November 18, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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The Perfect Storm (2000)

Synopsis:
Veteran fisherman Billy Tyne (George Clooney) has had a run of disappointing catches and is determined to change his luck by going beyond the normal reach of New England fishing boats to the remote Flemish Cap. Once out at sea, he hears about a huge storm building up, but is convinced he can beat it back to Gloucester, taking an enormous catch with him. If he doesn't try, his crew will come away empty-handed on this last trip of the season.

Gary's take: Honestly, if you had this honey waiting for you back on dry land would you really get on this boat of doom? Screw that! Time for a new job. Any woman who looks like Diane Lane and is willing to put up with a guy who smells like fish all the time is a keeper. An exciting film, but I can't get over the depressing ending (which was already so popularized by the novel that everyone knows going into it). Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly are the stand-outs in the cast though even Clooney does well enough in this one that you forget what an asshole he is.

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November 17, 2006

BSG Geeks Demand Better Episodes

Actually, I didn't have a problem with last week's show they way so many others seemed to. It seems ever since the new season premiered with the whole New Caprica/Iraqtica controversy a lot of fans are getting paranoid that Ronald D. Moore and Co. are taking a turn to the Left in their storylines. I disagree.

The writers are bringing controversial issues into the show (i.e. arguments for and against a Cylon genocide in "A Measure Of Salvation"). But when have they not? I don't see these as Liberal versus Conservative arguments at all. They're issues relating to humanity. And they're designed (IMO) to simply make you think as well as entertain.

Remember when Luke Skywalker asked Yoda what was in the "haunted" tree on Dagobah? Yoda answered, "Only what you take with you." I think Liberals and Conservatives alike would enjoy the show more if they put some of their preconceived ideas aside for one hour. Anyway, it works for me. If you have iTunes, I highly recommend downloading the podcasts and listen to Moore's commentary as he sucks back double-malt scotch.

Enjoy tonight's show:

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"Hero"
9pm on Sci-Fi

UPDATE:
Not too shabby. In two weeks: Lee and Kara take out some pent-up sexual energy in the boxing ring. Snootchie-bootchie!

UPDATE DEUX:
Quote from RDM's commentary from last week (on the topic of genocide):
"It's not about giving the answers, it's about asking the questions."
The scene with the debate over Cylon genocide reflected an actual debate among the writers. Some of the writers were like "well, why wouldn't they release this virus? Duh!" Others raised the question, "well are they really people? Are they beings? Would it actually be genocide?"

Me: Those who feel strongly about a culture of life should think about it. Humans gave life to the Cylons. Are they life? They're machines but they're partially organic. They possess living cells, but do they qualify as sentient beings? Could they possibly have souls? It blows the mind, really. Something to ponder. For what it's worth...

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Star Wars Geeks Demand Recognition From UN

Apparently, "Jedi" is the fourth largest religion in the UK.

OK, did I just write that? The fourth freaking largest religion in the United Kingdom!!!! Are you kidding me? No, I guess they're not.

‘We therefore are calling upon the United Nations Association to change November 16 to the UN Interstellar Day of Tolerance, to reflect the religious make-up of our twenty-first century civilisation.

‘Tolerance is about respecting difference where ever it lies, including other galaxies. Please don't exclude us from your important work. May the Force be with you.’

In the 2001 UK Census 390,000 people listed their religion as Jedi Knight making it the fourth biggest belief in the country.

There are also an estimated 70,000 Jedi knights in Australia, 53,000 in New Zealand and 20,000 in Canada.

WTF? They want to insert the word "interstellar" into the already utopian designation of "UN Day of Tolerance". This is political correctness at its most outrageous.

Look, I'll spot them the religion angle, but by what rationale do they come up with "interstellar". They're from THIS planet. Living in your parents' basement doesn't qualify as interstellar no matter how you have it decorated. The Star Wars Universe is not real. There are no Wookies, no Twi'leks, no Bothans, no Jawas...

Well, OK there are Jawas. Sorry 'bout that, Rusty.

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Updating The "McCain Watch" Poll

Now that the dust has settled (mostly) on Election 2006, what better time to trot out the "How Do You Feel About McCain?" poll - now in the sidebar to the left. Regular readers know how I feel about the AZ Senator and I have no reason to advocate any one particular answer. I'm just curious.

With the GOP turned out of power in Congress and the exit polls all pointing to the influence of the "middle" (however you define that) it will be interesting to note any changes from the last poll.

Are Republicans who were previously down on McCain giving him a second look in the wake of last week's results? Have more people moved away from him? It's your chance to weigh in. I'll leave it open until the 27th and then I'll compare the results.

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November 16, 2006

Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrive!

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Wine - the second best thing to come out of France.

It's the third Thursday of November so that means the Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived in your local wine shop.

"Huh?", you ask.

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Basically, wine produced in the region of Beaujolais in France this past harvest has been fermented, bottled and shipped all over the world for release today. Beaujolais is a light-bodied, red wine produced by a grape called Gamay Noir (a clone of the more famous Pinot Noir). The whole process from grape-picking to wine-shipping took less than three months, not your standard procedure for wine production. But this particular process has become an annual event celebrated around the world. OK, basically it's just an excuse to party.

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I got my first bottle earlier today and I can't think of a better way to celebrate the fact that I've finally caught up with all five seasons of "24" effective tonight. I just watched the final episode of season five on A&E, and I can't wait for January. I also can't wait to surf over to "Blogs4Bauer" now that I'm finally immune to spoilers!

Oh, and the gratuitous Melissa Theuriau photo has more relevance than the simple fact that she's French. Melissa's first job was picking Gamay grapes in Beaujolais. Sweet. :-)

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Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Brilliant, brilliant man. Nobel prize winner for economics in 1976. Wonder why tax cuts spurred such strong economic growth in the 1960's, 1980's and the last three years? Friedman knew. Economics is like a natural science in that it follows natural laws; laws of human nature rather than mother nature. When you try to artificially change these natural laws you get...as you do in science...disasterous unintended consequences. Friedman understood this well.

I highly recommend his excellent work, "Free To Choose".

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He was 94. And he will be missed. R.I.P., Uncle Milton.

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No Murtha

"Tin-foil hat" Jack rejected 149-86 by Dem House Caucus.

Nancy's first defeat, leaving a festering open wound for the new majority.

Heh.

UPDATE:
When a Liberal Democrat loses the NY Times Editorial Board, that says a lot.

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The Left's Iraq Obsession

Having watched the House Majority Leader race over the last couple of days, I've come to one definite conclusion about the Left: unless every single soldier is withdrawn from Iraqi soil by the time George W. Bush leaves office they will not consider this last election a success.

Forget about Nancy Pelosi's other agenda items, it's Iraq or nothing. This is why even a bumbling, ethically-challenged doofus like Jack Murtha has so much support among the nutroots. It's his one big issue: Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. Nothing else matters. Get us out and get us out now. With no consideration of the consequences.

Why? It's the BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome). The moonbats know that impeachment isn't a realistic option. They know that the President will leave office in January, 2009 - right on schedule. That's two complete terms. They're only hope in satisfying their Bush hatred is to force the U.S. to completely withdraw before that fateful day so they can "tarnish" his legacy. Forget about leaving the Iraqi people in the lurch. Forget about letting a fledgling democracy turn into a new terrorist state. Forget about the sacrifices our brave men and women in uniform have made over the last three plus years. To them, their lives are unimportant anyway.

We must fail. Which means Bush fails. And if Bush fails, these ass-clowns can finally get their jollies and a feeling of self-worth, like they made a difference. This is as close to "bringing down" a President that they despise as they can get. And revenge against Joe Lieberman would be the icing on the cake. It's all they can think about.

It's not about governing. Even their most cherished "progressive" ideas will take a backseat to this all-encompassing obsession if they get their way.

It's really breath-taking when you think about it, to be so consumed with this bitter bile that everything else can go by the wayside.

Ugh. What a pathetic way to be.

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November 15, 2006

Election 2008 Has Already Begun

...and I'm already sick of it.

McCain Exploratory Committee will file with FEC tomorrow.

Note: Keep hitting "refresh" and you get new pictures. Sigh.

h/t: The Corner

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Carville: Dump Dean!

More sideshow antics. James Carville, the Democrat strategist behind Bill Clinton's plurality victory in the 1992 Presidential race, is down on Dr. Howard Dean as DNC chief.

Carville said the other Democratic campaign committees had borrowed to the hilt.

He said he tried to meet with Dean to argue for additional spending for Democrats in the final days of the campaign, but Dean declined and gave no reason why.

Asked by a reporter whether Dean should be dumped, Carville replied, “In a word, do I think? Yes.”

He added, “I think he should be held accountable.” He added, “I would describe his leadership as Rumsfeldian in its competence.”

Carville likened the Democratic takeover of Congress to the civil war battle at Gettysburg, which the Union army won but failed to pursue the Confederate army when it retreated.

“We should have chased them down,” Carville said. There was no immediate response from Dean or the DNC.

Oh, I can't wait to hear Dean's response, assuming he's man enough to respond at all.

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You want a piece of me, you Birkenstock-wearin' Lefty punk?!?

C'mon you nutroots folks! Don't you think it's about time you rode Carville out of town on a rail? I mean, comparing Howard Dean to Union General George G. Meade? That's an insult!

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Just...Stoopid

By one vote, Trent Lott is the new GOP Minority Whip.

Look, as far as I'm concerned, Lott's punishment of stepping down as Majority Leader because of a casual (and badly worded) remark he made honoring a 100-year old man was waaaay out of proportion to the offense and something he heartily apologized for (probably about fifteen times more than was necessary). Especially galling were the attacks aimed at Lott from the party of Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd (KKK-WV).

But Trent Lott is the kind of pork enthusiast who is probably the last choice the Republicans should have made for Whip. Most unwise, IMO.

Dems will have a good yuck over this one. And there's no reason they shouldn't. Maybe it'll take their minds off their own problems. And I have nothing else to add, anyway.

UPDATE:
Paul Mirengoff at Powerline finds a pony.

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C'mere Ya Big Lug

Senate Dems were being just super-nice to Lieberman yesterday.

“It was all very warm, lots of hugs, high-fives, that kind of stuff,” said Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon marveled, “One senator after another kept coming up and shaking his hand.”

And Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas noted, “I gave him a hug and a kiss.”

Mr. Lieberman received a standing ovation at a caucus luncheon after Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who is poised to become the majority leader, declared, “We’re all family.”

I heard that Chuckie Schumer kept asking Joe if he could get him some coffee, light and sweet.

Man, if I were in the nutroots I'd be pretty pissed right about now.

Mr. Lieberman was asked Tuesday if he viewed his position as similar to a swing vote on the Supreme Court, a role often played by former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor or Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. The parallel had not occurred to him, Mr. Lieberman replied, but he considered it “a complimentary analogy.”

He beamed as he said this, as he did for much of the day.

What a slap in the face! Are you Lefties gonna put up with this? I thought you ran that party. Show some balls, for crissakes!

:-)

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Draining The (Democrat) Swamp

Uh, oh. Looks like Jack Abramoff has the dirt on some Senate Dems, including Dingy Harry.

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November 14, 2006

Time For The GOP To Start Over

Yeah, there's a lot of debate and finger pointing over why the GOP lost last week. Much of that is irrelevant now. The party needs to focus on the future, not the past. It has to start over. Twelve years is quite a run, even more impressive when you consider that the same party held the White House for six of those twelve years. But the run is over. They need to work on starting a new one.

Andrew Cline, in The American Spectator, looks at how the Republican majority evolved (or devolved) during that time:

Hastert presided over a Republican-controlled House that each year became more cynical, more spend-happy, and more obsessed with maintaining power. This is no knock on Republican ideology or principles. The idea of a "Republican culture of corruption" rooted in GOP ideology is nonsense. Democrats displayed the marks of corruption quite prominently prior to 1994. The root of the problem, as always, is the corrupting influence of power.

Somewhere along the road from revolution to "permanent majority," Republican leaders abandoned the core theme that brought Republicans to power: disgust with Washington insider culture.

Essentially, they went from being the outsiders coming in to fix the problems of Washington to the insiders who reinforced the problems of Washington. Republicans often point out that prior to 1994 the Democrats had come to believe that being in control was their birthright - one that dated back to the 1930's. It wasn't and voters let them know in no uncertain terms. Republicans had fallen into the same trap. They weren't entitled to a majority status, but many of them - particularly among the leadership - began to think that way. And worse still, they began to act that way.

Ideology aside, the bulk of voters in the middle - who demand solutions rather than an agenda - got so fed up with Congress that they were willing to take on the risk of allowing Democrats to co-manage our national security. This is a big risk and one that I didn't think they'd be willing to take. I was wrong on that one. And no more than a week later, those voters have already been given reasons to wonder if they hadn't made a huge mistake.

The next two years will determine that. And if by the next go-around voters feel that the country is less safe and less secure, many will feel a strong sense of buyer's remorse. Strong enough perhaps to make them wary of keeping the Democrats in control.

But this in and of itself doesn't mean that Republicans would become the automatic beneficiaries. They can't count on this, nor should they. The GOP needs to return to the idea of fixing problems, some of which they helped create. They need to re-prioritize what issues they will champion. They need to remember that Conservative principles and ideas don't just sell themselves. Like the Contract With America of 1994, voters want and need to see tangible and practical applications of these principles that will benefit them individually rather than move our society and culture in a particular direction.

Last Tuesday, we had a reactionary election because we reached a point where the status quo was no longer acceptable. If Republicans wait long enough, they could find themselves back in control the same way. But we don't have a lot of time here. We're at war with a global Islamofascist ideology that wants Western culture in general and the United States in particular converted or dead.

The Republican party must work hard to heal its wounds and restore confidence with the majority of voters. It's time return to being proactive rather than reactive.

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November 13, 2006

HillaryCare Back On The Agenda

Oh, boy. Here we go. Her Shrillness has thrown down the gauntlet once again:

"Health care is coming back," Clinton warned, adding, "It may be a bad dream for some."
In the first two years of Bubba's term, Hillary's heavy-handed Health Care Reform turned into one of the biggest political disasters in history and it's clear that she hasn't learned a thing. Even with both the Legislative and Executive branches in Dem hands she couldn't get this one off the drawing board in 1994. And we all know what happened to Congress after that fiasco.

What was it that Santayana said about history?

A "bad dream for some"? It's going to be a nightmare for any Democrat who thinks the voters will fall for this one the second time around.

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Joe Pokes The Left In The Eye With A Stick

God, I love this.

When asked on MTP yesterday morning whether he'd consider pulling a Jeffords, Lieberman responded: "I'm not ruling it out but I hope I don't get to that point."

Even if Joe has absolutely no intention of ever switching over to the Republicans (I think it'd have to be a pretty extreme situation to push him in this direction), the fact that he's clearly busting their balls brings a smile to my face this Monday morning.

:-)

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RINO Sightings

Bright and early today, because Barry at Enrevanche is a little under the weather. We wish him a speedy recovery!

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November 12, 2006

San Fran Nan Backs Okinawa Jack For Majority Leader

Wow. It didn't take long, did it? Moonbat pressure being applied or has the mask slipped?

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Once again, the Dem leadership thinks that just because you have military service on your resume that you have some kind of moral authority that cannot be questioned. I mean, there's no reason that America should be concerned (or the terrorists encouraged) that Democrats may not have what it takes to handle national security...is there?

If Murtha wins, so does the GOP. But the country loses. Big time.

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Crap! NY Mets Whore The Naming Rights For New Stadium

To Citicorp.

The name of the Mets' new home ballpark will be Shea no more, come 2009. The successor to Shea, the club's home since 1964, is to be named CitiField, according to several newspapers and Internet reports. The name comes from CitiCorp, Inc., the biggest bank in the nation, according to reports which put the value of the naming rights at as much as $20 million annually.
Not Gil Hodges Stadium. Not Bob Murphy Stadium. Not even Jackie Robinson Stadium.

CitiField.

Feh. You just know that when the team is in a down year, fans and non-fans alike will call it ShittyField.

UPDATE: (11/15/06)
OK, a few days later and I'm still not thrilled about it. But after reading this quote from Marty Noble, a writer for MLB.com, in response to a disgruntled fan I at least have a little perspective.

If you have so much passion for the Mets that you will embrace Shea forever, you probably will want the Mets to be competitive too. Selling the naming rights to a ballpark is a way of life now, a way of life that will cover the average annual value of the next Beltran contract by itself.

Given what it is, Citi Field isn't nearly so offensive to the ear as 3-Com, U.S. Cellular or Minute Maid. It has the sound of City Field. Say it that way and save your outrage for something more troubling.

And if you say "Live from New York's CitiField" fast it sounds like "Live from New York City Field". Eh, not so bad. Maybe the guys at SNY will pick up on that.

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Castro's Days Are Numbered

Man, I thought this day would never come.

Apparently, Fidel is terminal. The generous estimate with chemo is 18 months. Of course, his 80th birthday celebration planned for next month will probably be his last. Might as well have that extra piece of cake, dude!

Do you think he'll take advantage of Cuba's wonderful government-run healthcare system? More likely El Presidente will fly in specialists from throughout the world to treat him - paid for by his citizens, of course.

Time to start drawing up blueprints for casinos.

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