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11/30/2004

 

AFTER-WORD


  • According to the BBC, the Ukrainian parliament Tuesday voted to change its mind. On Saturday, they passed a non-binding resolution declaring their recent election, in which Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych was declared the winner, invalid. On Tuesday, the same parliament adopted a resolution annulling that resolution.

    Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko claims victory, and his supporters are getting out-of-line. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana arrived in Kiev vowing to fix everything.

    Maybe Jacques Chirac needs to pull the poet Dominique DeVillepin from the Interior Ministry and put him back at Foreign Affairs. He could write them a nice sonnet and perhaps surrender.



  • I'll avoid the attitude in the future. Right?



  • Someone e-mailed me a while back asking if I'd link to their "dictators" site. I attempted to respond, and my program behaved as if it went through, but I've since learned that there was a problem with e-mail on this end. I want to make clear that I did not ignore you. (I do not ignore anyone.) If you're still interested, please drop me another line.



  • That being said, I have exchanged links with a site called Global Politician, "a journal of politics, history, economics and international affairs." It's a worthwhile site, and you can find the link in the Links section at right.



  • I am listening to The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, by 20th century composer Benjamin Britten. He throws a lot of sounds deftly into this piece.

    Evidently, a lot of people stream the signal from Beethoven Radio whilst at work. This is a fine thing, I suppose, as they play good if standards stuff and go by: "Classical music without the attitude."

    The attitude is part of what makes it happen.

    But Beethoven Radio is getting ready to discard its Windows Media streams and move to a 96kbps Real Audio stream. To hear them, you have to purchase Real's Radio Pass, which is $5.95 a month.

    They're not worth it. There are plenty of 1st rate free streams out there, such as KFDC out of San Francisco, WBAA out of Purdue University, KBYU out of Brigham Young, KUSC out of Southern Cal., WETA out of Arlington, and Classical 103.5 out of DC. Google, and they're yours. The one drawback is that all of them but the one out of DC use NPR news, but you'll get used to it. It is not a complete a front to your rationale for being.

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  •  

    NBC's Brian Williams's Says…


    When Tom Brokaw retires, he will be replaced by MSNBC's Brian Williams, who evidently possesses, according to a piece on CBS MarketWatch, a "wry side."
    Williams, 45, is capable of showing good humor and a dry wit in public. When Time magazine held a lunch to discuss candidates for its person of the year, he exposed a side of his personality that is seldom seen on the air.

    When a fellow panelist mentioned that bloggers had had a big impact on the reporting on Election Day, Williams waved that point away by quipping that the self-styled journalists are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem."
    Move over, Jay!

    As for anchormen, those self-styled journalists are "on an equal footing with a drunk guy reading the New York Times to himself in the mirror."

    Flush when you're finished, Bri.

    [HT, Taegan Goddard.]
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    Brian Williams's Says…


    When Tom Brokaw retires, he will be replaced by MSNBC's Brian Williams, who evident has, according to a piece on CBS MarketWatch, a "wry side."
    Williams, 45, is capable of showing good humor and a dry wit in public. When Time magazine held a lunch to discuss candidates for its person of the year, he exposed a side of his personality that is seldom seen on the air.

    When a fellow panelist mentioned that bloggers had had a big impact on the reporting on Election Day, Williams waved that point away by quipping that the self-styled journalists are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem."
    Move over, Jay!

    As for anchormen, those self-styled journalists are "on an equal footing with a drunk guy reading the New York Times to himself in the mirror."

    Flush when you're finished, Bri.

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    How much is that army knife in the window?


    Eric Lindholm (Viking Pundit) blogs from Switzerland that "[t]iny keychain Swiss army knives [for souvenirs] were $20 each." One would think that in Geneva, there would be an abundance of such Swiss Army Knives, and that the market would pull the price down as demand exceeded supply.

    Silly me. Talking about the market in the context of Switzerland.

    Perhaps it's good that he did not purchase one. He might have been forced to blog from Guantanamo Bay.


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    MAKPA Quote of the Hour

    Live from Ottawa, President Bush addressed Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin's concerns about the U.S. refusal to import Canadian beef because of a Mad Cow Disease scare. The President said that he wanted to lift the restrictiongs, but...

    "There is a bureaucracy involved. I readily agree that we've [USA] got one."

    Then it is past time for that bureaucracy to go, Mr. President. When the bureaucracy becomes an excuse for government's bumbles, it is deleterious to the nation, and in this case, post-Chretien normalization of our relationship with the north.


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    RSN site: new Hagin column


    We have the new column by Doug Hagin, "JE$$E Jackson Fraud", live on the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter.

    He's not yet through with "Brother Jesse," and you can read is column on the site: HERE.

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    Tom Ridge quits


    After 22-years in public service, the last several of which were spent in a department which merged all or parts of 22 federal agencies, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has resigned. He said, of course, that he wants to spend time with his family. That's code for getting a real job in the private sector.

    On the list to replace Ridge: Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut), who loves to boast that the Homeland Security Department was his idea.

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    Churchill's Birthday


    Had he lived this long, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, a Tory's Tory, would have turned 130-years-old on this very day. November 30, 2004.

    A friend sent me some words on Churchill by historian John Lukacs, and some of them seemed especially compelling for this day and age:
    Hitler could not understand the romantic springs of English sentiment; he mistook Churchill's bravery for mere panache; Churchill's peculiar compound of resolution and nonchalance was one of the few things which remained far beyond the reach of Hitler's wild and powerful mind.
    Now, President George W. Bush is no Winston Churchill, and certainly French President Jacques Chirac is not Adolf Hitler, but the same statement applies in another context.

    Try this:
    Chirac could not understand the romantic springs of American sentiment; he mistook Bush's bravery for mere panache; Bush's peculiar compound of resolution and nonchalance was one of the few things which remained far beyond the reach of Chirac's wild and powerful mind.
    The power of Chirac's mind is, to be sure, open for debate, but it's a nice fit otherwise.

    Happy birthday in heaven, Sir Winston.

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    Mfume out at NAACP


    The Baltimore Sun reports Tuesday that Kweisi Mufume is stepping down as head of the NAACP. He cites spending time with his family, etc., but he is gearing up to fill the seat of Maryland Democrat Senator Paul Sarbanes, 71, who really ought to retire when his term expires after 2006.

    Mfume, born Frizzel Gray, served as Congressman of Maryland's 7th CD (Baltimore) from 1987-1996. In July, Mfume famously accused the President of treating blacks like prostitutes.

    With Julian Bond's latest rants still ringing, it doesn't look like the NAACP will find any constructive leadership.

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    Governor Dino


    Washington's chief elections officer, Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed, has certified Republican Dino Rossi as the next governor of the State. He defeated Democrat Christine Gregoire by 261 votes in the straight count and 42 in the recount.

    Gregoire isn't done, though. She's demanding yet another recount, and AP reports that the GOP side is going to demand their own recount.

    Either way, Dino Rossi is officially the governor-elect of the State of Washington, set to replace outgoing governor Gary Locke, a Democrat.

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    PRE-FACE

    Good morning!

  • The leadership of the Washington-based Leadership Conference on Civil Rights – an umbrella organization for such "civil rights" groups – has written to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and his deputy, Democrat Pat Leahy, demanding that they rake Attorney General-designate Alberto Gonzalez over the coals for his role in torture at Guantanamo Bay, at his confirmation hearings. (Such "torture" has been condemned by the International Committee of the Red Cross.)

    Gonzalez, who will be our nation's first Hispanic Attorney General, was also examined by Latino groups belonging to the Conference:
    Notably absent was the largest Latino organization, the National Council of La Raza, which praised Gonzales and raised no objections to his nomination when it was announced.

    The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, an influential California group that has called for close scrutiny of Gonzales, also did not sign the letter.
    They evidently recognize the ground being broken by the Bush Administration and Mr. Gonzalez and its import to their cause. And Gonzalez's qualifications.

    Unlike certain black groups with Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, these two Hispanic groups are not invoking hateful caricatures to characterize the nominee.



  • The International Atomic Energy Agency of Mohammed El Baradei has given Iran its approval for continuing to do what it has been doing all along. If that is developing nuclear weapons, so be it.

    The IAEA passed a resolution Monday thanking Iran for promising not to make nukes. This is what Iran agreed – with France, Germany, and the U.K. – to do in exchange for goodies.

    Accepting the mullahs at their word. Is this being done to spite President Bush and the Americans? These are awfully high stakes for a game of political "nyaaah, nyaaah, nyaag,"



  • From this morning's Spam: "I am Prince ELVIS GEORGE DICKSON the son of late Chief MAXWELL HARRY DICKSON who works with Fernandez diamond mining company as a sales manager." Elvis wants me to help him with some Middle Eastern gold.



  • This may be TMI, but in a sign that blogging is becoming second nature, I am typing this in my pajamas. Also, later this week, I will join some friends in guest-blogging for a friend who will be A.F.K. at a DC conference. More on that when it's in stone.

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  • 11/29/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD – Monday, November 29, 2004


  • For Ukraine, peace in our time. The New York Times opines that Ukraine just might take care of this mess herself, without assistance of the European Union or the United States.

    There are no assertions that the Bush Administration caused the problem when he declared war on Islam and bombed the Iraqis.

    It's something remarkable when we spot an inofficiously writ editorial from the Gray Drunk Lady.



  • Lucianne.com no like blogs. The web site's "editor-in-chief" has written some rules for posting articles on the site, and she mentioned the blogosphere: "Articles posted from web-logs or 'blogs' are not permitted and will be closed and deleted without further explanation." It's a "'legitimacy' thing," she assures.

    More often than not, we source our stuff, so I wonder if this girl would allow her posters to give us a hat tip if they were clued-in to the article from a "web-log or 'blog.'"

    Then again, should it matter?



  • That's enough attitude for a few evenings.



  • I'm listening to Dvorák's Symphony no. in B flat. I often find a composer's earlier symphs to be more telling than the later ones, and that goes for Dvorák, Brahms, Mahler, Bruckner, and Schumann, to name a few. But that's me, and I've yet to convince myself that it's relevant to much of anything.

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    Smiley to Quit NPR


    One of NPR's few "superstars," Tavis Smiley, has decided that the December 16 edition of The Tavis Smiley show will be his last. NPR had promised him that his show would be part of an effort to reach out to a younger, more ethnically diverse audience, and, he said, "NPR has simply failed to meaningfully reach out" to the people he likes.

    Split infinitive aside, Smiley was (is?) considered a rising-star of the hard left who was able to get away with some serious race-baiting. Part of me liked the man, because he seemed very serious about what he said. And he also sounded as if he wanted to hurt someone real bad.

    Smiley didn't say what he'll do next, but I first noticed him on B.E.T., and he does do a talk show for PBS. Maybe he could do an afternoon show for the habitually angry.

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    It's Dumb Ukraine Policy


    Dr. Eamonn Butler at the Adam Smith Institute blog from the U.K. points to a bit of British policy regarding the Ukraine which turned out to be unforgivably stupid.
    [A] couple of years back the outgoing energy minister, Michael Meacher, decided to be true to his anti-nuclear principles and commit the government to phasing out all its nuclear power capacity over the next 20 years.
    What would fill the gap? Well, don't go too deeply into the sums, but the government thought that gas from the East might do the job. … And already, new pipelines were already marching West from the new gas and oil fields there.

    Slight snag here. Britain is of course at the end of the pipeline, so anyone in between could turn the tap off. Not to worry, though, because the gas goes through 'stable' countries. Like Ukraine. And now, about a third of Europe's gas comes through Ukraine.
    Dr. Butler points out that 'tis folly to pin all your energy hopes to one donkey, and I can add that the no-nukes have traditionally been pinheads anyway.

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    Edwards says: "Bye Bye"


    John Edwards is embarking on a six-stop farewell tour of North Carolina, vowing that "this fight is not over."

    What fight? His wife is fighting cancer, and he said that he is concentrating on that, but that's not what he meant. He's got some battle he and Kerry were fighting, and the substance of this struggle existed only in their minds.

    He blamed their loss on the icy perception of a lack of beliefs:
    "The voters did not know where we stood and what we believed in," he said. "The American people need to know we are going to keep this country safe."
    I'll again posit that the ticket stood nowhere and believed in nothing. That is not, per se, Edwards's fault, as he had to tow Kerry's line. Kerry's line was a blank.

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    The Iron Lady on the Ukraine


    Baroness Margaret Thatcher, part of the winning side of the Cold War against the Soviet Union, has spoken on the electoral situation in the Ukraine.
    "A new Iron Curtain threatens to fall across Ukraine," Thatcher said in a statement on Monday. "The West and its leaders must act decisively to support the brave Ukrainian democrats in their struggle. Tyranny must not prevail."
    She obviously supports pro-European candidate Viktor Yushchenko, and sees the "reelection" of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich as Russian aggrandizement, akin to the old Soviet style.

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    Ay-Man!


    He's a caricature from a cave, a pathetic mutant who brings to mind David Bowie's Suffragette City when I hear his name. ("Ay-man, oh leave me alone, you know.")

    Ayman al-Zawahiri's got a new vid, and in it he says he wants only to "purge our land from the aggressors."

    It's quite a fall from a previous goal of destroying the United States to ensure that Moslems could do as they will, but at least he's still around.

    "Ay-man, I can't take you this time, no way."

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    Franklin Graham: Focus on God


    Franklin Graham writes in todayis Atlanta Journal Constitution (subscription) that he uges "other Christian leaders to keep our focus on our true calling, which is spiritual, not political," not to gloat because they pulled the levers and "their team" won.
    First, it is spiritually wise. We are admonished in Scripture to boast of nothing but the cross. Second, while some 20 million evangelicals voted for President Bush, nearly 40 million people who are not evangelicals joined them in their support — perhaps even for different reasons. Third, if 79 percent of 26.5 million evangelical voters voted for Bush, that means 5.6 million of them voted for John Kerry.
    For my part, I pray only that God's will be done in the election and that the loser be not spiritually crushed. No matter what happens, He'll help us sort it out.

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    Gutierrez for Commerce


    The President has nominated Carlos Gutierrez, CEO of Kellogg co., to be the next Secretary of Commerce.

    It looks like a grrreat! choice. At Kellogg, Gutierrez beat the bagel-craze by concentrating on the company's bottom line of cereal and healthy snacks. He put the company back in the black.

    Now we have to watch Hank Waxman, et al., attempt to do to Tony the Tiger what they did to Halliburton.

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    RSN site: New Cox Column


    This morning on the RSN site, we bring you the latest column by Judson Cox, I Dare Call It Treason. He once gain calls for bringing back Senator Joe McCarthy's House Committee on Un-American Affairs (HUAC) to prosecute the likes of Michael Moore and John Walker Lindh.

    You can read it on the RSN site: HERE.

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    The French in Iraq


    Live, from Iraq. Omar from Iraq the Model relates how, while most foreigners take steps to make themselves inconspicuous to kidnappers/thugs, the French broadcast that they are French and travel about with no concern.
    It seems that the French are not afraid of the terrorists. Were they excluded from the terrorists' targets list for some reason? Is there a peace truce between them? Did we miss something here? Because the French are moving freely and saying for the terrorists: "Hey, it's us, so don't mistake us for your enemies, the other foreigners! And we are not just ordinary French. We are the French government! And we are certainly not doing something good for Iraq, so relax!" This may explain why no one is anymore worried about the two French journalists; they're in friendly hands!
    Remember, the French expressed shock when their journalists were kidnapped last August; after all, they were from France, and France opposed the liberation.

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    PRE-FACE – Monday, November 29, 2004

    Good morning!

  • Everyone, is seems, is urging President Bush to push the 9-11 Commission Bill in Congress. 9-11 Commission chairman Tom Kean said on Meet the Press yesterday: "This bill will pass. The only question is whether it is now or after a second [terrorist] attack."

    On This Week Sunday, Joe Lieberman stated that if the 9-11 Commission Bill had been law, "probably 9-11 would not have happened."



  • The pro-hoppies/hemp-heads might want to keep an eye on a Supreme Court case which which has oral arguments today. At issue is whether a federal pot-ban trumps State laws which allow use of the drug for medical reasons.

    The reason I addressed this note to the pro-legalization crowd is that this could be seen as a crack in the door to making pot legal for everyone at any time. And there are arguments for and against that one, as well.

    There is no compelling state interest in disallowing people to alleviate their suffering in a way which will not directly harm someone else.

    Is this really a question of federalism?



  • The State Department says NO SMILING in your visa photograph: "The subject's expression should be neutral (non-smiling) with both eyes open, and mouth closed. A smile with a closed jaw is allowed but is not preferred." They argue that smiling distorts ones features, but it seems more likely that they want to foster a global image of Americans as fed up with many foreign governments.

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  • 11/28/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • Bob Novak on the next Secretary of State Treasury: Phil Gramm. Gramm, of course, is a supply-sider who digs balanced budgets.



  • I don't dig Alabama's rejection of language amending the State constitution to remove references to separate schools for "white and colored children" or to a poll tax. That should have been gone long ago, if for nothing else than for the sake of decency. But I do agree with an argument the Washington Post derides as "ridiculed by most of the state's newspapers and by legions of legal experts." The argument is that making public education a constititutional right makes it easier for the State to raise taxes to pay for it. Of course it does. A State can claim more justification to raising taxes to fund something which is a constitutional right than something which is not.

    That' is not an excuse for not removing the anachronistic and ugly references, though.



  • AGAIN: "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"



  • I am listening to a CD by a composer named David Diamond, his second symphony right now. It's good background stuff.

    My sister tells me that she has been listening to Country & Western music of late, which surprised me. She can name these people, like Toby Keith and Kurt Busch, or whomever. Which would be the equivalent of her remarking that I can name people like Sergei Prokofiev and Edouard Manet. There's one big difference, though: performer Keith and NASCAR driver Bush are alive, while composer Prokofiev and impressionist painter Manet are not.

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    Turkey of the Year


    CNN's Bill Schneider has picked his top 5 Turkeys of the Year, and their in a little slideshow on the CNN site.

    Number One is Howard Dean, whom he thinks was done in not by his loss in Iowa but by his scream. Schneider claimed "Iowa Democrats decided to go with a candidate who had a better chance of beating Bush" than did Dean.

    Hindsight should tell Schneider that Dean had a better chance of beating Bush than did Kerry. I didn't need any hindsight. Dean was a "something" candidate, and the Dems would have stood a better chance with something than with nothing. They could never have won a pure referendum on the President, and that's what they got with Kerry.

    As for Dean: "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"

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    RSN site: new Stock column


    We've got the latest column by Barbara J. Stock, The Sleeping World is Awakening to the Dangers of Islam, is now live on the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter.

    Read it on the RSN site: HERE.

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    Turning their backs


    I've stumbled on the web site of a major protest planned for the President's inauguration in two months:
    We're calling on people to attend inauguration as they are: members of the public. Once through security and at the procession, at a given signal, we'll all turn our backs on Bush.
    Kewl.

    It is not likely, after the ferocity we've seen from the ABB crowd this year, that it will be limited to that. Or hollering. Or public urination. Or…

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    News Flash 2004: George Bush Wins Florida!


    On the 9th, a fellow wrote on TruthOut.org:
    George W. Bush's vote tallies, especially in the key state of Florida, are so statistically stunning that they border on the unbelievable.
    The problem? The President received significantly more votes in some Florida counties than there were registered Republicans.

    The Miami Herald reported Sunday on their vote-counting in three counties which most fit the conspiracy:
    The newspaper's count of optical scan ballots in Suwannee, Lafayette and Union counties showed Bush whipping Sen. John Kerry in a swath of Florida where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-1.

    [ . . .]
    The Herald count confirmed that Bush's message sold in a part of the state where many voters may be Democrats by registration only.
    And this shows the potential for a different outcome had the Democrats nominated a credible candidate.

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    Lieberman and Sensenbrenner on TW


    Former Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos is host of ABC's This Week, and his first guest this week were Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) and Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut), an opponent and a proponent of adopting the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission without further debate.

    Sensenbrenner said that his problem is driver's licenses. He wants a uniform, national standard for them, and he does not want them issued to people who cannot prove that the live here.

    Lieberman said that the 9-11 Commission Bill passed by the Senate and held up in the House already addresses uniform driver's licenses. He added that the bill's current main opponents, Sensenbrenner and Representative Duncan Hunter (R-California) had contributed more to the bill than had anyone else in either house of Congress. They do not, he argued, have the right to block reform.

    Steph brought up someone quoted in a Washington Post as saying that the President's support for the bill was lukewarm at best, that he was supporting it for political reasons. Lieberman countered: "I believe that the President wants this bill." He again faulted Sensenbrenner and Hunter for blocking a bill "even though the President says he needs it."

    Sensenbrenner responded that the President is for the bill, but he wants them to get it right. "What good is revising intelligence if we don't have homeland security?"

    The driver's licenses.

    Lieberman stated that someone had found that if the 9-11 Commission bill had been law, "probably 9-11 would not have happened." Yikes! Not even Tom Kean dared make such a statement.

    Sensenbrenner insisted again that they had to "do it right."
    ~~~

    You can read the rest of the Sunday shows in the Rightsided Newsletter on the RSN site: HERE.

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    The Sunday Morning Shows

    The Sunday edition of the Rightsided Newsletter, my review of the Sunday Morning public affairs talk shows, has been successfully delivered to the sundry Inboxes around the world, and it is available online for you to read on the RSN site: HERE.

    I'll be back in a bit with my review and analysis of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.



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    Susie Collins and Duncan Hunter



    From the draft of today's RSN. Duncan Hunter and Suzie Collins are guests on FOX News Sunday:
    Maine's moderate Republican Senator Susie Collins shared the set with one of the opponents of the 9-11 Commission Bill, Representative Duncan Hunter (R-California). Hunter explained his opposition: "You have to keep that tight, close-knit relationship between the war fighters and the people who run the satellites… literally the eyes and ears" of our troops. His argument is that if the military needs a satellite somewhere for a reason, it is dangerous to make the orders to have it position travel through channels of bureaucratic approval.

    Collins shot back that Hunter was wrong, because the Commander in Chief supports the bill and the Commander in Chief would never support a bill which endangered our troops. She asserted that Secretary of State Colin Powell had stated that the 9-11 Commission Bill would "improve battlefield intelligence."

    Hunter argued that it was important to keep a chain of command in deploying these satellites. Such military decisions, he argued, should not be subject to "indecision" and "bureaucracy." Collins countered that they would not be, because, again, the President would not support the bill if it would be that way.

    That's a logical fallacy. Something cannot be something else merely because an "authority" claims that is is.

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    MAKPA Quote of the Hour

    Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Dick Lugar (R-Indiana), speaking this morning on FOX News Sunday about the election situation in the Ukraine:

    This story is important, perhaps the greatest story in the world right now.



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    PRE-FACE – Sunday, November 28, 2004

    Good morning!

  • Reflecting on something posted yesterday evening, I can't believe OBL is not In the Waha subdivision of Waziristan, the happenin' place for dying terrorist leaders to hide. But that's what Pak Prez Pervez Musharraf must think ,what with reports that he's pulling the Pak troops out of the mountainous tribal zone. Then again, according to PTI out of India, Pakistani Defence Spokesman Majo. General Shaukat Sutan says that they're not going anywhere.

    I'll leave it to Russert to get to the bottom of this.



  • The Washington Post has published a piece with different experts saying different things about whether their beloved "50-50 split" has given way to a conservative majority. I'll argue that the results of this past election cannot inform us either way, in that it was primarily about the leadership of President George W. Bush. It could have been about more, but the Democrats did not have the candidate to change the focus of the election from the President.

    In several ways and on several issues, this President is not a conservative. Conservatives know this, but we also know that in a lot of important ways and on some crucial issues, he is.

    Dunno about a realignment, though. It didn't happen overnight. This nation is much further to the right than the MSM would like to believe.



  • The New York Times in editorial this morning suggests that Republicans in the Senate work with Democrats on the matter of judges, rather than ending the time-honored filibuster on "a few far-right judicial nominees." The filibuster is not an old tradition with judicial nominees, and it will not be ended for legislation.
    The Republicans would have a weak case. The Constitution expressly authorizes the Senate to "determine the rules of its proceedings." That is precisely what it has done.
    WRONG. The paper has a weak case. The Constitution expressly authorizes the Senate to "determine the rules of its proceedings." That is precisely what they might have to do.

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  • 11/27/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • Tomorrow, the Sunday shows start early and end in the afternoon. It looks like there will be some talk of the 9-11 recommendations being etched into stone, and some more about values. I'll pay attention and scribble it for you.


  • I've pretty much completed the two short stories I am submitting to a literary contest next week. The first one, Death is a Star, was written in a sense a decade ago; I'd found it in a box in the garage last month. I had to proof the thing, fixing the style to what I do now, and reworking the ending. (I wasn't serious when I wrote it.)

    The second, Lightning Bugs is from a tale I wrote in 2001. I liked the shell of the thing and the concept, but I had to gut the middle. They want 1,500 words or less, and it was 3,400 in the original.

    Maybe I'll start a revolution.


  • And I'm now listening to the blues on WPSU. It's Penn State's station.

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  •  

    The Sunday Morning Talk Shows


    Meet the Press (NBC): Host Tim Russert will talk to Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton of the infamous 9-11 Commission, as they demand that their recommendations be adopted without debate. Then he'll speak to four religious and quasi-religious figures -- Jerry Falwell, Richard Land, Al Sharpton, and Jim Wallis -- presumably about the often nebulously used term "values."



    FOX News Sunday: Host Chris Wallace talks with Senators Dick Lugar (R-Indiana) and Susie Collins (R-Maine), and he'll talk to Representative Duncan Hunter (R-California), one of those who objects to some of the 9-11 Commission recommendations Congress is trying to foist on itself.



    Face the Nation (CBS): Host Bob Schieffer will chat with authors Chernow, Joseph J. Ellis, and Bob Woodward. Who knows about what?



    This Week (ABC): Host George Stephanopoulos will talk with Joe Lieberman, Jim Sensebrenner, Gary Bauer, a few university presidents, and an author named Weigel



    Late Edition (CNN): Host Wolfgang Blitzer chats away with Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Barbara Boxer (D-California); Representatives Chris Shays (R-Connecticut), J.D. Hayworth (R-Arizona) and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida); German Ambassador Wolf Ischinger; British Ambassador David Manning; French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte; and others.


    I will review and summarize the shows for Sunday's Rightsided Newsletter, to which you can subscribe for free by visiting the web site at http://rightsided.tripod.com, or by sending a blank e-mail to rsn-subscribe [AT] topica.com.

    It will arrive if your inbox shortly after it is completed early Sunday afternoon. And a link will be posted online at which you can read the RSN if you do not subscribe in time.

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    Good news from Palestine!


    With Yassir Arafat now "cold/ And in the icy silence of the tomb" (Keats), the P.L.O./P.A. now feels safe to dismantle their "Death Squad." Being dead, Arafat no longer needs his henchmen.

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    Pak quits Waziristan, says OBL is gone


    The government of Pakistan is pulling its troops from the tribal regions of southern Waziristan, one of the infamous "tribal regions" wherein Osama bin Laden has been believed to be living.

    A senior Pak military guy says that OBL has vacated the premises.

    So they don't know where he is, but they know he's not there.

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    Congressional Spending


    From AP:
    Ronald Reagan, in his 1988 State of the Union address to Congress, hefted a 1,000-page, 14-pound spending bill and warned lawmakers against sending him more "behemoths" like this. "And if you do, I will not sign it."
    That was from the 1988 State of the Union address [text, and he was speaking to a Democrat Congress.

    Last Saturday, AP reports, Congress passed a spending bill of over 3,000 pages. (Well, 3,646 including accompanying docs.)

    Pork. If your Congress critter doesn't grab it, someone else's will. They know this, they repeat this, and most of them grab it. It's one of them "vicious cycles," they say.

    The President needs a line-item veto, and he must use it heavily. That ends the cycle. Barring that, he has to have the balls to veto the entire budget until it is cleaned up, which is a bad thing to do politically when your party is Congress. (Clinton's veto of the budget reconciliation in '95 was a slap at a fledgling Republican Congress: he could blame Gingrich.. For the purposes we're discussing, that veto does not count. The President would have to blame… whom? Dennie Hastert?)

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    They'd Kill Our President


    The Columbian guerilla mega-gang Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had a plot to kill President Bush when he was in their country last week. Before you are concerned that this is part of JF Kerry's "THE WORLD HATES BUSH" picture, they had planned to blow up President Clinton in August of 2000.

    They claim they want to kill these Presidents because the U.S. gives money to Columbian corporations while ignoring the poor – the leftist argument Stateside – but it is more likely that they want to show that they are a force to be reckoned with, capable of striking anywhere at will, etc.

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    Thanksgiving Redux


    From AP:
    A man with a history of mental illness charged with stabbing two relatives after they criticized his table manners during Thanksgiving dinner was ordered by a judge Friday to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
    Good idea. Evaluate him, as their might be something wrong.

    D'ya think? This has ABB disgruntlement written all over it.

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    Blogging for Iraq


    Taking my cue from Adrian Warnock, this blog as signed on with TTLB Eco Team, as a member of the Blogdom of God…

    These relationships appear more complex than they actually are. Spirit of America is raising money to help not per se any side in the Iraq war other than the people of Iraq: everything from sewing machines to irrigation to gifts for children. The contacted NZ Bear at TTLB, who put the challenge out to members of his ecosystem. Adrian of the Blogdom of God rose to that challenge and asked me to see what I could do.

    Here's what I did:
  • Joined the team then personally donated at least $25.

  • Posted about the effort in this space. (You are my witnesses.)

  • E-mailed the Bear to let him know I've done these things.


  • Having done this, he will list me an all who accept his challenge atop the ecosystem for a time. Above the "mighty Kos. " (And even Instapundit…)

    Anyone can donate, but we bloggers have been given an extra incentive by the Bear.

    The idea of a nation under attack from inside and out, working together to throw off the last vestiges of a despotic tyranny and emerge with a country of their own making is the kind of thing we read about in history books. For the Iraqis, as for the world, these are important times. That we as Americans, independent of our government, can help out is appealing.

    Click on the links in the first paragraph to find out more.
    ~~~~~

    NZ Bear tells me that I evidently did not sign up for the TTLB Ecoteam properly, so I had to do that again. I'll excuse myself the mistake, if for no other reason than that I occasionally do. (Not often. Excuse myself, that is.)

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    PRE-FACE – Saturday, November 27, 2004

    Good morning.

  • There are interesting names and there are really kewl names. Filling the rotating role of the European Union presidency, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot stipulated that the only solution for the Ukraine, given their flawed elections, is to hold new elections by the end of the year. It is not clear what Bot and the EU would want if the pro-Soviet Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych beats his pro-European rival again.

    The Ukranian parliament has passed a resolution saying that the results of last Sunday's election were no good.



  • In an analysis, the Washington Post excoriates Speaker Hastert for, it asserts, "running the House virtually as a one-party institution," allowing a few Republican Congressmen to overrule the will of the majority of both parties. The argument is that the Democrats were gracious, and he offers one little incident as "proof."

    As Speaker, though, Hastert knows not to steamroll the concerns of several high-ranking committee chairmen simply to pass a dangerous bill drafted by a partisan, unelected (9-11) commission.



  • Between outpatient chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist will miss the Supreme Court's December session. January 7 will be his 33rd anniversary on the Court, and the man is 80-years-old. This is an era which is near its end, and with Snarlin' Arlen if ankle weights and manacles, the President should be able to get enough Dem support to break a filibuster and get the country a Chief Justice Clarence Thomas. (The Anita Hill allegations having long since been dismissed as nonsense.)

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  • 11/26/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD – Friday, November 26, 2004


  • Where are the Dems going to find votes? USA Today suggests that they might look to the west, where they can attempt to convince voters that big government is good for some things.
    "If we don't expand our base and cling to our limited base of support, I don't know how we win a presidential election," [California Senator Diane] Feinstein said. "We have to build up the West."
    We'll hear such talk following a demoralizing election defeat, but this won't last. The Dems will get over their self-loathing and realize that they simply have to nominate a decent candidate next time in order to make more of a contest of it. Maybe John Edwards can relax and build a reputation in the next four years. Maybe folks will notice Tom Vilsack. Or maybe they'll give up and run Mondale again, or maybe Lautenberg (who has evidently been dead for several years already).



  • Note to Brian: You mentioned being a Penn State fan in a comment a few days ago. Are you, by any chance, an alumnus, or is your support an erstwhile regional thing?



  • It's Friday night, and we had thanksgiving again tonight, food-wise. I'm once again tired, but I probably deserve a second or third wind after this day. But I've moved that TTLB thing under the A-1 blogroll. I didn't have it on my page 'til someone advised me that I ought to put it here, and now it's here. No more distractions.



  • I'm listening to Orchestral Music from Notre Dame by a composer named Franz Schmidt. I bought the CD this year or last year because I heard one of his string quartets on the radio and the announcer said that he was a student of Anton Bruckner. It's quality stuff, but he's not a "A-list" composer. Now watch, his great-great-granddaughter will see this and argue that he was better than Erich Korngold. And I'm sure you'd all love to see that discussion. 

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  •  

    The Veep's former company


    "[B]ad news for Vice President Dick Cheney's former company."

    Halliburton.

    The election's over. They can let this go now.

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    Cosby at Rainbow-Push


    This evening, I caught most of Bill Cosby's speech about children to the Reverend Jesse Jackson's Rainbow-Push Coalition on July 1st. It's breathtaking, and this it is something which should be shown to a wide audience. I flipped on C-SPAN2 in passing.

    His message is that his people have done too much, gone through intense struggles, to get where they are. It is the responsibility of the parents to see that their children do what they should for the future not only of them but of everyone.

    The Reverend Jackson was unmoved. He treated the remarks as a contextual explanation and retracting of May 17 remarks. Actually, they were a reaffirmation.

    And in commenting in direct response after Cosby's remarks on July 1, the Reverend Jackson broke down in tears to emphasize "the media exploits Bill's words." He didn't mean what he said.


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    Delaying Ira's Elections


    A collection of groups of Iraq politicians are demanding that elections be held in eight months instead of two.

    A delay, of course, would be a victory for the mutant opposition, and it is not clear how much cleaning can be done in the six extra months. They should ask the Iraqi government. Another reason given for the delay request is to give negotiators time to talk the Sunnis away from a boycott. Again, it's unclear what could be done eight months which could not be done in two.

    It is too late for the United States to impose martial law, and such a move at the beginning, though it would have let Iraq avoid the current situation, was diplomatically impossible.

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    Corzine to seek NJ gov seat


    Barring the chips falling where they may, the next governor of New Jersey will probably be Senator John Corzine (D-New Jersey). The NY Daily News says the bazillionaire is ready to run for his party's nomination. The general election is next year/

    On the GOP side, he could face bazillionaire Doug Forrester, who lost his try at Bob Torricelli's seat when Toricelli was forced to drop out and was replaced by cadaver Frank Lautenberg. Forrester says he's set to throw in $8-million in personal funds.

    Corzine is getting out of the Senate, of course, because the Democrats are hopelessly out of power and will remain so for at least the next four years. (It's a longshot that they could get back something in 2008, if their Presidential candidate is hot.)

    (There were rumors circulating that Corzine was going to challenge McGreevey for the Dem nomination next year anyway, though.)

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    Newsmax.com destroys Dan-O


    From Newsmax.com:
    Dan Rather destroyed himself. But he might have continued his decades of media bias had not NewsMax exposed him for all the world to see.
    And, I assume, Newmax.com "took the initiative in creating" the MRC, RatherBiased.com, weblogs, and the entire Internet.

    It's a dirty back but someone's gotta pat it.

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    Alan Keyes in Illinois


    Alan Keyes told the Illini that he would move to their State, and despite Barack Obama -- or perhaps partially because of him – Keyes and his Washington-based Declaration Foundation are moving to Chicago. The Sun-Times blurb-(scroll down) about the matter was caustic and spiteful, but at least they are crediting him with keeping his word.

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    Bill Clinton: Superstar?


    As I've said, and has been evident, Bill Clinton is not the vote-getting magnet, the superstar politician, that some folks wish to believe him to be.

    In the Washington Times, "Inside Politics" reporter Greg Pierce mentions a piece on WeeklyStandard.com by Eric Pfeiffer which discusses just that.
    Every candidate that Clinton endorsed, raised money for, or conducted a campaign appearance on behalf of, lost. Toss up Senate races in which Clinton appeared all went against the Democrats: Betty Castor in Florida, Chris John in Louisiana, James Hoeffel in Pennsylvania and outgoing Senate minority leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota. In swing states where Clinton put in appearances, such as Arizona and his home state of Arkansas, Kerry also lost.
    There are Dem operatives and noisy Dem journalists urging that the Democrats "return to Clinton" in order to stay afloat. Granted, Clinton plays a mean saxophone while Rome burns, but the Dems need someone who knows how to squirt the dry chemical carbon dioxide or halon before the structure becomes a stack of cinders.

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    Another Lament for Dan-O


    Here's Tony "Spanky" Blankley, I assume, on Dan-O's self-extrication from the miasma.
    It was the kind of arrogance that allows one to say, as Mr. Rather did immediately following the National Guard memos story, that "if any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it." That Mr. Rather could say this with a straight face to millions of Americans who had in fact seen evidence to the contrary revealed just how far he had descended in a profession he helped pioneer.
    Some of us weren't that hot on Dan-O in the first place.

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    Another Lament for Dan-O


    Here's Tony "Spanky" Blankley, I assume, on Dan-O's extrication from the miasma.
    It was the kind of arrogance that allows one to say, as Mr. Rather did immediately following the National Guard memos story, that "if any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it." That Mr. Rather could say this with a straight face to millions of Americans who had in fact seen evidence to the contrary revealed just how far he had descended in a profession he helped pioneer.
    Some of us weren't that hot on Dan-O in the first place.

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    PRE-FACE


  • 'T is the shopping season. The grocery store is in a shopping plaza, so Black Friday has essentially meant that we're having leftovers tonight. Of course, this being the day after Thanksgiving, nothing's new about that.



  • Another problem: We have dozens of disgruntled CIA bosses who have either quit or been told that they were no longer wanted. These people know lots of classified stuff, might want some cash to make up for lost wages, and can write books. On the upside, perhaps we'll find out who really shot JFK. On the downside, we will have as many answers as we have disgruntled former agents.



  • Washington Post reports that Congress, which they derisively remind us is "Republican-controlled," is moving to cut hundreds of million dollars in U.S. aid to countries who refuse to sign Article 98 agreements pledging not to turn U.S. citizens over to the World Court for prosecution. The article goes on to detail some of the aid projects jeopardized.

    The article is a tacit Op/Ed endorsement of international government. Found, of course, on a news page.

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  • 11/25/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • The French wire AFP carries a story with the headline: Bush makes Thanksgiving calls to war on terror soldiers.
    President George W. Bush made Thanksgiving Day calls to soldiers in Iraq and bases in the global war on terror as the Iraq conflict cast a growing shadow over the traditional turkey feast for tens of millions of Americans.
    That is a tacit admission from one representative of the French media that he conflict in Iraq is a part of the global war on terror.

    It doesn't mean much, but it is good to see.



  • And I forgot to wish a Happy Birthday to Barbara and Jenna Bush. They turned 23 on Thanksgiving.

    I wonder what Mo Dowd bought for them?



  • I also forgot to mention that one Wednesday, President Bush has won the popular vote in New Mexico by 5,988 votes, securing the State's 5 Electoral Votes. (Al Gore had won the State in 200 by 366 votes.)

    Governor Bill Richardson said in a statement that he'd try to make it fast next time.



  • Reuters has concocted that the President is not serious about overhauling federal intelligence, quoting a Democrat Congressional age and Representative Chris Shays (R-Connecticut), a Congressman whom some have dubbed a RINO.

    As I see it, the President is not spending his political capital to push the 9-11 Commission proposals, but he is serious about reforming intelligence. (Porter Goss springs first to mind.)

    Reuters wants it done their way.



  • I'm listening to Dmitri Shostakovich's From Jewish Folk Poetry. It is a song cycle incorporating elements of Jewish folk music. I'm warming to vocal work, and this one is a very good one. Three voices and a piano.



  • Do not let appearances fool you.

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    Atlantis found between Spain and Morocco. (no kidding)


    "If you're looking for Atlantis…"
    [link]

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    Don't take the law into your own hands…


    Erick Erickson, esq. of Confessions of a Political Junkie has reached the end of his patience with comment spammers. He's written a comment policy, threatening a charge of $100,000 per solicitous comment, stating that by commenting, the spammer is consenting to the jurisdiction of the court system of the State of Georgia, where he practices law. (The policy, of course, reads like something an attorney would write. Natch.)
    I intend to start aggressively pursuing spammers. I doubt this will do much good, but I am quite proficient at getting default judgments and enforcing them. The folks at seenudegrandma, texash0ldemforyou, and advertisingarticles be warned.
    It's a neat idea.

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    RSN site: new Adamo column

    The new column by Christopher Adamo, Two Americas: Jonathan Edwards had a Point, is now live at the web site of the Rightsided Newsletter.

    Excerpt:

    In one America, deriding national sovereignty and collaborating with the enemy in wartime constitutes nothing short of treason. But in the other America, questioning the “patriotism” of such behavior is itself an unspeakable outrage. Much has changed since the decade of the 1980’s when Ronald Reagan, a real American hero, ably rescued the nation from the tempest of the Cold War.


    Read the full column on the RSN site: HERE.



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    Visiting the Troops by Phone


    The President spent some time on Thursday talking to the troops by telephone: from Fallujah to Afghanistan and Qatar.

    And the troops were fed traditional Thanksgiving meals, including the pumpkin pie.

    It's the best we can do, and I'm sure they appreciate it.

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    The CIA Quits


    "If you can't stand the heat…"

    Two super-secret clandestine "barons" from the CIA's Directorate of Operations have quit their jobs. I prefaced this post with that old line, as it seems to be the case here. Porter Goss was charged with directing the CIA in such a way as to be once again effective, and that is what he is attempting to do. The barons, as they were called, chose to go private rather than adapt.

    The New York Times reports that the men, the unnamable chiefs of the European and Far East divisions, were said to be "comfortable with new management."

    Interestingly, former DCI George Tenet told the 9-11 Commission in open testimony that he was interested in making changes in the agency which may have turned out to be similar to what Goss is doing.

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    The Governor of Washington is Dino Rossi


    Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has said he will certify the results on Tuesday. Republican Dino Rossi has defeated Democrat Christine Gregoire, according to the recount, by 42 votes. Another recount will cost Gregoire $700,000, but she'd be foolish not to go for it.

    Reed, a Republican, said that Gregoire would have until Friday to file for a recount, which he says will begin on December 6 and end around Chrismas. Ho, ho, ho.

    Of course, recounts have the potential of being less reliable than the first count, what with the new opportunities for fraud. In 2000, Washington was faced with indecision along with the rest of the nation at the Presidential level; now, they have it again with their State's executive.

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    Happy Thanksgiving


  • Happy Thanksgiving. It is a family holiday, and there are those stationed overseas who would love to spend just a few hours at the table this Thanksgiving with their families, but they have given of themselves to protect the interested of the United States of America – our interests! – and that is what they are doing. I am thankful that they were called and were willing to do this. Our armed services are the sine qua non of our Thanksgiving holiday. My prayers are with all of them and their families at home. May God bless and protect you.


  • For the first time in more than a week, my wife spotted a rather large patch of blue sky this morning. By the time I had thought to get the camera to capture this event, it was gone. My wife told me: "It will be back." Indeed.


  • 'T was last year that the President flew in to the former Saddam Hussein International Airport. If he were to want to return, he could not do it in the same way. He would have to tell Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, who now runs the country.

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    PRE-FACE – Thursday, November 25, 2004

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • The Washington Post has found a PowerMoneyLine study which it says shows that 9 out of 10 corporate PACS contributed more money to the GOP than to the Dems. Actually, the study was limited to the 268 corporate PACS which contributed $100,000 or more. This has been a trend, they report, since the corporate PACS were more bipartisan in their giving over a decade ago.

    The study shows that the GOP is more likely to pass legislation which is helpful to the business and economic climates in America, and that the Democrats are more likely to sponsor legislation which would negatively impact or bankrupt these companies, such as that proposed and pushed by the special interest PACS which this study did not cover and which contribute overwhelmingly to Democrat candidates.


  • The White House says that when President Bush and his family enjoy their Thanksgiving meal today, they will be eating leftovers from the turkey-and-stuffing lunch they enjoyed Wednesday with Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.


  • Thanks.

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  • 11/24/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • This was actually published last Friday, but it just now caught my attention, and I've seen no one else mention it yet. Larry Diedrich, the Republican House candidate who lost in the general election to Representative Stephanie Herseth in South Dakota, tells the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that he is in conversations with a White House official "very close to the President" about a position in the Ag. Department. Could he be talking to Karl Rove about Ann Veneman's old post? That would blow my hopes that the President would move to abolish the Department of Agriculture, but… a stubborn wish, but a dream nonetheless.

    Diedrich is a former president of the National Soybean Association. Fun guy.



  • My personal pick to head the Democratic National Committee is Donna Brazile, Al's gal. She'd lead the party further into a confused, retrograde condundrum. And my guess is that she'd be a lousy fundraiser to boot.



  • I'm listening to an Oboe Quintet Arthur Bliss, one of QE2's favorites prior to his death in 1975. He did a lot a good work scoring films. He was also QE2's Master of the Queen's Musick, which sounds like it goes back to Purcell.

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    New to the A-1 Blogroll


  • New to the blogroll is Adrian Warnock's U.K. Evangelical Blog, which is very thoughtful and spiritual blog. I've joined the Blogdom of God. (No surprises, right, except that they'd have me.)

    I will link to the Blogdom site tomorrow.


  • I have also been asked to join, and have, the Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania. Their blog roll is – scroll down – on the right.


  • And if anyone wants a spot on the blogroll, drop me a line.


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    Declaration Banned in School


    Matt Drudge links a Reuters article describing a California teacher who was suspended from teaching for assigning the students historical documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, which refer to God.

    Cutting through the hype, the Declaration qua the Declaration was not proscribed. The teacher referred to being singled out for censorship because he is a Christian. It is a good guess, then, that this teacher has taught Christian principles as Christian principles in the class in the past and has been warned and/or rebuked. The teacher was probably on some sort of probation and had his teaching materials checked by the principal for references to God.

    This would mean that the Declaration, in the hands of this particular teacher, becomes as the King James Version in the eyes of this particular principal.

    I hope the principal is found to be in the wrong here. She, principal Phyllis Vidmar, ought to treat matters this sensitive in a more careful manner. The mention of the word God in the Declaration and other such documents should be considered, for the sake of a secular education, to be an historical accident, not the advocacy of any religion.

    In writing this, I am merely trying to cut away the histrionics, looking at the situation with secularism as it is construed at this point in our history.

    Since this is my space and I am not bound by these ridiculous rulings, I'll say that I find this attempt to negate Christianity to be personally offensive, and I find attempts to nullify other religions to be generally detestable. Religion touches all people in this country in one way or another, even if it simply the knowledge that all of our founding fathers in some manner believed in a creating entity – I may be missing a stray atheist – and most were Christian. It's part of our history.

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    Ukraine: Yanukovych Wins!


    The Ukrainian Electoral Commission has confirmed that Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has defeated Viktor Yushchenko to become he next president of that former Soviet republic. Yanukovych has a certification from the official board and a congratulatory phone call from KGB Vlad, president of the former Soviet republic of Russia.

    Yushchenko's supporters, egged on by US and EU allegations of fraud, are protesting in the streets of Kiev.

    If I would have been old enough and in Kansas City at the time, I would have taken to the streets after President Ford defeated Governor Reagan for the 1976 Presidential nomination.

    The EU is upset that the Ukraine didn't wait to announce a winner until they gave the go-ahead. Secretary of State Colin Powell thinks the Russians are behind a fraud, having had their guy elected: "If the Ukrainian government does not act immediately and responsibly there will be consequences for our relationship." The concern is that Russia wants another set of colonies, like the Soviets had in the day but without the tanks.

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    Who will be the next Dan Rather?


    Okay, hopefully there will not be a next Dan Rather. Certainly his replacement, if any, will be as liberal if not moreso, but I doubt CBS News will make the mistake of hiring a man who will say in the job past the point where his mind begins to addle and his venom gushes into his reporting.

    CBS News could close its doors, but that won't happen. It's a mark of network pride, having a news division, kind of like a city having a major league sports franchise. They could drop the evening news, which would be a good thought. Then again, there is still a sizable viewership who schedule their evenings around news at 6:30p.

    If CBS wants to compete, they have to change the rules. They cannot touch ABC and NBC in the formal, stuffy newscast business. So, new direction. I mentioned this in passing in September: the execs should offer Shep Smith $20-million/year and go off in a 21st century direction. We know Smith is loyal to the FOX News Channel, but we also know that he would be insane if he turned down an offer like that.

    Smith does not try to be Cronkite, Huntley, Brinkley, or Murrow; Rather, Jennings, Brokaw all strive to be what went before them. Smith is his own model. He might be the only one who could save network news.

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    Zarqawi told to Surrender


    The Khaleej Times Online, out of the U.A.E., is reporting that a court in Jordan has given Abu Musab Zarqawi and three other $25-million men (for the price on their heads) ten days to surrender or be tried in absentia for plotting a chemical attack while on Jordanian soil. Jordan has nine mutants from an organization called Kataeb al-Tawhid who have confessed to the conspiracy with Zarqawi and the others.

    If they do not surrender in ten days, there property will be confiscated. The KTO, linked above, reports that it will be seized by the Jordanian government. The Zaman Daily out of Turkey reports that the property will be confiscated by "the US administration."

    I don't know what sort of property we're talking about here or if they are planning a subsequent "shareef's sale."

    -----

    In the meantime, Zarqawi is whining because the Iraq clerics won't play his mutant jihad game.

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    Military Stretched Thin. Bush Deploying Grandma.


    Okay, that's a potential New York Times headline for what really is a nifty story about a 72-year-old Department of Defense civilian worker named Lena Haddix who volunteered and is being sent to Iraq.
    "I wanted to do something for the country, because I was always left behind taking care of the children."
    She was a military wife from 1950-1979 and has remained a D.O.D. employee since 1977.

    She's currently in prep training.

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    MAKPA Quote of the Hour


    This one comes from Tony Adamici, president of the New York City chapter of Pink Pistols, a group of homosexual firearms rights advocates, speaking on The Brian Lehrer show on WNYC this morning:
    "I don't think being progressive-minded means you check your right to self-defense at the door."
    Actually, though, removing guns from society is one of the central tenets of progressivism/liberalism, and the movement is not a "big tent."


    (A look at the Pink Pistols' web site, however, shows them endorsing Libertarian candidates for various offices. While the Libertarian Party certainly pledges to defend the right to own and carry guns, they are most certainly not progressive in the sense Adamici used the term.)

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    Brazile Disses Dems


    Former Gore gal Donna Brazile has openly declared that Dean, Vilsack, Herman, Kirk," et al., "are not up to the task" of running the Democratic National Committee. As for herself: "I never had any interest, never expressed any interest and I don't have any interest in doing it." She says the Dems don't need someone to come in and tinker; rather, "need someone who can go in there and clean house."

    What about Terence McAuliffe? Eric Lindholm suggests that the forms submitting Terence's name in nomination for another term were signed by "'Arlkai Overay' and 'Mel Kenman.'"

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    IT'S… Wictory Wednesday


    The march to victory – fronted by the President's signature "W" – continues. If you want to be a part of the revolution and have a few extra coins, you can donate to the vital and growing Louisiana State GOP. Click HERE to donate and help them continue to make history.

    An idea is powerless without a vehicle, and the Republican Party is to be our instrument of implementation. That is why I endorse them, and it is why I contribute.

    Click HERE (page down to #3) for a list of participating Wictory Wednesday bloggers.

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    PRE-FACE – Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Good morning.
  • Democracy's sore thumb. Libertarian Party President candidate Michael Badnarik and Greenie David Cobb have joined forces and sued the State of Ohio for a recount of the ballots cast in the State on November 2. They say that they're not interested in overturning the result (Bush won); rather, they insist that they want to have investigated claims of irregularities and that a recount will ensure accuracy.

    The motive? It sounds like they are just trying to make noise, to be noticed by causing trouble. It's unfortunate.


  • The federal government now calls towns too small to be considered cities but too urban to be rural, "micropolitan." It's an official, government word, so I have added it to my Word dictionary.

    Between this and "exurbs," I'm beginning to regret that we let government's bureaucratic yuppies play with our language. Then again, as always with our federal government, we did not let them do anything.


  • When Representative Jane Harman claimed on FOX News Sunday that Sec Def Don Rumsfeld had fought to kill the 9-11 Commission Intelligence Bill, the DOD issued a statement denying it before the TV program had ended. Yesterday, Rumsfeld clarified: "I support the president's position and it's one that's evolving as those complex details are being worked out." Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), though, demanded that the President lean on Pentagon, waste his political capital on a rushed-through, bad bill essentially crafted by an unelected, ostensibly partisan commission.

    Hagel has spent the last year or so seemingly trying to make a McCain-like name for himself in order to seek the GOP Presidential nomination in four years. Like McCain, he's pariah-tizing himself.s

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  • 11/23/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • The GAO – Government Accountability Office (erstwhile, General Accounting Office) – will investigate "irregularities" in the recent U.S. Presidential election, much to the delight of the French wire AFP and the complaining Democrats: Representatives John Conyers Jr. and Jerrold Nadler of New York, Robert Wexler of Florida, Bobby Scott of Virginia, and Rusty Holt of New Jersey.
    "We are hopeful that GAO's non-partisan and expert analysis will get to the bottom of the flaws uncovered in the 2004 election."
    This stubborn refusal to accept defeat is unbecoming and is a threat to the efficient function of our Democracy. These lawmakers, and their fellows (sportscaster Keith Olbermann, etc.) lack the dignity and class of Dick Nixon circa 1960.



  • When some of us were younger, Walter Cronkite retired, there were many folks who had never known news from someone else. Things have changed. Now that Cronkite's successor, Dan Rather, has announced that he is quitting in March, it bears reflection that there are probably many teens who have never heard of Rather except for what they've read on the Internet.



  • I've not written much about football, and I am a fan. There is a reason. My college team is my alma mater, Penn State. There are only two good things to say about that program: Firstly, this recruiting class promises to be the best in over a decade; secondly, JoePa just might retire… after next season.

    My pro team is the Steelers. 'Nuff said.



  • I'm listening to Modest Mussorgsky, a Russian composer who was part of a group of nationalists called "The Mighty Handful," upon other things. Mussorgsky puzzles me, in that other composers, such as Rimsky-Korsakov and Ravel -- had to clean up his stuff, make it comprehensible. The other thing is that he is reported to have been a drunk. In fact, he is said to have been so drunk and sick most of the time that he rarely finished any of his works. Written of Mussorgksy: "I am a Romantic period psycho who's drunk more often than not."

    His depictions do have that wild look, in his eyes and his unkempt beard. Can a drunk man find grace?

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    The Saudis Fund Clinton's Bridge


    Matt Margolis at Blogs for Bush shares a quote from the New York Sun:
    President Clinton's new $165 million library here was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen.

    The governments of Dubai, Kuwait, and Qatar and the deputy prime minister of Lebanon all also appear to have donated $1 million or more for the archive and museum that opened last week.
    Matt says he doesn't expect Michael Moore to shoot a vid about this Clinton connection of the House of Saud and other Middle Eastern oil sheikdoms.

    Clinton can claim he took their money because he considered it to mean less money for Hezbollah. He could say it with a straight face.

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    Fare thee well, Steve Freidman


    Well, Stephen Friedman is out as head of the President's National Economic Council.

    The angels cry when a tax cutter leaves the White House.

    Tim Adams is said to be lead candidate for replacement, but he always struck me more as a politics guy. Adams isn't working for the campaign anymore, so he need not recommend cuts to get the President elected.

    I hope my concern is misplaced.

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    Kerry blames FOX News


    Perry Peterson, a.k.a. Caveman at Cave News and Views, reports that JF Kerry "is blaming Fox News for helping him lose the election because of it’s biased (against him) reporting."

    He had blamed the OBL vid.

    Here is what Kerry said in his vid to supporters, taken from some Rather apologists:
    You moved voters, helped hold [President] George [W.] Bush accountable, and countered the attacks from big news organizations such as FOX, Sinclair Broadcasting, and conservative talk radio.
    He is blaming FOX and others for his defeat. He is saying that there were attacks which had to be countered lest they defeat his effort. He thanked his supporters for countering them, but his ultimate defeat indicates that this support was not enough to counter FOX News and the others.

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    Quinnipiac shows Rell's a hit


    The woman who would name Joe Lieberman's replacement should the Democrat Senator be named to the President's new cabinet, Connecticut's Republican Governor Jodi Rell has an approval rating of 80-percent. Only New York's Governor George Pataki has scored higher in the Quinnipiac University's polling, shortly after 9-11.

    If Lieberman is tabbed to be a cabinet secretary, it is likely that Rell would name Republican Representative Nancy Johnson to succeed him, making her the latest GOP moderate to grace the "deliberative body."

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    They're Doing it to Tony


    British Prime Minister Tony Blair is said to be looking at an election in May, though some have said that it could come as early as February.

    In the months before his electoral victory earlier this month, U.S. President Bush was accused of trying to scare voters into supporting him; with his own elections upcoming, the same accusations are being tossed at Blair:
    Responding to claims the terror threat was being over-hyped, Mr Blair said: "It's said that these measures are scaremongering but the fact is that the threats faced by the country and every other major country around the world are real."
    They're also being dangerously minimized for political reasons.

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    Dan Rather to Quit in March


    Dan-O's done. His replacement will have as much star-power as did he: former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, better known to the world as "Baghdad Bob."



    "There is no presence of G.O.P. infidels in the city of Washington. We slaughtered them and will continue to slaughter them."

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    Nagourney/Elder: Punditry on a Poll


    It's what it is. Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder wrote an Op/Edt on a contrived political poll, but their paper (New York Times) cast it as straight news. Others can dissect the piece, picking at the many flaws, but I'll try only a few:

    First, was a poll of 855 adults, not people who voted or even merely people who were registered to vote. They attempted to split it between Bush supporters and Kerry supporters, though that would bring a statistically skewed result. Kerry voters were a minority. AND Kerry voters cannot accurately be classified as Kerry voters; rather, they are most likely anti-Bush voters. Therein lies the fundamental "divide" in our country, which is personality-driven rather than issue-driven. (There are differences on issues, as there always have been, but they are not whatt generates what the media calls the divide."


    Second:
    In addition, 70 percent of Mr. Kerry's supporters said they were more worried about candidates who "are too close to religion and religious leaders" than about political leaders who "don't pay enough attention" to religion, after a campaign in which Mr. Bush repeatedly spoke of God and his faith. By contrast, 52 percent of Mr. Bush's supporters said they were more worried about public officials who "don't pay enough attention to religion and religious leaders."
    This begs a question. Did the "JF Kerry, Man of Faith" persona we saw on the campaign trail cost him votes from his sullen (liberal-atheistic) or his apathetic (liberal-agnostic) constituencies? According to the Nagourney/Elder poll, these people comprised much of Kerry's support.

    Third:
    Across the board, the poll suggested that the outcome of the election reflected a determination by Americans that they trusted Mr. Bush more to protect them against future terrorist attacks - and that they liked him more than Mr. Kerry - rather than any kind of broad affirmation of his policies. As such, the result was reminiscent of the state of play Ronald Reagan found in 1980, when he defeated President Jimmy Carter.
    WRONG! That is a perverse denial of history. The incumbent lost the 1980 election, while he won this last one. The analogy dies there, but I'll go on. Ronald Reagan was not elected because the voters trusted him. In fact, half of Carter's campaign was to portray Reagan as an addled religious lunatic who wanted to nuke the Soviet Union and trigger Armageddon and the "Second Coming." Ronald Reagan was not elected because the voters distrusted Carter, though they did.

    In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected on his ideas. His ideas were front-and-center in the campaign, used by his side to support him and by Carter's side to generate fear.

    But it was something about which for them to write.

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    Job Approval: 55-percent


    According to a new CNN/USA Today poll, the President's job approval rating is 55-percent. (Perhaps someone from the MSM will be along to inform us that no President since Roosevelt with a job approval rating below 60% this early in his second term has gone on to win re-election in four years. It's a fact, you know.)

    Sixty-five percent buy into the hype that the country is "greatly divided" on "major issues" – a plurality say they favored going to war and a majority say it was not a mistake. (Divisions on the invasion of Iraq are not divisions on a current major issue. They are disagreements concerning recent history.)
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    Homespun Bloggers: Symposium II


    The Homespun Bloggers, an alliance I joined a while back, recently began conducting a weekly symposium, and I figured I ought to participate. Here are this week's questions:
    Is the division in America important to you? What will be necessary to heal it? What part do you see Bloggers playing in that discussion and how will you personally contribute to it?
    My response:

    The division is America, though extant to its extent, unfortunately has been overhyped. To the extent that it exists now, it is a healthy part of our democracy. We tend to be a loud, demonstrative citizenry, and our dissent is always pronounced.

    In the summer of 2001, our country was fractured, divided. The Senate had swung with while Jim Jeffords tilted at his personal windmills, President Bush could do no right and no wrong over the matter of medical experiments on human embryonic stem cells, and half the country was convinced that "Condit did it." The President had lost the popular vote in the previous November's election, and the opposition was convinced that if you counted all the chads, you'd find that their guy won.

    September 11. When it was required, we dropped the divisions for a while and made it through. This proves for me that the divisions are essentially ephemeral, in some cases (ABB) a mere collection of causes to fill a vacuum.

    To heal it temporarily, we must have another crisis to which to respond. Our political leaders, who might be amused by the emotionalism of some of our political convictions, seem to get along fine if one of them passes away (President Reagan) or opens a bridge (President Clinton).

    To the extent that people pay attention, bloggers can inspire people to at least temporary anger, frustration, examination, or intellectual consideration. How will I contribute to healing? I have no idea. I hope it comes through in my prose that the opposition amuses me a lot more than they stoke my anger. Political discussion can be fascinating, enjoyable, and, yes, fun if you allow it to be.


    To visit some of the other Homespun Bloggers, look at the blogroll on the right, scroll down. They're a thoughtful group.

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    PRE-FACE – Tuesday, November 23, 2004

    Good morning!
  • Guns, guns, guns. A Laotian immigrant named Chai Vang slaughtered five hunters ostensibly over a deer stand which wasn't his, and the AP reports that he "open[ed] fire… with a semiautomatic assault rifle." I do not use the term "assault rifle" myself, as it is a misnomer. An RSN reader with an extensive professional history with guns (gunsmith, 60-years) tells me that there is no such thing as a "semiautomatic," either.


    Well, the gun industry advertises them, anyway.



  • When Terence McAuliffe is gone, who will run the DNC? Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and former Labor Secretary (*Clinton) Alexis Herman have announced that they don't want to be considered. There is told of former Clinton boy Harold Ickes, Simon Rosenberg of New Democratic Network, former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, and others. Howard Dean is actively campaigning for the job. It's not a job one should actively seek; rather, one should be asked to help out the party. It's not an elected political office.

    But would Dean put a nifty face on the Democrats?



  • They're "scaring people" again, as the MSM is wont to complain in such circumstances. The Department of Homeland Security has released a set of commercials urging parents to discuss disaster plans with their children.

    There will not doubt be duct tape jokes soon coming from the corps of the press.

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  • 11/22/2004

     

    AFTER-WORD


  • Eric Lindholm (Viking Pundit) reports that last week, JF Kerry was able to double the number of days he has worked in the Senate this year, from four to eight days. His missed vote percentage dropped from 92% to 90%.

    WTG, JF! He's not resting on his laurels; rather, he seeks to take his mandate for action and become a Senate leader with MSM bona fides. (I think it would be kewl if he became the Dems' John McCain, but JF lacks the spine. And the notions.)



  • Columnist Bob Novak writes Monday about how the fear of God was placed in Snarlin' Arlen's heart before Bill First, at al., allowed him to become the next Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and John Cornyn of Texas were ready to blow Specter off before he begged in the form of a promise. (Sessions, if you'll recall, had his own nomination to the appellate court knifed by Specter a few years back.)

    Specter can remain chairman for six years, provided he behaves. (He is either not running for or will not be elected to another term from Pennsylvania.)



  • I'm listening to, for a change of pace, The Shores of Heaven, by Jeff Pearce. It's ethereal stuff, perhaps "new age." The song playing now is called Rain as a Metaphor, and it's not so much a song as a… sound event.

    Whatever. It's nifty chill music.

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    Liberty University law school begins training


    The law school at the Reverend Jerry Falwell's Liberty University is currently simply a former cell phone factory, but the students are there to learn the law.
    [B]y teaching law from a Christian perspective, Falwell hopes to train a cadre of Christian lawyers to fight what he sees as the growing secularization of public life across the country.
    They are still at least two years from ABA provisional accreditation, so it would seem that enrolling there is a matter of faith for these would-be attorneys.

    And that will do it.

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    Hands off The Hammer


    House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is evidently almost free of the Democrat charges against him, according to a Texas official cited by CBSNews.com. The web site belonging to CBS News, it hints that DeLay escaped the hangman and will not have to pay for his guilt. They report that the Hammer "appears to have dodged a bullet," and go on to repeat the bogus charges which they had just stated were being dropped.

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    New Addition to the A-1 Blogroll


    I'm pleased to add John Behan's Commonwealth Conservative blog. John is an elected Commonwealth's Attorney in Virginia, which is a district attorney in that particular commonwealth.

    He treats politics arising in Virginia as well as national issues and things important to conservatives and conservatism.

    -----

    If you would like a link on this page, drop me a line.

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