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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)


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November 30, 2004
Left Attack Warning: Alberto Gonzales - Battle next week
Filed in: Alberto Gonzales, Current Affairs, Politics

Because I love our country, I subject you to another long post. Please indulge me.

We all briefly heard a couple of weeks ago that the President chose Judge Alberto Gonzales to be the new Attorney General. According to a CNN report, it is the Senate Judiciary Committee's plan to hold the hearings the 6th, 7th, or 8th of December - next week.

What we may not be prepared for is that the Left is going to attempt to make these confirmation hearings into a pillory for Judge Gonzales and a referendum on Abu Ghraib and the civil rights of terrorists.

Here's what has been happening since November 10:

The ACLU issued a press release (of course claiming their - hold your gorge in, I know it will take some effort - 'uncompromising non-partisanship') which said in part:

Mr. Gonzales should be queried, moreover, on his January 25, 2002 memo, authored in his capacity as White House counsel, which described certain legal protections guaranteed in the Geneva Conventions to persons captured during military hostilities as "obsolete" and "quaint." His confirmation hearings should also examine in detail Mr. Gonzales’ approval of the now-disavowed Justice Department memoranda that condoned the torture and incommunicado and indefinite detention of detainees captured during the Afghanistan conflict.

This is what this means: "We call all organizations and persons of progressive stripe to conjure up allegations against this man that show him to be personally responsible for any civil rights violations that have occurred and show him to be someone who personally enjoys torturing poor defeated terrorists."

The ACLU release was simultaneously followed up with a Sanger and Lichtblau piece from the NY Times (h/t Times Watch), which said in part:

Many civil rights groups on Wednesday were quick to attack Mr. Gonzales for what they saw as legal policies and opinions that opened the door to the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Critics of Mr. Gonzales argue that such logic put military and intelligence officials on the path to the abuses at Abu Ghraib, even though the White House had previously insisted that the Geneva conventions applied to detainees. Mr. Gonzales has denied a link between those memorandums and the abuses. Yet the issue seems bound to be explored, and Anthony Romero, head of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the 2002 memorandum "will be the single toughest issue for him, because there's actually a paper trail."

This is what this means: "Many leftist groups are sure that one thing Judge Gonzales must be held responsible for is Abu Ghraib."

A November 11th (since updated on November 12th - to add, guess what? a Halliburton reference!) The New Standard published a report: "Bush Fingers Torture Apologist for Attorney General" which says in part:

"Making Alberto Gonzales the Attorney General of the United States would be a travesty," said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, in a press statement. "It would mean taking one of the legal architects of an illegal and immoral policy and installing him as the official who is charged with protecting our constitutional rights. The Gonzales memo paved the way to Abu Ghraib."

This is what this means: "If we get enough leftist groups to say this enough times, it must be true."

By November 16th the fix was in. Leftist blogger Btc News penned in part:

One of the first tests of the senate minority will come with the confirmation hearings for torturer-at-large and attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales and Rice. We'll see if the Democrats have the spine to bring up Alberto's sociopathic approach to domestic and international law... (Ed: italics mine)

There now, the straw man is built: Judge Gonzales himself has acted in the fashion of Genghis Kahn.

Leftist rant and cartoonist Ted Rall wrote in his "Monster of a Lawyer" 'strip' on November 16:

Alberto Gonzales, on the other hand, possesses one of the most twisted minds the American legal system has ever produced.

If Bush gets his way, the nation's chief law enforcement official will be a man whose warped interpretation of presidential power, contempt for due process and gleeful deconstruction of fundamental human values puts him at odds with every patriotic American.

Gonzales is the author of the infamous August 2002 "Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. 2340-2340A," a legal opinion issued while on his current job as White House Counsel. The 50-page "torture memo," which provides government interrogators justification to torture suspects in the war on terrorism, isn't just another memo. It's a benchmark position paper, a document that Administration figures from Bush and Rumsfeld down to CIA interrogators at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib still rely upon to protect themselves from possible future prosecution for war crimes.

Oh yes, Judge Gonzales is also the twisted enemy of every patriotic American.

A Yahoo search for "+alberto +gonzales +torture" currently yields about 38,000 results. Not all of these, of course, accuse Gonzales as an apologist for torture - or worse, but the negative heavily outweigh the positive.

Last Friday, the Washington Times summarized the opposition, saying in part:

A coalition of liberal groups is vowing to challenge the nomination of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales as U.S. attorney general over his role in policies governing the treatment of detainees in Iraq and in the war on terrorism.

You know, any time the People for the American Way, the ACLU, the Center for American Progress, the National Lawyers Guild, Human Rights First, Amnesty International, and the Leadership Conference of Civil Rights are against someone, he's got to be a pretty fantastic guy.

Ready to hear the truth about those memos?

What does that one say that discusses "certain legal protections guaranteed in the Geneva Conventions to persons captured during military hostilities as 'obsolete' and 'quaint.'"?

Here's what it says exactly in the paragraph from the memo from which the straw man has been constructed (and it's why context is so important):

As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war. It is not the traditional clash between nations adhering to the laws of war that formed the backdrop for GPW. The nature of the new war places a high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further atrocities against American civilians, and the need to try terrorists for war crimes such as wantonly killing civilians, In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, scrip (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms, and scientific instruments. (Ed: Italics mine)

The entire memo is here (requires Adobe Acrobat reader).

This is a memo from Judge Gonzales to the President of the United States on how, in the face of terrorist aggression, we should treat those terrorists who in many cases may be 'nonstate actors' or are part of al Qaeda or the Taliban - rogue semi-states at best. As we have continued to learn in the intervening years since this was written - the face of our enemy is one of evil and we see it in the beheadings, the draggings, the burnings, the bombings, and the Fallujah slaughter houses. Such wanton beasts - who do not distinguish military target from civilian - do not deserve politeness or visits to the neighborhood store, or salary, or soccer outfits, or telescopes - quaint indeed.

The ACLU release and the mad descent following are patently false on their faces.

And, despite Rall's rant, Judge Gonzales did not write the "infamous August 2002 'Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. 2340-2340A,'" memo. Perhaps in his misguided haze, Rall couldn't distinguish between the word 'for' and the word 'from' - as this memo was written 'for' Judge Gonzales, and was not 'from' him. It was signed by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee.

This is a wide ranging legal theory document (requires Adobe Acrobat reader) in which every aspect of considering how to deal with despicable rabble whose entire life focus is to kill Americans is explored. September 11, 2001 changed the world. It isn't unreasonable to perform an exhaustive exploration of the legal theory behind how to treat with homicidal butchers. In a press conference earlier this year, Judge Gonzales has already fully and clearly explained the administration's position on this subject.

And Ted Rall owes Judge Gonzales a written retraction.

Next week bears the prospect of the first major showdown for George Bush's second administration.

We have many young men and women who carry the cause of freedom abroad and who are, as I write, sometimes sacrificing their very lives for our grand American ideal. Many of us here, who cannot defend Her abroad, must defend this great land from the unholy alliance between the left and the terrorists at home. We must choose with whom we will stand. Will we stand with those that defend the indefensible? Or will we stand with the President?

Note that some of the leftist organizations are calling for a Democratic filibuster. I realize that the Vietnam era set a very high bar for sedition and treason - but, in my book, this obtains.

Senators - Before any of you decide to ally with those who support terrorists and hate America, think about the fate of Tom Daschle. If you obstruct this appointment or truck with these liars, you will lose your office. The majority of Americans will not allow threats to our families to realize while you make us suffer your antipathy.

UPDATE: Many thanks for the link from Jeff at Protein Wisdom.


Pulled by Emcee on November 30, 2004 at 02:50 PM
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New 'About' Pic
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics

I just haven't been able to expend any words about Dan's recent doings. Its' time to put up a new picture, so I'll have to settle for some nice Fark I picked up today (h/t Michelle Malkin).


Pulled by Emcee on November 30, 2004 at 03:47 AM
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November 29, 2004
United Nations: It's the Iraq question.
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud

Stalwart UN OFF investigator Claudia Rosett blasts another hole in the sinking ship that was the United Nations. Once more, we find that Kofi Annan is in charge of his own banana republic.

Kojo Annan's compensation for his 'efforts' at Cotecna are really a pittance in the scheme of things - the key issue is that Kofi, Kojo, and the United Nations have been deceitful about Kojo's compensation.

Well, if they have been deceitful about that, can we trust their assertions about Kojo's participation at Air Harbour Technologies (AHT)? And isn't the question - not did Kojo influence Kofi in his role as an AHT director - but was it really Kofi and Sheikh Yamani (former Saudi Oil Minister) in an influence peddling scheme with Saddam?

Might all these revelations just be a UN version of 'shock-and-awe'? The scandal and corruption are so extensive that the Volcker investigation, the Congressional investigations, and the press are tempted to take each cruise missile of newly revealed schlock as item du jour and miss what threatens all of our lives.

The ultimate question that remains - and trumps all others - is: Did the United Nations secretariat, France, Germany, Russia, and Syria in collusion with Saddam Hussein commit unrepentant international treachery to subvert the UN Security council on the Iraq question?

As for Kojo, now that we know about the Cotecna lies, perhaps we should question the UN assertion about AHT as well. Claudia?

Please see my summary of posts on this issue here.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin discusses a move in the right direction. The Command Post references Glenn Reynolds' (InstaPundit) taking on Kofi Annan in the WSJ. Ace wants input on this issue - but then Claudia seems enough. Did I read somewhere that Claudia Rosett deserves a Pulitzer? She does.

UPDATE: In the "Would that it were true" department: Scrappleface has UN sending troops against itself.

UPDATE: Powerline reports that Senator Coleman demands Kofi Annan's resignation. Please make it stick Senator!

UPDATE (12/7): Michelle Malkin picks up the Pulitzer for Rosett call.


Pulled by Emcee on November 29, 2004 at 06:27 PM
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John Fund: Florida Northwest
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

John Fund (Author of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy") weighs in at Opinion Journal on the Washington gubernatorial race (h/t Big Trunk at Powerline). It's a good summary of what we have been covering in detail - with Fund's emphasis on what our gubernatorial race means in the national context.

Here's a summary of my recent posts that provide additional looks at what has transpired so far (For all posts in a single click go here):

WA Governor's Race: For your viewing pleasure - In which I present a video parody of the "Every Vote Counts" mantra dearer to the Democrats than life itself.

WA Governor's Race: So how does it happen? - In which we see how the Democratic controlled Canvassing Board use ostensibly blank ballots to 'vote' for their candidate.

WA Governor's Race: Final Recount Analysis - In which I assert fraud in the King County recount based on statistical analysis.

WA governor's race: Almost can't look - In which I detail statistical characteristics of the recount prior to King County completing its recount and delineate what to look for that might constitute fraud.

It's close and they are cheating - Details some events during the recount.

Potential vote fraud alert: When is a blank ballot a problem? - Explores why it isn't a good idea to store blank ballots in the same area in which marked ones are stored.

That doesn't look right Vern - A look at strange events during the original count in one small county.

That one vote swing is looking pretty good right now - Time lapse post on the original count completion.

There are several other posts in the summary post - these are just the highlights back to November 16.

UPDATE: Huge thanks to Powerline for linking from their original post.


Pulled by Emcee on November 29, 2004 at 09:31 AM
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November 26, 2004
Thanksgiving: Well said.
Filed in: Current Affairs

Hindrocket over at Powerline makes one of those beautiful, transcendant statements in his Happy Thanksgiving post. Please go read those words, they cannot be improved upon.

I am thankful as well that as we have prepared and have begun to participate in this holiday, we have men and women in Iraq and around the world who have been taking it to the terrorists - where the terrorists live - and I'm over here loosening my belt a notch or two.

It is the embrace of those God-given rights Hindrocket writes about that called our nation to freedom. As well, that same embrace calls many from among us to serve in our military - and, in some cases, to freshen our freedom with their blood. For me it makes this Thanksgiving more solemn when I remember young men like Joshua Palmer or the twenty-two young men who gave their lives in Fallujah and Baghdad in the last couple of weeks.

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

How can we be thankful to God enough for people like that? 

UPDATE: We had 'open mike' sharing in church on Sunday - the 28th. I briefly shared about First Lieutenant Palmer, the 22 marines written about in the story above, and the verse from John's gospel. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the many lives in dedicated service to our noble cause. It was especially poignant to me that these men and women who serve count all of us as a friend worth that level of sacrifice.

I am thankful to tears that the great American ideal of freedom is newly freshened by the blood of these patriots and I gain a more heartfelt perspective - as I contemplate that many families received the bodies of their sons for Thanksgiving last week - about the God of the universe sacrificing his Son, his only Son for us. 

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a great summary list of thankful posts.


Pulled by Emcee on November 26, 2004 at 01:48 AM
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UN: Time to get those tanks out
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud

We've noted recently that we've entered a new phase in the Oil For Fraud progam scandal.

Well, now we are entering yet another phase - the UN is refusing to release documentation and refusing access to personnel - both at the UN itself and its former accounting firm - and they are refusing it to a sitting United States Senate Committee.

This stonewalling has led the Senate committee chair Norm Coleman (Minnesota) and Senator Carl Levin (Michigan) to send a letter earlier this week blasting Kofi Annan for the UN's lack of cooperation in their investigation.

Asked for some comment on the Senators' letter - Annan's communication director said the situation was "very awkward" and the Senators' letter was "troubling".

Here's what he means: How dare people with a national interest attempt to get us to cooperate with them. We are the United Nations! We won't deign to be coerced into exposing our frauds - especially to nationalists! What do they think - that their government has the authority to investigate the government of the world?

I say to send the National Guard in there like I suggested recently. Put sanctions on the UN until they cooperate. That's a 'blast' that they'll understand a little better than a letter. A summary of my posts on Oil For Fraud is here.

Also see this detailed report on Fox news.


Pulled by Emcee on November 26, 2004 at 01:12 AM
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November 25, 2004
WA Governor's Race: For your viewing pleasure
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Video, WA Governor's Race

Christine GreGORE (it appears that the Kerry option is out) is *shrilly* and repeatedly calling for every vote to be counted, again and again, and again - apparently forgetting that every vote has been counted twice - and that at least some votes have been newly 'manufactured' out of thin air.

She sounds remarkably like Dean Logan, who, unfortunately is in charge of counting all the votes.

Please let me beg your pardon, but when we look at the evidence of what has been happening what we hear instead is "every ballot counts for GreGORE" - and some of them, at least, are blank.

So, in the holiday spirit, I present to you a gift of my own creation that serves two pruposes: 1) To show how committed Christine and Dean are to counting every vote - as many times as it takes to win, and 2) To give some emotional teeth to my statistical assertions. If you watch this video four times - you will hear Dean Logan say "Every vote counts" about the number of times that a 'vote' occurred during the recount in King County as a result of human intention rather than the untampered mathematical result that occurred in the rest of the state. And as you'll see during each viewing - that includes him saying it eleven times in one third of a second. Curious? Go see the video (requires MS Media Player) by clicking on the picture:

Every Vote Counts

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday everyone.

UPDATE: Digital Brown Pajamas has a great synopsis on the Washington Govenor's race here.


Pulled by Emcee on November 25, 2004 at 03:35 AM
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WA Governor's Race: So how does it happen?
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

In my last post, I asserted that somewhere just over 15% of the 'new' votes (let's call it ninety-something) that Gregoire received (of a total of 593) in the King County recount were the result of human intention - this based on statistical analysis of the data for the state as compared to King County.

There are some who suggest that I'm proposing a conspiracy theory.

As you have probably gleaned from previous postings, I do not believe in conspiracies when it comes to the liberal left - because they do what they do in the light of day.

So, how does this situation happen like what has happened in the recount in King County?

Because they are counting ballots like this:

Every_vote_counts_0002_0001

- for Christine Gregoire.

According to the video titled: "Robert Mak reports on ballot enhancements" on this page, King5 asserts that this ballot was promoted to the Canvassing Board and awarded to Gregoire. Guess which party controls the Canvassing Board in King County?

Based on what can be seen in the video and in this snapshot, there appears to be a mark of some kind on the left edge of this ballot. From what can be seen on the video and this snapshot, there are no other marks anywhere else on this ballot - certainly not in any visible ovals.

This is the sort of mark that you might expect would be the result of someone taking a blank ballot and covertly marking it by carrying it by the edge of the ballot with a marking pen in the left carrying hand - just walking around with such an arrangement will mark the ballot in the way that we can see in this picture.

An appropriate response by the Canvassing Board would be to determine whether the mark appeared to be the same ink that is in the marking pens that all of the election workers are apparently using to 'enhance' ballots such as these - or if the ink matched other marking instruments in the counting area.

In any event, crediting this ballot to Gregoire, is an act of 'voting' on the part of the Canvassing Board, because, even by the rules posted on the ballot, whoever made that mark is not qualified to be a voter - it could be reasonably postulated that this was the doodling of a child or an incompetent person. According to law and decency, the members of the Canvassing Board cannot cast more than one vote - like the rest of us. Given this evidence, they have broken this trust - most likely repeatedly.

So, you wonder how ninety-something strange new votes (of the 593) attributed to Gregoire happened and thus demonstrably skewed the King County recount? This is but one example - and it happened in the light of day.

This is also why there should be no more counting.

If what happened with this ballot happened - anything can happen.


Pulled by Emcee on November 25, 2004 at 02:51 AM
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November 24, 2004
WA Governor's Race: Final Recount Analysis
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

As promised, analysis on the final recount. Here's the completed table:

Secstatewafinalrecount

Since the variances are so small, all the values in the table fall within probable statistical error. But they will still yield valuable information if we look inside the numbers for some comparison.

Of course, the King County numbers for Gregoire are troubling - remember that I mentioned in my earlier post that the variance between the Gregoire recount and the Rossi recount should be the same. Here's why: For statistical purposes, we need a representative sample other than King County to analyze. Let's give Gregoire the benefit of the doubt and take the highest vote count counties - without King County included for Gregoire votes. That would be Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Clark, and Thurston - in descending Gregoire vote order. We're going to look at these to compare them to King County. Another table is in order:

Secstatewafinalkccompare

We can see that the total of the five counties is very close to the total Gregoire count for King County. We can see that the variance in the count for the five counties for both Gregoire and Rossi is 0.10%. For King County the variance for Gregoire is 0.12%. This is certainly not a large value but it is significant that it is the only one that differs from three other large samples.

Here's where the numbers become really significant: Look at the vote ratio between the total vote for each sample and the ratio for the recount for each sample. For the five county sample (all but one are red counties) Rossi leads 51.79% to 48.24%. What about the ratio of the 'new' votes that occurred during the recount? That ratio for the five county sample is: 51.79% to 48.21% - nearly identical to two percentage decimal places (that's ten-thousandths). It is what we would expect.

However, this is not true for King County. The total vote ratio for King County is a Gregoire lead of 59.05% to 40.97%. The ratio of the 'new' votes however, is a Gregoire lead of 63.02% to 36.98%.

Because of the variance calculation, it seems reasonable that the King County recount produced 348 votes for Rossi - it matches up with all the other numbers in the five county sample. But 593 votes for Gregoire does not. Statistically, that number should be between 499 and 503. During recounting of a large representative sample an undervote new tally is a relatively rare event. When they occur in such a large sample, it is reasonable to have the expectation that they will occur within a very close frequency.

What we are expected to believe is that, after collecting a group of samples in which there is almost exact correlation, a representative sample of nearly 1,000 is off by nearly 100 - roughly a ten percent error.

If you were doing a thesis, or writing a paper for a journal, or betting someone's life on a product design, this data would not be trusted.

I believe that it is a clear example of fraud perpetrated at King County.

UPDATE (12/1): There's nothing like new ballots that haven't been seen before showing up to be counted to skew a recount - 336 ballots to be exact.


Pulled by Emcee on November 24, 2004 at 07:42 PM
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WA Governor's Race: News Flash
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

King County is in: a whopping 593 new votes for Gregoire to 348 new votes for Rossi (where did these people come from?). Analysis later.

SecState WA site is updated but incorrectly shows Gregoire with the lead (calculating the recount percentages rather than the overall results apparently). Rossi still leads overall by 76 votes.

Awaiting (approximately 115,000 votes cast - slightly more for Rossi) Kitsap county results.

Time for Gregoire to make the Kerry decision - or the Gore decision. Which will it be?

UPDATE: Blog and news sources are reporting 42 vote difference - but SecState site is still at 76 vote difference - with Kitsap unlikely to change that much. Perhaps the media has the numbers already.

UPDATE (1:40 PM): Kitsap appears to be updating right now - because their county line has disappeared from the SecState spreadsheet. There is no official Kitsap update yet. (1:49 PM) Kitsap just showed back up in the spreadsheet - with NO update.

UPDATE: (2:05 PM): Well, Kitsap is in at SecState - and it was a big change -  +15 Gregoire, -19 Rossi, net Gregoire +34 in a Red county. Now we get 42. For Digital Brown-Pajamas readers: The media already had the Kitsap count - it just wasn't reflected at SectState until after 2 PM.

Rossi wins by 42. What will it be Christine?


Pulled by Emcee on November 24, 2004 at 01:02 PM
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Ninme, tenme, elevenme, just don't two-time me

Pillage Idiot
Replacing the creator of worlds - do you miss Allah? Go see Attila.

Pixie Lair
I'm a Pixie. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. (It's Shell - Look what God made!) - Found her again!

Powerline
The triumvirate. I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

Protein Wisdom
Jeff's menagerie of extreme thoughts, well said.

Scribal Terror
Gail can write! And make you do your English homework!

Sissy Willis
'Wiley' Willis cats and thoughts.

Sondra K
Like Special K - only better

Sound Politics
Shark and friends dig out the unsound

Tapscott's Copy Desk
Mark Tapscott, Director of The Heritage Foundation's Center for Media and Public Policy. Solid good read all the time. Moved to Examiner now...

The incomparable Ace of Spades HQ
The truth in spades!

The Jawa Report
Dr. Rusty and pals. Find original fisking and research here.

The Mighty Beldar
Crusty trial lawyer, bemused observer of politics & internet dilettante from Houston, Texas

the pragmatic chef™
Scott is a connoisseur of food and life! He really knows what seared means...

The Radio Equalizer -Brian Maloney
Could Brian be the next conservative heavy lifter? My money's on him.

The Truth Laid Bear
TTLB Ecosystem host and esteemed pundit.

Timothy Goddard
Brilliant analysis - plus Red State WA!

Wizbang!
Great conservative commentary and about some kind of Weblog awards or something like that

Yippee-Ki-Yay
Fellow traveler McGehee's musings





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