Friday, February 29, 2008


Life (or at least Concurring Opinions) Imitates BOTW

From the February 27th edition of Best of the Web (posted at 4:11PM):

Life Imitates the Onion
• "After a decade of aggressive expansion throughout North America and abroad, Starbucks suddenly and unexpectedly closed its 2,870 worldwide locations Monday to prepare for what company insiders are calling "Phase Two" of the company's long-range plan."--
Onion, March 14, 2001

• "As caffeine junkies looking for their evening fix were locked out of Starbucks during the company's three-hour nationwide training session Tuesday, many didn't have to look farther than some competing cafe down the street for free or discounted cups of joe."--Associated Press, Feb. 26, 2008”

From a February 27th posting at Concurring Opinions two hours later:

Starbucks Takes a 3-Hour Coffee Break

seems wayyyy too close for comfort to this:

Starbucks To Begin Sinister 'Phase Two' Of Operation"


A William F. Buckley Anecdote

My brother – we’ll call him “Georgia Conservatarian” – emailed me with what he describes as “the story of one of [his] top 5 most boneheaded decisions of [his] life”.

Georgia Conservatarian:

“I was in NYC for a Manhattan Institute Dinner a few years ago. I was living in DC at this point, so I had called some old friends up and told them I would meet them for drinks after the event. When the Dinner ended (at my table was James Taranto) I said my goodbyes to several people I knew and made my way to the door to catch a taxi on this rainy NYC evening. A long line had formed outside the hotel for cabs (getting a cab on a rainy night takes a while), and as I approached the line, I realized the person in front of me was WFB. So I put out my hand and introduced myself and said that I appreciated everything he had done for the country and conservative thought, and that his columns had educated me as much if not more than any formal education I had received. He was very gracious, and we talked in line for a several minutes. I can't really remember what we talked about, because the whole time I was thinking in my head "HOLY S**T, I'M TALKING TO WFB". Anyway, we finally reached the curb and a cab showed up, which he actually offered to me and I declined, we shook hands again, and he began to enter the cab.

Here is the bonehead he was getting into the cab, he paused and turned around and asked "Are you going uptown, would you like to share a cab?" And idiot me, who was heading about 10 blocks downtown, said "No, thank you, I am heading downtown." So he gets in the cab and drives away. And I am standing there in the rain, with people standing behind me who saw the whole exchange, and I screaming to myself "You are a freakin' idiot, you just turned down a chance to ride in a cab with WFB!! Why didn't you lie and say you were headed uptown to Harlem to eat at Sylvia's" And I am sure everyone behind me was thinking the same thing”.

Now I can attest that GC – him being my brother and him just being a guy – has done a lot of boneheaded things in his life. That he ranks this among the Top 5 is just another testament to the greatness of William F. Buckley.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Compare and Contrast

A few years ago, when John Kenneth Galbraith passed away, Bart Barnes wrote up the story for the Washington Post: John Kenneth Galbraith; Popularized Modern Economics. About twenty paragraphs in is the first time you ever read the word “Liberal” (and then only as part of the name of Galbraith’s father’s political party; the Canadian Liberal Party). In fact, that is the only time you see that word as not once did Mr. Barnes deign to so describe one of the most famous liberals of our time.

As it is, now-retired Washington Post obituary writer Bart Barnes is also the name on today’s write up now available on line. Let’s see how long we go before we find out what Mr. Buckley’s political persuasion is:

Conservative William F. Buckley Jr. Dies at 82 -

That didn’t take long, did it?

Too bad; in an othewise decent and informative piece, Mr. Barnes can't seem to escape his fixation on Mr. Buckley's conservatism. It's a common tendency, I guess - fixating on the traits in others that we don't share.

Side Notes I: Most irksome is that I know Mr. Barnes is well aware of Mr. Galbraith’s liberal reputation:

“Over the years, Buckley had "transideological friendships" with such liberals as economist John Kenneth Galbraith and columnist Murray Kempton.”

(That's from today’s piece – note that John Kenneth Galbraith’s “transideological friendships” were not considered that extraordinary or worthy of mention after his passing.)

Side Notes II:In his senior year, Buckley was chairman of the Yale Daily News student newspaper and a member of Skull and Bones, the secret senior society whose membership also includes both Presidents Bush.”

…the membership also includes Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and Washington Post writer Dana Milbank. I guess we should describe it as a “transideological” secret senior society.

Side Notes III: “He feuded bitterly with the writer Gore Vidal, and in a live appearance on ABC television at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Vidal called Buckley a "crypto-Nazi."

“Buckley answered: "Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in the goddamn face."

It would have been fair to also note that Mr. Buckley immediately regretted that statement and the noteworthiness of Buckley's statement lies in that it was and remained an obvious aberration. Poisoned Root by Paul Johnson on National Review


William Buckley, R.I.P.

William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008)

William Buckley is as responsible as any one person can be for the revival and ongoing vibrancy of a conservative thought and tradition here in the United States. He founded National Review, which then begat National Review Online – both of which are ongoing personal must-reads. Not bad for a Yalie.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Piling on the NY Times

A strange comment in a WaPo piece on Bedbugs

“Even the overkill-averse New York Times has partaken, spraying the city with no fewer than a dozen bedbug stories in the past five years. "Bedbugs are back," reads a line from a 2005 Times article, "and spreading through New York City like a swarm of locusts on a lush field of wheat."


This is the same NY Times that published FORTY stories on Augusta National’s men-only membership in less than 5 months back in 2002. As Victor Hanson recently observed over at NRO:

“…the signature trademark of the Times now is to take a particular ideological position, and then advance its advocacy by creating "news" on the front page—each subsequent day nuancing and tweaking the theme until the reader is exhausted, sighs "OK, we agree, enough already" and the desired result is achieved.”

The NY Times has become Exhibit A for overkill journalism.


Apparently, we're not doing enough for ILLEGALS

"I think it's pretty sad that a country that has been built by immigrants now looks at immigrants today as something bad for this country. I think it's a double standard," said Angelo Solera, 45, a Baltimore resident from Spain who was once an illegal immigrant but now is a U.S. citizen. "Most of us are in this country working and paying taxes and making a contribution to this country." Immigration backers rally near State House --

Obviously, English comprehension is not part of the path to US citizenship as Angelo Solero doesn’t seem to realize that legislation that targets ILLEGAL immigrants has NO effect on US CITIZENS.

As to his final point, no doubt many illegals work, pay taxes and make some contribution to this country. But I am skeptical that all the taxes paid by them even begin to cover the state expenses of education, health care and law enforcement that their collective presence engenders. Legislation that seeks to bar ILLEGAL immigrants from receiving tuition aid and other benefits from the state merely looks to cut our losses from their presence.


Another Soccer Dad sighting

Our own Soccer Dad is once again featured prominently in the WSJ’s popular Best of the Web for February 25:

“Blogger David Gerstman reminds us of a July 2004 column by Hoyt predecessor Daniel Okrent, which opened by asking if the Times is a liberal newspaper and answered, "Of course it is." Hoyt seems to think the question isn't even worth addressing.”

If you read BOTW (available free by email, M-F) check the bottom listing of “Thanks to”s, David’s name is a frequent sight.

Monday, February 25, 2008



Holy Cross Men's Lacrosse Tops Yale, 7-6, On The Road :: Crusaders defeat Bulldogs for the first time in the program's history.

As a proud alumnus exhibiting the right set of priorities, I've already mailed my because-they-won donation check.

We’re now 2-0 with another big game this Wednesday at Dartmouth.

See also: LaxPower : Holy Cross 7, Yale 6 (Final)

Update: Well, it was supposed to be this Tuesday (not Wednesday) for the Dartmouth game but apparently Hanover New Hampshire hasn't quite bought into the whole global warming craze and projected inclement weather is forcing a schedule change to March 26th. Next game for the 'Saders is now Saturday noon at Lehigh.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Governor O'Malley: Retroactively getting it done

David Broder has a column out today that notes a return of crime as a potential big issue in the upcoming election. I’m sure it’s an important topic but I couldn’t help focusing in on this little tidbit:

“To deal with this, Maryland's Democratic governor, Martin O'Malley, started requiring prisoners without high school degrees to take 120 days of classes each year, offering them small payments for their time. Attendance now averages 95 percent, and the state already has conferred 734 diplomas. David S. Broder - A Comeback For the Crime Issue

He did?

Because that sounds suspiciously like the 1996’s House Bill 1073 (marked up) which “[i]mposed mandatory education in the prisons, required funding for GED and vocational programming and ensured continuing funding. House Bill 1073 Summary of Maryland's 1996 Legislative Session

…or the mandatory education program that the Urban Institute wrote about back in 2003:

“One of the programs the MDDOC operates is a mandatory education program in compliance with Maryland state law that requires prisoners who do not possess a high school degree or GED and who have a minimum of 18 months to serve when received by the DOC to attend school while incarcerated.82 This program, which is conducted in accordance with the Education Coordinating Council for Correctional Institutions, requires eligible prisoners to participate in school at least 12 hours per week in maintaining institutions83 or 5 hours per week in prerelease system facilities for a minimum of 120 calendar days. Prisoners who meet the eligibility requirements for this program are assigned by their case manager to the appropriate class and are required to participate. If they refuse to participate or are removed from the program because of disciplinary or other problems, the consequences are severe. They lose all diminution credits accrued up to that point and are not allowed to participate in any other programs and, therefore, cannot earn any diminution credits until certain conditions, as outlined by the case manager, are met. A Portait of PrisonerReentry in Maryland: Urban Institute 2003

Indeed, the Inmate Handbook for 2007 (the year Martin O’Malley took office which means his policies weren’t yet in place) also describes a similar program:

“The Division and the State Department of Education take a strong stand on the importance of education. Persons committed to the Division after June 1, 1996 who are not high school graduates (or have not earned their GED) and have 18 months to be served must attend school successfully for 120 days. Students assigned to school under this policy receive a daily stipend. Mandatory education is a mandatory remediation program with serious consequences for non-participation.” Maryland Division of Correction 2007 Inmate Handbook

But, hey, I want to be a fair guy – I reviewed his FY 08 and FY 09 Budget submissions to see his highlighting of this dramatic, life-turning program….uhh, I'll get back to you, this could take awhile.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Broder soon credits the Governor as the coach for Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship.

Friday, February 22, 2008


A Defense of Conservative Talk Radio

Congrats to fellow MBAer Mark Newgent (The Main Adversary) for his op-ed in today’s Baltimore Sun: Bad rap

…in which Mark takes on the all-too-numerous and predictable critics of conservative talk radio. My favorite example:

Baltimore Examiner columnist Michael Olesker described Mr. Steiner's show as a format where "smart, informed people shared the news and the cultural trends of the day. ... It wasn't a chorus line of ditto-heads echoing each other's cheap shots; it was a true marketplace exchange of ideas."

That would be the same Michael Olesker who was fired by the Baltimore Sun a few years ago for echoing - without attribution - someone else’s cheap shots. Media Circus: Sincere Flattery?

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Ethics testing at The NY Times

A noted elsewhere, there is a bit of a to-do about a story in the NY Times concerning John McCain. Initial conservative response seems to be more of dismay over his reaction to the story – that he is actually surprised at this kind of smear coming from a liberal house organ like the Times – rather than any real concerns over the actual charges. And, lacking anything else, I’m going to take the Senator’s word vice anything coming out of the Times.

Some have questioned the timing of the story:

According to [McCain aide Charlie] Black, the Times only went with the story now because The New Republic was set to run a piece next Monday about internal dissensions at the paper over whether to run the long-held article.” McCain camp vows to 'go to war' with NYT

Apparently, this story has been in the hopper since December. Yet on January 25th, the Times endorsed John McCain for the Republican primary with nary a word about any ethical concerns. Primary Choices: John McCain - New York Times

Either the Times editorial staff didn’t think the charges any big deal or a politico’s ethics are not factored into a NY Times’ endorsement.


Barack Obama: Man with a Plan

“Last week, the Obama campaign mailed two glossy fliers to Ohio voters…The other showed a padlocked factory gate, noting that "only Barack Obama consistently opposed NAFTA," while asserting that Clinton had once viewed it favorably, …” As Crucial Tests Loom, Clinton Hits Harder

And part of Senator Obama’s Immigration Plan goes like this:

Work with Mexico

Obama believes we need to do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.”

So, in summary: NAFTA is bad because it means a loss of US-based jobs but we need to do more to promote Mexico’s economic development because apparently we haven’t lost enough jobs to Mexico. Maybe when Congress finally gets back to work, the Senator can introduce his “Suspend NAFTA to Promote Mexico’s Economic Development" Act.

Side Notes: also from Senator Obama’s site:

Bring People Out of the Shadows

“Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.”

Isn’t part of being in “good standing” being documented?


There's context...then there's context

As you may have heard, Michelle Obama said some things that attracted some untoward attention. The ever-chivalrous Barack Obama was quick to react:

“Barack Obama, interviewed on WOAI radio in San Antonio, Texas, expressed frustration that his wife's comments became political fodder.

"Statements like this are made and people try to take it out of context and make a great big deal out of it, and that isn't at all what she meant," Obama said.”
Obama Defends Wife on Matter of Pride

Hmm – taking a statement out of context and trying to make “a great big deal out of it”. I wonder how a politician would do that to the following statement:

“Last month, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, a crowd member asked McCain about a Bush statement that troops could stay in Iraq for 50 years.

"Maybe 100," McCain replied. "As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, it's fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al Qaeda is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day." McCain defends '100 years in Iraq' statement


Obama took a similar tack.

"Sen. McCain said the other day that we might be mired for 100 years in Iraq -- which is reason enough not to give him four years in the White House," Obama has said on several occasions.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This is 35 years of Experience?

In the aftermath of yesterday’s votes in Wisconsin and Hawaii, things ain’t looking good for the former First Lady…and from what has been reported, gross incompetence at the campaign management level goes a long way toward explaining her problems. Her campaign manager resigned on February 10 and, in typical Democratic Party fashion, the worry was about the effect of a high-profile Hispanic being forced out of the campaign. Instead the worry should have been “why wasn’t it done much earlier”:

Hillary Conceding 10 or 11 of Pennsylvania's 103 Delegates

…in which Senator Clinton’s campaign somehow doesn’t have a full slate of delegates on the ballot for the April 22nd primary. But fortunately, as the Philadelphia Daily News piece linked to by NRO explains:

“But Clinton's faux pas is more of an image problem than a practical one.

“Under Democratic Party rules (and does any organization on the planet have more rules or more complex rules?) a presidential candidate winning in a congressional district gets delegates from that district (assigned at a later date) whether he or she files slates delegates or not.”

More ominous was this: System Worries Clinton Backers

“Several top Clinton strategists and fundraisers became alarmed after learning of the state's unusual provisions during a closed-door strategy meeting this month, according to one person who attended.

"What it means is, she could win the popular vote and still lose the race for delegates," Hinojosa said yesterday. "This system does not necessarily represent the opinions of the population, and that is a serious problem."

“The disparity in delegate distribution is just one of the unusual aspects of Texas's complex system for apportioning delegates. The scheme has been in use for two decades…”

A system that’s been in place for two decades is only now being understood by the Clinton campaign?

If being a wonk is supposedly one of your strongest attributes, well, then, be a wonk.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Another non-contribution to the dialogue on Race

I know we’re apparently hurtling toward a post-racial America but still…these are kind of funny:
Stuff White People Like (see for example: #64 Recycling) (H/T: Tinkerty Tonk)


Black People Love Us!



No, it isn’t about that – you know, everything isn’t always about Barack Obama.

Instead I found this great web site that offers, without a hint of irony, Free Term Papers, Research Papers and College Essays where you can Click here to get a custom non-plagiarized term paper.


Mea Culpa: I haven't thanked Barack Obama enough for all he's done for us

Interesting takedown by Hugh Hewitt of a Michelle Obama speech. Remember, if the past is indeed a prologue to the future then she'll probably be a future Democratic candidate for the presidency:

The first major decision he had to make in his life, after college - "Do I go to Wall Street and make money, or do I work for the people?" - Barack worked as a community organizer in some of the toughest neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago. …

There is no one else in this race who can claim that kind of commitment to people on the ground. No one.”

Hugh Hewitt: Stop, stop, stop. I'm sorry.

John McCain spent six years in a North Vietnamese prison camp. That's commitment.
Tough neighborhood in [the] south side of Chicago? I'm sure it was. It's not as tough as the Hanoi Hilton.

Michelle Obama - We have to fix our souls - our souls are broken [AUDIO & TRANSCRIPT]

(H/T Stubborn Facts)

Monday, February 18, 2008


It's so much easier to beat up on white guys...

In the aftermath of the whole Harvard, Larry Summers and women scientists fiasco of a few years ago, we have an interesting dilemma for liberals: A woman scientist, educated at Harvard and who still maintains ties to the school, is suggesting that global warming is more tied to solar activity. (H/T NRO’s Planet Gore)

Update: Welcome Planet Gore readers..and thanks to Mr. Craig for the link.


Happy Washington's Birthday

My sentiments as expressed last year are unchanged: no-one in American history is as deserving to be remembered with a day as is our first president, George Washington (yes - not even Barack Obama).

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Explaing Senator Obama to Progressives

Over at Maryland Weekly (née Crablaw), Bruce has posted a small rant about credit card companies slightly altering their due dates. Bruce correctly notes that many of us just pay out automatically on a set day of the month which means this bit of chicanery can lead to unknowing late fees. I noticed the same stunt awhile back. I’ve since paid down that credit card and no longer carry it in my wallet. Like Bruce, I didn’t appreciate the tactic so that company and I are no longer doing business.

But Bruce’s posting served a larger purpose by giving noted progressive blogger Isaac Smith a chance to decry the “evil, evil” credit card companies AND pump (please note that that’s with a -u-) Senator Obama’s candidacy:

“The fact that Barack Obama, for example, needs to propose that credit card companies should be prohibited from retroactively increasing interest rates…”Credit Card Dirty Tricks Maryland Weekly

...only that’s not what the companies do and that’s not what the Senator is proposing. Instead, the Senator is suggesting that increases in interest rates charged cannot be applied to previously-incurred debt. For example, you miss a payment. The card company can probably now increase the applied to all your debt going forward, no matter when incurred. That is NOT the same as retroactively increasing interest rates - an example of which would be if the Company came back to you this month and told you the interest rate charged on your November statement had been changed this month and you now owed them an extra $60 for November.

That said, the Senator’s proposal strikes me as mere populist rhetoric. We willingly agree to interest-free financing, for instance, when we sign up for those six-months-same-as-cash deals. If we pay it off prior to the due date, all’s good. But if we don’t, interest accrues back to the day of purchase. As one who has taken advantage of this purchase option on more than one occasion, I will not be happy if the Senator manages to outlaw this practice. Nor can I see the practical difference between raising interest rates on old debt by a credit card company for a missed payment and an Adjustable Rate Mortgage – which, of course, can also raise interest rates on old debt. The reasons for the increase may be different but the end result is the same.

Should the Senator’s proposals go through, the card companies will, of course, adjust – probably with a higher initial rate or perhaps just not issue a card at all to the suspect borrowers. Environmentalists that they are, this will no doubt give the progressive community an opportunity to then recycle old complaints about redlining etc.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Curse you, James Taranto

In his Friday BOTW, James Taranto notes a story about indicted Frisco radio host, Bernie Ward. Because the story never conveys the alleged child porn enthusiast’s ideological leanings, Mr. Taranto concludes that Mr. Ward must be a liberal.

Since such surmises are really just an indirect slam at our hard-working, won’t-let-politics-affect-their-reporting media, I set out to prove Mr. Taranto wrong:

Oops: A Limbaugh for the Left / KGO's Bernie Ward gets a national radio talk show

So I chalked it up to just a lucky guess – I mean we are talking San Fran. Perhaps that local news station just has a policy of not assigning political labels….

“Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney suspended his bid for the presidency -- a decision some hard-line conservatives are finding hard to swallow.” Mitt Romney abandons bid for GOP presidential nomination 2/08/08

…they have a policy of not assigning political labels to radio hosts?

“On Thursday, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh reacted to Romney's departure by saying he's considering raising money for Hillary Clinton. But not because he supports her, but because he wants to see her get the nomination feeling she would be easier for McCain to beat.” Mitt Romney abandons bid for GOP presidential nomination 2/08/08

Okay, maybe they just didn’t feel such labeling would be relevant…

…but at the abc7news link provided by Mr. Taranto, they provide video footage of Mr. Ward’s agent. She hints that perhaps Ward’s known status as a Bush administration critic was behind the federal charges. The reporter even later goes back to her asking if she really believes that and gives her a chance to expound on that(...and let’s just say she leaves it out there).

…damn…Okay, Mr. Taranto, you may have won this one but remember, I’m onto you and your media-baiting games.


ACORN in sheep's clothing

The Washington Post has an article about some of the creative ways mortgage holders are employing to stay in contact with delinquent clients. Of note is their use of some non-profits:

“Sometimes just using a community group's name is enough: Chase, which services $600 billion in loans, sends letters on Acorn letterhead and pays the group to leave its door hangers at the homes of borrowers it has not reached otherwise.” You're Invited . . . To Pay Your Mortgage

Earlier in the article Acorn had been identified as “Acorn Housing, a counseling agency” but in reality, it should be identified as ACORN – the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. You may remember them from some of their recent instances in the headlines:

Is ACORN disenfranchising the process itself? -

Missouri ACORN Voter Fraud Scandal Makes the National News

Felony charges filed against 7 in state's biggest case of voter-registration fraud Seattle Times Newspaper

Hey, perhaps they really are providing a useful service for the mortgage companies and making a buck or two while they’re at it. I'm just using this as an excuse to slam our lenient voter registration and ID laws...and a particularly smarmy leftist organization masquerading as a bunch of do-gooders.

(For a interesting overview of this “non-profit” see: ACORN’s Nutty Regime for Cities by Sol Stern, City Journal Spring 2003)

Friday, February 15, 2008


Senator Obama - Enviro Terrorist?

In yesterday’s BOTW, Mr. Taranto links to Connecticut radio host James Vicevich’s collection of women-fainting-at-Obama-rallies anecdotes. Here’s an example:

“And when a woman appeared to faint in the standing-only VIP section in front of the podium, Obama paused his speech for over a minute as he directed the crowd to make way for an EMT team and tossed a bottle of water from the stage”

He lists five such instances. What I noticed was the Senator's frequent tossing of a water bottle as an instinctive expression of concern...which would seem a commendable trait but wait; that would mean he always had a bottle of water with him. And, as we are learning:

“In the last few months, bottled water — generally considered a benign, even beneficial, product — has been increasingly portrayed as an environmental villain by city leaders, activist groups and the media. The argument centers not on water, but oil. It takes 1.5 million barrels a year just to make the plastic water bottles Americans use, according to the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, plus countless barrels to transport it from as far as Fiji and refrigerate it.” Water, Water Everywhere, but Guilt by the Bottleful - New York Times

I’m sorry – I can’t even begin to consider voting for a guy that is that disdainful of our environment.

Side Note I: Kudos again to Soccer Dad for his ongoing contributions to Mr. Taranto’s BOTW – a daily must-read for many of us. SD was again cited yesterday as a contributor.

Side Note II: And I just noticed that Soccer Dad has linked to the same BOTW piece. Soccer Dad: Hope is like bottled water. As usual, way ahead of me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


An Abramoff non-sighting

Post reporter Susan Schmidt writes of a huge lobbying effort taking place on Capitol Hill:

“An unusual effort by several powerful congressmen to clear the way for two Indian casinos in Michigan is fueling a fierce multimillion-dollar lobbying battle of a scale not seen since the fall of Jack Abramoff.

"More than a dozen lobbying firms have joined the fray on both sides, representing Indian tribes, well-connected Michigan developers and the Las Vegas-based gambling company MGM Mirage.” Casino Battle Rages in Congress

But despite the fact that “more than a dozen lobbying firms have joined the fray”, an actual lobbyist is named only twice: the now-in-jail Jack Abramoff (see above) and later…Jack Abramoff. Since the story necessarily focuses on the Democratic pols involved, I’m guessing Ms. Schmidt thought adding in a complete non-factor like Mr. Abramoff would bring some balance to the story.


Great Moments in State Department outreaching

Kevin Williamson over at NRO is right – this does deserve wider notice:

“The U.S. Department of State has awarded a grant worth $494,368 to University of Delaware political scientist, Brookings Institution fellow, and Pentagon consultant Muqtedar Khan, who last fall objected to serving on a panel with a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces.” Coddling Islamists - Middle East Forum

As they say – you can’t make this stuff up.


"For the umpteenth time, Mr. O'Malley, Senator Obama is not available to talk to you - please stop calling us"

Just for fun, let’s note again just how much good Martin O’Malley’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton is doing for her. Remember he came on at a critical juncture to head up her Maryland campaign and at a time when her national lead was only 22 points. As late as November of 2007, Ms. Clinton was still clinging to a 19 point lead over Mr. Obama here in Maryland. Then, I guess, the Governor worked his magic:

February 12, 2008
Obama – 60%
Clinton – 36%
Maryland State Board of Elections

Side Note: Look how the Democrats break out their Delegate selection:

“Democratic Delegates to the National Convention
Female Delegates (Congressional Districts 2, 5, 6, and 8)
Female Delegates and Alternate (Congressional Districts 1, 3, 4, and 7)
Male Delegates (Congressional Districts 1, 3, 4, and 7)
Male Delegates and Alternate (Congressional Districts 2, 5, 6, and 8)”
Maryland State Board of Elections

…and yet 20% of their delegates (the so-called super-delegates) don’t go through the delegate selection process. Doesn’t that risk messing up their boy-girl seating plans?


Scalia speaks; People gasp

Justice Scalia was back in the news again because he opined an opinion that many don’t like. Scalia Weighs in Again on Controversy

One comment:

So what?

In this instance, “Scalia said that determining when physical coercion could come into play was a difficult question. "How close does the threat have to be? And how severe can the infliction of pain be? I don't think these are easy questions at all, in either direction," he told the BBC's "Law in Action" program.”

AP writer Mark Sherman immediately concludes that despite such ruminations, Justice Scalia would probably not be recusing himself from any case touching this matter that may come before the Court…without also speculating as to why that should even be a consideration. Because, as even he notes, “[i]t is rare for a justice to take himself out of a case because of such public comments.”

Side Notes: The writer then helpfully gives us other examples of Justice Scalia’s intemperance including:

“In 2006, a few weeks before the court heard arguments over the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Scalia told an audience in Switzerland that the Constitution doesn't protect foreigners who are held there…

“He ignored a request from five retired generals to withdraw from the case and dissented from a ruling in favor of the detainees.”

I realize to much of the working press military-types all look alike but for the sake of accuracy, the request came from TWO retired generals and THREE retired admirals. And the Justice was correct to ignore their ill-founded request. Let’s not also forget that the detainee was Hamdan and the ruling in his “favor” was merely the Court rejecting the operations of the military tribunals established to hear Hamdan’s case. The rules were changed (does that mean Congress also dissented from the ruling?); Hamdan remained in custody and, in fact, had a pre-trial hearing just last week: Judge Mulls Bin Laden's Driver Request

Monday, February 11, 2008


Mezger for Congress - Maryland's Eighth Congressional

Tomorrow is Primary day in Maryland as well as in Virginia and DC. If you live in the 8th Congressional District in Maryland (and you do if you received a few months ago an expensive, taxpayer-funded mailer from your congressman, Chris Van Hollen) AND are a registered Republican, I encourage you to vote for Brian Mezger for Congress. I’ve known Brian for a number of years and can vouch for his reliable conservatism in matters we most need conservatism: taxes, ILLEGAL immigration and winning the wars we fight. I also know he will take the general election fight to Congressman Van Hollen in a serious and reputable manner – giving the voters a real and coherent choice in November.

Elsewhere on the ballot, I will be casting my vote for John McCain. Now that the dust has settled, he’s clearly the most acceptable candidate still standing and I am in no mood for a lot of senseless wailing and gnashing of teeth over what might have been. See you at the polls.


Back to work...

No postings for awhile as I combined some business travel, the flu and a backlog of work to totally skew my priorities.

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