Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Matthews' Obamasense Is Tingling...

Friedrich Hayek, 1988: "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."

Chris Matthews, 2010: "Do you think businesses can sit on those billions and trillions for two more years after they screw Obama this time - are they gonna keep sitting on their money so they don't invest and help the economy for two long years just to get Mr. Excitement Mitt Romney elected President?"

Agenda for Tonight's Conservative Wahoo Live! Internet Radio Program

Tune in tonight at 8pm for The Conservative Wahoo Live!  Internet Radio program.  The agenda will be:

      Republican “Pledge”; PR or substance?
•    A-jad at the UN; How’s that “engagement” plan working Mr. Obama?
•    Bob Woodward’s new book on President Obama and Afghanistan
•    Senate punts on taxes until Lame Duck
•    President disses DC schools
•    Atlanta Bishop on the hot seat
•    Colbert testifies before Congress

Call in at 347-637-2203 to join the fun!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Obama Gets The Woodward Treatment

Bob Woodward's new book is being serialized in the WaPost this week in three articles.  Part I is here.  Fascinating stuff. 

DC Schools Not Up To Obama Snuff

And why not--he attended private schools his whole life.  The hypocrisy in letting the DC Voucher program lapse is astounding. 

Radio Show Bleg

Please recommend radio show topics in the comment section of this post.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Hmmmm....Looks like the Naval Academy is playing the zoomies from Air Force soon....

Live By The Segway, Die By The Segway

Segway's owner rolls to his death

Monday Sports Roundup

Ok folks, whaddayagot?

Frank Luntz on the Pledge

I gotta agree with him on this.  The Pledge is only so-so.

Japan Needs To Get Busy

Young women putting off marriage, fewer babies being born, an aging population, very little immigration.  Modern Japan is a case study for the decline of an industrialized nation

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bush III (cont.)

The Obama Administration is relying on the US State Secrets Act in seeking to get a terrorism case thrown out.  A smart move, a justified move, a responsible move.  The kind of thing we came to rely on from GWB, the kind of thing for which he was roundly criticized by candidate Obama.  All grown up and governing now, Mr. Obama experiences first hand the realities that face every President, that irresponsible candidates can only dream of.

Virginia 48 VMI 7

Yesterday was the kind of game it was supposed to be.  Theoretically, UVA should overmatch VMI every time they play, and that's what happened yesterday.  But not until about halfway through the second quarter.  Up until then, stupid plays, bad penalties and coaching mistakes kept VMI in the game.

It was a dreadfully hot day--92 degrees I believe--and the crowd was pretty sparse.  I imagine things will pick up for Florida State next week--though the noon start to the game might keep the crowd down a bit.  Alas, I will not be there.

Hammer's NC State is looking REALLY,  really good.  I love the hurting they put on the Al Groh defense at Ga Tech.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Off To Charlottesville

Heading off in a few minutes to Charlottesville where the Wahoos will face the mighty Keydets of the Virginia Military Institute.  Probably good for a new major college program to face Richmond and VMI in the first couple of weeks of the season.

I'll be back to the blog tomorrow.  Lots going on this week--the pledge, Colbert, etc.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Good morning, all!  It's time for another BFFFFA.  What' s on your mind?  Taken the Pledge yet?  Starting to get a little overconfident, are we?

Let everyone know how you  feel, what's bothering you.  Get it off your chest.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Unintended Consequences of Obamacare

Unintended, but not unforeseen.

Obama and Kenyan Colonialism

There was a Forbes article recently (I believe a cover story) in which Dinesh D'Souza was paid to masturbate intellectually by putting out some nonsense that President Obama's animus toward America is a reflection of an anti-colonialism inherited from his dead father.  A descent into ideologically based psychobabble hell, D'Souza's thesis has been roundly criticized by most thoughtful conservatives, though Newt Gingrich has weighed in with his support.

In this devastating take-down, another Forbes columnist delivers a blow to D'Souza's solar plexus--a well-deserved blow.

President Obama is an American, a Christian, and a man who loves his country.  There is no evidence to the contrary, and conservative fascination with trying to prove otherwise is ridiculous--especially in light of what IS before us--that he has an expansive view of the role of government, that he is beholden to narrow special interests, that he is in over his head, that he is alienating our most trusted allies internationally, that he is spending the country into inter-generational oblivion, and that he wants to implement Euro-style single payer healthcare.  Point is, we don't have to make things up.  We've got plenty on him that's real.

He Gets More Beatable Every Day

On Mexicans being here before us.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

They're Great Allies, but Remember They're Also the Ones From Whom We Wrested Our Liberty

I really like the Brits. I really, really liked Tony Blair (great integrity for a liberal--his word mattered more than his political dogma), loved Margaret Thatcher (pure bollux), and darn near revere Winston Churchill. And I have a strong sense of brotherhood with their military (extremely professional and a hell of a lot of fun). All that said, this post in Powerline this morning put an exclamation point on my post this weekend about the government and OUR money. It reminds me that as we Americans look at other countries for why we should pass legislation such as gun control or government health "care", we're looking in the wrong direction with respect to our own liberty. ANY step in the direction toward more government control is a step away from liberty and what concerns me more than who is in office or how many of them are there, is how many fellow citizens it required to put them there. For some reason, we are growing a population who fails to understand what liberty is and how fleeting it can be if not nurtured and protected.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We Have A Spammer

As I've discussed with Hammer in an earlier comment, we have a "spammer".  He has a blogger ID called "DM", and for whatever reason (probably a lame algorithm) the blogger spam comment filter doesn't capture his stuff.

He's decided to camp out here on this blog for a bit, so you'll see his stuff now and again.  Standard wingnut, tinfoil asshattery.

I try to filter it out as quickly as I can.  But DO NOT GO TO ANY OF HIS LINKS.  Lots of discussion of this fellow on the blogosphere and a good bit of evidence that his links are passing bots/viruses.

On Mr. Fenty's Loss

Here are a couple of good reads on the subject.

First, Reason's blog has a pretty good screed on the teachers union's big victory in the city. 

Next, the weekend WaPost had a very interesting article on Mr. Fenty's loss.  Lots of  discussion of Mr. Fenty's being out of touch with the black "community", but also a pretty solid case for the view that the "community" sees the city education system NOT as a venue for educating its youth, but as a jobs program for its adults.  You get what you pay for.

Monday Sports Roundup

By popular request (ok, Hammer's request) we'll institute a new regular feature, and that is the Monday Sports Roundup.  Use the comments section here to unabashedly pull for your team, to bitch about them, or to discuss some other cosmic injustice in the sports world.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No Radio Show Wednesday Night

Sorry folks, got some day job stuff to attend to.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Old Math, New Math, ObaMath

I heard our President say the other day something along the lines of "Regarding the tax cuts, I mean, does it make sense to anybody that when Americans are struggling in this economy, that we give billions of dollars to billionaires?

This kind of "thinking" really illustrates more than anything else, the premier difference in fiscal philosophy between Democrats and Republicans. Nancy Pelosi keeps talking about how much "tax cuts are going to cost Americans." And, while one of my anger management promises is to never again read anything written by Paul Krugman, I did have a near miss with one of his quotes in another article where he too lamented the "idiocy of taking on the cost of tax cuts."

There are all sorts of ways to count things in Washington, especially when it comes to money (although the math surrounding the "Million Man" and "Million Mom" marches were contenders for the "especially"). But I really don't care to expend much time examining the integrity bending formulae with which all sides tend to portray funding inside the inner loop of Rt 495. Like any math, state your assumptions, define your variables, label your units, apply your functions and, always, show your work. Then just about anyone with the patience to wade through your calculations can understand how meaningful your numbers are to the debate at hand.

But again, this isn't about numbers, or really even about the math. Instead, I want to offer some advice to Democrats in Washington government who think it is going to cost a lot of money to extend the Bush tax cuts:

1. You are not giving us money when you extend tax cuts. In fact, you are incapable of "giving us" the money you are so concerned about us "getting". You see, that money you think you are "giving us" is our money. Not yours. You cannot give that which is not yours, no matter how much you think it should be yours in your version of utopian society.

2. You are not even letting us keep our money when you extend tax cuts. In fact, you are incapable of "letting us keep" our money. You see, we are the ones who let you keep some of our money. Not the other way around. Most all of us are willing to ante up to the public coffers for the sake of keeping the government's Constitutionally-mandated functions but this is not a blank check you get to fill in without first consulting us on the amount AND the purpose.

3. If, as has been the clear case with this Congress and this Administration, you continue to treat this money as yours AND you fail to make the case to us, the owners of that money, on why you need the amount of our money that you say you do, then we are going to say "No, you can't have that much of our money and no, you can't do the things you want to do if they are going to cost that much money." This is what is happening right now and if you continue to think you know better than the owners of that money then we owners who are also voters are going to replace you with fellow citizens who show us that they will treat our money with more reverence.

4. And when we owners of that money tell you that you can't do the things you say you want to do, you certainly have the right to denounce us as stupid, unenlightened, teabagging, astroturfing, racist, homophobic, gun-toting, rednecked, Islamaphobic and any other epithet you wish to hurl in our unwashed direction. But you're pretty much telling us you also don't want our votes so no matter how you choose to do your math this November 2nd, don't be too surprised when your numbers just don't add up.

"Giving us" our money. Give me a break.

Headline Juxtapositioning

From this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer page 1 headline:
"$88 million gift for Penn State: Record gift will finance ice arena, support Division I hockey teams"

From the same edition, Local Section, page 1 headline:
"Penn State seeks aid, tuition increases: Students would pay up to 4.9% more in the 2011-12 school year under a plan to be submitted to the state."

Navy Fires More Leaders

There has been another rash of firings in the Navy lately, and this story details the end of three careers.  I believe the total count of fired Commanding Officers is in excess of a dozen or so for the year.  These stories are hardy perennials, quaint oddities that don't seem to fit in well with a world of shirked responsibility, forgiveness as a matter or course, and instantaneous redemption.  How--many ask--can the Navy continue to hold its Commanding Officers to such ridiculously high standards?  Where is the flexibility in a system of human beings, one that accounts for moments of weakness, errors in judgment?  Isn't this kind of approach simply inconsistent with our complicated, hectic, modern world, colored as it is in hues of grey?

The plain truth of the matter is that the Navy remains a beacon of accountability and responsibility.  Command is not a birthright, it is a great privilege, one that can and should be removed should the an individual forget his or her place.  Yes, the practice of firing CO's seems quaint and anachronistic, but only because the general society has seemingly moved beyond notions of individual accountability, responsibility and culpability.  The nation's financial system nearly fails, but were Wall Street titans removed by their Boards?  How many resigned out of a sense of shame?  How many members of Congress resigned over their roles in the oversight and regulation--or lack thereof--of the financial industry?  Dig deeply enough, and you'll find greedy "homeowners" who never should have "bought" houses in the first place, or who bought houses far beyond their means.  Where is their accountability, as the government falls all over itself to "keep them in their homes" and worse yet, conspires to "save" those who are "suffering" as their house value has fallen below what they owe?  The Navy--and its insistence on accountability and responsibility--looks like a carnival attraction, a bearded-lady if you will--in a world of residue-free irresponsibility.

Where the Navy is most unlike the civilian world--is at sea.  There, a commanding officer remains a figure of the past--someone whose authority is maximal, even in the age of networking and reach-back.  The interesting thing is that very few people in the Navy--where this Draconian system remains--seem to want to dispense with it.  This is because it is well-understood--that the the privilege of command is a fleeting sensation.   Those who are commanded are the beneficiaries of the system, as their lives--their very existences--are placed uniquely in the care of the Commanding Officer.  They have a right to expect that their leader will be held to exacting standards of professionalism and personal accountability.  Their parents, husbands, wives, children and friends should also expect this to be so, as the Commander is entrusted with the treasured life of their loved-one.

Even in the Navy though--this system of accountability is fraying.  Where?  It is in those elements of the Navy MOST removed from the sea, the ones closest to the general society that finds the system anachronistic.  I write here of those in the Navy who preside over large--mainly civilian--organizations dedicated to the acquisition of ships, airplanes, weapons, sensors, and things.   Known mainly as "Program Managers" or "Program Executive Officers", these officers preside over organizations that routinely underestimate costs, mismanage allocated funds, collude with industry, and then deliver whatever capability was sought at 150% of estimated cost (which in some cases, would be a bargain).  Secretary of Defense Gates recently fired the Joint-Strike Fighter Program Manager--but such sackings have been rare, even as cost over-runs have reach epidemic proportions.  The culture of accountability and responsibility does not approach that of the operational Navy, and it is to the detriment of the Navy as a whole.

The Navy should not only NOT give in to the siren calls of society to be more human and humane--it should continue to practice its magnificent anachronism of responsibility and accountability, and extend it further into the world of acquisition.  It is a great strength of a great Navy, what makes it unique and what makes it worthy of the respect it has. 

Cross-Posted at Information Dissemination

Thoughts on Term Limits

While not the major focus of the Tea Party at the moment, the concept of term limits does seem to have support among many there. I've been somewhat ambivilent about them in the past, agreeing that it seems the only way to get rid of some of the national policy makers who, despite scandal, horrible policy-making, more scandal, senility-induced incompetence, etc nevertheless survive by funneling more of my tax dollars to their constituents every year with a bonus dose on election year. But I disagree that we ought to deprive the diverse local constituencies of their choice of representation by some sort of national dictum. Seems okay with me for the Presidency, even appropriate, but for State-wide representation and District-wide representation, I don't care for it.

One reason, in particular, that I don't like it is unfolding right now. Democrats are not just stating their support for, but are actually petitioning the Speaker of the House to not let the Bush tax cuts expire--not even for the wealthiest 2%. I doubt seriously that this would happen in a non-election year and I doubt even more seriously it would happen if there were term limits and these people knew they were prohibited from running for reelection. As it stands, they recognize their chances of reelection are pretty slim (my own representative, Glenn Nye, a really good guy, for a Democrat, is leading this and is in a desperate race to keep his position). If we didn't have local guys like my guy Nye (sorry), running scared that they'll lose their jobs right after Christmas, we wouldn't be sending our individual influence to the policy makers with such direct impact.

No, I like the Constitutional limits just as they are. Despite their flaws, putting more limits on the American citizenry on how they can vote just doesn't sit well with me.

Christmas will be here before you know it

And I think we all have someone on our list who would appreciate the Obama countdown clock.

Urban Hipsters To March On The Mall

Proving once again his infinite capacity to make fun of things other people say, do and create, Jon Stewart and his spawn Stephen Colbert are planning dueling "marches" on the Mall on October 30 (damn, I'm otherwise engaged).  I have been amused by the outpouring of support for the Comedy Central publicity stunt by my chic, young, urban hipster friends on Facebook --you know, the ones who secretly (or in one case, quite publicly) wish Jon Stewart were President (come to think of it, he's apparently very well-qualified, if recent election results are a guide).

Suggested Apparel for the Urban Hipster March
How will such a march go?  How will a group of people--whose basic approach to governing, government, politics and ideology consists of  1) we know better, because we're smarter 2) the people are largely incapable of governing themselves 3) we should choose which policy option is coolest, will make us more popular with more people, is most likely to get us laid and 4) the country would be a much better place if we all simply stopped judging each other, paid more taxes, became more reliant on government, stopped fighting wars, read the New York Times and the New Yorker, and avoided serious policy discussion in favor of smarmy, snarky, "we told you so's" and "my goodness, the American people are stupids".

Here are some suggested "themes" for the event:

  • "Hey Barack; Stop Doing Things--Just Talk--That's Why We Elected You!"
  • "Bush III"
  • "Why Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer are Smarter and Better Than Sarah Palin"
  • "We ARE the One's We've Been Waiting For--Can't You Stupid Tea Partiers See That?"
  • "The Constitution's Just Inconvenient"
  • "The Private Sector--Leeching Off The Goodness Of Enlightened Government"
  • "We ARE Middle Class--Can't You Tell?  I'm Driving A PRIUS for God's Sake!"
  • "Jon Stewart for Czar Czar!"
  • "Leave It To The Ivies (and Ivy Wannabe's Like William and Mary)"
  • "Experience is SO Overrated"
  • "Home-Schooling Is A Threat To The Public Education System:  I Learned This at Sidwell"
 Perhaps CW readers have a few suggested themes of their own! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just In Case You Were Not In An "Fall" Frame of Mind....

An oldie but goodie...

T. Coddington Van Vorhees VII on The Tea Party

Iowahawk is a national treasure. 

HT:  Instapundit

Why Is The Tea-Party Thriving?

I started to talk about this on the radio show the other night, but I didn't have the time to develop it fully.  David Brooks' column this morning provided me with the last piece of the puzzle, and that is some sense of empirical data that the "Tea Party" is in fact, not unpopular with independents.  Here goes.

As I've said many times in this blog, elections are won by swaying independents and undecideds (generally, the same people).  Liberal Dems and Conservative Republicans vote for their guys/gals--leaving about a third of the electorate up for grabs -- and each party's job is to win more of that group than the other.

The Tea-Party--emphasis on fiscal discipline, lower taxes, less spending, small government, free markets--is clearly much closer to the down the line Republican Party approach than it is to the Democratic Party--so when independents look for a place to vote, it is increasingly in the Republican column. Where independents generally tend to shy away from Republicans is on social issues--abortion, religion, gay rights, etc.  Don't be confused by Glenn Beck's rally--while there were Tea Partiers there--it wasn't a Tea Party function.  Tea Party rallies are ALL ABOUT POLITICS--and almost never about social issues. Glenn Beck ran a tent meeting.

The Tea Party offers socially libertarian/socially moderate independents a REASON for voting Republican.  Let's face it--social issues are NOT what Republicans are talking about in this cycle--they are talking about fiscal and structural issues, and it is resonating. The Tea Party is changing the character of the Republican Party--like a drop of dye in a glass of water.  I see the Tea Party as CRITICAL in helping the Republicans to build a governing majority, and I hope ultimately that their presence in the party leavens some Republican social issue stands. 

Big Fat Friday Free For All

No weigh in this week folks, my fragile ego can't take the horror.

What's going on in your life?  What horrors are you facing?  Share, people.  Share!

Update:  I just couldn't face the weekend without another ode to Ms. Sainz

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Barack Obama writes first children's book

Barack Obama writes first children's book Sure to be on the kittens' Christmas lists...

Congressional Dem Shakes Down Lobbyist

Pseudo-Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) "reached out" to a lobbyist to wonder why he/she/they hadn't contributed to her campaign.  Andrew Breitbart's on this one--listen to the recording provided here--it is stunning.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome to All The New Visitors

It looks like the Christine O'Donnell victory in Delaware has brought us our single biggest traffic day in the history of the blog--apparently, this post is somewhere up in the google rankings for her--lots of new visitors reading about Ms. O'Donnell.

Agenda for Tonight's Conservative Wahoo Live! Internet Radio Program

Here it is, better late than never....

**The Tea Party gets another skin; Castle goes down in DE; is it time for the Republican Party to take a loyalty oath?

**DC gets rid of Mayor Fenty; end of Michelle Rhee?  Why is this not a bigger story?  Was this not a purge by the fringe of the Democratic Party?

**Ehrlich vs. O’Malley in MD—rematch

**Why are the 1st Amendment Rights of a Koran burner less worthy of a Presidential defense than the 1st Amendment Rights of a 9-11 Mosque builder?

**Charlie Rangel wins his primary—again, why is this not a story about the “character” of his voters?

**NY Jets and Sideline Sensitivity

Tune in tonight online, call in at 347.637.2203

O'Donnell Win in Delaware

Christine O'Donnell's win in Delaware has the GOP in an uproar.  CW was there in the beginning...

Sideline Kerfuffel

It seems that members of the New York Jets are going to have to undergo sensitivity training after accusations of sexually harassing comments made to a female sideline reporter.  Ever the voice of reason and common sense, Coach Ditka weighs in on the situation here.  As a public service to those who have not seen the reporter in question (a friend of mine had not ever heard this story last night--no, really), I have included a recent sideline photo from another sporting event.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Remy Strikes Again--"On The Metro"

DC Metro residents know what he's talkin' about.....

Radio Show Bleg

We'll be live at 8PM like most Wednesday's tomorrow night, on The Conservative Wahoo Live!  What would you like covered?  What are the things you would like to talk about--remember, it IS a call-in show, so please phone in and get engaged!

Gender Bean-Counting At The Obama White House

This is simply delicious--it seems that the President's elevation of Austan Goolsbee to the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (replacing Christina Romer who is heading back to the academy) has women's groups panties in a wad (did I really just type that?). Apparently, the President has insufficiently appointed women to key economic positions in his administration, and Goolsbee's promotion is sticking in some craws. 

Women's groups ought to be pushing for even LESS gender diversity in the Administration--seems the Mr. Obama has in place has managed a recession that is downright kind to women, compared to men

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fareed Zakaria Responds To Those Who Called Him Out... this WaPost editorial.  It certainly seems as if he's willing to grant that the response to Al Qaeda has had something to do with its diminishing threat.  And since he's been so kind as to concede that point, I'll concede that there have clearly been bureaucratic excesses in the pursuit of that diminishment. 

Tax Politics In Congress

News yesterday of John Boehner's statements that if left with no other choice, he'd support extending the Bush tax cuts--even if it meant a raise in taxes for those making over $250K.  This one's  political landmine for both parties, and Boehner's admission was probably a realistic approach that will do the least damage to Republican prospects in November.

Don't get me wrong--Dems would like the tax cuts to expire on EVERYONE, but they know that if that happens--it will be one more massive log on their political pyre.  But timing is the issue, folks.  The tax cuts don't expire until Jan 1, and election day is in early November. 

I see the Dems as having leverage on this issue simply because they control the agenda.  If they come forward with a proposal--formal--to extend the tax cuts to 98% of American wage earners and Republicans stand in the way to support the other 2%, Dems will have a field day, and some portion of whatever cushion Republicans have created for November will be lost.  Under one scenario, the Dems propose it, the Republicans obstruct it, the Dems retain both Chambers--and the Dems let ALL tax cuts expire without a near-term political penalty.  This is really the nightmare for Republicans.

Another scenario is the Dems propose it, the Repubs support it, and the Tea Party eats the Republican Party alive for "supporting tax increases".  Of course this also gives the Dems the ability to crow that they "cut taxes on 98%" of working Americans, when in actuality, they've done nothing of the sort.  This strikes me though as the least worst option for Republicans, something echoed in Boehner's words yesterday.

I see no profit in playing chicken with the Dems in Congress.  They'd like nothing better than to blame a "tax increase" on Republicans--which is exactly how it would be portrayed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Obamabilia Slump

Wondering about what the next bubble to burst will be? Wonder no more. It looks like the market for Obama tchotchkes is at an all time low - from these heady days, to this. One DC-based souvenir shop owner describes the hard times:

A life-size poster of a smiling Obama used to bring people up to the store to take their picture with the "president," and often lead them to buy a little piece of the Obama moment to take home, Cherkaoui said. Then customers started making derisive comments about the president, and the Obama that once brought in business is now stowed away in the storage room.

Perhaps a targeted stimulus plan to prop up these intrepid entrepreneurs of presidential swag? How about the Help Obamaphernalia Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HORRA)?

A Superb Refutation Of Conservatism As Racism

And who wrote it?  A UVA faculty member, of course..

USC 17 UVA 14

There is no such thing as a moral victory, but there are losses that serve as signals of a program's health--and last night's loss at the Coliseum in LA was one of those losses for the Hoos.  I did not stay up to listen to the game (something I would have done in my younger, more lucid years), but I hurried to the interwebs this morning to check things out.  Looks to have been a great effort all around, with some chances to win blown and some calls that just didn't go our way.

Coupled with Virginia Tech's loss at home to JMU, yesterday turned out pretty damn good, all in all.

Sarandon Sans Robbins +1: A Nation Mourns

I hope that during your own observances of 9/11 yesterday, you took some of that time to reflect on the fact that it has been a year since actress Susan Sarandon and her longtime lover and fellow thespian Tim Robbins broke up:

"The nation mourned," Sarandon told New York magazine. "I had a lot of people who came up to me and were not as upset as I was - but were definitely upset."

Stay strong, Susan.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fareed Zakaria Thinks We Overreacted to 9-11

Everyone's favorite sorta-hard-to-pigeonhole-Indian-American-IndianAmerican Fareed Zakaria has taken to the the airwaves and blogwaves this week to tell us that the United States overreacted to 9-11.  Here's a sample of what he's peddling:

Nine years after 9/11, can anyone doubt that Al Qaeda is simply not that deadly a threat? Since that gruesome day in 2001, once governments everywhere began serious countermeasures, Osama bin Laden’s terror network has been unable to launch a single major attack on high-value targets in the United States and Europe. While it has inspired a few much smaller attacks by local jihadis, it has been unable to execute a single one itself. Today, Al Qaeda’s best hope is to find a troubled young man who has been radicalized over the Internet, and teach him to stuff his underwear with explosives.

Far be it from me to argue with Newsweek Magazine's designated arbiter of all that is centrist and just in international affairs, but isn't there just a tad bit of a logic-bomb in Zakaria's thinking?   Could it be that Al Qadea is simply not that deadly a threat BECAUSE of the "over"reaction of the US and its allies?  Reminds me of the annual New York Times story decrying "filling prisons even as the crime rate drops", as if there is no correlation. 

Does any rationally thinking person believe that Osama Bin Laden and the boys believed that they would pull off the big attack on September 11 and then spend the next 9 years hiding in holes?  No--they saw it as the opening salvo in a civilizational war they were bound and determined to win, one that would include many more attacks in the US on scales both grand and modest.  But that hasn't happened.  And it hasn't happened because we "over" reacted. 

More "over"reaction, please. 

David Brooks On The Gentility Shift

David Brooks is an insightful voice on social trends, and I think he's spot on in this editorial.  Hand in hand with this "gentility shift" has been the propensity of more and more Americans to look to the government for an increasing number of hand-outs (see my "Scarlet E" post).  These two trends must be reversed for the nation to emerge from decline.

Breakfast with Mudge

Heading off now to have breakfast with Mudge (you remember him right?  Used to be a blogger here) who is passing through town on his way back to Virginia's Eastern Shore from a work-week in DC.  After breakfast, we're heading into town to a local hunting store to look at a shotgun for yours truly.  I've got my eye on this beauty, and I'd like to get his thoughts on it.

Mudge--for those of you who don't know him--is a renaissance man.  He ought to run for mayor of wherever it is that he lives, for everyone knows and likes him there (people to whom he is not related GIVE him things, all the time--like LAND!).  He owns his own back-hoe (sp?)(given to him).  No game animal is safe when he is about.  He's got infrared cameras in one of his fields taking pictures of the deer population (deer porn, I call it).  He's steeped in the canon of limited government thought, and he's an expert on open architecture computer applications in naval weapons and sensors.  

And he's probably one of the most pleasant fellows to be around that I know. 

Never Forget

It is a day of remembrance for many, a day in which we collectively recall the horror broadcast in real time.  It is a day in which we recall the selflessness of so many who walked upward while others passed on the way down.  It is a time to recall the shortened lives of innocents, and those left to ponder the inequity of it all.  It is a day to once again recall the grandeur of our civilization and the threat it poses to those who would shackle the human heart and spirit slavishly to words uttered in a cave fourteen centuries ago.  It is a day to remember how we came together in grief and horror, and it is a day to remember how we came together in righteous action to deal the aggressor great blows.  It is a day to remember a man with a bullhorn, growing before our very eyes, whose clarity of thought and action gave great comfort to a wounded nation.  It is a day to remember that we shall never forget. 

A Morning Tigerhawk Rip-off

Here are a couple of ditties from my second-favorite right of center blog, Tigerhawk.

First, news of the commissariat threatening businesses who have the temerity to cite Obamacare in their pricing structure.

Second, New Jersey's Governor continues to make me wonder where my Garden State pride went. (original H/T on this one to Tim Long)

Friday, September 10, 2010


First save the goal, then prance like a pony...

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Starting weight (8/25/10):  194
Goal Weight:  170
Last Friday:  190
Today's Weight 191

Still not quite used to the whole "eat less, exercise more" thing.  Exercised five times this week, but had three piggish meals.

What's on your minds, folks?  Beginning to measure the drapes for the Speaker's Office, Mr. Boehner?  Anyone else really, really pissed about America's fascination with the "underwater mortgage"?

Let it all hang out, friends.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fidel: Communism Not Working In Cuba....

Now he tells us.  Perhaps someone ought to inform President Obama....

"Help" For Underwater Mortgages

Here is yet another discussion of those horribly, horribly poorly treated people whose houses have diminished in value, leaving them--as the term is known--"underwater".  Never mind that the house has lost none of its primary value as shelter (from the elements, that is), and that it serves as a useful storage contrivance for the accreted possessions of one's life--no, these are unimportant.  The house is no longer the fat INVESTMENT it once was.

In this article, Allan Sloan from Fortune tells us about a proposal that goes something like this:

"Let me show how this would work, using HSH numbers that I've rounded for simplicity's sake. Say you bought a house for $350,000 in July 2006 - those were the days of 100 percent financing, so you borrowed $350,000 on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 6.8 percent. The house is now worth $280,000, but your mortgage balance is $334,000. The current rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, if you could get one, is 4.7 percent.
Under Gumbinger's plan, you'd get a new $280,000 mortgage at 4.7 percent, and the government would guarantee the other $54,000, on which you'd pay 4.7 percent interest to the current mortgage holder. This would reduce your payments by $6,700 a year, or roughly 25 percent. Your mortgage holder wouldn't have to take a write-down, because the shortfall would be guaranteed by Uncle Sam. You get lower payments, preserve your credit rating and save your pride by not becoming a deadbeat" 

So let me get this straight--the government takes on MORE mortgage risk, contributes even more to disastrous real-estate bubbles by further diminishing moral hazard and artificially propping up housing prices, just so a mortgage holder can save his or her "pride"?  And just how is that pride saved?  By preventing someone from voluntarily walking away from a mortgage?  This is LUNACY people!  This, from the clue merchant behind this brilliant idea:

"This is for people who are underwater on their mortgages but still current on them and have every intention of remaining so, and hope to remain in their homes for the foreseeable future," says Gumbinger. "These people are being compelled to pick up the tab for reckless borrowers and failing banks, and get absolutely no help from anywhere for themselves. How about a reward for doing the right thing for a change?" 

No, Mr.Gumbinger, they are being compelled to do nothing but continue to pay on an obligation they freely made for an asset they acknowledged might diminish in value--like any other investment.   They get no help from anywhere?  What is it they need help to do?  Pay a mortgage they seemingly had no problem paying when the value of the house was higher?  We are a society completely out of whack if we see this as a "problem" worth "remedying" without fleecing taxpayers the largess of the federal government. 

Goodbye, Rahmbo

Washington is breathlessly awaiting Rahm Emanuel's departure announcement, now that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has decided to retire from the family business as Mayor.  Can you smell the deal, folks?  Daley retires to make way for Rahmbo, Daley gets plush ambassadorial appointment in return.  You saw it here first.  C'mon folks, it IS Chicago....

Yet Another TV Show I Will Never Watch

I can't even imagine the vapidity

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Agenda for Tonight's Conservative Wahoo Live! Internet Radio Program

Join me Wednesday, 8 September at 8PM Eastern on The Conservative Wahoo Live!   Internet Radio Program, where our working agenda will be:  

**Is the Press turning on President Obama?
**Has Stephen Hawking killed God?
**Is more stimulus the cure for a failed stimulus?
**Burning Korans
**Republicans gaining momentum in polling for Congressional elections
**Video games and Fantasy Football:  Is the American male becoming more adolescent? 

Call in at 347.637.2203

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Free Market and Energy

I have been a fairly strong free-marketer here on the CW, but I have often deviated from orthodoxy on the intersection of the free market and energy independence.  Here's a little story (courtesy Instapundit) on how relatively low gas prices are likely to impact the market for fuel efficient vehicles (badly).  Keep feeding us cheap gas and we'll never ween ourselves from the supplier--you remember them, don't you?  The fellas in the Middle East who take our money and then fund the actions of folks who want to kill us?  And don't come at me with the whole "we don't get that much energy from the Middle East" thing.  We get enough, and the rest of the world gets plenty from them--in a fungible market.

The First Whiner Emotes

Apparently, the President feels that some folks are a bit tough on him.  This is just pure wus--beneath the President and ironic, considering the treatment his predecessor got from Mr. Obama's friends in the media and elsewhere. 


Radio Show Bleg

Ok all, what's on your minds?  What do you want to cover?  I'm hoping Mademan shows up again like he did last week--he added a lot of spice to the show. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

The President Repudiates His Own Approach On The Economy

After an $800B non-stimulative stimulus that included "tax breaks" for those who pay no taxes, the Obama Administration appears to be slowly realizing that the business climate in this county is a pitiful shamble, largely due to policies of their creation.  Nothing like the prospect of a pasting in the Fall elections to sharpen the political instincts.  Keynes is dead, and Obama killed him. 

On The Virtues Of Sleeping In

I am fiercely protective of my reputation as an early riser.  Just as the Kitten seems to attach general human weakness to a dependence on air-conditioning, so too do I tend to view those who loll about in bed with circumspection (the Kitten of course, being a famous loll-er).  I arise these days generally around 0500 to begin my days labors, and that includes most weekends.  Sometimes it is straight to the blog, others it is directly to paid work.  Either way, I greet the sun with a coffee in my hand and the smug satisfaction of someone who is pegging the productivity scale.

Most loll-ers will now and again confess to wishing they were early risers, thinking (with some justification) that the world was passing them by whilst they luxuriate, and that they could be so much more productive if only they were to put those few hours to work each day.  Very few, if any, actually ever become an early riser, so the lure seems only to extend as far as pitiful attempts at social acceptance.  That said, I honestly don't think they envy us.  I think they talk about being an early riser as if they were a successful banker living in a 5000 square foot home who wistfully dreams of what it would have been like if he had only taken that teaching job in Appalachia.  Admiration yes, but no real chance of going for it.

We early risers on the other hand?  I think we all secretly yearn to be loll-ers.  I think we--who begin yawning each night around 9:30 whilst our more nocturnally oriented cohabitators are just picking up steam--would all trade places if we could just rip off a sleep-in until noon with some frequency.  The plain truth of the matter is, we generally can't.  While a loll-er can set an alarm and wake, an early-riser cannot achieve the opposite.  Once the first rays of light enter the room, game over.  You can sit in bed for six hours if you like, but you'll not be doing any real sleeping.

The Kitten and I have been discussing this lately.  I slipped up and said one night recently that I was going to sleep in as long as I could the next day.  When she asked when that would be, I guessed seven, or seven-thirty.  "Why so early?" she asked.  I pointed to the windows in our room without shades and reminded her of her love of morning sun, the way it blasts into our room (with seemingly no impact on her sleep).  "Why don't you wear one of those sleep masks?" was her response.

Truth be told, I have several, acquired during international airline flights.  I don't know where they are, though I suspect they are in one of the moving boxes stored in my storage unit; you know, the ones they go in and open up when you die that haven't been entered in 35 years.  There, they will also find most of the notes taken in my undergraduate and graduate courses, plaques from all the ships and commands I served in, and possibly some incriminating letters from my 20's which bespeak a more actively diverse dating life than the one I currently manage...

So last night, there it was.  This ridiculous pink, fluffy eye mask, looking like something Eva Gabor would have worn to bed on Green Acres.  Thinking there would be no social ramifications to my wearing it, I agreed, in hopes that it might extend my sleep this morning.  Well, it did.  I woke at 0930, not to the light of the morning, but to the voices of the Kitten and Kittens chattering away across the hall in one of the Kitten's rooms.  As I blearily stumbled over (why do I stumble MORE blearily when I've had more sleep?) to greet them, the girls burst out laughing at me, recounting an earlier vignette in which the Kitten led them to the room to behold the great, fleshy beast sleeping with the pink eye-shade, with a black cat perched atop his hind quarters, also sleeping.  Great fun for all, and with my added four and a half hours of sleep, I smiled numbly, thinking seriously about hopping back in bed.

Reason 10,027 Why I'll Never Move to NYC

10,027: Early morning drummers during Ramadan.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Virginia 34 Richmond 13

What a wonderful day it was yesterday!  The London Era has begun at UVA and we won our first opener since 2005 (the first debut win for a UVA coach in 49 years!).  The day was perfect, Rob and Tom were there and the new tailgate spot is very convenient to our seats.

Richmond's no patsy--they won the 1AA National Championship two years ago and were in the thick of the playoffs last week.

UVA's offense was well-balanced, they didn't make dumb mistakes and the play calling was superb.

On defense, Richmond exploited some seams on us for some critical first downs, but they simply could not run the ball.

Next up:  The Coliseum in LA against USC

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Things Are Tough All Over

The Reverend Jesse Jackson's 2009 Cadillac Escalade 4x4 was reported stolen and stripped of its rims while Jackson was in Detroit earlier this week to attend a green jobs rally entitled "Rebuild America: Jobs, Justice and Peace."

Jesse Jackson. Cadillac Escalade 4x4. Stolen. Green jobs rally.

But wait, it gets better. Police also report Detroit's Mayor Dave Bing's GMC Yukon was also stolen just days after Jackson's incident. The Yukon was recovered, only after it was found resting on bricks, sans wheels and rims.

Journey To The Center Of The Universe

In just a few hours, I'll start my trek to Charlottesville for the home opener with Richmond, the beginning of the Mike London era.  I've been attending UVA Football games for 27 years now, from that odd first experience ("why is everyone wearing blue blazers?") to the present, lengthy, overnight trips most games now create.

It gets harder to to this as I get older.  Living as I do on the Eastern Shore now, there just is no real convenient way to get to Charlottesville.  I'm looking at a 4 hour drive each way pretty much any way I do it.  Stopping in Richmond to pick up Rob helps break the trip up, as does the opportunity to rack at his house after the game.  Putting aside the mileage, there's the whole issue of jaunting off to Cville for a overnighter seven times each Autumn--something that doesn't necessarily jibe with responsible faux husband and fathering.  I miss out on quite a lot sometimes--soccer games, horse shows, trick or treating.....and there's an internal struggle I'm wrestling with as a result.  I'll probably only make four games this year, which strikes me as plenty.

We've got a whole routine at these games, and lately it goes like this.  I leave the farm 7.5 hours before game-time and drive to Richmond to pick up Rob, my fellow season ticket holder (Tom is the other.  I've mentioned these guys before--my two favorite Democrats).  It takes about 3 hours to reach Rob's house.  Prior to the home opener, we go to the VA ABC store (maybe not next year!) and purchase some ridiculously expensive bottle of bourbon, which we present as tribute to our tailgate hosts upon arrival, guaranteeing us the bounty of their table for the remainder of the season.  From there, we continue west to Charlottesville, paying rapt attention to the other Hoos along the way.

We arrive three hours before gametime, ostensibly to find prime parking (which is difficult sometimes), but also to enable our further wanderings.  We park almost always near the basketball stadium and then walk to "The Corner", a little shopping district across the street from the Rotunda at the U.  There, we will do two things:  we will buy UVA stuff that we don't need (I currently own at least a dozen ball caps), and we will enjoy our pre-game meal.  The meal occurs at a place called "The Virginian", a narrow, deep establishment whose decor has not changed in 75 years, save for the model TV's over the bar.  Al Fresco dining at the Virginian (basically on the sidewalk out front) provides the best "scenery", and I don't need to add how wonderful the scenery is at the early games, where sundresses predominate.

After the meal, we make our way to the Lawn, UVA's central, historical feature.  Spreading out behind the Rotunda, we walk along watching the Lawnies entertain their friends at cocktail parties of their own.  It is fun to read the placards posted on the Lawnies rooms, largely to see what "causes" are in with the movers and shakers of the student body.  The Lawn walk is always wistful; the first of each year especially so.  I'll never forget the time I made the walk for the first time as a high school senior.   I was visiting with my father, and the NROTC unit provided a tourguide for us.  As we walked to the bottom of the Lawn, the guide pointed out the two statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson sitting on either side.  He then told us that UVA tradition has it that if a virgin walks between them on Easter Sunday, they will get up and walk across the Lawn to shake hands.  I'll never forget the laugh my Dad let out, knowing far better than I why that statement might be important to a a young man with four years there ahead of him.

From the Lawn, we head to our tailgate.  Three sets of friends have parking spaces adjoining each other, this year located outside the stadium directly behind our seats (very convenient).  For the price of one bottle of premium bourbon (which has never actually been requested, but which has always been appreciated), we have for nearing two decades enjoyed bounteous repasts (keeping in mind, we just finished out pre-game meal...).  This is where we are usually joined by our third seatmate, Tom, who is preternaturally late to every game because of some other commitment, family or professional.  Tom is a lawyer in Richmond, and a good one I am told.  He generally comes in for some good natured (and envious) ribbing from Rob and me for his continuing failure to gray at an appropriate pace, but it appears to spring from nothing more nefarious than good genes.

At our old tailgate location, astride a main pedestrian thoroughfare, the "scenery" was once again, splendid.  I'm not sanguine about the new spot, isolated amidst the alumni elite as it is.  We're far more likely to be looking at old Fat guys in orange pants than we are lasses in sundresses.....but I digress.  No later than thirty minutes to game time, we head to our seats, so that we might be present for the arrival of "CAVMAN", a computer-generated vignette that plays out on the Jumbo-tron, capped off with a live, mounted version who leads the team out on the field.  This is a rousing time at Scott Stadium, but has on at least one occasion, resulted in an unfortunate accident (no one was hurt). 

Oh-and then there's a game.  Some years, we have a great team, and we're likely to win.  These are rare years.  Most years, we have an average team, and we're just as likely to lose as win.  Some years, we have a crappy team, and we're likely to lose.  We're in a rebuilding year this year--so I think we'll fall into the latter category. Be that as it may.

Pre-9/11, great portions of the stadium would empty out to the parking lot to continue the tailgating.  This is no longer permitted.  Our old coach, George Welsh, hated this tradition, as the team would take the field in the second half to a far diminished crowd.  After the game, we return to the tailgate for a bit, some of us worsened in temperament by the team's performance (and the eight bottles of airplane liquor that were smuggled in).  Win or lose, there's the long walk to the car, the traffic filled effort to get out of C'ville, and the 75 mile drive back to Richmond.

Why do I do it?  I love the place.  It is special to me in ways I am unable effectively to communicate.  The Kitten has a saying I love that describes the unique place other people sometimes hold in our lives--even when we aren't particularly physically close to them anymore--she says, "she's got some of my stuff", with "stuff" being memories, secrets, shared experiences, emotions.  UVA has some of my stuff.  Rob and Tom--they have a lot of my stuff too.  My two best friends.  We don't see much of each other the rest of the year, though we do talk now and then.  The games serve as a way to re-connect, to catch up, to see how Tom's kids are growing, to remember for just a few hours, the time we spent together without responsibility or care.


UPDATE:  Brother Sean would chide me if I didn't provide my prediction.  We'll win today, 21-17.  It will be the first of three wins this season.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Barry Is So Fly

In an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty likened the federal government to a drug dealer. "Instead of running around and saying, 'We'll take the money because it's free money,' let's call it what it is: the federal government is basically a drug dealer trying to give out free samples, or give people a taste, get them further addicted."

Pawlenty is a racist because, by extension, he really called a black President a drug dealer in

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Big Fat Bryan
Starting weight (8/25/10):  194
Goal Weight:  170
Today's Weight 190

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the weekly tracker is back.  I let it all get away from me. I was 168.6 on the 7th of November, just ten months ago.  Time to get it in gear.

What's on your minds this Labor Day weekend, friends?  Excited about the start of college football (Go Hoos!)?  Interested in the "peace process" starting up again?  Miss not having a rally to attend on the Mall?

Emote folks, share.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

From the Department of "Hell Hath No Fury"

Apparently, the whole Santa Claus thing is a myth.

Before: Dissent = Patriotism. Now: Dissent = Racism

Our lefty overlords have decided to conspire in order to keep track of the perniciously racist Tea Party.  Not that the the NAACP is racist mind you; no, not them.  It's not like they "advocate" for the "advancement" of "colored" people or anything... 

Of course.  I get it.  Barack Obama is so intelligent, so persuasive, so inspired, so....well....right about everything.  The only POSSIBLE EXPLANATION for dissent is racism.  Not ideological disagreement on the proper role of government.  Not wariness over mounting debt.  Not concern over the decline in our relations with trusted allies (see Germany, UK, Japan)  while we apologize to people who wish us ill.  I remember on election night wondering to myself how I could be so incredibly out of touch, so spectacularly apart from the national pulse as to think the man we had just elected was unfit for the job and potentially damaging to the country's future.  Now I know.  I must be a racist.  There can be no other explanation.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Sports Drought

I defy you to find any real sports news worth reading in this morning's Post..  Please college football, hurry up and get here.

When The Sow Rolls Over, The Piglets Come A-Runnin'

News here of some 2000 groups--including businesses and unions--who have applied for and been approved for $5B in "bridge funding" designed to ensure that they don't drop "early retirees" from their healthcare rolls before the 2014 bennies begin to kick in.

You can read the delight with which the Post reporter mentions Koch Industries as one of the groups who have applied, as the brothers in charge of Koch have been vocal and financially active detractors from the healthcare monstrosity created by the Obama Administration.  The same delight attends to the report that some state governments who are questioning the constitutionality of the healthcare legislation have also applied for the funding.

Our entitlement addiction rolls on....and will lead to our ruin.

Tea Party Gets Another Skin

Looks like Lisa Murkowski has conceded to Joe Miller in Alaska, this even as the Republican Party establishment rushed its lawyers and toadies to the Great White North to "help" with the counting of absentee ballots. 

I now nothing about Joe Miller, though I will try to learn more in the near future.  That he defeated a machine politician whose seat was "given" to her by her Daddy is a matter of record.  That Sarah Palin had considerable influence in the outcome of this election seems likely too. 

It is time for the Republican Party to figure out how to work with the Tea Party. Rushing the legal thugs to Alaska bespeaks a certain cronyism and business as usual--and certainly doesn't appear to put out the welcome mat for the folks brought into the process through the work of this organic, political insurgency. 

Agenda For Wednesday's Radio Show

Here's what I'm thinking about for tonight's Conservative Wahoo Live!  internet radio program:

**President Obama on Iraq
**Beck-a-palooza Rally on the Mall
**Netherlands Arrests—Dry run for terror?
**Katrina Plus 5
**Former RNC Chair is gay; does anyone care?
**SECSTATE hangs Arizona out to dry—to the UN Commission on Human Rights

Dial in at  (347) 637-2203 to join in the fun.
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