Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TPaw Facebook Townhall Impressions

Tim Pawlenty's Facebook Townhall was by most measures a success. Of course, there was a notable tech glitch.  The Facebook chat didn't integrate -- a little embarrassing for a "Facebook" townhall -- but users had the option to log in with Twitter, AIM, or MySpace personae. Yay for redundancy.

Among potential 2012 candidates, Pawlenty best fits the archetype of "conservative with a moderate voice".  In this time of extremely heated political rancor, Pawlenty has the rare ability to defuse loaded language and calmly acknowledge the validity of the underlying sentiments.  He exercised this skill on several voter-submitted questions this evening, and coolly but bluntly enumerated the many ways in which the Federal government is overreaching.

Pawlenty's good instincts and understanding of the underlying structure of the electorate were on display.  The internet creates the illusion of intimacy, video all the more so, even in an audience of over a thousand.  This was a very agreeable image for the soft-spoken Governor.

Expect other candidates to replicate this forum in the future.


A trip down memory lane... blatantly ripped off from Ace.

Pro-Reid Rally Scrambles The Truth

So yeah, it was the Reid supporters throwing eggs at the Tea Party bus, then lying to the cops by blaming the Tea Party folks.

The question I have is why would anybody bother to rally for Harry Reid?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In the year of our...what's that now?

Is there no end to political correctness?

Some students at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, were put off by the phrase, "In the year of our Lord" on their diplomas.

Seriously? At Trinity University, of all places. The institution may be effectively secularized by now, but it's... you know... TRINITY.  I mean, that's the whole Anno Domini business, a graceful expression which is of course being slowly bled from the culture in favor of the clumsy "CE".

And while I'm on the topic, I have a bone to pick with the "CE" folks. I get the impetus behind the "CE/BCE" designation, but I'm irked by the "C".  Why the "Common Era"?  The calendar was explicitly designed as a Christian calendar.  Nothing special happened on or around the year 1 CE except in the Christian context.  "CE" is the Christian Era, and that should not be a controversial or divisive statement.

(h/t Gabriel Malor)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Will pork spending cut the other way?

Last May, in the wake of the stimulus vote and Arlen Specter's defection from the GOP, Grover Norquist offered this game-changing observation (bold added):

But what changed, and this is what all Republicans are going to have to learn because it’s new, is that spending became a vote-moving issue. It has not been that before. They don’t call them spending revolts; they call them tax revolts. They take place when the taxes go up, but the taxes never go up in anticipation of spending. Spending usually goes up first.

I don’t think what you learn is whether we should or shouldn’t be primarying this sort of person or that sort of person. What we learn is there’s a new issue—there’s a new issue that can end your political career.

As the 2010 elections get into full swing, we must ask ourselves if this is still true.

I come to this question today through the The Dallas Morning News report on a conservative district held by a Democrat who has historically kept his seat through pork projects.  Can this persist?  The answer, come November, will be fascinating either way.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quote of the Day: Palin vs the Elites

 Norman Podhoretz in the WSJ: "In Defense of Sarah Palin":

But how do we explain the hostility to Mrs. Palin felt by so many conservative intellectuals? It cannot be differences over policy. For as has been pointed out by Bill Kristol—one of the few conservative intellectuals who has been willing to say a good word about Mrs. Palin—her views are much closer to those of her conservative opponents than they are to the isolationists and protectionists on the "paleoconservative" right or to the unrealistic "realism" of the "moderate" Republicans who inhabit the establishment center.

Much as I would like to believe that the answer lies in some elevated consideration, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the same species of class bias that Mrs. Palin provokes in her enemies and her admirers is at work among the conservative intellectuals who are so embarrassed by her. When William F. Buckley Jr., then the editor of National Review, famously quipped that he would rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the combined faculties of Harvard and MIT, most conservative intellectuals responded with a gleeful amen. But put to the test by the advent of Sarah Palin, along with the populist upsurge represented by the Tea Party movement, they have demonstrated that they never really meant it.

(h/t Allahpundit)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Techie PSA - AVG bootable cd/usb

If you've ever had to try to clean up somebody's very nasty, virus-y computer, sometimes it can be almost impossible to do from within the operating system.  The latest and greatest spyware blocks all the typical scanning and cleaning software like Malwarebytes, AVG Anti-Virus, SuperAntiSpyware, and Spybot Search-&-Destroy.  When dealing with some unknown malware, the go-to solution is usually a system restore -- nuke the operating system from orbit.

AVG has released a bootable cd/usb solution that might make nuking the OS unnecessary.  In my experience, free bootable A/V solutions have been pretty poor.  Hopefully this one will work better.

(via lifehacker)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quote of the Day: Freakout

From Jonah Goldberg's column, "The Definition of 'Freakout'":
Lots of liberals opposed the Patriot Act on slippery-slope grounds, but it’s worth noting that very few conservatives said the Patriot Act was just a “first step” or a “down payment” toward an even more aggressive police state, while many hoped it would be a temporary measure. Lots of liberals insist health-care reform merely begins the process of pushing for full governmentalization of health care.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


From media reports, you'd think somebody hocked a big ol' loogie at Rep. Cleaver.

No.  Incidental spittle from a guy yelling too aggressively. (via Treacher)

Clearly disgusting, but not the purposeful assault that was reported.  Also, not only was nobody arrested, nobody was even temporarily detained.  So that's a big bad journalism FAIL right there.

Also still absent -- any racial stuff.  The lack of any evidence for that continues.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quote of the Day: Frum's role in the media

The Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Frum now makes his living as the media's go-to basher of fellow Republicans, which is a stock Beltway role. But he's peddling bad revisionist history that would have been even worse politics. The truth is that Democrats never had any intention of working with Republicans, except to pick off two or three Senators and calling it "bipartisanship." This worked for Democrats on the stimulus, and they had hoped to do it again on health care.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Video Or It Didn't Happen

Being called a racist is just about the worst thing a person or group can be called. There are reports that black members of Congress had racist epithets hurled at them, and that Barney Frank was called a "faggot".

Frankly, I don't believe it. That's not to say it's impossible for it to have happened, but that there is absolutely zero evidence of it. All we have is the say-so of some folks who have every political motivation to discredit their opponents.

Video was taken from two different angles of the time in question. At no point can anything be heard resembling the accusations made.

I'll accept these accusations when I see some real proof. Until then, video or it didn't happen.

(h/t Doubleplusundead, Midnightbluesays)

The Strategery of Health Care Reform - Good and Bad for Democrats

Saturday, President Obama mocked the idea that Republicans were giving honest and unbiased advice that voting for the HCR bill would be a career-ender for Democratic members.  Let's examine that.  The GOP advice is certainly not exactly selfless, but there's little doubt Democrats are going to take a hit for this vote.

What's Bad for Democrats:

-This will probably cost Pelosi control of the House, and it's looking increasingly likely that Dems may lose the Senate too. (With or without Harry Reid.)

-This bill is decidedly unpopular with independents and in swing districts, and I expect Republicans will win virtually every swing district in the nation as a result of this vote. Democrats will probably even lose some of the seats of members who end up voting against it.

-Lawsuits will keep this fresh in the public's mind through November. Democrats may move forward on different legislative issues, but this idea is sticking around.

-For those who put a lot of stock in Keynesian stimulus, doesn't the idea of front-loading taxes for later entitlements sort of go against the professed economic religion du jour?

-You can't tell me that favors weren't promised, even beyond what might be in the legislation.  These deals will leak out.  Slowly. 

What's Good for Democrats:
-As pretty much everybody knows, this bill will be virtually unrepealable, and certainly not repealable until 2013 in the event that Obama loses re-election.  Then the GOP will get about one shot at undoing the damage.  While most of the benefits don't kick in for years, and most of the taxes kick in much sooner, there are enough goodies front-loaded in this that voting to repeal it will draw vocal objection from a well-chosen politically protected class of people. 

-The political line of scrimmage will be permanently moved to the left.  In the UK and Canada, where government intervention in health is more obvious, conservative parties have been put on the defensive with respect to health care schemes.  The Iron Lady broke the coal unions, but she couldn't break the NHS.

-To the extent that this legislation fails to (1) control costs and (2) improve outcomes, there will be further push towards explicit socialization of health care rather than the make-believe free market we're going to have.  The answer to a failing program is always more money.  One wonders if this is actually the whole point of the Obama plan - to fail so miserably as to ensure future "progress".

More Bad for Democrats:
-Obama's political capital has been exhausted.  No more controversial legislation is going to get through.  

-This represents a major step towards bankrupting the country.  Obamacare makes future Medicare reform impossible, as he's already raided it for other benefits and entitlement spending.  There's no more money to be found without undoing Obama's promises.

The Healthcare Coast is Clear for the Dino-media

Now that they feel Pelosi has the votes, CNN has been more critical of the legislation:

And it's not just that gasbag Cafferty. I've saw a "straight" CNN reporter say she didn't think the Democrats wanted people to know what was in the bill, and she doubted that a lot of members had read it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The People of Mike Rogers' District Speak (AL-3)


Cheech Marin crushes Anderson Cooper on Jeopardy


Via Newsbusters.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quote of the Day: New Class

Jonah Goldberg:
The “elite” the restorationists dislike is better understood as a “new class” (to borrow a phrase from the late Irving Kristol). The legendary economist Joseph Schumpeter predicted in 1942 that capitalism couldn’t survive because capitalist prosperity would feed a new intellectual caste that would declare war on the bourgeois values and institutions that generate prosperity in the first place. When you hear that conservatives are anti-elitist, you should think they’re really anti–new class. Conservatives see this new class of managers, meddlers, planners, and scolds as a kind of would-be secular aristocracy empowered to declare war on traditional arrangements and make other decisions “for your own good.”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Roundup: Reconciliation, Salt, Earmarks, Massa, Mozart

(1) Yes, reconciliation is a rather rare and extreme procedure:

The bottom line is that using reconciliation as an end-around to avoid filibusters is exceedingly rare, having happened at most 7 times since 1980. Of those 7 cases, all were budget or tax measures. So, using reconciliation to avoid a supermajority on health care reform would simply be unprecedented.
(via Federalist Paupers)

(2) Oh look, the Nanny State is trying to ban salt in restaurants. Not label, not limit, but ban entirely.

(3) The House GOP has finally gotten the word and unilaterally forsworn all earmarks. I've been calling for this since November of 2008.

(4) Pelosi knew about the Massa accusations earlier than they'll admit. (Tickle fight!) Looks like a mini-Foley in the making... if anybody bothers to report it.

(5) Why you've never really heard the Moonlight sonata.

Random - Beastie-star Galactica

A Sabotage video/Battlestar Galactica mashup.

Via the Syfy twitter account.

Of course, in my mind "Sabotage" will always be associated with the new Star Trek movie.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Quote of the Day: What's in the Bill?

“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it – away from the fog of the controversy.”

Roundup: Palin, Healthcare, Oil, NY23, and Betty White

(1) Another Palin non-scandal -- Reports that Sarah Palin used to cross the border into Canada for health care are... completely irrelevant.  At the time of the occurrence, Yukon did not have socialized medicine, so this an entirely unremarkable event.

(2) Obamacare is reminding me more and more of Plato's Republic - start with an intellectually pure idea (that may or may not be a good idea), and browbeat and manipulate the heck out of society to make the system "work".  In the Republic, this led to mass indoctrination, rigged lotteries, and eugenics.  Obama's Republic will merely lead to unemployment and suffering.  Today's demonstration of this is the employer mandate.  In order to keep employers from dodging the mandate by only hiring part time work, the Prez wants to extend the mandate over part time employees.  Of course, this would be massively distortive to the labor market -- poor and minorities hardest hit.  Another case of sawing off the bottom rung of the ladder.

(3) My co-blogger at PAWatercooler Lisa Mossie notes that the presence Hope-N-Change seems to make the recent rise in the price of oil governed by supply and demand, whereas under Dubya it was greedy oil companies and other bad actors.

(4) Doug Hoffman is going back for seconds in NY-23.  I wonder if there is a better candidate.  Hoffman was the vessel for anti-Dede sentiment, and was fine for that purpose.  But I don't think he's ideal, and I've thought so for some time.

(5) Betty White on Saturday Night Live -- Could be fun.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Eleanor Clift's Novel Economic Theory: Personality Power

We've all heard criticisms of Reaganomics, perhaps the most cutting criticism being about the deficit, but Eleanor Clift really takes the cake here:

Reagan's personality energized the economy?! Mwhahahahaha!

Obviously it had nothing to do with tax reduction, regulation, or even the business cycle naturally reasserting itself once Volker's Fed got inflation under control.

Even assuming the 80's recovery had more to do with monetary policy and the business cycle, it cannot be assumed then that Obama's America will fare as well under Bernanke's Federal Reserve.

--Barack Obama - Destroying the economy with his mind!

Altmire: Trust the Senate on reconciliation? Perhaps not

Rep. Jason Altmire on Fox News Sunday:

This sentiment represents our biggest hope that the House will not pass the Senate bill. House members have no assurances that the Senate will go through with reconciliation, and we could be stuck with the Senate version of the bill.