Thursday, October 09, 2008

The First Black Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton is sometimes (not sure if it's so much anymore) referred to as the 'first Black President.' I never did quite understand this for reasons beyond the most obvious, but then again I could have lived for 8 years without Bill Clinton and been perfectly fine.

As I read this today I was struck that perhaps we've found in the man that could actually truly become the first Black President, a man that also could be the first Black Bill Clinton:

There’s nothing wrong with being a socialist. I called myself one for the better part of twenty years. Millions of people have and many still do. But there is something very wrong with hiding who you are or who you were from the electorate—especially if you want to be President of the United States. Yet that seems to be a habit of Mr. Obama’s, with the collusion of the press. To my knowledge, no one in the mainstream media has begun to inquire into the details of Obama’s curiously unreported years at Columbia and Harvard, although much could be relatively easily ascertained. Obama himself has not been remotely forthcoming about them.

The inescapable conclusion is that Barack Obama is a highly deceptive, often dishonest individual. Again, many would say this is standard operating procedure for politicians in our culture (and most others too). But Obama presents himself as something different, a new kind of post-modern politician above the conventional dirty dealings of backroom politics.

Sounds awfully familiar...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Differing Skill Sets

John McCain's economic adviser says Palin not ready to run a large corporation. She then goes on to say:

"But that's not what she's running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things."

Which, if you're going to display any bit of integrity on this point you must agree is true. And that is why businesspeople run large corporations and politicians...do what they do.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gas, Hurricanes and Managing your Inventory

This is a marvelous post from Tennessee blogger Rich Hailey about reports of spiking gas prices in the path--and areas surrounding it--of Hurricane Ike. It's simple econ 101 but most people don't know it so they don't get it:

It's been more than a few hours, and shortages are already here.

So the price of a gallon of gas is skyrocketing, even at stations, like Pilot, that have enough gas to get through the interruption without going dry. So why are they raising their prices? Aren't they gouging?

Nope. If you've been out in Knoxville at all today, you've seen long lines of cars at gas stations. You've seen people filling up cars, trucks, motorcycles, lawnmowers and gas cans. They are in a panic mode, and they're buying more gas than usual. Even though Pilot has enough to get through the crisis at normal levels of sales, there's no way they can sustain sales at the rate they are going. So what do they do? They raise prices. By raising prices, they discourage people with brains from buying more gas than they need. They discourage people from driving more than they need to. In effect, they are encouraging conservation by using market forces rather than governmental coercion.

And it will work.

Consider the opposite case, where gas prices remain low, and everybody fills every container they can get their hands on with gas, and the stations run dry for the next three days. What happens when an ambulance needs to gas up? What happens when a fire truck needs fueling? What happens when you have an emergency and you need fuel but can't get any because everybody and his brother is hoarding it?

There are two ways to ration a short supply of a commodity. You allow the market to price it accordingly, and those who really need it will buy it, or you let the government come in and set the price. As a small government supporter, I favor the former. We're still dealing with the fallout of Nixon's wage and price controls from 40 years ago.

Anyway, that's what happened. Bulk storage facilities were acting to minimize the price of fuel and got caught short when the supply was interrupted. Barring major damage from Ike, supplies should be flowing again in a couple of days, and prices will resume their freefall.

The comments, for the most part underscore the basic point well. Something worth noting is this as it refers to 'motive':

I follow your explaination up to a point and the point is when you start ascribing altruistic motives to the gas companies - like helping us to conserve and saving enough gas for the ambulances and fire trucks. They just got the opportunity to sell their product substantially over cost and they pounced on it.

I look forward to the day that some technological advance is announced and the gas companies realize they can't sell all the product that they have on hand.

Gas station owners aren't acting altruistically, no. They are exhibiting the first and most profound of Adam Smith's observations: we directly benefit from the choices of others made in their own self-interests.

In this instance, the gas station owner has raised prices in anticipation of a supply shortage, in part at least, to maintain inventory. That act discourages what Hailey rightly describes as consumers engaging in "buying more gas than they need" and ultimately the more rational choice of conservation.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What are Seeps?

The Santa Barbara County board of Supervisors recently took up a symbolic resolution on the prospect of off-shore drilling along our stretch of the Central Coast. The measure passed. That and $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee...

But it was an important vote symbolically. For too many years critics of off-shore drilling have cited the 1969 Santa Barbara Channel spill that decimated the South Coast as the ultimate example of why you don't want to drill for off-shore oil.

The Supervisors recognition that 40 years of technology make such a similar event very unlikely to ever happen again should put that argument to bed. But who knows?

While this article doesn't necessarily have much to do with that, it does take a look at some of the local politics involved in the issue. I especially liked the equivalent of the fact sheet at the end:

Oil and methane gas created in the heat and pressure under the ocean floor flows upward through faults and cracks in rocks.
Plumes of oil-coated methane bubbles reach the surface, creating natural oil slicks.

The natural seeps of crude oil and natural gas flowing into the ocean on and near the coast of California are among the largest and most active concentration of such seeps in the world.

Seeps off Coal Oil Point near UCSB put an average of 150-170 barrels of crude oil and 5 million cubic feet of natural gas into the ocean every day.

More than 1 million barrels of oil have seeped off the Southern and Central California coast since 1980.

Crude oil seeping into the sea from Coal Oil Point alone is equal to about 55,000 barrels of oil a year. About 1.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas is seeping annually into the atmosphere.

Seeps produce 122% more air pollution daily than all the motor vehicle trips in Santa Barbara County each day.

— SOURCE: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S. Minerals Management Service, Western States Petroleum Association

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Kudlow Effect

The Kudlow Effect in action:

Since oil prices peaked on July 3 and started to head down, airline stocks have taken off, lifted by the promise of lower fuel prices. Of the 21 publicly traded airlines, shares of all but two rose from July 3 to Sept. 2. The major carriers had sharp gains: US Airways, up 268 percent; UAL, parent of United Airlines, up 222 percent; AMR, parent of American Airlines, up 138 percent; Continental Airlines, up 97 percent.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

LOL

Spacedope...is that you?

At least somebody was able to come up with something that the Biden pick is good for...

Oh the Condescenscion we'll See

With apologies to Dr. Suess...

It was only 12 hours late, but we now know who the Democrat VP nominee is. Everybody's favorite blowhard, Joe Biden. On paper, in terms of experience, he's certainly helpful. But then after you start to really look you realize his mouth is a bigger liability than his experience is an asset.

Conservative/Republican reactions include the following:

From the "I wish I'd thought of that" category: One last thought before bed: Imagine McCain picking Gov. Bobby Jindal. First line at the debate, "Senator, before we begin our debate, let me clarify for you that I don't work at a 7-11."

Hugh Hewitt, never a Biden fan, shreds the pick: Rob Long asks "Isn't [Biden] sort of the stupid person's idea of the smart person's candidate?" Yes, he is. But that's not fair to stupid people. Even stupid people who watched Biden embarrass himself during the Alito hearings --remember the "I hate Princeton" moment followed by the donning of the Princeton cap?-- know that Slow Joe is all tenure and no talent.

I was worried that the Dems had pointed out to Obama that his serial gaffing had brought the campaign close to a break point and that he needed Hillary. I was worried he'd actually go find Anthony Zinni or Sam Nunn or someone of accomplishment and purposefulness in foreign affairs. Webb would have been hell on the stump. Kaine or Bayh would have put different states into play. Sebelius was a wild card.

Jim Geraghty again: Man, the attack ads on Obama featuring quotes from his own running mate are just going to be brutal:

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “You were asked is he ready. You said ‘I think he can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.’”

Sen. Biden: “I think that I stand by the statement.”
(ABC’s “This Week,” 8/19/07)


Picture the voice over: "If his own running mate has doubts about whether he's ready for the job... shouldn't you?"

The ever-wimsical Tom Maguire says of it: By way of the Ace we see this image hosted at the Obama website (I am not the most computer-savvy guy going, but I am satisfied this is no spoof.)

Coupled as it is with the Biden announcement, I can only infer that the Obamaites think they laid an egg (no dissent here).

I'll be saving a screen shot, you can bet.

Bigger Media says:

"The candidate of change went with the status quo."


If my pick were Biden...I'd wait until late Friday night to leak it, too. It seems appropriate to wake up to that and Saturday morning cartoons.

RELATED: No Biden bump. In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll completed last night, three-quarters of voters said picking Biden would not sway their votes one way or the other.

Foreign policy experience? How difficult is it to follow the French?


This is gonna be fun...

Biden's mouth is going to do it's level best to talk McCain to a comfortable--landslide?--electoral vote victory. He's like most Democrats in that regard; he can't help himself.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

It's 3 A.M., do you know where your President is?

We woke up to war yesterday, with pictures flooding CNN and Fox of Russian tanks rumbling through South Ossetia, a 'breakaway' province of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. And today things are seen escalating with Russia attacking the provincial capital of Tskhinvali.



Hugh Hewitt rightly noted yesterday the inherent danger of the situation--as have others since--with the apt reference to Hillary Clinton's '3 A.M.' ad. To the best of my knowledge, we haven't heard much out of Senator Obama's campaign on this subject...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Yes, Virginia, Republicans do have a Spine

This was great political theatre yesterday...

The Other -ism

I'm relieved to hear that the McCain campaign is not guilty of racism:

Republican candidate John McCain's presidential campaign is cynical, not racist, in its efforts to distract voters from real issues, Democratic rival Barack Obama said Saturday.

"In no way do I think that John McCain's campaign was being racist," Obama said in his first meeting with reporters since predicting that McCain and other Republicans would try to scare voters because Obama looks unlike "all those other presidents on the dollar bills" - most of them older white men.

"I think they're cynical," he said. "And I think they want to distract people from talking about the real issues."

Did he let Big Media in on the secret?

What qualifies as 'Progress'...?

This, it would seem:

The leader of the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq and several of his top lieutenants have recently left Iraq for Afghanistan, according to group leaders and Iraqi intelligence officials, a possible further sign of what Iraqi and U.S. officials call growing disarray and weakness in the organization.

Steve Schippert at NRO certainly believes so:

Read the entire article, as it is perhaps the most important dispatch from Iraq yet. It will prove to be the seminal report affirming the decisive disintegration of al-Qaeda in Iraq and confirmation that the insurgency in Iraq has collapsed.

There are reasons to be quite optimistic that this report is (and will hold to be) accurate. Conditions on the ground in Iraq for al-Qaeda are undeniably bleak, with no visible window for turnaround. The surge, a strategy that brought lasting security to Iraqis within their neighborhoods, emboldened Iraqis to stand in their own defense — an act that had equated to suicide until U.S. forces left their garrisons and made camp among the populations. And Iraqis are growing exponentially more self-confident. Al-Qaeda's future in Iraq holds diminishing returns, a reality not lost upon bin Laden and the global leadership holed up inside Pakistan.

Not only are foreign terrorist influx rates down to about 20 per month, as the Post notes, but al-Masri left with 15 other al-Qaeda leaders. If he had left simply to discuss strategy with an angry bin Laden and return, he would not have sapped the Iraqi theater of significant leadership and appointed an "interim" commander (likely with little expectation the "appointee" will survive). But he did.

Schippert seems to get a little ahead of the Post's actual report but, generally speaking, it sounds like there's good reason to think the insurgency--at least as we've known it to-date--is all but done for.

And that is a good thing...

Give in to your anger...


In response to a good-faith argument about Iraq, what are you likely to get?


Well, in this case it's all about me and the rest of the rats...


Solid.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What should be a no-brainer...

Congress deadlocked over offshore drilling:

With a gallon of gas hovering at $4, energy prices are the No. 1 issue on voters' minds. But congressional leaders are increasingly deadlocked over what to do. In response, frustrated rank-and-file members on both sides of the aisle are stepping up efforts to find common ground.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Opt out

I really don't need to be saved from myself...

In a state that is desperate for more power, saddled with a sluggish economy and bearing the brunt of the 'housing crisis', it's nice to see the Governor tackling the big and urgent questions of the day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I know you are but what am I!?

Nancy Pelosi says today of President Bush (not the Administration, but the President himself):

"God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States -- a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject," Pelosi told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an exclusive interview.

"For him to be challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up after his mess over and over and over again -- at the end of the day, Congress will have passed its responsibility to pass legislation," she said.

It would be bracing criticism if not for the fact that Bush--the object of so much derision and ire--is more than twice as popular as Pelosi's 110th Congress.

A Challenge of my own

I've got a challenge of my own...can Al Gore stay away from microphones and television cameras for even one day?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

That's why it's called a Futures Market

Yet another lesson in the basics of Free markets today...

The Mainstream press reads: Crude oil was little changed below $139 a barrel in New York after tumbling more than $6 yesterday because of concern a slower U.S. economy will curtail demand.

Prices dropped as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said risks to growth and inflation have risen, in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. He abandoned a June assessment that the threat of an economic slowdown had diminished.

Then there's this alternative analysis from a bit earlier in the day: In a dramatic move yesterday President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore drilling. Today, at a news conference, Bush repeated his new position, and slammed the Democratic Congress for not removing the congressional moratorium on the Outer Continental Shelf and elsewhere. Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136.

Now isn’t this interesting?

Regardless of the reason, the larger point is still the only point--the market reflects the future possibilities of increases, decreases in supply, demand and even the occasional indirect effect (think Iranian missile tests). And Democrats continue to be wrong and or stupid on the entire subject...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Why you should wait for History to catch up

From the Telegraph UK:

Hating George W. Bush is not only dull and unoriginal, but it shows a complete lack of understanding of the world in which we live in.

You want liberty but you don’t want to defend it... right.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Does your wife know about this?

More is in fact almost always better it turns out...

Liberals meet World

Might make for a truly interesting reality-TV program watching lefties run head-first into the real world...

The Pew Center's latest survey reveals that it is self-identified liberals who have most changed their attitude about drilling. Indeed, a slightly higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans now say that more energy production is important.

It would be even more amusing if it weren't so painful.

Ironically Ironic Post of the Day

How Mature Democrats think...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A round of Applause

This post has gotten quite a lot of notice in the last couple of days and for a number of reasons. First off, it neatly if not very cynically nails the NY Times' coverage of President-in-waiting, Barack Obama:

In this morning's lead editorial ("New and Not Improved"), they detail and denounce many of Obama's post-Hillary pivots to the center. As their irritation builds, I'm thinking that there are only three positions that could explain this editorial. First, that the editors genuinely believe that Obama could win the general election with his primary season policy ideas. It is believable that they think this because they live inside a Manhattan cocoon, but silly. Second, that the editors would rather that Obama lose than compromise his principles. This seems unlikely in the cold light of a November morning, however satisfying it might feel to spew such romantic drivel on the Fourth of July. Or, third, the editors know that Obama's pivots will be much more believable to the swing voters if the Times denounces them. This theory holds that the editors are pretending to be outraged so as to further deceive the rubes who prefer the Flop to the Flip.

However, what I found most appealing was this pie-in-the-face tothe Times' editorial board found in the following couple of paragraphs:

For bonus comedy gold, note well the gun-control lie embedded in the editorial (emphasis added):

Mr. Obama endorsed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the District of Columbia’s gun-control law. We knew he ascribed to the anti-gun-control groups’ misreading of the Constitution as implying an individual right to bear arms.

Dudes. In the just-decided Heller case, all nine of the Justices of the Supreme Court found that the Second Amendment describes an individual right to bear arms. Are you lying to your own readers, or are you so wedded to your own reading of the Constitution -- the anti-freedom reading -- that you will not give it up even when Ruth Bader Ginsberg (for example) disagrees with you? (emphasis added)

Similarly as I did here, Tigerhawk not only points out but also nails the absurdity of the lefts argument on guns as made plain in the Instapundit post but goes deeper and puts meat on the bones. And quite honestly, he does a better job.

All the linkage and twice the sarcasm. Well done...

When measured meets insane

This is what you get when a left-leaning blogger attempts something resembling a measured argument about George W. Bush...in this case, Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum.

LOL at the insanity. I especially loved the letter-writer:

I am appalled. Does Washington Monthly as a magazine support this errant, inaccurate, and uncaring opinion?

I daresay that those unfortunate souls who have been secretly, illegally, and unconstituionally renditioned in unmarked white CIA planes to other countries to be tortured for months -- without recourse to counsel, legal proceedings, or habeas corpus protections -- would be the first to say that Bush's crimes are worse than Bush's. And would they be wrong?


Well -- would they? I'm asking you to defend Kevin's assertion. And if you don't support it, to apologize to your readership. Whether on Kevin's behalf, or not, I don't care -- I'm talking to you. I'm making an ethics and morality check on YOU, the editors.

Yeah, I'm mad. This is how the country slides further and further down the slippery slope to authoritarianism and despotism, when the opinion leaders can't be bothered to call a war criminal a war criminal and a destroyer of the Constitution exactly what he is.

I await your response, and I expect to hear personally from one of you.

Regards,

Rob Conrad
Chicago, IL

The most obvious point (So obvious that it's one of those things you feel guilty pointing out but only for a moment) is of course his confusion of Bush's crimes with those of...Bush; apparently he's so angry he forgot who he was writing about.

Rob needs a big dose of Get Over Yourself...demanding answers from the magazine editors for Kevin's audaciousness. 'Cause after all, he's mad!

I'm no fan of most of Kevin Drum's work as anyone who looks around will notice. But he has all the sympathy in the world on this one.

Kevin's no fan of the President but undertook, as best I can tell, an honest appraisal of the difference, as he sees it, between President Nixon and Bush the younger. And what does he get for his trouble?

The lefty venom that so usually pervades his regular readership turned back onto the unsuspecting author, that's what. I guess though when you've been feeding the bears for years you shouldn't be surprised when one of them takes a bite out of you.

Friday, July 04, 2008

While we're on the subject of Oil

And oil prices...

Buy, buy, buy and drill, drill, drill!:

It’s unfortunate the administration doesn’t seem ready to back this strong rhetoric with some old-fashioned intervention. The Treasury has the authority to buy dollars and sell euros in the open market. Better yet, it can coordinate these efforts with Jean Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank. President Bush and Treasury man Paulson also are forgetting the key word: “appreciate.” As in appreciate the dollar. That would be a head turner on Wall Street and on global foreign-exchange markets.

Meanwhile the ECB is raising interest rates which will appreciate the currency against the dollar, and you guessed it, more likely than not boost the price of oil.

Is anybody in D.C. paying attention...?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Why Democrats are wrong...

...when they tell you starting to explore and/or drill for new oil won't affect the price:

Now here is the good news. Any policy that causes the expected future oil price to fall can cause the current price to fall, or to rise less than it would otherwise do. In other words, it is possible to bring down today's price of oil with policies that will have their physical impact on oil demand or supply only in the future.

For example, increases in government subsidies to develop technology that will make future cars more efficient, or tighter standards that gradually improve the gas mileage of the stock of cars, would lower the future demand for oil and therefore the price of oil today.

Similarly, increasing the expected future supply of oil would also reduce today's price. That fall in the current price would induce an immediate rise in oil consumption that would be matched by an increase in supply from the OPEC producers and others with some current excess capacity or available inventories.

Any steps that can be taken now to increase the future supply of oil, or reduce the future demand for oil in the U.S. or elsewhere, can therefore lead both to lower prices and increased consumption today.

But I leave it to you...you can believe the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan or Chuck Schumer.

When a Cartoonist goes Wrong

What happens when a cartoonist goes off the rails? They look dumb. Really dumb:

What's most striking about Heller is that absolutely everybody -- majority and dissents -- says the Second Amendment protects an individual right.

It's true that the dissenters' view of that right is somewhere between "minimalist" (to be charitable) and "incoherent" (to be accurate). But nonetheless, all nine Justices specifically said the right is individual, and thus rejected the "collective right" position on the Second Amendment, a position that's been the mainstay of gun-control groups, newspaper editorialists, and lower federal courts for decades, and one that was presented by those adherents as so obviously correct that those arguing for an individual right were called "frauds" and shills for the NRA.

Yet the collective right theory could not command a single vote on the Court when actually tested.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Here at the end of all things

We ran this bit of ridiculousness from the AP on the front page (yes, above the fold). How I managed to summon the strength to get on with my day after reading it I still am unsure.

Others better and stronger than I have taken turns ripping it to shreds and rightfully so. James Pethokoukis sheds light on the bad math and Lileks--as only he can do--dismantles everything else.

Question of the Day

Anybody at work paying attention?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"I don't know jack..."

From the Washington Times' report on Scott McClellan's waste of Congressional time, a.k.a. his House testimony on Friday morning:

Under questioning from Democrats he was unable to name anyone who specifically engaged in deception in the run-up to the Iraq war, instead blaming the style of Washington politics for the problems.

He got paid how much to write a book...?

P.S. I think Politco's John Bresnahan is onto something:

The problem: He doesn’t know the whole truth himself.

P.P.S. Saving the best for last, Joe & Val pledge to fight on:

Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson released the following statement following former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's appearance before the House Judiciary Committee today:

“Scott McClellan’s book and his congressional testimony shed some light on — as we alleged in our lawsuit — the decision by senior government officials to betray the identity of a covert CIA officer, Valerie Plame Wilson. Many questions, however, such as the role of Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney remain unanswered. Our civil suit, now before the Court of Appeals, is designed to permit us to uncover the truth, to hold to account those who would use their public positions to engage in private political vendettas, and to ensure that future generations of public servants do not engage in such despicable behavior against fellow Americans.

Mr. McClellan’s testimony today underscores why we need to continue to pursue our rights under the American judicial system, and why Congress should also fully investigate the circumstances of the leak, and the subsequent obstruction of justice which is ongoing.”

It's not even funny anymore how absurd this is...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Apologize already...

John Murtha owes a bunch of Marines an apology...this is me holding my breath waiting for that press conference.

Embarrassing

It's been over since last Thursday though it only finally ended tonight. No proof of life at all in the second half and that's just embarrassing.

Will anyone notice that the Guru is 3-8 in his last two trips to the Finals?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Devoid of Common Sense

Oh, but for some common sense from the courts...

Instead, we get things like this:

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected for the third time President Bush's policy of holding foreign prisoners under exclusive control of the military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ruling that the men have a right to seek their freedom before a federal judge.

The justices said the Constitution from the beginning enshrined the "privilege of habeas corpus" -- or the right to go before a judge -- as one of the safeguards of liberty. And that right extends even to foreigners captured in the war on terrorism, the high court said, particularly when they have been held for as long as six years without charges.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court majority: "The detainees in these cases are entitled to a prompt habeas corpus hearing. . . . Within the Constitution's separation-of-powers structure, few exercises of judicial power are as legitimate or as necessary as the responsibility to hear challenges to the authority of the executive to imprison a person."


U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E

The Supreme court earlier this week granted the rights, nay the single-most important constitutional right we have as US citizens, to enemies of the country and foreigners acting as unlawful enemy combatants.

I am not a lawyer, I don't pretend to know or understand the legal concepts here. But I do recognize the absence of common sense when I see it.

Conservative reactions to this ridiculousness:

Start with the minority dissent:

America is at war with radical Islamists. The enemy began by killing Americans and American allies abroad: 241 at the Marine barracks in Lebanon, 19 at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, 224 at our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and 17 on the USS Cole in Yemen. See National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 60–61, 70, 190 (2004). On September 11, 2001, the enemy brought the battle to American soil, killing 2,749 at the Twin Towers in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon in Washington, D. C., and 40 in Pennsylvania. See id., at 552, n. 9. It has threatened further attacks against our homeland; one need only walk about buttressed and barricaded Washington, or board a plane anywhere in the country, to know that the threat is a serious one. Our Armed Forces are now in the field against the enemy, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Last week, 13 of our countrymen in arms were killed.

The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.-- Justice Scalia


So who has won? Not the detainees. The Court’s analysis leaves them with only the prospect of further litigation to determine the content of their new habeas right, followed by further litigation to resolve their particular cases, followed by further litigation before the D. C. Circuit— where they could have started had they invoked the DTA procedure.

Not Congress, whose attempt to “determine—through democratic means—how best” to balance the security of the American people with the detainees’ liberty interests, see Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U. S. 557, 636 (2006) (BREYER, J., concurring), has been unceremoniously
brushed aside. Not the Great Writ, whose majesty is hardly enhanced by its extension to a jurisdictionally quirky outpost, with no tangible benefit to anyone. Not the rule of law, unless by that is meant the rule of lawyers, who will now arguably have a greater role than military
and intelligence officials in shaping policy for alien enemy combatants. And certainly not the American people, who today lose a bit more control over the conduct of this Nation’s
foreign policy to unelected, politically unaccountable judges.

I respectfully dissent.

Mark Levin: And what was once considered inconceivable is now compelled by the Constitution, or so five justices have ruled. I fear for my country. I really do. And AP, among others, reports this story as a defeat for "the Bush administration." Really? I see it as a defeat for the nation.



Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stick a fork in 'em

The series is over. Good teams don't lose games at home after leading by 24 points...

What she really meant to say...

What Nancy Pelosi said today about gas prices in America:

"We cannot drill our way out of this," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California countered. Opening the wildlife refuge in Alaska would reduce U.S. gasoline prices by one penny per gallon, she said. She and other Democrats blame President George W. Bush's energy policies for the gasoline price spike.

"A barrel of oil now costs four times more than it did when President Bush took office," Pelosi said. "Two oil men in the White House, cost of oil four times higher. Price at the pump: $4 a gallon."

I'm sure she didn't mean it. I mean, how could somebody of her stature be that stupid? Well, judging by this, it's not real hard:

She said oil companies already lease about 68 million acres of land that is not being drilled. She questioned why oil companies were pushing to open up the ANWR in Alaska when so many acres they currently hold are not being developed.

On that point, a group of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation that would compel oil companies to drill in lands they are now leasing from the federal government.

"Oil corporations are trying to take control of as much land now during the oil-friendly Bush administration years, but are holding off on drilling until the price of oil soars to $200 or $300 a barrel so they can make even greater profits," said Rep. Maurice Hinchey, a New York Democrat and a sponsor of the drilling bill.

The bill would force oil companies to pay fees for leased lands that go unused. The fees would increase over time. Republicans argue current law already requires oil companies to "use or lose" the lands they lease.

I'm sure what she meant to say was that we can't conserve our way out of this, given the large increase in Global demand coming from China and India in the last few years. I mean, after all, members of Congress can't possibly be that stupid...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thanks for the Help!


To get the full gist on what exactly this is and where it comes from check this post at Powerline.

To otherwise enjoy the direct and powerfully humurous contrast between the parties simply requires 10 seconds of your time to enlarge and read.

Kinda speaks for itself...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Stupid Congressional Act of the Day

A new feature? Maybe...Lord knows we don't hurt for entries.

At least on this day though it's a one-time deal, courtesy of everybody's favorite Congressional loon:

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a former Democratic presidential contender, said Monday he wants the House to consider a resolution to impeach President Bush.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi consistently has said impeachment was "off the table."
Kucinich, D-Ohio, read his proposed impeachment language in a floor speech. He contended Bush deceived the nation and violated his oath of office in leading the country into the Iraq war.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Be Less Informed


Jimmy Margulies putting his ignorance of life in the real world on display for all...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Job Security


It's all about being the irreplaceable one...

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Height of Economic Illiteracy


Stop the war, fix the economy:

Forty-eight percent said a pullout would help fix the country’s economic problems “a great deal,” and an additional 20 percent said it would help at least somewhat. Some 43 percent said increasing government spending on health care, education and housing programs would help a great deal; 36 percent said cutting taxes.

“Let’s stop paying for this war,” said Hilda Sanchez, 44, of Waterford, Calif. “There are a lot of people who are struggling. We can use the money to pay for medical care and help people who were put out of their homes.”

The subject of leaving Iraq shows a sharp partisan divide — 65 percent of Democrats think it would help the economy a lot, but only 18 percent of Republicans think so.

Oy...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

God is Great

God is good...

There was a palpable expectation of history here on chilly night in the Arizona desert. Super Bowl XLII delivered on that score, but history of a different sort was made Sunday.

The Giants, 12-point underdogs, ruined the New England Patriots' quest for a perfect season. New York, which lost six of 16 games during the regular season, prevailed 17-14 at University of Phoenix Stadium.

18-1 is great...unless the 1 is the last game of the season.

I've been saying for weeks that the Pats were due; all the tough games in the playoffs and at the end of the regular season and finding ways to win even on an off night...it couldn't last forever. And it didn't.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where to Now?

McCain wins Florida and Rudy dropping out...where do conservative voters go now?

I think I'm gonna hurl...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bad Mood Rising

VDH wonders about California's Groundhog day:

Our poor state is $14 billion plus now in the red, and the Governator has promised no new taxes, wise inasmuch as our sales and income taxes are already among the highest in the country. The University of California system is panicking and sending out emails to us alums, to march en masse on Sacramento for redress!

But lost in the furor is any self-reflection, such as why would UC Davis recently pay John Edwards, multimillionaire trial lawyer, $50,000 plus to give a brief lecture on poverty? Such questions are never answered, much less raised, since the problem is always framed as a matter of a shortage of income, never a surfeit of unnecessary expenditure.


We in California, given the past budget implosions, know the script to follow. We expect that police, fire, prisons, parks etc will be threatened with cut-backs and closure while the state-funded "Center for this" and the "Department of that" will remain untouched, since cutting the essential while protecting the politically-correct superfluous is the only way to scare the voter and achieve higher taxes.


At some point we Californians should ask ourselves, how we inherited a state with near perfect weather, the world's richest agriculture, plentiful timber, minerals, and oil, two great ports at Los Angeles and Oakland, a natural tourist industry from Carmel to Yosemite, industries such as Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and aerospace—and serially managed to turn all of that into the nation's largest penal system, periodic near bankruptcy, and sky-high taxes.


I suspect that there can be no meaningful compromise in the capitol...not when Democrats in the legislature long to increase taxes and the Governor--for whatever it's worth--keeps saying he won't do such a thing as Hanson points out. So now what?

In the meantime, real estate continues to take it on the chin--the house next door has been on the market for over a year and the owner can't unload it even with a fire-sale sticker of $289,000.

I'm upside down to the tune of $30-$40K on mine, revenues are way down yr-to-yr at work and my income for '07 was down a cool 10% from '06 while the outlook for '08 is no better.

So yes, now what?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Idealogical Purity and Iowa

Iowa goes Huckabee. If the GOP is serious about '08 this is where the madness ends.

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