Monday, May 31, 2010

The President and Memorial Day

There are lots of folks criticizing the President for not being at the Memorial Day Commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery today. I'm not one of them.

John Miller gets it about right in this short blurb from NRO.

Here's a minor point of order, subject of course to your educational comments. I served 21 years in the Navy and am proud of my service. But I always feel a little oogie being thanked/recognized for my service on THIS DAY--as it seems to me to be a day in which we should remember the men and women who gave that "last full measure of devotion". I got far more than I gave during my time in the Navy. Veterans Day is in November, and if folks want to pat me (and the Hammer) on the back for our Service, well then have at it. Or any other day for that matter. Today? Not so much. I have no qualification to share in the honor afforded our war dead nor any desire to detract from it.

Maureen Dowd on President Spock

Again, even blind squirrels find acorns now and then, and everyone's favorite Pulitzer lightweight Maureen Dowd has an entertaining column out taking the President to task.

It does strike me as written from that whiny "personal as political" style for which she is so famous. She's like that woman sitting with her friends at lunch kvetching about the boyfriend who just won't explore his feelings--something she knew from the start but felt she could change. Sorry Maureen. You got what you voted for.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Makes "Hackey Sack" Sound Downright Barbaric

Boyhood. I remember it well. Playing pick up competitive sports, building forts so we could play Army or Cowboys and Indians and other generally harmless games that have since fallen from grace because someone finally determined they were boiling cauldrons of racism and violence that would cause boys to grow up wanting to kill things and each other or, worse yet, to compete at the expense of the loser's self esteem. So what is a boy today to do for entertainment?

Apparently one of the more popular replacements for my era's games of violence and hurt feelings seems to be a nifty little activity called "Sack Tapping." This extracurricular activity involves punching or kicking your buddy in his progeny before he can do same to you and yours. So, as is the case with just about everything a guy does that is fun, everyone else now wants to make it illegal.

I know, a kid lost one (uh, we have a spare for a reason). But if we were really serious about protecting males from the painful sensation of taking the full brunt of a kick in the nads, then we would prohibit Nancy Pelosi from ever again being shown on TV and we would cancel about 80% of the meetings in the Pentagon.

All Honor Mark Steyn

We are not worthy.

Too Entitled To Fail?

Poor Cortney Munna. The 26 year-old New York University graduate has found herself, like many recent graduates like her, mired in college loan debt. The New York Times financial columnist Ron Lieber uses Munna's story as a cautionary tale on the dangers of making investing and borrowing decisions based upon emotion rather than reason.

And just who are the villains in this morality tale?

"For starters, it's the shared responsibility of parenting and loan underwriting...but perhaps the biggest share lies with colleges and universities because they have the most knowledge of the financial aid process. And I would argue they had an obligation to counsel students like Ms. Munna, who got in too far over their heads."

While I would submit that Ms. Munna herself assumes the onus of the responsibility here, I can't say that I totally disagree with Lieber's belief in the culpability of the university system. I think colleges and universities ought to provide incoming students with information on employment statistics and career prospects for their chosen major - including students who are taking on debt to finance their degree, and especially those students enrolled in academic degree programs in the Arts and Humanities.

Alas, Cortney borrowed almost $100,000 to finance a degree in Religious and Women's Studies - and is now putting all of that acquired knowledge of Buddha and Sylvia Plath to work as a photographer's assistant while living in the fourth most expensive city in America.

For me, this is the more meaningful moral of the story - that if you're going to leverage your rainbow, you'd better make sure there's a pot of gold at the end to pay for it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

All is Not Well on the Sub-Continent

No word yet on whether the study was paid for by the Pakistani government.

Obama And The Oil Spill

I'm not one of these people who is buying the whole "Obama isn't doing enough about the oil spill". I'm quite sure that there are places the federal government can be more helpful--but all in all, I think this is an incredibly complex catastrophic occurrence, and sometimes things like that happen. Has there been a failure of the system--the one that studies the safety of these rigs and the technical challenges therein? Yes. Should someone in the--oh, I don't know--fifty years of offshore drilling have sat a group of folks down and said, "yeah, I hear you, but what if THAT doesn't work?" Yes again. But all of this stuff should have been going on for decades, far longer than Barack Obama's been in office. The role of the feds now is to be helpful, clean up the mess and help out the residents. Plugging the hole? Not Barack's job, no matter what Meliah may think.

Yuval Levin says it all much better than I.

Peggy Noonan Agrees With My Metaphor

It seems I am not the only one who thinks sees the oil spill metaphor.....

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Ok folks. All the good work I did from April to November 2009? Down the toilet. Well, mostly down the toilet.

I took it from 192.2 on April 1 to 168.6 on November 7. I did it through exercise and limiting my carbs. I have learned once again, that lack of exercise and eating anything I want is a recipe for disaster.

So--with fanfare--we "restart" the weight tracking feature of BFFFFA. Any of you wishing to join in with your weekly updates are welcome to do so.

All time high (April 1 2009): 192.2
Last weigh in: 185.4
This week's weight: 185.4

Now--onto the fun stuff. It's a free for all, after all! What's on your mind this week? Oil slick got you down (it does me)? Barack got you down (yep, there too)? Get it off your chest, why don't you?

PS--If you see the Kitten, wish her a happy birthday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Oil Spill As A Metaphor For Obamanism

Ok. What I'm about to write may turn out to be some of the more controversial stuff I've ever put on this blog. I'm working this out as I write it (which is after all, both the wonder and the horror of blogging), so stay with me.

I've had a sinking feeling since Barack Obama became President that he and his administration were determined to permanently alter the political landscape, that the detrimental impact of their policies and actions would be huge, pervasive, long lasting, and very difficult to reverse. Even more than this though, I've had a feeling of powerlessness, that no matter how hard guys like Boehner, McConnell, Ryan, and Cantor work, they are really only just monkeying around on the edges; that the best we can hope for at this point is slowing down the decline and hope that they can minimize the damage to the country until such time as we are able to reverse things at the ballot box. Do you see where I'm going with this...?

The oil spill by itself is a calamity of epic proportion. The technical challenges associated with stopping a leak at 5000 feet below the surface are mind-numbing. Any suggestion that "the government" should step in and "take control" of this strains credulity. Do we REALLY think that this kind of expertise resides in the government? No. It resides in the brains of smart, rough men and women who work in private industry and who are paid massive amounts of money to perform this dangerous, rarely needed and incredibly difficult work. The charges I hear leveled against BP are amazing--we are watching a great company disintegrate before our very eyes. Do we really think that they aren't more motivated than ANYONE to plug this leak?

But because of the direction of the country, the oil spill has double the impact on me. Every time I think about the spill--unrelenting, massive in scope, devastating to whole swathes of our population, a cleanup of YEARS duration to follow, absolute powerlessness to stop, good men and women doing everything they can to reverse it--I cringe. I know in my heart that someday the gusher will be plugged somehow. But every day that it continues, I get a little more disheartened.

And so it is with our government, and so it is with our country. When I see the President stand in the Rose Garden with the Mexican President while both run down an American state trying to enforce federal law, I grow disheartened. When I see the Mexican President repeat that performance in the well of our legislative chamber to the thunderous applause of the Democrats, I grow disheartened. When the Democratic Congress and Administration pass "financial regulatory reform" that does NOTHING to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--two organizations DEEPLY enmeshed in our financial crisis, I grow disheartened. When the Congress kvetches once again about extending unemployment benefits with no way to pay for them, I grow disheartened.

I know that this will all end. The Republicans will take a chamber of the legislature, they will eventually retake the White House. The oil leak will eventually be plugged. The shoreline will eventually be cleansed.

In the meantime, both the spill and this government will cause inestimable damage for years to come. So you tell me. Is this an apt metaphor?

Who Owes First?

Once you get past the frightening gravity of what is being said, the following video clip is actually very funny.

This explains in part my pessimism on the strength and endurance of the 'recovery'.

Hat Tip: Greg Mankiw

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

GOP Suggestion Box

With time, if they are able to separate the wheat from the chaff (and pranksters), this could prove to yield some good policy ideas. A writer at True/Slant has admitted there are some suggestions that are "surprisingly tempered and reasonable." On the other hand, there are suggestions such as one for training ninja cats to hunt terrorists and illegal immigrants. The site could screen out most of the whack err...non-constructive comments though, if it enacted code that screened out overuse of exclamation marks, CAPS LOCK, and misspelled words.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

Anyone else out there feel guilty for the parenting mistakes you know you've made? Get over it. You've been trumped by Indonesian Mohamed Rizal, whose two-year-old Ardi has developed a habit to the point that he throws a tantrum when he can't have a smoke. Pop is unconcerned - after all, he 'looks' healthy.

Congressional Candidate To Appear ON CW LIVE Tonight!

Very pleased to announce that Justin Bernier, candidate for Congress in the 5th District of CT will be with us tonight on the show.

Justin's a Naval Reserve Intelligence Officer, and I thought this was a cool photo.

Conservative Wahoo Live at 8PM.

Donkey Bombs

Now they've gone too far.

Ahmed: So brother, is today the day you finally accept your glorious martyrdom?
Muhammed: Hell no, are you crazy?! Find some other dumb ass to do it.
Ahmed: (shrugs shoulders) Umm...ok.

'Plug The Damn Hole'

If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Agenda For Wednesday's Radio Show

Be sure to join in the fun Wednesday, 26 May at 8PM for The Conservative Wahoo Live! Call in at (347) 637-2203.

Here's our agenda:

We are hoping to spend the first part of the show talking with Republican Congressional Candidate Justin Bernier, who is running for Congress in the 5th District in Connecticut, and if his schedule can support it, he'll call in.

The rest of the show will go as follows:

Radio Show Notes

• Blair firing
o Denny Blair, DNI, fired
§ Retired four star Admiral
§ Was the Navy’s man at CIA as a two-star
§ Very good man
o Thought to lack political skills, or at least those that matter in this White House
§ Picked fights with Leon Panetta—“B” in judgment.
o Big slips in intelligence
§ Underwear bomber
§ Times Square bomber
o But….how can you fire Blair and not fire
§ Holder
§ Napolitano
• Calderon disses us on our own soil
o Arizona law
o Obama and Calderon both talk it down in the Rose Garden
o Speech before Joint Session of Congress
§ Dems cheered his chiding of Arizona
o Doesn’t have a leg to stand on
§ Mexican immigration law very strict
§ Mexican authorities can ask for papers! Just because of how one looks….
• South Korea/North Korea
o Sinking of South Korean ship
§ 46 dead
§ Norks did it
o SoKor so far not ratcheting up a military response
§ Serious diplomatic moves
o Theory is that this was the result of a “succession” issue in North
§ Still an unsatisfying answer
§ Why?
o In the tragedy, there is opportunity
§ Chance to expose China
§ Obvious Nork involvement—push sanctions, make China either act like an adult or expose them as rapacious
§ Demonstrate once again to nations in the region that in a choice between US and cozying up to China, there really is only one choice.
• Rand Paul, Wingnut?
o Bad, bad week
o Not ready for prime time
o Academic, theoretical approach to libertarianism just doesn’t cut it—difference between dorm room political smack talk and how you express yourself on national TV
o I’m not ready to designate him as a wingnut yet—but I’m getting close.
§ No secret that the Dems in KY were HOPING he’d be the Repub nominee
• Financial Regulation

Sorry the format is gooned up here a bit, but you get the gist of it.....

Monday, May 24, 2010

My What Big Brussels You Have...

The Vice President goes to Europe and finally begins to talk of American Exceptionalism.

This Will Make You Make That Face You Make When You Begin to Suspect Someone is Crazy

This piece about Eric Massa in Esquire, reminds me of that time I tried to expose a huge conspiracy.

E.J. Dionne Takes On Social Conservatives

May I burn in hell for ten thousand life-times, but I actually have some affinity for Dionne's arguments here.

You Want To See Media Bias? Lookie Here!

Fred Hiatt runs the editorial page of the Washington Post, and he's a relatively moderate guy. Much of the time, I find myself head-nodding to his columns. Not today.

His subject is a lack of interest in the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pointing to last week's primary elections, Hiatt calls the candidates on a lack of debate/interest in the wars. Hiatt actually takes a pretty good stab at generalizing the dangers of a lack of sincere policy debate about the direction these wars are taking, citing among other things, a continuing distance between the military and the society it observes.

In an effort to suggest why this state of events may be, Hiatt offers two unsatisfying options. From the left, the reason for a lack of debate is (of course) the masterful hand of The One in quieting both the left and right with his nuanced policy choices. From the right, it's because the President has simply chosen not to be a "war President" and doesn't spend his time talking about the war.

So you ask, where is the bias here? Perhaps it is in the simple fact that Hiatt does not even for a second consider the startling change in the tone of press coverage of the wars since the Obama Administration came to power. It's no secret that the workaday press was in the tank for Obama, and the notion that they would hammer their man with the intensity that they took on George W. Bush is laughable. It is simply inconvenient to do so, and it doesn't fit the narrative--nor does (in fact) Obama's continuing and in some cases extending--the Bush approach to the War on Terror in much of its reach.

So--the editorial page editor of one of the nation's leading newspapers looks around for reasons the war is not in the headlines and cannot for the life of him come to ask whether or not it has anything to do with the actions of the folks who buy ink by the barrel. He looks to what?--a Congress controlled by the President's party? Nope. Not gonna happen there. But as long as the Press is also controlled by the President's party, it won't happen there either.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Chat Feature

Let me know what you think....

For those who wish to sign up, it's probably best to do so under the name you use on the site. This could be fun.

UPDATE: Someday, when we've got 100 people at a time on the blog, this will be a huge tool. A little quiet for now....

The Most Important Blog Post You Will Read Today

Arthur C. Brooks of The American Enterprise Institute describes the new "culture war" in the US, one pitting free-enterprise versus government control. His identification of free-enterprise AS a cultural issue is new to me, and I find it particularly persuasive. Indeed, the contrast of Euro-slaves marching in the streets to protest a feared new era of government accountability, with the Tea Party marching in the US to demand such accountability, is striking. We ARE culturally different than Europe, and the march toward statism her is inconsistent with the prevailing culture.

I see in Brooks' words the first real "root cause" analysis of what is motivating the Tea Party movement--at least the first one I've read that makes sense to me. What we see in the Tea Party is an organic, basic rejection of a perceived threat to our very culture. Words such as Brooks' have motivated the Conservative cognoscenti for years--but it was only when some indescribable line was crossed--perhaps it was TARP, perhaps the auto bailouts, maybe the "stimulus bill", that people began to question whether there wasn't something very, very wrong going on in Washington--far more so than any usual griping and grousing about government. People across the country have awakened to the threat of creeping statism--and they have taken to the streets in a deeply emotional--but also deeply American way.

The Republican Party MUST tap into this emotion, but it must also attempt to shape it with serious policy options and a repudiation of its own time in the leadership of Congress, when it greatly expanded the role of government at the same time it severed the relationship of many of the governed from the government through tax policies that have removed nearly half of all wage-earners from contributing to the general operations of the federal government.

There's work to do, friends. Let's get to it.

Dana Milbank On Arlen Specter

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has written an Ode to Arlen, in which he (Milbank) decries the loss of Specter's "independence" from parties and his votes of "conscience" rather than ideology. Oh--and Milbank yet again reminds us that widening party ideologies are the root of all evil in politics today.

I've got another theory for Dana. Maybe voters--evidently of both parties--have the temerity to think that when they vote for someone of their party--that person will largely vote with that party's majority. That he or she will support the President of that party. Yes of course, there will be "conscience" votes, but party voters tend to think such votes will be rare. Make too many of them, and your political future will necessarily be in doubt.

Maybe voters just realized that they couldn't trust Arlen Specter.

Goldwater's Ghost's Financial Adviser Has News For Us

....and it isn't good.

HT: Instapundit

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Lost" Lost Me

I keep reading about the series finale of "Lost" tomorrow night, and for some reason, I feel like I'm missing out on a grand cultural phenomenon. Oh--that's right. I forgot. I'VE NEVER WATCHED LOST.

Here's a partial list of other shows I never watched, most of which are current. This is not all inclusive--but most of them are relatively "popular", at least I hear and read people mentioning them.

1. Lost
2. Survivor (with the exception of season 1, which I did watch)
3. American Idol
4. America's Got Talent
5. The "A" Team
6. Gray's Anatomy (at least not a full episode. I've meandered in whilst the Kitten ogles Patrick Dempsey now and then)
7. Any program, ever, on The CW
8. Friday Night Lights
9. Heroes
10. Brothers and Sisters
11. Cougar Town
12. Dancing with the Stars
13. Extreme Makeover Home Edition
14. Flash Forward
15. Jimmy Kimmell
16. Modern family
17. Private Practice
18. SuperNanny
19. Ugly Betty
20. Wife Swap
21. Amazing Race
22. Big Brother
23. Ghost Whisperer
24. The Good Wife
25. Bones
26. Glee
27. House

Just so's you don't think I'm a complete non-TV watcher, I LOVE the Monday night CBS lineup from 8-10.

That's all.

Another Maryland Conservative Located!

And you can find them at The Maryland Conservatarian. Looks like a smart site, added to my blog list.

Those Swingin' Chi-Coms

Chinese Professor jailed for sex parties.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Hate This Kid

Punk. Show-off.

Is Rand Paul A Wing-Nut?

I'm just askin'. For now.

Dr. K Eviscerates Obama's Foreign Policy

The leaders of Brazil, Iran, and Turkey perform a version of the "we don't fear America" dance. Dr. Krauthammer tells us more.

Why, In God's Name, Is THIS Necessary?

The new Olympic Mascots for London 2012, Wenlock and Mandeville. At least the one on the right has gappy, British teeth, though they appear to be spouting out of his head.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

So--what do you think of the Mexican President coming to our country and criticizing our laws? Especially given Mexico's far more draconian measures? Are we headed into the dreaded "double dip" recession that our resident bear--Goldwater's Ghost--has been predicting? Or is this just a bump in the road while the Euro's get their act together?

It's your turn people. Sound off on what you're thinking about today!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't Panic...

But as of this writing, the Dow is off triple digits (267 points at 10:50am). Oh, that and Congress just agreed to a deal extending expanded unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed through the remainder of the year.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

The Source of My Discomfort With The Tea Party Movement Is Identified

Many readers have figured out by now that I haven't exactly cozied up to the Tea Party movement, to the disappointment of some. I've generally lumped my discomfort into a few categories--I don't like the anti-intellectualism of the movement, I'm afraid I don't get a good sense of what the movement is FOR (though what it is against seems relatively clear), and the prominence of the birth certificate crowd bothers me greatly. But none of those quite cut it as a holistic explanation for my angst. I figured it out last night.

I have an annoying habit (ask the Kitten) of getting worked up in the present about things that MIGHT happen in the future. This is a trait that served me well in the Navy (it's known there as "foresight" and "strategic planning"), but in the civilian, personal and interpersonal worlds, it is less valued. I'm getting worked up right now about what I think it going to happen in 2012--and that is a Tea-Party third party presidential run--a la Ross Perot in 1992 (think Sarah Palin). I've said it before--the Tea Party movement is an insufficiently ideologically coherent construct around which to build a modern political party. But that won't stop them from trying, and it won't stop them from creating enough interest and enough momentum to guarantee Barack Obama an additional four years in the White House. Let's face it--should they do what I'm suggesting, the overwhelming injury will be to the Republican Party. I actually think Rahmbo and Axelrod sit there in the White House loving the rise of the Tea Party movement--yes, it causes them some tactical problems in getting their agenda passed. But strategically? The Tea Party is a gift from the political gods.

The adults in the Republican Party had better start figuring out a way to work with the Tea Party--not roll over for, but work with. Continuing to just ignore them and support your homeboy (as we saw with Mitch McConnell supporting Rand Paul's opponent in KY) is a losing strategy. But so is openly embracing it--as that will surely drive away the apolitical middle you need to create a governing majority. The longer Republicans wait, the more powerful and determined the Tea Party will be.

Rush Limbaugh Is In Charge

At least according to this fellow writing in today's NYT. I don't know how much stock to give it, especially when the author has a "forthcoming" book on the subject.

What's Going On In Thailand?

From Foreign Policy's website, here's one writer's opinion of what is going on in Thailand. I'd be interested to read another view--there's some stock uses of "anti-globalization" and "inequality of income" as the reason for what's going on--but all in all, this seems to be a pretty good overview of why Thailand is in a bit of a pickle right now.

Brother Tom and I have a Facebook Friend who is a doctor living in Bangkok--I've offered him space in the blog should he wish to keep us better informed. At this point, he's a little too busy.

HT: The Browser

Everyone Draw Muhammad Day!

I hadn't known that today was duly considered to be that day, but it sure is a good day for it! Mark Steyn and a blogger called Zombie both weigh in on the day.

HT Instapundit

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Harvard’s Double Standard on Gay Rights


AZ to LA---Two Can Play The Boycott Game

Seems the City of Los Angeles is boycotting Arizona to "send a message". Here's the message they received in return.....classic.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Radio Show Bleg

What do you guys want to talk about tomorrow night?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Supreme Court Needs More Mothers?

I can say without reservation that this kind of diversity charged bean-counting is among the most ridiculous pastimes of modern life.

Urban Hipsters Vs. Young Parents

Read this story and then try to decide who is more loathsome--the parents with the SUV sized strollers or the hipsters who complain about them.

Surely this is a race to the bottom.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In Defense Of Elitism

Here's an interesting view on elitism and the Supreme Court from the Dean of Cal's Law School and a former Clinton Administration official.

Some similarities here between Edley and our blog hero Jonah Goldberg, who has also written in defense of elitism here and here.

Bottom line for both it would seem is that there are simply some places in our society where an "elite" isn't such a bad thing. The Supreme Court strikes me as one of them.

Bush Term 3 (Continued)

Here's a responsibly written WaPost editorial praising the Obama Administration for "gingerly" exploring ways of granting law enforcement authorities additional flexibility when dealing with suspected terrorism cases. By "tweaking" Miranda rights and the right to expeditious arraignment, the Post believes that basic Constitutional protections can be observed while also creating the time and space necessary to extract time sensitive intelligence.

Great. I'm happy that the Obama Administration is considering this, and I think there is a useful debate to be had.

But does ANYONE think that if this idea had arisen in the Bush Administration it would not have been EXCORIATED by the press as yet another incursion on civil liberties by an executive branch run wild? Where is the outrage? Won't this just be another one of those things that "angers" the Islamic world and contributes to terrorist "recruitment"? "See, those Americans will hold you now for 72 HOURS without going before a judge--is this not valid recourse to Jihad?"

Of course not. We won't see these things, as the Obama folks are talking sensibly about national security, unlike when they were running. GWB must be sitting in Dallas smiling when he reads stuff like this.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This One's For Mudge and John S.

The last days of a good dog.

Iowahawk Responds to Anti-Harvard Prejudice

The man is a genius.

Abortion and Sarah Palin

My love/hate relationship with Sarah Palin continues. I love her energy, I love her star power, I love her ability to motivate and move people, and I just plain love the way she looks. I really, really, really don't like her unabashed anti-intellectualism, and I don't cotton to her blatant populism. And frankly, her stance on abortion really confuses me.

Yesterday, at a breakfast meeting of the Susan B. Anthony List (a group dedicated to electing anti-abortion candidates to public office), Palin ONCE AGAIN described what must have been the agonizing process she faced several years ago when she learned that the baby she was carrying had Down Syndrome--and the decision she ultimately made to continue the pregnancy to full term.

I am delighted that Palin made the decision that she did, and I am so grateful that her son has a mother like Palin to love him and raise him.

But isn't it just a little bit ironic that this icon of modern politics--this standard bearer of the pro-life movement--can stand there and talk to a group of women about the CHOICE she made to continue the pregnancy? Again--I support the choice she made and admire her for it. But without Roe v. Wade--there IS NO CHOICE. At least no legal one. The process of reflection, love and sacrifice she and her husband went through in order to reach the decision they did was exactly the kind of process I hope couples facing this decision go through. But prior to Roe v. Wade--the choice came down to carrying the pregnancy to term or breaking the law.

Look--I remain deeply troubled by the concept of abortion. The Pro-Choice movement does the very best job they can dehumanizing human life in order to justify their position. At the same time, the Pro-Life movement minimizes the reality of what carrying an unwanted baby to full term can mean to a woman. There are no easy answers here on either side of this issue. But if we're going to have a meaningful dialogue on this issue, the irony of Sarah Palin's "choice" cannot be dismissed lightly.

Kindle vs. iPad

Well, the showdown occurred here on our bucolic little farm, and I feel obligated to let you all know about it. I've written here glowingly about my ongoing love affair with my large-screen Kindle reader. I cannot even begin to tell you how much reading I've been able to do between meetings, on airplanes, cooling my heels in waiting rooms, etc. The NYT and WSJ download into it every day, and I have a number of books just electronically sitting there waiting for me.

The Kitten recently purchased an iPad. Some background is required here. I have not warmed up to the iPhone, though I am cognizant of its many charms. The plain truth is, i type a LOT of emails everyday on the run, and the iPhone touchscreen keyboard demands a dexterity that is simply beyond me. My Blackberry with actual keys suits my needs far better.

But since an iPad is simply a big iPhone (with even less utility), the whole keyboard thing is overcome. And I've been presented with a dilemma.

You see, I've crowed about my allegiance to the Kindle, largely from the perspective of "knowing myself"--that is, my Adult ADD, short attention span life. Because one can ONLY read on the Kindle, I am not tempted to check my email on it, get stock quotes on it, watch TV shows on it, or do anything else but READ. I have a laptop, I have a Blackberry--i have what I need to do those other functions--but the Kindle provides a superb reading experience--and nothing else.

Then the Kitten got the iPad. I gotta say, the thing is wicked cool. The reader function is great (page turning interface is awesome). It's reading screen is quite nice--in low light, it is superior to the Kindle's (which is not backlit), though I prefer the Kindle's in sufficient light). And yes--all those things I thought I would not like about the iPad and its impact on my reading--apply, but to a degree I only dreamed of before. It really is a fascinating little portal to the wonders of the world.

But--I don't think I'll get an iPad anytime soon. My Kindle is just fine, and what good conservative would throw over a perfectly fine thing doing exactly what it was designed to do? But when it comes time to replace it for whatever reason......I'll probably go with an iPad or some follow-on.

Understatement Of The Day

From the NYT: "Odd Smells in New Orleans..."

You mean beyond the vomit, urine and stale beer?

Coming Soon to a Location Near YOUR Home: Hip Hop Artist, PITBULL

Occasionally when driving home from DC to the more tranquil Eastern Shore, I listen to NPR. I know, I know, but the one thing about NPR is that I don't have to listen to 30-year old virgin DJs trying to be hip, 40-year old DJs who finally earned enough to pay not to be virgins but still trying to be hip and 50-year old car dealers who think yelling at me will make me want to rush to them with substantial amounts of money to enter into a serious business transaction. Every now and again, I force myself to endure the extreme edge of NPR, a lovely little piece of Amerikana called "Democracy NOW!"

Yesterday's program included a piece about Arizona's latest piece of legislation discontinuing "La Raza" (the Race) Studies in Arizona's public schools. Amy Goodman interviewed a "high school student" who had been arrested for a sit in against the legislation and who hoped her daughter would grow up to be proud of her for being arrested. Anyway, lovely arrested high school mother-daughter moment aside, the essence of the story was that Arizona is hopelessly mired in racism and that these La Raza Studies were the one thing that was starting to enlighten the state. Discussion of this law makes for a separate post but the one part of the Dem NOW! coverage that just tickled me was when Ms. Goodman nearly tinkled in her hemp panties as she breathlessly reported that following up on Hip Hop group "Cypress Hill's" lead, Hip Hop "artist", "Pitbull" has cancelled his planned appearance in Tucson to protest the racist policies of the state of Arizona. Poor unmarried, arrested highschool student mother and daughter won't be able to enjoy the thoughtful and melodic lyrics of songs like "Armada Latina" (Latina Army) together.

So let me get this straight. Get your Governor to pass a law like Arizona's and people like Cypress Hill and Pitbull will voluntarily choose to stay clear of your state's children?

"Dear Governor McDonnell,

What Arizona did.

Sincerely, Mudge"

Friday, May 14, 2010

NJ Governor is The Bomb

Watch this. Then tell me this guy isn't for real.

The Best Local Commercial Ever

Courtesy Tigerhawk. Oh--and the Sales Woman is kinda hot.

Henry Louis Gates Debunks Reparations

Beer summit participant and Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates has a book coming out that skewers the notion of reparations begin paid to modern day blacks as recompense for the evils of slavery. Why? According to Gates (quoting other historians), 90% of blacks sold into slavery were sold by other blacks in Africa. Whoops.

H/T Instapundit

Holder Too Busy To Read Law He Criticized

Attorney General Holder admitted before Congress today that the Arizona immigration law he has pilloried and threatened to challenge, has not made his reading list. Ten pages long, all the rage across the country, subject of his own heated rhetoric--and he hasn't read it.

How bout that?

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Here it is once again Ladies and Gentlemen, your chance to sound off--what's got your goat this week? Thinking of taking a quick trip to London to see how the Tories are doing? Or maybe a jet to NYC to hear The One shake down Wall Street donors for more money. Choices, choices--so many things to do!

Share some of what's on your mind with the rest of us. It will be good for you.

Hammer had a great suggestion last week about the Jewish vote in America--I just haven't had time to tee that one up yet.....but I hope to soon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Glass House

Maybe we shouldn't be wagging our fingers so much at the Greece.

The U.S. suffers from a similar problem as Greece. It spends like a socialist
nation, but it taxes like a capitalist nation.

Tories To Form British Government

Well, Gordon Brown is out and David Cameron is in--but he'll have Nick Clegg to thank for it, and the coalition government with the Liberal Democrats is not going to be easy to pull off. I honestly don't see this as a durable governing option--there will be another election much earlier than the five year term this government has earned....

Sestak Pulls Ahead Of Specter

Last August, just after Joe Sestak decided to get in the Senate race in PA against "Snarlin" Arlen Spector (Dem, Repub, Dem), I posted this little ditty confidently stating that Joe Sestak would wear him down. Looks like I was right.

I really, really want Specter to lose this race.

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Here are the topics we'll cover tonight on The Conservative Wahoo Live!

• Supreme Court Nominee Kagan
• Times Square Bomber
• British Election
• Oil Spill
• Tea Party and the defeat of Senator Bennett
• Europe on the Brink—Greek Crisis and Contagion
• Betty White on SNL

Call in at (347) 637-2203 to chat about these or other topics. Cheers!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Samuelson On The Greek Tragedy

Robert Samuelson has an excellent and sobering column up today on why Americans need to pay attention to the meltdown in Greece (and eventually to wider Europe). I'll give you a hint - this is only Act I.

Separated At Birth?

Justice in the wings Elena Kagan, and...

Fiddler on the Roof Zero Mostel.

A Book Review Of A Book I Haven't Read....Yet

This new book by Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) looks intense.

Should The UVA Men's Lacrosse Team Drop Out of the NCAA's?

Robert Thorn rolled a little hand grenade into the Big Fat Friday mix on Friday, linking to a blog post advocating the University of Virginia's Men's Lacrosse Team's dropping out of the NCAA tournament--a tournament they are likely favored to win. This of course, after the murder last week of UVA women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love by a UVA men's team member.

I've spend a bit of the weekend thinking about this, and I've come to a conclusion. I believe that if the UVA Men's team got together and independently decided to drop out--out of respect for Yeardley Love, out of respect for the University now tarnished by this crime, out of (perhaps) some small sense of responsibility that this head-case of a guy had been enabled and coddled by the team, the coach and the athletic department--I would support the decision and I would be proud of them for reaching it.

But if such a decision were imposed upon them--I would not support it. They have worked too hard to be where they are to have to suffer punishment for the actions of one of their teammates.

What do you think the issues are here? What do you think of my view? What's yours?

A Conservative Goes Down In Utah

It looks like the Tea Partiers have their first scalp, and it belongs to a rock-ribbed Conservative from Utah-- Senator Bob Bennett. Bennett lost out in the Utah Republican Party nominating convention, so he'll go home after 18 years in the Senate. Republicans are expected to retain his seat.

A couple of things are worth mentioning.

There is a great deal of "anti-incumbency" feeling out there, and Bennett got swept up in some of it. Clearly, his vote for TARP didn't do him any favors with the many of the Tea Partiers, but you all know how I feel about TARP--and how little respect I have for Republicans who voted against it.

The media are of course eating this up, pointing to it as some kind of a Stalinist purge in the Republican Party being undertaken by the Tea Partiers. I wonder what they'll say if Blanche Lincoln is unhorsed from the left in Arkansas?

But all in all, I don't like this. Bob Bennett was a good Senator and he was a good Party man. Utah will have to send a very quality person forward in order not to have made a terrible mistake here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Stay Classy, CNN...

I saw this clip of CNN's Rick Sanchez channeling his inner Ron Burgundy on Friday over at the Weekly Standard's blog, and it still makes me laugh.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Rick Sanchez Ad-Libs a Tease
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Kagan Determined To Prove She's As 'Vapid And Hollow' As The Rest

Speculation in Washington is that President Obama will announce the selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court early this week. Kagan would be selected to fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Kagan is former Dean of the Harvard Law School, and felt by many on the left as the intellectual counterweight of conservative Chief Justice John Roberts. That's good, as she'll need her wits about her as she attempts an intellectual soft shoe around comments she once made regarding the Senate judicial confirmation process.

In 1995, Kagan wrote an article criticizing the process as a "vapid and hollow charade" because nominees are not forced to say what they think about disputed issues such as abortion, affirmative action, and privacy.

However, when asked to comment about the article last year, Kagan appears to have backpedalled, dismissing it as the brash words of a young Judiciary Committee staffer. "I wrote that when I was in a position of sitting where the staff is now sitting and feeling a bit frustrated", she said, "that I really wasn't understanding completely what the judicial nominee in front of me meant and what she thought."

In other words, I had no idea that in 1995 I would eventually find myself as a nominee to the Supreme Court. And now that I do, I have no intention of jeopardizing this gig by tipping my hand.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Doonesbury Needs Your Help

Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau took great glee in highlighting the gaffes of former President George W. Bush both during and after his two terms in office, devoting several of his Sunday panels to "Bushisms". In this Sunday's strip, Trudeau snarkily offers up his newest collection of "Obamisms":

- "I've been in 57 states - I've think one left to go."
- "Navy Corpseman Christian Brossard..."
- "I don't...didn't"
- "Thanks to Pete...Peter here."
- "The folks to who, sorry, to whom..."

That's it. Get it? The lack of gaffes means that the White House is finally safe in the hands of a true intellectual. In fact, three of the remarks are actually those where he corrects himself, proving not only Obama's superior mind, but his humility as well.

After reading the comic, I shook my head in disbelief and thought, "there has to be more. I mean, I could have sworn there were some whoppers in Obama's first year worthy of mention in Doonesbury's "Obamaisms". Sure enough, a quick Google search provided the following bounty:

- "From the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor...."
- "It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different than the United States. There's a lot of -- I don't know what the term is in Austrian." (There is no Austrian language).
- "No, no. I've been practicing...I bowled a 129. It's like, it was like Special Olympics or something."
- "The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system."
- "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems." The President made this remark in an attempt to make the case for government-run health care
- "The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries."
- "How's it going, Sunshine?" - campaigning in Sunrise, Florida

And who can forget:

- "On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."

See Gary? The material is there - you just have to know where to look. I'm sure CW readers can provide their own examples in the comments section.

A Bit Of Christopher Hitchens' Upcoming Autobiography

I'm a big Christopher Hitchens' fan--great writing, wonderful command of the English language. He and Martin Amis have enjoyed one of our times' great writing friendships, and some of it can be found in this longish excerpt from Hitch's upcoming autobiography. Also a great story about Maggie Thatcher.

From The Browser

PIMCO Chief of Role of Credit Ratings Agencies

We've tossed around the role of credit ratings agencies in the financial crisis on the blog before, but nowhere near as well as PIMCO Chief Bill Gross does in this post.

HT--The Browser

Re-Arranging Deck Chairs on the RNC Titanic

It seems RNC Chairman Michael Steele has forced out his Finance Chairman and Deputy as a result of some embarrassing moves recently. Fine. Sounds good to me. But when is someone going to force Steele out.

I'm working on a little project in Washington right now. Fun, political stuff. Sorta "earning my bona fides" as it were. Whenever I talk to insiders about what the most effective amplifying mechanism for our work is, talk immediately turns to how toxic, radioactive and moribund the RNC is as an arm for such work. It is a damn shame. We're supposed to be the Party of Adults--it's time for the adults in charge to get rid of Steele and re-energize the RNC into an effective Party leadership organization.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The King, A Slave To The Throne

In a new book, Elvis' doctor claims the King died as a result of chronic constipation. And you thought you knew everything about Elvis, didn't you. But perhaps in this case some things are better left with the dead.

There but by the grace of Metamucil go I, brother.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Been a tough week, gang. Lots of work....

What have YOU been doing? What's got your interest? Let the rest of us know, why don't you?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: American Flag Found Disrespectful

One would think this would be dramatic irony at its finest point, but when one considers that this nonsense happened in the Bay Area, one realizes that it really is not such an incongruity.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Frum and Goldberg -Is Obama Socialist?

Who Will Bail The Bailers?

Investor Marc Faber, publisher of the cheerily-titled Gloom, Boom and Doom, predicts a crash of the Chinese economy within the next nine to twelve months. It is estimated that upwards of 60 percent of the Chinese GDP growth is driven by construction. Although the government has implemented various fix-a-flat measures to try to contain housing prices, it has stopped short of raising interest rates, saying that it remains committed to expansionary policies. Sound familiar?

It's like Groundhog Day...

A Horrible Crime At UVA

This story really, really bothers me. There are so many elements to my angst--the obvious one--the death of a beautiful, accomplished young woman. Then there is the discontinuity of this kind of crime in the place that I knew for my four years there. Then there's the element of privilege, both in terms of the assailant's background and the cloistered world of star athletes in premier sports programs. So much wasted here, so horribly wasted.

On Travel

I'm in Newport, RI this week at the China Maritime Studies Institute's annual conference. Newport is a great town--I've spent a good bit of my adult life here going to various Navy schools. I'm staying in a fantastic old hotel--the Hotel Viking. I stayed here about ten years ago, and it had gone to seed a bit. Some upgrades have been implemented since then and it is really a nice place to stay.

One MAJOR complaint though. Remember those hotel room coffee pots? The one's I've written about here on the blog, the ones whose pots are seemingly equipped with some kind of "dribble" feature rendering them unable to be poured without excessive spillage? Well, I'd KILL for one of those right now. It's almost six am, room service doesn't start for another half hour, there is no free coffee in lobby until 7 and there's NO COFFEE POT IN THE ROOM. I've already fired off a feisty email to the management. Hmph.

No Radio Show Tonight

I'll be heading home from business travel. Be back next week, 5/12

Monday, May 3, 2010

Navy Stuff

Two links here.

The first is an article I wrote for the Naval Institute Proceedings. It is in their May issue.

The second is a response to a speech SECDEF Gates gave yesterday in which he took on the Navy.

UPDATE: Was interviewed on the phone by the Wall Street Journal yesterday for my thoughts on Secretary Gates' speech; that article is here.

Are Conservative Family Values an Anachronism?

This piece posits that red state family values are ill-suited for our current day and age and are more likely to result in failed marriages. Having grown up in arguably the reddest of states and just now performing a quick mental scrub of high school chums, many of the reddest among them are on their second marriages (at least) while the less red of us (does that make us pink?) are still on our first marriages or are still unmarried. I'm sure there are other factors that contribute to this disparity, such as relatively levels of High Fructose Corn Syrup consumed - I'll let you guess with which group HFCS correlates....I kid. I kid.

Dead Solid Perfect

A British Army sniper picked off two Taliban machinegunners in Afghanistan from a distance of 8,120 ft., or 1.54 miles.

Not too shabby.

Virginia's Attorney General Is Ridiculous

I looked on with approval when Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli warned Virginia colleges against extending anti-discrimination protection to people based on sexual orientation (something the State Legislature had not yet done), though I wondered if his motives were something other than wishing to protect the Commonwealth from exposure to litigation.

When a liberal friend sent me this article from Charlottesville detailing Cuccinelli's personal "Climategate" investigation of increasingly marginalized climate scientist Michael Mann (who had spent time at UVA), I shook my head in dismay, wondering if there weren't any child molesters that Cuccinelli could spend time pursuing.

Now this--Cuccinelli has decided that the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia--which exposed the left breast of "Virtus" slaying a tyrant--was too much for our delicate eyes, and he (with PAC money) has designed an alternative seal and had it emblazoned on a pin that he distributed to his staff. I've linked to the story from Huffington Post--be not afraid, your eyes will not explode if you open it.

Cuccinelli was likely the beneficiary of Bob McDonnell's vast popularity in the 2009 election--and I'm beginning to think it unfortunate that this was the case. So far, I've seen nothing to like in this prig of a show-horse.

Terror Plot In NYC

News this weekend of yet another terror plot foiled due to operator error (see "Skivvy Bomber", "Shoe Bomber").

At some point, they'll find someone smart enough to be successful. That will be a sad and terrifying day.

United, Continental to Merge Into One Giant, Crappy Airline

As the US Airline industry continues to consolidate, leaving air travel every day more like the $12 bus from Chinatown in DC to NY, Continental and United are proposing to merge into the world's largest crappy airline. Joy of joys.

These days I go out of my way to fly Southwest. I love LUV.

Two Great True Spy Tales

From The Browser.

The first is the story of a grand British deception operation in WWII written by the talented Malcom Gladwell (Blink, The Tipping Point). The second, a modern story about a Russian agent in Estonia rising to become one of the most damaging spies in NATO history.

Both are long--but worth reading.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April Blog Stats

Total Visits: 4340
Return Visits: 2966 (68%)
New Visitors: 1374 (32%)
Average Time On Site: 3:26
Dec 2o09 Average Daily Visitors: 117
January 2010 Average Daily Visitors: 146
February 2010 Average Daily Visitors: 159
March 2010 Average Daily Visitors: 151
April 2010 Average Daily Visitors: 145

The data is a bit confused. Since December, readership is up 23%--but that is because December was an unusually light month. Since January, readership is stable. But the trend is downward since February.

It is clear that I use of Facebook is the most effective way for me to drive traffic to the site. Sometimes I forget to use it.

Wall Street Traders Are Coming For Your Job!

From The Corner on National Review Online. I repeat it all here, as it is wonderful stuff:

We are Wall Street. It's our job to make money. Whether it's a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn't matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn't hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone's 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I've never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you're only going to hurt yourselves. What's going to happen when we can't find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We're going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We're used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don't take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don't demand a union. We don't retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we'll eat that.

For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We're going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half. I'll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.

So now that we're going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we're going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren't going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We're going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it's really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.

We aren't dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fear And Self-Loathing In Haiti

Activist Amanda Kijera, in Haiti to "empower Haitians to self-sufficiency" and "remind them of the many great contributions Afro-descendants have made to this world", found ultimately that some people don't care that she is a Malcolm X scholar, and just want to watch the world burn:

"Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning, I started to write what I thought was a clever editorial about violence against women in Haiti. The case, I believed, was being overstated by women's organizations in need of additional resources. Ever committed to preserving the dignity of Black men in a world which constantly stereotypes them as violent savages, I viewed this writing as yet one more opportunity to fight "the man" on behalf of my brothers. That night, before I could finish the piece, I was held on a rooftop in Haiti and raped repeatedly by one of the very men who I had spent the bulk of my life advocating for."

It's OK though; she's "grateful" for the experience, and doesn't seem to harbor any ill-will toward her attacker - choosing instead to blame his indiscretion on "rage at the white world."

If Hillary Threw Lamps, What's Michelle Going To Do?

The Wizard Aliens are back. How else to explain the news from the National Enquirer that President Obama may be embroiled in a cheating scandal with a former campaign aide?

The Enquirer's case at this point is a bit thin - but after their dogged pursuit of John Edwards, I'm not sure I'd want them poking around my garbage cans.

My advice to Obama: "It wasn't me."

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