February 28, 2009
SAVE TIME AND ENERGY BY cooking pasta with less water.
SAVE TIME AND ENERGY BY cooking pasta with less water.
Of course they’re amateurish. Most of these people have never organized a protest before (hence the tendency to do things like forget bullhorns). That’s what you get at the beginning of a movement. But it’s much bigger news when 200 people with jobs who’ve never protested turn out, than when 20,000 of the usual suspects organized by ACORN or ANSWER march with preprinted signs. If this keeps up (and I think it just might) the amateurishness will fade away soon enough. Then Moran will probably complain about the loss of authenticity.
The Playboy folks, meanwhile, miss two things. One is that, as reader Miles Wilson noted, these protests predate Santelli. The other is that modern technology allows a bunch of people who don’t know each other to coordinate a nationwide campaign “suspiciously” well. Somebody should write a book on that subject some day.
UPDATE: Some related thoughts here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Robert Crawford writes: “I get the feeling that if the tea parties were organized by a group as far-right as ANSWER is far-left, *THAT* would be the major story.”
MORE THOUGHTS ON PROTEST ORGANIZATION, TEA PARTIES, and social media, from Moe Lane.
SOME THOUGHTS ON WHERE THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT SHOULD GO NEXT. Plus this: “Also, while this is and should remain a people’s movement, isn’t it time for some politicians to come out of hiding and start addressing, if not even attending some of these events? I suspect protesters have plenty of questions for them. . . . Lastly, anything scheduled for Chris Dodd’s Connecticut by chance? Two birds with one stone and all that.”
There was actually one in Hartford, but I agree that Dodd’s a natural target. In fact, protesters might consider targeting particular Senators or Representatives in their areas who are either (1) especially egregious offenders, or (2) susceptible to having their positions changed under pressure. Maybe even try to extract a promise that before voting on spending bills in the future, they’ll actually read them . . . .
THEY TOLD ME IF OBAMA WERE ELECTED WE’D BRING THE TROOPS HOME. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! National Guard set to pull out of New Orleans. “In less than four years our military stabilized the region and re-established law, order, and democracy for its citizens.”
WELL, WE WON: End to Baghdad’s ‘dark era’: Nightclubs reopen. Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy?
A REPORT FROM THE Philadelphia Tea Party today.
And reader Peter Sterne suggests a slogan: “No Legislation Without Deliberation!”
JONATHAN CHAIT: Obama’s Intelligence Blunder. It’s only a blunder if you don’t like the result.
MICHAEL SILENCE: Somebody didn’t tell these people there’s a recession. “What’s up? All I can figure is there’s a lot of people who haven’t been watching NBC News.”
GOOD thing for Barack Obama that he isn’t George Bush. He’d have been slaughtered for starting so badly that he’s picking a Cabinet of tax cheats. . . .
how loudly would the people who cheer Obama have screamed if Bush had, for instance, surrounded himself with this extraordinarily long list of spivs and chiselers?
There’s Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader whom Obama picked as Health secretary, but was forced to quit for having failed to pay more than $150,000 in taxes – and for pulling a mysterious $1.5 million a year as an influence-peddler to a law firm.
Nancy Killefer, Obama’s choice as the government’s chief performance officer, also had to quit, having failed to pay unemployment taxes for her household help.
Timothy Geithner, on the other hand, still got appointed Treasury secretary despite having also failed to pay taxes – more than $60,000 in his case. Hilda Solis likewise survived, becoming Labor secretary even though her husband owed $10,000 in taxes.
Hmm. What is it about Big Government Democrats that they so hate paying the taxes they impose on others? And we haven’t finished with that list, either.
Obama’s first choice as Commerce Secretary, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, had to quit to fight grand jury charges of selling favors. . . .And now helping Obama run the economy are two powerful Democratic Congressmen he’s inherited from his party – Charlie Rangel, chairman of the tax-writing House ways and means Committee, who failed to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income from his luxury Caribbean villa, and Chris Dodd, who as chair of the Senate banking committee received $200,000 in donations from the now collapsed Fannie Mae, plus sweetheart loans from Countrywide Financial, another business he was supposed to be regulating.
Not being able even to pick a clean team would be embarrassing enough – proof that the neophyte in the White House has run nothing in his life but an election campaign – but worse is that Obama actually promised to transform Washington with “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.
Ouch. And that doesn’t even get to the latest Greg Craig revelations. But I like “spivs and chancers.”
A ROUNDUP OF TEA PARTY PICTURES at PJTV.
Perhaps the “deregulation” he refers to is the unregulated market of credit-default swaps. This was a derivative security that banks and investors used to insure against credit defaults. He should know that former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, described by President Clinton as the greatest treasury secretary since Alexander Hamilton, pushed his Citigroup bank to pursue these instruments and aggressively invest in sub-prime mortgages. Today, Citigroup is on the verge of bankruptcy. Prior to Citigroup, Mr. Rubin was with Goldman Sachs. (Former Treasury Secretary Paulson was also with Goldman Sachs. Wonder if they knew each other.)
Is there a connection between the Democratic Party, New York state and Wall Street? There are two U.S. senators from New York, and one was Hillary Clinton. The other is Chuck Schumer. When you are a senator from New York and the financial capital of the world is located in your home state, you must develop a cozy relationship with Wall Street. You don’t oppose your banker friends because your political success is tied to Wall Street. So you sort of develop a two-faced persona. You deride Wall Street in front of the cameras, but you have wine and cheese with them while in Manhattan.
Plus this: “About the same time, Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd received a below-market interest rate for one of his mortgages.” Really? Why didn’t that make the news?
FROM THE KANSAS MEADOWLARK: “Tea Party” Rally and March to Senator McCaskill’s Office in Kansas City.
READER FRED SIESEL sends a report from today’s NYC Tea Party protest:
Just got back from the NY Tea Party. You will, I’m sure, be getting more detailed reports, with photos, but this is an “early” report. I arrived at the City Hall park forty minutes before the scheduled time and began to wonder if I made a mistake on the details. I spent a little time and money in J&R Music and went across the street to the park about 20 minutes of two. There were a disheartening 30-40 people there. But, the number quickly began to increase. My guess as to the size of the crowd was circa 300. Many carried placards. The theme most common to most of them was “No to Socialism”. I jotted some of the, to me, “memorable” signs:
No to American Socialism
Pork the Other (Red) Meat
Liberty is All the Stimulus We Need
United States of France
Trickle Up Poverty, and
Foreclose the White House
There were also two signs, one quoting Margaret Thatcher and the other amending a Ronald Reagan line during the 1980 campaign.
The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.
A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.
A depression is when you lose your job.
Recovery begins when Jimmy (Obama) Carter lose his job.
There was also a noteworthy t-shirt with the following:
To: The New York Times
Why are terrorists innocent until proven guilty
But, NYC Cops guilty until proven innocent?
The back of the t-shirt had the same question, except for the substitution of U.S. Marines for NYC Cops. The fellow wearing it said he was a former Marine.
There were reporters there from the two 24-hour local NYC stations: WCBS and WINS.
Many people got up to say their piece. Common theme: Liberty/freedom vs. Socialism/Marxism.
Still going strong when I left after an hour.
Looking forward the the pictures you post and to find out how by how much my crowd estimate differed.
I’ll post some later tonight; they’ve started to come in.
UPDATE: Here’s one, courtesy of reader Robert McManus:
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Abbie Meyer writes:
I drove in from Summit New Jersey for the New York City Tea Party today. There were about 150 people which is pretty good considering we were so deep in enemy territory. The crowd was polite but angry at the usual cast of Democrat characters. Lot’s of good signs. Obama…Commander and Thief ” was my favorite.
There is some real potential for this movement if organized around a central theme. 15 or so speakers of varying quality, invited and impromptu, with various conservative gripes. There was no discernible NYC media there except perhaps Univision. We are supposed to send tea-bags to our elected Representatives.
I think this movement will build as conservatives get more upset and more organized. They will be joined by moderates with pitchforks by the fall. Hopefully it won’t be too late to stop the madness by then. The next one will be better and bigger I’m sure.
Quite likely. Plus, another picture from reader Shelley Hartman, who estimates the crowd at 400.
MORE: Reader John Helferich writes:
Attendance 400, measured by head count.
Press: NY Post, NYU Student Newspaper, WINS Radio (shown below)
Crowd was enthused and full of “normal” people. Only a few cranks. No counter protests, just one kid tried to sing out a few lines of the “Marseillaise” while walking thru.
And here’s a report at the Berman Post.
AT POWERLINE, a look at how The New York TImes has flip-flopped on the dangers of deficits.
STILLBORN: Lamenting the Dodge Demon.
Hawking Chuck Norris’s Black Belt Patriotism.
OBAMA SUPPORTERS ON WALL STREET EXPERIENCING BUYER’S REMORSE: “Noteworthy up here on Wall Street, a great many Obama supporters — especially hedge-fund types who voted for ‘change’ — are becoming disillusioned with the performances of Obama and Treasury man Geithner. There is a growing sense of buyer’s remorse.”
Problem is, they only thought they were buyers. Actually, they were renters, and the lease is up.
THAT COULD BE FUN: Larry Kudlow to run against Chris Dodd? I guess this means Larry isn’t a “Friend of Angelo.”
IN THE MAIL: From Michael Z. Williamson, Better to Beg Forgiveness…
SO I’M AT CPAC, helping with the PJTV coverage. The atmosphere here is surprisingly cheerful — people don’t look defeated, but engaged and much happier-seeming than when I was here in 2006 for a book-signing. It was noisy last night, with college-age attendees partying up and down the hall while we tried to sleep. Below is a picture of S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford, telling CPAC attendees that they could learn from the examples of Rosa Parks and Union trooops at Gettysburg.
JOHN ALLISON: The Financial Crisis: Causes and Possible Cures.
ANOTHER OBAMA TAX PROBLEM: Gawker: Obama’s Chief Vetter Has His Own Tax Problem. “White House general counsel Gregory Craig has seized control of Obama’s vetting process after a series of nominees with unpaid taxes. But his wife’s business may also have avoided taxes. Who vets the vetter?”
You know, for such enthusiasts of taxes and regulations, these folks don’t seem big on complying with taxes and regulation.
UPDATE: A claim that the story is false, but with some possible inconsistencies noted in the comments.
A TEA PARTY IN GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA: “Mike Miller brought his young daughter downtown Friday night to the “Greenville Tea Party” rally at the RiverPlace complex, as the Upstate Young Republicans and others protested the government spending in President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan. They weren’t alone. A crowd estimated at 800 to 2,000 people took part in a loud hourlong rally, one of an estimated 60 around the country.”
Plus, a roundup from around the country.
Despite terrible weather in many cases, citizens braved the wind, cold, and rain to exercise their Constitutional right to protest the current direction of the country under Barack Obama and the Democrats.
In St. Louis, over 1500 attended the Tea Party at the famous arch.
In Chicago, between 800 and 1000 braved the bad weather to gather to protest the massive spending of taxpayers’ money by the federal government.
Atlanta was the site of another well-attended Tea Party.
Many smaller towns and cities participated in the semi-simultaneous events around the country, such as Shelby, Alabama, Asheville, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina.
UPDATE: Reader Kaye Evans writes:
You have posted pictures of the Nashville Tea Party gathering at the Legislative Plaza on February 26, and there was much to be learned from the folks who came out on that rainy day.
I was there and spent more time studying the assembled crowd than listening to the speakers. I was struck by how the crowd grew throughout the lunch hour. Many I spoke with had traveled to be a part of the protest.
It was glaringly obvious that these folks were not the $250+K fat cats whom Obama castigates. These people represented the middle class who, ostensibly, will be “helped” by the stimulus spending bills. They clearly were not convinced; they were angered by the class warfare components of his economic policies and the awareness that the burden of his ruinous spending will eventually become theirs to bear.
On a related note, may I suggest an appropriate coda for the New American Tea Party?
In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville cautioned, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
I think we’ll see more people upset about this as time passes.
And here’s TV coverage from Neil Cavuto.
And reader Miles Wilson says don’t give Rick Santelli too much credit: “Just wanted to remind you that the Rick Santelli ‘rant’ was not the genesis of this movement – in fact, at least four events (Seattle, Denver, Mesa, Overland Park) occurred before the coining of the term ‘tea party’. So credit where credit is due – to the grassroots organizers far from the madding media crowd.”
(Had it as “Mike” Wilson earlier; sorry for the error.}
QUADRUPLING THE FEDERAL DEFICIT: Some ugly graphs. “It’s a good thing Team Obama believes a super large deficit is not only natural but beneficial because they sure got one.”
SOME CHICAGO TEA PARTY video.
THERE ARE MORE TEA PARTIES SCHEDULED FOR TODAY: If you have pics or reports, please send them to me, and also copy to [email protected] Thanks!
In the latest example of how user-produced media can capture so-called “massively-shared” events in a way mainstream media can’t, a wave of images, blog posts and videos from a nationwide protest has been washing across the Web. The protests, dubbed “tea parties” by participants, were held Friday in several U.S. cities including Portland and Washington, D.C. as a response to what demonstrators see as unfettered spending and encroaching government as represented by President Obama’s economic recovery plans. . . .
Though even a year ago it would’ve been a slow and difficult process to chronicle a widely scattered protest such as this, the online community is now mastering the art of high-speed media sharing, a trend that can unite geographically disparate communities via the Web. Much of the sharing is now facilitated by the fast-growing messaging site Twitter, where today the keyword “teaparty” was one of the most frequently used terms. Users sent frequent updates about attendance, linking to photos on Flickr and Photobucket, and videos on YouTube and other sites. . . . If social media is a good barometer, it looks like the spending bill is stimulating the citizenry already.
Read the whole thing. The picture is from Hartford, where I didn’t even realize there had been a rally.
THE TRUTH IS very savage.
WHY THE 21ST CENTURY IS COOL: I’m a Moby Grape fan, and years ago I found the Grape Jam EP in a used record store and thought it was a great find; it was a promotional thing released in relatively small numbers. Now my brother emails that it’s downloadable on Amazon.
UPDATE: Doug Levene writes:
Thanks very much for the tip about the Moby Grape EP. You’ve brought back great memories.
I saw them twice. First time was late 1966 or early 1967 at the East Village Theatre in NYC (which later became the Fillmore East); my brother, sister and I somehow convinced my parents (we were too young) to drive us in during a visit to my grandparents in Scarsdale. We were probably the only living creatures there who weren’t smoking pot. It was a great concert. The second time was my first date, in late 1967 – I had my driver’s license by then and took her to see the Grape at a tiny club in Boston, I can’t remember the name. I do remember the classic light show.
I still listen to the first album (now on my pod) a lot. My son says that it is similar in some respects to the Beatles’ Rubber Soul album (Dr. Roberts) and I think he has a point.
I discovered The Grape in the ’80s by prowling used record stores, but yeah, an underappreciated gem.
COULD I DO A MULTIMONITOR BLOGGING SETUP LIKE THIS?
JOHN TIERNEY: Will a car-free Broadway work?
TEA PARTY UPDATE: MSNBC reports from San Diego:
About 350 protesters showed up at the Embarcadero, just north of the Star of India, at about 9 a.m. for the protest. The event was was organized by Dawn Wildman of the Neighborhood Republican Club, whose members are upset about the new taxes that were written into law last week as part of a budget deal carved out in Sacramento as well as the giant stimulus package coming out of Washington.
And from Jacksonville, Florida:
In a protest harkening back to a milestone in American history, people at the Jacksonville Landing and in cities large and small across the nation turned out Friday to reenact the Boston tea party in protest to the latest stimulus package and the foreclosure assistance bill.
The tax revolt, partly inspired by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli’s rant earlier this week about President Barack Obama’s housing rescue plan, resulted in a grassroots effort pushing “tea party” protests Friday in large cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston, and small towns like Tulsa, Iowa, and Calera, Ala.
Western New Yorkers furious about tax increases are joining a nationwide protest known as the Tea Party. . . .Now, in dozens of cities, including Buffalo, angry taxpayers are staging tea party protests against excessive government spending and taxes, and waste.
This rant by CNBC’s Rick Santelli against big-government spending got things started. Then the outfit called Top Conservatives on Twitter took up the call and, within days, “Tea Parties” were organized in a number of cities protesting federal bailout schemes–including today in Dallas. Here are some of an estimated 250 who gathered at Victory Plaza to dunk the “stimulus bill” in a tank of tea, page by page. Said an organizer: “We’re just people who don’t want our kids and grandchildren shackled with thousands of dollars of debt each.” Oh, hell, folks, why not? It’s only money!
UPDATE: Going beyond Rick Santelli? A reader emails: “Thought I would share with you a suggestion given by Dave Ramsey this evening on CNBC. He suggested boycotting BOA & Citibank in order to send a message to the Feds (now part owners) that we will not do business with the Federal Gov’t. If you have a balance on a credit card with them transfer it to a responsible lender. Move your checking, savings or any other dealing to another lender.” Hmm. Did Dave Ramsey really say this?
ANOTHER UPDATE: A couple of readers say they heard him say this on his radio show. My guess is that it was also on his show on Fox Business TV rather than CNBC.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE ON BLU-RAY, THE HARD WAY: “The Blu-ray version is not just a simple transfer to High Definition from the television show or from later DVD releases, instead technicians went back to the original 16mm film and restored it frame by frame. This painstaking process gives us the best version of Pride and Prejudice to date.” Sample frames at the link.
Plus, a report from Seattle, courtesy of Sherri Kennamer, who writes: “I attended the Tea Party in Seattle this afternoon. The crowd was three hundred or so.” Here’s a pic she sent.
Plus, St. Louis Arch Tea Party Draws 1,500 Protesters! Lots of pictures at the link, as well as links to reports on other protests around the country.
Meanwhile, here’s a Christian Science Monitor story from Atlanta’s demonstration:
Several thousand neopatriots – some shouting “Give me liberty or give me death!” – took to the streets in over 30 US cities Friday, representing what some of them call the beginning of a new conservative counterculture in America.
“The spark has been lit,” says Ben Mihalski, a “house husband” from Cobb County, Ga., one of at least 300 protesters who gathered in a hefty downpour outside the Georgia Capitol on Friday to protest what they see as profligate spending by Washington.
Protesters with sign-slogans like “Pillage and plunder: At least the Vikings did it openly” fanned out across capitols and courthouses in cities from Nashville, Tenn., to Los Angeles, objecting to bailouts and policy changes since the inauguration of President Obama.
The Tea Party USA movement also added some symbolic flourish, vowing to gather tens of thousands of tea bags to be dumped on the floor of the US Congress. In Atlanta, the brand was Luzianne.
The article also observes, “the largely grassroots show of force hints at a sharpening thorn for Democrats and a potential powder keg that could threaten to blow ahead of the 2010 congressional elections.”
And, courtesy of A.C. Kleinheider, a Nashville Post report, with video, on the Nashville protest.
UPDATE: Dave Weigel reports from the White House protest.
And reader Jerry Dickerson sends this from Houston: “This picture was taken at the Houston Texas Tea Party at Discovery Green. At 12:30 there were approx 250-300 attendees, pretty good turn-out considering the livestock show barbeque cook-off in Reliant Park was a competitor.” Turning out against pork vs. turning out for pork. Hmm. Tough call.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s a report by reader Donna Higgins from the Tempe, Arizona protest:
We had approximately 150- 200 people at noon at the Tempe Town Lake Tea Party. Tom Jenny, the Arizona Director of Americans for Prosperity, was in charge. They had several state legislators who talked and then invited people in the crowd to speak as well. Here are a few shots from today, use any and all if you like.
Hopefully the next one will inspire more to turn out and hopefully they will have a bull horn or microphone so it would be easier to hear.
Yes, the folks doing these are inexperienced at the moment. That’ll change. Here’s a picture from Tempe, where the weather was better than many locations today!
The weather was a lot worse in Lansing, Michigan. Reader Duane Hershberger reports: “Some pictures from Lansing, Michigan. My guess is 120 people showed up in 30 degree weather with 4 days notice. Freezing rain was predicted, but did not materialize. Actually, just as we were starting the sun came for 5 minutes.” Not quite Tempe, but extra points for hardiness! Here’s a pic. Brr! And here’s a report with more photos from Lansing.
Nicer in Sacramento, too. Reader Doug Richard sends this: “Here are pictures I took at the Sacramento Tea Party earlier today. Mark Williams rallied the crowd at the start of the event. Surprisingly, there were only a couple jeers during the entire time, but scores of honks in agreement, as well as cheering car occupants driving by.”
Also, here are some more pictures from Denver.
STILL MORE: Some more Chicago reporting, from Freedom Folks.
Megan Fox was there, too, and posted a report with lots more pictures.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA to install plug-in hybrid charging stations.
I’LL BET IT’S A CHICK-MAGNET: The Ultimate Coca-Cola Can Collection.
STILL MORE ON THE SINGULARITY, from J. Storrs Hall.
ARMY RELOADS ON sticky foam weaponry.
IT’S COLD AND RAINY, but the Tea Party pictures are coming in via cellphone already. Here are a couple.
From Atlanta, where a reported 300-400 showed up, a flag with protest babes:
More Chicago pictures here. Plus this summary: “The Chicago Tea Party was an unqualified success. I’m not an expert at judging crowd sizes, but there could’ve been as many as 500 to 1000 people there. In cold weather, in the middle of February, without paid organizers like the left has.”
Plus Bill Rickords emails from Wichita, Kansas: “About 3-400 folks showed up in 25 degree weather. Don’t know what these things would be in Spring weather. But we had a pig show up anyway.” I thought they were all in D.C.!
And Bradley Ems emails from St. Louis: “I don’t know if you’ve gotten any pictures from St. Louis (I’m too swamped at work to have attended), but KMOX just reported that the tea party here was expected to draw a small group of 50…over 1,000 showed up. There is something brwing in the
And Joe Fairbanks emails from Oklahoma City: “I’ll be sending you pictures from the ‘Tea Party’ in Oklahoma City soon. I wanted to let you know that we had an amazing turnout of 400 people. This is amazing for multiple reasons, but mostly because this rally was organized in less than 48 hours and it took place at 11 am and the temperature was below freezing with the wind blowing quite strongly. Simply put: people are mad as hell. Obama and Congress won’t be able to ignore this anger much longer if they hope to survive 2010 or 2012. I can also tell you the crowd did take a lot of pride in the fact that our Senators, Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe, are two of the leaders against all this irresponsible spending. I’ll get those pictures to you as soon as I get them back.”
Plus, at Gay Patriot, pics from Los Angeles.
UPDATE: Reader Trish Elam sends this news report on Atlanta from WXIA TV. I’m in the car and don’t have a good enough connection to play it, but I’m passing it along FYI.
Plus, reader Michael Bassham reports from the Nashville event: “Weather was cold and drizzly. Attendance, in my estimation, was about 300.” Plus, a pic:
And a reader who requests anonymity writes from Tulsa: “Surely someone will send you a better pic than this one, but wanted to make sure you had at least something from Tulsa’s event, where I’d say about 200 or so turned out on a very cold day.”
And, via email, some thoughts from human-rights blogger Robert Mayer:
I just want to offer you and the tea party protesters some words of encouragement. As someone who has studied (and blogged) protest as an act of democratic revolution and people power in the post-Soviet area, I know a lot about the dynamics of mass civil society unrest, government transition, etc…
What we are seeing now is truly huge POTENTIAL for massive civil unrest against the American government gone lunatic with spending. Realistically, 400-1000 people at a protest, even at a dozen protests across the country, will do nothing to change the minds of our idiot leaders.
However, it creates the POTENTIAL that each protest could have a million. The Orange Revolution in Ukraine did not start out with two million people camping in tents in downtown Kiev. It started with only a few hundred diehard activists.
Conservatives and libertarians have never had a strong activist base, but this appears to be the time to start. They need to capture today’s momentum and hold bigger and bigger protests every week. Use technology to organize and move and grow the movement. Compared to other countries, the United States is huge. Don’t aim for a massive march on D.C. (at least, until you have a few million going). Focus the protests locally, on state policians and state capitols.
In any case, this is simply an email of encouragement to you guys. You just have to stay determined and keep people focused and believing. You’d be surprised. Within a month you could go from 500 to 50,000.
Well, it’s broken a thousand already, reportedly, and in not much more than a week.
Meanwhile, Ed Driscoll has the photo and quote of the day, so far.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE Doomsday Seed Vault.
READING BETWEEN THE LINES on the Kindle 2.
IN THE MAIL: From Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Duainfey. Well-blurbed by Anne McCaffrey and Lois McMaster Bujold.
DELEVERAGING in the dating world.
RICH KARLGAARD: The Coming Blue-State Collapse. “Collapse” may be too strong a term — though with the pension and health-care overhang maybe not — but the rule is that things that can’t go on forever, won’t. And what’s going on in a number of these states can’t.
CALIFORNIA UPDATE: Huge unfunded liabilities for employee health benefits.
UNDERSTATED HEADLINE OF THE WEEK: Questions Surround Sen. Dodd’s Past Financial Dealings.
TAXES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: 19 state lawmakers failed to pay taxes, report says.
They just raise ’em. They don’t pay ’em.
FIRST REPORT: Okay, I sat down with the Kindle 2 last night and read Niall Ferguson’s history of money — and I had to make myself stop and go to bed. So I’d say it’s as absorbing a reading experience as an actual paper book. I find myself wishing that the screen was a bit contrastier when I look at it, but when I actually read it it’s fine.
HOW VISE-GRIPS saved a life.
FABIUS MAXIMUS: Obama Makes His First Major Policy Error.
ANN ALTHOUSE: I don’t know how even to articulate an argument that it’s constitutional to give a vote to a D.C. representative in the House. “Shredding the Constitution. It’s not just for the Bush administration anymore.”
I think the argument is, I won.
THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP: Plug computers.
L.A. TIMES: More entertaining Sen. Burris news. Your political class at work! And we’re trusting these people with trillions . . . .
MERYL YOURISH: Puncturing Peretz’s Balloon: “Martin Peretz who gave his word that Barack Obama’s eloquence about Israel was sincere is now questioning that. He’s stunned. I hope that he will apologize for accusing those of us who were skeptical of President Obama’s commitment to Israel of bad faith or ignorance. . . . I can’t understand why the media hasn’t even reported on the appointment of Freeman. This is an important post and he is close to two nations that don’t necessarily have America’s best interests at heart.”
Peretz was played for a sucker, answering at least one of the “who are the rubes?” questions from last fall. He won’t be the last to make this discovery, I suspect.
OBAMA, IRAQ, and the amazing, disappearing SOFA. Somebody needs to be running a track-changes on the White House website, as stuff hits the memory hole fast.
SEN. JUDD GREGG: U.S. is facing bankruptcy. Libertarian upside: Once Treasury defaults on the debt, spending to support big government will be sharply constrained . . . .
MEGAN MCARDLE: Obama’s big-bath accounting.
Analysts have long recognized the tendency of companies who are forced to report bad news to make the news worse than they have to, piling every single thing that might go wrong into one hell of a charge-off. The logic of this is simple: if your stock is going to take a hit, make it one gigantic hit, so that you can later “surprise” everyone when aliens from the Planet Zork do not actually land, vaporize 2/3rds of your customers, and keep the rest too busy dodging laser rays to focus on purchasing your product.
Looking through Obama’s budget, I am reminded of those massive one-time-write-off festivals. Only the Obama administration has gone one better: he has actually gotten everyone to congratulate him for his breathtaking honesty.
Take the Iraq war. We were not, under any administration, going to spend as much in 2015 as we did in 2005. But by treating that spending as an ongoing cost, Obama now gets to take as much credit for reducing it as he would for closing permanent air bases in Germany, or trimming Social Security.
Not everyone is congratulating him, though . . .
DIAGRAMMING the Obama campaign.
UNDERSTANDING The Wurzelbacher effect.
RASMUSSEN: 59% Still Believe Government Is the Problem. And government seems to be doing its best to prove them right . . . .
UPDATE: Fannie Mae Loses $58.7 Billion, Puts Hand Out for More. Like I said . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: Related item here.
MORE: On the brink of disaster?
GOOD FOR HIM: Holder Vows To End Raids On Medical Marijuana Clubs. Leave the guns and the ganja alone — go after terrorists and crooked Congressmen and law enforcement should have plenty to do . . . .
UPDATE: Moe Lane notices a Holder quip that I had missed.
ANOTHER DAY, another Joe Biden gaffe. Nice to know that a guy who can’t track employment numbers is in charge of the stimulus.
UPDATE: Reader Patrick McNiff writes:
It is kind of hard to get too exercised over his appointment as it relates to Israel in light of the following:
Barack Obama wins 77 percent of Jewish vote, exit polls show
As Obamas favorite pastor might say : “The chickens are coming home to roooost”
Elections have consequences…
Yes, they do.
FIGURING OUT WHO THE RUBES WERE: Jewish Leaders Blast Clinton Over Israel Criticism. “Zuckerman, Lawmakers, Local Jews Say Secretary Of State Not The Hillary Clinton They Used To Know.” Oh, she seems about the same to me. . . .
UPDATE: Jeffrey Goldberg thinks they’re overreacting.
IF YOU’RE ATTENDING ANY OF THE TEA-PARTY PROTESTS TOMORROW, please send me pics. Preferably jpegs, no more than 600 pixels wide. Be sure to tell me which one they’re from — there are so many scheduled.
MORE STEALTH GUN-CONTROL? State Department Floating Ammo Import Ban? Not sure if this is true, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
BILL OVERRIDING D.C.’S GUN-CONTROL LAWS passed the Senate 62-36. Eric Holder’s gun-ban talk apparently helped it along.
BOB CORKER: Obama Budget Proposal Contains Major Sleight-of-Hand. On carbon.
UPDATE: TaxProf: The Tax Provisions in Obama’s Budget.
ANOTHER UPDATE: CNN: Dem Blasts Obama’s Budget.
SPENDING AN AFTERNOON WITH the Kindle 2.
UPDATE: By the way, mine arrived today. Haven’t really had a chance to do much with it yet, but it seems very easy to use, and the screen is extremely readable. It’s also amazing how much thinner and lighter it is than the Kindle 1.
BOB KRUMM: “Barack Obama’s plans to hyper-inflate the government bubble while he taxes the rich at confiscatory levels, is so certain to collapse the economy that I can only conclude that he is a brilliant Rovian plant whose purpose is to finally drive a stake into the heart of the era of big government.”
PLEASE DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET. Heh.
“CULTURE OF CORRUPTION” ALIVE AND WELL. And the piece doesn’t even mention Chris Dodd or John Murtha.
PUTTING OIL SHALE OFF LIMITS? Interior Decision on Oil Shale Locks Away American Energy Resource Larger than Total Reserves of Middle East. Seems like a lousy decision to me.
LIKE OSCARS FOR YOUR KITCHEN: The 2009 Housewares Design Awards.
HOW HOLLYWOOD ruins novels. They do it so much, it’s only news when they don’t.
A BRIDGE TO THE 20TH CENTURY: James Joyner says Republicans are stuck in the past:
I’m writing this from the CPAC convention and judging from the speakers, there’s not a whole lot of recognition of the need to update the intellectual platform to accomodate a changed era. It’s as if Jimmy Carter’s still in the White House and Roe vs. Wade was just handed down.
The Democrats, meanwhile, think it’s 1932 and are trying for a New Deal rerun. It’s natural to want to repeat past successes, but . . . this is the present, not the past.
POCKET ROCKET: A 300 hp Ford Focus.
RED-LIGHT CAMERAS: Killing commerce?
REMEMBER THE HOUSE BANK SCANDAL? “Banks that are owned by governments will be run to benefit politicians.”
REASON TV: Return to the Gulag. “In 2004 and 2006, Utley, a well-known journalist, embarked upon a search to learn of his father’s fate. This documentary traces Utley’s journey through former labor camps and cities in northern Russia and his final uncovering of the horrible truth at the dreaded camp city of Vorkuta within the Artic Circle.”
REALCLEARMARKETS: Should we let California go bankrupt?
MORE THOUGHTS ON racial attitudes and Bobby Jindal.
REMEMBER WHEN THEY PROMISED “THE MOST ETHICAL CONGRESS EVER”? House Kills Effort to Investigate Lobbyist-Lawmaker Ties. “The House voted Wednesday to kill a resolution calling for an ethics investigation into potential quid pro quo between lobbyist campaign donations and lawmakers. . . . The firm, which has contributed millions to politicians in the last decade, has close ties to senior Democratic appropriators including Reps. John Murtha D-Pa., and Pete Visclosky,D-Ind. The FBI raided PMA’s headquarters in November and is investigating the group’s founder and president, Paul Magliochetti, a former Murtha aide.”
I’VE BEEN MEANING TO WRITE SOMETHING about the Supreme Court’s Hayes case, but I’ve been both busy and sick. But Brian Doherty has some thoughts. I agree that it’s not really a gun-rights case. I’m inclined to think that the Court got it wrong — that, particularly where an enumerated right is concerned, criminal statutes that burden it should be strictly construed with ambiguity resolved in favor of freedom rather than regulation — but I don’t see this as a huge deal. I’m going to look at it more closely when I turn back to the piece on post-Heller cases that Brannon Denning and I are writing for Hastings, but that won’t be for a little while.
THE HILL: Pelosi Tosses Cold Water On Renewing Assault Weapon Ban. Hmm. (Via SayUncle).
THIS IS INTERESTING: Gun Amendment Impacts DC Voting Debate. “Ensign of Nevada claims to have introduced the amendment due to the district’s tendency to enact ‘onerous’ and ‘unconstitutional’ anti-gun regulations. He produced a chart displaying how DC’s tough gun laws have done nothing to reduce violent crime over the years. Coming as it does while the national debate is heating up suggests we’re in a shooting war now over the immediate future of changes to gun regulation in America.”
NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Nanotechnology drafts plant viruses for drug delivery.
POLITICAL WIRE: Will Obama’s Earmark Survive? “The White House has been in discussions with the Senate Appropriations Committee to have President Obama’s earmark in the omnibus spending bill before Congress ‘reclassified.'”
RUNNING SCARED? Chris Dodd constituent David Rowell emails:
For the second time this week, I received a post card from my Senator, Countrywide Chris Dodd.
He wants me to call and thank him for providing health insurance for 11 million children.
Thank you for your coverage of this crook. Our Nutmeg Nixon must really be feeling the heat.
I think he’s starting to worry, though I’m sure it has a lot more to do with the coverage in Connecticut media than with anything on InstaPundit.
THE WASHINGTON BLADE WONDERS if the Log Cabin Republicans are controlled by Democrats.
HOPE AND CHANGE! CIA Signals Continuity With Bush Era.