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Saturday, May 13, 2006
Proof Fox News Viewers Are Smarter!

Not that they're playing it that way:

In the first poll of its kind, (using First choice of TV news network as a demographic variable), in the second OpEdNews/Zogby People's poll has learned that except for viewers of right wing news show, Fox News, poll respondents believe that the 2004 presidential election was stolen.

Overall, the poll of Pennsylvania residents found that 39% said that the 2004 election was stolen. 54% said it was legitimate. Shortly after the election, the NY Times suggested that a few fringe extremists and bloggers were concerned about the theft of the election.

But let's look at the demographics on this question. Of the people who watch Fox news as their primary sourc of TV news, one half of one percent believe it was stolen and 99% believe it was legitimate. Among people who watched ANY other news source but FOX, more felt the election was stolen than legitimate.

Jeez, that's pretty incredible--almost no Fox viewers fell for the stolen election scam, while most viewers of ABCNNBCBS were gullible enough to fall for the conspiracy theory!
Another DNA Match

Different case. One of those innocence projects refuses to believe a rapist and a killer guilty, even after the DNA evidence proves it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Each came to believe in Coleman's innocence. And each worked hard to help him prove his case. Between them, McCloskey and Behan made more than a dozen trips to Grundy, the coal-mining town in southwest Virginia where the murder took place, interviewing dozens of people. They concluded that Coleman had been framed by police and prosecutors, defended by incompetent lawyers and condemned to death by a small-town jury bent upon vengeance. They pushed for a new blood test of the evidence, and when the test implicated Coleman as the killer, they sought to discredit their own expert. And they accused a local man of being the "real killer," a claim they stuck with even after they learned of information indicating he had the wrong blood type.

When their efforts to get a stay of execution failed, they conducted a high-profile media campaign to compel then-Gov. L. Douglas Wilder to commute, or at least delay, the sentence. In the weeks before Coleman was put to death, his picture was on the cover of Time magazine ("This Man Might Be Innocent. This Man Is Due to Die"). He was interviewed from death row on "Larry King Live," the "Today" show, "Primetime Live," "Good Morning America" and "The Phil Donahue Show."
DNA Match in Duke Lacrosse Case?

Karen Russell, who has been doing a terrific job of covering the Duke lacrosse rape case, summarizes the new findings. There's a DNA match, but:

But because a complete DNA pattern was not obtained from the tissue, it was not possible to match it with the nearly 100 percent certainty that DNA results usually offer, the sources added."

But the more explosive story is later:

It sounds like they are choosing their words carefully by focusing on the word "conclusive" but perhaps even more significant is the defense allegation that the accuser DID have sex that night but NOT with one of the Duke Lacrosse players.

All along the defense has denied that any of the players had either consensual sex or raped her, so the idea that the DNA tests confirm sexual activity is a major bombshell:

Attorney Joseph Cheshire, who represents a team captain who has not been charged, said the tests showed genetic material from a "single male source" was found on a vaginal swab taken from the accuser, but that material did not match any of the players.

This may back up the theory that some have advanced that the accuser was raped prior to arriving at the lacrosse party, and that with her confused and inebriated state at the time, she just doesn't remember the real location where she was attacked.

Or maybe not.

Defense attorney Joe Cheshire declined to identify the mystery man or his connection to the alleged victim, but ABC News' Law and Justice Unit has learned that the unnamed source of the DNA is the alleged victim's "boyfriend," according to her mother.
Fitzmas in May

That's what this post at TruthOut claims. Don't have a clue whether the author really knows what he's doing; his bio reads:

Jason Leopold spent two years covering California's electricity crisis as Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. Jason has spent the last year cultivating sources close to the CIA leak investigation, and is a regular contributor to t r u t h o u t. He is the author of the new book NEWS JUNKIE. Visit for a preview.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Moussaoui Saved By Lone Holdout?

Hadn't seen this before.

A unanimous vote on just one of the three charges would have condemned Moussaoui to execution. The foreman said that, in a series of secret ballots, the panel voted 11-1, 10-2 and 10-2 in favour of his being killed by lethal injection.

She said that the dissenter repeatedly held out on the first charge and never identified him or herself. On the third day of deliberations the process nearly broke down, the female maths teacher from Northern Virginia revealed.

There had been repeated 11-1 votes on one charge, but because the ballot was anonymous, and the dissenter kept quiet, no one could identify who was responsible.
Waiting for a Liberal Response On This Story

Iran has more enriched uranium than previously thought.

The U.N. atomic agency has found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian site linked to the country's defense ministry, diplomats said Friday. The finding added to concerns that Tehran was hiding activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.

The diplomats, who demanded anonymity in exchange for revealing the confidential information, said the findings were preliminary and still had to be confirmed through other lab tests. But they said the density of enrichment appeared close to or beyond weapons grade--the level used to make nuclear warheads.

Found on Memeorandum. So far no liberal blog has touched it.

Captain Ed:

Whatever the explanation, the implication is crystal clear: the Iranians have weapons-grade uranium somewhere. The gap between the enrichment level of energy-production and weapons-grade material (5% vs 90%+) is so wide that there is no other explanation for the possession of the latter. And with its discovery on equipment used at the former military base at Lavizan -- a site demolished by the Iranians after the US discovered its covert nuclear program -- it confirms that Iran possesses it for military purposes, not peaceful energy production, for which that level of enrichment is unsuitable anyway.

Rick Moran:

Why the IAEA has not revealed this is obvious; if they did so, then they would have to do something about it. And that means confrontation, something that ElBaradei and his cohorts try to avoid at all costs. Never mind that their job is to “speak truth to nuclear power.” Never mind that the Security Council relies on them to give members all the facts so that one of the momentus decisions of the young century can be made.

Jeff Goldstein:

That those other countries rarely go about noting that once they get nuclear weapons, they will wipe out other countries in the region, doesn’t seem to bother these nuclear relativists. After all, fair is fair, right?

AJ Strata:

Think dirty bombs. That make the real danger a series of small, human transported, dirty bombs deployed through out America. And don’t forget that Iran’s leader thinks he is the last messiah, who will bring on the end of the world.

Flopping Aces:

This proves that their nuclear program is NOT for civilian purposes. To have highly enriched uranium means only one thing. A nuclear weapon.

So far no posts from liberal blogs noted there. How much you want to bet that the first one that does comment will say something about how it happened on Bush's watch?
Poll: Most Americans Prefer to Live Rather Than Be Killed in a Nuclear Holocaust

Glenn Greenwald has some work to do.

A majority of Americans initially support a controversial National Security Agency program to collect information on telephone calls made in the United States in an effort to identify and investigate potential terrorist threats, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.

A slightly larger majority--66 percent--said they would not be bothered if NSA collected records of personal calls they had made, the poll found.


The whole point of having political leaders and pundits is to articulate a point of view and provide support for that view in order to persuade Americans of its rightness. That process changes public opinion on every issue, all of the time, often dramatically.

Yep, once Glenn Greenwald and company tell us what to think, we'll get into lockstep behind them.

This is probably why he takes that tack:

The survey results reflect initial public reaction to the NSA program. Those views that could change or deepen as more details about the effort become known over the next few days.

Of course, I do have to wonder if Glenn Greenwald is going to be willing to do the work to change the minds of the American people when the Democrats are undercutting the "netroots".

Seeking to choke off a Republican rallying cry, the House's top Democrat has told colleagues that the party will not seek to impeach President Bush even if it gains control of the House in November's elections, her office said last night.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) told her caucus members during their weekly closed meeting Wednesday "that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it," spokesman Brendan Daly said.

Perhaps they could put a non-impeachment plank in their party platform? Nah, not even that would work. Bill Clinton had a middle class tax cut in his platform in 1992, but once he got elected, he was shocked, shocked I tell you, to discover that he couldn't deliver it.

So it will be with impeachment. The Democrats will run on vigorous investigations short of impeachment, but if they win control of the House, they will make a show of being very reluctantly forced to impeach the president because of some new outrage--the NSA scandal du jour will provide them with a pretext.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Sorry About The Light Posting This Week

I've been dedicating a lot of energy to Screw Loose Change, the blog that James of the Chief Brief and I have been running to debunk Loose Change. We've gotten a lot of attention in the blogosphere on this effort including links from Little Green Footballs, Hot Air and the Jawa Report, as well as being included in the Wikipedia entry on Loose Change. So surf on over and check it out!
Moron the 50-State Strategy

I've had some chuckles about Howard Dean's determination to run a 50-state strategy--that is, to allocate money to races regardless of whether a candidate has a chance to win. It's an incredibly stupid approach to politics, which may explain why Howie and Rahm Emanuel are feuding:

The blowup highlights a long-standing tension that has pitted Democratic congressional leaders, who are focused on their best opportunities for electoral gains this fall, against Dean and many state party chairmen, who believe that the party needs to be rebuilt from the ground up -- even in states that have traditionally been Republican strongholds.

Emanuel's fury, Democratic officials said, was over his concern that Dean's DNC is spending its money too freely and too early in the election cycle -- a "burn rate" that some strategists fear will leave the party unable to help candidates compete on equal terms with Republicans this fall.

Hmmmm, anybody remember how the Vermonster burned through $40 million in Iowa and New Hampshire in 2004?

This brings up something I've noticed. We are already seeing campaign ads in Arizona for Jon Kyl and Jim Pederson. We do have early voting by absentee ballot here, but it's my recollection that it doesn't start until 60 days before election day, or about 4 months from now.

In the first 15 months of the 2005-2006 cycle, Dean spent $9.7 million on salaries, compared with $5.7 million over 24 months in 2001-2002. Dean has spent $2.8 million on political consulting, compared with $1.7 million in 2001-2002.

Dean has shifted the focus of the DNC from major donor solicitations to the Internet, direct mail and telemarketing gifts -- all of which require higher fundraising expenditures. Internet consulting and online services cost the DNC $4.1 million; postage, mailing and telemarketing costs in 2005-2006 totaled $38 million. In all of 2001-2002, the comparable expenditures were $15.2 million less: $22.8 million.
An Interview With Juan Williams

Our buddy Mr Ugly American interviews Fox political analyst Juan Williams.

Ugly: There really is and you touched on it a little bit that there is a whole different level that we really don’t get to see on the news isn’t there, where opposing people just don’t like each other personally. Does that enter into it on a level that we just don’t get to see?

Juan: well I think you get to see it a lot actually but what it is Rick is that sometimes we forget that these are human beings, and the way that I might squabble with my sister, and we had sibling rivalries and all the rest: politicians squabble with each other and you know they are squabbling over things of consequence over power. So if you look right now in the environment that exists in Washington and you look at for example john McCain and someone like Senator Frist of Tennessee the majority leader. You know there is a certain rivalry there. Both men want to be the republican nominee for president of the United States. And so they have sort of a jaundiced eye on each other and their kind of trying to out strategize and out maneuver each other. But they are two human beings with ambitions with egos and they are in competition. There is no question about it.

He's a little more impressed with Juan than I am, but it's still very cool that he got to interview another well-known pundit. Kudos to Mr UA!
Favorite Columnists of the Center-Right Blogosphere

John Hawkins surveyed a bunch of bloggers (including yours truly) as to their favorite columnists. No surprise who the top name is; he's been the best for years.
Prosecutors Intimidating Duke Lacrosse Witness?

That's what the defense is claiming, and it's not hard to see their point:

Taxi driver Moezeldin Elmostafa said Investigator R.D. Clayton and another officer asked whether he had anything new to tell them about the rape case before driving him to the Durham County jail. He said no and was held for five hours, until a friend posted his bail on a shoplifting charge.

Ernest Conner, a Greenville lawyer who represents defendant Reade Seligmann, said the cabbie's arrest amounted to intimidation. "It appears to me they are trying to pressure a witness who supports our defendant's rock-solid alibi," Conner said.

Here's the background:

Elmostafa said Wednesday that he had picked up Lisa Faye Hawkins and her daughter at their home and had taken them to the mall. Elmostafa said he waited in the taxi with the daughter while Hawkins shopped and then he drove the two home.

Elmostafa said he later received a call asking him to speak with Hecht's security. The security officer at Hecht's said Hawkins had stolen some purses before getting into the taxi, Elmostafa said.

Elmostafa said he gave the woman's address and a copy of his driver's license to the security guard, who thanked him for his help.

"I am not responsible for what she did inside the store," Elmostafa said. "I am just a taxi driver."

Hawkins pleaded guilty to the larceny three months later.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
The Amazing Race--I Love the Smell of Fried Crickets In the Morning

The teams are fairly close together at the start; something like nine minutes separate them. They must first travel to Bangkok, Thailand. The Hippies start with a notable disadvantage; only one pair of pants and shoes (maybe why BJ fell last week). Yolanda leaves some pants and one of the Flaming Heterosexuals drops off some flip-flops. Nobody leaves money.

The Hippies get to the airport, but in a major mistake, they decide to beg for money before getting their tickets. Sure enough, while they appear successful at cadging dough from the street, they find the purported earlier flight is now fully booked. But hopes rise as they discover another route that will end up getting them into Bangkok a quarter hour earlier than the other teams.

Alas, that turns out to be a short-lived gain, as their flight is delayed and the other flight gets in early. Teams must now catch a bus to a temple that is dedicated to (and overrun with) monkeys. The Frat Boys and Ray and Yolanda get a midnight bus. Monica and Joseph somehow miss that bus, and head for a hotel since the next one is at 5:00 AM. The Hippies arrive and determine that there's actually an earlier bus leaving.

Well, of course, Mojo realize they're in big trouble when they see they're on the bus alone. But they needn't have worried, because the monkey temple doesn't open until 8:00 AM. So all three teams are in a tie.

The cluebox turns out to have a Fast Forward and a Roadblock. The Fast Forward allows teams to skip ahead of everybody if they complete a task. The Hippies and Ray and Yolanda decide to try to zip ahead.

The task turns out to be to eat an after-school snack popular in Thailand: fried crickets and grasshoppers. Both teams start it, but Ray and Yolanda quickly decide it's not for them.

The Roadblock involves assembling a feast fit for a bunch of monkeys, which involves a whole lot of fruit. The amusement factor is provided by the monkeys themselves, who are an impatient lot and inclined to snatch at dinner before it is served. The teams seem to finish in the order they arrived, although Ray and Yolanda make up most of the time they had lost to Mojo when they tried the Fast Forward.

Meanwhile, the Hippies are starting to have a problem with the Thai cuisine. They'd probably happily eat a roach but they're not enjoying the bugs. It does seem like they keep eating and the amount left to eat doesn't decline. But finally they manage to wolf it down and barf it up enough to get the clue.

They move on to the Pitstop at the Marble Temple:

The next task for the other teams is the detour. One option involves carrying a lot of pots on boards a long way to a potseller. The other is a detail-oriented task, involving painting and decorating a gold buddha. Ray and Yolanda and the Frat Boys pick the detail task, while Mojo, seeing the other two teams already working decide to try carrying pots.

The pot-carrying test appears to be a long way, because Joseph and Monica have trouble recruiting a guide. Monica moans and groans while Joseph tries and succeeds carrying twice as many. The second trip, Joseph allows for the possibility of four breaking, but it is obvious that Monica quickly drops more than that. Despite this, they keep going on, which seems foolish. I could see if they were close to the end, but they weren't far into the task at all. Sure enough, they must go back for a third load, which Joe carries by himself.

The other two teams have both finished the buddha tasks. Once again they don't overdo the drama at the mat; it's pretty obvious that Mojo are doomed and sure enought it ends with them Phil-liminated.

I'm happy with the finals. The Hippies versus the Frat Boys, with Ray and Yolanda hoping they can slip by. All I can say is anybody but the Frat Boys!

As always, check out Eric's Amazing Amazing Race Summary.
The Hazards of Buying Property In Mexico

This is a cautionary tale:

Mostly retirees, the homeowners built their dwellings on so-called ejido land, communal farmland that has been the source of complicated title struggles nationwide. Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that the group from which the Americans bought their land was not the rightful owner, forcing some of the Americans to abandon homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Mary Cheney Blasts Nuancy Boy and Silky Pony

Gotta love this:

But Cheney saves her harshest words for Bush's 2004 opponents, calling Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry a "son of a bitch'' and his running mate, John Edwards, a "total slime'' for discussing her sexual orientation during nationally televised debates during the campaign.

Yep. It was quite plain that Kerry and Edwards were hoping that mention of Cheney's daughter's sexual orientation would drive voters away from President Bush. It was a scuzzy tactic, but not a surprising one. Kerry's always been a sleazeball.
Yet More Biased Polls

Our buddy Bulldog Pundit chomps down on the latest CBS-NY Times Poll:

1. Party Leanings - The poll is SLANTED HEAVILY towards Democrats. Even though the voters in the 2004 election were split evenly at 37% between Republicans and Democrats, this poll is 37%(D), 34%(I) and 25%(R). What the hell did the NYT and CBS expect when THE GAP BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS IS 12%?

Good debunking. I note that Rasmussen Polling has Bush at 41% job approval; virtually unchanged from his numbers for the last couple months.

Blue Crab Boulevard has more, including the fact that although the poll started out skewed Democratic, the pollsters weighted the Democrats' responses more, and reduced the weighting of the Republican responses.
Huffington Lauded

Yet another goofy article on the Huffpo.

"Personality is king here. ... You tap into these incredibly loyal audiences who make the site part of their identity," Copeland said. "(Huffington Post) has developed a character; people talk about it. It's not really the celebrities. ... It's the community and her."

Glenn Reynolds, creator of another popular political blog, the conservative-leaning Instapundit, agreed.

"They have a community of like-thinking people that they bring together to discuss the issues," he said. "People who think the mainstream media are lapdogs for President Bush can have a happy home at the Huffington Post."

I tend to look at her blog as gathering together all the fish in one big barrel, so we can take (figurative) potshots at them.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Here's Another Manufactured Controversy

A lot of liberal blogs are pointing to this story:

After discussing the huge strides the agency has made in doing business with minority-owned companies, Jackson closed with a cautionary tale, relaying a conversation he had with a prospective advertising contractor.

"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

Now, note the stupidity of the contractor, which is the point of the story. Was he denied the contract because he had donated to Democrats? Nope. Was he denied the contract because he voted for Democrats. Nope. Was he denied the contract because he likes Democrats?

Nope. He was denied the contract because he was stupid enough to tell a Republican appointee of the president that he doesn't like the president.

Note in particular this part, which gets pushed down to the third page of the story:

Under Jackson's leadership, HUD has gone from close to the bottom to first among the larger agencies doing business with minority-owned companies.

In 2005, 16% of HUD contracts, or about $167 million worth of work, went to black-owned businesses. Hispanic-owned businesses received 7%, or $71 million. That combined 23% is up from 6% in 2000, the year before Jackson was named deputy secretary of the agency.

So under Bush, minority-owned businesses have gotten a very good share of the business contracts made by HUD, in fact far more than under Clinton. And since Bush has gotten pretty poor support from blacks, we can assume that many of those contractors don't like Bush. So what's the difference?

The rest of them were smart enough not to say it.
Impeachment Watch XV: How Dare They Suggest Democrats Should Not Impeach

Am I the only one who finds Glenn Greenwald's constant state of outrage tedious?

Chris Wallace peddled the same theme last month when questioning Sen. Dick Durbin. After demanding that Durbin pledge in advance not to even entertain the idea of impeaching Bush and Durbin refused, Wallace expressed his outrage: “Are you saying Senator, that you would consider the impeachment of a Commander-in-Chief in time of war." The national media has plainly embraced the idea that Congressional investigations of The President -- based on some sort of raucous and crazed notion that he did something wrong or that he's not a real good guy -- is just out-of-bounds, something that could be designed only to feed the rabid Leftist hatemongers and/or to seek vengeance, and is clearly not something that serious, mainstream, responsible national political figures could endorse.

Well, you know how it is; we are now to the point where we no longer trust Democrats to tell us what they're really thinking. Most of the time they go with a politically palatable response like Nancy Pelosi:

REP. PELOSI: That would be if—I said we’d have hearings on the war. We’d have hearings on the war. But I don’t see us going to a place of an impeachment or all of that.

MR. RUSSERT: Is impeachment off the table?

REP. PELOSI: Well, you never know where the facts take you, but the—for any president. But, but that isn’t what we’re about. What we’re about is going there and, and having high ethical standards, fiscal soundness and a level of civility that brushes away all this fierce partisanship.

So when Turban Durbin refuses to rule it out, Chris Wallace senses a story and tries to pin him down:

WALLACE: Senator, you said that the impeachment question is not a valuable discussion to have now. You didn't rule it out.

DURBIN: I can't rule anything out until the investigation is complete. I don't want to prejudge it. But if this president or any president violates the law, he has to be held accountable, and that accountability, of course, is in the hands of the United States House of Representative and the Senate.

WALLACE: So you're saying that impeachment is a possibility.

DURBIN: I'm not ruling it in or out at this point in time. I think, in fairness to our government, and to be as honest as I can be, we need more information about the nature of this program and whether, in fact, it violated the law. If we find that it did...

WALLACE: Senator, I want to follow up on this, because I'm a little bit surprised. You're saying that President Bush, who is the commander in chief in a time of war — you're not ruling out the possibility that he has broken the law, committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and could be subject to impeachment.

DURBIN: Chris, you're trying to put words in my mouth, and I'm not going to go there.

WALLACE: No, you said you're not ruling it in or out.

DURBIN: No, sir. What I'm saying is that we need an investigation. We have a responsibility to ask the hard questions, to find out what the nature of the program is and whether the president violated the law.

You want to move it to some extreme. I can understand that's what happens on these Sunday morning talk shows. I'm not going there. But I do know that as a member of the Senate, we all have a responsibility to hold every president accountable.

If this president has broken the law, if he has violated the constitution, that is a very serious charge.

WALLACE: And at this point, from what you know, do you believe that, in fact, he has violated the law and violated the constitution?

DURBIN: At this point, I can find no explanation from this administration to justify this warrantless wiretap.

WALLACE: So the answer to my question as to breaking the law and violating the constitution?

DURBIN: Well, I'm waiting for more information. And you would think the information would be forthcoming, as Senate Judiciary Committee hearings and Senate Intelligence Committee hearings would give us that information.
Richard Cohen Gets Hate Mail

This is pretty amusing. Richard Cohen discovers that if you praise Gore you get a few angry emails from right-wingers, but not much. But when he dared to pan Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, he got the full fury of the left-wingers:

Truth to tell, I peeked into only a few of the e-mails. I did this because I would sometimes recognize a name I thought I knew, which was almost always a mistake. When I guilelessly clicked on the name, I would get a bucket of raw, untreated and disease-laden verbal sewage right in the face.

Usually, the subject line said it all. Some were friendly and agreed that Colbert had not been funny. Most, though, were in what we shall call disagreement. Fine. I said the man wasn't funny and not funny has a bullying quality to it; others (including some of my friends) said he was funny. But because I held such a view, my attentive critics were convinced I had a political agenda. I was -- as was most of the press, I found out -- George W. Bush's lap dog. If this is the case, Bush had better check his lap.

This is not surprising. As we have discussed many times, the Left in this country is on a rampage, searching for heretics with the vigor and subtlety of the Spanish Inquisition.

But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble -- not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!)
Mr Ugly American Reviews Painting the Map Red

Our buddy the Real Ugly American reviews the new Hugh Hewitt book and provides a few notes from an unfortunately unrecorded interview with the Hughster.

Hewitt argues there are significant differences between the MSM and new media models. One being new media’s willingness to promote each other and cooperate on developing stories vs. the MSM model of “scoop and exclusive”. Then he follows up with an active example of that difference by plugging lots of blogs big and small in the book. He cites the professionalism and vigorous investigative journalism of Captains Quarters, and Radio Equalizer. He credits Instapundit and Powerline for setting a tone and style that has served as an example to newer right of center blogs and argues it has served them well.

Good stuff! Here's my Photoshop of the Hewitt book, which (in an injustice that would make Captain Dreyfuss weep) did not win the Radioblogger contest:

Duke Studies Itself: What Went Wrong?

Well, for starters they hired the former chancellor of the school that the accuser is attending to do the study:

The report was commissioned by the Duke president and prepared by Julius Chambers, a former chancellor at North Carolina Central University, where the accuser is a student, and William G. Bowen, a former president of Princeton University who is now head of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

So is there any doubt that the report is going to focus on why it took so long for Duke to take action against the lacrosse team?

Duke underestimated the rape allegations against members of the lacrosse team in part because Durham police initially said the accuser "kept changing her story and was not credible," according to a university report issued Monday.

Hmmm, sounds to me like Duke and the police had a pretty good handle on this story from the beginning.

The report said Duke President Richard Brodhead did not learn about the incident for a week, and only then by reading about it in the student newspaper. When Brodhead sought more information from Larry Moneta, Duke's vice president for student affairs, he was told "the accusations were not credible and were unlikely to amount to anything," the report said.

So what happened? The feminists, including some bloggers, pushed the story forward. They managed to create a minor stampede against the players, but as the facts have emerged, it turns out that the initial impressions were correct, and that the accuser didn't have a lot of credibility.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Fat Man Nearly Finished!

I've covered the Fat Man Walking phenomenon a couple of times in the past; today I learn he's only a day or two away from completing his trek across America.

Kudos to Steve; as I mentioned in my first post on him:

I would tend to echo the comment made by one person who said he's not going to make it, except for the fact that he's a former Marine. We know he can handle the punishment.

Steve Vaught has lost more than 100 pounds on his walk across the country, but he's regaining his sanity. At 410 pounds a year ago, the 40-year-old father of two from San Diego was battling a severe eating disorder and deep depression, caused by the guilt over accidentally killing two elderly pedestrians 15 years ago.
Check Out Screw Loose Change

James from the Chief Brief and I have been debunking Loose Change over there. James has some excellent posts up today.
Tribute to the Men and Women in OD Green

Our buddy Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard found this terrific video.

Also stop by and check out his hilarious photoshop of the person the Dems think will be the next Speaker of the House, my pretty!
Meet Eddie Gates

Here's a terrific story about how it is possible to get ahead in this country if you make the effort:

"When he got that job as a janitor here, that opened a whole new world for him," said Rosetta Howard, the school's academic dean.

Gates began to see possibilities instead of limits. He saw teachers and students every day who did not seem so different from him.

"There was something in him where he knew he could do better," said Vivian Presley, Coahoma's president.

Gates began to ask about a new program in respiratory therapy that had just been established at the college.

He did not know what respiratory therapy was, but it seemed promising. The average salary for a respiratory therapist is about $40,000 - almost twice the median income in Clarksdale.

Great story. He may never get rich, but he's getting ahead.
Heroic Patrick Kennedy Strives Onward

This is a parody, right?

My name is Patrick, and I am a Drug Addict

It is not easy to stand up before a roomful of people in a church basement and utter these words, even knowing that the vows of confidentiality will protect you in such a gathering.

Patrick had to say these words in a public press conference that would be heard and read by hundreds of millions.

That is what bravery is all about.

Bravery is doing it when you haven't been caught.
Moron Al Gore

Here's more speculation that Gore will be moving back into politics:

Among those said to be pushing Mr. Gore are billionaire venture capitalist and high-tech entrepreneur John Doerr and Laurie David, a global-warming activist and producer of the film, and wife of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" creator Larry David. "When people see this movie, I know they're going to see the real Al Gore, and they're going to demand that he run," Ms. David says. But, she adds, he changes the subject whenever it comes up, and had to be talked into making the movie when she pitched it.

You know how it is, that he's got Laurie David behind him is probably a good sign he's not going anywhere; she's probably the biggest airhead at Airiheadda's blog.

The Gore buzz reflects a sense among even some pro-Clinton Democrats that Mrs. Clinton, considered the prohibitive favorite for the nomination given her support in the party's base of activists and donors, can't win the general election because she is a polarizing figure to many voters. These skeptics believe only someone such as Mr. Gore with the celebrity and fund-raising potential to match Mrs. Clinton could stop her.

This ignores that Gore will have to tack left in order to defeat Hillary; while that would help him win the nomination, it makes the general election that much more problematic.

Also controversial among Democrats was Mr. Gore's 2004 endorsement of Howard Dean, now the Democratic Party chief, just as Mr. Dean was stumbling in his presidential primary race against the ultimate nominee, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. Mr. Kerry also is considering another run in 2008, though he, like Mr. Gore, would have the taint of a loser for partisans craving a fresh face.

Gore's endorsement, while undeniably embarrassing considering how quickly the Vermonster's campaign fell apart, was a calculated gamble that may yet pay off. Gore bought some loyalty from the Deaniacs. Whether that will work for him in 2008 depends a lot on Russ Feingold, who currently appears to have the upper hand with the folks who supported Dean in 2004.
Senate Polls

Jon Kyl, once considered vulnerable in Arizona, is apparently cruising to victory, with over 50% and a 19% lead in composite polling.

Harold Ford, considered one of the Democrats' rising stars, trails all three of his potential opponents for the Senate from Tennessee, and the gap is widening.

Lincoln Chafee continues to lead his potential Democratic challengers, while Steve Laffey would lose badly. This is a real opportunity for the Republicans in Rhode Island to shoot themselves in the foot.

Rick Santorum continues to look like the most likely Republican net loss in 2006; he's 13 points behind Bob Casey, with the challenger topping the crucial 50% level.

Mike DeWine continues to lead in Ohio, but must be considered vulnerable:

DeWine has been very steady in all five polls we've conducted on this race, earning between 43% and 46% of the vote each time. Brown, with one exception, has stayed between 40% and 42%.

Although Joe Lieberman remains despised by the netkooks, he's leading primary challenger Ned Lamont by 20 points. In the unlikely event he's forced to run as an independent, he'd still easily win reelection.
Ray McGovern Lied, Thousands Died

Sweetness & Light discovered that both Joe Wilson and Ray McGovern claimed before the Iraq war that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and that those weapons were the reason why we should not invade Iraq.

With his back against the wall, however, "Saddam might decide that the extreme step of assisting Islamist terrorists in conducting a weapons-of-mass-destruction attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him."

No surprise, those claims are not remembered today, much like other claims (the brutal Afghan winter, anyone?).
Formula 419

Here's the story of a guy caught up in the "419" scam. It's hard to believe people still fall for this, but then again I still get 1-2 emails a day from grief-stricken widows and unscrupulous bank managers looking to declare me the next of kin.

There's an old saying, that you can't cheat an honest man. I agree. One of the hallmarks of 419 scams is an indication that the transaction is of dubious legality.

After the Syms check proved false and Mbote failed to send a replacement, Worley told him that their partnership was over. A few days later, though, he began receiving e-mails from someone claiming to be Mohammed Abacha, the eldest surviving son of Nigeria’s late dictator General Sani Abacha, who reputedly stole billions from the Nigerian treasury. Mohammed Abacha told Worley that Joshua Mbote had been operating surreptitiously on the Abacha family’s behalf, but had bungled so badly that Abacha decided to step forward.

If it seems too good to be true, it is. Just to show what a dupe this guy is:

When I asked Worley what he wished he had done differently, he didn’t answer directly. Instead, he spoke about hoping that the Abachas would get back in touch with him. However, before they could resume work on the multimillion-dollar transfer, he expected them to send the six hundred thousand dollars that he needs for restitution.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Have the Tigers Put Together A Winner?

I'm a fan of Detroit, and blogged their worst season back in 2003. Now the team is suddenly 20-11, and looking like a contender. How real are they? Let's take a look at the everyday players first:

Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez. What can you say? One of the all time greatest hitting and defensive catchers ever. Hitting .315 but with nowhere near the power he has shown in the past.

First Base: Chris Shelton has played about the equivalent of one full year in the majors, with a .290 average, 29 homers and 83 RBI. This year he seems to be kicking it up a notch.

Second Base: Placido Palanco is hitting .287, but it's gotta be the weakest .287 in major league history. He's got one extra base hit (a double) in 108 at bats, and one walk. He has shown power in the past so it seems likely that he's got some minor injury that's slowed his bat down.

Third Base: Brandon Inge. Average is down this year but power production is more than offsetting it.

Shortstop: Carlos Guillen. Shows signs of returning to his 2004 form when he hit like Derek Jeter.

The outfielders (Ordonez, Granderson and Monroe) are a little light on batting average (not Ordonez) but have more than enough pop in their bats.

The rotation looks solid, with Maroth, Bonderman and Rogers all well-above average starters. Fernando Rodney may be developing into a top-flight closer; he's converted five of five save opportunities this year and has yet to give up a run.

So yes, this Tiger team looks for real. They have the misfortune of playing in the same division with the team with the best record in baseball, the defending champion White Sox. But they will probably be in the hunt for the Wild Card spot in the American League.
Hoot Not Heard

Looks like my prediction for this ecoterrorist message movie is turning out correct. It's 8th on the box office list in its first week of release, with the worst per-screen average of any of the top ten.
Citizen of the World

Sheesh, check this out:

The elites in Washington, D.C., New York City and the United Nations seem to have plotted a journey to lead America into the New World Order where a cosmopolitan global citizen is no more connected to his country than a sociopath to his fellow man.

Take Strobe Talbott (and the sooner the better).

Mr. Talbott -- Brookings Institution president, old hand at the State Department and former editor at Time magazine -- was preparing America for its inevitable irrelevance with his "The Birth of the Global Nation" in 1992.

He said "nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century -- 'citizen of the world' -- will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st century. All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances."


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Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

May 9, 2005

June 3, 2005

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

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What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

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

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

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