Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Moderate Dems Driven from '08 Race

The Washington Times reports:

The Democratic presidential lineup tilted more to the left when former Virginia governor Mark Warner and Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh dropped out of the race for the 2008 nomination, party strategists say.

Both men were prominent advocates for a centrist Democratic agenda on national security and domestic policies. Their withdrawal from a dozen declared and potential candidates left behind a field of almost all liberal contenders for an office Democrats have won in only five out of the last 14 presidential elections.

Read the rest here.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Local Governments Blame Feds for Local Crime

The Washington Post reports:

Violent crime reports surged by nearly 4 percent in the first six months of 2006 when compared with the same time period a year earlier, including a dramatic increase of nearly 10 percent for robberies, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report.


The recent crime increases have prompted widespread criticism by police chiefs and state law enforcement officials around the country, who complain that the federal government has retreated from [redistributing] money and other help to localities in favor of programs focused on counterterrorism and homeland security.


Justice Department officials have previously rejected such criticisms, arguing that federal policies play a limited role in combating local crime. One senior Justice official called the 2005 statistics a "yellow flag" that did not represent a trend.

Imagine that, the federal government giving priority to federal issues when it comes to wealth redistribution.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

MySpace Blacklist Ridiculed

Our critique of the MySpace-will-pretend-it-can-blacklist-sex-predators legislation has been joined by newspapers throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Roanoke Times:

Sure, an offender could tell the state his e-mail is pervert@pornmail.com and his MySpace page is PotentialReoffender. But nothing prevents him from having a dozen accounts, all with innocuous sounding screen names and profiles.


McDonnell acknowledges that offenders could dupe the state but said they would face charges. As if a predator seeking to commit a despicable felonious act with a child will actually break a sweat worrying whether the commonwealth will discover he has an unregistered screen name.

In addition, the sad fact remains that the Internet is crawling with sexual predators who have never run afoul of the law and are not required to register on any government list.

The Bedford Bulletin:

Presumably, if a registered offender changed an e-mail address without notifying authorities, that would constitute a violation of their probation. But that could be difficult to monitor. What could be more practical would be to ban their use of access to the Internet altogether.

Ultimately the best chance children and teens have for safe Internet surfing is for their use to be closely monitored by parents.


Laws sound good, but good parenting makes the real difference.

The Virginian-Pilot (Hampton Roads):

McDonnell is right to be concerned about the issue, but if his loud endorsement causes parents to ease up on supervising children's Internet use, the effort will be worse than irrelevant. The idea is so ridiculously full of holes that any predator familiar with such obscure Internet technologies as Yahoo! and Google can get around it with a minute's effort.


The only predators McDonnell's effort will catch - and the only parents he will reassure - are those who don't know anything about the Internet.

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Incoming Intelligence Committee Chairman Will Need a Very Long Briefing

CNN reports:

Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped to head the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats take over in January, failed a quiz of basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two of the key terrorist organizations the intelligence community has focused on since the September 11, 2001 attacks.


In an interview with CNN, Stein said he was "amazed" by Reyes' lack of what he considers basic information about two of the major terrorists organizations.

"If you're the baseball commissioner and you don't know the difference between the Yankees and the Red Sox, you don't know baseball," Stein said. "You're not going to have the respect of the people you work with."


Pelosi picked Reyes over fellow Californian Rep. Jane Harman, who had been the Intelligence Committee's ranking member, and Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, who had been impeached as a federal judge after being accused of taking a bribe.

Read the details here.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Because Nobody Has Two Email Addresses

The Washington Times reports on the latest in feel-good legislation:

State Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell said yesterday he plans to propose legislation that would make Virginia the first in the nation to require sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and online names with the state.

Mr. McDonnell said he hopes the measure will help thwart sexual predators from trolling for victims online.

"We require all sex offenders to register their physical and mailing addresses in Virginia, but in the 21st century, it is just as critical that they register any e-mail addresses or [instant messenger] screen names," Mr. McDonnell said.

Social-networking sites have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, providing youngsters with a way to meet new friends worldwide. However, the sites also have given the estimated 50,000 sexual predators online at any given time a new venue to lure children by posing as a teen online.

Mr. McDonnell's proposal goes along with the efforts of the social-networking Web site MySpace.com, which last week said that it is developing software to cross-reference its 130 million users with databases of registered sex offenders.

"The bottom line is that if we can do a match between the state sex-offender registry and a MySpace account, we can block any sex offender from MySpace and keep the Internet safe for kids," Mr. McDonnell said.

The proposed legislation is doesn't even pass the laugh test. It would give politicians a false sense of accomplishment, give parents a false sense of security, and stop only the most stupid predators. Until legislators manage to abolish internet anonymity, predators will remain free to create as many email addresses as well as MySpace accounts that they want. There's nothing to stop a 60-year-old child molester from creating an email address and MySpace account claiming to be 15.
Mr. McDonnell said the new plan is not "foolproof" because convicted sex offenders can sign up under a different name and give false biographical information on the sites.
I'm glad to learn that Mr. McDonnell is not a complete idiot.

Perennial candidate John McCain, however, is worse:

(WaPo) Last week, Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced that they will seek federal legislation next year that would require all sex offenders to submit their e-mail addresses to law enforcement. That information would also be turned over to MySpace.

"Just like in our actual neighborhoods, sex offenders must make themselves known in our virtual neighborhoods as well," Schumer said in a statement.

That would combine the Virginia proposal's ignorance of the internet with the usual Congressional disregard for the role of states in criminal law.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Corrupt Democrat Congressman Re-Elected in Run-Off

The Washington Post reports:

Rep. William J. Jefferson may be a pariah in some Washington political circles, but voters in [New Orleans] weighed in over the weekend with their own verdict regarding their scandal-plagued congressman: He's still our guy.

Voters gave the Louisiana Democrat an emphatic reelection victory over state Rep. Karen Carter, even though his campaign had been weighted with revelations that federal authorities had videotaped him taking $100,000 in alleged bribe money, and that $90,000 of it had been found inside a freezer in his apartment in the District...

At least corrupt Republicans have the honor and decency to resign.
...his victory now poses a quandary for Democrats, some of whom have shunned him politically, and possibly also for the city. Leaders here seek to project an image of civic probity as they lobby for more federal money for recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
Money pit.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

War on Christmas Expands to War on "Holiday"

Seattle, Washington - 2,800 miles outside the Beltway

KIRO News reports:
All Holiday trees at Sea-Tac Airport were removed this morning after several community member complaints. They say the trees don't represent all cultures and religions...The trees will not go up again... The airport policy on decorations will be reviewed after the holidays.
I'm used to this kind of intolerant hatred being directed towards Christmas, but now "Holiday" too?

Update: KING5 News blames a litigious rabbi for ending the decade-old tradition.

Update, Dec. 12: BBC: "Festive trees back at US airport"

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's Campaign Season!

Tony Blankley writes in the Washington Times:

Our long national nightmare is nearly over. With Barack saying he might run, with Hillary reported to "be making phone calls to New Yorkers," with Evan Bayh and Sam Brownback getting less coy by the day and with Tom Vilsack actually announcing his candidacy (the correct pronunciation of his name "that's vill-sack, not vile sack"), the 2008 presidential campaign is about to start. The nightmare of not having a national campaign to talk about — now into its hideous 29th day — is almost over.

And what a relief. The cycle of election period followed by governing period followed by election period was getting seriously out of proportion. Election cycles may be vulgar, demagogic, hypocritical, mud-slinging exercises in misleading the American people and corrupting the democratic process — but they are essentially harmless. Those governing periods, however, are down right dangerous.

Campaigning is definitely better for the country than legislating.

Meanwhile, Congress shudders at the thought of working a 5-day week - that won't be good for anyone... except perhaps litigators.

Read the rest here.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Democrats Already Breaking Campaign Promises

They aren't even in power yet, but Congressional Democrats are already breaking one of their most frequently repeated promises - to enact all of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The Washington Post reports:

It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But with control of Congress now secured, Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation's intelligence agencies...

"Of all our recommendations, strengthening congressional oversight may be among the most difficult and important," the panel wrote. "So long as oversight is governed by current congressional rules and resolutions, we believe the American people will not get the security they want and need."


To the Sept. 11 commission, the call for congressional overhaul was vital, said former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean (R), the commission's co-chairman. Because intelligence committee membership affords lawmakers access to classified information, only intelligence committee members can develop the expertise to watch over operations properly, he said. But because the panels do not control the budget, intelligence agencies tend to dismiss them.

The Houston Chronicle also comments: Key Pelosi pledge hinges on if 'all' really means 'all'.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Administrative Incompetence Costs DC Millions

The Washington Post reports:

The District government faces up to $300 million in unanticipated expenditures over the next two years, presenting an early test for Mayor-elect Adrian M. Fenty and his pledge to improve service delivery without raising taxes.


But last week Fenty received a memo from D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi stating that the District is already $87 million over budget for fiscal 2007, which began Oct. 1. Projections for fiscal 2008 show the city is facing up to $215 million in higher-than-anticipated costs.

The reasons, according to the memo, are largely twofold: More people than expected are enrolled in city health-care programs, and two health-care agencies -- the Department of Mental Health and the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration -- routinely fail to submit the proper paperwork to receive federal reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare services.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

President Bush Still More Popular Than John Kerry

The Washington Times reports:

Rudolph W. Giuliani is the most popular politician in America, according to a new survey. The former New York City mayor, a likely candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, tops a list of 20 leaders whose popularity with registered voters was measured in a new survey by Quinnipiac University.


President Bush [came] in at number 15 with a 43.8 rating... [topping] 2004 rival Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, who finished 20th in the survey, with a 39.6 rating.


Survey respondents also named [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice as the most powerful woman in America, topping Mrs. Clinton 45 percent to 29 percent. Twenty-three percent selected Mrs. Pelosi.

Click here for the complete poll results.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gillespie Expected to Head Virginia GOP

The Washington Times reports:

Virginia Republicans say they expect Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, to be named the new head of the state party.


A New Jersey native who started his career on Capitol Hill as a Senate parking lot attendant, Mr. Gillespie has built a strong reputation as a Republican strategist.

In 1994, he was a top aide to then-Rep. Dick Armey, Texas Republican, and helped draft Republicans' "Contract with America," which many credit with winning Republicans control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.

In 2000, Mr. Gillespie served as a senior communications adviser for the presidential campaign of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush and as communications director for his 2001 inauguration.

Mr. Gillespie was a campaign strategist for Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2002. Mrs. Dole, North Carolina Republican, won by the biggest margin of victory of any Senate candidate in the state in more than 25 years.

From July 2003 to January 2005, he served as chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was the first chairman in 80 years to oversee the re-election of a Republican president while maintaining majorities in both chambers of Congress.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Remembering the American Civil War

The Washington Times has an interesting article reviewing how long it took the U.S. to get over the Civil War, even after it officially ended in 1865:

Although the Civil War was not fought -- at least initially -- to destroy slavery ... after the firing on Fort Sumter, the president invaded the South and after four years of horrendous and costly struggle (nearly 700,000 soldiers and civilians lost their lives) the South was conquered and after Lincoln's death, only five days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the Era of Reconstruction began.


During Reconstruction there were many Southern "insurgents" who totally rejected the new social order (Gen. Robert E. Lee, along with many of his followers, not among them) that the war had brought about and consequently they formed al Qaeda-like terrorist groups known as the Ku Klux Klan and numerous other such organizations, all determined that the new racial reality would not be respected, much less sustained. Members of these insurgent groups permeated every level of state governments, economic and social organizations. They were "states" within their respective states and feared by nearly everyone. That fear translated into force, a force only a few were willing to resist.

Union troops were removed from the South after the 1876 presidential election. After that, blacks and their small number of sympathetic white supporters were the constant victims of unimaginable horrors (mass lynchings, church and home bombings, etc.) which most of the elected civic authorities pretended were not even occurring.

...it can be argued that the American Civil War really did not effectively conclude until a century after the fighting had ended with the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).

Although comparisons to Iraq more than minimize the cost of the Civil War, the full article is worth reading.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Democrat Vows to Kill Social Security Reform

The AP reports:

The incoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Thursday he wants to hold hearings on looming insolvencies in the Medicare and Social Security programs but said President Bush's plan to [reform] Social Security is dead.

"Don't waste our time," said Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. "It's off the table."

He said the rising cost of Medicare and other health costs is a priority for the committee, though he did not detail how the committee would approach those problems. He said he will hold "vigorous" hearings on the issue.

So he admits there is a problem, has no solution, but won't even consider the one solution that has ever been seriously suggested. That leaves only one choice - continuously higher taxes.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Alito Delays Made No Difference

Last November we noted that the confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito were delayed for a month so that Senators could go home to campaign.

Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona won reelection by almost 10 points and Mike DeWine of Ohio lost by 12.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Democrats Plan to Increase Energy Costs and Combat Energy Independence

The AP reports on Democrat plans to increase energy costs and reliance on foreign oil:

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an outline of priorities over the first 100 hours of the next Congress in January, promises to begin a move toward greater energy independence "by rolling back the multibillion dollar subsidies for Big Oil."


Topping the list for repeal are:

-Tax breaks for refinery expansion and for geological studies to help oil exploration.

-A measure passed two years ago primarily to promote domestic manufacturing. It allows oil companies to take a tax credit if they chose to drill in this country instead of going abroad.

Democrats say neither tax benefit should be needed for an industry reaping large profits at today's high crude oil prices.

Deregulation might be a better solution to the lack of refining capacity, but that seems to be complicated by state regulations as well.

Tax breaks are very useful for promoting domestic energy exploration and encouraging development of resources that might not otherwise be economical to access. Just because oil companies are able to make money doesn't mean they will (or should) put any of it into otherwise unprofitable or barely profitable ventures.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Queen to Visit Jamestown

The Washington Times reports:

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will visit Virginia in May to mark the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America, the queen announced yesterday.

The trip to the site of the Jamestown Settlement will be the fourth state visit to the United States for the queen and her husband.

The queen briefly announced the planned visit during her annual speech to Parliament, when she was outlining the government's legislative program for the coming session.


President Bush, in Moscow yesterday, said he hoped the visit would celebrate strong relations between the U.S. and Britain.

"The United States and the United Kingdom enjoy an extraordinary friendship that is sustained by deep historical and cultural ties and a commitment to defend freedom around the world," Mr. Bush said. "We look forward to her majesty's state visit as an occasion to celebrate these enduring bonds."


Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine welcomed the news from London, where he is in the midst of a four-nation trade and tourism [junket].


The Jamestown Settlement began as a business venture by a group of merchants operating under a charter granted by King James I in 1606.


The queen's last visit to the United States was in May 1991 to meet with the first President Bush. The earlier state visits were in 1957 and 1976.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Lieberman Pledges Independence

The Boston Globe reports:

Sen. Joe Lieberman on Sunday repeated his pledge to caucus with Senate Democrats when the 110th Congress convenes in January, but refused to slam the door on possibly moving to the Republican side of the aisle.

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" if he might follow the example of Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont, who left the Republicans in 2001 and became an independent, ending Republican control of the U.S. Senate, Lieberman refused to discount the possibility.

"I'm not ruling it out but I hope I don't get to that point," he said. "And I must say -- and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut -- nobody ever said, 'We're doing this because we want you to switch over. We want you to do what you think is right and good for our state and country,' and I appreciate that."

...Lieberman was elected to a fourth term last Tuesday as an independent, and said Sunday his political affiliation will be as an "Independent Democrat."

The Democrats won control of the Senate with 51 seats. Lieberman and newly elected Bernie Sanders of Vermont are the Senate's only Independents.

A switch to the Republicans would bring the Senate to a 50-50 division, giving Republican Vice President Dick Cheney opportunities to break tie votes.

Senator Lieberman would find himself more welcomed by Republicans than Democrats. The Connecticut primary is proof of that.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Steele Could Lead RNC?

WBOC reports:

Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele says he would be interested in chairing the Republican National Committee, if the job offer comes his way.

Steele spoke on C-SPAN'S "Washington Journal" show on Sunday.

The Republican says he doesn't know who will be the new chair, but it's something he is considering if the opportunity presents itself.

Steele says he hasn't had any conversations with the White House yet about the job. He says he'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

Hopefully there is more to this than a random interview question.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

More on the Election

From AEI:
[The Virginia Senate race] may be one of the most hilariously ironic races in the country. National Democrats are slamming the incumbent Republican senator George Allen for his fondness for Confederate memorabilia. Yet their candidate Webb genuinely is what Allen merely pretends to be: His great-great-grandfather rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest's murderous cavalry; Webb, who has often spoken eloquently in praise of the southern soldiery, named his own son after Robert E. Lee. Talk about your red-state appeal!
It's a good article overall, concluding:
[Democrats] will find themselves again and again confronted by the hard reality that over the long run the only way to seem tough on defence is to be tough on defence.
As well as:
...America's friends and foes abroad will be startled to discover that [the election] was a sharp move toward the Democratic party--without any move at all to the political or ideological left.
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Real Election Results

Rush Limbaugh had this to say about yesterdays elections:
...it wasn't conservatism that lost. Conservatism won when it ran as a Democrat. It won in a number of places. Republicanism lost. RINO Republicans, country club blue-blood Republicans, this nonpartisan Republican identity, that's what went down in flames.
Democrats, in the process, lost all hope of having an identity.

Forbes adds:
[The Democrat leadership] will also have to contend with the influx of a large number of conservative Democrats, many of whom are pro-life, anti-tax and staunchly opposed to illegal immigrants. Recruited to win in red districts, they are likely to clash with the decided liberal party leadership.
Gridlock and a conservative majority might be the best thing that could happen to Congress.

And from Time:
...the vote increases the onus on Democrats to go beyond merely criticizing the President and show voters they have a constructive agenda of their own.
Good luck with that.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Webb of Deception

From the Washington Times:

In this age of political cynicism, it is unremarkable that a politician would change his position on an issue, or even take conflicting positions. But Jim Webb's transformation from the nominally conservative Republican who served as the Reagan administration's secretary of the Navy to a left-wing Democratic Senate candidate rivals St. Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. Divine intervention, of course, is one possibility. A more likely explanation, however, is that the public persona Mr. Webb presents is actually a fabrication, as carefully crafted as any character in the novels he has penned.

The shift is truly remarkable. He once refused to shake John Kerry's hand, and in a 2004 USA Today editorial wrote that his 1971 Senate testimony had "defamed a generation of honorable men." Now he trumpets Mr. Kerry's endorsement. He once called the Clinton Administration among "the most corrupt" in modern history in one of many attacks aimed at the former president. Now he has Bill Clinton host a fundraiser. Mr. Webb served in one of the most conservative administrations in American history. Today, he has embraced the entire agenda of the Democratic Party's far-left wing.

In fairness, Mr. Webb has remained extremely consistent on some issues. One example is his disdain for women in military service...

The evidence of that disdain is too lengthy to quote. Read it all here, including Webb's opposition to a memorial (a mere statue) to the 10,000 women who served in Vietnam.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Metro Puts Train Times Online

The Washington Post reports:

Tired of rushing to the Metro station only to see your train pulling away and the platform sign saying the next one is in 12 minutes? Good news.

Riders will now be able to find out when trains are arriving at stations before hoofing it to the platform. A new Metro technology provides real-time information on computers and Web-enabled wireless devices, such as BlackBerries and cellphones.

Read it all here.

It won't be of much use at rush hour(s) or if you're anywhere but just outside the station, but there could be situations when it helps. It would also be nice if they would just post the arrival times outside the fare gates, but that might provoke stampedes as well.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Moran: Terrorists Can't Read

The Washington Post reports on efforts to secure federal buildings. La République populaire d'Alexandrie's own Jim Moran had this to say:
The terrorists don't know who's in what office building, and even if they knew, they couldn't locate them because of all those acronyms.
Ummm. Ok.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Webb: Reading My Writing is a "'Line That Should Never Be Crossed"

The Washington Post reports:

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate James Webb yesterday delivered his strongest criticism of incumbent Sen. George Allen of the fall campaign, vigorously defending himself against Allen's charges that he wrote sex-laced passages in his fiction novels.

He called on voters to reject what he called the "smear tactics" of Allen and his campaign, who released excerpts Thursday from Webb's novels to the Drudge Report Web site and said the writings were lurid and inappropriate for a man seeking to serve in the Senate.


"When George Allen and his campaign take some small excerpts from my novels and not only criticizes them but uses them to question my ethics, my profession, my character, that is a line that should never be crossed," Webb said at Edgar Allen Poe Middle School in Annandale.

Webb is really really whiny for a candidate who tries to portray himself as a tough guy. He sounds more like he belongs in middle school than politics. (And he hasn't explained the relationship between child molestation and combat yet either.)

Senator Allen explains it best:

Allen, speaking to reporters near Richmond yesterday after winning the endorsement of the National Rifle Association's political action committee, said Webb's career as an author of fictional works was part of his record.

"My record as a United States senator is an open book. My opponent has a record as well," Allen told reporters. "He, in his advertisements, points out that he's an author, that he's a writer of books. That's part of his record. These passages in his books are part of his open record. I'll let the people of Virginia be the judge as to whose record they are more comfortable with."

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

How Senatorial

An actual press release from the Webb campaign:
George Allen: You Have Not Earned the Right to Question Jim Webb’s Recollections of War – So Just Shut Up
Apparently that was in reference to those of us who question the use of explicit scenes of child molestation in Jimmy Webb's books.

It is disturbing that Webb can't seem to tell the difference between combat and child molestation (or even fruit molestation).

Then again, Webb's attitude wouldn't stand out alongside John Kerry.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kerry Insults U.S. Armed Forces

ABC News reports:

While stumping for local Democrats in California, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., addressed students at Pasadena City College and made a comment about education and the war in Iraq that lent itself to much controversy.

"You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," he said.


"I believe Sen. Kerry owes an apology to many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered their country's call," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., campaigning in Indiana.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said, "It tells us what John Kerry himself and the Democratic Party think about the troops and the U.S. military."


A Democratic congressman told ABC News Tuesday, "I guess Kerry wasn't content blowing 2004, now he wants to blow 2006, too."

He's not trying to blow anything, he just accidentally said what establishment Democrats believe.

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Allen's Democrat Stalker Captured

WTOP reports:

Mike Stark, a liberal blogger and first-year University of Virginia law student, approached Allen at an event in Charlottesville, loudly asking, "Why did you spit at your first wife, George?" according to witnesses.

Three men, all wearing blue Allen lapel stickers, immediately grabbed Stark, dragged him backward and slung him to the carpet outside a hotel meeting room, according to video captured by WVIR-TV in Charlottesville.


In a Monday posting [his blog], he hinted that he would attempt to provoke Allen before the TV cameras.

As a confessed stalker, Mr. Stark should be carefully investigated before he fails the bar.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

The Non-Contract With America

From the Wall Street Journal:

A joke in Washington these days is that the only thing that can save the Republicans on Election Day is the Democrats. House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi seems to get this joke, because with few exceptions she's kept her Members tight-lipped and unspecific: As New York Senator Chuck Schumer has put it, why take the focus off the GOP?

This is in notable contrast to 1994, when the Gingrich Republicans ended a 40-year Democratic House majority by laying out a 10-item agenda known as the Contract with America. What Democrats are campaigning on this year is a Non-Contract with America--mostly generalities about "helping the middle class" and "ending the corruption in Washington."

The article summarizes the main overlooked Democrat plans: tax increases, overregulation, and higher energy costs.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Just Say No"

Sellersburg, Indiana - 620 miles outside the Beltway

The Washington Times reports on a campaign rally:

Swooping into a Republican stronghold that on Election Day will be an early harbinger of whether Republicans hold control of Congress, [President George W.] Bush led the crowd in a chant that gave new meaning to an old Reagan-era slogan.

"The Democrats in Washington follow a simple philosophy: Just say no," the president said.

"When it comes to listening in on the terrorists, what's the Democratic answer? Just say no. When it comes to detaining terrorists, what's the Democrat answer?" Mr. Bush asked.

"Just say no!" the crowd shouted.

"So when the Democrats ask for your vote on Nov. 7, what are you going to say?"

"Just say no!" the audience replied.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Webb: Don't Read My Books

CNSNews reports: Jimmy "Towel-Head" Webb begins to admit his sickness:

In an interview on Washington Post Radio Friday morning, Jim Webb, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia, said excerpts of his novels are "a little bit inappropriate" to be read on news radio.

"I don't know why you're reading that on WTOP," Webb told host Mark Plotkin. "I think it's a little bit inappropriate."

Plotkin was reading an excerpt from Webb's novel "Something to Die For," in which Webb describes a female stripper performing sexual acts with a banana.


Among the excerpts is a scene from the 2002 novel "Lost Soldiers," in which a man embraces his four-year-old son and places the boy's penis in his mouth.

Webb said the release of the excerpts was "a Karl Rove campaign tactic" and a "classic example of the way this campaign has worked. It's smear after smear."

Reading your own words back to you isn't smear, it's reporting.

The Post adds, deep in their mistitled article:

"Jim Webb right now is spending time defending himself, defending his honor against an attack that suggests he writes really salacious, disgusting things," said Mark Rozell, a professor of politics at George Mason University. "That can't be good at all."


Andrea Lafferty, the executive director of the Traditional Values Conference, issued a statement calling for Webb to withdraw and said she was personally "sickened" by what she read.

"Mr. Webb had total control over which words he wrote into his book," Lafferty wrote Friday. "He chose to write about the basest sexual acts rather than use the books as an opportunity to present something which was uplifting or illuminating."

Webb should follow ex-Congressman Mark Foley's example - drop out and check himself into rehab.

In the mean time, just remember, if Webb asks for a banana split, run away.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

What is Wrong with James Webb?

The Drudge Report has a shocking story on the writings of the Virginia Democrats' Senate candidate James/Jim/Jimmy "Towel-Head" Webb. The excerpts themselves are not appropriate for repetition here.

Besides graphic depictions of child molestation, another question is raised:

Webb’s novels disturbingly and consistently – indeed, almost uniformly – portray women as servile, subordinate, inept, incompetent, promiscuous, perverted, or some combination of these. In novel after novel, Webb assigns his female characters base, negative characteristics. In thousands of pages of fiction penned by Webb, there are few if any strong, admirable women or positive female role models.

Why does Jim Webb refuse to portray women in a respectful, positive light, whether in his non-fiction concerning their role in the military, or in his provocative novels? How can women trust him to represent their views in the Senate when chauvinistic attitudes and sexually exploitive references run throughout his fiction and non-fiction writings?

The timing suggests that nobody has actually made it through his books before, and that even the opposition research folks had a hard time.

Click here for the full story.

Click here for why the Washington Post will bury this story.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

The "Bush" Economic Expansion

The Washington Times reports:
When Americans enter the voting booth next month, they will do so at the beginning of the sixth year of the Bush economic expansion, which commenced in November 2001 following an eight-month recession. Over the past 60 years, there have been 10 U.S. economic expansions, which represent periods of sustained economic growth reflected in rising levels of gross domestic product (GDP), income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales. The current expansion is now the fourth longest since the end of World War II.
For a fairly detailed overview of the underreported economic expansion (or as Democrats put it, "economic collapse"), read the full article here.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Webb Calls Arabs "Towel-Heads"

Jimmy Webb, candidate for Senate from Virginia, recently used the racial epithet "towel-heads" to describe Arabs in an interview. He was quoted by the Washington Post, but on the third page of an article about rednecks.

Commonwealth Conservative reports on the story, because you aren't going to see this make a real headline. It's from someone currently describing himself as a Democrat after all.

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Small Town Welcomes Wal-Mart

The Washington Times reports:

Kilmarnock, or "Kil-MAH-nick," is an hourlong drive from a Starbucks coffee shop, train station or taxis, and a 30-minute drive to a Wal-Mart.

But not for long.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to build a 155,000-square-foot "superstore," with grocery, bakery and deli departments, on 64 acres at the north end of this quiet Northern Neck community.


Supporters -- families, younger shoppers, the town government -- are rolling out the welcome mat for economic growth. They say they want quick access to basic goods that aren't easy to find in town, such as children's clothes, socks and shower curtains.

The prospect of actual competition is already improving local businesses:

A sporting goods store on Main Street, Sports Centre, is changing its focus to team sales, including uniforms and trophies. Up the street, Farm & Home Supply is pushing harder to please the customer and turning from from products Wal-Mart carries.

"We don't have the buying power that big boxes have," says William Pittman, manager of Farm & Home Supply.

Instead of trying to compete on price, a battle it knows it can't win, Farm & Home will rely on customer service, repairs and knowledge of its products, Mr. Pittman says.

Sports Centre has cleared out its supply of low-cost baseball mitts and now carries the high-priced mitts that Wal-Mart does not.


Some shoppers say Wal-Mart will bring needed competition to the Main Street retailers, many of which have a monopoly.

"The shops here have retooled their business to cater to the middle-to-upscale shopper," Mayor Curtis H. Smith says. "They're not after the ordinary citizens. I'll catch some criticism for that, but that's the truth."

Residents can find antiques, upscale clothes, appliances, sports gear, books, office supplies, bicycles and pharmaceuticals on Main Street. But children's clothes, school supplies and products such as socks, towels, thread and crafts typically require a trip outside town.

And where do such shoppers go? Wal-Mart. There is one about 40 miles north, in Tappahannock, or 30 miles south, in Gloucester.

So the new store's biggest impact will probably be saving gas.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Democrat Staffer Suspended in Leak Probe

The Washington Post reports:
The Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence suspended a mid-level Democratic staffer Tuesday based on a suspicion that he may have been connected to the leak of a [classified] intelligence report almost a month ago, according to Republican and Democratic congressional sources.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Republican Takeover of Democrat Party Progresses

The Washington Post reports:

Paul Morrison, a career prosecutor who specializes in putting killers behind bars, has the bulletproof résumé and the rugged looks of a law-and-order Republican, which is what he was until last year. That was when he announced he would run for [Kansas] attorney general -- as a Democrat.

...In a state that voted nearly 2 to 1 for President Bush in 2004, nine former Republicans will be on the November ballot as Democrats. Among them is Mark Parkinson, a former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, who changed parties to run for lieutenant governor with the popular Democratic governor, Kathleen Sebelius.


"It's really more about them than it is about the party," Freeman said. "They obviously feel the Democratic Party is weak enough that, without any history in the party, they can be front-runners in the party."

Before the Democrats realize what's happened, Republicans will be running both parties. And Howard Dean will have paid for it:
The Democratic National Committee is spending money and sending staff to Kansas as part of Chairman Howard Dean's much-debated 50-state strategy of extending the party's influence in unlikely places. The DNC will not reveal its spending or the size of the staff, but a spokesman said the infusion permits a statewide organizing effort not possible before.
Meanwhile, the Times also reports on Democrats running away from Pelosi.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Webb's False Attacks Condemned

The Washington Times notes:

Attack ads are one thing, but blatantly erroneous attack ads should be exposed for the political tricks they are. One such ad is Democrat James Webb's current "Steer" commercial alleging financial misdeeds by Sen. George Allen -- which Mr. Webb should promptly retract. The ad wrongly claims that Mr. Allen "tried to steer government contracts to a company that paid him in stock options," wrongly claims that Mr. Allen "hid those options for years" and wrongly claims that the options are worth $1.1 million. None of this is true.

First, the alleged "steering" of contracts -- it never happened. We're not sure what Mr. Webb's campaign is talking about here; nothing of the sort has ever even been alleged, except for this new ad...

Second, the alleged "hiding" -- this also never happened...

How could the Webb campaign think people wouldn't detect all this? They probably think voters are just too distracted by the flurry of charge-counterchange to understand and really care about the truth. Don't be fooled by such election-year tricksterism.

Webb can't run on the issues. He would have to take a position on them.

Read it all here.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Thought of the Day:
It is amazing how many people you can see walking around under umbrellas when it isn't actually raining.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Democrats Would Raise Taxes on Everyone

The Washington Times reports:

[T]he ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, New York Rep. Charles B. Rangel, just about guaranteed tax increases if his party takes over the House after Nov. 7. Asked whether Democrats would consider raising taxes across the whole spectrum of income, Mr. Rangel said, "No question about it."

Some Republicans say Mr. Rangel and his party will soon regret those words.

"Republican tax cuts have removed lots of low-income Americans from the tax rolls, so is Charlie Rangel telling those low-income folks if he and the Democrats take over, they'll put those folks back on the tax rolls?" said American Conservative Union Chairman David A. Keene. "So is he saying his supposed constituency will get to pay taxes again?"

With Democrats still whining about the Republicans' across the board tax cuts and promising more and more wasteful federal spending, that's a fairly obvious "yes".

According to "one senior Republican adviser":
...there are 42 million middle-class families with children, and if [the] tax cuts are allowed to expire or are repealed, each such taxpayer stands to lose 2,000 bucks out of his pocket...
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jimmy Webb Running for Senate in Taiwan?

The Washington Post reports on their favorite Republicrat trying to get past his embarrasing lack of knowledge about both Virginia and the U.S. Navy, by playing with maps:
Allen, who stumped Webb this summer during the first debate with a question about a port project on Craney Island in the Hampton Roads area, was left almost speechless Monday when Webb queried him about the Senkaku Islands off the coast of Taiwan. "I'll have to study it," a clearly baffled Allen said. Webb then lectured him about the island's strategic importance to Southeast Asia.
Webb seems to think that looking up some uninhabited islands on the other side of the world makes up for him (a former Navy secretary) not knowing about the Navy's largest refueling station.

It might work if he was running for office in Taiwan.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

One Quarter of DC Drivers Looking for a Parking Spot

In an article on mass transit for tourists, the Washington Times notes:
The Circulator is part of the transportation department's continuous effort to reduce congestion in downtown, about one-[fourth] of which consists of drivers circling the area while looking for parking spaces.
Maybe it's time for parking on the Mall.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lawyer "Respectfully Demands" Censorship

From a lawyer somewhere in Oklahoma:
I respectfully demand that you cease any further efforts to identify our client with these alleged Ims and cease publishing such information...
What did the guy do? He figured out the name of one of the pages who exchanged IMs with ex-Rep. Foley. It's not classified information. It doesn't threaten national security. It's news. Stupid news, but news.

And how can you "respectfully demand" anything?

Click here for the details.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Unemployment Down, Wages Up

The Washington Times reports:

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent last month, down from 4.7 in August, and average wages rose by 4 percent over the previous year -- the best performance for both measures in five years.

The monthly Labor Department report released yesterday revealed that 51,000 new jobs ... stronger than reported earlier for the previous year and a half.

Expect Democrats to call the report evidence of economic collapse.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Growing Economy Continues to Shrink Deficit

The AP reports:

The federal budget deficit estimate for the fiscal year just completed has dropped to $250 billion, congressional estimators said Friday, as the economy continued to fuel impressive tax revenues.

The Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate is $10 billion below CBO predictions issued in August and well below a July White House prediction of $296 billion.

...when measured against the size of the economy, which is the comparison economists think is most important, the deficit picture looks even better.

At 1.9 percent of gross domestic product, the 2006 deficit registers far below those seen in the 1980s and early 1990s. The modern record of 6 percent of GDP came in 1983 and deficits greater than 4 percent in 1991 and 1992 drove Congress to embark on a 1993 deficit-cutting drive.

It would be interesting to know what amount of the higher tax receipts came from oft-maligned "big oil".

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One Small Step for a Man

The BBC reports:

For nearly 40 years Neil Armstrong has been accused of fluffing his lines during his first steps on the Moon.

On tapes of the Moon landings, he appears to drop the "a" from the famous quote: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

But new analysis of the tapes has proved Mr Armstrong right after all.


Mr Armstrong says that he came up with the phrase in the hours between the touchdown of the lunar module and his first steps onto the Moon's surface.

But without the missing "a", the meaning of the quote is lost. In effect, the line means: "That's one small step for mankind, one giant leap for mankind."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

And He's Gone!

JBITB claims victory as Metro interim General Manager Dan Tangherlini accepts a previously floated offer to become D.C. city administrator.

This ends his incessant campaign to drop the "interim" from his title - a campaign marked by more bad ideas than I want to think about. D.C., he's all yours.

Now, let's hope they can find someone devoted to improving commutes, not making them worse.

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Groundbreaking for Victims of Communism Memorial

The Washington Post reports:

In China's Tiananmen Square, the "Goddess of Democracy" created by student activists was demolished by communist tanks during the historic uprising in 1989. Now a 10-foot bronze copy of the statue is being erected in downtown Washington as a permanent tribute to the estimated 100 million people killed by various communist regimes.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Victims of Communism Memorial was held yesterday at the site, a wedge of federal land where G Street NW meets Massachusetts and New Jersey avenues, near Union Station. The event drew about 100 people, including ambassadors and other officials from Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Reading both the Washington Times and Post articles finds an intesting pair of dueling quotes:
"Today, we proclaim that communism is indeed dead, but we will never forget those who communism murdered during its brief life on this planet," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, who sponsored the legislation that authorized the memorial.
Yet in the Post:

David Lee, Taiwan's representative in Washington, said the memorial will also remind people that the fight against communism is not over.

"We are still in a confrontational situation with communist China," Lee said, as he waited his turn yesterday to help shovel a bit of the earth. "That's the reason we think we need to be here."

The Times adds:

An inscription on the front pedestal of the memorial will read: "To the more than one hundred million victims of communism and to those who love liberty."

On the back pedestal, it will read: "To the freedom and independence of all captive nations and peoples."

The project was initially conceived as a $100 million bricks-and-mortar structure, similar to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

But various issues, including fundraising and location problems, forced organizers in 2003 to scale back the project to a memorial near the Capitol.

Officials originally hoped to build the statue on a 6,900-square-foot tract behind the Supreme Court in Northeast before advisory neighborhood commissioners disapproved in February 2005...

The dedication of the memorial is scheduled for June to coincide with the 20th anniversary of President Reagan's famed "tear down this wall" speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Only in New Jersey

The Washington Times reports on a question on many minds - whether New Jersey Democrats will abandon their chosen candidate when polls look bad, and whether they'll pull a patently illegal stunt like in 2002:

Senate Democrats said they won't try to replace Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, despite new accusations of corruption that surfaced yesterday in the Democratic incumbent's already tough re-election race.


A Menendez fundraiser and confidant was heard on a newly released tape pressuring a government contractor to hire a person as "a favor" to Mr. Menendez, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday.


Earlier this month, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that federal investigators are looking into a rental deal between Mr. Menendez and a nonprofit agency that received millions in federal funding while he was a House member.


The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), meanwhile, has a legal team ready to fight any last-minute Democratic effort to replace Mr. Menendez on the ballot, as the party did in 2002, when it ousted embattled Democratic Sen. Robert G. Torricelli in favor of Frank R. Lautenberg, a Democrat who went on to win the Senate election.

"Democrats have a track record in New Jersey of pulling last-minute stunts," said William McGinley, NRSC's general counsel.

I can't think of another state where this question would even be asked.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Senator Takes On Global Warming Hype

Senator James Inhofe on the Senate floor Monday:

Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930’s the media peddled a coming ice age.

From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.

Much more here, with charts and everything. Then there's the media hysteria (and non-attention) that followed.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Senate Democrats Sit Out National Security Debate

The Washington Times reports:

As Republicans patch up their differences over how to handle the terrorism suspects held at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, they are turning their sights on Democrats in time for the November elections.

Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell on Friday took issue with Minority Leader Harry Reid over his comments earlier in the week that Democrats were "on the sidelines watching the catfights" among Republicans on terrorism legislation.

"The minority leader indicated that they were sitting on the sidelines during our internal discussion about how best to craft this proposal," the Kentucky Republican told reporters gathered in his office. "I don't think sitting on the sidelines in the war on terror is a good idea. We have to have as much bipartisan cooperation as possible."

Don't hold your breath.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Democrats Take Stand Against Legitimate Elections

Reuters reports:

In a move to crack down against illegal immigrants voting in U.S. elections, the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to require Americans to provide proof of U.S. citizenship to vote in federal elections.

Democratic opponents said the bill would discourage eligible voters. But it passed with overwhelming support of Republicans who argued that it would prevent fraud and stop illegal immigrants from casting ballots in U.S. elections.

"Those who are in this country illegally want the same rights as United States citizens without obeying the laws of our land," Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Florida Republican, said during the House debate. "We should not let these criminals defraud our election system by allowing them to vote."

The legislation passed on a largely party-line vote of 228-196 and although immigration issues are a hot topic in this year's congressional elections, it has little chance of winning Senate agreement before the November 7 vote.

The bill would require voters to present a photo identification to vote in federal elections in 2008. By 2010 the photo identification would also have to show the voter is a U.S. citizen.


John Trasvina of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund accused Republicans of bringing the measure up so they could use it in campaign ads against political foes.

"It would certainly make a nice 30 second ad. Somebody's opponent saying, 'He voted against a bill that requires only U.S. citizens to vote,"' said Trasvina.

That does make a nice ad, and an honest one.

But we wouldn't want to intimidate illegal voters, would we?

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Die Hard Comes to Baltimore

WTOP reports:

The production company for the fourth 'Die Hard' film, tentatively titled "Live Free or Die Hard," has set up shop in Baltimore for a weeklong shoot, starting Saturday.

Star Bruce Willis once again plays NYPD detective John McClane, who battled European terrorists in an L.A. high-rise in "Die Hard" (1988), drug-world terrorists at D.C.'s Dulles airport in "Die Hard 2" (1990) and the brother of the lead terrorist from the first film in "Die Hard With a Vengeance."

In his latest battle, Willis takes on techno-terrorists who are trying to shut down the nation's computer systems on the Fourth of July.

The movie is scheduled for release in June 2007.

If you count Hostage and 16 Blocks, this should at least be Die Hard 6.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

DC Speed-Cameras Working?

The Washington Times reports:

The District's automated speed-camera program caught an all-time low monthly percentage of speeding motorists last month, the third time this year a record percentage was reported.

Just 1.7 percent of the 2.3 million vehicles monitored in the District were caught speeding in August -- the lowest monthly percentage since the speed cameras were introduced in July 2001, according to police statistics. By comparison, 30.9 percent of monitored vehicles were caught speeding during the program's inaugural month.


The monthly percentage of motorists caught speeding has decreased steadily since the cameras were implemented. The previous low, 1.9 percent, was set in June, the first time the monthly percentage was less than 2 percent.

More here.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

No Cartoon Jihad for Virginia

The Washington Times reports on University of Virginia cartoons that with any non-Christian target would be labeled a hate crime. I will not describe them here, but it should be noted that despite the controversy/blasphemy/poor taste, embassies won't be burned. Jihads will not be launched. The University of Virginia's reputation will decline, but a billion screaming Christians won't target it for destruction.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Maryland Court Rules Against Democrats... Again

The Washington Post reports:

A Maryland appeals court ruled today that the [Democrat-dominated] General Assembly overstepped its constitutional powers in firing members of the state's embattled Public Service Commission this summer.

Legislators can lawfully have a say in the appointment of prospective members of the commission, which approves electricity rate increases, but they cannot fire existing members who are appointed by the governor, the court ruled.

The court said only the governor has that right to fire these members. "Such an attempt [to remove commission members] is an unconstitutional usurpation by the Legislature of an executive power," the court said in its opinion.

The judicial smackdown continues. Hopefully Maryland voters will take notice of their legislators' incompetence.

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Webb on Women

The Washington Post reports on James Webb, Virginia Democrats' nominee for Senate:

In the Washingtonian magazine article, "Women Can't Fight," the ex-Marine Webb wrote of the brutal conditions during the Vietnam War and argued against letting women into combat. Allen's campaign zeroed in on passages in which Webb described one of the academy's coed dorms as "a horny woman's dream" and said that he had never met a woman he "would trust to provide . . . combat leadership."

Linda G. Postenrieder, a 1982 Naval Academy graduate and a registered Democrat from California, said the article "infected the brigade with hate and divisive anger." Lisa Stolle, an academy graduate from Virginia Beach, said that for women, Webb's article "was like throwing gasoline" on a fire.


"This article was brandished repeatedly. [Men] quoted and used it as an excuse to mistreat us," said Kathleen Murray, a 1984 academy graduate who rose to commander in the Navy and retired to Norfolk.

Commonwealth Conservative has more.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Air America Bankrupt?

Air America, a favorite radio network of extreme leftists, is expected to declare bankruptcy.

I'm still not sure how they thought they could compete with government and corporate-funded NPR.

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The Democrats' Uphill Battle

Rich Galen figures Democrats have to bat .762 to take the House this year. His column looks at several recent developments and is well worth reading.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

White Democrats Protest Ethnic Rally

Democrat attempts at voter intimidation took a disturbing (yet somehow amusing) turn in Virginia this weekend. A "handful" of lily-white Democrats (likely Webb staffers) protested what they called a "monkey fest" - a diverse gathering of hundreds of northern Virginians "of Filipino, Indian, Iranian, Taiwanese and Vietnamese descent, among others".

More here.

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The President's Address

For anyone that missed it, the President's Address to the Nation last night is highly recommended. Here's a brief excerpt:
Since the horror of 9/11, we've learned a great deal about the enemy. We have learned that they are evil and kill without mercy -- but not without purpose. We have learned that they form a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Islam -- a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. And we have learned that their goal is to build a radical Islamic empire where women are prisoners in their homes, men are beaten for missing prayer meetings, and terrorists have a safe haven to plan and launch attacks on America and other civilized nations. The war against this enemy is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Coke Returns to Afghanistan

In a very fitting story for today, Coca-Cola returns to Afghanistan:

After the Taliban's collapse in 2001 and the election of President Hamid Karzai the following year, the people of Afghanistan were able to welcome back many once-forbidden images – beautiful Islamic art, the sights of females with schoolbooks and children flying balloons.

Now Karzai is welcoming another once "heretical" symbol: The red-and-white calligraphy of the Coca-Cola logo.


International entities are currently weighing the benefits and dangers of returning to post-Taliban Afghanistan. For Coca-Cola, the opportunity comes with [text missing in original]. The beverage and its iconic logo have long epitomized the American way -- the bubbly refresher was even banned by Hitler and Stalin.

More here.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Sounds of September 11th

For those of us who weren't in New York on September 11, 2001, Peggy Noonan has an interesting piece on the sounds of 9/11. It goes beyond that, but the descriptions go beyond what could be comprehended through television reporting.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Democrats vs. Disney

Democrats were looking for a new target of their hatred. They seem to have picked... Disney.

In Virginia, Democrats are thinking a little differently. Instead of going after cartoons, they're attacking a gathering of local ethnic groups, or as the Webb campaign calls them, a "Monkey Fest".

Update, Sept. 9: Robert Novak writes:

The unusual Democratic outrage over ABC-TV's "The Path to 9/11" film to be shown Sunday and Monday reflects private concern in the party that the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack can reverse the political tide running against Republicans.

The highly partisan Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York composed a tough letter to Robert A. Iger, CEO of Walt Disney (ABC's parent company). The letter cites two scenes from the program casting doubt on the Clinton administration's legacy in fighting terrorism.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dumbest Poll Ever

CBS News via Drudge:
Do Americans feel safer now than before 9/11? For many, the answer is no, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll.
Americans shouldn't feel safer now than before 9/11 and it would be disturbing if they did. Before 9/11, most Americans simply weren't paying attention.

I can't think of a dumber poll.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pro-Illegal Immigration Protestors Lack the Dedication to Protest in Summer

Following last April's Laziest Protest Ever, the Washington Post reports that more pro-illegal immigration protests are planned, but not until the weather cools down.


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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Schools That Eats Post-it Notes

The Washington Post reviews some of the random crap area students are expected to bring to school this year. Among them are Post-it Notes, a French-English dictionary that serves as a Spanish-English dictionary, and a single dry-erase marker from each student.

The interesting bits are too spread out to quote effectively, but a few observations are needed:

1. Post-it Notes? Really?

2. It's terribly inefficient to have students supplying their teachers. A school can probably get 300 markers for what 30 students pay for one each. And relative to teacher and staff salaries, the savings are probably beyond minimal.

And a bank had a good idea that went horribly wrong:
Huntington National bank, based in Columbus, Ohio, introduced last month what it called a Backpack Index, and projected that parents would need $307 to supply an elementary-age student for school. The Backpack Index excluded clothing but factored in more than $200 in fees for various activities, such as renting a musical instrument.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Next "Survivor" to be Segregated

The BBC reports:

The 20 "castaways" in the 13th season of US reality show Survivor will be divided according to their ethnicity.

The contestants will be segregated into four "tribes" of blacks, whites, Asians and Latinos when the hit CBS programme returns on 14 September...

Organisers said they were addressing complaints that previous series had not been sufficiently ethnically diverse.

So their answer is to sponsor a contest for racial supremacy.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

NASA "Loses" Original Moon Landing Film

The Washington Times reports:

The original film footage of astronaut Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, one of the most important artifacts of the 20th century, has been lost.

The television broadcast seen by about 600 million people in July 1969 is preserved for posterity, but the original tapes from which the footage was taken have been mislaid, most likely in NASA's vast archives at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

The footage could transform our view of the moon landings, offering images far sharper than the blurred, grainy video shown around the world. It also could lay to rest the conspiracy theory that the landings were faked on a Hollywood soundstage.

Despite its iconic status, the television footage was the equivalent of a photocopy of a photocopy. It came from a camera that had been pointed at a black-and-white monitor on Earth. The image on the monitor, in turn, had been stripped of much of its detail.


Those tapes, although nowhere near the standard of normal television transmissions, would be of far better quality than the video we have today, especially if processed using modern digital techniques.

Rather than prizing the tapes as vital recordings, NASA simply filed them away. As personnel retired or died, the location of the tapes was forgotten.

Such problems are not unique to NASA.

"I just think this is what happens when you have a large government bureaucracy that functions for decade after decade," said Keith Cowing, editor of the Web site NASAWatch.com. "It's not malicious or intentional, but I think it's unfortunate that NASA doesn't have maybe just one more person whose job it is to look back at its history."


Goddard is also home to the only equipment that can still play the tapes, which use an obsolete 14-inch format -- equipment that was due to be dismantled in October until [a senior engineer at NASA] intervened.


Update, Aug. 15: The Washington Post also reports:
"We haven't seen them for quite a while. We've been looking for over a year, and they haven't turned up," [NASA spokesman Grey] Hautaloma said.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tourists Trapped in Metro Elevator

The Washington Times reports:

D.C. firefighters [on Friday] rescued a family of five, including three children, who were trapped for more than two hours in an elevator about 65 feet below ground at a Metro station in Northwest.

Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said the family got stuck at 3:46 p.m., when an elevator serving the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan station stopped as it was heading up to street level.

Alan Etter, a spokesman for the D.C. fire department, said the family from the Dominican Republic included a 1-year-old boy and two girls, ages 9 and 12 years old.

"They were tourists here in D.C., and they were getting ready to go to the zoo," Mr. Etter said.


Three firefighters were lowered into the shaft on cables to assess the condition of the family members, who were outfitted with a harness and pulled up to street level individually after Metro officials were unable to get the elevator moving.


Firefighters brought up the mother first, then the children and the father last, Mr. Etter said.

He said the family was in good spirits through the ordeal and that the two girls seemed to enjoy the ride up the shaft.

He said the 1-year-old cried all the way up the shaft until he was reunited with his mother.


Metro operates about 250 elevators, of which about 20 are out of service on any given day, according to the agency's Web site at www.wmata.com.

The elevator at the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan station was expected to be out of service until at least Monday.

I've never taken a Metro elevator -- even when the Tenleytown escalators were out of service for a week -- they're just too creepy. Having 8% out of service on any given day isn't very reassuring either.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Maryland Judge Strikes Down Democrat-Only Early Voting

The Washington Post reports on a recent development of the Democrat-controlled Maryland legislature's attempt to create early voting just for Democrats:

An Anne Arundel County judge invalidated Maryland's early voting laws... in an opinion that could substantially alter the political tactics used by campaign teams across the state this fall.

Circuit Court Judge Ronald Silkworth ruled that it would be illegal for Maryland elections officials to open polling stations during the week before Election Day because the state constitution strictly sets the timing of elections. The 2005 and 2006 laws also improperly permitted voters to cast ballots outside their precincts, he wrote.

"This court finds that the General Assembly exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting the early voting statutes," wrote Silkworth, a Democratic appointee whose ruling favors Republicans in one of the State House's most partisan disputes.

Silkworth agreed to stay the decision until the case could be heard on appeal by the state's highest court, probably before the Sept. 12 primary. State election officials said they will continue to prepare for voting to start as early as Sept. 5.


Republican lawmakers said they had warned Democrats that in their view, passing early voting laws would require amending the constitution, much as the legislature did when it allowed for absentee voting.


Yesterday, [Maryland Governor] Ehrlich [said] he might have supported the concept of extending voting hours, or even opening polls for "two or three days."

But he said he was appalled by the Democrats' bill, which spelled out 21 addresses where polls must be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week leading up to Election Day and also enhanced the power of the state elections administrator, a Democratic appointee, to oversee actions of local election officials appointed by Republicans.

The court ruling -- as did the one striking down a law requiring Wal-Mart to provide health benefits to its workers -- helps him convey his message that the legislature has "overreached," he said.

As we reported back in April, the plan was developed by Democrats to give special voting rights only to Democrats to help elect Democrats. The court's ruling is only the start of what is wrong with it.

Update, Aug. 12: The Washington Times also reports:

"The sanctity of Maryland elections must not be eroded for the sake of one party's political advantage," Mr. Ehrlich said. "Nonetheless, I remain supportive of the concept of early voting and look forward to working with Maryland lawmakers next year to craft a sensible and nonpartisan approach ... to ensure that Maryland conducts fair, accessible and accurate elections."

The early-voting law is the third law passed this year over Mr. Ehrlich's veto that has been struck down by the courts.


The state's electoral process has been a frequent point of contention between Mr. Ehrlich and lawmakers, beginning with legislature's intervention in 2003 to save the job of [Linda H. Lamone, administrator of the State Board of Elections], the state's longtime top election official under Democratic administrations.

The governor also clashed with the legislature in his failed push to require a paper record of votes cast on the state's new touch-screen voting machines.

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