Wednesday, August 31

'WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS'

'SAVING NEW ORLEANS'

"I'm confident that with time you'll get your life back in order, new communities will flourish, the great city of New Orleans will get back on its feet and America will be a stronger place for it."

--President Bush. August 31, 2005.

FLY BY

Air Force One swooped down below the clouds this morning at an approximate altitude of 1,700 feet to give President Bush a 'bird's eye view' of the 'Katrina-ed' areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

***Look for the Federal Gov't to use cruise ships as shelters to house the refugees from New Orleans. The Feds have already pitched the idea to Carnival Cruise Lines. Remember Kathie Lee Gifford belting out 'Carnival's Got The Fun'?

KING ABDULLAH

I stand corrected. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called President Bush to express his condolences and offer assistance. And although not specifically discussed between the President and the King this morning, there are reports that Saudi Arabia is preparing to 'help stabilize oil markets.'

ANYBODY OUT THERE?

Nary a peep from the international community regarding the aftermath of Katrina. Blair, Howard, Koizumi, Putin? Where are you guys?

HYSTERIA & UNPROVEN THEORIES

Expanding upon the dialogue from yesterday about the relationship between hurricanes and environmental policy--today we hear from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is placing blame for death and destruction, post-Katrina, at the feet of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

I heard about Kennedy's comments on the radio this morning--I hadn't yet read his op-ed on the Huffington Post--but it is predictable that he would seek to characterize Barbour, the former head of the Republican National Committee and Bush advisor, as a big money lobbyist, 'evil Republican,' etc.

Let me be clear: Kennedy is an environmental zealot. When he opines he doesn't offer any actionable, intelligent plans. He merely spews hysteria and unproven theories about 'climate change,' his cause de jour. He's got all that inheritance money, he's bored, so why not?

The earth is cooler than it was 100 years ago. That is a scientific fact. I am extremely wary of anyone who tries to advance the notion that the planet is cruising toward calamity due to greenhouse gases or CO2 levels or any of the other junk science routinely spouted by Left wing crazies, like RFK Jr.

Katrina occurred during HURRICANE SEASON. From time to time we experience a bad storm. It really is as simple as that.

Somehow though, in the mind of Kennedy, the fact that Barbour wrote a memo to Bush in March of 2001 that urged the President not to fall victim to the 'eco-extremism' of the Clinton/Gore years and instead to craft 'good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years.'

Barbour nailed it. He was absolutely correct. The reason that the United States is in the position it currently finds itself with energy and gas is due to the eight years of regulation and legal entanglements created by Clinton/Gore. Radical and unproven environmental theories were given serious weight. Hysteria was driving and writing the energy policies back then.

The United States is dependent on Middle Eastern sources of energy today precisely because of eight years of crazy environmental policy that was more concerned with protecting a buffalo in Alaska than with providing power and gasoline for you and me.

With all the red tape no new nuclear power plants could be built. Because of superfluous environmental concerns we don't conduct offshore drilling and we don't utilize our own natural resources. It is sheer stupidity!

Kennedy writes:

"On March 13, Bush reversed his previous position, announcing he would not back a CO2 restriction using the language and rationale provided by Barbour. Echoing Barbour’s memo, Bush said he opposed mandatory CO2 caps, due to “the incomplete state of scientific knowledge” about global climate change."

Oooooh. Kennedy and the Left wing nuts see conspiracy. Instead we have good policy.

Yet Kennedy declares the 'science to be clear.' It is far from clear. It is, at best, 'incomplete' as Barbour stated in the above memo.

Tuesday, August 30

80% UNDERWATER

Now they are saying Katrina was worse than feared. With 80% of the city of New Orleans underwater that sounds about right. People who have been calling the Superdome home these past two days are even beginning to commit suicide, two so far.

There's rampant looting, in some cases in full sight of National Guard personnel. One looter reportedly even asked a Guardsman if he could borrow the Guardman's car. Amazing. Other looters were seen playing and joking around in the waist-deep water, like they were having a good time. Who could have a good time right now in the Katrina-zone, with all this destruction and devastation?

Very sad and tragic, this weather. I always wonder why God allows this type of human suffering?

Mississippi too, is devastated. In fact, Katrina hit Biloxi and Gulfport full force. I hear the Mississippi coast is completely gone. Hundreds are missing. Hundreds are stranded on rooftops, awaiting rescue. Bodies are floating in the water. Awful.

Estimates are 70 dead across four affected states.

LOOKING AHEAD TO '08

This Patrick Ruffini guy is everywhere. He's really gotten a lot of mileage out of this online poll, too, finding that--as Hugh Hewitt did a few months ago--that Republicans really DIG Rudy Guiliani.

Other names mentioned by Ruffini in terms of being Presidential timber for 2008 are VA Senator George Allen, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, MA Governor Mitt Romney and AZ Senator (and media darling) John McCain.

The results from 16,437 votes cast gives Rudy a 10 point victory over George Allen.

Guiliani 30.1%
Allen 20.1%
Gingrich 14.3%
Romney 9.1%

Scientific? Not very, but it wasn't meant to be. The goal of this poll was quite obviously 'mood gauging,' nothing more.

It's meaningless, but I'm thrilled that McCain, who I've referred to as 'Jackass John' since 2000, doesn't do well in Ruffini's universe. His top support states are small (with NY being an exception) and primarily in the NE, primarily VT, DC, MA and RI. He doesn't do well in the Red states and only garners 8% support in his home state.

Romney's core support is in Utah. (He's a Mormon) In fact he gets more love in Utah--52%--than any other candidate in any other state. He also does well in RI and MA, where he's second to Guiliani. He does well in AZ, CA and CO. He's got very little support (think name recognition) in the SE.

Newt Gingrich. Are you kidding me? I don't think this guy has a shot in hell but what do I know? He's big in flyover country like ID, IA and IN and he's strong all over the South in places like LA, MS and in his home state of GA.

George Allen is a big unknown and yet he's popular because he's got a fresh face. Big support in his home state of VA, as well as in MD, WV, KY, IN, OH, IL, MO, PA, RI, the Dakotas, plus MN. He does well down South, especially in NC, SC, AL and GA, and in the Big States like CA, NY, FL, TX.

Watch out for the Rudy train, where he's huge in NM, CT, NJ, WA and certainly his home state of NY. As Ruffini noted, the 'news' is how Guiliani does in Southern States with urban centers, like TX, NC and FL. He does well in MT, NM, AK, WY as well as CA, OH, MI and PA.

Good stuff.

GLOBAL WARMING & KATRINA

Politicians in Germany are using hurricane Katrina as an example of President Bush's 'laxity' to the environment.

From Der Spiegel:

"Germany's Environmental Minister, Jürgen Trittin, a Green Party member, who takes space in the Frankfurter Rundschau, a paper owned by the Social Democrats, to bash US President George W. Bush's environmental laxity. He begins by likening the photos and videos of the hurricane stricken areas to scenes from a Roland Emmerich sci-fi film and insists that global warming and climate change are making it ever more likely that storms and floods will plague America and Europe. "There is only one possible route of action," he writes. "Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced and it has to happen worldwide. Until now, the US has kept its eyes shut to this emergency. (Americans) make up a mere 4 percent of the population, but are responsible for close to a quarter of emissions." He adds that the average American is responsible for double as much carbon dioxide as the average European. "The Bush government rejects international climate protection goals by insisting that imposing them would negatively impact the American economy. The American president is closing his eyes to the economic and human costs his land and the world economy are suffering under natural catastrophes like Katrina and because of neglected environmental policies."

It seems that Trittin doesn't realize that it is summertime, which would explain why the water and the weather is warm. And then, of course, it is hurricane season. Global warming--believe in it or not--had nothing whatsoever to do with Katrina.

CHEAP?

I spilled coffee on myself this past Sunday when I read 'America's Cheapest City' in my local rag, the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Some background. Our mayor just resigned due to incompetence. Two San Diego city councilmembers were just convicted of taking bribes, racketeering and fraud. The city has a pension crisis and San Diego's credit rating is hovering just above junk status.

The subhead reads 'Residents' love of services, hatred of higher taxes have helped contribute to San Diego's financial chaos.'

One might presume that 'services' might mean something other than basic services like fire, police, mail, water, power, right? But what about 'citywide brush clearance'?

'Pricey programs,' according to U-T staff writers Lori Weisberg and David Washburn are things like 'citywide brush clearance, hosting the 1996 Republican National Convention, firefighting helicopters, expanding Qualcomm Stadium as well as the 6-to-6 before-and after-school program, new downtown ballpark and a living-wage ordinance.'

These were all things that were paid for by HIGHER TAXES. Taxes on the City were raised to pay for all these 'pricey programs.' Was I being 'cheap' when I paid for these 'pricey programs'?

I'm also paying for a needle exchange program that the City Council voted for. I didn't see that mentioned in this article. Instead we get 'other metropolitan areas have devised lucrative fees and taxes like admission taxes, rental car fees and levies on users of electricity, gas and cable TV, San Diego has been loath even to ask voters for permission to charge for residential trash collection.'

What about Proposition G, the San Diego hotel tax, which overwhelmingly passed last November. What about that?

This piece is a great example of activist journalism: Two reporters expressing their opinion while blantantly glossing over the facts. They sat down to write an op-ed that just happened to end up on the front page. Everyone interviewed for this piece only re-inforces the existing opinions held by the writers BEFORE they wrote this tripe. Bottom line this isn't responsible journalism.

Check out this quote:

"We've had a culture in this town for years of, 'Don't tax me,' " said Steve Erie, a political science professor at the University of California San Diego. "It's one of the things that got us in this mess. Taxes are the third rail of recent San Diego politics. Touch it and you're dead, yet someone has got to step on the tracks."

No what's gotten San Diego into fiscal trouble is overspending. We've had a culture of the Mayor and the City Council increasing their salaries and illegally padding their city pensions. The citizens of our city are not the ones that decide what to spend and where to spend it. The Mayor and the City Council are expressly elected for those purposes and our elected representatives have been, dating back at least the past 20 years, very, very irresponsible. They have failed the city, they have failed the people they were elected to represent.

There has been a nationwide real estate boom and San Diego has been one of the hottest markets. Everyone wants to move here. We have the best weather of almost anywhere on the planet. Mile after mile of beautiful beaches. It's paradise. Are you telling me that monies generated from real estate transactions--they are taxed, after all--couldn't be utilized to pay for some of these 'pricey programs'?

Stupid people say and do stupid things. In 'America's Finest City' we have a bunch of stupid people calling the shots in local government and more stupid people writing about it in the daily newspaper.

10/15/05

From Powerline:

"A poll taken by “The Iraqi center for national development & dialog”, which is headed by former Planning minister Mahdi Alhafith. Reveals 88% of Iraqis polled said they will participate in the next vote (for the constitution) on the 15th of October. 5% said they will not vote 6% had not decided yet.

Mr. Alhafith said to Alhayat newspaper: The poll included 3667 Iraqis, 53% men, the polls showed that 88% of those support holding the constitutional vote under current condition, while 10% were against for various reason. Some of the reasons were that Iraq is not a free country of its own sovereignty, the constitution will not meet their ambitions or that Iraq does not need democracy now and that the security situation will not allow the proper implementation of the constitution.

As to how many polled support federalism, Alhafith said that 25% of those polled said they support federalism and consider it the preferred way to run the country. He added that 91% of those in favor of federalism were Kurds. While 58% prefer a central government with provincial administration. 17% refused to answer. Further, 45% want a central government, 23% prefer a union type government, 16% prefer a non central government and 13% refused to answer.

As to the question of Islam being a main source of legislation. 42% support having Islam being the main source of legislation. 24% support having Islam be the only source of legislation. 13% support not having any law which conflicts with Islam. 14% support having Islam being only one of many sources of legislation, not the only one.

"As for women’s rights and women’s representation in the legislature. 84% support giving women full rights and benefits as men."

Sounds as if Iraq is going to have a new Constitution on October 15. Take that Liberals. Take that Democrats. Take that all you enemies of freedom. Take that Cindy Sheehan. Everyone who opposes the war--it's time for you to sit down and shut up. Your opinion is now completely irrelevant. You have been proven wrong. You have all been exposed as fools.

W'S IN TOWN

My buddy W is in town as I write this. He spent the night at the historic Hotel Del Coronado and met with military families, as is his custom wherever he goes. Right now he's in Balboa Park, visiting injured soldiers at the San Diego Naval Hospital.

This morning the President gave a speech at North Island Naval Air Station commemorating the 60th anniversary of VJ Day, the day that the United States declared victory over Japan in WWII.

It was a tremendous reminder of the similarity of the conflicts--Japan then and Iraq now--and the President spoke of how Franklin Roosevelt's commitment to a democratic Japan was met here and abroad with fierce criticism and resistance in the midst of war.

As I blogged in this space last week, Bush and FDR have remarkable things in common. I won't revisit those comments here other than to say that this morning the President reinterated the importance of holding firm in Iraq and guaranteeing the future freedom and democracy of Iraq. He also spoke of the day when Iraq will be an important American ally.

From the President:

"We have confidence in our cause because we have seen the power of freedom to overcome the darkness of tyranny and terror. We have confidence in our cause because we know the character and courage of those who wear the uniform of the United States military."

MORE FLOODING

The latest news out of New Orleans is that the 17th Street canal has broken.

Monday, August 29

VIOLENCE IN GAZA

So much for Ariel Sharon's plan to test the Palestinians with land for peace. Today a 14 year old boy was caught trying to smuggle three pipe bombs into Nablus.

What's happened since Israel gave the Gaza strip over to the PLO two weeks ago? A suicide bombing last week. Today alone there were 57 other threats of violence. And then this latest incident of near violence today with the boy. All with absolutely zero American press coverage.

What can Israel do now? What SHOULD Israel do in response? Predictably, the PLO cannot control Hamas. It has already been proven that the PLO is committed to nothing but violence. Israel's test worked. The PLO is not capable of ruling the Palestinians. Sharon should do what he promised to do and that is to respond with unprecedented force and he should do it without delay.

'TITAN RAIN'

TIME writes a great piece in the September 5 issue about Chinese espionage and the adventures of an American, Shawn Carpenter, a super cyber-counter hacker who made a disturbing discovery about Chinese hackers accessing American secrets from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

An excerpt:

"In Washington, officials are tight-lipped about 'Titan Rain,' insisting all details of the case are classified. But high-level officials at three agencies told TIME the penetration is considered serious. A federal law-enforcement official familiar with the investigation says the FBI is "aggressively" pursuing the possibility that the Chinese government is behind the attacks. Yet they all caution that they don't yet know whether the spying is official, a private-sector job or the work of many independent, unrelated hands. The law-enforcement source says China has not been cooperating with U.S. investigations of Titan Rain. China's State Council Information Office, speaking for the government, told TIME the charges about cyberspying and Titan Rain are "totally groundless, irresponsible and unworthy of refute.

Despite the official U.S. silence, several government analysts who protect the networks at military, nuclear-lab and defense- contractor facilities tell TIME that Titan Rain is thought to rank among the most pervasive cyberespionage threats that U.S. computer networks have ever faced. TIME has obtained documents showing that since 2003, the hackers, eager to access American know-how, have compromised secure networks ranging from the Redstone Arsenal military base to NASA to the World Bank. In one case, the hackers stole flight-planning software from the Army. So far, the files they have vacuumed up are not classified secrets, but many are sensitive and subject to strict export-control laws, which means they are strategically important enough to require U.S. government licenses for foreign use."

Officials in DC cite 'extreme sensitivity' to all things Chinese-related after the Wen Ho Lee/Los Alamos incident and fear 'igniting an international incident' if they make a big deal of the perceived security breaches.

If all of this is true, how pathetic is it that we are concerned with being 'sensitive' to the Chinese? How scary is that we won't act to protect American national security because we are afraid of 'igniting an international incident?'

Then there's this little nugget from TIME about the Department of Defense as it relates to Titan Rain:

"Within the U.S. military, Titan Rain is raising alarms. A November 2003 government alert obtained by TIME details what a source close to the investigation says was an early indication of Titan Rain's ability to cause widespread havoc. Hundreds of Defense Department computer systems had been penetrated by an insidious program known as a "trojan," the alert warned. "These compromises ... allow an unknown adversary not only control over the DOD hosts, but also the capability to use the DOD hosts in malicious activity. The potential also exists for the perpetrator to potentially shut down each host." The attacks were also stinging allies, including Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, where an unprecedented string of public alerts issued in June 2005, two U.S. network-intrusion analysts tell TIME, also referred to Titan Rain--related activity. "These electronic attacks have been under way for a significant period of time, with a recent increase in sophistication," warned Britain's National Infrastructure Security Co-Ordination Center."

ARTICLE 51

Even though the Sunnis are promising to defeat the new proposed Iraqi constitution at the ballot box, it seems as if there is something for everyone in the document.

As I blogged in this space last Friday, the new constitution, if ratified, would represent all three tribes equally.

And women, under Article 51 of the new Iraqi Constitution, are guaranteed no less than 25 percent of Council of Deputies, thanks to the Bush Administration.

This above link is beautifully written by Mark Steyn. Read every word for your own edification.

FRITZ GOT IT

I've only recently discovered 'Captain's Quarters,' an amazing blog. Well written, copiously researched, it's without question one of the best blogs, period. You can find it linked to the right on the R.F.L. blogroll for your convenience.

Yesterday Captain Ed wrote about former South Carolina Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings' 9/12/02 introduction of an editorial into the Congressional Record from a Saddam Hussein sanctioned daily Iraqi newspaper, Al Nasiriyah, that strangely predicted the events of 9/11 on July 21, 2001.

Some excerpts:

"America says, admitting just like a bird in the midst of a tornado, that Bin Ladin is behind the bombing of its destroyer in Aden. The fearful series of events continues for America and the terror within America gets to the point that the Governor of Texas increases the amount of the award, just as the stubbornness of the other man and his challenge increases. This challenge makes it such that one of his grandchildren comes from Jeddah traveling on the official Saudi Arabia airlines and celebrates with him the marriage of one of the daughters of his companions. Bin Ladin has become a puzzle and a proof also, of the inability of the American federalism and the C.I.A. to uncover the man and uncover his nest. The most advanced organizations of the world cannot find the man and continues to go in cycles in illusion and presuppositions. They still hope that he could come out from his nest one day, they hope that he would come out from his hiding hole and one day they will point at him their missiles and he will join Guevara, Hassan Abu Salama, Kamal Nasser, Kanafani and others. The man responds with a thin smile and replies to the correspondent from Al Jazeera that he will continue to be the obsession and worry of America and the Jews, and that even that night he will practice and work on an exercise called "How Do You Bomb the White House.'' And because they know that he can get there, they have started to go through their nightmares on their beds and the leaders have had to wear their bulletproof vests.

Meanwhile America has started to pressure the Taliban movement so that it would hand them Bin Ladin, while he continues to smile and still thinks seriously, with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House.

The phenomenon of Bin Ladin is a healthy phenomenon in the Arab spirit. It is a decision and a determination that the stolen Arab self has come to realize after it got bored with promises of its rulers: After it disgusted itself from their abomination and their corruption, the man had to carry the book of God and the Kalashnikov and write on some off white paper "If you are unable to drive off the Marines from the Kaaba, I will do so.'' It seems that they will be going away because the revolutionary Bin Ladin is insisting very convincingly that he will strike America on the arm that is already hurting. That the man will not be swayed by the plant leaves of Whitman nor by the "Adventures of Indiana Jones'' and will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs."

This looks strangely like proof of an Iraqi/al Qaeda connection. Yet we have 50% of the American electorate believing that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

GREASEMONKEY

WIRED Magazine has coined a term, 'Remix Culture,' which refers to the constantly evolving media culture we live in.

One can produce movies on a shoestring budget, compose and edit a personal soundtrack online, create mashups of songs, watch television on your cell phone and date someone half a world away on your pc.

Now software engineer Aaron Boodman has created a program that enables anyone to change any website to suit their own taste or preference. Scary.

It's called 'Greasemonkey.'

"I would often encounter a Web page that didn't work the way I wanted," says Boodman, who now writes code at Google and still tinkers with the software. "And I'd think to myself, I could easily fix it if I could just run my own JavaScript in the page."

The piece in WIRED goes on to say that the Greasemonkey software is not yet a threat due to its obscurity, to which I say, 'not anymore.' Publishing this type of information in a widely read national magazine and on the global web is sure to pique a ton of interest.

Everybody just keep your greasy monkey fingers off with my websites, please.

STORE THIS

Use your iPod to steal state secrets? Apparently you can with new software written by security expert Abe Usher.

From WIRED Magazine:

'It was only a matter of time before portable music players were recognized for what they are--giant hard drives able to suck up sensitive data. "It's pretty cool that the average American can own a 20-Gbyte storage device," says Usher, "but it's not necessary to be productive in the workplace."

Here's how you do it. Post the software to 'pod slurp' data from a computer hard drive using an iPod and a boot disc. And then BAM!

Huh? I have no idea what any of that means so read the above link. Maybe you can make sense of it.

Government agencies like the UK Ministry Of Defense and huge corporations like Boeing are now banning MP3 players from the workplace, and rightfully so.

HE'S WACKO

When I was growing up Martin Sheen was my favorite actor. He just seemed like a nice guy. I loved everything he did.

Since then I've grown up and realized what is true about the world and what is not. And one of life's truisms is that Sheen is just a complete whackjob. Name any Liberal cause, and Sheen is there, marching, speaking, giving money, getting arrested. He's so consistently on the side of the nuts, loons and wackos he's become synonymous with the irrelevant Left.

Now he's associating with the liar Cindy Sheehan. Enough said.

Oh, and I caught the audio of the Bill Maher show on HBO this morning on Laura Ingraham. Sheehan was a guest on the most recent episode. She comes out, sits down and Maher says 'How you doin'?' and Sheehan says 'I'm great!'

Isn't Cindy supposed to be 'mourning Casey?' I thought thats what this whole protest thing was about.

HOW TO 'WIN'

Interesting piece in the Sunday NYT by David Brooks called 'Winning In Iraq.'

A gentleman by the name of Andrew Krepinevich has written a paper that, according to Brooks, is required reading these days around Washington DC. Have you read it, Timmer?

The 'Oil-spot' theory as it is called a not a new one. It simply means that in war, when faced with an insurgency, the way to win is to gain control of several geographic areas, like the main road leading in and out of Baghdad and the Baghdad International Airport. Make these areas safety zones for civilians, building trust, winning hearts and minds. Then slowly expanding the control areas until all the violence, all the insurgents have either been captured or killed.

Makes sense, right?

Well apparently the 'Oil-spot' method fails to take into account the three main Principles of Rumsfeld.

First, 'Oil-spot' requires a much larger fighting force, which Rummy opposes.

Second, it doesn't, as Brooks says, 'play to our strengths,' which are technology, sheer force and mobility.

And third, it requires thinking longer term.

Having said all that, who am I to question Don Rumsfeld and George Bush and the Generals on the ground across Iraq? They know a hell of a lot more than I do about what's going on and what the United States is doing to win the war. I just hate all the Monday Morning Quarterbacking that's going on and has been going on since the beginning of this conflict in early '03.

But it's an interesting idea nonetheless. And Brooks thinks it might work.

MORE COLDPLAY

Let me clarify something.

Coldplay and other artists with a Liberal P.O.V. aren't 'enemies' as I blogged in this space on Friday. I was wrong to say that. What I meant to say was that I struggle with entertainment choices sometimes due to the political views espoused by particular artists or actors or authors. The purchasing decision comes down to just how much I enjoy the music or the film or the book.

Having said that the concert was awesome. Chris Martin has a special ability to relate and interact with an audience with charm and class and grace and self effacing humor. During the song 'Talk' Martin grabbed a fan's cell phone and sang to whomever was on the other end of the line. I actually think that Coldplay is meant to be heard live rather than over your stereo. They sound better in person and the songs take on more life in concert which is not always the case with live music.

No political comments were made from the stage, which impressed me, and added to my enjoyment as did the multiple times the band thanked the audience for coming to the show, for singing along with nearly every song, for being friendly. It seemed sincere.

The son of one of my best friends--Quinn--is a huge Coldplay fan. So I called 'Q' and just held up my cell phone for the entire concert. He heard and enjoyed every word, every lyric, every note.

Whether you agree with their politics or not seeing Coldplay in concert is a pleasure.

'RIDING THE STORM OUT'

Friday, August 26

COLDPLAY

I just can't wait to hear Chris Martin go on some anti-Bush, anti-American screed tonight. Hell, I even paid for the privilege.

Don't get me wrong. I love Coldplay. I think they make beautiful music. I dig the moody, somewhat confused, disturbed, frail but incredibly human lyrics. I love the music, the heavy piano influenced, guitar driven riffs. But whenever musicians inject an overdose of political commentary into their art it begins to bug me.

U2 did it. There was a time when I hated Bono and the band for being such big Bill Clinton fans. I remember listening to that rock call-in show 'Rockline,' during the presidential campaign season in '92 singing Clinton's praises. I thought, 'what the hell do four Irish guys know about American politics?' It made me like U2 much less for a time.

And I disliked Coldplay for a time after I heard them say 'we hope John Kerry will be [America's] President someday.'

Gag.

I'm a creative person. I'm a writer. I also work in advertising as a creative director. That means I oversee other creative people and their work. Creative people are a varied, strange, odd, but lovable bunch. They live in their dreams. They are dreamers. I understand them. I relate to them in a lot of ways. Creative people have vivid imaginations so it stands to reason that they might have some wild opinions when it comes to politics and the world at large.

Back to Coldplay.

When 'X&Y' came out a couple of months ago I thought long and hard about buying it. Of course, I ended up buying it. I'm a big entertainment guy--I love the movies and I love the music--and I've long been conflicted about supporting actors and musicians who don't see the world quite the same way that I do. But I've learned to separate the art and the artist from whatever wacko B.S. they claim to believe in. I know what I believe and I know that I'm correct in what I believe. That's what matters.

But even so, there's that part of me--the little voice deep inside--that thinks that I shouldn't subsidize the enemy.

GONE TO THE DOGS

MORE LIES FROM CINDY

Am I the only person in the world who heard yesterday that America hater Cindy Sheehan didn't actually raise her son? Casey was reportedly raised by his father and his grandparents.

The source for this 'information' came from San Diego talk radio host Roger Hedgecock. Not sure where he got the info but it would fit the Sheehan profile, wouldn't it?

Thursday, August 25

'ORGANICALLY IRAQI'

David Brooks writes in today's NYT about Peter W. Galbraith, the former US Ambassador to Croatia and a frequent Bush critic.

Galbraith believes that the Bush Administration correctly has fastened a draft of an Iraqi Constitution that reflects the realities of the nation that it is meant to serve.

Brooks writes:

"This constitution gives each group what it wants. It will create a very loose federation in which only things like fiscal and foreign policy are controlled in the center (even tax policy is decentralized). Oil revenues are supposed to be distributed on a per capita basis, and no group will feel inordinately oppressed by the others.

The Kurds and Shiites understand what a good deal this is. The Sunni leaders selected to attend the convention are howling because they are former Baathists who dream of a return to centralized power. But ordinary Sunnis, Galbraith says, will come to realize this deal protects them, too."

He also correctly points out that the Constitution is not dividing the country. 'The country is already divided,' says Galbraith.

'It's not a problem if a country breaks up, only if it breaks up violently,' Galbraith says. 'Iraq wasn't created by God. It was created by Winston Churchill.'

Another important Iraq expert is Reuel Marc Gerecht, formerly of the C.I.A. and now at the American Enterprise Institute. As Brooks points out Gerecht and Galbraith rarely agree on anything. When both of them are saying the same things and, as Brooks says 'in the same mood,' there surely must be something good going on

What's important here is that the disparate groups--Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds--learn to bargain with each other. Now that the drafted Constitution protects all of them equally, bargaining is possible. But only in time. There are sure to be conflicts along the way.

See? It's not just me saying that great things are happening in Iraq. Now you've got some other people--much, much smarter people than me--telling you the same things.

UGLY PEOPLE

Some Americans are really stupid. Imagine, for a moment, that you are:

Protesting the removal of Saddam Hussein.

Protesting the liberation--and the rebuilding--of Iraq.

Protesting Iraqi freedom.

Protesting Iraqi capitalism.

Protesting the spread of democracy in the Middle East.

Protesting free speech.

Protesting the end of Iraqi genocide.

Protesting the restoration of Iraqi wetlands.

Imagine that you believe it is appropriate to protest the war by lining up empty caskets and hang signs that say 'Enlist here and die for Halliburton,' and 'Maimed for Lies,' outside the main entrance of the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington DC, the hospital where hundreds of wounded American soliders are recovering from injuries received in Iraq.

DRIVING FORCES

Last night while driving home from the office I-spied a Toyota 4Runner with two bumpers stickers. One read 'Veterans For Peace.' The other said 'Bring Them Home Now!'

I came alongside the guy at the next stoplight and I was SO TEMPTED to ask, 'then what?'

If we were to bring the troops home from Iraq tomorrow what would we do?

Would we sit back with our thumbs up our butts while the terrorists declared victory?

Would we just listen intently as the world media analyzed al Qaeda's victory over the United States?

Would we watch with horror and say 'we told you so' when Iraq erupted into a three-way civil war between the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds?

Would the Democrats automatically become the Majority party in the '06 midterm elections?

Would the Republicans fade away into irrelevance?

Would Cindy Sheehan take her 'Camp Casey' sign and go home?

Would Howard Dean finally be happy?

Would John Kerry still wish he wish he was President?

Would the terrorists be emboldened?

Would the United States automatically be weaker? More vulnerable?

Would Iraqi citizens be safer?

Would we see more terrorist attacks in the United States?

Would terrorist attacks increase across Israel? Around the Middle East?

Would oil prices go even higher?

Would the United States be more respected or less respected across the globe as a result of troop withdrawal?

Would people stop trusting the United States? Believing in us?

Would 1,800 American soliders have died in vain?

GETTING WARMER

Democrats are beginning to turn up the heat on John Roberts again because he sat on a three judge panel that ruled on a Guantanamo Bay case and the Cheney Energy Task Force thing. Wow. That's all they've got against this guy?

So Roberts should have at least recused himself from both of the above cases? Okay. That's sounds fair enough to me. I'm a reasonable Republican. If a judge knows that he or she is being considered for a vacancy on the Supreme Court, don't even allow the appearance of impropriety to creep in. Why leave the door open for the accusation? Fine.

If the Democrats are going to take issue with Roberts on this point, it's more than fair for me to raise the same issue about current Justices Breyer and Ginsberg, both of whom continued to hear dozens of government-related cases AFTER they were nominated to the SCOTUS by Clinton.

Consistency. All I want is some consistency here.

Wednesday, August 24

FAT

A new study by HealthyAmericans.org finds that Oregon is the only state in the country that obesity has not gone up during the last year. Meanwhile the state of Mississippi is home to the fattest people in America.

HOME OF BEER BELLIES & THUNDER THIGHS.

1 Mississippi
2 Alabama
3 West Virginia
4 Louisiana
5 Tennessee
6 (tie) Texas
6 (tie) Michigan
6 (tie) Kentucky
9 Indiana
10 South Carolina

HOME OF VEGANS AND SUSHI EATERS.

1 Colorado
2 Massachusetts
3 Vermont
4 Rhode Island
5 Utah
6 Conneticut
7 Montana
8 (tie) Wyoming
8 (tie) Idaho
10 Nevada

MORE TROOPS FOR IRAQ

Citing security concerns, the Pentagon is sending an extra 1,500 troops to Iraq ahead of the September elections at the request of General George Casey.

Two infantry battalions from the 82nd Airborne Division will be deployed to provide security, joining the 138,000 American soldiers already on the ground.

Also today, more car bombings and small arms fire in the heart of Baghdad, which killed 13 and wounded 43, while an insurgency sanctioned camera crew drove through the carnage documenting the violence for posterity. The battle lasted an hour, while American Apache helicopters buzzed overhead.

The predictable uptick in violence--as the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites debate the details of the new Iraqi Constitution--is the last gasp effort by terrorists as they see Iraq embracing freedom and democracy.

BAGHDAD FALL FASHIONS

Doing my best fashion show voice imitation...'Here we have Saddam, modeling the new mens fall line, wearing a dark grey pinstripe with a white dress shirt. Standard deposed-ruthless-dictator-awaiting-trial attire...'

Hussein strolls to the end of the runway unbuttoning his jacket, swinging it off and over his left shoulder in one fluid, smooth motion--evoking memories of his cool, relaxed manner when he gased the Kurds--then he turns casually on his heel and walks back down the runway.

'Saddam Hussein, EVERYBODY!'

CABLE WARS

Jon Klein, the head of CNN, thinks Fox News is 'meaningless nonsense'?

Okay, to be fair, he's talking about the nonstop Natalee Holloway coverage--which I agree is pointless--but apparently a ton of people are into it. I'm just not one of them.

It's hard to imagine a more apt description of CNN's programming than 'meaningless nonsense.' And nobody is watching it. No wonder Fox's ratings are so huge.

There's a couple of simple explanations for the numbers. CNN is extremely pessimistic in their coverage, while Fox is unabashedly pro-American. And I don't want to be lectured by a news reader. Would I rather hear Aaron Brown tell me what I should be thinking or would I prefer listening to both sides on Fox and then making up my own mind?

WSTDD?

What Should The Democrats Do?

Besides having their heads examined for believing the stupid things they supposedly believe, the leadership of the DNC should immediately begin drafting talking points emphasizing that the party supports the President, the troops AND the mission in Iraq. The war opposition has reached a new crescendo and it is harmful for the country, for the troops and for the mission.

There should not be another mention of troop withdrawal. EVER. Leaving now would be a disaster for the US, for Iraq and for the Middle East. The Democrats need only look back at the history of their party to another great wartime President--FDR--and emulate his courage and his resolve.

Domestic policy differences are good and healthy for our Republic. It's time that we put one voice behind American foreign policy. For our own good.

Tuesday, August 23

EYES EVERYWHERE IN NYC

Today New York City signed a $212 million transit deal that will provide surveillance cameras, and motion sensors to defend subways, bridges and tunnels against terror attacks.

Lockheed Martin will install 1,000 cameras and 3,000 motion detectors around the city in the largest such installation of such hardware, anywhere.

CLOSING BORDERS

I love what Rumsfeld said about Iranian weapons being found on the ground in Iraq.

'They don't just get there by accident. They don't fly there.'

It's becoming apparent to me that to truly win the war in Iraq, the US is going to have to get a whole lot tougher with neighboring countries Syria and Iran.

We should seal the borders. That way suicide bombers can't get into Iraq from Syria. Or Iran, which is pumping into Iraq a network of fighters affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

I realize the concept of closing borders is a foreign one. We don't even do it here in our own country. Perhaps the President could be persuaded to test the concept in Iraq.

'LOSING HEART'

I don't take polls very seriously, as many of you know. Show me a poll that says a majority of Americans prefer drinking vodka through a straw and I'll show you two polls that say otherwise. Anyone can manipulate polls to get the results they want.

David Frum writes a piece on NationalReview.com that says the polls are showing big trouble for the Bush Administration. The American people apparently have 'lost heart' on Iraq and more people now 'believe' Bush lied about the reasons for going to war in the first place.

Quite simply, the American public doesn't know anything about what's really going on in Iraq. They don't know because the truth isn't being reported. Instead of reporting the truth, the MSM has gotten together and created a strategy to only report the worst news about Iraq, hoping to hobble Bush in the process.

News flash: It's working!

Bush isn't helping himself much either. I join Frum in his frustration with what I call the 'no-new-news' approach the President employs when talking about Iraq. He has a million facts at his disposal about what's really going on, on the ground, in Iraq. For example, (as Frum points out via Robin Wright via Mickey Kaus) there are a million new cars on the road in Iraq. Iraqi's have purchased ONE MILLION NEW CARS SINCE LIBERATION. Why doesn't positive information like this lead the evening news broadcasts?

What about the rebuilding of the wetlands in Southern Iraq? Why not mention that? Why not talk about how Iraq has high speed internet access? Or about the Operation Teddy Bear drop? Over 6,000 stuffed animals have been parachuted to Iraqi children. All good stuff. Why not talk about it, Mr. President?

The concern is that hearing the same platitudes from Bush day after day, week after week, the public is going to begin to shut Bush out and just conclude for themselves that he's lying.

Frum and I part company when he begins talking about Bush losing control over the public relations battle of the war. It may be true, but I don't think it matters at this point because I know that there really are good things happening in country. A Constitution is being written. Iraqis are being trained to defend themselves. Schools and hospitals are being built. Teachers, doctors and nurses are being trained. Oil production is at a higher peak than it was pre-invasion. Women and minorities now have rights. The economy is booming, capitalism is flourishing, free speech is flourishing. There are over 100 new daily newspapers in Iraq.

All of these things ARE GOOD. These are POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS for the people of Iraq and the entire Middle East region. Democracy is taking hold. Iraq is free. And all of this information is readily available to anyone who cares to find it, research it, read it. I'm not the only person who can do it. If I can do it, all of America can do it too.

So don't lose heart America. The United States continues to do what's right for the world, as we always have. Just be patient and understand that you are a participant in a good and noble mission to rebuild Iraq. It won't happen overnight, and it will be difficult. There will be many, many setbacks along the way, but it is happening, little by little, day by day.

I would say 'just watch,' but you won't learn anything by watching. Realize now that you won't get the information handed to you. If you want to know what's really going on in Iraq, you are going to have to search for the information.

MR. DOMESTIC

I did something different this past weekend that had nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with my screenplay, nothing to do with music. I did something that I never, ever thought about doing. I re-covered my four dining room chairs.

I realize that this may not be a big deal for many of you, but I'm far from what one would call a domestic god. In fact, I can't figure out how to do much around the house. I was tempted to throw a block party after I figured out how to work the timer on the yard lights.

Just imagine my delight being able to figure out how to do this by myself AND finishing it all on the same day. It was pretty unbelievable and left me with quite a sense of accomplishment. I've been patting myself on the back for three days now.

Now if I can get that white crap off of the pool tile I'll really be happy...

'INSIDE 9/11'

The past two nights I've watched the National Geographic Channel's 'Inside 9/11,' a twenty five year retrospective which details the rise of Osama bin Laden, first as a wealthy Saudi humanitarian, then fighting alongside the mujahadeen to defeat Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, to becoming 'radicalized' by Dr. Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, morphing into a global terrorist, leading the jihad against the West as the founder of the now ubiquitous extremist group al Qaeda.

We learn about the origins of the four 9/11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta, Marwan al Shehhi, Hani Hanjour and Ziad Jarrah; about the private meeting the four had with bin Laden in which they agreed to martyr themselves in the United States; their arrival in America to take flight lessons.

This fascinating four hour study about what led to the worst day in American history, the attacks on New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. It brought back a flood of terrible memories and created some new images that will forever haunt me.

In May of 1999 I was in Manhattan and I visited the World Trade Center. I stood at the observation deck on the 110th floor of the South Tower. From that vantage point I could see the curvature of the Earth. I could see New Jersey to the west, Westchester County and Connecticut to the north, the Bronx and Brooklyn to the east. I could also see planes taking off and landing from JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports and I remember thinking 'I wonder why no terrorist has ever tried to fly a plane into the World Trade Center?' Then I quickly thought to myself, 'you're crazy!' and went back to being focused again on the amazing view laid out before me from my perch 110 stories above the street.

Last night on the National Geographic Channel for the first time I saw footage of people throwing themselves out of the burning World Trade Center. One man, in an attempt to get some fresh air was conducting a difficult balancing act on a window sill. He had taken his suit jacket off and was waving it around. Then he dropped the coat and tried to scale down the side of the building, presumably to get away from the flames, only to slip and fall some 80 stories to his death. Another woman stood on the edge of the window with her arms raised to heaven. Then she conducted the stations of the cross and jumped.

To hear the firefighters tell it, every few minutes there would be a very distinct sound, a giant thud. It was the sound of bodies hitting the pavement.

Given the growing opposition to the war, I wish that the entire country had watched this program. It brought home to me, yet again, just how smart the Bush plan is to eradicate terrorism around the world. It again struck me how brave the President and his Administration continue to be in pursuing aggressive policies to make America and the world a safer, better place.

Every American citizen should be required to watch the footage of the World Trade Center attacks to be reminded of what we face every day in the global War On Terror. Everyday, American citizens should be required to watch the footage of their fellow citizens jumping out of the burning World Trade Center, to their deaths. It will serve as a reminder as to the kind of people we're dealing with, these al Qaeda bastards, who readily admit that they love death. They prefer death over life.

As Bush has said many, many times 'we are taking the fight to the enemy.' The wisdom of that statement, lost on so many other people, has never been lost on me. Would we really rather fight al Qaeda terrorists in the streets of Omaha or Las Vegas or Chicago or Shreveport? No way. We would rather fight in Afghanistan and Iraq and anywhere else that these terrorists hide and congregate. If it ever comes to the point where we are fighting terrorists in our own cities then it will be too late.

And how else could we possibly do it? The only way to fight terror is the way the President is currently doing it. Could we effectively fight terror by giving authority to the United Nations? Can we depend on the UN? By depending on our notoriously weak and passive European allies?

The course currently being pursued is the only intelligent way to conduct the first global war on terror. People that are opposed to what we're doing are siding with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, plain and simple.

Monday, August 22

GERMANY

What do we have here? Angie Merkel, conservative candidate for German Chancellor, apparently didn't know the difference between net and gross wages during a television interview. Who cares? Obviously, Gerhard Schroeder doesn't know anything about economics and that hasn't stopped him from being elected Chancellor twice.

A Merkel-led Germany would make a terrific partner nation in the war on terror.

Friday, August 19

ROCKETS RED GLARE?

The Bush Administration is investigating whether three missiles launched from Jordan today were intended for a US Navy ship. One missile hit an Jordanian Army warehouse, ripping an eight foot hole in the roof and killing a Jordanian soldier. The warehouse was used to store US goods destined for Iraq.

A second missile hit near an airport in Israel. Pictured to the left is the U.S.S. Kearsage as it leaves the Jordanian port of Aqaba this morning.

Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a group linked to al Qaeda, took responsibility for the rocket strikes.

SPINNING THEIR WHEELS

The Democrats don't appear to be gaining any traction.

Let's see. Iraq? Going well, despite the false coverage in the MSM. Cindy Sheehan? Lying, discredited opportunist. Democrats in Congress? Toothless, rudderless, issueless, messageless, clueless, leaderless.

From Donald Lambro in the Washington Times:

'Independent pollster John Zogby says that although Mr. Bush is not doing well in the polls, the Democrats aren't doing any better. 'The Democrats aren't scoring points in terms of landing any significant punches on Bush or in terms of saying anything meaningful to the American people,' Mr. Zogby said.'

Because they don't have anything to say. And look at this. Even former Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg is getting in on the act, insulting the Democrats.

'One of the biggest doubts about Democrats is that they don't stand for anything.'

Then there's Ohio. Democrats point to this state and crow about the surge of Democratic voter dissatisfaction there in the wake of the close Presidential race last year and the recent Congressional race where Republican Jean Schmidt defeated Democrat Paul Hackett.

Uh, nice try. Ohio is experiencing some voter dissatisfaction because Republican Governor Bob Taft raised taxes, plain and simple. Schmidt ran a lackluster campaign and STILL defeated Hackett. Where exactly is the silver lining for Democrats?

Ah, those Democrats. What dreamers they are.

Lanny Davis. Remember him? The guy that defended the indefensible during every one of the many Clinton scandals. Even Davis, an acknowledged liar, gets it. He understands the quandry Democrats have created for themselves. 'We have to define the reckless left of our party and differentiate ourselves.'

That's the way for the Left to take control of DC again. But it won't happen because the Moores', the Soros', the Deans' ARE Democrats. The thinking of the radicals IS the thinking of the Democrats. They can't separate the people from the ideology. It's just who they are and it ain't pretty.

And it's not electable, either.

Then there's this, from Congressional Quarterly, which has, in this month's issue, a state by state review of next year's political races. Note the existence of the word 'dream.'

'Democrats dream of a 2006 turnaround, but the odds against it are daunting.'

A TRIP TO ALASKA, PART II

And then I'd borrow back some of the Vioxx verdict money that I gave to my Mom and wager that the Earth will cool over the next decade, just like Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev have done with the so called British climate change 'expert' James Annan.

$253 MILLION

Talk about consolation! A $253 million verdict to the widow who lost her husband to the popular painkilling medication Vioxx.

What would I buy with all that coin? Mmm, lets see. I'd pay off any bills that I might have. I'd buy a Porsche 911 Carerra S. Silver, I think. With brown leather interior. No, navy blue interior. I'd buy a couple of new computers. I'd get a better office. I'd replace the wood floors in my house with really dark, dark wood. I'd finance my own movie. (screw the studios!) I'd buy a house in LA, cause of the movie thing. I'd take some trips. (Australia, Italy, Germany) I'd give some of the dough to charity. Invest in some stocks, open an Ameritrade account and give the rest to my Mom.

A TRIP TO ALASKA

As a taxpayer I'm outraged when I hear about trips--think mini vacations-- that our elected officials take.

Case in point. Senators McCain, Collins, Clinton and Graham all went to Alaska to talk to residents and 'study' the effects of global warming! They went to Barrow, Alaska, the northern-most city in America to confirm that, yes, global warming is REAL!

'I don't think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually looks at the science,' Clinton said. 'There are still some holdouts, but they are fighting a losing battle. The science is overwhelming, but what is deeply concerning is that climate change is accelerating.'

Count me as one of those 'holdouts.' I just don't believe in global warming, just like I don't believe that the universe was the result of some random explosion. Just like I don't believe that I was once a tadpole, or a monkey or a caveman. Just like I don't believe that animals species and cells and atoms are all just one big fat accident.

All of it is ridiculous.

The stuff I read tells me that there are just as many scientists that believe what I believe. I read about and can find just as many informed scientists that can point to evidence that shows that the earth is, in fact, getting cooler. The planet was actually much warmer about a 100 years ago than it is today.

Those are facts. Give me facts. Don't give me hyperbole and rhetoric and hysteria.

And while you're giving me the facts, please tell me how much of my taxpayer money was wasted on this day trip for four independently wealthy United States Senators.

BORDER ISSUES

I blogged on Tuesday ('Tipping Their Hands') about the Democratic strategy going into the '06 Midterm elections. My buddy John Fund also writes about the Democrats evolving border strategy:

'As the maneuvering of Democrats such as Sen. Clinton and Gov. Richardson shows, Republicans risk letting Democrats turn immigration into a wedge issue that drives many voters to the other party. If Mr. Bush wants to leave office having brought about real immigration reform along with an increase in Hispanic support for Republicans, he must also pull off the delicate balancing act of convincing Americans that the federal government hasn't lost complete control of the border. Otherwise, the issue will remain stalemated and ripe for political demagoguery.'

ADDITIONS TO THE FALL WARDROBE

Thursday, August 18

FOR SHIZZLE

Snoop Dog coaching youth football? Yeah. He's been doing it for two years. What's this? Snoop quiting the Orange County Junior All-American Football Conference to start his own league?

For shizzle his nizzle.

Introducing the Snoop Youth Football League.

'[Youth football] taught me how to work with other kids," Snoop says, "how to have a relationship, how to learn. My coach taught me about religion as well as football, about keeping God in everything we did.'

The goals of both football leagues are to promote gang prevention and scholastic achievement, tradition and community, all noble ideals.

And now the controversy. Many parents and players in the old league complain that Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, attracts the kids with his celebrity and his tricked-out mini school bus.

Good for Snoop. Way to give back to the community, Buddy. Just no smoking the Chronic in front of the kids, ok?

SPEAKING UP

Ronald Griffin lost a son in Iraq. He tells a very different story than the exposed and now humiliated political hack Cindy Sheehan.

Mr. Griffin honors his son's memory, and the memories of other fallen soliders with grace, honesty and wisdom.

THE UN, OIL FOR FOOD AND ENRON?

You gotta be kidding me.

The brilliant Claudia Rosett examines the UN-to-Iraq-Enron connection.

BIAS

Check out this fascinating piece in the NYT about press bias. Back in 1985, 45% of Americans believed that the American media reflected a particular political bias in their reporting. In 2005 that number is up dramtically to 60%.

In addition, the survey found that the idea of the press being 'fair and balanced' doesn't seem to matter.

Much to my chagrin, the above link focuses mostly on Fox News, and that network's contribution to American elections.

The conclusion? Fox doesn't influence elections toward the Republicans, as Democrat argue. Instead it only reinforces the political views of those on both sides, a psychological reality as 'confirmatory bias.'

BTK GETS LIFE

Have you been keeping up with the case of Dennis Rader, the 'BTK' killer in Wichita, Kansas? Gruesome stuff.

'BTK' stands for 'Bind. Torture. Kill.' Which is exactly what he did to his victims. Rader was convicted today and sentenced to 10 consecutive life prison terms for committing 10 murders from 1974 to 1991.

This guy was a church goer and a Boy Scout leader, seemingly a 'normal' guy. As such he eluded police with ease, although it seemed as if he wanted to get caught, teasing and mocking police officials in letters rich in clues, riddles and symbolism.

I joke around about people being sick or dumb or crazy. But let's be serious. Dennis Rader is one sick bastard. He truly deserves the death penalty. He should be killed the way he killed his victims, bound and tortured.

So why isn't he eligible for the death penalty, you ask? Because he plead guilty. Great system, huh?

THE OTHER SIDE

Michael Smerconish writes a heart warming column about the President. This is quite a bit different from the lies of Sheehan.

Read the link and then scroll down to view the hateful comments from readers of The Huffington Post.

HUMAN DEBRIS

I thought Cindy Sheehan was just a concerned and grieving mother, mourning the loss of her son in Iraq? She and the press would have us believe that she just happened to show up at the President's ranch. It was her way of protesting the war and was indicative of her desire for the United States to withdraw troops from Iraq without delay.

Now we learn that Sheehan spoke at an anti-war rally @ San Francisco State University. Here's the text of what she said, courtesy of Drudge:

'We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush!'

Really? Okay. She went on.

'We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now.'

A 'nuclear war?' If that was true there would be no coalition soldiers left alive. There would be no Iraqi's. There would be no terrorists waging war. What is this woman talking about?

More from April 27, 2005:

The Bush Administration 'are a bunch of fucking hypocrites! And we need to, we just need to rise up...'

'If George Bush believes his rhetoric and his bullshit, that this is a war for freedom and democracy, that he is spreading freedom and democracy, does he think every person he kills makes Iraq more free?'

'The whole world is damaged. Our humanity is damaged. If he thinks that it’s so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war.'

Yeah, that would sober them up. She went on.

'We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog shit in Washington, we will impeach all those people.'

Wow. What an intelligent woman! I thought she was 'mourning'?

Isn't that just like the Democrats to disguise themselves? To lie about who they really are, to hide their true intentions, to mislead everyone about the context of what they talk about, to misrepresent the facts and willingly smear anyone and everyone with whom they disagree and to devolve into a slew of obscenity and profanity?

Cindy Sheehan, and all her uninformed, unthinking, hypocritical comrades-in-arms, are irrelevant. And--just announced--they are also FINALLY leaving Crawford.

'CIVILIAN NUCLEAR POWER'

Iran is now implying, after it rejected diplomatic overtures from Western Europe and the United States, that it might obstruct the flow of oil to the West and they are meddling even further in Iraq, and influencing the Shiite population, over whom they, according to the WSJ 'hold huge sway.'

Tehran has the advantage here, clearly. They can keep doing their thing with uranium while they play the nosy neighbor and hold meetings with the most powerful man in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, while providing arms and support to the terrorists on the ground across Iraq.

Now they are threatening to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz--15 million barrells a day--which would only drive the price of a barrell of oil up even higher and be more bad news for President Bush. Last week, as noted here, oil hit a high of $66. Yesterday, it peaked at $63.25 in New York trading.

Iran controls 4% of the world's oil and they have greatly benefitted from high oil prices. The Iranian economy is solid, they have continued to hack away at their international debt and have created energy-providing relationships with the two biggest developing nations on the planet, China and India.

All of this spells independence, at least for now, for Iran. Widely mentioned as a possible G-8 ban on member nations' Iranian investment, which might get Tehran back to the negotiating table.

Wednesday, August 17

ANGIE

The conservative Angie Merkel might very well be the next chancellor of Germany.

I can't imagine it being that tough to defeat Gerhard Schoeder by providing, in Merkel's words, 'more jobs, more economic growth.'

Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats are outpolling Schroeder's Social Democrats, 42%-28% ahead of next month's elections.

"Now the point is to get out of this misery, we need growth, economical growth is the way we need to grow as we are last in Europe. And that is not right," Merkel told the crowd. "That is not adequate for Germany - Germany can do more."

Merkel supports the war in Iraq and has been especially harsh in her criticism of the German government’s blocking of military aid for Turkey, saying it “undermines the very basis of NATO’s legitimacy.'

Go Angie.

'GRAND STRATEGY'

Peter Schweizer writes a smart piece in yesterdays edition of USA TODAY, in which he compares Franklin Delano Roosevelt to George W. Bush.

FDR faced harsh criticism for focusing first on Germany, not Japan, in World War II. The thinking was Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, not Germany. Sound familiar? The Left thinks Iraq is a grand diversion from the War On Terror.

Roosevelt heard criticism about his reasons for focus on Germany. Many believed it to be a willingness to satisfy Great Britain. Today, Bush and the neo-conservatives are chided for being too pro-Israel.

Both men faced crazy conspiracy theories. Roosevelt 'ignored' evidence that Japan was planning to attack Pearl Harbor; Bush invented evidence to have an excuse to invade Iraq.

I cannot tell you how excited I am about the mere existence--in an otherwise worthless Leftist rag like USA TODAY--of this brilliant piece. Schweizer does the nation and the a great service by connecting America's past with America's present.

I love the terminology 'Grand Strategy.' It means, simply, that you don't only defeat your enemies, but you defeat them in a logical sequence that will lead to, in Schweizer's words, 'a favorable postwar situation.'

GOING OUTSIDE THE LINES

Last Friday, August 12, brought great news for California. Proposition 77--a measure that would empower a bi-partisan panel to determine redistricting boundaries, taking those duties away from the Legislature--is back on November's ballot.

It's up to the people to decide if they want more politics as usual or if they truly want reform. California badly wanted reform back in '03 when the state recalled then Governor Gray David and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Redistricting is a key issue around the country. Politicians, once in office, make it very difficult for challengers ever to oust the incumbents from power. Not one seat in the California Legislature changed hands in the '04 election cycle, which prompted Schwarzenegger and his Administration to support Prop. 77.

From SFGate.com:

'The measure would remove from the Democratic-controlled Legislature its power to draw district boundaries for legislative and congressional elections and transfer that authority to a panel of retired judges chosen by legislative leaders from both parties. Schwarzenegger hopes the change would make legislative and congressional contests more competitive and produce more moderate officeholders from both parties.'

This is a huge political victory for Arnold, who has been getting his teeth kicked in for the better part of two months. In addition to the back-on-the-ballot Prop 77, the November election will also showcase two additional planks of the Governor's Reform Agenda, Proposition 74, which would increase the number of years it takes for teachers to gain tenure, and Proposition 76, which would give the Governor more power in state budgeting and spending decisions, and would lower minimum school funding requirements.

More from SFGate:

'By a 4-2 vote--with a Court of Appeal justice on temporary assignment to the court casting the decisive vote--the justices overruled lower courts that had removed Proposition 77 from the ballot.

The decision was a huge victory for Schwarzenegger, reviving his flagging special-election effort.

"I am pleased that the people of California will have an opportunity to vote on Proposition 77 this November," Schwarzenegger said in a statement released by his campaign team shortly after the ruling came out. "I look forward to the campaign to pass Proposition 77. It will pit those who advocate real reform in Sacramento against those who wish to cling to the status quo, and I am confident that on election day, the voices of reform will ring out triumphant."

It's time for real reform.

1996

The State Department warned Bill Clinton that Osama bin Laden would be even more dangerous in Afghanistan than he was in the Sudan and the Clinton Administration did nothing.

Sounds about right. From the NYT:

'The State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that "his prolonged stay in Afghanistan - where hundreds of 'Arab mujahedeen' receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate--could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum," in Sudan.'

It seems now that all the people who placed 9/11 blame at the feet of the Bush Administration--even though the President had only been in office for eight months--have a large amount of egg on their faces. It was the Clinton team that failed miserably to protect America and Americans from bin Laden, Atta and their ilk.

The Clinton White House even refused, on three different occassions, offers made by the Sudanese government to hand bin Laden over to American officials. Of course, Clinton and his acolytes dispute this claim because It sheds even more light on their stupidity.

Here's the best quote from the NYT piece:

'Several former senior officials in the Clinton administration did not return phone calls this week seeking comment on the newly declassified documents.'

This is what I've been telling you. We cannot trust the Democrats on matters of national security. It seems to me that Cindy Sheehan should have more of a problem with Bill Clinton than with George Bush. If there is one man responsible for the death of her son, it's Clinton.

Tuesday, August 16

CURB

The new season of the HBO show 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' is just around the corner.

Larry David, the co-creator of 'Seinfeld,' is one funny bastard. I see the genius of Larry David. It took a little while, but now I see his genius. If you've never seen 'Curb,' watch it. But don't worry if you don't get it right away.

I didn't get it a first either. In fact, I hated the show. Thought it was total crap until I heard that the show is entirely improv. The actors make up their lines as they film each episode. No scripts. All the dialogue is created on the fly.

Very creative.

The promo's for the new season of 'Curb' are very funny and very creative.

Imagine slices of Americana. Lady Liberty. Mount Rushmore. Now imagine Lady Liberty being Larry Liberty with the receding hairline and the big glasses. Now imagine Larry's face, with the receding hairline and the glasses, on Rushmore.

Funny stuff.

CYCLING WITH LANCE

One of the cool perks of being the President is that you can call Lance Armstrong and invite him to go on a bike ride.

MORE GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ

Nobody covers Iraq better than Arthur Chrenkoff, an Aussie blogger. Part of his series, 'Good News From Iraq, Part 33.'

A CAN'T MISS

I haven't read 'The DaVinci Code,' but it's gonna be a can't miss hit movie starring Tom Hanks, directed by Ron Howard, produced by Brian Grazer. It has all the makings of a blockbuster. They've even got screenwriting stud Akiva Goldsman on board.

(Sorry Finch, my screenwriting buddy)

And some controversy, too, for good measure. The entire concept of Jesus and Mary Magdalene having a secret marriage is something about which I, and millions of others, take umbrage.

Filming currently in London, the production was interrupted yesterday when protesters, led by a nun Sister Mary Michael, converged upon Lincoln Cathedral to complain about the very existence of the set on in the church.

Money talks. The Cathedral and its dean gave the green light to the production after 100,000 British Pounds arrived in the offering plate.

AND SPEAKING OF '06

I received a fundraising letter from South Dakota's junior Senator John Thune. Thune, the Honorary Chairman of Heartland Values PAC, has 'pinpointed' five races for '06 as 'must _____' for the GOP:

PA-Re-electing Senator Rick Santorum.
West Virgina-Defeating Senator Bob Byrd.
New York-Defeating Clinton
Tennessee-Open seat currently held by Bill Frist
Minnesota-Open seat currently held by Liberal Mark Dayton

Some thoughts:

If I hear one more time that Santorum is 'going to have a tough re-election battle' I'm gonna punch someone.

Byrd has been in the Senate for 50 years. Senility set in about 20 years ago. This should be easy.

I've already predicted a Clinton loss in New York State.

This open seat business. I'm not sure what this means. How can there be an open seat when both seats are occupied by Frist and Dayton, respectively?

TIPPING THEIR HANDS?

I think Democrats are begining to tip their hand, ahead of the '06 midterm elections: Immigration.

This week, I've heard two border state Governors, New Mexico's Bill Richardson and Arizona's Janet Napolitano, both Democrats, talking about the issue BIG TIME.

I FAILED CHEMISTRY

The al Qaeda bastards in Iraq are lacing chemicals into roadside bombs. Lovely.

And the MSM won't tell you this but US troops found a chemical weapons factory last week in Mosul, Iraq, with 1,500 gallons of chemicals.

Sounds like WMD to me.

BUSH'S SUMMER READING LIST

These are the three books the President reportedly brought with him to Crawford.

"Salt: A World History" by Mark Kurlansky.

"Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar" by Edvard Radzinsky.

"The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History" by John M. Barry.

NY GOP: 'D'OH!'

Republicans in New York are now wondering whether or not they made a mistake in backing Westchester County DA Pirro as she challenges Hillary Clinton's relection to the Senate next year.

Good vetters they are not. I doubt the GOP knew that Pirro's hubby has a criminal record and an illegitimate daughter when they singed her up to challenge Hillary. They were just pleased as punch that someone, ANYONE, had the balls to run.

Then there's this guy named Ed Cox, who is the grandson of Richard Nixon. He's a hardcore conservative, on everything from abortion to taxes, and everything else in between.

I like how the brilliant Larry Kudlow described him: 'Good knowledge base.'

Hey, listen. Personal baggage or not, Clinton would beat Cox by 40 percentage points. The Nixon-connection alone will kill him.

Pirro, pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, matches up very well with Hillary. I think the 'Hillary for President' campaign is going to hurt her in the Senate. And since both women are virtually identical on the issues, the only advantage Clinton has is incumbency.

Pirro can win and crazy bastard that I am, think she will beat Hillary.

GAZA, CONTINUED

With the Israeli pullout of Gaza well underway, does anyone doubt that the new Gaza, a.k.a., 'Palestine,' will become a haven for international terrorists?

I can see picture Palestine as the HQ for Hamas, that Martyr's Brigade organization and thousands upon thousands of radical malcontented America-haters. It will be the base for training camps and radicalized schools.

Another headache with which the West (think America) will have to deal.

WHAT'S ON MY TIVO

Rescue Me.
Entourage.
Troy.
Six Feet Under.
Letterman.
Recipe For Success.
Starved.
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Tommy Lee Goes To College.
Ray.

FRAMING A CONSTITUTION

The United States Constitution was signed six years after the Revolutionary War and 13 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Iraq has framed their Constitution after six months. SIX MONTHS. That's remarkable.

Remember that the next time someone tells you how bad things are going in Iraq.

VETO SOMETHING

President Bush hasn't vetoed ANYTHING in five years. Usually used as a weapon and cherished as one of the perks of the office, the Oval Office veto, or lack thereof under Bush, has drawn the ire of fiscal conservatives.

I think he's used the threat of a veto effectively. When he's used the threat in the throes of negotiation, it has been successful.

George W. is often compared to Reagan, who used the veto 78 times in his eight years of office. W's dad, Bush 41, used the veto 44 times. Clinton, 37 times.

So next month, Bush could very well end the dry veto spell when Congress takes a look at laxing the restrictions of stem cell research. He and Frist--who is running for President in 2008--disagree on the subject so...

And speaking of drawing ire--Bush has even refused to veto legislation with which he deems unconstitutional. What's that about? Far from a straight arrow conservative, Bush also has offered up liberal opinions on immigration, which also has his supporters--me among them--beyond confused.

The 'guest worker' program seeks to get a handle on exactly who is coming into the country. I support the idea of tracking these illegals but I find it a bit too lenient in that once these people get into the country the likelihood of them ever leaving is quite small.

Plus, once they are here they function as citizens; sending their kids to schools, receiving medical care, etc. Here in California, illegal immigration is sucking our economy dry. We simply can't afford it anymore.

Sorry for swerving off point. Veto something, Mr. President.

Monday, August 15

BREAKING THROUGH?

Could it be, at long last, that the MSM is finally beginning to recognize that there are, actually, GOOD things happening in Iraq?

'Rosemary Goudreau, the editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune, has received the same e-mail message a dozen times over the last year.

"Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?" the anonymous polemic asks, in part. "Did you know that 3,100 schools have been renovated?"

Mmm. Our media doesn't tell us. They sure as hell don't.

Ms. Goudreau, mentioned above, forwarded the email to Mike Silverman, managing editor of the Associated Press, who says the AP is reporting about the war 'as accurately as we can' while 'also trying to keep our people out of harm's way.'

Sure. Keeping people out of harm's way WHILE advancing a Liberal agenda about the war. By the way, the American military provides press releases every day about the positives occurring on the ground in Iraq. They have been doing this since day one of the war, over 2 1/2 years ago.

The American public, in their concern over the war, are beginning to ask themselves 'can it really be this bad?' I believe that Americans can see through the biased reporting of the MSM and are actively looking for alternative sources of information.

From the MSM's perspective, it's much easier to focus on blood, guts and negativity than it is, in Goudreau's words to focus 'on the positive news out of a school.'

But why?

Again, it is because the Left wing press was and remains today bitterly opposed to all things George W. Bush, his presidency, his advisors, his hair, his exercise regimen, his daughters, his religious beliefs, his parents, his family, his business background, his military record, his educational background, his VERY EXISTENCE.

If Bush were a Democrat, the Queen would have already Knighted him, he would have been awarded three Nobel peace prizes and had his mug carved onto Mount Rushmore. But since Bush is a conservative--and a Christian, no less--even Iraqi liberation and the rebuilding of their country is sneered at, mocked, joked about, looked down upon.

HUMAN SKIN FOR ROBOTS

That's just what the world needs. Robots with human like skin so they can 'feel.'

THE MAJORITY

Cindy Sheehan is a member of a very small majority of military parents who blame the President for the deaths of their sons or daughters.

The brilliant Arthur Chrenkin of Australia has a blog worth reading everyday and he performs a public service with these quotes from grieving military families who support the President and the war.

Linda Ryan who said the following:

'Marine Cpl. Marc T. Ryan, of Gloucester City, was killed in an explosion in Ramadi, Iraq in November.

"I would tell Cindy Sheehan that, as one mother to another, I do realize your loss is your loss and there's nothing you can do to heal from it," said the corporal's mother, Linda Ryan.

"George Bush didn't kill her son, it's the evildoers who have no value of life who killed her son. Her son made a decision to join the Armed Forces and defend our country, knowing that, at any time, war could come about," Ryan said.

She said she's been on the end of those kinds of conversations several times. Recently, when she took her dog in for medical treatment, the veterinarian, despite seeing Ryan's memory bracelet and the necklace bearing a portrait of her son, started telling her how much she hates George Bush.

"I've decided I'm just going to say, 'I realize you have your opinions, but it aches me, it's heart-wrenching for me'," said Ryan.

"George Bush was my son's commander-in-chief. My son, Marc, totally believed in what he was doing," she said.'

Thomas Zapp said the following:

'Among those attending the pro-Bush rally was Thomas Zapp, of Richmond, Texas, whose 20-year-old son, Marine Lance Cpl. T.J. Zapp, was killed by a bomb in Iraq on Nov. 8, 2004.

Zapp said that it was unfair for Sheehan to demand a second meeting with the president when many parents of slain GIs, like himself, have not even had a single meeting.

"I have not met with President Bush," he told the Tribune-Herald. "Why should she get to meet with President Bush again?"

"I firmly believe our president is sincere with what we have to do and I believe that he's under enormous pressure and he's doing the best he can. I'm here to support him," Zapp added.'

HOT AIR

Here's the latest ridiculous comment from Howard Dean: "Women will be worse off in Iraq than they were when Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq."

Worse off WITHOUT the rape rooms, Howard?

TAX EVASION

It turns out that Cindy Sheehan, that Liberal paragon of virtue, didn't pay her taxes in '04. Somehow, that makes sense, doesn't it? Burned out, sixties hippie radical. It just all fits.

I've lost any sympathy that I had for this woman as recently as last week. I know she lost her son in the war. But so did 1,800 other mothers. Nothing makes Cindy Sheehan special, other than the fact that she's a host organism for the hundreds of Left wing activists and organizations that are currently living off her wildly exaggerated story.

Only in America could a myth take hold so quickly. It'll be the television M.O.W. before you know it. 'Distraught mother only wants to ask the President why her son had to die in a war.'

This Cindy Sheehan woman is so ridiculous! And the story, the woman is a just another Liberal sham.

What no one is talking about is that Casey Sheehan volunteered for the military. He joined of his own free will. His job took him to Iraq where he, sadly, lost his life. His mother is dishonoring the memory of her son. She's aiding and comforting the enemies of the United States, the very people her son died fighting. All those that support Cindy Sheehan are doing the same thing.

She's also talking about impeaching Bush and her approach to combatting terrorism:

'You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism.'

Brilliant. What does she mean 'Israel out of Palestine'? There is no Palestine. What the hell is this wacko talking about?

I do not believe for a moment that the words that come out of the mouth of Cindy Sheehan are her own words. The woman is far from intelligent.

The entire Sheehan phenomena is nothing more than a severe case of MSM boredom. Not that there is nothing newsworthy going on--It's not as if Iraq is drafting their first ever Constitution today or anything--it's just that the weeping mother, however real (or fake) it may or may not be is just so exciting, isn't it, Brian Williams?

Does this statement sound like Sheehan?

'My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a penny...you give my son back and I'll pay my taxes. Come after me (for back taxes) and we'll put this war on trial.'

That sounds like something you'd read on MoveOn.org or like something that would come out of the mouth of Michael Moore, Howard Dean or George Soros.

'BIG BUTTS, THUNDER THIGHS'

No, I'm not talking about Cindy Sheehan. I'm talking about the new advertising campaign from Nike, which emphasizes 'real women.' I'm thinking that by 'real women' Nike means the women who aren't supermodels but the women that you see in the supermarket or at Blockbuster. Real women, doing real things, living real lives.

Ad copy:

'“My Butt is big and round like the letter C, and 10,000 lunges have made it rounder but not smaller. And that’s just fine. It’s a space heater for my side of the bed. It’s my ambassador. To those who walk behind me, it’s a border collie that herds skinny women away from the best deals at clothing sales. My butt is big and that’s just fine. And those who might scorn it are invited to kiss it. Just do it.”

GAZA PULLOUT

I'll plead guilty to paying scant attention to the Israeli pullout of Gaza. My bad.

I used to support Sharon because I thought he was going to get really tough with the Palestinians. My opinion--and there are no shades of gray here--is that Palestinians are Arabs and, as such, have absolutely zero right to land in Israel. Sharon, by reputation, was going to drive the P.L.O. out of Israel and reclaim the land for the Jews.

So much for that. Sharon is defending the Gaza pullout by saying that the cost of defending the 21 settlements was too great. Hey Mr. Prime Minister, the cost of handing Gaza over to the Palestinians will be about a hundred times, maybe even a thousand times greater than the cost of keeping that land and keeping Jewish citizens safe.

Suddenly, in a push for 'peace' that will never occur, Israel is handing over the strip of coastal land known as Gaza to a bunch of nomads. Nomads who could live anywhere in the region. Jordan, Eqypt, Syria. Anywhere. The Palestinians are like the indigent here in the United States. They expect a handout--something for nothing--and they inevitably get one.

This is the wrong message to send, that message being that terrorism works. Killing Jews with suicide bombers apparently is a nifty way to get yourself some sweet beachfront property.

Friday, August 12

POLLS

Ah, the ubiquitous polls. What would a cable television news program be without the latest polling data from Gallup or Zogby or USA Today? Politicians seem to live with the tick upward, the positive trending. They nearly die with the dipping, the sagging. All of them are poll conscious. Republicans and Democrats.

You might argue with me when I say that I believe that the Democrats seem more enamored of polls, more dependent on them than Republicans do. While there maybe some exceptions, Republicans don't set policy positions based on polling data. It's well known that Clinton and Gore did almost nothing without first taking a poll. Gore even polled to find out what color suits he should wear. President Bush doesn't give two craps about poll numbers. If he did, American troops would have gotten home from Iraq about 14 months ago.

The other morning I was getting ready for work and I was watching an interview on the Fox News Channel between Democratic strategist Elaine Kamarack and some Republican white guy I'd never seen before. I remember thinking 'how long is it gonna take Kamarack (a former Gore advisor) to mention some new poll numbers?'

It wasn't three damn seconds until she said, 'hey, I got this new poll here that says...'

The white Republican guy I'd never seen before never mentioned polling, or polling data, or new poll numbers. He made his point, articulated it clearly and succintly and he was done.

You cannot watch a Democratic consultant opine about anything without them referencing 'some new poll numbers.' It simply cannot be done. It is both amazing and annoying.

And predictable. Keep an eye out for it the next time you're watching Fox or CNN or MSNBC. Hell, they even do it on that stupid Bill Maher show on HBO.

Republicans don't have the same obsessive user-dependent relationship with polling quite the same way Democrats do. Of course, Republicans use polls, don't dilute yourself thinking they don't. They poll everything. And they focus group everything. But you don't see big swings in policy with the GOP like you see with the DNC. With the Left, everything can be made just flexible enough and just gray enough to change positions to line up favorably with the latest poll numbers.

Jonah Goldberg, linked above, has some amusing thoughts on governing by polls.

'Stay tuned because coming up next we have the latest poll numbers on...'
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