Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rally to Restore Islamo-Facism?

I was too hard on Jonnie and Stevie yesterday. I came to this conclusion after realizing that one of my favorite song-writers/performers of the 70s (trust me, there were darned few from which to choose once disco took over), Cat Stevens, had made an appearance at the rally. Of course, I should've remembered, Cat Stevens died at the hands of Islam when his body and soul were inhabited by one Yusef Islam years ago.

For those of you unfamiliar with good ol' Yusie, he's a peace-loving follower of the peace-loving religion of the peace-loving prophet (not pictured here, here or here), Mohammed. Hey, don't listen to me, read a bit of his reaction to Salman Rushdie at the outset of the peace-loving people's death fatwa against him for the "Satanic Verses" as then reported in the NY Times:
"In Islam there is a line between let's say freedom and the line which is then transgressed into immorality and irresponsibility and I think as far as this writer is concerned, unfortunately, he has been irresponsible with his freedom of speech. Salman Rushdie or indeed any writer who abuses the prophet, or indeed any prophet, under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death. It's got to be seen as a deterrent, so that other people should not commit the same mistake again."
Well after a bunch of diversity non-celebrating right wing nutjobs in need of sanity took that quote entirely out of context, Yusef explained it all later that he was new to Islam at the time and just stating a fact, much the same way that a new student of Christianity might cite some of the more punitive scriptures:
"At a lecture, back in 1989, I was asked a question about blasphemy according to Islamic Law, I simply repeated the legal view according to my limited knowledge of the Scriptural texts, based directly on historical commentaries of the Qur'an."
See? Nothing at all un-peace-loving about the prior quote that specifically mentioned "Salman Rushdie [then under an actual death fatwa] or indeed any writer who abuses the prophet"...having to see sentences of death as "a deterrent so that other people should not commit the same mistake again." Yep, just citing the specific doctrine of the peace-loving religion and making absolutely no ties to specific people committing specific acts of "let's say freedom" in modern times. Hey, still not convinced? You must be one tough Infidel in search of sanity. Okay, watch this and try not to be convinced (ad during first 10 or so seconds--resist temptation to press 1 for english):

The Satanic Verses Affair (7/9)
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See? Your fear was merely an illusion created by the under-eductated right wing nutjobs. Won't you join us for our Islam Under-Appreciation Ceremony at the end of our Rally to Restore Sanity? Please remove your shoes and kneel on a carpet (hemp preferred) facing Mecca. And don't let all those reports of bombs being placed on planes Friday distract you from your respectful reflection of our nation's injustices to our friends like Yusef.

Two Minutes With America's Governor

Courtesy of Tigerhawk.

"She's Not Nearly As Smart As She Seems To Think She Is"

These words--written by Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence "Always a Bridesmaid" Tribe about recent Supreme Court appointee Sonia Sotomayor in a personal letter to President Obama--reveal a good deal about the writer and the reader.

First of all, the leak of this letter will have what the vaporists refer to as a "chilling effect" on Mr. Tribe's appearance at A-List Democrat events.  Sotomayor is a Democratic/Liberal Icon--doesn't matter if the whole letter's point was to put forward the prospects of another Liberal Icon (Ms. Kagan)--Tribe's stepped in it here and stepped in it good.

Secondly, note how important Tribe considers "smart" to be.  Don't get me wrong--we obviously don't want dunces on the Supreme Court--but this fascination with intelligence we see from the elites of the Democratic establishment is part of the larger issue of "were right and smart, they're wrong and dumb".  Where else do we see this?  Why, the Daily Show, of course....

Thirdly, the comfort with which Tribe puts forward his opinions, especially that of Ms. Sotomayor's intellect--seems to be to belie a sense that the READER of this letter--Tribe's good friend Mr. Obama--would likely AGREE with the sentiment contained therein.  Tribe wouldn't burn a relationship with a President over a Supreme Court nomination--he figured that what he was writing would be welcomed in the Oval Office.

Read the letter--sorta like reading the other team's playbook left on the Brady living room table.

Republicans and Disclosure

The Post has an editorial this morning with which I agree, one that advocates passage of common sense legislation designed to eliminate anonymity in the realm of political donations.  I agree with this stance.  I haven't read the "Disclose Act", but I don't doubt that there are enough poison pills in it to run off significant Republican support.

I do however, support the Post's call for a stripped down bill that eliminates financial anonymity.  I don't care if a corporation believes that its interests would be hurt by broad knowledge of its donations, any more than I care if individuals are tracked by their donations.  As a matter of fact, I'm willing to take this whole debate the next step.

I think there should be NO LIMITS on how much an individual, corporation, Union, or advocacy group gives to any candidate, cause or party.  None whatsoever.  But along with this loosening of limits would come an ironclad disclosure regime.  At that point, we'd have a truer sense of just what  (and who) money was buying in elections, and there would be nowhere to hide for candidates who who take this money.  The Press--both mainstream and otherwise--would keep voters informed as to who got what from whom, and voters would have the opportunity to decide.

Will Obama Follow The Clinton Model?

Anne Kornblut has a piece in the Sunday WaPost in which she draws the historical analogy between the Republican tidal wave of 1994 and the one coming Tuesday--and their impacts upon the seated Democratic President.

We all remember Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich--there was quite a bit of cooperation between the two (right up until the Republicans shut the government down--which really only hurt them, and helped re-elect Clinton) and some good policy came out of their alignment.

In this article, Kornblut postulates that Mr. Obama may follow the same model.  I've made this same argument to at least one of my Dem friends--that a Republican House--especially one with Paul Ryan Chairing the Budget Committee (one of the few Republicans of substance Mr. Obama seems to respect)--might hold out the same prospects for good policy moves.  This Dem friend thought I was smoking crack, attributing the unlikelihood of such an atmosphere to the toxicity of the town, etc.

I'm beginning to think he may have been right--except for the wrong reason.  If the new alignment doesn't work in terms of good policy, it increasingly looks like it would be attributable to the differing political instincts of the President's involved.  Bill Clinton was a centrist Democrat who led the DLCC to prominence in the 80's by putting forward policy options that challenged the traditional liberal establishment in the Party.  What many called his "triangulation" policies seem to me to have been simply policy making in his comfort zone. 

Does anyone think Barack Obama is possessed of centrist tendencies?  I simply don't see it.  From a simple numbers game, the Democratic caucuses of both the House and Senate will be MORE liberal as a result of this election, and they'll be in no mood to compromise.  It would take extraordinary leadership on the part of the President to buck his own Party, a level of leadership on policy I simply haven't seen from this White House--you remember, the one that tells the Democratic leadership to gin up bills.

The one wild card here?  Self-preservation.  Barack Obama will want to get re-elected, whether his party is in power in Congress or not.  If he sees his re-election prospects increased by cooperating with the Republicans, the stage could be set for some serious policy-making.  We'll  see.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Virginia 24 #22 Miami 19

Virginia knocked Miami's starting QB out in the first half and capitalized on a few turnovers.  I picked the wrong game to stay in Easton....

I really, really like Virginia's new coach....

Election Predictions

I loved Sally's post, some good predictions there.  Here are mine:

1.  Republicans will take 53 seats in the House, 8 seats in the Senate.
2.  The biggest upset of the night will be that Barney Frank will be sent back to Provincetown on a permanent basis.  Massachusetts will come through again, as Governor Patrick is defeated.
3.  Boxer and Murray will both keep their seats, Harry Reid will not, nor till Feingold.
4.  Allen West will take his place in the House of Representatives.

Joint me Wednesday night for the return of the Radio will be a fun one!

The Stewart Rally

Just popped on to pop up about the Rally, and I read Mudge's dyspeptic missive below.  Mudge (short for "curmudgeon" for those who don't know) was clearly not a fan of the Jon Stewart Rally, but I'm a little more accepting of what I saw. 

First though, let's get the obvious out of the way.  It was a SEA of WHITE FACES.  Is there anything wrong with that?  No.  Not at all.  But it has to be said.

Second, I was switching between the rally and the UVA/Miami game, so I may have missed parts that Mudge found objectionable.  I however, found nothing objectionable about what I saw, and I did find much of it to my liking. 

Third, there really are two Jon Stewarts.  There's the reliably left of center guy who makes no bones about his ideology and politics.  It comes through loud and clear on his show, but it isn't over the top, and it isn't original by a long shot.  The second is the Jon Stewart I prefer, the one who can effectively skewer the inconsistency and/or pomposity of any side of any argument.  I saw more of the latter than the former today.

What IS unbalanced and a bit problematic about what I saw (and the Stewart/Colbert pairing in general) is the fact that Stewart--reliably left of center and NOT ACTING--is presented as the reasonable, the intellectual, the Just Plain Right Guy.  Colbert on the other hand--is the parody, the clown, and the guy most often putting forth the Conservative view (albeit some weird, Colber-ized version of it).  Message?  Left right, right stupid.

Rally to Restore Blah Blah Blah

An occasionally effective tactic of the left when race cards, gender cards and sexual preference cards have all been played (yet failed to divert attention from the substantive arguments about their flawed policies) is to assert the lack of intellectual capacity of their antagonists. The left has been more subtle in throwing the intellect card than the aforementioned cards with terms such as "civility" (the Administration actually uses our tax dollars to employ an envoy of sorts to preach civility and "tolerance" in much the same way photographers used to shoot portraits of less fortunate faces through gauze to soften the image. Well, we can now add "sanity" to the words commandeered by the left with the intent of leaving nary a crumb with which non-leftists (you know, those uncivil, intolerant, uneducated, racist, sexist, homophobes who disagree with them) can identify.

You know what? there may be more truth to that one than any of them...I have to admit, this monopoly of leftists in charge right now has contributed more to my own insanity than anything I've encountered in over a half-century of being right.

Anyway, just to see what all the fuss was about, I tuned into the "Rally" for just a few minutes today. It only took a few minutes because I couldn't take another minute of the intermittent fleeting flashes of subliminal suggestion screens saying: "You are not the target audience."

Indeed I am not. (NTS: Add that to list of things for which I am thankful.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Predictions-Election Night and the Day After

1. Thanks to that awful Gawker story, Christine O'Donnell garners some sympathy votes and while she still loses, it's much closer than anticipated.

2. The Alaska and Washington Senate races will go into overtime.

3. The Rent Is too Damn High Party candidate in New York gets a surprising number of votes.

4. Keith Olbermann's head will explode by 9 p.m.

5. On Wednesday, Charlie Crist will make the circuit telling the real story of what happened in the Clinton-Meek saga. No one will care all that much.

6. That cretin Alan Grayson will lose. I will cheer.

7. Rand Paul, Rubio, Angle and Ken Buck will win (Buck in a squeaker). But the media will focus on Joe Miller and Christine O'Donnell as proof that the Tea Party has no influence.

8. Rick Perry wins a a third term as Texas Governor. His hair will remain fabulous.

9. The prettiest member of the next Congress will be Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Her hair is not fabulous.

10. 'Rubio 2012' talk will begin on Wednesday. The Democrats' media enablers will sniff and dismiss the idea of a brand new senator with presidental ambitions. They will never notice the irony.

That's mine - what do you have?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Man Of The People

I get that New York State Assemblyman Bob Reilly was going for dramatic effect when recalling his conversation with his good friend and constituent Carl Kyle, but this clip gave me douche chills:

I bet he does a mean Step'n Fetchit at the Albany Christmas party.

Clip courtesy of Allahpundit

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kagen Questions Safety Of A Drug Used In Executions

In her first vote as a Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagen joined the minority opinion to grant a stay of execution of convicted murderer Jeffrey Landrigan over questions about the safety of a drug used in lethal injections. Shortly after the stay was overturned, the State of Arizona executed Landrigan.

Questioning the safety of a drug used in executions? I'd say it wasn't very safe...but it sure was effective.

Tigerhawk Assesses The Cost Of Government Interference

Here's a great Tigerhawk post on the costs associated with his home renovation.  Been there, doing that.  But not this bad....

The Very First Act of Speaker Boehner

Assuming of course, that the Republicans take the House one week from today, I put forth the following proposition:  That Speaker (Designate) John Boehner should--as his first public act as Speaker (Designate), forswear the use of military jets for routine travel between Washington DC and his District, or any other domestic US location.  After 9-11, Speaker Dennis Hastert began to be conveyed about on US Air Force jets as part of the continuity of government mania that was sweeping the country.  As the second in line to succeed the President in case of death or incapacity (first of course, being the VP), it was determined that the Speaker should be afforded the special protection and convenience of military aircraft.

Speaker Pelosi was of course, extended the same courtesy as Speaker Hastert--though she got into some hot water when she insisted on a plane that could make the trip to San Francisco without having to stop to refuel. 

It's time to do away with this courtesy, and it should come from the Speaker (Designate) himself.  Commercial travel to and from Ohio should suffice for the Speaker of the "people's House", as it does for the 534 other members of Congress.  It would be a symbolic act, but an important one nonetheless.

By the way--did you know the Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of Congress?  Look it up.  Article I, Section 2.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leave It To The Brits To Get American Politics Right

The Economist tells us the wholesale flight of working class whites from the Democratic Party is not an issue of race.  Why can't our own media realize this?

Tea Partiers Are Wrong On TARP

Actually, it's not just Tea Partiers--anyone who thinks TARP was the wrong thing to do--is just plain wrong.  Here's a decent overview of the bidding by Ross Douthat in the New York Times.  TARP saved the world banking system.  TARP was and is the only piece of legislation passed to address our country's financial morass that has actually made a difference.  Of the $700B allocated, the program will ultimately cost only $50B, with that loss coming from the auto industry's time at the TARP trough.  The banks?  They paid interest--the taxpayers made money.

I realize I'm probably in the minority in the Republican Party when I write in support of TARP.  I realize it is great fun to demonize Wall Street and say that they should have let banks fail--but we are far better off for government intervention in a crisis ridden market than we would have been if Congress did not act.  Of course, Congress should let businesses fail--99% of the time.  Of course, Congress should stay out of free markets--99% of the time.  Of course, Congress should let automakers fail--ok--on this one, it ought to be 100% of the time.

Ponnuru and Lowry Analyze The Fall of the Democrats

National Review heavies Ramesh Ponnuru and Rich Lowry provide an outstanding review of the precipitous fall of the Democratic Party in the past two years.  It has been a series of mis-steps, over-reaches, mis-reading of mandates.  No incoming President in recent memory has been so favored--a pliant Congress, a fawning media--yet they blew it anyway. 

There is a lesson here for Republicans.  Many lessons, actually.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bailed Out Firms Giving To Republicans

Which is of course, double-plus bad, according to the bought and paid for media.  Ironic though, that the firms "bailed out" are often discussed in the context of having been bailed out in no small part to save a million--mostly  union jobs.  Yet the colossal money coming in from unions doesn't come under the same scrutiny.  Same again for public sector unions and their donations---was the stimulus not largely designed to aid states so that they could keep public sector union employees on the job?  Again--don't hold your breath on the BAPF media drawing this same comparison.

Why Japan Is Having A Population Crisis

Are we not men?

Monday Sports Roundup

Yes indeed folks, the Hoos have won three games this year and I've been there for all of them.  Won't get to go back again until Maryland on Nov 13, but a win between now and then will be a stretch.

No one wants to stay atop the college rankings--brother Sean may have committed seppuku with his beloved Sooners being the latest to gag on it.

Bret "Show me your willie" Favre had a chance to do it last night but fell short.

And for folks in DC, the 'Skins have already equaled the number of wins from last year.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

C'mon CW. Can't it be "day clothing" too?

Photos from

On The Wearing Of Pro Football Jerseys

There are two kinds of people who should wear pro football jerseys; 1) pro football players (while suited up for the game) and 2) attractive women as a form of night clothing.  That's it.  No one else.

I went grocery shopping today at about noon--one hour before the East Coast kickoff time--and I swear, of the 20 or so men in the store, two were not wearing pro-football jerseys.  One was me, and the other was about six years old.

Am I missing something here?

Where's That Good Ol' (Conservative) Wahoo Spirit?

Things have been way too slow here lately.

In case you mistakenly thought CW was the least bit interested in football or that a non-drinker really went all the way to Charlottesville to enjoy the tailgaters, a bit of investigative journalism (remember what that was before it went extinct in 2008?) uncovered the real reason(s) he drives all that way. It might also explain his selection of college extracurricular activity. Plus, I thought a cheap and tawdry attempt to boost our flagging readership might get us back on our prior footing. Enjoy (and tell your friends to visit CW)!

Ahhh, even makes an old Navy guy want to say "Go 'Hoos!"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chamber of Commerce Eclipsed By AFSCME

So long as it was the Chamber--contributing largely to Republican candidates who support a pro-business, pro-capitalist, pro-markets approach--the Obama Administration and the bought and paid for media (but I repeat myself) were apoplectic about the influence of all this money in the process.  Will we hear similar wails now that AFSCME has eclipsed the Chamber?  Don't hold your breath.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Driving Miss Dai-ceased

Here's a good case for a lawyer who prefers resorting to insanity pleas. Better than average odds s/he'll get no argument from the judge, state's attorney or jury on this woman.

In a twisted bit of irony, the deceased woman was homeless and the pro-bono post-mortem driver was a real estate agent. I can just hear the daily dialo...I mean, unilogue: "We're going to find you a home even if it kills you!"

Heloise might be interested in the new use for baking soda too.

"Dr. Moe, Dr. Larry, Dr. Zoltar 6000..."

It appears the National Institute of Health (NIH) is teaming with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture and Defense (through DARPA) to fund small business and academic research relating to robotics. Specifically, the announcement calls for:

"research directed towards innovations or advancements in robotic technologies and devices for: Robotics for Home Healthcare, Personalized Care for Special-needs Populations, and Robotic Wellness/Health Promotion; Robot-Assisted Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Behavioral Therapy; High-throughput Robotics Technologies; Better Than Biology Actuators; Patient Mobility and Rehabilitation Robotics; Dexterous Manipulators with Tactile Feedback; Multi-Agent Command, Coordination, and Communication; Robotic Co-Worker Assistive Technologies"

This probably falls under the "pass it and we'll learn what's in it" genius comment by Der Sprecher but for all you doubting Thomases who thought the Health Care Bill was going to create a serious loss of health care providers, you need not worry cause we're gettin' robots!

This has been tried before:

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Firstly, let me apologize for the paucity of blogging; as I 'splained earlier in the month, October's been a grind.  I hope to get back into things in a more representative way in a week or so.

Secondly, because I've been such a lazy slob in my blogging, I haven't heard much from you--so let 'er rip--get it off your chest--what's on your mind, people?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Seapower Manifesto

Here's something I've done on the other blog

Reason and Anonymity

The folks at Reason TV make a spirited defense of anonymity in public speech.  HT--Instapundit

Richard Cohen Hates Hate Crimes

Here's a thoughtful view of the insipidity of hate crime from Richard Cohen.  Punish the crime, not the thought.

Obama The Snob

Michael Gerson thinks the President is an intellectual snob.  Here's a key paragraph from his argument:

"What must Democrats trying to compete in Pennsylvania or Ohio think when they hear Obama make arguments such as these? Do they realize the tremendous mistake they have made, tying their political fortunes to a leader who makes Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry look like prairie populists in comparison?"

Brother Tom continues to wonder aloud what we should do with all these Democrats who are coming forward and admitting the mistake they made in their Obama-mania.  He realizes of course, that the path to electoral victory is to embrace them, to let them know there are no hard feelings.  But the urge to say, "Just what the hell did you THINK would happen?" is almost overwhelming.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Obama Tax Hike Lunacy

In an effort to continue to stoke the class warfare that has become their brand, Obama administration folks (and yes, the President himself) have begun to point at the Chinese bogeyman to justify raising the taxes on successful Americans.  Here's David Axelrod:

"The notion that we borrow $700 billion for the next ten years from China or some other country in order to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires doesn't make sense. This is part of how we got in trouble in the first place," Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Ok, so let's get this straight; in the midst of an economic downturn the President and his homeys want to raise taxes on "2 percent" of Americans, while leaving the Bush Tax Rates in place for the other 98% of taxpayers.   They cry "CHINA" and "$700B" as justification.  But one wonders--where will the $2 TRILLION come from to "pay for" the revenue lost in not raising taxes  for the other 98%.  Um.....China!

A Nice Krugman Take-Down

I happened to read this little ditty in the dead tree version of National Review this weekend, and now it is out from behind the firewall.  What a wonderful, surgical dismantling of Professor Krugman.  Read, and be well.

Getting Out The Black Vote

Can anyone reading this blog imagine Republicans publicly talking about "getting out the White vote"?  I didn't think so.

EJ Dionne's Latest Whine

Poor EJ; someone hand him a tissue, he's got himself all in a case of the vapors over the impending Democratic disaster.

Just can't seem to get his arms around the fact that folks are simply repudiating everything he stands for.  No.  That would make his head explode.

Monday Sports Roundup

Hoos lose to UNC, season going about where I thought it would.  Thought the Skins might pull it out last night, and the Eagles keep getting it done somehow.

Oh--and I guess there's still baseball....

A Fall Day On The Farm

A few shots from our stomp about the farm yesterday.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Three Cheers for C-SPAN

While traditionally a bit of a snoozer, C-SPAN has done a great job in the past few weeks of airing many of the debates that we wouldn't normally get to see. I stumbled across Nevada's debate Thursday followed by Washington's later that evening. Washington's was a bore, but Nevada's was not. (If you missed it, try to catch the replay today at noon, and you can hear Harry 'The War is Lost' Reid tell you how he supported the surge.) Go here for the schedule - at a minimum, Wisconsin's debate this week may be interesting.

Maureen Dowd was unpopular in high school

If anyone doubts that, her latest ridiculous column is devoted to writing about all the mean Republican girls. Or as she describes them ' grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray paint your locker and spread rumors that you were pregnant.'

Let's review: Christine O'Donnell-fighting to be taken seriously against an already established media storyline; Sharron Angle-please see previous description, and throw in grandmotherly; Linda McMahon-tough businesswoman calling out her opponent for lying about his Vietnam 'service'; Meg Whitman, who (unknowingly?) hired an illegal and heartlessly paid her 23 bucks an hour...they're all just so mean!

In Maureen's world, describing Republican women as mean and nasty somehow doesn't make Maureen mean and nasty.

Home Depot Founder Gives The President What For

Here's a little gem for your Sunday morning reading.  I also love his call for means testing Social Security....


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Media Bias?

Take a look at this article from the Washington Post.  In it, a California swing district is detailed, and the reporter asks us to consider this emblematic of of a wave of voters looking to kick out the incumbent. 

But really now--how many of you can name three Republican incumbents in trouble in this election?  Can't do it?  Of course you can't.  This isn't about "throwing the bums out".  It's about "throwing the Democratic bums out"--but don't look to read that in the Bought and Paid For Media. 

Dispatch From The Red Carpet Club

In my last job, when I traveled to and from San Francisco with regularity, I posted several entries from the United Red Carpet Club at SFO.  Since I started my new job in the summer of 2009, I've not had the chance to get out here again.  I am out here today working with a client, and with that work done, I am firmly ensconced in the quiet, roomy, civilized confines of the RCC.  My flight (the red-eye back to Dulles) does not board for five more hours, so I have some time to work, to blog, to read, and to relax--sorta like I had when I worked in my old job.  But little of that these days.

This truly is a beautiful part of the country.  It sucks to pay taxes in California, but there's really nothing wrong with living here.  The weather is pretty much great all the time (at least where people live--I hear it gets rough in the desert, but I have no reason to be there), and there are a hell of a lot of things to do with one's leisure time.  When I lived here (a 15 month special guest appearance 10 years ago while XO of a Cruiser in San Diego), I grew weary of the recreation lifestyle, the "I work so I can play" approach to life.  I yearned for the East Coast psycopaths who work in order to work, for whom recreation is fluffy and unnecessary, and for whom time off mostly counts as time to be bored.  I count myself among their number, but as I get older, I am drawn to what California has to offer.

I could sit here in the lounge all night and not be the least bit inconvenienced.  I sorta wish I still drank, as there is a fine bar here, and getting a little snockered seems like the thing one does when one has time to kill in airports.  While there will be no spirits for me, I will at some point break out of the womb-like protection of the RCC and venture out among the volk to find something to eat.  I noted a Gordon Biersch out there in the airport, and I remember there being tasty pretzels there--though I may be mistaken.

I received notification today that a life insurance policy I had applied for had been approved...though at a higher premium than the initial "teaser".  The notification said something about "information" gained during the application process.  Hmmmm.....gonna have to follow up on that one.  Don't drink.  Don't smoke.  BP is normal--could it be the few "extra pounds"?  Am I being victimized by sizism?  I must follow up.

I listened the other morning to an interview with the Secretary of the State of Washington, Mr. Sam Reed.  He was on POTUS (satellite radio) talking about Washington's exclusively "voting by mail" program, which I found unobjectionable.  Then--he began veering off into a discussion of 8 or 9 ballot initiatives that were before the people of Washington (including an "income tax on the rich"), and in the course of  the discussion, he cited the "wisdom of our founding fathers" in allowing the "people" to legislate when they felt the need.  I don't know what "people" Mr. Reed was talking about--but the Founding Fathers I studied thought that the "people" were wholly incapable of governing themselves (direct democracy), and that's why we have a "representative" democracy.  Other examples of the Founders wisdom include the Electoral College and previous convention of having Senators appointed by state legislatures--since changed by the 17th (?) Amendment.

I will fly home later on a 757, three seats to a side separated by an aisle.  I will be in a middle seat, which most people find onerous, but which I find acceptable (though not optimal).  Whatever the airlines have done--they seem to be on the right path.  Virtually every flight I'm on these days is full--clearly they've cut back on capacity in order to optimize per-flight profit.  Don't get me wrong--the flying experience still blows--but I think they've arrived at a good place with respect to capacity and the flying market.

That's all for now for this dispatch.  Perhaps I'll come back to the blog later.  I do have the time, you know.

Socialists Say He's Not One Of Them

Apparently the President isn't Red enough

But we already knew he wasn't a socialist.  He is a Neo-Socialist. 

Impeach Obama?

Jonathan Chait is one of those hyperventilating, over-the-top liberals who thinks all conservatives are either dumb or criminal. 

He's just written this, in which he expects a Republican House of Reps to impeach the President.

I disagree.  The President's been the best friend Republicans have in growing the Party.  If he wins a second term, we'll certainly be ok with his continuing Republican membership drive efforts. 

Did Capitalism Save The Chilean Miners?

Maybe.  Check this wonderful story of American innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit.  Exactly the kind of thing that is under duress from this Administration's policies.

HT  Instapundit

Obama: "Same Old Tax-and-Spend Democrat"?

Someone please tell me why anyone would vote for this guy?  He was clearly not ready for the job, he's implemented ruinous policies and now--get this--he's beginning to tell us that we were right.  For example:

"In the magazine article, Mr. Obama reflects on his presidency, admitting that he let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend Democrat,” realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” and perhaps should have “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” in the stimulus".

He didn't just "look" like a tax-and-spend Democrat, he was one.  What Republicans said about the stimulus--that if you feel you have to have one--load it up with getting money out the door in the form of tax cuts that go immediately to people who will spend money, is now validated in the President's wistful meanderings on the cusp of seeing his House majority squandered.

This guy is not ready, and we need him gone in 2012.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On The Road Again....

Flying out to San Fran for a little "bidness", will likely have some time tonight/tomorrow morning to tickle the blog the meantime, remember that we're only three weeks from really, really good things....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another Reason Not To Join The VFW...

They've endorsed Barbara Boxer in the California Senate race.  Ridiculous.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Sports Roundup

I realize that if I forgot to post this, Hammer would probably unleash a withering cyber-attack.  Talk amongst yourselves....

Responsible Policy Stance by Obama Administration

It looks like (for now) the Obama Administration is resisting the craven, cloying, transparent, socialistic calls of many in the Democrat Party for a "freeze" of all foreclosures, a misguided policy alternative that will make mortgages even harder to come by.   

How The US Will Drag China Down

Send in the therapists!

Greg Mankiw Breaks Down Higher Taxes On The Rich

Former Bush Administration economist and Harvard Professor Greg Mankiw put a few thoughts down on the impact of the Bush tax cuts expiring.  In it, he uses an interesting test case--himself.

I am a big fan of Mankiw, but I have a quibble with his approach.

He lays out his whole case as a comparison between what his situation would be after 30 years of NO taxes whatsoever, and what his situation would be with the Bush cuts lapsing.  Only at the end of his example does he come back to the fact that this isn't a choice between no taxes and something else.  It is a choice between the present tax rate and a marginally higher one.  Don't get me wrong--I don't want the higher taxes either--I just don't like the way he makes his point here. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Three Reasons Why Obama's Education Policy Deserves an "F"


A place for excellent center-right discussion when CW is off sailing.

Friday's podcast, called Heavy Hitters, included Mark Steyn and Jonah Goldberg. One thing particularly appealing about the site is they always provide a "fistful" of links for further reading on the topics covered. One gem:

The regrettably titled report on China is mentioned in this excerpt of the Congressional Record from June, 1999. Apparently, giggles are not transcribed by the CR.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Boys Sailing Weekend

Yes friends, it's that time of year again--time for the Boys Sailing Weekend.  The concept of operations is this--a group of the Kitten's friends--they were sailing instructors in the Caribbean together in their twenties--gets together somewhere on the east coast for a bit of a boys club sail.  We will get underway from Stamford, CT tomorrow morning, sail Long Island Sound, then overnight in Northport NY--before sailing back to Stamford on Sunday morning.

The Kitten--with whom these guys have have been fast friends for a long time--is a bit conflicted about the boys sailing weekend.  She's all for me becoming friends with these guys, but she's a little off-put by the gender exclusion. The good news is she's in CT this weekend too, and we'll rendezvous Sunday for a pierside brunch somewhere before I train back to DC (she'll stay in New England another night).

She's Still Just Not That Into You

News from the world of medicine - Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim said today that it will discontinue development of its "female desire drug" flibanserin for the treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder because of FDA requests for further support of the efficacy and safety profile of the drug. According to Wikipedia, Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder is characterized as a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity.

Is there some sort of colored ribbon for that?

Now I Know Why Rudolph's Nose Is Red

Virginia's 1st Congressional District candidate Krystal Ball (I kid you not) has found herself at the center of a brewing controversy after pictures of the comely candidate dressed in, erhm, suggestive clothing fellating a red phallic device appeared on the internet.

A cautionary tale for those of you out there who have considered, or may be considering running for elective office at some point (I'm looking at you, CW).

As a public service, I've included the salacious photos here.

Dinesh D'Souza and Obama's Anti-Colonialism

Mr. D'Souza's out with another defense of his argument on why Obama has the policies and beliefs he does.  Read the article.  It is an interesting argument and I find myself nodding my head a bit, but....

Why does D'Souza think this is notable or important?  Are we all of a sudden to see Barack the son as the only example of where parental influence may have played a role in the political development of a child?  This dynamic is played out all over this country--the world perhaps--and for some reason, D'Souza believes it is notable here.

Again folks--we have PLENTY to go on in the actual POLICY choices the man is making, most of them bad.  We have no need to delve into the why's, especially when that inquiry comes off as Oprah-ish. 

The GOP and Black Voters

The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson has an interesting Op-Ed this morning.  I am not normally drawn to Robinson's work, but the title of this one caught my eye:  "Why Won't the GOP Compete for African-American Votes".  

In it, he concedes "monolithic" support for the Democratic Party among African-Americans, and then puts forward the notion that this is "perfectly rational political behavior" because of the community's affinity for "progressive" politics. 

Is it not then, also perfectly "rational" political behavior for the GOP to then pass on the opportunity to pour good money after bad in trying to attract the black vote?  If--as Robinson would have us believe--the cost of more black voters would include embrace of progressive ideals and the politics of racial vicitmhood (expressed here as: "Such an initiative would begin with an acknowledgement of the specific problems that African Americans face -- including the legacy of centuries of oppression and discrimination -- and a proffer of policies to address those problems. But this would contradict the GOP's dogmatic stance that government should be severely limited in its ambition"), well then frankly, I say pass on the opportunity.  Just be more like the Democrats and black people will vote for you--this is Robinson's message, and it is a loser for the Party.  Reach out to African-Americans.  Recruit AA candidates.  Continue to explain that while all of government is not bad, too much of government robs the individual of that which makes a society great and prosperous.  But don't pander.  Don't try to look like the other guys just to be popular. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Santorum For President?

No.  I don't think so.

I Love This Guy

Allen West, candidate for Congress.

It Isn't Racism if a Democrat Does It

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell--on National Television (well, only MSNBC)--says that RNC Chair Michael Steele is "dancing" for his "master".  Where is Sharpton?  Where is Jackson?  Where is Obama and a beer summit?

Oh that's right--it's only racist if a Republican says it.  Check out some classic non-racist Democrat lines here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Government Pensions Not Sacred

Here's an interesting story from this morning's WaPost discussing once sacrosanct government employee pension plans now on the chopping block.  It is high time.

Take a look at this impressive piece from National Affairs on how public sector unions have skewed the market with monopoly pricing power for government labor. As the Reverend Wright tells us, "the chickens are coming home to roost:"

What you say?  But CW, you are a pensioner, you too are on the government dole.  Indeed I am.  And I've written elsewhere (on that Navy blog that few of you ever read) that my ridiculously low annual medical insurance premium ($256) is a crime and should be raised, and that the military should begin to offer "lump sum" retirement payoffs to those interested in deferring benefits until later in life (something I most assuredly would have done).

There are solutions to these problems, but we have to be serious about them and not afraid to sacrifice sacred cows. 

Cue The Carter Comparisons....

Solar returns to the White House....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Radio Show Hiatus

The Conservative Wahoo Live!  will take a hiatus during the month of October, returning to the air on Wednesday, November 3, 2010. 

The plain truth is that I'm swamped this month, and I can't put in the time necessary to prepare as I would like.

I've called Big Fred and left a message letting him know, and I hope you'll all rejoin the broadcast when we begin again in November.

Bob Woodward's "Obama's Wars"

I do not intend to write a book review of Bob Woodward's latest "Obama's Wars".  I'll leave it with an observation that it is a typically, deeply interesting book by a man who gets the most powerful people in Washington to sing like birds before someone else tells their story for them.  Anyone who loves DC inside chat will love this book.

I do however, have a couple of thoughts on ten of the people who figure prominently in this book, and I'll include in each assessment my thoughts on the extent to which they cooperated with Woodward in the writing of this book.

1.  Hillary Clinton--Secretary Clinton comes across in this book as wise, influential and unafraid to speak her mind.  Her gravitas and independence seem to bother everyone in the President's political circle, without bothering the President himself.  Of all the major characters in this play (except the President himself), it appears to me that Secretary Clinton cooperated with Woodward least of all. 

2.  Robert Gates--Secretary Gates is portrayed in this book much like many of us who follow defense issues have come to know--inscrutable, bureaucratically nimble, and well-liked by the President.  Gates does a good job of negotiating the dual roles of military advocate and member of the President's Cabinet.  He is thoughtful and a bit of a Mandarin.  I believe he basically told Woodward what he'd already said in public, little in the way of good information or "dirt" on anyone else.

3.  Jim Jones--National Security Adviser Jim Jones (retired 4 star Marine) does not fare well is this treatment.  It is clear that he was not one of the insiders, and the civilian/political types set out from the beginning to marginalize his influence with the President.  Jones was subjected to a withering DC based whispering campaign about his working hours, his dedication to the job, etc--and it appears he decided to use Woodward's book as a means to gain some measure of revenge.  Those who whispered earlier are heard from here, as is Jones--who appears to have been one of Woodward's most willing sources.  Jones cannot possibly serve much longer in his present capacity.

4.  David Petraeus--Speaking of willing sources.....whatever else David Petraeus is, he is a shameless self-promoter. His ride to the top on the wave of COIN theory appears to have left him in the "good with a hammer, everything looks like a nail" category--as he appears constitutionally unable to consider other strategies for Afghanistan.   Brilliantly crafting the media's image of himself, Petraeus is revealed in this book as vain and calculating.  This is no mean feat, as it is also clear that he cooperated openly with Woodward on this project--which indicates to me that there were plenty of other people willing to share their less than positive portraits of the General.  That the President saw fit to appoint him to lead the Afghanistan effort when McChrystal self-immolated, speaks volumes to the President's self-confidence.  In an almost Lincolnian way, Obama--by putting Petraeus in position to win another triumph--is telling him to get the job done, I'll deal with your rising star later.

5.  Mike Mullen--the single most disappointing figure in this book.  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was deficient in his duties on several fronts.  1)  He did not provide the President with a "range" of military options for the prosecution of the War in Afghanistan.  He consistently came forward with a single basic approach (COIN), with nuanced implementations thereof.  The President repeatedly asked for more options, and Mullen did not provide them (see discussion of General Cartwright below).  He made up his mind what he thought the best way forward was, and that's what he gave the President.  His obligation was to ALSO fully develop options that he was not in favor of, and then discuss their pros and cons.  This he did not do.  2)  He did not represent the views of the other Joint Chiefs.  There was is a vignette in the book where the President gathers all the JCS for a meeting, and comes away impressed with the views of General Conway and General Casey--views which had not made their way to the President previously.  Mullen, Petraeus and eventually McChrystal singled up on one way forward and that's what Mullen advocated.  3) He did not stand up to the political types around the President who were clearly interested in politically expedient solutions, and this includes standing up to the President himself.  While I am critical of ADM Mullen for not providing the President with a range of MILITARY options--it was clear that the political types were looking for options that were ABIDINGLY POLITICAL; that is, objectives, victory, etc seemed to play lesser roles to keeping coalitions together, party loyalty, etc.  ADM Mullen has no obligation to provide "politically expedient" advice.  He is to render his best military advice.  At some point, he should have stated in an NSC meeting that "while I understand you are disappointed with the range of military options I've brought you, if you are looking for options that reflect political calculations, you will not get them from me.  It is up to you, Mr. President, to weigh the military options against your own political calculations.  That is a process best carried out in consultation with your political advisers.  I will go back to the Pentagon and bring you a wider range of "military" options for prosecuting this war.  If my mandate includes coming back to your with politically palatable options, then I believe you should look for a new man in my job."  Mullen clearly cooperated with Woodward, and others clearly cooperated to paint him as ineffective and obstinate.

6.  Hoss Cartwright--The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (who Woodward refers to in the book--probably from a source not necessarily kind to Cartwright--as "Obama's favorite general") receives the best depiction of any of the major characters in this book.  He stood up to the Chairman, who directed him not to bring a "Counterterrorism" based strategy forward, and he worked well with the Vice President and other national security officials to put together something other than a pre-baked COIN strategy.  Cartwright carried out his duties as he knew them to be, in an honorable and forthright fashion.  There is clearly no love lost between Cartwright and Mullen.  Cartwright appears to have cooperated modestly in this effort, though his inputs do tend to emphasize his independence from the Chairman.

7.  Richard Holbrooke--one of the most famous leakers in all of Washington, Holbrooke gets his comeuppance in this work--as he is consistently portrayed as out of touch, without influence and lost in a Vietnam haze (he began his State Department career as a Foreign Service Officer in Vietnam).  His cooperation is evident in the book--but so is that of others who see him as a hindrance to the process.  This book does nothing to dissuade me from my suspicion that it was he (Holbrooke) who leaked the McChyrstal plan to the Washington Post.

8.  Joe Biden--while those on the inside clearly believe the Vice President to be a bit on the verbose side, I come away impressed with his determination to make sure that President received good political and military advice, and I remain convinced that his "counter-terrorism" approach would have been a better fit for this conflict at this time.  Biden cooperated liberally with Woodward.

9.  Dennis Blair--Blair's fall from grace after the "Christmas Skivvy Bomber" episode always left me a bit unsatisfied, as the man I (very poorly) knew was not the bumbler he was portrayed in the media to be.  This book goes a long way toward helping Blair recover his reputation, in that it seems he was never really well-liked by the President, and that he simply did not mesh with the politicals who surrounded him (especially Rahm Emmanuel).  Blair was circumspect of Mullen and his approach, and he tried to work with him to stretch himself.  When the Skivvy-bomber issue hit, there seemed to be a quick decision in the White House to blame it on analysts and low-level functionaries--but Blair made it clear that it was a systemic and a leadership issue--which the President then affixed to Blair.  Blair appears to have cooperated somewhat with Woodward, and I was pleasantly surprised that there did not appear to be more abuse heaped upon him.

10.  Barack Obama--The portrayal of the President is a generally positive one--I can't recall having read a single devastatingly negative comment about the President in this book (other than Vice President Cheney's "dithering" about the Afghanistan decision comment, which was made publicly)--which could be a sign that he did not warrant any, or it could be a sign of author bias.  The President seemed to demand a logical and thorough decision making process, and he appeared to be engaged, educated, and in charge.  He was however, operating moreso as a political figure in the NSC meetings than he was as Commander-in-Chief.  Careful not to reveal his political cards, it was clear that his frustrations with the options given were driven by electoral time-lines and their impact on other domestic legislation.  I don't fault him for this--he's a political figure with a number of policies and programs to balance.  I do however, strain to find any evidence in this book of a Presidential will to "win" this conflict, or even to see it in terms that can be described as "success oriented".   

Read the book.  It is fascinating, and it will challenge assumptions you may have made about some of the people you read about in the news each day.

Cross-posted at Information Dissemination

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Farce That Is "Hate" Crime

Eighteen year-old Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers and a talented musician, took his own life on September 22 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.  His suicide came after two other students (including his roommate) had arranged to video-tape his assignations with another man--apparently Mr. Clementi was a homosexual.  Those videos were streamed live and without Mr. Clementi's knowledge.  Both of the students involved in the illegal surveillance have been arrested and released on bond.

This story is a tragedy.  A young man is dead, an apparently talented, young, sympathetic man.  Two incredibly foolish and malevolent students have been arrested and are likely to face considerable retribution for their role in this man's suicide.  All in all, a horrible thing has happened, and many lives will forever be changed.

Into the breach of this tragedy--in order to add much needed definition and nuance--steps one Steven Goldstein of the gay-rights group "Garden State Equality" whose group has released a press-release informing us, according to this report, that Mr. Clementi's death was a hate crime (point of fact, the release does not actually call it a hate crime--it refers to a "hate related" death)

I rage against the death of Tyler Clementi--but I rage also at the use of the term "hate crime", and more insidiously, the characterization under the law of crimes committed under the rubric of "hate".  A free society should not prosecute people for what they THINK--only for what they DO.  Adding punishment or specifying penalties associated with "hate" crimes moves the society dangerously toward the prosecution of "thought crime".  Mr. Clementi's video assailants have committed crimes and society should exact retribution therefrom.  They should do so because a man was videotaped without his consent in what a reasonable person could conclude was a private setting.  That's it.  Nothing more.  That they may have been motivated by attitudes toward his conduct is IMMATERIAL.  Society NEEDS nothing more than the proof that they videotaped Mr. Clementi--they need not know what the videographers had in their hearts and minds when they performed the act. 

Human life is sacred, whether it is a homosexual musician in New Jersey, a pretty high school girl in Aruba, or an anonymous body turning up in a large city.  What causes death--and the reaction it causes in observers--are very human phenomena.  But prosecuting murder/death/crime "differently" because the victim was a homosexual, or young and pretty, or rich and famous--is just not right.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

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