January 30, 2008

Bush: A Retrospective
— Ace

While many conservatives are down on Bush and haven't been true supporters for some time, The Anchoress reminds us of his many virtues and accomplishments in a long, thoughtful essay.

It's fair to note the many ways in which he's failed us. And we do this frequently. But it's also fair to remember the ways in which he's done good, not just for us conservatives, but for the country and indeed the whole ungrateful world.

Thanks to maxxman.


Posted by: Ace at 12:56 PM | Comments (213)
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Angel of Grue: Nurse Steals Body-Parts From 244 Corpses For Use In Unsuspecting Patients
— Ace

Horror story:

A nurse has admitted he stole body parts from 244 corpses in Philadelphia for reuse in unsuspecting patients.

Lee Cruceta of Monroe, New York, is charged as the lead cutter in a group that prosecutors say trafficked in stolen, often diseased body parts.

Prosecutors also expect accused ringleader Michael Mastromarino, of New York, to plead guilty. Three Philadelphia funeral directors are also charged.

In an attempt to court social conservatives, John McCain immediately announced he's always been against trafficking in diseased body parts. Though he remains firm in his belief that stealing body parts should be permitted.

Thanks to RobG.

Posted by: Ace at 12:41 PM | Comments (25)
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Ender's Game To Become, Well, Video Game
— Ace

A book about video gamers is now to become an actual video game.

Expect Instapundit to take three or four months off when this comes out.

Posted by: Ace at 12:29 PM | Comments (36)
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Bart Simpson, Scientologist
— Ace

Nancy Cartwright, who voices Bart and others, just donated ten million dollars to the Church, ahem, of Scientology.

They gave her an award, so it's money well spent.

Posted by: Ace at 12:27 PM | Comments (22)
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Site Problems Explained: A Martian Attack
— Ace

This site -- NetDistasters -- animates end-of-days apocalypse scenarios for your favorite blogs.

The one selected is "Mars Attacks," with the sound off. You can also choose other disaster scenarios, including "Led Zeppelin" (put the sound up, of course).

Thanks to dri.

Posted by: Ace at 12:06 PM | Comments (10)
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Rudy Lost Because He Refused To Meet Social Cons Half-Way
— Ace

The social cons were entirely receptive to him -- but he stiffed them. Kind of a "no duh" thing, but it is occasionally important to say what is obviously true, especially when what is obviously true is competing with that which is false.

For example: It's not true, no matter how many times it's said, that Rudy didn't campaign hard in New Hampshire. He did -- for a time. He withdrew when he realized he was making no gains and that competing further would prove embarrassing, because it's easier to say "I lost, but I didn't really campaign there" than "I threw my whole might into that and came up well short."

There's some question about how effectively he campaigned there; some have faulted him for "drive by appearances" where he was mostly there for the media, not the would-be supporters, and failing to hold town hall meetings as McCain and Romney did.

But in terms of money and time -- he competed in New Hampshire. To no good effect.

This meme seems to have traction because it's easy for the media, and they like repeating crap they hear from each other, and the Giuliani campaign had no interest in correcting them -- he didn't want to say, "Actually, I did compete there; I just got my ass kicked. So I quit."

There is an interesting angle here, though. If he had continued competing hard in New Hampshire, even in a losing effort, could he have kept John McCain from winning? McCain was of course his main rival. Once Rudy ceded the field in New Hampshire to the other centrist/liberalish nominee, of course McCain got most of those votes. And that, of course, helped power the McCain rise.

Giuliani could have wound up mano-a-mano with Romney in Florida had the, um, Straight Talk Express never picked up a head of steam.

Ah, well. As was my catch-phrase when I was a child-star on the little-known sitcom Little Johnny Fucknuts, "Life! Who can figure it out?!"

Mary Katharine Ham also notes the NYT's and Politico's made-up, Hillary-planted story about Judith Nathan's security costs accounting had an impact. I think it was a one-two punch; conservatives were already sketchy about him on social issues, and with his kids refusing to support him, and the Nathan story on top of that, they finally abandoned him.

Hubris and a Hillary-planted hit doomed Rudy.

Lesser factors, like Rudy's over-reliance on his New York Narrative without offering enough programmatic specifics going forward, and his campaign persona as Uncle Chuckleface who seemed to come to debates not for the exchange of ideas but to laugh at the great jokes, didn't help.

That latter one bothered me. Here was this crusading, stubborn, brash, defiant, hard-charging New York prosecutor Mafia-busting tough-guy running for president. But in his public appearances he was jocular and not particularly serious. He softened his image to the point where even I saw him as merely soft.

The conventional wisdom is boring, but it's right.

Posted by: Ace at 12:05 PM | Comments (18)
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Experiencing Technical Difficulties
— Ace

The blog went down for a bit and is still acting sketchy. The comments seem fragged.

I've alerted Pixy to this. Some things seem to work sometimes. Other times, not.

This jungle bike ride is fun to watch.

Thanks to cis for that.

Posted by: Ace at 11:45 AM | Comments (17)
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Hugh Hewitt: You know who's racking up delegates?
— Jack M.

John McCain.

You know who that benefits?

Mitt Romney.

I'm sorry, morons. I just can't help myself. This joke has completely taken over my life.

Last night, for example, I'm out having pizza and beer with some folks. When the waitress stopped at the table I told her "You know who wants a bucket of beer? Me. You know who that benefits? The unattractive gals at the bar."

Anyway, here is how the only trusted political analyst on the intertubes sees it:

Let's look at the worst case for Romney on Super Tuesday.

Next Tuesday the winner-take-all states that lean McCain are New York (101), Missouri (5 , Arizona (53), New Jersey (52) Connecticut (30), and Delaware (1 for a total of 312 delegates. (Even though Missouri, another winner-take-all leans Huck right now, lets give its 58 delegates to McCain.)

Romney is favored in winner-take-all Utah (36) and Montana (25), for a total of 51 delegates.

Thus before the sorting takes place in the other states, McCain's got 409 delegates and Romney's got 126.

Huckabee will certainly get the 34 Arkansas delegates to go with his 29, for a total of 63.

States dividing delegates Tuesday on other-than-a-winner-take-all basis:

California 173
Georgia 72
Illinois 70
Tennessee 55
Alabama 48
Colorado 46
Massachusetts 41
Minnesota 40
Oklahoma 41
West Virginia 30
Alaska 29
North Dakota 26

Total 671

If these divide 40-40-20, McCain and Romney will add 269 delegates each, and Huck 133. But since we are going worst case for Romney, make it 50-30-20, or 336 for McCain, 201 for Romney, and 134 for Huck.

Total at the end of Super Tuesday without a major reversal of fortune for Romney:

McCain 745, Romney 327, and Huck 197.

It takes 1,191 delegates to secure the nomination. There are more than 900 delegates left to fight for after Super Tuesday.


Hope springs eternal at Townhall.com, folks.

If I were a better poet I might write something like "rage, rage against the dying of the light".

But since I'm not, I'll just stick with the "who does that benefit" jokes.

Posted by: Jack M. at 11:11 AM | Comments (16)
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High Value Target In Pakistan Dies Peacefully of Natural Causes, If You Define Hellfire as "Peaceful" and Missiles as "Natural"
— Ace

Yesterday Confederate Yankee tipped me that a missile strike in Pakistan may -- may -- have been targeting an Al Qaeda big, perhaps even Zawahiri. While I thought his speculation tenuous and overoptimistic, it was interesting. But I thought it was too thin to post.

Shows what I know.

An high value Al Qaeda target was in fact specifically targeted, as it turns out. But the US military has "no indication" it was either Osama bin Ladin or Zawahiri. (They don't know, it seems, because this was a Pakistani strike, and haven't been told yet -- or at least aren't telling -- who the Pakistanis got.)

AJ Strata wonders if this attack was made possible by the capture of Osama bin Ladin's bodyguard. I sure hope no harsh methods of interrogation were used on him.

Thanks to Rocket's Brain Trust.

Posted by: Ace at 11:11 AM | Comments (10)
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Flashback: Romney Courts the Media; Plus, Campaign Round-Up
— Ace

Talk radio, of course, continues to pound McCain. As blurbed on Drudge, Limbaugh says he's not ready to make nice yet.

The article doesn't have a lot of surprises in it, except for this. This surprised me.

[Hugh] Hewitt also told the Associated Press yesterday that "Senator McCain is a great American, a lousy senator and a terrible Republican. He has a legislative record that is not conservative. In fact, it is anti-conservative." He said he would support Mr. Romney "if I was voting today."

Really?

It's probably time to retire that joke, at least for me. I can't keep knocking Hewitt for being a bit overly enthusiastic about being, ultimately, right. If some of us had seen the lay of the land as well as Hewitt and supported Romney as the best realistic consensus conservative candidate, we might not be in the position we're in now.

And on that, of course, Dan Riehl makes his own endorsement of Romney.

For what it's worth, I endorse Romney as well. As Protein Wisdom does, at least indirectly, in attacking McCain for CFR.


SpeechNow.org wants to criticize politicians who support restrictions on political speech. But first it has to get permission from the government.

Disgusting.

It's true that McCain performs better in polls against Hillary and Obama. It's also true that McCain's momentum may be almost impossible to stop at this point; McCain will have all the free media fawning, while Romney, despised by the media, will face nothing but hostility and will of course have to buy all of his positive media from his own account -- and that account is not limitless.

And McCain is likely to have 700 to 900 delegates locked up after Mega Tuesday. Just over 1100 are needed to win the nomination.

I suppose that, should McCain win, I will indeed fall in line and support him, weakly, unenthusiastically. But I'm not ready to make nice yet myself, not when the contest is still live and there is a chance to elect someone who, while hardly a consistent, consistent conservative, at least does not despise conservatives and see them chiefly as whipping boys to boost his own personal political power.

And McCain has yet to win among actual Republicans in any primary:

Has this ever happened before? This is kind of amazing. I'm looking at CNN exit polls at the numbers for self-identified Republicans. McCain lost self-identified Republicans by a point in New Hampshire (oddly, he won registered Republicans); he lost self-identified Republicans by 14 points in Michigan; and he tied among self-identified Republicans in South Carolina and Florida. In other words, McCain is close to the presumptive nominee GOP nominee without having won self-identified Republican voters anywhere. What an extraordinary—and utterly unlikely—path to the nomination.

At some point, on Mega Tuesday, we may finally have our say. Whether that will be enough, I don't know.


Related: Illegal immigrants may get stimulus rebates. Substitute "will" for "may" at your discretion.

McCain Will Be At CPAC... as will I, assuming I can still book a room.

Dan Riehl is ready to boo him. Michelle Malkin will probably want to ask him about Juan Hernandez. People at the Corner think it's a good opportunity to court conservatives.

Why bother? Giving us the finger and stabbing us in the back has worked pretty well for him so far.

Posted by: Ace at 10:04 AM | Comments (48)
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Heh: Media Apologist Claims Perception of Biased Media Is Due To... Unfair Media Bias Against Media
— Ace

Huh? He's not admitting the media is biased, mind you. He's saying unfair, biased portraits of the media in the media account for the perception the media is unfair and biased.

So the media has only one bias... against itself, apparently. On every other issue it's a straight-shooter.

I'm just getting around to reading the article, but Kevin D. Williamson's snippets are a hoot.

The jackoff concludes with a rousing call for the media to thoughtfully examine whether it demonstrates systemic bias, and take steps to remedy that tendency attack its critics:


But nothing journalists do will reverse the dark tides of popular cynicism. The wrecking balls destroying the credibility of the press cannot be stopped until we focus more attention on the credibility of those who are pulling the levers, including a public that has been conditioned, like rats in a Skinnerian dystopia, to hate us.

Correction: I attributed the post to Steve Spruiell mistakenly.

Posted by: Ace at 09:37 AM | Comments (28)
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Chris Matthews Nearly Cries (Literally) Over Thought of Hillary Defeating Obama
— Ace

Another reason to vote for Hillary in the primaries.

Can we change our registration real quick and vote for Hillary, the same way independents and Democrats interfere in our primaries?

Posted by: Ace at 09:25 AM | Comments (23)
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Edwards Out
— Ace

I'n sure you already know, but just for the sake of commenting:

Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies, The Associated Press has learned.

The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two aides. The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning—Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

The former North Carolina senator will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic nomination, said one adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement. Clinton said Wednesday that Edwards called her to inform her about his decision.

Obama told reporters Edwards had exited the race in a "classy" way. "I think he's run a great campaign," said Obama, who aides said also spoke with Edwards Tuesday night and asked for his endorsement.

He'll make his announcement at about one o'clock.


Hat-Tip Dave In Texas. I'm sorry, I looked to see if this was on the blog already and was surprised it wasn't. I guess I just skipped over Dave's post as I was scrolling down.

Posted by: Ace at 08:52 AM | Comments (31)
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A Metaphor, or Something
— Ace



Forbidden Tortoise Love - video powered by Metacafe

Thanks to Bill in DC.

Posted by: Ace at 08:42 AM | Comments (19)
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Pimpin' Your Double-Helix - [Liberrocky]
— Open Blog

In between doing double shots of my own tears I found this feel-good article:


Two artificial DNA "letters" that are accurately and efficiently replicated by a natural enzyme have been created by US researchers. Adding the two artificial building blocks to the four that naturally comprise DNA could allow wildly different kinds of genetic engineering, they say.

Now where have I seen this before...oh yeah.

Now couple that with what came out a couple days ago, it looks like we will soon be playing God at a varsity level.

Posted by: Open Blog at 07:53 AM | Comments (25)
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A Quick Break From Politics…Movie Recommendations Needed
— DrewM.

As many of you know co-blogger Gabriel was recently involved in a car accident and is laid up with various injuries. While he’s managed a couple of posts since then, according our e-mail conversation, he’s got a good bit of time on his hands to kill.

So, I thought perhaps moron nation could chime in with some movie rental suggestions to help Gabriel pass the time.

Since my tastes run more to the classics, I am going to suggest:

Some Bogart films: Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Angels With Dirty Faces (more of Cagney film).

Two Hollywood epics: Spartacus and Ben-Hur

Of course no list would be complete without a couple of war movies: Patton, In Harm’s Way, They Were Expendable and The Best Years of Our Lives.

And since this is a moron/politics blog…Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I’ll leave it to each of you to decide whether John McCain is more in the mold of Sen. Smith or Sen. Paine.

I have no idea if he’s seen any of these but you know kids these days, no appreciation for the greats.

I am sure any suggestions to help pass the time while convalescing will be greatly appreciate by Gabe.

UPDATE [Gabe]: Thank you all very much for the movie recommendations, although some of you have appalling taste. I have added these to my list to see over the next week:

The Lion in Winter, recommended by dlm and TomJW. This is one of my all-time favorite movies. The dialog is killer.

"I even made poor Louis take me on Crusade. How's that for blasphemy. I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn... but the troops were dazzled."

"I marvel at you after all these years. Still like a democratic drawbridge: going down for everybody."

Some Like It Hot, recommended by Terry. Never seen it, but I've been told to see it before. Now seems like a good time.

Live Free or Die Hard, recommended by alexthechick. Didn't get to see it in theaters. I'll see about getting the unrated version.

Silverado, recommended by Harry Callahan. Pretty much the only western I like. Bruce Broughton wrote the most incredible horn fanfare for it.

Henry V, recommended by my ma. Again, with the St. Crispin Day chorus: "No nobis domine domine no nobis domine Sed nomine sed nomine tuo da glorium."

HONORABLE MENTIONs: Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan, recommended by Gunslinger. Own it. Love it.

Band of Brothers, recommended by XD45c, AytchMan, Brown Line, Timothy Watson, and Harry Callahan. Got it. Seen it a million times.

Firefly, recommended by Nom de Blog, H2U, and Harry Callahan.

Posted by: DrewM. at 07:13 AM | Comments (185)
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A Quick Break From Politics…Movie Recommendations Needed
— DrewM

As many of you know co-blogger Gabriel was recently involved in a car accident and is laid up with various injuries. While he’s managed a couple of posts since then, according our e-mail conversation, he’s got a good bit of time on his hands to kill.

So, I thought perhaps moron nation could chime in with some movie rental suggestions to help Gabriel pass the time.

Since my tastes run more to the classics, I am going to suggest:

Some Bogart films: Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Angels With Dirty Faces (more of Cagney film).

Two Hollywood epics: Spartacus and Ben-Hur

Of course no list would be complete without a couple of war movies: Patton, In Harm’s Way, They Were Expendable and The Best Years of Our Lives.

And since this is a moron/politics blog…Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I’ll leave it to each of you to decide whether John McCain is more in the mold of Sen. Smith or Sen. Paine.

I have no idea if he’s seen any of these but you know kids these days, no appreciation for the greats.

I am sure any suggestions to help pass the time while convalescing will be greatly appreciate by Gabe.

UPDATE [Gabe]: Thank you all very much for the movie recommendations, although some of you have appalling taste. I have added these to my list to see over the next week:

The Lion in Winter, recommended by dlm and TomJW. This is one of my all-time favorite movies. The dialog is killer.

"I even made poor Louis take me on Crusade. How's that for blasphemy. I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn... but the troops were dazzled."

"I marvel at you after all these years. Still like a democratic drawbridge: going down for everybody."

Some Like It Hot, recommended by Terry. Never seen it, but I've been told to see it before. Now seems like a good time.

Live Free or Die Hard, recommended by alexthechick. Didn't get to see it in theaters. I'll see about getting the unrated version.

Silverado, recommended by Harry Callahan. Pretty much the only western I like. Bruce Broughton wrote the most incredible horn fanfare for it.

Henry V, recommended by my ma. Again, with the St. Crispin Day chorus: "No nobis domine domine no nobis domine Sed nomine sed nomine tuo da glorium."

HONORABLE MENTIONs: Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan, recommended by Gunslinger. Own it. Love it.

Band of Brothers, recommended by XD45c, AytchMan, Brown Line, Timothy Watson, and Harry Callahan. Got it. Seen it a million times.

Firefly, recommended by Nom de Blog, H2U, and Harry Callahan.

Posted by: DrewM at 07:13 AM | Comments (187)
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Fixing the Primary System
— Slublog

Every four years, we go through the same routine. We're presented with a slate of candidates and all of them visit two states, maybe three. By the end of the primaries in those states, the field is winnowed down to just a few candidates and like Anwyn says, voters in states that aren't New Hampshire and Iowa are usually forced to pick from who's left instead of their first choice.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm tired of having my choices limited by the voters of two states. It's time to fix the process and make it more representative. Voters in later primary states should have a chance to make some impact on the entire field of candidates, not just who is chosen by a small pool of voters.

My friend Joe (who lives in Indiana and for that reason says he's "never cast a meaningful primary vote") emailed me a couple of months ago with his suggestions for a more ideal primary structure. I think it's a plan with promise, and the resentment stirred by this year's primary election might just be the impetus needed for voters in 48 states to tell the party we're fed up with being controlled by the other two.

Here's the plan:

1. Have three presidential primary dates, one per month. Say, Mar, Apr, May.

2. Rank the states and DC descending by electoral votes, breaking ties to prefer states that entered the Union earlier (DC is last by the date of the 23rd amendment). So CA is 1, Texas 2, etc. The electoral votes are only a way of structuring the process. Since electoral votes are based on population, using them to split up the states is a way of dividing the country into rough thirds. Each state would be allowed to apportion delegates according to their normal process and in their regular number.

3. On the first primary, the seventeen states that are ranked 3, 6, 9, etc. hold their presidential primaries. Next month, it is 2, 5, 8, etc., and then the last month 1, 4, 7, etc.

The advantages are that no few early states are overly influential. If one candidate has managed to mathematically lock up the nomination after only 2/3 of the states have voted, then there's likely enough consensus already that the last states won't feel disenfranchised, as they do now. The reason the states are spread out over three dates is to give the small states some say. If all the states were on the same day, then just the large or undecided states would be visited and the others ignored.

Here are the lists: more...

Posted by: Slublog at 05:36 AM | Comments (78)
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Edwards Drops Out
— Dave In Texas

Commenter Tinian noted that in Slub's Morning-After Motivation post below.

Clinton/Edwards?

Posted by: Dave In Texas at 05:12 AM | Comments (17)
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Morning-After Motivation
— Slublog

Bryan at Hot Air has a good perspective on John McCain, the new front-runner and let's admit it, presumptive nominee. Not a perfect outcome, but one that I can slowly talk myself into grudgingly accepting as an alternative to Clinton. The campaign isn't over, and if nothing else, this campaign has made a lot of people angry enough about the process to start questioning why a small group of states should be allowed to winnow the field before most of us have had the chance to vote for our first choice.

Remember, it could have been worse.

Much worse. more...

Posted by: Slublog at 04:58 AM | Comments (54)
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