November 22, 2009
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Obama “Carteresque.”
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Obama “Carteresque.”
A BUNCH OF interesting food links.
Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:
“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”
Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”
But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.”
The ruse should have been allowed to fester longer, but the point was made nonetheless: Some people hate Palin first and ask questions later.
I don’t understand that, but then I never got the Bush- or Clinton-hatred either.
Related: Ed Driscoll: Just NBC The PDS!
HEY, MAYBE I SHOULD ANNOUNCE FOR Tennessee’s 29th Congressional District.
UPDATE: Reader Jeff Bangle writes: “I fully support your bid for office in Tennessee’s 29th Congressional District. I have maintained a virtual residence in this District for several parsecs, ever since moving there from Kessel. If you can get your name on the ballot, I promise to donate the maximum number of quatloos allowed by law to your campaign.” The momentum is building. Steamroller, baby!
I LINK TO JERRY POURNELLE’S SITE FROM TIME TO TIME, and if you like his stuff you might consider donating or subscribing.
ED DRISCOLL: All The News That’s Fit To Bury.
MORE ON CLIMATEGATE in the London Times: “Astonishingly, what appears, at least at first blush, to have emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend; (b) they have consistently refused outsiders access to the raw data; (c) the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of information requests; and (d) they have been discussing ways to prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned journals.”
JEEZ, IT REALLY IS THE CARTER ERA ALL OVER AGAIN: Three Mile Island radiation leak investigated.
SHOCKINGLY, people with guns do better against pirates. But often get shafted in the press.
GEORGE WILL: Awash In Fossil Fuels.
STEPHEN GREEN: The Week In Blogs.
THE BEST BOOK COVERS OF 2009.
MODERN PARENTING: Local dad spoke only Klingon to child for three years. “Does the fact that Speers has a doctorate in computational linguistics explain anything — or excuse anything — here?”
2009 HURRICANE SEASON a bust. You know, after Katrina they promised that global warming would be bringing us more and more super-hurricanes.
UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes:
It should not pass unstated that the predictions you allude to of increasing strength and frequency of Caribbean hurricanes were based on models. These models were based in part on data acquired by the CRU and others, but are based and rely to an even greater extent on a host of other assumptions. It is one thing to model global mean temperature; it’s quite another, and more complicated matter, to mathematically model planetary climate, as distinct from weather, over long periods of time. It’s been claims regarding the later which have driven the political and policy disputes surrounding these issues. If current models have difficulty predicting or explaining the progress of global mean temperature, why should anyone have confidence in models that claim to be predictive of the more complicated system of planetary climate? This is very much the stake in “Climategate”.
LONDON TIMES: Barack Obama dream fades as China visit fails to bring change: Even his allies feel let down by the president’s lack of progress both in Asia and at home. “Obama’s Asian adventure perceptibly increased the murmurings of dissent when he returned to Washington last week, having failed to wring any public concessions from China on any major issue.”
Well, he brought about some change: A funny skit on Saturday Night Live.
MAUREEN DOWD: If only Obama were more like Sarah Palin. “The animating spirit that electrified his political movement has sputtered out. . . . Like Reagan, Obama is a detached loner with a strong, savvy wife. But unlike Reagan, he doesn’t have the acting skills to project concern about what’s happening to people.”
I think Obama’s “charisma” was based on voter narcissism — people excited not just about electing a black President, but about themselves, voting for a black President. Now that’s over, and they’re stuck just with him, and emptied of their own narcissism there’s not much there to fill out the suit. As Ann Althouse says, “I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was.”
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY of crisis opportunism.
POLITICAL ADVICE FROM ROBERT HEINLEIN:
Your object… is to win elections, not arguments. If you will always remember that, you can’t go far wrong.
The second thing to remember is that elections are won with votes; those votes are out in the precincts, not down in the politico-financial district, not in political clubs, not at political rallies.
The third thing to remember is that a vote for your side never becomes a reality unless you see to it that the holder thereof gets down to the polls and casts it. This should be printed in red ink and set off with flashing lights.
The fourth thing to remember is not to waste time arguing with a hard case. In the years I have spent in politics I cannot honestly say that I recall ever having persuaded anyone to change his mind about how he was going to vote on an issue or for a candidate if he had already made up his mind when I approached him. Yet I know that I have influenced and sometimes changed the outcome of elections through my own efforts.
It’s good advice, and his book, Take Back Your Government, is still pretty good. The technology is obsolete — though not as much as you might think — but the basic approach is still good.
SEX ADVICE from Dungeons and Dragons players.
A TRULY SPECIALIZED BLOG: Bad Vestments.
HUGO CHAVEZ: Cannibalism’s not so bad.
HOW COMMON IS the Socratic method?
“UNEQUIVOCAL:” Tom Maguire notes a howler in the WaPo Climategate story.
MOE LANE: Four Words of Pure Utter Terror. “Bud Light… Honey Wheat.”
SEIZE THE Day Job.
IN THE MAIL: From Gary Becker and Richard Posner, Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism.
CHRIS DODD UPDATE: Dodd Dodges Protesters:
Rather than face a crowd of protestors who jeered at his appearance, Sen. Chris Dodd entered LaCupola’s restaurant through the back entrance Saturday for a luncheon with Democrats.
Lining Route 202 and carrying signs that read “Dump Dodd,” more than 80 protestors underscored the political perils the senator faces as he runs for a seventh-term.
Quinnipiac polls released earlier this month show 54 percent of Connecticut voters disapprove of Dodd’s job performance. Polls have him trailing Republican challenger Rob Simmons by more than 10 percent ahead of next year’s election.
Seems that whole health-care thing isn’t buying him much popularity. . . .
JAY TEA: “There’s a trend emerging in American politics. I don’t think it’s a new one, but it’s growth is disturbing to me. And it’s the amazing hostility to the common people.”
AN AWAKENING IN AFGHANISTAN?
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE parodies Obama in China. I eagerly await Wolf Blitzer’s fact-checking.
FROM POPULAR MECHANICS, a DIY Thanksgiving guide.
SCOUTS SCORE SEIU SCALPS: “Note that the SEIU itself hung Balzano out to dry: when your guys are already out there on camera beating up protesters and gadflies, it’s not a good time to start a fight with the Boy Scouts of America*. I suggest that the various loyalists of that organization keep that in mind.”
MORE ON THAT CLIMATE DATA-FUDGING SCANDAL: Global WarmingGate: What Does It Mean? Charlie Martin explains.
The hackers released about 172 megabytes of data, and we can be sure examining it closely will take some time. But after a few days, certain things are beginning to become clear.
* The data appears to be largely, perhaps entirely, authentic.
* The emails are incendiary.
* The implications shake the scientific basis for AGW, and the scientific reputations of some of AGW’s major proponents, to their roots
Read the whole thing.
WHEN IN DOUBT, delete.
PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE ON THE UCLA TUITION “RIOT:”
In the first place, reliable counts say that there’s only about 200 students at the protest–out of an enrollment of almost 40,000. 0.5% is not exactly the March on Washington.
In the second place, what realistic alternatives would the protesters prefer? . . .
I believe that the UC system is going to have to get smaller. We can’t fund everything. We need to right-size, however, rather than downsizing. Cuts should be made strategically, so that the strongest programs on each campus remain strong. If you want to think about it this way, we have to cull the herd and the weakest members have to go.
We also have to face the reality that tuition and endowments are going to be the major sources of funding going forward. Unfortunately, in the present economy, development and fund-raising are tough. So we must look to tuition to fund our programs.
I think this will be the case nationwide. Plus, some related thoughts from Jerry Pournelle:
got my education in a state university system: indeed I went to the University of Washington because I was legally a Washington state resident due to my parents then residing in the then Territory of Alaska — Alaskans were Washington state residents, since Alaska was an economic colony of Seattle at the time. I couldn’t afford a private university, and I was running out of the GI Bill which had paid my way through much of the University of Iowa where I was certainly not a resident. Long story. My point is that I can hardly denounce the state university system in this country.
But whether given the new and enormous costs of state universities — see the Iron Law of Bureaucracy for many of the reasons why — and the enormous expansion of that system (California used to have a system in which the Universities had tiny elite undergraduate programs and were mostly graduate schools, and the State Colleges were undergraduate schools with little graduate school activity — but that got thrown out in the name of diversity and equality, and now there’s no sane allocation system.
But the students had to be dispersed by riot police. And it’s not over. That’s education for you.
The solution is to admit fewer students to the expensive education systems, and expand the cheaper ones. But that won’t happen. It would make too much sense.
Transparency and subsidiarity… That is, keep the State centralized university system, scale it to what can be afforded, and give the local state colleges to their local districts, to control and to finance as they can and will. But that is not likely to happen.
SIGN OF THE TIMES: Federal Clerkship Applications Hit Record High.
DAVE KOPEL EXPLAINS: President Obama Is Not A Jihadi. “There is not a scintilla of evidence to suggest that our President is a jihadi.”
From the comments: “I think to be a jihadi you have to belief in something larger than yourself.”
SANJAY GUPTA ON those new mammogram guidelines.
JIM TREACHER: Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, No Breast Exams for Mama.
JERRY POURNELLE: “The present administration seems determined to continue its policies while protesting that cutting the deficit is of primary importance. One wonders how we can increase spending and cut the deficit. The only way I know is to run the printing presses. We live in interesting times. I thought Weimar Germany already ran that experiment; apparently they don’t teach much history now. The Health Care Bill will now be debated. The price of getting enough votes even to debate it was billions in new deficits. I do not know what the final result will be, but adopting that bill in any form will make the deficit higher, and runaway inflation even more likely.”
THE 2009 GEEK PARENT GIFT GUIDE.
INTRODUCING Burka Barbie?
RADLEY BALKO: Bernard Baran served 22 years on dubious child molestation charges, but the prosecutor who convicted him was promoted to judge. “In this case, prosecutor Daniel Ford, now a judge on the Massachusetts Superior Court, showed the grand jury that indicted Baran an edited video interview with the children. According to court documents, the video shows several kids alleging that Baran had sexually abused them. Edited out was footage in which some of the children denied any abuse by Baran, interviewees accused other members of the day care faculty of abuse or of witnessing abuse, and, most important, interrogators asked the same questions over and over—even after repeated denials—until a child gave them an affirmative answer. Some children were even given rewards for their answers. ”
Read the whole thing.
ARMY OF DAVIDS TRAINING in the show-me state.
NEW GIRL MEDIA vs. Old Girl Network.
THE COMING deficit disaster.
BLOGGER ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR Louisiana’s 12th Congressional District.
REDSTATE DEMOCRATS who voted for Reidcare.
GADGETS THAT I LIKE: We’ve had the universal package opener for quite a while now, and while it’s not perfect, it’s close. It lives in the kitchen drawer and gets used all the time.
Another one that we’ve had for a while is this light bulb changer, which makes changing bulbs in high fixtures a lot easier. Every couple of years I have to get a new one as the suction-cup rubber hardens with age, but it’s worth it.
Unfortunately, bulbs in the chandelier in the foyer go in upside-down, so you can’t use this for that. I keep thinking of getting a winch installed to lower it, but that would probably be prohibitively expensive. Though kind of cool.
UPDATE: A couple of readers recommend the Giraffe system. Not as cool as a motorized winch, but . . . .
REID GETS 60: Health Care bill moves forward.
HOT AIR: “According to a report from Ohio today, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked the ACORN-tainted Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, to investigation ACORN’s voter registration work in the state.” Hot Air does lots of dot-connecting.
KIM ZIGFELD: Putin Murders Another Lawyer.
In response to the Columbia Journalism Review’s accusing me of “blackmailing” the Attorney General of the United States, I must take notice that the mainstream media as a journalistic establishment IS paying attention to the ongoing ACORN scandal. Good. I thought so.
What the Columbia Journalism Review is doing is very similar to what Media Matters is doing: protecting the Democrat-Media Complex, the natural alliance of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media. This ACORN investigation has been going on for two months and Hannah, James, and I have proven to be truth-tellers every step of the way, while the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now has been proven time and again to be liars.
And CJR has become harder and harder to distinguish from The Nation. Except that The Nation will, occasionally, take on the establishment.
IF YOU MISSED IT ON XM/SIRIUS RADIO, the new PJM Political is now online.
PROTESTING OBAMACARE in St. Louis.
GLENN BECK OFFERS a 100 year plan.
OH, GOODY: Drug-resistant swine flu.
THEY’RE RALLYING AGAINST OBAMACARE AT THE L.A. FEDERAL BUILDING this afternoon. Reader Lowell Brown sends this pic.
JOHN HINDERAKER HAS MORE on that global warming data-fudging scandal. Making a fool of Andrew Revkin?
CHEVY VOLT UPDATE: Still needs some refinement.
BITES FROM THE APPLE: A roundup of news from the Apple empire. Including more iTablet talk. . . .
How do economists reach consensus? Do they confer and corroborate like climate scientists? Or is the consensus achieved through a newspaper editorial process of strategically collecting quotes and designating the speakers as “dispassionate”? Or is it more a matter of slapping a headline on an article that doesn’t make a convincing case for consensus at all?
I’m guessing it’s that last.
RATING CARS BASED ON “cost to own” instead of MPG.
SINCE SOMEBODY ASKED, here’s my recipe for Thanksgiving leg of lamb.
That’s me taking it off the grill last year. (Hey, image-recycling is all the rage these days.) Note that I had already carved off a slice to “test” it. Test passed!
Hope it turns out as well this year.
BOB OWENS: The unrequited dream of smart guns. “They look wonderful in theory but fail miserably in practice.”
HEAVY BREATHING at a nuclear weapons plant.
IN THE MAIL: From Gary Hull, Muhammad: The “Banned” Images. Containing the pictures that Yale was afraid to print, plus a ringing statement in favor of free speech.
SHOCKING NEWS: Report: ACORN Mismanaged Grant Money.
COST CONTAINMENT: “We’ll save even more money if we just get these women who are bitching about pain to hold their boyfriend’s hand or look at a picture of their kid. . . . And those silly Pap tests that had us thinking we needed a pelvic exam every year?The official word has come that you don’t need that testing so early or so often.”
Plus this: “Although women tend to love the notion of government control more than men do, it is women who will be told they’ll have to cut back. On treatments. And years. You know we’ve been taking more than our share.”
UPDATE: A reader emails:
My ex wife has spent her life in health care, and is now involved with clinical trials in cancer research. I asked her what she thought about the new guidelines on mammograms and Pap smears. She said, “Well, if they die sooner, I suppose that will save a lot of money in the long run.” She also commented on how many women they see in their 30s and 40s who have breast cancer.
They do seem to be turning on a dime regarding the early screening and detection stuff, don’t they?
UPDATE: Reader Jon Barlow, an orthopedic surgeon, writes:
Evidence that we are overscreening has been documented in the literature in various manners for the past 10 years or so. One excellent example is breast self exams for women. Evidence has shown in a fairly reproducible manner that breast self exams do not improve mortality, but do lead to unnecessary procedures (for cystic change, etc). In any system, we should do what is right for patients. I don’t know the literature on mammography, but we need to ensure that we are doing what is right for the majority of people. That’s the rationale behind evidence based medicine. To cite that one knows “many women in their 30s” with breast cancer doesn’t imply that we should all get mammograms at 30. I am as vehemently opposed to the current health care reform as you are….we just need to be certain that we continue to use facts as our basis rather than feelings.
Well, it’s true that there’s a genuine dispute over the value of early screening. But it’s also true that the turnabout on this seems to be happening quite suddenly. And that timing gives rise to a worry that the shift, perhaps just from one plausible approach to a different plausible approach, is taking place now because of politics. Perhaps that’s harmless — they’re both plausible approaches, right? — but it’s still troubling.
It’s also true, as Ann Althouse points out above, that any politically inspired limits on health care will affect women more, because women are considerably bigger consumers of health care services. That’s something we’d be hearing a lot about, if the usual suspects weren’t lined up firmly behind ObamaCare.
MORE: Reader Tim Johnson writes:
I’m a fourth year med student going into Ophthalmology (eyes). The medical community seems to have known for a while that breast self-exams weren’t effective. But as recently as Breast Cancer Month last month, we were telling women to self exam monthly. The real reason for the seeming quick turnaround is where the debate occurred. Like I said, while the medical community has debated this for a while, we continued to tell women to keep self-examining as if nothing had changed. I think this episode really offers lessons for future controversies and guidelines. As new data debunk prior assumptions, slow transitions in the lay community should reflect those in the medical community, so as to avoid the whiplash we’re seeing now.
When experts try to present a united front to the public despite doubts within the profession, it usually produces less, not more, credibility in the end.
MICHAEL TOTTEN: A Third Lebanon War Could Be Much Worse Than The Second.
TOM MAGUIRE: “Work with me here – suppose we get a conviction on some terrorist who then discovers that his former defense attorney has been active on his case at the DoJ. Why wouldn’t that be grounds for a mistrial? If attorney-client privilege is an issue at all, it is an issue for the defendants, who have the right to assurance that their former defenders are not now aiding in the prosecution.”
UPDATE: Bush-era Justice Department alumni Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith defend Holder’s decision. “Mohammed is many things: an enemy combatant in a war against the United States whom the government can detain without trial until the conflict ends; a war criminal subject to trial by military commission under the laws of war; and someone answerable in federal court for violations of the U.S. criminal code. Which system he is placed in for purposes of incapacitation and justice involves complex legal and political trade-offs.”
JAMES TARANTO: Failure Is Not An Option: Obama and Holder’s Assault On Due Process. “Obama’s and Holder’s assurances that KSM will be convicted (and, according to the president, “put to death”) make a mockery of due process. Nothing is more fundamental to America’s criminal justice system than the presumption of innocence, and if terrorist detainees are to be treated as criminal defendants, they are entitled to that presumption. For the sake of political expediency, Obama and Holder are refusing even to make a pretense of respect for due process. If KSM & Co. are convicted and put to death, America’s critics and enemies will point to Obama and Holder’s assurances in arguing that the defendants were subjected to sham justice. Nice work restoring America’s moral standing, Mr. President.”
“BOMBSHELL:” John Hinderaker has been reading those leaked global warming documents. “What they reveal, more than anything, is a bunker mentality. . . . They also suggest that pro-global warming scientists fudge data to get the results they are looking for.”
GPS UPDATE: Reader Frank Brown writes, “Please give an update on your new Garmin GPS. How is it?”
Still fine. (Most impressively, it’s stayed suction-cupped to the windshield the whole time without coming loose once. The old one would barely stay up an hour.) The “traffic” feature works fairly well, though driving home yesterday I noticed that the Interstate was backed up (luckily on the other side) and it didn’t show up on the traffic display. I’m not sure how they gather information or update it, but in general it’s been pretty good.
For those who missed it, I got the Garmin 1390t.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DRINK ON THANKSGIVING? Glorious American Cabernets.
FIRST CHINA, NOW THIS: Germany warns US on market bubbles.
WILL JOHN MCCAIN need Sarah Palin to save him in Arizona? J.D. Hayworth is polling well against him, and would likely enjoy Tea Party support in the primary . . .
First and foremost, the protests are about privileged kids demanding subsidies from working people. The UC system will continue to be heavily subsidized by taxpayers, and the students who attend are among the most naturally gifted, with the highest future earning potential, in the country. This is especially true at the system’s flagship schools of Berkeley and UCLA, where the protests have been most intense. Narcissism and self-absorption are the norm on college campuses, but it really is pushing the limits to throw such a tantrum at the idea that you will be getting a smaller amount of free money taken out of the paychecks of strapped taxpayers, most of whom could never dream of the advantages and opportunities you enjoy.
Read the whole thing.
IPHONE OWNERS demand to see Apple source code.
ANOTHER FAKE CANDIDACY FOR A FAKE DISTRICT: Dodd Harris emails: “I announced my candidacy for Kentucky’s new 00th (Zero-Zeroth or Aught-Aughth?) a couple of days ago on Facebook. I live in KY-03, but it seems pretty obvious there’s no residency requirement.”
NOBODY TELL ANDREW SULLIVAN: The Sarah Palin’s Uterus Blog.
AT AMAZON, it’s the Friday Sale.