Archive for November 16th, 2008

November 16, 2008

Airdrop him on Jalalabad

George Freaking Will is back for more:

In America, socialism is un-American. Instead, Americans merely do rent-seeking — bending government for the benefit of private factions. The difference is in degree, including the degree of candor. The rehabilitation of conservatism cannot begin until conservatives are candid about their complicity in what government has become.

Prompting Jeff Goldstein to reply:

Presumably, Will is talking about those non-candid conservatives who cheered the credit bailout, the prescription drug entitlement, the farm subsidy, the auto bailouts, the airline bailouts, or the sops to steel producers and tariffs on Canadian lumber.

For more than 20 years, Will has been one of the most prominent spokesmen for conservatism, and yet supposedly all the problems of conservatism are the fault of some other conservatives somewhere.

Have they loaded him in that C-130 yet?

November 16, 2008

Diplomacy, NYC style

Gunfire erupted as part of a robbery attempt inside the Waldorf Astoria where, coincidentally, the president of Pakistan was staying at the time.

You know that guy’s got to be saying to himself, “And the Americans are going to bring peace and stability to the world? They can’t even bring peace and stability to the Waldorf Astoria!”

November 16, 2008

Another invitation I’ll never get

The National Review cruise, as told by Scott Johnson.

UPDATE: Becker at RedState answers the question, “What would Reagan Do?” with: “Toss ’em into the nearest volcano!” An excellent suggestion.

November 16, 2008

Tod Lindberg, informal adviser

Some semi-useful points:

Today’s Democrats may well overreach in much the same way that Republicans did after they won their congressional majority in 1994, when they took the “center” out of center-right. If so, Democratic hubris will create opportunities for the GOP to get a hearing.
And so far, center-left government is largely an abstraction for the country. People like the sound of it, especially against the backdrop of a financial crisis and recession. In these center-left times, voters are receptive — or rather, it is their receptiveness that makes these times center-left. But whether they will like the new Obama tilt in practice remains to be seen.
So Republicans should not despair. They will have plenty of time to work up a critique of Obama’s policies as they unfold. But Republicans should not count on Democratic failure — and they certainly should not regard it as inevitable because of a conservatism they impute to an electorate that has, shall we say, moved on.

I think the key thing in this whole column is the bug at the end:

He was an informal foreign policy adviser to the McCain campaign.

“Informal”? What does that mean, to be “an informal foreign policy adviser”? Is that kind of like “the cheapskate bastards wouldn’t pay me,” or what? This is why I don’t give free advice to politicians. I might tell ’em to go to hell, but that’s the limit of my free advice. I’m always happy to state my opinions, but if I ever became an actual “adviser” (informal or otherwise), I might get blamed for the politician’s screwups. And I don’t need that guilt.

In that sense, then, Lindberg has offered himself as a convenient scapegoat for everything that went wrong with the McCain campaign. We blame you, Tod!

November 16, 2008

Global warming fraud

It’s hard to improve on Ed’s headline:

Hottest October on record …
was really a September

Boggles the mind that bloggers know more about climatology than the government “experts” do.

November 16, 2008

The WaPo wants to hire me?

I think that’s what ombsbudsman Deborah Howell means by saying they need to hire more conservative journalists.

Sorry, Ms. Howell, I’m not interested. The Post is a Guild shop, and I refuse to pay money to union goons for the privilege of working at a sucky newspaper. I can find sucky jobs on my own.

November 16, 2008

Celebrity lesbian attacked!

By animal-rights activists:

PARIS, France — An anti-fur campaigner doused Lindsay Lohan in flour on Friday evening in Paris People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced in a statement.
The organization said the actress was “showered” with cooking powder, while at a Paris nightclub.
“The actor, who was on her way into the VIP room on the Champs-Elysées just after 1 AM early Saturday, had an entire bag of flour dumped over her head by a French fur foe who shouted, ‘Lindsay Lohan — fur hag!'” PETA said in a statement released to Access Hollywood.
They claim the actress, who was in London earlier this week with girlfriend Samantha Ronson, before moving on to Paris alongside the celebrity DJ, wore multiple fur coats this week, angering activists.
“Lindsay Lohan might be able to ignore images of bloody animals skinned alive for their pelts, but we hope a dash of flour will help her rise to the occasion and forsake fur once and for all,” PETA Europe’s Robbie LeBlanc said in the statement.

Stop the hate, people! Just because famous lesbians are anti-animal doesn’t justify famous animals being anti-lesbian. Or something like that. Besides, when Lindsay was hanging out with Britney, I seem to recall some paparazzi photos that indicated Lindsay wasn’t really into wearing fur, if you know what I mean.

UPDATE: Just Google-checked my paparazzi memory. And indeed, no fur. (It’s research, OK?)

November 16, 2008

Frank Rich, if we must

It’s probably best to ignore Frank Rich, but Ed Lasky gives the ex-theater critic a relatively thorough fisking. I just want to note this one sentence:

Those occasional counties that tilted more Republican in 2008 tended to be not only the least diverse, but also the most rural, least educated and slowest-growing in population.

Obama got 63% among high-school dropouts — his best performance among any educational subgrouping. If Frank Rich wants to sneer at the uneducated, let him sneer at Obama’s share of the moron vote.

November 16, 2008

Bring on Auburn!

The No. 1 Crimson Tide is now 11-0, and has two weeks to get ready for their Nov. 29 showdown with Auburn:

Javier Arenas ran back a punt 80 yards for one touchdown and set up a score with another long return, helping No. 1 Alabama roll to a 32-7 win over Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (11-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) didn’t need a dominant offensive performance to turn back a team that had given ‘Bama fits the past two years.
Kareem Jackson blocked a punt in the end zone for a safety and Leigh Tiffin kicked three field goals to help keep Alabama on track for a perfect regular season leading up to a showdown with No. 3 Florida in the SEC championship game.

Looking ahead to the SEC title game is a very bad idea. Right now, the Tide needs to focus every ounce of their energy on getting read to stomp Auburn, which has beaten Alabama five years running.

A little history lesson for anyone who doesn’t understand how important beating Auburn is to Tide fans: In 1989, Bill Curry had ‘Bama at 10-0 going into the Auburn game and lost 30-20. It was the third year in a row Curry had lost to Auburn, and after that game, some hard-core fool threw a brick through Curry’s office window.


UPDATE: While researching the background on that brick-through-the-window story, I came across this quote from Bill Curry, who was (and is) a fine man:

“You can put that crimson jersey on anybody — he may not be a great athlete — and he will play his heart out. He becomes somebody else on Saturday. You can work the team harder than the norm, and nobody will quit. A kid can’t quit and go home to Dothan and say to his dad, ‘I just quit the Crimson Tide.’ “

That is the value of tradition. It’s like the Marines.

November 16, 2008

‘Don’t start me talking . . .

“. . . I could talk all night.
My mind was sleepwalking
While I didn’t know what to write.”
Elvis Costello, “Oliver’s Army”

Some subjects inevitably provoke me to rant, for example public education. (Please, don’t ever get me arguing about public education. Life is too short.) And while I am often guilty of employing a bit of ad hominem in debate, I get aggravated by the way liberals habitually attribute bad faith to conservatives — and are never called to account for it. We saw this throughout the recent campaign, when every criticism of Barack Obama was attributed to “racism,” so that the uninformed might be forgiven for believing that America was divided into two camps (a) Obama supporters and (b) racists. (Don’t blame me, I voted for Bob Barr.)

Now, I have said before that I am an ex-Democrat and many of my family and friends are still loyal yellow-dog Democrats like I used to be. So it happened that a couple of my cousins saw my rant against the fascist tactics of gay-marriage supporters in California, and one of them remarked that “hatred is a sin.” True enough, but disagreement is not hatred. And so I sent my cousins this rant:

I resent like hell the tendency to frame policy disagreements as accusations of bad faith, and I’m sure my dear Democratic cousins didn’t like it when they were told that it was un-American to oppose the invasion of Iraq.
It is a lowdown trick of sophistry to argue that (a) Policy X is good for Purple People and therefore (b) any opponent of Policy X is purplephobic and beyond the pale of civilized society. This is politics as Rorschach Test, where everything is an expression of psychological symbolism, and it inevitably leads to bad outcomes.
LBJ’s “Great Society” programs (which sabotaged the urban poor and have quite nearly bankrupted us with entitlement commitments) were sold with similar arguments: To oppose the policies was tantamount to hating the people the policies were supposed to help. But beyond its invaldity as logic, that argument rests on two false assumptions: (a) that the policies proposed would actually help the intended beneficiaries, and (b) that no alternative policies could provide equivalent benefits.
If I am critical of No Child Left Behind, does this make me “anti-education”? Meaningful debate becomes impossible when arguments are cast in such terms.
The emotional appeal of being “tolerant” toward homosexuals — identifying oneself as an opponent of bigotry — ought not prevent us from questioning the necessity, utility and efficacy of specific policy proposals. And if my opposition to same-sex marriage calls into question my motives and subjects me to accusations of bad faith, why is the same not true of proponents of same-sex marriage? And the issue of bad faith on the part of gay radicals is far more relevant when they are engaging in blatantly fascistic intimidation tactics, spray-painting slogans on churches and making death threats to their opponents.
The politicization of sexuality is enough to inspire nostalgia for the Good Old Days of the ’70s, when being gay was about disco and sex. But mostly sex.

I disagree with my cousins, but I also love my cousins. Disagreement is not hate, and we ought to be able to discuss policy without such accusations.