Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Financial Rape Will Continue...

by Smitty (h/t Hot Air)

...until the 10th Amendment is interpreted to preclude Federal involvement with individual citizens, e.g. through mortgages.

The only surprise about the Federal thuggery in lifting the Fannie/Freddie caps is that anyone is surprised. Power will be (ab)used.

States should be a blast shield between the Federal beast and citizens. Both citizens and the Federal beast should watch the states.

Political candidates making bleating noises about "reforming" Fanny and Freddie will be ridiculed remorselessly. These Federal vampires need nothing less than stakes in their hearts.

Even at the one year mark, he nailed the decade

by Smitty

President Obama as Prevaricator of the Year? Don't sell the man short. In my opinion he's blown by his predecessor with flying pastel rainbow colors.

But I wouldn't say BHO thinks himself a liar. Allow me to paraphrase a review of al-Sahaf, emphasis mine:
"In an age of spin, [BHO] offers feeling and authenticity. His message is consistent -- unshakeable, in fact, no matter the evidence -- but he commands daily attention by his on-the-spot, invective-rich variations on the theme. His lunatic counterfactual art is more appealing than the banal awfulness of the Reliable Sources. He is a Method actor in a production that will close in a couple of days. He stands superior to truth."

-- Jean-Pierre McGarrigle

Another Black Conservative Unmoved By Kwanzaa

by Smitty

ABC just doesn't seem keen on the idea:
In my entire life I have only known one black person who celebrated Kwanzaa. She was a teacher of African American studies and a flaming liberal. Although born and raised in Atlanta like her folks, this young lady fell hook line and sinker for the whole Kwanzaa is African scam.

Seasonal Traffic Suckage Syndrome leads to Shameless Tip-Jar Rattling Disorder

One of the obvious reasons for doing the changeover to the WordPress site during the holidays is that blog traffic sucks this time of year, so time spent on the changeover doesn't really subtract from the overall blog ecology. What's the point of doing a dozen posts on Christmas Day, if nobody's reading it anyway?

For similar reasons, some bloggers don't blog much on weekends -- when blog readership decreases by 30% or more -- but we've never really observed that custom here. Smitty reports that a relative paucity of Rule 2 linkage made for a much shorter FMJRA this week, which is to be expected, although we hope there won't be a similar shortage of babe-blogging for Rule 5 Sunday.

One of the things about Seasonal Traffic Suckage Syndrome (STSS) is not to take it personally. Traffic here is demonstrably down for December -- currently about 160K visits for the month, after four consecutive months of >220K -- but when compared year-to-year, we've gained about 80% over December 2008. And so you have to have a certain amount of perspective when you realize that on Christmas Day we recorded our worst weekday traffic in recent memory.

Because routine headline+link+snark formula blogging would be kind of a waste of time during the holidays, I've taken advantage of the situation to do some long-form stuff. First there was "Don't Fear the People," a retrospective on my coverage of the populist grassroots revival -- the first substantive post at the new site -- and then there was today's post about Washington's Christmas crossing of the Delaware.

Another thing to do during periods of slow traffic is to blog about totally silly stuff, like the Christmas Day arrest of celebrity scumbag Charlie Sheen. Why not? Do you really expect us to constantly monitor Memeorandum for the latest breaking news on the Nigerian terrorist? On a day when we're averaging less than 200 visits an hour?

Let's face it: We could post a completely random photo of an impressively endowed chubby chick -- hey, more to love -- and not get any complaints, because nobody's reading us this weekend anyway. (Folks, don't worry that we're corrupting your kids. If your teenage son got a computer for Christmas, do you really think he'll be cruising political blogs for chubbettes?)

Would a serious political commentator -- say, for example, Dan Collins -- link something so irresponsibly exploitative as a post with photos of random topless fat chicks? Of course he would. Because at least it's fun, and if traffic sucks anyway, you might as well have fun.

However, there are more useful things bloggers can do with the readerless holiday hours when we're afflicted with Seasonal Traffic Suckage Syndrome (STSS). Therefore, while Smitty toils away on the technical geekery of the WordPress changeover, I've been writing thank-you e-mails to the tip-jar hitters.

We're about halfway to our $2,000 goal for the Pasadena trip, which was a double-dog-dare-ya scheme promoted by Dan Collins. As I said at the time, I didn't think I could possibly rattle the tip-jar hard enough to make this trip happen and yet . . .

Well, as of yesterday, 34 people had hit the tip jar for an average of $30 each during December. And today I got a Christmas card from Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom blog, with a gift incentive for the trip. I checked Travelocity and can make a flight to LAX departing next weekend for about $450 if I booked it today.

Mrs. Other McCain is, of course, worried about the bills. If I make this trip, will it clear enough cash to break even and still pay the bills? Does that 1990 photo of Mrs. Other McCain looking hot in her bikini encourage you to ease her mind with an extra $10 or $20? Would you rather see more photos of fat chicks? Is anybody actually reading this?

The point is, I can roll either way: Fat chicks, celebrity scumbags, historical inspiration, or up-to-the minute breaking news about John Kerry and other terrorists. But I don't want to have to choose between (a) paying the bills and (b) going to Pasadena to provide neutral, objective coverage of the Alabama Crimson Tide's spectacular triumph in the BCS Championship.

As I explained to one of the tip-jar hitters in an e-mail exchange, I'm planning to take a look at the tip jar situation Monday before booking my flight, probably departing Jan. 2 or 3. Every little bit will help me convince Mrs. Other McCain that this is a good idea not evidence of incipient psychosis.

Maybe you're feeling that Roll Tide spirit to the tune of $20. Or maybe you just figure it would be worth $10 to read about me racing around Southern California in a rental car, interviewing hawwwtt University of Alabama cheerleaders and buying $7 gin-and-tonics for Little Miss Attila during Happy Hour at one of her favorite L.A. dive bars.

Fear and Loathing in Pasadena could be the wildest scene since I covered the Libertarian Party national convention in Denver last year. Surely the true story of Rose Bowl decadence and debauchery has got to be worth $5 to readers who have nothing better to do this weekend than to read a political blog.

Carol at No Sheeples Here is also an Alabama fan trying to hustle her way to Pasadena, so if you've already hit my tip jar, you should think about throwing Carol some action, too. Besides, if I help her make it Pasadena, maybe I can get her to do a free logo for the new WordPress site -- with or without naked fat chicks. 'Cause I can roll either way . . .

Just hit the tip jar!

Britney and K-Fed, then Jon and Kate, now . . . Ace and Allah splitsville?

Little Miss Attila brings us rumors of the latest celebrity breakup. Before Christmas, Ace of Spades trashed Mitch McConnell as a sellout bastard. Allahpundit responded with a contemptuous sneer.

Next: Ace loads up to .13 on Valu-Rite vodka, gets slapped around like Mrs. Charlie Sheen. Then Allahpundit hires publicist Stan Rosenfield to say, in effect, "that bitch Ace deserved it."

Fake hate and C-SPAN trolls

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit and HotAir Pundit have a great story about an anti-GOP hoax caller to C-SPAN, demonstrated in this fascinating video:

Reaganite Republican shows that this is part of a pattern, relating it to the story of Chris Parry of the Vancouver Sun, who smeared Free Republic by similar tactics.

Charlie Sheen is out of jail

And doesn't that worry you, America?
Charlie Sheen has now been released from Pitkin County Jail, according to Aspen Police. He posted an $8,500 bond (with standard domestic violence bond conditions) and was released Friday night at about 7 p.m. . . .
The 44-year-old star of Two and a Half Men spent most of Friday in jail after being arrested on domestic violence charges following a 911 call at 8:34 a.m. Friday. The victim’s name still has not been released.
If there's one reason Tiger Woods isn't really in the running for the World's Biggest Loser Award, it's Charlie Sheen.

Here's a guy with all the advantages -- rich, good-looking, famous name -- who is a complete failure in his personal life. He got dumped by Denise Richards because of his porn habit. The conventions of journalism require me to say alleged porn habit, but let's be honest here.

We're talking about Charlie Sheen, who by his own sworn testimony spent much of his 20s banging Heidi Fleiss's Hollywood hookers. He is a notorious poonhound, in the habit of changing women as often as most guys change their socks, and even being married to a fabulous hottie like Denise Richards couldn't change his ways.

When a guy gets used to treating women as disposable commodities, we really shouldn't be surprised that he seeks out trashy women and treats them like crap: reported that Sheen tried to choke his wife, Brooke Mueller, who was renting an Aspen home for about three months while Sheen remained in Los Angeles.
Sheen flew to be with his wife on Christmas despite their differences, and they began arguing right away, the site reported.
But TMZ reported that Mueller was legally drunk -- registering a .13 blood-alcohol level -- while Sheen registered a .04 on tests conducted by police.
Sheen's publicist Stan Rosenfield released a statement saying, "It would benefit everyone not to jump to any conclusion."
The two married last year, and this year Mueller gave birth to twin boys
Sheen was arrested in 1996 and charged with attacking a girlfriend at his home. He pleaded no contest and was placed on two years' probation.
See the pattern here? It's the Rake's Progress. Having botched his marriage to Denise Richards -- who seemed like a relatively decent human being, by Hollywood standards -- Charlie's next wife is the kind of woman who blows a .13 Breathalyzer test on Christmas Day.

Charlie has no respect for his wife, and who can blame him? We're talking about a woman with such low self-esteem that she married Charlie Sheen. She hates herself, or else she wouldn't be with him, and we aren't really surprised to learn she decided to spend Christmas Day drinking herself into a violent stupor in her Aspen exile.

Charlie Sheen is just a rich, famous loser.

UPDATE: Let we forget, Charlie is a lefty who likes to impart his political wisdom for our benefit:
He has also said that the 9-11 terrorist attack was an inside job, and wants President Obama to further investigate.
Famous loser, famous liberal -- the only real difference between Charlie Sheen and Michael Moore is about 200 pounds of ugly fat.

What a load of bunk

by Smitty (h/t TigerHawk)

TigerHawk notes Andrew Breitbart's FaceBook status. As a result of the apparent botched terrorist attack yesterday, Breitbart notes, that:
Based upon my NPR listening sessions, I am fearful that reactionary Americans are going to go on a rampage against Nigerians tomorrow.
How many more non-recriminations do we require to get the American people off the hook?

I just discovered the other day while shoveling snow that the new next-door-neighbor is from Nigeria. He actually seemed the decent chap you would expect.

Thanks, NPR. Nothing makes me happier than paying via my taxes for wholly unfounded accusations.

Festivus 'Mas Joy Rings Around

by Smitty

It's that time of the year when we celebrate our traditions in ways that hopefully don't alienate everyone else.
All of those readers with lives have been too busy to post or link us as much as we like, but we love them nonetheless.

The Nebraska Compromise:
As negative as everyone is about the whole steamer, except the lefty portion of the 111th Congressional Circus, its parade of bad ideas may not be over.We Don't Seriously Foresee the Union Disintegrating, but We're Closer to Such an Event:
  • South Texian picked up the Texas secession post about Ladd Ehlinger, with a technical correction.
  • Paco Enterprises joined the Sheldon Whitehouse foe club.
  • Jumping in Pools thinks that Texas cannot secede, but Montana Can. At a certain point, as with the Declaration of Independence, it's really not about what a piece of paper says, but rather about what you do.
Get Stacy That Malkin Award!
He's still in the running for [whatever it means] who lacks a radio and TV show.
Congratulations to Clan McCain Over Kennedy's Engagement Pour In:
Yes, The Other McCain is in Transition:
Stacy and I continue to make delightfully uncoordinated progress in a positive direction.
  • The Classic Liberal notes our efforts.
  • SI VIS PACEM also noted the motion.
  • Dustbury opines:
    Not that I have any particular complaints about WordPress, which we’ve been using here now for over a year with little difficulty. But it seems to me that McCain, who specializes in high-value, low-cost reporting, really belongs on Blogger, which is to blogging what Walmart is to retail: you might claim to hate it yourself, but a lot of your friends like it just fine. (Or maybe you need new friends. Your mileage may vary.)
About Those Goreflakes:
Girl Culture:
  • Wombat Rampant gave us a shout while relating an occurrence similar to the Protein Wisdom/Patterico thing which is apparently, hopefully, finally, running out of gas.
  • American Power has also been dealing with its variation on the theme. Donald Douglas also noted Stacy while examining anti-Hamsherism. he then followed up with "A Theory of Racist Smears and the Case of Robert Stacy McCain". All I can say is that the notoriety looks better on him than me.
  • Stogie links us while asking "Is Charles Johnson (of LGF) a Transvestite Cross-Dresser?" Can I please retain my ignorance?
  • Rhetorican picked up Stacy's AmSpec piece about a possible Hamsher move to the right.

Other FMJRA outings:
The Seven Figure Club:
Enjoy the respite, everyone. Gather your strength. If 2010 is any weirder than 2009, we'll all be needing it.

'I think the game is pretty near up'

The American army was defeated. Outnumbered and demoralized, the ragged soldiers had only escaped complete destruction by a desperate retreat. Some of the troops had deserted, and others we threatening to leave when their enlistments expired.

George Washington's patriot army had been beaten badly in the Battle of Long Island in August 1776, suffering more than 1,300 casualties before Washington could evacuate his troops to Manhattan. But the British commander, William Howe, had followed that by once more defeating the Americans at White Plains in October and again at Fort Washington in November, and Washington was forced to abandon New York.

Retreating across New Jersey, with Howe's Redcoats in pursuit, the only hope for the Americans was to reach Pennsylvania, putting the Delaware River between them and the enemy. Merely to accomplish this retreat was a difficult task. Heavy autumn rains fell, turning the dirt roads to quagmires. Teams of men and horses struggled to pull the army's artillery and wagons through the deep mud.

Yet even if they could escape the pursuing British, there was little hope the Americans could reverse the disasters that had befallen their cause in the five months since they had declared their independence. Many of the volunteer troops under Washington's command had signed up for short-term enlistments, which would expire at the end of the year. It was this gloomy prospect that caused Thomas Paine to write:
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Many more desperate hours lay ahead in the long struggle for American independence, but as fall turned to winter in 1776, it seemed that the flame of liberty was doomed to flicker out forever. One depressed officer wrote home to a relative, "I think the game is pretty near up."

However, as long as there was anything left to fight with -- and anything to fight for -- George Washington would fight. And no sooner had he withdrawn his army into Pennsylvania than Washington began planning what remains arguably the most daring attack in American military history.

Howe believed, quite reasonably, that the colonial rebels had been so badly beated that they would go into winter quarters in Pennsylvania. So the British commander withdrew his main force to New York, and left a string of garrisons to keep an eye on Washington's battered army.

With only 2,400 men fit for duty, Washington issued three days rations and collected every boat available. At 3 p.m. on Christmas Day, the troops gathered on the banks of the Delaware River and prepared for the crossing. The river was icy. Sleet and snow began falling as the troops embarked. It took nearly 12 hours -- until 3 a.m. on December 26 -- to get the entire force across.

The watchword that night was "Victory or Death," and Washington showed his grim determination that morning during the pre-dawn march to Trenton. Maj. Gen. John Sullivan sent a courier to report Sullivan's concern that his men's gunpowder had become wet due to the storm. Washington replied to the courier: "Tell General Sullivan to use the bayonet. I am resolved to take Trenton."

Take it, he did. Shortly after daybreak, Washington's army attacked Trenton, overwhelming the garrison of Hessian mercenaries, cutting off their retreat and capturing nearly 900. Washington followed up, a little more than a week later, with another brilliant victory at Princeton, inflicting 450 casualties on the British.

This surprising reversal of fortune -- a beaten army that rallied to victory -- was a major turning point in the war. Although Trenton and Princeton were relatively minor battles in terms of the numbers engaged on each side, they gave hope to the patriot cause.

And whatever became of that depressed officer, who in a mood of despair wrote home that he feared "the game is pretty near up"?

Well, he went on to a quite remarkable career, both in the military and in politics. You see, that officer's name was none other than George Washington.

Friday, December 25, 2009

'Trust the people'

"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development."
-- Ronald Reagan, Sept. 29, 1981
Thanks to Noel for reminding us of Reagan's words in a comment on "Don't Fear the People," about the Tea Party movement and the rise of the populist "tsunami" at the new WordPress version of the site.

Videos: Christmas Morning

Six kids plus our daughter's fiance' -- kind of hectic at The Other McCain household this morning.

Kennedy bought Rock Band for her siblings. In the second video, you'll hear me saying, "He'll see it." The 17-year-old twins Bob and Jim found a cool mini-bike at a yard sale, bought it and fixed it up for their 11-year-old brother, Jefferson. The mini-bike was in the kitchen, and Jeff hadn't seen it yet. It's not on video because the kitchen was a mess, and Mrs. Other McCain wouldn't let me video in there.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Your Democratic Party Gift

by Smitty

Krauthammer's take (I suppose this is Fox All Stars) is perhaps too tactical:
The problem is this: The Democrats over-read the mandate in the election of '08. They assumed it was for great change of American social policy and making America into a kind of European social democracy -- radical changes in health care, energy, and in education.

That was not what happened in '08. It was rejection of the Bush administration, a weariness of war, and the rejection of an administration at a time of economic collapse. It was nothing more. They [the Democrats] overreached. They have tried to push a centrist country to the left, and [therefore] they're going to lose a lot of seats in the November election.
I submit that, strategically, the Progressives are realizing that the national debt and technology are combining to make a mockery of the notion of vast power in the hands of few. We increasingly realize that the man behind the curtain is an emperor in the buff. They sort of grasp that, after expending tremendous resources in 2006 and 2008, they'd reached a now-or-never (or at least not soon) moment. The national debt situation, media control, mood and personalities will likely never be better for a full-on European statist coup in this country.

Thus, the Democratic party's over-reach is a left-handed gift of liberty, if we keep up the pressure and face the ugly realities that reform will entail.

In the nearer term, Merry Christmas from The Porch. I'm panhandling for gifts, as well. Please take a moment and stuff the Inbox stocking with URLs for tomorrow's FMJRA.

Merry Christmas!

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
-- Luke 2:8-14 (KJV)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Populist tsunami: Don't fear the people

Pundette highlights this quote from Peter Wehner:
The populist, anti-Washington wave out there, which is already quite large, will only grow, and grow, and grow.
Peter Wehner. Does that name ring a bell? If you're a Glenn Beck fan, it certainly should. When a well-connected Bush administration insider like Wehner starts celebrating a populist "wave" that he and his Beltway GOP cronies had nothing to do with, it's time to remember how this all got started, and who made it happen:
The thing about a populist wave is that anybody can ride it, even the snobs who sneer at the people who made the tsunami happen. And I don't mean famous people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. I mean Donna Scala of Beaver Falls, Pa., and Kell Gringa of Charlotte, N.C. I mean Rhonda Lee Welsch of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Jenny Beth Martin of Atlanta, Ga., and Andrea Shea King of Cape Canaveral, Fla.
These are just a few of the Ordinary Americans I’ve met during the course of my travels over the past few months, people whose individual activism helped turn widespread public discontent into an organized movement that even Beltway Establishment elitists like Peter Wehner can no longer ignore. There are hundreds of thousands of you out there, far more numerous -- and ultimately far more important -- than the Washington insiders who look down their well-connected noses at you. . . .
That's posted over at, the new WordPress version of the blog that Smitty and I are trying to get ready for launch next month. The current sucky look of the new site is temporary, but the true history of this populist tsunami is something we need to make permanent, so please read the whole thing.

Merry Christmas to everyone, especially the people who hit the tip jar during this holiday season!

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin was stuck in an airport when the Senate finally passed ObamaCare, but appeared last night on Fox News to talk about how this swindle of the American taxpayers is part of the Culture of Corruption:

Michelle has consistently sided with the people against the bipartisan Big Government trend and she gets prominent mention in the "tsunami" post, so once more, please read the whole thing.

State AG communication: much good can come of this

by Smitty

Ali Akbar on pointed me to Matt Lewis' post "Letter from Senators Graham & DeMint on Medicaid deals". The Nebraska Compromise for Senator Nelson is under fire.
My source indicates the attorney general has begun speaking with his colleagues from across the country, and plans to establish a working group of attorneys general to look into what action can be taken.
I realize it's unprecedented, but would it not be fantastic if such state-level AG collaboration evolved into a full-on Article V cram-down of truly Federalist proportions? The existential threat of the $12T+ debt and the quasi-parliamentary rule of this atrocious Congress make getting 35 States together for some house cleaning rather attractive. The possibilities for restoring sane, responsible, limited government are well worth the effort required to bring it to pass.

Bonus read: Senator Tom Coburn. May Fortune smile on that man.

Harry Reid's crooked math

Jimmie Bise explains that the Senate health-care deal's cost projections were bogus, based on double-counting planned "savings" in Medicare.

If the federal government is actually capable of wringing $500 billion of "waste, fraud and abuse" out of Medicare, why not do that first?

Show us the "savings," and then we'll talk.

A slowing trend is not a 'reversal'

noting that the recession has slowed migration to the Sunbelt, The New York Times gets it wrong:
More broadly, however, the recession that began in 2007 has significantly slowed the great American migration toward warmth and sun. It was a move, earlier in the decade, driven as much by quality of life as easy credit, according to demographers and economists. But the reversal is nearly as striking.
There has been no "reversal." Nevada and Florida have had a net outflow of residents in this recession, but the general trend -- population shifting southward and westward from the Northeast and Upper Midwest "Rust Belt" -- continues. Can't the people at the New York Times even read a press release?
Wyoming showed the largest percentage growth: its population climbed 2.12 percent to 544,270 between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009. Utah was next largest, growing 2.10 percent to 2.8 million. Texas ranked third, as its population climbed 1.97 percent to 24.8 million, with Colorado next (1.81 percent to 5 million).
The only three states to lose population over the period were Michigan (-0.33 percent), Maine (-0.11 percent) and Rhode Island (-0.03 percent). The latter two states had small population changes.
So if Michigan, Maine and Rhode Island are losing population, while Wyoming, Texas and Colorado are gaining, the alleged "reversal" of the trend is non-existent.

McCaskill draws 100 protesters

Dana Loesch explains the outrage:
The overwhelming majority of Missouri (and national) voters oppose Harry Reid’s senate fauxcare bill, yet McCaskill is eager to play the part of the rubber stamp and help pass it in the senate -- and even complains about having to do so on Christmas. This is what she wanted!
This is what happens when people in Congress view their job as representing Washington special interests, rather than representing their constituents.

Intellectual fanboy David Brooks

When he tries to talk about economics, he sounds even more like a clown than usual:
Economic change is fomenting intellectual change. When the economy was about stuff, economics resembled physics. When it's about ideas, economics comes to resemble psychology.
The economy is still about stuff, just as the economy was always about ideas. McCormick's reaper and Morse's telegraph were both ideas before they became stuff.

The Brooksian tendency toward breathlessness -- he's read yet another "important new book" about a subject he doesn't actually understand -- is balanced by his habitual petulance, as when he complains about economists being "excessively individualistic and rationalistic." He seems to be boning up on intellectual trends among economists to "get a complete view of where the debate is headed."

But "where the debate is headed" is not the same thing as where the economy is headed. Brooks prattles on like a Star Trek fanboy, a spectator getting a vicarious thrill. When you get through reading his column, you don't really know anything about his ostensible subject, Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz's new book, From Poverty to Prosperity. It may indeed be important, but Brooks' column does a piss-poor job of explaining why.

Contrast this, just for example, with Joseph Lawler's discussion of unemployment in the January issue of the American Spectator. Lawler explains that the "jobless recovery" problem is due mainly to the fact that recent changes in our economy are not cyclical, but structural, requiring the shifting of workers from one labor sector to another. In many cases, this will require that workers relocate, and policies that encourage them to stay put -- collecting unemployment in their hometown, waiting for something to come along after the local factory closes down -- actually make matters worse.

Lawler's discussion is lucid and informative, because he's actually trying to explain a real phenomenon, rather than playing the intellectual fanboy game.

One less Democratic voter

Da Tech Guy's mother -- an 85-year-old lifelong Democrat from Massachusetts -- just declared she's going to city hall to re-register as a Republican because of this shabby health-care deal.

Speaking of hopeless geeks, check the legal beagles

by Smitty

In my mis-spent youth, I used to think that there was a direct relationship between wisdom and rank. By the time you make Admiral, you must be admirable.

Later I realized that 'everything is easy, when you know how to do it'.

Currently, I'm realizing that 'most things that are apparently hard have been obfuscated by somebody with a business model to protect'.

The U.S. Constitution, as written and amended, is one of those things that isn't terribly magical. Read Amar's book. My takeaway is that the more Progressive your read of the Constitution, the less your feet are touching bottom. If the legal theories can't be explained in a straightforward way to a child, then there may be too much abstraction afoot.

In light of the recent Constitutional flap about Obamacare, Volokh has been a good read, up to this point. But I fear they may have blown a gasket over there discussing Orin Kerr's post "The Myth of an Expert Consensus on the Constitutionality of Anything":
Richard Epstein says:
Orin’s post is unconstitutional.

December 23, 2009, 7:24 pm

Orin Kerr says:
Richard Epstein is unconstitutional. So there!

December 23, 2009, 7:26 pm

Richard Epstein says:
Only if one accepts an untenably expansive view of the Commerce Clause can Orin be correct that my very existence is in gross violation of our Nation’s fundamental charter.

December 23, 2009, 7:33 pm
We will test these legal theories about ObamaCare in just over 10 months. The opinion from the American people will be a "No" with a four letter prefix starting with "F". My prediction for the Democratic Party is well stated by the G3, with a rare Satriani vocal:

(Satch sounds like Steve Miller, and has obviously spend more time honing the fingers than the vocal chords.)

The bummer about the election being this soon is that they'll not flip enough Democrats in the House to the Republican party for the Wicked Witch of the West to loser her position as speaker. Probably for the best. The schadenfreude backlash would leave a steep death toll amongst conservative political junkies.

Proof that MSNBC is not a business

Say what you will about the pro-Republican bias of Fox News, the network is at least profitable, its commerical success evidence that there is a market for conservative news. MSNBC's ratings suck, chiefly because its programming decisions are transparently political rather than commercial.

In June, MSNBC debuted a mid-day medical show featuring Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who relentlessly shilled on behalf of the Democrats' health-care legislation (including taxpayer-funded abortion). "Dr. Nancy" got cancelled yesterday, and Ken Shepherd of Newsbusters remarks:
I can't help but thinking that Snyderman's program outlived its usefulness for MSNBC. Why else did Snyderman get to anchor an hour-long program but to push ObamaCare, supposedly with the gravitas that an M.D. can lend to the health care issue by virtue of profession alone.
Now that the bill is set to pass the Senate, Snyderman's program is of little marginal benefit to pushing the network's political agenda, particularly since she's a proven ratings loser.
Perfect proof that MSNBC's programming decisions are strictly a function of the Democratic Party's political agenda. And when the agenda focus shifts? Hasta la vista, Dr. Nancy!

It is so friggin' ON!

by Smitty

Westwood Tea Party hosts: "It's Time For a Second Declaration of Independence!"
Calling all red blooded, Patriotic Americans!

It's time for another march on Washington DC.

On the date of the State of the Union address, January 20, 2010.

On this day, a joint session of Congress, the President of the United States, his entire cabinet, the Supreme Court and the Joint Chiefs of distinguished guests will be in attendance.

You want media coverage? All major broadcast and cable networks will be there to broadcast the event.

This is the most strategically advantageous opportunity for Patriotic Americans to hold a demonstration against an out of control government that's trashing our Constitution.

This march needs to dwarf the size of the crowd that showed up on 9/12/2009. We need to surround the Capitol Building.

Who's sick and tired of being ignored?

It's time for a second Declaration of Independence!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

It's time for us to tell these Marxist bastards that we don't consent to what they're doing, and we therefore no longer recognize them as the legitimate government of We the People!
I'd further suggest that people make their own signs just saying "YOU LIE".

A specific goal of this outing could be to have a "you lie" chant during the speech that is sufficiently loud to be heard inside the Capitol during the SOU.

Might take a bunch of seriously irate Americans to achieve such a feat. I wonder if this is possible.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You might be a hopeless geek if . . .

Having earlier noted Ross Douthat's waste of 773 words on Avatar, now I see National Review's Michael Potemra wasting words on something even more trivial:
I have over the past couple of months been watching DVDs of Star Trek: The Next Generation . . .
Potemra's conclusions about the values exemplified in the show -- which he subsequently elaborated -- evoke scoffing from the Left: Kevin Drum at Mother Jones weighs in, as does Steve Benen of Washington Monthly.

Yet they miss the more important point: Dude, Star Trek?

Of all the things you could do with your leisure hours, you're sitting around watching a sci-fi soap opera? Brittany Murphy is dead, Steven Tyler is in rehab, Tiger Woods is sailing to the Bahamas, and I'm a finalist for the Malkin Award.

All of these important news developments are happening here and now, in real time in the real world -- and you're debating the political significance of Captain Picard's imaginary adventures in the 24th century?

Some people need to get their priorities straight.

(Via Memeorandum and WeSmirch.)

UPDATE: Evidence of Potemra's blunder:
It must be nice to have a philosophy that thinks Jar-Jar Binks was a good idea.
When Pandagon gets to use a line like that against you, it's time to re-think the sci-fi fanboy trip.

Justin Raimondo is cool

Libertarians of the Rothbardian type can be annoying, but they're usually annoying in colorful ways. If you spend much time in libertarian circles, you grow weary of the More Libertarian Than Thou gamesmanship. Rothbardians are not immune to this tendency, but they're seldom as humorlessly puritanical as, say, the hard-core Objectivists.

Justin Raimondo of is a good example of this. He is a free-speech absolutist with a mirthful disdain of political correctness, and a consistent foe of the Welfare-Warfare State. This generally aligns him (and most other Rothbardians) with paleoconservatives: People of the Right who don't have much use for the GOP mainstream (cf., Bill Kauffman).

However, in his 2009 annual awards, Raimondo takes aim at the Spengler-type doomsaying tendency of some paleoconservatives:
The old ways are gone, and nothing can bring them back, they keen: we’re doomed! Doomed, I tell you! And no one of this tribe is gloomier than Daniel Larison, the Eeyore of the paleo-right.
Exactly. Larison's posture of radical despair amounts to nothing less than an argument for political inertia and irrelevance.

From what we might call the Larisonian perspective, the modern world -- and especially the average Republican voter -- is so hopelessly degenerate that no one who might possibly obtain political power could do anything to repair the breach. This is the politics of auto-marginalization, less of an ideology than a mood disorder.

However doomed we may actually be, persistent negativity is a self-fulfilling prophecy: "Can't never could," as my father always said. And even my neocon friends -- attention Pamela Geller -- can benefit by reading the rest of Justin Raimondo's column.

Repeal the 17th Amendment. Nuke the Federal Reserve.

by Smitty (h/t Patriot Room)

The 17th Amendment's short-circuit of the chain of command, combined with the Federal Reserve's Cosmic Credit Card, are ruinous:
At first, Mr. Nelson defended his Medicaid buy-off as a service to his constituents, two-thirds of whom tell pollsters they oppose the overall bill. But the lucre was denounced by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and Republican Senator Mike Johanns.

"Nebraskans don't want a special deal," said Mr. Johanns. "The special deal for Nevada was wrong, the carve-outs for Louisiana, Vermont, and Massachusetts are wrong, and the same applies to the backroom deal for Nebraska. All of the special deals should be removed. If the bill cannot pass without carve-outs, what further evidence is needed that it is bad policy?"
The Senator should represent the interests of the individual State, and the funding for entitlements should be derived from a level of government exhibiting fiscal sobriety.

Entitlement programs that are not funded from a balanced budget are simply theft. It's a game of musical chairs where the participants, across time, stand still and rip the chair from the hands of the next generation.

This is an not an argument that there would be less corruption without Amendment 17. No, if you could measure it, the net corruption would be equal. However, instead of a positive feedback loop:
And, sure enough, Mr. Nelson admitted yesterday amid a defensive near-meltdown on the Senate floor that "Three Senators came up to me just now on the [Senate] floor and said, 'Now we understand what you did. We'll be seeking this funding too.'" Mr. Nelson now says "it's not a special deal for Nebraska. It is in fact an opportunity to get rid of an unfunded federal mandate."
...keeping the corruption at a State level would spare 95% of the country from outbursts of Nelsonism, and, possibly, allow federal oversight to review processes.

The vampire that is the Federal Reserve desperately needs a stake in the heart. However, the combination of the 17th Amendment and the Federal Reserve has us on the ropes. The Federal debt alcoholic will not give up the bottle. It will just keep chugging until the public liver explodes.

The Progressive Left seems to think this situation all jolly good. The Progressive Right joins in mute support of the problem. I would like to see Senator DeMint speak out for something along the lines of the Federalism Amendment. The status quo is an unsustainable crock of compost. While I applaud and support the tactical efforts with the Congress at hand, the strategic vacuum grows depressing.

Progressivism will wait, undead totalitarian zombie that it is, until the Tea Parties run out of gas, and just continue the economic warfare of using debt to kill this country. If the Tea Parties don't gel around reform ideas that remove the systemic drivers that have put us in this full Nelson, then the signs and the yelling and the blog posts and the slogans were all fun, but really just so many dying gasps of democracy.

Update: Blogprof, "We are now functioning under a parliamentary form of government"

Update II: Andy McCarthy says it well:
The Dems have already factored in that likelihood and are betting — over the long haul — that even if the GOP cuts deeply into Dem majorities or takes over Congress (and even takes over the White House in 2012), Republicans will lack the commitment (and perhaps the numbers) to roll back what the Left is accomplishing now.

That is, our guys are focused myopically on a battle the Democrats have already figured they can afford to lose. The real battle is: What do you do when you get back in power? Do you have a plan for how to undo what is being done? Do you frame the coming elections in a way that converts victory into a mandate not only to stop what Obama is doing but to undo what he has done?

I'm hearing a lot from our side about making big gains in the upcoming elections. That's not strategy or victory. You have to have a plan for what those gains would translate into. Democrats, by contrast, have a real plan for how what they're doing today will sustain Big Government, and themselves, over the long term, regardless of occasional electoral losses.
No kidding. Swapping out names is moot. If you haven't explained the strategy for restoring the three-branch/three-tier government, you haven't explained much. The Progressive GOP must destroy itself to preserve itself.

Failing that, let's just have a national Prozac entitlement. This 'Brave New World' is not why I have served my country these years.

Update III: Having said all that, Moe Lane rocks.

Have a ranting Christmas

Julian Sanchez proves my point, not his. But I'm not in a mood to argue at length, for to do so would be as foolishly wasteful as a New York Times op-ed columnist devoting 773 words to the theological implications of Avatar.

Merry Christmas, Julian. (And in case you didn't hear, the science is settled: Avatar sucks.)

Palin as litmus test?

Or perhaps Rorshach test would be the more accurate term. Pro-Palin blogger Joseph Sheppard argues that Sarah Palin's conservative admirers should, as a general policy, ignore anti-Palin bloggers.

Such a policy is wise where it is possible, and preferable to eternal flame-wars. And I say this not merely about the pro-Palin/anti-Palin feud, but as a general principle: If something irritates you, try to avoid it.

Take, as an example, Neil Young. His voice is lousy and he's a mediocre songwriter. As a guitarist, he's not bad, but not good enough to compensate for his deficits, especially as a singer, where he rivals Gordon Lightfoot for the Most Annoying Canadian Vocalist Lifetime Achievment Award. Therefore, whenever Neil Young comes on the radio, I change the station.

But there are occasions when I find myself trapped in a situation -- e.g., old buddies invite me to a dive bar with a jukebox -- where the avoidance strategy is impracticable, and the results can be tragic. Some idiot will drop a dollar in the jukebox and play "Ohio," and I find myself fighting the urge to begin loudly praising the National Guard and shouting imprecations against "hippie peacenik scum."

Is it just politics? No. Jackson Browne is somewhere left of Lenin, but he's a fine singer-songwriter. "Doctor My Eyes" and "The Load Out" are deservedly classics. Green Day are outright Marxists, but "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is nevertheless a catchy tune. R.E.M. are also generally a left-wing outfit, yet they make marvelous music.

No, Neil Young sucks. And if you disagree, we'll just have to avoid talking about it, because you'll only aggravate me. Same thing with Ann Coulter being a Deadhead, or Smitty's inexplicable affection for '80s metal. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Sarah Palin is a potential contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. That fact should not be turning conservative friends into bitter enemies more than two years ahead of the 2012 Iowa caucus.

If you're a Palin fan and the very mention of Rick Moran makes the veins in your neck stand out, stop reading Rick Moran. If you're Andrew Sullivan and the very mention of Sarah Palin makes you start ranting like a madman . . . Well, I don't know. Smoke some dope or something.

Stop obsessing. Chill.

At any rate, Joseph Sheppard has made a useful suggestion. And don't get me started on Neil Young.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What are we on about for the State of the Union on 20Jan?

by Smitty

Yeah, yeah: Christmas/Hanukkah/Quonset. I know. However, That's Right just tweeted me about the National Strike being called, concurrent with the State of the Union on 20Jan.

Also, not to put her on the spot or anything, but I've contacted another infamous "right wing extremist" sort of person who was at the Kill the Bill rally before the Cash for Cloture vote, to see if she's cooking up any sort of group love note for the good POTUS.

I, for one, think a few thousand patriots on the Mall with hand made signs all saying "YOU LIE" would be a message simple enough for even a slack-jawed Lefty.

ASIDE: the Wordpress changeover is in progress. Apologies in advance if some comments get orphaned. This blog's XML download is fat enough to be mistaken for...nah, picking on a woman whose name rhymes with Nosy Modonell would be beneath the dignity of this blog. We're waaay to classy for that sort of cheap shot, except on days ending in the letter 'y'.

Update: Insta-lanch
If you're needing a belly laugh, try:

'Anti-science and anti-gay'

Science and gayness go naturally together, see?
Why I Left the Right, Exhibit P for Pawlenty
Newsweek has an interview with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, the very model of a modern GOP candidate, considered by many as a possible front runner for the Presidency in 2012: Anti-science and anti-gay.
What follows from that Charles Johnson introduction are quotes from Pawlenty's Newsweek interview, including this:

Well, you know I’m an evangelical Christian. I believe that God created everything and that he is who he says he was. The Bible says that he created man and woman; it doesn’t say that he created an amoeba and then they evolved into man and woman. But there are a lot of theologians who say that the ideas of evolution and creationism aren’t necessarily inconsistent; that he could have "created" human beings over time.
Tto which Johnson responds:

Pawlenty has no problem with teaching creationism as science, but he wants to protect children from cross-dressing elementary school teachers, whether they actually exist or not. And he wants to make sure that gay couples don't receive medical benefits -- a position he's reversed as the GOP has moved farther and farther to the right.
But the GOP has not "moved . . . right" on this issue. Was the Republican Party more in favor of same-sex marriage benefits (or cross-dressing school teachers) in 2004? Or 1994? Or 1984?

Certainly Charles Johnson is not the only one peddling this "hijacked by extremists" myth about the GOP -- Frank Schaeffer seems to be making a career of it -- but it simply doesn't square with the facts.

What's really more interesting about the Newsweek interview is why the reporter felt the need to interrogate Pawlenty about his religious beliefs. Maybe they want to be extra-careful for 2012, after getting burned on that Jeremiah Wright deal last time around . . .

How about a Department of Moon Pies?

Fortunately, Harry Reid didn't need to bribe any Red State bubbas into voting for cloture, dashing our dream of a Department of Moon Pies. However, thanks to efforts of Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, the bill does create separate "Offices of Minority Health" in six separate health care agencies.

Look on the bright side: What kind of crap would be in the bill if Rod Blagojevich had gotten that Senate seat?

Sucky 3-D sci-fi flick = Oscar-bait?

The science is settled: Avatar sucks. Don't tell that to Hollywood, though: It could get nine Oscar nominations!

Speaking of awards, don't forget to vote for me in the 2009 Malkin Awards. Last time I checked, I was in second place behind Glenn Beck.

'What. The. Hell.'

Michelle Malkin reacts to the ObamaCare "provision requiring insurance plans that cover dependents to provide benefits to children up to age 26."

Twenty-six. Think about that. If you're 18 and really serious about getting health-care coverage, here's a suggestion: Join the Marine Corps.

Not only will the Marines provide you with health care, but you also get free food, free housing, free clothing and free travel to exotic countries where you can actually get paid to kill foreigners.

How cool is that, dude? Not to mention, chicks dig that whole muscular-guy-in-a-uniform thing.

So turn off your gaming console, get your lazy butt off the sofa, go to your nearest Marine Corps recruiting station and sign up today. If the taxpayers are going to give you slackers free health-care, at least you should earn it the old-fashioned way: Killing foreigners.

Now the bad news: We're not at war with Canada. Yet.

P.S.: Don't forget to vote for me in the 2009 Malkin Awards.

'Natural causes'? Ri-iiight

Not since Elvis died while under the care of "Dr. Nick" has any celebrity's death been so suspicious as that of 32-year-old Brittany Murphy:
A shocking number of strong prescription meds were found on Brittany Murphy's bedroom nightstand before her sudden Dec. 20 death, according to notes from an investigator with the Los Angeles coroner's office.
According to the notes (obtained by, the medications included Topamax (anti-seizure meds also to prevent migraines), Methylprednisolone (anti-inflammatory), Fluoxetine (depression med), Klonopin (anxiety med), Carbamazepine (treats Diabetic symptoms and is also a bipolar med), Ativan (anxiety med), Vicoprofen (pain reliever), Propranolol (hypertension, used to prevent heart attacks), Biaxin (antibiotic), Hydrocodone (pain med) and miscellaneous vitamins. . . .
The notes state Murphy "had been complaining of shortness of breath and severe abdominal pain" for 7 to 10 days prior to her death. . . .
"Death by medicine" is not as rare as some would have you believe. A pill for this, a pill for that, pills to deal with side effects of other pills -- pretty soon, your system becomes so distorted by the chemical intake that it's hard to tell what's really wrong with you, if anything.

The question now is whether Brittany Murphy had any disease other than hypochondria.

Britain's anti-clitoris crime wave

Prepare to be completely creeped out:

Hundreds of British schoolgirls are facing the terrifying prospect of female genital mutilation (FGM) over the Christmas holidays as experts warn the practice continues to flourish across the country. Parents typically take their daughters back to their country of origin for FGM during school holidays, but The Independent on Sunday has been told that "cutters" are being flown to the UK to carry out the mutilation at "parties" involving up to 20 girls to save money.
The police face growing criticism for failing to prosecute a single person for carrying out FGM in 25 years; new legislation from 2003 which prohibits taking a girl overseas for FGM has also failed to secure a conviction. . . .
"Cultural sensitivity" vs. the good kind of sensitivity? No need to tell you which side of that issue I'm on.

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugged is also adamantly pro-clitoris. Perhaps President Obama will appoint a Clitoris Czar to lead U.S. efforts against genital mutilation. I hereby nominate Mark Steyn.

(Via Memeorandum.)

UPDATE: Commenter Elizabeth:
Who honestly thinks that this would be tolerated if someone was mutilating the genitals of little white girls?
Indeed. The Independent notes:
An estimated 70,000 women living in the UK have undergone FGM, and 20,000 girls remain at risk, according to Forward. The practice is common in 28 African countries, including Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria, as well as some Middle Eastern and Asian countries such as Malaysia and Yemen.
This is one of those situations whre "cultural sensitivity" becomes a synonym for racism.

Birthers, fanatics, right-wing militias . . .

. . . and the Buffalo News editorial page:
Health reform was supposed to rein in the explosive costs of health care in this country, deliver better results and cover more people. It was always going to be difficult, but it wasn't impossible.
Instead, under current plans, Americans are likely to get a bill that drives unsustainable costs even higher, does not completely solve the problem of the uninsured and does little to improve the quality of medicine. And it won't kick in until as late as 2014. But taxes, mainly on the wealthy, would go up pronto.
This was supposed to be the moment for health care reform but, much as it pains us to say it, President Obama and Congress -- Democrats and Republicans -- have badly missed the opportunity. They need to start over. . . .
The problem is that this bill isn't even half a loaf. Not only is it insufficient, but it will almost certainly create a costly worse result. . . .
Maybe the Buffalo News is one of those "Aryan support groups" Sheldon Whitehouse warned us about.

Below his pay grade, I suppose

Once you've been mayor of New York and run for president, the Senate is definitely a step down.

This is a perfect opportunity to poke more fun at all those sophisticated people who, in 2006-07, argued in all apparent seriousness that Rudy Giuliani could win the GOP presidential nomination. Dude spent $59 million and got . . . what?

Genius strategy: Bet the whole wad on Florida and finish third. Ron Paul got more delegates, which wasn't really that hard, seeing as how Rudy's delegate count was zero.

Exit question: What loser will Allahpundit support in 2012?

Decades Later...

by Smitty (h/t Miss Cellania)

Decades later, surrounded by his goth grandchildren, Stacy could only look at the brood and know that his co-blogger, Smitty, was somehow responsible . . .

Monday, December 21, 2009

In Defense of Harry Reid

by Smitty

Look, don't go picking on Harry just because he traded some horses to get his way. You may have thought that the Information Age would bring some wild blooming of transparency, integrity, mom, and apple pie.

It did nothing of the sort.

We now have the results of Way Too Much Power sitting in DC. It's been a century brewing, and your perfect storm of debt, incumbency, and incompetence has us all in a tizzy.

Harry Reid did very little that was particularly new or outrageous. Don't hate the playuh, hate the game. Hate it at your Tea Party. Hate it while you attend CPAC2010. Hate it while you write in Instapundit for POTUS, with Stacy McCain as VP. And me as 1st Porch Manqué.

Update: Stuff like this (email tip Rob Tornoe):

is completely unacceptable. Stop, or I will say 'Stop' again!

2009 Malkin Awards: I'm a FINALIST!

Andrew Sullivan has nominated me four times for the prestigious "Malkin Award" and now I see that I am a finalist for the 2009 Malkin. The competition is tough -- I'm up against Erick Erickson, Michael Goldfarb and Glenn Beck, among other worthies -- but let's be honest: None of them can compete with the Greatest Hypothetical Evah!
"Swear to God, if they ever want a Gentile prime minister, my first order would be to deploy the IDF in a north-south line, facing east. My second order would be 'forward march' and the order to halt would not be given until it was time for the troops to rinse their bayonets in the Jordan. After a brief rest halt, the order 'about face' would be given, and the next halt would be at the Mediterranean coast."
Sully later made that hypothetical hyperbole the basis of accusing me of advocating genocide(!?!), which of course I was not. Peaceful by nature, I grew up a few miles from the ruins of New Manchester Mill -- burned by Stoneman's cavalry in 1864 -- and therefore have always had a keen understanding of what war really means (cf., Hiroshima).

Fatah, Hamas and Hezbollah recognize only one definition of "peace": Dead Jews. So when they start blowing up buses and firing rockets at civilians, these terrorist monsters are sending out an invitation to war, and they can't complain about getting an RSVP from the IDF.

Notice that this perspective doesn't require playing moral referee between Jews and Palestinians, or settling the historical grievances between them. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the reality that more than 60 years after Israel declared its independence, her terrorist enemies don't even recognize Israel's right to existence, and endlessly foment hatred against Jews. Ergo, Sonny Corleone in Gaza.

However, you don't have to share my idiosyncratic view of geopolitics to vote for me in the Malkin Awards competition. Any accusation of bloodthirsty warmongering based on that particular quote is invalid under that widely recognized codicil of the Blog Ethics Code known as the Glenn Greenwald Rule:
Anything said while ridiculing Glenn Greenwald is OK, because he always deserves it.
Hurry up and vote for me in the Malkin Awards, and be sure to hit my tip jar, because you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of Genesis 12:3.

Resolved: Barrett Brown is a putz

Having noticed an earlier mention, the spokesman for The Godless Coalition e-mails to deny being an Avatar fan and added an "offer" to debate, to which I replied:
"Offer"? As if you were the soul of generosity, and I in need of your philanthropy. Do your work, do it well, collect your pay and knock it off with the humanitarian posturing. You've never done an unselfish act in your life, and by pretending otherwise, you undermine your own credibility. Better to be honestly selfish than to be falsely charitable.
As to the title of this post: William F. Buckley was once invited to debate British feminist Germaine Greer at the Oxford Union, but after an exhausting series of trans-Atlantic communications, they were unable to agree on the proposition to be debated. Finally, his patience exhausted by the annoyance, Buckley cabled back this offer: "Resolved: Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile."

Barrett Brown and I have nothing to "debate." In October, while I was working on the Sparkman story in Kentucky, he jumped on the LGF bandwagon. He has since promised to include an entire chapter about me in his forthcoming book. This would be a bizarre non sequitur in a volume evidently otherwise devoted to assailing various prominent pro-Israel pundits -- Charles Krauthammer, Marty Peretz, etc. -- which is why I suggested his publisher rename the book, People That Barrett Brown Doesn't Like (Mainly Jews).

My friends are my friends and my job is my job. Which explains why, however harmful the effort of Charles Johnson and others to hang labels on me, there is no flinch reflex on my part. Because I don't flinch at their accusations, as they are accustomed to seeing people do in such circumstances, they become enraged and vengeful, misrepresenting my response (or non-response, whichever the case may be) as some sort of admission.

What this game comes down to, as any disinterested observer discerns, is a question of authority, their status as accuser. Whatever harm they do to me is mere collateral damage in their campaign of ambitious vanity, as they seek to enhance their own reputations at my expense. (Did I mention "vanity"? Yeah: Barrett's obviously got a Google-alert on his name, so he'll read this, too.)

As long as there is work I can do, I'll do it, even if I have to go back to driving a forklift (which was what I was doing before I landed my first newspaper job). Readers who wish to see me continue blogging should hit the tip jar.

Sheldon Whitehouse gets a memo from the Dept. of We Can Fact-Check Your Ass

Kerry Pickett of The Washington Times does the kind of journalism conservatives supposedly don't do:

Video from Hot Air where Ed Morrissey has much more. Excuse me for saying that this elevated my mood from bleak despair to ecstatic hope.

Once I heard a preacher talk about the "God of the Valleys." When we are on top of the mountain, it is easy to suppose that our achievements are the result of our own excellence. But it is in that dark valley -- where we feel doomed and hopeless -- that we learn the true meaning of faith.

After you've cried out for help in the darkness of that valley, make a vow that if you should ever get to that sunny mountaintop, you will remember the God of the valleys, who delivered you from destruction when all seemed lost.

Most people won't see the relevance of that sermon to this Whitehouse video, but some people will. Remember: "It is history that teaches us to hope."

UPDATE: By way of exegesis, I worked for hours yesterday transcribing excerpts of Whitehouse's remarks and Jon Kyl's rebuttal. A congressional source had gotten me a rush transcript written in ALL CAPS, which meant that, in order to provide the text, I had to retype it all myself.

Tough work, but somebody's got to do it. Then I caught an hour's nap, so that I could file an 850-word column for the American Spectator immediately after the 1 a.m. cloture vote. Then I put up a post in the Hot Air Greenroom and a post here, linking both the Spectator column and the Greenroom post. All the while, I relentlessly promoted my work via Twitter and e-mail.

So you can imagine what a crushing embarrassment it was to discover that Ed Morrissey didn't even bother to link me in his 10:12 a.m. post at Hot Air. All that work, for nothing, you see? Add this terrible personal humilation -- "Why does Ed Morrissey hate me?" -- to the depressing reality of the 60-40 cloture vote, and I was feeling lower than a snake's belly.

Not only that, but a paycheck I'd expected in the mail didn't show up today, and the tip-jar contributions have slowed to zero the past two days, putting the Pasadena trip in jeopardy -- to say nothing of the fact that I can't even afford to buy my wife a Christmas gift.

Total and complete failure.

And then I saw Kerry's video, a hopeful omen at a moment of utter despair. "Angels unawares."

Meanwhile my blog buddy Jim Treacher just got a new job, and we congratulate him on his good fortune.

(Do you reckon ObamaCare will buy me dentures after I grind my teeth down to the gums?)

Christmas at the Other McCain home

Our three youngest -- Jefferson, Emerson and Reagan -- help Mrs. Other McCain decorate the tree:

The video was recorded late Saturday afternoon, which is the subject of Reagan's comment at the end. Barring a miracle (hey, I could get lucky, maybe even tonight) seven-year-old Reagan will be the only one of our six children without a baby brother or sister. So we're hoping that the future Mrs. Nestares will provide Reagan with a niece or nephew in a couple of years.

How Not to Review a Movie

Sunday, it was established by consensus -- because no sane man would argue with Debbie Schlussel -- that Avatar sucks. The science is settled. And yet liberals aren't content to leave it at that:
Annalee Newitz writes that "[w]hether Avatar is racist is a matter of debate," but it isn't: the film is racist. Its fundamental narrative logic is racist: it transposes the cultural politics of Westerns (in which the Native Americans are animists who belong to a more primitive race) onto an interplanetary conflict and then assuages the white guilt that accompanies acts of racial and cultural genocide by having a white man save the noble savages (who are also racists). . . .
Why bother deconstructing the racial subtext of a crappy 3-D sci-fi movie? It's like pondering the cultural significance of Scooby-Doo, or doing your Ph.D. dissertation on feminist themes as embodied by Veronica and Betty in "Archie" comics.

Don't you people have lives? Speaking of which, I'm told that Barrett Brown loved Avatar. Not that he's a racist. But he does suck. Be sure to look for his book, People That Barrett Brown Doesn't Like (Mainly Jews), coming soon to a clearance bin near you.

(Via Memeorandum.)