July 27, 2004

RNC Video Documents Kerry's Changeable Beliefs About War and Peace
— Ace

Should be coming soon. 11 minutes long. Supposedly it shows Kerry's numerous contradictory statements about Gulf Wars I and II.

I DON'T GET IT. HE'S JUST SHOWING HIS NUANCE AND "COMPLEXITY."

Update: Sharp as a Marble has Joshua Micah Cougar Mellencamp Marshall's next big scoop for him, offering:

I question the timing of this video.

Some might say it's designed to hurt Kerry right as he's nominated. But I think that's just crazy-talk.

Posted by: Ace at 10:18 AM | Comments (6)
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Jonah Goldberg Substitutes for Coulter
— Ace

Brought in as a sub for Coulter after USAToday refused to run the column they'd commissioned, Goldberg pens a screed. I know he means well, but I DON'T GET IT.

Convention week officially began with the shocking news that the wife of a little-known Midwestern governor had written a column in which she criticized the way blacks, Southerners and various Easterners speak. Christie Vilsack — who will be addressing the convention today with, no doubt, perfect diction — apparently wrote her column for something slightly more prestigious than the Food King Flier more than a decade ago.

I DON'T GET IT. WHO IS THE "FOOD KING"? IS THIS A FAT JOKE?

I'M NOT FAT, JONAH. IT'S MOSTLY WATER WEIGHT.


That this "news" rocked the convention — albeit at a fairly low setting on the Richter scale — is a cautionary tale of what happens when a party is determined to deny anything approaching news from breaking out at its convention. If the Democrats will not provide copy, the media will generate their own.

IS THIS MEANT TO BE A SHOT AT THE MEDIA? NOT FUNNY, I DON'T GET IT. THE MEDIA IS THE MOST IMPORTANT AND MOST IDEALISTIC INSTITUTION IN AMERICA.

DID YOU MEAN "RNC" INSTEAD OF MEDIA? THAT JOKE MAKES MORE SENSE TO ME.

Still, one must give them credit; this promises to be the most disciplined Democratic convention ever — which normally would be akin to saying you've found the world's tallest midget.

MAKES NO SENSE. MIDGETS ARE NOT TALL. IF THEY ARE TALL, THEY ARE NOT, BY DEFINITION, MIDGETS.

ARE YOU BEING SARCASTIC? IF SO, YOU SURE LOST ME.

...

Kerry's waxing philosophic about how life begins at conception, but the activists still wear abortion-on-demand buttons.

I DON'T GET IT. ARE YOU SUGGESTING SOME INCONSISTENCY? YOU'LL HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT FOR ME.

BETTER YET, DELETE IT ENTIRELY. I KNOW COMEDY, AND THIS ISN'T FUNNY.

YOU KNOW WHO'S FUNNY? THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS. THE YO-YO MAKES ME LAUGH.
...

The irony, of course, is that Kerry is, in fact, far more simpatico with the delegates than any Democratic nominee has been since at least Walter Mondale and perhaps George McGovern — that is, if you go by something as trivial as the senator's actual voting record. Besides, even if Kerry weren't the most liberal senator in the United States — and from perhaps the most liberal state — when we elect presidents, we also elect their parties to staff the government.

IS THIS SARCASTIC? JOHN KERRY IS A MODERATE. I SUGGEST CHANGING REFERENCES TO "LIBERAL" TO "MODERATE" OR "CENTRIST" OR "CENTRIST, COMMON-SENSE PATRIOTIC WAR-HERO MODERATE."

THE JOKE WILL WORK BETTER THAT WAY, I THINK. THE BEST JOKES ARE THE ONES THAT "REALLY MAKE YOU THINK."

Howard Dean is already throwing things at effigies of Bush, Cheney & Co. and popping the veins in his neck as if he's just about to turn into the Hulk.

WHO IS "HULK"?

USATODAY STYLE-BOOK SAYS FIRST REFERENCE TO PERSONS SHOULD BE PRECEDED BY FORMAL TITLE. I WILL CHANGE TO "MR. HULK."

BUT I DON'T REALLY GET THE JOKE.

YOU KNOW WHO ELSE IS FUNNY? MARK RUSSELL. HE SINGS FUNNY SONGS ABOUT POLITICS.

Never underestimate the ability of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

NOT FUNNY. I DON'T GET IT. AND I'M NOT COMFORTABLE WITH A "SNATCH" JOKE.

MIGHT I SUGGEST THIS RE-WRITE:

THE DEMOCRATS WILL WIN IN NOVEMBER BECAUSE THEY'RE THE PARTY OF IDEAS, OPTIMISM, WISDOM AND HOPE.

MAYBE YOU CAN WORK IN SOME SORT OF "MAN FROM HOPE" PUN. THAT WILL KEEP THEM IN STITCHES.

STITCHES, I TELL YOU.

Posted by: Ace at 09:56 AM | Comments (4)
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Consumer Confidence at Two-Year High
— Ace


Click graphic for story.

Thanks to Nick.

Update! A survey of manufacturing execs finds that while they are less optimistic than those in other sectors, confidence in an upbeat manufacturing climate has risen five points over the past year, to 84%.

Just to Be Consistent About This Update: I'm not sure that surveys of sentiment (as opposed to facts about current economic conditions) really are deserving of the all-important Cowbell stinger, but I might be wrong about that.

If so, I sincerely apologize, and offer modest, let-us-all-compromise-in-the-interests-of-patriotic-unity Cowbell:


Guess what? I got a fee-vah.

Posted by: Ace at 07:32 AM | Comments (7)
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July 26, 2004

My Editorial Commentary on Andrew Sullivan's Pro-Kerry Burblings
— Ace

(Note: This whole deal is a bravura comedic synthesis of the latest Andrew Sullivan and Ann Coulter posts. (At least my Mom says so.) If you read this before you read them, YOU WON'T GET IT.)


MASTER-STROKE: I've been writing for months now that Kerry's most effective message would be that he'd conduct the war on terror with more allies and more wisdom than Bush. But I never actually believed he'd be canny enough to do exactly that. But he has!

I DON'T GET IT.

I had a catch in my throat as "Amazing Grace" struck up, and another as I absorbed the fact that a Muslim-American and a Jewish-American had just joined in tribute to the murdered.

ARE YOU BEING SARCASTIC? IF SO, YOU REALLY LOST ME.

Rhetorically, at least, they were saying: this is our war too. But we can pursue it more wisely and effectively than the well-meaning hothead now in office. And there was a subtler message as well. Remember when we were one as a nation? Do you really think that president Bush is capable of bringing any of us together again?

NOT FUNNY. IF THERE'S A JOKE HERE, YOU'LL HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB OF SETTING IT UP. HAVE YOU CONSIDERED KNOCK-KNOCK FORMAT?

SUCH AS:

KNOCK-KNOCK.

--WHO'S THERE?

WE CAN PURSUE THIS WAR MORE WISELY THAN THE HOT-HEAD CURRENTLY IN THE OVAL OFFICE, THAT'S WHO.

SEE? THE PUNCHLINE IS BETTER TELEGRAPHED. IT'S GOT "SNAP."


Jimmy Carter's speech was one of the best I've ever heard from him; and the genius of it was that Carter went against type. He re-introduced himself as a navy veteran...

I DON'T GET ALL THIS PRAISE OF JIMMY CARTER. YOU OBVIOUSLY MEAN THIS IRONICALLY, BUT THE JOKE IS TOO SUBTLE AND FALLS FLAT.

I FEEL LIKE I'VE WALKED IN HALFWAY THROUGH A SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE SKETCH WITH A PARTICULARLY CONVOLUTED PREMISE.

Kerry showed up. Kerry is as tough as Bush - but with "judgment and maturity." And in case you didn't get the message: "The biggest reason to make John Kerry president is even more important. It is to safeguard the security of our nation."

NOT FUNNY. I DON'T GET IT. ARE YOU CONFUSING JOHN KERRY WITH SOMEONE ELSE?

I FIND THAT MOST FUNNY JOKES INVOLVE EITHER 1) BEARS OR 2) VAGINAS. TRY WORKING IN A BEAR OR A VAGINA ANGLE. MAYBE BOTH, IF YOU'RE FEELING AMBITIOUS.

CLINTON AT HIS BEST: Carter's was the better speech, but Clinton was magnificent.

GOOD SET-UP, BUT WHERE'S THE PUNCHLINE?

REMEMBER, BEARS AND VAGINAS. I THINK THE VAGINA IS THE OBVIOUS GO-TO JOKE FOR CLINTON, BUT MAYBE IT'S A LITTLE TO "ON THE NOSE."

IN SUMMARY:

GOOD EFFORT, BUT NEEDS WORK. KEEP TRYING WITH THE WHOLE "HUMOR" THING, ANDY.

-- YOUR EDITOR,

ACE OF SPADES

P.S. VAGINAS ARE WHERE BABIES COME FROM.

Posted by: Ace at 10:27 PM | Comments (6)
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For Evil-Twin Garth Doug
— Ace

MASTER-STROKE I'm still somewhat in shock at the first night of the Democratic Convention. I kept thinking i was at a Republican convention. Tightly scripted, elegantly choreographed, seamlessly on the centrist message of war, unity, maturity and judgment. Foreign policy was front and center; faith was showcased; military service was held up as the ideal; prudent leadership was touted in a time of "peril," in Hillary's word. I wonder if they can keep this up. But I'm amazed they've tried. I've been writing for months now that Kerry's most effective message would be that he'd conduct the war on terror with more allies and more wisdom than Bush. But I never actually believed he'd be canny enough to do exactly that. But he has! If the first night is any indicator, the Democrats have played the smartest, strongest card of the campaign so far....

I had a catch in my throat as "Amazing Grace" struck up, and another as I absorbed the fact that a Muslim-American and a Jewish-American had just joined in tribute to the murdered.

...

Rhetorically, at least, they were saying: this is our war too. But we can pursue it more wisely and effectively than the well-meaning hothead now in office. And there was a subtler message as well. Remember when we were one as a nation? Do you really think that president Bush is capable of bringing any of us together again? Of course, some Democrats are responsible for exactly that polarization. But it's nevertheless a smart move to portray themselves as a unifying future compared to the divisive past.


THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY: The cultural signals were superbly done as well.

...

Jimmy Carter's speech was one of the best I've ever heard from him; and the genius of it was that Carter went against type. He re-introduced himself as a navy veteran, and was most effective mentioning those presidents who had actually been in the military: Eisenhower and Truman, under whom Carter served. Now listen to this passage:

Today -- today our Democratic Party is led by another former naval officer, one who volunteered for military service. He showed up when assigned to duty -- and he served with honor and distinction. He also knows the horrors of war and the responsibilities of leadership. And I am confident that next January he would restore the judgment and maturity to our government that nowadays is sorely lacking.

Kerry showed up. Kerry is as tough as Bush - but with "judgment and maturity." And in case you didn't get the message: "The biggest reason to make John Kerry president is even more important. It is to safeguard the security of our nation."

...


TO THE RIGHT OF BUSH: ...

After 9/11, America stood proud, wounded but determined and united. A cowardly attack on innocent civilians brought us an unprecedented level of cooperation and understanding around the world.

But in just 34 months we have watched with deep concern as all this good will has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations.

If you're a worried undecided voter, you may nott agree with all that. But you'll be troubled by enough of it to consider Kerry. And then there was the gut-punch: the indirect use of Bush's dubious National Guard service. In fact, the way in which the Democrats used the service record of Kerry against Bush was straight out of the Republican playbook. It's a pretty low blow, and Carter delivered it with a deep thud. When you describe someone as weak on defense and a draft-dodger, you're usually a Republican. But not this time.

...

CLINTON AT HIS BEST: Carter's was the better speech, but Clinton was magnificent.

...

And then the coup de grace: he put himself and Bush in the same camp as draft-dodgers, in stark comparison to the patriotic Kerry! My jaw was on the floor at that point in a mixture of admiration and horror. But it was mighty effective. And the way in which he described the cost of the tax cut in terms of squandered attempts to improve homeland defense was another smart move. Use the Republican tax cut issue against the Republican security issue. Wedge against them for once. If the constitution didn't prevent it, the man would still be president. After last night's speech, you can see why.

Guess who...?

Yes, it's that centrist, undecided analyst "reluctantly" moving towards supporting John Kerry. The one who apparently pays $120,000 for a server.

AllahPundit wrote to me, about six months ago, that Sully was just waiting for John Forbes Kerry to bravely declare "Terrorism is bad," and then he'd go into another one of his loopy puppy-dog-love swoons, praising the guts and judgment of the man to make such a steely pronouncement.

They don't call Allah the Maker of All Wisdom for nothin', folks.

By the way. This?:

I kept thinking i was at a Republican convention. Tightly scripted, elegantly choreographed, seamlessly on the centrist message of war, unity, maturity and judgment.

Of course Randy Andy thought he was at a Republican convention. Randy Andy has this funny way of thinking that wherever he is on an issue RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, that represents the heart and soul of the conservative movement-- or at least the real conservative movement, the Gay-Marriage-Arnold-Schwarzenegger-John-McCain-Eagles-'n-Ecstasy "conservative movement" he prefers.

Who is this Garth Doug? There seems to be some confusion among readers about who "Garth Doug" is. One of the Dougs thinks I mean "Darth."

Didn't you guys watch Knight Rider?

Garth Knight was Michael Knight's "evil twin with a goatee."

So, to tell the two Dougs apart:

David_Hasselhoff.jpg
This is the Doug that agrees with me. Notice how sexy he looks in that Member's Only jacket.

garth.jpg
This is Evil Twin Garth Doug, who disagrees with me. Look at this evil son-of-a-bitch! Look at that corrupt goatee! And look at that mendacious chest-hair! What a dickweed!

I hope that clears things up.

p.s. to Evil Twin Garth Doug:

j/k. (g).


Posted by: Ace at 09:43 PM | Comments (20)
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Must-Read: Our Unbiased Media Critiques Coulter
— Ace

Amazing. You have to read the USAToday editor's ridiculous complaints about the piece.

I don't think this Coulter's best work. I don't even think it's her B-act. But that's not the point.

The point is is that this "editor" disingenuously keeps writing "I DON'T GET IT" after each and every joke. The editor either does "get it" and is lying about that, or else USAToday has joined up with the United Way in some sort of Give-a-High-Paid-Media-Career-to-a-Retard program.

Examples (Editor's, ahem, "input" in caps):

A speaker at the Democratic National Convention this year, Al Sharpton, accused white police officers of raping and defacing Tawana Brawley in 1987, lunatic charges that eventually led to a defamation lawsuit against Sharpton and even more eventually, to Sharpton paying a jury award to the defamed plaintiff Steve Pagones. So it’s a real mystery why cops wouldn’t like Democrats.


USA Today: IS THAT LAST SENTENCE SARCASTIC? IF SO, YOU SURE LOST ME.

See, Al Sharpton defamed prosecutor Steven Pagones, accusing him of kidnapping and raping Tawana Brawley. Now Sharpton is a speaker at the convention. Cops, you see, might not like that.

Is this a very complex joke? This editor sure seems easily "lost."

As for the pretty girls, I can only guess that it’s because liberal boys never try to make a move on you without the UN Security Council's approval. Plus, it’s no fun riding around in those dinky little hybrid cars. My pretty-girl allies stick out like a sore thumb amongst the corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons they call "women" at the Democratic National Convention.


USA Today: NOT FUNNY, I DON'T GET IT.

Liberal women are hairy, dykey hippie-chick pie-wagons. You may disagree with this, but I have difficulty believing that the editor doesn't "get" a stereotype of liberal bra-burners that dates from 1966.

I have a feeling that this editrix gets the joke-- only too well.

Looking at the line-up of speakers at the Convention, I have developed the 7-11 challenge: I will quit making fun of, for example, Dennis Kucinich, if he can prove he can run a 7-11 properly for 8 hours. We’ll even let him have an hour or so of preparation before we open up. Within 8 hours, the money will be gone, the store will be empty, and he’ll be explaining how three 11-year olds came in and asked for the money and he gave it to them.


USA Today: I DON'T GET IT.

The editrix doesn't "get" a complaint that liberals are bleeding-hearts and ineffectual managers. Apparently the editrix also didn't "get" the presidential elections of 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988.

I imagine the day after those Republican drubbings, she redlined the stories declaring Republicans the newly elected or re-elected Presidents, writing "HOW CAN THIS BE? I DON'T GET IT. GEORGE McGOVERN IS A VERY SMART MAN. ARE YOU BEING SARCASTIC? IF SO, YOU SURE LOST ME."

I’d say I love all these Democrats in Boston so much I want them to go home, but I don’t. I want Americans to get a good long look at the French Party and keep the 7-11 challenge in mind.


USA Today: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "THE FRENCH PARTY"? I DON'T GET IT.

Our editrix proves herself to be truly cosmopolitan and up with current events here. Apparently she hasn't noticed the affinity between Jacques Chirac and John Forbes Kerry.

I ask you: Is it conceivable that the editrix didn't "get" those third-grade-level (sorry, Ann) jokes?

Or is it more likely that this yet another example of the liberal media objecting to a story or an analysis based on political affintiy, and yet refusing to forthrightly admit the political nature of the disagreement?

Her real problem? She disagrees with Coulter. Coulter has committed the journalistic offense of writing something a liberal media-type disagrees with.

She "gets" the jokes. She just doesn't think they're fair. She doesn't think they're funny, in the same sense that getting pegged in nards by bocce ball might be funny to others, but it won't be very funny to you.

Of course, Michael Moore will be performing the same service at the Republican convention. As Human Events notes, it's a pretty fair bet that USAToday won't need his jokes explained to them. They'll not only get those jokes, they'll be telling their friends about them for a week afterwards.

And needless to say, his columns will make it into print with minimal editorial changes.

You won't see any "I DON'T GET IT"'s or "IS THIS SARCASTIC?" there.

No, the only comments there will be "DYNAMITE! EXPAND THIS THOUGHT!" or "DON'T YOU THINK WE CAN GO TO THE BUSH=CHIMP WELL ONE MORE TIME?!"

Update: Michelle Malkin comments.

Posted by: Ace at 06:13 PM | Comments (13)
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Media: Uranium-to-Niger Only Newsworthy When Source is Lying
— Ace

In the off chance you haven't seen this, turns out that the media was a lot more eager to run stories about Joe Wilson's charges than the debunking of those exact charges:

comparison.bmp

How is it that the exact same story can be so newsworthy and important when it's hurting Bush, and yet not newsworthy at all when it turns out to be false and thus, in effect, helping Bush?

How can the media have run all these stories and imagine they have no obligation to prominently correct the record that themselves made?

More here, here, here, and of course here.

Posted by: Ace at 05:52 PM | Comments (2)
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Bush Scores Best Rating on the Economy in Six Months
— Ace

47% approve, 50% disapprove of his handling.

That's up from 39% approval in March, and 45% earlier this month.

Posted by: Ace at 05:11 PM | Comments (1)
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Shove It, Spinners
— Ace

Portly partisan Oliver Willis is spinning Teresa Heinz's "Shovegate" gaffe.

As you might know, Terrezzzzzza gave a speech in which she said that some political speech -- and of course she chiefly meant the speech of Republicans -- was becoming "unamerican."

A reporter from the conservative-leaning Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviewer attempted to ask her about this. She said, repeatedly and forcefully, that she'd never said the word "unamerican," and that the reporter was putting words into her potty mouth.

Of couse, she actually did say that.

Once she found out the reporter was from the PTR, she told him to "shove it."

It's not the "shove it" which is really objectionable. It's the fact that she lied about impugning those who criticize her husband as "unamerican."

The liberals are spinning this, claiming that she didn't say what she is caught on tape saying. Willis' initial defense was exactly that, but now he has corrected to allow that she did say the word in question, but that he's not really sure of the "context."

How many fuckin' different "contexts" could there be, Cholesterol-Head?

If Terezzzza is to be excused for uttering this quite-inutterable slander -- at least we're all lectured about how horrible the unamerican slur is when directed at liberals -- because she said that some were merely "becoming unamerican," then of course I will take that to mean that the liberals will not object if Republicans merely say that the liberals are becoming unamerican in their opposition to the war on terrorism (and even the law-enforcement efforts against terrorism).

You can't have it both ways, guys. The charge is either a horrible slander which must be condemned or it is not. It cannot be the case that Terezzza is permitted to make this charge -- yet again -- and conservatives are not.

Meanwhile, the wife of Iowa governor (and Democrat) Tom Vilsack is apparently "fascinated" by the way blacks talk to one another.

The Video: Go here to watch Terezzzzzza call brave political dissidents "unamerican," and then lie about that.

Posted by: Ace at 12:38 PM | Comments (6)
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A Day Without Cowbell Is Like Ice Cream Without Jimmies
— Ace

Treasuries Fall on Fears of Strong Economic Data:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Treasury prices fell on Monday as traders feared record U.S. home sales might herald a wave of strong data in a week packed with economic reports.

Policy-makers have argued that a June slowdown in growth was a mere blip in an otherwise healthy recovery. Investors are worried their theory could be corroborated in this week's data, damaging safe-haven government debt.

Compounding the uneasy mood was a hefty pile of upcoming supply -- $35 billion worth will make its way into the market this week.

The week's first notable economic report certainly caught bond bulls off guard. Sales of existing homes climbed 2.1 percent to 6.95 million in June, confounding analysts, who had looked for a pullback.

"How much of this is just people rushing out to lock in rates before they go up remains to be seen," said Steve Ricchiuto, chief U.S. economist at ABN Amro.

...

Some of the economic data this week will likely echo the softness seen at the end of the last quarter. The advance GDP report on Friday, for instance, is expected to show growth slowed to an annual 3.6 percent in the second quarter from 3.9 percent in the first.

But the week's numbers may also offer evidence that activity picked up in July. If so, that would tend to support the Federal Reserve's optimism on the economy and reaffirm the outlook for steady interest rate hikes.

Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig indicated as much on Monday, saying the economy was doing well and should register growth above 4 percent in 2004. Economists seemed to agree.

"The Chicago PMI should post a healthy rebound from a big dip in June, one clearly distorted by the annual auto plant retooling," said Eric Green, an economist at BNP Paribas.

The Chicago purchasing management survey is due on Friday.

"The ISM as well as the employment report the following week should provide further evidence that the lull in June was just that," added Green, referring to the Institute for Supply Management survey of manufacturers.

Modest, Don't-Want-To-Count-Our-Chickens Cowbell:


Click for the Cowbell Theme.

Posted by: Ace at 12:24 PM | Comments (1)
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The "Suspicious Timing" of Sullivan's "Increased Bandwidth Costs"
— Ace

American Digest points out that Sullivan's "bandwidth costs" have skyrocketed at just about the same time he can begin expecting a new, friendly audience of Kerry Democrats who probably haven't donated to him yet.

Thanks to CCWBass/Way Off Bass.

In related news, I'm reluctantly coming to the conclusion that George Soros is really a heck of a guy, extraodinarily generous in supporting causes he believes in.

I'm reluctantly beginning to agree that we should have legal, government-subsidized pot and on-demand euthanizations. And whatever else he believes in, actually.

He's also a strikingly-handsome man, the sort of man that women want to be with, and that men want to be. Or even be with, too.

I can be had, George. You name it, buddy, you got it. Nothing's off the table. Nothing. You know what I mean there, Sexy? All access, Stud.

Sweet Victory: One reader tells me that his donation to me was one that previously would have gone to Sully. He calls it a "redirected" donation.

Redirect away!

Now, should my Ducati be black or red? Black is cool, but it's very common. Red is a little "Hey, look at me!," but then, it is an ultra-high-end racing bike, and I intend to ride it without wearing pants.

Hmmmm...

Posted by: Ace at 11:25 AM | Comments (7)
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Donate to Ace of Spades HQ Or I'll Shoot This Sandwich
— Ace

As you're probably aware, the costs of caring for and feeding a foul-mouthed, sex-crazed time-traveling bologna sandwich have skyrocketed in recent months.

I can't keep paying for Johnny Coldcuts' upkeep out of my own pocket. Bailing him out of the drunk tank every weekend is putting me into the poor house.

And, as you know, he's not even pulling his weight. He tells me he's still "researching" his long-anticipated What's Your Beef? advice column. His "research" seems to chiefly involve setting a course record on Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 and dialing up phone-sex services.

My nights are haunted by the patter of golf-claps and screams of "Give me the Dijon, you dirty, dirty whore!"

Don't donate to Andrew Sullivan. He's a cheesedick. Donate to me, or I swear, I'm going to put this perverted bologna sandwich down. I'm just crazy enough to do it.

sandwichforskippy.jpg
I want to live. I want to live, damnit!
I'm pleading for your charity and mercy, fuckface!


Photo Credit: Used with permission of Enjoy Every Sandwhich. "Sandwich for Skippy" pic created by Zombie and Rowan.

Posted by: Ace at 11:00 AM | Comments (22)
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Scoop of the Day: Kerry Will Highlight His Combat Service at Convention
— Ace

That's what I call "working your sources." Give this reporter a Pulitzer.

Ace of Spades HQ also has some scoops:

Item! Max Cleland will compare the wound he suffered in Vietnam to the wounds inflicted on him by Saxby "Charlie in the Bush" Chambliss.

Item! I have it on good authority that Bush's positions on social issues will be frequently referred to as being "out of the mainstream" or even "extremist." Furthermore, the media will seem to actually agree with these assessments while reporting them.

Item! John Edwards will smile an a lot. He will use the words "positive," "optimistic," and "hopeful" while he paints a picture of an Apartheid America divided between "gated communities" and "Hoovervilles."

Item! John Kerry will employ grandiose but ultimately baby-talk meaningless oratory to conceal his actual position on the war and terrorism while sending messages to both pro- and anti-war voters that he's *really* one of them.

Note that coming by these scoops cost me an awful lot of money. Please donate $1-5000 dollars if you've read through this post until the end.

Posted by: Ace at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)
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The Mystery of Andrew Sullivan's High-Priced Server Space
— Ace

Wunderkinder wants to know why Sullivan's pitching his latest drive for donations as required due to the fact that "bandwidth costs have risen."

Wunderkinder estimates that Sullivan's bandwidth costs $500 a year, at the very most, assuming 30x his actual traffic. On the other hand, his most recent pledge drive raised over $120,000.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin.

In related news:

Please send me money to cover the rising costs of my cutting-edge, top-of-the-line commenting interface.

I need thirty three million dollars.

Thank you.

Posted by: Ace at 09:12 AM | Comments (15)
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July 25, 2004

Plame's Identity Was Outed Long Before Novak
— Ace

Although the indefatiguable Josh Marshall attempts to spin, spin, spin the facts as some sort of Republican nefariousness or fear about prosecution, he can't quite spin away the basic fact that Valerie Plame's identity as a "covert" (ahem) CIA paper-pusher mayb have been disclosed as far back as 1990, by Aldrich Aames.

The media seems to have been embargoing this fact. Marshall talks about it as if it's common knowledge, but oddly enough, no one in the liberal media ever before alerted me to this fact. (Marshall apparently mentioned this once, a year ago.)

Funny that a fact with such a seemingly dispositive impact on the investigation would be so woefully underreported by our strictly-neutral, right-down-the-middle media.

This information would seem to clear up a question we've all had for a long time: If this woman was "covert," why the hell was she based apparently exclusively in Chevy Chase, Maryland? (Or wherever she was based.) It turns out she was on the list of agents the CIA believed had been compromised, and thus kept from any missions requiring actual covertness.

Marshall seems genuinely beside himself that Republican evildoers might get off on a "technicality." Well, Josh, requiring that Plame actually be undercover -- not nominally undercover, but actually & factually undercover -- is not a mere "technicality." It is an element of the crime of which you wish to convict her "outer." If she wasn't actually undercover, there is no crime.

Posted by: Ace at 06:31 PM | Comments (6)
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Hog on Ice Has Berger Source
— Ace

And he's telling him, through an intermediary, all sorts of interesting things.

Via Allah.

Meanwhile, there's this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article claiming that Berger's greatest crime might have been not taking documents or notes, but rather inserting documents and notes into the record.

A commenter (forget who) just raised that possibility this past week.

Posted by: Ace at 05:50 PM | Comments (1)
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Sullivan Update
— Ace

An extended excerpt was added to the original post below at Allah's request.

Also, despite having written this endorsement of Kerry, Sullivan's website so far makes no mention at all of it, and does not yet link it.

Update: He's now linked his Kerry endorsement, as well as (yet another) tirade against Bush for "dividing" this country by raising an issue that does, in fact, divide the country.

Liberals' calls for unity always seem to involve conservatives yielding on important disagreements to liberals in the interests of "uniting us." Oddly enough, it never seems to occur to these ultra-unitarians that unity could also be had by liberals conceding "divisive" issues to conservatives.

Update: AllahPundit is crowing about picking July 30th as the day Sullivan would come out of the Kerry closet (see first comment). Not perfectly bang-on, but the best prediction of the lot.

Frankly, I don't know I avoided picking a date myself. I think I just was mad that others were horning in on my favorite indoor sport, Extreme Sullivan Precognition.

Posted by: Ace at 01:56 PM | Comments (3)
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Andrew Sullivan Kerry-Endorsement Watch: Bong
— Ace

Thanks to NRO's K-Lo, and thanks to George for the tip.

Well, Andrew Sullivan has, surprise surprise, not only endorsed John Forbes Kerry for President but, get this, endorsed him as the "conservative" choice for President. He endorses Kerry despite his admission that...

On the most fundamental matter, ie the war, I think Bush has been basically right: right to see the danger posed by Saddam Hussein and the nexus of weapons of mass destruction and Islamist terror; right to realise that the French would never have acquiesced to ridding the world of Saddam; right to endorse the notion of pre-emption in a world of new and grave dangers.

But nevermind all that. There are other equally-important considerations, like Sullivan's alleged right to get hitched to a man (a right he has not, as of yet, seen fit to take advantage of).

At the tone, the Andrew Sullivan Kerry-Endorsement Watch displays a time of

(bong)

12:00AM midnight -- endorsement made

In a way, I'm peeved that NRO discovered this article and publicized it. I would have liked to have seen how long it took Sullivan to finally admit his blatant, but unacknowledged, Kerry partisanship had he thought his remarks, like those made in the Advocate, might have remained secret from his blog-audience.

As Donald Luskin first noted (and I have repeated consistently since then), Sullivan is an intensely personal, emotional, and ad hominem analyst. Part of this tendency was unseen by many conservatives for a while, because his intensely personal, emotional, and ad hominem style of hyperventilating hackery often was in praise of Bush or Reagan ("A Mash-Note to Reagan"... ewwww) or directed at conservatives' opponents (Howell Raines, the Stalinist gay left), and people have a tendency to miss unfairness when that unfairness inures to their own benefit.

But now the mask is off, and thus so are the gloves, and the basic viciousness of Sullivan's "analysis" -- a viciousness common in both areas of Sullivan's political education, the British political tradition and the Stalinist gay-left tradition -- will be brought fully to bear on the one person in the world keeping Sullivan from getting married...

...apart from Sullivan himself, I mean.


Extended Excerpt Update: AllahPundit said he was having trouble accessing the piece and wanted an excerpt. What Allah wants, Allah gets. Here's a longish excerpt, his bits in quoted plain text, my bits in italics, because it's a pain in the ass reading italics for a long piece:

"If you are a conservative, whom should you be rooting for in the American elections? I am not being entirely facetious here. The conservative “movement” in the United States is still firmly behind the re- election of President George W Bush."

Nice "scare" "quotes," "Andrew."

"...

And yet if you decouple the notion of being a conservative from being a Republican, nobody can doubt that the Bush administration has been pursuing some highly unconservative policies.


"Start with the war. Almost overnight after 9/11 Bush junked decades of American policy in the Middle East, abandoning attempts to manage Arab autocracies for the sake of the oil supply and instead forging a policy of radical democratisation. He invaded two countries and is trying to convert them to modern democracies. "

This is a funny criticism from someone who supported the war on these very same grounds, and in fact continues to do so (as he admits later on).

"Nothing so liberal has been attempted in a long time. In the 2000 campaign, Bush mocked the idea of “nation building” as liberal claptrap. Now it’s the centrepiece of his administration. The fact that anti-American lefties despise the attempt to democratise foreign countries should not disguise the fact that Bush is, in this respect, indisputably a foreign policy liberal. He has shown none of his father’s caution, no interest in old-style realpolitik. "

Again, he would seem to be arguing that the war was wrong because it was undertaken for traditionally-"liberal" motives. And yet: He actually supported it.

I suppose he's a bit like John Kerry on that point. He sorta supports it, but not in the details, we need our allies, Bush misled us, etc.

"At home Bush has been just as radical. He has junked decades of conservative attempts to restrain government and pushed federal spending to record levels, dismissing the idea that this will have damaging consequences. He has poured money into agricultural subsidies, he famously put tariffs on foreign steel, he has expanded the healthcare programme and increased the role of central government in education.

"He has little or no concern for the separation of church and state, funnelling public money to religious charities, and he has appointed some of the most radical jurists to the federal bench. Just try finding a coherent theme in Bush Republicanism. It is in fact one of the most ramshackle distillations of political expediency ever tarted up as an “ism”.

"There has also been, it’s safe to say, a remarkable recklessness in Bush’s approach. Was it really necessary to insist that the Geneva conventions do not apply to detainees in the war on terror? "

Yes.

"When so many people warned that the hardest task in Iraq would be what happened after the fall of Baghdad, was it sensible to junk all the carefully written government reports for reconstruction and wing it? Was it wise to brag in the days after the first military victory in Iraq that it was “mission accomplished”? When the insurgency was growing, was it sensible to apply the methods of Guantanamo Bay to the hundreds of petty criminals and innocents hauled into Abu Ghraib?

"At almost every juncture where prudence might have been called for, Bush opted for winging it. This approach can scarcely be called conservative. "

Winging it. Note how well this criticism just happens to dovetail so nicely with one of John Forbes Kerry's biggest applause lines, the one about Bush "not having a plan."

Sullivan has always been fundamentally flighty and unserious about this whole effort. His passion in favor of the war was appreciated, simply because it was so gushing; but he's always been childishly unrealistic and, well, liberal about what war actually means. War means deaths. War means sacrifice. War means occasionally having to act in a fashion you might otherwise not like to in order to achieve some important goal.

Andrew has always been a very weak link in the chain, as he's always insisted, with the sputtering tantrums of a three-year-old, that war means never having to, you know, actually hurt anyone.

"So where is conservatism to be found? Maybe you should cast a glance at Boston, where this week the Democratic convention will anoint one John Forbes Kerry, a northeastern patrician who is fast becoming the eastern establishment’s favourite son. "

Fast becoming? Ummm, fast becoming? You mean there's been a point in the last two years when he wasn't the eastern liberal establishment's favorite?

I suppose he's "fast becoming" the establishment's favorite the same way he's "fast becoming" Sullivan's favorite. I.e., he's been a favorite of both for at least a year, but only now are they growing more comfortable about saying so.

"Yes, Kerry’s record on spending, defence and social policy has been liberal. But that is not the theme of his campaign."

Oh-- it's not the theme of his campaign. I guess the theme of a campaign is a better predictor of future decisionmaking than a lifetime of votes and speeches.

I guess Bush needs only to announce "Fair Play for Gays" as a "theme" to win Andy's support back.

" Kerry says he is as dedicated to seeing through nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan as Bush. But where Bush has scrapped America’s long-standing military doctrine of attacking only when attacked, Kerry prefers the old, strictly defensive doctrine. "

Sullivan just announces this without comment, but this is in his brief in favor of Kerry. Notice he avoids mentioning an inconvenient fact: that he himself argued passionately (and I don't mean that in a positive way, necessarily) against the Kerry position for three fucking years.

"Where Bush has clearly placed American national interest above international concerns, Kerry demands that the old alliances — even with old Europe — need to be strengthened. Kerry insists that he is a fiscal conservative, aiming to reduce the deficit by tax increases. He has argued that stability in some parts of the world should take precedence over democracy or human rights.

"He opposes amending the constitution and supports legal abortion, the status quo that Bush wants to reverse. He has spent decades in the Senate building an undistinguished but nuanced record. He is a war veteran who plays up his record of public service. He’s a church-going Catholic who finds discussion of religious faith unseemly in public. In the primaries he was the safe establishment bore compared with radicals such as Howard Dean and the populist charmer John Edwards.

"His basic message: let’s return to “normalcy”. The radicalism of the past four years needs tempering. We need to consolidate nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan before any new adventures in, say, Iran. We need to return to the diplomatic obeisance to the United Nations. We should stop referring to a “war” on terror and return to pre-9/11 notions of terrorism, best dealt with by police work in co-ordination with our democratic allies. "

Ahem. Once again: Sullivan was a passionate, indeed, often loopy, proponent of that very "radicalism."

"At home we need to restrain the unruly religious right. We must balance the budget again. We need to redress some of the social and economic inequality that has so intensified during these past few years. Kerry’s biggest proposal — one sure to be modified by Congress — is a large increase in the number of people with health insurance. It’s far more modest than that proposed by Bill and Hillary Clinton a decade ago.

"Does that make Kerry right and Bush wrong? On the most fundamental matter, ie the war, I think Bush has been basically right: right to see the danger posed by Saddam Hussein and the nexus of weapons of mass destruction and Islamist terror; right to realise that the French would never have acquiesced to ridding the world of Saddam; right to endorse the notion of pre-emption in a world of new and grave dangers.

"Much of the hard work has now been done. Nobody seriously believes that Bush will start another war. And in some ways Kerry may be better suited to the difficult task of nation building than Bush.

"At home Bush has done much to destroy the coherence of a conservative philosophy of American government and he has been almost criminally reckless in his conduct of the war. He and America will never live down the intelligence debacle of the missing WMDs. He and America will be hard put to regain the moral high ground after Abu Ghraib.

"The argument that Kerry must make is that he can continue the war but without Bush’s polarising recklessness. And at home he must reassure Americans that he is the centrist candidate, controlled neither by the foaming Michael Moore left nor by the vitriolic religious right.

"Put all that together and I may not find myself the only conservative moving slowly and reluctantly towards the notion that Kerry may be the right man — and the conservative choice — for a difficult and perilous time."

Anyone else notice that in this long, detailed piece, which even mentions some fairly small-bore issues like agricultural subsidies and the now defunct steel tarriffs, Sullivan deliberately and dishonestly omits any clear mention of the one issue that obviously drives him (to distraction, and then back again)?


Posted by: Ace at 10:13 AM | Comments (40)
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NYT's Ombudsmen: I Work for a Liberal Rag
— Ace

Daniel Okrent is generally useless to read, as he simply defends the Times' party line, down the line. True, he's at least polite and respectful about it, and he at least appears to be willing to give grievances an airing, but goshdarnit if he doesn't usually end up telling you the Times is fair and balanced.

So what an absolute shock it was for me to read this piece, in which the Times' "public editor" declares that on social questions, and most particularly on gay marriage, the NYT has been a cheerleading section for the left:

But it's one thing to make the paper's pages a congenial home for editorial polemicists, conceptual artists, the fashion-forward or other like-minded souls (European papers, aligned with specific political parties, have been doing it for centuries), and quite another to tell only the side of the story your co-religionists wish to hear. I don't think it's intentional when The Times does this. But negligence doesn't have to be intentional.

The gay marriage issue provides a perfect example. Set aside the editorial page, the columnists or the lengthy article in the magazine ("Toward a More Perfect Union," by David J. Garrow, May 9) that compared the lawyers who won the Massachusetts same-sex marriage lawsuit to Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King. That's all fine, especially for those of us who believe that homosexual couples should have precisely the same civil rights as heterosexuals.

But for those who also believe the news pages cannot retain their credibility unless all aspects of an issue are subject to robust examination, it's disappointing to see The Times present the social and cultural aspects of same-sex marriage in a tone that approaches cheerleading. So far this year, front-page headlines have told me that "For Children of Gays, Marriage Brings Joy," (March 19, 2004); that the family of "Two Fathers, With One Happy to Stay at Home," (Jan. 12, 2004) is a new archetype; and that "Gay Couples Seek Unions in God's Eyes," (Jan. 30, 2004). I've learned where gay couples go to celebrate their marriages; I've met gay couples picking out bridal dresses; I've been introduced to couples who have been together for decades and have now sanctified their vows in Canada, couples who have successfully integrated the world of competitive ballroom dancing, couples whose lives are the platonic model of suburban stability.

Every one of these articles was perfectly legitimate. Cumulatively, though, they would make a very effective ad campaign for the gay marriage cause. You wouldn't even need the articles: run the headlines over the invariably sunny pictures of invariably happy people that ran with most of these pieces, and you'd have the makings of a life insurance commercial.

I'm actually interested in Andrew Sullivan's reaction. On one hand, Okrent takes on Sullivan's fourth biggest theme, NYT bias. But on the other hand, Sullivan's first three biggest themes are, in no particular order, gay marriage, gay marriage, and gay marriage, and here is Daniel Okrent saying that on this question, the NYT bias Sullivan likes to criticize just happens to be pushing his favorite issue.

Since this would be a tough issue to confront, I expect Sullivan to do what he usually does and completely ignore it.

Posted by: Ace at 08:48 AM | Comments (7)
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July 23, 2004

Another Leak: You Know This One Hurts Republicans, Because They're Talking About the Information Leaked Rather than the Leak Itself
— Ace

Shortly after 9/11, some politician told the press about some phone conversation intercepted the day before, saying something like "The feast is set" or some other codephrase later determined to mean "the attack is on."

This was a bad thing, because the fact that we interecepted a call is itself a closely-guarded secret. I think Bush, Cheney, and/or Rumsfeld sternly rebuked Congress for this leak.

It was just leaked that a Senator is now the focus of investigation in the case. That Senator -- Richard Shelby of Alabama, on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Republican.

Keith Olbermann reported this on his godawful show tonight. Oddly enough, there was no talk of this leak impugning a Republican being "timed," "suspiciously" or otherwise, to take the focus off of Sandy Berger, or to give the Democrats a laugh line during their convention.

Nope. The only story was the information conveyed by the leak. Not the leak itself, nor the likely political affinity of the leakers, nor the possible motive or agenda of the leakers. No aspersions whatsoever were cast upon those supplying the information; indeed, they weren't even mentioned at all.

Funny, isn't it?

(P.S., Keith: Craig Kilbourne called. He says he wants his act back. Oh wait, that isn't even Craig Kilbourne's act, he stole it from David Letterman. And, actually, wait again: neither man wants the act back, because you're so howlingly unfunny they say you've "tainted" the act and turned it into something ugly and hateful.

On the other hand, Margaret Cho wants to have drinks.)

Posted by: Ace at 08:21 PM | Comments (5)
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