April 30, 2008

In a Perfect World

Mugabe beaten

Would have been the complete headline instead of having this appended to it: ... in presidential vote, says government source

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2008


For the record, Antonin Scalia is so much smarter than most people it isn't funny. I can understand that people have different judicial philosophies and temperaments, but anyone who thinks he doesn't belong on the US Supreme Court is not to be taken seriously.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

May? That's Still Two Days Away

Newt Gingrich has a vice like grip on the short and curlies of the bleeding obvious:

Gingrich: Wright May Be Deliberately Trying to Hurt Obama

A little OT, but I respect Senator Obama more now. He could have embraced Rev. Wright and written off the presidency but made a fortune and completely displaced Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson, not to mention Rev. Wright, who's burnishing his image at the expense of tarnishing Senator Obama's. This is a shameful episode on Rev. Wright's part.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)


Whenever Al Sharpton speaks of justice, remember Steven Pagones.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

Misheard Lyrics

'Scuse me while I kiss this guy.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)

Three Wright Turns Equals One Left Turn

With apologies to Three Dog Night, here's a .., um ..., transcript of Senator Obama's press conference today:

Jeremiah's left my agog,
Was a good friend of mine.
I never understood a single word he said,
But I helped him a-think his whine.
And he always had some mighty fine whine.
Singing, joy to the world!
All the boys and girls, now,
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea,
Joy to you and me!

If I were the King of the world,
Tell you what I'd do.
I'd throw away the cars, the dollars and the wars,
And demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. [I] will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

Sorry, Michele Obama sort of took over at the end there.

I like Senator Obama, though I'll never vote for anyone quite as statist or as immersed and gullible concerning Marxist policy prescriptions as I believe him to be. While I remain convinced he is just another politician, especially one out of Chicago, he does seem less slimy and substantially more decent than most. I'd actually like having him as a neighbor, which isn't true of most politicians I've ever met.

Why Senator Obama needs to do anything with Rev. Wright other than disassociating himself from him is beyond me. "Disowning" Rev. Wright is a rather odd turn of phrase since he never owned him or his words before. But Senator Obama has kept some strange company and that must be a consideration in how he is judged when it comes to electing him as President.

While I'm on point, I heard Cult of Personality by Living Colour yesterday and Senator Obama was all I could think of as it played. The cult of personality being built up around Senator Obama ought to make everyone squirm just a little, given the rather sordid history of the those who haved formed the basis of cults of personality.

Enough rambling. Regardless, I'd rather see a President Obama than a President Clinton. The goodwill generated internationally by a President Obama, however unfair or misplaced, would have some value, whereas all we'd get from a President Clinton is four, or eight, more years of people like Paul Begala and James Carville in the halls of power. I can't say I'm happy to get a President McCain, but what are you gonna do?

Too bad the Democrat's convention isn't in Chicago this summer. We could all relive the Summer of Love one more time. After all, it's been literally a few days since someone has wanted to relive the 60's all over again, man.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:39 PM | Comments (1)

Every Day Is Steely Dan Day

When it comes to captioning blog posts.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2008

The Angostura-American

If I had been posting much a week ago I'm sure this would have been in a post somewhere. As it is, it's kind of old news, meaning that it is about as current as the last issue of Newsweek or Time, but I wanted to commit it to the ether before I forgot about it. I'm sure I'll be able to resurrect it if Obama doesn't win the Democrat's nomination. There'll be a lot of Angostura-Americans then.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:17 PM | Comments (2)

That's Why We Call Them ...


"They will do so at their own risk of damaging the Republican Party forever,'' he said, because "people are always ahead of leaders.''

Famous leader Doug Wilder talking about something or other.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

Question: How Do I Get Declared Persona Non Grata?


Sources with knowledge of the incident said the official, Rafael Quintero Curiel, served as the lead press advance person for the Mexican Delegation and was responsible for handling logistics and guiding the Mexican media around at the conference. He took six or seven of the handheld devices from a table outside a special room in the hotel where the Mexican delegation was meeting with President Bush earlier this week.

Everyone entering the room was required to leave his or her cell phone, BlackBerry and other such devices on the table, a common practice when high-level meetings are held. American officials discovered their missing belongings when they were leaving the session.

It didn't take long before Secret Service officials reviewed videotape taken by a surveillance camera and found footage showing Quintero Curiel absconding with the BlackBerries.

Sources said Quintero Curiel made it all the way to the airport before Secret Service officers caught up with him. He initially denied taking the devices, but after agents showed him the DVD, Quintero Curiel said it was purely accidental, gave them back, claimed diplomatic immunity and left New Orleans with the Mexican delegation.

You gotta love it. I didn't do it! I mean, it was an accident! Diplomatic Immunity! Obviously, the devil (i.e., Bush) made him do it.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

The John McCain Making It As Hard As Possible For Me To Vote For Him National Tour, Stop 1

Believe it or not, not everyone thinks the federal government should be responsible for replacing every bird that falls out of a tree:

John McCain toured still hurricane-damaged areas of New Orleans and declared that if the disaster had happened on his watch, he would have immediately landed his plane at the nearest Air Force base. The Republican presidential candidate is campaigning this week in what he calls forgotten areas of the country. He offered a pledge Thursday to New Orleans residents that their situation will not be forgotten and that such a botched disaster response will never happen again. McCain was unsparing in his criticism of the Bush administration. He said Congress must share some of the blame, too. Drawing a sharp contrast to President Bush, McCain said he would have landed his plane "at the nearest Air Force Base and come over personally."

Uh, ok. I understand using President Bush as a whipping boy and sucking up to the press, but wasn't somebody besides the President and the Congress responsible for, say, maintaining the levees and getting the people of New Orleans out? Even just a little? I'm curious as to when Senator McCain would have landed his plane at the nearest Air Force base. Is it worth the effort to remind Senator McCain and the lapdog press that Katrina wasn't Katrina until the day after Katrina when the levees gave way?

Senator McCain seems to be promoting the idea that the federal government can, and should, involve itself with every single aspect of American life. Sorry, I'd rather you leave this kind of village building to your opponents, but that's just me.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:44 PM | Comments (2)

That's Not An Image I Needed This Early

Susan Estrich: Clinton or Obama on Top?

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

Dispatch From the Echo Chamber

Enjoy as Anatole Kaletsky sets out to lecture Americans concerning our next presidential election:

The 2008 US election has all the makings of a Greek tragedy, in which noble heroes and heroines are forced to follow a course to catastrophe, divinely preordained as punishment for sins and blunders committed by their forefathers in the dim and distant past. In acting out their ineluctable doom, the eloquent protagonists do not just destroy themselves but also their cities, their nations and even their entire civilisations.

Speaking of Greek tragedies, the word hubris comes to mind. But it is nice to see that he agrees with many of us that the election of Senator Clinton or Senator Obama would lead to end of Western Civilization.

If this description sounds too grandiose, consider yesterday's results from the Pennsylvania primary.


The outcome seemed to be precisely calibrated by the gods to maximise the agony of the Democrats. It gave Hillary Clinton just the support she needed to stay firmly in contention, but not quite enough to turn the tide in her favour.

She's no Cnut, that's for sure.

Worse still, this result underlined the fear that senior Democrats have long been aware of, but have never dared to express in public: America may not yet be ready to elect a black President.

Is Mr. Kaletsky aware that these are Democrat primaries? Heh, at least by inference we are over our sexism.

Worst of all, it has created conditions for the possible election victory of a militarily belligerent and economically unqualified Republican candidate who supports many of President Bush's worst policies. Given the Bush Administration's domestic and foreign failures, the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan and, most recently, the slump in the economy, the possibility of a Republican victory in November would seem to overturn every principle of proper democracy - and also the hope of America and its system of government being rehabilitated in the eyes of the world after the Bush years.

Wow, the election of John McCain would seem to overturn every principle of democracy? Really? Every one?

The fact that Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton are both such impressive candidates, intelligent, sincere, articulate and in command of the issues, while John McCain does not qualify on any of these criteria only makes matters worse.

Too bad Mr. Kaletsky lacks the nous to name the forefathers whose misdeeds have led to the suffering of these two impressive candidates.

... The certainty of a no-holds-barred attacks by the Republicans brings us to the potentially most tragic aspect of this election. If ever there was an election the Democrats ought to win this is the one. Yet on the basis of the primary results so far, they are all too likely to lose it. Mr Obama may be marginally ahead of Mrs Clinton in the popular vote but the Democrats seem to have forgotten that all the votes cast so far have been by their own supporters. In the general election their candidate will have to win over Republicans and right-leaning floating voters. Most of the evidence so far suggests that the Repulicans will find it much easier to frighten voters about the prospect of a President Obama than a President Clinton.

Cue Cardinal Ximinez, "Our chief weapon is fear. Fear and November surprise. Two! Our two chief weapons are fear, November surprise and our flashy red states. Three! Our three chief weapons are..."

Professional Democratic politicians now have the casting vote in their party's nomination and could yet force the two candidates into a “dream ticket” led by Mrs Clinton with Mr Obama as Vice President which would sweep all before it and would probably make Mr Obama unbeatable as a presidential candidate in 2012 or 2016. Yet the Democratic superdelegates who could now secure years of hegemony for their party seem to consider it “unfair” to use their professional judgment to overturn the “democratic” verdict of primary voters.

Must be some of that good old fashioned Democrat compunction about not overturing every priniciple of "democracy." Hmm..., but isn't hegemony supposed to be bad?

The Republicans will have no such compunctions about the fairness of launching personal attacks against a potentially vulnerable Democratic candidate. In this respect this Presidential contest may again manifest the tragedy of left-wing politics through the ages. Parties which care more about fairness than about power, end up achieving neither.

Those poor, fair Democrats. If only they would value power more then they could get what they deserve. Or should that be what we deserve?

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2008

Crisis? What Crisis?

Via Instapundit, we get Roger Kimball, who asks:

Why do politicians of whatever party love a crisis?

If I may, I will embellish Professor Reynolds answer by quoting Governor William J. LePetomaine:

"We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Hurumph! Hurumph! Hurumph!"

DOWNDATE: A concurrent e-mail yields a sort of Instalanche.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

Global Warming Climate Change

Is there anything it can't do?

Climate change could cause global conflicts as large as the two world wars but lasting for centuries unless the problem is controlled, a leading defence think tank has warned.

Is there anything besides spending money on think tanks that can save us?

The Royal United Services Institute said a tenfold increase in research spending, comparable to the amount spent on the Apollo space programme, will be needed if the world is to avoid the worst effects of changing temperatures.

Guess not, but there appears to be more hot air in the think tanks than the atmosphere:

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:19 PM | Comments (1)

April 22, 2008

Can It Possibly Be True?

The fate of our nation was decided today by fans of the Philadelphia Eagles?

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:07 PM | Comments (0)

I Need a Drink

No, really, I do. As my foursome walked off the course last week and found our way to the Ryder Cup Bar at the Carolina in Pinehurst, it suddenly occurred to us that any golfer should be able to walk up to any decent bar in the world and say, "Give me a Golf Swing or "I need a Golf Swing." Alas, I have no particular talent for inventing a new drink, hence this request. About all I drink is red wine, Bombay Sapphire and single malts -- and they do not mix well together.

Your suggestions for a tasty adult beverage called the Golf Swing are hereby requested. Nothing goofy, sweet or involving open flames, just something that most of us could savor as we belly up to the bar to brag about the one shot we hit that day that was as good as anything Tiger could hit. You know, the one shot that keeps you coming back.

And if you should find yourself in the Ryder Cup Bar, y'all be sure to say hi to CC and Carolyn, and ask them for a Golf Swing. A picture of their reaction would be most appreciated.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2008

What Could I Possibly Add To This?


Except to note the following from the article:

Rendell appeared to be in his element.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:26 PM | Comments (0)

All I Want is A Frickin' Shark With a Laser On Its Head

No problem. Get yourself one of these Boeing ABL 747s (videos here):

Boeing ABL.JPG

and paint it like a vintage WWII P-51 Mustang:


That will ruin any ICBM-launching lunatics day.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

Fear the Subjectivity

Al Gore speaks:

He answers: “Yes. I have to confess that I’ve recently begun to fear that I’m losing my objectivity on President Bush."

You can stop laughing now.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

Virgin Space

I got a rocket in my pocket:

Virgin Galactic boss Sir Richard Branson is planning to set yet another record – by becoming the first man to marry a couple in space. The 58-year-old billionaire intends to conduct a ceremony 70 miles above the Earth on the first Galactic sub-orbital flight next year.

This is no little feat.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

Dog Bites Man

Read this article that claims:

Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World

I lost count of the bad assumptions, logical errors and sheer lunatic sentiments expressed and don't want to include the entire text here. FWIW, I purchased rice a week ago and there was no shortage or rationing evident. My stash of Japanese short grain and Basmati comes from Global Foods on Kirkwood Road where about a dozen different types of rice are available in ten to fifty pound bags.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:11 PM | Comments (1)

Man Bites Dog

The UN has apparently adopted supply side economics:

The U.N. chief warned Sunday that the world must urgently increase food production to ease skyrocketing prices and pledged to set up a task force on a crisis threatening to destabilize developing nations.

Maybe that explains the recent midwestern earthquakes.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2008

Five for Viewing

Here's a blast from the past:

The Tom Tom Club doing Pleasure of Love. This isn't available except on vinyl aparently.

Dave Stewart (the other one) and Barbara Gaskin doing I'm In a Different World.

Joe Jackson doing Steppin' Out.

Squeeze doing Cool for Cats.

Madness doing Our House.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2008

Is That All You Got?

Aftershock #1:


It is worth noting that the New Madrid eathquakes of 1811-1812 released 1,000 times the energy as what happened earlier today. The Richter Magnitude is logarithmic.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)


Dude, I think we just had an earthquake. A big one too unless it was real close. Woke all of us up, lasted for a minute or so, rattled the windows. I think I heard a low rumble throughout, but that could have been a lot of things. Looks like I picked a good night to stop taking Ambien.

I reported it here and in less than five minutes this was posted:


Can someone check and see if New Madrid is still there.

I'll bet the earthquake insurance commercials are running again by this afternoon.

DOWNDATE: Added the USGS image a few minutes later. My rotating title came up with "A short, sharp shock, get it?" Spooky.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:43 AM | Comments (7)

April 09, 2008

I Love the Smell of Pine Pollen In the Morning

Blogging will be light to non-existent for the next eight days. Unless, of course, American Airlines should cancel my flight . Hopefully, they won't wait until the last moment to do so.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:34 PM | Comments (2)

April 08, 2008

Rest In Peace Sir

Charlton Heston passed away last week. You know that. But read these pearls of wisdom from his letters to the Los Angeles Times. Here's one:

SO the Oscars came off smoothly, with good work rewarded. Early anxieties about the [honorary Oscar presented to director Elia] Kazan . . . went unrealized. There was some scuffling by street protesters but inside the hall the presentation was vigorously applauded; only a few sat silent. It seems that the fierce and relentless attack on Kazan, lasting many weeks, was in fact the last hurrah of the Hollywood left. (Mind you, the Hollywood liberal is still with us, but that's a different breed of cat entirely, alive and well, content to be the arbiter of taste, political correctness and the search for the next Great Restaurant.)

While I'm on the subject here's a lesson on class from a sick old man when responding to self-absorbed younger one:

Actor George Clooney joked about Heston's failing health at a 2003 National Board of Review award ceremony, saying that Heston "announced again today that he is suffering from Alzheimer's." When questioned, Clooney said Heston deserved whatever was said about him for his involvement with the NRA. Heston responded by saying Clooney lacked class, and said he felt sorry for Clooney, as Clooney had as much of a chance of developing Alzheimer's as anyone else.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

I Think I'm Turning Japanese

Don't laugh, Universal Health Care will require the same thing here:

To curtail Japan's overweight population, the Japanese health ministry recently mandated that all waistlines among its 56 million workers over age 40 be below “regulation size” of 33.5 inches (for men). Any company failing to bring its employees’ weight under control--as well as the weights of their family members--will be fined up to 10% of its earnings by the government.

According to government officials, 27 million Japanese--about half of all adult workers--have health indices (cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and BMI) that don’t meet ideal numbers, and will be targeted for mandatory medical intervention.

Via Al Dente via Instapundit.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2008

Any Chance We Can Make It Permanent?

Maybe it's just Christo on the loose again:

An unprecedented security blanket will be draped across San Francisco for the US leg of the Olympic flame's global relay here Wednesday amid worldwide condemnation of China's crackdown in Tibet and its human rights record ahead of the summer games in Beijing.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:18 PM | Comments (2)

Sentence of the Week

Well, as long as they insist:

However, the World Meteorological Organisation insists that this year's cooling has nothing to do with global climate change.

Posted by Charles Austin at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2008

An Observation About Dangerous Old Men (and Women)

I'll bet that John McCain will be the last person ever nominated for president by either one of the major parties that will have served in Vietnam. In fact, he may be the last person who served we get to vote for in either party for president for the next four or five elections. I started thinking about this after reading this grim Grim post (via Instapundit). You will need to read that post for this to make much sense. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Of the Democrats who either ran this year, considered running this year, or might otherwise be considered, Al Gore, James Webb, John Kerry and Wesley Clark served in Vietnam. Of these, only James Webb can be taken seriously as a potential nominee, but I don't think his hawkish credentials will appeal to the Democrat's base and he's burned his bridges with Republicans. Amazingly, of all the remaining Democrats on the horizon I can think of only Mike Gravel has ever served in the military. This represents a major cultural shift from, say, the 1970's or 1980's. Oh, and claiming to have suddenly remembered that thirty years ago you maybe wanted to consider the possibility of perhaps examining the feasibility of joining the military doesn't help matters much.

Of the Republicans who either ran this year, considered running this year, or might otherwise be considered, aside from John McCain, Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter served in Vietnam but neither of them are ever going to be nominated for President. Even more amazingly, there are no other Republicans on the horizon I can think of who have ever served in the military. This represents a major cultural shift from, say, ever.

The only wild card exluded from this analysis is General David Petraeus. I don't know if he is a Republican or a Democrat. Hard to imagine the Democrats and their thousand little tribes of activists embracing him. Almost as hard to imagine the Republicans embracing him, though for entirely different reasons. The cultural shifts alluded to above are going to continue to make it more and more difficult for someone to come out of the armed services and get nominated or elected to the highest office in the land. Our politicians are as much a reflection of society as vice versa. Honestly, it makes me almost wish we would reinstitute the draft. Otherwise, the folks in uniform and the ethos they represent are going to continue to be further and further marginalized in the halls of power and Big Media.

I find this a little troubling. Not that a a president has to have served, but that no one running for the office for perhaps the next twenty years is likely to have served. "Speak softly and carry a big stick" may be kind of hard to understand, debate and articulate through policy when no one competing for the top job has ever bothered to pick up a stick.

DOWNDATE: Another Instalanche. Thank you sir.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:19 PM | Comments (8)

April 04, 2008

Earth-Healthy Possessions

The irony abounds:

Environmentally conscious Leonardo DiCaprio is practicing what he preaches these days. The actor recently added an eco-friendly apartment in New York City to his impressive list of earth-healthy possessions, which already include a hybrid car and a solar paneled home in Los Angeles.

I wonder how many times Leonardo has driven his earth-healthy hydrogen powered car between his earth-healthy homes in New York and Los Angeles?

DOWNDATE: All of a sudden my traffic takes off... that can only mean an Instalanche! Woo hoo! Thank you sir for noticing. For the record, I conflated Mr. DiCaprio's hybrid with something I saw recently on Jeremy Piven's hydrogen powered vehicle. I have no idea if Mr. DiCaprio's car is hydrogen powered or not. My apologies.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:16 PM | Comments (2)

Do They Know Wolfowitz Isn't There Anymore?

Considering that you can find someone to say absolutely anything, I have come to despise the substitution of this kind of cheap advocacy for news:

Developing countries and environmental groups accused the World Bank on Friday of trying to seize control of the billions of dollars of aid that will be used to tackle climate change in the next four decades.

So the World Bank is being accused of seizing ..., wait for it ..., the World Bank's money?

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

Sing Along

Kyle's Chelsea's mom is a ...

Randi Rhodes, an afternoon host for the progressive Team Air America radio network, was suspended Thursday after repeatedly insulting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton at an event last month.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

Controlling the Narrative

Provided without further comment:

Congressional Democrats are warning U.S. Iraq commander General David Petraeus, and the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, not to attempt to minimize the seriousness of the situation in Iraq when they testify to Congress next week.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

Adventures In Headline Writing

Bengals WR Henry out of jail

The headline writer might want to pay special attention to the first word of the article:

Former Bengal Chris Henry was released from jail Friday, spending an extra night there because no one was available to provide a court-ordered monitoring device.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

Public Service

Pays rather better than I remember:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have made $109 million since 2000.

Being a pro-free market libertarian I don't begrudge them the money, but I found the next part interesting:

The couple paid taxes of $33 million and gave more than $10 million to charity between 2000, their last year in the White House, and 2007, the records released by the campaign showed.

That's an effective tax rate of 30%. I'd bet the Clintons, like Warren Buffett, have employees with higher effective tax rates.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

So much to say and so little time to do it...

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2008

Do It Again

He's still at it, and so, therefore, am I.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Andrea gets some love.

Speaking of punishment... more from me later.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)