December 22, 2005

Christmas Wars: Episode III Revenge Of Blue's Clues

The attempts by so many politically-correct crusaders and paranoid atheists in this country to dilute the importance and meaning of Christmas these days is often quite easy to spot.

But Robert the Llama-Butcher has discovered it's infiltration into a children's book. If you thought talking salt 'n pepper shakers were peculiar, wait until you see how the Blue's Clues characters introduce you to the holidays of the season.

For the record, here's my take on the "holiday" season. Christmas and Hanukkah are religious holidays with traditions dating back thousands of years. Kwanzaa is - at best - a cultural celebration. So I feel no more compelled to wish anyone a Happy Kwanzaa than I am to wish someone a Happy St. Patrick's Day. And I wish people a Merry Christmas whether they celebrate it or not. I'm wishing them peace and happiness in the spirit of the day. I'm not insisting that they observe its traditions or significance as I see it.

People who are offended at being wished a "Merry Christmas" need to lighten the hell up and have a heavily rum-laden egg nog.

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Tolkien Geek Update

Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter Three is posted.

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December 21, 2005

Patriot Act Salvaged...For Now

The ass-hats in the Senate just reached an agreement to extend all the provisions of the Patriot Act for six months. As part of the agreement, certain provisions will be further reviewed and amendments proposed.

Six months is better than nothing. An expiration of sixteen important provisions at the end of this month would have been celebrated by the people that are plotting to kill us. Now those in Washington who are more concerned about the civil rights of terrorists than the safety of U.S. citizens can try and make their case and a vote to reauthorize it once again will come as the 2006 mid-year elections are in full swing.

Beats me why Democrats would even want to talk about National Security in an election year when this issue is seen as their biggest weakness by a majority of voters. Karl Rove...you magnificent bastard, you!

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It's The Perfect Time Of Year

In this season of giving, help remember those who are giving so much. Head on over to the Thank A Soldier Week website and e-mail a holiday message to our men and women serving all over the world, sponsored by TownHall.com.

Thanks to The Real Ugly American for the heads-up!

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Five Giants Going To Pro Bowl

Congratulations to Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Jeremy Shockey and David Tyree!

Damn, I may just watch that stupid game now.

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The Worst Economy Since Herbert Hoover

Yeah, right. Just take a look at quarterly GDP growth since the President handed out his "tax-cuts for the rich":

GDP.jpg

Not to mention 5% unemployment and a deficit shrinking every day from higher Federal tax revenues.

Now imagine if we made those tax cuts permanent?

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An Oldie, But A Goodie

Penguin Baseball. No explanation needed.

Thanks to Jonah G, for the reminder.

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Christmas Comes Early

Noemie Emery speculates in the Weekly Standard online that Darth Rove must be behind the latest New York Times story and the Democrats' subsequent caterwauling:

Short-sighted Republicans raged that the Times had done this on purpose to dilute the good news from Iraq, and drive it off the weekend chat shows and front pages; Rove on the other hand must have had the good sense to realize that the Democrats, driven mad by the good news of the Iraqi elections, would pick this up and run with it into a wall. Talk about Christmas! Santa came early.

Bush now has three gifts: (l) he has an out, in case there's another attack on the homeland (he tried, but his hands were tied by the Times and the Democrats); (2) he has still more sound bites--"We killed the Patriot Act!"--to add the pile that he had already, and (3), he has the chance to draw still more distinctions between the party of force and of public security; and the party that nitpicks, that is too legalistic, and that somehow always gives the benefit of the doubt to the criminal and/or the accused. In a showdown like this, put your cash on the party of force and security. Willie Horton was not a play on the race card, but a metaphor for the larger use-of-force issue. Does anyone doubt that if Dukakis were president when Saddam Hussein crossed the border, Kuwait and perhaps Saudi Arabia would be permanent parts of Iraq? Remember the Homeland Security Act in the 2002 midterms?

And then Karl Rove topped it all by getting Democrats to go round the bend on impeachment, such as Barbara Boxer on the advice of John Dean. The Times, our own little France in the heart of Manhattan, doubtless thought it was dealing a mortal blow to the Nixon redux in the White House, that monstrous figure devouring liberties. Instead, it gave both parties the chance to redefine themselves in ways that do not seem to favor its allies. We think that on a Wednesday morning November 8, 2006, Republicans will give a big "thanks" to the Paper of Wreckage. And nobody more than Karl Rove.

Of course Emery is being tongue-in-cheek here, but you'd swear the way it always turns out to the GOP's benefit whenever the media and the Dems go on the offensive that somehow the "architect" must be behind it all.

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December 20, 2005

Showdown Coming

Over the Defense Appropriations bill in the Senate. Democrats are threatening a filibuster. Why? Because it contains a provision that would once and for all authorize drilling in ANWR.

Democrats are stuck between a rock and a hard place on this. If they don't filibuster, the enviro-whackos of their base will lose their minds and they'll lose a campaign issue. If they do, they'll take away the funds necessary for supplying our troops. Either way, they lose. And Sen. Ted Stevens, who is in charge of the Appropriations Committee, is prepared to keep the Senate in session through the end of the month to get this bill passed.

But it's not just the Dems you have to watch. Michelle Malkin reminds us to keep an eye on those squishy Republicans from the Blue States who take big money from the Environmental Groups. They'll also be on the hot seat. And Cheney cut short his Middle-East trip to be on hand to break a tie.

Matt Margolis at GOP Bloggers:

Democrats have used very heated rhetoric in the past about reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil and the high gas prices. Drilling in ANWR addresses both those problems. The bill itself contains dozens of environment protections, which should be satisfactory to them, such as barring drilling during the summer or when caribou are calving...

Yet, despite their opposition to this defense appropriations bill, the Democrats accuse Republicans of shortchanging our troops. Well, with no good reason to oppose this bill, we know which party truly support our troops, and which party is abandoning them.

This will be interesting.

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Jonathan's "Alter"nate Universe

Does anyone remember the nightmare that was election night 2000 when the pundits didn't know what the heck to say because no one was really certain what was going to happen? I do.

I remember watching all the cable news channels, even * blech * CNN. And when they called Florida for Bush late into the night, Jonathan Alter of MSNBC went nuts. He kept screaming about how Gore got more popular votes and that Bush would be illegitimate, blah, blah, blah. He wasn't just forcefully arguing his position - he was losing his mind on national television.

At that moment I realized that the normally mild-mannered Alter had, in fact, lost all touch with reality (not to mention whatever journalistic objectivity he may have had).

Well, this morning he concocted an impeachment fantasy and went and posted it up on MSNBC's website. If you read some of this incoherent blather without knowing the author you would swear it came off of Kos' site.

"We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War...

...This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974"

Here's the problem with Alter's analysis: he's so impaired by the mindset of Vietnam and Watergate that he's seeing what we wants to see rather than what really is. And he's making as ass of himself. Don't get me wrong, it's very amusing. John McIntyre at the RCP Blog explains:
Just to recount the facts: in 1968, Richard Nixon and the virulently anti-hippie George Wallace got 57% of the vote. In 1972, Nixon received over 60% of the vote. In 1976, with Republicans utterly on the ropes after Nixon’s disgrace and impeachment, Jimmy Carter barely beat that political powerhouse Gerald Ford. The public put a final punctuation point on the era in 1980 with Reagan’s 489 electoral vote wipeout of Carter.

But to someone like Alter, the late 60’s and 70’s were the penultimate halcyon days for the press and politics. It was when the “good guys” in the liberal press took out the “bad guys” in the Republican party. The mindset survives among many to this day who constantly see the ghost of Nixon around every corner.

Alter is clueless when it comes to the political ramifications of this story. Politically, the White House loves this story. As I mentioned in my column yesterday, it dovetails nicely with the debate over the Patriot Act, Iraq and works to reinforce the existing image of the Democratic party as just not serious when it comes to the nation’s security.

Liberals are busy focusing on the past. But, fortunately for us, we have a President who understands the threats of the present and future.

Keep digging, guys. You'll hit bottom sooner or later.

Hat Tip: The Political Pit-Bull

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Tolkien Geek Update

Return Of The King, Book Five, Chapter Two is posted.

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The "Domestic Spying" Kerfuffle

Politically, this is a non-issue for two reasons:

1) The Pajamahedeen are all over this, debunking claims that spying on domestic terrorists is illegal or unconstitutional. There is plenty of legal precedent to show that it is legal and constitutional. Those trying to prove otherwise don't have a leg to stand on. This is another one of those baseless charges that will blow up in the Democrats' faces.

2) The vast majority of the American people are smart enough to understand that it's been exactly this kind of surveillance that has broken up terror cells in the United States and prevented another major attack. They're all for it. And any politician who comes out against it communicates that they're more concerned about the civil rights of terrorists than the safety of the American people. Keep going, guys. You're only hurting yourselves.

Take the very real example of the Brooklyn Bridge incident, as explained by Dick Morris in his column today:

In 2002, the feds (presumably the NSA) picked up random cellphone chatter using the words "Brooklyn Bridge" (which apparently didn't translate well into Arabic). They notified the New York Police Department, which flooded the bridge with cops. Then the feds overheard a phone call in which a man said things were "too hot" on the bridge to pull off an operation. Later, an interrogation of a terrorist allowed by the Patriot Act led cops to the doorstep of this would-be bridge bomber. (His plans would definitely have brought down the bridge, NYPD sources told me.)

Why didn't Bush get a warrant? On who? For what? The NSA wasn't looking for a man who might blow up the bridge. It had no idea what it was looking for. It just intercepted random phone calls from people in the United States to those outside — and so heard the allusions to the bridge that tipped them off.

In criminal investigations, one can target a suspect and get a warrant to investigate him. But this deductive approach is a limited instrument in fighting terror. An inductive approach, in which one gathers a mass of evidence and looks for patterns, is far more useful.

John McIntyre's take on the situation sums it up pretty well:

If Democrats want to make this spying “outrage” a page one story they are fools walking right into a trap. Now that this story is out and the security damage is already done, let’s have a full investigation into exactly who the President spied on and why. Let’s also find out who leaked this highly classified information and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. If the president is found to have broken the law and spied on political opponents or average Americans who had nothing to do with terrorism, then Bush should be impeached and convicted.

But unlike Senator Levin, who claimed on Meet The Press yesterday not to know what the President’s motives were when he authorized these eavesdropping measures, I have no doubt that the President’s use of this extraordinary authority was solely an attempt to deter terrorist attacks on Americans and our allies. Let the facts and the truth come out, but the White House’s initial response is a pretty powerful signal that they aren’t afraid of where this is heading.

The Liberal side of the blogosphere is in a frenzy over this. Still smarting over the Fitzmas flop, they are hoping like hell that they can push yet another conspiracy theory to damage the President. And they're pushing even harder now that his poll numbers have been rebounding. And the Democrats are following their lead at their own peril.

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December 19, 2005

Hollywood: Still Not "Getting It"

Tammy Bruce has an excellent post about the recent Golden Globe Nominations for Best Picture of 2005, titled "And Hollywood Wonders Why They're Failing".

I'll admit it. I always used to love going to the movies. But nowadays, considering all the hassles I have to deal with by going out to a multiplex - the parking, the lines, the tiny theaters, the obnoxious patrons, the commercials, etc. - if I'm going to see a movie it has to be something I really want to see. Throw in the continually dwindling number of opportunities that I have to actually go to the movies, being a father of three young kids (who I will not bring to a movie that isn't appropriate for them just because I can't get babysitting), and there is very little margin for error. That is to say, I can't afford to take a chance on a film unless I'm convinced in advance that it will be something I'll enjoy.

I think a lot of people over 30 have similiar constraints even if they don't have kids. They're just plain busy. So why does Hollywood continue to heavily promote films about subjects most moviegoers could care less about or that have no appeal to them? And why are they handing out awards to movies that don't find an audience beyond a bunch of elitist critcs? There really is a kind of cultural myopia in the motion picture industry - an attitude that turns up their noses at their customers and says "fine, if the unwashed masses don't appreciate our art then we can at least pat ourselves on the back and say how much we like it".

As Tammy Bruce observes:

Not only will we not go see films which insult us, we refuse to support an existential worldview. We happen to think life does matter, that decency is a good thing, and that people are inherently good, not bad. We also have stopped believing the lie that Americans are bad people. We looked away for 4 decades as that lie was spread, but that time is over.

So you can take your gay sheepherder, noble communist supporting reporters, big-business is evil, Americans are hopelessly and inherently corrupt and violent and unfaithful movies and go to Cannes where at least the Parisian set will love you. But that won't exactly pay the bills, will it?

It used to be whichever movie won the top awards guaranteed boffo box office. Not any longer. The Golden Globe (the 'foreign' press contingent) and the Oscar people are going to find that their nights of orgiastic self-congratulation won't get them much, if anything, any more.

Movies should be something you escape to, not from.

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Carnival of the RINOs

This week's RINO sightings are up at Kesher Talk.

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The Speech

Didn't see it, but I've read the text and much of the reaction. To fundamentally refute the outrageous statements by the - ahem - "loyal opposition" is something he needs to do more often. You can't communicate enough. It's not a question of convincing the American people, it's reminding them of what they already know and countering the political propaganda the chips away at their resolve.

There are lots of pull-quotes but this one hits Liberals right between the eyes and sums up the basic difference in the way they see the world and the way we see it:

The terrorists do not merely object to American actions in Iraq and elsewhere, they object to our deepest values and our way of life. And if we were not fighting them in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Southeast Asia, and in other places, the terrorists would not be peaceful citizens, they would be on the offense, and headed our way.

September the 11th, 2001 required us to take every emerging threat to our country seriously, and it shattered the illusion that terrorists attack us only after we provoke them. On that day, we were not in Iraq, we were not in Afghanistan, but the terrorists attacked us anyway -- and killed nearly 3,000 men, women, and children in our own country. My conviction comes down to this: We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them. And we will defeat the terrorists by capturing and killing them abroad, removing their safe havens, and strengthening new allies like Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight we share.

Democrats have made a miscalculation in that they believe that the majority of Americans see things the way they do. They're overplaying their hand with this doom and gloom, cut and run attitude. They see America as the problem, not the terrorists.

As Glenn Reynolds says, Bush is doubling down here:

"One big thing struck me: In this national televised speech, Bush went out of his way to take responsibility for the war. He repeatedly talked about "my decision to invade Iraq," even though, of course, it was also Congress's decision. He made very clear that, ultimately, this was his war, and the decisions were his.

Why did he do that? Because he thinks we're winning, and he wants credit. By November 2006, and especially November 2008, he thinks that'll be obvious, and he wants to lay down his marker now on what he believed -- and what the other side did. That's my guess, anyway."

Democrats are on the wrong side of history, but they can't see it. They dismiss all the good news and the positive developments as irrelevant. They're betting that voters will give them a shot at being in control of National Security. Once again, they're going to lose.

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December 18, 2005

Bad Santas

Forty Kiwi drunks dressed as Old St. Nick rampaged through Wellington, New Zealand robbing and pillaging all the way.

The rampage, dubbed "Santarchy" by local newspapers, began early Saturday afternoon when the men, wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes, threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an Auckland overpass, said Auckland Central Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty.

She said the men then rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage containers, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on buildings.

One man climbed the mooring line of a cruise ship before being ordered down by the captain. Other Santas, objecting when the man was arrested, attacked security staff, Hegarty said.

The remaining Santas entered a downtown convenience store and carried off beer and soft drinks.

"They came in, said 'Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves," store owner Changa Manakynda said.

Apparently, "Santarchy" is a worldwide movement aimed at protesting the commercialization of Christmas. It originated in 1994 in - big shocker here - San Francisco. The a-holes in question were arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct. Merry Christmas.

h/t: Ace

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December 17, 2005

Top Ten Economic Myths of 2005

Presented by The Free Market Project. Myths that Liberals and the MSM would just love you to believe.

Hat Tip: Amy Ridenour

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Giants v. Chiefs

UPDATE: GIANTS WIN BABY!! 27-17!!
Congratulations to Tiki Barber for a single game performance of 29 touches for 220 yards. The best in the NFL and a record, too. The best in Giants franchise history!

Go 'Skins!!

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wk15.jpg

OK, thanks Mr. Tagliabue. The next three weekends will feature Giants games on Saturday. Great. Today's is at 5:00pm, right around dinner time and right before the wife is going to want me to watch some lame movie on DVD that I managed to avoid when it was out in the theaters. You're all heart, dude.

Well, the Chiefs were on the verge of victory last week at Texas Stadium. And a stupid mistake on their part gave the Cowboys a chance to pull a victory out of their asses, which is exactly what they did. Dallas should have lost that game. And as a result you have a Cowboys team still nipping at the Giants' heels and a pissed off Kansas City team who's looking to bounce back this week at Giants Stadium.

Now the Chiefs are a good team, but four of their five losses have been on the road. They have a killer rushing attack at Arrowhead Stadium and it's not too shaby away from home either. But the Giants have a home edge here, being 6-1 at the Meadowlands (7-1 if you count the New Orleans game). Last week's game at Philly cost them dearly when they lost LB Antonio Pierce. If they're going to stop the Chiefs' running game it's going to be tougher without Pierce.

Now the Giants need to win two of the last three games to guaranty themselves a Division Title, and one of those wins needs to be against Washington next week. They can lose today and still win the division but they need to stay focused on today's game. The Chiefs are playing for a Wildcard spot in the AFC, and if they lose today they're in deep shit.

Thus far the Giants have met my expectations going into this season. Winning the division would be icing on the cake. Surviving the first round of the playoffs would be pretty sweet too. I have no doubt that New York will not make it far in the post-season. There are just too many better teams in the NFC. And the Colts will probably win it all. A Manning will likely get a Superbowl ring this season but it's not going to be Eli.

So here we go. It's nice to be actually playing for something this deep into December for a change.

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Diane Lane Photo of the Week

Diane Lane Pink.jpg

Pretty in pink.

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December 16, 2005

Pelosi: OK, So We Have No Position On Iraq

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Defeatocrat - CA) has basically come out and admitted that her party is unable to articulate one coherent position on the war in Iraq.

There is no one Democratic voice . . . and there is no one Democratic position," Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors.
What prompted this?

While just a few weeks ago she was able to sign on to Rep. John Murtha's "cut and run" strategy, that position apparently must not be going over well with their internal polling. And as we head into the 2006 mid-term elections, it would seem that it's safer politically to just avoid the topic altogether. Perhaps one of these days they'll wet their finger and hold it in the air and feel comfortable putting something out there. As Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Defeatocrat - IL) says, "As for Iraq policy, at the right time, we'll have a position."

What else is new. Democrats aren't in favor of anything (short of abortion-on-demand). But they're really good at opposing things and beating down the opposition. Pelosi and the Dems can boast of a few accomplishments this past year, like blocking Social Security Reform:

"Not only did we take [Bush] down on that, but we took down a lot of his credibility as being somebody who cared about 'people like me'. ", she said.
What is this? WWE? For crissakes, whatever happened to advancing an agenda to benefit the American people? It's been so long since Democrats actually did that, it's become a foreign concept to them.

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