Friday, June 13, 2008

 

Tim Russert, R.I.P.

Collapsed and died today at the age of 58.

Condolences to his entire family -- his wife, journalist Maureen Orth and -- particularly this Fathers' Day weekend -- to his father, "Big Russ" and to his son Luke.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

 

Open Thread

Traveling today, so have an early RT say.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

 

Government at work (6/11/08 edition)

I enjoyed my last post about the absurdity of government, I figured I would do it again!

WE DON'T HAVE TO GIVE YOU OUR STEENKEENG CRIMINAL RECORDS!
You have to love the un mitigated gall of public school districts. They take our tax dollars to educate our children because they can allegedly do it better.

Take the Austin, Texas school district for example (from
590KLBJ.com):
[The Austin School District] is fighting a ruling that makes them give out statistical information on how many teachers have a criminal history.

The Attorney General has told the district they have to comply with open records requests to give the information to the media. The district is arguing that releasing information of how many people on each campus came back with a criminal record violates employees’ privacy rights and is not in the public interest.
Why would a public entity which is responsible for our childrens' education be allowed to HIRE people with a criminal history, let alone keep that fact confidential?

Obviously, the eyes of Texas missed this one.

FREE SPEECH IS GOOD, BUT ONLY IF ALLAH SAYS SO
Political correctness is legislated north of the border, as columnist Mark Steyn has found out. The Canadian Human Rights Commission has Steyn on trial for spreading hate in a book excerpt that was printed in Canada's newsweekly Maclean's(from
Robert Knight at Townhall.com):
A highlighted piece of the case was a comment from an imam, Mullah Krekar, that Steyn drew from an interview in a Norwegian newspaper:

‘“We’re the ones who will change you,’ the cleric said. ‘Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU [European Union] is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children. …Our way of thinking will prove more powerful than yours.’”
Yep, sounds like hate speech to me. The Canadians ought to be trying the imam.

THE BRIDGE TO DISNEYLAND
Thanks to President Bush's signature on the Democratic Congress's transportation bill, $45 million of our tax dollars are going to help pay for a MagLev train from Disneyland to Las Vegas. This from the
Associated Press:
...the train would use magnetic levitation technology to carry passengers from Disneyland to Las Vegas in well under two hours, traveling at speeds of up to 300 mph.

...The money is the largest cash infusion in the project's nearly 20-year history. It will pay for environmental studies for the first leg of the project.

...The train is meant to ease traffic on increasingly clogged Interstate 15, the main route for the millions of Southern Californians who make the 250-plus-mile drive to Las Vegas each year. There is no train on the route — Amtrak's Desert Wind between Los Angeles and Las Vegas was canceled in 1997 because of low ridership.
Let me get this straight: The last train route between these areas was cancelled due to low ridership 11 years ago, yet this project has been going on for 20 YEARS?!

In other words, those of us who do NOT live in L.A. or Las Vegas need to help pay for a train between one of the Disney Company's (made $1.1 billion net profit last quarter ALONE) primo amusement parks, and all the casinos (I can't even begin to guess where to look for their profits. Too many of them) in Vegas?

Explain to me why does the federal government need to blow my money in order for Los Angelinos to be able to get to Vegas quicker to blow their money?

If you ever needed it, there is the proof our government is truly "goofy".

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Showing My True Grit

So, I ventured into the belly of the lefty beast earlier this week to tape an episode of Grit TV, hosted by Laura Flanders, taped in the Air America offices (my second trip to the building in 10 days). It's another "media analysis" program -- though solely on the Web. As one might expect, it's point of view is left-of-center, so I was paired with a Huffington Post editor and a liberal economics writer. See the results here:

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More Dowdy Times Writing

Jack and Jill catches Maureen Dowd once again having it both ways -- getting ugly rumors into the mainstream, by blaming others for spreading the rumors! While I thank the J&J crew for pointing out that it was conservatives -- including yours truly -- who debunked the "whitey" rumour, I should stress one thing. In fact, I should have made this clearer in my original post: With the exception of the first Kitty Dukakis-burning-the-flag story, my experience with this urban legend is that it rarely went further than conservative circles.

In other words, there was always this internal whisper that that picture/video was "out there." I can't recall whether these urban legends ever got much traction beyond the right's inner conversations. Again, the first one involving Kitty Dukakis is a major exception. Indeed, it may well have been that experience from that incident prevented subsequent ones from spreading much further.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

 

Not So Fast

Andrew Sullivan has been caught up in Obamania for a while, but this view from one of his readers is going way too far:


This has the potential to be a landslide election. I think it could rival Reagan’s 49-stste sweep in 1984. In the future, we will be speaking of "Obama Republicans" in the way we now speak of "Reagan Democrats".
Uh, no.

The statement is half-right. A two-term presidency could create a new breed of "Obama Republicans" (a point I will address in the near future). But Reagan's sweep was an affirmation of his first term. Yes, he won a convincing 44-state win in 1980 -- an electoral personal rejection of incumbent Jimmy Carter.


Obama is running in an open general "adjustment" election -- more like 1960, 1968 and (to a slightly lesser degree) 1976. Such races are inevitably close. Re-elections that affirm the judgment of the previous adjustment have the capability of being total landslides -- 1964 (the Kennedy/Johnson "re-election), 1972 and 1984. Obama may still win, but let's put the brakes on the "looming landslide" talk.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

 

A Bob Barr Opening?

The libertarians can't be happy about this development:
Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) authored a bill (with 11 co-sponsors, including Sen. Barack Obama) that was incorporated into a housing bill passed by the Senate Banking Committee 19-2 before the Memorial Day recess — a bill that creates a national fingerprint registry.
According to a
Martinez press release, the language merely “create[s] national licensing and oversight standards for residential mortgage originators.”
One of the standards, John Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute says, may “
require thousands of individuals working even tangentially in the mortgage and real estate industries — and not suspected of anything — to send their prints to the feds.

Hmmm...but I believe Obama is still against the idea of providing ID before voting.

It might be interesting to have him ask why it's OK to demand taht people involved in mortgages have to provide fingerprints to prevent fraud -- but people who are voting don't have to prove they are who they say they are.

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