Sunday, July 26, 2009
A piece on Sarah stepping down today. Fine. Whatever. Said piece quotes Larry Landry of Fairbanks, Alaska. To wit:
Larry Landry, 51, of Fairbanks held up a red, white and blue sign that that read, "Quitting: the new American value." The other side read: "Thanks for the laughs."
Landry, a registered independent, said he respected Palin when she ran for governor in 2006, but she changed during last year's presidential campaign.
"She turned into a vicious vixen," he said. "She descended into ugly, divisive politics."
Read that about five minutes ago. My first thought was, "Huh... Vicious vixen? Seems kind of bitter. I wonder just how 'independent" Larry is."
Well, now... I'm sure he is a registered independent. However, independent Mr. Landry is also:
-a donor to a PAC that opposed Alaska Republican congressman Don Young
-took part in the "Global Day of Fasting to Stop Star Wars
-published an article advocating "fair trade, green consumerism and socially responsible investing"
-was a supporter of a ballot measure which would have called for government funding of election campaigns. (the ballot measure went down 64% to 35%, by the way)
Now, Mr. Landry is completely entitled to hold any of these views. He's perfectly free to hold his sign up at Sarah Palin's speech. My problem, as always, is that by merely identifying him as "a registered independent," the New York Post gave us an impression of the man that is not consistent with the facts.
By saying he is a registered independent, the implication is that he is non-partisan and moderate. Clearly, his other positions suggest that he is a man who leans fairly far to the left. Again, that's fine. What isn't fine is that the Post failed to put his beliefs regarding Sarah Palin in an appropriate context. In fact, by framing him as "a registered independent" they suggest that Palin has lost the support of the middle.
Mr. Landry may not be a Democrat or a Republican but he doesn't strike me as a moderate in any sense of the word.
Hillary is a remarkably patient woman. We all know that. Anyone with less patience would have burned Bubba's stuff on the lawn 30 years ago.
Still, Madame Secretary, wouldn't you agree that it is difficult to be patient when your neighbor is buying bullets for his rifle and has already announced that he plans to shoot you in the head?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
As a parent, you're in a bit of a quandary. As a good tree-hugging Leftie, you want to take care of your child. You know, the one that actually made it out of your womb in one piece... Unlike the others that you had vacuumed out of your womb because you didn't want to spend the rest of your life at Costco. Still, you want to save the planet. What's a parent of unspecified gender to do?
Plastic? You mean non-biodegradable, made from fossil fuels plastic? Are you insane? Plastic is murder!
Well, yes, but now it's 25% less murder! In other words. The bags are thinner. So they'll break. Sure, Timmy is going to be hungry when some little Republican kid punches him in the stomach and makes him drop his baggie of wheat germ. Still, you'll feel better knowing that it will be like this only happened 3.75 times a week rather than the 5 times a week with regular plastic bags.
Plus, Ziploc Evolve bags are manufactured using wind energy. Wind! Isn't that just swell? Sure, those gigantic turbines kill more birds than Colonel Sanders but... Um... Hm...
Anyhoo, you really need to buy these Ziploc Evolve bags today. If you wait more than a week or two, the Ziploc executive pinhead who gave this project the greenlight will be on the unemployment line and the bags will be on the closeout shelf.
You can take care of them, make sure they eat right, take them to the doctor. You can do everything right and they may still end up having health problems. Some things are just beyond our control. That does not mean that we have to be helpless. There are things you can do. There are real, practical steps you can take to give your newborn a healthy future.
Have you heard of cord blood banking? You may not have. It hasn't been around forever and a lot of us don't even think about it in the rush of getting ready to bring a new little one home. Still, it is something you need to consider if you are expecting.
The stem cells in cord blood hold enormous potential for treating over 75 diseases and more are being found every day. More than 12000 people have benefited from a transplant of this kind. But if the cord blood isn't saved, it isn't going to happen.
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Look, there is only so much you can do to guarantee your child a healthy future. In fact, guarantee isn't even the right word. You can't guarantee it. What you can do is give them every chance. This is one of the ways to do that. Learn more by clicking on the link above.
The church where Mrs. MediaBlog and I recently participated in a wedding did not allow dancing on the premises. Don't get the wrong idea. They sing praise music. Sermons are interesting and topical. People wear jeans. It's theologically conservative but relevant.
Still, probably for the sake of not offending anyone, the contract says you can't dance on the premises. Now, to each his own but for the life of me I can't see why you would want to condemn something as joyful and harmless as what you see above.
Do you want people grinding in the fellowship hall? Not so much. Still, must we Christians always throw the baby out with the bathwater?
After calling police officer's stupid on Wednesday night, The Dear Leader tried on Friday to worm his way out of it. Now, as I said previously, he talked about calibrating his words, whatever the hell that means. He wasn't man enough to apologize.
Here's the other thing though... He's trying to pull off the there-is-some-fault-on-both-sides dodge. Crowley overreacted but Gates overreacted too. A pox on both their houses.
Smart people, and smart liberals particularly, like to look for complexity. They think it's a virtue. The world is a complicated place without simple solutions. There really isn't right and wrong, good and evil. There is lots and lots of gray. Gray in every direction. No one has a monopoly on truth.
The problem with that is that it is simplistic. Expecting complexity in everything is as simplistic as thinking there is complexity in nothing. The fact of the matter is that some things are complex and some things are quite simple. True wisdom can tell the difference. Likewise, sometimes everyone is to blame and sometimes it's just one race-mongering Harvard professor.
I don't think Barack Obama has figured out that he is the President of the United States. He may not even have figured out that he is the junior senator from Illinois. At times he acts like he is a member of the Illinois legislature from the south side of Chicago. That's exactly what he did in his comments about the incident involving Henry Louis Gates.
Presidents don't involve themselves in local police incidents. Smart ones don't, anyway. And certainly not without all the facts. Smart presidents don't refer to the police as stupid... And don't get into semantics with me about "stupidly" versus "stupid".
Want my take on the situation? I am a private citizen who can't have anyone nuked so I'm allowed to pop off. Before we get there, let me say that even though I'm a conservative, I'm not the greatest fan of police. I think police often overstep their bounds. I think police are given to arrogance and that it leads them into trouble. I also am prepared to believe that race does sometimes play a role in the actions of police. This, however, doesn't seem to be one of those times.
Let's step back and look at the situation. The police got a call saying that it appeared someone was trying to break into Gates' home. The officer responded. Knocks on the door and finds an older, conservatively-dressed black man walking with a cane. I agree that a reasonably person with typical biases (class and age, not race) is going to take one look at him and know that he is harmless. I would guess that thought passed through Sgt. Crowley's mind. Still, he has been sent on a call and he needs to do at least a minimum of investigation. When he attempts to do that minimum he is met with resistance. The man who answered the door is uncooperative and aggressive. Why is this man behaving this way, Crowley asks himself. This is a nothing call. 5 minutes and I'm out of here. Why is this man making so much out of this? Why is he trying to get rid of me. Cops are paid to be suspicious, to look under the surface, and this is enough to make him suspicious. That is why, rather than just walk away, Crowley stays and does his job. He presses harder and Gates gets more and more aggressive. It reaches a point where Henry Louis Gates, scholar, intellectual, professor at Harvard University, is simply out of control. He ends up in handcuffs.
Now, I understand that black people and white people look at police differently. I understand and even accept that. It isn't completely irrational on the part of black people to have a lower level of trust in police. It is based on experience. However, at some point we need to apply an objective standard to people's actions. I believe that Gates' reaction was completely beyond reason even given his own biases.
Barack Obama, a Constitutional officer whose charge includes taking care "that the Laws be faithfully executed" should not assume that a sworn law enforcement officer is behaving stupidly. Barack Obama needs to realize something... He is now The Man. His days of community organizing are over.
And you know, while we're at it... When he fucks up, he could do a little better than giving us a mealy-mouthed, politicians explanation. He could give us something better than saying that he "could have calibrated those words differently." Calibrated? What the fuck is that?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Not to get all Glenn Beck-y on you, but this really does have to stop. We elect people to make decisions but because they are all too spineless (and, yes, we're all too fickle) we have to create commissions to give them political cover. Base closing commissions, social security reform commissions and, now, deficit commissions.
And, of course, we have Cabinet secretaries superseded by unelected and unaccountable czars
Monday, July 20, 2009
Maybe you just keep washing him and washing him every single day and that stink just never goes away. Or maybe you put off washing him because every time you do his skin gets dry and flaky and he scratches himself crazy. Or maybe you just hate washing him because no matter how hard you try just just can't seem to get him completely rinsed.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
You don't see Cokie Roberts letting us see pictures of her in her bikini. Damn... Not going to be able to get rid of that image now.
***You'll always be our #1, Miss Amy.
You know those guys who like nothing more than to score a baseball game? I've never understood that. You sit there with this little book or a card entering balls and strikes. Of course, I've never been a baseball fan so maybe that's why it has never made much sense to me.
Football, on the other hand...
Nothing enhances watching a football game like the feeling of taking part (albeit vicariously) in the action. That's what Fantasy Football does for you.
If you are a fantasy football fan then you need to make an excuse to the wife and kids, gather up your posse and make plans to be in Las Vegas the end of August for the Las Vegas Fantasy Football Superdraft .Maybe you will stay at the Hard Rock Hotel. Maybe you will rub elbows with VIP celebrities. Maybe you'll take in some of the concerts. Whatever your pleasure or passion, there will be some great opportunities to kick back and have a great time. I hear they even have gambling if that is your cup of tea.
Whatever your pleasure, Vegas has it. Click on the link above to get more information about this exciting time in America's most exciting city.
So Fox News hottie Megyn Kelly and leftist, racist soon-to-be Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor both wore blue the other day. The above-referenced website has a poll going asking which of them looked better in it.
At this particular moment, nearly 30% of people think it was Sotomayor. Proving yet again that the Left is blinded by their politics.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Can anyone out there give me any idea what it costs to hold just one congressional hearing?
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Sarah Palin has sent 11 tweets or whatever the hell they are called in the last 24 hours. Nearly one every two hours for God's sake. And I'm assuming the woman sleeps.
Now, I know that the last couple of days have not been typical. She is making news right now. A lot is going on. Still, media discipline would not have her responding to one thing after another. She would make one statement and let the rest wash over her.
Anyway, I subscribed to Sarah Palin's tweet feed (or whatever it's called) shortly after news of her resignation spread. So far, I think she really needs to rethink her use of Twitter. Sarah, I think, is a little thin skinned. That's typical for normal people (which is what I think Sarah is) but it's a cardinal vice in professional politicians (which I think she clearly isn't). I don't blame her at all for being thin-skinned. If I had to put up with what she deals with daily, I would spout off too. The problem is that doing so isn't in Sarah's political interests. She seems to respond to every charge. That's a bad idea.
I used to say, or think anyway, that I liked Bill Clinton a lot better the less I saw of him. That was true. When I saw him on a daily basis, I thought about his duplicity, about his policies with which I disagreed. When I saw him rarely, I thought about his magnetism, his likability and his ability to communicate. I think Sarah needs to learn that less is more. Those of us who already love her will only crave hearing from her more if she portions out the time she gives us. And those who don't like her will not have her in their faces all the time. That will give them time to let first impressions fade and give her a new hearing when she returns.
I don't know. My political advice is probably worth what she (and you, by the way) is paying for it, but still...
In a normal administration this would essentially be a green light for IDF F-15s to start warming up their engines. It would have been a planned, choreographed statement intended to send a message both to Israel and Iran.
With Plugs Biden, however, how can anyone ever really know? Was this a signal? Was it a gaffe? Is Joe speaking with the authority of the government of the United States or did he once again exceed his brief and wander down a rabbit trail while enjoying the sound of his own voice?
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Seriously. Call us.
Lisa Murkowski went to the trouble of using a satellite phone to stick the knife in Sarah Palin. So much for our theory that she and Sarah were planning to trade offices. That was probably always sort of a half-baked idea anyway.
Maybe Murkowski is just getting in the first salvo in case she is afraid that Sarah is planning to challenger her in the primaries. Personally, I don't think she has anything to worry about there.
It's been a long, strange trip since then... Laurie Dhue has given way to Julie Banderas. Our original idea of focusing almost exclusively on "The Media" collapsed by Day Two when we started talking about the 2004 presidential race. Back then we thought the scummiest thing about John Edwards was that he was a personal injury attorney. How naive we were.
Anyway, here's to us! We rock! Yay us! We hope you'll hang with us for another five.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Maybe Sarah Palin isn't planning to run in 2012. Maybe she's not even planning to run in 2016. Maybe it's as simple as she's being constantly harassed by groundless ethics claims, she's heavily in debt, her family is a focus of constant jokes and harassment and she's just had enough of it. She can leave office, make a bunch of money, maybe become a bit of a media personality, give her kids some time to grow up, have a little bit of a real life and push any sort of political future way, way, way down the road.
Sarah Palin is 45 years old. She is a credible candidate in 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024 and maybe 2028. She has plenty of time to run if she wants to. And maybe she just doesn't. Among those of us who pay more attention to politics than is healthy, there is a tendency to think that everyone in elective office (1) wants to move up to the next higher office and (2) has a master plan for doing so. If you're talking about typical politicians then those are probably safe assumptions. Sarah Palin has proven that she is anything but a typical politician.
I have very little patience with "I wish..." I'm not one to engage in that sort of dreaming. I guess that in general I'm pretty satisfied with my life as it is. That's something to be thankful, I suppose. Not that it wouldn't be nice to win a million dollars or something, but I just don't see the point in wishing for things like that. I mean, wouldn't everyone like to win a million dollars? Is wishing going to bring it one iota closer to reality?
I think what it may come down to is that I'm a very practical person. My father-in-law said something like that about me a few weeks ago. I think it was the first time I ever heard him say something deep and sort of revelatory like that. For the most part, I tend to think he's a little on the loopy side. That one thing, though, he got dead on right. I am for the most part very no-nonsense, not especially sentimental, very practical. Very real.
Now, there are numerous downsides to that. It might make me a little unsympathetic from time to time. I think it definitely makes me a poor listener. I am lousy at small talk because I'm not interested in all the petty details of other people's lives. At the same time, I'm not going to bore you with my vacation slides. I'm not interested in you, but I have no illusions that you're interested in me either.
The upside though is that I don't waste a lot of time wishing for things. If it's something I can actually bring about then maybe I'll do it, but if I have no control over it then I'm not going to waste my time.
See? Told you it would be drivel. Yeah, I know... I just got through saying that I don't bother people with the petty details of my life and I've now spent about 300 words doing just that. Inconsistency is one of the defining characteristics of the human experience. Yeah, feel free to use that one. Throw it into your 8th grade term paper. Your teacher will think your mom wrote it for you.
Friday, July 03, 2009
How else to explain that he appears to be handling the entire 8pm too 11pm shift all by his lonesome?
Sarah, honey... It's not that we don't like the picture. We like the picture. I mean, we like the picture. No, you had us at hello. We're not the problem. The problem is that the picture looks like a joke. Are you wearing panty hose and sneakers? The flag? The hip cocked out to one side?
I mean, we love it. God knows we love it. Even more, it doesn't get in the way of us imagining you
Here's the problem, Sarah. There are a lot of people who don't take you seriously. Is that fair? No, it isn't, but it is real and you need to start working on it. Assuming, that is, that you want to have an electoral future outside Alaska. Maybe you don't care about that. I don't know. If you do, however, you're going to need to win the votes of people who, right now, don't think you're a serious person. That picture doesn't exactly scream "serious." God love you, Sarah, it screams cheerleader.
We like cheerleaders, but I don't know if we elect cheerleaders for anything other than prom queen.
Palin resigns as governor, leaves plans secret - Yahoo! News
Anyone who reads this blog knows that we are fans of Sarah. We also like to think that our respect and, yes, our affection don't blind us to reality. When she was in a little contretemps with David Letterman a few weeks ago we offered the suggestion that she needed to get over it and move on. Sometimes the best kind of love is tough love. Fanboy devotion isn't going to help her.
Given all that, I think we have to admit that today's events are more than a little puzzling. I mean, when you suddenly call a press conference on Friday before the 4th of July you're usually trying to drop news into the dead zone of the news cycle. In other words, you want it to go away quickly and quietly. The big network anchors and correspondents are grilling on the beach at Martha's Vinyard. Nobody is watching the Sunday shows.
In other words, it's the kind of moment when you pardon Marc Rich-types or do a document dump that just happens to include all the credit card receipts from your visits to Las Vegas sans spouse.
It isn't when you announce your political future. Of course, Sarah didn't do that. Not really. She announced her resignation but didn't explain what, if anything, comes next. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense and, honestly, it worries me a bit.
The knock on Sarah Palin... Well, one of them anyway... Has always been a lack of experience. There have been plenty off other knocks but what sets that one apart is that there is a certain degree of validity to it. She doesn't have a ton of experience. Personally, I'm not a big believer in experience-for-the-sake-of-experience. If that's the defining criteria then lets forego elections and just bump the longest-serving politician we can find up into the top spot. Still, if you believe experience trumps all then Sarah is not your girl.
Anyway, I don't see how resigning from office helps Sarah advance her political career. If she is planning to run for the Senate in 2010 it probably makes sense, but I don't see how it helps her in any other way. And somehow I don't think that's the plan. I mean, the Alaska US Senate seat that comes up in 2010 is currently held by a Republican. Maybe Sarah is planning to challenger her. Or maybe Lisa Murkowski is planning on announcing her run for governor on Monday. Maybe. My spidey sense isn't buying it though. As for resigning to prep for a run in 2012... Again, not buying it... Too soon for that. Not too soon to plan, but too soon to leave the stage when, to be honest, she hasn't been on it for that long.
My fear is that there is a reason why she (seemingly) suddenly resigned when she did. A deep, dark sort of reason. I hope that is not the case, but it's the only thing that makes sense to me.
Time will tell.