July 21, 2006

Educational Public Service Announcement

Guys, just as a heads up. If you have A&E through your cable system, you can see a two-hour documentary tonight entitled "Cleavage":

Sexy and fun, this 2-hour special surveys mankind's fascination with breasts and cleavage, from the goddesses of antiquity to today's silicone-enhanced TV and film stars. Offering their opinions on why two simple mounds of flesh have wielded such power through the ages are comedian Joan Rivers; Cosmopolitan's Helen Gurley Brown; a plastic surgeon; a female body builder; and others. Narrated by Carmen Electra.
It's scheduled for 10pm with a re-broadcast at 2am.

Hey, who isn't interested in learning "why two simple mounds of flesh have wielded such power through the ages"?

Time to broaden your minds. Set those TiVos!

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July 20, 2006

When A Hard Good Man Is Good Hard To Find

There's always mother nature to answer the call of the wild:

sporting wood.jpg

Now that's what I call sporting wood.

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Lefty Blogs In CT Are A Dime A Dozen

So it's nice to see some more representation from the non-nutroots contingency.

Connecticut Citizens In Action follows CT politics fairly closely and will make a nice resource for news on this year's races - Federal, State and Local. Cuz I'm too lazy to follow it myself.

As such, it has earned a much-coveted slot in the ol' Official Ex-Donkey blogroll.

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Joe-Mentum Seems To Have Lost It's Steam

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Ned Lamont has actually pulled ahead of Lieberman for the Aug. 8 primary race (which is within the margin of error). While I am a bit surprised, it does seem like timing is everything. Lamont has been filling the TV and radio airwaves with ads and - among Democrats - they seem to be having the desired effect.

There are less than three weeks remaining until the primary and , unless Lamont is peaking too early, he very likely may end up with the nomination. This would push Lieberman into an Independent candidacy. While the nutroots are all a-twitter with the news, such a scenario doesn't help the Democrats in the Senate as Lieberman would certainly attract enough independents and Republicans to carry him to victory in November anyway. The only difference is that he wouldn't have a (D) after his name.

"The poll shows [Lieberman] leading a three way race with the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger."
If Democrats think the three-term Senator is a thorn in their sides now, wait until they get a load of Joe v.2.0 - the one who doesn't need support from the continually marginalized Left.

Capt. Ed weighes in:

A Lieberman primary victory would be the best outcome for the Democrats; it would keep the state's party from fracturing in the general election. It doesn't look good for that result at the moment. Lamont may well top Lieberman in the first round, but an eventual Lieberman victory looks all but assured. That means that the national party leaders will have to be very careful in how they support Lamont, if they decide to do so at all. If they antagonize Lieberman enough, he may give Democrats a few more headaches in the next session of Congress.
And if they antagonize the Kos-sacks, they have to deal with a different set of headaches.

John Hawkins makes this observation:

So, if Joe loses as a Democrat, but wins as an independent with lots of Republican and Independent support, what does that mean?

Well hopefully, it'll mean that the "Harry Truman Democrats" will realize that if they're serious about defending America, they're in the wrong party. Could it mean that some Jews, who vote Democrat 2 to 1, might get the message that they're in the wrong party? Sure. Could we see Joe Lieberman become a true centrist in the Senate in order to better represent his much more Republican and independent base? Sure.

And all the while, Kos and Company would be crowing about the huge "victory" they've won. It sounds like a real Pyrrhic victory to me.

In other words, the GOP - who had no shot to pick up this seat - will end up with the next best scenario: one less Senate Democrat in their minority caucus.

Lieberman still has one big weapon left in his arsenal. According to his campaign, Bill Clinton will be coming to Connecticut to campaign for him and, these days, the former President is probably the most popular and influential Democrat alive. But time is running out.

Be careful what you wish for, guys...

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A Big Mu Nu To-Do

Those of you who tried to post comments yesterday should be aware that the mighty Mu Nu machine was on the fritz. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the mu.nu domain is a private server that I and many other blogs use for publishing our sites. It runs on the Movable Type (MT) format and a lot of Mu Nu blogs have been coming under heavy comment spam attacks lately.

There is a way to block the IP addresses of these spambots using what's called an MT Blacklist. Unfortunately, if you don't know what you're doing you could potentially throw a monkey wrench into the works by using it. That's what happened yesterday when someone was trying to shield themselves from these annoying spam comments. As a result, the whole system went kerflooey. The administrator is doing his best to upgrade the server including putting in verification codes for comments that spambots cannot read. I will let everyone know how this is working out as he feverishly works to put this into place. In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

Rest assured I haven't banned anyone from commenting on the site (except for the chosen few that I have - and you know who you are!) and as of now everything seems to be back to normal.

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July 19, 2006

Gallup Mimics Ex-Donkey

Man, no sooner do I trot out my recurring "Would you vote for McCain" poll and Gallup goes and steals my thunder. Bastards!

Interesting to note is that in their poll, 41% or respondents find AZ Sen. John McCain "unacceptable" as a Presidential aspirant. The responses are purely a result of polling Republicans, while I have no way of guarantying the sample for my poll (in left sidebar).

Thus far, my results show about 20% pure "unacceptable" response. However, if you throw the "vote for him only if Hillary is running" category, that brings the "unacceptable" portion up to 38.6% - very close to the 41% that Gallup got. That's about the same as two months ago, when I posed the same choices.

Personally, I think McCain absolutely blew it back in May, 2005 when he rounded up his "Gang of 14" crew that prevented the abolition of the judicial filibuster. At that moment, a lot of potential supporters backed away for good. My guess is that any mending of fences that McCain tries to do with the base will be offset by other shenanigans that piss them off over the next two years. He's probably at his "high-water mark" for support among Republicans. My guess is that as it becomes clearer who else is running, his base support will drop even further.

Poll is still open through Friday, so go ahead and weigh in if you already haven't.

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Smog Smug Alert

Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics describes pretty aptly why Liberals so often have problems winning over voters:

One of the major failings of liberals (and liberalism in general) is an attitude that reeks of smugness, of arrogance, and of a sense of intellectual and cultural superiority. They're enlightened, the rest of us are not. And, as a matter of policy, they know what's best for us poor unwashed dolts living between Manhattan and Berkeley, and Brentwood and Georgetown. Limousine liberals often fail to connect with "regular" people because they talk down to them, primarily because liberals view so many of their values with contempt - especially if we're talking about the South.
I find this to be especially true of those who aspire to be Limousine Liberals; those average folks, especially in Blue States, who see themselves as a cut above the rest of us ignorant, flag-waving rubes - all the while enjoying the smell of their own farts.

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Interesting Photo Of The Day

tanner.jpg

The caption to this Reuters pic reads:

"Athlete Kathy Brennan (R) of Washington, D.C., helps to apply tanner on Forrest of Ferndale, Michigan, before the Physique competition during Gay Games VII in Evanston, Illinois, July 18, 2006."

Umm. I think somebody needs to explain to Ms. Brennan that applying the tanner internally amounts to overkill.

h/t: Neale News

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Democrats Think Voters Don't Know Who They Are

And they're hoping to ride that misconception into a sweeping control change of Congress this November. Today's Democrats look at the 1994 GOP takeover as their benchmark and are betting that voters have had enough of Republican control. If that's all they've got, they better think again. Former Congressman George R. Nethercutt, Jr. explains:

[V]oter unrest does not by itself portend wholesale electoral change. Even disgruntled Americans are reluctant to "fire" incumbents if they think they're just trading in one pol for another, regardless of party. That's the lesson of 1994.

Led by Newt Gingrich, the GOP candidates that year responded to the disillusionment of voters with the refreshing and specific ideas of the Contract with America. They proved that voters are drawn to issues and genuine political leadership, even in the absence of complete ideological agreement. In my own case, the voters in my district seemed electrified by the positive promise of specific policy proposals related to issues they cared about--fiscal responsibility, ensuring the safety of our homes and streets and schools, securing family values, family-oriented tax policies, strong national defense and commonsense legal reforms. And this was not just a Republican phenomenon. The Contract spoke to a wide cross-section of all voters.

For their part, Nancy Pelosi's Democrats seem confident that they'll sweep into the majority this fall on a single concept: "We're not them." Even their highly anticipated "Take Back America" agenda was little more than a public relations ploy to repackage the same vague and boring platitudes their pollsters have been feeding them since George McGovern: "Putting People First," "Real Security," "Healthcare for All" or "An Economy That Works." Whatever happened to "Where's the Beef?"

As if conducted by a tone-deaf maestro, the Democrats unveiled this agenda against a public chorus of Bernie Sanders, Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean--and Gary Hart. "Take Back America"? Two-thirds of Americans, if they paid any attention at all, probably turned to each other and asked, mystified, when did we ever govern America with them? And Ms. Pelosi is certainly no Newt Gingrich.

Democrats fail to grasp the idea that Republicans took control 12 years ago because they ran on ideas and voters responded because they were tired of the "same old, same old". Of course, many a Republican these days seems to have failed to grasp this concept as well.

Now the party of "same old, same old" thinks that their mere absence has made the voter's hearts grow fonder. If they stick with their current strategy, they're probably in for a big disappointment come November 7.

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July 18, 2006

Major Mu Nu Meltdown Today

Site was unavailable for most of the day. Probably had something to do with F&*#%$# comment spammers. Texas Hold Poker, indeed. Assholes.

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July 17, 2006

There's Only Two Things I Hate In This World...

"...People who are intolerant of other people's cultures. And the Dutch."

- Nigel Powers, 2002

Seriously, though. Apparently, there is a political party in the Netherlands dedicated to the passage of a law that lowers the age of sexual consent from 16 to 12.

12!!!!! Ferchrissakes!!!

A judge recently overturned a ban on this "political party" which is headed up by some pervert who molested an 11-year old boy. It's called the PNVD party (an acronym for "Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity" - yech). This is really nothing more than an out-and-about version of the Super Adventure Club from South Park.

The judge's rationale was that it was up to the voters to decide the appeal of such a group. Fine, I agree in principle. But hear me now and believe me later; if this group of sickos gets more than 2% of the vote in the next Dutch election, I am taking old Nigel's declaration to heart.

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Spucking Famers!!!

Came home from the lake last night to find I'd been comment spammed to the tune of over 100 bullshit texas poker website spam comments. It seems lately this has gotten worse and worse. MuNu is usually pretty good about keeping this crap out, but it's getting to the point where I may have to shut down comments for a while.

Now you have to deal with a cranky Ex-Donkey.

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July 13, 2006

John McCain Watch Update

Exactly two months ago, I posted a poll to see what the general feeling is about AZ Senator John McCain's Presidential prospects. I plan to update these results from time to time (is two months too short an interval?).

So check out the poll panel in the sidebar and weigh in. It'll be interesting to see if they change (and by how much) from last time around.

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Dems Launch Lame Web Video

It'll no doubt spark some outrage among critics because of the use of the image of flag-draped coffins. Yes, it's in bad taste. But it's more notable that it's just stupid politics and may even create a backlash. All they're doing is reinforcing voters' image of Democrats as the party of "doom and gloom" on top of "cut and run". Let them run it, I say.

But beyond that small part of the ad, it's a perfect summary for what's wrong with their approach: Republicans are bad, why not vote for us? Rather than present a positive agenda to vote for, they continue to pound on the idea that you should put them in power to make a change for change's sake only. For a system that works as a pretty solid incumbency protection racket, that's utterly moronic.

Captian Ed's analysis is spot on:

"The commercial then takes us on a series of happy pictures interspersed with pictures of Rahm Emmanuel, Nancy Pelosi, and Steny Hoyer -- but says nothing about them. The DCCC just wants you to think that their mere presence makes women and children very, very happy. In fact, the DCCC advertisement has nothing at all about Democratic policy goals or voting records. The only voice the viewer hears is that of Bill Clinton, who actually gets the most face time of any other Democrat in the commercial -- because apparently nothing that Pelosi, Emmanuel, or Hoyer has to say will motivate people to vote Democratic.

As an advertisement, it's pathetic. It says nothing except We Hate Bush Even More Than We Did Two Years Ago. It also communicates that they haven't had an original thought since Bill Clinton's last election in 1996."

If you want to win elections you have give people a reason to vote for you, not against the other guy.

Wild Thing has an awesome graphic to go along with this story that's too good not to share:

Democrats_Mascot.jpg

h/t: Vilmar

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July 12, 2006

Bush 41; A Class Act

My first vote for President in 1988 (at the tender young age of 21, sigh) was for Michael Dukakis. What a dumb-ass.

Rhymes With Right comments on a story about a new aircraft carrier named for George H.W.B.

BTW, if you're interested in learning more about what a great guy he really is, I strongly recommend the autobiographical book of his life through his letters, "All The Best". You will be pleasantly surprised.

h/t: Maggie's Farm

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Lower Tax Rates = Higher Tax Receipts

Not that I'm at all surprised, but once again what Democrats love to campaign on as "tax cuts for the rich" has been proven to be the fuel that drives a hearty economy. Thank you President Bush. As the editors of the WSJ online explain:

The real news, and where the policy credit belongs, is with the 2003 tax cuts. They've succeeded even beyond Art Laffer's dreams, if that's possible. In the nine quarters preceding that cut on dividend and capital gains rates and in marginal income-tax rates, economic growth averaged an annual 1.1%. In the 12 quarters--three full years--since the tax cut passed, growth has averaged a remarkable 4%. Monetary policy has also fueled this expansion, but the tax cuts were perfectly targeted to improve the incentives to take risks among businesses shell-shocked by the dot-com collapse, 9/11 and Sarbanes-Oxley.

This growth in turn has produced a record flood of tax revenues, just as the most ebullient supply-siders predicted. In the first nine months of fiscal 2006, tax revenues have climbed by $206 billion, or nearly 13%. As the Congressional Budget Office recently noted, "That increase represents the second-highest rate of growth for that nine-month period in the past 25 years"--exceeded only by the year before. For all of fiscal 2005, revenues rose by $274 billion, or 15%. We should add that CBO itself failed to anticipate this revenue boom, as the nearby table shows. [see below] Maybe its economists should rethink their models.

Remember the folks who said the tax cuts would "blow a hole in the deficit?" Well, revenues as a share of the economy are now expected to rise this year to 18.3%, slightly above the modern historical average of 18.2%. The remaining budget deficit of a little under $300 billion will be about 2.3% of GDP, which is smaller than in 17 of the previous 25 years. Throw in the surpluses rolling into the states, and the overall U.S. "fiscal deficit" is now economically trivial.

A picture (or graph) is worth a thousand words:

deficit.jpg

Sorry, Mr. Krugman, but your economic models are based on variables that exist only in the land of Liberal "make-believe". Tax cuts worked in the 1960's under Kennedy, in the 1980's under Reagan and now - third times the charm - they're paying dividends in the dawn of the 21st century under Dubya. I know Liberals love to "soak the rich". It's their chief economic mantra. I used to harbor that myopic mentality back when I was young and stupid. It made sense on an emotional level. Well, guess what? When you collect more tax revenue from the rich, you're soaking them more than you can imagine.

The same crowd that said the tax cuts wouldn't work, and predicted fiscal doom, are now harrumphing that the revenues reflect a windfall for "the rich." We suppose that's right if by rich they mean the millions of Americans moving into higher tax brackets because their paychecks are increasing.

Individual income tax payments are up 14.1% this year, and "nonwithheld" individual tax payments (reflecting capital gains, among other things) are up 20%. Because of the tax cuts, the still highly progressive U.S. tax code is soaking the rich. Since when do liberals object to a windfall for the government?

If Democrats are so convinced that the current tax code is still so unfair and that it will spell disaster in the future, why not call the GOP's bluff? Why not make the cuts that are due to expire in 2010 permanent? If the Republicans are wrong and the economy tanks because of the "crippling" deficit, it would be the perfect opportunity to win back BOTH houses of Congress and hike them back up. They won't do that because deep down they know that their class-warfare rhetoric is bullshit. If you make the cuts permanent, no one is going to elect someone who campaigns on raising them again.

But the Democrats wouldn't knowingly tank the economy for political gain, you say? Wrong. They would in a hearbeat. Just like they hope and pray for American failure in Iraq. What's bad for the country is good for them, politically. Or at least they'll do their damndest to try and make it that way.

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July 11, 2006

Joe Hedges His Bets

With less than a month to go until primary day, Sen. Joseph Lieberman has bitten the bullet and registered to run as an independent should he be defeated by Ned Lamont for the Democratic nomination.

Actually, he's gone that route one better by registering a new party: Connecticut For Lieberman. This way as long as he secures the necessary petition signatures, his "party" will appear higher up on the list in that voting machine than if he just ran as an individual.

Cynical, perhaps. Why does a guy with so much name recognition need to be higher up than, say, Waldo Whats-his-name or some other nitwit who gets on the ballot? He really doesn't. I think the key here is that if he has to pursue this avenue he can craft his campaign in a way that enhances the name recognition and attracts more independents and Republicans his way. I don't know just how many more, but hey every advantage helps.

Lamont's campaign tipped its hand a little too early when it tried to force Lieberman into a corner by looking for a pledge to back Lamont should he win the nomination. Had they kept their powder dry and waited for this exact moment, they could have pounced on the three-term Senator as being disloyal to his party and hammered that home for three plus weeks.

Even though Lamont and the LoseOn.org crowd will adopt that strategy anyway, it will probably be less effective since they've already tried it. Lieberman's internal polls must show that this tactic has done all the damage that it's going to do already. And published polls show that Lieberman would win bigger as an independent than as a Democrat anyway. If you're a registered Democrat (not affiliated with the nutroots) who has paid very little attention to this whole brouhaha, who are you more likely to be motivated to come out on election day for? A known quantity like Lieberman or some guy you've never heard of like Ned Lamont, who happens to have a (D) next to his name?

I still think Lieberman will win on August 8th. But there are so many variables here - summer vacations, low turnout, apathy - that this move is the smart one. Whether or not it will be necessary remains to be seen.

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Bill Gives Advice To Dems

At a conference in Aspen, the former President offered some "strategery" for his party.

On GOP Strategy:
“Let’s forget about global warming and talk about flag burning and gay marriage,” Clinton said. “I don’t know how long you can milk that old cow.”

He has a point on flag burning. Most voters see that as a purely political move. But as far as gay marriage, please...please...please talk about that. The vast majority of Americans don't have a problem with homosexuality in general - it's none of their business as far as they're concerned - but when it comes to gay marriage, Dems laugh this one off at their own peril. In particular, two of their own largest constituencies - union members and African-Americans - feel strongly against it.

Basically, bad advice.

On the other hand, Clinton was clear that his party's "cut and run" strategy is unwise, perhaps laying the groundwork for his wife's Presidential run:
“Once you break the eggs, you have the responsibility to make an omelet,” he said. “It’d be an error to say we’ll leave by X date.”

Well, I wouldn't put it that way, exactly. But he's right. To declare that troops would "leave by X date" would be utterly foolish. American voters - even those who think we should be out sooner than later - understand that.

Basically, good advice.

However, I have a funny feeling that Democrats this fall and beyond are more likely to accept the bad advice and ignore the good.

Why? Because that fits into their world-view and heaven forbid they should deviate from it. The nutroots wouldn't hear of it.

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July 10, 2006

RINO Sightings Are Up!

Head over to Techography and check 'em out!

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Italy Wins World Cup; Soccer Still Gay

Congratulations to Italy for winning their fourth World Cup.

Defeated French players took the loss in stride:

french soccer guy.jpg

Nice.

Posted by: Gary at 09:19 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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