Saturday, August 30, 2008

Exactly Right

The great Mark Steyn checked in from his self-imposed exile to leave a post on The Corner about McCain's choice of Governor Sarah Palin. In true Steyn fashion he taps out in a quick blog post more dead-on correct thinking than everybody else with a keyboard and a hundred hours of cogitation.

A few excerpts:

... Governor Palin is not merely..."all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.

...Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state and a town and a commercial fishing operation, whereas (to reprise a famous line on the Rev Jackson) Senator Obama ain't run nothin' but his mouth. She's done the stuff he's merely a poseur about. Post-partisan? She took on her own party's corrupt political culture directly while Obama was sucking up to Wright and Ayers and being just another get-along Chicago machine pol

... Governor Palin has ... a life beyond politics. Whenever Senator Obama attempts anything non-political (such as bowling), he comes over like a visiting dignitary to a foreign country getting shanghaied into some impenetrable local folk ritual. Sarah Palin isn't just on the right side of the issues intellectually. She won't need the usual stage-managed "hunting" trip to reassure gun owners: she's lived the Second Amendment all her life. Likewise, on abortion, we're often told it's easy to be against it in principle but what if you were a woman facing a difficult birth or a handicapped child? Been there, done that.

... she complicates all the laziest Democrat pieties. Energy? Unlike Biden and Obama, she's been to ANWR and, like most Alaskans, supports drilling there.


It always feels good to agree with Mark Steyn. Even better when you agree with him before you know what he thinks.

Friday, August 29, 2008

That Gal Cleans Up Good

Everybody has seen the pictures and video showing the professional woman who will be out on the campaign trail over the next two months running for Vice President of the United States. But for the millions of guys and gals hitting the aisles of Bass Pro Shop, Cabela's, Gander Mountain or even the local bait shop this weekend-- here's a picture of Governor Sarah Palin that will get the heart beatin' fast.
I wonder if voters outside of the big metro areas in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other battleground states can relate to this version of Sarah Palin? Oh yeah, they sure will. Heck, she's a HOCKEY MOM! Michigan just moved to the McCain column!

Wouldn't It Be Great?

By all reports a number of potential McCain running mates are flying to Dayton, OH to join the senator for the event that will name his VP choice. The conventional wisdom is that they will show party unity and leave Dayton with all parts of the Republican Party working hard for McCain and his running mate. Perhaps. But, wouldn't it be interesting if what he's really going to do is announce that every one of these assembled folks would be great choices and that what he's going to do is allow the convention delegates to decide, through a roll call ballot, who the nominee for Vice President will be. It would energize the convention in a way not seen for decades. The media would pay attention because it would now be a news story rather than a four day infomercial. All factions in the party would have a chance to battle it out for their guy or gal. And, from the battle would likely emerge a candidate that all could support. Nobody would feel they had someone pushed on them-- they had their say and their fair chance.

Ever since John McCain secured the nomination I've been largely disinterested in the Republican campaign. Lately I've been encouraged by some of the aggressive Internet video ads by the McCainiacs. But, allowing the delegates to choose his running mate would be a master stroke. And, it would prove him to be a maverick in the best sense of that tired description.

Whatever happens today Republicans can take comfort in this-- there is nobody on the short or even the long list that would be as poor a choice for McCain as Joe Biden is for Obama.

UPDATE: Of course.... way back on June 13th I wrote that if McCain was smart he' d pick Sarah Palin. Next I'll call for the R's to flip the ticket. McCain could debate Biden and Governor Palin could take on The Little Messiah. Wouldn't THAT be great.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tonight's The Night

Everybody around here is talking about the big event that will happen in a huge football stadium tonight.
They are the ones we've all been waiting for: our favorite football team.
ESPN, the worldwide leader in hype, opens the college football season from our little corner of the nation tonight at 8 ET. There are rumors that a competing event of some type will be happening out near the front range of the Rocky Mountains. But right-thinking Americans will be watching the proceedings from Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC. They will be joining
Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews when they tune in.
Not many 6-6 teams get the kind of national TV exposure the Gamecocks get. Some people from outside of SEC country wonder why our USC is on national TV so often. Here's a quick explanation of part of the reason from The State, Columbia's daily paper:
Tonight, the Gamecocks open their season on a Thursday for the third time in Steve Spurrier’s four seasons as coach. It’ll be four out of five after next season’s rematch at N.C. State, tonight’s opponent.
The Gamecocks also play next Thursday night at Vanderbilt.
While a lot of SEC schools resist the Thursday night slot, South Carolina and Spurrier have embraced it. The reasons are both financial and practical.
An SEC bylaw states that any team playing on a “non-traditional playing date” — any day other than Saturday — will receive $200,000, with the home team earning another $100,000.
The national exposure also helps. According to ESPN, last year’s average rating for a Thursday game was 2.5, beating the network’s average (2.1) for all college football games.
“The numbers that we’ve gotten on Thursday night exposures are just fantastic,” USC athletics director Eric Hyman said. “And I think Steve recognizes that and is in concert.”
ESPN is contracted to do several Thursday games per year with the SEC, which then gauges who is interested. Schools like Tennessee, Florida and Georgia have always passed, in part because they have on-campus stadiums and playing a game on a school and work day causes major headaches.
Since Williams-Brice Stadium is off campus, USC is in better position to host. And ESPN has been eager to showcase Spurrier.
When he was hired four years ago, Spurrier decided his program needed more exposure. So he had a conversation with ESPN executive Dave Brown, who said Thursday nights were a good start. Spurrier agreed.
“I said we’ll do some Thursday night games during the season if you’ll put us on to open college football,” Spurrier said. “It’s just good publicity, hopefully good for recruiting, good for everything. It helps to win those games of course. But we get to show a full house here at Williams-Brice.”

The USC players say the national attention amps them up.
“I really think it does,” USC linebacker Jasper Brinkley said. “We kick off college football. You want to go out there and put on a good show for everyone in the country.”
Tonight is a good night to do what Bob Seger sang many years ago: "Get Out Of Denver."
Get outta Denver better go, go
Get outta Denver better go-ooooh
Get outta Denver better go, go
Get outta Denver
'Cause you look just like a commie
And you might just be a member,
Better Get outta Denver!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hollywood Animal to Crossbearer

Joe Eszterhas is a writer who has been interesting to me since the first time I read him in Rolling Stone. When I was a freshman in college I enjoyed his writing in RS even before I found out that he had been on the staff at my dear old alma mater's daily paper. Since he was getting to be a big shot by the time I graduated-- he was up for a National Book Award in 1974-- the school paper, if I recall correctly, ran a bunch of articles he had done while a student. I found it pretty fascinating.
Of course Joe became the highest paid Hollywood scriptwriter after Rolling Stone moved from California to NYC and Eszterhas decided it was better for him to stay in CA. Years later, after flipping-off everybody in Hollywood, he moved back to Ohio. There's just something I can relate to about that journey. Where the Hollywoodsters made their mistake with Joe was that they forgot that, when you got right down to it, he was a poor kid who had been a street reporter on the crime beat. They should have known he was going to tell on them.
Joe was a committed hedonist throughout his life. Soon after he and his wife Naomi and their kids got to Ohio he found out he had throat cancer. The good people at The Cleveland Clinic took care of that for him. (There's a lot I can relate to about that!) Now, he has some things to say about God. One of the things he says is, "Thank you." The Toledo Blade has the story here. On the religion page, no less. Why is he talking to The Blade now? His new book, Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith is coming out next week.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cow Compasses

Google Earth comes in handy for something other than looking at other peoples' houses!

Yes, scientists in Germany discovered, using Google Earth images, that cows grazing in the field tend to line up north-south as if they had compasses in their heads.

The LA Times is all over this story although they admit it probably has no useful application. Who cares? If you are a cow lover, as all right minded people are, it's just... cool.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Investors Take Action

While governments, the EU, NATO, and the UN dither about what to do regarding Russia's aggression in Georgia, the global investor class is already taking action:

On Friday, Russia's central bank announced that its foreign currency reserves — a key part of its economic stability and an indicator of foreign investor support — had plunged $16.4 billion in the most recent week, to $581.1 billion. ... investors are fed up with the rampant militaristic nationalism, red tape, corruption and anti-investor sentiment in Vladimir Putin's Russia. Some have decided to head for the door and take their money with them. Last week's decline was the largest since Russia's 1998 currency crisis, which led to a collapse of the ruble and rampant triple-digit inflation.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pravda Has The Early Results

Moscow: This presidential race was no contest: John McCain sped to the finish while Barack Obama was reluctant to leave the starting point.

Apparently the whole thing was decided in New Jersey last Thursday before the stunning pick of Obama's secret weapon: Joe Biden. Who knew?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Some days the sun shines a little bit brighter. The birds chirp with a more musical tone. The grass is greener (except in our front yard where the water police have kept us from keeping our freakin' fescue alive--- but I digress) and all is right with the world for one, brief, shining moment.
Yes. We now know what the campaign slogan HOPE and CHANGE really means.

Friday, August 22, 2008

That Good Ol' "CAN'T DO" Spirit

For centuries America has been a place where, no matter how great the challenge, the people dug in with a "can do" spirit and made things happen. Obviously, when it comes to very basic things like power generation, the nation has adopted a dangerous, new "CAN'T DO" position. Fueling the nation's fleet of autos and trucks with petroleum-based products? The petrophobes say NO! Constructing oil refineries? NO! Nuclear power plants for electricity as demand surges? NO! How about some clean-coal plants? NO! Windmills near Cape Cod? NO!

Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Power, is hardly a political conservative. He is often mentioned as someone from the energy industry that could find a place in a Democrat President's cabinet. Yesterday he was speaking to the World Affairs Council of Charlotte Speaker Series at The Westin Hotel in Uptown Charlotte. Mr. Rogers has just returned from a two-week trip to China and his speech dealt with the differences he finds in China and the US when it comes to energy production. In short: China has become a CAN DO nation while The United States is increasingly finding reasons to say CAN'T DO. Coverage of his speech is here in an article headlined "America Losing Its Economic Drive?"

Two things I've seen first hand offer some hope. Living in California I saw what happened when electricity rates tripled and brownouts were happening despite the enormous rate increases. The people, angry that they couldn't surf the Sierra Club website without electricity, rose up quickly, recalled the Governor, and voted in someone who promised to do better in that area. The fact that the replacement isn't really much better than the bum that got thrown out isn't my point. Just like we saw with $4 gasoline this summer, there is a point where the comfortable masses can be stirred to action. At $2.50/ gallon comfortable Americans can have an abstract, mindless concern for a frozen plain on the North Slope of Alaska. At $4/ gallon the same person will say, "Punch a hole in that swamp and get some crude oil for cryin' out loud!"

This gives me a tiny bit of hope for the days ahead.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ready For Your Close-Up?

Even in this most dreadful Presidential campaign since Ford v. Carter we can get a bit of uplifting news from time to time. Like this from Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics that shows that the McCainiacs are prepared to drop the Bill Ayers hammer on The Barack of Obama. Plus, be still my beating heart, they are well aware of the mysterious four years BXO spent chairing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Haven't heard about that? Well, you wouldn't hear about it from the legacy media, that's for sure. But Thomas Lifson is all over it at The American Thinker.

What's It Gonna Be, Moonbeam?

Over one month ago we typed here about how Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) caused the collapse of IndyMac Bank in California. To review briefly, Sen. Schumer, an outrageous publicity hound in a town and trade full of such loathsome mongrels, made public a letter he wrote questioning the solvency of IndyMac. That caused a run on the bank wherein depositors withdrew $1.3 Billion in eleven days causing the collapse of the institution.

Last night some quasi good news came out on this situation. Reuters reports that:

In a letter to (California) Attorney General Jerry Brown last week, 51 former IndyMac workers wrote: "From the day (Schumer's) letter was made public on June 26 until the closure of the bank, a run on the bank took place and the failure became inevitable."

Brown's spokeswoman Christine Gasparac said on Wednesday that his office was reviewing the letter and that a decision on whether to act on it could be made as early as next week.

IndyMac is based in Pasadena, California.

That would be very good news indeed except for the fact that the AG is the former Governor Moonbeam, Jerry Brown, a Democrat. Still, it's more than what we can expect from the Democrat-controlled US Congress where both Upchuck Schumer and Chris "Countrywide Corruption" Dodd will hold hearings. That is, if the Dems ever decide to return to Washington DC this year. Don't get me wrong, I don't want them in Washington. We The People are never safe any day Congress is in session. But you just know Schumer and Dodd will really get down to the root causes of the collapse of Indymac and the problems at Countrywide. I'll save them the effort of that show trial. Blame Bush.

Remember in 2006 when the D Party rode to glory on the so-called Culture of Corruption? Is there anybody home at the RNC these days? Anybody even answering the phones? I know there must be somebody there because they call my home every stinking night looking for money. Like that's ever gonna happen while their brand is: Democrat Lite.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Veep Talk

I guess the current political parlor game is Guess-The-Veep. Looks to me like Michael Ramirez has at least one of the choices correct in IBD this morning.

OK. I'll play. Obama/Bayh v. McCain/Pawlenty... or is that Portman. The crystal ball is foggy. Must be filled with old Beijing air.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cowboys Don't Ride Unicorns

Yesterday Rich Karlgaard at Forbes put forth the theory that McCain benefits from the Olympics. His position is that Americans swell with patriotic pride in Olympic summers and that translates to votes for McCain. I'm sure Rich has gotten buried in "don't-you-dare-question-my-patriotism" e-mails from Obamaphiles everywhere. Dems are kinda touchy about patriotism, which makes Rich's point for him, but let's not get too far into those woods. My problem with that theory is that I don't think these Olympics are causing a patriotic outburst across America. Maybe I'm missing something but even a Visa ad that runs throughout the Games cautions us not to do anything as silly as root for our country.

Today Jeff Lord at The American Spectator has an interesting piece about how the popularity of the latest Batman movie and Rush Limbaugh's 20th Anniversary / huge new contract predict a McCain victory. Well, maybe. Maybe not. But, embedded in the Lord article are some ideas that I find compelling about how Americans see themselves and what they want in a President. I've always thought it was amusing that Europeans and their leftist pals in the US think that calling someone a "cowboy" is a powerful argument against that person. In my view there is no better thing a man can be called. And a big part of being a cowboy is that you don't give a hoot what the New York Times, MSNBC, CBS or any other fool thinks about you.

Many Americans like cowboys and Batman: quiet, brooding, and ready to act if someone menaces the public. Does McCain fit that image? Not for me, but I can't speak for the masses.
But he was a fighter jock who lived through the worst crapstorm the world can throw at you without expiring. And that is worth something. I do know that Obama is 180 degrees from that cowboy/ Batman image. Off the teleprompter he reveals himself as dithering and timid. On the teleprompter he spouts airy, lightweight platitudes that are so cleverly crafted that he can reshape them to mean anything as the political winds shift. The totality of Obama was captured perfectly in the JibJab cartoon where he pranced through the forest charming the beasts of the field. Then he jumped on a flying unicorn that farts rainbows. That wasn't a cowboy riding that unicorn.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Recipe for Destruction

Amity Shlaes wrote the essential reassessment of The Great Depression, The Forgotten Man, and she always gets my attention when she has something to tell us about today's economic situation. In the WashPost she describes Five Ways to Wreck a Recovery. It is not an attack on one political party or the other. It is simply a thumbnail sketch of 5 things the political class might do to derail our recovery from a small downturn and turn it into a full blown disaster. At every turn she warns us to learn from the many mistakes of Hoover and FDR.

The 5 Ways To Wreck a Recovery

1. Protectionism- then: Smoot-Hawley... now: populist politicians seeing votes in emotional attacks on free trade

2. Blaming the Messenger- then: evil stock operators wrecked the economy... now: evil banks/ lenders wrecked the credit markets

3. Increasing Tax Rates- then: Hoover took (The Great) Coolidge's 25% top rate and raised it to 63% followed by FDR taking it to 90%. Of course, capital left the marketplace and unemployment soared... now: Presumptive President Obama has talked about doubling the taxes on investment income, raising taxes markedly on the job producing "rich", and levying special "windfall" taxes on industries he doesn't like while giving gifts (AKA- subsidies & tax breaks) to those he likes. Capital will flee, unemployment will soar, and a long period of decline will follow until a Coolidge or Reagan comes along again to straighten the mess out.

4. Assuming Bigger Government Promotes Growth- then: the multiple disasters rolled up into the New Deal... now: both political parties to varying degrees

5. Ignoring the Costs of Inconsistency- then: FDR's "bold persistent experiment" which essentially was try every loopy thing no matter how it conflicts with everything else... now: hope & change for something (we know not what), running against a Republican who declares in ads the "the economy is in a shambles" and "we're worse off than four years ago"
NOTE: The 5 bullet points above come from Amity Shlaes, I added the then/ now that followed each one. For her far more lucid and better written ideas click on the Washington Post link above. Sorry for any confusion-- I shouldn't ever post anything before my 6th cup of coffee!

Friday, August 15, 2008

About Those Electric Cars

Presumptive Future President Barack Obama wants a million plug-in automobiles cruising the boulevards of the country by 2015. Over at Don Luskin's site one of his readers does a calculation on what that will mean in terms of new electric power generation. Bottom line? A million electric cars would need 3,698 nuclear power plants, or the equivalent, to power them.

Petrophobia is a dangerous disease. By hating the oil/ gasoline/ diesel infrastructure in place to power our transportation needs the petrophobes will create devastating consequences. The current ethanol disaster is minor compared to drawing down electric power to this extent for transportation. And, remember, this proposal comes from a guy who doesn't want to build ONE nuclear power plant let alone 40, 400 or 4,000. Coal? No thanks says The Barack of Obama-- although if it looks like PA and WV are crucial and winnable he'll certainly waffle on that position. To him and fellow petrophobes, the answer is electricity which apparently doesn't even need to be generated, it just happens and is super-clean. Oh, and don't forget, over-inflated tires.
(Photo shows the future of transport in America when the Warmist petrophobes rule.)

Move-In Weekend Is Here

Saturday we'll be hitching up the buckboard and hauling Dartlad The Youngest two and a half hours west of here where he'll begin his freshman year of college. Then Sunday we'll have an instant replay, this time a 90 minute drive to the south, where Dartlad The Middlest will move into the choicest digs on campus for his junior year.

Matriculate well, boys.

(Painting of Pops seeing me off to school back in olden times. Thanks to Mr. Rockwell for the illustration. I sure miss that old collie.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Video Games and High GPA's

They don't mix.

But then endless hours on Youtube, YTMND, etc. don't mix with high GPA's either. All things in moderation-- except studying and reading.

Czar Vladimir the Great

Ralph Peters gives the devil his due today in The Post:

Want a straightforward indication of what the Russians intend? Putin's code-name for this operation is Chistoye Polye. Literally translated, that means "clean field." In military parlance, it means "scorched earth."

Also in the column Peters points out how well Putin has managed the international media. Vlad realizes that the Western elites hate the quaint notion of right & wrong-- good & evil. They embrace moral relativism, so he feeds them what they like and they lap it up. Along those lines this morning, Steve Harrington, reporting from Gori for FNC, told of how he was standing just a few feet away from a Russian tank in the middle of Gori when his Blackberry went off. He checked and it was a NEWS ALERT-- the AP was reporting that the Russians had left Gori. This while he was standing next to Russian soldiers and armor. I wonder where the AP and the BBC got that idea?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Next for Putin?

The message sent by Putin to the young independent states of Eastern Europe is clear: enter into alliances with the United States at your own peril. NATO membership? Basing US anti-missile defense systems on your soil? If you think that's the direction you want to go, well, how would you like to go without natural gas and crude oil from Russia then? Or, how would you like your country bisected and your puny military destroyed? Still think the West has your back?

Is The Ukraine next on the hit list? Vlad and his puppet are watching closely at the reaction of the West. They must be pleased with what they see so far. When the United States and the other democracies encourage countries to hold elections and join the democratic republics of the world they are playing a dangerous game if, when the hammer falls on those young states, they do nothing but offer hot rhetoric. The UN? Seriously, Russia has a Security Council veto. Even if the UN was capable of doing anything good in the world they couldn't in this case.

I think the idea that this is a return to the Cold War or that the USSR is returning is a bit off base. Putin is jumping back further in time to the world of the Czars and the Russian Empire, he isn't returning to Soviet-style communism. Is the United States OK with Russia expanding her influence? Maybe. What if it comes at the expense of these young countries who alligned themselves with the West? Is presumptive President Obama cool with Imperial Russia on the march? I would guess that people in the Baltic States and The Ukraine and elsewhere want to be able to remain autonomous. Will the West do anything to help them or will we propose meetings and conferences and resolutions and white paper studies as Russia causes them to submit to her will? Many people are watching. Some are making calculations.

(Pictured: Viktor Yushchenko of The Ukraine- poisoned but not dead.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How Does Russia v. Georgia Change the Iranian Issue?

A provocative question: Does the move by Russia against Georgia make a US/ Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities more likely? Today Arnaud de Borchgrave ponders this and many other things about Georgia, Russia, the USA, Israel, and Iran here. One of the bugs in Putin's knickers has been the desire by the US to add Georgia to NATO, but another is that we are pushing hard to put missile defense sites in former Soviet bloc locales. Ostensibly those facilities would be there to defend Europe and the USA from Iranian launched nukes. If Russia's move on Georgia makes it less likely that we can get those built, does it then increase our need to remove the problem instead?
For what it's worth, futures trading on the proposition, "USA and/or Israel to execute an overt airstrike on Iran before September 30, 2008" has NOT spiked since the Russian bear growled. That proposition traded at over 40 last November but now is at 11.6 as September 30 draws closer. However, the same question for Q4 2008, a strike before the end of 2008, trades at 22.2 and an overt airstrike on Iran before the end of March 2009 trades at 31.0. There are many people who believe that the time to strike will be after the election and before the inauguration.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Russian tanks, troops, ships, and fighter planes take action in The Republic of Georgia and reporters ask Barack Obama what he, as President, would do. What Would Obama Do? His first cut at it was along the lines of "everyone needs to calm down and sit down at the negotiating table" or some such empty blather. Later he revised and extended his remarks to point out that Georgia pays a lobbyist to promote their positions in Washington DC and said lobbyist is also an advisor to McCain. So, that means... what exactly? Who knows?
I think the real problem for BXO is that he couldn't get hold of his most important advisor this weekend. No, not Scarlett Johansson; George Clooney! The Daily Mail has the story (updated Monday) on this one. Sheesh. And people thought the McCain ad comparing The Barack of Obama to Hollywood airheads was "over the top."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes

The great Isaac Hayes died this afternoon in Memphis, TN at the age of 65.
If all Isaac had done in the music business was co-write "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Soul Man" with David Porter he'd have done quite nicely, thank you. But he did a lot more. Hot Buttered Soul, Black Moses, The Theme from Shaft... show-stopping TV performances... an Academy Award... multiple Grammys... movies... TV. It all started when he got himself hired as a piano player/ saxophonist at the legendary Stax Records in Memphis. Working on Otis Redding sides... cutting tracks with Cropper and Dunn... imagine that.
Isaac was born in a shack outside Memphis. His mother died and his dad scrammed before he was two and he was taken in by his mother's parents. All he did from that humble start was make himself known everywhere in the world where people could feel the spirit of his 100% American music.
Isaac Hayes, a sweet soul, gone too young.
(Picture taken 1995, San Francisco, CA)

When It Comes To Energy Production...

...MAD Magazine gets it better than TIME or Newsweek.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Noonan

Peggy Noonan writes like a dream. There have been periods through the years where I agree with nearly everything she has to say. For the last few years I have only agreed with her half the time. However, even when she writes a column I disagree with, I can't help appreciating her craft. Today she gets her brain around the subtle shift going on in the campaign. I believe she's right that there is a small (so far) move away from Obama that could boost McCain to the Presidency. Certainly McCain isn't doing much for himself as far as gaining support in his base. But there is a growing sense about his competitor that he is, as many of us have thought all along, full of it. Even people who might not go that far are thinking he's full of himself. And, a nagging question about him is here, from Noonan:

Does (Obama) have real greatness in him? Or is he, say, a product of the self-esteem campaign, that movement within the schools and homes of our country the past 25 years that says the way to get a winner is to tell the kid he's a winner every day? You can get some true people of achievement that way, because some people need a lot of reinforcement to rise. But you can also get, not to put too fine a point of it, empty suits that take on a normal shape only because they're so puffed up with ego.

Perhaps, when the history of this interminable campaign is written, the summer world tour by Obama will be viewed as a big mistake and the Berlin speech will be the biggest pratfall in modern election history. The simple fact is this, the fawning coverage by an in-the-tank media is not helping the young Senator from Illinois. Generally speaking, the electorate wants to pick their President and they don't like to be told who it will be months before they go to the polls.

Around our conference room the lament goes like this, "Obama is so beatable. I wish there was a Conservative running against him."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

One Of These Things Is Just Like The Other

Perhaps you heard yesterday of a story reported by The Independent regarding an interview former US President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton (D- Impeached) gave in Africa. Billy Boy was there to chit-chat and speechify about AIDS and the particular problem African nations have combating it. In an interview with the BBC he pointed out that a key element in stopping the spread of AIDS was, well, let's just go to the article for the details:

Bill Clinton made a plea yesterday for a new emphasis on monogamy as a key element in the battle against Aids. The former US president, not noted for his ability to keep his own marriage vows, said it was very important to change people's attitudes to sex. In an interview with the BBC recorded in Africa, Mr Clinton said that increasing support for monogamy was not just a problem for the continent worst hit by Aids but for the world. "To pretend we can ever get hold of this without dealing with that – the idea of unprotected sexual relations with unlimited numbers of partners – I think would be na├»ve," he said.

In every corner of the globe (How can a globe have corners?-Ed.) this news was met with guffaws, snorts and general head shaking. But after the laughter fades what is there to make of such a spectacle? First, when I hear the term "increasing support for______" my first reaction is "what will this one cost the taxpayers?" But in this case the support is for "monogamy" according to The Indy. What on Earth can that even mean. Do we need to publicly fund support groups for that? They're already there-- they're called churches, temples, and synagogues. And how exactly does a former President of the US swanning around the world in a Gulfstream dubbed Air F--- One by his closest running buddies (see that Vanity Fair article that enraged Bubba so much a few months back) move the fight against AIDS in Africa ahead one inch? Somewhere in Africa there's a guy thinking, "Oh! I should like to have unprotected sexual activities with multiple attractive partners of both sexes but The Great Clinton just said not to. Oh well, such is life." Really? I doubt it. Not even The Barack of Obama has that kind of worldly power. But then again what all of it is really about is exposure for Willy so he can continue to seem relevant which keeps the speaking fee income rolling in. Part of this scam, er business plan is attaching oneself to various charitable causes. No, not the soup kitchen operating out of the church pantry, not the Boys and Girls Clubs, only something of worldwide interest will move the needle higher on the Visibility Meter. (By the way, I'll start taking BXO's call for taxing "windfall profits" seriously when it starts with speaking fees and book royalties for politicians.)

But what of the above picture of the houseboat you ask. Well, that is apparently Al Gore's houseboat over in Tennessee. Yep, the Pope of the Church of Warmism has a nice, big, houseboat. Now we live in the land of near year-round house boating here at Monkeydarts Plantation so we can appreciate a good party barge. How you want to use your carbon credit scam millions is none of my concern. Just don't tell me how to live.

But, when Al's minions were asked about the boat they quickly defended it because it uses bio diesel and solar power. The implication being, when taken with Gore's speech back in July, that a houseboat running on gasoline should be outlawed in the next ten years, but one using Warmist's preferred energy sources are A-OK.

Interesting worldview, Comrade.

Over at Michelle Malkin's site there's a contest to name the boat. But as a commenter pointed out, Gore named it perfectly: "Bio-Solar 1" or BS1 for short. Perfect.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just Words, Just Words

Our pals over at the Club For Growth blog found a 5 minute quiz that is interesting. See how many of the 100 Most Common English Words you can come up with in 5 minutes. Or, if you don't have 5 minutes to spare, start the quiz and hit STOP and it will show you all 100 words while telling you you only got 1% right. How would I know that? Hey, I'm into information, not games!

Once The Barack of Obama is Emperor of the USA a couple other words will be on the list: "collective" and "HELP!" come to mind.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Clinging To A Thread

Baseball is a game of failure as every knowledgeable fan is painfully aware. For a Detroit Tigers fan this year has often been more painful than other seasons when the team actually performed far worse. Simply because of raised expectations we agonize over defeats more than we ever did in, say, the dismal 2003 season.
It's always dangerous to declare a game or series as crucial, but it is fair to say this, the series that begins today with the White Sox will tell us much about the rest of the year. Get swept and it's time to play out the string, make roster moves, and think about next spring. Sweep the Sox and the Tigers still have a slender hope with, finally, a favorable schedule ahead. Any result in between those two and the thread they cling to is very thin. They dug this hole in April and May. A hole so deep that a nice June and a .500 July have left them still struggling in third.
One bright spot has been the recent play of Miguel Cabrera. Word comes today that he is the AL Player-of-the-Month for July with a .330/8/31 line. Miggy has twice been named AL player of the week this season too as he gets adjusted to AL pitching. He just turned 25 in April and his career numbers are already amazing: BA .311/ HR's 158/ RBI 605/ and a .384 OBP. Baseball reference compares his numbers through the age of 24 and finds that, among the Top 10 players he is most similar to in hitting, are the names Aaron, Frank Robinson, Kaline, and Mantle. It should be great fun watching Miguel Cabrera in a Detroit uniform. But he'd look better with pennants flying over his head and World Champion rings on his fingers.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?

The always excellent Stephen F. Hayes has a cover feature in the next Weekly Standard about An American Carol. The web version of the article is here and gives us lots of cool background on Zucker, the movie's stars, and the film. It contains this quote from Kelsey Grammer:

"The accepted way to speak about America is in the voice that disrespects it. And the voice that's unacceptable is the one that loves America. How did we get here?"

How true. One guy who never speaks in a voice that disrespects America is blogging daily over at Chattering Teeth. And we're not just sayin' that because he graciously linked to our Friday post about this movie. See ya at the movies in October!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fun At The Ballpark

It's no secret that Washington's baseball team, the Capital Dees, are mired in difficulty this season. Just last year the nation's media gushed over the Dees' collection of talent, their diversity, and their cleverness on the diamond. Now, they have the worst record in the history of organized ball. It isn't just hitting, the pitching is horrid too and they've suddenly lost the ability to field.

Manager Harley "Specs" Reid was asked about the team batting average of .009, lower by nearly 200 points than any other team in history at this point in the season. His reply was, "It's important for the fans to realize that we can't drill our way out of this problem. Drilling is repetitious, it wears us out, and then we'll hit worser. Besides drilling is killing us." Reid was asked if it was even possible for the Dees to hit worse than .009. He blinked three times and then mumbled, "I'm not going to answer hypotheticals."

The aging left fielder, Nan "San Fran" Pelski was once held up as the symbol of all that was great about Washington's team. Now, hitless in 236 trips to the plate with 74 errors in left, her advanced years and impatient demeanor are all that Washington fans see. Asked for a comment on the Dees' miserable year and why the team wasn't shifting direction from failed game strategies Nan said, "I'm trying to save the league here. I'm trying to save the league!" Reporters scratched their heads and wondered if her hearing was shot too and she couldn't hear the question.

Of course many Dees' fans point the finger of blame at rookie phenom Barry "South Side" O'Blamma. Barry shot up through the minors and looked like a sure thing for major league success. But he has missed all but 3 of Washington's games with a series of odd maladies. When it looked like he was healthy after surviving a bout of the rare "hillarititis challengellus primaris" he inexplicably went off to play in a foreign league right in the heart of the season. Now back he has played in 3 contests, gone 0 for 16 with 12 strikeouts and made 4 errors at first base. His comment to reporters yesterday as he came out of the Dees' shower in a pair of $150 flip-flops was baffling, "I'm not part of the Washington team. I'm about change and hope for a better season next year. I am the reason for next season!" He then changed into a $1,500 suit, slipped into a pair of $400 shoes, knotted his $250 tie and left the locker room. As he departed the Washington Dees beat writers cheered and high-fived each other.

The headline in the sports section the next day, "Dees Only One Game Behind Arrs". Subhead: "O'Blamma Leads Washington With Style and Flair"

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Feel Good Movie of 2008

A few months back I posted here about an interesting David Zucker (Airplane and Naked Gun series) film that was in production. Variety now reports that Zucker has gotten distribution and a release date of October 3rd for An American Carol, the story of a fat, anti-American, propaganda filmmaker in a baseball cap. Said crockumentarian (Kevin Farley) is on a campaign to abolish Independence Day and is visited by three ghosts who show him the true meaning of America. Zucker co-wrote the screenplay and directed a huge cast that includes Kelsey Grammer (pictured above with Farley on the set), Leslie Nielsen, Dennis Hopper, James Woods, Robert Davi, and Jon Voight. Our old buddy Trace Adkins plays one of the spirits.
Oh, Farley's character's name is Michael Malone. Mark October 3rd on the calendar for a night at the Cineplex. Do it for the children.