Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reason.tv - Worst. Decade. Ever.

Making the rounds on the intertubes...



Well, maybe not worst ever, but it's up there.

Favorite quote: "The sad thing is, she might be smarter than Joe Biden."

In other news, there's still some time to vote on my "Worst Media Malpractice of 2009" web poll over on PAWatercooler.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Damn it, Janet!

Jonah's right, Janet Napolitano should start looking for new work. Sure, an underwear bomber* probably would have slipped through just about any airport screening, but her assertion that "the system worked" after the fact was absurd.

Add it to her other gaffes, including her assertion that the 9/11 attackers entered the US through the Canadian border, and her memo on the danger posed by disgruntled veterans who have fallen in with right-wingers, and her continued insistance that DHS is essentially a clean-up crew more than a preventive agency.

Janet Napolitano is a (wo)man caused disaster all her own, and she should be scuttled.

* (It has been suggested that the underwear bomber be called the "eunuch-bomber", a play on UNIBOMer. I support this designation, if only for the rhetorical demasculinization of individuals eager to see 72 virgins.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nat'l GOP Barks up Wrong Tree With Carney

... PAGOP gets it right.

Sure, the report that Congressman Chris Carney (D-PA) was being courted by the national Republicans caught my eye. I didn't put a lot of stock in it, but then again, these are wild and crazy times.

But it didn't make sense. Carney was a true-blue Democrat. He wasn't on my list of High-ACU scoring Democrats. His district may be R+8, but that in and of itself isn't enough to switch a guy to the minority. Much to nobody's surprise, Carney says he's staying Dem.



Carney's ACU score is 24. That's not even close to being in Republican territory. A switch can't be made merely out of electoral fear, there needs to be an ideological component too.

It is rare that I complement the PAGOP for failing to take action, but in this case they had it right. If anybody in PA might be switched, it would be Tim Holden (bottom of my list, in an R+6 district), but even that's a pretty big stretch.

Did anybody in DC even bother to think about the ideological component, as I did in slightly more detail over at DPUD? Has anybody inside the beltway had a chit-chat with Congressmen Taylor, Boren, or Davis?

Anyone? Bueller?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Meta-shock

The strategy seems clear enough -- pass something, anything, as a "starter home" with a "good foundation", and expand it later. Never mind the overwhelming public disapproval of the bill, such things are transient. The ratchet of statism seems to turn only one way.

This, Howard Dean does not understand. They are killing health care in order to "save" it. Dean's right, a bunch of mandates without any expanded competition mechanisms or realistic price controls is a recipe for disaster. Within a decade the public will be begging for socialized health insurance -- that's what Dean and Kos don't understand.

Kos thinks independent voters went for Obama and the Democrats in 2008 because they wanted health care reform (specifically the Dem version) and a wrap-up of Afghanistan. Kos is delusional. Base voters like himself may have voted that way, but swing voters were focused on the economy. There's this fantasy among Dem partisans that Hillarycare became an electoral disaster for them because it wasn't passed. No, it was a disaster because it was attempted.

Ben Nelson? Bought on the cheap. The "cornhusker kickback" deal will eventually vanish. Senator Conrad said as much on FNS when he said they could not bind future Congresses to such a deal.

Oh, and thank you, ABC News, or not even reporting the "kickback" on that the evening the deal was struck, and running with the abortion language compromise as the catalyst. Obviously it was necessary to report on the epic global warming snowfall that struck the east coast for an extra 40 seconds rather than report accurately on the most significant piece of legislation in a generation.

I'm oddly shocked and not shocked by this turn of events. I'm shocked that the Democrats would have such contempt for public opinion as to completely overrule it, with utter disregard to their 2010 and 2012 electoral prospects. And yet, it's always been the M.O. of the hard Left to force "progress" and wait for social re-normalization. Why am I surprised?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NYGOP needs better than Lazio

In 2000, Rick Lazio ran one of the worst statewide campaigns ever. Sure, he got a late start because of Rudy, but I don't think the extra time would have mattered. He lost control of his image/message and ran lackluster ads. He was beaten 55% to 43% by Hillary Clinton, highly controversial and not even a New Yorker.

Now, he's polling below the unpopular Gov. Paterson. Cuomo eats Lazio for breakfast. Why would NY Republicans put this guy up for office again?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quote of the Day: Beelzebub

From a political focus group:

One telling moment came after Hart asked each voter to write the name that comes to mind when they think of Congress. Bill, a 62-year-old retired automobile-industry executive and independent who backed Obama, wrote "Satan." When Hart asked why, Bill answered, "Because I wasn't sure of the correct spelling of 'Beelzebub.' " Now that's intensity.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Roundup: Rubio, Acorn Cookies, Nobel

(1) Rubio, say it ain't so! He would have taken the stimulus money.

(2) Obama's Nobel acceptance speech was one of the better ones he's given -- he even spoke a few truths I thought Democrats were incapable of uttering -- but (so-called) conservatives proclaiming it the bestest speech evar ought to slow down. It had its faults.

(3) Behold the arrogance of The Won -- ACORN cookies served at the White House:



(4) Cute dog. Shame that the state won't allow this:




(5) 'Tis the Season:

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Geekery - Filtering Twitter with Yahoo Pipes

I follow a few Twitter feeds that give me a lot of repetitive false positives. I still want to follow them, but needed to cut back the clutter.

(1) Create dummy twitter account (for example, "custom_stuff_for_me")
(2) Create a Yahoo Pipe that imports the RSS feeds of the twitter accounts you intend to follow/filter.
(3) Add a filter module to your Yahoo Pipe that blocks some of the false positives.
(4) Make your Yahoo Pipe public.
(5) Use a service like twitterfeed to suck the RSS from your Yahoo Pipe and push it into your dummy twitter account.
(6) Tweak the twitterfeed settings to push the maximum number of RSS items into your dummy twitter account.
(7) With your main twitter account, follow your dummy account (and un-follow the accounts you were trying to filter).

You're done. Adjust the filter on your Yahoo Pipe as needed.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Roundup: Economy/Porkulus edition

(1) By Jim Geraghty's reckoning, the Allentown slice of the porkulus spent over $11 million on various projects with no identifiable jobs created. "Hey, I think I spotted the problem with the economy! All of this money is being thrown around, but nobody's created any jobs with it!"

(2) The CEO of Emerson Electric Company is not liking what he's seeing coming out of Washington (emphasis added):
The federal government is "doing everything in [its] manpower [and] capability to destroy U.S. manufacturing," says David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric Co., in a presentation at the Baird 2009 Industrial Conference in Chicago Ill., on Nov. 11. In comments reported by Bloomberg, Farr added that companies will continue adding jobs in China and India because they are "places where people want the products and where the governments welcome you to actually do something. I am not going to hire anybody in the United States. I'm moving. They are doing everything possible to destroy jobs."

Farr cites Cap-&-Trade, the expensive but non-targeted stimulus, the debt, the deficit, inflationary monetary policy, Obamacare, and general taxation and regulation.

Emerson is an S&P-500 component and has a market capitalization of over $30-bn.

(h/t to Eddie at Doubleplusundead)

(3) Maybe that's why a majority of Americans want to cut their losses on the stimulus. Calls for a second stimulus (or third, depending on your count) will fall on deaf ears. (I seem to recall a certain Senate candidate who feels the same way.)

(4) Even youngsters are souring on Obama's policies, though they have yet to bail out on Obama himself. It's a start. (Translation for candidates: attack the policies, not Obama.)

(5) The return of the Misery Index does not bode well for Democrats, especially now that deflation has been transitioning into inflation.

(cross-posted)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

West Point Reaction

I was somehow under the impression this was supposed to be a strategy speech. There was an overt lack of specificity with respect to the military component, so I don't have sufficient information to assess whether this is more Counter-Intelligence or more Biden-esque Counter-Terrorism. Even the total force strength eluded us tonight because Obama is "confident" in an unspecified addition of further NATO strength. What convenient omissions.

As to what actually was in the speech, Obama once again displayed his lack of strategic comprehension. A key theme was an unwillingness to project commitment. "Our security is at stake", but by the way, we'll start pulling out in 18 months. He didn't even bother to hedge. And we wouldn't want to commit too much in the way of resources, because we've got domestic issues like healthcare to screw up. The economy's taken a back seat to Obama's other priorities, but apparently defeating Al Qaeda is below even that. In his obligatory Bush-blaming segment, he failed to see the link between the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts. Al Qaeda shifted its focus to Iraq, then shifted back again to Afghanistan as Iraq slipped from its grasp. This fundamental dynamic is lost on Obama.

Another failed strategic formulation was Obama's idea that there had been "no delay" and nothing held back during his extensive policy review period. So what? While Obama refused to articulate a commitment to the fight, and while the question started as whether there would be a troop surge, AQ stepped up its game. AQ was being strategic, trying to force us into losing our resolve. Go figure.

I could go on, but I have other stuff I need to do. I mostly felt the need to circle back on the previous Biden post.

(I'm still amused at his more-or-less native pronunciation of Pok-ee-stahn and Toll-ee-bahn, but his unmistakably American pronunciation of Afghanistan. Every language reserves the right to pronounce foreign names in its own way and with its own inflection, so why should American English be any different? But mix-and-match is just ridiculous.)