August 31, 2004
— Ace All the juicy stories (Al Franken got into another fight), massively updated.
Liveblogging Oliver Wills' Liveblogging: No joke-- the change in mood here is palpable. No more of the cocky gloating; no more swagger. He's less funny than usual, if you can imagine such a thing.
I don't want to start my own cocky gloating. Oh wait, yes I do; but I won't. Things change too fast.
But pretty much Oliver Willis has been reduced to doing that old Richard Belzer "Yeah, right, Reagan, yeah right" schtick. He's just in too much pain to even attempt another hilarious Dick Cheney/Britney Spears "fake news article."
Howling like wounded animals, they are. And it's only Night Two.
Wait 'till November Two.
(Okay, I guess that was cocky. Let me amend: I won't get cocky much.)
— Ace Say it ain't so, Captain den Beste.
It's sad that den Beste is hanging up his mousepad.
But there may yet be room for hope. Blogging is pretty addictive. Blogging's only been around for a few years, but so far it looks like bloggers retire and un-retire more frequently than heavyweight boxers.
So maybe we'll once again see Steven den Beste in his blogging trunks. Rumor has it occasionally Michele from ASV still occasionally enters the squared circle.
— Ace Tackled by guards before reaching panel. If you're TiVo'ing or DVR'ing, incident comes at 7:38 EST. Blink and you'll miss it.
More at The Omnipresent One.
— Ace Via FreeRepublic, bad news for fans of the obsessive-compulsive detective. Bitty Schram, or "Sharona," won't be back next season.
She will be replaced by actor Ted McGinley, best known for replacing popular actors on Happy Days and Married With Children right before those shows went into the crapper.
Just kidding about that last part.
Apparently all the secondary actors tried to re-negotiate their contracts, and the producers took a hard line.
— Ace "Friend of the site" Andrew Sullivan seems to be quite the flip-flopper his own self.
Nick Kronos tips on the climbdown:
Previously: And so, as Thursday night came around, it was hard not to think of this convention as a remarkable public relations success. It rebranded the Democrats as tough on terror but not as reckless as Bush: an essentially conservative repositioning....And it grabbed back Republican themes of patriotism, military service, responsibility, strength, wisdom. Polling showed a Democratic gain of five points in a few days.
Today: I don't believe [Kerry's] convention was wasted. He had to emphasize national security. But it's domestic policies that will win him the election, if he does win, and he hasn't yet made them the focus....
Sullivan actually gave Kerry a rave review... before he voted against him.
Andrew's vaunted "analysis" seems to consist of little else than embarassingly-emotional shrieking and "nuanced" thinking based primarily upon whoever's up in today's polls.
If Kerry gets a boost next week, all of a sudden his convention is going to be deemed a bravura performance again.
This is insight?
— Ace It's not as if we didn't know, but honestly -- not sarcastically-- I do question the timing of this announcement.
For one, it distracts from Bush.
For another, the liberal media will now chalk up his terrific speech to mere self-interested, possibly cynical political positioning for 2008. All the good his great speech did just went virtually out the window.
Dumb, Mr. Mayor. I'm a fan of Kathy Bates proportions, but very, very dumb.
— Ace Turns out they've got a cheat-sheet for all the "shadowy connections" linking one Republican to another.
— Ace Ace of Spades HQ is now the #7 reference for the MSN search "gay hairy asses."
And I owe it all to George W. Bush and Mr. Paul Anka.
And, if you have a blog: Make sure you have your SiteMeter button on all of your site's pages, not just the home page. I get a lot of traffic going directly to my archive pages (the white page with one post on it), but until five minutes ago, I never had my SiteMeter recording hits to those pages. Hits would only be recorded if someone then visited the main page. If they didn't go to the main page, it was as if they never visited at all.
You miss out on a lot of hits, especially regarding your linked articles, if you do it the dumb way I was doing it.
No wonder my one and only Instapundit link delivered me virtually no extra traffic.
I hope I'm not now double-counting.
"Shadowy Connections?": Okay, so I'm number 7 for "gay hairy asses."
Now I'm also #1 (whoo-hoo!) for "the Kerry girls" on Earthlink.
Say-- you don't think that that means...?
Nah. Couldn't be.
Although I'm now going to be looking for Adam's apples on those "gals."
Okay, This Site is Just Plain Filthy Update: And now Google ranks this Top Ten list as the #2 search for "top ten erotica."
Existential Recursion Update: A post noting that I didn't get a lot of recorded additional hits from my previous Instapundit link itself gets linked by Instapundit, resulting in a traffic flood that this time shows up in the numbers.
Now I know how to get Instapundit's attention-- just denigrate his traffic-granting abilities.
This is it? This is the so-called "Instalanche"? I must say, I'm disappointed.
— Ace Evidence Supports Prior Reports of Al Qaeda Women Smuggling Explosives Internally?
What makes this especially ominous is this report from six months ago, claiming that Al Qaeda was training female bombers to smuggle explosives inside their vaginas. The plan was to extract the explosives and then assemble the bomb in the toilet, of course.
I have no idea how this country will react to this, if this is the new tactic. As I mentioned when I first noted this story (CAUTION: contains very indelicate language), we're either going to have to subject women to highly, HIGHLY intrusive body-searches or else we're just going to have to allow Al Qaeda to blow up airplanes whenever they feel like it.
If this is the new tactic, it seems to me that this will be the Rubicon as regards racial profiling. Non-Muslim women are not going to put up with being told that they must subject themselves to unscheduled gynecological exams just to be "fair" to all women. And, as humiliating and intrusive as such searches might be, I don't see how we can do anything else but subject only Muslim women (or primarily Muslim women) to this admitted indignity.
Perhaps there's a technological solution. But that too has its problems; I don't know if many women will gladly accept dangerous X-raying of their wombs just to board an airplane.
Note: The original post linked to is not only indelicate as regards language, it contains juvenile jokes that are even less appropriate now than they were when first made. I apologize for that-- but, six months ago, this was more of a hypothetical concern.
— Ace Current Status: Sickened, apparently due to a severe reaction to seeing GOPers wearing "purple heart bandages" ("just plain sickening").
Prognosis: Poor. Patient veers moment-by-moment from giddy McCain boosterism to being "sickened." Advise psych eval for possible bipolar condition.
Patient also seems addicted to resorting to hyperbolic emotionalism in "analyzing" political events. Prescribing a standard course of chill pills, 250mg b.i.d., for 7 days. Will check patient's progress later.
— Ace After the surprise Democratic debacle in the 2002 elections, some FoxNews contributor -- maybe William Kristol -- made me cackle with evil glee.
He said, "The boring part of the election is over. Now comes the fun part-- the recriminations."
As they say, it's funny. It's funny and it's true.
It's too early to cackle, but we can at least allow ourselves a cautious grin about rumors of turmoil and recriminations in the Kerry camp. And when I say "rumors," I mean that word as it is usually used in politics, i.e., meaning "uncontroverible fact."
Bob Shrum and Mary Beth Cahill seem to be on the chopping block. I wonder if Kerry will recall Jim Jordan, who's currently "independently" running a liberal 527.
Even more delicious is that Charlie Cook -- he of the much-respected although liberal-leaning Cook Political Report -- has completely recanted his predictions of a Kerry win, which were (of course) trumpeted by Oliver Willis and Josh Marshall a month ago.
I doubt they'll be saying much about this re-evaluation:
It really is pretty amazing how fast the conventional wisdom can change. Three weeks ago, most political insiders in both parties gave Sen. John Kerry a slight edge over President Bush ...
Also: Read down to the Zogby polling (next item). Likely undecided voters favor Bush over Kerry by 35-10, when all the minor party candidates are factored in.
— Ace That's Chicago, Illinois, and not, say, Chicago, Jordan or Chicago, Syria.
But there's no link between Saddam and terrorism. None. As Michael Moore's powerful, courageous film instructs us, the IIS spent all of its days flying beautiful kites for the delight of Iraqi children.
Coming Democratic Spin: Sleeping is not a threat. In fact, it's very healthful.
— Ace Also via Instapundit, who has a really good line about the French, this article by
Belmont Club suggesting that the French are attempting to offer concessions to the terrorists to gain the freedom of the kidnapped Frenchmen.
It's pretty shadowy and vague as to what they're offering, exactly. It seems they're chiefly seeking to force us or Iraq itself to offer concessions. If so, this would represent a important new weapon in the French diplomatic arsenal, the surrender-by-proxy.
They're not merely cowards; they're passive-aggresive cowards. "I'm not saying you should surrender," they're cooing. "I'm just saying I'll be very disappointed if you don't, and I may begin withholding sex."
Again, if the French are appeasing these bastards and the Liberal Establishment Media ever deigns to reveal that to the public , John Forbes Kerry's talk of our "important allies" will seem even more ludicrous that it does now.
— Ace Glenn Reynolds has a good TCS column about the Fall of the Establishment Liberal Media.
The article is a bit triumphal, but I'm not sure that overstates it at this point. The media did everything in its power to suppress/conceal the SwiftVets story, but they failed. Abysmally, in fact, and at some cost to their already-diminished credibility.
The monopoly has been challenged, and the monopolists are behaving in predictable ways to that challenge. The alternative media/internet/radio etc. are nowhere close to replacing the Establishment Liberal Media, of course, but it's a major success when an upstart merely begins scoring the occasional victory over a monopolist.
Way back when, I wrote an article stating that the conservative blogosphere had yet to play a significant role in pushing any story into the mainstream. I think it's done so twice now, first regarding that Northwestern flight with the oddly behaving Syrian musicians, and now with the Swifties. True, the Swifties were very compelling on their own, and true, a non-blogger (Drudge) did almost all the heavy internet lifting when he blared this story for 24 hours, but the conservative blogosphere did seem to help push the story into the forefront of the public consciousness.
Not bad. And, as regards the Establishment Liberal Media, it's only getting worse.
Linked by "Shadowy Connections:" Larry Sabato, Brit Hume, and Rather Biased note that CBS sanitized its coverage of the NY protestors, featuring veterans and little old ladies rather than the stinky, profanity-screaming perpetual college-student anarchists which made up 80% of the crowds.
August 30, 2004
Ron Silver. Speaks fluent Mandarin. He's no dumb actor, either; he is, I think, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he's been on consular missions to China.
Trouble is, I fucking hate this guy, and I always will. I look at this guy talking about winning the war on terror, and the only thing I can think of is that sleazy senator he played in Timecop.
Nice guy? Brave guy? Smart guy? This fucker killed Jean Claude Van Damme's wife, the delectable Mia Sara. What, we're all of a sudden just giving people a pass for that?
Sorry. Not this cowboy. Not on my watch.
But seriously, this was great stuff:
We will never forgive. Never forget. Never excuse!
At the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied
Commander of the South Pacific, said:
"It is my earnest hope - indeed the hope of all mankind - that from this
solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of
the past, a world found upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the
dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom,
tolerance and justice."
This is a war we did not seek.
This is a war waged against us.
This is a war to which we had to respond.
History shows that we are not imperialists . . . but we are fighters for freedom and democracy.
Even though I am a well-recognized liberal on many issues confronting our
society today, I find it ironic that many human rights advocates and outspoken members of my own entertainment community are often on the front lines to protest repression, for which I applaud them but they are usually the first ones to oppose any use of force to take care of these horrors that they
Somewhere in New York, Danny Glover just said "Fuck Ron Silver."
Danny Glover says that now. But he was conspicuously silent about Mia Sara's murder, wasn't he?
— Ace So suggests this article. It's sort of vague, but it seems that the Bush camp suggested this. The most recent poll, cited in the article, has Kerry up by three.
I don't know... I remember the days of "Bush within striking distance of winning California" in 2000. I wouldn't call these sorts of statements lies; they're tactical bluffs. I think Michigan actually is pretty doable-- its unemployment rate is now pretty low -- but I will have no more of Karl Rove's much-vaunted "internal polling."
Hooey on his internal polling. Hooey I say.
Related by "Shadowy Connections": If the pollster John Zogby really believes Kerry's up by 4.5 as his most recent poll "shows," why is his brother -- Arab-American lobbyist James Zogby -- crying about Kerry being behind?
Don't these guys talk?
— Ace Dummocrats.com suggests that Bush's "boldness" may come from his endorsement of the (minor) push to eliminate the IRS.
I don't know. That to me qualifies as "likely to be expensive." Furthermore, any regime which attempted to tax only consumption would require some big bureaucracy to calculate tax credits for the poor (as consumption-only taxes are very regressive without some adjustment/credit/refund) that would end up looking a lot like the current IRS.
In fact, since the plan would be revenue-neutral, I wonder how much different it would be from the standing regime for most taxpayers. If the IRS is "gone" but we install a consumption-based regime with a big bureaucracy that ends up taking in just as many tax dollars as the current system, what have we actually gained? Seems like a lot of costly bureaucratic shaking-up to come up with a system based on an alternative theory of taxation but which broadly mimics the current one.
OTOH, it would be "bold."
I don't know. It's possible, but it smells like a desperate political stunt to me.
— Ace The Washington Post/ABCNews poll confirms what just about every other major poll has found, namely, that Bush is now ahead for the first time in months. The lead is as slender as Michael Moore is not (48-47), but the important thing is that he is in fact ahead, and he he is rebounding.
Strangely enough, the only major poll not showing Bush ahead is the arch-conservative super-pro-GOP FoxNews/Opinion Dynamics Poll, which shows the race a tie.
Oh, and Zogby shows him behind by 4 points, of course.
He heaps me! He tasks me! If Captain Ahab thought it hurt to lose his leg to that albino devil-fish, pitty the poor liberal ABCNews reporter who had to write this hateful analysis:
Aug. 30, 2004 The ice in the river is thick, but the currents have moved in President Bush's direction.
As his nominating convention kicks off, an ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Bush has erased most of John Kerry's gains on issues and attributes alike, retaking a sizable lead in trust to handle terrorism, moving ahead on Iraq and battling the Democratic presidential nominee to parity on the economy the three top issues of the 2004 campaign.
Bush also has reclaimed an advantage in being seen as more honest and trustworthy, bolstered his rating for strong leadership and moved to a 10-point lead as better qualified to serve as commander in chief, erasing Kerry's edge in the latter after his convention late last month.
Oddly enough, the ABCNews says that Bush is merely tied (48-4 among likely voters, which either means that he's doing better among registered voters or else ABCNews has a different "likely voter" formula than the Washington Post (with whom this joint poll was conducted).
— Ace (ranked in order of ascending importance)
10. Scoring front-row tickets to a Madonna concert and enough Ecstacy to make it through all of her new shit without falling asleep
9. Winning a victory in the War on Terror, and thereby safeguarding and securing the very continued existance of our civilization
7. Collecting enough money in the "bandwidth fund" to buy that adorable cobalt-blue PT Cruiser with the kitschy-cute leatherette seats (categorized in the accounting-books as a "physical-transport bandwidth upgrade")
6. His treasured tool-box filled with sketch-pads, sketching pencils, charcoals, and watercolors; or, as he calls them, his "Tools of the Soul"
5. Delighting over the pro-metrosexual subtext of Goofus and Gallant cartoons ("Goofus goes out with a head of hair that can break a rake/Gallant uses Paul Mitchell styling gel to sculpt his "fauxhawk" doo; Goofus watches television all night/Gallant reads Oscar Wilde and weightlifting magazines")
4. His three beloved beagles, named Reagan, Thatcher, and Mr. McFloppyears
3. The annual Provincetown "Top-Hats & White Spats" Ball
2. That a socially liberal "conservative" party will one day form, led by John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Guilliani, and disco diva Kylie Minogue
...and the Number One Thing Which is Important to Andrew Sullivan...
1. Electing a President who bravely, candidly, and forthrightly states his support for Sullivan's "right" to marry a man; or, barring that, then electing John Forbes Kerry
— Ace Although I still think Bush adds, at most, 1 point to his polling after the convention, there may be some reason to hope for a bit better than that.
Moreover, isn't Bush having a mild semi-revival? Just about everyone agrees that the president has been helped a bit by the Swift Boat Veterans controversy, but there is more going on just beneath the surface. After a sustained period of public opinion disaster for Bush, he is inching back up in several surveys, including the Los Angeles Times Poll and the NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll, taking a narrow lead over Kerry after weeks of being behind the Democrat. (Sure, the earlier and the current polls all show statistical ties, but it's difficult not to pay attention when the big dogs of polling all move in the same direction at once.) It might be the public has become less enamored with John Kerry, especially on national security, and as a result, has returned--however reluctantly and/or temporarily--to George Bush.
We're engaged in pure speculation here, but if our guess is correct, might not Bush's small surge reinforce the natural high tide created by a party convention? The confluence of these two minor shifts could create a rare historical phenomenon: a convention bounce that is greater for the incumbent than for the challenger.
Trouble is, most of the undecideds are female and anti-Bush, so the few undecideds out there are more than likely going to break heavily for Kerry, no matter what happens. (The Bush camp claims it's internal polls show differently.)
But the Bush Bounce Theory has much stronger evidence going against it.
To wit, Dick Morris is predicting a Bush will get a bounce; historically, the predictions of Dick Morris have been chiefly indicative of what won't happen.
Some bits of Dick Morris' bad news:
So where is all this heading? If Bush uses his convention skillfully to highlight his homeland-security record and uses Sen. Zell Miller, his keynoter, to attack Kerry's Senate record, he should emerge in great shape.
After four days of Republican rhetoric, it is not fanciful to hope that Bush ends up with an 8- to 10-point margin over Kerry 52-53 percent for Bush vs. 43-44 percent for Kerry.
Aaaaaargggghhh! Bank on Bush losing a point or two.
After the convention? Expect the lead to shrink a bit in the early days of September, but to grow to robust proportions again when the "third convention" is held the anniversary of 9/11.
Thank Goodness! Expect Bush to regain the lead and to see that lead grow.
Spurred by the emotion and patriotism that will surround this grim annual event, Bush will probably take a good size lead into the debates that begin in mid-September and run until early October.
How will Bush do in the debates? My bet is: quite well. Will Kerry be able to close in October? My bet is: yes, but not all the way. But that uncertainty is what makes politics fun, especially this year.
Had Morris actually predicted a Bush win, I'd've been certain of his defeat.
Thankfully, he commits himself to no such prediction.
Thanks for keeping vague, Dick. I appreciate it.
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