Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXVII (Parenting edition)

From Sh*, (yes, I know that's not the real website name):

"A parent's only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed."

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXVI

From a recent Thomas Sowell column entitled "Promises and Riots" -

"Economists are the real "party of No." They keep saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch -- and politicians keep on getting elected by promising free lunches."

Well, yeah

From AOL this morning:

I can see where you could get into a bit of trouble over something like that.  

(Okay, okay, here's the story.)

Unreliable Research?

“There is an intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded.” – John Ioannidis

The Atlantic magazine recently published a story entitled “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science.”  The story is a profile of statistician and medical doctor John Ioannidis, and of his work. His work -- the debunking of medical research, specifically medical research that is flawed, biased and potentially harmful.  Among his most startling conclusions:

>> Forty-one percent (41%) of the most highly regarded medical findings from 1992-2005 had subsequently been shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated.  These were widely accepted and commonly used findings such as hormone-replacement therapy for menopausal women, vitamin E to reduce the risk of heart disease,  coronary stents to ward off heart attacks, and daily low-dose aspirin to control blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes.

According to Dr. Ioannidis, the reason for such flawed research becoming common practice was basically this – 
1) if a researcher is attracted to a concept that has a good chance of being wrong, and 
2) said researcher is motivated (for whatever reason; “money and power” come to mind) to prove it right, and 
3) there is wiggle room on how the evidence is collected or assembled, then 
4) the researcher will probably succeed in proving wrong theories as right.

The kicker, as it almost always is, is money.  Sound familiar?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A deadlocked Congress is no victory

Yesterday morning, Cole Shooter, a "guest host" on KFYO's LFN (Lubbock's First News) commented that he would be perfectly happy with a deadlocked Congress, because if they were deadlocked then government spending couldn't increase.

It's a mistake to perceive a deadlocked Congress as any sort of victory for limited government.  The ratchet effect toward a bigger government still works -- first, in that many entitlement programs have automatic increases which add to federal spending, and which increases continue even if Congress does nothing.  

Liberals also advance the power and scope of the federal government when in office (as we've seen so well the last two years.)  If Conservatives merely keep the status quo when they're elected, rather than reverse the growth, the result is a slow but sure realization of Liberal objectives.  A slow defeat is still a defeat.  The only victory possible for Conservatives is the appropriate reversal and cancellation of government programs (including unlegislated mandates by government regulatory agencies; e.g. EPA.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

A great Christmas story that doesn't involve Christmas

Instead, it involves Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  

This story sort of puts the spirit, not only of the holiday, but of our humanity, into context. (And it's not what you expect.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Antoine Dodson Christmas

If you're not already on the Antoine Dodson train, you're missing out on one of the biggest internet memes of 2010.  This trip is worth the twenty minutes or so it will take.  Start out by being introduced to Antoine:

Question:  How does the internet leave poetry like that alone?
Answer:  It doesn't.

And now, the birth of the Christmas classic, the Carol of the Bed Intruder (it's worth watching the whole video, but if you're in a hurry go to the 3:15 mark):

Thursday, December 09, 2010

WikiLeaks, WMD & Bush

Larry Elder has a recent column entitled “The WikiLeaks Vindication of George W. Bush.”  In this column he delineates pretty well the case for a mass media apology to President Bush.  Bush was raked over the coals pretty badly for supposedly lying (“Bush lied, people died, “ remember?) during his 2003 State of the Union address about Iraq obtaining uranium from Africa.  Joe Wilson, the infamous Valerie Plame’s husband, made his reputation by denying that Iraq had uranium.

One positive aspect of the WikiLeaks mess is the revelation that Iraq did indeed have yellowcake uranium which could have been enriched to produce nuclear weapons.  Thus George W. Bush was telling the truth, and Joe Wilson (along with the rest of the anti-Bush crowd) was either lying or wrong.  Read Elder’s column for details.

In the column, Elder references the work of Wired magazine’s writer Noah Schachtman.  In his story “WikiLeaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results,” Schachtman writes, “But WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years [after 2003] U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction.”


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXV

In Mona Charen’s recent column “Two Chances at History,” she applauds the Washington Post’s acknowledgement that the movie “Fair Game” is made up largely of distortions and outright inventions.  The movie purports to be the true story of the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson incident.  Plame was the CIA agent supposedly “outed” because of leaks to the media by the Bush administration.  Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney’s assistant, was convicted of perjury. Convicted, Charen says, “because his memory of conversations differed from others.”  She also says, accurately, “The man on trial did no leaking.  The man who did the leaking is not on trial.” (Note: read the Wikipedia entry on Scooter Libby -- the first couple of paragraphs, anyway, to get the gist of what happened.  Then read the "criticisms of the investigation" at the end, along with the results of Plame's lawsuits.  You'll get an idea of how trumped-up the whole mess was, and how unfairly Libby was, and is still, being treated.)

However, my interest is in a broader truth that Charen observes.  She says, “Liberals always get two shots at history – one as events unfold, and another when playwrights, screenwriters, novelists, and other arbiters recount events later.  It’s a crime against truth, but it happens every day.”

Think of the people who know history only from the movies, and you’ll see that she’s got a point.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Apparently so

Politico headline: "Bush job approval rating higher than Obama's"

(The story's about how Bush's approval and popularity have rebounded from the lows at the end of his presidency.)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXIV

Jonah Goldberg, in a recent column about Barack Obama’s changing his mind and rejecting oil development off the Atlantic coast and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for at least five years:  Few presidents have talked a bigger game about pragmatism while pursuing a dogmatic agenda.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Congressional justice quantified, Part 2

From a report on the House Rules governing how the US House of Representatives punishes its own members (paraphrased): 

A reprimand is a vote by Congress criticizing a member for his conduct.
A censure is a vote by Congress criticizing a member for his conduct, in which the member has to stand at the front of the group.

  • Republican Joe Wilson, for shouting "You lie!" during Obama's speech. Reprimanded.
  • Democrat Charlie Rangel, found guilty of 11 misconduct charges, ranging from ethics violations to improper solicitation for funds from parties with business before Congress. Censured.

It's all in who you know.

"This is why the American people have thrown you out"

Wow. Political theatrics, yes, but wow.  (And he's right.)

Tax "cuts" for the rich?

An interesting situation has developed in Congress. The tax rates initiated during the Bush administration are due to expire on December 31 unless Congress votes to extend them. Republicans currently want the rates for everyone to remain the same, while Democrats want the rates for "the rich" to go up, and everyone else’s to stay where they are. Democrats argue that with the federal government's financial precariousness, we can’t “afford” not to squeeze more out of the rich.

Notice how I have carefully avoided the term “tax cut.” That phrase implies something that just ain’t so. A tax rate cut (a decrease in the percentage of your income that is taxed) differs from a tax cut (a decrease in how much you pay in taxes.) Thomas Sowell has a recent column in which he explains more elegantly than I can the importance of the difference:

“These are not new arguments on either side. They go back more than 80 years. Over that long span of time, there have been many sharp cuts in tax rates under Presidents Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. So we don't need to argue in a vacuum. There is a track record.

“What does that record say? It says, loud and clear, that cuts in tax rates do not mean cuts in tax revenues. In all four of these administrations, of both parties, so-called "tax cuts for the rich" led to increased tax revenues-- with people earning high incomes paying not only a larger sum total of tax revenues, but even a higher proportion of all tax revenues.

“Most important of all, these tax rate reductions spurred economic activity, which we definitely need today.”

[Edit: Re-reading this later, I realized I missed my own point. The whole debate about so-called "tax cuts" is ridiculous, the opposite of what's happening, because no one's taxes are to be cut. The discussion is over whose taxes to raise!  Any claims Obama (who incredibly is arguing for keeping the current rates) makes about the economic stimulus from tax "cuts," are deceptive, because there will be none.  Rather, there will be economic damage if the taxes are raised. It's like Orwell's 1984 listening to the Democrats talk newspeak.  Tax raises are now called tax cuts.]

It would be nice if that historical track record were part of the discussion, and that the general populace knew the facts.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Al Gore: Politics, not science, motivated him

While Vice President, Al Gore pushed for subsidies for corn-based ethanol. He cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate in 1994 upholding the Environmental Protection Agency's requirement that ethanol be part of all gasoline additives.  As a result, 41% of the total corn crop that was previously raised for food (for people or livestock) is now diverted to fuel production.  This diversion has resulted in higher food prices.  (I've written on this before.)

Now, at a recent "green" conference in Athens, Gore confessed that the subsidies were a bad idea.  The energy conversion ratio from corn to fuel "is very small."  His support for the subsidies was based on his own political ambitions, not science.  Gore said, "I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee....and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."

We knew all this before.  The only thing newsworthy about this story is that Gore confessed in public.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

THIS is what politics is all about

Not to mention the reports that show public sector (government) employment has risen during the recession of the last two years, while private sector employment has gone down. And that federal employees receive 54% more in pay and benefits than private sector workers doing the same job. Coincidentally, government employees now represent more than half of all union memberships.

Whose for bigger government? The ones who get to keep taxpayer money, that's who.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yahoo News and Global Warming

Yahoo News posted one of its biased stories with this headline: "Poll: Most Republicans do not believe in climate change." It went on to say essentially that Republicans were a bunch of ignorant rubes who ignored the findings of  "97 percent" of scientists.

I tried several times -- even splitting it into several parts in case length was the issue --  to post the following comment, but for some reason Yahoo failed to publish it.  I wonder why?  

"Of course there's doubt about the theory of anthropogenic (manmade) global warming (AGW.)  First, scientists who promote AGW are rewarded with prestige, praise and millions (if not billions) of dollars in government funding.  Skeptical scientists are ridiculed, demonized, threatened and denied professional advancement by those whose funding is threatened. 

"Moreover, many of the claims have had to be withdrawn after evidence of shoddy scientific methods, overstatement, and outright fraud have come to light. Credible, respected scientists have condemned the effects of politicization on scientists and their research.  The "Climategate" e-mails exposed a culture of deceit, vindictiveness and lack of openness among the pro-AGW's leading authorities and institutions.  

"The UN's IPCC has based many of its claims on misrepresentation of scientific findings, shoddy science -- in one case on mere speculation by a single scientist -- and absolute worst-case (and least likely) scenarios. The InterAcademy Council, made up of top scientists from several leading scientific groups, criticized the IPCC for reporting "high confidence in some statements for which there is little evidence" and for "making vague statements [whose vagueness] make them difficult to refute."  

"The pro-AGW's highest-profile champion, Al Gore, was contradicted and criticized for one of his claims by Dr. Wieslav Maslowski -- the very scientist whose research Gore was citing as "evidence."

"Given all of this, anyone who is not the least bit skeptical about the apocalyptic predictions being made is proceeding on something other than logical, much less scientific, thought."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yet another reason I don't run for public office

This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei discussed the temptations (and perils thereof) that await new congressmen when they get to Washington, DC -- "Especially unattractive members of the Congress who have not had women show attention to them maybe since college. They come here. Power is an aphrodisiac. Suddenly they have women who are interested in them. It’s a temptation some can’t withstand."  

Who needs that kind of trouble?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Decider haunts Mr. Nuance

In his recent article "The Decider returns to haunt Mr. Nuance as George W. Bush eclipses Barack Obama" for the UK Telegraph, US editor Toby Harnden begins with "...only Obama's stumbles could have made Bush look good again so quickly."

He also references their public images: "Who would have thought that the man hailed as a great American orator and whose stage at the 2008 Democratic convention was a faux Greek temple would be shown up in terms of the theatricality and articulation of the presidency by the man derided as a tongue-tied bumbler and global village idiot?"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tarantino gets away with this a lot

One of the more famous scenes of the movie Pulp Fiction is when Jules spouts a biblical verse (supposedly Ezekiel 25:17*) before he blows away big-brained Bret:

...except Tarantino lifted this almost word for word from the 1976 Sonny Chiba chop sockey flick Karate Kiba, also known as The Bodyguard.  (Not to be confused with the Kevin Costner movie.)  Here's the section so that you can judge for yourself:

*For accuracy's sake, here's the King James Version of the real Ezekiel 25:15-17:

"[15] Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred;
[16] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.
[17] And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them."

So both movies pretty much made it up, except Tarantino (or Jules) stole it.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Random Acts of Culture

You know how much I like this stuff.  From the YouTube description:

"On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers. To learn more about this program and view more events, visit the Random Actos of Culture website."  

My thanks to Jan d'O for bringing it to my attention.

Steve Martin's gospel song for atheists

How am I going to pass up a video with a description like that?  Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers performed "Atheists Don't Have No Songs" on Austin City Limits back in April:

An "avid reader"* sent this in

An interesting word cloud of this page from

* "avid reader" = "way too bored at the keyboard."

Monday, November 08, 2010

I'm not normally a proponent of schadenfreude, but...

...given the historical arrogance of University of Texas fans, I found the following chart shamefully gratifying. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

This is how my mind works

A conversation with my daughter concerning diet and nutrition made me think about something.  Brown rice is considered to be a very healthy food, far better for you than white rice.  I read the backs of packages, including the nutritional label, and while I didn't remember the details, what I thought I remembered made me question that universal belief.  So I went to, which is my go-to website when researching nutritional information.

Comparing amounts of cooked rice in equal weights -- 100 grams, for example -- I discovered that there is very little difference in nutrition.  One hundred grams of white rice has more calories (14.6% more) and carbohydrates (17.9% more) while brown rice has 2 grams of fiber and white rice none.  A bit of a difference, but not enough to make brown rice a superfood.

What I noticed, however, was when I changed my measurement to volume (one cup,) that a cup of cooked brown rice weighed more (195 grams) than a cup of white rice (158 grams.)  This changed the nutrition quite a bit, giving brown rice more calories and 4 grams of fiber vs. zero for white rice.

I've sent Nutritiondata a note asking about this -- does a cup of brown rice actually weigh more than a cup of white rice?  (I'll update this if and when I get an answer.)  For practical purposes the point may be moot.  We serve ourselves in volume -- a "scoop" or "spoonful" of something, a 'cup" or "half cup" if we measure.   

When experts compare the relative ability of boxers, they refer to someone as the "pound for pound" better fighter.  This acknowledges that the heavyweights, by sheer volume, can pack more power than the lighter weights.  More brown rice will have more nutrients than less white rice.  Conceding that there are slight advantages nutritionally, and pending an explanation from Nutritiondata's experts, brown rice's reputation as a far superior alternative to white rice may be exaggerated.

Update: Apparently I ask good questions.  Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N (that means she's an expert) devoted an entire column on December 13 (over a month later!) to answering my question.  Read "The surprising truth about brown rice." 

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Another historical first for Obama

"Obama to use teleprompter for Hindi Speech" screams a headline in the Hindustan Times.  (I just renewed my subscription.)  Apparently Obama will be speaking to the Indian parliament, using his trusted companion the teleprompter.  Doing so, he will be the first speaker in the history of India's 80-year-old Parliament House Central Hall to use one.

"We thought Obama is a trained orator and skilled in the art of mass address," said one Indian official.

Interestingly, like much else when discussing Barack Obama, his oratory skills -- so lauded when he was campaigning and in the first few months of his presidency -- seem to have been oversold, and he's not able to live up to the promise. His dependence on his teleprompter has become a standing joke.  Now India can laugh, too.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Morning After

I'm writing this post very early on November 3, the day after the 2010 midterm elections.  Republicans regained control of the House, and cut into the Democrat advantage in the Senate.  Before I hear or read any of the inevitable mainstream media or Liberal pundits say that "Democrats did better/Republicans did worse" than expected, I'm publicly posting this point:  Republicans gained the most seats in a midterm election since 1938.  With some results still not certain, Republicans picked up somewhere between 60 and 70 seats.  That's a pretty significant (historic?) achievement. 

Don't let the mainstream media undersell what happened to Democrats.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Why to vote Democrat

Dennis Prager wrote an interesting column recently on why he now votes based on party affiliation rather than on the attributes of a specific candidate.  (Well worth reading, by the way.)  In passing he mentioned three reasons why anyone would vote for today's Democrat candidate:

1. The voter believes in Leftist ideology.  (Essentially as much socialism as you can get.)
2. The voter believes the Left's demonization of its opponents as SIXHIRB (Sexist, Intolerant, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Racist, Bigots)
3. The voter is either employed by, or receives significant material benefit from, the government.  He votes for a Democrat bigger government because that's where his livelihood comes from.

All you have to do is look at the Democrat leadership and the direction Obama has taken the country to see their real agenda.  And they realize that most Americans disagree with their vision of America.  That's why Democrats hide their true intentions -- "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."  Using that example, in the six months since it was passed, we have discovered that Democrats misrepresented large parts of the Obamacare bill.  In other words, they lied to Americans because they knew the public would oppose it -- and we still do, six months later.  (Fifty-one percent of Americans want it repealed.)  The Democrat healthcare legislation, its effects, and the lies Democrats used to sell it, are some of the major reasons Democrats are projected to lose big today.

Today's election day.  If you fit one of the three categories listed above, then vote Democrat, and don't bother thinking.  That's a burden the rest of us are carrying for you.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Money corrupts, and government money corrupts absolutely

This is the the professional description of physicist Harold Lewis:

Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President's Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board

On October 6, 2010, Harold Lewis resigned his membership in the American Physical Society (APS), a membership he had maintained for sixty-seven years.  His reason?  The APS position on climate change/global warming, and the way funding has forced or coerced scientists into endorsing the manmade global warming theory.  In his letter to APS president Curtis Callan, Lewis wrote the following passage:

"It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion."

In it's response to Lewis's charges, the APS denied that, as an organization, it benefits financially.  They also said that the society maintains the highest ethical standards because, well, it maintains the highest ethical standards. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"If it's not close, they can't cheat"

"If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It" is a book Hugh Hewitt wrote a few months prior to the 2004 Presidential election.  He wrote it in response to the Democrat shenanigans that went on in various areas during the previous two campaigns in 2000 and 2002.

Six years later Hewitt's point seems more relevant than ever.  In an election which many are calling historically important -- the complete direction and role of government is at stake -- Democrats have managed to find ways around rules, ways that are breathtakingly arrogant and audacious.

In Nevada, some early voters who intended to vote for Republican Sharon Angle found that after they submitted their vote, Democrat Harry Reid's name was already checked.  This happened not once, but several times. Election officials deny any fraud was committed, and made excuses.

In related news, it turns out that, interestingly enough, voting machine technicians in Nevada are members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  The SEIU has been a major Democrat supporter and donor, donating millions of dollars to Democrat candidates and causes.  Former SEIU head Andy Stern was Obama's most frequent White House guest in 2009, and White House political Director Patrick Gaspard is a former SEIU lobbyist.

In North Carolina, a man tried to vote a straight Republican ticket, but got the opposite result.  He tried four times, and every time his vote showed a straight Democrat ticket.

Then of course, there's the case of First Lady Michelle Obama violating Illinois state law by electioneering in a polling place.  While not an earth-shaking action in itself, it's an indication of what people on the Democrat side perceive as permissible.  The Democrat-controlled Chicago Board of Elections refused to investigate the matter.

In the "not-quite-cheating but it might as well be" department:

A week before election day, a federal appeals court voted 2-1 to strike down an Arizona law requiring people to provide proof of citizenship before they can vote.  Arizona, of course, has a huge illegal immigrant problem.  Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett disagreed with the decision (and plans to appeal.) He compared the ruling to allowing passengers to pass through airport security unchecked as long as they sign a paper saying they're not terrorists.

As it turns out, Democrats have catered to the illegal population, so it's not a stretch to say that the federal court (of which former Supreme Court Justice and infamous Liberal Sandra Day O'Connor is a member) added significantly to the Democrat voter roles.

Incidentally, you have to show a photo ID to buy some cold medicines.  

It looks like it's time for another edition of Hewitt's book.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Latro, Ergo Sum #5

"I rant, therefore I am."

Lately I find myself becoming outraged by an unusually large number of things. Here is a partial list of things that outrage me:

  1. People's egos preventing anything from getting done.
  2. Actual, tangible bigotry.
  3. Someone using "racism" as an excuse so they don't have to make their argument.
  4. Politicians who lie and who are so arrogant that they don't care if we know they're lying.
  5. Being forced to spend money on something I didn't think I'd have to spend money on.
  6. Planned and designed obsolescence in electronics.
  7. Cats who barf in unexpected places.
  8. People who make my children's lives harder.
  9. The high cost of razors.
  10. Deceptive pricing in stores.
  11. Not being able to compare apples to apples when shopping for insurance or investments.
  12. Waitng 45 minutes after showing up on time for a doctor's appointment.
  13. People who don't answer their phones.
  14. Dealing with the consequences of getting old.
  15. Not being good at something I used to be good at.
  16. Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.
  17. Grammar nazis.
  18. Quizzes that cheat.
  19. Sitting at the keyboard when the words won't come.
  20. Having a million story ideas and realizing that most of them will never see daylight.
  21. Having an idea for something that I have absolutely no clue how to execute.
  22. Coming up with an original idea for something only to find out that other people have known about it for years.
  23. When a celebrity says something incredibly stupid and I have no way to tell them how stupid they are.
  24. Losing tools.
  25. When things I used to like become things I don't like anymore.
  26. Consistently bad service at a business I have to patronize.
Okay, that's enough for now.  As you were.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Whaddaya know?

"There's no such thing as shovel-ready projects." - Barack Obama, in a recent interview with New York Times magazine.

This after Obama and the Democrats touted "shovel-ready jobs" for months to sell their stimulus bill to the public in 2009. I guess, as Ron Ziegler would have put it (and did,) those statements are "inoperative." 

Monday, October 11, 2010

I hate always being right

From a story in no-friend-to-Conservatives Time Magazine:  "With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters. This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle."

Friday, October 08, 2010

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXIII (Genius edition)

An absolutely brilliant quote from Dick Armey, on being told that Obama stimulus checks had been sent to dead and incarcerated people:  "Well, we knew that Democrats would use stimulus funds to repay those who voted them into office."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"No more lies!"

Headline: "Obama heckled at NY Event"

And it wasn't even from our folks.  Of course, he responded with another lie.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Worth reading

John Hawkins' latest column, "7 Things The Establishment Gets Wrong About The Tea Party."

Well, well, well...sometimes it takes a while

Politics daily headline, September 21, 2010:  "GOP prepares to unveil new 'Contract with America'"

The article begins with "Republicans are going back to their '90s playbook as Election Day approaches..."  The author then goes on to delineate how Republicans are making promises about what they will do, such as freezing tax rates, cutting back on spending, and a repeal of Obamacare.

I referenced the appeal of the 1994 Republican "Contract with America" previously, in 2005.  One of the points that I raised was that such a contract would hold politicians acountable.  They will either do what they agree to, or they won't. 

In the current political environment everyone wants to appear Conservative -- Democrats are running ads that they opposed Obama, and John McCain reversed his longheld position on border security (now he's for it.)  Politicians will say anything to get elected.  A scorecard will make it easier to see if they keep their word.

But what if they don't?  Senators stick around for six years, and Representatives for two.  They can do a lot of damage before we have a chance to evict them.  Politicians lie.  (72% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of members of Congress, according to a Rasmussen survey.)  If Republicans win in November, as current projections show, their feet need to be held to the fire.  If -- or when -- they divert from what they agreed to do while campaigning for the job, they need to be blasted by their constituents.  Lying politicians should not have a moment's peace.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXII

From a Bruce Bialosky column:

You have to just laugh at the Democrats who argued for seven years that the “Bush” tax cuts were for the “rich” and made it a critical point of their 2008 presidential campaign. Now they are arguing for keeping the tax cuts for the middle class (actual 85% of the “Bush” tax cuts) and not the “rich”.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Barack Obama says we don't have any ideas to contribute.  ("Party of no" sound familiar?)  

How about Solutions for America from the Heritage Foundation?  

For anyone born since 1992

Coming this fall: I Want Your Money

Best line, from Ronald Reagan: "I would say they [Congress] are spending money like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors.  The sailors are spending their own money."

Ice Ice Baby

It's been a while since I've commented on global warming.  The news for the last several months has just been confirming what I've been saying for years.  But this headline from Yahoo News prompted me to get back on the subject:  "Climate: new study slashes estimate of ice cap loss."

The first paragraph:

"Estimates of the rate of ice loss from Greenland and West Antarctica, one of the most worrying questions in the global warming debate, should be halved, according to Dutch and U.S. scientists."

Every new discovery seems to undo the argument of the "manmade global warming" crowd.

Obama's "Mission Accomplished"

Barack Obama, August 31, 2010 - "The American combat mission in Iraq has ended."

September 8, 2010:

Will the media comment on the irony?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Tom Delay cleared of corruption charges

This story got by me, but former Republican House leader Tom Delay was cleared of corruption charges in relation to his association with Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist found guilty of bribing politicians.  From the  Wall Street Journal:

"Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay was the kingpin in the Democrats’ 2006 “culture of corruption” campaign that helped force the Texas Republican out of office—and swept Democrats into power....But after a lengthy federal probe, the Justice Department has dropped its investigation, according to DeLay’s attorney, Richard Cullen."

Delay still faces charges in Texas for money laundering and conspiracy.  These charges were brought in 2005 by Democrat prosecutor Ronnie Earle.  The trial is actually scheduled to start in October of this year. That's a five years wait, folks.  Seems like if the prosecution had a case, this should have been tried a long time ago.

This is the kind of tactic that makes me believe within the next six weeks we're going to see a flurry of Republican "scandals" hit the media.  Passing notes in class, spitting on the sidewalk, removing the tag from a mattress -- no Republican transgression is so small that the media can't make a major news story out of it before an election.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXI

From "Meltdown of the climate 'consensus' " by Matt Patterson:

"What does the best evidence now tell us? That man-made global warming is a mere hypothesis that has been inflated by both exaggeration and downright malfeasance, fueled by the awarding of fat grants and salaries to any scientist who'll produce the "right" results."

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too (Special Edition)

A story from an unexpected source -- Time magazine -- entitled "How Barack Obama became Mr. Unpopular" details how people have become unimpressed with him. The surprising part is that Time would run such a gritty true story about the Chosen One. Some key passages:

"When Obama arrived in office in January '09, his Gallup approval rating stood at 68%, a high for a newly elected leader not seen since John Kennedy in 1961. Today Obama's job approval has been hovering in the mid-40s, which means that at least 1 in 4 Americans has changed his or her mind."

"In more confiding moments, aides admit that the peak of Obama's popularity may have been inflated, a fleeting result of elation at the prospect of change and national pride in electing the first African-American President.* As one White House aide puts it, "It was sort of fake.""

"People now openly say they didn't quite understand the President they voted for in 2008"

Any of this sound familiar?

* What I said back in January.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Myths About Katrina

The Democrats, with the media's help, have painted Hurricane Katrina as an example of the Bush administration's incompetence and lack of caring (especially about black people.)  Oddly enough, the facts don't always match the narrative.  Several years ago Popular Mechanics ran an article entitled "Debunking the Myths of Hurricane Katrina."  One salient passage:

"...the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest -- and fastest -- rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm's landfall." 

Given the recent publicity accompanying the anniversary of the hurricane -- and the accompanying Bush-bashing -- it might be worth a look to get more of the story.