Archive for June 24th, 2009

June 24, 2009

Another shoe leather day

Once again, I’ll be in D.C. today, the third day in the past week that I’m trying to get face-time with sources in Washington and keep pushing on IG-Gate.

This means light blogging once more, but it can’t be helped. There’s no substitute for shoe leather. There are limitations to what can be done via phone and e-mail.

My itinerary for the day includes a visit to the Reason Happy Hour. Yeah, roll your eyes, but you’d be amazed how important cocktail hour is to the work of a D.C. journalist. A big shindig like the Reason event brings together people from different spheres — journalists, think-tankers, activists, Capitol Hill staffers — so that you can make connections you wouldn’t make otherwise.

Speaking of which, if anybody wants to get together Friday evening, we’re planning an event in D.C. that’s kind of a Smittypalooza. E-mail Smitty, if you’re interested.

Here’s the permalink for the Blog Talk Radio show I did last night with Rick Moran, Dan Riehl and Jimmie Bise.

I’ve loaded up the headlines on the right sidebar with IG-Gate related items, plus Christopher Badeaux’s laugh-out-loud takedown on Dr. Andrew Sullivan, M.D., OB-GYN-ROTFLMAO.

Anyone who feels the urge to hit the tip jar, don’t fight the feeling. Mrs. Other McCain is starting to worry about the expenses.

June 24, 2009

If you have to explain a joke . . .

Dear John . . .
You skunk-sucking bastard . . .

Hunter S. Thompson, letter to John Chancellor of NBC News, Sept. 11, 1972, reprinted in Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72

The humorous intent of my post congratulating Peter Suderman on his new gig at Reason magazine apparently was not apparent to all readers, as indicated by one commenter who described it as “an angry, childish, personal attack.”

One would think that the phrase “acromegalic inamorata” would have been what they call a “tell” in Vegas. Or maybe the extended riff on the old free-milk-and-a-cow adage.

Well, never mind all that, let’s do it Joe Friday style. Peter Suderman is an extraordinarily witty writer. The last time I saw him and Megan at a party in D.C., they informed me that they were, as young folks now say, “in a relationship.” Or as more old-fashioned folks might say, fornicating.

Shagging. Gettin’ jiggy. Living in sin. Whatever.

I immediately inquired when the couple planned to wed. This is my customary expression of “family values” when speaking to young people in Washington, where knocking boots without benefit of clergy is so commonplace as to be unremarkable.

Indeed, such is the mentality of young Washingtonians — a consequence of our sexualized popular culture — that a middle-aged mentor cannot consult with an attractive female protege without provoking whispers that some sort of concupiscent motivation must be involved.

Ergo, one learns to take this as the joke it is, and to turn it into a self-parodic schtick. So I’m the D.C. mack daddy pimp in the same way I’m a neo-Confederate lesbian. (Being notorious is not the same thing as being famous, etc.)

As the token social conservative in an ocean of cultural libertarians, I find it convenient to treat matters of sex humorously. On the one hand, I’m sincere in my advocacy of traditional family values — Peter and Megan should get married immediately and rapidly spawn at least half-a-dozen babies, so as to invoke the expression “Irish twins” — but on the other hand, I’m aware that most young people don’t take that stuff seriously.

So I sometimes do things like alluding to the first chapter of Romans (well worth reading, especially in the King James Version) in hope that maybe these kids come from a background where such a reference might ring a bell. As Pastor Lon Solomon says, just a suggestion, not a sermon.

Hunter Thompson and John Chancellor were friends, and so when Thompson called Chancellor a skunk-sucking bastard, he meant it in a good way. Likewise when I called Suderman a “rent boy” and a “charity case,” and suggested that he’d soon be flashing around his newfound wealth in the manner of a first-round NBA draft pick.

However, it is quite true that McArdle has never once linked me, not even after I gallantly escorted her home through the mean streets of D.C. one night when she suffered a spell of vertigo at a party. (Rumors that I secretly dosed her with ruhypnol and then had my way with her should be taken with a grain of salt, absent videographic proof.)

I’m a big enough man not to resent the non-linkage too much, but I feel compelled at least to mention it occasionally — in the same way I mention that I am The Blogger Whom Allah Hateth — lest the snobs who snub me think I’m too stupid to notice I’m being snubbed.

Even a self-parody must have some pride, and the snobs cannot be allowed to believe that they really are as superior as they wish others to think.

June 24, 2009

Best new blog of the day

by Smitty

Stacy pointed me to the Left Coast Rebel, who’s got a spot-on collection of right-of-center material.
Those looking for that Margaret Thatcher fix are directed to a post of simple genius.
Subscribe. Together, we can make the Google Reader explode.

June 24, 2009

Sanford had better produce some grist

by Smitty

All of the noise being made about something had better have a point in the next news cycle or two, or it’s going to look like the Left is just firing for effect in order to distract from any of the half-dozen scandals, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, swirling in the air around the Obama administration the way bricks don’t.

June 24, 2009

Hopeful letter changes nothing

by Smitty (h/t Rhetorican )

The Rhetorican points to an intriguing Washinton Times article. There was apparently some early May correspondence between the Obama Administration and Iran.

“The American president was quoted as saying that he expected the people of Iran to take to the streets,” Ayatollah Khamenei misquoted Mr. Obama as saying, according to a translation by Mideastwire.com.
“On the one hand, they [the Obama administration] write a letter to us to express their respect for the Islamic Republic and for re-establishment of ties, and on the other hand they make these remarks. Which one of these remarks are we supposed to believe? Inside the country, their agents were activated. Vandalism started. Sabotaging and setting fires on the streets started. Some shops were looted. They wanted to create chaos. Public security was violated. The violators are not the public or the supporters of the candidates. They are the ill-wishers, mercenaries and agents of the Western intelligence services and the Zionists.”

Wow. All that effort to peddle the hopium and changeeba in Cairo, then this annoyance. Kinda “stings”, doesn’t it? How about a couple of vaguely topical cuts from His Stingness, to sooth the mood?
Big Lie, Small World:

June 24, 2009

Please stop the HR 2454 madness

by Smitty

Dear Representative Moran,
Please stop the HR 2454 madness.
Per the house.gov website, your oath reads, emphasis mine:

“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

How does that oath square with this sort of news, sir?

House Democratic leaders late last night released a revamped, 1,201-page energy and global warming bill (pdf), clearing the way for floor debate Friday even though it remains uncertain if they will have the votes to pass it.
The House bill posted on the Rules Committee Web site has grown from the 946-page version adopted last month in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Sources on and off Capitol Hill said the bulk of the changes largely reflect requests from the eight other committees that also had jurisdiction over the bill, including the Ways and Means Committee and Science and Technology Committee.

To quote the Sunlight Foundation:

Here’s the timeline [for HR 2454]:

  • Introduced – 5/15/09
  • Reported with amendments out of Energy & Commerce – 6/5/09
  • Discharged by Education & Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees – 6/5/09
  • Discharged by Financial Services, Science & Technology, Transportation, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Ways & Means Committees – 6/19/09
  • Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 90 – 6/19/09 (This version is 946 pages)
  • Submitted to House Rules Committee – 6/22/09, 4:22pm (This version is 1,201 pages)

So, where along the line does the bill suddenly expand by 300 pages? According to the New York Times, the various committee chairs held behind the scenes meetings and hashed out a compromise with no allowance for public input. (What lobbyists were involved in those meetings?) And now we are expecting a Friday vote on a bill that has had no public hearing in a committee with jurisdiction over it and that is not yet available in the main engine of public disclosure, THOMAS.
This raises serious questions about how we expect Congress to disclose their activities to the public. Is a bill posted to the House Rules Committee and not THOMAS truly publicly available? While the bill may be available for 72 hours prior to consideration, the public does not have reasonable access to it. Nor does the public know how the final details were reached.
And that isn’t even the worst part. This, apparently, isn’t even the final bill. The final bill will be a manager’s amendment that will be drafted later this week! From a posting on the House Rules Committee, we know that the deadline to submit amendments is Thursday at 9:30am. And there is talk that this will be voted on on Friday. Thus, the final version of this bill will likely only be available for less than 24 hours.
Sunlight has been advocating for all bills to be posted online for 72 hours prior to consideration. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen here. If you think that Congress should read the bills they vote on, you can tell your congressman to both support the Read the Bill resolution, H. Res. 554, and to give the public enough time to read the final version of the cap and trade bill, whenever that is made available.

At some point (speaking hypothetically and by no means advocating illegal activity), patriots may need to consider subverting staffers and having them insert self-destruct clauses into this kind of bill. Such trojans would be written to ensure that these hasty, illiberal, unanalyzed pieces of…legislation would expire within a couple of minutes of feeling the impact of the executive pen. The American people will cheer the demise of yet another disgusting insult to the concept of representative democracy.
On the other hand, your attention is drawn to HR 833 “The Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act”. It is still possible to stave off the country’s descent into becoming a third-world tyranny, sir.
Thank you,
C. Smith

Update:
Further WSJ coverage.