A Few Good Men

Obama’s nominee is ducking questions on abortion, and doing it badly

“Did you write that memo?” Hatch asked.

“Senator, with respect,” Kagan began, “I don’t think that that’s what happened — ”

“Did you write that memo?”

“I’m sorry — the memo which is?

“The memo that caused them to go back to the language of ‘medically necessary,’ which was the big issue to begin with — ”

“Yes, well, I’ve seen the document — 

“But did you write it?”

“The document is certainly in my handwriting.”

Here’s how this sort of thing would play out in my world. 

Kagan: You want answers? 

Hatch: I think I’m entitled. 

Kagan: *You want answers?* 

Hatch:*I want the truth!* 

Kagan: *You can’t handle the truth!*

Son, we live in a world that has babies, and those babies need to be killed. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Senator Coburn? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for our children, and you curse Planned Parenthood. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That our children, while cute, get in the way of feminism. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, allows for Gloria Steinham to keep ranting. You don’t want what I call the truth because deep down in places I don’t talk about at parties, I know you’re right. I use words like right to chose and women’s privacy. We use these words as the backbone of an industry that kills babies. You use them as way to promote the sanctity of life. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man, any man, anywhere, because I’m a woman and you’re not. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a knife and castrate yourself. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to. 

Hatch: Did you write this memo? 

Kagan: I did the job I… 

Hatch: *Did you write this memo?*

Kagan: *You’re Godd***** right I did!* 

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June 30th, 2010 by admindude

Leaders lead

We expect our leaders to act boldly in times of crisis. We expect them to take charge and get things done. We expect them to be out on the front lines of the battle, crying “Follow me!”. And if they do that, we gladly follow in their footsteps. 

We will not respect a leader who leads from behind, who sees himself as powerless in the face of crisis, who points the blame at others instead of being a part of a solution.

And we will not respect a leader that allows something like this to happen on his watch.

The Dutch know how to handle maritime emergencies. In the event of an oil spill, The Netherlands government, which owns its own ships and high-tech skimmers, gives an oil company 12 hours to demonstrate it has the spill in hand. If the company shows signs of unpreparedness, the government dispatches its own ships at the oil company’s expense. “If there’s a country that’s experienced with building dikes and managing water, it’s the Netherlands,” says Geert Visser, the Dutch consul general in Houston.

In sharp contrast to Dutch preparedness before the fact and the Dutch instinct to dive into action once an emergency becomes apparent, witness the American reaction to the Dutch offer of help. The U.S. government responded with “Thanks but no thanks,” remarked Visser, despite BP’s desire to bring in the Dutch equipment and despite the no-lose nature of the Dutch offer –the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge. Even after the U.S. refused, the Dutch kept their vessels on standby, hoping the Americans would come round. By May 5, the U.S. had not come round. To the contrary, the U.S. had also turned down offers of help from 12 other governments, most of them with superior expertise and equipment –unlike the U.S., Europe has robust fleets of Oil Spill Response Vessels that sail circles around their make-shift U.S. counterparts.

Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million — if water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

When ships in U.S. waters take in oil-contaminated water, they are forced to store it. As U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the official in charge of the clean-up operation, explained in a press briefing on June 11, “We have skimmed, to date, about 18 million gallons of oily water–the oil has to be decanted from that [and] our yield is usually somewhere around 10% or 15% on that.” In other words, U.S. ships have mostly been removing water from the Gulf, requiring them to make up to 10 times as many trips to storage facilities where they off-load their oil-water mixture, an approach Koops calls “crazy.”

Mr. President, act like a leader and let the people who know how to help, help. 

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June 29th, 2010 by admindude

Why we win

Pamela Gorman‘s got a volunteer-made video that’s gone viral, causing the morons over at AoS to get, um, excited

Looks like fun. What would the left-wing version of this look like? Schoolkids singing praises to Dear Leader? Obama Girl, (so into politics she forgot to vote) ? 

The left has forgotten how to have fun, and that’s a shame. Life is too short to go around angry all the time. 

Update: The lady speaks!

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June 29th, 2010 by admindude

L’Etat, c’est moi

A demagogue cares so much about winning that he’d rather wreck the system itself than lose. 

Seth Godin

Obama has become the world’s great evangelist for debt. What he won’t do for human rights, he’ll do for red ink. 

Rich Lowry

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June 29th, 2010 by admindude

What he said

In honour of today’s McDonald v. Chicago decision, set aside an hour of your time to read and re-read Kevin’s amazing journey through the Second Amendment

The money quote comes from Dred Scott V. Sanford. 

It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State. 

Why, if we let the black people carry firearms, next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to vote! I tell you, it’s enough to make Robert Byrd roll over in his sheet grave! 

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June 28th, 2010 by admindude

A Scandal in the Secular Priesthood

What happens when the morals of your leaders aren’t up to the task? When the leader of the biggest scientific political moral crusade of the last twenty years turns out to be just another Jimmy Swaggart? 

Blame the victim, of course

I asked a bunch of women in my community how they felt about the Al Gore news, and they said perplexing victim-blaming things such as “She was in her 50s. Doesn’t he know menopausal women aren’t horny?” And, “How did she not know that a request for a three-hour massage at 10:30 p.m. is code for ‘the guy wants a hooker?” A couple of women cracked jokes: “After she rejected him, did he Tip-per?”

The greenest of the green people I talked to felt betrayed. Gore was their leader and the movement is now, um, stained. The woman even said, according to the transcript of her interview with Portland, Ore., police made public on the Internet, that her “Birkenstock Tribe” friends told her to “suck it up” and not tell anyone or the “world’s going to be destroyed from global warming.”

I imagine the Nobel Prize people are similarly distraught. 

I think the Nobel Prize people have a bunch of things they’re already regretting as it is.

But why should it matter if Al Gore’s marriage breaks up or if he decides to proposition a masseuse in a hotel room at 10:30 at night? He’s a politician, and politicians, after all, have been known to go hiking the Appalachian Trail every now and then. 

Maybe it’s because Al Gore has become more than just a politician. Maybe he’s become the leader of a new morality, one that judges each man by their perceived concern about their CO2 output and not their actual carbon footprint

All the more reason to put your faith in things above and not in the leaders of this world. 

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June 28th, 2010 by admindude

Wherein I agree with Matthew Yglesias

No, really. 

If the Dave Weigel flap has taught us anything, it’s the value of journalists who understand and admit their opinions and biases and don’t shutter them away like a mad uncle at a family reunion. 

Jeff Jarvis is the smartest mind in the old media when it comes to new media, and he sees things pretty clearly:

The problem, then, is our myth of the opinionless man.

I don’t think that is society’s myth. We all know better than to believe that men have no beliefs — because we are all merely men with beliefs of our own.

No, the opinionless man is an institutional myth, a fiction maintained by news organizations, political organizations, governments, businesses, churches, and armies. The opinionless man is meant to be an empty vessel to do the bidding of these hierarchies. But opinions and openness about them subvert hierarchies. Or to translate that to modern times, via the Cluetrain Manifesto, links subvert hierarchies. This is the age of links. So hierarchies: beware. One opinion leaks out of the opinionless man and it is shared and linked and spread instantly. The institutions treat this revelation as a shock and scandal — as a threat — and they eject the opinionated men. 

And here’s where I agree with Matthew Yglesias

Something that pops up every time old/new media tensions emerge is the view—which I find, frankly, bizarre—common in the newspaper world that pretending to not have opinions makes your work better. One underlying presumption here is the odd notion that the ideal reporter would be someone who actually doesn’t have opinions, as if “the facts” were purely transparent and could be merely observed, processed, and then regurgitated into inverted pyramid form without passing through the muck of “judgment” or “thoughts about the world.” 

The idea of a journalist being the sole arbiter of “truth” needs to go the way of the linotype operator and street-corner paperboy. With the advent of RSS feeds and aggregation pages, I am my own opinion page editor. Why should I have someone in an office at the New York Times or Fox News tell me what’s important when I can tell what’s important to me with just a glance at the headlines in my RSS feeds? 

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June 28th, 2010 by admindude

Saturday Movie Blogging – The Road Warrior

One of the most influential action films of the last 30 years. Sparse, tight, explosive, it’s an amazing film and one that should be in your DVD collection. 

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June 26th, 2010 by admindude

Finally, a Ted Kennedy Republican.

Most days, I’m proud of my state. This is not one of those days:

Mark Spinks hoped his indecent-exposure conviction would never surface as an obstacle in his pursuit of the Republican nomination in Congressional District 5.

But since it came out, the 39-year-old political rookie said he plans to encourage voters to overlook his personal embarrassments and see him as an average American with the political passion to take on “over-intrusive government” and more seasoned Republican candidates.

Brother, you got that “passion” part down. Kudos.

Spinks claimed he’s openly discussed his past legal issues – including an impaired-driving charge from more than 10 years ago in Scottsdale – as experiences residents could relate to when they file their primary ballots in August.

“My goal is not to hide from my mistakes and act like these papier-mâché politicians,” said Spinks, a Realtor and father of two children who were home at the time of his arrest.

“One of the things I want to prove and put out there in this race is that you don’t have to be this polished, perfect elitist to work in Washington,” he said. “You can be flawed.”

Indeed, and our political leaders in Washington prove that every day. You make a compelling point Mr. Spinks; do go on…

He denied any ethical dilemma in running for office, saying the indecent-exposure incidents were mischaracterized as criminal and sexual. He described his nakedness as far less harmful than drunken college bar fights for which he was never charged.

“Your Honor, I did choose to be my own attorney, but my client seems to be incriminating himself. Can you strike that last part from the record?”

Despite living in Mr. Spinks’ district, I hadn’t heard of him. Though I suppose if I lived in his neighborhood, I would have. At least he never made any infomercials.

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June 25th, 2010 by admindude

The Hopper Obsession

I am a HUGE fan of Edward Hopper. Yes, everybody’s seen Nighthawks in one (degraded) form or another, but the man *got* urban ennui long before anyone else did.

So naturally, I’m fascinated by one man’s quest to find the location of the Nighthawk diner

That’s some serious obsessive-compulsive disorder detective work there. I’m impressed. 

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June 25th, 2010 by admindude