Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"Moderate" sellout on Social Security?

"Moderate" (sic) "Republicans" (sic) appear ready to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Stephen Moore and Peter Ferrara report on efforts to scuttle reform.
There’s an old saying that applies to politics: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” This latest GOP capitulation to the Democrats would throw the baby out and keep the bath water. It would be reminiscent of the counterproductive deal the White House struck on education reform a few years ago. The one and only conservative idea in the bill — school vouchers — was dropped, and the liberals got their whole bag of goodies. It was a package that only Ted Kennedy could love.

Rick Santorum responds on NRO to say it ain't so.

Fahrenhype 911

In an excerpt from Byron York's book The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy he explains why if you smelled a big, fat, dirty rat during the campaign there was nothing wrong with your nose.
Overall, Fahrenheit 9/11 did extremely well in North America’s top eight markets, according to the numbers compiled by Nielsen EDI. The film actually underperformed slightly in the largest market, Los Angeles, down just under 4 percent from the market’s normal DMA share. (That was probably due to the presence of conservative Orange County, which makes up a significant part of the Los Angeles DMA.) But it overperformed in the next seven largest markets. In New York it overperformed by nearly 43 percent; Fahrenheit 9/11 took in 11.12 percent of its total box office in that city alone. It did even better in San Francisco, overperforming by 73 percent, and did above-normal business in Chicago, Toronto (by 79 percent), Philadelphia, Boston (by 49 percent), and Washington DC (by 62 percent).

Fahrenheit 9/11 also did well in Seattle, Montreal, Ottawa, Portland, Oregon, Monterey, California, and Burlington, Vermont. In all, two things stand out from those numbers. One is that the picture overperformed only in blue states, and even then only in the most urban parts of those blue states. And the second is that it did very well in Canada. Fahrenheit 9/11 consistently overperformed in Canadian cities; without that boffo business, the film’s gross would have been significantly smaller than it was.

That’s the upside of the story. The downside revealed by the Nielsen EDI numbers is that Fahrenheit 9/11, far from being the runaway nationwide hit that Moore claimed, underperformed in dozens of markets throughout red states and, most important — as far as the presidential election was concerned — swing states. Dallas/Fort Worth, the ninth-largest movie market, accounts for 2.07 percent of North American box office but made up just 1.21 percent of Fahrenheit 9/11 box office, for an underperformance of nearly 42 percent. In Phoenix, the tenth-largest market, Fahrenheit 9/11 underperformed by 29 percent. In Houston, ranked twelfth for movies, it underperformed by 38 percent. In Orlando, it underperformed by 38 percent; Tampa-St. Petersburg, by 41 percent; Salt Lake City, by 61 percent.