Phoning It In Now Playing: Too lazy to do all the hyperlinks in that first graf quote. Go there yourself and check 'em out.
Michael Barone, whom everybody likes and respects, reports that the turnout in New York City's Democratic primary was not everything it could have been:
Total number of votes cast in the Democratic primary for mayor: 456,263. Pretty pathetic. For Manhattan borough president: 147,650, or 32 percent of the total for mayor. By comparison, the mayoral Democratic primary in 2001, two weeks after September 11, had a turnout of 785,365, and the 2001 runoff, four weeks later, had a turnout of 790,089. The 2005 Democratic turnout was down about 42 percent. Wow! This is out of 2,639,845 registered Democrats. In other words, about 30 percent of registered Democrats voted for mayor in the 2001 primary and runoff, while only 17 percent of registered Democrats voted for mayor this time.
Doesn't sound like the [progressives] are making the kind of effort that you'd want to tell the grandkids about.
Is there any national significance to these numbers? Not much but maybe this. The kind of angry left-wing politics promoted by the Daily Kos and Howard Dean seems to dominate the Democrats' political dialogue. But when real things are at stake–like the value of your Manhattan co-op–a lot of Democratic voters know better. In Iowa and New Hampshire, they hurriedly dumped Dean for Kerry in 2004, and this year they simply have no interest at all in ousting Bloomberg for a left-wing Democrat.
My friends over at Eschaton say that I'm a fool to believe that most Americans are conservative, but in America's largest city ---in the very heart of liberal sentiment and Big Media propaganda--- they just can't seem to get it up for the progressive agenda. What a shame that our two-party system is being betrayed by partisans unworthy of the name.
The Worst Impression of Jesse Jackson I've Heard This Whole Weekend Now Playing: "House at Pooh Corner" by Loggins and Messina
Ralph Neas, president of the ironically-named People for the American Way, was telling reporters this past week that he's opposed to John Roberts' elevation to Chief Justice of the United States. In doing so, he trotted out his best impression of Jesse Jackson. Neas has
got a one-liner that he's working about Roberts, who in his introductory remarks on Monday likened the role of a judge to that of an umpire.
"He's spent his time talking about baseball, now he's playing dodgeball," Neas says, venting his frustration about the nominee.
The anti-Bush Left has made no worthwhile case against Roberts. None. Their only argument seems to be that Roberts is a conservative. Well, guess what, ladies. Most of America is, too.
Or did you take some other lesson away from the past decade of electoral losses?
Inside the Posterior Passages
Thanks to Mr. Johnson, have a look at this Christopher Hitchens piece in the Telegraph:
Obviously I am suspect as a juror in my own cause, but put yourself the following hypothetical case. Mr A challenges Mr B, saying that he appears on the available evidence to be a handmaiden to dictators and a recipient of their hospitality. Mr B replies that Mr A is a piece of ordure, or some other unmentionable substance. The riposte is hailed as a tremendous piece of repartee, as well as a full and complete answer to the challenge. Perhaps my own professional journalistic colleagues do not wish to seem to favour one of their own, but I have always had difficulty in seeing the pith or brilliance of this.
In point of fact, having quoted Mr Galloway's recent speech in Damascus ("The Syrian people are fortunate in having Bashar al-Assad as their leader") and having further pointed out that Mr Assad decided not to show his face in New York last week, as the UN investigation into the murder of Rafik Hariri rolled up more and more Syrian agents, I was given a full answer by being told that I had metamorphosed back from a butterfly into a slug, with a consequent trail of slime in my wake. I did not have the lepidopteral presence of mind to point out, at that moment, that butterflies pupate from sturdy and furry caterpillars.
I reiterated my point that the Syrian people have no say in their own good fortune, since they inherit a Dauphin from an absolute monarch. That did me no good at all in some circles. What I should have done, I now realise, is to say that George Galloway knows all about slime because he's so far inside the posterior passage of a murderous dictator that one can barely glimpse his Gucci buckles.
You gotta a love a man who can call another man a cornholer with such class.
The Mundane Details of a Routine Triumph
The parliamentary elections in Afghanistan have wrapped up now ---and with not much violence, either.
President Karzai was one of the early voters in the capital, saying it was a good day for Afghanistan whatever the result.
"We are making history," he said as he cast his ballot.
Reports from Kandahar in the south say women voted in large numbers. BBC reporters in Jalalabad say more women than men voted there.
Correspondents say the sporadic violence did not appear to have deterred voters.
I am always surprised at how eager for political participation the women living under Islam appear to be. I think their liberation, in whatever ways great or small, is the key to changing Islam forever.
A Fine Sunday Afternoon Mood:
Okay, so I'm sick and full of phlegm and achiness, but it's still good to be alive. A whole day of football-watching, frozen pizza-eating, and stone cold chilling lies ahead.
So stay away, please. Thank you.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 12:01 PM CDT
Post Comment |
Updated: Sunday, 18 September 2005 12:02 PM CDT
Saturday, 17 September 2005
Green No More? Mood:
A reader writes to say that the background color of this blog is hard on the eyes. Is that true? I always thought that sort of minty color was pleasing to the eye. Oh, well. Let's try this color for a while. Let me know what you think.
New Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was on CNN earlier today, wanting to know from Christiane Amanpour on what authority do we in the West say that his country can't have nuclear weapons.
Well, that's a great question, Mahmoud, and you deserve a clear answer.
It is the prerogative of the most powerful nation on Earth ---the United States of America--- to make sure you remember your place. We and most of our allies see a nuclearized Iran as a threat against the peace of the Middle East, most especially to the security of the millions of Jews who live in Israel.
Nobody trusts your culture to keep nuclear technology on a peaceful path ---and that includes such societies as the effete and degenerate Old Europe. They, too, know that if you are left unchecked, you will move to destroy Israel and choke off the world's supply of petroleum. The whole world knows that you are one of the worst incubators of Islamofascist terrorism ---and it is the moral imperative of Western Civilization to hold you down until the influence of our superior culture of human and civil rights has had sufficient time to secularize your people into good consumer-citizens.
Right now, Mahmoud, your natural allies here in America are the anti-Bush Left. They do not believe in the essential goodness of the human and civil rights their own ancestors made possible in this land and across the world. They are embittered partisans whose only motivation is to hate and undermine the present Administration. So overwhelming is this hatred that they are not even able to understand that the victory of Islamist doctrine would mean their own deaths, too.
So, if I were a disinterested observer, I would say the most immediate step in your strategy would be to continue your appeals to those on the anti-war and anti-Bush Left. Your interview today with Ms. Amanpour is just the thing. After all, the Leftist influence on Big Media makes such monsters as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong-Il seem like misunderstood celebrities, at worst. With a little spit and polish, I'm sure you'll catch their eye and make it in the bigs as well.
UPDATE: [Silently] corrected two typos in final graf.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 4:16 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005 9:38 PM CDT
Paul Krugman Disserves His Readership Mood:
Courtesy of Patterico, check out this comment by the New York Times' public editor Byron Calame with regard to Times columnist (and Democratic Party hack) Paul Krugman's refusal to set the record straight on the recent errors contained in his columns. This is pretty remarkable and I reproduce these comments here in their entirety as a public service:
Columnist Correction Policy Isn't Being Applied to Krugman
An Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times who makes an error "is expected to promptly correct it in the column." That's the established policy of Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page. Her written policy encourages "a uniform approach, with the correction made at the bottom of the piece."
Two weeks have passed since my previous post spelled out the errors made by columnist Paul Krugman in writing about news media recounts of the 2000 Florida vote for president. Mr. Krugman still hasn't been required to comply with the policy by publishing a formal correction. Ms. Collins hasn't offered any explanation.
As a result, readers of nytimes.com who simply search for "Krugman" won't find any indication that there are uncorrected errors in the columns the query turns up. Nor will those who access Mr. Krugman's columns in an electronic database such as Nexis or Factiva. Corrections would have been appended in all those places if Mr. Krugman had complied with Ms. Collins' policy and corrected the errors in his column in the print version of The Times. (Essentially, to become part of the official archive of The Times, material has to have been published in the print paper.)
All Mr. Krugman has offered so far is a faux correction. Each Op-Ed columnist has a page in nytimes.com that includes his or her past columns and biographical information. Mr. Krugman has been allowed to post a note on his page that acknowledges his initial error, but doesn't explain that his initial correction of that error was also wrong. Since it hasn't been officially published, that posting doesn't cause the correction to be appended to any of the relevant columns.
If the problem is that Mr. Krugman doesn't want to give up precious space in his column for a correction, there are alternatives. Perhaps some space could be found elsewhere on the Op-Ed page so that readers—especially those using electronic versions of his pieces -- could get the accurate information they deserve.
A bottom-line question: Does a corrections policy not enforced damage The Times's credibility more than having no policy at all?
Anyone who reads the commentary among the anti-Bush Left quickly learns that Krugman is the go-to guy on liberal economics and cultural viciousness within the Big Media community. He has a very large and prominent soapbox, but he also has a commensurate obligation to not lie to his readership.
We do not yet fully recognize what a decisive factor the Internet news and opinion culture has become in mastering the information on which the judgement of History will rely. The vague anti-Americanism and self-loathing of the Left will now have to compete for the verdict on our times with other views. That is a very big deal.
So, when the New York Times is made a vehicle for the lie that Al Gore really won the Presidency in 2000, it is encouraging to see that the most influential paper in America still employs people of some principle who are willing to refute such nonsense.
But Aren't There Still Some Unreleased Nudie Pix from Abu Ghraib? Now Playing: "Empty Pages" by Traffic
Andrew McCarthy talks about US Army Col. H.R. McMaster, the man who is leading our efforts to take the Iraqi town of Tal Afar. In a story by Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times (sorry, no link), McMaster actually passes judgement on evil men (my emphases added):
Col. McMaster told of beheadings, gunshot killings, a booby-trapped dead child and kidnappings. "This is the worst of the worst in terms of people in the world," he said. "To protect themselves here, what the enemy did is they waged the most brutal and murderous campaign against the people of Tal Afar. ... The enemy here did just the most horrible things you can imagine, in one case murdering a child, placing a booby trap within the child's body and waiting for the parent to come recover the body of their child and exploding it to kill the parents."
Col. McMaster said his men killed scores of the enemy in a series of firefights up and down the tight streets of the crossroads between Syria, where insurgents train, and the critical northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
Col. McMaster said soldiers captured some associates of lead terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi. "They are some of the worst human beings on the face of the Earth," he said. "There is no really greater pleasure for us than to kill or capture these particular individuals."
You are doing the Lord's work, sir. Your righteousness and bravery are the lifeblood of the Republic.
It's Official: I Can't Take It Anymore Mood:
suave Now Playing: "In the Cold, Cold Night" by the White Stripes
Okay, could KXAN evening newsanchor Michelle Valles be more delicious? Nope. It's mathematically impossible. From the beautifully pulled-back hair to her flawless brown skin and the most sensational bosom in the history of bosomosity, she is pretty much the final word on feminine pulchritude.
Cindy Sheehan: A Really Stupid Woman
With a big hat tip to Jeff and Charles, have a look at this smouldering loaf left by Mother Sheehan over at the traitor Michael Moore's blog (emphases added):
If George Bush truly listened to God and read the words of the Christ, Iraq and the devastation in New Orleans would have never happened.
I don't care if a human being is black, brown, white, yellow or pink. I don't care if a human being is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or pagan. I don't care what flag a person salutes: if a human being is hungry, then it is up to another human being to feed him/her. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his [sic] self from power. The only way America will become more secure is if we have a new administration that cares about Americans even if they don't fall into the top two percent of the wealthiest.
Jesus Christ! This woman is a complete joke. Our military is "occupying" New Orleans because about a third of the New Orleans Police Department went AWOL. And because, I am assured, it is our military's job to do so.
What an inexcusably stupid woman. No wonder Michael Moore, who is a traitor, invited her to take a load off on his site.
If Nothing Else
If nothing else, Katrina makes the argument for biometric identification for all American citizens to be a compelling national interest. A lot of fraud is going on right now with these refugees, but far more is yet to come. The government ought to make fingerprints and photo ID cards a standard issue for all people seeking help in rebuilding in New Orleans and all across the Gulf Coast.
And, needless to say, with so many dead and possibly unidentifiable, a national standard for identifying our citizens is a must.
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
I was somewhat surprised at the reaction last night from some refugees being interviewed by ABC News reporter Dean Reynolds in the parking lot of the Astrodome in Houston. They had just watched the President's speech from New Orleans and Reynolds, at the bidding of Ted Koppel, was asking them what they thought.
Basically, they didn't have a problem with Bush, but with Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco.
Which makes sense. After all, it wasn't Bush who blocked the Red Cross and the Salvation Army from supplying water and food to people trapped at the Superdome, but the Democratic governor of Louisiana.
One of the women blamed Nagin for letting all of those buses just sit there getting waterlogged.
I'm pleased to hear that the people who were most affected by this disaster are equal opportunity assessers of blame. Because, if it were left solely to the Big Media Bush-bashing Machine, the American people might even forget who the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana are.
As for the President's speech from New Orleans, what's with this inane, movie review-quality bullshit they're indulging themselves in on MSNBC and elsewhere? They're griping about the "irony" of Bush speaking from Jackson Square ---an area that was largely undamaged by Katrina? So what?! Would they think it more authentic if the man were doing his spiel in the middle of Dupre Street, wearing waders and pushing away garbage floating towards him with a stick? Grow up, you goddamned ninnies!
Oh, but they do like this "new language of contrition" and pain-feeling, once again proving the point that Oprah Winfrey is the most influential person in America.
If I am not for myself, Who will be for me? If I am only for myself, What am I? And If not now, When?
I'm pretty exhausted tonight, but wanted to tell you a little bit about what's going on here in Austin with regard to the refugees from New Orleans.
For the past several days, I have trained and served as a volunteer caseworker with a very old and well-respected NGO. I leave work every day at about noon and go down to the Austin Convention Center where I help people obtain the financial and medical help they need to get back on their feet.
I have helped good and grateful people who were raised properly and I have helped weak and ungrateful people who can't look me in the eye as they lie about their situations for the sake of scoring some easy money. I have helped people of many different colors and accents and states of mind. I am interested in their stories and I show them the respect that their dignity requires. It has been a good deed.
I'm telling you all of this because I am usually a very selfish and abstract-minded man who doesn't make the effort he should to help others ---and without passing judgement in the instant where it matters. And I'm saying that Katrina is an unimaginable enormity that has brought out the very best and the very worst in people from all walks of life. This is an historic event that demands that everyone contribute in some way.
I don't know of any other society on Earth that acts for the benefit of common people like ours does. Our Federal government is a mammoth caretaker ---and we take that for granted. But there is another principle at work here, too, and it's called the civil society. That's what exists beyond the reach of government and what inhabits the moral lives of those who choose to demonstrate the Golden Rule and Enlightened Self-Interest. Americans possess a moral certainty that is independent of religious dogma and ideology, even if it is often derived from them. The whole world may be grateful for that.
I have chosen to contribute to the efforts to help the survivors of Katrina because I would want the same help given to me in my own hour of need. I am also working for the civil society because I extol its virtues and want to associate myself with it, ultimately.
The karmic wheel rolls on ---and even over those who do not occupy themselves in contemplating it.
The Long Shadow of Huey Long's Paternalism Now Playing: "Every Man a King" by the Kingfish
Have a look at this review in The Daily Howler of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's ridiculous performance in her interview with FOX News' Chris Wallace yesterday. The problem, it appears, is that Landrieu is toeing the party line:
I am not going to level criticism at local and state officials. Mayor Nagin and most mayors in this country have a hard time getting their people to work on a sunny day, let alone getting them out of the city in front of a hurricane. And it's because this administration and administrations before them do not understand the difficulties that mayors, whether they are in Orlando, Miami, or New Orleans, face.
One of the most important ---if undiscussed--- developments in this whole story is the reversal of polarity between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of Federalism, now in the 21st Century. Today's Democrats can't seem to decide when states' rights are in effect and when they are not. If Bush had gone into Louisiana and Federalized that state's Guard over the governor's objections, all we would have now are stories of Bush the Dictator. But Bush simply pleaded with the governor to order a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans because that is a reasonable step in a system like ours where the local and state governments are expected to exercise authority. There were the usual systems in place to act to help, but bureaucratic blunders that began at the local level stopped those processes dead in their tracks. And that includes not moving hundreds of city buses into immediate service as detailed in the plans that the City of New Orleans has had on hand for years! If you can't admit that, well, then, you must be Mary Landrieu (emphases mine):
WALLACE: But Senator, there were hundreds of buses sitting in that parking lot. Can I just ask the question?
LANDRIEU: You can, but let me finish, if I could, please.
WALLACE: Well, look in the picture here. There were hundreds of buses in parking lots. The city and the state—
LANDRIEU: That is underwater. Those—
WALLACE: It wasn't underwater before the—
LANDRIEU: Those buses were underwater. Those buses—
WALLACE: They weren't underwater on Saturday. They weren't underwater on Sunday.
LANDRIEU: We had two catastrophes. We had a hurricane and then we had a levee break. When the levee broke, not only did New Orleans go underwater, but St. Bernard when underwater and St. Tammany Parish went underwater.
WALLACE: But they weren't underwater on Sunday.
LANDRIEU: And Plaquemines went underwater. And because the mayor evacuated the city, we had the best evacuation between Haley Barbour and Kathleen Blanco of any evacuation I've seen. I'm 50 years old; I've never seen one any better.
WALLACE: But there were a hundred thousand people left in the city.
LANDRIEU: They did a hundred thousand people left in the city because this federal government won't support cities to evacuate people, whether it's from earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. And that's the truth. And that will come out in the hearing.
What? That's not just grammatical gibberish, either. The Federal government has to tell the mayor of New Orleans to gas up his own fleet of fucking buses and put them on the streets to transport as many people as possible out of the flood-prone areas of the city? That's silly. Ray Nagin should have done that on his own.
I don't know what happened, but Landrieu is full of crap. And I don't even care that she's very cute. She's just wrong about this.