-Rush was called racist for saying Donovan McNabb was overrated, but no one bats an eye when Mike Malloy jokes about a former VP eating Jewish and Muslim babies. Either America just holds conservatives to a higher standard, or there really are some advantages to having a show no one listens to.
-Do novas ever look back at their lives and wish they'd done that little bit extra in order to be super?
-If I ever run for Congress, this will definitely be my campaign song.
-We always talk about bipartisanship in America without ever getting anywhere, but maybe there is one thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on. None of us like Arlen Specter.
-Would anyone be as scared of H1N1 if it were called "puppy flu"?
-If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, was the platypus designed by the US Senate?
-If you catch someone cooking meth while driving on the freeway, I say let them keep it. Frying their brain is obviously no longer a danger.
-Yes, please tell men that chemical attacks will now cause women to remove their bras. That will end well.
-Skeptics of evolution sometimes ask, "If we descended from monkeys, why are monkeys still around?" This shows an obvious ignorance about evolution, which posits that both humans and monkeys are descended from a common ancestor named James Carville.
-At the rate Barack Obama is changing public sentiment about the GOP, he may go down as the most successful Republican president ever.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
-Rush was called racist for saying Donovan McNabb was overrated, but no one bats an eye when Mike Malloy jokes about a former VP eating Jewish and Muslim babies. Either America just holds conservatives to a higher standard, or there really are some advantages to having a show no one listens to.
Posted by EE at 4:30 PM
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
A shark that can bite a 10 foot Great White nearly in two is not something I'd want to swim with. Fortunately, I doubt it is very interested in people. Meanwhile, my wife is terrified because we have a mouse living in our wall.
Posted by EE at 2:23 PM
Monday, October 26, 2009
The most recent circulation figures for the top 25 newspapers in the country are out, and they are tragic. Most papers are hemorrhaging subscribers. In fact, only one paper on the list managed to gain a bit. The Wall Street Journal. Now, as a good partisan conservative Republican, I'd like nothing more than to credit the good sense and innate conservatism of the American people, while laughing hysterically and yelling "You suck!"at the New York Times. But I have a funny feeling that the Journal's conservatism has little to do with its relative success.
I also think that the Journal is a far better quality paper than most. The writing is tighter, the research more thorough, and it contains a more diverse array of editorial and opinion writers. That doesn't seem to be the answer either though, because the Washington Post, America's other great newspaper, seems to be losing circulation at a healthy clip despite equivalent quality. And of course, the New York Times, which I wouldn't use to line the bottom of a canary's cage, seems to be in about the same state as the Post.
So, my theory is this. The Wall Street Journal, moreso than the other major papers, is seen as a national paper. Despite its name, people have never thought of it as being a "New York" paper. That makes it ideal to replace your local daily when it either folds, or cuts its newsroom staff back so drastically that it no longer produces a paper capable of holding your interest. To survive, I think the Post, the Times, and other papers capable of transitioning, will have to find ways to become more cosmopolitan and scavenge the dwindling audiences of the dying locals.
Posted by EE at 11:41 PM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This Guy Is Soooo Toast In 2010
More words of wisdom from Rep. Alan Grayson.
Fortunately, unlike most Democratic crazies, he's in a swing district in a swing state. When you call half of your constituents "enemies of America", shortly after accusing their party of wanting people to die swiftly, you don't tend to get re-elected.
They All Look Alike To MSNBC
In her defense, Contessa Brewer can't be expected to be smarter than her teleprompter.
This Is About How I Feel When People Try To Convince Me National Healthcare Saves Money
I Can't Imagine Why Nevadans Don't Want To Re-Elect This Gem
Cheney For President In 2012!
And Maybe We Can Make Marco Rubio Majority Leader While We're At It
Posted by EE at 12:52 PM
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
As you read this story, just remember one thing. Individual teachers may care if their students do well, but teachers unions do not. They have one goal, and it's to protect their own. Despite all of my deep, deep differences with the president, if he did nothing I admired except for helping states to implement realistic testing in order to hold teachers accountable to their students and parents, it would be enough to make him a hero in my book.
Posted by EE at 3:05 PM
Merely disconnected from reality. I'm glad someone is on that for us.
Posted by EE at 3:03 PM
Friday, October 16, 2009
Some recent missteps by the Republican party on matters of race, coupled with the unfair demonization of Rush Limbaugh, have gotten me thinking about efforts to reach out beyond the traditional base of the Republican party. What I've realized is that, counter-intuitive though it may seem, having Michael Steele as the RNC Chair may actually hinder the party more than it helps.
Let me start with an example. I've worked with kids quite a bit, primarily through church. I've taught and volunteered with ages ranging from four through junior high. I'm only 28, a kid at heart, and I can sing the Hannah Montana theme song without missing a word. And yet, I've never tried to be cool, or act like I'm one of the kids. I know better. It isn't through any great wisdom of my own. I just remember junior high, and am keenly aware of the fact that I wasn't even cool when I WAS 13. Why would I be silly enough to assume I can con them into believing I'm cool now that I'm over a decade beyond their age?
The truth is that no adult should try to act cool around kids. We can't. The best of us is still just an old guy or gal, and kids can see right through anyone attempting to be something they aren't. So why should we assume any less of other adults?
To bring this post back around to the more pertinent topic, the Republican party needs to realize what it is, and what it isn't. Just as I am not a cool pre-tween, the Republican party is a party of boring old white guys. Now obviously not every Republican falls into that category. I know plenty of black Republicans, plenty of female Republicans, and I still count as a young Republican. But the center of gravity in the party is old, and boring, and white. And that's ok. It doesn't mean we can't reach out to minorities and change who we are over time as we draw them in. But meanwhile, we need to understand what we're starting out with. And that's when Michael Steele becomes a problem.
Steele is neither boring, nor old, nor white. He knows it, and we know it. But neither is he an average black American. While his personal story is inspiring, his elite education, high income, and decades of interaction with the rich and powerful are not typical of anyone of any race. However, because of his pigmentation, I worry that Chairman Steele thinks he has a greater "common touch" with black voters than is actually the case. Just as it is easy for me to fall into the trap of trying to be "one of the kids" with the youth group, it is easy for Michael Steele to make the same mistake. The rest of the boring old white guys running the party are painfully aware of how un-hip they really are. None of them would launch a blog called "What Up".
The truth is that, like anyone else, minority voters don't want to be talked down to. They don't expect old white guys to be hip, nor will they tolerate them pretending to be. Ironically enough, the quintessential boring old white guy, Newt Gingrich, has the right idea. He's traveling around talking to black voters about education reform. He isn't trying to be "cool" or "one of the guys". Instead, he's simply interested in finding common ground through real dialogue. Listening to people, and talking to them about real issues will always win more friends that pretending to be what you think they want. It works in junior high, and it works in real life.
Posted by EE at 9:49 PM
For those who haven't yet heard (and you can't have heard yet, because I'm the one breaking the story), Keith Olbermann announced his love of consensual intimate relations with various barnyard animals on his show recently. The exact quote was, "Yes, I love sex with barnyard animals. Women talk too much, but with animals, you don't have that problem." Now, I know you may doubt the quote at first. After all, if someone said something so unusual and controversial, wouldn't it have garnered more attention? Shouldn't I have a recording, or at least be able to cite an exact date?
Fortunately, as the recent flap over Rush Limbaugh's desire to buy the Rams proved, the media has progressed beyond the need for silly things like evidence. If a quote is juicy enough, and you don't like the person, run with it! And I REALLY don't like Keith Olbermann. But, for those of you who might need a little bit more to go on, what about the fact that Keith went to Cornell Agricultural School, instead of the real Cornell? Since we know how brilliant Olbermann is (after all, he tells us often enough), the only reason I can imagine for settling for an inferior school was the easy access to barnyard animals. Prove me wrong.
While I think it's pretty clear from Keith's ratings that he is unlikely to ever be able to afford to buy an NFL football team, I'd like to be the first to go on record saying that his horrendous lifestyle choices should offend NFL Mascots everywhere. I can't imagine that mascots would be willing to work for any team that would allow Barnyard Keith an ownership stake.
Posted by EE at 3:50 PM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In 1993, we had a charismatic new Democratic president (some even called him the first black president), a vocal healthcare debate, and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. Sound familiar? Well, it should. Many pundits have cited parallels between 1993 and 2009. Conservatives point out that the political revolution of 1994 really began in 1993, when the country became deeply unhappy with the new administration. Further momentum built in the wake of Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey's gubernatorial races, and the New York city mayoral race. While this year's mayoral race is capturing virtually no attention (the incumbent seems like a safe bet to be re-elected without the blessing of either major party), the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections are again being cited as a bellwether.
Some caveats do apply. The 1994 Republican sweep was helped immensely by Democratic retirements. Empty seats are harder to defend. There are few Democratic vacancies this time around, but there are plenty of Democratic seats occupied by first-term Representatives. There are also powerful anti-incumbent feelings this time which add fluidity to the mix. Most importantly, in 1993 the Clinton healthcare reforms were soundly defeated and the president himself was an unpopular figure. This time around, we have yet to see what the outcome of healthcare reform will be, and president Obama still has a healthy level of personal popularity.
With all that in mind, I'd like to make some tentative predictions about what the outcomes of three races will tell us. These races are relatively high profile, and run the gamut of winnability for both parties. They are the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races, and the race in California's 10th Congressional district.
The easiest win for Republicans is in Virginia. Virginia is still more red than blue, and Republicans have fielded an excellent candidate. In fact, they are leading in the polls for all three of the top statewide offices. Simply put, if Creigh Deeds were to pull off an upset in this race, the Republican party can kiss any chances to make gains in 2010 goodbye. They would be likely to lose some of their most promising potential challengers who are still on the fence about running, and would definitely see an impact in motivation and fundraising.
Somewhere in the middle lies New Jersey. This state is solid blue, but the incompetence of its current leaders coupled with high unemployment has put it into the mix. Chris Christie was leading handily over Democratic Governor John Corzine until recently. Attack ads from Corzine (he's outspending Christie 3:1), a lethargic Christie campaign, and an unusually strong independent challenger have brought Christie's numbers back down to parity with the governor. Short of a serious scandal breaking out, this is probably as close to a 50-50 race as anything is going to get. If Christie wins, it will be a serious morale boost for a badly discouraged Republican party. Look for every pundit with an "R" next to his name to cite it as proof that a 1994 repeat is in the offing for 2010. It will probably cause some fence-sitters to jump into congressional races they have been considering. Should Christie lose, it will definitely hurt, but not be a fatal blow like Virginia. Democrats will cite it as proof that Republicans are not going to repeat 1994, and Republicans will argue that New Jersey is just too blue a state. The margin of victory will matter most here. If Christie or Corzine squeak out a win, we probably haven't learned much. If either man squashes his opponent, look for good things in his party's future.
Last, but not least, is the California 10th Congressional District. With a large Democratic majority (Ellen Tauscher won re-election in 2008 by 30 points), it is an unlikely place for a Republican to win. However, special elections are tricky things, and the Republicans have recruited a very good candidate in David Harmer. John Garamendi, the state's lieutenant governor, is a fixture in California politics, which is both good and bad. He's seasoned, and knows how to raise funds, but he has a bit of a reputation as an also-ran who went after this seat only because his latest gubernatorial campaign (there have been several) never got off the ground. This election is still almost certain to be a Democratic victory, but if Harmer manages to pull off an upset, incumbent Democrats in red states had better batten down the hatches.
Posted by EE at 1:53 PM
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I think it goes without saying the giving Barack Obama a Nobel Prize for the first 11 days of his presidency borders on farce. But just in case it doesn't go without saying, here are some folks who have said it. Please note that all of them supported him for president, as far as I know.
I can't get too upset about this decision. First of all, the award is given out by the same continent that produces this stuff. Suddenly I feel pretty good about Britney Spears. Besides, it may be a farce, but it's not an atypical one. Past Nobel Prize recipients have included: Al "I made a movie that was so inaccurate, British courts decided a disclaimer had to be provided before showing it in classrooms" Gore, Mohamed "Iranian nuclear program? What Iranian nuclear program" ElBaradei, Kofi "you only care about the widespread corruption and sexual crimes committed by UN employees because I'm BLACK" Annan, and Yasser "kill Jews" Arafat.
There is a long tradition of awarding Nobels either to thugs or useless but well-intentioned people and groups (I'm looking at you, International Campaign to Ban Landmines and International Physicians For The Prevention of Nuclear War). Meanwhile, the number of Nobel Peace Prizes won by the US Marines remains at zero. In fact, after looking at recent recipients I think the chances of the Nobel Committee picking any of the more deserving folks out there were probably pretty slim. Frankly speaking, at least giving it to President Obama means the committee will have to wait until next year to award the prize to Mahmoud Amadinejad. As Dennis Prager has often pointed out, if you know nothing about a person except that they've received a Nobel Peace Prize, be wary.
What's really interesting about this award though, is that it may actually make President Obama's life harder. After all, the main conservative criticism of the man is that he's all sizzle, and no steak. Even SNL has picked up on it.
Getting an award like this, for no better reason than, "He's so hopey-changey and speaks so pretty!" really doesn't help the president's agenda. Remember early on when comedians were lamenting a lack of obvious jokes to make about Barack Obama? Think they still have that problem?
The bottom line is that Obama has always had a gap between his rhetoric and reality. Obviously, this is true of most politicians. Few live up to all of their campaign promises. In Obama's case though, the distance is unusually pronounced. What he doesn't need is more build-up to further enhance the gap. This does nothing but deceive him in regards to what he can actually accomplish (see the Olympic fiasco), and build up expectations among his supporters to extreme and unrealistic levels. Just remember Obama fans, the higher he gets built up, the further he has to fall to get back to reality.
Posted by EE at 11:28 AM
The Lunar Crater Reconnaissance Observation and Sensing Satellite has crash-landed on the moon. LCROSS's impact is being used as a way to test for water in craters that never see the sun. They hit in exactly the spot they hoped for, but it will be a while before we have sufficient data to know whether they found anything or not.
Posted by EE at 10:05 AM
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
George Will has a particularly good column today about President Obama and his trip to Copenhagen. I'm not terribly bothered by the trip itself, unlike some folks. If the president wants to spend his time trying to help Chicago (a city that certainly needs help), at least it keeps him away from his typical mischief. However, Will's point about the narcissism displayed on the trip is a good one. He writes that, "In the 41 sentences of her remarks, Michelle Obama used some form of the personal pronouns 'I' or 'me' 44 times. Her husband was, comparatively, a shrinking violet, using those pronouns only 26 times in 48 sentences. Still, 70 times in 89 sentences conveyed the message that somehow their fascinating selves were what made, or should have made, Chicago's case compelling."
One might argue that Will's point isn't a fair one. After all, counting pronouns is hardly the best way to characterize a speech. Let's examine the content instead, shall we? The president starts off well enough. The first two paragraphs talk mainly about the importance of the games, with only one reference to the president's personal history thrown in. Things go off track a little in the following paragraphs as Obama tells the committee that they should choose Chicago for the same reasons he did. This seems innocent enough at first, but as he continues, you realize it's just an excuse to tell his thrilling personal story for the 10,482,598,938 time. He focuses back in for several paragraphs extolling the virtues of Chicago and America. Then things go irretrievably off the rails as he finishes by using the games as an excuse to talk about the budding greatness that is the Obama presidency.
Michelle's speech is actually worse. At least Barack Obama has the excuse of being the leader of America when he too closely identifies selling the location with selling himself. Michelle on the other hand, tells of sitting on her daddy's lap at the tender young age of 20 (Carl Lewis first competed in the 1984 games) to watch the games and be inspired to achieve something great. I assume that means "graduate from an Ivy and marry well". You know, the feminist dream. She goes on to talk about how her father taught her to play sports despite a debilitating physical condition, and finishes with a challenge to give Chicago the games because it would have made her dad happy.
Ok, so perhaps it was just a failed attempt to personalize Chicago's already substantive efforts to land the games. What other evidence do we have that the president is self-centered? Remember the president's recent speech to the UN? That was the speech in which he said, "For those who question the character and cause of my nation, I ask you to look at the concrete actions we have taken in just nine months." In the president's mind, defending America on the world stage doesn't involve pointing out that the previous administration spent more on foreign aid to impoverished African nations than all previous administrations combined. It doesn't involve reminding Muslim countries about the number of the times in recent decades that American blood has been spilled to protect Muslims, or reminding Europe of the sacrifices made to protect them in two world wars and rebuild them in the aftermath. Our Cold War defense of free nations doesn't even cross his mind. All that matters, all that can redeem America in the world's eyes is the fact that Barack Obama supports cap-and-trade legislation. No, no hubris there at all.
Will ends his column by pointing out that presidents often come to have a defining word associated with them. "Tricky Dick", "Silent Cal", "Honest Abe". The concluding sentence summarizes things nicely, "Unhappy will be a president whose defining adjective is 'vain.'" I apologize to George Will for this criticism, but he seems to have come up with only half a nickname. After all, it wasn't simply "Tricky" or "Honest", but rather "Tricky Dick" and "Honest Abe". To complete his point, I'd like to humbly suggest calling the president "Vain Hussein". That is, if using the president's middle name isn't racist this week. I have trouble keeping track.
Posted by EE at 1:57 PM
I'm sorry, but I just can't get too worked up by all of the liberal congressmen who admit that they have no intention of reading any of the healthcare bills before they vote on them.
First, let me stipulate that I agree that any Congressmen who ranted and raved about no one reading the Patriot Act before they voted on it, but are now willing to do the same on healthcare are hypocrites. Second, let me also say that, as a conservative, I'm more than willing to sign on to the idea that it probably says something not-so-good about our government that we've extended its size and scope to such a degree that people readily admit that they couldn't understand a bill if they did read it. After all, the founders were able to declare independence from England and create our political system in about 6,000 clear words (We seem to be heading downhill. After all, God created the entire world in about 1,400 words). And last, let me also acknowledge that, as a simple matter of political tactics, "read the bill" is effective. When people are confused and suspicious about legislation, forcing their representative to admit they have no intention of actually reading it certainly does sound devastating.
Having said all of that, the bottom line is that we are where we are. Government is huge. It overreaches, and federal legislation is scary, complicated stuff. I analyze state legislation for a living. I also made my way through college reading Shakespeare, Dante, and Dostoevsky (and enjoying it). And yet, on the few occasions that I've had to pick up a federal bill and do something useful with it, I find myself fighting the urge to curl up into the fetal position and suck my thumb. Talking about what a horrible state of affairs we've come to may be cathartic, but it doesn't do anything meaningful.
But let's pretend for a moment that this reality wasn't the case. Let's say each member of Congress was limited to a single, ten page bill per session. That would still require each member of Congress to read 5,350 pages of legislation per year. I seriously doubt even such a limited goal is within their reach. And since it seems to be an open question whether some members of Congress are even operating at a high school level, asking them to read this bill really seems to be a futile gesture.
Posted by EE at 10:08 AM
Monday, October 5, 2009
Anti-semite and all-around nutter Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be Jewish. Then again maybe not. The author of the first article is asserting that President Squinty's original last name, Sabourjian, is the Iranian equivalent of a name like Goldberg. The second article argues that it bears little relation to his ethnicity, and actually derives from his father's profession. On top of that, his mother is a direct descendant of the prophet, and therefore an unlikely candidate to be marrying a Jewish man.
It looks like the theory probably isn't true, but there's one point I'd like to see addressed further. The first author says that, "The name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews compiled by Iran's Ministry of the Interior." I have no idea exactly what that means, but the author asserts it as if it is an uncontested fact. Oh well, even if it is true, it really only matters to armchair psychologists. I'm not sure the Jews of Israel really care if the guy who wants to "wipe them off the map" is himself Jewish or not.
Posted by EE at 2:43 PM
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
On the other hand, there are conservatives who want to imagine that there is no problem at all within the modern conservative movement. No matter how often Glenn Beck says something transparently silly or Michael Savage does a Howard Dean impression, they can't be criticized because they're on the team. They say conservatives don't need to attract the center at all. We need to kick out the RINO's (i.e. anyone who doesn't agree precisely on every point with your particular brand of conservatism) and double down on Sarah Palin. This attitude is no more healthy than the first.
Obviously, a reasonable middle ground is needed between these two poles. I think Steven Hayward strikes a good balance in this piece. He discusses how the movement has always been balanced between its thinkers and doers, the philosophers and politicos. Right now, the balance appears to be heavy on the politicos, many of whom are...less thoughtful than one might hope. Some more good thoughts appear in the piece by John Derbyshire that Hayward links to in his article. Derb goes in for a little more hand-wringing than I'd like, but that's John Derbyshire. If he didn't believe we are all doomed, what would be the point in getting out of bed each day?
There is plenty of thoughtful, middlebrow conservatism out there. The symphony-conducting, happiness-extolling, honey-blogging Dennis Prager is my favorite example. But, for whatever reason, they're a much harder sell than the mud-throwers. This is true on both sides of the political spectrum. After all, Al Franken has his own Senate seat while Alan Colmes still needs ID when he uses his library card. I think a lot of it probably has to do with a 24/7 campaign cycle that leaves little time for reflection between "vital" battles. So support your local thinkers, not just the local doers. Maybe restoring the balance is possible. Or maybe Derb is right. Maybe We Are Doomed.
Posted by EE at 10:31 PM
When I read a story about a scientists who has "discovered" that we cannot model human evolution on modern apes because we didn't evolve from them, I feel the need to wonder why the story was written at all. Wasn't that Physical Anthropology, day 1, lesson 1? No one has ever thought that humans evolved from chimps. I'd say the reporter is showing scientific illiteracy, but the quotes from the smart guy involved seem to indicate that the reporter was reporting the story as the professor told it to him. Odd.
Posted by EE at 8:15 PM
Most conservatives are focusing on the "epic fail" aspect of Obama's mission to capture the 2016 Olympics for Chicago. Since massive events like the Olympics are difficult to organize, disruptive, and (at least in this case) not terribly popular with the locals, they are free to enjoy their schadenfreude without having to feel guilty over America losing out on something of great value. However, that isn't what I find interesting about the fiasco. What I find interesting is the gratuitous nature of the rebuff of President Obama. After all, this isn't the jingoistic American cowboy George Bush being slapped in the face. Just as Bill Clinton was America's first black president, Obama was supposed to be America's first foreign president (not in the crazy "where's his birth certificate" kind of way, but in the "going around apologizing for America's behavior and kissing up to tinpot dictators until even the president of France tells you to grow a pair" kind of way). And yet America didn't even make the second round of voting. That's the IOC equivalent of giving the president an atomic wedgie. Couldn't they at least have kept America around for a few more votes to allow him to save face? Am I allowed to feel insulted on his behalf and have a little bipartisan moment here?
Posted by EE at 6:16 PM
Does this matter? On one level, I think it's a great thing. After all, most of these colleges are here because black students couldn't get a fair shake at other educational institutions. Now that talented black students have the same access to other colleges as everyone else, these schools no longer stand as symbols of unequal opportunities. On the other hand, every time a society loses something unique, no matter its practical value, it loses a part of itself. Hmm...
Posted by EE at 6:10 PM