Nasty, Brutish & Short

National Politics Archives

God Bless Texas

July 11, 2008 09:50 AM

No reason.  I just like the picture.

Local WASP Curtis Sittenfeld to Publish "Thinly Veiled Novel" About Laura Bush

July 7, 2008 02:21 PM

How thinly veiled?  This thinly veiled:

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck. So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.

Radar has more scoop, and it's even worse than you might expect:

On the heels of two best-selling books, (Prep, The Man of My Dreams), young, Iowa-trained [ed.  Cincinnati-bred, her sister was in my class at Seven Hills, her dad Paul, is a principal at Baird] author Curtis Sittenfeld is about to release her most controversial book yet—a thinly veiled novel based on Laura Bush's life that is sure to send the White House into a fury.

According to Radar, the book describes "Alice's" trip to get an abortion administered by her grandmother's lesbian lover.  Since it's a "novel," you see, it doesn't have to be true. 

Here's another repulsive tidbit: It also describes "Alice" having sex with the brother of the boy she killed.  Now Laura Bush was in a teenage car accident that took the life of a friend of hers.  But of course, there's no evidence she had a relationship with the dead friend's brother, much less did this:

[H]e pushed me back against the mattress, straddled me, and leaned forward to roll his face between my breasts, pressing them against his cheeks and licking my nipples, his stubble rubbing not unpleasantly against my skin, and the more he grabbed and thrashed, the more the grabbing and thrashing seemed to stir rather than satisfy his desire. He pulled off my pants and underwear at the same time—I was wearing blue jeans, and he had to unbutton and unzip them first—and then I was naked except for my socks, which were white with lace trim. He tugged me upward and flipped me over, and when he said, 'No, you have to be on your knees,' it was the first time either of us had spoken in several minutes.

As far as thinly veiled novels go, I'd say this is clearly in the despicable camp.  It least Kitty Kelly used real names when she was making shit up, Curtis.

I expect the Seven Hills alumni mag will produce a fawning review.  I saw that because my expectations of my alma mater are so pathetically low.  Perhaps the book will be too awful, even for their standards.  But I doubt it.

UPDATE: Yes, I realize that for some inexplicable, blogospheric reason, you can't comment on this post.  I don't know why.  Sorry.

McCain shakes up campaign to reassure base...

July 2, 2008 01:28 PM

...trouble is, he's still confused about what his base is.  From Politico:

One source familiar with the inner workings of McCain's campaign said that the move came after a sluggish ramp-up to the general and number of unforced errors had left the candidate, senior staff and elected officials unhappy with the state of the campaign.  

"This will help reassure the chattering class in D.C.," said the source.

Oh good.  That'll get him elected.  I'm waiting for the chattering class in D.C. to start going door-to-door or working phone banks for McCain any minute now.  Especially here in Southern Ohio, where he sorely needs the help.  Not many locals are signing up, I can assure you.  Let's fly in those chattering D.C. people.  Heck, they've been reassured.  All it takes to win Ohio is reassured chattering D.C. people. 

McCain 12 points behind; only 58% of the conservative base is supporting him

June 24, 2008 09:41 PM

That's per an L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll.  Apparently he's relying on the old "they'll have nowhere else to go" myth.  Because he sure isn't trying to appeal to the base himself.  I was at a Young Republicans meeting last night, and the poor guy from the McCain campaign tried to make a pitch for help.  He couldn't have been more ignored by the party regulars.  They just aren't interested.

I felt sorry for the poor kid, even as I briefly thought about pointing out to him that his candidate shouldn't be turning to us for help until his candidate stops stabbing us in the back (the global warming tour being the latest example of this).  But I didn't say anything.  It's not his fault. 

His boss may learn.  But it may come too late.  There is no way a Republican can win if he's only getting 58% of the conservative vote.  We're the ones who do all the work to get the candidates elected.  Have you ever seen a moderate work a phone bank?  Go door to door?  No.  Not in their nature.

And he just can't write off that many votes.  10% yes.  Maybe even 30%.  But 58%?  The math just doesn't work.

Will Smith appeals to original intent to get us to rally 'round Obama

June 23, 2008 04:59 PM

No seriously, he really did.  Here he is being interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today show (which after this interview they should just go ahead and rename "Dumb and Dumber"):

LAUER: Do you think people can't get behind America led by John McCain?

SMITH: You know I just, there, there are, there are certain ideas that I believe Barack stands for that are fundamental that the forefathers of this country wrote down on paper that we're all supposed to pay attention to, we're not supposed to ignore it and do what we want to do 'cause we have different ideas. And I believe just at his core the, that those ideas just they, they just come of his pores. And I'm, I'm excited to support him.

Yep, that's it.  Obama will put us back on the Founder's Path!  He's just oozing James Madison.  Out of his pores!  Was that flop sweat?  No, it was the Federalist No. 10.

Meanwhile, over at Politico we learn how wonderful Obama was.  As editor of the Harvard Law Review.  This headline made me snort at its ridiculousness:

Obama Kept Law Review Balanced

The sub-head:

Mostly liberal publication ran progressive pieces alongside ones from a Reagan official and a right-wing judge.

Another snort.  What are we supposed to think, that his administration will be a conservative happy land because he published an article written by a Reagan official and right wing judge?  Is the point that Obama was sooooo brave for printing articles by conservative scholars?

The pretentiousness (and the utter untruth) of this passage made me snort a third time:

In Obama's time, as it is today, the Harvard Law Review was one of the most important and distinguished legal publications in the world. Founded in 1887, it is the rare self-supporting legal publication compiled and edited completely by students, typically those attending their second or third year at the prestigious school.

The Harvard Law Review is not even a remotely important legal publication.  No law review is.  Lawyers rarely, if ever, read law review articles.  And if you cite to one in a brief it is highly suspect.  Judges frown on it.  It's kind of like, "What else have you got?  Any actual case law?"  Why cite to some professor's personal or political agenda?  That's what they all are. 

Also, pretty much every law review I am aware of is "compiled and edited completely by students."  That does not make them great, it just makes them possible.  They're basically just vehicles academics use to advance their careers by "getting published," courtesy of indentured servants working for a future pay off (a highly profitable line for their resumes). 

And yes, I have that line on my resume.  What did we run articles on during my law review days?  I don't know, and I don't care.  You just suck it up and work on them.  No one pays the slightest bit of attention to what they are actually about.  In law school, you don't have time to care, and I'm sure Obama didn't.

But lets not let these facts get in the way of talking about how Obama was such a great law review editor.  He let two conservatives get articles past his desk.  Nobless oblige!

The Party Leadership We Deserve?

May 12, 2008 03:38 PM

Ready to get depressed?  The House Republicans have a new slogan that is obviously a reaction to Obama's nebulous calls for "change."  The slogan is, dum dum DUM: "Change You Deserve."

Actually that drumroll should be "dumb dumb DUMB."  You know they paid a consultant a ton of money to come up with it, and it's not even that great. 

And even worse, it turns out that "Change You Deserve" is already the registered advertising slogan of Effexor XR-- which treats "depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in adults."  It's common side effects are nausea, apathy, constipation, fatigue, vertigo, sexual dysfunction, sweating, memory loss, and "electric shock-like sensations also called 'brain zaps.'"

Maybe it's what we should all be on to get us through the McCain candidacy?  I know I've already got the nausea and the apathy, and Bob Dole--our last truly horrible nominee--can help with the worst of the rest of the side effects.  He'll hook you up, I hear.  And they say we don't have a prescription drug plan.

Ohio, the Bleeding Heart of it All

May 5, 2008 05:00 PM

Wasn't that our state slogan at some point?  It was something along those lines.  Anyway, here's a story about the late Senator Metzenbaum that brought back fond memories of my grandmother.  How can that be?  Well, my grandmother absolutely despised Howard Metzenbaum.  And this article from the Wall Street Journal would have made her fume all the more:

Former Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum, who died in March at age 90, was an ultraliberal as a politician but also a savvy and very rich businessman. Before going to Washington in 1976, he had made a fortune on parking lots.

As a three-term Democrat, he made his reputation in Washington by attacking big business and fighting anything that even hinted of deregulation. His attacks against Clarence Thomas in 1991 prompted a famous retort from the future Supreme Court Justice: "God is my judge, Mr. Metzenbaum, not you."

But we come today not to judge the late Senator, only to praise him for one last act of personal financial acumen. Though a lifelong Ohioan, the Senator moved to Florida in 2002, according to a declaration of domicile filed with the Broward County Clerk's office in 2003. In doing so, he avoided paying his home state's income tax (top rate: 6.55%).

More important as he neared the end of his life, the former Senator also saved his family from paying Ohio's death tax, which features one of the highest state rates (7%) and lowest asset thresholds – $338,333 – in the country. Florida famously has no income or estate tax, which is one reason other than the climate that it is home to so many northern-born retirees.

Howard Metzenbaum thus denied the state in which he lived most of his life a parting financial gift. But he has at least provided the rest of us with a teaching moment in tax policy. If a liberal lion like Metzenbaum is willing to relocate late in life to avoid his state's death tax, maybe living politicians in Ohio will better understand how their confiscatory tax laws are driving its citizens to warmer climes.

Thanks for nothing, Senator.  The only thing that's nice about this is that Clarence Thomas was Senator Metzenbaum's Justice for the last seventeen years, and God is his Judge now.  Everything else makes you want to throw up your hands in despair. 

And speaking of despair: Did you know there are actually business owners in Cincinnati who "live" in Florida, have their families living in Ohio, and who actually go spend the night across the river in Northern Kentucky for X number of nights per year?  You have to be out of the State for enough nights per year to keep the Ohio taxman at bay.  I have clients do it all the time.  Keep your receipts, we tell them.  The government has to know where you sleep at night. 

HT: WMD

The Obama v. Clinton Cage Match

April 29, 2008 10:52 AM

Why didn't someone think of this sooner?   Thank you, New York Post

I can't get the Hillary character to hit below the belt, though.  It would be much more authentic if she could hit below the belt.

Wherein I say something positive about Barack Obama; He's not going to give out "Street Money" in Philadelphia

April 11, 2008 08:53 AM

What's "street money"?  Per the L.A. Times, it is:

"[A] long-standing Philadelphia ritual in which candidates deliver cash to the city's Democratic operatives in return for getting out the vote.

Flush with payments from well-funded campaigns, the ward leaders and Democratic Party bosses typically spread out the cash in the days before the election, handing $10, $20 and $50 bills to the foot soldiers and loyalists who make up the party's workforce.

It is all legal -- but Obama's people are telling the local bosses he won't pay.

If that is legal, it is appalling.  But for the Dems in Philly, it's just how things are done:

Obama's posture confounds neighborhood political leaders sympathetic to his cause. They caution that if the senator from Illinois withholds money that gubernatorial, mayoral and presidential candidates have willingly paid out for decades, there could be defections to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. And the Clinton campaign, in contrast, will oblige in forking over the money, these ward leaders predict.

Who's not surprised the Clintons don't have a problem with this?  Anyone?

Another non-surprise?  John Kerry didn't have a problem with it either.  He paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in "street money" in Philadelphia in 2004.

The locals are hoping Obama will give in before next week's primary in PA.  You know.  For his own sake:

With a week and a half left before the election, political leaders hope that Obama will relent.

Garry Williams, a ward leader based in north-central Philadelphia, said that he had not heard directly that the Obama campaign was withholding money. But he said payment would be needed. Workers who are in the field for Obama on April 22 will put in days stretching from 12 to 16 hours, he said.

"It's our tradition," Williams said. "You don't come to someone's house and change the rules of someone's house. That's just respect."

No, it's just corrupt.  If Obama can bring an end to it, kudos to him. 

Is the Secretary of State taking on the "Limbaugh Effect"?

March 6, 2008 02:29 PM

And if so, to what ends?

From the Enquirer's Politics Extra:

Brunner's staff has begun to call counties to find out how many crossover voters there were and how many 10x forms were filled out by pollworkers if someone switches parties within two years.

"Once we start to gather the figures of what rate of crossover was, then we can start to dig into . . .what some of the motivations were."

Why is she digging into what some of the motivations were?  How is that an appropriate area of concern?

And what about this?

She does plan to ask counties for statistics and details on voters who signed forms attesting that they switched political parties.

Gathering statistics doesn't concern me.  Gathering "details on voters" does. 

Is she going to also look at the McCain Effect from 2000?  That was when Democrats in Ohio voted for McCain in the Republican primary to slow down George W. Bush.

I say what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  And I think you're playing with fire when you start looking at voter's "motivations."

Hillary is still dead...

March 5, 2008 03:58 PM

...the indominitable Mrs. P. gives us the whys and hows:

On a much, much happier note, Hillary Rotten Clinton died. Though I told you she had died in January. Admit it now, most of you doubted me then, some of you even questioned my sanctity and others of you went so far to call me at home to question my sanity. And I know most of you are now saying "Mrs. P, she's not dead! She's alive! More than than, she's standing right behind you with a big butcher's knife!" No, she's not. She may technically be alive. Alive in the same technical sense Castro is, which is a Hell of a life, I might add, now that his power has been transferred. Hillary Clinton is as dead as Castro is, politically. For her to win the White House she needs her husband to call up his *friends* and get them to get the dead, as well as abandoned parking lots, stray cats, dogs and parakeets to cast their votes for her. So, this primary season has established beyond a reasonable doubt that the world's smartest woman and leading feminist, Hillary Clinton only rose as high as she did by marrying the sleaze she did. (Don't you just adore the First Amendment?) More than that, Hillary, to get the chance to run for president (and promptly fall flat on her face) had to sacrifice her feminist principals, relinquish her dignity as a woman, and take all of her husband's abuse publicly for more than 2 decades while saying she loved him. What makes her death (or transfer of power) all so much more delicious is that she is being beaten by a carbon-copy airhead candidate of her husband, complete with the Ivy League-educated angry wife. So we cheer the dead woman walking, Hillary Rotten Clinton, on as she will now, once again for the 2,345.725 time, go back on her principals and try to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates so that she can finally take the sack full of wet sand to the back of Obama's head at the Democratic National Convention. As the ladies at NOW are so fond of screeching "You go girl!"

I bolded the part I like the best.  Perhaps when Mrs. Clinton is literally dead, we can get the schoolchildren to send in their nickels to build a memorial, upon which we can put Mrs. P's words?

An ordinary headstone's not going to do.

For the first time, I walked in to the polls not knowing who I was going to vote for.

March 4, 2008 09:07 AM

The temptation to cross party lines and vote for Hillary was very, very strong.  Having her continue to battle it out with Obama is very good for the cause.  But in the end, I couldn't do it.  The woman in front of me did, though.  And I know a lot of people who were considering it.  When you switch parties, you have to complete a form that says you swear "to uphold the principles of the Democratic party."  Well that wouldn't be too hard--since they have no principles. 

How's that for an obvious joke?

Anyway... I placed my protest vote for Mitt Romney.  Not that it will matter in the end.  My protest vote in the 2000 primary didn't matter either.

I did get to vote in all the down ticket Republican races.  For Congress, I voted for Jean Schmidt.  Over at WMD, they've pretty much summarized my thoughts on that race, so I won't repeat it all here.  The only other contested race was Pat DeWine v. Kathy King for Judge.  I voted for Pat, since he's pro-life, and Kathy is not.  For most of the other judicial races, I refrained from voting for the party's endorsed candidates.  Most of the people they put up are total chuckleheads--though it was a nice reminder of how glad I am that I litigate almost entirely in federal courts these days. 

And of course, I voted against the Cincinnati public school levy and the zoo levy.  The only way I'd get behind either of those two organizations would be if they switched missions.  Let the zoo put the CPS students behind bars, and let the schools educate the animals.  We'd end up with a safer community and a more intelligent workforce.

I'm kidding of course.  Well, slightly kidding.

The campaign (thus far) of the man we were told had the best chance to win

March 3, 2008 02:00 PM

The Politico has a look at how well it's going:

McCain was accused of having a romantic relationship with a lobbyist by The New York Times (he vehemently denied it). The DNC filed a complaint against McCain with the Federal Election Commission questioning whether he is violating the spending limits imposed on a campaign that takes public funds. 

Mike Huckabee continued to nip at McCain’s heels, postponing a full pivot to the November race. And just last week McCain had to spend part of two days denouncing ostensible allies and apologizing to Barack Obama for the use of his middle name.

Oh — and Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton raised more than $130 million combined in the first two months of the year.

That $130 mil is an estimate, we don't have the February numbers yet for Obama.  We know McCain raised $12 million in January, and it is estimated he raised about that much in February.  So about $24 million.  A pittance, considering how much the Democrats are raising.  Especially Obama.

See what a difference it makes when the base is passionate about the candidate? 

And, wouldn't it be ironic if the man who brought us modern day campaign finance reform were unable to finance his campaign?  Some might even say that's poetic justice.  Not me, of course.  Just some people.

From the "still not getting it" department: Mike DeWine on LocalRadioGate '08

February 28, 2008 09:31 AM

DeWine says to the Enquirer:

"I can't believe in the end that voters are going to make a decision in November based on what John McCain said about Bill Cunningham in February," DeWine said.

How quaint.  He thinks the latest uproar with the base is about McCain repudiating Willie.  It's not.  It's not that at all.  It's that this is YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE of McCain throwing a conservative under the bus.  And when you throw enough people under the bus, you will wake up one day and find that there is no one left to speak for you.  Will that be in November?  We'll see.

McCain Local Radiogate '08

February 27, 2008 03:55 PM

Just how many people did the McCain campaign manage to offend when they were in town?  Here we have the producer of 55KRC's morning radio show, chiming in about the treatment he received from the McCain camp.  Take it away, Joe Strecker:

As you know, it's Ohio's turn to be in the spotlight, for the last 2 weeks, I have been pitched and pitched AND PITCHED every person under the sun to stump for Sen. McCain.  As agreed to by his PR, if I put guests on to stump for Sen. McCain, he would be made available to 55KRC when he came to town (2/26)...

Well here is the email reply I received from the McCain camp

"I don't think for tomorrow, things are pretty set by now. " Rebecca - McCain 2008

As you can tell by my response, I was a little upset.

"I am getting a little frustrated.  55KRC is / has a very Conservative base...Much more than a lot of people think.  These are the voters Sen. McCain needs to win over.  Since the election started, most of our callers initially were Thompson fans, then when he dropped out, Paul and Romney fans.  If there are any listeners/voters to win over, it would be 55KRC's.  I hope you reconsider.  We could do just 5 minutes on his drive up from downtown to West Chester?"

Here was my reply.

"I'm sorry but the decision is not mine.  I recomended you to the higher ups for the exact reason you mentioned.  I will try to ask again when I can but right now I am stuck." - Rebecca McCain 2008

I find out at 10:30 yesterday that McCain was on with Mike McConnell, who McCain called "Bob".  I called Rebecca, and when she said on the phone he wasn't available, I told her he is on right now with WLW.  >>>Silence<<< then she told me "Can't you just use their audio??"  You have to be kidding me..I let her know that we will let our listener's know what happened.

Now, I do understand this is a business and we constantly try to scoop the other guys, but for McCain's people to actually go back on their promise and to act the way they acted and treated the station with the listener's he needs to convince, is just reprehensible. This proves to me what kind of person he is.  Why?  You surround yourself with like minded people.  If his 'people' don't care about you '55KRC listener' vicariously he doesn't care about you '55KRC' listener....

What's even funnier is that last night at 9PM, I received a pitch for another guest to stump for McCain.  I don't think I'm going to book them..

I honestly don't know why he'd even consider it.  And it's more than a little concerning that they're willling to put a candidate's supporters on the radio in exchange for the big "get"--i.e. an interview with the candidate himself.  I suppose that's the way the media game is played, but it doesn't speak well of its participants.  When you whore yourself out, Joe, don't be surpised when you get stabbed by jack the ripper.

And again, how stupid is the McCain camp for missing the interview?  Joe is totally right that the Morning Show's audience is exactly the people McCain needs to be reaching out to.  But there's just little or no effort.

It's almost a parody of a well-run campaign.  "Can't you just use their audio?"  Um no.  Have they ever worked with the news media before? 

William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925-2008

From The New York Times (!):

Mr. Buckley’s greatest achievement was making conservatism — not just electoral Republicanism, but conservatism as a system of ideas — respectable in liberal post-World War II America.

And it is so obvious these day, isn't it?  There is a big distinction between electoral Republicanism and conservatism as a system of ideas.  Sign me up with the later.

Also timely?  The NYT's amusing reminder of National Review's lukewarm endorsement of Eisenhower in the 1956 presidential election:

"We prefer Ike."

It seems we are still fighting the same battles.  But we would have already lost the war if it weren't for WFB.

John McCain Comes to Southern Ohio to Make Peace with Conservatives, and Promptly Throws Bill Cunningham Under the Campaign Bus

February 26, 2008 01:44 PM

The same Bill Cunningham who has worked tirelessly for Republican candidates and conservatives causes for years--usually using the same kind of rhetoric that he used today.  From the Enquirer:

Cunningham came out on stage to whip up the crowd as he often does at Republican campaign events in Cincinnati. He repeatedly referred to Obama using his middle name -- Hussein -- and said that Obama was a product of the "Chicago-Daley mob."

Nothing untrue, and nothing unusual there.  Willie had similarly direct comments for Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. 

So what does the McCain camp do?  His aides get all bent out of shape, and have McCain (who didn't even hear the remarks) trot out after his speech to "repudiate" Willie:

Only minutes after his campaign rally ended, McCain apologized for remarks by WLW talk show host Bill Cunningham that McCain said he thought were offensive to Obama.

"I take responsibility and I repudiate what he said," McCain told reporters after the rally.

Not the way to make Republican friends in Southern Ohio.  Oh well.  Who needs Republican friends in Southern Ohio?

McCain went on to explain the approach his campaign will take:

"I will not tolerate anything in this campaign that denigrates either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton,'' McCain said.

And what does that remind me of?  Another 700WLW personality, Marty Brennaman, who got in hot water last year for comparing one of the Reds' West Coast roadtrips to the Bataan Death March. Because that's what this campaign with John McCain is going to be. 

One long Bataan Death March.

UPDATE:  Clerk of Courts Greg Hartman is now on Willie's show blaming "the media," and saying this goes to show how Republicans won't get a fair shake this fall.  But the media weren't the ones who apologized for, and repudiated, one of the region's most prominent conservative voices.

Sign of the Times: I have been invited to a CLE that focuses on "strategies to obtain or deny insurance coverage related to global warming claims."

February 19, 2008 02:39 PM

So now, apparently, companies are going to look to their insurer when they get sued for supposedly causing global warming:

Hillary Clinton's supporters are SOOOOO COOL.

February 17, 2008 08:14 PM

HT: The Llama Butchers

Romney gives McCain a lesson in class

February 15, 2008 09:09 AM

From Politico's coverage of yesterday's endorsement:

Despite the at-times ugly exchanges between the two during the past year, today's press conference, while not full of warmth, was not especially stilted.

The difference was especially stark compared to the last GOP nomination battle in 2000. As opposed to the week Romney took before endorsing, it took two months for McCain to get behind George W. Bush after that bitter contest. And when he did so in May of that year he initially declined to use the word "endorse." Only after being asked by a reporter why he wouldn't formally offer his blessing did McCain say "I endorse Gov. Bush" -- and then he said it over and over again as if to show his annoyance.

Romney today was gracious, lavishing praise in prepared remarks on the man who defeated him.

"This is a man who tied his political fortunes to the fortunes of his country in a time of war," Romney said. "Such courage is not always rewarded in politics, but it was this time – and that is a credit to both the man and to the party he will lead in the election of 2008."

I had forgotten it took McCain two months in 2000 to endorse Bush.  Certainly takes the wind out of the sails of those who say we should all be running out to endorse McCain now, doesn't it? 

They say everything's bigger in Texas

February 13, 2008 02:43 PM

I don't know why, I just love that photo.

HT to Tammy Bruce, who says "It's Miss Tijuana!"

"Luckily, I agree with my party more than Senator McCain agrees with his party."

February 12, 2008 10:23 AM

Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for identifying the problem with the McCain nomination. 

Arianna, what color is the sky in your world?

From the Huffington Post:

I hate to be the one to break up a love affair, especially with Valentine's Day just around the corner, but I can no longer stand idly by and watch the media and independent voters continue to throw themselves at the feet of John McCain.

The John McCain they fell in love with in 2000 -- the straight-shooting, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may maverick - is no more. He's been replaced by a born-again Bushite willing to say or do anything to win the affection of his newfound object of desire, the radical right.

What the hell?

Fox News accurately, but accidentally, identifies John McCain's party and home state

February 8, 2008 10:10 AM

When people like Dick Finan say they may stay home in November instead of voting for McCain...

February 7, 2008 05:19 PM

...it says a lot:

Finan, one of the first Ohio Republican party leaders to endorse Romney, said he believes many Romney supporters around the state will have a hard time voting for McCain in the fall campaign – and, he said, he is one of them.

“I might just have to sit it out,’’ said Finan. “Some of them, obviously, will vote for McCain over whoever the Democrats put up. But some of them just won’t.”

Dick Finan is a conservative Republican, but he's not some unhinged radical.  He used to be President of the Ohio Senate, for crying out loud.  He's a total party player, but he's not willing to party with McCain.  Incredible, really.

One good thing about McCain...

...now we don't have to hear Mike Dewine trying to get us all to vote for his former Senate colleague.  Dewine was running McCain's campaign here in Ohio.  And Mike Dewine basically embodies everything the base of the party doesn't like about McCain.

For the general, I'd strongly suggest to the McCain camp that they find a different "troop-rallier" as we head into the fall.  Republicans here don't like Mike. 

McCain seeks a truce with conservatives

Politico describes his two-pronged pitch:

Prong one: McCain is not really so bad, is quite conservative on spending and the Iraq war and is far better than the alternative come this fall. Prong two: The time has come to stop stewing and get on board.

Patronizing.  And typically contemptuous.  I'm not ready to make nice, and I sure hope others aren't either.

Because the depressing news can't start early enough, here we have the signage that helped John Derbyshire figure out where to vote...

February 5, 2008 04:33 PM

Welcome to John McCain's dream world.

From The Corner, at NRO Online.

McCain discussed switching parties in 2001

February 1, 2008 08:46 AM

From The Hill:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.

Democrats had contacted Jeffords and then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) in the early months of 2001 about switching parties, but in McCain’s case, they said, it was McCain’s top strategist who came to them.

Why is this just now coming to light?

“The road to the White House goes through Florida, and the road to Florida goes through The Villages."

January 29, 2008 12:53 PM

So says an old fart quoted in this article, anyway. Mrs. NBS and I always laugh at the commercials for The Villages. It makes Florida--God's waiting room--look like a hellhole.

Sorry I can't find the commercial where they're all tap dancing. That one's a classic.

Hillary, Obama and Ted Kennedy at the State of the Union...

..and the photo that's an instant classic:

Evaluating the candidates' bumper stickers

January 27, 2008 08:16 AM

I've already said I can't imagine putting a Huckabee sticker on the back of my car.  That's mostly because it's such a hill-jack name, backed up by a hill-jack personality.  Graphic designers have a problem with the aesthetics, too:

Huckabee has the most inexplicable selection of typography and graphics, from the six floating stars to the white stripe seemingly stolen from the Coca-Cola logo. The overall effect is clutter. The main typeface, used to set the candidate's name, is very tightly spaced, or tightly tracked, as typographers like to say. Some letters, like kab, are actually touching each other. Then "Mike" is tucked in between the H and k as if "we almost forgot to tell you his first name." Setting FAITH. FAMILY. FREEDOM. in such a thin weak sans serif feels as if it was added as a committee compromise or an afterthought. The type is too light, too small, and does not have a real voice.

They're right.  It definitely has an "I've never done this before" kind of look to it.  Kind of like he stopped by a Minuteman Printing on the way home one afternoon and said, "Shirley, what can you come up with?"

At the opposite end of the extreme: John McCain.  I have my problems with him on the issues, but his campaign graphics are fantastic.  Mrs. NBS and I actually discussed this a few weeks ago, and when you have people actually discussing how much they like the bumper stickers for someone they're not going to vote for, it means the designers hit a home run.  Here's what the experts say:

McCain uses type that is a perfect compromise between a sans and a serif, what type geeks call a "flared sans." Not quite sans and not quite serif, sort of in between, moderate, not too far in either direction. The strokes have contrast between the thick and thin, creating the feeling that the ends are going to have cute little serifs, but they just flare out a little, not forming actual serifs but wanting to. The military star centered and shadowed is a not-so-subtle touch. And McCain just says "President," as if to say he's already been elected. Everything about this logo says you can buy a car from this man. From the perfectly centered star to the perfectly spaced type, the entire design looks like a high-end real estate company. McCain has done something no other candidate has done, he uses all blue, no red - not even a dash.

And the blue he uses is almost a black.  With the white star, it looks very, very crisp.  Lean.  Trim.  Fit.  Very "I'm more than Harrison Ford in Air Force One could ever even dream of being."

On the Democrat side, the graphic designers say the winner is Obama.  I'm actually not wild about his design.  Doesn't it look...too liberal?  John Edwards got the (supposed) working class mantra right with his simplistic "my shift ends at 1:00 a.m. and I'm pissed" look.  And Hillary's graphic?  Exactly like bumper stickers always look.  Boring.  What's she running for, state rep.?

Yale Med Students Celebrate 35 Years of Roe v. Wade

January 23, 2008 09:22 AM

Thusly:

Evans and Rasha Khoury MED ’08, another member of Medical Students for Choice, who said she plans to become a gynecologist and expects to perform abortions, went on to describe one of the most common abortion procedures, manual vacuum aspiration, which “creates suction to evacuate pregnancy,” Evans said. The technique is a good option because the device involved is reusable and relatively cheap, she said.

“It’s not as scary as it seems. It’s just blood and mucus,” Khoury said, referring to the fetus remains in the device. She added, “You’ll be able to see arms and stuff, but still just miniscule.”

Evans and Khoury also explained the finer points of abortion-clinic etiquette, including some potentially sensitive terminology. Khoury said physicians performing abortions generally refer to the aborted fetus remains as “POC,” an acronym for “product of conception,” and refer to fetus’ hearts as “FH.”

The most complicated part of the procedure can be the emotional fallout some patients experience, she said.

“Often times, women are crying and cursing and saying they’re going to hell,” Khoury said. “It may be a quick and easy medical procedure, but it definitely is a very involved social-medical procedure.”

The presenters also urged the crowd to become involved in the abortion-rights movement by joining Reproductive Health Externships, a campaign in which volunteers are taught how to conduct abortions.

“It’s fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them,” Khoury said. “It’s pretty inspiring.”

So which is more disturbing, the quote about how you can see "arms and legs and stuff," or the guy who says "It's fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them.  It's pretty inspiring"?

UPDATE: Hmmm.  The article has been pulled from the website of the Yale Daily News.  I can't imagine why.

The Governator Calls Mitt Romney

January 22, 2008 11:19 AM

Prank calls. Who doesn't love a good prank call?

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be pretty easy to get Mitt's cell phone number off of this tape?

Bill Clinton Has a Dream on MLK Day

Married people to get screwed under Democrats' ecomonic stimulus package

January 18, 2008 11:16 AM

The White House wants tax rebates of $800 per person, or $1,600 per couple.  Democrats want rebates of $500 for individuals who make $85,000 or less, and (it sounds like) $1,000 for couples who make $110,000 or less.

$110,000 is not two times $85,000.

Details are still being worked out, of course.

What would you do with your check from da guvment?  Would you... buy a Hillary Clinton nutcracker from my google ads?  Just an idea, you know.  A small little hint.

But anyway... The Democrats think families who make more than $110,000 won't spend it.  I think they would, they would just spend it on higher ticket items, like durable goods, car downpayments, and domestic travel.  All sectors that are worth stimulating.

Why should we only stimulate convenience stories and Wal-mart?

The Candidates' Homes, an NBS Tour

January 17, 2008 02:59 PM

Of course, Mother Jones put these photos up because they want you to think we're ruled by monied, hypocritical, gas guzzling aristocrats, no matter which party wins.  I'm putting them up because real estate is porn for married people.  So let's begin!

Here's Huckabee's house.  Not surprisingly, the candidate that I like the least has the house I like the least.  It's weighs in at 5,124 square feet, with a deck and a swimming pool.  It's also boring, and has atrocious landscaping:

huckabeehouse-big.jpg

Here's Rudy's pad in New York.  I really can't relate to it, but it's got a Walnut-paneled dining room and a cigar room.  I don't smoke, but I like the sound of that.  There's no rule that says you can't use your cigar room as a drinking room.

guiliani.jpg

The McCains do the tall building thing too, but theirs is a $4.7 mill condo in Phoenix.  They also have a ranch in Sedona, which was profiled in Home & Garden.  I think I also saw it in Architectural Digest a few years ago.  It was nice.  Better than their condo, anyway:

mccains-condo-500x389.jpg

Turning for a minute to the other side of the aisle, here's Hill and Bill's place in Westchester County.  I have no problems with it, and it certainly comports with whatever their pollster told them to buy.  I just wonder if they've ever seen it themselves?

clinton-large.jpg

Can't you just feel the love radiating off of the Clinton's house?  You know it's just a place of intimate diners for two, and passionate, romantic interludes.  When Hillary's in D.C.

The Obamas' place in Chicago is also nice.  And, it has a 1,000 bottle wine cellar.  Me like the sound of that!  Party at the Obamas!  They need to learn to bring the trash cans back up promptly though.  How rude.

obamas-house-500x375.jpg

You've already heard me opine in the hideousness of the Edwards home in North Carolina.  It is too big (21,000 square feet).  And it has an indoor basketball court.  They also have a beach house in North Carolina.  Presumably it's more suitable to his "Two Americas" crap than this is:

edwardshome-500x333.jpg

Here's one that's big and tasteful.  It's the Romney's ski retreat in Park City, Utah.  Looks like a house the Bushes would own.  Mitt has residences in several states, I believe.  Mrs. Romney must do a lot of dusting.  Of course, when you don't smoke or drink, what else is there to do?

romney-house-500x333.jpg

NBS is ready to call the winner in the taste department, though.  This is the Thompsons' house in McLean, Virginia.  A seven bedroom, five bath stunner with a real Presidential air.

thompson-house.jpg

Gorgeous.

Mike Huckabee. Jesus. H. Christ.

January 16, 2008 11:04 PM

From a speech in Warren, Michigan on Monday night:

"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."

It's rare that I take an immediate visceral dislike to someone the way I have with Huckabee.  And I have stepped back on occasion the past few weeks to ask myself if I am being unreasonable.  And you know what?  It's been quite satisfying to see that my initial reaction was totally justified.  We do not need a Republican nominee who makes Constitutionalists look like fools and Christians look like idiots.  As a person who is both, I just do not see why we would vote to let him scandalize our names.  My God, what an embarrassment he is.

Why we can't nominate McCain, in cartoon form.

January 11, 2008 09:29 AM

Big girls don't cry...

January 7, 2008 06:23 PM

...when faced with adversity.

Do they, Hillary?

So who's actually in the lead where it matters (the delegate count)

The Green Papers is keeping track, and trying to make sense of the ridiculously complicated rules. After Iowa and Wyoming, we've got:

Romney:  17

Huckabee:  13

Fred:  8

McCain:  5

Paul:  4

Rudy:  1

You need 1,259 to get the nomination, so nobody is even close.  For the Dems, Obama's got 16, Hillary's got 15 and Edwards has 14.  That's just after Iowa.  The Dems didn't do Wyoming yet.  Bet you didn't know Hillary got more delegates from Iowa than Edwards, even though she finished with fewer votes.  Further proof that the system makes no sense.

Shades of North Korea in New Eco-Friendly Proposals for Californians

From the American Thinker, there is word that proposed changes to California's building codes requires a PCT, which is a "programmable communicating thermostat."  Here's how that works:

Every new home and every change to existing homes' central heating and air conditioning systems will required to be fitted with a PCT beginning next year following the issuance of the revision.  Each PCT will be fitted with a "non-removable " FM receiver that will allow the power authorities to increase your air conditioning temperature setpoint or decrease your heater temperature setpoint to any value they chose.  During "price events" those changes are limited to +/- four degrees F and you would be able to manually override the changes.  During "emergency events" the new setpoints can be whatever the power authority desires and you would not be able to alter them.

Yes, you read that right.  Governmental authorities in the state capital get to control the thermostat.  It sounds to me like North Korea, where every home is equipped with a radio that plays government propaganda all day, every day.  You can turn it down, but not off.  It extolls the virtues of their Dear Leader, and passes on helpful "suggestions" such as "don't eat more than two meals a day," because more than two meals a day can be hazardous to your health.  Maybe that's next for California?  Why not have the PCT play tree-hugging propaganda?  It's a radio. You can bet they can make it talk to you. 

On the plus side to PCTs: The social savings.  Think of all the arguments that are eliminated when you farm all the decision-making out to the government!

The comments are not working.

January 5, 2008 09:32 AM

I know.  Thanks for your emails, I am trying to fix the problem.  It's kind of a crazy weekend at Chez NBS, so it could be a little while.

In the meantime, what's not to love about this:

If the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s 100 Club dinner is any bell weather – Barack Obama will handily win here. When Obama, the dinner’s last speaker, took the stage the crowd surged forward chanting “O-bam-a” and “Fired Up, Ready to Go!” So many people pressed toward the stage that an announcer asked people to “please take their seats for safety concerns.”

By comparison Hillary was twice booed. The first time was when she said she has always and will continue to work for "change for you. The audience, particularly from Obama supporters (they were waving Obama signs) let out a noise that sounded like a thousand people collectively groaning. The second time came a few minutes later when Clinton said: "The there are two big questions for voters in New Hampshire. One is: who will be ready to lead from day one? The second," and here Clinton was forced to pause as boos from the crowd mixed with cheers from her own supporters. "Is who can we nominate who will go the distance against the Republicans?”

The dinner held in the Hampshire Dome in Milford is the largest political dinner in New Hampshire history, Republican or Democrat. More than 3,000 people attended.

I was worried it might be premature to post the "Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead" video.  Don't want to jinx it, you know.  And it still might be too early to officially declare her "most sincerely dead" in the words of the munchkin coroner.  But things are not looking good for her, now are they?  Sing it high, sing it low!

"And Iowa she says is the name of the star"

January 4, 2008 11:48 AM

More reaction to Hillary's third place finish.

Turn your speakers up high, and dance with the little people. Dance!

HT: The Llamas

Can you imagine putting a sticker that says "Huckabee" on the back of your car?

Me either.

The Iowa Results

January 3, 2008 11:00 PM

Hillary in third?  A dream come true.  True, I'm not being astute, because she's the easiest to beat in the general election, and all good Republicans should root for her in the primaries.  I'm not one of that crowd.  I want her, and him, gone. 

As for the Republicans?  Bad, bad, news for conservatism tonight.  There is now a real possibility that we will be dealing with three major Republican candidates--Huckabee, McCain and Rudy--and not have a conservative among them.  That's a sad, sad day.  And a recipe for disaster in November. 

Maybe it's just time to tune out, drop out, and make as much money as possible with the real job, since Edwards and Huckabee want to redistribute such a huge proportion of it. 

Iowa. So what's the dream scenario for tonight?

I'd just love the Republicans to poll as follows:

(1) Romney, (2) Huckabilly, (3) Ron Paul, (4) Fred Thompson, (5) McCain and (6) Rudy.

Why?  Because Romney is the well-rounded conservative in the case (other than Thompson, who can't win).  Huckabee at No. 2 because well, that's just where he's going to be if he doesn't get No. 1.  I'd like Huckabee to poll lower (last, actually), but that's just not possible.  I'd like Ron Paul at No. 3 because I will delight at the gnashing of teeth.  Fred at 4 because that's the only way Paul gets the 3 slot, and because Fred needs to drop out.  McCain at 5 because we want to burst the latest "we love John McCain" media bubble before New Hampshire gets out of control (if it is not already).  And Rudy at 6, just because he's not trying in Iowa at all.

As for the Democrats, I'd love to see:

(1) Obama, (2) Edwards and (3) Hillary. 

Why?  Because OH MY GOD if Hillary Clinton finishes third it would be just about the happiest day I could possibly ever have.  Obama in first because he's not John Edwards and because if Edwards finished first he may actually win the nomination and that would be a disaster because he could actually be elected President.  And we do not want that.

Can you imagine what tomorrow morning will be like if Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul both finish third in their respective primaries? 

So I'm ready for a glass of wine, a spot on the couch, and Henry (the black lab) in his wing-back chair.  Hopefully Shepard Smith is still on vacation.  His annoying face is the only thing standing in the way of a great evening.

At long last, the details on the Kucinich UFO sighting

January 2, 2008 02:22 PM

I've been interested in this ever since Shirley MacLaine chimed in last fall, and said that Dennis Kucinich had seen a UFO in the backyard of her house.  He's refused to give us the details, but now we've got 'em, thanks to the intrepid reporters at The Wall Street JournalThey spoke to the others who were there, Paul Costanzo, "a Juilliard-trained trumpet player and jujitsu black belt, who worked as Ms. MacLaine's assistant, personal trainer and bodyguard," and Mr. Costanzo's then-girfriend.

Ms. MacLaine was up performing her one woman show in Canada at the time, and wasn't home.  Dennis was living at her house, though, writing his memoirs after Clevelanders voted him out of office after one term as Mayor.  So it was just the three of them.  You know, hanging out at Shirley's place.

Anyway, back to the story:

The day was strange from the start. For hours, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Costanzo and his companion noticed a high-pitched sound. "There was a sense that something extraordinary was happening all day," says the girlfriend. She and Mr. Costanzo say that none of the three consumed alcohol or took drugs.

As they sat down to a dinner, Mr. Kucinich spotted a light in the distance, to the left of Mount Rainier. Mr. Costanzo thought it was a helicopter.

But Mr. Kucinich walked outside to the deck to look through the telescope that he had bought Ms. MacLaine as a house gift. After a few minutes, Mr. Kucinich summoned the other two: "Guys, come on out here and look at this."

Mr. Costanzo and his girlfriend joined Mr. Kucinich, where they took turns peering through the telescope. What they saw in the far distance, according to both witnesses, was a hovering light, which soon divided into two, and then three.

After a few minutes, the lights moved closer and it became apparent that they were actually three charcoal-gray, triangular craft, flying in a tight wedge. The girlfriend remembers each triangle having red and green lights running down the edges, with a laser-like red light at the tail. Mr. Costanzo recalls white lights, but no tail.

Mr. Costanzo says each triangle was roughly the size of a large van, while his former girlfriend compares it to a "larger Cessna, smaller than a jet certainly." Neither recalls seeing any markings, landing gear, engines, windows or cockpits.

The craft approached to within 200 yards, suspended over the field just beyond the swimming pool. Both witnesses say it emitted a quiet, throbbing sound -- nothing like an airplane engine.

"There was a feeling of wanting to communicate something, but I didn't know what," says Mr. Costanzo.

The craft held steady in midair, for perhaps a minute, then sped away, Mr. Costanzo says. "Nothing had landed," he says. "No strange beings had disembarked. No obvious messages were beamed down. When they were completely out of sight, we all looked at each other disbelieving what we had seen."

At Mr. Kucinich's suggestion, they jotted down their impressions and drew pictures to memorialize the event. Mr. Kucinich kept the notes, according to Ms. MacLaine, who said he promised her recently that he would try to find them.

"It was proof to me that we're obviously not alone," says the girlfriend.

The next day, the group spotted what they thought to be military helicopters buzzing around the valley where they had made the sighting. And the high-pitched sound remained.

Mr. Kucinich called Ms. MacLaine in Canada to tell her what had happened. "He said it was beautiful, serene, and it moved him," says Ms. MacLaine, who is supporting Mr. Kucinich's candidacy. "He was not afraid of it, let's put it that way. Seeing something that close and sophisticated and gentle."

Ms. MacLaine says she has seen UFOs from a distance in New Mexico and Peru, but never up close. She was envious. "I'm the one who reports them, but they never make close visitation. What am I doing wrong?"

What is she doing wrong, indeed?

Also, where are those notes?  Dennis promised Shirley recently that he would try to find them.  Why doesn't he get on that?

And what about this:

Ms. MacLaine says she called Mr. Kucinich before she included his UFO sighting in her book, "Sage-ing while Age-ing," a recounting of her spiritual and professional journeys. "I can handle it," she says he told her.

Talk about things you can say when you know your Presidential campaign is going nowhere.  Here's how I imagine that conversation going down:

Drrrrrring.  Drrrrrrrrring.  [phone ringing].

Dennis:  "Howdy ho!"

Shirley: "Hey Denny it's Shirls."

Dennis: "Haaaaay Shirls!!!!"

Shirley: "Your voice.  Dennis.  God, I miss you.  When you need me in New Hampshire, I'm there for you."

Dennis: "I need to check with Elizabeth."

Shirley: "LOVE that girl.  You know Den, I was thinking..."

Dennis: "Talk to me Shirls!  Talk to me!"

Shirley: "...remember when you were staying with me twenty five years ago..."

Dennis: "OH YEAH.  KEEP TALKING.  OH YEAH!"

Shirley: "Well I was just down in Peru looking at cave art drawn here five million years by Our Friends and was thinking about that time you were at my house with Pauly and his girl, and you all had that special experience."

Dennis: "OH YEAH.  KEEP TALKING.  OH YEAH!"

Shirley:  "Dennis! (giggles)  I'm talking about the time you saw The Ship!  I was wondering if I could put that in my new book, Sage-ing While Age-ing."

Dennis: "Oh what the hell.  Why not."

Shirley: "Wonders, Den.  Wonders.  You're the best!  Hugs and kisses to Elizabeth!"

Dennis: "OH YEAH.  KEEP TALKING.  OH YEAH!"

Housing Prices: Blaming Republicans, the rich, etc, on the way down...

December 28, 2007 09:08 AM

...just like on the way up.  Mickey Kaus reminds us of the benefit to the housing "crisis":

Are you impressed with a drop in home values of 6.6% over a year? It doesn't seem like such a big correction, given the dramatic run-up in prices over the last decade or so. ... And don't declining prices make housing more... what's the word? ... affordable?** ... This evening NBC Nightly News billboarded a "housing CRISIS." (Link available here.) I thought a "housing crisis" was when people couldn't find housing, not when it got cheaper. (NBC's expert: "It's very, very difficult to find any silver lining." No it's not.) ...

He's absolutely right.  Chez NBS has been on the market since October 1, and hasn't sold yet.  But when it does sell, we'll be able to take advantage of a huge drop in prices on houses that are bigger, nicer, and in better neighborhoods than what we first thought we could afford.  It has been quite enjoyable to see houses that were once outside of our price range fall within it.   

And Mickey reminds us of who got all the blame when housing prices shot up so high in the first place:

During the runup in housing prices the air was filled with complaints from the left that the rich were bidding up the value of housing, which was becoming unaffordable for ordinary Americans whose wages were rising only slowly, etc.. Now that this process is unwinding, much of this affordability problem is presumably being corrected.

Right again.  Mrs. NBS and I are constantly astounded when we watch those HGTV "Flip that House" type of shows, and they profile some complete dump in California that lists for $650,000 while still in an unrenovated crack-house-infested-with-feral-cats condition.  How can anyone afford to live out there?  Especially the working class?  How can they possibly save up for a decent down payment?

Now that prices on the coasts are falling so dramatically, maybe people who are just starting out in life will be able to put more than 5% down, and thus won't lose all of their equity during a price slump?  And I do feel sorry for the people who are losing their homes, don't get me wrong.  But why didn't they know that if you can't put 20% down, you can't afford the house?  That's been the rule of thumb for decades. 

How'd that enormous flat screen get in my slum?

December 26, 2007 02:48 PM

Meet Sharon Jasper.  She lives in Section 8 housing in New Orleans.  She is not happy with her lot in life:

A HANO voucher covers her rent on a unit in an old Faubourg St. John home, but she said she faced several hundred dollars in deposit charges and now faces a steep utility bill.

"I'm tired of the slum landlords, and I'm tired of the slum houses," she said.

Pointing across the street to an encampment of homeless people at Duncan Plaza, Jasper said, "I might do better out here with one of these tents."

Get that?  She might do better in a homeless encampment. 

Now meet Sharon Jasper's tv:

 

Sharon says:  "I might be poor but I don't like to live poor.  I thank God for a place to live but it's pitiful what people give you."

Sharon, I give you 28% of my income every April 15.  The only thing that's pitiful is that I don't have a 60 inch flat screen tv, and you're a welfare queen and you do.  Where are my housing vouchers?  Where's my flat screen tv?  I don't like to live poor, either.  It's pitiful what people give you.  I'm still waiting for some stranger to come along and give me my flat screen tv.  Where the hell is my new flat screen tv?

HT: Nixguy. 

UPDATE: Oh my God, she's even worse than I thought.

Is it really a gift if you had to buy it for yourself? With your own tax dollars?

December 20, 2007 12:41 PM

It's enough to make your stomach churn. And Mom NBS, don't show this to Dad NBS. He'll blow a gasket.

Bonus question: What losing Democratic primary candidate once proudly declared "I don't want to be Santa Claus?" Triple Bonus points if you can explain why Hillary does.

Fred Thompson, Campaigner

December 19, 2007 06:27 PM

In a word, he's awful.  From Politico, we hear of a trip to a firehouse in Iowa, where the Chief offered to let him try on his hat:

Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.

“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.

In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on.  He just stood there holding it and staring at it.

Part of being a good politician is knowing what is and is not a silly hat.  A fire chief's hat is not a silly hat.  And telling Iowans that you have a silly hat rule?  Why do that?  Where's the no silly hat constituency?

Thank God, though, for smart wives:

To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head.

“You look cute,” Thompson said to her.  She did.

Cute and smart.  Why isn't she the one running again?

Jeri took off the hat and McKenzie led the Thompsons over to a fire truck.

The chief invited Thompson to climb up behind the wheel, but Thompson said, “Naw, this is fine.”  And he stood there looking at the fire truck.

Jesus, Fred.  Just get on the damn truck!

But back to Fred's no silly hat rule.  You know who wears silly hats?  Delegates to political conventions, that's who.  Fortunately for Fred, I don't think he'll be seeing many of those delegates.  And their silly, silly hats.

BIG UPDATE:  Boo hiss to the Politico for their coverage of this.  CBS was also at the firehouse with Fred, and their video does not comport with the Politico's coverage.  At all.  I'd mostly known Politico for their fairly even-handed reporting, though their Republican blogger has an irrational anti-Romney tone to his posts.  Guess that spills over to their coverage of Team Fred, too. 

Wait till Barbara Walters gets the Christmas Card from the Huckabee White House

December 18, 2007 09:33 AM

She's going to hate it. It's almost worth voting for him just for that reason alone.

White House Christmas, interesting on two fronts

December 17, 2007 09:06 AM

From Lisa Schiffren, writing in The Corner at National Review:

Each year instead of the usual Christmas card, my friend Diana Bannister sends out the official White House Christmas tree ornament. Despite our treelessness, we always look forward to getting them, and hanging them from a sconce. This year, the White House ornament features a sepia-toned scene of the wedding of Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom. That was the very first White House wedding, in 1886.

I am going out on a limb here and presuming that Laura Bush chose the scene on the 2007 ornament. I suspect that it foreshadows a White House wedding to come for the engaged Jenna.

Here's hoping it's before the general election, as it will generate lots of goodwill towards the Republican administration.  And piss off all the right people in the process.

The Cleveland/Folsom match sounds like it was interesting:

While there have been several White House weddings for presidential daughters, Grover Cleveland's was the only wedding of a president himself. He was, at the time an "imposing" bachelor of 49, "just under 6 feet tall, and almost 300 lbs." Frances, a lovely young woman of 21, had been Cleveland's ward since the age of 12, when her father, who was Cleveland's law partner, died. In the accompanying booklet, the White House Historical Association tells us that "the public was captivated." (Not so clear what we would make of that today.)

Talk about a question that does not need to be answered.  The public today would be mortified.

Huckabee endorsed by.... Ted Strickland

December 14, 2007 10:33 AM

Per the Enquirer, the Governor says:

...he’s the kind of combination of conservative views in some ways, but very, almost liberal views in other ways.

He’s a very socially compassionate man who obviously has concern for the poor and the working middle class, while at the same time, having rather conservative views when it comes to a matter like abortion or gay marriage. … I think of all the Republican candidates, Mr. Huckabee would be my personal choice.

It says a lot.  Huckabee has "very, almost liberal views."  And that's the opinion of the Ohio's leading Democrat.

The thinking conservatives make their endorsement

December 11, 2007 04:49 PM

As I was telling a liberal Democrat friend (yes, I have them) earlier today, all the thinking conservatives are lining up against Huckabee.

And today, National Review makes their endorsement:

National Review Dec. 31, 2007 Cover: Mitt Romney for President

The endorsement editorial is here.  The conclusion:

More than the other primary candidates, Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws. His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same. But he is less inclined to federal activism, less tolerant of overspending, better able to defend conservative positions in debate, and more likely to demand performance from his subordinates.

I have found myself arriving at a very similar conclusion over the past few weeks.  Too bad Ohioans' votes will come too late to matter. 

The Weekly Standard has Romney's notes from his religion speech

Hilarious.  Here.

Upon leaving the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, the Huckabees Registered for Gifts

At Dillards and Target.  Tacky.  Can't a former Governor's outfit his own private sector home?

The Clintons did this too when they left the White House (as you may recall, they also stole took White House furniture and household items with them).  Not that acting like the Clintons is any excuse.

"It is not known if the Clintons shared any of these sentiments with each other."

December 10, 2007 12:18 PM

Hillary's people are complaining to the press about what Bill tells the press, and Bill's people are complaining to the press about the poor campaigning coming out of Hillary's camp:

Top Clinton campaign officials were privately furious at the former president, saying he had revived the complaint that the Clintons lack credibility, unfairly tarnishing his wife in the process.

For his part, the former president, one close associate says, has been bouncing off the walls at the campaign's ineptitude in the past few weeks. (It is not known if the Clintons shared any of these sentiments with each other).

Well why would they?  Why talk to each other when you can just have an aide call a reporter and communicate your dissatisfaction with your spouse to your spouse via a news story?

For the real political junkies...

...National Review's David Freddoso is talking about a brokered Republican convention, because there is no frontrunner (except Rudy, kind of).

You see these articles every four years and it never happens.  But it does seem a good bit more possible this time.  I know a few of Fred's Ohio delegates.  Could get interesting for them, though it's more likely to be interesting for the delegates of candidates who are actually playing to win.

Up-chuck Huck is looking for delegates if you want to be one, and so is McCain.  One of my dinner companions on Saturday night was an Up-chuck fan.  And another was threatening to not even vote Republican at all; too much tax and spending, so he's threatening to plunge us all into economic misery with a crowd who would be even worse, just to exact his revenge.

Romney's Speech

December 6, 2007 11:15 AM

Spectacular.

More on Fred the Bore...

November 29, 2007 02:22 PM

..from Mark Steyn:

Every time you see him in these TV debates he has the listless air of a bored grandparent at a dreary school play.

There really is nothing worse than school plays.  I still haven't recovered from sitting through a horrible production of "Our Town" in 1991.  I'll be peeved about that until the end of my days.  I picture myself leaping up from my death bed, wailing "I could have accomplished so much, if I hadn't sat through that damned "Our Town"!"

Anyway, watching Fred is just like that.

UPDATE: I accidentally deleted several comments.  I get several thousand spam ones a day, so sometimes accidents happen.  Sorry!

So who did I think won?

Nobody, hand's down.  Huckabee seems personable, but he's lost on the tax issues.  You can just tell he has an improper understanding of the role government is supposed to play. 

Ron Paul...right on the tax issues, but lost, lost, lost on foreign policy.  Why does he play ball with the whackadoos?  The only possible conclusion is that he's a wackadoo, too.  I'm glad he's on the stage though.

McCain's right on foreign policy, but I just can't get over all the crappy ideas he's had in the past about domestic policy.  Campaign finance.  Immigration.  And the way he continually implies that people who are opposed to illegal immigration are racist.  And he doesn't believe in torturing terrorists.  Ridiculous! 

Rudy did well, but came across as petty.  I think he was coached too much.  The attack on Romney for having a "sanctuary mansion" was just silly.  Toss the campaign worker who thought that would be a witty phrase.

As for Thompson?  What can I say?  He's still such a disappointment.  Where's the passion?  Where's the personality?  It's just emptiness.  He barely did one thing during the debate that was memorable.  No wait.  He didn't do ANYTHING during the debate that was memorable. 

So who does that leave?  In my mind, Romney who had the most well-rounded result.  He flubbed a few questions, but overall, the presentation works for me, and so do the policies.  He's personable, but firm.  I call Romney the winner.

I'm still undecided, though.

UPDATE: I accidentally deleted several comments.  I get several thousand spam ones a day, so sometimes accidents happen.  Sorry!

Yes, NBS is liveblogging the CNN Youtube Debate!

November 28, 2007 08:56 PM

Out comes The Coop.  He’s apparently the moderator.

The Chair of the Florida Republican Party is going to introduce people.   Oh no, his eyes are set to close together.

No wait, it’s going to be the Governor of Florida who introduces the candidates. Charlie Crist.  He’s absurdly tan.  Melanoma city!  Looks suspiciously like Anderson Cooper.

What’s next?

Photos.  Boring.  CNN’s talking heads are talking.  More boring than the photos!  Sub story of the night: Is CNN going to remotely pretend like they have their candidate on that stage?  Or not even bother?

So while they’re doing that… what do I think of the premise of this?  Asinine questions from the public?  I think it could be fun, and let the candidates show some personality.  Thank God we are past the days of having that boring PBS guy moderate the debates.  Who cares about him!   I want to see the snowman!

The first question: a gi-tar player from Washington.  Okay, he’s too long on the riff.

Fred Thompson—wrinkly.  Is that what the country needs right now?  McCain pretends to be entertained.  Awww they actually have the guitar player in the audience.  He’s embarrassed.  As he should be.

The first real question to Giuliani: sanctuary cities in NYC.  He supported it!  Giuliani says no, it wasn’t.  We sent them back if they committed crimes.  Oh wait, there were exceptions.  The kids got to go to school, and they have emergency care.  And they could report crimes.  Whoop dee dee.  He then talks about what he will do with illegals.  Too many ideas, too little time to type.

Romney: Yes it was a sanctuary city!  Mitt looks good.  Hair looks a tad dark though.  She didn’t get the mix right! 

Back to the G man: Mitt has the worst record.  He had a sanctuary mansion at his own home!  Illegals in Mitts own home.  Oh please, who cares.  Good help is hard to come by.

Mitt: you know better than that.  No illegals in my mansion!  They were illegals hired by my contractors.  I’m with Mitt on this one.  That does not a sanctuary mansion make.

G: Holier than though attitude from Mitt!  Again, an unfair attack.

Is anyone else running but Mitt and Rudy?  The Coop says we’ve got to run.  But Mitt and Rudy ARE the front runners, you know.

Next question: People want to come here LEGALLY.  But the Senate wants amnesty.  Will you veto any amnesty bill?  Thompson says he will.  Good for him.  Totally with him on legal immigration, I know someone from Peru who would make a great citizen, and she’s about go home because her visa’s done.  If she just flew to Mexico and walked in, she’d be fine.

Fred also wants us to know that Romney supported the Bush immigration bill.  And then he goes after Rudy, too.  We’ve all hired people and it’s been a bad decision.

Hey, what’s he saying, that Republicans have lots of house hold help?  Where’s my household help?  Roberto, martini.  STAT!

McCain: we never proposed amnesty.  That’s basically a lie.  Boo!  He says we need people to pick the cotton (in not so few words).  We have learned the people want the borders enforced.  Why did they have to learn that?

Immigrants are God’s children too, he says.   Implies that people who oppose illegal immigration are racist.  So double boo to McCain!

Next up: More on immigration.  We can’t run our business without our guest workers.  Oh what crap, questioners.  Pay your employees more, and raise your prices. Why should you get labor on the cheap?

Tancredo: Says what I just said.  But was nicer. 

Hunter: He built the border fence in San Diego!  But, not himself, it would appear.  Crime went down 53%. 

Going to get Henry a frosty paws while these non-tier people are talking.

Huckabee: I never gave favors to illegals as Governor of Arkansas!

Is this whole debate about immigration?  If Republicans want to win next fall, the debate will be then.  People are hot about this.

Romney: Huckabee reminds me of a liberal in Massachusetts.  Hits him on the taxpayer issue.  Huckabee is weak on that.  No favorable tax treatment for illegals. 

Huckabee: I had to pay my own way through.  I might have needed government support or I’d be picking lettuce.  Boo hiss!  He just lost me.

Romney: no tax funded benefits to illegal kids is better than what others get.  That’s the issue.

Next question: For Ron Paul: your supporters are conspiracy freaks!

Ron Paul:  Oh my God, he does talk about the Trilateral Commission.  There is a move for a North American Union.  It’s a conspiracy of ideas.  Whack.  Job.  Millions of acres in imminent domain taken for a highway to Mexico!  I’m with him on not liking the U.N.  But I think the other candidates are too.

Next question: the economy.  A co-ed wants to know about trillions spent on national debt.  Oh please.  This is not a concern of hers.

McCain: Republicans have forgotten about spending and greatly expanded government.  He’s right about that.  But what was he doing to stop it?  He saved us $2 mill on a bogus deal.  Big deal!

Romney: Every bill with pork must be vetoed.  And there must be fundamental change.  Go after the entitlements.  So I like Romney at this point.  But I’m not believing he’s going to veto every bill with pork in it.

Rudy: across the board cuts at every agency, like Reagan did.  That sounds great!  Bush should do this now.  Yes he should!

Next question: limited government by reducing federal spending was what we used to believe.  What programs would you cut?

Fred: lots of ‘em.  But he doesn’t name a single one.  Reform Social Security and Medicare need reform.  But oh no, we’re not going to cut them.  Re-index the way benefits are calculated.  Not revolutionary enough.  By far.

Ron Paul: Washington didn’t change me.  He’s certainly right about that.  Cut Department of Education, Energy, Homeland Defense and foreign aid.  Amen.

Huckabee: Get rid of the IRS.  He claims he’s serious about this.  Revamp Homeland Security, it’s a mess. 

Question for McCain: Eliminate the federal income tax for a retail sales tax?  McCain says no.  Look carefully at it.  We need a commission, and do what we do with base closings.  Oh great.  That’s a wonderful way to de-politicize it.  Also: Paul’s brand of isolationism is what caused WWII.  Right about that.  Also, the troops don’t like you, Ron.

Paul: Why do I get the most $ from active duty personnel?  McCain doesn’t understand the difference between isolationism and non-intervention.  I believe in non-intervention.  I guess I don’t see much of a difference in that either.

Question: A no new tax pledge? Oh the question was from Grover Norquist.  I met him during my Human Events days.

Everyone signs on to the pledge but Thompson and McCain.  Paul has NEVER voted for a tax increase.  Impressive.

Question from a rude guy eating corn.  Why should we have farm subsidies?  A question for Iowans!  But I have to say, the Iowans are ridiculously greedy on this.  No farm subsidies!  Romney’s on the wrong side of this.  He wants to win in Iowa.  Boo.  Rudy agrees.  Boo, again.

Question for Rudy: he used expense accounts improperly as Mayor.  True or not?  Rudy: I had threats; I had nothing to do with the handling of security records.

All the campaigns have submitted videos.  They better be good.

Tancredo’s is bad.  He speaks poorly in his own video, with weird clips of Hillary.

Question: There is lead in our toys from China.  And we adopted a baby from China!  The kind of question I hate.  The one where the questioner is totally self-absorbed.

Tancredo: we need a new trade arrangement with China.

Hunter: China is cheating on trade, to buy planes and missiles.  Tells us to buy American.  I hate that line of thought too.   Make a competitive product and I’ll buy it. 

Fred’s vid: attacks the others as not conservative.  It’s a piss poor video, though.

Romney: I WAS WRONG ON ABORTION.  I was WRONG.  I changed my mind as Governor.  The first time it came to my desk, I came down on the side of life.  I am proud to be pro-life.  Satisfies me.

Huckabee:  I did too oppose taxes.  I am a fiscal conservative.

Finally, a break!

And we’re back.  Barely enough time to let Henry out and pour a glass of petite sirah.

I did miss some.  They’re talking about guns.  I would certainly hope they are all in agreement about this.  If not, they’re toast.

Question, tell us about your gun collection?  The Coop thinks the questioner is a freak.

Thompson: I have a lot of guns.  Won’t tell us where, though.  Witty, but sounds like a dodge

McCain, I know how to use one.  I don’t own one.  Weird.  But, if I had been tortured, maybe I wouldn’t keep guns around either.  Special dispensation on this for the previously tortured.

Booo.  Romney doesn’t own guns either.  It’s just McCain and Rudy who don’t

Next question: Black on black crime. 

Romney: We need moms and dads.  He’s right, there’s been a total collapse of the family structure in the African American community.  Cites Bill Cosby.  Civil rights issue of our time is the failure of inner city schools.  Great point.  Wish he’d followed up with school vouchers. 

Rudy: Romney has a mixed record on crime.  Rudy is on the attack.  Rudy says he has a strong record on crime.  True.  He took NYC from a very dangerous city to a very safe city. 

Romney gives him credit for that.  Says I was not a mayor, I was a governor.  Again, I agree with him on this.  Crime is a local issue.  Not a state issue, and certainly not a national way.  Say no to a nationalized criminal code!

Question on abortion: What if it becomes illegal?  Sweet cheeks, it’s not going to become illegal.  It would be a states issue and the public would get to decide through the political process.  You have nothing to fear.  Paul understands this.

Thompson: Overturning Roe should be our No. 1 focus right now, and that pertains to judicial appointments.  Amen.  But I just don’t believe this would be his No. 1 priority.

Question: another question on Roe.  He says what would you do if Roe is reversed, and Congress imposes a federal ban, would you sign? 

Rudy says no, leave it to the states.  He’s right.

Romney: Overturn Roe.  I would be delighted to sign such a bill if it were the consensus.  But we are not there as a country.  Leave it to the states.

Question: the death penalty: what would Jesus do?  A good question!

Huckabee:  I’ve done it as Governor, the others haven’t.  He took it very serious and sincerely, it seems.  There is a place for the death penalty, he says.

He avoids the theological question about where Jesus would be on the death penalty.

Coop asks the question again.

Huckabee: Jesus was too smart for to ever run for public office.  Good response.  I wouldn’t answer that question either.

Question: Do you believe every word of the Bible.  Specifically.  Weird questioner.  An attack on Romney’s Mormonism?

Rudy gives an intelligent, thoughtful response, and seems to have a sound theological understanding.

Romney: The Bible is the word of God.  I believe in the world of God.  I may interpret differently.  He’s off his footing here.

Huckabee: It is the word of revelation to us from God himself.  Quotes a few of the greatest hits.  Let’s work on Love Your Neighbor first.  No one is ever going to understand all of it.

Romney’s vid.  Hits on the big conservative points.  Looks professional.  Good spot.  But not a typical youtube video.

Break and we’re back.

Rudy’s video: Funny.  Youtube like.  Best one of the night!

Question: a Muslim lady from Alabama.  What would you do to repair the image of America in the Muslim world?  Please, this chick is not a Republican primary voter.

Rudy: Be tough on terror.  He refused to get sucked in by the premise of the question.  Excellent, excellent response.

McCain: Continue the surge.  Reconstruct Iraq.  Fight the Democrats on a date for withdrawal.  Criticizes Rumsfeld’s strategy.  But we’d be worse off under the Democrats’ strategy, though, he says.

Question: Waterboarding.  Do you support it?

Romney: The President should not limit our interrogation tactics.  Does not seem to have a big problem with it.  Interrogate terrorists.

McCain: He’s totally opposed to waterboarding and torture.  I know his background on this, and I know he was tortured.  But still.  I just don’t have a problem with torturing terrorists.  He’s very passionate about this.

Romney: I am not in favor of torture, but I am not going to pick what is and is not torture.  I will let the counter terrorism experts make that decision. 

McCain: They you have to advocate that we withdrawal from the Geneva Conventions.  And why, really, shouldn’t we?  We’re basically the only ones who honor it.  McCain, still very opposed to torture.  Life is not “24” he says.  But maybe if it were, we wouldn’t have to strip search grandmothers at airports.

Question: We should stay in Iraq long-term.  Who supports that idea?  Thompson: don’t stay forever, but for as long as it takes. 

Paul: Give them their country back.  The surge hasn’t worked.  They’re ready to be the next Vietnam.  He’s pretty ignorant, if you ask me.

McCain: we never lost a battle in Vietnam; American public opinion lost that war.  Terrorists want Iraq to be a base to attack the U.S.

He gets booed.  He’s totally right, though.  Why don’t want people want to hear the truth about this?

Paul: It is irrelevant that we never lost one battle in Vietnam.  The only reason they hate us is because we have bases in the Mideast.  So clueless!

Screams and boos for him, now.

Tancredo: We are living in a world where we are threatened by radical Islam.

Question for Rudy: You’re using 9/11 to propel yourself into the White House.  True?  Rudy: Look at my whole record.  And then he goes on.  And on. 

God, this is a long debate.  This may be the last NBS live blog, ever. 

Next: Stupid question about Vice President Cheney.  Why are people so paranoid about Dick Cheney?  The only thing wrong with Dick Cheney is he’s not running for president.  Anyway, the question:  How much authority will you give your VP?

Thompson: VP needs to be ready to assume the office, if necessary.  Brings up judges again.  Why is he bringing this up so much?  It just seems so insincere. 

McCain: Bush had to rely on Cheney’s foreign policy expertise, because that was Cheney’s area and we were at war.  I would not have to do that.

Hunter’s vid: It’s another commercial.  And it looks cheap.  Looks like he’s running for Congress, not President. 

Another break.  Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, and go to Playhouse in the Park to see Scrooge!

Question: A gay veteran wants to know what the problem is with gays in the military.

Tancredo: Blows the answer.  Young enlistees are conservative Christians, and it would be unfair to them.

Huckabee: Conduct could put at risk morale, and cohesion.

Romney: The Coop points out a Romney flip flop on this.  Romney: This is not a time to change don’t ask, don’t tell.  Let the military decide this issue.  Romney kind of flubs this.

The veteran says he didn’t get an answer.  But he did!  He just didn’t get the answer that he wanted.  The Coop gives the veteran a long leash to go on and on about gays in the military.  Gee, I wonder why?

McCain:  Thanks for your service, but all the military people I talk to say don’t ask, don’t tell is working.

Next: Should gay Republicans support you?

Huckabee: Gives a funny answer.  Hey, I’ll take their support.  But I won’t change my mind on same sex marriage.  Perfect response.  Respectful.  Kind.  Firm.

Next up?  Boring question about social security from a young person.  Start saving now, young person,” is just about the only honest answer.  Let’s see if we get it.

Thompson’s response is so boring I miss it.

Romney: We can’t follow Hillary to the left, but follow the path Reagan blazed.  He certainly knows the talking points, doesn’t he?

Question: We need a man on mars!   What are you going to do for NASA?

Huckabee: Expand the space program.  And let’s put Hillary on the first rocket to mars.

Tancredo: No spending on crap like that!  Excellent response.  We can’t afford to go to mars!

Question: African Americans hold conservative views, but vote for Democrats.  Why don’t we vote for you?   I love this question.  The Republican Party’s failure to make this case is one of the tragedies of our time. 

Rudy: School choice, welfare reform.  We can be popular in African American Community.

Huckabee: African Americans vote for me.  I asked for their vote.  He then says he spends money on hypertension and diabetes, and they afflict African Americans more.  Again with the spending!

And on the opposite extreme: Do you support Confederate flags?

Romney:  With all the issues we face?  No.

Thompson: Not everyone with a confederate flag is racist.  But there is not a place for it in the public arena. 

Paul’s video: Very populist.  Very isolationist.  Not bad as a matter of form.

Question: We need new infrastructure, and it’s going to be expensive.  Let me guess?  Huckabee will pay for it.

Rudy: We need a sustained program and long term planning.

Paul: We are taxed to blow up bridges overseas and our own bridges are falling down. 

McCain: I will veto all pork. 

Rudy: Blows it by saying he opposed the line item veto and (apparently?) took Clinton to court on this.

Question: Will you run as an independent, Ron Paul, if you don’t get the nomination?  He says no!  I think. 

Last question.  THANK GOD.  For Rudy: You are a life long Yankees fan, but still supported the Sox in the post-season.  Rudy says he is an American League fan.  Boo hiss!  He almost ends on a weak note, but then has a good joke about how many times the Yankees won the World Series when he was Mayor. 

Romney:  My family hates the Yankees.  He wasn't going to win New York anyway. 

And that’s it.  Romney’s got my vote. 

More substantive thoughts later.  I'm taking Henry outside.

UPDATE: I accidentally deleted several comments.  I get several thousand spam ones a day, so sometimes accidents happen.  Sorry!

New Poll: Top Five Republicans Can All Beat Hillary

November 27, 2007 09:07 AM

It's a Zogby poll, and a lot of people have trouble with his methodology.  But still:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails five top Republican presidential contenders in general election match-ups, a drop in support from this summer, according to a poll released on Monday.

Clinton's top Democratic rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards, still lead Republicans in hypothetical match-ups ahead of the November 4, 2008, presidential election, the survey by Zogby Interactive showed.

Clinton, a New York senator who has been at the top of the Democratic pack in national polls in the 2008 race, trails Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mike Huckabee by three to five percentage points in the direct matches.

Democrats, please nominate her!

And here's Huckabee's latest... when I heard it had Chuck Norris in it, I thought "oh no." But this is actually pretty amusing.

November 23, 2007 03:12 PM

And now here's a Hillary ad that I absolutely hate. Big surprise!

It's basic theme? Call me up, and I will give you shit, FOR FREE! Talk about encouraging the wrong kind of relationship between the people and their government.

Rudy's new ad. I'm not voting for him, but I like it!

November 22, 2007 12:49 PM

The "you're not going to find perfection, but you are going to find x,y and z" line strikes just the right tone for the primary season, I think. Que pense-tu?

Cincinnati weather gives an appropriate welcome to the 9/11 deniers.

November 20, 2007 08:05 PM

Why aren't these people vilified the same way the Holocaust deniers are? They are both equally deluded, equally full of hate.

Soldier's Return: One of Many Classroom Surprises

November 16, 2007 12:11 AM

There is another, here (after a ridiculous commerical MSNBC makes you watch).

Reason why you don't campaign with your 95 year-old mother, No. 43

November 10, 2007 10:33 AM

Because she might say something like this:

"As far as the Salt Lake City thing, he's a Mormon and the Mormons of Salt Lake City had caused that scandal.  And to clean that up, again, it's not a subject," Roberta McCain said.

John McCain quickly stepped in: "The views of my mothers are not necessarily the views of mine."

"Well, that's my view and you asked me," Roberta answered.

Hilarious.  And the reason he trotted her out in the first place was to show he's not too old and wacky... because his mom's still with it at 95!

Totally reminds me of the time Newt Gingrich's mom told Connie Chung that Hillary was is a bitch.  Misty memories. 

UPDATE: Just saw McCain's plural reference to "mothers," which I'd assume was a typo if not for the subject/verb agreement.  Freudian slip about the Mormons?

Peggy Noonan Compares and Contrasts: Hillary and Margaret Thatcher

November 9, 2007 11:37 AM

Big suprise: Peggy doesn't think Hillary stacks up very well:

The point is the big ones, the real ones, the Thatchers and Indira Gandhis and Golda Meirs and Angela Merkels, never play the boo-hoo game. They are what they are, but they don't use what they are. They don't hold up their sex as a feint: Why, he's not criticizing me, he's criticizing all women! Let us rise and fight the sexist cur.

When Hillary Clinton suggested that debate criticism of her came under the heading of men bullying a defenseless lass, an interesting thing happened. First Kate Michelman, the former head of NARAL and an Edwards supporter, hit her hard. "When unchallenged, in a comfortable, controlled situation, Sen. Clinton embraces her elevation into the 'boys club.' " But when "legitimate questions" are asked, "she is quick to raise the white flag and look for a change in the rules."

When the past president of NARAL is criticizing you for playing the "sexism" card, there's a problem.

And what's not to love about this anecdote?

The story as I was told it is that in the early years of her prime ministership, Margaret Thatcher held a meeting with her aides and staff, all of whom were dominated by her, even awed. When it was over she invited her cabinet chiefs to join her at dinner in a nearby restaurant. They went, arrayed themselves around the table, jockeyed for her attention. A young waiter came and asked if they'd like to hear the specials. Mrs. Thatcher said, "I will have beef."

Yes, said the waiter. "And the vegetables?"

"They will have beef too."

Perfect. 

Jimmy Carter, the Great Humanitarian

November 8, 2007 05:27 PM

This is a letter from the ex-Pres to his sister-in-law, Sybil:

It reads:

5/13/90

To Sybil,

Lamentably, I killed your cat while trying just to sting it. It was crouched, as usual, under one of our bird feeders & I fired from some distance with bird shot. It may ease your grief somewhat to know that the cat was buried properly with a prayer & that I’ll be glad to get you another of your choice.

I called & came by your house several times. We will be in the Dominican Republic until Thursday. I’ll see you then.

Love, Jimmy

What an ass.

Giuliani will protect us from alien attack

October 23, 2007 10:23 PM

Well that's a relief.  He's talking about the outer space kind, though, not the South of the Border kind (remember they used to be called aliens, before they were called "non-citizen residents").

But anyway.  At least we can agree that defending us from space invaders is a good thing.  If Hillary is elected President, she'll probably embrace them as her own kind.

President Johnson on the phone ordering pants: Mentions his nuts, bunghole

October 11, 2007 09:18 AM

Here's the transcript of Our Classiest President, LBJ, on the phone ordering pants from Joe Haggar.

LBJ: Now the pockets, when you sit down, everything falls out, your money, your knife, everything, so I need at least another inch in the pockets. And another thing - the crotch, down where your nuts hang - is always a little too tight, so when you make them up, give me an inch that I can let out there, uh because they cut me, it's just like riding a wire fence. These are almost, these are the best I've had anywhere in the United States,

JH: Fine

LBJ: But, uh when I gain a little weight they cut me under there. So, leave me , you never do have much of margin there. See if you can't leave me an inch from where the zipper (burps) ends, round, under my, back to my bunghole, so I can let it out there if I need to.

I know you're wondering: Is there audio?  And the answer to that my friends is yes.  It's rather incredible, to say the least, that this conversation was recorded for posterior posterity.

I do like that he carried a knife though.  Someone should research who the last President was that carried a knife regularly.  There was a time when all American men did--my Dad still does.

HT: Althouse.

And while I'm complaining about my fellow Republicans...

October 9, 2007 11:29 AM

...let me also carp on the timing of tonight's Republican debate.  I'm batching it tonight, so I thought I'd have time to watch it.  Liveblog it, no less.  But none of that is possible, because it's at 4:00 in the afternoon.  Who in the hell has time to watch a debate at 4:00 in the afternoon?  All the working (i.e. voting) people are still working.  And the people who aren't working are watching Oprah.  They're not going to flip over to CNBC to watch the Republican candidates talk economic policy.  If a tree falls in the forest, does it still make a sound?  I guess we'll find out.

And no, I'm not satisfied that MSNBC is replaying it at 9:00.  I'm not going to liveblog a taped program!

New Poll: Thompson and Giuliani are tied with Hillary in Ohio

September 24, 2007 03:54 PM

Per Survey USA.  Romney trails Hillary by 10 points. 

If the Democrats nominate Obama (which they won't), Thompson, Giuliani and Romney are all ahead or tied.  The stats are there for John Edwards, too.  Not that you care about him.  No one does.

This is all good news, in my opinion.  It feels like all of our potential nominees are 10 points behind Hillary.

HT: Ohio Daily Blog

What the heck is Fred Thompson doing?

September 19, 2007 08:51 AM

Dick Morris has a scathing column out in which he summarizes the news Fred has generated in the few short weeks he has actually been a candidate.  And it's not a pretty picture.

•He refuses to take a pledge not to raise taxes;

•He lobbied for an abortion advocacy group before becoming a U.S. senator;

•He employed his son in a no-show job for $170,000 for four years at his political action committee after leaving office;

•As a lobbyist, he helped the attorney representing the Libyan terrorists who blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, to fight requests to extradite them to the U.K. to stand trial;

•His other lobbying clients included Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the leftist Haitian dictator who, but for a lack of oil, would have been the Hugo Chavez of the last generation;

•He skipped and is skipping the first two debates of his presidential candidacy and said he was looking forward to attending the Oct. 14 New Hampshire debate -- the one that was cancelled weeks ago;

•He is taking this week off from presidential campaigning;

•He does not know enough about the details of the Terry Schiavo case to comment;

•He said that Iraqis were supporting us because of al Qaeda's ban on smoking;

•He's run through three campaign managers and as many communications directors in just three months.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.  Half of those I didn't even know about.  Has Fred gotten any positive press?  And he doesn't even mention my number one concern about Fred, which is that people will tire of the folksy talk.  And get very, very annoyed.   

Don't get me wrong, I like Fred.  I want to believe in Fred.  I just don't understand why he's not giving people a reason to.  Come on Fred, make your case!

And if you want more food for thought consider Morris's next point:

Hillary is probably the next president anyway. But there is only one way to defeat her -- to nominate a candidate whose anti-terrorism credentials are so deep that if Americans return to their senses and grasp the nature of the dire and continuing threat we face, he can prevail in November. There are two candidates who fill that bill: Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. Neither Thompson nor Romney approach it.

Rudy and McCain are hardly my preferred candidates.  But I think Morris may be right about the political realities.

Patricia Heaton for President!

September 18, 2007 09:27 AM

She responds to Sally Field's ridiculous Emmy Award speech “If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any god-damned wars in the first place,” thusly:

“I’ve actually become a more violent person since I became a mother, If someone came between me and my kids, they’d be dead meat. So I didn’t agree with that particular statement.”

I had high hopes for Fred, but the early reviews are not good.

September 12, 2007 08:11 AM

From Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post:

After six months of Waiting for Thompson, the former Tennessee senator has arrived on stage. Unfortunately, Thompson's dialogue so far consists of folksy platitudes and broad pronouncements, unobjectionable yet unenlightening

"We do whatever's necessary, hitch up our britches and come out the other end," Thompson said during a campaign rally in Iowa.  He was talking national security, but, hey, a little britch-hitching can't hurt, whatever the issue.

Fred needs to bring out the substance.  Fast.  He also irritated too many people with his ridiculous announcement dance.

One Year Ago on NBS, Six Years Ago in New York

September 10, 2007 11:16 PM

Last year for the 5th Anniversary of September 11, I participated in the 2,996 Project, in which small websites came together to honor each victim of September 11.  It was easy to sign up for, but harder to do.  There's really nothing you can say that does the subject matter justice.  And I struggled in my research, because I couldn't find the material I thought I needed.  Here's what I came up with:

As we mentioned last week, this website is honored to participate in the 2,996 project this year, which commemorates the individuals who were murdered on September 11, 2001.  The response to this project has been so overwhelming, that far more than 2,996 private websites have signed up to participate, and the organizers have started through the list a second time.  We encourage everyone to spend some time today, and review some of the tributes that are appearing on the internet.  Each of the lives that were lost five years ago were precious.  We encourage our readers to reflect on those individuals today, and what they meant to those who loved them.

David Ortiz was one of those individuals.  He was a locksmith from Nanuet, New York, who worked for the Port Authority.  He had a wife named Lillian, and two children: Richard, who was 14 years old in 2001, and Crystal, who was 6.  He was very close to his brother, Martin, and his sister, Maria.  We encourage you to think about Lillian, Richard, Crystal, Martin and Maria today.  They think about David often, and you can read some of their thoughts at the Legacy.com guestbook.

David was a family man, with a sense of humor.  When David wasn't working overtime to pay for renovations to their house, he was fishing with his son, spreading joy to those around him, or riding his blue Harley Davidson.  He enjoyed playing practical jokes on his co-workers in the WTC Lock Shop.

David was also one of the heroes of September 11th.  He knew the layout of the World Trade Center complex like the back of his hand.  And after the attacks came, he went back in, to help.  He was one of 13 civilians who was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for his service on September 11, 2001.

On September 14, 2003, David's brother Martin and his wife became parents.  Their new son is named David Ortiz.

One year ago on NBS, six years ago in New York, and three years, 362 days ago for a family who lost, and gained.

Dennis Kucinich takes his anti-American Presidential campaign to Syrian TV. No. Not Kidding.

HT: Right Angle Blog

Major Terrorist Attack Thwarted in Germany...

September 6, 2007 08:24 AM

...the target were U.S. military bases, and the plan was to be executed on Tuesday (September 11):

Prosecutors and police painted a picture of a ruthless cell of Al-Qaeda-linked fanatics, willing to die in suicide attacks with bombs more powerful than those used in the July 7 attacks in London in 2005.

Prosecutors said the attacks were planned at Frankfurt airport, Germany's biggest and busiest, and the Ramstein Airbase - the Pentagon's largest outside of the US.

Other US bases, civilian airports, a nightclub and pub were on the terrorists' target list.

Germany's chief prosecutor, Monika Harms, said the plan was to construct massive car bombs and cause "as much loss of life as possible".

"We have stopped what would certainly have been the worst terror attacks in Germany," he added.

Why don't these things get more press coverage?  It is on the front page at Fox's website, but over at CNN (as of 9:01), it's not even mentioned.  They do find these items newsworthy, though: "Man's arm stuck in meat grinder for 2 hours," "5 Mistakes Parents Make with Newborns," "Squirrel attacks, bites tot, trooper," and my personal favorite, "Peeping Tom Wants 10K Porn Stash Back."

Is it any wonder CNN's ratings are in the tank?

Nutty liberal Europeans should think before hitting "reply all."

September 4, 2007 02:46 PM

Oh the perils of "reply all."  It seems that even in 2007, there are still people who do not know that one should never hit "reply all" in the corporate setting and send an email to all personnel.  I honestly cannot think of a good reason for doing that.  Ever.

Check out attorney Hanspeter Wurstiner's "reply all" email to thousands of his colleagues at the international (but mostly American) law firm, Greenberg Traurig.  He's responding to an email about work place efforts to buy phone cards for U.S. troops so they can call home once in a while.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wustiner, Hanspeter (Shld-ZUR-CP)
To: Mak, Annette (Shld-AMS-IP); ALLATTY; ALLSTAFF
Cc: Compton, Katherine (Shld-Dal-LT/IP)
Sent: Thu Aug 30 17:29:44 2007
Subject: AW: Phone card project (results and thanks by Annette Mak and Katherine Compton)

I am aware that GT is supposed to be politically a non partisan organisation. However, since the phone card project is not unpolitical I should like to make the follwing comments (even if it may affect my bonus):

Why isn't some of the surplus used for innocent iraqi victims?

It is most interesting for a european to note that the US can not properly take care of their soldiers and the war budget does not allow to care for the wounded soldiers. But cannon fudder is probably not budgeted by Cheney to be alloiwed to call home. (Why should I make up for the difference?)

I am glad to see that bush and his war clique run out of money for funding this war. (Although this should be first applied to the wounded )

As a side remark I did not make a contribution for political considerations although I think each american soldier should have free calls to his family, since I do support this war and the bush politic. I assume I am not the only one sharing this opinion, considering that the average contribution of GT per employee is less than 10 dollars.

Please appologize for this interruption, but I just have to make this point, since I think this matter is inconsistent with a neutral non partisan approach.

Kind regards
Hanspeter Wüstiner

Not.  Smart.  And it drew this response from the firm's President, Richard Rosenbaum:

-----Original Message-----
From: Rosenbaum, Richard A. (President)
Sent: Thursday, August
30, 2007 6:02 PM
To: Wustiner, Hanspeter (Shld-ZUR-CP); Mak, Annette (Shld-AMS-IP); ALLATTY; ALLSTAFF
Cc: Compton, Katherine (Shld-Dal-LT/IP)
Subject: Re: AW: Phone card project (results and thanks by Annette Mak and Katherine Compton)

In the hope that, unlike this one, no one else will reply to all but only to those leading the effort, perhaps Cesar, Matt or me, let me send one quick response to fill the void. This firm is not a political party. As a business organization, we do not take political positions. I see nothing in the efforts of Annette or anyone else involved but a desire to help human beings and families. We most certainly are an organization with compassion for human beings and their families, our charitable endeavors, as a group and individually, announced and most not publicized at all, have always been an essential part of our culture. It is who our founders were, it is who most everyone here is.

Personally, I did not appreciate your politicizing or creating negative energy over such a warm and giving gesture by so many. Your cynism and political views however will never be taken into account in your compensation, that is determined by your performance. Thanks and my deep apologies to all who received your email and had to spend time reading it and this one.

What a masterful schooling of an out of line employee!

HT: Above the Law.

More on Dennis Kucinich and his freaky wife

August 31, 2007 10:32 AM

From the Plain Dealer's Openers Blog, we hear of their plans to celebrate their anniversary.  And the Kuciniches want us all to participate:

In an Aug. 22 e-mail titled "Help Celebrate our Wedding Anniversary," Kucinich notified backers that he and Elizabeth were celebrating their second wedding anniversary that week.

"I know we are newly weds and all, but I felt the undying urge to share this occasion with our supporters," Kucinich said in the e-mail.

 Um.  Ew.

"The love Elizabeth and I share encompasses all of the reasons you support our campaign and all the reasons we exist as human beings."

Using the word "love" 17 times, Kucinich proceeded to claim that "the Power of Love" could eliminate world hunger, establish universal health care and return U.S. troops from Iraq. Then he decided to see if "Love" could also generate campaign money by urging e-mail recipients to "share in our celebration."

Tacky.  Tacky.  Tacky.  An unnecessary sexual reference and a shake down for cash.  Hell, it's almost as tacky as some of the ads that are running on this site right now.  I'm making millions, by the way.  Who knew Republicans were such pervs?

Thompson Campaign Conference Call Set for Today...

August 30, 2007 11:01 AM

...to discuss his plans to announce next week.  So now it's a conference call about an announcement.  But they won't say now what they will say at the conference call.  Which is at 4:00.  Today.

Is there anyone who wasn't already annoyed by this six weeks ago?

Mitt Romney is out with a new ad. It's hard for me to tell what kind of primary voter he thinks he'll attract with this.

What do you think?

Map of Agriculture Subsidy Recipients--in Manhattan

August 29, 2007 10:43 AM

From the Secretary of Agriculture, via National Review Online

 NYC Farm Subsidy Map

Democrats want to keep the income threshold for subsidies at $1,000,000--the Bush adminstration wants to lower it to $200,000. 

What reason could there possibly be for allowing individuals who make more than $200,000 per year to collect agricultural subsidies from the feds?

UPDATE: Well, I don't know what happened to my map.  But here's another one locals might find interesting... ag subsidies in our own little slice of the world.  For the rest of you, you can check out the mapping tool at this link to find out who's getting ag subsidies in your own neck of the woods.

Pre-Labor Day GOP Straw Poll--Are You Paying Attention YET?

Just how limited are the Enquirer's Republican connections...

August 28, 2007 09:42 AM

... or their headline writers' grasp of politics?  Malia Rulon's article about Mitt Romney's fundraiser here next week is just awful.  First, she passes off his fundraiser as news, because his campaign just announced it yesterday.  We were asked to be on the host committee for this event six weeks ago, and the invitations have been out for at least two weeks.  It's not news.  Maybe it would help if the Enquirer didn't have Washington-based correspondents writing about local events?

She also writes:

The location of Romney's reception wasn't immediately available.

It's at Craig and Frances Linders'.  Why write about facts you don't know?  Especially when it is easy to ask someone who does?

But my big problem is with the headline:

For $2,300, Romney will pose for photo with you.

Yes, that's it.  That's the headline.  Never mind that $2,300 is the going rate for every major Presidential candidate, including the Democrats.  It's really unfair to put it in the headline like that, as if is is something special or unique... or like Romney is the only one who does that.  They all do!

Is Castro dead, and did Perez Hilton break the story?

August 24, 2007 10:16 PM

How delightful to see bitchily delicious mega-celebrity blogger Perez Hilton speaking truth to power about Fidel Castro.  Perez has great resources in the Cuban immigrant community, and this is what they are talking about:

Sources reveal exclusively to PerezHilton.com that U.S. officials will be holding a press conference shortly to announce the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

South Florida police organizations are calling in reinforcements before the announcement is made, we’re told.

PerezHilton.com was the first media outlet in the world to break the news of Castro’s death. We posted THIS ITEM on it last week!!!!

A Cuban broke the story of the oppressive ogre’s passing. We are soooo proud and happy!!!

We’re so sad we can’t be in Miami this weekend.

There’s gonna be a big ol’ party en Calle Ocho, mi gente!!!!

In the words of Gloria Estefan

“Quiero my Cuba libre pa que la gente pueda - pa que mi gente pueda bailar!”

listen to this while you dance

There are plenty in Hollywood who could learn a lot from Perez.  The Drudge Report (one week after Perez) is leading with the news that Castro death rumors are sweeping Miami.  We've heard them before though.  Let's hope this time they're true.

Hollywood Hates

An entry, from Melissa Etheridge's partner's blog:

so if i blog
about what an idiotic, parasitical, country-raping piece of shit george w. bush is, i could
go to jail?

george bush
you are a criminal
you are raping our country of our intentions
i do wonder if his mom and dad go to bed at night
proud of little whiskey-cokey-georgie poo
for
his dictatorship?
how does laura lay her head down at night
pulled eyes and all
and dream sweetly of lambies and cashmere sweaters?
when she f**** him
does she call him adolf or castro?

rove
you sweaty little piggish oompa loompa elmer fudd ass
karma is a bitch
and i don't think you'll ever get
that wascaly wabbit
while torturing the fellas at abu gharib

this war is
war for profit
something i am sure
the bible does not favor

weapons of mass destruction:
the current american government.

now come arrest me
you f*ckers.

And the Hollywood left thinks Republicans are the ones with the problems?

Careful guys, this one sounds like a trap

August 23, 2007 04:22 PM

From Craigslist.  I've had to edit it slightly, to preserve that PG13 rating.

I want to meet a Republican - w4m - 19


Reply to: pers-404047991@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-08-23, 12:05PM EDT


I want to meet you ASAP. No need for lots of emails back and forth. I will make you *** and *** and ***. I am 5'7", 133#, shoulder length curly hair, full lips, bedroom eyes and sexy. I'm so ready for you.

  • Location: Cincinnati
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Chalk me up as skeptical about this nineteen year-old GOP loving hussy.  You don't want to be bit by a rabid liberal.  You can't be too careful--those W. haters will do anything these days.  Chomp Chomp! 

Dennis Kucinich is harder on ABC News than he would be on [insert name of your favorite foreign threat here]

They cropped him out of a photo of the Democratic candidates, among other evils.  Dennis is "awaiting an explanation."  His indignant website is hilarious.

Also: Can you believe his campaign slogan is "Strength Through Peace"?

Bette Midler, one of Hollywood's most prominent "environmentalists"...

August 22, 2007 12:26 PM

...is to be fined for cutting down more than 230 trees on her estate on Kauai.  She also had a road built without obtaining necessary permits.  Reminds me of John Travolta.

More socialized medicine fun from up in Canada...

August 17, 2007 10:11 AM

.. where there is no neonatal intensive care space available--in the entire country.  From the BBC:

A Canadian woman has given birth to extremely rare identical quadruplets.

The four girls were born at a US hospital because there was no space available at Canadian neonatal intensive care units... Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia are in good condition at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Montana...

Health officials said they checked every other neonatal intensive care unit in Canada but none had space.

The Jepps, a nurse and a respiratory technician were flown 500km (310 miles) to the Montana hospital, the closest in the US, where the quadruplets were born on Sunday.

In National Review Online, former Canadian Mark Steyn writes:

Well, you can't expect a G7 economy of only 30 million people to be able to offer the same level of neonatal ICU coverage as a town of 50,000 in remote rural Montana. And let's face it, there's nothing an expectant mom likes more than 300 miles in a bumpy twin prop over the Rockies.

And of course this news reminds me of this hysterical entry from a few months back, written by our blogospheric Canadian friend, Dr. Mabuse:

Apologies for being so dilatory in my postings. The truth is, I've been having some more health problems. Last week when I was sick, I think I must have been sicker than I realized. I've almost completely lost my hearing in my right ear. I suspect the sinus congesion ruptured my eardrum.

But fear not, you Americans. I am a beneficiary of Canada's Universal Health Care, so I will be going to see my doctor next Tuesday, to examine a problem that arose last week. In that time, I may even be able to regrow an eardrum, but if I don't, I can be put on the waiting list for one of these:

Deleting spam comments and listening to Bloggingheads.tv

August 13, 2007 08:54 PM

How fun is that for a Monday night?  More so than you might think: This episode of Bloggingheads has supreme legal blogger Ann Althouse talking to Robin Givhan of the Washington Post about Hillary's cleavage, Al Gore's earth tones and Jeri Thompson's being hot and over 40.  Fast forward if you're short on time to their discussion of crocs--they hate them, as do I.  Please, people.  Do not wear crocs.  Up until the croc discussion, though, it's a fascinating commentary about fashion and how people in the political spectrum chose to present themselves.

I completely agree with both of them that these topics are fair game.  This has been an issue since the famous debate between Nixon and Kennedy.  Nixon refused to wear make-up, because he thought it word of it would get out, and it would make him appear unmanly.  Kennedy, of course, wore make-up and looked fantastic (obviously he had other advantages over Nixon in this regard).  After the debate, people who had watched on tv thought Kennedy had won; those who heard it on the radio though Nixon prevailed.

It's a long episode of Bloggingheads, but it's well worth it.  For the record, I thought Hillary wasn't showing too much cleavage.  It's just the thought of Hillary showing any cleavage that I have a problem with.  It's just too weird, too un-Hillary.  It's so much of a departure from what we expect from her that it is disarming.  It is pretty unfortunate that the first major female presidential candidate is so unfeminine.  She could have been feminine while she was first lady.  Then it would have been natural.  Dolly Madison had a decent rack, and now there's a whole line of cookies names after her.  By today's standards, she showed a lot of cleavage.  But Hillary refused to be feminine as first lady, because it just wasn't her.  She wanted to be taken seriously, and thought she needed to look like a man to achieve that.  Now she's the first woman to have a real shot at the presidency, and she can't take advantage of her feminine wiles.  Does she have any?  Or because it's Hillary Clinton, are we just too skeptical about being manipulated? 

With Hillary, you have to ask whether she's wearing something low-cut because of some political calculation.  Is she channeling Eva Peron now?  She used to be channeling Eleanor Roosevelt.  What gives?  Is it just too hard to believe Hillary would do something because it's what she wants to?  With Hillary, do we assume there has to be a reason?  Hillary and her mind games!

Mind games, manipulation.... maybe she is feminine!!

As for the comments I'm deleting, I've noticed that I've gotten a lot of bowflex spam since I started posting about the elliptical machine.  Do the bowflex people think someone's going to buy their machine after reading a post about how I can't even carry my elliptical machine up the stairs?  What's up with that?

And I'm still getting lots of spam comments that advertise Cialis.  Who would buy Cialis off a website called Nasty, Brutish & Short?  That's what I'd like to know. 

Tony Snow on Cancer's Unexpected Blessings

July 26, 2007 01:46 PM

And writing like American leaders used to write, in Christianity Today:

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.

It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up—to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.

The whole thing is an excellent read.  It's like a nice mix of C.S. Lewis and Peggy Noonan. 

And, how come Tony's day job doesn't keep him from writing?  I can barely get in a handful of blog posts per day, and I'm not the White House Press Secretary.

It's summer, so it's terrorist dry run time

July 25, 2007 09:10 AM

Lovely.  The TSA has sent out a memo to airport screeners and air marshals warning them to be on the lookout.  Apparently they have had several people who have tried to get some strange items through airport security recently:

  • San Diego, July 7. A U.S. person — either a citizen or a foreigner legally here — checked baggage containing two ice packs covered in duct tape. The ice packs had clay inside them rather than the normal blue gel.
  • Milwaukee, June 4. A U.S. person’s carryon baggage contained wire coil wrapped around a possible initiator, an electrical switch, batteries, three tubes and two blocks of cheese. The bulletin said block cheese has a consistency similar to some explosives.
  • Houston, Nov. 8, 2006. A U.S. person’s checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a 9-volt battery, wires, a block of brown clay-like minerals and pipes.
  • Baltimore, Sept. 16, 2006. A couple’s checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a block of processed cheese taped to another plastic bag holding a cellular phone charger.

Over at National Review's media blog, Greg Pollowitz wants to know "what happened to the four people who had these odd items taken from them?"  A very good question.  I would like to think they've all been tortured and forced to give up what else they know.  Such as: Why were they doing this?  Who asked them to do this?  How can we find these people if we'd like to speak to them?  You know, the kind of information that maybe it would be good to have.

But I'm quite confident these people have only been asked polite questions, which they dodged before going on their way.  Why?  Because innocent people always travel with blocks of cheese wrapped with wire coil, batteries, electrical switches and tubes.  I know I never leave home without my improvised cheese bomb.

New details emerge on Voinovich's screaming match with John McCain

July 24, 2007 08:47 AM

As discussed here a few weeks ago George Voinovich got into a nasty battle about Iraq with John McCain at a Republicans-only meeting recently.  You may recall that one Senator described it as "the most serious fight that I have seen in my time in the Senate."

Well, this morning Laura Ingraham's show is running "Best of" bits while Laura is out of town.  Apparently she had Senator Bunning on a few weeks ago, after the Voinovich/McCain fight, but before news of who was involved leaked out.  Senator Bunning talked about the incident, without naming who was involved in the fight with McCain.  But of course, now we know who it was.

Bunning said it got so ugly that he walked out of the meeting.  Apparently Voinovich challenged McCain's integrity, something Bunning said that "you do not do."  McCain responded by lighting into Voinovich, and telling him he had no idea what he was talking about.  It went downhill from there.

Voinovich's erratic behavoir on Iraq policy has pretty much enfuriated everyone, hasn't it? 

And in the Washington Post, they talk about Hillary's heaving bosoms

July 20, 2007 03:15 PM

Pulitzer prize winning columnist Robin Givhan writes:

There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.

And they run a picture:

 The presidential hopeful revealed a changing fashion sense in the Senate.

Now if that isn't enough to get you to turn away from the computer screen for the weekend, I don't know what is.  Go.  Outside.

Senator McConnell gets a Gold Star for his work in the Senate yesterday

From the Corner at National Review Online:

PARDONS
At 8:47 p.m.,
[Colorado Democrat] Sen. Salazar offered an amendment, #2356, a sense of the Senate that the President should not pardon Scooter Libby.

Speaking on the floor, he said: “It is regrettable…that we are having to have these votes on these politically motivated amendments that are coming forward from the other side. It would be in the best interests of this institution and the American people to stop this and not to go forward with these kinds of amendments. But regrettably, if you’re going to shoot this way, we’ve got to shoot that way. And so I would ask my colleagues to send the Sense of the Senate to the United States President that he should not pardon Scooter Libby."

The Salazar amendment failed on a vote of 47-49

At 9:16 p.m., [Kentucky Republican] Sen. McConnell offered an amendment, #2357, “deploring the actions of former President William Jefferson Clinton regarding his granting of clemency to terrorists, to family members, donors and individuals represented by family members, to public officials of his own political party and to officials who violated laws protecting United States intelligence, and concluding that such actions by former President Clinton were inappropriate.”

Everytime a Democrat says the word "pardon," the first word the press should hear out of Republican mouths is "Clinton."  Good to see Senator MConnell gets it.

John McCain is one of my least favorite Republicans, but I do believe in giving credit when it is due

July 18, 2007 03:02 PM

From his speech on the Senate floor early this morning:

Surely, we must be responsive to the people who have elected us to office, and who, if it is their wish, will remove us when they become unsatisfied with our failure to heed their demands. I understand that, of course. And I understand why so many Americans have become sick and tired of this war, given the many, many mistakes made by civilian and military leaders in its prosecution. I, too, have been made sick at heart by these mistakes and the terrible price we have paid for them. But I cannot react to these mistakes by embracing a course of action that I know will be an even greater mistake, a mistake of colossal historical proportions, which will -- and I am as sure of this as I am of anything – seriously endanger the people I represent and the country I have served all my adult life. I have many responsibilities to the people of Arizona, and to all Americans. I take them all seriously, Mr. President, or try to. But I have one responsibility that outweighs all the others – and that is to do everything in my power, to use whatever meager talents I posses, and every resource God has granted me to protect the security of this great and good nation from all enemies foreign and domestic. And that I intend to do, Mr. President, even if I must stand athwart popular opinion. I will explain my reasons to the American people. I will attempt to convince as many of my countrymen as I can that we must show even greater patience, though our patience is nearly exhausted, and that as long as there is a prospect for not losing this war, then we must not choose to lose it. That is how I construe my responsibility to my constituency and my country. That is how I construed it yesterday. It is how I construe it today. And it is how I will construe it tomorrow. I do not know how I could choose any other course.

I cannot be certain that I possess the skills to be persuasive. I cannot be certain that even if I could convince Americans to give General Petraeus the time he needs to determine whether we can prevail, that we will prevail in Iraq. All I am certain of is that our defeat there would be catastrophic, not just for Iraq, but for us, and that I cannot be complicit in it, but must do whatever I can, whether I am effective or not, to help us try to avert it. That, Mr. President, is all I can possibly offer my country at this time. It is not much compared to the sacrifices made by Americans who have volunteered to shoulder a rifle and fight this war for us. I know that, and am humbled by it, as we all are. But though my duty is neither dangerous nor onerous, it compels me nonetheless to say to my colleagues and to all Americans who disagree with me: that as long as we have a chance to succeed we must try to succeed.

I am privileged, as we all are, to be subject to the judgment of the American people and history. But, my friends, they are not always the same judgment. The verdict of the people will arrive long before history’s. I am unlikely to ever know how history has judged us in this hour. The public’s judgment of me I will know soon enough. I will accept it, as I must. But whether it is favorable or unforgiving, I will stand where I stand, and take comfort from my confidence that I took my responsibilities to my country seriously, and despite the mistakes I have made as a public servant and the flaws I have as an advocate, I tried as best I could to help the country we all love remain as safe as she could be in an hour of serious peril.

It really doesn't get much better than that.

George Voinovich, still classy after all these years

July 16, 2007 04:11 PM

From CNN via Think Progress:

Last week, in a conversation with senior White House political aide Karl Rove, Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) warned that conservative support is quickly eroding for the war, and to stem the tide, Bush must institute a plan that begins the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Voinovich told Rove, “The president is a young man and should think about his legacy.”  CNN reports:

Voinovich added that other Republicans are close to speaking out against the President’s current strategy. “I won’t mention anyone’s name. But I have every reason to believe that the fur is going to start to fly, perhaps sooner than what they may have wanted.”

In private, Voinovich is more blunt, using a profanity to describe the White House’s handling of Iraq by charging the administration “f–ed up” the war.

What a great fit Senator Voinovich is in the senatorial "gentlemen's club."

Also: He's warning the White House that conservative support is eroding?  What the heck does Senator Voinovich know about "conservative support?"

George Voinovich gets in a screaming match with John McCain

July 11, 2007 07:21 PM

According to Politico.  One fellow Senator described it as "the most serious fight that I have seen in my time in the Senate."  The source of the heat was Iraq.  Voinovich (as everyone knows by now) wants to cut and run.  McCain wants to stay.  And win.

McCain might actually start to do better in the polls if he'd yell at Senator Voinovich more often.

How much do I love the idea of Cindy Sheehan running against Nancy Pelosi?

July 8, 2007 10:02 PM

Very, very, very much.  From the AP:

Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch.

"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money."

Few people out here realize it, but the locals in San Francisco are not all that wild about Nancy Pelosi.  They think she's too conservative (hard to believe, I know), and that she's sold out her hard left constituency so the Democrats won't look so wacky to people in red state America.   The problem is that Pelosi knows that if the public actually knew how radical she is, the Democrats wouldn't stand a chance.  So Pelosi has to hide it.  And that makes the lefties very mad.  There is no compromising with those people.

So I'm very excited about a big left wing slugfest out in San Fran next year.  Can you imagine all the free media Cindy Sheehan will get in the Bay area if she takes on Pelosi?  She's got the name recognition, and she's clearly nutty enough to seek public office.  So she just might do it.

Run, Cindy, run!

I love Tammy Bruce's take on Al Gore's son getting busted for DUI, possession of controlled substances, and driving 100 mph in his Prius. This is what happens when you have an outbreak of smug.

July 6, 2007 09:28 PM

The latest from the Giuliani Camp

July 5, 2007 03:31 PM

His staffers had a conference call with reporters this afternoon.  Of interest:

In response to a question from Carl Cameron of Fox News about a comment about how Rudy alters the electoral calculations for the GOP, DuHaime declared that Rudy would put a slew of blue states in play, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. He added, "[Rudy Giuliani] has a tremendous opportunity to win New York or California."

As I've said before, while I like Rudy personally, I don't support his candidacy because he is not conservative.  But there's no denying he has appeal in New York and New Jersey.  And it may be necessary to have those in play.

But Mitt recognizes what is already a big problem...

July 4, 2007 04:41 PM

Dozens of reporters following the Clintons.  And for the Romneys

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa -- Eyeing the dozens of reporters and photographers perched on a flat-bed truck in front of the Clinton entourage, Romney couldn't help himself.

"Who says there is no such thing as media bias?" he said with a smile to the sole journalist following his entourage. 

A few weeks ago, a pretty apolitical (but voting) family member told me that all she ever hears about are Hillary and Obama.  "Who's even running for the Republicans?" she asked.

The Romneys run into the Clintons in Iowa

Polite.  Civilized.  From Politico:

"Nice to see you!" Sen. Clinton exclaimed to Romney. 

Introducing Josh, Romney began to tell Sen. Clinton about his son's plan to drive around the state.

"He's been driving around." Sen. Clinton shook her head knowingly, like her husband, already aware of Josh's travels.

Proving he had been listening to how many stops Josh had made, Bill Clinton then piped up, "He's halfway home!"

"Well, it's a good deal," Sen. Clinton offered

"How many counties have you hit," Romney asked, "45?"

"About 50," Josh quickly responded.

"Well, he's over halfway," Sen. Clinton said, demonstrating her knowledge of Iowa's 99 counties.  "You've got this built-in campaign team with your sons, boy I tell ya," she added, good naturedly.

"There's nothing like it," Romney replied "If we had known, we would've had more."

At this, Ann Romney got a look on her face is if to say, "not so fast" and everybody enjoyed a good laugh.

The election is still 16 months away.

The local FredHeads are mobilizing...

June 29, 2007 08:54 AM

...they now have "information packets."  But they also only had six people in attendance.  I would have left that part out, if I were they. 

Immigration Aftermath

June 28, 2007 09:05 PM

So I guess I need to write about it, since I've said so much thus far.  I was in a CLE earlier today, so I missed all the excitement as it was happening.  And now it already seems like old news.

But anyway... Yes, I'm thrilled with the results, but I am still very annoyed with the President for putting all of us through this crap.  It was great to see conservatives rise up and drive a stake through the heart of this thing, but why should we have had to?  The effort it required was just ridiculous, and it was draining.  I do not understand why the President thought this was so important to propose, much less pursue so aggressively.  All that energy could have been directed to something productive.  So W's still on my shit list.

Also on my list?  George Voinovich of course.  Yes, in the end, he voted the right way.  But what's with all the coyness?  Why wasn't he willing to say what his position was?  And then he indignantly declared on Sean Hannity's show that he would not be intimidated by all the, you know, citizens who were calling his office.  Well, at the end of the day, he was intimidated.  The whole thing just unbelievable, and I hope it will not soon be forgotten.

And why the hell were bloggers the only people who were willing to ask Senator Voinovich what his position was?  He clearly doesn't pay the blogosphere much heed, and while that's foolish, it's his prerogative.  But he wouldn't have ignored a call from a "real" reporter.  So why didn't they call?  Even if they got an evasive answer, that would have been worth reporting too.  So Ohio's mainstream media are also on my shit list.

Last on the list?  Senator Brownback.  I heard him speak when he was in town a few months ago, and I thought he did a terrific job.  Well if you haven't heard, he voted yes right at the very beginning, during the alphabetical vote, because he thought cloture was going to pass. Then, when it was clear it would not pass, he switched his vote to a "no."  He clearly thought he was acting in a way that would help his Presidential chances, but his political instincts were exactly the opposite of politically astute.  Strange.  Very strange.  And disappointing.  It's not like he won't be punished for it, though.  His presidential ambitions are over.

But the good news of the day is that now we can all move on.  But not forget.

Liveblogging Voinovich on Hannity

June 27, 2007 02:30 PM

[Scroll down, there are numerous updates]

Sean's back after the bottom of the hour break.  "Joining us now from the Great State of Ohio, Senator George Voinovich." 

Phone went dead, Voinovich sounds he doesn't know where he is.  Sean asks if he wants to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.  Voinovich says he's for it, but doesn't even know what it is.  How embarrassing.  Does he follow the news at all? 

Hannity asks if he'll vote for cloture tomorrow, Voino hems, haws, and gasps, then says he owes the American people a vote for or against it.  He's trying not to say what he'll do.

Voiny then says they have important amendments to consider.  They talk about Senator Hutchinson's amendment, which he says is very important.  He voted for it, but then, HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW IF IT PASSED TODAY.  He voted for it, but he can't even remember if he voted with the majority.  He sounds massively confused.

He'll take all the amendments into consideration as they move on.  Yeah right.

Voinovich then says the reason we are in this mess is because we approved money for border security and didn't spend it (Hun?  Yeah right they didn't spend it!).  Again, he says he is going to weigh all of this, and not tell us today if he is for it or against it.

The Senator then says he has been threatened by people calling his office, telling him this is the end of his political career.  "YOU DO NOT INTIMIDATE GEORGE VOINOVICH" he yells.  It is the fault of talk radio, he says.  But then he says if you don't like how he votes, you should take it into consideration the next time he's up for re-election.  Sure will, Senator!

Then it gets a little crazy.  Voinovich tries to scream down Sean, and won't let the host talk.  Says current law stinks.  Hannity says: "No one is enforcing the current law!"

Hannity: "You can't even tell me you've read this bill."  Voinovich says he has read "most of the summaries on it."

Voinovich: "The border today is more secure today than it was three years ago."

Hannity: "These borders aren't anywhere near secure.  I've been there, I've seen them.  This bill has had no hearings, no analysis.  400,000 guest workers every year, eligible for permanent status.  Penalty is meager for those who won't respect our laws. Security measures are reduced from last year."  Hannity is talking facts and specifics.

Oh no!  Sean made the Senator very, very angry.  The Senator: "It's not worthy to talk to you.  I'm disappointed in you, I had more respect for you." 

Hannity: "Senator you had a chance.  I'll leave you for the whole hour.  Have you done a cost analysis on this?"

But clearly, the Senator doesn't know how much it will cost.  They talk past each other.

Voinovich says if they stay here, get a job, then they'll be able to get the social security.  What?  Where did that come from? 

The Senator: "If you count the number of minutes you've had, you got to talk more than I did."

Voinovich sounds like a three year old.  They argue more.

[I have to stop listening for a minute, because I am too angry.] 

Hannity: "Congress is rushing this through."  He still wants to know if they have done a cost analysis and what it will do to Medicare, social security, etc.  "What will it cost the American taxpayer?"

Voinovich does not know, says he is getting off the phone.

Hannity: "You're running away because you can't answer a question!"

Voinovich: "I'll be back when you can be rational."  He hangs up the phone.

All in all, an appalling spectacle.  The Senator acted like a spoiled, petulant child. 

UPDATE:  Hannity is going to re-run the entire interview during the last half hour of his show today.  That's 5:30 on 55KRC, if you're interested and local. 

In other coverage:

Keeler Political Report: It was a "trainwreck of an interview."  "Voinovich's attitude was truly unbelievable."

Laura's Musings: The Senator made "quite a disturbing spectacle of himself."

Paindealer: "We may have just heard the beginning of the end of Voinovich's political career on live radio."

Hot Air has the audio, and the comment thread over there is hilarious.  Michelle Malkin herself says " Good gawd. Keep talking, George. You’re the best help we have in killing the bill out there."

BizzyBlog: "I told myself, this is going downhill in a big hurry.  Did it ever."

Thespis Journal: "Voinovich appears to be totally lost!"

World Net Daily: "Voinovich self destructs on Hannity."

Weapons of Mass Destruction: "What a humiliating performance."  They have more, here.  My favorite? "Nasty Brutish and Short has a liveblogged "transcript" that just has to be entered in to the record as Prosecution's Exhibit Number One on why The Crying Man does NOT deserve to be re-elected."  Awww.  Shucks.

Interested Participant: "In the most egregious way, he has disrespected his constituency."

Wow.  In The Corner on National Review Online, Katherine Lopez posts a scathing review: "At least he didn't cry."  This is, of course, a reference to the time Senator Voinovich CRIED on the Senate floor over John Bolton's appointment as U.N. Ambassador.

Blogmeister USA: "Retirement might be a good option."

Presto Pundit: "Is your Senator as well informed as a radio talk show host?  If the topic is the Kennedy-Bush amnesty bill, the answer is very likely no."

Porkopolis is not happy either.

Right Angle Blog: "WOW!  Voinovich may have single-handedly killed the amnesty bill by embarrassing himself and Ohio today."  "By pure serendipity I happened to be listening when George Voinovich was on today. I was riveted! Like witnessing a horrible car wreck bursting into flames - you don't want to acknowledge the horror, but you can't turn away."

NixGuy: "The one where Voinovich pisses off the entire Ohio GOP blogosphere."

Snarky Bastards: "Maybe the most embarrassing media appearance I’ve ever heard from an office holder."

Sue Bob's Diary:  "Despite the fact that the man can’t answer the simplest questions about the bill, he condescends to his constituency and snivels about intimidation. Though he claims HE can’t be intimidated—he cowardly runs away from Hannity’s persistent—though reasonable—questions."

Thanks to Bizzyblog and Weapons of Mass Destruction for their help with some of the links.

Recepción a Brutish repugnante y al cortocircuito!!!

June 26, 2007 01:02 PM

Or as our grandparents used to say "Welcome to Nasty, Brutish and Short."  And yes, the Immigration bill is back on track.  Thanks for nothing, Senator Voinovich, et al.

UPDATE: Senator Voinovich will be on Sean Hannity's radio show tomorrow afternoon.  To my knowlege, this will be the first time he has spoken to any member of the media about the immigration bill.  It will be interesting to see how he defends his position.

Supposedly Senator Voinovich is on the fence about the Immigration Bill

June 25, 2007 01:54 PM

Or at least, so says the well-respected Bizzyblog.  He was told by both Voinovich's D.C. office and the Cleveland office that the Senator has not made up his mind and is taking comments from constituents.

I find it hard to believe he'd do the right thing this time, since he wasn't willing to last time.  But who knows, maybe the calls and the polls are having an effect.  The number is (202) 224-3353, for what's that's worth.  More numbers available here.

UPDATE:  I actually was able to get through, after trying a few times earlier today.  I asked if the Senator had made up his mind about cloture, and the young woman said she "did not have a statement from the Senator."  I said "I know, I don't have a statement from him either, and I emailed him about this over a month ago."  Bottom line?  He's still trying to hide from us.  I said "please tell him we're smart enough to know that if he votes yes on cloture but then votes against the bill on the floor, he's still supporting the bill."  She said she would pass on the message.

Call him if you wish, I honestly don't know if he's even worth the effort.  Michelle Malkin has a list of who might be, here.

92% Say Boot Mitch McConnell from the Senate if he caves on immigration

June 22, 2007 08:03 AM

I know this is just an online poll, but the results are still pretty astounding:

For our Kentucky listeners, Sen. McConnell is on the White House's flip list for the Immigration Bill. If McConnell changes his vote, will his vote affect your vote in 2008?
Yes, Kick him out like Ohio did to Dewine
91.84 %

No, I still support Sen. McConnell

8.16 %

I love how they compare it to kicking him out "like Ohio did to Dewine," too.

Local Republicans Switching to Thompson?

June 21, 2007 11:38 PM

Interesting news from the VikingSpirit blog (one of the best local Republican blogs).  He's been the leading local supporter of Rudy Giuliani's campaign.  And now?

After much deliberation, I'm dropping my support of Rudy Giuliani for Fred Thompson in the Republican Presidential primary. Why you ask? Well, it's somewhat based on ideological reasons, but more based on having a chance at winning the Presidency in 2008 (and, in turn, stopping Hillary Clinton).

Firstly, I believe the political environment is ripe for the base to stay home in 2008. Our party is in open rebellion over the immigration issue, and I don't think base voters will come out to vote for Rudy because he's pro-choice, anti-gun, and pro-gay rights. If the base stays home, we cannot win the election, which leads me to my second reason for supporting Thompson.

He's totally right about the base, which is not enthusiastic about Giuliani at all.  So this is an interesting development.  Giuliani has been the front-runner for some time (which I have always attributed to name recognition, and never understood) but some polls suggest Fred Thompson has pulled ahead.  He's much more in touch with the Republican mainstream.  So welcome back, VikingSpirit!

[I do have to say though, in drafting this post, I see VikingSpirit is working for John Eby's Cincinnati city council campaign.  I voted for John Eby in 2005, but having heard him speak at political events over the last two years, I am not sure he has the ideological qualifications that the job requires.  John Eby is an endorsed Republican, but my impression of him thus far is distinctly unfavorable.  If John Eby wants the party's support he's going to have to do something that suggests he is in line with the party's values.  As yet, we've yet to see that.  If you're involved in his campaign, this should be a big source of concern, VikingSpirit).

Buh-bye! Michael Bloomberg quits the GOP

June 19, 2007 10:32 PM

Does he think anyone outside NYC and media circles even knows who he is?  Please.  And now he's going to rely on free media and blog chatter to appeal to disgruntled members of the Republican Party so he can make a Presidential run as an Independent.   Again, puhhhleeeze.  We are disgruntled, but it's for the exact opposite reasons why Bloomberg is disgruntled.

And yet now there's going to be all this media garbage about how his run as an Independent could divide the Republican party and throw the election to the Democrats.  I'm not worried about that because I don't know a single Republican who would ever consider voting for Bloomberg for President.  I think he's more likely to divide the Democrats.

He does have a lot of money though.  His own money.  And having your own money doesn't actually translate into votes.  Just ask Steve Forbes.

Oh to be a billionaire with delusions of grandeur!

UPDATE: The other thing that occurs to me this morning is that a Bloomberg candidacy really screws Hillary the most because they're both from New York, and it would force her to spend money and campaign there.  A Democrat really is going to need New York's electoral votes to win in '08.

Governor Stickland speaks to group with terrorist ties

You won't hear about it except from the bloggers, but Ohio Governor Ted Strickland gave a speech this past weekend to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),  CAIR describes itself as a human rights group, but it's shady, terrorist-loving record has been known for some time.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged criminal conspiracy involving Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.  Hell, even Democratic Senator Chuck Shumer has said: "we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism."

So why does the Governor think CAIR makes for good company?

HT: Bizzy Blog

Fill in the Blanks: What Should the Next Administration Look Like?

June 15, 2007 02:32 PM

President: ______________________

Vice President: Rudy Giuliani

Secretary of State: _______________

Attorney General: Laura Ingraham

Treasury Secretary: Larry Kudlow

Labor: ___________________________

Health & Human Services: _________

Veterans' Affairs: Oliver North

Energy: ___________________________

Education: N/A, Department Abolished

Transportation: Whoever runs Southwest Airlines

Sherrod Brown: Illegal immigration is the fault of free trade

His office emails me after I emailed them in opposition to the amnesty bill.  He writes:

Unless we fix the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and enforce our own labor laws, we will continue to debate how high the fence should be and how many agents should guard our border with no real solution in sight. In 1994, the U.S. signed NAFTA, which promised, among other things, to help create a thriving middle class in Mexico. At that time there were 3 million undocumented workers in the U.S.; today there are more than 11 million. In Mexico, 9 million more live in poverty than when NAFTA was enacted. NAFTA has failed the U.S. and Mexico. By creating an atmosphere where Mexican citizens feel they have no chance of a successful life in Mexico, these ill-conceived trade agreements increase the number of illegal immigrants coming into our country.

But remember when NAFTA was passed and the complaint against it from liberal Democrats like Sherrod Brown was that it would send American jobs south of the border?

Meanwhile, it has now been nearly a month since I emailed Voinovich about the immigration bill, and I've yet to hear anything back.  Of course that's not just me.  He's refused to make a statement to ANYONE explaining what his position on the immigration bill is.

Rule Americana

Check out this fascinating map of the U.S., which renames the 50 states for other countries with equivalent GDPs.  Ohio is Australia, California is France, Tennessee is Saudi Arabia (sorry Tennessee), Michigan is Argentina, Texas is Canada, etc., etc.

Notably missing are Japan, Britain and Russia--presumably their GDPs are higher than any of the 50 states.  But we swallow pretty much the rest of the world.

UPDATE: Also China, India.

And now Voinovich comes out in favor of the D.C. "voting rights" bill

June 13, 2007 11:28 AM

From National Review's Bench Memos blog:

Via e-mail (nothing yet on his website), Senator George Voinovich's office has released a statement declaring the Ohio Republican's support for the D.C. "voting rights" bill, which would give the District of Columbia a seat in the House of Representatives (but none in the Senate), and an additional House seat to Utah as well.  Voinovich is ranking member of the Senate subcommittee with D.C. affairs in its portfolio, so I suppose this announcement is intended to make some waves—though I haven't noticed that the senator ordinarily carries many other Republicans along in his wake.

Voinovich acknowledges that opposition to the bill on constitutional grounds shouldn't be "dismiss[ed] . . . without serious study," but his statement provides nothing more than his unexplained conclusion that "the District Clause grants Congress the ability" to pass this bill.  He's referring to Article I, section 8, clause 17, which provides Congress power to "exervcise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever" over the District where the nation's capital is located.

For a detailed explaination of why this is patently unconstitutional, read Bench Memos, which does not even bother to mention the politically obvious reason for opposing this bill: It gives the Democrats one "free" seat in Congress.  This is on top of Voinovich's asinine statement on Monday about Alberto Gonzales (i.e. the President should fire him, but the Senate shouldn't say so).

And he still hasn't issued a statement explaining what his position on immigration actually is, even though at the end of the day he ended up supporting the President's awful bill.

Does Voinovich have anything going for him?

Paglia on the Democrats, Gore and Young Hollywood

Camille Paglia is out with another profoundly insightful essay on American culture and politics.  After watching the Democratic debates, she suggests that her party may be in trouble:

Despite numerous polls claiming that registered Democrats like myself are happy with their current field of presidential contenders, the Gore boomlet betrays subterranean tremors of doubt. After two major televised debates by both parties, only a Pollyanna on helium would believe that any of the top-tier Democrats will definitely be able to defeat a leading Republican like Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani.

But, she explains, Gore is not the answer:

As a global warming agnostic, I dislike the way that Gore's preachy, apocalyptic fundamentalism has fomented an atmosphere of hysteria around this issue and potentially compromised the long-term credibility of environmentalism. Democrats who long for his return as the anti-Hillary may not realize how Gore has become a risible cartoon character for much of the country at large. Anyone who listens to talk radio has been repeatedly regaled by clips of Gore bizarrely going off the deep end at one speech or another. And Gore, far worse than Hillary, is the Phantom of a Thousand Accents -- telegraphing his supercilious condescension to whatever audience he's trying to manipulate.

And her armchair psyschological quarterbacking of young Hollywood is dead on:

What links the Lohan and Hilton cases is the weird behavior of the parents -- either flaky and dysfunctional or overbearing and coddling. The Lohan and Hilton mothers seem to reject aging by trying to keep their daughters in developmental limbo. Paris in particular seems to have become a psychic prisoner, turned into a flash-frozen marzipan doll by her belligerently benevolent mom. Neither family is typical, of course, but are the Hiltons exposing an unhealthy symbiosis in recent American family life? Adulthood keeps getting postponed for white middle-class girls, who even after they arrive at college are obsessively linked by umbilical cellphones to their hovering parents, who want to shield their progeny from all of life's nicks and scrapes.

Camille Paglia is the only reason Salon is worth reading.

SW Ohioans 4 Fred (Thompson)

June 12, 2007 12:38 PM

I learned over lunch that a friend of mine is behind the website SW Ohioans 4 Fred.  It's the blog "for Fred Heads primarily in Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton & Warren Counties- the counties that decided the 2004 election."  Great point about how this area decided the 2004 election.  People have already forgotten that. 

As for me, I have not yet decided if I'm 4 Fred.  But I'm sure I'll be reading SW Ohioans 4 Fred as I come to a decision, and you should be too.

Wright-Patt Attempted to Develop "Gay Bomb" in the '90s

A Freedom of Information Act request to Wright-Patt shows that in the early '90s, the Air Force was considering how to develop a chemical weapon that would turn the enemy gay:

As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."

The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon.

"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another," Hammond said after reviewing the documents.

A Department of Defense official said on Friday that the idea was quickly dismissed.  Apparently, they also considered spraying the enemy with bee pheromones and hiding bee hives behind enemy lines

Seriously.  This kind of creativity would not be necessary if liberals didn't get so exercised about us taking care of the enemy the old-fashioned way.

Senate Kills Immigration Bill...

June 7, 2007 11:22 PM

...let the record reflect that in the final vote, Senator Voinovich came down on the wrong side.

Is anyone surprised?

Other Republicans on the list of shame?  Senators McCain, Hagel, Graham, Lugar, Specter and Martinez.

And now Voinovich flips back the other way on immigration

He has voted against enforcing existing border security laws.  Does he have multiple personality disorder, or what?

Voinvovich Flips on Immigration?

Is it a flip, or is it a flop?  So yesterday Senator Voinvoich voted against killing the bill.  But today, he's voted to limit the "guest worker program" to 5 years--which is being construed as a vote to kill the bill.

The latest roll is is here.  If the Senator would just say whether he supports the bill or not, this would be a lot easier.  Surely a plain statement that that summarizes his position is the least he owes his constituents?

UPDATE:  Sean Hannity is on Laura Ingraham's show, and they are both pleased as punch with this morning's developments.  Is this Harriet Miers II?

Conservatives attempt to kill immigration bill; Voinovich votes with the Democrats

June 6, 2007 02:10 PM

... and with the President, who seems to have suffered a break with reality on this.  The specific issue was whether they should give amnesty to illegal immigrants who have felony records.  Voinovich says the felons should be allowed to stay.  The roll call is here.

Other Republican Senators in the Hall of Shame: Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, John McCain, Dick Lugar, Larry Craig, John Kyl, and Mel Martinez.

But Voinovich is the one who is Ohio's fault.

Ask, and ye shall receive... from Laura Ingraham

June 1, 2007 10:11 AM

On last Friday's drive up to Michigan, I caught Laura Ingraham's radio show.  She was taking calls from veterans and military families, and I was so moved by this call from Barb in Annapolis, Maryland.  Her son reenlisted with the Marines on Friday.  I emailed Laura and asked for the clip.  Give it a listen.

Download file

I just think she's awesome.

Terrorist "Dry Runs" on U.S. Commercial Flights

May 30, 2007 10:45 AM

From Ann Jacobsen's blog, Aviation Nation:

The Department of Homeland Security has declassified the Inspector General's report on Northwest Flight 327 — a flight which I was a passenger on back in June of 2004. It took the US government two years and eleven months to confirm what I have been writing since the flight landed — in my 28-part series for WomensWallStreet.com and in Terror in The Skies, Why 9/11 Could Happen Again (Spence 2005) i.e:

  • The flight was a dry run for a future terrorist attack involving planes.   
  • The Federal Air Marshal Service grossly mishandled what happened during the flight.   
  • The Syrians terrified flight crew and passengers.   
  • The Federal Air Marshal Service grossly mismanaged what happened after the flight landed in Los Angeles.
  • The Federal Air Marshal Service attempted to cover up their egregious incompetence by issuing false statements and misleading the public about the severity of what happened on the flight....

Ironic note: DHS now refers to the group as a "band" (in quotes) because the Syrians were not a band — that was their cover. The declassified DHS report also confirms what I reported last month: that the Syrians from Flight 327 were involved in an earlier dry run — on January 28, 2004. The FBI had flagged this dry run into their incident base six months before Northwest 327 took flight. 

I wrote about Flight 327 back in August, and was immediately accused of perpetuating an urban legend, and inadequate sourcing.  Of course, it turns out I was right all along.  This is no where near the abuse that has been heaped on Ann Jacobsen though, for pursuing this story.

You can read Ann's first-hand account of what happened during Flight 327, here.  It is pretty chilling.

HT: Malkin

There was no Kent State conspiracy or cover up. I'm telling you, I know.

May 23, 2007 10:01 PM

But first, a little context:

The Cincinnati Beacon is up with a post on the Kent State shootings, which happened 37 years ago, in a time of angst and uncertainty about a foreign war.  And when a good many people became extremely exercised about the motives of people in power, and were inclined to believe the worst. 

The Beacon links to an article by Bob Fitrakis (a former Green Party candidate for Ohio Gov.) and Harvey Wasserman (a very well known left-wing academic and commentator).  Their article contends that there is "new proof" that shows the Ohio National Guard intentionally opened fire on the students at Kent State, killing four of them.  They write:

For 37 years the official cover story has been that a mysterious shot rang out and the young Guardsmen panicked, firing directly into the “mob” of students.

This week, that cover story was definitively proven to be a lie.

Prior to the shooting, a student named Terry Strubbe put a microphone at the window of his dorm, which overlooked the rally. According to the Associated Press, the 20-second tape is filled with “screaming anti-war protectors followed by the sound of gunfire.”

But in an amplified version of the tape, a Guard officer is also heard shouting “Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!”

The sound of gunshots follow the word “Point.” Four students soon lay dead.

The article contends that this tape was recently discovered, and that it proves what conspiracy theorists had long suspected--that the Government killed these students.  In fact, Fitrakis and Wasserman go so far as to directly accuse then-Governor Rhodes of ordering the National Guard to open fire.  They call it a "premeditated and unprovoked order" to fire live ammunition at the students, and that it came from the Governor:

For we now know that a premeditated, unprovoked order was indeed given to National Guardsmen to fire live ammunition at peaceful, unarmed American students, killing four of them. The illegal order to arm the Guard with live ammunition in the first place could only have come from the governor of Ohio.

It is a scathing claim.  They are accusing Governor Rhodes and the Ohio National Guardsmen of murder.  It is a claim that is not worthy of two people who are, though to the left, well-within the confines of customary Ohio political discourse.

And they are wrong.  How do I know this?  Seven years ago was the 30th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.  At that time, I was a newly-minted law school grad, and was working for the government.  And I was given an extraordinary assignment: review the Kent State files, and determine what the media could and could not see in response to FOIA and Ohio Public Records Act requests (they were writing their thirtieth anniversary retrospectives).*  And I got to see everything, and determine what the press and the public would be allowed to see.  There were boxes and boxes of materials--including all the records pertaining to the numerous investigations after the shootings.  The records were so voluminous, it took weeks to review all of them.  It was a brutal assignment--there are photos from the scene that day which are so graphic and disturbing that the press will not publish them.  And, I quickly became an expert in all things related to Kent State.

I cannot comment on the contents of the non-public records, but I can say that very, very few fall in the non-public category, and the press got to see every thing pertinent.  And the important thing is this:  There is absolutely no evidence to support Fitrakis's and Wasserman's outrageous claims.  None.  All of the evidence supports the conclusions of the official investigations from thirty-seven years ago.  There was no conspiracy, and neither the Ohio National Guard, nor Governor Rhodes, murdered anyone.  It is disgraceful that Fitrakis and Wasserman would level the allegations that they have.  There is no evidence to back up their claims of intentional and premeditated murder.  None.

*If you're wondering why all the records are not available to the press or the public, the reason is that law enforcement investigatory records--especially those pertaining to uncharged suspects--cannot be produced under FOIA or the Ohio Public Records Act.

Finally, Elizabeth Hasselbeck Fights Back

The Times of London Profiles Dennis Kucinich's Hippie Freak of a Wife

May 21, 2007 03:28 PM

She is 29 and he is 60, by the way.  Third marriage for him, first for her.  Check out their hot hippie freak rush to the altar:

Kucinich met her husband-to-be two years ago when she visited his office in the House of Representatives with her boss as a volunteer worker for the American Monetary Institute, an offbeat group dedicated to reforming the “unjust monetary system”.

Offbeat indeed!  From their website, one learns that "the actual history of government control over money shows a far superior record to private control."  In other words, socialize everything!

So she's pretty much perfect for Dennis, and he recognized this, too. 

It was love at first sight for both of them. Immediately after their meeting, Dennis Kucinich phoned a friend and said: “I’ve met her [my future wife].”

Creepy!  Nevertheless,

He was mesmerised to receive a business e-mail from Harper with her usual signature line from Kama Sutra, one of her favourite films: “Knowing love, I shall allow all things to come and go, to be as supple as the wind and take everything that comes with great courage. My heart is as open as the sky.”

That's how she signs a business email?.  Wonder how Dennis signs his?  But anyway:

He proposed at their second meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and they married three months later. The Hollywood actress Shirley MacLaine attended their wedding.

Proposal on a second date?  Tacky and foolish.  Married three months later?  Tacky and foolish.  Shirley MacLaine at the wedding?  Tacky, foolish and totally unsurprising.

On his presidential prospects, the new missuz says:

“Can you imagine what it would be like to have real love in the White House and a true union between the masculine and the feminine?”

Ooooo, sounds like sequel to The DaVinci Code.  Like those characters, she is well-traveled:

It was in India that she encountered somebody with a tongue stud and later had her own implanted — a bar with two delicate balls on either side.

Flash ahead to the "Decline and Fall of the American Empire" history books of tomorrow:  With a flick of the tongue, she said to the Foreign Minister "I can prowmiss you don't have to worry about American intervention in your war of agression.  I have Dennis's foreign pwolicy firmly in cheek."

After all, she's even opposed to aggressive responses to 9-11:

At Kent she unexpectedly signed up for a master’s degree in conflict resolution after meeting the course lecturer in a pub. She knew she had chosen the right subject when her final exam took place on September 11, 2001.

“The rest of the world was sending out its love to America but US officials just wanted to kick out. I remember thinking then I’d love to come to America and help them to reconcile with the rest of the world,” she said.

Perhaps she's just part of some secret Democratic plan to make us all less scared about Hillary?

Apparently, yes:

On her MySpace website she ... says her heroes are “my beautiful husband and anyone else who embraces peace”. She describes Dennis as a “very philosophical, deep thinking person” rather than a new age type, but he is a vegan, unlike her — she still cannot resist occasional dairy products.

Which is why she is now 7 feet tall. -------------->

Draped in the Mexican flag again ... - Wonkette

Photo via Wonkette

Has anyone noticed the world doesn't hate us anymore?

May 11, 2007 09:17 AM

Ann Coulter makes a great point.  Despite George W. Bush being a supposed "cowboy president" who has made the rest of the world despise us, it isn't looking that way lately.  France just elected a very pro-American President.  Germany did the same thing in 2005, Canada elected a conservative Prime Minister in 2006, and the pro-American Prime Minister of Australia was re-elected to an historic third term in 2004.  And even Tony Blair, who was our ally when few else were, is about to be replaced by a pro-American conservative.

Ann also gets in a sectarian attack:

I'm off to Paris! I hereby revoke every churlish remark I've ever made about those lovely Gallic people. (But in light of former New Jersey governor and current "gay American" Jim McGreevey's latest career move, I redouble everything I've ever said about the Episcopalians.)

I'd be offended by that, if she weren't absolutely right.

HT: Bizzy Blog.

Ahhh, so this explains it

May 10, 2007 08:37 AM

Image hosting by Warst.com

From Warst.com

 

In Bob Novak's latest column...

May 3, 2007 03:08 PM

...there are two things of interest.  First, the column speculates that "September Dawn" a movie about Mormons opening this weekend is damaging to Mitt Romney's presidential prospects.  The movie details the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and portrays Brigham Young as a 19th century Osama bin Laden.  In the September 11, 1857 massacre,

Mormons mobilized Paiute Indians, accompanied by Mormons disguised as Indians, to attack a peaceful wagon train. The settlers beat off the attack but were left short of food and ammunition. They disarmed themselves at the request of Mormons who said they would lead them to safety but instead turned on the settlers, murdering every man, woman and child above the age of 8. All that is in doubt historically is whether this was ordered by Brigham Young, president of the Mormon Church. ''September Dawn'' says he was responsible, and the church denies it.

I was having a conversation last night about the PBS special that has been running this week on the Mormons, and everyone was in universal agreement that Mormons represent their faith very well.  Nice.  Clean-cut.  Peaceful.  Needless to say, it sounds like "September Dawn" reaches a different conclusion.  And I am sure it won't be helpful to Mitt Romney, who is surely the reason we've been hearing so much about Mormon's lately (which all started with Andrew Sullivan's post about Mormon underwear).

Which brings me to the second thing of interest.  Novak writes:

I attended a screening of the movie hosted by Academy Award-winner Jon Voight (who plays a fictional Mormon bishop). A conservative, he said this was no hit against Romney. ''I didn't even know he was running when we began this,'' Voight told viewers after the screening. But he said this terrible story is important considering America's war against terrorists.

Jon Voight is a "conservative"?  Angelina Jolie's dad?  No wonder they're not talking.

"I chased girls and girls chased me."

May 2, 2007 08:16 AM

The New York Times is on top of some non-news about Fred Thompson:

And at a private meeting a few weeks ago with House Republicans, he answered questions about his reputation as a man about town during his eight years in the Senate, a period when he was single after his divorce from his first wife. Mr. Thompson was asked bluntly if any activities from his first marriage or his time in the Senate would come back to haunt him or his backers.

According to those attending, Mr. Thompson assured them there were no problems, but conceded that when he was single, “I chased girls and girls chased me.” Mr. Thompson is since remarried, and he and his wife, Jeri, have two young children.

What's so wrong about that?  This only makes me like him more. 

Delta Airlines Now Offering Carbon Offsets

April 19, 2007 08:20 AM

In an email from their SkyMiles program, they write:

Hello Mr. [NBS],

In a partnership with The Conservation Fund, we are the first U.S. airline to implement a voluntary carbon offset program — and we'd love to have you "onboard."

It's simple. Beginning June 1, 2007, you will be able to add a small donation to fund the planting of trees in sustainable managed forests around the globe when you book your ticket at delta.com. These trees will help off-set carbon emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it to oxygen as part of their natural processes.

Why not just make a charitable contribution directly to a tree hugging progam, if that is your wont?  All Delta is doing is adding a middle man.  And where's the information that shows just how much your donation needs to be to "offset" a trip somewhere?

The national conversation about race we've had this week sure has been healthy and productive

April 13, 2007 02:22 PM

Reminding Liberal Academics at State Universities Who They Work For, Step 1

A few weeks ago, the faculty Senate at the University of Florida voted against giving former Governor Jeb Bush an honorary degree.  Earlier this week, the Republican controlled House in Florida voted to make the University rename it's entire college of education after the former Governor:

The University of Florida's education school would be renamed the "Jeb Bush College of Education," under an amendment approved this morning by the House Schools & Learning Council. What's more, UF would also have to erect "suitable markers" noting the college's new name and include the revised name in all university documents, including catalogues and brochures.

That will irk all the people who need irking.

Wherein some left wing friends write and ask for my take...

Two of NBS's college friends are of the liberal persuasion.  Occassionally, we write each other to find out how the other side is handicapping issues of electoral politics.  Here's my take on the Democrats:

I think either Hillary or Barack could easily win the general election.  They both have a lot of baggage, as you so humorously noted [ed. he had described her as "having more baggage than a Samsonite outlet store"].  I can tell you that the general public does not yet know that Barack's middle name is Hussein.  If you all nominate him, every man, woman and child will know that by election day, and it will be a big problem for him.  Some of the attorneys here were talking about Obama a few weeks ago, and I said I thought his middle name would be an issue for the electorate.  They were like "what is his middle name?" and as soon as I said Hussein, mouths fell open and one person said "you have got to be f***ing kidding me."  And that's the attorney crowd talking.  Can you imagine what the NASCAR crowd will say?

His wife, however?  Neither nappy headed, nor a ho.

As for my friends, one is leading more towards Hillary, and the other appears undecided between Hillary and Barack.

The always interesting Camille Paglia...

April 11, 2007 09:05 AM

... talking a great deal of sense about global warming.

As a native of upstate New York, whose dramatic landscape was carved by the receding North American glacier 10,000 years ago, I have been contemplating the principle of climate change since I was a child. Niagara Falls, as well as the even bigger dry escarpment of Clark Reservation near Syracuse, is a memento left by the glacier. So is nearby Green Lakes State Park, with its mysteriously deep glacial pools. When I was 10, I lived with my family at the foot of a drumlin -- a long, undulating hill of murrain formed by eddies of the ancient glacier melt....

Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.

Who is impious enough to believe that Earth's contours are permanent? Our eyes are simply too slow to see the shift of tectonic plates that has raised the Himalayas and is dangling Los Angeles over an unstable fault. I began "Sexual Personae" (parodying the New Testament): "In the beginning was nature." And nature will survive us all. Man is too weak to permanently affect nature, which includes infinitely more than this tiny globe.

She's right, of course. 

If you send a sympathy note to the Edwardses...

April 4, 2007 12:09 PM

... as thousands of people have apparently done, you get solicited for a campaign contribution.

Classy.

Flashback: How a Real Leader Starts a Ballgame

April 3, 2007 04:29 PM

The Republican Field

April 2, 2007 09:46 AM

Bob Novak writes:

In just three weeks, Fred Thompson has improbably transformed the contest for the Republican presidential nomination. It is not merely that he has come from nowhere to double digits in national polls. He is the talk of GOP political circles, because he is filling the conservative void in the Republican field.

A FOX News poll out last week had Guiliani at 36%, McCain at 20%, Thompson at 10% and Romney at 7.5%.  Thompson is doing very, very well for someone who is only hinting about running.  Novak says he's serious, and that Thompson's wife is "all for it."  And you know what that means: He's in.  Guiliani, I believe, is peaking at 36%, which is based largely on name recognition and post 9/11 warm fuzzies.  I think he knows he can't do better, and is running for VP.  McCain, as always, is delusional.  I like Romney, and don't know why he isn't doing better.  He has raised a pile of money.

As for the Dems, Hillary's at 34%, Obama's at 23%, Edwards and Gore are both at 15%.  No surprises there.  The media certainly can't stop talking about Hillary and Obama, can they?

John Travolta Speaks Out Against Global Warming

March 30, 2007 12:25 PM

He says we need to starting thinking about colonizing other planets and building "dome cities."

Dome cities!

"It [global warming] is a very valid issue," Travolta declared. "I'm wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities.

"Everyone can do their bit. But I don't know if it's not too late already. We have to think about alternative methods of fuel.

Here is John Travolta's house in Florida:

 John Travolta

Everyone do their bit to help, now!

Take the 2008 GOP Primary Straw Poll

March 27, 2007 10:03 AM

So how did NBS vote?

In my acceptable category, I voted for Brownback, Gingrich, Romney and Fred Thompson.  I didn't designate a first choice.  As for Gilmore, Huckabee, Hunter, Tancredo and Tommy Thompson, I know who they all are, but don't know much about them.  My guess is that none of them have a realistic shot if a news junkie like me can't even decide if they are acceptable or not.

Guiliani, McCain and Pataki are all completely unacceptable.  Guiliani would maybe be okay as the VP candidate, but that's it. 

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

March 20, 2007 09:13 AM

Yes, the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case has finally arrived before the Supremes:

Alaska high-school student Joseph Frederick hoisted his 14-foot "Bong hits 4 Jesus" banner to get on TV....  Frederick wanted to annoy school administrators, and he wanted media attention, and as we discovered today, he chose well on both fronts. He was suspended for 10 days.

So of course, he sued, and now his free speech case is pending before the highest court in the land.  His parents must be so proud.

I still remember my Con Law prof from college talking about Cohen v. California.  He began class with the proscribed speech from that case with a dramatic "F*** the Draft!"  He was old and very crusty, so this was a surprise.  It was memorable.

We'll see if "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" has the same staying power.

What Not to Say When Testifying in Your Own Defense, No. 387...

March 13, 2007 10:23 PM

... that the United States is a "terrorist state."  Jurors tend to not like that kind of thing.  But that's what one of the anti-war trespassing protesters did last week at her trial:

Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen returned to the stand, talking about U.S. foreign policy and why she feels obliged to oppose it.

“Weapons of mass destruction — the largest arsenal is on our country,” she said. “When we talk about terror, the United States of America is, in my view, a state terrorist, because we are holding the world hostage to nuclear weapons.

Thank God loons from other denominations come around often enough to make me feel less bad about being an Episcopalian! 

But anyway... as you may remember, I wrote about the anti-war trespassing protesters here, and then was quoted in CityBeat about it, here.  They raised a necessity defense, arguing that their trespassing was necessary to save innocent lives.  Necessity is a viable defense to any criminal charge, but it is typically used in situations where the threat is imminent and actually connected to the Defendants' actions.  Not the case here, though they apparently argued that they believed their sit-in at Congressman Chabot's office would stop the war in Iraq.  Is it too uncharitable to say this was a stupidity defense and not a necessity defense? 

The protester's were convicted of trespassing earlier today.  The jury didn't buy the necessity defense.  Frankly, I'm surprised the Judge even allowed them to argue it.  At least he quashed their ridiculous attempt to subpoena Donald Rumsfeld to testify at trial.

The protesters get probation and 20 hours of community service.  They contend that the "real crime" (i.e. the war in Iraq) has gone unpunished.  I think the real crime is that their lawyers were allowed to present meritless arguments before the Court.  Supposedly that is an ethical violation, warranting attorney discipline by the bar.

Tree Hugging Lawyer Whack Job

March 8, 2007 12:10 PM

Over at Above the Law, NBS friend David Lat has posted this hysterical pleading filed by Alison "Sunny" Maynard, who is a former Green Party Candidate for Attorney General of Colorado.  Naturally (get it "naturally"?) she wasn't elected, so she's still in private practice.  And in this case, she's representing an environmental group called the Citizens Progressive Alliance, and asking for an extension of time because she blew a deadline.  Which is usually considered legal malpractice.

Check out the reasons she gives for blowing the deadline.  No, that's not usually what you want to tell the tribunal and leave in the official record.  Nor is it common practice to use smiley face emoticons in your pleadings.

Make sure you scroll down through the comments over at Above the Law.  David doesn't identify Ms. Maynard at first, and then some commenters out her.  She then chimes in herself with a hilarious, indignant, and ridiculously lengthy retort.  Too funny.

inebriation excusable neglect motion 1.jpg

Advice to lawyers appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court...

March 7, 2007 10:03 AM

...take a deep breath, and pretend they're not wearing any shoes.  They actually might not be! 

The New York Times has this explanation for why Justice Ginsberg was slow to her feet after oral arguments last week:

According to her chambers, Justice Ginsburg had kicked off her shoes during the argument and could not find one of them.

Now that would be embarrassing.  You'd think her chambers could come up with a better "explanation" than she couldn't find her shoe.

NBS's Mom Reports in from CPAC 2007...

March 1, 2007 04:16 PM

... that's the Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C., which my parents are currently attending:

This conference has gotten HUGE! you were ahead of your time! Students galore!  Blogger conferences, training and a blogger corner in the enormous exhibit display.  The place is jammed.  My current choice for president is Tony Snow!!!! I wish he would!

Yes, NBS comes by it honestly.  Conservative by birth, conservative by the Grace of God. 

The CPAC agenda for today also includes roundtable discussions on "Why Are Liberals So Hell Bent on Raising Our Taxes," "Local Action…National Impact: Discover the Secrets of Sam Adams for Real Political Change," and "Are Conservative Judicial Nominees DOA in the Democrat-Controlled Senate?"

And of course, tonight's big headliner is Vice-President Cheney, who will speak during dinner.

If Justice Thomas lets 'em talk about the private tour of the Supreme Court he's giving the 'rents, we'll have all the details on that here at NBS--though it will probably be off the record, so don't hold your breath.  We'll also break in the moment Mom NBS calls to proudly confirm that "Phyllis Schlafly STILL remembers your grandmother."  We get that call every year.  Phyllis Schlafly and my grandmother stopped ERA.  Oh, also communism.

Senator McCain to Mix It Up at the Keating Firm (of all places!)

February 11, 2007 12:00 PM

The Cincinnati Post is reporting that John McCain will be in town this week for a fundraising breakfast, and then a meet and greet at Keating, Muething and Klekamp.

You'd really think he'd avoid reminding folks he was one of the Keating Five.

In case you've forgotten, Charles Keating was one of the founding partners and KMK, and good friends with John McCain.  Here's the condensed version on the Keating Five scandal:

 McCain was one of the so-called "Keating Five" senators. He was investigated by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics in 1991 regarding the acceptance of favors from Lincoln Savings & Loan Association (Lincoln) and its owner, Charles H. Keating, Jr. Simply put, the issue was whether McCain and the other senators used their official positions to attempt to pressure Federal Home Loan Bank Board officials to go easy on the troubled institution. Eventually Lincoln went bust, costing depositors and taxpayers millions.

In its final report (November 20, 1991), here is what the Senate Select Committee on Ethics concluded about McCain's conduct:

"Mr. Keating, his associates, and his friends contributed $56,000 for Senator McCain's two House races in 1982 and 1984, and $54,000 for his 1986 Senate race. Mr. Keating also provided his corporate plane and/or arranged for payment for the use of commercial or private aircraft on several occasions for travel by Senator McCain and his family, for which Senator McCain ultimately provided reimbursement when called upon to do so. Mr. Keating also allowed Senator McCain and his family to vacation with Mr. Keating and his family, at a home provided by Mr. Keating in the Bahamas, in each of the calendar years 1983 through 1986.

Three items to note: (1) McCain's Keating Five history pretty clearly demonstrate his complete hypocrisy on campaign finance issue, which is supposedly his baby, and one of the reasons why the media adores him, (2) why he gets a free pass on this hypocrisy is a mystery to me, and (3) clearly his political skills are not what they appear to be if he thinks it's smart to make an announced visit to the Keating firm. 

He should be running from the Keating name as fast as possible!

Remember John Edwards and his "Two Americas" Campaign Theme?

January 30, 2007 01:46 PM

You may recall that the theme went something like this:

Today, under George W. Bush, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks. One America - middle-class America - whose needs Washington has long forgotten, another America - narrow-interest America - whose every wish is Washington's command. One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants, even a Congress and a president.

Well, John Edwards is building a new house, with his hard-earned plaintiff's bar cash.  And it looks like he's buying everything he wants.  From the Carolina Journal Online:

Story photo

 RALEIGH — Presidential candidate John Edwards and his family recently moved into what county tax officials say is the most valuable home in Orange County. The house, which includes a recreational building attached to the main living quarters, also is probably the largest in the county....

Knight approved the building plans that showed the Edwards home totaling 28,200 square feet of connected space. The main house is 10,400 square feet and has two garages. The recreation building, a red, barn-like building containing 15,600 square feet, is connected to the house by a closed-in and roofed structure of varying widths and elevations that totals 2,200 square feet....

The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge."

Quote of the Day

January 29, 2007 11:43 AM

"The question is, we face a lot of dangers in the world and,
in the gentleman's words, we face a lot of evil men and
what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?"

Hillary Clinton, speaking in Davenport, Iowa.

In case you missed it...the liberals at Saturday Night Live have Hillary pegged

January 25, 2007 12:31 PM

How bad are things for Republicans?

January 24, 2007 09:23 PM

Redstate's editor surveys the Republican '08 field.  His conclusion?

They all suck. Let's just admit it. Every one of the thus far announced Republican candidates for President sucks. From the lecherous adulterer to the egomaniacal nut job to the flip-flopping opportunist with the perfect hair to the guy who hates brown people to the guy we've never heard of to the guy who has a better chance of getting hit by a meteor while being consumed by a blue whale being struck by lightening.

He's speaking of Rudy, McCain, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback, respectively. 

Maybe "they all suck" is too strong, but let's face it: We have major problems with the '08 ticket.

Even their Christmas card is obnoxious!

January 4, 2007 09:37 AM

The Washington Post reports...

The senator from Massachusetts and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, sent out 75,000 Christmas cards with pictures of trees at each season. The Kerrys gushed over their "gratitude for the beauty of these trees and the life they represent."

Okay, that message doesn't have anything to do with Christmas, but ignoring that: 

The card came in an odd-looking envelope, one of those with a return-mail flap and instructions to send it to . . . well, to a recycling company, so "it can be made into new carpet tile."

What?  Made into new carpet tile?  Yes, the card actually instructs you to:

"1. Remove this panel and insert it along with the card into the envelope. 2. Expose adhesive strip and fold the flap over to seal the envelope. 3. Drop this mailer into any U.S. mailbox."

With everything there is to do around the holidays, who the hell has time to turn John Kerry's Christmas card into carpet tile?

How to answer Sam Donaldson

Democrats, welcome to the bed you have made.

January 3, 2007 10:21 PM

Now you get to lie in it. 

From the Washington Business Journal's report on the Democrats' first day in charge:

House Democrats tried to unveil their lobbying reform package today, but their press conference was drowned out by chants from anti-war activists who want Congress to stop funding the Iraq war before taking on other issues.

Led by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain soldier, the protesters chanted "De-escalate, investigate, troops home now" as Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., began outlining the Democrats' plans to ban lobbyist-funded travel and institute other ethics reforms. The press conference was held in the Cannon House Office Building in an area open to the public.

Emanuel finally gave up trying to be heard over the chants, and retreated to a caucus room where Democrats were meeting.

Do we feel sorry for them?  Hell no.

A Food Writer's Eulogy...

...for conservative doyenne Jeane Kirkpatrick:

Jeane cooked with the characteristic gusto that she threw into her writing on neoconservative causes or the latest speech defending U.S. foreign policy before the United Nations. As she sauteed the ham, beat her natilla, a Spanish custard pudding she loved, or made paella, a regular party dish, she told me about her techniques.

Read the whole thing.  It is heartfelt and delightful.

The Chief wants...

January 1, 2007 11:31 PM

...better pay for federal judges.  Currently, district court judges (an, ahem... entry level position) are paid $165,200, appeals court judges make $175,100, the Supremes make $203,000 each, and the Chief pulls down $212,100.  Complaining about this annually is part of the Chief's job (it's why he's paid more).  Rehnquist used to do this every year.

And yes, the salaries don't sound too bad, but the Chief's right.  With college tuition that can easily be 40K per year, and new federal judges being right about the age where they'll have to pay for their kids to go, their salary is too low.  They can't educated their own kids based on their current salary, much less pay for fun stuff like country club memberships.

So join us in shedding a tear for for the poor, underprivileged federal judges and their families.

This will set the conspiracy buffs on edge...

August 10, 2006 03:25 PM

...and we don't consider ourselves conspiracy buffs here at NBS.  But we do find these things, well, interesting:

Major Cellphone Outage Reported in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel Corp. said an outage of its cellphone service in parts of the New York borough of Queens on Thursday was caused by water damage to network equipment due to a burst pipe.

The outage came amid intensified airport security after British police said they had foiled a plot to blow up several aircraft flying between Britain and the United States. Two major New York airports -- JFK and LaGuardia -- are in Queens.

The service interruption, reported earlier by the New York City police, was caused by damage to equipment in Verizon Communications Inc.'s wired network, Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott said.

There has been a great deal of discussion of the need to take down the cell phone grid in the event of impending terrorist attack, because cell phones are used as triggering devices.  And that is all we have to say on this subject.

Weeeeeeeeee!

July 17, 2006 12:58 PM

Look who snuck out of the G8 early for a little ridey ridey!  It's Bush and Vlad and Condi and whoever her counterpart is.  Doing doughnuts in St. Pete! 

Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) drives U.S. President George W. Bush (from L-R), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Russia's Security Council Igor Ivanov in an electric micro-car at the site of the G8 summit outside of St Petersburg July 15, 2006. (ITAR-TASS/PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/Reuters)

Fun!

Harriet the Spy or I Spy Harriet?

July 13, 2006 11:30 AM

A friend of NBS emails this morning from D.C....

Guess who I saw last night???  I went over to a friend's in Crystal City (I HATE that name).  When I walked in to the lobby of his building, the elevator dings and out walks America's Second Favorite former Supreme Court Nominee (after Bork) -- Harriet Miers!!!  I asked my friend about it, and he said that she lives upstairs from him.  Very strange, because this guy's condo is a studio and not all that nice.  But, Harriet's a simple gal so I guess it suits her just fine.  She "should" be living somewhere fancy on the hill I would think.  Apparently "Duke" Cunningham lived in the building as well.

WOW.  Further exchanges with our correspondent reveal:

It was definitely her.  She was shorter than I thought she was.  She was wearing a simple gray business suit, skirt to her knees.  I said hello, and she responded the same -- perhaps flattered that the look in my eyes seemed to indicate that I actually "knew" who she was, unlike 96% of the U.S. Senate. 

What a brush with fame!  Which it occurs to us is an apt description not only of our friend's sighting of Harriet, but also of Harriet's entire career.