May 30, 2005

Duty, Honor, Country


Photo courtesy AP.

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:03 PM | Comments (1)

May 26, 2005

Pro Bono


Thank you for sharing Matt.

DOWNDATE: Oh crap, now the google-eyed will end up here looking for them.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

And I Thought It Was the Borg That Assimilated Everyone

Does this mean I should remove this from the blogroll?

I was going to title this post: It's Easier to Take the Boeing When You Are Already In Seattle, but Boeing up and moved to Chicago in 2001. Stefan can now be found here.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)


Lamenting the expected demise of the EU Constitution with the expected "no" vote this weekend in France:

Philippe Douste-Blazy, the Health Minister, insisted that “we should trust the head of state”

How very European. Say, isn't there a bureaucratic Maginot Line here somewhere?

DOWNDATE: You can't make this stuff up: Turmoil as Chirac plots to disregard 'non' vote. Well, technically you can, but who'd believe it?

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

Do We Even Need a UN Ambassador?

John Danforth resigned as the United States' Ambassador to the United Nations on December 2, 2004. Almost six months later, Senator Barbara Boxer is asking that the vote to confirm John Bolton be put off for another month -- again.

If we can go six months without a United Nations Ambassador while North Korea threatens a nuclear weapon test; while Iran keeps moving closer to having nuclear weapon; while the genocide in the Sudan continues; while Zimbabwe is destroyed by Robert Mugabe; while Hugo Chavez exports revolution to his neighbors; while Canada abandons representative democracy; while massacres of demonstrators takes place in Uzbekistan; while the UN mishandles the massive tsunami aid contributions; while UN peacekeepers have to be reminded not to have sex with children; and, of course, while the coverup of high level corruption in the UN's Oil for Food Program scandal continues -- well, do we even need a UN Ambassador?

Come to think of it, do we even need a UN?

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2005


My hits have doubled today, though most of them are hits from various search engines looking for one variant or another of "sine qua non". Has some great man or woman used "sine qua non" in a piece of purple prose today? Or is there been something published about the vote in France on the EU Constitution that has prompted this? Why all the unique search engine hits all of a sudden?

Hmmm..., I wonder if actionable intelligence could be gathered via an heuristic technique for monitoring hit on URLS built around relatively obscure words and phrases, e.g., "sine qua non."

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:05 PM | Comments (1)

May 23, 2005

Cheap Trick

Surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away... is all I can think of as I listen to the details of the "deal" that was reached tonight. And thank God we have have fine Democratic Senators like Robert Byrd to remind us that they and a handful of reasonable Republicans have saved the Republic tonight. After all, we all know that the secret Republican strategy has always been to destroy the Republic by eliminating the abuse of the threat of a filibuster by Democrats. What a piece of work this man is.

Harry Reid wins.

Unfrickin' believable.

Maybe this is John McCain's revenge, served rather cold.

I'll wait and reserve final judgment to see if Senator Frist or President Bush renounces this "deal" before issuing my most solemn codemnations of all involved.

The filibuster was originally intended to make sure that no senator had his speech cut off. It has evolved into a method to stop things from happening. Lately the mere threat of it has paralyzed the majority party and allowed the minority party to dictate terms. I don't recall too many instances where an entire party lined up behind the threat of a filibuster the way the Democrat's have today. Since Senator Byrd invoked Franklin's famous aphorism questioning whether we could hold on to the Republic, perhaps he also remembers that the Founding Fathers also considered requiring a super-majority to reject any of the president's nominations, instead of requiring a super-majority to achieve cloture just to get a vote.

Ha, and now there's a commercial on Fox News (obviously scheduled for this spot long before) by Harry Reid on the importance of him getting his way. Ha ha ha. What a bunch of liars and cads.

As I told another friend earlier today, I am losing my faith in the long term health and welfare of our Republic. If the Democrats can still run Congress after solidly losing control of it, then we already have a one party state.

And if you were wondering,"Whatever happened to all this season's losers of the year?" Well, we've located them and they are called Republican'ts.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:00 PM | Comments (3)

May 18, 2005

I'm Curious

As I listen to the unrelenting self-loathing from the fourth estate, read the truly mean-spirited commentary of the Angry Left, and suffer through what can be considered seditious, if not treasonous, conduct from people who believe their ends justify any means, I frequently wonder what it will take for our popular culture to reach a tipping point and realize that we really are engaged in a war that we can lose?

In the immortal words of Mars Blackmon, "do you know, do you know, do you know?"

DOWNDATE: What, you think I'm kidding?

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:11 PM | Comments (1)

May 17, 2005

Unshirted Hell

Is what Jim Lehrer has threatened to bring if anybody tampers with his precious PBS NewsHour.

Do not look below the fold unless you are prepared for unshirted hell!

Just be glad I didn't autoplay any of his music...


Posted by Charles Austin at 10:46 PM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2005

Master Sergeant of the Universe

Michele Malkin suggests that former Army Sgt. Erik Saar may be the possible senior government official Newsweek had as its source for the Koran desecration story. But are the journalists at Newsweek so ignorant of military affairs that a former sergeant can be considered a senior administration official? Or is it possible they inflated the source to make him more important and that's why he cannot now be burned?

If Mr. Saar is the source, he deserves all the opprobrium that can be heaped upon him. I have no idea if Mr. Saar was Mr. Isikoff's source, but if Ms. Malkin and others don't have evidence of this they ought to back off now or they will be just as guilty of spreading hurtful rumors and innuendo as Newsweek has been, albeit with only one person's reputation having been destroyed instead of fifteen having been killed. But please tell me this isn't just a matter of degree.

DOWNDATE: I think it's Alzheimers. Either that or I had John Singer on my mind.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:28 PM | Comments (2)


Offered without further comment:

Language, history, cooking and support for rival football teams still divide Europe. But when everything else fails, one glue binds the continent together: hatred of the French.

Typically, the French refuse to accept what arrogant, overbearing monsters they are.

But now after the publication of a survey of their neighbours' opinions of them at least they no longer have any excuse for not knowing how unpopular they are.

Why the French are the worst company on the planet, a wry take on France by two of its citizens, dredges up all the usual evidence against them. They are crazy drivers, strangers to customer service, obsessed by sex and food and devoid of a sense of humour.

But it doesn't stop there, boasting a breakdown, nation by nation, of what in the French irritates them.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless". However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations.

For the Germans, the French are "pretentious, offhand and frivolous". The Dutch describe them as "agitated, talkative and shallow." The Spanish see them as "cold, distant, vain and impolite" and the Portuguese as "preaching". In Italy they comes across as "snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed" and the Greeks find them "not very with it, egocentric bons vivants".

Interestingly, the Swedes consider them "disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty".

But the knockout punch to French pride came in the way the poll was conducted. People were not asked what they hated in the French, just what they thought of them.

"Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French," said Olivier Clodong, one of the study's two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. "The answers were overwhelmingly negative."

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:18 PM | Comments (3)

Epistemology 101

What did they know, and when did they know it?

"Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker said in a statement, a day after apologizing for the report.

What exactly does "know" mean in this context? Or "now"? But, hey, maybe Newsweek is a CIA operation and it's all been a false flag to flush out our true enemies:

Muslims in Afghanistan were skeptical about the turnaround on Monday. "We will not be deceived by this," Islamic cleric Mullah Sadullah Abu Aman told Reuters. "It comes because of American pressure." Aman was the leader of a group of clerics who vowed to call for a holy war against the United States.


In other news, apparently, having editors is somewhat overrated.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

Crazy, Like V. Fox

El Presidente makes with the stupid remark:

"There's no doubt that Mexican men and women full of dignity, willpower and a capacity for work are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States."

Not even? Is this more insulting to black Americans or to Mexicans?

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

I Predict...

In September, I predict a significant decline in blogosphere mentions and links to
David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Tom Friedman, Bob Herbert, Nicholas Kristof, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, John Tierney, Dave Anderson, Peter Applebome, Harvey Araton, Dan Barry, Clyde Haberman, Gretchen Morgenson, Joe Nocera, Floyd Norris, Joyce Purnick, William Rhoden, Selena Roberts, George Vescey, Roger Cohen, and John Vinocur:

The New York Times announced today that it will start charging for some online content, beginning in September.

The new, premium level of membership will be called TimesSelect, and participants will have exclusive access to Op-Ed and news columnists on, easy and in-depth access to the paper's online archives, and early access to certain articles on the site, among other features.

Home-delivery subscribers will automatically receive TimesSelect membership. For non-subscribers, it will cost $49.95. Most news, features, and multimedia on the Times site will remain free.

"This is a great offering," Martin Nisenholtz, senior vice president of digital operations, said in a statement. "TimesSelect combines the insights and ideas of distinctive voices from The Times and IHT with seamless access to our archives in an unprecedented way and at a terrific price point. At the same time, by keeping the majority of the site free, we will continue to scale the business through strong advertising growth."

TimesSelect features will include:

• Exclusive access to columnists including David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Tom Friedman, Bob Herbert, Nicholas Kristof, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, John Tierney, Dave Anderson, Peter Applebome, Harvey Araton, Dan Barry, Clyde Haberman, Gretchen Morgenson, Joe Nocera, Floyd Norris, Joyce Purnick, William Rhoden, Selena Roberts, George Vescey, Roger Cohen, and John Vinocur.

The again, maybe Maureen, Tom, Bob, Nicholas, Paul, and Frank lobbied for this to try and end the barbs from the peanut gallery and stifle the ridicule they have found themselves subjected to with ever increasing frequency of late. If Newsweek suddenly adopts a pay per view strategy it will serve as confirmation of my thesis.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:48 PM | Comments (1)

I Am Tiger Woods

Yesterday was special. Why? Because for the first time in seven years, I was playing golf on Sunday and Tiger Woods wasn't. FWIW, I played at Tapawingo from the blue tees and shot an 85. It was a beautiful, if windy, day. On the 378-yard 11th hole I hit a wind and elevation aided drive 360 yards -- hence the title to this post -- and then I put the pitch up to two inches. It helped me forget about several putts that rimmed out and the triple bogey a couple of holes later. Sigh. The better I play, the greedier I get.

Thursday, I'm playing in a tournament here. Wish me luck.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:26 PM | Comments (1)

May 14, 2005



I actually discovered this in my bathroom this morning.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:32 PM | Comments (4)

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has been sold! Is there hope that its new owners might be a little more balanced and fair-minded in their approach to the news and advocacy? Uh, not yet:

When Lee Enterprises Inc. agreed to purchase Pulitzer Inc. for $1.46 billion, it also agreed that the flagship St. Louis Post-Dispatch will keep its longstanding liberal editorial slant for at least the next five years, according to the purchase agreement mailed to Pulitzer shareholders Friday.

Now, that's Editor and Publisher calling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a liberal paper, for all you "What Liberal Media?" folks. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has earned it's moniker, "the most reliably liberal paper in the United States."

"For a period of at least five years following the Effective Time, Parent (Lee Enterprises) will cause the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to maintain its current name and editorial page platform statement and to maintain its news and editorial headquarters in the City of St. Louis, Missouri," the agreement states.

This is more than a little strange. I wonder if someone is actually worried that a St. Louis paper is going to be produced in Iowa? Or are they afraid that the paper might actually leave the city proper and move to the suburbs with the rest of its readers, especially since the city's police no longer have to live within the city. But what about that platform statement?

The Post-Dispatch platform statement, adopted in 1911, includes the pledge that the newspaper "will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty."

But how is Ellen Soeteber and her reactionary gang supposed to abjure the toleration of injustice, fight demagogues of all parties, and never belong to any party for another five years when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave up all pretense of objectivity years ago? And lest you think I am exaggerating:

Over the years, the paper's editorials have taken a reliably Democratic or liberal view of issues, positions some worried would change under Lee's ownership.

Journalists writing about journalists and they still resort to the weaselly "some" instead of naming names. And of course, we all know that change is bad, especially when change means something other than toeing the ever progressing progressive line. But, for now, Ellen can keep writing interminably about the WAR ON THE WORKING POOR -- MISSOURI'S SHAME, always finding another pitiful anecdote every time Missouri's state government doesn't agree to raise taxes to support an insatiable progressive appetite. Why the state of Missouri found itself with a huge deficit, which had to be addessed under state law, inherited from the last two Democratic governors is never touched upon. No doubt, because their hearts were pure, because the editors won't speak ill of the dead, or negatively about anyone named Carnahan -- or all three.

Last week, an installment of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page's WAR ON THE WORKING POOR -- MISSOURI'S SHAME series published pictures of the homes of Republican leaders in the state, noting, amongst others, that the Governor's home was worth $250,000 -- a veritable mansion I tells ya! Ellen's minions claimed that these morally bankrupt politicians should not get health insurance from the state while depriving some by reducing the state Medicare rolls since, I kid you not, these politicians already had plenty of money. Gosh, doesn't publishing addesses and pictures of people's homes read like incitement to violence when someone does something similar with, say, abortion providers?

But speaking of the immmorally wealthy, gosh, I wonder how Ellen feels about her soon to be ex-boss:

Pulitzer President and CEO Robert C. Woodworth will be "terminated," the proxy materials say, though he may also be retained as a consultant. Pulitzer said Woodworth will be paid $8,804,132 in severance payment.

Say, I wonder how big Ellen's home is. Would it be wrong for me to post a picture of it here? Maybe I'll move into it in, um, five years, unless she can read the writing on the wall:

The agreement, included in proxy materials mailed to shareholders for a special June 3 meeting to approve the purchase by Lee, also provides that Pulitzer will have a say in the appointment of an new editor if Post-Dispatch Editor Ellen Soeteber "is replaced within five years following the Effective Time, whether by reason of her resignation or removal or for any other reason."

In which case, my moving plans may have to be accelerated. Oh well, there's always Err America for Ellen to MoveOn to.

For what its worth, four years ago, Missouri had a Democratic governor, a Democratic majority in the state's House and one US Senator who was a Democrat. Missouri now has a Republican governor, Republican majorities in the state's House and Senate, and two Republican US Senators -- keep up the good work Ellen! Maybe this is why the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page has gone into full tilt batshit loony screeching mode since the last election.

P.S. I've checked the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website and there isn't any mention of this yet. That's weird, I thought progressives loved five year plans.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:43 AM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2005

Quick Hits

Or, in other words, random thoughts, pet peeves, obscure trivia, and thesis worthy conclusions offered without background or justification:

George Lucas' biggest mistake was making 1, 2, and 3, instead of 7, 8 and 9. Or, in other words, instead of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, he should have made Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. Say, those titles seem strangely familiar.

Yalta was a deal with the devil. We know that now, though I think they knew it then too. Perhaps it was just the triumph of hope over experience. Regardless, the blanket amnesia or outright ignoraqnce by so many pundits of the zeitgeist and contemporary logistics of a war that, as Patton said, "we could still lose," is astounding. Yalta was a bad deal but it is far from obvious that all the better deals were skipped over or ignored for one reason or another. If putsch had came to shove, I don't think Stalin would have had a problem sacrificing another 10,000,000 men, but it is highly doubtful that anybody but the US would have been in a position to fight back, and, frankly, I don't think the US would have done so. Had we taken the Soviets on at that time, maybe the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain wouldn't have been "from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic," but from The Hague on the North Sea to Gibraltar on the Mediterranean. Gee, would it have been better if the Cold War were still raging? From the other side of the spectrum, FDR may have been a little feckless at Yalta without necessarily having to be in Uncle Joe's pocket. I can't detemine if the sheer lunacy of much of the commentary about Bush's comments on Yalta from the left and the right is due to a poor knowledge of WWII history or a wilingness to deceive themselves and others about WWII history to conform to ideologically motivated positioning. The latter is truly scary.

Which is weirder, the mythology of the ancient Greeks or the mythology of the (Post) Modern Left?

I no longer believe the Democrat Party is acting in good faith or with goodwill on much of anything at the national level. Please note that this is not necessarily true at the various state and local levels. Here's hoping that President George W. Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Speaker of the House Denny Hastert have the balls to grind the current leaders of the Democrat Party into mincemeat in the hope that it will force the Democrat Party membership to select new leaders who don't believe they are playing a sub-zero sum game when it comes to politics.

Can anybody explain to me briefly what is suposed to be scientific about Marxism?

Dismissing the self-promoting and the hopelessly delusional for a moment, given the lack of an "heir apparent" from the incumbent Republican Party and the complete disarray of damaged goods available from the Democrat Party, when is the last time it was so completely unclear who the candidates in the next US presidential election would be?

How can anyone even imagine trying to reform this bastard? Kill him. As soon as possible after a fair trial. Justice delayed is justice denied for these two little girls.

If there was an NFL God, he'd arrange for Andy Reid trade Terrell Owens to Baltimore, or better yet, San Francisco.

Rumor has it the NBA playoffs have started. I wouldn't know.

The best argument I've seen against revolvers in favor of semi-automatic pistols with large magazines. (Link courtesy of the Paratrooper of Love.)

Ever wondered how a light saber worked? (Link courtesy of Michele.)

Enjoy your weekend.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2005

Seven Days Without Blogging Makes One Weak

Alright people, this makes nineteen posts for the day. My penance for stepping away for a week is complete. I look forward to reading your voluminous praise and the acknowledgment of a few good puns and some clever wordsmithing here and there tomorrow. At least I hope your comments outnumber the Chinese spam.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:40 PM | Comments (1)

They're Comin' Right For Us

Warren Bell asks a stupid question:

If Crunchy Cons fought South Park Cons, who would win?

My money's not on the Scuzzlebutts.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

Mathematical Illiteracy Comes In Many Forms

Remember, in any population of sufficient size, half the population are, by definition, below average:

Many residents along the East and Gulf coasts don't plan to take simple steps to protect themselves and their homes from hurricanes, despite the devastation caused by five hurricanes that struck the United States last year, according to a poll released Monday. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they felt "not too" or "not at all" vulnerable, according to a Mason-Dixon poll. And one in four would do nothing to prepare for a storm, even after a watch or warning was issued... The poll also found that one in four residents believed they could evacuate flood-prone areas 30 minutes to an hour before a hurricane made landfall... Overall, the hurricanes and tropical storms killed 117 people in Florida and more than 3,000 in Haiti. The storms damaged or destroyed one in five Florida homes, along with 90% of those on the Caribbean island nation of Grenada. Property losses were estimated at $42 billion. Yet 47% of those surveyed had no disaster plan for the hurricane season that begins June 1 and runs through November, the poll found.

This simple fact continues to elude journalists who seem amazed by the lack of foresight shown by ..., wait for it ..., approximately half the population.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

Labour's Love Lost

Blair faces growing chorus to quit

Compare and contrast the way Tony Blair's own party is treating him after an historic third consecutive win and how the Democrat Party treated Bill Clinton during his second term travails. Bill Clinton could lie, cheat, pardon criminals, abuse interns, obstruct justice, and make his own cabinet members look like fools with virtual impunity from within his own party -- even when he couldn't run again! Tony Blair is being brutally savaged by his friends over what I will graciously call principled disagreements.

Who exactly comes off looking worse here?

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

Cold Affront

Is there any word in our political discourse more overused than "chilling"?

The State Department is refusing to make public internal documents sought by Senate Democrats in their attempt to seek more information about repeated clashes between John R. Bolton and American intelligence agencies over Syria, administration officials say.

In rejecting the request, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said that the information involves "internal deliberations" and their disclosure could have a chilling effect on debates within the administration.


Posted by Charles Austin at 08:37 PM | Comments (1)

Personally, I Thought It Sucked

Arianna's Blog Blows

At least she's still got Bill Maher.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)

Isn't It Considered a Faux Pas When a Political "Economist" Accidentally Tells the Truth?

Jack Kemp says:

The left's latest misinformation campaign claims that if President Bush would just call off the tax cuts, there would be more than enough revenue to make Social Security solvent in perpetuity. As perpetually wrong economist Paul Krugman put it in Monday's New York Times, "Repealing Mr. Bush's tax cuts would yield enough revenue to call off his proposed (Social Security) benefit cuts, and still leave $8 trillion in change."

While Mr. Kemp is standing on firm ground criticizing Paul Krugman as perpetually wrong, he's missed the most important aspect of Mr. Krugman's comment here. Unless I am badly mistaken, if Mr. Krugman is to be believed here then it is an admission that there really is no such thing as the Social Security Trust Fund (and hence no need for any lock boxes), since he plans to pay for Social Security out of general fund revenues. Now, this is no big surprise to anyone paying attention, but it is nice to see someone on the knee-jerk left finally admit that Social Security is not a retirement plan at all, but merely a redistribution of income from the young to the old that can only be sustained with truly massive tax increases.

That is all.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

Was It Shaped Like a Pretzel?

Reid Offers Olive Branch on Bush Nominee

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

Celebrating Diversity

But, but, but aren't all human differences artificial cultural constructs to maintain the patriarchal domination of the ruling class?

A compound taken from male sweat stimulates the brains of gay men and straight women but not heterosexual men, raising the possibility that homosexual brains are different, researchers in Sweden reported on Monday.


Posted by Charles Austin at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

Strange Days

What would Ronald Reagan have given to hear John Philip Sousa played in Red Square?

When someone called to strike up a stirring military march for a parade through central Moscow, hardly anyone ever imagined it would be "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

Or that the Stars and Stripes itself, hoisted aloft by an Army sergeant, would lead the U.S. Army Europe Band up the Russian capital's main thoroughfare, past cheering crowds, to greet a train full of Russian war veterans.

"I've met every president. I've met hundreds of kings and queens. But marching through Moscow behind three of my soldiers carrying the American flag is pretty much the highlight of my career," said Lt. Col. Thomas H. Palmatier, commander of the Army band, which came here along with President Bush and other U.S. officials to help mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

"We played inside the Kremlin walls! We played 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' on the streets of Moscow! It was a pretty emotional experience," Palmatier said.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:12 PM | Comments (0)

Remember Ellen, It Can Always Be Worse

Wait until the editorial page staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch find out about New Hampshire:

As states struggle to cut Medicaid costs, New Hampshire has proposed going further by making the poorest of the poor — even families with no income at all — contribute to their coverage.

Considering the advanced apoplexy caused by a mere reduction in the Medicare rolls here in Missouri, why this is akin to a Swiftian proposal to actually eat the poor!

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:34 PM | Comments (1)

Ah, the Permanent Campaign

Kerry adopting the rhetoric of a D.C. outsider:

Extended snark below the fold...

The Bruce Springsteen anthem, his theme song, was back -- ''No retreat, baby, no surrender" -- and people were on their feet before his speech began. Wading through the crowd as the music boomed, Senator John F. Kerry looked like a presidential candidate again: smiling, grasping for outstretched arms, and offering thumbs-up as he made his way to the stage.

Uh, don't fix what ain't broke?

But the attendance was a fraction of the mobs that the Massachusetts Democrat drew in his final campaign rallies last fall. Gone was his stump speech railing against President Bush's Iraq war policy, the sluggish economy, and the Republican agenda; even mentions of Kerry's Senate career and Vietnam War service had disappeared.

Lasting issues that resonated with ..., well ..., with Bob Shrum, I guess.

Instead, Kerry -- a veteran politician who has held office for 21 years -- took off his suit jacket and roamed a small stage in Louisiana's Old State Capitol to push a new message: Get angry at Washington.

Hey, he's like any other outsider who's been feeding at the Senatorial public trough in Washington for 21 years.

''Washington seems more and more out of touch with the difficulties the average family is facing," Kerry told the crowd of about 150 last week in Baton Rouge. ''Go out of here, take some anger and a little bit of outrage at the fact that Washington is not dealing with the real concerns of our country."

Senator Kerry then channelled the shade of Peter Finch and wowed the semi-massive "masses" with his common man vocabulary by saying, "I'm as mad as the domicile of Mephistopheles, and I'm not going to take this any more!"

Six months after his presidential bid ended in defeat, Kerry is on another cross-country campaign. This time, he is running against the political establishment.

He just woke up Tuesday morning and realized everything he thought was wrong. Imagine if he had been president now instead.

It is a striking transformation for someone who has been identified with that establishment for so long, but a change he and his aides insist is sincere.

Why would anyone suspect otherwise? Especially when we know that the stronger they insist upon it, the more true it must be.

And while Kerry has repeatedly pledged to remain relevant following his presidential campaign, the intensity of his efforts has been surprising, particularly because recent failed presidential nominees have entered reclusive periods after their campaigns ended.

Wasn't President Clinton the first to have to say, "I am too relevant"?

In essence, Kerry is trying to reignite a fire that never quite raged for his presidential bid on behalf of a domestic agenda he is pushing in Congress. He is shooting regular e-mail updates to his network of 3 million supporters. His new political action committee bought a large ad in tomorrow's USA Today that accuses Bush and GOP leaders of ignoring soaring gas prices, children without health insurance, and the lack of quality jobs with good wages.

Why, just imagine how many children without health insurance could have been provided for instead with this money? Or the money spent on Red Sox tickets, parking tickets, six SUVs, five houses, etc.

''They think it's all about them," the ad states above pictures of Bush, House majority leader Tom DeLay and Senate majority leader Bill Frist.

"When, natch, it is all about ME! When are you morons, uh, I mean, common people going to understand that?"

It may seem odd for a man who has been in the Senate for more than two decades -- and who has never been known for his common touch -- to rail against aloof politicians.

Odd? In what way?

Kerry insists that he simply wants to drum up support for his ''Kids First" bill, which would provide healthcare coverage to all children -- although Kerry acknowledges it is a long shot in the Republican-controlled Congress.

Maybe if he called it "Kids Frist" it would stand a better chance of passage. Or maybe it was a typo?

Just below the surface, though, Kerry is trying to rehabilitate his public image as an entrenched insider, in case another national campaign is in his future.

Just below the surface, where nuance festers and bides its time...

Donna Brazile, a Democratic consultant who was Vice President Al Gore's campaign manager when he ran for president in 2000, said it is a good move for Kerry to try to parlay his new profile as a former candidate for the White House into a signature issue.

When your losing, the house always suggests that you double your bets to try and make up for your losses.

He could bring more attention to an important policy issue, Brazile said, and expand the range of issues that voters identify with him.

Blah blah blah, tax cuts for the rich blah blah blah.

''He has enormous political capital with various groups and constituencies, and he's one of the most important leaders in our party," she said.

I guess we don't share a common definition for the word enormous.

''As John Kerry continues to reflect on 2004 -- and explore options for 2008 -- it's important that he understands that people didn't really know John Kerry in the last campaign."

And there's so much he'd have us know! Just as soon as he gets around to signing his SF 180 form.

But an image makeover figures to be difficult for a man who spent as much time in the public eye -- and in public office -- as Kerry has.

Not to mention someone who lacks a personality to begin with.

''He's the last politician that people are going to buy as an outsider. That dog won't hunt," said Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University.

Regional colloquialism frequently heard from the faculty at Tufts University, for those of you who are unfamiliar with such common man language.

''John Kerry ran for president, and he has a long record in politics. He just doesn't come across as an outsider."

Whoa, the endorsement of the Boston Globe might just be out of reach in 2008. Nah. Say, has Theresa stopped campaigning with John?

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

Oh Dear

How will we ever shut Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Al Gore up now about Tony Blair's virtual theft of the United Kingdom's Prime Minister's job given that he didn't win the popular vote?

THE CONSERVATIVES won England in the general election, in votes but not in seats. Both the Conservatives and Labour gained more than eight million English votes, but the Conservatives finished more than 50,000 ahead.

Why, that's less than one football stadium!

P.S. Yes, I know that England is not synonymous with the UK. But for the record, Labour did only get about one-third of the overall vote. How's that for a mandate.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

Well, I'm From Philadelphia...

The only interesting thing about this story is that the offender's party affiliation is mentioned, albeit in the third paragraph:

Philadelphia's former treasurer was convicted Monday of more than 20 counts for taking free trips, Super Bowl tickets and other lavish gifts from people seeking city contracts.

Jurors reached the verdicts on their 19th day of deliberations in the case, which stemmed from a wide-ranging federal probe of municipal corruption.

Corey Kemp, the former treasurer, was charged with corrupting his office by accepting thousands of dollars worth of gifts from a lawyer and prolific Democratic fundraiser named Ronald A. White.

At least we can trust that the elections there are safe and clean.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

Oh, and About Your Opposition to the Death Penalty...

The only argument I can come up with to oppose it is that it isn't harsh enough for the bastard that did this:

The bodies of two young girls were found in a wooded area Monday morning, the day after two 8-year-old schoolmates were reported missing, authorities said.

The Monster ad at the top of the page seems apropos.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

Freedom is Slavery

Winners are losers!

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

Must Suppress Instincts ... This Is a PG Blog

The punch lines to so many bad jokes just keep coming to mind...

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

Damn Kirstie Alley Wannabees

Uh, I mean Commander In Chief. With cleavage!


"I'm not really the President, I just play one on TV." Hmm..., so it's kind of like the US Senate then?

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:23 PM | Comments (1)

A Touch of Grey (Lady)

With apologies to Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, every silver lining's got a touch of grey:

An internal committee at The New York Times has recommended steps to increase readers' confidence in the newspaper, including reducing errors, increasing coverage of religion, "rural areas" and "middle America," making reporters and editors more accessible, and possibly starting a blog.

Bill Keller seems to have accepted, if not defeat, at least that victory against the blogosphere is probably unattainable, even in pyrrhic terms, and he has therefore decided to join "us" instead. But if he believes that New York Times can, perhaps, legitimize blogging, well, to paraphrase a line from Tracy Kidder, the bastards say welcome.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2005


The weather's nice, it being spring and all, the grass is growing, weeds are sprouting, herbs and annuals are waiting to be planted, daughter #1 has to learn to drive, numerous household repairs await, there are rumors circulating that I may get to go golfing and shooting again sometime soon, and if I run out of other useful or necessary things to do there's always plenty to do on the paying job. Reading and writing blog posts has slipped way down the priority list.

Time permitting, I have a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to write though.

DOWNDATE: Obviously time did not permit, but the stench of the rank partisanship of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board was becoming overwhelming when it came to Governor Blunt's signing of Medicare reform. I'm sorry, but I really don't have the time to respond properly to these amateur Marxists who feel that incitement against the persons and property of those they disagree with is just peachy.

Oh, and some guy with a small penis who just can't seem to stop masturbating long enough to learn some of the basic rules of human decency has been polluting my comments with Chinese spam. Sorry Jake, you are the weakest link, and your posts are gone.

And in a similar vein, Trackbacks are gone due to serial abuse by men unable to consummate a relationship with anything less than four legs.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:25 PM | Comments (4)