June 30, 2005

"The Democrat Party is not a growth industry"

Jayson at Polipundit does some demographics digging and sees trends that don't bode well for Democrats in general and "Blue States" specifically. The current migrations away from the Northeast are heading to States like Florida, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

"[F]or those of you who might assume or who might want to project that the influx of those blue-state denizens somehow will decrease GOP hegemony in the states to which they are migrating, actually, just the opposite is true. Again, the people who are migrating there have jobs and young families. That’s the entire reason they’re moving in the first instance. They’re not 85 year-old, by-rote Democrats. They’re not “librule” college students. They’re not welfare cases beholden to Democrat handouts. They’re not going to vote that much differently than the national averages. But, again, raw population increases mean additional electoral votes for the states to which they move."

Not to mention that Republicans tend to reproduce like rabbits compared to Democrats!

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Even Dem Pollsters find that voters think they have no core beliefs...

Eric the Viking links to the report. Carville and Greenberg's polling says that 38% of voters have positive feelings for the Democrat party and finds that voters' current perceptions are that the party has "no core set of convictions or point of view."

While overall perceptions of Washington are growing more sour these days, Democrats are bearing the brunt of voter's anger.

"Republicans weakened in this poll ... but it shows Democrats weakening more," Greenberg said.
Gee, could it be because Democrats these days are only against things?

UPDATE: 2:57pm

Posts from Ed Morrissey: Likely Voters Running Away From Democrats

& Powerline: Democrats' Popularity Sliding

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Breaking: Gandalf Reveals Real Name - Blogosphere Yawns!

I started this thing five months ago tomorrow and at the time I wanted to be completely anonymous. Having allowed my initial paranoia to settle down and get some perspective I realized that I could dispense with the "gandalf" and still be pretty anonymous and it was no big deal.

Not to mention the fact that having a nickname that had nothing to do with my Blog's name (which is what everyone calls me anyway) was a little silly. So, I've updated my blogger ID with my real first name. No last name or pictures at this point, though. Maybe one day.

Note: according to this (linked by Spoons), Gary was ranked between 26 and 47 in popularity throughout the sixties and seventies, so that ought to give me plenty of cover.

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Manitoba Man Lands Massive Fish...

"When we get home and see the taxidermy man...he gonna have a heart attack when he sees what I brung him!"

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"War of the Worlds" review...

It's pretty hard nowadays for a film to present an audience with images that make you go "Whoa, that was freakin' sweet!". But Spielberg has done it. This is not E.T or Close Encounters. These aliens would make you crap yourself if you saw 'em coming. I saw this on Wednesday night and offer this humble review.

Very Minor Spoilers to follow

First a few technical observations. The overall look and feel of this film is very dingy and gritty - the colors were muted a bit and the use of sunlight and shadows was pretty effective in the beginning of the film. They did a good job of creating a fairly realistic setting of a working class neighborhood in what was probably supposed to be Newark, NJ. Aesthetically, it worked very well. Photography was mostly on an intimate scale - focusing on the characters. There were very few grand vistas or scenic shots (and when there were they were at night). There didn't need to be.

Told from the perspective of a divorced father to represent an American "everyman" (Tom Cruise actually pulls this off), the story follows their escape out of the frying pan and into the fire. Cruise's character, Ray Ferrier, manages to steal a car the works (electromagnetic pulses short out most of them) and pursue a journey along secondary roads with his son and daughter, Robbie and Rachel, to Boston to meet up with their mother.

The underlying story focuses on Ray's having to deal with the complete responsibility of caring for his children - an experience he seems to painfully lack. When told by Rachel that she is allergic to peanut butter, Ray just snorts and says, "yeah, since when?" "Since birth" says Rachel, incredulously. The tension between Ray and Robbie comes to a head when they get into an argument that ends with the son saying what we all suspect in the back of our minds - that the only reason he is trying so hard to get to his ex-wife is so he can leave them with her and not have to worry about anyone but himself.

The development of Ray's growing re-attachment to his kids is poignant in a way. We see him struggle with keeping himself together as he manages to find the strength to keep his family safe. And we also see the lengths to which he is willing to go to protect them. There is the occasional plothole which most people won't notice but all-in-all the film is pretty well grounded. This attack on Earth is personal. These aliens destroy homes and stores and churches rather than iconic images like the White House. There are no big "Independence Day" type scenes of heroism, although at one point Ray's quick thinking with a belt full of grenades gives us a scene to cheer. But I don't recall any part that left me feeling, "yeah, right like that would really happen".

Be aware that this is a violent film. The aliens are massacring the population and it's not like the sanitized 1953 George Pal version where an energy beam hits a person and they freeze and fade out of the shot. People are blown apart and incinerated before our eyes. And there is one shot around the middle of the film of a landscape on the horizon covered in the crimson spray of human blood.

The design of the tripod ships seems to have come right from illustrations in the original H.G. Wells novel and they're very cool. The aliens themselves are seen very little but they make good use of them. They were really creepy looking and I should think they'd seem pretty scary to a young child.

The two hour running time flew by as there was plenty of action and the acting was very good. Tim Robbins plays a guy who gives temporary shelter to Ray and Rachel. He is hiding out from the attacks in his basement and is maniacally hell-bent on surviving the onslaught. I have to admit that the character did get annoying to the point where his fate was not an unwelcome one. I've read some reviews that call the movie's ending anticlimactic but it is true to the original story and frankly the only one that would be plausible. Mankind is simply not going to stop this attack with anything they've created. If you've read the book or seen the older movie, you know what I'm talking about.

In a nutshell, War of the Worlds will thrill you and maybe scare you a little. I would not bring a child under 10, however. It depends on the kid, but there are parts that may give them nightmares. Definitely worth the $9, this movie will do very well because the word of mouth should justify the hype.

(Note: this is a re-write of a more rambling version that I posted last night, when I was dead tired.)

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June 29, 2005

Teletubbies Magically Transform Into Humans!

Stars of the PBS children's show "Teletubbies" appeared outside of a Benetton clothing store to celebrate their recent transformation into people.

Pictured here are Dipsy, Tinky Winky, Po and La-La in their new human forms. The controversy over the deep-voiced Tinky Winky carrying a purse on the TV show should now be laid to rest as it is clear the he is in fact really a she.

When asked what their future plans were, the colorful quartet picked up a banner made by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and began protesting the treatment of sheep by the Australian wool industry.

In unison, they shouted out "Big Hug!"

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Just BUILD the damn thing already...

Bureaucrats in NYC are still squabbling over details of the 1,776 foot Freedom Tower that's supposed to go up on the former site of the WTC. It's been almost FOUR years. WTF?!?

Maybe one day my grandkids will see this thing.

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Growth UP, Inflation DOWN: Keep on chuggin'...

Jayson at Polipundit reports on the strong economic numbers being reported by the Commerce Department. And a little perspective:

The economy has posted the following (annualized) growth rates over the past two years:

3.8 - Q1 2005

3.8 - Q4 2004

4.0 - Q3 2004

3.3 - Q2 2004

4.5 - Q1 2004

4.2 - Q4 2003

7.4 - Q3 2003

4.1 - Q2 2003


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Ex-Donkey - "Kong...

...movie trailer is brilliant!"

And available online: here. Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. Go to KongIsKing.Net for more details and a frame-by-frame analyis.

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What is wrong with them?

Politicians these days, that is. That's the question Peggy Noonan asks in her column today. What sparked it was this week's issue of Time magazine in which Senator Barack Obama (IL) compares his "own struggles" with that of Abraham Lincoln. With a perfect jab of irony, Noonan writes:

Actually Lincoln's life is a lot like Mr. Obama's. Lincoln came from a lean-to in the backwoods. His mother died when he was 9. The Lincolns had no money, no standing. Lincoln educated himself, reading law on his own, working as a field hand, a store clerk and a raft hand on the Mississippi. He also split some rails. He entered politics, knew more defeat than victory, and went on to lead the nation through its greatest trauma, the Civil War, and past its greatest sin, slavery.

Barack Obama, the son of two University of Hawaii students, went to Columbia and Harvard Law after attending a private academy that taught the children of the Hawaiian royal family. He made his name in politics as an aggressive Chicago vote hustler in Bill Clinton's first campaign for the presidency.

You see the similarities.

I echo her question, what the hell is wrong with these egomaniacs?

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June 28, 2005

Excellent Speech...

I'll put this guy up against ANY Democrat President in the history of that party.
Political Teen has complete video.
Captain Ed has an excellent Live-Blogging Transcript

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Developer petitions NH municipality to seize Justice Souter's land...

HA HA - f-ing - HA!

This is great! Under the auspices of the recent Kelo v. New London decision, Freestar Media, LLC has applied to the town of Weare, NH to build a hotel on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David Souter. The firm cited the greater tax revenue to the town should they approve his application. Souter was one of the Justices who ruled against private property rights and now faces losing his own property.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

If this pans out, it would be just perfect.

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Zombie Dogs Walk The Earth...

No Joke! Scientists have reanimated dogs that were dead for several hours. According to the Australian News.com they have created - in effect - Zombie Dogs:

"Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.

The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity.

But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock.

Plans to test the technique on humans should be realised within a year, according to the Safar Centre."

OK, I'm officially freaked out.

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This is really starting to bug me...

Why has Poppy Bush practically adopted Bill Clinton like he's some kind of orphan?

Now he's taking Bubba out on his boat at Kennebunkport, for crissakes! It's like he's becoming the Tom Hagen of the Bush family.

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Liberals crowing over new Bush numbers...

The Left is absolutely giddy over the high "disapproval" rates for George W. Bush, which CNN/USAToday is reporting as the lowest of his Presidency.

It's all fine and dandy to be reveling in what appears to be the American public joining in their Bush-hatred, but they lose sight of important points.

  1. It's CNN/USAToday. 'Nuff said.
  2. The sample: "The poll results were based on interviews from Friday to Sunday with 1,009 American adults." Probably people who've never even voted before, but I'll leave the fisking of the methodology to guys like BullDogPundit.
  3. Bush isn't running for anything.
  4. Bush has never governed by poll numbers or popularity of issues.
  5. The one issue where Bush was ranked higher than 50% was the one in which Democrats simply can't compete: "handling terrorism"

Liberals don't understand that you don't win elections by default. You have to give people something to vote for. If these numbers embolden Democrats to maintain their current obstructionism, I say "go for it".

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The obtuse "chickenhawk" argument...

When they can't argue the facts, Liberals make it personal. Jay Tea at Wizbang explains.

But for just a moment let's run with the idea that the "chickenhawk" squawkers are putting forth. They toss their accusation at me. I am immediately mortified in shame. The very next morning, I race down to the recruiting station to volunteer. Once they look at me and my medical history, and once they finish laughing in my face, they formally send me away. I start encouraging others to enlist, and start getting called a hypocrite for trying to get others to do my dirty work for me. Finally, in shame, I go home and kill myself.

Just what has been achieved? I have been silenced, but have my points been answered? The Left raves all the time about "the suppression of dissent," but that is the very core notion behind this argument.

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June 27, 2005

No Free Boners for Grandpa?

The House has passed a provision eliminating "erectile disfunction" drugs from the Medicare drug provision due to launch in January.

Rep. Steven King (R-Iowa) -- a sponsor of the amendment -- said that without the prohibition Medicare would wind up providing “taxpayer-funded recreational sex drugs.” The ban includes Viagra and two similar drugs, Cialis and Levitra.

Some opponents argued that the drugs are important treatments for men who lose sexual functioning because of illnesses including diabetes and nerve damage. “It’s important that these drugs are available when they’re medically necessary,” said Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), who chairs the Ways and Means health subcommittee.

Define irony: A congresswoman named Johnson voting against legislation that prevents publicly-subsidized hard-ons.

And this woman is my representative (CT-5) to boot. Out of curiosity, when would you not consider it "medically necessary"? Nothing wrong with our seasoned citizens popping the blue pill so they can take ol' one-eye to the optometrist, but not on my dime thank you very much.

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Reagan tops Discovery Channel's "100 Greatest Americans"...

Of course, you have to take something like this with a grain of salt but when the Gipper is #1 and FDR is #10, that's got to drive Democrats out of their minds! (the ones who haven't already lost their minds, that is) Check out the Top 25.

Hat Tip to: The Corner

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George Allen in N.H.

H-Bomb at ABP was at an event for Allen this weekend and shares some thoughts.

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Dems, like General Motors, have hit the skids...

For a good economic analogy of the state of the two major U.S. political parties, read the new John Micklethwait and Adrian Woolridge column in the LA Times. (registration req'd).

The authors liken the Democrats to GM and the Republicans to Toyota. The Dems, like GM, were dominant from 1940 to 1968 until they got pummelled by competition from manufacturers like Toyota.

GM and the Democrats were rooted in the world of big capital and big labor, of long-term planning and predictable product cycles. The automaker could afford to guarantee its workers decent pay and benefits so long as there was limited competition. And the Democrats could take their political dominance for granted.

The same forces that are tearing apart GM are also discombobulating the Democrats. The increase in foreign competition from the '80s onward has made it impossible for companies to guarantee good jobs for life: GM is crippled by the huge cost of its healthcare benefits. Foreign competition has also put a premium on flexibility and innovation — skills that neither GM nor the Democratic Party have cultivated.

The rise of the "new model" Republican Party almost perfectly parallels the rise of Toyota. The GOP roared to prominence in the 1980s, suffered a slight setback as the Democrats retooled in the '90s, and now dominates the presidency and Congress. The Republicans have thrived for the same reason as Toyota - they have been better at producing new products and going after new customers.

GM's strategy is still devoted to hanging on to the base: churning out Cadillacs for the posh and Buicks for the upwardly mobile. Toyota, once known for small, cheap cars, now makes pickup trucks and Lexuses. And it is focusing on the Prius while GM is still betting on monster trucks.

And while Ken Mehlman is out growing the market and making inroads for the GOP in groups formally dominated by Democrats, the very "GM-like" Howard Dean is out preaching to the already converted.

Posted by: Gary at 10:03 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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