Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Kerry, Sliding Further

John Kerry today tried to "re-launch" his sinking presidential campaign with the unveiling of a plan for what he’d do with his first 100 days in the White House.

But then, in an attempted indirect slap at Howard Dean, he said to New Hampshire voters, "Don’t just send them a message; send them a president."

This was Jimmy Carter’s slogan back in 1976, which he used as a way of attacking and siphoning votes from George Wallace. Can’t Kerry come up with his own slogans? Borrowing from Jimmy Carter isn’t a very good sign.

More on the Whitehall Speech

John Zvesper has a thoughtful analysis of President Bush’s Whitehall speech posted on the Ashbrook web site.   

An Obscene Street Name?

Here’s something amusing I found at According to ABC News, a group of Wyoming residents who live on County Road 6FU are petitioning for a name change.

"The name of this road, with its obscene overtone, has really been a thorn for me," resident Terry Hinkle said. "It is probably one of the most embarrassing road names the county has in the books. There is no other road in the United States, I can assure you, that has the road name FU."

The Two Towers extended version

To all you LOTR junkies out there, I recommend watching the extended DVD version of the Two Towers, now in stores. The movie version was good but choppy. The extra 45 minutes of scenes added make the plot easier to follow and more believable. For one thing, the extended version makes Faramir a lot more sympathetic and understandable than the weasel he is in the movie. Also, in the theater version, at the end of the battle for Helm’s Deep, you were left with the impression that the Rohirrim had scattered the forces of Isengard but not eliminated them. It would be totally unbelievable for the Rohirrim to ride to Gondor in the third movie if they had left several thousand well-armed and organized uruk-hai to threaten their homes, children, and wives back in Rohan. Not to give anything away, but the extended version adds scenes taking care of this discrepancy, and in a very satisfying way.

More important, the extended version adds scenes that flesh out the moral tension in the movie. Steve Hayward has expressed some good pet peeves about the movies, but I have one too. Mine is that the movies have eliminated dialogue from the books showing how evil corrupts judgment. Sauron, the most powerful being in Middle Earth, is so consumed by the lust for domination that he cannot possibly imagine that his adversaries might wish to destroy the Ring, the one object they might use to dominate him. In the books, the wisest leaders of the free peoples show they understand that Sauron’s corruption gives them an advantage over an otherwise overpowering enemy. I’ve grumbled through the 2 movies because this dialogue never made it on to screen, but it has now in the extended version. Worth my $30.

Top Ten

Here’s a list of the ’Top Ten American Biographies Everyone Shoud Read’
from Human Events .

Back on Monday

I’ll be in California on business until Monday evening, so my blogging will be sporadic at best. I trust that Craig, Stewart, Claeys, Alt and the rest will share their wisdom in my absence.

Dems on Guns and Deer

Here’s John Lott’s take on the Dems’ sustained confusion on the gun ban issue. The federal "assault weapons" ban will expire next year and the stumping has begun to see that it’s extended. Senator Chuck Schumer has declared the ban one of "the most effective measures against terrorism that we have." Of course it is, Senator, because as the bumper sticker I saw last week explained:

"Guns Kill People. And Spoons Made Rosie O’Donnel Fat."

Bush’s Speech at Whitehall

Here’s President Bush’s outstanding speech delivered earlier today at Whitehall Palace in London.

I am so grateful that this man is President.

Patenting Embryos

The WaPo reports on the congressional skirmish about to break over "the contentious question of whether the government should issue patents on human embryos or medical products that come from them." The massive U.S. Appropriations bill currently includes language that would bar the U.S. Patent Office from issuing patents on human embryos. From the story:

"If patents on human embryos are allowed, then biotech companies will market babies with certain traits just like Perdue markets chicken or Ford markets sport-utility vehicles," Lori B. Andrews, a law professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, editorialized recently in the Chicago Tribune.

"The case was fixed"

Or so reads the Washington Times headline on the confirmation proceedings for judicial nominees to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. At the center of the controversy is a 2002 memo from a Sen. Kennedy staffer advising the Senator to slow the proceedings:

The thinking is that the current 6th Circuit will sustain the affirmative action program, but if a new judge with conservative views is confirmed before the case is decided, that new judge will be able, under 6th Circuit rules, to review the case and vote on it.

Gay and Married in Massachusetts

The 4-3 decision was handed down this morning declaring that Massachusetts may not "deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry."

Here’s Fox’s story.

Bush’s London interview

This is President Bush’s interview with the London "Sun."

Kampelman on Reagan

Max Kampelman, a liberal, uses the CBS controversy to reflect on Ronald Reagan as he knew him. Good read.  

New Aeschylus play

A newly discovered play by Aeschylus on Achilles will be preformed in Greece and Cyprus next summer. Amazing story. (Thanks to John J. Miller at The Corner)

Democratic political wrap

Lawrence Levy gives credit to Hillary’s Iowa performance: she did good for her Party and the Demos should listen to her. Bill O’Reilly thinks that the Left’s (and Dean’s) anger at Bush is not good for the Party: even if Iraq falls apart Dean will lose. George Will thinks that the Demos had better nominate Dean, or they will lose big time. Very fine writing, read it. But Howard Finemann explains how he thinks Hillary can end up with the nomination.

Blanco wins with white votes

As you already know, Blanco won in Louisiana, 52-48%. This Times-Picayune claims that on the one hand Jindal got almost twice the number of black votes Republicans normally get, on the other hand, "Blanco’s remarkable victory Saturday was propelled by her ability to capture more white voters than Democrats typically can count on in statewide races against Republicans." Ron Brownstein thinks this: "Like a retreating army pushed back to the sea, Democrats rallied to hold the Louisiana governorship Saturday when Lt. Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco defeated Republican Bobby Jindal.

The win will probably avert a full-scale panic among Southern Democrats unnerved when the GOP captured governorships in Kentucky and Mississippi two weeks ago.

Yet the overall trend in the region since President Bush took office still looks ominous for Democrats."

Bob Arnot & Iraq press coverage

I have watched Bob Arnot a couple of times on CNBC (on Hardball) and was surprised to see two things: One, his coverage (isn’t this guy a Medical Doctor, and didn’t he start out as a guy talking about health issues?) seemes much more interesting and fact-filled than most others; he always gave interesting details that he clearly learned himself like, well, you know, a real reporter. Two, his reports seem less focused on what is going wrong (or on the body count) than on what is going right. This transcript, #3, about half way down, tells of a religious leader who is angry about all press coverage, especially American. Very interesting. (via Instapundit)

Dennis Kucinich’s Sex Life

If the title of this entry wasn’t enough to turn your stomach, you might have a look at this piece by Pittsburgh columnist Dennis Roddy. In case you’re not interested in the whole thing, here’s the punchline:

"As a bachelor I get to fantasize about my first lady," Kucinich said as ushers blocked the doors. "I certainly want a dynamic, outspoken woman who was fearless in her desire for peace in the world and for universal single-payer health care and a full-employment economy. If you are out there, call me."

This sort of thing will happen when Democrats fantasize: A grown man describes his dream date and all one can do is picture Al Gore in a dress.