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Saturday, December 20, 2008
 
Moron the Shoe Lobber

From the Guardian, which sounds pretty sympathetic:

One police officer, who accompanied him to prison, said the journalist, a Baghdad correspondent for the Cairo-based Al-Baghdadia TV, had been subjected to violence throughout the journey. The officer, who asked not to be named, said he witnessed security forces beating Zaidi in the car with such force that his ribs were broken. "I felt sorry when I saw them beating him. His mouth was badly injured and he did not utter a single word throughout until one of the guards hit him in his left eye with a gun. Then he cried out that he couldn't see, and I saw blood inside his eye. I am a police officer but even I have to say I felt proud of what he did."


Me too. That guy who got him with the gun to the eye is a hero. Maybe somebody could come up with flash video game where we smack him around a bit?

Don't expect his shoes to pop up on ebay anytime soon:

The originals, however, have been destroyed by investigators trying to determine whether they had contained explosives, which may come as a blow to Zaidi when he learns that Saudi Arabian Mohamed Makhafa had, reportedly, offered $10m for his 'shoes of dignity' and their 'high moral value'.
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Probably Doesn't Matter Anymore

Michelle Malkin has a post up about the initial denial of the Change.Gov domain name to the Obama Campaign, and the subsequent reversal.

The day after the election, on Nov. 5, GSA Chief Information Officer Casey Coleman overruled Alterman after apparently receiving a waiver from Chris Lu, Executive Director of Obama’s Transition Project. As reader Lance discovered through his FOIA request, Ms. Coleman did not elaborate on the granting of this waiver except to say that she had “determined that it is in the best interest of the Federal Government to register the subject domain name.”


It's fair to point out that since "change" was a mantra of the Obama campaign that it would have been inappropriate to grant the domain name to the campaign prior to the election. On the other hand, Obama will presumably not be running on that slogan in 2012.
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Friday, December 19, 2008
 
Jews Need Not Apply

Matt Yglesias notices a dearth of Hebrews in the Obama cabinet.

It seems Barack Obama is giving us a cabinet with no Jewish members. Plenty of Jews in non-cabinet top spots (Axelrod, Summers, Orszag) so I guess we’ll have to just run things from behind the scenes.


I don't know that it really matters, except to the bean counters. But liberals obsess over these things--how many gays, how many women, how many blacks, etc.
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Almost Time to Stop Counting

That's the conclusion I suspect the media will reach pretty soon in the Coleman/Franken recount:

Two votes are all that stands between Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, according to the Associated Press tally in the state’s still-unresolved Senate race.

Coleman’s shrinking lead, combined with a state Supreme Court decision handed down Thursday, has suddenly heightened the prospects that Franken, who has trailed in every count since Election Night, could end up winning the seat after all the votes are counted.


Can't stop counting yet, because the Democrat hasn't yet taken the lead. But soon, very soon.

Update: Stop the clock!

ABC News’ Rick Klein and Teddy Davis Report: Despite trailing by a narrow but consistent margin since Election Day, Democrat Al Franken has pulled ahead of Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., in the seemingly never-ending recount in Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008
 
The Warren Pick

To give the invocation at Obama's inauguration is causing some delightful heartburn on the Left.

Atrios:

I don't actually think it was a good step politically, even though I agree that often punching hippies in the face is, sadly, politically smart. But it would be nice if someone like, say, EJ Dionne, would confront Warren's bigotry and suggest it isn't the change we can believe in. But I assume it'll just be the dirty f*cking hippies and Teh Gay. Because anti-gay bigotry is very centrist!


Echidne:

Here's where I see the task of the future for us dirty f*cking hippies and feminazis and such: To teach politicians that 'social issues' is not about what we eat for Thanksgiving or how we arrange flowers. Those issues are about freedom, justice, economics, dignity and respect.


Apparently this dirty effing hippies thing is some sort of term of self-endearment that the lefty bloggers use amongst themselves. I don't know how accurate it is.

Think Progress:

Pastor Rick Warren, President-elect Obama’s choice to deliver the inaugurual invocation, has espoused far-right views on gay rights, including likening same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest.


Well, it is certainly arguably like polygamy and incestuous marriage; if you buy the argument that the government should not be in the business of telling people who can marry whom, then clearly there is no rationale for banning polygamy and (arguably) incestuous marriages. I'm not saying gays are polygamists or incestuous; just that the same argument applies in either case.

I always try to add here that I do recognize that there are a lot of problems that gay couples face which marriage would solve. Those are the things they should be focusing on rather than getting marriage.
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Matt Yglesias Does Economics

No surprise, he does it badly, probably because he's reading Krugman and Brad (Gutless Punk) DeLong.

I’ve heard some economists argue that we’re pursuing some kind of misguided strong dollar policy that’s responsible for our currency’s refusal to devalue, but I don’t actually see what policy that might be. We appear to be doing everything you would do to shake investor confidence in U.S. public finances and spark a decline in our currency.


Interest rates are very low in the US right now, which would ordinarily signal a declining currency. But you can't just look at interest rates or else everybody would invest in a country which had high interest rates (which are offset by high inflation). With inflation almost certainly to be negligible or even negative over the next year or two, investors are happy to take the low interest rates in the US as part of a "flight to quality" that quite commonly occurs during times of economic recession.

In addition, the countries we've been running a trade deficit with (notably China) are keeping their dollars in the US in an effort to prop up the currency. They saw what happened to Japan in the early 1990s when the yen rose spectacularly against the dollar, resulting in a decade and a half of no growth for the Rising Sun.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008
 
Reading the Tea Leaves

Caroline Kennedy will be nominated to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. It makes no sense at all, except as a "fairy tale" ending. Hence it is what will happen. Heck, I thought it was absurd that Hillary got to run in the first place, so why should we expect logic to enter into it at all.
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Shoe-Thrower Beaten in Custody?

Sniff. I'm a sucker for a happy ending.

Muntadar al-Zaidi was detained after hurling his shoes at Bush and calling him a "dog" during a press conference on Sunday in Baghdad.

His older brother, Dargham, told the BBC today that al-Zaidi had suffered a broken hand, ribs, suffered internal bleeding and sustained an eye injury.
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The Gay Penguins Story

I couldn't resist linking this:

A pair of gay penguins thrown out of their zoo colony for repeatedly stealing eggs have been given some of their own to look after following a protest by animal rights groups.

Last month the birds were segregated after they were caught placing stones at the feet of parents before waddling away with their eggs.

But angry visitors to Polar Land in Harbin, northern China, complained it wasn't fair to stop the couple from becoming surrogate fathers and urged zoo bosses to give them a chance.

In response, zookeepers gave the pair two eggs laid by an inexperienced first-time mother.

'We decided to give them two eggs from another couple whose hatching ability had been poor and they've turned out to be the best parents in the whole zoo,' said one of the keepers.

'It's very encouraging and if this works out well we will try to arrange for them to become real parents themselves with artificial insemination.'


Good lord.
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Monday, December 15, 2008
 
How the Republicans Can Win in San Francisco

It's certainly not by following this prescription--err, description:

Who is he: Rob the Custom Bicycle Store Owner.

Rob Wong is a second generation Korean American whose parents immigrated here in the 1950's during the War. He is married and has three children. Growing up in San Francisco, he was the first person in his family to go to college, graduating with honors from Cal in 1991. That fall, he enrolled at a Masters Program at Stanford only to drop out six months later to join a Silicon Valley start-up. After 5 1/2 years of 90 hour weeks, the company went public and Rob became wealthy beyond his wildest dreams.

Rob survived the dot com bubble intact but shaken. He decided to return to work only to learn that steady work is less available. He accepted several consulting jobs and continued with his life.


If you read it, basically what the poster has done is create a biography that sells the candidate. But biography seldom trumps party ideology, absent other factors. Barring some huge scandal that brings down the Democrats, the idea that Republicans can win in San Francisco is absurd. Look at the last election; Nancy Pelosi got 72% of the vote; her nearest competitor was Cindy Sheehan with 16%. After that came the Republican Dana Walsh with 10%.

So how in the world do the Republicans win in San Francisco? Answer: They really can't, and it's ridiculous to try. A gay Korean Medal-of-Honor winner custom bike shop owner who's very liberal on social issues but hates taxes would probably be lucky to get 25% in SF.

So why the exercise? Why is Next Right highlighting this post?

Because they are stuck on this ridiculous idea that the Republican Party has to compete in all 435 congressional districts. It's the whole "50-state strategy" from Howard Dean and the nutroots, but flipped around to the GOP.

Look, the 50-state strategy is moronic, as I've pointed out numerous times:

Let me get this straight. You're going to push money to candidates that have no chance of winning in the hopes that this will force the Republicans to send money to candidates that have no chance of losing?


The 50-state strategy is a recipe for failure. That's not to say that the Democrats shouldn't work on developing the party in all the states, but sooner or later you've gotta concentrate on where you can get the best bang for the buck. There is no sense in a Democratic presidential candidate campaigning in Massachusetts, or in Idaho. They have to focus their efforts on the swing states--Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio for example.


Exactly! By furnishing resources to candidates who are going to lose by 20 points or more, you are denying them to candidates who are going to lose by 5 points or less. This is Poly Sci 101 stuff. Dean (along with much of the left wing of the Democrats), apparently believes in what I like to call "The Lost Tribe" theory, which is that there is an untapped group of radicals around the country who would vote Democratic, but nobody's speaking to them, so instead of voting they stay home.

This seems quite dubious at best, but let's assume they're right, and there's another 5% of non-voters who would be energized by a more Leftist policy from the Democrats. Where do you put your money then? Quite obviously in the closest races; the ones where an additional 5% could put you over the top. Dean and the bozos over at Swing State Project are leading the Democrats to disaster.


Now, you know how it is, the Democrats did win in 2006 and 2008, but they won in the places where they were already close; the problem was that the ground shifted out from under the Republicans with the Iraq War being the problem in the former year and the economy in the latter.

So having scorched the 50-state strategy, I can hard turn around and endorse the even more absurd 435-district strategy.

This post is an attempt to claim that Republicans can win anywhere without sacrificing any conservative "principles"; that is, without being one of those dreaded RINOs. Note that there is no discussion of Rob's positions, other than generally being upset about the homeless and heh, the omnipresent problem of public fornication. And this must be a mistake:

At the same time, this Gay Marriage stuff has gotten under Rob's skin. While he has gay friends, and doesn't really have a problem with Gay Marriage, he was appalled by the arrogance of the CA supreme court decision and quietly voted against Prop 8.


First, No on 8 was the pro-gay marriage position, so either Rob was inconsistent or the writer's botched the argument. If gay marriage has gotten under his skin and he opposes it, he's going to lose in SF by a large margin.
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Will Palin Be the Nominee in 2012?

Personally I doubt it, and that has nothing to do with her. I respect Sarah Palin and thought she got jobbed by the media during the campaign. That said, VP nominees on losing tickets their first go-round have a terrible record when it comes to the next time:

2004 Edwards: Nope
2000 Lieberman: No
1996 Kemp: Negative
1988 Bentsen: No
1984 Ferraro: Nope
1976 Dole: No, but did become the nominee 20 years later
1972 Shriver: No
1968 Muskie: Nope
1964 Miller: No
1960 Lodge: Negative
1956 Kefauver: No
1952 Sparkman: Who?
1948 Warren: No
1944 Bricker: Nope
1940 McNary: Nein
1936 Knox: No

Of course, VP nominees who actually became VP have a much better track record, with Gore, Bush Sr., Mondale, Humphrey, LBJ (special case obviously), Nixon and Truman (special case) all getting the endorsement of their respective parties at the next possible convention.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008
 
Cindy Sheehan Calls for Revolution

Good lord, what a fruitcake:

What if the shrinking working class all decided to stop paying our Federal taxes? What if we organized in every Congressional district and state to overthrow our Robber class government by huge electoral majorities?

What if we organized to throw monkey wrenches in the cogs of the US war machine by sustained actions against military recruitment centers, ports and bases all over the country like activists did in the Port of Seattle and active duty soldiers did during Vietnam?

Millions of jobs have been lost and off-shored since George took office. What if this Revolution of Values organized to support one another in these sustained actions for true change? What if the workers took over every plant and started on the path to clean, renewable and sustainable forms of energy, farming, and transportation?

We can do it, in reality, but it will take millions of us committed to the Revolution like the millions of people in Cuba have been for decades.


Yet more proof that Cindy was a loony lefty well before her son's heroism in Iraq.
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