Saturday, June 27, 2009

'It takes a special kind of stupid . . .'

". . . to be a Republican in an Obama administration," says Three Beers Later, in reference to Rep. John McHugh (R-INO) who got himself nominated as Obama's Army secretary in exchange for his "yes" vote on the energy tax.

Not One Red Cent for the Waxman-Markey Eight!

Jon Stewart and analogies

by Smitty (h/t No Quarter)

Jon Stewart (suddenly I feel even stupider for botching the spelling of Monique Stuart's name) is a useful idiot par excellence.
One is nearly capable of admiring such a Soldier of Stupidity. He has demonized Bush and Cheney with the best of them. He has worshipped at the altar of Hopium and Changeeba like a champ. But he has the special, difficult task of making Pavarotti sound like P-Diddy to the young, thoughtless nitwit demographic.
If the task wasn't so antithetical to the Constitution as understood by any sober reader, stuff like this would possibly be funny:

The only reason Nixon picked Spiro Agnew is that his name is an anagram for "grow a penis".
Without that guy being a very funny distraction, Nixon has no time to do Watergate.
So, the SAT question/answer might read: Nixon and Agnew are to Watergate as Obama and Biden are to IG-gate?

Small RINO herd spotted

by Smitty

In shameless and well-researched obedience to Rule 1, the Left Coast Rebel has profiled the RINO herd that assumed the position for HR2454.
The real question is whether the RINO herd or Manbearpig is the greater threat to our economy and country. What if the RINOs are actually allied with Manbearpig?

Is the inverted pachyderm a secret Manbearpig symbol?

Couple o' clips

by Smitty

Insty points to

That's a funny play on a scary flick. It also brings to mind a bit of Orson Wells doing Kafka, a scary play on a scary book.

More Crazy Cousin Misadventures!

Naming this blog "The Other McCain" was intended as clarification: I've never sponsored an amnesty bill, voted for a bailout, or ran a campaign so disastrously wrongheaded as to result in the election of Barack Obama. And then there's Crazy Cousin John's Twitter-happy idiot daughter:
I love people that tell me "I'm doing damage to the GOP", yeah cause Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Sen. Ensign, Gov Sanford and the entire Bush administration have nothing to do with the GOP's problems,'s my 5"1 ass in a pushup bra thats the real problem with the GOP...
Your writing ability is nearly as bad as your judgment, Cuz.

Want to discuss the history of the Republican Party, Megan? Let's go back to 1997, when your father decided to position himself to run as a centrist for the 2000 presidential campaign.

Maverick moved rightward in 1994-96 (his ACU rating averaging 94 those three years) as he evidently believed that might make him more appealing as a GOP vice-presidential contender. Alas, the Republican Party apparently felt that by nominating the worthless sellout Bob Dole, they had filled their necessary quota of crabby old war heroes.

Like David Brooks, however, McCain seems to have taken away from the Dole's doomed '96 campaign was that being a worthless sellout was the ticket to success in the GOP. Thus, Maverick's ACU rating fell to an average 76.5 for 1997-2000.

It was the transparently unprincipled "centrism" of McCain that made it so easy for Karl Rove to position George W. Bush as the Real Conservative in the 2000 GOP primaries. And McCain's petulant response to the predictable failure of his own idiotic strategy should have permanently ended his presidential aspirations.

After his campaign went virtually bankrupt in mid-2007, it seemed the Maverick had squandered his last opportunity. His campaign was revived, however, with the assistance of MSM liberals who knew John McCain far better than some of his own clueless supporters knew him. Trust me, Meghan, your father's habit of "privately" disparaging grassroots GOP voters is no secret in the press corps.

Republican "leaders" whose only principle is their contempt for Republican voters? Yeah, we know the type. We also now why that type of Republican is so beloved by Eleanor Clift, James Fallows, Tina Brown, Graydon Carter and Pinch Sulzberger.

Let's take a close look at those folks you name-checked, shall we, Cuz? When Donald Rumsfeld was nominated as Secretary of Defense, he enjoyed your father's enthusiastic (public) support and, if your father ever questioned the rationale of the Iraq invasion, I don't remember him ever mentioning his doubts in 2002-03. Say what you will about Karl Rove, Meghan, but your liberal friends spend several months last year accusing your father of "Rovian" tactics. Maybe your liberal friends are wrong, but . . . well, when did you ever criticize a liberal?

Ensign and Sanford? Let's not go there, sugar.

You and Chris Buckley enjoy yourselves the next time Tina Brown throws a party for The Republicans Who Really Matter. Ask the bartender to fix you a special drink called the STFU Cocktail.

You need it. Bad. And be sure to buy one for Gail Gitcho, who worked for your father's campaign and, sources say, spent Election Night 2008 partying as if she hadn't a care in the world. The professional architects of defeat get paid to produce these disasters.

Feeling Mugged Just Right About Now

by Smitty

Either HR2454 or the heavy food from the bar last night has the tummy a bit out of sorts at the moment. Yet the Full Metal Jacket Reach Around must go on. Pardon the slight tardiness: unlike Congress, I'm willing to admit that dropping ~300 pages at 0300 on top of another ~900 pages is a recipe for disaster. Madame Speaker: if James Madison, or any of the other founding fathers were alive to witness your depredations, I daresay they'd be calling you everything but an American citizen, or worse.
On to the FMJRA therapy.

Economic Wrecking Ball:
  • Actually, Carolyn Tacket used the phrase 'economy wrecking bill' to introduce her Friday night roundup. I guess Congress has to destroy and economy to save it, for certain values of "save" where the letter "l" creeps into the second position.
  • Mike at the Conservative Political Report included us in his roundup. He notes that Representative Boehner was to have read the entire bill on the House floor. Oh, really?
  • Our Ohio U. correspondent Jesse finds some humor in this: "Cap'n Trade isn't the name of a crappy seafood restaurant, it's a House bill that's going to the Senate. Elections have consequences, folks."
  • Paleo Pat at Political Byline picked us up, as well: "instead of sitting and writing about crap I know zero about, I will quote people that do know about it." The fact that you admit knowing zero about it, Pat, puts you on the same level as the pack of clowns that voted in favor of it, albeit in the more honest section.
  • The BlogProf seems rather exercised on the topic. From his title, "...The Total Cost Is Still Unknown To Many Americans. Or That It Is A Proven Failure In Europe!" See, now, this is America. Yes we can re-invent the wheel, and indeed make it rounder. It's all about good engineering, no? The jobs? Outsourced to Zambiniland, of course.
  • The Pirate's Cove post includes the famous Los Angeles roadmapwiring diagram (emphasis mine)
    The chart highlights the slew of new government programs Democrats will create in order to take and redistribute trillions of dollars from family budgets and workers payrolls in the form of allowances – all overseen by a confusing web of government agencies.
    See? New government Programs? As long as some jobs are created, it's OK. That more jobs are destroyed in the creation of those zero-economic benefit government jobs is merely a ploy to ferret out the conservative rubes who are not "on board".
  • The Rhetorican linked the 'No Transparency' post.
  • Pat in Shreveport has a great roundup, and points out that we all owe debt of gratitude to Stacy for pounding the pavement on the story. I sit and crank out this post here at Porch Manqué Central and ponder how hard it would be to divert time from my job to do this kind of watch-dogging. So thank you, Stacy. [Tip Jar moment goes here].
  • Drive Time Happy hour summarizes the legislation: "about as transparent as cotton candy".
  • Knappster: "Smoot-Hawley redux"
  • Dave at Fish Fear Me: "You're the Sucker". It's a logical consequence of having swallowed a line of nonsense hook, link, sinker, and half the pier.
  • Left Coast Rebel has some good thoughts, as well as the Warren Buffet clip lamenting the plight of the poor people. a) Why support the Democrats at all, and b) note that the FTP spirit of the 111th Congress, which shall live in infamy, is not new: [NSFW]

  • Beyond the HR2454 economic Pearl Harbor strike just conducted by the Wicked Witch of the West, Donald Douglas also linked us on the general lack of confidence in the stimulus package. I'm no' so sure they lack understanding of the unworkability of these ideas. I grow uneasy that they may in fact have a higher level of understanding of the situation, which they are not quite sharing.
  • Punch line: the bill does not exist in any final form.
I'm renaming it POTUS Inspector General-Gate.:
The PIG-gate spigot rhymes with frigate. Probably too weird, but we'll see if it catches, as it continues to pump effluent into the news plumbing.
  • Blog buddy Dan Riehl links us both at length and briefly.
  • Lead and Gold is also intrigued by the Acheson question. Also: Man on Fire. Unlike the liars, who merely have smoldering britches.
  • Moe Lane at Red State summarized one chunk of the CHT: "Fred Weiderhold quit rather than tell Congress he was under Biden’s thumb."
  • The Daily Danet (ah, Clark Kent sketch, rhymes with 'planet') also linked us briefly. Thanks!
  • Perennial ToM favorite Carol offered a concise summary with a graphic of Senator Grassley (R-IA).
  • In a brazen attempt at a metaphoric coup, Obi's Sister thinks aloud that PIG-gate is like an Onion. Hmmm. I suppose, with the accounting angle, you could bring in [NSFW] Herbert Kornfeld, from back in the edgier days... You really have to know where to look for that content. They had that character die right around the time the last presidential campaign was revving up. Coincidence?
  • Riehl posted concerning the Rick Moran Blog Talk Radio show about PIG-gate. The remarks about the POTUS's character and managerial style are interesting speculation.
  • When Instapundit asks: "Is there some kind of pattern here?" he means: even Ray Charles, both dead and blind, can see it! OK, I made that up. Insty may not have meant that exactly.
  • Moe Lane linked us here.
  • Also, a link roundup from the Rhetorican.
  • Jimmie Bise served up some PIG-gate at the Sundries Shack.

  • Robert Belvedere at The Camp of the Saints appears to be maintaining the definitive index of all things PIG-gate at the WWU-AM page at TCOS. Scroll down a bit and look at the middle column below "Unwelcome Distractions". This is an excellent resource. We thank you, sir.
  • There was also linkage by Michelle Malkin, who has been working this story as hard as Stacy.
  • We further caught the attention of the suave Mr. Paco.
  • Fisherville Mike is also glued to the browser, awaiting updates.
Attack of the two-inch tall governor:
Without delving into a full autobiographical sketch, one thing dad taught me was: "One 'Oh, s**t' wipes out 1,000 atta-boys". Restated, a single failure obliterates a thousand good deeds.
  • The Conservative Political Report mentioned us briefly in a roundup.
  • The BlogProf's roundup mentions us positively, John Kerry's attempt to bring Governor Palin into the conversation, not so much.
  • John Hawkins, writing for Pajamas Media offered a roundup from the right-o-sphere, quoting Stacy at length, as one does.
  • The Moralia Blog linked my initial, cautious note.
  • The Daley Gator appreciated the (mostly) humorous advice proffered by Stacy: Just shoot the SOB. He linked us more on this topic in a rather squirrely way.
  • Jeffords turns the baleful eye and notes: "As the late, great Lewis Grizzard once noted, he needed killin' is a valid defense down South."
  • Fisherville Mike appreciated the roundup effort.
But consider that there are still one or things that can still be with your record, Mr. Sanford:

Even an entire Rose Garden can't cover the stench of rotten policy:
  • Obi's Sister delivered a thorough drubbing about the presidential response to Iran.
  • Donald Douglas demonstrates determined diplomatic decolletage. A stunning display of Rule 5 intensity sure to leave the mullah's staggered.
  • Jules Crittenden: "The Other McCain gushblogs it."
  • Thanks also to Hyscience for the linkage.
  • Bits of Brain had a thoughtful Domino Theory essay, and linked to the "Once Upon a Time..." post with the Gipper.
  • Little Miss Attila refers to the POTUS as a "One Trick Pony". Now, would that trick have been campaigning? Why does LMA hate ponies?
Moving on from personal to policy failures:
Just because it got all the rave reviews of a George W. Bush speech doesn't render BHO's single payer scamplan harmless.
  • The verbose William Teach: Fail. This looming disaster has been called more dangerous than HR2454.
Don't let the irritated pit-bull demeanor towards David Letterman distract you:
Cynthia Yockey is really a lovely lady.
  • Chad at KURU lounge does his part:
    One reason that so many conservative political figures are destroyed is that they set standards for themselves and others. Unfortunately it isn't always possible to live up to the standards you set. Liberals understand this and so they pick and pick until they can find a defect then attack full force. Apologies or pledges to change behavior elicit no mercy and eventually the conservative is forced to remove himself from public life.
  • Chris in New Jersy (not the sad little HR2454 sellout, neither of whom is me) pointed to a tangential benefit of supporting the Fire Letterman campaign:
    The Letterman boycott movement is still some mighty fine Google bait for me. And it really helps that the Big Kahuna himself, Promulgator of The Rules and Sensei of Blog-Fu, Robert Stacy McCain, inducted me into the "Don't F*** With Us" Coalition.
Special Rule 5 Note:
The winner of last week's "Find a Date for Conor" Rule 5 Challenge, namely, Deuce at The Skepticrats has weighed in. Tommorow's roundup will not include Maria Belen Chapur links. I'll add Jenny Sanford to the exclusion list. Not that we object to gratuitous overkill in the slightest, mind you. However, our cheerful appreciation of beauty as such is about positive admiration, and not to be confused with temptation to stray.

Miscellaneous Shout Outs (Shouts Out?):
  • Dustbury enjoys the X could not be reached for comment pattern, and offers examples. Also, the three word commentary post rocks, although I was too lazy to search the HTML source to figure out where he linked us.

  • Donald Douglas noted the plumbing in a Stacy's biographical essay. The sad news is that this seemingly historical piece was a stealth prophecy about what Cap'n Trade's going to do to us all.
  • We made a small link roundup of Troglopundit's. However, it's his career counseling that really smacks of wisdom.
  • The Mean ol' Meany delivered a jolly flogging to the left, and mentioned Stacy's economic reporting. For the record, I don't want to believe that New Yorkers are as stupid as the video clip at the bottom of the post implies.
  • The Classical Liberal linked the "No Turning Left" post in an excellent meditation on the lunacy of the left. Of course, the leadership in the left are crazy like foxes.
  • The Camp of the Saints concurred with the rejection of Affirmative Action.
  • Dan Collins
  • The Left Coast Rebel notes that obedience to shameless blogwhoring pays. Now, let's get you wired for Technorati.

Pardon the tardy FMJRA. We'll post about last night's DC gathering elsewhere. Please send updates and corrections to Smitty. Please contact your Congresscritter and offer the most polite variation on a primal scream that you can muster. And hit the tip jar.

Letter to NRCC Chairman:

As previously announced here, Not One Red Cent will boycott the House Republican campaign committee until the Waxman-Markey Eight are repudiated. I've just posted my message to NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions:
It has become increasingly obvious of late that some Republicans have been in Washington too long. None of the eight GOP House members who voted for Waxman-Markey will be re-elected. They will either retire from the House, be defeated in next year's Republican primaries, or suffer well-deserved defeat on November 2, 2001. Therefore, every penny that the NRCC spends to support the re-election of the Waxman-Markey Eight is wasted money that could be used more effectively to support Republican challengers.
The NRCC must announce a policy of non-support for the Waxman-Markey Eight, or else NRCC fund-raising letters will go directly into the garbage cans of every previous grassroots GOP donor who is tired of seeing his contributions wasted to support nominal "Republicans" that repeatedly betray party principles. . . .
Please read the whole thing, and hit the tip jar to help support the Not One Red Cent blog. Of course, pixels are cheap, but determined persistence ought to be worth something.

UPDATE: Welcome Ed Driscoll readers. For the benefit of the uninitiated, perhaps I should explain the theory of organizational dynamics that informs my attitude toward Republican "leadership."

I am an ex-Democrat, so I have extensive experience in getting screwed over and backstabbed by clueless losers. And I've been a conservative journalist in Washington since 1997 so . . . ditto.

As I've said eleventy-zillion times, if you volunteer to be a doormat, don't complain about the footprints on your back. If you desire to retain your self-respect and dignity, you must retain sufficent independence to be willing to say, "That's it. No more. I quit. You've f***ed me over once too often."

This is not merely a principle of political life, but is of universal application in human affairs. For example, if you allow your spouse to abuse and betray you without fear of repercussions, you are as responsible for the consequences as the person who abuses and betrays you. My wife has my respect and loyalty, which she reciprocates insofar as I am deserving of her respect and loyalty. Which is to say, she trusts me about as far as she can throw me. Mrs. Other McCain's beauty is exceeded only by her wisdom.

After Friday night's Smittypalooza, several of us went out for hamburgers at a tavern near Dupont Circle. Our table was next to a group of three young people, two guys and a girl. Overhearing some remark one of them made -- he was from Alabama -- I struck up a jocular conversation. This conversation eventually disclosed that the three were "just friends," and that in fact the Alabamian among them was an intern of the supervision of the lady who (as someone else at our table subsequently remarked) as nearly as amused by my jokes as I was.

Sensing that my intentions might be misinterpreted, I found an opportunity to mention Mrs. Other McCain, to praise her virtues, and to add that we have six children. And if the point needed further emphasis I found an appropriate occasion to repeat one of my favorite sayings: "She's got a kitchen drawer full of knives, and I've got to sleep sometime."

There is truth in humor, and the same principle applies to any situation where your self-chosen loyalty is involved. I've been a University of Alabama Crimson Tide fan since I was a gamete swimming in a desperate effort to become a zygote. I can hardly conceive being anything but a 'Bama fan. Yet if the folks in Tuscaloosa should ever betray that loyalty, they would find me an implacable foe.

My loyalty to the Democratic Party was similarly hereditary. My parents would have been horrified if, in 1959, they had imagined one of their offspring might eventually vote Republican. Yet the Democrats, knowing this, took shameless advantage of that loyalty. These repeated betrayals were for years excused by me in the same way that a battered wife excuses her husband's brutality. Hell's bells, I voted for Mondale!

Then came the day that my Democratic congressman, George "Buddy" Darden, voted for the fateful legislative travesty that I recall as "The Great Gun Grab of 1994." On that day, the Democratic Party forever forfeited any further claim to my loyalty. On the first Tuesday in November of that year, I cast my first vote ever for a Republican congressional candidate -- some obscure Marietta lawyer named Barr -- thus joining the majority consensus that it was time that Mr. Darden returned to the private sector.

F*** you, Buddy Darden. And f*** you, Democrats. What part of "From My Cold Dead Hands" is so hard to understand?

Once burned, twice shy, and I could never be as blindly loyal to the Republicans as I once was to the Democrats. That kind of loyalty is for chumps. Being a partisan chump is an invitation to political rape. (Ask gay Democrats how that feels. Or ask some of the Christian conservatives who made the mistake of trusting Ralph Reed. If I ever own an outhouse, I'll name it in Reed's honor.)

Politicians will respect their constituents only if they fear their constituents. George "Buddy" Darden once thought he could screw me over without consequence, and learned otherwise in short order. Ralph Reed holds no elective office, nor will he ever. Mene mene tekel upharsin.

When the perfidious Catiline conspired to subvert the Roman republic, Cicero exposed the traitor:
Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? . . . Patere tua consilia non sentis, constrictam iam horum omnium scientia teneri coniurationem tuam non vides? . . .
O tempora, o mores! Senatus haec intellegit. Consul videt; hic tamen vivit.
Hic tamen vivit. But not for long, eh? The Waxman-Markey Eight have signed the death warrants of their political careers, and friends of the republic must be vigilant to expose anyone who aids this act of treachery.

FedEx vs. UPS: What's Up?

Chuck Muth has a post about a proposed policy change that is opposed by FedEx (and Rush Limbaugh). You should read the whole thing, because (a) it was sent to me by someone who said my name was recommended by Orit Sklar; and (b) it contains this paragraph:
Unions suck. Big Labor generally stands for paying every employee the same amount of money even if one worker does a great job and another one sleeps all day. I believe labor unions are a doorway to socialism in the United States and if I had my way, I’d outlaw all of them - especially government workers unions, and super-especially teachers unions.
Union-hating and Orit-Sklar-name-checking? Yeah. Read the whole thing.

Blame the NRCC

The Waxman-Markey Monstrosity From Hell That Will Destroy the American Economy passed the House by a vote of 219-212 last night while I was attending the inaugural Smittypalooza.

If only four votes had gone the other way, the monstrosity would have been defeated by a 216-215 vote. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate that Michelle Malkin has named the eight Republicans who voted for it. And I've got four words for the National Republican Congressional Committee:
Not One Red Cent.
We've already said Not One Red Cent for the National Republican Senatorial Committee because Sen. John Cornyn and the NRSC betrayed the GOP grassroots in Florida. Now, add the NRCC to the list.

What's the point of giving money to the national party if, on key votes, Republican members of the House are indistinguishable from Nancy Pelosi?

Why give money to the campaign committee whose job is to re-elect these RINO sellouts?
  • Mary Bono Mack, California
  • Mike Castle, Delaware
  • Mark Kirk, Illinois
  • John McHugh, New York
  • Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey
  • Leonard Lance, New Jersey
  • Dave Reichert, Washington
  • Chris Smith, New Jersey
Unless and until all eight of these swine announce their retirements -- or are defeated in next year's primaries -- I say the grassroots answer to the NRCC should be NOT ONE RED CENT!

Who's with me?

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin links. In the comments, my moderate Republican friend Joe Marier argues:
NJ Republicans in danger of getting redistricted out don't vote against the AFL-CIO, and neither do aspiring Senators in Delaware and Illinois.
Final challenge: name the 8 seats you will take back in exchange for those.
Let these eight get beat by Club For Growth-backed primary challengers, and figure the GOP would still win at least half of the subsequent general elections.
The belief that there is some sort of political security for blue-state Republicans in parroting Sierra Club propaganda and trying to buddy up to the AFL-CIO is akin to the college boy's belief that he can score with a Women's Studies major by espousing feminist cant. In all likelihood, she's a lesbian, but even if she weren't, why on earth would she be interested in the kind of guy who blabbers on about feminism?

Friday, June 26, 2009

'I'm going to beat you today'

There is no human quality I admire so much as the courageous force of determined persistence. And I learned that from old No. 27:
When he was 16, Bill McCain told his mother, "You won't ever have to worry about me again." He left the family farm in rural Randolph County, Alabama, and moved 40 miles away to West Point, Georgia, where he went to work on the night shift in a cotton mill.
You've heard of people who worked their way through college? My father worked his way through high school. Most of his cotton-mill pay went for room and board and books -- in those days, public-school students in Georgia had to buy their own textbooks -- at the school where he became a football star. . . .
Read the whole thing.

The Monstrosity From Hell That Will
Destroy the American Economy

Latest update on Waxman-Markey at The American Spectator:
According to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, Henry Waxman just tacked on another 300 pages in the dead of night! This monstrosity is like one of those 1950s sci-fi creatures that just keeps growing and growing . . .
Read the rest, if you dare. What is the evil bipartisan virus that plagues Washington, D.C., and turns members of Congress into pod people compelled to wreak vengeance on the voters who elected them?

Most of these Democrats are from states whose industrial economies would be devastated by Waxman-Markey. This resembles nothing so much as the way urban Democrats have spent the past 50 years pushing liberal legislation that harms no one -- not even taxpayers -- so much as it harms the downtrodden inner-city poor whose interests Democrats claim as their personal comfort-blanket of moral authority.


UPDATE: Debate? We don't need no stinkin' debate!

Great Moments in Blogging History

The blogospheric debut of Ohio University senior Jesse Hathaway seems auspicious:
On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being "I Shall Name My First-Born Son After You" and 1 being "You Are Dead To Me," the current governor, Ted Strickland, ranks somewhere around a -2. I supported Blackwell back in 2006, but when Strickland won the race, I gave a resounding "meh".
Thou art the Ohio Snark King, sir! A gut hunch tells me you stole the format of that joke from Ace of Spades, but if so, you've done well with the purloined merchandise.

Don't sweat it, kid. I've stolen lots of stuff from Ace, and he's not the only victim of my online shoplifting spree. Every time a Republican gets caught in a scandal, I seize the excuse to recycle Ann Coulter's "Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment" without even a twinge of conscience, and Miss Coulter has yet to complain.

Now, take some advice from Mr. Million Hits:
  • Add Little Miss Attila to your blogroll, pronto;
  • Install on your blog both SiteMeter and Technorati; and
  • Start looking for excuses to link me.
Further instructions will follow. E-mail Smitty the next time you post something, which had damn well better be today, and something about Waxman-Markey would be appreciated.

I like you, kid, but don't give me an excuse to come over there and start punk-smacking you around like Conor Friedersdorf. I got ties older than you, understand?

News cycle and IG-Gate

Trying to keep up with a multi-front investigation is difficult and, while chasing yesterday's IG story and then following up with Grassley's document release, I overlooked a few relevant items:
I'm sure I've missed some important items, but this is a big story that's growing bigger, and it's getting very hard to compile a comprehensive daily round-up. Bob Belvedere may have the best compilation of IG-Gate information.

One of the breaks I've caught in the past week is that many top D.C. journalists are already on vacation and won't return until after July 4. Also, the Iran controversy, the White House press conference Tuesday, the cap-and-trade push, and the Mark Sanford confession Wednesday seem to have distracted lots of the Washington press corps. So I scored an exclusive Thursday night while everybody else missed it. Heh.

Hit the tip jar, please.


by Smitty

It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

God bless you, lady

by Smitty (h/t HotAir)

What a gracious lady. In the face of horrible indignity from Asshat of the Year front-runner Mark Sanford, we have Jenny Sanford:

A quick Google didn't turn up any information on Mark Sanford's height, but, in the face of this kind of righteousness, I'll estimate 2".

David Frum at New Majority

by Smitty

Bill Whittle interviews Frum, who is certainly articulate and intelligent. Frum is also pitching a web site.
Whittle's chat covers the impact of the Sanford scandal with respect to the 2012 election. There is also much interesting discussion about leadership, or lack thereof, amongst conservatives.
The New Majority website appears slickly designed and well staffed. Note the picture of the original Progressive, Theodore Roosevelt at the top of the page. As Ancient Commenter Solomon might have said of Progressives,
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. Pro 16:25

While certainly standing for a few good things, e.g. women's sufferage, modern Progressivism seems subverted by the Modern Liberal mindset. In the discussion between the individual and society, Progressives seem to take for granted that the 50 states are moot, and only the Federal government matters.
One wants to hear Frum talk about the 10th Amendment as meaningful, about the 16 Amendment as evil, but he seems to have conceded that we have a centrist government driven by single personalities, rather than 50 States United running on Constitutional principles.
He is articulate, and has a fine understanding of the tactics of the current political situation. I have the same problem with him that I have with Conor Friedersdorf, however: Frum seems to be fighting on ground of enemy choosing, which most winning generals eschew.

EXCLUSIVE: Report on Amtrak IG case

Sen. Charles Grassley's office has released a 94-page report (PDF). Will update shortly with details.

UPDATE: Press release from Grassley's office:
Senator Chuck Grassley has asked Amtrak about the circumstances of the Inspector General's unexpected retirement seven days ago and invited Amtrak to provide information about the interference by Amtrak in the work of the Inspector General described in a report prepared at the request of the retired watchdog.
Grassley said the report indicates that Amtrak's policies and procedures have systematically violated the letter and spirit of the Inspector General Act.
"As I continue my investigation into whether the independence of the Inspector General was undermined by Amtrak officials, I want to make sure I have any and all information Amtrak wants to provide," Grassley said. "The allegations are serious, including third parties being told to first send documents under subpoena by the Inspector General to Amtrak for review, and the Inspector General being chastised for communicating directly with congressional appropriations and authorizing committees . . ."
Read the whole thing. I had been warned to expect something like this, so I just kept refreshing the press release page at Grassley's site until it was posted. Well, I've got work to do.

UPDATE 8:45 ET: The first news story about this report, from . . . well, me, at The American Spectator:
Officials of Amtrak have "systematically violated the letter and spirit of the Inspector General Act," Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) charged Thursday, making public a 94-page legal report prepared at the request of the Amtrak inspector general who resigned suddenly a week ago.
Fred Wiederhold, a veteran IG, retired without notice or explanation June 18 after a meeting with Amtrak officials where he presented the report by the law firm of Willkie, Farr & Gallagher. "The allegations are serious, including third parties being told to first send documents under subpoena by the Inspector General to Amtrak for review, and the Inspector General being chastised for communicating directly with congressional appropriations and authorizing committees," Grassley said in a statement.
Grassley's accusation of illegal actions by Amtrak, including failure to comply properly with subpoenas, is the most serious to date in an investigation that has expanded quickly since the IG for the AmeriCorps program was given an ultimatum two weeks ago to resign or be fired.
In a letter to Amtrak Chairman Thomas Carper, Grassley said the legal report "suggests a long-term and unrelenting interference with the activities and operation" of the IG's office. Grassley said his staff believes that members of the Amtrak IG office "be fearful of retaliation if they were to discuss the matters set forth in this letter with anyone, including Congress." . . .
Read the whole thing. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson is dead. He was a few months older than me, much richer, and never scored an exclusive news story in his life. His kickspin was better than mine, however.

UPDATE 10:15 p.m.: A little more news at the Green Room:
Investigators for Sen. Joe Lieberman (Ind.-Conn.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) are now becoming involved with the IG-Gate probe.
Previously, Lieberman and Collins had seemed willing to accept Obama administration officials’ version of the firing of AmeriCorps IG Gerald Walpin without even hearing Walpin’s side of the story. Now, as a clear pattern of pressure against IGs has developed, the multiple investigations have gotten the attention of Lieberman and Collins, the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. This is the chief oversight committee with jurisdiction to hold hearings and subpoena materials in the IG probe.
Some Republicans, however, have been disappointed by Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Mike Enzi of Wyoming. Both GOP senators have expressed interest in the IG investigations, but neither has sought to interview Walpin or ordered their own staffers to coordinate with Grassley’s investigators, who have already been on the case for two weeks.
Astute blog readers will recognize that I've linked the contact pages for those senators, and for a good reason. If you want to see Congress hold hearings on IG-Gate, you need to get in touch with your own members of Congress and tell them so. "Sources close to the investigation" say that it is up to citizens to push Congress to take action. It doesn't matter whether your senators or representatives; preserving the independence of IGs ought to be a bipartisan concern.

UPDATE 10:23 p.m.: Welcome Hot Air readers. And thanks to Bob Belvedere for his IG-Gate compilation at WWU-AM.

UPDATE 11:12 p.m.: No Watchdogs Allowed

UPDATE 11:22 p.m.: I use Google News to search for online information about these stories, and somehow had previously missed this story today from Youth Today about CNCS acting NCNS head Nicole Goren's explanation of the Walpin firing. You can check that out, but it still doesn't address the question of fundamental fairness. In the three weeks between the May 20 board meeting and June 10, when Walpin was told to quit or be fired, neither CNCS nor anyone in the Obama administration made any effort to get Walpin's side of the dispute.

IG-Gate: It's not about Walpin
6/24: Another shoe leather day
6/23: IG-Gate: Asking the right questions
6/23: More questions for Secretary Geithner
6/22: Your man in Washington
6/21: Obama's no Daley, but . . .
6/19: IG investigation: 'Dominoes Fall'
6/18: Grassley expands IG investigation
6/18: Targeting AIG bailout?
6/18: How's the weather in Sacramento?
6/18: Sen. Grassley wants more answers

Fred Thompson concerning Mark Sanford

by Smitty

Fred has an .mp3 available here.
He has some interesting points, essentially saying, don't muck about on public time.
Additionally, Fred throws in the tangentially related idea of term limits.
Sanford: eject.

No transparency on energy bill
UPDATE: House must 'come to its senses'

Rep. Spencer Bachus:
The Democrat leadership is preventing the public from learning important details about the cap and tax plan by bypassing several key committees. . . .
My committee should be given time to review "green housing" mandates that could lead to stiff fines against owners and builders. Penalties for violating the act are $100 per day. A day! What effect does such a law have on home prices, on seniors trying to sell their home in a tough market, and builders struggling to sell their inventory of unsold homes?
I am very disturbed by the repeated pattern of the House leadership in rushing expensive legislation like cap and tax, the so-called stimulus package, and appropriations bills to a vote without adequate review or debate. It’s irresponsible to fast-track legislation that puts taxpayers on the hook for literally trillions of dollars.
Just like the White House playing hardball with the IGs, we find that Democrats prefer to work fast and dirty, and without even the slight effort toward the "transparency" Obama promised.

REMINDER: Two months ago, Democrat Rep. John Dingell said cap-and-trade is a "huge" tax:

UPDATE: Conservatives oppose cap-and-trade:
Although Americans want Washington to stay focused on putting the economy back on track, Nancy Pelosi and her liberal Democratic Congress are trying to enact legislation that will keep the economy crippled. Analysts agree that the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill would cost millions of American jobs, shrink our economy and impose huge increases in gas prices, heating and electric bills on American families. . . .
The House of Representatives needs to come to its senses – don’t pass a massive job-killer in the middle of the worst economic crisis in decades. . . .
Read the whole thing. Signers include Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity; Fred Smith, President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute; Richard Viguerie, Chairman of; and American Spectator publisher Al Regnery.

Mary Jo Kopechne could
not be reached for comment

Having suggested that Jenny Sanford should ventilate her cheating SOB husband with .38 slugs, I think I cannot be accused of making excuses for Republicans with zipper problems.

Well, what about David Shuster of NBC News? A friend was following Shuster's Twitter feed yesterday:

Does Spitzer deserve more "credit" (wrong word choice, I know) because he resigned as opposed to Sanford who is staying in office?
To quote Andrew Sullivan, words fail. My opinion is that Sanford's next office should be under a tombstone, and comparing the Last Tango in Buenos Aires to the sordid saga of Spitzer -- the anti-prostitution crusader who found himself entangled in an FBI investigation of an interstate call-girl ring -- tends to obscure, rather than enlighten.

What kind of perverse mind tries to use Sanford's shame to rehabilitate the scoundrel Spitzer? Absurd.

Meanwhile, speaking of Twitter and Sanford, Dave Weigel just Twittered a quote from his story about the Sanford scandal:
"It proves men who oppose federal spending are irresistible to women."
-- Grover Norquist
Heh. No wonder Dr. Helen keeps such a close eye on Glenn Reynolds. Keep that .38 handy, Dr. Helen!

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is definitely not a member of the Grover Norquist Fan Club:
Just what we need: Beltway conservatives showing how tone-deaf and insensitive they are for the sake of a self-aggrandizing soundbite.
Note Malkin's mother-bear reaction:
I don’t find anything funny about the Sanford affair. It’s the mom in me thinking about four handsome boys on Father’s Day weekend abandoned by their stupid, selfish father, who was busy tanning with his mistress in Argentina. Heart-breaking. Yes. Nauseating. Yes. Maddening. Yes. Funny? No.

Sarcasm is my natural metier, and spending two decades in the newroom tends to put a keen edge on one's cynical indifference to the foibles of the famous and powerful. In some circles, a big-shot politician is like a rock star, so when a politician behaves like he's on tour with Aerosmith, it brings out my inner Mencken. (He once remarked that the only way a journalist should ever look at a politician is down.)

My cynicism is bipartisan. Sanford's Argentine escapade is, to me, as ludicrous and deserving of scornful laughter as any shenanigans of Gary Hart, Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton.

I was on the phone a few minutes ago with a Texas Republican, a Christian conservative gentleman with extensive experience in the blogosphere. As I explained to my friend, for 20 years I've had a saying: My wife has a kitchen drawer full of knives, and I've got to sleep sometime.

Humor can expresss truth. In an act of divine irony, God blessed an ugly old hound like me with a beautiful wife, a blessing deserving of eternal gratitude. If I ever cheated on Mrs. Other McCain, no jury would ever convict her. My well-deserved death (or grievous mutilation) would be the subject of a thousand jokes, and appropriately so.

UPDATE II: Weigel's story is now on Memeorandum and if you're offended by humor, let's look at a couple of serious reactions to l'affaire Sanford. Erick Erickson:
What Mark Sanford did was wrong. He needs to go in a dark hole somewhere where no one can see him or hear him and rehabilitate himself. . . . The left is going to spend the next week making Sanford into the second coming of James Dobson to smear real marriage advocates and social conservatives — positions Sanford was rarely vocal on.

There are things from which a politician can "rehabilitate himself." Flying off to Argentina to screw a "glorious" woman named Maria Belen Shapur? Nope. I caught a minute of yesterday's press conference while at the American Spectator office. When Sanford used the word "forgiveness," I shouted at the TV a two-word response. (Hint: The second word was "you.")

Welcome to the private sector, sir. Resign now. Meanwhile, Sanford's downfall contributes to the disillusionment of a young Washingtonian:

Forget shaking my faith in the Republican Party, after a while it just starts to shake your faith in men. I mean, are all men incapable of remaining faithful?
I've been following this story with fingers crossed, "Please, don't be another Republican having an affair!" I guess that was too much to ask for. What a chump. It just leaves me shaking my head with a look of disgust across my face. It's just so disappointing.

Question: What about the Marias of the world, who seem to have no compunction about affairs with other women's husbands? Do such women bear no responsibility? Whatever sort of two-faced scumbag horndog Mark Sanford may be, even in Buenos Aires it still takes two to tango. Sanford is 100% responsible for keeping his own vows, but his responsibility does not exempt Maria from blame.

Amid all these serious considerations, I still defend my right to sarcasm. If Bill Clinton is a punchline, Mark Sanford is a Monty Python routine.

IG-Gate: It's not about Walpin

That's perhaps the most important thing in my American Spectator report today:
Yet the investigations into President Obama's evident crackdown on IGs -- designated watchdogs who guard against waste, fraud and abuse in federal agencies -- are not about [Americorps inspector general Gerald] Walpin.
Those familiar with the investigations (and yes, that noun is plural) caution against personalizing or politicizing the situation. These sources are especially concerned that inquiries by Republican members of Congress should not be portrayed as a partisan "gotcha" game against the popular new president.
Similar words of caution are expressed by some members of the IG community, who note that Walpin had only been watchdogging the Corporation for National and Community Service for two years. An able attorney and certainly not the doddering incompetent that Obama officials portrayed him to be, Walpin hasn't been an IG long enough to have acquired "veteran" status, and some say he had a reputation as "arrogant" or "holier-than-thou."
Whatever Walpin's reputation, however, sources familiar with his dismissal believe it was no accident that he was shown the door immediately after getting into a dispute with Eric Holder's Justice Department over a program affiliated with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, an enthusiastic political ally of Obama. And perhaps the most important fact of the case so far is that the FBI is now investigating an accusation that e-mails relevant to Walpin's work were deleted by Johnson or others. Destroying evidence in a federal investigation is a serious crime, no matter what the other circumstances of the case may be. . . .
Lots more where that came from, so please read the whole thing. And I want to emphasize that the implied criticism of Walpin is not my personal point of view, it's what others have said. These sources, however, also emphasize that criticism from other IGs does not mean that Walpin wasn't doing good work or that his firing was justified. But this is not a referendum on Walpin; it's about the principle of IG independence.

Also, please especially note that there are multiple investigations underway at this point. Walpin is one of only three IGs who have gotten the ax in the past two weeks, and the Amtrak IG situation is currently heating up. Last night, Dan Riehl turned up some very interesting research about Amtrak general counsel Eleanor Acheson.

Really, this goes back to the question that Rick Moran asked Tuesday night: "Is there a story here?" The answer is clearly, "yes." Whether there is a scandal or any actual crime, there is no such accusation. But if you just stop to consider that AmTrak got $1.3 billion in the "stimulus" bill, and that the IG for Amtrak was complaining about interference from Amtrak bosses, the investigation of that alleged interference is a definitely a story -- no matter what the investigation discovers.

Personally, the angle that I find most intriguing is the reported conflict between the Treasury Department and Neil Barofsky, the special IG for the TARP financial bailout. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) is bird-dogging that one and . . .

Like I said, read the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Old School Ties UPDATE: Lobbyist?

Yesterday, the question was asked, "Who Is Eleanor Acheson?" The answer is that she's the Amtrak vice president and legal counsel whose name is relevant to last week's unexpected retirement of Amtrak inspector general Fred Wiederhold.

Acheson ("Eldie," to her friends) was also Hillary Rodham Clinton's college roommate and . . .

By sheerest coincidence, yesterday the State Department held its annual commemoration of "Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month," at which the remarks were given by the department's chief of staff, Cheryl Mills:
First, on behalf of Secretary Clinton, I am honored to be here today and to celebrate LGBT Pride Month . . .
It is my great pleasure now to introduce a woman who has spent years serving the American people at Amtrak, at the Justice Department, at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She is a dear friend of Secretary Clinton, and she has been a wonderful public servant model and friend to me, Eldie Acheson.

UPDATE: Ah, but there might be something wrong with this: Dan Riehl has discovered that, as recently as December 2008, Acheson was listed on a lobbyist disclosure form.

So, dear old Joe Biden gets $1.3 billion in "stimulus" money for Acheson's Amtrak, and they don't need no stinkin' IG sniffing around.

But wait a minute, there's more. As Michelle Malkin points out, Biden's all abou Amtrak. Suppose that Biden's fingerprints were discovered on some shenanigans at Amtrak, so that there was a real scandal? If dear old Joe had to resign . . .

Vice President Hillary? OK, that's far-fetched. But did anybody else notice that Hillary's now got Sidney Blumenthal working for her over at State Department?

Obama's popularity is starting to fade, Obama backstabs the gays, now all sorts of scandal talk is starting to swirl and is it really a conspiracy theory to ask, Cui bono?

C'mon, folks. Andrew Sullivan blogs kookier stuff than that every day. Question the timing!

'You have the right to remain silent'

"I love my husband . . . I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions . . . This is a very painful time for us . . ."

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Really, Mrs. Sanford, just shoot the two-timing son of a bitch. Please. No jury in South Carolina would ever convict you. While you're at it, go ahead and shoot that worthless son of a bitch Lindsey Graham -- another guaranteed mistrial, because there would be at least one jury member who'd figure Lindsey needed killing.

You'd be more popular with the base than Sarah Palin.

Sanford: eject, recoup

by Smitty
With around twenty tabs on Governor Sanford open in Firefox, it's time to add some value by offering something of a pan-blogosphereic roundup. Then, some general thoughts on Nitwits in Public Office.

HuffPo: Sex, Lies, and Argentina"while I do not approve of how he handled himself as an elected public official or as a husband, I am empathetic to him and understanding of his frailty as fellow human being.
I think we all should be and here is why: I have been there. And so have many of you."
HuffPo: Traveled There Before on Taxpayer Dime"the Republican Governor has traveled to the South American country before, on the taxpayer dime."
HuffPo: Wife: Begone"South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's wife, Jenny, issued a statement in which she says that she told him to leave their home two weeks ago "to maintain my dignity, self-respect and my basic sense of right and wrong."
HuffPo: Harsh Critic of Clinton Affair"The standard Sanford has set for other politicians over the years has been fairly high. A member of the House of Representatives during the heyday of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, he was often a harsh critic of the president for his marital misconduct.
This is "very damaging stuff," Sanford declared at one point, when details of Clinton's conduct became known. "I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign)... I come from the business side," he said. "If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he'd be gone.""
Nat Turner's Revenge: Impeach"No. He's not hiking. He's having his ashes hauled. In Argentina. He's having an affair, this typical family values Republican. This son of the South. This hero in the face of Obamaism. In Argentina. Hope he got some good meat. Hope he brought his kids back some bolos. Hope he got tango lessons."
Liberal Land: Emails"The newspaper promises that the full e-mail exchange will be published in tomorrow’s edition."
Liberal Land: Called for Clinton to Resign"As it turns out the biggest threat to marriage is not gays; it’s heterosexual, cheating husbands."
WaPo: The Fix"He said that he had met the woman, who he did not name, roughly eight years ago and that it had become romantic within the last year. He visited her three times during the past year, Sanford said, and noted that his wife, Jenny, had been aware of the affair for the past five months. "
Little Miss Attila: Only Monks"I don’t see politicians’ private lives as fair game, any more than journalists’ should be. I’m with Dennis Prager: if someone is otherwise competent, but has had a problem or two in his marriage, he might well be a better candidate than another one whose private life is otherwise “pure.”"

LMA: how about some Funky Monks? "I'll be doing all I can, if I die an honest man."

HotMes: Sanford Admits"What is it with politicians (of both parties) and affairs? It’s so idiotic. There’s so much to lose, and for what? Is it ever worth it? Especially for Republicans. Democrats can survive a sex scandal, and most other scandals for that matter. There’s a double-standard in politics. Republican affairs have a tendency to be a career-ender. Is that ever really worth it?"
Pink Elephant Pundit: Bye Bye, Sanford"Can we not find anyone who will keep it together and not screw themselves and the entire party over? I never cared much about Sanford either way, but now the GOP has even more damage control to do. The spectacle he’s made out of it is not helping anything. Mysterious South American trips? Disappearing acts?"
Track-a-'Crat: Mental Breakdown Imminent"Thank you, Mark Sanford, for distracting from the avalanche of Democratic sleaze and criminality that the media wasn’t reporting anyway, and instead giving them something juicy that they’ll really appreciate sinking their teeth into."
Hot Air: Video"He could have been president, now he’s finished: Witness the power of the male libido."
Hot Air: Kerry on Sanford"Don’t be too hard on Waffles. His humor’s always been laced with nastiness, which is why he periodically finds himself in clusterfarks over “botched jokes.”"
Pundit & Pundette: Sanford's Betrayal"people like Gov. Sanford make it very, very difficult to convince our teens and young adults that all politicians aren't corrupt in one way or another. This is precisely the kind of thing that sours the idealistic young on politics and converts them into cynics. Sanford was correct when he said that, in addition to hurting his wife and children (the self-centered rat), he has hurt his state and his party. The conservative movement doesn't need perfection but it does need sincere people who live the values they promote."
AoSHQ: Vid: Sanford's Presser"That doesn't make it noble or anything. But the media seems to be expecting him to say "and it's all over now, and a huge mistake," etc., etc., and he doesn't appear nearly willing to say that. The complaint seems to be that Sanford's not saying the typical, Oprah-approved contrition stuff, and they're holding it against him that he's deviating from accepted Contrition Tour form."
Paco Keep Mr. Happy on a Leash"To quote Talleyrand, this is worse than a crime; it is a blunder. All we need right now, when we’re trying to mobilize against the Red hosts of Democrat nationalization, is to give the donks and the media an opportunity to distract the people from the health care and cap-and-trade disasters."
Fisherville Mike: B.A. Connection"Thanks for Gov. Sanford, we'll be learning lots more about Buenos Aires in the next few days."
The Corner: Don't Stand By Your Man"I was further impressed that, unlike the wives of Larry Craig, Elliot Spitzer and Jim McGreevey, she had the dignity to remain home when Sanford made his embarassing admission at today's press conference."
Having spared you all the trouble of that much surfing (tip jar), here is some analysis.
The questions concern the Sanford family, and public service as a whole.
The Sanford family is a private matter. They need time to heal. They need 100% of Mark to effect that healing. Sanford should resign.
Now, public service in general. The question of whoever is guiltless casting the first stone is a bugaboo. I don't know Mark, his family, or any of those details. I do know that lines have to be drawn. It's not about him personally, it's about the moral authority of the office. The same calculus Sanford applied to Clinton applies to Sanford. Let him resign, let him show repentance, and, if after evidence of repentance has been proffered, the citizens of South Carolina feel like trusting him again, let them say so at the ballot box. Sanford, it's not about you, a particular political party, your 2012 ambitions, or your non-command of your manhood. It's about trust placed in office holders. It's about demanding and receiving integrity. If you retain your position, you're cheapening the office for your successor, and making immoral behavior elsewhere easier to excuse. You've been been part of the problem, now join the cure.
Also, the links describe a lengthy relationship that recently became intimate. Men: cut that out. I'm not advocating sharia. Take heed, though: all men, husbands and fathers need to guard their virtue(!) vigorously. If you have some form of a relationship with a woman, ensure it's transparent to your wife. People are people. If hormonal tensions grow, do the right thing and ratchet the relationship down. I perceive (and could be wildly wrong) that The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover is a movie, and that kind of no-words-just-grind relationship doesn't happen much. Boring monogamist that I am, it's unlikely (let us hope) that I'll explore this in detail.
So, Sanford, you've been dishonorable. Eject, recoup, and see if you can be rehabilitated.

Another shoe leather day

Once again, I'll be in D.C. today, the third day in the past week that I'm trying to get face-time with sources in Washington and keep pushing on IG-Gate.

This means light blogging once more, but it can't be helped. There's no substitute for shoe leather. There are limitations to what can be done via phone and e-mail.

My itinerary for the day includes a visit to the Reason Happy Hour. Yeah, roll your eyes, but you'd be amazed how important cocktail hour is to the work of a D.C. journalist. A big shindig like the Reason event brings together people from different spheres -- journalists, think-tankers, activists, Capitol Hill staffers -- so that you can make connections you wouldn't make otherwise.

Speaking of which, if anybody wants to get together Friday evening, we're planning an event in D.C. that's kind of a Smittypalooza. E-mail Smitty, if you're interested.

Here's the permalink for the Blog Talk Radio show I did last night with Rick Moran, Dan Riehl and Jimmie Bise.

I've loaded up the headlines on the right sidebar with IG-Gate related items, plus Christopher Badeaux's laugh-out-loud takedown on Dr. Andrew Sullivan, M.D., OB-GYN-ROTFLMAO.

Anyone who feels the urge to hit the tip jar, don't fight the feeling. Mrs. Other McCain is starting to worry about the expenses.

If you have to explain a joke . . .

Dear John . . .
You skunk-sucking bastard . . .

-- Hunter S. Thompson, letter to John Chancellor of NBC News, Sept. 11, 1972, reprinted in Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72

The humorous intent of my post congratulating Peter Suderman on his new gig at Reason magazine apparently was not apparent to all readers, as indicated by one commenter who described it as "an angry, childish, personal attack."

One would think that the phrase "acromegalic inamorata" would have been what they call a "tell" in Vegas. Or maybe the extended riff on the old free-milk-and-a-cow adage.

Well, never mind all that, let's do it Joe Friday style. Peter Suderman is an extraordinarily witty writer. The last time I saw him and Megan at a party in D.C., they informed me that they were, as young folks now say, "in a relationship." Or as more old-fashioned folks might say, fornicating.

Shagging. Gettin' jiggy. Living in sin. Whatever.

I immediately inquired when the couple planned to wed. This is my customary expression of "family values" when speaking to young people in Washington, where knocking boots without benefit of clergy is so commonplace as to be unremarkable.

Indeed, such is the mentality of young Washingtonians -- a consequence of our sexualized popular culture -- that a middle-aged mentor cannot consult with an attractive female protege without provoking whispers that some sort of concupiscent motivation must be involved.

Ergo, one learns to take this as the joke it is, and to turn it into a self-parodic schtick. So I'm the D.C. mack daddy pimp in the same way I'm a neo-Confederate lesbian. (Being notorious is not the same thing as being famous, etc.)

As the token social conservative in an ocean of cultural libertarians, I find it convenient to treat matters of sex humorously. On the one hand, I'm sincere in my advocacy of traditional family values -- Peter and Megan should get married immediately and rapidly spawn at least half-a-dozen babies, so as to invoke the expression "Irish twins" -- but on the other hand, I'm aware that most young people don't take that stuff seriously.

So I sometimes do things like alluding to the first chapter of Romans (well worth reading, especially in the King James Version) in hope that maybe these kids come from a background where such a reference might ring a bell. As Pastor Lon Solomon says, just a suggestion, not a sermon.

Hunter Thompson and John Chancellor were friends, and so when Thompson called Chancellor a skunk-sucking bastard, he meant it in a good way. Likewise when I called Suderman a "rent boy" and a "charity case," and suggested that he'd soon be flashing around his newfound wealth in the manner of a first-round NBA draft pick.

However, it is quite true that McArdle has never once linked me, not even after I gallantly escorted her home through the mean streets of D.C. one night when she suffered a spell of vertigo at a party. (Rumors that I secretly dosed her with ruhypnol and then had my way with her should be taken with a grain of salt, absent videographic proof.)

I'm a big enough man not to resent the non-linkage too much, but I feel compelled at least to mention it occasionally -- in the same way I mention that I am The Blogger Whom Allah Hateth -- lest the snobs who snub me think I'm too stupid to notice I'm being snubbed.

Even a self-parody must have some pride, and the snobs cannot be allowed to believe that they really are as superior as they wish others to think.

Best new blog of the day

by Smitty

Stacy pointed me to the Left Coast Rebel, who's got a spot-on collection of right-of-center material.
Those looking for that Margaret Thatcher fix are directed to a post of simple genius.
Subscribe. Together, we can make the Google Reader explode.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sanford had better produce some grist

by Smitty

All of the noise being made about something had better have a point in the next news cycle or two, or it's going to look like the Left is just firing for effect in order to distract from any of the half-dozen scandals, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, swirling in the air around the Obama administration the way bricks don't.

Hopeful letter changes nothing

by Smitty (h/t Rhetorican )

The Rhetorican points to an intriguing Washinton Times article. There was apparently some early May correspondence between the Obama Administration and Iran.
"The American president was quoted as saying that he expected the people of Iran to take to the streets," Ayatollah Khamenei misquoted Mr. Obama as saying, according to a translation by
"On the one hand, they [the Obama administration] write a letter to us to express their respect for the Islamic Republic and for re-establishment of ties, and on the other hand they make these remarks. Which one of these remarks are we supposed to believe? Inside the country, their agents were activated. Vandalism started. Sabotaging and setting fires on the streets started. Some shops were looted. They wanted to create chaos. Public security was violated. The violators are not the public or the supporters of the candidates. They are the ill-wishers, mercenaries and agents of the Western intelligence services and the Zionists."

Wow. All that effort to peddle the hopium and changeeba in Cairo, then this annoyance. Kinda "stings", doesn't it? How about a couple of vaguely topical cuts from His Stingness, to sooth the mood?
Big Lie, Small World:

Mad About You:

Please stop the HR 2454 madness

by Smitty

Dear Representative Moran,
Please stop the HR 2454 madness.
Per the website, your oath reads, emphasis mine:
"I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
How does that oath square with this sort of news, sir?
House Democratic leaders late last night released a revamped, 1,201-page energy and global warming bill (pdf), clearing the way for floor debate Friday even though it remains uncertain if they will have the votes to pass it.
The House bill posted on the Rules Committee Web site has grown from the 946-page version adopted last month in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Sources on and off Capitol Hill said the bulk of the changes largely reflect requests from the eight other committees that also had jurisdiction over the bill, including the Ways and Means Committee and Science and Technology Committee.
To quote the Sunlight Foundation:
Here’s the timeline [for HR 2454]:
  • Introduced - 5/15/09
  • Reported with amendments out of Energy & Commerce - 6/5/09
  • Discharged by Education & Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees - 6/5/09
  • Discharged by Financial Services, Science & Technology, Transportation, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Ways & Means Committees - 6/19/09
  • Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 90 - 6/19/09 (This version is 946 pages)
  • Submitted to House Rules Committee - 6/22/09, 4:22pm (This version is 1,201 pages)

So, where along the line does the bill suddenly expand by 300 pages? According to the New York Times, the various committee chairs held behind the scenes meetings and hashed out a compromise with no allowance for public input. (What lobbyists were involved in those meetings?) And now we are expecting a Friday vote on a bill that has had no public hearing in a committee with jurisdiction over it and that is not yet available in the main engine of public disclosure, THOMAS.
This raises serious questions about how we expect Congress to disclose their activities to the public. Is a bill posted to the House Rules Committee and not THOMAS truly publicly available? While the bill may be available for 72 hours prior to consideration, the public does not have reasonable access to it. Nor does the public know how the final details were reached.
And that isn’t even the worst part. This, apparently, isn’t even the final bill. The final bill will be a manager’s amendment that will be drafted later this week! From a posting on the House Rules Committee, we know that the deadline to submit amendments is Thursday at 9:30am. And there is talk that this will be voted on on Friday. Thus, the final version of this bill will likely only be available for less than 24 hours.
Sunlight has been advocating for all bills to be posted online for 72 hours prior to consideration. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen here. If you think that Congress should read the bills they vote on, you can tell your congressman to both support the Read the Bill resolution, H. Res. 554, and to give the public enough time to read the final version of the cap and trade bill, whenever that is made available.

At some point (speaking hypothetically and by no means advocating illegal activity), patriots may need to consider subverting staffers and having them insert self-destruct clauses into this kind of bill. Such trojans would be written to ensure that these hasty, illiberal, unanalyzed pieces of...legislation would expire within a couple of minutes of feeling the impact of the executive pen. The American people will cheer the demise of yet another disgusting insult to the concept of representative democracy.
On the other hand, your attention is drawn to HR 833 "The Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act". It is still possible to stave off the country's descent into becoming a third-world tyranny, sir.
Thank you,
C. Smith

Further WSJ coverage.