Archive for July, 2009

July 31, 2009

Amen to that!

“The American people have already decided that they generally like Obama the person, and barring a smoking gun, that isn’t going to change in the near future, and certainly not by peddling stories based on pure speculation. Focusing on Obama the person rather than on his policies doesn’t help stop the march toward socialism, if anything, it accelerates it.”
Philip Klein, The American Spectator

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July 31, 2009

IG-Gate: York Scores a Scoop

Following up on my scoop about Matsui, the Examiner‘s man pushes the story forward:

Now, investigators are trying a new route, examining the role of the Justice Department. Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has asked the committee chairman, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, for a hearing on the AmeriCorps/Walpin affair, focusing specifically on the role of Brown and his bosses at Justice.
According to a senior Republican aide, Sessions’ interest was piqued by a statement made in a late March television interview by Rep. Doris Matsui, the Democratic congresswoman who represents Sacramento. Asked whether Johnson’s problems could prevent the city from receiving stimulus funds, Matsui said that, at Johnson’s request, she had “been in conversation with officials at the White House and OMB [Office of Management and Budget] and others to ensure that we don’t lose any money at all.” . . .

Read the whole thing. “According to a senior Republican aide,” eh? Got to make a call to D.C.

July 31, 2009

Everybody’s in Atlanta, why not me?

First it was Little Miss Attila, and now Moe Lane announces his departure to my hometown for this weekend’s big Red State Gathering, where the attendees will celebrate the absence of the conspicuously uninvited Native Son.

Last weekend, after I described my trip to Richmond for Liberty 101 — the Virginia Tea Party Patriots are wonderful people — I got a worried e-mail from Ben Marchi, Virginia state director of Americans For Prosperity, as a result of these paragraphs:

Of course, my feelings were still sore that AFP’s Erik Telford insulted me by leaving me out of next month’s RightOnline National Conference in Pittsburgh with Michelle Malkin. When I mentioned Erik’s name, Ben reminded me that Telford recently made No. 2 on Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” list. As usual, Olbermann gets the facts wrong — Telford’s No. 1.
That surge of registrations for RightOnline the past two days was caused by my friends signing up for a seminar Telford left off the Pittsburgh conference agenda: “I’ve Got T-Shirts Older Than You, Punk: Stacy McCain Explains Why He Just Beat the Crap Out of Erik Telford in the Sheraton Lobby.” But I digress . . .

So I sent an e-mail back to Ben and explained that I wasn’t really angry at Telford. He’s a nice kid and I was only joking about the beating.

Well, probably joking. It’s been years since I’ve risked an assault charge by giving some ungrateful punk the thrashing he so richly deserved, but just because I’ve become a top Hayekian public intellectual — the pinnacle of journalistic respectability — doesn’t mean my enemies should feel they can grossly insult me without fearing the violent consequences.

These kids, they don’t know from Gonzo. Back in the day, when Hunter S. Thompson was living the precarious and poverty-stricken freelancer’s life, it became his habit to respond to rejection notices and unfruitful job applications with outrageous letters full of hyperbolic denunciations and threats.

People who actually knew Thompson understood that these letters were, for the most part, just writing exercises. A writer improves his craft by constant practice, and if you have just been denied the opportunity to get paid for your craft, why not exercise the rejected skill at the expense of the philistine wretch who failed to recognize your genius?

Long after he became famously successful — genius must ultimately have its reward — Thompson never forgot the experience of poverty and obscurity. For example, one reason he took such great delight in becoming a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner in the 1980s was that, 25 years earlier, his application for a reporting job at the rival Chronicle had been rejected. And then there was this 1972 love-note to a good buddy of his:

“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

Thompson’s unpredictable sense of humor made him a constant source of carnival amusement for his friends. So as Moe and Attila relax and enjoy their cocktails Saturday evening at the Red State Gathering, they should not dismiss the possibility that their conviviality will be disturbed by a sudden Gonzo episode:

“Sweetheart, give me a cold Corona, with lime,” I told the redhead behind the bar, loud enough to be heard by Miss Attila, sitting at a table in the corner with Moe Lane. As usual, Attila was zonked on gin and entirely oblivious. But Moe glanced over and froze with the shock of recognition. I nodded at him and smiled, tossed a $10 on the bar — the redhead was cute and the service was prompt — grabbed my Corona and strolled casually to their table.
Strolling casually was difficult, considering I was jacked up on no fewer than six cups of truck-stop coffee I’d consumed on my 700-mile drive from Hagerstown. I’d made it in just a shade over 14 hours, although I could have done it in less than 11, if I hadn’t been forced to exit I-81 south of Bristol to elude the Tennessee state trooper who blue-lighted me when I flew past him at 110 mph.
With my thorough knowledge of the region’s back roads and a half-mile head-start — the trooper must have been a rookie and was just a tad slow on the jump — I knew he’d never overtake me. But like the moonshiners used to say, you can’t outrun the Motorola, so I’d been forced to park the rented Mustang for half an hour behind a Pentacostal church near Walnut Hill while half the law-enforcement personnel in Sullivan County raced back and forth on the Blountville Highway trying to find me. I sat there on the front steps of the church, reading that morning’s New York Times, smoking Camel Lights and enjoying the show until I was sure they’d called off the pursuit.
Given that the trooper had never gotten close enough to see my tags, I was reasonably safe from further harassment, but now there was a BOLO for the Mustang, so I had to wind my way through backroads until I picked up I-26, then cut back over to I-81 and kept it cool all the way through Knoxville before opening it up again once I made it on I-75.
So it was nearly 8 p.m. when I handed the keys to the valet in front of the Grand Hyatt, grabbed my satchel and tried to be inconspicuous as I pushed through the side door and crossed the lobby to the men’s room.
Quickly washing, shaving and brushing my teeth, I changed clothes and looked as sharp as a CEO when I re-entered the lobby and approached the concierge, handing him the satchel containing my toiletry kit, washcloth and dirty laundry.
“No problem, sir,” he said, handing me a ticket in exchange for a $5 tip.
“You’re a gentleman and a scholar, Reginald,” I replied, with the manic sincerity of a man who’d had nine hours sleep in the past three days, including a fitful 90-minute nap in the front seat of the Mustang in a truckstop parking lot near Adairsville.
Moe Lane knew none of this, of course, and my stroll across the Hyatt bar was supremely casual.
“Stacy!” he said. “What the . . I mean, what’s with the tux?”
Attila stared glassy-eyed, predictably having skipped dinner to start in on the gin at five o’clock. She seemed to be trying to form the words of a greeting, but I just smiled, took a big swig of the Corona and pulled up a chair.
“Oh, my buddy Phil Kent invited me to a state GOP fund-raiser, and I thought I’d swing by over here and see how things were going.”
“Stacy!” said Attila at last, putting her hand on my wrist.
“Sweetheart, how are ya?” I said, but she was too far gone to comprehend even this simple pleasantry, much less formulate an answer.
“Stacy!” she repeated, but then was distracted when the waiter walked past our table. She grabbed him and thrust her empty glass at him, demanding more gin. I turned my attention to Moe.
“Hey, good to see ya, man. Where’s Mr. Erickson?” I said, taking another long drink from the Corona and trying to be as nonchalant as possible.
“Oh, he’s still finishing up at the reception. I’m sure he’ll be here in 10 minutes.”
Still nonchalant, I shook my head and finished the Corona with another long gulp. “Too bad. Can’t stick around. I’ve got to run back over to Phil’s party. But maybe I can drop in and say howdy to Erick on my way out. Where’s the reception?”
Moe told me the name of the ballroom and I nodded as he told me which floor it was on.
“Thanks, buddy,” I said, then reached inside my jacket and pulled out the souvenir Bowie knife I’d bought for $30 at that Adairsville truck stop. Now my eyes gleamed crazily as I briefly brandished the seven-inch blade. “I’ve got some old business to settle with Mr. Erickson tonight . . .”
With that, I stood up and, holding the knife down beside my leg as if to conceal it, walked quickly toward the side door, glancing back just once to see Moe frantically typing a text-message into his Blackberry. Perfect.
Ditching the knife in the nearest trash can — definitely $30 of fun — I headed up the corridor to the pay phones, dropped in some change and made a quick call. After hanging up, I went around the corner, down the hall and turned left, back into the lobby. The concierge spotted me as I strode cheerfully toward him, holding the ticket for my satchel. He took the ticket and handed me the bag with a smiling “thank you, sir.”
When I walked out the door, Phil’s car was waiting. I threw the satchel in the back seat, climbed in and closed the door.
“Stace, old buddy, how’s it going?” Phil said. “It’s been a while.”
“Yeah, too long, Phil. But you know how it is — busy, busy, busy.”
He wheeled the car through the driveway, but stopped when he heard the sirens of the Atlanta P.D. cars that came screaming down Peachtree Street toward us.
“Wow? What’s that?” Phil said.
“Ah, some drunk woman was getting rowdy in the bar. She started talking a lot of crazy stuff about a knife. I guess somebody finally called the cops.”
“Yeah, that happens a lot around here,” Phil said, turning onto Peachtree after the cop cars had roared past.
“Yeah, I said. “It happens . . .”

Merely another hypothetical scenario, you see. No way I would actually do something that crazy. Even if I had time to drive to Atlanta this weekend, the gas alone would chew up the commission check that just came in the mail this morning, and my wife wants to make the overdue car payment with that. On the other hand, if a couple dozen readers were to hit the tip jar today . . .

Well, I probably still wouldn’t drive to Atlanta just for the fun of startling Moe and Attila by my unexpected arrival, but isn’t it important for them to think I could?

(Erick: No need to pay me for promoting the Red State Gathering. It’s entirely my pleasure, you skunk-sucking bastard.)

UPDATE: Thanks to Steve Givler for playing the Grammar Nazi in the comments. “Strode” is just one of those irregular past-tenses that sounds so weird that it doesn’t occur to the ear naturally, and I tend to write by ear, having paid only enough attention in freshman comp class to slide through with a B. Nothing against English majors or Advanced Grammar classes, you understand. Some of my best friends were English majors. NTTAWWT.

July 31, 2009

‘Get your clunkers for nothing,and your cash for free . . .’

In one of those fiendishly stupid examples of liberal logic that will be cited in Econ 201 texts for decades to come — typing is difficult when I’m laughing so hard — “Cash for Clunkers” is broke:

The program . . . was supposed to expire at the end of October. But in the one week since it took effect, it appears to have run dry of the $1 billion allocated to it . . .

Lots more at NTCNews.com, including a post from the Cato Institute’s Chris Moody, reminding us that Cato senior fellow Alan Reynolds figured out six weeks ago how to game the system: Trade clunker for crappy new econobox, collect fed bonus, sell econobox, add that to your bonus — congratulations, you’ve got the purchase price for a classic V-8 ’67 Impala or a second-hand SUV!

I’m reminded of something P.J. O’Rourke once said, in regard to “affordable housing”: Every time the government promises to give you something for nothing, imagine the result if you tried this yourself. You’d quickly find yourself with a severe shortage of something and a whole lot of nothing.

Given that the fundamental flaw in this legislation was so obvious that any clever sixth-grader could spot it, what sort of geniuses dreamed it up?

Sponsors of the [Senate] bill [are] Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) . . . In the House, the same bill was introduced [Jan. 14] by Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Dennis Moore (D-Kansas) . . .
Writing in the Detroit Free Press [Jan. 6], Brookings Institution economist Jason Bordoff laid out both the economic and environmental advantages of such a program . . .

Ah, yes, the “advantages of such a program”! Clever libertarians now hot-rodding around in their ’65 Mustangs and ’71 Camaros are no doubt very grateful to Bordoff, Congress and the taxpayers who paid the tab.

(Via Memeorandum.)

UPDATE: Jimmie Bise wonders if ObamaCare will work better than “Cash for Clunkers.”

July 31, 2009

Hanson’s gloom can be answered by going back to square one

by Smitty

Victor Davis Hanson remains one of my all-time favorites:

Unless we return to a meritocracy, emphasize science, math, liberal arts, and engineering—rather than the plague of ‘studies’ courses (as in environmental-, leisure-, gender-, Latino-, black-, Asia-, Chicano-, community-, feminist-studies, etc.)—we simply will not match the Chinese and Indians in this century.

The American people are waiting for a leader bold enough to balance budgets, restore meritocracy, end the therapeutic mushy sentimentality in our educational system, and insist on the rule of law, free markets, and limit government.

Otherwise we know the ultimate end of the present road: a vast bureaucracy of non-taxpaying incompetents, damning the estranged few for not producing ever more to be taxed, convinced that they are geniuses—and only due to some sort of unfairness have been surpassed by others.

The Chinese are rough, competent people and have no such delusions. In about 10 years their enormous financial power will begin to translate into military sophistication, and I don’t think their foreign policy will either have much to do with human rights or care much about what we have to say about them.

I disagree slightly with VDH. If you bring in just one leader who can pack a stadium, say, a Sarah Palin, that’s one thing. As you read the Old Testament, the Israelites got their Hezekiah now and then. But the on-again off-again good leadership marked a decaying trend.

If I had a strictly hypothetical beer, it would be with the first POTUS. The genius of Washington was the sincerity of his “It’s not about me”. Consider the inaugural POTUS inauguration speech (emphasis mine, his humble excellence all his own):

On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one who (inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration) ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions all I dare aver is that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is that if, in executing this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which mislead me, and its consequences be judged by my country with some share of the partiality in which they originated.

Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow- citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.

So, if GW was 6’2″, how great would our current POTUS seem, juxtaposed?

Back to VDH. It’s come to this, 226 years after GW’s speech:

While exploring the Basilica di San Vitale today, I was reminded of the news from America. An entire nation is obsessed with the silly Henry Louis Gates affair. A supposedly premier intellectual, who is a professor of African-American grievance, gets into a spat with a cop, purportedly evokes his “mama” in slurs, warns the cop whom he is “messin'” with, and then gets affirmation from the President—and we are supposed to think this is some sort of cosmic “teachable moment” in between trying to borrow another trillion dollars to socialize medicine in the manner of the Department of Motor Vehicles?

Just as there is no logic in ruining the American medical system, so too there is no longer an elite class when its best and brightest scream slurs like “mama” and “messin'”, or condemn an entire police force as acting “stupidly” when it is trying to keep the rule of law.

Yes, parts of the United States are becoming like the collapsing world outside the sanctum of San Vitale.

VDH ends on down note, but all is not yet lost.

As NiceDeb links, the Tea Party Express has a nice, slow burn, leading up to 12Sep09. If the Wicked Witch of the West returns on Monday, 07Sep09 to start the voting engines, that puts the Tea Party Express in the economically bustling vicinity of the Rust Belt, and chugging towards New England, before the Southward swing for DC.

It sure seems to me that the attempt of the Progressives to deconstruct George Washington’s good work is heading towards some sort of climax. Surely we all need to offer our “fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe” that these things play out peacefully.

Returning to Hanson’s waiting for a leader observation, another crucial point is the need to de-emphasize all the personality politics. Fred Thompson had the closest to Washington’s lack of megalomania towards the task. If we do not seek to minimize the moral hazard of the job, seek to de-fang Washington, DC, seek to restore some semblance of Federalism to the single, United State, then whatever happens after 12Sep09 really doesn’t matter much. The Federal budget dragon will continue increasingly to consume all. The management-by-crisis style of the Obama Administration will become the status quo. Rule of Law will be exchanged for patronage. The separation between Congress and the Executive will shrink. The increasingly rigged elections will be lauded for their high turnout, and new freedoms will be legislated regularly to paper over the diminished liberty with Orwellian gusto.

Oh, now I’m going down the VDH gloom trail. Antidote:

And then there is always my favorite VDH quote, from an education forum clip somewhere on PJTV:

History tells all of us that nobody gets a pass. Your [country’s] perpetual existence is not guaranteed. If you do not believe in yourself, and believe that you’re better than the alternative, and have the educational skills to come to that empirical judgment, then there is no reason for you to continue, and often you won’t.

July 31, 2009

Strictly a hypothetical beer

Matt Margolis offers a thought experiment, which I found at Jimmie’s Sundries Shack:

If you could have a beer with any politician, living or dead, who would it be?

Easy: Hubert H. Humphrey. So I could punch him in the teeth and say, “That’s on behalf of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, you shallow, contemptible and hopelessly dishonest old hack!”

Then I’d smash my Corona bottle on the bar, grab that filthy scumbag by his collar and hold the jagged bottle edge to his fat little throat:

“Oh, it’s not just for that shabby little deal with Daley in ’68, you vicious pimp. Don’t think the American people will ever forgive you for being the first major-party presidential candidate to advocate socialized medicine. I could slice you open like a carp, you miserable twerp, but I’m not gonna do it, and you’re probably wondering why. It’s this way, Hube: You’re not even worth the hassle of pleading insanity, so I could spend every evening for the rest of my life porking second-shift nurses at St. Elizabeths. Now, get out of here and don’t come back, punk. If you ever cross my path again, it will be your last day on earth, and the best thing that ever happened to the nursing staff at St. Elizabeths.”

Of course, it’s only a hypothetical . . . Like a cowardly swine, Hube was shrewd enough to die before I ever got my shot at him.

Update: by Smitty
Great POWIP post with dialogue outtakes from the Suds Summit.

July 31, 2009

Obi’s Sister: Bad to the Bone

by Smitty

Obi’s Sister has a roundup: “So How Bad is Bad?
This is an obvious Thoroughgood call.

On the topic of Delaware, the real reason Vice President Biden was allowed within 50 feet of the Suds Summit was to balance the picture: two black guys and two whites.
When will the country be post-racial? When Affirmative Action moves to History.

July 31, 2009

Bareback Bailout: Stimulus Interruptus

Michelle Malkin:

Stimulus money for the National Endowment for the Arts is supposed to be “restricted specifically to job preservation.”
But a look at the list of NEA stimulus projects reveals that the money is being used instead for sexual titillation.

And not merely the Democrats’ usual sadistic delight in screwing taxpayers, Really, who could object to International BikiniFest, when peepshow politicians pay the NEA for this stuff?

Some members of Congress raised alarms as the stimulus bill was being drafted and approved, but President Obama, while admitting there were problems with the $787 billion legislation, stressed the need for immediate action to resuscitate the economy.
“We can’t afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary,” Obama said at the time.
But he presumably didn’t intend to have stimulus money help fund the weekly production of “Perverts Put Out” at San Francisco’s CounterPULSE, whose “long-running pansexual performance series” invites guests to “join your fellow pervs for some explicit, twisted fun.”
CounterPULSE received a $25,000 grant in the “Dance” category; a staffer there said they were pleased to receive the grant, “which over the next year will be used to preserve jobs at our small non-profit.”
Similarly, the director of Frameline, the gay and lesbian film house, told FOXNews.com in an e-mail that their $50,000 grant was not to support any program in particular.
“The grant is not intended for a specific program; it’s to be used for the preservation of jobs at our media arts nonprofit organization over the next year during the economic downturn,” wrote K.C. Price, who listed four other NEA grants his organization has received.

Good news: If ObamaCare passes, there will be free counseling for Republican taxpayers raped by Congress.

Democrats? You were askin’ for it . . .

July 30, 2009

‘Of course, you know, this means war’

So says the Sage of Poca, Don Surber, in a comment on a post where I made casual reference to the notorious ugliness of West Virginia women.

Since I was in a hurry last night to comment on the insane assertion that Maxine Waters could be one of the “most beautiful” people in Washington (or anywhere else), I saw no need to add attributions, footnotes, bibliography or other documentation to support my journalistic account of what is, after all, an objective fact.

Ask any resident of Kentucky or Maryland about the “butterface” women of the Mountaineer State. Sports reporters dread the day they are assigned to cover a game at WVU, where the cheerleaders are known as “The Two-Bagger Squad.”

Even among Pennsylvanians — who have foisted upon an unwilling world a disproportionate number of those heinous women known locally as “Pittsburgh Bridge Trolls” — there is this common saying: “Just because she’s ugly, doesn’t necessarily mean she’s from West Virginia.”

Should Don Surber wish to provide photographic evidence of a West Virginia woman who is not a poster girl for birth control, he is welcome to do so. Otherwise, I can only refer him to the Ohioans, who universally agree that West Virginia women make even the coyote-ugly girls of Toledo look “sexy” by comparison.

No need, of course, to mention the proverbial advice commonly given to desperate and unattractive men in Charlottesville, Staunton and other parts of the Old Dominion: “Either go gay or go to W-V-A.” (Which most folks in Richmond consider to be less strictly a comment on the looks of West Virginia women than an allusion to their infamous promiscuity.)

The point is that this is not my opinion, but an objective fact, verifiable by testimony of millions of witnesses. My personal opinion is moot, and not merely because I am a professional journalist.
Like Dr. James Joyner, my judgment of beauty is permanently biased by having attended college in Alabama, where at least two-thirds of Waffle House waitresses are more attractive than whatever tragedy of aesthetics is annually dubbed “Miss West Virginia.”

UPDATE: Jimmie Bise is from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, a popular vacation destination for women from West Virginia. Jimmie says this is why folks in Ocean City refer to August as the “Dog Days of Summer.”

July 30, 2009

International Rule 5 BikiniFest–Finale

by Smitty

We’re going to go ahead and declare the Cosmic Winner for the International Rule 5 BikiniFest: Jeffords, who correctly identified Phoebe Cates (scroll down–I’m no’ so daft as to think ‘Cates’ is spelled ‘Page’). The last clue was going to be that she’d been featured on this blog at some point, but Jeffords cut to the chase.

The chief goal of the thing, kicking back just a little bit in the face of an ugly, stressful year, was substantially met.
Minor goals of getting to know some folks better and tidying over some recent challenges were only partially met. Welcome to life.
After this, links will be saved for the usual Rule 5 Sunday tomfoolery. To the task:

  • Fishersville Mike recommends (G) Jennifer Nettles.
  • Health Care Reform is a byotch, which Reboot Congress mistook for a beach. He was so kind as to include (G) Dana Loesch and (G) Michelle, which gets him over the high bar we set (careful, you’ll catch your foot on it and trip).
  • Cosmic Winner Jeffords reaches into the cornucopia an emerges with (PG) Anna Kournikova. Come on: I can’t be the only one with that word in mind when I see her name.
  • The WyBlog goes for (PG-13) Heidi Klum

Today’s winner is Fishersville Mike. After 4 days of sunny beach blogging, we finally got a lady on a surfboard. Woo hoo!

Update:
More.com has exactly that.

Update II:
Previous winner Teach at the Pirate’s Cove hoists a (G) patriotic post, concurrent with the presidential beer. Thanks, mate!

Update III:
Couple of the usual suspects rolling in.
Bob Belvedere adds (G) Linda Harrison to the mix. Played Wonder Woman in a failed TV pilot, according to Wikipedia.
On a related (unrelated to Smitty) note, Rightofcourse puts in a (PG) Anna Nicole Smith.