Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Which of these is creepier...

I like children singing.

When they do it well, like Bianca Ryan, Will Dutton or Connie Talbot it can be very moving.

Or it can be a little creepy.

Like these.

We're Gonna Change The World

Tomorrow Belongs To Me

UPDATE [The Monster]: That first link appears broken, but Reason TV has this:

UPDATE 2 [TM]: Found a good copy of the first video. Don't be surprised if, like Burning Down the House, this one gets pulled, too.

Win one for the Gipper

Watching how the MainScream Media has gone completely in the tank to push their agenda has really beaten me down the last few days. I just heard ABC's Jake Tapper pin the failure to pass the bailout bill squarely on the Republican congressmen who voted "no", despite the fact that 95 Democrats voted against it, including many committee chairmen and vice-chairmen who owe their positions to Speaker Pelosi.

She spoke right before the vote, framing it as the fix for eight years of failed Republican policies. Maybe some of the Republicans who heard that decided that if the bill is a repudiation of their party, then the majority could damn well carry their own water. Maybe that was her plan all along. It really doesn't matter, because whatever happens, the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will tell us it's Republicans' fault. It really gets depressing knowing that most people only get to hear one side.

Then I listened to this. I feel better now. We won't win the war of ideas on the broadcast TV news programs. We'll win it around the kitchen tables. We can't do anything for the kool-aid drinkers; we'll have to show the fair-minded people how the news is being manipulated and get them motivated to make sure that it doesn't pay off any more.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Burning Down the House

Our regular Saturday feature of James Burke showing how we got here is, uh, suspended this week, so that we can bring you a more urgent video about, well, how we got here:
Watching Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd are in charge of the committees that are supposed to fix this mess, and instead they're trying to skim off money for their buddies in ACORN, La Raza, and other "community organizations".
Help spread the word
UPDATE: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Warner Music Group"
UPDATE 2: Found another copy. It'll be up until it gets squashed. Hope they make one without the music.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Bill writes about the current financial crisis, through the prism of his own recent health crisis, at NRO

Big Time Bill and the Aussie PM

Bill interviews John Howard, former Prime Minister of Austrailia, on Pajamas TV (free sample for non subscribers)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Day the Universe Changed: 7

The Day the Universe Changed, Episode 7.
(Click on the image to play — it will open in a separate window/tab)

Prior Episodes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Connections Episodes:1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Connections II: 1-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7-8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20
Connections III: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Undefended City

Bill has another post up at NRO, entitled The Undefended City

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Olbermann Hypocrisy

From Olbermann Watch:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Presidents Aren't Governors

I recently watched some talking heads discussing how Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been able to do a better job of controlling wasteful spending at the state level than she and Senator John McCain can hope to accomplish if the latter is elected President. That's because she has (along with many other governors) a "Line Item Veto".

The Alaska Legislature has sent her spending bills, which she has returned with funding amounts scratched out, and reduced levels written in the margins. Her vetoes have then been sustained, making them law. Presidents don't have that power, and the conventional wisdom is that it would require a Constitutional amendment to allow a President to undo the log-rolling that routinely pollutes otherwise reasonable legislation.

I don't think it's necessary, or even advisable, to amend the Constitution in this particular respect. As distasteful as I may find some compromises made by Congress to get a bill passed, it could be dangerous to allow a deal to be forged, only to abrogate that deal by means of a selective veto of one part of the package. That would allow language to become law that wouldn't get a majority of each house without the balancing provision(s). Instead, I propose a mechanism, entirely within the current wording of the Constitution, that allows a President to exercise leadership in trimming the ornaments from "Christmas tree" bills.

Let's begin by examining how the Constitution describes the veto and override process (Art. I, Sec. 7, Par. 2):

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Without changing a word of this, each house of Congress can, on its own initiative, pass an amendment to its own internal rules providing the following:
Whenever a Bill shall have been vetoed by the President of the United States, with his statement of objections thereto including one or more suggested amendments, and the vote in this house to override that veto fails to receive the requisite two-thirds, the question before this house shall be whether to approve the bill as amended thereby. Such question shall be debatable but not amendable.
If there are technical objections to this wording, I'm sure that Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid (or their successors) can assign the appropriate resources to work out better wording. Whatever the final form may take, this proposal gives the President a better shot at throwing out the bathwater of pork, while preserving the baby of genuinely good legislation.

Can we get sponsors in each chamber of Congress to champion this cause? Will Senators Obama and McCain agree to co-sponsor the rules change in the Senate before the election determines which gets to take advantage of it?
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full post.]

Maybe we can make Washington more like Juneau.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sorry, Charlie

When ABC's Charlie Gibson interrogated Gov. Palin about foreign policy experience, he asked a question that seemed wrong to me when I first heard it. Thanks to "The Great One" Mark Levin, I now know just how wrong it was. In his desire to show Palin to be unready for the world stage, he displayed an ignorance I thought impossible for a journalist of his experience.

Levin's transcript highlights this question:

GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?

We didn't hear this part of the exchange:

PALIN: There in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of other countries.

GIBSON: And all governors deal with trade delegations.

PALIN: Right.

GIBSON: Who act at the behest of their governments.

PALIN: Right, right.

GIBSON: I’m talking about somebody who’s a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
Charlie fails to realize that the US is exceptional in combining the roles of Head of State and Head of Government in a single office (President).

Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., but cannot negotiate on behalf of her dominions. For that, one must talk to Gordon Brown, Stephen Harper, Kevin Rudd, and Helen Clark, respectively.

Bundespräsident Horst Köhler is the Head of State of Germany, but Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel is the one who shows up at G8 meetings to have her shoulders rubbed by George W. Bush (which is exactly the same as Bill Clinton getting a BJ from an intern).
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full post.]

Charlie, when you want to trap someone in a gotcha game with them misunderstanding your use of poorly-defined terms such as "The Bush Doctrine", you really need to use well-defined terms correctly yourself.

The Day the Universe Changed: 6

The Day the Universe Changed, Episode 6.
(Click on the image to play — it will open in a separate window/tab)

Prior Episodes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Connections Episodes:1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Connections II: 1-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7-8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20
Connections III: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Friday, September 12, 2008

Iowahawk: Wile E. Reporter

Iowahawk regales us with the tale of Wile E. Reporter

I really have to hand it to you this time, Wile E., you brilliant telegenic devil! After I close these Troopergates, that pesky pentacostal Palin will be trapped helplessly in Scandal Canyon... and buried beneath an avalanche of outrage! While I collect my Pulitzer! Bwahahaha!

Say, what's in this evidence box?







Sarah Palin (Hockimomus Alaskus)
I have come to give myself up for an interview on account of I cannot fight no more against such genius.

Just go read the whole thing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

Watch this video (1:30 long)

It's not as eloquent as one of Bill's essays, but it doesn't need words to make the point.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Troopergate - the alternate view

I'll be proudly voting Palin/McCain this November, and I wish no good thing for the Obama campaign, but I've been shocked and disappointed at how badly the Obama campaign has handled Palin's "Troopergate."

Instead of suggesting that Palin improperly tried to get her former brother in law fired, they should use it to point out that Palin isn't effective enough to do the job. After all, the guy still has his job. After his own department found that he'd drunk alcohol while driving his patrol car, tasered his son and threatened to kill Palin and her father, he got a 5 day suspension.

I mean, if Obama (or Biden) had a cop/ex-brother in law threatening to kill Obama's family, the guy would be dead and stuffed in a barrel at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

'Cause that's the Chicago way.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Day the Universe Changed: 5

The Day the Universe Changed, Episode 5.
(Click on the image to play — it will open in a separate window/tab)

Prior Episodes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Connections Episodes:1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Connections II: 1-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7-8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20
Connections III: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Friday, September 5, 2008

A new essay from Bill - at National Review Online!

Proud of the GOP

"For the first time, I feel like we deserve to win more than they deserve to lose."

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Combat Pilot, theTar Baby, and the Skyhook

A lot of people are talking about Senator McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Why couldn't he take the "safe" course, and give us Romney, or Pawlenty? They don't understand how he thinks. McCain is a combat pilot. I can think of no better description than Bill Whittle's:

They are swordsmen whose survival depends on remaining on the offensive… that is to say, they are men who survive because they can (and have) initiated 16-to-1 fights because they possess the confidence – actually, the untrammeled ego – to know they will win.
Maverick got inside The One's OODA Loop, got tone, and fired a heat-seeking Barracuda missile. Any evasive action Team Obama tries to take now will be meaningless.

If they attack her "lack of experience", it reflects back on Obama's own: She has years of executive experience in her family fishing operation, as well as municipal and state governments. Obama's role has always been legislative, not executive, even when he was chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, there were other board members to help decide which politically-correct happy-crap programs would get millions of dollars nominally for the betterment of education. But he'd really rather we not talk about that.

It is one thing to be one of many on a board or in the Senate, where a single person's lapse in judgement or character is unlikely to result in bad legislation. Most bills don't come down to a single-vote majority, or Vice President Cheney would have to spend a lot of time in the Senate chamber. Why, it's even possible to vote "present" and simply allow the other members to determine the course of action. But when you're in an executive position, whether it be running a small business, mayor of a small town, governor of a state, or President of the United States, it's another matter entirely. As a famous small businessman, who as Vice President had to move into the Oval Office when his running mate died, put it: "The buck stops here."

The Founding Fathers were thinking about that difference when they placed special restrictions on who is allowed to serve as President (and therefore VP). Even when I thought Governor Schwarzenegger was a conservative (despite his marriage to a member of the royal family of American Leftism), I opposed amending the constitution to allow someone like him to sit where the buck stops. It's too easy to imagine a scenario where he might show favoritism for Austria or the EU, or perhaps worse, bend over backwards to avoid that perception, and either way adversely affect the best interests of the USA.

That is why the "Obama's a Muslim!" meme has such legs. Of course we know he's a Christian; we know all about his church. Too much, apparently. (Is there any room left under that bus?) We also know that he spent the formative years of his life being taught in Indonesian schools and mosques, where American values might not be stressed as much as they are in Idaho or Alaska. The concern is not so much about his religion, but that he may be a "cultural Muslim", who soaked up, at an impressionable age, so much "Death to America" from the imams (not to mention his mother's radical friends), that he doesn't see anything bad about people who literally tried to bring that death upon US Government officials.

That's why we aren't supposed to talk about his friends or his middle name. The "Palin's a fundamentalist-evangelical, tongue-talking, snake-handling creationist" line I'm already seeing isn't good for Obama; he wants us not to think about what was preached in the mosques he attended as a child (which, one must keep in mind, was not his choice), and the church he chose to attend as an adult.

When she caught Gov. Murkowski's cronies' corruption, and the machine stonewalled her, she resigned her job and ran to take his, even though he's a Republican. Obama plugged into the Daley Democrat machine and worked it to its fullest. The electorate is sick of the Me-Too Republicans who campaigned as small-government reformers, that would cut government spending, only to outspend the Democrats once they got in power. I'd say they've acted like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors, who generally only blow their own money, not billions of others'. By bringing in the SP ("Shore Patrol" or "Sarah Palin"), he's making it clear that having an (R) next to your name won't keep you out of the brig; he's campaigning against those corrupt Republicans as much as he is against the Democrats.

For decades, every time Maverick reached across the aisle and angered the GOP base, the MSM played it that he put principle above party. Palin's story of cleaning the Augean stables that were Alaska state politics just reinforces what voters have repeatedly been told about McCain. Even the "Troopergate" (don't they think people remember the original scandal of that name?) controversy is a no-win: either people believe her actions in replacing the state's top cop were just part of her willingness to fire people she thought were underperforming and/or abusing their authority, or they think she tried to protect her family from an abusive ex-husband who admits using a Taser on his pre-teen stepson (while insisting he did so with the boy's consent). Attacking her for that could hurt with women voters. Defending the actions of an alleged bad cop can't play well with the Rodney King demographic, either.

If they go after her for lack of an elite education (she is a University of Idaho graduate), they take the Seven Houses off the table. It undermines Obama's packaging as the agent of change; like the sitting President his supporters despise, he has degrees from two different Ivy League institutions. In fact, a majority of Presidential nominees from both major parties since Carter (the last Naval Academy graduate to be nominated) have at least one Ivy diploma. Only Dole (Washburn University, Topeka: MIAA), Mondale (University of Minnesota: Big Ten), Reagan (Eureka, IL: IIAC), and McCain (Navy) have missed out. Who represents "Change"? While we're at it, let's not talk about the candidates for President. Let's look at Democratic Vice-Presidents who became President due to the death of the latter in office. Lyndon Johnson graduated from Southwest Texas State Teachers' College, and Harry Truman never earned any college degree at all. So no looking down your noses at an Idaho Vandal, please. Between Sarah and her husband Todd, the Toby Keith Democrats should come over in droves.

In honor of the late, great Tony Snow, I'll say that Palin is a Tar Baby. The more they try to mess with her, the more they get trapped. In honor of the late, great Ronald Reagan (who was once a sportscaster) she's also the Skyhook. It took 19 years for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's opponents to realize that there is no way to defend that shot, from the moment it left his fingers it was headed downward toward the basket; touching the ball was goaltending, an automatic two points, statistically recorded as a made basket. Touching him as well just provided an "extra point" attempt. Only in his final season did his opponents stop trying to block it; allowing his season field-goal percentage to fall below .500 for only time in his career.

To his credit, Senator Obama seems to have recognized this within hours, and repudiated some of the attacks his own campaign reflexively launched. But many of his supporters (including those in the MSM that will be forced to do the dirty work the campaign itself can't be seen doing) just won't be able to help themselves. Whenever the compliant media asks questions about Palin, it will only hurt Obama. They just can't resist the Tar Baby, any more than most basketball players can resist blocking a shot they can jump high enough to reach. Can we expect Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews to be more disciplined than a professional athlete?

[And now that I've called her a Tar Baby and mentioned black men in the same paragraph, twice in a row, that must make me a racist. I denounce myself preemptively, to save leftists the trouble.]

And you can ask the girls who played with and against her what happens if you just leave Sarah Barracuda an open lane to the goal.

[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full post.]

Maverick is a Musketeer, and he's not going to play it safe. No "prevent defense" trying not to lose. Go big... or go home.