Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The history of Superman

posted by Rob at 4:17 PM

An interesting - for me - read was sent my way by a friend yesterday. It is long - very long - absurdly long - criminally insane long - and purports to outline the history of the new Superman movie.

You can read it here. You'll need a good 30 to 40 minutes to read it. Most of it rings true from reports I've read as far back as 1998 about the movie, which is finally set to debut next summer. ( You can see the new trailer here. I'm thrilled at the use of the John Williams music).

The theme of the Superman tome revolves around Warner Brothers desire for a "new, gritter" Superman saga, one in which he couldn't fly, he wore black, Jimmy Olsen is gay, Luther works for the CIA, Superman dies and visits heavene and Tim Burton was Lord of Metropolis.

Here's a taste of the read:
Nicolas Cage, having been fighting tooth and nail against Burton and Peters’ vision of Superman (even though he’d been putting on a happy public face about working with them), angrily demanded that he be allowed to wear the classic Superman costume and fly. So WB relented much to Burton’s dismay, ordering up a rubber Superman suit and flying FX tests. (According to Superman CINEMA, a chintzy, Sam Jones-as-Flash Gordon-type Superman suit was dished up as well, but it went over like a lead balloon.) However, when Cage tried on the rubber suit, it looked stupid. And when they stuck a long-haired wig on him, it looked even worse. And after Burton and Gilroy were finished with their rewritten script, WB looked it over and loathed it. Even worse, all of Burton and Peters’ screwing around and causing trouble resulted in the film being budgeted somewhere between $140-190 million. So, in April 1998, just weeks before the film was to start shooting, WB put the film on indefinite hold. By this time, about $30-40 million (including the pay-or-play contracts for Burton and Cage—$20 million for Cage, $5 million for Burton) had already been spent on the project, with nothing to show for it. [It’s well over $50 million now, given all the stupidity that occurred beyond this.]

I hate to admit I eat stuff like this up. If you enjoy comics and movies, this is a must read. I am now wondering whether the new movie is worth investing hype and longing (yes, I long for certain movies - I'm a nerd).

One other comment - Harry Knowles from Ain't It Cool News comes off as, litarally, a "studio whore." I can't say I disagree with that assessment. Harry's site was fun - if not completly a wreck with a shitty search function - a few years ago. It's now a cyber slut which will pimp any movie or concept as long as Harry gets some slurp.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Another dagger in the phrase "student-athlete"

posted by Rob at 4:10 PM

More so than elsewhere, the education system in New York is a joke, as the New York Times reports:
Morley, now a freshman defensive back for the University of Tennessee, was one of at least 28 athletes who polished their grades at University High in the last two years.

The New York Times identified 14 who had signed with 11 Division I football programs: Auburn, Central Florida, Colorado State, Florida, Florida State, Florida International, Rutgers, South Carolina State, South Florida, Tennessee and Temple.

University High, which has no classes and no educational accreditation, appears to have offered the players little more than a speedy academic makeover.

The school's program illustrates that even as the N.C.A.A. presses for academic reforms, its loopholes are quickly recognized and exploited.

Athletes who graduated from University High acknowledged that they learned little there, but were grateful that it enabled them to qualify for college scholarships.

Lorenzo Ferguson, a second-year defensive back at Auburn, said he left Miami Southridge High School for University High, where after one month he had raised his average to 2.6 from 2.0.

Friday, November 25, 2005

A heart-warming holiday story

posted by Rob at 8:58 AM

Much love this Thanksgiving to the sports poet Might MJD for his short story, Thanksgiving with Terrell and Drew:
Terrell stood up from the table, his eyes shut tightly, his body overcome with the spirit of perhaps not God, but some less noble, more childish force. "LORD, I ASK YOU, WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THIS MAN? PLEASE GUIDE ME, LORD. PLEASE ADVISE ME ON MY RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS EVIL MAN, LORD. SHOULD I FIRE HIM, LORD?"

#81's Personal Chef cupped his hands over his mouth, and in a low, booming, whisper, said, "Don't fire him. Kill him."

Rosenhaus's head snapped in the direction of #81's Personal Chef, and this time, his loss of bladder control was not temporary. Drew Rosenhaus had peed all over himself.

"I will do thy bidding, Lord," Terrell Owens said, in a trance reminiscent of the one that took control of Reggie Jackson is The Naked Gun. "I will kill Drew Rosenhaus, Lord." Terrell finally opened his eyes and took a few steps towards the small, cowering, man.

Rosenhaus jumped up from his seat, pointed at #81's Personal Chef and shouted, "HE SAID THAT!"

Terrell looked at #81's Personal Chef, who yelled, "I AIN'T SAID SHIT," while jumping up and down in pure glee. "IT WAS GOD, NEGRO!" #81's Personal Chef handed Terrell a large carving knife.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Something subliminal at CNN

posted by Rob at 1:29 PM

The Drudge Report is all over "X-gate," which involves a mysterious graphic covering the face of VP Dick Cheney during a live CNN telecast of a speech yesterday.

According to Drudge, "CNN spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg emails: 'We concluded this was a technological malfunction not an issue of operator error.'"

Let's take them at their word. It was a mistake. At least the word "RATS" didn't sneak on the screen:
WOODRUFF: Well, some people in the advertising industry say they believe the inclusion of the word "RATS" was intentional, even if it was not designed to send a subliminal or subconscious message.

CNN's Beth Fouhy has more on the spot, and the possible strategy behind it.

I wonder about the possible strategy behind the Cheney X. Was someone in the CNN control room busy watching the Game Show network?

Monday, November 21, 2005

The logic buttressed by idiot insults

posted by Rob at 4:31 PM

Via Instapundit, I found a sound argument to throw at those who chant endlessly, with fingers plugging their ears and their eyes clenched shut, that BUSH LIED!!!

From Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom:
Clearly, the important administration arguments are beginning to coalesce: 1) Criticism of the war is not by itself unpatriotic 2) Similarly, answering anti-war critics is not challenging their patriotism 3) But opportunistic and cynical anti-war critics who are trying to walk back their own votes and level spurious charges at the Administration (they lied to take is into war) are themselves lying 4) These lies are hurting the country and the troops. 5) The burden of proof, in a post 911 world, was on Saddam Hussein to prove he’d disarmed; we could not wait for the threat to become imminent before acting 6) The cause the troops are fighting for is just and right 7) Iraq is moving toward freedom; and things on the ground are improving daily, regardless of what the MSM and prominent Dems would have us believe.

What I enjoy about this argument is how it exposes Dems and the MSM as skinny weak-spined ninnies. For some odd reason, it's apparently okay to endlessly suggest that Bush and his administration LIED to trick everyone into war, it's lucrative to produce and market a movie which proports that Bush and his family are cozy with terrorists, and it's acceptable to argue that soliders' lives are being wasted in a friutless expansion of the American oil empire, but call one Democrat out for possibly suggesting a cowardice retreat from Iraq, and the K-Mart temper tantrums start.

Jonah Goldberg summed up how I feel the latest argument is being framed:
Murtha is not a coward. Agreed. He is advancing a cowardly policy. The Marine is right. Period.

Yet the Dems know they will lose such an argument, so just cry about it instead.

Hillary buys the Rican vote

posted by Rob at 3:14 PM

Why not just change her name to Vote Whore if she's going to propose bills like this:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has sponsored a tax refund for Puerto Rico residents that could pay out more than $50 million over the next 10 years.

She's the sole sponsor of a bill letting some Puerto Rico residents — who pay no federal income tax — get child-credit refunds on their Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Clinton's camp declined yesterday to say why the former first lady wrote the legislation, but politicos say the move is obvious: Puerto Rican support is crucial to her re-election — and a potential White House run in 2008. Puerto Ricans are born American citizens, ready-made voters when they move to the United States.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Dumbest comment of the year award

posted by Rob at 4:43 PM

Even though we still have just over a month left in 2005, the competition is over. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has reportedly made the most asinine comment to ever come from someone of her experience and rank. As expected, it comes from her efforts to publicly slurp her former boss.

From the Austin-American Stateman is this report from an Albright appearence at St. Edward's University:
Albright criticized the Bush administration for "a deliberate way of not learning the lessons" of Clinton's efforts to make peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. She said Clinton had so impressed the Arabs that he "could be elected president of any country" in the Middle East.

Why is this comment so offensive in its ignorance? Take it away, Best of the Web:
How many countries in the Middle East even had free elections when Bill Clinton was president? If you limit it to Arab countries, you can count them on the fingers of one foot.

Easy pickings

posted by Rob at 9:24 AM

I know college students and their silly thoughts should be off limits. It's better to let sleeping bowls of mush lie than pick apart their oh so, like, deep thoughts and stuff. But Appalachian student Millie Tolleson is just asking for some ridicule with her mindless waste of bytes entitled "Women: take politics back" (did they ever have it to begin with?).

A sample:
I am a Democrat. I am a pacifist. I was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. I believe in heavy gun control. I am pro-choice. I stand strongly for gay rights. I am environmentally conscious. I believe in a staunch separation of church and state. ...

I will freely admit that I don’t have the answers to the problems we are facing domestically or in our foreign policy. But I will always vote for the person who shows the most compassion and optimism for the situation.

I will always vote for those who are willing to make improvements using change, not consistency.
Do you get that? She values "compassion" and "optimism," which are feel-good emotional adjectives. She doesn't care about any specifics, as long as the person makes her feel good.

But that last sentence is the kicker - she votes for change, not consistency. Yet Iraq should have been left alone, and abortion rights, so-called gay rights and the illusion of a seperation of church and state should all remain untouched.

She ends her musing with a call to women:
It is your responsibility as a citizen of this country to have an opinion on issues that will affect you, whether you think they will or not.
I know what she's attempting to say yet, for some reason, she doesn't know how to say it. Everyone has an opinion on issues, but it seems very few have an informed one. There is a difference.

Obsessed over how one looks

posted by Rob at 9:17 AM

A sad story our of Rocky Mount, where too many are too involved in spoiling the message of the man they seek to honor:
It was a laudable idea: build a park and raise a sculpture in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the place where he first told an audience, "I have a dream."

It has become a two-year nightmare from which Rocky Mount has yet to wake.

The problem? City leaders and two sculptors have been unable so far to satisfy Rocky Mount's collective memory of just what the civil-rights leader looked like.

King may be one of the most famous men of the 20th century, but memories of his face vary among his many admirers.
So much for that whole content of character schtick. I wonder if the sculpture will have abs?

Obsessed over how one looks

posted by Rob at 9:17 AM

A sad story our of Rocky Mount, where too many are too involved in spoiling the message of the man they seek to honor:
It was a laudable idea: build a park and raise a sculpture in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the place where he first told an audience, "I have a dream."

It has become a two-year nightmare from which Rocky Mount has yet to wake.

The problem? City leaders and two sculptors have been unable so far to satisfy Rocky Mount's collective memory of just what the civil-rights leader looked like.

King may be one of the most famous men of the 20th century, but memories of his face vary among his many admirers.
So much for that whole content of character schtick. I wonder is the sculpture will have abs?

Everything old is new again

posted by Rob at 8:06 AM

The subject - Rep. John Murtha, of Johnstown, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense panel.

Here's what he said yesterday:
The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.
This made news. The Big Mo' continues.

Yet here is Murtha from May 2004, about a year and a half ago:
"We cannot prevail in this war as it is going today," Murtha said yesterday at a news conference with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Murtha said the incidents of prisoner abuse in Iraq were a symptom of a problem in which U.S. troops in Iraq are undermanned, inadequately equipped and poorly trained.

"We either have to mobilize or we have to get out," Murtha said, adding that he supported increasing U.S. troop strength rather than pulling out.

I'm unsure what is exactly news here, other than the MSM see an opportunity to continue slamming Bush. And one of his statements doesn't appear to be true:

Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence.
What does he mean by "have become"? Was there a time since we invaded Iraq that our troops were not the primary target? Didn't a Muslim wedding just get ripped apart in Jordan? Isn't the most dangerous place to be in Iraq is anywhere near a police or military recruiting site?

It appears to me the primary targets in Iraq are now Iraqis attempting to build a new country.

The Community Voice has more:
The fact of the matter is the Murtha story is a non-story. It's designed to help the Democrats opposed to the war or Democrats trying to score points with the radical and French wings of their party. It's designed to throw out statements opposed to speeches given by Bush and Cheney.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I miss you Berkeley

posted by Rob at 4:49 PM


Thank goodness they're black

posted by Rob at 2:10 PM

A couple of years ago, members of the Miami college football team came out with a really neat little ditty. The Mighty MJD found it and posted a few of the lyrics:
We the boys from that Penthouse suite, slangin' that dick
If you ain't 'bout the train, then fuck you, bitch
Cuz my boys gotta hit, too
Bend over and get tattooed by the boys from the 7th floor crew
You came a good girl, but you leavin' a ho
You wonder why they call me Thundercat, but now you know
MJD notes in an update that ESPN.com found the story. Other than a cliched press release, the Miami AD isn't going do much. And why should he? They're only bragging about gangbanging woman. It could have been worse - they could have rapped about how fast they can run.

Fisking Mr. Cohen

posted by Rob at 9:02 AM

Standing in for Jenny Finch today is the Washington Post's Richard Cohen. I'll be playing the role of Albert Pujols. The game is headlined "Ignoring the Facts."

Here's the pitch:
In one of the most intellectually incoherent major speeches ever delivered by a minor president, George W. Bush blamed "some Democrats and antiwar critics" last week for changing their minds about the war in Iraq and now saying they were deceived.
Nice dig there, describing as "minor" a man who helped liberate two countries and dozens of millions of Muslims, continued his party's electoral dominance in D.C. and beyond, and reshaped the country's highest court in a conservative image. "Minor," indeed.
"It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said. Yes, sir, but it is even more deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how history was rewritten in the first place.
At least he's admitting that history was "rewritten in the first place." Don't want to remember any of this, do we?
It is the failure to acknowledge this -- not merely that mistakes were made -- that is so troubling about Bush and others in his administration. Yes, the president is right: Foreign intelligence services also thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Yes, he is right that members of Congress drew the same conclusion -- although none of them saw the raw intelligence that the White House did. And he is right, too, that Saddam Hussein had simply ignored more than a dozen U.N. resolutions demanding that he reopen his country to arms inspectors. When it came to U.N. resolutions, Hussein was notoriously hard of hearing.
Okay. I count one, two, three rights, though one came with a silly caveat. While it may be true that Congress was not able to see "the raw intelligence that the White House did," it is journalistic malpractice to not add that according to the Robb-Silverman Commission "evidence for war was more dramatically presented to the president than it was to Congress." Yet even with that diluted message Democrats - or at least the the no more than six senators and a handful of House members who read the 92-page National Intelligence Estimate beyond the five-page executive summary - echoed the president.
We can endlessly debate the facts of the Iraq war -- and we will. More important, though, is the mind-set of those in the administration, from the president on down, who had those facts -- or, as we shall see, none at all -- and mangled them in the cause of going to war with Iraq. For example, the insistence that Hussein was somehow linked to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- a leitmotif of Bush administration geopolitical fantasy -- tells you much more than whether this or that fact was right. It tells you that to Bush and his people, the facts did not matter.
Journalistic malpractice sin No. 2 - where is the evidence that Bush pimped the "geopolitical fantasy"? Two days after the 9/11 attacks a Washington Post poll found 78 percent of Americans thought it likely that Saddam "was personally involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks."

So is Cohen arguing that - in less than two days time - this "minor" man was able to brainwash most of the country into believing a "geopolitical fantasy"?

Now, let's review his "as we shall see" - all two so-called examples of it:
It did not matter that Mohamed Atta, the leader of the Sept. 11 terrorists, never met with Iraqis in Prague, as high-level Bush officials claimed.
Actually, the Czech government "claimed" the two met. And, actually, according to a Slate.com investigation, they did meet, though it's unlikely they discussed 9/11 plans - just another terrorist attack. (I apologize for the shocking revelation that there may have been a al Qaeda-Iraq relationship).
It did not matter that Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was finding no evidence of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program.
FYI - this is the same Mohamed ElBaradei who is now headed to Iran to try and convince them to stop their nuclear weapons program. FYI II - This is the same nuclear program of which there is no proof, according to Cohan's own paper. FYI III - Isn't that ironic, don'tcha think?
None of that mattered to Vice President Cheney, who warned of a "reconstituted" nuclear weapons program, promoted the nonexistent Prague meeting and went after legitimate critics with a zealousness that Tony Soprano would have admired: "We will not hesitate to discredit you," Cheney told ElBaradei and Hans Blix, the other important U.N. inspector. ElBaradei recently won the Nobel Peace Prize. Cheney's gonna have to wait for his.
Wow. Cohen plays the Nobel card, that high-minded pristine prize eternally lofted above partisan geopolitical politics and given to such saints of peace as the thankfully late Yassar Arafat.

What is even more annoying is that Cohen - who characterized Bush as "minor" - uses as an insult that Cheney threatened to "discredit" those who disagreed with him. Kettle, meet pot.

Why is it when a Republican disagrees with anyone - even so-called "legitimate critics" - a mafia metaphor springs to keyboard? And shouldn't Cheney be considered a "legitimate critic" of ElBaradei and Blix? If not, who would be? Are Republicans ever allowed to be "legitimate critics" of anyone?
Nobody has been repudiated by Bush for incompetence and dishonesty regarding Iraq. Instead, some -- former CIA director George "Slam-Dunk" Tenet comes to mind -- have received presidential medals.
I'll give Cohen a strike here, though it's off a foul tip. Where is the proof of "incompetence and dishonesty"? If the collection of what was later deemed faulty intelligence is deemed "incompetence and dishonesty," then most of the world's intelligence bodies need to be repudiated. Please note that a lot of what was later deemed faulty intelligence was collected prior to Bush/Cheney.
What's more, there's evidence aplenty that the sloppy thinking, false analogies and bad history that led to the Iraq war remain the cultural style of the White House. The president's recent speech, for instance, conflates all sorts of terrorist incidents -- from Israel to Chechnya -- neglecting that they are specific to their regions and have nothing to do with al Qaeda. Every bombing somehow becomes an attack on Western values "because we stand for democracy and peace." Oh, stop it!
Yeah! Stop it! Stop the complaints that Bush's "illegal war" has increased the number of terrorist and terrorist attacks in the world, then complain when said increases are put into the context of an attack on Western values.

Also, please stop ignoring the fact that terrorism has a history in a region long-tainted with hatred for the Great Satan. Stop ignoring all the terrorist attacks against said Satan prior to 9/11 which needed - but never were - sufficiently addressed.

The 9/11 attacks raised the stakes and demanded a reponse (uh-oh, here he goes blaming Iraq for 9/11!) No, I am not. I am arguing - and Cohen ignoring - the plain fact that America has been at war with militant Islamists years prior to 9/11 and that war needed to be taken to the aggressors. Iraq, which had a relationship with terrorists, was in defiance of the Persian Gulf War ceasefire and several UN resolutions. It was also actively engaged in hostile fire with the US and international military.

One of the primary pre-war arguments was whether the U.S. would allow Iraq to grow into a formidable source for continued anti-Western terrorist attacks. Our - and the world's - best guess estimate at the time was that Iraq was poised to become just that. Bush decided to act.

What am I missing that Cohen so well sees?
It would be nice, fitting and pretty close to sexually exciting if Bush somehow acknowledged his mistakes and said he had learned from them.
This is Cohen's real complaint. That damn Bush just won't admit a mistake, an admission Cohen and his ilk could endlessly repeat as they giggle amongst themselves about a "minor president" who admitted he screwed up something big. They'll leave out the part where Bush refuses to give up and retreat like they wish he would, thus making meaningless the sacrifice of more than 2,000 Americans lost in battle there (they'd ridicule him for such even more so than they do now).

For Cohen, it's all about domestic politics and not the pursuit of freedom and peace.
But more important -- far more important -- is what this would mean for the conduct of foreign policy from here on out. Repeatedly in his speech, Bush mentioned Syria, Iran and North Korea -- Syria above all. If push comes to shove there, it would be nice to have absolute confidence in American intelligence and the case for possibly widening the war. If we are to go to the mat with North Korea or the increasingly alarming Iran, then, once again, it would be wonderful to have the confidence we once had in the intelligence community -- as imparted to us by our president. Is there or is there not a threatening nuclear weapons program on the horizon?
It's amazing that Cohen seeks the "confidence we once had in the intelligence community." When has such confidence ever been earned?

Even Bush-critic Carol Brightman admits:
During the Cold War, the CIA fed policymakers incorrect information about target states and groups all the time. Not that analysts knew the facts were wrong -- they both did and didn't. ... What matters in such instances isn't necessarily the truth. "Intelligence," Gen. Richard Myers reminds us, "doesn't mean something is true." What matters is whether the intelligence advances a nation's security strategy and the policies that flow from it.
Cohen refers to the "increasingly alarming Iran" yet his own paper reported two months ago that "a recent U.S. intelligence estimate found that Iran is further away from making bomb-grade uranium than previously thought." Keep in mind that Iran's president recently made a public call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and warned leaders of Muslim nations who recognized the state of Israel that they faced "the wrath of their own people."

Is Cohen making an argument that Iran could become an imminent threat though there is little evidence or international agreement that Iran has a nuclear weapons program? Surely he wouldn't. That would make him a "minor" columnist.
At the moment, no one can have confidence in the Bush administration. It has shown itself inept in the run-up to the war and the conduct of it since.
If he'd replace the phrase "Bush administration" with "national mainstream media," he may have a stronger point.
Almost three years into the war, the world is not safer, the Middle East is less stable, and Americans and others die for a mission that is not what it once was and cannot be what it now is called: a fight for democracy.
I wish Cohen could define what he means by a "safer" world. Would it be "safer" to proclaim that an individual is hell bent on threatening "the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons" and then do nothing of substance to combat that threat other than - my goodness the horror - SIGN A BILL!!?

I also wish he'd define how the Middle East is "less stable." I guess life was better there before those dirty sand people achieved freedom, participated in elections and moved into land long-sought.
It would be nice, as well as important, to know how we got into this mess -- nice for us, important for the president. It wasn't that he had the wrong facts. It was that the right ones didn't matter.
Again, Cohen neglects to identify the "right" facts to which he refers (it's like Bush is hiding in his desk an intelligence report from 2001 saying in bold, 105-size font "There Are No Weapons In Iraq"). No real surprise, I guess. Bush is on the ropes. His polls suck. Somehow, out of nowhere, his party failed to win elections in always-competitive New Jersey and, as the New York Times calls it, the "reliably Republican state" of Virginia.

It's never been so easy for a liberal columnist to nip at a Republican's cuff, especially a minor one.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Woodward is a pussy

posted by Rob at 3:34 PM

The Big Cheese of the elite investigative media - the man who helped take down a president and usher in the golden age of "gotcha journalism" - admits today he knew all about Plame prior to Novak's column. At least, that is what he testified yesterday.

Why did he stay silent for so long? Because he's a pussy:
"I apologized because I should have told him about this much sooner," Woodward said in an interview. "I explained in detail that I was trying to protect my sources. That's Job No. 1 in a case like this. . . .

"I hunkered down. I'm in the habit of keeping secrets. I didn't want anything out there that was going to get me subpoenaed."

No Bob .. it was because you're a big pussy. You make millions off a man you shitted on (Mark Felt aka. Deep Throat), and now you're a journalistic munchkin next to Judith Miller.

I admit. I liked your book "The Choice" on the 1996 election. It taught me a lot. Today you taught me how to be a pussy.

As for Washington Post "reporter" Walter Pincus, you're a f*ckin' dirtbag:
Walter Pincus, the longtime Washington Post reporter and one of several journalists who testified in the Valerie Plame case, said he believed as far back as 2003 that Bob Woodward had some involvement in the case but he did not pursue the information because Woodward asked him not to.

"He asked me to keep him out of the reporting and I agreed to do that," Pincus said today.

Revelations such as this are like suckerpunches from The Rock on a roid rage wearing stone gloves. The high priests of the mainstream press pretend to live on a plane of reality 16 levels above the common man. They demand special protections and privileges.

Now here is one of their gods - and make no mistake, Woodward is a god - admitting he's a pussy while one of his bishops goes public with the "favor" he paid said god.

And I ain't just pissing on the Post here. The NY Times is as full cheap favors and fabrications than a Michael Moore film festival.

No wonder they love to promote Bush's shitty poll numbers while ignoring their own.


(Quits typing now before he gets "kicking homeless puppy" mad."

Thursday, November 10, 2005


posted by Rob at 2:44 PM

The Porkbusters movement grew from the waters of New Orleans, as bloggers put a microscope to federal spending and asked, should that money be better used elsewhere or not used at all?

I never found an outlet for myself to get involved. No one carries a brighter flashlight than The Professor.

Well, today I read news that my great alma mater has secured $1 million in federal grant monies that will go toward the Appalachian Enology & Viticulture Services Center at Appalachian State University. The center is meant to get the college in the ever booming wine industry here in North Carolina.

I will not argue with the merits of the project. What amazes me is the thickness of the spending bill in which it is buried. I burned an easy 30 minutes trying to find the full text of the FY06 Science, Departments of State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Conference report. I finally found it here.

You eyes will cross reading it. A sample:
For necessary expenses of the Drug Enforcement Administration, including not to exceed $70,000 to meet unforeseen emergencies of a confidential character pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 530C; expenses for conducting drug education and training programs, including travel and related expenses for participants in such programs and the distribution of items of token value that promote the goals of such programs; and purchase of not to exceed 1,043 passenger motor vehicles, of which 937 will be for replacement only, for police-type use, $1,686,457,000; of which not to exceed $75,000,000 shall remain available until expended; and of which not to exceed $100,000 shall be available for official reception and representation expenses.
I have no idea what that means, other than $1.6 billion is being spent. And this is just *one* paragraph in a looooonnnnnnggggg bill.

Scan down to SEC. 613 to find the Appalachian State check, which is buried - and I mean buried - under stacks and stacks of federal expenses. A small excerpt:
... $600,000 shall be available for the Maryland Technology Development Corporation for the Minority R&D Initiative; $1,000,000 shall be available for the University of West Florida's Statewide Small Business Development Center Network; $200,000 shall be available for the Nevada's Commission on Economic Development; $1,000,000 shall be available for the Clark County Department of Aviation, Las Vegas, Nevada to study and operate the international air trade show; $250,000 shall be available for the Corona-Elmhurst Center for Economic Development, New York ...
You can scan Google for a list of where a little of this is actually going.

I guess Delay was right. No fat to cut anywhere. That said, I support the Fiscal Watch Team Offset Package.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Barone speaks

posted by Rob at 2:56 PM

Like Instapundit, I consider Michael Barone an expert voice on election-explaining:
And yet the trends in national politics are sometimes echoed in the results in elections for governor. Issues that work for one party in state elections sometimes work for them in federal elections as well. ...

There's this national implication here (in Virginia). Supporting tax increases does not produce political death. If voters feel—as voters in traffic-clogged Northern Virginia and perhaps the other suburbs do—that higher taxes will produce goods that you want—fewer traffic jams—they will support you.
This strikes me as true. For more than five years the Democrats have continually beat the horse named "Tax Cuts For The Rich" as the reason for every problem.

No armor for the troops? It's because of TCFTR.

Schools falling apart? It's because of TCFTR.

Katrina breaking the levees? It's because of TCFTR.

Student aid evaporating? It's because of TCFTR.

Social Secuirty in trouble? It's because of TCFTR.

Medicaid reductions? It's because of TCFTR.

Record deficits? It's because of TCFTR.

The poor screwed? It's because of TCFTR.

Bill Clinton, more than any other Democrat, got the memo.

Much like with their mantra of fiction that "Iraq is a failure," always tacking every issue as due to TCFTR is bound to have an impact on voters' perceptions. The Democrats have done a wonderful Michael-Moore-type job of lying with truth. Bush and the GOP has done little recently to battle that notion.

Anyone who stands up in 2006 or 2008 and pledges "tax cuts so help me God" is going to have a tougher time than normal.

As predicted, Bush is a loser

posted by Rob at 1:19 PM

Last Friday I posted that Dem wins in Tuesday's elections would be spun as a loss for Bush. Sure enough, the media is full of stories carrying this theme.

Best of the Web offers a strong rebuttal to the thoery:
It's normal for the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races to be subject to overinterpretation by political junkies, who go through withdrawal every odd-numbered year and are desperate for a fix. But in truth, they have not been reliable bellwethers, as evidenced by the preceding four
As a sample of the bias, consider the New York Times which reports "In Virginia, Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, defeated the Republican, Jerry W. Kilgore, sending a powerful message that President Bush's political standing had fallen in this reliably Republican state."

Memo to the Times - This "reliably" Republican state is exchanging one Democrat governor for another.

As The New York Post's John Podhoretz notes, "Bush won Virginia by eight points in 2000, too--and the following year Democrat Mark Warner became governor with a 5-point margin of victory. "

ABC News uses the election news to highlight a poll on the 2006 mid-term elections, which are now less than a year away. It notes that "if the election were today, registered voters would favor the Democrat in their congressional district by 52 percent to 37 percent."

Before your grab your throat in shock, note the next line (emphasis mine) - "That 15-point margin is numerically the biggest for the Democrats since an ABC/Post poll in September 1984 (they ultimately lost 14 seats), although about the same as a 14-point Democratic lead in one poll in 1996 (when they gained nine)."

Both elections cited - '84 and '96 - were "on year" elections and had a presidential incumbent on the ballot. That will not be the case in 2006. Also notice that, for the first time in a couple of generations, the 2008 election will likely feature candidates who have never been president or vice president.

The 2006 elections should - if the parties are smart - be used as a springboard to 2008. It will be a chance to build a campaign and a character. Issues will be debated. Policies will be advocated. It should be a national argument.

What will the Dems be arguing? Bush LIED!! Scooter leaked! Delay is mean! That's all they scream now and have been screaming for months.

It's nice you retained two "local" seats, but you're gonna need a message to actually win a new one.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Riots caused by French police killing Americans!

posted by Rob at 5:09 PM

That's what's CNN is reporting:
LIN: Hard to say because it's been 11 days since two African- American teenagers were killed, electrocuted during a police chase, which prompted all of this.
Actually, they were so Muslim ... and so black.

(Hat tip: BOTW)

He's doomed

posted by Rob at 4:32 PM

Yesterday I equated CNN"s star of tomorrow with MSNBC's star of yesterday. TVNewser posted similar comments. Later, a CNNer e-mailed TVNewser to argue that it was an absurd comparison, in part because "he anchored WEEKS of War Coverage during the breaking news overnight period when ALL the news was unfolding from the field and he was virtually flawless."

I wouldn't know. I primarily watch Fox, but let's take the e-mailer's word for it. Cooper has gravitas. Yet he is on the road to being Banf-ed, not because he isn't qualified but because he works for clueless Jonathan Klein. He will be mishandled just as much as poor Banfield.

Consider some Cooper comments on Aaron Brown during his "new" show's debut last night, as quoted by TVNewser:
During Monday's 360, Anderson Cooper paid tribute to NewsNight with Aaron Brown. He said the program would have been four years old this weekend. "That's a toddler in human years, but in cable years, four is ancient."
That is an asinine comment and an insult to Brown. If "NewsNight" was ancient, how would you describe "Larry King Live," "Hardball," "The O'Reilly Factor," "Special Report," and other mature cable shows. Actually, that's a word that could describe them - mature shows. Shows which have become a part of viewers regular viewing habits.

At 8 p.m. you know Bill's ranting. At nine Larry's softballing. Hell, Jon Stewart is must-see-tv for some at 11.

Now look at CNN, home of immature programming. Take out the suspenders and name a timeslot that has had any consistency in the past two years. Gone are "Crossfire," "Inside Politics," that Connie Chung show, Wolf's "old" 7 p.m. show. Zahn was on in the (insert zipper noise) morning then switched to night. Now Cooper was on in early evening but is now on late at night.

How can CNN expect to have any success when it treats its primetime schedule like a hot potato? Cooper, for all his gravitas, continually got his butt handed to him daily at 7 p.m. by my man Shep (1.4 rating vs. .7).

So what did his Cluelessness do? He took a show with some history at 7 p.m., moved it to replace an "ancient" show at 10 p.m., while moving an hour of Wolf's room from its start to its end.

As expected, the ratings sucked for 360 II, Day One. According to Drudge, "Cooper lost 42% of Larry King's lead in (1,079,000 viewers) and the debut show was down 10% from what he & Aaron were averaging in October."

Cooper seems like a nice guy. CNN's future has been glued to his sholders. I just wonder how painful it was to get unattached from Brown's. I just hope it was at least a sweet round of golf.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The new star of CNN

posted by Rob at 10:08 AM

Who does this describe -

This reporter has become an obsession among media critics since their emergence last fall, during round-the-clock coverage of a grand news event. Given that their network has consistently come in a distant second among the three ratings-challenged cable news channels, it is at least theoretically possible that there are more people who’ve written about their physical trademark than there are viewers who have actually seen them.

Anderson Cooper, meet Ashleigh Banfield.

UPDATE: TVNewser has more. I enjoyed this observation from Tim Goodman:
If Klein thinks "America is embracing Cooper," then what is America doing to Fox News' Shepherd Smith, who drubs Cooper in the ratings? Bear-hugging the breath out of him?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Media loves the Big Mo'

posted by Rob at 2:39 PM

His poll numbers sucks. The "Seinfeld" scandel continues. His own party bruised him. His opposition has grown pubic hair.

Life, indeed, is dark for the president. And the media can't wait to make it darker.

Next week is election day in some parts of the country, including Virginia where they will elect a governor. As this USA Today article hints, Bush is on the ballot (emphasis mine):
Democrat (Mark) Warner, a 2008 presidential prospect, has a 70%-plus approval rating that is helping (Democrat Tim) Kaine, his lieutenant governor, in a state where conservatives dominate southern and rural counties. Bush, his administration and party beset by problems, is in the low 40s in a state more attuned than most to what goes on in Washington. ...

In a more lopsided contest in a state farther away, the events inside the Beltway might be irrelevant. But the indictments and investigations plaguing national GOP figures are hot news in Democratic, densely populated northern Virginia. ...

Added Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va.: "There's always some national context to state elections here. It probably all does matter, and up here that's probably not a plus." ...
So if Kaine wins, expect to read how this is more evidence of "trouble" for the Republican party and another sign of the country's distaste for Bush. If Kaine loses, expect to hear .... nothing .... just like before.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I'm sure Stalin felt the same way

posted by Rob at 4:15 PM

High Country Conservative adds his two cents to the big Kite Flight protest yesterday at Appalachian. He adds detail to the (I'm sorry, how else can I describe them) nutjobs who called for the event, The World Can't Wait.

HCC points out how these Bush-haters just love them some Stalin. Just look at the group's FAQ.

Upon reading it, yet another movie scene comes to mind. I envision Reck emboding one of the lead roles in the classic movie, "Poltergeist":
"Cross over, children. All are welcome. All welcome, go into the light...There is peace and serenity in the light."
One question - does the communist leadership in China allow ordinary citizens the opportunity to "open up avenues to get to the society they want"? Does Cuba? Did Stalin's Russia?

Yet Bush is the enemy, as the FAQ HHC quotes continues with:
But to turn the question around, if you refuse to pitch in to November 2, when you know that this is what has to be done, just because there are communists in it, then you need to think about how well that worked back in Nazi Germany (when the many forces opposed to Hitler could not find the ways to unite).
Nutjobs. No other word describes them. Shame on the campus paper for not seeing an obvious contradiction in its editorial - applauding an event "the Revolutionary Communist Party helped initiate" while also bragging about "free speech zones" on campus.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Kites against Bush

posted by Rob at 3:23 PM

I guess that is the message of the "protest" held today at Appalachian State University, at least by this photo. I assume they are doves of peace, though I wouldn't be surprised if they were just a trippy touch to a groovy protest.

The campus paper offered a preview:
The planned walkout is part of a nationwide movement organized by World Can’t Wait, an organization that was founded to “take responsibility to stop the whole disastrous course led by the Bush administration,” according to its Web site, www.worldcantwait.net.

Nov. 2 was chosen as the date for action because it is the one-year anniversary of President George W. Bush’s re-election to the presidency.
The leader of the group at ASU was Gregory Reck, an odd, cliched anti-GOP protestor. For example, he once argued, after 9-11, Bush should have responded by filing an arrest warrent with the UN to find OBL. War was not needed. Paperwork and the so-called "international community" working together would have brought OBL to an eventual trial during which justice may have been served.

That proposed scenerio always brought to my mind a scene from "Braveheart":
Longshanks: Scottish rebels have routed one of my garrisons and murdered the noble lord.

Prince: I heard. This Wallace is a brigand, nothing more.

Longshanks: And how would you deal with this brigand?

Prince: Like any common thief. Have the local magistrate arrest him and punish him accordingly.

Longshanks: Leave us. (Punches his son.) Wallace has already killed the magistrate and taken control of the town. Stand up. Stand up.
I'm sure Reck and his handy band of malcontents had fun. Who doesn't enjoy flying a kite?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

How the Wilson/Scooter story breaks down

posted by Rob at 9:13 AM

Instapundit has arguably the best roundup of what really happened with what BOTW dubs the "Seinfeld" scandal - an investigation about nothing.

Here's the professor:
Consider: Assuming that Valerie Plame was some sort of genuinely covert operative -- something that's not actually quite clear from the indictment -- the chain of events looks pretty damning: Wilson was sent to Africa on an investigative mission regarding nuclear weapons, but never asked to sign any sort of secrecy agreement(!). Wilson returns, reports, then publishes an oped in the New York Times (!!) about his mission. This pretty much ensures that people will start asking why he was sent, which leads to the fact that his wife arranged it. Once Wilson's oped appeared, Plame's covert status was in serious danger. Yet nobody seemed to care.

Instaman also lays out why Dems and others are really, really, insanely mad about Friday's indictments - they undermine the drumbeat that BUSH LIED!!! about WMDs in Iraq and would smear anyone who said otherwise (though Wilson never did say otherwise. I know. It confuses me too).