Special Friends Get Special Breaks
All in the name of bread and circuses I suppose:National Journal reported this week that the Senate’s economic stimulus bill includes a provision that would make Hollywood studios eligible for a special 50% write-off of equipment purchases. According to the report, "the provision is backed by firms like the Walt Disney Co., and the industry trade group the Motion Pict
 
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
While the Coleman/Franken election remains in limbo, the Obama administration may have solved the problem of getting that 60th Senator who would caucus with the Democrats:There is a strong possibility that Barack Obama will ask Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) to serve as his Secretary of Commerce, Democratic Senate aides tell the Huffington Post.
 
Public Support For Dem Stimulus Bill Slipping
Rasmussen reports that fewer people back the Democratic stimulus bill that passed in the House yesterday than did the week before:Public support for the economic recovery plan crafted by President Obama and congressional Democrats has slipped a bit over the past week. At the same time, expectations that
 
Will Republicans In The Senate Pass The Stimulus?
Republicans stepped up yesterday and unanimously voted no on a pork laden monstrosity they were unable to amend or debate. I’d call that being responsible. Of course, the left is calling it many other less flattering things as you’d expect.But to this point, this turkey of a bill belongs lock stock and barrel to the Democrats. And as Dale discusses below, it is a massiv
 
House Republicans Say No To Dem Pork "Stimulus" Bill
Well, well, well ...The measure passed 244 to 188, with 11 Democrats and 177 Republicans voting against it. That’s all the Republicans in the House. Not one voted for the package.Obviously Obama didn’t promise enough to buy them off or they can sense a turkey when they see one. Republicans have
 
What to make of the Burris appointment
Well for one thing, Blago had the last laugh.Roland Burris will take his seat in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, but he shouldn’t expect a warm welcome. Republicans are ready to portray Burris as a poster child for all that’s wrong with the Democratic Party, and Democrats aren’t sure that they want to back him if he runs for the seat in 2010.“That’s hypothetical, and
 
The Congressional Agenda
If you’re wondering what’s up for Congress, this list of the first 10 Senate bills might give you a preview: * S.1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009A bill to create jobs, restore economic growth, and strengthen America’s middle class through measures that modernize the nation’s infrast
 
The Majority "leader?"
After Harry Reid’s tough words and claim of constitutional authority being on his side in refusing to seat Roland Burris as Illinois junior senator, it appears the cave-in by Reid is imminent:Senate Democrats plan to accept Roland Burris for President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant seat, the Associated Press reports.
 
And the games begin...
Almost, maybe, we’ll see Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) has been denied the seat to which IL Governor Rod Blagojevich(D) appointed him:Roland Burris was denied entry to the Senate chambers on Tuesday as he tried to claim the seat once held by President-elect Barack Obama.Burris said the secretary of the Senate rejected his credentials, an
 
Perception
There’s’ no question in any thinking person’s mind that the financial meltdown was in large part as much a failure of government as greed on Wall Street.For the last few months, however, we’ve been treated to legislators acting like cats trying to cover up crap. We’ve also had to ensure their bloviating about how those on Wall Street who were a big reason for the crisis shouldn’t be getting raises or bonuses.
 
The Senate Vote
While the defeat of the auto bailout is being "blamed" on Republicans, and I’m sure that for most of them, that’s fine, it’s always fun to look inside the numbers. How did it end up?Oh yes, 52 for and 35 against, correct?And the threshold needed? 60 votes.10, count ’em, 10 "Republicans" (yes the scare quotes are intentional) voted for the for the bill. 
For Senate Republicans, this is a "hill to die on"
I’m already tired of the Blagojevich scandal (an Illinois governor is corrupt? Well knock me over with a feather), but I remain concerned with this auto bailout and can only hope, with the White House caving in, that the Republicans in the Senate will make one final stand before their minority power is blown away for at least 2 years come January 20th.Why? Be
 
About that Senate Seat ...
The Illinois legislature is meeting in special session next week to strip Gov. Blagojevich of his power to seat a replacement for Barack Obama’s Senate seat, and now Harry Reid has come out and said that if he appoints someone between now and that session, the US Senate will refuse to seat the appointee.But can they?That’s the question tossed around  
Senate Stuff
Is NY about to put another Kennedy in the Senate?Another Senator Kennedy? The crazy speculation about Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat may not be so crazy after all. A Democrat who would know tells ABC News that New York governor David Paterson has talked to Caroline Kennedy about taking the seat, which was once held by her uncle, Robert F. Kennedy. It’s not exa
 
The Whining of a RINO
When will Republicans learn that "colleagues" on the left will turn on them in a New York minute if it means advancing their cause, increasing their power or punishing their rivals?Susan Collins (ME-R) is shocked, shocked I tell you, that her Senatorial colleagues actively worked for her defeat:The tactics used by Democrats to se
 
Auto bailout - neither side wants to be responsible for doing it, but Dem eventually will
Just hide and watch. They don’t want the failure of a major industry to happen as the Obama administration takes office:It’s really up to Bush’s team to act, he said."I don’t believe we need the legislation," Reid said. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson can tap the financial industry bailout money to help auto companies,
 
58
Not that his defeat isn’t richly deserved:Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in Senate history, narrowly lost his re-election bid Tuesday, marking the downfall of a Washington political power and Alaska icon who couldn’t survive a conviction on federal corruption charges. His defeat by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich moves Senate Democrats within two s
 
The Senate: Answering The Lieberman Question (update)
Apparently Reid’s meeting with Lieberman must not have gone quite the way Harry hoped it would. I’m sure Reid planned to pull Lieberman’s chairmanship citing his support for the opposition as the reason, but have him remain a member of the Democratic caucus. It seems Lieberman isn’t going to go down easily:“Sen. Lieberman’s preference is to stay in th
 
57 (update)
That is the unofficial Senate count for the Dems as they appear to have picked up one more seat. The possibility of 58, although slim, resides in the Coleman/Franken race in MN. Coleman holds a 449 vote lead prior to an automatic recount of the 2.8 million votes cast.The 57th seat involves the apparent defeat of Sen. Gordon Smith (R) in OR. His opponent, Jeff Merkley, holds a 2,000 vote lead with a sizeable amount of the vote still to be counted. Unfo
 
Tamping down expectations -will it work?
After feeding off of emotional rhetoric and high-flying promises of the campaign, Democrats are now trying to lower expectations.Democratic leaders are tamping down on expectations for rapid change and trying to signal they will place a calm hand on the nation’s tiller.“The country must be governed from the middle,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
 
Key Senate Races
I’ve been playing around over at Pollster.com looking at the various trend lines and polls in some Senate races I’m interested in. My predictions:Georgia - Chambliss (R) will win. Whether he avoids a runoff or wins outright depends on the number of votes the Libertarian candidate gets. If he has a runoff, he’ll most likely win comfortably in the absence of the turnou
 
Congress remains at the center of the financial meltdown
While Congress continues to relentlessly attempt to put the blame for the financial meltdown on Wall Street and "deregulation", and lost in the hype of a presidential election, the truth of the matter continues to dribble out:Former Fannie Mae Chief Executive Daniel Mudd wished he said "no" to more of the things the company was asked to do, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. "We were
 
Ain’t Nuthin’ New About This Approach
Via Hot Air and Ed Morrisey: 
Focus on the Senate
The present Senate:49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, 2 Independents The present situation:54 Democrats, 40 Republicans, 2 Independents, 4 seats are a toss up. A note about the two "independents". They mostly caucus with the Democrats with the notable exception of Joe Lieberman when it comes to Iraq (and other national security issues).So even if all 4 of the toss up seats went to the Republicans, Democrats woul
 
Inside Baseball - the Senate, Cloture and Minority Power
As anyone who follows politics knows (except for some professors of Political Science), the Senate requires 60 votes to pass just about anything (except those bills agreed to by unanimous consent).And in the past few Congresses, the Senate has been fairly evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats providing the minority party with a great deal of power. The upcoming election may alter that balance significantly. Right now, it is expecte
 
Will someone ask these idiots where they’ll get the money?
Just once, would someone in the MSM ask where this is coming from?The United States needs a new economic stimulus plan that pumps billions of dollars into infrastructure projects and budget relief for cash-strapped state and loca
 
Bailout Vote: The Nays Have It
There won’t be any vote in the Senate because the bill has gone down in the House.Dems - 141 Yes/94 NoReps - 64 Yes/134 NoSo, by a vote of 228 against to 205 for, the bill is dead - at least for today.As the bill was announced in the House, the stock market cratered. When a recorded
 
It is a "crap sandwich" but the Republicans are urged to vote for it anyway (update)
Wonderful. The "it", of course, is the present version of the bailout plan.The "crap sandwich" statement came from John Boehner when describing what he thought of the bill.Then you  
One reason the deal was "no deal" yesterday
One of the reasons, or "sticking points" was the usual crap by Democrats trying to shape a bill which would reward their constituencies at the tax payers expense: The payoff to this corrupt organization is one of the major sticking points of the legislation. Yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham said: "Twenty percent of the money that should go to retire debt that will be created to solve this problem winds up in a housing organization called ACOR
 
Slimy Harry
And the Democratic leadership wonders why their approval rating is lower than Harry Reid’s IQ?Read this and tell me if it means anything to you:“SEC. 1602. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 152 of division A of H.R. 2638 (110th Congress), the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropr
 
Congress - rank incompetence
From the Jawa Report, a video that you might find interesting: 
Those classy Democrats
With "Cold Cash" Jefferson and "Simple Man" Rangel, this shouldn’t come as a great surprise:“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida said at a panel about the shared agenda of J
 
The drilling ban will expire
Or so say the Democrats:Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in an months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., told repor
 
And one more thing ...
To the blockheads who run Congress:Dean Baker, a liberal economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said he has told congressional Democrats that Bush is the one who is in the delicate situation and would therefore be unlikely to veto whatever package Democrats send to him, as long as it gives Paulson some of what he needs.“I can’t imagine Bush wou
 
Clueless in Captial City
That would be Nancy Pelosi:House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when asked Tuesday whether Democrats bear some of the responsibility regarding the current crisis on Wall Street, had a one-word answer: “No.”Pelosi (D-Calif.) ripped President Bush’s “mismanagement” of the economy and a lack of regulation that led to the cu
 
And the answer is ....?
So much for ethics.As I predicted below, Nancy Pelosi chose party over ethics:Republicans are seeking to highlight the controversy over his finances in the coming election, after Democrats have pounded them on issues of ethics and corruption.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi re
 
Freddie and Fanny - Oversight and overspin
Pop quiz - who identified and tried to fix what presently ails Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae 5 years ago?Answer, from the NYT no less: The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.
 
Rangel should step down ...
On Nov. 14, 2006, Nancy Pelosi wrote an op-ed outlining what the new Democratic House would accomplish. Among the laundry list of promises was this:They called for greater integrity in Washington, and Democrats pledge to make this the most honest, ethical, and open Congress in history.She now has an opportunity to make good on at least this promis
 
Congressional races tightening?
According to Gallup, they’re tightening significantly:A potential shift in fortunes for the Republicans in Congress is seen in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, with the Democrats now leading the Republicans by just 3 percentage points, 48% to 45%, in voters’ "generic ballot" preferences for Congress. This is down from consistent doub
 
Pelosi’s Politburo
The prevaricating Pelosi showed up yesterday on George Stephanopolous’s "This Week" and made a hash of it.It is frustrating as can be to watch. Pelosi is just flat disengenuous when it comes to rational and valid reasons for the question of the day, "Why won’t you let it come to a vote?"Steffi asks it
 
Senate Ethics Committee and Sen Coburn
As you might imagine, given Sen. Tom Coburn’s one-man war against government spending, many in the Senate aren’t at all happy with him.And it seems they’ve contrived of a way to go after him. But I have to tell you, given the history of that fine institution, that it is probably one of the stupidest and least
 
Reid caves - again
Or at at least tries too. And, of course he screws it up. First, the cave:Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has split the Democratic front opposed to drilling with a plan that would open new areas for exploration.Then the result:Reid’s proposal was meant to insulate Senate Democratic candidates from public anger over gas prices. Instead, it has creat
 
Matthews for the Senate? A small rant ...
It is just hard anymore to find a good article full of juicy quotes that allows you at least a tiny bit of fisking, but this article about Chris Matthews possibly running for the Senate provided a nice bit of blog fodder.First, just imagine Chris Matthews in political office. Other than Al Franken I can’t think of a less qualified guy. Well
 
Why are Congressional ratings in the tank?
Well one reason has to do with the "leadership" of both Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid.Here’s an example. Remember when Nancy Pelosi said, after becoming Speaker, that unlike the previous Republican Congress, "bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full and fair de
 
A little something to keep you up at night (in the dark)
First the good news.While oil gets the attention, America uses just 15% more of it today than when the first modern energy crisis hit in October 1973. So, seemingly, we did learn something in ’73 which is somewhat gratifying. Conservation, fuel efficiency, etc., seem to have paid off.However:But electricity use is up 115%
 
The official scapegoat (update)
Gas too high, bunky? Does it hurt the wallet to fill the tank?Don’t worry, Congress has identified the problem and is moving swiftly to take care of it:The political class needed to blame somebody for the run-up in energy prices, and settled on "speculators" as the designated villains. The mob grew to include everyone from Barack Obama to John McCain, and
 
PAYGO a NOGO
Remember this?"Democrats are committed to ending years of irresponsible budget policies that have produced historic deficits. Instead of compiling trillions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren, we will restore pay-as-you-go budget discipline."—Speaker Nancy Pelosi, December 12, 2006Of course you know that went by the boards ve
 
Bill Chuck Schumer!
IndyMac Bank’s assets were seized by federal regulators when it was determined, Friday, that it could no longer meet depositor’s demands.Why were there such heavy depositor demands? Because of an incompetent senator from NY - Chuck Schumer.Schumer sent a letter on June 26th to several bank regulating agencies urging them to ta
 
Why are Congressional ratings so low
Rich Lowry provides the story that perfectly demonstrates why Congress’s approval ratings are in single digits: Today marked a new low for the way congressional Democrats deal with national security. This morning, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Energy Independence and Gl
 
Dear Congressional Democrats ...
I’m still waiting for someone on your side to announce the investigation of Senator Dodd (and others) for a very questionable relationship with an institution over which he, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, had oversight.If you need to borrow a little wording so you can use the appropriate rhetoric in your announcement, may I suggest looking over
 
Investigate or sweep it under the rug?
The allegation:Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd reportedly received two mortgages under a special Countrywide Financial Corp. program that gave preferential interest rates to "friends" of the company’s chairman.The response:A spokesman for Dodd, D-Conn., said Friday that the senator did not seek any
 
Utopia lost
A microcasm of subsidized failure lives within, of all places, the U.S. Senate’s network of restaurants.You didn’t know that the Senate had its own dining rooms and coffee shops? Oh, yeah, and you’ve been subsidizing them for years.The irony, well to some, is they aren’t even able to make a go of it with your
 
Richardson makes Maxine Waters look good
Have you been keeping up with the story about the freshman Congresswoman from California and her loan defaults?See if you can figure this out:The tale of Rep. Laura Richardson’s (D) personal housing crisis got even more captivating Tuesday as her office said the freshman lawmaker defaulted on loans she took out for not just one,
 
The art of haggling
Will Wilkinson has just returned from Turkey and discovered he hates haggling.I am terrible at it. As a consequence, I bought nothing in Turkey other than tickets to various things, room, food, and a poster of Ataturk. And I overpaid for all of these things, I’m sure, which has left me a bit bitter about the place. Surely this is inefficient overall, no?No.
 
The Culture of Accomodation is a one-way street
The best way to introduce Bruce Bawer’s piece in City Journal about the seeming surrender of Western values such as freedom of speech to what he calls the ’cultural jihadists’ of Islam, bent on seeing our ways transition to their ways, is to begin with his conclusion:We need to recognize that the cultural jihadists hate our freedoms because those fre
 
Headline: Name this city
Baghdad?"Bloody Weekend: 32 Shot, 2 Stabbed, 6 Dead."
 
The Death of Reason
I really wonder, sometimes, why crackpottery seems so prevalent these days. Case in point, Richard Falk, Milbank professor of international law emeritus at Princeton University.He’s been chosen by the UN to report on human rights issues in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Since he has a long-standing record of anti-Israel bias, this, of course, makes him the perfect UN representative in this matter.But, he also has  
Parents worried over child’s future
We’ve all read stories about concerned parents who go to extraordinary and sometimes asinine lengths to ensure their children are able to attend the right schools, play sports or other activities they deem critical to their development.Here is the heartwarming story of two such parents and their concern for their 4 year old son’s future:A couple fi
 
Making a wish come true
At 5, he could have gone anywhere in the world and pretty much done anything he wanted to do. Gavin Cox has leukemia and the Make-a-Wish Foundation had told him he pretty much had carte blanc in that regard.What Gavin wanted to do was become a soldier. On March 18th the US Army made his wish come true. 
What would we know without studies?
In case this wasn’t clear to you through personal observation, I suppose this makes it official:Rap music has increasingly glamorized the use of illegal drugs, portraying marijuana, crack and cocaine as symbols of wealth and status, according to a new study by the journal Addiction Research & Theory.More importantly:"This is an alarming trend, as rap artists ar
 
So - will this become a campaign issue?
Or will it become an elephant in the room everyone cautiously ignores? I give you the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, declared spiritual mentor of Barack Obama:
 
St. Geraldine and the PC Dragon
I think one of the most useful aspects of the Democratic primary, because a black man and a white woman are running, is the debate it is forcing over charging sexism and racism at the drop of a hat.Complaints made by the right for decades about how everything is twisted into a charge of sexism or racism when convenient are now seeing the light of day among Democrats and the left. It is as if a huge veil is being lifted from their eyes as the accusers of
 
Winning Friends and Influencing People
So, you want to open up a gay summer camp, where those with alternate lifestyles are comfortable. You do all the requisite financial deals, find the property, etc.So far, so good. Then you try to choose a name. The property is currently called the "Golden Valley Campground". But that’s not good enough, is it? You need to choose a new name. Then, of course, you wonder why everyone in the local community gets so upset because you’ve chose
 
PETA pleads with rebels to stick with murdering humans
PETA remains an activist group that should, in reality, live exclusively in the pages of the Onion:An international animal rights group called on Sri Lanka’s separatist Tamil Tigers to "leave animals out" of the armed conflict, two weeks after a grenade attack blamed on rebels at the island’s main zoo.People for the Eth
 
Berekely - class and support
I’m not sure anyone, especially the Marines, expected anything better out of the classless Berekely City Council or Mayor:As hundreds of protesters on both sides of the Iraq War debate demonstrated in Berkeley Tuesday, the city’s mayor told officials with the Marine recruiting office in town they should not expect an apology."I think it’s unwanted," Ber
 
Stick a Fork in Her. She’s Done.
Penn Jillette says that Hillary Clinton has already lost. It sounds like solid evidence to me...
 
Interior Desecrations
I hate to steal the title of a James Lileks book, for the title of this post, but it’s so appropriate:Where was this picture taken, do you think? Some bureaucrat’s office in Havana?Sadly, no.It’s a Barack Obama  
Ask and ye shall receive
Need a little help "getting back on your feet?" Well, I’m not sure this is the best approach:A man who pleaded guilty to unarmed robbery faced no more than a year in the county jail but asked to be sent to prison instead to help his chances of rehabilitation.Michael Thomas Isaacson got what he wanted on Thursday when a judge sentenced him to 17 months to 15 ye
 
Berkeley waves the white flag
Who says pressure doesn’t work:A week after blasting the Marines as "unwelcome intruders" in Berkeley, two City Council members want the city to back off the declaration that ignited the wrath of the nation’s right wing and inspired a Republican senator to try to sever Berkeley’s federal funding.Council members Betty Olds and
 
Berkeley - longing for the good old days
Dale covered this a couple of days ago, but it is unfortunate for any vet of the Vietnam era to see the same verbiage still lives among the anti-war crowd:"You guys are just cannon fodder!" the chained protesters shouted at three teenage boys who walked past the office and said they wanted to go inside. "They want to train you to kill babies!"
 
You apparently have a right not to be offended
And it is government’s job to ensure that even if there’s just a chance a certain segment of the population may be offended:A story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale has been turned by a government agency’s awards panel as the subject matter could offend Muslims.The digital book, re-telling the classic story, was rejected by judges who
 
Death, fantasy and reality
I want to preface this by saying I don’t have a thing against Heath Ledger. In fact, until yesterday, I didn’t even know who he was. I’m not a movie buff and don’t spend much time watching them. But today at lunch, I happened to be in a restaurant in which a news program was running on one of the TVs. And, of course, his story came up. The coverage was extensive, interviews with fellow actors were conducted, his dad spoke, and
 
HuffPo comes through again
As I mentioned in my post "The Joy of HuffPo" you don’t know what you’re missing unless you wander by there every once in a while. Today it is Erica Jong:I am so tired of pink men bombing brown children and rationalizing it as fighting terrorism. I am so tired of pink men t
 
"Asian-Babe" - the left’s blatant bigotry
I’m getting to where I have no patience with the left claiming it is the right and only the right where racists and bigots are found (especially as I watch the charges hurled around about the Clinton campaign pertaining to Obama).This particular letter to the editor is o
 
Steinem on Clinton
You had to wonder when the feminists would begin to try to make their case. Just as the Clinton campaign goes under for the second time seems appropriate. Gloria Steinem has her say today, concluding:What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and
 
Occasionally, I Like Bill Clinton
Like today, when Mr. Clinton was contronted by Ron Paul supporters, and struck back.During his third stop of the day, the former president posed for pictures and shook hands as he strolled down Main Street on this unseasonably warm Primary Eve day. Across the street, a few Paul supporters shouted his name.Eventually, Clinton stopped outside a bakery, of
 
Who Says Middle America is Puritanical?
All good things must come to an end, apparently.The most popular address on Cedar Ridge Drive is Jim Trulock’s split-level home, which has a group sex room and attracts as many as 100 people to swinger parties featuring "Naked Twister" nights.But the festivities could soon be over. In response to neighbors’ complaints, the city has outlawed sex c
 
Islam: Name your teddy "Muhammad" and die
Sometimes I’m stunned by the intolerance and barbarity of certain cultures and religions:Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad."
 
Miss Universe and a dash of pepper
Whoa ... beauty pageants are a bit rougher than in the past:Pepper spray failed to deter Ingrid Marie Rivera, who beat 29 rivals to become the island’s 2008 Miss Universe contestant.Pageant organizers said they hope to catch and expose whoever was responsible for dousing Rivera’s evening gowns with pepper spray and spiking her mak
 
The Endarkenment
That’s Billy Beck’s term for, among other things, the declining ability of people to think critically and logically. It proceeds apace, apparently, according to a new poll.Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government had warnings about 9/11 but decided to ignore them, a national survey found.<
 
Anti-War Movie Flops
Jonah Goldberg tries to explain why Hollywood’s anti-war movies just aren’t packing in the crowds, even with Oscar-winning star power in he cast.Americans may not be as passionately opposed to the war as the polls have led Hollywood to believe. Left-wing bloggers, hyper-rich Democratic donors and antiwar activists hate the war with biblical fury. B
 
"All the world’s a stage" - the updated version
I recall the old joke about the teenager reading Shakespeare for the first time and complaining that it had too many cliches in it. Those with a bit better sense of history may chuckle at that, but it’s indicative of a real problem in discussing current events. Those with no sense of history can make certain very elementary mistakes when trying to interpret current events.Even worse are those whose views on history are taken from superficial or flawed sources, but don’t r
 
Why are we seeing more and more of this?
Is it just me or does it seem stories like this are epidemic?A 25-year-old teacher was arrested Thursday night on charges of statutory rape.Holly Hatcher, a first year teacher at Gallatin High School, was taken into custody after she admitted to having inappropriate relations with a 17-year-old male Gallatin High School student at
 
Please spare me ....
Kevin Drum notes that Tom Friedman thinks the 20-somethings today are just not engaged enough. Others seem to think that life is just very hard today:THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS....Tom Friedman is concerned that 20-somethings today are a little too quiet. "If they are not spitting mad, well, then they’re just not paying attention," he says. Courtney Martin responds: When Friedman was young and people were taking to the streets, there
 
They’ve already lost. They just don’t know it.
I received the following email today from those heartless right-wingers at National Center for Public Policy Research. It seems that they’re upset about SCHIP, too. But, maybe not in the way that you’d think.As the U.S. House of Representatives votes today in what the Democratic leadership hopes will be a successful override of President Bush’s veto of its SCHIP expa
 
Moral cowardice in the face of evil
If you’re into non sequiturs masquerading as serious analysis, I would recommend this blog post.The essential theme is in 1959 we feted Nikita Khrushchev. That, according to this person, was when we were a nation with "character". We were "well-adusted". "Mature."Poppycock. As the Shelby Steele column
 
The art of moral equivalence
Last night prior to doing the "Someone You Should Know" segment, Dean Barnett, who was guest cohosting on WRKO’s "Pundit Review Radio", brought up the visit of Iranian President Ahmadinajad to NY. While discussing it he mentioned this post from a DailyKos diarist (sallykohn):I know I’m a Jewish lesbian
 
Toxic personalities and their quirks
What is it with this seeming trend toward tell-all books by marginal personalities?Rosie O’Donnell used to break her own limbs with either a baseball bat or a wooden hanger when she was a child.This revelation, as well as many about her experiences on "The View" last year, is contained in a new book she’s written due shortly called “Celebrity Detox.”Tell
 
Open racism in Memphis
Via Jay Nordlinger, I saw this article on the troubles of Congressman Steve Cohen in Memphis. Cohen won the race to succeed Harold Ford, Jr. when Ford ran for the Senate last year. That district is rather heavily black, and some think Cohen isn’t fit to represent it:"He’
 
New Orleans demonstrates the effect of the "Mendicant’s mentality"
Two years after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans the city recovery remains "illusive". The primary complaint? Well, no one is doing it for New Orleans. They, it seems, expect that. As their "recovery czar" says, the have a "mendicant’s mentality". Not all of them, of course. Some understood immediately whose responsibility it was to take acti
 
Urban Blight
I don’t want to get all Lileks-y on you, but I’m going to, because I’ve spent the last several days in Tucson, AZ. And, frankly, I’m appalled.The people of Tucson are open and friendly. Going there from California, the vibe completely changes. California is, to put it bluntly, full of a-holes. Arizonans are much nicer in aggregate.But these extremely nice people have managed to build a downtown of astounding uglines
 
Is the Sci-Fi movie dead?
Ridley Scott thinks so:At the Venice Film Festival for a special screening of his seminal noir thriller Blade Runner, Sir Ridley said that science fiction films were going the way the Western once had. “There’s nothing original. We’ve seen it all before. Been there. Done it,” he said. Asked to pick out examples, he said: “All of th
 
How to make friends and influence people
Or, ’timing is everything’: Eco-tourists on a whale-watching vessel, looking forward to observing the mighty creatures in their natural habitat, were instead greeted by the sight of a harpooned whale being dragged in by a Japanese whaling vessel on Friday.At about 10:44 a.m. on Friday, a whale was spotted spraying water from its blo
 
25% of us don’t read books
According to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.The survey reveals a nation whose book readers, on the whole,
 
Bongs ’R Us
Tom Scott sends along a link to remind us where all the old and new hippies have gone. Yes friends, a new generation of them are forming as we speak. And it looks like the crop is goooood.
 
Should religion be accommodated at work?
Religion and work, a clash of cultures:Tension came to a head at a Grand Island meatpacking plant in June, when Jama Mohamed said his desire for 10 minutes to pray at sunset was met with shouting.After he left the production line and began praying, Mohamed said, supervisors took his prayer mat, pulled him up by his collar and sent him crying to a lead supervis
 
Utopian fantasies and patriotism
Dale Franks touched on this in his post last week entitled "But Don’t Question their Patriotism...". Out there among us are the "utopians" who aren’t able to acknowledge the good they see for all the bad they imagine.They are so disappointed that their internal fantasy about their country isn’t reality that they are forever ashamed about who they are and where
 
Talk Radio and Washington DC
The Washington Post has a story out today about talk radio in Washington DC where it essentially says no one there really listens to it (well, with the exception of Limbaugh) and that included conservative talk. They then cover each of the stations in DC and talk about their ratings which pretty much mirror my findings  
But Don’t Question Their Patriotism...
James Lileks nails it today:I expect a good Fourth, even though we’ve been warned of a “Spectacular” terrorist attack sometime this summer...I’ve gotten to the point where I imagine, almost simultaneous with the event, what the reaction will be among those who find evidence of terrorism both maddeningly inconvenient and perversely heartening – they must downpla
 
BDS wrapped in the Constitution
As painful as it is to read, this blog post is instructive in emphasizing the abysmal depths of rationalization the BDS addled extreme left will go to justify its actions.
 
"We support the Troops", Nazi edition
From Blackfive, a poster snapped in a Madison, WI grocery store:It is getting so you don’t even have to look that hard for this stuff any more. As Uncle Jimbo says:Well now they have gone and stepped right over the line. It’s always a sign o
 
No Nanking Massacre?
What is it with the Japanese?About 100 Japanese governing party lawmakers denounced the Nanjing Massacre as a fabrication on Tuesday, contesting Chinese claims that Japanese soldiers killed hundreds of thousands of people after seizing the Chinese city in 1937.The members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party said there was no evidence to
 
Oh yeah, that .... (update)
Apparently the fact that Fox and CBS rejected a condom ad because CBS didn’t find it appropriate for their network and Fox found it to be objectionable because their policy maintains that “[c]ontraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy” is just appalling to
 
Ah, assimilation - a wonderful thing
This must have been fun:More than 100 Muslim teen girls let their hair down Saturday night. Both literally and figuratively. Muslim girls who wear the headscarf in public slid them off as they walked into the first Minnesota Muslim prom exclusively for girls and women. With no men there, they didn’t have to cover up and were free to let loose and dance.
 
Defining heroism down
Cassie has the story here.
 
Live, from the Senate floor ....
The CarpetBagger Report is all upset:Roll Call reports today that a House Republican delivered a foreign policy speech yesterday in which he quoted Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the KKK. On Monday, Rep. Ted Poe took to the House floor to discuss foreign policy matters. To make a point, the Texas Republican invoked the words of Civil
 
We get the government we deserve
One of the things the founders of this country believed would protect our form of government was a well-informed electorate.But, as Jonah Goldberg points out, that dream, like so many others, simply hasn’t panned out:Huge numbers of Americans don’t know jack about their government or politics. Acc
 
White lies and the left (update)
Andrew Klavan does a little musing about being a conservative:The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a p
 
Look for the "violent movie" debate to resurface
Apparently Cho was a fan of the movie "Oldboy":Officers believe he repeatedly watched Oldboy as part of his preparation for the killing spree.The film, which won the Grand Prix award at the 2004 Cannes film festival, has been described as "an ultra-violent movie of obsession and revenge".It contains stylised scenes of killings and an attempted s
 
Nickel Mines and Va Tech
For some reason this came unbidden to mind while driving around today listening to the coverage of the Va Tech massacre:The Amish responded to the Nickel Mines school massacre in the same way they deal with other forms of adversity —- quietly, maturely and responsibly. Unlike school shootings in other, more urban settings, the Amish community issued no clarion call for grief counselor
 
White Guys Talking Race
Oliver Willis tries to apply a version of the "chickenhawk" argument to race. Just another example of the left trying to be the final arbiter on who can discuss what subject.
 
Blair bucks political correctness in the UK
Apparently Tony Blair finds it tiresome to pretend something going on isn’t going on in the name of political correctness:Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. His remarks angered community leaders, who accused him of ignorance and failing to provide support for
 
The Duke case: A peek behind the left’s curtain (updated)
It’s just not good enough that the accusations were false and there is no case against the Duke 3. Nope, still important to take those cheap shots:"It’s interesting that it comes at the time of the Duke rape case. The boys are off because the girl lied and she didn’t- wasn’t raped. However, it’s interesting to me that a little white boy’s club was in effect in the Duke Univers
 
It’s For the Children...
...Except for when it isn’t. But, I’ll get to that in a minute.So, Don Imus, after a 40-year broadcast career, is now off the air, because of a single bad one-liner, insensitive as it might’ve been. What do we learn from this episode?The number one lesson, I think, is in a situation where it’s a humorous quip that’s gotten you into trouble, never apologize. (Obviously, remarks made with animus will, an
 
Oh Please! - Exploiting Imus
Under the category of ’scraping the bottom of the barrel’ check this exploitation of the Don Imus flap by a Georgia State Legislator:A bid to hang Coretta Scott King’s portrait in the state Capitol died in a legislative committee Wednesday, with the chief supporter comparing the failure to Don Imus’ slur against the Rutgers Un
 
The Imus thing continues to build
Apparently, now that there is bright blood in the water, forces are pushing for a more permanent vacation for Don Imus:MSNBC has canceled its "Imus in the Morning" simulcast, the network announced Wednesday.The decision comes after remarks deemed racist and sexist that radio talk-show host Don Imus made last week about the Rutgers University women&rsquo
 
The Imus Thing II
I want to weigh in on Don Imus, with a bit of a different take than Bruce had earlier.Imus claims he was caught up in the bit and it seemed appropriate at the time. Yeah, I can see that, but then I also understand that anyone who’s been in public broadcasting for more than 10 minutes should also understand that it wouldn’t fly...not for a minute.Sorry, that&rsq
 
Anheuser-Busch: Spike "Spykes"
OK, this is going to be a bit controversial.I’ve not been a big fan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest for the most part. The CSPI has, in the past, issued alarmist reports, mostly on food products, which I felt overstated their case. Understanding the intense competition out there to grab the public’s attention, I understood their techniques even while deplori
 
The Tolerance of the Left
The lefty blog "Liberty Street" engages in some whining that left-wing blogs don’t promote smaller blogs enough.It does not make me happy to know that people whose worldview is so narrow, intolerant, exclusive, and hateful are so much better at supporting their ideological soulmates than we on the left, whose values run to diversity, inclusiveness, a
 
What, no riots?
Burlington Township, PA:The scenario has played out in real life across America: Gunfire echoes through a school and students are held hostage.But police, faculty and staff lived out their own make-believe version yesterday of just such a tragedy at Burlington Township High School, complete with Kevlar-clad officers, armed suspects and students portrayi
 
Shooting truth in the head
And all in the name of political correctness and multiculturalism. As noted recently, and especially in the case of multiculturalism, Europe seems to be in the terminal stages of the disease. More proof from Britain:Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Government backed study
 
Our enemies and our future dealing with them
If you aren’t familiar with Bernard Lewis, you ought to be. Lewis has been a scholar on the Middle East for decades, and is probably one of the most widely respected voices on that subject in the world. He’s not without his critics, of course, but for the most part, his insight into the world of Islam and how it impacts the West are well worth your trouble to seek.Lewis ga
 
I’m cool!
This is a pretty clever test. Check it out.The test is based on how cool you were, what crowd you ran with, etc. It’s pretty accurate.You may want to send it to friends and see if they’ve changed. See if you are a cool person!
 
A discussion of anger
This week we’ve had any number of pundits discussing anger and it’s public display. I discussed such a display over the weekend which took place in Portland during a recent anti-war/anti-American protest. I described it as puerile and destructively self-indulgent.G
 
Painful death
From a USA Today story:A Georgia judge has ordered the state’s Department of Agriculture to enforce a 1990 law that bars animal shelters from using gas chambers to kill unwanted pets.Opponents argue that pets die slow, agonizing deaths from carbon-monoxide gas, and that lethal injection should be used to euthanize animals.Hm
 
The epitome of self-indulgent destructive behavior
By that I mean behavior in which what are known commonly as the ’bounds of decency’ are cast aside simply because the idiot committing the act wants to indulge himself ... in this case publicly demonstrating the level of his hate. The act occurred during a ’peace march’ in Portland Oregon, described by the Portland Tribune:
 
Feminism’s decline: Focusing on the pose and not the problem
Interesting post over at the Moderate Voice where Shaun Mullen is anything but moderate in his reaction to how some feminist blogs have handled what should be a slam-dunk feminist issue.The issue is about sexual assault of females in the military. The issue they chose to deal with, has to do with a pose in a picture the alleged
 
Transmission of Culture - Part II
Last week I wrote a post on the problems Britain is encountering because its traditional culture isn’t being transmitted in its schools. This week we have an article by Michael Barone in which he covers it from a different angle. Barone discusses the "blame America fir
 
Equity and Inclusion at Cal Berkley
Tony Woodlief of Sand in the Gears wonders:The University of California at Berkeley is looking to hire its first Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, and I think it’s about darn time. I’m heartened to know that with this renewed focus on recruiting students and faculty from underrepresented groups, Berkeley’s agents will soon be scouring Iowa for de
 
The transmission of culture
I was reading a question and answer segment in an interview with Melanie Phillips whose book, "Londonistan" explored not only the rise of Muslim culture, but the decline of much of British culture when I was came across this exchangeQ: Your most famous previous book, "All Must Have Prizes," was a critique of egalitarianism in British schoo
 
All cultures are not equal. Shockingly, some are inferior
A very interesting read from an American woman who married an Afghan man she met while in college and then moved to Afghanistan (prior to the Taliban). One thing she said which caught my eye:Individual Afghans were enchantingly courteous — but the Afghanistan I knew was a bastion of illiteracy, poverty, treachery and preventable diseases.
 
Everybody wants to rule the world
I just saw McQ’s post on how Democrats and Republicans both want to run your lives, just in different ways. As he points out, it’s a long running theme, and a major reason why neither of the national parties has much appeal to me. To quote my favorite author, Robert Heinlein:“Political tags—such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal conservative, and so forth—are never bas
 
A "Doh!" moment for the self-esteem crowd
Wonder of wonders, researchers are finding that today’s crop of college students are "more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors".And the reason? The researchers traced the phenomenon back to what they called the "self-esteem movement" that emerged in the 1980s, asserting that the effort to build self-confidence had gone too far.
 
Prelude to a stick-up
Always looking for new and fertile ground in which to use his patented and sure-fire method of extorting money from large corporations and institutions, Jesse Jackson has set his eyes on Hollywood:"After all, we once did not know how big baseball could be until everyone could play. Right now, with the system (in) Hollywood, we don’t know how big the entertainment market
 
"Loose Change" and Global Warming consensus - the similarities
Apparently, among many others, the "Loose Change" phenomenon has claimed another convert at the Evening Standard in the UK:Called Loose Change, the film is a blitz of statistics, photographs pinched from the web, eyewitness accounts and expert testimony, all set to hip-hop music. And
 
China’s "one child" policy comes home to roost
As if any rational person expected a different outcome from this sort of government intrusion:China will have 30 million more men of marriageable age than women by 2020, making it difficult for them to find wives, according to a national report.The gender imbalance could lead to social instability, the report by the State Population and Family Planning Commission warned.It found that around 118 boys were bo