Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good Viewing

Tom Coburn makes some very compelling arguments. Kudos to the Huffpo guy for his very honest question on the comparison of public option flood insurance to public option health insurance.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Safire and Me

I used to read William Safire's political columns when I was a receptionist for a pret-a-porter line on Seventh Avenue in New York. I played a game with my friend Kenneth, whose birthday is next week (happy birthday, Kenneth!), in which we picked an unfamiliar word and tried to use it in a sentence before the end of the day.

When Kenneth said he was going to obviate to the 16th floor, I knew he wasn't taking me seriously.

Thank you, Mr. Safire and rest in peace.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"You should have seen my crab."

Whoo! Can I clear a room or what? Nobody here but Bob Dole.

Let's push that opinionated non-rant down the page. How about something completely different?

Here's an acting coach curing an actor of "the chokes" or a tendency to freeze up on stage. The actor, "Howard Moon," will be competing against "Sammy the Crab," a famous actor who happens to be a crab, and who long ago beat the acting coach out of a job and ruined his career.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Substitute for a Rant

Well. I have a very long and very irritable post on politics, politics and Facebook, the Left, rudeness, the usual double standards and all other things that are rocking my world today, but I'll save that in drafts for a while before I decide to publish or delete.

Right now I'll just ask, since 16 million Americans magically got health care insurance last night, according to the president's speech, can we slow down in the the rush to pass health care reform and instead make measured, thoughtful decisions? We were so sure a few weeks ago that it was 46 million. Are we really sure now that it's 30 million? Has that number been vetted? I know vetting isn't a priority in this administration.

Can we talk about it a little more? No? Because, I'm not so sure 30 million is correct either.

Who exactly created the mess you speak of, Mr. President? Doctors? Well, doctors as a group, are no more or less self-interested than politicians, journalists software developers and artists.

Well, maybe less so than artists.

If only someone would just tell us what to do--then we wouldn't have to bother debating the issues at all! Just ask Thomas Friedman:
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.
Enlightened enough for what?
China banned plastic bags, man. P-l-a-s-t-i-c b-a-gs. Gone, with the single enlightened stroke of a pen. They just got rid of them. No votes. No debate. Those inspired rulers said There Shall Be No More Thin Plastic Bags. "Bam! Just like that — 1.3 billion people, theoretically, will stop using thin plastic bags" he [Thomas Friedma] writes in his chapter "China for a Day (But Not for Two)."

We could do that here if we could just get rid of our constitution — just for a day, mind you. I mean who wouldn't want to go 24 hours without habeas corpus or the first amendment, if it meant getting rid of these petroleum-soaked turtle-choking wind-socks of doom?

Cool! What else has democracy-free China done?

In the past few months Chinese dictators who Tom Friedman called a “reasonably enlightened group” have jailed blogger Wu Baoqun for posting information that the government forced Chinese peasants to sell their land at extremely low prices, so that the Communist Party could auction that land off for a hefty profit.

But jailing those who are complaining about government expropriations from peasants is not all the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been up to. Let’s take one of Friedman’s pet issues, the environment. His favorite enlightened despots have sent Sun Xiaodi, a Gansu environmental activist and recipient of the 2006 Nuclear-free Future Award, and his daughter Sun Haiyan to re-education-through-labor camps for exposing official corruption and nuclear waste pollution in Gansu Province. Likewise, the CCP has sent activists Wu Lihong and Tang Zhirong to jail for complaining about industrial pollution.

Too bad for them, but hey, no more plastic bags!

Still. Kinda funny talk coming from a Lefty, isn't it? The longing wistfulness over autocracy. We could submit ourselves to unscrutinized policy makers and submit ourselves to the ideals of the Left and what they stand for. What do they stand for?
what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the "mob" -- a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech
Sorry, Camille. You thought wrong.
But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government,
Which I find bizarre. Liberals wouldn't lie belly up for an Exxon or an Aetna or a Wal-Mart-- other large organizations that influence our lives--but a Democratic administration, which by virtue of being able to pass laws, arguably holds more power over our lives?
The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration's outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable "casual conversations" to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.
The list of awkward, amateurish bungling in this administration is getting suspiciously long. When do we quit calling them rookie mistakes and start calling them ideology?

Democrats may have collapsed as Republicans have collapsed before them. It's not the Left (well, it is today); it's not the Right. It's the culture of political corruption and it needs to be routed out.

I can't even tag this piece, at least not right now. Aren't you glad I published this instead of my rant?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

On Relationships

...there are some things that women should simply not try to get men to do - such as make coffee, pick up their socks or clean the loo.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Speech, III

When Bush I was president and gave a speech to school children,
Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush's speech -- they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.
I know--dog bites man story, but I can't help it!

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The Speech, II

I thought the same thing Mickey Kaus did when I read that passage.
Those are all the people who are trying to help--families, teachers, and Barack Hussein Obama? He's "working hard to fix up" classrooms? I hope not! He has two wars and a health care bill to worry about,
The other thing I thought about the speech, was that he's really trying to inspire poor kids. He could have made it broader to include the disaffected middle- and upper-middle class suburban youth. Kids can get cynical out in the 'burbs, ya know! Maybe it comes from having too much--I don't know.

But it was very paternal, which isn't a bad thing (well, it is, if you're a Republican president). I think the country can sometimes use some more parenting. (That remark will surely come back to haunt me. Don't confuse that remark as support for nanny statism.)

Althouse smartly points out, "Obama's speech to kids is nearly 10X as long as the Gettysburg Address (which was given to adults). The kids will need to sit still for 2540 televised words."

She's right, of course. Long speeches, I learned long ago, don't go over too well with audiences.

Politics aside, I think if presidents want to give speeches to the nation's school children, they need to give school districts time to plan and put it in the curriculum. A huge part of running a school is organization--moving one big group of kids from one room to the other. I'd give schools at least a year's notice with an early draft of the speech.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Why Does this Shock Me?

How the Times characterizes what he said:
"Mark Steyn, a Canadian author and political commentator, speaking on the Rush Limbaugh show on Wednesday, accused Mr. Obama of trying to create a cult of personality, comparing him to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader."
What he actually said:
"Obviously we're not talking about the cult of personality on the Saddam Hussein/Kim Jong Il scale."
According to Steyn, and I believe him.

(Via Instapundit.)

Update: This is why group think is such a danger in journalism: The Chicago Tribune, the Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, The Las Vegas Sun, and The Irish Times picked up the story.

Here's the clip (provided by the Times story) in which he is absolutely clear.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Speech

I don't know. If the president can inspire a lot of kids--who would otherwise drop out--to stay in school, I say it's worth it.

Problem is that's a big immeasurable if.

My kids' school will not be airing the speech live because it conflicts with lunch, but will record it and put it up on their Web site so parents can watch with their kids later.

More: I'm surprised that Stephen Green is so fussy about it. Too much vodka? Tom Maguire is always hilarious. (Hmm ... maybe I should make that a tag.)
Your kid will have to put up with twelve years of public school indoctrination anyway - one more day can't hurt.
I well remember President Carter urging Americans to control the temperature in their homes to save energy, and it fit snugly with my burgeoning frugal self. I've got plenty of green friends who turn blue at night when it comes to adjusting the temperature on the p.m. A/C -- can't not snuggle under warm, thick covers as though you're living through a Colorado winter without heat, even though it's North Texas where night time summer lows generally hover at 78. Let us keep the cozy!

The president's got a similar deal going on during the a.m. hours.

With all the gen-x passion I can muster -- after his campaign remarks about not wasting energy -- I proudly declare: whatever.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

People Still Don't Like to Pay Taxes

No, they don't. Via The Corner.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Face Search

This site found mine.