Archive for October, 2003

Nazi AS

Sunday, October 12th, 2003

The Instant Elite and the Silenced Majority

It’s not difficult to understand why the elite media is overwhelmingly left. It’s a lot like why the universities are, in the social sciences. Go to Harvard, major in politics, take tutorials at the IOP and Kennedy School, write for the Crimson, get a job at the Times, or play triple A ball in Atlanta or podunk for a few years before getting to the Times, suck up to your editors and write well. Same deal on the Ph.D. track.

When I went to Yale, which was exactly one year after 1000 male leaders had ceased to be the operative phrase, we were told how wonderful and smart we were, the best in the nation. (I suppose Lieberman, Kerry and Dean believed it; I don’t think GWB was paying attention at the time.) I recall friends wanting to “teach” for a living. Me, I felt so damned ignorant that teaching would have been student-abuse. I knew I needed to get out in the world and away from education, and so I mostly have ever since.

(Moral to the story: at some point along the way to the perfect resume in academia or journalism, get a real job! Maybe there ought to be a fellowship program for this — two years in the real world! With Pay!!)

The Harvard Crimson — New York Times axis is probably weaker than it once was and undoubtedly admits more outsiders, outsiders who I’ll wager are very glad to have been invited to the party and may be among the least inclined to shake things up. But the problem with a closed culture (90% Democrat is a very closed culture, like liberal arts faculties) is the same as with any monopoly. The ambitious people go elsewhwere, and mediocrities obsessed with protecting their turf rise to leadership roles. I imagine there are many similarities among an electric utility’s board meeting, the politburo, and the Times editorial board – on ideological matters.

So it is no surprise that the Arnold election featured crazy left reporting. Mark Steyn:

You gotta admire the way the media stayed on the Demo-crats’ sinking California ship right to the very end. On the CNN Web site, even after Gray Davis had conceded, they were sticking to the loser’s talking-points:

”Schwarzenegger, who, like Hitler, is a native of Austria . . .”

CNN? Oh, that’s that network with Larry King, who, like the Son of Sam, is a native of Brooklyn. Used to be owned by Ted Turner, who, like the Cincinnati Strangler, is a native of Cincinnati. Now part of Time Warner, founded by the Warner Brothers, the oldest of whom, Harry Warner, like many Auschwitz guards, was a native of Poland.

And since the media have been so unsuccessful in selling their dreamworld since the rise of Rush, the talk radio industry, Fox and alternative media, we should not be surprised to see the growing desparation:

As I wrote after last year’s elections: ”Remind me never to complain about ‘liberal media bias’ again. Right now, liberal media bias is conspiring to assist the Democrats to sleepwalk over the cliff.”

But 10 minutes after the polls had closed, the Dems and the media were once again rocketing off to Planet Bananas. Before Election Day, the official line was that the recall was part of a pattern of hardline Republican subversion of the democratic process, going back through the Florida recount to the Clinton impeachment. In an about-turn so fast poor old DNC honcho Terry McAuliffe must have gotten whiplash, the new line was that the recall reflected a voter anger against incumbents that would spell disaster for Bush next year. And even as I lay on the floor howling with laughter, up there on CNN Judy Woodruff & Co. were taking it seriously. That would be the Judy Woodruff who, like 1970s serial killer Lendell Hunter, is a native of Augusta, Ga.

Just in case any Democrats have come back down to Planet Earth, here’s what happened on Tuesday: The two Republican candidates — Schwarzenegger and Tom McClintock — pulled 62 percent of the vote between them; the Democrat, Cruz Bustamante, got 31.7 percent. The remaining 6 percent was divided among the other 132 candidates. Just to recap: Republicans 62 percent, Democrats 31.7 percent — in the most liberal state in the nation. As long as all those angry voters keep expressing their anger by voting for Republicans over Democrats by two to one, I think I can live with it.

The genie has been out of the bottle since at least 1994, and the Democrats and their acolytes would be well served to deal with it. Thinking that seriatim attacks on Rush, Hannity, and others — they’re all going to happen, by the way — is a terrorist’s approach to war: maybe if we kill a few generals, the army will stop marching. But the bench in talk radio is much deeper than, say, the bench in Democratic governors, and the majority is silenced only in the clouded minds of the media elites.

Smiley T2

Thursday, October 9th, 2003

T2 with a Smiley Face, Not T1

Well, we were right.

Richard Cohen gets a grade of 50%:

While Californians were still voting Tuesday night, I was doing some hard research watching “Biography” on TV. The subject was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, everyone interviewed said, was the swellest guy in the whole world. At that moment, and way before the polls had closed, I knew he would be the next governor of California.

I am as enamored of voting statistics as the next pundit, and I go over exit polls with an avidity some people reserve for baseball stats. But in my gut — which is where most of us vote — I know that Schwarzenegger won not because he is a celebrity and not because of his (nonexistent) economic plan but because he is such a winning personality. As with Ronald Reagan before him, I may abhor some of his policies but I can’t help liking the guy.

Ron Brownstein of the hapless LA Times gets a zero:

And many Democrats, as well as some independent analysts, believe the recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis may weaken the president’s position in the state by allowing anger over the faltering California economy to shift from Davis to Bush.

John Podhoretz gets an 85%:

[I]f you add the vote totals of Schwarzenegger and his Republican rival, Tom McClintock, you find that 60 percent of California voters went for the GOP – in a state where registered Republicans make up only 35 percent of the electorate.

By contrast, registered Democrats constitute 45 percent of California’s electorate – but on Tuesday, the leading Democratic candidate, Cruz Bustamante, got only 32 percent of the vote…

Voters in California had very specific reasons for kicking Davis out and preventing Bustamante from taking over.

They were expressing their outrage at left-wing policies that spent the state into a colossal deficit. They were expressing their rage at the tripling of the car tax. They were expressing their disgust with a bizarre new driver’s-license bill that effectively provides amnesty to any illegal alien who applies for a new license.

Davis and Bustamante supported these policies. Schwarzenegger (and McClintock) opposed them.

Hugh Hewitt gets 100%. He was right (righter than me) from day one:

Arnold surfed the wave of voter anger into office, and needs only do what he promised to do: Repeal the car tax via executive order. Speak plainly and often about special interest domination of Sacramento. Revoke the drivers’ license bill, and push through genuine workers’ comp reform.

He does need to keep conservatives close. They protected his right flank in the election, and need only to be recognized as a significant part of the governing coalition. For example, when Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court is confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals of the D.C. Circuit, Arnold should nominate a principled and credential conservative like my colleague John Eastman. With a few high profile appointments, Arnold will solidify the GOP behind him. The first time he leaves the state to campaign and raise money on behalf of a GOP candidate for a U.S. Senate seat, even McClintock die-hards will recognize the wisdom of supporting Arnold.

Observations:

1) The liberals like Cohn keep getting it half right. They recognize the smiley face part about Ronaldus Magnus or Arnold, but they fail to credit the policy part. Arnold ran as a supply side conservative, and the social issues were not in play (credit: Rush).

2) Guys like Brownstein, and, one frervently hopes, the Democratic consultants he cites, are hopelessly lost. If you don’t have a center, where do you go when things start to fall apart? And the tactically oriented Democrats, many of them, are without such a personal center.

3) Conservatives like Podhoretz are mostly right about the base being fired up, but the sunny optimism of Reagan and T2-Smiley must not be underrated.

4) There is a fault line in the GOP between libertarians and Dixie-cons on social issues. But we have no trouble seeing Arnold and GWB on the same platform together, because on each of their part is a spirit of tolerance. In this, the President has positioned himself well, and the Dixie-con, TomBot (McClintock) types would do well to heed it. Roe v. Wade is not going away; there will be some sorts of additional legal benefits accorded to gay people. The issue for Republicans is to keep the right tone inside the big tent.

This could prove hard, but Republicans are benefitted mightily by the Democrats’ continuing to get further and further into outer space on abortion and similar issues. I can’t imagine that anyone under 30 has a clue what they are hyperventilating about.

Rush is right. The opposition keeps using an ancient playbook: Vietnam, quagmire, US and US military focus of evil in the modern world, Republicans want to outlaw abortion, enslave minorities, starve little Johnnie, kill off grandma, etc.

A pro-war, libertarian but not lawsuit crazy Democratic party would be an attractive alternative to many people, I think, but that surely is not the Democratic party we have.

Let’s hope it stays that way for a while.

Sunday, October 5th, 2003

Banana Republic?

Money Talks, BS Walks II

Anti recall agit-prop from Peter King at, where else, the LA Times:

“With respect to state finances and the state’s economy,” said state Treasurer Phil Angelides, a Democrat campaigning against the recall, “the damage is being done each and every day by this.”

For example, he said, it was not coincidence that the state’s credit rating took its largest dive ever on the day after the recall was certified to go forward.

And although recall advocates yap happily about “sending a message” to Sacramento, in Angelides’ view “it really is about sending a message about a sickness in our political culture. It cannot help but rub off into national and world perceptions about our economy and our state as a place to do business.”

Steven Fink, president of Lexicon Communications, a Southern California crisis-management firm, called the other day with an interesting report about the recall’s real-world impact. His firm typically handles inquiries from U.S. companies seeking to expand into less-than-stable countries. Does it make sense to open a bank branch in Bali, say, or a car dealership in Caracas? How do the risks caused by political instability balance out against the potential rewards?

With the recall, however, his firm now has begun to receive inquiries from overseas clients, mainly in Europe, who are having second thoughts about moving their businesses into California.

What, they wonder, is up with this recall? Will it succeed? If so, will it be followed, as some Democrats have threatened, by another recall?

“They want to know,” Fink said, “if it is really that easy here to topple a government. And that’s what this is, the toppling of a government. And I’m not sure what to tell them. From a crisis-management point of view, California has now developed exactly — exactly — the reputation of a lot of Third World countries.”

1) Credit agencies do analyses of the credit fundamentals, have lots of committee meetings, and announce findings — it is moronic to suggest that lowering California’s credit rating was an S&P temper tantrum against the recall rather than a serious judgement on the state’s finances — and the rating has been put on negative watch or lowered SEVEN times since 2001 by Moody’s alone. Fact checking please!!

2) Yap happily? Send a message? Well, I suppose you can say that cutting the car tax by two thirds is “sending a message.” I guess King is right on that one: the happy yappers seem to be saying “no taxation without representation.” Where have I heard that before?

3) First of all, re: Fink — who is he? Which way is he voting? But to the substance: a governor who accepts payoffs from beneficiaries of his largesse with public funds, a rating of BBB for a sovereign credit. Sounds pretty third-world to me.

The good news is that this fellow King will stop writing after the recall.

Saturday, October 4th, 2003

Prediction: Money Talks, BS Walks

As I review the most recent attacks by the other candidates, I find it useful to go back to basics. People hate tax increases, they don’t like to have their wallets groped.

Here are the attacks, as reported in the Mercury News:

Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante said if one of his three daughters had experienced the groping, sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct that Schwarzenegger is alleged to have committed, “It wouldn’t have taken a campaign to resolve it.”

“If he were a black man, he’d be in jail. If he was brown, he’d be in jail. If he were a poor white he’d be in jail,” said Green Party candidate Peter Camejo in the most spirited exchange of the 90-minute debate. “What does it tell us about our society that a rich white person can do the type of things that he’s alleged to have done? … Just because he’s wealthy and powerful he’s above the law. No, this issue needs to be looked into.”

Here’s my story and that of every Californian: I have a bill that went from $300 to $1000, and I got nothing for the extra money. Maybe the Indians did, maybe the prison guards did, maybe the illegal aliens did, but I got nothing. Let’s see how many people think like me and vote Arnold. I predict his victory on Tuesday.

Apoplectic for Arnold

Saturday, October 4th, 2003

“Davis knows how to run a dirty campaign, but he doesn’t know how to run a state,” said Arnold on Saturday. I’m a McClintock guy by dint of his positions, but I’m going to vote as many times as I can for Arnold on Tuesday. Even the LA Weekly, for goodness sakes, can’t believe what has happened with the Davis house organ, the LA Slime. Bill Bradley:

The L.A. Times has a story Saturday about three more women who allege that gubernatorial front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger engaged in sexual misconduct over the years. Schwarzenegger, on his bus tour north of Fresno, said charges in the story “are absolutely untrue.”

The Times maintains that none of the women came forward at the behest of Schwarzenegger’s opponents. That claim, however, is looking increasingly dubious. One of the three women in the story says she came forward at the urging of Jodie Evans, described by the Times as a peace activist and “co-founder of the women’s peace group Code Pink.” At best, this is an incomplete, misleading description.

Here’s what the newspaper should have said about Evans. She is actually a former close colleague of Gov. Gray Davis, a longtime Democratic operative and a friend of noted Democratic hit man Bob Mulholland. Evans is also the ex-wife of Westside financier Max Palevsky, the man who gave Gray Davis his first job in politics as the fund-raiser in Tom Bradley’s 1973 mayoral campaign.

If the last-minute hit and run campaign against Arnold is successful, I am not sure what Republicans will do with their anger. This is the worst I’ve seen in over 40 years of following politics. Nixon referred to the silent majority; these Democratic attacks may have created the silenced majority.

One can only marvel at what they would have done with McClintock.

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

TIME Magazine It

When I was a kid, I heard a saying that someone would take the news and “TIME Magazine it.” I understood that to mean to remove all affect from the prose, to neuter it. I found TIME unreadable for this reason, unlike, say, Seven Days in May, Failsafe, or the Caine Mutiny. No blood. No guts. No interest.

Well, TIME has pepped up its style, hasn’t it. Ollie North:

Since July, Time has run four cover stories attacking the president’s efforts in Iraq. July 14: “Peace Is Hell.” July 21: “Untruth and Consequences.” Sept. 1: “Are We Stretched Too Thin?” But the most egregious is their Oct. 6 issue that features a photo of President Bush after landing aboard the carrier USS Lincoln with a caption that reads, “Mission NOT Accomplished.” The title of the story inside the magazine: “So, What Went Wrong?”

Not an improvement, however.

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

Goldberg, Williams on Rush

The ever reliable Jonah finds the humor:

Indeed, if this had happened in a discussion about politics instead of sports, nobody would have cared. Here’s a demonstration: Let me declare here and now that one of the reasons the media like Colin Powell is that he is black. Let me also declare that if Jesse Jackson were white, he would either A) be fixing refrigerators right now or B) he’d be laughed at as a charlatan.

And didn’t we all just spend six months talking about whether Jayson Blair’s problems at The New York Times were the result of liberal whites giving him a free pass?

Such comments can be right or wrong, rude or fair, but they aren’t necessarily racist. I don’t know if Limbaugh’s right about McNabb. To be honest, I don’t really care. But nobody on the show with him thought the remarks were racist. Indeed, fellow panelist Michael Irvin, who is black, said “Rush has a point” in response to Limbaugh’s comments. Should he resign, too?

Ultimately, I’m disappointed with ESPN for creating this mess. I’m disappointed in Limbaugh for not standing his ground. I’m disappointed with the owner of the Eagles for buying some cheap grace. And, I’m disappointed in Dean, Clark and Sharpton just for being them.

Armstrong Williams:

In America in 2003, black people can talk openly about race. They can admit to identifying with black cultural icons. They can admit to having black pride. They can even drop the N-bomb. White corporate America cannot. The result is a racial double standard that threatens our ability to talk openly about the very serious topic of race relations…

[W]hat precisely did Limbaugh insinuate that was so wrong? That the NFL has ethnic double standards? Of course it does! This past year the NFL instituted a new policy that will enact sanctions against teams that fail to interview minorities for vacant coaching positions. Critics of the policy raised very legitimate concerns of whether trotting out black coaching candidates for token interviews might do more harm than good. After all, you can force an owner to interview a black coach, but you can’t force him to hire one. Would the repeated rejection of certain black candidates actually do harm to their reputations?

These are serious questions, and ones that the NFL never seriously addressed. Instead, they plowed forward with the policy for a very simple reason: We – NFL policymakers, fans and media – want black athletes and coaches to have equal opportunity. At this late date, we realize that black athletes and coaches have traditionally been denied certain opportunities. It was easy for white coaches to succeed when they had other white coaches from whom they could learn and white owners willing to give them a chance. Society did not offer black coaches this same opportunity.

So, is it racist to mandate that black coaches at least get interviewed? Of course. It seeks to assuage the problem of racism in the past by practicing reverse-racial preferences now. These sorts of preferences define all the members of a fixed group by skin color. By extension, the policy implicitly accepts the notion of creditor and debtor race. Nowhere does the U.S. Constitution make allowances for such classifications. Still we support the policy. We want it to succeed.

Many of us feel the same way toward black quarterbacks. Radio talk show host Russ Parr recently told me he roots for Michael Vick, not because he has any roots in Atlanta, but “because Vick is black.” What Parr knows, and what anyone who gives the matter any thought realizes, is that until recently, few black athletes were given an opportunity to play quarterback. Many suffered because coaches and owners assumed that they lacked teamwork skills and were not intelligent enough for the position.

Times a-Wastin’

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

Hugh Hewitt has been all over the shoddy, misleading, and arrogant smearing of Arnold. But this NewsMax piece shows a subtler method of bias:

The Los Angeles Times decided Thursday that allegations from six women claiming that California gubernatorial front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger groped them was front-page news.

But four years ago the paper could barely bring itself to report a far more serious rape accusation against then-President Bill Clinton – and later banned mention of the episode from its editorial page.

The Times dived right into the Schwarzenegger allegations, some decades old, reporting in often disgusting detail alleged comments and physical interaction between the former action star and several women who say they were left humiliated but not injured.

But when the Times covered Juanita Broaddrick’s account of a brutal sexual attack that she said left her bruised and bleeding, the paper led with denials from Clinton’s lawyer.

Even then, Los Angelenos had to turn to page 16 to read about the bombshell development, which began:

“President Clinton’s spokesman and his personal attorney on Friday denied a published account in which an Arkansas woman, Juanita Broaddrick, contends she was sexually assaulted by Clinton 20 years ago while he was the state’s attorney general.”

A denial issued by Schwarzenegger’s spokesman, however, didn’t appear till the 10th paragraph of today’s report.

Two years after the Broaddrick story exploded, the L.A. Times had ceased downplaying the news – and instead decided to censor it altogether from a column by George Will.

“It is reasonable to believe that [Clinton] was a rapist 15 years before becoming president,” Will wrote, assessing Clinton’s merit as president.

A few days later the L.A. Times ran a letter from Will complaining about the censorship.

Bang for the Buck in WMD

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

Let’s remember that Saddam was the most experienced person in the world in the use of offensive WMD. So he knew what he was doing. Stipulate that his objective was to wage or potentiate asymmetrical warfare, as per that creepy newspaper article by his son reported in the WSJ, which apparently referred to anthrax. Finally, remember that he was on a budget — all those palaces and torture chambers to keep up.

Nuclear — really expensive, high maintenance required, difficult to transport, pretty hard to conceal after a certain point. Chemical — limited range, though nice killing power. Biological — ah, cheap, only requires relatively simple lab equipment, mostly requires brainpower, able to be decentralized, perfect for killing lots of people in a land far far away.

So now it looks like biologicals were the experts WMD of choice, according to Andrew Sullivan’s reading of Kay. But I also suspect we will come up with some chemical weapons before this thing is over. Excerpt:

* A clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment subject to UN monitoring and suitable for continuing CBW research.

* A prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi officials working to prepare for UN inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the UN.

* Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist’s home, one of which can be used to produce biological weapons.

* New research on BW-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin were not declared to the UN.

* Documents and equipment, hidden in scientists’ homes, that would have been useful in resuming uranium enrichment by centrifuge and electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS).

* A line of UAVs not fully declared at an undeclared production facility and an admission that they had tested one of their declared UAVs out to a range of 500 km, 350 km beyond the permissible limit.

* Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited SCUD variant missiles, a capability that was maintained at least until the end of 2001 and that cooperating Iraqi scientists have said they were told to conceal from the UN.

* Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1000 km – well beyond the 150 km range limit imposed by the UN. Missiles of a 1000 km range would have allowed Iraq to threaten targets through out the Middle East, including Ankara, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi.

* Clandestine attempts between late-1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300 km range ballistic missiles –probably the No Dong — 300 km range anti-ship cruise missiles, and other prohibited military equipment.

Many years ago, a relative of mine who was a kid at the time, pointed to a Cleveland mayor’s window and said: “Mayor Kucinich is making a dooty.” Dooty indeed.

CBS Says McNabb Tops ‘Overrated’ List

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

from NewsMax. I suppose I’ll need this so I’ll just post most of the NewsMax article:

An alert reader today sent us a most fascinating column written CBS SportsLine.com senior writer Pete Prisco back on Sept. 18.

McNabb was the choice as the most overrated player before his Stink at the Linc on Sunday. McNabb was awful in the Eagles’ 31-10 loss to the Patriots, which dropped the Eagles to a surprising 0-2 heading into their bye week.

McNabb is still a good player, despite his pedestrian numbers from the first two games. He’s just not a great one.

And that’s why he earns the Most Overrated Player Award.

On most player ranking lists heading into the season, McNabb was ranked in the top 15-20 players. One had him as the third-best overall, and he is often considered one of the top three or four quarterbacks.

That’s wrong and wrong.

McNabb has never been an accurate passer, doesn’t seem comfortable in the pocket and has a tendency to make bad decisions. That is not how you earn high grades as a quarterback. …

And that’s why he’s the most-overrated player, something he was getting even if he hadn’t smelled up the place Sunday.

We are free to speculate on why he is overrated. Or are we?

Update: WND has an even better article with many people talking about McNabb as very overrated.

Br’er Shrub, and A Trifecta of Nastiness

Thursday, October 2nd, 2003

We have been worried for some time about the Bush Administration and WMD, mostly because we had predicted a very shrewd strategy on the part of GWB: namely, letting the Democrats get out on a limb, and then sawing it off for them. The recent semi-leaks of David Kay’s interim report that no WMD have been found have been a bit unnerving. So we are curious about this report, indirectly an AP story:

Kuwaiti security authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle $60 million worth of chemical weapons and biological warheads from Iraq to an unnamed European country, a Kuwaiti newspaper said on Wednesday.

The pro-Government Al-Siyassah, quoting an unnamed security source, said the suspects had been watched by security since they arrived in Kuwait and were arrested “in due time.” It did not say when or how the smugglers entered Kuwait or when they were arrested.

So we’ll keep the faith a while longer. We have predicted a big, positive report on finding lots of WMD about April 2004, so we’ll see.

Meanwhile, the trifecta of nastiness is that Arnold gropes women, Rush is a racist drug addict, and Bush is OJ.