The Jade Monkey

I didn't have a superiority complex until inferior people gave me one.

Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States


If s/he'd been a Monkey reader, s/he wouldn't have had to wait

You got the analysis of the parts of the speech that really mattered here first (ok, I have no way to back that up). Another couple lines that belong in the "chaos for the cameras" category of subtle slap downs which I couldn't remember last night but have since been reminded of are "I'll listen to those whose opinion matters" (take that Kerry!) and "sober judgement" (take that Tedward!).

for future reference: no matter how many times you say it, you're still wrong

or a liar. though i've pretty much ceased bothering with the forums in which i had to deal with the psychopathy of moonbats, it's a good idea to keep this handy (h/t Hugh Hewitt)

Nicholas Lemann in the New Yorker, before the inception of the war, itemizes the numerous justicfications for war that Presiden Bush laid out in his State of the Union address of 2003 (and lest this too is disappeared, I'll copy the portion Hugh does):

"In his State of the Union address, President Bush offered at least four justifications, none of them overlapping: the cruelty of Saddam against his own people; his flouting of treaties and United Nations Security Council resolutions; the military threat that he poses to his neighbors; and his ties to terrorists in general and to Al Qaeda in particular. In addition, Bush hinted at the possibility that Saddam might attack the United States or enable someone else to do so. There are so many reasons for going to war floating around—at least some of which, taken alone, either are nothing new or do not seem to point to Iraq specifically as the obvious place to wage it—that those inclined to suspect the motives of the Administration have plenty of material with which to argue that it is being disingenuous. So, along with all the stated reasons, there is a brisk secondary traffic in 'real' reasons, which are similarly numerous and do not overlap: the country is going to war because of a desire to control Iraqi oil, or to help Israel, or to avenge Saddam's 1993 assassination attempt on President George H. W. Bush.

Yet another argument for war, which has emerged during the last few months, is that removing Saddam could help bring about a wholesale change for the better in the political, cultural, and economic climate of the Arab Middle East. To give one of many possible examples, Fouad Ajami, an expert on the Arab world who is highly respected inside the Bush Administration, proposes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs that the United States might lead 'a reformist project that seeks to modernize and transform the Arab landscape. Iraq would be the starting point, and beyond Iraq lies an Arab political and economic tradition and a culture whose agonies have been on cruel display.' The Administration's main public proponent of this view is Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, who often speaks about the possibility that war in Iraq could help bring democracy to the Arab Middle East. President Bush appeared to be making the same point in the State of the Union address when he remarked that 'all people have a right to choose their own government, and determine their own destiny—and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom.'"


The President Speaks

...grabs the media by the shoulders, glares straight into their eyes and commands, "Listen to me you little twits!" Ahhh...

Oh. Yeah, I thought Bush's speech was pretty good, but could have been better. I think he needed some more Natan Sharansky and Arthur Chrenkoff in there. But, as Rocket Man notes, "There was nothing in it that we and our readers didn't already know, but the message is one that many rarely hear." I think that is very true and must be kept in mind. While it may not seem like a whole lot to those of us who are actually informed, those of us who get it, for the majority who are kept in the dark by the media, this may have opened some eyes. I (as always) wish he would have been more scathing to his detractors, but he was (as always, never rising to the bait) the statesman, so it was as expected there. That said, he did offer some very nice, very subtle digs ("chaos for the cameras," etc). And the second half really did come to life and was pretty moving (not to the level of his best speeches, but that's a very high standard) after a somewhat slow start.

I give it a B+, but he needs to do more of these, and have Chrenkoff's page opened as a crib sheet.

ETA: just heard on Hugh's show (tape delayed here in SA) that Terry Moran's sole analysis on ABC was to indicate the troops didn't like it (they only clapped when Bush's guys started it), when in fact they had been told not to applaud beforehand. disgusting, but the beat goes on for the MSM. same crap they pulled with Bush's speech to the UN earlier this (last?) year.

If I didn't tell you...

If I didn't tell you that these acts were committed by the American press, and against Truth as much as people, you would surely have thought they had been committed by the Nazis, by the Soviets in their gulags, or by some made regime, Pol Pot or others.

Whoops. Don't think I'll get the support of the New York Times for that one. But given the media's spectacular ability to disappear quotes, or to bury them, or to cut them up to say exactly the opposite of what the speaker said, seems more accurate than Sen. Durbin, no?

The Anchoress mentions two such recent events: spinning the repetition of an old joke to make it seem Billy Graham is endorsing Hillary, and the NYT burying Dems saying no torture at Gitmo to the gulags of page A19.

It must be pure torture for the media when the truth gets out.

Thomas for CJ!

I'm on the bandwagon. Let me say this: Scalia is by far my favorite Supreme Court Justice, and it's not even close. His wit, scathing rebukes or quizzical bemusement alike, is a delight. But I think they are better suited to an associate justice. As Chief, I think he'd have to rein himself in a bit more, and that's no fun. Thomas has a quieter demeaner, and is probably better liked by his colleagues (as an odd aside, I read somewhere that Scalia's best friend among his fellows was Ginsberg, how's that for dogs lying down with cats?). Of course, it's interesting that Little Harry thinks Thomas is an embarrassment but Scalia as chief would be just peachy. And I sort of doubt whether Thomas has any desire to go through the confirmation battle again.

So I think an outsider as Chief might make the most sense. And I think that guy will be John Roberts. I'm starting to think we really might get Rehnquist and O'Connor stepping down together, and Bush will replace the departing pals with pals Roberts and Luttig. For the same reason I think Clarence Thomas would make a better CJ than Antonin Scalia (though to a lesser extent), Roberts will be the next CJ. I wish Bush could nominate McConnell, Garza, and Clement too, though. And, as a Texan, I of course already liked Senator Cornyn, but his actions and words in recent months have raised his stature in my eyes immensely, to the point where he's almost as great as Hutchinson, and I'd be thrilled to see him get a nod too (though that would mean we'd have to replace one of our awesome senators - does any other state boast two such excellent and distinguished senators? I think not. Off the top of my head, Kansas, with Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, is the only one that's even close...that would be a fun game, name the best and worst 5 senate pairs...Massachussetts is definitely at the top of the bad). Ooh, new thought just struck me in this stream of consciousness judgeblogging: I wonder if KBH's decision not to leave the Senate for the State House had anything to do with a tip from Bush Cornyn may indeed be donning black robes again, and that both of the state's senate seast being vacated at once was undesireable...??? So maybe Garza for CJ and Cornyn for AJ?

Update: K-Lo posts over at Bench Memos that Reid has a problem with Sen. Cornyn (but the big question is what Dustin, or whatever the little urchin's name was, thinks). In my mind, that could mean he thinks Bush may nominate him. Yay for wild speculation!


Carnival of the Chillin' #2

AJ Strata has it all. Go. Read. Chill. Or not, whatever (the chillin', that is, is optional. the going and reading is not).

On Kelo, SCOTUS, and blowing the whole thing up and starting over

As I commented over at Coalition HQ, Kelo doesn't change my chillin-ness. The nuclear option would not have changed this decision, as the court still would have come down to the same justices and the same verdict. As I commented there and here, Gonzales being Bush's first nominee might (although, really, the nuclear option would have only facilitated my unchillin-ness in this instance, and it would have been the first time Bush would have disappointed me, albeit not entirely of his own fault. I am not necessarily opposed to Gonzales for SCOTUS, but rather the precedent the Democrats may make of him).

However, Kelo does potentially give us an out of the coalition and the deal, and with much greater chance of public support than the unknowable consequences of before, as commenter Paul Deignan notes at Say Unlce (with a great quote from Aristotle to boot):

There is a right time and a wrong time to nuke the filibuster. The right time is when it brings along that wobbly 5-10% in the middle that see the action as a correction rather than an overreach. Remember, there are elections coming up.

This case makes our case for the nuke option far more sound. If we had nuked earlier, it would have not seemed as prudent. Now everyone (not just pro-lifers) should see the threat that these robed thugs pose to the Constitution.

“Chillin” does not mean oblivious.

Gentleness or good temper is the mean in feelings of anger. Short temper or irascibility is the excess, the deficiency has no name but may be called insufficient anger or apathy. The emotion of anger can be caused by many different factors, but the good-tempered man is always angry under the right circumstances, with the right people, in the right manner and degree, at the right time, and for the right length of time. Excess can be shown in too much anger, or unjustified anger, or too lengthy anger, etc. Apathy is the vice of those who do not get angry when anger is justified and who are not affected by things that should arouse anger; apathetic people often seem to have no feelings and to be unable to suffer pain for any reason.

AJ Strata makes much the same argument in the thread at Decision '08 linked above: "The coalition, in my mind, was never going to lay down - just lay back for the proper moment."

Well said, both.

Of course, I wonder where Graham, DeWine, Warner, et al fall on Kelo. And I am not altogether sure how much swaying of opinion Bush (thanks to the reporting, or lack thereof, of the MSM) will be able to do with Kelo. The MSM conveniently declines to mention which 5 judges thought they could take your home away. And even if they did, you must remember Wizard's First Rule*: People are stupid. And the Democrats have mastered this if nothing else: they fool the foolish very, very easily and consistently. I have seen comments too numerous to count regarding Kelo that "yeah, 4 Republican judges voted against it, but 3 voted for it" thus declaring it a wash as to who's to blame. They use this dishonest numbers game (7-2, or more often, by those slightly less dim-witted, 5-4) to decry a "conservative" court and Bush's nominees, despite the fact that there are more liberals than conservatives on the court. How much traction can this make with the average, uninformed citizen? I sometimes think Bush's biggest flaw is putting too much faith in the intelligence of the people (this seems the best explanation for his reluctance to remind the American people every 10 seconds why we're doing what we're doing, and explain every detail of every operation; something that should indeed be unnecessay, in a just, unstupid world). Nevertheless, I have to share something of that optimism, for this simple reason: I don't know what I'd do if I didn't.

* I only made it through the first 4 books of the series (currently 9 volumes long), and this is the first and best of the 4 (#4 gets the 2nd place nod, IIRC), and the only one I'd really recommend (mainly for the humorous scene near the beginning where we get the first explanation of the title). Although I myself don't find the quality to be particularly high, given the nature of the attacks and the attackers of the series, I may have to give it a second chance. ;-)

Brit Hume on FNS

to Chris Wallace's question about the media coverage of Rove vs. Durbin:

"No more needs to be said about the motives of the media."


I haven't said much about this, because others have already done so brilliantly. Of course the comparisons between Rove and Durbin's comments are extraordinarly disingenuous. Rove's comments have the demonstrable advantage of being true (the Rove/Dean comparisons are a little better, but Rove's weren't done out of hatred (and lest anyone object, hate is of course the exact word Dean himself has used to describe his feelings for Republicans), and again have the advantage of being true). But even the comparison is an example of the Left's new speak, their redefinition of words and attempts to shift the center of the political spectrum by declaring the ends equal, despite their embracing much more extreme ends as part of the "mainstream" than the right does, or could ever get away with. Loud rap music = torture (which in a totally non-partisan, tounge-in-cheek fashion I would wholeheartedly agree with, but that is neither here nor there), and Karl Rove = Dick Durbin. These are unserious and irrelevant people, but still dangerous.


Alberto Gonzales

Some have said Gonzales' involvement as WH counsel and/or AG in researching/advocating legalalities of a number of cases that may face the Supreme Court in the coming years would require him to recuse himself, and probably should disqualify him as a SC nominee. I'm not so sure I'm persuaded, though I'd very much like to be (unless Gonzales were to replace Stevens or Ginsburg). Has Ruth Bader Ginsburg ever recused herself from cases in which the ACLU was involved? Of course, I know there's a gigantic double standard when it comes to Republicans and their nominees versus Democrats and their nominees, which should tell me all I need to know.


movie quotes

California Mafia has a list. The Corner's been teeing them off. Thought I'd add a few of my own (quotes may not be 100% accurate, but I don't feel like double checking, so there). Right now I'm going to stick to an arbitrary 3 quotes per movie rule in the instances where I double or triple dip, we'll see if I can restrain myself.

"May those who love us, love us. And those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts, and if he does not turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, that we may know them by their limping." - Keeping the Faith (actually, not a bad line for certain current unfortunate political realites)

"What's 'taters', Precious?" - Gollum, in one of the Lord of the Rings movies (TTT or RotK), and strangely enough not only my favorite quote from the trilogy, but one of my most quoted in the past couple years (and then my brother always follows with Sam's "Po-ta-toes")

From The Big Lebowski:

"Are these men Nazis?"
"No Donnie, these men are Nihilists. There's nothing to be afraid of."

"Nihilists? F*** me. Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, but at least it's an ethos!"

"Donnie, you are out of your element!"

"What we do in life echoes in eternity!" - Russell Crowe in Gladiator

From Mystery Men:

"Maybe you should put some shorts on, if you want to keep fighting evil today."

"God gave me a gift: I shovel well. I shovel very well."

"Maybe that's because Lance Hunt is Captain Amazing."
"Don't start this again. Lance Hunt wears glasses. Captain Amazing doesn't wear glasses."
"He takes them off when he transforms."
"That doesn't make any sense! He wouldn't be able to see!"

From The Princess Bride:

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

"As you wish."

"I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake, but until then, sleep well, and dream of large women." (my only funny quote from this one, as the others (including my favorite, the "classic blunders" one) are posted elsewhere)

"You do too much. You're not Superman, you know." - Aunt May in Spider-Man

From various Star Wars movies:

"Why do I have a feeling you're going to get me killed one of these days?" (Obi Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker in AotC)

From O Brother, Where Art Thou?:

"He's a suitor!"

"We thought you was a toad!"

"Make way, I take large steps!" - Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

More later.

grrr, part 2

William Kristol says it's O'Connor leaving, and that the Prez will put up Alberto Gonzales to replace her (ht: Prof. Hewitt). Unless Gonzales is a reverse Souter in disguise, I'm VERY unhappy about this. It means, as Kristol says, that any chance of changing the court for the Good is out of the question. The plan was to replace the Chief with a staunch conservative (McConnell or other), then O'Connor with a less "controversial" but also conservative justice (Roberts or maybe even Sen. Cornyn). The other fly in the ointment is, of course, the Democrats' bastardized filibuster, which took Miguel Estrada off the table as Bush's (presumptive) hoped-for first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.

Has O'Connor ruined it all by stepping down ahead of Rehnquist?

This is may be enough to make me UNchillin'. I don't know...Then again, given the Dem's insane Abu Grahaib-Gitmo-gulag-Auschwitz connect-the-dots, I don't know if Gonzales has any certainty of getting past a filibuster either (if he does, it proves them to be liars, and if not, a defeated Gonzales is better than a defeated conservative, while making the case that the Democrats are obstructionists, and making it harder to justify a filibuster for a SCOTUS position after).

Update: RedState (ht: Strata-Sphere) says Rehnquist is the one stepping down. Of course I'm updating in reverse order of AJ, so Kristol's tip may be the most current and best one. But we shall see tomorrow.

Update 2: Confirm Them has the transcript of a Hewitt-Kristol interview up, as well as some other thoughts.


Baylor's gone. Texas wins on a walk-off home run in the 9th. Baylor added to it's woes by stranding a ton of men on base as usual (at least twice on 3rd). And the ump made a horrible call in the 5th or 6th on 1st, nobody out, full count....a strike called on a ball that is a foot outside and the catcher throws out the runner at 2nd. so two outs, nobody on, instead of 1st and 2nd with no outs. But the strike zone has been... erratic, to put it as charitably as possible... all Series long, (sometimes) benefiting Baylor too (though not in so big a situation), so what else is new? And Texas' tying run did so after interfering/shoving/running over both the first baseman, causing the ball to go rolling all the way to the ball and allowing him to go all the way to 3rd, and then the catcher who was in FRONT of the freaking plate, not blocking it, didn't even have a foot on the 3rd base line until he braced himself to make the catch from the right fielder. He probably could have slid safely in both instances, so that's not really the complaint, but he would have been at 1st, not at 3rd, had he not popped the 1bman.

Normally I'd cheer for the Big XII team, even if it beat Baylor to get where it is, but I don't know if I can manage that in this circumstance.

Still, hats off to another great year from another Baylor team!

Baseball blogging will now be interrupted by our regularly scheduled broadcast...



I'm not really here, but this is too great not to post on... blogging will probably continue to be light until next week.

WOOHOO!!!! Baylor rallies from a 7-0 hole in the 7th inning to beat Tulane in the College World Series, sending them to a rematch against a Texas team that beat them in their opener, but which they had beaten 4 times in as many attempts until that point this season. Gotta beat them 2 straight times to advance to the finals though, a tall order.

The best part of this whole thing is that I had given up on the game in the second inning when, down 3-0 already, an error that should have been an inning-ending third out put a runner on second (and then he scored after stealing 3rd with noone paying attention), before adding two more to make it 6-0 through 1 1/2. Then I got a call this evening to renew my alumni association membership...the guy told me the Bears had scored 3 in the 7th and had a couple men on in the we were speaking, I heard a huge cheer from the other people working the phones in the background...7-5! After I renewed my membership, I went and watched the end of the 8th (no more runs, yet)...9th inning comes around, and in karmic fashion, with the bases loaded, 1 out, 7-6, what could have been the second out in a game-ending double play gets by the first baseman, just as it had the Baylor first baseman in the 2nd inning, ensuring no out (probably was safe anyway, but at worst would have left it a tie game), and 2 runs score to give Baylor the 8-7 victory!!!

Sic 'em Bears!!!


The First Rule of Holes

Dick Durbin's still a'diggin. Yes, I should be outraged. I should be calling for this treasonous rat bastard's head on a platter. But this has become so routine for the left that all I can muster is a vague "who cares," a shrug, and a healthy dose of contempt sprinkled with amusement at lesser beings such as Senators from Illinois, or Democrats in general. I mean, it's good that Dick Durbin respects the troops and all. That's a healthy attitude towards those who, under Bushitler, have the power to take you from your home in the middle of the night - or at least freeze your thermostat. Oh, the humanity! Apparently, though, the only soldiers he loves are the dead ones, as his evidence for respect is attending funerals and jerking off to casualty reports.

And should we really be calling for his censure, or an apology? In the first case, it will only be turned into outrage at us digital brownshirts. And in the second, as is already evidenced, an apology will be meaningless, dishonest, and a bigger insult than he started with. He's already said he's "sorry" if his remarks were "misunderstood." No, dick, your problem is that we understood them perfectly. I figured (correctly, so far) that any criticism from his party or the media (or even from himself) would be Sean Pennesque - "it's not productive, because it's interpreted literally."

If you wanted to raise concern for the treatment of detainees at Gitmo, you'd still be wrong, but you'd have the right to do so. But to make such outlandishly false analogies can only have one purpose, and that is a blatantly political -- actually not so political, as the Democrats' uncanny tone-deafness is certainly anything but politic -- but partisan attack on a noble war effort, the courageous troops engaged in it, and their steadfast commander-in-chief. To borrow a phrase (Dennis Prager's, I believe), the Left is proving themselevs every day to be bigger and bigger Moral Idiots. They are small, hateful, irrelevant, fools. The fact that they willfully dress themselves in motley doesn't lessen the danger they pose, true, but I can't even bring myself to care what ridiculous things they say anymore. That is probably a failure I have to work on. I'll order Dr. Dean's "Hate Anything That Moves" self-help tapes post haste.

ETA (6/18): This is useful, however, in that the masks continue to come off the far left. As their hateful, insane nature is revealed to the public, they will be rejected more and more, and that can only be good for this country.


The Big Lebowski on the Democrats

So I was watching one of my favorite comedies last night, and realized, how as a movie about basically nothing, it had great relevance to today's party of nothing, the Democrats.

Take John Goodman's character, for example. Can't you just see Dick Durbin, Charlie Rangle, or Howard Dean, in attacking "Republicanism" (which of course is in their minds even worse than Nazism, though they'll be magnanimous in public and only say it's equal to), saying, "Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, but at least it's an ethos."

Or the Dude's exasperation at Walter being an appropriate response to the canards about Iraq, "What the f*** does Vietnam have to do with anything?!?" It would of course also be an appropriate question for a former presidential candidate who, if you hadn't heard, served in Vietnam.


Should We Support Ben Nelson?

I'm almsot convinced we should. I am of the firm belief that credit must be given to Democrats brave enough to stand up to the destructive special interests that control the far leftist leadership of the party. I think we should help these people save their party and reclaim control of it, because ultimately two rational parties are good for this country. Ultimately saving their party may save ours, lest in the absence of any serious, relevant, morally coherent opposition, we lose sight of our own accountability and become that despicable thing which they already are.

Fortunately for the short term good and the necessary business that had to be done, we were able to make huge gains in recent election cycles. Sadly, however, this came largely at the expense of the small minority of the minority that are actually sane, good people. Perhaps the party must be burned to the ground before it can be rebuilt anew with serious, thoughtful, moderate people. I certainly don't want the lies of the loons, the newspeak on matters of faith that Daffy Dean thinks will win elections (fine job he's doing of that, btw), to succeed in brainwashing the foolish, only to betray them. And if we give them an inch, they will. But it is frustrating that this destruction seemingly must begin with the few respectable members of the party. Going back to my comment on California Mafia's balkanization point a few days ago, there have long been many more Democrat senators from red states than vice-versa, proving it is not Republicans who are intransigent fundamentalists. That gap is, perhaps necessarily and fairly, but distrurbingly nonetheless for the future prospects of civil discourse, shrinking.

In the same vein, though I would very much hate to lose Senator Santorum, as one of the best senators in the country, there could be a lot worse people to lose him to than Casey (whose father, too, even as he is now, was destroyed by his own party because he was prolife (someone correct me if I am wrong)). If only we could get expansion of such a Reasonable Democratic Caucus at the expense of elitist bigots and lunatics like Tedward Kennedy, Barbara Boxer and Chuck Schumer. Or even Lincoln Chafee or John McCain.

Perhaps it's too early in the forging of a permanent center-right coalition to save a Ben Nelson. Perhaps we should encourage ben nelsons, but not this one. But damn the far left for making it so. And perhaps, despite my longing for the good a strong two party system can do, it is the fault of this very system that such polarization and fracturing are occurring. But now I'm rambling, and so I'll sign off with the question unanswered: should we support Ben Nelson?

ETA: Of course, perhaps the destruction of the lockstep left will free us to debate more freely amongst ourselves. Hmm. Perhaps I'm being needlessly concerned. Destroy 'em!

ETA2: By this, I also absolutely do NOT mean to justify the already-developing Democrat meme against one-party rule that will be their only argument to vote for them but which will only serve to preserve the extremists' power. If we can Daschle a few more of them, perhaps we'll force them to run true moderates. Forget I said anything, LOL.

Carnival of the Chillin'

Great round up by AJ Strata at The Strata-Sphere of our merry little band's various and sundry celebrations over 5 great jurists finally getting past the blockade. Lots of good stuff, but I'll just pull out one, Doverspa's post at Red State. Of course you should go read them all, as I am in the process of doing.

James Sensenbrenner is my hero

For walking out on Democrat Dumbassery. That is exactly the treatment they deserve when they start acting like (demagogic) children.

ETA: apologies for the use of the word "dumbassery" in 3 of the last 4 posts. it's just one of my favorite (made up) words (although one of my least favorite things, excepting the amusement i get from mocking those afflicted by it). i will try to restrain unseemly repetition to a moderate level for the next few days :P


Blogroll updated!

And the people rejoiced! Added the Coalition blogroll, and alphabetized the first part, as with several new additions the way I had them divided previously no longer made clean sense (if it ever did before).

Although now I have that funky double page/shadow thing going on on the right side of the main column...


A metaphysical question of sorts. If a happily small-time blogger such as myself links to Glenn Reynolds, in inverse proportion to an Instalanch, does he risk causing a blackhole effect, threatening the very fabric of blogospheric space and time? I'll just have to risk it.

Anyway, I haven't bothered with Paragon of Dumbassery Charlie Rangel's holocaust idiocy. But Instapundit gets a "heh" from me for this perfectly succinct commentary:

Really, Bush's ability to drive his opponents stark, raving bonkers is almost supernatural.

Supernatural? Don't give the Prez any ideas Prof. Reynolds, the moonbats already think he thinks he's God!

Faith and Works

Chuck Schumer in all his dumbassery has railed against Bill Pryor's "deeply held beliefs" (add Dick Durbin's "you're a white man" and Howie Dean's "white, Christian party" remarks, and the violent, reactionary opposition of eminently qualified nominees who happen to be not-so-pale in skin tone such as Janice Rogers Brown, Alberto Gonzalez, and Condoleezza Rice revealing the deep bigotry of the Democrat leadership to be not only religious but perhaps racial in nature)...anyway, we've also heard others, most recently John Kerry, say "Personally, I'm against abortion, but I can't force my beliefs on anyone else" (with a very low burden for claiming coercion, of course). And yet, there is ample record of our new "extreme" judges doing just that, sublimating their "personal beliefs" to the dictates of Law. Now some may claim (in fact they have just done exactly that in the Pryor cloture debate) that such behavior is just a Trojan Horse, a trick to get inside the walls and pillage our sacred rights to infanticide and sodomy. As is often true, this seems to be another case of Democrat projection. They accuse the opposition of the very things they are doing, perhaps because they are so used to it they can't imagine any other behavior from anyone else. But if these dangerous nominees are prevaricating when they disavow judicial activism, perhaps a similar charge should be made from the other end of the equation against those who feel the need to assure is they "share" our values while doing their darndest to undermine these same values they supposedly hold. That is, not only is their "faith" without works, their refusal to take any kind of principled stand in defense of our common, civilization-upholding values, dead, but perhaps that "faith" never existed in the first place, nothing more than a lie (as are the bromides on race), calculated to deceive well-intentioned but foolish people.

To turn another Biblical phrase (so long as Schumer, Dean, et al don't object): Judge not, lest ye be judged? The Democrats, after their scurrilous attacks, have been Judged 3 (or 5) times over now. The MOU and the Coalition are looking pretty good so far! Though the situation gets interesting now, with the list of green-lighted nominees exhausted, and we of course shouldn't get so intoxicated by winning a few battles that we lose the war, I think we can celebrate a bit for the victories won so far. Owen, Brown, and Pryor are in, huzzah! Griffin and McKeague too! Also, Specter has stated that Kavanaugh should be approved, and that if Democrats are thinking they can block him, they're dreaming.

As a final aside on the judges stuff, BeldarBlog (ht, as with all the above links, to BenchMemos) points out more irony and got a big laugh with this:

At 2:00pm: Now — after a half-hour of demagoguery and distortion of Bill Pryor's record — Teddy's blaming Dubya for tying up the Senate with controversial judicial nominees when the Senate should be doing other business. "Take pity on me, Your Honor, I'm an orphan!" cries the parenticidal boy. Oh, what a day for irony.

Ok, one final aside: Salazar's 'yea' on Theocrat Bill Pryor seems most bizarre given his brave stand against Antichrist James Dobson.

Headed to Omaha?

Baylor's baseball team is one step away. If they can beat Clemson this weekend in the Super Regionals, they're on the big stage of the College World Series, with a chance to follow up the Women's Basketball National Champions! Sic 'em Bears!

Hmmm....was planning on going to visit my roommates this weekend, but maybe I can convince them we should all make a pilgrimage back to Waco for one of the games instead...


Congress to Test Scott Ott for Steroids

It's the only possible explanation for how he managed to hit this one so far out of the ballpark - Dean: "All you Republicans look the same". In fact, Scott's been in even-finer-than-normal form pretty much all this past week.

Hallward Bound

Cam Neely was today inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. What a great player, and would have been greater if not for nagging injuries. I know my pal cq (not CQ) will be even more thrilled than I. Neely was at the end of his career when I first started following hockey, but he was one of my faves and the second biggest reason (behind my all time favorite player, Ray Bourque) that the Boston Bruins were my favorite team (and still my second favorite after the Bourque trade to the Colorado Avalanche, my new and forever favorites with the likes of Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic). Also, he starred in my favorite ESPN commercial ever ("You guys wanna kick my dog while you're here?" heehee! (update: John Buccigross notes the commercial too)).

This only makes me all the sadder that there are no Stanley Cup Playoffs, meanwhile the execrable NBA Finals are starting. I don't particularly like the Pistons, but I have to cheer for them over the hometown Spurs, who cannot be allowed to exceed my Rockets' 2 Championships.

Anyway, congrats Cam!

Update 2: This, on the other hand, pisses me off. The NHL to have shootouts?!? Paah! A shootout is a piss poor way to decide a game. Soccer has shootouts. Soccer sucks (sorry Bandit). I wasn't particularly happy with the guaranteed point even for an OT loss either though, but I came to accept it (it did make teams more willing to take some risks to win a game in OT rather than settle for a tie), and so long as we can keep epic multi-OT games come playoff time, I'll probably survive ;-)


KG at California Mafia made a post a week or so ago that I meant to comment on but never did. But seeing how much weight I gave to the Red/Blue divide in my Senate predictions, it seemed like a good time to revisit it. It's an issue that concerns me, too. I'd been thinking a bit about it, and KG gave it the perfect name: balkanization. I am sure it is very not healthy in the long run, but in the short run, with the Democrats' insistence on lockstep obstructionism, it seems we are forced to continue the trend (although as Democrats have long held an overrepresntation in the Senate based on a view of an equal state-by-state electoral map - which is arguably a fair enough approach given the purpose and structure of the Senate - a part of me can't help but see it as long overdue, and just).

election post-mortem

just a couple of interesting (to me at least) observations on the Hardberger-Castro runoff. well, really one interesting observation with several data points: the race, despite being between two very left candidates, actually was strangely similar to the Bush-Kerry race.

* Hardberger 51.5%, Castro 48.5% - almost identical to Bush's victory over Kerry.

* Hardberger made a point of running a city-wide campaign; Castro focused on only a few districts - again, Hardberger plays the Bush role to Castro's Kerry.

* Hardberger criticized Castro for flip-flopping on several issues (city manager, PGA, soccer team, etc), also questioned his support for police (see Kerry's horrible record on defense and support of the troops).

* Hardberger talked about strong leadership, making decisions and sticking to them (I somehow doubt he praises these same qualities in Bush so much, but I could be wrong). Also played the Outsider role, and copied some of the Uniter role, trumpeting his endorsement from Schubert and vowing to "come together," "heal wounds," etc, etc after the election.

*Castro tried to act like the one that wanted a clean campaign and whined about the mudslinging, though he resorted to it readily enough (though I don't think he went so far as to claim that examination of his record was tantamount to a personal attack, I'm not so sure he was that far away from it, either).

Castro also shows striking similarities to Kerry's running mate, John Edwards:

* used a "two San Antonios" rhetoric parallel to Edwards' tiresome "two Americas".

* criticized for his youth and inexperience; seen by some as young and attractive (unkonown as of the time of this post whether there is a video of Castro primping in the mirror for 8 minutes) .

* 800+ missed votes in 4 years as councilman was the basis of Hardberger's strongest attack, characterizing him as a Councilman Gone to Edwards' "Senator Gone" (also a valid comparison with Kerry especially re: committee meetings, but edwards got the nick, so I'm sticking it here) .

The Hardberger-Bush comparison is indeed a strange one given Hardberger's own affiliation (and former position as a liberal judge), much more the fact that he was in a lawsuit against the then-Governor Bush when he tried to stick around on the state supreme court so he could appoint his own replacement, and Bush would have none of it (or something to that effect), but I found it interesting nonetheless.


Hardberger wins (The post formerly known as "SA mayoral runoff")

watched a bit of the debate last week, and it was pretty painful. castro actually came off better than i expected (well, hardberger just more curmudgeonly and maybe petty, really) but still no way I was going to vote for him. poll last night on the news said hardberger had (i think) a 5 point lead! and castro uttered the immortal "the only poll that matters is the one tomorrow" line, which means he's toast.

watch this space for results later tonight

Update (c. 11:30 pm): with 96.6% of the vote counted, Hardberger leads Castro by exactly 2,500 votes, 51% to 49%. Doing some quick calculations...125,523 votes counted so far, leaving 4417 votes to count. Castro would need to win 3459 of those, or 78.3% to win. This thing is effectively over (of course if he can come near that it will trigger a runoff, not sure what the threshhold is).

Update 2 (c. 11:40 pm): went to add the link to the tally sheet which i forgot to add a moment ago, only to find that in the time it took me to make the calculations, 100% vote count has been achieved, and Hardberger has indeed won. Stunningly not the case for my runoff pick in District 6, Ray Lopez (not sure about District 7 runoff, but that makes at least 2 of 3 that the leader of the original round of voting came up short).

Senate 2006 Predictions

Since others have been playing, guess it's time to join. Here's my buddy Gulf Coast Bandit's picks (a bit more optimistic than I'm willing to be at this early stage), and the incomparable Dales' excellent analysis.

Here's the facts - 17 Democrat (+1 "Independent") seats up for grabs and 15 Republican.

Here are the seats I see as "safe" for the party, regardless of if the seat is open or not and needing no discussion:

D: Akaka (HI), Carper (DE), Clinton (NY), Feinstein (CA), Kennedy (MA), Lieberman (CT)
R: Allen (VA), Hatch (UT), Hutchinson (TX), Kyl (AZ), Lott (MS), Lugar (IN), Thomas (WY)

Add these as "virtually safe," with slightly more discussion:

Frist (R, TN) - I really don't see TN going blue, but the Dems are going to pour money into this race, in an effort to claim (with the aid of a complicit media) equal footing with what we did to Daschle, a poor man's version, since Frist isn't even running for re-election. (update: perhaps should be in the next category down, but I still say it's safe)

Snowe (R, ME) - Sen. Snowe is very popular in her state, despite being on the wrong side of the color line. It's possible Democrats (I mean the electorate, not the base of the national party which will of course try to do so regardless) will try and dump her to gain a seat, but assuming she survives any primary contenders unscathed (which probability is much greater than Sen. Chafee of RI), I think she is fairly safe.

Kohl (D, WI) - Wisconsin is trending more Republican especially at the very top of the ballot, but I don't think quite so much even at the next tier down. That plus vote fraud in Madison and Milwaukee should keep Kohl plenty safe.

So far that's 9 retentions for Republicans and 7 for Democrats. That leaves 11 Dems (including Jeffords) to discuss and 6 Republicans. Now the remaining in some semblance of order, from least competitive to most:

Bingaman (D, NM) - the right candidate could make this a close one, but NM's a lot like WI in this race, I think. Likely Dem hold.

Ensign (R, NV) - this could be a close one, but Nevadans could make this a referendum on the childish behavior of the newly re-elected and newly leader-fied Reid, and I can't see how that helps the Dem candidate. Likely Rep hold.

Corzine (D, NJ) - more shenanigans in the Garden state, with Corzine running for re-election Senator and Governor (which isn't technically shenanigans, but he could appoint his replacement if he wins the state house). NJ is also slowly tinting reddish, especially with all the corruption of the state Democrat party, but I don't think it's enough this time. Likely Dem hold.

Jeffords (I, VT) - one of the bluest states out there, and there doesn't seem a Republican (or even a moderate-by-comparison Democrat) that can stop Vermonters from the eternal shame of giving a Socialist the keys to the Senate house. Likely Ind/Dem hold.

Byrd (D, WV) - I actually considered this one much more competitive than most even before the shocking poll giving Byrd only a slim lead over an undeclared candidate. That said, should he choose to run, I think he probably holds his seat, no matter how close. Likely Dem hold.

Burns (R, MT) - not a particularly strong candidate, but I don't see this very red state helping the Dems out with the judges issue only tenuously settled. Likely Rep hold. (update: could be moved down into the Cantwell/Sarbanes area)

That cuts us down to 7 D and 4 R that I will dub truly competitive (though at least the last 4 above could become so).

Cantwell (D, WA) - IF Rossi runs, he wins, even in a state that re-elected one of the worst Senators in the country. That seems more likely with the court rejecting his appeal of Gregoire's fraudulent victory, but still not declared, so it remains on the borderline of competitive and not. Likely* Dem hold to Leaning Rep takeover.

Sarbanes (D, MD) - an open seat, with a strong, African American Republican candidate in Lt. Gov. Steele. But he's still got a lot to overcome in a very blue state. Leaning Dem hold.

Talent (R, MO) - I expect a close race, that's it. TOSSUP.

Stabenow (D, MI) - a weak candidate in an increaingly swing state. Wish the Repubs would have put up the Dem-turned-Rep preacher man, but it looks like it will be the pizza guy. TOSSUP.

DeWine (R, OH) - The big question here is will moderates come out and support him for the compromise, or will the base stay home? TOSSUP. (update: moving him up and Chafee down a bit, but also noting another reason DeWine could face a tight race - moonbat imaginings of a stolen election will not be allowed to die in the Buckeye state)

Nelson (D, FL) - with Harris as his opponent, this is going to be a very intense, big, and close fight (though polling has shown her lagging a bit behind other potential Republican nominees vs. Nelson). TOSSUP.

Chafee (R-RI) - assuming he survives a primary battle (no safe bet), he stands a better than even-money shot of winning re-election. However, RI is one of the bluest states, and they might well kick out even this very liberal incumbent Republican to try and put a scalp on their side of the board. TOSSUP.

Conrad (D, ND) - Could follow the lead of it's southern sister and put another nail in the long tradition of voting R for President and D for Congress. Leaning Rep takeover! (update: if Gov. Hoevan declines to run, this seat is a bit safer for the Dems)

Dayton (D, MN) - Dayton was an embarrassment, and MN is trending Republican. Leaning Rep takeover!

Nelson (D, NE) - A moderate Dem in a very red state, can his compromise save him? With Dr. Tom lending some coattails to a Rep challenger, I say close, but no cigar. Leaning Rep takeover!

Santorum (R, PA) - unless Swann gives some big coattails, and Specter returns a big favor, I'm afraid this is the most likely seat to change hands. Likely Dem takeover. :(

So, my (first) final (for now) prediction: We win 1 of Cantwell/Sarbanes/Stabenow, 1 of the Nelsons, and 1 or both of Conrad/Dayton, for 3 or 4 scalps. They beat Santorum and 1 or both of Chafee/DeWine for 2 or 3 scalps.

Net change: 0 to +2! (with a worst case scenario of -2 and a best case scenario of +5)

(update to move DeWine into slightly safer territory and Chafee and Ben Nelson into more danger, plus note a bit more danger for Frist* and Burns, though without changing designations)

Please proceed to re-education 101

Your leftist mind tricks don't work on me.

Heard about this piece in the WSJ this morning on Bill Bennett's radio show, during a piece of his interview with the author, Debra Burlingame, sister of the pilot of the plane which was flown into the Pentagon.

I haven't checked yet, but I'm sure the big blogs have already picked it up. So for now, I'm just gonna post the link and will comment later after I've made a lap around the web. (Guess I should give a brief synopsis for those who haven't seen it yet: basically, a group called the Ministry of Freedom International "Freedom" Center is going to use the site of the World Trade Center memorial to spew it's radical leftist ideology. Outrage. As I said, more later.)


mmmm maps

the geography of the Coalition of the Chillin' brought to you by the Politburo (ht: Gulf Coast Bandit - non Carthago delenda est!)

update of the blogroll (mainly adding the Coalition) should FINALLY happen sometime tonight. i've been lazy the past week or so, my apologies. (update: or tomorrow...)


blah blah blog

hmm, ho hum. seem to be in the blogging doldrums this week. even Howard Dean being his normal, raving lunatic self isn't working. maybe next week.

since i have nothing else to blather about, and since i sadly lack one of those cool little "on the jade monkey bookshelf" sidebar thingies that lots o' peeps have, i guess it's time once again to tell you what i'm reading:

New Spring: the Novel by Robert Jordan, a prequel in the Wheel of Time saga, which I love, despite the decreasing quality and the increasing delays between installments. This one tells of a time about 20 years prior to the main story line, when Moiraine and Siuan are newly-minted Aes Sedai, and Rand's birth on the slopes of Dragonmount is foretold by the Keeper of the Chronicles with her dying breath. Not too bad, but not one I had gone out of my way to buy at the cover price of $22.95, since I had already read the novella version of the same. But I saw it on sale at Barnes and Noble for $5.98 and said what the heck. Almost through with it, so that'll bump everything up in the rotation.

The Unfolding of Language: an evolutionary tour of mankind's greatest invention by Guy Deutscher. So far, really nothing I didn't already know, but I'm not too far into it yet, and it's an enjoyable enough read. Satisfies the linguist in me, at the least. Got this one for my birthday (New Spring too, technically).

and a few others I'm nibbling at: The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews, The Twelve Caesers by Suetonius, and maybe I'll finally get around to getting through Steven Pressfield's Tides of War here soon.

that's it for now. thinking some Augustine or Kierkegaard will be next on the non-fiction line up when Deutscher and Suetonius make way, though not sure what from either just yet. and/or maybe that recent biography of George Washington.