Saturday, February 23, 2008

One of the "Kill Bill" girls if I remember correctly...

You can't just close your eyes and make it go away...

The Belmont Club: Henry Kissinger:
"By this time next year, we will see the beginning of a new administration. We will then discover to what extent the Bush administration was the cause or the alibi for European-American disagreements. Right now, many Europeans hide behind the unpopularity of President Bush. And this administration made several mistakes in the beginning."


Megan McArdle:
As longtime readers of the blog know, I'm related to the Swing Voter, aka my mother. Her vote is an infallible indicator of who will win the general election. We had dinner last night, and somewhat to my surprise, The Swing Voter is completely outraged by the New York Times story--she vows to no longer take the Times, nay, not even for the Sunday crossword. She is also now thinking seriously about voting for McCain just to spite the New York Times.
I found myself offering a tepid defense of what really is a pretty indefensible story: to wit, that reporters in cases like this usually know more they can tell, because so many sources refuse to go on the record. The Swing Voter was unmoved. She feels like the Times, and the sort of people who staff the Times, feel that they are entitled to manipulate the election in order to get teh 'right' results--that such a story would never have run about a Democrat. No doubt the folks at the Times would strenuously disagree--but it matters that people feel that way. I seriously doubt my mother is the only one.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Maybe it's not so great...

David Kahane:
Call it buyer’s remorse, or fear of the unknown, or simply Pinch Sulzbergeritis, but doesn’t it feel like our nice secure liberal world just left its orbit this week? As Hillary waddled off the stage in defeat Thursday night after the debate, with Barack Obama grinning from ear to ear to ear to ear, I could the sense the Old Guard passing, the end of an era, the moment when old First Ladies never die, they just — aw, let’s just cut to the chase: We’re gonna lose. And we’re gonna lose bad.

...But the whole cool thing about being a far-Left liberal is that we’re like undercover secret agents, who have to shield our real goals and motives from you, the suckers. How far would we get if we actually came out and said that we want to nationalize health care, raise taxes to confiscatory levels on the filthy rich who make more than $75,000 a year, preemptively surrender in Iraq, and flood the country with illegal aliens and then turn them into citizens in a transparent attempt to get votes and keep the Ponzi Scheme solvent?"

Read it all...

Stupid is as Stupid does...

McCain's problems of his own making
MCCAIN WANTS OUT OF THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM he's responsible for and finds it's not so easy. Amusingly, McCain is arguing that he has a constitutional right to get out.

MORE: "'We never claimed that the matching funds were collateral for the loan,' says McCain lawyer Trevor Potter. 'This was all a hypothetical future transaction.' (We wish we could get bank loans like that.)" The WSJ is aptly smirky: "We suppose we can't blame Mr. McCain for trying to make the finance rules work for him, but it'd be nice if he finally admitted their embarrassing folly."

Can you imagine the outrage?

Investor Group Ready For New York Times Proxy Fight

The Times has fended off activist investors in the past, including an attempt last year by Morgan Stanley Investment Management to eliminate the dual-tiered share structure and separate the roles of Times Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

If the New York Times were just some other publicly owned company, can you imagine what their editorial policy would be regarding a company that had this type of two-tiered share structure that kept shareholders from exercising control of the company?

You don't say....

The Perils of Socialized Healthcare
The British and Massachusetts healthcare systems are failing, argues Tom Blumer. “If we ever see a nationwide state-run healthcare system in the U.S., the mainstream media will have played a large role in its arrival by ignoring its myriad failures, both overseas and at home.”
More here...

She should just say "He's a wind bag..."

"Eloquence is deep thought expressed in clear words. With Mr. Obama the deep thought part is missing.":
"The man has attained the greatest heights through speechmaking, but to the speechwriter, what he really needs is a speechwriter."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Read it!

Broken Borders and Dover Sole: My Lunch With Lou Dobbs

So I was having lunch at the Four Seasons with Lou Dobbs the other day, locked in disagreement over who cared more about working people, him or me.

Him: CNN host, biggest and loudest gun in the battle for tougher immigration policies, leader of a nightly crusade to expose the misdeeds of those he views as elitist fools and scoundrels.

Pretty much says it all...

The Belmont Club:
"Thus the question of whether John McCain had an affair with a lobbyist eight years ago comes to two things: is the NYT telling the truth today? And if so, would I care?"

The pencilnecks take over

Paying Patients Test British Health Care System
Created 60 years ago as a cornerstone of the British welfare state, the National Health Service is devoted to the principle of free medical care for everyone. But recently it has been wrestling with a problem its founders never anticipated: how to handle patients with complex illnesses who want to pay for parts of their treatment while receiving the rest free from the health service.

Although the government is reluctant to discuss the issue, hopscotching back and forth between private and public care has long been standard here for those who can afford it. But a few recent cases have exposed fundamental contradictions between policy and practice in the system, and tested its founding philosophy to its very limits.

Get ready for the battle. It's just beginning here....

Throw those clubs in the lake...

More Americans Are Giving Up Golf :
"Jim Kass, the research director of the National Golf Foundation, an industry group, said the gradual but prolonged slump in golf has defied the adage, “Once a golfer, always a golfer.” About three million golfers quit playing each year, and slightly fewer than that have been picking it up. A two-year campaign by the foundation to bring new players into the game, he said, “hasn’t shown much in the way of results.”

“The man in the street will tell you that golf is booming because he sees Tiger Woods on TV,” Mr. Kass said. “But we track the reality. The reality is, while we haven’t exactly tanked, the numbers have been disappointing for some time.”"


John Kerry Finally Sees Battlefield Action:
"Helicopters carrying three senior U.S. senators made emergency landings Thursday in the mountains of Afghanistan because of a snowstorm.

Sens. John Kerry, Joseph Biden and Chuck Hagel were aboard the aircraft. No one was injured, according a statement from Kerry’s office. The senators and their delegation returned to Bagram Air Base in a motor convoy, and have left for Turkey.

“After several hours, the senators were evacuated by American troops and returned overland to Bagram Air Base, and left for their next scheduled stop in Ankara, Turkey,” the Kerry statement said. “Sen. Kerry thanks the American troops, who were terrific as always and who continue to do an incredible job in Afghanistan.”

There’s no immediate word from Kerry if he plans to ask Defense Secretary Gates for another Purple Heart for himself."

Much more to follow...

The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Today’s murky New York Times front page McCain hit piece comes at an interesting time, to say the least. Hot on the heels of the first visible chink in the Obama campaign (a mother of a faux pas, mostly ignored by the MSM, but merely exacerbated by the “apologies” of the offender and newly revealed Achilles heel of the candidate, his wife Michelle), the McCain story has ignited the press, public and blogosphere like almost nothing since this interminable race began. Almost nothing, I say, except for the obvious — Obama-mania. For the first time in recent history, we are facing an election where both political parties’ frontrunners are actually liked by the media. Watching how this plays itself out is truly bizarre.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Politics of Fear...

Alex Gourevitch:
Thus, even if the declining fortunes of the war on terror give the appearance that the politics of fear itself is on the wane, another campaign may be reviving it. While Democrats have become increasingly uncomfortable with the anti-democratic consequences of the hard power of the war on terror, they seem more comfortable with a “soft power” politics of fear: environmentalism.

Environmentalism is one of the few movements on the left that presents itself in the same totalizing political terms that the war on terror does on the right, and its influence only seems to grow as the war on terror’s influence declines. The New York Times’ bellwether of elite opinion, Thomas Friedman, recently swung around to the new framework. His solution for overcoming the “trauma and divisiveness of the Bush years” is “a new green ideology, [which] properly defined, has the power to mobilize liberals and conservatives, evangelicals, and atheists, big business and environmentalists around an agenda that can both pull us together and propel us forward.

A worthwhile insight...

Information wants to be free, but medical care doesn't
"YIKES". Marginal Revolution points to a problem in Britain's National Health service. Patients have been paying extra for treatments not covered by the NHS, while still getting the majority of their treatment on the government's dime.
This is just the beginning....

Let's talk to them...

Ahmadinejad: Israel filthy bacteria

Yet even more...

GayPatriot » Would The Last Person Leaving Hope, Arkansas…Please Turn Out The Lights?:
"Stick a fork in Billary…. they are done. And with it goes the last chance the Baby Boomers have of screwing up America from the Oval Office! Obama or McCain might still screw up royally, but we have successfully gotten past the “power years” of the Boomers.

Let us all sing Hallelujah and raise our arms to the Heavens. God has answered our prayers."

Glenn has such a way with words...

"CNN is reporting that Obama just secured the endorsement of the Teamsters. I am unfortunately seized by a mental vision of Hillary Clinton pounding on the lid of her coffin as the final nails are driven in."

Not good news for the Clintons

That Giant Sucking Sound You're Hearing . . . . .
is the Clinton campaign. How else to interpret new website the Clintonites have set up to make the case that the rules of the Democratic nomination process should be changed?
Larry Kudlow adds to the noise...

Michelle Obama's Pride

James Kirchick on Michelle Obama's silly remark:
The level of narcisissm inherent in this remark -- that it is only now, with the windfall victories currently propelling her husband to the Democratic presidential nomination, that she feels "really proud of her country" -- is absolutely breathtaking. Should Barack Obama capture his party's nomination, expect John McCain -- who oozes patriotism -- to make more than a little hay out of this all-too revealing statement, and for it to matter.
Take that, Bitch.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

East coast fantasy....

"I feel like you're describing, you know, it could be Green Bay in Wisconsin."

As a Long Island boy who went to school in the Midwest, married a Chicago girl, and both of my boys went to school in the Midwest, I am always amazed at how utterly stupid both-coasters are about the majority of their country. The media is a perfect reflection of the post.

E-Sleuthing the E-Jihad

"Ordinary 'Joe's' are tracking down U.S. Web sites used by al Qaeda and jihadi sympathizers and then using the Internet (Newspaper Reporters) to persuade the service providers (Hosting companies) to snuff out the sites and it is working."

The Devil made me do it....

Danish 'Youths': Police Made Us Riot
The “youths” who have been rioting in Copenhagen for 9 days have written a letter explaining that they were forced to smash windows and burn cars, by the “brutal, racist, insulting” Danish police: Youths say police harassment triggered unrest in Denmark.

Monday, February 18, 2008

No, life's not fair, is it?

Michael Weiss wonders if Obama gets cut a bit too much slack
Of the many and disturbing pathologies of Richard Nixon, none was greater than his anger at what John F. Kennedy could get away with but he himself could not. If Hillary Clinton does lose the nomination to Barack Obama, we should expect a shattered woman to grit her way through a pro forma party endorsement, all the while obsessing about how the nation’s prolonged honeymoon with Obama ended a few weeks too late to help her.

Call Al Sharpton...

Always apologize, always explain, or, Why Intellectuals like Genocide:
"Benjamin Disraeli is one eminent statesman credited with the advice “Never apologize, never explain.” (Sometimes emended to “Never apologize, never explain, never repeat the mistake.”) Whatever the limitations of the policy, it at least avoids the cloying, hothouse atmosphere of unremitting pseudo-contrition that oozes like a fetid gas into the crowded chambers in which liberals rub up against one another in their little orgies of self-congratulation. (“We are guilty, guilty, guilty, and therefore virtuous.”)"

The press as cowards...

Christopher Hitchens
...the most insidious enemy is the cowardly journalist and editor who doesn't need to be told what to do, because he or she has already internalized the need to please—or at least not to offend—the worst tyranny of all, which is the safety-first version of public opinion.

The Times does it again...

Charlie Foxtrot: The Mason-Confusion Line:
"The bottom line is that the NYT has proven once again that is should do some hiring outside of its echo chamber. Simple research would prove the statement 'Johnson’s great mastery was to get the support of Southern Republicans' to be bunk. Not only were there no Southern Republicans to speak of in those 10 aforementioned states, but the one from Texas joined his 20 Democratic colleagues from those states in opposing the final bill."
"The New York Times has imagined 'southern' Republican Senators who never existed, an error so fundamental that one is forced to wonder whether the Times has any actual editors. Or are they merely all under the age of 45 and entirely unschooled in political history?"

Read it...

20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life:
"I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.” - Jack Handey"

Welcome to Apple....a Mac documentary is coming

Something to look forward to...

Gender Based Taxation (Domestic Policy):
"Gender Based Taxation (GBT) satisfies Ramsey’s optimal criterion by taxing less the more elastic labor supply of (married) women. This holds when different elasticities between men and women are taken as exogenous and primitive. But in this paper we also explore differences in gender elasticities which emerge endogenously in a model in which spouses bargain over the allocation of home duties. GBT changes spouses’ implicit bargaining power and induces a more balanced allocation of house work and working opportunities between males and females. Because of decreasing returns to specialization in home and market work, social welfare improves by taxing conditional on gender. When income sharing within the family is substantial, both spouses may gain from GBT."
Once the "progressives" are elected, you can count on more nonsense like this being shoved down your throat from the "Ministry of Information and Truth", or whatever other collective committees the geniuses decide to put together in order to determine what you future should be.

Where is the outrage?

Byron York asks:
"This is a party that went bonkers over the supposed – never proven or even convincingly alleged – disenfranchisement of a relatively tiny number of voters in Florida in 2000. This is a party in which some imagined conspiracies in Ohio in 2004 in which Karl Rove somehow personally hacked voting machines to assure George W. Bush's victory. And now black votes are ignored in New York, at least initially, and more than two million votes are ignored in Florida and Michigan, and are we hearing outraged accusations of malignant forces at work? If so, it's a pretty quiet outrage."
I am sure that no answer is forthcoming....

Why terrorism works...

Bracing for Revenge:
"Ten days after that, Mr. Mugniyah’s men blew up the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding more than 220. Two years later, in July of 1994, a suicide bomber struck at the offices of a Jewish community organization in Buenos Aires, killing 85. A joint investigation by Mossad and the Central Intelligence Agency uncovered clear evidence of Mr. Mugniyah’s involvement in all three bombings. The telephone monitors of the United States National Security Agency turned up “not a smoking gun, but a blazing cannon,” in the words of a Mossad official. A senior Hezbollah operative, Talal Hamiyah, was taped rejoicing with Mr. Mugniyah over “our project in Argentina” and mocking Israeli security services for not preventing it.

Ever since, the Israelis have been very cautious about assassinating Hezbollah leaders. Two weeks before Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000, military intelligence had Mr. Mugniyah in its sights. Mr. Barak, then prime minister, ruled out a hit, for what he claims were operational reasons, but he surely had the aftermath of the Musawi assassination in mind."

Amazing how this works....

Yesterday, during the Indiana/Michigan St. basketball game, the big topic of discussion was the fate of Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson. The ever obnoxious, loud and annoying Dick Vitale spent the entire game calling for Sampson's dismissal. But, by the time the game was over, and Indiana had put on a wonderful display of basketball (and a huge woopin' on the Spartans), I couldn't help but wonder if Sampson had found the ultimate weapon to avoid the inevitable - winning.

Confirming that and more, Bill Rhoden in today's NY Times becomes a Sampson apologist:
Let me make the case for Sampson to remain at Indiana. One more chance. He has clearly blundered — maybe twice. Once at the University of Oklahoma and now, according to an N.C.A.A. report, at Indiana, which hired him in 2006. In pursuit of players, Sampson cannot seem to keep his fingers off speed dial.
I guess that we shouldn't be all that surprised to see this. Winning makes up for a lot of faults, especially in collegiate athletics. But Rhoden's complete lack of transparency here is so glaring as to make me want to throw-up. Just a couple of days ago, he called for the immediate lynching (yes, I'll use the word here, it's perfect) of Roger Clemens even though there is a lack of corroborating evidence.

But Sampson is Native-American, and Rhoden is black, so maybe the rules are different, even though Sampson has clearly been caught with his hand in the till for the second time after being warned by his superiors before he even took the Indiana job! Again, blatant journalistic dishonesty at the Times rears its ugly head; or is Rhoden just part of the cult of winning? Either way, I'm not impressed.....Hoops, anyone?

Don't worry, there is no threat....

Reuters - Iran MPs want action over Dutch, Danish cartoons
"'We, representatives of the honorable Iranian nation, condemn this devil measure. We ask the president ... to seriously review Iran's political and trade ties with these countries,' the lawmakers said in the letter.

In the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, a leader of a militants' umbrella group called on Muslim faithful to attack Danish embassies and diplomats.

'Blow up the Danish embassies and kill the ambassadors,' Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), said at an open-air news conference in a Gaza square, where PRC members burnt a Danish flag.

'We urge (Islamist fighters) to track down those who printed the cartoons, those who drew them and those who published them and slaughter them immediately,' he said."

Could be huge....

Google Unveils the Apparent iPhone Rival
These Android Mobile Phones from Google, which are expected to go on sale later this year, has an operating system supported by an alliance of more than 30 mobile phone operators, handset makers, software firms and component manufacturers. It is slated to use Google as its web browser home page, Google Mail as its email application, and Google Maps for navigation.

Yeah, I couldn't help but smile a bit...

Keystone Kops in Damascus:
"Yet there is something deeply satisfying about the assassination of Islamofascist terror master Imad Mughniyeh before the stroke of midnight the other day in the central command post of Islamofascist movements inside Damascus, Syria."

You don’t need to defend yourself when you’re here, because we’ll protect you


Nearly all of the mass shootings of late have been in "gun-free zones." And the ones that weren't -- at the New Life Church in Colorado and the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia -- were stopped by private citizens (and members of the community being attacked) with their own weapons.

Now for my second thought. If these places aren't going to get rid of their "gun-free zone" status, despite the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that they simply get more people killed, then how can they improve their security where it actually make the people inside safer?

I have a few ideas. And for the sake of simplicity, I'm going to apply them to a college.

Meanwhile, Nathan Moore is offering to represent anyone who wants to challenge Tennessee's rules against carry on campus.

UPDATE: "Lawyer up, kids!"

Image is everything...

"Yes, Nagasiva Yronwode is a man for our times. He just doesn't know it yet."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Don't get too excited...

UN Springs Into Action, Notices Palestinian Terrorism

Nearly a flying pig moment this morning, as a United Nations “humanitarian” functionary condemns Palestinian rocket attacks.

But the flying pig stays in the hangar, because at the end of it he just parrots more “peace process” fantasy-think.

Tedious or Tiresome?

The arrival of "EcoMoms."

Follow-up from Laura McKenna at PJM:
This article should come with two warning labels. One should explain that reporters from New York Times will discover trends based on the habits of two of their friends. The other warning label is that any article that includes the word "mom" or even better yet "suburban mom" will be dripping with sarcasm and eye rolling. They have written that mommy bloggers are narcissistic, that moms push around huge strollers that threaten to steamroll the single hipsters, that moms let their spoiled spawn invade their neighborhood bars and restaurants.

No kidding....

Megan McArdle:
"What most of us are really in favor of is higher taxes on other people. If we wanted higher taxes on ourselves, we'd give the money to charity."

Same ol', same ol'....

Captain's Quarters:
"But it's the notion that only Barack Obama can save our souls that is the most offensive part of the speech, by far. Government doesn't exist to save souls; it exists to ensure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense. If I feel my soul needs saving, the very last place I'd look (in the US) for a savior would be Washington DC or Capitol Hill. I'll trust God and Jesus Christ with my soul, and I'm not going to mistake Barack Obama for either one."
Once again, we have the "politics as religion" notion invading the left and the Dems. Those who scream the loudest about the separation of church and state, and about how the Republicans are religious loons, seem to be the ones who have created a purely religious context for their political "crusade". It's why I do not trust them....

Michelle Malkin responds:
When Republicans talk about broken souls in the context of civil society, the nutroots start screaming about the obliteration of the church-state line.

When the Obama campaign uses the same rhetoric to get him elected to the White House, everyone swoons.