Monday, October 31, 2005

From the "Party of Diversity"?

This from here:
MSNBC reporter Chris Matthews today hammered the Democratic Party, claiming it was circulating a document that emphasizes the fact Samuel Alito, President Bush's latest Supreme Court nominee, failed as a prosecutor to win a case against Italian mafia figures, suggesting the issue was highlighted because Alito is an Italian-American.

"I'm sitting here holding in my hands a pretty disgusting document," Matthews told viewers of "MSNBC Live." "This is put out not for attribution, but it comes from the Democrats. They're circulating it; I can say that."

In what he describes as a Democrat "complaint sheet," Matthews says, "The first thing they nail about this Italian American is he failed to win a mob conviction in a trial … way back in '88.

"In other words, they nail him on not putting some Italian mobsters in jail from the [Lucchese] family. Why would they bring up this ethnically charged issue as the first item they raise against Judge Alito?"
First, Mr. Matthews, thank you for finally shedding your partisanship long enough to finally shine a light on this den of cockroaches. Has Howard Dean been watching too many episodes of the Sopranos? Or could it be that the "Party of Diversity" has room for only Liberal Diversity? With the dems treatment of Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice, Miguel Estrada and other minority republicans, one can sadly come to no other conclusion. They are not above playing not only the "race card", but playing the racist as well. The Democrats have time and time again demonstrated that they have no problem practicing what they purportedly deplore. This time is no exception.

I like this guy

President Bush hit a home run today! Samuel A. Alito, whose critics appear to try to deride him by calling him "Scalito" (as if that's an insult), is as genius a pick as was Roberts. After all, you have to know that Bush is doing something right when prominent democrats call the nomination "needlessly provocative." And then you get statements from moonbat think tanks like this:
In nominating Judge Samuel Alito, President Bush has relinquished the opportunity to unite the country behind a moderate mainstream conservative and chosen the path of confrontation urged on him by the extreme right wing. In short, a weakened and politically unpopular President has capitulated to his base.
Since when has any conciliatory gesture that Bush ever performed in his "new tone" policy ever served to unite any democrats with him? Bush has nearly literally bent over backward to make good-faith efforts to build bridges to those on the democrat side of the aisle, only to receive nothing but a kick in the ass for his efforts. Bush is now slowly but surely realizing that it is an impossibility to engage in cordial relations with ogres whose only aim is to bring down your administration by any means possible.

Bush has made the good faith effort, and has time and time again held out the hand of friendship, only to time and time again have it bitten.

President Bush, after this nearly five year exercise in futility, has hopefully finally resigned himself to the fact that charity begins at home, and that he will need to look to his own Party in order to advance his agenda and cement his legacy. He has most likely by now found that it certainly won't happen by kowtowing to the wrong people.

WAY TO GO, GWB!!!! You picked a winner!!!

As soon as I have access to the admin section of this site later today,
the "Coalition of the Illin" banner is coming down!

Alito, who is definitely in the mold of Scalia, so much so that his
nickname is "Scalito", is a candidate that we can all get behind.

I'm so happy right now I could just shit!

I'll blog on this more extensively later on today.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A bad brain day for Prince Chuckie?

This from here:

Prince Charles to plead Islam's cause to Bush
By Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter
(Filed: 29/10/2005)

The Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11.

The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.

The Duchess of Cornwall will accompany her husband

The Prince raised his concerns when he met senior Muslims in London in November 2001. The gathering took place just two months after the attacks on New York and Washington. "I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational," the Prince said, according to one leader at the meeting. (Read the rest here)
My My My--Where do I begin on this one??? Again:
The Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11.
Yes, I know that all of us have been pounding the pavement with sandwich boards on our backs saying, "Death to Islam". We need to be more careful about that.
The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.
Our failure to appreciate Islam's strengths? Heh. Yep, they're pretty good at butchering schoolgirls (CAUTION: GRAPHIC). They pack a mean suicide bomb too. What are their other talents that we fail to appreciate? Ohhh yes..SILLY ME!!.. they can fly airliners into skyscrapers!! :::smacks self in forehead::: ... I gotta write a letter of appreciation to my local mullah tomorrow.

Time for a shameless SaturdaySunday Night plug

One of my posts has had the honor of being chosen for the Crosley blog of the week. I'm looking to make it my mission (at least for this week) to not upset the apple cart and to maintain Uber-Blogger Jeff's position as the Susan Lucci of the Blog of the Week. After all, never let me be one to dishonor stare decisis; at least not this week, anyway.

Please cast your vote here


Another Crosley is on its way to Minnesota...

Thanks to all who voted!!!

Next week we need to vote for Jeff and we'll have a Minnesota Trifecta!

Right and Left... A study in contrasts...

In light of the 2000+ of our best and bravest who lost their lives in Iraq, the following is a lesson in honoring their sacrifices.

First, I direct you to this post by my good friend, Jeff (click the link--well worth the whole read):

The end they seek is an end to the war in Iraq, but it is wrong to count the remaining days of the war by the number of the dead, as painful as each casualty is. We all desire peace in Iraq, we all want our troops to return home to their families, but the job they are doing there is necessary. Evil does keep score by the number of dead, that is why we must fight it in Iraq.

This is the year 2005. Last night we turned back our clocks. Across this country there are about 2,005 families who are grieving, families who wish they could turn back the clock and once again hug beloved fathers, sons, daughters, loved ones.
Next, I will direct you to how the Left honors our war dead: (click here).

This is illustrative how the "anti-war" left doesn't give now nor did they ever give a flying fuck about our soldiers. To them, soldiers are nothing but useful pawns toward their bigger goal--the defeat of George Bush, and to a larger extent, the defeat of capitalism itself in this country.

2000+ deaths are a cause celebre for them; and judging by the pictures they're more than willing to dance on the bodies of our dead to further their agenda.

They are beyond despicable.

The Breck Girl... waxes poetic.

From here
One Year After Defeat, Edwards Eyes White House Again
Sunday, October 30, 2005

Edwards to Join Harvard in Spring (cue music).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — John Edwards (search) came downstairs and found 5-year-old son Jack on the floor, arranging toy trucks in a column.

"What are you doing?" the former North Carolina senator asked.

"Making a motorcade," came the exuberant reply.

A year after Democrats John Kerry and Edwards lost the White House election, young Jack still may think about the heady days of last fall. His father, however, has moved on — without a Secret Service escort. (queue

—He is traveling the country, trying to rally college students to the cause of fighting poverty in the U.S.

—He is presiding over a new poverty center at the University of North Carolina.

—He is laying the groundwork for a possible return to the political spotlight as a presidential candidate in 2008.

A little bit of all three was on his mind when he made a stop at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"I'm in a very forward-looking, positive state of mind," said Edwards, while hundreds of students began to assemble in a nearby common. "I mean, being able to take on a big cause in a really serious way is an extraordinary thing."

A year ago Tuesday, Edwards and Kerry, the Massachusetts senator, were in Boston, awaiting the general election results. There was uncertainty about the outcome, especially in Ohio. At 2 a.m., Kerry sent his running mate to address the waning crowd in Copley Square.

"John Kerry and I made a promise to the American people that in this election, every vote would count and every vote would be counted," Edwards said. "Tonight, we are keeping our word and we will fight for every vote."

Hours later, the senators agreed the cause was lost and conceded defeat. Almost simultaneously, Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Two months later, Edwards surrendered his Senate seat.

Edwards is focused on poverty, a theme that emerged from his childhood as a son of a mill worker. It was the basis for his stump speech about the "two Americas" he saw emerging as the wealthy pulled away from the less fortunate.

"When I saw up close what was happening to them, honestly I remember thinking to myself, man, given my personal background, without a little luck, I could be in the same place a lot of these people are," Edwards said.

Hurricane Katrina (search), he believes, opened the rest of the country's eyes to the plight of the hidden poor in places such as Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

"The hard question is will that window of opportunity stay open or will it close?" Edwards said. "I think whether it stays open depends on whether we have people like these college students who take it on as a cause."

Altruism aside, the poverty work also provides Edwards a platform to maintain his political viability....

Last week, when Edwards came to Massachusetts, he made a special point to call Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and tell him he was in the state. No such call was made to Kerry, although Edwards said the two are friends and still talk regularly.

"This is my cause now," Edwards declared, dismissing the political talk for another day. "This is what I'm spending my energy and life blood on, and if I can do something serious, I'll be very happy with what I've spent my life on."
:::::sighhh:::: Now isn't that special

The things they do in Canada... Multiculturalism run amok?

This from here:

Saturday, October 29, 2005 Posted at 8:06 PM EDT

Canadian Press

Montreal — Breaking a long-standing taboo of the separatist movement, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe argued in favour Saturday of an army for an independent Quebec.

Bloc delegates are gathered in Montreal to draft policy for a Quebec independent of Canada, including proposals for an army, a free trade deal with Europe and Mexico, an immigration policy and diplomatic ties with Washington.

“Why would it be ridiculous that Quebec has an army?” Mr. Duceppe said at a news conference.
...Ohhh, I don't know... perhaps Canada should have their "poutine cannons" at the ready:

Seriously, Canada, a long-time friend of the multiculturalist movement and who by policy has long since aided and abetted Quebec separatist sentiments, is beginning to realize the fruits of these failed policies; and continues to face the prospect of a truly divided nation. Divided nation. That's a key term.

The U.S. has lessons to learn from this. Ever since its inception, the concept of multiculturalism has never served to unite, but to balkanize; and I would go so far as to say that the balkanization brought about by this insidious philosophy has been realized not as a product of misguided intentions but rather as the product of blatant design. The left's embracement of multiculturalism is but a thinly veiled ruse, designed to keep the underclass on the white limousine liberal plantation. By enabling this institutional balkanization, the Left is farming blocs of dumbed-down voters who have no chance of full participation in the American free enterprise system due to language and cultural barriers. No attempt is made to teach them about American culture or its private enterprise system; rather, every attempt is made by the left to perpetuate this institutional inequity; indeed, it is a means of keeping people uneducated and dependent on the liberal largesse as a means to eke out a meager subsistence, with the end result being another bloc of dumbed-down voters that liberals can count on to win elections.

The whole point is that what is happening in Canada, who, to this point has been happy to live in a balkanized society(though they may soon ultimately rue the day), can happen here as well. Maybe not in the next 10 years, but certainly within the next 20-25 years; especially with groups like these.

Until we confront the liberal left and win this front in the war of ideas, the disparity between the races will continue; and Dr. King's dream, rather than becoming reality, will remain that--just a dream. (h/t from Buddy Kidd at Unto the Breach)


BTW, before you go thinking that Duceppe is just a flash in the pan crackpot, it may be useful to know that he has 96.8% support among the Blog Quebecois.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Things are looking promising...

This from Reuters
By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Saturday was narrowing his choices of Supreme Court nominees to replace Harriet Miers as Republicans said the short list consisted of highly credentialed, solidly conservative judges.

Among the candidates most talked about were appeals court judges Michael Luttig and Samuel Alito. Bush, who is spending the weekend at his Camp David retreat, was expected to unveil his choice within days.

A source close to the selection process who spoke on condition of anonymity said avoiding a battle with Democrats, who have warned Bush about picking a right-wing activist, would not be the president's top priority.

"What we know from the Miers nomination is that people on all sides of the political spectrum wanted the highest quality, and that's what the president will deliver," the source said.

"I think it will be extremely difficult for Senate Democrats to oppose someone who is extraordinarily well qualified and who shares the president's judicial philosophy," the source added.

Conservatives are eager for a conservative in the mold of justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate conservative and often pivotal swing vote on the divided court.

I like both of these possibilities. Both are said to be strict constructionists and in the "mold of Scalia and Thomas." Luttig is a good choice for victims rights, as he has been the victim of violent crime. His victim impact statement upon the murder of his father speaks volumes that he will not be one to unnecessarily cowtow to the "rights" of the criminal.

On the other hand, Alito looks like a winner, as well.

He reportedly shares Scalia's philosophy to a tee, to the point where he has been called "Scalito". Alito has written decision such as ACLU vs. Schundler, which held that it was not unconsitutional for a city to hold a religous display on public property.Also,
Alito was the sole dissenter in the 3rd circuit's decision on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which struck down a Pennsylvania law requiring women to inform their husbands before getting an abortion.
The only thing that sticks in my craw regarding any of these two candidates is the fact that
Luttig, 51, a judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, worked as a clerk for Scalia when Scalia was an appeals court judge.

He helped in the effort to get Thomas and Supreme Court Justice David Souter-- both nominated to the high court by Bush's father -- confirmed by the Senate. Luttig also has worked in the Justice Department and private practice.
I would hope that it was a collective brain fart on the part of everyone involved in getting Souter approved. But at the same time, I guess Thomas' nomination made it a wash.

Either way, if either of these two are indeed nominated, I will need to take the "Coalition of the Illin'" banner, and put a "Coalition of the Willin' banner in its place.

Regarding the dirty business of politics

This from Reuters...

By Phil Stewart

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, on the eve of a trip to Washington, said he repeatedly tried to persuade U.S. President George W. Bush against invading Iraq.

The Italian leader voiced his unease with the military operation to topple Saddam Hussein during a television interview to be broadcast on Monday -- the same day he meets Bush.

Berlusconi is one of Washington's strongest allies but he did not send troops to join the invasion, preferring to despatch troops only after the fall of Baghdad.

"I tried many times to convince the American president not to go to war," Berlusconi was quoted as saying by La7 television network, which recorded the interview.

"I tried to find other avenues and other solutions, even through an activity with the African leader (Libya's Col. Muammar) Gaddafi. But we didn't succeed and there was the military operation."

One of Berlusconi's staff said he knew Berlusconi had given La7 television an interview, but could not confirm the comments. Berlusconi is scheduled to leave for Washington on Sunday.

Berlusconi pulled about 300 soldiers from Iraq earlier this year as part of a phased withdrawal, leaving about 2,900 troops there. He is trailing in opinion polls ahead of April elections to center-left rival, Romano Prodi, who promises to withdraw all Italian forces from Iraq if he is voted into office.
But wait.. it gets better:


The context of Berlusconi's answers in the interview were unclear since La7 only provided small excerpts.

The Italian leader has been defending himself against accusations in Italy that the country's intelligence agency, possibly after government pressure, passed-off fake documents to Washington used to bolster claims of Iraq's nuclear ambitions.

The documents purported that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from Niger.
First off, does anybody remember the facts as brought out by this story? I know that Reuters and just about every other MSM outlet seems to conveniently forget that they ever existed.

Now turn to the front page of the June 28 Financial Times for a report from the paper's national security correspondent, Mark Huband. He describes a strong consensus among European intelligence services that between 1999 and 2001 Niger was engaged in illicit negotiations over the export of its "yellow cake" uranium ore with North Korea, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and China. The British intelligence report on this matter, once cited by President Bush, has never been disowned or withdrawn by its authors. The bogus document produced by an Italian con man in October 2002, which has caused such embarrassment, was therefore more like a forgery than a fake: It was a fabricated version of a true bill.
Hitchins goes on to posit:
To say this is not to defend the Bush administration, which typically managed to flourish the only allegation made about Niger that had been faked, and which did not have the courage to confront Mr. and Mrs. Wilson in public with their covert political agenda. But it does draw attention to an interesting aspect of this whole debate: the increasing solidarity of the left with the CIA. The agency disliked Ahmad Chalabi and was institutionally committed to the view that the Saddam regime in Iraq was a. secular and b. rationally interested in self-preservation. It repeatedly overlooked important evidence to the contrary, even as it failed entirely to infiltrate jihadist groups or to act upon FBI field reports about their activity within our borders. Bob Woodward has a marvelous encapsulating anecdote in his recent book: George Tenet on Sept. 11 saying that he sure hopes this isn't anything to do with those people acting suspiciously in the flight schools. ... The case for closing the CIA and starting again has been overwhelming for some time. But many liberals lately prefer, for reasons of opportunism, to take CIA evidence at face value.
Hitchins had it nailed back in July of 2004. Why is it taking so long for the rest of the MSM to get up to speed? I guess you can chalk it up to another case of "it doesn't fit our template so it's not that important anyway."


And now Captain Ed reports that the Iraqi war itself may well have been unnecessary, save for the recalcitrance of the Arab League.

In case you needed a score card

This from here:
If this is a conspiracy to silence Administration critics, it was more daft than deft. The indictment itself contains no evidence of a conspiracy, and Mr. Libby has not been accused of trying to cover up some high crime or misdemeanor by the Bush Administration. The indictment amounts to an allegation that one official lied about what he knew about an underlying "crime" that wasn't committed. And we still don't know who did tell Mr. Novak--presumably, it was the soon-to-be-infamous "Official A" from paragraph 21 of the indictment, although we don't know whether Official A was Mr. Novak's primary source or merely a corroborating one.

To the extent that the facts alleged in the indictment can be relied upon, the story goes something like this. Sometime in May 2003, or slightly before, Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for the New York Times, was informed of Joe Wilson's 2002 trip to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein had attempted to buy yellowcake there. Mr. Kristof wrote a column, and Mr. Libby began to ask around, to determine why a Democratic partisan had been sent on such a sensitive mission in the run-up to the Iraq war. He allegedly learned in the course of his inquiries that Mr. Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.

Mr. Fitzgerald alleges that Mr. Libby informed Judith Miller of the New York Times about Mr. Wilson's wife in June, but she never wrote it up. In the meantime, Mr. Wilson went public with his own account of his mission and its outcome, without reference to his wife's employment or possible involvement in his trip.

Mr. Libby also spoke to Mr. Cooper of Time about it, who did write it up, but only after Mr. Novak's column had run. In this same time period, he had a conversation with Mr. Russert, which may or may not have covered Mr. Wilson and his wife, depending on whom you believe.

So, we are left with this. Did Mr. Libby offer the truth about Mr. Wilson to Mr. Cooper "without qualifications," as Mr. Fitzgerald alleges, or did he merely confirm what Mr. Cooper had heard elsewhere? Did he, or did he not, discuss Mr. Wilson with Tim Russert at all?

On the answers to these questions hang a possible 30-year jail term and $1.25 million in fines for a Bush Administration official who was merely attempting to expose the truth about Mr. Wilson, a critic of the Administration who was lying to the press about the nature of his involvement in the Niger mission and about the nature of the intelligence that it produced. In other words, Mr. Libby was defending Administration policy against political attack, not committing a crime.
The more I read about this, the more the nature of the "indictment" stinks like so many putrid fish after a long hot day on the beach. The politcal circumstances and motivation behind this whole escapade are vividly transparent, and it is my opinion that this will be no more of a "smoking gun" than were the TANG memos.

And again, in the "Religion of Peace" department...

This from here:
Three Schoolgirls Beheaded in Indonesia
Saturday, October 29, 2005

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Unidentified assailants attacked a group of high school girls on Saturday in Indonesia's tense province of Central Sulawesi, beheading three and seriously wounding a fourth, police said.

The students from a private Christian high school were ambushed while walking through a cocoa plantation in Poso Kota subdistrict on their way to class, police Maj. Riky Naldo said. The rural area is close to the provincial capital of Poso, about 1,000 miles northeast of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

He said the heads of the three dead girls were found several miles from their bodies.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. But Central Sulawesi has a roughly equal number of Muslims and Christians. The province on Sulawesi island was the scene of a bloody sectarian war in 2001-2002 that killed around 1,000 people from both communities.

At the time, beheadings, burnings and other atrocities were common.

A government-mediated truce ended the conflict in early 2002 but since then, there have been a series of bomb attacks and assassinations targeting Christians. A market attack in the predominantly Christian town of Poso killed 22 people in May.

Christian leaders have repeatedly criticized the authorities in Jakarta for allegedly not doing enough to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

The Christian-Muslim conflict in Sulawesi was an extension of a wider sectarian war in nearby Maluku archipelago in which up to 9,000 people died between 1999 and 2002.
Now isn't that sweet. Convert or be beheaded.

As you know, I blog for Voice of the Martyrs, a site that chronicles the anti-Christian persecution that remains all too prevalent in today's world. I urge you all to visit it, and be on the ready to have your eyes opened to some real inhumanity that make Abu Ghraib tactics look like Club Med service. But above all that, I urge you to look at the underlying spirit of those who are persecuted. Specifically, that even in the face of harrassment, imprisonment and even death, these people hold on to their faith. It is at the same time disheartening, and heartening; and makes one wonder whether one's own faith could stand up to such challenges.

On painting in corners.. some incoherent ramblings..

Mitch Berg has a great post In it, he responds to a piece written by Kevin at The Insomnia Report. The piece basically states, among some other things, that bloggers often carve out a personna and paint themselves into a corner or "dig themselves into a hole" which they find it difficult to climb out of... in effect, "typecasting" themselves. Mitch states:
The short answer: Absolutely not.

The long answer: Go back to February, 2002, and start reading. Read all 6,000-odd posts. There are some streaks in there; streaks of writer's block, others where I was casting about for new ideas, others where the material poured out with no effort. I'm a single parent - there are mornings where I don't feel like writing. I've been doing it a while, so there are subjects that bore me; I could quit fisking Nick Coleman any time now. I work a fairly demanding day job - there are days when between parenting and work, I don't have time to dig into a story, or write with the care and detail that I'd like to. That's life; my goal, failing all of the above (and I do, often!) is to write something I enjoy every day.
I agree with Mitch. At the risk of sounding egotistical I write about what I want to write about, in whatever style suits my mood de jour. I guess I don't feel "boxed in" by any one personna or style. My politics are pretty clear, and I would never stray from the politics I portray on this blog; number one, because my politics reflect my passions; and number two, because they are based on core principles that I hold dear. At times, I'm flighty; at other times I'm dead serious; There are times when I am quite erudite, where the words come out as easily as water comes off of a duck's back, and other times when I feel like I couldn't come up a word if Vanna gave me a vowel.

Sometimes I can be downright nasty to those whom I perceive as my political enemies. I make no apologies for that, as I feel that they are in the process of destroying this nation and nullifying the sacrifices made by those before us and by those who continue to make those sacrifices. If our brave soldiers are willing to get down and dirty and risk life and limb for our nation, the least I can do is to idealogically fight tooth and nail those who would attempt to defeat their mission on the homefront or to otherwise destroy their morale.

I guess the long and the short of it is that I write my passions, and about things I enjoy, and I don't for one minute feel "boxed in" as to a particular genre or style. My writing is myself,my personality, in all its different facets, in all its strengths and weaknesses. Now I'm not a traffic magnet like Mitch; I don't have the incredible abilities to amass a whole mess of sources into a coherent whole as does my friend Jeff; nor do I have the sophistication of wit and consistent clarity of thought as do Doug or John or Uncle Ben; each blogger I have come to know and respect brings something different to the table, and adds to the great mix that is the MOB.

All I have to offer is myself; my passions, joys, and sorrows.. And I am truly astounded by, and truly grateful to each and every person that takes a little bit of precious time out of a busy day to stop by and read my screeds.

Not a banner day for India...

From here:
India Train Plunges Into River; Dozens Dead
Saturday, October 29, 2005

FOX News CountryWatch: India
VELIGONDA, India — A passenger train plunged into a rain-swollen river in southern India (search) early Saturday, killing at least 77 people, officials said.

Rescue workers pulled around 100 injured passengers from seven coaches that derailed after floods washed away the tracks in the town of Veligonda in Andhra Pradesh (search) state.

Scores more passengers remain trapped in water-logged coaches as soldiers and local villagers used gas cutters to open up the coaches.

"So far 77 bodies have been recovered," said Thomas Verghese, general manager of India's southern railway.
That country is going through a lot of misery right now. I would say some prayers would be in order.

More hugs and kisses...courtesy of the Religion of Peace?

From here:
Powerful Blasts Rock New Delhi
Saturday, October 29, 2005

NEW DELHI — A powerful explosion hit a crowded neighborhood in central New Delhi on Saturday and television reports said at least 10 people were feared killed. Minutes later, two more blasts shook the city, officials said.

Some 40 people were injured and hospitalized after the first blast in a market in the Paharganj neighborhood, according to the New Delhi Television station.

The market was filled with shoppers ahead of a major Hindu festival next week, fire officials said. The neighborhood also has several small, inexpensive hotels that are popular with foreign travelers, particularly backpackers.

All roads to the scene of the first explosion were sealed off by authorities.

Vir Singh, a spokesman for the city's fire department, confirmed explosions also hit the main market in Sarojini Nagar (search), a neighborhood in the southern part of the capital, as well as on a bus in the Govindpuri neighborhood.
Later reports suggest that the death toll is now at 30-31.

Just another day in the lives of terrorists.. and unfortunately, for the people on whom they prey.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Much ado about....?

From here:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice presidential adviser I. Lewis "Scooter' Libby Jr. was indicted Friday on charges of obstruction of justice, making a false statement and perjury in the CIA leak case.

Read the indictment
Go to special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's web site
See a timeline of events surrounding the invesitgation

Karl Rove, President Bush's closest adviser, escaped indictment Friday but remained under investigation, his legal status a looming political problem for the White House. The indictments stem from a two-year investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald into whether Rove, Libby or any other administration officials knowingly revealed the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame or lied about their involvement to investigators.

The five-count indictment accuses Libby of lying about how and when he learned about CIA official Valerie Plane's identity in 2003 and then told reporters about it. The information was classified.

Interestingly, nowhere in the above article do I find anything in which either Rove or Libby are charged with actually "leaking" any untoward information regarding Lame Plame, which is the subject of the investigation.

Does anyone else see anything interesting about that? Could this whole thing have been just a "smoke-and-mirror" witch hunt from the get-go? Five will get you 10 that's the case. But would you have expected anything else from a party hell-bent on getting accomplished what, by virtue of their paucity of ideas, they couldn't get at the ballot box?
Anyone remember this cover from Vanity Fair?. So much for Plame not wanting to "out herself." Come to think of it, there are other things that Ms. Plame and Mr. Wilson CAN do to themselves. Use your imagination.

A captioning contest

As you may (or may not) remember, I posted a picture of soccer "superstar" Diego Maradona smiling broadly at meeting his hero, Commandante Castro....

Here is the picture again...

Any captions?

The selected winning caption (selected by a committee made of myself and my fellow "contributors" (heh) will be posted here for posterity, and the winning writer will have the just compensation that (s)he will have my undying admiration of the contributor's wit and wisdom...

Feel free to leave a caption at the "comments" link below.

Another reason Miers made the right decision

From here:

Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader, on the Senate floor: "The radical right wing of the Republican Party drove this woman's nomination right out of town."

Douglass: "The Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee said the groups drowned her and the President out."

Arlen Specter, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, on the Senate floor: "There was a decisive imbalance in the public forum with the case for Ms. Miers not heard because of the heavy decibel level against her."

Well, when you get Harry Ried and Arlen Specter up in arms upon the withdrawal of a Republican-appointed SCOTUS nominee, you gotta be doing something right.
Douglass: "Republican Senators who publicly criticized Miers believe the President has now gotten the message that his supporters expect him to pick an established conservative judge. Many conservatives say it is time for a confrontation over abortion, gay marriage and school prayer."
No it isn't a time for "confrontation" over abortion, marriage, or school prayer. It is time for a "confrontation" over legislating from the bench. It is time for a confrontation over the adding of things to the Constitution that aren't there, as well as a confrontation over the ignoring things in the Constitution that are there. When this confrontation ultimately takes place, and an originalist philosophy hopefully takes hold in the Supreme Court, past and future SCOTUS-driven "social engineering" decisions will be overturned by virtue of their Constitutional incompatibility, and such decisions will be left back to the individual states, where the power to make those decisions should necessarily reside.

The genius of the original wording and intent of the Constitution resides in the fact that the Constitution is in and of itself a moral and just framework for governance. Adherence to the Constitution in making and in interpreting law will in and of itself lead to a moral and just society.

Get originalists on the Supreme Court. The rest will take care of itself.

I often wondered why he never got the girls..

George Takei, 'Trek's' Sulu: I'm gay

Friday, October 28, 2005; Posted: 10:43 a.m. EDT (14:43 GMT)
TakeiGeorge Takei and his partner have been together for 18 years.

From here.

A Friday Fun Quiz..

I got 20...

The average person only gets 7 right. This is based on U.S. info, so use all lobes of your brain. This can be more difficult than it looks - it just shows how little most of us really see!

There are 25 questions about things we see every day or have known about all our lives. How many can you get right? These little simple questions are harder than you think. It just shows how little we pay attention to the commonplace things of life.

RULES: Put your thinking caps on. No cheating! No looking around! getting out of your chair! No using anything on or in your desk or computer!

Can you beat 20?? (The average is 7) Write down your answers and check answers (on the bottom) AFTER completing all the questions. REMEMBER
NO CHEATING!!! It doesn't matter if you cheat, actually, because if you have to cheat, then you don't know the answer, thus, you've already missed the question. BE HONEST!!! That means no looking at your phone or anything on your desk..


(Feel free to leave your score in the comments section, if you're so inclined)

Here we go!

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?

2. How many states are there in the USA? (Don't laugh, some people don't know.)

3. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?

4. What six colors are on the classic Campbell's soup label?

5. What two numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?

6. When you walk does your left arm swing with your right or left leg? (Don't you dare get up to see!)

7. How many matches are in a standard pack?

8. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?

9. What is the lowest number on the FM dial? (Don't look at that dial!)

10. Which way does water go down the drain, counter or clockwise? (Get out of the bathroom!)

11. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?

12. How many channels on a VHF TV dial?

13. On which side of a women's blouse are the buttons?

14. Which way do fans rotate?

15 How many sides does a stop sign have?

16. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?

17 How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?

18. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?

19. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc. Who's missing?

20. How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?

21 On which playing card is the card maker's trademark?

22 On which side of a Venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening between the slats?

23. There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?

24. How many curves are there in the standard paper clip?

25. Does a merry-go-round turn counter or clockwise?



1. Bottom
2. 50
3. Right
4. Blue, red, white, yellow, black & gold
5. 1, 0
6. Right
7. 20
8. Red
9. 87.7
10. Clockwise (north of the equator)
11. From lower right to upper left
12. 12 (there is no #1)
13. Left
14. Clockwise as you look at it from the front.
15. 8
16. Left
17. 5
18. 6
19. Bashful
20. 8
21. Ace of spades
22. Left
23. * and #
24. 3
25. Counter

Now please pardon me again... while I blow lunch...

From here

HAVANA (Reuters) - Argentine soccer hero Diego Maradona promised Cuban President Fidel Castro on Thursday he would be at the front of an anti-Bush march in Argentina next week. (like any American really gives a crap)

U.S. President George W. Bush will attend a summit of leaders from all countries from the Americas -- except Cuba (Could it be because Cuba is irrelevant?) -- in Mar del Plata, Argentina, November 4-5.

"I think Bush is a murderer. ... I'm going to head the march against him stepping foot on Argentine soil," Maradona said, appearing on Cuban television with Castro. (And I think you're a leftist cocaine-snorting scumbag, and that any brain cells that you ever were able to call your own have now left the building)

"I promised the 'Comandante' that I would do it and I will," the 44-year-old football legend said, referring to Castro. (Do what, stick your head up your ass? I think it's already there.)

"For me he is a god," Maradona said of the 79-year-old left-wing Cuban leader, whom he considers a friend and a father figure who helped him kick drugs.(For this bozo, anything with a room-temperature IQ would be considered a god.)

Yes, genius has its limits. It is a shame that stupidity is not similarly endowed.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pardon me, but your slip is showing..

This from here:
Teheran - Teheran Thursday played down anti-Israeli remarks by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and said Iran was after a political settlement of the Middle East crisis.

'The remarks by the president were not reflected (in the Western press) correctly - especially the president's remarks on a political solution to the dilemma were not mentioned,' Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said in first official reaction.

Mottaki said that Ahmadinejad had merely quoted what the late leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, said more than 26 years ago. The reactions in Europe were 'surprising'.

Indeed, where is the surpise? The leader of Iran only said that Israel should be wiped off the map. In actuality, I believe this was merely an episode of refreshing honesty from the Iranians; a glimpse at what sentiments truly lie under their collective burkkas. After all, the fact that the whole Arab world would like nothing better than to turn Israel into a parking lot is certainly nothing new. They may as well just come out and admit it. No surprises there. President Ahmadinejad is a scumbag. But at least he's an honest (though currently backpedaling) scumbag.

And right now Israel is asking that Iran be banned from the U.N.; but let's get serious. There are a lot of anti-semitic scumbags in the U.N. that probably agree with Iran's position; they're just a lot more underhanded about it. When you come to think of it, Israel asking the U.N. to expel Iran for spewing inflammatory anti-semitic rhetoric is akin to asking the neo-nazis to expel the Ku Klux Klan from Mississippi for burning crosses. Ain't gonna happen. Israel, along with the United States, are (undeservedly) two of the most reviled nations on planet earth. It's about time that we come to recognize it, and come to grips with who we're really dealing with.

...onward and upward let the healing begin.

Harriet Miers did the right thing this morning with regard to her nomination to SCOTUS, and now is the time to heal the undeniable rift that has been created. I have already heard some pundits on the radio opine that President Bush, being miffed at the conservative rebuke of this nomination, will be vindictive in his next appointment; and may nominate someone equally or even more-so unpalatable to his conservative base.

While it is impossible at this point to correctly predict who his choice will be, I firmly believe that Bush, albeit reluctantly, has seen the writing on the wall, as well as the importance placed on this nomination by those who have worked the hardest to get him in office. Bush's "new tone" philosophy has often led him to be eager to appease. This strategy, however, has won him no friends on the liberal side of the aisle, and has often left those on the right side of the aisle scratching their heads in utter bewilderment.

I would tend to hope and believe that Bush now realizes that a compromise candidate designed to bypass liberal democrat scrutiny is no bargain when his own party loyalists begin jumping ship; and that more often than not, you have to "dance with the one who brung you" if you want the remainder of your agenda to become reality.


For some good roundups around the blogosphere and elsewhere, check here, here and here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


First title in 88 years!!!!!



My 9th grade son is entering the blogosphere..

My 14-year old son just started a blog today. Although he's very much into politics (he pounded the pavement with the rest of us during the 2004 campaign) he also has a love for things technical, and for now that's what he's going to focus on.

Good luck, son.

Fun things to do with a lawnmower

Click here.

h/t to Kodyack.

Another daily (almost) Miers post...

In a lighter vein...

To the tune, Lydia the Tattooed Lady by Groucho Marx...(From At the Circus).

Harriet oh Harriet say have you met Harriet, Harriet the SCOTUS Nominee!

Oh Harriet Oh Harriet
Bush roped her with a lariat
Oh Harriet that SCOTUS nominee!

Oh Harriet oh Harriet
That gal Hugh loves, Harriet--
Harriet the Supreme of them all!

A conservative, we're told, "Don't dare refute her!"
But with our lousy luck she'll vote just like Souter..

Bush may as well've chosen a bimbo from Hooters..

But gosh they all love Harriet!

la-la-laaaaa la-la-laaaaa...

We now return you to our regularly unscheduled flogging blogging.

The Ghouls on the Left are Celebrating

The good folks at have seen it fit to celebrate the 2000th death of a U.S. soldier in Iraq by putting on this ad.
This week, we received grim news: 2000 American soldiers have now died in Iraq. Their caskets have been hidden from view, and the news of their deaths has receded to the back pages. But the men and women who died in recent days were no less brave or less honorable than those who died in the first days of the war. It's time for us to honor them—to remind the public that they're dying every day in the quagmire of Iraq—and ask, "How many more?"
The leftys make such a big deal about the 2000th soldier, and ask, "How many more need to die?"

They conveniently leave out the facts that over 3000 of our citizens were incinerated, and purposefully left out the question of, "How many more of our innocent civilians need to die before we do something about it?"

As far as Saddam's ties with terrorists, perusal of Iraq's financial records show some tidy sums given to folks with connections to Al Qaeda. Not to mention the 25 grand or so that Saddam appropriated to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

And does anyone remember Salman-Pac? The place where a replica of a jet liner fuselage was used by terrorists as a training camp on how to hijack airliners? When our soldiers went through there in the early days of the coalition invasion, hundreds of foreign national terrorists (From Yemen, the Sudan, Syria--the usual suspects) were annihilated.

Don't tell me that Saddam didn't support terrorism.

Don't tell me about short memories. When it comes to "short memories", the Left conveniently takes the cake. Hell, they take the whole damn bakery.


And the lunacy continues. Mother moonbat states that she will now chain herself to the White House Fence until we withdraw from Iraq. Hell, that's the best news I've heard all day. Let her be chained. Leave her there to rot, and let the crows have their way with the bitch. It also appears that the Cindy and the rest of the moonbat left are going to stage a "Die In", staging "mock deaths" in front of the White House.

If they really want to do the U.S. and its brave military a favor, I suggest they don't "stage" their own deaths. I'd say let them do it for real.

It's 12:12am...

And I'm still keeping tabs on the Fightin' Whiteys and the Astros... I found a site that literally live-blogs the game here. Pretty amazing!

Right now it's in the 12th inning, both are tied at 5.


It's 12:50am, and they're just beginning the 14th inning.. still tied at 5.

There's going to be a lot tired people at work tomorrow.

Myself included.

Both teams are going through their respective bullpens like a bag of M & Ms.

This could be a really long game.. especially for the last guy remaining in the bullpen.


Blum just made a 2-out homer for the Whiteys, putting them ahead 6-5. Perhaps this game can come to a quicker end at that...

Now Roland just singled, still 2 away..

Crede advances Roland to 2nd on another infield single... still 2 away!


Uribe loads up the bases for the Chi Sox on ball four!

Sox now leading 7-5;

Never say die Angels have runners on 1st & 3rd.. 2 out!

1:20am, at the end of 14 innings--
FINAL GAME 3 White Sox 7, Houston 5!!!

good night.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

For the Benefit of the "Bear"

As anyone who has read this blog for the past month can see,

I oppose the Miers nomination.

'nuff said.

h/t: Hammerswing.

How Sweet it is! ...Galloway gets his comeuppance

This is starting to make more and more sense. It seems The Washington Times is reporting the true nature of that loveable "Bozo of Bombast" George Galloway a longstanding critic of U.S./Britain Iraqi policy, and the same bumbling bozo who wet all over himself during a highly publicized debate with Christopher Hitchins:
Maverick British lawmaker George Galloway solicited and received nearly $600,000 in profits for himself and a charity he ran from secret deals under the Iraq oil-for-food program, Senate investigators charged yesterday.
The new charges, released by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs permanent subcommittee on investigations, come five months after Mr. Galloway, a fierce critic of U.S. policy in Iraq, emphatically denied under oath to the panel that he had taken bribes from Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein or participated in any Iraq oil deals.
Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Norm Coleman, Minnesota Republican, said the new findings "clearly demonstrate that the testimony given by Mr. Galloway in May was false and misleading." (read the whole story here).
This story is patently illustrative that the most vocal critics of the Iraqi war effort also had the most to gain from the status quo, and were merely upset because the U.S.-led invasion had upset the proverbial gravy train that served to line the pockets of many a U.N. thug. And now this blowhard, who swore that he never accepted any bribes from Hussein, meets his sweet comeuppance.

Ahh.... and in the words of the "Great One", how sweet it is!

Momma moonbat at it again..

New York, October 21 (RHC)-- Cindy Sheehan, the peace mom who captured the imagination of the anti-war movement this summer, says she plans a return visit to U.S. President George W. Bush's Texas ranch over Thanksgiving.

The U.S. anti-war activist also vowed to turn up the heat by returning to the front gate of the White House as soon as the death toll of American soldiers hits 2,000 (it now stands at 1,968). Speaking with reporters in New York City, Cindy Sheehan said she planned to deliver a speech in front of the White House and then get arrested -- adding that when she gets out of jail, she'll go back and get arrested again.

Sheehan said she now believes lobbying and marching in the streets is no longer enough and that "nonviolent civil disobedience is the way we have to go" to end the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq. Referring to last month's major anti-war demonstration in Washington, Cindy Sheehan said that "hundreds of thousands of people were in D.C. on September 24th" and nothing has changed. She now insists that "massive non-violent civil disobedience" is the only tactic that will work.
Funny how this glowing tribute to Sheehan comes from none other than Periodico, a rag that hails from none other than the Las Tunas province of Cuba. Well, In the words of the ever-loquacious Gomer Pyle:
Surprise Surprise Surprise!!

Funny how the moonbats are so looking forward to the 2000th casualty of the Iraqi conflict. Much in the same morbid manner in which they celebrated Death #1000, these ghoulish moonbats are eagerly awaiting 2000 like so many vampires; and it is my educated guess that Cindy Sheehan will actually have an orgasm when this occurs (probably the only time in her life that she would get one). Sick perverts, these moonbats.

All the while I'm sure that their cheering sections continue to look on in wild-eyed, incredulous wonder at these useful idiots, in much the same manner as a burglar would stare in amazement as the family dog shows him where the best silverware is.

Monday, October 24, 2005

And in the vein of "Quality Education".. this is not it...

Mitch has a post regarding an upcoming moonbat protest. The students are angry because finals happen to be scheduled on the same day that they want to go out and protest. Read the whole article. It would be funny if it wasn't so illustrative of the civic dumbing down job that the liberal establishment has perpetrated on our students at taxpayer expense.

I hear that PW (Protest Warriors) will be on hand as well. I think I will also pay the protesters a visit. This ought to be fun.

New guy at the FED....

I wondered how this slipped past my radar screen..

I would put the importance of this job on a par with SCOTUS...

Bush appears to have kept up with his motus opperendi with regard to appointing relative unknowns to positions of importance:

From Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Bush Selects Bernanke
As New Fed Chairman

Bernanke Pledges to Continue Policy
And Strategies of Greenspan Years
October 24, 2005 4:52 p.m.

WASHINGTON -- President Bush named academic economist Ben S. Bernanke, virtually unknown to the public four years ago, to succeed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the most influential economic policy job in the world.

Mr. Bernanke, who left Princeton University to come to Washington when Mr. Bush named him to sit alongside Mr. Greenspan on the Federal Reserve Board in 2002, has been chairman of President's Bush Council of Economic Advisers since June 2005.

The announcement represents the curtain call for an extraordinary 18 years in which Mr. Greenspan's words and actions guided both the U.S. and to a great extent the world economy -- by most accounts with great success. The transition has the potential to roil markets and unsettle investors, many of whom have seen Mr. Greenspan as a rock of stability for an economy racked by record budget and trade deficits and soaring oil prices.

"Our understanding of the best practice in monetary policy evolved during Alan Greenspan's tenure at the Fed and it will continue to evolve in the future," Mr. Bernanke said in a televised statement, with Mr. Bush and Mr. Greenspan standing at his side. "However, if I'm confirmed to this position, my first priority will be to maintain continuity with the policies and policy strategies established during the Greenspan years."

Given Mr. Greenspan's stature and the risk that a fumbled choice would unsettle markets and hurt the economy, the White House administration appears to have made a safe choice that is likely to win applause from academic economists, financial markets and -- with some dissents -- from politicians. Mr. Bernanke represents both continuity and minimal surprise on monetary policy. Since moving to the White House, he has been the financial markets' odds-on favorite for the job.

In confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Bernanke probably would be sworn in so that he could take office on Feb. 1, 2006, the day after Mr. Greenspan's term expires. At the Fed he won the admiration and trust of Mr. Greenspan and other Fed colleagues for his collegiality, open mind and prolific output of meaty, topical speeches and studies. Mr. Greenspan, in a statement, said, "Ben comes with superb academic credentials and important insights into the ways our economy functions. I have no doubt that he will be a credit to the nation."

[logo] President Bush announces the appointment of Ben Bernanke to lead the Federal Reserve.

Political Reaction: Sens. Paul Sarbanes (D., Md.) and Robert Bennett (R., Utah) discuss President Bush's nomination of Ben Bernanke.

WSJ's Greg Ip comments on Ben Bernanke, calling him "Bush's safest choice."

WSJ's Gerald Seib talks about Bush selecting Ben Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as Fed Chairman.

Although any new Fed chairman is likely to pursue what he perceives as Mr. Greenspan's successful monetary policy, Mr. Bernanke may be tugged in opposite directions when it comes to the battle against inflation, the Fed chief's No. 1 job. (See an interactive graphic showing how employment, interest rates, inflation and stocks have fared during the Greenspan era.)

In his last months on the Fed, and as the chief White House economist, Mr. Bernanke has not shared the alarm notable in recent remarks by other Fed officials about the risks of inflation. "The stability in core inflation and inflation expectations does suggest that overall inflation is likely to return to levels consistent with price stability in coming quarters," he told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress last week. Thus, he may feel that the Fed by February may have already raised rates enough and inflation risks will be minimal.

But, as a new Fed chairman and one who comes from the White House, he will face pressure to assert both his independence and his anti-inflation credentials by continuing to tighten monetary policy.

Until he joined the CEA, Mr. Bernanke had little contact with Mr. Bush. Though a Republican, he was decidedly non-partisan. Somewhat shy and often under dressed, he is the antithesis of the power-suited business executives that Mr. Bush has preferred for top economic policy posts.


Earlier this year, Mr. Bush gently chided Mr. Bernanke for showing up at an Oval Office meeting wearing a dark suit with tan socks, according to several people familiar with the incident. The next day, Mr. Bernanke showed up early for another meeting with Mr. Bush and distributed tan socks to the other meeting's participants. When Mr. Bush arrived, all were wearing tan socks.

Mr. Bernanke had been Wall Street's odds-on favorite to succeed Mr. Greenspan, ranking first in many surveys of economists and consistently in recent months assessed the highest odds of winning by Internet betting sites.

The nomination came as Mr. Bush is struggling to defend his choice of Harriet Miers, the White House counsel and formerly his personal attorney, to the Supreme Court. "I'm just grateful that Bush didn't pick his personal banker and at least picked someone as Fed chairman who is clearly qualified for the job," said Bruce Bartlett, an economist who worked in the Reagan and first Bush administrations, but who has become a critic of the current president's economic policies.

And Cesar V. Conda, former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, now a lobbyist, added, "Bush has chosen the 'John Roberts' of the economics profession, and someone who is more than acceptable to supply siders," a reference to tax-cut advocates who were skeptical of another candidate for the job, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, whose criticism of Reagan era deficits has not been forgotten.

Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah, a senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said in an interview that he had no advance word about the nomination, but called it "the right choice" given Mr. Bernanke's background and experience, particularly "at the feet of the master" as a member of the Fed under Mr. Greenspan.

He said Mr. Bernanke as chairman suggests "more of a continuum" of Greenspan policies "than some of the others named" as possible chairman picks. The senator also said the nomination of Mr. Bernanke, though Mr. Bush's CEA chairman, can't be fodder for White House critics who've taken to charging "cronyism" in the president's naming of personal associates and intimates, such as Harriett Miers for the Supreme Court, to high positions. "You can't say, 'Only George W. Bush knows him," Mr. Bennett said, adding that Mr. Bernanke "is well known in economic circles," and respected.

In Europe, Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, was quick to praise Mr. Bush's choice. "Ben Bernanke is a highly respected central banker, a remarkable economist and a man of experience. I will be very happy to have the possibility to develop with him the same highly close and fruitful cooperation, and enjoy the same confident and friendly personal relationship that I had with Alan Greenspan."

It has been a remarkable rise for an academic economist little known to the public just four years ago and, in three months, could become the world's most influential economic policy maker. Until 2002, Mr. Bernanke, 51 years old, had spent his entire professional life as an academic.

In those circles, he had built a high profile. He had become one of the country's leading thinkers on monetary policy, writing in particular at length on the lessons of the Great Depression and how the Fed contributed to it. He has also been a leading thinker on econometrics, the discipline of applying complex mathematical and statistical methods to economic questions. Many of his former graduate students now work at the Fed.

Once he joined the Fed, Mr. Bernanke become one of the most outspoken members of the Fed board. In November 2002, he made waves with a speech to economists called, "Deflation: Making sure 'it' doesn't happen here." At the time inflation was quite low and the economy was struggling to built momentum, a combination that some in the markets and, later, the Fed thought could make deflation -- or generally declining prices -- possible, although unlikely. Had it loomed, the Fed had limited tools to combat it because its short-term interest rate target, the federal-funds rate, was already down to 1.25%.

The speech captured what would become Mr. Bernanke's hallmarks: tackling contemporary economic problems with both his academic background and a careful analysis of current data, then communicating both in plain language that non-economists could easily understand.

But the speech also highlighted the pitfalls of that approach. He pointed out that deflation was unlikely because when all else failed, the U.S. had "a printing press … that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost." Many in the market remember those words and think they mark Mr. Bernanke as soft on inflation. In his years at the Fed, Mr. Bernanke did tend towards the dovish end of the spectrum, more willing than some others to cut interest rates further or hold them low longer to ward off the risks of deflation to underpin the economic recovery. But inflation was not perceived as a significant economic threat in the U.S. during his time on the Fed board.

Perhaps more important than his views on current interest rates is his steadfast advocacy of increased transparency at the central bank. At the Fed he was a strong advocate of giving more information to the public about the central bank's expectations and goals on the economy. The Fed has adopted some of the planks he, and others there, advocated, such as releasing minutes to its policy meetings in just three weeks instead of after the subsequent meeting. It has not followed his most radical recommendation, which is to announce an explicit, numerical goal for inflation to both guide the public's expectations and hold the Fed accountable. Mr. Greenspan has resisted such a step, one that most other major central banks have adopted, for fear it would limit the Fed's flexibility in responding to surprise developments.

Greenspan (left) and Bush shook hands at the nomination of Bernanke (center).

Still, many other members of the Fed's policy committee have warmed to the idea and it seems likely that with Mr. Bernanke as chairman, the Fed will eventually adopt some form of a target.

Mr. Bernanke steps into big shoes. Since Ronald Reagan named him in 1987 to chair the Federal Reserve, Mr. Greenspan has become one of the most successful and well-regarded economic policy makers in the world, an icon of American economic stability and an oracle whose views are sought on matters far beyond questions of monetary policy and banking. Mr. Bernanke may take some comfort, though, that -- at the time -- Mr. Greenspan wasn't seen as someone whose stature would ever match that of his predecessor, Paul Volcker, who helped break the back of inflation in the early 1980s. William Greider, a journalist who chronicled the Volcker years critically, predicted that Mr. Greenspan "would be unable to dominate the Federal Reserve Board the way Volcker had… [and] would be less able to intimidate the politicians."

But Mr. Greenspan proved him wrong. "His performance as chairman of the Fed has been impressive, encompassing and overwhelmingly beneficial -- to the nation, to the institution and to the practice of monetary policy," the Fed's former vice chairman, Alan Blinder, said at the Fed's annual retreat at Jackson Hole, Wyo., this summer.

"No one has yet credited Alan Greenspan with the fall of the Soviet Union or the rise of the Boston Red Sox … but within the domain of monetary policy, Greenspan has been central to just about everything that has transpired in the practical world since 1987," Mr. Blinder and a colleague wrote.

Read the rest here.

whoo... have I got a headache

I'm in the middle of having my twice a year or so migraines... so in the middle of muddled thinking and pain, I don't know if my posts would be making any sense today (not that they necessarily make that much sense to begin with...

Anyway.. I apologize in advance for any incoherencies that may be present...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

The Dean of Scream
Dean calls for end to 'culture of corruption'

By JOSIE HUANG, Portland Press Herald Writer

Copyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

LEWISTON — The Bush White House is the most corrupt administration in U.S. history since President Warren G. Harding's, said Howard Dean during his first visit to Maine as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean's comments Saturday came as top White House advisers are being investigated for their roles in the outing of a CIA operative and Tom DeLay, the former second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, faces conspiracy and money-laundering charges.

"The first thing we're going to do is we're going to have ethics come back to Washington again," said Dean, the keynote speaker at Saturday night's annual fundraising dinner for the Maine Democratic Party at the Lewiston Armory.

To deal with the "culture of corruption," Dean said, there needs to be an ethics code in Congress and stronger campaign finance laws.
More than 400 party loyalists listened as Dean described Democrats as a party of moral values, while criticizing Republicans as trying to divide Americans over race, sexual orientation and country of origin. (Heh.. you'd think that Dean had never heard of multiculturalism).
Geeze... Anyone else see a disconnect here? Culture of Corruption? Hmmmm... me thinks that the pot doth screameth too loudly. Remember here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and ... do I need to go on? Because I can.. and the hypocrisy goes on...

Dean said Republicans should not have interfered in the Terri Schiavo right-to-life case.

"I'm tired of the ayatollahs of the right wing," Dean said. (This from a guy who only minutes before proclaimed themselves the party of moral values?) "We're fighting for freedom in Iraq. We're going to fight for freedom in America."
And then Dean has the balls to...
LEWISTON — The Bush White House is the most corrupt administration in U.S. history since President Warren G. Harding's, said Howard Dean during his first visit to Maine as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
I guess lies just come trippingly to the tongue to these moonbats... as second nature as stinging is to a scorpion. So much hyperbole and hypocrisy... and so little time. I'll repeat again what I wrote in this post:
Just makes me wonder why the republicans aren't making political hay regarding democrat abuses of power, which have been legion these past five years. Now I know that it is merely second nature for democrats to seize opportunities to point their collective bony finger of indignation at republican "scandals", real or imagined; but it just isn't in the Republican party's collective nature to respond in kind. Now this could be seen as both a positive and a negative. The republicans' collective tendency to take the high road in these matters may (correctly) portray the image that they are above taking the cheap political shot. But at the same time they run the danger of alienating their base, who feel that their party has become a doormat of sorts and who in turn view their leadership as weak-kneed and ineffective in standing up to the dems. Many in the republican base are disaffected as it is, and it will take some real red meat to energize them. Although at times it may indeed be a good idea to "walk away" from a confrontation, the current climate suggests that now is not one of those times. The now-disaffected republican base are looking for leadership who will grow a spine and stand up for their interests. If this does not happen, look for much of the base to "vote" by staying home in 2006.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Well, ya gotta start somewhere

My blog is worth $111,214.38.
How much is your blog worth?

(h/t Mawb Squad.)

Go Whiteys!!

This from here:

CHICAGO -- The White Sox waited 46 years and five days to return to the World Series.

Their 5-3 victory over the Astros before 41,206 fans in baseball heaven for Game 1 of the Fall Classic on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field certainly was worth the time off. It also left the White Sox with three victories to pick up in the next six games in order to win their first championship since 1917.

Saturday's win certainly wasn't without a number of tense moments for the South Siders. A string of four straight complete games, all thrown in the American League Championship Series, came to a close for the White Sox. Jose Contreras, who also started Game 1 of the Division Series and the ALCS, worked seven-plus innings, allowing three runs on six hits without walking a batter. But he exited in the eighth after Willy Taveras' second leadoff double of the game.

Neal Cotts made the first White Sox relief appearance since Game 1 of the ALCS and promptly yielded a ground single to left to Lance Berkman, putting runners on first and third with nobody out. The young left-hander then fell behind two balls and one strike on cleanup hitter Morgan Ensberg. But Cotts battled back to strike out Ensberg on a high fastball and did the same to left-hander Mike Lamb.

Bobby Jenks and his 100-mph fastball came into face Jeff Bagwell, who had been hit by a pitch twice earlier by Contreras. But the rookie got the best of the veteran, striking him out on five pitches with two runners in scoring position.

Joe Crede continued his postseason heroics in the opener, both with the bat and the glove. With the game tied at 3 in the fourth, Crede hit a one-out home run to left-center off reliever Wandy Rodriguez to provide the margin of victory. It was Crede's third postseason home run.

Crede was facing Rodriguez because Roger Clemens, Houston's Game 1 starter, exited after two innings with a strained left hamstring. The White Sox touched up the pitching legend for three runs on four hits, including Jermaine Dye's first-inning, opposite-field home run. It was the first White Sox home run in World Series competition since Ted Kluszewski's three-run shot in the fourth inning on Oct. 8, 1959.
Hey, growing up in Chicago, I have a dog in this race. Given that, and given the fact that the Chicago White Sox were once the St. Paul Saints, I got a double dog in this race! GO WHITEYS!