Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just for you Fredo

Your new Minnesota Senator.

Courtesy of Drudge

F You Al Franken

Apparently if you're a whiny scumbag, you get what you want.

That is all.

Fox News

From Drudge:


HANNITY 2,345,000
GLENN BECK 2,053,000

Apparently that incredibly biased, right-wing "news" channel Fox doesn't have anything the American people would be interested in. Isn't that right, Air America?
Monday, June 29, 2009

Karen Williams got it done

Just like Social Security is the third rail for elected politicians, abortion is the third rail for judicial nominees. Judges that are in the running for a nomination to the Supreme Court typically have to avoid any direct, broad statements regarding abortion or they will be in for a long, withering confirmation fight. Particularly on the pro-life side, these judges have to convince a GOP President and Senators that they are (wink/nod) ready to overturn Roe, while not having written any decisions directly saying that, in which case the Democrats would just as soon shut down the government than allow that nominee to be confirmed. The political ante is raised, by the way, if the nominee is a woman, and is suspected of being pro-life. Nothing would be as humiliating to Dems as a female Justice authoring the opinion to overturn Roe.

And so, when W was filling Supreme Court vacancies, the conservative blogosphere began the speculation on which of the "short list" judges would turn out to be turncoat "Souters," and which would come through on life issues. Just before the Miers nomination destroyed the morale of conservatives everywhere, it was pretty widely known that W would nominate a woman, with SDO having retired and Roberts already nominated to the court. There were many possible female nominees: Judge Priscilla Owens (5th circuit), Judge Edith Clement (5th circuit), Judge Edith Jones (5th circuit), Judge Janice Rogers-Brown (DC Circuit), Judge Alice Batchelder (6th circuit), Judge Consuelo "Connie" Callahan (9th circuit), DC attorney Maureen Mahoney, and Justice Maura Corrigan (MI Supreme Court). But when it came down to it, the two most likely nominees seemed to be Judge Diane Sykes (7th) and Judge Karen Williams (4th).

The Dems had already told W that Owens would be filibustered. Edith Jones and Rogers-Brown were considered too conservative to be confirmed. Connie Callahan and Maureen Mahoney ("MaMa") were considered moderates and/or blank slates, with high Souterizing potential. Batchelder was too old. Etc.

Sykes was in her late 40s, Williams in mid her 50s. Williams had a long track record in the 4th circuit (she's now the Chief Judge), while Sykes was a fairly recent elevation, but had a history on the State Supreme Court in WI, IIRC. People were really comforted by the fact that Sykes was a member of the Federalist Society and also, for however you take this, "very intellectual." Williams was considered by many posters to be less remarkable, but had a long, consistent track record of conservative jurisprudence. Still, she had a Dem husband, and people openly wondered if exposure to the DC cocktail circuit would unmoor her philosophically. The "argument," as far as it went, was that she was a USC Law grad, not an ivy leaguer. She couldn't have a sophisticated and deeply rooted theory of jurisprudence, one that would keep her voting as a conservative for decades. This was bolstered by one (dissenting, IIRC) opinion she had written on a Miranda case that some felt was too extreme for a "nuanced" legal writer. Mind you, the woman has probably written or joined thousands of opinions at this point.

Well, this is all a bit of a side note, as neither one of the two women were nominated. Had W gotten a third nominee, it might have been otherwise.

But now, less than a year into the Obama administration, Judge Williams was forced to go "on the record" with a partial-birth abortion case coming before her circuit. She had to touch the third rail. As a result, her chances of becoming a S.C. nominee (even if a Republican were to win in '12), are probably (in the words of teddy KGB) "down the f***ing drain."

But it makes for an interesting end note on the blogosphere's 2005 parlor game: did we read the nominee correctly?

Well the question was answered this past week. I missed it when it first came out, but saw the opinoin when I was reading up on the Ricci case.

Turns out a heavily divided 4th circuit voted 6-5 to uphold a state ban in Virginia on partial birth abortion. Any vote could have flipped the decision from a pro-life to a pro-choice one. And on record for life: Chief Judge Karen Williams.

The one that got away.

Mitt on CSpan3

For those of you looking for a live video feed to watch at work, CSpan 3 will have a 30 min speech followed by a 30 min Q&A of Mitt Romney discussing foreign policy.

In case those of you with a life didn't catch it, Mitt was on Meet the Press this past Sunday. He did a nice job, and neatly parried Gregory's attempt to tie the whole party to Mark Sanford. More noteworthy was the presence of Lindsey Graham alongside Mitt. You'd think the two would be on the same team, but apparently Lindsey's a sore winner. Must still hold a grudge that Mitt ran a tough campaign against his sugar Papa in '08. When asked if Mitt was a leader in the GOP, Lindsey replied, "Um, sure, and so is John McCain, who is still the most recognized republican with the highest favorables out there. Mike Huckabee is leader. I am too." OK, I'm paraphrasing, but it was pretty close to that anyway.

At this early stage I'm calling a three way race:

choice 1: Mitt
choice 2: Huck or Palin, one will have to box the other out quickly to become the Mitt alternative
choice 3: The Dark Horse. Someone else will make it to, and perhpas beyond, South Carolina.
Thursday, June 25, 2009

Revised GOP power ranking for '12

That thud you heard was Sanford's political life leaping off a cliff and making impact below.
Hope his personal life meets a better fate, for his wife and kids if nothing else.

Anyway, with one of my favorites scratched, here's my preference list for '12 as of June '09:

1. Romney
2. Pawlenty
3. Gingrich
4. Huckabee
5. Palin

Others who could possibly earn my support: Thune, Jindal, Huntsman, Barbour, Cantor

Who's best positioned to win the nomination:

1. Romney
2. Palin
3. Crist
4. Jindal
5. Huckabee
6. Barbour
7. Pawlenty
8. Gingrich
9. Huntsman

Biggest X-Factors: Jeb, Petraeus


Obama's naivete continues to show, most recently on foreign policy. He had extended to invitation to Iranian leaders to celebrate with the US on the 4th of July. Now, they've had no choice but to rescind those invitations, none of which were accepted by the Iranians in any case.

His policies have made the US look weak, naive, and certainly not leaders. I can think of many US ally countries far more deserving of an invitation to celebrate the 4th. How about improving his poor relationships with Merkel and Sarkozy, for one?

Question of the Day

Is Mitt Romney the only politician who has no scandals in his past, no affairs, and is not corrupt? Oh yeah, and he also understands economics.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

The Pentagon shrugged off a threat from North Korea Wednesday to wipe the United States off the map.

"I don't even know how to respond to that. It's silliness," said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

Wow, talk about calling out a country!

Sanford was having an affair--resigns as chair of the RGA

The end of a potentially great national political career.

Obviously, when he was "hiking the Appalachian trail," that was one thing. But when it turned out he was Buenos Aires, you kind of knew there was another shoe to drop.

Well, it's dropped. What a shame. First and foremost, for his wife and boys. Then, for the state of SC and the nation.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Different Look at the Gun Debate

Courtesy of Tattoo Tony:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gotta love Gov. Sanford

Takes 4 days off to hike to the Appalachian trail, in and out of cell coverage. His political opponents use it as an opportunity to say he's AWOL and unreliable.

Unfortunately, Drudge bought that malarkey HL&S, and front paged the story.
[UPDATE: I should have known--you don't doubt Drudge]

For those of you who don't know, Gov Sanford has a lot of Republican enemies in the S.C. legislature, ever since he went to the wall with them on all their pork projects. Apparently, he thinks power comes with the responsibility to cut spending, not just churn out goodies for political supporters. Some of the GOP senators in the state senate didn't take kindly when Sanford showed up with one pig under each arm for a photo shoot, to make a point.

Anywho, he goes hiking for four days, and one of his detractors (state Sen. Jake Knotts) comes out with this line:

“As the head of our state, in the unfortunate event of a state of emergency or homeland security situation, Governor Sanford should be available at all times to the chief of SLED,” the senator said.

“I want to know immediately who is running the executive branch in the governor’s absence,” Knotts said.

Now, I understand that things can crop up, and a Governor needs to be available. But c'mon, what is Knotts worried about? Georgia planning on invading the state or something?

I'm glad that Sanford is an outdoorsman, a statesman who values solitude and reflection, and not a little sissy-girl like Knotts.

My $.02.

That's about right

If nothing else, events in N. Korea and Iran over the past few weeks have certainly made me into a believer that these are rational, respectful leaders with whom you could sit down across the table without preconditions and negotiate reasonable policies. Don't you think?
Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm so proud to be from Long Island

Where men are men, and don't, er, use umbrellas.
Thursday, June 18, 2009

Guess it's gender day at Occ Obs

This is the kind of stuff that drives most people crazy. Senator Boxer takes offense at a military man calling her "Ma'am" instead of "Senator." And the thing is, you know that Boxer knows that "Ma'am" is a traditional, respectful way of addressing a superior in the military. Maybe it's just the "traditional" part of it that bothers her. Or maybe she wants to feign outrage for the hard core feminist vote in CA.

In any case, she is today's "Worst Person in the World!!!!"

A sensible guide for married women

Let us together ascend, along the path of mutual self-giving. May your happiness be my happiness.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bill Kristol with an interesting plea

From, naturally, The Weekly Standard:
There have been very good grounds to criticize President Obama's foreign policy so far. There will be much more to criticize over the next three and a half years.

But he is our president. We could be at an historical inflection point in Iran. The United States may be able to play an important role. The task now is to explain what the Obama administration (and Congress) should be saying and doing, and to urge them to do what they should be doing. Presuming ahead of time that Obama will fail to exercise leadership, and cataloguing this episode pre-emptively as another in a list of Obama failures, would be a mistake. The U.S. has a huge stake in the possible transformation, or at least reformation, of the Iranian regime. If there's some chance of that happening, and some chance of U.S. policy contributing to that outcome, we should hope Obama does the right thing, and urge and pressure him to do so--because then the United States will be doing the right thing, and the United States, and the world, will benefit.

This too is the role of a loyal opposition.


As the world mulls over the meaning of the election in Iran, whether it was legitimate or fraudulent, and the severe violence in the aftermath, I can't help but contrast that with another country in the region that had relatively peaceful, open and honest elections recently. Iraq.

Whereas liberals love to sit on the sideline and bemoan the tragedy that is the possibly fraudulent "democratic election" in Iran, under Bush's leadership we implemented TRUE democracy in Iraq. Open elections, monitored by the outside, with clean results. The true will of the people.

Feeling bad and imposing sanctions and writing op-eds will never help anyone. Action is what helps people, and liberals still don't get that.

I just wonder how many months or years of continued belligerent behavior by N. Korea and Iran, while under the "new change" of Obama + Pelosi + Reid, will be required before liberals and the MSM understand that the actions of those countries were NOT a response to or reflection of Bush's policies. Rather, it was their inherent character and position, and it was only through Bush's policies that we could make a change.
Sunday, June 14, 2009

A question to my contributing colleagues:

Are any of you using Twitter? If so, do you have any feedback?
Saturday, June 13, 2009

"White House monitoring ‘reports of irregularities’ in Iran"

Whew.. That's a relief to hear. I'm so glad they're "monitoring" it. I think they're also "monitoring" N. Korea as they continue to test nuclear weapons, weaponize plutonium, and launch short- and long-range missiles. It's important to monitor, you know. Keeps us safe and stuff.

Speaking of monitoring election "irregularities," I'd like to ask WH press secretary Gibbs a follow-up question. Were you also monitoring the heavy voting irregularities during Obama's election, covered in detail here by Fredo in previous posts?

Are you monitoring the dismissal of the Black Panther case for voter intimidation in Philly? Are you monitoring the fact that Chris Dodd's wife serves on the board of FOUR health-care companies, and he is now filling in for Kennedy to serve as the leading senator for the health-care reform bill?

Where's the liberal media outrage?

Obama continues the war in Iraq and is ramping up efforts in Afghanistan. He is continuing to allow some rendition policies. He decided that some of the Gitmo detainees could continue to be held without being charged, and could be tried in military tribunals - the very same tribunals he vehemently denounced previously. An overwhelmingly Democratic Congress votes overwhelmingly to keep Gitmo open. Pelosi knew about waterboarding in 2002.

Oil and gas prices are significantly on the rise again. N. Korea just tested its most powerful nuclear weapon ever and is gearing up for a 3rd test. They just threatened to weaponize plutonium. They, along with Iran, continue to test short- and long-range missiles. Ahmadinejad overwhelmingly gets re-elected.

And now, we learn that some privacy may have to be sacrificed to implement Obama's cybersecurity plan.

In many cases, I wholeheartedly support these policy decisions and for our safety am thankful that he is continuing policies first enacted by Bush.

But my question is, where's the liberal outrage? Where is the MSM, who were all too eager to jump all over Bush for these very same policies? Why was there such vicious name-calling and false outrage and accusations when Bush and Cheney did things, yet none of that when Obama does the exact same thing?
Friday, June 12, 2009

A Break from the Seriousness

I give you the awesomeness that is a mash-up/comparison of the Magnum P.I. intro with Star Wars footage.

I dare thee not to smile...ness

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I am tremendously confused

It has been days since the GOP took control of the NY State Senate. Nothing has been done since. Nothing. For days, the Senate Secretary, appointed by the now ousted Dem Majority leader, refused to unlock the chamber. Then, they witheld the use of the stenographer.

The Democrats have shut down the New York State legislature. I don't understand why it's not being reported as a "government shutdown." The press was in an uproar when Newt threatened to do this back in the '90s. Now the Dems actually have done it, and there are a bunch of ambiguous reports about why the Senate can't get it's act together, as if the the new GOP majority likes sitting around and doing nothing as much as the Dems who are trying to stall them out.
Monday, June 08, 2009

Dan Janison, I find your reporting unsatisfying

The state GOP in NY managed to wrest control of the closely divided state senate from Dems today. They did so by enticing two Dems to caucus with the GOP, by promising to make one President pro-tem of the Senate.

The news is stunning.

But what is not stunning is the response of Long Island's Dem response rag daily paper Newsday. Dan Janison tries to capture the mood, and it's a veritable j-school class in using loaded language and a judgmental tone:

For those learning of it downstate, this struck like lightning.

Word of the parliamentary coup's early moments in the Senate chamber in Albany Monday smacked of reports from a foreign capital under siege, complete with descriptions of rooms going dark and TV feeds cut off and a mob scene in the hallway.

Got that? When the GOP takes control, NY has become a banana republic. I wonder if he called Spitzer's attempted take out on Bruno a "coup"? I also likes the way he leaves out the fact that the "room went dark" because flustered Dems tried to close the legislative session("you go now!") against parliamentary rules when they saw things going the GOP's way.

Two weeks shy of a year ago, Sen. Dean Skelos (R- Rockville Centre) took over a sparse Republican majority from retiring leader Joseph Bruno - only to see himself turned minority leader months later when two regional GOP veterans lost bids for re-election. But like others banished from power, Skelos plotted a return, looking for help in subverting his successors.

Ooooohhhh, I like it. Gotta have a villain. Skelos "plotted" and "subverted." Did Pelosi "subvert" the GOP majority in '06 or simply win an election? Just wondering.

Of two New York City Democrats who helped restore his clout Monday by defecting, one is under criminal indictment for a violent act of domestic violence, and the other is merely under scrutiny for living outside his district and being a long-term state campaign scofflaw. That senator, Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx, now gets what he bid for more than six months ago when the plotting began, the position of president pro tem.

This one is my favorite. You know a journalist is pissed when he goes straight to character assasination. But here's my question: if Janison is so outraged over the domestic violence and campaign finance allegations, I'm sure he was calling for these senators to be ousted from the Senate immediately, even when they were still voting under the Dem flag. Right?

Which proves Albany's foremost rule of operation: Grab whatever allies and power you can get your hands on.

Powerful friends like Brooklyn's indicted corrupt Dem judges? Spitzer's fear squads that spent years conducting drive-by hits on the finance community (a.k.a. the state's tax base)? The race baiting charlatans, like Dem mouthpiece Al Sharpton, that run around whipping up violence and discontent against the police and white people in general?

Dan Janison: cover up, your bias is showing.


Exciting HYPOCRISY update!

Check out how Janison reported the DV allegations against Monserrate when he was still a faithful Dem:

Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) was charged with a domestic-abuse crime late last year, raising the prospect that his seat would become vacant and loosen his party's new grip on the house.

Nassau Democrats will look to guard against such an impact on their house - if federal tax allegations lodged Wednesday against Corbin (D-Westbury) chase him quickly from office.

Fortunately for their party leaders, both accused lawmakers are expected to fight the charges in court - making any abrupt losses of clout unlikely.

Another break for Democratic leaders: Criminal cases can take years to resolve, and some elected officials have been known to serve for long periods under a legal cloud.

Focus is totally on how the Dems could lose power. Nothing about the fact that somehow the party is tarnished by their affiliation with a spouse abuser.

Then the good news: Hiram will fight the charges and it'll take the courts years to get around to it.

If only he had taken the same tone he did with Hiram today, and come out with something like this:

New York State Democrats are now relying on two State Senators to maintain their majority in Albayn: one is under criminal indictment for a violent act of domestic violence, and the other is merely under scrutiny for living outside his district and being a long-term state campaign scofflaw.

Some expression about airborne pork comes to mind.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Obama-Media Love Affair

Samuelson drives the point home in Newsweek with this great article.


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