Drudge is reporting that MAnn said she would vote for Hillary over McCain.
God I hate her.
Hey MAnn – the perfect is the enemy of the good.
And Michelle “Internment Rocks!” Malkin is in the usual hysterics about a McCain candidacy.
What is it about female conservative pundits that make me want to punch a kitten?
I think she (Hillary) would be stronger on the war on terrorism.
Hillary is absolutely more conservative. Moreover, she lies less than John McCain…she’s smarter than John McCain so that when she’s caught shamelessly lying, at least the Clintons know they’ve been caught lying.
Are you KIDDING ME! I’m so glad I don’t own a cat right now.
Ted Olson endorses McCain. That just about wraps up the question of McCain and judges for me, though I’ll wait to see whether McCain gives Olson an advisory position before I completely close the book.
Apollo posted this at 6:50 PM CDT on Thursday, January 31st, 2008 as Audacity of Hype
John McCain has several lines, which he repeats frequently, that grate on me. “For patriotism, not for profit” is one of them. One that grates more, however, is this line, which I’ve heard repeatedly:
We will secure the borders first when I am president of the United States. I know how to do that. I come from a border state, where we know about building walls, and vehicle barriers, and sensors, and all of the things necessary.
1. States don’t handle border security; the federal government does. 2. If people from Arizona know so much about stopping illegal immigration, why does their state have so many illegal immigrants? 3. If John McCain knows so much about securing the border, WHY DOESN’T HE PROPOSE LEGISLATION TO SECURE THE BORDER?
Back in 2004, John Kerry had a plan for everything, but it just so happened that in over 20 years in Congress he never proposed any of those great plans. Now I have the same thoughts about John McCain. If securing the border is so important, and if John McCain knows so much about how to do it…well he is a member of the legislative body that could do just that. No reason why President McCain is necessary to securing the border; Senator McCain could handle it just fine.
Apollo posted this at 6:38 PM CDT on Thursday, January 31st, 2008 as Audacity of Hype
I totally missed this dispatch from Byron York last month:
But there might be something personal as well. When I was riding around in Iowa with McCain in late October, he was pretty effusive about Huckabee. “I just like the guy,” McCain told me. “Huckabee and I have stood next to each other in several debates, and we’ve had several conversations. In one of the earliest debates, there was the issue of evolution versus intelligent design, and Huckabee described it so well that I found myself saying, when they asked me, that this guy just said it far more eloquently than I can. That kinda had something to do with our relationship.”
The moronic pinko hippies in Berkley have decided that the men who defend their freedoms every day are unwelcome in their city:
Berkeley gives Marines the boot
City Council says recruiting station not welcome; military mum for now
By Doug Oakley, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 01/31/2008 12:53:41 PM PST
BERKELEY — Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Marines in Berkeley have got to go.That’s the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 8-1 to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station “is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. And it officially encouraged the women’s peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station.In a separate item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.
When you believe that the simpletons of Code Pink have more legitimacy than the United States Marine Corps you should be checked for mental illness. Don’t these high minded socialists understand that their freedom to stink of patchouli and wear hemp sandals is protected every single day by the men they seem to enjoy maligning?Our entire country would be better off if Berkley mysteriously fell into the sea.
The Anchoress has thrown down a gauntlet, so I’ll respond. The problem is that people don’t attempt to love one another as they are, nor do they attempt to deal with reality as it is. Rather, we dream impossible dreams and are convinced that we live in a nightmare because reality doesn’t conform to our wishes. Since she picked the obvious Chesterton response, I’ll pick a less obvious one that illustrates my point. We’re all Bernard Shaws now:
For the truth is that Mr. Shaw has never seen things as they really are. If he had he would have fallen on his knees before them. He has always had a secret ideal that has withered all the things of this world. He has all the time been silently comparing humanity with something that was not human, with a monster from Mars, with the Wise Man of the Stoics, with the Economic Man of the Fabians, with Julius Caesar, with Siegfried, with the Superman. Now, to have this inner and merciless standard may be a very good thing, or a very bad one, it may be excellent or unfortunate, but it is not seeing things as they are. It is not seeing things as they are to think first of a Briareus with a hundred hands, and then call every man a cripple for only having two. It is not seeing things as they are to start with a vision of Argus with his hundred eyes, and then jeer at every man with two eyes as if he had only one. And it is not seeing things as they are to imagine a demigod of infinite mental clarity, who may or may not appear in the latter days of the earth, and then to see all men as idiots. And this is what Mr. Shaw has always in some degree done. When we really see men as they are, we do not criticise, but worship; and very rightly. For a monster with mysterious eyes and miraculous thumbs, with strange dreams in his skull, and a queer tenderness for this place or that baby, is truly a wonderful and unnerving matter. It is only the quite arbitrary and priggish habit of comparison with something else which makes it possible to be at our ease in front of him. A sentiment of superiority keeps us cool and practical; the mere facts would make, our knees knock under as with religious fear. It is the fact that every instant of conscious life is an unimaginable prodigy. It is the fact that every face in the street has the incredible unexpectedness of a fairy-tale. The thing which prevents a man from realizing this is not any clear-sightedness or experience, it is simply a habit of pedantic and fastidious comparisons between one thing and another. Mr. Shaw, on the practical side perhaps the most humane man alive, is in this sense inhumane. He has even been infected to some extent with the primary intellectual weakness of his new master, Nietzsche, the strange notion that the greater and stronger a man was the more he would despise other things. The greater and stronger a man is the more he would be inclined to prostrate himself before a periwinkle. That Mr. Shaw keeps a lifted head and a contemptuous face before the colossal panorama of empires and civilizations, this does not in itself convince one that he sees things as they are. I should be most effectively convinced that he did if I found him staring with religious astonishment at his own feet. “What are those two beautiful and industrious beings,” I can imagine him murmuring to himself, “whom I see everywhere, serving me I know not why? What fairy godmother bade them come trotting out of elfland when I was born? What god of the borderland, what barbaric god of legs, must I propitiate with fire and wine, lest they run away with me?”
The truth is, that all genuine appreciation rests on a certain mystery of humility and almost of darkness. The man who said, “Blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed,” put the eulogy quite inadequately and even falsely. The truth “Blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall be gloriously surprised.” The man who expects nothing sees redder roses than common men can see, and greener grass, and a more startling sun. Blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall possess the cities and the mountains; blessed is the meek, for he shall inherit the earth. Until we realize that things might not be we cannot realize that things are. Until we see the background of darkness we cannot admire the light as a single and created thing. As soon as we have seen that darkness, all light is lightening, sudden, blinding, and divine. Until we picture nonentity we underrate the victory of God, and can realize none of the trophies of His ancient war. It is one of the million wild jests of truth that we know nothing until we know nothing.
Hubbard posted this at 3:23 PM CDT on Thursday, January 31st, 2008 as Faith, Philosophy
Robert Novak adds some pieces to the story about McCain disparaging Alito as too conservative. And it sounds like an extension of what Hubbard has said. Too much straight talk. Novak:
McCain, as the “straight talk” candidate, says things off the cuff that he sometimes cannot remember exactly later.
Here’s the meat:
I found what McCain could not remember: a private, informal chat with conservative Republican lawyers shortly after he announced his candidacy in April 2007. I talked to two lawyers who were present whom I have known for years and who have never misled me. One is neutral in the presidential race, and the other recently endorsed Mitt Romney. Both said they were not Fund’s source, and neither knew I was talking to the other. They gave me nearly identical accounts, as follows:
“Wouldn’t it be great if you get a chance to name somebody like Roberts and Alito?” one lawyer commented. McCain replied, “Well, certainly Roberts.” Jaws were described as dropping. My sources cannot remember exactly what McCain said next, but their recollection is that he described Alito as too conservative.
Makes sense to me. The quote never seemed out of character for McCain. And when you talk that much, it must be very difficult to remember everything you say. Perhaps if he’d spend larger portions of his campaign in silent mediation, he’d be a better candidate.
Finally finished a project, so I’ve got some time on my hands. Just took a look over at Andrew Sullivan-Obama’s site and he seems to have gotten worse. Or maybe I just think that when I don’t visit for several weeks and am startled by what I find when I do.
First post I see: “When Republicans are calling John McCain a “traitor”, they need to jump off a cliff. If they need some help with the last few feet, drop me a line.” Crikey! What’s a more extreme and vicious form of rhetoric: calling John McCain a traitor or offering to assist in the needed suicides of those who do? I’m not sure.
Fifth post: “Marty Lederman infers that the attorney-general does not believe that the Khmer Rouge technique is torture.” Khmer Rouge technique? You mean eating rice? The Khmer Rouge ate a lot of rice. Is Andrew Sullivan saying that it’s torture to eat rice? Or is he saying that those who want terrorists waterboarded in a few situations are like the group that killed two million people in the largest proportional genocide since Caesar? I’d hope it’s the former, because, logically and morally, it makes more sense.
A little later on: Approvingly quotes Obama criticizing Hillary for working with and sometimes agreeing with Republicans. Unity through hyperpartisanship! Over to you, Conor.
Update: Meant to include this one: Referring to the greatest state or local executive in the last fifty years, perhaps in all of American history, as a “nut-job.” What’d you do between 1993 and 2001, Andy? Rudy took a crumbling city of 7 million and turned it around in virtually every way, and, in the wake of disaster, provided the best example of local crisis management on record. I guess, though, his time would have been better spent reading your deep thoughts on what qualifies a person as reasonable.
This evening, I went to the Hudson Institute’s panel on Liberal Fascism. Jonah Goldberg, Michael Ledeen, Fred Siegel, and Ron Radosh all spoke on a panel, and argued amongst themselves enough that we didn’t get to ask questions. A few highlights of the evening (from my notes):
From Jonah: the left is a political religion, and for them a fascist is a heretic. In the book, Jonah defines fascism thus:
Finally, since we must have a working definition of fascism, here is mine: Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politics and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the “problem” and there for defined as the enemy.
Michael Ledeen discussed the Communist left’s success at turning “fascism” into a slur, since they shared so many features. On Mussolini’s inconsistencies: “A great scholar he wasn’t. . . but anyone who get all Italians going in one direction at the same time is a political genius.” Ledeen also gave a differing, three part definition of fascism:
It is a war ideology, that believes in reorganizing society along military lines.
It attempts to create a new man.
It is in favor of private property, which is the characteristic that distinguishes it from Nazism.
Fred Siegel had some great lines. When reading this book, I thought that Jonah was pretty hard on Herbert Croly, founder of The New Republic; my mental image of the man involves horns and a tail. Then Siegel commented, “Herbert Croly, Jonah is much too kind to.” Another good Siegel comment: “Belgian socialists are a bunch of lowlifes.” He also observed that the father of Leninism and Fascism alike was Nietzsche.
Ron Radosh spoke mostly in praise of the book, for dealing with the founders of modern day liberalism, although he thought that Jonah overstated the case.
A great line from the late Sidney Goldberg: Those who forget history are condemned to keep quoting Santayana. No wonder the book is dedicated to the hop bird.
I did ask Jonah a question after the discussion. He discusses the idea that boredom, ennui, is “the tinder for flames of mischievousness.” The related footnote (17 of chapter 4) (Yes, I’m an incurable dork who reads footnotes) cites no books, but includes the following tidbits:
The Marquis de Sade considered himself a great revolutionary and philosophe. But in reality he was a bored pervert who came up with elaborate rationales to poke and scratch people for the fun of it. Lenin was bored to nausea by anything but constant agitation for revolution. Martin Heidegger taught an entire course on boredom, calling it the “insidious creature [that] maintains its monstrous essence in our [Being].” It’s been speculated that Heidegger signed up with the Nazis at least in part to cure himself of boredom.
I asked him for some follow up, and he couldn’t remember off the top of his head but said he’d e-mail. Here’s hoping.
Following-up on Jamie’s post, I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate Ann Coulter more, but apparently I was wrong:
The media are transfixed by the fact that Huckabee says he doesn’t believe in evolution. Neither do I, for reasons detailed in approximately one-third of my No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism. I went on a massive book tour for Godless just last year, including a boffo opening interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today,” a one-on-one, full-hour interview with Chris Matthews on “Hardball,” and various other hostile interviews from the organs of establishmentarian opinion.
But I didn’t get a single question from them on the topic of one-third of my book.
If the mainstream media are burning with curiosity about what critics of Darwinism have to say, how about asking me? I can name any number of mathematicians, scientists and authors who have also rejected Darwin’s discredited theory and would be happy to rap with them about it.
Does Huckabee believe Darwinism is a hoax or not? If he knows it’s a fraud, then why does he want it taught to schoolchildren? What other discredited mystery religions — as mathematician David Berlinski calls Darwinism — does Huckabee want to teach children? Sorcery? Phrenology? Alchemy?
Admittedly, the truth about Darwinism would be jarring in textbooks that promote other frauds and hoaxes, such as “man-made global warming.” Why confuse the little tykes with fact-based textbooks?
I finished Francis Collins’ The Language of Goda week ago, which I’d recommend to anyone interested in the confluence of evolution and theism. Collins is the former head of the Human Genome Project and the book is about how naturalistic evolution and theism can be reconcilable. I have quibbles with it, but it’s an excellent book and — oddly — a good companion to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.
Collins has an extremely powerful critique of Biblical literalists like Coulter that deserves greater attention, especially by those who think Creationism is foolish, but essentially harmless:
Since Creationism is so patently, obviously, and demonstrably false, it sets up a false dichotomy between faith in God and science. This presents devout and intelligent people who’ve grown up with it with a horrible dilemma: renounce your faith, or cheat yourself out of the sense of wonder that comes from learning about the natural world.
Forcing someone to make that choice is an awful thing to do: as bad as telling your kids that it’s wrong to read fiction, if not actually worse.
Most Creationists — unlike Ann Coulter — are good people, and I hope that when they read Collins’ book they’ll see that embracing science doesn’t require one to give up God. That doesn’t change the fact that they are wrong to teach Creationism, or that it harms their loved ones.
* I should concede that Dawkins also perpetuates the same God-Science dichotomy as the Creationists, which is my only beef with him. On the other hand, theists can’t prove that God exists, but Dawkins can prove that evolution does.
Tom posted this at 3:59 PM CDT on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 as Science!
So after fighting off a populist and a self-financing multimillionaire, an injured war hero won the Republican nomination. The conservative base viewed him with suspicion, and even after he made his vice presidential nominee a conservative hero, the war hero lost to Clinton.
In the paragraph above, astute readers will note that I was talking about Bob Dole and Jack Kemp losing to Clinton-Gore. With John McCain’s victory in Florida, he’s got momentum. With the winner-take-all set up of upcoming primaries, it will take a macaca moment for him to lose the nomination at this point. I’ve been a McCainskeptic for some time now. I can live with him as president—he’s certainly preferable to Clinton or Obama—although I think that I’ll be grinding my teeth about as much as I do with Bush.
But first, McCain needs to win the general, and I’m not sure he can do that. David Brooks highlighted a McCain weakness that could be dangerous in the age of youtube:
McCain’s weakness is that he flies by the seat of his pants. If elected, he will have to live in the cocoon of the White House and build an organized and predictable administration. As a pilot, he got used to taking off from aircraft carriers. But as president, he’ll be the guy steering the aircraft carrier.
The central issue in this election is the crisis of leadership. Voters are reacting against partisan gridlock. Obama and McCain both offer ways to end this gridlock. Obama wants us to rise above it by rediscovering our commonalities. McCain hopes smash it with fierce honesty and independent action.
It’s McCain’s tendency to go by instinct that concerns me most. Yes, I think his instincts are mostly good—but so are President Bush’s. Like Bush, McCain lacks what I most liked in Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani: a negative, visceral reaction to expanding government. His improvising will also cause heartburn in the general.
A sign of what we can expect came with the brouhaha over the John Fund column about McCain and Alito. McCain is known for loving to talk. David Brooks once wrote:
If you cover [McCain] for a day, you’d better bring 2,500 questions because in the hours he spends with journalists, you will run through all of them. Last Saturday, we talked about Pervez Musharraf’s asceticism and Ted Williams’s hitting philosophy, the Korean War and Hispanic voting patterns.
Over such a wide range of topics, I think it’s very believable that McCain, in trying to reassure people that he wouldn’t appoint wingnuts like Roy Moore to the bench, would make a slip of the tongue. Tom and Apollo are debating this, and both have a point. Yes, McCain is a conservative. But he’s not the kind of rockribbed righty that many of us would expect to come from Arizona, and he’s done enough in the past to make people skeptical of whom he’d appoint to the bench.
McCain will have to make it to November without giving his opponents too many potentially inflammatory quotes to throw back at him. If anything will sink him in the general, it’ll be a mistake made when running his mouth.
1) Animal cruelty — as much as I mistrust government to enact sensible legislation on this topic, particularly given all the lobbies involved, I’m getting more and more convinced the older I get that while it isn’t intrinsically immoral to kill animals for meat, it may be immoral — and is at the very least unnecessary and creepy — to treat the animals that we eat as ranchers and chicken farmers do before they are killed.
What about a law that allowed a public representative to photograph the conditions on these farms at any time, and to post all the images on the Internet? Consumer choice might work wonders to improve things were full information easily and widely available.
I am beginning to think that zoos are suspect too, especially for primates and dolphins.
Perhaps inconsistently I do like bullfights, though the bulls are actually treated astonishingly well up until the moment they die. Were I born a bull, I might wish to be born a bullfighting bull, though the bargain would really smart in the end.
2) Tortious Interference — if you’ve seen The Insider, this is the law that caused 60 Minutes to hold back an interview with an ex-tobacco executive who knew the company was intentionally trying to addict smokers by manipulating chemicals in the cigarettes.
The law is basically this: if you sign a secrecy agreement with your employer, and then I, as a journalist or an activist or whatever, convince you to break your secrecy agreement, I can be held liable. It’s a big problem for investigative journalists. I favor narrow exceptions for legitimate industrial secrets — the formula for Coke, for example — and national security concerns.
conor friedersdorf posted this at 12:41 AM CDT on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 as Uncategorized
New evidence has been compiled by marine scientists that prove the normally placid dolphin is capable of brutal attacks both on innocent fellow marine mammals and, more disturbingly, on its own kind.
Film taken of gangs of dolphins repeatedly ramming baby porpoises, tossing them in the air and pursuing them to the death has solved a long-term mystery of what causes the death of so many of these harmless mammals – but has left animal experts baffled as to the motive.
Another mystery is that the animal ‘murders’ have only been reported in two parts of the world – along Scotland’s East Coast and in America off the beaches of Virginia, where even more alarmingly, the victims were scores of the dolphins’ own young.
The dolphins have defected. Let us and our polar bear friends welcome them with open arms in our struggle against the Animal Tyranny!