Saturday, October 28, 2006

Who's Stealing Elections?

This is a huge problem. Now that it has become commonplace on the left to buy into the fairy tales surrounding the elections of '00 and '04, they will henceforth feel justified in cheating in able to achieve their goals. 'If their doing it then the only way to save the country is if we do it as well.' That is their justification.

ACORN accused of more bogus election forms

Posted on Wed, Oct. 25, 2006

CLAYTON, Mo. - St. Louis County Election officials claim hundreds of fraudulent voter address changes have been turned in by ACORN, a group that's been criticized for its voter sign-up work in Missouri.

St. Louis County's Republican elections director Joseph Goeke said if a county voter does not get a polling-place notification card in the mail right before the election, the address could have been changed behind their back.

Election Board employees estimate hundreds of fraudulent address changes were submitted.

The address changes included forged signatures and are among questionable or fraudulent voter registration cards submitted to the county within the past couple of months.

County officials told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that most of the suspicious registrations and address changes were submitted by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Similar fraudulent voter registration cards have turned up this month in St. Louis city and this week in Kansas City, as well as other states, including Ohio.

The cases are often similar. Voter registration cards were forged for a dead person, had false signatures and change of addresses or incorrect and missing personal information, Goeke said.

ACORN has registered hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters across the country, paying workers about $8 an hour in some cases...

Every year the folks from ACORN do everything they can to steal our elections. And when they aren't rigging elections, they are stirring up trouble with their endless protest demonstrations.

So why is ACORN is one of the largest taxpayer funded programs out there? Why are they not only tolerated but funded by our government?

Just think what more ACORN will get in government largess with the Congress in control of the Democrats.

And what more they will be able to accomplish.

Piss the conspiracy theorists off. Vote for this guy:
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Jim Talent for Senate.

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The Crazy NAACP Tries Again

This is ridiculous. Even for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Liberal People

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ABC Scolds 'Incendiary' GOP Ad, 'Many
See Racial Overtones'

A night after the NBC Nightly News tried to discredit as racist an RNC ad against the Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee, Harold Ford, ABC joined the effort. On Wednesday's World News, Dean Reynolds asserted: "Drawing on Ford's attendance at a Playboy magazine Super Bowl party last year, the national GOP has been running this commercial, with what many see as racial overtones. First, people lampoon Ford's positions, and then a woman in a suggestive pose says this:" The woman: "I met Harold at the Playboy party." Reynolds: "And after a few more digs, she adds this just to drive the point home." Woman again: "Harold, call me." Reynolds then declared: "To many, the message is clear, and in some parts of Tennessee, potentially incendiary." In case anyone missed the supposed implications, a professor explained: "He's talking about interracial sex, interracial relations."

The October 25 CyberAlert recounted: Another campaign, another opportunity for the mainstream media to discredit a Republican campaign ad as racist. On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared: "Tonight some are saying that one commercial in particular in one very close Senate race has now crossed a racial line." Andrea Mitchell proceeded to critique the RNC ad attacking Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford and she highlighted how "the NAACP said the ad, quote, 'plays to pre-existing prejudices about African-American men and white women'" and "advertising experts like Jerry Della Femina, a Republican, says it is a blatant racial appeal." See:

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of the October 25 World News story:

ABC anchor Charles Gibson: "Back to politics, and the midterm elections are 13 days away. And one of the fiercest fights is taking place in Tennessee, a bitter contest that might determine the control of the Senate. It has just about everything -- hints of sex, allegations of racism, and the possibility that a Southern state could elect a black Senator for the first time since Reconstruction. ABC's Dean Reynolds reports tonight from Tennessee."

Dean Reynolds: "Bob Corker should be coasting. A Republican running in a conservative red state that was carried twice by President Bush, his prospects should be looking good."
Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican Senate candidate: "What people really want in the United States Senate is somebody who thinks like they think."
Reynolds: "But his Democratic opponent, Congressman Harold Ford, has proven to be a more adept campaigner, insinuating at every stop that Corker's undeniable wealth includes ill-gotten gains, and tying Corker to an unpopular war and an unpopular President."
Harold Ford, Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate: "I'm running as an American that wants to help provide better leadership in Washington."
Reynolds: "Faced with the loss of a must-win Senate seat, the Republicans decided to downshift away from Ford's politics to his persona. Drawing on Ford's attendance at a Playboy magazine Super Bowl party last year, the national GOP has been running this commercial, with what many see as racial overtones. First, people lampoon Ford's positions, and then a woman in a suggestive pose says this:"
Woman in ad: "I met Harold at the Playboy party."
Reynolds: "And after a few more digs, she adds this just to drive the point home."
Same woman whispering in ad: "Harold, call me."
Reynolds: "To many, the message is clear, and in some parts of Tennessee, potentially incendiary."
Prof. John Geer, Vanderbilt University: "I mean, he's talking about interracial sex, interracial relations, relationships. I mean, it's really quite amazing. And it's not the kind of ad you'd expect somebody to be running if they thought they were ahead or at least in a tie."
Reynolds: "Corker, the man the ad was supposed to benefit, says it should be withdrawn."
Corker: "We've taken the high road in this race, and I think the ads are tacky."
Reynolds: "Ford said all of this means one thing."
Ford: "Our message is resonating. Otherwise, they wouldn't be running these ads."
Reynolds: "Late today, officials at the Republican National Committee acknowledged that the ad in question has received a lot of negative attention, and they have decided to stop running it here. In a few days, they'll know if the ad did its job or was a risk they should never have taken. Dean Reynolds, ABC News, Knoxville."

One of my professors was going off the other day about how racist this ad was. Since this professor puts the "liberal" in the liberal arts, and most of my classmates ,who rarely understand the material, tend to agree with him, I decided that it would be a waste of my time to debate him. I mean, I don't want to jeopardize the A, which I will inevitably get. But I almost made this point to shut him up.

Do you really think that the residents of Tennessee who are likely to get upset over an implied interracial relationship, were ever going to vote for a black Senate candidate in the first place?

The NAACP is perhaps the looniest political organization in the country today. Even more insane than the ACLU.

On behalf of incredible candidates such as Michael Steele in Maryland, I encourage that body to abandon its partisan leanings and do the job which they were created to do.

And stop referring to everything that you don't like as "racist". We're sick of it.
Don't buy into it. Vote for this guy:
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Bob Corker

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wow! So much for picking up VA.

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It's almost as if Va. Senate candidate Jim Webb was reading Mark Foley's e-mails.

The press release, as provided by the Allen Campaign:


The Author’s Disturbing Writings Show a Continued Pattern of Demeaning Women

· Some of Webb’s writings are very disturbing for a candidate hoping to represent the families of Virginians in the U.S. Senate.

· Many excellent books about the United States military and wartime service accomplish their purposes, and even win awards, without systematically demeaning women, and without dehumanizing women, men and even children.

· Webb’s novels disturbingly and consistently – indeed, almost uniformly – portray women as servile, subordinate, inept, incompetent, promiscuous, perverted, or some combination of these. In novel after novel, Webb assigns his female characters base, negative characteristics. In thousands of pages of fiction penned by Webb, there are few if any strong, admirable women or positive female role models.

Why does Jim Webb refuse to portray women in a respectful, positive light, whether in his non-fiction concerning their role in the military, or in his provocative novels? How can women trust him to represent their views in the Senate when chauvinistic attitudes and sexually exploitive references run throughout his fiction and non-fiction writings?

· Most Virginians and Americans would find passages such as those below shocking, especially coming from the pen of someone who seeks the privilege of serving in the United States Senate, one of the highest offices in the land:

– Lost Soldiers: “A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy’s penis in his mouth.”

Bantam Books, NY, 1st Edition, 2001, (hard cover), page 333.
Quote is from para. 10,.Chap. 34.

– Something to Die For: "Fogarty . . . watch[ed] a naked young stripper do the splits over a banana. She stood back up, her face smiling proudly and her round breasts glistening from a spotlight in the dim bar, and left the banana on the bar, cut in four equal sections by the muscles of her vagina."

William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 36.
Avon Books, New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 35
Quote is from para. 29, Chap. 2 “The South China Sea,”, Section 2

– A Country Such as This: "[He] could see Jawbone and Ashley Asthmatic [two guards at a Vietnamese prison camp] napping together in the grass. They faced inward, their arms entwined. It looked like they were masturbating each other. It didn't surprise him. … It was common to see men holding hands, embracing, playing with each other. Some of them [the guards] had wanted him. He could tell in those evanescent moments between his bao cao bow, the obligatory deference when a guard entered his cell, and the first word or blow that followed it… Quick, grinding voices, turgid with repressed passion. An exploratory reaching of the hand near his groin…”

Doubleday & Co., Garden City, NY, 1983 (hardcover); page 396.
Bluejacket Books, 2001 (Trade paperback edition), page 396
Page numbers are the same in the Naval Institute Press (paperback) edition, 1983.
Quote is from fifth para, Part 5 “A Country Such As This,” Chap. 24, Section 1

– A Sense of Honor: “Nurse Goodbody, dark and voluptuous (Lenahan had forgotten her actual name, it was something long and Italian), was a bedtime friend to many of the doctors in Bethesda. She had hinted to Lenahan that she simply could not contain herself. Doctors tending to patients, she explained, aroused her. Morphine Mary (again Lenahan could not remember her exact name) was a thin, nervous drill sergeant type, a disciplinarian who did not allow her patients even to complain. Lenahan was convinced that Morphine Mary did not even sleep with her husband. She wasn’t bad looking, he mused again, staring at her thin frame. If she’d just get laid every now and then she’d mellow out and stop being such a damn witch.” (p. 164) (Lenahan brings Goodbody home with him and has sex, pp. 188-190)

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 164
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 164
Quote is from fourth para in Part 3, “Chapter 4:1600”

– Something to Die For: "[Fogarty] has been thinking of the firm, springy skin and the sweet smells of a young Filipina woman named Maria in whose bed he had spent three nights almost twenty years ago. . . . She was a deliciously bad young woman. . . . On the second night, he had brought her a box of Godiva chocolates . . . . he had awakened to find her in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet with her knees underneath her chin, eating chocolates and counting her rosary beads as she prayed."

William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 32.
Avon Books New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 30
Quote is from third para in Chapter 2 “South China Sea,”, Part 2

– Something to Die For: "We're on our way to becoming the world's recreational center, a nation [USA] not to be taken seriously. Where are we still the undisputed leader? Music. Movies. Fast food. Drugs. . . . the billboards fifty years from now as you come over the bridge and stop at the tollbooths outside Manhattan: A smiling beautiful naked woman, and the sign saying AMERICAN ASS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT."

William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 199.
Avon Books New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 237
Quote is from para. 38, Chap. 13, Part 1, (five paras before Part 2).

– Fields of Fire: Snake (the protagonist) sees his mother on the bed: "She looked as if she were carefully attempting to re-create a picture from some long-forgotten men's magazine . . . . She was naked underneath the robe . . . . and the robe fell loosely away, revealing her. Snake shrugged resignedly."

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1978 (Hardcover, 1st edition), p. 8
Bantam Books "mass market [paperback] edition" published in Sept. 2001. p. 9.
Quote is from paragraphs 18-23, Part 1 “The Best We Have”, Section 1
(NOTE: Part 1 is after the Prologue)

– Fields of Fire: "He saw the invitation with every bouncing breast and curved hip. . . . He was thirteen. . . . She was fifteen . . . . In a few moments she drew him to her and he murmured in his quiet voice, 'I am still small.' 'You are large enough,' she answered. And he found he was."

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1978 (Hardcover, 1st edition), pp. 211-212
Bantam Books "mass market [paperback] ed." published in Sept. 2001, pp. 280-81.
Quote is from paragraphs 8-20, Part 2 “The End of the Pipeline,” Chapter 24

– A Sense of Honor: “… that is, if you knew who your sister was, Brustein, and if she’d been born with anything between her legs except an asshole, I’d be happy to bring some class to your low-rent name by knocking the bitch up.” (p. 223)

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 223
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 223
Quote is from 17th para in Part 4, “Chapter 7:1930”

– A Sense of Honor: “You wouldn’t have believed it, Swede. She just dropped her britches and lifted up her skirt and pissed like a man. Didn’t lose a drop, either. Not a drop.” (p. 183)

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 183
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 183
Quote is from 23rd para in Part 3, “Chapter 8: 2300”


Now if this is all true, there is no way the Democrats can pick up this seat, making it so they must now win the Senate seats in Missouri and Tennessee in order to pick up the Senate.

With the Ford campaign seemingly in freefall and the Michael J Fox add mobilizing the base for Jim Talent,in a few days polls may tell us that the GOP has a little bit less to worry about on election day.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Two Weeks

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October 24, 2006
A Blank Check from America?
By Thomas Sowell

Media pundits have just about given this year's election to the Democrats -- at least in the House of Representatives and perhaps in the Senate as well. They might even be right, for a change.

Some are saying that this could be like the 1994 midterm election shocker when the Republicans seized control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. If so, the Democrats will win by following the exact opposite strategy from that which brought the Congressional Republicans to power in 1994.

The Republican strategy, crafted by Newt Gingrich, was to spell out their stands on key issues and to promise to bring those issues to a vote in Congress. They called their agenda "The Contract with America."

It is now clear to all that this year's Democrats are deliberately avoiding spelling out any coherent policy program of their own.

Their strategy is to second-guess, denigrate and undermine Republicans instead of offering an agenda of their own. Rather than having a contract with America, they are seeking a blank check from America. Moreover, they may get it.

How did the Republicans manage to bring themselves to this dire condition, just two years after winning both Houses of Congress, the White House, and most of the state governorships?

It wasn't easy -- and it wasn't new. It was the same thing that caused the first President Bush to lose his bid for re-election in 1992, after having had sky-high approval ratings in 1991. It was betraying the trust of supporters.

Back then it was the betrayal of the "No new taxes" pledge. More recently, it was the even worse betrayal of trying to legislate amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, combined with insulting our intelligence by saying that it was not amnesty.

Add to this the Republicans' runaway spending and the fact that the war in Iraq has been going badly, and you have all the ingredients of a political debacle.

One of the ironies of this election is that it is the Republicans in the House of Representatives who seem most likely to pay the biggest price for the disaffection of Republican voters -- when in fact it was the House Republicans who stopped both the Senate Republicans and the White House from making mass amnesty the law of the land.

Senate Republican leaders deserve whatever happens to them. If this election were about the fate of one political party rather than another, it would hardly be worth thinking about.

But elections are not about which politicians get to keep their jobs, though the media cover the news as if the political horse race is the issue. Elections are about the fate of 300 million Americans and the future of this nation.

That fate hangs grimly in the balance as two irresponsible regimes in North Korea and Iran seek to gain nuclear weapons. Neither leader of these regimes can be deterred by threats of nuclear retaliation, as the Soviet Union was deterred.

Both are like Hitler, who was willing to see his own people decimated and his own country reduced to rubble rather than quit when it was obvious to all that he could not win. If you can imagine Hitler with a few nuclear weapons to use to vent his all-consuming hatreds in a lost cause, you can see what a nuclear North Korea or a nuclear Iran would mean for America and the world.

It is obscene that our media should be obsessed with some jerk in Congress who wrote dirty e-mails to Congressional pages -- and was forced out of Congress for it -- when this nation faces dangers of this magnitude.

It would be worse than obscene for some voters to cut off their nose to spite their face by either staying home on election day or actually voting a blank check from America for a party with a decades-long history of irresponsibility on national defense.

Even today, Democrats are arguing for more talks with North Korea and Iran, as if talk is going to stop such regimes from going nuclear, any more than talks with Hitler in the 1930s deterred him.

This is no longer about hawks and doves. It is about ostriches who bury their heads in the sand -- and about those voters who are prepared to give a blank check to ostriches.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Remembering Gerry "The Stud" Studds

What a great guy that Gerry was!

AP - Reaction to the death of former Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass.:

"Gerry's leadership changed Massachusetts forever and we'll never forget him. His work on behalf of our fishing industry and the protection of our waters from my driving has guided the fishing industry into the future and ensured that generations to come will have the opportunity to love and learn from the sea. He was a steward of the oceans. And boy did he love having gay sex with children."

- U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.


"No one fought harder for human rights, particularly in Latin America; for our environment; and for the fishermen of New England and the entire nation. He was a true pioneer of having gay sex with underage kids and getting away with it."

- U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., whose wife, Lisa, once worked as an aide to Studds.


"Gerry often said that it was the fight for gay and lesbian equality that was the last great civil rights chapter in modern American history. He did not live to see its final sentences written, but all of us will forever be indebted to him for leading the way with compassion and wisdom. He gave people of his generation, of my generation, and of future generations the courage to be who they are, if who they are, are people who enjoy having gay sex with minors."

-Dean Hara, who married Studds in 2004.


"Gerry was a stalwart champion of New England's fishing families as well as a committed environmentalist who worked hard to demonstrate that the cause of working people and the cause of the environment go hand in hand with the right leadership. Not to mention the cause of underage House pages who enjoy having gay sex with congressmen. When he retired from Congress, he did not retire from the cause, continuing to fight for the fishing industry, and New England's environmental causes, and illegally sodomizing young men throughout our nation's capital."

- U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.


"I am very saddened by the death of Gerry Studds. From his days in the early 1970s as an articulate and effective opponent of the Vietnam war, through his consistent leadership on environmental issues, to his insistence that the U.S. government stop ignoring the AIDS crisis, Gerry was a forceful advocate for causes that were not always popular and that were consequently shunned by many politicians. I never understood why politicians always shunned causes such as having gay sex with minors. He showed us all that if you're a Democrat, you can pretty much get away with anything. Gerry set the bar so high that the only thing I could do to top him, was to run a gay brothel out of my basement. Now back to the real bad guy here. Dennis Hastert."

- U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

Ok I admit, I altered these quotes a bit.

It must ease Mark Foley's mind a bit knowing that he can look forward to having Republicans tell us all what a hero he was after he's dead. Right?

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I just wanted to briefly comment on the disgraceful actions of some students at Columbia University last week.

In case you haven’t seen it on the news. Minutemen founder and former congressional candidate Jim Gilchrist was about to give a speech on illegal immigration when he was shouted down by a bunch of pro-illegal immigration students.

They unfurled banners and yelled at Gilchrist calling him a fascist and a racist, in typical leftist fashion. Gilchrist was forced to cancel the speech due to the students refusal to let him be heard. Here’s a link in case you haven’t seen it.

Today the students proceeded to defend their actions in two ways. First they positioned themselves as defenders of equality from the big, bad, racist, anti-illegal immigration forces such as the Minutemen. Again, they played the race card so as to simplify an issue, which is incredibly complex, in order to sway the simple minded and their fellow students. As I said, typical.

Then they used another technique that has become standard fare for radicals of all kinds. They defended their actions by saying they were simply exercising their right to free speech.

Ok, no. That’s not free speech, that’s heckling and intimidation. You are a detriment to the Constitution, not supporting its principles, if you drown out somebody else’s free speech, simply because you don’t like the message.

Far-left student groups have been doing this for years now, but only to conservative speakers mind you.

These recent developments should serve as proof that our nations colleges and universities are ceasing to be the open-minded places in which freedom of speech, freedom of thought and diversity are encouraged, as was intended. Instead, they have become places in which groupthink and a one-sided political ideology are encouraged by both student groups and administration. All others are shunned or shouted down. This is scary stuff.

So, all you radical students out there who think that all of us on the right are just a bunch of evil, racist, dupes, let me teach you something that your professors have obviously neglected to mention to you in class.

There is a big difference between freedom of speech and being obnoxious and loud when someone else is trying to tell you something.

Shame on those students at Columbia who participated in this closed-minded hit job and shame on anyone who doesn’t vigorously condemn their bad behavior.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Another Double Standard

One shouldn't excuse Mark Foley's bad behavior by pointing to other representative’s bad behavior in the past, however the idea of Dennis Hastert resigning his post is utterly ridiculous. Especially considering that there is no evidence that Hastert even knew about the e-mails that Foley sent which were sexual in nature.

Foley deserved what he got, but guys like Barney Frank, Mel Reynolds and Gary Studds deserved far worse than the forgiveness and presidential pardons, which they ultimately received.

The Redder They Are, The Harder They Fall
Republicans More Damaged by Scandals

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 3, 2006; Page C01

Sex scandals involving politicians are as old as Thomas Jefferson, but the outcome seems to depend on which party you represent. In recent years, for the most part, Democrats have been able to survive their sordid escapades while Republicans have paid with their political lives.

The latest example: Mark Foley, a Republican congressman from Florida, who abruptly became an ex-congressman from Florida last week amid revelations that he had sent sexually explicit e-mails to teenage boys who were serving as House pages.

Foley's creepy behavior might have done him in even if he'd been the most liberal of Democrats. But that's not assured. With a Republican at the center of the seamy scandal, however, it was almost a slam-dunk that Foley would have to quit.

That's how it usually turns out for members of the conservative, traditional-family-values party. Just ask Bob Livingston, Jack Ryan, Bob Packwood, Dan Crane or others in the GOP who've watched their careers go pffft! with salacious disclosures. Or ask Bill Clinton, Gerry Studds, Barney Frank and other Democrats who've withstood embarrassing revelations to govern another day. Consider, for example:

· Packwood, from Oregon, resigned his Senate seat in 1995 amid repeated allegations that he had sexually harassed women. A few years earlier, Rep. Jim Bates, a Democrat from the San Diego area, faced similar allegations by two female staffers. Bates refused to resign and won reelection (he eventually lost his seat to Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who ran into his own ethics problems last year, and resigned after being convicted of bribery).

· In 1998, Livingston won the Republican Party's blessing to succeed Newt Gingrich as speaker of the House. But Livingston, of Louisiana, never served a day in the job. He was sunk by revelations that he'd had an extramarital affair, a disclosure that carried the additional baggage of hypocrisy since, at the time, Livingston was leading the Republican impeachment of President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, of course, ultimately survived impeachment.

· Rep. Thomas Evans (R-Del.) was voted out of office in 1982 after he publicly regretted his "association" with a lobbyist named Paula Parkinson, who later posed for Playboy; Evans and two other Republican House members (including one named Dan Quayle) had shared a Florida cottage with Parkinson on a junket. Contrast this to the reaction to allegations of an affair between Sen. Chuck Robb (D-Va.) and Tai Collins, a former Miss Virginia. Robb claimed that Collins had only given him a back rub in a hotel room. Robb won reelection three years later.

· The clearest illustration may be in the divergent outcomes of the cases against Crane (R) and Studds (D) in 1983. Both men were censured by the House for having sex with underage congressional pages -- Crane with a 17-year-old girl in 1980, Studds with a 17-year-old boy in 1973. Crane, of Illinois, apologized for his actions, while Studds, who declared he was gay, refused. Crane lost his reelection bid the next year; Studds, of Massachusetts, kept winning his seat until he retired in 1996.

A double standard? And if so, by whom?

"The reality is that Democrats seem to get away with more," says Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the Hotline, a daily political journal. "They can have an affair and bail [themselves] out. There's a lower threshold for Republicans. I guess it's more of a hypocrisy thing," he adds, because such scandals put Republicans at odds with the party's socially conservative image.

Todd thinks he knows who's to blame for this: "It's the media, to be honest. What is the standard 'gotcha' story in the media? It's hypocrisy. If we can prove hypocrisy, we have a story. . . . So in a sex scandal, the bar for Republicans is lower."

He cites the case of Jack Ryan, the Illinois Republican whose bid for the Senate was derailed in 2004 when his wife, actress Jeri Ryan, alleged in divorce papers that he had taken her to sex clubs and had asked her to engage in sexual activity in front of other patrons. "What's amazing is that his candidacy hit the wall not because he had sex, but because he was thinking about having sex," says Todd.

But it's tough to blame the media when it's the electorate that determines who stays and who goes.

In Studds's case, he happened to represent a liberal (and apparently quite forgiving) district, while Crane came from a conservative rural district. Ditto with Barney Frank, who was reelected in his liberal Massachusetts district after it was revealed that he hired a male prostitute in 1985 to work in his District apartment, and the young man used the apartment to run a prostitution service. Clinton, meanwhile, was elected president twice, which may have had something to do with his ability to survive the storm over alleged extramarital affairs.

"A scandal's a scandal and the media will jump on it, no matter what party," notes Michael Farquhar, author of "A Treasury of Great American Scandals." On the other hand, notes Farquhar, a reporter who is on leave from The Post, "there's probably that extra twinge of delight [in the media] when, say, a gay-bashing Republican gets caught soliciting sex in a men's room, or a pious espouser of family values sleeps with his secretary."

There are exceptions, of course. A few Democrats have lost their jobs as a result of scandals. Wayne Hays, a Democrat from Ohio, resigned his House seat in 1976 after the disclosure of his affair with Elizabeth Ray, the curvaceous blonde who "worked" in Hays's office despite no evident secretarial skills. Gary Hart, who famously dared reporters to follow him around to prove he was squeaky clean, blew up as a Democratic presidential candidate in 1984 after reporters found him leaving a Capitol Hill townhouse after spending the night with a woman not his wife. And Gary Condit, a conservative Democrat from Modesto, Calif., lost his seat in 2002 following saturation coverage of his relationship with murdered intern Chandra Levy.

It's also true that Wilbur Mills, the powerful Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in the 1970s, lost his chairmanship after cavorting in the Tidal Basin with Fanne Foxe, "the Argentine Firecracker."

What's forgotten, however, is that Mills won reelection after his Tidal Basin romp; he was stripped of his chairmanship only after he appeared on a stage in Boston with Foxe, apparently drunk. House Democrats demanded his resignation, and got it.

While some Conservatives have turned on Hastert in order to win their own elections and bolster the party's chances in the upcoming elections, Democratic party chair Howard Dean has taken this mess and used it to bash Hastert and to imply that the GOP is not good for children. That's election year politics at its worst and raises the question: When did the Democratic leadership start taking sex scandals seriously?

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Happy Birthday FNC!

A ten year status report for America's number one cable news network and the channel which you are most likely to find me watching at any given time during the day.

Fox News: Enraging Liberals for 10 Years
Cable news ratings king celebrates its first decade, as the left tries to muzzle Murdoch's creation.
By Brian C. Anderson, BRIAN C. ANDERSON is senior editor of City Journal and author of "South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias."
October 4, 2006

FOX NEWS turns 10 this week, and it has every reason to celebrate. Launched by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and former political consultant Roger Ailes as a refuge for viewers fed up with real or perceived liberal bias elsewhere in the media, Fox is the undisputed ratings champion of cable news. It's been trouncing CNN, MSNBC and CNBC for years, and it sometimes draws a fatter audience share than all its competitors combined, though viewership has slumped a little of late. Pugnacious Bill O'Reilly and conservative tough guy Sean Hannity have become two of the nation's most powerful broadcasters thanks to this kind of ratings pull. Fox is the news media success story of the last decade.

Liberals aren't celebrating the channel's birthday, though. Even before an angry Bill Clinton exploded at "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace a couple of weeks ago, accusing him of "a nice little conservative hit job" after getting pressed about his record on fighting Al Qaeda, Democratic pols and advocates have relentlessly attacked the cable network, accusing it of being a Republican propaganda mill. Al Gore has likened Fox to a right-wing "fifth column." Leftist groups, including, funded the documentary "Outfoxed," which purports to expose the channel's nefarious Republican agenda, and petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to ban Fox's use of its famous "Fair and Balanced" slogan as deceptive advertising.

"When a news outlet is allowed to blur the lines between opinion and journalism and call it 'fair and balanced,' I think it's confusing to consumers of information in this country, and it's dangerous to democracy," fretted an official at Common Cause, one of the organizations joining the petition. Hollywood celebrities never miss an opportunity to bash "Faux News." Comedy Central's witty "Colbert Report" is a nightly satire of the channel and of O'Reilly in particular.

What explains all this hysteria? Success, of course.

The propaganda charge is unfair, at least when it comes to the network's presentation of news. In the 2004 presidential race, Fox pollsters consistently underestimated President Bush's support. In its final preelection poll, Fox had Kerry winning by a couple of points, one of the only polls to show the Democrat on top. I'm not sure a right-wing fifth column would do that.

A recent comprehensive study by UCLA political scientist Tim Groseclose and University of Missouri-Columbia economics professor Jeffrey Milyo found Brit Hume's "Special Report" — Fox's most straightforward news show — more centrist than any of the three major networks' evening newscasts, all of which leaned left.

The program is a model of smart news television.

And although it's true that the network's opinion shows (as opposed to its news shows) are, as they're supposed to be, noisily opinionated, it's equally true that Fox's biggest star, O'Reilly, is no mainstream Republican. He regularly charges the oil companies with price-gouging and attacks big business for squashing the little guy. And who can say what host Greta Van Susteren's politics are? She mostly zeroes in on lurid murder mysteries and scandals.

Liberals troop into and out of the Fox studios every day — some of them, like host Alan Colmes and news analyst Marvin Kalb, affiliated with the channel. There's no doubt, of course, that Fox News is more conservative than CBS or CNN. But, after all, that was its founding mission.

Fox's real ethos is not Republican but anti-elitist — a major reason it connects with so many Americans and annoys so many coastal elites. "There's a whole country that elitists will never acknowledge," Ailes once observed. "What people resent deeply out there are those in the 'blue states' thinking they're smarter."

This anti-elitism shows itself in Fox's pro-U.S. stance in covering the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and its broadcasters' use of terms such as "terrorist" instead of "militant" to refer to … well, terrorists. Since the Vietnam War era, mainstream journalists have tended to see such blunt language and side-taking as unsophisticated, a betrayal of journalistic objectivity.

Another aspect of Fox's anti-elitism: Christians, far from being seen as lunatics or curiosities — as too often is the case in the mainstream media — actually get some respect.

"We regularly have on the Rev. Franklin Graham, Dr. James Dobson and other religious leaders, just as we put on Pat Ireland and Eleanor Clift," Hannity told me a while back. "Most Americans believe in God and have that as their foundation in life. So why shouldn't we have as guests people that they like, respect and want to hear from?"

What really frustrates liberals about Fox, though, is simply that, along with talk radio and the conservative blogosphere, it has helped shatter the left's near-monopoly on news and information. Fox's opinion-driven programming gives conservatives and liberals a chance to get a hearing for their ideas. But Democratic politicians and activists who go on Fox also must defend their views, often against tough questioning, something that happens less often on the networks, where most journalists are left-of-center, survey after survey has shown.

Even more significant, Fox came on the scene a decade ago as a professional news organization that could define and report news as something different from what the elite consensus says it is. To take one of many examples, the corruption of the United Nations' oil-for-food initiative in Iraq, initially downplayed by the mainstream media because of their sympathy for internationalism, was uncovered — deemed newsworthy — on Fox.

All this wouldn't matter if Fox News wasn't so influential. But it is. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 20% of Americans now claim to get news from it, and lots of them (37%) are Democrats or independents. The network's success has also sparked a "Fox effect," leading some competitors to become more open to right-of-center opinions: MSNBC's "Scarborough Country," hosted by former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, is a prime example. Until a few years ago, Democrats never had to deal with all these mediatized conservatives.

Nothing would please liberals more than to drag the nation back to the days when the New York Times and CBS News determined what was newsworthy. A group of congressional Democrats has warned Fox to end its supposed anti-Democratic bias — or else. Should Democrats retake Congress, an effort to shut down, or at least muzzle, Fox, is far from inconceivable, creepy and illiberal as that sounds.

Something Fox News doubtless is keeping in mind as it pops the champagne corks this week.

One footnote. The author of this article also penned a moderately interesting book entitled "South Park Conservatives" which attempts to explain an emerging species of moderate conservative whose views are similar to those expressed by the creators of Soth Park via their brilliant cartoon.

A footnote on that. The cartoon's season premeire airs tonight on Comedy Central. So don't miss it. Unless of course you hate laughing.

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