Tuesday, January 03, 2006

State of the Blog 2006

DC: Good morning and Happy New Year. Great to see you all again. Let me just start by saying: Ladies and gentlemen of the MSM and New Media, the state of this blog is very good.

(Sustained applause from assembled Fox News reporters and Nickie Goomba of Goomba News Network).

I hope you'll make yourself as comfortable as possible on the driveway. I apologize for running out of lawn chairs. But I will try to keep my remarks brief.

It's good to be back. It's another election year, but ... it's still good. There's a lot going on in the nation and world. The Alito nomination is up in January, and I like the timing of the Alito debate occurring around the debate on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. The Left thinks that keeping the debate on national security issues is to their benefit. I'm glad they think that. It's going to be an interesting year, and it will get started soon.

As for what I am doing here, I am happy to report that (with virtually no effort and promotion by me) "Blogs for McCain's Opponent" have now garnered our 50th member. Appropriate that number 50 identified himself as "Rightwing Conspirator". We're growing and lurking. It gives you an idea of the energy waiting to foist itself upon Sen. McCain when he makes his run in '08. Of course, there is the mighty centrist blogosphere. Ahem.

(Smattering of laughter).

But we are making a difference. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, I have got to show you something. No doubt feeling the pressure of the conservative blogs, John McCain is now blogging. Yes, it's true. Go ahead and take a minute and take a look. If the press representatives here will take a look, as I will project it on the side of the barn. Pretty interesting, huh?

I will be monitoring McCain's blog, and I think you should do the same. Go pay him a visit.

I'd like to touch on a couple of other adminstrative matters, and then I will open it up for questions. First, you'll notice that I have rearranged the blogroll a bit. I am no longer a part of Homespun or The Wideawakes. These are great folks, but I am trying to get away from blogrolls with posting or other requirements. This ties into my day job, which I still have.

And speaking of which, I am going to try to stay with a posting schedule of Monday-Wednesday-Friday, barring unusual events. The mid-week post, which may be posted on late Tuesday night, will generally be the longer post/column. I've got some ideas in mind and things I want to cover, so it should be fun.

Now, I'll take your questions. You two, there. Who is that, so close and all? Nick, I thought that was you. Yes, Nick.

Nickie Goomba, Goomba News Network -- Yes, sir. Nickie Goomba, GNN. Happy New Year, sir. With all due respect, how can your Texas Longhorns stay on the field with my beloved shi-shi-fu-fus from Southern Cal? I mean, what is your prediction?

DC: Thanks, Nick. Happy New Year to you and Helen, as well. I like the Horns' chances. I think we can and probably will win. Look for a big play or two in the kicking game and for key adjustments to be made by UT defensive coordinator Gene Chizik. I think we will get 'em. Look at it as Reggie Bush's chance to get an early start on ingratiating himself to the state of Texas, since he will be playing in Houston next fall.

Yes, you. Yes, ma'am, right there. The big, I mean, good reporter.

Candy Crowley, CNN -- Candy Crowley, CNN. Sir, you ran various hit pieces in the past year, you attacked Harriet Miers, you railed against Muslims who simply wanted to have civil rights like Americans, and you turned a blind eye to every attempt by the Bush Administration to run roughshod over Americans' civil liberties, and you openly cheered for American success on the battlefield, shunning all pretense of objectiv ...

DC: Excuse me, ma'am. I think at this point, I would like to read a question from the Discerning Texan. You have to bear with him, because Texans are kinda slow. Apparently, he didn't understand that the questions were supposed to be for me. I think this one is for you, however, Ms. Crowley: "When are you going to start putting your country ahead of your fossilized political agenda?"

(Cheers and wild applause.)

Please, please. If you would ... Next question. Dari.

Dari Alexander, Fox -- Dari Alexander, Fox News. In terms of the links on the site, does a link mean an endorsement by you of that particular site?

DC: Great question, Dari. Actually, no. In particular, I have thought about this a lot in putting together the "Blogs for McCain's Opponent" blogroll. There are some who say things differently than I do, and others who say things that I just outright disagree with. Some are on the edges of places I don't go. But, as I have said on a number of occasions in a number of forums, I am a believer in building winning coalitions. Take, for instance, Christopher Hitchens. He is dead wrong on a lot of things relating to faith and culture, in my view. But he is great on the war and he has described our adversaries with brutal clarity in a way that the Adminstration could learn from.

DC: I have another written question for you all now. This one comes from Carl Rowan,who as many ...

Helen Thomas -- Are you kidding me?!! Carl has been dead for five years! Why you bast...

DC: Helen, I will remind you that you are only here as a guest of Nick's, so please ... I know Carl is gone. But I would like to read his question, if you don't mind. Here goes: "Is that your truck? Why is it so clean? And where is the gun rack?"

Well, I'm standing in it, aren't I? I am sorry about the lack of a gun rack, but hey ... gun control advocates make it hard, you know. As for why it's so clean, let's just say that I don't work much. I just argue with liberals like Carl, so hey. Yes, Ms. Huddy.

Juliet Huddy, Fox -- Juliet Huddy, Fox News. With the moving around of the template, are you ever going to run any ads?

DC: Working on it, if I can ever figure out the HTML, etc. Yes, Megyn.

Megyn Kendall, Fox -- DC, starting with the Supreme Court's eminent domain ruling last term, the Court has really become the focus of a lot of conservative critics. Now, we have John Roberts elevated to Chief Justice and the nomination of Judge Alito coming to a vote in January. How important do you see this debate over both the role of the judiciary and who should serve on the bench?

DC: It is so important, Megyn. And I am glad the focus has turned to the courts, especially as we head into an election year. I remain thrilled with the appointment of CJ Roberts, and I am equally happy about the upcoming confirmation of Judge Alito. Both will be solid for many years. I think that the eminent domain ruling really woke the country up as to how the Court was infringing upon our liberties at an ever-increasing pace. And that case brought people other than social conservatives to the debate.

We are seeing the debate over the Supreme Court also encompass the rights to be afforded to jihadis during a time of war, as well. Next to the War on Militant Islam, the courts are the second most important issue now. It is vital that the country gets this right, and (especially with the withdrawal of the Miers nomination) the Bush Administration has been rock-solid on this front.

The Republicans are vastly superior to the Democrats on national security and the courts. There are a few exceptions around the edges, such as RINOs in Blue States and DINOs in Red States. We need to replace RINOs where we can with real conservatives, but make no mistake that in these times, we can't afford the "perfect church" crowd to unwittingly ally themselves with Demos and put the nation at risk.

The bottom line here is: If the Republicans stay strong on the war, get conservatives confirmed to the bench and come forward with meaningful immigration reform, it could be a tough year for the Demos again. Okay, Lisa. Yes.

Lisa Bernhard, Fox -- Lisa Bernhard, Fox News. I have a couple of Texas-related questions for you. First, how does Sheila Jackson-Lee get elected in Texas? Second, why doesn't Ron Paul (a libertarian Republican) doesn't get more attention? And third, how can you speed the construction of a wall to keep out illegal aliens, perhaps even by using aliens and convicts to build it?

DC: Well, Lisa, that actually sounded like three questions, but I'll answer as follows: 1) She benefitted from the same thing that the Demos are screaming about with Tom Delay, that is, congressional districts drawn by partisans; 2) Like most libertarians, he is a little bit crazy. Libertarians are just conservatives on drugs; and 3) You need to talk to California, since they have a greater suppply of both illegals and convicts than we do. Okay, whose next? Yes, Julie.

JulieB -- Yes, DC. I'd just like to say "thanks" for introducing me to your conservative friends. They're not such big bad meanies, after all.

DC: You're welcome, Julie. I appreciate your being a good sport, as well. It is interesting how Rhod, Mark, et al, really don't bite. They're just patriots who love the country. They're passionate but they're good guys, too. They make it tough on the libs who wander in and can't really engage in substance. You're different. Okay, let's see. Alright, the other Julie.

Julie Banderas, Fox -- Yes, DC. Thank you. Julie Banderas, Fox News. You mentioned the commenters here. Would you talk about your commenting policy?

DC: Well, I really don't have one, Julie. It's open borders, so to speak. All are welcome. Lots come and simply lurk. I get visitors from Chile to France (yes, France). I think the dissenters, if you will, treat their keyboards a little like land mines. No need to do that. Mix it up. Just remember: I may or may not be around, so you may not get a response from me on a particular subject (day job again). Also, the particular comments are the opinions of the respective commenters. If says it's me, then it's my opinion.

And as always, if you have a specific question/comment/complaint for me, you can always email me. Okay, one final question. Let's see. Haven't gone to Fox in a while. Yes, of course, Laurie.

Laurie Dhue, Fox -- It's Laurie. Hi. Talk a bit about the name of the blog. Have you thought about changing the name? Is it Daisy Cutter to stay?

DC: Hmmm. I have had some reservations about the name, Laurie. These reservations principally stem from how some might perceive me. That is, I am certainly not beating my chest here. I think a more appropriate name for me might be "Notorious Sinner", at any rate. I realize that some misunderstand what I am doing here. I picked the name when I started this thing because it was my way of fighting back for our side in a small way in the War on Militant Islam. Of course, the discussion here is broader than the war, but national security will remain paramount to me because if we're all dead or enslaved then a lot of other things are merely theoretical, aren't they? We are still very much engaged in battle with the enemies of civilization today, as we were on 9/11. And I recall that most all Americans cheered when we struck back and started dropping Daisy Cutters in Afghanistan. We weren't just clearing landing zones, either. Now, those memories have faded for some. They haven't for me. I still feel the same way.

I want this nation to be the best friend of its allies and the worst nightmare of the enemies of freedom and our civilization. The Daisy Cutter is a good symbol of our willingness to be bold and do what it takes to defend this nation.

So, this is what I am trying to do, in this little way and in this little space.

Happy New Year, y'all. Let's get to it.