Tuesday, November 30, 2010

God's Tweet: U Suk Stevie!

The following Tweet allegedly came from Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson, shortly after Johnson dropped what would have been an OT-winning touchdown pass in the Steelers endzone:


Stevie, you play for Buffalo, everyone knows God gave up on you a long time ago.

Now He Tells Us

Paul Krugman, writing on Ireland's debt spiral:

"It's hard to escape the sense that European policy makers are just completely out of their depth. They know how to deal with liquidity problems, but they cannot come to grips with the reality that this requires more than buying a bit more time. It's as if we're having the following dialogue:

Ireland really can't afford to pay these debts.

Here's a credit line!

No, really, we just can't afford to pay.

Here's a credit line!

It really is like watching a car wreck."

It really is like watching a car wreck...watching while you steer your own car toward the edge of a 50 foot embankment.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hail Britannia

The Royal Navy is selling the HMS Invincible. Just the ticket for those lazy jaunts around the Eastern Shore...

Radio Show Bleg

Ok folks--what do you think we ought to cover Wednesday night?

Comment Moderation


I have begun a policy of comment moderation on the site, which means that when you write your comment, I will have to read it and allow it to be posted.

I've taken this step in response to a famous internet spammer who continues to hit the site.  His used to go by "DM" and some of you may have remembered him from his ridiculous rantings a few months ago.  Well, he's back, usually anonymously, and he's trying to spread his momma's basement stupidity here.

So, he'll now have to move on to someone else's blog. For some reason, he considers it a "victory" when bloggers go to comment moderation, inferring that we then no longer have an "open forum".  For his information, this was never an "open forum", as I routinely edit out comments I find not up to the standards of the blog.

Your move, DM, you slimy little Canadian freakshow.

Shame on You, UVA

This story--or ones like it--have been germinating in the UVA alumni chattersphere for some time.  The issue is, early admission for football players to attend Spring practice.  That is--REALLY EARLY--as in a kid takes a GED exam at the end of his senior year of HS football, then enters the University as a First Year Student in January of the following year, some eight months earlier than his "classmates" will.  This is of course, to enable the young man to participate in Spring Football--and for NO OTHER GOOD REASON.

Several years ago, a friend of mine recounted to me that Va Tech had been doing this for years, as had many other Division 1 teams (sorry, I still call them that).  He was really upset--not that UVA was considering it, but that they didn't do it.  I told him that we shouldn't do it, that if winning were that big a deal, it wasn't worth winning.

And now, it appears that UVA is has truly decided to cast its lot with the winning at any cost crowd.  This is an embarrassment and a great shame upon a great University.

Another Good Idea on Deficit Reduction

I know I'm poking the "Mudge" bear with posts like this one, but I continue to believe that his allergy to ANY proposal that results in more money going to the government is fine rhetoric but unlikely policy.  In this article by economist Martin Feldstein, a common sense proposal is put forward that lumps a number of "deductions" together (including the hated home mortgage deduction) and then sets a cap on how much of the total can be deducted based on adjusted gross income.

I would not support a proposal like this unless whatever additional revenue it would generate for the federal treasury were matched at a rate of AT LEAST 5:1 by spending cuts.

But I do think this is a worthwhile proposal. 

On The Subject of American Exceptionalism

Karen Tumulty's got an interesting story in this morning's WaPost on American Exceptionalism and the GOP's embrace of the concept as a tool against Democrats in general and Mr. Obama in particular.  A couple of things to think about here.

First, America is exceptional, for many reasons.  I have a tough time thinking about divine intervention in political science, so I'm not a big fan of the "God has granted America a special role in human history" line.  I just don't think God works like that.  I'm much closer to the reasoning behind Newt Ginchrich's comments in the story; "American exceptionalism refers directly to the grant of rights asserted in the Declaration of Independence," and that it is a term "which relates directly to our unique assertion of an unprecedented set of rights granted by God."  Put another way, what makes our system exceptional is the very fact that it is created a government designed to protect and extend the basic yearnings of the human soul, yearnings that many have come to see as "God-given."  Life.  Liberty.  Property.  Freedom.  American style freedom and democracy is-simply put--the system of government most compatible with human nature (and where did that come from?) yet devised. 

Does this mean that every action our government takes is sanctified by the Deity?  Heavens no.  Our government is now and has always been a human creation fraught with human fallibility.  That it was ab ovo an attempt to institute a government among people that served to enable their elemental strivings--that was exceptional.

As for the use of the term politically, it is fair game.  Tumulty's article points out President Obama's unfortunate rambling (calling it a "single" comment--rendered in France, no less): "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."  The implication here, and in Tumulty's further quoting that which follows this line (additional nuance and hedging from the Hedger in Chief), is that Mr. Obama isn't really doubting American Exceptionalism, and really, this is mostly just a GOP attempt to artfully raise Mr. Obama's much discussed background. 

But this view gives little importance to other aspects of the President's life that contribute to a growing sense among many on the right that the President is half-hearted in his view.  The insanity of his preacher, a man in whose pews the Obama family sat for a decade or more, a man who performed the Obama marriage--is instructive.  "God damn America" was one of his most famous lines.  Clearly, Reverand Wright isn't much of an American Exceptionalist.  Mrs. Obama's statements that her husband's political success gave her a reason to be proud of her country "for the first time" creates another suggestion of a man comfortable with surrounding himself with important people who don't necessarily have an exceptional view of the US. 

So as to Mr. Obama and American Exceptionalism, the record seems clear.  He's stated that we're not exceptional.  He married a woman who seems not to believe it.  He sat in a church every Sunday (except of course, the Sunday's when Reverend Wright's hateful invective was spewed) and listened to attacks on it.  Now that a goodly portion of the country is rising to embrace the notion, Ms. Tumulty and the Brookings Institution would have us willfully suspend disbelief and entertain the notion that this is all bunk--that the President is indeed a believer in the special place of America.

This is simply not believable, not when so many on his side of the political spectrum spend their time blaming America first, questioning the nation's motives, and implying that the US is just a big, powerful, rich country.  On the subject of American Exceptionalism, we can judge the President both on his words and on the company he keeps.  I don't doubt that he loves his country, but I suspect that his view of American Exceptionalism is one of believing that the only thing exceptional about the country is that elected him. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How To Piss Away $10M

I'm sorry, but I haven't a shred of sympathy for this family. 

Courtesy Tigerhawk

From The Department of Perverse Incentives....

According to the Wall Street Journal, the average borrower (notice I did not say "homeowner") in foreclosure hasn't made a payment in 492 days.  This means that the average default-er can expect to stay in their house--rent free--for 16 months.  This is ridiculous, and it adds to the current fashion of walking away from mortgages that one can truly afford.

It is time to punish those who break the rules and reward those who play by them. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More From The Religion Of Peace

Mohamed Osman Mohamud
He was targeting a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.  I challenge you to find the words "Islam", "Islamic" or "Muslim" any where in the article.  Wouldn't want to piss CAIR off now, would we Washington Post?

Nancy Pelosi Finally Is Going To Do Something Worthwhile

Apparently wishing to get the most out of her frequent flying military air service, Minority Leader (Elect) Nancy Pelosi is planning to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm at which Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo will receive his award, presumably in absentia whilst he serves time in a ChiCom jail for whatever freedom it is we take for granted that he exercised.

Good for Leader Pelosi.  The ChiComs are trying to influence governments around the world not to send reps to the ceremony, and in fine Chicago mafioso style, they are having some success.  Showing the increasingly arrogant Middle Kingdom that they don't get to make the rules is a worthwhile endeavor. 

Black Swan Author's Dim View of the Future

Nassim Taleb is everyone's favorite Cassandra, he of the "Black Swan" cottage industry.  Here's a peek into the future courtesy of Mr. Taleb.  Robert Thorn will be taking to his sedan chair....

A Euro-Skeptic Dresses Down the Euro-Parliament

Only three minutes or so, well worth watching.   HT--Instapundit.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sarah Palin and Our North Korean Friends

You all know I'm not a huge fan of Sarah Palin as a political figure, but her response to the media's coverage of her gaffe on the Korean situation is priceless.  Read it here.

Patriotic Millionaires Ask To Have Taxes Raised

Guilty, lefty millionaires have written the President a letter asking him to raise their taxes.  Apparently, donating the extra money isn't good enough for them, because voluntary donations "don't work".  Oh, I don't know.  Go ahead.  Give it a try.

My sense is that the kinds of folks signing letters like this are people who make well in excess of a million a year, putting basic issues like taxation and spending out of the realm of everyday concerns.  Once you no longer worry about things like college tuition and property taxes, it is EASY--no CLICHE--to start to feel guilty about your money.

I hope never to get to that point.  I want to always be very, very protective of my money.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

And yes, this is the fattest of all Big, Fat, Fridays!

How was your Turkey Day?  Any liberal relatives still stewing?  Any colossal holiday throw-downs to share?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Are You Thankful For This Year?

I'll probably stay away from the blog tomorrow in pursuit of a lazy Thanksgiving.  In the meantime, here are a few things for which I am thankful.

1.  The love of a good woman.
2.  Two parents who love me and each other.
3.  Siblings who are as interesting as they are loving.
4.  An awakening American public.
5.  Rough men who stand ready to do violence on my behalf.
6.  My (relatively new) Eastern Shore life.
7.  Magnificent friends.
8.  Good health
9.  Challenging work.
10. Two little girls who seem resigned to patience whilst I figure this quasi-step-father stuff out.

How bout you? 

"We Need More Rocks In The River"

As many of you know, I have a great deal of respect for the work of Jonah Goldberg at National Review.  His mother is minor-league famous from Clinton baiting days (Lucianne Goldberg), but he writes more often of his quiet, but immensely deep father.  Goldberg remembers his father this week in the context of the recent papal pronouncement on condom use--a subject with which I will not treat here.

Goldberg talks of the 2005 election of Pope Benedict and investiture, the ceremonies of which his father (a Jew) watched in rapt attention (the Vatican was the last institution that "really knows how to dress").  Apparently, Goldberg's Dad took a shine to the new Pope, and to the role of the Catholic Church in general--that of timeless adherence to principle and resistance to change simply because of its popularity.  Truth is Truth, and from the Catholic perspective, why would one change it.  Goldberg's Dad said "we need more rocks in the river" as a way of stating positively that the society benefited from ideas, people, institutions that slowed the rapid pace of change, of modern life, so that evidence might accumulate and better decisions might be made.

I like the analogy.

David Brooks Is Discouraged

We've seen a number of interesting and thought-provoking plans to address debt and deficit in the past few weeks, and as I've said before, there is a lot to like in some of them.  David Brooks has surveyed the offerings and also finds them of interest.  He however, has access to leaders in DC (both parties), and in his conversations, has come up with a sense of discouragement that there is anything close to a plan (on either side) that would seek to implement even some of the more popular measure being discussed.

Brooks makes an interesting assertion, one that I find plausible.  He indicates that if a package came forward that was 90 percent spending cuts and 10 percent tax increases, many Republicans would sneer at it--as the "no new taxes" pledge taken (and broken) by George H. W. Bush has now become canonical.  I think he's probably right, and I think that's bad for the country. The New York Times had an interesting little debt calculator that allowed you to frame your own debt reduction plan--and I came up with an approach that was 84% spending cuts and 16% tax increases.  Of course I'm convinced of the reasonableness of my plan, but I also realize that it would be DoA on Capitol Hill, as at the very least, the mortgage and real estate industries would unite to fight my abolishing of the home mortgage interest deduction.

What do you think, Republicans?  Can ANY taxes be raised as part of a deficit and debt reduction approach? 

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

Join in the fun on The Conservative Wahoo Live! Wednesday night at 8PM.

Our working agenda is:

--North Korea Gone Wild
--Opting Out of TSA Screens, or “Grope and Change”?
--What will 2011 tax rates look like?
--2012 Roundup
    --Bush (Jeb)
--Why do Americans care about British royalty?
--Caller Thanksgiving Traditions

Call in at 347.637.2203

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Radio Show Bleg

Please post ideas for Wednesday night's radio show.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Eastern Shore Deer Hunt

Just back from another superb weekend hosted by Virginia's Eastern Shore's greatest host and sportsman, Mudge.  No stone is left unturned by this great man, and a hunt with Mudge is not to be missed.

We gathered Friday evening at Mudge's spread on Back Creek, a place that displays his sensibilities and his wife's knick-knacks.  Three dachshunds make up the present menagerie, as both Mudge and Mrs. Mudge are partial to the Weiner Dogs.  I must say, they are cute little rascals, and incredibly social.  More about them later.

The hunt was to consist of Mudge, me, Mike and Nevin--though Nevin would not join us until a bit later at the Moose Lodge in Exmore, VA for dinner.  I know it probably is impossible for the average reader to grasp, but I have never stepped foot in a Moose Lodge.  We were met at the front door by this extreme mountain of a man--Sid--who was to be our host.  Sid is a friend of Mudge's, and he is employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as an aerial game warden/fisheries cop of sorts.  Sid spent twelve years in the Navy as a diver, the last few of which he commuted to work in his own single engine prop plane, flying from the Shore to Norfolk where he had cars and motorcycles stashed.  This guy was a character and a half, and got more bar stories out of 12 years in the Navy than any 10 other men get in 30 year careers.  But then again, I imagine Sid's Navy stories were only a small fraction of the stories the man could tell.

The Moose lodge was like a scene out of the movie "The Deer Hunter".  Smoky.  A trio banging out (really good) rock and roll tunes.  A few prematurely aged women dancing on the small dance floor.  Good, filling, "American" food.  Good ole boys.  A half dozen kids running around, with parents chasing them in-between swigs from long-necks.  A few young hotties not yet run down by the cigarettes and long-necks.  The coolest thing though was this immense bar, three sides of a square, around which were place what appeared to be fortune 500 quality CEO desk chairs.  Big leather jobs that reclined.  The kind that once you sit in it, you don't get up--which is of course, the point.

The Renovation Continues

Here's a link to the latest photos.  

50% of the time expired, 20% of the work complete.   And all of hunting season remains.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Ok folks--what's on your mind?  Everyone ready for Turkey Day?  All ready to lineup at WalMart at 0500?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Hunting Weekend Approaches

I'll be leaving the farm sometime tomorrow mid-day or so, headed South the the Virginia part of the Eastern Shore.  There, I will hook up with my old friend Mudge and two other good friends for a weekend of hunting--birds maybe tomorrow afternoon for a bit, deer on Saturday morning.

The weather's going to be wonderful--not as cold as the last time I sat in a tree stand.

It will be good to be with Mudge.  He's good people.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's a TV Show, People

The entertainment world was shocked last night when Bristol Palin survived elimination and will now go on to compete in next week's finale of Dancing with the Stars. This sat poorly with Palin Hater Nation, but 67-year-old Stephen Cowan of Wisconsin took an unusual tack with his frustration: he shot his TV with a rifle. He claimed she was a bad dancer [she wasn't great] and was only saved because of her mother. For those of you that don't watch this dumb show that I rarely miss, dancers receive scores from professional dancers that are combined with viewer votes. If viewers aren't feeling you, you get sent home. But...IT'S A TV SHOW. It's astounding how the mention of the Palin name completely unhinges some people.

However, I can empathize with Mr. Cowan as I get a similar urge when I turn on the TV and hear our President talk about puttin' cars in ditches, Slurpees, or 'communication' missteps.

California Should Be A Trust Territory

This post is inspired by a conversation with my bizarro-muse, brother Tom.  Tom posted a story on his Facebook page referencing the California Supreme Court's latest descent into madness, a recent decision affirming the "right" of illegal aliens to receive "in-state" tuition breaks at State Colleges and Universities.  In the conversation, Tom described present-day California as a Liberal petri-dish--one growing for all to see the virus of liberal thinking.  "Liberals talk all the time about how we should cut the defense budget in order to pay for social spending.  Look at California.  They don't have a defense budget.  They don't have a "foreign policy"--they just have State stuff, including social spending run wild.  Anyone who wants to see what WOULD happen if liberal ideas prevailed simply has to look to California."

I told Tom I was conflicted about California.  As a conservative, I'm a states-rights guy.  But I suggested the time would soon be ripe for a federal takeover of the state--and this duality troubled me.  "Make 'em a territory again" he said.  "No rights of a State.  Make 'em re-apply."  What a wonderful idea--a sort of "bankruptcy" for States.  I added that we ought to treat statehood like the English Premier Football League, with the concept of "relegation".  "California, you're out.  Puerto Rico, you're in."  Wouldn't even have to change the flag.

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

Here’s the working agenda:

--Mitch McConnell Folds On Earmarks
--TSA Procedures Under Fire
--Tea Party and Social Conservatives:  Oil and Water?
--Can Michael Steele Stay In Office?
--Resolved:  California Should Lose Its Status As A State and Revert to a Territory
--Charlie Rangel:  Guilty

Join in the fun here.   Call in at 347.6372203

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Royal Wedding

Looks like Prince William's gonna make Kate Middleton an honest woman.  She is, not surprisingly, very easy on the eyes.

My (soon to be) Republican Congressman Wraps Himself In Ignominy

My newly elected Congressman, Andy Harris, recently won the 1st District seat from Frank Kratovil, a Democrat who voted against Obamacare twice.  Kratovil beat Harris in their first race in 2008.  Here's a story of Mr. Harris' recent performance at a gathering of Freshmen and their families and staffs.  Apparently, Dr. Harris (yes, he's a Doc, you know, the people who actually "deliver" health care) was a tad miffed that he and his family would not have the fat healthcare plan enjoyed by our representatives in Washington as soon as he is sworn in on January 3; rather, he'd have to wait 28 days until 1 February.  It seems the good doctor  has NEVER had a job where benefits didn't start RIGHT AWAY. 

I said to the Kitten this morning--this is strike 1 toward a primary challenge....

Thank You.

There is little I can do to improve upon William McGurn's thoughtfully-written piece about Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta besides posting the actual citation and Staff Sgt Giunta's official photo.


"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, on October 25, 2007.

While conducting a patrol as team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, Specialist Giunta and his team were navigating through harsh terrain when they were ambushed by a well-armed and well-coordinated insurgent force. While under heavy enemy fire, Specialist Giunta immediately sprinted towards cover and engaged the enemy. Seeing that his squad leader had fallen and believing that he had been injured, Specialist Giunta exposed himself to withering enemy fire and raced towards his squad leader, helped him to cover, and administered medical aid.

While administering first aid, enemy fire struck Specialist Giunta's body armor and his secondary weapon. Without regard to the ongoing fire, Specialist Giunta engaged the enemy before prepping and throwing grenades, using the explosions for cover in order to conceal his position. Attempting to reach additional wounded fellow soldiers who were separated from the squad, Specialist Giunta and his team encountered a barrage of enemy fire that forced them to the ground. The team continued forward and upon reaching the wounded soldiers, Specialist Giunta realized that another soldier was still separated from the element. Specialist Giunta then advanced forward on his own initiative.

As he crested the top of a hill, he observed two insurgents carrying away an American soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other. Upon reaching the wounded soldier, he began to provide medical aid, as his squad caught up and provided security. Specialist Giunta's unwavering courage, selflessness, and decisive leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American soldier from the enemy.

Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, and the United States Army."

The Tea Party and Social Conservatism

Two months ago, I wrote here of my crystal-izing grand unifying theory of Tea Partyism's rise, which was the fact that they steered clear of social issues--thereby making them more attractive to moderates (who ultimately win a Party elections).

It seems that I may be onto something, as 16 Tea Party groups have signed a letter to the Republican Party urging them to put social issues on the back burner and concentrate on the things Tea Partiers are interested in--namely, lower taxes, less spending, less government, abiding by the Constitution.

Radio Show Bleg

Please provide topics you want covered on Wednesday night's radio show.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fareed Zakaria Discovers Hedging In China

Everyone's global international relations guru, Fareed Zakaria, has an Op-Ed in the WaPost this morning in which he--wait now--reveals to the waiting world the value of a hedging strategy with respect to China.  Permit me to share some of his brilliance with you:

"I would propose thinking of American policy toward China more in terms of a "hedge" strategy. Many investment funds buy stocks hoping that they will rise in value, but they also bet against some companies (or other financial instruments) to ensure that if the market turns downward, they will be protected. (Hence the name hedge funds.) Similarly, the United States should maintain a close and productive relationship with China, hoping that this will ensure a peaceful and prosperous Asia. If, however, China's rise becomes threatening and destabilizing, America should also have in place strong alliances with other Asian powers such as India and Japan - which Obama's trip sought to accomplish - as building blocks to balance Chinese expansionism."

 Thus endeth the lesson, students.  Uber-Professor Zakaria has dispensed with his indispensable global wisdom, and the US must now pursue it.  We will all now add "hedging" to our lexicon, and from Turtle Bay to Foggy Bottom, the new intelligentsia will   appear on CNN and Bill Moyers' Journal to extol the virtues of "hedging".

Oh--what's that you say?

We are already hedging?

And folks have been talking about hedging behavior for years in places like this, and this?    And this

Ok.  Never mind.  Go back to thoroughly ignoring Fareed Zakaria.

Afghanistan Is A Mess

I have consistently expressed support for the President's initiative to bring bring peace and security to Afghanistan.  While I believed he took far too long to reach his decision, I could not in good conscience deny the President the opportunity to execute his own strategy for winning, even if it seemed to represent path I would not have followed.  The George Bush precedent in Iraq (doubling down and succeeding--if only for a time) was a powerful one for me, and I believed the President should be supported.

No more.  Afghan President's Karzai's recent statements urging the US to throttle back on its operations are either A) the rantings of an addled mind  B) the statements of someone who has already cut a deal with the Taliban or C) both.  Irrespective of the case, it is crystal clear that we do not have a reliable partner in charge there, and that our continuing efforts are unlikely to be successful, especially given the murkiness of what actually constitutes "success". 

General Petreaus' approach is having an impact, but what good is it if that impact is destroyed by the duplicity of Mr. Karzai?  Brave Soldiers and Marines are dying every day to give the Afghan people the opportunity to live in peace and stability, while the nation's President accepts bags of cash from the Iranians and coddles the Taliban.

Mr. President, I believe you did the right thing, I believe you fought the good fight.  But we can't want peace and stability more than the Afghans themselves.  It's time to begin the drawdown and shift to a strategy that stresses capturing and killing terrorists rather than attempting to remake (make?) an entire society. 

Monday Sports Roundup

Again, I'm not the world's biggest NFL fan, but I do watch a game or two now and then.  Watched a good bit of last night's Pats/Steelers game.  Brady looks energized.

College Hoops is underway--UVA took down mighty William and Mary the other night!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

GWB's Revival

Great view here from across the pond on George W. Bush's re-emergence on the scene.  I'm about a fifth of the way through his book "Decision Points" now, and as one might expect from a pretty solid Bush fan, I'm enjoying it thoroughly.

His interviews are also wonderful to watch.  He still shoots straight, but there doesn't seem to be much animus in his heart.  As he says, he gave it all and he was proud to serve. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Don't Read This Post If You Are Looking For Serious Commentary Or Insight

I have no time for the TV show "Glee".  I do not know who "Cee-Lo" is.  But I am a HUGE Gwyn P fan--and my, she does some sexy here.

Hunting Season

As I write, shotgun blasts are percolating across my auditory horizon as the Eastern Shore sportsmen take to their blinds in pursuit of various winged prey.  I'll be engaging in much the same pursuit with Mudge next week down in the Virginia portion of the Eastern Shore, with tales to tell afterward.  I'll be toting my new field piece, picked up this very week.

There's something about this time of year...far and away my favorite (with the exception of the week around Christmas).  The brilliance of the blue skies set against the fall colors of the leaves, the chill in the air that gives way to warm sunshine later in the day, eating dinner while it is dark outside and then feeling like it is immediately time for bed like some 19th century prairie family...not to mention the distant thud of 12 gauge's bringing down the evening meal.  For those who don't cotton to hunting, I'm sorry.  I know NO ONE here who does not A) eat what he kills or B) give what he kills to others who will eat it. 

A month from now, hunting season will still be on, but there won't be any leaves on trees, and sitting in a deer stand will become an exercise in self-control as one's body begins to freeze from the outside in.  But today--and hopefully next weekend--sublime.

Repeal The 26th Amendment

1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Was talking with brother Tom the other day, and he made reference to this Ann Coulter column in which she puts forth the idea that the XXVI Amendment to the Constitution should be repealed.  Apparently, Tom came across the article on The Hammer's Facebook page.

I only just now got around to reading it, and while Ann's characteristically a little snarky about it (not that there's anything wrong with that), her argument really resonates.  When the vote was extended to 18 year olds, the US was at War with people it was drafting, and 18 year olds could drive, drink, etc.  Seemed like the fair thing to do.

What now?  Can't drink till you're 21, we draft no one, you can linger on Mommy and Daddy's health care until you're 26 and as Ann cites, the brain's not fully formed until the mid-twenties (something medical science did not know at the time of the amendment, but what the Founders seemed to inherently grasp by setting the minimum age in the House of Representatives at 25).  Ann's proviso that would ensure the right to vote to anyone serving in the Military irrespective of age seems a good exception too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Steele Must Go

Now he plays the race card.  Fool.  The RNC was effectively sidelined and had little to do with what happened on November 2.  I gave a goodly sum of money this cycle, but not a penny to the RNC--why?  Steele.

Huzzah For The Tories

In a fragile leadership coalition, the Tories in Great Britain just seem to keep moving forward.  Their move to overhaul Britain's welfare system sounds almost--Gingrichian.  Would that our new House Majority moved as deftly....

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Is it that time again already?  Well, yes it is!  Time to share, kvetch, dish, emote, blab, rant, praise--whatever.  It's your dime.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

10 Weapons Of The Future That Are Being Developed Right Now

Sadly, lightsaber is not among them.

Commander In Chief's Veteran's Day Message

On Veterans Day, we come together to pay tribute to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Americans across this land commemorate the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve the liberty of our Nation, the families who support them, and the heroes no longer with us.
It is not our weapons or our technology that make us the most advanced military in the world; it is the unparalleled spirit, skill, and devotion of our troops. As we honor our veterans with ceremonies on this day, let our actions strengthen the bond between a Nation and her warriors.
In an unbroken line of valor stretching across more than two centuries, our veterans have charged into harm's way, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, to protect the freedoms that have blessed America. Whether Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard, they are our Nation's finest citizens, and they have shown the heights to which Americans can rise when asked and inspired to do so.
Our courageous troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe have earned their place alongside previous generations of great Americans, serving selflessly, tour after tour, in conflicts spanning nearly a decade.
Long after leaving the uniform behind, many veterans continue to serve our country as public servants and mentors, parents and community leaders. They have added proud chapters to the story of America, not only on the battlefield, but also in communities from coast to coast. They have built and shaped our Nation, and it is our solemn promise to support our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen as they return to their homes and families.
America's sons and daughters have not watched over her shores or her citizens for public recognition, fanfare, or parades. They have preserved our way of life with unwavering patriotism and quiet courage, and ours is a debt of honor to care for them and their families. These obligations do not end after their time of service, and we must fulfill our sacred trust to care for our veterans after they retire their uniforms.
As a grateful Nation, we are humbled by the sacrifices rendered by our servicemembers and their families out of the deepest sense of service and love of country. On Veterans Day, let us remember our solemn obligations to our veterans, and recommit to upholding the enduring principles that our country lives for, and that our fellow citizens have fought and died for.
With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation's veterans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2010, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
Barack Obama

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Please Hammer Don't Hurt Me: Why Many "Smart" Kids Don't Like the GOP

A Three Part Series

Smart Youth Voters Shunned GOP in the Midterms

Applebaum reacted to Christine O’Donnell’s advertised boast – “I didn’t go to Yale” – that Republicans “need to stop celebrating stupidity”. Goldberg’s response was, basically, that Republicans do not dislike elitism if it means academic excellence and hard work, but only the political program of leftist elites. Even on its own terms, Goldberg’s response addressed only one half of the problem. For the question is not only whether Republicans dislike academic excellence and hard work; it is also whether intelligent people who study hard dislike Republicans.

Why America's Top Students Are Tuning out the GOP

Today’s top students are motivated less by enthusiasm for Democrats and much more by revulsion from Republicans. It’s not the students who have changed so much. It’s the Republicans.

And here is where Applebaum’s point gains its force.

Under Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, Republicans championed science and knowledge. But over the past 30 years, national Republicans have formed an intensifying alliance with religious conservatives more skeptical of science and knowledge. I don’t know whether discarding evolution goes against common sense; but I’m pretty sure it goes against most Ivy League-educated senses.

Why the GOP Needs the Academic Elite

I believe future Republican administrations would also try to draw on [elite] talent to formulate policy. However, the well is drying up. So few of the experts in any given field will in the future be Republican. That is an enormous problem. The intellectual resources directed at finding conservative answers to today’s problems are weakened year by year. If not quite critical yet, thanks to the efforts of an older generation of Republicans, the ramifications of this trend might be dramatic.

A Fine Winter's Cap

Ordered this fetching cap this very evening.

Bowles/Smpson Deficit Reduction Commission

Has leaked their draft proposals.

I find much to like here and very, very little to hate.

Boehner Will Fly Commercial

So far, so good.

It Gets No Cooler Than The Chairman of the Board

With a Scotch in his hand, natch...HT The Sly Oyster

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

Join in tonight's Conservative Wahoo Live!  Internet radio show at 8PM, where our agenda will be:

--Sarah Palin:  a plus, a minus, or not so much?
--Who sets the agenda, The President or the Congress?
--Will the GOP have what it takes to cut entitlements?  Will it have what it takes to even raise the question?
--Monetizing the debt:  Quantitative Easing and Inflation (guest lecture by The Hammer)
--Transparency  in Political Contributions
--Keith Olbermann’s Trip to the Penalty Box

Join the conversation at 347.637.2203

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Radio Show Bleg

Ok folks, what should we talk about tomorrow night on the ole Radio Program?

Obama: Yeah, I'm Still A Pretty Big Deal

It's good to see that President Obama hasn't let last week's midterm "shellacking" affect his already eggshell-like ego, as evidenced by this exchange with Spice Jet founder and CEO Bhupendra Kansagra last Saturday:

KANSAGRA: Thank you. Welcome Mr. President, to India. As a fellow Kenyan, I'm very proud to see that you have made --

OBAMA: Made something of myself. (Laughter.)

KANSAGRA: -- India as the focus of your drive for exports out of the US.

Fellow Kenyan? Dun, dun duuuuunnnnnn!!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Renovation Progress

I haven't written much about the renovation lately, mostly because there wasn't much to talk about.  Very slow start, but things appear to have picked up quite a bit.  The advent of hunting season does not bode well for the current rate of progress.

For those interested, some photos of progress can be found here.

New Regulation vs. Enforcing Existing Regulation

Conservatives rightly view government regulation of the free market with concern, unless it is regulation instituted in order to make markets MORE free, as in removing "thumbs on the scale" that may come from unequal information in a transaction.

What burns me up as a Conservative is presumptive lurch toward regulation as a solution to the nation's fiscal problems, when there was evidence that there was plenty of regulation ALREADY in place--but that it just wasn't used.  This story is yet another example.

Robert Thorn writes here now and again of "regulatory capture", in which the folks doing the regulating are "captured" by the industry they seek to regulate and become willing co-conspirators. I think he's onto something, and it is something important.  But the answer isn't creating new regulatory agencies--it is making the agencies already in place DO THEIR JOBS.  And in some cases, it is Conservatives and Conservative ideology that undercut effectiveness by packing regulatory bodies with industry supporters whose presence is specifically designed to ease up on enforcement. 

Monday Sports Roundup

Losing to Duke in football is among my un-favorite-est things in the world, and now UVA's done it two years in a row.

What broke your heart this weekend?

Governor Sublime

I can't top Tigerhawk's sobriquet of NJ Gov Christie--but I'll try nonetheless.  Check out this clip, and tell me he's not wonderful....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Here Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, Let Me Help You with Your Task

Jurors are apparently torn on whether to give Mr. Hayes here the death penalty or life without parole. Here's my advice. Go ahead and give him the life sentence so you can sleep at night. Then end his sentence with electricity, gas, lead, injection, noose...doesn't really matter. Just end his life sentence with immediacy. Stop wasting tax dollars keeping this piece of garbage alive. Tell everyone Mudge made you do it. I'll sleep just fine.

You Know What They Say About Big Hands...

Interesting little tidbit here about correlation between "2D:4D" finger ratio and promiscuity. Supposedly, if humans evolved from distinct primate ancestors (Neanderthals and Australopithicus for example), their finger size ratios may be an indicator of their lineage, and they may be carrying some of the promiscuity traits of their ancestors. Neanderthals had longer "ring fingers" (4D) than "index fingers" (2D) and, as the modern day use of their name implies, were not particularly burdened with sensitivity in satisfying their primal urges. Whereas Australopithicus (descendants of that sweet little ancient skull named "Lucy") have shorter 4Ds than 2Ds. Perhaps that explains why women insist on men wearing nutrient-blocking metallic constriction bands on their 4Ds. Clearly, as the photo shows, they don't always work.

The Palin Impact

We've had a few days to digest the results of Tuesday's elections, and on the whole, they were wonderful.  The opportunity to control redistricting in states like PA, IN, WI, OH--is delicious, and seeing Nancy evicted from the Speaker's suite in the Capitol would be worth ANY price of admission.

But we Republicans and Conservatives are left with a question, and it is an important one--what was Sarah Palin's impact on this election?

My opinion?  Depends on what you're talking about.  If you're talking about her impact on the muddled middle and its movement toward our policies, I'd say it was minimal.  Sarah Palin's just not that influential with the middle or the left.  The "Tea Party Movement" writ large--however--was influential with the middle.  We must be careful NOT to conflate the TPM and Sarah Palin--there is overlap, but they are different.

If you're talking about whipping up fervor and excitement on the right?  Then I think Sarah Palin was very, very influential.  The Republican base was ENERGIZED for this contest, and while her impact on this variable pales in comparison to that of--oh, say Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid--it was considerable.  She is a media figure on a grand scale, and she did yeoman work for the Right.

But if you're talking about her impact on specific races--that is, was Sarah Palin's anointing of individual candidates of measurable impact on the total election--I'd say she was not influential.  One way of assessing her impact would be to study whether her support (of her 52 endorsed House Candidates, 37 were victorious) was "necessary" or "persuasive" to the victory (largely through exit polling info).  I'd venture a guess that it wasn't.  Conversely, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that her anointing of several candidates (Miller, O'Donnell, Angle to name a few) was influential in Republicans losing winnable races.

In the end, my view is that she was generally influential but specifically a wash.

Olbermann's Suspension

Keith Olbermann is a loathsome creature, chief clown of the left-wing puppetry that is the MSNBC opinion line-up.

That said, his suspension by MSNBC is ridiculous--utterly ridiculous.  To treat Olbermann by the same standards as a "reporter" rather than the opinion-merchant that he is (not that there is a huge difference these days) makes no sense.  He was not paid by Democrats to advocate for them--he paid them!  And the notion that his $7200 somehow outweighed the Kabillions of dollars worth of free advertising his show provided the Democratic Party is just zany.

There must be something else afoot here.  They (MSNBC) must be trying to get rid of him, and this is the first, convenient excuse they could find (a la NPR and Juan Williams).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Obama's Arrogance?

Politico's got a story up this morning entitled "President Obama's Arrogance".  Just a little more fuel added to the now blazing inferno of Democrat recrimination following their comeuppance Tuesday night. 

But enough of Obama's arrogance.  What about press arrogance? Better yet, what of press incompetence? What about the fact that the press fell in love with this guy from day one, showered hm with adulation, thoroughly downplayed his utter lack of experience, and now--as his "arrogance" and "inexperience" show themselves to be real factors in his ability to govern--they jump out in front of the band of criticism? 

Help Hammer's Girl

Renee Ellmers needs some financial help in her quest to take a NC House seat away from Bob "Who are You" Etheridge.  Apparently, the powers that be in the Republican caucus didn't do so hot in supporting her campaign, and now she's likely to face a recount.  Time to lawyer up--time to stroke those checks.

Tuesday's Biggest Travesty

The re-election of Patty Murray in Washington.  If she were a Republican, we'd all know how ridiculous and limited she is.  But she's not.  So we don't.  But she is. 

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Once again folks, it's time for BFFFFA!  What's on your mind?  Feeling sorry for Nancy Pelosi this morning?  Wondering if John Boehner will try to smoke on his Air Force provided jet service?  Share, people.  Share!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

California Is So McScrewed

As if bringing Jerry Brown out of mothball storage and re-electing Sen. Barbara Boxer isn't bad enough, news from the Golden State that the City of San Francisco is making the McDonald's Happy Meal a little less so. A new city ban forbids restaurants from offering a free toy with meals that contain more than set levels of calories, sugar and fat.

"We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice", said Eric Mar, the city supervisor who sponsored the measure.

Food justice? Oh boy.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dear Mudge,

Thanks for your support. Come up and see me sometime in Washington. My husband will be in South Dakota.
Love, Kristi

The Return of The Conservative Wahoo Live!

Don't forget folks, tonight marks the return of The Conservative Wahoo Live, our weekly one hour forum of good conversation and politics. 

Tune in online at 8PM;  be sure to call in with your thoughts on the election  347.637.2203

A Glorious Night

When I went to bed last night, the House was squarely in Republican hands, but the Illinois and PA Senate races looked iffy.  I wake today to see that both went Republican.  Harry Reid survives, but his status as a machine politician gave him the oomph he needed to win.

A great, great night.  Goodbye, Nancy.  Goodbye, Mr. Etheridge, Mr. Klein, Mr. Kratovil, and half-the Blue Dogs. Goodbye Russ Feingold. 

Republicans must learn from this election and ensure we get the BEST candidates on the field. The Senate losses in CT, DE, and NV are the direct result of substandard candidates.

Additionally, Republicans must grasp that this was not a vote of confidence in their leadership.  It was a thoroughgoing repudiation of the leadership of Barack Obama, and at best, a "second chance" for Republicans to prove themselves.

Don't blow it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Day We Begin To Dig Out....

...is today.  When I am in my dotage and the Dow is at 22,000, entitlements are under control, and our medical system is still privatized, I will look back at today as the first day we began to take the country back--back from those who would relegate us to Euro-mediocrity in the name of "fairness"; those who believe in competitive markets, as long as it is government competing against the private sector; those who believe in collectivism rather than the power of the individual; and those who look believe the fruits of man's labor belong to the government, whose oblige is required for him to retain any of it.

Republicans will win a great victory today, but they should not view it as a mandate to govern as they have in the past.  Americans want LESS government MORE CHEAPLY administered.  They want SUFFICIENCY rather than SATISFACTION when it comes to ameliorating the impact of income disparity in our country.  They want the country to behave more like they do--or should--and live within their means.

Nearly eighteen months ago on this blog, I put forward Ten Principles for a Republican Renaissance.  I repeat them here and now, so that you might adjudge their validity and continuing utility as Republicans continue their quest for good and just government:

Ten Principles for a Republican Renaissance
• America is a special place; it is different from every other nation on earth as a result of its founding, the way it grew, the causes it fights for and its dedication to freedom. It is a country worth fighting to preserve and improve.

• Markets that are more free are better than markets that are less free.

• The American people enjoy many rights. With those rights come obligations.

• The basic component of the American social fabric is the family. Families come in several different guises, but the primary responsibility of the family is to provide a safe and loving atmosphere for the development of children. A primary role of government is to support the family.

• One of the basic building blocks of our society is the public school system. We are committed to its sustainment and improvement. We believe that schools work best when parents, teachers and community leaders work together at the local level. National school policies and national teacher unions are not essential to the task of improving public education.

• Taxation is a necessary evil. In our modern society, we have come to expect many services from government that sustain our quality of life. We must never forget that taxation is always confiscation; the money was earned by the sweat of our brows, and it is government’s burden to prove why it needs the money, not our burden to prove why we should keep it.

• The business of America is business. This does not mean that the modern Republican party is beholden to business, big or small. It means that the modern Republican Party recognizes that commerce is the lifeblood of our Republic. It is what puts food on our tables, and it is what equips our matchless Armed Forces. One cannot be pro-America and anti-business.

• More government equals less freedom. It cannot be otherwise. Each and every function or power we grant to our government is a choice to surrender freedom.

• Human life is worth protecting, be it unborn or at its end. We are dedicated to policies that further these ends, but we recognize that there are those with whom we disagree. Those disagreements should take place in the bright light of the political system, where difficult questions of law and policy are best arbitrated.

• We are dedicated to a politics of civility. We will wage wars of ideas, but we will not demonize those with whom we disagree. We will hold our ground on what truly matters, and we will work hard to find genuine compromise on questions of policy…but not principle.

Hennessey v. Goolsbee

Do you have 14 minutes?  If you do, watch this video.  In it, former Bush Administration Council of Economic Advisers staffer Keith Hennessey filets Obama CEA Chairman Austan Goolsbee by using Goolsbee's own video and charts.  It is a tour d'force.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Live Blogging the Election

Ladies and Gentlemen, let's finally make use of that Conservative Wahoo Chat box on the right hand side of your screen.  Tomorrow night--beginning at 7PM and going until the last dog dies, we'll use this space to chat, to critique coverage, and to celebrate.  Sign up for a "handle" or poke in as a guest, doesn't matter much to me.  But let's get together and watch Nancy Pelosi's fall from grace.

Can't We Call Him In As the Relief President?

Game 4 of the World Series opened in Texas last night with Lyle Lovett singing the national anthem and George HW and George W Bush riding to the mound to rousing applause and cheers. While some will say it was a stacked audience, I'd say it was a pleasant if not nostalgic reminder of times when Presidents loved their country that evoked the cheers. George W tossed the ceremonial first pitch which was, as has been his tradition, spot on. Unfortunately, it may have been the best pitch coming from a Texan last night...the Rangers lost 4-0. Still, it was a momentary good night seeing Americans cheer two good men who served as President.

Just felt like reminding you of Mr. Obama's first pitch acumen....CW

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