March 30, 2007

Modern Liberalism Explained

Two weekends ago I turned you on to a fabulous 75 minute YouTube on global warming. This weekend, I only need you to set aside 48 minutes.

This speech, by a guy named Evan Sayet, is pure brilliance. I don't know why I've never heard of him before. For years I've been looking for a "grand unified theory" of why liberals are so fucked up, and this dude came up with a real contender. He presents his thesis within the first couple of minutes, and when I heard it I was like, "whoa, that's amazing, I've never thought of it like that before."

h/t to Shelly and Rodger.

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Key Quotes From VDH Column

Here are two key quotes from today's Victor Davis Hanson column at NRO.

Confrontation can be avoided through capitulation, and no Western nation is willing to insist that Iran adhere to any norms of behavior.

. . .

Why put European ships or planes outside of European territorial waters when that will only guarantee a crisis in which Europeans are kidnapped and held as hostages or used as bargaining chips to force political concessions?

Indeed. Why do the Europeans bother pretending that they have any spine at all?

Royal Marines don't apologize. Not willingly. But so what? They don't need to, eventually their government apologizes for them.

What we need here is not "de-escalation" rhetoric. The Iranians are playing the same hand they played in '79, because they know it works. Somebody needs to look them in the eye and say "not this time." But nobody is willing to do it. And so if nobody has the guts, why bother pretending? They should all just go home.

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March 29, 2007

McCain Was Almost A Democrat?

Who knows if this story is true? The source is two former Democratic lawmakers, who say that McCain's chief of staff approached them in 2001 about McCain switching parties. The chief of staff denies it, although he's now a Democrat himself, which is bad enough for McCain. Of course in these types of things, it doesn't really matter if the story is true, all that matters is that the story is out there, and it fits the narrative.

McCain may be done.

My prediction for the next big Republican drama: H. Ross Thompson. Will he or won't he? (Fuck everything up, that is.)

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March 24, 2007

Bronco Bomber Polling

Is it racist for a liberal to say "I like Obama, but I'm supporting Hillary because America's not ready to elect a black president?"*

Whether or not it's racist, that kind of attitude betrays a characteristic pessimism and contempt for America that many liberals hold but won't admit. The psychological term is called "projection," where a person attributes one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts and emotions onto another. Liberals are famous for projecting their own faults, so it wouldn't surprise me if there were a few closet racists in the Democratic party.

I know it's early, but Hillary still isn't beating Giuliani in head-to-head matchups, and I can't understand why Obama isn't gaining traction with Democrats. In almost every aspect, he's a better candidate for the liberals. Consistent on the war (despite the latest Clinton lie, he never flip-flopped), more likeable, a better speaker, less political baggage, got more integrity, etc., etc. And because he's from a new generation, nominating Obama over Hillary represents a step forward, not a step back.

Plus, if Giuliani gets the Republican nomination, I think Obama is the tougher matchup. Let's look at the polling.

The RealClearPolitics average has Obama losing to Giuliani by only 2.2%, whereas Queen Hillary loses to the Mayor by 4.5%. Those numbers seem close, but remember they're averages of about 4 or 5 different polls. The key is that Obama wins two of the five polls averaged in the Giuliani/Obama matchup, with Giuliani winning the other three. By contrast all four polls in the hypothetical Giuliani/Clinton matchup swing for Giuliani.

Both Hillary and Obama run neck-and-neck against McCain, but I'd give Obama the edge. RealClearPolitics has Obama beating John McCain by 1%, while Hillary loses to McCain by 1.6%. I know, I know, margin of error. But in McCain vs. Obama, McCain has the same problems as Hillary. There's a large swath of people who will never vote for the man (myself included), and his generation represents a step back, not forward.

In other matchups, while Clinton beats Romney convincingly, Obama beats Romney going away. Obama's average lead over Romney is almost 20%, and is 7.1 points higher than Hillary's lead. Actually, even John Edwards polls better against Romney than Hillary does. There's no chance that Romney could ever beat any Democrat in the general election.

Things are changing on the Democratic side, however. In the west and the south, Obama has apparently pulled dead even with Hillary. She still retains a two to one lead in the northeast. With the new über-Tuesday election giving more weight to the big states, it's going to be anybody's race, especially if Obama can take California. Even though I'm voting Republican, I'd so love to see Obama beat Hillary. I hate coronations.
_______________

* I realize I'm vulnerable to the same criticism, since I have always scoffed at the Romney candidacy. But the reason I don't think Romney can win is not because he's a Mormon. It's because he's a nobody, he looks plastic, and the country is in the middle of an anti-conservative backlash right now. Romney's been marketed as the conservative's conservative, and that's not going to go over well in the general. By contrast, Giuliani has crossover appeal because he's the anti-conservative conservative. His liberal social views make him more acceptable to the average general election voter, who fancies him or herself more "tolerant" than the typical primary voter.

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March 22, 2007

Paraphrased Quote Of The Day

Is by Frank J, paraphrased by me:

[Al Gore] got Cs in Yale in political science -- a type of science -- [yet he's] angry at the world [for] not submitting unquestioningly to his wisdom.
True and funny.

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YouTube Of The Day

This is Tom Jones. Enjoy!

I actually saw Tom Jones in Vegas once. I went as a joke, but came out a believer. The man puts on a fantastic show! We got seated at a table in the front row too. I was so close I could see the spit and sweat flying. We got such great seats due to a tricky move by my boyfriend at the time. As we stood in line he kept a twenty clutched in his hand so the usher could see it. Then while the guy led us down front, my boyfriend palmed the twenty and handed him a five. I'm sure the usher was pissed, but what the hell. Oh by the way, chicks really did throw underwear up on stage for Tom to wipe his sweat with. I thought that was just an icky legend, but it's true. I managed to stay fully clothed though.

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March 21, 2007

Breaking News

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SHOCKING PROOF THAT GLOBAL WARMING WILL KILL US ALL

I have discovered amazing evidence that Global Warming is real, that it is caused by human activity, and that we are quickly approaching the end of the world.

I looked at my TTLB stats tonight, and the graph for average daily visits to my blog looked frighteningly familiar. By consulting my scientific sources (i.e. I googled it) I was able to find a graph showing the recent increase in average global temperatures.

Sure enough, when I superimposed the two graphs, an inconvenient truth emerged!

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The debate is over, the science is in: My blog is at fault for global warming.

Well, as soon as I realized this, my first thought was, "how embarrassing." My second thought was, "If I am to blame, what can I do to save the planet?"

So now you know why, in sixty days time, I will retire this blog. Sorry about that.

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Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episode 74

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March 20, 2007

Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episode 73

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No Brainer

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Cliff filling in for Big Pussy.

I guess when Ratzenberger got the call from ABC, it was a short conversation.

"So what you're sayin' is, I get to dry grind with the hottest body on the show, who's basically wearing a bikini and heels, but you can only pay me scale? Umm— I just have one question, can I borrow your pen?"

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March 19, 2007

Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episode 72

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March 18, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle

Watch the whole thing, spread the word.



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Unfreakinreadable

My mom gave me a gift subscription to Time Magazine last year. I've tried, I've really tried to read it every week, but it's damn near impossible. It's like they deliberately try to insult me every week. I know it's the thought that counts, but I think I'm going to have to cancel my free subscription.

The problem is that Time is a liberal op-ed magazine, masquerading as a non-partisan news source. I could respect them, and even read it occasionally, if they would just admit the truth. But to do so might reduce the effectiveness of the subliminal propaganda they spit out each week. There's no way to avoid it, unless you stop grocery shopping and visiting the dentist.

If I read something in the Village Voice, or Mother Jones, or the LA Weekly, saying "all conservatives are evil" I can take it with a grain of salt, it's no big deal. But when Time Magazine, in a "news" cover story starts out like this, I get mad.

George Bush's sense of humor has always run more to frat-house gag than art-house irony, so he may not have appreciated the poetic justice any more than the legal justice on display in the Libby verdict.

Or, to be more precise, the Cheney verdict.

In a mere 46 words, Time managed to call the president of the United States a lowbrow, call him stupid, then pronounce the Libby verdict as "justice" when it's actually 180° the opposite of justice. Then to top it all off, Time proclaims that Cheney was somehow convicted by the Libby jury. And that's just the first 46 words.

You know, there's a lot of folks in this country who voted for the President, and like the President. There's a lot of folks who really like Dick Cheney, and we're not stupid. We understand that there are people who don't think so, but it's insulting to read a supposedly unbiased news magazine calling the Vice President a criminal, as if I'm supposed to agree. Like saying the Dow was at 11000, or the temperature in Minneapolis yesterday was 53°.

A few weeks ago I tossed the magazine with the pro-abortion cover in the trash without even opening it. I didn't open the one that asked "Does sending more soldiers to Iraq make any sense?" either. I knew the answer to that question. I also knew their answer, and that it was different from mine. But next week's cover really takes the cake: Ronald Reagan crying. First of all, they have no right to touch, let alone re-touch that great man's picture. Second, I simply don't trust them to write about conservative discontent without it being a 3000 word essay on schadenfreude.

And it's not even well written, or well reported. Lately they've taken to using introductory phrases like "here's how..." and "here's why..." As in "With the U.S. tied down in Iraq, a new superpower has arrived. Here's how to deal with it." Or, "The Iraq Study Group says it's time for an exit strategy, Why Bush will listen." Of course, when the President rightly ignores the ISG's report, Time ignores its faulty prediction. But that doesn't stop them from continuing to use that annoying phraseology. Another example: "As the U.S. strikes al-Qaeda, a new government tries to restore order. Here's what it will take."

That phrase bugs me so much because it's like they're assuming some sort of know-it-all status, without ever demonstrating to me that they know anything. When you're wrong as often as Time's writers are, they shouldn't be so presumptuous.

The Time story intro has become so formulaic, I could probably write a script for it if I knew how to write code. All you do is take some story that is happening, insert some anti-Republican or anti-war spin, then promise the reader that you'll have all the answers in the article by saying "here's how."

Here are some examples, just off the top of my head:

A story about JetBlue delays might be introduced like this:

While JetBlue executives struggle to regain passengers' confidence in the wake of storm caused delays, experts say global warming could damage airline stocks even further? Here's how you can protect your portfolio.
A story about Valerie Plame's testimony?
With the U.S. bogged down in Iraq, new questions surround pre-war intelligence as Valerie Plame wows Congress. Here's why her testimony will doom the Bush admistration.
Nintendo's Wii?
Millions of Americans have fallen in love with the new Wii gaming platform. Here's how Alberto Gonzales intends to ruin their fun.
It's easy, you try it.

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March 17, 2007

March Madness

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Is it me, or does Greg Oden look like he's about a thousand years old?

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March 16, 2007

The Big Issue For Election 2008...

If anyone is smart enough to capitalize on it, the big issue that may decide the next presidential election is not the war. It's the mortgage crisis. I say this because it's a pocketbook issue that will affect every voter regardless of whether they rent, own, or live with their parents. The combination of balooning payments and falling house values has a wide ranging effect on business as well as ordinary people. It could hurt all of us because the long awaited housing crash just might bring on another recession.

And guess what, we've known it was coming for at least five years but like with the dot coms, nobody wanted to say anything because too many people were making money. Everybody and their brother wanted to get in on the housing boom, and lenders were all too happy to throw cash at them. Realtors weren't going to say anything. They were like, "don't worry man, you're equity is going to skyrocket." And the lenders just said, "hey, when the adjustable hits, you can always refinance."

But as I watched this all unfold from the sidelines, I always predicted that it couldn't go on forever. Didn't the 1929 crash happen because of easy credit? And there's no way people should be spending 50% of their take home pay on a mortgage. I thought the rule of thumb was 25%, one third tops. How is your average Californian supposed to afford $450,000 for a first home? Just because some crooked lender will give you the loan with no money down, doesn't mean you should take it. But people do, because everybody's doing it.

Sacramento is a prime example. I read somewhere that this city was second only to Palm Beach, Florida in overblown housing prices. My boyfriend, God bless him, did everything wrong. When we first started going out, he was in the process of dumping a house that he had bought at the very top of the market, when properties were selling almost the day they got listed. He put it up for sale a year later, just after everything slowed down. There were about six houses with his exact same floor plan for sale within a radius of a couple of blocks. Luckily, after four months of waiting, and hardly any lookers, he sold to an investment buyer who ended up renting the house. Christopher bought at the crest and sold at the trough. Thus ended his foray into the "get rich through home ownership" scheme.

If my boyfriend hadn't sold when he did, the value of his house was in danger of falling below the amount of his mortgage. He ended up with a tiny profit, but lots of people aren't going to be so lucky. When the adjustable rate goes through the roof, and people aren't able to sell because of falling prices, look out. A lot of folks are going to get hurt.

(I also wondered what was going to happen to all those Gulf Coast homeowners, especially in New Orleans. I imagine there are going to be a lot of foreclosures down there, if there haven't already been. What if you got screwed by the insurance company, the bank still wants their money, and they don't care if you're living out of a trailer (or not) and you still haven't got your job at the liquor store back because that place went out of business too?)

Maybe I'm being too pessimistic, but I think the mortgage crisis is going to be a real problem. Hillary thinks so too, and savvy politician that she is, she's already made it a campaign issue. This is exactly the type of issue that Democrats win elections on because the conservative response is usually to let the free market sort itself out. People don't want to hear that. If things get really bad, Hillary will score points being the first one to call for a homeowner's bail-out. Predictably, she faults Bush for doing nothing while sub-prime lenders dug us into this hole. And you know what, I can't say she's wrong about that.

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Bronco Bomber On Rims?

You thought my nickname for him was silly? No, this is silly.

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March 15, 2007

WTF?

WTF?

Please please let Edwards win the nomination.

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March 09, 2007

Hey Gingrich Lovers...

You know who you are.

Look, I like Newt. Don't get me wrong. But you know what I like more? A Republican in the White House.

In the latest Gallup poll, which of the top candidates from both parties is the only one whose unfavorable rating is higher than their favorable rating. I'll give you a hint. It's not Hillary.

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Okay, well maybe Newt hasn't been out in public enough. He should write some books. Check. He should go on Fox News. Check. He should call Hannity's show. Oh, check.

Okay, well at least there's twenty months between now and election day. That's plenty of time for Newt to change people's minds, right?

Oh, well, except that he's decided to save money by waiting until September before he gets in the race. And with a bunch of big states moving their primaries up to February 5th, that gives Newt only five months to change his image.

Okay, well maybe Newt can use the time between now and September to ramp up his public image. Do a full court press on the public. Show everybody what a great guy he is. He should start today. Give an interview with Dobson or somebody.

Oh, he did? Ouch. That's not exactly moving in the right direction, but it's a start, I guess.

Sorry Newt lovers. Stick a fork in the salamander, he's done.

h/t Hot Air

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Parker v. District of Columbia

In case you haven't heard, the big news today is that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right.

I know, it's a shock.

The language of the decision is so out of step with the type of wishy-washy "living document" bullshit theory of Constitutional interpretation I've become resigned to, I want someone to pinch me to make sure I'm not dreaming.

We start by considering the competing claims about the meaning of the Second Amendment’s operative clause: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Appellants contend that “the right of the people” clearly contemplates an individual right and that “keep and bear Arms” necessarily implies private use and ownership. The District’s primary argument is that “keep and bear Arms” is best read in a military sense, and, as a consequence, the entire operative clause should be understood as granting only a collective right. The District also argues that “the right of the people” is ambiguous as to whether the right protects civic or private ownership and use of weapons.

In determining whether the Second Amendment’s guarantee is an individual one, or some sort of collective right, the most important word is the one the drafters chose to describe the holders of the right — “the people.” That term is found in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It has never been doubted that these provisions were designed to protect the interests of individuals against government intrusion, interference, or usurpation. We also note that the Tenth Amendment — “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people” — indicates that the authors of the Bill of Rights were perfectly capable of distinguishing between “the people,” on the one hand, and “the states,” on the other. The natural reading of “the right of the people” in the Second Amendment would accord with usage elsewhere in the Bill of Rights.

The District’s argument, on the other hand, asks us to read “the people” to mean some subset of individuals such as “the organized militia” or “the people who are engaged in militia service,” or perhaps not any individuals at all — e.g., “the states.” . . . These strained interpretations of “the people” simply cannot be squared with the uniform construction of our other Bill of Rights provisions. Indeed, the Supreme Court has recently endorsed a uniform reading of “the people” across the Bill of Rights. . . .

. . .

It seems unlikely that the Supreme Court would have lumped these provisions together without comment if it were of the view that the Second Amendment protects only a collective right. The Court’s discussion certainly indicates — if it does not definitively determine — that we should not regard “the people” in the Second Amendment as somehow restricted to a small subset of “the people” meriting protection under the other Amendments’ use of that same term.

In sum, the phrase “the right of the people,” when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.

Parker v. District of Columbia at 18-19.

But here's the best part:
The wording of the operative clause also indicates that the right to keep and bear arms was not created by government, but rather preserved by it. . . . Hence, the Amendment acknowledges “the right . . . to keep and bear Arms,” a right that pre-existed the Constitution like “the freedom of speech.” Because the right to arms existed prior to the formation of the new government . . . the Second Amendment only guarantees that the right “shall not be infringed.”

Id at 20-21.

That's just beautiful. Our rights "pre-existed the formation of the new government," because they came from God, not from the government. It's so easy to forget that in this age when the mere mention of the word "God" can label you as some sort of fanatic. But you don't have to believe in God to marvel at the reasoning of the Court. All you need to know is that there's a difference between the government and your rights, and in a free society, government must bow to those rights, which preceded government itself.

"People" means people, people. That's what originalism is all about. First you determine what the Constitution says (not what you wish it said), then you determine if the law in question departs from the Constitution. If it does, then there is a mechanism for changing the Constitution, specified within the Constitution. You don't simply disregard the Founding Document and make up a lie about what it really means.

This decision will make its way to the Supreme Court, and thank George W. Bush, we'll have Roberts and Alito on our side hopefully.

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Democrats Are Wimps

Why are the Democrats so afraid of Fox News? It's a live debate, what do they think will happen? It's not like Fox News might superimpose an X over John Edwards' face while she's talking. Nobody would do that.

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