Sunday, January 31, 2010

Anyone Out There Care About This?

Found this little report hidden under far more important articles but, for some unknown reason, I had this nagging suspicion that someone out there might be interested in reading it.

White Men Suck...In 3-D!

I finally succumbed to the hype and took in Avatar this afternoon with Mrs. Goldwater. The movie is visually stunning, setting the bar for movie special effects much the way The Matrix did ten years ago. But I could have done with a little less of James Cameron's heavy handedness. There's something in this movie for every white, self-loathing American apologist - veiled references to the Trail of Tears, the Mai Lai Massacre and even the invasion of Iraq. There's no escaping the message in Avatar - white men suck.

I think next time I'll pick the movie.

Maybe Tom Cruise Was Right After All.

Interesting new article in Newsweek that describes the growing body of research that contends that all the hubbub about antidepressants might just be hype and well....psychological.
As shown by the explicit criticism of drug companies by the authors of the recent JAMA paper, more and more scientists believe it is time to abandon the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of not digging too deeply into the reasons for the effectiveness of antidepressants. Maybe it is time to pull back the curtain and see the wizard for what he is. As for Kirsch, he insists that it is important to know that much of the benefit of antidepressants is a placebo effect. If placebos can make people better, then depression can be treated without drugs that come with serious side effects, not to mention costs. Wider recognition that antidepressants are a pharmaceutical version of the emperor's new clothes, he says, might spur patients to try other treatments. "Isn't it more important to know the truth?" he asks. Based on the impact of his work so far, it's hard to avoid answering, "Not to many people."
Of course, in this fellow's case, it was the drugs that worked.

Scrap Don't Ask Don't Tell

I've brought this up here on the site before, and I realize that it is not a popular view with some. But the President is right to urge Congress to scrap "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (yes-keep in mind it is a CONGRESSIONAL creature). I'm no gay-rights activist, and I don't have any particular sense that I missed out on something by not having gays serve openly alongside me on active duty. What I do know is that a significant number of highly qualified and highly trained Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines--had come to choose the "gay" ticket out of their military obligations. Realizing that there was little or no social stigma attached to a discharge as a result of DADT, gay service members who came to find the military life not to their liking simply found a quick, easy way out. Ladies and gentlemen--there IS no witch hunt ongoing for gays in the military. It simply doesn't exist. What does exist is a small percentage of gay servicemembers VOLUNTARILY outing themselves to return to the civilian life virtually penalty free. We need to close off this loophole, and the best way to do it is to scrap DADT.

Osama Bin Laden, Green Terrorist

Does OBL's recent audiotape decrying the US role in global warming signal a new, responsible, statesman-like direction for the world's most famous terrorist? After all, he's now on the side of the Copenhagen crowd. Oh, and he thinks undermining the dollar is a good thing, too. Hell--he keeps talking about things like global climate change and a new world currency--he'll find himself on the docket at Davos.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

QDR 2010

The Quadrennial Defense Review (2010) has been leaked and is posted on the Center for a New American Security website.

My quick hi-lights and analysis can be found here.

Many military readers of this blog will be interested to read this report--the general public?--not so much.

Enough about me. Bob, what do you do?

I study whether creepy crawlies with gew gaws on their ding dongs convey evolutionary advantages toward coitus. Coincidentally, I've developed an extremely precise method of laser circumcision.

Stop the Presses!!! (forever)

Is it any wonder newspapers are on their way to the "Defunct Industries" exhibit at the Smithsonian? This article from the Boston Globe elevates an obviously life-lacking geneologist's revelation that Senator-elect Brown is a 10th-cousin of President Obama to "breaking news" status and posits that this might be a portent of increased cooperation across the aisle.

Notwithstanding the pabulum that seems to fill more and more of ALL news outlets' media (TV especially), it seems that the days of newspaper reporters doing research, checking their facts and, even using proper grammar and spelling are becoming a distant memory. But what really irks me more than anything about this lazy journalism is that if there really is such a dearth of newsworthy activity that an article like this one makes the cut, do you 1st Amendment-Cloaked Idealists think you might take a peek at, oh, I don't know, maybe ONE OF THE WARS IN WHICH WE ARE ENGAGED? Do you think you might for a minute try to find out something about what the young men and women who haven't seen their families in a year are doing while Hollywood starlets OD on cocaine and diet pills, goofy-looking evening talk show hosts engage in their best impressions of girlfighting and geneologists yearn to discover common ancestry, however distant and irrelevant?

Why is it we have to search so hard to find stories of heroism among our troops? It's not as if heroism isn't occurring. MSM--here's breaking news for you. Bush is gone. It's okay to report good news from the front again. You could even twist it to make our new Commander-in-Chief look as if he's strong on defense. It's really okay now. Go ahead, it won't hurt. I promise.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Big Fat Friday Free For All

All Time High (April 1 2009): 192.2
Diet start (June 1): 189
Last Friday: 176.4
Today: 175
Goal: Sub 150

Back on track--I'm thinking 1.5 lbs a week is sustainable and healthy.

For those of you interested in a great online way of tracking your diet, nutrition and exercise, I recommend a tool resident on Lance Armstrong's "Livestrong" site. Once there, select "Daily Plate" and then "My Plate". You'll have the opportunity to enter in your height, gender, weight and activity level--and a desired weight loss rate. This will produce a target "net calorie" figure for you. Either meal by meal or once a day, you go in and enter descriptions of what you've eaten, which bring up menu driven choices to select--and voila, all the diet and nutritional information is entered for you. Additionally, any workouts/exercise you do that day are entered, creating a running figure of "net calories" for that day. As Smoothfur once reminded us, it doesn't really matter whether you're on a low fat or a low carb diet (though most argue a 'Healthy" diet is the key) --it simply matters that you reduce net caloric intake to a level that is less than weight sustainment. Give the tool a try--it's pretty helpful. (Hat Tip on Livestrong.com to Robert Thorn).

What's on your mind this week? Are you feeling a little let-down that the President didn't tack more to the center in his SOTU speech? Do you think Samuel Alito will have something to do during the next SOTU, like maybe, wash his hair? Go ahead, get it off your chest......

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Wimpy School Of Economics

"Now, I know that some in my own party will argue that we can't address the deficit or freeze government spending when so many people are still hurting. And I agree, which is why this freeze won't take effect until next year, when the economy is stronger. That's how budgeting works." -- President Barack Obama, January 27, 2010

"I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. That's how budeting works." -- Wimpy

Evil Hokies Come To Town Tonight

The surprisingly good UVA Men's Basketball team takes on the hated, evil, probably baby-eating Virginia Tech Hokie squad tonight in Charlottesville. Here's a little profile from this morning's paper on UVA's first year head coach Tony Bennett.

From Davos, Common Sense

The annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (otherwise known as the Tom Friedman fan club) is reacting to the growing populism of Western leaders as they come out swinging against big business in general and big banking in particular. President Obama's populism is apparently matched by Sarkozy in France--both of whom have begun to raise the concern of world business leaders who feel such rhetoric to be antithetical to economic recovery.

Treasury Secretary On The Hot-Seat

Tim Geithner got roughed up a bit before a House oversight panel yesterday for his handling of the AIG bailout while President of the NY Federal Reserve Bank. But at a very basic level of understanding, Geithner is correct--the lawmakers who criticized him and others for not making AIG executives feel more pain fail to comprehend--or if they comprehend it, they simply ignore--the basic fact that AIG execs KNEW the government would fold and so they had no incentive to back down. This is the "too big to fail" argument, and it appears to have played itself out here. I wonder whether size matters, or complexity; my sense is that it is the interconnectedness of AIG's dealings that gave its rescue the impetus, rather than simply its size.

Harsh Winter A Sign Of......Here It Comes......Global Warming!

Well, not really. The actual term is "climate change". Bothered by the growing evidence that the Earth hasn't in fact warmed to any real extent in over 7 years, high priests of the secular religion of environmentalism have changed the narrative from "global warming" to "global climate change". Just in time too, as the harsh winter weather this year just doesn't fit well in the prevailing narrative. These people are shameless.

Good News in SOTU?

Yep. The President seemed to signal willingness to move forward on nuclear power and domestic offshore drilling--though I'm almost certain any movement on these fronts will be tied to Republican support for Cap and Trade.

SOTU--The Next Morning

Fantastic turnout for the Live-blog last night, thanks. We were treated to a tour d'force in political denial. President Obama seems to have ignored virtually every useful lesson from the drubbing his side has taken lately in order to come out more defiant, more convinced of his rectitude, and more convinced that the problem has been that we simply were not well communicated to. His political preening was notable--after having led an incredibly nasty, highly politically charged healthcare campaign, he decries the nastiness and politicization of Washington. Finally, his continuing to blame the previous Administration for all his problems has gone past the point of being useful or informational. It is now simply a throw-away line. I think this man and his party are in deep trouble come November. As you come across interesting reviews of the President's speech, post them in the comment section for others to check out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SOTU LIVE BLOG HERE

I may be a few minutes late wrapping up the radio show, but go ahead and get started in the comments section of this post without me. Here's a fine SOTU drinking game, should you be so inclined.

The Conservative Wahoo LIVE! Tonight at 8PM

Join in the fun tonight on The Conservative Wahoo Live! Lots of interesting things to talk about in what can only be considered a superb week for those on the right side of today's issues. Would be much obliged if some of you would call in on the chat line (347) 637-2203, and toss around the issues with me.

The Newseum

The Center for a New American Security hosted a panel today to coincide with the release of their new study, "Contested Commons: The Future of American Power in a Multi-Polar World". CNAS chose to hold the panel in a luxe and beautiful conference room at The Newseum in Washington DC. For those of you who don't know, The Newseum is museum dedicated to the press and the role the press has in our Democracy--much of its funding has come from big, corporate press interests.

On the front facing facade of this magnificent structure is etched the words of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It struck me as ironic that a building dedicated to the protection of that amendment would have been erected by an industry whose interests drive it to so vocally dispute ACTUAL free speech--free, corporate, political speech such as that upheld by the Supreme Court last week.

The Teleprompter is Getting Ridiculous


The pictures of the President using a teleprompter with a grade-school class were mind-numbing. A day later, there's this:


I've defended this man's intellect for a year and a half now--but you gotta be shittin' me? There are fifteen people in that room.

Live Blog SOTU Tonight!

Ok everyone, join me here on the blog right after the Conservative Wahoo Live! internet radio program and we'll liveblog the President's State of the Union Address. Tonight at 9PM Eastern.

Why Is Beau Biden Not Running?

News is beginning to surface that Vice President Joe Biden's son Beau--odds on favorite to win the Democratic nomination for the "Biden Seat" in the Senate--has decided not to run for the office. This is a shock--a huge shock--and a good one for Republicans, as Representative Mike Castle--a man who has won 12 statewide elections in Delaware--appears to be the odds on favorite in a Republican pickup.

So, why is Beau Biden not running? He's citing his responsibilities to "children" especially victims of child predators. Not that this isn't a good thing to do, that is, stopping child predators. But really now--"I have a job to finish. And that's what I must do." What will his measure of success be? No more depredations carried out on the youth of Delaware?

My Kind of Rap

Keynes and Hayek, back from the dead, to lay it down. Knowamsayin?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rich Lowry On The Obama Freeze

I know lots of people think Obama's spending freeze is a gimmick, and that it really won't freeze much of the budget. But I gotta tell you--the SIGNIFICANCE of the "gimmick" is real--it is a huge political concession, as Rich Lowry eloquently informs us. So you don't have to go and read it on NRO--I'll repeat the whole paragraph below. Good stuff.

"I'm delighted by Obama's freeze. Not because it will make much difference in the federal budget, as has been ably pointed out by many in this space. But because Obama has given away important intellectual and political ground. It's not true that politicians can really "say anything." Spin has to have some connection to reality and a politician's case has to cohere. What Obama has just done is blow a huge hole in the argument for his own governance over the last year. If the economy is still weak but we can freeze discretionary spending anyway, it's much harder for him to argue that massive government spending is the predicate for economic growth in defense of the stimulus. And if the deficit is such a threat that he needs to swing around to supporting a spending freeze, it's much harder for him to continue to push for a new $1 trillion entitlement. He can try to square all this — stimulus spending was necessary in the dire conditions of 2009, but less so now; the new $1 trillion health-care entitlement is actually a deficit-reduction measure — but it's going to be very difficult. That's why I think the Krugmans and the Kleins are right to be dismayed by this, even if the actual dollar amount is small. It represents an important tilting of the political playing field to the right on these issues."

Another Blog to Recommend

Kegger from New Hampshire, a newly energized political animal in New Hampshire, recommends Ace of Spades HQ as a great Conservative blog. From the quick look I just gave it, he's right. It goes on the wall of fame.

President or Prime Minister?

I've got no love of Fareed Zakaria--he's a smart guy, but sorta leans in that "world citizen" direction so prevalent in Eurpoe--but he really nails it on the head in his criticism here of Barack Obama's Presidency. A key graph:

If he represents all the people, Obama should remember that for 85 percent of Americans, the great health-care crisis is about cost. For about 15 percent, it is about extending coverage. Yet his plan does little about the first and focuses mostly on the second. It promotes too little of the real discipline that would force costs down and instead throws in a few ideas, experiments, and pilot programs that could, over time and if rigorously expanded, do so.

I think Zakaria overplays Obama's "centrist" approach to the stimulus and the banking crises. But the criticism that Obama's become more of a party hack than a President is spot on.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Why We Can't Have Nice Things

A bit of advice, even if you are about to go a&% over tea kettle onto a marble floor, maybe don't grab for the $130 million Picasso to break your fall. What?

Poll Numbers May be Plummeting, but the Ego Remains Intact

All those Democrats heading for the hills or fearful of their prospects in November need to fear not. Per Marion Berry (not THAT one), the Democratic congressman from Arkansas who announced his retirement today, President Obama has assured Dems that 2010 isn't going to be like 1994. What's the difference? HE is the difference. Yep.

I suspect Jon Corzine, Creigh Deeds and Martha Coakley have something to say about that. And I'd LOVE to know what Bill Clinton thinks about that.

John Edwards' "Other America"

You know, the one that makes sex tapes with their mistresses.

As Worthless As Beads...

The owners of the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Apartments in Manhattan who paid $5.4 Billion for the complex back in 2006 have announced that they are turning them over to creditors.

The housing complexes were built by MetLife in the mid-1940's to accommodate returning GI's. MetLife sold the property to Tishman Speyer and Blackrock equity partners in 2006 at the height of the real estate boom. The partners each invested $112 million out of a total equity financing of $1.9 billion. They also took out a $3 billion mortgage from Wachovia Bank, which was promptly packaged and re-sold with other commercial property loans and as securities.

And just who owns these securities? Bloomberg reports that the largest holders are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ouch.

Who The Hell Is Valerie Jarrett....

....and why in God's name does anyone listen to her?

Howard Kurtz Accuses BAPF Media of Missing Brown Story

In a refrain familiar to Conservatives these days, the Bought and Paid For (BAPF) media is reviewing itself to reveal why it is that it missed YET ANOTHER story of rising Conservative/Republican fervor that eventually blew up in the Democratic Party's face. To be fair, Howard Kurtz is a moderate and fair voice, often casting aspersions where they belong--including at his own newspaper. But at some point, even the most biased of defenders of the system are going to have to wonder why this keeps happening.

E.J. Dionne Hyperventilates

E.J. Dionne is calling for Americans to take to the ramparts after the Supreme Courts "reckless" decision on campaign finance last week. Typical over the top, emotional, factless bloviation (and I oughta know!) from the WaPosts chief mouthpiece for the Administration.

But there is something here--Dionne advocates for having corporate Chief Executives appear in ads that they sponsor to take responsibility for what is in the ad--like politicians do. I'm open to that--in fact, the more I think about it, the more I like it. Then, we'll have the opportunity to let the market punish corporations for their views.

Thrill Goes Up WaPost Leg

The Washington Post--under the by-line of Anne E. Kornblut and Michael A. Fletcher, deliver unto a waiting and hungry world this morning a hard-hitting and insightful analysis of President Obama's decision making. Ok, well--not really. Instead, what we get is typical BAPF Media (Bought and Paid For) adulation for the intellect and wisdom of our Messiah-cum-President, a man who's steely demeanor and resolve apparently masks a heart of gold. After all, he reads 10 letters a day! From people who are hurting (sniff)! AND HE USES THE INTERWEBS! And he EMAILS! In the comments to the this story on WaPost online, one cheeky reader had the temerity to remind us that Lyndon Johnson was pretty plugged in, too.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

WaPost on VA-5

Last Wednesday night on The Conservative Wahoo Live!, I interviewed Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia's 5th Congressional District, Michael McPadden. McPadden did a good job explaining why he was running, talking about the district and giving us the lay of the land where the election is concerned. Specifically, he discussed the presence of an "establishment" Republican candidate, State Senator Robert Hurt. This article, part of a continuing series of articles in the Washington Post designed to elect Democrats in the Old Dominion--describes the "divided" field on the Republican side of the ledger. The Democrat in the seat now voted for the stimulus, for cap and trade and for health care--stances which are at odds with his constituency.

So what do we get from the Post? We get a column that talks about the division on the right (the immoderate Tea Partiers vs. moderate Mr. Hurt) without EVEN PASSING MENTION OF ANY OF THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES! If the Republican side is divide, you'd never know who Hurt was dividing it with.

All's Well That Ends Well

Mawwiage, that bwessed awangement. That dweam wivin a dweam...
Bravo WaPost, you romantic old rag you. Bwavo...er Bravo.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hell Hath No Fury

Holy smokes. Now THAT is payback.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Libertarianism Under the Microscope at NRO

There's a great little back and forth going on over the past two days at the National Review Online blog "The Corner" about Libertarians.

I don't think there is a major Conservative thinker today who understands and respects Libertarians more than Jonah Goldberg does--nor is there a Conservative thinker who more neatly dissects the trouble with Libertarianism as a governing impulse. Take a look at this, and then scroll through yesterday and today to see more on this. Fascinating stuff for the two or three wonks who read this blog.

Our Populist President

President Obama took his act on the road today, hosting a Town Hall style (read: continuous campaign) event in Ohio. In this carefully managed bit of Kabuki, the President debuted his new Al Gore like populism, this time in the guise of going after the greedy Fatcats on Wall Street--specifically the banks who were "bailed out" by TARP, and who now have the temerity to pay their people bonuses while the rest of us are "hurting".

I like Barack Obama personally--or at least I think I'd like him. What I like about him is his intellect, his wide ranging mind. I disagree mightily with his politics, but I like him. I can tell you though, if he decides that this dip into Huey Long populism is his new schtick, I'll be unrestrained in my attacks. This is beneath him.

The FACTS are that the banks are paying back what was lent them, with interest. The American people are MAKING MONEY off of many of the TARP loans. Go ahead, Mr. President--get Congress to pass special taxes on investment transactions--yeah, that's it. Hit the Fatcats where they live! What was that? You mean the investment firms are likely to raise their fees to pass the tax along to the customer? You mean my 401K might become more expensive to administer because the President wants to screw the Fatcats? Why am I getting screwed? HOPE AND CHANGE!

Republican populism will target big government--Democratic populism will target big business. This is a race to the bottom.

Richard Haas Has Second Thoughts On Iran

Richard Hass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and the former Director of Policy Planning in the first GWB White House, has come out against continuing to treat with the Mullahs in Iran. Citing his previous agreement with President Obama's stance, Haas has changed his mind and is big enough to admit it. This will cause some rumblings in Georgetown and Upper East Side salons....and it is yet another sign of the fraying of the Obama aura.

Health Care Reform Was Only A Smokescreen


The Spanish newspaper ABC is quoting Venezuelan stooge Hugo Chavez as saying that the US is behind the recent Haitian earthquakes by way of a Doomsday-like machine being tested by the US Navy.

Chavez claims that Haiti was only a drill, that the true target is...Massachusetts. Just kidding, it's the destruction and taking over of Iran. Ooo goodie, more nation building.

Earthquake machines. It all sounds so....eeeevil. Mmmmwahahaha!

Country Mouse, City Mouse, Obama (cont.)

Here's a great look at one of the sources of growing angst toward the Obama Administration--its increasingly urban, hipster orientation and focus. The suburbs have taken to the barricades...hear the Minivans roar!

H/T--Instapundit

Big Fat Friday Free For All

All Time High (April 1 2009): 192.2
Diet start (June 1): 189
Last Friday: 175.
Today: 176.4
Goal: Sub 150

The second chest/head cold of the season waylaid my exercise plans this week. The ridiculous Chinese dinner after the radio show didn't help the diet either.

What's on your mind, folks. Big week, no doubt. Mr. Brown's gone to Washington, healthcare needs a Death Panel, and free speech now applies to corporations and unions. Let's hear it--what do you think?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quite a Week for Democrats

Let's see...Kennedy's seat lost...HCR essentially dead...SC decision...and now for the topper: the plug is being pulled forever on Air America.

Did anyone ever listen to that? Does anyone even KNOW anyone who ever listened?

Back and Forth on Facebook--Judicial Restraint

In response to my post thanking the Almighty for GWB the following thread got started on my Facebook page:

Friend: Since striking down duly passed laws, and disregarding the Court's prior decisions are not hallmarks of judicial restraint, I trust that Republicans will no longer contend that the "conservative" justicis in the Supreme Court majority are not activists.

Me: see Marbury v. Madison. Striking down unconstitutional laws is exactly what they are supposed to do. Finding "shadows" and "penumbras" in order to MAKE LAW is what frosts Conservatives.

Me (again): ...and what's wrong with disregarding prior decisions, if they were botched? Wanna defend Dred Scott, counselor?

Friend: You miss my point. No one claims that John Marshall was not an activist judge. (Marbury in fact quite a power grab by the Court.) But whatever you think of the Court's decision, and I do disagree with it, the Court is not acting with restraint when it does not rule on the issue initially presented by the appeal, sets a second argument on an issue that it orders the parties to brief, and then reverses prior precedent. That is an activist court.

Me: And you miss mine. Conservatives don't mind judicial activism if it is in the pursuit of defending constitutionally protected rights.

Friend: I appreciate your candor.

Me: And I your intellect.


This back and forth illustrates something I think shouldn't be lost in the discussion of "judicial restraint". Conservative esteem for judicial restraint DOES NOT imply that the Supreme Court should sit as a potted plant, allowing "duly passed laws" or even decisions of previous Supreme Courts to stand--if they violate an existing constitutionally protected right.


The Next Guy To Lose His Job.....

....will be ADM Denny Blair as the Director of National Intelligence. His fight with CIA Director Panetta over who will appoint "Chiefs of Station" at our embassies worldwide was his first mistake--and his testimony before the Senate recently is number 2. If someone's going to take a fall over the Skivvy Bomber, it's going to be Blair.

Thank God For GWB

Why? John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Campaign finance gets shredded, 5-4--and free speech in America--whether yours, mine or Ford's--is again protected!

You Heard It Here First

Barack Obama will--in an effort to pivot a la Bill Clinton--name a new "Adviser to the President" who will be a name known and loved in some quarters of the Republican Party/Conservative circles. I don't yet know who this will be--but I do think it is coming.....

Obama Analyzes The Brown Victory

According to this story, the President has concluded that the a failure to explain the virtues of his policies to the middle class is at the heart of Scott Brown's victory. Yes, that's it Mr. President. If only you were more clear in your messaging. If only you more effectively explained how wonderful what you were planning was going to be! That's it. Perhaps a national "talking" tour-where you, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barney Frank take to the hustings and summon up all that rhetorical passion and flair--yes--yes--that's how you'll get healthcare Mr. President. It isn't that the American public HAS HEARD you and your team and found the policies to be ill-conceived, debt busting and risky to the system in which many of them already get damn skippy healthcare--no--that CAN'T POSSIBLY BE IT. It MUST BE THAT THEY JUST DON'T GET IT! So please Mr. President. Get out there and explain it to us better. And bring your friends, you know--Nancy, Barney and Harry. Let them tell us about THEIR friends--you know--Ben (Nelson), Mary (Landrieu), the Unions. Let them tell us ALL ABOUT how our healthcare system will be improved by these friendships. Yes--please Mr. President. Do it.

Could Obama Be Losing the Sage of Omaha?

Tigerhawk links to a CNBS Squawkbox segment including an interview with Warren Buffet, talking about the new series of "bank taxes" being proposed by the Obama Administration. Warren's right, of course. What was done in the Fall of 2008 (by the Bush Administration, let us not forget) was done to save THE ECONOMY, not the "banks". The US economy was in free-fall, and the most efficient, most effective way to staunch the bleeding was to provid instant liquidity to the system through the banks. Those banks are now paying back that money WITH INTEREST (as it was intended from the beginning to be--let's also not forget that little fact). Warren's also right that the Obama Administration's tax is wrong--just plain wrong.

So Warren--how's that Faustian bargain feel now?

Twitter and Facebook

Please note the Twitter and Facebook buttons at the top of the right hand part of the viewing pane. Those of you who have Twitter and Facebook accounts are heartily encouraged to help posts go "viral" by 1) first clicking the title of the post you want to bring to others attention and then 2) clicking the Twitter or Facebook button to the right. If you click the Twitter or Facebook button from the homepage of CW, your readers will get that page--which is fine, but it doesn't necessarily inform them of which story you wanted to highlight.

We've had a good run lately--averaging about 200 individual readers a day in the past 10 days or so (25% of whom are new each day). I think this is a quality blog with some interesting dialogue--and I'd like it to grow.

And of course, don't forget to patronize our sponsors by clicking through on the Google Ads buttons.

Brothers In Arms

"Here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country; the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office." -- President Obama, on the results of the Massachusetts Senate election

I submit that there's a slight difference; one was borne directly of the other - they do not share the same parent.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Barney Frank Says Healthcare is Dead

Right here (sort of) in this video. Interesting statement. I just want to know who the man is that was doing the story?

Jim Webb Throws An Elbow

I've talked in this blog before about Jim Webb--I'm not a fan of party switchers (especially when they go that way), but I'm even more not a fan of his temperament. I think he's a loose cannon and I wish the Democrats all the luck in the world in working with him.

Shortly after last night's Scott Brown victory, Webb put out a press release urging a halt to Senate healthcare votes until after Brown is seated. Though according the the NYT story, Democratic leaders has already decided to do that, they cannot be happy with Webb's grandstanding and self-righteousness. I on the other hand, am delighted.

Tonight: The Conservative Wahoo Live! at 8PM Eastern

Join me tonight for The Conservative Wahoo Live! at 8PM (click here for the show). We'll spend a half-hour talking about Scott Brown's big win last night and other current events, then at 8:30 we'll be joined by candidate for Congress in Virginia's 5th District Michael McPadden. The 5th District is a sprawling, mainly rural district currently served by a Democrat in Congress. McPadden is running in a crowded Republican field and we'll take some time to analyze his race with him. McPadden's a Virginia Tech Hokie--but I won't let that get in the way of pleasant dialogue.

The Meaning Of Scott Brown's Victory

Scott Brown pulled off one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory last night, coming from 30 points down in September to a five point victory in a state where registered Dems outnumber registered Republicans 3 to 1. We heard a lot about Massachusetts' vaunted "Independents" last night, but let's not kid ourselves--they vote overwhelmingly Democrat. Here are a few things to take away from last night's victory:

1. Candidates matter. Brown and McDonnell in Virginia are the leading edge of the Republican candidate template. They should be positive, upbeat and smart--but not beat you up with their intelligence smart. They should be a guy you'd want to have a beer with, a guy you would want in the foxhole next to you, and when it comes right down to it--they should be the kind of guy you'd want representing you in court if you were falsely accused of something.

2. Issues matter. Healthcare played a big part in this campaign, but so did national security. Coakley mouthed the Obama line, Brown not so much.

3. It's never as bad as it seems; it's never as good as it seems. Fourteen months ago we were a devastated bunch--beaten soundly and in control of no branch of government. Things looked dim, very dim. But now look at where we are--the Party is on its way back, we're gaining traction, we're electing good candidates, and the national narrative is beginning to question move closely the policies and politics of the ruling cabal. Great news, right? Everything's going our way, right? Not so fast. The Democrats STILL hold large majorities in both chambers. Let's also not forget that part of the celebrating last night was born of the Republican Party's ability to filibuster in the Senate--putting aside for a moment that a MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE THERE would have voted for the Obama plan! We've got a TON of work to do--there is no rest, there is no victory lap, there is not gold medal. There is only the responsibility of leadership and it is its own reward.

4. The President is popular; he is not influential. He has no coattails, and his agenda is not nearly as popular as his aura. There is little penalty to be paid in defying him--as long as he continues on this big-government path. BUT--if he does what Clinton did and tack to the right--mere resistance will not be rewarded.

5. The President's program is unpopular--but what is our program? The Republican Party must begin to articulate a program for governance that it will implement when and if it takes back Congress. It's time for a new Contract!

Teabagged

I read recently where Martha Coakley talked about someday retiring to Martha's Vineyard to write mystery novels when her career in politics wound down.

She may want to fire up that word processor, as it appears likely her days in Massachusetts Democratic politics are numbered.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Massachusetts

A lot of folks from Mass checking in on the blog today. If Brown wins, forget all I said about it being a Banana Republic.

If you're from Mass--what's the experience like today?

Meet Lt Col Allen West, Candidate for Congress (FL-22)

Here's an interesting guy; he first came to national attention in 2003 after being charged with misconduct and assault springing from the questioning of an Iraqi prisoner. Seems he may have roughed the fellow up a bit; maybe discharged his weapon.

He's now running for Congress in Florida.

Pretty good speaker, what?

Brown For President? Nah

I know, I know--I made a little gesture about this yesterday, but more as a way of insulting President Obama's inexperience than as a way of advocating for Scott Brown. Seems I'm not the only one who raised this, as Jonah Goldberg and Rich Lowery at NRO are tossing it back and forth.

The only problem with the talk is that Republicans just aren't wired that way. Democrats fall in love--sometimes it works, sometimes you get Mike Dukakis. We nominate the guy whose turn it is--solid, tested, a record of accomplishment in SOME executive capacity/elected office. Sometimes that works and sometimes we get Bob Dole. I've often thought about the possibility of someone stealing a march on the field in Republican politics--and then dismiss it.

We do integrate proven successes from other fields (military, generally) into the process. But political novices just don't cut it.

MA Senate Race

Lots of excitement over at NRO. My God will Republicans be devastated if we don't pull this out...

Lookin Out My Back Door


Working from home doesn't suck.

UPDATE: Those are decoys--though a huge flock of geese just descended upon them....and then got weirded out by their motionlessness and left....

Really...what ISN'T his fault?

The pre-mortems have already been written, but here's a new one offered up by some in Massachusetts, including Rep Patrick Kennedy: it's George Bush's fault. Yep. Seems he created so many problems that it will take longer to fix them than people have patience for. According to one 70-year-old Bay Stater: "the problems came from the previous administration. So we're blaming poor Obama, who's working 36 hours a day to solve these problems that he inherited." Young Kennedy offers up "One thing the Democrats have done wrong? We haven't kept the focus on this disaster on the Republicans who brought it upon us. We've tried too hard to do that right thing, and that's to fix it, as opposed to spend more of our time and energy pointing the finger at who got us [here] in the first place."

Oh those noble Democrats!

Sanjay Gupta Is The Real Deal

Although I had a momentary pause in my admiration for the Brain Surgeon/Health Correspondent/Movie Star guy from CNN when he accepted the Obama Administration offer to become Surgeon General, his withdrawal from the nom brought me back to the "admirer category".

This story only reinforces that respect.

Fred Hiatt, Buttshark

WaPost Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt tries hard to convince us that the first year of the Obama Administration was a good thing. Real hard.

Let's review: The prison he was going to close is still open. The wars he was going to end are still going on. The jobs he was going to save or create haven't been saved or created. The stimulus bill he got passed hasn't stimulated anything. His signature issue--healthcare--is now six months past "the deadline" he set and the docs are looking for the paddles. His party is in free-fall, losing elections in Virginia and New Jersey--and now potentially in Massachusetts. His cap and trade bill sits in limbo as House Dems rue the day they extended themselves only to have Senate Dems walk away from it. The Iranians and North Koreans thumb their noses at him even as he writes them nice letters.

But he gives a good speech.

The Truth about Scott Brown

CW asked the question yesterday 'who is Scott Brown?' Keith Olbermann rides to the rescue with the answer: Scott Brown is an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.

Seriously. When is this man going to be escorted to his padded cell? If election returns start going Brown's way tonight, I'm tuning into MSNBC just to watch the crestfallen faces of Olbermann and his ilk.

A Nice Take-down of the Coakley Campaign

Which includes this little nugget:

"So what's wrong with her opponent? Brown, voters are constantly reminded, is a Republican—a foreign virus in the Massachusetts body politic—and his talk of tax cuts echoes rhetoric employed by those mad Tea Party rubes. When he isn't conspiring with the knuckle-draggers, Brown is spending time at one of his "five properties," which includes an Aruba timeshare valued between $10,000 and $20,000. It's more than a little bizarre to accuse Brown of being too rich, too bourgeois, to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dems Running Scared

NYT reports (courtesy NRO) that the White House and Congressional Democrats are going to ask House Leaders to vote on the bill that passed the Senate, removing the requirement for a conference committee (and therein sending the bill straight to the President). This is going to get real, real interesting....

Keith Hennessey Handicaps Health Care vs. MA Senate Result

Typically thorough analysis. The man is very, very smart.

Who Is Scott Brown?

Well, for one thing, he is arguably more qualified to be elected President in 2012 than Illinois State Senator Obama was when he won his Senate seat in 2004......

Serious Criticism of President Obama by a Democrat

Robert Kuttner's a pretty reliable lefty and I think he reaches some poor conclusions on "tactics"...but his strategic criticisms of the Obama Presidency are spot on.

How wonderful would it be if Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts, causing Rahm Emanuel to resign and Nancy Pelosi to be thrown overboard by House Dems. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

H/T: NRO Web Briefing

E.J. Dionne Offers More Ridiculous Analysis

EJ's latest here in the Washington Post is a classic of inanity. Here's a line I loved:

"But the success of the conservative narrative ought to trouble liberals and the Obama administration. The president has had to "own" the economic catastrophe much earlier than he should have. Most Americans understand that the mess we are in started before Obama got to the White House. Yet many, especially political independents, are upset that the government has had to spend so much and that things have not turned around as fast as they had hoped. "

Earlier than he should have? Just when should that have been, EJ? Someone PLEASE let me know when Barack Obama begins to be in charge. When does he own the economy? As for things not turning around as fast--could it be that the $800B stimulus bill was simply a bad bill that stimulated very little? Could there be ANY connection between disillusion with Obama and bad policy?

Is there even a possibility, E.J., that disillusion with Obama might have something to do with his decision to mess with 1/6 of the economy in a way that has left the middle class, the elderly, the young and small business owners wondering how badly they are going to fare?

No, of course not. This is all just ideology at work.

MA Senate Race

Scott Brown continues to show improvement in poll after poll as the race winds down, and some even have him slipping ahead. I'd prefer to just be shocked and hope he wins, rather than believe ANY poll that shows him ahead in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Massachusetts. That said, a couple of things:

1. It never ceases to amaze me the way the Democratic party has turned a murdering, womanizing, boozing boor into a saint, whose memory is now venerated.
2. This party of unions, this party of "working" people (a pet peeve as you well know), seems to have a problem with Scott Brown's having been a "truck driver". Why exactly?
3. I think what we're seeing in MA, as we saw in NJ and VA, is that Barack Obama has no coattails. While he is a personally popular man, voter turnout and enthusiasm among Democrats plummets when he's not on the ballot. Implications? Dems have nothing to fear in defying him. This could be a real opportunity for Republicans.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Obama as Chavez

As I read this story and analyze the rhetoric, it occurs to me that when Barack Obama hops up on his populist perch, he sounds a lot like Hugo Chavez.

The Old Dominion Gets a New Governor

Robert McDonnell was sworn in as Governor of Virginia yesterday, one of the oldest and most historical offices in this country. The ceremony is well-covered in this story--but two things strike me as worthy of note.

1. As the link indicates, Virginia tradition has it that as soon as the new Governor takes the oath of office, the previous Governor and his spouse quietly and unobtrusively depart the stage. This strikes me as quite civilized, the sort of thing you just don't see much of elsewhere.

2. I didn't follow the VA Governor's Race all that closely--Sally did a great job of it for one thing, and I live in Maryland now. But McDonnnell's sunny, upbeat, positive message--conveyed by an attractive and articulate candidate--is a winning formula. Where've we seen it before? How bout Ronny Reagan? Where else might we be seeing it? How bout Scott Brown in Massachusetts. The Party needs to keep finding candidates like these--who know how to talk and who know how to lead. They are tough, efficient, and competent--but they come off as avuncular and inclusive.

Life's Little Ironies

God has a dark sense of humor. I like that.

"Weight Watchers floor collapses under dieters."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New CW-Mobile....




The long search is over. I have a new ride.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Big Fat Friday Free For All

All Time High (April 1 2009): 192.2
Diet start (June 1): 189
Last Friday: 177.8
Today: 175.4
Goal: Sub 150

Solid week here, with reasonable exercise and only a few dieting indiscretions. Sorry I'm at this a bit late this morning, but events ran on a bit last night.

So, what's on your mind people? The Massachusetts Senate race got you fired up? Wondering what impact a Brown victory could have on healthcare? All excited and can't wait until next Wednesday's Conservative Wahoo Live! internet radio show?

Sit down, pull up a chair. Unburden yourselves.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Last Night's Radio Show

Great turnout for last night's show (archived here), and I hope those who listened saw some improvements from last week. I prepared a little better, though still not enough. Gotta pay attention to the timing better, as the end of my hour came rushing up at me pretty quickly.

Many thanks to the callers who REALLY make the show. Some great thoughts on a wide range of topics. It appears that we had about 80 plus listeners last night, almost double show #1.

Scientists Who Need Scientists



Are the luckiest scientists in the world. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has announced that they will be moving the hands of their famous "Doomsday Clock" via live web feed this afternoon. The last time the clock hands were moved was in 2007, when they were moved to the five minutes to midnight position to call attention to the failure to solve problems posed by nuclear war.


Speculation is that the BAS will do their peeps in climatology (who, after all, are still feeling a bit wounded by Climategate) a proper by moving the hand closer to midnight to reflect the growing global menace posed by anthropogenic global warming.


Personally I feel the global threat posed by Islamic jihadists to be a bit more menacing and immediate, but AGW "deniers" aren't known to break into people's homes brandishing axes when their sensibilities are called into question.


Update: Whoops, I never could tell time correctly. The BAS has decided to move the had back to 6 minutes to midnight, citing (ever-so-subtly) the tireless efforts of The One in reducing the world's nuclear arsenals, lowering sea levels and healing the planet.


Remember folks, in setting your Doomsday Clocks, it's Conservatives forward, Obama back...

Newt in '12?

At least he thinks so. I don't. RNC Chair? Yep.

John Yoo On The Daily Show

Bush Administration Justice Department official, law professor, and the left's great anti-Christ John Yoo sat down with Jon Stewart yesterday. The three part, uncensored interview is here (about 25 minutes altogether).

Yoo's written a book about Presidential power and he was on the show hawking the book. Yoo you may remember, wrote some of the notorious "torture" memos upon which the Bush Administration based its expanded interrogation procedures. Yoo's basic thesis is that during wartime, the President has enormous (but not limitless) power, and throughout history, our greatest Presidents have exercised that power. Conversely, our worst Presidents shrank from it.

The discussion with Stewart is fascinating, though at times annoying. Let's face it; Jon Stewart is a smart, well-informed guy. He was well-prepared to go to the mat with a constitutional law specialist, and there are elements of a great discussion here. The problem though, is that Stewart insists on asking a question and then interrupting Yoo mere seconds after Yoo begins to answer. It is a pattern repeated over and over.

Yoo remains--dare I say it--inscrutable. He is imperturbable, despite Stewart's best efforts, and he appears to gain some grudging measure of respect from Stewart for it by the end of the interview. Clearly Stewart disagrees with Yoo--but in the end, the discussion was not disagreeable. It's worth watching end to end if you have the time.

HT--Instapundit

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Carnival's No Funhouse


Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that it will no longer be booking "Cougar Cruises". The term "cougar" is used to denote mature single women who date men younger men (often referred to as "cubs"). Carnival says it was strictly a business decision.


Pity.

Sadness


I can't even begin to understand how sad this man is.

News at the Surface Navy Association is of a massive relief effort with the Navy at its heart.

Pray for these poor people, please.

Here's the American Red Cross donation website. Study after study show that Conservatives are more compassionate with their charitable giving than Liberals. Let's prove it. Who's in for $100?

Are Republicans Ready For 2010?

Two articles you may have missed beg the same rhetorical question - are Republicans ready to lead should the 2010 elections go their way?

The first, by Ramesh Ponnuru, provides some needed cold water to Republicans' perceived overconfidence on their 2010 prospects. Ponnuru points to five factors that could work against Republicans come November. He ends:

"The better Republicans' prospects become, the more Americans are going to ask whether the party is ready to lead. Chairman Steele recently said that he wasn't sure it was. It was another gaffe; it was also true."

The second article is from Peggy Noonan, and posits that passage of the health care reform bill will amount to a "catastrophic victory" for Democrats. Noonan feels the Obama Administration misread and overestimated its mandate, choosing to stake its and Democrats' collective fortunes on a massive, expensive, and confusing health care bill when the public sentiment was focused more on jobs, the economy and the deficit.

While Noonan doesn't question probable Republican electoral gains, she does express concern that the party lacks a cohesive message and is ill-equipped to lead:

"They do not see that 2010 could be a catastrophic for them. If they seize power without a clear purpose, if they are not serious, if they do the lazy and cynical thing by just sitting back and letting the Democrats lose...Republicans themselves will be left unable to lead when their time comes."

The elections are only ten months away, still plenty of time for Democrats to reverse their negatives. Is it enough time for Republicans to reverse theirs?

2M Jobs Created....or Saved

We've kicked this one around quite a bit here on the CW--you remember, the vapidity of the Obama Administration's tracking of "saved" jobs as a way of bolstering support of its feckless "stimulus" package. The latest figure they are putting out is 2M jobs created or "saved". If you read the article, you get a hint of the growing dissatisfaction with the use of the term "saved", and its often flexible interpretation. That said, at some point the media has a duty to stop reporting the "saved" jobs and only report on the "created" jobs--a figure more widely accepted.

What's the problem with saved jobs, you may ask? Doesn't it make sense to count the 200 teacher jobs saved in Podunkville as a result of stimulus money? No. It doesn't. Because what are being counted there are jobs that might be lost--and might also NOT be lost.

Here's the scenario. Podunkville has a budget deficit--and it looks around at what needs to get cut. Teachers and first responders are always a good target--especially when there's "stimulus" money to be had. Poor folks are gonna get FIRED if we don't get some cash from Uncle Sugar. Problem with this is that if Uncle Sugar rolled in and said no--the local officials would have to face their own constituencies locally---who in some cases wouldn't accept this response to fiscal crisis. There would be a locally driven impetus to roll up sleeves and look for other cuts. Sometimes, jobs could be "saved", and sometimes they couldn't. But counting the ones that would be saved same as ones that wouldn't is just zany, and it is no way to track the success of a $787B program.

The Conservative Wahoo LIVE! Tonight at 8PM

Just a reminder to faithful readers that The Conservative Wahoo Live! internet radio show will broadcast tonight at 8PM Eastern. Simply click this link.

Lots to talk about this week, including unrest in Iraq, the Senate race in Massachusetts, Harry Reid and more.

Call in if you'd like at 347-637-2203.

Anne Applebaum on the The Jihadi Elite

Anne Applebaum picks up on a theme we talked about on The Conservative Wahoo Live last week (archived here in the "On Demand" section)--the appeal of Jihadism to the elite of Islamic society. Notable in this column is the inclusion of Major Hasan Nidal in the pantheon of Islamofascist terrorists. Additionally, this paragraph got my attention:

"The case of Bayrak and her ilk also suggests the need for another kind of anti-terrorism strategy. Too often, we still consider public diplomacy to be a sort of public relations activity, the "promotion" of American values. Instead, we should think about it as an argument. The Bayraks and Balawis of this world are engaged in constant debates -- in Internet chat rooms, in the halls of publishing houses, in mosques. Are they hearing enough counterarguments? Are we helping the people who make the counterarguments? I suspect that they don't and I'm certain that we aren't -- nearly a decade after Sept. 11 -- and that has to change. Intellectuals may wear glasses and read books, but neither prevents them from throwing bombs -- or from strapping them inside their underwear. "

Bravo, Ms. Applebaum. Bravo. I'd like to see more commentators advocate taking Islamic Jihadism on--not attempting to accommodate it or apologize for Western Civilization. There is an argument to be won here, we just have to make it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thank You

I'm attending a symposium of the Surface Navy Association in Arlington this week. I had about a half-dozen people in Navy uniforms approach me today--some I knew, others I didn't--to tell me how much they enjoy reading the blog. Means a lot to me. Thanks.

Obamacare Sucketh!


At least one good thing may come from Obamacare - it may get more people into church. Under current versions of both the House and Senate health care reform bills, the Amish and various religious sects would be exempt from insurance mandates of the legislation. Specifically, the "religious conscience" exemption would allow people with religious objections to insurance to opt out of the mandate.
A spokesperson for Sen. Charles Schumer, a key negotiator on the Senate version of the bill and supporter of the religious exemption, called the measure a "nay brainer".
Excuse me, that's "no brainer".




Happy Birthday PK

Loyal reader and frequent commenter PK turns 40 today everyone. She's got old-school values and a superb inner gyroscope for politics--and she's the sexiest 40 year old in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Happy Birthday!

On Waiting

Or is it more properly, "waitering". That is, the act of taking a meal order at a restaurant and providing the contents of the order along with other situational needs of the diner.

There's a little story in the WaPost today about the decline of the "memorizing" waiter. That is, the true professional of the past who would take the table's orders, internalize them, and return in due time with what was desired. According to the Post, this practice is on the decline, and the restaurant owners interviewed affix blame squarely on....us...the eating public. One goes as far as to blame the Food Network for creating a nation of individual tastes that that drive picky, special orders that defy the ability of the average waiter to memorize.

I don't agree with this article at all--in fact, I think the practice of waiters trying to memorize orders is ON THE RISE, not the decline. How do I know? Because it is a practice that has achieved near "pet peeve" status. I cannot tell you what the likelihood of a waiter who has not written down my order to screw it up is, but I can tell you that it is far higher than those who have written it down. My own neurotic approach to this subject has gotten so bad that if I am at a restaurant where the waiter does not write it down, I'll sit there silently stewing, just WAITING for them to screw it up. I know, I know. Evolve Bryan, evolve.

I frankly would much rather there be little tablet computers at tables that enable me to order and pay without interacting with a human. The order would be wirelessly conveyed to the kitchen, and the food would be brought out by the delivery staff. Want another glass of water? Hit that button. Want a napkin--got one for that.

Oh, and another near pet-peeve. The bill comes to $17.93 and you give the waiter two twenties. He then looks at you and says something like "do you need any change back?" ARGH. No---your service has been so astounding that I'm going to tip you at a rate over 100 %. Of course I want change. Bring it to me and I'LL determine the tip.

My Choice for the Steele's Replacement

Stay with the video till the end--her parting shot is a classic.

Update: She's a bit of a sensation--and a pretty funny woman. Check out the video library.

Scurrilous Lie! I Am Gainfully Employed!

This story is a lie!

HT--Instapundit

(Kinda NSFW)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Scott Brown For Senate in MA

I just chipped in $100; let's send a Conservative Wahoo message to the campaign--make sure you mention the blog if you contribute!

UPDATE: They destroyed their $500K goal--got $1.3M! And for those worried about their status as gov contractors, the following from the FEC:

Federal Government Contractors

Federal government contractors may not make contributions to influence Federal elections. For example, if you are a consultant under contract to a Federal agency, you may not contribute to Federal candidates or political committees. Or, if you are the sole proprietor of a business with a Federal government contract, you may not make contributions from personal or business funds. But, if you are merely employed by a company (or partnership) with Federal government contracts, you are permitted to make contributions from your personal funds.

Palin To Fox - Do I At Least Get Partial Credit?

The New York Times is reporting that Sarah Palin has signed on as a contributor with the Fox News Channel.

The paper is reporting that Palin will appear as part of the channel's programming as part of a multi-year deal.

A few weeks ago, I predicted that Palin would announce plans for a syndicated radio talk show. It could still happen.

Pot Calling the Kettle Less Black

In yet another desperate plea to see himself in the news, Rod "How Much of a Public Douche Can I Be" Blagojevich issued his own version of the Reid mea culpa.

Claiming during an Esquire magazine interview (can Esquire really be hurting that badly for interviews?) that because of his experience as an adolescent, before he remained an adolescent, living in the tough environs of what is becoming the root of all evil, Chicago, he, Blacko-Blago, has better blackman cred than half-white President Obama. To wit:

"I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shine shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in the black community not far from were we lived. I saw it all growing up," Blagojevich told the magazine. "It is such a cynical business. I am real. This guy, President Obama, he was catapulted in on hope and change, what we hope the guy is."


So now, seeing that so many people making media hay on similar remarks, Blago has issued a (yawn) public apology for his insensitive remarks. I don't care one whit what the guy said, really, I just wonder what it is that makes people so willing to make public spectacles of themselves just so they can see their names and face in the media--even if it is to be pilloried...especially if it is to be pilloried.

Who is your "favorite" chronic public spectacle? Octomom? Jon or Kate? Lindsay Lohan? Michael Jackson's dad? The balloon boy dad? Others?

UVA To Get New President Today

I would be shocked if a male is announced. That's so 20th Century.

Bill Clinton Has a Harry Reid Moment

Our first Black President is going to have some tough 'splainin' to do for remarks made to the late Senator Kennedy during a phone conversation seeking the Senator's endorsement during the rough and tumble Dem primary in 2008. Apparently, Bill Clinton told the Senator that "...a few years ago, this guy would be getting us coffee...", which so incensed the Senator that he went on to make the Obama endorsement.

Now of course, these remarks had NOTHING TO DO with the fact that the would-be President Obama had virtually NO EXPERIENCE doing anything Presidential (or worthwhile for that matter). They had nothing to do with drawing a comparison between Bill's wife (generally thought to be well-prepared to be President) and the youthful, inexperienced Obama. No--how silly of you to think that. They are of course, racist remarks, and that's the way they'll be treated.

H/T The Daily Caller

UPDATE: Looks like Mark Steyn beat me to the "First Black President" reference.

The Banana Republic's Healthcare System

Lots of folks in the healthcare debate like to point to Massachusetts' healthcare system as a model for what they want in the US. The system--passed while Mitt Romney was in office with his leadership--is in fact, a view of the shape of things to come in this country.

First of all, it did indeed extend coverage to nearly all of the state's residents (merely 2.5 per cent lack coverage)--and it did so with the nation's first healthcare insurance mandate.

But--like the plan moving through Congress--it did not focus on cost containment. And so, 3 1/2 years later, state spending on healthcare is up 42% AND those with private insurance face the highest premiums in the nation.

What's going on here? Well, bad policy for one thing. Mitt Romney's my man for the nom in 2012, but he's going to have a tough time explaining this one. I'm not opposed to mandatory health insurance, but they simply didn't incorporate enough market reforms to lower premiums/control costs.

Secondly, supply and demand. Lots more people now have to buy insurance, so the price has gone up.

This looks like another Dukakis "Massachusetts Miracle".

Introducing "The Daily Caller"

Former Weekly Standard guy and generally interesting pundit Tucker Carlson's got a new blog site called "The Daily Caller" to further complicate your already complicated internet scanning. It debuts today, and the first issue looks pretty damn good.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Massachusetts Is A Banana Republic, Volume 2

Not long ago, I wrote that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was a Banana Republic for the way the Democratic-controlled legislature changed the way open Senate seats were filled--only five years after having changed it. Seems in the first place, a Republican Governor (Mitt Romney) was denied the opportunity to replace John Kerry had he won the 2004 election--as the legislature required that there be a special election to fill the seat. As was detailed in the link, the now Democratic Governor was given BACK the power to appoint someone to fill the seat in order to ensure a reliable Dem vote for health care.

But then, politics got in the way. You see, there is a special election in the Bay State on the 19th of January, and it just may come to pass that Republican Scott Brown could take the seat. And were he certified and seated expeditiously, he would be the 41st vote to filibuster healthcare, and it would be stymied. Can't let that happen to Saint Edward of Kennedy's signature issue, can we? So now it seems that the certification process--which took 2 days for a special House election in 2007 (that just happened to provide a reliable Dem vote to override GWB's veto of S-CHIP), might take at least a month.

Democracy at its best, no?

Wahoos Dump NC State 70-62

This was Coach Bennett's first ACC game and his first ACC win--and it was on the road. NC State's program's in a bit of trouble these days, but a win's a win.

David Broder, Patron Saint of Idiot Pols

Shortly after the Skivvy Bomber's failed attempt to kill 200 people elicited Janet Napolitano's famous, "the system worked" comment, David Broder penned a glowing hagiography of her in the Post.

This week, Senator Chris Dodd receives Broder's praise as "...a straight shooter."

I loved this line: "Like his friend Ted Kennedy, Dodd enjoyed good whiskey and the company of pretty women, but his uptown tastes never compromised his allegiance to the working stiffs' Democratic Party in which he was raised."

Next up: Broder to defend William Jefferson as an innovative banker.

Harry Reid and the "...light skinned ..." African American with "....no Negro dialect..."

Ah, sweet irony, sweet beautiful irony. I love watching Harry Reid squirm at the inconvenience of his Trent Lott-like comments....and in the ridiculous way that he's sucking up to the President and unidentified "civil rights leaders" and African American Members of Congress...

But wait....from the article, here's what Joe Biden said on the campaign trail...."I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

And HE had to apologize for that.

The delicious part of all of this is, that while inarticulate and based on outdated language, both Reid and Biden WERE RIGHT. Barack Obama was acceptable to huge portions of the American public as a "gateway drug African American President" specifically BECAUSE he DID NOT represent the image of the modern African American experience that any one of us can watch on MTV. Aside from that, he also does not represent the image posed by some of the more colorful members of the Congressional Black Caucus. He's a well educated, well-spoken left of center Democrat who is married to the mother of his children. But the mere mention of these abidingly positive, abidingly American practices and values--brings up the specter of racism.


UPDATE: Michael Steele is wrong, and he still must go.

Details Emerge in Suicide Bombing Against CIA in Afghanistan

Details are beginning to emerge about the bomber and the bombing in Afghanistan last week. The shadowy world of CIA Clandestine Ops is revealed just a bit here, as the victims are identified to whatever extent the Agency will allow.

I have endless respect for the work of the CIA. When you wear a uniform, you are (mostly) protected by the Law of Armed Conflict (not that it helps that much against AQ). CIA officers in the field are NEVER covered by LOAC--they do their jobs well and under tremendous pressure.

There is a clear message in the story linked here, and that is the CIA's serious determination to take out UBL and his lieutenants. It may have made them a little sloppy in their security procedures, and the result was devastating.

Yet again though, the vermin responsible for this attack was not from among the downtrodden of the Islamic world. Quite the contrary. He was a doctor. Just like Zawahiri.

If you listen in to the first internet radio show (archived here) there is a great discussion with "Tim" about how the abiding narrative of conflict with Islam is bunk--that we're dealing with "poverty and oppression and lack of opportunity" is continually belied by the reality of educated, middle and upper middle class terrorists. He's a great source of information on the topic, and the discussion is insightful.

What's the Difference Between Twitter and Venezuela?

One is social networking, the other is socialism not working.

Problem with that joke is "socialism not working" might lead some to believe that there are circumstances where it does work.

What do twitter and Venezuela have in common?

They are both led by a "twit".

Late Friday, the latter twit (Baby Hugo) devalued the Bolivar, Venezuela's currency. Perhaps if it devalues further, they can rename it the "Chavez" and put his pudgy mug on it to remind everyone of who destroyed the economy of the nation with the largest oil reserves in all of South America.

Actually, it's a tad unfair to blame that terminally-homely SOB for the downfall of the entire nation. That's because for a while at least, Venezuela was functioning as a capitalist democracy. Voters actually voted him into office and his inauguration was a momentous event full of hope for change. And change they got. He nationalized industry and started spending money on government programs at an unprecedented rate. So those who were the benficiaries of this redistributed wealth voted him back into office (how do you say "ACORN" in Spanish?). So he nationalized more industry and spent more on government programs and the recipients cheered. But, as Margaret Thatcher pithily summed up socialism, the problem with it is "eventually you run out of other people's money."

And today all those who voted him into office are wondering why they are being crippled by some of the highest inflation in the hemisphere. Life is tough, even tougher when you are stupid, even tougher when you are stupid AND you vote.

Thank God we here in the US are so much smarter than to run down this path.

BTW, here are some pics from one of Hugo's Scrapbooks titled "My Pals from the USA". See how many loyal Americans you can name. Any guess which way they voted?











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