Monday, January 30, 2006

Fruit Flavored G3, RIP

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My very old (in computer terms) lime green iMac finally gave out the other day and I bought a new, pre-Intel iMac G5. I assume that I am the last blogger in the world to have been using equipment from the last millenium. No more.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Can you imagine how outraged these people would be if this could be blamed on Bill Clinton or Al Gore?:
AN AUDIT of US reconstruction spending in Iraq has uncovered spectacular misuse of tens of millions of dollars in cash, including bundles of money stashed in filing cabinets, a US soldier who gambled away thousands and stacks of newly minted notes distributed without receipts.

The audit, released yesterday by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, describes a country in the months after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein awash with dollars, and a Wild West atmosphere where even multimillion-dollar contracts were paid for in cash.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mean People Suck

Which party is "meaner"-- the Democrats or Republicans? If you said that is a stupid question then you have successfully completed the sixth grade, but you would be wrong according to Patrick Hynes. Hynes, of the website formerly known as "Crush Kerry" thinks that Democrats are mean. Mean for a lot of reasons, but consider just this one:
AND LET'S NOT DISREGARD the looming (and increasingly inevitable) financial disaster that will strike when swarms of baby boomers storm the pay window to collect what they've been promised. The politicians in Washington and American interest groups spent the first half of 2005 debating the creeping crisis as it relates to Social Security and whether we can or should do anything about it. President Bush and some Republicans wanted to introduce personal retirement accounts. Democrats (sadly with the help of more than a few RINO's) demonized the plan. But what is most notable about the debate is that the Democrats' official position was that we had nothing to worry about. Don't be fooled by Republican tricks, they told Americans. Everything is going to be just fine.

This false sense of, ahem, security, over the years has resulted in millions of soon-to-be-on-the-dole Boomers making the disastrous decision to not put money away for themselves. And so now we have the most prosperous generation in human history prepared to retire without a penny to their names, fully convinced that the government checks are on their way; "guaranteed" in a "lock box," as the liberal parlance goes.

So the mean Dems, who opposed the President's plans to "reform" Social Security in 2005 are responsible for boomers who failed to plan for retirement over the last forty years. I could ask how anyone could possibly trust the Bush administration to reform Social Security after their disasterous prescription drug plan, but that would be mean.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Corrupt Care

Jonathan Chait recommends that the Democrats use the awful new prescription drug program against the Republicans in the forthcoming elections:
FOR THE LAST few weeks, Democrats in Washington have been thrashing about in search of some way to make the Republican corruption scandals relevant to the broader public. Meanwhile, the public seems much more concerned about the Medicare prescription drug plan, which, with its horror stories of bureaucratic bungling, has turned out to be the Hurricane Katrina of entitlement programs.

It's the corruption! It's the Medicare drug plan! Wait a second -- is it me, or did the answer to the Democrats' dilemma just fall right into their lap?

The Medicare drug plan is the perfect issue for Democrats to run on. It perfectly encapsulates the corruption of Republican Washington, and it's a concrete thing that voters can relate to. Running on this issue makes so much sense that naturally the Democrats won't do it.

I don't really have a dog in this fight. I don't care much for Dean, Clinton and Pelosi; although I can't see how they could be more corrupt or dishonest or incompetent the Bush, Cheney, Delay, Rumsfeld . . .

Friday, January 20, 2006

Conservatives for Breathing

A sneerfest erupted in NRO's The Corner because their house Crunchy Con, Rod Dreher came out in favor of breathing. Perhaps I exaggerate, but the tussle erupted after some fairly innocuous comments:
Yesterday here at the Dallas Morning News, we met with a group of local folks that included Margaret Keliher, the Dallas County Judge . . .. Keliher is a Republican, and she's also taken the lead in fighting for cleaner air in north Texas. Dallas has filthy air, in part because of cement plants just south of the city, and we're under federal government sanction to clean it up. In north Texas, the environment is not really a liberal vs. conservative issue, but a civic issue
. . . If I were sitting at the RNC in Washington right now, thinking about this fall's election, I'd spend a half hour on the phone with Judge Keliher and talk about this stuff. It's foolish to let the Democrats have this issue all to themselves--and by the way, enlightened environmentalists are starting to realize how foolish they've been to put all their hopes on the Democratic Party, and are now reaching out to conservatives. All to the good, say I.

This led to a series of snarky comments by Ramesh Ponnuru (who eventually made a peace offering) and others; along with rejoinders from Dreher. Perhaps the most obtuse comment came from (who else?) John Podheretz. The Birthright Pundit sneered, "In fact, I believe the rise in diagnosed asthma cases is a nationwide phenomenon of the past three or four decades, and nobody knows the cause. Except, it appears, a few judges in Texas, who got it all figgered out. I wasn't aware that degrees in epidemiology, cardiology, and pulmonology accompanied election to judgeships around Dallas, but now that I know, I'll be sure to consult your new friends about these matters."

That this mild suggestion that Republicans work on being less beholden to the interests of polluters and more to the interests of breathers is so controversial shows how screwed up the right is these days. Dreher is one of the few people involved with NR who is actually worth reading. I have a feeling he the he will not last there much longer and in a few years the onetime serious publication will become the exclusive preserve of mediocrities such as Podheretz.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tract Society

Thomas Frank, the author of What's the Matter with Kansas? and editor of The Baffler has a review in the February issue of Harpers of 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken Is #37), by Bernard Goldberg. 100 People is the kind of book that I would only read under the circumstances that Frank did -- for pay and with the opportunity to mock in print. It is essentially a tract for the converted. The production of such tracts, from both the left and right, has exploded in the Bush years and I have reviewed three of them and briefly looked at several more. Most of them are awful. Those on the right seem worse and I'm not sure if it is because liberals are at least attacking the party in power or because this kind of thing has a larger audience on the Right and thus casts a wider net.

Whatever the reason, most authors of these political tracts lack the wit and subtlety of Jack T. Chick. They all make valid points. I agree with Ann Coulter that some of the mockery of Dan Quayle was unfair though I am not nearly upset about it as she is. And I'm sure that many on the left are as Unhinged as Michelle Malkin believes them to be, though I would take her more seriously is she didn't seem so unhinged herself and didn't link to patently looney rightwing nutcases such as the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

This description by Frank probably applies to them all:
This is a book that scarcely requires an author. You could have assembled it yourself, with an afternoon's browsing of the major right-wing websites and a copy of the collected speeches of Spiro Agnew for stylistic guidance. And yet it stubbornly remained on the bestseller list for weeks. Why?
Perhaps it is the literary equivalent of one of those K-Tel albums from the Seventies: the greatest, most irritating hits of the decade.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Littlest Poddy

Gosh! Is it even remotely possible that John Podheretz, who Steve Sailer correctly tagged as a "birthright pundit" has the gall to call anyone else a "finger wagger?" The man's finger never stops wagging.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Good News . . .

Bill Kauffman's Look Homeward America : In Search of Reactionary Radicals is listed on Here is the book description:

In Look Homeward, America, Bill Kauffman introduces us to the reactionary radicals, front-porch anarchists, and traditionalist rebels who give American culture and politics its pith, vim, and life. Blending history, memoir, digressive literariness, and polemic, Kauffman provides fresh portaiture of such American originals as Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, regionalist painter Grant Wood, farmer-writer Wendell Berry, publisher Henry Regnery, maverick U.S. senators Eugene McCarthy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and other Americans who can't-- or shouldn't -- be filed away in the usual boxes labeled "liberal" and "conservative." Ranging from Millard Fillmore to Easy Rider, from Robert Frost to Mother Jones, Kauffman limns an alternative America that draws its breath from local cultures, traditional liberties, small-scale institutions, and neighborliness. There is an America left that is worth saving: these are its paragons, its poets, its pantheon.

I can't wait.

P.S. Here is my review of his last book.

The High Road?

Look for more articles like the one by Jed Babbin in the bandwith of the American Spectator. Babbin laughibly argues that it is time to "take the gloves off" against the left and cease taking the "high road" against them. Anyone familiar with the American Spectator knows that they have had the gloves off for the last fifteen or so years.

I think we will be seeing more screeds like Babbins because the right will become more and more desparate. They have dragged the country into an unnecessary and unwinnable war in Iraq, and now the Abramoff/DeLay scandal is exposing the seamy underside of the party that was supposed to "reform" Washington when it came to power in 1994. In order to maintain their hold on power, or in Babbin's case, their proximity to it; the Right must shift the blame for their domestic and foreign scandals onto others.

UPDATE: One of the letters in response to Babbin hits upon an issue that the Liberal Media refuses to cover. Perhaps Pajamas will take up the slack:
A good place to start in pushing back might be for someone to suggest that John Murtha release his military medical records so we can all see what got him his two Purple Hearts. (Another Hero Mystery.) I have read in only one place that Mr. Murtha shares the military modesty of John Kerry in this regard. Do we need a group comparable to the Swifties to ask this reasonable question? After all, Mr. Murtha has enjoyed wounded hero status for some years.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


While the MSM focuses on the ho-hum Jack Abramoff story, look to Pajamas Media, which as been on top of the far more important Google PC's story all day.

Be Prepared

President Bush: "I'm going to continue to work as hard as I can to lay that foundation for peace." I suppose that means we will invade Syria and/or Iran in the next few months.