Archive for October, 2008

Barnes burns Adelman

October 27, 2008

This is going to leave a mark:

[Ken] Adelman recently endorsed Obama and said he “would not have hired [Palin] for even a mid-level post in the arms control agency.” Well, I know both Palin and Adelman. And Ken, I’m sorry to tell you, but I think there are an awful lot of jobs in Washington that Palin would get before you.

The Atlantic loses a subscriber

October 27, 2008

I have been pondering this for awhile, but had waited to see if things might change. Overall it’s still a good magazine, IMO, and I’m generally not one to make a global decision based on a single factor. After all, I can simply choose not to add to web traffic. But gutter politics can’t be supported, even tangentially, and the smear that clarified the issue for me is described here (link doesn’t go to the offender; you know where he is if you’re compelled to see it.)

A copy of this goes in the mail today.

Dear Mr. Bennet,
After several years as an appreciative subscriber to The Atlantic, I have recently informed your subscription department that I will not be renewing my subscription. In case it interests you to know, the reason for my decision not to renew is that your magazine has become a platform for the worst sort of political discourse. I am referring to the scurrilous smears of Governor Sarah Palin by one of your senior editors, Andrew Sullivan.
I read with interest the cover article he wrote in December, and while I was not persuaded that Senator Obama was necessarily the best choice for President, I was hopeful, like many Americans, that his nomination and candidacy would in fact matter, that it would mark a change in the tone of presidential politics. That his opponent was not closely identified with the right-wing of the GOP seemed to add to the likelihood that questions of substantive issues confronting America would predominate this election cycle.
Regrettably, substantive discussion has again taken a backseat to issues of image and hollow rhetoric. But while silly complaints about not wearing lapel pins or overusing one’s military experience can be excused, one cannot excuse vile, baseless innuendo posing as a simple question, nor the promotion of misogynistic sexualization found on YouTube. Clearly emotions are running high in this election, and no one is exempt. If asked, I would have predicted that in the course of carrying out professional duties, a senior editor of a magazine of The Atlantic’s stature and reputation would be able to avoid indulging the darkest of human impulses. I would have been wrong.

Your magazine has introduced me to several writers I enjoy because of their engaging writing and insights on topics I would not otherwise have been likely to consider carefully, such as James Fallows on China. Gregg Easterbrook is a favorite, not least because I lived in Buffalo for five years (including the four Super Bowl years) and can appreciate his feelings about western New York. Several of your frequent contributors will always attract my attention because of their insights and challenges to my thinking. In the future, however, I will not be reading them as a subscriber to The Atlantic.


I used their postage paid reply envelope to inform the subscription department. Hopefully the backlash against those who call attention to the ideas of the candidate does not extend to criticism of his enablers.

It really should be this simple

October 19, 2008

From the Hot Air open thread last night, the view from Ireland:

“…Here in Ireland, can’t figure out why you people are even bothering to hold an election in the States.
On one side:
you have a pants wearing female lawyer, married to another lawyer who can’t seem to keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary against a lawyer, who goes to the wrong church, who is married to yet another lawyer, who doesn’t even like the country her husband wants to run!
Now…On the other side:
you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate ‘Mc’ terminology, married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship!!

A couple more suggestions for keeping it simple from Vanderleun.

Saracuda on SNL

October 18, 2008

Eh, not much except for her to show how people with class handle criticism. The left could learn a lot from those 5 minutes.

Celebrity self-revelation

October 17, 2008

Old, but still comedy gold. Who would have thought this guy is such a wuss? “She really scares me.”

Political history

October 17, 2008

Part of the problem with our electorate, at least the part that’s about to take a flyer on Senator Obama, is a total lack of connection between current events and history. At best it goes back 3 to 4 years. As in the comment made about this election, “the Dems have had 8 years of the Rep. and it is time for a change wether [sic] you guys want it or not.” There’s absolutely no consciousness that what is going on now is related to anything that happened more than a few months ago. Or what is likely to result more than a few months in the future.

The Wall Street banker cited here notes that the current financial breakdown has been building for 10 years, which leads me to believe that the causes go back even further. Even within the past few years, John McCain supported legistlation addressing the very situation that blew up this summer, but Democrats in Congress blocked action. But because George Bush has been President 8 years, it’s time to change to a Democrat.

I suggest that combined with Democrat opposition to addressing the problems we’re facing right now is the fact that George Bush changed from a compassionate conservative, if he ever was one, to a Republican trying to please people by governing like a Democrat. So now we’re going to get the real thing in the name of “change,” and the next 4-8 years in the economic arena are going to be like the last 4, only moreso. John Galt, indeed.

Developing thoughts on the new theocracy

October 16, 2008

I’m using “theocracy” loosely, since the people behind it would largely declaim belief in or adherence to the values of any theology or divinity. It strikes me as looking the same, though, since an attitude of moral superiority will lead to the same effect, a compulsion on the part of the “theocrats” in power to require everyone to adhere to their ideas, regardless of the effects on the non-believers.

Obama’s comment to the plumbing-business owner is an example. He’s morally superior by virtue of his belief that wealth should be spread around, regardless of contribution, effort, production, or anything else. The non-believing plumbing-business owner is going to be forced to convert, whether he wants to or not, regardless of what it costs him.

Ironically it’s likely to cost a couple of people jobs that the business owner won’t be able to add. It may lead to a new job for some accountant who can figure out how to make a $500k business look like it’s only bringing in $225k. So we’ve got that job market possibility. Jesting, of course. But the overall costs to society are not the concern of the secular theocrats. They’re right, so it must somehow fit into the plan.

I’m glad I like cheese

October 16, 2008

Change is coming, I suspect, given the political winds here in mid-October. Change is inevitable, actually, every election after a two-term President. But even though a lot of people are dissatisfied with current conditions, if enough vote for “Change” and get a President Obama, they may soon be asking, “Who moved my cheese?” Or maybe it will be, “Where is the agriculture department distributing the free cheese?”

Change happens, but it’s not always for the better, just because it’s a change. A bigger government, more regulation of business, higher business taxes, government payer health insurance systems, these things are going to wind up hurting the economy and therefore the working people of this country more than they realize, I fear. Change can be good, but it can be harmful. Be careful what you wish for.

Personal responsibility or government largesse

October 16, 2008

One of the main differences between the left and the right is illustrated by the assumptions behind this statement from Senator Obama last night, explaining his “spread the wealth” comment to the prospective plumbing-business owner:

Now, the conversation I had with Joe the plumber, what I essentially said to him was, “Five years ago, when you were in a position to buy your business, you needed a tax cut then.”

And what I want to do is to make sure that the plumber, the nurse, the firefighter, the teacher, the young entrepreneur who doesn’t yet have money, I want to give them a tax break now. And that requires us to make some important choices. <CNN Transcript>

In the view of Senator Obama and the left, he was able to become successful because of tax benefits bestowed by the government. I suspect he would disagree.

Reasoned arguments according to Buckley

October 15, 2008

Christopher Buckley follows up his endorsement of Obama with a post detailing his departure from National Review, which is somewhat interesting as it was founded by his father, one of the deans of the modern conservative movement in America. I’m not an expert on William F. Buckley, but I suspect he might have had higher standards for “a reasoned argument,” which is how the younger Buckley describes his “conservative case for Obama.”

As I pointed out earlier, Buckley’s case comprises mainly distaste for Sarah Palin and the people interested in learning about Obama’s associations and governing principles. He seems to believe that Obama will have an epiphany upon election and not actually enact the policies he’s campaigned on for a year and a half. Demeaning Sarah Palin and ignoring the policy ideals of the two candidates, surprise, surprise, was not well received by the readers of National Review.

Rich Lowry at the Corner called Buckley out on the way he presented his departure. This seems to have prompted a headline change for Buckley’s post, though the original implication is still seen in the URL. And the rest of his post, complete with hyperbole pointed out by Lowry, remains intact. It’s an unfortunate parting, assuming Mr. Buckley is the basically conservative-libertarian he claims to be. His social standing is secure for the next administration, at any rate. I wonder how much that had to do with it. But since motive attribution is thin ice, I’m sure I’ll never know to any satisfaction.