Archive for August 8th, 2009

August 8, 2009

Tom Knapp is a friend . . .

. . . and therefore I will accept his criticism as sincere, even if I think his analysis of the 2008 Libertarian Party campaign is flawed:

And what, pray tell, did we get out of the [Bob] Barr nomination? . . . [T]he fourth-best results (as a percentage of the vote total) of the Libertarian Party’s ten presidential outings. Our reward for taking a flier and running a conservative instead of a libertarian was middle-of-the-pack performance at the polls and incalculable damage to our reputation as a party with principles we weren’t willing to sell for a mess of . . . well, let’s just note that it was a mess and leave it at that.

One might attack Tom’s argument from several directions, but I think the most important point is one which Tom ignores altogether. One of the reasons that the Barr campaign got so much national media attention in Spring 2008 was the widespread belief that, given the strength of the Ron Paul GOP campaign — especially in terms of online fundraising — and furthermore considering an established personal friendship between Barr and Paul, if the LP nominated Barr, he would bring much of Paul’s financial and grassroots support with him.

While this envisioned scenario did not actually develop after the “Dogfight in Denver” (in which Barr fought for six ballots to gain the LP nomination) this does not mean the original hope of Team Barr was misguided.

There has been a good deal of behind-the-scenes finger-pointing among Libertarians as to what went wrong after the LP convention in May, but a falling-out between Paul and Barr (which seems to have happened in June) could not have been anticipated when Team Barr organized its nomination campaign.

Tom and I met as part of the vanload of “smelly libertarians” who made the road trip to the Denver LP convention. Tom represents a sizeable faction in the Libertarian Party who hate and despise anything “conservative” or Republican. And, of course, there are any number of Republican conservatives who use “libertarian” as an epithet.

This is unfortunate, especially since most Republicans I know are, to some degree, libertarians (with a small “l”). And most Libertarians I know have been involved in primary campaigns for libertarian-leaning Republicans like Ron Paul.

Eric Dondero attempts to bridge this chasm by styling himself a Libertarian Republican. My friend Stephen Gordon has been an operative in both the GOP and LP. Personally, I have attempted to describe “Libertarian Populism” as a potential locus for opposition to both Democratic Party progressive statism and the Progressive Lite go-along-to-get-along approach of GOP “moderates,” by offering freedom as the basic answer to populist grievances.

What is at stake in all this is something much more important than divergent estimates of individual candidates or disagreements about campaign strategy. What is at stake is nothing less than liberty itself.

If our nation’s future is to be entrusted to Nancy Pelosi and her ilk, then the disagreements between Tom Knapp and myself are moot, no more relevant to contemporary politics than an historical discussion of how the Whigs self-destructed after 1844.

In the present crisis, friends of liberty must prioritize their efforts and focus on practical activism to stop ObamaCare, Waxman-Markey and EFCA — the Big Three legislative initiatives being pushed through Congress with every resource that can be mustered by the special interests who control the Democratic Party.

The passage of any one of these Big Three initiatives would inflict a damaging blow, perhaps even a fatal wound, to the cause of American liberty. I assume that Tom Knapp fully supports the “angry mob” effort to prevent passage of those initiatives, and therefore do not wish to waste time debating the past.

Let us act now to secure the future of freedom, Tom. We’ll leave the historical debates for some occasion when we can sit down together with cold beverages and each tell the other to his face how completely full of crap he is.

August 8, 2009

3d Loser Award: Lawrence O’Donnell

by Smitty (h/t Hot Air)

This blog hasn’t given out a 3-D Loser Award in a while.Then again, Lawrence O’Donnells don’t just grow on trees–the whole forest would die.

Possibly, the Argument Clinic is the only boondoggle that didn’t make the Longevity Abatement Legislation. Yet.

August 8, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: Timeline ofthe Investigation; Note on Credit

Matt Carter of the Dallas TV Examiner:

After it was made clear that “Gryphen” (his handle on the blog) was in fact Jesse Griffin, the blogger abruptly resigned from his job as a kindergarten aide at a local Anchorage school. . . .
Since the story broke, some commentators have chosen to add their thoughts. Fox News has been the most prominent channel to televise news of rumors so far, with Bill O’Reilly referring to it as “nasty” and a “vicious attack;” Glenn Beck introduced the story as “Americans ignoring common sense.” Fox News is watched by a more conservative audience than CNN or MSNBC. Could this have something to do with why the network is choosing to cover it while others are choosing to turn the other way? (Emphasis added.)

Note the passive construction, “it was made clear.” By whom was it made clear? Carter gives no indication, and the unwary reader might be excused for supposing that Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck were responsible.

Given that Dan Riehl and I spent six days sweating blood to get this story, Mr. Carter’s failure to acknowledge our work constitutes an attempt to deprive us of proper credit. He should rectify this oversight because, while I am tolerant and forgiving, Dan Riehl is from New Jersey — IYKWIMAITYD — and his umbrage is something no one should incur even by well-intentioned oversight, much less by purposeful insult.

Just in case anyone has arrived late at this news, here are links to major items, arranged in chronological order, in the development of the “Gryphen”/Griffin story:

Anyone in any medium (online, print, radio, TV) wishing to report further on this story is free to do so, but anyone who fails to acknowledge the original reporting . . . well, trust me, you wouldn’t want Dan Riehl mad at you.

BTW, Dan and I have had the help of various Web scavengers who have not sought credit for their contributions to this investigation. Yet I freely acknowledge, as I am sure Dan also would do, that we could not have done this without the assistance of many unnamed others.

Because I’ve got other work to do, I’m content to let Dan handle things from here on out. Be sure to check Riehl World View for any further developments. And now, the unofficial Dan Riehl theme song:

“Cheap” I wish. It’s a labor of love.

August 8, 2009

Fortnightly Mama Jamma Rinky-dinky-linky hAmma

by Smitty

Last weekend I fell short of being able to attend a wedding, keep up with my online course, do my weekend warrior thing, and squeeze in an FMJRA post. When sanity and the law limit your stimulants to caffeine, that’s what happens.
So we’ll have a double browser-buster post this time, split in two parts, and get this porch cleared of debris. They say when the refrigerator count gets above three, you might be lookin’ trashy.
These links should have been last Saturday’s post, but cherish them nonetheless.

Richmond Tea Party
Stacy continued his illustrious string of Tea Party speeches in Richmond. He’s careful to schedule them when I’m unavoidably detained. I think he fears heckling.

  • PAWatercooler posts a shot of RSM hitting a high note. Whether he was referring to himself as “Darlin'” or “Mac the Knife” at that moment is hard to discern from the photo.
  • The mighty Instapundit noticed this humble blog’s presence at the Richmond Tea Party.
  • United Conservatives linked the Richmod Tea Party report.
  • Jimmie noted the Richmond Excursion, but seemed challenged to link the Pink Elephant Pundit. What Jimmie was up to that gave him all of this trouble with pink elephants, one cannot say. By the way, what’s that potent liquid in the canning jar on the back shelf behind the register at the Sundries Shack?

IG-Gate

  • Moe Lane on IG-Gate:

    [Stacy McCain’s] not particularly impressed with the willingness of Democrats to ignore the implications – and really, neither am I; but I don’t think that either of us are particularly surprised, either. The more that one looks into this, the more hidden minefields there are in the form of entrenched Democratic party interests. You have to expect that their lower-level staffers and officials are not particularly willing to screw their courage to the sticking point on this one…

    I’ll opine that as the Chicago Tumor grows and threatens to metastasize, this probably becomes a handy tool. They keep piling up facts at a low frequency, and, if it becomes expedient, they can probably make it grounds for impeachment. Which doesn’t say much for the 111th Congress’s committment to integrity as such, but we are talking about Congress. We certainly have the bozos for whom We The People voted.

Sadly, there is no YouTube of Knofpler doing “Punish the Monkey” off of “Kill to Get Crimson”, but we do have someone doing a nice job of showing off the guitar part while it plays. I nominate this track as the IG-Gate Theme Song.

Clunkers
Stacy’s title alluded to the classic Dire Straits cut, of course. Let’s just admit it: Knopfler jams.

Maxine Walters

  • Jimmie was equally dumbfounded at Maxine Walters on The Hill’s beauty roundup.
  • The PA Watercooler called for response to the RSM “Pittsburgh Bridge Trolls” taunt
  • Another Black Conservative gives a thumbs down for Maxine Walters.

Abstract Quaffin’

  • Jimmie picked up on the choice of Hunter S. Thompson for a strictly hypothetical beverage.
  • Political By Line, whose Iowa-class battleship masthead really turns my screws, quoted the ‘exit criteria‘ question this blog posed on Gates-aquiddick.
  • Carol linked us in a thorough review of the story, in case anyone was totally asleep on the point.

Health Care Prevention Act

  • Poli-Tea party quotes Stacy on health care reform: “Every Republican vote for such legislation is a nail in the coffin of the GOP…Kill the bill!” Remember, boys and girls, this legislation is a zombie, and the prescription for zombies is shotgun shells, not fire.
  • Right of Course enjoyed the meditation on Romney and Federalism.
  • The Associated Press check called it a “real conservative perspective“. The Porch Manqué lives for this sort of feedback.
  • Jimmie rogers up for supporting Romney, if he’s got any Federalist thoughts under that immaculate hair.
  • Another Black Conservative plays the Nancy Reagan card on Obamacare.

While I’m theme-songing scandals and legislation, here is one for the Longevity Abatement Act (credit to Paco, AFAIK, for that wonderful moniker):

Malignant Narcissim has a cool story behind it. The female soundbite is from Team America: World Police “Usually a case of malignant narcissism brought on during childhood”
I can understand people not enjoying Geddy’s tenor vocals on Rush. But Stacy came up with some cheesy excuse about not liking Rush due to a low blues content. Whatever, man. Readers are encouraged to heap abuse upon Stacy concerning this specific point of silliness.

Economy–Should We Opt For One That Doesn’t Suck?

  • Dr. Melissa links a Paul Krugman link while wondering aloud about the recession. I predict that the economic amphetamines wear off after Labor Day, and more dope doesn’t help the addict. But that’s a common sense prediction, not a doctor’s prescription.
  • Joel Pavelski links the economic confusion post in the midst of a broader roundup.

Miscellaneous Shouts

  • Obi’s Sister had a roundup asking How Bad is Bad? One is at a loss to figure out how this blog could possibly find itself profiled in such a lineup.
  • Troglopundit hat tips us most graciously for generatl good humor.
  • Jimmie had a qualilty meditation about Dan Rather, in contrast to old-school types like Stacy.
  • Right View from the Left Coast liked the Dead Kennedys link in the Gatesaquiddick fiasco.
  • A shout to Cassandra, and she knows why.
  • Made a roundup at Carolyn Tackett’s Closet for the post I Must Be An Idiot. See, Mr. President, what a forthright approach can get you?
  • Rhetorican and I took turns linking each other on a Ben Stein piece.
  • The Knappster links us on the Million Hits topic in suitably shameless fashion, offering a couple of other interesting thoughts.

Stay tuned to this blog, as I’ve another emacs buffer of links to go through from the last week. You readers are wonderful, and make these compilations quite an HTML party.

August 8, 2009

Lest we think there is no room for things to worsen here…

by Smitty

Dr. Sanity posts a haunting video compiled by Iranian women in protest to the brutality with which our current administration seems strangely comfortable. Heart wrenching.

Also on the topic of women speaking truth to power, Sarah Palin called Obamacare “downright evil”. So, that’s going to curry favor with BHO. Hat tip ABC, who also has the best graphic on the topic.

August 8, 2009

Zappa to Tea Parties

by Smitty

Frank had a potty mouth, so I put it up over at effing conservatives, but it’s a nice reggae groove that seems to be a prescient note about the SEIU to the Tea Parties: “We’ve got to stick together”.

August 8, 2009

Coulter In the House!

Just ducked out of a speech by Ann Coulter here at the YAF National Conservative Student Conference, so I could report her opening line: “I’d like to thank the pharmaceutical industry for putting together this fake audience for me.”

Actually, the audience is real — and it’s spectacular! Coulter also said that, thanks to the Obama administration, now every ballerina can grow up to be White House chief of staff.

Will update later . . .

UPDATE: Now it’s Q&A time, where Ann has — in the past — caused controversy.

UPDATE II: Understand that the last-night dinner at the YAF conference is a big deal, and the young ladies get all dolled up for it. Some of them are dressed in a manner that might best be described as . . . well, Coulteresque.

OK, so a platinum blonde in a zebra-striped dress just asked Ann whether she would advise attending law school, as Coulter herself did.

“Do not go to law school,” replies Ann. “Encourage liberals to go to law school. It’s a complete waste of time.”

Coulter said the only caveat is, it’s OK to go to law school if you actually want to practice law. But if you”re just a recent college graduate who doesn’t know what to do next, the “Oh, I guess I’ll just go to law school” route is a waste of time, she said.

BTW, Coulter was introduced tonight by Ramapo College senior Lauren Scirocco, who was recently interviewed in Time magazine:

I really like Sarah Palin. I think as a conservative woman, I can really relate to her. . . . Conservatives feel like she’s someone they can relate to and believe in. Liberals vilify her and make fun of her constantly, and I think that’s because they’re afraid of her and know she’s going to be there in the future. She’s not going away.

BTW, Miss Scirocco’s dress tonight is . . . Coultersque.

UPDATE III: Just met Robert Vernon Myers III, a recent graduate of Florida International University, and had the opportunity to introduce him to Regis Giles, daughter of popular conservative commentator Doug Giles. Young Miss Giles’ black dress tonight is . . . Coulteresque.

UPDATE IV: Speaking of Coulteresque . . .

At left is A.J. Dobson of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, who just had his book signed by Ann Coulter. I jokingly suggested Ann should write her personal cell number under her autograph, but that wouldn’t be Coultersque. That would be . . . Cougaresque.

Speaking of bad jokes, remember Jesse Griffin? Miss Coulter told me, “You’ve been doing some great work lately.” She said she had seen the reports that Dan Riehl and I had done about the anti-Palin blogger “Gryphen.” BTW, just noticed that story’s been linked by Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs, and meanwhile Dan Riehl has the latest on Jesse.

UPDATE V: To the commenter who asked: Yes, Mrs. Other McCain knows where I am. And she also knows I’ll be at the private after-party at an undisclosed location. Mrs. Other McCain has been putting up with my bad jokes for 20 years.

And so, folks . . . on to the after-party!

UPDATE VI: by Smitty
Stacy reports, from an undisclosed location, that at 2300 Eastern, an Coulter ate a cheese-fry. Additionally, she is partaking of a margarita on the rocks for her beverage. This is offered in direct rebuke of the lefties who claim she’s a succubus.

UPDATE VII: by Smitty
Via Town Hall, the monologue.

August 8, 2009

Lieberman, Collins, Grassley express ‘serious concern’ about ITC’s IG

Scored a minor scoop today from Capitol Hill:

Three senators, including Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, have sent a letter to Shara L. Aranoff, chairwoman of the International Trade Commission, expressing “serious concerns” about the contractual terms under which the ITC’s inspector general is hired.
The letter, signed by Lieberman, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — the committee’s ranking Republican — and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), complained of the ITC’s unusual practice of hiring the agency’s IG under a six-month contract, which the senators suggest may undermine the watchdog’s independence.

Read the whole thing. What is significant is that this is the first evidence that Lieberman’s committee is willing to cooperate with Grassley, who has been bulldogging IG-Gate for nearly two months.