Friday, September 18, 2009

Where's Mr. 33RPM?

Funny geek t-shirt: "Analog Retirement".

Note that the price of $20 for this piece of crap is not funny.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

kitteh fail

Winner = fishtank

Some sanity from across the pond

H/T Medved, (again). Had to post this great Telegraph piece by Toby Harnden.

But wait a minute. Mr Obama convincingly prevailed over John McCain in last November's election, an event that many American liberals argued could never happen in "racist" America. He has, moreover, not been shot by a redneck, giving the lie to an almost routine pre-election assertion in Europe that a black man could never be elected President, and if he was, he would be assassinated.

I was told to my face by a Canadian idiot that Obama was going to be shot because he was black. Those racist Americans, eh.

The election was a little over 10 months ago. Has America really turned around and stumbled back into the sulphurous swamps of racial hatred?

The short answer is no. Mr Obama is becoming a much less popular figure than he was when he entered office, partly because of the usual laws of political gravity, but also because of the unrealistic expectations he encouraged and the number of mistakes he has made.

My emphasis. He goes on:

Mr Obama was as different as it was possible to be from the likes of the Rev Jesse Jackson and the Rev Al Sharpton, black politicians who had built their careers on exploiting racial grievances. He was not the Rev Reginald Bacon, the Harlem racial agitator in Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities, the 1987 blockbuster novel that centred on racial tensions in the Big Apple; instead, he was Bishop Warren Bottomley.

The churchman, Wolfe wrote, was "one of those well-educated, urbane black people who immediately create the Halo Effect in the eyes of white people....He was handsome, slender, about forty-five, athletic in build. He had a ready smile, a glittering eye, a firm handshake..."

It was a remarkably prescient description of Mr Obama. As now Vice President Joe Biden put it in a characteristic stream of consciousness that condemned him to the ranks of also-ran presidential candidates: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Nice work. It's good to see that these Brits aren't afraid to point out the stupidities of the Democratic Party like the American media is. He goes on to point out Obama's race-card mistakes including the Henry Louis Gates affair. All this race card stuff is going to backfire; people voted for Obama because he wasn't Jackson or Sharpton or the fictional Reverend Bacon.

Steele: "I know what racism is and that is not racism"

Michael Steele states it eloquently.

This summer, Americans had an opportunity to witness the miracle of our political system. All over the country ordinary American men and women, concerned about the Democrats’ policies coming out of Washington, took a stand and expressed their opposition. It was grassroots American political activism at its finest. Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike voiced their opinions in public forums to public officials. It was a shining example of how our Republic was designed to function. This activism has not faded with the summer sun. Last week Americans from all walks of life flooded Washington D.C. and continued their public opposition to President Obama’s government-run experiments.

As an African American, I know what racism is and that is not racism. Just like the millions of African Americans in this country who have fought and overcome on their way to the American dream, I have experienced racism firsthand. It is something you never forget. The civil rights movement helped to elevate the nation’s conscience on matters of race. Proud Americans, black and white, fought for too long and too hard to have the claim of racism be used in such a cavalier fashion. Blind charges of racism, where none exist, not only are an affront to those who have suffered the effects of racism, but it weakens our efforts to address true acts of racism and makes them more difficult to overcome.

"Homeless Chic"

This article was mentioned on the Medved show the other day, and had me cracking up. Here's an excerpt, best read with a slightly effete yet deadly serious intonation—think NPR news announcer:

Some of us prefer to think of fashion as a charcoal filter that indiscriminately sucks up whatever’s swirling around, rather than a big ear that listens to what’s going on in the culture. Sometimes ideas become clarified in fashion, and sometimes they get stuck as gunk.

How else to account for a spate of references in fashion to homeless chic? A 28-page pictorial in the September issue of W magazine, shot by the British photographer Craig McDean, repurposes shopping bags from labels like Chanel and Dior as makeshift dresses, and shows them worn with furs and pearls and designer bags.

The Russian model Sasha Pivovarova, listless but still ineffably glamorous, is seen slumping on a park bench or a mattress or a bed of Prada bags. Along with the hair and makeup people involved in the story, the stylist Alex White is credited at the end of the spread for having made the (cleverly constructed, it must be said) paper-bag clothes.

I smell a reality show, pun intended. Oh... yeah, I forgot the best line:

It was just that the man’s jeans-shorts-over-sweat-pants look, his pale blue boots, with matching socks, gloves and glasses, suggested that he had not lost his need to “communicate and express himself through style.”

Wow, that is so deep. Give the guy some white make-up, big floppy shoes and a old bowler hat and he's a ready-made circus clown. I'm guessing he already has a red nose.

ACORN Supporters: Personally Opposed to Prostitution

Yesterday I was reading John Fund's piece on ACORN's recent and well-deserved misfortunes—here are the first two paragraphs:

On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to strip Acorn, the premier community organizing group on the left, of more than $1.6 million in federal housing money meant to assist low-income people obtain loans and prepare tax forms. This dramatic step followed last Friday's decision by the U.S. Census Bureau to sever its ties with the organization, one of several community groups it was partnering with to conduct the nation's head count.

Both of these actions came after secretly recorded videos involving employees in Acorn's Brooklyn, N.Y., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md. and San Bernardino, Calif. offices were televised on Fox News. The videos were recorded by two independent filmmakers who posed as a prostitute and a pimp and said they were planning to import underage women from El Salvador for the sex trade. They asked for and received advice on getting a housing loan and evading federal taxes.

—and my first thought was, well, that's good news. My second thought was to wonder at the identity of these seven squirrels defending the rotten nuts. An easy question to answer, if one knows where to look. They are Roland Burris (D-IL), Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Now, don't jump all over Bob Casey, Jr., folks. As a Catholic, I'm sure he is personally opposed to prostitution.

Gee, they looked so happy together. This snapshot predates the selection of Joe Biden as the token Catholic running mate. Why do alpha males always choose the dumbest ones as mates?

Media Ratings in the Crapper

Pew Reports that Americans think the news media is a joke.

The public’s assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys, and Americans’ views of media bias and independence now match previous lows.

Just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate. In the initial survey in this series about the news media’s performance in 1985, 55% said news stories were accurate while 34% said they were inaccurate. That percentage had fallen sharply by the late 1990s and has remained low over the last decade.

Similarly, only about a quarter (26%) now say that news organizations are careful that their reporting is not politically biased, compared with 60% who say news organizations are politically biased. And the percentages saying that news organizations are independent of powerful people and organizations (20%) or are willing to admit their mistakes (21%) now also match all-time lows.

I don't know why they don't boost their ratings with stuff like this:

Plenty of skin and great copy containing words like "prostitute", "pimp" and killer lines like "sex is like dancing". Plus it's a good in depth look into our current President's background. Then there are all the controversial angles, like black women promoting "white slavery". I think they call that reparations if I'm not wrong.

Hat tip Get Liberty.

Photographic Analysis Reveals Real Number of Protesters at the 9/12 March

Here's a link to the source of this report. The short answer that Zac Moilanen's research supports is that there were about 1.8 million people at the 9/12 March on Washington, DC.

The Real Number of Protesters - Zac Moilanen

FedEx "Doing Just Fine" with a 53% Earnings Dip

About 5 weeks ago, the leader of the free world sprach thus: "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It's the Post Office that's always having problems."

In FedEx's case, this prediction turns out to be not quite accurate.

I'm not going to tell my dear readers to whom they should assign the important task of managing their assets, but suffice to say it's probably best to not delegate one's investment strategy to a teleprompter.

President Obama Says Criticism Not Based On Race; Jimmy Carter is Wrong

President Obama is rightfully correcting the "racers", via Robert Gibbs, his honky cracker Press Secretary.

Amid mounting claims that the hostility toward the president has an undercurrent of racial animus, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said on Wednesday that President Obama disagrees.

"The president does not believe that the criticism comes based on the color of his skin," Gibbs said.

Jimmy Carter holds an opposing view, it would seem, and obviously doesn't realize how damaging projecting ancestral viewpoints on all of America can be. Of course, Carter still hasn't learned how damaging it is to play footsie with Hamas, even after they try to blow him up. Rush Limbaugh shows great disrespect to swollen veins of all nationalities when he refers to Carter as the National Hemorrhoid.

Obama Health Care Horror Anecdote: Sloppy Mistake or Lie?

"And now... you know... the REST of the story!" Here's Jonathan Weisman's clarification in WSJ.

President Barack Obama, seeking to make a case for health-insurance regulation, told a poignant story to a joint session of Congress last week. An Illinois man getting chemotherapy was dropped from his insurance plan when his insurer discovered an unreported gallstone the patient hadn't known about.

"They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it," the president said in the nationally televised address.

In fact, the man, Otto S. Raddatz, didn't die because the insurance company rescinded his coverage once he became ill, an act known as recission. The efforts of his sister and the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan got Mr. Raddatz's policy reinstated within three weeks of his April 2005 rescission and secured a life-extending stem-cell transplant for him. Mr. Raddatz died this year, nearly four years after the insurance showdown.

Obama aides say the president got the essence of the story correct. Mr. Raddatz was dropped from his insurance plan weeks before a scheduled stem-cell transplant.

Yes—Obama's story scores high in the truthiness category, but it is by no means the whole truth, and is a gross mischaracterization of the actual story. So here's my question. Of all the horror stories like his fabricatation of which we are told millions supposedly exist, why does Obama have to pick this one and doctor it up? I mean, this is actually a good example of how the system works fairly well, even amid setbacks. Is this an example of plain sloppiness on the President's part, or a deliberate lie which he knew would outdistance the still unbooted Truth, or a little of both?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brit Hume on the Race Card and Cheapening the Charge of Racism

Brit is damn right that the knee-jerk of calling anyone a racist who opposes Obama "cheapens the charge." I've met real racists—white and black—and they're almost all Democrats or so far to the right as to be in fever-swamp territory. Words do indeed mean things, let's apply them appropriately. I'll admit I've used words inappropriately in the past. But the sustained chorus of allegations of racism can be heard from the left alone.

Obamacare's Gifts to Lawyers

Rowan Scarborough goes over details of the gifts both by the absence of certain things and the presence of others. First, under absence:

The biggest gift of all is what is not in the bill.

There is no tort reform, no limits to malpractice law suits that drive up medical and insurance costs and force insecure physicians to order excessive tests.

There are no caps on what state juries can award in medical malpractice cases for economic lost, or for the hard-to-calculate pain and suffering. This means lawyers hold on to their free rein in suing doctors and medical plans.

To Democrats, no tort reform makes good politics. The Washington Examiner reports trial lawyers have donated three-quarters of a billion dollars to political campaigns the past two decades -- the vast, vast amount of which went to Democrats and their party. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has gotten $54,000 in campaign funds this year alone from trial lawyers and their employees.

Conservatives and Republicans have been calling for tort reform for years, so this is just one more example of the lack of bi-partisanship in this atrocity. BTW, Barack and Michelle Obama are both lawyers. Here are some of the "gifts" which will provide the trial lawyers with new opportunities to bring cases:

According to a Republican analysis, here are the legislative gifts to trial lawyers:

• Section 151. Imposes new mandates on insurance companies and the employers who buy their plans, providing lawyers new grounds to sue in federal court.

• Section 153. Establishes a new whistleblower law so the employees of insurance companies can file suit if they believe they were retaliated against. In theory, a person fired for incompetence could retaliate against the company by claiming whistleblower status.

"If some one gets demoted they can claim they were about to bring a complaint," said a Republican congressional staffer. "It gives them another ground to sue a company."

• Section 132. Sets up an appeal process for a patient denied a claim or benefit by an insurance company. The third-party independent arbiter would hear the appeal and issue a ruling.

H/T Red State.

"Like my back ain't got no bone"

Rock Me Baby w/ BB Freakin' King, Eric Freakin' Clapton, Buddy Freakin' Guy & Jim Freakin' Vaughn.

Buddy is my favorite. Hands down.

Man from K Street Owns in Obamacare Discussion

I was reading an old post which I'd linked in a comment thread which noted the strange relationship over the years between Rod Dreher and Andrew Sullivan. The discussion thread was interesting, but the comment that popped out at me was from the mysterious Man from K Street. (You can read it here.) And I thought, by Jove! I'd nearly forgotten about him! And besides, I could have had a V-8!

Googling "man from k street" turned up a recent comment on a Dreher blog post which I found to be worth noting:

The Man From K Street
September 9, 2009 10:04 PM
I clapped when the president said that he would make it illegal for insurance companies to punish people with pre-existing conditions. Terrific!

So terrific it's already been illegal since, um, 1996.

Julie and I were talking over the weekend about friends who are struggling to pay for health care between jobs, and how we'd be pleased to pay higher taxes if it would make it easier for families like them to sleep at night

You'll both be very, very pleased over the next decade or so then.


All I can say is that Rod really must suspend his critical faculties whenever Obama gets up and talks, which isn't a good thing to do since Obama has given around 300 speeches after about 230 days in office. In his big moment last week he was caught in several lies—not just the "illegals won't be covered" lie—and the polls show that the bump he got from the 47-minute speech is just that—a little bump which has flattened back down.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pants Amateurs--Funny

Way back when I posted that funny Levi's commercial of guys jumping into their pants. I guess it was supposed to all be faked on a computer. Here's a pretty funny home video of some college dudes in Bethlehem, PA busting the myth. (Warning: probably only funny to males.)

Well, they could be out vandalizing shopping carts. Party on, guys.

For those who lack the time to read Little Green Footballs

Little Green Footballs is a blog with so much bloviation information, it's hysterical unreal. But if you are like me, you don't have time to read everything. LGF Watch is kind of a "best of" site, a Reader's Digest version which interprets the Brilliant Sayings of Charles Johnson for ordinary pedestrian types like you and me.

UPDATE: Noticed that these folks are for the most part attacking LGF from the left, but no matter. It's fun to watch cat fights. As J. P. Sartre famously stated, "Hell is other people."

Not Enough Votes for Obamacare

Redstate's Erick Erickson has the scoop. That is a cool name, BTW.

The piece starts out fairly boring for non-wonks, but then gets interesting under the heading "BACKGROUND:". I especially was intersted in the pro-life angle expressed in the Letter To Speaker Pelosi dated June 25th. It's summarized as follows:

“We Cannot Support Any Health Care Reform Proposal Unless It Explicitly Excludes Abortion From The Scope Of Any Government-Defined Or Subsidized Health Insurance Plan.” “We believe in a culture that supports and respects the right to life and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of families. Therefore, we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan. We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.” (Letter To Speaker Pelosi, 6/25/09)

This is old news, I know, but it's interesting to note that failure to do anything about this on the part of Obama and the Democratic supporters reveals how much of a non-negotiable issue Federally-funded Abortion is to these folks. The letter was signed by the following Democrats: Dan Boran (D-Okla.), Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Colin Peterson (D-Minn..), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Travis Childers (D-Miss.), Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), Mike Mclntyre (D-N.C.), Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), James Oberstar (D-Minn.), Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Charlie Melancon (D-La.), John Murtha (D-Pa.), Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), and Kathleen Dahlkemper (D-Pa.).

Rep. Peter Stark (D-CA) receives the coveted Non Sequitur Award:

“Well, the only co-op I know about is when I used to milk cows and we sold the milk to Golden Guernsey. And I think there’s only one co-op left,” said Stark, who considers the co-op idea a non-starter. “There aren’t many of you listening who remember the co-ops of the ’30s, which was a - just kind of a Roosevelt outgrowth of rural electric co-ops, phone co-ops.” (David Lightman and William Douglas, “Health Care Debate Exposes Regional Rift For Democrats,” McClatchy Newspapers, 9/3/09)

The situation reminds me of the old Star Trek episodes where Captain Kirk calls down to Scotty and asks for "Warp 8", or something. And Scotty tells him he's trying to break the laws of physics and the ship is about to explode. But then the Captain explains that he really needs it, and somehow Scotty delivers, and the ship doesn't break up. Is that going to happen here? Will Captain Obama ram the public option through the engine room and beam it up to the Senate? Will the mothership called the Democratic party survive the black hole of the President's lies? Will the crew members be seduced by green-skinned ACORN prostitutes?

Tune in tommorrow....

Halloween is around the corner...

Congressman Joe Wilson

Congressman Wilson is right. No one should be asked to go on an apology tour for a small outburst. Yes, it was indiscreet... and yes, it was true.

Go here to contribute.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chris Johnson: Male Kathleen Parker collapses on his fainting couch

Hey, don't mock the furniture, Mr. Midwest Conservative. That fainting couch was handmade and has been sitting in the family bungalow for years!

Too good...

Why do I think the millions who marched on Saturday are on to something important? When the male Kathleen Parker collapses on his fainting couch.

I wonder if Chris Johnson will be called un-Christian for this "vicious assault" on a fellow Christian? Not that I want him to receive the treatment with which I was graced... just wondering.

Funny how Rod hedges his bets by adding an update where he links to Matt Welch's common assessment that, hey, these people aren't that bad in the main... a few expected kooks... etc, etc. And Welch flatly condemns "geek" and "nut" standard caricatures of the Tea Party protestors by the news outlets, something we don't expect Rod to ever do.

H/T Dianonymous.

Byron York on the 9/12 Protest

It's good. Liked this paragraph:

Some people were animated by a single issue -- health care, taxes, the Second Amendment. But in dozens of interviews with marchers, the picture that emerged was of people who believe things are racing out of control along a whole range of fronts in Washington, and that no one is representing their interests. Obama and the Democrats in Congress, they believe, are simply pushing too hard on too many things. It's unlikely that there would have been a rally this size just about the stimulus, or just about cap-and-trade, or just about the takeovers of the auto companies, or even health care. But put them all together, and there is an enormous and growing fear that Obama and his allies are rushing to wreck the system.

I think it is sort of the beginning of a new coalition, and I'm glad to see that some big GOP dudes, like Jim DeMint, are taking note here. I'm like Dr. Dunch in York's story; albeit I've always been interested in politics, going to Canton for the Tea Party Express stop was my first time at an event like that. It's not really my favorite type of event, but like Senator DeMint, the absence on greasy, unbathed weirdos and the presence of regular Americans is the first thing I noticed.

York notes that some of these folks supported and voted for Obama because they didn't realize how far left he would end up trying to push the country.

Their attitudes toward Obama himself are complicated. No one I met expressed hatred for the President. A few had voted for him, and others, like Christy Smith, said they were deeply moved when he was elected. Many others opposed him all along. But now, the predominant mood is deep distrust. They believe Obama will raise their taxes, that he will blow up the health care system, that he will weaken America's defenses.

Since I mentioned the Canton, OH Tea Party, here are a few signs I photographed at the event.

Obamacare = Sub-prime Health Care

Obamacare is the Clunker!

The Constitution: The other document they didn't read.


Mark Steyn on President Obama's "War of Choice"

Who but Mark Steyn can pen a piece that's insightful, clever, dark and dismal yet with a sharp sense of humor shining throughout? I think his Obamacare narrative is right on target and, unfortunately, I agree with his prediction that the abominable thing will be passed, public option and all. Here's the center paragraph of the piece:

And that, ultimately, gets closer than anything else he says to giving the game away. For most of the previous presidency, the Left accused George W. Bush of using 9/11 as a pretext to attack Iraq. Since January, his successor has used the economic slump as a pretext to "reform" health care. Most voters don't buy it: They see it as Obama's "war of choice," and the more frantically he talks about it as a matter of urgency the weirder it seems. If he's having difficulty selling it, that's because it's not about "health." As I've written before, the appeal of this issue to him and to Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank et al is that governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture—one in which elections are always fought on the Left's issues and on the Left's terms, and in which "conservative" parties no longer talk about small government and individual liberty but find themselves retreating to one last pitiful rationale: that they can run the left-wing state more effectively than the Left can. Listen to your average British Tory or French Gaullist on the campaign trail, pledging to "deliver" government services more "efficiently."

Then Steyn goes on to talk about the "lunatic mainstream" of liberalism, picking up his theme of which I had mentioned hearing him speak earlier. It totally makes sense that President Obama would be willing to lose 25 points off his approval rating and the House of Representatives in 2010 to pass this health care legislation. The thing is so huge and so overwhelming that passing it will cause a leftward seismic shift in the entire nation. That's all we need—another third rail.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jennifer Rubin on Waiting for Obama's "Magic Trick"

How do you cut waste, fraud and abuse and prevent rationing and expand "coverage" with an enormous new government program? Jennifer Rubin wonders. Her conclusion is that you can't, and that when the President claims he can, he's lying.

But in their frustration at the president’s vacuity, the Post editors overlook a key problem. There isn’t a way to do the things he has promised (avoid adding to the deficit and slow down health-cost inflation) with the sort of government-run system Obama is wedded to. You can’t do it unless you massively ration care, which, if we have learned anything in the past month, is not going to be an easy sell to the public. If you want to try to do these things, you can’t get there through a government-centric plan. What may get there is expanding the health-care insurance market, spurring individual health-insurance purchases, and real tort reform.

So it is not as if Obama is holding out on us or has some super-duper solution tucked in Larry Summers’s filing cabinet. The answer is that there isn’t any answer. Obama will either have to lie about the financial ramifications of the plan he is pushing and run roughshod over the CBO and private analysts, or he’ll have to try another sort of health-care reform. If his speech this past week is any guide, I’m betting he’ll lie.

Donohue: Obama must end abortion debate

From a recent Catholic League press release:

Catholic League president Bill Donohue weighed in on the growing debate among pro-life Catholics regarding President Obama’s position on abortion coverage in the health care reform bill:

Richard Doerflinger, a prominent voice for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on life issues, welcomes President Obama’s pledge not to include abortion coverage in the health care reform bill. He is joined by Sister Carol Keehan, who heads the Catholic Health Association.

On the other hand, people like Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life maintain that Obama’s proclamations represent “bogus claims.” Also unconvinced are such organizations as the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List, as well as pro-life congressmen like Rep. Chris Smith. Independent journalists like Dan Gilgoff are also wary of Obama’s commitment, holding that “On abortion—and for the moment—the White House isn’t budging at all.”

This isn’t a split between social justice Catholics and pro-life Catholics, or between secularists and people of faith. This is a divide within the pro-life Catholic community. All of the aforementioned are men and women of sincerity, and all of them are well informed.

So what gives? On closer inspection, the chasm isn’t as wide as it seems. None of these leaders will support a bill that includes federal funding for abortion. The split comes down to the issue of trust: Can we expect the president to deliver on a health care bill that excludes public monies for abortion?

There is only one person who can settle the issue, and that is President Obama. Eventually, the divide will end and the pro-life Catholic community will unite once again. It’s time the Obama administration provided the kind of clarity and specificity that will end this debate.

In the most recent Catalyst, Donohue rightly points out that "precisely because abortion is seen as a medical procedure that it is automatically included in these health care bills, unless otherwise noted." I had thought the same thing; abortion is a legal procedure performed by a doctor in a medical facility. Why would any health care bill signed by the most radical pro-abortion President ever not cover abortion?

So it's in Obama's best interest not to say one way or another about this. What is his excuse for refusing to end the debate? Donohue's use of the word "specificity" reminded me that he already told us before he became President—it's above his pay grade.