Monday, May 23, 2005

Blog Reaction To Filibuster Deal

John Hinderaker, Powerline

What a hideous deal! The Democrats have agreed to cloture on only three nominees, and they have made no commitment not to filibuster in the future, if there are "extraordinary circumstances." Of course, the Dems think any nominee who is a Republican is "extraordinary." The Dems have just wriggled off the hook on some of the nominees that, politically, some of them did not want to be seen voting against.

Someone explain to me why the Republicans haven't been rolled once again. To me, it looks like a pathetic collapse on the part of the Republicans--not the leadership, but Senators like McCain who sold out their party.

ONE MORE: Now the Republicans are treating the execrable Robert Byrd like a hero! Unbelievable. What a low moment. "We have kept the Republic," Byrd says. I think I'm going to be sick.

Hugh Hewitt,
It is impossible to say whether this is a "terrible" deal, a "bad" deal, or a very, very marginally "ok" deal, but it surely is not a good deal.
Ed Hennessey, Captain's Quarters,
If the Republicans have foresworn the Byrd option without an ironclad guarantee that the filibuster will not be used on nominees with majority support, then they have traded their hard-won majority for de facto minority status -- and the leadership will have to answer for this result.

Mark Tapscott (via Malkin)
I said months ago that Senate GOPers are terrified of offending Senate Democrats. Now we will see the Senate GOP leadership desperately searching for a way to share in the glory that even as this post is being written is being prepared by the MSM to shower upon Senate "moderates" of both parties who "saved" the Senate and the federal judiciary from the Extreme Right and the Evangelical Christian Theocracy.

Good Call Indeed. The first wire stories are rolling in,

Boston Globe Headline: Modeates Reach Filibuster Deal
When you click the link, the headline to the AP story reads "Senators avert showdown over filibusters". Interesting.

WASHINGTON --In a dramatic reach across party lines, Senate centrists sealed a compromise Monday night to clear the way for confirmation of many of President Bush's stalled judicial nominees, leave others in limbo and preserve venerable filibuster rules.

"In a Senate that has become increasingly partisan and polarized, the bipartisan center held," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., one of 14 senators --seven from each party -- to pledge their "mutual trust and confidence" on the deal.

Blogs for Bush is liveblogging and has tons of great links.

Laura Bush Sets Little Katie Straight

Katie's Message to the military
Originally uploaded by punditreview.

Three Cheers to Laura Bush for calling Katie Couric on her bias against the military!

Hat Tip: The Corner

From the Today Show, May 23, 2005

Katie Couric:

"In your view, is the administration holding the people who are doing these things, and perhaps they are in the minority as you say, but do you think they're being held sufficiently accountable?"

Mrs. Bush took exception to Katie's P-word:

"Yes I do. I mean there's investigations going on the people are being held accountable and it's not 'a perhaps in the minority'. We know it's very, very few people. A handful of people. We know that overall our troops are serving with distinction. They're very helpful to the people where they are. They're building schools, they're refurbishing schools. They're drilling well waters so that villages have clean water. They're helping both Afghanistan and Iraq as they build they're countries. They're training troops in Iraq and policemen there."

"So the, the sad news is that the coverage is so extreme of a handful of really, really bad cases. And the American people are sick about it. They don't want people around the world to have an image of Americans like that, because that's not the way Americans really are. And it's certainly not the way our troops, overall, serve anywhere around the world."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Pundit Review Radio All-Star Line-Up

Boston's talk leader, WRKO, has decided to replace Newsweak International with Pundit Review Radio, a show that promotes bloggers. Ouch!

Each Sunday evening at 9PM EST, we will examine traditional talk radio topics (politics, media, culture) by highlighting the work of the best, most insightful thought leaders in the new media.

And by best, we mean THE best. Here is the guest line-up for our first month on WRKO,

May 22: James Taranto from Opinion Journal's Best of the Web
May 29: Don Luskin of National Review, Smart Money and
June 5: Scott Johnson, Powerline
June 12: Hugh Hewitt

You can listen to the show live at WRKO and you can reach us toll free at 877-469-4322.

We want to thank everyone who has supported the show this week by alerting your readers and linking to us. We truly appreciate your support.

Talk to you Sunday evening.

Friday, May 20, 2005

More torture from US troops?

Originally uploaded by punditreview.
We didn't even ask if he wanted boxers or briefs.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bashing of US military by MSM continues...

Junk Yard Blog has the goods on another high profile mainstream media member trashing the US military.

Linda Foley is the International President of the Newspaper Guild and is also president of Communications Workers of America, the nation's largest broadcast and journalism workers union. Take it away Ms. Foley,
Journalists, by the way, are not just being targeted verbally or …ah, or… ah, politically. They are also being targeted for real, um…in places like Iraq. What outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq. They target and kill journalists…uh, from other countries, particularly Arab countries like Al -, like Arab news services like Al-Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity…

Bryan Preston at Junk Yard Blog says,
So like Eason Jordan, Foley made a completely unsubstantiated and outrageous claim that the US military is targeting journalists in Iraq for murder. Unlike Eason Jordan, there is a tape. She said what's written above. I saw the tape and heard her words. There is no doubt what she said, and there is no doubt that she offered up nothing in the way of evidence to substantiate her claim.

For our previous coverage of Eason Jordan, click here.

Is it any wonder that your Average Joe thinks the mainstream media is doing a lousy job? Few industries outside of Hollywood and maybe professional sports have a greater sense of self worth than MSM journalists.

Survey: Press, public not on the same page
By Mark Jurkowitz, Boston Globe
A University of Connecticut survey released today reveals some significant disagreements between journalists and the general public over the quality of today's reporting and the boundaries of press freedom.

While 72 percent of the journalists said their profession did a good or excellent job of reporting information accurately, only 39 percent of the public felt the same way. At the same time, 61 percent of the citizen respondents said they disagreed with the statement that ''the news media tries to report the news without bias."

Some survey findings may provide fodder for conservatives who complain about liberal tilt in the press. When asked to identify themselves politically, one-third of the journalists and one-third of the citizens said they were Democrats. The divergence came when 32 percent of the public identified themselves as Republicans, compared with only 10 percent of the newsroom employees. Among journalists who said they voted in the 2004 election, 68 percent reported favoring John Kerry and 25 percent chose George Bush. Yet among the public respondents who said they voted, Bush beat Kerry 54 percent to 44 percent.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Newsweak: Fact Checking 101

Newsweak could have saved themselves a lot of trouble if only they had thought to do this.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

NewsWEAK Lied, People Died

Ever since Newsweak magazine published an article on May 9 about alleged abuses at Guantanamo Bay, specifically the desecration of a Koran, the Muslim world has been protesting the US. Afghanistan has been rocked by protests and violence. So far 16 people have been killed and more than 100 injured.

And now Newsweak comes out, on May 15, and says they got it wrong. The desecration of the Koran by US troops at Guantanamo never happened.

What more could Newsweak possibly do to damage the US and put our troops in a more difficult situation? How would you like to be a 19 year old American GI in Afghanistan this morning? Is it any wonder why people question the motives of the mainstream media? South Park Conservatives is a book about this very subject. The subtitle, The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias

John Steel Gordon is a best selling author of a number of books about Wall Street and American capitalism. He is also, apparently, a frequent reader of Powerline. Here is what he sent the guys at Powerline regarding this Newsweak mess,

Liberal MSM magazine finds marginally credible story that makes the military
(and Bush Administration) look bad and rushes into print with it without any
consideration of the possible consequences. So what else is new?

What I find most interesting is that Newsweek insists on spelling the name of the holy book of Islam "Qur'an" despite the fact that there has been a perfectly good word for it in use in the English language ("Koran") since 1625. "Qur'an" is a
transliteration of the Arabic word for the Koran (although my dictionary says
there should be a long vowel mark over the A--but, since I don't speak Arabic, I
will have to take its word for it). So using Qur'an instead of Koran is like
using "Athina" for "Athens" of "Moskva" for "Moscow." In other words, political
correctness run amok.I think the apostrophe--utterly meaningless in an
English-language context--is a particularly nice touch of cultural pandering.

Interesting observation indeed.

Instapundit on Newsweak,

People died, and U.S. military and diplomatic efforts were damaged, because
-- let's be clear here -- Newsweek was too anxious to get out a story that would
make the Bush Administration and the military look bad.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

America's favorite new gameshow: Filibusted!

from our firends over at Citizen Journal,


Who said it?1) "I find it simply baffling that a Senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination."

2) "I have stated over and over again ... that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported."

3) "Even if they tend to vote against the nomination itself, it is wrong to filibuster a nomination, and the senators who believe in fairness will not let a minority of the Senate deny the nominee his vote by the entire Senate."

And the answers are

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Kerry and Form 180: 100 Days and Counting

Originally uploaded by punditreview.

Exactly 100 days ago John Kerry went on national TV and said he would sign Form 180 which would allow all of his military records to be released. He still has not done so. What possible reasonable explanation could John Kerry have for lying about his willingness to sign the form?

Meet The Press, January 30, 2005

MR. RUSSERT: Many people who've been criticizing you have said: Senator, if you would just do one thing and that is sign Form 180, which would allow historians and journalists complete access to all your military records. Thus far, you have gotten the records, released them through your campaign. They say you should not be the filter. Sign Form 180 and let the historians...

SEN. KERRY: I'd be happy to put the records out. We put all the records out that I had been sent by the military. Then at the last moment, they sent some more stuff, which had some things that weren't even relevant to the record. So when we get--I'm going to sit down with them and make sure that they are clear and I am clear as to what is in the record and what isn't in the record and we'll put it out. I have no problem with that.

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?
SEN. KERRY: But everything, Tim...
MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: Yes, I will. But everything that we put in it, Tim--everything we put in--I mean, everything that was out was a full documentation of all of the medical records, all of the fitness reports. And I'd call on those who have challenged me, let's see their records. I want to see the records of each of those people who have put up
a challenge, because some of them have some serious questions in them, and it
hasn't been appropriate...

MR. RUSSERT: So they should sign Form 180s for themselves as well?

SEN. KERRY: You bet.

We all know how outragged John Kerry was during the campaign when he was claiming that George Bush lied to him about the WMD intelligence (put aside the fact that they looked at the same evidence and reached the same conclusion). The Swift Boat Vets raised some serious questions about John Kerry and his refusal to sign this form has me wondering why.

Ted K's Tax Loophole

Originally uploaded by punditreview.

Boston Herald

Ted K’s big fat tax loophole: Millionaire blames windfall on ‘error’

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy got hefty tax breaks on his $4.5 million Washington, D.C., mansion for at least two years - even though he never met the basic residency requirement for the deductions.

While Kennedy resides in Massachusetts, he received property tax credits in 2003 and 2004 on his home in a tony Washington neighborhood that were meant only
for homeowners who call D.C. their principal residence.

Of 22 senators who took the deduction, Kennedy stood to save the most money
in the coming tax year - about $7,700 off the tax bill for his $4.5 million
home, according to a review by the Kansas City Star of tax and real estate

Called on the issue yesterday, the Bay State senator's staff said Washington
officials gave him the deductions in error and without his knowledge - and vowed
he will reimburse the D.C. government for the property tax breaks. His
staff did not provide specifics on how much he owes or why he had failed to
previously notice the deductions being made.

Ted Kennedy on Tax Reform
Voted NO on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. (May 2003)
Voted NO on cutting taxes by $1.35 trillion over 11 years. (May 2001)
Voted NO on eliminating the 'marriage penalty'. (Jul 2000)
Voted NO on across-the-board spending cut. (Oct 1999)
Voted NO on $792B tax cuts. (Jul 1999)
Voted NO on requiring super-majority for raising taxes. (Apr 1998)
Voted NO on FY99 tax cuts. (Apr 1998)
Rated 17% by NTU, indicating a "Big Spender" on tax votes. (Dec 2003)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Economic news looks good

Jobs jump in April; stocks rally
Payrolls rose by 274,000 last month
May 6, 2005
The jobless rate holds steady at 5.2%. GE ups its profit guidance just a
tad.The economy created many more jobs than expected in April, assuaging fears
of slowing growth. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 274,000 last month, the Labor
Department said, well ahead of the 174,000 rise in payrolls economists expected.
The unemployment rate stayed steady at 5.2%.

Tax Receipts Exceed Treasury Predictions
Early Surge Lowers Deficit Projections
Washington Post, Thursday, May 5, 2005
The Treasury Department this week reported there would be a $54 billion
swing from projected deficit to surplus in the April-to-June quarter, after an
unanticipated gush of tax payments poured into the Treasury before the April 15
deadline. That prompted private forecasters to lower their deficit projections
for the fiscal year that ends in September.

Eternal optimist and supply side evangelist Larry Kudlow, had this to say,
But the real story behind the higher tax payment numbers is the successful
supply-side experiment that began in the middle of 2003, when investment tax
rates were slashed on capital gains and dividends. With new incentives to
counter the deflation of investment in 2000-2002, both capital formation and
economic growth have come back from the dead over the past 2 years.

Real GDP since the tax cuts has averaged 4.3% at an annual rate, whereas
growth was only 2.4% in the anemic recovery preceding the tax cuts. The latest
government data on tax collection for calendar 2004 confirms the tax-cut-led
recovery through the explosion of high tax collections at lower tax rates. The
Laffer curve is working.

For more on The Laffer Curve, click here.

Smart Money: What's Happening to the Economy?
Is the economy falling apart? Not according to Lakshman Achuthan, managing
director at the Economic Cycle Research Institute, an economic forecasting firm
in New York that has accurately predicted the past three recessions. Achuthan
says the economy hasn't hit a soft patch recently — rising inflation and
stagnating economic growth have been the reality for at least a year.

The good news? The disappointing data, says Achuthan, are actually
indicative of the end of a slowdown, not the beginning of one. He says ECRI's
leading indicators touched their lows months ago, prompting the institute to
forecast a "firming" in the economy for the second half of 2005.

What is the Future for Investors? Tech Central Station Asks Wharton Business School Professor Jeremy Siegel
TCS: Professor Siegel, thanks for joining us. You say in your book that investors are needlessly fixated on growth and too often fall into what you call "the growth trap." Can you explain what you mean?

SIEGEL: The growth trap is falling into a pattern of just buying companies with what you think are the fastest growing earnings, and ignoring the price. It is so important to realize that when you're paying a higher than usual price, you're already putting up for those higher earnings. In fact, I find that the faster growing companies often give poorer returns for investors; those investors that chase after those fast growing companies actually suffer worse returns than those that buy slower growing companies at reasonable prices.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Why blogs matter

So i'm checking out a blog favorite of mine, The Spoons Experience, and he has this post about blogger Patterico, another favorite. Patterico has taken it upon himslef to become a watchdog of the LA Times. As you can imagine, this is nearly a full time job, and a depressing one to boot.

Here's The Spoons Experience,
Patterico points out that the Times is systematically editing wire-service
stories about the shooting by American soldiers of the car carrying Italian
journalist Giuliana Sgrena. Each time, the Times is editing out details of the
investigation that prove that the American account of the incident is

Your American media: not liberally biased, just anti-American.

So who is this Patterico guy? He is a prosecutor in Los Angeles Countyand a very valuable member of the Pajamahadeen.

It's No Accident, LA Times Does IT Again

L.A. Times editors have doubled down. They have yet again suppressed
evidence that U.S. soldiers were justified in shooting at the car carrying
Giuliana Sgrena to a Baghdad airport.

A Reuters story filed Saturday morning states on page two:CBS news has reported that a U.S. satellite had filmed the shooting and that it had been established the car carrying Calipari was traveling at more than 60 miles per hour as it approached the U.S. checkpoint in Baghdad.

Today’s L.A. Times reprint of the article edits out that passage, which suggests
that there is definitive proof that the car was speeding – a critical issue in
the controversy.

We previously covered this story here and here.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Richard Gere: Loves Tibet, has no use for kids in wheelchairs

Originally uploaded by punditreview.

You all know by now that Richard Gere is a passionate Hollywood lefty, dedicated to causes such as Tibet and nuclear arms reduction.

Like most Hollywood liberals, he is quick with a pun,

"Never trust a person who says that he has God exclusively on his side,especially if that person is the President of the United States."

and free with his opinions,

TOKYO (Reuters) - Expecting no more than light chit-chat about ballroom dancing,reporters in Tokyo were startled when actor Richard Gere launched into acondemnation of Europe's plans to lift an arms embargo against China.

and posseses a healthy sense of self,

Gere, together with an Islamic cleric and a Greek Orthodox Church official, recorded a public service announcement calling on the Palestinians to vote inthe Jan. 9 election to replace Yasser Arafat.

“Hi, I’m Richard Gere and I’m speaking for the entire world. We’re with you during this election time. It’s really important: Get out and vote,” Geresaid, according to a transcript of the announcement obtained by The AssociatedPress.

Don't you get the sense that he looks down his nose at us regular folks from the moral high ground? He does it to kids in wheelchairs also, allegedly,

Did Richard Gere dis two teens in wheelchairs at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington? Fifteen-year-old Brian Glassmacher - who, with his 17-year-old sister, Kailyn, suffers from a form of muscular dystrophy so rare it's known as Glassmacher syndrome - says the movie star was snippy when he was asked to pose for a snapshot.

"I really liked 'Chicago' and I wanted to meet him. I thought he would be a very nice person," Brian told me yesterday. "But I thought he was very rude. I was very disappointed."

"No," Brian answered when asked if he'll ever see another movie starring Gere. Brian - a Fairfax, Va., middle school student who is deaf - spoke with me yesterday by phone with the aid of a sign-language interpreter. "My sister" - who is also deaf and breathes with the aid of a trachea tube - "was also there, and she really loves all of his movies - even more than I do,"

Monday, May 02, 2005

Bias on Campus

Liberal bias on college campuses is a favorite topic of ours. Cathy Young writes in today's Boston Globe,

A left-wing witch-hunt on campus
By Cathy Young May 2, 2005

THE NOTION of left-wing political bias in the universities is widely pooh-poohed
on the left as so much right-wing propaganda -- a smokescreen for an attempt to
push a conservative agenda on college campuses. Sure, conservative professors
may be a rare breed; but that, we are told, is only because the academy is all
about intellectual openness, tolerance of disagreement, robust and untrammeled
debate, and all those other intrinsically liberal values that conservatives
presumably just don't get.

Here is a real world example of lefty intolerance, from my alma mater Colby College, the school that put the liberal in liberal arts. This blog, Colby and Beyond, is a great site to see what life is like for a conservative on an overwhelmingly liberal campus. Some of the stories are funny, like the "Die In" to mock the Iraq war. And some are just pathetic, like the student reaction to Al Franken's visit last year.

I only wish I was as firm in my beliefs then as I am now. What fun it could have been to upset the apple cart at Camp Colby.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Filibuster Nonsense

Bill Kristol in The Weekly Standard,

What's really going on here, of course, is this: President Bush, having
been elected and reelected, and with a Republican Senate majority, wants to
appoint federal judges of a generally conservative and constitutionalist
disposition. The Democrats very much want to block any change in the character
of the federal judiciary--a branch of government they have increasingly come to
cherish, as they have lost control of the others. It's a political struggle, not
unlike others in American history, with both sides appealing to high principle
and historical precedent.

But it happens to be the case that Republicans have the better argument
with respect to the filibustering of judicial nominees. The systematic denial of
up or down votes on
judicial nominees is a new phenomenon. Republicans are
right to say that it is the Democrats who have radically departed from customary

More important, perhaps, the customary practice of not filibustering
presidential nominees--whether for the judiciary or the executive branch--is not
a mere matter of custom. It is rooted in the structure of the Constitution.
While the filibuster of judges is not, in a judicially enforceable sense,
unconstitutional, it is contrary to the logic of the constitutional separation
of powers.

Laura Bush: What a joker

Originally uploaded by punditreview.

Laura Bush stole the show Saturday evening at the annual White House Correspondence Dinner.

There are three things I enjoy about this event. First, it gives the press a chance to take themselves slightly less seriously, if only for an hour or two.

Second, it is an occassion where the president gets to show his sense of humor.

Finally, there is a guest comedian. This is always interesting to see how they handle the situation. It can go really, really bad. Don Imus bad. Or it can be pretty damn funny as it was this year with Cedric the Entertainer. He did a good job and kept it short. I was impressed.