Monday, February 28, 2005

Academy Awards Viewership Down By 2 Million

The headline yesterday morning was that the Oscars had the best viewership numbers in 5 years. But that was not the story once the "RED STATE" market numbers were added in.

A total of 41.5 million viewers tuned in Sunday to watch "Million Dollar Baby" take the Oscar for best picture. That's down 2 million from last year's show, which honored "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," according to Nielsen Media Research.

The drop in total viewership was an indication that this year's Oscar ceremony was more popular in the big cities than rural areas, more so than an average Academy Awards, said Larry Hyams, vice president of audience analysis and research for ABC.

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Just A Thought....

A co-worker of mine just returned from a tour of Europe which included Italy, France, Switzerland and London, England. The trip he made was during Condoleezza Rice's tour of the region earlier this month.

I ventured the question to my co-worker, asking if he had come across any anti-Americanism or anti-Bushism while in the region. He indicated to me that other than a poorly drawn anti-Bush sign in Italy and some rude Frenchies on the subway in France, he witnessed no outward signs of hatred on the tour. What's more, he says that everywhere they went, the locals went out of the way to make them feel welcome and secure!

Which draws the question, where is all the anti-Americanism that we are told exists?

I have not been to Europe so I have not witnessed for myself, but having no reason to believe my co-worker is hiding something, I am inclined to think that all this anti-Americanism exists in the realm of media rather than in reality.

Just a thought....

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Why Doesn't America Have Socialized Medicine?

Well it's not for lack of trying. Of course Hillary Clinton tried during her husband's first term in office and John Kerry made it part of his platform for President. So why, with so much effort having been put into it by it's proponents hasn't universal healthcare happened here in the U.S.A.?

Ralph R. Reiland of breaks it down:

In "Die in Britain, survive in U.S.," the cover article of the February 2005 issue of The Spectator, a British magazine, James Bartholomew details the downside of Britain's universal health care system.

Among women with breast cancer, for example, there's a 46 percent chance of dying from it in Britain, versus a 25 percent chance in the United States. "Britain has one of
worst survival rates in the advanced world," writes Bartholomew, "and America has the best."

If you're a man diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a 57 percent chance of it killing you in Britain. In the United States, the chance of dying drops to 19 percent. Again, reports Bartholomew, "Britain is at the bottom of the class and America is at the top."
Read the entire article here.

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Are We Witnessing The Fall of Autocratic Societies?

I am not the one who said it. I did in fact find it in today's Washington Post, no lapdog for The Bush White House I assure you.

These are autocrats whose regimes had remained unaltered, and unchallenged, for decades. There has been no political ferment in Damascus since the 1960s, or in Cairo since the 1950s. Now, within weeks of Iraq's elections, Mubarak and Assad are tacking with panicked haste between bold acts of repression, which invite an international backlash, and big promises of reform -- which also may backfire, if they prove to be empty. They could yet survive; but quite clearly, the Arab autocrats don't regard the Bush dream of democratic dominoes as fanciful.

The Lebanese uprising is far more advanced than that of Egypt. But Mubarak has taken the boldest action, in part because he has almost as much to fear as Assad from the Beirut intifada. A forced Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon might spell the downfall of the Assad dynasty in Damascus. Either way, in the absence of Syrian coercion, the Lebanese parliamentary election in May would become the third free democratic vote in the Arab world this year. That would make it politically impossible for Mubarak to extend his own tenure by patently undemocratic means.

As Hannibal (of the A-Team) was fond of saying, "I love it when a plan comes togather."

UPDATE: Michael Barone of US News & World Report has an excellent essay on the same subject entiltled, "Minds Are Changing" and you don't need to subscribe to anything to read it.

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Chris Rock: The MSM Is Very Confused!

From The Associated Press: Oscarcast Review: Chris Rock Scores Big

From The Washington Post: Rock, Well . . . Didn't

So which is it? Don't ask me, I didn't watch.

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It's Business As Usual For Howard Dean And The Democrats

In PROOF that the Democrats have not changed their stripes, we get these quotes from DNC Chairman Howard Dean on Friday:

"The issue is not abortion," Dean told the closed-door fund-raiser. "The issue is whether women can make up their own mind instead of some right-wing pastor, some right-wing politician telling them what to do."

And Dean told the Hiebert fund-raiser that gay marriage was a Republican diversion from discussions of ballooning deficits and lost American jobs. That presents an opportunity to attract moderate Republicans, he said.

"Moderate Republicans can't stand these people (conservatives), because they're intolerant. They don't think tolerance is a virtue," Dean said, adding: "I'm not going to have these right-wingers throw away our right to be tolerant."

And concluding his backyard speech with a litany of Democratic values, he added: "This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good."

This is the same rhetoric the Dems used in the 2004 election. Nothing has changed. The Democrats are still dividing the nation and then blaming Republicans for the nation divided. Calling Conservatives evil (Dean refused to let media into the event but his quotes got out just the same) is not going help his party pick up more southern states as the party has said is their goal.

So be it that The Democrats will suffer more staggering losses in 2006 and probably 2008 as well. It is going to take a lot just to stop the bleeding, with Howard Dean leading the party, it just might bleed to death.

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BREAKING NEWS: Entire Pro-Syrian Lebanese Government Resigns


BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanese Prime Minister Omar Karami (search) announced the resignation of his pro-Syrian government Monday, two weeks after the assassination of his predecessor, Rafik Hariri (search), triggered protests in the streets and calls for Syria to withdraw its thousands of troops.

"I am keen that the government will not be a hurdle in front of those who want the good for this country. I declare the resignation of the government that I had the honor to head. May God preserve Lebanon," Karami said.

Karami made the announcement during a parliamentary debate called to discuss Hariri's Feb. 14 assassination in a bomb blast that killed 16 others. The announcement prompted cheers from more than 25,000 flag-waving demonstrators protesting against the government and its Syrian backers outside.

The resignation was the most dramatic moment yet in the series of protests and political maneuvers that have shaken Lebanon (search) since Hariri's killing.

Many in Lebanon blame Syria (search) for being behind Hariri's slaying and have pressed hard since then for the resignation of the pro-Syrian Lebanese government and for Syria to withdraw its 15,000 troops positioned in Lebanon.

Both governments have denied involvement in Hariri's assassination.

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