Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Election 2012: The Long Hot Summer

Jerry Stratton, April 30, 2012

Ick. Time to start blogging about national politics. This is not an election year I’m looking forward to. The national media has already started outright lying about racial politics, arguing that truth is false, and spinning a poor economy.

By the time November rolls around, we’ll be celebrating the wonders of funemployment again, believing that dog is as American as apple pie, and, if the media manages to really be successful, recovering from race wars in major cities across the nation.

November 8, 2012: The Gods of the Copybook Headings

I’m not the only one who thought of Rudyard Kipling’s Gods of the Copybook Headings this week. Instapundit also linked to Bruce F. Webster’s photo-illustrated version of the poem.

Bill Whittle also, around 21:00, talks about the desire of evil to pretend to virtue, covering similar issues to those I covered for role-playing games in spotlight on evil. Evil must pretend to be virtuous, and it must pretend that virtue is evil.

Folks, math will have its day. Whether it has its day with terror and slaughter is up to us.

November 2, 2012: Romney-Ryan 2012: It’s the only way to be sure
Romney-Ryan 2012: The only way to be sure

“Fuckin’ A!”

In every election since Clinton/Dole in 1996 I’ve written a Nobody for President post. Clinton/Dole was probably the most egregious example of the need for voting nobody in all of the elections I’ve paid attention to; since that election, our increasingly partisan political atmosphere has provided more choice in our elections. In 2000, I could still write that it made sense for far left voters, for example, to hand the election to George Bush by voting Nader—because it did make sense. And the extreme left did exactly that, leading directly, in my opinion, to their having a candidate to vote for in 2008 in President Obama. They showed that their vote mattered.

For the most part, the fiscally-conservative right did not listen to the same message in 2008; rather than voting Nobody they stayed home. Democrats were empowered to pass the cronyism appreciation spending bill of 2009 and Republicans didn’t see any benefit in stopping that bill, which might as well have been called the “delay the recovery act of 2009”.

The cronyism appreciation act delayed the recovery just long enough to kill it in early 2010, when Democrats, still empowered by 2008, passed the job-killing mass of unreadable regulations now called Obamacare. Republicans made a show of stopping it but gave in over Christmas of 2009; it wasn’t until a Republican won to replace Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts on a platform that included voting against Obamacare that Republicans realized there were votes to be had; but by then it was too late; it had passed both houses of congress and was enacted in reconciliation.

The voters who stayed home in 2008 learned, however, and in 2010 they came out in a wave in both the primaries to create real choices and in the general to elect those choices.

October 30, 2012: New York Times: death panels for disaster victims

The New York Times and other Democratic organizations are already exploiting Hurricane Sandy to get their candidate elected. According to them, Hurricane Sandy shows us why we need Big Government in the form of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But FEMA is not the Big Government they seem to think it is. New York City and the state of New York are already rebuilding before the storm has even disappeared from the radar maps. They can do this because the federal government is not in control of disaster recovery. Local governments—cities and states—are the first responders in the case of emergency. FEMA stands ready to provide resources if needed, but it’s the local governments that are in control.

You don’t have to go back far to see what disaster recovery would look like if the federal government were in control of recovery efforts: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened under federal control in the Gulf of Mexico; it was the federal government’s responsibility to keep the spill from spreading. When Louisiana realized that the Obama administration wasn’t going to act quickly enough to contain the spill, they tried to act on their own, and were actively blocked.

The Coast Guard blocked vessels from sucking up the oil for days because they “needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board”. The EPA blocked Dutch oil skimmers because the way oil skimmers work is to suck in oily water, remove most of the oil from the water and store it for later disposal, and then expel the cleaned water to make room for more oil. But even though the water had literally just come from the ocean and was cleaner now than when it had been in the ocean, it was too dirty to put back into the ocean.

The Dutch oil skimmers alone should have been able to contain the spill if they had been allowed to work efficiently. But the New York Times’s preferred big government was in charge, and so the oil reached the shore.

Imagine if the EPA had right of refusal before New York City could start pumping water from their subways back into the ocean. New York would not be pumping salty ocean water out of the subways yet. Their subways would be out of commission through the holiday season—because the EPA’s intransigence would not just mean delayed pumping, it would mean more corrosion of critical electronics by standing seawater.

October 11, 2012: How much is the media ignoring Elizabeth Warren’s problems?
Elizabeth Warren law exam search results

On what should be a common news topic for the Elizabeth Warren/Scott Brown Massachusetts Senate race, the low-traffic Walkerville Weekly Reader comes up second.

Lately I’ve been noticing that my very low-traffic1 satire web site, the Walkerville Weekly Reader, has been getting a lot of hits for searches on common Elizabeth Warren topics. Usually I only get hits for odd search juxtapositions and for image searches. In yesterday’s logs, for example, I got hits for “al gore alcohol” because as far as I know no one is really accusing Gore of having an alcohol problem.2 I also got hits for “I love Ann photo”, I suspect because I label my photos better than most sites.

But I also got hits for the followings searches:

  1. elizabeth warren lawyer representing insurance company
  2. elizabeth warren and travelers insurance
  3. did eluzabeth warren pass the bar exam?3
  4. elizabeth warren and passing law exam

None of those are odd juxtapositions or image searches. They’re legitimate news searches, people trying to find information about real issues with Elizabeth Warren’s status as a lawyer in Massachusetts and her actions representing Travelers Insurance and other insurance companies.

Those are important issues in the Massachusetts senate election. I should be somewhere around page seventy-seven for those searches, but for all except the second, I’m on page one.4 For the first search, I’m the eighth link in the list. For the third, I’m the seventh link, and for the fourth, I’m number two, beat out only by a New York Times keyword page that mentions the Dodd-Frank law passing.

If it were Scott Brown pretending to be Cherokee, potentially pretending to be a lawyer, and fighting to keep insurance companies from having to pay out on claims, there’s no way my little site would get such high rankings.

September 30, 2012: (Joe) Scarborough Fair

I would have done these as quicklinks, but it’s easier to do one post than three quicklinks. There’s been a sea-change in the media’s bias, from an ideological bias to a cult of personality. Ace at Ace of Spades HQ:

Previously, the press has been both biased in a partisan way and an in an ideological way, but usually the partisanship was driven by ideology. As you may have noticed, the press are great fans of gay marriage and abortion, and they shape their coverage to put the best possible face on these positions, and the worst possible face on opponents. (To the extent they feature contrary voices at all.)

That’s bias, of course. We’ve gotten used to that.

But in the Benghazi debacle, there is no possible ideological grounding to explain their bias. There is, I trust, no ideological movement that advocates for intelligence failures and the deaths of good-guy diplomats. There is no ideological movement in favor of reckless incompetence bordering on malice in providing security for consulates abroad (which, as a legal matter, are considered US territory).

There is no ideological movement—or at least there was not before—championing the government’s right to lie to the public about its failures in order to avoid accountability.

There is no room here where one can say, “Ah well, they can’t help but be pulled a bit to the left by their own beliefs.” Because no one champions the right of government to let people be murdered and then lie about it.

This isn’t ideological bias, then. This is pure advocacy for a political party. Obama’s embarrassment is not an ideological issue—or should not be. I hope we can all agree that a president should attend security briefings—especially as 9/11 approaches—and provide adequate warning and security for US government personnel. I hope we can all agree that the government does not suddenly gain a Right To Shamelessly Lie about its failures, simply because it finds it politically advantageous to do so.

This is dangerous. This is how democracies die.

And it isn’t just Benghazi. I don’t pay much attention to Joe Scarborough and Morning Joe, but it sounds like he’s one of the people I made ConservativeBeard.com for. He did an over-the-top take-down of Romney trying to insert himself into a crowd’s cheering Paul Ryan. The problem? Every single person at the event heard something else, that the crowd had been cheering Romney, and Romney good-naturedly added Ryan to the cheers.

Even if the cut version of the video makes the audio hard to detect, watch the video, and you can see that Romney is emphasizing the Ryan, not the Romney—which is what he’d do if he was trying to get the crowd to add Ryan to the cheer. And watch Ryan’s body movements: he’s clearly downplaying Romney’s attempt to get him some cheers.

September 27, 2012: Why is Intrade so lopsided?

Been hearing a bit in the comments of other blogs about, if the D+infinity polls are so skewed, why is Obama doing so well on Intrade? Intrade currently has him at 77%, so if you really think Romney is going to win, you could turn $1,000 into an easy $4,000. Tom Smith at the Right Coast just blogged about it, too, which reminded me that I actually considered betting on Intrade.

I look into Intrade every once in a while, and just looked again a few days ago because I’d heard about Obama’s 77 percent. I think it’s better than an even bet that Romney will win, and considered putting some money down on that. But I keep forgetting that it isn’t easy to trade on Intrade: you can’t use a credit card that’s tied to American banks. That leaves mailing them a check—and risking the numbers changing and having money sitting doing nothing on Intrade—or doing a bank wire transfer.

At present there are three ways you can add funds to your account—debit or credit card, check (personal or cashiers) and bank wire transfer. Unfortunately we are not able to use PayPal, MoneyBookers, Western Union, MoneyGram or NETeller.

If your credit or debit card was issued by a US bank then unfortunately you will not be able to use your card to fund your account. New regulations that came into force in the US on June 1st 2010 now heavily restrict the use of credit and debit cards on sites such as Intrade.

This is all for numbers that are fairly small. Sure, I can buy “Romney wins” for $2.29 and get $10 back when he wins; but is it worth it to go through all that for an extra $7.31? And it isn’t like I can buy a thousand dollars of shares and get back $4,366.81. There are only 97 shares available at that price. The rest are higher; and even in the “slightly higher” range that Intrade shows, there are only 293 shares at $2.33 or lower as I write this.

The number of shares on the Obama side are similarly low. Unless I’m misunderstanding the numbers, there just doesn’t appear to be very many people trading that bet. A couple of guys in their basement—preferably on overseas basement—could skew these numbers.

Also, remember that even if they’re accurate, the Intrade numbers measure different things than the polls do. Polls measure number of people theoretically voting. But Intrade measures the chance of a win. All Obama or Romney need is 50 people to win, one more than their opponent in each state. If we were sure that Obama was going to win by 1 vote in each state, Intrade would be at 100% Obama. Obviously, if it were that close we’d never be sure about it—but the polls aren’t showing it that close. They’re showing it as a near-certainty that Obama will win, which makes the 77% number seem low, not high.

August 30, 2012: A tale of two speeches: Condi Rice and Paul Ryan

These are two must-watch speeches from the Republican National Convention. They should be available on the RNC YouTube channel, but I couldn’t find them. Had to go to someone named Martin Winfield for tapes from television. [Update: they are now available on the GOP YouTube channel.]

Condoleezza Rice

First, a strong speech from Condoleezza Rice.

We have seen that the desire for liberty and freedom is indeed universal, as men and women in the Middle East rise up to seize it. Yet the promise of the Arab Spring is engulfed in uncertainty. Internal strife, and hostile neighbors are challenging the young, fragile democracy of Iraq. Dictators in Iran and Syria butcher their people and threaten regional security. Russia and China prevent a response. And everyone asks, where does America stand?

This is the Condoleezza Rice I remember, the one I wanted to run for president in 2008. She is a strong advocate for freedom at home and abroad.

It does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are going.

Yes, that little girl can become president of the United States if she wants to.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan’s speech is justifiably being lauded.

May 9, 2012: Congratulations to Indiana

Congratulations to Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock and Indiana. I met Mourdock at BlogCon last year in Colorado. He’s a smart guy, dedicated, and, very odd for a politician, knows how to listen and pay attention. He didn’t just show up to talk at us and leave. He arrived early and sat in the audience with us to listen to the other speakers. I thought he was just another quiet blogger until he was introduced.

It really seemed like he was there to learn as much as to campaign.

As far as the primary goes, Lugar’s appeal to Democrats to vote in the Republican Party’s primary was telling—not on Lugar, but on the biased media. Think what would happen if a tea-party candidate were to try to get Republicans to vote in a Democratic Primary to depose the incumbent Democrat. The establishment would attack them nonstop until election day and for several weeks afterward.

April 30, 2012: Wisconsin Democrats run on anti-jobs program

The Wisconsin recall is an important election. At the moment, it looks like Governor Walker will win, though with the margin of fraud he can definitely use some help. But the left in Wisconsin is panicking, and using “arguments” that are likely to backfire. For example, did you know that one of Walker’s aides worked through college? My god, at a Hooters.

They even use a photo of her that shows a happy, very attractive college-age woman. And they think it reflects poorly on Walker’s administration that one of his aides worked through college as a waitress.

This is not the first time I’ve seen the left using images in ways that betray a very alien worldview.

In the 2006 California governor’s race, the Teacher and Firefighters unions sent out a campaign flyer that had me goggling in cognitive dissonance. First glance said it was a pro-Schwarzenegger ad. Governor Schwarzenegger’s photo showed a determined, thoughtful, strong man looking to the future.1 Whereas the photo of Lou Paulson, the union leader, was a man I would never buy a used car from. The photo was of a glad-hander. They assumed strength was weakness and weakness, strength. (And lost—to a governor who had been heavily rebuked by the voters just a year before.)

And then in a university magazine, a photo of a girl working at a fast food restaurant, and the caption, life’s too important to ask, “would you like fries with that?” The advertisement was trying to convince alumni to donate to scholarship programs. It’s laughable that students would work through college.

The comments on Jezebel are also funny if you dare follow through. About half the posters get that this photo is in Ciara’s favor. It shows a young woman working her way through college. Is this the left’s campaign slogan? Recall Walker because his team understands what it means to work menial jobs to get ahead?

But some of the ones that think the photo is a campaign-buster are very telling. One person even compares working as a waitress to get through college to be as bad (or as good) as needing a thousand dollars of contraceptives every year.

  1. <- 2012 in photos
  2. Brett Kimberlin Friday ->