Thursday, November 30

caveat emptor

I love T-Mobile but their coverage sucks in San Diego. When I'm at home I have a spotty signal, at best. I think about about switching carriers all the time, but there's that little matter of the $250 early termination fee if I try to break my contract before April '08.

Now there's another way. New companies like CelltradeUSA.com, Resellular.com, Cellswapper.com and Wirecracker.com are taking advantage of a cellphone-contract loophole that's available to nearly all customers with long-term plans: Companies allow people to get out of contracts if they transfer the remaining time to someone else, once the provider approves the new customer through a credit check.

So you can break your contract for anywhere from $15-$50, as long as you sign up for new cell phone service through the site of your choice.

Interesting? Definitely. Too good to be true? Probably. I'm not sure, but I'd be extra careful about using websites with unknown vendors. Like the saying goes, 'let the buyer beware.'

politics

The petty and ridiculous Nancy Pelosi promised within 'the first 100 days' of the new Congress she would implement all of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

Oops! With Democrats now in the Majority, there suddenly is no appetite for implementation. Funny how that happens.

Jonathan Weisman writes in the WaPo:

"Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation's intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers."

'Creating a panel'? Yes, that will really protect national security. The terrorists must be quaking in their turbans.

'smoking gun'

ABC News is reporting that 'smoking gun' evidence has been found proving Iran has been providing Shia militias in Iraq with new 'brand new' weapons, like advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons.

And there is growing evidence that Moqtada al Sadr's Mahdi army is receiving training support from the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah.

Wednesday, November 29

waging war

The Democrats have been waging war on Red State America -- and by extension, Wal Mart -- for five years. The persecution has gotten so bad that some cities around the country are even banning Wal Mart and other similiar retailers from doing business in their areas.

Last night the San Diego city council voted 5-3 last night to ban giant retail stores.

Mayor Jerry Sanders immediately promised to veto the ban, which seeks to prohibit stores of more than 90,000 square feet that use 10 percent of space to sell groceries and other merchandise that is not subject to sales tax. (Wal-Mart Supercenter stores average 185,000 square feet and sell groceries.)

I don't fault city governments for wanting every bit of tax revenue they can get their dirty little hands on. San Diego continues to be in a fiscal crisis due to years of haphazard management. I also get the fact that Democrats hate Wal Mart because of their anti-union stance. But let's be honest about it. If this extreme persecution of Wal Mart is about minimum wage workers, sales tax and union membership, admit it. Say so. Don't pretend to care about jobs, small business extinction and traffic flow.

I'd like to see Wal Mart build a bunch of these Supercenters around the outskirts of town just for spite.

civil war?

Why the confusion over the meaning of the words 'civil war'?

NBC News announced their editorial decision to call Iraq a 'civil war' on Monday's "Today" show, as if their negative reporting the past three years hasn't been bad enough. All the talking heads on cable television are gabbing about 'civil war.' Even Colin Powell, one very smart bureaucrat, said today that 'the world should recognize Iraq is in a civil war.'

For the record let us agree that there can only be a civil war when two separate fighting forces are waging war for control of the government. Both the Sunnis and Shiites are already part of the democratically elected Iraqi government. So why the confusion? This isn't rocket science.

Here's how today's lead editorial in the WSJ puts it:

"The goal of the "civil war" chorus seems to be to delegitimize the war by painting what is a false picture of the balance of power and legitimacy between the Iraqi government and the terrorists.

"The sectarian violence is a horrible problem. But by any reasonable definition, a "civil war" implies at least two militarily strong factions with a popular claim on political leadership. Neither of those conditions exists in Iraq."

Tuesday, November 28

intelligence, or lack thereof

Reuters is reporting that Nancy Pelosi has informed Alcee Hastings privately that he will not become Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Good decision, right?

Hastings was impeached as a federal judge and removed from the bench by Congress back in 1989. Pelosi even voted for his removal, so the very idea that the Speaker-to-be was considering giving Hastings oversight over America's most sensitive national security information is beyond reckless.

But its even worse than that. Pelosi is actively playing politics with national security in a shameless attempt to prevent fellow Californian Jane Harmon, the ranking member, from becoming Chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

I don't like Harmon's politics, but at least she's qualified and has a security clearance. Hastings,because of his legal record, is ineligible for a top security clearance.

By the way, Hastings has been serving on the Intelligence Committee -- a Committee that has been the source of multiple leaks to the press. I wonder if he had anything to do with that?

tivo ads

Corporate marketers like General Motors, Mastercard and Burger King have already signed up for a yet-to-be launched TiVo service called "Program Placement," that inserts ads at the end of recorded programs.

I'm not sure what the thinking is here. When I finish watching a program I've recorded on TiVo, I've deleted the show long before the credits roll. Any advertising lurching around or after the credits will be completely lost on me.

Thankfully.

the tom and jim show

Thank God for Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, who have been busy staging interventions for their so-called 'conservative' Republican colleagues recently before they become the Minority.

The two recently blocked GOP Appropriators from passing spending bills for Fiscal Year 2007 unless they stripped out special-interest "earmarks."

From the WSJ:

"The agriculture bill, for example, included a new $4.9 billion "emergency" handout for farmers, courtesy of North Dakota Democrat Kent Conrad. Millions more would have been directed to Alaskan salmon research, Montana sheep, New York geese and animal-waste management in Kentucky. The 10 remaining Senate spending bills (and nine in the House) are estimated to contain some 12,000 earmarks. If GOP leaders couldn't pass these bills individually, the scheme was to wrap them all into one giant "omnibus" bill whose innards no one would ever be able to inspect."

That's insane. That must be what they call "Inside the Beltway" thinking.

Instead Coburn is planning to save taxpayers an estimated $17 billion by passing a "continuing resolution" that would fund the government at 2006 levels, kicking 2007 decisions over to the Democratic majority in January.

Monday, November 27

junk science

So much for the global warming idiots. Despite dire predictions, the '06 hurricane season has been a snore.

Sunday, November 26

turkey day

Amazing. Mom and I both agree it was one of the best Thanksgivings ever.

Special thanks to Patti G. for that kick ass cranberry/apple sauce and Clementine P. for that extra rich pecan pie.

jon chait

The easily dismissible Jonanthan Chait writes in today's Los Angeles Times that restoring Saddam Hussein to power 'may give Iraqis the jolt of authority they need.'

Wow. That's some deep, inspired progressive thinking, isn't it? Re-installing the guy we removed from power.

This from the guy who thinks George W. is the dumbest man on the planet.

Of course, Chait is wrong, as usual. Quelling the sectarian violence currently underway in Iraq will 'give the Iraqis the jolt of authority they need.'

More to the point. The terrorists seem to have finally realized President Bush means what he says. The United States is not leaving. So now they are intent upon toppling the fragile Iraqi government. The evidenced by the uptick in violence the past few days ahead of Bush's summit with Prime Minister Maliki next week in Jordan.

Nevertheless, the hand wringing over the unsettling sectarian violence back home fails to take into account that we are playing ourselves right into the hands of the terrorists. They want the US to leave and if we do it will be an enormous victory for bin Laden.

The Left has been talking about Iraq (and Afghanistan before it) being the new Vietnam since 2003. We 'lost' the public relations war because we fought it the wrong way and because we left before the mission was complete.

Now Liberals want history to repeat the stupidity by leaving Iraq in a blaze of humiliation. That would do nothing but embolden terrorists worldwide. It would throw the Middle East further into chaos and it would make America and her allies more vulnerable than ever before.

No wonder the LAT has reached its lowest circulation numbers in history.

Thursday, November 23

bryan jones

I've written before about San Diego's legendary alternative music radio station 91X. One of the legendary voices of 91X has died at the age of 49, Bryan Jones.

Wednesday, November 22

blessings

Family is coming down from Santa Barbara and then we're merging our ham with the neighbors' turkey.

I'm responsible for the cheese grits and the rolls. The other side dishes are anybody's guess at this point. I'll let you know how it goes.

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving.

robbed

First Daughter Barbara Bush mugged while she and Jenna are in Argentina? How the hell does that happen? Where is the Secret Service?

losing iraq

The NYT writes today about the decreased kill rate of Marine snipers in Iraq but it waits until the 20th paragraph to explain the reasons why. Irresponsible, sloppy journalism. Bill Keller at his best.

Inexplicably, the Marines have changed the way they deploy sniper teams. Inexplicably, the rules of engagement have been changed. Inexplicably, teams are now being forced to carry more equipment in the field.

1. Marine sniper teams are trained to work in pairs so they can easily move around without being spotted, hide for days and spot targets. Earlier in the war two pairs of sniper team were killed in a 2004 Ramadi ambush, which prompted the banning of all two man sniper teams in Iraq, which is an extreme over-reaction by the commanders in the field.

Then in 2005, a six man sniper team was killed in Haditha. Now the Marines are "hesitant" to send out small teams, period.

2. Under new rules of engagement, Marine sniper teams cannot fire on a terrorist unless said terrorist (the NYT refers to them as 'insurgents') is (A) 'engaged,' or firing at the Marine or (B) if the terrorist 'shows clear hostile intent.'

Of course the terrorists have adapted to this new reality. So they hide behind women, children and farm animals and they hide their weapons in cars or in houses or buildings, so snipers can't target them. They only brandish their weapons at the last second, and after firing on US troops, quickly dispose of the weapons again.

3. Sniper teams now are required to wear helmets and flak jackets and carry packs that sometimes weigh more than they do.

"You go to a 10-week sniper course, and never in that course are you in Kevlar and a helmet," says Staff Sgt. Christopher Jones, the platoon sergeant of the Scout Sniper Platoon in the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. “Then you come to Iraq and immediately you're in your flak jacket and helmet, and you've got a huge pack of gear."

"We are carrying way more stuff than we can be tactically sound with," said Sgt. Joseph Chamblin, the leader of the battalion's 1st Sniper Team. "My arms are numb because my pack is so heavy. Sometimes, on my missions, my pack has weighed more than I have, and I weigh 150 pounds."

This is outrageous. How can we expect the troops to finish the job in Iraq when we tie their hands, slow them down and prevent them from doing their jobs? What's with all this PC crap about not shooting at terrorists until they 'engage'? I'm surprised Bush allows this.

Tuesday, November 21

bonehead

From the Associated Press:

"Former Attorney General Janet Reno and seven other former Justice Department officials filed court papers Monday arguing that the Bush administration is setting a dangerous precedent by trying a suspected terrorist outside the court system."

Of course. It makes much more sense trying terrorists, non-citizens, inside the US court system so that they can have access to the American judicial system.

This is the same Janet Reno who, as Attorney General, erected that so-called 'wall' of separation between the CIA and the FBI that prohibited the two agencies from sharing information.

aggressive, bold

I supported Mike Pence (R-IN) for Minority leader and I think you'll understand why after you read the speech he gave to his Republican colleagues last week. Good stuff.

Click above on 'Aggressive, Bold' to read the speech.

'most ethical...'

Red and Blue people go back and forth about corruption and ethics in politics all day long without agreement. But I think you've really got to watch out when someone proclaims "This Administration is going to be the most ethical Administration in history," or "This Congress is going to be the most ethical Congress in history."

Bill Clinton announced the former in 1993 and his Administration was the most UNETHICAL in history. Nancy Pelosi said the latter two weeks ago before urging her colleagues in the House to support the ethically challenged Jack Murtha (Mr. Earmark himself) for Majority Leader over her longtime rival Steny Hoyer.

The Democrats revolted and voted for Hoyer, leaving Nancy with egg on her face.

Now she wants Alcee Hastings to chair the House Intelligence Committee instead of Jane Harman, who is next in line because of seniority. But there's a problem with that. Nancy hates Jane.

I think I'm seeing a pattern here.

Pelosi hates Harmon so much she's willing to trust Hastings, an impeached judge who was removed from office on corruption and perjury charges, with America's sensitive information vital to our national security? I'd say that's pretty reckless, especially for a party that has been accusing the Republicans of being corrupt.

And Pelosi herself voted to impeach Hastings! How funny is that? Now she wants to promote him! Classic.

I wonder if any Blue Dog Democrats will team up with the Republicans to oppose Hastings? Should be interesting.

Monday, November 20

yield somewhere

Seven European cities are doing away with traffic signs. Is that really a good idea?

From German newsmagazine Spiegel:

"European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren -- by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs."

Sunday, November 19

mandate, schmandate

Many Democrats have been telling me the last two weeks that the Left, by virtue of their midterm election victory, won 'a mandate.'

I said then and I repeat now, no. No they didn't. No mandate.

Hey, look. Even Bill Clinton agrees with me.

"The people didn't give Democrats a mandate, they gave us a chance."

-- Bill Clinton, November 15, 2006 @ the 20th anniversary of Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, Four Seasons Hotel, New York City.

'el jocko'

Here's a shameless plug for the RFL sports franchise known as 'El Jocko.' Take a visit over there for all your sports info.

Thank you.

man up

Incoming House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) will seek to reinstate the draft next year according to the Washington Post.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said."

"I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft," he said.

I don't really have a problem with this. I know the volunteer army is better, smarter, willing. The military doesn't want the draft and if they don't want it, if a draft makes their job tougher, then I'm against it. If the draft would decrease the effectiveness of the military, then I'm against it.

But if we are going to continue to wage a global war on terror we will need more troops, right? Wait. Holy crap. (Slightly panicked) There must be something wrong with me...I'm actually agreeing with CHARLIE RANGEL...(Breaking out in a cold sweat)... Kids would be more patriotic and have more national pride if they were forced to serve in the military...Could a Democrat really be right about something? Wow...Maybe there really is something to this bipartisan crap...

planning

I laughed when I read this:

"After railing for months against congressional corruption under Republican rule, Democrats on Capitol Hill are divided on how far their proposed ethics overhaul should go.

"Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate, mindful that voters in the midterm election cited corruption as a major concern, say they are moving quickly to complete a package of proposed changes for consideration as soon as the new Congress convenes in January."

This is one of those I-told-you-so moments. All year long I've been telling you that the Democrats have no plans. Not for Iraq. No for national security. Not for Social Security. Not for illegal immigration.

But I thought for certain they would have planned how to change the 'culture of corruption' on Capitol Hill. Apparently not. But they sure ran a good campaign talking about it, didn't they?

This is definitely one of those moments when that thing we call 'a plan' would have come in handy. Having 'a plan' means you are ready to act when the time comes. It's called 'leadership.' It's called 'governing.'

Is it '08 yet?

Saturday, November 18

liberal arrogance

The NYT's Matt Bai is still living in the past, talking about the "arrogance" of Bush, while ignoring his own. But at least he gets the midterm elections:

"When moderate Americans finally did revolt, even leading Democrats had to admit that the election had everything to do with Republican failures and almost nothing to do with them."

But wait. He screws it up with more Liberal stupidity:

"They [the Democrats] had avoided offering new ideas, fearing that bold proposals on health care or retirement security might have taken the focus away from Republican failures. This was probably a smart electoral tactic — at least it seems that way now — but it comes with a cost; having recaptured Washington, Democrats now have only vague slogans (“a new direction”) around which to build a governing agenda."

Wrong. The Dems 'avoided offering new ideas' because they didn't (and still don't) have any new ideas of their own. And the ideas they do have have been rejected by Americans at the ballot box, umm, let's see now...(counting on fingers and toes) a lot of times.

C'mon, Matt. Even in the "Big Blue Wave of '06," Conserative ideas won out at the ballot box. Red voters and Blue voters alike voted against gay marriage, voted in favor of making english the official language and voted against tax increases.

'a disaster'?

What's this? Tony Blair calling Iraq 'a disaster'? Yes, he did. Kind of.

Blair was responding to a question (cleverly disguished as self serving personal commentary) put forth by Sir David Frost.

Frost: "[Iraq] so far been pretty much of a disaster."

Blair: "It has."

OHHHHHHHH! Big news. Now the press can claim victory, as Britain's Daily Mail did, leading the story this way:

"Tony Blair admitted that British intervention in Iraq has been a disaster last night - sending shockwaves through Westminster.

"In his frankest admission about the war to date, Mr Blair admitted that Western forces have been powerless to stop the descent into violence."

Note that it took the Mail eight paragraphs -- eight! -- to get to Blair's complete response to Frost. Fair, balanced, brilliant reporting!

"You see what I say to people is why is it difficult in Iraq? It's not difficult because of some accident in planning, it's difficult because there's a deliberate strategy - al Qaeda with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other - to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war."

Friday, November 17

john boehner

This poor health/bad social life really sucks...but it gives me time to tell you what I think about John Boehner (pronounced 'Bay-ner')becoming the new GOP House Minority Leader.

I think it sucks. And not because Boehner's not a nice guy or a good, decent, humble public servant. He very well may be all of those things. I won't piss and moan and complain about how the Republicans didn't choose a guy like Pence or Shadegg or Ryan. I don't care if it sends the wrong message to the base or to the electorate who spoke loudly last week about making changes. Nobody cares at this point. It doesn't matter.

No, I say it sucks because it shows a lack of imagination on the part of my Republicans. My guys got nothing and they lost the election last week (when they shouldn't have lost the election) precisely because of an imagination deficit disorder and not only did it kill us last week, but it will continue to kill the Republican party to the extent that Democrats will take their Majority and keep right on building it into a 40 year Majority the way they did last time.

Selecting a Pence or a Shadegg or a Ryan, I believe, would have changed the whole dynamic and really shaken things up. It would have shown that there was a new group of Republicans on Capitol Hill. Boehner? Roy Blunt, the new #2? Adam Putnam, the new Republican Conference Chairman? I wanted new. I wanted hungry. I wanted aggressive. Are these the right guys to get us back in the Majority? We'll see.

There. I said it. Move on.

Here's what the new Minority Leader had to say:

“I’ve pledged to them to do everything I could to bring our team together and to work hard so that we can earn our way back into the majority,” Boehner said at a news conference. “And to do that means that we need to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable federal government. I think the key operative word here is that we’re going to work as a team, and we are going to earn our way back into our majority.”

I totally agree. Let's go.

fantasy congress

Have you heard about Fantasy Congress?

Each team is comprised of 4 senators and 12 representatives for a total of 16 legislators. Points are scored by moving bills through Congress or onto the President's desk. Every bill is an actual bill in the Congressional database moving through Congress.

I'm learning how to play right now...

segolene royal

I first read about Segolene Royal in the NYT about a year ago. Back then, she was busy traveling around France, introducing herself to voters. Now Royal has become the candidate of the Socialist Party and if she can defeat Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy in April she will become the next President of France.

Merde sainte!

playstation 3


Sidewalk camping.
Freezing temperatures.
Long lines.
Unruly customers.
In-store scuffles and stampedes.
Shots fired.
Rioting.

I see that the new Sony PS3 has gone on sale.

Thursday, November 16

buzz

A phony biotech firm? Fake websites? Bogus YouTube videos? You bet. All to promote the new Michael Crichton novel, "Next," about genetic research.

Like car makers and Hollywood, books are belatedly getting in on elaborate marketing pushes. For the Crichton book, print ads and a MySpace presence are a part of the mix as well.

HarperCollins has big expectations for 'Next,' having ordered two million copies -- a huge number for books! -- ahead of publication November 28.

bipartisan cooperation

Newt Gingrich writes a smart op-ed in today's WSJ, in which he talks about the two choices facing America in the aftermath of last week's elections.

Obviously needed is bipartisan cooperation, but will it be conservative or establishment bipartisanship? Gingrich argues for the conservative approach.

"A conservative populist grassroots strategy would almost certainly make daily interactions with liberal leaders more confrontational as they found themselves nominally chairing committees but losing votes on the floor and having their initiatives rejected by a conservative grassroots coalition. With a conservative populist grassroots strategy it is the 44 Blue Dog Democrats who would find themselves cross-pressured. In the House, some 54 Democrats won by claiming they were much more conservative than Nancy Pelosi, and much more conservative than the San Francisco values she represents. Here, they would be forced to choose between their voters back home and the promises made to them during the campaign, and their leadership.

"Ironically, the very nature of the Democratic victory makes it possible to re-establish the conservative Democrat and House Republican coalition which made the Reagan legislative victories of 1981-82 possible. Tip O'Neill was the liberal Democratic speaker when Reagan became president, but he did not have a liberal majority in the House. Yet despite a seemingly liberal Democrat lock in a 242-192 majority, they lost control of the floor on the most important bill of Reagan's first term. His tax cuts were initially passed 238-195 with 48 Democrats splitting from the leadership and siding with Reagan and the GOP. The final passage of the conference report passed 282-95, with a 113-vote Democratic majority siding with Reagan and only 95 liberal democrats voting "no."

Uniting the Blue Dogs with the Republican base worked great for Reagan, for the country and it will work well for Bush too. And if he needs a reminder of how 'establishment bipartisanship,' works, all he has to do is ask his Dad. Remember 'No New Taxes'?

s is for steny

It's official: Nancy Pelosi in as Speaker and the corrupt, grumpy bastard (and unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam scandal) John Murtha out as Majority leader.

I'm tired of hearing about how 'united' the Democrats are. This little intra-party squabble proves they are anything but. The mere fact that Steny Hoyer is now the Majority Leader after Nancy commanded a vote for the other guy? What a huge vote of absolutely no confidence in Pelosi by her colleagues. What a colossal embarrassment.

Even Tony Coehlo, the former Democrat whip in the House who ran Gore's 2000 campaign, acknowledged Pelosi's horrible start.

"It was just an awful first week," he said.

Programming note: Watch for Steny Hoyer, pictured above, to become a regular fodder on Late Night TV, especially Letterman.

Wednesday, November 15

whip

Introducing, the Senate's new number two Republican, the vote-counting GOP whip, Trent Lott.

According to Rick Santorum, Lott defeated Tennessee's Lamar Alexander by one vote, 25-24.

From the AP:

"Lott's victory over Alexander showcases his lobbying and vote-counting skills. Alexander had campaigned for the position for 18 months and the night before was predicting that he would win by as many as 30 votes. But Lott's last-minute lobbying -- by telephone, on the Senate floor, in the hallways -- turned the secret balloting into a comeback."

Tuesday, November 14

'bubble boy'

Remember that episode of 'Seinfeld'?

I feel a bit like the bubble boy today...hanging out in my room, just me and my oxygen tank. Color me slightly agitated.

It really DOES go downhill once you hit 40...

feuding, fractious

Oh yeah. The Democrats are really united. They all LOVE each other. Lots of love here. One big happy family.

Hoyer would be the better public face for the Dems. Plus his name is really cool. Just say it a few times. 'Steny Hoyer...' 'Steny Hoyer...' But I hope the crabby John Murtha gets it. He's the father of the earmark. You want something done in the House? It has to go through Murtha. Can somebody say 'culture of corruption'?

Target practice for the GOP.

Monday, November 13

mr. general chairman

Florida Senator Mel Martinez is the new General Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Mike Duncan, the RNC's current general counsel and a former party treasurer, will be named Chairman and will be in charge of running the everyday operations at the party's Capitol Hill headquarters.

governing

Narely a week after becoming the Majority, the Democrats are already fraying over the choice of their new leadership. Speaker to be Pelosi favors Jack Murtha, because of their long friendship. Meanwhile, it appears that a good many Democrats prefer Steny Hoyer to be the public face for the party.

Either way, many on Capitol Hill are surprised that Pelosi has injected herself into the situation, going so far as to write a letter supporting Murtha.

From Mike Allen's blog on Time.com:

"People were surprised that she would so publicly endorse Murtha, particularly because it could end up hurting her," said a Democrat not aligned with either side. "She could lose her first big fight, which is not good for her leadership. But if she didn't publicly support Murtha, it would feed into the perception of her as a liberal - something she has been trying to change over the past couple of months in trying to appear moderate."

MORE:

"Hoyer poses a competing power base to Pelosi, and they have not had warm relations. "She wants to purge the leadership of people who disagree with her," said a Democratic official with a front-row seat. "It's about people she can personally control. Hoyer is an excellent public face for the party. She's more a behind-the-scenes player."

Saturday, November 11

ballot initiatives

Apparently many Americans have accepted as fact the false notion that the minimum wage should be 'a living wage.' I say false because burger flipping, latte pouring and stock shelfing was never intended to be one's lifelong career.

Just 2% of the American workforce earns the minimum wage, yet voters in six states overwhelmingly approved Tuesday of raising the minimum wage to $7.25 from $5.15.

Hey, that'll slow the economy down nicely. As will Democratic anti-trade policies. Yes, 2007 promises to be a rocky year for the stock market and for me with all of my investments.

I was also disgusted to see that Missouri voters were fooled into voting for Amendment 2, the purported stem cell measure, that seeks to change the US Constitution to legalize cloning.

But not all of the midterm ballot initiatives were bad. I support the anti-Kelo measures that passed in nine states, restricting state governments from using their powers of eminent domain to transfer property from one private owner to another. Now there are 40 states that have responded forcefully to the eggregious 2005 Supreme Court ruling.

I support the Arizona initiative to make English the official language of America.

I support the ban on same-sex marriage, a measure which even passed in Liberal Wisconsin.

The country remains largely conservative. Americans continue to demand low taxes, property rights and social conservatism.

Friday, November 10

focused?

Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that both European governments and the muslim extremists are PLEASED with America's midterm election results?

I feel much safer when Europe is uncomfortable with American leadership. I'm more confident when the terrorists are afraid of our President, rather than calling him a 'lame duck.'

Meanwhile, amongst all the pomp and circumstance of Tuesday, it already seems that we've forgotten all about terrorism, the most important issue of our generation.

parting shot

On his way out the door lame duck Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee is refusing to drop his objections to UN Ambassador John Bolton.

There remains a possibility that Bolton will be confirmed in the lame duck session of Congress, which begins next week, before Democrats take over as the Majority in January, but I won't hold my breath.

and so it begins...

A criminal investigation and prosecution of Donald Rumsfeld is underway in Germany.

Thursday, November 9

future

Who is going to be the new face of the GOP? Who will be the new leader in the House? Will it be John Shadegg? Mike Pence? What about Joe Barton?

I understand that the Republicans are holding a panicky meeting next week to select a new leader. That will be a big mistake. Before choosing a leader I think our caucus first has to set forward an agenda. We have to have a plan for taking back the House in '08 and we've got to commit ourselves to playing hardball politics again, just like the Democrats do.

Now that we're the Minority, maybe we'll be hungrier. Maybe we'll be more creative, more savvy in our approach. Here's a thought: Maybe we'll actually get some stuff done on Social Security, on taxes, on immigration. Or if we can't get anything done, then maybe we can make enough noise about it, with Republican talking points repeated everywhere, by every member of the caucus, that the American people will take notice.

I think if we're talking leaders, Pence would be one of my choices. He's good on television, he's articulate. If there's an upside to our midterm losses its that I won't have to see that fat bastard Denny Hastert anymore.

changes

I was right about one thing. I predicted the turnout on Tuesday would be high, like Presidential election year high, and it was.

Everything else I predicted? Wrong. I thought we'd keep both the House and the Senate, regardless of what the prognosticators said.

Iraq and the economy. One is going badly, the other is going along swimmingly well, yet the Democrats were able to convince a good portion of Democratic and Independent voters that they were right.

I wrongly believed that a political party couldn't win something with nothing. But that's what happened. They won, but it wasn't quite the spanking many have called it. Thirty seats in the House, six in the Senate and six governorships. I might call it a wave, but only in the sense that the tide seemed to seep into states like Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, usually reliable Red States.

And the wave was made possible and was successful, in part, because of ballot initiatives like increasing the minimum wage, gay marriage, stem cell research and immigration reform, all huge, winning issues for the Democrats.

Why did we lose? Historically, we were bound to lose our Majority in the sixth year of the Bush Presidency. But from a legislative standpoint, had Majority Leaders Frist and Hastert actually led Congress and gotten things done, like Social Security reform, making the Bush tax cuts permanent and doing something about illegal immigration, the election results would have been much different.

And the Democrats played the game better than we did. They did what Democrats always do: They pretend they are Republicans. Many of the new Democrats elected to the House are described as being 'conservative or moderate Democrats.' That should change pretty fast come January.

I'm disgusted that a Liberal lightweight like Claire McCaskill defeated a substantive guy like Jim Talent in Missouri. I'm disgusted that Michael Steele lost in Maryland. I'm disgusted that New Jersey elected a corrupt Liberal slimeball like Bob Menendez over Tom Kean, Jr. (Of course, its not all bad news. For example, I'm thrilled that Bob Corker beat Harry Ford and held Tennessee, and I'm ecstatic that RINO Lincoln Chafee went down in Rhode Island.)

Yes, my friends. The perception this year was that the GOP wasn't doing anything. And that killed us at the ballot box on Tuesday.

Many of you know me personally. You know that I'm an optimist, so I think I'm okay with the House being controlled by the Dems. I know that Wall Street loves divided government. From a pocketbook perspective, that could be profitable for all of us. From a legislative vantage point, I'm less enthused, but I'll keep an open mind. (I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall today at the Bush/Pelosi lunch.) The Democrats are saying they will lead, saying that they will be bi-partisan. They are saying they won't launch investigation after investigation into Halliburton and Katrina.

They would be smart not to do so because it would cement continued GOP dominance in '08 and beyond. No the Dems would be wise to play nice, cooperate with the Bush Administration and get things done for the country, like they say they want to do.

I know I'm much less okay with the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid? Gag. Patrick Leahy is now chairman of Judiciary, which means that if/when there are additional Supreme Court vacancies these next two years, a Roberts or Alito type judge won't have a chance in hell of getting confirmed.

About Rumsfeld. His resignation has obviously been in the works a few weeks now, although we just learned about it yesterday. I'm annoyed with Bush for not making this change earlier, because it could have made a big difference. I think the country was waiting for the President to acknowledge that things in Iraq are not what they should be, and a stepping-aside by Rumsfeld would have assuaged many voters.

W's been wholly supportive of Rummy for six years and even came out in complete support last week saying that the Defense Secretary would serve the remainer of Bush's term. Dumping Rummy now in favor of one of his dad's old cronies, makes the President look desperate and weak, the exact opposite of how he should be looking, although one could also consider the resignation to be smart politcs, given the fact that it now robs Democrats of myriad opportunities they would have sought to make Congressional theatre out of Rumsfeld and the mistakes in Iraq.

Here's my biggest concern. Tuesday's elections will be viewed as a repudiation of Bush policy. Just how much has the United States been weakened in the eyes of the Muslim extremists with the Democratic takeover of Congress?

Tuesday, November 7

this just in --

The exit polls are discouraging for Republicans. So shut up and go vote.

turnout

From Hewitt:

GOP base precincts are turning out higher than Dem base precincts:

MD 3% higher -- good news for Steele.
MO 2.6% higher -- good news for Talent.
VA 7% higher -- great news for Allen.

MORE...

National tracking monitoring turnout shows GOP precincts are turning out at a 32.9% of the 2004 vote, while Democrats are turning out at a 32.5% of the 2004 vote.

In Connecticut, GOP precincts are turning out 42%-34%, a 8% higher than in 2004.

Absentee and early voting is going to have a huge impact on the election -- and those bogus exit polls can now be officially be called a bust.

cacophony of confusion

The widespread election cheating across America today is no coincidence. It is the direct result of extensive planning and superb execution by a group of people associated with one particular political party.

And it ain't the Republicans, baby.

election homework

A Kentucky poll worker choking a voter and pushing him out the door? What's up with that?

From the AP:

"It apparently started as a dispute between the two over marking the ballot, said Lt. Col. Carl Yates of the Jefferson County sheriff's office.

"The voter told poll worker Jeffery Steitz that he didn't want to vote in a judicial election because he didn't know enough about the candidates, but Steitz told him he had to vote in the race anyway, Yates said.

"Steitz, 42, eventually grabbed the man by the neck and threw him out of the polling place, Yates said.

"The poor guy went back in and he threw him out again," Yates said. "At least it wasn't over a Democrat or a Republican being on the ballot."

tolerant, open minded

The Weekly Standard reports the abuse that Michael Steele and his wife endured this morning at their polling place in Maryland:

"Standing in line to vote with his wife, the pair wearing matching blue Under Armour windbreakers, Steele was surrounded by folks who clearly had no desire to vote for him. They made snide comments behind his back. "They're just trying to trick us, but we know better," exclaimed one elderly woman. She went on to explain that Steele's great "trick" was not cutting to the front, but instead choosing to stand in line like everyone else.

"For 45 minutes, Steele was waiting in line, listening to the jibes, biting his tongue, and smiling bravely. If not for his resolve, it would have been a depressing sight--the capacity some of us have to be rude to strangers is remarkable. Michael Steele deserved better."

Liberals. Such warm hearted, concerned, caring folks.

coincidental?

Via Hugh Hewitt:

"We all prepared for this year’s elections to be heated, particularly in PA with so many contested races. But even with teams of lawyers on the ground, I don’t think anyone anticipated what is going on right now. I expect this will be THE national story by 5pm today if not sooner.

"37 counties in Pennsylvania use the ESS & Ivotronic.

"These machines are experiencing massive failures.

"If you vote for one candidate, the opposing candidate lights up.

"Rendell votes are counting for Swann. Santorum votes are counting for Casey and so on

"County Boards of Elections or the PA Dept of State are refusing to take action.

"They don’t see the disaster that is coming.

"Hundreds if not thousands of voters are alerting the authorities of these problems.

"This may warrant a revote in these 37 counties."

Another well-orchestrated attack...a pre-planned action by the Democrats...and it is happening nationwide.

election day

Already we're hearing about problems. We're hearing about massive contingents of Dem lawyers in places like Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New Mexico Colorado, Indiana and Missouri, vowing to sue to keep polls open later.

As of 7AM in New Mexico's heavily Republican District 1, there were only 150 printed ballots available for over 2000 registered voters.

The Dems are already disseminating the "voting irregularities" talking points.

Be prepared for the exit polling data to "heavily favor Democrats," vis a vis 2004. Don't pay attention to the lies of the Liberal press. They've inflated the polls all year in favor of the Dems. They will continue to do so this afternoon and this evening.

Remain confident. It continues to be, as Ken Mehlman said this morning in a conference call, " a very tough environment for the party. Turnout is going to keep the House and the Senate in safe Republican hands, so get every Republican and Independent to the polls today.

To the ground troops today I say: Do not accept failure. Do not accept losing. Embrace victory.

Interestingly, the Feds have decided to send 850 poll watchers to 22 states. They had better look alive.

There is some potentially exciting news in both Michigan and Montana. In Montana, Conrad Burns is surging. It appears that Liberal Jon Tester hasn't quite sealed the deal with Montana voters.

And in Michigan, two things are happening. One, the gubernatorial race is locked in a dead heat between incumbent Granholm and challenger Dick DeVos. Two, the Senate contest between the nation's worst incumbent Senator Debbie Stabinow and challenger Mike Bouchard is tied. Bouchard has deep roots in Michigan, was a state senator and chief of police in vote rich Oakland County. He's extremely popular and is now the odds-on favorite to win.

I just noticed that Bouchard's website has been hacked this morning. Those tolerant Liberals. They can't win without playing dirty tricks, cheating and threatening legal action.

Stay tuned...

Monday, November 6

swell

Things were going so well...

Friday night I hung out with my dear friend Cheryl. She and I met @ Fresno State. I was a Lambda Chi; she was a Theta. She was (and very much remains) beautiful. She would never go out with me, I was 'too much of a party boy' for her taste.

Anyway, now she's a boozer and we got hammered on red wine, I mean, we were wasted! And Saturday morning we woke up with hangovers -- mine was one of the worst I've had in years.

Saturday night my bud Vickers and I went downtown. We hung out with his ex wife and met her friends. (Those of you who know me well know and understand that here's nothing I like better than meeting new people) I met the founders and creative directors of Bad Kitty lingerie. Now I'm on the guest list for their fashion shows and parties. How's that for a belated birthday gift?

We went to this new mexican place, Candelas. I didn't eat but the lounge sure was cool. I danced and drank Pacifico. We hit Tivoli, the coolest dive bar ever and then wound back around to 5th to The Bitter End. I met Heidi, a cute girl who promised to hook me up with her friend, The Literary Agent. Maybe I can finally sell 'Four Foot Six.'

Late night. Fun night. I got home @ 4.30 and slept a couple of hours. When I got up and splahed water my face, I noticed my face was swollen. And when I looked down I saw that my ankles were swollen, too.

Some of you will recall that in August I had some pretty scary medical problems. I had pneumonia and there was some serious concern that it was heart-related. Thankfully, the pneumonia went away with medication and the heart 'problem' was dismissed as a misdiagnosis. I thought we were done with this whole scenario.

Maybe not. My face is still swollen this morning and I've already got a call into the cardiologist. At least my fantasy football team is 8-1.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 5

big mo?

That 14 point generic ballot advantage Gallup said the Democrats had a couple of weeks ago is now down to 8, which tells me that the 14 number was always wrong. Pew Research Center's 11 point advantage is now down to 3.

These polls oversample Democrats and undersample Republicans to get a desired result. (And Liberals are home to answer the phone more on the weekends. The Conservatives are out, having a good time, while the Libs sit at home and stew. Priceless.)

Sounds like some big momentum out there brewing for the GOP, which is plenty predictable given that for all their bluster, the Left still doesn't have a counter-terrorism plan, or an Iraq plan, and the stakes are just far too high to trust America's national security to the liars Pelosi, Dean, Reid, Kerry and Clinton.

Additionally, early voting and absentee voting results are showing that Republicans are voting in larger numbers than they did in '04. I think the turnout is going to be more reflective of a Presidential year than a midterm election year.

I think the close races will mostly go our way, in both the House and the Senate and, in the end, we'll maintain control over both, because we've got more money, our GOTV effort is always better and our voters aren't flakes.

verdict

A lot of braindead Americans now believe that removing Saddam Hussein was a mistake. One thing not up for debate. If Saddam was in power today, Iraq and Iran would be fully engaged in a nuclear arms race.

You won't hear the Democrats talking about that. Just like you won't hear many of them talking about Hussein being sentence to death today by hanging.

jobless rate falls again

Remember the Dems and the MSM screaming about the 'jobless recovery' during the '04 campaign? Apparently Bush Administration economic policies were so Herbert Hoover-like, well, you know.

The Department of Labor announced Friday that the US unemployment rate fell to 4.4% in October, which is the lowest since '01 and lower than the comparable period during the 1990's expansion.

From "Jobs Galore," a Weekend WSJ op-ed:

"While on 92,000 new jobs were created in October, the totals for the two previous months were revised upward by 139,000. The slowdown in housing and auto sales reduced job growth in manufacturing and construction, but gains in services took up the slack. Payrolls have now climbed by 470,000 in the last three months, and by 1.9 million over the last year."

This 'upward revision' is important because it recognizes the fact that Labor discovered some 810,000 or more jobs it had missed for the 12 months through March of '06. How do you 'lose' 800,000 jobs?

Let's all say 'bureaucracy' together!

The Journal reports that the above suggests a 'very tight labor market,' the kind that 'historically produces rising wages and incomes.' And hourly earnings are up, rising at a 4% annual rate for the last six months. Gasoline prices are down, which means that' real purchasing power will likely increase,' will 'real wages climbing 2.4% over the last year, meaning that the economy continues to expand.

"Once the 'jobless recovery' proved untenable, critics moved on to claim that, never mind, wages weren't rising. On current trend, we'll soon be able to bury that political spin too."

Thursday, November 2

mgm

Tom Cruise and his production partner Paula Wagner have agreed to relaunch United Artists as part of a "substantial ownership" relationship with Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer.

Wagner becomes Chief Executive, responsible for day to day operations of the studio alongside Cruise, who will star in, and produce UA releases, as well as starring in films for other studios.

Not a bad deal, right Tommy, you wacko, Scientologist freak? Who needs Sumner Redstone and Paramount?

insulting

I agree with Karl Rove; insulting the American military is a 'Kerry habit.' He's been doing it for 35 years.

Wednesday, November 1

maliki

This guy is getting a bit mouthy. And now he's offering concessions to al Sadr?

I might be getting ready to begin calling for a small troop drawdown. If the Iraqis don't see the need to buck up their own security services and take more control over their own country, and by extension, their own destiny, I don't see anything wrong with the Bush Administration saying privately, 'hey, we're going to slowly begin pulling our guys out, the folks who have served the longest, they need to go home.'

As far as I'm concerned we keep a group of forces in the region, either in nearby Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, if there's a big need, we're there. But you guys are really going to be on your own starting now...

6 days away

Real Clear Politics has been the most accurate predictor of recent elections. Today they have the Democrats +6 on Senate races, winning control. Just a week or two ago they had the Democrats picking up 2 or 3 Senate seats, at the most.

They also are predicting the Dems winning 18 House seats, with just 15 needed to control.

Depressing, isn't it?

And the always reliable Charlie Cook chimes in on the subject, too. Just click on '6 Days Away,' above to read his piece on National Review.

horse's ass

I took a day to mourn my passing into what I'll refer to as 'my fourth decade,' and look what I missed: that idiot John Kerry putting his foot into his mouth (yet again) with insensitive, insulting and inaccurate comments about our troops.

Kerry, in Los Angeles campaigning for gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, swerved away from his prepared remarks at that bastion of higher education, Pasadena City College, to say 'if you don't study hard you'll end up in Iraq.'

Way to support the troops Senator Kerry! There they are in Iraq, fighting and dying, defending your liberty and mine, while simultaneously trying to support Iraq's fledging democracy, and you publicly declare them to all be morons.

Let's recall with clarity that this is the same Senator who spoke not long ago of our troops as being 'terrorists' for purportedly storming into Iraqi homes in the dead of night.

This is what the Democrats think of the American military, my friends. John Kerry. Harry Reid. Nancy Pelosi. Ted Kennedy. Dick Durbin -- Durbin compared our troops to Nazis. I think its important to know (and remember) what the Democrats think of our troops, and how little they think of the War On Terror, as we go into the voting booth next Tuesday.

One can only hope that Kerry, after famously screwing up in '04, has screwed the Democrats midterm election chances in '06.
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