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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, January 02, 2006

And The Winner Is...

CommonConservative.com was where I got my start. Not so much in writing (I've been doing that for years), but it was where I was first published. Just little "no-nothing" me, and my opinions. As the old Virginia Slims ads used to say, "You've come a long way, baby." Yes I have. From a simple opinion columnist that would have his opinions published once a month, maybe twice if the piece was good, to a blogger; with my nose in the news and to the grindstone on a daily basis. In 2004, I started my first site, and it did fairly well. Then I located my better half, Marcie, and the two of us combined our talents on one site. Since the beginning of 2005 we've had fun, we've had laughs (mostly at the expense of the Left), and we've even had a few tears. But above all, we have done what we feel we should be doing: Keeping people informed. That's our only goal.

In honor of our regular guest columns at the beginning of every month on CommonConservative, I've decided to bring notice to their year-end awards. And, what would an awards show be without a bit of commentary regarding the winners. (Sorry, I'm the kind of guy that likes to beat up on Holly-weird at the Oscars for all the self-adulating pats-on-the-back they give themselves, and the cheers from the masses when they proclaim backstage that "I CARE.")


Every year, CommonConservative.com gives awards for the people, issues, and events that made the year memorable, both in the positive and the negative. Some will make you laugh, some will make you think, but all our winners have earned the honors (and dishonors) they have received in this forum. So, put on those tuxedos and evening gowns, and enjoy this year's CommonConservative.com Awards!

Democrat(s) to Watch
Joe Lieberman. Hillary Clinton may be the darling of the Democratic Party, but Joe Lieberman is turning into the voice of reason for the party. His recent comments supporting our efforts in Iraq set up a potential battle for the heart and soul of the Democrats. He doesn’t speak that often, but his timing is impeccable. Watch Lieberman and see if the Democrats handle him like they did Zell Miller. --- Thomas Lindaman

There are a few worth mentioning here. Everyone’s favorite would be Hillary Rodham Clinton, who daily attempts to balance herself between the demands of the hard left that run the Democratic Party, and the much-ballyhooed middle--or Independents--that at times seem to run her. Honorable mentions would be Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who has a good sense of timing about him, and Senator John McCain, whose recent bill that…sorry! McCain, of course, is a Republican. --- Vincent Fiore

One of the stories of 2005 is how weak the Democratic effort has really been. Who are their spokespersons? Nancy Pelosi? Barbara Boxer? Howard Dean? Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.? There are precious few attractive, energetic up-and-comers. Barack Obama gets the award kind of by default, although I think we will find that he isn’t nearly as good as the hype makes him sound. Hillary Clinton is acting like the heir apparent, but she will stumble as she tries triangulate her way towards 2008. --- Patrick Shanahan

I have to agree with Mr. Lindaman.Joe Lieberman is definitely one of the Democrats to watch. When Zell Miller left the Senate, we all thought that the conscience of the party was going to rest in the hands of Lieberman and Bayh. Evan Bayh went nuts during the Condoleeza Rice hearings, proclaiming that she was partially to blame for the Abyu Ghraib mess. Bayh, of course, is jockeying mimself for a run in 2008, and only a quick turn to the Left was going to appeal to voters, right? Wrong. If the Democrats want a solid run in 2008, they should ditch the rest of the wanna-bes, and annoint Lieberman now. No primaries, no kow-towing to Hillary, or Kerry, or Gore (is this guy for real?). Just hand him the nomination now, and avoid the mud-stomping later.

Democrat(s) to Forget
The anti-war movement. Let’s see…millions of people freed, a new government in place, elections taking place, and relatively few deaths in the time we’ve spent in Iraq. Irrelevance, thy name is the anti-war movement. --- Thomas Lindaman

You thought we would have already, but like a bad rash, Senator John Kerry never seems to go away. Kerry--who fought in Vietnam, in case you didn’t know--has changed little since his losing presidential bid in 2004. His Iraq policy is as muddled as ever, and his leadership qualities as viewed in the Senate are worse than those of the runner-up in this category, Senate minority leader Harry Reid. Reid, you may remember, took over for defeated minority leader Tom Daschle. At least Daschle had a plan, and executed it--rightly or wrongly. Reid, on the other hand, vacillates between being led by the left of his party, and executing political stunts in hopes of tripping-up Senate Republicans. --- Vincent Fiore

Where to start….How about this: How about “Democrats Who Forget…how an ex-President is supposed to act”? The behavior of Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in 2005 have been dishonorable, rude and distinctly un-Presidential. Both have spent the year lambasting their sitting successor. You know, the guy who actually takes action in the face of evil rather than waffle on endlessly about what not to do? It is disturbing and pathetic, and confirms what lightweights they are. --- Patrick Shanahan

So many names, so little time. I could nominate Byrd, but we gain so much enjoyment from his senile, rambling banter in the Senate, and they do make for rather comedic sound bites. Each of the above are good recipients, and are rightly deserving. However, I'd like to nominate all the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. These people attempted to pull out the stops to prevent John Roberts from taking the seat onthe Supreme Court formerly held by his mentor. From Patrick Leahy's incessant attempts to get Roberts to answer questions about Roe, to Kennedy's low-blow that Roberts has never known poverty, there fore he wasn't qualified to rule on such subjects, it was like having a full-court press to a three ring circus. We should forget these people, but they're going to come back to haunt us again before the end of January for Samuel Alito's hearings. After the non-note carrying butt-whooping Roberts handed the committee, I'm wondering if they can muster the strength for Round Two with Alito.

Republican(s) to Watch
Ohio Congresswoman Jean Schmidt. With seven words, Schmidt became both a lightning rod for Democrats and a rising star for the Republicans. “Cowards cut and run. Marines never do.” Don’t let the media coverage and liberal blogs fool you. She’s not nearly as vulnerable or as embarrassing as they would like us to believe. --- Thomas Lindaman

No one really stands out here as Senate Republicans--as a body--have demonstrated how spineless and elitist they can be. I will give Majority Leader Bill Frist some credit, who rallied back to get some of Bush’s judicial choices passed in the Senate, and will keep the GOP together when it comes time to vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Senator George Allen is shaping up as the natural choice for conservatives in 2008, while the media candidate-in-waiting, John McCain, remains a favorite of the cameras. --- Vincent Fiore

Every year I tout MN Senator Norm Coleman, but I sense he is getting comfy where he is. I still think MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty is worth keeping an eye on, but I think that 2006 is going to be a year of continuing emergence for VA Sen. George Allen. He is out there, he is energetic, and he has the sort of clear conservative message that is direct yet non-threatening. --- Patrick Shanahan

I share sentiments with all three. Schmidt is indeed sharp, and the Left tried to smear her over those statements. It was later found out that Murtha's name wasn't mentioned by that former Marine colonel. Nonetheless, his words ring true. Allen is indeed one to watch as 2008 gets closer. Pawlenty is another rising star whow could have as bright a future as any of the mainstream conservatives. I also nominate Gov. Mitt Romney, who like Allen, would make an outstanding nominee in 2008. Also, one that Mr. Lindaman and I can agree on (and I've already sent him a check) is Michael Steele. The Lieutenant Governor of Maryland has his eye on a Senate seat that's about to be vacated by Paul Sarbanes. Now, if he can just keep Sen. Schumer out of his credit records and his trash cans, he might have a chance. Steele is definitely a rising star in the party that made himself known to the nation in his speech before the RNC in 2004.

Republican(s) to Forget
Bill Frist and the Republican members of the “Gang of 14.” The Republican members of the “Gang of 14” sought to compromise with people who had no intention of keeping any deal they agreed to. How stupid! The only thing worse is the fact that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist couldn’t stop it from happening. Without his lack of leadership, there would have been no “Gang of 14.” --- Thomas Lindaman

So many names, so little space. The entire “Gang of Seven” or the “Mod Squad” as they were sometimes called, comes to mind. The “Gang,” you will remember, decided to exert its will along with seven Democrats to effectively stall Bush’s judicial nominees. Thanks to Senators Lindsey Graham, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John Warner, Mike DeWine, Lincoln Chafee, and Mr. “maverick” himself, John McCain, these paragons of principle have time and again thwarted the will of some 62 million voters and the Republican President they reelected. --- Vincent Fiore

Is it too much to ask that PA Sen. Arlen Specter be left in the dust? This guy may be the most unlikable person in all politics. He is creepy and slimy and has stabbed his fellow Republicans time and time again. At the very least we need him off the Judiciary Committee. --- Patrick Shanahan

Again, I echo the sentiments of Mr. Fiore. The RINOs on the loose in the Senate are bad enough, including the "Seditious Seven" led by John McCain, who is another moron in the party that needs to be kicked off the turnip truck. Mr. Shanahan calls Sen. Specter creepy? Has he looked at John McCain recently. McCain looks, acts, and sounds like a retread of Bogart's role of Capt. Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny." Dammit! Someone took his strawberries in 2000, and he's going to make everyone pay until he gets them back! With any luck, the voters in 2006 will at least rid the party of three RINOs (Snowe, DeWine, and Chafee), and break the control of the Gang of 14 that McCain put together.

Underreported Story of the Year
Victory in Iraq. Yes, you read that right. Victory in Iraq. We won, and we continue to make great strides there to bring them up to speed. This is a no-brainer, folks. We haven’t heard anything about it because it would undermine the media’s portrayal of the war. --- Thomas Lindaman

Project Able Danger. Did the Pentagon finger Mohammed Atta a full year before the horrific attacks on 9/11? Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa) seems to think so. Whistler blowers Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer and Navy Captain Scott Phillpott believe so. Yet, official Washington, along with everyone’s favorite rent-a-panel, the “bipartisan” 9/11 Commission, seems unimpressed over the prospect that most of what happened on September 11, 2001, can be traced back to the Clinton administration that had eight years to figure out Bin Laden as opposed to the Bush administration’s eight months. --- Vincent Fiore

The economy. It roared through the year. The media grumped and complained about how anemic it was, and how pessimistic we all are, unwilling to give the President any credit at all, seeking to twist good news into bad news, or no news at all. Just one of many examples of how the media has gone from being merely “adversarial” to being an active participant in the political process. A close runner-up - the success in Iraq. --- Patrick Shanahan

Again, all three are good stories, and I'd have to side with Mr. Lindaman. Not only did the MSM refuse to comment on Iraq, unless the report included an American body count, but the good news reports were few and far between; most of them coming from FOX News. In an effort to counter the bad reporting, bloggers took up the torch. Mohammed and Omar led the charge of the bloggers when Iraq had it's latest election over at Iraq the Model, and numerous other Iraqi bloggers participated in the live-blogging of the elections care of Pajamas Media. Michael Yon, former military man-turned-blogger paid his way to Iraq to embed himself with Deuce Four, a US military squad doing the job in Iraq. If you haven't been privy to his writing, to his images (sometimes haunting), then you need to read this man.

Overreported Story of the Year
Cindy Sheehan. You mean the “Peace Mom” was actually a political hack using her dead son as a platform to get media attention? Say it ain’t so! --- Thomas Lindaman

This is the toughest question of the bunch. The scribes of the old media were just overjoyed over the thought of seeing Karl Rove “frog marched” as depicted by former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson. “Plamegate” or “Rovegate” turned out to be a bust for Democrats and the media that loves them, as Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald managed only one indictment. Story number two has to be everyone’s favorite grieving mother, Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan was last seen in Texas wondering aloud why anything else was newsworthy at all when she, Cindy Sheehan, was here, and ready for her close-ups. --- Vincent Fiore

It is painful to say, because it was such a huge story in every way that matters - but Katrina. This is certainly the most badly reported story of the year. The media showed utter lack of discipline, reporting every rumor as truth and very unfairly tarring a whole bunch of good, hard working people in the process. --- Patrick Shanahan

I hate it when all the good ones are taken first. Yes, Mother Sheehan was all over the papers, the idiot box, and the 'Net. And yes, the press waited as breathlessly for Fitzgerald's indictments as they did for Chief Justice Rehnquist to die; even assigning reporters to report when the man came home and left for work. BREAKING NEWS: Rehnquist leaves home with cane in hand and tweed hat on head! Give me a break. And Katrina was one of those times this year (there are so many that it's hard to count) when the media dropped the ball, and was drop-kicked by bloggers. But I think the one story that the press just wouldn't leave alone was the "torture" and "abuse" of detainees by the military that just wasn't true. Abu Ghraib, while deplorable, was not torture, and those involved were punished. But Dick Durbin accused our troops of the same treatment that was handed out by Nazis and Communists down in Gitmo. Newswekk ran a story of a Koran being flushed down a toilet at Gitmo. We even had to have a news report on the menu for the detainees down in Gitmo. And after all the real reporting by bloggers and others in the military, the MSM still had the gall to bring this all up again when John "Capt. Queeg" McCain brought up his damned torture bill. Give me a break, already. We don't torture. We don't behead. The MSM would be smart to remember that the next time Zarqawi takes the head of an innocent in the name of Allah.

Unreported Story of the Year
The difference between the media’s accounts of what’s going on in Iraq and what the soldiers are saying. Gee, I wonder why the media wouldn’t want to cover why their coverage of the Iraq war are being contradicted by soldiers who were actually there. It’s a puzzler. --- Thomas Lindaman

Next to the robust economy, this is definitely a no brainer. Again, I have to agree that Iraq went virtually unreported. We covered the Iraqi elections at the Asylum. All three of us, together in one place, taking shifts in reporting on the turn-out, and the general mood of the people participating, and the media could barely make a sound bite about it. It went virtually unreported in the papers--mostly small stories picked up from the AP wires--and the editorial backlash was unprecedented. (I ought to know; I covered it the same day. And the Dingbat award for editorializing this year goes to the LA Times with the "doom and gloom" editorial about no matter what happens in the election, no matter what we do over there, civil war is sure to set in. One would think the media would have learned their lesson about predictions. They're 0 for 2 in predicting "quagmires.")

Man/Woman/People of the Year
Karl Rove. After winning two elections for George W. Bush, Rove’s impact was seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Without him there to help coordinate a response, Bush looked and sounded like an incompetent boob. Rove had the biggest impact on the country without most people knowing it. --- Thomas Lindaman

DNC Chairman Howard Dean is certainly the gift that keeps on giving. As of this writing, Dean had just stated that the “idea that we're (U.S.) going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong.” Never having appreciated the beauty of the unspoken thought, Dean continues to say things that--because of the sheer idiocy these comments represent-- help the GOP. Republicans ought to donate to the Democratic Party on the condition that they keep Dean around for another term, at least. --- Vincent Fiore

I nominate Condaleeza Rice. Notice how little Foggy Bottom second guessing one hears lately? I think that Condi is being very impactful and accomplishing far more than most of us realize. She is the perfect person to be heading up State at this time. She will move the President’s agenda far and fast - especially in the Middle East - yet will get no credit from the Press. --- Patrick Shanahan

I can't agree with Karl Rove because the Democrats have been carping about the fact that he is "Bush's brain" for five years. His impact is real, make no mistake, but I wouldn't consider him a "man of the year" candidate. Howling Mad Howie Dean is definitely one of those people as he represents everything about the Democrats right now: It's called Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome. Condi was a star on a very large stage this year (I loved that black outfit from earlier this year, and those boots. That was "class" personified.) But I have to look at Iraq for people of the year. Talk about "You've come a long way, baby." At the beginning of this year, Iraq engaged itself in it's first free and open elections in the last thirty-plus years. And they gave the terrorists there the "purple finger" as, undaunted by their threats, they turned out in droves to the polls. The Sunnis opted out of it, but soon discovered they were on the outside looking in, and then joined in the elections in December, and the constitution vote in late October. These people want a bright, shining future, not one mired in death, threats, and an iron boot. AND they're not afraid of the threats when it comes to holding their former dictator accountable for the crimes he has committed. He doesn't recognize the new Iraq? I can tell you one thing he'll recognize in the end. That's a hangman's noose.

The late Pope John Paul II. He was one of the “Big 3” that helped destroy the communist scourge around the world. He brought the word of God to people and did so with a quiet strength that only comes with the power of conviction. He will be missed. --- Thomas Lindaman

In all seriousness, Casey Sheehan. While you were away, Casey, your emotional but over-zealous, anti-war mother made a mockery of your bravery and your supreme sacrifice. By declaring that “This country (America) is not worth dying for,” Cindy Sheehan forgets and dishonors your death, and shames the flag that you fought for. RIP, Casey Sheehan. --- Vincent Fiore

John Paul II. When the definitive histories of the 20th Century are written, three giants will be shown to have stood astride history and thwarted the evil of Communism. We lost Ronald Reagan last year. This year we lost The Pope. Only Maggie remains.John Paul II was an awesome human being from every perspective. Not only did he play a major role in sending the commies away, he reinvigorated the Catholic Church at a time it desperately needed it. --- Patrick Shanahan

I'll give Mr. Fiore Casey Sheehan, especially as his mother has never told ANYONE about him, or his service. (No, again, that fell to bloggers to get the story out because for her to do so would have put a kabosh to her moonbat-like rantings and wailings.) And I must agree with John Paul II, not just for his anti-Communist stance, and not just because I'm Catholic. No, John Paul II did one thing few people of his age do. He recognized that the future lay within the youth of today. He lieved it, he breathed it, and he believed in it. In addition, I'd also like to nominate someone near and dear to Marcie and I. Many people know we cover legal issues. We were saddened by the passing of John Paul II (she is Catholic, too), but we were equally saddened by the passing of Chief Justice Rehnquist. This man was a solid Constitutionalist who occasionally butted heads with the more liberal side of the court. Likewise, there were a few occasions where he butted heads with those of similar ideology like Thomas and Scalia (he and Scalia were on opposite sides of Raich, the medical marijuana case.) He will be missed, but his replacement--Chief Justice John G. Roberts--will do his mentor proud.

Flash in the Pan
Election 2005 being bad for the Republicans. Off-year elections are about as meaningless as anything Paris Hilton could ever write. But according to the media, it’s the end of the Republican Party as we know it. But here’s the thing: they kept two seats their party already had in New Jersey and Virginia, lost the seat of the second most powerful official in Virginia, and was made to look like absolute idiots in California by voting down common sense propositions like not spending more than the state takes in. Some victory! --- Thomas Lindaman

Texas District Attorney Ronnie Earle. This partisan hack-of-a-DA has actually shopped through numerous grand juries in hopes of finding one that would indict House majority Leader Tom DeLay, (R-Texas) As of this writing, the “conspiracy” charge against DeLay has been dismissed, as possibly will Earle’s single remaining charge of “money laundering. Earle’s fifteen minutes are fast coming to an end. --- Vincent Fiore

Cindy Sheehan. If the press hadn’t been desperate for anyone to make the President look bad, she wouldn’t have gotten ten minutes of air time. She’s crazy. More agenda-driven media strategy. --- Patrick Shanahan

I agree with Mr. Shanahan. Mother Sheehan was so flash in the pan that when her fifteen minutes was up, she lashed out at the press. She accused them of being on the side of the president when they grew tired of her antics, and when people gave up caring about her. She served her purpose to the moonbat fringe. But when the president refused to meet with her AGAIN, and bloggers started tearing down her lies, and people quit showing up to the rallies she was involved with, the press found something else to keep their nanosecond attention spans going. The other person with seconds ticking away onhis fame right now is John Murtha. The media's spin of this man is purely pathetic, including their citation that he was given a standin-O at a recent speaking engagement when he brought up his cut-and-run idea. It's not true. The vast majority of people sat on their hands. Why? Because America doesn't cut-and-run when we are winning a war.

The Real Deal
Air America's problems. After spending hours talking about how bad evil corporations like Enron and Halliburton were, it looks like Air America got caught doing something far worse: stealing money from a charity to keep its doors open. Oops. --- Thomas Lindaman

The Conservative Movement. Up until a few weeks ago, I had asked a question that in reality was just the echo of many who asked the same thing: “Is the Conservative Movement dead?” Since then, Bush and the Republican majority have sent Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, cut 55 billion in spending, and started to talk about real Immigration reform--like fences, security, and actual law enforcement. Bush’s recent Iraq offensive is also a welcome development, as more is going right in Iraq than the old media, and Democrats, would have you believe. --- Vincent Fiore

Iraq will become a democracy. A very imperfect and noisy democracy perhaps, but it will succeed. And the ripple effects will be significant throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds. --- Patrick Shanahan

Air-head America is about as relevant as Al Gore announcing his intentions to seek the presidency in '08. Between their bash-Bush rhetoric, the Secret Service investigation of Randi Rhodes' show emphasizing the assassination of the president, and the thieving from a public charity, they've shown that they are little more than NPR minus the government funds. And believe me, if there's a way they can swing that, they'll try it. Iraq is a democracy in action, and enough people in that country want to keep things that way. So, I doubt the predictions of an upcoming civil war are going to come to pass. The conservative movement is beginning to show signs of a revitalization. The only thing to make this rebirth work is to grab a party plan, and stick to it. That platform is summed up best by Hugh Hewitt, and it's a platfomr I've written about recently. Twelve little words: Win the war, cut the taxes, control the spending, and confirm the judges.

Missed Opportunity
Waiting to counter anti-war lies in the media. This was a tough one to call, considering the slow response to Hurricane Katrina, but the time wasted on letting anti-war lies go unchallenged will have far more of an impact in the future. If President Bush or Vice President Cheney had come out or had someone from the Administration come out to defend the Iraq policy, it would have curtailed the negative view of how things in Iraq are going. As it stands, they stayed silent, giving the anti-war side the upper hand. --- Thomas Lindaman

Killing the unconstitutional filibustering of judicial nominees. In May, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist could have called a vote on changing the Senate rules to give a nominee and up or down vote, thereby preserving the Senate’s traditional “advice and consent” function. Instead, Frist lingered, causing a nonsensical and non-binding pact among the 14 senators that the beltway has come to know as the “gang of fourteen.” --- Vincent Fiore

Rein in spending. The pork, the earmarks, the government spending out of control is beginning to disgust an awful lot of conservatives. It is what happens when you combine majority control with “compassionate conservatism.” We blew it. Faced with the chance to change the culture and act like adults, Republicans couldn’t make it happen. At least we have Tom Coburn. --- Patrick Shanahan

Again, all three are great choices. Even Republicans like Sens. Cornyn and Kyl have stated that they should have been out in front defending the president, and they dropped the ball. Both promised to do more to help the president, but too little, too late, the president had to do it himself. Good move by the president in showing his leadership. Bad move by the GOP for remaining silent. The pork spending, indeed, has to stop, and this falls to the fat-cats in DC to do something about it. They killed the "bridge to nowhere," but not without a price, which was allowing the Democrats to brow-beat them for a week straight over their spend first, fiscal responsibility second sort of mindset. And finally, and most importantly, the "Gang of 14" and their end-run around Frist. Frist has proven he doesn't have what it takes to be the Majority Leader, and thank God the man's retiring. But the 2006 mid-terms could erase the power that deal has if a couple of RINOs don't win reelection. (More on that analysis as the year goes forward.)

Defining Moment
The 403-3 House vote on a non-binding resolution to bring the troops home. The Democrats thought they had a home run when they rolled out Rep. John Murtha, who said the troops should be removed from Iraq immediately. But the House Republicans turned the tables and forced a vote on the issue shortly after Murtha's comments were made. And by the end of it all, the Democrats lost handily, putting their own political futures ahead of the futures of the soldiers they allegedly care about so much. The House Republicans should be commended for their quick thinking to force the Democrats' hands. --- Thomas Lindaman

President Bush’s appointment of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. After his dalliance with White House majordomo Harriet Miers, Bush heard the anguished cries of the party faithful who not only wanted a known conservative appointed to the bench, but also were spoiling for an open dialogue over the judiciary and its function. Selecting Alito may have saved the Bush presidency from irrelevancy, and possibly huge losses for the GOP in 2006 and 2008. --- Vincent Fiore

This has been a politically sloppy and somewhat ugly year. I am not sure that 1 Defining Moment stands out. The inexplicable and largely continuing silence of the right and ceding of the terrain to the left has been fairly disastrous, but that is less a “moment” than a process. I think the lack of defining moments is exactly what has frustrated so many conservatives in 2005. --- Patrick Shanahan

BINGO! Give Mr. Shanahan the fuzzy bunny. The GOP has been lacking in defining moments this year. Granted, Pres. Bush pulled his head out of his rear when his base told him that Harriet Miers was a no-go, and appointed Sam Alito. (At the Asylum, we would have preferred Michael Luttig or Janice Rogers Brown, but hey, we're no tin charge.) The GOP has some serious issues, and plenty of people are griping about them. As Mr. Lindaman pointed out previously, no one stood up to the antiwar Left until the president finally did in December, and it took four speeches to drive the point home to America after allowing the media and the moonbat fringe to control the debate for months. All looked to be lost until we remembered those looking at the presidency in 2008. We have a fine crop of individuals that will give the Democrats fits. Of course that is only going to come true if they come out swinging. Compassionate conservatism doesn't work in the bloodsport known as politics. It's kill or be killed in this game, and yes, the winner does take all.

Stuck on Stupid
This is a new award this year, and it goes to the person or organization that can't seem to get past its own mistakes to move on. And for me, there is no group more deserving of this award than CBS. After Dan Rather's "retirement" following Memogate and Mary Mapes blasting the blogosphere while claiming she knows George W. Bush went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard, CBS has started courting Katie Couric to take over Rather's job. Katie Fricking Couric??? If you thought Bob Schieffer was bad, Couric will be unbearable. But at least she'll be perky while being unbearable. --- Thomas Lindaman

Back by popular demand, the entire editorial staff of the New York Times. It is hardly news to say that the New York Times openly shills for the Democratic Party. It is also not original to say that the New York Times prints what it deems will be hurtful to the Bush administration. What is news is the seemingly lack of shame--any shame--from the paper’s staff. Even the Times ombudsman--along with some 200,000-plus readers-- has cancelled his subscription. --- Vincent Fiore

The Democratic National Committee. Led by the super-genius Howard Dean, the DNC promoted a “defeat abroad, complain at home” strategy that seems calculated to disgust as many Americans as possible. They just cannot shake the idea that if they are as negative as possible for as long as possible that it will eventually stick. Well, it did help drive the President’s numbers down a little, but as the cost of making Dean, et al laughingstocks. They are just not taken seriously by anybody, for any reason. --- Patrick Shanahan

Even though I'm apt to agree with Mr. Shanahan on the DNC, the simple fact of the matter is that the party won't change until they get rid of the hard Left; those wonderful throwbacks from the sixties that still haven't gotten the memo that socialism doesn't fly in America. However, I'm going to combine Mr. Lindaman's and Mr. Fiore's two nominees into one: The MSM as a whole is still stuck on stupid. No other group of individuals have ever been dimmer. From the mass reporting of "torture" at Abu Ghraib, and "torture" at Gitmo, to the respect and credence given to Mary Mapes after her hit-piece book was released, and to the New York Times recent NSA story, the media has dropped the ball more than the Arizona Cardinals did this year. And further, we've seen that journalists and commentators know next-to-nothing about the law, as they report a story, and then try to figure out what crime has been committed when one hasn't even been alluded to. Yes, the media is stuck on stupid, is moving faster down the ol' johnny-flusher than a Koran at Gitmo.

Staff Awards
The Bottom Line Award: Judith Miller, formerly of the New York Times. Judith Miller is my choice to receive the Bottom Line Award because she showed incredible toughness against her former employers. After she was released from prison for contempt of court to protect a source for a story about who "leaked" information about Valerie Plame, the New York Times all but ran Miller's name through the mud in a dispicable manner. But Miller fought back, firing off well-written and factual accounts of what happened to the staffers who publicly attempted to defame her. Regardless of what you think of Miller's politics or motivations, the fact she showed courage and a commitment to telling the truth is worth honoring. As a former journalist, Ms. Miller, I salute you for standing up for principle in the face of withering and unfounded criticism. --- Thomas Lindaman

I'd toss one in here, but "The Bottom Line" is Mr. Lindaman's column, and I'll defer to him on this award.

Other Awards
Raw Deal: Tom DeLay's indictments. For all the talk from the Clintonites about how Bill Clinton was the victim of prosecutorial abuse, it cannot be overlooked that Tom DeLay is truly a victim of an overzealous prosecutor trying to weave straw into legal gold. When the prosecutor starts having to shop for grand juries to deliver the verdict he wants, that's dishonest and indicative of a weak case. DeLay's getting a raw deal only because he's a constant reminder of just how bad off Democrats are right now. --- Thomas Lindaman

My Raw Deal goes to John Roberts. Just days after his announcement to be the replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, the WaPo (Washington Post for those not up on blog lingo) did two nasty hatchet pieces. The first was in criticizing his family. They directly attacked his wife and kids for the way they were dressed, then launched into a diatribe about how the family was probably anachronistic (stuck in the past), and that was how he was going to rule from the bench. Then, they went after his wife, and her work with a pro-life group, and how she was "commanding" his reasoning behind such issues. Granted, he beat the odds (and the Democrats like a bongo drum), and got the last laugh when he was sworn in as Chief Justice.

The Anna Nicole Smith Lifetime Achievement Award: Maureen Dowd. This New York Times columnist gives women a bad name. With her new book Are Men Necessary? (which is pretty much a long anti-male screed worthy of Oprah), her vicious (and might I add, completely incorrect) attacks on Judith Miller, and her writing style that is somewhere between "Entertainment Tonight" and a 13 year old girl's diary, Dowd has shown an aptitude for being an airhead. Congrats, Ms. Dowd. You've earned this award! --- Thomas Lindaman

Mine has to go to Bill Frist for showing America what being a "girlie man" is all about. This guy couldn't keep ants in line, and he's the reigning Majority Leader in the Senate. His lack of leadership gave him the "Gang of 14" deal, and his lack of fortitude cost the GOP the ANWaR provision in the Defense Appropriations Bill. Likewise, during that same time, he capitulated to McCain, allowing him to tack on the redundant Torture Bill to the appropriations bill, and it also cost the GOP a full renewal of the Patriot Act; it's renewal is for one month only, which means that we'll go through this dog-and-pony show all over again. And to top it off, this man wants to be president. I've got sad news for the man: There will be no Cinderella ending for his political career. People want a strong leader, not one that compromises and capitulates every time the going gets tough.

The Dan Rather Award for "Excellence" in Media: CNN. During a speech given by Dick Cheney, someone in the CNN control room thought it would be funny to put an X over his face. The people weren't happy about it, so they called in to CNN. And thanks to a customer service representative who said X'ing out Cheney's picture was "free speech," they went from handling the situation to being smack dab in the middle of it again. Memogate has nothing on "X-Gate." --- Thomas Lindaman

This one, in general should go to the media overall. But, there can only be one winner here, and the media, in general, has already been bestowed with it's dishonor. So, I'll pick Newsweek for it's coverage of the abuses at Gitmo (that never happened) and Korans that were flushed down a toilet (again, never happened). The story set off violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan where a number of people were injured, and about a dozen people died. It took bloggers--working 'round the clock--all of two days to debunk it. Eventually, hostilities over there died down after Newsweek printed a non-retraction retraction that they made an error in reporting that story. Really? Ya think? I guess no one at Newsweek picked up a Koran, and compared it to the flush opening of a toilet, and wondered how the hell the thing could have been flushed in the first place.

The 3D Award: This is a new award that I call the Dick Durbin Dumbass Award, or simply the 3D Award, and it goes to the member of Congress that has said the stupidest thing in all seriousness. This year, the award goes to Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy for suggesting that Chief Justice nominee John Roberts could not be a fair judge because he never knew poverty. And you do, Senator Kennedy? --- Thomas Lindaman

I've got a few for this award. Obviously, the award should be given to it's namesake for the stupidity involved in comparing our troops to the thugs from the Nazis, Stalin, and Pol Pot. But I'd also like to nominate Tom Tancredo, for believing that Mecca should be nuked if we are hit by terrorists again (way to go Tommy-boy; condemn innocents in another country to death rather than nailing the little bastards like we are now). John Murtha for the troops living "hand to mouth" and being "broken" from the war. (This man is a dishonor to the United States Marine Corps.) And last, but not least, Mary Mapes for still pushing the "fake, but accurate" Memogate story. All of these people are literal dumbasses of the first order.

Bad Nickname of the Year: Lawrence "Scooter" Libby. He's a grown man with the nickname of the stage manager from "The Muppet Show." Does anyone else find this more than a little scary? --- Thomas Lindaman

I have to agree on this one. Who, in their right mind, would have the nickname "Scooter?" I've had some nicknames in the past (No, I'm not revealing ANY of them; especially not the ones my other half uses) but I've never had anything so ridiculous as "Scooter." Libby was abviously born under a bad sign to be deemed with that nickname. (However, I am pushing that John "Maverick" McCain be changed to John "Capt. Queeg" McCain.)

The "It Looked Better on Paper" Award: Ward Churchill's anti-American 9/11 manifesto where he calls the people killed in the Twin Towers "little Eichmanns." I'm sure the faux liberals loved Churchill's rant, but most of America saw it for what it was: a hateful piece of prose from someone without any decency. --- Thomas Lindaman

Churchill's little-boy, temper-tantrum passing as an essay is nice, but I'm sure John Murtha's legislation for withdrawing troops looked great on paper too. Especially when he was talking about it to the press. Until JD Hayworth (from my state, TY) told Murtha to, in essence, "put up or shut up." I'm sure he was equally disheartened when Nancy Pelosi urged Democrats NOT to vote for the measure when the vote was taking place. Talk about a stab in the back; she redeemed herself the following week by proclaiming to the press that she was behind John Murtha and his troop withdrawal plans 100%. Too little, too late Nancy, and you crushed the hopes and the dreams of a little boy who thought he was a rising star.

The "This Will Not Look Good on a Resume" Award: Ramsey Clark, for volunteering to help the legal defense of one Saddam Hussein. Just a word of advice, Ramsey. You might want to come up with a Plan B career choice. Defending a known dictator and amoral human being isn't a good way to show employers that you're a good judge of character. --- Thomas Lindaman

Ditto this. 'Nuff Said.

The Earnest Schoolmarm on a Mission Award: Poor Katie Couric of NBC’s "Today Show." As she ages she gets less cute and more schoolmarmish. And yet her earnestness quotient increases. She has become so annoying that I cannot watch Today any more. --- Patrick Shanahan

Personally, I'd nominate Mother Sheehan for this one. But she'd be the last person I'd want teaching my kids. Does she look like a schoolmarm? No, Katie does a better job, especially with those color-coordinated eyeglasses she wears. And no one does better in black like Katie does. For those that don't remember her wearing black the day after the Iraqi elections in January, it was a sight to see. Most people would have thought that between her ensemble that day, and the look on her face, that she had just come from Hillary Clinton's funeral.

Those were the awards for 2005. And I can already tell that 2006 is warming up with enough winner and weiners to fill another awards show. Next year, I'll have to remember the tux. Remember, us bloggers only wear pajamas. At least according to Tom Brokaw we do. Until next time just remember that everything is a passing thought in life's rearview mirror.

Publius II


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