1/31/2006 02:46:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The combined gross of the five Best Picture Oscar nominees: $185,517,364 The gross of "The Chronicles of Narnia": $277,867,308 Conclusion: Hollywood hates Christians. Oh, and they nominated "Munich," so they hate Jews, too. Gays and journalists, you're OK. (A note: Since "Brokeback" and "Munich" are still in wide release, and "Capote" and "Good Night ..." will probably get some new screens to cash in on the Oscars, the eventual gross for these movies will outpace "Narnia." That's what happened in 2004. But this might be the least-seen slate of Oscar nominees ever. By this point in 2004, the nominees had made $205,181,462. In 2003 (the year of "Return of the King"), $637,857,097. In 2002, $486,799,261. In 2001, $484,299,092. And so on. However, since I've seen all but one of these movies, I don't care!)|W|P|113873716857177204|W|P|Paging Mr. Medved|W|P|2/01/2006 09:48:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous dbomp|W|P|Have you been writing Andrew Sullivan?2/01/2006 10:25:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|I actually did write him an email on this subject (it was about how "Brokeback" will actually probably make more than $100 thanks to award hype) but he didn't get back to me.1/31/2006 12:48:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Three new pieces from me. - A review of a Bjorn Olsson album at Popmatters. - A review of Lewis Gould's "The Most Exclusive Club" in Campaigns & Elections. (Not online.) - The cover story, on microtargeting, in Campaigns & Elections.|W|P|113872987652523974|W|P|Weigelmedia: Bringing good things to life|W|P|1/31/2006 12:37:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Rasmussen Reports, a reliable conservative pollster, does a daily tracking poll of Bush's approval numbers. (He's one of the few pollsters who never saw Bush go under 40%, but his race-by-race polling is usually excellent.) Yesterday he found them rising to 50% approve, 49% disapprove. And the crowd went wild! Instapundit:
BUSH BREAKS FIFTY PERCENT APPROVAL on the Rasmussen poll. He's been trending up there for several days. I'm not sure why, but it seems as if he does better whenever John Kerry and Ted Kennedy get face time on the national news. The Democrats would be wise to let other people represent them.
Powerline:
The latest Rasmussen poll has President Bush's approval rate at 50 percent, with 49 percent disapproving. To the extent that this poll accurately reflects the public's view of the president's performance, his support is basically back to where it was when he was re-elected. All it took was a little effort by the White House, a little effort by the raging Dems, and a good economy.
Dave Holman:
BUSH HITS 50 PERCENT in his approval ratings, according to Rasmussen. Don't hold your breath waiting for the major press to report this as loudly as they do when his ratings dip.
Yeah, that lousy major press. So Rasmussen releases his new poll today. Bush's approval is 48%, disapproval is 51%. Instapundit:
...
Powerline:
...
Dave Holman:
...
If you don't know much about polling, it's easy to overrate favorable results, ignore unfavorable results, and end up wrong. I'm not sure why some people would do it again and again.|W|P|113872964109829099|W|P|Push me poll me|W|P|1/29/2006 07:36:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Since I sorta defended lefties for a second there, I figured it was worth pointing out that Daily Kos, actually a useful/addictive site from time to time, has become nigh-unreadable on the Alito vote. It consists of my least favorite type of internet denizens - people who think fascism is nigh, and believe the way to fight it is by posting a lot on blogs. No and no. Take the discussions on Sen. Robert Byrd, a left-wing hero for his stance on the Iraq War. (He was agin' it.) He said he would vote for Alito. Given that he voted for William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and John Roberts, this wasn't too surprising. But holy crap.
I live in West Virginia and as I speak I am tearing up my WV Democratic Party affiliation. I am so completely disgusted with my spineless Democratic senator that I will never drive past the Robert C. Byrd ____ ever again without spitting. * Its not just the filibuster, it's the "nuclear option" that must be defeated to stop Alito. Everything else is nothing more than a good show. Byrd may not be the quite so much the traitor or the fool he's being made out to be. * THIS IS IT! If Judge Alito is confirmed to the Supreme Court, shortly after that ignominy is foisted upon us, "The Fat Lady" Will sing the praises of what this Republic used to be. CHECKMATE! * So I say to you, Mr. Byrd, with this vote that you have declared, you have assaulted me and my fellow country men and women. You have decided, in the twilight of your years to revert to being a coward who would strike out unexpectedly and leave us wondering and wounded by your blow. Sleep well, Mr. Byrd, if you can. And while you sleep be assured that all you have stood for is being quietly dismantled. Our Constitution, which you profess to love and revere is slowly turning into dust and we are losing America.
It's pretty much all like this. You can hardly even tell that the Roberts and Alito nominations are the only things Bush has done right in the last year or so.|W|P|113858197988453342|W|P|Hey, about that Left|W|P|1/29/2006 11:03:00 PM|W|P|Blogger CC|W|P|G.W.B also DIDn't have sex with an intern, which I guess you could say is something right.1/30/2006 01:03:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|I'm sure if he tried he could have messed that up, too. I mean, Social Security, Katrina, Miers, tax reform recruiting candidates for the Senate races - he really ate it last year.1/30/2006 10:29:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Mark|W|P|This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.1/30/2006 10:45:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|Sorry for rendering your post meaningless, Mark, but I deleted that post. I draw a line at people reposting articles in my comments.1/30/2006 01:35:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Mark|W|P|No problem at all. I just enjoy being a thorn. It's your blog, your rules.1/30/2006 03:46:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous dbomp|W|P|Did someone fart?1/29/2006 03:03:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|In his ongoing quest to shed his nonpartisan rep, Glenn Reynolds links to Gateway Pundit with this teaser.
IS CINDY SHEEHAN becoming the voice of the new Democratic Party? Hey, they used to dismiss Kos as fringe, and now he's mainstream.
So I follow the link, assuming some dumb Democrat or another (Jose Serrano?) has come out in solidarity with Sheehan on some issue. Sadly, no! The link is to a picture of Sheehan, a VHeadline (pro-Chavez site) writer who calls herself a "a member of the Democratic Party here in the United States" who supports Sheehan, a link to CodePink, a link to a Sheehan diary post from September 2005, and ... that's it. No, wait - there's a mention of Sheehan's threat to run against Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. So, in Insta/Gatewaypundit terms, the "voice of the new Democratic party" is someone who doesn't hold office, but hates one of the Democrats who does. This is really quite slimy. These bloggers are doing the work that party flacks usually do, spotlighting someone on the fringe and accrediting their actions and beliefs to the opposition as a whole. It'd be the same if Randall Terry met with a right-wing dictator and liberals/Democrats claimed that Terry was "becoming the voice of the Republican party." (Although they'd have a bit more of a case for that - more Republicans voted Terry's way on Terri Schiavo than Democrats voted Sheehan's way on Iraq.) Like I said, I expect partisan flacks and hitmen to say crap like this. But Instapundit? Not cool.|W|P|113856591078770033|W|P|Leftbaiting|W|P|1/29/2006 01:46:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Sorry about that. Lots of work + many distractions = not much blogging. I had a pretty good weekend, though, and it went like this: - Drove erstwhile boss and friend David Mark to BWI (the "erstwhile" part refers to "boss," not "friend," obviously, as I wouldn't give a ride to a former friend), and stopped off (after an hour of traffic) at John Tabin's palatial Owings Mills estate. Italian fusion cuisine was eaten, and karoake was performed (though not by me - the karoake part no, the cuisine yes). - Saw the third-ever post-GBV concert by Bob Pollard with Jeff Hayes, and at the concert I ran into Ken Persing and Pete Bothum (he's in a band, their website is here). I expected Pollard to be great, but he blew away my expectations. His band, consisting of Tommy Keene (one of my favorite musicians, period) on guitar and keyboards, someone from Superchunk on drums, and two other people, comprised the tightest, fastest ensemble Pollard has ever played with. Better than the "Mark II" GBV lineup of Gillard, Farley, Tobias, and March. The first set lasted about 90 minutes and ran through most of Pollard's new album and a smattering of his other solo songs. (As he begins "the Peter Gabriel phase" of his career, as he put it, Pollard has a catalogue of hundreds of non-GBV songs to choose from. How many solo artists start off like that?) The crowd was excited at first, but grew listless after song after unfamiliar song from his last year's output. But they woke up for the encore. After the normal set, Pollard et al tore through (I think) ten classic GBV songs, and as I said, they did it better than any touring GBV I ever saw. (Tobin Sprout was a fun guitarist, Gillard was faultless and speedy, by Keene is a power-pop virtuoso). Oh, and I made off with a signed copy of "Suitcase 2" bringing my signed GBV merch collection to: Two items!|W|P|113856109156626701|W|P|B-b-b-b-back|W|P|1/24/2006 11:40:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Well, that's enough political bilge for a while. Here's some stuff I've been enjoying. Adrian Belew I had known for years about this virtuoso guitarist through his work with King Crimson, David Bowie, Talkin Heads, Laurie Anderson, etc etc ad infinitum. But the other day I saw a cheap copy of his 1992 solo album Inner Revolution and said what the hell. Mercy me, it's incredible. Imagine a Todd Rundgren without the treacle, and with a Beatles influence instead of a Carole King influence, and you've got the 12 songs on this record. Download "The War In The Gulf Between Us" (haha, whatever, it's a perfect song). His other albums are also good, except for Desire Caught By The Tail, which isn't good. Richie Blackmore live albums It took me a long time to get into Deep Purple because the lyrics were so stupid and, frankly, Blackmore isn't that great at writing riffs (he's not awful, but compared to Tony Iommi or Angus Young he's nothing). Now I find that Blackmore comes the hell alive in concert. Deep Purple's Made in Japan and Rainbow's Live in Germany showcase some of the most psychotic, ornate soloing I've ever heard - "Man on the Silver Mountain" becomes 13:37, ok? Blackmore just gets in his little stance and starts quoting classical music, quoting other songs, hammering like the dwarves in Rheingold. The West Wing Yes, still. I'm constantly surprised at how solid the plotting and dialogue are in the Aaron Sorkin seasons. Very rarely can I stop after one episode, which is rare for me and TV shows.|W|P|113816403759062644|W|P|Raves|W|P|1/23/2006 01:06:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|JEDMUNDS: Abortions for all! CROWD: Booooooo! JEDMUNDS: I think I heard a "yes." Abortions for all! (context here, if you're wondering)|W|P|113799655189669345|W|P|Shorter jedmunds from Pandagon|W|P|1/24/2006 02:35:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous BDD|W|P|Abortions is murder!1/24/2006 03:05:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Mark|W|P|So is veal. How about that.1/24/2006 09:28:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous BDD|W|P|you eat to stay alive dont you? you leftwing nuts are in a down hill path cant wait when you hit the bottom. If you have kids then shot them in the head Thats what your saying when women do abortions! You dont deserve to have kids or life your self! If they dont want kids dont have sex simple is that! Just like a drug addict! You people need to get your head out of the sand and open your eyes this is not a third world country! Throw away the poltics and act HUMAN! Or did you people forget that your HUMAN! A cell, A adam just as a abortion kills them. Its sicking that the leftwing even supports this. GUESS WHAT YOUR ALMOST OUT OF THE PARTY! And i can say the people of the united states who elect theses idiots now see there try colors. WE THANK YOU FOR BEING IDIOTS NOW WE WILL VOTE REPLICAN! THANK YOU AGAIN! Democrats now are like the teriost and then so will be GONE!1/24/2006 10:26:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I, for one, welcome our new Replican overlords.1/25/2006 10:46:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I hope you didn't spend too much time writing that.1/25/2006 01:19:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|bdd - Dude, I think you spend more time on this blog than I do.1/26/2006 11:36:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous kchiker|W|P|I just made a huge mistake--I googled 'teriost'. Holy crap.1/27/2006 11:07:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Grammar. When ranting, it's optional, apparently.1/23/2006 12:42:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P| God bless Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, because he can help Rick Santorum get re-elected! Also, Katherine Harris is smarter than an astronaut. PERSONAL NOTE: Mercy, and I thought Batchelor was unbearable when he talked.|W|P|113799509598768080|W|P|Shorter John Batchelor|W|P|1/24/2006 02:37:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous BDD|W|P|And you dave are dumber then a box of rocks!1/25/2006 10:27:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tim|W|P|Dave, I don't think I approve of your new "Welcome Trolls" policy.1/25/2006 01:20:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|Hm, I just didn't look at the blog for a day or so and those comments cropped up. The troll will probably tire himself out eventually. By which I mean he'll hopefully lie down under an 18-wheeler and get crushed by the tires.1/26/2006 03:25:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous BDD|W|P|Dave i take that as a threat? Cause i would love to met you face to face. Just to see how many words try to come out of your mouth before i decked you. Na you be shaking so bad you would piss your self.
Ooo and tim you can come to i like a tiny challenge.1/26/2006 03:52:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|bdd - No, someone else will be driving the 18-wheeler.1/28/2006 04:41:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous BlackBeard|W|P|You’re a shadow as is this pathetic web blog that is nothing but a waste of your limited cell stem.1/19/2006 04:48:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I have a new article up at Reason about the politics of PATRIOT Act renewal - a sequel of sorts to my November '05 article that traced the politics up to then.|W|P|113770740949362561|W|P|Patriot Agonistes|W|P|1/19/2006 04:24:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I finally saw it last night. It's possible the hype wave is crashing over me and my opinion is a little colored, but: Wow. Just a terrific gut-punch of a movie. And I say this as someone who thought Mystic River was lame and Million Dollar Baby was only three or three and a half stars.|W|P|113770597847181038|W|P|Brokeback Mountain|W|P|1/19/2006 01:22:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Apart from, obviously, the podcast linked below, I haven't taken Hillary Clinton's Plantationgate very seriously. It's quite interesting as a macro political issue, but it really has no bearing on her current race for re-election in New York. The White House and GOP have largely bungled the playbook for the 2006 Senate races, and New York has become the most glaring example. Really, who would have imagined only a year ago that the GOP couldn't get a candidate to run against Hillary Clinton? One month ago the party's marquee candidate Jeanine Pirro quit the race, leaving a former mayor of Yonkers the frontrunner for the GOP nod. But did Pirro actually quit? I was checking the National Republican Senatorial Committee site for something else and saw this: Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Bigger pic here.|W|P|113770054204323898|W|P|Don't dream it's over|W|P|1/19/2006 12:51:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I've added my voice to John Tabin's first-ever podcast, here. The subject is Hillary Clinton - John approaches it from the right, I approach it from the ... well, not left, but from the position of someone who's sympathetic to a Democrat getting elected in 2008. One might ask, why add my voice to a podcast so soon after making fun of Mark Levin's voice? Three words: Glutton. For. Punishment.|W|P|113769327264337800|W|P|Weigelmedia 3.0: The Tabin era|W|P|1/18/2006 12:51:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Since my other New Years resolutions are humming along, let's try another one: Keeping track of every book I read. And reading, I dunno, 52 of them. First up: De Gaulle: The Rebel 1890-1944 by Jean Lacouture, translated by Patrick O'Brian The French general and statesman Charles De Gaulle has intrigued me for a long time, and for a particularly American reason. Namely, how did this asshole give himself credit for the liberation of France in 1944, and have the French take him seriously? Lacouture's elegant, comprehensive biography answers that with more detail than you could possibly need. I enjoyed the first 200 pages devoted to De Gaulle's career, which was actually distinguished and justified him having a little bit of ego. But I agonized over the next 370 pages, all spent on De Gaulle's bumbling misadventures as leader of the Free French. Lacouture writes well, O'Brian (the "Master and Commander" author) translates beautifully, but it's so hard to care about the intrigues and backbiting in De Gaulle's circle of fugitives and lackeys. However, I've got to compliment Lacouture for squeezing some amusement out of these stories. De Gaulle's sense of self-importance was so enormous, so undeserved, that it practically jumps out of the ink and punches you in les testicules. At one point, after the French participate in some operations, Eisenhower writes De Gaulle a short letter apologizing for dismissing him so many times before. De Gaulle responds: "You are a man." Because it was up in the air whether Ike was or not, really. Also, one hell of a sitcom could be crafted out of De Gaulle's slapfights with Winston Churchill.|W|P|113756440332061109|W|P|Weigel is not alone! He is not alone!|W|P|1/18/2006 12:41:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous BDD|W|P|Well it seems my democratic liberal USA today writer does not take to any ones opion but his own. Just like the far left.

BDD1/18/2006 04:22:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|Little explanation here - I've been deleting comments by trolls who have been leaving odd comments about my crazy liberal leftism. I'll leave this one to illustrate the trend, but otherwise, fuck 'em. These dickless wonders need to go back to the fertile fields of LGF, because I really don't care what they think.1/18/2006 11:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Pat "Souljacker" King|W|P|I don't get it. Is De Gaulle a huge icon on the right, or what? I saw the original posting and went... uh... wha?

Anyways, that's odd.

Oh, and this is Pat. I'm on a different computer, but still visiting your blog! Hi Dave!1/19/2006 03:36:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Tim|W|P|You see, Pat, Dave was reading a book on French history. Which makes him obejectively pro-Islamofascism appeasement.1/18/2006 12:27:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|There were two shots across the bow of Clinton '08 this week, one that missed by a country mile and one that got close (although this post by Captain Ed humorously gets like 10 facts wrong, he wasn't the norm). But there's an air of pointlessness about this. While the celebrity/ratings/stock footage-driven media has anointed Clinton, and name recognition-based polls rank her first among Democratic hopefuls, I don't think Democrats would complain if she wasn't their nominee. Personal grudges and Clinton fatigue aside, they want to win and they're not sure she can. When tested against GOP frontrunners (also not running yet) John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, she loses. ("Dream candidates" Condoleezza Rice and Jeb Bush usually poll behind Hillary, but there's that media thing I mentioned before.) The Democrats were in a similar fix in 1998-2000, as Al Gore always polled like crap against George W. Bush, but Gore had two advantages Hillary doesn't. 1) The Vice Presidency. Yes, it's obvious, but what it meant was that all the resources of the Democratic party were Al Gore's for the taking from 1996 onward, as were all the big consultants, admen, etc. 2) No competition. The potential Democratic field in 2000 was one of the weakest in modern history - possible candidates against Gore included John Kerry, Bill Bradley, and the MS-stricken Paul Wellstone. Two senators and a former senator, two tall and boring and one short and, well, MS-stricken. I would argue that Mark Warner and Russ Feingold are right away more impressive than that field, have larger natural constituencies, bring more advantages to a general election, etc. I don't know every Democrat in the country, but I know plenty, and none of them are thrilled about a Hillary candidacy. They either don't like her or like her but think she can't win. A Hillary exit from the presidential race would not trouble the Democrats as much as the loss of Mario Cuomo in 1992, Gary Hart in 1988, or even Ted Kennedy in 1984 (in 1983, Kennedy outpolled Ronald Reagan).|W|P|113756318406836894|W|P|Take my Hillary, please|W|P|1/21/2006 09:33:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous dbomp|W|P|Count me as a Democrat who was a mild Hillary fan who is quickly being turned off. John Tabin's podcast conversation with you crystalized why: she's moving this way to appeal to this group, moving that way to appeal to that. "Moving" is insincerety by another name. The politicians I admire are those who have positions they actually believe in: Feingold, Wellstone, McCain, Murtha, Santorum. I won't vote for all of them, but I can at least take them seriously.

In a way, she reminds me of Al Gore circa mid-summer 2000, trying to be everything to everyone, being nothing to anyone. I like today's Al Gore: smart, logical, passionate, consistent. Hillary is not.1/22/2006 03:52:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|I largely agree with you. Like I said in another post, the only politicians I'll give money to are Bernie Sanders, Bob Casey, Tim Kaine and Ron Paul. Different sides of the political spectrum represented there, but I know what those guys stand for and know they won't bend to win some friends or an election.

Thanks for reading (and listening)!1/24/2006 02:32:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous BDD|W|P|al gore is stupid as he was when he ran for election that HE LOST! And hillary is an idiot to and no one belives her on anything she says. She would blow any one to get elected. Sounds like Bill...HAHAH1/17/2006 11:21:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I have a pan of a new British band's album up at Popmatters.|W|P|113751490927972270|W|P|Dogs: Shit|W|P|1/17/2006 11:47:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tim|W|P|Best. Post title. Ever.1/16/2006 11:55:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|My friend Dean ranks the movies he saw in 2005.|W|P|113747382101493254|W|P|Examining McCarthy|W|P|1/15/2006 09:05:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Two longstanding NBC shows, two opinions. - Saturday Night Live. Damn, it was good last night. The "wedding ring" skit fell flat, but absolutely nothing else did, and the Hanna Barbara style "Darwin" cartoon should be taught in religion classes. Uh. Funny religion classes. - The West Wing. Are the writers just writing bad dialogue to see if they can? My goodness. One funny one-liner in this entire episode, and it went like this: DANNY: I think he's banging the nanny. CJ: What?!? DANNY: I think he's banging the nanny. CJ: Is that a figure of speech? DANNY: No ... well, I guess "banging" is. Downhill from there. I nearly yelled at the TV when Mary McCormack was told of the presidential son-in-law's affair and said "Get out!" Let's get some damn Alan Alda back on the screen, huh?|W|P|113737757839568967|W|P|We're watchin' the TV|W|P|1/16/2006 09:56:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Mary|W|P|I think the show I used to know as The West Wing was cancelled after 4 seasons.

I was looking for examples of great dialogue, found lots, and then I found this one that gave me chills. It's from "20 Hours in America", the season 4 opener. And remember, Tori Amos' "I Don't Like Mondays" is playing in the background:


More than any time in recent history, America's destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people's strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arive. 44 people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kennison State University. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed and two others are in critical condition. When, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. this is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars. God bless their memory, God bless you and God bless the United State of America. Thank you.
1/16/2006 02:09:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|I've only seen up to episode 19 of season 2, but I've seen scattered reruns from 5-7 and I think I agree with you. But I've always been much, much more impressed with the rapid-fire one-liners and banter than the long speeches. I know the critics said it made everyone sound the same, but I heard real differences between the characters, and I believed these people were all smart, harried political operators. Not so with the new writers.1/15/2006 05:58:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Michelle Malkin:
MLK BASH-BUSH DAY: Jim Hoft rounds up the bash-Bush events planned for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday tomrrow ...
Aside from the scintillating question of whether a minimum wage rally constitutes "Bush-bashing," it's worth remembering that King was an anti-war social democrat who thought the US (in 1967) was the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world." "Impeach Bush Now!" activists are pretty much the most annoying people in the universe, but I won't begrudge them acting out on MLK Day.|W|P|113736626518668214|W|P|The shrilla' from Manila|W|P|1/15/2006 05:46:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Oh. So this is January.|W|P|113736524162982639|W|P|Thoughts inspired by an overnight 25-point temperature drop|W|P|1/13/2006 12:28:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The Daily Show and other purveyors of humor-based entertainment have had some fun with Bush's Jan 10 "town hall meeting," and especially the cute little kid who showed up in this bit.
THE PRESIDENT: How old are you? Q Seven. THE PRESIDENT: Okay. That's good. (Laughter.) Q How can people help on the war on terror? THE PRESIDENT: Well, that's the hardest question I've had all day. (Laughter.)
I'm just now reading how Bush answered that question. See if you can see why it perturbs me.
First of all, I expect there to be an honest debate about Iraq, and welcome it. People can help, however, by making sure the tone of this debate is respectful and is mindful about what messages out of the country can do to the morale of our troops. (Applause.) I fully expect in a democracy -- I expect and, frankly, welcome the voices of people saying, you know, Mr. President, you shouldn't have made that decision, or, you know, you should have done it a better way. I understand that. What I don't like is when somebody said, he lied. Or, they're in there for oil. Or they're doing it because of Israel. That's the kind of debate that basically says the mission and the sacrifice were based on false premise. It's one thing to have a philosophical difference -- and I can understand people being abhorrent about war. War is terrible. But one way people can help as we're coming down the pike in the 2006 elections, is remember the effect that rhetoric can have on our troops in harm's way, and the effect that rhetoric can have in emboldening or weakening an enemy. So that was a good question. Thank you. (Applause.)
Did you see it? A cute seven year-old kid asked how "people can help" in the war on terror. I suddenly remembered Bush's appeal in October '01 for American schoolchildren to send a dollar to kids in Afghanistan. And I figured he might answer this kid by telling him about one of the humanitarian projects for Iraqis that are kicking around right now - Gary Sinise's Operation Iraqi Children, USAID's Iraq Partnership. For soldiers, there's America Supports You, which collects letters and gifts for the troops. I figured Bush might mention one of these things. Instead he picked up the talking points from Jan. 9, about Democrats being mean to him and thereby weakening the war effort. He hit all the same "lies they say about me" in nearly same order - they say I lied, it was for oil, it was for Israel. Bush is ostensibly talking to a seven year-old kid and he's whining about Justin Raimondo editorials, basically. So here are all my least favorite things about this war - the lack of a sense of national duty or sacrifice, the partisan pissing contest, the unwillingness of leaders to listen when people talk to them - wrapped up with a bow. I'm going to go out on a limb and say George Bush isn't the best president ever.|W|P|113717508433309102|W|P|Oh, that Bush|W|P|1/17/2006 03:03:00 AM|W|P|Blogger CC|W|P|the last line of this post was so brilliant I almost cried. Excellent execution, my friend. Brilliant.1/13/2006 11:51:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Back when blogs were going mainstream, but before they were turned into sweatshops for the political parties, a lot of them trafficked in "fisking" - line-by-line mockery of a print article, which can be further defined here. At some point a blogger (can't remember who) started doing his fiskings in the voice of "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" characters, and it all pretty much jumped the shark, but I missed it. Which is why Sadly, No!, which applies the fisking technique to fringe right-wing columns and articles, is swiftly becoming my favorite blog. This post tearing apart a nutty philosophy book called Moral Armor made me laugh out loud, quite a bit. His lede:
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you stuffed copies of Dianetics, Atlas Shrugged and the Bible into a juicer, and then poured the resulting mixture on your crotch and then set your crotch on fire?
S'good.|W|P|113717325275366864|W|P|Sadly, no|W|P|1/11/2006 10:02:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|OK, who's the marketing whiz who got Mark Levin his own radio show? Yes, he's a bestselling author. And as a radio voice, he's a ... bestselling author. In the five minutes I caught, Levin whined about Democrats and read from his NRO column in a high tone, pausing occasionally for 2-3 seconds of dead air.|W|P|113699193654485428|W|P|Thoughts inspired by an evening drive|W|P|1/11/2006 09:26:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous MarkLevinFan|W|P|Let me guess, you're a Lib, right? LOL!1/11/2006 10:27:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|Yes, that's right. Obviously anyone who dislikes listening to a whiny, dull, self-indulgent radio host does so because they hate his politics.

I agreed with the points he was making (confirm Alito, the Dem senators were making asses of themselves), but his radio presence was atrocious.1/13/2006 03:14:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous MarkLevinFan|W|P|In that case, I hate to tell you that he's about to become syndicated and will be heard nation wide. Do you know why? Ratings! He gets very high ratings. Obviously there are a lot of people who like listening to a whiny, dull, self-indulgent radio host! LOL! I laugh at your ugly face!1/18/2006 09:40:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous MarkLevinFan|W|P|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ABC RADIO NETWORKS TO SYNDICATE
THE MARK LEVIN SHOW

Top-Rated Conservative Talker, Best-Selling Author and Constitutional Lawyer To Be Heard
In Four of the Top 10 U.S. Markets Beginning January 30

NEW YORK, NY (January 17, 2006) – ABC Radio Networks today announced a multi-year agreement with talk show personality Mark Levin to nationally syndicate The Mark Levin Show to radio stations around the country. The program will air on four stations in the top 10 markets beginning January 30: WABC in New York, WMAL Washington, D.C., WBAP Dallas and WJR Detroit.

Levin’s program is currently among the most popular talk shows in the New York area, heard daily from 6-8pm (ET). In the first 18 months on the air, the program jumped to No. 1 in the time slot.

“I am elated to be able to contribute to the growing conservative dialogue across our country,” said Levin. “I think listeners will find my perspective and approach thought-provoking, educational, entertaining and sometimes controversial – but never boring. We’ll plan on having a lot of fun, too.”

A frequent guest and substitute host on The Sean Hannity Show, Levin is one of the country’s preeminent conservative commentators and constitutional lawyers. He is a contributing editor for National Review Online, and writes frequently for many other publications. His book, Men in Black, which was released in February 2005, was on the New York Times Best Sellers list for 10 weeks.

“We are thrilled to bring Mark Levin and his unique brand of talk to listeners around the country,” said John McConnell, Senior Vice President of Programming, ABC Radio Networks. “Paired along with Sean Hannity, Levin’s show is a tremendous one-two punch for programmers to grab and keep listeners on the radio dial.”

Levin has served as a top adviser to several members of President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet, including Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of the United States. In 2001, the American Conservative Union named Levin the recipient of the prestigious Ronald Reagan Award. He currently practices law in the private sector, heading the prestigious Landmark Legal Foundation in Washington, D.C.

About ABC Radio Networks
ABC Radio Networks has over 4,500 affiliate radio stations reaching 106 million people age 12 and over each week. Programs and services include ABC News Radio, Paul Harvey News and Comment, The Sean Hannity Show, Satellite Sisters, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, The Doug Banks Morning Show, MoneyTalk with Bob Brinker, The Mark Davis Show, The Larry Elder Show, American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks, The Dan Patrick Show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Mike and Mike in the Morning, The Michael Baisden Show, Dick Bartley's Rock & Roll's Greatest Hits, The John Batchelor Show, Todd Pettengill at the 80s, Renán Almendárez Coello—El Cucuy de la Mañana, El Vacilón de la Mañana with Luis Jimenez and Moonshadow and El Vacilón de la Mañana with Enrique Santos and Joe Ferrero, Daddy Yankee En Fuego Radio Show and ESPN Deportes. Other ABC broadcast services include ABC Sports Radio, Radio Disney, syndicated music and talk programs including Flashback, format-specific ePREP and production libraries, ABC's Jack FM™ and eleven other 24-Hour Formats, including Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel and ESPN Radio, which is the exclusive network radio home of Major League Baseball, the NBA and the Bowl Championship Series.1/18/2006 04:33:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|Cool. So, when they air the show nationwide, will they slow down the tapes to make it sound like Levin actually went through puberty?1/19/2006 09:28:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous MarkLevinFan|W|P|Oh, that's nice! Next you'll be criticizing Hillary for wearing pantsuits to hide her fat ankles!1/10/2006 09:42:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|There's been enough moody blogging here of late. Here's some good old fashioned positivity. - Sources who call back 5 minutes after your first phone call are the greatest souls in Christendom. - I found cheap used copies of some "The West Wing" DVDs before Christmas and snapped them up, hopes high-ish. Those hopes have mostly been met. While I avoided the show for years, I got interested in the current season's Alan Alda v. Jimmy Smits presidential race and was then assured "oh, the show used to be much better." So I plunged into those old seasons. They're great! After a couple formulaic early episodes where events are wrapped up by big, dramatic speeches, the show settles into an exciting, funny, and honestly heat-tugging rhythm. Pretty much hooked now.|W|P|113694744831168753|W|P|Think positive|W|P|1/09/2006 05:11:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Speaking of Tom DeLay and the Corner, oh my God. Oh my God. John Podhoretz:
If anybody thinks the statement means DeLay is through permanently, that person doesn't understand politics. If DeLay comes through the lousy Ronnie Earle business in Texas clean, which he probably will, and if he isn't excessively bloodied by the Abramoff scandal, which we can't know yet, he will be in a position in a few years to replace Hastert as Speaker of the House (should Republicans remain in charge). We've just spent the past several days reflecting on the political career of Ariel Sharon. Sharon staged a comeback from the total disgrace in which he fell in the mid-1980s. DeLay has wisely decided to retreat for now to fight again another day. (Unless, of course, he knows there's a big shoe to drop against him and he's just trying to clear the decks.)
You know, the blogging format biases one toward short bits of snark, or attacking quickly and moving on, but there's so much wrong there. 1) "If DeLay comes through the lousy Ronnie Earle business in Texas clean, which he probably will" I'd wait for DeLay to eke out a win somewhere, anywhere in that case, because it ain't happened yet. And something tells me DeLay's fighting spirit might be a little bruised, what with his job stolen out from under him. 2) "if he isn't excessively bloodied by the Abramoff scandal, which we can't know yet" Define "excessively." 3) "he will be in a position in a few years to replace Hastert as Speaker of the House" Ha. Aha-haha. So, the people who rushed to shiv DeLay, including former stalwarts like John Kline, are going to hurry to foist him back into a position where he can choose committee assigments. The generations of House Republicans who have been waiting for their turn to lead, like Eric Cantor, will sit back and let their old boss take over again. The 15-25 new Republicans elected in the next "few years" will feel some kind of allegiance to him. Oh, yeah. 4) "We've just spent the past several days reflecting on the political career of Ariel Sharon. Sharon staged a comeback from the total disgrace in which he fell in the mid-1980s." Do we remember what caused Sharon's fall from grace? Li'l bit different. Oh, and anyone who thinks otherwise "doesn't understand politics"?
Maybe Jeanine Pirro will have a shot at the Senate after all, because Hillary Clinton will surely see reason and retire from the Senate to begin a "listening tour" of America in preparation for her 2008 run. But Pirro will still face profound difficulties - among them, the question of whether George Pataki will decide to take a flier and make his own run for the seat.
Podhoretz should wisely decide to retreat for now to fight again another day.|W|P|113684553434037691|W|P|Johnfoolery|W|P|1/09/2006 11:44:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Some smart friend of K-Lo sez, in re: Tom DeLay:
Dems are like the dog that caught the car--they still don't know what to do and now they've lost their issue. Earle's case will fall apart sometime over the next few months and they won't have the Abramoff fallout they're all panting for. And attacking DeLay will get them nothing, but they will foolishly do it anyway. They will repeat all of Republicans 1998 mistakes, but Republicans are on an earlier road to recovery than Clinton was at this point in January 1998.
Yeah, and Harriet Miers is a Supreme Court justice. I was skeptical about the Democrats' "tackle the QB" strategy against DeLay. They had pursued it for several years and gathered no fruit, apart from some vote gains in DeLay's own district (not enough to beat him, obviously). In 2005 they marshalled the "put his wife on the payroll" story, the "expensive trips" story, and the Ronnie Earle laundering stories, and only the last scandal had started to take. They were in serious risk of shooting an elephant without killing it, and begging the return of an angrier, no less effective DeLay. Hugh Hewitt, as ever, had the most pro-GOP take (from 9/28/05):
A Texas prosecutor with a history of abuse of his office, Ronnie Earle, has indicted Tom DeLay. Earle is a sort of Jim Garrison without the integrity. Soon to follow: Giant MSM coverage, show trial, acquittal and exoneration, DeLay's return to Majority Leader for another 20 years.
That would have been a disaster for Democrats. This? Not a disaster. The "corrupt Tom DeLay" Dems howled about for years is now "disgraced former leader Tom DeLay." They have a cudgel to attack aspiring GOPers like Mark Kennedy or Bob Beauprez. Stop fooling yourselves, Republicans.|W|P|113682564985440210|W|P|Tomfoolery|W|P|1/09/2006 02:40:00 PM|W|P|Blogger John Tabin|W|P|Don't underestimate the "no DeLay to kick around" factor. He's better for the D's as a villain in leadership than as a historical cudgel (which is why I've been calling for his ouster for months). You don't think DeLay was so effective that it would have been better for Republicans to keep him in spite of the "currupt" label, do you? This is a zero sum game: It can't be good for the Dems to have DeLay as leader and good for the Dems to have DeLay kicked out of leadership.1/09/2006 03:07:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Tim|W|P|I completely agree. The elections are still nine months away, and "Remember that asshole who was in power last year? He sucked" ads are going to be much, much less effective than being able to point to active corruption in the Senate, and demanding change.1/09/2006 04:18:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|I always thought there was a possibility of DeLay being exonerated of one thing or another, which would have been humiliating for Democrats. If Earle's case fell apart in May or June, DeLay and his defenders could have hit the Dems for coming after him with these "discredited attacks."

I don't deny Democrats were probably hoping DeLay stuck around until mid-November 2006. But like I tried to imply, there's going to be some mojo left. Democrats, most notably Hillary Clinton, linked their opponents to Newt Gingrich in 2000, two years after he was kicked to the curb. "Attacking DeLay will get them nothing" is an idiotic statement. (And it impressed K-Lo! Somebody hold me!)1/12/2006 06:37:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Bruce Moomaw|W|P|Picking on Hewitt is rather like piking on a Down's Syndrome child (albeit a very well-paid one); but we should note Monday's decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (composed of nine judges, every one of them an elected Republican) NOT to throw out Earle's case against Delay.1/08/2006 09:34:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I have donated to two (2) political candidates in my time: Tim Kaine (Virginia) and Bernie Sanders (Vermont). Kaine - elected. Sanders - getting there. Up next: Bob Casey. Or maybe Ron Paul. *please don't google this phrase|W|P|113677419498260366|W|P|The Weigel factor*|W|P|1/10/2006 12:59:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Pat "Souljacker" King|W|P|I googled it. That was weird and scary. I'll listen to you next time.1/05/2006 02:36:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I'm not blogging much right now, for myriad reasons. But I've updated my "living CV" on the sidebar with some new articles. And I contributed to Popmatters' "Best of 2005" list, which led to this, which made my week.|W|P|113648994177383929|W|P|Alive|W|P|1/02/2006 03:13:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|In absence of real inspiration, and in the presence of some real deadlines, here are some scattered links to inaugurate 2006. - Possibly because only political junkies know who Scoop Jackson is, Pres. Harry Truman is the Democrat most-often invoked by Republicans to suggest the opposition used to be ok, but have since gone off the rails on a crazy train. So, this. - Mickey Kaus undersells Russ Feingold at his peril. By no means is he uncharasmatic. I have seen Feingold speak to a skeptical audience (not hostile, but they were waiting for McCain and wondering "who's this guy?"), work a room, and banter with reporters. He is quite charasmatic. To twist around the reference point of personality and politics - he's not the first guy you'd think to have a beer with, but you can see him living next to you, mowing his lawn, and coming over for barbeques. That's something Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton, who are supposed to be political "superstars," don't have. It's a cheesehead version of George Allen's "aw, shucks" personality, which we are assured is rocketing him to the the first tier of the 2008 GOP race.|W|P|113624755347327834|W|P|Hey, it's January|W|P|1/03/2006 04:02:00 AM|W|P|Blogger John Tabin|W|P|Truman, among other things, sent a liason to Hollywood to censor subversive movies and called movie producers to the White House and asked them to promote the Korean War. If Bush tried that, I sort of have a feeling he'd probably be accused of "try[ing] to control what our people... think."1/03/2006 01:10:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous kchiker|W|P|If Bush sent a liason to Iraq to pay newspapers to publish certain stories...or mused to Europeans about the bombing of a Middle Eastern media network...or put domestic pundits on the payroll...he might have some 'splainin to do. Oh wait....