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A News and Politics Blog, With a Smattering of Sports

Saturday, August 16, 2003

9:46 AM: 
Tammy Bruce:
"So, we have a choice. Do we want this nation to look like Kweisi Mfume’s life of bullying and betrayal, or do we want something better? Can we actually take a party seriously whose “mistresses” are irresponsible hypocrites like Mfume, Julian Bond, Maxine Waters, and every other poser who continues to condemn blacks in this nation to poverty and victimhood?

After all, if the president is afraid of Kweisi Mfume, how in heaven’s name can he deal with Charles Taylor, Kim Jong-il and Osama bin Laden? That’s a chance we can’t take, which is why after this pathetic episode this Democrat, who’s against slavery of any kind, thank you very much, will be voting for Republicans as much and as often as possible."
Who is Tammy Bruce?
Tammy Bruce is a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW and a contributing editor to FrontPageMagazine.com. She is the author of 'The New Thought Police' and 'The Death of Right and Wrong.'"

8:13 AM: 
A new Field Poll shows Cruz Bustamante leading Arnold Schwarzenegger by three points, with McClintock, Simon, and Ueberroth well behind. Some quick thoughts about this poll:Since announcing on Leno, it has been one thing after another that has made conservatives, like me, cringe. I have had mixed emotions about the recall. Obviously, Davis is a disaster. Obviously, so would be any Democrat replacement. That said, New York City is proving that a Democrat who by some bizarre circumstance is elected as a Republican (such as Bloomberg) is the worst of both worlds; such a person screws things up royally and gets the Republicans hated because of it. I do not think Arnold would be as bad as Bloomberg-- who appears to be the Babe Ruth of political screwups, much like Gray Davis, come to think of it-- but I have little faith he would help out the Republican party much.

To me, though, the clincher is how much support Bustamante gets. One would think with the hole the Democrats have dug, people would be looking for a change, but California voters want the same old without Davis. One would also think that a virulent racist like Bustamante (and his ties to MEChA, and his 'nigger' comments) would alienate California voters. The fact that he is in the lead tells me the people of California have not learned a single thing. As such, I hope they do elect Bustamante. They need to more acutely associate the pain of the governance crisis with Democrat leadership than they do now.


Friday, August 15, 2003

2:09 PM: 
More on Belisle: he has three starts at AAA Richmond this year. He gave up five earned runs, struck out 10, and walked no one (a baseball book I have at home said he has Maddux-like control), while working almost 7 innings per game. He also gave up fewer hits than innings.

While rebounding from last year's injury at AA Greenville earlier this year, he had a 3.52 ERA, a K/W ratio above 2/1, and a hit to inning ratio right at one.


2:00 PM: 
ESPN.com - MLB - MLB Transactions

There are some late season, pennant drive moves which end up looking very bad after a few years. The poster boy for such moves is when the Astros peddled aging lefty reliever Larry Andersen to the Red Sox for a minor league player by the name of Jeff Bagwell. With this in mind, what the heck were the Braves thinking here?

"Cincinnati Reds- Acquired pitcher Matt Belisle to complete Tuesday's trade in which they sent pitcher Kent Mercker to the Atlanta Braves."
So the Braves, who are leading their division by a jillion games, pick up an aging left-handed reliever (hey, that's familiar) for a minor league prospect. Belisle is a stellar prospect; before experiencing some back problems last year he was considered the best pitching prospect in the Atlanta system.

Moves like this make no sense to me. I think it is likely that Belisle would have been just as effective as a late season middle reliever as Merker will be this year, and as for future value there is no comparison.


1:35 PM: 
Air Canada cancels all Flights after Control Center Crash

This is tied in with the major blackout, as the reason for this crash is that the emergency power system has failed. Air Canada is the largest Canadian airline, and the 11th largest in the world.


12:11 PM: 
Over on The Corner, Nick Schulz writes:
"The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are about to see their pay get cut"
He included a link to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story that begins as follows:
"The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120-degree-plus heat."
I can almost hear Donald Rumsfeld chastising the author that the Pentagon is a building and buildings do not have desires. But leaving that aside, is it true that the Pentagon wants to cut the pay of troops in Iraq? Not according to this article from Talon News:
"That is not true. We are not going to reduce their compensation," said David Chu, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
The article has other similar refutations from other defense officials.

Mr. Schulz does not believe the Talon News article means what he wrote in the corner is wrong. I guess it depends- if the law is not renewed then there will be a pay cut, technically. But if Mr. Chu is correct and compensation does not get reduced (due to them finding other ways to provide the same money) then it is a distinction without a difference.

In either case, the AJC article was clearly a hit-piece, and not even a disguised one. Discerning readers should have been alerted by the phrasing of the opening paragraph that reality was a lot different from what the author was presenting.


7:18 AM: 
Just sentences require judicial discretion:
"Testifying before Congress in April, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy tried to explain why it's important for judges to have discretion in sentencing. He cited the case of 'a young man raising marijuana in the woods. That makes him a distributor. He's got his dad's hunting rifle in the car -- he forgot about it and wanted to do target practice. That makes him armed. He's looking at 15 years. An 18-year-old doesn't know how long 15 years is.'

Members of Congress apparently did not grasp Kennedy's point. The next day, almost all of them voted to impose new restrictions on sentencing discretion, making a system that Kennedy rightly called 'harsh' and 'in many cases unjust' even more draconian."
Kennedy's point is valid, but he seemingly does not comprehend a point that works in the opposite direction; there are liberal justices who, in the absence of mandatory sentencing rules, keep returning criminals to the street. In particular this happens if the Justice in question does not agree with the law broken (such as pot laws).

Both happen. There are, with mandatory sentencing, people who get punished worse than they probably deserve. And there are, without mandatory sentencing, people who get punished much less than they probably deserve.

Justice Kennedy, I ask you: which branch of government, under our Consitution, is supposed to be the one which weighs conflicting points, which makes the value judgements as to what the laws of the society should be, directly answerable to the public?

That would be the legislature, not the courts.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

4:24 PM: 
Doing 35 MPH on a barstool? Norm would be impressed!

3:35 PM: 
An interesting thing about Hambali's arrest. Apparently it was made a few days ago, but was just announced today by the President.

I wonder if this was the reason for the delay? Maybe we found evidence during his arrest that led to these guys in Pakistan?


3:08 PM: 
Major Al Qaeda Arrest - Riduan Isamuddin (aka Hambali). Slowly but surely, the world's most agressive international police effort is working.

11:58 AM: 
Some Arkansas Polling from Zogby:
"Huckabee's overall favorability rating was 59.4 percent in the poll, about the same as U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., who received a 60.4 favorability rating."
It is disappointing that Lincoln is in as strong of a position as she is, but her and Pryor have been playing the judicial games better than most Democrats, supporting the candidates nominated from their state.

11:55 AM: 
Dean Leading Dems?
"For the first time, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is leading the Democratic field for the 2004 presidential elections, according to a new tracking poll taken by InsiderAdvantage in conjunction with MWI Research."

9:46 AM: 
It should come to no one's surprise that this week's loser in the Presidential Survivor game was William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. We had a few trollish votes (two for Ronald Reagan, four for George W. Bush). Interestingly enough, all of those votes came from people who had been over on Free Republic-- which tells me there are a few posers over there. Hi guys!

Clinton got 35 votes and 83% of the vote, over Reagan, G.W. Bush, William Taft, and my namesake-- who thank you very much did not get a single vote. Very respectful of you!

This week's grouping features Andrew Johnson, Zach Taylor, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George Washington. The poll will be up shortly.


8:15 AM: 
BILL AND HILL STAY AWAY FROM GRAY MATTER (ex-42 miffed advice to Davis got leaked), or Clinton Goes To Bat For Davis?

I report, you decide.

8:06 AM: 
Mississippi Mud:
"By the way, the legendary tort lawyer Dickie Scruggs is a witness in the case. Mr. Scruggs says that he was unaware of the loan scheme that is the subject of the indictment. But Mr. Scruggs told the grand jury that he loaned Judge Walter Teel $27,500 and was repaid by Mr. Minor. Mr. Scruggs and Mr. Minor also co-owned the apartment where Judge Diaz lived rent-free, though Mr. Scruggs says he didn't know the judge was staying there. Separately, Mr. Scruggs paid off an $80,000 loan for Judge Diaz in 2000. Mr. Scruggs, who happens to be GOP Senator Trent Lott's brother-in-law, says through a spokesman that he is not a target of any investigation."
Charming.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

7:41 PM: 
Ann Coulter:
"In June 2002, the liberal American Prospect magazine was hailing California as a 'laboratory' for Democratic policies. With 'its Democratic governor, U.S. senators, state legislature and congressional delegation,' author Harold Meyerson gushed, 'California is the only one of the nation's 10 largest states that is uniformly under Democratic control.' In the Golden State, Meyerson said, 'the next New Deal is in tryouts.'"
The tryout is over. Looks like the coaches are about to make some cuts.

7:14 PM: 
Permit for Beaver Dam. An oldie but a goodie.

12:09 PM: 
The Krugman Truth Squad is always entertaining. I find this paragraph to be particularly amusing:
"Krugman quoted several soldiers stationed in Iraq complaining about hardships supposedly inflicted on them by the Bush administration's supposed incompetence. Krugman clamed to have spoken to a soldier just back from Iraq (wait a second ... Krugman said just last week that 'we're stuck in Iraq indefinitely' ... what's this guy doing back home hob-nobbing with economics professors?). Supposedly this soldier hated the bad Army MREs - 'meals ready to eat' - and complained that the Italian soldiers are much better fed in Iraq (wait a second ... Krugman complained that the war on Iraq was unilateral ... what are all these Italians with great food doing in the desert?). "

12:06 PM: 
I am deeply saddened:
"A Talon News search of DC property records revealed that Daschle is receiving the homestead tax credit.

The District of Columbia allows a $30,000 deduction against a property's tax assessment for the calculation of taxes. Even though every owner-occupied property is eligible for the tax credit, it was enacted to protect lower income homeowners from sharp increases in property taxes due to skyrocketing property values in Washington.

The District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue confirmed that the house is in the senator's name and that the property is receiving the homestead deduction. The deduction does not carry over from the previous owner, as any change in ownership requires a new application for the credit.

But Daschle may not even qualify for the tax credit, since one of the requirements is that the property must be the owner's primary residence. South Dakota law requires that its elected officials be residents of the state. Therefore, Daschle would be precluded from claiming his Washington home as his primary residence. The senator's tax savings is less than $1,000 a year."
Or, perhaps, he can be disqualified from running for Senator in 2004 since he has claimed his primary residence to be in DC?

11:47 AM: 
Paul Greenberg is naive:
"Why would the state's two Democratic senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, support Mr. Holmes' confirmation? Because they know him as an honorable advocate learned in the law, and a man of character. And they know he would honor his oath as a judge to interpret the law impartially, whatever his personal beliefs.

Arkansas' senators haven't swallowed the caricature of Leon Holmes being spread so assiduously by his ideologically driven opponents. In his case, familiarity breeds respect."
This is silly. There are other nominees just as qualified and upstanding as Holmes who are being opposed by home-state Democrats (see Michigan and California for examples). It is not respect bred from familiarity that has Lincoln and Pryor supporting Holmes-- it is the realization that opposition would be significantly damaging to their re-election chances in Arkansas, a southern state.

11:41 AM: 
If Kelly was a liar, why was he a source?:
"So, thus far, it is the word of one man against another. And one of those men is dead. Even if we take Gilligan's account of their transactions at absolute face value, isn't there a problem with the logic of his defence?

If Dr Kelly lied to the FAC because, as Gilligan puts it, he may have felt that he had to 'keep faith' with the Ministry of Defence (and had not intended to discredit the Government), why should we put so much faith in his accuracy as a source for the Gilligan story? Either he is an impeccable, unfailingly reliable witness or he isn't.

Almost everything that Gilligan said about him yesterday implied that, at least under some circumstances, he was not. So in order to defend his own decision to broadcast his story, Gilligan must, in effect, undermine the veracity of his own single source."
True enough. But the BBC will not report this, nor will any of the left-leaning British papers, so beyond the Telegraph, who is going to point this paradox out to the British people?

11:28 AM: 
This is called 'projection':
"The Democratic argument is articulated by Mr. McAuliffe, the party chairman: 'There's a pattern that you've now seen developed. ... This is about power for Republicans. They want to win it all. They will resort to any tactic.'"
He says, while the Democrats resort to such tactics as And so on.

9:37 AM: 
Remember all those stories about how Bush's job approval numbers were in 'free fall'?

Right here and here, I pointed out how the 'collapse' of his approval ratings was slight, and well within the range of random fluctuations.

What have we seen of late? For two months now, the Washington Post/ABC News poll has had his approval rating at 59%. The new Ipsos-Reid poll has it at 58%. Gallup's four polls since the start of July have been 62%, 59%, 58%, and 60%. Fox Opinion Dynamics scores it at 59%.

And the generally liberal Pew organization's poll conducted right in the middle of all this? It has Bush at 53% and falling. Read into that whatever you will.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

3:20 PM: 
Bush Plans to Sidestep Senate (Recess Appt. Pipes!):
"Bush has used recess appointments in the past to appoint some of his most controversial nominees."
He has? Then I guess he has appointed Ashcroft, Pryor, Pickering, and Estrada via recess appointments?

I mean, by any reasonable criteria, these represent his most controversial nominees...

11:50 AM: 
Actual Text of Cuban Letter To President Bush (Not as "angry" as depicted by media!): worth a read. There is angry, and then there is "look, we love ya but you are doing us wrong here. Please help us". This is clearly the latter, but was unanimously reported as the former.

11:16 AM: 
The McAdam Report contains a story about Dusty Baker and his recent racially controversial comments.

I have been suggesting that, if I were a California resident, I might consider supporting Peter Ueberroth but I did not know enough about his social positions. The story shows that Ueberroth might be a bit more succeptible to racial extortion politics (or may be more naive, or both) than I would be comfortable with.


9:55 AM: 
USS Clueless - Qusay in Geneva

The argument that I made regarding incentives and one side handicapping itself came from the USS Clueless blog.


9:42 AM: 
BOAT KIDS STUN POLICE AT JFK:
"'If these were three kids with SAM [Surface to Air] missiles, we'd all be saying something different. The bottom line is money,' Danese said. "
Kids with SAMs? What, does he think he lives in the West Bank or something?

I know, I know. That was a horrible thing for me to say.


9:28 AM: 
'Southern strategy' will be a Dem tactic in 2004:
"Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts early on said in San Francisco that 'Al Gore proved you can win the election without a single Southern state -- if only he'd won New Hampshire.''

Kerry quickly backed off the notion that he didn't need the South, campaigning in South Carolina, saying he had killed people in Vietnam. Kerry came in at 5 percent in the South Carolina poll. "
Kerry was in Vietnam? I wonder why he never mentions it. And his coiffed hairstyle is very striking, very French looking too.

9:25 AM: 
Rich Lowry on The Corner:
"PLEBISCITARY CYNICISM?
I love the phrase, but I think George Will is letting Arianna unduly color his view of the California recall: 'Truly conservative Californians -- you few know who you are -- will vote against the recall to protest its plebiscitary cynicism.' There should be little doubt by now that the populist passion behind the recall is real, and the sentiment for change in California genuine. What's cynical about it?"
Nothing. But I would like to make another point, if I may.

I have long argued that conservatism is the application of the accumulated wisdom of the ages. While there is a certain implied nobility in what Will suggests, history tells us that it is foolish to impose on oneself rules which opponents violate.

Take, for example, the Geneva Convention. The edicts of the convention only have to be followed if the other side is a signatory to the convention and are abiding by it. The wisdom with this is that if the signatories were bound by it regardless of the conduct of the adversary, then adversaries would have an incentive to violate the convention in order to gain an advantage.

Similarly, when it comes to politics, the Democrats have shown that they will use every trick, every tool, every possible avenue to acheive their goals. If the Republicans sit and limit themselves only to what they consider 'the proper way to do things', then this has the effect of simply encouraging the Democrats to continue doing so as to give them an advantage.

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Eventually, deterrence kicks in.

Monday, August 11, 2003

8:40 PM: 
Herb Brooks killed in car accident

Very sad. The miracle on ice team he coached remains one of the great memories of my youth.


4:11 PM: 
OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today is always a must read, but today is even more so than usual. Basically, the New York Times got caught sexing up some Iraq quagmire stories. It fits with my ongoing disgust with anonymous sources.

4:02 PM: 
Arnold Steinberg on California Recall is skeptical over Ahnold's poll lead:
"Finally, the poll itself was taken in the midst of the euphoria surrounding the Schwarzenegger announcement. It did not even list the political party of each candidate. Thus, Democrats did not know, for example, that Schwarzenegger is a Republican, or Bustamante is a Democrat. Does that partly explain how Bustamante gets 15 percent of the vote in a state where Democrats comprise 45 percent of voters?"
I have to differ. First off, when talking about Cruz Bustamante, the poll identified him as the current Lieutenant Governor. Democrats knew he was a Democrat.

As for the euphoria comment, it is a fair one, but I am not sure how much weight should be placed on it. The mainstream media fixates on favorable numbers, but often the real tale is in the unfavorable numbers.

For Arnie, 6% said there is not much chance they would vote for him, and 24% said there was no chance. There is only 30% of the likely vote which is out of his grasp.

In comparison, for Bustamante, 8% also said there was not much of a chance they would vote for him, but a whopping 47% said no chance.

And if we go by registered voters rather than likely, Arnold's negatives are only 35% while Cruz's are 50%.

That is a huge difference. It is very unlikely to be a mirage. And the only other candidate with low negatives? Richard Riordan, who was included in the poll on the possibility he might run. His negatives were 40% of registered voters and 33% of likely voters. But who benefits the most by Riordan not running?

The man he endorsed.

That Gallup poll does not show weakness for Schwarzenegger. It shows tremendous strength.


3:46 PM: 
Peter Robinson on The Corner quotes WFB:
"William F. Buckley Jr. once answered a question about whom he intended to support for president by saying, 'the rightward-most viable candidate.'"
Exactly. Exactly.

1:54 PM: 
For inimitable humor, go West:
"One day Mae was holding a charity tea on behalf of a group of proper ladies.

Soon a photographer on assignment arrived with his camera paraphernalia in a case. Mae said to the photographer: 'Take out your equipment and wait for me in the bedroom.'"
Dirty jokes were so much...dirtier and sexier back then. :-)

Always fun to grab a random Mae West quotation.


1:22 PM: 
California saga stealing Democratic hopefuls' momentum:
"That giant sucking sound you hear coming from the Democratic Party is the wind that had just been starting to fill the sails of its presidential hopefuls.

California's battle in the proposed recall of Gov. Gray Davis has taken away the media momentum from the nine major, Democratic candidates who are desperately trying to stand out from their rivals in the five months remaining before primary season begins."
I do not agree with this analysis. I think that the seven (or is it nine) dwarves had little media momentum (even Dean was starting to stall, as I predicted last week). And I think the recall 'distraction' works to the benefit of Dean especially. It will hide the fact that he has hit a lull, and if he can make a second surge it may end up looking like one, long, gigantic surge, the perception of which will be hard to stop for the other Democrat candidates.

11:11 AM: 
One amusing aspect to the California Governor's recall race is that we the Democrats trying to smear Schwarzenegger as a Nazi...

...while there are stories about how the far right is not supporting Ahnold.

Hopefully this will cause a few to realize that this means that conservatives are not Nazis, and that Nazis are creatures of the left, not the right.


11:07 AM: 
Taylor steps down in Liberia

I am surprised. Pleasantly.


10:43 AM: 
So what happened to Charles Taylor?:
"Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is due to hand over power later on Monday, needs a few days to ensure that his new home in exile in Nigeria is ready a press spokesman said."
I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you, to hear that Taylor is not stepping down when he said he would.

10:29 AM: 
The Very Worst President of the United States:
"Wilson also appointed as Secretary of State that paragon of virtue, the virulently racist and anti-Semitic perennial Democrat nominee, William Jennings Bryan. His famous (or infamous) 'Cross of Gold' speech referred to the same 'New York Jews' that seem to have so troubled Harry Truman."
Wilson was just voted off our Presidential Survivor contest last week. As for Bryan, a certain Republican President of note had defeated him not once, but twice-- once campaigning exclusively from the comforts of home.

10:13 AM: 
Dan Weintraub of the SacBee:
"As an observer, I think the most important development in the entire story Sunday was that Arnold's campaign responded immediately, didn't say they didn't know how he voted or that Arnold couldn't remember how he voted, and put out a positive statement in which Arnold defended his position. If they had done otherwise, the story would have been not only that he might have backed 187 but that his campaign was in disarray in its early days. As it was, my paper described the campaign as 'scrambling' in the lead paragraph of the lead story Monday. If this is scrambling, watch out when they get their legs under them... "
Basically, Weintraub is saying that his paper did not let the facts stand in the way of the story they wanted to spin. They wanted Arnold to be on the defensive and reeling, and that's the way it was going to be played by them, regardless.

9:50 AM: 
CPUSA Online -

I have a question: notice the top left of the Communist Party USA's webpage.

Given that they are backing and supporting MoveOn, and given that MoveOn supports Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, and just hosted a speech by Al Gore, when do you think the mainstream media is going to begin asking questions about how involved in Democrat politics communists really are?


9:27 AM: 
FrontPage magazine.com:
"Is Bustamante the witty 'moderate' and smiling grandfather that the leftist media will portray? Or is he still the ideologue who refuses to renounce his youthful embrace of the pan-Hispanic racism of MEChA and who in a Freudian slip called blacks 'Niggers' in front of an African-American organization? What did this reveal, and can Californians risk electing a governor with this kind of mind and values?"
I generally roll my eyes when someone starts going off about Aztlan or the reconquering of the Southwest by Mexico. MEChA is a real organization, and that is their goal, but it is a fringe group which is actually made more powerful by those who run around screaming 'the sky is falling, the Mexicans are coming!'.

This is not such a time, however. This time the threat is real, for Bustamante has documentable ties to the group, and has shown (through slips like the N-word one) that he still thinks like one of that group.

Contrast the hubub over Trent Lott's comment about Strom Thurmond to the non-existant hubub over Cruz's racial slur. Lott's comment could have been taken harmlessly, just as a comment made to make an old man on his last legs feel good. Instead, it was taken everywhere as a sign of racism. On the other hand, there is no good way to take 'Nigger'. Yet Lott was a racist who must go, and Bustamante is now a candidate for Governor of California.

Lott's comment caused people to look closer at some of his ties, and his involvement with the CCofC reinforced to many the idea that where there was smoke, there was fire. Cruz, on the other hand, refuses to repudiate the views of MEChA- and no one seems concerned.

The media should be ashamed of its bias.

9:10 AM: 
Shockey Accepts Blame for Remark on Parcells:
"'I apologize for everything I said that offended people,' Shockey said. 'Really, at the time it was just a laughing matter for me. I was just having fun with it. Now that I see all of the stuff that it has caused, I would like to apologize for everything like that to my family, my friends, my teammates and the owners of this great organization, and to my coach. All of the stuff I say, it is just how I am. I am learning, it's a new thing for me and now I have learned the hard way.'"
Funny- I have not heard Shockey say that he said those things, and I have heard him say he didn't. I guess he is sorry for the things he never said-- either that or he was lying. He has a world of talent, but he really needs to grow up before he completely implodes.

9:06 AM: 
NEWS.com.au | Taylor to step down amid tensions (August 11, 2003):
"The ceremony in which Taylor hands power to his deputy Moses Blah is due to be aired live by CNN."
And to absolutely no one's surprise, it has been delayed. I hope things change, but I suspect it is going to take more to get Taylor out of office.

9:03 AM: 
Recharged rookie Lautenberg seeks to challenge GOP:
"But his return has not been met with widespread acclaim from voters back home.

A poll released July 17 by Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., found that 43 percent approved of his performance, while 33 percent disapproved and 24 percent didn't know. During the last four years of his previous term, Lautenberg's approval rating never dipped below 50 percent."
Pretty low approval numbers for the Laut.

9:01 AM: 
SCHUMER COULD FACE 'HOLY' WAR
"The still-secret poll of 600 registered voters - conducted by nationally prominent Republican pollster John McLaughlin for the state Conservative Party - found Schumer would easily win a second six-year term if the election were held today.

But the poll, part of which was obtained by The Post, also found that Schumer, who is Jewish, is vulnerable if his opponent says Schumer is an anti-Catholic who uses his power on the Senate Judiciary Committee to block judges who hold traditional Catholic views."
I am not sure who the New York Republican party could draft to run against Schumer; Guiliani has expressed little interest (probably looking to knock of Clinton in 2006 instead). The interesting thing here is how suddenly it appears as if the Democrats may finally be vulnerable due to their unprecedent fillibustering.

Some pro-abortion types I am friendly with dismiss the argument that the Democrats are being prejudiced against Catholics or evangelicals, because some of the Democrats doing so are Catholic. It is clear, however, that the Democrats will fillibuster any Bush nominee who takes the teachings of the church seriously. The charges of religious bigotry have merit.