Friday, February 8, 2008

This is me right now

Minus any herb and the tossle cap.

No! Not more Trajan!

Well, I find it very funny, Mr. Cochise.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Who said that?

You all MUST take the Collectivist Quiz. Thanks, Cubeland Mystic.

Maybe I'll post this every few weeks until the election.

Breaking news: Mitt Romney Withdraws from Republican Primary Race

After a dismal showing on Super Tuesday in which chief rival, Sen. John McCain R-Ariz., staked out to a seemingly insurmountable lead, Romney withdrew despite the fact he dominated the race in fundraising, capturing more than twice the funds that McCain has collected.

A lol-Kitler for Jonah Goldberg

Here's a little interesting Pauli insider tidbit: this site gets hit almost daily by the search term "Kitler", owing to a post I did last year on the site dedicated to cats which resemble Hitler. Other search terms helping avid Googlers discover this humble blog are prayer for bad dreams, john mccain weak points and bald women.

More recently I've been fascinated by the whole lolcat thing; I enjoy twisted annoying humor which is made all the more intriguing to a geek like me by the close association to "internet culture" which enables it to thrive, possibly to merely exist. Remixes of the Howard Dean scream, plethoric parody sites, dollar bill tracking -- all this stuff to me unveils the beauty of the creativity of the human mind. (Yes, the ugliness is there too, and I'm sure you would know how to find it, but don't go there, 'K?)

So I was reading a post on the LF blog regarding More Amazon Chicanery and suddenly I was held at gun-point by the Muses, figuratively speaking. I immediately felt compelled to practice my new-found dialect of lolcat to produce this one in honor of Jonah's first book.

Currently I'm still in the Mussolini section of the book, having gotten caught up in some other reading, as well as inhaling a lot of this "Pauli, you're inthane!" stuff on the woodwork of my newly-constructed basement office.

Maximos to Schaeffer: "Just go away"

Maximos on Frankie-goes-to-Hollywood Schaeffer and his crush on Barack Obama. Here's the meat:

If I could proffer just a few words of counsel to Schaeffer, they would be the encouragement to Just. Go. Away. If you are bound and determined to make your peace with the liberal compact, the privatization of normative commitments which are properly public - and you know what these are - then do so quietly, and privately, causing no scandal by identifying my Church with the endorsement of Moloch-worship. Cease engaging in warfare with the past, as though you were still an adolescent rebelling against your father, and drop the pretense that your present views are so much more sophisticated and spiritual than those you held then - if there is any truth to the accounts of that past, the one constant is the need to stand on the corner shouting, "I thank Thee, O God, that I am not like those people", in this case the fundamentalists, God-botherers, and people who actually understand Christian ethics.

"The Church Remains"

Here's a good interview with Cardinal Orti from Inside the Vatican regarding the Spanish Civil War. Recently there was a beatification of 498 martyrs from the religious persecution under the Republican (i.e, Stalinist) government of 1930s Spain. Over 10,000 people were killed for being Roman Catholic during that time, both lay and religious. I sent the link to Jonah Goldberg, maybe he'll comment on it in the LF Blog which I've been a little lax in keeping up with. Here's how the interview concludes:

Interviewer: Socialist, Communist and Masonic parties are in power in Spain nowadays. They see the Church in the same way as the Republicans who tried to destroy her 70 years ago. Needless to say, nobody kills priests and nuns or burns religious buildings, but the Church is perceived as a hindrance to the real progress of Spain and the whole of mankind, as an institution to marginalize and reduce to silence, being the holder of a conservative vision of man, an ideological adversary. Zapatero seems to be willing to create a new world, a new man in Spain.

VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: This is typical of all left-wing totalitarian regimes. Stalin too intended to create a new man; so did Pol Pot. Freedom is at risk in Spain, as the state is trying to interfere with people's private lives, to impose a given way of life, to decide how they must bring up their children, etc. It is not enough for laws to be passed by a parliament to be right. As there is only one voice to defend man's good, attempts are being made to hush it. Yet, whilst politicians are voted into and out of power, the Church remains.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Pope on Lent

Catholics: listen up, suck it up, offer it up. Excerpt:

Penance and prayer can lead to true and lasting happiness, the Pope continued-- unlike "achievement of success, desire for prestige and pursuit of luxury." He explained that while earthly gains provide only partial and temporary satisfaction, "the only joy that fills the human heart is the joy that comes from God."

K-Street Man Comments

I LOL'ed about this when I saw it. I still have the bash list and I've noticed the decreased frequency myself. Maybe he is getting counseling, or possibly his wife bought him a punching bag for Christmas. Of course, I don't check over there much. The last few Man from K Street comments have been nabbed out of luck. I still think the guy should start his own blog, dang it.

The Snob votes for McCain in Massachusetts

He wasn't the only one. The margin was 10%, 51-41. Seems a little thin for the former Gov. Oh, well... Mitt won Utah 90-5.

Ramble inspired by Laura's monologue

I was just listening to Laura Ingraham's monologue. Right before she said "I gotta get to Starbucks" she was talking about Huckabee's wins in the South and about how he appeals to people because he speaks their language. His simple sentences like "Let's abolish the IRS" are worth millions of dollars in targeted ads. Then she "but-monkeyed" to point out that a lot of people didn't know about the negative ad that the Huckabee Campaign showed to the press in Iowa when he decided not to air it, thereby simultaneously showing it anyway to some people, getting credit for not showing it and saving a pile of money he doesn't have to spend on ads.

Here's my reaction to that. It was sneaky for sure, but it was Judo move entirely enabled by the opponent. This is why these guys are in politics. If Romney had never run a negative ad against Huckabee, would it have been news for Huck to go negative against him? But the fact is at that point Romney had spent big bucks running scads of "Governor Huckabee is a good guy BUT" ads in Iowa. Romney enabled the story and made what Huck did seem more defensive, less offensive.

It reminds me of something from earlier in the campaign. I remember anti-Giuliani people complaining about how Rudy was trying to "leverage 9/11" for his campaign because, as Mayor, he helped see his city through the horrendous crisis and aftermath. I kept hearing in my head the implied remark " if that's a big deal...." I think that's another instance of enablement, this time by the hesitancy of media outlets to show 9/11 images since they evoke undesirable reactions such as righteous anger, so-called "Islamophobia" and voting for Bush. The fact is that sensible Americans think 9/11 is a big deal, that it changed America and that it continues to be a reality worthy of discussion regardless of whether or not they like Rudy G's beliefs on other issues.

Remember Rush Limbaugh's famous "Hey, I am equal time"? Well, that can be applied within many different sectors of the marketplace of ideas. Rush was the Elvis of conservative talk -- he has enormous talent, but he showed up on the scene when there was nothing like him. Monoliths are easy to chop at. That's the danger of representing a narrow point of view. (Side note to Rush Limbaugh: I hate to tell you, Rush, but you succeeded because you were a maverick. Don't become a monolith.)

Where I'm going with this. Here's my beef: I think Mitt Romney would be an OK President. He's convinced me that he would be better than either Democrat. But how is he going to beat either of them? Neither one remotely resembles Shannon O'Brien (whoever that is) and both have bigger warchests than bargain basement Mike. He is an bumbling campaigner, and an inferior politician. Kudos to him for making piles of money, but it seems like needs to get the memo that it doesn't help to level the playing field when you can't play the game. He still doesn't like to mention the war, thank you Rich Lowry, completely omitting references to the war on Jihad in his first victory speech which sounded like it was being delivered by a Progressive Populist with a pinch of Reagan. His recent Santorum robo-calls were really just an anti-McCain sandwich with his name inserted at the top and bottom like two pieces of white bread. He still has not answered the question "Who is Mitt Romney?" Jennifer Rubin pointed out a few days back on her blog on Commentary Mag (which BTW is completely down currently or else I'd link it) that he recently sounded like Dole crying after George I smacked him in NH back in '88. The failure to be gracious in defeat marked the end of the Dole campaign.

I'll end with this WSJ piece which sums up my thoughts; here's their conclusion:

John McCain's difficulties in selling himself to GOP voters reflect his many liberal lurches over the years -- from taxes to free speech, prescription drugs and global warming cap and trade. Republicans have a pretty good sense of where he might betray them. Yet few doubt that on other issues -- national security, spending -- Mr. McCain will stick to his principles no matter the opinion polls. If Mr. Romney loses to Senator McCain, the cause will be his failure to persuade voters that he has any convictions at all.

UPDATE: The Commentary Magazine site is back up. Here's the Jennifer Rubin post I mentioned.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Good site for checking the score

Here's the site I use. Here's how it be looking right now:

Catch all y'all on the Lent side.

Très Gras

Huckabee Wins WV


BTW, I drive a Saturn.

Jacoby on why 2008 case for McCain is "vastly more compelling"

Read the whole thing. Excerpt:

Conservatives bristle at the thought of a Republican president who might raise income and payroll taxes. Or enlarge the federal government instead of shrinking it. Or appoint Supreme Court justices who are anything but strict constructionists. Or grant a blanket amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

Now, I don't believe that a President McCain would do any of those things. But President Reagan did all of them. Reagan also provided arms to the Khomeini theocracy in Iran, presided over skyrocketing budget deficits, and ordered US troops to cut and run in the face of Islamist terror in the Middle East. McCain would be unlikely to commit any of those sins, either.

Does this mean that Reagan was not, in fact, a great conservative? Of course not. Nor does it mean that McCain has not given his critics on the right legitimate reasons to be disconcerted. My point is simply that the immaculate conservative leader for whom so many on the right yearn to vote is a fantasy. Conservatives who say that McCain is no Ronald Reagan are right, but Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan either. Neither is Mike Huckabee. And neither was the real - as opposed to the mythic - Ronald Reagan.

Monday, February 4, 2008

By now it's old news....

In all the sturm und drang about the Superbowl, politics, etc. I totally forget to post this exciting bit of news. I'm sure everybody has heard it already, and has been racking up long distance bills and stealing bandwidth from the internet like crazy talking about it over Skype. I sort of feel like a fool even mentioning it so late on my blog, but I willing to risk looking like a retread just in case a few folks missed it....

Kate Beckinsale's cat caught on fire.

Kristol: "Dyspepsia on the Right"

Straight talk from Bill Kristol to conservatives. Excerpt:

This is an important moment for the conservative movement. Not because conservatives have some sort of obligation to fall in behind John McCain. They don’t. Those conservatives who can’t abide McCain are free to rally around Mitt Romney. And if McCain does prevail for the nomination, conservatives are free to sit out the election.

But I’d say this to them: When the primaries are over, if McCain has won the day, don’t sulk and don’t sit it out. Don’t pretend there’s no difference between a candidate who’s committed to winning in Iraq and a Democratic nominee who embraces defeat. Don’t tell us that it doesn’t matter if the next president voted to confirm John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court, or opposed them. Don’t close your eyes to the difference between pro-life and pro-choice, or between resistance to big government and the embrace of it.

And don’t treat 2008 as a throwaway election. If a Democrat wins the presidency, he or she will almost certainly have a Democratic Congress to work with. That Congress will not impede a course of dishonorable retreat abroad. It won’t balk at liberal Supreme Court nominees at home. It won’t save the economy from tax hikes.

I posted the above so you'd maybe read the whole thing without scoffing, throwing up or whatever it is you people do when I post nice things about McCain. But here's my favorite part:

One might add a special reason that conservatives — and the nation — owe John McCain at least a respectful hearing. Only a year ago, we were headed toward defeat in Iraq. Without McCain’s public advocacy and private lobbying, President Bush might not have reversed strategy and announced the surge of troops in January 2007. Without McCain’s vigorous leadership, support for the surge in Congress would not have been sustained in the first few months of 2007. So: No McCain, no surge. No surge, failure in Iraq, a terrible setback for America — and, as it happens, no chance for a G.O.P. victory in 2008.

Uh, yeah.

LOL: "I smell an upset"

Giant Upset

Prior to the Superbowl, Steve Schrader handed Plaxico Burress the "It's Just Not Patriotic" award:

To N.Y. Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, who had the audacity, the utter gall, to think his team would win today and to actually say it out loud. Why isn't he on the Patriots' bandwagon like everybody else?

Turns out that Burress overestimated the Pariot offensive peformance when he made the 23-17 prediction. Oh, well, we can't all be Jimmy the Greek....

He enjoyed that. This was the play of the game, though.

Hey, how'd they do that?

Now everyone can pretend they saw the whole superbowl. Myself, I just caught the 4th quarter.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Anchoress Reviews New Weigel Book

Here. It's a good one.

I heard Mr. Weigel trying to discuss the book on Laura Ingraham's show the other day, but Laura kept interrupting him and bringing up Ronald Reagan and trying to relate everything he said to the strategy needed to win the 2008 Election. I felt embarrassed for her and I turned the channel to some superbowl nonsense.