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The official blog of the National Center for Public Policy Research, covering news, current events and public policy from a conservative, free-market and pro-Constitution perspective.

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Cold Global Warming

Some weather reports from around the globe:

Nebraska farmers are worried that one of the coolest summers on record will harm the state's corn and soybean crops. Minnesota and Wisconsin farmers are among the others who have worried about cool temperatures.

Iowans are seeing tourism revenues fall because of low temperatures.

Winnipeg is on track to have its coolest summer since at least 1872.

Chicago trees are shedding leaves too soon because of the cold.

St. Louis is having its coolest summer since 1985.

New Zealand doctors are complaining that record low temperatures there are causing a spike in influenza cases and other medical problems.

South Africa is seeing some record low temperatures.
Diehard global warming theory advocates are undeterred, however: "There's always the thought in my mind that global warming is at work, even when it's cool. It might cause an ice age. That has dampened my ecstasy about the nice cool weather."


Burn, Baby, Burn

The Washington Post reports that Americans waste $5.7 billion gallons of fuel annually by being stuck in traffic.

Meanwhile, many new highway projects are stymied because environmental organizations claim that building them will hurt the environment.


More Misleading Media?

Jeff Blogworthy and Joseph Farah say Alan Keyes didn't say what you think he said.


AP Accuracy: Piling On

Powerline is suggesting that readers send polite letters to the Associated Press, asking how the AP made its now blogfamous error reporting that a GOP crowd booed President Bush's well wishes for former President Clinton.

Powerline also provides another example of dubious AP reporting.

At the risk of piling on, here's my contribution to the AP reporting debate. A little dated now -- I wrote this five months ago -- but it reviews an AP story published in many newspapers worldwide that the AP managed to screw up royally.


National Geographic's Downward Slide

I'm glad to see these thoughts about the politicization of National Geographic on the Bill's Comments blog.

Ideally, National Geographic -- which we read at our home -- should be the kind of magazine one can share with confidence with one's children (please, no jokes about half-dressed natives!) for educational purposes. Once upon a time, it was.


"The Weak are Always Beaten"

New blogger David Limbaugh has some interesting quotes from Vladimir Putin regarding his own government's understanding of the global war on terror.


Leftist Souless Wonders (and Some Nice People to Thank)

Thanks to the nice people who have favorably mentioned President Bush quoting Joe Roche in their blogs, including the incomparable Michelle Malkin, The American Mind, Sparse Matrix, Enter Stage Right, The Insider Online, Who Moved My Truth?, Jeff Q&O and The Commons at Paulie World.

No thanks to the not-so-nice people, though, such as Daily Kos, who somehow thinks a genuine letter from a real soldier writing from actual combat is a "PR missive" just because we here at The National Center are conservatives and say so proudly. We have known Joe since he was a college student in the 1980s. We read an email he sent us and instantly knew it deserved to be shared with others, so we shared it. That's not PR, Kossy, that's patriotism. Yes, The National Center is a conservative foundation, just as Daily Kos is a left-wing something, but we know the genuine article when we see it -- more than we can say for the Daily Kos. How embittered do you have to be to read an uplifting letter from a soldier who is putting his life on the line for his country and for freedom and to bring liberty to the oppressed people of a foreign land and think "PR missive"? Do these people have no souls?

OK, another souless wonder: Oliver Willis. His comment about Joe (at least I think he is referring to Joe, the quality of his writing is such that the reference in the sentence is not clear): "What a phony." Joe spent 15 months in combat in Iraq (yes, he had a combat job there) in 2003 and 2004. What did Oliver "What a phony" Willis do?

One Joe Roche (or any one of the American servicemen and women fighting proudly alongside him) is worth a thousand of these little weasels.

Addendum: The Progress Report doesn't like Joe either, just because he's associated with us. They didn't actually bother to contact us first to determine the extent of his association, but their main page today says Joe "doubles as a scholar at the National Center for Public Policy Research - a far right-wing organization..." Well, not really. We did give Joe the title of "adjunct fellow" in 2000 when Joe was working in Israel because he sent us some interesting and useful information, but he has never been on our payroll. I suppose we could have taken the "adjunct fellow" title away when Joe joined the army after 9/11 and couldn't wear two hats, but somehow, it seemed churlish. For the record, Joe has never been on our payroll or been paid to write (or do anything else) for us.


President Bush Quotes Blog

OK, I admit, this blogger did not go to the Republican National Convention. We're not in Blogger's Corner. But there is a little bit that happened to us with regard to the convention anyway.

The President quoted this blog -- Army Specialist Joe Roche's April 7 entry -- in his acceptance speech.

How cool is that?

President Bush's Acceptance Speech, September 2, 2004:

Our troops know the historic importance of our work. One Army Specialist wrote home: "We are transforming a once sick society into a hopeful place ... The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq," he continued, "are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and scoring victories in confronting the evil terrorists."

That young man is right -- our men and women in uniform are doing a superb job for America. Tonight I want to speak to all of them -- and to their families: You are involved in a struggle of historic proportion. Because of your service and sacrifice, we are defeating the terrorists where they live and plan, and making America safer. Because of you, women in Afghanistan are no longer shot in a sports stadium. Because of you, the people of Iraq no longer fear being executed and left in mass graves. Because of you, the world is more just and will be more peaceful. We owe you our thanks, and we owe you something more. We will give you all the resources, all the tools, and all the support you need for victory.

National Center April 7, 2004 Blog Entry of Spc. Joe Roche, writing from Iraq: A Soldier Assures Us: Our Progress is Amazing:
We are transforming a once very sick society into a hopeful place... The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and scoring victories in confronting the evil terrorists.
Joe's a great guy. I'm thrilled for him, and expect he is -- or will be, if he hasn't learned about this yet -- rather thrilled himself.

The National Center will be sending an e-mail about this development to friends and supporters, but I just had to mention it on the blog first. Congratulations to Joe and, echoing the President, thanks to all the men and women of the Armed Services of the United States of America for your service and sacrifices.

For more about Joe, including a list of his writing as published by us and some photos of him, see here. For a hilarious screenshot of speculating (on 4/8/04 regarding the exact comments President Bush quoted tonight) that Joe isn't real, see here. Back in April, Joe wrote me that some of his fellow soldiers felt very, very insulted by's post. I think it is safe to say that, tonight, those soldiers need not feel insulted any longer. They definitely got the last word.



Our Conservative Future

The New Republic Online is running an interesting daily series by Alan Wirzbicki this week critiquing the Fox News Channel's coverage of the GOP convention. It is interesting because the author -- whom I had not heard of before -- does not seem to be a Fox fan, yet his assessment is mostly positive.

A short sample from the September 1 entry in the series:

...interestingly it's on Fox News, the most Republican-friendly of stations, where the difference between the convention's platform and podium is getting the most critical TV attention.

Fox's anchors have raised the issue early and often. Shepard Smith, one of the channel's talking heads, has been sounding practically like Terry McAuliffe. "Can moderates like a Schwarzenegger really be represented by a platform that is so far to the right?" Smith asked yesterday. "Are you just telling lies in these billion-dollar extravaganzas?" Meanwhile Bill O'Reilly interviewed conservative pundit Michelle Malkin, who complained that the Republican speaker's lineup had a "metrosexual" tilt. Even Sean Hannity was on the case, criticizing the GOP's golden boy of the moment, John McCain, from the right for his campaign finance reform bill. Fox, unlike CNN, was running the quixotic Log Cabin Republican advertisements yesterday, another sign that the network was the place where some version of an internal GOP conversation on touchy, intra-party issues was happening.
My opinion is that Fox's coverage of the convention rightly is picking up on the simple fact that conservatives are very much engaged in policy debates. This is true in D.C. and in state legislatures but also in private conversations, blogs, etc.

I could go on for a bit about why this is so, but I'll spare you. I'll just toss out one theory: Historically, conservatives were out of power for quite a while, and were for most of the 20th Century perceived as the least popular mainstream American ideology (even when the GOP was dominant, by the way). As a result, conservative politics tended to attract only people sincerely interested in conservatism. Who would join a conservative group or party just because it was popular? Just about nobody!

So the GOP, these days, benefits from having a large number of activists and members who truly care about policy. I'm just guessing, but I'll bet there are more people genuinely interested in policy at the GOP convention than were present in Boston. BUT -- and here is a major qualifier -- conservatism isn't unpopular anymore.

So, here comes the big downside: After 20 years pass, what kind of conservative movement/Republican Party will America have? Will it be populated by people who joined because they saw it as the best route to obtaining status and political power, or can the interest in policy somehow be maintained?

History leads me to conclude that the answer won't be pretty. But maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.


Schwarzenegger: Girlie Men

Hmmm, maybe Schwarzenegger didn't mean "girlie men" as a compliment after all...

Based on the response of the GOP convention delegates to his re-use of the phrase in his convention speech Tuesday, the average delegate isn't any more PC than he is.



One for the Steelers Fans Out There

Blogger Captain Ed, blogging at the Republican National Convention, just met Pittsburgh Steelers great Lynn Swann.


Club For Growth Blog

The Club for Growth now has a blog.

I wonder how long it will be before nearly every conservative and free market organization has one?


The Commons at Paulie World

The Commons at Paulie World is a relatively new blog that is really hitting its stride.


John McCain: You Reap What You Sow

An observation by National Center executive director David W. Almasi:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) isn't happy with the Federal Election Commission's Ellen Weintraub because she appears to be deliberately holding up reform of the unregulated spending of 527 political groups. Due to her footdragging, any chance to closing the loophole in the senator's namesake campaign finance regulations will happen until next year -- after groups such as and Americans Coming Together spend tens of millions of dollars attacking President Bush. Because of this, McCain now calls Weintraub an "apparatchik" of the Democrats.

What a difference a few months makes.

Weintraub, who was nominated to the FEC by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), once counted McCain as her knight in shining armor. When conservatives in 2002 raised concerns about Weintraub's impartiality due to to her law firm's close ties to partisan campaign committees and her marriage to Senator Russell Feingold's legislative director, McCain put a hold on ALL Bush Administration nominations until she got a recess appointment.


Just Call Them Untermenschen

A Reuters editor expresses anger that some people want to allow conceived children to be born.

Among other things, he says of children he believes should be aborted: "Who will pay for policing our streets & maintaining the prisons needed to contain them...?"

Addendum: David O'Gwynn slices through this story on the Sparse Matrix Politics blog. It's harsh, but so is the subject matter.

Addendum 2: JunkYardBlog comments on the Reuters story from his perspective as a former radio news editor.

Addendum 3: Stop the Bleating! says: Why stop there? If human welfare is not a concern, we can save even more money by eliminating all social programs.


Giving Birth: Doubly Life-Giving?

Women who have been through pregnancy tend to say pregnancy is not always easy, but that it is very much worth it for the child's sake.

Turns out to be doubly worth it: According to new research in the Journal of the American Medical Asociation, giving birth might someday save Mom's life.


The Olympics: I'd Rather Sort Socks

Jack Rich has a good post up on the Olympics, which brings to my mind a pet peeve about them from the other night.

Husband David watched a lot of Olympic coverage, while I hadn't watched any. One evening, he told me I just had to watch one race. I didn't really want to, because the laundry needed doing, but I figured "how long can one race last"?

Turns out, quite a while, because the officials couldn't start it. Too much booing from the crowd for the starter sound to be audible. Booing of Americans, it seems. Unlike the whiners Jack Rich blogged about, these booers apparently weren't upset that we led the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq. No, these -- to borrow Jack's term -- idiots and ingrates were mad at Americans because some Greek dofus failed to show up for a drug test and was disqualified from the race. Following the world's standard rule: Whenever anything goes wrong, Blame America First, the crowd was booing the American runners who had showed up for their drug tests.

Apparently, the purpose of the Olympics is to cause friction between nations. It was starting to make me hate Greeks (and just when I was starting to forgive them for adoring the anti-American demagogue Andreas Papandreou and their insistence on maintaining poor airport security, leading to incidents such as the hijacking of TWA 847 and the murder of the young American sailor Robert Stethem), so I went back to doing the laundry.


Conservative Jerks 

Don't know whether to be insulted or flattered. Someone stuck the search term "conservative jerks" into Google, and this blog ranked #2.

Addendum: Now this blog ranks #1... I guess I shouldn't have said anything.


Chris Lightfoot's Political Survey

ProfessorBainbridge has posted his results for Chris Lightfoot's Political Survey. I took it, too, with similiar results. He posts a link for those who want to try it for themselves.


Purple Heart Quiz

Just for fun, husband David sent over a quiz.

Who was awarded the largest number of purple hearts?

A. John McCain, whose injuries were so severe that four years after his release from the Hanoi Hilton he was prevented from receiving a sea command.

B. Former Senator Daniel Inouye, who lost an arm during World War II.

C. Former Senator Bob Dole, who lost the use of his right arm and spent three years in military hospitals.

D. Former Senator Max Cleland, who lost two legs and an arm during the Vietnam war after a grenade went off in his hand.

E. Senator John Kerry.

Answer: John Kerry. Kerry received three; Bob Dole, two; Daniel Inouye, one; John McCain, one and Max Cleland, zero.