outback.

Jamie puts his foot in it though by announcing to everybody that Brandon and Bobby Jon are on the chopping block while they're in the middle of the challenge. Then he compounds the error by pointing out that Judd is there to protect "our" interests. At this Rafe gets rather emotional, talking to Steph and crying.

The challenge is to balance a pot on your head while standing on a small block of wood. After an hour, the only person eliminated is Danni. Jeff calls them over for a playoff. This time, the challenge is to carry the pot on your head all the way to the top of a Mayan pyramid. Gary is the only person to make it all the way to the top and wins immunity.

Since we know he's in no danger of being voted off it's somewhat ironic. But he didn't know that. Back at camp, though, it looks like Jamie's callous comments may have put him in danger. At one point or another, it seems like everybody on Nukum is committed to voting him off, except for poor Lydia. Of course, poor Lydia may be the person whose position improved the most after the merge, since she's not perceived as a threat to anybody, and her lack of athletic ability doesn't matter now that we're past the team competitions.

In the end, of course, the person you would have picked before the scheming began is the one who gets voted off. Brandon gets six votes to Jamie's four, so Nukum held. This was where I thought Burnett really blew it though. The rule on the mini idol was that if you wanted to use it at tribal council, you had to declare that first. It would have made for a lot more drama if they'd allowed the person to draw it out after the vote, and that meant that the second place vote-getter was voted off. Jamie would have really been sweating it then!

CooterTV sounds like he doesn't like Jamie.

As I’m writing this, I have faith that not since Jonny “I faked my grandmother’s death” Fairplay has there been a Survivor as despised as Jamie. If there’s one thing that this game will not stand is someone who sits there and dishes out ridicule and insults. Has this guy ever watched Survivor before? The cocky ones always end up on the Jury.

Good summary, written with a bit more wit than I can muster.
Macho Liberals

It's been awhile since I've had a chance to highlight one of these ridiculous incidents. Out on the stump in Kentucky, Joe Biden had some strong words for those who would question him:

"The next Republican that tells me I'm not religious I'm going to shove my rosary beads down their throat."

Joe's big on machismo; I commented in the past on his suggestion that US forces should take on the Taliban "mano a mano".
What You Need to Know About Valerie Plame

This article by Zell Miller spells out what a lot of people have concluded about Plame; that she was involved in a plot by rogue CIA agents to undermine the Bush Administration.

It’s like a spy thriller. Institutional rivalries and political loyalties have fostered an intelligence officer’s resentment against the government. Suddenly, an opportunity appears for the agent to undercut the national leadership. A vital question of intelligence forms the core justification for controversial military actions by the current leaders. If this agent can get in the middle of that question, distort that information and make it public, the agent might foster regime change in the upcoming election.

But the rules on agents are clear. They can’t purposely distort gathered intelligence, go public with secret information or use their position or information to manipulate domestic elections or matters without risking their job or jail.

But their spouse can!
The Marching Morons

Here's a report on the wildly successful protest in Los Angeles.

The Westwood rally attracted an estimated 1,200 protesters, including some who walked out of work and school to join in. The nighttime protest clogged traffic in parts of the Westside for hours.

Additionally, an estimated 1,000 Los Angeles students walked out of local high schools Wednesday for various daytime protests around the city. Among the schools hit by walkouts were Los Angeles High, Hamilton High and Lincoln High.

Southern California has tens of millions of people, and millions of students. If this is the best they can do, the antiwar movement is dead.

Chicago was probably worse:

In Chicago, organizers said, more than 500 people attended a downtown rally amid a strong police presence.

Five hundred? And that's according to the organizers, which means you can probably divide the estimate by two.
The Problem With Getting High School Students to Protest The War

Apparently they don't know how to make the peace sign:

Michelle Malkin has more including links to a story about a San Francisco cop who was hit with a Molotov cocktail by a particulary stupid protester in Baghdad by the Bay. She'll apparently have some photos of the NYC protest (which drew a massive 300-400 student turnout) later.

No Oil for Pacifists has a photo of an "incendiary device" being thrown at the SF Chronicle Building.

John Ruberry has a bunch more photos of the clueless.
Who Are The Conservatives?

Harold Meyerson has a column today that raises that issue.

I don't mean the conservatives in revolt over Harriet Miers. I mean the moderates in revolt over Bush's suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act, the law that mandates payment of prevailing wages on federally funded construction projects. In an apparent attempt to ensure that nobody rebuilding the Katrina-damaged Gulf Coast made much more than minimum wage, Bush had suspended the 1931 statute. But last week a group of 35 moderate Republican members of Congress -- hailing disproportionately from Northeast and Midwest states where building-trades unions still have political clout -- told Andy Card that they couldn't support Bush's edict. With a congressional vote on overturning Bush's order scheduled for next week, the president backed down.

It is far from obvious to me that the folks in revolt over Miers were the conservatives. As I have said before, they seemed to be the meritocracy more than anything else. Instapundit is a libertarian conservative; what Meyerson would normally term a moderate. James Dobson and Hugh Hewitt (I assume) would generally not get that appellation from Meyerson.

As for the moderate Republicans described here, it would be more apt to refer to them as "liberal Republicans". Ann Coulter has talked about this in her book. The media often refer to "conservative Democrats", but comparatively seldom to "liberal Republicans". Similarly, they refer to "moderate Republicans" more often than "moderate Democrats".

Why? It's a combination of reward and punishment. In the newspaper world, a moderate is praise-worthy. A conservative deserves scorn. Hence, as a Democrat moves towards the middle, she is punished with the term conservative. By the same token, as a Republican moves towards the middle, he is rewarded with the term moderate.

Proof? Here's a search of the New York Times since 1981 for the term "moderate Democrat", which appeared 293 times in the paper in that period. Searching for "moderate Republican", by contrast, brings up 1184 references. "Liberal Republican" appeared 314 times, while "conservative Democrat" was referenced in 495 articles.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Daschle's Running For President

Needless to say, I'm very disappointed.

Former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle is calling for all U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2007.

The South Dakota Democrat, defeated for re-election last November, planned to outline his foreign policy vision in Chicago Wednesday evening - two days before a planned visit to the politically pivotal state of Iowa.
Movie Industry Stupidity

How do you solve the problem of an industry in decline? The Motion Picture Association thinks suing your customers is the answer:

The Motion Picture Association of America filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Fred Lawrence of Racine, seeking as much as $600,000 in damages for downloading four movies over the Internet file-sharing service iMesh.

The suit was filed after Lawrence refused a March offer to settle the matter by paying $4,000.

Lawrence said his grandson, who was then 12, downloaded "The Incredibles," "I, Robot," "The Grudge," and "The Forgotten" in December, without knowing it was illegal to do so.

The Racine man said his grandson downloaded the movies out of curiosity, and deleted the computer files immediately. The family already owned three of the four titles on DVD, he said.
The Reality-Based Community? Part LXI--Updated

Here's a strong contender for the most absurd "I blame Bush" story:

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who went to Italy for a reading in Verona last month, traveled to Brescia to see the five-story apartment building where his father was born in 1872. He and a photographer friend found the place, in the poorest neighborhood in town, and rang the doorbell. An old woman opened the door a crack and looked out at them grumpily, as he explained that he wanted to look at his father's birthplace. The woman's husband -- probably a plumber, Ferlinghetti figured -- came to the door dragging a radiator. He started shouting, calling them "parasites,'' says Ferlinghetti, and telling them to "get the hell out of here'' or he'd call the police.

Ferlinghetti says, "The people in the house where my father was born were very hostile, seemed to be very fearful. I told Il Manifesto that this was a general fear and paranoia in the population generated by the war on terror, which is what Berlusconi and Bush have promoted, creating this climate of fear.''

Ferlinghetti is apparently a well-known poet:

Recognized as one of the most influential and important poets of the Beat movement, Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born in Yonkers, New York on March 24, 1919. Shortly after his birth, Ferlinghetti's mother was committed to an asylum for the insane and the young boy was sent to France to be raised by a female relative.

One of the most important poets of the Beat movement? Isn't that a little like being the sexiest of the Golden Girls?

Kitty points to this fawning interview with Ferlinghetti where he reveals some more "deep thoughts":

Is the current threat to our civil liberties comparable to what you experienced in the early '50s?

No, it's much worse. That was nothing back then. President Eisenhower's reign was very stultifying; there was lots of unspoken censorship. But today, Eisenhower looks like an angel compared to these bandits who are now running Washington. They're criminals; they're international criminals. Under both Bush administrations, they've reappointed at least four felons who were convicted during the Watergate years and during Iran-Contra. They're in government now. These are international criminals, and the spineless Democrats are doing nothing about it.
Last November 2nd

What a roller coaster ride it was. Kitty, Aaron and I had built the Kerry Haters blog into a major force in the blogosphere. We were nearly a top 100 blog in the TTLB traffic ratings (without a single Instalanche, I might add).

Our intention was always that the blog would end triumphantly after the election. We were confident going into that day.

And then suddenly the exit polls came out and it looked like Kerry was going to win. We did not join in the wailing and gnashing of teeth; instead we exhorted our friends to make sure that they voted. For a moment it looked like Kerry Haters was about to become a real major league blog. And I can't tell you how unhappy I was at that prospect.

In the end, of course, it turned out that the exit polls were fatally flawed and Bush won. Kerry Haters hung around for a couple more months before finally giving up the ghost. KH was a fun experience, especially with our breaking two major scoops--Christmas in Cambodia and October at the UN--months before they hit the mainstream media.

Others with memories of reelection day:

La Shawn Barber was still working at a charity with lots of liberals, so the only smiling face she saw that day was her own in the mirror.

Sister Toldjah reflects on who the real idiot was in that race.

Jason at Generation Why wants to know where were you when you heard Kerry had conceded. I was in my car on the way to the office.

Blogs for Bush's Matt Margolis has similar reflections to mine on his blog:

Thanks to the support of hundreds of bloggers who joined our blogroll, we became the largest grassroots blog for a political candidate... and it was with their support that we made it into the top ten of the TLB Ecosystem (I think our peak was 6) andwell into the top 100 blogs on Technorati. This was accomplished largely without the help from other high traffic Top 40 blogs... which makes me much prouder about what we accomplished here.

Don Surber's also smiling.

The Ex-Donkey Blog wasn't nervous at the exit-polling data. I wasn't either until I looked over at Tradesports, where Kerry was about an 80-20 favorite as of mid-afternoon.

The Man at GOP & The City remembers casting his useless vote (he lives in New York City).

Alamo Nation has kidney stones (ouch!) but remembers Harry Potter registering to vote in last year's election.
Worst Political Ad Ever?

That's what GOP & The City calls the desperation ad being aired by Freddy Ferrer in the NYC mayor's race. It's rather amusing that New York, one of the more liberal cities in the country is on the verge of electing a Republican for the fourth consecutive time.
Moron Mapes

Jim Geraghty has the lowdown on the Vanity Fair article.

First thought: Dear Lord, if I ever botch a story as badly as Mapes did, and, say, write a huge expose on Kim Jong-Il's inappropriate relationship with a goat, and it turns out that the memo describing said relationship was not actually written in North Korean but merely replaced all the letter "l"s with the letter "r", please, please, please let me get a $250,000 book deal with an 11-page excerpt in Vanity Fair and a big glossy photo of me with a dog. Thank you.

I am rather appalled that the left seems unable to accept reality on Mapes. Hope they buy lots of copies of her book, however, as that will reduce the money they can contribute to the Dems next year.
Taking It To the Streets

It was exactly one year ago today that the libs thought they had beaten President Bush and that the Kerry Administration was about to start handing out goodies. So to commemorate those giddy five hours before reality crashed in, the particularly stupid among them intend to march for Bush's ouster.

Calling itself The World Can't Wait, the group was initiated in part by supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and it has a simple goal: removing Bush from office by impeachment or resignation -- even if, according to the organization's Web site, they're not quite sure what should follow:

"The question of what will replace the Bush regime should be discussed and debated as we join together and work shoulder-to-shoulder toward our common political goal," according to the Web site

Today's demonstration, which will coincide with similar protests in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago, is not sponsored by International Answer or United for Peace and Justice, which have been behind most of the nation's mass demonstrations in the past few years.

And--good news!--it will feature Mumia Abu-Jamal!

Bay Area organizer Federico Garcia said he hopes the demonstration's focus on a single goal will answer critics who say that anti-war demonstrations include many seemingly unrelated interests, from the plight of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal (who will be contributing a taped speech to today's San Francisco event) to the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

Michelle Malkin has more on the morons. It really is beginning to seem like every news headline is another advertisement for her book.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Amazing Race Family Edition Update

Terrific episode all around. The teams started out having to get a cab to a bus station, where they are assigned to one of three buses. The Paolos arrive first, and it becomes obvious that they despise the Weavers (aka Team Florida), as they try to guide other teams to the location of the bus assignments. The Gaghans move up a bit by sensibly going to the hotel to get a cab, while the Weavers and the Bransons try to find one on a busy thoroughfare. The Godlewskis must beg for cabfare.

The buses take them to Costa Rica, where switch to minvans and visit a famous volcano, which features terrific views. As it works out the three different buses didn't make any difference, as all arrive at the volcano after dark and must wait until the morning.

The next AM it's a mad dash to the cluebox, then back down to the minivans. The teams are off to a surf shop, where they receive the next clue. This time they head to a coffee plantation for the segment's Roadblock. This time it's virtually the same as finding a needle in a haystack. One team member must find and pluck out of a pile of white coffee beans the one red bean.

But the big news is that there is a Yield ahead, and it is at this point that we discover how unpopular the Weavers have become. Virtually every team ponders the Yield and resolves to stick it to Team Florida. I was actually stunned. As it works out Team Paolo arrives at the plantation first and does the dirty deed.

Sifting through the beans proves arduous work, but one by one the teams find theirs. Unfortunately the Gaghan mom, although apparently quite diligent about spreading the beans out, can't find the red one. Finally the Weavers get through their delay and start on the coffee bean task. And one of the daughters seemingly finds it almost immediately. Now the Gaghans are in last place, but finally the red bean is found and they take off in hot pursuit.

The next task is a detour. The teams must choose between carrying fifteen giant loads of bananas or traveling across a series of rope bridges and bringing back four Mayan statues. The Paulo family is the only one to choose the banana task. This pays off for them as the old man is a garbage man and quite accustomed to picking up heavy burdens (what, they don't have side loaders?). The old man carries what his two teenaged sons can't manage between them.

Unfortunately for the Gaghans, they are not able to attempt the banana task, and as everybody has arrived at the Mayan statue task, they seem to have little chance of catching up. Then suddenly disaster strikes as the Weaver's minivan is stuck in the mud. They try to push it out, but the hole seems to be getting deeper.

Then we cut to a commercial, and the Weaver mom is moaning about how she can't take this anymore. This seems pretty obviously staged as she then manages to drive the van away without any trouble.

The Paolos win the round, followed by the Linz family, the Godlewskis and Bransons. Jerry Bruckheimer doesn't seem to have the heart to make it a true drama as to whether the Weavers or the Gaghans will be the last to arrive; the Weavers are pretty obviously in the lead.

Mucho tears as the Gaghans are Phil-liminated. I was very sorry to see them go as the little girl had a lot of spunk. Unlike Ted Grant, I like spunk. But they didn't play the game particularly well, and in the end they got unlucky.

My new favorite team? Hey, I've been loving the bickering Paolos from Day One. They are at a disadvantage due to Yielding the Weavers; they've lost the opportunity to zing a more competitive team, and earned an enemy. But they're winning segments so far, which has gotta help build confidence and cohesiveness.

As always, the Viking Pundit has his terrific race recap here, while Kris from Dummocrats posted thoughts here.

The Closet Optimist has some excellent thoughts on the poor use of the Yield by the Paolos.
Counting Jellybeans

(Welcome, Ace of Spades and Blogometer Readers)

But ignoring the one black jellybean for not being authentically black:

In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America.

Can you imagine the furor if somebody were to point out that David Souter shouldn't count as a white man because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream white America?
Lorie Byrd Has Three Words for Senate Dems

Bring it on!

See also the Ankle-Biters take on this little bit of showmanship by the Democrats.

I liked the comment on Lorie's post that perhaps today's shenanigans amounted to an advertisment for Michelle Malkin's new book.
This Is Incredibly Naive

But still quite entertaining.

"When I heard the name Cindy Sheehan," says DeBar, the Ossining activist, "I thought, great."

Last month, DeBar, himself a former Green Party candidate, proposed a Draft Sheehan effort on a Green message board. Unlike some Greens who are pushing a Sheehan for President initiative, DeBar wants to see her move from her home state of California to run against Clinton in the New York primary next year. That way, he writes in his post, "she could force a seismic shift in the direction of the Democratic Party."

We can only hope that Cindy listens to these people.

See also Mrs Media Matters.
Rachel, Rachel

Apparently British theatre-goers can't get enough of flattened flag-burner Rachel Corrie.

More than a year after its intended world debut in Alaska, The Skies are Weeping will debut as part of a two-hour show organized by Deborah Fink, who will also sing the production's soprano role. Written by Philip Munger, an adjunct music lecturer at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, the performance will feature a choir of 16 singers and has attracted endorsements from patrons including outspoken MIT linguistics professor Noam Chomsky, film actress Julie Christie and last month's winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, English playwright Harold Pinter. None of those patrons will be at the show's premiere, Fink said, though the audience will include British MK Clare Short and former MK Jenny Tonge, who ignited controversy last year with remarks about Palestinian suicide bombers that included the statement, "If I had to live in [the Palestinian territories] I might just consider becoming one myself."

The usual suspects, in other words.

Speaking of Rachel, John Ruberry reports that the Cigar Store Indian is going to be giving a talk at her college.

Reality Gaps has coverage of a protest of the Corrie play, focusing on the other Rachels who've been killed by Palestinian suicide bombers, including original photographs.
Kerry Should Have Won

Tom Oliphant can't get over it.

I would add that the obstruction of justice alleged in this case kept us from knowing material things about our leaders at the moment we were deciding whether to keep them in office. In more common speech, obstruction of justice is a coverup, and the coverup worked -- just as the Watergate coverup in 1972 kept facts from the public that would have guaranteed Richard Nixon's defeat.

Snicker. Oh, yeah, George McGovern would have overcome that 20-point deficit to Nixon.
Looking Forward to This Book

Michelle Malkin's new book is out and you can tell the libs are not going to enjoy it:

The title is a little un-PC; wouldn't "Hinge-Challenged" been kinder? Check out the mug shots of all the criminal Democrats she has on that post.

The Real Ugly American is a Democrat who's dismayed at what's happening to his party:

Someone commented recently I should quote more mainstream Democratic sources. Well Democratic Senators, presidential candidates, The DNC Chair, and Congressmen, The Daily Kos, and CNN are about as mainstream as it gets. The Democratic Party is infected with group hysteria right now.
Mapes: Simply Pathetic

She and Gunga Dan will go to their graves insisting they were wronged.

In the end she observes that the outside panel that probed the report and found correct procedures were lacking did not investigate the legitimacy of the documents. She claims that a researcher has since shown her typography on other documents from the period Bush was in the Guard that suggest that the memos she obtained cannot be easily dismissed "as being forgeries."

Believe it or not, here's a woman who believes Mapes. Her evidence? She's done a lot of typing in her life.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Searchlight's Not As Dumb As He Sounds

(Welcome, fellow Ankle-Biting Pundits readers)

He's dumber:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday that President Bush will go down as the Millard Fillmore of our time, and said the Republican president is the best thing Democrats have going for them for the 2006 elections.

"I think our biggest cheerleader for getting back some of the votes we've lost in the last couple presidential elections and some congressional elections is George W. Bush," the Nevada Democrat said in predicting a big election year for his party.

Over the next year we're going to hear about how poorly ruling parties do in midterm elections. Quite a bit of this will just be the media and the liberal bloggers fantasizing about a takeover of Congress, followed soon by an impeachment trial with Cindy Sheehan as a star witness.

But this talk about mid-term corrections is misplaced in 2006. Why? Because mid-term corrections typically come because of long coattails. When a president wins reelection, he usually does so by a substantial margin--see Nixon in 1972 and Reagan in 1984. But the problem with big wins is that they have coattails, bringing into office a lot of weaker candidates of the president's party.

Nixon and Reagan swept into office large numbers of Republicans in their respective reelection campaigns, much as had LBJ with the Democrats in 1964. In all of those cases, they brought in weak candidates in marginal districts that could not be held.

But interestingly, the midterm corrections have not happened since 1994. In 1998 Clinton's party did not get walloped despite an amazing presidential scandal. Why? Probably because his win in 1996 did not restore the Democrats to power in Congress, so they didn't have much to lose.

And that's pretty much the same case in 2006. Bush did not substantially improve the Republicans' position there in 2004. They gained a net four seats. He did help them gain a big edge in the Senate, but those particular seats aren't up again until 2010, and 2006 doesn't play to the Democrats' strengths.

So the notion that next year is going to be a big one for the Democrats is just wishful thinking.
Barone on Alito

He brings in some very interesting political calculations on the impact of opposing an Italian-American.

Italian-Americans are less defensive today and probably less ethnically conscious. The political risks of opposing an Italian-American are therefore probably less than in 1983. But they're not zero. I wonder whether Tom Carper of Delaware (where 7 percent of the population in the 2000 census said they were of Italian ancestry), Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey (14 percent), Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York (11 percent), Christopher Dodd and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (14 percent), and Jack Reed of Rhode Island (14 percent) really want to go to the length of supporting a filibuster against an Italian-American judge with sterling credentials and majority support in the Senate.

Great analysis from the professional's professional.
Standing Up for Sloppy Seconds

Is our buddy the Man at GOP & The City.

Kurtz on the Glee of the Media

I think that for the most part, the media seemed more gleeful when they could speculate on Karl Rove being "perp-walked" from the White House; now that it's just Scooter Libby they are having a tougher time channeling Bobby McFerrin.

Now that an indictment has reached the highest level of the White House for the first time since Watergate, journalists face a minefield of potentially explosive questions: Are they enjoying a bit too much the spectacle of Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, having to resign over the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice? What happened to the normal journalistic skepticism toward a single-minded special prosecutor, as was on display when Ken Starr was pursuing Bill Clinton?

The hostility directed at Patrick Fitzgerald when he was threatening reporters with jail seems to have faded now that his targets are senior aides to President Bush. Perhaps most important, are reporters, commentators, bloggers and partisans using the outing of Valerie Plame as a proxy war for rehashing the decision to invade Iraq? The vitriol directed at New York Times reporter Judith Miller, whether deserved or not, seems motivated as much by her role in touting the administration's erroneous WMD claims as in her decision to be jailed, at least for a time, to protect Libby.

Of course, all the questions in there are rhetorical. Yes, the Plame affair is a proxy for the war. Yes, the media are having too much fun with the indictment of Libby. And of course, the skepticism towards a single-minded prosecutor goes out the window when the target is a Republican.

The anger at Miller is partially over the WMD issue, but also at the notion that she was protecting a Republican by refusing to testify. Susan McDougall was protecting a Democrat, therefor she was noble. Miller was protecting a Republican, therefor she was evil.
Although Overtaken by the Alito Nomination

This list of most and least-desired Supreme Court Justices among center-right bloggers should be a good guide for the President if a third (or even fourth) vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court.

In the Right Place has been around for a year now, and Mr Right's got some evil guests today to celebrate the Blogoweeniversary.
Campaign 2008 Updates

Evan Bayh seduces 'em in New Hampshire by reconsidering his vote on Iraq.

“I made a decision I thought was right at the time,” Bayh said at the Henniker forum. “It turns out that some of the most important information we relied upon at that time just was not accurate. There were no weapons of mass destruction. The administration has been proven to be terribly incompetent in the way they’ve carried this out. It turns out that Saddam’s regime was much more decrepit than we had thought to be the case at that time. So, of course, we would make different decisions based on different facts.”

Meanwhile Chuckie Bagel's on the stump in Iowa:

One observer in the crowd of 350 - many of whom were students or professors - noted approvingly that the speech was neither Republican nor Democrat.

"He's a centrist," said Doug Finnemore, a Democratic professor who admires Hagel's stand on the war and thinks he could "play well" in the Republican caucuses next year as the war takes center stage nationally.

Several in the audience said they knew and liked Hagel because of his harsh assessments of the war.

That may help him with Democrats, but it won't do much for him in the primaries. And what's all this talk of Republican caucuses next year? The caucuses won't matter until 2008.
That Pink Locker Room Again

I've posted on this previously, but it looks like the idiot feminista is not giving up the effort.

The demand for all things pink has soared after an associate law professor at the University of Iowa petitioned school officials to repaint the all-pink visitor's locker room at Kinnick Stadium.

Jill Gaulding objected to the color scheme, she said, because it sent a misogynistic message and represented "a serious obstacle to gender equity on campus." Hawkeye fans reacted by snapping up pink merchandise and sending hundreds of e-mails--some of them downright nasty.

For decades, to the annoyance of some visiting teams, players have donned cleats in a room painted the color of cotton candy.

Initially, the locker room was considered a sports oddity in this town, about 30 miles south of Cedar Rapids. But Hawkeye fans have come to regard the pink room as a treasured tradition.

When the university finished new locker rooms this year as part of an $86.8 million renovation of the stadium, the school found ways to make the visitor's side even more Barbie-esque. It didn't choose simple "pink." The school chose "Innocence" for the walls and "Dusty Rose" for the toilets and urinals.

"I teach discrimination law, and this is not a good precedent for anyone to set," said Gaulding, 39. "What I object to are sexist jokes paid for by my employer, a public institution."

Once these things get started, it's very hard for a humorless feminist to give up a cause. She's stuck now.
Alito Shuffle

Well, initial reaction to this pick seems quite favorable. Where's the fun in that? Come on guys, let's form the circular firing squad one more time. He's a Catholic; surely somebody wants to talk about how he'll be beholden to Rome and the whore of Babylon? An Italian from New Jersey? Surely he must be mob-connected!

Hugh Hewitt supports him and thinks he's an excellent nominee. Surely that should get a rise out of the geniuses over at the Corner; perhaps someone could compare him to Caligula's cat? Forget about that, he went to Princeton and Yale; he's one of them.

I've heard that he once gave a quarter to a beggar; this indicates that he's a collectivist sympathizer. He was once heard to dispute a call on a playground as "unfair"; he clearly feels a desire to use the judiciary to solve all problems.

Bitter? Nah, just amused. We're going to get the fight that we wanted over this nominee from the Democrats. Let's just hope we can really win it.

Also, check out Mrs Media Matters' post on this subject.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Suddenly Folks Taking Iran Seriously

Seriously as a threat that is.

The most dangerous enemy faced by the British is not Iraqi insurgents, but well-organised Iranian brigades such as Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, believed to be controlled by the Revolutionary Guard in Tehran.

The mob attack on the Royal Military Police two years ago, in which six died, is believed to have been the work of the Mujahedin for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, another group which Tehran's Revolutionary Council has the power to call off.

Blair knows this but cannot openly admit it. To say in public that British forces are being killed by government-controlled cells in Iran would be a far greater step towards war than simply telling its president not to be rude about Israel.

The tragedy is that Iran has shown such promise for the last five years. The generation born after its 1979 revolution seemed ill at ease with its clerical establishment: it seemed ripe for reform and modernisation.

But the Iraq war appears to have thwarted this. Rather than undermine an authoritarian theocracy, it has fuelled a conservative backlash. This greatly helped President Ahmadinejad's landslide victory at the rigged April elections.

Pro-war columnists (like this one) can cheer the orange revolution in Ukraine and applaud Colonel Gaddafi's surrender of illegal weapons. But, in Iran, the freedom agenda has been sent into reverse by the botched Iraqi occupation.

The guy raises a very interesting argument:

Weakness is more provocative than strength, as Donald Rumsfeld pointed out: the Bay of Pigs disaster made John F Kennedy look so weak that the Soviets sent nuclear missiles to Cuba because they spotted such weakness in their enemy.

Clinton's humiliating retreat from Somalia in 1994 is now credited with inspiring Osama Bin Laden to start striking America. With America and Britain now stuck in the quagmire of Iraq, we may be entering weakness again.

Little wonder that Iran is testing the ground. Its ayatollahs survey the globe, and see their way of life is on the ascendant, partly thanks to an Iraq war which has helped globalise Islam and ruin America's appetite for more fighting.

Terrific column. I'm not sure I accept his argument entirely, but it's not some reflexive mumbo-jumbo from the antiwar left.
McGovern Redux?

I thoroughly agree with this article:

The editor of "The New Republic" suggested the other day that "the new liberal political culture emerging on the Internet" looks a lot like the McGovernite revolution that descended on the Democratic Party in 1972. In a lecture at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Peter Beinart said the mostly young Internet activists are clearly taking over the party. If so, this would be the first ray of sunshine for conservatives and Republicans in almost a year. The McGovern movement severely damaged the party, pushing it toward four presidential defeats in five tries, until Bill Clinton won by dragging the party back to the center in 1992. If the Internet people had prevailed in 2004, Howard Dean would have won the nomination and then been buried in an enormous landslide, just like George McGovern.
Steyn on Fitzmas

With his usual combination of wit and analysis:

Just for the record, Scooter Libby is the highest-ranking Scooter in the Bush administration, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. All last week, lefty gloaters were eagerly anticipating "Fitzmas," their designation for that happy day when federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald hands down indictments against Libby, and Rove, and maybe Cheney, and -- boy oh boy, who knows? -- maybe Chimpy Bushitlerburton himself. Pat Fitzgerald has been making his list, checking it twice, found out who's naughty or nice, and he's ready to go on a Slay Ride leaving Bush the Little Drummed-Out Boy and the Dems having a blue blue blue blue blue-state Christmas in November 2006, if not before.

Well, I enjoy the politics of personal destruction as much as the next chap, and one appreciates that it's been a long time since the heady days when Dems managed to collect the scalps of both Newt Gingrich and his short-lived successor within a few short weeks. But, as I've said before, one reason the Democratic Party is such a bunch of losers is because they're all tactics and no strategy. Suppose they succeed in destroying Libby and a bunch of other non-household names. Then what? Several analysts are suggesting that the 2006 elections are shaping up like 1994, when Newt's revolution swept the Democratic old guard from power.

Then what? Why they'd pass stricter CAFE standards. It would be a happy day in liberalville indeed.


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