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May 27, 2005

Vacation alert

The wife, the doggie and I will be leaving today for a week in North Carolina's Outer Banks. I hope those backward, red-state theocrats don't try to desecrate my Koran or anything (or worse, desecrate my Urban Assault Vehicle.)

Anyway, as you all know, there are no "internets" in those benighted backwaters, so I won't be posting for about a week, although CRB may.

And we'd better have a new U.N. ambassador when I get back! Do you hear me, Senator Voinovich? I want you and your colleagues to stop sobbing and confirm John Bolton, or I'll give you something to cry about!

(All right, that last bit probably won't really do any good, but it used to work when my Dad used it on me, so I guess it's worth a try. See y'all in a week!)

UPDATE: Swell. It looks like John Thune has joined the "Coalition of the Sniveling." You're going to love his reasoning.

May 26, 2005

George Galloway: lying sack of shit

New (to me) blogger Sexion, with the help of the Wayback Machine, busts George Galloway in a series of falsehoods.

I realize it's probably pointless for me to post this, since the world is already divided between those who recognize Galloway as the excrement he is and those who will forgive him any sin or crime simply because he's anti-Bush.

Oh well.

Just a rumor, of course

But we can always hope.

I'm hearing quite a bit of chatter through the USAF contractor grapevine that Zarqawi is dead. The only reason I mention it here is, the rumor is apparently rampant at Hurlburt AFB, home of the Air Force Special Ops guys, some of whom would be in a poistion to know such things.

Hitchens flushes this "Quran abuse" nonsense

And deservedly so.

...A second allegation, that a whole pile of Qurans had been stepped upon at Guantanamo, is equally credible. But mere objectivity requires us to note that this is partly because every prisoner is given a Quran, and that thus there are a lot of them lying around, and that none of this "scandal" would ever have occurred if the prison authorities were not at least attempting to respect Islamic codes. Do Christian and Jewish prisoners in Muslim states receive Bibles and Talmuds? Do secular detainees in Pakistan petition with success to be given Thomas Paine's Age of Reason? Isikoff told me recently that he'd been out to see the trial of a madrasah student in Virginia who was accused of terrorist recruitment and propaganda, and he had been somewhat shocked at the virulence of the anti-Jewish teachings on offer at that school. The school is almost certainly paid for by Saudi money. A Wahhabist version of the Quran, containing distortions of the original and calling for war against "unbelievers" of all sorts, is now handed out by imams in our very own prison system! Do we demand in return that Saudi Arabia allow churches and synagogues and free-thought centers on soil where the smallest heresy is punishable by death? No, we do not. Instead, we saturate ourselves in masochism and invent the silly, shallow term "Quran abuse."


John Bolton at the U.N. makes Baby Jesus Voinovich cry.

After a long speech about what he called the loss of U.S. credibility in the world and Bolton's harsh management style, Voinovich choked up and struggled to hold back tears as he asked for Bolton's defeat. He said too many senators didn't seem to understand how crucial the U.N. job was to America's image abroad.

Gee, you'd think if the Bolton nomination were that damn important to him, maybe he shouldn't have voted him out of committee, huh? His one vote could have prevented that. Or at the very least, maybe he could have actually bothered to show up for Bolton's testimony?

(Hat tip: K-Lo)

Bringing "mainstream" back into the mainstream

Mark Goldblatt points out how the term "mainstream" has been perverted by certain liberal politicians, and provides some helpful reminders of what it really means.

In the just-ended fight over filibustering judicial nominees, the Senate gave us something new: defining extremism leftward. Judges whose views Democrats would once have regarded as merely conservative are now seen as right-wing extremists -- or, to use the phrase that keeps coming up in the current Senate debate, "out of the mainstream."

But what does the phrase mean? From Democrats' recent public statements, it seems to mean the following: Judges who would uphold a state's ban on gay marriage are out of the mainstream; judges who would rule that parents should be notified before their underage daughter has an abortion are out of the mainstream; judges who would question the wisdom of affirmative action are out of the mainstream.

Yet each of these positions is well within the mainstream of popular opinion -- indeed, each arguably represents the view of a majority of Americans.

What might an actual extremist look like? A judge ruled who not just to uphold a state's ban gay marriage but to re-criminalize acts of sodomy, perhaps. Or one who ruled not just to allow legislative restrictions of abortion, but to ban abortions outright, by judicial fiat. If a judge ruled not just to disregard race in college admissions but to re-establish separate-but-equal schools, that would be out of the mainstream.

None of President Bush's judicial nominees is an extremist -- or even close.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, nominated by President Clinton for the Supreme Court in 1993 and confirmed by the Senate 96-3, once proposed the abolition of Mother's and Father's Day in favor of a unisex Parent's Day; she also once called for co-ed prisons and speculated that prostitution and polygamy might be rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Yet none of that put her "out of the mainstream" in the eyes of an overwhelming majority of Republican senators.

The Democrats who were filibustering President Bush's judicial nominees were seeking, in effect, to define extremism leftward. Coming from a minority party, this was pure hubris. Should it ever happen again, Republicans must not compromise. If the so-called "nuclear option" is required to re-orient Senate debate, and also to remind Democrats why they keep losing elections, so be it.

Ignoring the real problem

I don't know how big a story it was outside New York, but we heard a lot this week about New York's Medicaid program providing Viagra for sex offenders. Comptroller Alan Hevesi put a stop to it, and he deserves credit for that, I suppose.

Still, I have to join with Hillary Clinton in asking why ED drugs are covered my Medicaid for anybody. This whole "Viagra for sex offenders" story is but one symptom of a state entitlement program that is careening out of control. More than 1 in 5 New Yorkers currently receives Medicaid benefits in some form. That's probably why the state spends more every year on Medicaid than education, law enforcement, environmental protection, transportation and all social services. Worse, Medicaid spending is increasing at twice the rate of other state spending.

This is unsustainable. And as satisfying as it may be to deny the little blue pill to convicted sex offenders, it leaves the real problem unaddressed.

May 25, 2005

"Clean Sports Act?"

This may be yet another of those cases where I'm forced to concede that my brethren on the right were way ahead of me. I'm talking about Arizona Senator John McCain.

Look, I've forgiven the guy a lot, okay? I've apologized for him and defended him even when I felt like the last white guy at the Alamo. I sent his campaign money when I worked for a tobacco company, for God's sake.

And no, this is probably not his most egregious sin, but it may well be the straw that breaks this Camel's back. I guess we should've seen this one coming, but Senator McCain is now offering the Clean Sport Act for consideration. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, I wish I were.

Now I have to ask something. Is there anything left of limited-government conservatism? Anything at all? Is the Republican Party even going through the motions anymore, or have they abandoned the pretense altogether?

Granted, they've always had lapses, but conservatives of old had at least tried to keep in mind that all government power stems from coercion and is funded by the confiscation of wealth. Now there are times when this is justified -- protecting us from murderous terrorists or preventing the least fortunate among us from falling through the cracks -- but major league baseball? The NBA? Is this really what Jefferson had in mind for the federal government?

Despite this lunacy, I'm not completely anathematizing McCain. I still have enormous respect for the man, and God knows this kind of inanity is by no means confined to his office. Still, I've reached the point were I can no longer consider him my preferred presidential candidate.

Rudy in 2008, I guess.

A return to blasphemy laws?

Could be, but it's not the workings of Bush, Rove and the religious right. Rather, it's coming from the office of illiterate Michigan Democrat John Conyers, Jr.

Text of My Resolution Regarding Relgious [sic] Intolerance

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning bigotry and religious intolerance, and recognizing that holy books of every religion should be treated with dignity and respect.

Whereas believers of all religions, including the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, should be treated with respect and dignity;

Whereas the word Islam comes from the Arabic root word meaning "peace" and "submission";

Whereas there are an estimated 7,000,000 Muslims in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America;

Whereas the Quran is the holy book for Muslims who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity and spirituality;

Whereas it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form;

Whereas mistreatment of prisoners and disrespect toward the holy book of any religion is unacceptable and against civilized humanity;

Whereas the infringement of an individual's right to freedom of religion violates the Constitution and laws of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives --

(1) condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic faith;

(2) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, should be protected;

(3) recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and

(4) calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.

Whereas John Conyers, Jr. is a moron, be it resolved that we're going to do a little thought experiment. Read the above resolution, and replace "Quran" with "Holy Bible" and "Muslim" with "Christian." Let's further imagine it originated from (say) Rick Santorum's office, but was identical in every other respect.

Do you think Conyers would sign on to such a resolution? Or do you think he and his lefty loony brigade would be screeching "Theocracy!!" from the top of their lungs? I'm pretty sure I know the answer.

I swear, up until now I've found the whole notion of flushing a Koran down the crapper a bit distasteful, but reading Conyers' resolution actually makes me want to do it.

(Hat tip: lgf)

May 24, 2005

In other news...

Give them a Nobel Peace Prize already!

Hot off their victory in averting the filibuster showdown, a group of 14 moderate super-senators has now brokered a truce with al Qaeda.

Under the terms of the agreement, America will call off the dogs of war, and al Qaeda will abandon its plans to bomb three of the seven American cities they have vowed to attack (the fate of the four other cities remains unclear.) Moreover, the terrorist group vowed not to plan any new attacks on America, except, of course, in "extraordinary circumstances."

"This is a victory for America," said Arizona Senator John McCain.

"The global community is the real winner here," added Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. "The center has held."

Having solved two major crises in as many days, the Senate "Mod Squad" will now turn its sites on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and global warming.

Kerry releases his military records!


On January 30, John Kerry promised, on national television, to sign Form 180, releasing his full military record to the public.

I'm not sure what the holdup has been exactly, but it appears he's finally done it... I guess.

During an interview yesterday with Globe editorial writers and columnists, the former Democratic presidential nominee was asked if had signed Form SF 180, authorizing the Department of Defense to grant access to all his military records.

''I have signed it," Kerry said. Then, he added that his staff was ''still going through it" and ''very, very shortly, you will have a chance to see it."

So I'm not sure I completely understand that response. I mean I got the "I have signed it" part, but became a bit confused near the part about his staff "still going through it."

Oh well, no matter. I suppose there's no real urgency at this point, right? But if Senator Kerry is serious about another run at the White House (as he appears to be) he has to know that he's going to have to deal with this head-on sooner or later. Why not sooner?

(Hat tip: Tom)

More thoughts on the Senate deal

When I went to bed last night, it seemed that both sides were bemoaning the compromise, each believing they had been taken to the cleaners by the other. Now that we have more details, a different picture is beginning to emerge. Even the hardass lefties are realizing the Democrats got the sweet end of the deal.

Here's what Republicans got: up-or-down votes on three judges (Owen, Brown and Pryor.)

Here's what Democrats got: four nominees (Saad, Myers, Kavanaugh and Haynes) were thrown overboard. I find this particularly disturbing in the case of Saad, who will be left to twist in the wind indefinitely after being victimized by Harry Reid's pernicious public insinuations regarding Saad's confidential FBI file.

And what did the Democrats give in return? They promised not to filibuster any more nominees unless, you know, they really really really want to.

I swear, there's one born every minute. Just like a Republican to take a knife to a gunfight.

"Hey Senator Frist, ya got two tens for a five?"


May 23, 2005

"24" predictions

Yay! We got through a whole season with no Kim Bauer.

Crap, I thought I had next season all figured out. I was sure it would be an "Executive Orders" kind of thing, in which Jack continued to work his way up through the DoD hierarchy and then, in the wake of a devastating terror attack, found himself assuming the presidency.

Well it may still happen I guess, but it's hard to see how after tonight's ending.

Maybe next season's hero won't be Jack at all, but rather Cisco Systems.

Poll numbers and a brokered deal

These are crappy poll numbers for the president and Congress, to say the least. If these trends continue, any future electoral victories for the GOP look like an uphill battle. Thank God for Diebold TM, huh?

But lest the Democrats derive too much comfort from these figures, it seems the public's gripe with Congress is bi-partisan to a large extent, at least on the issue of judicial nominees.

Thirty-five percent sided with changing Senate rules, 19 percent agreed on keeping the filibuster and 34 percent wanted filibuster rules to remain intact but for nominees to receive a full Senate vote.

So while a solid majority support keeping the filibuster, a much larger majority (69 to 19) thinks judicial nominees deserve an up-or-down vote.

In other words, both sides have ample motivation to avert a showdown. I guess that's why we're getting word now that a deal has been reached.

Centrists from both parties reached a compromise Monday night to avoid a showdown on President Bush's stalled judicial nominees and the Senate's own filibuster rules, officials from both parties said.
Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."

Now I guess we're not privy to all the details yet, but I do hope the Republican negotiators nailed down this whole "extraordinary circumstances" phrase. On its face, that could mean practically anything. For Senatrix Boxer, for example, it could mean anyone to the right of Thurgood Marshall.

It's interesting that this "deal" wasn't reached until it was already clear that Frist had the votes to pull off the "nuclear" option. The GOP was negotiating from a position of strength. I hope they conducted themselves accordingly.

Christopher Hitchens, please make some room at the table

They've managed to alienate another one.

Last week I expressed astonishment at the left's fawning over pro-Soviet, pro-dictator, anti-democratic Scottish blowhard and probable embezzler George Galloway, for no better reason than the fact that he yelled at Norm Coleman.

I found this outrageously stupid. There are plenty of war critics in the world without having to embrace this guy. Let's face it, American liberals already have a real image problem as it pertains to the war on terror, some of it justified but much of it not. Well, here's a word of advice for them: Cozying up to the likes of George Galloway does not help! The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. Do you bristle with indignant outrage when your political opponents hurl epithets such as "un-American" or "Saddam-lover" at you? Well here's a hint: you might consider keeping the Galloways of the world at arm's length.

I was bemused by the whole sorry spectacle, but my mistake was in viewing it as a singular event when in fact it was highly representative of what passes for the modern progressive movement in American politics. Thoughtful, intelligent progressivism has been all but replaced by a reflexive, knee-jerk, infantile Bush hatred. Defending human rights, championing self-determination, and combatting fascism have all taken a back seat to mindless opposition-at-all-costs to George W. Bush. And at a time when American liberalism is in desperate need of a infusion of mature, reasoned intellects, the trend is sadly in the opposite direction. Check out this piece by Keith Thompson in today's San Francisco Chronicle. The title itself speaks volumes:

Leaving the left:
I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity

Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.

I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.

I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere -- reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.

My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom.
I watched with astonishment as leading left intellectuals launched a telethon- like body count of civilian deaths caused by American soldiers in Afghanistan. Their premise was straightforward, almost giddily so: When the number of civilian Afghani deaths surpassed the carnage of Sept. 11, the war would be unjust, irrespective of other considerations.

Stated simply: The force wielded by democracies in self-defense was declared morally equivalent to the nihilistic aggression perpetuated by Muslim fanatics.

Susan Sontag cleared her throat for the "courage" of the al Qaeda pilots. Norman Mailer pronounced the dead of Sept. 11 comparable to "automobile statistics." The events of that day were likely premeditated by the White House, Gore Vidal insinuated. Noam Chomsky insisted that al Qaeda at its most atrocious generated no terror greater than American foreign policy on a mediocre day.

All of this came back to me as I watched the left's anemic, smirking response to Iraq's election in January. Didn't many of these same people stand up in the sixties for self-rule for oppressed people and against fascism in any guise? Yes, and to their lasting credit. But many had since made clear that they had also changed their minds about the virtues of King's call for equal of opportunity.

I don't normally say this, because I don't like bossing my readers around, but read the whole thing. Please.

(Hat tip: Ace)


New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent bitch slaps Paul Krugman on his way out (along with Bill Safire and Maureen Dowd.) I particularly love that last line.

Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults. Maureen Dowd was still writing that Alberto R. Gonzales "called the Geneva Conventions 'quaint' " nearly two months after a correction in the news pages noted that Gonzales had specifically applied the term to Geneva provisions about commissary privileges, athletic uniforms and scientific instruments. Before his retirement in January, William Safire vexed me with his chronic assertion of clear links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, based on evidence only he seemed to possess.

No one deserves the personal vituperation that regularly comes Dowd's way, and some of Krugman's enemies are every bit as ideological (and consequently unfair) as he is. But that doesn't mean that their boss, publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., shouldn't hold his columnists to higher standards.

I didn't give Krugman, Dowd or Safire the chance to respond before writing the last two paragraphs. I decided to impersonate an opinion columnist.

May 22, 2005

I love this guy!

Wow, I don't even have to miss Terry McAuliffe anymore! I'm growing more and more convinced that Dr. Dean is every bit as great (for the Republicans) a DNC chairman as his predecessor.

To many of my friends on the right who predicted this all along, I know I'm late to this party. You were right, and I was wrong. This past week has definitively convinced me of that.

The past few days has seen Howard Dean

  • turn in a woefully disappointing fundraising quarter
  • call for Tom DeLay to serve his jail sentence, despite the fact that he's yet to be charged with any crime (this from the person who insisted on Osama bin Laden's presumption of innocence, mind you)
  • make Democrats openly fret about the extent to which he's being outmaneuvered by GOP chairman Ken Mehlman

So what do we have today, after Dr. Dean's appearance on Meet the Press? We have this gem:

[T]he thing that really bothered me the most, which the 9-11 Commission said also wasn't true, is the insinuation that the president continues to make to this day that Osama bin Laden had something to do with supporting terrorists that attacked the United States. That is false.

Hell, forget the presumption of innocence, let's go straight for the declaration of innocence, why don't we?

Yeah yeah, I know he meant Saddam Hussein and not OBL. But if President Bush had made a similar error on national television, the lefty bloggers would be gleefully shouting it from the rooftops, so I'm only too glad to return the favor.

Because context here is important. It's not an idle slip of the tongue from someone who's characteristically calm, sober, measured, and controlled. Rather, it's the latest in a series of egregious faux pas and screwups, worthy of amateur hour in the mayoral elections of Bumfuck, Arkansas.

Only this isn't Bumfuck, and it's not supposed to be amateur hour. We're talking about the elected spokesperson for the Democratic National Convention.

Thank God for this guy! Given the number of Republican missteps of late, the GOP's going to need all the help it can get. Fortunately, it seems Dr. Dean is bound and determined to give it to us.

Guess what?

Now you can call the cops if you find a Koran in the john, evidently.

A San Joaquin Delta College student discovered a copy of the Quran in a library toilet Wednesday evening, an incident similar to one described in a now-retracted news report that sparked Muslim protests worldwide last week.

Delta police wouldn't release the name of the student, whom they say found the Muslim holy book in the toilet of a second-floor men's bathroom in the library just after 7 p.m. Wednesday. Sgt. Geff Greenwood said the student removed the book from the toilet and placed it on a bathroom shelf before contacting the police.

By the way, "desecration" is such an ugly word. Can't we just refer to it as "checking it into the white porcelain library?"

May 20, 2005

Friday vegetable porn

I enjoyed watching these with my cheeseburger.

May 19, 2005

More salad bar tips

Remember, no matter how much ham, cheese, croutons or blue cheese dressing you put on it, it's still a salad, and salads are good for you.

The filibuster mess

People have been asking me why I've been so silent on the whole filibuster war. I guess one reason is that I feel I occupy some middle ground here. I oppose the Democrats' routine obstruction of judicial nominees, but I'm also not crazy about the idea of rewriting the Senate rules.

Second, I just don't feel very strongly about it. Let's face it, despite the passion on both sides, there are no lofty principles at stake here. It's partisan politics, plain and simple.

I hope we can at least agree that there are hypocrites on both sides. Yes, conservatives have historically loved filibusters, because they've historically been in the Senate minority. Liberals, on the other hand, have historically hated filibusters, at least as long as they were in the majority. Both sides have had great fun trotting out years-old quotes from the opposition, illustrating their hypocrisy.

Yes, that's all fun, but so what? We've determined that both major parties are hypocrites, and more concerned about political power than principle. Wow, that's groundbreaking. Where's our Pulitzer?

So what? Is anyone surprised? Of course not. So let's please, drop the sanctimony on both sides, okay?

I'm not about to maintain that the president has an absolute, unfettered right to appoint any judge he sees fit without question. But please, let's also not try to claim the tradition of the filibuster is some sacred American principle, on a par with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, enshrined for eternity by our founding fathers and paid for by blood at Valley Forge.

Slate's Timothy Noah sums it up perfectly, I think.

I never thought I'd see the day when preservation of the filibuster became a grass-roots liberal cause, but that day seems to have arrived. College students are staging mock filibusters at universities across the country. Once upon a time, student activists decried the immorality of the Vietnam War and U.S. investment in the apartheid regime in South Africa. Their protests helped change the world. Today student activists are defending a parliamentary rule that enabled southern bigots to block civil rights legislation for nearly a century! They're defending demosclerosis! They're defending the right of the minority to thwart the will of the majority! Oh sure, it all has something to do with bad judicial nominations, too. But the street theater isn't about bad judges. It's about Robert's Rules of Order.

Count me out.

Well said, Tim.

Holy Hell!!!

Check out this fricken ginormous bee I found in our house!

May 18, 2005

Trump Towers update

I agree with Ace. Just build the damn things already.

I'm talking about Donald Trump's plan for a safer, stronger, taller Twin Towers. I don't have any illusions about Trump or his motivations, but it may very well take an asshole like him to cut through all the BS, shake things loose, and break the logjam, even if he doesn't end up being the primary developer.

I shouldn't get my hopes up because I know it's a long shot. But I think there's someone who can help make it a reality: George Pataki.

Four years ago, Pataki was finished. He'd been in office long enough to abandon every principle he had, and seemed to have built a career around bribing labor unions for support. Then along came 9/11, and his fortunes changed overnight. He was on track to be the next president. Remember? I know it's hard to imagine now, but it was true. It's not so much that he actually did anything. Remember the unfortunate remark that sunk Andrew Cuomo's gubernatorial campaign? Something to the effect that Pataki had done nothing in the wake of the crisis besides holding Guiliani's coat? The comment was mean-spirited and ill-advised. It was also true. We all know it. We just didn't think he should have said it.

But the point was, Pataki didn't have to do anything. Never in history has so little been demanded of a politician. All he had to do over his next term was not do what he's in fact done -- to not neglect Ground Zero redevelopment. That's not asking too much, right? But he blew it. Royally. Four years later, and what have we got down there? Exactly pea-shit.

That's inexcusable, frankly. But it's not too late for Pataki to redeem himself. Governor, please get behind this Trump plan and make it happen. You can do this. Not only that, but you owe it to us.

"Night Stalker" update

During a recent bout of blogger's blog (actually more like a one-man strike) I wrote a post about "Kolchak: The Night Stalker." It was apropos of nothing really, but it generated more discussion than I'd expected. That was when I first learned that a new "Night Stalker" television series was in the works, although few details were known.

Well a mere five minutes ago, I got an especially welcome e-mail from an ABC employee, informing me "The Night Stalker" is on ABC's 2005-2006 schedule, Thursday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM.

Wow, this is even more exciting than "Exorcist: Dominion."

Galloway does the Senate

George Galloway is further proof that anyone who criticizes Bush, no matter how reprehensible an individual, is eligible for instant sanctification by the Bush-hating left. I'm guessing Barbara Boxer probably threw her panties at him in a paroxysm of ecstasy after his testimony. In fact, lefties everywhere are orgasming over the British MP's appearance before the Senate and American liberals have a new folk hero. What's unclear is exactly why.

Look, let's face it, there was nothing especially novel about the content of his diatribe. On the contrary, it was little more than a rehash the familiar "Bush lied, people died!" mantra.

Granted, the delivery was effective -- an arrogant, blustering, belligerent bombast, which threw the senators off their stride and diverted attention from his own deft evasion of uncomfortable questions, which was as slick and oily as those lucrative petroleum contracts of his.

His screed would perhaps have been a bit more effective if Galloway had more credibility on this topic. Remember, this is the man who

  • was expelled from the Labour Party for bringing the party into disrepute
  • unabashedly supported the Soviet Union and mourned its demise
  • is reeling from a fresh round of allegations of wrongdoing in the oil-for-food scandal
  • panders assiduously for the Muslim vote in his heavily Islamic district
  • famously said of Saddam: "Sir… -- we salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.... We are with you.... Until victory! Until Jerusalem!" This, of course, after Saddam's bombing of Israel and his brutal crackdown on the Kurds and suppression of the Shiite uprising.

Hell, even the guy's wife can't stand him anymore. He had the stones to blame even his extramarital dalliances on plots to discredit him.

Take away the Scottish accent, and it's just the same, tired, warmed-over, one-dimensional Michael Moore rhetoric from a preposterous, discredited, pro-Saddam crook. I'll say to him what Norm Coleman and the other Senators were too spineless to say: "Sod off, ya daft, offensive prat!"

Trump's plan

I guess Donald Trump will officially unveil his vision for a new World Trade Center some time this morning. Yeah, I know it's all about PR. And yeah, I know he's driven exclusively by ego. But after nearly four years of staring at that enormous freakin' hole in the ground every day, I'm ready to grasp at whatever glimmer of hope I can find. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

May 17, 2005


The best two paragraphs I've read yet on the whole Newsweek fiasco come from James Taranto.

It's not just that the media are biased against conservatives and Republicans, though they certainly are. It is that they see every war as another Vietnam and every supposed scandal as another Watergate--at least when Republicans are in the White House, which they usually are.

The obsession with Vietnam and Watergate is central to the alienation between the press and the people. After all, these were triumphs for the crusading press but tragedies for America. And the press's quest for more such triumphs--futile, so far, after more than 30 years--is what is behind the scandals at both Newsweek and CBS.

Nothing to add.

"Right-wing shriek squad?"

You mean I'm a member and didn't even know it?

Cool. Kinda makes up for getting kicked out of the Kiwanis.

Cynical Nation retracts

Andrew Sullivan lets Newsweek off the hook for their disastrous Koran-flushing story:

"Even if this incident turns out to be false, our previous policies have made it perfectly plausible." That's the deeper issue here.

Thanks to Andrew, I now feel emboldened to put forth a few overdue retractions of my own.

Last month I reported that Michael Moore's new movie would deny the Holocaust, glorify Hitler, and portray Judaism as a "filthy gutter religion." Well, it turns out that was wrong. Doesn't matter though, because Moore has played fast and loose with the truth so often in the past that it rendered this story plausible, and that's the "deeper issue" here.

Then last week, when I reported that Hillary Rodham Clinton was an evil, lesbian Wiccan who was using her Senate office to launder oil-for-food money, I erred as well. But that's hardly relevant. The real story is the cloud of ethics questions and allegations that have dogged her for the past dozen years and have tarnished her image to the point where such rumors are believable.

And just the other day when I confirmed reports that Glenn Reynolds puts puppies in blenders... well, I'm sticking by that one.

May 16, 2005

Lefty bloggers and the Incredible Hulk

It hasn't been a good week for the left-hand side of the blogosphere. The Newsweek story about American interrogators flushing the Koran down the crapper and the ensuing riots had them smugly preening all weekend.

Even before the story of Newsweek's apology broke yesterday, there were Pentagon denials and mounting signs that at least a degree of skepticism might be warranted.

The bloggers were undeterred, however. That's why they never saw it coming when Newsweek's apology pulled the rug out from under them. That's why hyperpartisan lefty sites like Atrios and Daily Kos were reduced to ludicrous hair-splitting along the lines of, "Well, it was an apology, not a retraction..."

Now, however, Newsweek has officially retracted. Expect the lefty bloggers to react by trying to explain how the whole thing is either

  • all Bush's fault
  • an unimportant distraction from the real issue of blah blah blah...
  • or planted by the Bush administration to divert attention from Bush's coke habit or Laura's standup routine or God knows what.

because the lefty blogs are as predictable and formulaic as Bill Bixby's "The Incredible Hulk" TV series. (Except, unlike that series, the bloggers spend almost all their time in perpetual Lou Ferrigno mode, mindlessly smashing things in a blind, incoherent rage.)

It's easy to be a lefty blogger. Never, ever depart from the following butt-simple rule set:

  • All news stories that reflect favorably on Bush are lies.
  • All news stories that reflect unfavorably on Bush are true.
  • If a story that reflects badly on the president becomes questionable or problematic, it is still presumed true, no matter how much the story unravels, until even the faintest glimmer of the story's veracity is extinguished.
  • If the anti-Bush story is demonstrated to be false, it was obviously planted by Karl Rove to discredit Bush's enemies.

And this is the so-called "reality based" community. Now this would be one thing if we were only talking about a few brain-rotted, tin-foil-hat-wearing, aged hippies with a Blogger account and a solar-powered internet connection. Sadly, however, it's much more than that. We're talking about the most public faces and prominent voices of the modern Democratic Party. Kos himself, Markos Zuniga, is not merely some anonymous blogger, but a highly valued and celebrated Democratic consultant. People like Kos and his fellow travelers at MoveOn.org represent the new ideological heart and soul of the Democratic Party, to the extent that such can even be said to exist.

Now to be fair, I have many Democratic friends (including my own wife) who are reasonable, rational, moderate people. They and their party are ill-served by the Michael Moore-Howard Dean-Kos-MoveOn-DU axis. I hope they can make their voices heard and assert their identity within a party that is becoming increasingly radicalized. The "Axis of Moonbats" is at least as big a threat to their party as the religious wackos are to my own.

How cool is this?

I didn't scare easily even as a kid, but the first time I saw "The Exorcist," it scared the piss out of me. And the second time. And even the third. I think it was my fourth time before I kept my eyes open all the way through. In my adult years, I'm no longer scared, but I still think the movie is superbly done and holds up surprisingly well after all these years.

"Exorcist II: The Heretic" was so mindnumbingly awful I can still get nauseated if I think about it too much. "The Exorcist III," based on William Peter Blatty's book "Legion," was underrated and much better, but still forgettable. Needless to say I was excited last year when I learned that Paul Schrader was directing a cerebral, psychological prequel to the franchise that followed Lancaster Merrin's exploits in postwar Africa.

Upon viewing a near-final print, however, the studio was offended by the lack of blood and guts and a surfeit of heady psychodrama. Long story short, Schrader was sacked, and Renny Harlin was hired for a "do-over." He re-shot the film with a completely rewritten script and an all but entirely different cast. The new film had blood and mayhem, and resulted in last year's box office disaster "Exorcist: The Beginning." I was so disgusted I didn't even go see it.

But guess what? Schrader's original movie will now see the light of day under the title "Dominion." I can't wait to see it. I suppose after I do, I won't be able to resist watching "The Beginning" just so I can do the inevitable comparisons, even though it would probably just piss me off.

By the way, on a related note, did anyone out there read any of Blatty's other novels besides "The Exorcist?" I remember reading a book of his called "Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane" that I liked a lot in my adolescence. Years later, Blatty said that he had written the book when he was young and stupid and had screwed it up. But he still liked the central idea, so he re-worked it into a second novel called "The Ninth Configuration," which I also read. I happened to think that "TTKK" was a bit more compelling, if less polished, than its successor, but what the hell do I know? I was, like, fourteen at the time, so they probably both sucked.

May 15, 2005

Memo from Newsweek


Our bad.

In our haste to uncover the next "Abu Ghraib" story, boost our sagging readership and maybe garner a Pulitzer, we took a few short cuts. We went to press with the same shoddy, half-assed fact-checking that has characterized much of the mainstream media of late.

Anyway, looks like a bunch of people died as a result. Sixteen from the latest account, with another hundred or so injured.

Sorry about that. Newsweek regrets any inconvenience to the dead and their families.

Well okay, that was a paraphrase, but it captures the gist of it.

PS -- Subscribe now and get Newsweek for only 57 cents a copy!

May 13, 2005

Okay, maybe the U.N. does do some worthwhile stuff

These peacekeepers clearly have too much time on their hands, but it's a pretty cool video anyway.

UPDATE: A reader asks whether these soldiers got in trouble over this. I don't know, but my guess is the U.N. currently has more pressing issues with its peacekeeping forces than their making a video.

A question about Bolton

The fact that the man is openly critical of the U.N. is a big plus for me. I don't think he opposes the organization in principle, given how closely he's worked with it in the past and how he clearly plans to do so in the future, but he's certainly been critical. Many liberals, however, interpret this as "despising" the U.N. or hating the very principle of the world body -- just because of his criticisms.

So here's my question. Liberals have free license to criticize this country and rail against its leaders and their policies all day long, but we mustn't dare to question there patriotism! And we certainly mustn't ever, ever question their love for America! For to criticize our country is patriotic, you see.

So why isn't Bolton afforded the same benefit of a doubt? He's critical of U.N. governance in the same way that liberals criticize the U.S. government. Why is it okay to say John Bolton "hates" the U.N.?

I'm (mostly) conservative

I got this test from Risawn. I'm (surprise!!) conservative! My overall numbers are 65/35. I guess that sounds about right. But check it out, I'm "ethically" liberal, whatever the hell that means.

Now I don't object to being called a "conservative." Imperfect though it may be, the label is still truer than not. But for all those out there who continually call me a "wingnut" or a Bush ass-kisser, you can officially shut yer cake holes!!!


There. I feel better now.

By the way, how did I get a 75% conservative score on social issues when I supported abortion, gay marriage and legalized marijuana? It had to be the gun thing. You know, I have never understood how the libertarian position on gun rights makes you a "social conservative." Oh well.

Your Political Profile

Overall: 65% Conservative, 35% Liberal
Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Bolton vote afterthoughts

Yeah, I guess I was more invested in the Bolton nomination than the appointment of a U.N. ambassador generally calls for, but hey, the battle lines were drawn early on this one, as both sides decided to make an issue of it. More importantly, I think Bolton is exactly the kind of delegate we need at the U.N., and I was more than willing for my party to go to the mat for him.

The real question is why liberals were so viscerally opposed to him. Forget the charges that he was a hardass boss, or the ludicrous allegations that he chased some woman through the halls of a hotel. That's all crap, quite honestly. The real reason for their opposition is that Bolton supports Bush's foreign policy and has had the audacity to be openly critical of the United Nations.

God forbid that the American ambassador actually, you know, represent American policy. God forbid the American ambassador refuse to bury his head in the sand and pretend the U.N. isn't corrupt, incompetent, and riddled with embezzlers, rapists, and anti-American, Jew-hating, dictator fetishists. By all means, we can't have someone like that.

For you see, George W. Bush has the very first administration in American history which is expected to appoint officials who oppose his administration's policy. That's right, appointing people who share his vision is bad! (Well, it's okay if you only half-assed kind of share it, in a Colin Powell sort of way, but anything beyond that is strictly déclassé.) For the first time in history, we expect our president to staff his appointments with people who disagree with him.

Well you know what? I'm sorry, but that's just crap, and I'm frankly damn sick of it.


There, I feel better.

By the way, I bought a car last night. It's an SUV, the first I've ever owned. I don't really need one. Maybe I subconsciously bought it just to piss off liberals. Welcome to my current state of mind, I guess.

May 12, 2005

Bolton vote update

My (highly reliable!) sources tell me the committee's vote is 10 Aye, 8 Nay. On to the full Senate!


The news on Drudge today is that Robin Williams is suing an impersonator.

Fair enough, but I'd say this guy has a much better case.

The only quibble I have with Clayton's suit is that he claims to remember when Robin Williams was actually funny. Frankly, I do not find that testimony credible.

That's my girl!

Condi defends gun rights again. I wish there were more high-level political leaders willing to do so.

Bolton vote update

Well, it looks like Voinovich is on board, although he's being a snot about it. It's more of the tried-and-true "the guy sucks and he's an asshole, but I guess I'll vote for him anyway" nonsense we often hear from politicians who are trying to suck up to two opposing camps at once.

If true, that should pretty much nail it. Sounds like my earlier prediction (more posturing, but a "yes" vote at the end of the day) may well come to pass.

So that's it?

Carnivale shakes some dust.

HBO has pulled up stakes on "Carnivale," opting not to order a third season of the circus-set Dust Bowl drama.
"We have decided not to renew 'Carnivale,"' said Carolyn Strauss, president of entertainment at HBO, in a statement. "We feel the two seasons we had on the air told the story very well and we are proud of what everyone associated with the show has accomplished."

Strange way to end the series. Oh well, at least it will avoid the ignominious fate that befell "Twin Peaks."

John Bolton vote today

Unless of course it gets delayed again. Anyone care to place bets on the outcome?

My own prediction? The Republican Wuss Coalition will content themselves with the posturing and theatricals they've already gone on record with, and in the end will vote unanimously to send Bolton's nomination to the Senate floor.

May 11, 2005

The 138th Carnival of the Vanities!

All right, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that it's been a slow news week. I don't remember such a dry spell since September 10, quite honestly.

Nonetheless, I wasn't bored. In fact, I've received a plethora of interesting blog posts this week, as I'm currently hosting the 138th edition of the Carnival of the Vanities. It's a good chance for all of y'all to check out some bloggers who may not be on your regular reading list.

We had our fair share of medical bloggers this week. Doctor Andy has some interesting thoughts on sperm donation which, frankly, had never occurred to me. (Unlike Dr. Andy, I actually did know someone in college who admitted to being a sperm donor, and made some fairly dumbass decisions in the process. It makes for a rather amusing, if tasteless story, so remind to tell it sometime.)

In other medblogging posts, Dr. Charles pauses to consider a patient whose artificial heart valve makes her keenly aware of each heart beat, and Mad House Madman is a medical resident who regularly posts reviews of "Grey's Anatomy." (Can we get a federal counter-terrorism agent to pull similar duty with "24?")

Speaking of medical matters, did anyone but Ablogistan remember the anniversary of smallpox's eradication?

And just in time for "Revenge of the Sith," here's a post from Luke Skywalker's personal journal. Also, J. Fielek wanted to be Luke once.

Moving on to politics, Right Wing Nut House has some thoughts on Bush's VE remembrance tour. GOP and the City (now why didn't I cop that name for my own blog? Oh well.) lists the top 5 remarks Bush did not say in Georgia. PlaidBerry thinks we should inform the unsophisticated Georgians that self-respecting intellectuals do not cheer the American president.

We also got two different takes on Laura Bush's standup routine. TOMO is
less than impressed, but Nikita Demosthenes doesn't understand the big deal.

Tom Bowler is nostalgic for the good old-fashioned Mr. Smith-style filibuster, and Mark Daniels yearns for the leadership of Teddy Roosevelt, and offers thoughts on what kind of wartime president he'd be.

Christians more tolerant that secularists? More pollution to fight global warming? Dissecting Leftism has a roundup of all that and more.

Nick explains the similarities between health insurance and a lottery ticket. I think he's got a point. I've had similar thoughts in the past, but never really developed them. Also, Brian J. Noggle makes an interesting comparison between eminent domain abuses and wildlife preservation. (In a similar vein, I've also wondered what it be like if self-appointed civil libertarians applied the same scrutiny to our drug laws as to the Patriot Act.)

Coyote Blog calls for legalizing illegal immigration. Opinionated Bastard makes some similar points using simple economics, and wishes residents of non-border states would kindly shut the hell up.

The skwib offers Canadian political commentary -- with limericks!

Ravenwood's Universe dissects yet another dubious poll on Social Security, and The Unalienable Right takes on historical revisionism.

Feline critics review Arianna Huffington's newest venture over at This Blog is Full of Crap. Nikita Demosthenes is similarly less than impressed.

Ever wonder how Al Gore's kept busy after inventing the internet? Point Five knows.

DSS Hubris wants to put teeth in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and TFS Magnum thinks you can get more done with a court order and a gun than with a court order alone.

Mustang 23 rips Garry Trudeau for a recent Doonesbury strip on milbloggers, and reminds me why I quit reading the strip.

The Unalienable Right highlights the left's double standard on the Establishment clause.

Interested Participant details the story of Delta Airline's treatment of army deserter Sgt. Karim Iraq (no, I am not making this up.)

Neal Phenes blogs about politically correct junk science that our children are being taught. Read it if you can stomach it.

Taser Tuesday? Sure, at The Green Lantern.

In other news, Jill over at Legacy Matters has some advice on preserving our digital assets, and Conservative Cat has some thoughts thoughts about spam.

Josh Cohen just bought a house, and I feel his pain!

Taken in Hand offers one of the more "interesting" posts this week. (I wonder how I could discreetly get my wife to read it?)

Hawaii has geeks too, Rent-a-Hamster reminds us. And Greg reminds us of the good side of video games -- and it's not just hand-eye coordination.

Not concerned about tax exempt status for witches? You damn well better be, says Buckley F. Williams.

Classical Values proposes an appearance-based code for upholding higher standards in the blogosphere.

Charlie Quidnunc contributes a Podcasts on a host of topics, and Living Space offers a rather somber potential explanation for the popularity of iPods.

Parableman has some interesting thoughts on interracial couples in popular media.

Blog Business World answers some frequently asked questions about linking and how it's handled by search engines that's definitely worth a read.

A recent bombing has triggered Richard Lawrence Cohen's remembrance the New York of the 1970s.

The Conservative Edge examines the "I didn't know that" defense (I guess they're on to the "Chewbacca" defense.)

Tinkerty Tonk reports on intrigue and controversy in the world of mystery fiction.

In perhaps the most far-reaching post of this week, Koranteng begins with demystifying technology buzzwords and ends up sharing bus stories (at $15 bucks a head, the Chinatown-to-Chinatown shuttle is a deal!)

Via Wicked Thoughts we get a politically correct "Red Riding Hood."

You know those websites whose owners should be embarrassed of? Yeah, well Barry Welford does too, and he has some advice.

Mr. Scriblerus offers his take on Texas's (disgraceful) efforts to ban sexy cheerleading.

Time to Lean offers and interesting restaurant review, but I've got to wonder what she was doing eating at a place called "The Manhattan Loft" anyway.

Do you invest like Lemony Snicket or King Midas? Political Calculations can tell you.

Bill Adams discusses computer grading of student essays, and Kevin of Technogypsy definitely isn't in Texas anymore.

Well, I hope this roundup has helped broaden your blog-reading horizons a bit. And for those of you who've never visited this site before, I'm a southern, small-l libertarian still trying to adjust to life in the New York City area. I hope you'll stop by again in the future. Who knows, there might be something interesting here one day. Stranger things have happened.

May 10, 2005

Chairman Dean

As regular readers know, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Howard Dean. I think I let this fact color my judgment when I argued (against the conventional wisdom) that he'd make an effective DNC chairman. Dean is a bright guy, I reasoned, and with a bit more exposure on the national stage will eventually learn to avoid the hoof-in-mouth pitfalls that marred his candidacy last year. Meanwhile, his political amateurism would be overshadowed by his proven ability to raise money and energize his base.

Well, his base may still be energized for the moment, but when they realize his shortcomings in the fundraising department, that may evaporate as well.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) fund raising under the chairmanship of Howard Dean shows a disappointing $16.7 million raised in the first quarter of 2005, compared with $34 million reported by the Republicans.

That tends to confirm dire predictions by old-line Democratic fund-raisers of a fall-off in money if Dean became chairman. He had promised to bring in heavy individual contributions, as he did in his 2004 campaign for president. But the DNC in the first quarter received only $13 million from individuals, compared to $31 million for the Republican National Committee (RNC).

May 09, 2005


How much do you suppose Cisco ponied up for that ridiculous plug on 24 tonight?

UPDATE: You've also got to love those "image processing filters" that can take a grainy blur from a single video frame and enhance it into a high-res image simply by pressing seemingly random keys on the keyboard.

UPDATE: Audrey's pissed off. Jack had better place a seriously large order here.

UPDATE: So what exactly is CTU planning to do with this Chinese informant after he's spilled his guts? Has anyone thought that far ahead?

"But they have great health care...!"

I was flying over Cuba the other day, looking out the window of my plane to see as much as I could of the country below. I didn't see much -- a patchwork of different shades of brown, bisected by the occasional large highway and punctuated with a handful of irrigation circles. I tried looking for baseball fields, but at forty thousand feet, they were impossible to discern if they were indeed there.

I was reminded of a recent Democratic Underground thread in which the DUmmies were positively fawning over Fidel Castro for raising the Cuban minimum wage to $9.40 a month. Yes, that's nine dollars and forty cents. Per month. I wish I were joking, but I'm not.

To be fair, there were a few voices of sanity in the thread, but it was dismaying to see opposition to U.S. policy manifest itself as a glorification of Castro. I had hoped that such damned nonsense would have gone out of style in the in 1960s.

Look, I could probably find some common ground with the DU crowd on this issue, because I feel that the Cuban embargo is a counterproductive, Cold War anachronism, that survives more because of domestic electoral politics than global geopolitics. Opposition to U.S. policy is one thing, but when it leads to the simple-minded Castrophilia, it is both offensive and perverse.

The Castrophiles should be asked to explain why so many Cubans routinely risk life and liberty to stack themselves like cordwood on an overturned house roof, or something equally unseaworthy, to brave 90 miles of shark-infested waters in a desperate bid to reach Key West. Have they merely been suckered into believing American propaganda? Do they simply not realize how much better they have it in their island paradise, with their vaunted health care system?

(There is, of course, ample evidence that Cuba's wonderful health care system is as mythical as a chimera. Even if it weren't, however, anyone who would willingly exchange his political freedom for a better PPO plan is a disgraceful, pathetic excuse for a human being.)

Even better, these Castrophiles should spend some time talking with actual Cubans. Whenever I meet a Cuban-American, I'm obviously tempted to discuss politics with him, but I avoid bringing up the subject out of politeness. I've found, however, that you typically don't have to wait very long before they venture into the topic themselves.

I've had all of this on my mind lately, because I've just finished a business deal in which I met and spoke with a number of people from this area's Cuban-American community. You don't have to spend much time around them to realize they're more repulsed by Castro than we are. With them, you see, it's personal.

There was one man in particular, a kindly, elderly man whom I'll call Mr. A. He is a gentle soul unless and until the subject of Castro comes up -- which with him, it inevitably does, even if it's a complete non sequitur. I've spent probably a grand total of 45 minutes in his presence my entire life, and the topic came up several times in conversation. Most recently, it was in the course of discussing the "lottery" system, by which certain Cubans may gain entry into the U.S. "When they kill Castro," Mr. A opined, "that will be the real lottery."

"Indeed," as you-know-who would say.

May 06, 2005

Let's see 'em!

Looks like Congress has some potentially damning info on Kofi Annan's role in the whole Oil for Food scandal. I don't know what to make of this, but something was serious enough to get Robert Patton to resign from Volcker's committee. I hope these documents see the light of day and that this story doesn't simply disappear.

Documents potentially devastating to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan were handed over yesterday to a congressional committee in an explosive new development in the U.N. oil-for- food scandal.

House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) announced that Robert Parton, who resigned in protest from the investigation headed by Paul Volcker, had complied with the panel's subpoena.

Parton, who claimed Volcker probers had been too soft on Annan in their last report, turned over boxes of documents on Annan's son, Kojo.

He also provided two drafts far more critical of Kofi Annan than last month's final report, sources told The Post.

Tony's hat trick

Congrats to Britain's Tony Blair on winning a historic (for Labor) third term as prime minister. Tony thus rounds out the trifecta of convincing reelections that began with John Howard and George W. Bush.

Jose Maria Aznar is the exception that proves the rule, of course. Still, one wonders how history might have been different had he not panicked in the wake of the Madrid bombings and clumsily attempted to blame Basque separatists. Sadly, we'll never know.

May 05, 2005

Well, that would explain the odors, I guess

No lie. I just received this e-mail from corporate services here at the company I work for (emphasis mine.)

Dear Colleagues,

We have received a numerous calls regarding an unpleasant odor throughout the floors as well as complains about the heat.
We have contacted the building management and taking all possible steps to rectify these problems ASAP.

We apologize for any incontinence and appreciate your patience.

And believe it or not, I work for a publishing company.

Leftover items

First of all, I'd like to thank CRB for ensuring that this blog wasn't totally neglected during my absence. Thanks, dude. I'd been wondering where ya'd been.

Second, I'm still a bit out of the loop. I'd made a conscious decision to avoid the news altogether during my vacation, and I was almost successful. This decision was prompted, in part, by having read reading the forerunners to this story before I left. I began to realize what I should have figured out much earlier -- that any planned construction at the WTC site is a no-go unless it can be proven that it can withstand a nuclear blast, a tsunami, and an avalanche simultaneously, without its occupants suffering so much as a paper cut. In other words, Ground Zero is destined to remain a worthless, 16-acre pit for the foreseeable future. I found this extremely depressing, and began my news boycott and my vacation together.

My one slip came in the middle of last week when I browsed the headlines on Drudge and came across this:


Of course I didn't have to actually click on the link to know Randi Rhodes was involved. Why? Because I reported on a very similar Rhodes episode almost exactly a year earlier, complete with a sound clip. Some people never learn.

Now I'm guessing that Ms. Rhodes doesn't really want to assassinate the president.... but..... I don't ever, ever, ever want to hear another Air America-listening liberal decry conservative talk as "hate radio." Ever. I mean it.

Anyway, I'm back. And it almost feels good. I'll try to get back into the swing of things quickly.