Wednesday, November 24, 2004
By Jonah Goldberg from National Review
But Kerry left out another area where the status quo was to be extended by another Bush term: The president can do nothing right.
This has been a constant theme of the last four years. When Bush was allegedly acting unilaterally (Iraq), he was denounced for not being multilateral. When he was multilateral (North Korea), he was denounced for not being unilateral. When Europeans are excluded, that's bad (again, allegedly Iraq); when Europeans are allowed to take the lead (Iran), that's bad, too. When Bush "outsourced" the war in Afghanistan by using non-American troops, that was a monumental mistake, according to Kerry and others. When we didn't outsource the war in Iraq, that was a monumental mistake as well. And so on.
Is there a such thing as being "too" right? If so, Goldberg is too right to a tee as he takes on the President's critics on Porter Goss's reformation of the CIA. Read it when you get a chance.
I think I'll write about Democratic Party contradictions in my column at NorthernArc
Posted at 04:10 am by Expertise
Sensenbrenner and Hunter, stand firm and don't back down.
Over the weekend, the media started whooping and hollering about the House of Representatives voting down the Intelligence Reform bill that would have consolidated all of the intelligence agencies under one umbrella. The media tries to claim that it's a "turf war", saying the House is trying to protect the status quo and standing firm against change.
Don't be fooled by what they are telling you. The truth is that the Senate wants to try to candy-coat true reform, and provisions that the House has asked for that would really go a long way to protect this country against terrorist aggression.
The two leading this supposed rebellion against the wishes of the 9/11 families and the President is Congressmen James Sensenbrenner from Wisconsin, who is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; and Duncan Hunter from California, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. And as Brendan Miniter explains
, there are a few central issues that the Senate needs to get straight:
The Washington Post identified the "conservatives" in the House as the bad guys. Meanwhile others claim certain House members were simply doing the Pentagon's bidding. Give it a few days, and we'll likely hear that it was actually Halliburton that was behind the curtain all along. But make no mistake, this bill died in House-Senate conference over a central policy issue: whether the military should take the lead in fighting the war on terror. More than a few Beltway insiders don't see Iraq as part of that war and anyway would rather the Marines and special-ops guys take a back seat to the CIA and other clandestine services--a view reflected in the reforms pushed by the Senate.
It's real simple, folks; should the War on Terror be ran by the people who are actually fighting it and trying to kill these people that have them in the crosshairs or should the bureaucrats in Washington do it? Considering the problems in the CIA as of late as they have been engaging in a power struggle with the president and the numerous times bureaucratic control failed in the years leading to 9/11, there is no question that it's time for the people who are in the war and have their lives on the line to control the war. That's what the Pentagon is there for.
Another great statement by Miniter:
Before we get too far into the details--and there are a lot of details that have not been widely reported but will nonetheless make you cringe--let's pause for a moment to consider the politics. Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat, responded to a reporter's question this way: "If there is another major terrorist attack on our soil--and sadly, there will likely be one--we will have only ourselves to blame. Congress had a chance to protect America, and Congress failed." She's hardly alone. This seems to be part of a new Democratic offensive.
This strategy is a dangerous one for America. Talking down American power and misleading our enemies into believing that an attack could damage the political party that is most vigorously pursuing the war on terror--à la Spain--invites disaster. What Osama bin Laden needs to understand is that his is a hopeless cause destined to leave him a broken and humiliated man.
Minter's right; the media and the Democrats are now going to put on the shell of foreign policy strength; something that they've never been concerned about in the last 40 years. If a terrorist attack happens again, they will point fingers at the Republicans. They still live - even after this year's disasterous election - with the belief that whatever is bad for America will be good for the Democratic Party.
Also, another hilarious notion is the lamenting of "Rebellious Republicans", when it was just last week
that the media and the Democrats were complaining about the controversy over Senator Arlen Specter. In that case, they were complaining because moderates were supposedly being pushed out through party line. However, this week, they're complaining that the party line isn't being enforced. Take the Democratic Leadership Council's statement on Monday
It's time for Bush...to make it clear that he, not James Sensenbrenner or Duncan Hunter (the two House committee potentates who are opposing intelligence reform) -- or for that matter, Tom DeLay or Donald Rumsfeld -- is the leader of his party. It's time for him to spend some political capital in the pursuit of national security, and to make some heads roll within his own administration if the safety of the American people continues to be subordinated to self-interested bureaucratic turf wars.
In other words, go to Hunter and Sensenbrenner, smack them around, and tell them who's boss. But after seeing what Sensenbrenner had to say on Rush Limbaugh's show today
, I don't think he's intimidated by either the President or the Senate:
SENSENBRENNER: Well, after the supporters of this bad deal trashed both Duncan Hunter and me on every Sunday morning talking heads shows -- neither of us, by the way, were invited to defend ourselves -- it's obvious that the positions have hardened. Neither Duncan nor I are going to give in on our provisions which we believe are extremely important to protect America and particularly to give our war fighters in combat the proper intelligence that they need. And we have been standing together on this issue. I think that we do need to reform our intelligence community. That's a given. But if the people who receive the intelligence, whether it's law enforcement or the war fighters in combat, do not have the laws and the procedures to be able to use that intelligence, the good intelligence isn't really going to help anybody much at all.
Sensenbrenner was excellent in this interview with Limbaugh today. And he, Hunter, nor any of the other Republicans should back down at all.
Now there are other provisions that the Senate has their panties in a bunch about. Two of them are the driver's license ban and the asylum ban. The driver's license ban would make it illegal for any illegal immigrant to be able to obtain a license anywhere in this country. That's the one I REALLY want to pass. And Sensenbrenner has made it clear that he isn't going to bulge on that provision:
RUSH: Congressman, where do we stand on this now? This is obviously a dead issue during this session of Congress, is that true?
SENSENBRENNER: The leadership would like to have more negotiations going on before we get back here on December the 6th. I am absolutely insistent that the driver's license provision stay in the bill. We need tough standards. We need to deny driver's licenses to illegal aliens, and I think the proof in the pudding on that is that the 19 September 11th hijackers --
SENSENBRENNER: -- ended up getting 63 validly issued driver's licenses from several states.
. It's about time someone did something about it. In fact, in Michelle Malkin's book "Invasion"
, one of the biggest things that struck me is how easily the terrorists were able to obtain the kinds of information and access that you'd think only the residents of that state or the citizens of the U.S. would be able to get, yet these guys were able to use a very complex illegal immigration black market racket in Virginia to get all they needed to get around the country and then some. The fact that North Carolina made it legal for terrorists to do the same thing really pisses me off to no end.
The asylum ban would make it harder for people seeking to come to this country to declare political asylum, and Sensenbrenner gave a good explanation by this needs to be implemented:
The Senate rejected any change in the asylum law, and once again, yesterday, they were shown to be wrong because there were 26 people that were indicted for gaming the asylum and driver's licenses law in order to document 1900 illegal immigrants from Indonesia.
The truth is, the facts are with Sensenbrenner and Hunter, NOT the President nor the supposed moderate Republicans that are trying to pander to a Latino community that wants to place political power at the expense of national security and weakened law enforcement.
Someone needs to tell the 9/11 Commission and the families that their 15 minutes of fame passed by over the summer. They are not elected officials, and we elected people to Congress to pass laws. And I don't know of any article or amendment in the Constitution that states that Congress should blindly pass any law or resolution simply because a supposed bipartisan commission claims it is the right thing to do.
I never thought consolidating the intelligence agencies under one director was a good idea anyway. I didn't think the Republicans would place a halt to such an idea, but I'm glad Sensenbrenner and Hunter need to continue to stand their ground.
Keep on keeping on.
Posted at 01:52 am by Expertise
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
A solid week, albeit there was only a couple of hot games, and those weren't supposed to be as good as they were.
Minnesota, New England, and Pittsburgh almost blew it. Pittsburgh and New England pulled it out, and it took a 12-point turnaround in the 4th for Minnesota to pull out the win. All three showed a bit of weakness in their games this week.
Atlanta almost blew it too, all in the face of a rookie quarterback's first start. If Algee Crumpler wasn't on that field Atlanta would probably be 6-4 rather than 8-2. But even 6-4 is more than enough to win the NFC South and get a playoff spot, as it looks as if no other team in that division will make it to .500.
Speaking of the South, I don't know what Charles Robinson has been smoking, but he needs to get off of it. Saying the 4-6 Bucs will contend for the last playoff spot
? I don't think so. Blowing out the Niners isn't impressive, and more than likely they'll probably split the games between the Panthers, and lose to Atlanta and San Diego. That's nine losses right there.
Right now, I got the byes in the NFC going to Philly and Atlanta, with GB, Minnesota, Seattle, and the Rams getting the wild cards. But that could change if the Giants pull off the upset in Philly.
In the AFC, it looks like Pittsburgh and New England with the byes, and Baltimore, Denver, San Diego, Indy gettin the wild cards. I don't see that changing anytime soon. The Jets will be done once they hit December.
Turkey day will be boring, as the Colts should feast on the Lions, but a half assed game between the Cows and the Bears. If Parcells loses that game, don't expect him back next year. But the biggest game of the week will be New England/Baltimore. The Ravens better bring their A-game for that one. Kyle Boller better play his best game on Sunday.
I thought Carolina/San Francisco about two years ago would be this year's Toilet Bowl matchup. I was wrong. It's this week's Miami/San Francisco matchup. Both teams are 1-9 and Miami just lost Jay Fiedler for the season. Let's hope CBS doesn't decide to make that the nationwide game.
Posted at 11:31 pm by Expertise
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Artest gone for season, Jackson gets 30, O'Neal 25, Wallace 6 and Anthony Johnson 5.
The NBA announced moments ago that Ron Artest has been suspended for the rest of the season
Stephen Jackson received a 30 game suspension, Jermaine O'Neal 25 games, Ben Wallace of the Pistons received 6 games and Pacers' guard Anthony Johnson got 5 (why, I'm not sure about yet).
Also, four players received a one-game suspension: Pacers' guard Reggie Miller (who was injured and on the bench), and Detroit's Chauncey Billips, Elden Campbell, and Derrick Coleman.
Last night when there were rumors of Artest only getting 30 and Jackson and O'Neal getting 20 with Wallace getting five, I thought that was too excessive. But now it's even worse than that. The NBA is way too excessive with these suspensions and I can guarantee you that the NBA Players' Association will send this into arbitration to get appealed.
In my opinion, Artest should have only gotten 20 games, with Jackson and O'Neal getting 10. The fans at courtside started that incident, not those guys. I understand the reasoning behind Artest being punished, but that could have been done with less time and could have been done without scarring the whole Pacers franchise.
All David Stern has done with this incident has made the Pistons' attempts of a NBA championship repeat that much easier. Hell; Detroit fans have been rewarded by this incident, not punished.
But hey; maybe this will give the Charlotte Bobcats their second win. They play the Pistons tonight.
Posted at 06:28 pm by Expertise
This won't be a big week, as there really isn't any high-profile matchups. Expect the favorites to cruise for the most part.
anyways, here are my picks this week:
Baltimore over Dallas
St. Louis over Buffalo
Carolina over Arizona
Indy over Chicago
Steelers over Cincinnatti
Jets over Cleveland
Jacksonville over Tennessee
Minnesota over Detroit
New Orleans over Denver
Tampa over San Fran
Chargers over Oakland
Seattle over Miami
Giants over Atlanta (that's my upset)
Philly over Washington
Houston over Green Bay
and Monday Night: Pats over KC
Games to watch are Houston/GB, NO/Denver (both need a win), Atlanta/Giants (Atlanta will make the playoffs easily, but Giants need a win and Eli Manning gets his first start), and possibly Balt/Dallas for the simple fact that the Ravens' O sucks just enough to keep Dallas in that one throughout.
They'll be some alright games, and I'm sure one of the top tier teams will slack off and come close to getting upsetted, but it doesn't look good on paper for this week. Let's hope I do better than my 8-6 record from last week.
Posted at 06:22 am by Expertise
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Artest, Jackson, and O'Neal clean house on Detroit fans.
If you haven't heard, one of the wildest altercations in sports history happened Friday night.
It started with only 45 seconds left in the Pistons-Pacers game. Ron Artest fouls Ben Wallace as Wallace was driving to the lane. Wallace takes exception to that and shoves the hell out of Artest.
Players and officials immediately start breaking it up before it becomes a full blown fight. Artest, to his credit, actually backs up and doesn't try to fight. In fact, Artest - the NBA's wild child that snaps like a power keg - lays down on the scoring table, which was hilarious.
But nobody could have imagined what was to happen next. While lying on the table, a fan throws a cup of beer and hits Artest.
set Artest off. And before anyone could blink, Artest was in the stands trying to make that fan a part of one of the arena chairs, bashing the guy's head into one of those seats. And other guy walked in the melee and threw ANOTHER beer, and was immediately mollywhopped by Pacers forward Stephen Jackson.
The only problem is, that wasn't the guy that actually hit Artest with the beer. The one that did was the one with the cap and jersey on in the picture.
He tried along with arena security and both teams to pull Artest off of the guy, and once they had done that, cheap-shotted Artest with rabbit punches in the back of the head.
It turned into a very ugly situation, with Pacers players fighting with Pistons fans anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Everybody's trying to subdue Artest before he killed someone, Jackson is trying to beat everyone's asses in the building, and even Pacers big man Jermaine O'Neal came out of nowhere with a sliding overhand right on a fan who was trying to fight Artest on the court.
All in all, a great substitute for Friday Night Fights. All of these guys have potential to be wrestlers after their NBA careers are over. I'm sure Vince McMahon is drooling at the prospects (and it is quite ironic that earlier this month the Pistons came out during the introduction of their home opener each wearing a replica of Ric Flair's World Heavyweight Championship gold belt. Maybe they should have given those to the Pacers).
This is probably an all new low for the behavior of sports fans. Detroit gets absolutely no respect for what went down Friday night. And what makes it worse is that a number of them ended up getting tagged by Artest, Jackson, and O'Neal.
Suspensions? Oh you can bet on it. We might even see someone gone for the rest of the year. You can bet those four will be suspended as well a couple of others. Right now, I see Stephen Jackson being MIA for the most games, but they might get Artest worse because of Artest's past history of getting into altercations. Wallace will be suspended for about three games, and O'Neal will get a game as well.
: The NBA has indefinitely suspended Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal, and Ben Wallace
pending a further investigation into Friday night's incident.
This was the correct thing to do by the NBA. Actually, I wished they had did it a few hours after the fight. But it does show that they are on top of things and all parties involved will be found and punished.
And hopefully they find the fans behind this and have them banned from all Detroit games, as well have criminal charges filed against them.
Posted at 01:46 am by Expertise
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Cleveland anchor poses nude for sweeps.
Did anyone hear about the stunt this anchor pulled in Cleveland this week?
Well, Action News 19's Sharon Reed - in a very cheap attempt to grab ratings during sweeps - decided to do a nude feature story, taping numerous people naked, including herself.
I haven't seen the actual video of the story. I'm sure I'll find it somewhere online by the end of the night, but CNN has a pretty good description
of what went down:
Sharon Reed was one of hundreds of people who participated in Spencer Tunick's nude photo installation in Cleveland in June. Her report, shown Monday on the 11 p.m. newscast on WOIO-TV, showed far away angles of her nude and some closer seminude shots, as well as other participants.
And believe me, they made no bones about why they did it:
WOIO news director Steve Doerr said the idea was to cover Tunick, a well-known artist, in a different way. Doerr said the story also was aimed at bringing in ratings during November sweeps when audiences are measured to set advertising rates.
Monday night's newscast received a record 17.1 share, compared with the 13.6 earned during the newscast airing immediately after this year's Super Bowl, according to Broadcasting & Cable, an industry publication.
And they are eating this up, as they plan another story on this tonight. This is from their website
All of Cleveland has something to say about the most controversial news story in the city's history. 19 Action News anchor Sharon Reed, along with 3,000 other Clevelanders, posed naked for a world-famous photographer. In the highest-rated local newscast in the station's history, the story aired with unedited, unaltered video.
After making local television history, there's more to be told.
With telephones ringing off the hook, national networks requesting interviews and 19ActionNews.com receiving more than 1 million hits from Internet users across the globe, 19 Action News is baring it all again -- this time showing the story behind the big story.
Exactly how do you green-light a story that features the nudity of one of your own news anchors? If you think the viewers who watched the story are divided, wait until you see how this report went over in our own newsroom. It's an unprecedented look at how a high-stakes news story can turn a newsroom upside down.
That's Thursday night at 11 on 19 Action News, right after a new episode of "Without A Trace."
Now, am I salty because she was naked? No. That's no big thing. But I am disturbed by it industry-wise
, in which now television stations will go above and beyond the news in order to gain ratings in this kind of manner.
With all due respect, just report the damn news. Reed looks good, and if she was naked in front of me, I wouldn't turn my head away from her. But I'm sure I can see better bodies on porn doing a WHOLE lot more. This is nothing more than a tease.
I mean hell; if you gonna go this far, why half-step? Get a train started or somethin?!??!?? All of those people naked...and no orgies? If you gonna do something, do it right.
: Yo....this chick got ISH-SHUES, man.
I was sitting here all day thinkin, "Sharon Reed, Sharon Reed...where have I heard that name before?" I knew that chick from somewhere. And then Tooley
reminded me that she was about to get her ass whupped by Philly anchor Alicia Taylor about a couple of years ago
. She ended up having to leave Philly because of that
She was also linked to jungle fever victim Robert De Niro, as well as with the Eagles' Donovan McNabb and the Sixers' Aaron McKie. In the case of McKie, she was accused of being a homewrecker.
It's quite sad to see such a situation come to pass. She's enjoying this for the short-term, but what happens once this dies down and she loses her 15 minutes of fame? She's placed herself in a bad spot considering that there will be very few top tiered markets that will take her after this and the other issues she's had. You might as well call her damaged goods.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE
Folks, believe me when I tell you this...
Naw; life is REALLY good.
I don't even care no mo. I'm through.
If you really want to see more pics, check out this link
Posted at 10:54 am by Expertise
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Eh. This was an alright week.
Of course, Pittsburgh is the king of the hill for right now, and perhaps for the rest of the regular season. I don't see them losing anytime soon. The Eagles and Patriots have came back from their respective whuppins from the Steelers, although they really haven't been tested yet (Well, the Pats had a pretty impressive win over the Rams last week, so I guess that accounts for something.)
But I watched the Eagles/Cowboys game last night, the Eagles didn't look that great against a team that has pretty much given up on the season. Sure, TO got three touches but that was against a nonexistent secondary that didn't seemed like they didn't try. The Eagles' chances of sweeping the NFC look pretty good, although the Eagles are still vulnerable to a good secondary effort and an offense that can possibly put points on the board. The only teams I can see doing that right now are all in the AFC, albeit Atlanta can do that if their defense decides to show up that day, and possibly Minnesota and St. Louis can outshoot them.
For example, I watched Atlanta/Tampa Bay, and it was a decent game. Tampa Bay looked real sloppy, as it was their worst effort since Michael Vick has been playing in Atlanta. Tampa Bay usually plays "kill the man" with Vick, as their linemen are reall quick and can shut him down. Vick was contained for a while, but finally he started connecting with Algee Crumpler, who got two huge passes late in the game. That pretty much put the Bucs away.
Atlanta is in that second tier in the league with Minnesota, Green Bay, St. Louis, Jacksonville and Denver. However, I'm still not sold on their chances to be a quality team right now because you never know when their defense will show up, and if you have a good back - ala Priest Holmes's dismantling of their defense a few weeks ago - they will get ran over. Lucky for them the NFC only has a couple of those backs, so I expect them to lose once to New Orleans this year. And they might have a problem with Tiki Barber and the Giants next week, albeit they've been having problems as well.
I'm just grateful that Carolina didn't lose the Toilet Bowl matchup vs. San Francisco, but I was really pissed that they let themselves get behind 17-0 late in the first half. There's no excuse for that. Luckily San Francisco's defensive line couldn't push their way through a wet paper bag, so Delhomme was able to do the things he normally would if he had a real offensive line. Fox might as well get used to the idea that Carolina will be a passing team for the rest of the year, considering all three running backs are hurt.
Okay so I went....8-6 last week. Not good. Hopefully I'll do better with next week's predictions, which should be up Saturday.
Also, congratulations to my TARHEELS for turning this season around and getting a big win over Wake Forest
. If they beat Duke, they'll go to their first bowl game in about..three or four years. That's great, and I'm really excited about UNC quarterback Darian Durant. You might hear about him doing some big things next year in the NFL.
So Tarheels, go get our bell back
Oh, and one more thing to the prudes out there: GET OVER YOURSELVES
. It wasn't as if she flashed a tiddie on national television or anything. Get a life.
Posted at 02:02 am by Expertise
Monday, November 15, 2004
Powell resigns; Rice made Sec of State.
As expected, Colin Powell gave Bush his resignation papers
, pending the training of his replacement being completed.
Bush wasted no time making Condoleeza Rice that replacement
There were scant rumors that Rice would resign also, albeit it was a long shot. Rice comes into the State Department tested, and I wouldn't be surprised about hearing the word "reform" dancing around much like the CIA is doing under new director Porter Goss. Bush seems determined to do the clean up that he talked about during Election 2000.
This also gives a little insight into Rice's future plans, as she will now become a familiar name for vice-president in 2008 or possibly Governor of California in 2010 or 2014 (assuming Schwarzenegger runs and is reelected). However, I agree with Reynolds over at Instapundit that she has to be awfully tired, considering that this administration has had one of the most daunting and draining four years probably since WWII. I can't see her wanting to go straight into a VP nomination in 08.
And to show how draining it can be, Powell makes six cabinet members that won't be back for the second term. From most accounts, there could be as many as two or three more.
I'm not going to gloat or celebrate because Rice is the Sec of State. I'll just wish her luck and leave it at that.
Posted at 09:52 pm by Expertise
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Tonight's fights and NFL picks.
Don King put on a 4 heavyweight match fight card tonight, pitting Hasim Rahman vs. Kali Meehan, Evander Holyfield vs. Larry Donald, John Ruiz vs. Andrew Golata, and Chris Byrd vs. Jameel McCline.
Believe me folks, this is the worst the heavyweight division has ever looked since the early 80's, during the period when Larry Holmes retired and before Tyson became a monster. It doesn't look like it's going to get any better anytime soon, either. Rahman dominated his fight as he should have, winning by a 4th round KO. However, the other three were embarrassing.
Chris Byrd retained his IBF title despite hitting the canvas in the second round and won by a very narrow decision. The AP had Byrd winning the fight by a couple of rounds, due to his boxing prowess.
And John Ruiz has proved to be one of the biggest embarrassments to be considered a heavyweight champion, sliding past Andrew Golata despite being knocked down twice and being penalized by a low blow. And he did it by turning the fight into a cirus in which the ref had to throw his trainer out of the arena after he first threw a punch at Golata's trainer in the first round, and kept arguing with the ref until he was thrown out in the eighth. And after Ruiz was knocked down in the second he continued to fight that same dirty grabbing style and afterwards got a little love from the judges.
Golata was surprised. So was the AP, as they had him winning the fight. And note, this was the second time he got robbed by a Don King fighter, as his fight against Chris Byrd was a draw. Golata won't win a fight with them unless he knocks them out.
UPDATE: I forgot the third fight. Holyfield got embarrassed by unknown Larry Donald. Someone needs to force Holyfield to retire. This is becoming a joke.
Anyway, on to the NFL. Here are my picks for today:
- Tampa Bay over Atlanta
- Pittsburgh over Cleveland
- Indy over Houston
- Jacksonville over Detroit (I'm not sure bout this one folks, but I'll go with the favorite)
- KC over NO
- Baltimore over Jets
- St. Louis over Seattle
- Titans over Chicago (not sure bout this one either)
- Redskins over Bengals
- Giants over Cards
- Minnesota over Green Bay
- Carolina over San Francisco (Toilet Bowl)
- New England over Buffalo (duh.)
And for Monday Night:
- Philly over Dallas
The games to watch are Minn/GB, St. Louis/Seattle, Balt/Jets, Pitt/Cleve (Roethlisberger will break rookie starting record if he wins today), and Car/San Fran (to see who will be the worst team in the league). Philly/Dallas will more likely be a snoozer, so plan to go to bed early.
Posted at 02:55 am by Expertise