Friday, October 31, 2008

Is Ed Whelan Insane?

Wait. Don't answer that. I withdraw the question.

Why is he wondering why Doug Kmiec wouldn't acquire a judgeship under an Obama administration. Well, um, maybe it's because they agree on almost nothing. Oh, except for the idea that John McCain would be a lousy President. I don't think Kmiec was waiting with bated breath.

P.S. And a big Waaah for Mark Levin, who is also in need of some very serious confrontive therapy.

Happy Halloween

In honor of both the day and our war dead, one of my favorite Thomas Hardy poems: "Channel Firing".

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgement-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worm drew back into the mounds,

The glebe cow drooled. Till God cried, "No;
It's gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

"All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christ├ęs sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

"That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them's a blessed thing,
For if it were they'd have to scour
Hell's floor for so much threatening. . . .

"Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need)."

So down we lay again. "I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,"
Said one, "than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!"

And many a skeleton shook his head.
"Instead of preaching forty year,"
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
"I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer."

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

Obama Does Not Support The Fairness Doctrine

Charles Krauthammer, whose reputation as a knee-jerk dolt would be unrivaled were it not for the continued vitality of Robert Kagan, furnishes all good Americans with another characteristically over the top screed titled "Further Left than LBJ", in which he asserts that Obama is, well, further left than LBJ. Of course, they said the same thing about Clinton. And Dukakis. In fact, they used to say the same thing about McCain (and after hearing his mortgage proposal, I think they may have a point). I wonder why McGovern gets so little respect? Used to be he was the high water mark for Democratic Leftiness.

Anyway, I'm just not really in the mood to do a Full Fathom Five Fisking of Krauthammer's many unfounded claims and exaggerations. But one did leap out at me - the notion that the election of Barack Obama will mean a return to the "Fairness Doctrine". Now, the so-called Fairness Doctrine truly is an odious concept, and I would be very disappointed to see any former lecturer in Constitutional Law support it. So does Obama? In a word, no.

Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters," press secretary Michael Ortiz said in an e-mail to B&C late Wednesday.

"He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible," Ortiz added. "That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets."

Thus Obama supports many other measures, all of which are debatable on their own merits. However, they lack a certain soundbite quality. Nonetheless Krauthammer, never one to feel overly hemmed in by the facts, simply makes up a policy position and ascribes it to Obama. Hey, it's worth a try.

Krauthammer. A delightful name for a delightful man. Sounds rather like a guest at one of Jay Gatsby's parties, doesn't it?

P.S. Jesse Walker has a pretty even-handed treatment of this topic.

Let's Get The Day Started Right

Let's forget all of this nonsense about how cute Sarah Palin is and take a look at a genuine hottie....the pro-Russian Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko. God knows we don't want to let either John McCain or William Kristol within a hundred yards of her or they're going to give away the store.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

007 Yeast?

Interesting article in today's NY Times about a start-up brewery coming out of Brooklyn. I was especially intrigued by the properties of the yeast.

If there’s a unifying character among the various Sixpoint beers, he said, it would arise from “the positive attitudes of the people who work here.” Or it could be the house strain of yeast, a fast-acting agent called 007 that quickly ferments the sugars in the malt, yielding potent brews, and then settles out easily when it has done its work, so there is no need to filter the beers for clarity.

Now, this is a product that I could use. I wonder if anyone could tell me of a commercially available strain of yeast with similar properties?

Crittenden on Palin

Beautifully written, oddly moving piece by Danielle Crittenden a/k/a Mrs. David Frum. Maybe I just relate because my Dad was also a newpaper guy sans college degree.

However, I also think she touches on some of the reasons why women have responded so poorly to the Palin gambit. I truly believe that women wan't to succeed on the merits of their cases, not on the basis of some type of flagrant tokenism.

Joe The Plumber v. The Aztec Mummy

In the event that further evidence of the intellectual deterioration of the once feared Republican Party was necessary, I point you to Ace Of Spades who takes the line that the Party should draft Joe The Plumber as a candidate for office. Personally, I think Lindsey Lohan would be an even better choice, just as a matter of demographics, but de gustibus non est disputandum and all that.

Should they unleash The Mighty Joe upon us, the Democrats will have little choice but to dig deep into their bench and draft the Aztec Mummy, who has more Hispanic appeal and cultural cachet, and who is indisputably stronger on defense.

P.S. Why is it that every time I hear the phrase "Joe The Plumber", I start to hear the Bowie song "Joe The Lion".

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Larry Kudlow Is An Idiot

Not that you didn't know that. But

The corporate tax rate should be slashed from 35 percent to less than 25 percent, including capital-gains. (Corporations, let’s not forget, don’t pay taxes. Only individuals do, since business costs are passed along to consumers.)

Whew. That's a relief. Guess I didn't need to fuck around with all those courses in Federal Taxation after all. Will the last lawyer or CPA please turn out the lights? Riddle me this, Batman -if the State can't shake the corporations down how come the corps all have such heavy tax departments? How come they generate all of this case law? If they never pay anything why should we care what the rate is? Oh, right, I forgot. The ultimate price is paid by the consumer. Hey, that's good ol' Larry for you. Always looking out for the little guy.

What an asshole. Must be hitting the pipe again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Man The Ramparts

This seizure by Steve Beshear, the creepy Governor of Kentucky, the kind of move that ought to be widely opposed by the left, the right, and by everyone who wants the internet to thrive and develop. Quite aside from the fact that this is precisely the sort of situation that lies within the ambit of the commerce clause,as Radley Balko's article sort of highlights, upholding this boneheaded ruling will open up the internet to just about any idiotic legislation that any State legislature cares to throw out there. Obscenity, sure, but also a crazy-quilt of laws respecting indecency, defamation, name it. Very Bad News.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Are The Polls All Over The Place?

You know it drives you nuts, so do yourself a favor and read Nate Silver's fascinating Jukebox Jury round-up of the various major pollsters and the strengths and weaknesses of their various methodologies.

Monday, October 20, 2008

God Bless You, Levi Stubbs

Another Superstar leaves the room. Personally, I never understood why The Temptations got all the attention while The Four Tops were around.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"The Gingrich Revolution In Reverse And On Steroids"

In an admirable and ambitious attempt to cement his reputation as a fool and a hack, David Brooks turns up today dreading the free-spending ways of an impending Democratic government. This sudden conversion to deficit-hawk certainly represents a Road To Damascus style epiphany for Mr. Brooks, as prior to this he (and his fellow "national greatness" conservatives) demonstrated a blithe unconcern or even contempt for fiscal discipline.

Many people thought that the last eight years already represented the high-water mark for "the Gingrich revolution in reverse and on steroids". He warns of "big government ahead". Gee, you don't think they'll do anything crazy, like nationalize the banking system, do you?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Frum Is Fuming

Pretty enjoyable high-dudgeon. He doesn't take being called a fellow-traveler by the likes of K-Lo laying down. I'm a little surprised that he wasn't more prepared for the predictable blowback from his critique of Palin.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ben Porritt Takes It Back

Forget all of that BS about McCain calming down the ugly mob. All of that is inoperative. Obama's back to being a terrorist again, according to McCain flack Ben Porritt on MSNBC. This is a double winner for McCain as he gets to look statesmanlike and call John Lewis names, while using Palin and his campaign staff to carry on with the usual revolting business.

I have only one answer to this crap, and it is written on's page today in big blue letters: 320 Electoral Votes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

How Now, Brown Cow?

Toldja So:

When the White House brought out its $700 billion rescue plan two weeks ago, its sheer size was meant to soothe the global financial system, restoring trust and confidence. Three days after the plan was approved, it looks like a pebble tossed into a churning sea.

I Had No Reason To Be Over-Optimistic....

....but when the Red Sox win we can stand bad weather. Now, is it not reasonable to assume an Obama victory as well?

Disgusting And Vile

If nothing that I have said discourages anyone from voting McCain, then read this.

Nostalgia Came Early

While nothing is in the bag, it would appear that the handwriting is on the wall as far as this Presidential election is concerned. So I can't resist the temptation to revisit one of my fave virals of the season.

Dan Murdock

I am saddened to see that Dan Murdock is stepping down as OBA counsel. While I have little reason to be fond of the Oklahoma Bar Association, in my experience Dan was very fair-minded and was often helpful.

As a friend of mine said when the allegations broke, "You need to pay the lady before you bite her, Dan."

Maybe someday he and I and Judge Harris can all sit down and discuss the unfairness of things. We're not inviting Judge Thompson, though....ya gots to have some standards, after all.

The Mendacity of John Sullivan

I can hardly contain my nausea at John Sullivan's shameless commercial extolling his thriftiness before the ink is even dry on the banking bailout - even Inhofe had the decency to vote against it. I won't even get into his support for the "off-budget" conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. His claims to fiscally conservative credentials are the biggest sham since Potemkin villages.

Just Thinkin'

Andrew Sullivan points to a thought-provoking article on "metacognition"(or the practice of thinking about the way one engages in the act of thinking - sometimes known as second-guessing, in my opinion) and John McCain. One is reminded of Hamlet feeling "sicklied o'er by the pale cast of thought".
Mr. Sullivan takes the position that a little indecisiveness is a small price to pay if the alternative is to follow McCain's Clockwork Orange philosophy. "Suddenly, I viddied that thinking was for the gloopy ones, and that the oomny ones use like, inspiration and what Bog sends."

Black Monday?

Not quite. Not yet. For the week, we are "only" down about ten percent. In the 1987 crash the market lost a little more than twenty-two percent of it's value. However, the Fed boys are surely, and rightfully, concerned by the thought that the Great Crash of '29 was preceeded by a week of almost equally dramatic drops in market value. The Fed's announcement respecting liquidity today is clearly their attempt to rally the Mob, like Richard Whitney's famous walk in 1929. Of course, they probably also remember that Whitney's effort ultimately failed and that he himself eventually became known less as "Wall Street Financier" and more as "model prisoner".

Plus They Were Exposed To Gamma Rays

The bizarre conservative sexualizing of all things Palin apparantly extends to hubby Todd. Here's Steve Sailer, revealing a hitherto unsuspected aspect of his personality. Who knew he dug rough trade? Talk about a bear hug:
Consider, for example, Palin’s husband Todd. What kind of man could be married to a woman so hormonally exuberant, with her dual archetypes straight out of a Camille Paglia reverie: half Alaskan Amazon, half Venus of Willendorf? Exactly the kind you’d expect: he works as both a North Slope oilfield roughneck and a salmon fisherman. He’s also won the state’s snowmobile championship, the 2,000-mile Tesoro Iron Dog race, four times. He only finished fourth this year because he had to ride the last 400 miles with a broken arm after being thrown 70 feet. Did I mention he’s part Eskimo?
Eskimo. How exotic. Do you come here often?

Palin's Lie Du Jour

In Thursday night's debate, the Governor claimed to have supported Alaskan divestiture of Sudanese assets from the State portfolio. The Truth? Not so much.

What Would Cassius Do?

Truly gutless testimony today from Richard Fuld, the empty suit responsible for driving Lehman Bros. and a slice of the economy into the proverbial ditch. A few minutes after testifying that he stood ready to accept "full responsibility" for Lehman's utter failure, he refuses, in response to direct questions, to acknowledge that Lehman had either a liquidity problem or was overleveraged. Spare me the b-school rationalization, I beg you sir.

In the glory days of Rome, a disaster on this scale would have required suicide on the part of the malfeasant. Failing this, execution or assasination. In Carthage, they used to crucify their Generals after serious defeats. You want to talk about incentive bonuses? - Carthage had a doozy of a program. Next time you watch one of these wing-tip wearing barnacles bloviating on C-Span, try to visualize one of them screaming his lungs out on a cross-tree....I guarantee a smile.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Speaking Of Surrender....

....John Sullivan has announced that he will support the new version of the Bailout Bill when it comes before the House today.

What has changed? Well, the Bill itself is even worse than it was the first time around. This one is a true Christmas Tree, with presents for many new and different special interests in addition to the banking entities and hedge fund mangers that are the primary beneficiaries.

Since the only remaining reason to vote for a Republican is the fading hope that some of them will not be quite as complicit in expanding the deficit, everyone should be very comfortable voting for Georgiana Oliver in the upcoming election, as she will not be a whit more fiscally irresponsible than Mr. Sullivan as well as being more socially progressive.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Moment Of Debate Live-Blog

The White Flag Of Surrender? I thought Biden would do a tad better than this. Though she is very, very weak as well.

I Repeat, McCain Is Toast

McCain's fate hangs on three states.

ST. LOUIS — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) now must win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Minnesota in order to get enough electoral votes to win the presidency, his campaign says.

Those were considered swing states in 2000 and 2004, but George W. Bush lost them both times.

McCain is currently, and consistently, polling behind Obama in all three states.

Even more interestingly, the article states that even a win in one of these states means that McCain must still win ten votes from Nevada, Colorado, or New Hampshire. While all three of these states are close, McCain continues to run behind there as well.

For my money, Pennsylvania is beyond McCain's reach and has been for quite a while.

All of these numbers are making the very large assumption that McCain can hold on to Florida and Ohio, states where he is - all together now! - currently polling behind Obama.

Death Of The Music Industry, Part 1,986

Apple threat to close iTunes looms.

Guess I Shouldn't Be Surprised

Bizarrely, for someone who comments on Due Process issues so frequently, Ramesh Ponnuru seems unaware that references to the "Liberty Clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment (as distinct from the "Property Clause") are normal elements in Contitutional discourse.

Please Make It Stop

God help me, I can't stop myself.

The Sarah Palin Interview Generator

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Numbers

Today's spate of polling appears to indicate very bad news for the McCain campaign. It may be a bit early to say that his numbers have collapsed....though it sort of looks that way...but it can't be spun in a good way.

There is still a lot of game left, of course, but McCain is in the fourth quarter and has very poor field position as well as being behind on points.

He Must Read The Same Papers As Sarah Palin

"If there was a Democrat congress, spending would be three or four times what it is now."

Tom Delay, on MSNBC just now.

Sanity On Afghanistan

Big h/t to Andrew Sullivan for this. Everyone should read the whole thing, but the part that is the attention-grabber is an alleged quote from the British Ambassador to Afghanistan:

"Within five or ten years from now... (it would be positive) if Afghanistan were governed by an acceptable dictator... This outlook is the only realistic one and we should prepare our public opinion to accept it... In the short term we should dissuade the American presidential candidates from getting more bogged down in Afghanistan.... The American strategy is destined to fail."

My fascination with Afghan affairs constitutes something of a long term avocation on my part, and I couldn't agree more. Regrettably Obama is, if anything, even more enthusiastic about upping the ante in Afghanistan than McCain. We need to start planning towards withdrawing our forces now.