Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sarah Palin on the Military

by Smitty (h/t Atlas Shrugs)

Here is a great big little secret:
all of the things that the Left and the media honestly want to say about Barack, they say about Sarah.

Ben Stein says we've figured him out

by Smitty (h/t Rhetorican )

Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future.
The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill -- a great idea in theory -- was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans.

I want to agree with Stein, but it's probably too hyperbolic a formulation. You can't prove that we would not have been worse off without the stimulus.

Too, Stein nowhere grasps the Federalist point: that power is Checkov's Gun. The only means of precluding abuse is a priori removal.

This is why I hope Sarah Palin, should she pursue the opportunity to change the national diaper after this administration, stands overtly against all this Progressive crap that has led up to this debacle.

Harvard plot thickens

by Smitty (via Memeorandum)

The Harvard plot thickens just a bit.

Dan Riehl has some excellent analysis of the seemingly-uncharitable charity the Inkwell Foundation, Inc. Possible motive for taking a reactionary stance towards a policeman?

Confederate Yankee has a snarky take:
It's too soon to know for sure if Gates has done anything illegal with the funds that his charity hasn't properly accounted for, but I was Gates, I wouldn't worry.
If Obama Justice Department will cover for the New Black Panthers, I'm sure they'll cover for a personal friend, even if he acted "stupidly."
Big Hollywood had an Amy Holmes post with some Harvard context, about non-students invading the Yard for nefarious reasons.

Carol at No Sheeples Here quotes the good POTUS about having the good fellas over to discuss the kerfluffle he helped build:
"So at the end of the conversation there was a discussion about—my conversation with Sergeant Crowley, there was discussion about he and I and Professor Gates having a beer here in the White House. He also did say he wanted to find out if there was a way of getting the press off his lawn. I informed him that I can't get the press off my lawn."
Carol offers
Mr. President, that’s NOT your lawn, it’s the people’s lawn and the White House is NOT your house it is the people’s house.
So, let's put this together. There was gross, rampant, institutionalized racism at one time in the United States. Since then, we've had plenty of people of all ethnic backgrounds arrive in academia and in society who are anointed to preach the evils of the path, and, purportedly, lead us into some shiny, post-racial future.

What Are The Entry Criteria For That Future?

When do we take the police report at face value, and just admit that somebody was disorderly? Because it looks more as though we've simply got a priesthood that is going to manufacture the occasional ritual to perpetuate itself, becoming the very thing it set out to despise.

Ways to tell you've upset your citizens

by Smitty

Political Class Dismissed posts some jolly good stuff going on in New York State:
From the response of neighbors and those that attended the local Tea Parties, people recognize the loss of our liberty and pursuit of happiness due to incompetent and corrupt governing. They want to learn more and get involved in reclaiming our government but do not know what to do or where to turn to. Primary Challenge, Western New York based, will be holding the Citizens Reclaiming New York Meeting on Saturday, August 15, 10am – to 12pm, at the Hearthstone Manor in Depew, NY. This is the most definitive citizen action ever taken in the history of New York State since its inception.

Topics covered:
  • An introduction to understanding how the election and political process is a rigged institution and what are the solutions were going to implement.
  • Project 2010:
    • The abolishment of the present New York State government and its Constitution by a statewide citizen referendum vote.
    • The installation of a new Constitution for New York State.

Even if it amounts to flatus in a thunderstorm, the chutzpah on display is to be admired. May fortune grant them success.

Barofsky caught telling the truth in public

by Smitty (h/t HotAir)

We were promised and example of unprecedented transparency by this administration. An example of unprecedented transparency need not be a good example.
This podcast is highly interesting. About 12 minutes in, Tapper asks (to paraphrase) if expanding the initial $700 bills to cover a hypothetical $23.7 trills represents a perversion of the original intent. The verbal tap dance is lively.
God bless Neil Barofsky, and keep the SIGTARP safe. Money on that scale distorts behavior.

Frantic Mechanism Jiggering: Racist Attractor?

by Smitty

Today's Full Metal Jacket Reach Around goes to out to Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. We'll probably have more feedback by next week on our postings, but, until then, Willkommen zum Gemeindeorganizerreich. (Welcome to community organizer land.)

This blog took an offbeat interest in the whole Crowley-quiddic affair up at Harvard.
  • Bill Quick, the Daily Pundit, got into a comments discussion with Stacy on one post.
  • Right View from the Left Coast be volunteerin'volunteers to go to Hahvuhd to help regulate.
  • Linked by the pleasantly styled Politics Across the Pond.

The emotionally distraught Stacy McCain, saddened at his non-invitation to speak in Pittsburgh, struggles onward anyway.
  • Chad, at the KURU lounge, laments that he doesn't have invitations either, much less readers. Sad lad.
  • Jimmie at the Sundries Shack responds to Stacy's chopped liver rating
    Heck, man. I don’t even get on the same plate as chopped liver.
    to which the Porch Manqué replies: I'd be happy just to get near the table.

Big Money and the Culture of Death, and The Basic Problem with Obamacare got some attention:
  • Michelle Malkin included it as the first link on a post. Let that be a lesson in Applied Grovelling to us all.
  • Ole Phil at Cyber Storm included it in a rhythm poetry roundup.
  • Rightofcourse links us in Health care that doesn’t care about your health. It's the incentive to get elected and join the elite.
  • The Amused Cynic liked the characterization of Barack's style, also gets a HEH:"I don't know all the facts..." but opposing my Health Care non-plan is stupid...
  • Monique Stewart is in favor of running out the clock.
  • The Michigan Blogger links us amidst a depressing portrait of that state.
  • The Constant Conservative, our South Dakota connection, concurs wholeheartedly with the NEA analogy.
  • Rhetorican linked us in a roundup, using the title "No Sleep Till Waterloo". An obscure FMJRA rule requires us to throw in a clip from No Sleep 'til Hammersmith. Hey, I just create the rules: I don't understand them, as with the 111th Congress

  • Pundette linked the eugenics post, but offered a fine palate cleanser for it all. Pundette also suggested a promotion for the Porch Manqué, but, truth be told, the ultra-minimalist arrangement is totally a feature. Stacy McCain is a no-kidding pro putting food on the table. So consider the tip jar in its infinite lonliness, ye people.
  • Bob at The Camp of the Saints links us, Dr. Helen, and Jimmie Bise, which is great company, indeed.

IG-Quiddick, the little scandal that could, continues to have interest. The fact that it's stayed out of the media could imply that they don't want to jeopardize anything, or that there is significant effort spent to keep it buried. A third possibility is that there's not much substance to it, but that doesn't explain the rotting stench very well.Rubber Duckey Power:
Seen from the standpoint where the US is a tub, power is water, and Washington, DC is the drain, Ron Paul is quite valuable as a rubber ducky for tracking the drainage.
  • Troglopundit went scatalogical on Ron.
  • The Instapundit confesses that the metaphor had not occurred to him.

Erin Andrews--A Cautionary Rule 5 Tale
Robert Heinlein: In a family argument, if it turns out you are right -- apologize at once!
  • Donald Douglas was, eventually, correct concerning the newsworthiness of the crime in the Erin Andrews case. This blog linked to his initial post last Sunday, mocking the title, without bothering to see what the fuss was all about.
  • Carolyn Tackett had a humorous take on it.
  • Daily Gator agrees that is was a sick trick to pull.
As your Rule 5 Sunday composter, I'd like to reaffirm the commitment to posts that are in good taste (PG 13 or less steamy), positive, and not subject to legal proceedings. Cassandra, Little Miss Attila: I am sorry.
The various female readers seem to be getting bored with the whole concept of Rule 5 Sunday. Possibly the Erin Andrews Incident was when it jumped the shark. It's certainly fun to construct, and we'll likely keep it going, slaves to the hit counter that we are. If we can now return to our ditzy sophomoric mode, that would be cool.

<elvis_voice>Thank you, thank you very much</elvis_voice>
Those who gave us shouts for crossing the two mega-click threshold.
Don't Make A ... Maniac Out Of Me
Stacy alluded to a famous, but new to me, [NSFW] rant, pursuant to the discussion of when you pull the plug on an electoral loser. Specifically, his cousin:

  • Melissa Clouthier mentions Stacy in her podcast. "Conservatives, Libertarians, Health Care & The Sex Lives Of Republicans"
  • Below the Beltway responds to Melissa Clouthier's Barr voter bashing, mentioning the illustrious Stacy McCain, of course.
  • Common Sense Political Thought also raised the Barr question. Isn't it rather moot? Crappy candidates==crappy elections.
  • Political Byline isn't buying the no morals argument.
  • Carolyn Tackett does not support Melissa Clouthier's position on voting Barr.
  • The Poli-Tea Party also defended Stacy.
  • The Instapundit linked it, too.
  • Liberty Pundit isn't buying the guilt trip, either.
Mark Levin
This blog reviewed Levin's demolition of a review of his book. I'm slightly vague on how the left can be so intellectually dishonest so consistently without a head 'splosion.
  • Chapomatic hatt-tipped the Mark Levin post.
  • E.D. Kain at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen hat tips us for the Levin pointer.
What a disgrace to the First Amendment.
Miscellaneous Shouts:
This concludes another FMJRA extravaganza. Send questions/comments/concerns to Smitty.

I must be an idiot

by Smitty

Brent Baker at Newsbusters has one of those Katie Couric quotes that doesn't make sense. Lots of stuff in life doesn't make sense, for example, Debye Length. Sometimes you hit one of those intellectual speed bumps and think: "Maybe I'm missing something crucial here." Newsbusters:
ABC, CBS and NBC all led Friday night with President Obama's decision to appear in the White House press room to backtrack on the fury he inflamed by presuming "stupidity" by the police in the Professor Henry Gates alleged "racial profiling" incident, but only Katie Couric trumpeted Obama’s appearance in the White House briefing room -- which the CBS Evening News ran for an uninterrupted four solid minutes -- as "extraordinary" and "really unprecedented," before she pouted over how "the timing could not be worse. Just as he was pushing so hard for health care reform and having some pretty serious setbacks."
Does anyone have instight into Couric's mind, to grasp by what logic she would think that this non-command of basic leadership from the POTUS (praise in public, admonish in private) on display in Crowley-quiddick matters in the health care debate?

Flip that around. Some of the most expensive, society-shaking legislation ever typed and scat-flung about by our 535 Congressmonkeys is going to be threatened, by something unrelated that the POTUS said?

I don't get it. You can take the cynical view that Crowley-quiddick is simply a device to distract attention from the steaming, unconstitutional loaf that is the health care reform legislation. Why that doesn't make sense is that, when the legislative effort itself is capsizing,

expending approval ratings in a moronic statement seems tactical, at best. Is the thinking that this somehow buys support amongst the hardcore believers, by painting the POTUS as victim? "He tried, real, real hard, but stuff just happened."

If there is anything that the White House learns from this, the words "Above the Fray" should be first. Coming after precedents of attacking conservative radio personalities by name, one is un-hopeful of any change.

Related attempts to apply logic to emotion courtesy of Dan Enoch, at POWIP.

Update II:
Crowley and Gates are relatives? (h/t Political Castaway)

From the Dept. of It Won't Work

Microsoft reports losses, the Dow is overvalued, Nouriel Roubini sees a "perfect storm" ahead, consumer confidence is down, double-digit unemployment in Michigan, Florida and Atlanta, the FDIC seized six banks Friday, and major banks are bracing for a wave of defaults on commercial real-estate loans . . .

Hey, how come nobody's blogging about this stuff? Well, somebody is: NOT TUCKER CARLSON.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama's $4 billion 'school reform' agenda

Everyone remembers Obama's plan for education reform, right? Uh, actually, no. Never mind that. Does anyone remember when $4 billion was a lot of money?
The rush is on for $4.35 billion in “Race to the Top” grants, targeted to leverage historic reforms in US public schools.
"This is one of the largest investments in education reform in American history," said President Obama at the US Department of Education on Friday. "And rather than divvying it up and handing it out, we are letting states and school districts compete for it."
The high-stakes grants are targeted to reward states and school districts that are "ready to do things that work," the president said. "That's how we can incentivize excellence and spur reform and launch a race to the top in America's public schools." . . .
(Note strategic deployment of the magic words: "incentivize," "excellence" and "reform.")
For the past two months, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has been telling education groups that if they want to have an edge going into the competition for these grants, they must demonstrate four key reforms. These include:
• Reversing a pervasive dumbing down of academic standards and testing.
• Establishing better data on student achievement, including linking teacher evaluations and pay to student outcomes.
• Improving or replacing teachers who aren't up to the job, especially in high-poverty schools and hard-to-staff subjects.
• Turning around failing schools, including replacing school staff and changing school culture.
"For the first time in history, we have the resources at the federal level to drive reform," Secretary Duncan said as he released draft guidelines for the competition on Friday.
"We cannot continue to tinker in terrible schools where students fall further and further behind, year after year," he added. . . .
To summarize in three words: Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

Another throw-money-at-it giveaway to the teachers' unions, with "goals" and "standards" that are vague and arbitrary, the primary purpose being to give the president sufficent rhetorical coverage for that (mandatory) paragraph about "education reform" in his next State Of The Union speech.

In other words, it's No Child Left Behind, Part Deux.

The problem with the public education system is the system itself. Parents who send their kids to public schools are constituents of the world's largest welfare program. Whatever the total federal expenditure is on K-12 education, every dime of it is "waste, fraud, and abuse," a stupid idea with stupid consequences.

You cannot defend public education and call yourself a conservative. The entire history of public education shows that it has been, from Day One, a liberal project aimed at achieving liberal policy objectives that have nothing to do with actual education.

More than anything else, public education is a propaganda vehicle for teaching American children falsehoods, including the belief that government can give you stuff for "free." Let the government give people something for "free," and you automatically guarantee two things:
  • It will be ridiculously expensive.
  • Whatever it is, will suck.
As Newt Gingrich once famously observed, high school nowadays is nothing but "subsidized dating." It's a colossal waste of time and money. Kids learn more playing hooky than they do when they go to class. "Public school reform" ought to be done the same as "public housing reform":

Iowahawk Beats Amphibious Ted Down

by Smitty

Burge just throws the health care reform debate into the Chappaquiddick river. [Potty mouth]:
The statistics are sobering: the cost of American health care is rising almost as fast as the cold, briny water bubbling up from our floorboards. So far we have already lost the 8-track player and several Vic Damone tapes, and if allowed to continue these trends threaten to engulf all of us within the Oldsmobile. We must quickly wake up and face the facts: inaction is no longer an option. That is why it is critical for the future of all the occupants that one of us swim off and get us some kind of free health care program. I nominate me.
In related hit-the-drinkery, Fish Fear Me offers a brief on Apollo 11.

Now, somebody I want to buy the beverage of his choice is the dude who connected the Apollo program with Amphibious Ted, in Our Dumb Century, pg. 115: "Apollo 13 Astronauts Drown As Ted Kennedy Flees Splashdown Site". Oddly, this gem is unavailable on their historic prints page. Where is the capitalism in that?

Gov. Rick Perry Mentions he Might Shove The 10th Amendment Up Washington's Legislative Chute

by Smitty

[NSFW] Daphne raises the possibility of a flaming prostate check for the Obama Administration. He is, after all, number (I) Won.

The Star-Telegram has a slightly less flammable presentation of the story.
Interviewed by conservative talk show host Mark Davis of Dallas' WBAP/820 AM, Perry said his first hope is that Congress will defeat the plan, which both Perry and Davis described as "Obama Care." But should it pass, Perry predicted that Texas and a "number" of states might resist the federal health mandate.

"I think you'll hear states and governors standing up and saying 'no' to this type of encroachment on the states with their healthcare," Perry said. "So my hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I’m certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats."

Perry, the state’s longest-serving governor, has made defiance of Washington a hallmark of his state administration as well as his emerging re-election campaign against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 Republican primary. Earlier this year, Perry refused $555 million in federal unemployment stimulus money, saying it would subject Texas to long-term costs after the federal dollars ended.
Tactically, killing Obamacare is a save-my-brainer. Strategically, though, one hopes that the country realizes that Obamacare is as AFU as every other a-Federalist, pro-tyranny, Progressive idea that has spewed forth from both sides off the aisle since FDR.
I'm not sure where the contemporary Rick Perry was when Social Security arose, zombie-like, to start devouring the essence of America. Such a fellow may have been Amish.
To pay social security tax, the Amish say, is to admit that the government has a responsibility for aged Amish members, and to admit this is to deny the faith. They know that this alliance with government would make future generations dependent on the government. Federal means of providing for these needs are viewed as purely secular, if not sinful.
Thus, one hopes that the Federalism Amendment continues to gather steam.

Gov. Jim Doyle Tries to Shove Same-Sex Marriage Up Wisconsin's Poop Chute

Yeah, a vivid metaphor, but check it out: "Domestic partners" benefits as a back-door road to gay marriage.

Union: Why Does Obama Hate Cops?

Via Hot Air:

VIDEO - Rep. John Fleming (R-LA): 'Hey, How About We Get Members of Congress on the Same Lousy Plan They're Trying to Shove Down Your Throat?'

From Washington News Observer:

Dan, come back! We love you, man!

A universally acknowledged genius of the blogosphere, Dan Collins of POWIP seems to be having an existential crisis of some sort.

Trust me, Dan, we've all been through this. We're here to help.

As the founder of Chopped Liver Anonymous -- the mutual support group for bloggers who didn't get invited to speak at next month's RightOnline conference in Pittsburgh -- I can assure you, healing begins once we admit the truth: Our blogging sucks.

How bad does it suck? Like Andrew Sullivan at the annual Provincetown BearFest.

Just try to stay strong, Dan. Just because the clueless greedheads who fund the Republican Party are throwing bushels of cash at Tucker Carlson, just because Erik Telford is jealous of your righteous blog-fu, doesn't mean you are a total waste of pixels like Freddie de Boer.

Why, look at me: Even though I got viciously dissed by Erik Telford, they love me in Virginia, and I'll be speaking Saturday at the Liberty 101 conference in Richmond.

So there is hope, you see, once you confront and confess your utter blog suckage.

NEW GOP SEX SCANDAL? Latino Politician Gets 'Sticky Fingers' With
Female Right-Wing Journalist!

Don't you hate it when the MSM make a scandal out of something perfectly innocent like Marco Rubio's "posh hotel" rendezvous with Jillian Bandes?
Marco Rubio has sticky fingers, and he wants to rinse them off.
"Some of the pancake syrup got on my hands, I'll be right back," he told me in the lobby of his posh Dupont Circle hotel in Washington, D.C. just after breakfast.
Maybe he should've kept his sticky fingers. After all, the Florida House Speaker might have to go to some extraordinary lengths to get the cash he needs after the release of his latest fundraising numbers: he came in at $340,000, compared to his rival Gov. Charlie Crist's $4.3 million. . . .
Read the whole sticky thing.


UPDATE: Thanks to the commenter who directed me to this July 8 video of an MSNBC appearance in which Jillian drove Jane Hamsher into paroxysms of seething rage:

Not that it is difficult to drive Jame Hamsher into seething rage, but didn't Jillian look cute doing it?

Hey, Jillian, what's up with the blond curls? Last time I saw you, your hair was auburn red and straight.

Best. Column. Evah!

Never underestimate the power of Rule 2:
Last week, I called the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to press ["science czar" John] Holdren on his views about forced abortions and mass sterilizations; his purported disavowal of Ecoscience, the 1977 book he co-authored with population control zealots Paul and Anne Ehrlich; and his continued embrace of forced-abortion advocate and eugenics guru Harrison Brown, whom he credits with inspiring him to become a scientist.
After investigative bloggers and this column reprinted extensive excerpts from Ecoscience, which mused openly about putting sterilants in the water supply to make women infertile and engineering society by taking away babies from undesirables and subjecting them to government-mandated abortions, the White House issued a statement from Holdren last week denying he embraced those proposals. The Ehrlichs challenged critics to read their and Holdren’s more recent research and works. . . .
In 2007, he addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Holdren served as AAAS president; the organization posted his full slide presentation on its website.
In the opening slide, Holdren admitted that his “preoccupation” with apocalyptic matters such as “the rates at which people breed” was a lifelong obsession spurred by scientist Harrison Brown’s work. . . .
Read the whole thing. This is a healthy competition among columnists that should be encouraged. Ann Coulter and Mark Steyn have linked me from their sites in the past, but they ain't been linking me lately. Despite the lack of recent linkage, however, Ann Coulter's take on the "health care crisis" is brilliant:
Insurance plans that force everyone in the plan to pay for everyone else's Viagra and anti-anxiety pills are already completely unfair to people who rarely go to the doctor. It's like being forced to share gas bills with a long-haul trucker or a restaurant bill with Michael Moore. On the other hand, it's a great deal for any lonely hypochondriacs in the plan.
Read the whole thing, because she's exactly right. I hate going to the doctor. I hate taking medicine. If my aortic valve blows out tomorrow, don't mourn this as "tragic" or "senseless." Such a mercifully sudden departure from this vale of tears would to me be infinitely preferable to the ordeal of filing out an insurance form and spending 15 minutes in the waiting room of a doctor's office, to say nothing of idling around a drugstore while I wait for the pharmacist to fill my prescription.

Think about this: The percentage of your life spent leafing through a three-week-old copy of Newsweek in a doctor's waiting room -- is that really "life" at all? We're all gonna die some day, but some of us actually try to live first. And that otherwise healthy idiot who chooses to waste his life shuttling back and forth between MRI screenings, cardiac stress tests, colonoscopy appointments and the Rite Aid prescription counter isn't practicing "preventive medicine." He's just running up the bill at someone else's expense, like when I go to a Reason happy hour and tell the bartender to put everything on Matt Welch's tab.

Have you ever known one of those "lonely hypochondriacs" of whom Coulter speaks? Talk about your persuasive arguments for euthanasia! Feeble neurasthenics who run to the doctor every time they get an ache or pain should be sent directly to the Soylent Green factory.

Honestly, I knew America was doomed when they announced that Medicare would pay for Viagra. Oh, just great: The Federal Bureau of Boners.

Patriots died of frostbite at Valley Forge so that we could tax nurses to pay for their geriatric patients to get aroused. Ask the staff at the "retirement center" about the septuagenarian whose idea of a joke is to take his little blue pill and hit the nurse-call button.
Nurse: "Is there a problem?"
Patient: (Exposing himself) "Yes, ma'am, I had this sudden swelling . . ."
But why bring John McCain into this? My point was that health care is not a right, no matter what Ted Kennedy says. "Health care as a right, not a privilege," says Ted. (Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.)

My real point, however, is this: Ann Coulter should link me more often. But did I really need to say that?

UPDATE: Speaking of The Rules, how about ObamaCare bashing from a sexy redhead in her underwear? Say what you will about Rule 5, if sexy chicks can save us from socialized medicine . . . well, it's a sacrifice we'll have to make. Freedom is never free!

Also, Bandito Bollocks Available

by Smitty

Fishersville Mike, fellow backronym aficionado, points to Don Surber's ABBA meme.
There was "Waterloo" in honor of Sen. Jim DeMint, then "S.O.S." for obvious reasons.
How can this blog fall short or celebrating the meme and US foreign policy naïvete in Honduras? Answer: inconceivable!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Practical advice for killing ObamaCare

"No vote in Congress is a win for America," says HotMES, who makes some useful suggestions:
We can’t stop him for three and a half more years . . . but we can stop members of Congress by letting them know the votes won’t be there the next time around if they vote yes on bills that will break our country economically.
Can I declare August official Tea Party month? . . . Find every event they are doing in your state and be there. August recess is our time to take the power back!
Excellent suggestion. And Saturday, I'll be speaking to the Virginia Tea Party Patriots at their Liberty 101 conference in Richmond.

Ordinary Americans need to realize how much power they really have, if only they'll use it. Last week, I was in a senator's office on Capitol Hill, waiting in the lobby to meet somebody, and the phones were ringing off the hook with callers demanding that the senator vote against Judge Sotomayor.

How the senator will vote, I'm not sure, but when the calls are running 3-to-1 on a certain issue, that makes a difference. When the calls are running 5-to-1, it makes an even bigger difference. And when John Cornyn gets booed in Texas . . . well, betcha that got his attention, huh?

The title of my speech Saturday is, "Don't Get Angry, Get Organized." I could sum it up in four words: Politics is about lists. If you've ever seen a political operation that knows how to put that principle into action, it's an amazing thing to watch.

Bill Clinton famously built his political base in Arkansas by keeping a file of 5x7 index cards with names of his contacts and information about them. He built up that file, and worked his contacts, so as to have a network of supporters who knew him personally.

People were always amazed at the way they'd run into Clinton at a reception and he'd say, "Oh, Fred! Yes, I remember back in '81 when I met you at . . ."

That's not a talent, it's a skill, and the only way you develop that kind of skill is by hard work. Whatever you say about Bill Clinton, he was a man who dedicated himself at an early age to developing the basic skills of political organizing.

If conservatives lose, we ought not to lose because of sheer laziness. What a shame to let liberals out-work us!

BOLO: Marc Ambinder

Arrogant Harvard punk looks down his snooty nose at cops:
What happened to Professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr. is hardly unique and in my reporting experience; these clashes tend to involve young white students being strung out by overaggressive cops on generally bogus "disorderly conduct" charges, which is the Cambridge police officer's catch-all charge for "generally just pissing me off and acting holier than thou." . . . .
"Overaggressive"? "Bogus"? By God, sir, if I was the Cambridge chief of police, I'd dig up a photo of you and issue a BOLO poster for the next alumni weekend: "Ambinder, Mark. Guilty of dissing the cops. To be harassed routinely. Tow his car, if possible. If this punk even looks like he's about to give you any lip, clobber him first and ask questions later."

You damned Harvard sons of bitches think you own the world and everybody else is supposed to bow down and kiss your asses. Good luck with that, if Sergeant Crowley ever gets his hands on you, punk.

UPDATE: Bill Quick of Daily Pundit says in the comments:
Good lord, Stacy. "Guilty of dissing the cops? To be harassed routinely? Tow his car? Clobber him?"
I hope this is just hyperbole for effect, and not really how you think cops should behave in a free nation.
Of course not. At the same time, those of our overprivileged "meritocrats" who routinely criticize police in the manner that Ambinder has done are guilty of undermining respect for the law and for those whose job is to enforce the law. (Cf., "Attention, police: Arrest Will Wilkinson!")

To say that Harvard students are entitled to act however they wish, and that disorderly conduct charges against them in such cases are "bogus," is to say that the young Harvardian is above the law. To say that Cambridge cops are "overaggressive" in enforcement is to put yourself in a place of judgment, to look down your snooty nose at the police.

I heartily support the educational efforts of the Cambridge policeman who decides that the drunken sophomore needs to learn an important life lesson: "Yeah, punk, I don't care who your daddy is, and I don't care what you made on the SAT. You're gonna respect the badge."

One might say that in such cases, the officer is an agent of the Almighty:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.
-- Romans 13:1-4 (KJV)
And let the congregation say, "Amen!" Maybe my attitude about this is affected by my extreme lack of sympathy for Harvard students. Maybe my attitude is affected by having seen those bandana-masked "Black Bloc" anarchists running amok during protests/riots in D.C. Mainly, however, my attitude is affected by the knowledge that it was overprivileged elitists like Ambinder -- and here I have in mind the likes of Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Kathy Boudin, et al. -- whose efforts to subvert respect for the law have produced such tragic consequences.

Keep in mind that John Adams, as a lawyer, defended the soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre.

Having been called a Jacksonian populist, and knowing a thing or two about whipping a crowd into a frenzy of (small-d) democratic fury, my sympathies are always with the Ordinary American, and against those (including unhelpful congressional press secretaries) who abuse the power delegated to them as hired help of We The People. When a Tennessee lawmaker employs his delegated authority to "score" with a 22-year-old intern, the fact that the lawmaker is a Republican does not prevent me from denouncing the vile scumbag.

Nevertheless, when a cop's wife kisses her husband good-bye in the morning, she doesn't know if she'll ever see him alive again. So when the cop responds to a 911 call about a possible burglary, it is the cop who is the Ordinary American, and not the indignant Harvard professor. Frankly, the world would be a better place if there were more Harvard professors in handcuffs, but I digress . . .

Despite my hyperbole and humor, there is a serious point here, a point I tried to make when discussing the vengeful terror campaign against supporters of Proposition 8:
The late historian Christopher Lasch was the first to identify (and Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon later examined in depth) how "rights talk" insinuated itself into American culture as a dominant mode of political discourse in the decades following World War II. Because Americans are taught to think of "rights" as something sacred in our civic religion, those accused of violating "rights" are easily demonized, while those who advocate "rights" are sanctified. . . .
"Rights talk" allowed liberals a means of preemptively delegitimizing their opponents and thereby to avoid arguing about policy in terms of necessity, utility and efficacy. If all legal and political conflicts are about "rights," there is no need to argue about the specific consequences of laws and policies. Merely determine which side of the controversy represents "rights" and the debate ends there. . .
This mode of discourse has engendered a malicious spirit of "mere anarchy," as the poet said:
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned . . .
Bookmark this. The next time some crackpot extemist kills an abortion doctor or commits some other insane act of lawless violence, I want to cite this as proof that I do not endorse or advocate disrespect for the law. Can Ambinder offer any such proof?

Perhaps a chart would've helped

by Smitty (h/t Drudge)

Boston University professor of politics Thomas Whalen:
Unfortunately, the racial divide is still there. It's still very raw. I think he was trying to let the majority of non-minority Americans have a sense of what it is like to a black or Latino," said Boston University professor of politics Thomas Whalen.

In unofficial draft remarks plucked ex nihilo, he continued:
Additionally, there is a greater-than-zero likelihood that this racial divide could multiply the minority of non-majority Americans subtracted from the other group feeling, somehow, less than the unequal subset of disenfranchised Uighurs left adrift thanks to Bush policies.

No, really, Mr. Whalen: the racial divide is still there. Because the positions and careers of so many are predicated upon maintaining that divide.

When societal leaders pursue a humble, conciliatory, not-trying-to-get-my-fifteen-minutes course, then we can set about decreasing the divide, and perhaps close the gap. Think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy falls short of advancement thanks to this silliness.

For those who are actually on the receiving end of abuse, the heart goes out to you: your legitimate cause isn't even slightly helped by the likes of Professor Gates and the POTUS.

Hotter Than a Firecracker
on the Fourth of July!

In all the IG-Gate madness, I forgot to post video of the fireworks show we did at the Third Annual Camp FUBAR Fourth of July celebration:

The highlights are at 3:07 and 5:01. Thanks to everybody who helped us with our massive deficit-spending stimulus project. And here's a special thank you:

Art hat-tip: Becky Brindle, who needs to update her blog more often.

Wurzelbacher, Crowley, and an ENT surgeon walk into a bar

by Smitty

Joe Wurzelbacher, James Crowley, and an Ear, Nose, Throat surgeon walked into a bar.
"He thinks he knows more than me about tonsils," lamented the ENT surgeon.
"Even though I've taught on the subject of racial profiling, he criticizes the way I do my job and calls it stupid", said Crowley.
"Yeah, I really took it in the plumbing, too," began Joe, looking at the bartender, "Three brew-hahas, please. Hey, aren't you Gerald Walpin?"
"Not so loud!" replied Gerald "You wanna get me fired from this job, too?"

For a useful roundup on Crowley-quiddick, see Pat in Shreveport.
Also, the Blogprof has a thorough survey.

Does no one in Tennessee know
how to use a pistol anymore?

There was a time when a lowdown polecat like state Sen. Paul Stanley (R-Scumbag) would have found himself occupying an office six feet deep:
Sen. Paul Stanley tries desperately to hang on to his current marriage amid reports of a TBI confirmed admission of an extramarital affair with an intern and subsequent blackmailing by her boyfriend . . .
Before Stanley’s political career got going as a Senior Field Representative for Senator Bill First in 1995, he was married to another woman, his first wife, Judy Martin. . . .
According to documents obtained by Post Politics, in 1994, Judy Martin swore out a restraining order against her husband, Paul R. Stanley. From the order:
"Paul has verbally abused me as well as my children using very vulgar language. Also, this incident that occurred Feb 6th, 1994 is the third he has physically hit me. . . ."
Read the whole thing. Like Zell Miller said, it makes you nostalgic for the days when you could challenge somebody to a duel . . .

Honestly: I worked in D.C. for years. Every summer, the town fills up with interns. To "hit on" interns is a thing simply not done. They're there in a learning capacity, and the boss therefore occupies the position of a teacher. It is one thing for a young person in a low-level staff position to date an intern, but it is entirely another thing for the boss to do it.

Whatever happened to the Good Old Days, when Republicans who wanted to have affairs had the common decency to fly off to Argentina?

UPDATE: It should be noted that I worked with both Clever S. Logan and HotMES when they were interns. HotMES has never forgiven me because she was my second-favorite intern in summer 2004, yet it was she who introduced me to Jason "Big Sexy" Mattera, whom I subsequently introduced to Clever S. and . . . Well, that certainly worked out wonderfully, didn't it?

At any rate, Thou shalt not hit on thine intern is a widely recognized rule, and woe unto he who violates it.

Smitty's worried sick over this

Just got off the phone with my co-blogger, who is heartbroken to discover that no one has any plan to do anything about the rampant police brutality in that notorious cauldron of racial hatred known as Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Smitty says we need to do something. Like maybe get together some people from places like Arkansas, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, and put them on buses to go up there to Cambridge and teach those evil white racists a lesson.

"Liberty Passengers"? "Equality Commuters"? Don't worry, we'll think of something, but . . .

But we're afraid if we did something like that, the wicked people up there in Cambridge might call us a bunch of self-righteous liberals, "outside agitators," and meddling Communist sympathizers. And what about those brutal police in Cambridge?

Experts have warned us that even a Harvard professor has no rights in Massachusetts that a racist Cambridge cop is bound to respect . . .

UPDATE: Don't worry, Jules Crittenden -- we're comin' to save ya. We've even got us some classic folk songs, updated just for the occasion:

By Joan Baez
(In the key of self-righteousness)

If Gates had a limo,
He'd ride it in the mor-or-ning!
He'd ride it in the evening,
All over this land!
It's a limo of freedom,
With a driver of justice,
It's s limo ride beside
My brothers and my sisters,

All over this land . . .
Everybody sing along!
Henry dropped out of law school,
But Yale hired him anyway,
Then he went on to Cornell and
Duke U-ni-vers-it-y!
Now he's teaching at Harvard!
And he's teaching with tenure!
And he's riding in a
Limousine, with words obscene
For you motherf***ing honkies
All over this land . . .
OK, next time, let's get more cowbell . . .
Well, he broke out a window,
Then his neighbors called the police.
And when they showed up, Skip said,
"Don't you know who I am?
"I've got tenure at Harvard!
"And I'm riding in limo!
"You're just hassling the black man
"Because you can, you g--d---
"Honky motherf---ers,
"All over this land!"

Well, they put him in handcuffs
And they booked him for
Then Obama took a
Question from
Axelrod's friend, Lynn Sweet.
And he said, "Skip's a victim!
"And the cops did something stupid!"
Just to agitate the hate
For honky motherf---ers
All over this land!
Next, we'll sing, "Gates Shall Overcome" . . .

Michelle Malkin coming to Pittsburgh --
and everybody important will be there!

Mark your calendar, folks: The author of the Best Book Evah! is going to be in Pittsburgh Aug. 14-15 for the RightOnline National Conference at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel.

Americans For Prosperity has invited everybody who's important in the conservative blogosphere: Erick Erickson of, Ed Morrissey of, Matt Lewis of AOL’s Political Machine, and Ronald Kessler of

Most importantly, they've invited you! So go there and sign up now!

Y'all have fun. I wasn't invited. Like I said, "everybody who's important in the conservative blogosphere."

No, my feelings aren't hurt. I'm chopped liver, and chopped liver doesn't have feelings. But why does Americans For Prosperity hate me so much? What did I ever do to Erik Telford to deserve this purposeful snub?

Never mind. It's all my fault, I'm sure. Blame me.

UPDATE: Dave C wants me to remind you that, even though I'm chopped liver to Erik Telford and AFP, the Virginia Tea Party Patriots love me, and I'll be in Richmond on Saturday for their Liberty 101 Conference. Thanks, Dave. It's nice to know that not everybody hates me.

MATSUI-GATE? California Democrat's
Intervention in AmeriCorps Case
Raises Questions on Capitol Hill

HUGE hat-tip to California blogger Eric Hogue for spotting a March interview with a Sacramento radio station in which Rep. Doris Matsui -- the Democrat who represents California's capitol city in Congress -- vowed to get stimulus cash By Any Means Necessary:
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has asked U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui to help keep the flow of federal funds coming into the city.Johnson is not allowed to receive federal funds because of allegations his St. Hope-Hood Corps Foundation misused federal money.
Matsui, D-District 5, who appeared on the KCRA 3 Morning News on Saturday morning, said she believes Sacramento will get money, but she can't guarantee it."
Under any scenario, we are going to get the money. We are going to get the money," she said. "I understand that process has to unfold. The mayor is dealing with that. We are dealing with the situation at the federal level. The city is taking the right steps. They have to disclose this, and we are moving forward."
Matsui added that she has been in contact with White House officials and other members of the federal government.
More IG-Gate news where that came from. Trust me when I say that Hogue's blog post made a big difference. Important people are paying attention and, to borrow the words of Ricky Ricardo -- that hero of investigative journalists everywhere -- I expect that Ms. Matsui has got some 'splainin' to do.

UPDATE 1:35 p.m.: Sigh. If a blogger breaks news and nobody links it, is it really news?

Tuesday night at, Eric Hogue asked, "Where is the media?" I've got a better question than that: "Where are Republicans?"

For months, I've complained about the cluelessness of Republican media operatives, and this is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. For some reason (and I say it's because almost nobody in the GOP has ever worked in an actual newsroom) these people seem incapable of judging "news value."

There is an observable tendency among GOP media operatives toward a talking-points approach to news: "I'll push the stories that the RNC, etc., want me to push." And then there is the star-system approach to news: "If it's on Drudge or Limbaugh or Fox News, then it must be important -- and to hell with everything else." But why bother repeating what I've already said so often before? Nobody's paying attention.

So here is Eric Hogue, pointing to definite indications of political influence in the firing of Gerald Walpin, and . . . nothing. That IG-Gate Update has been online at the American Spectator since 10:34 a.m., and except for Bob Belvedere, nobody is in the conservative blogosphere has even noticed.

Next time I run into some overpaid "Web 2.0" guru who tries to lecture me about why the GOP sucks at New Media, I'll turn around and walk away. This is the only alternative to punching his fucking lights out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's a Good Thing I'm Married . . .

. . . otherwise, Christina Hendricks would have to take out a restraining order to keep me away.

Deuce Geary is also married, to a wonderful woman who doesn't mind the drool-inducing effect of the Mad Men star's interview in the August issue of Redbook, wherein everybody's favorite redhead* answers the inevitable carpet/drapes question.

Exit Question: What's up with the near-universal male obsession with natural redheads?

* With apologies to Molly Ringwald. You know I still love you, Molly.

Side-effects of IG-Gate reporting

by Smitty

Stacy is going full tilt boogie on IG-Gate. He's casting it all in terms of beat reporting and shoe leather. All certainly true. However, DC is not just any town, and even the most hard-boiled, hard-working, hard-headed reporter has to demonstrate a certain savoir faire. We understand, support and accept this.

Unfortunately, Stacy's mandatory grooming ministrations seem to be raising ire in some quarters.

Daphne, you indulgence is sought in these important matters.

The basic problem with ObamaCare . . .

. . . or, rather, with all proposals for increased government involvement in health care, is what I call The National Endowment Fallacy.

Back in the 1990s, during the fights over National Endowment for the Arts funding for Robert Mapplethorpe and other arguably obscene artists, the unasked question was, "Why do we need the NEA?"

What are the premises of the arguments for the existence of the NEA? Why not end this debate over which artists should or should not receive NEA grants and, instead, elimate the NEA altogether?"

The NEA didn't even exist prior to 1965, which means that the United States managed to survive without federally funded art for 189 years. But did the lack of federal funding mean there was no art?

Of course not. Yet if you criticize the NEA, you will be accused of being anti-art, as if "federally funded art" and "art" were coterminous categories and, without federal funding, art would cease to be produced.

Similarly, if you listen to Obama or other liberals discuss health care, you will soon discover that they have smuggled into the argument the hidden premise that no one can receive health care without health insurance. Therefore, the 40-odd-million "uninsured" represent a crisis, and government is the only solution to this crisis (or to anything else liberals consider to be a crisis).

Thus, the argument involves a false dilemma: Either the federal government must take action -- involving expenditure of tax dollars and various coercive regulations -- or else there will be no health care, at least for the "uninsured" who constitute the canary-in-the-coal-mine of the liberal argument against private-sector provision of health care.

Government is already massively involved in health care -- not merely via Medicare and Medicaid, but also by numerous federal regulations -- so then all that we are currently arguing about is whether government should become even more involved.

Remember that Medicare and Medicaid, like the NEA, didn't even exist until 1965, so it isn't as if government provision of health care were an absolute necessity. Our nation existed and flourished for many, many years prior to any significant federal involvement in health care.

Why, then, in 2009, are we being lectured that "doing nothing is not an option"? That there are problems in the system, any reasonable person would grant. But is the only alternative to "doing nothing" a massively expensive Rube Goldberg contraption like what is now being debated in Congress? Must we either endorse doing this or be labeled advocates of "doing nothing"?

Am I anti-health? If I criticize the federal food stamps program, am I anti-food? Or, rather, pro-hunger?

What we have here is not so much a failure of health care, but a failure of logic. And I resent being lectured by people who always base their arguments in such fallacies and false premises.

Hey, has anybody ever noticed that
Chris Matthews is a moron?

The TV in my office is an old 13" portable and the only cable news channel I can get is MSNBC. So I'm sitting here working on an article for the American Spectator (subscribe now) and the TV's on MSNBC, where they're doing the preview for President Obama's health-care press conference.

The panel is Howard Fineman of Newsweek, Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews. First of all, one notices in their discussion is an absolute absence of balance or objectivity. The fundamental premises, unspoken but clearly shared by all the participants, is that health care "reform" is necessary, that something must be done, that what the president has proposed is generally the kind of "reform" needed, and that therefore the only thing to be debated is, "How can the president get Congress to agree to his proposal?"

In other words, it is an entirely false debate. And, just before they went to a commercial break, Matthews said something extraordinarily stupid, even for him:

Something must be done about health care, he said, "or this society's not going to hold together."


Of course, we all remember the tragic HMO riots of 1999, the deadly terrorist attacks by the pharmaceutical lobby, the ongoing carnage in urban America caused by rival gangs of health-insurance lobbyists. The prospect of more such violent turmoil is surely what Matthews had in mind.

Keith Olbermann is an evil maniac, but at least he is not as consistently jaw-dropping stupid as Matthews.

UPDATE: Regarding the press conference, Jim Geraghty has a "Straw Man Bingo" card from the Senate Republicans, and notes some of the routine rhetorical tropes of Obama-ese:
"We inherited these problems"; "the alternative is to do nothing"; "Let me be clear"; "Can’t get distracted by . . ."; and finally, "As you know, I’ve consistently said," usually used when announcing a change in position.
He left out "I get letters . . ." And for some reason, all of these letters are from people tragically and unjustly suffering because Obama can't get what Obama wants.

UPDATE II: I'm listening to Obama answering questions in this news conference and thinking, "Take away his Teleprompter, and you take away his magic." He just did an example of "the red pill and the blue pill," which are equally effective but of different prices, but which the current health-system does not "incentivize" the thrifty choice.

Right. We all know how federal control incentivizes thrift!

Matthew Yglesias has a sperm problem

Or, at least, he's worried he might have a sperm problem, after reading environmentalist scare stuff about declining fertility. Let's think about this.

Yglesias = 0 children.

Me = 6 children.

Why is this a "problem"? I'm just sayin' . . .

Saturday in Richmond: Liberty 101

Got an e-mail this afternoon from Mickey White of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots, with details of Saturday's "Liberty 101" event at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds, where I'll be speaking on the main stage, along with Edward Cline, Tito "The Builder" Munoz, Pat Webb, John Taylor, Jamie Radtke, Tabitha Hale, Benjamin Marchi, Dr. John Lewis and Adnan Barqawi.

There will also be educational seminars featuring Philip Van Cleave, Jeff Horgan, Ned Ryun, Donna Holt, John Taylor, Roger Pogge and Paul Saunders.

Don't miss this one, folks -- RSVP!

Cato Institute rolls out ad against
ObamaCare: 'Your New Doctor?'

Just got the news via e-mail:
Cato is launching a massive ad campaign that will run in major papers across the country that voices strong concerns about the Democrats’ health care reform proposal. We have a new site for the campaign to spread the word about stopping government takeover of the health care system. We are also running radio ads that are playing in major cities across the country.
Newspaper ad (PDF). Radio ad:

Here's the Web page where you can learn more, and bloggers can get widgets to embed on your site.

Peggy Noonan, 'Rapidly Aging Shrew'?

So says my friend Joe at NovaTownhall, who's riffing off Ace, who's linking something about Sarah Palin.

Aren't we all "rapidly aging"? Is Peggy's presence on the cusp of dowager/crone status really relevant to her attacks on Palin? Can anyone think of a better insult for Noonan, one that doesn't imply a general disdain for all Women Of A Certain Age? Because there are plenty of women Noonan's age who still have teh sexy.

'Transparency' Looks a Lot Like Hell

At least for George Madison, nominated by President Obama to be general counsel for the Department of the Treasury, which means a hearing tomorrow morning with the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has a few questions for the luckless bastard . . .

ObamaCare: Health Rationing for Americans, Not for Illegal Aliens

Michelle Malkin's new column:
Big Nanny Democrats want to ration health care for everyone in America — except those who break our immigration laws. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee defeated an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from using the so-called "public health insurance option." Every Democrat on the panel voted against the measure. . . .
At a time when Democratic leaders are pushing rationed care in a world of limited resources, Americans might wonder where the call for shared sacrifice is from illegal immigrant patients like those in Los Angeles getting free liver and kidney transplants at UCLA Medical Center. "I'm just mad," illegal alien Jose Lopez told the Los Angeles Times last year after receiving two taxpayer-subsidized liver transplants while impatiently awaiting approval for state health insurance.
Now, multiply that sense of entitlement by 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants. Welcome to the open-borders Obamacare nightmare.
Read the whole thing. And let me remind you that Michelle Malkin is author of the new blockbuster Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies, also known as Best. Book. Evah! (With apologies to any of my friends who forgot to thank me for "invaluable writerly advice" in their books.)

Rule 3 on IG-Gate (Plus, Notes for
Newbies on Aggregation Method)

There's a Memeorandum thread this morning linking the Hot Air IG-Gate Update, which got Instalanched. and is also linked by Frugal Cafe. Note that the Memeorandum thread also includes Joe Weber's Washington Times interview with fired AmeriCorps IG Gerald Walpin:
"For a second I was thinking, 'Why do I need all of this?' I'll just resign and go back to my good legal practice in New York," Gerald Walpin told The Washington Times' "America's Morning News" radio show Tuesday.
"But I would then be part of the apparatus that is totally torpedoing the inspectors general," Mr. Walpin said. "The watchdog would not really be a watchdog. He'd just be afraid of his shadow." . . .
That's new stuff, see? It was linked together with the IG-Gate Update in a post at Right Wing News. If several different blogs aggregate that stuff together, it creates sort of a center of gravity in the 'sphere that is picked up by the Memeorandum algorithm.

And the Right Wing News post also includes today's Washington Post story about Neil Barofsky -- SIGTARP, special inspector general for the TARP bailout -- who raised hell on Capitol Hill yesterday. As of 7 a.m., that story was not included in the Memeorandum thread, but given that Sen. Chuck Grassley has been defending Barofsky's office against Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, (see Grassley's June 17 letter to Geithner in PDF) it's very much part of the same story.

Building up a Memeorandum thread, with everybody commenting on the same news stories and cross-linking, is what Rule 3 is about. Newbies should always hat-tip Memeorandum when they do this. Even if the increase in your traffic is not immediately significant, every time somebody links your blog, it boosts your Technorati ranking -- you did remember to install Technorati, right? -- and, eventually, you'll be showing up on Memeorandum's radar.

Think of it this way: When one dog in the neighborhood starts barking, they all start barking. That's why Jimmie Bise dubbed us The Million Hit Squad.

If you need more background on the IG-Gate story, try the Mother of All Updates.

UPDATE: Yet more juicy SIGTARP goodness:
Barofsky testified that taxpayers aren't being told what most TARP recipients are doing with their money or what their investments are worth and may never be told exactly how their taxpayer dollars are being used.
At a Government Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, one lawmaker compared Treasury to convicted Ponzi scheme artist Bernie Madoff, accused Treasury of trying to undermine Barofsky's independence and threatened to haul Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner before the panel if he didn’t adopt the IG's recommendations.
“For us to get past this economic situation that we find ourselves in, the public has to believe that we’re doing the right thing,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). “If we can’t show them that we are doing the right thing with their money, we’re going to have problems." (Emphasis added.)
When Democrats start talking like that, you know it spells trouble for Geithner.

UPDATE II: Text of closing statement by Chairman Towns:
Earnings at the largest banks and the bank holding companies such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are up, yet lending remains down. It is unacceptable that profits go up, while lending goes down. The taxpayers have invested very large amounts of money in these banks, but what have we gotten in return? It remains unclear.
The taxpayers deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent.
The Treasury Department needs to publish full and detailed information on the use of TARP funds and publish the value of the TARP portfolio on a monthly basis. They have that information and they should make it public.
Moreover, Treasury also requires the largest banks to file monthly reports showing the dollar value of their new lending. That should be made public also.
If Treasury doesn’t put this information up on its website, this Committee will. And if Treasury doesn’t turn over this information voluntarily, Secretary Geithner will be brought before the Committee to explain.
What we have heard today convinces me that one of the best things Congress did when it created the TARP was to also create the Special Inspector General to oversee TARP spending. I can now understand why the Treasury Department would like to rein in the SIGTARP. But we are not going to let that happen.

UPDATE III: Just got off the phone with a source on Capitol Hill who tells me yesterday's Hot Air IG-Gate Update is a big hit with Republicans. Speaking of Republicans, here's Rep. Darrell Issa:
The Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) Neil Barofsky testified today at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the Treasury Department has "repeatedly failed" to implement SIGTARP recommendations that would reveal how Treasury is using taxpayer dollars. At the conclusion of the hearing, Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked Chairman Towns to bring Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner before the Committee to address the questions raised by SIGTARP’s report. . . .
"We heard today that full transparency, which we called for, the President asked for and this Administration promised, is being blocked by the bureaucracy which often says ‘just trust and we will deliver,’” Issa said. "Until we have full transparency, we will never be able to know how much risk Treasury is assuming on behalf of the taxpayers. This Administration promised an 'unprecedented' level of accountability and transparency. They set their own standard. Now we're going to hold them to it."
Click here for Issa's statement.
Click here for Neil Barofsky's testimony.
Click here for a copy of the SIGTARP Report.