Monday, September 24, 2007

The Party of John Edwards

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Florida Democrats might sue own party over seating of delegates

Florida Democratic party leaders on Sunday dared their national party to disenfranchise millions of voters next summer when their delegates meet in Denver to nominate their candidate for president.

Their dare, they added, might be bolstered by a lawsuit contending that "four rogue states" are conspiring to violate the civil rights of minorities in Florida by getting the Democratic National Committee to ignore the results of Florida's Jan. 29 party primary.

This is odd since the decision was made by the Democrats' own national committee. The state party had a choice and chose an early primary that would elect zero delegates. If anyone should be sued under this ridiculous premise, it should be the Florida Democrat Party (which should adopt the name "Florida Trial Lawyer Party"). These guys make the DNC look good.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mark Steyn on the "Uninsured"

Mark Steyn reminds us why reality and math guarantee that most politician-annointed crises aren't crises at all:
...out of 45 million uninsured Americans, 9 million aren't American, 9 million are insured, 18 million are young and healthy. And the rest of these poor helpless waifs trapped in Uninsured Hell waiting for Hillary to rescue them are, in fact, wealthier than the general population.
Read it all here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cecilia Alvear's Inconvenient Statistics

Complaining in the Macaca Post that the Ken Burns mini-series "The War" doesn't spend enough time pandering to her particular vaguely defined racial/ethnic/cultural group, Cecilia Alvear relies on these statistics with zero context:
As many as half a million Hispanics served in World War II and earned at least 13 Medals of Honor.
Missing context always bothers me, so I looked it up:

464 Medals of Honor were awarded in World War II.

13 is roughly 2.8% of 464.

Over 16 million Americans served in World War II.

Based on Alvear's statistics, about 3% of those were Hispanics.

And here's part of the official description of the series:
THE WAR, a seven-part series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns.
Why should we expect a handful of men and women from only four towns to represent every possible 3% subdivision of America?

Burns said at the screening I attended that some Latinos were reacting as if "The War" would be the definitive account of World War II. Others could produce documentaries on this subject, he noted. I doubt, however, that PBS or any commercial network would be willing to spend millions of dollars on another World War II project anytime soon. And no other filmmaker would receive the attention or editorial freedom Burns gets.

In discussing the criticism, Burns told the Los Angeles Times this month that he noticed that Hispanic groups hadn't pressured Latino filmmakers to tell the stories he omitted. "No, no, no -- it has to be Ken Burns," he said. "In a way all of this was an extraordinary compliment." Yes, it was. Latinos recognize that Burns is the country's preeminent documentary filmmaker. We want him to recognize us and our contributions to America.

So we should expect a handful of men and women from only four towns to represent every possible 3% subdivision of America because it's Ken Burns. With this kind of fanatical obsession, I half-expect Alvear to cry herself to sleep every night because Private Ryan and Oskar Schindler were too white.

Unions Worried About "Blue States"

From the Boston Globe:

The AFL-CIO and its member unions said yesterday they will spend an estimated $200 million on the 2008 elections, including $53 million devoted to grass-roots mobilization.

In addition, the nation's largest labor federation said it would deploy more than 200,000 volunteers leading up to the election, focusing on battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Four of those five states are routinely described in the media as irreversibly Democrat, and the fifth as having recently seen the light -- yet they will all be the focus of 2008's batch of union thugs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Metro May Slash Blue Line Service

Contingent upon Board approval, we hope to run every other Blue Line train from Franconia-Springfield to Greenbelt via the Yellow Line bridge across the Potomac. This pattern will provide direct service from southern Fairfax County to the eastern portion of downtown.
All that does it slash service to the western and southeastern portions of downtown and cater to people who are too lazy to get their fat asses up and transfer to the yellow line at any one of the six shared stations between King Street and the Pentagon.

The Blue Line is already operating over-capacity trains that, according to this statement, will be reduced in number by 50%. Unless they are going to run every other Yellow train on the Blue line to make up for running every other Blue train on the Yellow line, this proposal is beyond stupid.

Congressional Approval Rating Continues Slide Towards Zero

From Reuters:

...the U.S. Congress registered record-low approval ratings in a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday...

A paltry 11 percent rated Congress positively, beating the previous low of 14 percent in July.


The national telephone survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The closer Congressional approval ratings get to zero, the more important those margins of error are going to be.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Don't Tase Me Bro!

Via Drudge: If you need something to cheer you up, watch this! (More here.)

Who Cares About the Tree, I Just Hope They Don't Have Children

From the WaPo:
"We kept fixing stuff, but the problems kept coming right back, because of the weight of the tree and the roots," said Michelle Cook-Walker-Fancher. "Sweet gum roots are very aggressive. They look like baseball bats, like those things that the cavemen in those Geico ads carry."
Cook-Walker-Fancher? Really? Keep this up and her grandchildren will each have twelve last names.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Community Colleges at War?

From the Arizona Republic:

Hundreds of thousands of [illegal]-immigrant youths could become eligible to join the military to offset shortages of qualified recruits under a bill pending in Congress.


The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would allow [illegal immigrant] high-school graduates to gain citizenship if they either attend college for two years or serve two years in the military.

It is ridiculous to equate wasting two years in community college with no sign of a graduation requirement to actually serving in the military.
...supporters of the DREAM Act are playing up the bill's military provisions over its educational benefits. Unlike legal immigrants with permanent residency green cards, [illegal] immigrants are barred from enlisting in the military.
The military provisions merit consideration, but the unbalanced, undemanding "education" route is merely amnesty and should be debated as such.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tri-Partisan Ignorance

A handful of politicians write in the Macaca Post, insisting that the police power of Congress over the District gives it the power to unilaterally amend the Constitution:
We do not believe that the nation's Founders, fresh from fighting a war for representation, would have denied representation to the residents of the new capital they established.
Unfortunately, the actual Constitution (written by those pesky Founders) disagrees with them. Which is more credible?
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Metro Looks Forward to 2006

The Macaca Post reports:

Metro plans to run longer trains on the Blue Line by the end of the month to ease crowding on platforms and in cars on one of the least reliable routes in the system, officials said yesterday.

Because Metro deploys its trains based on ridership, the Blue Line... has been operating with some four-car trains during rush hour while higher-ridership lines run six- and eight-car trains. The Yellow Line has one four-car train during rush hour.

By the end of the month, all four-car trains will have six cars during peak periods as the transit agency adds 18 rail cars to its rush-hour service, bringing its total to 800 cars during the peak period. Metro is able to add cars because 106 of its new rail cars are now in service.

The four car trains, which are normally filled well beyond capacity leaving passengers on the platform unable to board, were officially scheduled to be upgraded to six cars by December 2006.

Last fiscal year, Blue Line riders experienced a 37 percent increase in delays from the previous year, the second-biggest jump of any of the five lines, according to Metro statistics.


The 225 delays on the Blue Line were caused by a host of problems, including malfunctioning train doors and track and mechanical problems. There were 164 such delays the previous year, according to Metro figures. Not included in those numbers were recent fire and smoke incidents, caused in part by a power outage near the station for Reagan National Airport on the Blue Line, that hobbled most of the system for two days late last month.

Perhaps Blue Line riders will soon have a bit more space around them when their trains are stranded in the middle of nowhere.

House Democrats Defend Widespread Corruption

From the New York Times:
House leaders are beginning an investigation this week of the prosecution of Don Siegelman, the former Democratic governor of Alabama who was imprisoned in June on federal corruption charges. The case could become the centerpiece of a Democratic effort to show that the Justice Department engaged in political prosecutions.
Note that the Democrats are disputing Siegelman's prosecution, not his guilt.

The case is considered unusual by many legal experts because actions like those Mr. Siegelman was accused of — exchanging a seat on the state hospital licensing board for a contribution to an education lottery campaign he was pushing — are hardly uncommon in state capitals around the country.

"It's unusual to see a bribery prosecution where the payment wasn't to the defendant," said David A. Sklansky, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at the law school at the University of California, Berkeley. "It seems to me the conduct in this case was similar to a lot of what we take as normal for politics."


"My sense is, there is a great unease with what has gone on here," said Jack Miller, former chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. "It's kind of, if it could happen to him, it could happen to anybody."


"My sole motivation for pushing the prosecution was a firmly held belief, supported by overwhelming evidence and the law, that former Governor Siegelman had broken the law and traded his public office for personal and political favors," Louis V. Franklin Sr., the acting United States attorney in Montgomery, said in one statement.


In June 2006 Mr. Siegelman was convicted by a federal jury in Montgomery of accepting $500,000 from Richard M. Scrushy, then the chief executive of the HealthSouth Corporation, in return for an appointment to the state hospital licensing board.

Recalling the comments of Alabama's Democrat party chair, "if it could happen to him, it could happen to anybody," I want my $500,000.

Time to Pick a Fight

Considering the President's options for a new attorney general, Richard Viguerie writes:

Bush once promised to be a "compassionate conservative" who would work with the Democrats in Washington the way he had worked with the Democrats in Texas. He would be "a uniter, not a divider." He worked with Teddy Kennedy to create the No Child Left Behind Act, publicly praised the White House service of Bill and Hillary Clinton, squelched investigations of the Clinton pardons and the Sandy "Burglar" Berger case, and he and his father rehabilitated the reputation of former President Clinton by putting him at the forefront of international relief efforts. For all Bush's efforts to build goodwill, what did he get? He became the most vilified president since Richard Nixon.

The time to change course is now, or never. If the president picks a fight over this nomination by appointing a qualified conservative, the GOP base will stand with him. If he tries conciliation again, expecting a different result, he will become the lamest of lame ducks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wasting Time

The Politico has a 753-word article on dogfighting, but only 29 are necessary to show how much time Congress wastes:
And thanks to... Michael Vick, at least three new bills to strengthen federal laws against... a felony in 48 states... have been introduced in the Senate and the House...

Friday, September 07, 2007


The Macaca Post's always-ignorant Eugene Robinson writes:

If I were an iPhone owner, I'd be hopping mad. I'd be iRate.

Just 10 weeks ago, otherwise sane individuals were camping overnight in long lines for the privilege of paying $599 for a mobile phone. These people were fully aware that most wireless companies will give you a basic phone for free, but the object of their ardor was anything but basic. It was a lifestyle choice. It was an advertisement for oneself. It was a shiny little slice of the future, a thin slab of cool. So what if it cost, gulp, 600 bucks? How could anyone get hung up over anything so prosaic as the price?

But when chief executive Steve Jobs announced Wednesday that Apple was slashing the iPhone's price by a third -- meaning that owning a slice of the future now sets you back only $399 -- the iPhone Internet forums lit up with buyers who felt they'd been taken for chumps.

That's because they are chumps. They spent $600 on a PHONE.
Jobs didn't go out of his way to make them feel any better. "That's technology," he told USA Today. "If they bought it this morning, they should go back to where they bought it and talk to them. If they bought it a month ago, well, that's what happens in technology." Stung by the reaction, he did offer Thursday to give early buyers a $100 store credit -- but no cash refund.
Next up on the chump list: people who will pay $400 for a PHONE.

Leftist Vandals Arrested in DC

The Macaca Post reports:

During a clash that drew a crowd during lunchtime, two demonstrators, including an Iraq war veteran and the mother of another veteran, were arrested on charges of defacing public property. Police charged a third protester with impeding an officer.


The demonstrators, members of the antiwar Answer Coalition, have been in an ongoing dispute with the District and Park Service over their right to post signs in public places.

The D.C. government has fined the coalition about $20,000 for posting signs, and the Park Service has asked the group to remove them.


After the officers took the protesters away, the crowd dispersed. The officers eventually left, but not before taking care of one last piece of business: removing the two signs.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Democrats' Experience Deficit

From ABC News:
"I've been in elected office longer than John Edwards or Hillary Clinton," said [Barack Hussesin] Obama. "I've passed more bills I'm sure than either of them..."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

AAA Takes Stand Against Asshole Drivers

The Macaca Post reports:

AAA Mid-Atlantic has clarified its position on Virginia's controversial bad-driver fees, saying it supports them and does not believe a special session is needed to consider changes.

"As all parties involved have acknowledged, changes need to be made in order to improve the abusive driver fee legislation," the automobile, travel and financial organization said in a statement. "However, AAA believes the fees themselves, when properly and fairly applied, provide Virginia the opportunity to improve the safety of its roads while generating needed transportation funding."

Democrat Campaign Contributions at Work

The Macaca Post reports:

In perhaps the most thorough and earnest letter ever written on the subject of a member of Congress's portrait, [Democrat Rep. Charles] Rangel's campaign attorney sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission asking permission to use either campaign or leadership political action committee money to pay for the chairman's grand portrait.

The lawyer, Phu Huynh, wrote, "The cost of commissioning the portrait of Representative Rangel is estimated by the artist to be $64,500, including the cost of a custom frame. . . . Portrait artists determine fees based largely upon reputation, but the size of the subject and detail required also factor heavily in the pricing."

In other news, Rep. Scott Garrett explains why dog fighting shouldn't be federalized:
"Michael Vick has committed egregious acts towards animals and should get punished for his crimes," Garrett told us in an e-mail through his spokeswoman, adding: "My previous vote in regards to animal fighting was to keep federal law enforcement from taking over state crimes. Prosecutors and officers are already stretched thin. For instance, over the last 10 years, federal courts have dealt with a 172% increase in sexual offence cases, largely due to increases in prosecutions for sexually explicit materials such as child pornography. With almost 70,000 victims and families waiting for justice across the country (over 1,000 in New Jersey alone), it doesn't seem reasonable to prolong their suffering by creating a law that would make actions that are already illegal and prosecutable under state laws, a federal offense."

Not Everything Revolves Around New York

From a New York Times article on September 11th commemorations (a shoddy bit of work that makes no reference to geography):
What might happen on Sept. 11 a hundred years from now? "It's conceivable that it could be virtually forgotten," said [Dr. John Bodnar, a professor of history at Indiana University]. "Does anyone go out on the streets of New York and commemorate the firing on Fort Sumter?"
No, they go to Fort Sumter.