Friday, October 31, 2003

Conservatives are getting hysterical

And not in that funny can't stop the laughter sense. Nope. They are more hysterical in the way the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz was right before he had to reveal he was an ordinary guy. Today David Limbaugh returns to an old buggy-boo popular during and before the war.

"The more the Democratic hopefuls say we're losing the war, thereby weakening the American people's commitment and the morale of our troops, the more likely we are to allow our victory to be undone. But it's not just about Iraq. If we retreat there, we might as well surrender in the War on Terror." So basically, once again, if Liberals would just be good Conservatives and support the President while trying to unseat him. Oh, and if we liberals would all please get a machete and hack ourselves on the back of the legs just above the knees, that would be extra patriotic.

He also accuses the Democrats of obstructionism. An unusual claim, and one worth mentioning. For one thing, how does Howard Dean or Al Sharpton obstruct the president? They don't have any hand on the purse strings do they? Nope. And Congress seems posed to give President Bush the $87 Billion he asked for. So either this charge is to scare Congressional Democrats into voting for the $87 Billion, or its just a big word that sounds ominous.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Steve Bartman

I don't know who this dude is, except that he apparently caught a foul ball and ended a play that could have won the game for the Cubs or something. I'm not too big on sports, as you may or may not have guessed, and when I do get interested it's usually baseball.

Anyway he's started a weblog, but it's not all that coherent. Apparently he's been getting death threats and was supposed to go into the witness protection program. Let me stop for a moment to comment on how full of crap some dude must be before they decide to threaten someone for messing up a baseball game. Anybody who would send a letter like that needs some valium. Or possibly he should listen to DJ Mark Farina.

Mr. Bartman also seems to have a beef with the tax system, at least as near as I can tell. That didn't stop him from cutting and pasting my discussion earlier today of Cal Thomas (scroll down to see it). Cal Thomas wants to lower taxes further for the wealthy and I'm not so big on the idea. I don't necessarily want to raise taxes on anybody, but I want a sound budget policy.

Anyway hope Mr. Bartman pulls through ok. And I hope those people who are hassling him knock it off.

I am going to write Cal Thomas a letter!

Today in his article Cal Thomas takes on the issue of the economy's speedy recovery. Yep the economy is recovering. Those of you who are working at McDonalds today and worked at a nice job two years ago; the economy is recovering speedily. Those of you who can't find work; the economy is recovering speedily. This will console you, realizing that for many the economy has recovered.

Anyway then Thomas goes on to make this statement. "Under Lieberman's plan, the top tax rate would increase 5 percentage points to 43.6 percent. This would send many wealthy (and some who just want to be wealthy, but aren't there yet) back to their tax shelters from which they are only now beginning to emerge. These shelters, along with a reluctance to sell stocks when they are high because of previously large capital gains taxes (also lowered under the Bush administration and Republican Congress), would again deprive government of revenue."

What's funny about this is that conservatives are always telling us that environment plays no roll in crime. If a crime is committed it is because of the poor moral fiber of the criminal, not because of any need for money to eat or a desire for drugs to ease the pain of daily life. Nope.

But these unpatriotic selfish bastards who put their own profit ahead of America are doing it strictly because of environment. If they didn't have to pay such high taxes, they would be happy to pay their taxes. In other words, one of these guys, who's already got his money in an off shore tax dodge is going to say, "Hey, you know, now that only have to give up 38.6 % of my money as opposed to 43.6%, I'm willing to be a patriotic American and pay my taxes.

So I am going to write Cal Thomas a letter and ask him if he as any proof that a) people are putting money back in the US from tax dodges and b) they would put that money back off shore if their taxes were raised. We'll see what kind of response I get.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Coulter Pictures

I couldn't post the picture as a picture of the Coulter Doll, but now I can. Here goes.

Bad Moon Rising

Go read this.

I don't read Atrios all that much--he's got good info, but just don't get around to him as much as I'd like. But whether you are far left or far right or somewhere in the middle, it's not hard to see the dialogue-chilling effect this attempt at a nuisance suit will have on the blogging community.

Not to mention message boards; what if this sort of pain-in-the-ass lawsuit could be brought against them? Anyway hope this ends up being an nothing story, but we'll see.

For those who haven't seen this

There's a new doll coming out.


I particularly like this bit. "Swing voters are more appropriately known as the 'idiot voters' because they have no set of philosophical principles. By the age of fourteen, you're either a Conservative or a Liberal if you have an IQ above a toaster." I think President Bush should come out and say this, and I wish every right wing politician and pundit would repeat this mantra ad naseum.

But I guess that's not likely.

The False Choice Revisited

Linda Chavez isn't usually this crazy or deceptive. She starts by comparing Saddam Hussein to Hitler (nobody's ever done that before) and saying that if the current crop of Democrats had been in charge in the 1940s we would have given up.

This only works if you believe, as Ms. Chavez does, that Saddam was a direct and immediate threat to the United States. If you believe, against the evidence, that he had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. And if you believe he would happily hand such weapons over to terrorists.

And if you believe the democratic presidential candidates would immediately cut and run, despite the fact that most have specifically stated they wouldn't.

On the other hand, if you believe that the war in Iraq looks like it was sold to the American people on false premises, that Saddam was not a direct threat to the US and that we could have worked with the UN to contain him, well, then maybe Ms. Chavez's argument doesn't hold together.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Quote Page Updated

Hey, updated the quotes page, as promised. Also revamped the Interview with the Founder of this Website.

One Year of Commentating

Today, as referenced before, is the one year anniversary of "Make me a Commentator!!!" I started this website as "Make me a Commentator" but decided I needed the extra exclamation points for pizzazz.

A year ago I wrote, "You may wonder what qualifications I have to commentate on the news of the day. I donÂ’t have any, really. I read commentators often, and I have a MA in American History, but besides that my only real qualification is that I have the overwhelming arrogance to believe that my view points might matter to the random reader." That's still largely true. I've read a lot more commentators, though.

One year ago, I also cut off a sentence in mid thought, and now I can't remember what I meant to say.

There is a growing scorched earth policy between our two political parties. Some Liberals and Conservatives want to defeat their political rivals completely. Eliminate them from America. I'll say that I see this tendency more on the Conservative side but I have Conservative friends who believe completely the opposite. I guess it's easy to believe that a victory for the principles one believes in requires defeating those who hold opposite view points. And I guess there's enough anger on both sides to make that seem reasonable. Even rational.

I find myself drawn into it at times. Imagining an apocalyptic war between Conservatives and Liberals for the Soul of America. But that's nonsense. I believe that most of the fighters on both sides of the ideological divide believe in America as much or more than they believe in their individual ideologies.

The words of Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural have great meaning today. "Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. . . . every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists."

New Quote

I will update the quotes page tonight.

Were We Lied Too

David Limbaugh takes on the Presidential Candidates again; quelle surprise! He takes the tack that it's hypocritical for John Kerry to criticize a war he voted for. "Senator Kerry, the fact is that you did not condition your resolution on any kind of an international coalition. If you think it was irresponsible of President Bush to go to war without the precise coalition of nations you say -- after the fact -- you prefer, then it was irresponsible of you to cast your vote authorizing him to go without that coalition.

Yeah, maybe that vote wasn't the best move Senator Kerry ever made. But at the time you and other Conservatives presented it as a way to force Saddam to let inspectors back in. Then Saddam let inspectors back in. And we invaded anyway, without much of a delay and without the support of the United Nations (although, to be fair, we did have a coalition of the willing made up largely of nations who feared we'd cut off aid if they refused support, and Australia, Great Britain and Poland).

But of course you duck the WMD question, don't you?

Let me tell you a parable. Once upon a time there was a guy who bought a used car. He took it home and realized that it was a piece of crap, and that the dealer had lied to him when he said it was a great car and dependable. So the guy took the car back to the dealer.

Dealer says, "Hey you hypocrite. You were satisfied with the car when you left. How can you come back now and complain? Why should anybody believe your complaints are real if you are this inconsistent?" Well, the guy got angry at having been deceived, but even angrier at the deciphers gall. So he went to the bank and with the support of the people bought out the car dealer and set the dealership back on the course to honest government that at least pretends the American people aren't total morons.

One Year Anniversery Spectacular

Well, it was exactly one year ago today that this website opened its metaphorical doors to the public. In celebration of that anniversary I am creating a special page dedicated to the woman who started it all, sort of. Ms. Ann Coulter.

Anyway it's essentially my reaction to Ms. Ann Coulter's articles over the past year, the ones I responded to anyway. In one convenient location.


Monday, October 27, 2003

Final thoughts on New York

Wrote this on Friday, but didn't get around to posting it till today. Assuming my vanity holds out, I'll probably combine the posts with some other pictures and make a page for them. But that will have to wait--tomorrow is my one year anniversary and I have a special page to get ready. Look for it to appear tomorrow.

Written from the JFK Airport Terminal, listening to REM. Well it’s been an interesting week, no doubt about that.

Yesterday I went to the Museum of Modern Art, mainly to confirm that it had moved to Queens. But I did go to the museum of art and design store. And then I went shopping. An all American experience. And I saw School of Rock which was surprisingly fun. So that was a full day.

Rode into the airport today with a Ukranian Taxicab driver—who described himself as Russian. We talked about Gambling and agreed that some get carried away gambling. Hard to deny, actually.

One thing I’ve noticed while being here. Ann Coulters book, Treason, which is apparently hugely popular in my home town, is not nearly as popular here. I am basing this strictly on the fact that I see copies of Treason everywhere in Tallahassee, prominently displayed, while other best sellers from Liberal authors are not nearly as prominent. Well the opposite is true. And since I consider Ms. Coulters work largely fictional and crap—well, it’s a positive move in my mind.

Also there are a lot of great restaurants in New York. Had Tibetan and Korean Food, both of which were good. Had some lousy food too, but mostly from places I didn’t expect a lot out of (where I was trying to stretch my budget to accommodate more CDs.

Bought a ton of CD Singles—including the new Bad Day Single by REM, the Golden Path by The Chemical Brothers, Girl by Pepe Deluxe (great, GREAT band), Staging the Plaguing of the Raised Platform by Cornershop, and Just a Few Things that I Ain’t, by the Beautiful South (another Great band, but one I’m resigned to the fact that I’m the only one (in the USA) that likes them.

So over all—I like New York.

On the Economy

Conservatives would like you to remember that the economy is recovering.

Bob Herbert at the New York Times isn't so convinced. "The administration can spin its "recovery" any way it wants. But working families can't pay their bills with data about the gross domestic product. They need the income from steady employment. And when it comes to employment, the Bush administration has compiled the worst record since the Great Depression."

Herbert mentions that the job figures disguise the fact that millions aren't looking for work, and millions have moved from full time to part time work. So the situation is worse than it appears.

But, still, if the Stock Market goes up a little today (and I hope it does), conservatives will want you to take that as proof that the economy is recovering, and ignore all these niggling questions.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Public Urination; A Modest Proposal

Here is my proposal. Any body making over $500,000.00 a year or worth over $5,000,000.00 should be immune to any penalties imposed by a municipal, county, state or federal ordinance prohibiting Public Urination.

Some of you might think that this proposal makes no sense; I would argue that it is a necessity for America to remain strong. You see the Wealthy drive this country, drive our economy. They are necessary for the machinery of capitalism to work. And if we deny them the right to pee as and when they like, they may leave this country. And thus they must be exempt from public urination laws.

Some might say that we are nation of laws and not men. Balderdash. Do laws make the wheels of industry turn? Do laws make water come out of our facets or power come out of our generators? Do laws provide us the food we need to survive? Have laws ever made a car, an airplane, a tank? No! It is men who have done these things. Wealthy men. And if a little public urination is what it takes to keep them working for America, than that is a sacrifice we should all be willing to make.

Some might say that it is unfair to enforce laws on the poor and the middle class and exempt the rich. Think if the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year on lawsuits already. Everybody knows that the American Justice System favors the rich. Why not, in this instance, cut them out. I admit the wealthy may not be guilty of many counts of Public Urination, but if we can lessen the burden on the court even a little, isn't it worth it?

Saturday, October 25, 2003

A Public Service

For those interested in the Democratic Candidates positions on Iraq--Mahablog has posted a very helpful list of their positions. Check it out!

Well I'm back.

I'll post my last New York Journal in a bit and maybe some other stuff too. So hold onto your socks.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Well, this is interesting

Both Gen. Wesley Clark and Sen. Joe Lieberman have decided to forgo the Iowa Caucus. That has traditionally been a key factor in determining the Presidency, but Clark and Lieberman believe they can pick up enough momentum in the Febraury 3rd contests. They also argue, particularly Lieberman, that both Iowa and New Hampshire are liberal strongholds and therefore not good at providing candidates who can challenge in the national race.

New York Journal #7

Well I went to the theater last night, and I thought I’d tell you a bit about it so that if you ever go you can be prepared.

First of all, surprisingly enough, the best time to show up is about 3 minutes after the performance is due to begin. They are always a little late anyway, and the full seats makes it easier to find your seat (it’s the one that nobody’s sitting in (usually)).

Secondly, you might be concerned that the actors do not hear your specific applause during the performance—well I’ve got a solution to that. Wait until the applause dies down, preferably during one of them long winded speeches. Then start applauding with all your might. I guarantee the actors will respond.

Went to see the Lion King at the New Amsterdam Theater—let me clear one thing up right away. It’s not a cartoon—it’s actually a play. You better know that before you go. I was lost for the first ten fifteen minutes.

The New Amsterdam Theater is beautiful. Nice balconies and lovely seats. The only deficiency is that the stage is only 4 ½ to 5 feet across. Made it very hard on the dancers.

Also had a strange experience in the middle of the play. One of the cast members signaled to me that they wanted me to get up onstage. I didn’t really understand at first, but then he used that signal again. So I got up on stage. Well you wouldn’t believe the ruckus that caused. Once I got up there, those lying lions claimed I’d never been asked on stage and that I was ruining the play. Plus people threw stuff at me.

So my advice? Don't get up on stage even if they are pleading with you to do so. It's a trick.

Other than that, enjoy the theater. And it goes without saying that this entire article is full of crap. But hopefully enjoyable crap.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Run that by me again

This Gen. Boykin story is just getting warmed up. It’s got everything the right likes to see in a story. Religion being persecuted. Political correctness run amok. Men in uniform. Now if they could just work in an anti Clinton angle.

Anyway Tony Blankly took much the same tack as Cal Thomas yesterday; i.e. Muslims are evil so what Gen. Boykin said was correct. Frank N. Gaffney takes a different tack; total distortion.

First of all he repeats the theory that “Even if there are only a small percent of Muslims that are evil that could still millions.” Not sure what anybody expects us to do with this information. Except, of course, vote for President Bush as the only man who can protect our children.

He does add a new spin to that particular theory. Apparently that number is growing. Not by anything America is doing of course. America, that most blameless of countries, is unable to increase the number of Muslims who hate us by our actions. No, it is the preaching of Saudi Arabian and Iranian Clerics that is increasing the numbers who hate us.

Gaffney does recognize a difference between the “Islamists” who hate us and the rest of the Muslims. Apparently Gen. Boykin does as well. Although his comments would seem to be directed at all Muslims (particularly when he suggests that they worship a false god; an idol), Gaffney assures us that we are misreading him. He really only meant those bad Muslims.

The most frustrating thing about this debate is that it seems like the Muslim people aren’t being heard. I don’t know if its just that sane sensible Muslims don’t make good TV or if it’s due to something more sinister. Anyway I can’t really go fishing being on the road and all, but when I get back home I’m going to see if I can round up some good moderate Muslim sites.

New York Journal #6

Well, went down to the World Trade Center. Where it used to be.

I am suspicious of pilgrimages. I am suspicious of the idea that there is a place out there that I could go to, and it would change my life. The Holy Land, the Forbidden City, the Taj Mahal, Vatican City, Salt Lake City—all of them are places I’d like to go (well I’ve been to SLC, many times. But I’d go again, I suppose). But I don’t expect any of them to transform me spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually.

Going to ground zero should be, if they exist at all, one of those life transforming experiences, as one contemplates the deaths of 3,000 of ones country man in the bloodiest terrorist attack on American soil. But it’s a construction site.

If you are looking for a transformative experience, I’d suggest living each day a little better than the day before. It takes more effort, but it has the virtue of actually working.

Also went took some other pictures of the down town district, including some from the St. Marks graveyard just a bit away from the world trade center.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

New York Journal #5

Well after visiting the National Museum of Natural History yesterday and the Metropolitan Museum of Art today. There are so many cultures out there. I know that's not profound. Hopefully we all already know that. But when you are presented with them all at once, well, it's a bit of an eye-opener.

Oh went to an Italian place for lunch--the food was scrumptious but I got the idea that they don't get a lot of single guys for lunch who want to read by themselves. I spent the whole time wondering if I had grown an extra head.

Anyway not much more to say than that--hopefully have more to say in the morning on my trip. Here are some pictures.

Who is the Real Enemy?

Well, is he [bin Laden] the enemy? Next slide. Or is this man [Saddam] the enemy? The enemy is none of these people I have showed you here. The enemy is a spiritual enemy. He’s called the principality of darkness. The enemy is a guy called Satan.
Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin

Well, you know what I knew that my God was bigger than his [Osman Atta, Somolian Muslim]. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol. But I prayed, Lord let us get that man.
Also Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin

Cal Thomas is not very happy that the Military has apparently cracked down on Lt. Gen. Boykin for these remarks. Instead they should be promoting these views. They should be warning us that we are at war with Islam as a religion rather than with a few terrorist radicals.

I can’t understand why the President hasn’t jumped behind this initiative.

Thomas brings up several anti Israel comments made recently, but, don’t worry, he doesn’t put them in any sort of context.

Truthfully I feel kind of sorry for Boykin. He’s going to be a poster boy for the religious right and those who feel we haven’t done enough to kill Muslims. I don’t get the sense that that was his intention—but maybe I’m misreading the guy.

Maybe he is expecting President Bush to declare war on Satan.

Bush Haters

Well, David Limbaugh has chimed in again on Bush-hating. Apparently it’s bad. People going around, beating up innocent bushes. Yanking them out of the ground. But that’s not really happening. What’s happening is that President Bush is being criticized.

This goes to an editorial by Jonathan Chait, an editor for the New Republic, who admitted he hated President Bush (I'd link to the article, but you have to pay to read it). And conveniently enough for Mr. Limbaugh, if you describe one liberal, you’ve described them all.

He slams into Senator Kennedy on these grounds. “Divisive, as in reaching out to his opponents like Ted Kennedy only to be rebuffed, betrayed and castigated in return? These aren't my opinions alone. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on Kennedy's "anger." Despite Bush's cordiality toward Kennedy, the Massachusetts senator gives him back nothing but epithets, calling him a liar who has told "lie after lie after lie" about Iraq and charging Bush with consistently breaking his promises on education.

Can you believe this Kennedy guy? President Bush has thrown more federal money at education than any conservative can tolerate.
” In case you don’t know, this is total crap. President Bush only promised to spend more money on education than any conservative can tolerate. When it came time to actually allocate the money, he starved his own No Child Left Behind program. This is one of the reasons Senator Kennedy is angry with the President. Pretty damn good reason I’d say.

At any rate, this is the weakness of the Conservative position these days. We invaded Iraq on false pretenses (which your humble narrator bought, I must admit), and now we are there with no exit strategy. Republicans aren’t enthusiastic about defending this state of affairs so instead they are simply attacking Liberals as Bush Haters.

Monday, October 20, 2003

New York City Journal #4

You see that? Smartest squirrel you ever saw. Spent five minutes talking to him about his "Give Nuts to Squirrels" program. Basically it works like this. We give Squirrels nuts and then everything works great. The deficit, the ozone, the disappearance of Aaron Sorkin; all will be solved if we give squirrels nuts. I was going to take a picture of the squirrel with his charts, but suddenly a dog appeared from nowhere and all I got was this.

Oh well.

New York City Journal #3

Well got up early today and went uptown to the world famous Metropolitan Museum of Art. But it was not open on Monday. Stupid guidebooks not telling me that.

Oh wait. I guess both guide books mentioned that the museum was not open.

Anyway I went across Central part to the Museum of Natural History. Which was nice. Very crisp enjoyable day here.

The Museum was nice—a twitch expensive, but I’m cool with that. They need to pay people like that nice (if ultra passive-aggressive) Ross Geller. I saw a very cool movie called India land of the Tiger or something like that. It was interesting, focusing on the adventures of an English tiger hunter who went on to become a conservationist. Through his experiences we learn a little about India as he learns how to respect all of natures creatures.

Good movie, but I thought it interesting that in a movie about India they chose as their main point of reference a European. I can see why, and he’s certainly not an unsympathetic character. He translates his knowledge of India into things we can understand a bit better. At least in theory. Still wouldn’t it be nice to see India through Indian eyes?

Then I went to the Planetary show, narrated by Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks is one of the most trustworthy actors in America. I’d let him watch my kids (if I had any). And yet the show was still creepy. Is there a law that says all planetary shows have to be creepy? The opening they let the screen go clear for a moment with lights behind it so you can be impressed (I guess) at the size around the screen. It reminded me a bit of that bit at the Haunted Mansion where the dude, your host, says “There are no windows and no doors to this room. So you may never leave! Of course theirs always my way.” And then the lightning flashes and you get a shot of him—hanging from the balcony.

Anyway saw lots of other cool things—here’s some pictures.

The War in Iraq

Well Robert Novak writes a skillful article today. He starts with one issue I’ve noticed as well, which is that the Republicans in Congress are unsatisfied to follow in lockstep with the President. In particular he cites Sen. Dick Lugar’s dissatisfaction with the many voices coming out of this administration. On Meet The Press, Sen. Lugar stated “The president has to be president. That means the president over the vice president and over these secretaries (of State and Defense)."

But then he weaves in a second issue, which I do not agree with. Bad Mr. Novak! He writes on how many more conservative senators are of the opinion that Iraq should be loaned the money rather than given it. In other words, we blew the hell out of Iraq, but they should have to pay the recovery. There are two things wrong with this particular scheme as I’ve outlined before. It’s wrong and it’s stupid.

It’s wrong because we blew the hell out of Iraq to protect ourselves. If this had been a mutual war, if Saddam had done something stupid, well, that might be different. But that’s not what happened. We invaded to protect ourselves from those scary WMDs (anybody know how that’s going, by the way?), not to liberate the Iraqi people.

It’s stupid because our long term goals in Iraq are a stable democratic society that is a friend of the United States. Or at least that’s what we keep saying. Any government who agrees to pay us back for the privilege of invading them is going to fall. Nobody would stand for that injustice. The Iraqi people would see the government as the puppets of the United States (not a bad assumption if they agree to that particular scheme.

So, to sum up, making Iraq pay to rebuild itself--Immoral and unintelligent.

Sunday, October 19, 2003


What was President Bartlet's first spoken line on NBC's The West Wing?

"I am the LORD thy God, Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

For fans of the show, explains a lot doesn't it?

New York Journal #2

Well I am writing this on Sunday Afternoon. Have to finish my Saturday adventures. I wandered around Soho for a little while. I know using the term wandering makes it sound like I was walking in and out of shops and generally enjoying myself, but the truth was I was lost—I should have gone a bit south and west, apparently—anyway I was looking for books but couldn’t find anyway right off. So I went and ate at a place called the Lucky Strike.

Ordered a Hamburger. They brought me out a slice of meat on an English muffin. Now I have to admit that the hamburger was juicy and good and the fries were delicious. But why an English Muffin?

I initially planned on doing extensive research to get to the bottom of this mystery, but then realized that would take work. So instead I decided to just BS my way through.

I imagine it was something like this.

“Hey, those hamburgers are selling like hamburgers tonight.”

“Actually the phrase is hotcakes. Selling like hotcakes.”

“That doesn’t make any sense. Everybody likes hamburgers; who likes hotcakes?”

“Well maybe . . . oh no! We’re out of hamburger buns and I have five orders.”

“You don’t have anything?”

“Well I have these English muffins I was going to freeze and throw at pigeons.”

“Well just use those. Wait a moment, I am having an idea.” (insert the sound of someone thinking) “It’s a house specialty!”

Anyway like I said, the hamburger was great, and the fries were excellent. I’ll probably critique all the places I eat at, so long as I’m generally positive—I don’t want to waste my venom on non political type people.

Here's a cool bit of Grafitti/Poster Art I saw near the restaurant and a parking place.

New Logo

Meant to put this up yesterday but lost it. So putting it up today. Enjoy!

New Quote

Hooray! But the Quotes Page won't be updated till next week.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

New York City Journal #1

I'm not sure how best to do this, so I'm going to do it this way. I am in New York for the next week, and in part I am going to pass on my experiences to you in a way that will be of some interest. But I intend to continue political stuff too. So we'll see.

Wrote this bit a while ago, while I was waiting for my room to come open.

I’m sitting in the Europa Café across the street from the old Ed Sullivan theater where David Letterman is currently doing his show. I can see the LAT which begins late night. I hae just finished a delicious chicken salad and will soon be eating a Pecan treat of some kind. It looks like Pecan Pie, but of course, it’s not. After this I’m going to go over to the CBS store and then find another subway stop and go down to lower midtown. Went to one off of Columbus Circle, and the subway card machine was busted. Stupid Manhatten.

It’s a quiet place and I am sitting at one end, minding my own business. Which is what I am best at.

I can’t post from here, natch. It’s a restaurant and there’s no internet hook up. We’ll have to see later—at around 3:00 apparently. That’s 3 hours and 20 minutes from now. So when you read this, it will be much later in the afternoon.

Dropped my luggage off at the Windsor Hemsley, a very old and proper hotel. Seemed nice enough, but you can’t really judge that till you see the room. And I have not as yet seen my room. Still can’t be that bad.

Well I can judge now--it's not great it's not bad. The bed is comfy enough and I don't plan on spending a ton of time in the room anyway. Took a picture of Grand Central Terminal while I was waiting for a ride to my hotel. Here it is.

More to come.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Is The Deficit a Bad Thing?

Well, it depends on if you want to borrow money to buy a house or a car or boat or something. You see there is a certain amount of credit out there. It's a large amount, but it's not infinite. The higher the deficit the larger a percent of that credit they hold. That reduces the amount available for you and me, and makes it more valuable. And one something becomes more valueable it becomes more expensive--as we all know.

Well Bruce Bartlett says that deficits don't affect interest rates all that much, but that increased scrutiny of the deficit will force President Bush to take action. "By early 2005, I expect the pressure to reduce deficits to be inexorable. While Republican control of the House and Senate may cause any budget deal to focus more on budget cuts and less on tax increases than they usually do, the latter are inevitable. It is simply unrealistic to think that a large deficit reduction plan can rely solely on budget cuts. Revenues will be on the table.

Remember that Ronald Reagan signed major tax increases in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987. By 1988, he had taken back almost half of the 1981 tax cut. But at the end of the day, he cut taxes more than he raised them. That is why conservatives forgave him and why they will probably forgive Bush, as well.

He might be right, and when he's not facing reelection, maybe he will be forced to do the sensible thing. Or maybe not.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

More thoughts on Rush Limbaugh

I thought these words from Robert Scheer very sharp.

Although Limbaugh is obviously a hypocrite, that is no reason to compound the madness of our drug problem by punishing him in what seems to have been a victimless crime -- unless he pressured his housekeeper/supplier into the Florida narco-underworld, which would make him far more culpable. But we liberals believe in innocent until proved guilty.

Limbaugh's experience is the best argument against the demonization of all junkies -- this one throughout his addiction held a big job and presumably paid a lot in taxes. The considerable harm he inflicts daily on the larger society can hardly be blamed on his addiction. The drugs may have even tempered his verbal brutishness. In any case, there is no evidence that the drugs caused him to daily savage others -- he was equally offensive before and during his drug abuse. To put it another way, his drug use, if it has caused pain to others, is the least of his crimes.

Why Can't Democrats be Republicans?

This is the question Emmet Tyrell asks today. Of course he asks it in a more condescending way. His way of putting it is, " At this point in the Democratic lunge for the presidential nomination, does Dr. Howard Dean have a monopoly on that sector of the Democratic vote that we may classify as the moron vote? Or is the idiotic Sen. John Pierre Kerry chipping away at these serried ranks of oafs?"

He then holds up Sen. Lieberman as the only possible choice, but spends most of his essay attacking Kerry and Dean.

Once again if the voters have a choice between Republican Bush and Republican Lieberman, one can only assume they will picke the Republican they know.

Maureen Dowd

I don't read or quote from Ms. Dowd all that much; but today she wrote a bit that sums up the Bush Administration's problem perfectly.

The Bush team prepared the ground for American doubt; they told us to expect a fairy tale and now resent the fact that we refuse to treat it like one.

The fundamental problem for the Bush administration is that it is endlessly propounding a contradiction: Wanting us to worry that we are battling for our lives against the terrorists, and wanting us to stop worrying about the state of the battle.

Ann Coulter on Rush Limbaugh

Well one thing we know for sure; Ann Coulter is impressed that Rush Limbaugh got a $300 Million Dollar Radio Contract. Yep, that's the key element from Rush's life that seems to impress Ms. Coulter. She mentions it five times. The ability to earn $300 Million Dollars by talking on the radio for three hours a day is impressive, I guess.

She also makes mention of the fact that since Liberals are so morally depraved, we can't be accused of hypocrisy, and she's careful to mention the moral failings of Former President Clinton and Senator Kennedy.

It's hard to know what Ms. Coulter is good for except making fun of liberals; certainly there's no real point to this column other than that. But, hey, if she can get paid for making fun of liberals she must be doing something right. Even if she isn't paid $300 Million just yet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Not Much Blogging today

I'm afraid I was away from my computer most of the day so didn't blog. But tomorrow I will blog up a storm.

The Tyranny of Excluded Middle

You are familiar with this particular logical fallacy aren't you? You present too opposites as the only possible answers, excluding any potential middle positions. It's a great way of forcing a hardline position, and precluding any compromise.

Jonah Goldberg's latest article uses this device to great effect. It's about Rush Limbaugh's recent drug problems, and, of course, it covers the familiar bases of talking about how mean-spirited Liberals are. Goldberg does take the notable step of admitting this reaction may be in fact justified. "But look: Rush Limbaugh never pulled any punches either. I may agree with many of his views and I may even subscribe to his hard-hitting style from time to time, but I can't muster a huge amount of sympathy or surprise when it comes to the beating he's receiving."

Goldberg also decries the media focusing on the hypocrisy, rather than focusing on the actual sin of taking illegal drugs. But that's not exactly the problem. The argument is not really, as you postulate, between those who think all drugs should be legal and those who favor locking up all addicts as criminals. Granted, those are two positions in the argument, but there is a middle ground.

We spend an enormous amount as a society to lock up criminals for possession of drugs. We spend comparatively little helping people get off drugs. Comparatively wealthy drug users from Rush Limbaugh to white suburban kids get the opportunity to go through rehab; poor Black and Hispanic kids don't. If rehab is the answer for Rush Limbaugh, why isn't it the answer for everyone?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Tyranny of Postulates

David Limbaugh writes a piece today about how Senator (and Presidential Candidate) John Kerry is wrong to ask President Bush for an explanation of the contrast between what they said we'd find in Iraq and what we've already found.

Here is the Postulate. President Bush got exactly as much out of the United Nations, Europe, et al. as was possible without compromising American integrity.

It's hard to disprove. I could point to statements by world leaders to the effect that if we had been more willing to work through the UN they would have supported us, but words are easy to speak. The fact is we don't know what they would have done.

And if you accept that postulate, well, than the rest of his article makes sense. "Moreover, this mantra about us not working with the international community is becoming annoying. These other nations were and are impervious to reason about Iraq, insisting on appeasement and non-enforcement of the U.N. resolutions." Impervious. It was just impossible for President Bush to ever get the UN to act. So there was no point in trying any further than he did. There's a fable from Aesop that applies here, something about a fox and some grapes.

The thing is, I'm not sure Senator Kerry is willing to give you your postulate. Assuming that we weren't in immediate danger from Iraq (which it now seems clear that we weren't), a competent President would have succeeded where President Bush failed. The other nations of the world recognized the threat Iraq presented, and would have supported us if we had approached them differently.

David Limbaughs article is also notable in how it moves from Senator Kerry's actual statement, that President Bush had misled the American people, to suggesting that Kerry called the President a liar, which he wasn't because he was presenting information he believed in. Note to D. Limbaugh, misleading isn't the same as lying. If President Bush presented false information to the American people in making his case, than he misled the American people, whether he believed the information or not. And I'm not even going to bring up the suggestion that as President, he has a responsibility to make sure the info presented to him is accurate.

Mr. Limbaugh ends with this chilling statement. "While we all understand that this is the presidential election season, it is also a season of war. Democratic presidential hopefuls like Kerry need to start behaving as though they appreciate that." What a cowardly response! This is America Mr. Limbaugh. We have the right and the duty to question the actions of our presidents. And our Presidential Candidates have even more of a duty to question the President, to set in sharp relief their policies and the policies of their political opponent.

Dennis Prager writes an Irresponsible Article

It's called The second American Civil War.

"Whatever your politics, you have to be oblivious to reality to deny that America today is torn by ideological divisions as deep as those of the Civil War era. We are, in fact, in the midst of the Second American Civil War.

Of course, one obvious difference between the two is that this Second Civil War is (thus far) non-violent. On the other hand, there is probably more hatred between the opposing sides today than there was during the First Civil War.

Yep. And from the tone of his article, it's clear that violence may not be that far off. He lists of issues where the two sides differ, being careful to focus on extremist positions for the left while promoting a very reasonable course for Republicans. One example;

"The Left regards America as morally inferior to many European societies with their abolition of the death penalty, cradle-to-grave welfare and religion-free life; and it does not believe that there are distinctive American values worth preserving. The Right regards America as the last best hope for humanity and believes that there are distinctive American values -- the unique combination of a religious (Judeo-Christian) society, a secular government, personal liberty and capitalism -- worth fighting and dying for."

What tripe!

He is comparing the far left to mainstream Republicans. I'm not going to deny there are some on my side of the aisle who don't have much respect or use for America. But they are in the minority. Most liberals love America and want it to return to values of fairness and equality and justice that we used to believe in.

But even if he presented both sides fairly, this would still be a wildly irresponsible article. We are all Americans. Yeah I disagree with the policies of President Bush and Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and, well, Dennis Prager. But I don't doubt that they are trying to serve America in the best way they can.

I also thought veiled hints at forthcoming violence are, frankly, insane. Is that the way you want to win, Mr. Prager? Do you want to see liberal blood in the streets? If you don't you should clarify your position.

I shall conclude with the words of Thomas Jefferson, which seem particularly relevant at this juncture. "Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions."

Monday, October 13, 2003

Reviews from Rolling Stone

From the Rollingstone website, a fan review of the Chemical Brothers recent best of (well worth picking up).

singles 93-03 just good. many great and beauty musics aren't here. star guitar is the highest point of this album. the rollingstone's review is stupid-enough -unexplaination-. good work!

I am thinking of changing the name of this Website to "Stupid Enough Unexplaination."

Another Letter from Africa

I got another letter from Africa which starts this way. "As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday." Going out on a limb there, aren't you, Omar Salim?

In other news, Rush Limbaughs site is back to normal. So it must have been just a momentary screw up.

Imminent Threat

A lot of you might have picked up on this debate over what the word "imminent" means. Apparently Senator Ted Kennedy used it recently in talking about the Administrations case for war back in the winter. So naturally the right has responded, particularly Andrew Sullivan.

Let's trace this problem back to the roots. Democrats have consistently said that the United States should have rounded up more support for our invasion of Iraq before invading. We have had very limited support, primarily from Poland, the UK, and Australia. It also might have been a good idea to wait until our mission in Afghanistan were further along, so that our troops were not stretched quite so thin.

But we couldn't afford to wait, could we? According to the Bush Administration, we had to invade immediately because of the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons programs and weapons of mass distruction. We were under such danger from Hussein's weapons of mass distruction that to wait was tanamount to suicide, and President Bush was not going to allow us to go down that route. So we invaded.

Now it appears as if maybe we could have waited. Maybe Hussein was largely contained and, in fact, the sanctions were working. And that's where we are now. Liberals, including some of our presidential candidates, are saying that the President deceived the American people as to the immediacy of the danger Saddam presented.

So here is the question for Conservatives. Could we have waited and invaded Iraq later when we had more support and had moved Afghanistan ahead? If we could have, why didn't we?

Here's an answer to a popular pinheaded conservative question. Of course we're glad Saddam is gone. I'm not sure what that has to do with this issue, though.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

New Quote

Almost beginning to be a habit. Updated quotes page too.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

More on Rush

I don't know if this is a snafu or if this is a change, but, at least for right now, the free side of Rush Limbaugh's website no longer exists. Apparently you have to pay to access anything on his site. Which is his right.

Interesting timing though.

Friday, October 10, 2003

No need for further suspense

Rush has admitted to taking painkillers. So there it is.

I'm not happy about Rush's failings, and while I'm sure I will have further commentary on this issue, that's all I have for now.

Another Great Column by Paul Krugman

Check this out!

"What's really important, of course, is that political figures stick to the issues, like the Bush adviser who told The New York Times that the problem with Senator John Kerry is that "he looks French."

Some say that the right, having engaged in name-calling and smear tactics when Bill Clinton was president, now wants to change the rules so such behavior is no longer allowed. In fact, the right is still calling names and smearing; it wants to prohibit rude behavior only by liberals.

Right on the money, Mr. Krugman. There is nothing funny than listening to Rush Limbuagh fume about how the left hates President Bush. Come on! You Conservatives went after Clinton for 8 years, and said much, MUCH worse things about him. You accused him of murder, of rape, of espionage for a foreign power. And now you are upset because some are questioning President Bush's economic plan or his decision to invade Iraq? Come off it.

Anyway read the rest of Krugman's column; it's all good.

Edited because I misspelled Rush Limbaugh's name, and with suggestions from our Military Correspondent, Justin.

Arnolds Greatest Movie Line?

Jonah Goldberg weighs in on the California Recall situation, and opines on Governor Schwarzenegger's greatest line. "Considering the array of forces against him, particularly in liberal feminist circles, he actually managed to make his greatest movie line a reality. In "Conan the Barbarian," he was asked, "What is best in life?" and he responded, "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!"

Well, by that standard, Schwarzenegger's certainly enjoying the good life. But you can listen to lamentations only so long before you've got to get to work. And he's got a lot of work to do.

I don't know if that's really his greatest line. What about "I never realized how lonely I was." from Junior? Or "I knew you wouldn't let me down." from Total Recall? Or "I don't know what the problem is, but I'm sure it can be solved without resorting to violence." from Twins? Or "I want my life back." from the Sixth Day?

At any rate, Goldbergs right about the mountain of problems Arnold's going to be facing.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Strong words from Calpundit

Thanks to Tom Tomorrow who pointed this out.

Calpundit has a strong analysis of the modern Republican Party. "Republicans won't rest until abortion is completely outlawed, Social Security is abolished, the welfare state is completely rolled back, the book of Genesis is taught in science classes, and the federal income tax is abolished.

When I occasionally repeat (milder) versions of this here, my conservative commenters think I'm nuts. "Every party has a few wingnuts," they say. "These guys don't have any real influence."

And the thing is, I think they're telling the truth. With a couple of exceptions, I think the kind of conservatives who visit here don't believe this. It's absurd. It's a caricature.

The whole article is worth reading, particularly for its analysis of the Texas Republican Party Platform.

Great Article by Alan Reynolds

Published at the normally very conservative Townhall (who also print articles by Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Ben Shapiro, and so on), Alan Reynolds takes on the contrast between how the Bush Administration presented the WMD evidence before the Iraq war and what they are saying now. He goes through the various rationales for the difference and deflates each of them, concluding with the rationale that the Administration never really said that we faced an imminent threat.

"The latest and least defensible defense of the CIA has been to flatly deny that administration spokesmen ever claimed Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons or that such weapons posed any imminent threat. A Wall Street Journal editorial thus claims, "The Imminence Test and the Stockpile Standard ... are postwar inventions, and political transparently political inventions." That is a remarkable remark, and one that relies entirely on extremely short memories."

So not the best of times for the CIA. Reynolds is a senior fellow at the Cato institute; a libertarian organization that staunchly opposed the war. Not surprisingly, Ms. Coulter doesn't spend a lot of time on them in her work, as that would kind of put the lie to the idea that only traitorous liberals opposed the war.


Well Mr. Tony Blankley has weighed in on the leak of Ambassador Joseph Williams wife's cover. He basically portrays it as a case of institutional rivalry gone wild. The CIA and the White House are not very cozy, a problem that was not helped by the President requiring George Tenet to take the blame for the yellowcake story being in the State of the Union.

The division is over how to fight the war on terror. " there is a strategic policy difference between the institutional CIA view (which tends to see terrorism as an inextinguishable fever that can at best be kept at a relatively low temperature) and the White House view (that it is an enemy that is susceptible of definitive defeat if enough resources and shrewd policies can be brought to bear against it)."

He states that this element of rivalry is what caused the leak to happen. Some White House staffer wanted to shwo the CIA a thing or two and so leaked. Mr. Blankley suggests we put ourselves in the leakers shoes for a moment. "They must feel deeply conflicted. Their actions have backfired. Instead of brushing back disloyal CIA political players, there are FBI agents rifling through the White House files of the leakers' co-workers. Democratic Party partisans are crying out for special prosecutors. The president -- for whom they have been loyally working 14 hours a day -- probably to the significant neglect of their spouse and children -- is put on the defensive, passively expressing hope that the Justice Department will get to the bottom of this problem."

Of course that's all well and good, but while the President may not be directly responsible for the leak, he is still on the hook. If this rivalry is such a serious detriment, why didn't the President take steps to alliveiate it? Why did he allow such a fissure to exist between his staff and the CIA?

Part of the reason is that this administration, like all administrations, basically thought that once they got into power they could do whatever they wanted. That's why there has been friction between Donald Rumsfield and the Military. Between the State Department and the White House. And the CIA.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Good article by John Leo

Leo writes on the Conservative embarassments of the last week and a half. First he comments on the Schwarzenegger groping stories. "A lot of Republicans think that the Los Angeles Times' report on Arnold Schwarzenegger's groping problem was an unfair last-minute surprise. It wasn't. The Times article left five days for Arnold and his allies to respond and explain. Stories about Arnold feeling up and talking grossly to random women have been circulating for years. What was the Times supposed to do, sit on the evidence it had that the tales were true?"

Then commenting on Rush Limbaugh's drug problem (he also tackles the ESPN story), he states, "The first question is whether the left's famously sensitive concern for people who are hooked on drugs will emerge as strongly for a conservative talk-show host as it does for Hollywood drug users. The addict's brain is "hijacked by drugs," Bill Moyers once said on "Meet the Press," adding that "relapse is normal." If addictions are purely medical problems (in this case, presumably Limbaugh's response to the pain of his approaching deafness) look for Moyers and the entire cultural left to defend him. (Look, maybe, but don't expect.)" The problem with this formulation is that Rush has constantly and consistantly criticized drug users as junkies undeserving of our pity. I think if Rush talks honestly about addiction than he might get some sympathy.

If, however, he simply stonewalls the issue, than very little sympathy will be forthcoming.

Recreational Drugs vs Prescription Drugs

I told you we had our ducks in a row to let rush off. Ben Shapiro takes up the task today.

"Unlike recreational drug addiction, prescription painkiller addiction belongs squarely in the medical arena. Recreational drug addiction is just that -- recreational. A junkie first picks up marijuana, cocaine or heroin in order to have a good time. No one prescribes heroin for back pain. But for many who become addicted to prescription painkillers, the dealer who gets them hooked is their family doctor."

Ben comments on a family member who got hooked on painkillers, and how the awful struggles she went through to get off them. He then comments, "It is despicable how the media have equated prescription painkiller addiction with recreational drug addiction. There is a moral difference between the two types of addicts. All drug addicts deserve sympathy, but prescription painkiller addicts clearly deserve more sympathy than recreational users. "

I don't want to mock Shapiro's family experience, but two points need to be made. Firstly, illegal use of prescription drugs is illegal the same as recreational drugs. They are both crimes, and conservatives have, for quite a while, pushed a law and order agenda when it comes to drugs.

Second, I hope I don't need to remind everybody who many of our citizens, particularly those of the lower class, have no access to prescription drugs or to doctors to prescribe them. Prescription drug abuse is largely a problem of the middle or upper class, and, again, we are a lot more comfortable with drug abusers if they come from the upper or middle class.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

New York, New York

Just letting you know that Make me a Commentator!!! is taking its entire permanent staff to New York to cover whatever might happen in the city between October 18 and October 24, 2003. We will be on the ground. In the restaurants. In the museums. At the theatre. Other various New York places.

We need to put this city on the map. It's practically unknown, as I'm sure you know, but in truth New York has a lot to offer America.

Also, expect pictures, assuming I can get the system to work right, and possibly audio from various New York people. But that trip starts October 18, so I'll be continuing my current broadcasting in between now and then.

Why Rush Doesn't Matter

Rush's drug problem that is. A lot of people are speculating that Rush's drug problem may force Conservatives to reevaluate their position on drug laws. One of these people is Harley Sorenson, who states; ""As for the reports that Limbaugh might be involved in illegal buys of painkilling drugs, I hope they turn out to be true. But not for the obvious liberal reason. Sure, I'd like to see a cruel know-it-all like Limbaugh with egg on his face, but, more important, I'd like to see sympathetic attention drawn to the problem of painkillers, prescription or otherwise.

If Rush used too many painkillers, it was because he was in too much pain. If he became addicted, and if his addiction led to his hearing problems, that's punishment enough for the man.

Sooner or later, folks, we have to become civilized enough to take the un-Limbaugh-like position that we don't punish sick people for being sick.

I would applaud these sentiment if I thought that they would change peoples minds about the best way to treat drug addiction. But they won't. Rush's problem is just a reflection of a problem we see in all our communities. Who hasn't known somebody they liked or loved who had a drug problem? Drugs have been a problem in middle class and upper class America just as they have in lower class America.

The ugly truth is that we see lower class, African-American and Hispanic drug crimes as essentially different from Middle Class or Upper Class drug crimes. This is territory we don't like to get into, but a young rich white guy caught for drug abuse has a much better chance of going to treatment and getting clean. He has a support system in place. He has more money and, in general, he's in less day to day pain. So we as a nation have generally decided that he's worth investing in. He's worth running through the treatment system. Poor non-white drug offenders, on the other hand are not worth investing in, and therefore get to go to jail. For more information on this subject, check this out. Naturally it's best to keep this line of thinking unsaid because it kind of puts to the lie some of what Republicans like to say about the lack of need for affirmative action programs.

So we've already got our rationales in place. After all does it really make sense for Rush to go to jail? Cal Thomas gave advice to Rush in his column today, saying; "Just as soon as he is legally able, Limbaugh should come clean about whether or not he has a drug problem. If he does, he should admit it and seek help. That's often difficult for one at the top of his profession, but confession, healing and restoration are more satisfying than silence and a high-priced lawyer."

Monday, October 06, 2003

What Arnold Wants?

Bob Herbert, writing at the New York Times, states,

"Welcome to the world of undiluted narcissism. The man who is now the betting favorite to become the next governor of the crazy state of California has spent a lifetime pirouetting in front of cameras and mirrors, contemplating his navel and every other part of his once-buff bod.

If there's a voter anywhere in the state who thinks this character will spend even a hot minute wrestling with the realities of budgets and such, that person should seek immediate counseling. There's a reason Mr. Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." He doesn't want to govern. He just wants to be adored.

If his goal really is adoration, I doubt he'll seek a second term. Assuming he wins and all.

The Booby Prize

So what will Governor Schwarzenegger face (assuming he wins)? A state with enormous spending and an aversion to tax hikes. Ms. Debra Saunders commented on this issue today.

"Assembly and Senate Democrats live in a la-la land. They think they can spend and spend, and only rich people and smokers will be subject to higher taxes."

"The question is: Does Arnold Schwarzenegger want to be another circus act -- like Davis and state lawmakers -- or will he say what Californians need to hear, knowing full well that there are no applause lines?"

Well, odds are Schwarzenegger will follow the example of President Bush, cut taxes, put no limit on spending, and blame economic woes on the previous administration. I mean, if President Bush isn't going to limit spending, why should Arnold?

Sunday, October 05, 2003

New Quote

In case you haven't heard, Israel suffered an enormous terrorist attack yesterday and today has retaliated against camps in Syria.

So Eve of Destruction is running through my head, the version by the Turtles back before they realized they were a pop band.

Updated the quote page as well.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Your weekly Rush

There are others, not me, who are telling other people to shut up, to not say things because they don't have the right to say things, they don't have the right to think things, and they ought to be punished when they do, but it's not me. I'm not the one that's intolerant nor are many on my side of the ideological aisle.

I'm not a big supporter of ESPN's decision to show Rush Limbuagh the door, but this is a bit disingenious. He and his supporters have been on a tear about Hollywood liberals all year long. There are websites set up specifically to silence Hollywood liberals. And, let us note, it's not like Alec Baldwin stops in the middle of a scene to rail on President Bush. Limbaugh did make his comments during his performance, and, from ESPN's position, it hurt his performance in the job they had hired him for.

I do think ESPN should have given Rush a second chance, but I can see their side of it too.

Friday, October 03, 2003

The Lyrics to Almost Cut My Hair by David Crosby

Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It's gettin kinda long
I coulda said it wasn't in my way
But I didn't and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
Cause I feel like I owe it to someone

Must be because I had the flu' for Christmas
And I'm not feeling up to par
It increases my paranoia
Like looking at my mirror and seeing a police car
But I'm not giving in an inch to fear
Cause I missed myself this year
I feel like I owe it to someone

When I finally get myself together
I'm going to get down in that sunny southern weather
And I find a place inside to laugh
Separate the wheat from the chaff
I feel like I owe it to someone

Around the Horn for Rush Limbaugh

One wishes Rush had explained himself better. Maybe it would have mollified his critics had he explained that it is also in the conservative impulse to cheer the achievements of barrier-breaking blacks, so long as the achievement is real (Woods, Williams sisters) and not construed (in Rush's analysis, McNabb). But that's the stuff of three-hour radio talk show discussions, not seven-second TV soundbites. That mistake, coupled with the media's unwavering commitment to political correctness, is what spurred ESPN to grow queasy and hush Rush. - Brent Bozell

First Michael “You should only get AIDS and die, you pig” Savage, then Rush Limbaugh. The great thing about putting these right-wing radio nuts on television is that everybody gets to see the racism, homophobia and hatred they regularly spew under the radar screen to only their devoted listeners.
Eric Alterman

The sports news network hired Rush Limbaugh to do pre-game football commentary and chatter for its "Sunday NFL Countdown." Rush Limbaugh is a conservative talk show host with strong opinions about all sorts of things, including race and media bias. He offered his opinion about race and media bias. He lost his job. Who did ESPN think it was hiring? Martha Stewart? - Jonah Goldberg

When white men gather in living rooms, locker rooms, or sports bars, you'd be amazed at how often they make racist comments.

It doesn't happen all the time. But it happens a lot.

So maybe Rush Limbaugh did the country a favor by reminding us, yet again, of the insidiousness of white supremacy.

Matthew Rothschild

Next, Rush Limbaugh will be forced to resign for saying that Katie Couric is cute, that Saddam Hussein is evil, and that the sun rises in the east. His recent comment on ESPN that sports reporters might want a black quarterback to succeed because of their "social concern" is self-evidently true. That it created a furor leading to his resignation is a sign of a pervasive double standard in American life -- the left obsessively racializes nearly everything, but if a conservative dares mention anything related to race, he is dubbed a "racist" and considered unfit for polite company. - Rich Lowry

The creation of the Rush Limbaugh era was a move of astonishing cynicism by ESPN, a race down the low road in search of a buck or two, middle finger extended out the driver's side window at its best customers, hardcore sports fans. Knowing that any publicity is good publicity and that hiring Limbaugh would have tongues wagging, the network hired him knowing he'd add nothing to viewers' enjoyment of the games but plenty to the bottom line as the curious tuned in to see how Rush would try to shape the events on the field to fit his know-nothing political agenda.

Time and again in his brief, idiotic tenure Limbaugh returned to one of his favorite themes, the liberal media, sometimes imagined as an unthinking horde marching in lockstep, sometimes as individual reporters, legions of them, all acting in exactly the same way for some reason that's obvious to Rush if not to the rest of us.

King Kaufman

The nice thing about posts like this is that I don't really have to add anything. Just present the info.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Rush Limbaugh's Trouble

You'd think this would be a happy story for me to write on, but actually it's kind of a downer. The New York Daily News and the National Enquirer are reporting that Rush Limbaugh has a drug problem. "Talk-radio titan Rush Limbaugh is being investigated for allegedly buying thousands of addictive painkillers from a black-market drug ring."

I've enjoyed listening to Rush, and certainly he's provided me plenty of fodder for my website, so I wish him luck in dealing with these problems.

Ann Coulter - Nuttier than Three Squirrels

Yep. Ann wisely chooses to ignore Republican Treason (i.e. the outing of a CIA undercover operative. For more info check out these comments, via Atrios) in favor of spending an article making fun of the Democratic Presidential Candidates. So let's dive right in.

According to a new survey, six out of 10 Americans can't name a single Democrat running for president. And that poll was actually taken among the 10 current Democratic candidates. According to the survey answers, "the military guy" leads with 19 percent, followed by "that doctor, what's his name?" with 12 percent, and "the French-looking guy" with 9 percent.

Actually said survey did not occur; it is in fact completely made up. The military guy is General Wesley Clark, the doctor is Howard Dean, and the French looking guy is John Kerry. Oh, and in Ann Coulters twisted world looking French should disqualify you from being President.

"Since Wesley Clark entered the race, Democrats have been salivating over the prospect of a presidential candidate who is a four-star general, and has the politics of Susan Sarandon! Clark's entry into the race was seen as a setback for John Kerry, the only other Democratic contender with combat experience. (Although back in the 1970s, Dennis Kucinich served in the Kiss Army.)"

While Clark is certainly more liberal than Ann Coulter (who isn't?), he is not actually as far left as Ms. Sarandon. He is in fact a liberal centrist. Also, there is no evidence that Dennis Kucinich served in the KISS army (and when you refer to KISS you use all caps, Ms. Coulter).

Before Clark becomes the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question, consider that Clark's main claim to fame is that he played a pivotal role in what most of his supporters passionately believe was an illegal, immoral war of American imperialism in Vietnam. How does that earn you points with Democrats?

This argument reflects Ms. Coulter's belief that the part is exactly equivalent to the whole. She believes that if you are a liberal you share every opinion with every other liberal; and same for conservatives. It's this sort of black and white division of the world that she and many of her followers see as a strength; when in fact it distorts the world almost out of recognition. But for her benefit, allow me to state that, as hard as it to believe, one can believe a war is immoral and wrong, and still respect the troops, even leaders of troops, for following orders.

I have to say this diving right into Ms. Coulters argument is starting to make me a little fatigued. I think I'll skip down a bit; she spends the next few paragraphs attacking Clark.

Howard Dean is not a general, but he is a doctor. Democrats are enthusiastic about Dean since they figure that if this Democrat were ever caught with a naked intern, he could just say it was her annual physical.

Actually Democrats like Dean because he acts like he opposes President Bush and his policies. There's something energizing in an opposition candidate acting like an opposition candidate, although I understand Rush Limbaugh (who presumably has a lot on his mind) wishes we would act like pansys and support the President. I don't know about other Democrats, but I personally don't think that's a very positive route to go down.

Sen. John Kerry has said we need to "de-Americanize" the war, I guess on the theory that the "de-Americanizing" process has worked out so well for the Democratic Party. He is furious at Bush for prosecuting a war Kerry voted for, saying the difference is, "I would have been patient." He would have had to be extremely patient in the case of Germany, inasmuch as Gerhard Schroeder announced before the war began that he would never authorize war in Iraq under any circumstances.

Actually the Democratic Party is an American party, made up of people who love their country and want to see it succeed and prosper. It is, to borrow a phrase, as American as apple pie. And I think that most people understand where Mr. Kerry is coming from. We were told that Congressional Support for President Bush's authorization was necessary to push Saddam to being more open. Then President Bush took us to war, insulted the rest of the world, handily defeated a military decades out of date, and failed to prepare any sort of exit strategy. So perhaps we Americans can understand Mr. Kerry's feelings; as we share his sense of being betrayed by a President determined to take us to war.

I'm done. This is too hard--if you want to read the rest of the article, here it is.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

One more thing on Robert Novak

It need hardly be said that if this scandal has legs, it will hurt Robert Novak. I don't agree with him much, but I do respect him as a good writer with an insightful mind. So it would be a bit of a tragedy to see this current scandal drag him down as well. But, if it does, I suppose that was his choice.

Robert Novak

I don't know how many of you are following the Joseph Wilson story. Robert Novak, who instigated the story by describing Wilson's wife as a CIA operative, wrote on it again today. "How big a secret was it? It was well known around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Republican activist Clifford May wrote Monday, in National Review Online, that he had been told of her identity by a non-government source before my column appeared and that it was common knowledge. Her name, Valerie Plame, was no secret either, appearing in Wilson's "Who's Who in America" entry."

So he's explicitly following the Clifford May line (referenced earlier) of suggesting that Washington Insiders all knew about the leak anyway. This is an almost perfect example of Bias. There is a key factual element to this story that is unknown; namely was it well known around Washington insiders that Ms. Valerie Plame was a CIA Analyst? If the answer is yes, than what Novak did was no big deal. If the answer is no, than Novak, possibly with the help of the CIA, outed Ms. Plame.

The problem, of course, is that I and, I would assume, most of my my readers are not Washington Insiders. We have no way of verifying this information. So what are we to believe? Well if you are a good Republican you will believe it is well known and if you are a good Democrat you will believe that it was not well known.

Kind of an ambiguous situation, but perhaps information has not finished dribbling out of this story.

Other Signs the Election might be Tight

Linda Chavez this time, commenting that the awful Democrats are trying to portray President Bush as a failure and that the Media is doing everything they can to help out. Far be it from me to suggest that some of President Bush's bad press might be a result of bad policies and decisions. Clearly any suggestion that this is a recovery that benefits Wall Street more than the American people, or that Iraq appears to be not going very well would just be wrong headed.

But Linda Chavez is not convinced that the best policy for the Bush Administration is to do nothing. "Unless the Bush campaign begins to counteract these stories -- and soon -- the Democrats could just get their wish. Republicans are counting on the Democrats to defeat themselves with outrageous rhetoric and far left proposals. But if the Bush campaign isn't careful, the American public won't even notice how outside the mainstream the Democrats are. They'll be too busy being mad at George W. Bush for his "jobless recovery" and his "failed" war in Iraq."

You never know.