Monday, April 25, 2005

The Top 10 Examples of Government Waste

Shocking, even for someone as cynical of big government as myself. If you thought the Congressional steroid hearings were a waste of time, buckle your safety belts for this:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/bg1840.cfm

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

On this day

12 years ago, over 80 people were massacred in cold blood by the BATF and the FBI. Two years later, two individuals, having seen that no justice was being done, decided to take matters into their own hands, and avenge the dead of Mt Carmel on the agencies that murdered them. So they murdered 168 more people, most of whom did not work for either agency, some of whom did not even work for the USA government at all.

President Clinton and the forces of hatred on the left jumped at the opportunity to launch a witch-hunt against the right, claiming that this crime was somehow connected to the patriot movement, but it turned out that McVeigh had attended one meeting of the Michigan Militia and been kicked out, while he spent three years in the armed forces and was discharged with honour. So much for that.

In any case, the two individuals responsible for the OKC massacre have been apprehended, tried, convicted, and punished. Meanwhile, the butchers of Waco, who acted in the name and with the authority of the people of the USA, remain free.

UPDATE: Gary McGath blogs about this in more detail.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Filibuster Change A Pyrrhic Victory?

Showdown. I was wondering where my fellow warmongers stand. Iain Duncan Smith's recent warning in the NYT's was scary: England's filibuster limit for parliamentary debate is called the 'guillotine rule' and minority parties suffer. Conservatives should want to conserve such rules. Especially these rules. How long before it applies to more than judges? A simple majority will push things faster, and this will be less conservative. Still I support the change. So does TNR's Cohn, in a straightfoward appeal to Majority Rule. Our ways and government are more & more partisan. If the filibuster is going to be used more and more, eventually the rule will change. Because it will eventually go, I can accept todays' battle is a fair line to draw. The filibuster must not be used so widely for judges. Still, the coarsening of our political process is sad.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Blankley's Barnburner

Tony Blankley: "If a party can be stampeded by phony charges and a run of shoddy stories in whorish newspapers into dumping their most effective congressional leader, I wouldn't give 2 cents for their near-term future. A party that would voluntarily cut off its own testicles and FedEx them to their opponent as a trophy, is not likely to manifest any regenerative powers."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Times Revisists One Of It's Greatest Failures

I read the New York Times every day. Not so much because I like it, but it's a useful paper when not editorializing too much. Like their travel section or movie reviews. Also, I always found it funny that the Times, for America's "paper of record", had the worst sports page imaginable, a hopelessly clueless group of sportswriters and no appreciation for why Americans like sports. This was never more evident, of course, than in Howell Raines' disasterous attemopt to make a controversy out of Augusta National's refusal to allow female members.

You must remember it of course. Martha Burk, a woman literally nobody had ever heard of before (or since) used the Times, or the Times used her, to mount a boycott of the horrible sexists as Augusta. Poor Tiger Woods was dragged into it by the idiots at the Times because in their minds his being black=victimhood appreciation with the women that Hootie Johnson, the Club president, was forcing to play golf elsewhere. Tiger wanted nothing to do with it. He just wanted to play golf. No one else seemed to care all that much either, outside of the Times, Martha Burk, and some CBS execs that eventually allowed the Masters to be an unsponsered event so they wouldn't be boycotted by the half dozen or so women that Burk represented. I recall that Burk's protests were only covered by the Times, mostly, with ESPN and some others offering minimal coverage, again probably because Burk and the Times tried to link their refusal of membership with "whites only" southern history. A touchy subject, to be sure, but Hootie was not bullied, nor was the PGA, and the protests whimpered away and I had literally forgotten about it until I read today's "sports" section in the Times. A columnist seems a little shocked to find that no one is complaining anymore. Burk gets a line in about the horrible sexism involved in golf and sports in general, but Hootie Johnson, the "villan" of the story sounds like a perfectly amiable fellow. No doubt the writer of the story took a soft approach to it, as the last time the Times did make a big to-doo about the Masters, it was shut out of the Pulitzers, Raines was humiliated, and the Masters actually got better without the corporate sponsership. The Times role in the story''s being flogged to death is, of course, not mentioned at all. I bet they still wonder how that happened. How could the Times be wrong, after all?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Arnold Schwarzenegger Is America's Shrewdish Politician

When Ah-nold announced he would run for Governor of California in the 2003 recall election of Gov. Gray "Graft Redefined" Davis, many scoffed. When he won, humorists had a field day, chiding California as "the new Florida". Lewis Black, normally very funny and spot on about many things political, ranted about how awful it was. Saturday Night Live, under the direction of head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor Tinay Fey, basically played every Schwarzennger stereotype for all they were worth. (I mention Fey only because 6 months into Schwarzenegger's term, she was STILL doing lame-o jokes about him using a fake accent that would make the late Phil Harman vomit. Also, she's ruined SNL and I hate her for it. You suck, Tina).

Now, 18 months after he took office, Shwarzenneger's ascent is no laughing matter, at least to the Democrats who laughed initially. In a terrific article in Slate today titled "The Governator gets serious." Seth Faison explains how Schwarzennger has been able to govern effectively and bipass an openly hostile legislature by taking his budget initiatives to the people. California has been big on referendums, and Schwarzenegger is using them, going on TV and touring the state to sell his ideas from pension reform to a new, non-political way to draw up Congressional districts every four years. Faison is a big fan of this, as am I, as it will help end the easy ride incubants get in the state. Schwarzenneger, in Faison's view, is almost Reganesque in his charm, and has some old Reagan hands like George Schultz advising him. Looking at all he has done since taking office, at the changes he's made and wants to make, I think Arnold Schrwazenneger is America's shrewdist politician. He has a grasp on politcs that most Senator's don't. If he can't be President, can I suggest Arnold run against Barbara "Grandstand" Boxer for the Senate? I think California, and America, would both be winners in that equation. Also, "Predator" is the greatest Action film ever made. No point, just wanted to say it.