Saturday, June 13, 2009

Amplifying 'Zo

by Smitty

Alonzo Rachel has a clip pointing out that Jon Stewart doesn't mind mentioning the military as an example of the federal government running something well, when it's useful as a pro-socialized medicine argument. The clip has a hilarious ending when 'Zo realizes he's starting to cross the Olbermann Horizon.
Now, set aside the vitriol spewed about the Bush Administration's handling of Iraq. As a service member, let me elaborate on points Even More Insidious than the ones 'Zo raises about the military and health care.
  • The military screens out the unfit. This would be like practicing exposure of imperfect infants.
  • The UCMJ makes it perfectly legal to control what you eat, how much you take exercise, take random urinalysis samples in case you had excessive fun last weekend, and so forth.
  • The vast majority of people in military medicine are ousted after 30 years. VA medicine is more a commode than commodious example for Stewart to employ for his argument.
My personal tastes run to the dirt simple. I can tell you that the authoritarian system of the military in general, and military medicine in particular, will suit many people fine. Those 300 pound couch potato dudes are going to have an NCO calmly explain to them to put down the wii controller and fall in for a wee bit of exercise. We'll all get our American Idol on as we go on a formation run for some jodies. We'll have a blast. Maybe not Jane Fonda and Joan Baez, but the rest of us. Great team building.
So here is the point: people scale as effectively as politicians deliver on campaign promises. The reason military organizations and military medicine work to the degree they do is that they are grossly authoritarian systems. You may think you will, but you will quickly hate it when Nutrition is not a Private Matter.

Further Moronic Jackass Responses Anticipated [Bumped]

by Smitty

This week's Full Metal Jacket Reach Around goes out to a sad piece of work in New York City. Retire, Letterman: it's the most honorable thing you can do. As with the bulk of ancient war-horses, however, his descent into the bowels of self-parody shall likely be neither brief nor pleasant.
So let's talk linky-love instead. In order to keep the author engaged, we'll see if grouping links by subject affords any excitement.

Non fans of the twit who inspired this week's backronym:
  • The Eye of Polyphemus
  • Moralia, though I'm tired enough to be unsure whether I've guaged the snark correctly.
  • The South Texian drawls some conclusions:
    But I'll just be damned if I'll ever give any respect to anyone who feels free to insult those "proles" who don't inhabit the rarefied echelons of academia or the old media. An academic I may be, but my father is a retired federal law enforcement officer and Marine Corps veteran, and my late brother was a construction worker. For anyone who thinks less of me because of that, I have your due deference right here.
Those who liked last Sunday's rebuttal of Playboor:
  • Another Black Conservative weighed in on Bonnie Erbe.
  • T-Pundit, who seems to think it would be a slow ride situation.
  • The Blue Collar Republican picked up the AOL side of the story.
  • Tangentially related, Nicedeb's hat tip to Ace of Spades. I mean, really: how can you not like a dude sharing a name, and dare I say, attitude, with classic Motörhead?

The pack who weighed in on the Publius publication:Tragedies at a clinic, a recruiting office, and a museum:
  • The Daley Gator, not once but twice.
  • Carolyn Tackett on Tiller and the Holocaust Museum
  • The Conservative Political Report.
  • Zoominac.
  • We have a helpful reminder from Bits of Brain: Only White People Can Be Racist. Ah, it's all in focus now. Focus. The Conservatives Who Say: Focus!
  • Wizwow noted that von Brunn was a journalism major. What does Janet Napolitano have to say about that?
  • Transterrestrial says:
    You’d almost think that Jeremiah Wright was the guy who shot up the Holocaust Museum.
    Well, no. Employing the First Amendment in arguably tasteless ways is not the same thing as illegally abusing the Second Amendment. Let's eschew lefty moral equivalencies, Luke: that side of the Force was left in the toaster too long. (And that is about as close as I can get to 'defending' Wright.)
  • Douglas mockingly calls for a Neocon Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Nothing short of beheading will halt my thought-crime spree.
Obamacare, soon to lighten a wallet very near you, and other economic seppuku:Among the ones who dug theObama Job Saver post:"Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a blogger of wealth and taste" section:
  • Donald Douglas noted that Stacy didn't make the 30 best conservative columnists list.
  • Fisherville Mike had sympathies, as well.
  • The gracious Pat in Shreveport even posted a photo of the devil.
  • As American Speedo Power notes, Melissa realized her mistake before she washed her hands of the topic and sealed Stacy's fate.
  • Paco also picked up the Stacy sympathy meme.
  • The Camp of the Saints: RSM does not suck...He trucks...
    Slaps the pucker/right off Tucker/the lame, insipid/rake-in-the-mucker/Burma Shave
Those who thought the Google riff was notable, and they should, as this was my jape:Those who remembered us in the context of the Cairo "Everyone was as bad as everyone else, and 2 is morally equivalent to 3, since both are prime numbers" speech:
Those who were willing to overlook a headful of sail fuel in the name of Rule 5 (translation: bothered to note Megan Fox, not that this implies wasting minute #1 on her silly flick)The eminently tasteful who liked the Corleone Conservatives post:
Little Green Footballs lavishes garish fruit, leaving groups frazzled:Ones who appreciated Southern by the Grace of God:
Those suffering from post-prejean-partum-pablum:National Offend a Feminist Week linkage:The "Chris Matthews is arguably the biggest piece of work in the Country" section:Reservation Conservatives, and their most convenient disposal:Ones who enjoyed the ESR quotation:The Committee to Make Brooks Bashing an Olympic Sport:The "Can Stacy get his picture taken with Deeds?" Dapartment:
  • Tigerhawk points out how much we Virginians owe Stacy for bumping TMac. Now we just have to get McDonnell elected.
  • Fisherville Mike is on board with the photo op.
Special mention:
  • Obi's Sister increased the attractiveness of a photo containing Stacy McCain.
  • Moralia's been blogging for a year.
  • Steynian, who still shames my roundup-fu.
  • Dustbury three word commentary. Like dieting haiku!
  • Also, Paco: "A fine oration." So hire RSM for a speech, unless you prefer someone who'll help with your insomnia.
  • Adirenne's Catholic Corner requests a Smitty. There has been some consultation on the topic, but my brother, while close, prefers his Harley to a web browser.
  • The Political Castaway links us while listing Top 6 Questions for TOTUS. For rather large values of 6.
  • Sarah at Blue Shelled thinks that Only Kindness Matters. Lady, kindness is founded upon reciprocity. Your attention is drawn to Game Theory. Kindness matters in an ultimate, theological sense. If you can't maintain the focus on this in the face of severe strain, things will not go well, I fear.
  • No Runny Eggs lists Stacy for Rule 5 Czar, though all the power has been delegated to the Porch Manqué Czar.
  • The Nashville Post on Pastor Wright: The hits just keep on comin'
  • The Track-a-'Crat noted us while giving you some Greg Morton linkage, in case you missed that genius.
  • Fisherville Mike understands the explosive demand for fireworks.
NOTE FROM RSM: My colleague Smitty text-messages that this FMJ Saturday roundup is incomplete, due to real-life commitments which cannot be evaded. So if you didn't get the linky-love you were expecting, please link yourself up in the comment fields and we'll see if we can't make up the FMJRA Rule 2 factor at some future point.
Meanwhile, patriotic contributions to the Emergency Fireworks Fund are gratefully appreciated. Even a greedy capitalist blogger like me wouldn't want to be accused of selling linky-love, but . . .
Porch Manqué Central thanks the dedicated readers of this blog for their indulgence and link-fu. Blessings and clicks for all my friends. Oh, and sorry if bumping this wiped out some replies to the original *gulp*. Didn't know! Forgive, forgive...

Blame Tigerhawk for this

I'm looking at SiteMeter and seeing more click-overs from Tigerhawk, but I don't see where he's got any new linkage to me. Ergo, he got some kind of big 'Lanche today, and I'm getting extra traffic from the blogroll or something.

But he's got good stuff, including this:
Marriage and housework: "Marriage is no longer a man's path to less housework."
The hell you say. If marriage doesn't decrease your housework, guys, you're doing something wrong. You do it right, you'll occasionally get breakfast in bed and never even have to think about the laundry.

Before you ladies start screaming "sexist patriarchal monster!" -- guilty as charged, ma'am -- you really need to think about the alternatives. I was completely autonomous as a bachelor. My mother worked, and she died when I was 16. There were just us three boys (no sisters), and I had plenty of experience with cooking, cleaning and laundry. So it wasn't as if I needed those services, but the package deal . . .

A free-market economist Thomas Sowell could explain all this. Think trade-offs, efficiencies of scale, stuff like that.

There is such a thing as a marriage market and, given current market conditions, there is a noticeable surplus of angry careerist bitches who consider domestic drudgery beneath their dignity as womyn. Therefore, if only as a marketing strategy, no matter how demeaning you consider it to scrub toilets or fold towels, try to pretend as if nothing else on earth could give you greater pleasure.

Honestly. You're already faking orgasms so . . .

The worst is yet to come

First, the not-entirely-pessimistic news from the chairwoman of the FDIC, Sheila Bair:
"There are still some troubled assets on the books and we still have an economy that's under significant stress," said Bair in a 90-minute interview with Forbes reporters and editors on Friday.
"We still don't know how deep the recession is going to be," she said . . .
Bair reminded, 21 insured institutions failed in the first three months of 2009, the most bank failures since 1992. The FDIC's list of problem banks grew to 305 from 252. Those 305 banks at risk of failure have some $220 billion in assets. . . .
"Hopefully there are no more events that create liquidity stresses on the banks," Bair said, knocking on a wooden conference room table, "and now we're having more good old-fashioned capital insolvencies."
I would submit that when the FDIC chair is in a knock-on-wood situation vis-a-vis a collapse of the banking industry, things are probably much worse than we imagine. And now for the truly scary stuff:

A housing rebound is a virtual impossibility. Homeowners currently have the least amount of equity in their homes on record. Overall, the number of borrowers underwater climbed to 20.4 million at the end of the first quarter, up from 16.3 million at the end of the fourth quarter. . . .
There are 75 million homes in the United States. One-third of homeowners have no mortgage, so that means that 41% of all homeowners with a mortgage are underwater. With prices destined for another 10% to 20% drop, the number of underwater borrowers will reach 25 million.
There are over 4 million homes for sale in the US today. This is about one year’s worth of inventory at current sales levels. You can be sure that another one million people would love to sell their homes, but have yet to put them on the market. And there’s a tsunami of Alt-A mortgage resets now approaching our shores. That will get under way in 2010, and won’t peak until 2013. These Alt-A mortgages are already defaulting at a 20% rate today. There are $2.4 trillion Alt-A loans outstanding. . . .
With the 30-year mortgage rate approaching 5.7%, mortgage refinancing activity has plunged about 60% in the last 2 months. Mortgage applications for new home purchases collapsed at a 20% annual rate in May, too. Normality in the mortgage market appears to be years away.

There's much more where that came from. Frightening. Both of those items via The Johnsville News. And now, via Instapundit, we find Megan McArdle confronted by unrealistic expectations in DC real estate., where a $4,000 reduction to $495,000 is a "NEW LOW PRICE" on a 1,000-square-foot townhouse that sold for $460,000 four years ago.

This is perhaps the most frightening news of all, that so many people still haven't adjusted their expectations to economic reality. Maybe they're under the influence of Kudlowism or, more likely, they're liberals who think that the Department of Unicorns and Rainbows has already fixed the economy.

People who haven't actually tried to sell their homes, and who haven't paid attention to the real-estate market, seem to imagine that the crash that hit last September was just a blip signaling a short-term recession and now we're in blue-sky territory. When the sheriff's auction becomes the primary venue for home sales, maybe people will start paying attention.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Andrew Sullivan is a 'conservative'
in what sense of the word?

Sully accuses Glenn Reynolds of "partisan shenanigans":
[T]he huge deficits projected in the future have virtually nothing to do with Obama's proposals on healthcare or energy. They are a function of inherited entitlement spending, the legacy of two open-ended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the revenue lost from the current depression (and the last). All of this was inherited by Obama . . .
Except that it wasn't. And Sully's argument is so astonishingly counterfactual that one scarcely knows where to begin debunking it.

First, huge deficits are not merely "projected in the future," they are already upon us. This year, the federal government will borrow 46 cents for every dollar it spends. Predictably -- well, I predicted it, anyway -- the bond market is getting jittery and inflation looms.

Second, the list of causes to which Sully attributes these deficits does not include either (a) the February 2008 stimulus, (b) the April 2008 stimulus, (c) the October 2008 TARP bailout, or (d) the $787 billion stimulus that Obama signed on Feb. 17 of this year.

Obama was not present for the February and April 2008 stimulus votes, but he certainly did not oppose those measures. He voted "yes" on the October 2008 TARP, and I clearly remember the Feb. 8 speech this year in which Obama demanded that the Senate pass the stimulus bill that had not gotten a single GOP vote in the House.

One can only estimate what these Obama-backed measures have added to the deficit. Whatever the total amount, it is not zero and therefore it is false to say that the deficit was entirely "inherited" by Obama.

Is Sullivan for or against massive deficits? If he opposes deficits, where are his criticisms of the neo-Keynesian schemes that have been successively implemented over the past 16 months? If blaming Obama for the deficits is "partisan shenanigans," then what shall we call Sullivan's attempt to exculpate Obama for the soaring deficits?

Moreover, is there any criticism of Obama that Sullivan considers legitimate? Or rather, is he now as worshipfully awestruck of Obama as he was of Bush 2001-03?

Eventually, Sully will be even more disappointed in his new hero than he was in his old hero. A year from now, after the sucker's rally ends, after the bottom falls out, interest rates and inflation skyrocket, and unemployment is somewhere north of 12 percent, Sully will be tut-tutting and will have forgotten his slams on "Insta-hack," Some of us, however, will be ready to remind him.

Ted Kennedy gets $2M for autobiography

Politico reports:
Sen. Ted Kennedy, the veteran Massachusetts Democrat who is battling brain cancer, was paid nearly $2 million last year for an author’s advance on a new autobiography, according to financial disclosure reports made public Friday.
Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Massive New Deficit Spending!

They warned you if you voted for McCain, there would be huge new deficits, expanded arms programs, and an increase in our trade imbalance with China -- and they were right!

Yes, my fellow Americans, The Other McCain administration embarked upon a deficit-spending program to purchase fireworks for the Fourth of July. The retail value of this mighty arsenal (acquired from Granny's Fireworks in Watauga, Tenn.) is $800, although the actual purchase price is strictly classified. Why? Because if my wife finds out how much I've spent, she'll inflict tortures that will make waterboarding at Gitmo look mild by comparison.

Due to the recession -- we blame Bush! -- reader contributions to the Emergency Fireworks Fund have failed to meet FY09 projections of our administration's "fireworks czar" (a graduate of the prestigious Timothy Geither School of Mathematics). Therefore, we are now suffering a pyrotechnical deficit of crisis proportions.

Nevertheless, we have Hope that you will give generously because, like Joe Biden says, it's patriotic.

(GRAPHIC: No Sheeples Here.) BTW, everyone is invited to the Third Annual Camp FUBAR Fourth of July Fireworks & BBQ Blowout on the shores of Alabama's beautiful Lake Weiss. A Facebook page for this legendary event will be posted soon.

You may be asking yourself, "Why should I drive to Cherokee County, Alabama, to eat barbecue and watch a bunch of crazy rednecks shoot off fireworks?" Well, this ain't just any ol' barbecue. One of the South's leading BBQ chefs, Sasquatch, has agreed to provide the 'cue. Sasquatch's Carolina-style smoked pork shoulder is so good, it ought to be against the law. And ask anyone who's seen a McCain Family fireworks show: It's better than Disneyworld! Here's video of our historic 2005 finale:

So please give generously to the Emergency Fireworks Fund -- it's for the children!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My cousin, Mandy Gulledge

I've blogged about Cousin Mandy here before. She's a very talented singer and actress (as well as a wife and a mom) who lives in Alabama. Let me tell you a funny story.

Today I was checking my e-mail and noticed I had a bunch of notifications from Facebook: "So-and-so has commented on your note . . . ." Now, because my laptop is somewhat memory-impaired, I don't often check my Facebook (an unusually memory-intensive site) so if you're one of the 120 FB friend requests I haven't approved yet, it's not that I'm a snob, I'm just waaaaayy behind on my Facebooking.

Well, I kept seeing these notifications and got to wondering what it was that was being commented on so much. So I clicked over. My blog posts automatically feed into my Facebook profile via RSS, and here was this long thread of comments on my latest Glenn Greenwald-bashing post. Turns out, it was Dave C. from Point of a Gun and another conservative mixing it up with Cousin Mandy.

Mandy was more or less agreeing with Greenwald about "fearing" Republicans, and it started a regular donnybrook on Facebook, with Dave probably wondering, "Who's this wacko woman bashing on my buddy McCain?" Heh. Crazy runs in the family.

My late mother was first cousins with Mandy's mother Joanne, which makes us second cousins. In case you forgot the last time I blogged about my cousins from Montgomery, here's Mandy:

Crazy ain't all that runs in the family. So y'all be nice to cuz, y'hear? Mandy's married, but you ought to see her sister Lizzy, who moved out to Hollywood:

Whenever Yankees start making jokes about Southerners and their cousins, I always say, "Yeah, but you ain't seen my cousins!"

Klavan not keen on "preening self-righteousness"

by Smitty

Andrew Klavan scores again on PJTV. He hammers the nebulous bumper sticker "War is not the answer" in an amusing way for ~3 minutes. It's sort of the flip side of the larger-diameter coin Mike Judge is serving up as The Good Family, which is well worth a TiVo for casual viewing.
Fight the right fight, people.

Chris Matthews worries Palin 'talking
language of far right . . of paranoia'

Via Newsbusters, which has transcript:

Wonder who gave him this idea? Joan Walsh or David Letterman?

Daughter of GOP politician seeks to
avoid sexist humor from Letterman

The daughter of the late Rep. Sono Bono announces she'll become the Republican congressman's son:
Chastity Bono . . . is in the early stages of changing his gender -- transitioning from female to male. . . .
Bono, the child of legendary entertainers Sonny and Cher, began the process earlier this year, shortly after his 40th birthday.
"Yes, it's true -- Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity," confirmed Bono's publicist, Howard Bragman.
No more misogyny from Letterman! Rumors that Chaz Bono will declare himself a Democrat could not be confirmed at press time.

VRWC Memo to Doctor Zero

Your advice to Sarah Palin is, I'm sure, much appreciated. Consider that her current problem does not appear to be a shortage of advice. Rather, it seems that she has hitherto lacked an experienced communications/strategy operative in whom she has complete trust.

Some months ago -- it was in February, to be exact, after the uproar over the governor's CPAC no-show -- it occurred to me that Gov. Palin was getting some bad advice from somewhere. Inquiries were made, and possible sources of bad advice were identified.

Perhaps further investigation is necessary. You should be patient, Doctor Zero. It is only mid-2009.

Does Jeff Goldstein hate Bristol Palin?

All is fair in love, war and comedy, He of the Massive Triceps seems to be saying:
Okay then. I justify it this way:
This is what comedians do -- particularly those who are charged with topical humor on a nightly basis. . . .
For good or ill, Bristol Palin’s pregnancy long ago became a public event, and it is part and parcel of the “Sarah Palin” construct Letterman was taking aim at.
What is interesting to me is that, ordinarily, teenage pregnancy — and tacit acceptance of same — is tied to the left. Which is to say, the left generally doesn’t snipe at teen pregnancy as a problematic moral condition.
Trust me, Jeff, I've been burned on this flame a time or two. At this point, it's reasonably safe hatin' on Levi Johnston, but ixnay on the Istolbray. (BTW, I came this close to trying some ironically nuanced OUTLAW humor here, but decided discretion was the better part of valor.)

'Extreme right-wing rhetoric'
for Joan Walsh? Two words . . .

. . . and it ain't "thank you," ma'am:
I was on "Hardball" today talking about the climate of extreme right-wing rhetoric today, and whether it had anything to do with Wednesday's tragic shooting at Washington's Holocaust Museum, or the May 31 murder of Dr. George Tiller by an antiabortion crackpot. . . .
Still, it's hard not to think about the extreme right-wing rhetoric, especially about Barack Obama, and whether it could conceivably lead to more right-wing violence.
OK, sweetie, that's two "extremes" and three "right-wings" in two paragraphs, which is laying it on a bit thick, don't you think? As for the Tiller murder, I'll let Becky Banks speak for the pro-lifers. Having done a bit of sifting of the facts on James Von Brunn, exactly how does a neocon-hating 9/11 Truther (e.g., Rosie O'Donnell) qualify as "right-wing," extreme or otherwise?

There's a definitional problem here, and when you blame Rush Limbaugh, Ms. Walsh, you are trying to have your neocon-hating cake and eat it, too. (Via Memeorandum.)

UPDATE: Sorry, had to delete the video, which evidently contained some buggy script that was causing the page to malfunction. Speaking of buggy scripts, the fact that the Weekly Standard apparently was on the shooter's target list is kind of interesting, eh? I mean, OK, I didn't like Fred Barnes' last book too much but . . .

Wait a minute. Bill Kristol is a known associate . . . .

Just like Terry McAuliffe is a known associate . . . .

A conspiracy so immense! These "extremists" will next be gunning for . . . Jeff Goldstein?

Bears, Bulls and Squirrels

There's something squirrelly in the stock market lately, some kind of disconnect between the Dow Jones and the economic indicators. As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, the DJIA was up 80 points, even while we're seeing clear signals of recovery-killing inflation:
Treasury 10-year note yields reached 4 percent for the first time since October on concern surging budget deficits and a falling dollar will prompt investors to reduce holdings of U.S. debt as issuance climbs to a record.
Treasuries tumbled 6.5 percent so far this year, the worst performance since Merrill Lynch & Co. began tracking returns in 1978, as so-called bond vigilantes drove up yields to punish President Barack Obama for quadrupling the budget shortfall to $1.85 trillion and raising the risk of inflation.
"People are increasingly concerned about supply," said Jay Mueller, who manages about $3 billion of bonds at Wells Fargo Capital Management in Milwaukee. "The government running a deficit of 12 or 13 percent is not something we’ve seen since World War II. It's very hard to digest."
Ed Morrissey calls attention to the spiking money supply, and gas prices are ticking up -- both inflation factors. What to make of the fact that the Dow keeps rising despite all this? The best I can figure, you're seeing a continual stream of new "buy" orders that are essentially a function of 401K and other accounts pre-set to purchase X-amount of stocks every week, and which are therefore immune to short-term economic signals.

In the event of a sudden bear shift -- a sell-off by institutional investors and market-timers -- individual investors with these kinds of pre-set retirement accounts will be the big losers, because they are scheduled to keep buying a certain percentage of stock every pay period, whether the market is up or down.

On plus side, these 401K account holders (call them "squirrels") add stability and a steady upward pressure on stocks. On the negative side, the 401K squirrels already took a big hit in the 2008 market meltdown. With unemployment rising, more and more squirrels are feeling the pinch. If they get burned by another meltdown . . . well, who knows whether they'll wise up, and what they'll do once they figure out they're being played for chumps?

UPDATE: Another possibility? Kudlowism, defined as the bullish influence of Larry Kudlow, who's never seen a market signal that didn't say "buy." I'm sitting here with CNBC on the tube, and Larry's giving the most rosy possible interpretation to every indicator that comes across his desk.

Classic Kudlowism: Hundreds of thousands of new unemployment claims reported, but there are fewer new claims than in the previous reporting period. Therefore, while unemployment continues to rise -- as both consumer buying power and productive output decrease -- Kudlow spins this as good news!

It's like trying to have an objective discussion about the relative merits of various automobile models with the salesman at a used car lot. So long as he thinks you're a potential customer, Kudlow's advice is always to buy now.

Corleone Conservatives

Not long ago, a conservative operative sought to explain the National Republican Senatorial Committee's decision to make an early endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist in the Florida primary. The key, he said, was to understand the self-interested motives of top Republican senators:
"All they care about is getting their chairmanships back, and they don't care how they get there," said the operative. "They don't want to spend any money, so they were looking for a self-funder."
Anyone who has spent much time in Washington -- and I've been here since November 1997 -- can understand this. Influence is everything in Washington, and the GOP is currently at a low ebb of influence, on the wrong end of a power dynamic of Democratic dominance comparable to 1993 or 1977, if not indeed to 1965.

In such a situation, Republicans are like Fredo Corleone getting slapped around by the Democratic Moe Green:
First of all, you're all done. The Corleone family don't even have that kind of muscle anymore. The godfather's sick, right? You're getting chased out of New York by Barzini and the other families.
The desire of leading Republicans to recover their power -- their influence, their prestige in Washington -- is perfectly understandable. Like Fredo, however, the Beltway GOP leadership is weak, stupid and cowardly, seeking to curry favor with an implacable enemy by disrespecting their own family.

By picking Crist 15 months ahead of the Florida Republican primary, John Cornyn and the NRSC showed disloyalty and disrespect to the GOP grassroots, effectively declaring to the Moe Green Democrats, "Yeah, Moe, we've learned our lesson. We can't disrespect you. We're your friends. Look, we're going to nominate an Obama-loving, stimulus-endorsing sellout."

In this scenario, the conservative base of the Republican Party is cast in the role of Michael Corleone. And that's what the Not One Red Cent movement is about.

It's not about Charlie Crist. It's about respect.

No more Fredos. No more Arlen Specters. No more "leaders" who try to attain power by selling out the people who elected them to office.

Next time you see some "conservative" pundit telling Republicans to be moderate -- to be reasonable, to compromise core conservative principles -- think of yourself as Michael Corleone when Tessio approaches him at the Godfather's funeral to set up the Barzini meeting. And think about the beautiful moment when Michael finally confronts that traitorous punk Carlo:
Barzini is dead. So is Phillip Tattallgia. Moe Green. Slacci. Cuneo. Today I settled all family business. So don't tell me that you're innocent. Admit what you did.
Good-bye, Carlo -- and good-bye, Tessio, too.


UPDATE: Matt Lewis is not Fredo.

Bears Plague Smoky Mountains
-- Is Wall Street Next?

Professor Glenn Reynolds, who lives in East Tennessee, observes that hikers in the Smoky Mountains are being bothered by "Bears Gone Wild" (and not the kind Sully* hangs out with in Providence).

Another bear menace may be looming in the stock market. This morning's market update at notes that concerns about rising oil prices and a bad Treasury auction helped cause a mild downturn on Wall Street yesterday. Jehuda the Rhetorican noticed this item from the Financial Times:
Concerns about the growth of government borrowing forced the US Treasury to give investors in an auction of $19 [billion] in 10-year notes a yield of 3.99 per cent -- 4 basis points higher than the yield available before the auction.
Given my woeful record as a prognosticator -- hey, I suck -- I'm hesitant to predict whether the market will go up or down on any given day. Nevertheless, the past few days have seen steady signals of inflation and higher interest rates.

Even if yesterday's 24-point Dow decline was just episodic profit-taking, the forward-looking nature of financial markets suggests that if investors are convinced credit costs will rise while the dollar declines, we're due for a big sell-off sometime soon.

*BTW, speaking of Sully, congratulations to Debbie Schlussel on her Malkin Award nomination. About three years ago, Debbie had dinner in D.C. with my wife and I. Debbie's quite the personality, and I'd advise staying off her enemy's list.

UPDATE: Also via Instapundit, more bear warnings from Megan McArdle:
How is a $118 billion structural deficit, $35 billion in Medicare Part D, and a theoretical end to the Iraq presence forcing Barack Obama to spend nearly $1 trillion in 2018? How is it forcing him to spend roughly $650 trillion more than he takes in in 2012?
This is not Bush’s fault. And you know what? Even if it were Bush’s fault, who cares?
Sitting around playing politics is all fine and good, but eventually political belief confronts economic reality and it's hello, Weimar America.

'ReserCons': Reservation Conservatives

Longtime blog buddy Craig Henry at Lead and Gold uses the term "resercon" for "reservation conservative." This is evidently a play on the term "reservation Indian," denoting the harmless, domesticated breed (e.g., David Brooks) as opposed to us buck-wild conservatives who are prone to guzzling constitutional firewater and taking some liberal scalps.

Back in March, when David Frum attacked Rush Limbaugh, Henry quoted Daniel Flynn:
When liberals adopt you as their token conservative, kiss your credibility among conservatives goodbye and say hello to writing gigs at the Atlantic, appearances on Keith Olbermann's program, and lectures at the Kennedy School of Government.
And Henry added:
Liberals love those kind of "conservatives." It lets them define both the liberal and conservative position on an issue.
This is exactly right. Such is the dominance of liberals in the MSM, they can exercise influence over who is, and is not, a "respectable" spokesman for conservatism. Thus, liberals are able to control the terms of debate to their advantage.

Referencing Michelle Malkin's criticism of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, yesterday Henry applied the "reservation conservative" concept to the man who was once every liberal's favorite RINO:
California's budget mess casts an interesting light on the debate over the GOP. Ah-nuld was the epitome of the resercon ideal: a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Yet, once in office, he was not eager to battle for smaller government, less spending, or less regulation.
That seems to be true of many FC/SL Republicans. They are happy to bash the Religious Right or NRA; they bask in the MSM praise for their courage. In the end they never fight that hard for conservative economic ideas.
You should read the rest. Henry is dead on target in observing that Republican officials who claim to be fiscal conservatives but liberal (or "libertarian") on social issues usually end up supporting a big-government agenda in economic terms. This was definitely true of Bush 41, and although Bush 43 cut taxes, his "compassionate" agenda included No Child Left Behind and Medicare prescription drugs, both of which were anathema to limited-government conservatives.

Republican strategists who are trying to figure out how the GOP can recover its mojo need to think hard about this problem. The GOP's brand is damaged by these "reservation conservative" types -- whether elected officials like Schwarzenegger or pundits like David Brooks -- who function as Republican echoes for liberal criticism of the core conservative message.

Some of my friends mistake my frequent criticism of "centrists" like Brooks et al. as a call to "purge the RINOs." I don't go in for that urge-to-purge stuff, and understand that ideological purity tests are a losing approach to pragmatic coalition politics.

The problem, rather, is when "centrists" (a word whose meaning is sufficiently nebulous as to require the scare-quotes) criticize conservatives in terms that undermine morale on the Right by suggesting that conservatism is not a viable alternative to liberalism.

This was what made Brooks' "National Greatness" so odious. Brooks took dead aim at the essence of Reaganism -- a limited-government domestic agenda, hostility to bureaucratic centralization, Grover Norquist's "Leave Us Alone Coalition" -- and suggested that it was both unpopular and unworkable. What Americans wanted, Brooks argued, was a federal government devoted to grand projects of inspirational uplift. To which I would reply, in the famous words of Rahm Emanuel . . .

Conservatives must regain confidence in the basics of Reaganism, and recover the belief that the core principles of our nation's founding -- individual liberty, individual responsibility and organic local government free from the stifling bureaucratic interventions of centralized authority -- are legitimate and honorable, appealing to all Americans of all conditions.

This matter of confidence -- conservative morale -- is what the Not One Red Cent project is about. Grassroots conservatives don't need self-anointed "leaders" in Washington to pick candidates in GOP primaries. And the "reservation conservatives" don't speak for us.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lesbians segregated in Va. prison

News too amazingly good to be fake:
For more than a year, Virginia's largest women's prison rounded up inmates who had loose-fitting clothes, short hair or otherwise masculine looks, sending them to a unit officers derisively dubbed the "butch wing," prisoners and guards say.
Dozens were moved in an attempt to split up relationships and curb illegal sexual activity at the 1,200-inmate Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, though some straight women were sent to the wing strictly because of their appearance, the inmates and corrections officers said.
Civil rights advocates called the moves unconstitutional punishment for "looking gay." . . .
There's much more, but I'm laughing too hard already. "Civil rights advocates"! BWAHAHAHAHA! Hey, you're in a women's prison, OK? Before we talk about how "unconstitutional" it is for you to be placed in the "butch wing," can we talk about why you're in prison, sugar?

What's so funny, of course, is the mental image of the prisoner remonstrating with the guards: "No, I'm not a lesbian! Honest, just because I've got short hair . . . But, er, not that there's anything wrong with that, you understand."

Pot, Meet Kettle

It requires an astonishing lack of self-awareness for Glenn Greenwald to write stuff like this:
But this is the right-wing movement at its core: its leaders cynically ratchet up fear levels as high as possible to justify whatever they want to do (invade Iraq, torture people, spy on Americans with no warrants) and their adherents (along with plenty of others) become more and more paralyzed by their fears of anything Muslim. . . .
As damaging as the resulting policies has been from the last eight years of constant fear-mongering, far worse is what it has done to the American national character, turning much of the citizenry into a weak and easily frightened herd, where the mere mention of the word Terrorist -- or Muslim -- sends people into spasms of fear and blind submission.
And there's much more in that vein. Greenwald and others on the Left, of course, have spent the past eight years engaged in "contant fear-mongering" of their own, except instead of Muslim terrorists, the Left's bogeymen are Republicans.

So far, however, American airliners aren't being hijacked and flown into skyscrapers by Republicans.

Holocaust Museum shooter:
A journalism major?

Why am I not surprised?
The shooter has been unofficially identified James W. von Brunn, of Annapolis, Md.
The gun-battle occurred in the museum lobby and started when the attacker began shooting with a "long gun," said Sgt. David Schlosser.
Mr. von Brunn has a Web site that includes anti-Semitic and racial statements.
The site also states Mr. von Brunn has a journalism degree from a mid-Western university . . .
When I had breakfast with Obi's Sister and her family last week, her son said he was considering a major in journalism. I cautioned him strongly against it. As a general rule, with few exceptions, journalism majors don't amount to crap in the news business.

Major in journalism, and next thing you know, you could end up like Rev. Wright: "The JOOOOOZZZ!"

UPDATE: You could have won $20 by betting $10 against the initial house odds at The Jawa Report, which has a good rundown on Von Brunn's kooky rantings.

UPDATE II: Bloggregating at Michelle Malkin has a good round-up, including this from Donald Douglas:
The spin on the left is that the suspect, James Von Brunn, is an agent of the GOP's "Christian-fascist" base. The truth is, via Melissa Clouthier, this guy's a deranged Holocaust denier. He represents no one on the conservative right - not me, nor any of those with whom I associate."
Exactly. The Left gets to decide what qualifies as "right-wing," and nothing any conservative says in contradiction can be taken seriously.

BTW, I guess I should link Melissa Clouthier, sort of as an afterthought. I hope she doesn't take it personally or anything like that.

Ed Driscoll doesn't suck

I just wanted to point that out. Even if he's not as "hot" as Andy Levy, Ed's OK with me. But then again, as Mike says, I hang around with losers.

Obama's pastor and 'them Jews'

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
Asked if he had spoken to the President, Wright said: "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. ...
"They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do."
Biting my tongue here, trying to resist the temptation to say anything accurate about the Rev. Wright.

UPDATE: Memeorandum has a thread, linking blog commentary from Greg Hengler, Gateway Pundit, YID With LID, Hot Air, Weekly Standard, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers and Moe Lane. Nothing like a steaming plate of Rev. Wright to stir things up in the blogosphere.

How bad do I suck?

Explained at The Green Room, illustrated here:

UPDATE: Dan Collins recoils from the frightening implosion of "cosmos-bending suckitude." Avert your eyes, children, or your retinas will be permanently scarred.

UPDATE II: The possibility that Katie Couric sucks worse than me? Nah. Allah could never muster up that much hate for Katie.

UPDATE III: I can so totally relate to this:
"To me she was the sweetest thing. Everyone else — she treated like s**t."
-- Donald Trump, referring to the recently-fired Miss California, Carrie Prejean
Get the point? In other words, if you're somebody important -- someone like Trump whose approval matters -- then people are nice to you. They praise you and solicit your favor. But if you're me? You're less "hot" than Andy Levy.

It is the blunt expression of contempt ("You're not on TV and you barely have 1,000 Twitter friends, therefore your existence need not even be acknowledged" ) that is so painful.

But it's OK. Little Miss Attila still likes me. Right? . . . Right? Hello? Is this thing working?

Economics: 'The Current Weirdness'

In a private e-mail exchange, one very shrewd financial analyst used the phrase "the current weirdness" to describe the economic moment we're in. "[T]he overall story in the media is wrong, which isn't unusual," said my correspondent. The problem is that our situation is so unprecedented, even the most astute observers are somewhat mystified.

What provoked the "current weirdness" remark was something I wrote about the possible influence of hidden inflation in the financial markets:
This chart, from CNN/Money, shows how crude oil prices have increased 49% since March. Interestingly enough, rising petroleum prices mirror a rise in the stock market during roughly the same period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed at 6,547.05 on March 9, closed Monday at 8,764.49 -- a 34% increase.
If analysts worry that rising oil prices could jeopardize recovery, why would this spike in petroleum coincide with a rising stock market? One possibility: Inflation. . . .
The Dow gains of the past three months may also be a product of inflationary pressures -- the price of stocks going up because the dollar is worth less. And maybe this explains those uncountable jobs "saved or created" while unemployment keeps going up.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says "the global storm is receding." Expect a new storm if investors become convinced that inflation is fueling a Ponzi recovery.
Please read the whole thing. If even shrewd analysts are puzzled by "the current weirdness," the rest of us need to be paying attention.

(Cross-posted at Right Wing News.)

UPDATE: When Von at Obsidian Wings talks about Obama's deficits, note the reaction:
Other commentators argue directly or indirectly that Obama's deficits don't matter because Bush also ran deficits (albeit smaller ones). That's illogical: two wrongs don't make a right; if anything, Bush's irresponsibility counsels for greater -- not less -- responsibility on the part of Obama. Attacks on me as a purported Bush supporter also don't change the facts . . . They additionally overlook the fact that I never voted for Bush.
Allowing political beliefs to cloud your vision of economic reality is a major problem. Given my oft-stated belief that Obamanomics is doomed to failure -- It Won't Work, The Fundamentals Still Suck, Economics Is Not a Popularity Contest and we're on The Road to Weimar America -- I'm obviously inclined to believe that the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.

Nevertheless, while diligently auguring for auspices of doom in the economic entrails, I'm trying to check my pessimistic biases at the door and entertain the possibility -- however remote -- that the inherent dynamism of the American economy can overcome even the Keynes-on-steroids interventionist approach of Obama, Pelosi and Reid. We may yet muddle through somehow.

Conversely, idolators in the Obama temple cult viciously denounce heretics like Von. To disbelieve in the miraculous power of Hope, to doubt the unicorns-and-rainbows promises of painless Change, is to invite banishment to Outer Darkness. We recall the fate of Soviet scientists who questioned Lysenkoism in the Stalin era.

If faith in The One requires the faithful to ignore all dispositive evidence, what is the likelihood that the faithful are right and the heretics are wrong?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why Terry McAuliffe lost

Look, I can't claim all the credit but . . .

Who needs opposition research? Just send me to hang out at your opponent's fund-raiser with a pink camera. I'm a one-man guilt-by-association smear. And then you can blame it all on the Brian Moran campaign. "No fingerprints," as they say, and I neither confirm nor deny . . .

Fisherville Mike did his part, too. A nod is as good as a wink to blind horse, eh? Nudge, nudge.

Guests at five-star hotel in Pakistan bothered by slow room service and Jihadi terrorist bombers, but mostly . . .

. . . Jihadi terrorist bombers:
Militants opened fire on security guards and rushed a small truck packed with explosives through the gates of a five-star hotel . . . detonating a huge bomb in the parking lot that killed at least 11 people and wounded 55 . . .
Lots more at Irony-laced reactions from Robert Spencer, Stop the ACLU and Pamela Geller, more blogging at Memeorandum.

Obviously, this is another example of the "right-wing vigilantism" Eric Boehlert is worried about . . .

UPDATE: Yeah, that "right-wing vigilantism" is everywhere, I tell you . . .

More Obamanomics insanity:
House passes 'cash for clunkers'

Just when you think you've seen it all, those idiots in Congress surprise you:
The House has approved the "cash for clunkers" bill to boost lagging auto sales.
The bill would allow consumers to turn in their gas-guzzling cars and trucks for a $4,500 voucher for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
President Obama has encouraged Congress to approve consumer incentives for new car purchases as part of the government's work to restructure General Motors and Chrysler. The House approved the bill 298-119.
Only 119 "no" votes? 59 Republicans voted "yes"! This is insane, I tell you!

Megan Fox, you ignorant slut

It breaks my heart:
The "Transformers" bombshell-cum-uninhibited philosophizer also contemplates — reluctantly -- what she would say to Megatron to keep him from destroying the world. "I'd barter with him," she muses to the July issue Total Film UK, "and say instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?"
Via Hot Air, where Allahpundit has thoughts. Me? It totally kills the buzz. Liberalism is the anti-hot.

David Brooks shovels Democratic
talking points on Sotomayor

Just what we needed, a "conservative" columnist pushing Democratic Party agitprop for a woman he admits is a "poster child for identity politics":
More than any current member of the Supreme Court, she worked her way up through the furnace levels of the American legal system. . . .
She is quite liberal. But there’s little evidence that she is motivated by racialist thinking or an activist attitude.
As I said, I'm not apoplectic about her Jet-All-The-Way "wise Latina" shtick, but the fact that Brooks is pro-Sotomayor should be all the reason anyone needs to be anti-Sotomayor.

A basic life principle: Always do the opposite of whatever David Brooks says, and you can't go too far wrong.

Via Memeorandum, more at Michelle Malkin and Legal Insurrection. And please hit the tip jar, either for the "David Brooks Fisking Fund," the "Emergency Fireworks Fund" or to help NTC "bloggregate" the news.

It's For the Children!

NTC: Bloggregating the News

Got up this morning and created the "TOP STORY: OBAMA AND JOBS" post at, which took every bit of 10 minutes, augmented by subsequent additions.

The news business is not rocket science. That's the basic insight at, an insight inspired in part by Protein Wisdom's slogan, "Because Not Just Anybody Can Summarize the News." And, thanks to Carol at No Sheeples Here, we're proud to report that you don't need a bowtie to aggregate the news, either.

The major inspiration, of course, was when Tucker Carlson came bigfooting into the blogosphere with his announcement that he would create the "Huffington Post of the Right." This raised lots of eyebrows. Tucker's a TV pundit. What the heck does he know about blogs?

Well, what does anybody need to know about blogs? (Other than The Rules.) For all we know, the "TuckPo" will be absolutely wonderful. But it had better not suck.

A Work In Progress
Meanwhile, rather than waiting around to see what The Bowtied One would bring forth, I collaborated with co-blogger Smitty and with Jimmie Bise Jr. of Sundries Shack to develop

It's a work in progress, but it is both working and progressing, while the TuckPo is still just a page bragging about "fearless journalism." (Hey, Tucker: Fear this, y'know what I'm saying?)

The thing is, several conservative activists had talked to me in recent months about the "Huffington Post of the Right" concept. My reply generally involved the question: What does HuffPo have that we don't have? Money, period. You give me the money Arianna Huffington's spent on that site, and I'd kick her ass from here to Brentwood.

Evidently, somebody gave Tucker Carlson some money -- one source told me Carlson had previously been turned down by various organizations he'd asked for funding -- and so now he's going to teach us bloggers how to aggregate the news.

How do bloggers feel about that? Among others, Michelle Malkin and Mitchell Blatt were profoundly skeptical. This goes back to CPAC in February, when Tucker Carlson proclaimed to the world that conservatives don't do reporting. As I said two weeks ago:
Having spent 10 years at The Washington Times, I know a thing or two about reporting news, and was insulted by this assertion by Carlson -- a rich-boy TV pundit -- that conservatives weren't doing reporting.
What about NewsMax? Human Events? The American Spectator? National Review? CNS? Townhall? All of these are conservative organizations that employ news reporters.
I remember seeing Byron York in a gym at a Sarah Palin rally in Pennsylvania, reporting from the scene. Tucker Carlson? Nope, he wasn't there.
Four days after the big TuckPo announcement, the Tiller murder story broke on a Sunday, and most bloggers were slow to pick up on it. Having already started developing "Not Tucker Carlson" on a Blogspot platform, the Kansas killing seemed like the kind of big story that could use some rapid aggregation. I called Jimmie and asked him to buy a domain name and, voila, had its first top story.

Bowtie Optional
A work in progress, like I said. Wednesday night we got our first "scoop," being the first to report the remarks of George Will and Bill Kristol at the Bradley Prizes. Not a big story, but still a legit exclusive. And we've debuted a series of daily editorials, "300 Words Or Less," with guest contributions from bloggers including Fisherville Mike, TrogloPundit, Moe Lane and Becky Brindle. (Bloggers who want to offer a "300 Words Or Less" commentary should e-mail Smitty or e-mail Jimmie.)

We continue to work and progress. Over the past several days, while I was visiting Georgia, Smitty and Jimmie kept the site running without me. We plan to add more contributing aggregators -- other bloggers who can post news updates -- but if you'll scroll down through the sidebars, you'll find a slew of blog feeds arranged so that the site is already "auto-updating" to a large extent.

What next? Who knows? Right now, we could use some money. Several people have already hit the tip jar. So far, it's a long way from Arianna Huffington's divorced-my-gay-millionaire-husband money, but we're grateful for every $5, $10 or $20 contribution. (Please specify the purpose of your PayPal donation, so it doesn't accidentally get mixed in with the Emergency Fireworks Fund.)

Can a handful of bloggers relying on tip-jar contributions create a major news site? If it's never been tried before, it's certainly about time.

6/2: Bowtie Optional
5/29: 'This will not end well for him'
5/27: Exactly What Will the TuckPo Be?
5/26: Tucker Freaking Carlson?

Unexpected repudiation

"The polls said it would be bad for Labour. But no one expected it to be this bad. On Thursday, Britons voted in local county elections and elections for the European Parliament. The result was a devastating repudiation of Gordon Brown’s tottering government, and of the cause of European integration."
-- Theodore Bromund, Heritage Foundation

Monday, June 8, 2009

Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace

by Smitty

No, the title is not original with me. But my, my, the pointy headed operatives are out in force: "Five things the Virginia election results don't mean". Look at this bit of mental gymnastics:
Tuesday's three-way Virginia primary – between Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran – and the general election to follow may not wind up saying much about anything except the specific candidates and issues involved. The same probably goes for New Jersey, where incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine trails Republican challenger Chris Christie in early polling. "Governors' races are about local personalities or local fucking road issues," one Democratic operative grumbled, on condition of anonymity so as not to contradict, in advance, the spin the party is guaranteed to be putting out in November if Virginia and New Jersey go blue.
So this jaded person doesn't really care, but intends to feign excitement on cue if we get another dose of Dem?
The article does conclude on an interesting note:
In private, Democrats concede that they are happy to see Republicans claiming the GOP comeback will begin this fall, but mostly because that provides a handy narrative if it doesn't. Republicans said more or less the same thing. "I expect that both parties have more than enough evidence to make the case that these state contests don’t have much bearing on national trends," said GOP strategist Kevin Madden. "But both parties also realize that the Washington media will take a magnifying glass to these contests and force a national assessment of the prospects of the Democrat and Republican parties as we head into 2010 mid-terms. Neither party likes it, and the party that wins may not entirely believe it, but both parties prepare for it."
It's pretty much do or die time for Conservatives. The GOP's continued treatment of politics as some sporting event plays to the Left's hand. The electorate is reduced to cheering for a team, instead of being "We the People".
Would that there was instead a focus on the Constitution, long-term questions like the debt, and a de-emphasis on personalities and toenails.
If the Tea Parties falter, if the gubernatorial races don't build momentum for the midterms, then we just need to switch concerns from toenails Nine Inch Nails:

Dr. Helen is only No. 12?

John Hawkins had asked me if I wanted to help judge the contest that resulted in "The 15 Hottest Conservative Women in New Media" list. But I spent the past five days down in Georgia, so I didn't have time to participate.

Thank goodness. If I'd been on that committee, I'd be forever 'Lanche-less for having been so stupid as to rank Dr. Helen a mere No. 12 -- not even in the Top 10!

Dudes, this is no the way to ingratiate yourself with Professor Glenn Reynolds. I know several of the women in the Top 15 -- Ashley Herzog, Michelle Oddis, Michelle Malkin, Pamela Geller, Ann Coulter, Amanda Carpenter and Rachel Marsden -- and wouldn't want to offend any of them by rating them as if they were beef cattle at the county fair. And I'm pretty doggone sure I'd put Dr. Helen at least in the Top Five.

My choice for No. 1? Of course, Mrs. Other McCain:

Granted, she's not in the New Media. More like the other way around. But that counts, too, right?

Keeping Sonia's speeches together

by Smitty

  Take a moment to admire the photoshoppery over at No Sheeples Here. As Sonia Sotomayor breaks a leg to get to her confirmation, it's nice to zoom in on the office supplies. See what's really stapled into the speeches, besides the errant finger.
  What I would do in the hearings, if they gave me mike time, is pull an elaborate prank. I'd parody the worst of the crappy, grandstanding Biden/Kennedy speeches of confirmation debacles past in a way that playfully mocked the original nitwit Senators, while at the same time communicating that I'm not playing that game. Then treat Sonia with dignity.
  The Sotomayor confirmation may be inevitable. So use the opportunity to tweak the Left for being a pack of clowns, say I.

Two on the POTUS

by Smitty

Bill Whittle takes the Maureen Dowd "Spock" piece out into orbit for a while. Very, very nicely done. The editorial ran about a month ago, which is roughly a decade on the tubey-clouds, but the production values tell you two things:
  • PJTV is as serious as lung cancer about what it's doing
  • Whittle is an excellent writer/performer/talking head
Now, quite screwing around and put that on YouTube so it can go viral!
In related POTUS news (h/t Insty), Snopes confirms that a letter from a retired CEO expressing dismay about BHO's opacity is both devastating and genuine.

A. Because I suck, that's why

Q. Why is The Other McCain not on Wikio's listing of "Top 100 Political Blogs"?

UPDATE 6/10: John Hawkins' list of "Thirty Best Conservative Columnists for 2009" confirms the infinite vastness of my suckitude.

UPDATE II: Suckitude illustrated. Suckitude explained. (Although, of course, mere words can never suffice to explain how much I suck.)

Obama the Job-Saver

Are you getting sick of this yet?
President Barack Obama said on Monday accelerated stimulus spending would create or save 600,000 jobs over the next 100 days, pledging action to slow the growth of unemployment that has reached a 25-year high.
"We've got a long way to go, but I feel like we've made great progress," Obama said at a White House meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and cabinet officials aimed at highlighting gains made since Congress passed the massive stimulus package in February. . . .
(Via Memeorandum.) The White House press corps stenography pool doesn't seem to be asking any of the important questions about the Obamanomics agenda. Monique Stuart asks a good question.

Hate-F***Gate Update: AOL fires
blogger who criticized Playboy

Moe Lane at Red State has the lowdown (preceded by a TMI disclaimer), linking Stephen Gulowski at Newsbusters:
AOL News has taken some drastic steps to censor any mention, let alone criticism, of Playboy's screed. They have deleted posts about the article, banned contributors from mentioning it, and even fired one of their liberal writers over it. . . .
The evidence is stacking up quite high that AOL News fired liberal writer Tommy Christopher today due to his repeated attempts to get coverage of the Playboy attack list on AOL's Politics Daily. Christopher had first attempted to post this criticism of Playboy's sick list the day it was published on their website. However, he was surprised to find that shortly after putting his article on Politics Daily it was deleted by an editor. . . .
(Hat-tip: That's not (merely) plugola, by the way, it's just a fact. The continually updated sidebars at NTCNews are very helpful in spotting hot memes developing.

UPDATE: Tommy Christopher writes:
I'm very touched by the outpouring of support, and encourage further garment-rending on my behalf.
Tommy's asking people to hit his tip jar, and you certainly should -- after you hit my tip jar first.

Reckon this is as good a place as any to explain that I don't believe in "worker's rights." That is to say, I believe that employment is a voluntary fee-for-service agreement between the worker and his employer. If I, as a worker, reserve the right to say, "I quit," then the employer certain has the right to say, "You're fired." And neither of us ought to be suing the other over the decision to terminate that fee-for-service aggreement, otherwise it ceases to be voluntary and my job becomes an entitlement.