Sunday, August 30, 2009

Political Landslide In Japan

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's ruling conservative party suffered a crushing defeat in elections Sunday as voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of a left-of-center opposition camp that has promised to rebuild the economy and breathe new life into the country after 54 years of virtual one-party rule, media projections said.

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan was set to win 300 of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament, ousting the Liberal Democrats, who have governed Japan for all but 11 months since 1955, according to projections by all major Japanese TV networks.

The vote was seen as a barometer of frustrations over Japan's worst economic slump since World War II and a loss of confidence in the ruling Liberal Democrats' ability to tackle tough problems such as the rising national debt and rapidly aging population.


Click on the title of this post to read the full AP story.

The Upcoming Term's Most Important Decision

Well, ok, the decision applying (or not) the 2nd Amendment to the States is important also but the case Citizens United is the one that is being re-argued before the Supreme Court's term properly starts in October. In non-legalese, what this means is that the Supreme Court is on the verge of over-ruling one if not two precedents concerning limitations on corporate expenditures on free speech. That blight on the Constitution known as McCain-Feingold may be removed. MC can only hope.

Click on the title of this post to read the NYTimes' remarkably even-handed article on this issue.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stipendium Peccati Mors Est

MC doesn't care if you don't know Latin. The loss is yours.

This Meme Returns To Live Another Day


MC has followed the conservatism is dead thread for some time now. True, the idea had some passing salience on, oh, say, November 5th last year. But like all absolute statements, it was never true.

Tanenhaus is the editor of the New York Times Book Review and is a thoughtful liberal. He wrote an excellent biography of Whittaker Chambers (yes, that's a name you should know and no, in the era of Google you can, as our parents used to say of those books called dictionaries, look it up). The book is getting a lot of attention and this is to be expected given the author and the topic.

James Pierson at The New Criterion, however, makes short shrift of the book. Click on the title of this post to read his review.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No. Trotsky Was A Very Bad Man Indeed!

What is wrong with people, especially historians who should know better? Lesley Chamberlain reviews a new biography of Trotsky in today's Wall Street Journal and writes:

"We are left weighing a multiple ­tragedy, of a man so loyal to an ideology he died for it; of an ideology that in one form or another killed ­millions; and of a 20th century in which political ­radicals world-wide called themselves Trotskyists and believed that Lenin was good and Stalin bad, that even if the Soviet Union was a degenerate workers' state, the real thing could be established elsewhere. Trotsky had people killed. But . . . [he] was not a bad man."

Good grief: get us rewrite!

Hat tip: The Volokh Conspiracy

RIP: Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009

De mortuis, nihil nisi bonum.

Less Than 50% Approve Of Obama's Performance

Pollster averages various and sundry polls and viola: the moment has arrived when less than 50% of Americans approve of the job President Obama is doing. MC really thinks at this point he doesn't particularly care what Americans think: he knows best.

All we can say is: carry on in precisely the same way for another year and we'll be in fine shape to gain House and Senate seats. And no, MC never underestimates Obama. But we are amazed he continues to be tone deaf and inflict damage to his administration, the outrageous decision to investigate CIA interrogators being just the latest example.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Fascinating View From Planet Moonbat!

Honest to God, MC watched all 4 minutes, 38 seconds of this video amazed at the idiocy of it all. Click on it to view and leave a comment as to your favorite part. Ours was either the tone of dread and evil when the narrator says insurance companies make--yes--profits! or it was when medicare is repeatedly held up as a nifty model because its adminstrative costs are low (are they kidding?) and they don't make profits! Left unmentioned is the fact that it is broke. Insolvent. Kaput. And fraud is rampant. MC also liked the mention of the post office, now 7 billion in the red.

This squish thinks essential services form the basis for a persuasive argument for single payer. Really, people just aren't that dumb. Forget the nostrum that health is an essential service (by such a stretch of meaning and words, what isn't?), the other services mentioned are locally controlled and managed. The two federal government programs? A trainwreck.

But keep repeating it: if you like the postal service, you'll love Obamacare.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Age Of Obama Witch Hunts Begin

The decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the CIA marks a new low in an administration rapidly heading downhill. MC is not assured by reports that the special prosecutor's "mandate . . . . will be relatively narrow: to look at whether there is enough evidence to launch a full-scale criminal investigation of current and former CIA personnel who may have broken the law in their dealings with detainees." It boggles the mind that we have come to this.

Click on the title of this post to read the Washington Post story.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Firing Of An (Islamo) Fascist: Tariq Ramadan

Think: Trojan horse. Think: Tariq Ramadan. If you haven't followed his "career," we at MC have. It's beyond wanting. Even the USA got it right when it denied him a visa to come to, of all flipping places, Notre Dame. Here's a Muslim that pretends nice toward infidels, at least when the cameras and tape recorders are rolling. Otherwise, not. Click on the title of this post to read the whole story of his whining.

Creation Myths For Materialists

Let MC's friend William Dembski explain:

"Janna Levin, Columbia astrophysicist, gives us the cutting-edge science on the origin of the universe: there was nothing, really nothing, nothing at all … but the potential to exist. Was it Aristotle who said that nothing admits no predicates? So where did nothing get the potential to exist and then bring the universe into existence? Not to worry. Janna does give us this assurance: “We know that something happened.” Yes, this is science at its best. Let’s not bring God or design into this discussion — we wouldn’t want to be accused of “acting stupidly.” Oh, one more thing, she’s an assistant professor. Want to bet that she doesn’t have problems getting tenure? Compare this to Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State."

Hat Tip: William Dembski

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Busted: DC's Fashion Cop Trashes Michelle

Lest MC gets another snarky comment from our friend Butters about how this blog shouldn't concern itself with such ephemeral matters as fashion, let us just say that we take Robin Givhan's piece in the Washington Post as a clear sign that it is open season on the Obamas in the drive by media. Click on the title of this post to read her article. But for those, like the St. Paul half of MC, who have little time for such subjects, Givhan's last sentences say it all:

"Avoiding the appearance of queenly behavior is politically wise. But it does American culture no favors if a first lady tries so hard to be average that she winds up looking common."

Heh

Really, we're not sure we deserve such fun this early on in The One's administration. But we'll take it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Politico: Obama's Big Bang Goes Bust?

The boys at Politico, Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei (hell, they are Politico) are waking up to where at least half of America has been for some time: Obama's overreach threatens to destroy all of his plans to "remake" America. As they put it:

"The Obama theory was simple, though always freighted with risk: Use a season of economic anxiety to enact sweeping changes the public likely wouldn’t stomach in ordinary times. But the abrupt swing in the public’s mood, from optimism about Obama’s possibility to concern he may overreaching, has thrown the White House off its strategy and forced the president to curtail his ambitions."

MC hopes the President continues to fail. Click on the title of this post to read the story.

The Death Book For Veterans

MC is increasingly creeped out by cultural changes that seek to quantify the value of our lives. This necessarily involves what a certain Cardinal famously said shortly before becoming Pope: "the dictatorship of relativism." MC loves a well turned phrase and that certainly qualifies. So, too, does "death panels." If Grandma could only speak we're sure she would want us to kill her because we love her so (and she wouldn't want to be a b-u-r-d-e-n). Something like that. People are capable of telling themselves enormous lies; we need others to help keep perspective, clarity and moral values.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Veteran's Administration has what is being called The Death Book. Page 21 is reproduced above; click on the image to enlarge it.

President Bush ordered the use of this book stopped. President Obama has reinstated its use.

Click on the title of this post to read the WSJ story.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Charlie Cook: Dems "Completely Out Of Control"


Well yes, MC could hardly agree more. But Charlie Cook, of the famous Cook Report, has now said what we and readers here already knew. To whit:

Reviewing recent polling and the 2010 election landscape, Cook can envision a scenario in which Democratic House losses could exceed 20 seats.

Click on the title of this post to read the story at Politico.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today: Hungary's Picnic That Brought Down The Wall






SOPRONPUSZTA, Hungary -- It was a picnic that changed the course of history.

Twenty years ago Wednesday, members of Hungary's budding opposition organized a picnic at the border with Austria to press for greater political freedom and promote friendship with their Western neighbors.

Some 600 East Germans got word of the event and turned up among the estimated 10,000 participants. They had a plan: to take advantage of an excursion across the border to escape to Austria.

Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom and German Chancellor Angela Merkel took part in festivities Wednesday marking the 20th anniversary of the "Pan-European Picnic," which helped precipitate the fall nearly three months later of the Berlin Wall.

Click on the title of this post to read the rest of the story.

MN GOP Confab In The Park Thursday 8/20/09

When MC grows up, we want to be HD 54A. Click on the image to enlarge. Be there or be out of it.

Image Hat Tip: Pat Igo

Who's Afraid Of Laura Brod?

The Democrats, apparently, from this squib below from today's Pioneer Press. The paper says that Democrats fear her the most of any announced or likely-to-announce Republican candidates. MC's friends and contacts in the DFL have told us the same thing for some time.

This begs the always beggable question: which GOP candidate is best positioned to win? To keep asking that question is, perhaps, to change the dynamics of this young and over-populated race.

From the Pioneer Press:

  • State Rep. Laura Brod, of New Prague, postponed her exploratory campaign for health reasons last month, but supporters predict she will return to the race soon. The lead Republican on the House Taxes Committee, she is an advocate for small businesses and downsizing state government. She's the candidate some Democrats fear most.
  • Remembering Novak Four (American Spectator)

    Nat Hentoff: Scared Of This White House

    Color us gobsmacked: legendary libertarian and Leftist today writes that this is the first White House Administration of which he is scared. He'll be booked solid on CNN and MSNBC, we're sure. Click on the title of this post to read his article in the Jewish World Review.

    Remembering Novak Three (NYTimes Obituary)

    Please click on the title of this post to read his obituary in The New York Times.

    Remembering Novak Two (FOX)

    Remembering Novak One (CNN)

    The End Of The Anti-War Movement

    The frauds on the Left and their media enablers seem to have lost their outrage and moral preening about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan now that the Vapid One is president. MC never thought much of poor Cindy Sheehan, used and abused by the most odious of groups and persons, but surely she has the courage of her convictions: she's on Martha's Vineyard protesting the war(s) while Obama vacations. We wonder: how much coverage will Matthews, Olberman and Maddow on the Moonbat cable channel give her? Zero? Yeah, that's what we thought too.

    Click on the title of this post to read Byron York's article on the defeaning silence of the hypocrites, Cindy Sheehan, to her credit, excepted.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    RIP: Robert Novak 1931-2009

    There will never be another one like him. God rest his soul.

    Meeting With Michael Brodkorb

    Yesterday Minnesota Conservatives had lunch with newly-elected Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb. This proved both enlightening and encouraging. We found him to be open to discussing any issue and capable of genuinely listening. At the same time MC told him that we found the initial changes of Chair Sutton to be heartening: regular communication, an online forum for state central delegates to opt into and a focus on rebuilding BPOU's. Of course, both Brodkorb and Sutton have had fairly high media profiles recently which MC thought was good.

    MC and Brodkorb agreed that 2010 could be an excellent year for Republicans thanks to the relentless overreach of the Democrats and the stupifying arrogance of President Obama. We all agreed, unfortunately, that some in the RPM still have grudges and grievances that they seemingly can't put aside. New party leadership is not the problem nor most certainly the enemy. The same is true of any aspect of the base and activists. Republicans in Minnesota simply have to unite if we want to win. And if you're involved in politics but care little for winning, then perhaps another activity is better for you. You're not doing the rest of us any favors.

    Brodkorb pledged a transparent and open State Convention on October 3rd. We believe him and look forward to it.

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    The Man Behind The Image


    Meet Firas Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois who first came up with the Obama as the Joker image. He altered a Time magazine cover and put it on flikr where another enterprising American saw it, stripped out the magazine and slapped socialism on the bottom. Viola! Instant icon for the Age of Obama.

    Alkhateeb said of The Won: "After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ. From my perspective, there wasn't much substance to him." Smart.

    Click on the title of this post to read the story in the L.A. Times.

    Gallup Poll: This Is A Conservative Nation

    Gallup released a poll showing that conservatives outnumber liberals in almost every state. MC is pleased about this although we are still wondering how a man with no accomplishments outside of self-promotion became the 44th President. Passing strange.

    Click on the title of this post to read the Gallup story.

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    Assume The Position: Yale University Press

    The gonad-less Yale University Press is going to publish a book about the cartoons that got the Islamo-fascists in a deathly snit. But? But Yale will not reproduce the cartoons themselves. You can't make this up.

    Click on the title of this post to read the story.

    Update One: Roger Kimball reports here.

    Update Two: Roger Kimball reports again here.

    Palin Wins Death Panels Argument

    Widely mocked by the usual suspects for her Facebook comment expressing concerns about death panels in the Obamacare legislation, Sarah Palin yesterday had the last laugh. The Senate Finance Committee announced it was scrapping any such provision in its working draft of the legislation.

    A comment on Facebook and the Senate changes course? Why yes, she is dumb and uninfluential. Now if only conservatives would mind their betters and agree with that assessment.

    Click on the title of this post to read the WSJ article on the matter.

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Obama As Micromanager? TNR Gets It Right

    The WSJ has a front page story today about how Obama is a micromanager. MC never assessed Obama as one who knew the details of much about anything. When he is off teleprompter, he flops and wheezes and rambles. His grasp of healthcare, for example, is non-existent. The same platitudes and bromides are repeated ad nauseum with, mercifully, little effect.

    The New Republic responds to the WSJ and MC agrees with the former. Click on the title of this post to read it. Click here to read the WSJ story.

    Grassley: Every Right To Fear Death Panels


    Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said yesterday that people have every right to fear death panels in House Bill 3200. Click on the title of this post to read the story in Politico (which hated to report the story, mind you).

    Hmm, Sarah Palin was savaged yet again when she voiced her concern about the same issue. Now an admired senator agrees with her. Will the usual suspects issue retractions or apologies? Don't hold your breath.

    (Image above: The Death of Procris)

    The World According To Christopher Hitchens

    MC is a big fan of Christopher Hitchens and, no, that doesn't mean we agree with everything he says or does. Since when is that a requirement of admiring someone? Click on the image above to enlarge.

    FORA TV has a nine part series dealing with Hitchens and various issues. Click on the title of this post to go to its website. Enjoy; it's almost impossible not to. Hitchens is a native born Brit now a naturalized US citizen. He famously broke with the Left over his support of the invasion of Iraq.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Michael Moore Speaks Healthcare Truth

    Yes, we're stunned too but it is true. Michael Moore said the following in the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine:

    "If a true public option is enacted -- and Obama knows this -- it will eventually bring about a single payer system, because the profit-making insurance companies won't be able to compete with a government run plan and make the profits they want to make ... I probably shouldn't be saying this, but I'm counting on the fact that Republicans won't be reading this Rolling Stone."

    Hat tip: Lonnie Leitner

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Camille Paglia: Obama's Healthcare Horror

    Camille doesn't mince words although she likes Obama when he's abroad, which makes MC retch. Fortunately, she calls for Nancy Pelosi to resign which just reading such a call made us happy. Readers of this blog could hardly disagree with her conclusion:

    "As with the massive boondoggle of the stimulus package, which Obama foolishly let Congress turn into a pork rut, too much has been attempted all at once; focused, targeted initiatives would, instead, have won wide public support. How is it possible that Democrats, through their own clumsiness and arrogance, have sabotaged healthcare reform yet again? Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn't conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it's the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan -- it's the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves."

    Click on the title of this blog to read her latest column in Salon; she's too important a thinker and cultural/political critic to miss.

    Obama: Not In Favor Of Death Panels!

    Isn't that a relief? President Obama said at his lame town hall meeting in New Hampshire this afternoon that he was not in favor of death panels. That such needs to be said only damns the misbegotten enterprise that much more.

    Section 1233: End Of Life Care

    Charles Lane in the Washington Post observes with irritating understatement that Section 1233 of House Bill 3200 is "not totally innocuous." Some of us have noticed and objected. Click on the title of this post to read his column.

    But Let's Not Get Over-Confident

    Untangling The Spaghetti

    Mark Steyn (have we bronzed him yet?) has a terrific piece on what Obamacare all means and it isn't pretty: "The end-game is very obvious. If you expand the bureaucratic class and you expand the dependent class, you can put together a permanent electoral majority." He's a bit more pessimistic than MC about our ability to undue whatever calamity may pass for healthcare reform in the fall but he's well worth reading. Click on the title of this post to do so.

    Liberal Pundit Tells Liberals To Be Decent

    MC thinks it is only because he is a former neoconservative that Michael Lind can suggest to his fellow liberals that Southerners not be written off as backwards, racist, hicks. How, ah, tolerate of him. Really, it is amusing to see something obvious trussed up as a thoughtful column in the always thoughtful, insular environment of Salon. Still, to be sure, MC can find no one else on the Left who tries to get the bien pensant to reexamine some of their foundational smugness.

    Lind's conclusion: "Here's how I see it. Liberals should respect and promote the interests of working Americans of all races and regions, including those who despise liberals. They are erring neighbors to be won over, not cretins to be mocked."

    Obvious we know but be kind: his article is titled "Are liberals receding from sanity?" Baby steps, Michael, baby steps.

    Click on the title of this post to read his article.

    Click on the image of the horrid Keith Olberman above to enlarge.

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    Sunday, August 9, 2009

    Diamonds Are Not Forever

    At least not when the free market gets involved and upsets the foolish, contrived, immoral, spectacularly financially successful diamond cartel. De Beers created the market in Japan after WWII (don't you want to be like the West which just beat you?) but that's another story.

    Edward Jay Epstein has been on this story for decades. Click on the title of this post to read his latest at TNR about the troubles of the diamond cartel. And if you have a diamond and think it is worth a lot, just trying selling it. Good luck with that one, chump.

    JETS! House Doubles Its Order

    Democrats want eight instead of just four. No, you can't make this up. MC counsels conservatives to just stay out of the opposition's way. They're making a hash of things far more than we could in opposing them. Click on the title of this post to read the jet story.

    DOJ To Investigate CIA "Abuses?"

    The LA Times is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder is considering commencing a criminal investigation into purported "abuses" committed by the CIA in interrogating prisoners held during the Bush years. Click on the title of this post to read the article. MC thinks this is a bad idea, politically motivated and yet another indication that our Attorney General is something of an apparatchik.

    Friday, August 7, 2009

    C. Hitchens & R. Service On Leon Trotsky

    Christopher Hitchens and Robert Service speak with NRO's/Hoover Institute's Peter Robinson about Leon Trotsky. MC is something of an afficionado of Soviet history. Below you will find the links to the five, six minute or so video episodes from "Uncommon Knowledge." Well worth your time.

    Episode One

    Episode Two

    Episode Three

    Episode Four

    Episode Five

    The Won's Grade From CNN Online Poll

    C minus? With all the media being in the tank? MC thinks the real numbers are worse. MC also thinks Congressmen know it as well. Heh.

    Welcome To The Age Of Obama