Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Senate Suspends Disbelief Long Enough To Confirm Petraeus

By a vote of 99-0, the Senate has approved General Petraeus' nomination as the new military commander in Afghanistan.

Nice to know that D's and R's can agree on something.

Al's Blue Dress Moment

Blech - Al Gore apparently left a little more than a tip during his layover in Portland.

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Here's the working agenda for tonight's Conservative Wahoo Live! internet radio program at 8PM: 

--The Economy/Stock Market
--No budget resolution in 2010
--The Russians Are Coming
--Robert Byrd
--Sotomayor Lies, Kagan Follows her lead (2nd Amendment)
--Financial Regulation—but no Fannie and Freddie
--Scott Brown most popular politician in Mass
--World Cup

Call in to chat at (347) 637-2203

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Radio Show Bleg

Soliciting your ideas for topics to discuss on tomorrow night's edition of The Conservative Wahoo Live!  Let me know what you think. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Washington Post "Journolist" Scandal

Since I live so close to the echochamber that is Washington DC, I had myself sorta convinced that the Washington Post "Journolist" scandal was something only folks in these parts were following.  My recent web-meanderings leave me convinced otherwise. 

To review: last year, the Post hired a young man named "Dave Weigel" as a blogger/reporter to "cover" the conservative movement in the United States.  Many conservatives treated this development with concern, as there is an almost reflexive tendency among the right today to believe in mainstream bias against the them. Note please--Weigel was not hired to provide "commentary"--he was hired as a reporter.

Last week, it seems a bunch of emails Weigel wrote on a 400 person list-server called "Journolist" run by WaPost "Commentator" Ezra Klein were leaked--in them, Weigel displayed open animosity to the right, the Tea Party movement, basically anything having to do with the things he was supposed to be neutrally covering.  This situation led to Weigel being fired by the Post on Friday.

Conservatives are up in arms all over the interwebs, and with justification.  The sense that the MSM is biased against the right is pervasive, and it seems that sometimes even the paranoid have something to be worried about.  That there would be this shadow network of reporters sharing their thoughts and biases with each other--and in Weigel's case---openly trying to impact the coverage of stories by other reporters, strikes many as simply emblematic of the problem with the MSM.   So far, the reactions I've seen from the left, Klein and others consist mainly of bemoaning the leaking of private emails.  No insightful look into the dark heart of journalism, no real sense that what they were doing--or at least what Weigel was doing--was wrong.

Ann Althouse's blog is covering this things pretty well in and among a lot of other pretty funny and interesting things. 

Spending Our Way To Solvency

President Obama continues to beat the Keynesian drum of spending our way to solvency, with Paul Krugman no doubt cheering from the sidelines.  At the G-2- conference this weekend, The One apparently hectored the Europeans to spend more while they seem more interested in reining in spending.  Apparently our current economic torpor is the result of insufficient spending, at least according to the President and his buddy Dr. Krugman.  Tis a sad day indeed when one looks to the other side of the Atlantic for wise and restrained fiscal discipline. 

Robert Byrd Dies

West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd is dead.  In the spirit of the Teddy Kennedy rule, I will try not to speak ill of the dead.  I will only state that while the stories of his death will invariably mention his time as a KKK member and a leader of the anti-Civil Rights movement on the Hill, his place in the Democratic Party virtually assures that these aspects of his political life will get the whitewash--something Jesse Helms never got.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

To the President of OUR team, happy birthday.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What a load of carp

Since 4,237 czars are not enough for this Administration, Sen Dick Durbin of Illinois is urging that a 'Carp Czar' be appointed to curb the growing presence of Asian carp in Lake Michigan.

I can't discern from the article why this is is such a harrowing problem. Nor can I imagine someone introducing himself as the Carp Czar at a cocktail party. I do imagine there are other things Senator Durbin could be spending his time on, though.

That is one ugly fish.

It's Official: I'm a Dinosaur

I'm aware that my chronological age is (mumble) but my mental/emotional age is still a good 20 years less. That was until today. I went from feeling technologically hip to being a technological dinosaur having read just one article about something I thought I understood, and understood well: cell phones, the iPhone in particular.

The article, by Managing Editor for PCMag Mobile, Sascha Segan, begins matter of factly:
"The iPhone 4 is the best iPhone ever. That's for certain. It's the best media playing phone on the market, a terrific camera phone, and a truly awesome game-playing phone.".
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know all that, but I want to know about the quality of the calls--coverage, clarity, etc. I mean, afterall, it IS a phone, no?

Sascha must have read my thoughts because his next sentence was:
"It's not the best phone-calling phone, but we've gone well beyond the era when everyone bought handheld, networked computers primarily for making long voice calls"
We had? I must have fallen for that nano-age-old marketing ploy of calling it the "i-PHONE." Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em...or just gracefully admit that you are extinct. When I was looking for a picture of a Mudgeasaurus to close out this post, wouldn't you know it, I found a dinosaur app for the iPhone. It shouldn't be much longer that my liquid carbon remains will be bubbling up from the Gulf.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coming Attractions

From the producers of Tiger Woods: The Animated Adventure comes...Gorenator 2: Rise of the Machine, complete with alternate happy ending.

I'm not one for foreign films, but thought this translated well.

Vote for Clint Webb

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's on your minds, folks?  Distraught at not being given field command in Afghanistan?  Got a good idea to cap the oil in the Gulf?  What are you reading these days.

Here's your chance to sound off.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Quick Question For My Readers

Is it just me, or did the ascent of a Democrat into the White House (and subsequent stewardship of two wars) eliminate the annoying Dem talking point about the War in Iraq being "longer than World War II"?  We used to hear that over, and over--but not anymore.

Did the war magically shorten?

Why Petraeus Took The Job

Many in the media have wondered aloud why General David Petraeus would have agreed to a "demotion" in moving from the Commander of the US Central Command to what is in effect, a subordinate effort in Afghanistan.  Here are three reasons all of which are or could be in play:

1.  The military calls them "orders" for a reason.  If this is what the Commander in Chief wanted, then the military mind is hard wired to gulp down and get it done.  Yes of course, Petraeus could have declined the command--but that just isn't the way it is done.  You do the hard things your boss asks you to do so that you get to go on and do more hard things.
2.  The challenge.  Petraeus strikes me as a guy who thrives on challenge.  I imagine that while he's come to enjoy the emoluments associated with being a combatant commander, riding to the sound of the guns is another hard-wired instinct in many a military mind--and Afghanistan is where the shooting is.
3.  The deal.  I'm sorry--but this is a conservative political website, and we live in a cynical age.  Every person I've ever talked to in the Army who knew David Petraeus at any level refers to him as "ambitious".  I consider this to be a positive trait--though others may not.  I have a feeling that the Administration gave Petraeus  the sense that if he went and did this job for the President, he would be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  ADM Mullen has about 18 months left in the job, and the beauty contest to replace him has already begun.  Make no mistake (think of Mr. Obama when you read that), Petraeus would have been a favorite even without this latest post--but I can easily see the wheeler-dealers in the West Wing making the pot right by clarifying the competition from the outset.

Finally, command of the field army in Afghanistan is surely NOT a demotion.  It is the most important foreign engagement underway, it is a centerpiece of Administration strategery, and now the President is "all in".  Whatever "lack of interest" McChyrstal felt is unlikely to continue, and I imagine Petraeus is going to get his weekly one on one with the One as a matter of course.

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Remember folks, The Conservative Wahoo Live! internet radio program airs this week tonight (Thursday) at 8PM.  Here's the working agenda for the show:

--The McChrystal Affair
--The Petraeus Selection
--The War in Afghanistan
--Election results (Big Fred leads)
--BP Yachting vs. Presidential golf
--World Cup/Soccer in the US

Don't forget to call in and join the conversation at (347) 637-2203

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII Turns On Obama

I give you, the incomparable--Iowahawk.

The President and The General

President Obama acted wisely and correctly today in asking for General McChrystal's resignation from command of the field army in Afghanistan (I realize it isn't called that, I just like writing it).  And now General Petraeus will re-don his battle-rattle and head back into the fight, a place in which he has proven himself with distinction for the better part of ten years now.

This is however, Mr. Obama's last chance in Afghanistan.  If Petraeus cannot turn the corner on the battle with the Taliban in relatively short order (and I mean six months), it will be time for the President to cut our losses and begin to think differently about how to deal with denying safe haven to Al Qaeda.  Perhaps at the end of the day, Joe Biden had it right after all.  I don't know--but I supported the President's policy out of a sense that he be given the opportunity to win--and if we cannot, then it is time to end the nearing nine-year war.

The President's speech was sober and appropriate--he said all the right things, and he said them well.  He is the protector of an office, an office that cannot countenance the kind of disloyalty displayed by McChrystal and his team.

We Americans should ALL be proud today.  One of our cherished bedrock tenets--civilian control of the military--was reinforced for all to see.  The Army will not now alight from the barracks in coup d'etat.  The Constitution reigns supreme here in the land of liberty, the war must go on.  All good things to General McChrystal, a man who gave his all to the country.  

Strange Times: Or How The NYT Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

A New York Times op-ed contributor believes he's settled on the way to fix the oil leak in the Gulf: blow it up.

Funny, when Daniel Foster of the National Review advocated a similar position a few weeks ago, he was excoriated by several left-leaning bloggers as a wingnut. Let's see if this Times piece evokes the same reaction.

The Best McChrystal Theory I've Seen Yet

Peter Feaver of Foreign Policy's Shadow Government thinks out loud and probably is very close to the truth. 

Obama Labor Secretary: Illegals Have a Right to a Fair Wage

 This crew is simply unreal.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

General McChrystal Must Go

General Stanley McChrystal is a warrior's warrior, a man largely at war for the past 9 years, and a man deeply schooled in the dark arts of special operating forces (SOF).  He has earned our thanks and he has earned our admiration for his dedication to mission and to country.  But he has also earned his ticket home.

I am not a big fan of this President; I am however, a fan of The Presidency, and Barack Obama fairly won the right to exercise the duties of the office.  One of the duties of the office is to protect its prerogatives and its powers, chief among which is the power of Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.  General McChrystal's comments to a Rolling Stone reporter do not rise to the level of a UCMJ violation.  They do however, rise to the level of a firing offense.  No General in the field can conduct himself openly with the press the way McChyrstal did, and from the lax standards that seemed to have been enforced on his staff, it does not seem that McChrystal paid any particular attention to maintaining an appropriate level of discipline in others.

McChrystal spent almost his entire career in the secretive and cloistered world of SOF.  That he was elevated to command of a Field Army was rare for a man not of the infantry, the armor, or the artillery.  It does not appear to me that McChrystal's time in the shadows has served him well in the blinding light of field army command.  Perhaps his miscues at the start of his tour there were--as the Obama team surmised then--a sign that he just wasn't for prime time.  

Barack Obama must ask for his resignation; if he does not get it, he must fire him.

There are no indispensable Generals--but there is one indispensable office. 

Radio Show Bleg

Ok folks--don't forget, we're on Thursday night this week, not Wednesday night.

Obviously we'll be talking about McChrystal, whose fate will be sealed by then--but what else is on your minds?  What other burning issues should we take up?

Monday, June 21, 2010


I've got a few things to take care of Wednesday evening folks, so I'm moving the show this week to Thursday night at 8PM.

I hope that doesn't inconvenience too many.

A Little Dandy From Instapundit

BP CEO Hayward is taking a lot of guff for his yachting.  But from the Obama crowd?  Barack's up to 8 rounds since the spill started, and Rahm and his family went to Israel for a son's Bar Mitzvah.  In a perfect world, Hayward and Obama would be able to enjoy some downtime without criticism.  Problem is, we don't live in that world.

Samuelson on Obama and Energy

Robert Samuelson provides us with another example of his straightforward, clear thinking.  Listening to Mr. Obama's Oil Spill Energy Policy speech the other night, I was struck by his cherry picking of China's investments in "clean energy".  Sure they're investing--even as they build two coal fired plants a month. 

I simply don't see us moving away from fossil fuels any time soon--and I don't see it happening at all without there being some inducement to cut demand (i.e. a tax).  We DO need to move away from fossil fuels--as a national security imperative.  We cannot continue to be held hostage by a cartel of petrocrats, many of whom are using the profits from our use of oil to fund terror support efforts.

So there, I've said it.  We need to raise taxes on fossil fuels.  No "cap and trade" bullshit.  A plain old tax hike.  Offset it somewhere else in the tax code--either in income taxes or through payroll taxes (as Charles Krauthammer has offered).  The "free market" isn't going to solve this one, much as I wish it would.

UPDATE:  Some additional info on how that free market's working for us, Mudge.  

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On The Road Again....

I'm sitting in the delightful little Delta Airlines club room here at the airport in Nashville, TN, having just escorted one of the kittens here via BWI.  I transferred custody to her best friend and her friend's Dad---a family who moved away from our town on the Eastern Shore last Summer.  Their moving was heartbreaking to the older of the two kittens, and getting the two kids back together has been a priority of mine ever since. With a flight home two hours from now, I seek the refuge of the day pass in the Delta lounge, and watch the goings on from South Africa with bemusement.  I've come to equate the calm and sterility of airport lounges with prime blogging time, so forgive me if I prattle on.

Prior to popping into this womb-like room, I had an early (1015) lunch at a bar in the airport terminal.  While I used to drink quite a bit, I generally confined my imbibing to those parts of the day most generally associated with tippling.  I never really considered mid-morning to be one of those times, though my compatriots in the airport bar seemed not to mind.  There were about six people at the bar by the time I left, each of them having drifted there singularly, drawn by the site of the World Cup in the background.  From what I could tell, none of them knew each other before sitting down.  I watched as each new arrival was welcomed into the fold, and in turn, warmly greeted his fellow revelers.  I wondered--is there some link here?  Are those with a propensity to drink mid morn simply more garrulous than others?  Are shy people unlikely to drink publicly at this time of day?  Who knows.  They appeared to be having a fantastic time though.

I have been startled by the attractiveness of the women I've seen wandering around this airport.  Can it be that the "show business" aspect of Nashville makes this a little LA, or Vegas?  Perhaps I'll spend more time here next time.

I offended a goodly number of Facebook friends the other day by taking a bit of a shot at US soccer, pointing out that a nation of 2 million souls (Slovenia) had tied us--a nation of 310 million.  After forty years of listening to how soccer's explosion in the US was just around the corner, I'm growing weary of our underperformance.

A bit more about "the beautiful game"?  The injury faking is out of control, the writhing in pain, the obvious dives--this is making soccer into performance art.  You don't see this in the women's game.  Nope.  Not like that.

Ok, enough airport rambling for now.

UPDATE:  Oh, two more things:  1) one of the stadiums the world cup is played in looks like a pretzel from the side view.  2)  I'm tired of all the majestic, Lion King sounding music that accompanies all the commercials for the soccer.

How not to experience a baseball game

1. Have seats on the first base line for an afternoon game, ensuring you’re in the worst possible spot for unrelenting sunshine and heat on an oppressively hot summer day.
2. Leave the ballpark in a fit of pique when your team is losing 9-4 in the ninth, and you KNOW there’s no way they can come back.
3. As you leave your seat heading to the exit and you hear that Jim Thome has hit a 2-run home run, thereby making the score 9-6 with one out in the ninth, briefly consider staying…but dismiss the thought. After all, as was previously addressed, there’s no way your team can come back.
4. Think you’re somehow smarter than everyone else in the stadium by leaving in the top of the ninth, so you’ll beat the crowd heading out of the parking lot…only to spend 45 minutes traveling a 100-yard stretch on Broad Street with 20,000 equally smart people.

My love for the Minnesota Twins cannot be questioned. (My beloved’s loyalty is to the Phillies.) But after a Saturday afternoon of anemic hitting, shamefully bad pitching, apathetic fielding, and falling into a 7-3 hole in the second inning, even I had had enough and bolted. Which is when the Twins decided to stage an epic comeback against the Phillies and win 13-10 in the 11th. This was all captured on the radio as we rolled away from the stadium. So I enjoyed almost none of the game...until we left. The Phillie Phan beside me enjoyed nearly all of the game...until we left. MORAL OF THIS SAD LITTLE STORY: no matter the odds, stay until the last out, folks.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Good BP Ad, If They Follow Through

I find this to be a pretty effective ad; what do you think?

Critical Link in Food Supply at Risk!!! We Are All Doomed!!! "Holy Pancakes, Batfish!"

Gotta love CNN. Here they assert in their accompanying photo caption that the "recently-discovered" Louisiana Pancake Batfish "plays an important role in the foodchain." Okay, they have my attention. I had never heard of this silver dollar-sized morsel with a face only a mother pancake batfish could love, but appreciating the intricacies of the food chain, was interested in the linkage this deepwater hors d'ouvre might have in that chain.

So, having set the context of having discovered a biological disaster that will affect species well-beyond the pelicans, oysters and Gulf Coast tourist toefly, CNN writer, Kelly Lynch goes on to write: "[The LPB] lives an anonymous sort of existence on the seabed of the Gulf, some 1,500 feet below the waves and -- like all marine life in the gulf -- plays its role in the food chain."

That's it, Kelly of CNN? "plays its role?" First of all, I think you need not limit your comparison to just marine life in the gulf, or, for that matter to just marine life. I think it fair to say that any life anywhere "plays its role in the food chain." But of course that wouldn't have been much of a story now would it? I suspect there are 1000s of naturally-occurring mutations walking on, tunneling under and drifting along the seabed around the world right now, but at sample size one or, for that matter, even 10,000, I think it a bit of a stretch to declare their role in the foodchain as "important."

The point here, Kelly of CNN, is that there is ample factual reporting that you and your colleagues can do on this incident. It's already pretty well accepted that it is a massive ecological disaster. You don't have to make up a story that doesn't exist to draw attention to the seriousness of the problem (except maybe at the White House and even they finally seem to have grasped that fact). And your job as a journalist is to journal, not foment. So leave the hyperbole to the tabloids and networks like MSNBC and CNN...oh, wait a minute...never mind.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm Dead, And I Vote!

As part of its promise to review each federal departmental budget 'line by line', the Obama Administration announced today that it will no longer be sending checks out to 20,000 dead people. The action is expected to save an estimated $180 million.

No word yet on whether ACORN Communities United will challenge the new policy on the grounds that it violates the Voter Registration Act.

Reason Finally Has a Reason to Love Sarah Palin

Reason Magazine hasn't exactly been friendly territory for Sarah Palin, what with her pro-lifiness and all--but now the stoner libertarians will have sufficient cause to jump on the Palin bandwagon: she's all for being able to pass the dutchie in the privacy of one's home.

How bout that?

Well I'll Be--the RNC isn't COMPLETELY Incompetent!

Lookee here at this bit of political action. Well played, RNC.

GOP House Member in Hot Water Over "Shakedown" Comment

I don't understand this. Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) referred to Mr. Obama's $20B extortion hit on BP as a "shakedown" during a Congressional hearing the other day, and Republican House leadership made him apologize for it.


Isn't that what it was? There is a legal process for filing claims and a legal process to determine culpability and negligence. Are these processes no longer the way we work things out?

Barton got it right, and Boehner and Cantor are acting like weenies on this one.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Here it is once again, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you wait for each day with baited breath (what does that mean, by the way?).

Your turn to spout off---what's on your mind? Wondering if Chris Christie can be president in the age of television? Thinking the President's shakedown of BP certainly qualifies as one of those "abuses of power" we heard so much about when a Republican was in the White House?

Speak now!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peak Oil?

"Oil is a finite resource", the President intoned in his address to the nation last night. "We're running out of places to drill."


Scientists are providing new estimates that as much as 2.5 million gallons of crude oil per day may be leaking from the damaged oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

2.5 million gallons. Per day. From one rig.

MoDo Dogs The One

Maureen Dowd is increasingly falling out of love with The One.

The Sobering Reality Of High Expectations

The mainstream media has awoken this morning to discover the community activist and sometime-senator from Illinois they campaigned for and helped elect to this nation's highest office in 2008 isn't the man they fell in love with.

Go figure.

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Join Fred and me tonight at 8PM on The Conservative Wahoo Live! Here's a list of things we'll try to get to:

  • The Oil Spill
  • Should the children of illegal immigrants receive automatic citizenship?
  • Why are teachers, firemen, and policemen sacrosanct during hard times?
  • NC Lawmaker assaults film crew
  • 2012 GOP Race handicapping
Things are always more fun when we get a good group of callers, so dial in at (347) 637-2203 or join us in the chatroom

Monday, June 14, 2010

'I Can't Suck It Up With A Straw...'

Oh, I don't know about that...

"Even though I'm President of the United States, my powers are not limitless...I can't...jump in there and plug it up...".

Sounds like a guy who is beginning to doubt his own press clippings.

A Testy Dem Doesn't Like The Question....

Two Cheers for the Washington Post on Nuclear Waste

The WaPost editorial page raises the issue of nuclear waste and the role that its disposal plays in frustrating a further build-out of nuclear power in our country. My praise is limited however, in that the editorial staff simply cannot bring itself to question the President and Senator Reid on exactly why it is the taxpayers have sunk billions of dollars into Yucca Mountain--money Reid and the rapacious Nevada Congressional delegation have been happy to accept--without so much as an an ounce of waste material being stored there and no prospect for its future storage. Instead, the President impanels yet another "blue ribbon" commission to study the issue and gives it two years to decide.

This is hogwash. It is time to complete Yucca Mountain and begin shipping the nation's nuclear waste from its temporary, on-site storage locations to a location tailor-made--with billions of dollars of gold plating to boot--for its storage.

Obama and the "Doc Fix"

US doctors who take Medicare patients are looking at a 21 percent reduction in their pay as a result of Congressional inaction on passing the "Doc Fix", an annual exercise in budget prestidigitation in which habitually underfunded Medicare levels are "fixed" with special legislation. Why is this all of a sudden a big issue? Why, because we just passed a trillion dollar government takeover of the healthcare system, that's why. In the "old days"--that is, before our accelerated slide into Euro-socialism--the cost of the "fix" was considered a cost of doing business, just another one of the budget tricks played with such skill on Capitol Hill. But now, the addition of $80B to the deficit starts to look like real money--as the nation falls increasingly into unsustainable debt. What must be remembered here is that the Administration healthcare proposal did not include the "Doc Fix" in its cost--even though everyone knew it had to be taken into consideration. The President is of course now hectoring Republicans for hazarding the nation's healthcare system--even as he hazards its entire system.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What Do One Wrong and One Semi-Right Make? An Unusually Right Maureen Dowd Article

Thought I'd try to beat CW to lavishing praise on Maureen Dowd for a change. But first, no review of anything she has ever written would be complete (or credible) without pointing out just how incredibly deluded she can be and most often is.

In this Op-Ed about Obama and the media, she implies that the media is not and never really has been in Obama's bed. In fact, she asserts that it is only a unique handful of "some ideological cable guys and besotted columnists — including some conservatives" who have given the MSM an Obiased name.


Maureen, Maureen, Maureen. Quit looking in those mirrors that make you look so much slimmer and face up to the fact that you and the White House Press Corps concubines have been figuratively sleeping between POTUS and FLOTUS in a three-way lovefest (all three deeply in love with POTUS). And a few semi-critical Op-Eds here and there over the course of the most destructive Presidency in my lifetime amount to nothing more than hopping out of bed to take care of biological necessities before hopping right back into the love nest to resume your nuit d'amour.

But even Ms. Dowd appears to have figured out that after telling him she loves him ("I love you Barak Obama", "Of course you do, Maureen. I love me too."), he just isn't that into her. So, like a once fawning admirer who finally understands what all her girlfriends have been telling her since she started dating that guy with the leather jacket and motorcycle who can't pass a mirror without pulling out his comb, not only does this guy not love you, HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE ANY NEED FOR YOU. Sure, he'll let you keep jumping into bed with him, but he has no compunction about tossing you out on Pennsylvania Avenue if you mention that you just want to talk.

I can't tell if she's more hurt at the realization that she's lost someone she never had or the realization that she's been giving up her pu--litzer to a guy who couldn't care less about her.

Let's hope she can start getting it right more often from here on out. But call me a Dowding Thomas--she appears to be falling for Say It Ain't So Joe.

Just Plain Nuts!

One of my favorite Far Side cartoons was of the goofy-looking character cluelessly babbling on while reclined upon a psychiatrist's couch and looking over the psychiatrist's shoulder the reader can see the psychiatrist scrawled "Just plain nuts!" on his notepad. Well, one has to wonder how much being immersed day in and day out with people who are nuts might also start to affect the psychiatrist's mental and emotional well-being.

So this story about French psychiatrists at the University of Toulouse (rhymes with "screw loose") gives a glimpse into just how close to the mental border this profession resides.

The psychs claim that their in absentia, post-mortem, en cinema et livre psych eval of Star Wars villain, Darth Vader, is merely to help educate those who read comic books (and never leave their mother's basement?) to understand mental illness in an effort to remove the associated stigma. Uh huh.

This was a perfect belittle-the-French story until I read on that a psychiatrist from the United States (of course, he IS from California) decided to debate their diagnosis arguing that Mr. Vader lacked many of the requisite factors for such a finding.

It appears the mental border is as easy to traverse as the Mexico/US border...northbound at least.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Non-Curmudgeonly Book Review

Despite the fact that it is narrated by a dog, this one's for everyone, including non-dog types. Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain isn't new, but it's your must-read for the summer if you haven't yet treated yourself.

It's the story of Denny and his companion Enzo, a dog of indeterminate breed confounded by his lack of opposable thumbs. Enzo is convinced (thanks to a special he happened to catch on TV one day) that when dogs die, those who are ready return to life as a human. But only dogs who are ready. Enzo takes this quite seriously and spends his days observing, preparing and absorbing as much as he can. We're treated to his thoughts on people in general, to his concerns about not measuring up once he's human, and his fears that maybe being a human isn't all that great. (After all, they can't just live in the moment and they'll never understand the joy of finding an old cracker under the couch.) Denny marries, has a child and endures a number of human trials, and Enzo never fails him--reminding us of why we love our dogs.

This is not Marley and Me, where you finish the book and cry for 90 minutes as you think about every dog you've ever said goodbye to. Nor is it War and Peace. But you'll experience every possible emotion and you may never look at your dog the same way again as you try to determine just what they're thinking.

Even a curmudgeon could love this book.

Deb's Five Best Books on Curmudgeons

John Derbyshire of National Review has created a list of the Five Best Books on Curmudgeons. I have read none of them--but know where my reading list is now headed.

Abortion, Contraception, Plan "C"?

News here of a new drug with the cutesy name "Ella", that is being hailed as a new "morning after" pill--that is, a pill that a woman can take in the days (in this case--five of them) after unprotected sex to create an "inhospitable" atmosphere for any for potentially dividing cluster of cells, otherwise known as a "zygote" or a "blastocyst" depending on how soon after fertilization one discusses it. Some refer to this mass of cells as a "human being", but we'll drive past that one for the now.

This new drug is already available in 22 countries, and there is a likelihood that it will soon be introduced here. "Plan B", which works in a similar manner, is already available here without prescription. If the FDA finds "Ella" (gag) to be safe, then I am for its introduction into the American pharmaceutical regime, and here's why.

Abortion is a terrible thing, a tragic thing. Yet we are a nation of laws, and under our laws, it is legal. Its legality however, in no way diminishes its tragedy.

Yet--here we are, nearing forty years since Roe v. Wade, and as ridiculously ruled as that case was, it remains in force. I think a rational look into the future would reveal that it is unlikely to be overturned. It does not matter that an increasing number of Americans call themselves "pro-life". What matters is the percentage who would support Roe v. Wade being overturned--and that is not anywhere near a majority.

So we are left with a dilemma--a country that increasingly finds abortion to be distasteful and horrific and a great moral tragedy--though there is little stomach to dispense with the legal framework that protects it. The great symbols of the Pro-Life movement--in utero videos, abortion clinic protests, revealing the evil of "partial birth abortion" to those who simply don't know--are meaningful and help stoke the fires of what often appears to be an insoluble debate. This is where drugs like "Ella" and "Plan B" come in.

Some Pro-Lifers would suggest that at the moment of fertilization, a being is created entitled to all the protections the law would extend to that entity outside the womb. This is--I believe--an extreme position--and I use that term only to describe its distance from a "moderate" position--it is not a value judgment. It is this group for whom even drugs like Plan B and Ella are as evil as partial birth abortion. To them, a four day old proto-human is as worthy of legal protection as a six month old fetus. Morally--I agree with this view; that is, philosophically, either a human is formed worthy of protection at fertilization, or such protection essentially means nothing. Why not three months? Why not six months? If the dividing line is the womb itself, isn't that just a little too confining? I mean, in the grand scheme of things, it isn't a big step to suggest that a partial birth abortion on an eight month old fetus is just a stone's throw from tossing a newborn in the dumpster.

But this isn't only a moral of philosophical question. It is also a legal and political one, and this is where the search for compromise takes me. Yes---in a late-night dormroom conversation or a dinner party throwdown--I could make the case I just did--that abortion is a pre-echo of infanticide--but I would invariably run up against the continuing inconvenience of Roe v. Wade. Plan B and Ella offer a useful "compromise" to those who remain open to it--the possibility of shuttered abortion clinics, the elimination of angry crowds shaming women who are already in a fragile state, the neutralization of fetal videos showing fingers and toes and lips and noses.

I realize there are some in the US for whom contraception of any kind is anathema--these people will not be part of reaching compromises on this issue that ultimately remove it from the political stage. The overwhelming majority of Americans support a woman's right to pre-emptively prevent pregnancy through the use of hormones ingested as oral contraceptives or through the skin. It seems to me that the use of similar chemicals to prevent a zygote from attaching to the uterine wall--is not demonstrably different from the pre-emptive use of such chemicals. Yes--to those who see conception beginning at fertilization EVEN AS A LEGAL AND POLITICAL ISSUE, this is unacceptable. But for the rest of us who are able to make this distinction, the act of a woman ingesting a pill to prevent a pregnancy (not fertilization--they appear to me to be different--the distinction being the attachment of the zygote to the uterine wall) OF WHICH SHE IS ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT AWARE is not fundamentally different from the act of preventing that pregnancy through oral contraceptives. In this similarity lies a path to compromise, a path in which a woman's "choice" really is a choice between her and her conscience, one that does not involve the rest of us (through the need for abortion clinics and the concomitant desire to protest them). Of course, the wide availability of such drugs would not eliminate the "need" for abortion clinics, but it seems quite clear that "abortion" as we know it today would dramatically decrease.

There are no easy or perfect answers here--there are just less bad answers. It seems to me that Plan B and Ella are less bad answers, and the sooner we are able to accommodate them into this debate, the sooner we'll be able to remove abortion as a divisive and insoluble issue from the political discourse.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Separated At Birth, Friday Edition

Raging Bull Robert De Niro and...

Raging lunatic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

A New Blog To Check Out

Sometime poster and full-time brother Sam Shapiro has a new blog out called Tales From The Unemployment Line. Check it out!

Big Fat Friday Free For All

All time high (April 1 2009): 192.2
Last weigh in: 183.6 (6/04/10)
This week's weight: 183.6

Sorta glad there wasn't more damage this week--busy week with bad eating and little exercise.

So friends, what's on your minds? Use this little chunk of high priced interweb real-estate to speak up on whatever it is that's got your attention.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tigerhawk Is On The Job

The internets are all aflutter that Sarah Palin may have gone under the knife....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Here's the working agenda for tonight's Conservative Wahoo Live! show--remember--it has a 9:30 start time

• Helen Thomas
- Election returns from last night
• Van der Sloot
• Israel Blockade—Iranian threats to escort
• Perfect game spoiled/Debut in Washington
• Oil spill (cont)
• Fired because she was too hot (“Miss Citibank”)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Obama Smash!

A wee-weed up President Obama tells Matt Lauer this morning he wants to know "whose ass to kick" over the Gulf spill:

"I was down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago, I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain...we talk to these folks because they potentially had the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."

A month ago?
Brian Williams starts the clip off by stating that June 8th will mark the 50th day of the Gulf spill:

And why is Obama relying on fishermen, as opposed to structural engineers, geologists and emergency response experts for answers to a deep water oil drill disaster?

The President is getting defensive. It is times like this when we are painfully reminded that executive experience - and character - matters.

Radio Show Bleg

Ok--what's on your minds--what would you like to talk about on tomorrow night's radio show?

Remember, it is at 9:30PM for this Wednesday only. One Hour.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Helen Thomas to Retire

Her retirement comes in the wake of her comments about the Jewish people, but I bet it is really because she sent a loved one the space-themed graduation card from Hallmark.

On Travel

Heading back up to Newport, RI for the next few days--things could get slow again from me. But I'll try to uphold the standard!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ladies, Take Note!

From Cosmo, where knowledge of these kinds of things resides.


This Isn't Like Any Marine I Know

Former USNA Football player and recently discharged would be Marine Officer Adam Ballard is protesting his dismissal from the Marine Corps--a dismissal brought about by his cheating on a land-navigation test at a USMC School. Here's a key graph:

"In the letter, Ballard admits his actions were wrong but said they were facilitated by “inordinately lax procedures at TBS,” the Corps’ first step for newly commissioned officers. He alleged that as many as 30 lieutenants were originally accused of cheating and that 16 were eventually separated from the rest of the company as the investigation unfolded."

I got it--I was wrong, I cheated, but really only because your system made it an attractive option. Despicable.

Elena Kagan A Liberal? Hell No, Says the White House

Take a look at this video from CBS' legal correspondent Jan Crawford. Interesting stuff. Kagan believes in virtually everything the President believes in--but they are running from it. Oh, and Jan Crawford is way hot.

CW Live! Internet Radio Program New Time This Wednesday ONLY

I've moved the radio show to 9:30 PM this coming Wednesday to accommodate my travel schedule. More to follow. I hope you'll tune in.

I'm too sexy for my bank

This is 33-year-old Debrahlee Lorenzana, who was recently fired for being, well, too sexy.

Citibank let her go last August and told her she was too 'distracting' and 'upsetting' to the male managers. She apparently was forbidden from wearing anything clingy or revealing. Ms. Lorenzana claims she wore appropriate clothing.

Of course she is suing. Her lawyer claims she was fired only because her bosses couldn't keep their libidos in check.

I suspect Ms. Lorenzana pushed the envelope, but I'm sure she'll win her lawsuit. Question, though: wouldn't someone who looks like this ATTRACT business?

"On Being A Conservative"--Michael Oakeshott

My friend Tim Long posted this on FB this morning. Weighty, deep, and wonderful.

Will v. Broder

Interesting dichotomy on the pages of today's Washington Post editorial page--George Will and David Broder with differing views of spreading around money in education. Will carries the day.

Democrats need to realize that a better education system does not equal more teachers.

The Vapidity of Kathleen Parker

Washington Post editorial columnist and recent Pulitzer Prize winner Kathleen Parker--who I like to refer to as "our side's Maureen Dowd" (not a positive appellation), has written a column about the carnival that is South Carolina politics. First we had Governor Sanford's AWOL affair in South America and rambling apology, and now we have Republican favorite to replace him Nikki Haley being accused by not one, but two men of infidelity--with them.

Putting aside for a moment the considerable indiscretion of these males (I shall not grace them with the term "men") and the continuing ridiculosity of South Carolina politics--we have the unbelievable vapidity of Kathleen Parker (a resident of Charleston) who wins awards for sounding like the ditz you sat next to in homeroom. A sample:

" I've known Folks (one of the miscreants) , a take-no-prisoners political blogger, for years and take him at his word when he says that a story was about to break about his alleged relationship. Recently married and a new father, he says he was attempting damage control when he broke the story himself. I don't condone or agree with his decision, but he's no Marchant, whose earnest confession reeks of the self-service to which he has now consigned himself."

And then there's this:

"I also know Haley and take her at her word when she denies the allegations. But let's get at the deeper truth and ask: Is this really where we want our politics to go? Are only perfect people acceptable for public service? As Bill Bennett once put it to me: "If perfection is our standard, then no one gets to talk."

So let's see here--she takes at his word a man who claims to have had an "inappropriate physical relationship" with a married woman, and then takes at her word the woman who denies the allegations? How can this be? How can anyone be so vacuous? Are there no editors at the WaPost with the guts to call her on this stuff?

Separated At Birth, Backpedal Edition

The ghoulish Helen Thomas and...

The librarian ghoul in Ghostbusters.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

We May Have Found Our Man

It may very well be that the Republican Party has found its answer to no-drama Obama. The more I hear this guy, the more I like him.

New Member of the CW Blog Team

I am pleased to announce the addition of NavyAustin to our team of bloggers here on the CW. I've known NavyAustin for over 22 years, and he brings a wealth of experience, wisdom, intelligence and erudition to our site. I look forward to his initial posting in the days to come.

Double Dip?

Robert Reich (and Goldwater's Ghost) think we're headed for a "double dip" recession. I disagree. I think we're simply a year into a three to five year stretch of little or no growth. Certain indicators in the economy will rise and fall, and there will be a concomitant rise or fall in the markets. But by and large, the Dow will hover between largely between 10K and 11K for the foreseeable future--and THAT'S OK. We don't NEED to do any more monkeying around with things. We need to let the toxins work their way out of the system. We need to allow the housing inventory to decline slowly, over time. We need to allow the real signs of increased productivity in the productive side of our economy continue--even as government seeks to support that productivity with enlightened policy decisions (not what we're seeing today). We need to get used to high unemployment and low growth while we work to shore up the fundamentals of the economy. We need to cut spending and move to more rational revenue models.

What we don't need is more stimulus. What we don't need is more debt. What we do need it to take some of the medicine we are so freely prescribing to Greece.

On The Europeanization of America

AEI President Arthur Brooks is fast becoming a favorite of mine. His thoughts here on our slide into the abyss are insightful.

Helen Thomas Is A Troll

This woman's time in the spotlight has been, and continues to be, a national embarrassment.

The Weakness of the White House

Jonah Goldberg had a short post on NRO the other day talking about the weakness of the Obama White House. I think this is a big issue, one that Conservatives and Republicans need to think through strategically.

Obama supported a candidates in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. All lost. He supported a candidate in Pennsylvania who switched to his party--and that candidate lost. His administration has offered jobs to at least two candidates to drop their runs in in favor of White House choices--both have refused. What's happening here? To fracture Machiavelli--Obama is loved, but he is not feared.

There will be no more "big" wins for Mr. Obama. His party will get waxed in November's mid terms, and moving anything big along in the second half of the first term will be even more difficult than it was in the first half. There is simply no penalty to crossing the White House (I could go on about how this applies internationally too, but I will restrict this to domestic politics), and Democrats in Congress will walk fine lines between public affirmation of the President and votes that are ultimately in their own electoral interest. We are watching the beginning of this generation's Carter Presidency unfold before us.

The Big Cat Bites For The First Time

Many of you know that I conducted a lengthy and exhaustive (to the Kitten, at least) search for my latest ride. Lots of test drives, lots of reading, lots of lustful glances on the road--fifteen months of kvetching until I finally pulled the trigger in January on a 2010 Jaguar XF. I have to say, I have been thrilled with virtually every facet of this car. It is comfortable, it is sporty, it is eye-catching, and it has some awesome technology. My 4.2 liter V8 375hp powerplant is the entry level engine, and its throaty power is unlike anything I've ever driven. The supercharged XFR with a 510hp engine must be simply unreal. But Jaguar has had its problems, and many of you joined in with the little voice inside warning me not to buy a Jag. I ignored those voices.

Two weeks ago, I had a long drive to do a speech at a shipmate's retirement ceremony. Although I drive a sporty V8, I am still concerned with fuel mileage, and I was tickled to see the onboard computer telling me that for that tank of gas, I was averaging 29.4 mpg. Wonderful.

I arrived at the function, did my speech and then headed for a quiet place to do a little admin. I needed to schedule my first maintenance on the new car, its 10,000 mile service. I was preparing for a massive number when I asked the service manager what it would cost. "It's free" he said. Free? "Yes, free--the 10K service is with our compliments". Holy moly. I'm getting nearly 30 mpg on the highway in a car I love like ice cream and the first service is free?

So I pack myself up and start the drive back to the farm. Wasn't on the road more than ten minutes when a good sized rock came shooting out of the bed of an uncovered dumptruck (I watched it throughout its trajectory) and impacted my "windscreen" (that's what Jag calls a windshield) on the lower left hand corner leaving an immediate small crack, less than the size of a dime. Man, was I pissed.

I got my insurance company on the phone (USAA--a wonderful company) and they pointed me to their auto glass partner who would come to me and fix the windscreen free of charge. We set up the appointment.

When the technician arrived a few days later, he looked at the crack and told me two things. First--it was repairable. Second--cracks in that part of the glass--and especially on highly curved glass like I have--often tend to radically proliferate during the course of the repair job. In fact, I had sign a waiver, releasing him from liability in case just such a thing happens. Yes--you guessed it--it happened.

I now have a nearing three-foot crack across the windshield. They are coming Monday morning to replace it. Insurance normally takes care of these kinds of things--subject of course to one's deductible. To limit my monthly insurance payments, I chose a $1000 deductible. New windshield purchase and installation cost? $968. Naturally.

Still love the car, can't wait to get the windshield replaced. Added two chrome inserts to the front quarter panel vents and mudflaps to deal with the dust and mud of the farm during my free service window*. But damn, that's an expensive windshield.

*Photo without new additions

Friday, June 4, 2010

Big Fat Friday Free For All

All time high (April 1 2009): 192.2
Last weigh in: 185.4 (5/30/10)
This week's weight: 183.6

A good week on the slow and steady front--worked out more than usual and ate relatively well. On travel next week, so I've got to watch what I do...

What's on your mind, folks? Speak now of forever hold your peace. Or your piece, for the second amendment crowd.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

May Blog Stats

Total Visits: 3931 (4340 April)
Return Visits: 2969 (76%) (2966 April or 68%)
New Visitors: 959 (24%) (1374 April or 32%)
Average Time On Site: 3:50 (3:26 April)
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
May 2010 Average Daily Visitors: 127

The decline in daily readership on the blog continues. A couple of theories:
1. We just didn't publish as much content in May as usual
2. I have not personally published as much, nor have I been as active in marketing posts via Twitter and Facebook. Problem is, when I leave the farm for DC at 0515 and then don't post/blog anything all day, I don't get anything out onto Facebook either.
3. We suck more?

On The Israeli Boarding

I contributed to this blog post about the Israeli take-down attempt. From my perspective, it was not a good showing.

Mortgage Got You Down? "Nah--I Just Don't Pay It"

Saw this story in the NYT Tuesday morning and meant to blog it that day--never got around to it. The story is about a people who have just stopped paying their mortgages, counting on the fact that it is more trouble for a bank to evict them than it is worth to the bank to take possession of the property in a down market.

The story is downright disgusting, mostly for the breathtaking shifts of responsibility that are voiced. Here's one: "One reason the house is worth so much less than the debt is because of the real estate crash. But the couple also refinanced at the height of the market, taking out cash to buy a truck they used as a contest prize for their hired animal trappers. It was a stupid move by their lender, according to Mr. Pemberton. “They went outside their own guidelines on debt to income,” he said. “And when they did, they put themselves in jeopardy.”

Ah. I see. It's their fault you are a deadbeat. Precious.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goodbye, Mercury.

Ford is going to discontinue the Mercury line. I've never bought one, can't remember ever driving one, and have never looked at one with anything even approaching longing. Seems like a good decision to me--and it should pump up the stock price!

My Nephew Colin, Role Model

It takes a while to develop mad skills.

The Conservative Wahoo LIVE! Tonight at 8PM

Tune in tonight at 8PM to The Conservative Wahoo Live! On tap for tonight are:

Obama and Memorial Day
Obama and the Oil Spill
Israel and the Peace Activists
The Sestak Affair
Al and Tipper Call it Quits
Copa Mundial

Call in to join the fun! (347) 637-2203

Connecticut GOP Senate Candidate Skewered

Rich Lowry of National Review skewers the presumptive Connecticut Republican Senate Candidate, Linda McMahon, she of the the professional wrestling juggernaut. Republicans can do better. And they should have.

Of Butterflies And Rainbows, the agency/website that tracks federal stimulus spending, is looking for a mascot. The agency is seeking public submissions that show "creativity and ingenuity", and are accepting ideas up until July 1st - so get those thinking caps on.

I'm partial to butterflies and rainbows myself.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An Addition to the Blog List

I've added a great blog to the list, Foreign Policy Magazine's "Shadow Government" website. Populated with Republican defense and foreign policy types, you get a very good sense of what the right is thinking on these issues. Right up front there now are a few posts on the President's new national security strategy.

My thoughts on the strategy? Well, it's a hell of a lot more like the Bush Strategy than anyone in the White House will publicly say. It's emphasis on economic security is welcome, though their policies to achieve it are asinine.

But all in all--read it, and pause every forty-five seconds and think of applause--then you'll realize that it is just an extended State of the Union speech.

Krugman Is Answered, Again

Paul Krugman took to his perch on the NYT Editorial page yesterday to make yet another statement on macroeconomics that struck me as misguided when I first read it. But since Krugman won the NOBEL PRIZE, I generally feel I ought to defer to him. Unless of course, real economists also say he's crazy.

Which brings me to this post from our friends at Cato. Krugman states in his column today that "Both textbook economics and experience say that slashing spending when you’re still suffering from high unemployment is a really bad idea — not only does it deepen the slump, but it does little to improve the budget outlook, because much of what governments save by spending less they lose as a weaker economy depresses tax receipts."

Cato's answer concentrates on the "slashing spending" part--pointing to the post-WWII US experience in which spending was cut dramatically in one year. In Krugman's defense (or is it contra-Cato), the US was hardly suffering from "high unemployment" at war's end--though the return and discharge of millions of servicemen did raise that specter.

Radio Show Bleg

Our first show of June is Wednesday night, and I want to cover what you want to hear. What do you want to talk about friends?
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