Archive for January 3rd, 2009

January 3, 2009

‘Destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure’

Israel launches its ground war in Gaza:

“The objective is to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure in the area of operations,” said Israel Defense Forces Major Avital Leibovitch, a military spokeswoman, confirming that incursions were under way. “We are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas.” . . .
Large numbers of forces are taking part in this stage of the operation including infantry, tanks, engineering forces, artillery and intelligence with the support of the Israel Air Force, Israel navy, the Shin Bet security service and other security agencies. Meanwhile, the cabinet has authorized an emergency call up of tens of thousands of IDF reservists.

Meanwhile (via Ace), in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hundreds of pro-Hamas protesters show their humanitarian civility:

UPDATE: Little Miss Attila is not amused.

UPDATE II: Meanwhile, via Zombie, a little bit of Gaza comes to San Francisco:

January 3, 2009

More on BSMD

The list of Blog-Specific Mental Disorders — forms of craziness to which only bloggers are susceptible — gets updated by William Jacobson’s definition of SiteMeter Envy, which is not to be confused with Instalust (obsessive craving for an Instalanche). Like sexual lust, Instalust is insatiable. The more ‘lanches you get, the more you want. Also, if you look at your SiteMeter immediately after you get ‘lanched, the upward spike is an appropriately suggestive visual metaphor.

January 3, 2009

Fighting over the spoils

This morning I said I’d defer all future Blago blogging to Marathon Pundit, but the revelation of Harry Reid’s involvement in the Illinois Senate Auction (what else would you call it?) is too rich to ignore. I especially appreciate liberal blogger Chris Bowers’ take:

[U]sing “electability” as the rationale, Reid did advocate on behalf of two candidates, one of whom, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, attempted to remove Blgaojevich via judicial coup. If the Senate’s move to block Roland Burris wasn’t already viewed as a political move rather than one of ethics, this story should put an end to that once and for all.

Bowers points out that Obama’s seat was previously held by Carol Mosley Braun and yet Reid seems to believe that a black appointee would be “unelectable” in 2010. By appointing Burris, Blago has put the Democrats between a rock and a hard place. All of this uproar, it should be noted, would never have happened if Democrats had trusted Blago to make the decision in the first place. Instead, as a creation of the Chicago machine, Blago was treated as a stooge, incompetent to pick his own appointee, and expected to take dictation from Team Obama.

This entire episode has been an eye-opening lesson in how the Democratic Party actually works.

January 3, 2009

Stupid liberal tricks

Liberal trolls pretending to be Sarah Palin supporters in an effort to discredit Team Sarah (H/T: Michelle Malkin).

Such vandalism is a species of “progressive online activism” for which there is no parallel on the Right. But it’s not the only such species. Back in September, Ace called attention to the “concern trolls” who were apparently part of a Team Obama astroturfing campaign, the apparent object of that effort being to spread negative memes about the GOP ticket via comment fields at conservative Web sites:

The script–
1. The Pledge: I’m a conservative/I’m a Christian/I’m a conservative Christian
2. The Turn: My heart is with you guys, really… but I have these concerns…
3. The Prestige: I hear all these great things about Obama and/or did you hear this horrible stuff about Palin?

It’s formulaic, and I’ve seen the same basic technique in the comment fields at AmSpecBlog — the guy who claims to be a serious, committed conservative but who is invariably negative. Anything I write about Sarah Palin at the American Spectator is certain to elicit comments from at least one troll asserting that Palin is an unmitigated disaster for the GOP.

Yes, there are Republicans who aren’t enthusiastic about Palin, but the trolls don’t articulate any real argument against Palin, or express support for an alternative candidate by praising, inter alia, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal or Mike Huckabee. No, it’s just the “Sarah is a sure loser” meme, the transparent propaganda intent being to spread among conservatives the idea that the most popular elected official in the Republican Party can’t possibly win.

January 3, 2009

Blago blogging

You may have noticed a relative paucity of BlagoGate blogging here lately. Why? It’s one of those situations where so many people are blogging about it that I don’t feel I can add anything fresh or different. So Marathon Pundit is your all-Blago 24/7 source.

January 3, 2009

Good news!

“California Will Be Bankrupt Before General Motors”

January 3, 2009

‘The once-great New York Press’

Sam Schulman discusses Toby Young’s essay on the “celebritariat,” and writes:

Melik Kaylan and Toby Young were my confreres at “Taki’s Top Drawer” in its first incarnation as a section in the once-great New York Press.

Those were the day, eh, Russ?

January 3, 2009

Lies, damned lies and liberal statistics

“Statistics lead to liberalism and should not be collected.”

Actually, I love statistics. The problem with the statistics of Sixties liberals is that they sought out statistics as evidence of social problems about which government ought to do something. Well, they did something, and those social problems immediately got much worse, and pretty soon it was possible to statistically demonstrate a correlation between liberalism and socioeconomic disaster — a correlation long suspected prior to the Sixties, but now a proven fact that only fools dispute.

January 3, 2009

Utah: Worse than Canada

In hindsight, I now realize that it was a mistake to admit Utah to the Union. What the heck kind of name is “Utes,” anyway?

Utah state motto: Armpit of the West.

UPDATE: Thanks to Dandapani:

January 3, 2009

‘This isn’t ideal’

I had previously overlooked the Palin family’s press release on baby Tripp’s birth:

Governor Sarah Palin has welcomed her first grandchild, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, born to Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston on December 27.
“We are over the moon with the arrival of this healthy, beautiful baby,” Governor Palin said. “The road ahead for this young couple will not be easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Bristol and Levi are committed to accomplish what millions of other young parents have accomplished, to provide a loving and secure environment for their child. They are both hard workers, they’re very strong, and have faith they’ve made the right decision in setting aside their own interests to make this child their highest priority.”
Palin added, “When Bristol and Levi first told us the shocking news that she was pregnant, to be honest, we all at first looked at the situation with some fear and a bit of despair. Isn’t it just like God to turn those circumstances into such an amazing, joyful blessing when you ask Him to help you through?”
Bristol Palin said she “obviously discourages” teen pregnancy and knows that plans she previously made for herself will now forever be changed. “Teenagers need to prevent pregnancy to begin with — this isn’t ideal. But I’m fortunate to have a supportive family which is dealing with this together. Tripp is so perfectly precious; we love him with all our hearts. I can’t imagine life without him now.”
Bristol begins her final semester of high school next week where she’ll get her last credit needed to graduate. She looks forward to continuing her record of good grades and high achievement. Levi is continuing his online high school work in addition to working as an electrical apprentice on the North Slope.
Bill McAllister, the governor’s office communications director, adds: “The governor’s office previously declined to comment to honor the family’s wishes that the event remain as private as possible. However, the high volume of press inquiries, along with some erroneous information that was published, prompted the governor to make a statement.”

I dislike the idea of Bristol Palin offering generic advice — “Teenagers need to prevent pregnancy to begin with” — rather than acknowledging any personal responsibility for her own situation. Is the problem that teenagers in general are getting pregnant, or that you got pregnant? In point of fact, teen pregnancy is at an all-time low. Is it too much to expect something like a mea culpa?

UPDATE: PaleoPat agrees with me, but in the process calls me a neocon. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Yeah, Pat, tell that one to David Brooks, Frank Fukuyama and Ken Adelman. Here’s the difference between me and neocons: Neocons believe we should invade foreign countries in order to spread the universal benefits of democracy. I believe we should invade foreign countries because it’s a good live-fire field exercise for the troops. What’s the point in having aircraft carriers if you don’t occasionally pound some Third World dictatorship to smithereens?

My biggest beef about Iraq is that, if we’re going to go around the world toppling evil regimes, we ought to start in Cuba. It’s 90 miles from Key West, and occupying Havana would be like a vacation. Military recruiters could use the prospect of Cuban occupation duty as an inducement: Jineteras, mojitos and cigars under the swaying palms. Put some Xavier Cugat music on the soundtrack of the recruiting commercials. “Join the Navy and screw the world.”