Balloon Juice

October 13, 2003

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Matt Hoy beats up my Senator, Jay Rockefeller, for lying about the imminent threat meme that the left is now repeating (lying) in unison. His permalinks are buggered (blogger- go figure), so just go to the link I gave you and look for "Hooray for Tony Snow."

These people will say anything to win back the White House.

(via Instapundit)

Filed under Democrat Stupidity by John Cole at 01:09 PM

October 12, 2003

Absolutely Awful

The Steelers opponent, the Broncos, start Pope John Paul Steve Beuerlein, age 97, and the Steelers still manage to lose, with judicious help from the officials in the last minute of the game. Regardless, you can not pin this on the Zebras, despite the bullshit calls, because Alexander should have intercepted that pass to end the Broncos drive. And let's not even talk about the offensive line for the Black-n-Gold, which is just plain offensive.

I am beginning to understand where the terrible comes from in the "Terrible Towel." The Steelers are 2-4. Blech.

Filed under Sports by John Cole at 06:34 PM

Good Grief

Apparently, in Planet Yankee, if you charge the field and then are not daintily sidestepped or placed gently on the ground, despite the fact that you were running, swinging at someone like an out of control madman, you are a victim.

Pedro was behaving like a child, but Zimmer is to blame, and his being pushed to the ground in self-defense is his own stupid fault. I don;t give a shit if someone has bad knees and is 72 years old, if they come at me, I am defending myself. Yankee fans kill me- maybe if Pedro had just thrown a broken bat at Zimmer the Yankee fans would defend him.

*** Update ***

Ny Mayor and Yankee fan shows he is a moron:

Boston Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez should have been arrested for throwing 72-year-old Yankees coach Don Zimmer to the ground during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday.

"If that happened in New York we would have arrested the perpetrator," Bloomberg said. "Nobody should throw a 70-year-old man to the ground, period. You start doing that pretty soon you're going to throw a 61-year-old man to the ground, and I have a big vested interest in that."

"You just cannot assault people, even if it's on a baseball field," added Bloomberg, who was asked about Saturday's bench-clearing matchup before marching in the Bronx Columbus Day Parade.

Which is great, EXCEPT THAT ZIMMER WAS ASSAULTING PEDRO. What Bloomber reall said was:

"Attention 70 year old men- you are free to assault anyone you want in any of the five burroughs, and should something nasty happen to you in the middle of your crime, we will arrest and charge your victim."

Idiots.

Filed under Sports by John Cole at 05:14 PM

October 11, 2003

SNL

I have never liked Justin Timberlake and whateverboy band he was in, but a half hour into Saturday Night Live, and he has been in two skits and his monologue, and he has been hysterical. Nice to have SNL actually be funny.

Filed under Media by John Cole at 10:59 PM

Meyers-Briggs

ESTP - "Promotor". Action! When present, things begin to happen. Fiercely competitive. Entrepreneur. Often uses shock effect to get attention. Negotiator par excellence. 13% of the total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

(via Gary Farber)

Filed under Other by John Cole at 10:08 PM

Jackass Spammers

Apparently I am not the only one who got spammed last night by the 'Lolita' Spammer. When I woke up this morning, I had to manually delete about 30 spams and block the IP. Really annoying.

*** Update ***

I got hit again, this time by "Preteen," as did others. Same first parts of the ip address as last night, just the last two digits varied. Is there anyway to ban that whole string?

Filed under Site Maintenance by John Cole at 07:56 PM

When Words and Agendas Part

Jay Caruso has some questions.

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 01:42 AM

October 10, 2003

Nobel Prize

Greg at Begging to Differ has some thoughts on the Nobel Peace Prize winner you might want to check out.

BTW- Greg emailed me this link because he had read something here and thought I might be interested his thoughts on the issue. If you read something here and it inspires you to write something, and you think it is relevant, please email me so I can read it and possibly link it. I hate the blind, out of the blue spamming, but this sort of 'self-promotion' isn't in my mind really self-promotion, but rather adding to the discussion.

Filed under Foreign Affairs by John Cole at 11:57 AM

The New Definition of Quagmire

This is what a 'quagmire' looks like:

Six months ago today Coalition Forces liberated Baghdad. I am sure that many of you were as thrilled as I was to see Saddam’s statue and his regime fall. Most, but not all, of what has happened since then is good.

The Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of our strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq. That plan has four elements:

· Create a Secure Environment.
· Begin Restoration of Essential Services.
· Begin to Transform the Economy.
· Begin the Transformation to Democracy.

Plan? What plan? John Kerry says we have no plan. Just last night Wes Clark stated we had no plan. This is news to me.

Six months ago there were no police on duty in Iraq.

· Today there are over 40,000 police on duty, nearly 7,000 here in Baghdad alone.
· Last night Coalition Forces and Iraqi police conducted 1,731 joint patrols.

Six months ago those elements of Saddam’s military that had not been destroyed in combat had buried their airplanes and melted away.

· Today the first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty.
· Across the country over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.

Six months ago there were no functioning courts in Iraq.

· Today nearly all of Iraq’s 400 courts are functioning.
· Today, for the first time in over a generation, the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.

Six months ago the entire country could generate a bare 300 megawatts of electricity.

· On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts—exceeding the pre-war average.
· If we get the funding the President has requested in his emergency budget, we expect to produce enough electricity for all Iraqis to have electrical service 24 hours daily—something essential to their hopes for the future.

Six months ago nearly all of Iraq’s schools were closed.

· Today all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.
· Many of you know that we announced our plan to rehabilitate one thousand schools by the time school started—well, by October 1 we had actually rehabbed over 1,500.

Six months ago teachers were paid as little as $5.33 per month.

· Today teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

Six months ago the public health system was an empty shell. During the 1990’s Saddam cut spending on public health by over 90 percent with predictable results for the lives of his citizens.

· Today we have increased public health spending to over 26 times what it was under Saddam.
· Today all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.
· Today doctors’ salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.
· Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.
· Since liberation we have administered over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq’s children.

Six months ago three-quarters of Iraq’s 27,000 kilometers of irrigation canals were weed-choked and barely functional.

· Today a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of those canals. They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.

Additionally, we have restored over three-quarters of pre-war telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.

Before the war there were 4,500 Internet connections and important services, such as instant messaging were forbidden.

· Today there are 4,900 full-service connections.
· We expect 50,000 by January first.

Six months ago Iraq’s economy was flat on its back.

· Today anyone walking the streets can see the wheels of commerce turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.

Six months ago all banks were closed.

· Today 95 percent of all pre-war bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily.
· Today Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.
· Today the central bank is fully independent.
· Today Iraq has one of the world’s most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.

Six months ago Iraq had two currencies.

· Next week Iraq will get a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.

Six months ago there was no freedom of expression. Satellite dishes were illegal. Foreign journalists came on 10-day visas and paid mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for “minders” and other government spies.

· Today there is no Ministry of Information.
· Today there are more than 170 newspapers.
· Today you can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner.
· Today foreign journalists and everyone else are free to come and go.

Six months ago Iraq had not one single element—legislative, judicial or executive-- of a representative government.

· Today in Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad’s first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman.
· Today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.
· Today 25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq’s history, run the day-to-day business of government.
· Today the Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.

Six months ago Shia religious festivals were all but banned.

· Today, for the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.

In six short months we have accomplished a lot. We are also aware that the progress we have made is only a beginning. A quarter century of negligence, cronyism and war mongering have devastated this country. Such profound damage cannot be repaired overnight.

This is not a quagmire, in any sense of the word. For those of you who like analogies, Iraq is to VietNam what me losing my job is to the Great Depression. Got it?

*** Dumbest reaction to this Post Yet ***

Oliver Willis: "Wow, that's a real unbiased source. Was the Fox News web site down?"

No, Oliver- it is just the same source that was used to write this article in the NY Times that I referenced below.

It was the same source used to write this story titled- "Violence mars Iraq anniversary"

and this one: "Iraq Has Deadliest Day in A Month "

You starting to understand why most of us insist we are not getting balanced news about the region? A lot of good is going on, and yes, there is still violence. But all we hear about is the latter, and never the former, and in some perverse way it seems to make some happy. Forget the glass half-empty/half-full anaology. With the current left, the glass is empty, dirty, and broken. Will they say anything to get a Democrat elected President in 2004?

In fact, this statement is so stupid, I am going to just assume someone has stolen his identity and is posting asinine comments to discredit him, because the Oliver I have read for two years couldn't possibly be this dumb.

*** Update ***

I lamely forgot to credit Andrew Sullivan for the hat tip, who was kind enough to note that he found the information via You Big Mouth, You! Bad netiquette on my part, all the way around. In my defense, I actually went straight from Sully to the Bremer transcript because I just had to blog it. At any rate, it was shitty of me not to take the time to credit those who unearthed this. My apologies.

*** Update #2 ***

The Daily Kos writes:

Boy, Bush sure did pick a bad day to tell us everything is peachy in Iraq.

Umm- actually they didn't pick the day. It just sorta happens to be the 6 month anniversary, which was information clearly avaliable to everyone. From the lead graf in the Times- "was a symbol of Iraq, six months to the day after United States marines ripped down the statue of Saddam Hussein and America set out on its experiment to rebuild a democratic Iraq in the land it had just conquered."

At any rate, the point is that none ofthe good things I have listed above must have happened, because deranged lunatics killed some people today.

If this is the modern left, then they are a sick, demented shell of what they used to be.

Filed under General Stupidity by John Cole at 07:49 AM

Mayor Street

Does anyone know what the hell is going on in Philadelphia?

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 06:25 AM

Iraq

A remarkably balanced article on Iraq in the NY Times:

In his news conference, Mr. Bremer listed what he called America's achievements (although many of his comparisons were from immediately after the war, when services were far worse than before it began): 40,000 police officers on the streets; 13,000 new reconstruction projects; more electricity generated now than before the war; 1,500 schools renovated; 22 million vaccinations; 4,900 Internet connections — not to mention freedom of speech, virtually nonexistent under Mr. Hussein, and an end to torture, which was commonplace.

"I am optimistic," Mr. Bremer said. "We have made an enormous amount of progress here in six months, more than I think anybody could have safely predicted, in many places beyond what our plan was."

The changes are visible. The streets are cleaner. Shops are flooded with goods pouring into Iraq now that the borders are open again. Those who have jobs — and tens of thousands are working for the Americans, directly or indirectly — are largely paid better than they were.

But as the attack on Thursday again showed, there is another list of statistics: 92 American soldiers killed in combat since President Bush declared major hostilities over in May; nearly 100 dead at a suicide bombing at a Shiite shrine in Najaf; 22 dead at a bombing at the United Nations headquarters here; at least 17 dead in a bombing at the Jordanian Embassy.


Filed under Foreign Affairs by John Cole at 06:17 AM

Outstanding Selection

By all accounts, Shirin Ebadi is an inspired choice for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize Friday for her work defending human rights in an award aimed at inspiring democratic reform across the Muslim world.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Ebadi, one of Iran's first woman judges before the Islamic revolution forced her to step down, for work focused on the rights of women and children.

Here is an old Christian Science Monitor article about Ebadi, and it appears that the Nobel committee used this selection to send a message to the Middle East:

``In my country, Iran, there is still a continued struggle for democracy and human rights,'' she wrote this year.

``Iranian people want to reform their political and legal system,'' she said. ``They are protesting against the few people who have power.''

Nobel watchers say that the committee, which includes three women, probably chose Ebadi as a way of promoting change, rather than rewarding the ailing pope or to Havel for a lifetime of peace work.

They say the committee has been seeking to promote moderates in the Muslim world since the September 11 attacks on the United States to avoid stoking conflicts between religions after U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Nobel Committee's own write-up is here. Seems to be a pretty decent choice.

Filed under Foreign Affairs by John Cole at 06:13 AM

The Corner V. Tapped

The folks at Tapped, having recently dropped their anonymity, appear in a rush to associate buffoonery with their actual names. Their most recent scandal involves charges of racism against Hillsdale College, penned by Richard Just:

THE GOOD OLD DAYS. One page of National Review's new special supplement on higher education is, I think, worthy of special recognition. The supplement is filled with ads for various schools -- mostly obscure religious institutions such as Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., and Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. But on page 18, there is an ad for Hillsdale Academy, a kindergarten-through-12th-grade school located in Michigan. The top of the ad reads, "Want to Bring Back 'The Good Old Days'?" and beneath it is a photo of six white kids.

You can look at the ad and decide for yourself exactly what kind of good old days the folks at Hillsdale Academy are seeking to bring back. I didn't think the message was too thinly veiled.

Outraged by the slander against Hillsdale and National review, Jonah Goldberg unloaded in the Corner:

I did look at the ad myself and I drew one inescapable conclusion: I think Richard Just is a bigot. Time and again the bloggers at The American Prospect have simply asserted that conservatives are motivated by cartoonishly villainous motives. Remember their nonsense about how liberals oppose a military draft for high-minded reasons, but conservatives oppose the idea because it would make America a better and more just society? But this is just appalling. So unless he ate some bad clams, he has no excuse. And he should certainly apologize...

Whatever the reason, Mr. Just sees no need to inquire because he already knows “good old days” + “white kids” = nostalgia for Jim Crow. Well, for the record, most of the kids I met were the children of professors and other folks connected to the school. A smarter and more decent bunch of high school kids, I’ve never met. The conclusion they were racists or the children of racists or the product of a racist institution could be based only in ignorance – which liberals like Mr. Just usually insist is the cause of prejudice anyhow. The President of Hillsdale is Larry Arn, for Pete’s sake. He’s a full-blown Lincoln-worshipping West Coast Straussian.

But yes, do look at the ad in question. Look at the 7 point checklist the school includes to help flesh-out what they mean by “Old Days.” Is it so inconceivable that this is what they had in mind rather than the perfervid racial subtext Mr. Just sees so clearly?

And one last thing, would Just assume racism if he saw similar ad for a historically black college?

In other words, Just made no mention of the seven goals to reach the "Good Old Days" that he used as the basis for his charge regarding "exactly what kind of good old days the folks at Hillsdale Academy are seeking to bring back."

In his mealy mouthed response the next day, Just uses more of Tapped's bandwidth to savage Hillsdale college, mentioning a sordid affair involving the former President of HIllsdale, and then he backpedals:

Jonah Goldberg calls me a "bigot" for my earlier post on this ad placed by Hillsdale Academy in National Review. Then he goes after me again (here and here) and Aaron Bailey, another National Review staffer, adds his thoughts (here). Much of their outrage takes the form of a generic toast to the virtues of Hillsdale College and Hillsdale Academy. "A smarter and more decent bunch of high school kids, I've never met," Goldberg writes, while Bailey (an alum) notes that the college refused an invitation to the 1955 Tangerine Bowl "because the event organizers would not let Hillsdale's black students play." I also learned from Bailey that Hillsdale sent many of its students to fight for the Union in the Civil War. None of this has any bearing on the ad, of course. Goldberg and Bailey might have just as easily noted that in 1999, an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education described administrators censoring the college's student newspaper and featured a veteran professor alleging that the place was "a community of fear." Or that an article three years prior in the same publication quoted an employee and former employee, respectively, describing the school as "a Gestapo police state" and "a Stalinist kind of environment." Or that, as National Review itself wrote in 1999, the college's refusal to take federal funds means that students cannot accept GI benefits. (Which, I might add, is just as disgraceful as the exclusion of ROTC and other military-recruiting programs from certain Ivy League campuses.) Then there was a little matter involving some allegations about a former president and his daughter-in-law. No need to get into those.

All of which is to say that I'm sure Goldberg, Bailey and I can agree that Hillsdale has had some good moments and some bad moments in its history -- and none of them has anything to do with this argument. I didn't pick on Hillsdale because it's a conservative school. And I didn't pick on other schools for being Christian, as Goldberg alleges by calling me a "bigot." I noted that the rest of National Review's supplement contained ads mostly for obscure religious institutions -- a category that Hillsdale doesn't even fall into. I didn't pick on Hillsdale for what it is, I picked on it for what it did -- place an ad in National Review that seems designed to appeal to some pretty lousy impulses in a certain breed of parent.

What do they mean by the phrase "the good old days"? It's impossible to know for sure, of course, but Goldberg doesn't offer any possibilities to counter my suggestion. By itself, that phrase could mean anything. Taken together with an all-white picture (in an age where the conventions of educational advertising, like them or hate them, mean that most schools use such photos as a chance to show off their diversity) and the ad's rather glib denunciation of "politically correct" revisionism, it's enough to make you wonder whether there is a racial subtext at play here.

And so it goes with liberals and race. Make the charge, then when it is defensed, ignore the defense ("It's impossible to know for sure, of course, but Goldberg doesn't offer any possibilities to counter my suggestion."- ummm.. That would be his mention of the SEVEN GUIDELINES IN THE AD THAT YOU HAVE NOW IGNORD TWICE), and then back-pedal. He doesn't need to do anything else, the charge has been leveled, the damage done. Hillsdale is racist because of his racial interpretation of an ad.

I get so sick and tired of this horse shit- you simply can not have a public debate about race that does not end in a recitation of how many former Senators in each party were in the KKK (the count is now 2-0, Democrats) and which party is historically more responsible for slavery. No mention that both parties are pretty clearly anti-slavery, and that bigotry is something that resides within the minds and hearts of a few deranged people, not within party platforms. Then you have to fight the battle with the extreme wingnuts, and explain to them that there really is no set of racial code words- but God forbid you accidentally do something that may be ambiguously interpreted (or use one of the 'code' words)- then they charge you with outlandish nonsense that you have to spend hours, weeks, and years dispelling.

Lost in all of this is the fact that the ad does clearly demonstrate why diversity is an actual worthwhile goal- perhaps if there were more people with different backgrounds and perspectives working at Hillsdale, someone might have noticed that some dingbat (Richard Just) somewhere might think there was a racist sub-text. Clearly we are talking about a diversity of worldview's, and not of color- a distinction that is lost on my friends in the left. The same applies to newsrooms- if there were more conservatives, maybe newspapers wouldn't mischaracterize conservative opinions and positions on so many things. Maybe if Just got out of his cocoon and met some conservatives, he would realize that the OVERWHELMING majority of the 'evil right wing' are not even remotely racist, and for the most part, very troubled by some of the things that took place in this country regarding race.

It would be rational and reasonable if Just and other liberals tried to understand their ideological opponents, but that is not how they view conservatives and Republicans. They are not the opposition, they are the enemy, and this is not about dialogue- this is about silencing those with different perspectives. Set phasers on smear. For all the talk about getting past race, the left is simply unwilling to try. The thought of an undemonized right wing that minorites would feel safe voting for is something that would most assuredly spell electoral doom for the left. Look at the results yesterday when the Hispanic vote and the black vote did not go to Davis. Thus, every two years, we must face a melange of charges regarding school burnings, Jim Crow, segregation- every weathered racial bogeyman tired hacks like Just can dream up.

To accuse someone of racism for this is outright slander, and Just should be ashamed of himself. Since he has changed his original charge to a statement that is less offensive, maybe he is.

*** Updated for clarity ***

Filed under Democrat Stupidity by John Cole at 12:18 AM

October 09, 2003

For the Love of Everything Holy

I have no patience for zero tolerance rules, so this story has me reeling:

Boyfriend and girlfriend, 15-year-olds Brandon Kizi and Andra Ferguson are both asthma sufferers and both students at Caney Creek High School. At least, they were, until Andra began suffering an asthma attack at school.

"I couldn't breathe, and I was just very short of breath," recalled Andra. "My chest was tightened up and it was hurting."

Brandon described the incident. "Her face was turning a little reddish-pink and she looked pale, as far as I could see. I loaned her my inhaler. I walked her to the nurse's office and loaned her my inhaler."

That's when the trouble started. The school nurse called the school police, who arrested Brandon. They charged him with a felony, namely distributing a dangerous drug for loaning out his prescription inhaler. Andra's mother thinks that's wrong. "His (inhaler) is the very same thing. And he has had my permission to give her that medication any time she forgets it," said Sandra Ferguson.

Is our children learning? Yes- they are learning we are not serious at all. For a whole lot of fun with zero tolerance idiocy, check out this website: Losing My Tolerance for Zero Tolerance.

Full disclosure- I carried a pocket knife and aspirin in school. Lots of my friends even had *GASP* shotguns and rifles and compound bows and hunting knives in their trunks. Crazy, aren't I?

(via TalkLeft)

Filed under General Stupidity by John Cole at 09:13 PM

Best Recall Piece Yet

This, hands down, is the best piece about the recall yet:

Yet, by election eve, liberals had worked themselves into quite a self-deluding and frenzied lather. The same apologists for Clinton’s sex scandals transformed themselves into the new morality police — shocked, even outraged by Arnold’s boorishness. Can you imagine someone like that in public office? (As a matter of fact I can, vividly recalling Juanita Broderick’s accusation of rape against Big Bill.) Defeat of the recall, in the heads of lefties, merged with images of the Durutti column heroically defending Madrid against the Franco onslaught. (No pasaran, Austrian swine!) And why not? Arnold, actually the most liberal of statewide GOP candidates to come along in a generation, was now a Hitler-loving Nazi. Like father, like son and all that. Today English only — tomorrow mandatory Deutsch.

I took all that overheated and rather juvenile satanization of Schwarzenegger as nothing more than some sort of twisted collective exorcism, a ritual-like purging of guilt and self-loathing by liberals who — up until last week — had, against their better instincts, and sometimes inexplicably, forced themselves to support the undeserving cause of the governor. But if, of course, Arnold was really a closet fascist and a serial rapist, the sleeper candidate of the Boys From Brazil, well then, we were no longer useful idiots in the survival of Big Money’s favorite governor, but now we would have promoted ourselves to righteous soldiers, the last thin line in defense of Western civilization as we know it.

Fortunately, much of the Democratic base is so much smarter than its leadership. Exit polling reveals much of it just plain refused to buy this crap and outright refused to lift a finger, or punch a chad, to save Davis.

Read the whole thing. Man, the LA Weekly has some great writers. Here is another LA Weekly piece from John Power about Arnold and the groping:

When the Schwarzengroper story broke in last Friday’s L.A. Times, the candidate promptly adopted the puzzling "Where there’s smoke, there’s fire" defense. (So there’s more?) No matter, the universal awareness of Arnold’s sexual thuggery turned the days before the election into a bad-faith jamboree. Liberals who once defended Bill Clinton were suddenly treating Arnold as Caligula, drawing vast distinctions between a president being rimmed by a dim college-age intern in the Oval Office and a gubernatorial candidate pulling a woman on his lap and asking if she’s ever had a man stick his tongue up her backside. Such a refined moral calculus would bring tears to the eyes of Immanuel Kant.

This doesn’t excuse all those hypocritical Republicans who switched off their usual sanctimony once they saw a chance of their party winning. The same Congressman David Dreier who voted to impeach Bill Clinton not only served as the Schwarzenegger campaign’s co-chairman, he turned up on CNN’s Late Edition to personally vouch for Arnold as a great family man. He was going to win anyway, dude. You didn’t have to sell whatever’s left of your soul.

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 08:38 PM

Democrat Debates

The reason I am not watching the Democrat debates is because I can not stand that much idiocy in such a condensed format. I prefer sound bites, where I can hear the stupids at brief intervals. At any rate, I accidentally flipped through CNN and heard Dick Gephardt condemn Bush for not having "an energy plan that makes us no longer dependent on Middle Eastern oil."

Take a moment, think of the immensity of the stupidity in the statement by itself, then think about the Democrat unwillingness to drill domestically or use nuclear power, and then talk amongst yourselves.

Filed under Democrat Stupidity by John Cole at 07:36 PM

Dumbest Statement of the Week

Taranto said the dumbest thing this week, but here is a close second:

"That same kind of anger and frustration can happen across the country if the economy doesn't improve, if the job situation doesn't improve, if gridlock in Washington continues on major issues," said Leon E. Panetta, a former U.S. House member representing California and White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration. "If I were an incumbent in any office, I would be a lot more nervous today."

Gray Davis's Approval Rating: 27%

George Bush's Approval Rating: 56%

OK, math majors, take a whack at Leon Panetta.

Just as I think it is stupid to say that the recall election now puts California into play for Bush (it might help, a little), it is exceptionally stupid to say that because a very unpopular DEMOCRAT governor is voted out of office it is a sign that Bush is in trouble. How do these people say these things with a straight face?

At any rate, this race was not anti-incumbent- using the word incumbent in the general sense. This race was anti-incumbent in the sense that people were saying "I can not stand the damned scum-sucking car tax raising, lying incumbent Gray Davis." Besides, this wasn't a regular election, and I didn't really view him as an incumbent, per se. The whole election was to recall the bastard outside the general election, so of course there was an ANTI-INCUMBENT sentiment. Jeebus, people.

*** Update ***

It was mentioned in the comments that the press frequently referred to he 1994 Congressional elections (Contract with America elections) as 'anti-incumbent,' even though NOT ONE Republican incumbent lost his/her seat. That is not anti-incumbent, that is anti-Democrat.

Even sillier is the assertion that the only reason the republicans won is because the elections were "anti-Clinton; Gingrich successfully rode a wave of antigay, antitax, and anti-single-payer hysteria into the Speakership." Yes, they were a referendum on Clinton, but it is widely accepted that there was a dramatic re-alignment in the south, the Democrats were in dis-array, we just had Somalia and the Haiti debacles, and Hillary was trying to nationalize Health Care. Gays in the military was a non-issue, and the main reason taxes were an issue (other than always being a staple of a conservative platform) was the outrage over Clinton promising middle class tax cuts in 1992, then promptly beginning to back away from that promise after he secured the election, and then saying he just couldn't figure out how to do it once he took office. In other words, he lied- at the very least according to the lax standards that Democrats are now holding Bush.

The commenter fails to mention the Contract because he may have disliked the policies, but many people didn't, and the GOP did a good job of trying to follow through on their promises, that is why they were not thrown out in 1996. Just because you may dislike history, Democrats, does not mean you can re-write it.

Filed under Democrat Stupidity by John Cole at 05:05 PM

The War on Your Neighbor

Assholes. I really don't have anything else to say.

Filed under War on Drugs by John Cole at 04:27 PM

This Is A Scandal?

This piece in the Opinion Journal is the dumbest non-scandal 'scandal' I have EVER heard about:

In an article on Howard Dean's fund-raising, The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress, offers the interesting revelation that as part of his effort "to maximize his online fundraising punch," Dean has been "paying 'bloggers' or professional Internet surfers to keep the enthusiasm up on his website."

We're all for free enterprise, but this does point up an advantage of "old media" over bloggers. Professional journalists may have their biases, but those of us who work for big-media outfits are bound by codes of ethics under which taking money in exchange for favorable coverage would be a huge no-no. Many bloggers, of course, genuinely are independent commentators, but there's no easy way of knowing which ones are on the take.

Hunh? Here is the article BotW refers to:

Dean has done other things to maximize his online fundraising punch, like reinvesting money into expanding donor lists and paying “bloggers” or professional Internet surfers to keep the enthusiasm up on his website.

Dean aides say their Internet efforts have been so successful because their candidate has been willing to expose the inner workings of his campaign to supporters, similar to the tactic Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) employed when he ran for president in 2000.

I think Mr. Taranto has been drinking, or at least has put on a tinfoil conspiracy hat for the moment. What this means is not that Dean is secretly paying bloggers to pretend to be independent, non-partisan individuals who are really paid to write enthusiastically about Dean. What it means is that Dean's campaign weblog has a paid staff. See- when you walk into a hospital, there may be volunteers doing good deeds. But most of the people working at the hospital will be called 'staff,' and it is customary for employers to PAY THEIR STAFF.

There may be bloggers out there shilling for Dean, but he isn't paying them to do it. Dean is only paying his staff, which I must admit, is WHAT HE IS SUPPOSED TO DO. This is just stupid and silly. Imagine this blurb on the Howard Dean Weblog:

In an article on the Wall Street Journal's ethical standards, The NY Times offers the interesting revelation that as part of their effort "to maximize their online journalistic reach," the Wall Street Journal has been "paying 'writers,' otherwise known as pre-med and pre-engineering majors who couldn't pass Calculus, to write articles for their website."

*** Update ***

Apparently I am not the only one who can read. Oliver posted essentially the same thing I did at almost the same exact time.

*** Update ***

Taranto fixes his mistake, which was pointed out to him by blogger Ed Cone.

Filed under General Stupidity by John Cole at 04:17 PM

Am I Evil?

Am I evil for having immediately thought "Good!" when I heard this news:

Yasser Arafat's gaunt, fragile appearance during last weekend's inauguration of an emergency cabinet for the Palestinian Authority has raised a flurry of speculation over the state of the 74-year-old leader's health. Palestinian officials on Wednesday denied rumors that Arafat had last week suffered a mild heart attack and explained that Arafat has been suffering from a bad case of the flu or an intestinal infection. But according to a source inside the compound, the recent working diagnosis is that Arafat is suffering from stomach cancer. Al-Jazeera TV reported Wednesday that two teams of doctors, one from Jordan and the other from Egypt, arrived in Ramallah Wednesday to treat Arafat. Abu Dhabi TV reported on Thursday that following their examination of the Palestinian leader, the Egyptian doctors "expressed concern" about the state of his health. Neither report specified his condition.

If you said that makes me evil, you are going to hate what I thought next- "I hope it is a really advanced case." And please spare me the "Any loss of human life is a tragedy" nonsense.

TERRORIST. That is what the man is, was, and will always be. A terrorist.

Filed under Foreign Affairs by John Cole at 03:54 PM

Fond Adieu's

Matt Welch is too nice to Gray Davis, and Radley Balko is too nice to Fritz Holling. A hearty boot in the ass to both of them.

Filed under Democrat Stupidity by John Cole at 03:39 PM

Site Maintenance

Mark Kleiman has moved.

Filed under Site Maintenance by John Cole at 02:44 PM

The Most Ethical Administration Ever, Version 2

Who the hell is running this guy's campaign?

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark will give no more paid speeches, the Democratic presidential candidate's spokesman said on Wednesday after the Washington Post reported he may have broken the law by touting his 2004 run for the White House.

The Federal Election Commission prohibits candidates from accepting speaking fees from corporations, labor unions, individuals or universities for campaign-related events.

Since Clark announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sept. 17, he has made several paid speaking appearances on college campuses, but FEC officials said it was unclear whether he had done anything wrong.

"Based on our review of the FEC guidelines, we believe that the paid speeches Gen. Clark delivered since he announced his candidacy were appropriate," campaign spokesman Mark Fabiani said. "From here on, Gen. Clark will give no more paid speeches."

Oh- Mark Fabiani. Exlpains that. I will watch with amusement as some on the right claim this is why Clark should not run for office, which would be absurd. This was, however, seriously stupid. At least he has not signed any last minute $8 million dollar book deal or asked his rich friends to shop for him.

*** Update ***

Daily Kos has more information on the Clark campaign staff.

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 12:02 PM

Holy Jeebus!

Matt Yglesias just praised the Bush administration.

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 11:57 AM

Sports Loyalty

Calpundit links to an article about Walter O'Malley, the man who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to LA, as well as helping to break the color barrier and a number of other important things to help usher in the modern era of baseball. Kevin is shocked that some people might block O'Malley from the Hall of Fame because of a grudge they still hold about him moving the team:

"Walter did a lot of great things for baseball," said Hal Lebovitz, Hall of Fame writer from Ohio. "But I can't vote for him the way I could never vote for Art Modell for the football Hall of Fame. In a way, they were traitors to their cities."

My mother's side of the family grew up in Baltimore, and I can tell you first-hand that Hal Lebovit's sentiments are tame stuff compared to the hatred most people from Baltimore have for former Indiannapolis Colts owner Robert Irsay, who stole the Colts from Baltimore. Here is some background on the move:

The Colts received the first selection in the April 26, 1983 NFL draft and selected Stanford quarterback John Elway. Six days later Irsay pulled the rug under from his own front office and quickly traded Elway to Denver for the Broncos' 1983 first round choice, offensive tackle Chris Hinton, and quarterback Mark Herrmann. Leaving the question as to what might have been in store for Baltimore had they kept Elway under the Horshoe rather than in Denver under the Bronco. Instead, another blunder move by Irsay while Denver acquires a franchise quarterback for the next two decades.

The Colts rebounded in 1983 to go 7-9, the best turnaround ever in the NFL for a winless team. The Colts were 6-4 after week 10 and then went 7-9 on the season. The Chris Hinton acquisition proved temporarily successful as the rookie earned a starting berth at offensive guard for the AFC in the Pro Bowl. The Colts' running game came together as Curtis Dickey and Randy McMillan combined for just shy of 2,000 yards rushing to rank first in the AFC and second in the NFL. They capped their season with a 20-10 victory at home over Houston on December 18 in the season finale.

Few realized it at the time, but that game marked the final time the Colts would play as the home team in Baltimore. In 1984, in the middle of the night, the owner, Robert Irsay, 'snucked' the team out of Baltimore to Indianapolis. (See image, right - one of the last vans to pull out) This was the famous Mayflower incident that left Baltimore without a team, and much controversy and debate that still rages today. Their surroundings changed, the club owned by the Irsays still to this day continues its losing ways.

An entire city was devestated. No team, except for perhaps my Steelers and their rival the Browns (who also endured a similar unpleasantness), identified with their city more than the Colts. Sure, there were still the Orioles, but this was the Colts. My mother was with her brother and my grandmother and grandfather to greet the Colts and and Johnny Unitas when they returned from NY after the 'Greatest Game,' and my mother's family ties to the Colts were typical of those who lived in Baltimore. It was a blue collar town with a deep love for their Colts, and Irsay shattered that.

"Unitas We Stand" was not just some sort of pithy slogan to root for the team, it was part of the core moral and ethical values of the city. Teammate John Mackey referred to playing with Unitas as 'being in the huddle with God.' If Johnny Unitas was God, certainly heaven was Colts football in Baltimore. For those of you who are unaware, during the Greatest Game ever played, the television brodcast briefly went out. For the next 25 years until he died, my grandfather had both a radio and a television tuned to the game in case the television broadcast went out again. It never did, but he would never miss another down of Colts football.

To get an idea how deep the grudges still are about Irsay stealing the Colts:

- It took my mother until Peyton Manning to call the Indiannapolis Colts the 'Colts.' For the previous fifteen years she had referred to them as 'that damned team from Indiannapolis.'

- Along with important family birthdays, deaths, the date the Colts were stolen is still marked on calendars in our household.

- For years my mother woke up in the middle of the night crying because the Colts were no longer in Baltimore.

- The night the Colts were stolen, my mother called my grandmother and said "Thank God daddy is dead and didn't have to live to see this."

- Mayflower moving vans, the moving line used to sneak the Colts out of the city, almost went under in the region. To this day my mother and her friends refuse to even cosider using the corporation.

- When the Colts were moved, the Baltimore Colts marching band rushed off and incorporated. They continued to organize, practice, and play from 1984-1998:

The Baltimore Colts' Band, Inc. continues to operate without a football team. The band performs at 30 NFL football games, 23 CFL (Canadian Football League) games and had the honor of performing at the 1991 Pro-Football Hall of fame enshrinement, parade, pre-game and halftime and receives the first standing ovation for a halftime band in Pro-Football Hall of Fame history.

Fifteen years after the move, they performed for the last time and Became the Baltimore Marching Ravens.

- Baltimore magazine continues to reference Rob Irsay, barely containing their disgust.

- In a poll in Baltimore magazine (which my mom still gets) last year, the following question was asked:

"Who is your favorite Baltimorean, living or dead?"

The #1 response- "Bob Irsay, because he is dead."

So no, Kevin, I don't Lebovitz's statement is crazy at all. In fact, for my mother, I will leave you with a song:

Let's go you Baltimore Colts

And put that ball across the line,

So, drive on you Baltimore Colts -

Go in and strike like lightning bolts,

Fight, fight, fight,

Rear up you Colts and let's fight -

Crash through and show them your might -

For Baltimore and Maryland -

You will march on to victory.

- - - by Jo Lombardi & Benjamin Klasmer

Filed under Sports by John Cole at 11:46 AM

Didn't Know THis

I find this shocking:

Democrats have big majorities in California because of favourable redistricting and because most voters favour their liberal positions on abortions and guns. And the news media provide little coverage of state politics and government: none of the Los Angeles or San Francisco television stations has a bureau in Sacramento, the state capital where Schwarzenegger will reign from.

The news director of one LA station once told me: "I suppose if anything happens up there, we could send up a crew for the day." Viewers were thought to be more interested in car chases and crime scenes.

Even in my rinky-dink little WV, we get rather thorough and complete coverage of state politics, and there are also indy rags like the Graffiti, as well as NPR. This will make all the NPR haters cringe, but our public radio really is fantastic here in WV. Yes, it has a leftward tilt, but the quality of porgramming and the variety is amazing.

Filed under General Stupidity by John Cole at 11:10 AM

October 08, 2003

Scalzi's Analysis

John Scalzi has a long and fun screed up about the recall, and I would recommend you take a look at it. I am not going to join him in beating up the California voters (four years of Davis and then a choice between Simon and Davis- haven't they suffered enough?), but I do think he is right about some points, not surprisingly, the points I have mentioned previously that I found objectionable about the recall process:

Yes, Gray Davis was unpopular. That's what you get when you don't vote, people. You want your leaders to reflect your interests, haul your whiny asses to the polls on a regular basis.

The very worst thing about this recall election is that it solidifies the concept of the permanent political campaign, with the focus on running for a position rather than the running of the government. Every vote for the recall was a vote for office-holders needing even more money to run their political organizations, money which will inevitably come from special interests and corporations, making the political process even more opaque to the needs of citizens than it already is. Every vote for the recall is a vote that signals that politicians can't vote their consciences, on the rare occasion they have one, for fear of some excitable group deciding that it just can't wait for the normal election cycle to boot their asses out. Every vote for the recall is a vote for short-attention-span government, one that inevitably trends towards the "bread-and-circuses" aspect of the political discourse, rather than the aspect that deals with long-term issues in a serious way.

So, to wrap things up: If you voted for the recall, you might have thought you were voting to boot Gray Davis out of office. But that's because you're a moron, easily distracted by sparkly lights and shiny objects. You were really voting to let small, inherently undemocratic groups run your state all the time, forever. The fact that you thought you were doing the former when in fact you were doing the latter suggests that you would have been more helpful in the governance of your state by hurling yourself off the Golden Gate Bridge and smacking into the bay below with a nice, bone-powdering swack. In addition to clearing out four million bottom-feeders from an already-overpopulated state, California might still have a government still nominally beholden to voters, instead of through special-interest control by mob rule proxy. Good job.

While I disagree that this was undemocratic (it followed all the procedures set up within the California Constitution), the CA recall as written is a deeply flawed piece of work. A quick note to Californians- change this. However, he is absolutely right about this instituting the so-called permanent campaign. I am fearful that this will be the beginning of six month administrations (although it should be noted only four states have a form of recall), but it is most certainly going to poison the climate. With jackasses like McAuliffe and Mulholland running around, you can be sure of it:

California Democrat Party state spokesman Bob Mulholland said his party is giving Arnold Schwarzenegger just 100 days before a new recall effort may be launched.

Mulholland made his threat on Fox News Tuesday night after polls closed and major press outlets declared Arnold Schwarzenegger the winner.

On Tuesday, Gray Davis declined to refute reports that he may back a new recall effort against Schwarzenegger.

Already press reports indicate that Democrats have $3 million prepared for a new recall effort.

Also, Hollywood billionaire Stephen Bing has promised to finance any Democratic-backed recall effort.

Yippee! We get to do this all over again. Fortunately, the Democrats will need to give him more than 100 days, as the law gives him a six month grace period- but you get the point. In his screed, Scalzi blames the usual suspects for this recall:

Californians, boy, did you ever get played, you dumb-ass losers. This was, at its root, one of the most flagrantly un-democratic (small "d") elections in the history of the United States, and you followed the script as if you were giggling, squealing paid extras. The recall was bought and paid for by one guy and orchestrated by a few zealots with an extremely narrow agenda, and both these parties were more than happy to push your emotional buttons to get you to do what they wanted you to do, which was boot the current and conventionally-elected office-holder for a chance to install someone more amenable to their own interests. Florida 2000 paranoids aside, this is the closest thing to a coup we've had in the country, and you swallowed it like it was a tasty treat. It's sickening, really.

Scalzi is partially right, in a sense- it is the GOP to blame. But not the 'cabal' of 'conspirators' the tin-foil hat crowd likes to throw around. The people who are really to blame are all the people are a group of influential California GOP party men, led by George Deukmejian, who killed Dick Riordan's primary race by denouncing the man, stating they had no respect for the man, and essentially writing Gray Davis's commercials. It was clear to anyone with a brain that someone like Bill Simon would NEVER be elected, yet the CA GOP marched along in lockstop, choosing the right to marginalized ideological purity over the right to govern. Hell, Richard Bennet had an ongoing theme about this titled the Republican Death March.

Fortunately for the state of California, do-overs are allowed, some in the GOP grew up enough to realize that a pro-choice moderate Republican was better than Gray Davis, as did the rest of the electorate. Simon dropped out early, McClintock ran a respectable, principled, and decent campaign, and Arnold was able to carry the day.

This is the main reason that I think all of the triumphalism about California being in play for 2004 is rather absurd. There was no tectonic shift in the political stances of the majority of Californians. This was an anti-Davis vote, and Arnold is a moderate, palatable candidate. Let's be clear about one thing- this was not, as some might say, an anti-incumbent vote. This was an anti-Davis vote. Has everyone forgotten what Davis's friends thought about him?

Gray is a friend of mine, but Gray has really given a bad name to being moderate, because Gray really isn't a moderate. Gray is kind of a, you know, this kind of guy who polls for the answer. ... There's not much that Gray stands for -- and I like Gray personally -- but Gray doesn't stand for anything. That's his problem politically right now. You know, Gray stands for Gray. And so, as something moves forward, his calculus is not 'What do I feel in my gut or my heart?' His calculus is 'What sounds good? What polls good? I don't wanna make a mistake that could cost me politically.' But when you do that, you get just what he got. I mean, which is, in his effort to be risk-averse, you end up with the biggest risk, where ultimately nobody feels shit about you. I mean even the articles that try to say we don't like the recall, none of them have good things to say about Gray. ...

Had Rirodan run the first time around this recall would never have happened. But does this put California in play for Bush? Let's not be silly. Oliver seems to think the reason the GOP will not win in 2006 is because there will be no other celebrity to run. He is wrong. If the GOP loses in 2006, it is because either Arnold was a failure or because they will nominate another candidate like Simon, a person that mad even the most outspoken Davis critics cringe.

Maybe the GOP will learn. I doubt it. Arnold really does represent the new breed of Republicans (at least he claims to hold positions like most of the Republicans I know- think libertarian lite), but the California primary voters continue to select candidates who we be immensely popular Governors- in Alabama.

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 09:24 PM

Cruzin' for a Bruisin'

According to the California Secretary of State, it is pretty clear that Arnold has won in a landslide, and that is not even counting the million or so absentee ballots (which are unimportant because the margin is so big it can not be overcome). Here are the numbers as of right now:

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Rep - 3,624,154 - 48.3%

Cruz M. Bustamante - Dem - 2,400,264 - 32.0%

Tom McClintock - Rep - 996,968 - 13.3%

As of right now, that means approximately 61.6% of the voters chose a Republican candidate, and the left is already spinining this as meaningless. Oliver Willis, fresh off the Democrat defeat, states rather confidently:

Unless Arnold works a miracle, the next governor will be a Democrat and the state will remain firmly in the hands of the Democrats, alleged 60% GOP notwithstanding.

I am not sure how he concluded that, but I will agree that if Arnold turns out to be as bad a governor as Davis, his time in office will indeed be short.

Other attempts to deligitimize the election have come in various forms. Atrios is blaming the media:

Anyway, I had optimistically predicted that Davis would survive. I based that on one major premise - that after about a month or so, the media would stop with the Access Hollywood coverage of Arnold and actually point out his ties to Pete Wilson, Enron, etc...

Of course, I was wrong. They're a lazy bunch of SOBs, and if they can point a camera at a Nurembourg rally and call it news, they're going to do it. I knew Arnold would have untold hours of free media on AM radio, etc... but I actually made the mistake of thinking the respectable news media would eventually realize they had a responsibility.

Typical Atrios- he has it bass-ackward again. The media does hold a lot of responsibility for Arnold's win, but the real truth to how the media helped appears to have been recognized by Jeralynn Merrit at TalkLeft (who always seems to have a nose for the high road):

Finally, we're glad the smear campaign failed. It was irrelevant, trash politics. We're glad he won. Congratulations, Arnold, you earned this. We wish you good luck and hope you accomplish great things for California. And we hope you thank your lucky stars every night that you have Maria by your side.

Jeralynn nails it- the voters rejected the sleazy, corrupt, and incompetent Gray Davis, and they rejected the smear campaigns that were his hallmark. As Henry Hanks noted in the form of pictures, not only was Gray Davis recalled, so was the LA Times and their cronies in the California Democrat leadership who orchestrated the smears.

Senior Democratic strategists knew the particulars of last Thursday’s L.A. Times exposé on Arnold Schwarzenegger well in advance of the story’s publication, the Weekly has learned from well-informed sources. This knowledge came not only in advance of publication but also before anyone outside a close circle at the Times knew of the story’s timing and particulars.

While the Times insists that its reporting uncovered the allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Schwarzenegger, there can be no doubt that advance knowledge of the story was very helpful to Governor Gray Davis’ efforts to retain his office in the recall election.

In other words- voters reject the Democrat game of last minute smears and politics as usual. It was all there again for them, laid out just like it was in 2000 and 2002- no matter how many times you call the GOP candidate stupid, no matter how much you rummage through their trash and try to smear them, if you keep up with the same old song and dance and put forth inferior candidates, you will lose. Clearly this message has failed to reach Terry McAuliffe, who despite his ties to Hollywood and the music industry remains politically tone deaf:

'People are very angry at the course of our nation. People are worried about their jobs, their health insurance, they are taking it out on Gray Davis, and they will take it out on George Bush, too.'

If the DNC chairman wants to interpret these results as a referendum on Bush, fine. However, he is a touch misguided. Voters recognize which party controlled Sacramento, and they threw the bums out. I was against the recall for principles I have stated repeatedly and will not go into again, but attempts to claim this was Republican foulplay and 'unconstitutional' are ridiculous- and if they pay attention to nothing else, the DNC should look at the exit polling and how women, the Hispanic community, and the Independents voted. They might learn something, but I am not counting on it.

One thing should be crystal clear to the Democrats, but it will probably be lost in the anger that is now their hallmark. An attempt to recall Arnold will be met with vicious fury from the voters, who have had enough of the status quo, theyo had had enough with Davis, and are now willing to give Arnold a chance. Democrats are already ramping up the fraud claims, with Jesse Jackson assuming his typical role of public nuisance:

"This election was held in a very short time and election officials may not have been adequately prepared to deal with the high voter turnout in some areas," said Greg Moore, who directs the National Voter Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "We are concerned about the fairness of the recall election."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said the election should be challenged in court because voters were disenfranchised when polling places were removed from many neighborhoods, especially in minority areas. Jackson said universities in particular were left out, noting that UCLA went from five polling places to zero.

"That disenfranchises students en masse," Jackson said Tuesday after an appearance with Davis. "It disenfranchises the 18-year-olds in much bigger numbers. Much bigger than the chad issue."

Worse than Florida, according to the righteous Reverend (All future references to Democrats who follow Jesse's line on this sort of nonsense will be referred to as 'Jessecrats,' a term coined by Matt Stinson). I guess he should tell that to the almost 5 million people who voted for the GOP, and that is without the absentee ballots. This was the people's will, and true to form, when the people's will goes against the Democrats, something must be wrong. It is also important to note, that at this time, without the absentee count completed, Arnold's 3.6 million votes already exceeds the 3.4 million that Gray Davis received in 2002- so much for mass disenfranchisement.

Calpundit initially tried to strike a conciliatory note in an attempt to save the Democrats from themselves:

This is one time that we should accept defeat graciously and turn our attention to more important things. Remember, anger is only useful if it's focused and channeled on something worthwhile, and recalling Arnold isn't it. Let's not blow it.

Do something constructive with your anger- sounds like a good idea. Like maybe some introspection, some ideas, and a positive message? However, after a night's sleep, Calpundit regresses back to trait that seems so prevalent within the party of Clinton- anger:

As for Arnold, I suspect that he won't do any harm and may even do some good. I didn't vote for the guy, and I thought he ran a dishonest and deceptive campaign, but at the same time he's not an ideologue and he's not a crusader. For the good of the state, I'm willing to give him a chance. We'll deliver a verdict on his performance in 2006.

One reason that Schwarzenegger isn't likely to do a lot of harm — or a lot of good — is that it was never the governor's office that was the real problem anyway...

Deceptive and dishonest, but unlike most Republicans, he appears relatively harmless. I breathlessly await Mr. Drum's verdict in 2006, but it appears Arnold is facing a hanging jury. Kevin continues:

The California recall is just the latest in a lengthening string of Republican power grabs that reveal the cankered soul at the head of the Republican party these days. Even leaving aside Florida 2000, we've seen unprecedented mid-decade redistrictings in both Colorado and Texas; campaigns that compare Democrats directly to Osama bin Laden; an indecent and truly morally bereft performance following Paul Wellstone's death; the end of the traditional blue slip rule for judicial nominees in the Senate — because control of both houses of Congress and the White House and most of the judiciary isn't enough for them; and the Valerie Plame affair, a scandal that, I think, is truly an "At long last sir, have you no decency?" moment.

And now this. Fighting Arnold or trying to recall him is hopeless, and we should forget about it. A recall would fail, it would engender a big backlash among California voters who are tired of the circus, and it would make the Democratic party look like obstructionists and crybabies.

But this has got to stop. We should be mad as hell over what's happening, and we do need to be willing to fight every bit as nasty as the Republican leadership is obviously willing to fight. It's pretty obvious they simply don't understand any other language.

Anger, anger, anger. Treachery, trickery, cheating, deception, and voter disenfranchisement is the only way those evil Republicans can win. We were screwed! The left is now in downward spiral, and I don't see them recovering soon. They say that Arnold offered no specifics- but the voters seemed to not care. When I go to the doctor with a broken bone, I don't want a step by step analysis in medical jargon explaining the monumental minutae of making me healthy. I want the overall idea. I want a positive message and an overall goal, not dire predictions, anger, threats, and pomises that no matter what my doctor does, he would be better than the Republican doctor. Republican doctors just don't care.

And on and on it goes, without the Democrats learning a lick. If you don't believe my analysis, study the rhetoric of the 9 dwarves trying to unseat Bush. He is a miserable failure, this is the worst economy since the greatest depression, the world hates us, Iraq is a quagmire, Bush is stupid, Bush is a liar, neo-cons are running the White House. In other words, just like Gray Davis, they have no reason to vote for them, but they have lots of reasons why you should vote against Bush. Give them a microphone and they sing you a tune. Unfortunately for the Democrats, this works for the base. Howard Dean's singular message of anger, that it is time to take back our country, appeals to the emotions demonstrated by the Democrats I have linked to and quoted here.

In other words, it is the same old song and dance from the Democrats. Fortunately, the rest of the country ain't singing along, and we may be witnessing the Democrats go the way of the Macarena.

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 12:08 PM

October 07, 2003

Here We Go Again

If outrage was oil, the Calpundit would be OPEC. Not to pick on Kevin twice in one day, but his post just goes to show what a no win situation the President is in with when it comes to hyper-partisan Democrats. Apparently, Kevin has a real problem with this statement from Bush:

"I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official," Bush said. "I don't have any idea. I'd like to. I want to know the truth."

But, Bush said, "This is a large administration and there's a lot of senior officials."

Sayeth Kevin:

Noted without comment. It just takes your breath away, doesn't it?

Yes, it just leaves me breathless. Well, not at all. I guess this is the second Act in the Valerie Plame Opera- the immensely popular first Act was titled "Bush Doesn't Care." I guess we can name the second Act "I'm so Stunned I'm Speechless, with the popular arais called "Breathtaking" and "Unbelievable."

In all seriousness, though, the reason it is amusing watching Kevin and other's faux fumings is because there is NOTHING Bush can say that they wouldn't raise a hissy fit about. For example, what if the President had stated:

"I have complete faith that Attorney General Ashcroft and the DOJ will find out who is behind this leak."

Here would be the possible reactions Kevin would have:

1.) "He knows who leaked and isn't telling us. Remember, parsing words is everything with Bush- he is telling us that he knows and it is up to Ashcroft to find out, and he isn't goingto help him."

2.) "He is a figurehead who doesn't even read the newspapers and he has no control of his administration. The neocons are running the show. He really doesn't know who leaked this."

3.) "He is shifting the topic to caring about the leak, and not addressing that a FELONY has been committed because a CIA agent has been outed." (Oops- they have already stated this one).

4.) "He is so smug and confident because he knows that Ashcroft is going to do the cover-up for him- we need a special prosecutor."

I could go on and on- but I don't have to. I'll just save my time and wait for the next Plame update from Kevin on the West Coast. You can almost guarantee there will be some pretty damning anti-Bush tea-leave reading within the next 6-8 hours. The newest one makes me giggle- they are outraged the White House Counsel is going to make sure no National Security secrets are accidentally released in the document turnover- HOW OUTRAGEOUS. Mark Kleiman states:

All those documents concerning the Wilson trip and conversations about it that White House staff has been ordered to come up with by tomorrow at 5 p.m. will not be going to the Justice Department. No, they're going to White House Counsel -- that is, to the lawyers for the President, who must be considered a likely suspect, at least as a co-conspirator or accessory.

Co-Conspirators! Accessories! In order for them to be co-consipirators, then Bush would have to have been the leak or have known who was leaking ahead of time or given the go-ahead. But in the world of Mark Kleiman, charges precede evidence. And to soud no-partisan, he puts in this laugher:

Note that I am not accusing Alberto Gonzales of any unethical conduct here.

Nothing unethical- just a co-conspirator to a felony, as well as felony obstruction of justice. But nothing unethical. Snicker.

Filed under General Stupidity by John Cole at 09:56 PM

Please

This is just getting absurd. Kevin Drum and others are now claiming that the reorganization of the Iraq and Afghanistan reconstruction/occupation is a sign of failure. Says Kevin:

So we've tried the Pentagon, we've tried the State Department, and now we're going to try the White House. What's next if that doesn't work?

I guess that is why all the Democrats were screaming in unison "What is the plan? There is no Plan!!!" Clearly, there was to be one and only one approach to the situation, and any shifting of priorities, response to events on the ground, or reaction to past failures and successes should be viewed through a narrow partisan lens as nothing more than a failure.

Get real.

Filed under General Stupidity by John Cole at 10:59 AM

Gone and Forgotten

My premature proclamation about Graham was just that- premature. He is now officially out of the race.

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 10:37 AM

Wow.

I was pretty damned depressed by the disgusting showing from the Steelers vs. the Browns on Sunday night, but if I were a Bucs fan I would be suicidal after that Colts comeback. They seem to be handling it well, though.

Just to clear something up- I hear a lot of people grousing about the Simeon Rice call at the end of the game that gave the Colts a second shot. First, the Bucs did not deserve to lose the game after that hideous letdown (21 pts in five minutes- c'mon). Second, by rule, the call on the field was correct:

16. A defender who takes a running start from beyond the line of scrimmage in an attempt to block a field goal or point after touchdown and lands on players at the line of scrimmage.

As my brother stated, you can argue that the rule is stupid (ala the 'no-fumble' rule that cost the Raiders vs. the Patriots two years ago), but the call on the field was correct. He ran several yards, jumped, and landed on people- precisely the definition of leaping.

Filed under Sports by John Cole at 10:32 AM

October 05, 2003

Now There is An Answer!

Tom Friedman has been savaged the last couple of months by theleft, generally because he hadwandered off the plantation and made sense in a few of his essays. Today, feet placed firmly in the liberal cottonfield, he comes up with a doozy: a gas tax increase, despite the fact that this would be horribly regressive and could quite possibly kill the economic recovery in the crib:

Let's have a $1 a gallon gasoline tax and call it the "Patriot Tax." We could use the revenue it would raise — about $110 billion a year — to finance the entire reconstruction of Iraq, with plenty left for other good works.

Here's the logic: The two things OPEC hates most are falling oil prices and gasoline taxes — and the Patriot Tax would promote both. The reason that OPEC hates gasoline taxes is that if anyone is going to benefit from higher prices at the pump, OPEC wants it to be OPEC, not the consuming countries. It drives OPEC crazy that the Europeans pay roughly twice as much per gallon as Americans do, because their governments slap on so many taxes.

A $1 a gallon gasoline tax, phased in, would not only be a huge revenue generator (even with tax rebates to ease the burden on low-income people, farmers and truckers) but also a huge driver of conservation and reduced oil imports. Not only would it mean less money for Saudi Arabia to transfer to Wahhabi clerics to spread their intolerant brand of Islam around the world, but it would radically improve America's standing in Europe, where we are resented for being the world's energy hog.

Tax increases cure EVERYTHING!

Filed under General Stupidity by John Cole at 01:08 PM

Interesting

Did you know that you could get to the NY Times with just the url http://times.com ? I have always used nytimes.com. Cool.

Filed under Media by John Cole at 01:02 PM

Bush Doesn't Care

Some context for the "Bush Doesn't Care" crew:

Novak is the perfect receptacle for such a leak. An old-time Washington insider known for his gruff manner, black suits, conservative leanings and love of Washington intrigue, Novak has been jokingly called “the Prince of Darkness.” At first, Novak told reporters from Newsday, “I didn’t dig it out, it was given to me.” But after the story blew up, Novak played down the leak, saying that Plame’s CIA identity was revealed to him “in passing,” and that he thought she was an analyst, not an undercover agent. Before printing her name, he checked with a CIA spokesman, who made only mild objections, according to Novak.

Plame was, in fact, an NOC (“nonofficial cover”)—a deep-cover agent posing as an energy consultant as she traveled abroad. Exposing her was not a trivial matter. It ended Plame’s career as a secret agent, blew the cover of her energy business and put every foreigner she had ever dealt with at risk. Identifying an undercover agent is a federal offense.

At the time, a few reporters and lawmakers raised a fuss. Newsday reporters Timothy Phelps and Knut Royce quoted an indignant Wilson as saying, “It’s a shot across the bow to these people, that if you talk we’ll take your family and drag them through the mud as well.” Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia called the disclosure of Plame’s identity “vile” and a “highly dishonorable thing to do.” But most news organizations ignored the story, and it seemed to fade away. Leak investigations often lumber slowly along before petering out. Government lawyers have to fill out forms asserting that the information was true and damaging to national security. It was only two weeks ago that the CIA finally got around to formally asking the Justice Department to investigate the leak blowing Plame’s cover.

I just guess it makes some on the left feel good to say "Bush doesn't care."

Filed under General Stupidity by John Cole at 12:44 PM

(R)nold

According to the Calpundit:

We're now up to 15 women who say Arnold "fondled, spanked or touched them" between 1979 and 2000. I guess before long it's going to be easier just to list the women who aren't on Arnold's list.

According to my caclulations from the lessons learned during the Clinton years, Arnold is approximately one rape charge away from a NOW endorsement.

*** Update ***

In fact, even during their breathless condemnations of Arnold, they invoke the memory of Clinton, yet fail to see the irony:

For the charges to sway the recall at this late date, it will take more than the ad campaign being mounted by women's groups. Politicians and the press would have to treat the story as a major scandal with potentially devastating consequences for California, the nation, morality and Western civilization. One wonders what would happen if even a fraction of the energy expended on Bill Clinton's sex scandals was applied to Mr. Schwarzenegger.

I wonder what would happen, too. Would the author of this piece endorse him as she did Clinton? How about the author's editor, Katrina van den Heuvel? What about Patty Ireland, former NOW President, who shilled for Clinton for 8 years?

BTW- there is one difference between Arnold and Clinton- people actually brought charges against Clinton, providing him all sorts of opportunities to perjure himself.

Filed under Politics by John Cole at 12:38 PM

October 04, 2003

Chicago

I just saw Chicago, and, well- it was great. Well worth the two hours, and I was shocked by the performances of Renee Zellweger and John Reilly. And, of course, it has Queen Latifah, who I think is the female Snoop Dogg- anything she does is cool.

Also- the Press Conference/marionette ('We Both Reached For the Gun') scene is about the best ten minutes of movie ever made. I just loved that.

Filed under Movies by John Cole at 05:57 PM


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