Sunday, August 31, 2003

New Quote

Yep, I done changed the quote at the top, and updated the Quotes Page. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Doonesbury and Bloom County

Doonesbury has been brilliant since it started. Quality has dipped occasionally (the eighties were hard for Mr. Garry Tradeau, one senses) but he keeps coming back. Bloom County was very similar--but not exactly. Berkeley Breathed a more surreal cast (including Opus the Penguin), and never quite gelled the way one hoped. But it still had it's brilliant moments.

Bill Watterson

The next historically would be Doonesbury, but I'm going to skip thematically. We are moving into comics which have existed while I was alive, so why not. Bill Watterson's Calvin is a long way away from Charles Shultz's Charlie Brown, but they are still both children (sort of).

I often wonder what Mr. Watterson is like--I mean he kind of burst on the scene with Calvin and Hobbes, rode it to the top, then bowed out. He puts in a fair amount of commentary in his strips on living small and environmentally; but then Calvin is such a terror.

Charles M. Shultz

Charles M. Shultz is a bit like Disney; a victim of his own success. I mean he's never been that cutting edge or out there, except, perhaps, in his introduction of religious themes into his work. He was just brilliant.

Walt Kelly, Genius

Walt Kelly's Pogo is my favorite comic strip from before I was born. It's got humor to spare and it works as well today as it did then. Plus it had a lot of heart, which is something you don't see as much from some political cartoon strippers.

Second Comic Strip

I always loved looking at Windsor McCays "Little Nemo in Slumberland." What makes Slumberland work is the very tight, almost matter of fact drawing style that McCay brings to his surreal stories. It makes it almost believable.

Comic Strip Day

OK, here's the deal. Other than Your Weekly Rush, which I might push till tomorrow, I am going to spend the day reviewing the history of the comic strip from my perspective.

Starting with old Krazy Kat. Krazy Kat is hard to understand (for me anyway), but Herriman played with layout in a way that is still pretty exciting. And the pathology of Krazy and Ignatz (Short version, Krazy loves Ignantz, who then throws a brick at her, and she loves him more) is still fascinating.

We always hurt the ones we love. For some reason that never made too much sense to me.

Friday, August 29, 2003

New Link

I don't know how long this guy will be doing this--looks like he just started. But he is apparently in Baghdad blogging on what he says, and he has a good writings style--so check it out.

Media Bias is Real!

Well, Brent Bozell turns in a bravura performance supporting the right-wing claim that the media is liberally biased. He references Joe Conason's brilliant new book, "Big Lies, but drops it immediately, apparently aware that he's overmatched.

Instead he turns to Al Franken's latest. Franken was apparently on the Today Show twice this last week, when Ann Coulter hasn't been on it at all (at least to promote her latest book, Treason (or why we should take all the Liberals and feed them to coyotes). Yep that proves liberal bias, and in no way reflects the soft news of the Today Show (which is so soft it's almost like gauze), which favors celebrity (and comedy) over political screeds. And of course it's reaching out to a very wide audience and it's just barely possible that Coulter might offend someone by telling half the country they hate America and should be punished as traitors.

He comments, "How does Franken rate two appearances in one week? Sure he's witty and all that, but he was there to promote a book, a book that wasn't anywhere on any New York Times bestseller list. (With this kind of double promotion, you can be assured that now it will be.)" Actually, Mr. Bozell, you might want to check out a recent controversy with Fox News for why Mr. Franken's book is shooting up the charts.

At any rate, Joe Conason's chapter on Media bias is one of the best of the book. It points out that not only do conservatives have no trouble getting on air time to express their views (Ms. Coulter's failure to appear on the Today Show aside, she has been on plenty of other programs), they also have a very large section of the media dedicated to putting forward the conservative view (including the Washington Times, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, Fox News, and 99% of Talk Radio.) There's no lack of representation of Conservative ideas in the media, but I can understand why it's fun for conservatives to pretend that there is.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Great Picture

I like cool pictures as we all know. Found a cool one at the New York Times, but can't put it up just now, for reasons referenced below.

The article is about Wild Boars in Berlin. Apparently it's easier to just live around them--but there is a downside. Apparently the giant pigs have a tendancy to tear up the place (not too surprising I suppose).


Well, I've been following the Arnold story relitively closely (or as closely as I can) and I've noted many references to his movies. They've referenced the Terminator. They've referenced Kindergarten Cop. They've referenced other movies staring Schwarzenegger.

But have they referenced his ground breaking role as Mr. Freeze? I think not.

I had a really cool picture of Arnold as Mr. Freeze--but it's giving me hassles putting it up. So i'm linking to it, hoping that will work.

How many California Gubenatorial candidates have experience as a cartoon supervillian?

If you think of an article that references Mr. Freeze, E-mail it to me.

War is Over

Good news everybody! I know a lot of you were feeling, like me, a little duped by this administration. I supported the war on the theory that Saddam had Chemical and possibly Biological weapons that could be used against the United States or other nations. So I've felt a little down as these weapons of mass distruction have failed to materialize. Well, Ann Coulter has the answer in her latest column.

"Now that we've taken the country and are uncovering mass graves, canisters of poison gases, victims of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and colonies of terrorists, liberals are claiming the war created it all."

So you see. We've found canisters of poison gas. That proves that they had weapons of mass distruction. Oh wait, that turned out to be a false report, months ago. They were canisters, but of something else, wrongly assumed to be Poison Gas. I guess Ms. Coulter must have missed that story.

She also reiterates a bumper sticker point I've made before. Democrats have, according to Republicans, sided with Terrorists. Yep, our misgivings about the war in Iraq, our suspicion that running up the highest deficits ever, our desire to see the United Nations take a larger role in the rebuilding so as to get as many of our troops out of their as possible: all those are symptoms of terrorist-lovers. Either you are with Hardline Conservativism or you are with the Terrorists.

Something to keep in mind.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Schwarzenegger Madness

Yep, it's been a few days since Schwarzenegger popped up onto our radar screen, so lets see what Bill Murchinson has for us today.

Murchinson takes on the tricky question of whether Arnold's liberalism on social issues matters. "If you define "conservatism" as "skepticism of government's ability to solve any but basic problems," you may, but also may not, want government prescribing particular moral practices. Morality, you may assert, is a private matter, one from which government should stay away. This would mean, in practice, that the government should allow abortion and prohibit school prayer and that, additionally, it should affirm sexuality in all its forms.

If, on the other hand, you define "conservatism" in terms of its relationship to hierarchical and time-tested norms, many of those norms being religious in origin, you may posit a governmental duty to roll back particular wrongheaded government policies.

In other words one faction wants small government, the other is comfortable with big government, so long as that big government is busy enforcing "time-tested norms." Murchinson does try to link the two together suggesting, rather ludicrously, that recent economic scandals are somehow connected to the lack of school prayer. Perhaps Mr. Murchinson would benefit from a study of the Guilded Age, a more religious time, but certainly not lacking in economic (or political) corruption.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

New Site

Added a new site called The Coulter Project. If you don't feel like you get enough criticism of Ann Coulter, this is another place you might go. Lord knows Ms. Coulter puts out enough to criticize.

House of Cards

Apparently I'm not the only one frusterated with the prevelance of crappy decks of cards with "enemies of the state" on them. Bryant Jordan, writing at the Boston Globe (reprinted at Commondreams) writes about one deck in particular. Called America's Most Unwanted it seems a takeoff of the Axis of Weasels deck that was such a hit. It mocks Hollywood Liberals and members of the United States Congress

The problem, it is being put out by two active-duty Marines. And the Marine Corps Judge Advocate General has stated that they are allowed to do this.

"Basically, this means that the two officers have the Corps' blessing to hold up to public ridicule and scorn members of Congress who are opposed to the war in Iraq. Now, members of Congress hold themselves up to ridicule and scorn almost every day. Regardless, when the Marine Corps turns a blind eye to members of its officer corps publicly disrespecting congressmen over their views on the war, it has entered politics.

If the Marine Corps doesn't see it this way, it should wait until some of its officers market a deck that holds the administration up to the same kind of ridicule.

Something to consider. Personally I consider those decks (except of course the original one) to be mean-spirited bargain basement attempts at cashing in on war.

Iraq and the UN

Here's a phrase I'm tired of. Don't Go Wobbly. Apparently it's something Margaret Thatcher said to Ronald Reagan, and it's also the title of the latest article from Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

In it he talks about increasing pressure on President Bush to do the sane thing and begin shifting more of the responsibility for rebuilding Iraq to the United Nations. But to bolster his argument he has little more than a mocking attitude towards United Nations Blue Helmets. He also believes that the recent attack on the U.N. indicates that they feel more or less the same towards the U.N. that they do the United States. That's probably true, if you are referring to the specific people who planned that terrible attack. But is it true for the country as a whole? I'm not sure that follows. Certainly many Iraqis resent the United States for our invasion.

Monday, August 25, 2003

A Simple Summation

Came across a bumpersticker today.

It's a little blurry because I tried to enlarge it. It does convienently sum up one strand of Republican thought. To certain segments of the conservative movement Democrats or Liberals are the enemy, perhaps an even greater enemy than the terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.

I remember the days when we pretended those that we disagreed with were good, honerable Americans we happened to disagree with. Seems like those days aren't coming back.

If this floats your boat, there are a lot of other products available at this website.

The Big Three Issues

Maggie Gallagher, as a helpful service to all us lazy commentators, deliniated the three big issues of campaign '04. They will be;

1). Fighting Terrorism
2). Energy
3). Gay Marriage

All other issues will apparently be mere sideshows. So Democrat questions about President Bush's lack of candor in building his case for the Iraq Invasion will not affect the election. Neither will President Bush's miserable performance on the economy. Nope, such stories might interest you, but they won't influence the election. So keep that in mind.

Judge Moore

Well Judge Moore has been suspended and apparently will no longer try to fight the mandated removal of the Ten Commandments.

I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with David Limbaugh. I am not as comfortable with the monument as he is (for the reason that no such monument by any other religion would be allowed). But at the end of the day it's not that big a deal to me, and if Alabama feels they need that, than why not?

But my opinion doesn't factor into this the way the federal court's reasoning does. And they have made their position clear. "My allegiance to the rule of law leads me to believe that we cannot permit a state court judge -- no matter how righteous his cause -- to violate federal appellate court rulings. He should vigorously oppose the wrongheaded feds at every phase and exhaust all possible remedies, but once they are exhausted, he must obey. Our entire system of ordered liberty depends on the integrity of our legal system, which in turn depends on government officials, especially judges, obeying the law. Indeed, state judges also take an oath to uphold the federal constitution."

That's pretty clear.

Now Limbaugh does take the federal court to task for their ruling and for infringing on States Rights, but he acknowldeges that that is the way law works currently.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Arnold's Media Savvy

Yep that's the Republican Candidate for governor. The lady is a newscaster in Britain, who is distinctly not pleased with this familiarity. More information can be found over at Tom Tomorrow.

Now I will admit it's not the home run that will end Arnolds campaign but it is pretty unsavory. If California Democrats can get their hands on the tape of this and show it moving, well, could mean something.

And to forestall your wonderings--yeah, I've heard that Former President Clinton did this kind of thing too--and it was disgusting when he did it as well.

Good News Everybody

We can all go back to using the words "Fair and Balanced" without threat of reprisal. The Mighty Fox Network was told, by Judge Denny Chin, that their suit was "wholly without merit, both factually and legally."

So those of you who would like to say that Fox News is Fair and Balanced. Feel Free.

Friday, August 22, 2003

It's Friday and I'm Disinterested

I'm sorry--I'll try to have a solid Saturday posting schedule.

Hating Clinton Vs. Hating Bush

The world is often more complicated than it initially appears. There were a lot of Republicans attacking President Clinton during his presidency. And there are a lot of Democrats attacking President Bush now. But are the two situations equivelent? Jonah Goldberg says yes, but I don't see it myself.

For one thing, Clinton Haters, in many cases, were extremely well funded. The Bush hate machine people aren't, in general, paid to attack President Bush.

Secondly, reactions to Clinton by the Clinton Haters were vicreal before he even stepped into office. Witness their willingness to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars tracking down Whitewater only to end up with Monica Lewinsky. There are those on the Left who hated President Bush on sight; but President Bush is regularly attacked on things he's actually done while President (such as attacking Iraq).

Goldbergs article is interesting in how skews the hatred. Conservative hatred for Former President Clinton is charectarized as mildly wanting to investigate Travelgate and Whitewater, while the more vicious attacks on President Clinton were from "Fringe groups" who the press latched on and distorted to make it seem like these attacks were coming from mainstream Conservatives.

In contrast, those who attack President Bush are part and parcel of the Democratic party and any candidate the Democratic party puts forward in the election. They are calling President Bush Hitler and insinuating that he started the Iraq war for base political motives. Democratic activists, apparently, call President Bush a murderer.

One thing working in Goldberg's favor is that the American people do have a short memory. I don't know if it will be enough in this place.

I do need to assure the public that I do not believe President Bush is a murder (nor was President Clinton, in case you are wondering). I don't think that President Bush knew about 9/11 before it happened or any such nonsense. I do believe he's been a failure as a President and I hope that we can replace him next year--but that's all part of the political game.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

More Neil Young

I know it must feel like this is slowly becoming a Neil Young fan site--but I can't help myself. His latest album is so great and so relevent it's hard not to let it seep into my writing. If you get the album, you'll notice it also has a DVD along with the album. The DVD has acoustic versions of the songs performed in Ireland along with Neil discussing the songs and telling the story. You are cheating yourself if you don't sit down and watch it.

Anyway RollingStone has an interview with Neil Young in which he talks about the hopeful side of his album. "The energy in the last couple of songs ["Sun Green" and "Be the Rain"] - that's youth rising out of this. It hasn't gotten to the point where things have started moving yet, but this period is the biggest breeding ground for revolution in this country since the mid-Sixties. I don't think there's been a more ripe time for a generation to come along and rebel against all this.

Amen to that.

They ask him about TV later on in the album and he says, "But these reality shows -- who are they kidding? What reality is that, with a camera on you all the time? How stupid are people? "

The Ten Commandments

I like the Ten Commandments. I mean I've lobbied unsuccessfully to get "Thou Shalt Not Tailgate" added as an eleventh commandment, but despite my disappoint at having said petition rejected, I think the Ten Commandments are great. And I think if we all followed them, the world would be a better place.

That said Alabama Chief Justice Ray S. Moore's decision to leave his statue of the Ten Commandments up in the face of a court order requiring him to remove them is a crime. As a justice he should know that his first duty as a judge is to uphold the law; the law as interpreted by the US District Judge Myron H. Thompson requires Moore to remove the statue. Perhaps, based on his interpretation of scripture, he is not religiously permitted to obey. Fine and dandy. Than he should not be sitting in a bench. When you become an officer of the court, you take upon yourself the requirement to uphold the law. Part of that inevitably includes upholding laws you personally find distasteful. But the law has to come first, above your personal concerns, however noble those personal concerns might be.

However, there is also the possibility that Justice Moore's personal concerns may not be entirely spiritual. Certainly he might have calculated how these actions might play among his consituents. He did, after all, arrange for a camera crew, employed by Coral Ridge Ministries, to be on hand as the statue was installed (according to the Washington Post). And you can be sure that Justice Moore is not entirely dissatisfied at the national exposure he's received. You might want to watch to see if Moore pops up on a ballot sometime soon.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is not Gray Davis

You heard it hear first. They are two seperate people. For, verily, this is the word that Ann Coulter has brought to the masses who she loves so much. And although she describes the race as a contest between two tax-and-spend liberals, she is still willing to admit that Arnold Schwarzenegger is not Gray Davis.

The problem with this equation is that it turns out the American people like services. I can see how Ms. Coulter and others of her philosophical persuasion might not want to admit that. But most people want good schools, they want road repairs, they want to eat meat safely, they want safe working environments, and they want hundreds of other services that the government has provided. So far, President Bush's strategy has been to suggest that we can have large tax cuts without any change in services. Gray Davis's strategy has been, as near as I can tell, to suggest that we can have increasing services without any change in taxes. Both policies are clearly problematic, particularly in light of the Gries Straight Line unveiled on this site many moons ago.

So California, whatever happens is going to have to cut services and/or increase taxes. We'll have to see which view wins out. Ms. Coulter is doing her part by describing school teachers as parasites; making it easier for Governor Schwarzenegger to fire them all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Walter Williams Distorts the Issue

I haven't had too much respect for Walter Williams, for quite a while. He's always struck me as a guy who figured out a good gig (i.e. being Rush Limbaugh's Black friend) and isn't going to let anything get in the way of that.

But his latest article sets new standards in distortion. In it, he takes on the serious issue of Job Exportation. First of all he makes fun of the idea, by positing a customs agent asking a business traveler what he has in his bag. The businessman, get this, ha ha ha, the business man says he's carrying jobs with him overseas. So the guard says, "What? Jobs are an abstract concept, you can't put them in a bag." And they both share a good laugh.

But then he gets down to serious distortion. He uses a favorite method of distorters, comparing two things without admitting there's a third thing out there. He implies a comparison between Africa and Europe, and essentially writes off Asia. He also equates foreign investment with foreign employment, and of course the two are not the same.

He also leaves out a reason some European workers are cheaper than American workers; the countries they operate in have cradle to grave medical coverage. Most jobs in America have to come with Medical insurance in order to attract people.

Of course Williams has a solution. Working people should give up the protections they have won, and accept more dangerous working environments. American consumers should be more forgiving of shoddy merchandise. Corporations should get anything they want, particularly exemption from law suits and OSHA requirements. If we do that, than we can bring jobs home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


Neil Young's new album came out today. It's called Greendale and, right now, it seems incredible. It's a story of people, American people. Strange bewildering people in the way that only ordinary people can be. Anyway if you like Neil Young it's worth checking out.

And if you don't like Neil Young, what's wrong with you?

Wise Sentiments

Joe Conason is printing bits of his new book at Salon, which I suppose is a win-win situation for them. Yesterday he printed his opening chapter--and it contains several paragraphs that I really agree with.

Unlike Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter, I also don't believe that my political adversaries are uniformly "no good," or un-American, or greedy, or bigoted, or stupid. I shouldn't have to say this, but I know from personal experience that generosity, compassion, and wisdom cross all partisan and ideological boundaries. I married into a family that includes Republican conservatives who happen to be among the finest people I have ever known. My wife's grandfather is an unrepentant right-winger who likes to tweak me with editorials from the New York Post and Internet jokes about dumb Democrats. He is also a true patriot and a gentleman who has treated me with kindness from the first day we met, despite my obnoxious opinions. I would much prefer an atmosphere that encourages friendship rather than hatred among Americans, regardless of ideology and party.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's much chance of that happy outcome until liberals learn to hit back hard. The classic American hero is the underdog who wins respect by fighting back against a bully. Sometimes the bully just limps away to nurse his wounds. Sometimes the bully wises up and mends his ways. Occasionally, the underdog and the bully become best friends.

But the underdog who dares to fight back is always better off.

Wise words. I heartedly agree with that sentiment.

Cleaning House

Yesterday I posted on Rhapsody, and compared it to Napster. It occured to me this morning that I might have given the wrong impression on Napster or on what is euphamistically called "File Sharing." I am against most of it. The sharing of rarities by fans of the band is ok in my mind. In 99% of the cases those songs aren't available by more legitimate means, so why shouldn't fans share them?

The problem comes when you download an album that is readily available. See everytime you plunk down your money on a record store counter, you are voting for the music that you like. If you like Bjorks blissfully bizarre soundscapes, and you buy her album, you are voting for her to be able to produce another album. Record companies are only going to put out albums that they consider commercially viable. Artists are only going into the studio if they think they can make money off their efforts (it turns out all those fancy nobs and buttons hooked up to the microphones cost a heck of a lot of money).

If you download the music you like, you are abstaining from voting. That might be fine for now--but when other people cast their votes and groups you love can't get back in the studio, well, don't come crying to me. Well, actually feel free to, what do I care?

Monday, August 18, 2003


The company that makes Real Radio has a new service called Rhapsody, which I enjoy, but which I wish they would work harder to put more obscurities on it. That was the difference between Napster (and it's iterations) and the Corporate Solution, which is Rhapsody. With Napster if even one person loved, say, Dream Academy's second album, the brilliantly dreamy "Remembrance Days," it showed up. With Rhapsody, the decision not to encode "Remembrance Days" is made by some guy wearing a tie.

Not that I'm against Rhapsody or guys with ties--both are great.

Anyway they have these mini reviews at the bottom of the screen. I'm listening to Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" and I read the review at the bottom, which I will quote verbatim.

"Everybody always talks about how Neil's first, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, is Hard Rock and After The Gold Rush is some kind coup because he plays acoustic guitar on it. Huh? It's Neil. He could be playing a toilet seat and it would rock --hard. It would rock harder than the hardest Hard Rock can rock hard. That's what this record does."

I don't know how you can be any more clear than that.

For the doubters

I know there are some among us who doubt that I am all that great. For those doubters, I present this letter I just recieved, from the nephew of departing president Charles Taylor of liberia. In it, he states, "My proposal to you will be very surprising, as we have not had any Personal contact before. However, I sincerely seek your confidence in this transaction,which I propose to you as a person of transparency, honesty and high calibre."

You see--> Transperency, honesty, and (last but not least) High Calbre. I'm the greatest.

Apparently this dude needs me to send him my bank account number so he can transfer money out of the country for his uncle. I'm debating it.

More on Drugs

Talked about drugs a bit last week, and now I'm at it again. Responding to a great article by Debra Saunders, a conservative columnist who is relating the increased scrutiny our drug laws are recieving. Attorney General John Ashcroft is determined to continue fighting the drug war with all his might. Some in the courts, particularly Justice Anthony Kennedy, are saying that the mandatory minimums impair a judge's ability to impart justice. There's no leeway for thsoe cases when Mercy might be worthwhile.

She also comments on the racial aspects of mandetory minimums, a brave move. She states, "I called the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which supports California's "three-strikes" law, for a contrary view. I didn't get it: Legal director Kent Scheidegger said Kennedy is "right, there are some things that should be re-examined," such as the disparity that mandates a five-year minimum sentence for 500 grams of cocaine, but also for 5 grams (100 times less) of crack.

In 1998, 85 percent of crack arrests involved African Americans, while 31 percent of powder cocaine arrests involved black defendants.

I generally agree that we need to reexamine our drug laws--if not the entire war on drugs. Like most ill-concieved "wars," including Vietnam, we don't seem to have a clear idea on how to win.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

New Quote!!!

As is traditional I am changing the quote at the top of the page. Also updated the Quotes Page.

Friday, August 15, 2003

More From Rush

Well, Schwarzenegger has, apparently, taken on Warren Buffet as an economic advisor. And Mr. Buffet has spoken to the Wall Street Journal about raising property taxes. So naturally Rush has to point this out. As the media appointed spokesman for "real" conservativism, it was Rush's painful duty to tell his listeners that Schwarzenegger, the great Austrian hope, may not be a conservative like they thought he was. Let's have a moment of silence to honor Rush's bravery in telling the truth in this instance.

Ok, that's enough. Apparently Rob Lowe may also be taking a role in the campaign. "Actor and Democratic activist Rob Lowe isn't exactly moving from "The West Wing" to the right wing, but he's going to play a real-life role in Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign, people close to the situation said Thursday.

The 39-year-old actor has been asked by Schwarzenegger and his wife, Democrat Maria Shriver, who are longtime social friends, to take a senior position in the campaign, the sources said. Although Lowe is expected to have a co-chair title, his exact role is still being defined.

See now, I'd consider voting for Schwarzenegger, but only due to my intense love for "The West Wing."

Your Weekly Rush

Rush substantiates leftist claims that the White House is Engineering California.

Yep, ever since Arnold announced some have speculated that the White House was behind this election. Well you know how skeptical we are here at Make me a Commentator. Ever since we bought that swampland, we've been very picky about what we believe (although we did recently make a killing on some Magic Beans). But if Rush confirms the story, it must be true. Read what he has to say -->

Well, right here at the bottom of this page, my friends, you can look at the newspaper stories that we accumulated for you via research to find the White House has been involved in this.

There have been conversations between Karl Rove and Schwarzenegger, and these have been reported in the Washington Post and The New York Times and in other publications. The subject came up yesterday on the roundtable of Fox News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume. Fred Barnes and Karen Tumulty of Time magazine discussed the White House involvement.

Yep Rush confirms White House involvement. He also reiterates that Arnold is barely a conservative. This may be another sign that the Bush Administation is a spineless middle of the road group of guys.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

The O'Reilly Factor

Perhaps I have been to condemning of Mr. O'Reilly. Let's look at what he has to say in his own words.

"The main point here is that trying to hurt a business or a person because you disagree with what they say is simply unacceptable in America. And that message has been sent by FOX. . . .

I guess The Times editorial board would be yucking it up if their pictures appeared on a book cover accompanied by the word "liar." Satire, my butt.

Upon first reading O'Reilly words, I initially got my top research team working in figuring out ways to satire Mr. O'Reilly's butt, but one of them pointed out that there was a comma in between those two words.

Oh, and for those of you wondering, here at Make me a Commentator!!! no joke is too dumb.

Anyway I feel bad for Mr. O'Reilly, and that's why I'm happy to announce a new book rolling of the Make me a Commentator!!! presses. (Hot on the heals of our previous blockbuster, "Why don't you all shut up!.") I just got the cover, and it looks sensational--Check it out.

Anyway we hope that this helps Mr. O'Reilly feel better about himself, and be able to get over the disappointment of being mocked by Mr. Franken.

More on the Economy

I'm not very happy today. First of all Bruce Bartlett got me worked up over Conservative lack of care for the American worker. Again, let me underline, these are not bums, but hardworking Americans who worked in Manufacturing.

Well, then I read Bob Herberts column at the Times today, and he reminded me about the luck President Bush has. He gets the whole month off, lucky devil. Although he has had a meeting with his top economic advisors (Larry, Curly, and Moe).

President Bush and his clueless team of economic advisers held a summit at the president's ranch in Crawford, Tex., yesterday. This is the ferociously irresponsible crowd that has turned its back on simple arithmetic and thinks the answer to every economic question is a gigantic tax cut for the rich.

Their voodoo fantasies were safe in Crawford. There was no one at the ranch to chastise them for bequeathing backbreaking budget deficits to generations yet unborn. And no one was there to confront them with evidence of the intense suffering that so many poor, working-class and middle-class families are experiencing right now because of job losses on Mr. Bush's watch.

Herbert suggested that perhaps President Bush would benefit from spending some time in the real world. I'm not sure how you do that as President, but certainly the Bush economic plan looks more and more like wishful thinking.

Jobs Don't Matter

That's Bruce Bartlett's contention in his latest article. Yep, millions unemployed is perfectly acceptable if the company still makes money.

Speaking specifically of the Manufacturing Sector, Bartlett says, "The truth is that manufacturing is doing just fine in every way except employment. However, few economists would judge the health or sickness of any industry solely based on employment. . . . Rather, such things as output, productivity, profitability and wages better determine industrial health. On this score, manufacturing is actually doing quite well in the United States. "

Now he does mention wages, which betray a scant concern for the American worker, but he is also comfortable with the fact that in 2000 we had 17.3 million manufacturing jobs and now we have 14.6 million. That's a loss of 2.7 Million Jobs. But luckily production hasn't dropped all that much, so we remain competitive and CEO saleries won't need to be cut.

So screw those ungrateful, unskilled workers. If they wanted job security they should have become CEOs instead of lazy unproductive members of society. They should have realized that manufacturing jobs would eventually get shipped overseas for the profit of the company, and prepared themselves with the skills to get good jobs at Arby's after their jobs were eliminated.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Fair and Balanced

Yes we are fair and balanced here at Make me a Commentator!!! Of course we don't mean those words in the traditional, or "accurate" sense. When we say fair and balanced what we mean is that out biases fill a need in the market and therefore our fair and balanced coverage, while not fair and balanced in and of itself, is fair and balanced if you take it as part of a daily diet of aborbing the entire media. You see this website is balanced if you read it as part of a daily news intake of reading the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and watching an hour of MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, or one of the nightly news broadcasts from a major network. If you consume all that news, and read this website as well, than your total news content will be fair and balanced. And in that sense, this website is fair and balanced.

Do you wonder if All Franken has sent Fox news a thank you card?

It's Just a State of Mind

Article today by Lou Dobbs which, at least on the surface, seems against legalizing Marijuana. But he presents arguments that, to me at any rate, seem more convincing the other way.

"Another Nobel laureate, Gary S. Becker, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, told me: "It (legalization) would certainly save a lot of resources for society. We could tax drug use so it could even lead to government revenue. . We would be able to able to greatly cut the number of people in prison, which would save resources for state and local government."

But the cost of drug abuse goes well beyond the expense to control supply and demand. Drug users cost the country $160 billion each year in lost productivity. Parental substance abuse is responsible for $10 billion of the $14 billion spent nationally each year on child welfare costs. And drugs are involved in seven out of every 10 cases of child abuse and neglect.

As for those questions in the second paragraph, I'd love to see those figures matched up against alcohol. Mr. Dobbs. How much productivity do we lose because of alcohol? How many broken homes have alcohol inside them? Another question is how much of that 160% is caused by Marijauna and how much by harder drugs that would remain illegal?

At any rate, Mr. Dobbs need not worry--legalized drugs are't on the table anytime soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Rush on Arnold

Rush was really crowing today about him succeeding in defining Arnold as a moderate or liberal Republican (as we commented on earlier). Apparently Clinton and others had planned to demolish Arnold as a right wing nut, and now Rush has put a stop to that.

He also commented on how Arnold might hurt future Republican efforts. "California has no money. Its debt is stretched to the limit; Schwarzenegger's campaigning on a theme of government doing even more than it is now. The two don't go together. So he will not have launched a movement that will help Republicans build a foundation for future victories out there, if he continues on this path. Liberal Republicans never do that, my friends. Liberal Republicans never do establish a movement that will help the Republican Party build a foundation for future victories."

It does seem likely Arnold will win, at this precise moment. But anything can happen.

President Bush Vs. The Terminator

Salon has an article by Tim Grieve today, well worth checking out, tracing the problems that President Bush's support of Arnold Schwarzenegger could bring to his upcoming election.

"The problem: While the White House is eager to back a winner in California -- and a Time/CNN poll released over the weekend has Schwarzenegger looking like one -- born-again Christian conservatives are mortified by the actor's liberal views on abortion and homosexuality and wary about allegations of drug use, infidelity and juvenile sexual antics. The Rev. Louis Sheldon, head of the ultra-right Traditional Values Coalition, warned in a statement last week of a "moral vacuum" in Sacramento. "It is hard to imagine a worse governor than Gray Davis," Sheldon said, "but Mr. Schwarzenegger would be it."

The whole article is worth checking out, although I think Mr. Grieve over emphasizes the possibility of more traditional conservatives acting on their frustration with President Bush.

More Thoughts on the Recall

Well, I guess, to be completely accurate, the California recall election is rough, raucous and regrettable. An affront to accepted political science standards, by gosh.

And isn't it, somehow -- I don't know -- uplifting?

Whatever judicious reproaches the political scientists may level at this exercise in voter sovereignty, nothing in John Locke, Montesquieu or the New York Times op-ed page cancels out the reality that when the political class gets out of hand, a ruler must sometimes be taken to its posterior. The California recall, featuring the Terminator, Gray Davis, Arianna Huffington and a cast of, literally, hundreds, is that ruler.

Bill Murchinson

Certainly, this is not the kind of direct democracy to hold incumbents accountable between elections that California Gov. Hiram Johnson had in mind in 1911 when he proudly worked to have the state's Constitution embrace the initiative, referendum and recall processes. He saw these tools as instruments for an aroused volunteer citizenry, not as mechanisms for wealthy corporate interests or political parties that pay signature-gathering firms to get their agendas on the ballot.
Ralph Nader

The problem is that I see some value in both of these sentiments. And neither of them mention Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Ms. Mona Charen is ruminating today on Republican Principles. That is Republican referring to the style of Government not referring to the Republican party. We live in a Republic where we elect people and then they govern as they see fit. Except in California, of course, the land of the Referendum and now the Recall.

Ms Charen writes, "A republican form of government means that the people choose their leaders. It does not mean that the people decide every question by referendum The latter would be direct democracy, and direct democracy (particularly at the federal level) was exactly what the Founders were wise enough to avoid.

. . . Is it really such a great idea to let the people rule completely? California (unwisely in my opinion, but they didn't ask my advice) re-elected Gov. Gray Davis. Now they regret it. But he hasn't done anything different from what he did during his first term. Times have changed, that's all. I could understand a recall based on the same principles as impeachment -- crimes, moral turpitude, that sort of thing. But for being a lousy governor?

I agree with Ms. Charen on this point, unsurprisingly. Although her assessment of Arnold (who you knew I was going to bring up at some point) might be a little overly harsh. "Schwarzenegger is unpredictable. Some libertarians believe he is one of them. Let's hope so. But so far, his campaign rhetoric is dismally familiar. He's gonna kick out the "special interests" and run the state for the benefit of the people. How original. Ross Perot said the same thing in a different accent."

Planet Arnold

Yep, it's time for another article about Arnold Schwarzenegger. At MSNBC, Daniel Gross has compared Arnolds run for governor with his 90's business venture, Planet Hollywood.

Like in Planet Hollywood, Arnold is benefitting from the work of others. In this case, the work of Rep. Darrell Issa. Issa did all the work of getting the Recall going and laying the groudwork for Arnold's run, and has thoughtfully stepped back into the shadows so thar Arnold can shine alone.

Anyway, the article is pretty good; so go read it. Gross takes Arnold to task for speaking in generalities and trying to please too many people, saying, "Schwarzenegger’s political platform, which is long on platitudes but short on specifics, tries to do the same. It’s got items for the left (he’s pro-gay rights), for moms (he successfully lobbied for expanded after-school programs), for populists (he rails against “special interests”), and for small-government types (he won’t raise taxes)."

Well, Arnold is certainly not alone in his plan to be all things to all people; but can he really pull it off?

Also we are adding two new links. One is to Black Box Voting which is tracking this story on potential problems with computerized voting systems. This is a story that could become very very big over the next year, but take it with a grain of salt as well. While they have proved that there is cause for concern, they haven't proven any malice or deliberate attempt to sway the upcoming election for Bush.

The other link is to Daniel Patrick Welch's website, which has some interesting articles on it.

It's Arnold Day

Yep. Today we will see several articles all about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unless I get bored with this idea.

Anyway the first is from Cal Thomas, sweater wearing conservative. Actually in his current picture he is not wearing a sweater, but he used to wear one. As you know, sweaters are liberal clothes--like sandals. Only liberals are allowed to wear them--Conservatives have to wear suits.

Anyway Cal Thomas is not impressed with Arnold's conservative credentials. "President George Bush has endorsed Schwarzenegger, saying he would make a good governor. Based on what? The president couldn't possibly know what Schwarzenegger stands for, because no one else seems to know, including Arnold." Thomas seems to be one of those consistent Conservatives. He hates actors when they speak out for liberal causes, and he's not all that impressed when they speak out for conservative causes. Leave the commentating to the commentators who are qualified.

He ends with this troubling statement, "To paraphrase the late Desi Arnaz, another actor with a thick accent: Arnold, you've got a lot of 'splainin' to do. You are no Ronald Reagan."

Thank goodness Thomas cleared that up, because I think we all have a little trouble telling the difference between the massively built Austrian Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Liberal Islam?

Thoms Friedman is one of the more reasonable Iraq hawks. His position has been that we should have liberated Iraq in order to change the dynamic of the Middle East by creating a solid successful capitalist secular state. He broached this idea before the war in Iraq and was convincing.

His latest article discusses a recent visit to Iraq and a conversation he had with some young Iraqi clerics. He states, "Ladies and gentlemen, I have no idea whether these are the only two liberal Shiite clerics in Iraq. People tell me they definitely are not. Either way, their willingness to express their ideas publicly is hugely important. It is, for my money, the most important reason we fought this war: If the West is going to avoid a war of armies with Islam, there has to be a war of ideas within Islam. The progressives have to take on both the religious totalitarians, like Osama bin Laden, and the secular totalitarians who exploit Islam as a cover, like Saddam Hussein. We cannot defeat their extremists, only they can. This war of ideas needs two things: a secure space for people to tell the truth and people with the courage to tell it. That's what these two young clerics represent, at least in potential."

This seems like a fair assessment to me. This isn't the threat that Conservatives usually level at moderate Muslims (i.e. eliminate Muslim Terrorism or face genocide), but a simple statement of the historical forces.

Howard Dean: the man of a thousand faces

MSNBC's opinion page is one I haven't visited in a little while, but I have checked in recently. They posted a story the end of last week sometime on "The Many Faces of Howard Dean." Of course what it is really about is the many faces assigned to Howard Dean by columnists and writers.

Dean has, apparently, been compared to Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, George McGovern, Bill Bradley, Walter Mondale, as well as many others.

But of course, entitling an article the many faces of Howard Dean doesn't give the impression that these comments are coming from the media; it implies that Dean is changing his face so as to provoke different responses. As if Mr. Dean were spending one day on the campaign trail pretending to be Bill Clinton, and the next day pretending to be John McCain. The "liberal" MSNBC website also chooses exactly one quote to highlight along side the article, from Jonathen Chait of the New Republic.

"Dean’s opposition to the Patriot Act could be politically lethal… Witness George H.W. Bush’s 1988 attack on Michael Dukakis as a ‘card carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union."

Luckily, MSNBC is also able to print lousy articles about Republicans. Case in point; Timothy Noah's article on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Nazi problem. The short version of the story is that Schwarzenegger invited Kurt Waldheim, then running for President of Austria to attend his wedding and expressed support for him even though Mr. Waldheim was at the time accused of having been a Nazi. At the time the information was just coming out.

Mr. Noah states, "Rather than confront his Waldheim problem head-on, Schwarzenegger has proclaimed his disgust for Nazism, raised money for education about the Holocaust, traveled to Israel (where he met with then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin), and given generously to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, which in 1997 bestowed on him its National Leadership Award. . . .

Clearly, though, that won’t be enough. If Schwarzenegger doesn’t renounce Waldheim in a highly public way, he can forget about ever becoming governor of California.

This is one of those hoops that political enemies put in front of you to humiliate you. If Mr. Schwarzenegger condemns Waldheim, Mr. Noah will find something else to attack him on. Perhaps Mr. Noah really does consider Schwarzenegger a Nazi (he is, after all, Conservative (maybe)). His last statement is questionable as well--why does he think that without renounce Waldheim, he can't win? Is Mr. Noah's vote the only one being counted?

Sunday, August 10, 2003

New Quote

As is usual, I have posted a new quote. It's great.

By the way, if you really hate this site and everything it stands for, feel free to email me.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Your Weekly Rush

Well, as we all know, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has thrown his hat in the ring out in California. While many Republicans are happy at having a name like his on the ballot, Rush is here to remind us that it's not whether you win or lose, but how slavishly you adhere to the conservative line.

"The American Prowler's George Neumayr detailed Arnold's politics in his article "Here's Arnold!" Quote: "[H]e spoke in generalities and banalities about his plans for the state. To the extent that he said anything, he sounded not like a fiscal conservative but a moderate Democrat. He said that he wanted businesses to come back to California so that the state government could collect enough tax revenues to provide social programs. This is the sort of obtuse comment middle-of-the-road Democrats always make, forgetting that businesses are leaving the state because they are tired of paying high taxes for those big government social programs."

More: "He has told the press he is 'very liberal' about social programs, supports abortion and homosexual adoption, and advocates 'sensible gun controls.' His entree into politics last year was a proposition Democrats endorsed because it raised state spending for what amounted to state babysitting - before-school and after-school programs that cost the state up to $455 million a year. He has complained openly about the party's conservatism.... Talk magazine described him as 'impatient' with the religious right....
[H]e expressed disgust with the Republicans who impeached Clinton. 'That was another thing I will never forgive the Republican Party for,' he said. 'We spent one year wasting time because there was a human failure. I was ashamed to call myself a Republican during that period.'

Actually I'm surprised Rush cares about California at all. It's never going to be sufficiently Conservative for him.

At any rate, Arnold does sound like an interesting candidate and not the monster I'm hearing he is from the left.

Friday, August 08, 2003

On the Side of Men

"There are people who love masculinity -- with all its undeniable untidiness, rudeness and mayhem, and those who don't. Roughly speaking, those in the former category are known as conservatives and the latter as liberals."

This is from Ms. Mona Charen today, and of course it's true. Some conservatives do prefer an antiquated version of masculinity that involves expressing your opinions with your fists and subjegating all others below you.

In the 21st century though, many conservatives have realized that it might be valuable to temper the negative side of masculinity, a side Ms. Charen herself recognizes, by quoting Harvey Mansfield. "Manliness can be heroic. But it can also be vainly boastful, prone to meaningless scuffling, and unfriendly. It jeers at those who do not seem to measure up, and asks men to continually prove themselves. It defines turf and fights for it -- sometimes to protect precious rights, sometimes for no good reason."

So maybe moving beyond some aspects of primordial masculinity might not be such a terrible thing. On the other hand, I do want everybody to know that yours truley is manly man. I move my own furniture and kill my own spiders. I haven't beaten anybody up yet, but I'm sure that's coming soon.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Ann Coulter and the History of China

Ann Coulter's latest article is a bit of a complaint about a bad review of her work. But she uses the opportunity to spring into saying further nutty things from the McCarthy era.

"Democrats lose entire continents to totalitarian monsters, lose wars to bloody tyrants, lose countries to Islamic fascists, and then insist that everyone recite the liberal catechism: "No one lost China," "Vietnam was an unwinnable war," "Khomeini's rise to power was inevitable." (Conversely, Ronald Reagan didn't "win" the Cold War; it just ended.)

At the time, the State Department even issued an 800-page "White Paper" purporting to prove the communist takeover of China was inevitable. Despite these heroic efforts, a Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans did not buy the "inevitability" excuse.

OK, lets start with the end first. Are we really to believe, Ms. Coulter, that we should accept the opinion of the majority of Americans over those who have studied the situation in depth and who have the best information? Yes we are. Because in Ms. Coulter's world the State Department was full of traiterous liberals.

One of those traitorous liberals, Dean Acheson, described the China situation thusly. "Our military observers on the spot have reported that the Nationalist armies did not lose a single battle during the crucial year of 1948 through lack of arms or ammunition. The fact was that the decay which our observers had detected in Chungking early in the war had fatally sapped the powers of resistance of the Kuomintang. Its leaders had proved incapable of meeting the crisis confronting them, its troops bad lost the will to fight, and its Government bad lost popular support. The Communists, on the other hand, through a ruthless discipline and fanatical zeal, attempted to sell themselves as guardians and liberators of the people. The Nationalist armies did not have to be defeated; they disintegrated. History has proved again and again that a regime without faith in itself and an army without morale cannot survive the test of battle."

It is one of the conudrums of history that McCarthyites of the time and Ms Coulter today seem absolutely certain that a few Liberals in the State Department lost us a country of over a billion people, but they seem incapable of suggesting what they would have different.

And of course the great crime of those liberals in the State Department; analyzing the situation and predicting what would happen. They saw the Nationalist Chinese as having lost the support of the people, of having been totally unmotivated, leaderless. They saw the Maoists as being agressive and disciplined. So who did they think was going to win? But in the ideologically driven world of Ms. Coulter all information is to be judged not on its merits but on its adherence to Conservative Dogma.

I have more to say on this subject, but unfortunately have to get on the road--have a nice day.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Not For the Faint of Heart

This is a strange story--but well worth reading. Actually I'm familiar with the gender bending aspect of the Shamanic tradition.

Link from Counterspin, which I am going to add to my list of links over there.

Defacing Starbucks

Apparently there has been a rash of vandalism at Starbucks out in California. According to the LA Times, reprinted at Commondreams, "Police say as many as 17 of the Seattle-based chain's stores were vandalized — windows clouded with glue, "For Lease" signs pasted on their facades and some of their locks jammed.

The pranksters also posted a notice on faux Starbucks letterhead regretfully announcing the closure of "thousands of retail locations worldwide.

Now this is put in the news section of Commondreams, a selection of stories from around the world. It was presented without comment. But this is clearly stupid. Vandalism in the pursuit of justice is nonsensical BS; and whoever did this juvenile stunt diminishes the efforts of real activists.

Is Howard Dean a Liar?

Brent Bozells latest article makes this claim. "It's also not promising that Dean can make "factual" statements about Team Bush that cannot be located in the realm of reality. In one answer to Newsweek, Dean claimed that Bush's "environmental record is widely understood to be probably the worst in most people's lives." Would anyone try to argue against the facts and say that, for instance, air quality is worse than 1970? Newsweek had no space for corrections. Bush also apparently "massed trillions of dollars' worth of debt" -- not yet he hasn't -- as if Bush is the only politician in Washington in favor of loading up the federal budget. Newsweek doesn't put an asterisk by that whopper, either."

So let's look at these two lies Mr. Dean is proported to have told. Apparently he claimed that President Bush has the worst environmental record in most people's lives. But that can't be true because air quality was worse in 1970. Is it too much to ask for Mr. Bozell to have even the most basic grasp of environmental science? Yes, because that would conflict with his conservative worldview. At any rate, environmental damage is usually an incremental damage. The bad air of the 1970s was caused by the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s.

President Bush has proven that he will put the interests of corporate polluters over the interests of the American people. One obvious example was his decision to weaken the Superfund program. Under Superfund, corporations are taxed in order to clean up the toxic landfill they make. Some of the cost came out of the general revenue (and thus from the American tax payer; in 1995 this amounted to 18% of the revenues for site clean-ups. Under President Bush's leadership, the American taxpayer will pay 54%. For more information, see this article by the Sierra Club. But making you pay for corporate polluters is only one piece of President Bush's environmental record. I think Mr. Dean was on pretty solid ground when he made that statement.

The second lie Mr. Dean is proported to have made is that President Bush has plunged us trillions of dollars in debt. Bozells weak response is that it hasn't happened yet, and that President Bush would really really like to cut spending so it doesn't happen. Well why doesn't he Mr. Bozell? Why hasn't President Bush made shutting down government programs to save money a priority?

At any rate, every sensible analyst, liberal or conservative, acknowledges that President Bush's economic policy will plunge us into debt. Granted there could be factors that come into play that keep us from debt. Say, Superman showing up and doing that thing where you turn Coal into Diamonds? Or Santa Clause actually making his Christmas run for once instead of leaving it all up to the parents, and putting several trillion dollars in President Bush's stocking. Anything is possible.

If this is the quality of attacks that are going to be leveled at Dean, perhaps he has a better chance than previously assumed.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003


Obviously if you place the Democratic Candidates in relation to where they stand politically, Lieberman stands all the way on the right--nearest the center. He supported and still supports the war on Iraq, although he has criticized President Bush for not committing enough troops to get the job done. He has been very critical of Bush domestically, but from a more centrist position than most of his competitors.

Still he does have an image problem, as William Saletan at Slate Magazine points out. "One of the comedies of the 2004 campaign is watching all the candidates other than Dean claim to be angry when they clearly aren't. Lieberman just happens to be the least convincing of them. I share the anger of my fellow Democrats, he croaks faintly. The impersonation is miserably weak. If you got into a fender bender with Dean, and he got out of his car and started walking toward you, you'd be afraid he was going to hit you. If, on the other hand, you looked up and saw that the guy approaching your car was Lieberman, you'd ease up and roll down your window."

This is a problem, and one of the reasons Kerry or Edwards has a better shot at being the moderate counter to Dean. Still it's a litle early; other candidates have blossomed on the stump; perhaps Lieberman will join their ranks.

More Carping on President Bush

Well, we have an article from Bruce Bartlett today comparing President Bush to former President Nixon. He references Rush Limbaughs take on this issue, which Rush presented last week, and which seems largely identical.

The argument is that Nixon was a moderate conservative who passed a lot of liberal measures. He gave us the EPA for example, and apparently he raised taxes as well. Well, conservatives are claiming that due to the education bill (passed last year sometime), and the campaign finance bill conservatives have had enough. I mean if this is what he did last year right now, imagine what he will have done last year a year from now.

Bartlett poses this fascinating question at the end of his piece. "But conservatives still need to ask themselves: to what end? Do we want another Taft or Nixon, who imposed liberal policies no Democratic president could achieve as the price for keeping a Republican in the White House? It is a question worth asking."


Monday, August 04, 2003

Business Proposal

I was looking at the Wall Street Journal today, as I often do. There was a front page story about price fixing in the world of Modeling. Apparently this is a problem. Anyway the story made me realize that perhaps now the time was right for my greatest business idea, perhaps the greatest business idea of all time.

Discount Model Safari.

Yep, see models as they are in the wild from the safety of a range rover (or whatever car you happen to own). I know that this may seem like a radical idea, but I think it's an idea whose time has come.

Stealing the Language

Conservatives have come up with a neat new trick. For years, Democrats and Liberals have suggested that Republicans and Conservatives may be Motivated by racism. In some cases, this accusation may have had a ring of truth, but in many others the accusation was a foolish waste of time and distorted the real issues.

Well, Conservatives picked up on that particular accusation. As we documented here, they tried valiantly to make the word NeoCon synonymous with Jew, in order to suggest that anybody who opposed the belligerent foreign policy of Paul Wolfowitz was anti-Semitic.

They have also tried, although perhaps more in jest than in reality, to suggest that opposing the nomination of Miguel Estrada was based on a prejudice against Hispanics, instead of a bias against his extreme beliefs.

And now they have suggested that their opposition to William Pryor is based on the fact that he is a catholic. Of course it isn't. The New York Times provided a list of Pryors previous troubling actions. "It is no great mystery why the nomination is in trouble. Mr. Pryor has urged Congress to repeal a critical part of the Voting Rights Act. He was the only state attorney general to ask the Supreme Court to strike down the Violence Against Women Act. "

However, lets turn to Republicans chief charge. Pryor opposes abortion. The Catholic Church opposes abortion. Could Pryor as a good catholic not serve on the bench, just because he oppose abortion? The answer is of course not. Pryor can enjoy any religious belief he likes and still be an honorable and just judge. But it is when he is willing to legislate his religious belief from the bench that one has to question his capability to be a judge. Incidently, as one writer pointed out over the weekend, the Catholic church also has a pretty strong opinion on the subject of capital punishment, and I suspect that if Pryor were willing to follow that line, we wouldn't be debating this issue. That isn't my point--I read it somewhere over the weekend, but can't remember where--if you know, email me.

At any rate, all this harkens back to the great scam that failed. You know back when conservatives would say that the most persecuted group in America was the White Male. Yep, white males have it so hard in this society (and I should know as a white male). It's just terrible. Thank goodness we basically run everything or else we'd really have nothing.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

New Quote

Posted a new quote up there at the top, and updated the Quotes Page. Hopefully have more for you in a bit.

Saturday, August 02, 2003


In deference to the recent interest in the red scare, and in rehabilitating that period, I present a page from an anti Communist Comic Book. This page is taken from "Better Dead than Red" by Michael Barson. I couldn't find it online, but here's a similar book.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Intellectual Capital

Emmett Tyrell today wrote a bit today on getting a "Holy City" for America. He made this well informed comments on Hollywood.

"I suspect New York would win the liberals' nod, at least prior to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's crackdown on squeegee men. Or possibly Hollywood, Calif., would get their accolade. It is, after all, their present cultural capital, their Florence, their Athens.

I am told the liberals love those Hollywood "action movies" showing busty women in tight-fitting military garb, pistols on their hips, grenades hanging from the bodices, as they beat the living daylights out of flabby white men and various creatures from outer space.

The creatures are so bizarre in their physiological components that Darwin if he saw them would laugh -- and Darwin was not a very giggly fellow. They have eyes and ears that serve no imaginable purpose, and appendages that seem useless, and warts, and tails and skin might make any dermatologist a millionaire.

This is the sort of writing you get if you read only conservatives. Nobody considers Hollywood to be the modern Florence. And who told you that "Liberals" love action movies? Who? Out with it! Liberals, in fact, love long boring talky films, preferably in another language so they can demonstrate their reading skills.

And then finally taking on Hollywood Alien Design? I'd like to see you do better Mr. Tyrell. How many aliens have you created for Hollywood? It's not as easy as it looks. And it's hard enough knowing how to mold plastic and which glue won't cause permanent skin damage without having to be experts in Darwinian Evolution as well. Maybe you should just give those Hollywood alien designers a break.

Anyway, my selection for America's holy city would be Tijuana, Mexico. You can get anything there, for very reasonable prices.