August 31, 2008
Joe, she is not just a hockey mom
My nephew did a stint in Fairbanks as a reporter at the local CBS affiliate and wound up covering Sarah Palin back in the day and became quite animated when Palin come up in the conversation this evening. I get the impression the road is littered with people who thought she was just an easy-on-the-eyes hockey mom. The gal whacked the GOP state party chairman with a $12,000 ethics fine in her first state political job and went on to beat Frank Murkowski, a former U.S. Senator and sitting governor, in a three-way primary with fifty-one percent of the vote. She deals with foreign policy every day with the Russians on one side and the Canadians on the other as governor of the largest state in the Union. For all those who say she is inexperienced, remember Margaret Thatcher's only Cabinet-level position before becoming Prime Minister was as Education and Science Secretary. And BTW, Sarah Palin is even better looking in person.
Gratuitous Nats Posting
The Nats drew a 10th Inning walk-off walk to beat the Dodgers 9-8 last evening, extending their current winning streak to five.
We swept the Dodgers earlier this week and this afternoon we go for the sweep of the Braves. Sure, we're 24 games behind the Mets. Sure, we're playing for nothing but our honor at this point. But the wins are just as sweet for all that.
UPDATE: Boo-Rah! Nats win 8-4 on an Aaron Boone dinger to sweep the Braves and go to six straight wins. Tomorrow: Philly [insert evil Imperial Death March here]. Gary? I reckon you have to be pretty pleased the Nats are en fuego at the moment, seeing as the Phillies are at your heals, yeah?
LABOR DAY UPDATE: Make that seven straight wins. WOOOT!!
Vice presidential debate preview
Sarah Palin Theme Song Contest, Part II
The Abbot teed up: "She's Got the Look":
An an oldie, but goodie--"Brown-Eyed Girl":
Another nomination from The Abbot:
This nomination comes from Mrs. LMC-"One Fine Day":
And from the Grooveyard of Eighties Favorites;
August 30, 2008
"Heh, Heh, Little Girl. You Like Playing President? How Cute! Now Run Along So We Can Get On With The Real Thing."
Glancing through the local fishwrapper at lunch today, it seems to me that the initial MSM pushback against Gov. Palin's nomination goes something like this: McCain obviously is desparate, which is why he decided to go for a stunt pick with a political nobody whose only distinguishing characteristic is the fact that she's a woman. We're sure "Governor" Palin is very nice and all, but one-heartbeat-away and all that. Without any experience, maybe she'd better stick to her moose-burgers and hockey parties.
My guess would be that the MSM should be reeeeeeal careful in serving up this kind of condescension in its effort to smother the emerging Palin mojo, because it might very well backfire. If she, in fact, can't handle going to the Show, that'll emerge soon enough without any press prompting. However, if she's got what it takes and the MSM is perceived as simply trying to stop her, well, it strikes me that neither the GOP base nore middle-of-the-road voters will put up with that kind of naked bias and instead will see it as all the more reason to rally round.
Just my two cents.
Gratuitous Babe-Oogling from Red State Update
Jackie and Dunlap are sitting up and paying attention:
"She's hot as hell."
Gov. Palin The Next Morning: No Coyote-Ugly Here
How about a fresh, hot cup o' Mark Steyn this morning?
Over in the Frumistan province of the NR caliphate, our pal David is not happy about the Palin pick. I am - for several reasons.
First, Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, "all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.
Second, it can't be in Senator Obama's interest for the punditocracy to spends its time arguing about whether the Republicans' vice-presidential pick is "even more" inexperienced than the Democrats' presidential one.
Third, real people don't define "experience" as appearing on unwatched Sunday-morning talk shows every week for 35 years and having been around long enough to have got both the War on Terror and the Cold War wrong. (On the first point, at the Gun Owners of New Hampshire dinner in the 2000 campaign, I remember Orrin Hatch telling me sadly that he was stunned to discover how few Granite State voters knew who he was.) Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state and a town and a commercial fishing operation, whereas (to reprise a famous line on the Rev Jackson) Senator Obama ain't run nothin' but his mouth. She's done the stuff he's merely a poseur about. Post-partisan? She took on her own party's corrupt political culture directly while Obama was sucking up to Wright and Ayers and being just another get-along Chicago machine pol (see his campaign's thuggish attempt to throttle Stanley Kurtz and Milt Rosenberg on WGN the other night).
Fourth, Governor Palin has what the British Labour Party politician Denis Healy likes to call a "hinterland" - a life beyond politics. Whenever Senator Obama attempts anything non-political (such as bowling), he comes over like a visiting dignitary to a foreign country getting shanghaied into some impenetrable local folk ritual. Sarah Palin isn't just on the right side of the issues intellectually. She won't need the usual stage-managed "hunting" trip to reassure gun owners: she's lived the Second Amendment all her life. Likewise, on abortion, we're often told it's easy to be against it in principle but what if you were a woman facing a difficult birth or a handicapped child? Been there, done that.
Fifth, she complicates all the laziest Democrat pieties. Energy? Unlike Biden and Obama, she's been to ANWR and, like most Alaskans, supports drilling there.
Sixth (see Kathleen's [ed. - and Robbo's] link to Craig Ferguson below), I kinda like the whole naughty librarian vibe.
All I know is that the Missus hasn't stopped talking about getting herself a McCain/Palin bumper-sticker as soon as possible, something she normally despises.
August 29, 2008
The Sarah Palin theme song contest
Submit your nominations:
There she goes again:
More: a faithful reader suggested this classic from The Guess Who:
Yips! from Gary:
You know this was actually one of the first ones I thought of:
Sarah Palin, Naughty Alaskan Librarian: F*ck Yeah!
Oh, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!
I am amazed that the McCain camp has been so disciplined about keeping the lid on his pick for VP. But I am also getting excited about the growing buzz around Sarah Palin. If she is, indeed, his choice, I would call that one wicked awesome decision.
UPDATE: Well, I didn't see Palin's acceptance speech just now but the Missus did. And if she's any indication of the Country's mood, this choice is positively brilliant.
Yips! from Gary:
Holy crap, I actually got this one right! I'm speechless. I never thought McCain would go for it. I'm so glad he did. After a campaign season that was such a yawner, this really kicks it in the pants.
The timeless Rebecca DeMornay
Today is her day according to the intellectual section of the local rag:
My favorite flick- The Hand that Rocks the Cradle:
Mile High alumni meeting
of Robbo's alma mater: The People's Glorious Soviet of Middletown as recounted on NRO.
Yips! from Robbo: Like, Dude, that so takes me back! Of note to parents of prospective college frosh out there: You'll drop 50 Grand a year on Dear Ol' Wes these days. And what do you get as a result? Unemployable stoner deadbeats who can bloviate ad nauseum about rallying and empowerment, and yet somehow never learned that one says "number of people", not "amount of people".
Anyone remember Biden's plan to trisect Iraq?
The WSJ provides this helpful reminder.
August 28, 2008
Nobody likes a flirt, except me
Is this River or not?
Mrs. LMC will not be thrilled to hear
that a pro se defendant showed up at the office today, presenting a frivolous settlement proposal, and described the gal who covered the last hearing in this case for me as "your girlfriend" which, of course, she is not.
Well, hello Shania and "happy birthday"
Today is her day according to the local rag, delivered every morning to the porch of the post headquarters, located amidst the vast real estate holdings which comprise Fort LMC
Gratuitous Travel Observation
Writing about the Delaware Bridge below put me in mind of another question raised on my last trip up I-95: Just whose bright idea was this thing:
It's the "Xanadu" at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands sports complex.
Do you know, when I first spotted that cockeyed tilt of a silhouette in the distance as I came north (apparently an "indoor ski slope"), for one wild second I seriously wondered whether a giant space ship might have crashed there?
When we actually came level with the place after getting through the Jersey Turnpike toll booth, it looked more like a do-it-yourself "Retro Soviet" mall kit picked up at the Bulgarian IKEA.
What are these people thinking?
I admit that I have never got round to watching TSCC. It seems to be one of those shows that has a big following on the Intertoobs, and every time I see a post about it I say to myself, "Oh, yeah - must check out." But somehow it always slips my mind.
My personal favs for VP
Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. I know, I know--what alternative universe are you in?
Gratuitous Historickal Posting
According to Wikipedia, today is the anniversary of the discovery of Delaware Bay in 1609 by Henry Hudson.
As Johnny Carson used to say, "I did not know that." Indeed, I never knew that Hudson came this far down the East Coast.
The information is largely thrown away on me, however, because I rarely contemplate Delaware Bay, even when passing it. Why? Because I am too busy fretting about this:
Da! Da! Da! Daaaaaah!
Yes, it's the freakin' Delaware Memorial Bridge. Long time readers will know of my fear of flying. Well, that fear also applies to tall bridges, and this one is no exception. I've probably been over it 50 or 60 times in my puff, but even at this last crossing - on our way back from Maine - the Missus remarked on how white my knuckles looked as we came down on the Delaware side.
I've developed a couple of rules for dealing with the DMB:
1.) I drive.
2.) We stay in the center-left lane no matter what.
3.) Everybody in the car just shut the hell up.
4.) Make sure we have plenty paper napkins on board so I can wipe the sweat off my palms and the steering wheel once we're across.
I'm sure Mr. Hudson would be proud.
UPDATE: In response to some of your comments: I know all about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, but unlike several of you, I've never actually been over it. I've also managed to avoid the old "Cuppah" River Bridge in Charleston of infamous repute despite the fact that my brother went to med school there.
Random Commuter Observation
Ah, the streets of Dee Cee the Thursday before Labor Day, especially during an election year.
I nearly got knocked down by the tumbleweeds this morning.
August 27, 2008
Gratuitous Baseball Observation
The introduction of instant replay, even in "limited" circumstances, is a horrible idea.
That is all.
BTW, for all you Sawx fans out there, you may be interested to know that Manny was the victim of an unassisted double play by Ryan Zimmerman last evening as the Nats beat the Dodgers 2-1.
Obama To Give Speech In "Ancient Greek Temple" Replica?
You cannot make up stuff like this.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.Bizarre. Now who exactly is "out of touch"?
The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.
Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.
He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor...
...Once Obama speaks, confetti will rain down on him and fireworks will be fired off from locations around the stadium wall.
One can only hope the execution goes about as well as this:
Gratuitous Political Fashion Statement
The forecast for Your Nation's Capital today calls for the temperature to maybe make 70 degrees.
I don't often make "political statements" with my clothes or the like, but this morning I pulled out the ol' tweed jacket.
Tweed before Labor Day! Yes, I know the Etiquette Police probably will issue me a citation if they catch me on the streets, but I couldn't resist the urge to, as it were, snap my fingers under AlGore's nose.
August 26, 2008
Any political junkies remember
Mary Sue Terry? MST, as she was known in Dem circles in Virginia, was a two-term attorney general who ran for governor in 1993. The media was in the tank for her and she was widely expected to wipe the floor with the GOP nominee. A one-term congressman from Charlottesville was re-districted out of his seat by the Dem-controlled legislature and improbably became the Republican nominee. I saw most of the campaign from my perch in North Carolina, moving back to Virginia in the summer. Much of the early coverage was of the "historic" nature of her campaign, how she was going to the first woman to be governor, how her staff wrote "Going to the Mansion" set to the tune of "Going to the Chapel", etc. By Labor Day, there was a subtle shift in the coverage--stories critical of the campaign, its lack of focus, and the like became noticeable. By election day, the media had distanced itself from MST and George Allen won in a landslide. Boys and girls, we are starting to see the same phenomenon with the presidential campaign. Watch for news of campaign shakeups, the lack of substance, the need to offer details. No media type will want to be accused of not seeing it coming.
John Warner joins the Gang of Ten
with five others, making it the Gang of 16, once again proving the deletorious effects of sleeping with Liz Taylor. Via Hot Air.
Gratuitous Nats Posting
Do you know how I know that I have become a real, honest, died-in-the-wool Nats fan? The fact that, although the Nats have won only 2 out of their last 16 games, I still look forward to watching the next one.
I reckon that if my support for the team was just superficial, I'd have abandoned them by now and started fretting instead about whether Chad Pennington is going to be the reincarnation of Dan Marino.
August 25, 2008
Lioness in winter
KMR brought this story to my attention about Lady Thatcher's decline, especially her short-term memory.
Random Tee Vee Observation
I have no more intent to watch either political convention than I did to watch the recent games in Peking, and for the same reason: The older I get, the more allergic to hype I become.
Secret message to Robbo
One of our classmates was outed in the local paper as a Dem superdelegate.
Coming up on the 'net
Sorry for the light posting--I was in San Antonio on business. All I can say about it are: I am not a fan of PowerPoint and have no understanding of the hype over San A's Riverwalk.
Random Commuter Observation
After two weeks of vacation, I was fretting that I wouldn't be able to remember my computer password this morning.
What I wasn't expecting was having to stop in the elevator and think for a second about what floor my office is on.
August 24, 2008
Things That Make You Go "Eeeeewwww"
As Madonna kicked off her international "Sticky and Sweet" tour Saturday night, she took a none-too subtle swipe at the presumptive Republican nominee for U.S. president.
Amid a four-act show at Cardiff's packed Millennium Stadium, a video interlude carried images of destruction, global warming, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Zimbabwe's authoritarian President Robert Mugabe - and U.S. Senator John McCain. Another sequence, shown later, pictured slain Beatle John Lennon, followed by climate activist Al Gore, Mahatma Gandhi and finally McCain's Democratic rival Barack Obama.
Um...sure. Everyone is, of course, entitled to their own opinion. But Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you: Would you buy a used car from this woman?
August 23, 2008
1) Can she be brought back to our team?
2) Should she be brought back to our team?
I reckon the answer to the second question is, "Duuuuhhhh..."
The August Of Living Dangerously
So Obama has decided to tap Joe Biden for his "Veep" nominee.
Personally, I was quite worried that he would pick one of those young, up-and-coming Midwestern Moderate types, somebody to play toward the Middle.
Instead, he has decided to go with another hard-core liberal blowhard, and especially one with a rap-sheet of gaffs, goofs and sneers chock-a-block with ammo for the other side to splash all over its campaign ads.
Oh, and in the meantime, Obama has also managed to publicly humiliate She Who Must Not Be Named by reportedly not even "vetting" her for the possibility of getting the nod herself.
Well I'll say this for him: He certainly seems to enjoy playing without a net.
(BTW, I'd be interested to hear what my fellow Llamas think of the whole business. Hint! Hint!)
August 22, 2008
Gratuitous Llama Tee Vee Observation
Am I, in fact, the only sentient person left in America who has not yet seen a single minute of Olympic coverage?
Call it media bias of a different sort, I suppose: If the tee vee served up simply straight coverage of the various events, I might consider dropping in for a bit here and there. But the thought of all the hype and fluff that I would have to sit through at the hands of the network and its sponsors in order just to see a few minutes of actual competitions is so repellent that I am steering clear.
Ms. Noonan is back from her hols and evidently reading us Llamas again because her column today picks up on the same vibe I mentioned yesterday:
Why is it a real race now, with John McCain rising in the polls and Barack Obama falling? There are many answers, but here I think is an essential one: The American people have begun paying attention.
It's hard for our political class to remember that Mr. Obama has been famous in America only since the winter of '08. America met him barely six months ago! The political class first interviewed him, or read the interview, in 2003 or '04, when he was a rising star. They know him. Everyone else is still absorbing.
This is what they see:
An attractive, intelligent man, interesting, but—he's hard to categorize. Is he Gen. Obama? No, no military background. Brilliant Businessman Obama? No, he never worked in business. Famous Name Obama? No, it's a new name, an unusual one. Longtime Southern Governor Obama? No. He's a community organizer (what's that?), then a lawyer (boo), then a state legislator (so what, so's my cousin), then U.S. senator (less than four years!).
There is no pre-existing category for him.
Add to that the wear and tear of Jeremiah Wright, secret Muslim rumors, media darling and, this week, abortion.
It took a toll, which led to a readjustment. His uniqueness, once his great power, is now his great problem.
And over there is Mr. McCain, and—well, we know him. He's POW/senator/prickly, irritating John McCain.
Peggy also can't resist delivering an almost Buckley-like jab at the Obamessiah over his abortion dodge-and-weave:
But on abortion in particular, Mr. McCain seemed old-time conservative, which is something we all understand, whether we like such a stance or not, and Mr. Obama seemed either radical or dodgy. He is "in … favor of limits" on late-term abortions, though some would consider those limits "inadequate." (In the past week much legal parsing on emanations of penumbras as to the viability of Roe v. Wade followed.)
As I watched I thought: How about "Let the baby live"? Don't parse it. Just "Let the baby live."
As to the question when human life begins, the answer to which is above Mr. Obama's pay grade, oh, let's go on a little tear. You know why they call it birth control? Because it's meant to stop a birth from happening nine months later. We know when life begins. Everyone who ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins.
To put it another way, with conception something begins. What do you think it is? A car? A 1948 Buick?
If you want to argue whether legal abortion is morally defensible, have at it and go to it, but Mr. Obama's answers here seemed to me strange and disturbing.
As they say, read the rest.
August 21, 2008
Great, Kid. But Don't Get Cocky.
I had a dream last night that I snuck into an Obama rally at a Starbucks. There I ran into a former colleague who I haven't thought of for years. We started debating in a friendly, casual manner, but the discussion quickly turned into an argument and then a shouting match. Meanwhile, more and more members of the crowd immediately around us started chiming in against me, all of them furiously contemptuous of my beliefs.
Reminds me of college.
I don't normally have political dreams, probably because politics normally only plays a very small part in my day-to-day life. I suppose what set this one off was the fact that I caught a few minutes of Sean Hannity's radio program last evening. (I never deliberately listen to talk radio. However, the Missus likes to listen to it while making dins and I happened to be loitering about.) Based on the most recent polling data, Hannity was gleafully counting out nails for Obama's coffin.
Yes, it's been a bad couple weeks for Obama. I think that as they see more and more of him in Prime Time, people are beginning to see what they're really being asked to support - not the Obamessiah, not JFK Mark II, but a glass-jawed, humorless, arrogant, Hard Left fly-weight - and are starting to have doubts. Since this election is almost entirely a referendum on Obama (how many Maverick supporters do you know who actually are enthusiastic about the guy?), McCain need only stoke these doubts and posit himself as the serious, sensible, conservative alternative. If he handles this right, I still believe McCain can turn Obama into another George McGovern.
However, it ain't over yet.
August 19, 2008
For no particular reason
The great Ashley Judd:
Speaking of hands . . .
Seinfeld's "man hands" clip:
Hillary's Hands Ad
Shamelessly swiped from the good folks over at Dr. Rusty's Sandcrawler:
The tide is turning
This has McCain leading in the Electoral College sweepstakes.
Gratuitous Llama Movie Observation
The Missus and I went to see Iron Man at the cut-rate moovie house down in Fairfax this afternoon. Not a bad flick in an action-packed, mindless way. And Robert Downey Jr., despite his, ah, personal issues, really is a pretty durn good actor.
The thing that struck me, however, was the fact that the theatre was full of kids ranging in age anywhere from four or five on up. Now I know that the moovie is only rated PG-13, but in addition to lots of things going boom, it also has moderately healthy dashes of drinking and sex (what the trade calls "brief suggestive content), language, torture, icky blood-n-guts stuff and the like.
Also, while standing in line I heard the woman behind me going over a list of other movies that her grade-school age kiddies had seen, including Black Hawk Down and The Dark Knight. Niiiiice. Another one had an infant in her arms who cried repeatedly during the show. It may be that there is some equivalent to the "Mozart Effect" produced by hepped up bass licks, explosions and screaming, but if so, I am unaware of it.
Perhaps I live under a rock, but I certainly wouldn't let the Llama-ettes see Iron Man, or anything else of its ilk. Why do so many other parents seem so hell-bent on exposing their children to this sort of stuff as early as possible? And don't blame the Culture: there are no MPAA goon squads out there putting guns to their heads and forcing them to frog-march into the theatres.
August 17, 2008
Gratuitous Idiot Watch
Whilst on my travels this past week, I happened to see a man sporting a t-shirt that read, "I'm Already Opposed To The Next War!"
It was my belief that I had viewed the veritable point at which the streams of gob-smacking foolishness and self-satisfied moral preening converged, and that from here on out I was never to see anything quite so ridiculous again.
But wait, as they say in the advertising trade.
Not five minutes later, I saw another fellah adorned with a t-shirt that read, "I'm Allergic To War".
Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit to you that this second shirt actually topped the first. Not only did it succinctly encapsulate the same sentiment of meaningless, illogical, Mr. Rogers-like pacifism, it also did so in a way that let the wearer discuss his health issues!
Llamas On Vacation
***Stickied To The Top - Scroll Down for Fresh Camelid Goodness***
Well, friends, I am out of here for a while. Perhaps LMC, Gary and even (!) Steve-O will chip in while I'm away, maybe not. Only one way to find out, isn't there?
Yip! at you when I return.
August 14, 2008
Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, and Virginia
will likely decide the election according to Darth Rove in today's edition of "The Daily Diary of the American Dream." Read it. What say you?
Can be enjoyed with the sound on or off
so say "Happy Birthday" to Halle Berry. According to the local fishwrapper, today is her day:
August 12, 2008
There are advantages to being President
Pics of W. with the U.S. beach volleyball team. Links via Special Agent Bedhead.
MoDo's column today reminds us of that YouTube classic of Edwards, set to the tune of "I Feel Pretty."
August 11, 2008
The latest in The One ad campaign
Courtesy of the fine folks at the McCain campaign and YouTube:
August 10, 2008
A restored B-17, Liberty Belle, is visiting the area and my family and I made it out to Chesapeake to see it. The interior is Spartan with the cockpit nothing more than two chairs, bare metal yokes, throttles, and a few guages.(Yours truly managed to enter the aircraft through the tiny hatch just aft of the cockpit, after the blonde in front of me failed to get her feet up high enough to perform the feat.) There are only fourteen of these old war horses still flying out of the fifteen thousand produced. If one come to your area, make it a point to see it.
This is footage of Liberty Belle taken last month in Scotland:
August 09, 2008
L'Affaire Edwards, Part II
The local fishwrapper buried the story of the Edwards affair on page A-5 but I noticed it carried an article similar to this one, which Rielle Hunter is essentially described as an ex-party girl who abused a lot of drugs in early years. Taken together with Edwards' denials that he is the father of her child, this means we have moved on to Part II of dealing with L'affaire Edwards, the protrayal of the other woman as a nut and a slut. Watch for more articles to come out about wanton ways.
Gillian Anderson and Melanie Griffith
Today is their day according to the local fishwrapper so say: "Happy Birthday." Both are aging gracefully and neither have displayed the usual signs of starlets whose careers are on the ropes.
August 08, 2008
John Edwards admits to screwing around on his wife who is battling inoperable cancer and then throws his former paramour under the bus by saying he is not the father based upon the timing of the affair and the birth of the child. What a guy.
August 07, 2008
The ads are getting better
McCain ad on Obamessiah as The One
as long as we are at it:
Is The Green Bubble Bursting?
According to the Times, people are discovering that "eco-consciousness" is not a human right, but a luxury item:
Julie Burchill can't stand them. According to her new book, Not in my Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy, she thinks all environmentalists are po-faced, unsexy, public school alumni who drivel on about the end of the world because they don't want the working classes to have any fun, go on foreign holidays or buy cheap clothes.
Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, agrees. In an interview with Rachel Sylvester and me, he told us that the “nutbag ecologists” are the overindulged rich who have nothing better to do with their lives than talk about hot air and beans.
So the salad days are over; it's the end of the greens. Where only a year ago the smart new eco-warriors were revered, wormeries and unbleached cashmere jeans are now seen as a middle-class indulgence.
But the problem for the green lobby isn't that it has been overrun by “toffs”: it's the chilly economic climate that has frozen the shoots of environmentalism. Espousing the green life, with its misshapen vegetables and non-disposable nappies, is increasingly being seen as a luxury by everyone.
Only a year ago, according to MORI, 15 per cent of those polled put the environment in their top three concerns. That figure has dropped by a third to 10 per cent this month. Now that people are fighting for their own survival rather than their grandchildren's, they put crime, the economy and rising prices at the top of their list.
The article goes on to note that people are, in fact, conserving more, which is all to the good, of course.
Still, while it's nice to see that folks may finally be realizing that they can't afford as much eco-goofiness as once seemed possible, I regret even more that I didn't set up my own carbon credit ponzi scheme sooner.
More proof that Britney's career is on the skids
The U.K. Telegraph reports she is to play a lesbian killer in an upcoming Quentin Tarantino flick.
August 06, 2008
I need a hearing aid
Our Little Debutante was acting crabby at dinner this evening. Mrs. LMC, concerned the child might have picked up her brother's double ear infection, asked her where it hurt. OLD replied with what sounded like "my beaver!" to my IED-addled hearing. My bride saw my reaction and quickly corrected me saying: "She meant 'my FEVER.' "
SkyNet Slips, Prematurely Exposes Portion Of Its Plan
See? See? I've been on about this sort of thing for years and years:
CANNONVILLE, Utah - A GPS device led a convoy of tourists astray, finally stranding them on the edge of a sheer cliff. ADVERTISEMENT
With little food or water, the group of 10 children and 16 adults from California had to spend a night in their cars deep inside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
They used a global positioning device to plot out a backcountry route Saturday from Bryce Canyon National Park to the Grand Canyon.
But the device couldn't tell how rough the roads were. One vehicle got stuck in soft sand, two others ran low on fuel. And the device offered suggestions that led them onto the wrong dirt roads, which ended at a series of cliffs.
The group was so lost it couldn't figure out how to backtrack and started to panic. Kids were crying, and one infant was sick with fever, according to a member of the party.
"It was a nightmare — the vacation from hell," Daniel Cohen, back home safely in Los Angeles, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "That's a story I will tell my kids. For now, I don't want anybody to know about it."
I tell you truly, friends, that falling in love with your little GPS doohickie is a fatal mistake. Sure, you're seduced by her seeming eagerness to please now, but you're just letting your guard down. One of these days she's going to lead you straight into an ambush with your eyes wide open. And the last thing that you'll hear before the T-1000's open fire is the sound of her murmuring, "Buh-bye."
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Morpheus and Snake Plisskin
are in the running to replace William Peterson's character on CSI according to this.
Well Played, Miss
I never thought I'd find myself typing something like this, but two cheers to Paris Hilton for her new video response to McCain's recent "celebrity" ad. If nothing else, it shows some spirit.
As for the content, well, I'm not sure whether the shear vulgarity is meant as a parody or a celebration of celebrity. Given the utter shallowness of people of Miss Hilton's ilk, my guess would be a little bit of both. And either way, I think it winds up inadvertently illustrating the point of the original jab pretty well.
Oh, and you can almost see Ms. Hilton's brain-pan start to cavitate as she reads off the policy cue-cards. Easy there, Miss H. You don't want to rupture something.
Random Commuter Observation
Ah.....if getting into downtown Dee Cee were this easy all year round, I'd have no complaints whatsoever.
August 05, 2008
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats. And Vice Versa.
I was pleasantly surprised by this CNN article bemoaning the impact of the non-recession recessionary panic on Teh Rich. Why? Because although it does get in the standard licks about the eeeeeevil of disparate income distribution, the article goes against the usual Lib orthodoxy by embracing the basic reality of trickle-down economics:
To be sure, the poor and middle-class are being hurt more, but upper crust thriftiness could reverberate across the rest of the economy.
The 10 percent of households with the highest incomes account for nearly a quarter of all spending, according to data compiled by research firm Moody's Economy.com from a 2006 federal survey.
"That does suggest those folks are important for the spending outlook, and the overall economic outlook," said Scott Hoyt, Moody's director of consumer economics.
Other government data show households in the top one-fifth of the U.S. population ranked by income earn about half of all total personal income before taxes -- an imbalance that gives the wealthy immense economic clout, said Sara Johnson, an economist at the research firm Global Insight.
"Consumer spending makes up 70 percent of gross domestic product, and when one group accounts for a very substantial share of consumer spending, they also account for a large share of the economic activity that creates jobs," Johnson said.
On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate had jumped to the highest in four years. The housing slump, tighter credit, high fuel prices and a lack of confidence is causing employers to cut expansion plans, or even let employees go.
It doesn't help when your customer base is pinching its pennies, either.
"A lot of our clients stop by a deli on the way to the airport, rather than have a catered meal on the plane" costing $50 per boxed lunch, said Justin Sullivan. Sullivan is the founder of Regent Jet, an Andover, Massachusetts-based broker that buys blocks of aircraft time to trim costs for high-end clientele whose multi-leg itineraries can sometimes exceed $100,000.
Trevor Gilman, a professional pilot, says his charter service out of western Massachusetts' Berkshires Mountains has flown about half as many miles so far this year compared with the same time last year. Consequently, the service hasn't replaced a handful of employees who recently found other work or retired.
"We're down to a total of two crews for three airplanes," Gilman said.
Unity Marketing, a Stevens, PENN-based firm whose clients include retailers in the more than $322 billion U.S. luxury goods market, said its latest poll of affluent people nationwide found a 20 percent decline in spending on luxury goods in this year's second quarter, and the lowest luxury consumer confidence level in the nearly five years the survey has been conducted.
Just over half of the 1,024 respondents earning an average income of $204,800 predicted they would spend less on luxury in the coming 12 months than they did a year ago.
Many Libs continue to think of The Rich as being like Scrooge McDuck - tossing bundles of cash onto the library fire or sneaking off to the vault for midnight swims in the large piles of doubloons and piece o' eight horded there. The truth of the matter is that people with a lot of money spend that money on goods and services being provided by, well, the rest of us. The provision of such goods and services is what we call "making a living" or, if you prefer, "employment and economic growth", both of which - or so I've been led to understand - are touted as good things even on the Left.
It is perfectly logical that when an economic downturn causes The Rich to feel the squeeze, they will cut back in their expenditures, and that this will have a secondary effect. Okay, then, so why do we not see more articles of this sort when the squeeze to be applied to The Rich comes not through economic downturn but through confiscatory taxes? Will that not have just as adverse an effect on all those folks trying to make a living selling goods and services to them?
If you want an answer to that question, consider the "Luxury Tax" Congress decided to impose on The Rich back in 1990 (an effort spearheaded by that Man of the People, Patrick Kennedy). It was aimed specifically at yachts and other large signs of excessive wealth and was to have the twin effect of raising lots of dosh for Uncle while at the same time leveling the economic playing field in the name of "fairness". Its actual effect? George Will has the numbers:
The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 was the budget agreement by which President Bush broke his "read-my-lips" vow not to agree to new taxes. The act was, as omnibus bills tend to be, an eye-of-newt-and-hair-of-toad brew of this and that and some other things, and it included--in the name of fairness, of course--a stern tax on "luxury items."
Those items included automobiles, aircraft, jewelry and furs over certain prices. And yachts costing more than $100,000.
In 1990 there were no luxury excise taxes, all of them having been repealed in 1965. But perhaps every quarter-century or so government--it cannot help itself--must go on a "fairness" bender, the memory of the hangover from similar misadventures having faded.
In 1990 the Joint Committee on Taxation projected that the 1991 revenue yield from luxury taxes would be $31 million. It was $16.6 million. Why? Because (surprise!) the taxation changed behavior: Fewer people bought the taxed products. Demand went down when prices went up. Washington was amazed. People bought yachts overseas. Who would have thought it?
According to a study done for the Joint Economic Committee, the tax destroyed 330 jobs in jewelry manufacturing, 1,470 in the aircraft industry and 7,600 in the boating industry. The job losses cost the government a total of $24.2 million in unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenues. So the net effect of the taxes was a loss of $7.6 million in fiscal 1991, which means the government projection was off by $38.6 million.
I suppose there are those who would argue that people losing jobs from tax policies passed in the name of "The People" is somehow different from people losing jobs from economic reasons as discussed in the CNN article. I'm happy to say that I am too stooopid to see much of a difference myself.
Random Commuter Observation
When I become Emperor of the World, one of my first priorities will be to ban all "coffee drinks" that involve whipped cream.
That is all.
August 04, 2008
We got a note in the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack this afternoon about a limerick contest being held by Mervis Diamond Importers, a Dee Cee outfit run by one Ronnie Mervis, whose South Efrikaan accent and do-it-yourself over-the-top radio ads have become something of a local legend. (I've snarked about those ads from time to time here, a fact that some kid interning there evidently discovered via the magick of Google. Hence the note. Heck, if he's willing to go to that much trouble, I figure it doesn't hurt to help him out.)
It seems like a legit promotional contest. First prize is a $500 diamond pendant plus fifteen minutes of semi-fame, and the deadline is August 20th. Go on over a check it out. I don't know whether the first few contest "entries" are plants or legitimate efforts at verse, but by God they're awful - I should think any one of you ought to be able to swoop in and cop the prize. (If you do, we'll reprint it here as well.)
Random Commuter Observation
Well, the dog-days of August have definitely arrived in Your Nation's Capital. There is a bright side, however: if this morning was any indication, the line at Starbuck's ought to be curtailed for a while.
Oh, ha ha ha ha!!!
August 03, 2008
We saw the whole thing and can't believe Robbo's wife talked us into seeing it.
Plot summary: bored sixteen year old jumps her lackluster boyfriend, gets knocked up, and we are treated to her dreary sarcasm as she deals with the adults in her miserable life.
Yips! from Robbo: Upon reflection, I'm of a couple different minds about this movie. I recall that when it first came out last year it picked up a number of hop-ons like K-Lo over at the Corner who praised the fact that somebody in Hollywood actually had the guts to go with a story-line that featured an adoption rather than an abortion. It must have pressed some buttons somewhere because a few weeks later I heard Ellen Page, the young star, being interviewed on NPR where she felt compelled to re-establish her enlightenment creds by stating that of course in real life she is pro-choice. (Yes, yes, it can be argued that she made the choice of adoption in the movie, but spare me: "pro-choice" is simply polite political fiction for "pro-abortion".)
Eh. As for the story, much of the flick fell into that people-behaving-badly-then-whining-about-it genre (so well exemplified, for example, by Sideways) that I loathe. Also, I have never bought into the wisdom of the cinematic idiot-savant, whether the idiot is a gardener, a historical bystander, or, in this case, a teenager. (And here I start with the axiom that anyone under the age of about 35 is an idiot.)
On the other hand, I found some of the dialog amusing (albeit at times confusing). I also enjoyed Michael Cera, although he was basically doing his George-Michael Bluth routine und if he vas a high-school track star zen I am Mickey Mouse! Jennifer Garner was easy to look at, although she had that frightened-horse look about her eyes that speaks of no good, psychologically. Jason Bateman was just plain creepy as the 40-odd-year old adolescent complaining that he had to do dumb, boring work and be responsible n' stuff, and it's all so unfair.
All in all, I am in fact glad that I saw the flick, although I'm not sure I'd want to again.
August 01, 2008
Separated At Birth?
As regular readers know, I've recently been quite consumed with my first reading of Anthony Powell's multi-volume opus A Dance To The Music of Time.
I have wondered off and on whether anyone ever managed to dramatize such an enormous (and enormously complicated) work for tee vee. Well, a quick check indicates that yes, indeed, it has been done. But imagine my drop-jawed surprise when I went searching for images of what one of the main villains of the piece, Kenneth Widmerpool, might look like in person:
"Great Heavens!" I thought, "It's Flounder!"
I don't know what to make of this, but one way or another it can't be a good thing.
(Cross-posted to The Port Stands At Your Elbow.)
Oh, Why Not. It's Friday.
Because of a silly slip of the pixels over at my new digs (since corrected), I've had this image floating around in my brain all day:
Gratuitous Nats Posting - "Goodbye, July, And Thanks For Nothing" Division
Well, the Nats lost another one to the Phillies last evening, 8-4. That means the Phillies sweep the series. As did the Dodgers before them. As did the Giants before them. Yes, the Nats are now on a 9 game losing streak and are 1-12 since the Break. They are also 6-19 for the entire month of July.
Jesus. Mary. Joseph.
The frustrating thing is that they are not awful. One sees just enough occasional flashes of style to sense what the team could really be like if they pulled themselves together. Most of the games are pretty close. Their pitching is generally pretty good and their defense is respectable. If I had to name a single statistic at the heart of the problem, I would have to say that it is runners left stranded. As was the case last evening, the Nats tend to get a healthy number of hits but don't seem able to convert them to runs.
Grrrrr, I say.
What to do? I dunno. On the one hand, the impatient part of me says that heads need to start rolling. On the other, I really like these guys. I like Zimmerman, Guzman, Belliard, Flores, Pena, Kearns, Milledge and the other guys. I like Manny Acta. The part of me that recognizes the team needs time to grow and mature says let them keep at it.
Speaking of growing, however, as Rocket Ted noted the other day, the Nats are putting together a butt-kicking farm system, one that (hopefully) is going to start paying divvies soon enough. I believe I read or heard somewhere that combined, the farm clubs have one of the best, if not the best, records in minor league ball. And just look at the stats:
Columbus Clippers (AAA, INT-West): 60-51, 4 games behind.
Harrisburg Senators (AA, EAS- South): 60-51, 5.5 games behind.
Potomac Nationals (A, CAR-North): 23-16 and in 1st place, first half division winners.
Hagarstown Suns (A, SAL-Southern): 18-22, 10 games out.
Vermont Lake Monsters (A, NY-Penn League): 19-22, 2 games out.
Gulf Coast Nationals (R, GCL-East): 20-14, 2 games out.
Not too shabby. I would expect that if the Nats' season continues to tank, some of these boys may find themselves in the Show sooner than they had imagined.