November 30, 2006
Where the Republican majority best resembled the Prussian Army - disciplined, unified and determined - the Democratic majority in the upcoming Congress is disunited, dispersed and divided into myriad caucuses and special interest groups. One could purchase the Republican majority wholesale by making a deal with the speaker and the majority leader. But to get the Democratic majority in line, one has to buy it retail -- caucus by caucus.For the sake of the country, I hope he's right. Apparently the "Blue Dogs" will be a particular force to be reckoned with. And as a block of 44 votes in the House, it'll be damn near impossible for Pelosi to push anything near and dear to the moonbat brigade. And this can only mean one thing: war between them and the nutroots.
First, one has to go to check with the Black Caucus -- hat in hand -- to see if one's bill has enough liberal giveaways to round up its forty or so votes. Thence to the Hispanic Caucus for a similar screening. Then, with one's legislation weighted down with liberal provisions added by these two groups, one has to sell it to the Democratic Leadership Council moderates and, even worse, to the Blue Dog Democrats -- the out and out conservatives.
If you are fortunate enough to pass these contradictory litmus tests, you then have to go to the environmentalists, the labor people, and even the gays to see that your bill passes muster. Only then can you begin to hope for House passage.
The result of this labyrinth is that the relatively moderate bill you first sought to pass ends up like a Christmas tree, laden with ornaments added to appease each of the caucuses. Unrecognizable in its final form, it heads to House passage.
Nancy Pelosi will face the same obstacle. By the time her legislation emerges from the lower chamber, it will bear little resemblance to what she had in mind, liberal as that might have been. As Clinton said, after he watched the mangling of his legislative program by the various caucuses in the House, "I didn't even recognize myself."
Once the highly amended liberal legislation emerges from the House, it will make easy fodder for a Senate filibuster. So left leaning that it stands no chance of attracting 60 votes, it will be dead-on-arrival.
Pass the popcorn!
A Different Christmas PoemGod bless them all.
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear, "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light.
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam', And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright, Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least, Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done, For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, "Just tell us you love us, and never forget To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.And it's not like they even had that many campaign promises. They basically ran on "vote for us, we're not them". In the coming weeks and months we should be finding out about more serious concerns - the pledges that they didn't campaign on but made to their special interest group supporters.
But with control of Congress now secured, Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation's intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers.
Because plans for implementing the commission's recommendations are still fluid, Democratic officials would not speak for the record. But aides on the House and Senate appropriations, armed services and intelligence committees confirmed this week that a reorganization of Congress would not be part of the package of homeland-security changes up for passage in the "first 100 hours" of the Democratic Congress.
Captain Ed puts it plainly:
People should take note of the reforms that the Democrats wish to pursue in this next session of Congress. They want to clear out the Republicans from the levers of power, but offered John Murtha for Majority Leader, along with his pork-barrel extortive politics and the legacy of Abscam. They promised a tough and competent effort on national security, but offered a disgraced and impeached former judge to run the Intelligence Committee. Democrats pledged to take immediate action on all of the Commission's recommendations, but they will balk at any meaningful reform that limits the power of their master appropriators, including Murtha himself.At least Pelosi and Co. can say they were for the recommendations before they were against them.
In other words, the Democrats plan on using Intelligence budgets the same way that both parties have used them in the past: as a means to perform favors for powerful friends. Those who believed they voted for change in the midterms might find themselves vindicated; it looks like Congress will change for the worse, and in record time at that.
November 29, 2006
If you've heard them all from their original source, there's no getting around it. You're OLD! And you watch too much television.
h/t: Eric The Viking
Clearly, from it's tone the letter in question is aimed in particular at the blame-America-first, appeasement-on-demand, Kos-ified, Bush-hating, hug-the-world-into-submission, Left-wing moonbats among the population.
However, as a citizen of the U.S., I'd like to respond.
Dear President Ahmadinejad,And God bless the United States of America.
Allow me to adapt a quote from a famous work of literature that comes from the Western culture that you now disingenuously "reach out" to yet publicly disdain at every opportunity:
"We will have peace...When you hang from a gibbet at your window for the sport of your own crows. This country will have peace with you and your Islamofascist regime."
Put more simply, suck my balls.
Love and Kisses,
Gary (the Ex-Donkey)
Not that he stood a chance in hell anyway. If he had decided to run, I'd say he needed to see a doctor - a psychiatrist.
November 28, 2006
Let the bloodletting begin.
"I have been informed by the speaker-elect that I will not serve as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the 110th Congress," he said. "I am obviously disappointed with this decision." Hastings won election to Congress in 1992, after having been impeached and removed from office as a federal judge. He concluded his statement by saying, "Sorry, haters, God is not finished with me yet."And the money shot to this fiasco:
"It's ugly," said one Pelosi aide. "It's just really, really bad."Heh.
What would we do without these studies?
Gee, do you really think so?
November 27, 2006
The questions: "If AZ Senator John McCain Earned The GOP Nomination in 2008, Would You Vote For Him?"
6.0% - Absolutely, He's My First Choice For The Nomination
16.0% - He's Not My First Choice, But I'd Vote For Him In The General Election
30.0% - I Wouldn't Be Thrilled About It, But I'd Hold My Nose And Pull The Lever
20.0% - Only If Hillary Was The Democrat Candidate
6.0% - I Would Consider Not Voting On Election Day
6.0% - I Would Definitely Stay Home On Election Day
16.0% - I Would Vote Democrat Rather Than See McCain Become President
Of the seven choices, I would aggregate the first three answers as "yes", the last three as "no" and the middle option stipulating only if Hillary were the Dem nominee as a qualified "neutral".
Now, four months ago I ran an identical poll. The results were:
14.2% - Absolutely, He's My First Choice For The Nomination
14.2% - He's Not My First Choice, But I'd Vote For Him In The General Election
35.0% - I Wouldn't Be Thrilled About It, But I'd Hold My Nose And Pull The Lever
18.3% - Only If Hillary Was The Democrat Candidate
5.0% - I Would Consider Not Voting On Election Day
0.0% - I Would Definitely Stay Home On Election Day
13.3% - I Would Vote Democrat Rather Than See McCain Become President
Aggregating the answers, McCain has gone from Yes - 63.4%, No - 18.3%, Neutral - 18.3% in July to Yes - 52.0%, No - 28.0%, Neutral - 20.0% as of this morning. Certainly there is nothing scientific about an internet poll on a blog but I'm operating under the assumption that most of the votes come from people who are Republicans and/or lean Conservative. That being the case, this represents a shift in "favorability" away from McCain among those who would be in a position to vote on the nomination in 2008. In particular, the percentage voting "definitely stay home" or "vote Democrat" aggregate moved from 13.3% to 22.0%.
Now, personally, I would have guessed that McCain would experience a slight increase in the favorability in light of the prospect of a Shrillary Presidency with Dems in control of Congress. Eh, what do I know? It's still two years away and the field is wide-open. Expect at least a dozen or so candidates to throw their hats in. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time.
November 26, 2006
McCain, it turns out, wants to restore your faith in the U.S. government by any means necessary, even if that requires thousands of more military deaths, national service for civilians and federal micromanaging of innumerable private transactions. He'll kick down the doors of boardroom and bedroom, mixing Democrats' nanny-state regulations with the GOP's red-meat paternalism in a dangerous brew of government activism. And he's trying to accomplish this, in part, for reasons of self-realization.Remember how the folks in the MSM liked to gush over this "independent-minded" fellow who's not afraid to break with his party? That old routine seems to have become played out. To read Kevin Drum's response, you'd think McCain is now all of a sudden the country's worst nightmare.
This doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves, but despite his soothing speaking style McCain may literally be in the 99% percentile of hawkishness. That is, he may be more hawkish than every single one of his fellow senators. Some "centrist."It's as if Drum has suddenly decided that McCain is no longer that political rock star who rode the "Straight Talk Express" six years ago and is giving us a "hey, wait a minute" analysis. But then, this shouldn't really come as any surprise. Now that the exploratory campaign has officially launched, the Senator's duplicitous "friends" in the media are going to spend the next two years giving him more than "moderately bad press" - with an eye toward crippling his candidacy.
McCain has been the focus of some moderately bad press lately because of his notable lack of straight talk ever since he got serious about running for president in 2008: pandering to Jerry Falwell, switching his views on Roe v. Wade, caving in on the torture bill, and abandoning his long-held views on campaign finance reform. And that's all well and good. He deserves to get beaten up for this stuff the same as ordinary mortals do.
There are things about John McCain that I like. And there are things that I don't particularly like. But the Senator from Arizona has been used by the MSM as a foil for President Bush ever since the 2000 election. Unfortunately for him, McCain was only too happy to accept their disingenuous praise. Now he'll have to deal with their scorn. Because, frankly, he looks like the one candidate that could handily close the door on Her Shrillness' Presidential hopes.
And the MSM can't have that, now, can they?
November 24, 2006
How do ya like them apples?
And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:
Acclaimed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola breathes new life into his beloved 1983 coming-of-age tale based on the novel by S.E. Hinton. This restored version features 22 minutes of previously unreleased footage, including a new beginning and ending; a new soundtrack (with tunes from Elvis and Van Morrison); director commentary; and remarks from cast members Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and Diane Lane.
Gary's take: A red-haired Diane Lane is the sweet spot that shines in what is otherwise basically a sausage convention of teen heartthrobs. An old 80's favorite that's worth another look for the extra footage put back into the film. And of course, Diane Lane in that fuzzy sweater. Whoo-Hoo!
November 23, 2006
Best wishes to you and yours. The author is busy eating, drinking and watching football. There will probably be no other posting to...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
November 22, 2006
The Elephant In The Room
November 23, 2005
Or "Being Surrounded By Donkeys On Thanksgiving".
Many of us who are Conservatives and/or Republicans and live in "Blue States" will be going to visit relatives tomorrow. And many of us will come into contact with relatives who are Liberals and/or Democrats openly hostile to President Bush, the war or the GOP in general. more...
November 21, 2006
This is from a Dutch carpenter whose work is on display in an art gallery in Germany.
Cabinet maker Mario Philippona designed a range of stylish wooden cupboards, wardrobes and tables using the female anatomy as his inspiration.I can hear dear old Uncle Gus as he passes the cranberry sauce, "Just look at them sweet potaters! Haw, Haw, Haw!"
His newest piece is a fruit bowl decorated with realistically shaped life-size wooden breasts called 'TittyFruity'.
Other pieces include a wine-glass cupboard in the shape of a pair of large breasts, a table supported by legs moulded from a female model and a bedside drawer which opens by pressing a button in the piece's 'vagina'.
Philippona said: "The shape of a woman, her organic architecture, combined with my passion for wood inspired me to sculpt these sexy designs."
At least it gives us guys a little reminder of what to be thankful for. :-)
OK, it's a slow news week...
November 20, 2006
"Heh. You got Hufflepuff, pootie-poot! Only two kinds of wizards in Hufflepuff, steers and queers. I don't see any horns on you, hoss..."
Yeah, sometimes you're the cute little Cape Fur seal, sometimes you're the giant razor-toothed man-eating Great White shark.
November 18, 2006
OK, admit it. You were all thinking it, weren't you? Now it's been said, and by a Liberal no less. I hope this sticks.
And if it does stick, I'm stealing it!
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