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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Couric shows her stripes

We all know Katie Couric is a liberally biased journalist. However, its always good to see them actually admit their bias. In her column today she worries that Al Gores association with Hollywood may damage the world's will to do something about "climate change."

But my fervent hope is that Hollywood's embrace of Al Gore doesn't give people an excuse to condemn and mock the effort and oppose taking steps that we as a society need to take to deal with the issue of climate change. Some people find anything trendy repugnant, but this is a trend that's really important.....

Here is her attempt to show the other side:

And many conservatives, too, share this view. Conservatives like Brent Scowcroft, the former Bush national security adviser, Lee Thomas, Ronald Reagan's EPA Administrator, and Theodore Roosevelt IV. All of them, and many others, would say exactly what Gore says.
Brent Scowcroft? How many times can liberals use this guy to support one of their policies. Maybe Couric should cite the fact that many climatologists such as Timothy Ball and Patrick Michaels do not support Gores view, but that would run afoul of the liberal ideology that global warming caused by humans is the "consensus view" among scientists.

No wonder Couric is sinking fast. Maybe Gore will let her stay in one of his electric heated mansions.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I don't think she was hiding her stripes very well before. I don't watch or read her, but her political views have been alleged for years on talk radio.

12:02 PM, February 28, 2007  

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Greenspan Should Learn Discretion

It wasn't a Commerce Department report, or the Chinese market, or a mere correction that sucker-punched the stock market today; it was the voice of an eighty-year-old man who holds no tangible power over what can happen with interest rates and the tinkering thereof, the Maestro, as he was titled during his reign.

Reminds me of the time I was laid-over in Denver for some reason on my way back from a business trip to Phoenix several years ago. Whether it was inclimate weather or an airline snafu, I don't recall, but I ended up sequestered in a hotel bar, as was Steve Beckner, who was covering the G8 (or was it G7 then) Summit.

At that time, I hadn't been following the Fed to any great degree, having just my little 401(k), about which I wasn't nearly as obsessive as I am about these things today. So, thirsty for knowledge as always, I let Beckner go on about the marvels of Alan Greenspan (Beckner authored Back from the Brink: the Greenspan Years) and immediately became hooked on the machinations of the Federal Reserve. We talked into the wee hours -- where were we going to go? -- Beckner also sharing, or so he said, my libertarian bent (if I had a nickel for every time I've been fed THAT line . . .). Not a modest man, he laid claim to "The Beckner Effect" on Wall Street, though I have to admit, despite trading a few emails, I haven't followed his career much since then.

That was my baptism into the Greatness of Greenspan. My self-indulgent tale aside, said Maestro should take a little more care with what he says and how he says it. The world remains remarkably sensitive to his every breath, not necessarily with the optimum effect. (Could it be that the market dive in China was also his fault?)

UPDATE 2/28/07: The WSJ today essentially reiterates my point, though it should be noted that I beat them to publication.

UPDATE 3/3/07: That Greenspan precipitated the Chinese dive is backed up by Financial Times which states, "The flight from risky investments . . . began on Tuesday when Chinese stock markets fell 9 per cent amid concerns over the health of the US economy . . ."

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

My take on the market is that people have been looking for an excuse to sell for sometime. SOme major terrorist attack, some nasty economic news, etc... nothing has occurred. They finally got it today.

It's interesting that anyone would care anymore about Greenspan's opinions. Sure he has an opinion, but there is nothing he can do about it. Besides, predicting that growth will slow is like predicting nothing and everything.

The better question to ask Greenspan is whether he knew that Vallarie Plame worked for the CIA. His wife said she knew (but later took it back).

10:34 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger ReTorte said...

Here I thought everyone is getting out of the market because they need to have cash to pay for all of the tax hikes the Democrats are proposing and passing..

1:08 AM, March 01, 2007  

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Pathetic Gore.

Instapundit posted this by a defender of Al Gore's execessive utility bills. I thought it was worth repeating here:

Al Gore is not the average American. He comes from power and money and he has achieved power and money in his own right. Al Gore lives a life different from most folks. I'm not one to defend elitism, not as a matter of practice, but some elitism is inevitable. There must be a leadership class. There always has been and there always will be. Even societies organized around the principle of the equality and preeminence of the proletariat have had an elite class. It is the natural order of things. The key for a society is to create a responsible, responsive and fluid elite.

Could Al Gore do more to be "Green" in his personal life? No doubt. I'm sure we all could. Regardless of your position on global warming, none of the steps greens suggest you take in your personal life are gonna hurt anything. It may be unnecessary but not detrimental. However, his life and most of ours are not coordinate -- nor need they be.

Is this guy right? I think not. At the very least admitting that an elite group of people is required to rule over the rest of us is wholly unamerican. We constantly bitch when a congressman gets a free ticket to a baseball game (and we should bitch). I am surprised any American would make such a statement defending Gore. How pathetic.

If one is going to howl about how much energy we use then you need to at least be a normal energy user yourself. Gore is an obsessive user. I use a lot of electricity myself relative to the average, but Gore still uses 10 times more.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Surely that was an anti-Gore person trying to sound like a pathetic Gore person.

I'm all for elitism, but only with open admission, transparency. To be elitist and say you are not is wrong. And elected officials are not allowed to be elitist. Elected officials must be populists. Now, a formerly elected official who is now part of the Hollywood love-in . . . tough call.

1:48 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

We poor, foolish, and incompetent dipsticks need the guiding hand of those who come from money and power. We should be grateful for their help and leadership. Not to mention their penetrating intellects.

10:11 PM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger King Oliver said...

A very revealing post by the Gore defender. Shows that leftists yearn to be dominated by the Inner Party. Global warming is one scam to bring that about, along with banning guns and progressive taxes that keep the middle classes in their place. And smoking bans? Just a demonstration of power, like the changes in law regarding underwear in the Woody Allen movie.

5:23 PM, March 01, 2007  

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Dems And guns

Well as I predicted, it came sooner rather than later. Less than two months into the new Democrat Congress they have introduced H.R 1022, "Assault Weapons Ban". It is the Clinton weapon ban redone, with ADDITIONAL restrictions. We must learn that the Democrat party will NEVER be friendly to private ownership of firearms, no matter WHAT they say, or don't say, during elections. They are not afraid of the voters on this issue, and they remember it was never repealed by the Republican Congress, (they WERE afraid of the voters on this issue). Don't count on "W" having the stomach to veto this. Perhaps the Senate might stop it but I will believe that when it happens.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Seems the Republicans haven't been all THAT friendly to us either. If you like what the Democrats are doing, elect Guiliani or Romney.

12:09 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Actually the Republican party is friendly to us on this issue, both on the State and Federal level. It is individual Republicans that let us down. I was wrong when I said they had not repealed it in that the House under Newt did in fact repeal it, but the Senate under Dole refused to take it up. It was all for show anyway on the part of Newt. He knew the Senate wouldn't take it up and if they had, Clinton would have vetoed it. I will give him credit though for giving it an up or down vote in the house, just as he promised he would. However, once they had a Republican President to deal with they never brought it up again.

9:53 AM, February 28, 2007  

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The Easier, The Better

Mark Ritchie continues to push for his automatic voter registration, as outlined in this Strib story. What the story does not tell you is that, following the success of the legislature's smoking ban survey, they are considering a plan to include computer voting so every activist need only go as far as his local library and cast votes all day long if he wishes. Or so I heard. On the internet.

1/2 hour news hour

17 years ago I spent a summer during college working at Walt Disney World. I was part of a summer intern program run by Disney designed to get college kids to work in the park by offering them a fun place to live and media related internships.

I was assigned a roommate from LSU, who was originally from Mobile. It was my first real association with someone from the deep south. He did not turn out to be much of a representative though - his name was Joe Mangum, now known as Jonathan Mangum, a comedy and commerical actor in hollywood who has done rather well for himself.

The reason I bring Mangum up is that he appeared in a skit on "The 1/2 Hour News Hour," a new comedy show on the Fox News Channel. The show is produced by the creator of 24 and is supposed to be a conservative alternative to "The Daily Show with John Stewart. " Many liberals defend the Daily Show saying that it does not have a liberal bent because it picks on liberals also. However, the major difference in the Daily Show's comedy is that it does not tend to make fun of liberal policies - only liberal politicians. In contrast, conservative policies are constantly ridiculed.

I had low expectations for the "1/2 hour news hour" and chose to watch because my friend Joe was on the show - he played a climatologist in a parady which made fun of the idea that everything is being caused by global warming.

The show turned out to be very funny and worth watching. They totally ridiculed liberal policy which is very refreshing and I still get a belly ache from thinking about the the T-shirt sketch, one which had a picture of the Iranian president, AhmadiNejad, with a caption below that read "Shiite happens!"

I highly recommend the show. It is on Sunday nights. Look for liberals to start trashing this show with a vengence. The more trashing you see from liberals and the MSM, the more reason to watch the show....

Blogger Air Marshall said...

Did you wear Mickey Mouse ears Saurus?

10:37 AM, February 26, 2007  

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

The insane

Global warming arguments have moved from the unreal to the insane.

This article says that warmer tempetures will lead to sicker children (isn't it odd that my kids tend to get more sick when it's colder out and they are indoors more; hmm....)

Add this to more hurricanes, tornados, no jet stream, more disease, blah

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the recent "environmental crises" to befall us is the huge number of children in Africa being stricken by malaria. Charitable groups, and some government agencies, are rushing to provide mosquito nets to alleviate the problem. Of course, malaria was well on its way to extinction when some great environmentalist decided that DDT was harmful to birds (which later study says it wasn't, I understand). So the birds lived and the children died. Where's the problem?

The same is true of global warming and tobacco bans. Yes, we can take drastic government action and avert a small chance of a slightly negative result on a miniscule number of people 20 or 100 years from now. In the meantime, the economy is crippled, people lose their jobs, medical care, and in some cases children will starve because of government action to "save the planet." Lord, save us from those who would save us.

J. Ewing

4:14 PM, February 22, 2007  
Blogger Ben said...


6:30 PM, February 23, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Ben, GAIA "mad" in the insane sense?

10:00 PM, February 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something else occurs to me. These power-hungry politicians want you to believe that driving gas-guzzlers is the cause of the problem, or at minimum it's about the only thing they mention (other than not having enough flourescent lights in the house.) But aren't they the ones telling us we're going to run out of oil in 20 years (and doing their best to insure it)? So how can they say that SUVs are going to be the problem for the next 100 years? In 20 years, half of our cars will be hybrids, full electric, or hydrogen fuel cell. Long range prognostication on technology should be left to the science fiction writers.

J. Ewing

9:17 AM, February 25, 2007  

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Piece of your Mind?

The legislature has launched a website to collect the common man's opinion, to retroactively discover whether the public is indeed clamoring for H.F. 305, the "Freedom to Breath Act." Perhaps you find yourself gasping for air with every step and support it (Me? I think you have a different problem).

Or you may agree with the overwhelming sentiment of the John Adams Society (as voting on 2/21) and view this bill as another nanny-state "solution" in search of a problem by legislators believing themselves essential to the rotation of the planet (therefore requiring extravagant per diems), and scratching an endless itch to micromanage every individual life (they should put some cream on that), needing to stifle the slightest attempt at a small pleasure.

But I really have no opinion on the matter.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I answered No to all except the trick question in No. 3 (I answered yes).

The results look dismal. Minnesota sucks sometimes.

9:43 AM, February 22, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

The results were running about even when I voted an hour ago. There must have been some external push in the meantime.

I would be curious about the response if they included the question, "Should the smoking ban exclude private residences?" Results would probably mimick those of the question, "Do you feel private clubs should be exempted from a smoking ban?" 52% of those answering the poll believe they have every right to determine what another person may do within the confines of private property, properties which are not public accommodations, aka tyranny by majority.

10:08 AM, February 22, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

The poll is massively flawed in that anyone may vote as often as they'd like. I voted three times (once for each of my kids) from the same IP address with no error messages. I suspect some jobless activists are sitting around on our dime at the library clicking the vote button at the rate of sixty times per minute.

6:20 AM, February 23, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

The results look way too pat for me. Too small a number of undecideds, and way too many wanting to restrict private clubs etc. Somethjing rotten in St. Paul.

9:38 AM, February 23, 2007  

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Debate Wed Feb 21


Roger L. Belfay, Chairman
John J. Pope, Secretary
Larry Colson, Chief Whip
Marianne Stebbins, Chancellor

February 2007

"I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking Cuban cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.”
--Winston Churchill in February 1945 to King Ibn Sa'ud of Saudi Arabia.

POPE URBAN VII BANNED THE NICOTINE GODDESS IN THE YEAR 1590, decreeing the excommunication of anyone taking "… tobacco in the porchway of or inside a church, whether it be by chewing it, smoking it with a pipe or sniffing it in powdered form through the nose". Pope Urban VII’s reign lasted thirteen days.

Smoking bans are one of many controlling tentacles of a state marching toward universal care. Such Trojan horses of the left mean loss of freedom and more government, the hypocrisy of which is seen in the targeting of cigarette manufacturers and smoking establishments, for from them the state can leverage cash over the victim fulcrum of second hand smoke and acquired habits; the supporting research and propaganda for which is largely funded by drug companies who sell smoking cessation products. What next? At the current rate of bureaucracy creep, junk food is soon to be illegal; New York recently banned trans-fat ingredients in restaurants. It is only a matter of time before body odor is regulated under the Clean Air Act, when only those gaily living an inanimate existence as Teletubbies can avoid the prodding and poking of bureaucratic busy bodies.

ON THE OTHER HAND, Hitler hated smoking. Hitler killed people. Is it any coincidence that smoking kills? Besides, do you want the tinge of yellow on your teeth and fingers, or on the walls around you for that matter? How’s your breath? Smokers stink, and if you hang out with smokers, you stink. Case closed. But, take away their smokes and a riot will ensue. So, the eradication of smoking must be incremental, but not too slow, for the evidence shows that second hand smoke is harmful, as it contains more than 4000 chemicals, including 69 known carcinogens such as arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, lead and radioactive polonium 210. Non-smokers in the presence of smokers share high probabilities for lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and asthma, and often non-smokers have had no choice in the matter when they are the children or co-workers of smokers. At least the rights of people to not have to breathe smoke must be ensured. Ultimately, anti-smoking laws improve worker productivity and reduce health care costs for everyone.

The Chairman, viewing anti-smoking laws as superfluous because smoking is easy to quit (he knows because he has done it thousands of times), calls for a debate:


The Debate will be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, in Saint Paul. The Chancellor will preside over drinks beginning at seven o'clock p.m. The debate will begin at half past seven. While there is no dress code for attendance, gentlemen who wish to speak must wear a tie; ladies should adhere to a similar sartorial standard. For those gentlemen who arrive tieless yet wish to speak, fret not: the Purveyor of Ties will keep on hand at least one of his quite remarkable ties for just such an eventuality. Questions about debate caucus procedures or about the John Adams Society itself may be directed to the Chairman at (651) 222-2782 or the Secretary at (952) 486-8059.


Outrage: PajamasMedia Removed Paul from Poll

Meanwhile they included several lesser names. What are they afraid of? Paul winning their small-time poll again? Not only does this increase my disdain for those who would like to usher in some big name, nominally republican candidate, but I am now sending Ron Paul money. It's safe enough to say, even this early, that the GOP is going to lose again in 2008 because of their failure to learn from 2006. The slipper-clad fools living in their parents' basements are merely symptomatic of a larger decay in the party.

Blogger Air Marshall said...

Don't hold back Scrib, tell us how you really feel about it.

9:40 AM, February 21, 2007  

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Friday, February 16, 2007

What is the meaning of the Vote

I am trying to discern the meaning of the Congressional vote on the war today. Many democrats have expressed support for General Petreus, and he was supported by the Senate by overwhelming vote. The troop surge is the General's plan. So what are they voting for?

They only thing that makes sense is that they are voting that the war in Iraq is lost - a vote to announce defeat.

It is very obvious how bad this vote is going to look in the future. History is not kind on these types of things. Take the federalists who opposed the war of 1812 or the Whigs who opposed the Mexican war.

How sad.

What happens if Petreus's plan works? Will it still be a defeat since the Congress said so?

Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

My Congressman, Jim Ramstadt voted with Pelosi. Anyone want to start a primary challenge?

3:26 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I've been wanting to see that guy challenged for years. I'm on board! (But not because of the non-binding wishful thinking vote.) I challenge anyone to name any area in which Ramstad is either a conservative or a Republican.

4:57 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Ramstad is my Congressman as well. I hope he gets a decent primary challenge this time around.

7:21 PM, February 17, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

Would be nice, but the practical side of things is that if he didn't get the endorsement, Ramstad would refile as an independent, run and probably win. He's very popular, having recently gotten more votes than ANY other house member, and he's got a lot of money.

Not that we shouldn't try, but it's a losing battle.

9:34 PM, February 18, 2007  
Blogger ReTorte said...

A rather beautiful blonde who knows how to handle her permitted concealed weapon versus Ramstad an R by his last name only... I'd call that grounds for opportunity.

11:23 PM, February 18, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I agree, Festivus should run.

7:07 AM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Ramstad is only popular in this district because he is a Republican. Not only is this the most Republican district by a mile in the state, it may be the most Republican district in the nation. We have all of Lake Minnetonka, and the undisputedly GOP suburbs of Eden Prairie, Plymouth and Maple Grove. I bet there's not a single precinct that votes DFL. ANYone running as a Republican would will here with the same margins. A DEMocrat running as a Republican would win here. (Case in point.)

7:11 AM, February 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I don't think the 3rd is the most Republican district-- that's either the 2nd or 6th, which sent two REAL Republicans to Congress last time. But if what you say is true, that Republican endorsement is equal to victory, then PLEASE, endorse somebody else and take the "R" away from him.

J. Ewing

8:22 AM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Scribbler has a point. Ramstad used to also win because Republicans controlled the House and he was better than a Democrat. But now things have changed. Ramstad no longer supports the troops, and there are a significant group of Republicans who will be single issue voters on supporting the troops (myself as one of them).

8:24 AM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

S'aurus is attempting to bait me. Ramstad voted FOR the war before he voted against it. But most importantly, he votes against freedom and for regulation. Throw in guns and abortion and he's no where near a conservative.

Which brings me to Ewing. I avoided saying most "conservative" district. Lake Minnetonkans are notoriously liberal Republicans, too busy making money to actually think about how they're getting reamed by government. The Third District has been too wimpy to endorse someone else. We almost did in 2002. But it's the primary that counts and Ramstad typically has more than 10 times the cash as any challenger.

8:56 AM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

Steb, you have your facts wrong. Plymouth is no longer "undisputedly GOP". Some parts are, but others aren't hence Senator Terri Bonoff. They are having real problems there, especially the parts served bh Hopkins School District 270.

As for Maple Grove, it is true that all Senate District 32 precincts went for Bush in 2004. However 32B, the one Maple Grove is in and doesn't include huge chunks of non-Maple Grove like Corcoran, Rogers, etc, is trending Democrat. I'd venture to say that if the DFL had put up a moderate female against Kurt Zellers rather than a retired hard left man with no charisma, Zellers would have lost hard. As it was, he only won by 300 or so votes. I'd venture to guess that Kurt is high on their target list for 2008, and my guess is that he loses. As a side commentary, he's been squishy on some issues, voting for the big bonding bill and actually sponsoring the Shubert theater mess. I don't want him to lose, but the squishy doesn't make me want to pull out the stops, and the district changes make it tough for him.

'R' does not equal victory in the 3rd. A very moderate Republican does, and like it or not, the Rammer's picture is in the dictionary next to that phrase.

I'm only blonde if gray counts!

10:29 AM, February 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someday, somehow, Republicans have to learn that most voters don't care about the party or the candidate. They just want somebody that stands up consistently on principle, so they know what they're getting, and they're not that fussy about what the principle is. Given two principled candidates, of course, the conservative and/or Republican (you're correct, that's not redundant) generally wins, because most people hold conservative principles.

J. Ewing

1:29 PM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Courier A said...

If fellow JAS devotees will allow someone who has dwelled in glass houses from time to time to throw a big rhetorical rock at Festivus, I dare say it may be time to rediscover JAS' Amery Award for injecting obscure Minnesota political references in a debate. This thread started with vilifying those who supported a “non-binding”, no-confidence vote on Iraq policy, and with speculation that it may finally be time to mount an intraparty challenge to Congressman Ramstad. It has now been reduced to Festivus warning us that only Ramstad can hold the seat for Republicans, since some precincts in state house district 32B have begun “trending Democrat”.

My response to that observation is this: the materially secure, barely-informed voters of the western Mpls. suburbs are less interested in being Democrats than in being seen as keeping up with trends, and that Ramstad and too many other incumbent Republicans are not willing to take the lead in setting any worthwhile trends. Note that the voters in Festivus’ neighborhood continually re-elect Sen. Warren Limmer, who is an articulate, unapologetic champion of conservative principles as well as his district’s local interests.

While Cong. Ramstad has always been a mushy-headed squish on social and environmental issues, there used to be an argument that his support for conservative fiscal and foreign policy made his offenses against conservatism tolerable. I wouldn’t have necessarily agreed with those making the argument, but at least could see that there was ground for legitimate argument. No longer. It’s not just the no-confidence vote on Iraq policy; he has also sided with the Democrat Congressional leadership on such issues as minimum wage.

When you consider that his district is not in any danger of being overrun with nomadic radical protesters or poor people struggling to support an entire family on one breadwinner’s minimum-wage income, you can only conclude that the Congressman has lost interest in standing up for anything conservative. So then, what net good would come from him having a lot of seniority if the Republicans somehow managed to reclaim control of Congress soon?

For those of us who know Festivus and his bold, right-wing pronouncements full of withering criticism for those who deserve it, we can’t help but be puzzled by his reticence to consider the possibility of unseating milquetoast, establishment office-holders. We know you have what it takes, so as the momentum builds for Scribbler’s “Draft Festivus” movement, we trust you will have the courage of conviction to accept your calling and lead our triumph over the RINO usurper!

P.S.: It's "whip", not "whipped".

4:09 PM, February 21, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Courier, I believe it was your lovely wife who initiated the Draft Festivus movement.

I don't place much importance on Ramstad's Iraq vote as he's been back and forth and will likely be back again. But a dubious claim that he has been fiscally conservative aside, he has always been pro-regulation. I don't know how our district's many business owners have been able to abide that.

4:17 PM, February 21, 2007  

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General Paul knows whats best

He votes against General Petraeus' plan to fight it out in Bagdhad.

We have seen Paul's type before. They wanted to give up to the Confederates and wanted to let the soviets march over asia and western europe.

He should just switch parties.

It seems like there will be more votes.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

He did run for President as a Libertarian once. To which party should he belong, the party which has traditionally opposed interventionist actions (GOP), or the party which now only opposes intervention for political expediency, aka the party which supported illegal action in Kosovo and Somalia last decade?

On the other hand, Ramstad also voted against upping the ante, and I've long argued he's a Democrat. Paul and Ramstad agree on little else, however. And we know Ramstad's just voting in the direction of the political winds, as always.

1:29 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I could have been more efficient by saying that Paul has not left the GOP; the GOP has left him (and many others of us).

1:33 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Do we not see that we have fallen into the same trap we set for the Soviet Union decades ago, forcing their collapse through excessive military spending? Our spending is even less productive than that of the USSR: we're attempting to nominally fight a ragtag band of cavemen, but aren't even close to the target. We don't even know what our target is anymore and are fighting blind, throwing money even more haphazardly. Paul partially alluded to this in his comments yesterday.

1:48 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Sorry to be rude scribbler, but this last comment about us killing ourselves through excessive military spending is just absurd. We are spending less now on military expenditures as a percentage of GDP than we've historically spent during peacetime! The Soviets were spending over 20% of their GDP on the military. We spend three percent. Numbers matter.

2:00 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

That's a fair criticism, Pencil. But most of the Iraq spending is off-budget. In fact, Bush didn't even ask for any Iraq money in his 2006 budget, and the money has been coming from emergency supplemental appropriations. Iraq/Afghanistan spending will actually run over $120 billion this year WITHOUT the surge, all off-budget. That's on top of the military budget of over $400 billion, and not mentioning the Department of Energy military spending, military research, etc. That's not peanuts to the average guy.

2:40 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

US GDP is 13 trillion dollars. 400 billion is 3% of that. The extra 120 billion is .9 % of that, bringing us to 3.9%. In WWII, military spending was 55% of GDP.

2:46 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

Steb, did you really intend to defend Paul by a comparison with RAMSTAD? I'm gonna chalk this up to temporary insanity on your part.

3:26 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Military budget for 2007 will be $470 billion or 3.6% of GDP. Tack on the $120 b for $590 billion per year and that's almost $2k per year per capita. Of course, you and I don't pay $2k times the number in our household. The "rich" (probably any of us on the blog, believe it or not) pay a disproportionately higher rate, so figure we're each paying a good $10 grand each year. I can double $10,000 every 7.2 years, so we're essentially talking about everyone's retirement, or nearly a million each over 20 years. Not peanuts.

Festi, I did qualify my comparison, but you have a good point: perhaps that was not the best way to showcase Paul.

4:58 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Ramstad really blew it on this one. Who will be left supprting him in the end...democrats?

I hope an Iraq war veteran runs against him who was sickened by Ramstads vote for the enemy.

1:19 AM, February 17, 2007  

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Hail the confederates

I am currently reading Grant's memoirs and there are a lot of great quotes. This one from his view on the Mexican war which he opposed, but thought that it should be fought to conclusion will all vigor and support once it had begun.

Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupied no enviable place in life or history. Better for him, individually, to advocate 'war, pestilence, and famine,' than to act as obstructionist to a war already begun. The history of the defeated rebel will be honorable thereafter, compared with that of the Northern man who aided him by conspiring against his government while protected by it. The most favorable posthumous history the stay-at-home traitor can hope for is oblivion.

He is right. Today the confederates, despite fighting for the most dismal of causes, are hailed as brave heroes fighting for their country. Take Robert E. Lee for example. He should be considered the greatest traitor in American history. He took an oath to defend the constitution! And took up arms against his oath. Instead, today he is hailed, while the war opponents in the north are now despised and disgraced.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Grant was a slaveholder who put politics above principle, fought a war to slake a bloodthirst, and had little regard for states' rights.

12:13 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Does it sometimes seem that I argue just for the sake of arguing? Hmmm. That could be.

12:19 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

No, should we believe that you believe that Grant was a slave holder?

12:54 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

He was. To his credit, he eventually freed the slave.

1:22 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I don't recall reading about his slaves in his memoirs. But, maybe he owned them in secret. Or just maybe.... he never owned slaves? Hmmm...

1:23 AM, February 17, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

What kind of wager are you willing to proffer, Mr. Sloanasaurus?

7:13 AM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Well, I guess Grant did live in Missouri for a while, so it is possible that he or his wife had some slaves. Therefore, its not worth a bet.

Damn you Scribbler!

10:10 AM, February 20, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

We could just say that, if I'm right, you'll vote for Ron Paul. I'd meekly accept that. (Meek is my middle name.)

10:42 AM, February 20, 2007  

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Giuliani and Abortion

A Reason aricle today criticizes Giuliani's stance on abortion because he supports such a right, while at the same time believes that Roe is unconstitutional and would appoint strict constitutionalist judges who would overturn Roe. The article points out that this is a contradiction because overturning Roe would mean that the states would get to decide the rights to abortion and some states would make it illegal.

I think Giuliani's position is refreshingly honest and is not a contradiction. Essentially he is saying that he thinks Roe is wrong, but that he as mayor of NYC would vote to keep abortion legal.

The president has little to do with abortion law other than the appointment of judges. Most conservatives, while supporting restrictions on abortion, would also oppose the federal government passing laws that should be left to the states (the essence of Roe). Therefore Giuliani's position is in reality little different than a pro-life candidate who also thinks abortion law should be left to the states. Both would appoint anti-Roe judges.

Giuliani could be dissappointing to some on the right who would prefer the federal government use its National Power to ban abortion and enforce social conservative views. However, this position is held by only a small minority. As such, it is probable that the abortion issue will not hurt Giuliani as long as he continues to promise and maintain that he will appoint judges like Alito/Scalia/Roberts (and as long as the base understands that and believes it).

Blogger Air Marshall said...

A lot of "ifs" there Saurus.

9:10 AM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

I tend to agree with Saurus' view on this. Roe IS bad law, and it ought to be a goal of every good federalist to get this overturned. My opposition to abortion notwithstanding, I'd much prefer that the states decide this matter.

Guiliani has the Roe part right, and I suspect that if he were President, he wouldn't sign on to any law mandating a federal policy on abortion - pro or con, and that's the right constitutional decision. At this point, he doesn't scare me as much as perhaps he should.

9:20 AM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Guiliani promised the City of New York, when running for mayor, that he would continue to fund abortions in the city's hospitals. That's FUND, not merely permit.

Do a search on The Smoking Gun for his mayoral campaign internal research paper. There are some very interesting facts there. Heck, I'll find it and link to it momentarily.

9:26 AM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Rudolph W Giuliani Vulnerability Study circa 1993. "He will continue city funding for abortions at city hospitals. Nothing more, nothing less."

9:29 AM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Last time I checked, Rudy wasn't running for mayor of NYC.

9:37 AM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

So he can entirely change who he is, his positions, just because he's running for a different office and maintain any remote shadow of credibility? Never known it to happen in politics.

9:44 AM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Good Point Scribbler. However, I don't think he would be changing positions to say he opposes federal funding of abortion (unless he stated he supported it before). Again it would fit in with his current position which is to keep the federal gov out of the abortion issue all together... which is what conservatives have wanted from the very beginning.

9:48 AM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

According to the Reason article cited, "He says he still supports abortion rights, although he now favors parental notification laws and the federal ban on 'partial birth' abortion." That's not exactly staying out of abortion on a federal level. This guy doesn't know what he thinks. Anyone who believes him now is more gullible than those who believed in Compassionate Conservatism, or simply full of wishful thinking.

9:53 AM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Alas, Scribbler, you have a point. I'm still not voting for Ron Paul.

1:52 PM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Oh, go on, give it a test run for Ron Paul, S'aurus.

You do not like it, so you say
Try it, try it, and you may
Try it and you may I say

4:21 PM, February 14, 2007  

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Confession Time

I have done my best to avoid dragging personal issues into this blog, but I can no longer be silent! I must speak the truth.

I am the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.

There. It's out. I'm glad I said it. Of course, there are others who claim paternity of my lovely little child, but they are no more than pretenders. Now, I don't doubt that they may have had their moment with my little Annan (my pet name for her, short for Anna N, in deference to her deep respect for the United Nations and her [platonic] love for the former Secretary General), and it breaks my heart to admit that she wasn't always faithful to me. Yet, she assured me that I was the father, and that I should fight any and all claims otherwise.

Of course, I do this only for the child's benefit. He, sorry, she deserves the best, and as the true biological father, I am in the perfect position to raise her as Annan and I discussed before her tragic death. Annan made me promise her that if anything were to happen to her, I'd step up and take full responsibility for the product of our passion, and I intend to do so.

One of her major concerns was how to ensure that Dannielynn didn't get spoiled, given the inheritance that she is to receive. I suggested that she consider a twist of the "Bill Gates Plan", where Danni would receive a nice sum of money, but not too much, perhaps $2-3 Million. The rest, rather than going to charity, should instead go to a trustworthy individual who would live life to the fullest around Danni ensuring that she was raised in a style that Annan would do herself. At my suggestion, her smile lit up and she said "Would you do it?" I resisted, but as in most things with her, I quickly succumbed to her request.

I therefore am coming forward, with the full cooperation of my wife ("Of course we'll accept her into our home as one of ours - it's a CHILD we're talking about here" was the first thing out of her mouth when I broke the news to her) to fulfill my promise to Annan and Danni. Let no man stand in my way!

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Very convincing, Festivus. Almost. But, you see, I know who the father of A.N.S.'s baby is. That is because I am the mother of A.N.S.'s baby. Yes, it must all come out now. The death was staged for insurance purposes. If you think about it, you must admit that you have never seen A.N.S. and me together. Have you? Exactly. And the father is . . . the Prince. I think. Yes, the Prince would definitely be coolest. It's all coming back to me now.

8:07 AM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

That was you? Wow! (and since this is a family blog, that's all I'll say)

8:27 AM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

Another Pretender. A.N. Stebbing, can you please set the record straight?

8:30 AM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

No, definitely not my type. Now, this . . . Say, that does look like you, Festivus!

10:04 AM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

Don't get your hopes up. I hear he likes older women.

10:29 AM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

That's okay. Sounds like he may possibly sleep around. Don't need that!

Which is a sadder commentary, this thread, or that our idea of a good time is attending debates?

I like my tame little scribbling life, though Dutchess de Stebbing, Vinemistress of Greenland would be good too.

12:34 PM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

Likely this thread, but it's just satirical social commentary. I'm constantly amazed by the actions of the "rich and famous" and the depths to which greed takes people.

12:41 PM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Good Point Scribbler. It would definately be a lot cooler to be the child of the prince then the other two guys who are almost worthless.

Maybe the Court needs to keep that in mind....

1:17 PM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Scrib, are you talking about "THE" Prince? (Formerly known as.)

9:06 PM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Ew. Not THAT "Prince." I'm still amazed that he claims to like women, and even more amazed that women appear to like him.

8:45 AM, February 14, 2007  

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Ron Paul winning Pajamas Media Poll

Thanks to Festivus for bringing the poll to my attention. (In truth, he asked me if I was the one cheating the poll. Moi? I know how to do it, of course, as I'm sure Festivus does, but wouldn't dream of it.)

To vote for Ron Paul, go here. To vote for anyone else, go here.

Unrelated, and in another story, Giuliani is quoted,
"I used gun control as mayor," he said at a news conference Saturday during a swing through California. But "I understand the Second Amendment. I understand the right to bear arms."

He said what he did as mayor would have no effect on hunting.

Because the Second Amendment is all about hunting. He understands that.

Blogger Air Marshall said...

Scrib, he also mentioned that he used the "Clinton AWB" in his cleanup of NY. There is not now, nor has there ever been any factual information that assault weapons are any kind of factor in crime whatsoever. He says he understands what the Second Amendment is about. What does he think about the First Amendment? Is that about Playboy, but not about Global Warming dissenters?

10:30 AM, February 13, 2007  
Anonymous a next poll you can vote for Ron Paul is said...

a next poll you can vote for Ron Paul is


10:14 PM, February 25, 2007  

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Global Warming Critics

This Weekly Standard (Federal Farmer's favorite mag) does a great job in discussing the environment for global warming critics. Read it if you have time.

Here is an excerpt:

Former Vice President Al Gore has proposed that the media stop covering climate skeptics, and Britain's environment minister said that, just as the media should give no platform to terrorists, so they should exclude climate change skeptics from the airwaves and the news pages. Heidi Cullen, star of the Weather Channel, made headlines with a recent call for weather-broadcasters with impure climate opinions to be "decertified" by the American Meteorological Society. Just this week politicians in Oregon and Delaware stepped up calls for the dismissal of their state's official climatologists, George Taylor and David Legates, solely on the grounds of their public dissent from climate orthodoxy. And as we were completing this article, a letter arrived from senators Bernard Sanders, Pat Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, and John Kerry expressing "very serious concerns" about our alleged "attempt to undermine science." Show-trial hearing to follow? Stay tuned.

Desperation is the chief cause for this campaign of intimidation. The Kyoto accords are failing to curtail greenhouse gas emissions in a serious way, and although it is convenient to blame Bush, anyone who follows the Kyoto evasions of the Europeans knows better. The Chinese will soon eclipse the United States as world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, depriving the gas-rationers of one of their favorite sticks for beating up Americans. The economics of steep, near-term emissions cuts are forbidding--though that's one consensus the climate crusaders ignore. Robert Samuelson nailed it in his syndicated column last week: "Don't be fooled. The dirty secret about global warming is this: We have no solution."

Blogger Air Marshall said...

I vote for the death penalty for dissenters. That is, those who dissent from the truth. Still time to pick out some acreage in Greenland.

9:49 AM, February 12, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

. . . Al Gore has proposed that the media stop covering climate skeptics . . . Did I blink and miss the MSM covering the other side of the story?

4:09 PM, February 12, 2007  

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Paranoia Express has left the station

According to Drudge, "Sen. Barack Obama, who has a white mother and an African father, says if you look African-American, you are treated like one," in an interview to air on 60 MINUTES tomorrow. And the disadvantages he's experienced are, what, getting elected to the United States Senate and being vaulted into an early career presidential run?

Also in the interview,
Obama's wife also addresses the race issue when asked by Kroft whether she fears for her husband's life as a black candidate. "I don't lose sleep over it because the realities are that... as a black man... Barack can get shot going to the gas station."

There are undoubtedly a very small number of people out there who will passionately hate a presidential candidate with whom they disagree. And I suppose there is a reason presidential candidates have protection. But isn't this a little dramatic? Besides, since he's black, it is virtually inevitable that he's going to get rubbed out at a gas station. That goes without saying.

Blogger ReTorte said...

Usually playing the race card backfires in the end, so give the Brotha' a break. After all, we wouldn't be hearing this "I'm protected" discussion if he were of Norwegian or Polish descent.

1:15 AM, February 12, 2007  

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

MN Top Ten for Second Half of '06

It's been almost a week since this curmudgeonly JAS groundhog peeked out from under his daily surroundings and viewed enough wild proposals to predict at least two more years of growing government and shrinking freedom for Minnesotans. Fortunately, I still have some charitable spirit left, and it is that spirit that propels me to review for you how we got to this point, so that none of you are tempted in the throes of despair to subordinate your own judgment to anyone trying to replace the current governing majority.

So, one last time, for your benefit, I share with you the ten most significant recent developments in MN politics (in this case, for the second half of 2006):

10) With Larry Pogemiller ascending to the position of Senate Majority Leader following the involuntary exit of Dean “the truth-sander” Johnson from DFL Senate leadership, the DFL leadership in the legislature became almost exclusively the province of big-city liberals and Iron Range careerist politicians from uncompetitive districts. The likely result will be an even more leftist agenda that strays further from the preferences of the average Minnesota voter.
9) The heavy-handed intervention and politically correct posturing on behalf of Paul Koering, a leftward-drifting incumbent who recently announced he was a homosexual, enabled Koering to keep his State Senate seat. The price paid was a deep alienation of the conservative base that caused Republicans to lose their other legislative incumbents in the region.
8) The Congressional race that six-term incumbent Gil Gutknecht lost was a microcosm of what happened to Republicans in Congress nationally. His false sense of job security and exaggerated sense of self-importance caused him to think he could get away with reneging on a pledge to limit his own tenure in office, and ducking high-profile debates against a little-known, poorly funded challenger. By the time he realized his campaign strategy was not helping his efforts to be re-elected, his late decision to distance himself from President Bush’s policy in Iraq seemed panicked, not genuine, and not very statesmanlike. Meanwhile, he did little to publicly distance himself from the weak Republican Congressional leadership. The net result: he fell prey to a deficit in voter intensity among his base of previous supporters.
7) A silver lining from Republicans’ losses of state legislative seats in the 2006 elections was that both legislative caucuses finally were able to make changes to their underperforming leadership. The bad news is that the Senate Republican Caucus picked another moderate, Dave Senjem, to be their leader, although he may not be as vocally hostile toward conservative activists as Dick Day was. The good news is that the House Republican Caucus turned the reins over to a younger, more conservative member, Marty Seifert, who also has much better rhetorical skills.
6) The Swift plant raids, and the hysterical urban liberal response to them, greatly increased the possibility that illegal immigration, and the fraudulent activities that facilitate it, will now be of greater concern for most Minnesota citizens when they go to the polls.
5) Though voting for as many liberals as they ever have, Minnesota voters were at least willing this past election to punish candidates who went back on their word. As referred to earlier, this clearly was a factor in Congressman Gutknecht losing his seat. Patty Wetterling’s late decision to run a second time for Congress after publicly giving reasons for why she would not do so was a self-inflicted wound to her election chances. Most encouraging was that voters tossed out Dean Johnson, a military chaplain who had become the most powerful member of the state legislature after over two decades in the legislature. Dean Johnson’s too-slick explanation of why he misled fellow ministers that he had been personally assured by the Supreme Court that a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman would not be necessary, since the Court was not willing to risk voters’ wrath that could result from allowing anything else, brought the voters’ wrath down upon him instead. Gov. Pawlenty’s slick denial that the tax increase he supported at the end of the 2005 session was not a tax but merely a “health impact fee”, and therefore not a violation of the pledge he made before becoming governor not to support any new taxes, certainly damaged his re-election prospects. He survived, however, because his main opponent, Mike Hatch, stumbled badly down the stretch.
4) Though there were other contenders, Patty Wetterling did just enough to win the Courier’s booby prize for being the most inept major-party candidate on the ballot this election cycle. First, her second run for Congress was preceded by a specific denial that she would run for Congress again. Then she tried to paint Michele Bachmann as being for more taxes, in clear contrast to her voting record. The booby prize for ineptitude was sealed when Wetterling clumsily lumped Bachmann in with those covering up the Mark Foley scandal, even though Bachmann wasn’t in a position to know or conceal anything about it. I doubt any party will be masochistic enough to nominate Wetterling to run for any public office again.
3) Tim Pawlenty’s message this campaign (which could be paraphrased as follows: I was too conservative my first year as governor, but I learned more about what was necessary for governing and grew into the role enough to get better results out of government, and to put the state in a better position than it was when I became governor) left conservatives at a loss for what good things he would do if re-elected. The message also did nothing to boost the prospects of any other Republicans on the ballot. Even more astoundingly, in contrast to the maxim that politicians typically drift toward the center just prior to the general election, Gov. Pawlenty made proposals that tacked further to the left immediately after winning a second term.
2) Notwithstanding the anomalous victories of Bachmann and Pawlenty, MN Republicans received in this election what most Republicans received across the nation: a thumping. They decisively lost a U.S. Senate seat, all the lesser statewide constitutional offices, control of the MN House, influence in the MN Senate, and even lost control of a Congressional seat to someone who had no public profile outside his local community when the campaign started. It is important to note that ideological leanings mattered little in the races of legislative members swept out by a surge in anti-Republican sentiment. Yes, some vocal conservatives (such as Phil Krinkie, Tim Wilkin, Brian LeClair, and Mady Reiter) lost; however, for every one of them, there were careerist, big-spending moderates (such as Bill Belanger and Greg Davids) that went down to defeat as well. Fortunately, the most liberal Republican in the legislature, Ray Cox, also was swept out by the anti-Republican sentiment.
1) Mike Hatch and Judi Dutcher gave away the governor’s race in the final two weeks of the campaign. Dutcher made them vulnerable with her airheaded response to a question about ethanol that stumped her. Then, Hatch’s overreaction to questions about it—berating Republicans for going after a woman, and accusing aggressive reporters of being Republican whores—completed the self-destruction. Their meltdown has to rank as the biggest choke in a statewide contest here since 1990, which still probably ranks as Minnesota’s most chaotic election year ever.

Blogger Air Marshall said...

Courier, your analysis is good but incomplete. The biggest single contributor to the Republican loss both Nationaly and in Mn. is the simple fact that conservatives have disengaged. In fact some who were part of the conservative tide of 1994 are no longer conservative. None of the very conservative organizations are very active right now. For instance The Freedom Club, which was the biggest fundraiser in Mn. for conservative candidates has all but disapeared from the scene. Attend a RPM convention or meeting ten years ago and it was full of conservatives, now you will be alone if you go. Try to get elected to office or delegate at your BPOU and there will be no one to vote for you but yourself. Whatever the failures of our leadership and elected office holders, the biggest single failure is ours. Self government requires self participation. If we don't govern ourselves, someone else will govern us.

9:37 AM, February 09, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

A.M. I used to do all that. Every night, it seemed, I had some political activity going on. And what did that get me? Today's leftist Republican Party. I hear what you're saying, but some of us are burned out. And moving to Greenland. :-)

4:27 PM, February 10, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

You times a hundred thousand spells defeat. Sure you are burned out, and so am I. Moreover, I am tapped out. But the problem is, liberals don't get burned out, bummed out, or tappped out when it comes to the public sphere. They never quit, and they never move to Greenland. That applies inside the party as wll as out. I still go, I still run for delegate, and I still try to support candidates, but it is hard when the only people I recognize at an event are "moderates". Let me know when the grapes are mature.

7:02 PM, February 10, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I'll send you a bottle of the first vintage. Whatever year that will be, they will say of it, it was a very good year.

10:36 PM, February 11, 2007  

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Walmart Backs Socialized Medicine

The Star Tribune reports today, "Wal-Mart, unions back universal health care."

I don't shop at WalMart as it's not convenient for me, but if I did, I would cease instantly, regardless of the personal cost.

From the Merck story below (Courier A points out the Merck blame in the Texas personal liberty grab) to this, big business is hopping into bed with big government more and more frequently. I'm packing for Greenland!

Disturbed Prosecutors

By now everyone has read the strange story about the astronaut love triangle incident. The story is pretty wild. However, sources now say that prosecutors inted to charge Lisa Nowak with "attempted first-degree murder, attempted kidnapping and three other crimes stemming from what police described as a love triangle involving a fellow astronaut.."

According to authorities:

Nowak, accustomed to wearing astronaut diapers during the space shuttle's launch and return to Earth, wore them on the drive from Houston so she would not have to make bathroom stops as she raced to confront Shipman at the Orlando International Airport, police said. Then, according to police, Nowak donned a wig and trench coat, boarded an airport shuttle bus with Shipman and followed her to her car. Crying, Nowak sprayed a chemical into the car. Shipman drove to a parking lot booth for help. A police affidavit made public Tuesday said Nowak had "stealthily followed the victim while in disguise and possessed multiple deadly weapons." The affidavit said the circumstances of the case "create a well-founded fear" and gave investigators "probable cause to believe that Mrs. Nowak intended to murder Ms. Shipman."

Hmmm.... I always thought that attempted murder means that you actually "attempted" to murder someone. It seems to me that attempting to spray pepper spray at a person is not attempting murder...Attempted murder is shooting a gun at someone and missing. The same goes for attempted kidnapping.

Sure, the woman obviously committed battery, but attempted murder or attempted kidnapping...all because she had a BB gun and a knife in her car? Based on the facts we know now, attempted murder charges and kidnapping charges is nothing more than a smear by the authorities on Nowak.

She is obviously troubled and guilty of something, but we need to be realistic about what she is guilty of...

You Stupid, Stupid Consumers

The WSJ Opinion Journal lashes out today at Congress as they prepare to hold hearings on predatory lenders in the recent housing boom.

The noted banking expert Jesse Jackson is scheduled to be a featured witness at today's hearing . . . Senator Chris Dodd . . . is in high dudgeon, threatening legislation and talking about the American dream becoming a nightmare for those who can't make their mortgage payments. [snip]

Related to this is the contention, made by the same populists on the current "predatory lending" rampage, that banks make money by charging them "excessive" interest. But, if anything, the recent spate of bankruptcy among subprime lenders suggests that they were charging too little interest to compensate for the credit risk they were taking by lending to people with bad credit histories. [snip]

Quickly rising prices made a lot of people giddy on both sides, and it's now clear that loans were offered and taken that should not have been. Both the asset-price increases and the lending risks were also facilitated by a prolonged period of easy money, courtesy of the Alan Greenspan-Ben Bernanke Federal Reserve.

Was I wrong to re-fi into a 4% 5/1 ARM three years ago? Not in the least. I was able to put the money I saved on interest back toward principle. That is, until it started going to legal fees and skyrocketing property taxes (now THERE's a matter for investigation). Now that the additional funds are not going to legal fees, (I thank you in advance for your belated congratulatory notes) that money can go to work earning an additional 4% so that when my ARM adjusts upward in a couple of years, there will be no pain. This is not rocket science.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

IT reminds me of a story many years ago of a friend and his new girlfriend at the time (now ex-wife). The girlfriend was a partime waitress at Friday and made about $600 a month. She later went to buy a car, a brand new Grand Am. The dealer said the payment would be $500 a month. Knowing that she made $600, she said WOW, I can get it! She bought the new car.

It was only a month later when the first payment came due that she realized she had other bills such as rent and food.

8:31 AM, February 07, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Perhaps lenders should simply require an IQ test in lieu of the mountains of financial records.

The real purpose of this post was to include the phrase, "The noted banking expert Jesse Jackson." ROFLMAO.

8:48 AM, February 07, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

I know people wont believe this, but when I was in the Mortgage Biz in 1965 people defaulted on their loans and we foreclosed their Mortgages. These people lost their houses. It was later found that the reason they did was because we had lent them money to buy a house with.

9:49 AM, February 07, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I'm shocked, shocked to find that lending has been going on for over 40 years! What did Congress know and when did they know it? Dastardly.

9:56 AM, February 07, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I am surwe the Democrats would really like to make it impossible for lower income people to borrow money anyway. After all, using debt is one way to get out of the poor house - that could threaten the democrats voting base.

A better system would be for the government to provide the house and require the lower income person to pay a corresponding tax back to the government every month. The only catch is that the government gets to keep the house.

Wait... isn't social security the same system.

12:23 PM, February 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Closer to home, it sounds like AG Swanson is about to make it impossible for poor people to buy a house, thus solving the problem.

3:51 PM, February 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Crap Doesn't Help At All! I Need Some Good Info. For My History Project, And This Is Deffinetly Not IT!

2:33 PM, February 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Clock Is Also One Hour Behind. C'Mon!

2:35 PM, February 20, 2007  

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

MSM Reporting

The mainstream media reporting on the Republican Filibuster over the Iraq war resolution is a classic example of liberal bias in the media. We should remember this example because it is so blatent. The MSM reported it as Republicans "blocking debate over the resolution," when in reality it was the democrats who wanted to end debate, which is why they filed the cloture.

Powerline has a great discussion on it here.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Global Warming Hysteria.

Here are some great columns out today responding to the global warming hysteria.

George Will

Wall Street Journal

Canada Free Press

All have differing points to make about global warming hysteria. The Canada Free Press article is especially refreshing.

This Boston Globe Column is the typical hysteria. Note, that no where does the article talk about the costs of trying to "fight" global warming - something George Will wonders about in his column above.

We all know the media over dramatizes and over criticises everything... they refer to George Bush as Hitler or say Bush is taking away all freedoms, etc... I wonder if they are applying this same sense of reason and rationality to their global warming reporting?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even the state of Minnesota thinks it should "do something" about global warming, probably by trying to prevent us from driving our automobiles. And I know that reason, logic and facts have no bearing whatsoever on this debate, but I would hope that we would frame this legislation in such a way that the exact reduction in global warming we could expect from this new law would be clearly spelled out. Don't worry, some DFL legislator to pull a number out of... er, ah... the air.

3:50 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

If Global warming were true on a statistically meaningful level, we should all get down on our knees and thank God for all the benefits it would bring.

9:00 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

True, if global warming is to warm up much of the land under permafrost, we will need all the extra CO2 for the plants that will be growing there. Plus we will need a lot more animals to feed off all of the new plant life... but I digress...

Which came first, the Co2 or the warming...? Hmmm

12:33 AM, February 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scientists will not even say that CO2 is the problem! H2O is a much more effective greenhouse gas, and there's a lot more of it. What happens if we "control" the wrong thing? That's why I suggest that, before we "do something," we be told exactly what the positive effects will be.

J. Ewing

10:15 AM, February 06, 2007  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Remember all that stuff about nuclear winter? I think there's a solution here!

The basic trick is to set off just the right number of nuclear weapons in just the right place to put precisely enough dust in the air to offset the CO2.

What we need is a merging of environmental and military policy.

10:27 AM, February 06, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Say Pencil, I like that.

9:14 PM, February 06, 2007  

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Where's NARAL, NOW and Planned Parenthood?

Texas is to begin mandating vaccination of schoolgirls against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease and the primary precursor to cervical cancer. (Full story here.)

Why aren't we hearing from the "keep your laws off my body" crowd?

Blogger ReTorte said...

The groups are likely lumping it into the category of "it's just like a flu shot." But also because it supposedly prevents the "big C" word neither side is going to touch this one.

12:56 AM, February 03, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Ah, but flu shots aren't backed by the full faith and force of Texas law. Next thing you know, they'll be mandating seat belts!

6:21 AM, February 03, 2007  
Blogger Courier A said...

My first reaction to reading your post, Scribbler, was, "How did this liberal social-engineering effort first gain traction in Texas, of all places? After all, Texas has a Republican governor, two Republican U.S. senators, real judicial elections, and gerrymandered legislative districts orchestrated by Tom "The Hammer" DeLay, not to mention tons of fundamentalist religious types.

After reading the article and learning that this is really about a big corporation leveraging politicians to artificially boost the market for one of its products, the reason Merck has found success in Texas is sadly all too clear: Texas has a long, bipartisan history of pols amassing power from doling out corporate welfare.

Mark Russell, the smarmy liberal musical "humorist", used a line many years ago to explain how someone as dull as Lloyd Bentsen could win statewide office in Texas and gain national political prominence. The line summed up Texas' corporate-welfare history nicely: "Lloyd Bentsen's known for his pro-quo-quidness. For in Texas, that's how they all do bidness."

Still, for the governor to do this bidding by executive order is pretty slippery, even by Texas' standards.

9:28 AM, February 03, 2007  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

It's my body and I'll cry if I want to, sigh if I want to, die if I want to, you would cry too if it happened to you. Or something like that. Something unusual about a state mandating things "for our own good, wheather we want it or not?" And how dare you people impugn the good name of Texas? Don't mess with Texas! Texas is the home of our arch conservative Pres. So be careful.

11:32 AM, February 03, 2007  

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Thursday, February 01, 2007


At NRO's The Corner, Rick Brookhiser writes

Kathryn, I yield to none in Rudyphilia, but this [his history of supporting gun control] is a problem. Having a house over the hill from a gun club in the Catskills has sensitized me to it. Active gun owners may be a smallish minority, but they are passionate.

In NYC we all know of the third rail, which it is lethal to touch. Rudy has five third rails—abortion, gay rights, guns, immigration, and drama (personal). All he has going for him is that he is the only candidate who has done anything significant in public life. That, plus he's made of brass.
So Air Marshall doesn't like his gun positions, I don't like his take on social issues (abortion, gay rights) and so on. But Brookhiser is right. Rudy actually accomplished something phenomenal as a conservative using conservative principles. I remember what NYC was like before him. I lived there in the summer of 1992. Every previous mayor was a complete failure (Dinkins, Lindsey) or just somewhat of a failure (Koch). It was a dangerous filthy pit, and everyone but Guliani (including me) thought that this was simply the inevitable fate of a large American city. Guliani changed everything. My friends who lived there were (and are) simply ecstatic. The murder rate in NYC went from over 2000 per year to under 600. Normal people who wouldn't take the subway during the day would now take it alone at night, even twentysomething women. He cut taxes every year and got businesses to move back to the city when before they had been leaving in droves. He not only changed NYC, but every large American city by eliminating the excuses for every other city administration. He showed conservative principles work.

Rudy is a no-nonsense conservative. Further, the stuff we disagree with him on have little to do with the powers of the President of the United States. Rudy has said he agrees with Roberts and Alito as the kind of Justice he would appoint. Other than that, the President has nothing to do with abortion or gay marriage or any other social issue likely to come up. Same is true for guns. Beyond judges, guns are a state issue, and the Democrats are not so stupid as to make a big push on it on the national level. They've been burned too many times before. The gun issue has been, for the most part, already won. State after state has issued "shall issue" laws while crime has been dropping. The American people know this.

Finally, as Brookhiser writes, Guliani is made of brass (or what he really meant to stay, they clank when he walks). We're in a global war. We need this.

Blogger Air Marshall said...

Pencil, I bow to your superior information. However I would dispute that the "gun issue" is won, or has become some kind of national third rail. It is a Democrat Party platform plank, and we are dealing with some of the most radical Dems I have seen in my lifetime currently in leadership positions. Remember just last year they banned the home possesion of handguns in San Francisco, in violation of the State's pre-emption law, and included in the ban off duty police. During 1993 Democrats who were members of the board of directors of the NRA voted for Clinton's AWB, Rep. Dingle even resigning his board membership on the floor of the house. And POTUS is very involved in the issue. All he (or she) has to do is fail to veto a gun ban bill coming out of Congress and the damage is done and takes years to reverse if ever. Or POTUS can do as GHWB did and ban the importation of many types of weapons by executive order (fiat). He was a life member of the NRA at the time. He resigned his membership. As some of you know, I don't trust the current holder of the office in this regard either. He stated in 2003 he would sign a renewal of the AWB. Fortunately, the Republican house did not bring it up and it died through sunset. The Dems in the Senate were screaming bloody murder about that too, and Finestiein et. al. were in the forefront. It is true that if Rudy would appoint strict constructionists to SCOTUS that would solve much of the problem. Assuming of course, he could get them through the Senate.
I do stick to my proposition that a strong showing by Tancredo would help drag the RP toward the right.

10:23 AM, February 01, 2007  

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