September 30, 2009

Nanny State Idiocy
— DrewM

Yesterday when I posted on the supposed slow death of socialism in Europe, I noted we as conservatives cede far too much ground already on the proper role of government.

It's not just on the big issues like health care that we do this, but little, everyday things as well.

Consider these two data points.

First, Michigan wants to regulate the hell out of child care.

Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood's children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.

Regulators who oversee child care, however, don't see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.

"I was freaked out. I was blown away," she said. "I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls" — that is, the mothers whose kids she watches — "every one of them."

Snyder's predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. It also has irked parents who say they depend on such friendly offers to help them balance work and family.

See, you don't need friends, family and neighbors to get by in life, you need government licensed professionals. If you don't rely on government approved professionals the state will come down on your ass. Hard.

Yes, the Governor is getting invovled and trying to restore some common sense to the law but the fact that it has gotten that far is a sign of how out of hand things have gotten.

In NY, they are even nuttier (no shock there).

A school district in Saratoga Springs says they can tell parents how their kids get to school and according to the district walking and biking are out.

"Supervised, parent/guardian bike riding may be permitted at specific sites in the future," (Superintendent Janice) White said in an interview Friday. The school has no legal responsibility over what occurs on Route 9, she added.

The biking debate started last spring, when school district officials told Kaddo Marino that Adam was violating school rules by biking to class. Walking to the school also is not permitted.

Kaddo Marino challenged the policy and asked the school board to change it. The district charged a committee to review the rule, which was instituted in 1994.

At the start of school in September, Kaddo Marino thought that she had a nonverbal agreement with school officials to allow her son to ride his bike until a new policy was resolved. But on the night before classes started, school authorities called parents to say that walking and biking to school would not be tolerated.

When the pair stuck with their plan, they were met by school administrators and a state trooper, who emphasized that biking was prohibited, Kaddo Marino said.

They brought in a state trooper to tell a parent she and her child couldn't walk or ride their bikes to school? Really?

Who the hell do these government apparatchiks think they are to dictate to parents how they get their children to school?

Yes, I know these are two examples but you can look around any community and find ridiculous laws that interfere with the ability of people to act like adults without the governments approval and it's getting worse.

At some point we have to accept that life is dangerous and filled with uncertainty. Relying on government at every step of the way is not going to change that, it's simply going to allow others to determine how we deal with those challenges.

If you are thrilled with the way DMV handles your issues or think the IRS is a model of fairness, then you are probably pretty happy to have government run your life. If you aren't, then be prepared to fight millions of little battles like these to roll back some of the infringements we've seen in recent years.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:00 AM | Comments (5)
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Iran, China And Obama: Being President Is Hard
— DrewM

I love when the legacy media catches on to a story and they pretend that something most sane people have always known is actually a major intellectual discovery.

Today's entry in that category is the Washington Post. After almost a decade of dealing with Iran's nuclear program they have suddenly discovered that China is a stumbling block to international action. I guess previously the problem was that mean Bush guy but now that he's out the way it must be something else.

Turns out, much to the WaPo and Obama administration's surprise, China has interests that don't coincide with ours, interests they aren't willing to walk away from just to make Obama happy.

Shocking, I know.

In its effort to muster support for sterner action against Iran, the Obama administration will have to overcome China's reluctance to punish a country that is one of its top oil suppliers and a major beneficiary of its energy-related investments.

The administration's frustration with Beijing is growing. U.S. officials have noted that China has appeared even more reluctant than Russia to take action against Iran after disclosures about its nuclear program. U.S. officials said they are particularly concerned that China has blocked their efforts to target freight-forwarding companies based in Hong Kong that reship goods, including prohibited weaponry, to Iran.

The Chinese "have not displayed a sense of urgency" on Iran, said a senior administration official. Instead, the official said, China has attempted to "have it both ways," preserving its relationship with Iran while also working with the United States and other countries involved in the effort to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

So after 8 whole months of Hope, Change and Supplication, Team Obama is frustrated by the fact the adults in China haven't been won over. Obama is also "impatient" with the Israelis and Palestinians.

Oh and that big meeting tomorrow with Iran to talk about their nuclear program? It's going to be AWESOME except for one minor thing...Iran won't talk about its nuclear program.

Damn, being President is so frustrating! Don't they know who He is?

What the hell is the matter with these people? Didn't they hear the appologies?

As for China, they will never help on Iran because, well, it's not in their interest to.

Iran is China's second-biggest supplier of oil, and imports are rising. In a country where more people are expected to buy cars this year than in the United States, China's appetite for oil is unquenchable.

Furthermore, China's rapid economic growth is the ruling Communist Party's single most important claim to legitimacy. Tougher economic sanctions against Iran would probably cause the price of oil to spike in China, threatening its economic juggernaut.

China's investments in Iran also lessen the likelihood that Beijing will support enhanced sanctions. China's state-run oil behemoths have committed so much money to Iran -- an estimated $120 billion over the past five years -- that analysts estimate that its engineering firms will not be able to handle all the work.

None of this is new and yet Obama and his sycophants in the media kept selling the idea that it was all just personalities, once we got a 'smart' guy in the White House who was willing to defer to others and be a team player, everything would be alright.

Unfortunately, Hu of China, Putin in Russia and the mullahs of Iran (to name a few) aren't soft touches like 52% of American voters. They are major league hitters and we sent the captain of a high school debate team out to face them.

Maybe we just need to offer more cookies and milk.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:18 AM | Comments (2)
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McCain: "Never, never, never." [krakatoa]
— Open Blog

Senate Democrats unveil their chapter and verses in the growing Anthropogenic Global Warming mythology today, with a Cap and Trade bill written * by Barbara Boxer & John Kerry.

John McCain for once has taken the bull by the horns and proclaimed his opposition in no uncertain terms.

McCain complained that the Democratic bill merely paid lip-service to the nuclear power industry. Republicans want to encourage the building of new nuclear generating facilities with additional government aid in the climate bill. They argue it is a necessary tool in expanding "clean energy."

If John Kerry and his magical Cap and Trade Commandos have lost the cover McCain would have provided for the Blue Dogs, have they lost the battle?

This close to the 2010 campaign season, I suspect moderate Democrats in competitive races will be hesitant to don the green AGW robes and vote for a giant tax increase. Even the Democrats wouldn't be tone-deaf enough to pick this up again next session, right?

If the Senate cannot manage to pass a climate bill this year, Democrats would likely take up the debate again in 2010.

You will never go poor betting on the obliviousness of a Senator.


* And by written, I of course mean it is largely unfinished, a recurring theme in this Congress.

In coming weeks, Boxer's Environment and Public Works Committee will have to plug in key details still unresolved in their draft bill.

CORRECTED: steevy & Li'l Miss Spellcheck are all up in my grill. Although anthropomorphic works as Satire. Yeah, That's the ticket! I was using the word satirically. You know, kind of like all that "Kill Bush" porn so prevalent the last decade.

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Top Headline Comments 09-30-09
— Gabriel Malor

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:23 AM | Comments (4)
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September 29, 2009

Unearthed: The Lost Review of "Hannah Montana: The Movie," Reviewed by Roman Polanski
— Ace

Via Dahlhalla, via Andy Levy, one of the hottest reviews I have ever had the great erotic pleasure of reading.

Hannah Montana: The Movie is like an erotic daydream dealing with lust, taboo, and human nature. On the surface the film is a simple morality tale, but its depths surpass understanding. Over the past month I have watched the film more than 30 times, and I have analyzed it shot by shot. But the more clearly I see its physical manifestation, the more I am stirred by its erotic mystery.

...

Enter Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus), a charming brunette nymphet in her early teens. Like most girls her age, Miley is trapped in a sexual purgatory; she has the innocence and wonder of a child coupled with the budding desires and feminine charms of a woman.

More Seriously... Ann Althouse has some questions for a supposed philosopher defending the erudite, elegant child-rapist Roman Polanski.

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Overnight Open Thread (Mætenloch)
— Open Blog

Good even all. It's leftover Tuesday. Yum.

Random Links
These are things I meant to post but never got around to it. So I'm getting them out here before they start smelling funny.

Drunk Chick Vs. Gun - Gun, alcohol win
Kush Breast Pillow - For the 'endowed' moronettes. Such a deal for only $55.
Bloody Torso Doll
- WTF?
John Wayne Toilet Paper - if you're man enough
Bacon Bra - NSFW-ish
Top 10 Useless Limbs
Japanese Company Sells Ice Beer Mugs - By mail
Sex Counter - for those into metrics

Oktoberfest Updates:
Boris Becker Attends Even With Injured Hip, Pregnant Wife
Claudia Schiffer Joins In
How To Speak Oktoberfest
Islamist Suspects Held Until Oktoberfest Over more...

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What Crimes May Celebrites Commit, Based on Their Artistic Contributions?
— Ace

We've begun compiling a list, which I stupidly started on Twitter, though I'd meant to do a post.

Hit "More" at the bottom to see the start of the list. If you click @AceofSpadesHQ in upper right, you can see others contributions.

Here are a few:

Vince Vaughan: Frankly, can get away with a murder or two. Killing a girlfriend is fine. Hasn't made a bad movie. We owe him a murder.

Matthew McConaughey: Can get away with shoplifting a Mars bar, but only a Mars bar, because no one likes that shit anyway.

from Marshall Stack: Tom Cruise can jaywalk on secondary suburban streets.

from Dave in Texas: Vin Diesel: Should be able to transport any live plants he wants to across state lines unmolested.

and

John McTiernan: Zoning ordinances and health code violations.

from liberocky: Ben Stiller can stab a Medal of Honor winner (NOTE: Stab but not kill. He's not that good. -- ace.)

Metallica: May gang-rape choice of 1) two of-age groupies; 2) one underage groupie; or 3) Winger.


Robert Downey Jr.: Can go back to smack. Also, might be able to punch a pregnant woman in the face, depending on Iron Man 2's grosses.

Adam Sandler: May urinate on three elderly women.

So that's the gag.

Posted by: Ace at 05:02 PM | Comments (5)
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NY Appeals Court Dismisses Rather's Case Against CBS
— Dave in Texas

Courage (yes, I've always wanted an excuse to use that).

The ruling on Tuesday by a panel of judges of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division said Rather's $70 million complaint should be dismissed in its entirety and that a lower court erred in denying CBS's motion to throw out the lawsuit.

Rather claimed he had been made a scapegoat to "pacify the White House" (seriously, he claimed that), and lost business opportunities because CBS didn't release him soon enough.

Of course, when they did, those offers sure came rolling in baby, didn't they?

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 04:47 PM | Comments (2)
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Safire's Apollo 11 Speech
— Gabriel Malor

Thought this glimpse into an alternate universe was worth a share. It begins "IN THE EVENT OF MOON DISASTER." Not a bad speech, but it's difficult for me to imagine what another Apollo disaster would have done to the space program.

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Roman Polanski, 1979: Press Understands My Plight Because (and I Do Quote) "Everyone Wants to F--- Young Girls!"
Child Rape Apologist Wes Anderson Has a Kid's Movie Coming Out

— Ace

Via Andy Levy, this charming interview from 1979, when I was still younger than the girl he drugged, raped, and sodomized.

Here’s a section of the first quote it contains from Polanski.

“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”

...

Later in the interview, Polanski says he likes Paris, to which he’d fled, because it’s “very grown-up”.

Paris understands that sometimes you just have to diddle a toddler.

By the way, did I mention she was 13? Yeah. Thirteen. So even if she "looked older," she looked 15 and most and therefore still looked 3 years under the age of consent.

Incidentally, as he had gotten permission from the mother to photograph her (supposedly for Vogue, but I think we now know better what he had planned for those pics) he knew exactly how old she was. He had to get legal disclaimers for it. He had like three legal documents in front of him, each in triplicate, stating she was 13.

Oh, and also incidentally -- his legal team floated the defense that the girl wasn't a virgin before he raped her, so he was willing to go full-on Whore Deserved Exactly What She Got on the little girl he raped.

His defenders don't talk much about his artistry in that respect.


And he drugged her, and even as she resisted, he raped her. And then, figuring, I guess, "Ah, what the hell, gone this far, might as well run the table," he sodomized her.

13.

But he made The Pianist. So -- no biggie.

More: Among the signatories of the petition demanding the freeing of a rapist is Wes Anderson, director of Rushmore.

Why is that significant?

He just completed a children's film called The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

So, when you're deciding whether or not to bring your kids to see that movie, bear in mind, Wes Anderson wouldn't mind if one of his director-buddies raped your kids. Maybe that will take some of the magic out of the film.

George Clooney plays Mr. Fox, by the way, so... yeah, more of a reason to stay clear. Wes Anderson himself plays "Mr. Weasel." Fitting.

Maybe it's better not to give Wes Anderson this "in" with your kids. Just saying. He seems very comfortable with child-rape and all.

Thanks to Z as in Jersey for that tip.


Posted by: Ace at 02:59 PM | Comments (7)
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Democratic Fundraiser Norman Hsu Sentenced to Twenty-Four Years
— Ace

Twenty four years?!?

But he watched Rosmary's Baby! This is a crime against humanity-- and, more importantly, a crime against the humanities!

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NFL Pick Results, Week 3
— Dave in Texas

I think it's week 3. Hell I don't even know what day it is.

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy 35
Aristomenes 33
Buzzion 33
Red State NY 32
People's Republic of Baltimore 32
Monkey Sleeping 32
Sock Puppet Steve 32
Lab Rat 32
Dave R 32
Svenster61 31
NJ Conservative 31
Scubapj 31

I stayed up late last night watching the lackluster performance of the Cowgirls against an 0-3 team. Thrill of my life really. I think I saw Frank J. ask on Twitter last night "Do you think Jerry Jones would have built a smaller scoreboard if he knew the Cowboys weren't planning on scoring?"

Yeah. I was checking Twitter. The game was that riveting.

Speaking of riveting, here's some more ranking info; Ben, Gabriel and Drew are at 28, I have 26.

I'll bet Romo is at 14. And Delhomme somewhere around 9.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at 11:15 AM | Comments (3)
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Senate Finance Committee Rejects Public Option
— Ace

15-8. This was an expected vote, but... still. Something, I guess.

Schumer and Rockefeller are not so easily deterred, however, and say they will offer the public option via amendment.

Tom Harkin claims they've got 51 votes for it, and he thinks he's got 60 votes to break a filibuster.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa.), the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said that the Senate "comfortably" has a majority of votes to pass the public plan, and that he believes Democrats can muster 60 votes to break a filibuster.

"I have polled senators, and the vast majority of Democrats -- maybe approaching 50 -- support a public option," Harkin said told the liberal Bill Press Radio Show. "So why shouldn't we have a public option? We have the votes."

"I believe we'll have the 60 votes, now that we have the new senator from Massachusetts, to at least get it on the Senate floor," Harkin later added. "But once we cross that hurdle, we only need 51 votes for the public option. And I believe there are, comfortably, 51 votes for a public option."

Um, the problem with that is that he assumes the public will be fooled by people who vote to end the filibuster (actually, just voting for cloture) but vote against the actual government-option amendment. He thinks they will be able to claim they voted against the measure and so protect themselves politically.

The public knows about this trick, and doesn't buy it, as was demonstrated last summer when the cloture vote on amnesty was billed, as it was, as the "real" vote on amnesty. Anyone voting for cloture on the government option is voting for the government option, no matter how they position themselves on the meaningless follow-up bill. The same as with amnesty. If it's guaranteed the bill will pass once cloture is voted on, then cloture is indeed the "real" vote.

Democratic Senator Ben Nelson, meanwhile, lays out what seems to be an impossibly high threshold -- he says any health care bill will not need 51 votes, nor 60, but a full sixty-five if it is to be accepted as legitimate.

So he seems to be telegraphing that he's not voting for it without significant Republican cover-- which he almost certainly won't have.

Posted by: Ace at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)
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Shocker: Government Employees Sit on Their Asses Looking At Porn At Work
— Ace

Sounds about right.

Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times.

Science, again.

This may explain why so many grants are given to people studying erection-response in retarded fruit-bats and so on.

The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency's inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars.

...

For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.

When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official's porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.

That's why I do it. There are a lot of underprivileged women in the San Fernando Valley.

Thanks to pjmomma.

Posted by: Ace at 10:17 AM | Add Comment
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Woody Allen Signs Petition Demanding Release of Child Rapist; Allen's Daughter-Slash-Wife Doesn't
— Ace

Sorry, an add-on, but Good Lord.

The heart wants what it wants. Sometimes the heart wants to take naked pictures of, and then de-virginize, your teenage daughter-by-common-law-marriage.

Sometimes the heart wants to drug, rape, and sodomize a 13-year-old.

Artists -- true artists, I mean -- must never compromise.

Posted by: Ace at 09:26 AM | Comments (5)
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Salon: A Little Reminder: Roman Polanski Drugged, Raped, and Sodomized a 13-Year-Old Girl, In Case That's Still a Crime
— Ace

Good piece:

Roman Polanski raped a child. Let's just start right there, because that's the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in "exile" (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never -- poor baby -- being able to return to the U.S.). Let's keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she'd rather not see him prosecuted because she can't stand the media attention. Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let's take a moment to recall that according to the victim's grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, "No," then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.


Can we do that? Can we take a moment to think about all that, and about the fact that Polanski pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, before we start talking about what a victim he is? Because that would be great, and not nearly enough people seem to be doing it.

Also worth reading at Salon is this older review of the "documentary" Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, a documentary only in the Michael Moore sense of it, a cheerfully mendacious bit of agitprop.

Because on one side you have bastards who think we should have a more continental view of the forcible (or "merely" statutory) rape and sodomization of a 13-year-old child, and on the other side, people aren't telling you what was hinky about the judge's actions, I'll tell you about the judge.

The judge, because he was worried about how Hollywood would react to a star director going to jail on one side and public reaction to him setting Polanski free on the other, actually attempted to script the sentencing phase of the prosecution of Polanski. He fed the prosecution lines, told them they should ask for X number of years in jail. He fed the defense lines, told them they should say "No jail time" and etc. And then, per his script, he would come up with a Solomon-like decision that would, he hoped, if the prosecution and defense said their lines properly, make it look like he had come to the only reasonable decision and so he shouldn't be criticized by anyone.

The prosecutor, I think, ultimately bailed on this stage-managing of a sentencing and dropped dime on the judge, although initially he was willing to play along. Hey, it's a judge-- you do what he wants. Most of the time.

The defense was willing to play along because what the judge wanted was, ultimately, to give Polanski a slap on the wrist, which is of course what they wanted.

The prosecutor didn't seem to mind the slap on the wrist either -- it's LA, after all, and celebrities (especially at that time) just didn't go to jail.

Polanski fled when he got the impression that maybe the judge was having second thoughts about the slap-on-the-wrist thing. See, the judge had let Polanski to off to Europe to direct a movie even during the sentencing phase (this is LA, remember: Art before justice), and a photograph was published showing Polanski having a gay old time at an Octoberfest when he was 1) supposed to be working and 2) supposedly about to face a judge for the forcible rape and sodomization of a 13-year-old girl. That made the judge look bad -- it was his goal to come out of this seeming like he hadn't given Polanski any special favors, etc. -- and he did probably start to think about giving Polanski more time than the script called for.

At any rate, while that was egregiously unethical behavior by the judge -- scripting a sentencing hearing with both counsels reciting the lines he'd given them, playing out an already-agreed-upon sentence like a stage play to trick the public into thinking thy were witnessing a live court case -- he was taken off the case when the prosecutor dropped dime on these antics, and, in any event, the judge never got to rule on the sentence at all as Polanski fled.

Further, the judge seemed to be working for Polanski's interests the whole time -- he wanted a slap on the wrist, something like 90 days not even in a jail per se but some kind of halfway-house sort of deal. He just wanted to arrange it so it didn't look like he was going easy on Polanski.

(Oh: And it's bizarre he fed them these lines, as it's pretty much what they'd ask for without the script. The judge's behavior was just plain weird, but it seems to have had no effect at all on anything.)

One can make a reasonable case that Polanski had reason to flee given this weirdness with the judge, but, again, the judge was then removed from the case and he had every opportunity to negotiate his return to the American criminal justice system.

At the end of the day: He forcibly (or at least statutorily) raped and sodomized a 13-year-old girl and we're supposed to get all weepy about his plight because in the interim he's delivered such major cultural contributions as Frantic and Pirates!

Oh, Here's My Proposal: Because the judge tried to stage-manage the trial and so it wasn't really "justice" at that point but a scripted faux reality show, we give Polanski a pass on any additional charges he might get for being a fugitive from justice.

So, we toss that stuff. Done. The judge acted badly, so we don't prosecute for actions that one can reasonably say were connected to the judge's bad behavior.

Now, we simply proceed to sentencing him for drugging, raping, and sodomizing a 13-year-old child, as should have been done 32 years ago, rather than letting him vamp off to Europe to direct a movie.


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NY Times: "A Specter Is Haunting Europe — The Specter Of Socialism’s Slow Collapse"
— DrewM

They seem really sad about it too. Almost like it's unfair.

Unfortunately the rest of the story doesn't back up what is supposed to be a scary lead.

Europe’s center-right parties have embraced many ideas of the left: generous welfare benefits, nationalized health care, sharp restrictions on carbon emissions, the ceding of some sovereignty to the European Union. But they have won votes by promising to deliver more efficiently than the left, while working to lower taxes, improve financial regulation, and grapple with aging populations.

Europe’s conservatives, says Michel Winock, a historian at the Paris Institut d’Études Politiques, “have adapted themselves to modernity.” When Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Germany’s Angela Merkel condemn the excesses of the “Anglo-Saxon model” of capitalism while praising the protective power of the state, they are using Socialist ideas that have become mainstream, he said.

Really what the Times and Euro lefties are upset about is they've been co-opted by what passes for "the right". In fact that actually reflects an important victory for the left, the permanent acceptance of their most cherished principles.

Europe's political battles are fought over the ground ranging all the way from the left to the really, really far left. We haven't gone down that path, yet.

This is one of the reasons I would have supported Hillary over McCain. As it is we concede far too much ground to the left in this country as a given in terms of government's rightful role. A win by Maverick would have gone a long way to moving the political gravity of the country to the left and once things start moving in that direction, they are hard to reverse (see FDR and LBJ).

It's why defeating health care in general and a government option in particular is so important. Once people turn their very lives over to the beneficence of government, it's game over.

As for Europe, yes, Merkel in Germany and Sarkozy in France are improvements but they aren't enough to make an American conservative jump for joy. Merkel is already talking down promised tax cuts and the French have not exactly embraced reality yet when it comes to basic economics.

So as for the death of socialism in Europe, let's just say that unfortunately it's demise is being greatly exaggerated.

Posted by: DrewM at 07:15 AM | Comments (2)
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Virtual Insult: French Rip America Yet Again Over Foreign Policy
— Ace

With a big twist, this time: Sarkozy is giving speeches that call out Obama for pussy-footing on Iran.

President Obama wants a unified front against Iran, and to that end he stood together with Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown in Pittsburgh on Friday morning to reveal the news about Tehran's secret facility to build bomb-grade fuel. But now we hear that the French and British leaders were quietly seething on stage, annoyed by America's handling of the announcement.

Both countries wanted to confront Iran a day earlier at the United Nations. Mr. Obama was, after all, chairing a Security Council session devoted to nonproliferation. The latest evidence of Iran's illegal moves toward acquiring a nuclear weapon was in hand. With the world's leaders gathered in New York, the timing and venue would be a dramatic way to rally international opinion.

President Sarkozy in particular pushed hard. He had been "frustrated" for months about Mr. Obama's reluctance to confront Iran, a senior French government official told us, and saw an opportunity to change momentum. But the Administration told the French that it didn't want to "spoil the image of success" for Mr. Obama's debut at the U.N. and his homily calling for a world without nuclear weapons, according to the Paris daily Le Monde. So the Iran bombshell was pushed back a day to Pittsburgh, where the G-20 were meeting to discuss economic policy.

Le Monde's diplomatic correspondent, Natalie Nougayrède, reports that a draft of Mr. Sarkozy's speech to the Security Council Thursday included a section on Iran's latest deception. Forced to scrap that bit, the French President let his frustration show with undiplomatic gusto in his formal remarks, laying into what he called the "dream" of disarmament. The address takes on added meaning now that we know the backroom discussions.

"We are right to talk about the future," Mr. Sarkozy said, referring to the U.S. resolution on strengthening arms control treaties. "But the present comes before the future, and the present includes two major nuclear crises," i.e., Iran and North Korea. "We live in the real world, not in a virtual one." No prize for guessing into which world the Frenchman puts Mr. Obama.

He didn't stop there, but I have to, as I can't quote the whole article.

Posted by: Ace at 06:50 AM | Comments (5)
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Women On Submarines?
— LauraW

The US military is considering lifting the ban on women serving in submarines.
Boom chicka bow-bow...

Women account for about 15 percent of the more than 336,000 members of the U.S. Navy and can serve on its surface ships. But critics have argued that submarines are different, pointing to cramped quarters where some crews share beds in shifts.

Nancy Duff Campbell, an advocate for expanding the role of women in the U.S. armed forces, said it would be easy to resolve problems associated with so-called "hot-bunking."

Awwww yeahhhhh.

"They say, 'How could we have the women sleeping in the same area as men?'" said Campbell, co-president of the National Women's Law Center (NWLC).

"But they already separate where the officers sleep from the enlisted, so it's not like it can't be done."

Yeah, but the officers are dudes. I doubt the enlisted men are spending any time thinking about how to violate that boundary. Or about the smell of the officers' hair and the way they fill out a uniform.

Well, some of them are thinking that, but that's a small demographic.

We'll see how it all shakes out. Undoubtedly the US Armed Forces are the most professional and disciplined in the world and they can make this happen if they set their mind to it.

However. I have my reservations.

I think as a general rule it's wise to assume that among a hundred or so young men trapped together in a tin can, there are going to occasionally be those who behave like swine.

And that the number of those will increase steeply as the months wear on and on.

It's gonna take some pretty damn brave women, is all I'm saying.

Posted by: LauraW at 06:27 AM | Comments (7)
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Liberals Are Starting To Notice That Obama Isn't All That
— DrewM

It's becoming clear to some liberals that President Obama isn't quite as dreamy as candidate (or President Elect) Obama was.

First Richard Cohen in today's Washington Post.

Sooner or later it is going to occur to Barack Obama that he is the president of the United States. As of yet, though, he does not act that way, appearing promiscuously on television and granting interviews like the presidential candidate he no longer is. The election has been held, but the campaign goes on and on. The candidate has yet to become commander in chief.

The trouble with Obama is that he gets into the moment and means what he says for that moment only. He meant what he said when he called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" -- and now is not necessarily so sure. He meant what he said about the public option in his health-care plan -- and then again maybe not. He would not prosecute CIA agents for getting rough with detainees -- and then again maybe he would.

Most tellingly, he gave Congress an August deadline for passage of health-care legislation -- "Now, if there are no deadlines, nothing gets done in this town . . . " -- and then let it pass. It seemed not to occur to Obama that a deadline comes with a consequence -- meet it or else.

Obama lost credibility with his deadline-that-never-was, and now he threatens to lose some more with his posturing toward Iran.

Second, Howard Fineman in Newsweek and frequent yes man on Keith Olbermann's show.

The president's problem isn't that he is too visible; it's the lack of content in what he says when he keeps showing up on the tube. Obama can seem a mite too impressed with his own aura, as if his presence on the stage is the Answer. There is, at times, a self-referential (even self-reverential) tone in his big speeches. They are heavily salted with the words "I" and "my." (He used the former 11 times in the first few paragraphs of his address to the U.N. last week.) Obama is a historic figure, but that is the beginning, not the end, of the story.

There is only so much political mileage that can still be had by his reminding the world that he is not George W. Bush. It was the winning theme of the 2008 campaign, but that race ended nearly a year ago. The ex-president is now more ex than ever, yet the current president, who vowed to look forward, is still reaching back to Bush as bogeyman.

He did it again in that U.N. speech. The delegates wanted to know what the president was going to do about Israel and the Palestinian territories. He answered by telling them what his predecessor had failed to do. This was effective for his first month or two. Now it is starting to sound more like an excuse than an explanation.


To be sure this is just two data points but there are more out there. Watch Olbermann or Madow, if you dare. Even they are getting impatient with Obama, especially over his refusal to propose a single payer health care system and they are livid over his willingness to forgo even a robust Government Option.

I love that this is coming from the same types of folks who defended Obama's lack of executive experience by saying he ran a successful campaign. That retort sort of proved the point...running a good campaign means, you are good at running a campaign. It's not 'experience' that is transferable to being a competent chief executive.

Being President is hard and you don't get to vote Present.

One of the annoying things about the media from a conservative perspective is the herd mentality of Big Media. This is one case where it might help us. If it starts to become okay or even the Conventional Wisdom that Obama is damaged goods, then it will spread and be hard to stop.

Is the media ever going to after Obama the way they go after Sarah Palin? Of course not. They will still do their best drag his sorry ass along for a few years but once it becomes clear that he is hurting more than helping their cause (liberalism) they will cut him loose and pretend to never have heard of the guy. The fact that it's starting 8 months into his term is not good news for Obama.

Rara avis ain't what it used to be. On the upside, his pants are still perfectly creased so all hope isn't lost quite yet.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:44 AM | Comments (1)
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