September 29, 2005

Senators From the Republican Wing of the Republican Party
— Ace

Not everyone's willing to spend like the dickens.

Have to give the man his props-- John McCain is making all sorts of welcome fiscal-responsibility noises. As is Lindsey Graham and, of course, Tom Coburn.

Want to be our next President? Jeff Larkin has some advice for McCain or Giuliani. McCain can repair his reputation with conservatives, and Giuliani can go a long way towards mitigating his social liberalism, if either man would forcefully declare themselves to be the champion of fiscal responsibility and porkbusting.

The brass ring is there, guys. One of you really should grab up on it.

Hopefully Rudy. Because, you know, John McCain is really a dick.

Posted by: Ace at 09:09 AM | Comments (19)
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Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Pictures, Videos
— Ace

This is a very dicey issue.

As in many questions of free information in a national security context, the problem is that Americans have the right to know but that it's dangerous for Americans for our enemies to know.

Yes, there are obvious political reasons the government has for wanting to suppress this stuff. And when the government has a political investment in suppressing information, one should be pretty careful about granting their desire for secrecy.

However: We all know what happened at Abu Ghraib. Andrew Sullivan writes about it every other day. There have been a lot of pictures released; just not all of them. We certainly have enough information as citizens to make informed judgments about this matter.

Given that, there seems to be little incremental value to Americans in having access to these pictures and videos. But a very great value to America's enemies -- including jihad-pornographers like Al Jazeera -- in running these pictures and videos constantly.

The judge erred. It is right and good to be suspicious of the government. However, one must also be suspicious of America's enemies.

The left is quite good about the former. Regarding the latter... not so much.

Posted by: Ace at 08:48 AM | Comments (47)
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Goldstein v. Goldberg
— Ace

Interesting essay, knocking Goldberg for 1) joining the MSM in rumormongering and 2) blaming "the blogosphere" for joining in said rumormongering, when, in point of fact, it was largely the Corner itself going bananas over these reports.

(PS, I'm quite sure I have a post reporting these rumors, too, but only one or two. I didn not, as Golstein charges of the Cornerites, "lose my shit.")

I think Goldberg was compromised on this early, because he made some sort of snarky remark about the Superdome being the Thunderdome, and was taken to task by the "How dare you!" crowd. Thereafter, he (and some of the other Cornerites, I guess) had to prove his/their empathy by talking about how terribly terribly horribly terrible all of this was. He wasn't really in a position to start debunking.

The other day I accused the media of racism in being so credulous about reports of black folks becoming Reavers from Firefly in just a few days of chaos. I was only half-serious; I was mostly just using their tactics against them.

But I don't think they regurgitated these reports out of racism, or at least not out of conscious racism. More like "helpful liberal racism," the bestest racism in the world. By claiming that New Orleans was, uhhh, the new Bartertown (it's now safe to use Mad Max analogies), reporters thought they were helping po' blacks. By exaggerating the problem, they thought they were doing the Lord's Work in setting the table for a Big Time Governmnet Solution. The more tragedy, mayhem, and baby-rapin' they reported, the bigger the government payout in the following months, and the sooner the end to black poverty, because, you know, nothing cures black poverty faster than Big Government Checks.

Hey. Give the Great Society some time. It hasn't even been forty years.

The reporters and MSM as a whole seem to have gotten their wish-- there will be money poured into New Orleans, much of it in the form of non-competive contracts, which I'm sure will pose no problems in squeaky-clean politically-hyegenic Louisiana.

There's a backlash brewing against that, but the forces in favor of just spending willy-nilly are too strong. I trust that George W. Bush will continue to demonstrate his compassion by spending our money like a drunken sailor.

Posted by: Ace at 08:10 AM | Comments (13)
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Andrew Sullivan Hops On Drier-Outing Bandwagon
— Ace

A year ago he was slamming the Stalinist tactics of the Angry Gay Left as they shred the personal privacy of any homosexual who had the temerity to disagree with them.

Now he seems to be on board with that program.

What a guy.

Posted by: Ace at 06:56 AM | Comments (31)
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Cowbell Interruptus? Economy Growing At Good Clip Before Hurricanes
— Ace

Another quarter of better than 3% GDP growth. 3.3%, actually, and these numbers tend to get revised upwards.

The 3.3 percent growth rate for the April-to-June quarter was unchanged from an estimate made a month ago. That performance met analysts' expectations. In first three months of the year, the economy grew at a healthy 3.8 percent pace.

In the aftermath of the two hurricanes, however, economists are predicting that production and hiring will take a hit, slowing overall economic activity in the second half of this year to a pace of around 3 percent. Before the hurricanes, second-half growth was expected to top 4 percent.

The Labor Department, in a separate report issued Thursday, said the number of Americans thrown out of work by Katrina climbed by another 60,000 last week, pushing the total number of unemployed workers seeking jobless benefits because of the storm to 279,000.

The economy will need a boost. We've cut taxes. How about Republicans acting like real-life Republicans and cutting wasteful porkbarrel spending?

Why is it the "party of fiscal responsibility" and "party of limited government" seems to have no interest at all in saving a trillion dollars over ten years? And letting that money stay in the pockets of citizens, where they claim they'd like it to stay?


Posted by: Ace at 06:22 AM | Comments (30)
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Fetuses Hidden Inside Christian Icons Found In Bogota, En Route To US
— Ace

It gets weirder:

The corpses were wrapped in plastic and concealed inside statues of Christian icons, which were smashed open.

Colombian police chief Gen Jord Alirio Varon said the four- to five-month-old foetuses could have been intended for use in Satanic rituals.

Gen Varon said the foetuses were found alongside crucifixes and medals.

Look, before any of you judge, Karl Rove's mind control over the voters just doesn't happen by itself, you know.

Posted by: Ace at 06:09 AM | Comments (4)
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Superb Photo Essay
— LauraW.

From a citizen journalist at zombietime, who explains bias in the media in graphic terms.

Check it out.

Thanks to scott.

Posted by: LauraW. at 04:48 AM | Comments (49)
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September 28, 2005

International Hate America Freedom Center Scrapped
— Ace

Citing too much controversy, George Pataki finally pulls the plug.

Geroge Soros will have to find a new site to host his Museum of Anti-Americanism.

More at Mark in Mexico, noting that Hillary!'s opposition to the project helped get it scotched.

It's a sad day when Hillary! is quicker to oppose something like this than a Republican governor.

Posted by: Ace at 06:26 PM | Comments (17)
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Home Made War Porn
— Harry Callahan

Ever wanted your own sentry gun?

IMAG0058.jpg

I see the beginnings of a very cool burglar alarm system!

Posted by: Harry Callahan at 06:21 PM | Comments (14)
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Australia Beefing Up Anti-Terrorism Laws
— LauraW.

This is quite interesting.

New laws allowing terrorist suspects to be detained without charge for two weeks could be extended to three months, with the Government hinting the move might prove necessary.

Three months. No charges.
They're also talking about being able to detain people pre-emptively, or using electronic tags, or barring suspects from going to certain places or talking to certain people for a specified period of time.

"These laws are about people who are about to commit or who are prepared to commit terrorist offences in our country," Mr Keelty said. "They are in no way directed at the Islamic or Muslim community."

OH.

They must be talking about those anti-Aborigine folks. Nevermind. Bad post. Clearly I misunderstood what they were talking about.

Posted by: LauraW. at 04:19 PM | Comments (7)
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Get Naked for a Cause? Well, If we Have to...
— LauraW.

These people are a wonder.

PETA people can work nudity into any protest. They have to shock the normals, you know.
Get the point across by shattering our fragile sensitivities.
Then, devastated by their >GASP< nudity, we'll be open. Then we'll listen.

Plus, they get to show their tushies to the world!

At least in this case they're better looking than that inflated-scrotum guy.

Posted by: LauraW. at 03:54 PM | Comments (21)
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New Orleans Ghost Police
— LauraW.

This guy has an imitation-Drudge news page, but it's all Louisiana news.

Please keep in mind, this is unconfirmed pending further evidence.

"It's pretty much always been known, but never openly acknowledged, that NOPD's actual numbers were far below the "official" figure of 1500 - 1700," said the source.

"To get that number over 1500, and thus qualify for federal funding, Compass and his predecessors counted reservists and certain retirees as active duty officers. The REAL number is, and has been for some time, a lot closer to 1000."

If this is true, I guess we all know that this goes on all over the place, not just in Louisiana.

A huge culprit is the stupid residency requirement that troubled cities enact for police officers. When I lived in a city, I thought it was great because the streets that cops lived on tended to be quieter.
But then I spoke to some city cops I knew, who told me that the requirement had put so much pressure on hiring from a small pool, that guys they had arrested years earlier were now their brothers in uniform, and they didn't like it one bit.

Posted by: LauraW. at 02:45 PM | Comments (11)
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John McCain: Mother Peace Is A Liar
— Ace

And a bit of a tramp, too, from the looks of that big smile as she was being carried off by male strippers dressed as cops.

But seriously? Liar.

But Seriously? Tramp: Cindy Sheehan writes over at the Huffington Post that she was smiling as she was being carried away because "America might see [her] underwear and that tickled [her]."

Good Lord All Mighty. There are problems people have adjusting to fame, learning how to comport themselves in public, but this self-absorbed starfucker seems to be having a really bad case of it.

There are reality tv show "stars" who carry on with more dignity than Mother Peace.

It's simple: she intoxicated by the adulation paid to her, the feeling that she's sixteen years old again. And she's acting like a perfect idiot.

Posted by: Ace at 08:57 AM | Comments (39)
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DeLay Indicted
— Ace

As they say, a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich.

Unless that ham sandwich is named "William Jefferson Clinton," of course. Bill Clinton is the Rollo Tomase of American politics.

In better news, Bill Frist's statement about his sale of HCA stock noted that he had initiated the process of selling in April, before the July (I think) sale went through.

This distance between beginning the sale and the trustees' execution of it makes it seem less likely that he was acting on insider information of a very time-senstive nature. Apparently he wanted to sell long before that bad quarterly report; it just took a lot of time to have the sale cleared by the Senate Ethics Panel and such.

Posted by: Ace at 08:46 AM | Comments (25)
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Oh, That Media Incompetence
— Ace

Dick Meyer and Jeff Jarvis have been sparring over a statement (dumb, I think) of Jarvis', that it's "easy" to "get the facts."

Well, it's not. And the MSM will continue having a huge advantage over the Shadow Media in that regard.

But the Anchoress makes a great point. The press has such advantages over, say, bloggers -- like actually being able to get a high-ranking muckety-muck on the phone when trying to confirm a fact -- which makes their performance during Katrian all the more inexcusable.

If bloggers reported those sorts of absurd rumors of baby-rapin', we'd be excortiated as irresponsible. But, as a mitigation to our crime, we could say, quite correctly, that we're not professionals, we're not salaried, and we don't have big rolodex and a major media organization behind us to help us confirm such stuff.

But we don't need that excuse, as we didn't report these wild rumors as a general rule (and in the few instances we did... we were quoting the MSM).

The MSM, on the other hand, reported them with little care as to their accuracy.

So yes, the legacy media has a great advantage in this area. So what's their excuse for booting it so very badly?

The MSM continues to insist upon its pre-eminence in the field of gathering and disseminating information. We're professionals, they say. We're bound by a journalistic code which guarantees accuracy and truthfulness, at least to a high degree. "We get 90% of these things right," they always tell us after they make another big mistake.

Did they get 90% of this stuff right during Katrina? I think more like 40%, and most of that stuff was simply reporting what officials at NOLA and the like told them.

Which, yes, is an easy thing to do.

Where they weren't simply being spoon-fed reports from weather organizations -- where they were left to their own journalistic devices -- they irresponsibly reported insane rumors as fact.

If you guys are slow, irredeemably biased, arrogant, and out-of-touch, and now, as is apparent, you can't even do the job of basic fact-verification very well -- what the hell use are you?

As Kevin Pollack said in A Few Good Men, "Were you absent the day they tought journalism at journalism school?"

I'm Only Adding This Because of His Impeccable Use of the Word "Letimotif" Update: Steve From HB suggests...

Ace - I've told you before that the following should be the blogger vs MSM leitmotif.

"Release Yo' Delf"
Method Man
Sung to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"

When I first stepped on the scene, niggaz was petrified
Jet back to the lab like they were being chased by homicide
My rap flow does you like Tical, and it will never steer you wrong
And all you bitch-ass niggaz in the industry
your careers won't be lasting long

I really have no idea what any of that means, although this "Method Man" character seems to be a very potty-mouthed and borderline racist sort of fellow. If you're going to use racial slurs, can't you at least get the spelling correct?

Still: leitmotif. I like hearing words I learned in college. It makes those nine grueling years seem somehow worth it.

Posted by: Ace at 07:53 AM | Comments (27)
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Three Awful Words: Senator Ben Affleck
— Ace

Dems want him to run for senator in Virginia. And he's looking to buy property there.

Posted by: Ace at 07:26 AM | Comments (43)
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Damn Yankees: Another Strange Call Helps Patriots Win An Important Game
— Ace

I like the Patriots, but I sure do understand why some people despise them. People from the Oakland area, for example. Cheated out of a playoffs win by some strange and dubious "tuck" rule that turned what looked like a clear Tom Brady fumble into an incomplete pass.

And now Pittsburgh feels the pain-- 52 seconds were added to the Pitt-NE gameclock, allowing the Patriots to win the game (as usual) on a one-second-left Adam Vinitieri field goal.

Tom Brady, among the league's best in late-game drives, led the Patriots down field for the winning score against the Steelers in 1:21 on Sunday.

But could he have done it in 29 seconds?

The NFL confirmed Monday that the game clock was improperly set early in the fourth quarter, adding 52 seconds to the game.

The error occurred at the beginning of the fourth quarter. With 14:51 remaining, Steelers receiver Cedric Wilson ran a reverse and was held to no gain; the play ran the clock down to 13:59.

A false start was called on Steelers guard Kendall Simmons on the next play, but instead of resetting the clock to 13:59, the clock operator set it back to 14:51 -- the time before Wilson's running play began. No one noticed the error, including the officiating crew.

I think the Giants were playing the Patriots, back in '94 or thereabouts, when a strange officiating mistake helped the Pats. The Giants were driving to the endzone, when the ref flipping the down-indicator incorrectly flipped the down from second to fourth. The Giants argued about it -- where did third down go? -- but the refs insisted it was now fourth down, and the Giants had to settle for a field goal.

It's better to be lucky than good, they say. But it's better to be the Patriots, who are both.

Meanwhile... the NFL is considering adding more games played in foreign countries.

Thanks to Chickpea.

I Guess... that Pittsburgh also would have had 52 less seconds for their game-tying drive. Still enough time to score, but having less time might have made their offense more one-dimensional -- less chance of a run, less chance of a pass to the middle of the field -- and the Patriots would have had a defensive advantage as they adjusted to that fact. So, with 52 less seconds on the clock, who knows, maybe the Pats would have stopped them from scoring at all.

But I don't think that's going to cut much ice with Pittsburgh fans.

One More: Testaverde called out of mothballs to be Jets' number two quarterback.

Posted by: Ace at 07:10 AM | Comments (26)
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Hard Questions For The Big Easy
— Ace

Astonishingly enough, it seems that the country is not quite ready to simply begin paying billions of dollars to folks who have -- in some cases corruptly, in other cases merely negligently -- misspent billions in the past.

Louisiana pols thought this was a golden moment to begin demanding ludicrous sums from the rest of the nation -- $50,000 per resident of Louisiana! -- and further demanding little or no oversight regarding how Louisiana's famously-incorruptible bureaucratic Untouchables would spend it.

I thought they'd get away with it -- heartstrings, all those raped babies, etc. -- but there does seem to be a growing backlash:

Exhibit A is the Louisiana congressional delegation's new request for $250 billion in hurricane reconstruction funds. As a Post editorial pointed out yesterday, this money -- more than $50,000 per Louisiana resident -- would come on top of the $62.3 billion Congress has already appropriated, on top of the charitable donations, on top of the insurance payouts. Among other things, the proposal demands $40 billion of new Army Corps of Engineers spending, 16 times more than the Corps says it needs to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane. Despite the fact that previous Corps projects drained Louisiana's coastal wetlands, thereby destroying what could have been a natural buffer against at least some of the Rita and Katrina storm surges, the proposal calls for a suspension of environmental reviews. Despite the fact that Louisiana spent hundreds of millions of dollars on water projects that turned out to be unnecessary, or even damaging, the proposal makes it possible to suspend cost-benefit analyses.

Anne Applebaum -- whose poltics I can't easily reduce to a label; she's a kind of liberal/libertarian centrist or something -- then goes on a jihad against porkbarrel spending as a general proposition.

There may be something to this porkbustin' movement yet.

Posted by: Ace at 06:53 AM | Comments (8)
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September 27, 2005

Us Jeebus Believers Is Dangerous
— Harry Callahan

Not only do the academic pinheads think religious folks are wrong and stupid, now we're dangerous as well.

Soon to be followed by studies that prove that conservative political beliefs cause cancer, fluoridation of the water, food poisoning, and Paul Krugman, that marriage causes the War in Iraq, illegal immigration, and tornadoes, and that reducing government spending causes reality shows to gain popularity, hay fever, and prevent the Cubs from winning the World Series.

Anyone want to place some bets?

Posted by: Harry Callahan at 05:42 PM | Comments (199)
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