Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ode to Guinness

Not the beer, the dog.

Lacy's very first puppy pal was a black Lab mix belonging to a co-worker of my wife. He was a rescue animal so was not always sure about his place in strange circumstances, as visits to our home and puppy play-dates with a 5-month old Lab surely were.

According to his owner, he was skittish with all men though by the time he and his mom left Phoenix, Guinness had warmed, at least some, to me and gladly accepted a rawhide or two when he came to visit. All in all he was a mellow little guy and likable as could be.

The Christmas letter from Chris & Patty was late this year and only arrived last night. In it we learned that Guinness had succumbed after a very short battle with cancer in May.

Be good little man.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine

It's hard to escape A Christmas Story as it's become what It's a Wonderful Life used to be, namely, if not the most watched Christmas movie around at least the most available Christmas movie on television.

After watching it again on Christmas Eve Ralphie's run-in with reality became emblematic for me of a question that Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has asked off and on all year: Who, exactly, are the rubes? And how many after a brief moment of clarity share Ralphie's sense of betrayal.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

4 Retirements and a Defection

Politico reports this morning that Southern Democrat Rep Parker Griffith (D-AL) is switching parties:

Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Alabama, will announce today that he’s switching parties to become a Republican.

According to two senior GOP aides familiar with the decision, the announcement will take place this afternoon in Griffith's district in northern Alabama.

Griffith’s party switch comes on the eve of a pivotal congressional health care vote and will send a jolt through a Democratic House Caucus that has already been unnerved by the recent retirements of a handful of members who, like Griffith, hail from districts that offer prime pickup opportunities for the GOP in 2010.

The switch represents a coup for the House Republican leadership, which had been courting Griffith since he publicly criticized the Democratic leadership in the wake of raucous town halls during the summer.

Griffith, who captured the seat in a close 2008 open seat contest, will become the first Republican to hold the historically Democratic, Huntsville-based district. A radiation oncologist who founded a cancer treatment center, Griffith plans to blast the Democratic health care bill as a prime reason for his decision to switch parties—and is expected to cite his medical background as his authority on the subject.

It appears that House Democrats may be getting nervous. They read polls, regardless of what they may or may not say about them and perhaps, at least a number of them, see where their party is and it aint anywhere near where the public is at this point.

Griffith's defection seems significant in that he is but a freshman member and a Blue Dog. The jump from D to R isn't a great leap as Politico notes but important given where his Alabama district is: Though it has never elected a Republican to Congress, Griffith’s seat has a long conservative tradition and has backed Democrats who have a brand independent from the national party. As a result of the district’s Democratic heritage, Democrats still hold the majority of state legislative seats within the 5th Congressional District’s boundaries.

The district, however, is trending Republican: A wave of new residents is moving into the Huntsville suburbs, where the area’s burgeoning aerospace and defense industries have created a miniboom. And those voters, with fewer ties to the area’s past politics, have been reliably Republican at the national level.

Monday, December 21, 2009

They can't Arrest all of Us

Nick Gillespie at Reason wonders aloud how many people will ignore a Federal mandate to buy health insurance. Given the history of ignoring other such legal ultimatums, it's an interesting thought exercise.

There's lots of bravado in the comments about being willing to be a 'test case' but it all made me wonder; how many people in non-compliance would it take to grind that nonsense to a screeching halt?

Pimps, Whores & Idiots

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse piles on after the events surrounding Healthcare reform over the weekend. In the best tradition of liberals everywhere, the Senator resorts to insults in describing opposition to Healthcare reform:

"Voting 'no' and hiding from the vote are the same result. Those of us on the floor see it. It was clear the three of them who did not cast their yes votes until all 60 Senate votes had been tallied and it was clear that the result was a foregone conclusion. And why? Why all this discord and discourtesy, all this unprecedented destructive action? All to break the momentum of our new young president.

They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one."

With all un-due respect Senator, you can stuff that nonsense back down your pie-hole and choke on it. People don't want this bill because of what's in it, not because of who is for it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pimps & Whores

Roger Kimball writes after learning of Senator Ben Nelson's decision to fall in with the other 59 Democrats:  The good news is that today, December 19, 2009, is the day we got clarity on the Obama-Pelosi-Reid effort to steal medical care and call it “reform.”

I hope that Ben enjoys his final two years in the Senate.
OK, that’s not quite right. Since it was Ben Nelson of Nebraska that finally got Harry Reid his desperately needed 60th vote for socialized medicine, I hope 1) that the next two year are unpleasant for Sen. Nelson and 2) that he loses in 2012 by a landslide.

I’m still not being entirely candid. Nelson is a pathetic pawn in this game. He’s history and I hope he has plans for a new day job. He’ll need ‘em.

He's obviously angry but it comes across to me as somehow, almost muted. Or perhaps, despite being a writer, he--like me--can't find the words to adequately express the anger.

As was noted this morning on the FNS panel, everyone has a price and Senator Nelson settled on his yesterday. Moving past the anger for a moment, it becomes apparent that the true cost of this for Nelson and the other 59 pro-votes is minimal.

Yes, it's true they may lose their seats. But they--and many of them for decades--live on our dime and will continue so until the day they die enjoying their gold-plated Federal health benefits all the while, BTW.

They pay no real price for being gloriously wrong about the negative effects of this "reform" should they come to pass.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The photo at this morning, next to the linked headline that reads: Obama Accepts Nobel With 'Great Humility'. Perhaps I've missed something along the way but the President I've been watching doesn't give off much of an air of humility.

Monday, December 07, 2009


It's official. President Obama's Disapproval rating, as an average, is higher than his Approval rating.

For a while now some polls have already been there while others have slowly followed suit. has compiled the average, and as of today, this is where we are. Were I a member of the Administration, the trendlines would bother me. Bigtime.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's still the economy, Stupid!

Byron York highlights the assessment of Democrat operatives James Carville and Stan Greenberg. It aint pretty:

All in all, it's a perilous situation for Democrats taking their House and Senate majorities into next year's elections. "The slow recovery and continued job losses, combined with Wall Street bailouts, big bonuses, government takeovers, deficits and possible gridlock are an ugly brew," Carville and Greenberg write. "For Democrats to reverse the slide in their standing, they need to focus with urgency on jobs."

Urgency -- that's the key word, and the reason for Obama's "Jobs Summit." But voters know Democratic leaders haven't shown that urgency about jobs, and are in fact working 24/7 to pass a national health care bill that isn't the country's top priority. What "The Economy and Politics of 2010" shows is that this could be a very costly mistake.

Suffice to say, if they keep doing what they're doing Congressional Dems will get slaughtered. There will be collateral damage in Republican seats but the Dems will get slaughtered.

Guilty Pleasure #263

Reliving my youth last night driving home with the radio turned way up loud.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Fitting in a sort of 'shoot me in the head' kind of way

Fitting indeed that the Senate's Dimmest Bulb chairing the Committee that may or may not hold hearings on Climategate.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!

Politico points out the irony of all ironies today---President Obama's Afghan Strategy is being heavily criticized by Dick Cheney Darth Vader on the right and Edward R. Murrow Keith Olbermann on the left.

My head hurts...make it stop!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Have you no Perspective!?

Over at Politico's Arena today lots of folks are taking their turn at Vice President Cheney's remarks on Afghanistan. Most of them appear to be academics and more than a few Democratic political types...folks you would commonly refer to as 'operatives' in some cases. Regardless of the labels, the outrage is palpable.

Meanwhile, the contrast between conservative criticism of President Obama's cautious decision-making on Afghanistan and the Democrat's criticism of the previous Administration's handling of...well,, ironically, on display for all to see (at least at this writing) on Politico's home page where Rep. Maurice Hinchey accuses President Bush of purposefully allowing Osama Bin Laden to escape Tora Bora:

Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) on Monday accused former President George W. Bush of “intentionally” letting Osama bin Laden escape during the American invasion of Afghanistan.

“Look what happened with regard to our invasion into Afghanistan, how we apparently intentionally let bin Laden get away,” Hinchey said during an interview on MSNBC.

“That was done by the previous administration because they knew very well that if they would capture al Qaeda, there would be no justification for an invasion in Iraq,” the Democratic congressman continued. “There’s no question that the leader of the military operations of the U.S. called back our military, called them back from going after the head of al Qaeda.”

When host David Shuster followed up to ask if Hinchey really thought Bush “deliberately let Osama bin Laden get away,” the congressman responded: “Yes, I do.”

Rory Cooper of the Heritage Foundation rightly exposes the contrast between Democrat reaction to President Bush (even now, having been gone long enough to have had a third child) and Cheney's criticism of President Obama's decision-making process and it's consequences for the military forces already in Aghanistan.

Read the criticisms of Cheney and agree if you like. But don't let the differences between his comments and the 8 years of Bush-rants escape you.

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