Paging Mr. Medved

The combined gross of the five Best Picture Oscar nominees: $185,517,364

The gross of “The Chronicles of Narnia”: $277,867,308

Conclusion: Hollywood hates Christians. Oh, and they nominated “Munich,” so they hate Jews, too. Gays and journalists, you’re OK.

(A note: Since “Brokeback” and “Munich” are still in wide release, and “Capote” and “Good Night …” will probably get some new screens to cash in on the Oscars, the eventual gross for these movies will outpace “Narnia.” That’s what happened in 2004. But this might be the least-seen slate of Oscar nominees ever. By this point in 2004, the nominees had made $205,181,462. In 2003 (the year of “Return of the King”), $637,857,097. In 2002, $486,799,261. In 2001, $484,299,092. And so on. However, since I’ve seen all but one of these movies, I don’t care!)

Push me poll me

Rasmussen Reports, a reliable conservative pollster, does a daily tracking poll of Bush’s approval numbers. (He’s one of the few pollsters who never saw Bush go under 40%, but his race-by-race polling is usually excellent.) Yesterday he found them rising to 50% approve, 49% disapprove. And the crowd went wild!

Instapundit:

BUSH BREAKS FIFTY PERCENT APPROVAL on the Rasmussen poll. He’s been trending up there for several days. I’m not sure why, but it seems as if he does better whenever John Kerry and Ted Kennedy get face time on the national news. The Democrats would be wise to let other people represent them.

Powerline:

The latest Rasmussen poll has President Bush’s approval rate at 50 percent, with 49 percent disapproving. To the extent that this poll accurately reflects the public’s view of the president’s performance, his support is basically back to where it was when he was re-elected. All it took was a little effort by the White House, a little effort by the raging Dems, and a good economy.

Dave Holman:

BUSH HITS 50 PERCENT in his approval ratings, according to Rasmussen. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the major press to report this as loudly as they do when his ratings dip.

Yeah, that lousy major press.

So Rasmussen releases his new poll today. Bush’s approval is 48%, disapproval is 51%.

Instapundit:

Powerline:

Dave Holman:

If you don’t know much about polling, it’s easy to overrate favorable results, ignore unfavorable results, and end up wrong. I’m not sure why some people would do it again and again.

Hey, about that Left

Since I sorta defended lefties for a second there, I figured it was worth pointing out that Daily Kos, actually a useful/addictive site from time to time, has become nigh-unreadable on the Alito vote. It consists of my least favorite type of internet denizens – people who think fascism is nigh, and believe the way to fight it is by posting a lot on blogs. No and no.

Take the discussions on Sen. Robert Byrd, a left-wing hero for his stance on the Iraq War. (He was agin’ it.) He said he would vote for Alito. Given that he voted for William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and John Roberts, this wasn’t too surprising. But holy crap.

I live in West Virginia and as I speak I am tearing up my WV Democratic Party affiliation. I am so completely disgusted with my spineless Democratic senator that I will never drive past the Robert C. Byrd ____ ever again without spitting.
*
Its not just the filibuster, it’s the “nuclear option” that must be defeated to stop Alito. Everything else is nothing more than a good show. Byrd may not be the quite so much the traitor or the fool he’s being made out to be.
*
THIS IS IT!

If Judge Alito is confirmed to the Supreme Court, shortly after that ignominy is foisted upon us, “The Fat Lady” Will sing the praises of what this Republic used to be.

CHECKMATE!
*
So I say to you, Mr. Byrd, with this vote that you have declared, you have assaulted me and my fellow country men and women. You have decided, in the twilight of your years to revert to being a coward who would strike out unexpectedly and leave us wondering and wounded by your blow.

Sleep well, Mr. Byrd, if you can. And while you sleep be assured that all you have stood for is being quietly dismantled. Our Constitution, which you profess to love and revere is slowly turning into dust and we are losing America.

It’s pretty much all like this. You can hardly even tell that the Roberts and Alito nominations are the only things Bush has done right in the last year or so.

Leftbaiting

In his ongoing quest to shed his nonpartisan rep, Glenn Reynolds links to Gateway Pundit with this teaser.

IS CINDY SHEEHAN becoming the voice of the new Democratic Party? Hey, they used to dismiss Kos as fringe, and now he’s mainstream.

So I follow the link, assuming some dumb Democrat or another (Jose Serrano?) has come out in solidarity with Sheehan on some issue. Sadly, no! The link is to a picture of Sheehan, a VHeadline (pro-Chavez site) writer who calls herself a “a member of the Democratic Party here in the United States” who supports Sheehan, a link to CodePink, a link to a Sheehan diary post from September 2005, and … that’s it. No, wait – there’s a mention of Sheehan’s threat to run against Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. So, in Insta/Gatewaypundit terms, the “voice of the new Democratic party” is someone who doesn’t hold office, but hates one of the Democrats who does.

This is really quite slimy. These bloggers are doing the work that party flacks usually do, spotlighting someone on the fringe and accrediting their actions and beliefs to the opposition as a whole. It’d be the same if Randall Terry met with a right-wing dictator and liberals/Democrats claimed that Terry was “becoming the voice of the Republican party.” (Although they’d have a bit more of a case for that – more Republicans voted Terry’s way on Terri Schiavo than Democrats voted Sheehan’s way on Iraq.)

Like I said, I expect partisan flacks and hitmen to say crap like this. But Instapundit? Not cool.

B-b-b-b-back

Sorry about that. Lots of work + many distractions = not much blogging. I had a pretty good weekend, though, and it went like this:

– Drove erstwhile boss and friend David Mark to BWI (the “erstwhile” part refers to “boss,” not “friend,” obviously, as I wouldn’t give a ride to a former friend), and stopped off (after an hour of traffic) at John Tabin’s palatial Owings Mills estate. Italian fusion cuisine was eaten, and karoake was performed (though not by me – the karoake part no, the cuisine yes).

– Saw the third-ever post-GBV concert by Bob Pollard with Jeff Hayes, and at the concert I ran into Ken Persing and Pete Bothum (he’s in a band, their website is here). I expected Pollard to be great, but he blew away my expectations. His band, consisting of Tommy Keene (one of my favorite musicians, period) on guitar and keyboards, someone from Superchunk on drums, and two other people, comprised the tightest, fastest ensemble Pollard has ever played with. Better than the “Mark II” GBV lineup of Gillard, Farley, Tobias, and March. The first set lasted about 90 minutes and ran through most of Pollard’s new album and a smattering of his other solo songs. (As he begins “the Peter Gabriel phase” of his career, as he put it, Pollard has a catalogue of hundreds of non-GBV songs to choose from. How many solo artists start off like that?) The crowd was excited at first, but grew listless after song after unfamiliar song from his last year’s output. But they woke up for the encore. After the normal set, Pollard et al tore through (I think) ten classic GBV songs, and as I said, they did it better than any touring GBV I ever saw. (Tobin Sprout was a fun guitarist, Gillard was faultless and speedy, by Keene is a power-pop virtuoso).

Oh, and I made off with a signed copy of “Suitcase 2” bringing my signed GBV merch collection to: Two items!

Raves

Well, that’s enough political bilge for a while. Here’s some stuff I’ve been enjoying.

Adrian Belew
I had known for years about this virtuoso guitarist through his work with King Crimson, David Bowie, Talkin Heads, Laurie Anderson, etc etc ad infinitum. But the other day I saw a cheap copy of his 1992 solo album Inner Revolution and said what the hell. Mercy me, it’s incredible. Imagine a Todd Rundgren without the treacle, and with a Beatles influence instead of a Carole King influence, and you’ve got the 12 songs on this record. Download “The War In The Gulf Between Us” (haha, whatever, it’s a perfect song). His other albums are also good, except for Desire Caught By The Tail, which isn’t good.

Richie Blackmore live albums
It took me a long time to get into Deep Purple because the lyrics were so stupid and, frankly, Blackmore isn’t that great at writing riffs (he’s not awful, but compared to Tony Iommi or Angus Young he’s nothing). Now I find that Blackmore comes the hell alive in concert. Deep Purple’s Made in Japan and Rainbow’s Live in Germany showcase some of the most psychotic, ornate soloing I’ve ever heard – “Man on the Silver Mountain” becomes 13:37, ok? Blackmore just gets in his little stance and starts quoting classical music, quoting other songs, hammering like the dwarves in Rheingold.

The West Wing
Yes, still. I’m constantly surprised at how solid the plotting and dialogue are in the Aaron Sorkin seasons. Very rarely can I stop after one episode, which is rare for me and TV shows.