Friday, August 7, 2009

Now I'm LMFAO at Nancy Pelosi

Thanks to Jonah Goldberg, great piece. Punchline is highlighted in bold.

Nancy Pelosi, who will get her own bound volume in the annals of asininity, has outdone herself. When asked by a reporter whether the protests at various town-hall meetings represented legitimate grassroots opposition or were manufactured “AstroTurf” stunts, she replied, “I think they’re AstroTurf. You be the judge. They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care.”

Now this is a pas de trois of dishonesty, slander, and idiocy. Not only is Pelosi lying when she says protesters are bringing swastikas to these town halls, not only is she suggesting that American citizens are Nazis for having the effrontery to get in the way of Obamacare, but she’s also saying that the alleged swastikas are obvious proof that these protests are manufactured by slick P.R. gurus.

How does that work? What public-relations genius says: “Okay, we need these protests to seem like an authentic backlash of real Americans. Make sure everyone has enough Nazi paraphernalia!”


Glenn Beck & Jonah Goldberg on the CARS.GOV thingy

IMHO, some of what I've heard Beck go off about is scare-mongering. OTOH, this is truly scary.

Sidebar: $19 million dollars for a website?? This is how government operates, man, completely outside the real marketplace. And that's an aspect which applies to Dems and GOP alike, unfortunately.

AARP Meeting Blows Up

Hat tip to The Jawa Report.

My parents canceled their AARP membership some time ago.

The ugly blonde is so typical of all the female corporate slaves I've ever had to deal with. "We want to hear from you!" ....right.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Watch for children and other wildlife

We should have this sign near our driveway.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

Close Enough for Horseshoes, Grenades and the New York Times

It's so hard for me to read news about Dan Rather because, to put it bluntly, the guy is a schmuck and an unrepentant liar, and he's rarely called on it by his colleagues. He recently called for the big ol' friendly Federal Government to bail out the journalism industrial complex–which of course means the liberal media establishment–because no one reads their crap anymore. The jury is still out on why he is making these noises; is he jockeying for a Media Czar position, or does he just want to make sure CBS is solvent enough to dole out a settlement in his brand new $70,000,000.00 lawsuit against his former employer?

Unclear. But the memory of Rather's demise perfectly segues into the recent flap about Allesandra Stanley's pathetic mistake-laden tribute to Walter Cronkite. James Rainey attempts to probe the causes of this failure, while still remaining respectful of the Times. It's sort of a high-wire act, IMO, but yields some humor, if no particularly new insights about how hesitant news companies are to correct on-going problems.

The Cronkite appraisal felt like "a disaster, the equivalent of a car crash," as one editor put it, because of the prominence of the subject and because the newspaper had plenty of time to prepare for the ailing newsman's death.

Yet in her piece, Stanley, who previously worked as a foreign correspondent and covered the White House, misstated the dates of the first moon landing and the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. She had Cronkite covering D-day from the beaches of Normandy, instead of high overhead in a B-17.

Calame's successor and the paper's current public editor, Clark Hoyt, attributed the mistake-filled Cronkite appraisal to "a television critic with a history of errors [who] wrote hastily and failed to double-check her work, and editors who should have been vigilant [but] were not."

He suggested that tougher scrutiny by editors and better communication could have prevented the errors. No doubt.

Ya think?

Calame wrote in 2005 about what he said was a cut-and-dried inaccuracy, in which Stanley accused Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera of grandstanding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The TV critic wrote that Rivera "nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way," so he could help an older woman into a wheelchair. But Calame reviewed the video and saw no nudging.

Rather than agree to a correction, however, Times Editor Bill Keller defended Stanley for "writing as a critic, with the license that title brings." In other words, Rivera was showboating, so he had nudged his way into the story figuratively, if not literally.

Ah. Got it. This is the same "license" that allowed Dan Rather to use forged documents to support a charge that George Bush missed a required physical exam while in the National Guard. Rather never claimed that Bush literally missed the exam.

Would anyone at the Times suggest aloud that she is jealous of Geraldo Rivera whose name is much more of a household word across the country? I'm sure they wouldn't dare if the following is true:

Both of the Times' former public editors -- Daniel Okrent and Calame -- told me their critiques produced sharp rebukes from Stanley.

Okrent -- who once criticized the critic for tone, not accuracy -- remembers her as "extremely defensive and hostile," while Calame said she attacked him as a nitpicker.

A guess one man's tone is another's... nit.

"Stars or purported stars are obliged to get their facts right," the Times editor said. "Editors are obliged to edit everyone without fear or favor. Period."

Since it's not so clear that lesson has become ingrained deeply enough with everyone in the organization, it makes sense that the paper keeps an independent public editor on the payroll.

You see, this is all lip-service. Rainey is defending the Times for publishing corrections at the same time that he is scolding them for letting them happen. The fact is that people like Alessandra Stanley know that they have "star capital" and they live off the interest. Why should she accept any criticism? For a star journalist, making eight errors in print doesn't merit immediate punishment like throwing one interception might for a star quarterback. The errors are reported a day later in another print edition, yesterday's news. She doesn't have the experience of the locker room after a loss.

Craig Silverman–who outlines Stanley's history of mistakes in his article on this topic–suggests that Stanley be enrolled in a "a training program that helps her stop making simple factual errors at such an alarming rate." I'm sure she'd be thrilled about that. If she does take the first step and admit she has a problem, maybe she'll be spared the fate of Rather, whose forged document story was not the first time he bent the truth way past "truthiness".

Ultimately the reason that people like Alessandra Stanley, Dan Rather, Keith Olbermann, Rod Dreher and many journalists like them can be so ambivalent to stubborn facts is that that they are afflicted by superiority complexes common to anyone in the species which has been called "Wordsmith Intellectuals". I've commented before on this group drawing from an essay which states that "They [wordsmith intellectuals] shape our ideas and images of society; they state the policy alternatives bureaucracies consider. From treatises to slogans, they give us the sentences to express ourselves." This makes the stars among them rather more influential than quarterbacks and their mistakes more tragic than fumbles and interceptions. I suppose to a lesser degree, I am in this class with my influential (cough) blog. That's why I called upon my readers from the very outset to please correct me when I'm wrong.

Turn like a wheel inside a wheel

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kent Conrad's Compromise

Interesting read. The co-op model isn't a panacea that some think it is, but it's not universally unworkable either. Obviously I liked Senator Conrad's statement that "...this so-called public option cannot get 60 votes in the Senate. Its inclusion could doom the larger health reform effort." If nothing else, this is a good piece to reference in the letters to your Senators and Representatives which I know you are all planning to write during summer recess.

Mark Muller Pwns CNN

Choice. Everything this guy says = common sense.

Heard this on Hugh Hewitt.

Poetry is hard

I've mentioned disappearing blog posts in the past. I was cracking up yesterday at one on Vox Nova which had been here. It was entitled "On Darwin, Fundamentalism and Capitalism" and basically it was an execrable piece of poetry that made very little sense. Here's how it began:

I know a doctor who despises Darwin
He's also a fundamentalist Christian
And a Capitalist

Darwin is wrong because he's against the Bible
“Creationism must be taken seriously” or ...

...and that's all that is available at this point in Google's and Facebook's cache. I'm pretty certain the point was that capitalists are a bunch of "social darwinists", a charge that Jonah Goldberg deals with expertise in Liberal Fascism.

But I'm more interested in the fact of the poem's removal. I imagine when the author who penned it–I'm not sure which one–read it over in the clear light of day and realized how self-parodic it was that the magnitude of his horror was far greater than that of my amusement.

Here's the lesson: when you lack evidence for the charge(s) you'd like to make against the bĂȘtes noires and boogiemen of your liberal imagination, and therefore are unable to form a rational argument against them–although you feel so strongly that you must be right–you might be tempted to write a poem instead.


Why not just have a big demolition derby? More fun....

This excerpt from Henry Payne's excellent and recent expose of the "Cash for Clunkers" program encapsulates one of the aspects which came to my mind when I first heard of the debacle.

Worse, Democratic demands that the guzzlers be permanently shredded means that already hurting used-car and -parts businesses will suffer. By insisting that the cars not only be crushed — but also that their engines be disabled — Congress’s decree will penalize the industry at time when a dozen U.S. parts suppliers have filed for bankruptcy this year.

“Why throw away good parts when the supply chain is in jeopardy?” the Automotive Recyclers Association’s Michael Wilson asked the AP. Good question.

I think von Mises would agree to file this latest bit of shuck 'n' jive under the general heading of destructionism. Conclusion:

The victims will be lower-income Americans who typically buy only used parts and vehicles. “Now you’re removing cars people could afford, and they’re not available anymore,” says Norm Wright, a Denver recycler. “There will be fewer cars to pull from, so the price of parts will go up.”

SUVs, apparently, aren’t the only things being sacrificed at the green altar.

If the enviro-yuppies were honest, then a sticker reading "Let them eat cake" would grace every hybrid bumper in the parking lot of the health food co-op.

Northern Public Radio?


Regionalism may be the last remaining prejudice that is “politically correct.” It’s perfectly acceptable to attack someone for being a Southerner. In describing the Senate hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor, for example, NPR titled its report “Sotomayor Grilled by Southern-Fried GOP.” The piece goes on to inform readers that “only one of the seven states represented by Republicans [on the Judiciary Committee] is a state that fought for Mr. Lincoln in the Civil War.” Not satisfied to leave their bigotry there, the package goes on to discuss certain senators’ “rich accents” that have “soft and expressive inflections of the South, even as they provided the toughest questioning.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Over 1 Million Signatures at Free Our Health Care Now

Don't forget to sign the health care petition. It's the least you can do to stop this monstrosity.

When I first posted on June 24, they had around 100,000 signatures. Then on July 22 they were up to 650,000. Now there are over 1,000,000!

Just a little tidbit to remind you what people whose job it is to understand money have said about all the supposed cost savings touted by the White House pimping this bill of goods.

McCain votes against Sotomayor; White House makes idiotic response

This is so silly. John McCain votes against Obama's nominee and Obama is "disappointed" by his "partisanship". Oh, yeah... that John McCain—a real Republican's Republican, he.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs criticized McCain, President Barack Obama's opponent last year, saying that Sotomayor is qualified to sit on the bench.

"It's disappointing that Sen. McCain came to a different conclusion a day after talking about bipartisanship," Gibbs told reporters in his West Wing office.

But lest we forget....

While a senator, Obama voted against former President George W. Bush's nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. The future president also voted in favor of filibustering Alito.

Short memory or the standard but-not-for-thee of the left?

Here's the beef: "McCain said on the Senate floor Monday that Sotomayor is 'an immensely qualified candidate,' but she does not share his belief in judicial restraint. 'There is no doubt that Judge Sotomayor has the professional background and qualifications that one hopes for in a Supreme Court nominee,' McCain said, before adding: 'However, an excellent resume and an inspiring life story are not enough to qualify one for a lifetime of service on the Supreme Court.'" This is a sensible statement with which all conservatives and even many Obama supporters would agree.

McCain has gotten panned for being a "moderate" in the past and too bipartisan for the blood of the most respected conservatives. However even Rick Santorum has recently recanted some of his wilder McCain bashing episodes. But my main point: despite the dreams and delusions of many of Obama's independent voters and supporters, neither of the adjectives bipartisan nor moderate can be used accurately to describe Barack Obama. If you need a good descriptive term, try ideological on for size.

BTW, here's an excerpt from the informative Santorum piece.

So I wrote without a doubt that McCain would not only work with Obama on the issues they agreed on, but would also "forge common ground on a long list of initiatives that go far beyond where he has gone before, including the stimulus package."

Wrong! McCain did not only oppose Obama on the stimulus package; he led the fight against the $800 billion addition to our national debt, labeling it "an act of generational theft."

McCain also opposed Obama's next major legislative initiative, an omnibus appropriations bill that was 8 percent larger than last year's and loaded with congressional earmarks, which McCain tried to kill.

McCain voted against almost all of Obama's controversial executive appointments as well.

Obama's climate-change plan? McCain called it an "irresponsible, ill-conceived, and distorted version of a cap-and-trade system" and "a giant government slush fund that will further burden our businesses and consumers."

Health-care reform? McCain said last month that a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the plan "should be a wake-up call for all of us to scrap the current bill and start over ... in a true bipartisan fashion."

Even on Gitmo, McCain said Obama was making a "terrible mistake" because he didn't have a plan for what to do with the prisoners. "I'm for closing Guantanamo," McCain said. "But I'm for a comprehensive solution. ..." In recent weeks, he's also blasted Obama's response to the Iranian election and the Honduran coup.

With allies like McCain, Obama hardly needs adversaries.

No hanging chads

Eleven of you voted in the poll I announced earlier and decided once and for all the size of my huge, throbbing readership. The results are in... it's "Over 20, not including Pikkumatti who is a Pokemon character" in a landslide of Carterian proportions. I realize that some of you didn't vote because you didn't want to engage in "consequentialism on parade" or give in to any other temptations to immoral or unseemly behavior. That's OK. The fact that so many of you are reading this now is quite adequate to support the corners of the devilish grin affixed to my visage.

Zo: "I See White People!" -- hilarious

LOL to "speak for yourself, sissy."

And the winner is... MEDICAID!

Job creation, my butt. Derek Thompson shows us where the "stimulus" money is really going. Short answer: failing government programs.

The best explanation I've found for why the stimulus didn't work is this graph from the GAO analysis of the stimulus act. It shows pretty clearly that the 76 percent of stimulus spending through the first four months went to fill in the gaping holes in Medicaid and state budgets. In other words, the stimulus isn't acting like a pole vault lifting job creation above the baseline. It's been acting like a crutch to keep state budgets and payrolls from tumbling.

Hat tip to Mark Hemingway on the Corner who states the following:

Color me shocked. I realize there are people that think it's a noble goal, but spending billions preserving the status quo in government over the next four months while America bleeds jobs is most certainly not the rationale given to the American people who were told there was an immediate need to railroad through an economic stimulus.

Time to put away those shovels you had ready.

Cardinal Rigali on the Healthcare Proposal

Here's an excerpt from Cardinal Rigali's recent statement WRT House Bill 3200, the Healthcare "reform" bill.

“Much-needed reform must not become a vehicle for promoting an ‘abortion rights’ agenda or reversing longstanding current policies against federal abortion mandates and funding,” he wrote. “In this sense we urge you to make this legislation ‘abortion neutral’ by preserving longstanding federal policies that prevent government promotion of abortion and respect conscience rights.”

“Several federal laws have long protected the conscience rights of health care providers,” Cardinal Rigali added. “President Obama recently stated that he accepts these current laws and will do nothing to weaken them. Congress should make the same pledge, by ensuring that this legislation will maintain protection for conscience rights.”

A link to the Cardinal's letter is also included.

How could anyone seriously think that this bill would be palatable at all to pro-life taxpayers? Or serious Catholics? Rigali is not some right-wing crank. The answer is that there was nothing bi-partisan about the bill; it is 100% ideological.

It's funny to me is when I think about the whole crew of people who get off asserting that the GOP is just as pro-abortion as the Democrat Party, that they are merely a bunch of hypocritical posers on the issue. Because if that is the case, having every American taxpayer funding abortion is going to provide a jackpot for further "posing" opportunities, especially given the recent shift in public opinion on abortion. Uncle Sam pointing his finger at YOU and saying "You will pay for abortions"? Priceless.

I hope the proposed amendments get put in, but honestly--what's the over-under?