June 22, 2005

Hillary's Mind...

There's been a lot of arguing back and forth among those on the right about this new Hillary book by Ed Klein. I heard an interview with the author on Hannity's radio show last night and the big point he was trying to get across was that this wasn't a "character assassination" book on the former first lady but rather a "character analysis" - something critical when assessing a Presidential candidate's fitness for office.

Tony Blankley has read the book and concurs with Klein's assertion. Rather than being a salacious scandal book, "The Truth About Hillary" is - in Blankley's estimation - "a serious political and psychological biography of the most likely next Democratic nominee for president — and thus, quite plausibly I fear, the next president of the United States".

The portrait Klein presents is one that rivals Nixon in cold political calculation. He gives an example of an encounter with supporters who raised money and campaign for her in New York over a child care bill that was being proposed in the Senate.

When they asked her why she was not supporting it, Sen. Clinton explained: "It's not going to fly. I'm not going to spend my political capital on something that is doomed before it starts." The women responded: "We want you to spend your capital whether you win or not. If it was Ted Kennedy, he'd stand on what he believes." Hillary bristled at the invidious comparison between her and Ted Kennedy. "If you don't understand my position, there is nothing more to say. I have other people waiting. Good bye." And with that, she strode out of the room in a huff." The women understood quite well: "She will do anything to get to the White House, including dropping child care."
This story reflects what many of us who are wary of Hillary are most concerned about. It's not personal and it's not so much a Liberal v. Conservative thing. Hillary Clinton is not your standard garden variety Liberal who is seeking office to try and advance a pet agenda. Quite simply, she is a cold, ruthless politician obsessed with power for its own sake. For that reason, Blankley asserts, the book is worth the time of any voter interested in getting inside the mind of Hillary.

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June 21, 2005

Politics linked to genes?

Leave it the NY Times to try find a genetic cause for a person's political views. In an article in today's edition, the paper reports on a study by The American Political Science Review that suggests a person's politics could be biological. Huh?

It is not that opinions on specific issues are written into a person's DNA. Rather, genes prime people to respond cautiously or openly to the mores of a social group.

Only recently have researchers begun to examine how these predispositions, in combination with childhood and later life experiences, shape political behavior.

It gets stranger. The study suggests that the explanation for people switching away from the political parties of their birth families.

A mismatch between an inherited social orientation and a given party may also explain why some people defect from a party. Many people who are genetically conservative may be brought up as Democrats, and some who are genetically more progressive may be raised as Republicans, the researchers say.

So wait a minute, if genetics plays a role then how does a person get "mismatched" within their birth family? Wouldn't the parents be genetically similar to the child? Sounds like a lot of crap to me. Based on my experience, a person can have a number of influences as they mature that will help form their political views.

One of the author's of the study even suggests that this concept probably applies to Sen. Zell Miller. I agree with Miller's response:

Reached by telephone, Mr. Miller said he did not see it quite that way. He said that his views had not changed much since his days as a marine, but that the Democratic Party had moved.

"And I'm not talking about inch by inch, like a glacier," said Mr. Miller, who makes the case in a new book, "A Deficit of Decency." "I'm saying the thing got up and flew away."

And for the record I haven't noticed too many conservatives - or anyone for that matter - leaving the Republican party to become a Democrat. If they're out there, they must be an endangered species.

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Susan Estrich: In Defense of Fox News...


I remember Susan Estrich as the outspoken campaign manager for Michael Dukakis back in 1988. In recent years she has appeared as a Liberal commentator on Fox News Channel (although unlike CNN and MSNBC, Fox doesn't formally assign ideological labels to its commentators). The Liberals in the press corp recently lost their minds over a Neil Cavuto interview with the President and a pointed question by correspondent Brian Wilson to DNC Chair Howard Dean, screaming "bias!"

Of course this just the kind of knee-jerk response you can expect from knee-jerk Liberals. But Estrich's Liberal and feminist positions don't cloud her ability to call 'em like she sees 'em. And in a column in the Christian Science Monitor, she comes to Fox News' defense.

The criticisms have gotten personal, the tone has changed, the volume is up, and the value is down. Neil Cavuto? Brian Wilson? Under attack by a Washington press corps for not probing enough on Iraq (Cavuto) and being too tough on Howard Dean (Wilson)? Give me a break.

Mr. Cavuto, a Fox News anchor, sat down to do an interview with George Bush last week on his business show. He didn't discuss Iraq. Cavuto doesn't cover Iraq. As far as I know, he had nothing new to ask him, nothing new to add, and no important new question to pose. In fact, the president had nothing new to say on the topic. There was no news to be made on Iraq. So Cavuto didn't use the opportunity either to beat up on the president or to let him say something we'd heard a hundred times. Instead, he asked him questions he didn't know the answer to, where he might get an answer he hadn't already heard.

And as for the Dean situation, Wilson was simply probing DNC Chairman about his recent comments that he "hated" Republicans, who he thought were basically nothing more than a bunch of "white Christians" who've "never done an honest day's work in their lives":

This is precisely what congressional leaders and Dean agreed Dean wouldn't do when he became party chair. He was supposed to leave the message to them. Because Dean hadn't done so and had been criticized for it by two possible presidential candidates - neither of whom is even a conservative - Sen. Harry Reid was trying to put a perennial good face on a bad situation, while Brian Wilson was trying to puncture it.

And that's what the press is supposed to do.

It's amusing, when Fox News was the new kid on the block, how CNN and other networks dismissed it and now that more people watch Fox than any other news outlet on television, these same folks are attacking Roger Ailes as the devil incarnate. Funny that a Liberal who actually knows him and works for him describes her respect for the man as "having nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with integrity."

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Deranged Moonbat: R.I.P.

Michelle Malkin linked to this obituary that blames Bush for causing the untimely passing of the deceased:
"Alas the stolen election of 2000 and living with right-winged Americans finally brought him to his early demise. Stress from living in this unjust country brought about several heart attacks rendering him disabled."
How sad to die still wrapped up in this kind of bitterness.

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Michael Shiavo's final "FU" to the Schindler family...

Here's how the grave marker reads for the cremated remains of Terri Shiavo:

SCHIAVO

Theresa Marie
Beloved Wife
Born December 3, 1963
Departed this earth February 25, 1990
At peace March 31, 2005

I Kept My Promise

Nice.

It's bad enough he had her cremated, which as a Catholic it is extremely unlikely that this would have been her wish.

It's bad enough that, rather than allow her remains to be interred at the Schindler family plot in Pennsylvania which he originally agreed to, he keeps her ashes in Florida.

But despite all the heartache the Schindler family has had to endure and despite them having to watch their daughter die of dehydration over 13 days, Michael Shiavo just couldn't show a little compassion and simply let it be. He had to forever etch into a monument words that would bring pain to her father, mother and brother for the rest of their lives.

What a dickhole.

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Hillary buoyed by recent poll...

Dick Morris writes in the NY Post about the NY Senator's recent rise in popularity and how Democrats are already starting to coalesce around her expected 2008 Presidential run. But he ends with a caveat:

"However, all is not rosy on the Clinton horizon. The Ed Klein book — with its alleged revelations of Bill's current philandering — puts Hillary in a tough spot. Of course, his lack of fidelity does not bear on her qualifications to be a good president, but with the charges in the political ether, she has to deal with them. If she pretends not to notice, she looks like a fool at best and a conniving politician who values power more than having a good marriage at worst.

But if she moves away from Bill in public, she loses the stardust he sprinkles on her. The prospect of seeing him return to the White House is clearly a key part of Hillary's current popularity; she dares not put that in jeopardy."

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Smile if you're a Conservative...

Hey there Mr. Grumpy-Gills, don't be so glum! While it might seem from the narrow view that Conservatism seems to have hit the skids - social security reform, filibuster games, insurgents in Iraq still raising their ugly heads - when you look at the big picture optimism should be the flavor of the day. And Conservatism is winning. A quick read through the latest WSJ column penned by the British authors of "The Right Nation", John Micklethwait and Adrian Woolridge, provides some much needed perspective.

Messrs Micklethwait and Woolridge pose the questions "What direction is America moving in?" and "How does the U.S. compare with the rest of the world?". First, look at the last election.

The Republicans have by far the most powerful political machine in the country. Last November, the Democrats threw everything they had at George Bush, from the pent-up fury of a "stolen election" to the millions of George Soros. Liberals outspent and out-ranted conservatives, and pushed up Democratic turnout by 12%.

But the Republicans increased their turnout by a fifth. Crucially, George Bush won as a conservative: He did not "triangulate" or hide behind a fuzzy "Morning in America" message. Against the background of an unpopular war and an arguably dodgy economy, he positioned himself to the right, betting that conservative America was bigger than liberal America. And it was: The exit polls showed both Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry won 85% of their base, but self-described "conservatives" accounted for nearly a third of the electorate while liberals were only a fifth. Mr. Bush could afford to lose "moderates" to Mr. Kerry by nine points--and still end up with 51% of the vote, more than any Democrat has got since 1964.

As for the Bush agenda seeming to be constantly thwarted by the so-called "moderate" mavericks in the party, let's remember that such give and take is a testament to the strength of the Republican coalition.

But is this loss of steam really all that remarkable? All second-term presidents face restlessness in the ranks. And the noise is arguably a sign of strength. The Democrats would give a lot to have a big-tent party as capacious as the Republicans'. One of the reasons the GOP manages to contain Southern theocrats as well as Western libertarians is that it encourages arguments rather than suppressing them. Go to a meeting of young conservatives in Washington and the atmosphere crackles with ideas, much as it did in London in the heyday of the Thatcher revolution. The Democrats barely know what a debate is.
And look at the role-reversal done by America's two major political parties over the last forty years. Having grown up in the death-throws of Liberalism, I don't remember its heydey (I was in diapers when LBJ announced "I will not seek, nor will I accept my party's nomination...) but I can imagine lonely Conservatives watching Ronald Reagan's famous "rendezvous with destiny" speech endorsing Goldwater in 1964. As the reporters from "The Economist" point out:

Indeed, the left has reached the same level of fury that the right reached in the 1960s--but with none of the intellectual inventiveness. On everything from Social Security to foreign policy to economic policy, it is reduced merely to opposing conservative ideas. This strategy may have punctured the Bush reforms on Social Security, but it has also bared a deeper weakness for the left. In the 1960s, the conservative movement coalesced around several simple propositions--lower taxes, more religion, an America-first foreign policy--that eventually revolutionized politics. The modern left is split on all these issues, between New Democrats and back-to-basics liberals.

Micklethwait and Woolridge are from Britain and they don't have a dog in this fight. So you can view their analysis as a bit more objective than one from someone just preaching to the choir. Their book, BTW, is just out in paperback and gives a fair analysis of the rise of Conservatism since the 1950's. Having read it a while back, I can definitely recommend it.

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June 20, 2005

Oh, Balls....

The Bolton vote failed to break the filibuster...with 8 Senate a-holes not voting!

You can thank Joseph "I want to be President but it'll never happen" Biden and my Senator - Christopher J(ackass). Dodd, who is a complete partisan hack. His father was a crook, and he's big fat loser and a cheerleader for commie dictators with zero integrity.

Soon as the 4th of July comes around, Bush should just make a recess appointment for crissake. They want to pull that crap? We can play too.

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Brain scan can tell when ladies are faking...

Meg Ryan may have given a convincing performance at that coffee shop in "When Harry Met Sally" but what if she had been hooked up to a brain scanner? Well, according to some researchers in Copenhagen (why are do these studies always seem to take place in Denmark?), when women actually have an orgasm the parts of the brain that involve fear and emotion were "deactivated" whereas when women do their darndest to fake one there is no change in brain activity.

"It means that if you are fearful or at a very high level of anxiety, then it is very difficult to have sex because you really have to let yourself go," he added.

The brain scans for men during orgasm were less conclusive, according to Holstege.

I would expect that further research will show that in males most brain activity shuts down well in advance of orgasm.

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Cedar Revolution continues: Anti-Syrian Coalition wins Lebanese elections...

Lebanese political parties who have joined forces to oppose its nation's pro-Syrian elements won a solid victory that will lead to their control of the next Lebanese Parliament:

Opponents of Syrian domination claimed a stunning majority victory in the final round of Lebanon's parliamentary elections on Sunday night in a rebellion touched off by the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri four months ago.

An anti-Syrian alliance that tried to bridge religious lines and was led by Mr. Hariri's son, 35-year-old Saad Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, won at least 21 of 28 contested seats in northern Lebanon, the last polling area in the elections that have been staggered over the past four weekends. That gave the alliance a majority in the next 128-seat Parliament.

Now can we please get some more pictures of Lebanese protester babes celebrating?

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Real Tax Cuts Have Curves...

Once again, those who laughed at the "laffer curve" aren't laughing now. Stephen Moore of Club For Growth lays out the numbers in this WSJ column.
Earlier this month the Congressional Budget Office released its latest report on tax revenue collections. The numbers are an eye-popping vindication of the Laffer Curve and the Bush tax cut's real economic value. Federal tax revenues surged in the first eight months of this fiscal year by $187 billion. This represents a 15.4% rise in federal tax receipts over 2004. Individual and corporate income tax receipts have exploded like a cap let off a geyser, up 30% in the two years since the tax cut. Once again, tax rate cuts have created a virtuous chain reaction of higher economic growth, more jobs, higher corporate profits, and finally more tax receipts.
It's a concept that Liberals just can't get their heads around (or refuse to): lower tax rates = higher tax revenues. Even JFK understood. When you stop penalizing success, individuals and businesses prosper and the money comes rolling in.

Hat Tip to Jayson at Polipundit

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June 19, 2005

Mark Steyn Dresses Down the "Dick"...

From his column today:
This isn't a Republican vs Democrat thing; it's about senior Democrats who are so over-invested in their hatred of a passing administration that they've signed on to the nuttiest slurs of the lunatic fringe. It would be heartening to think that Durbin will himself now be subjected to some serious torture. Not real torture, of course; I don't mean using Pol Pot techniques and playing the Celine Dion Christmas album really loud to him. But he should at least be made a little uncomfortable over what he's done -- in a time of war, make an inflammatory libel against his country's military that has no value whatsoever except to America's enemies. Shame on him, and shame on those fellow senators and Democrats who by their refusal to condemn him endorse his slander.
Once again, can we hear from Mr. Penn (click link)?

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June 18, 2005

Diane Lane Photo of the Week...

Show 'em if ya got 'em!

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What my birthday means...


Your Birthdate: May 18

Your birthday on the 18th day of the month suggests than you are one who can work well with a group, but still remain someone who needs to maintain individual identity.

There is a humanistic or philanthropic approach to business circumstances in which you find yourself.

You may have good executive abilities, as you are very much the organizer and administrator.

You are broad-minded, tolerant and generous; a compassionate person that can inspire others with imaginative ideas.

Some of your feelings may be expressed, but even more of them are apt to be repressed.

There is a lot of drama in your personality and in the way you express yourself to others.

Oddly enough, you don't expect as much in return as you give.


"Some of your feelings may be expressed, but even more of them are apt to be repressed." Hmmm. Sounds like a blogger to me.

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June 17, 2005

"Farewell and Adieu to you fair Spanish ladies"...

Just watched "Jaws" again for the 167th time and it keeps gettin' better EVERY time I see it. I love so many things about this movie. The subtle tension of the unseen danger, the periodic comic relief, the wide shots of the scenic ocean vistas (which you only get with the wide-screen edition), the human drama of man versus nature...

It's fantastic film making. And there are so many little things you notice after so many viewings. The fear of a mother for her child - "Michael, did you hear your father? Out of the water, now! Now!

Hooper's face when he hears that Quint's removed tattoo is the "USS Indianapolis". "You were on the Indianapolis?"

Quint's look of incredulity when the shark goes under with three barrels. "You ever have one do this before?".

I smiled to myself when it became obvious that even Mrs. Gandalf really wanted to watch the whole movie but was so desperately tired because of the kids that she had to go to bed.

There are a handful of films that defined this generation. Among them is "Jaws" which made us terrified to swim in even fresh water and reminded us that there are forces of nature that we just cannot control. Bravo, Mr. Spielberg!

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And then it got really weird...

Dana Milbank of the WaPo writes about some of your elected Democrat officials who gathered together recently for a mock impeachment hearing focusing on the Iraq war.

John Hawkins has a good post chronicling this latest surreal illustration of moonbattery.

The Democrats haven't just gone "round the bend," they've gone round the bend, down the street, and off to fairy land, where the moonbats dance and play in the dappled moonlight while everyone dances around in the their pretty tinfoil hats.

It starts with the Democratic equivalent of a little girl's tea party with her imaginary friends, a mock impeachment hearing for Bush. Now, you'd think that no one but the "Michael Moore crowd" would attend something that ridiculous and you'd be right. But unfortunately, the "Michael Moore crowd" now includes plenty of Democratic Congressmen and Senators.

Using the now infamous "Downing Street" memo, the Dems assembled for what amounted to a dress-up game of "let's pretend" for the cameras of C-SPAN. This is about as strange as it gets. It's scary to think that these guys were once in control - and that they want it back. As Hawkins observes:
Hunter Thompson once said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Well if you paraphrased that to say: "When the going gets weird, the pros turn weird," you'd have a pretty good description of John Conyers, James Moran, and a lot of other heavies in the Democratic Party. Maybe someone in the Democratic Party will start calling a "weirdo" a "weirdo," and it will help pull these Democrats back to reality.
Yikes!

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Bolton vote in Senate set for Monday...

Sen. Bill Frist says he will schedule an up-or-down vote in the full Senate on Monday in an attempts to break the Democrats filibuster efforts, reports the Washington Times.

Hee-yah. Right. Where've I heard that one before? I'll believe it when I see it.

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More on the Dick from Illinois...

Durbin, that is.

John Podhoretz in the NY Post:

Dick Durbin has slandered the American military. He has slandered his country. He has defiled truth and he has spat on reason. He has given aid and comfort to all those who seek to use America's tough stance in the War on Terror as a recruiting tool for anti-Americanism.

He is the Senate's Democratic whip: a leader of his party by any stretch of the imagination. If he remains a leader of his party, his party deserves to be judged by his words — by his anti-military, anti-American words.

And Lorie Byrd has some choice words:


I canÂ’t help but wonder how many quotes of U.S. Senators will make their way into the defense arguments in the upcoming trial of Saddam Hussein. What could be a better argument? He can say that even many American elected officials argue that his actions were no worse than those perpetrated by the Bush administration in Iraq.
From Jay Redding:
The Democrats would rather have us be “liked” by the people who have committed to murdering us by the score rather than fighting our enemies. Democrats scream bloody murder when someone questions their patriotism. Too damn bad — Durbin’s statement was exceptionally unpatriotic and outright stupid.
and, once again, Sean Penn (click to hear)

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Three Reasons To Frequent "Rocketboom"...

1) It's entertaining,

2) Amanda Congdon is so damn cute,

and

3) Every once in a while you'll see something so freakin' bizarre - like this - that you have to share.

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PETA under the microscope...


Hyprocrisy alert here. Apparently, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is under fire for - get this - animal cruelty charges.

Two Hampton Roads employees of Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have been charged in Ahoskie, N.C., with animal cruelty after dumping dead dogs and cats in a shopping center garbage bin, police said Thursday...

...Police found 18 dead animals in the trash bin and 13 more in a van registered to PETA. The animals were from animal shelters in Northampton and Bertie counties in North Carolina, police said. The two were picking up animals to be brought back to PETA headquarters for euthanization, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said Thursday.

Neither police nor PETA offered any theory on why the animals might have been dumped.

Local officials and veterinarians said they were told that PETA would find homes for the animals, not euthanize them. PETA has scheduled a news conference for Friday afternoon to discuss the charges.

Huh? That's right. According to the website www.petakillsanimals.com, the organization has "euthanized" thousands of dogs, cats and other "companion" animals under the pretense that homes would be found for them.

And this website has documented proof. Check it out for yourself.

So looks like PETA has too much money tied up in stupid advertising campaigns, intimidating businesses and defending violent extremists to pay for the care and feeding of animals that other people once loved like family members. Nice. As the webite observes:

PETA claims it engages in outrageous media-seeking stunts "for the animals." But which animals? Carping about the value of future two-piece dinners while administering lethal injections to puppies and kittens isn't ethical. It's hypocritical -- with a death toll that PETA would protest if it weren't their own doing.
Tofu-eating douche bags!

Hat Tip (once again) to The Corner

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