July 29, 2004
— Ace I bet you think I'm kidding about this, don't you?
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. Wait--
first I want to jump it with my Cylon Trans-Am.
Okay, seriously. What on earth could The Hasselhovian possibly have done to end the Cold War?
You won't be surprised to hear that the answer is the same as it is for a thousand other Hasselhoff-based questions. Turns out, he sang a German pop song:
Hasselhoff was already a singing star in Austria and Switzerland when, in 1989, he had the wisdom to cover a 1970s German hit, Auf Der Strasse Nach Suden.
Renaming it Looking for Freedom, with Hasselhoff singing in English, the song raced up the charts in the late summer, just as a wave of revolt began sweeping through Eastern Europe.
By the time Berliners started hacking away at the concrete wall that had divided their city for a generation, the torch-bearing anthem had been number one for several weeks in West Germany.
With its lament, "I've been lookin' for freedom; I've been lookin' so long; I've been lookin' for freedom; still the search goes on," the song embodied the frustrations of Germany's years of division.
Can someone please start playing Hooked on a Feeling in Fallujah?
— Ace His name is Ahmed Kaufan Galani, a "key suspect in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania."
Now, I have to admit, I never heard of the man. But there was a $25 million bounty on his head, so he wasn't just some average Ahmed.
— Ace And also indulges in Dowd-esque cutesey name-calling ("Frumpy gets Grumpy") while doing so.
I enjoyed this bit on David Frum's "partisanship":
Oh, I forgot. All that matters is Republican partisanship. Whatever their record. Whatever they stand for. Whoever their opponents are.
This is Sullivan's big selling point. That he's an (hah!) "independent." Other folks who are not "independent" are not to be trusted.
Well, this claim falls three different ways:
1) No one's truly "independent." Everyone has different priorities and different preferences. Those prirorities will compell them towards one party or no party, but none of us are "independent" from our own worldview.
2) It is unclear why someone who is (claimed to be) "independent" has a better claim on the truth than someone else. We all know that "independents" like to stroke their egos about how free-thinking they are, but in many cases they're either uninformed, confused, or as knee-jerk on the issues as the worst sort of ideologue-- it's just happenstance that their ideological impulses send their knees jerking to two or three different parties.
So, Sullivan's left and right knees jerk in different directions, because no "Eagle" party represents his preferred mix of socialism, libertinism, and hawkish (but loopy and naive) foreign policy. On the other hand, one party happens to fit the jerks of my own knees, most of the time.
Am I therefore less trustworthy or objective that Sullivan?
In addition, no one can miss the fact that Sullivan's allegedly independently-jerking knees have lately both been jerking to the left in perfect unison...
3) ... which is to say, Sullivan isn't an independent, and he hasn't been for quite some time. He's a Democratic partisan, pure and simple, and he became one when the Massachusetts SJC forced gay marriage on an unwilling state. Once he was tantalized by the possibility of similarly forcing his dream on an unwilling nation, he has been a hardcore Democrat supporter.
The whole insult of calling "partisanship" on David Frum is laughable coming from Sullivan. For what is "partisanship"? It is the willingness to bend fact or principle or long-held conviction in the interests of supporting one party.
Is this a joke?
Has Sullivan read his own site lately? What has he been doing for the past seven months, other than slowly but unmistakenly walking back previous statements and principles so as to better comport himself with his newly-adopted political party?
Oh, I forgot. All that matters is gay marriage. Whatever their record. Whatever they stand for. Whoever their opponents are.
MORE: Il Padrino points out this "Quote of the Day," followed by Sully the Shilly's (see, I can do Dowdy name-calling too) commentary:
LQUOTE OF THE DAY: "As few as five people in black robes can look at a particular issue and determine for the rest of us, insinuate for the rest of us that they are speaking as the majority will. They are not." - Rep. John Hostettler, the Republican who authored the bill that would strip federal courts of the right to consider the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. But, of course, it could also be said about the five Supreme Court Justices who made George W. Bush the president of the United States. The Republicans love courts when they reach the right decision; they just despise them when they don't.
Not only does he seem to be endorsing the "Selected, not Elected" claims of the Wackadoo Left, but he's also speaking in babytalk. Liberals love saying just that: Republicans love the courts when they come to decisions we agree with, and we don't love them when they don't.
Ummm, forgive me, asshole: As opposed to whom, precisely? Please find me liberals who both love the court's liberal judicial activism and also loved the court's decision in Bush v. Gore.
And let's have Sullivan's take on court decisions that don't force gay marriage on unwilling states. Does he "love" those decisions?
This is full-fledged knee-jerk hack mode, guys. Not only is this ludicrously dumb partisan hackery, but you can find precisely this dumb level of partisan hackery on any chat-site you visit.
You don't need to click on Sullivan's site, nor pay him $100K for bandwidth, for this non-elevated level of political analysis. You can get just this sort of idiocy from an unwashed "peace" protestor on the street.
Or even this sign-holding philosopher.
Note: Sullivan has edited his original headline from "Frumpy Gets Grumpy" to simply "Grumpy." But the former was the original.
— Ace Michelle Malkin is all over Muslims' claims of persecution.
It also just happens that Ms. Malkin notes that the recent traffic-stop of a converted black Muslim resulted in the discovery of the following:
A 9mm pistol
Three bulletproof vests
Hundreds of rounds of ammunition
A flight simulator and a bag of flight manuals dating to 2001
A 5-foot telescope hooked to camera equipment
Night-vision goggles and a night-vision rifle scope found in a hollowed-out computer
Books written in Arabic, including the Koran, along with hundreds of pages printed from the Internet on the Iraq war and terrorism
I want to see that this guy is carrying around a notebook called "The Punisher's War Journal" and contact information for each of the Avengers or else I want him in jail for the rest of his miserable life.
The truth of the matter is that there are Muslims who want to commit terrorism against us, more Muslims willing to assist those who want to commit terrorism, still more Muslims not willing to actively assist terrorists but also unwilling to cooperate with police and identify potential killers in their own mosques, and a fairly sizable number of Muslims who sympathize with the terrorist cause, because, ah yes, they don't like "our foreign policy."
That's the truth. That may be hard for American Muslims to hear but it is the truth and it has always been the truth. I'm not inclined to lie about it.
Malkin's first piece reports a small number of assualts on Muslims. Obviously, I'm against that, and I condemn such assaults.
I should note, however, that it is often the case that Muslims, when asked about terrorism, condemn terrorism before justifying it by saying, "You must understand. We don't like this country's foreign policy."
The claim is made that that doesn't constitute justification or mitigation, that it's just "making us aware" of the position of Muslims. (Like we haven't been made aware of this six billion times in the past three years.)
If such statements do not consitute at least a partial justification or mitigation of terrorism, then let's put the shoe on the other foot.
What if I said, "I condemn assaults on peaceable, law-abiding American Muslims. But you must understand-- we Americans don't like the foreign-policy favored by Muslims"?
I think in that case, "but you must understand" would be interpreted as a justification, and condemned as such.
So why isn't it a justification when spokespeople from CAIR say the same thing?
— Ace Andrew Sullivan has been called a flat-out liar as regards his claims of "increasing bandwidth costs" which necessitate another round of $100,000-plus blegging.
He also claimed that these higher costs were due, partly, to his increasing traffic. But according to Alexa's blog-rankings Sullivan's audience isn't growing:
Jul (incomplete): 833502
Now, he wasn't just called a liar by me. Since I've been tough on him, I could see him ignoring me.
He's been called a liar. If it's not true, why doesn't he rebut the charge? Why doesn't he explain precisely how it's come to be that bandwidth is costing him more than any person on the planet?
Instead, he's choosing to ignore the charges entirely, much like Hillary Clinton. I suppose if you caught him on the street and asked about it, he'd give a Hillary style "a ha ha ha, how ridiculous" fake laugh.
A charge has been levelled, and it is entirely within Sullivan's power to disprove it, if it's not true. Evidence that he's lying has been offered; it remains at this point entirely unrebutted (and in fact entirely unaddressed).
This constitutes a tacit admission of dishonesty. It is simply not credible that he somehow missed Michelle Malkin's post (she's a power-player), or John Hawkins' (no slouch himself), or that he's just too "above" disproving a serious charge made against him on some sort of "I'm beneath that" principle.
I also seem to have missed Instapundit rushing to Sullivan's defense. If big bloggers really require such costly bandwidth, Insta-man would know.
Nevertheless, to be fair to Sullivan, I think we should email him (email@example.com) queries about his extraodinarily pricey bandwidth, and see what he might say about it. Those of you particularly concerned about Sullivan's dire financial predicament might want to send him along URL's from which he can purchase much cheaper bandwidth.
Seems to me that that would be an in-kind sort of donation that he would greatly appreciate, since you'd be saving him about $100K. Saving $100K is just as good as making it. I think it might even be fair to write "DONATION" in the subject line of such an email.
Thanks to Allah for pointing me towards Hawkins' take-down on Sullivan's claims of increasing traffic.
And Just to Clarify, Again: I've got no beef with Sullivan for trolling for donations. I'm about to execute a hoagie over donations, personally.
It's the dishonesty of the appeal that I object to. His traffic isn't rising, his bandwidth costs aren't rising, and furthermore they're fairly small costs in any event. It is dishonest for him to claim that these costs are coming out of his own pocket when he last made $120,000 in a pledge drive. He might want more money -- which I can understand -- but it's a lie to frame this as some sort of "need" in order to pay the basic costs of his shoestring operation.
PS: Please send me money. As you are aware, the costs of producing semi-colons have risen in recent months, due to increased fuel costs and labor interruptions in Malaysia (the world's largest semi-colon-exporting nations).
Now look. I try to provide a good site for my readers. And I try to provide the best, most accurate punctuation possible. But with semi-colons now costing more than ever, I'm afraid that unless I'm able to shake you folks down for additional cash I'm going to have stop using semi-colons entirely, perhaps replacing them with the amatuerish short-dash ("-": the Pabst Blue Ribbon of punctuation) or maybe some low-quality "factory irregular" ampersands that look like a cross between a percent-symbol and a testicle.
You want this site to continue with the same high-quality and varied punctuation you've come to expect? Then fork over the greenbacks. Right now I'm paying for my semi-colons out of my own pocket, and that's just not American.
— Ace First the stroke. Now the poor man's prostate is infected.
What kind of monstrous people are we to continue tormenting this wonderful old man?
In related news, doctors report that Uday and Qusay remain in stable condition. Stable, and dead.
— Ace The denial.
You may have trouble accessing either article. I guess this Sofia news outfit can't keep up with the bandwidth demands for this story. But they might be able to fix this problem, as the news outfit just endorsed John Kerry for President and began begging for donations to buy new servers.
But the take-away seems to be that it isn't true. Alas.
I guess everyone should have known this report couldn't be trusted:
Al-Zarqawi has been arrested by Iraqi police and US military close to the border with Syria, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing information posted on the Internet.
Ah. A Russian news agency citing "information posted on the Internet." The Gold Standard of confirmations.
Here's some internet-based information for RIA Novosti: Sending enormous sums of money to Ace of Spades HQ can make you healthy, attractive, and enormously rich.
I think I can arrange a nooner with Terrezzzza, just for starters.
"He just wouldn't shut up about the Trans-Caspian Pipeline.
I gave him every chance."
That's not a tree. That's a wild hog, hanging from its feet. Twelve feet long, 1000 pounds.
— Ace No, not me. I tried to liveblog the convention, but I got bored. Checking back over my notes, my "liveblogging" appears to be mostly doodles of Godzilla having sex with a battleship and plays drawn up for Madden 2004 -- double-reverse halfback option out of splitback formation; clever or just too "busy"?
But one solid citizen who has been able to persevere through the pablum is Beck over at Incite. He's got a rundown of not just the speakers, but all the spinners on the various channels.
July 28, 2004
— Ace SSS caught this unbelievable story before I did. Why wasn't I informed immediately?
In related news, Arabs are also reported to be "vigorously blocking" a declaration that proclaiming that "Death is a bad thing."
— Ace The cajones on this guy. I'm torn between calling him an asshole and calling him the coolest man who ever lived:
Donald Trump, who picked up $50,000 per show last season, now wants a modest raise to $18 million per episode of his runaway hit show "The Apprentice."
The real estate mogul turned TV star based his $18 million demand on the salaries paid to the six actors in "Friends," who each got about $1.5 million per show.
Trump's math: Since the Donald is the only star of his show, as far as he can tell, he figures he's entitled to $1.5M x 6, or $9 million.
Then he realized that his show runs a full hour and "Friends" runs for only half hour, so he is not facetiously asking for $18 million a show.
In related news, Bill Gates just pitched his own reality show, The Quest, wherein he will "take a group of complete strangers from all walks of life" and Dungeon-Master (or DM) them all the way from first to 20th level. "It's a can't-miss concept," a producer attached to the project said. "You've got the raw animal charisma of Bill Gates. You've got orcs. You've got gnolls. You've got other humanoid monsters which are neither orcs nor gnolls. It's like Survivor, except with graph paper."
Gates is said to have already trademarked his catch-phrase, "You failed your saving throw against eviction," which he'll say to one player per week as he dismisses them from the campaign. Contestants will compete for $100,000 and a voice-over role in the upcoming PC game, Zork X-treme: The Vengeance of Nerris Vranj.
— Ace Judge 'em by the company they keep.
Must-watch. It's not really new news, but the presentation is new and very effective. Siren-worthy, even.
Big thanks to Aaron Burr.
As Sharp as a Marble said:
I question the timing of this video.
Update: Geeze Louise, it looks like Instapundit had this at 11:36AM.
Eh, I'm still keeping the siren up. It's new to me.
— Ace I'm a little skeptical.
In related news, Martha Stewart suffered an aneurysm and Scott Peterson developed a rare case of confinement-induced epilepsy.
— Ace The Washington Post is taking votes for the best blogs of 2004:
You'll need to sign in with your normal (or a faked) registration, but you can't use the Bugmenot registrations.
Would I like to be named the Best Blog of 2004 by the Washington Post?
I sure would.
Would I like to flap my arms and fly to the moon?* You betcha.
* Anyone know where I got that from?
— Ace Kausfiles links to this USAToday douche-nozzle, who apparently was responsible for the I DON'T GET IT "editing."
Guess what? By his own blogged confession, he "got" everything, he just didn't like the column. Why couldn't he have said that?
Why must every liberal claim that his actions are motivated by fidelity to some objective standard rather than a subjective, and politically-sensitive, mindset? What accounts for this reflexive impulsive to lie about motivations?
You won't be surprised to learn that USAToday had the idea to send Michael Moore to the Republican convention first; they then decided they needed to "balance" that, and chose Ann Coulter as the right firebrand to do so.
But it seems they never let Ann Coulter actually do any balancing at all.
And notice that while they are sending an unfair propagandist to cover the GOP, they have ended up with a much more responsible -- and much less vicious -- analyst for the Dems in the form of Jonah Goldberg. This is akin to the Crossfire situation-- the GOP is "represented" by Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson, both journalists with journalistic reputations to maintain, and thus constrained from engaging in full-on partisan venom. (In addition, CNN seems to love Robert Novak primarily because he hates the Bushes and doesn't much like Israel, and Tucker Carlson hasn't been particularly conservative at any point in his life, and especially not now.)
On the other hand, the Dems are ably represented by two bought-and-paid-for political hatchet men.
So, okay. A vicious, dishonest propagandist gets to savage the GOP, while Jonah Goldberg gets to take wry and cautious digs at the Democrats.
Seems fair to me! And remember, it "just worked out this way." USAToday tried like the Dickens to get Ann Coulter to pen a column, but goshdarnit, she just wasn't up to their high editorial standards.
You know-- the way Michael Moore is.
I DON'T GET IT.
Oh, wait, actually, I do get it.
Correction! I called this particular guy a liberal partisan. Reading the rest of his site, I'm not so sure. In fact, he seems to tilt to the right.
But the decision to kill Coulter's column was still in the hands of the higher-ups, not in the hands of this intern. And when I say he "apparently" edited the Coulter piece, I mean just that. Apparently. Kausfiles implies it, but there's no actual first hand statements to that effect.
— Ace And I wouldn't bet on Waylon Smithers, either.
Thanks to The Perfect World.
July 27, 2004
— Ace Mickey Kaus is a centrist, but reliable, Democratic voter. He wants very much to vote for Kerry, but he doesn't want to say he's voting for Kerry in order to appease the terrorists -- oh, I'm sorry, not "appease" them per se, just not make them all angry n' stuff, the way Bush has.
He wants them as peaceable and amiable as they were on September 11th 2001 when they crashed four airplanes filled with human beings into three buildings and the earth, killing 2800.
Now, see the problem with that rationale? Well, I suspect Mickey Kaus sees the problem here too, because he keeps trying to find cute ways to say "appease them" without actually uttering the words. His current formulation is that we need a "time out" from "Bush's history-making," by which he means we need to take a refreshing pause from our current policy of not appeasing terrorists.
Taking a time out from not appeasing them would seem to mean going back to appeasing them, but at least this way of saying it is sort of cute and vague and you can still claim to be all in favor of defeating maniacal Muslim murder-cultists.
After a time out, of course. A time out which will last anywhere from four to eight years.
Another cute way to say what he doesn't want to say is to employ the shorthand "Pedro Martinez."
Now, Pedro Martinez was the Red Sox ace who pitched a good game against the Yanks in last year's ALCS, but who was left in the game a little too long and wound up blowing the game. Kaus uses this analogy to say that while Bush has done all the right things, apparently we need to vote him out of office as soon as possible and put in the guy who didn't want to do the right things. See, because, you know, having the guy who did the right things in the game could lead to him doing not the right things in later innings.
Apparently Kerry, who's been wrong all along under this rationale, will do better in the late innings. I guess the theory is "he's due."
Here's the thing, though:
Kerry really ought to be foresquare behind this Pedro Martinez analogy, because, after all, in this silly little fart of an analysis he's the relief pitcher who'll be coming in to save the game. Trouble is, Kerry -- the very decisive man who wants to lead the free world -- that he can't even clearly say that the Red Sox should have yanked Pedro Martinez in that game without worrying that someone might take offense and not vote for him.
Kerry actually responds that, yes, he believes that Grady should have removed Pedro. Then Kerry interjects "Am I in trouble?" for giving that answer. My God! He sensed that he actually provided a clear cut answer to a question and his first reaction was that he may be in "trouble". Isn't it painfully obvious that this man is in no way qualified to lead?
There's more there. Kerry, who notoriously said he didn't like this whole "Yea" or "Nay" system of casting votes, perferring a "Yes, but..." or "No, unless..." system, also can't answer simple questions about baseball without launching into somnolent soliliquoys.
— Ace Great stuff. It's a funny piece about what it would be like if USAToday's editor began redlining Bill Clinton's speech. Good for a laugh, and very origin--
Wait a minute.
Thanks to BJ.
— Ace Does that headline, errrm, overstate the findings of the poll? Well, I'm thinking about applying to the New York Times as a political reporter; I'm emulating Adam Nagourney. I plan to use that headline as one of my "clips."
Kerry has lost support against Bush in trust to handle five of six issues tested in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, including terrorism, Iraq, taxes and even health care. And Kerry's ratings on personal attributes honesty, strong leadership, consistency, empathy and others have softened as well.
The bottom line has shifted only very subtly. Head-to-head, the Massachuestts senator has slipped from a slight lead in late June to a dead heat today, with 49 percent support for Bush and 48 percent for Kerry among registered voters. Including Ralph Nader, it's 48 percent-46 percent-3 percent.
Better but not good. But hang on there.
Here's the really stunning part. Asked who the voters trusted to better handle issues...
Terrorism B55 v. K37 (was 48 v. 47 -- that's a 17 point swing)
Taxes B49 v K43 (was 41 v. 53 -- that's a stunning reversal)
Health Care B44 v. K47 (was 38 v. 56 -- from a trouncing to near-parity)
Iraq B52 v K40 ( was 49 v 47 -- a nine point swing)
Education B44 v K45 (was 43 v 52 -- nine-point deficit to near-parity)
Economy B47 v K46 (was 45 v 50 -- five point deficit to near parity, slightly ahead)
I don't know if this poll is right or one of the 5% that will just be wrong, but it seems to me that Kerry can't win when he's behind big on the war, slightly behind on the economy, and only slightly ahead on the Mommy issues.
An improving economy and the handover of authority in Iraq are among the likely factors influencing these assessments. So, too, is the attention focused on terrorism by the release of the Sept. 11 commission report last week. The nation's response to 9/11 has been Bush's finest hour in public approval; focus on it accrues to his advantage.
Probably the single most important advance for Bush on the issues in this poll is his rating for handling terrorism. Fifty-seven percent of Americans now approve, up from 50 percent last month. And registered voters trust Bush over Kerry to handle terrorism by 55 percent to 37 percent, compared with an even split, 48 percent to 47 percent, a month ago.
Among specific groups that are key to Kerry's chances, since June he has lost 13 points among women in trust to handle terrorism, 11 points among moderates and eight points among independents.
Who do women, moderates, and Independents trust on terrorism?
Women B46 v K43 (was 40 v 56 -- nice turnaround)
Moderates B40 v K43 (was 42 v 54 -- another nice turnaround)
Independents B50 v K40 (was all knotted up at 48-48 -- ten point lead with Independents. Nice.)
On the economy, public perceptions, while hardly enthusiastic, are their best (46 percent positive, 53 percent negative) in ABC/Post polls since July 2001. And Bush's approval rating for handling the economy, while not good, is better up eight points since March, to 47 percent. Economic sentiment was vastly more sour at this time in 1992, when Bush's father was on his way to losing a second term.
This President Bush does remain vulnerable on his economic performance; 41 percent of Americans say most people have gotten worse off financially since he took office, while just 15 percent say most people are better off. That "worse off" number, though, is down from a high of 52 percent last fall and it was worse still, 61 percent, in summer 1992.
Lots of good stuff here.
No Matter How Cynical I Try To Be, I Just Can't Keep Up Update: Kerry is Unelectable calls shenanigans on this poll, for an interesting reason:
This is meant to give the appearnace of a John Kerry boost after the convention. There will be no real gain for Kerry, the media have recognized that, and now they are doing their damnedest to manufacture one. Kerry has to have some kind of momentum post convention or else everyone will recognize he has no chance of winning and Donks will be discouraged and won't show on Nov.2. This poll is completely false.
Hmmmm... I don't know. I guess we'll have some idea in a week.
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