Saturday, April 09, 2005

The American People Are Conservative

This according to Mister McBobo himself, David Brooks, Americans are rejecting the Republicans because they are conservative, and the Republicans are proposing big changes. Yep, the country is conservative. You heard it here. Or there.
. . . here is Social Security reform. Republicans set forth with a plan to give people some control over their own retirement accounts. Here, too, Republicans have been surprised by the tepid public support.

Americans understand that there is a big problem, but right now most oppose personal accounts invested in the markets. According to a Wall Street Journal poll this week, a third of Republicans currently oppose them.

Being conservative, many Americans are suspicious of bold government initiatives, especially ones that seem complicated and involve borrowing. Being conservative, they prefer the old and familiar over the new and untried.
Except, I don't know if that is the right explanation. I think it might be fairer to say that Americans are practical. When the American people have been sold on a program, even a radical one, they do get behind it. If the Republicans were able to sell their social security reform as a real improvement the American people might get behind it. Instead they seem to be making a lot of pie in the sky promises that may or may not pay off. And so the American people aren't interested.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Ode to Wal-mart

Let us salute Wal-Mart
Store of Samuel
Bargains galore
And elderly greeters
Dating Services offered
to those Germans
By chains of Relationship

All hail mighty Walmart
Anti-union efforts
were claimed to be
their travel expenses
Sing praises to Walmart
Yea, for they have
the saltiest
and best pistachios

The Blogs Must be Crazy!

A quick rundown on a footnote to the Terry Schiavo case (based on a really good story from Salon). While it was going on, a memo appeared that gave ideas on how Congressional Republicans might politically profit from the controversy. Congressional Republicans quickly disavowed the memo, and a bunch of online bloggers and Rush Limbaugh quickly began claiming the Memo was a big fake, planted by Democratic Operatives. And since this was the bunch that busted the Rathergate memos, they got taken seriously.

Only it turns out that congressional aid to Sen. Mel Martinez (from my home state of Florida) apparently wrote the memo. And has admitted it and has been fired. So I guess the memo wasn't a fake after all. And those conservative bloggers who pushed forward the theory that this was a Democratic Dirty Trick? Well, they managed to put the whole story in perspective. "This story serves as an object lesson in how the mainstream media can take a dopey, one-page memo by an unknown staffer and use it to discredit the entire Republican party." Darn Media.

Of course that is the interesting part of this story. Conservative Bloggers are determined to find the Democratic Party and the Media guilty regardless of the facts.

Around the Horn: Eight Haikus

Bloggg has new address,
And has gone to TJ Max
Who employs justly.

A blog named Corrente
Considers Thomas Delay,
And his betrayal.

Musings Musings has
Reviewed Delays recent crimes.
Happy days ahead.

A New President
For Echidne of the Snakes
To consider now.

Ultimate Warrior
'Rassler meets Happy Furry
Puppy Story Time

Mighty Edwardpig
Studies phony news reports
And Mark McClellan

Pen Elayne has news.
National Poetry Month?
She is on the web.

rubber hose comments
on the love of acronyms
and a tax debate.

I picked a good week to use this particular technique, with Happy Furry Puppy Story Time (9 syllables), Echidne of the Snakes, and Pen Elayne on the Web (both 6 syllables). But still it's at least as coherent as normal.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Petition

If you would like to sign a petition to get Howard Dean to appear on the Daily Show here is your chance. I'm not sure why you would have this particular fantasy, but why not indulge it by signing?

And if you aren't sure, well, instead of scaring you into doing it (which may not work, based on the evidence so far), this time i'm going to bribe you into doing it. Anybody who signs the petition will get a Dollar*. So sign it today!

* Dollars are a metaphor; no actual money will change hands.

Testing the Theory

Time to put this "Scare-my-readers-into-doing stuff" technique and see if it really works (read the next post if you are wondering where I got this technique). I have bad knew for you. Without supporting this site, I'm afraid all sorts of bad stuff is going to happen.

Aliens are going to invade the earth and force you to perform The Two Gentlemen from Verona in the park in underwear. Not your underwear. Somebody else's underwear. And please don't imagine it will be particularly flattering underwear because it won't.

Alright, so I'm exaggerating. A little. But still if you want to avoid this fate, or fates like it, you need to support this site. By . . . uh . . . reading a poem. Yep. If you don't want perform Underwear Shakespeare, you'd better read a poem. If you don't have any poems handy, visit this site.

Oh, and so I can see if this works or not, report back to tell me how you have supported this site in thwarting the aliens! And tell me what poem you read.

The Shake Down

For those who don't know, Townhall.Com and the Heritage Foundation are parting ways, and thus Townhall needs a lot of money to stay in business. Or, to put it another way, it's their annual pledge drive. All week they've had various articles exhorting readers to give them money, largely to stick it to those terrible Liberals. Yesterdays article, by Jay Bryant, commented that "Conservatism is always threatened." I wonder if that also applies to liberalism.

Todays article, by Kathleen Parker goes a step further.
If you don’t contribute generously and soon:

Sen. Hillary Clinton will become the first woman president of the United States. Michael Moore will make a documentary about sex on America’s college campuses. He will film it at your daughter’s school. He will try to date your daughter. PETA will paint a red bulls-eye on your front door to indicate that you are a family of carnivores who probably own fur wraps. The Rev. Jesse Jackson will come to your house and pray while trying to hold your hand. Michael Jackson will make frequent visits to your son’s elementary school. The ACLU will merge with the Department of Education.
Pretty scary eh? Well she admits that she's exaggerating (maybe), so you shouldn't worry too much (but you should still give money to Townhall.

But it did get me to thinking. Does this kind of ploy really work? I mean if I painted a picture of how awful society would be without Make me a Commentator would my hits go up? I'm going to think about this some more.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I Feel Like I should Say Something

But I really can't think of something to say.

Do Democrats Love the Country?

The shocking answer, according to George McGovern, is yes. I guess he feels particularly strongly about this issue because he has been consistantly derided as less than patriotic.
First and foremost, I have believed since childhood that my country is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Never once during my long years as a public servant did I drive down Pennsylvania Avenue to my office at the US Capitol--past the majestic memorials to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln--without experiencing the genuine thrill of knowing that I worked for the US government and its citizens.
Interesting. It almost reads like George McGovern doesn't hate his country.

However my guess is that Republicans will respond to this article (if they respond at all) by pretending that McGovern must be guilty about something if he feels the urge to proclaim his patriotism so loudly.

Sometimes Justice Carries a Spoon

I don't know what that means. Anyway I don't know if you caught Senator John Cornyn's comments on the recent Schiavo tragedy and that old buggaboo Activist Judges. Well, if you didn't, the New York Times did.
Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, rose in the chamber and dared to argue that recent courthouse violence might be explained by distress about judges who "are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public." The frustration "builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in" violence, said Mr. Cornyn, a former member of the Texas Supreme Court who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which supposedly protects the Constitution and its guarantee of an independent judiciary.

Listeners could only cringe at the events behind Mr. Cornyn's fulminating: an Atlanta judge was murdered in his courtroom by a career criminal who wanted only to shoot his way out of a trial, and a Chicago judge's mother and husband were executed by a deranged man who was furious that she had dismissed a wild lawsuit. It was sickening that an elected official would publicly offer these sociopaths as examples of any democratic value, let alone as holders of legitimate concerns about the judiciary.
I have to say, I don't disagree with the Times here. This stepped pretty far over the line.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Winning Ugly

There's an interesting article by Robert Novak this week. For those who don't know, Robert Novak outed CIA Agent Valerie Plame and earned for himself the title Douchebag of Liberty. His close relations with the Bush administration, however, may not be what the once were. His latest article talks about the Bush Administrations relations with the Republican controlled Congress, and makes this startling assessment.
A senior Republican senator who avoids the headlines and tries to help President Bush as much as possible two weeks ago was discussing with me the problems of seeking Social Security reform. Then he said something that surprised me: "I have been around a while, and this is the worst administration at congressional relations that I have ever been associated with."

. . . The dirty little secret, however, is that this administration succeeds despite chronic malfunctioning, and this more often than not is a matter of bungled personnel decisions.
Hard to know exactly what this means. Novak does point out that the administration prizes Loyalty to the exclusion of all other qualities, and this isn't the type of loyalty that allows for candid discussion of mistakes. This is more the type of loyalty that fails to acknowledge mistakes in the first place. Demanding this kind of loyalty from Senators and Representatives, many of whom are accomplished and opinionated men with healthy egos, may not be the best approach.

Of course the other question is why is Novak willing to take this shot at the Bush administration? Does he think that the bloom is off (they haven't had the best year so far)? Does he think that the Congress is where the power is going to be? Or is he simply trying to distance himself from the Administration so he can look independent?

Bridge over Troubled Waters

"If you look for the bad in people, you will surely find it." - Abraham Lincoln

"It is difficult to overstate the depth of the differences between the Judeo-Christian view of the world and that of its opponents, most particularly the Left." - Dennis Prager, "The Left's battle to restore chaos: Judeo-Christian values: Part X."

Dennis Prager has also written on the coming Second Civil War (between, one assumes, Judeo Christian Values and liberals). I find it striking that there doesn't seem to be much hope for reconciliation in Mr. Pragers mindset. Basically the American Left has to either capitulate totally or it will come to war.

Personally I prefer to believe that the things which united us as Americans are greater than the things which divide us.

But then I'm not trying to make money off of stirring up hatred, so I might be prejudiced.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Economy

According to the New York Times the job creations numbers were way down this last month. Which is depressing. But it hides the real costs of the Bush economy.
The longer-term trend is even more disturbing than the monthly snapshot. In 6 of the last 12 months, job creation has not been strong enough to absorb the growth of the work force. In such a weak labor market, wages are stagnant or falling. Over the past year, for instance, hourly wage increases averaged only 2.6 percent for the 80 percent of the work force made up of non-managers in both white- and blue-collar jobs. The inflation rate for the same period has not yet been released, but it's a safe call that in March, wages failed to outpace price increases, as has happened every month since last May. That adds up to only one thing: a downturn in living standards, which will accelerate as oil prices, now well above $50 a barrel, consume an ever larger chunk of take-home pay.
Kind of depressing, but that's what we get, I suppose.

Adventures in Amazon Reviews

This won't top my favorite review ever (you'll have to select the yellow text in order to read it), but it's still pretty interesting. It is for the Season 2 DVD collection of Taxi (which I recently purchased). As you may or may not know Season 2 reintroduced Reverend Jim Ignitowski played by Christopher Lloyd. Here's the review.
About method actor Christopher Lloyd (Jim)
A method actor is a very deranged person in real life. Method actors crazily feel they can't play a character unless they figure out that character's motivation! Also, method actor's often really hit other actors (or the method actor gets hit himself or herself) in a scene instead of just faking the hit.This can result in serious bodiy harm. Furthermore, a method actor often does crazy things like staying up late for real just so they'll appear tired. And lastly, method actors often really put themselves into the mood of their characters and they can't easily get out of their character's mood once the director yells "cut". Remember all this when you watch Christopher Lloyd in the second season oif Taxi and on so you don't admire his performance as Reverend Jim too much.
One suspects playing the blissed out mellow Reverend Jim would make Christopher Lloyd less likely to hit someone. One also suspects this review says more about the author of the review than the subject reviewed.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

New Quote and New Format

As previously discussed I am running through all my old logos, since I made an error a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy.