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Showing posts from February, 2009

Raining helmets at the United Center

In retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea for my Blackhawks to have "Helmet Night" the night Jonathan Toews scored the first of what will undoubtedly be many NHL hat tricks....

Before this happened, Toews apparently had gotten his third goal of the game when the ref decided his stick was too high- and the helmet deluge was even greater.

So he just had to do it all over again. Apparently, there were still enough helmets left for a reprise from the fans as well.

Unfortunately, the good guys suffered a rare home defeat in overtime, 5-4.

A view from north of the border

Here's an interesting Canadian take on what we bought when we elected Barack Obama: a nanny state we can't pay for.

At least, as the author points out, the Canadians can pay for theirs. More or less.

Contrary to the liberal Ur-myth, the New Deal did little to help us get out of the Great Depression; unemployment actually went up after FDR started the same approach to a shriveling economy The One is resorting to today, and it wasn't until World War II broke out almost a decade later that it started coming down. And once again, the Left- which cannot win its case on the merits- is taking advantage of an economic crisis to impose upon American a lurch to the Left it would never tolerate other than under the guise of emergency measures undertaken because we allegedly have no other choice.

Certainly (in case you haven't noticed) that's the premise from which the media seems to begin in their overt support of the Obama "stimulus" program, and their cavalier dismi…

Jindal latest victim of NBC snark attack

Snarky treatment by the liberal media- and especially NBC- seems to be a tradition for Republicans of note. Last year's presidential campaign, for example, featured Tina Fey holding Sarah Palin up to ridicule so effectively that a large number of spurious quotations supposedly from Palin, but actually from Fey, became accepted in the popular culture as the genuine article.

I suppose that eventually we'll stop hearing how Palin supposedly claimed that she had foreign policy experience because she could see Russia from her house. But it'll probably long after Palin leaves public life. I wouldn't bet on the media getting a clue and realizing that it was Fey, not Palin, who made that statement.

Well, it seems that the snarkmeisters at NBC recognize another potentially formidable Republican on the national scene that they'd better start ridiculing. Jimmy Fallon- Conan O'Brien's replacement on Late Night- recently was responsible for this gratuitous, insulting, and…

Obama administration takes another step to facilitate genocide against African-Americans

It seems that the Obama administration- headed by a man who purports to seek the healing of our nation's deep cultural and political divisions- is seeking to reverse a Bush administration rule allowing doctors and other health care professionals whose consciences prohibit them from facilitating abortion through their counseling to honor those consciences.

Such convictions may or may not be based on religious beliefs; there are many pro-life atheists and agnostics who perceive that to fail to recognize the personhood of any living member of our species crosses a line which makes it ultimately impossible to guarantee the sanctity of any member of our species we find it personally or politically expedient to objectify. It's fascinating to note, however, that the media (and the article linked to is no exception) automatically assumes that such convictions must of necessity be religious.

It should be mentioned that the leading cause of death in the African-American community is no…

Obama administration vs. doctors' consciences

As predicted, the Obama administration is moving to reverse a Bush decision allowing doctors and other health care workers whose consciences prohibit their advising patients in such a way as to facilitate the option of abortion from following their consciences.

It should be noted, of course, that such convictions on the part of health care workers need not, in fact, be religious. Nevertheless, the administration is seeking to force individuals not simply to refer those seeking abortions to others, but to compromise their consciences.

This from an administration which tries to present itself as one aiming to heal our deep cultural and political divisions.


In case you haven't noticed, our Fearless Leader is using the economic crisis as an excuse to justify a huge, ambitious, and very, very expensive program of radical government activism, much of which- if it stimulates the economy at all- will have its first effect years from now, probably after the recession is over.

"Stimulus program," indeed!

Meanwhile, it seems that at least some in the media have noticed that The One has the unmitigated chutzpah to try to sell his unprecedented and ruinous spending spree as somehow an exercise in fiscal discipline!

Meanwhile, the (predictable) consensus on the Jim Lehrer PBS program last night was that Bobby Jindal's Republican response to the State of the Union address misfired because it failed to recognize that massive government spending is our only option.

After all, as the cover of a recent issue of TIME informed us, "We're All Socialists Now."

TIME wishes.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Keith Olbermann: an embarassment to journalism

Keith Olbermann is to journalism as Alfred Packer is to haute cuisine. That's a given.

But this is a low even for old Keith. Listen carefully for his sotto voce commentary as Gov. Jindal approaches the microphone to give the Republican response to the State of the Union address by President Obama;

HT: Drudge

Immigration and conservative survival

As bitter a pill as this is for today's conservatives to swallow, Richard Nadler of The American Spectator is right: the Republican hard line on immigration is killing both the party and the conservative agenda.

Despite the silly fantasies of some, the success of any sort of conservative agenda in America is tied inextricably to the success of the Republican party. And the success of the Republican party is tied inextricably to its ability to return to the pattern of the Bush years, and attract Latino votes.

Yet so radically has the conservative hard line alienated Hispanic voters that John McCain- a supporter of immigration reform- underperformed Bush among Hispanic voters by 13%. Nationally, McCain trailed Bush by only five percent.

If Republicanism- and/or conservatism- are going to have a future in this country, both will have to stop turning off the fastest-growing voting bloc in the nation. The alternative is a permanent majority for the Obama Left and the Democrats.

HT: Real Cl…

Is Mr. Obama just "winging it?"

The most prominent accomplishment of the Obama administration thus far has been the passage of a stimulus bill with not nearly the potential for stimulating the economy it might have had- but lots and lots of pork. How that will turn out remains to be seen.

And whether or not Keith Olbermann notices now that one of his own is in the White House, in almost every other respect- from filling the cabinet to the appointing of ambassadors- Team Obama has made George Bush look like the absolute soul of competence.

One of the many figures the frustrated and impotent Democrats demonized during the last administration- Bush political guru Karl Rove- offers an explaination. We knew going in that this guy was utterly without experience.

And on issue after issue, Barack Obama and his administration, Rove says, are simply winging it.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Chamberlain's bust instead?

In the wake of 9/11, the British government sent President Bush a bust of Winston Churchill- a hero of W's- as a gesture of solidarity between our nations. Mr. Bush displayed it prominently in the Oval Office throughout his administration.

But President Obama has not only removed it from the Oval Office, but actually sent it back to the British.

Boorish? Undiplomatic? Of course. But even scarier than it is either of those. The message Mr. Obama sends to all of us with this feckless gesture is appalling.

No Churchill, he. Perhaps he'll replace the bust with one of Jimmy Carter.

Or Neville Chamberlain.

Churchill evicted from Oval Office

President Obama has had a bust of Winston Churchill removed from the Oval Office and returned to the Brits- who had given it to us as a sign of solidarity after 9/11.

Not very diplomatic, reassuring- or appropriate, IMHO. In fact, this is a very ominous signal.

ADDENDUM: Here, David Letterman style, are the Top Ten Reasons Why President Obama Returned the Bust of Churchill.

The abortion issue in a nutshell

In some states- not all- first degree murder carries the death penalty.

Treason can, too. Also military desertion.

And having Down Syndrome.

Few African-Americans- a group with a large percentage of church-goers, and a more pronounced than usual sense of group interest (for obvious reasons)- seem to have stopped and thought about the impact Roe. v. Wade is having on the numbers of African-Americans there are going to be in the future. White racists could not have designed a much more effective engine of genocide. Yet African-Americans continue to vote for pro-choice politicians almost exclusively.

Whether people are being selected out of existence because they bear the genes for Down Syndrome, or because they are poor, or because of the color of their skin, their very humanity is being denied. And when one considers that in our culture the chances of a fetus diagnosed with Down Syndrome ever being allowed to come into the world are practically nil, one gets a rare and chilling appreciatio…

Honest Abe and dishonest historians

Due to computer problems, I missed the chance to mark the bicentennial of Abe Lincoln's birth.

Nevertheless, two pieces I commend to you on the topic of Lincoln and contemporary controversies concerning his place in history- both legit and phoney- can be found here and here.

Lincoln- our greatest president, and exemplar of all that is best in our national character- does not, of course, deserve the Christlike role of "redeemer-president" our civil religion has assigned him; nobody does, and the reverence paid to him at times borders on the blasphemous. But he does deserve the same role in our culture Charlemagne plays in Europe's, and the mythical Arthur plays in Britain's. He deserves to be regarded as our national hero- and more.

Lincoln was all that is finest in America and in Americans, all rolled up in one remarkable life lived at precisely the moment we needed nothing less than a Lincoln to guide us through our greatest crisis.

And no- he wasn't gay.

HT: Rea…

"Now he belongs to the angels."

Today is the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president.

Old Abe has been in for a lot of abuse in recent years. Romantic (and sometimes racist) reactionaries buy into the wartime Confederate view of the Great Emancipator as despot and tyrant. Yes, he cut constitutional corners at times- notably suspending the writ of habeus corpus (only Congress had the legal authority to do that). Lincoln's defense of the action was compelling: should one law be scrupulously observed, if the consequence is that all the other laws go unenforced? He had a rebellion to put down and a Union to save. Any president who did not act as Lincoln did would have deserved impeachment.

And no, the South did not have a right to secede. True, several of the Founding Fathers wrote in theoretical support of a right to secession. But their writings as such do not have the force of law, and the Constitution itself does not even hint at such a right. No, the Texas-American Annexation Treat…

CBO: "Stimulus" or no, recession will end this year

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the recession will end this year- without the "stimulus" package!

We'll see. But this doesn't help sell the Obama administration's partnership with the National Pork Producers' Council.

Incidentally, the stimulus package that's apparently about to be adopted is enough to pay off 90% of the nation's home mortgages!

Why not just pay off 90% of the nation's home mortgages?

HT: Drudge

Whatever happened to "hope?"

There's a word for the argument Mr. Obama is using to push is non-stimulating "stimulus" bill.

That word is panic.

And far from being a churlish rejection of the President's outstretched, bi-partisan hand, Republican opposition to the Obama pork-fest is simply common sense.

No, all spending is not equal when it comes to stimulating the economy. And yes, it does matter that we spend every dime Congress appropriates for the purpose of stimulating the economy thoughtfully and intelligently- and that we not simply spend for the sake of spending!

That would be the equivalent of putting an exhausted runner on speed instead of vitamins, water, nourishment, and rest. It would only postpone an even worse crash later on, and prevent a permanent solution.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Dean for HHS Secretary? What a scream!

That Eleanor Clift is a RIOT!

She wants President Obama to name Howard Dean as Tom Daschle's replacement as the new Health and Human Services secretary! And to all appearances, she's actually serious!

The appointment of Howard Dean to the cabinet in any capacity would instantly turn President Obama's whole "purple nation" appeal to bi-partisanship into an even bigger joke than the partisans of his own party have already made it. Dean is about as close to a poster-child for the partisan divisions within this nation as anybody could be.

Even for Eleanor Clift, who has come up with some whoppers, this is a really, really bad idea.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Single moms aren't responsible for all the problems of the world. But selfishness is responsible for an awful lot of them.

Somebody- I forget who, and whoever it was deserves to be forgotten- recently accused cultural conservatives of "blaming single mothers for all the ills of the world."

Well, not really. They had comparatively little to do either with the collapse of the economy or the collapse of the Cubs in the playoffs last October, to name only two catastrophes. But it is certainly the case that as study after study has shown, kids do best in stable families with one parent of each gender. Kids aren't necessarily doomed when they have only one, but going it alone- especially with reduced financial resources- makes a tough job even harder for Mom, while often saddling the kids with gender adjustment problems or difficulties in dealing with members of the opposite sex that will likely haunt them for the long term, if not all their lives.

Even two parents have a tough time making a go of it and supporting one or two kids these days. Now, this is not a question of judging single moms- inc…

Gee, Mr. Krauthammer...

... I think you're right.

It was President Obama who was going to replace fear with hope.

Except when fear can help generate a whole lot of pork. And one thing the President's stimulus is rich in is pork.

Not much stimulus, but lots and lots of pork.

HT: Drudge

Exactly so.

Jonathan Rausch of the National Journal gets it exactly right: ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may well have richly deserved to be impeached, tried, and removed from office. But that doesn't mean that too many corners weren't cut in the process- and that the result- even if legitimate and even desirable in itself- doesn't look so much like a railroading that, for what it does for the expectation of due process, it might as well have been one.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Ah, wad some power the giftie gie us... see our selves as really savvy Democrats see us!

Former Mondale campaign manager Bob Beckel realizes something: that new Republican National Chairman Michael Steele "gets" what the GOP has to do to return to majority party status, even if Republicans as a party don't.

Hint: Neither pro-choice RINOs nor the Hispanophobes are going to like it much.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Some Democrats dubious about the "stimulus"

Despite the Obama administration's swagger about its supposed "mandate," even Democrats on the Hill are beginning to balk at the sheer size of the "stimulus" package- that is only about ten percent stimulus.

Here is Bill Kristol's sensible suggestion to the Senate GOP- and the Senate as a whole- as to how to proceed on the matter.

Here is a thumbs-down on the "stimulus" plan from Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal.

And the surest sign that The One is losing the first great political battle of his administration: this whine from the Washington Post, which admits as much.

So much for Mr. Obama's allegedy impregnable political position.

HT: Real Clear Politics

The case against the Obama stimulus package

Democrats are trying to paint Republican opposition to President Obama's highly questionable stimulus package as simply more evidence that Republicans, like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, have no heart.

In reality, there is serious doubt that more than 10% of the package will materially stimulate the economy. The size of the package, on one hand, is certain to increase our national debt exponentially (something tax cuts would be less likely to do). On the other hand, serious questions exist as to whether, if we're going to spend our way out of the recession, the Obama package is nearly big enough. Many economists believe that the American people will simply use whatever income is generated by the stimulus to pay down debt and save.

Even government spending won't stimulate the economy if it doesn't motivate the consumer increase consumption- to spend the additional revenue, and get it pumping through the economy. It's highly doubtful that the Obama package will lead…

Iran's satellite should make us worry

Iran has launched its first domestically constructed satellite- and as the Pentagon observes, this is cause for grave concern.

Among other things we should be concerned for the same reason Sputnik I concerned us back in 1957: a nation with rockets capable of orbiting satellites is a nation capable of constructing a missile able to reach us.

And they're on the cusp of being able to mount a nuclear warhead on it.

Dream on, "Progressives." Dream on!

That the Left has managed to deceive itself into believing that the repudiation of an unpopular president under whose watch the economy disintegrated is somehow an ideological victory of enduring consequence is one of the great wonders of the modern age. That any reasonable person could read the Obama triumph as a victory for the radicals in the culture war is a monument to the capacity of the cultural elites for self-deception and wishful thinking.

And the wishful thinking which makes Joe McCarthy, rather than Bob Taft, the patron saint of post-World War II conservatism simply does not inspire confidence in the political savvy of those who are able to engage in such absurdities.

Yes, the Democrats have the White House again- and solid control of both houses of Congress. The Republican party is in for some rough times. But these times are no rougher than the aftermath of the Goldwater debacle or Watergate.

To quote the Republican governor of California, "We'll be back-" and…

Federal panel: Count absentee ballots, Minnesota!

A three-judge Federal panel has ordered that any of some 4,800 ballots already cited by the campaign of former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) which comply with state election laws should be counted.

The court refused to expand the number of disqualified votes which will be recounted to the full 11,000 which the Coleman campaign says were improperly disqualified.

Coleman had apparently won a narrow re-election victory over comedian Al Franken on election night. A mandatory recount reversed the decision, apparently handing Franken an even narrower victory.

Now everything is up for grabs again.

HT: Drudge