September 24, 2006

Ladies And Gentlemen...

I'm pleased to announce that guest blogger, Skye, has officially rolled out her newly redesigned site...

I give you: MidnightBlue - reloaded!

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I Have To Wonder...

...Did Bubba's face get this flushed just before he stained Monica's blue dress?


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September 23, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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Baby's in black

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

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Streets Of Fire (1984)

Tough ex-soldier Tom Cody (Michael Paré) springs into action when a depraved motorcycle gang kidnaps his former girlfriend, Ellen (Diane Lane), who's now a famous singer. Besides being pitted against the gang's leader (a memorable Willem Dafoe), Cody must contend with Ellen's manager (Rick Moranis). The film's pulsating soundtrack features rockin' tunes by Stevie Nicks, Ry Cooder and the Blasters.

Gary's take: Interesting production design (a mix of '50's, '80's and whatever era visuals), awful dialogue and not enough Diane. But it's got a kick-ass soundtrack and when she's on-screen, Ms. Lane is smokin'. You will believe this babe can sing.

See Diane "not" sing "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young" from the movie The lip-synching isn't really that bad, it's the clip. And as an added bonus, hear Michael Pare and Amy Madigan dubbed in Italian at the end.):


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September 22, 2006

Head-Turning Headline Of The Week


And it's not even Lent.

Seems to me that this headline could just as easily have been reported in 1986, albeit in a different context.

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The Other Winning Issue: Taxes

Michael Dukakis: Lloyd. How's that martini treating you?

Lloyd Bentsen: Not too badly, Mike. I wish the polls were treating us a little better.

Michael Dukakis: Well, Lloyd, we represent unpopular and discredited views.

Lloyd Bentsen: Mike! Now that it's all over, you can tell me. You were gonna raise taxes, weren't you?

Michael Dukakis: Well, you bet I was! Through the roof! But now.. I won't get the chance.

- Dukakis After Dark
SNL 11/5/88
It's been eighteen years since that hilarious sketch, but for Democrats some things never change.

The President launched a second front in his campaign offensive on behalf of GOP Congressional candidates - "They will raise your taxes".

No idle threat, this is a statement of fact. Democrats all along have been assailing "Bush's tax cuts for the rich", ignoring the reality that everyone who pays taxes has benefited - and has felt that benefit in their personal situations. Voters understand this only too well. High gas prices this past year have reminded Americans how tough even a small bite into their discretionary income can be. It also ignores the fact that the President's tax cuts have led to a booming economy, low unemployment and reduced deficits.

To borrow a cliche from Forrest Gump: Democrats and taxes go together like peas and carrots. It's always been standard operating procedure for them. But the President is reminding voters what happens if the Dems take the House, and if Charlie Rangel becomes Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee: repeal of the tax cuts of the past five years, which means tax hikes.

It's not speculation, it's the truth. And it's a winner for the GOP. Expect to hear it between now and November 7th again...and again...and again...

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The White House and the squishes in the Senate have come to agreement on the Interrogation Bill.

Liberals everywhere are outraged and the NY Times hates it, so it must be a good one.

A.J. Strata gets to the nut of deal:

Bush now has a definition of what is illegal, and therefore everything else is legal. Checkmate.
Good. Now let's move on to the military tribunal legislation so, as soon as these scumbags are all interrogated out and no longer of any use to us, we can try and execute their sorry asses. Good riddance.

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September 21, 2006

Understanding The French (Or At Least Trying To)

French-bashing has usually been popular in the U.S. But since the run up to Iraq it seems like it's hit a fever pitch, particularly among those who strongly support the President. America (and the West) is in the fight of it's life against Islamofacist terrorism and the perception to many in this country is that the French government is doing its best to impede our efforts in this struggle.

How accurate this perception is can be debated ad infinitum. more...

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Reading The NY Times Backwards

My lovely wife has a style of communication that is endearing but one that I've needed to adjust my comprehension skills to really appreciate.

In a nutshell, she tells long stories. I mean really long stories, often including details and information that I as the listener find to be unnecessary and even distracting. I often tell her, "Hon, give me the punchline first. Then go back and fill in the details" (in a gentle way, of course, from which she does not take offense).

That is similar to the way I read a New York Times article. I go to the punchline first.

Case in point is yesterday's article on a recent poll related to the performance of the U.S. Congress, "Poll Finds Most Americans Displeased With Congress". Starting with the headline and meandering through the opening paragraphs, the article paints a picture of a Congress that is ripe for turnover:

With the midterm elections less than seven weeks away, Americans have an overwhelmingly negative view of the Republican-controlled Congress, with substantial majorities saying that they disapprove of the job it is doing and that its members do not deserve reelection, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The disregard for Congress is the most intense it has been since 1994, when Republicans captured 52 seats to end four decades of Democratic control of the House and retook the Senate as well. It underlines the challenge the Republican Party faces in trying to hold onto power in the face of a surge in anti-incumbent sentiment.

The following paragraphs are dedicated to the statistical unpopularity of George W. Bush, something that - in my opinion, anyway - bears little relevance to how the public feels about Congress. Now the Times is clearly implying that dissatisfaction with the performance of the Senate and the House of Representatives (and oh, by the way, the President as well) is a harbinger of a Democratic takeover, similar the the GOP wins in 1994. And a lazy reader (or one who is eager to accept this notion) would stop there and come away with that conviction. The paper is probably anticipating this result.

But wait. If you bother to continue down (and way down) to the end of the article you get this observation:

For all the clear dissatisfaction with the 109th Congress, 39 percent of respondents said their own representative deserved re-election, compared with 48 percent who said it was time for someone new. What is more, it seems highly unlikely Democrats would experience a sweep similar to the one Republicans experienced in 1994. Most political analysts judge only about 40 House seats to be in play at the moment, compared with more than 100 seats at this point 12 years ago, in large part because redistricting has created more safe seats for both parties...

...Voters said that Democrats were more likely to tell the truth than Republicans when talking about the war and Iraq and about the actual threat of terrorism. And 59 percent of respondents said that Mr. Bush was hiding something when he talked about how things were going in Iraq, while another 25 percent said he was mostly lying when talking about the war.

Not that Democrats should draw any solace from that: 71 percent of respondents said they believed Democrats in Congress were hiding something when they talked about how well things were going in Iraq — while 13 percent said they were mostly lying.

See what I mean?

So here's my advice: when reading the Times, read the punchline first. I't could save you from a big waste of time.

And I think that "punchline" is an apt term, considering what a joke that paper has become.

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September 20, 2006

Lamont's Newest Ad Won't Attract Unaffiliated Voters

The Ned Lamont For Senate campaign has released a curious ad in which it attempts to paint Senator Joe Lieberman as a "turncoat".

Lamont's campaign is spending $93,000 this week on a series of statewide television ads that call Lieberman a "turncoat." One ad suggests that Connecticut residents should wear their coats inside-out to protest Lieberman's general election campaign.

Lamont predicted the ads will appeal to his base and undecided voters. "It was a humorous look at a guy that's been a lifelong Democrat who overnight changed his stripes," he said.

Ken Dautrich, public policy professor at the University of Connecticut, said it's important for both candidates to campaign for Democratic votes, but added that unaffiliated voters will likely decide the race. Lamont won 52 percent of the Democratic vote in last month's primary.

So how does an ad criticizing Lieberman for breaking with his party appeal to those critical unaffiliated voters?

Here's a newsflash: it doesn't. Consider why unaffiliated voters are not registered with a party. It's not because they can't decide which one they like. It's because they have no use for either of them. The idea of a Senator who's not in lock-step with his party on every issue actually appeals to them. And while some unaffiliated voters have always been so, many changed to being unaffiliated when they became disgusted with the party to which they originally belonged - feeling that they no longer did. For Democrats, Joe Lieberman doesn't belong. Does that mean that any Democrat who votes for him is a "turncoat" as well? And exactly how many non-Democrats will be up for the idea of making themselves look ridiculous by wearing their coats inside out? Stooooopid!

This strategy tells me one of two things: either the Lamont campaign is so myopic in their approach that they can't move beyond their crusade to punish him for his heresy on Iraq or their internal polling is showing that support for Lamont among registered Democrats is slipping and the percentage of "undecided voters" is growing.

Why spend so much time focusing on "the base" with seven weeks to go? If you don't have the base shored up by this point, then your campaign is in serious jeopardy.

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Polls: Beyond The Numbers

The MSM loves reporting about "newly released polls" (especially if they like the results) because frankly it's easy enough to throw out raw (and often select) numbers and make suggestions as to what they mean in the grand scheme of things.

But whether you like the results or not, it's critical to put them into historical context. This is just what Rich Galen of does on the recent data showing a trend in favor of the Republicans:

The big news was the answer to the question: "If the election for Congress were being held today which party's candidate would you vote for in your Congressional District?" This is known as the "generic vote;" it is asked without using candidates' names because the incumbent is often much better known than the challenger and will tend to sway the results.

Among likely voters, the answer was: Republican 48%; Democrat 48%. A Tie.

Among some Republican electoral experts, the feeling is: If the GOP is in the minus five percentage point range going into election day, that's good enough because the Republican turnout operation will overcome that.

He goes on to point out that, at this same time in 2004, the Democrats led Republicans on the generic ballot 45-41. The final result? Republicans won 50% to 48% at the Congressional level.

Yes, things are looking gloomy again for Democrats. But Republicans should be aware of what has made this shift. It's not so much a referendum on President Bush as it is on his anti-terror policies. And as long the GOP are able to keep the focus on this most important issue the more voters are inclined to keep to the status quo. Unless you're an unhinged Bush-hating moonbat, why risk it otherwise? Republican candidates should embrace the President on this issue.

Democrats, on the other hand have focused their full firepower on the President counting on the countries uneasiness over Iraq to be his undoing. Galen explains why this "strategery" is flawed:

I have thought this because the Democrats are making the same mistakes this year as we (I was running GOPAC that cycle, so I take my share of the blame for a flawed strategy) made in 1998: It was all anti-Clinton all the time.

The Democrats have placed all their electoral eggs in being all anti-Bush in the same strategic way. They have no positive message and, with less than two months to go, the chances of finally crafting a coordinated national message which will attract a majority of voters in a majority of the Congressional Districts are fading fast.

Of course, the vote for Members of Congress is not a national vote. It is 435 separate elections and while there are only seven weeks to go, there are still seven weeks to go.

Personally, I hope they keep it up.

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September 19, 2006

Face Time For POTUS Makes A Difference

A new USAToday/Gallup poll has the President's approval rating up to 44%. As I've always said, Bush isn't on the ballot so the influence of this statistic on the results of November 7 has its limits.

But there really is only one major reason for the uptick: Republican voters, who've expressed their dissatisfaction with Bush on many issues, are starting to see the forest for the trees. The issue of the Global War on Terror is THE issue and it trumps everything else.

Bush's approval rating edged up largely on the strength of Republicans coming back to the fold with 86 percent saying they support him now, compared to 70 percent in May, USA Today said.

For the first time since December 2005, a majority of people polled did not say the war in Iraq was a mistake. The respondents were evenly split at 49 percent to 49 percent, the report said.

However, the poll finds that the Iraq war continues to be a problem for Bush. Sixty percent said he does not have a clear plan for handling Iraq and 75 percent said Iraq is in a civil war, USA Today said.

This does not mean, however, that 60 percent are in favor of the only alternative that the Democrats are floating: cut and run. Many voters that make up Bush's base of support have felt that we've not been aggressive enough in Iraq or that the President was allowing the Democrats to chip away at his (and by extension, the nation's) resolve to finish the job.

The White House has spent the last couple of weeks putting that fear to rest. The President's strategy - as it was in 2002 and 2004 - is to double down on his policies that have kept the country attack-free since 9/11. Republicans candidates would do well to get on board. If they do, then the GOP's superior Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) machine will ensure Republican retention of both chambers of Congress.

Jim Geraghty at NRO takes a closer look at the numbers.

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September 18, 2006


The last time the Mets won their division I was still in college.

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Damn! I feel old.

Congratulations, guys! On to October!!!!!

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RINO Sightings Are Up

This week is hosted by Evolution: The Next Step.

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Agree With Me Or I'll Kill You

The writer of ABC's "The Path To 9/11" presents a film that is critical of President Clinton's handling of terrorism. For this, he receives death threats from Liberal nutjobs.

The Pope makes comments critical of Islam. For this he guessed it...death threats from Islamic Extremist nutjobs.

Notice any similarities here (not to mention irony)?

Just ask the typical raving moonbat and he'll likely say that - in both cases - they asked for it.

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Islamic Extremists' Rage-Ometer

Kudos to John at Wuzzadem:


Just too much good stuff out there today to post anything original.

h/t: the Llamas

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Look At These Little Buggers

Squirrels using the force...

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Smile. It's Monday.

h/t: AnalogKid

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Socialist "Utopia" About To Make A Course Correction

The national commune that is the country of Sweden rejected twelve years of socialist rule this weekend, electing a center-right coalition to "streamline" its current welfare state.

[Coalition leader Fredrik] Reinfeldt accused the government of failing to translate the growth into more jobs and claimed the official statistics showing 5.7 percent unemployment were misleading. If you add people on sickness or disability leave or government job-training programs, the figure was higher than 20 percent, he said.
Almost 15% of the population sitting on their butts and still getting paid - off the backs of their fellow citizens?

Sounds like the Democrats' economic programs.

Nice to see some changes for the better in "old Europe". Sweden has been the poster child for advocates of a nanny state here in the U.S. Now where will they look to?

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September 17, 2006

On The DVR Learning Curve

Well, I learned an important lesson with DVR today. A scheduled recording will NOT go beyond the scheduled time and if you want to allow for a show running over you have to adjust the recording time longer.

The Giants were down by 10 with 4:07 remaining in regulation when my three hours were up. Ordinarily it wouldn't have made much of a difference except that the Giants went on to WIN the game in overtime:

Manning tossed a 22-yard TD pass to Amani Toomer with 3:28 left in regulation to cut the deficit to 24-21.

After New York got the ball at its 20 with 56 seconds left and no timeouts remaining, Manning quickly drove the Giants to the Eagles 32. A personal foul penalty on defensive end Trent Cole moved the Giants 15 yards closer and set up Feely's tying kick.

Great. As spectacular a comeback as you could hope for and I missed it.

Crap. Lesson learned.

At least the Giants beat Philly. I hate Philly. And they just saved their season. On to Seattle!

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September 16, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

Better late than never:

DL 9-16.jpg

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

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Six Pack (1982)

In his first film role, country singer Kenny Rogers stars as Brewster Baker, a retired stock-car driver who's on the comeback trail. But he finds his racing plans temporarily thwarted when six delinquent siblings (including Anthony Michael Hall and Diane Lane) strip Brewster's car to sell the parts. Reluctantly, he takes the miscreant brood under his wing -- and turns them into his new pit crew in this breezy comedy directed by Daniel Petrie.

Bonus Babe Alert: Erin Gray stars as Kenny Rogers' lady love. Whoo-Hoo!

Interesting factoid: In my opinion, the fact that she co-starred with Anthony Michael Hall in this film coupled with her appearance in "The Outsiders" makes her a charter member of the infamous "Brat Pack".

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Mu Nu Kerflooey

The server crashed at Munuviana. Sorry for the outage.


The Diane Lane Photo of the Week will be up early this evening!

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