August 10, 2007

Filed Under Dense Campaign Comments

Filed under: Elections,Interesting News,Politics — acepundit @ 7:00 pm

I didn’t hear it when he said it, so I don’t know the context, but politicians have to be keenly aware that everything they say on the campaign trail can and will be broken down into perfectly honed sound byte weapons.

On Thursday in Cincinnati Rudy Giuliani apparently opined that he was at ground zero “as often, if not more, than most of the workers.”

Ouch. Yeah, that was probably not the wisest comment to make, even if he didn’t mean to say that he’s more of a hero than the police officers, firefighters, and crewmembers who labored tirelessly at ground zero.

“I think I could have said it better,” he told radio host Mike Gallagher in the biggest understatement of the day.

Yep, I’d say you could have, but like all the candidates you’ll continually say stupid things as long as you’re running. It’s what presidential candidates do when they’re not keeping their mouths busy by kissing babies.


July 28, 2007

Fool Me Thrice

Filed under: Congress,Democrats,Elections,Republicans,Supreme Court — acepundit @ 12:58 pm

Senator Chuck Schumer, the high-ranking Democrat who sits on the judiciary committee, cannot believe how easily President Bush was able to fool him not once but twice with his two stellar picks for the Supreme Court: John Roberts and Sam Alito, and vows not to be fooled a third time.

Speaking to the American Constitution Society, Schumer all but promised that President Bush is done picking Supreme Court justices, telling the group he and his colleagues were “too easily impressed with the charm of Roberts and the erudition of Alito.”

Says Schumer, “I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee EXCEPT in extraordinary circumstances.”

Like when there’s a retirement? I don’t think the American public would pleased with a Senate that refused to act if presented with a vacancy more than a year before the next election.

ABC correspondent Jan Crawford certainly put it mildly when she wrote, “some of the liberal commentary on the Court since the justices packed up and left town has been almost breathtaking in its over-the-top hysteria.”

It also doesn’t help when the media is consistently wrong in its analysis of the last Supreme Court term. Just yesterday on his blog at the Washington Post, Paul Kane wrote about Schumer’s childish plan to give Bush the silent treatment should another retirement take place with erroneous information on what the Roberts court has done, saying, “The Roberts court overturned previous rulings on partial birth abortion and campaign finance reform.”

An all too familiar pattern. Certainly the Left has little to cheer about in regards to the recent Supreme Court decisions that didn’t turn out their way, but their predictable “sky is falling” rhetoric goes beyond the pale. Contrary to what you’re being told by the media and even respectable law professors, the Supreme Court did not reverse a bunch of precedents and send the country back 200 years.

The Court did not overturn any previous rulings on partial-birth abortion. Everyone swears it did but the Nebraska state law that banned the nasty procedure was scratched by the Supreme Court in 2000 and is still dead.

This year the Court simply upheld a federal law passed by Congress – you know, the branch that’s popularly elected by the people to write laws – outlawing partial-birth abortion in 2003. And it wasn’t exactly an ideological piece of legislation. The House passed it by a vote of 281-142 and the Senate by a comfortable margin of 64-34.

When it reached the Supreme Court on appeal, the nine justices had to decide whether to invalidate or uphold a fairly new and popular law supported by 345 members of Congress plus the president, to 176 members who opposed it.

For all the screaming liberals do about respecting precedent and not enacting it’s own ideological agenda, they come off mighty contradictory for assaulting the Court for upholding a four-year-old congressional law.

Campaign Finance is also alive, albeit weakened, but when the Supreme Court found it a violation of the Constitution to prohibit an advocacy group from running a televised campaign ad less than 60 days before an election, liberals went nuts.

It was a blow to students’ free speech rights, liberals argued, when the Supreme Court sided against a high school student who refused to take down a “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” banner at a school-sponsored event because the principal thought it violated the school’s policy against advocating drug use.

It would have been interesting, had the Court recognized such free speech rights that trample school policy, to see what else students could get away with. At least now we know a student who shows up at school with a swastika on his t-shirt probably wouldn’t get the support of the Supreme Court.

So Chucky has spoken. Will we witness the greatest showdown ever to take place in the Senate? It’s a fight in which at least one senator from New York is willing to participate.

July 27, 2007

YouTube Circus Awaits GOP

Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Republicans — acepundit @ 6:14 pm

The Democrats already did it and now the GOP will have its chance to field “questions” from YouTube submitters that would likely embarrass any serious journalist. Opinion is split in Republican circles as to whether they should agree to it. Michelle Malkin thinks it would be a great opportunity for a Republican to call out any bias CNN/YouTube tries to practice, but it looks like the front runners are hesitant to appear.

And if you’re Rudy Giuliani or the top poller in either party it would be in your best interest to avoid as many debates as possible until securing the party nomination. You can’t win in these kinds of debates, only lose, and allow the next challenger to pass you by catastrophically imploding on stage.

If the Republicans do agree to appear on YouTube I probably won’t watch it as I didn’t watch any of the previous debates. To me they’re about as authentic as John Edwards’ hair.

July 20, 2007

Is that the Imperial March I Hear?

Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics,Republicans,War — acepundit @ 6:06 pm

Jamie reports on the inaugural ceremony:

US President George W. Bush will undergo a “routine colonoscopy” at the Camp David retreat on Saturday, temporarily ceding his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney, the White House said Friday. Cheney raised his hand and promised not to wipe out Muslims and promote Halliburton employees as a new Middle Eastern race of people.

Meanwhile readers of The Corner are breaking out the champagne:

Readers are really into Cheney being president for awhile. Suggestions for Acting President Cheney include

Bomb Iran.
Commute the sentences of those border agents.
Fire Mike Chertoff.
Tell Harry Reid to … well, you know…
Pardon Scooter.

I wouldn’t mind seeing two and four being done tomorrow, but with pressure now even coming from the Democrats to have Compean and Ramos freed (an easy campaign issue winner), it’s going to happen before Bush leaves office – whether it be before or after his colonoscopy.

July 17, 2007

A Judicial Branch With a Hint of Olive

Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics,Republicans,Supreme Court — acepundit @ 4:30 pm

Rudy Giuliani’s recently assembled cast of judicial advisors can only be described as an all-star lineup that would crush MLB’s best American League roster accustomed to beating up National League lightweights.

“America’s mayor” made a campaign promise to appoint the right kind of judges to the federal bench, and has just taken a huge step toward fulfilling it by surrounding himself with advisors who’d make great judges themselves…ones who aren’t judges already.

Social conservatives who are afraid of the next liberal Republican president desperately need to be aware that the worst eight-year presidency can be completely vindicated by just one Supreme Court selection.

Just one.

One pick.

One 50-year-old selection like John Roberts to replace the aging dinosaur John Paul Stevens to secure the proper direction for our federal jurisprudence for at least another half century.

But Republicans are looking at the short term. A recent poll found that nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back any of the leading candidates because they’re looking for the next Ronald Reagan.

Well the next Reagan isn’t an option for 2008, and with what President Bush has done to the image of the Republican party as a middle-of-the-road moderate, America isn’t hungry for someone more ideological.

And besides, the great Ronald Reagan was the president who gave us Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy. Bush Sr. gave us David Souter. Bush Jr. tried to give us Harriet Miers.

A president’s political philosophy is just not a reliable indicator of judicial appointments, and regardless of what Giuliani’s positions may be there is no reason to believe he’s lying when he says he will appoint “strict constructionists” to the bench as president, something he didn’t promise before he became mayor of New York and made moderate appointments. When he wasn’t surrounded by members of the Federalist Society.

If elected he can show up to his inauguration in drag and do whatever else conservatives fear about him, but three things will be guaranteed:

1. Replacing John Paul Stevens with another young John Roberts would pay off in dividends so great that no liberal Giuliani agenda would be able to spoil them.

2. Replacing a second liberal (leaving only two left) with a solid Supreme Court pick would safeguard the Constitution from judicial activism so long that your grandchildren will benefit.

3. Hillary Clinton won’t be the president.

June 25, 2007

The John Roberts Court in Full Force

Andrew Cohen at Washington Post’s Bench Conference laments the ass-kicking we were handed today by a conservative Supreme Court majority in four of five rulings (the fifth was near unanimity):

The Justices further chipped away at the wall that separates church and state, took some of the steam out of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, neutered federal regulators in environmental cases to the benefit of developers and slammed a high school kid who had the temerity to put up a silly sign near his high school.

Indeed, so strong is the conservative bent to the court right now that even when its right-facing Justices did not agree on the legal reasons or rationale for their rulings– which was the case in the religion case noted above– they are able to agree to promote government sponsorship of religion and to block taxpayer efforts to prevent it. In other words, there is room for dissent even among the Court’s working majority– a bad sign for liberal judges, lawyers and litigants in the months and years to come.

Contrary to the forthcoming hysteria, today’s rulings were hardly earth-shattering developments. Yes, the conservatives weakened McCain-Feingold; good news for people who appreciate free speech. McCain-Feingold is a crappy law that tells us when we can and cannot promote a candidate of our choosing with our own money during election season. Even a majority of liberals are satisfied with today’s outcome in this case. Nevertheless the justices restrained themselves from striking it down completely. So don’t worry, Congress can and will still tell us how we we’re allowed to participate in political campaigns.

The supposed “wall” that separates the evil church and state is still intact; the Supreme Court simply reminded us that charities vying for federal funds ought not to be punished because they have a religious affiliation. Instead, charities should be judged by their effectiveness.

The kid whose “silly” sign got him into trouble was reminded that you can be punished for celebrating illegal activity (in this case drug use) if done on school time. To be sure, Cohen is right in his analysis that there was dissent amongst the majority – Clarence Thomas would have given schools the power to regulate all forms of speech because, “in the earliest public schools, teachers taught, and students listened,” and that’s how it should be today. He was alone in concurrence.

Cohen is also right that any doubts there may have been that President Bush moved the court to the Right have been surely extinguished. Expect more of today on Thursday when the court is expected to finish this year’s term.

June 20, 2007

Stem-Cell Bill Stymied Again

Filed under: Congress,Democrats,Elections,Politics,Republicans — acepundit @ 7:01 pm

President Bush used his once-non existent veto pen to block a bill that would have eased restrictions on federal funds for stem-cell research. It was only his third veto in seven years as president, but an important one if he wants to win back a lot of his base that’s still angry over his support of the unpopular amnesty bill.

But the veto certainly won’t help his image with the majority of Americans who strongly support federally funded stem-cell research.

Democrats made this legislation their top priority when they took control of Congress last year, and because the House only has a 14% approval rating with the public, Democrats are going to have to turn this defeat into a plea to the American people to vote in more stem-cell friendly legislators in 2008.

On the other side Republicans are going to have warm up to the idea of stem-cell research. According to Gallup only 16% of the country are against any funding. On the other side only 22% oppose any restrictions.

Once again the answer seems to be somewhere in the middle and the first party to realize this will capitalize.

Richard Roeper Wants Scooter Libby Pardoned!

Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Film,Politics — acepundit @ 2:12 pm

His readers must be shocked. How could liberal pop-columnist and movie critic Richard Roeper call for the presidential pardon of Scooter Libby? It’s true, the Chicago Sun-Times, the newspaper for which Roeper writes, officially stated its position in an eye-opening column last Monday.

To be fair, it was actually conservative columnist Robert Novak who called for the pardon in his June 11th column, but doesn’t one person’s opinion on a topic become that company’s official position? It does according Roeper’s school of thought.

Over the last several years liberals have made it a sport to hysterically attack Fox News so they don’t have to explain why it’s the highest rated and most-watched cable news network. It’s just easier to denounce it as a propaganda outfit…a very, very successful propaganda outfit.

Faithfully doing his part, Roper titled his most recent column, “Fox’s slant on Moore enough to make you ill” but points to an entirely different culprit:

To the surprise of no one, Fox News has been attacking Moore’s latest (documentary).

Last Sunday night, Sean Hannity sounded as if he was ready to hand Moore a blindfold and a cigarette.

Is Roeper talking about Sean Hannity or Fox News here? I’m confused because I just read Fox’s review of the supposedly “brilliant and uplifting” documentary and I’m having trouble finding all the attacks. Nowhere in the review does it indicate that Fox movie-critic Roger Friedman is ready to give Moore “a blindfold and a cigarette.” If anything Friedman is looking to give Moore an Oscar statue.

By making Sean Hannity the official spokesperson for Fox News, Roeper made about as much sense as I did when I wrote that he was calling for the pardon of Scooter Libby based on a Robert Novak column.

So blinded and disgruntled liberals are by their hatred for a news network that is infinitely better and more popular than anything their media personalities have ever been able to create that they stubbornly refuse to accept Fox’s reaching hand.

I’m still amazed by how stupid the Democratic presidential hopefuls were when they refused to appear in a debate sponsored by Fox News and potentially tap into a voter pool that could easily determine the outcome of the next election.

Sure, they won’t get their ideas out to the independents who watch Fox News (or the part of its audience that justifies Roger Friedman’s paycheck), but at least they pleased the Keith Olbermann fan club and nuts who were going to vote for them anyway and haven’t put a Democrat in the Whitehouse since they kept Bill Clinton in 1996 with less than 50% of the popular vote.

It was the last time a Democrat won, and right when Fox News was in its infancy. Is it powerful enough to shape elections? Who knows, but the Left is certainly doing themselves no favors by refusing to work with a machine that isn’t going away anytime soon, no matter how many Roeper columns are written to denounce it.

June 16, 2007

Shunning Fox News

Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics,Republicans — acepundit @ 7:05 pm

By now most of the Democratic candidates for president have made the stunningly stupid decision to not appear at any debates hosted by the Fox News Channel. Talking Points Memo echoes the accepted rationale by the Left for why they shouldn’t get their message across to a wider audience:

The point, which I’d hoped was obvious by now, is that Dems (accurately) perceive Fox News as a partisan outlet, with a Republican audience, and with an agenda contrary to Democratic policies. As E. J. Dionne recently put it, “I am an avid reader of conservative magazines such as National Review and the Weekly Standard. But if these two publications teamed up to sponsor a Democratic debate, would anyone accuse Edwards, Obama and Clinton of ‘blacklisting’ if the candidates said, ‘no, thanks’?”

So the Democrats should avoid debating on Fox because it’s a “partisan outlet with a Republican audience.” For the sake of argument, let’s say it’s true that every person who watches Fox News is a rabid conservative. What do the Democrats have to lose by appearing on that network – the votes they were never going to get from them in the first place?

The horrible analogy comparing Fox News to National Review shows how delusional the Left is. National Review and the Weekly Standard are conservative publications that cater to a deeply partisan group willing to spend $50 for a year’s worth of magazines that tell them what they want to hear.

Fox News, meanwhile, is available to almost everyone with basic cable. It is the most watched cable news network in the country consistently pulverizing CNN and MSNBC in the ratings. The above quoted E.J. Dionne even said, “I wish liberals could create a comparably powerful network.”

But because Democrats don’t want to “legitimize” the network with the largest pool of potential voters, they’ll continue putting on a dance for the people who already had their minds made up, instead of trying to win a few converts in an election that could end up quite close if America has to decide between another Bush-like Republican or Hillary Clinton.

Wow, Democrats. Maybe you should also stop campaigning in traditionally red states so as to not legitimize them either. Seriously, who needs Florida anyway? They probably watch Fox News.

June 3, 2007

Dem Debate

Filed under: Democrats,Elections — acepundit @ 7:15 pm

Did you watch the Democratic debate tonight? Me neither. I read some of transcripts and highlights and it looks like Senator Clinton might have pissed off a few supporters by saying “I believe we are safer than we were (before 9/11).” Contrast that with Obama who said “We live in a more dangerous world partly as a consequence of this president’s actions.” He aimed at John Edwards for voting for the Iraq War in 2002 despite later regretting his decision with, “”John, you’re about four and a half years late on leadership on this issue.”

Debates are ugly. I don’t think presidencies are ever won or lost by them, but they do give the candidates a chance to hate on each other.

EDIT:  And apparently debates allow candidates to look foolish.  According to NRO’s Kathryn Lopez at one point John Edwards said “I don’t know if I know what a rich person is.”

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