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Saturday, June 17, 2006
Dixie Chicks Still Digging

Here's a rather bizarre article on them in the (London) Telegraph. Get the beginning:

Will it be the salmon teriyaki with organic greens, or asparagus tempura and tuna sashimi? As the waiter hovers with pencil poised, the Dixie Chicks debate the menu with the practised air of professional restaurant critics. The Chicks have traditionally been branded a country band, but clearly it's some time since their diet consisted of ribs, tacos and pancakes.

:) Because all them country folk, they eat a lot of tacos and pancakes.

But the real meat comes from Fat Nat:

"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."

What a maroon!
I'll Go Against Type

And say that the decision not to charge Congresswoman and nutbar Cynthia McKinney is a good one. There are legitimate issues involved, the offense is minimal, and none of us should really care about a very junior (she lost all her seniority) congresswoman from Georgia.

We all agree, for example, that Congress cannot just pass a law changing the powers of the Presidency? Well then, how can we accept that the executive branch then can, without even passing a law, restrict access to Congress from lawfully elected members of that branch?

Yes, what McKinney is accused of doing is reprehensible, and certainly she should be held accountable for it in the court of public opinion. But at the same time it's risky to say that a congresswoman should be prosecuted for trying to enter Congress and not getting recognized. This is one of those rare instances, like with presidential power, that we cannot pretend that everybody is equal.

I recognize the pragmatic needs in a war on terrorism, but place Patrick Kennedy's issue alongside hers:

Underlying Conduct: Kennedy has already pled guilty to DUI. No real underlying conduct with McKinnney.

Circumstances: Kennedy hilariously claimed he was on his way to vote; McKinney was by all accounts on her way to work.

Update: The Leather Penguin disagrees, as do all my commenters. Look, if she was heading anywhere other than to work at Congress I'd agree that she should get prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Yes, she should wear her pin, yes, she's an idiot, yes, she deserves a full measure of scorn.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Murtha Vulnerable?

Gateway Pundit says so. I'd like to believe it, but Murtha didn't even attract a challenger in 2004. The woman who's challenging him, Diana Irey seems like a good, smart (and extraordinarily attractive) candidate, but I want to see some polling numbers before I accept that she's got a chance.
Olbermann Autobiography Coming Out

Well, with a title like that, it sure sounds like his autobiography.
Moron Kos Vegas

Ryan Lizza gives his thoughts on the event. It's amusing because obviously the bloggers want to be wooed, and yet they're wary of "selling out".

And then the whole effort seems to backfire, exposing exactly the new rifts that are on display all weekend--the establishment versus the rank-and-file bloggers; the partisans versus the ideologues. While meeting with a group of bloggers, Warner is confronted by one Edward Anderson, who forces him to fess up to the $50,000 party tab. "We don't want to join the consultant class," he scolds Warner. On the blogs, the debate over the Stratosphere bash turns into an opportunity to attack Warner for his views on Iraq and Iran and his association with the DLC. "[A]ll I saw at the Stratosphere was an old-fashioned politician spending something like $70,000"--the number somehow keeps rising--"on a garish party to soften up a constituency," Micah Sifry writes on Personal Democracy Forum. "If I'm gonna settle for a DLC, I'm going to settle for Hillary," a Kos commenter spits. (Clinton, who chose not to attend, is no doubt enjoying this effortless measure of success.) Moulitsas tried to suppress the uprising with a front-page defense of Warner that only angered his troops even more.

This gets into a topic that I've been dancing around the edges of. Instapundit noted the other day that Kos seems to be angling to the center. This in itself is not all that surprising. He's obviously aware of the millstone around his neck of 0-20 or so with candidates he's endorsed. Obviously the way to improve that record is to start endorsing some more moderate candidates, like James Webb of Virginia.

But the problem is that the followers may not be willing to follow. You know how it is, it's easy to lead a parade when everybody's going in the same direction, but the minute you try to make a sudden turn there are a lot of people who are going to ignore you and continue marching straight down the road. Lizza notes that Kos' coauthor of Crashing the Gates, Jerome Armstrong, is now working for Mark Warner.

Lizza misses the obvious here though:

There is no single issue that binds them together, and they have no discernable agenda.

Their agenda is fighting the Republicans and being anti-Bush is the single issue that binds them together.

Overall it's an interesting article though, one that splits the difference between the triumphalism of the lefty blogs and the amused cynicism of Byron York or Hot Air's mystery attendee. Lizza of course represents the DLC agenda that the lefty bloggers despise, but he's closer to them than to the Republicans at the same time.
Blogs for Heather: Madrid Refers to Joe Wilson As Respected

And not as "that respected liar".

Respected leaders like Senator Edwards and Ambassador Wilson are stepping up so early in the campaign because they know that this race has national implications. They know that a vote for Heather Wilson signifies a vote for the policies of George Bush, Dick Cheney and Tom DeLay.

We've discussed at some length the lies that Joe Wilson told to reporters to get his "let's frog-march Rove from the White House" smear going. The Senate Intelligence Committee exposed him back in 2004. That Patricia Madrid embraces this creepy liar just shows how out of touch she is with the citizens of New Mexico.
Thank God Not a Democrat

If I were still in the Democratic Party, I'd have to deal with nuts like Jane Hamsher and Greg Sargent. Marshall Wittman shows the downside of that.

First Wittman stands up for Joes Biden and Lieberman and Hillary Clitnon for their steadfast support for the Iraq War. And gets perhaps just a little too close to the fire:

And, of course, Joe Lieberman refuses to waver. While many politicians claim not to be guided by polls, Joe truly puts principle first. He is a profile in courage. The scorn of puerile bloggers and assorted lefties should be worn as a badge of honor.

Well, you can imagine Hamsher going nuclear over that little comment, right? Sure enough, she did not hold back:

You’re absolutely right — nobody should listen to us "puerile bloggers and assorted lefties." It’s time for the adults to take charge of the Democratic Party, and you have always done a superb job of casting yourself as the Uber Grownup.

You assert that John Kerry and John Edwards are nothing but political hacks who oppose the war out of pure opportunism. Well, you’re a wise man who clearly knows more than we do. You’ve counseled us over the years to shut up and suck it up and not offend anyone with our "looney lefty" ideas so that you Democrats can retain power. Because consider how bad the alternative is, right? Party unity, go Democrats, blah blah blah. That’s always been your battle cry. In fact, you’ve defended every position you’ve ever taken based on the fact that it was "good" for the Democratic Party. So I know that you only have the best interests of the party at heart at all times.

Not hard to sense the dripping sarcasm there. Jane does the "But Brutus is an honorable man" bit about as well as anybody in the liberal blogosphere. Sargent instead tries the "we're patriotic too" wheeze:

As Wittman might say, let us please reason together. There are several basic problems here. The first is that Wittman is assuming that virtually anyone who doesn't agree with Biden and Liberman is automatically doing so out of partisanship. Wittman tries to compensate for the obvious ridiculousness of this assumption by allowing that there may be two liberals out there -- Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy -- who are motivated by principles. But clearly he must think the rest of the world's unnamed liberals are driven by nothing but partisanship, since he accuses them of putting party before country.

Hmmm, Wittman's biggest mistake there is assuming that Feingold and Kennedy are standing up for a principle. If Feingold weren't obviously angling for the Democratic nomination in 2008 I might be willing to grant him that distinction.

But you know what the difference is; I'm not a Democrat. They don't care what I say. I'd much rather disagree with my fellow Republicans. Yes, we get passionate at times, but we seldom get to the point where our bitterest enemies are within our own party. Reading Hamsher and Sargent it's not hard to sense that they feel the biggest obstacle to progress is the DLC, not the Republicans.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Hillary: Least Favorable Ratings Among Netkooks

It's hard to imagine that this is a good thing, but it's certainly not all that bad. First, it's based on a random sample of MooOn's membership, and the response rate was only 7% (!). So you're getting the committed 7% of MooOn.

Looking at the favorable/unfavorable ratings, you've gotta be impressed with John Edwards's standing, although some of that may be because he's better known than Feingold, who has the highest very favorable rating. I suspect if you asked 100 registered Democrats at random, 95% of them would have never heard of Feingold.

Although Hillary has the highest unfavorables at 33%, her very favorables are good enough for third to Feingold and Edwards. This indicates to me that the opposition to Hillary is like the Rio Grande; a mile wide and an inch deep.

If you look at Very Favorable minus Unfavorable, John Kerry does worst, at -11 percentage points. As we pointed out with some glee in 2004, to know, know, know him, is to hate, hate, hate him.

Oddly, Al Gore is not lumped in with the presidential candidates, but his numbers look off the charts, as do Barack Obama's. Murtha actually outpolls Feingold; perhaps he should consider a run for the Oval Office (yes, I know he's ridiculously old for that).

Bowers does a lot of huffing about how mainstream the netroots are; my response is that they're becoming a bit more pragmatic after getting their butts handed to them the last several elections. But not so pragmatic that they aren't going to try to anoint a Russ Feingold the frontrunner's spot in the 2008. They aren't in this for Hillary, but she's going to get shoved down their throats anyway.
Kerry's Cut and Run Bill Goes Down In Flames

Le Fraude couldn't drum up much support outside of the usual gang of idiots:

Kerry and other Democrats accused Republicans of political gamesmanship, and promised an authentic debate next week. He and five other Democrats were in the minority on the vote — Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Barbara Boxer of California, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tom Harkin of Iowa, and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Picking the World Cup Winner

Franklin Foer takes a look at the forms of government most likely to win the World Cup:

In addition to using the hierarchy above to guide your picks--fascism beats communism; military junta beats fascism; social democracy beats military junta--there are several other iron laws to apply:

Of course, the major one is rather predictable:

6. The caveat.

There's one iron law that overrides all the others. The political reality most likely to produce a Jules Rimet trophy at any given moment in history: whatever form of government has taken up residence in Brasilia that week.
Brainster's: 200,000 Served

With the excitement yesterday I didn't notice that the odometer had rolled over again. It took over 19 months for the first 100,000 (I didn't install the sitemeter until March of 2004), and about 9 months for the second 100,000.

Of course you know what they say, it's not how many are reading your blog, but who's reading it. I am confident I have some of the best readers in the blogosphere.
Modern Art

A statue's base (or plinth) was displayed as a piece of art at a British gallery.

The academy explained the error by saying the plinth and the head were sent to the exhibitors separately.

"Given their separate submission, the two parts were judged independently," it said in a statement.

"The head was rejected, the base was thought to have merit and accepted.
Bye, Bye Ms American Spy

Mr Right sees my Clement C. Moore and raises a Don McLean:

But then June 12th made me shiver
Fate became an "Indian Giver"
Bad news on the Internet
Precisely what I had fret!

Oh, I remember how I cried
When I thought of Wilson's "outed" bride
Something deep within me fried
The day that Fitzmas died

So don't cry, Ms. American Spy
We'll get Libby for his fibby
And then Cheney will fry
And that smirking chimp will finally wave us goodbye
Singin', this'll be the day donkeys fly
This'll be the day donkeys fly

This one will have you rolling on the floor. Terrific job by Mr Right!
Will Lieberman Run As An Independent?

That's the question facing the senator from Connecticut. Fueling the speculation is the news that while Ned Lamont is gaining on Lieberman in the Democratic primary, Joe would cruise to victory in the general as an independent facing Lamont and a Republican.

According to a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, 57 percent of registered Democrats in Connecticut said they would vote for Lieberman, compared with 32 percent for Lamont. One month ago, Lieberman drew 65 percent to Lamont's 19 percent.

The poll found that if Lieberman runs as an independent, he would win with 56 percent of the vote, compared with 18 percent for Lamont and 8 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger. Lieberman enjoys higher ratings among Republicans and unaffiliated voters than Democrats, the poll determined. Unaffiliated voters are the state's largest block of voters, followed by Democrats and then Republicans.

And actually that poll of Democrats gets worse for Lieberman; if you limit it to likely voters, he wins by "only" 15 percentage points. Now granted, that's still a win, but the trendline looks pretty dangerous.

The National Journal reports that Chuck Schumer refuses to rule out the possibility of supporting Lieberman even if he runs as an independent. Predictably, the liberal blogs are up in arms over this, apparently believing that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (which Schumer heads) should throw its money behind the guy who's going to get crushed in the general election.

Jane Hamsher:

So Chuck Schumer, head of the Democratic Incumbent Senatorial Campaign Committee sees no problem in supporting a Holy Joe "Cut-and-Run 2006" independent candidacy over dedicated Democrat Ned Lamont.

That's funny, I thought the problem with Lieberman from Hamsher's standpoint was his failure to cut and run.


You don't have to look any further than Joe Lieberman to understand why the entire world thinks Democrats are a bunch of chickensh*t losers. We're tired of being associated with someone who can't even stand a fair fight in the Connecticut Democratic party without whining like snivelling schoolkid and threatening to take his ball and go home. Why should anyone trust such a gutless tool with the reins of government? I know I don't. The party is on notice that this just won't be tolerated anymore by leading Blue State Democrats.

The good news for the Republicans is that this probably means that at least until the Lieberman situation resolves itself, liberal bloggers will not be flogging their readers to contribute to Schumer's committee.

I suspect strongly that if Lieberman does run an independent candidacy, Schumer will back down a bit. He probably will not directly give money to Lieberman, but he may steer money to him by suggesting donors give directly to the candidate.

The irony here of course is that the liberal bloggers would normally applaud the Democratic leaders for telling the people, "We know better than you do," if the subject were, say, CAFE standards or global warming or tax cuts.
Zarqawi's Connection to Saddam

Thomas Joscelyn points out that it's a lot closer than the media would have you believe.

Consider what a top al Qaeda operative, Abu Zubaydah, told his CIA interrogators after his capture in March 2002. According to the Senate Intelligence Report, Zubaydah said "he was not aware of a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda." But, he added that "any relationship would be highly compartmented and went on to name al Qaeda members who he thought had good contacts with the Iraqis." Zubaydah "indicated that he heard that an important al-Qaida associate, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, and others had good relationships with Iraqi intelligence."

Zubaydah's testimony has since been further corroborated by a known al Qaeda ideologue, Dr. Muhammad al-Masari. Al-Masari operated the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, a Saudi oppositionist group and al Qaeda front, out of London for more than decade. He told the editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi that Saddam "established contact with the 'Afghan Arabs' as early as 2001, believing he would be targeted by the US once the Taliban was routed." Furthermore, "Saddam funded Al-Qaeda operatives to move into Iraq with the proviso that they would not undermine his regime."

Of course, all that must be subsumed to the effort to defeat Bush, so the media are not interested in disclosing this information to the American public.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Kerry 'Fesses Up

He acknowledges that he lied about his Christmas in Cambodia, that he lobbied for medals that he didn't deserve, and that he falsely slandered all his fellow Vietnam veterans.

Kerry, who led an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2004, said it was necessary to admit mistakes because "you cannot change the future if you''re not honest about the past."

What's that? Kerry isn't admitting he lied all those years ago? He's just claiming that his vote to authorize the Iraq War was wrong, so that he can get the netkooks on his side?

Never mind.

Hat Tip: Kitty
Hawkins Interviews Coulter

John does a great job with these interviews and obvious Ann's fabulous at coming up with pull quotes.

John Hawkins: How about dashing off a quick sentence or even just a word or two about the following individuals...

Cindy Sheehan: The Dennis Rodman of the peace movement.
Joe Wilson: World's most intensely private exhibitionist.
Michael Moore: Rumors of his depth are greatly exaggerated.
John Murtha: The reason soldiers invented "fragging."
George Bush: My Commander-In-Chief.
John McCain: War hero and let's leave it at that.
Alec Baldwin: Our main source of so-called "greenhouse gases".

The Dennis Rodman of the peace movement? I love it!

Chris has read Coulter's book and recommends it:

I recommend this book highly. When high ranking Democrats and their media lap dogs are putting this much effort into stopping people from buying a book, I see it as a huge endorsement.
More Self-Parody from the New York Times

Yesterday on the drive home I heard Kos on the Majority Report claim that the New York Times had "six or seven" reporters at the Yearly Kos convention. While this certainly seems like journalistic overkill, let it not be said that they missed the big stories at the convention. Like this one:

Could a 15-Year-Old With a Laptop Be the New Campaign Media Guru?

Answer: No.

Daily Kos's convention — the in-person gathering of the nation's most-read online political blog — was practically carpeted with presidential candidates. But perhaps the most notable presentation came from Ava Lowery, a 15-year-old from rural Alabama, whose homemade video was shown at the convention on jumbo television screens.

Ms. Lowery's video, set to the Queen song "We Will Rock You," contrasted the "liars" and "leakers" in the Bush administration with "those of us who choose to stand up for truth and justice." Her handiwork, which can be seen at (Ava Lowery's video), is a bit over the top. But it shows that a 15-year-old with video software and Internet access can now create and disseminate a professional-quality political ad.

Yes, it's a cute little ad for the liberal blogs, and yes, it's more than a little over the top. But if it had been done by a 25-year-old would anybody have paid attention? No, so the girl's 15-year-old age is the sole reason this caught on.

The Times then descends laughably into blather:

For the conventioneers, there was no question that Internet-powered politics would do as much — or more — for the left as talk radio did for the right. There are some cultural reasons why Democrats may be more attracted to the Internet. Democrats, as a group, may have warmer feelings about science and technology, or perhaps they are attracted to the decentralized, anti-authoritarian nature of blogs and e-mail (the exact opposite of a show like Rush Limbaugh's, where the host speaks and the "dittoheads" take it all in).

Online fund-raising also makes it easier and cheaper for Democrats to harvest contributions from individuals, a boon for a party that lags in raising money from traditional sources. And with Democrats often significantly outspent on television advertising, low-cost, innovative Internet advertising holds considerable promise. "The best campaigns are going to be the ones that let their supporters do a lot of their advertising for them," predicts Nicholas Reville, co-director of the Participatory Culture Foundation. Video blogs, or vlogs, could help counterbalance talk radio. One day, there could be a Daily Kos television station staffed by volunteer bloggers and sent out over the Internet as streaming video, going up against Fox News.

On Election Day 2008, voters could get video clips on their laptops and cellphones from Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen or the Dixie Chicks — targeted by geography or demographics — urging them to vote, and telling them where to do it.

Oh, man, how many fish in that barrel? First of all, there are already Daily Kos television stations going up against Fox News; they're called CNN and MSNBC. Second, the rock stars already tried to get their fans to vote; it was called Vote or Die in 2004 and as I recall, it died.

Third, there's no real discussion of the downside of the netkooks. Indeed, the notion seems to be that the kooks could help the party:

More input from the "net roots" — the Internet version of grass roots — may help the Democratic leadership avoid some bad decisions.

Or, of course, it could cause the Democratic leadership to make some bad decisions (like hiring Howard Dean as their chairman).

Just an unbelievable article.
Moron Patrick Kennedy

Buckley F. Williams notes that he's now two-thirds of the way through the rites of passage to become a true Kennedy man:

Although I am two thirds of the way to my goal, the journey is not over. Laser-like focus is key. I still have to have credible rape charges brought against me and use my influence to beat the rap.

Some of the jokes here are in questionable taste but it's worth reading.
Hadji Girl

This story has been getting a lot of play in the blogosphere. Chris has some thoughts for CAIR, which whined about the video. (Strong language)
An Interview with Mary Katherine Ham

The Real Ugly American interviews one of the rising stars of the blogosphere and the punditocracy.
Michelle Malkin Reads The Night Before Fitzmas!

This is the hot news I was talking about last night. Thanks Michelle!
Great Article On Kos, Dean and the Democrats

This one hits on lots of points we've discussed here.

Two years later, it seems as if history might repeat itself. As the Washington Times reports, "a poll earlier this year on the Daily Kos revealed 41 percent of those surveyed said they 'despise' Mr. Bush more than they despise Osama bin Laden." And one patriotic "Kossack" remarking on the death of Abu Musab Zarqawi said, "Now we are rid of one murderous tyrant -- how about the removal of another one -- believed to be hiding in a safe-house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Surely, no mainstream Democrat would lend legitimacy to this left-wing hate-fest? Yet there they were; Senators Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer; presidential hopefuls Mark Warner, Tom Vilsack, and Bill Richardson; and naturally, DNC Chairman Dr. Dean, eager to rub elbows with the likes of Kos founder, Markos Moulitsas.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Hot News Tomorrow

Not free to disclose it now, but a famous person is going to be reading my words aloud tomorrow. :)
The Truth? You Can't Handle the Truth!

Lorie Byrd addresses the casual attitude of the MSM and internet news sources about veracity.

At times, truth seems to be lacking even in the language itself. The very meaning of certain words is now in dispute. We should be able to look them up in dictionaries and come up with common definitions upon which everyone can agree. During the Clinton years, we understood what a lie was, provided we made allowances for the meaning of the word “is,” that is. We even learned, through some creative reporting, that some lies are really good, and that everyone lies, right? At least we could all agree that a lie was a lie then. That is no longer necessarily the case.
Video of Rove Last Night

Pat Hynes taped him addressing New Hampshire Republicans, and perhaps that twinkle in his eye meant he knew what was coming?

Update: Patrick was right (but then we're used to that).

The message reached Karl Rove on his BlackBerry: “FITZGERALD CALLED. CASE OVER.”

Strapped into his seat, his cell phone darkened in preparation for takeoff on a flight to New Hampshire, Mr. Rove quickly called his lawyer, Robert Luskin, in Washington, D.C., and he explained.

Around 4 p.m. on Monday, June 12, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald alerted Mr. Luskin that he had decided not to charge his client with a crime in the ongoing investigation into who leaked the name of C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame.
Netkooks Continue to Insist They Matter

Here's a report from one of the HuffPoers on the Yearly Kos Convention:

How big is the community now? The most common number I heard was 3-5 million active people but I also heard numbers approaching 10 million. With MoveOn's size, and their turnover numbers as reported in our panel, I suspect the netroots is more in the range of 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 active Democrats.

The size and strength of this community was obvious to everyone at YearlyKos - in fact, I think that this is where the quiet confidence of the crowd came from. The blogosphere and Democratic Netroots Community doesn't have to prove a thing to anybody. Who else can bring 6 million Democrats to the table? Who else has an equal power to influence and activism like the netroots? No one.

Well, we know that the quiet confidence of the crowd doesn't come from their past performance at winning elections.

Having barely survived the Boston Convention in 2004 where so many people were so worried about themselves that some of John Kerry's oldest and best friends were never given tickets, I loved the spirit at YearlyKos. I felt like a fish out of water on the Kerry Campaign - I felt much much more at home at YearlyKos and I thank everyone for that.

Uh, can we say the obvious here? If some of John Kerry's oldest and best friends were never given tickets, that's John Kerry's fault.

Read the rest of it; it's vintage blogger triumphalism.
The Night Before Fitzmas
(Apologies to Clement C. Moore)

(Welcome fellow Michelle Malkin, Right Wing Nuthouse, Wizbang, Ankle-Biting Pundits, The Blorg, Another Rovian Conspiracy, GOP & the City Hot Air, Dean's World and In the Right Place readers)

Twas the night before Fitzmas and all through the blogs,
Not a creature was stirring, not even the firedogs.

The indictments were sealed at the courthouse with care
In hopes that Karl Rove soon would be there.

Lefty bloggers were snuggled all safe in their beds
While visions of frog-marches danced in their heads

When over at Truthout there arose such a clatter,
We all surfed over to see what was the matter.

"Rove's been indicted," Jason Leopold claimed,
Without much concern for those he defamed.

When what should my wondering eyes happen to see
Than Ambassador Joe Wilson, sipping iced tea.

"My wife's been exposed," he announced with a cry,
"Rove told Bob Novak, she's a CIA spy!"

"On Kristof, on Hamsher, on Oliver Willis!
On Maguire and Moran and a blogger named Phyllis!"

"Rove must be destroyed," he exclaimed with some gall,
"Now smash away, smash away, smash away all!"

"There's only one thing that would make this all groovy,
If Tom Cruise was selected for my part in the movie."

But I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight
"Fitzmas ain't coming, so to all a good night!"
No Fitzmas for the Left

It looks like the libs have gotten to the bottom of the horse manure, and found no pony there yet again.

The prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case on Monday advised Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, that he would not be charged with any wrongdoing, effectively ending the nearly three-year criminal investigation that had at times focused intensely on Mr. Rove.

This is obviously a blow to Jason Leopold, the Truthout writer who claimed last month that Rove would be indicted in the next day or so. Actually it should have been obvious that Leopold was lying at the time; consider this portion of what he wrote:

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 business hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.

First of all, what in the world is "24 business hours"? We all know that five business days is actually a week; is 24 business hours three days? And why would he give Rove that time anyway?

Truthout doubles down, insisting their story was right, but, um, even if it's wrong, they're still important:

One negative consequence of the Rove indictment firestorm has been that so much of what we cover that is so important to the community has been pushed into the background. There's a war going on, the right to vote is in doubt, democracy itself is under attack. Let's work together to keep our focus.

Rick Moran and Tom Maguire, two center-right bloggers who covered the case, were both convinced that Rove would indeed be indicted. I suspect that Rick's right as to why:

I have my own ghosts to expunge here because for the last year I have been predicting that Rove would be indicted. Clarice Feldman at The American Thinker tried knocking some sense into me several times by telling me that Fitzy didn’t have a thing on Rove and that I was making way too much of press coverage of the story.

Maguire notes that he was moving towards the "no indictment" theory:

Let me gulp down some crow - last May 8, I pegged the probability of a Rove indictment at 70%; a few days ago, I marked that down to 50% - well, at least I had the trend right.

Handling the story from the humor side are the Commissar and Allahpundit.

Did someone here order the crap sandwich?

Meanwhile, Jason Leopold, of the laughably named, continues to spin bizarre fantasies about Sealed vs. Sealed, supposedly Karl Rove’s super double secret probation indictment.

Ankle-Biting Pundits has more.

All anyone ever did here was try to defend the President against the false allegations of a partisan hack by showing that he wasn’t just some independent voice. If there was a crime in that, then woe to any future administration that was trying to be undermined by a government agency.
Uh, Al?

Klaatu barada nikto to you too!

This is pretty dim even for the Goron:

Al Gore hopes to train 1,000 messengers he hopes will spread out across the country and present a slide show about global warming that captures the essence of his Hollywood documentary and book.

You know, Al, that's sort of the point of a Hollywood documentary and book, is that maybe you don't need those 1000 idiots running the slide show to the converted, who've probably already seen the film.

Unless, of course, Gore is training Gorebots, to be used in his campaign to take over the Democrats, in which case it's fiendishly clever.

TC says the 1000 will be the apostles of the Church of Algore.
Monday, June 12, 2006
This Explains It

Drinking coffee reduces risk of cirrhosis.
The Continuing Awful Bush Economy

Somebody seems to have forgotten to tell the taxpayers:

Aided by surging tax receipts, President Bush may make good on his pledge to cut the deficit in half in 2006 — three years early.

Tax revenues are running $176 billion, or 12.9%, over last year, the Treasury Department said Monday. The Congressional Budget Office said receipts have risen faster over the first eight months of fiscal '06 than in any other such period over the past 25 years — except for last year's 15.5% jump.

The 2006 deficit through May was $227 billion, down from $273 billion at this time last year. Spending is up $130 billion, or 7.9%.

Damn, did somebody say it's time for another tax cut?
Moron the 50-State Strategy

Howard Dean's proposal is attracting some scrutiny:

But the spending in Utah and in places such as Mississippi, Idaho and other Republican-dominated states, largely written off in the past, has caused some grief for Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Critics fear the money could run out by November, putting Democrats at a disadvantage nationally at the very time they finally have a shot at taking back one or both houses of Congress.

Dean's going to be popular with the Red State chairs and not with the guys from the Blue States. The problem is that directing resources to losing races hurts your chances in the marginal races because there's only so much money and volunteers to go around.
Ohio Papers on Kennedy Rolling Stone Piece: Been There, Done That

Sounds like they aren't too impressed with RFK, Jr.

But for many in Ohio who covered the presidential race, which was not decided until the following morning after John Kerry gave up any attempt at challenging the Ohio results, the Rolling Stone allegations are unfounded.

"We looked at the Rolling Stone piece and we didn't see anything new in there," says Eva Parziale, Associated Press Ohio bureau chief, who held that post in 2004 when the election occurred. "They were things we already reported on and issues we did not see to have substance."

Carl Weiser, government and public affairs editor for the Cincinnati Enquirer, agreed. "I read it and nothing in there was really new," he said. "The folks who know Ohio elections best checked into it and found there was no conspiracy."

Of course, that hasn't stopped idiots outside Ohio, like Bob Herbert and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, from loudly hailing it.
Tribute to a Fallen Soldier

Gaius' son has some thoughts about a fellow soldier killed Friday by an IED.

Our commander, who was pretty close to Ben, said it best: "he was a child at heart…and a man in spirit."
Prayers for Roethlisberger

As many of you know I'm an avid bicyclist. I would never ride without a helmet; a motorcycle is even less safe because it is powered.

A witness told Channel 4 Action News that Roethlisberger went over the handlebars, hit the windshield of another vehicle and then hit the ground.

Roethlisberger was not wearing a helmet, according to the paper.

New details, same story:

The witness said she saw the accident and went over to help but did not recognize Roethlisberger. When she asked him what his name was, she said he replied, "Ben."

The woman added that Roethlisberger asked her a series of questions, including where he was and what state he was in. He attempted to stand up but the woman said she encouraged him not to move until paramedics arrived.
Will Success Spoil Daily Kos?

Byron York analyzes the implications of the media's sudden embrace of Kos.

There will undoubtedly be more of that sort of thing in the days to come; after all, many readers know little or nothing about DailyKos. But at some point, coverage of the DailyKos phenomenon will move into a new cycle. In politics, no person, and no movement, can attract as much attention as DailyKos has received recently without eventually attracting scrutiny. And that will likely bring attention to what is said—and who says it—on the website.

The problem, of course, is that Kos is prone to saying the darnedest things:

Indeed, Moulitsas himself has set an example for withdrawing support from—and threatening—those who have anything to do with statements that Moulitsas finds objectionable. For example, in January, he reacted angrily to a comment from Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf, who, in an interview with the Washington Post, discussed the role of netroots activists in future campaigns. “The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left,” Elmendorf told the paper. In response, Moulitsas wrote:

Mr. Elmendorf almost got it right. The trick, in reality, is to stop appearing like our Democrats are held captive to sleazebag amoral lobbyists. Here’s notice, any Democrat associated with Elmendorf will be outed. The netroots can then decide for itself whether it wants to provide some of that energy and money to that candidate.

Blackballed for telling the simple truth. That's the nature of the liberal blogosphere.

Also, Hot Air had a mole inside the Kos Konclave, reporting on the sillier stuff.

Update: See also Crazy Politic's comments on this.
The Skimmer Story

Tom Lipscomb examines the story behind Kerry's first Purple Heart.

Schachte says he personally led seven out of the eight skimmer missions he ran at Cam Ranh, and the one he didn't lead was not led by what Hibbard terms "a 'rookie' who knew nothing about the concept or tactics involved to command the skimmer." Schachte points out that if he had risked the lives of two enlisted men with a green officer on a difficult night mission like this he should have been reprimanded. Kerry, after all, was an "officer in training" at Coastal Division 14. Kerry had never had a command and had not yet been released to a first command of his own. His job was to go on missions with veterans and learn.

In fact, the one mission Schachte didn't lead was led by veteran Swift boat skipper Tedd Peck, two nights after the Kerry mission, to the same place, with Peck as leader with two other officers, Stephen Hayes and Mark Janes. In advance of the mission, according to Peck, "Schachte made us go down and have a gunner's mate train us with the M-60 machine gun which was not part of the Swift boat arsenal at the time, but was the main armament of the skimmer. It took two hours and we finished it just before we left on the mission."

Peck, of course, was a genuine hero whose exploits John Kerry tried to appropriate as his own.

Kerry and his men describe a magical mystery tour - that same night and that same time in a parallel universe - in a traffic-jammed Nha Trang Bay that apparently had scheduled a starlight sampan regatta that evening. According to Kerry's account to Brinkley, "Most of the night had been spent being scared shitless by fishermen whom we would suddenly creep up on out of the darkness..." In Brinkley's summary, "For the next four hours Kerry's Boston Whaler, using paddles, brought boatloads of fisherman they found in sampans... back to the Swift. It was tiring work."

"Tiring work?" If you ever tried to paddle an almost 15-foot long Boston Whaler with three in crew, loaded with arms, ammunition, and a bunch of jabbering Vietnamese fishermen crammed onboard, 2 ½ miles out to a Swift boat a number of times in monsoon seas you would enthusiastically agree and want to shoot the idiot who refused to use the engine.

But wait a minute... . Didn't Kerry point to the phony "photograph of the skimmer being towed behind his Swift boat, insisting that it could barely fit three people, himself and two others"?

How many Vietnamese fishermen can you put on an armed skimmer with a three-man crew and still paddle miles out to a Swift boat without swamping it in a heavy monsoon chop? According to my interview with Bill Zaladonis, "three to four." Why do this? According to Zaladonis's interview with Lisa Myers, "I assume they were interrogating them - turning them loose or whatever." "Whatever," indeed.

I've tended to believe Zaladonis on the basis that he refused to lie for Kerry regarding Christmas in Cambodia, but this does make his story sound pretty ridiculous. Lipscomb interviewed many of the people involved in the incident and presents a compelling case that Kerry lobbied for a medal that he didn't deserve and eventually got it.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
The Latest Fad

9-11 Conspiracy Trading Cards!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Texas Longhorns. Long Horns, get it?
My Guess Is Controlled Demolition

According to this report the US is flying in medical experts to check to see how Zarqawi died.

Also, an Iraqi man raised fresh questions, telling Associated Press Television News that he saw U.S. soldiers beating an injured man resembling al-Zarqawi until blood flowed from his nose.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Baghdad, said the decision to fly in forensic experts was made shortly after al-Zarqawi's death. The airstrike also killed five others, including al-Zarqawi's spiritual adviser, Sheik Abdul-Rahman.

It's another Haditha!


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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

Greatest Hits

What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

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

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

Explanation of the Blog's Name

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