Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Late breaking news: Iowahawk is still a genius.
Chin up, Vikings fans: if you get tired of waiting for Favre, there's always an alternative.
I'm leaving town today to spend some time with my son up at Boy Scout camp in bear- and tick-infested northwestern Wisconsin. Back on Thursday.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Confessin' the Blues, Chuck Berry
Spanish Rose, Van Morrison
Gimme Shelter, Rolling Stones
You Make Loving Fun, Fleetwood Mac
The Road's My Middle Name, Bonnie Raitt
Age of Consent, New Order
Burning With Optimism's Flames, XTC
Nobody's Sweetheart, Chet Atkins
On a Plain, Nirvana
Selfless, Cold and Composed, Ben Folds Five
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Then again, there's new evidence that human activity doesn't, either:
Because El Niño−Southern Oscillation is known to exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with tropical temperature anomalies between 20°S and 20°N. The results showed that SOI accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics. Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation.
So if this research is correct, do we need cap and trade and other draconian measures that are being
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The statistics are sobering: the cost of American health care is rising almost as fast as the cold, briny water bubbling up from our floorboards. So far we have already lost the 8-track player and several Vic Damone tapes, and if allowed to continue these trends threaten to engulf all of us within the Oldsmobile. We must quickly wake up and face the facts: inaction is no longer an option. That is why it is critical for the future of all the occupants that one of us swim off and get us some kind of free health care program.
As always, read the whole thing.
Friday, July 24, 2009
"This has been ratcheting up, and I obviously helped to contribute ratcheting it up," Obama said of the racial controversy. "I want to make clear that in my choice of words, I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department and Sgt. Crowley specifically. And I could've calibrated those words differently."
Before seeking the presidency, Obama's experience in government was hardly impressive. He was never an important legislator at any level. His well established history of voting "present" in the Illinois legislature seems to be the best characterization of a legislative career that one could charitably call "undistinguished." His private sector experience was even worse. Unless you count his years spent as a "community organizer," which should more accurately be seen as his first step on the rung of the famously corrupt Chicago political machine, his experience amounts to a brief and unremarkable stint teaching constitutional law after serving as an editor of the Harvard Review (despite which he curiously never had a single article of his own published).
His list of accomplishments across all levels of endeavor reads rather impressively... if he were applying for admission to a liberal arts college. It's fantastically inadequate as a background for the leader of the free world.
Better? Worse? Meh? Lemme know.
Obama gave us another enemy on Wednesday night -- doctors themselves, especially those evil tonsil-taking doctors. And the proprietor of the blog Rightwing Czar noticed:
Hasn’t Obama been telling us this whole time that it is the big bad insurance companies that are causing the problems in health care? Aren’t they the ones that are making record profits and tying the hands of doctors in giving good patient care?
That's what I thought, too. Which is why the president's bizarre rant about tonsils was so revealing. Back to you, RW Czar:
But the President might have accidently revealed his hand last night when he started talking about doctors trying to make money. He is clearly saying that he does not want doctors making decisions about patient care because they are only interested in profit. If Obama believes that doctors can’t be trusted to make good decisions about what a patient really needs, then why should we believe him when he says he wants to make sure that it is doctors who make those decisions?
An excellent question. One would hope that we get an answer to that question in the coming days. That's not the way to bet, though.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I did see a 3-minute clip of him here. In it, he says three really risible things:
1) Removing the profit motive will lead to better results
2) Doctors are deciding to remove tonsils because of fee schedules instead of prescribing medication
3) What he is proposing is what the Mayo Clinic is doing.
I assume that anyone who hasn't spent most of their adult life on a university campus can understand why the first point is risible. The second is silly; a tonsillectomy used to be a very common event but these days very few are performed, precisely because doctors are using increasing effective medications to handle most similar issues, all without Obama's interference. The last is silly because the Mayo Clinic has already come out against the Obama plan, to the extent that it (or anyone else, including Obama) can understand what's actually in it.
Go ahead watch the clip on the attached link and see if (a) I misrepresented what he said or (b) if I missed anything else.
Update: the Associated Press takes stock of a few of our President's assertions. My favorite:
OBAMA: "You haven't seen me out there blaming the Republicans."You'd like to think that he'd realize that he's no longer a backbencher and that people pay great attention to the things he says. I'm not sure he does. And again, I remind you of Professor Althouse's quite sensible point:
THE FACTS: Obama did so in his opening statement, saying, "I've heard that one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, it's better politics to 'go for the kill.' Another Republican senator said that defeating health reform is about 'breaking' me."
The Democrats have dumped a drastic, complicated health care bill on us and they are ramming it through before we can even figure it out. That's what matters, not the fact that the party out of power is squawking about it.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Hmm. When was the last time a President's campaign-style attempt to sell a policy has actually succeeded in selling the policy? I can't remember it. I can remember lots of flops (e.g.,Bush on Social Security). Traditional trips to non-Beltway places like Cleveland get heavily filtered by the media, for example. Prime time news conferences don't get huge ratings, right?. The only thing I can think of that might have a momentum-changing effect is a roadblocked prime-time presidential address.
He's trying the news conference tonight -- the roadblocked (meaning on all channels) prime-time presidential address is probably coming in August.
There are a lot of problems with the reforms that Obama posits, but one the most problematic is the notion that we will save money somehow. Unfortunately, as Paul Howard points out in City Journal, the most effective cost-savings mechanism isn't going to be too popular:
Thus, when the head of the Congressional Budget Office (Congress’s fiscal watchdog) testified last Friday that none of the bills under consideration in the House or Senate would rein in spending—and that all would likely increase it—the president’s reform push took a heavy hit. The CBO’s assessment underscored an important reality about health care. Lowering health-care costs (which have been rising faster than inflation for decades, except for a brief period in the 1990s) while improving quality is possible, but it’s awfully hard, for one simple reason: when it comes to health-care spending, death is the only really cheap option.
Howard's piece is very good: read the whole thing.
It may be a cheap shot, but I worry that if Obama's health care proposal goes forward, we may be faced with a healthcare regime that in effect says this: dying for your country isn't just for soldiers anymore.
UPDATE: our favorite University of Wisconsin law professor makes a crucial point:
The Democrats have dumped a drastic, complicated health care bill on us and they are ramming it through before we can even figure it out. That's what matters, not the fact that the party out of power is squawking about it.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, Bryan Ferry
I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better, the Byrds
Rat in the Kitchen, UB40
Throw It Away, Joe Jackson
Young Man Blues, the Who
Sunset Grill, Don Henley
Hey Jude, the Beatles
Walking in Your Footsteps, the Police
Da Da Da, Trio
Whistling in the Dark, They Might Be Giants
The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.My faith in the power of Hope and Change is unshaken. Nothing to see here. These are not the budget numbers you are looking for.
The release of the update — usually scheduled for mid-July — has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town Aug. 7 on its summer recess.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I was disappointed to see that President Obama immediately backed the wrong horse, supporting the leftist Zelaya, who is an ally of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. It seemed especially odd that Obama came out so forcefully on this issue after his (let's be charitable) muted response to the crisis in Iran.
He may want to take a second look at what's going on down there, for two reasons:
First, the negotiations going on in Costa Rica are going nowhere, mainly because Zelaya was demanding to be put back in the presidency without having to answer the charges against him. And since he isn't going to get his way, Zelaya is now planning to come back and start a rebellion:
The ousted Honduran leader said the midnight deadline for his return to the presidency was not negotiable.
"If at that time, there is no resolution to that end, I will consider the negotiations in Costa Rica a failure," Zelaya said at a news conference Friday night at the Honduran embassy in Nicaragua. "I am going back to Honduras, but I am not going to give you the date, hour or place, or say if I'm going to enter through land, air or sea."
Zelaya's wife, Xiomara Castro, implied the return was imminent, telling demonstrators in the Honduran capital Saturday that "President Zelaya will be here in a few hours despite the bayonets."
Zelaya did not say what steps he would take once on Honduran soil. But earlier this week, he said Hondurans had a constitutional right to rebel against an illegitimate government.
Here's the thing: the reason Zelaya got the boot is because he was trying to get a plebiscite that would change the constitution to allow him to run for a second term, something he is barred from doing by the Honduran constitution. And this brings us to the second thing we learned today.
Zelaya had every confidence that his planned plebisicite would work. Why is that? Well, this report from the Babalu blog explains it pretty well:
A(Strike is in the original post.) How would this work? Behold the rough translation that Babalu offers, which seems pretty accurate to me based on my knowledge of Spanish, from the paper:
SpanishCatalan newspaper is reporting that Honduran authorities have seized computers found in the Presidential Palace belonging to deposed president Mel
Zelaya. Taking a page right out of the leftist dictator's handbook, these computers, according to the news report, contained the official and certified results of the illegal constitutional referendum Zelaya wanted to conduct that never took place. The results of this fraudulent vote was tilted heavily in Zelaya's favor, ensuring he could go ahead and illegally change the constitution so he could remain in power for as long as he wanted to.
The National Directors of Criminal Investigation seized various computers from the Presidential Palace that had recorded the supposed results of the referendum to reform the constitution that the deposed leader, Manuel Zelaya, was planning to conduct on July 28, the day he was removed from office.
The official investigation now deals with the possible crime of fraud and falsification of documents due to the fact that some of the certified voting results had been filled with the personal information of individuals that supposedly participated in the failed referendum that did not take place because of the coup.
One of the district attorneys that participated in the operation that took place this Friday showed reporters an official voting result from the Technical Institute Luis Bogran, of Tegucigalpa, in which the specific number of people that participated in table 345, where there were 550 ballots, 450 of which were votes in favor of Zelaya's proposal and 30 were against, in addition to 20 blank ballots and 30 ballots, which were nullified.
The seizure took place on the third floor of the building attached to the Ministry of the Presidency that had been rented to the ex-minister of the Interior, Enrique Flores Lanza. The deputy district attorney, Roberto Ramirez, declared this area as a "crime scene" and, although he did not want to provide further details, said that further evidence had been found that could be categorized as crimes of fraud, embezzlement of funds, falsification of documents, and abuse of authority.
I suppose it's possible that the new government forged these computer records to frame Zelaya. But if Zelaya had reason to know what the results of the plebiscite would be before it took place, it would explain why Zelaya has comported himself in the manner that he has. He expected to win.
Maybe the Obama administration has a better explanation of what's going on in Honduras than what I've posted here. So far it hasn't been forthcoming.
Shortly after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy of Massachusetts drives an Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond. Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. The senator did not report the fatal car accident for 10 hours.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
What's more bizarre?
(a) That Norma ("Jane Roe") McCorvey would be one of the protestors arrested at the Sotomayor hearings; or
(b) The senator she interrupted is Al Franken?
Monday, July 13, 2009
Chain of Fools, Aretha Franklin
Walkin' Blues, Eric Clapton
Gone Daddy Gone, Gnarls Barkley
Mary Anne, Marshall Crenshaw
Parker's Band, Steely Dan
I Wanna Be Your Dog, Uncle Tupelo
Gee Officer Krupke, West Side Story Soundtrack
Gimme Shelter, Rolling Stones
Chinatown, Thin Lizzy
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
A representative sample of the rich, fisky goodness on offer at the link:
Noonan is symptomatic of a defeated, collaborative wing of the GOP that wants nothing more than to be thought well of by the Left, which they believe has decisively won the political and cultural battles of the twentieth century. Their idea of a “conservative” is someone who can eke out a small discount on the price tag of mammoth liberal programs. Their goal in 2012 is to find a bland, pleasant, “moderate” Republican, who can win the approval of the media mullahs as a “serious candidate,” then lose gracefully and give America’s First Black President his second term. The idea of serious conservative reform terrifies them: radical overhaul of the tax system, dramatic reduction in the size of government, a system that compels Congress to live like humble servants of the people instead of Renaissance royalty… Who will throw those wonderful cocktail parties in Washington, if the conservatives burn half the city down? Who will tell Peggy bedtime stories of dashing social engineers with titanic government schemes? Where will she find hip, exciting statists she can celebrate with schoolgirl treacle, like this nonsense from her 2008 endorsement of Obama: “Something new is happening in America. It is the imminent arrival of a new liberal moment. History happens, it makes its turns, you hold on for dear life. Life moves.” She was on to something with that last bit. Obama has made a lot of American businesses think about moving.
Go read the whole thing. Do not hesistate.
Friday, July 10, 2009
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word has four meanings:
1. felt in or as if in the viscera
2. not intellectual
3. dealing with crude or elemental emotions
4. of, relating to, or on or among the viscera
Your viscera are your guts. When we talk of visceral reactions, we're not talking about reactions that are given a lot of thought. Fear and revulsion are visceral reactions.
Which brings us to Al Franken.
Earlier this week I wrote a post where I gently referred to the junior senator from Minnesota as "Senator Steaming Pile." Our friend Amanda, who performs regular acts of kindness by coming here to challenge our assumptions (and I am quite sincere in saying that, by the way), took notice of that and gave me a gentle dig about "taking the high road." But she did more than that. She also wrote a post on her always-interesting blog Memeopolis and she mentioned a couple of very useful things:
The reaction of conservative acquaintances and bloggers however, has been a vitriolic gnashing of the teeth and bloodthirsty name-calling. They HATE Al Franken. HATE. Hatehatehatehate. Instinctively, at first I felt slightly defensive. I mean, Al hasn't even done anything in office yet. Good or bad. Give him a chance to f*** up, yeah?
That's a fair point. Then she made a better, more provocative point.
But then I realized that their emotional reaction could be likened to my affection for Sarah Palin.
I'm guessing that I am one of the conservative acquaintances that Amanda mentioned in her post. Which got me thinking about Franken and why I feel the way I do.
Hate is a strong word and a strong emotion. It is also an emotion that is learned. I don't know if I hate Al Franken -- if were hurt in a traffic accident or somesuch and I came upon him, I'd whip out my cell, call 911 and then see if there was anything I could do to help him until the pros arrived. But I do dislike him quite a lot, probably more than just about any other politician on the current scene. And I will do everything in my power to ensure his retirement in 2015.
Why is that? Is it a visceral reaction, a gut feeling? Or is my disdain for Franken something that I learned? The answer is pretty clear: it is something I learned. The first time I saw Franken was on Saturday Night Live back in the late 1970s. He then appeared in skits with his comedy partner, Tom Davis. He was a semi-regular presence on that show for years and, in some cases he was pretty damned funny. His imitation of the dour and preachy Illinois Sen. Paul Simon in the mock presidential debates in the 1988 cycle was spot-on and hilarious. It's worth remembering that history.
The problem that most conservatives have with Franken is that when he entered into the political arena, he was an especially vicious guy. I'd even be willing to forgive him that, though: as they say in Chicago, politics ain't beanbag. My problem with Franken is that he has a history with someone I know personally. That someone is Evan Montvel-Cohen. The story of Franken's involvement with Montvel-Cohen, and the scam Montvel-Cohen pulled on the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club to get funding that was instrumental to the founding of Air America ,was much downplayed during the election cycle, but it was to my mind the most damning thing about Franken. Montvel-Cohen and I both attended the same college. I know him. He was a shifty character then and most everyone on our campus recognized it. Franken did not, apparently. More importantly, Franken didn't do much of anything to make the situation right after he became aware of it. To me, the incident speaks to Franken's character and judgment. And it speaks quite badly.
Do I have a visceral reaction now when Franken's name comes up? Yeah, I guess I do.
So what about the reaction that Amanda has to Sarah Palin and the reasons for her reaction? She can answer that herself. I'd be willing to wager she has an interesting story to tell. And it's useful to tell these stories, I think.
As President Barack Obama encouraged world leaders meeting in Italy to intensify the fight against global warming, legislation to cut U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases suffered a delay in the Senate on Thursday.So why would you delay something that's URGENT URGENT URGENT as cap and trade? Two reasons, apparently. First is the old Beltway standby, sloth:
The leading Senate committee responsible for developing the climate change legislation has delayed by at least a month its crafting of a bill, leaving less time for Congress to fulfill Obama's desire to enact a law this year.
"We'll do it as soon as we get back" in September from a month-long break, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer announced.
Emphasis mine. While there's little doubt that our wallets are all safer when Congress is not in session, how many people do you know who take a month-long break? I guess a month-long break is fine as long as you don't spend it in Crawford, Texas. But there's a more important reason:
The Senate delay came as Congress was preoccupied with healthcare reform, Obama's top legislative priority, and as senators continued to bicker over how to reduce industrial emissions of carbon dioxide without putting U.S. businesses and consumers at a disadvantage.
Healthcare reform, in this context, is of course the ongoing effort to replace the current patchwork of private insurance with the all-new shiny government-run healthcare program, which will save skabillions of dollars and will be run effectively and efficiently through the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Now, moving effective control of the economy over to the Beltway is tough work, especially if you're trying to get it done before people notice what's really happening. What I suspect: the Democrats realize that they can't get both national health care and a carbon regulation scheme, especially with people starting to notice that some of the other Change You Can Believe In isn't working so well, so they have to choose. And since taking over healthcare provides more effective control over how people live their lives, that's the smart bet.
August is now a very important month. When the solons come home, it's time to let them know what the consequences of voting for government control will be. While I don't expect that Betty McCollum, Amy Klobuchar or Al Franken care about the views of a mouth-breathing blogger, if enough other like minded people make it clear that there will be consequences for nationalizing vast swathes of the economy, we may be able to stop these horrible ideas. And if that happens, business will start investing again and Obama might even get his economic recovery. Eventually Bill Clinton figured that one out. Let's see if The One is as quick on the uptake as Slick Willy.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Cap-and-trade regimes have advantages, notably the ability to set a limit on emissions and to integrate with other countries. But they are complex and vulnerable to lobbying and special pleading, and they do not guarantee success.It's quite simple, actually. The advantage of cap and trade is that it disguises the reality that the government controlling the regime is imposing an especially onerous and regressive tax. And the market for these credits will necessarily be as arbitrary as the market for credit default swaps was. And I think we all remember how that movie ended.
The experience of the European Union is Exhibit A. Emissions targets were set too high. Too many pollution allowances were given away to industry. The value of a carbon credit plummeted. Companies made windfall profits by charging customers more for energy while selling allowances they didn't need. And the Europeans have not had much success reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Disputes on the next round of reductions led to the creation of a two-tiered system to appease Eastern European countries fearful of the cost to their industries.
And there's this little problem, too:
Washington, D.C.-During a hearing today in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, EPA Administrator Jackson confirmed an EPA analysis showing that unilateral U.S. action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would have no effect on climate. Moreover, when presented with an EPA chart depicting that outcome, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he disagreed with EPA's analysis.What would be needed? The agreement of China and India. Likely? Well, not so much.
"I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels," Administrator Jackson said.
Maybe there's a good reason to set up an artificial market for intangible credits that are well-nigh impossible to price, with the goal of doing something that won't work. Guess I'm not seeing it. Help me out, people -- explain the benefit, if you can.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
President Barack Obama promised to fix health care and trim the federal budget deficit, all without raising taxes on anyone but the wealthiest Americans. It's a promise he's already broken and will likely have to break again.AP writer Stephen Ohlemacher would also like to remind you of a promise then-candidate Obama made:
Obama made a firm tax pledge during the presidential campaign, repeating it numerous times in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day: no tax increases for individuals making less than $200,000 a year or couples making less than $250,000.
"Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes," Obama told a crowd in Dover, N.H., last year.
Obama also signed an anti-smoking bill in June that grants authority to the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco. To pay for the new program, a fee is being imposed on the industry — and presumably passed on to consumers — estimated to generate more than $5 billion over the next decade.
While not directly increasing taxes, a House-passed version of Obama's plan to reduce greenhouse gases blamed for causing global warming would similarly increase American families' home energy bills by $175 a year on average, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
A Legal Matter, The Who
Tell Her She's Lovely, El Chicano
I'm Not in Love, 10cc
I Would Die 4 U, Prince and the Revolution
Playin' in the Dirt, Robert Cray Band
Then Came You, Spinners and Dionne Warwick
Those Shoe Biz Shoes, The Guess Who
Death or Glory, The Clash
Hot Rod Lincoln, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
When the Levee Breaks, Led Zeppelin
Monday, July 06, 2009
I've defended Palin on a number of occasions recently, because she does face a lot of scurrility. But in watching the action on some of the conservative blogs that I read, I must say this: a lot of Sarah Palin supporters really give me the creeps. For some of these folks, any criticism, no matter how mild, is thoughtcrime.
This thread over at Hot Air is illustrative; if you're not convinced, you'll find a half-dozen more that are similar. The post I've linked, which references a post put up by the guy who runs the highly-caffeinated conservative blog Ace of Spades, shows reaction to even mild criticism of la Palin that is just astonishingly vitriolic.
I have long criticized those supporters of Barack Obama who treat him as a demigod; I've kept the Obama Messiah website on my blogroll because it serves as a handy compendium of idolatry and foolishness.
Sarah Palin is a politician. A gifted one, one who reaches many people, without question. But a politician nonetheless. And we don't need a cult of Sarah on the right.
Word to the wise, fellas: taking a mistress doesn't end well. Exhibit A. Exhibit B.
Zelaya doesn't get to land in Honduras. This also won't end well. Here's a hint, folks -- anything involving Hugo Chavez is a fool's errand.
Meanwhile, the train wreck continues to approach Minneapolis.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
The most important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.Most of the big-time mullahs live in Qum, and this statement from them undercuts most of the claims that Khamenei has made. If the gray eminences call the election illegitmate, that's not something even the Basij can walk back.
All Khamenei has left now is cudgels. You can do a lot with cudgels in the short term, but in the long term, there isn't a long term.
Friday, July 03, 2009
It would be hard to blame her. She has been attacked in ways that are just jaw-droppingly personal and mean -- consider this lovely parting gift that appeared briefly at HuffPo today in the wake of her announcement. A quote from bien pensant Erik Sean Nelson's piece:
In Sarah Palin's resignation announcement she complained about the treatment of her son Trig who always teaches her life lessons. She said that the "world needs more Trigs, not fewer." That's a presidential campaign promise we can all get behind. She will be the first politician to actually try to increase the population of retarded people. To me, it's kinda like saying the world needs more cancer patients because they teach us such personal lessons.
Her first act as President: To introduce a Pre-K lunch buffet that includes lead paint chips. Sort of a Large HEAD-START Program.
Comedy gold, no? Can you imagine anything like that being written about any other politician in the United States? And if you are wondering why it was pulled, here's the author's, ahem, explanation:
No story, I pulled it down. I got some emails from offended loved ones of the retarded. No one was seeing the absurdity of Palin hiding behind her children, so my piece was not accomplishing anything good. That’s all that happened.
Good to know. It's not that perhaps Palin loves her son. Naah. Couldn't be that. Kid is just a prop, a human shield, against the righteous broadsides of those who see absurdity in the very existence of Trig Palin. He's just something a politician hides behind. Perhaps the most interesting question here: what good can be accomplished by telling retard jokes?
I have no idea whether or not Sarah Palin should have any political career beyond what she has had in Alaska. She has provided a very valuable service, though -- she has exposed a lot of ugliness among certain of her detractors.
UPDATE: As always, Mark Steyn gets to the home truth of the matter:
Occam's Razor leaves us with: Who needs this?
In states far from the national spotlight, politics still attracts normal people. You're a mayor or a state senator or even the governor, but you lead a normal life. The local media are tough on you, but they know you, they live where you live, they're tough on the real you, not on some caricature cooked up by a malign alliance of late-night comics who'd never heard of you a week earlier and media grandees supposedly on your own side who pronounce you a "cancer".
And the result? Steyn:
Most of those who sneer at Sarah Palin have no desire to live her life. But why not try to - what's the word? - "empathize"? If you like Wasilla and hunting and snowmachining and moose stew and politics, is the last worth giving up everything else in the hopes that one day David Letterman and Maureen Dowd might decide Trig and Bristol and the rest are sufficiently non-risible to enable you to prosper in their world? And, putting aside the odds, would you really like to be the person you'd have to turn into under that scenario?
National office will dwindle down to the unhealthily singleminded (Clinton, Obama), the timeserving emirs of Incumbistan (Biden, McCain) and dynastic heirs (Bush). Our loss.
That's about right. Read the whole thing.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
The most important change is that I have turned off comment moderation. I've used it for about six months now and frankly I've only nuked one spam comment in the whole time. Most of my regular readers respect what we try to do here and don't post anything objectionable in the comments section. If I see problems arise, moderation may come back.
As always, I appreciate your support of this feature and always welcome any suggestions on ways I can make it better.
Yep. You've got the drill.
Yeah, Drip's Drill.
Okay, enough of the inside family humor. Let's move on. One of the things that became pretty evident in 1976 was that disco was coming to the forefront. This song was a big hit in the late spring of 1976 and featured one of the greatest Motown artists, now in full Vegas mode. It's Diana Ross, mentioning that she has a:
Lots of images from 1976 in that one, Maria. What do you think?
Well, the commercials are much better than the $5 footlong and the Filet-O-Fish commercials that I have to put up with now! And, oh yeah, the song's pretty cool, too. Pure disco. So Dad, did you get to sail in one of those tall ships?
No, if I was in a boat in 1976 it was probably a rowboat at camp.
Too bad, Dad! Those look pretty cool. Let's hope that people didn't litter on those big ships!
Far as I know, that didn't happen. Anyway, the next song was another discoish thing from the spring. Check out the enormous Afros on these dudes. It's the Sylvers, with
Dad, that's some really big hair! I guess they didn't have reasonable barbers back then!
Well Maria, I think they wore their hair that way on purpose.
Why? To make a bad impression? Or did they want to get it stuck in an elevator? You could fit a family of seven in the lead singer's hair!
I don't know, Maria. I've never quite been able to figure that one out. Anyway, we'll move on to something a little different. The next song was a big number one hit for a more traditional vocal group called the Manhattans. Here they are, in all their melodramatic glory, rocking the wide-lapeled white jump suits and patiently, lovingly explaining that it was time to
Dad, the song is nice, but what's the deal with the jumpsuits? And why did they keep showing us their butts?
Maybe they thought we'd be interested in their butts?
If they think that we are, then they're psychos! Because they are who we thought they were!
Nice Denny Green reference, Maria! Glad you took the high road! But let's move on. Next is one of the last big hits of the first part of Elton John's career. This time he brought along a friend. Here they are in all their sartorially-challenged splendor, Sir Elton and his pal Kiki Dee, admonishing each other
Dad, that Kiki Dee might be the worst dancer I've ever seen. And I think they got the lyrics wrong, too!
What do you mean, Maria?
I think it should go "whoo whoo, nobody told us and nobody showed us how to dress!" Dad, it looks like Elton John's glasses must weigh about 20 pounds. Those must have hurt his face, don't you think?
It probably hurts more for Elton to watch that video now, Maria. But let's move on.
Yes. Please! Let's move on! What's left, Dad?
Well, here's something totally different, also from the spring of 1976. This one got all the way to number one and didn't seem to have any dance beat at all. It's the Bellamy Brothers, with their twin acoustic guitars and one very impressive mustache, suggesting that we'd better
I sincerely hope this is not true.
Then again, it turned out this was true.
If this is true, it's quite interesting.
Well, if you want to know how I really feel.
Generally I find Steve Sack's editorial cartoons in the Star Tribune quite tiresome, but this one seems quite true.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
- Senator Al Franken it is. God help us. The proper course for conservatives? Don't get mad, get results. Job one: find a good candidate to run against Sec. of State Mark Ritchie and retire his corrupt butt ASAP. Job two: find and amplify every outrage that Mr. Franken commits in the next 5 1/2 years. There will be many, because the dude can't help himself. 57% of Minnesotans did not support this guy -- that is worth remembering. If you were among that 57%, it's crucial that you remain vigilant.
- The silver lining of the Franken debacle? Now the Democrats have no excuses. They own the government. It's all theirs. And don't think that some people haven't noticed. Go ahead, guys -- march right into that bayonet.
- The situation in Honduras merits more comment than I'm able to give it at the moment. But for now, let's say this: if you find yourself on the same side of the argument as Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez, it's time to check your premises. Here's a good place to start.
- The Supreme Court decision in the Ricci case also deserves more comment than I'm able to give it at the moment. My suspicion is (a) because the case was decided on a very specific point of law, there's less there than meets the eye and (b) that while it really doesn't tell you that much about Sonia Sotomayor's jurisprudence, it does tell you something about her work ethic. A one-paragraph summary judgment on such an important issue didn't do the issue, well, justice.