Imperial Requiem

Friday, November 25, 2005

baseball stuff

I'm a lifelong baseball fan, and a diehard New York Mets fan. Yes, I was a Mets fan during the early 1990's, when they had the "worst team money can buy". At least I'm not a Devil Rays fan. Or a Cubs fan. Heh.

But what's great about baseball is that there's the season, and then there's the offseason. Where trades and free agent signings are made, and teams get to look bloody brilliant on paper. Which brings me to this year's offseason, so far. The three major trades that have gone down have been:

-Mets trade minor leaguers Mike Jacobs (with 1 month of pro experience) and Yusimeiro Petit to the Marlins for Carlos Delgado and $7 million.
-Phillies trade Jim Thome to the Whie Sox for Aaron Rowand (and the Phillies eat half Thome's contract).
- Red Sox send a bunch of minor leaguers to the Marlins in exchange for Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, and Guillermo Mota.

All three trades are big, and all have huge ramifications. The biggest IMHO is the Red Sox deal- the Marlins are having a fire sale, and the Sox fleeced them. They get one of the best young power pitchers in baseball- Beckett, a gold glover third baseman in Lowell (who may not hit, but with his defense, who cares?), and the real steal of the deal is Guillermo Mota. I'm no fan of Mota on a personal level- being a Mets fan I've seen him be a chickenshit coward (ask Mike Piazza)- but the man can pitch, and he'll shore up the Red Sox's bullpen. If Foulke can't close, Mota will- and with Timlin and Papelbon in the bullpen, that's a good thing for them. Yankees take notice.

The Thome/Rowand deal is something that helps both teams, because the White Sox needed a good first baseman, while the Phillies needed an outfielder, and wanted to create more room for their rookie first baseman (who's going to be a star) Ryan Howard. And the White Sox may still re-sign Paul Konerko, the first baseman that got them to the World Series last year with 40 homers. If Thome can regain his All-Star form, he'll be a force for the White Sox. And Rowand's the type of player that the Phillies can use productively- gets hits, fields well, and hits .270 or so. Good stuff, and they save money. Smart deal for both teams.

The Mets deal, as a Mets fan, I have checkered thoughts about. One on hand, the Mets getting Carlos Delgado is a big hit, since his bat is what the Mets were missing last season. He'll easily hit over .300, hit 30-40 homers and drive in between 100-150 RBIs. But Delgado was almost a Met last season- and he wasn't because his agent is a complete jerk, and he said he didn't want to come to New York. I'm hoping that there's no residual antagonism between both sides. Also, the Mets traded away Yusimiero Petit, one of their prized minor league pitching prospects, who would probably have gotten a mid-season callup in 2006. I don't mind the Mets trading away Mike Jacobs, who prob won't be the first baseman that Delgado is (but still produce for the Marlins), but trading away pitching, when their starting rotation's not exactly young (they've got Glavine and Traschel on it, while both are good, they're not spring chickens). But if the Mets get to the World Series next season, it'll be worth it, I guess. I just don't want Petit to now become a 20-3 1.90 ERA 250K pitcher for the Marlins. Suck Petit suck!

More trades will come, I'm sure. Manny Ramirez will probably be traded shortly, as will David Wells and Javier Vasquez. Jeff Kent, Paul Lo Duca, Juan Pierre, Lyle Overbay, Dennys Baez, Aubrey Huff, and Barry Zito are all potential trade bait. Of course, other names could come up that I haven't thought of.

Suffice to say that the Red Sox, Mets, and White Sox all bolstered their chances for successful 2006 seasons.

Stocks are up, economy is good

As of the close of the bell today, the Dow Jones is at 10931.62, while the NASDAQ is at 2263.01. The Stock market's basically making the best gains in 4.5 years, since 9/11. And the economy is growing at roughly 3.8% a clip each quarter, which beats out pretty much everyone else. This is also happening in the midst of the hurricane season, where Katrina and Wilma did extensive damage throughout the Southern Gulf region, bringing New Orleans to a standstill. And yet the holiday shopping season has just begun!

Oh, and I doubt you'll get the media to say anything good about the economy. Perish the thought. They'll probably find some poor schmuck who just got fired by Wal Mart to tell them about all the eeeeeeeeevils of Wal Mart. Or try to tell everyone how there are "Two Americas" like John Edwards did last year during the election. Yeah, that's gonna work.

While President Bush has only tangenitally had an effect on the economy (primarily the increase in defense spending and the tax cuts) it'd be nice for them for once to applaud the economy doing good under his presidency- especially when he inherited the Presidency with an economy that was already under recession, long before 9/11.

Naaaaaah. They'll bitch about Iraq like it's 1969. And then do their 6 billionth "hair care products that can cause cancer" infotainment bullshit.

Like anyone cares. Bravo to the American economy for giving the mainstream media the middle finger. Keep up the good work, America!

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Wonderful Weekend

The weekend that Bush and the GOP had was a really good one. To start off with, Bush started the week by hammering away at the Dems antiwar criticism, the Dems shot themselves in the feet with their anti-war talk (Rep. Murtha’s political stunt), and then got burned badly with the GOP move to call for a vote for or against withdrawing from Iraq. And then Bush went off to Asia for State visits to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Mongolia. And Bush looked very, very Presidential in Asia. Oh, and to top it all off, the UN is now admitting that Saddam DID have WMDs in Iraq, but either destroyed or dispersed them prior to the Coalition invasion in 2003- and this what the documents that we’ve gotten since the fall of Baghdad have told us.

So it was a good weekend if you’re Bush and the GOP. And a very bad one if you’re a antiwar Democrat, or were hoping that it’d work against Bush. I guess the mantra for the Dems right now is "oooooops". I mean, really, did they expect Congressman Murtha’s "Cut and Run" speech to be allowed to float in Congress without a retort? Especially after Bush and the GOP made it clear that they were going to continue their attack on the Dems’ war record- how they voted for it and then tried to make it sound like they never did? Please, get a new leadership. I saw the GOP’s concerted attack as of LAST weekend. Murtha’s statements were so far beyond the pale that there was no way the GOP wouldn’t respond to it. And the fact that Murtha has been saying this for a while- and the Dems are trying to pass him off as a "hawk" on Iraq is total bullshit. It was a cheap political stunt that they orchestrated with a mid-level (at best) Congressman who they could ditch if the going got tough (and it has). The vote in Congress was just the icing on the cake- and they know that they can’t revisit it in 2006 during the mid-term elections because the GOP already called them on it.

Their entire platform was exposed as total political lies, and cheap sniping- on issues of national security, no less! The best they could do was bitch that the GOP was going after Murtha’s record and his patriotism. Not only is that trying to change the subject, but it’s also an ad hominem attack. It boiled down to a "We don’t like that you have an argument, so we’re going to pretend that you are evil and want to destroy the good and honorable Rep. Murtha." They should be ashamed of themselves, but they have no spines. And in all this, they’ve totally forgotten what impact it will have on the soldiers. And the fact that the vote was so lopsided shows what the American public really thinks- and spits in the face of the so-called polls. We’re not pulling out of Iraq, anytime soon, and the Dems now face the real possibility that when the smoke clears, they’ll have lost their anti-war base. Boo fucking hoo.

Bush’s visits to Asia signaled another sea change- he went from dealing with the media’s nitpicking over the whole "Plame Game" stuff, to setting the agenda overseas while looking good at it. Think about it, if you’re the average American voter, what matters more to you- yet another media attempt to manufacture a Watergate type scandal, or the president talking about trade, democracy, Chinese/American relations, the Global War on Terror, and North Korea? I’ll take the latter for $500, Alex. The Dems look like chump change right now, not only because of the thumping they got in Congress, but also because Bush’s actually doing his job. Notice how the mainstream media’s NOT going out of their way to showcase polls right now? Gee, I wonder why. Oh, and Karl Rove’s back on the job too, now that the stupid Fitzgerald stuff is all but over. Ever wonder why Alito was so warmly received by the GOP, and how fast the GOP’s unified response was to the Dems antiwar bitching? Wanna bet the last few months Rove was forced to be isolated from the White House? And that now he’s not?

And it was a really bad weekend for the terrorists, and the antiwar crowd in general. First, the bombings in Jordan went as I predicted they’d go- all of Jordan is now pissed off at them. Zarqawi’s family itself denounced him, and 200,000 Jordanians marched in protest against the terrorists, and in support of King Abdullah. Yeah, I think that went astoundingly bad for them. On top of that, the UN issued a report that states that Iraq, prior and during the 2003 Coalition invasion, got rid of their WMD stocks by sending them elsewhere- Jordan, Turkey, Holland…….and Syria ( The UN is no friend to the US, and this is what they are saying. If you’re the antiwar crowd, and you’re STILL saying that "Bush lied, people died" then you’re dreaming, and really don’t actually care about the issue at hand- you just want to lash out at Bush, one way or the other. Thank god that Hussein and Zarqawi aren’t in the position to threaten anyone with WMDs. Even the UN can see that. Why can’t the goddamn Dems see that? Oh, and you’ll have to dig into the media to find it- like the MSM wants you to have a brain on this. Perish that thought! You’re not paid to think! I await the day the Alien and Sedition Acts are brought into affect. With glee.

Oh, and I saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was quite good. So, it really WAS a good weekend, for me!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Eddie Guerrero: Viva La Raza: 1967- 2005

Eddie Guerrero was a professional wrestler, having a career that spanned over 17 years in the industry. He’d worked for the New Japan Pro Wrestling, ECW, WCW, WWE, and TNA promotions, as well as spending time in various Mexican promotions. He passed away this past Sunday, from heart failure- the repercussions of his past drug use, and him overworking his body. He was only 38 years old, and leaves behind a wife and three kids. Before I continue, I would like to send my condolences to the Guerrero family, the WWE, and all the people Eddie was friends with. He touched many, and will be remembered by many.

I can’t claim to have known him as a person, but I did know him as a wrestler, and his death hit me hard. Partially because I had watched him grow up in the ring, from the mid-1990’s to present day, into one of the best performers in the world. I remember seeing him in ECW, wrestling fantastic technical matches against the likes of Dean Malenko, and thinking about how good his future in the industry would be. To this day, one of my proudest wrestling moments (as a fan) was when Eddie won the WWE Title from Brock Lesnar, at the No Way Out 2004 PPV. And what sucks even more, is that Eddie was set to win his 2nd WWE title the day that he passed away.

Eddie was a fantastic in-ring worker, blessed with a blend of in technical and Mexican Lucha Libre high-flying styles. His time in Japan (where he wrestled for New Japan as Black Tiger II) also helped him refine his skills. Over time he would become a very good mike worker as well; he went from having a bland character to having one of the most charismatic heel characters in wrestling at the time. But Eddie never got the chance in WCW to refine those skills, because he developed a drug addiction and he would get into a drug-caused major car accident which left him hospitalized for months. Eddie would return to wrestling 6 months later, but his drug addiction did not stop, and he became more and more enmeshed in it.

Eventually Eddie would leave WCW and it’s political situation for the WWE, where there were "greener pastures" for talent like him. After fits and starts, Eddie got over as the "Latino Heat" and his character was well liked by the fans and the WWE. He became multi-time Intercontinental Champion. He, along with guys like Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho, were seen as the "go to guys" in the WWE (and unlike WCW, WWE management had every intention of pushing them at that time). But Eddie would hit rock bottom; he was fired from the WWE for his drug use (but Vince left the door open for his return, if he cleaned himself up). Eddie’s wife also divorced him. But Eddie picked himself up, became a born again Christian and got himself cleaned up. He proved to his ex-wife that he was clean and remarried her (and would have their 3rd child in their 2nd marriage), worked on the independent wrestling circuit until he could get a job working for a major promotion- and he went back to the WWE in 2002. He would remain clean for the rest of his life. And that’s where his career would take off.

In 2003, he started a heel tag team with his nephew, Chavo Guerrero, called Los Guerreros. They were natural as a tag team, and played up this whole "we’re lying, cheating, and stealing latinos" gimmick for all it was worth- and it was funny as hell. They ran promos where they cheated at golf against some preppies, pretended to be pool cleaners, and schmoozed the ladies with their Latino Heeeeeeeeat. Eddie was clearly the better wrestler of the two (although that’s not a knock on Chavo) and eventually he embarked on a solo career in late 2003, winning the US Heavyweight title, and establishing himself as a face (good guy) against Chavo (who remained a heel [bad guy]). And the fans loved his character- from his bouncing lowrider entrance, to him handing his opponent a steel chair when he ref wasn’t looking, and pretending to be hurt (and the opponent would get DQ’ed for it), and to him just putting on great technical efforts. Eddie had the total package- great in the ring, could work with darn near anyone, and he was fantastic on the mike. That’s why in 2004 he won the WWE title from Brock Lesnar, in Anaheim, California. The reaction the fans had- and Eddie had- was huge. Eddie was seen as not only a good wrestler, but a "people’s champion". He would defend the title in one of his best matches ever, against Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 20- and at the end of the show, Eddie’s best friend, Chris Benoit would win the World Heavyweight Championship. Both wrestlers celebrated in the ring at the end of Wrestlemania, proving that the "technical workhorses" of the company could indeed win titles.Eddie’s title reign would be short, though. He wasn’t comfortable at the time holding onto the belt while the ratings were not great, and his matches against JBL weren’t great. He felt the pressure getting to him, and rather than face his demons head-on, he gave the title up. He’d spend the rest of 2004 regaining his confidence, and in 2005 Eddie embarked on a nearly year long feud with Rey Misterio, one of his close personal friends (in real life) and former tag team partner. It’s probably the feud of the year, with a fantastic Ladder Match at Summerslam. Rey beat Eddie 7 straight times, until Eddie finally would win on the 8th shot. Eddie was clearly comfortable again, and ready for the title- which he was to win this past Sunday, since Dave Batista- the WWE champion- has a back injury which will keep him out of action for a while. But Eddie would never get to taste glory again.

In death as in life, Eddie Guerrero will always remain in my heart as a champion, one of the greatest wrestlers ever, and a genuinely funny guy who I had watch mature as the years go by. I remember watching him in WCW, thnking that he’s much better than they were letting him be. I remember how happy I was for him that he’d gone to the WWE- only to break his elbow in his first WWE match. And I enjoyed his storyline with Chyna, the on-screen relationship they had with each other and the exposure it gave Eddie. I agreed with the firing of him for his drug issues- and watched as Eddie put his life back together again. I remember him coming back to the WWE in 2002, and seeing him in a IC title ladder match against Rob Van Dam- and it was like a "welcome back, Eddie" match. His time in the Los Guerreros tag team and then as a solo wrestler again were among the best stuff I’ve seen, and it was great to see Eddie at his best- personally and professionally.

Him winning the WWE title was both a huge shock, and also very satisfying. Eddie deserved to be a main event star- and he had that potential to be a breakout star, crossing beyond just wrestling (like Austin and The Rock did). We’ll never get that, now. The "Eddie, Eddie, Eddie" chants will dim. Fans will move onto the "next big thing". And I’m sure his death won’t be the last wrestler’s death that will shock and move us to tears.

But Eddie’s place in wrestling is assured. Eddie Guerrero’s legacy will carry on- from the Guerrero Family, to his friends, to all the wrestling fans he’s touched. Whenever someone does a Five Star Frog Splash, I’ll think of Eddie. Whenever someone does a heelish smirk, I’ll think of Eddie. And whenever someone wins the World Title, I’ll see how they compare to Eddie.

And you know what? None will.

Rest in Peace, Latino Heat. Viva La Raza! ¡desea vivo el campeón!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Veteran's Day

I know it's late in the day, but it's never to late- or early- to say happy Veteran's Day to our brave soldiers, in the past, present, and future. May you all keep kicking ass and above all, cherish honor, valour, bravery, and love for our country. Keep yourselves safe, and you'll be in our thoughts and prayers, always.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Is this the Ramadan Offensive?

There have been hints that there would be terror attacks coming, from various sources: British intelligence said the "sky was dark" while the Aussies issued terror warnings, warnings about terrorism in France, and there were rumblings about terror in the SouthEast Asian area. Well, it looks like all of them were pretty much on target.

First, there was the bombings in India, by Kashmiri separatists and Islamic Militants( Then there was the (still) ongoing riots in France, which are being seen more and more as organized actions, rather than mindless rampages (does anyone really need me to link this?). On top of that, there were the terror arrests in Britain ( and Australia (, ). And on top of that, there's the still unfolding situation of terror bombings in Western Hotels in Amman, Jordan.

Is this the so-called Ramadan offensive that's been prophecised? I say so-called, because I don't even know if there really WAS a Ramadan offensive in the planning- all these actions could well have absolutely no ties to one another. But if this is what's been in the planning, in some instances you can see it as a stalemate, and in other ways, you can see it as a wash. That isn't to make light of any of it- the bombings in Jordan are serious business, as is the terror arrests in Australia. And France is a topic in and of itself. But the terror arrests alone signify a key weakness in planning for the terrorists: they rely too heavily upon foriegn nations to have lax security in order for them to strike. That doesn't meant that there isn't lax security in Australia, Britain, or Jordan (or even France)- but it does mean that whenever there is an increased presense in police and security detail, the chances of the terrorists to pull anything off are dramatically reduced.

And if this is the Ramadan Offensive, it may well be a sea change in how Al Quaeda and their sister organizations are operating. In short, it may well be a case of "get our forces the hell out of Iraq and focus elsewhere" since they clearly are not winning in Iraq. And that focus may well be to hit non-American western allies, and probably to focus more on Europe and other middle eastern targets (not named Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran). The arrests in Britain, Australia, and the riot offensive in France all point to this. And the Jordanian action could well be tied in primarily for it's timing- and of who they targeted (western hotels).

And that brings me to asking a simple question. What have the terrorists achieved in their "offensive"? In Britain and Australia, absolutely nothing, since parts of their organizations were captured. And in the case of Jordan, the bombings will probably have the effect of pulling the government more towards the Westerm anti-terrorist position. And as for France, that's the wild card- will the French ultimately cave into the demands of the muslim and immigrant population? Or will they take action against the rioters and their supporters? If they cave into the violence, they'll come off not only as politically neutered on the international stage, but they'll be politically paralyzed internally. And otherwise, alot of this is left up to the responses of the western nations (and I think Jordan's response will be tough, and in any respect, they think more like a western country [overall] than a middle eastern country). France's should be obvious; they're just waffling the whole thing, trying to politically sweep it under the rug, like they always do. And in Australia and Great Britain, their responses, as swift and dramatic as they are, must come as a huge shock (but that's the risks they run).

Friday, November 04, 2005

Embarassment of idiots II

The media, in all their glory, have decided that the 2,000th military death has happened in the Second Gulf War. And, of course, they're trumpeting it as though it's the horn that will start the apocalypse. And the, um, reason? Because 2,000 is! a! big! number! that! they! think! they! can! bash! us! over! the! head! with!

While in no way do I want to make light of the deaths of American (and coalition) servicemen and women who have fought valiantly, bravely, and honorably for a just cause, the media doesn't particularly care about them. If they did, they'd also showcase the thousands of soldiers who have been wounded in combat, as well. And those numbers, btw, dwarf the number of the dead. But those soldiers can still talk, while the dead can't. So it's not necessarily a good thing for the media members who want to play this game to put a live mike in front of them, because frequently, those soldiers tell the media how wrong they are.

And before I continue, let me say that the "2,000 deaths" number is actually a misnomer. It's including soldiers that die outside of Iraq (but included in the GWOT), non-combat deaths (training accidents, car accidents [which are frequent, btw], suicides, natural causes/disease, etc), and the number of deaths that were against an actual Iraqi army in 2003. Thus, it's acutally ALOT less that have been killed fighting against the current "insurgency". And it's taken with no regard, as has been stated, about the wounded soldiers- which many return to combat. Hell, there've even been amputees who have returned to combat action. And it doesn't include the numbers of soldiers who re-enlist- which is high as it is- even though the media's trumpeting gloom and doom with the "2,000" deaths.

But the New York Times takes the cake in this one, and in the worst possible way. Michelle Malkin ( broke this story a few days ago, and it's a doozie: the NYT basically was caught red handed trying to edit down a fallen soldier's (Cpl. Jeff Starr) farewell letter to make it look like it was a fatalist account that jived with their quagmire meme for Iraq. But the full letter was anything but that, and it was a glowing account of how proud he was to do the work he was doing in Iraq- and how proud he was about how well the Iraqis are doing (check the link for the full text). And to make matters worse, the NYT isn't returning any messages to the Starr family, who are quite understandably, pissed off. And it doesn't end there...( when other readers of Malkin wrote into NYT, and specifically to the writer of the article, they got this back:

"There is nothing 'anti war' in the way I portrayed Cpl. Starr."
He then had the gall to berate the reader: "Even the portion of his e-mail that I used, the one that you seem so offended by, does not express anti-war sentiment. It does express the fatalism that many soldiers and Marines seem to feel about multiple tours. Have you been to Iraq, Michael? Or to any other war, for that matter? If you have, you should know the anxiety and fear parents, spouses, and troops themselves feel when they deploy to war. And if you haven't, what right do you have to object when papers like The New York Times try to describe that anxiety and fear?"

Yes, Mr. Dao hasn't been to Iraq either. Nor has he faced combat, and is not a soldier. That's a pathetic line of reasoning, and quite frankly, Mr. Dao should have his press credentials revoked. He's a sick, sad, and piss-poor excuse for a human being, who doesn't know the difference between what his editors are telling him to write, and what journalism is. Mr. Dao failed to make the connection between the passive-agressive censorship he did with the letter, and how THAT alone is dripping of anti-war sentiment. Btw, Mr. Dao, don't be suprised if the Starr family takes punitive action against you, in a court of law. And no, the judge won't let you pontificate like the snippy asshole you seem to be. And I'm also sure that the NYT won't be happy with you, after the Starr family is finished gutting the remains of you and the NYT.

Anyways, this is where the left and the media are at, right now. It's so obvious that they don't care about the actual soldiers. Nor do they care about the war itself. All they care about is being "right" in any way they can manufacture it, and how it'll affect a political alignment that they hate (namely, the classical liberal line of Bush, Blair, Howard, et al). Sorry Mr. Schulzberger, you're not getting a return to the 1960's any time soon. And I do hope that the editors and the staff of the NYT are buying lots of Pepto Bismol.


And lots.

UPDATE: here is a exhaustive look at the whole NYT mess, along with stuff about the "2,000" deaths in the Iraqi war, at the Mudville Gazette:

Embarassments of the idiots

I was originally going to write this post up about the failure of the Democratic party (again) to have an effect upon American politics, but I'm glad I waited, for a few reasons. With the ongoings in France and other global issues sprouting up, I was able to get more info as things emerged from the woodworks. So, I shall cry "Havoc!" and let out the dogs of war.

I'll start things off with the current state of the Democratic party. As far as political strategizing goes, they effectively tried to tie their stature into the end result of the Valerie Plame investigation. And when all it turned up was Scooter Libby- and for reasons that had nothing to do with the investigation in the first place- the Dems have no ammo to work with on this political scorecard. To be honest, they should have known that they'd get nothing out of the Valerie Plame case- but the need to pander to their base was too great (and too tempting a fundraising ploy) and a great deal of Democrats probably believed their own BS about it, as well. Otherwise they'd have seen that Patrick Fitzgerald's office was telling everyone that A) Cheney's not involved and B) Rove's only ancilliarily involved, on the same level as Libby is. I guess they missed the part of the press conference that Fitzgerald had, where he said that the investigation was NOT about the Iraqi war.

But that's what the Dems were hoping. They were hoping that it'd deal directly with the intelligence issues that lead to the war, and that they could bash Bush with "no WMDs! Bush lied, people died!" meme they have. So, Fitzgerald effectively gave them nothing but some sour candy when they expected an Aston Martin. And on top of that, the media tried to cover for the Dems, by trying to frame the whole Libby indictment as another WaterGate. Earth to the media....America spent the next two days asking "who the hell is Scooter Libby? This just feels overblown." So a convoluted investigation is about to wrap up in which the Dems get nothing. Oh, and to make matters worse for the Dems, Bush nominates a new candidate for the Supreme Court: Samuel Alito. Yes, that was the sound of Harry Reid screaming, when Bush announced Alito.

What that meant is that the Republican party reunited as a whole in supporting Bush, and many have expressed their thanks that Bush stood by his 2 term pledge to push for supreme court justices that were conservative. And it also meant that Bush nominated someone who's in the mold of John Roberts, with impeccable credentials and a very strong paper trail of 15 years of judicial service. The Dems knew that Bush was going to jump big time in the polls, and for once they were right (Bush regained at least 5-7% points just by nominating Alito). So, with the Fitzgerald investigation fizzling for them, and Bush nominating Alito, what do the Dems do? Simple! They pull a trick out of their hats that no astute political player would ever do: they tell the world that they have absolutely nothing on the agenda, other than to have one hissy fit after another.

Harry Reid forced a one night shutdown of the Senate ostensibly over the prewar intelligence issues earlier in the week. That was the first time that's ever been done (it's been done by both parties, jointly, but never by one party). If you want to find a quicker way to piss the majority GOP party off, I don't know if you can find it. Pure and simple, the plan was to try to shift the "debate" to something that the Dems could manufacture a "debate" about in which they look great and wonderful against whatever straw man they prop up. Firstly, the GOP leadership called them on it, and secondly, it even confused the media. Nothing came out of it, other than the Dems whining about their talking points, and coming off as totally manufactured in a bad way. I think many Dems were even embarassed by the naked display of crappy politics.

The bottom line is that you DON'T tell the public and the other party, in a bold manner, that you have nothing to add to the political discourse. That's what the Dems just did. They told the GOP and America that they had hitched their ride on the Fitzgerald investigation, and were pissed that they didn't get what they wanted. And, they had no contingency plans in case the investigation didn't give them what they wanted. They could have quickly shifted the topic to something else- anything else- but they didn't. They're STILL marching to that beat, folks. And they're getting nowhere with it, fast. What they did with the Senate shutdown was an ill advised stunt, which generated at the most a 24 hour publicity window for them, and then the news went back to Alito, Bush, et al.

Oh, and ANWR just passed yesterday. That big bugaboo of the enviro-left for years and years is now on it's way to becoming fact. And this doesn't even factor in the foriegn issues that have fallen into Bush and the GOP's lap, either. Oh, and Mayor Bloomberg (who's technically a Republican) is about to win a landslide election against Freddie Ferrer in New York City, the likes of which the city has never seen. Even Democrats in the middle of one of the bluest states in the Union are voting for Bloomie. And the Dems have nothing to add to any of this. Nothing.

Talk about a giant waste of political space. Somewhere I think Machiavelli is crying.