Monday, August 31, 2009

Czars, Czars Everywhere

PJTV puts forward a fanastic shortish video on all of the czars that Obama has created:

Always Pitching Morality

The Left always points to the Right and accuses them of constantly pushing morality as the foundation for law. Pot, Kettle. Kettle, Pot.

From Politico:
Playing off the focus of the Kennedy funeral on the Gospel of Matthew’s parable of Jesus taking care of “the least of us,” Gore thundered that the country has “a moral duty to pass health care reform. This year.”

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Liberation without Liberty

Steyn, as usual, is spot on in his take on how the West has managed to liberate ourselves sexually while at the same time reducing all other kinds of liberty:

At some point we will come to see that the developed world’s massive expansion of personal sexual liberty has provided a useful cover for the shrivelling of almost every other kind. Free speech, property rights, economic liberty and the right to self-defence are under continuous assault by Big Government. But who cares when Big Government lets you shag anything that moves and every city in North America hosts a grand parade to celebrate your right to do so? It’s an oddly reductive notion of individual liberty. The noisier grow the novelties of our ever more banal individualism, the more the overall societal aesthetic seems drearily homogenized—like closing time in a karaoke bar with the last sad drunks bellowing off the prompter “I did it My Way!”

Friday, August 28, 2009

Namecallers - Not the Fringe

Consolidated list of namecalling:

* Neanderthals (Rep. Maxine Waters)
* Brown Shirts (Rep. Brian Baird)
* Evil Mongers (Sen. Harry Reid)
* Racists.. here (Janeane Garafolo), here (Paul Krugman), here (Chris Matthews), here (The Nation Editorial Board), and many more. UPDATE (bumped): Congresswoman Diane Watson
* Un-American (Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer)
* Taliban (David Letterman)
* Nazis (Rep. Nancy Pelosi)
* Xenophobic (Peter Daou - Former Advisor to HRC)
* Terrorists (Steven Pearlstein - WaPo)
* KKKers (Rep. John Dingell)
* Fascists (Rep. Jerry Nadler)
* Mobs (Rep. Lloyd Doggett)

What you'll notice about the list above is that the people who have been cited as making these comments are not fringers. They are the political and cultural leaders of the the Left. More to come.

Never Saw This Until Today

On Ted Kennedy: Recommended Reading

As we bask in the glow of Ted Kennedy's legacy (brought to you by every East Coast-based organ of the mainstream media), let's look at the late Michael Kelly's long and brilliant piece, published in GQ nearly 20 years ago. A short excerpt:
A former mid-level Kennedy staffer, bitterly disillusioned, recalls with disgust one (now ex-) high-ranking aide as “a pimp…whose real position was to procure women for Kennedy.” The fellow did have a legitimate job, she says, but also openly bragged of his prowess at getting attractive and beddable dates for his boss. The former staffer also recalls attending a party at Kennedy’s McLean, Virginia, mansion and finding it “sleazy and weird” to see that senator had apparently established as his live-in girlfriend a young woman known to the staff as the T-Shirt Girl, a New Englander who had previously sold tees at a beach resort and who had reportedly met the senator through his son Teddy junior.

Find Humor in Failure (I Guess?)

Did you hear the new one about Chappaquiddick?


The Holder Justice Department

Tracking the brewing scandals:

More to come

Twitter Goes Funny

I don't know how real this is but it's really funny (and chock full of 4-letter words)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leni Riefenstahl, Call Your Office

Apparently, our dear leader has decided to put pressure on artists through kind but forceful words from the National Endowment for the Arts; he wants them to be more proactive in their support for the healthcare and cap-and-trade programs.

From Patrick Courrielche over at Big Hollywood/Breitbart:

We were encouraged to bring the same sense of enthusiasm to these “focus areas” as we had brought to Obama’s presidential campaign, and we were encouraged to create art and art initiatives that brought awareness to these issues. Throughout the conversation, we were reminded of our ability as artists and art professionals to “shape the lives” of those around us. The now famous Obama “Hope” poster, created by artist Shepard Fairey and promoted by many of those on the phone call, and’s “Yes We Can” song and music video were presented as shining examples of our group’s clear role in the election.

Obama has a strong arts agenda, we were told, and has been very supportive of both using and supporting the arts in creative ways to talk about the issues facing the country. We were “selected for a reason,” they told us. We had played a key role in the election and now Obama was putting out the call of service to help create change. We knew “how to make a stink,” and were encouraged to do so.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Danny Tarkanian for Senate

I donated $10 to Danny Tarkanian, have you?

Danny Tarkanian for Senate

If Harry Reid thinks he may lose his precious grasp on power, he will not bring ObamaCare to the floor.

Byrd: Rename Bill for Ted

From Politico:

Ailing Senator Robert Byrd, one of only two to have served longer than Kennedy, suggests in an emotional statement renaming the pending health care legislation for the late Massachusetts Senator.

This may sound snarky, because it is, but let's hope that the "Ted Kennedy Healthcare Bill" ends up as dead as he is today.

Nordlinger: Impromptus

Impromptus is a never miss column from Jay Nordlinger of NRO. He makes a very good point in his opening today about predictions of doom from the Left:

And what about the secretary-general of the United Nations? In a recent speech, he said, “We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.” (If you’re interested in the full speech, go here.)

Here is my question: How do the global-warming people expect to be taken seriously when they talk that way? How? Who can take them seriously? I know they want to rev people up, and don’t mind a little exaggeration. But how can they go as far as they do without losing all credibility — indeed, without appearing less than sane?

They can say whatever they want because they're never called on the carpet for their misstatements. The Left never pays a price for being wrong. Look at all of the ills of the 20th century that can be laid at the feet of the Left. How many movies has George Clooney done about the forced famines in the Soviet Union and in China? None. Too many movies to do about neo-cons, McCarthyism and evil corporations that commit mass murder.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brilliantly Pithy Comment of the Day

From Fouad Ajami:
It is odd that American liberalism, in a veritable state of insurrection during the Bush presidency, now seeks political quiescence.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bill Whittle Is Putting Out Some Solid Work

He just keeps producing these fantastic shortish videos (<15 min) which use history to help us understand current events. Really compelling stuff.

This one is about Kenneth Gladney and the MSNBC fake-racism story - Whittle digs into the creation of critical theory at the Frankfurt School.

Cognitive Dissonance

Andrew Sullivan's shaved head must be spinning about this one but that's what happens when you give government the power to demand that people do individually what is healthiest for the collective.

Sullivan has historically been very against circumcision. What will he say when his the CDC under the direction of his beloved Obama makes such a statement?

Misleading Headline of the Day

Last week it was - "Tom Ridge Pressured to Raise Terror Alerts" - instead of the more accurate "Tom Ridge Felt Unspoken Pressure to Raise Terror Alerts".

This week it's - "Report: CIA threatened detainee families" - instead of the more accurate "Report: CIA issued fake threats to detainees". Total non-story.

Add Veterans to the List

Of those voters who may not entirely be in love with the Obama administration. Apparently, Obama's Veterans Administration mistakenly told 1,200 vets they had fatal diseases.

This shouldn't really be blamed on Obama because it's a failure of the bureaucracy. These type of screw-ups happen all of the time in government. But, as long as we have a President who wants to expand that government and who was swept into power through his willingness to dump on his predecessor, I will continue to point the finger at him.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jonah Goldberg on the VA's Death Book

Specifically on the appearance by Iraqi war veteran and Assistant Secretary of the VA, Tammy Duckworth:

The administration sent her out to defend the book and to push back against Jim
Towey, who first raised the issue. While she admirably held her own, her talking points were often very, very lame (she kept insinuating that Towey's bitter his $5 book isn't free of charge to vets).
As I watched the piece this morning, I was thinking the same thing that Jonah was probably thinking - rather than send the Secretary of the Veteran's Administration out to defend what looks like a pretty poor choice, they picked out a disabled Assistant Secretary, thinking her combat injuries would shield her and them from real criticism. Thankfully, Chris Wallace is a real journalist and did not shy away from asking hard questions.

Video of the Day: Handshake Drugs (Live)

A Ghost is Born has really grown on me over the years - I can listen to the album end-to-end as a piece which is rare for any album. It and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are on my top 10 list of albums from 2000+ both poignant and richly layered evocations of an era and a point in life.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Take on the Whole Foods Boycott

So many on the Left have screamed back at protestors that they just want to have a reasonable debate and that the protestors and Republicans have no plan. John Mackey the co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods - the Left's favorite high-end grocery store - wrote an eminently reasonable op-ed in the WSJ challenging ObamaCare and laying out a list of perfectly sensible alternatives to the amorphous plan being floated for the transformation of healthcare. None of Mackey's suggestions involve any sort of bizarre right-wing thuggery or whatever else the Left tends to believe the Right, libertarian or otherwise, supports with fervor. So, in response to the argument (those still tend to have more than one side right?), the Left has decided that they cannot tolerate disagreenment with his Highness, and has launched a boycott of the food retailer.

Never let it be said that they are a tolerant bunch.

No I Did Not [call you a brownshirt], But I Apologize For It

A Marine lets a Democratic Congressman have a large piece of his mind:

Here's what Baird actually said:

Baird made headlines last week by comparing town hall protesters to Nazi guards.

"What we're seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics," Baird told the Columbian. "I mean that very seriously."

Steyn on Spending

Steyn on spending:
Of course, the president retains his formidable political skills, artfully distracting attention from his stimulus debacle with his health-care debacle. But there are diminishing returns to his serial thousand-page trillion-dollar boondoggles. They may be too long for your representatives to bother reading before passing into law, but, whatever the intricacies of Section 417(a) xii on page 938, people are beginning to spot what all this stuff has in common: He’s spending your future. And by “future” I don’t mean 2070, 2060, 2040, but the day after tomorrow. Democrats can talk about only raising taxes on “the rich,” but more and more Americans are beginning to figure out what percentage of them will wind up in “the richest 5 percent” before this binge is over. According to Gallup, nearly 70 percent of Americans now expect higher taxes under Obama.

Don't Miss This

Evan Coyne Maloney posts a brilliant takedown of the Left, the Democrats and the Media (distinction without difference anyone?) about how ambivalent they were back when the President being compared to a Nazi wasn't their precious. Precious....

Cash for Clunkers Ends

In thinking about what will finally come out about Cash for Clunkers once the chapter is completed on this miserable idea, here is a list of the possible things that will come to light:
  • Originally budgeted for $1B with a $2B added at the beginning of August to take the program through November, I suspect the program active only through 8/24 will end up costing more than $3B

  • The $3B was supposed to be all payout money to stimulate the sale and reclamation of automobiles. I suspect we will find out that some large portion of that money or of additional funds will have been used for the administration of the program. What that final figure is will be shockingly high for the return.

  • Sales of automobiles under this program will not be all that stellar and will not justify the expenditure. See July auto sales.

  • We will find that customers either held purchases in the 90 days before or expedited purchases from what would have been the period after the promotion thereby making those periods a time of weak sales.
  • Automobile dealers and manufacturers will end up in the red for advertising creation, production and distribution of promotional material for the program which ended early and was rife with problems.
  • Automobile dealers and manufacturers will end up in the red due to late or missed payments from the government for vehicles sold. The government is already missing payments to these parties which means that working capital is sitting on the sidelines. In addition, these parties may also be paying interest on short-term loans they may not have taken if not for the gap between sale and payment.
  • There will be fraud on the dealer side as well - applications to the government will be made for transactions that never took place. This will happen for a couple of reasons - 1) corruption always happens especially when dealing with the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy and 2) the system appears to be so broken that thieves will rush in sensing an advantage.
  • There will also be fraud in the handling of "junked" cars - some number of the cars that were destroyed will make it back on the road. Some will work the system when they sense that the government cannot enforce and when the prospect of $5,000 or more to resell "junked" cars looms out there.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Noonan on Healthcare

Peggy Noonan reads the tea leaves on ObamaCare and states the following:

Looking back, this must have been the White House health-care strategy:

Health care as a subject is extraordinarily sticky, messy and confusing. It's inherently complicated, and it's personal. There are land mines all over the place. Don't make the mistake the Clintons made and create a plan that gets picked apart, shot down, and injures the standing of the president. Instead, push it off on Congress. Let them come up with a dozen plans. It will keep them busy. It will convince them yet again of their importance and autonomy. It will allow them to vent, and perhaps even exhaust, their animal spirits. Various items and elements within each bill will get picked off by the public. Fine, that's to be expected. The bills may in fact yield a target-rich environment. Fine again. Maybe health care's foes will get lost in the din and run out of ammo. Maybe they'll exhaust their animal spirits, too.

Summer will pass, the fight confined to the public versus Congress. And at the end, in the fall, the beauty part: The president swoops in and saves the day, forcing together an ultimate and more moderate plan that doesn't contain the more controversial elements but does constitute a successful first step toward universal health care.

That's not what happened.

All in all, a great column but I think Ms. Noonan is off a bit on timing. Obama did not expect this legislative push to last through summer. He expected that, as with everything else he's managed to push through, this one would sail through as well. Has he had a legislative defeat other than cap-and-trade? Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, didn't have enough legislative experience to know what the limits were and what they were not. He never gained consensus on a bill to get it through. He never had a major legislative achievement as a Senator. He honestly believed he could push through anything he wanted to with a filibuster proof majority because he has the self-confidence of a Navy SEAL without any of the civilian-version experience.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

MSNBC: A Source You Can't Trust

At a rally for 2nd amendment rights in Arizona, a black man showed up with a semi-automatic rifle. Much has been made of this and, of course, MSNBC decided to take this as evidence of the fact that the protestors are racist. Unfortunately, as I said, he's black. So what did they do? They edited the video so it didn't show his skin color. Ridiculous...

MSNBC has tacitly declared itself the voice of the Obama administration and will do all it can to support him - just as Chris Matthews said.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Video of the Day: Such Great Heights

A 7 year old single from The Postal Service that seems as fresh today as it was then:

Follow Rachel Brown

She was the one confronted by Barney Frank yesterday for holding an Obama as Hitler sign. This article names her.

Doing a quick search on her name and LaRouche yields the following: As a guest on the LaRouche show as "LaRouche Youth movement activist, Rachel Brown"


How Many Portland Youth Are Going to Join the LYM? (LaRouche Youth Movement)
LaRouche's Youth Movement, because we have the guts to fight on principle, and test our own ideas of "truth," are always a catalytic force. It's actually impossible if you're doing these things not to be. Here again, we represented the principle of the general welfare to those that were looking, and capitalized on a ripe situation to win Oregon for Kerry, by 52% to Bush's 46%, and to get Democrats in, for the Senate race, and in four out of five House races.
Evidently she also thought Dick Cheney was Hitleresque as well:

Brown: Okay, my question is what you brought up recently in your interview with Stockwell, about this deep hatred of Dick Cheney, in the leadership of this country. That's a pretty interesting characteristic that you brought up, sort of an added principle, to the political situation. But, I was thinking of this, in context of what occurred around Hitler. That, yes, of course, there was opposition to him, but there wasn't anything done. And there was an attempt at assassination, but it was unsuccessful. So, that probably threw people into even more fear. So, they
weren't able to actually organize in a correct manner.

So, bringing in, what you've brought about this idea in your paper on the "Pericles syndrome," about the individual in society, and that the individual only locates their identity in this dynamic relationship to the entire historical process, of society and humanity as a whole. So, looking at this identity, and how do we get this identity into the leadership now; and also not use it just to get Cheney out, but also to carry through the needed, vital steps that need to be taken now, to reorganize the economic system.

Update II:

An article (in French) about the LaRouche Youth Movement with a picture of Rachel Brown juxtaposed against the picture of her from the Barney Frank conference:

Note: I think she was supposed to be imitating Nancy Pelosi in the pic on the right.

Love It

A new take on the Obama logo:

Josh Marshall on Political Violence

Josh Marshall:
The right -- the modern American right -- has a very troubled history with political violence. The ideological pattern is clear going back at least thirty years and arguably far longer. A simple review of the 1990s, particularly 1993, 1994, culminating in many respects in the tragic 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal building in April 1995 tells the tale. Mix in the militias, the thankfully inept attempt on President Clinton's life a few months before Oklahoma City (see Francisco Duran) and it's all really not a pretty picture.

Wait, what? Yes, the OK City bombing was a horrific and awful event which arose from a virulent strain of libertarianism. To argue that came from the "modern American right" is like blaming the "modern American left" for the violent actions of hundreds of left-wingers. He's attempting to blur the lines between mainstream Conservatism and a bunch of crazies.

And then he throws in Francisco Duran, who fired at the White House. Duran claimed he was incited to violence by listening to an ultra-conservative named Chuck Baker (so popular you've never heard of him). He also claimed he "was trying to save the world by destroying an alien "mist", connected by an umbilical cord to an alien in the Colorado mountains". He sounds like a regular ole Republican Senator doesn't he?

Let's think about left-wingers who committed violence. I'm having a hard time finding any. Hey, how about about that guy in Dallas with the gun?

Goldberg on ObamaCare

Jonah on why ObamaCare is failing:

Imagine if George W. Bush, in his effort to partially privatize Social Security, had insisted that the “time for talking is over.” Picture, if you will, the Bush White House asking Americans to turn in their e-mails in the pursuit of “fishy” dissent. Conjure a scenario under which then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott derided critics as “evil-mongers” the way Harry Reid recently described town-hall protesters. Or if then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert and then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay had called critics “un-American” the way Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer did last week, or if White House strategist Karl Rove had been Sir Spam-a-lot instead of David Axelrod.

Now, I’m not asking you, dear reader, to do this so that you might be able to see through the glare of Obama’s halo or the outlines of the media’s staggering double standard when it comes to covering this White House. Rather, it is to grasp that the Obama administration has been astoundingly incompetent.

Lashing out at the town-hall protesters, playing the race card, whining about angry white men, and whispering ominously about right-wing militias is almost always a sign of liberalism’s weakness — a failure of the imagination.

Jonah believes the debate will turn into a series of recriminations against the "angry white men" who destroyed the dream. In the end, I too think that will be the narrative. Obama, Pelosi and Reid are setting their Blue Dogs up to vote against this thing so that they can pin the blame on "right-wing Democrats" when it fails. Just as European Communists once called European Socialists "right-wingers", so too will the far Left call the left-of-center.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

HRC Watch 2012: Part 1029

The buzz continues to build as it becomes evident that Ms. Clinton has become marginalized and is, thefore, getting very frustrated about it. Mark Krikorian, in The Corner today comments on it.

Richard Cohen Accuses Palin

Of using overwrought and highly political language. He makes his point about the use of hysterical rhetoric by calling her the next Joe McCarthy. If people like Cohen didn't exist, you would have to make them up.
As with McCarthyism, Palinism is a product of its times. McCarthy exploited the public's fear of communism and communists. Not only were they abroad, but they were here in America -- spies, fellow travelers, pinkos, apologists, intellectuals and short, bespectacled minorities. It was their very ubiquity and invisibility that made them so dangerous. Health care reform provides Palin with the same opportunity.

Obama Loses Another Voting Bloc

So, let's see - he's angered the elderly, doctors, police officers and now postal workers. Brilliant. Keep going. If the political makeup of these groups tracks to the political makeup of the country (45 Dems/45 Reps/10 Indies) and Obama manages to alienate some portion of the Indies and some portion of the Dems, that will not play well for him in 2010 or 2012.

Never Disliked Death Panel

Let me just state for the record that I never found anything offensive about the use of the phrase "death panel". The Left has embraced "framing" for years but has only recently given credence to the term through the work of a strident liberal professor from Berkeley by the name of George Lakoff. Lakoff has written for at least a decade about how Liberals must use language to win battles and that language can be used to manipulate public opinion. Well, what Sarah Palin did is no more than to use the same tactics against the Left and that's why they seethe.

Update: Steyn weighs in on a little controversy over at NRO with regard to the phrase and the concept:
And finally I don't think this is any time for NR to be joining the Frumsters and deploring the halfwit vulgarity of déclassé immoderates like Palin. This is a big-stakes battle: If we cross this bridge, there's no going back. Being "moderate" is not a good strategy. It risks delivering the nation to the usual reach-across-the-aisle compromise that will get Democrats far enough across the bridge that the Big Government ratchet effect will do the rest.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Girls in Bikinis Read from Star Wars

I'm Double-Checking My Answer

Unbelievable. Spector gives another stunning Town Hall performance with this one.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mad Men Is Back

What happens this season? My guess is an illegal abortion followed by a divorce. Unlikely? Who knows.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Steyn on Healthcare


If those who oppose Obamacare are merely a bunch of “un-American” “evil-mongers” (according to, respectively, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid), the cause would benefit from allowing the president to really sock it to a couple of them once in a while. To retreat behind a wall of overly drooling sycophants does not help Obama at this stage in the game.
They cannot argue it because Obama never submitted a carefully design, well thought out plan. This is because he's a legislative lightweight who's never had any real success in his life other than giving mediocre speeches in a mellifluous manner.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Jaw is On the Floor

An Oregon wanted more chemotherapy. The Oregon Health Plan said they wouldn't pay for chemotherapy but they'd pay for physician assisted suicide instead.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Video of the Day: Watching the Wheels

From Double Fantasy, John Lennon's home movie version of Watching the Wheels, his song about criticism of his departure from the public eye in the late 70s.

Palin on Panels

Sarah Palin vigorously defends herself against those who've gone nuts over her "death panel" reference:
President Obama can try to gloss over the effects of government authorized end-of-life consultations, but the views of one of his top health care advisors are clear enough. It’s all just more evidence that the Democratic legislative proposals will lead to health care rationing, and more evidence that the top-down plans of government bureaucrats will never result in real health care reform.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hillary Clinton Spews Nonsense Abroad

There are times I feel a bit of sympathy for Hillary Clinton. Very few times. The rest of the time she reverts to form and says nonsensical things. On foreign soil. About domestic matters.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared Nigeria's corruption and electoral problems with the 2000 Florida presidential election recount during a town hall meeting today in Abuja, Nigeria.

Answering a question about Nigeria's recent election, Clinton said, "In 2000, our presidential election came down to one state where the brother of the man running for President was the governor of the state. So we have our problems too."

What's the point here? She didn't need to stray into territory that's not relevant to Nigeria. George W Bush will forever serve as a punching for the Left. It must help them sleep at night knowing that he'll always be there for them. I expect that the George Clooneys of 2060 will be making movies about the darkest period of American history - 2001-2009.

Victor Davis Hanson on the Hypocrisy

VDH does a brilliant job cataloging all of the horrible things that were said of Bush and other conservatives by mainstream liberals and leftists from 2001-2009. Here's an excerpt:

Al Gore customarily used excessive language like "brown shirts." Senators Durbin, Kennedy, and others compared our soldiers to Saddamites, Pol Pot’s killers, and Nazis. Ward Churchill compared the victims in the Twin Tower to “little Eichmanns.” Sen. Robert Byrd likened Pres. George W. Bush’s policies to what transpired in Nazi Germany. Linda Ronstadt, Harold Pinter, Scott Ritter, Ted Rall, and George Soros agreed with Fidel Castro, the Iranians, and North Koreans in comparing Bush to Hitler.

Jonathan Chait wrote in the New Republic on why “I hate George W. Bush.” Garrison Keillor likened Bush’s Republicans to “brown shirts in pinstripes.” Even old hero Sen. John Glenn said of the Bush agenda: “It’s the old Hitler business.”

My first instinct is to believe that it doesn't matter because the mainstream media wouldn't call attention to the hypocrisy. Thankfully, we're beyond them now. The American people know what was said - they haven't forgotten because they get their news from the internet, talk radio and Fox News now. As much as Brian Williams and Katie Couric and others would like the average American to believe that the town halls are a once-in-a-lifetime event that's demonstrative of the worst of America, people know that far worse was done and said by people far more powerful and influential than anybody who may have shouted something unfortunate at an oblivious pol.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Waxman Markey

Pray it stays stalled in the Senate. Powerline does brilliant work dealing into the bill and using some of Heritage's analysis as a foundation. Here's a scary graph.

McArdle on Rationing

Just brilliant:
If you design a formula to deny granny a pacemaker, knowing that this is the intent of the formula, then you've killed granny just as surely as if you'd ordered the doctor to do it directly.

McArdle makes a point to explicitly walk away from the socialist label which, of course, is her perogative. This leads me to wonder though: Learned liberals may not think that they believe in the ideals of socialism because they were not raised in an academic tradition that told them - this is Socialism, this is why it's good, this is why you should embrace the label. Despite this, they have learned and internalized the concepts of "economic and social justice" which are the foundations of 21st century Socialism. What is the difference between their vision and the Socialist one?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Video of the Day: Waiting for the Sun

From 1992's Hollywood Town Hall by country rock Minnesota folk heroes, The Jayhawks

Be Civil But Do Not Back Down

There's no reason to engage in hysteria in order to get the point across. What the Democrats have and are attempting to ram through Congress is scary enough without resorting to nonsensical arguments. State the facts, repeat. Do that as many times as it takes and we will prevail. They are blatantly lying and using the most incendiary language they can find in an attempt to intimidate free citizens of America. Do not be intimidated.

Andrew Breitbart puts it this way:
CNN's Anderson Cooper and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow led the charge, declaring concerned Americans "tea baggers," an allusion to an absurd sexual fetish beneath describing in a family newspaper. This attack on hundreds of thousands of people practicing their constitutional right to protest speaks volumes not just about the hardened sociopolitical leanings of America's journalistic elite, but about the brazenness with which they are now wielding their unprofessionalism.

Un-American Protestors

Zombietime has it covered (some of it NSFW)

Never Again Let It Be Said

That the Right calls the Left unpatriotic...

As many others, smarter and more erudite than myself, have said, Democrats are truly shaken by the grassroots effort of Tea Party protestors, Townies and others. What does this editorial say about the Democrats?
These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.
I have to believe that the American people will not stand for this. Now, Pelosi's seat is safe in 2010 because she consistently gets 70% of the vote in her gerrymandered district. Steny Hoyer has a similiarly strong grip on his seat getting 74% of the vote in 2008.

So, coming out and directly calling protesters un-American will not damage the chances that Hoyer and Pelosi will return to their cushy positions in 2010 but it may put many other members of their Democratic caucus in trouble.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Linda Douglass is a Talentless Hack

Jonah Goldberg rips apart Linda Douglass' nonsensical non-defense of Obama against "attacks" that, according to her, are just strung-together, out-of-context clips. Whatever. How disingenuous.

Then Howard Kurtz goes on to confront her and address her shoddy argument. What a hack.

Video of the Day: Mistaken for Strangers

A fantastic song from an excellent album, The National's 2007, "Boxer"

Grade Your Own Writing

A pretty cool little site

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Steyn on the Brooks Brother Riots

All of it should be read, but I liked this key part:

Decrying the snarling, angry protesters, liberal talk-show host Bill Press (no relation to the Corby Trouser Press) says that “Americans want serious discussion” on health care. If only we’d stuck to the president’s August timetable and passed a gazillion-page health-care reform entirely unread by the House of Representatives or the Senate (the world’s greatest deliberative body) in nothing flat, we’d now have all the time in the world to sit around having a “serious discussion” and “real debate” on whatever it was we just did to one-sixth of the economy.

But a sick, deranged, un-American mob has put an end to all that moderate and reasonable steamrollering by showing up and yelling insane, out-of-control questions like, “Awfully sorry to bother you, your Most Excellent Senatorial Eminence, but I was wondering if you could tell me why you don’t read any of the laws you make before you make them into law?”

Not a Friend of Israel

Jennifer Rubin, the brilliant blogger at Commentary highlights Ed Koch's appraisal of the Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson - not a friend of Israel and draws a conclusion.

Koch: Not until she by some actions and deeds, not simply words, convinces supporters of Israel of her good will towards Israel will she be seen as other than anti-Semitic. President Barack Obama, like every other person, makes mistakes. Awarding Mary Robinson the Medal of Freedom is one of his worst mistakes to date.

Jennifer Rubin: The question remains for Obama: How to correct the error? Pretending that Robinson is something other than she is—an anti-Israel activist—is fooling no one. It merely convinces those who care about Israel that Obama does not.

Palin's Death Panel Comment

The Left is in hysterics about Sarah Palin's latest broadside against ObamaCare -
"And who will suffer the most when they ration care?" The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

Now, although I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for her, Sarah Palin is not my favorite Republican. I don't think she has what it takes to be the POTUS and I don't think she's the second coming of Margaret Thatcher. All that said, I love what she does to the Left in that she send them into fits whenever she speaks, winks or thinks about either.

Video of the Day: Rise Up With Fists

A little Jenny Lewis for you, from her critically acclaimed album Rabbit Fur Coat, with a send-up of Hee Haw...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Watch for Scandals

The Obama administration seems really off its game - Congress missed the August recess deadline that Obama set for ObamaCare legislation, Cap-and-Trade is likely stalled, Cash-for-Clunkers "succeeded" so spectacularly it ran out of money 3 months early and, of course, the summer of '09 is turning into a scorcher at the congressional town hall box office.

Every administration has its scandals - W's had attorney firings, leaks to Bob Woodward and the 16 words among others; Clinton had Whitewater, the Rose Law Firm billing records, Chinese campaign donations and what's-her-name; Bush Sr was involved at the periphery of Iran-Contra (a Reagan scandal) and was forced to fire administration appointees who searched through Clinton's passport files. And on and on.

The Obama administration has already had scandals but none of them are big enough (yet) to sink his presidency. If one happens to occur, remember this week. Administrations are big unruly things to control with lots of underlings doing lots of things to make sure the presidency is successful. It's possible that, ruffled by the current downturn in his popularity, Obama or one of those underlings does something incredibly stupid that turns into a scandal. 2 1/2 years from now, I predict we will all be discussing an Obama scandal and we will hear details about things happening at this very moment that worked out very badly for the administration.

Hate Attack

by members of SEIU

Durbin on Republicans

Dick Durbin's statement on the Senate floor is ridiculous to the extreme and does nothing but fan the flames of ethnic angst:

Judge Sotomayor should not be chosen to serve on the court because of her Hispanic heritage, but those who oppose her for fear of her unique life experience do no justice to her or our nation. Their names will be listed in our nation's annals of elected officials one step behind America's historic march forward"

Read: Republicans who refused to vote for Sotomayor are racists. Disgusting.

I Am Concerned

When Democrats marched in the streets from 2001-2009, the media treated it in a very different way than they're treating the current flareup. There was no hand-wringing about the Democratic party acting in an uncivil manner. If anything it was either treated as 1) not demonstrative of the broader Democratic party or 2) a legitimate form of expression of dissatisfaction with Bush.

Today, we have the media and the DNC treating the outpouring of anger and emotion as some form of radicalism. We have Speaker Pelosi suggesting that those attending town halls and Tea Party rallies are carrying swatsikas with them as if they're modern day Nazis. We have Deputy Chief of Staff suggesting, "if you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard" which is very dangerous rhetoric. We have the media covering these incidents as if participants are outside the mainstream.

I agree that Birthers come across as delusional and do nothing positive for the fight against Obama's radical policies. I've said that before. But by focusing on the Birthers and not on the anger of the other libertarians, conservatives and independent moderates the media is doing no service to the cause of bipartisanship. They are only stoking the fire. I am concerned that this could all turn into a violent conflagration.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

5 Marines Lost

There was a time in this country when this would have made the headlines but things have changed. Regardless, let's remember their families and give thanks that we still have brave men and women willing to fight for this country. We have lost 11 brave Americans in 6 days:
The pace of American combat deaths in Afghanistan has quickened anew as roadside bombs killed five U.S. troops in 24 hours in the same western province, the American military said Thursday. The deaths bring to 11 the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan so far in August, on the heels of what was the worst month for Western and U.S. troop fatalities since the conflict began in 2001. Forty-three American military personnel died in July.

VDH: Prarie Fire Anger

Professor Hanson has been on fire in the last few Corner posts and today in his latest piece on his own site:

There is a growing sense of a “we’ve been had”, bait-and-switch. Millions of moderate Republicans, independents, and conservative Democrats—apparently angry at Bush for Iraq and big deficits, unimpressed by the McCain campaign, intrigued by the revolutionary idea of electing an African-American president—voted for Obama on the assumption that he was sincere about ending red state/blue state animosity. They took him at his word that he was going to end out of control federal spending. They trusted that he had real plans to get us out of the economic doldrums, and that he was not a radical tax-and-spend liberal of the old sort.

Instead, within days Obama set out plans that would triple the annual deficit, and intends to borrow at a record pace that will double the aggregate debt in just eight years.

I don't know how anyone who paid attention could have believed anything else but then again, that's why what they hoped.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quote of the Day: H.L. Mencken

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

He's looking at you Al Gore.

Creating Bubbles

As Paul Krugman, the Nobel winning economist said in 2002:

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

Well from housing bubble to auto bubble... the "Cash-for-Clunkers" program will do just what Krugman prescribed for the housing market back in 2002. By injecting government cash (my money) directly into buying-based incentives, the government sent a signal to car buyers: during a certain period we will be giving you money to buy a car. So what did customers do? They timed their purchases more effectively. Some waited until the incentive period to make their next car purchase and some moved up their car purchase to an earlier point than they would have naturally purchased their vehicle. In so doing, the government has created a bubble. When this incentive period is over (if the extension passes), there will be a return to lower-than-baseline automobile purchasing rates because the artificial bubble could not support itself.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Video of the Day: Witchy Woman

A few things about this video:

  • You can hear the tension between Bernie Leadon and Glenn Frey at the beginning of the clip - "this is a song we used to hear a lot on the radio last summer, right around Halloween", "Halloween, that ain't the summer". Uh, who the f cares? Glen Frey comes across as a real dick and many others have said the same
  • Don Felder wrote in his tell-all that Don Henley never played on the beat, he played just behind it. I've heard their songs 100s of times and never picked up on it. You can definitely hear it here.
  • Finally, man they were high. And good.
  • Why do I bother to read the comments on YouTube. Good god, 16 year olds certainly are sanctimonious aren't they?

Again on the Obama-as-Joker Poster

A couple of points need to be made:
  • I do not believe it's a positive contribution to the dialogue of this country to use ad hominem attacks against our elected leaders - attack the argument, not the man
  • Unfortunately, many on both sides have taken to this line of attack rather than to one more substantive. So, don't expect people to sympathize with you because you're offended if your side engaged in similar and even more egregious attacks on his predecessor
  • Any argument against Obama can be called "racist"; every time someone uses that word it becomes less and less powerful. I suggest you save it for times when the argument is actually "racist".

Don't Discredit the Argument

Discredit the source. Linda Douglass, formerly an ABC News correspondent and now a White House official, says the following about the Breitbart/Drudge tagteam on Obama's past statements:

“So what happens is that because he’s talking to the American people so much, there are people out there with a computer and a lot of free time, and they take a phrase here and there — they simply cherry-pick and put it together, and make it sound like he’s saying something that he didn’t really say.”

Monday, August 3, 2009

Earl Ofari Hutchinson Demands

That the artist makes himself known (via the Corner). Sure they made comparisons of Bush to Hitler, the Joker, a chimp, bin Laden, the Star Wars Emperor, Nero, etc. etc.

Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson is calling the depiction [of Obama as the Joker], politically mean spirited and dangerous.

Hutchinson is challenging the group or individual that put up the poster to have the courage and decency to publicly identify themselves."Depicting the president as demonic and a socialist goes beyond political spoofery," says Hutchinson, "it is mean-spirited and dangerous."

"We have issued a public challenge to the person or group that put up the poster to come forth and publicly tell why they have used this offensive depiction to ridicule President Obama."

Make a comparison of Obama to the Joker (arguably the least offensive from the list above) and Earl Ofari Hutchinson publicly demands that the offender out himself - and, of course, face the scorn of the Left. Does anyone think they wouldn't rip this person apart? Look at what they've done to others who crossed their path, either from the Left or the Right.

Through the Blog

Congratulations to Althouse and her commenter Meade who tied the knot today on a hilltop in Colorado. It's nice that two people could find happiness in this crazy, mixed-up world.

Best wishes!

Now, if the media had done its job

they would have uncovered this...

Just like they would have uncovered the other clips that show Obama speaking truth rather than campaign rhetoric.

Holy Winston Smith

Via Mark Steyn @ the Corner - From Britain's Daily Express:

The Children’s Secretary set out £400 million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Good Reminder

David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner wrote a piece to remind us all that the Democrats were just as unwilling to believe the worst about their President prior to 2009 as the Republicans are today.

Twenty-eight percent of Republicans believe President Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States, and 30 percent are "not sure," according to this poll.

But before liberals begin to smirk, here's a poll from 2007, in which 35 percent of Democrats said that President Bush knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks, and 26 percent were not sure.

Although many on the Left are happily running around trumpeting statistics that show many Republicans are being taken in by birtherism, many on the Left were more than willing to believe that Bush and his administration were behind the attacks of 9/11.

Now, I don't believe that Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii and it's highly improbable that Obama was not a naturally born citizen of the US. That said, there is something on the birth certificate that he doesn't want disclosed which only serves to feed those who believe in birtherism. Obama could have authorized its release but has decided against it for now. Yes birtherism is silly and will likely do nothing but harm to a cause that needs to focus more on repelling Obama's leftist legislative assault than on trying to prove an infant Obama was being shuttled across the globe.

Update: Realized I didn't finish my thought! Yes, it's silly but Obama could put all of this to rest by releasing the long-form birth certificate. Bush, on the other hand, couldn't prove that he didn't attach C4 the load bearing columns of WTC buildings 1-7.

Backyard Monster

Taken the other day with a Sony H5:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Steyn: It's Still Not Obama's Fault

Steyn takes a fiskian axe to Jacob Weisberg of Slate who claims that Obama's horrible missteps are still Bush's fault:

Weisberg: Most alarmingly, given all that his predecessor did to discredit them, Obama has failed to stand up for the broader ideas of democracy promotion and
humanitarian intervention. Surely if not for Bush, Obama's instinct after the Iranian lection would have been to identify with those risking their lives to free their country, not to get back to his attempt at dialogue with Ahmadinejad.

Steyn: So Bush is to blame for Obama kissing up to the mullahs? Brilliant! Who knew such a sober foreign-policy "realist" surrounded by the brightest minds of his generation could be so easily unhinged?

Video of the Day: Into the Mystic

I couldn't find a solid version of Van Morrison doing his classic, "Into the Mystic" so we'll have to settle for another pretty solid version from another (half)Hibernian band, The Swell Season:

Cash for Clunkers - Recipe for Fraud

The objective of cash for clunkers, as I understand it, is two-fold - provide a stimulus to the auto manufacturer and dealer industries AND take un-green (?) cars off the road. The rules are complex and vary by type of vehicle but here's one example - consumer brings in car that gets 18MPG and buys car that gets 22MPG. That would get the consumer a $3500 allowance towards the 22MPG car. The dealer is then required to destroy the engine of the car and then can send the car to the scrap yard.

I'm sure we have all known an unethical car dealer, mechanic or auto body repair shop owner in our time. There would be no hesitation on their part to commit fraud in some way through this program. If the government cannot even get the system up and running in time for the program to go live, do you think they're going to be able to check to see if fraud is being commited? Of course not. This program will result in a massive amount of fraud as cars are traded in, driven out the back door and put back on the road for additional money OR they are retraded in.