Saturday, December 5, 2009

More dangerous than, say, a $12T debt?

by Smitty (h/t HotAir)

I'd like to pose a few questions to Frederic Mishkin,

the elite fellow quoted by Bloomberg:
U.S. Representative Ron Paul’s proposal to allow audits of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy is "incredibly dangerous" and could stoke inflation, said Frederic Mishkin, a former Fed governor.

"The Ron Paul bill is incredibly dangerous," said Mishkin, who is now a Columbia University professor, in a Bloomberg Radio interview. "It is remarkable the kind of attacks that are occurring on Fed independence."
Here is a small set of questions:
  • How much power given to unelected officials is 'too much'?
  • Why should a power such as the Federal Reserve exist without an explicit Constitutional Amendment to support it?
  • Why is the view that the Federal Reserve is an undemocratic cartel 'remarkable'?
  • How specifically would you refute the claims of the Austrian Economists who argue that you and your ilk preach, more or less, Economic Global Warming?
May Fortune bless the efforts of Representative Paul, Mr. Mishkin. 2013 shall mark a century since the bluff of you and your cronies should have been called. Inflation? Bring it on, Mike Foxtrot: better a period of suffering now than enslavement to the condescending elite.

'Bama wins, Tim Tebow cries

Sorry to ruin your Heisman hopes, man:

Somebody needs to ask the Climate Research Unit to investigate this claim: Tim Tebow's tears cure cancer.

Also, I agree: If Mark Ingram doesn't win the Heisman Trophy, it's racism.

UPDATE: Carol at No Sheeples Here:

Indeed, the chomplessness of the Gators shocked me. Tebow is a great quarterback and, after his performance in last year's SEC title game, I thought he was unbeatable. However, as someone said, "Tebow might be able to walk on water, but he can't run on the Tide."

Which was what it came down to, really. Alabama assigned linebacker Orlando McClain to stop Tebow from running the ball on the option or scrambles. Give Nick Saban credit for choosing to receive the opening kickoff (he usually defers), so that the Tide offense got the chance to show it could move the ball on Florida. Once 'Bama took an early lead, the Gators were forced to play catch-up and the dynamics of the game changed.

While RB Mark Ingram and QB Greg McElroy will get most of the credit, it was a team victory for Alabama. McElroy hit four different receivers -- Marquis Maze, Ingram, Corey Peek and Julio Jones -- and Ingram's 113 yards rushing were less than half of 'Bama's 260 total rushing yards. The Tide's offensive line was excellent, and the defense produced some of the most exciting plays of the game, including Javiera Arenas' game-clinching interception.

If Alabama could beat Florida, they should have no problem with Texas on Jan. 7 in Pasadena. Longhorns QB Colt McCoy -- damn, that's a great name for a Texas quarterback, isn't it? -- was decidedly unimpressive against Nebraska. His inept management of the clock on the final drive nearly cost the 'Horns the game. Texas fans will say, "A win is a win," and that's true. But Texas only rushed for 18 yards against Nebraska and the Longhorns' offensive line allowed their quarterback to be sacked repeatedly.

Both Tim Tebow and Corey Colt lost their shot at the Heisman Trophy last night. Alabama's never had a Heisman. If Mark Ingram doesn't get the Heisman now, I'd join any Heisman protest Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would care to lead.

Episcopalian: The Gay Religion

They can't help it. They were born Episcopalian:
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles today elected the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted a ban that sought to bar gays and lesbians from the church's highest ordained ministry.
Clergy and lay leaders, meeting in Riverside for their annual convention, elected the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55, who has been in a committed relationship with another woman since 1988. Another gay candidate, the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco, withdrew late Friday.
They haven't actually banned breeders from membership yet, but why bother? No heterosexual has applied for membership in years.

The typical Episcopal church nowadays has more lesbians than the LPGA and more gay men than the first five rows at a Bette Midler concert.

(Via Memeorandum.)

1 Kilopost

by Smitty

Obi's Sister celebrates great 1000 posts. Keep going!

Roll, Tide, Roll!

It's the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide vs. the University of Evil, featuring QB Tim Tebow. Video preview at

Despite their 12-0 record, 'Bama is the underdog in the SEC championship game on CBS. Even I, a fan so faithful that I have been known to break down in tears at the sound of the Alabama fight song, have little hope that the Tide can win today.

A 'Bama win would be a miracle, a sign from God, the college football equivalent of In Hoc Signo Vinces.

Politics pales in signficance when compared to the cosmic consequences at stake in this immortal conflict. But did I mention that Obama is rooting for the Gators?

Just sayin' . . .

UPDATE 7:35 p.m.: With less than 5 minutes left, Alabama leads 32-13. Pasadena, baby! Hit the tip jar!

UPDATE 7:55 p.m.: "Remember the Rose Bowl We'll Win Then!"

UPDATE 8:05 p.m.: Ladies and gentlemen, the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band!

Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide!
Every 'Bama man's behind you,
Hit your stride.
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken,
That's a shame!
For Bama's pluck and grit have
Writ her name in Crimson flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on men!
Remember the Rose Bowl, we'll win then.
So roll on to victory,
Hit your stride,
You're Dixie's football pride, Crimson Tide!

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: Carol at No Sheeples Here is also a 'Bama fan. Condolences to Doug at Daley Gator. Got to be a hard thing to watch your quarterback cry on national TV.

I just got off the phone with my older brother Kirby, who had a quadruple bypass two years ago. Kirby said, "I remembered to take my heart medication before the game this week. Last week at halftime of that Auburn game, I felt my chest start tightening up and said, 'Oh, crap, I forgot to take my medicine!'"

Victory is good for whatever ails you.

UPDATE 10:10 p.m.: A fellow Southerner sent me an e-mail reminiscing about the Bear Bryant era, when he attended college up north:
But in those days, my classmates were good guys, but Yankees. I'd spend the holidays in Philly with my friends, and watch The Bear battle Penn State and Notre Dame for the national championship (my classmates were also Catholic, and the Irish were their Boys).
I sent him back an e-mail message:
The Crimson Tide was to the South what Notre Dame was to Catholics.
Kind of makes you feel sorry for Notre Dame fans. One of these days they're going to die and go to heaven and be shocked to discover that God wears a houndstooth hat and smokes unfiltered Chesterfields.
Of course, being the merciful being he is, God won't ban them to Hell.
That's for Auburn fans.
If anyone wants to accuse me of anti-Auburnism, I plead guilty.

Max Baucus joke contest

Da Tech Guy: "He must be familiar with her briefs and vice versa." Yes, the jokes do write themselves:
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ office confirmed late Friday night that the Montana Democrat was carrying on an affair with his state office director, Melodee Hanes, when he nominated her to be U.S. attorney in Montana.
According to a source familiar with their relationship, Hanes and Baucus began their relationship in the summer of 2008 – nearly a year before Baucus and his wife, Wanda, divorced in April 2009. The Senator had informally separated from his wife in March 2008 and they were living apart when he began dating Hanes, according to Baucus’ office.
(Via Memeorandum.) Baucus had Melodee on his staff.

What was Melodee's position? Sometimes missionary, sometimes cowgirl, sometimes doggie . . .

One of Max's Senate colleagues was frustrated that a committee investigation was not producing results. "Why can't we get to the bottom of this?" the colleague asked, which prompted Baucus to reply, "That's what Melodee said to me last night!"

Add your own jokes.

UPDATE: Left Coast Rebels has photos of Melodee Hanes and . . . Dude. She's not even that hot.

She's not bad if you've got a middle-aged lawyer lady festish, I guess. But for crying out loud, you're a United States Senator, sir!

You are not only bringing shame on your office, Senator Baucus, but you're a disagrace to the adulterous traditions of the Democratic Party. You're only supposed to have affairs with idealistic young aides who care so much for the progressive cause that they don't mind signing false affidavits to protect you from scandal, or being left to die when you get drunk and drive a car off a bridge.

UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers!

When I forget to say thanks

Nothing hurts worse than ingratitude. God loves a thankful heart, and it is with regret that I must acknowledge my own failure to make appropriate expressions of my gratitude for all His many gifts.

Chief among God's grace toward me has been the "angels unawares" sent my way, including Smitty -- who deserves more far more praise than he gets -- and those of my readers who have hit my tip jar. When I first started getting tip-jar hits, I scrupulously replied with thank-you e-mails, and those who included their phone numbers on the PayPal form could expect a phone call.

More recently, however -- especially since the Charles Johnson affair -- things have piled up horribly here. My e-mail inbox constantly overflows, and then there has been the travel: The shoe-leather trips to D.C. to cover IG-Gate, Right Online conference, the 9/12 March, the Kentucky trip, NY23 and the Orlando trip for the last stop of the Tea Party Express.

Of the many things that have been neglected and back-burnered during this time, the one thing I should not have shunted aside was my obligation to say thank-you to everyone who, by their regular readership and tip-jar contributions, have helped make all this possible. And today I got an e-mail that included a pointed P.S.:
I still haven't gotten an acknowledgment for a $40 tip jar hit some months back.
Mea culpa. I like to say, "Hit the tip jar, your ungrateful bastards," but it appears that I have been the ungrateful bastard.

There are no accidents. I probably don't read a single-digit percent of the e-mail that comes into my inbox, but I read that one. My priorities have evidently been misplaced, and I take this e-mail as God's way of tapping me on the shoulder and telling me to pay attention to duties I have too long neglected.

The e-mailer is also right about the main point of his message: The center column is too narrow.

Among the duties I've neglected is trying to get this operation shaped up format-wise. Several people -- including Jimmie Bise and Cynthia Yockey -- have suggested I need to switch to a WordPress format. But I put it off because I hate dealing with that kind of housekeeping stuff.

No more. In the next few weeks, I'm going to do a WordPress changeover, and hope to have it complete it by New Year's Day. And if you like this idea . . .

Well, hit the tip jar of a grateful bastard. Thanks for tapping me on the shoulder, God.

Andy and the Amazing Astonishing Tale

In his most recent attack on Sarah Palin, Sully recycles one of his favorite themes:
On the return flight from Dallas to Alaska, which she says she boarded despite having contractions at eight months . . . the flight attendants on the plane at the time, according to a contemporaneous account in the ADN, had no idea she was even pregnant, let alone in labor of some kind. The questions about this astonishing story are not a function of conspiracy theories and never were. They require no elaborate theory of whose child Trig may actually be. They are simply basic questions anyone would ask of a person who had recounted such an amazing tale. And yet not a single journalist has done so.
How many times has Sully made these claims? And how many times have other journalists said they looked into it and found nothing worthy of further investigation?

Sully calls Palin's account of her labor "astonishing" and "amazing." Palin's book has sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and the majority of those buyers were women. Do any of them find anything suspicious about Palin's version of giving birth to her fifth child?

Some of Palin's critics have found fault with her for traveling to Dallas when she was so near her due date, and have criticized her decision to fly back to Alaska when labor began, rather than to seek treatment in Dallas. Yet there are many other women who react to that story differently: For obvious reasons, any woman would prefer to be treated by her own OB-GYN, rather than seek treatment in an emergency room in a distant city. Palin's urge to return to Alaska for her childbirth doesn't seem remotely "astonishing" or "amazing" to them.

That Andrew Sullivan lacks understanding and empathy toward women is old news. And his lack of understanding and empathy toward reporters is also a familiar theme of Sullivan's career. A commenter on a previous post brought up the fact that, in 2003, Sullivan was chief among those demanding that Rick Bragg should be fired. At the time, Craig Henry wrote:
Can someone please explain why Andrew Sullivan is getting a free pass as he rages against Howell Raines and Rick Bragg? He is sitting in judgment and passing harsh sentences. Yet he never mentions that as editor of the New Republic he was conned by both Ruth Shalit (plagiarism) and Stephen Glass (mean spirited fabulist).
Bingo. Why would anyone trust Sullivan's judgement of what constitutes sound reporting? As far as I'm aware, the man has never worked as a news reporter, never so much as covered a school-board meeting or a barn fire.

Now, however, Sully insists that any reporter who isn't demanding access to Sarah Palin's obstetric records is, in effect, part of a conspiracy to suppress The Awful Truth -- whatever that is. Sullivan tends to be a bit nebulous about the shadowy secrets he alleges to be hidden in those files locked away in the offices of Palin's OB-GYN.

While Sully continues playing Javert, let me step into the role of Sherlock Holmes in this mystery, and call attention to the curious incident of the dog that did not bark: Katrina Vanden Heuvel.

The editor of the Nation rushed into print, under the purposefully deceptive title "Going Rouge" a collection of hit-pieces on Palin. Yet despite her obvious political anthipathy to Palin, Katrina Vanden Heuvel has not joined Andrew Sullivan's Trig Truther wild-goose chase, nor do I think she will.

Marxist subversive though she is, Katrina Vanden Heuvel is also a woman and a mother and, as she made clear in her Nov. 24 item "Last Column About Sarah Palin --Ever," she doesn't like the unsubtle misogyny displayed by some of Palin's other enemies.

That column also made oblique reference to "assorted pushers of quackery and psychobabble." C'mon, Katrina: Name names.

No irony could possibly be more delicious than if Katrina Vanden Heuvel were to throw Sully and his Trig Truther posse under the Left's bus.

Sullivan claims to be a conservative, if only as a pretext for denouncing conservatives as deviating from the True Faith practiced by dope-smoking gay Catholics. Why shouldn't the Nation take Sully at his word and denounce him as they would any other conservative?

Finally, Mr. Johnson Retreats Ad Infernam

by Smitty

This weeks FMJRA title celebrates a mad blogger, who really doesn't merit the attention, but that was the best backronym I could derive for the topics at hand. The Most Atrocious Congress Ever continues to pile on the nonsense. Cops are slain, but the political ramifications are somehow painted as more significant. The interview with American Glob was well received. And the mainstream media silence on Warmaquiddick just keeps getting more absurd. The Smith Guess is that BHO is going to sign some kind of middle-finger-to-you document. He's bowed to two monarchs thus far. If he, for one, bowed to the new AGW Overlord, that would round out the rule of three well enough.

I'll be out for the day, so check this post Saturday night for some updates. Bob Belvedere is conspicuous in his absinthe.

Update: Rightofcourse, Obi's Sister and The Camp of the Saints added.

Crap & Enslave:
  • Rhretorican echoed Stacy's hope that Warmaquiddick will kill Cap & Trade. Zombie Troll Congress does not inspire much confidence, however. Random pages from one bill could be cut and pasted into another bill at odd hours on a Friday. It would be great to be making a joke on this point.
  • Left Coast Rebel hat tipped us.
The Purity Test: Did You Study? Tyger, Tyger, no' so bright: I'm Almost a Ron Burgundy 'Big Deal' Now:
Genuinely pleasant feedback on the American Glob interview.
  • Mike Tuggle wrote an appreciative email, mentioning his book, which I promptly added to the wish list.
  • Paco Enterprises linked the interview.
  • Dustbury quoted the interview.
  • No Sheeples Here made me blush. Burgundy, of course.
  • Bob Belvedere expressed appreciation for inclusion in the suggested follow-up list, and dismay at the proximity with the Troglopundit. Can't we all just get a long...?
Four Officers, Maurice Clemmons Dead. Huckabee, DEADBEEF:
  • American Power covered Maurice Clemmons well, granting Stacy top billing.
  • Paco Enterprises noted the story.
  • Bob Belvedere to Gov. Huckabee: "How many more ticking timebomb psychos are out there free because of you and your supremely wrong-headed compassion?"
I'd Say This Counts as a 'Blog Thing':
  • Grandpa John and No Sheeples Here have a 'blog thing' going on. There is really only one college football game, the Army/Navy Game. All else is window dressing.
  • No Sheeples Here is as serious as a campaign promise is not: "Never before has a blog post by Steve of Grandpa John’s blog felt as false as his Tuesday post announcing his new strategy for the blog war against No Sheeples Here. It seemed like Obama campaign rhetoric—and left both Gator fans and ‘Bama fans feeling distraught."
  • Mind the decorum over there, people.
Hopefully Charles Johnson Soared Far Enough Over the Shark, and We Never Hear From Him Again:
  • Jules Crittenden rounded up reactions:
  • "apparently it works like this: If you disagree with any element of half of the American body politic, you disagree with the whole thing. This makes you saner, more compassionate, more embracing of diversity. Probably smarter, too."
  • Another Black Conservative had another roundup.
  • RS McCain literally put Another Black Conservative on the map. His blog was the first major blog to link ABC when I was getting less than 100 hits a day. Bringing a black voice to wider audience doesn’t strike me as the actions of the white supremacist label Charles smears McCain with.
    Also, you write a great blog, Clifton.
  • Exurban League had a thoughtful posting on LGF.
  • The Classic Liberal tracked Stacy along with some climate stories.
  • American Power was out to grab every related URL, it seems.
  • Carol's Closet: "I've never paid much attention to Charlie but apparently he's been cutting his ties with the Right for almost as long as he's had ties with the Right."
  • The Jawa Report spells Stacy's name like my sister's, but delivers a good fisking nonetheless.
  • Paco Enterprises: "Aunt Ada Doom".
  • The Camp of the Saints may have put the pussy in there for symbolic value; he's never been a cat-blogger to my knowledge.
Shout at the Data!
  • Rightofcourse sounded hurt by my judgement that Mötley Crüe is 'dreck'. Did you read those lyrics, boss? Any less coherent, and Robert Gibbs would use them in lieu of his dreck. Rightofcourse followed up here about the dumped raw data.RoC did spring into action with the Laurel & Hardy variant.
  • Dan Riehl may have vomited in his mouth a bit, again. My posting should consider his tender stomach more often.
  • SI VIS PACEM offered us a hat-tip.
  • No Sheeples Here had a pole-dancing bear to celebrate the farce.
  • Paco Enterprises liked the Piltdown Man reference more than my parody tune. But Paco is a little too respectable for metal, anyway.
Other FMJRA roundups: Kathleen Parker 'Love':Waxman and the Need to Control Everything:
  • Bob Belvedere linked us and quoted the Clash:
    When they kick in your front door
    How ya gonna come
    With your hands on your head
    Or on the trigger of your gun?
  • Instapudit linked the Waxman post. Troglopundit bloviates about how we're not linking Insty. Trog sounds like he's in search of employment. You ready to get out of the Swamp and step up to the Porch, mister?
Miscellaneous Shouts:
  • No Sheeples Here liked the Paper Moon reference on the Weisberg post.
  • The Classic Liberal picked up the Federal-Reserve-as-vampire offering.
  • Little Miss Attila liked the Neutra Face video I sent her.
  • Dustbury had at least two cheeky puns for Stacy's reaction to the tragic/absurd demise of Argentina Solange Magnano.
  • Obi's Sister remembered the Rules while elaborating on her comments policy.
  • Rightofcourse linke the Mark Campano post.
  • Bob Belvedere linked and liked the ZING for Chris "Enemy Camp" Matthews. He also picked up Stacy's tweaking of Karl Rove.
I'm off doing the Weekend Warrior thing. Do send me updates, additions, and corrections. If you sent me links, I'll be updating tonight, as well as producing the Rule 5 Sunday post.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A: 'I think it’s a fair question'

by Smitty

Now if the question has the form: "Is it possible that the Climate Research Unit is playing games with the research?" then you're cool.

However, if the question is along the lines of: "What if other people make Barack Obama's birth certificate an issue?" then Rick Moran thinks you may be among the "simpletons and paranoid conspiracy freaks".

Re-read the quoted section of the interview, Rick, emphasis mine:
Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?

I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t know if I would have to bother to make it an issue ’cause I think there are enough members of the electorate who still want answers.

Do you think it’s a fair question to be looking at?

I think it’s a fair question, just like I think past associations and past voting record — all of that is fair game. You know, I’ve got to tell you, too: I think our campaign, the McCain/Palin campaign didn’t do a good enough job in that area. We didn’t call out Obama and some of his associates on their records and what their beliefs were and perhaps what their future plans were. And I don’t think that that was fair to voters to not have done our jobs as candidates and as a campaign to bring to light a lot of the things that now we’re seeing made manifest in the administration.
For the record, (and I can't say whether Stacy would agree), the galactic coordinates where Barack Obama first drew breath have got to be the least important Constitutional threat at the moment. There are 12 trillion+ more sinister dangers (i.e., the national debt), than the question of whether Barack was born on Mars or in Hawaii. Even if you could conclusively prove otherwise, you'd require all three branches of the Federal government to admit they utterly tubed it when they installed BHO. So really, this isn't an issue likely to bear fruit, and therefore isn't worthy of attention.

Sarah gave it no attention. Can't you see that she's leaving it to "a small subset of the entire electorate cares?" She hasn't said anything more than "it's all fair game"
They are missing the point. Sarah Palin has said that these questions are legitimate, that voters have a right to know, and that "a lot" of citizens are concerned about it.

She didn't say what any rational person on the right or left believes: that questions about the president's birth have been settled by the state of Hawaii, that only a very small group of citizens are even concerned about the issue, and that an equally small number of people were even aware of the ridiculous controversy over Trig's origins.
Why, Rick, should she listen to you, me, or any other purportedly "rational person on the right"?

If anything, Sarah's biggest crime would seem to be cribbing from BHO's own playbook: leaving minions to do the rough work like pursue a birth certificate controversy, or a $400 haircut.

Maybe I'm in your "cotton candy conservative" category:
There is much wrong with many inside the beltway conservatives. I agree that they should be castigated for their hypocrisy; running as pious conservatives back home while playing fast and loose with conservative principles in DC. Such cynicism should be punished severely and I have no qualms about taking them to the woodshed for their sins.

But the world looks a little more complex to the "elites" than it does to most conservatives. In fact, many on the right reject complexity entirely, seeing it as just another excuse for a lack of adherence to principles among establishment conservatives, and others like Friedersdorf. It is their lack of fervency that is suspect, not necessarily any deviation from principle that riles the critics. That, and a slightly different interpretation of what "conservatism" is all about, convicts establishment righties of the crime of "not being conservative enough," and thus a target of the true believers.
So, Rick, if we can agree that every challenge, at a certain point in time, has some level of complexity, maybe we can agree that obfuscating is worse than oversimplifying. You can always add bureaucrats. Unlike a Danish whore, however, prostitutes of the organization chart nature won't go down or go away easily. They will, however, cook the books any way necessary to fulfill that great line from Civ IV: "The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding bureaucracy."

Chatting with Stacy today, I threw out the idea that the Democrats are the Harlem Globetrotters, and the Republicans are the Washington Generals. The pressing question of American politics is not whether we like the Globetrotters over the Generals, but rather whether we think this last century of exhibition basketball, with its debt, deficits, incumbency, and socialism, is the preferred governmental sporting model. Lefties and moderates take turns cheering for the Globetrotters and Generals, since the Progressives sold us this exhibition basketball shinola.

Has Sarah Palin offered a substantial alternative to exhibition basketball? No. She started her national phase as a VP nominee for a Progressive, moderate squish of a presidential ticket. Since then, she's given us a ghosted book, of which I haven't read enough to comment. Posts responding to yours about Sarah are by no means a gushing endorsement.

The problem is, unless the GOP — and that includes Rush Limbaugh and the other cotton candy conservatives who wield a lot of influence — stand up and denounce her in no uncertain terms, birtherism will have gone completely mainstream in the Republican Party. If that happens, you might want to forget about any significant gains at the polls for the GOP in 2010.

By her stupidity, she is now going to force every GOP candidate for the House and Senate to come out and declare whether they are birther nuts or not. Even if they’re not, being forced to answer in the first place makes the party look even kookier than it has to this point in time. You can bet Democratic opponents of Republican candidates will be asking whether they agree with Palin or not — and they will do it every chance they get. The press will gleefully repeat the question, no matter how many times the GOP candidate answers it.

What a sad, tragic, maddening turn of events.
Short: No.
Medium: You're headed for Sullivan territory.
Long: Your bogus presumption of mainstreaming has led to an unhinged conclusion about the direction of the debate.

My suspicion is that you're deriving great traffic from extrapolating far-fetched conclusions from simple statements. I admire your capitalism, sir. Also, do you think Mitt Romney a viable 2012 Republican candidate? I figure that you must, given his suave executive demeanor.

In the meantime, Dr. Smith prescribes moderate exercise for all the tension coming through your posts. Also, a healthy diet.

UPDATE: Dan Riehl has a more reasonable response than Rick Moran's.

UPDATE II (RSM): As Smitty mentioned in his American Glob interview, the risk of a blog partnership is that you sometimes work at cross-purposes. Just the other night, as I recall, I warned Smitty not to give into his temptation to whack the Rick Moran tar-baby. And while he was working on this post, I was working on a post -- which I may yet decide to publish -- whacking a better target: Andrew Sullivan. But never mind that right now.

In my opinion, Sarah Palin gave the wrong answer to Rusty Humphrey's question. I don't know if I've been interviewed on Rusty's show before -- I did a lot of talk radio while promoting Donkey Cons in 2006 -- and certainly have no more desire to attack him than I do to attack Palin.

However, Rusty's question was as misguided as Palin's answer. As I've said before, there is simply no political payoff to Birtherism. If and when conservative score political victories in 2010 or 2012, it won't be because somebody's found a "smoking gun" about the circumstances of Obama's birth. Instead of asking questions about a birth certificate, conservatives need to be asking questions that don't lead into a cul-de-sac of fruitless speculation.

We might say something similar about Smitty and Rick Moran going at one another. Rick's problem, I've surmised, is that he is cued into certain liberal media outlets and has internalized their spin on these kinds of stories. It's a GIGO situation.

I've been on Rick's blog radio show several times and hung out with him at CPAC, and he's always friendly. However, he and I perceive different political realities.

Why? I don't watch much TV, almost never watch the Big Three network news, don't even get CNN on my cable selection, and am always on guard against bias in any news I read. I know nothing about Rick's own news diet, but from the stuff he writes I'm sometimes tempted to think he's listening to NPR, watching Anderson Cooper and reading New Republic. NTTAWWT.

Smitty's problem, on the other hand, is that he's got Rick's blog in his RSS feed, so he sees at least the headline of every post Rick writes and madcap hijinks ensue.

Through long years of writing and editing other writers, I've learned that what you read influences what you write. For example, academic historians are bad writers because most of what they read is the work of other academic historians. And a lot of women journalists write in a lightweight style because they spend too many leisure hours reading novels and women's magazines.

Well, we bloggers have a bad tendency to read too many blogs. We get into the habit of looking for excuses to grab our flamethrowers and incinerate anybody who disagrees with us.

Never mind that this leaves a lot of charred corpses lying around. It also leads to bad writing and pointless arguments that are only interesting to the two guys wielding the flamethrowers.

Smitty is a very nimble writer, so his stuff is interesting to read even in this kind of situation. And I've won a few fans at gladitorial exhibitions of this sort. But . . . eh, I don't know. I've sort of resigned myself to letting Rick Moran be Rick Moran. Is that wrong?

That other 'climate of hate'

Not the Tea Party "rage" hyped up by the Defamation League. Not the phony "Southern populist terrorism" scare that made Andrew Sullivan hysterical with fear. And not the Boston Globe's bogus claim that President Obama has been targeted by a record number of threats.

No, I'm talking about the climate of hate in the real world where, Michelle Malkin reports, police are being gunned down in cold blood:
The Left's police-hating chickens are coming home to roost. While partisan liberals have gone out of their way to blame conservative media and the Tea Party movement for creating a "climate of hate," they are silent on the cultural and literal war on cops that has raged for decades – and escalated tragically this year.
The total number of law enforcement officers shot and killed this year is up 19 percent over last year, according to the Christian Science Monitor. More officers have died in ambush incidents this year than any other since 2000. . . .
Clemmons had told numerous friends and family members to “watch the TV” before the massacre because he was going to “kill a bunch of cops.” The witnesses did worse than nothing. Several have been arrested for actively aiding and abetting Clemmons – with shelter, food, money, and medical aid — before he was discovered in Seattle early Tuesday morning and shot after threatening a patrol officer investigating Clemmons’ stolen vehicle. . . .
Read the whole thing.

Future CBS Kiddie Show Remakes

How to follow up "Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman"?

  • "Rudolph the Syphilitic Reindeer"
  • "Garfield and Odie's Feral Adventure"
  • "Minnie Mouse (Unrated Director's Cut)"
  • "Go Gay, Speed Racer, Go"
  • "Barney the Dinosaur's Secret Playhouse"
  • "Johnny Quest: Spring Break in Daytona"
  • "Hentai Winnie the Pooh"
  • "Barney and Wilma and Fred and Betty"
  • "Judy Jetson's Holiday Lingerie Special"
  • "It's a Threesome, Charlie Brown"
Add your own. Not too explicit. Comments are moderated.

Slow day for Howard Kurtz

The Washington Post's media critic decided to fill up a column by recycling Andrew Sullivan and Charles Johnson, and compounded the error by adding his own political analysis:
The split on the right first became apparent during the Bush years, especially in the second term, when some of those devoted to limited government were appalled by the burgeoning spending and some who had backed the Iraq invasion were disgusted by its bungling.
The divide deepened during last year's campaign when some of the right's most prominent writers and talkers revolted over John McCain's choice of Palin. A few intellectuals such as Christopher Buckley even announced they were voting for Barack Obama.
The dawn of the Obama era might have erased some of these fissures, but the arguments, at least in some quarters, seem to be getting louder. What might seem like a writerly squabble is, to some, a battle for the soul of a movement. . . .
Sigh. Where to begin? Let's get one thing out of the way: Opportunism.

There, I've said it. After Obama beat Hillary for the Democratic nomination and especially after it became apparent John McCain was doomed -- his bailout panic sealed his fate -- some Republicans decided to enhance their images as sophisticated and enlightened beings.

Beholding the evident tsunami for Obama, and supposing that his election heralded an FDR-style paradigm shift in American politics, these opportunists jumped onto the Obama bandwagon. In order to justify the shift, they latched onto a convenient pretext: Sarah Palin.

More fisking is possible and arguably necessary. However (a) I feel like taking a nap, and (b) why should I have all the fun?

Y'all fisk Howard's analysis in the comments. Or not. Maybe you feel like taking a nap, too.

No Sheeples and Mulieris Dignitatem

by Smitty

No Sheeples Here has a splendid 'shop up. She plays the Scooby Doo card on Al Gore over his non-appearance at Carbonhagen. Very well done.

Mulieris Dignitatem is accepting nominations for "The Other McCain Award for Real Conservative Manliness", and has an unusual image of Stacy on display. Not as hirsute as the Al Gore work in the No Sheeples link, but a fuller head than normal.

Party Time With Jenny Beth

Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots is one of the activists featured in Tea Party: The Documentary, which premiered Tuesday in D.C. She's also featured in my column today at The American Spectator:
Jenny Beth Martin didn't set out to become a movie star. Yet Tuesday night at the Ronald Reagan Center amphitheatre, the mom from Georgia was a celebrity at the big-screen premiere of a new film that features a cast of thousands.
Wait -- better make that "hundreds of thousands." . . .
The amazing growth of the movement is highlighted by one of Martin's earliest on-screen appearances, showing her speaking at a Feb. 27 event in Atlanta, where a small crowd turned out on a cold rainy Friday. Martin subsequently explains that she was one of about 20 organizers on a Feb. 20 conference call that led to that first round of Tea Party gatherings, which followed commodities analyst Rick Santelli's now-famous Feb. 19 rant on the CNBC network.
As the film makes clear, however, Santelli's call for a Tea Party protest tapped into a deep vein of discontent that started growing among grassroots conservatives during the Bush administration. The documentary begins with audio of a Dec. 19, 2008, speech by President Bush advocating a bailout for the auto industry: "If we were to allow the free market to take its course now, it would almost certainly lead to disorderly bankruptcy and liquidation for the automakers."
Indeed, although some have characterized the Tea Party movement as motivated entirely by partisan GOP opposition to President Obama, it was Obama's Republican opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who took the lead in advocating passage of the Wall Street bailout in September 2008. . . .
Please read the whole thing.

UPDATE: It's real. And it's spectacular. And I'm not necessarily talking about Pink Elephant Pundit.

Defamation League

Ronald Reagan Award winner Orit Sklar:
The report recently published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) titled Rage Grows in America: Anti-Government Conspiracies unwittingly describes itself, rather than the object of its contempt, in its own opening paragraph: "fueled by paranoia and conspiracy theories."
The report has been all the “rage” in the Obama PR machine -- a.k.a. the mainstream media -- which has exhausted any remaining trace of objectivity by spending a summer and fall crudely mocking average Americans who’ve shown up at town halls and tea parties . . . "Group Finds More Anti-Government Sentiment" on the Caucus blog of the New York Times. "Rage Nation 2.0" on And "Crossing the Lines" on the Jerusalem Post website. . . .
Let’s be clear. This execrable document is not meant to inform; it is meant to stoke the very fear and paranoia it pretends to abhor. . . .
If rage is growing, it's because Americans are waking up to the threat of a White House and a congressional majority intent on exponentially increasing the power of the state and gashing individual liberty. . . .
Under the cloak of exposing "extremism," ADL is exposing its own antipathy toward limited government and individual liberty, especially the First and Second Amendments. A perfect fellow traveler for an administration working overtime for the same. . . .
You should read the whole thing. You should also follow Orit on Twitter.

UPDATE: Jonathan Tobin of Commentary wrote:
For the ADL, the "rage” is the result of a three-headed monster: "mainstream political attacks," "grass roots hostility," and "anti-government extremists." . . .
[T]he word "mainstream" appears in the report in quotes as if to disparage the notion that such opinions are widespread . . .
[A]ccording to the ADL, one of the "most important" motives for criticism of the stimulus package, ObamaCare, appeasement of Iran, dithering over Afghanistan, and Linkperhaps even the president’s confrontational attitude toward Israel is to lay the groundwork for extremist conspiracy theories!
I wrote about the ADL's shanda on Nov. 18. And, BTW, don't fall for the fearmongering hate-hype:
The director of the Secret Service today disputed widely-reported claims that President Obama is receiving more death threats than previous presidents.
At a congressional hearing into the White House security breach that took place last week, when Tareq and Michaele Salahi "crashed" the White House state dinner, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said the current threat level against the president is normal.
"The threats right now ... is the same level as it has been for the previous two presidents at this point in their administrations," Sullivan said.
Hat tip: Old Rebel.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

American Glob's Inagural Blogger Interview--Smitty

by Smitty

American Glob contacted me for an interview. It was both an honor and an occasion to talk about blogging with Stacy, offer a few thoughts about politics, and throw out some biographical tidbits that just haven't come up.

It's easily the best interview you'll ever read, at least until he gets around to Little Miss Attila, The Sundries Shack, Riehl World View, American Power, No Sheeples Here, Paco Enterprises, The Camp of The Saints, Instapundit, Troglopundit, The House of Eratosthenes, A Newly Conservative Lesbian, or the admittedly mysterious Sir Not Appearing On This Internet

Ron Paul on MSNBC

by Smitty

Campaign for Liberty has a clip on its page that I can't locate on YouTube. Quite good. The topic is the possible failure to re-appoint Bernanke at the Fed.

Paul, in a shocking move nearly unheard of in an age of criminally moronic elected officials, makes the larger point: hate the game, not the playuh. Sure, Bernanke and the Federal Reserve are colluding with Congress on bad policy. However, the context will drive anyone in that chair in that direction. Thus, if the context itself doesn't come under scrutiny, all else is a joke.

Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's

by Smitty (h/t Patriot Room)

Also: nearly half of everything is Caesar's.

Somehow one infers that, for those who matter, the 45% estate tax will be another one of those optional things.

Worst. Congress. Ever.

Sad times for The Washington Times

Via Memeorandum, I notice my buddy Jimmie Bise has blogged about the recent sad news at the Washington Times. I left a comment there:
You know, Jimmie, I tendered my resignation in January 2008, two days after they hired the Washington Post's John Solomon to replace Wes Pruden as editor. Right after Solomon's hiring was announced, one of my newsroom colleagues said to me, "If I had wanted to work for a Postie, I would have applied at the %$#&ing Post!"
Exactly -- but that colleague didn't quit. I did. And my decision proved to be the smart move. I got out before things went to hell, which has given me a two-year head start on establishing an independent career online, while most of my former colleagues who haven't already been kicked to the curb soon will be.

Understand this: I never had anything personally or politically against John Solomon, and Dave Bossie (a staunch conservative) described Solomon as a good guy. But I've always felt that any good organization should promote from within, which had been the general policy of the Washington Times.

During my decade-plus at the Times (1997-2008), the top jobs were almost always held by people who had proven their ability and their loyalty through years of hard work for the company. The most notable exception to that policy was when they hired Tony Blankley as editorial page editor and, given Blankley's national reputation, there was not much grumbling about that.

The decision of the newspaper's management to pass over Fran Coombs in favor of Solomon as Wes Pruden's replacement was a mistake. Solomon's subsequent hiring of his Washington Post buddy Jeff Birnbaum as a managing editor was a worse mistake, and hiring USA Today's Barbara Slavin as assistant managing editor was worse still.

With three top newsroom positions filled by recent outside hires, the effective message to the newsroom staff was: "Screw you, you're not good enough to deserve a promotion."

The Disgruntled and Dysfunctional
Like I said, I'm glad I got out before that happened. In any large organization, just about everybody will eventually get passed over for promotion at some time, and it's easy to become disgruntled.

The promotion I got in 2003, from assistant national editor to editor of the "Culture, Etc." page, was not the job I wanted -- I actually begged them not to put me there -- but loyalty is loyalty. And I did such a good job at it as to make myself irreplaceable. (After I left, the new editors eliminated the culture page, which President Bush had praised as his favorite feature in his favorite paper.)

When I was hired at The Washington Times in November 1997, I'd promised my wife I'd only stay three to five years, then parlay that national-level experience into a job at some paper in her native Ohio. Ah, but then there was the Lewinsky scandal, the impeachment, the 2000 election deadlock, 9/11 . . .

How could I walk away from the thrill of being smack-dab in the middle of stuff like that? So I stayed, even if I was stuck in a desk-job that wasn't exactly my cup of tea. In doing so, however, I was violating career the advice I've always given to others: "If you don't move up, move out."

An Ounce of Loyalty
Life is too short to waste time being bitter because you didn't get the promotion you wanted. Either make the best of the job you're in, or else find another company that will recognize and reward your abilities. If you're really good at what you do, you'll success, and the company that failed to make full use of your abilities will regret your departure.

Beyond the general decline of the newspaper business, much of what has gone wrong at The Washington Times was a function of faulty organizational dynamics. The spirit of teamwork was undermined because of a relative handful of spiteful, selfish, disgruntled malcontents who did not heed Elbert Hubbard's wise advice:
If you work for a man, in heaven's name work for him!
If he pays you wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him -- speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him and stand by the institution he represents.
I think if I worked for a man I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of the time, and the rest of the time work against him. I would give an undivided service or none.
If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.
If you must vilify, condemn and eternally disparage, why, resign your position and, when you are outside, damn to your heart's content. But, I pray you, so long as you are a part of an institution, do not condemn it. Not that you will injure the institution -- not that -- but when you disparage the concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself.
There were too many people at the Washington Times -- only a handful, really, but enough to destroy the spirit of effective teamwork -- who thought they knew how to run a newspaper better than Wes Pruden and Fran Coombs knew how to run a newspaper. They have had their way and, as a result, the newspaper has been run into the ground.

It's a crying shame, and it remains to be seen whether The Washington Times can ever again become what it once was: The most important newspaper in the world, providing an invaluable balance to the liberal Post, reporting stories in the nation's capital that would have otherwise been ignored.

Tuckpo Update
Last night, I saw a friend who gave me the latest word on Tucker Carlson's long-delayed They've reportedly gotten a new investment of $3 million and now expect to roll out in January -- at least six months later than Carlson promised in May.

Well, good luck with that, but I'm reminded of a conversation I had this past spring. After seeing what I'd written in the wake of the Culture 11 Hindenberg-at-Lakehurst implosion, I was contacted by guy who is affiliated with a major conservative foundation. He wanted to "pick my brain," as they say, about how an online news operation could be developed, and we talked for more than an hour.

Among other things, I explained that personnel is policy. What went wrong at Culture 11 had a lot to do with the fact that David Kuo was hired to run it. Kuo is a second-rater who couldn't make a profit on the snow-cone franchise in Hell, and there was nothing on his resume to suggest he knew anything about running a news operation. Hire the wrong guy at the top and you'll get bad results every time.

What I told my foundation-funded friend was this: If you're going to start a conservative news operation, the first thing you need to do is to hire Fran Coombs to run it. Nobody in Washington knows how to do it better, and anybody who tells you otherwise is wrong.

That was last spring. Given the subsequent success of, I'd say the second guy you need to hire if you're going to start a conservative news operation is Andrew Breitbart.

Whatever other decisions were subsequently made, any conservative news organization that could combine the Old School journalism savvy of Coombs with the New Media brilliance of Breitbart would be unbeatable. And you wouldn't need seven months and $3 million to make it happen.

As I say, I wish all the luck to But it had better not suck.

Henry Waxman, meet Jenny Beth Martin

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey notes that Rep. Henry Waxman wants taxpayers to bail out newspapers. Having spent 22 years in the newspaper business, you might think I'd be in favor of such a proposal, but I'm not.

Sad as it is for an old newsman to see the industry circling the drain (especially the worsening woes of the Washington Times) I'd go back to driving a forklift before I'd work for a newspaper dependent on bailout money swindled from the taxpayers.

This "gimme" attitude -- that government has an obligation to support us at the expense of our fellow citizens -- is antithetical to liberty. One of the people who rejects that attitude is Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots.

One of the most touching scenes in Tea Party: The Documentary Film shows Jenny Beth and her husband looking at their dream house -- a house they lost to foreclosure last year as the result of a business deal that went bad. But the Martins didn't go looking for a government bailout, and Jenny Beth talked about that in a two-part video interview at last night's premiere:

"When they started talking about the mortgage bailouts, we realized . . . that is not a good thing. If you can't afford your house any longer, you don't need to be in it."
What happened to the Martins -- like what's happening to the newspaper business -- is painful, but it's part of a larger struggle that makes this country great. We are Americans. Maintaining our independence despite adversity is what we do and who we are. As Allen West said, "In life, you're going to get knocked down. The measure of someone's character is what you do after you've been knocked down."

I walked away from the newspaper business nearly two years ago, and spent out my 401(k) to pay the bills while I launched a freelance career online. It hasn't been easy and I haven't gotten rich (yet), but it beats the hell out of sitting around waiting for a government handout.

Want to tell Henry Waxman to shove his newspaper bailout up his notorious nostrils? Just support your favorite bloggers, and we'll make sure he gets the message.

Bailout? We don't need no stinkin' bailout!

Hit the tip jar!

I'm ba-aaaaack!

Just returned from Washington, D.C., a visit unexpectedly extended overnight. Attended last night's premiere of the Tea Party Movie -- David Weigel has an account of the event -- and left at 10:15 p.m.

Unfortunately, that was a quarter-after hour closing time for the parking garage I'd left my car in. Fortunately, however, my friend Matt Vadum picked me up, we went to Nick Adamas' farewell party in Arlington, and I crashed on Vadum's sofa last night before picking up my car this morning.

The overnight parking fee was $32, in case anyone's feeling the urge to hit the tip jar today.

Yeah, I know, it's kind of like subsidizing stupidity. But why should the federal government have a monopoly on that?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A badge of shame for the Commonwealth of Virginia

by Smitty

Col. Van T. Barfoot, a local Medal of Honor winner, is under the gun from his Henrico County community's homeowner association.

In a five-paragraph letter to Barfoot that he received yesterday, Barfoot is being ordered to remove a flagpole from his yard. The decorated veteran of three wars, now 90 years old, raises the American flag every morning on the pole, then lowers and folds the flag at dusk each day in a three-corner military fashion.
The flagpole isn't the problem. Clearly they need to remove the board members instead.

Virginia now has The Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman. I don't see among that office's duties the words "Deliver a thorough bollocking to overweening knobs serving on the board," but I would certainly update the page, had I access.

These losers aren't qualified to mow Col. Barfoot's lawn, much less comment on the contents thereof.

Update: So it Goes in Shreveport researched the citation.

Just in Time for Christmas / Hannukah / Quonset

by Smitty

Sonja Schmidt brings that special stocking stuffer to make the big bad bigot suffer:

Templeton Foundation hires anti-capitalist

Rod Dreher goes non-profit:
[At]t the end of this year, I'm leaving the Dallas Morning News, and will start a job as director of publications at the John Templeton Foundation in suburban Philadelphia. My primary job there will be to create and edit an online magazine called Big Questions Online. It's going to be a philosophically-oriented magazine that explores fundamental questions arising from science, religion, the free market and public ethics/morality -- Templeton's four big areas of focus.
Exactly what Dreher knows about science is a mystery, considering his long-time embrace of the global-warming hoax:
Our nation and our world have reached a crucible of near-cataclysm in our economy and -- with climate change -- in the environment, chiefly because we have refused to live within our means. . . .
"Given the cataclysmic disruptions forecast from climate change, in which humankind's carbon emissions play a role, and considering the informed forecasts of diminishing world oil supply, to continue to live this way amounts to 'national insanity.' "
-- Rod Dreher, Oct. 26, 2008
Dreher's ignorant hostility to free markets (inspired by anti-capitalist economist E.F. Schumacher) was the focus of my review of Crunchy Cons (see also Jonah Goldberg's evisceration.) Nevertheless let us be thankful for this news from Dreher:
This move is going to require a significant shift in my own writing. Templeton is not a sectarian or politically partisan organization. Therefore, my own political commentary will be drawing to an end at the end of this year.
Answered prayer.

Huckabee meltdown continues

The Arkansas coordinator for Mike Huckabee's PAC has resigned. From a Washington Times story yesterday:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's hopes for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination have been dealt a major blow by his 9-year-old decision to commute the sentence of Maurice Clemmons -- the man suspected of killing four police officers near Seattle early Sunday.
"It will be extremely damaging," said Diana Banister, a Washington-based publicist for Republican causes and candidates. "His GOP primary rivals will use it to their advantage against him." . . .
"It will be the Republican version of the Willie Horton issue that GOP surrogates used against Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate in 1988," Ms. Banister said.
Just in case you don't remember, it was Al Gore -- one of Dukakis' rivals for the 1988 Democratic nomination --who first raised the issue of the Willie Horton furlough.

UPDATE: Allahpundit:
Kudos to Huck, I guess, for stopping short of calling his critics racist too.
Give him time, Allah. Huck might yet go totally Johnsonoid. Jim Geraghty:
It takes a particular bravado for a man in Huckabee’s circumstances to contend that his critics are the ones who should hang their heads in shame.
Meanwhile, Huck continues his blame-shifting campaign with a Human Events column:
I take full responsibility for my decision then.
But he doesn't. Instead, he points the finger of blame at others. If Huckabee wants to "take full responsibility," all he has to do is shut up -- which he most certainly should do (cf., Healey's First Law On Holes).

VIDEO: An Australian's tribute to America:
Nick Adams speaks in Harrisburg, Pa.

Speaking at last month's Pennsylvania Tea Party in Harriburg, 25-year-old Nick Adams gives an inspirational speech:

"The questions and concerns that all of you have about the country you so dearly love are the same wherever you go: How do we save freedom and spread liberty? How do we protect American prestige? How do we defend American exceptionalism? How do we stop the country we love so much from becoming just another moribund European socialist state?"
Nick is returning to Australia this weekend after completing his most recent American speaking tour. His friends will have a farewell party tonight at Bailey's Pub & Grill at the Ballston Mall in Arlington.

Miss Argentina: Death by plastic surgery

Dan Collins called this to my attention:
Former Miss Argentina, Solange Magnano died at a Buenos Aires medical center last Sunday, after undergoing a plastic surgery procedure.
Solange, who won the Miss Argentina pageant in 1994, suffered a pulmonary embolism when liquid was being injected into her buttocks the day after she underwent a gluteoplasty (buttock implant). The liquid reportedly entered her lungs and brain, killing her instantly.
Solange was 38 years old. She is survived by her husband and seven-year-old twins.
Gluteoplasty? She died trying to get a bigger butt? I'm sorry, but why didn't someone tell her about the miraculous American butt-growth formula known as bacon double cheesburger?

A senseless tragedy . . .

UPDATE: Speaking of senseless tragedies, Alyssa Milano still hasn't re-Tweeted me.

A cocktail waitress? Dude.

The Tiger Woods saga continues:
A Los Angeles cocktail waitress tells the new Us Weekly (on newsstands Wednesday) that she had a steamy 31-month fling with Tiger Woods and has a voicemail recording and text messages to prove it.
Jaimee Grubbs, now 24, tells Us Weekly she began having an affair with Woods, 33, in April 2007.
How can this possibly be true? Tiger is married to Swedish super-model Elin Nordegren. An affair with a mere cocktail waitress presents a problem explained Saturday:
The Rod Stewart Celebrity Cheating Rule applies here: If you're going to cheat on a Swedish super-model, it's got to be at least an equal exchange . . .
Jaimee Grubbs is obviously no Elin Nordegren. My advice to Tiger remains: Plead insanity.

UPDATE: He issues a press release. (Also at his official Web site.) Alas, no insanity plea. Michelle Malkin puts it bluntly: "Tiger Woods is an idiot."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Enemy camp?

by Smitty (h/t Insty)

Come on, Matthews. We're talking about Hudson High School, here. Even though I might make fun of the Woops and their non-command of football, they are US citizens, fellows in arms, and, unlike yourself, contribute something of value to their country and humanity.

Update: Ed Driscoll has the best roundup thus far.

'Fanatical' Charles Johnson?

"All you need to know about this is to read what Johnson posted when the story broke that the Seattle cop killer suspect, Maurice Clemmons, had been granted clemency by Mike Huckabee. . . . I did not read of anyone on the left or the right attacking Huckabee's decision from a religious angle. Except Johnson. . . . This says it all."

And the 2009 'Strange New Respect' Award goes to . .

. . . Charles Johnson, for whom Andrew Sullivan performs the obligatory baptism-by-tongue-bath that initiates the Green One into the Obama cult.

This business of Andrew praising someone's "courage" as a way of celebrating his own heroic courageousness -- standing up to those homophobic haters! -- is an interesting thing to watch, once you learn to suppress your gag reflex.

If you can't stand to click to Sully's, try Ace of Spades HQ, where I'm sure they'll be rolling in the aisles over this one.

Best. Reagan. Book. Evah!

For the past week, I've been spellbound by Craig Shirley's new book about the 1980 presidential campaign, Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America. It's 650 pages, filled with so many fascinating facts that it prompted Mark Levin to comment: "I was part of the Reagan Revolution and I didn’t know 80 percent of this stuff!"

Craig Shirley explains that, as much as Reagan's 1980 landslide seems inevitable in retrospect, it sure as heck wasn't "inevitable" at the time. Thanks to the arrogant high-handedness of some of Reagan's advisors -- especially campaign manager John Sears -- Reagan nearly lost the GOP nomination to George Bush. However, as Shirley makes clear, it wasn't just Sears who was to blame for that near-disaster. Reagan himself was at fault, demonstrating his human weakness by being inattentive to the inner workings of his own campaign.

It was only due to the intervention of a dedicated few (including such previously unsung heroes as Jerry Carmen, Reagan's independent-minded New Hampshire state campaign manager) that Reagan staved off defeat. Shirley's book names names and tells shocking secrets, none as surprising as Chapter 28, entitled simply "Corbin." (Here's a hint: The Kennedy clan never cared much for Jimmy Carter.)

Honest, folks: As highly as I recommend all the books in our Holiday Book Sale, nothing you can read will improve your understanding of recent American political history as much as Rendezvous With Destiny.


Seattle Times:
Maurice Clemmons, the suspect wanted in slaying of four Lakewood police officers, was shot and killed in South Seattle early this morning . . .
Via Memeorandum. More at Michelle Malkin.

UPDATE: More from the Seattle Times story:
Clemmons was standing outside in the 4400 block of South Kenyon Street when he was confronted by officers. He challenged the officers and was shot around 2:40 a.m. [i.e., 5:40 a.m. ET]
Police have said Clemmons received help since the Sunday morning shooting from friends and family who gave him places to stay, medical aid, rides and money, police said. Officers detained a sister of Clemmons who they think treated the 37-year-old suspect's gunshot wound.
That anyone would help a cop-killer is incredible. But Mumia Abu-Jamal is a hero to liberals everywhere, so why not?

UPDATE II: A long Seattle Times article provides background Clemmons' criminal history, and Dan Riehl calls it a "must-read."

Shocking as it may seem -- but not really surprising, given the vulgar antinomianism of the "No Snitching" culture -- Clemmons not only got help after his attack, but boasted to friends about his plans beforehand:
Clemmons has been getting help and shelter from friends and relatives since shortly after the Sunday morning shooting deaths of four Lakewood police officers, authorities have concluded.
"Basically, there's no way that he could be doing this by himself; he was shot in the abdomen," said Sheri Badger, Pierce County spokeswoman at the incident command center.
Also frustrating to law-enforcement officers is that Clemmons reportedly told acquaintances the night before the attack to "watch the news" because he was going to "kill cops."
No one reported his comments to police until after the attack, Badger said.
UPDATE III: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
[Police] would have preferred an uneventful surrender, but Clemmons apparently was determined to go out in a blaze of hatred and insanity. And so he did.
Indeed, this was a sort of "suicide-by-cop," and Clemmons thereby forfeited the opportunity to have his own NPR radio program, or to have famous liberals sign petitions to spare him the death penalty. How sad.

UPDATE IV: A timely reminder:
The anti-police bigotry of the Left
. . . Bill Ayers, whose door sports a picture of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal.
The Left foments hatred of police and then blames "society" for the predictable result of such rhetoric. But if conservatives complain about the Left's agenda, these monsters who celebrate cop-killers as heroes call us "anti-government" and claim that we are menaces to society.

Best Huckabee zinger yet

Pardoned Thanksgiving Turkey
Goes on Nine-State Killing Spree!
Yeah, stick a fork in that turkey. He's done.

Charles Johnson Parts Ways With Reality

UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: Cops have shot and killed Maurice Clemmons, so I must catch up with that breaking story. However, I would be remiss if I failed to note this by Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch:
It is interesting that Johnson's hate list appeared just hours after I spoke at length with a New York Times reporter -- excited by his move leftward, they're doing a big story on Johnson. Coincidence? Of course!
Heh. "Question the timing!" Spencer has been one of Johnson's numerous victims, and we may suppose that the NY Times will portray Mad King Charles as a courageous truth-teller.

PREVIOUSLY: So I woke up at 4 a.m. and the first thing I did was check Site Meter -- we ended November with more than 260,000 visitors for the month. The next thing I did was to check Twitter, where I saw this message from John Rambo:
@willwilkinson @rsmccain is a fascist? Coulter is a white supremacist? Sarah Palin is antiscience & homophobic? And he ignores lib. lunacy!
This was my first inkling that libertarian Will Wilkinson -- a notorious dope fiend! arrest him! -- was on Twitter. So I followed him, went over to his blog and saw his engagement with the neo-Keynesian madness of Brad DeLong. Hmmm. Worthy blog fodder.

OK, so now it was time to check the blog fodder motherlode, Memeorandum and . . . whoa!
Little Green Footballs
Why I Parted Ways With The Right
1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.) — 2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
Exactly what prompted this? Why this? Why now? Your guess is as good as mine.

No, that's wrong. My guess is probably much better than yours, because I followed the whole thing -- LGF and the Madness of King Charles -- back to its roots. So far as can be determined, CJ's descent into madness began when Johnson attacked Pamela Geller for her attendance at the October 2007 Brussels conference.

CJ kept up the attacks, which expanded to include Jihad Watch, Gates of Vienna, Diana West and others -- serially throwing them under his Little Green Bus -- but the rest of the conservative blogosphere tried to ignore it. Shortly before the 2008 election, CJ declared Robert Spencer of JihadWatch unlinkable:
Paul Belien of Brussels Journal is deeply connected with the Vlaams Belang, and Robert knows this. The fact that he’s put them back in his blogroll speaks volumes about the choice he's made.
And Gates of Vienna has turned into a reeking sewer of racism. I'm done with Robert Spencer. And very, very disappointed in him.
You see the control-freak method here: CJ declares that a list of people and groups (in this case, Brussels Journal, Paul Belien, Vlaams Belang, Gates of Vienna) are unacceptable. Anyone who doesn't accept CJ's categorization is a "sympathizer" and therefore also unacceptable. Gates of Vienna quipped:
As the arbiter of membership in the Counterjihad, Charles Johnson has finally made it official: he’s a Counterjihad of One.
All of that happened before Election Day 2008. It wasn't until after Election Day that I finally spoke out:
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has apparently decided that the problem with the conservative movement is that it needs more purges, and Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs seems to be his designated scapegoat. . . .
Pam is a good person and I would suggest that this guilt-by-association "urge to purge" is antithetical to the best interests of conservatism. You can't build a movement by the process of subtraction.
That was Nov. 5, 2008. In February of this year, I spoke out again when CJ attacked Ann Coulter and spoke out again in April when Johnson smeared Pamela Geller as a "Poster Girl for Eurofascists." Two days later, after CJ threatened Michelle Malkin (!) because she continued linking JihadWatch, I wrote:
Is there someone -- anyone -- who can stop this madness?
Apparently not. If the conservative movement would not acknowledge Charles Johnson's authority to decide who was and was not acceptable as a member of the conservative movement, then Johnson would not be a member of the conservative movement.

It would have been nice if he would have made his rules of engagement clear at the outset, or at least issued some kind of warning before he started denouncing people willy-nilly. But he has played the part of a scoundrel, and the damage he inflicted on the counter-jihad alliance -- those who, like Geller and Spencer, have dedicated themselves to fighting Islamofascism -- was quite real.

Giving us a glimpse at the bats that occupy his belfry, CJ randomly lumps in anti-war critics of the Bush administration -- Pat Buchanan and Lew Rockwell -- with Ann Coulter, et al. The nonsensical nature of his categorizations is exposed as he continues down his list of "reasons" for denouncing the Right:
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.) . . .
6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
Wait a minute: Alex Jones? The 9/11 Truther guy? Is there any conservative blogger who hasn't taken a swipe at that particular punching bag? And how does Limbaugh merit inclusion in the same category? But never mind that -- "climate deniers"? After the CRU revelations, isn't that pretty much everybody?

The conclusive evidence that Mad King Charles has slipped into the zero-self-awareness zone occupied by Andrew Sullivan comes when he points the finger at his fellow bloggers and former allies in the counter-jihad:
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)
(Vinnie the Jawa replies: "Translation: Anyone that criticizes Charles Johnson.")
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)
(Vinnie the Jawa replies: "You left out 'Little Green Football Archives.'")

Bingo, Vinnie! Johnson spent years doing exactly what he now accuses others of doing. But that was back when "anti-Islamic bigotry" was what The Cool Kids did and, at some point, CJ decided The Cool Kids should do something else.

When The Cool Kids wouldn't let CJ make the rules? Well, they weren't The Cool Kids anymore.

End of story. Except that notorious hate-monger Ace of Spades has a few things to say. Heh.

UPDATE: Carl in Jerusalem is among the Legion of the Banned:
Once upon a time, I was a mere commenter on Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs. Eventually, I posted so many well-received comments on LGF that I started this blog. I admired Charles Johnson as one of the righteous gentiles. Life was good.
But like more than 1,500 other people, when Charles turned Left in November 2008, I became expendable and was eventually banned from posting on LGF.
Admit it, Carl: You're a hate-monger. Just like Ace of Spades. And Pamela Geller. And Robert Spencer. And Ann Coulter. And . . .

UPDATE II: To theorize an answer to the "why now" question about CJ's denunciation, how about his mention of SIOE (Stop the Islamicization of Europe)? Just yesterday, Pamela Geller put up a post with this headline:
Atlas Urges Jews Worldwide to Support SIOE, Ignore Dhimmi "Jewish Councils"
This may have provoked Johnson's rage. So congratulations again to Pamela, whose knack for accidentally pushing CJ's buttons is commendable.

What obtrudes in CJ's hate-list modus operandi is that he cannot rationally prioritize dangers. Pamela Geller, creationists, Tea Party crowds, global-warming skeptics and Sarah Palin are, in the demented mind of Mad King Charles, as dangerous as al Qaeda. Or me.

Speaking of me, friends are jealous of my conspicuous inclusion in Johnson's demonology. It has been his evident intent to deprive me of my livelihood as a journalist: Why else did he bide his time before choosing to attack Pajamas Media for paying me to cover the 9/12 March on DC? (Roger Simon is a friend and I'd been contributing to PJM since May 2008, but after 9/12, PJM editor Rick Moran rejected all my offers for further contributions, which is why none of my coverage of the Bill Sparkman case or the NY23 campaign appeared at PJM.)

So I've enjoyed the laughter as Johnson (who pulled out of PJM in 2007, which some at the time suspected was due to Johnson's resentment of Michelle Malkin) has destroyed his own once-successful site and resorted to the blogospheric equivalent of "busking." Despite CJ's transparent malice, I have kept in mind the advice Andrew Jackson got from his mother:
"Never tell a lie, nor take what is not your own, nor sue anybody for slander, assault and battery. Always settle them cases yourself."
Whatever harm CJ has inflicted on me or anyone else, his "success" in turning Little Green Footballs into an unprofitable imitation of Daily Kos is as much vindication as any of his victims can expect.

Vindication, however, doesn't pay the bills. So if you feel an urge to hit the Big Tip Jar Of Hate -- hey, don't fight the feeling.

UPDATE II: Jules Crittenden provides the crazy-hating exegesis and adds this comment:
I would have preferred a detailed description of the moment when all that inclusive thoughtful concern hit him like a silver bullet, when the switch flipped on the bright shining light on the road to Damascus, when . . . enveloped by its warm, mentally balanced, nurturing embrace . . . he started frothing about the hateful craziness.
Of course, CJ hasn't traveled the road to Damascus, but the road to Bedlam. Rhetorical engagement might require us to stipulate, hypothetically, that perhaps not all liberals are insane. But Johnson's addition to their ranks undermines that hypothesis.

Dan Riehl has seen enough blog-wars to be war-weary. He observes, "When even tempered blogger James Joyner fisks you into ridiculousness, you know you've, well, jumped the lizard, I suppose," and further comments:
Chuckles isn't having an awakening, he's simply living out whatever the hell it is that passes for a reality of sorts in his cyber-induced dream-dementia of a world.
Dead on the money, Dan. My 8-year-old son just brought me an egg-salad sandwich and chips. He made the egg salad himself, from the brown eggs provided by the chickens in our backyard.

That's reality. My wife, my kids, my friends -- reality.

The abstract symbolism of ideological debate on the Internet? Well, at some point, if you start taking that crap too seriously, you can become detached from reality, and begin ranting at people as if they were merely symbols, projected visions of your own externalized fears.

Those who take the historical view of such things will be tempted to wonder: Is the fact that CJ first signaled his madness by lashing out at Pamela Geller entirely coincidental?

Merely a point to ponder while I remind you of my own reality, where people at the heating-oil company and the cell-phone company expect bills to be paid or they'll shut me off. Hit the Big Tip Jar of Hate.