May 24, 2008

McCain's VP Choice

Two words: Boris Johnson.

Why? Ten reasons:

1. He's young and energetic.
2. He's demonstrably not of the left.
3. He just defeated Red Ken Livingstone for Mayor of London. Senator Obama should be a piece of cake.
4. The debates later this year would be the best and most brutal we have ever seen in America.
5. How better to strengthen the Anglospheric alliance?
6. Boris wants to be president, and he was born in New York.
7. A candidate named Boris should put an end to any xenophobia triggered by a candidate named Barack Hussein Obama.
8. New blood. He's not Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, or any of he other craptacular candidates bandied about for the position. I exlcude Bobby Jindal from this because he's still too young for the job and Louisiana needs him more than the Senate.
9. The proposed Question Time for the President before Congress might actually make sense.
10. It'll never happen.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:58 AM | Comments (2)

May 23, 2008

How To Make Mike Huckabee Look Good

It's not easy, but Hillary manages to outdo Goober's gaffe:

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said, dismissing calls to drop out.

Jeez, is she worried that even then they might pick someone other than her?

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:54 PM | Comments (1)

Woo Hoo!

I won again. Thanks, Rodney.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:34 AM | Comments (1)

May 22, 2008

Same As It Ever Was

Hurricane prediction headlines and results for 2005-2007. Images taken from the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center Archives.

Above-Normal 2005 Hurricane Season Predicted by NOAA


US Forecasters See Active 2006 Hurricane Season


U.S. Agency Predicts Active 2007 Hurricane Season


So, of course, the headline for 2008 is:

U.S. government sees active Atlantic hurricane season

Must have something to do with colder water temperatures or something.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2008

No Demon Electricity

The Asylum Street Spankers are playing in St. Louis at Off Broadway on Friday and Saturday. I've seen them live in Austin, Chicago and St. Louis. Tough to describe, but worth every penny.

See you there.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

What Were They Thinking?

Rolf Harris performing Stairway to Heaven. Nice board Rolf.

Jim Capaldi performing Love Hurts. I don't know what Joe and Marilyn have to do with this.

Robert Goulet mastering self parody. Come on baby, make it hurt so good.

Cameo doing Word Up. Not the song, the red codpiece. For fun, here's a good cover by Gun.

Ween performing Push th' Little Daisies. Stay away from the brown acid. Good old WHFS. Baltimore. Annapolis.

Gilbert O'Sullivan performing Clair. Everything in this video is so wrong in so many ways.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2008

What Crisis?

Newsweek just offered me a professional discount of 92%, apparently because I am breathing, allowing me to get 54 issues for $20.00!

Hmm..., no, I think I'll decline on behalf of the environment and save the trees instead. It's what they would want me to do were they to be taken seriously.

DOWNDATE: An Instalanche! Thank you, sir.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:56 PM | Comments (14)

Miss It, Noonan! Miss It!

Usually, it is right after the elections that we get the predictable glut of stories wondering whether the Democrats or Republicans can survive, depending on who just won. Peggy Noonan jumps a little ahead of the news cycle:

The Democrats aren't the ones falling apart, the Republicans are. The Democrats can see daylight ahead. For all their fractious fighting, they're finally resolving their central drama. Hillary Clinton will leave, and Barack Obama will deliver a stirring acceptance speech. Then hand-to-hand in the general, where they see their guy triumphing. You see it when you talk to them: They're busy being born. The Republicans? Busy dying.

Ms. Noonan has fallen into the all too frequently sprung trap of interpolating a trend forever based on the last couple of data points, not to mention that it is far from obvious that Hillary is going to be such a gracious team player. But, hey, that Maverick™ brooch you get to wear by criticizing your own does get you invitations to the best parties.

Not being a Republican, I only care to the extent that something has to balance the Democrats, if only to keep them moderately honest. In St. Louis, Chicago, and Washington, DC, I've seen enough of local governments utterly dominated by one party to know it isn't a good thing. Anyway, anybody who thinks the Republicans are doomed need to read the stories written about the Tories in Great Britain about five years ago. These would be the same Tories that just kicked Labour's butt and are threatening to make Gordon Brown their shortest serving Prime Minster since Harold Wison's second term, though a better reference might be to Alec Douglas-Home more than forty years ago since Harold Wilson resigned for health reasons, rather than losing an election. Interestingly enough, Harold Wilson's first term came at the expense of Alec Douglas-Home. But I digress.

There's plenty to despise when it comes to the current crop of elected Republicans and the Republican Party right now, but let's not get carried away. Is anybody really that excited about a triumvirate of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama running the country? And do you really think they'll do such a bang up job that their future's won't be on the line in 2010 and 2012?

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

Monday, Monday

Can't trust that day:

U.N. racism investigator to visit U.S. from Monday

Help us Mr. U.N.!

A special U.N. human rights investigator will visit the United States this month to probe racism, an issue that has forced its way into the race to secure the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Presumably he will be limiting his investigation to Democrats then. No?

The United Nations said Doudou Diene would meet federal and local officials, as well as lawmakers and judicial authorities during the May 19-June 6 visit.

"The special rapporteur will...gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," a U.N. statement said on Friday.

Notice the subtle way this is all just assumed to exist here in quantities to justify the visit?

Race has become a central issue in the U.S. election cycle because Sen. Barack Obama, the frontrunner in the battle for the Democratic nomination battle, stands to become the country's first African American president.

His campaign has increased turnout among black voters but has also turned off some white voters in a country with a history of slavery and racial segregation.

FWIW, we also have a history of eliminating slavery and spending untold billions to help rectify its legacy, eliminating segregation a long time ago, and generally rescuing all manner of folks all over the world. Again. And. Again. And. Again.

Diene, a Senegalese lawyer who has served in the independent post since 2002, will report his findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council next year.

Must take a long time to catalogue our sins. Well, at least there is one silver lining:

However, the United Nations has almost no clout when it comes to U.S. domestic affairs and is widely perceived by many as interfering. The United States is not among the 47 member states of the Geneva-based forum, but has observer status.

Of course, we should expect utopians to prefer the perfect over the good:

A U.N. panel which examined the U.S. record on racial discrimination last March urged the United States to halt racial profiling of Americans of Arab, Muslim and South Asian descent and to ensure immigrants and non-nationals are not mistreated.

It also said America should impose a moratorium on the death penalty and stop sentencing young offenders to life in prison until it can root out racial bias from its justice system.

Can we leave the UN now?


Pretty please?

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)

Get Well Soon

Sen. Kennedy hospitalized with seizure

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

An Observation

For the first time in several election cycles, all of the candidates for president are so flawed that perhaps we can actually discuss their pros and cons without having to proclaim "our" candidate as the best thing since sliced bread and the "other" candidate as capable of bringing down the republic in four short years. I expect the Republicans to start out a little more civil since they are fresh out of Kool-Aid when it comes to John McCain and George Bush. At least half minus one of the Democrats should be able to join the Republicans soon in elevating the dialogue somewhat. The other half plus one are still too busy hoping the supply of changy flavored Kool-Aid will last until November.

Yes, of course there will be a given number of die-hard partisans, foul-mouthed supporters, and people totally lacking in any graciousness or civility on both sides no matter what. But perhaps the other 80% that are paying attention can move forward in a battle of ideas rather than personalities and caricatures.

Yeah, I'm a dreamer.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:50 AM | Comments (1)

Aren't They Taking the Masks Off a Little Early?

Too late for the whole "don't get cocky" advice:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain's family background as the son and grandson of admirals has given him a worldview shaped by the military, "and he has a hard time thinking beyond that," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., said Friday.

"I think he's trapped in that," Harkin said in a conference call with Iowa reporters. "Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous."

Harkin said that "it's one thing to have been drafted and served, but another thing when you come from generations of military people and that's just how you're steeped, how you've learned, how you've grown up."

Perhaps Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is too corny.

Link via Instapundit.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

He Learned at the Feet of the Master

Patriots' Belichick says Walsh isn't credible

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2008

Living Overseas As a Child, Perhaps?

Senator Obama has national security credentials?

Barack Obama rebuked Republican rival John McCain and President Bush for "dishonest, divisive" attacks in hinting that the Democratic presidential candidate would appease terrorists, staunchly defending his national security credentials for the general election campaign.

Who new?

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2008

Feckless and Ruthless

When's the last time you saw feck or ruth used in a sentence? In fact, do you know what they mean?

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:13 PM | Comments (5)

May 09, 2008


Behold the undemocratic concentration of power in the hands of Big Offset!

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Not the website, it's Hillary!:

Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Wednesday to continue her quest for the Democratic nomination, arguing she would be the stronger nominee because she appeals to a wider coalition of voters — including whites who have not supported Barack Obama in recent contests.

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

Imagine the hue and cry if that last sentence had come out of the mouth of, oh, I don't know, Karl Rove? Regarding the Democrats' promotion of identity politics for so long, I am reminded of Macbeth's comment:

“We still have judgment here, that we but teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague th’ inventor.”

Anyway, Hillary! needs to listen to some Boz Scaggs:

Best of friends,
Never part,
Best of fools has loved forever
From the bottom of his heart.
So why pretend?
This is the end.
You'll have to find out for yourself,
Go on ask somebody else.
Why can't you just get it through your head?
It's over, it's over now.
Yes, you heard me clearly now I said,
"It's over, it's over now."
I'm not really over you,
You might say that,
"I can't take it, I can't take it,
Lord, I swear I just can't take it no more."

Now, who else can tie stuff that white people like, Macbeth and Boz Scaggs together all in the space of 30 seconds reading?

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2008


Just when you think it can't get any weirder:

And James Carville, the Clintons' ubiquitous former aide, booster, and informal adviser made the point even more vividly, giving Clinton a two-gonad edge on her primary rival, Senator Barack Obama. "If she gave him one of her cojones, they'd both have two," Carville said.

So she has three now? Anyway, shouldn't Ol' Snakehead already know that every woman has two gonads? And I'm not referring to the ones Mary keep in a jar by the bed.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)

Of Course He Did

Al Gore Calls Myanmar Cyclone a 'Consequence' of Global Warming

And here I thought it was the curse of the lepidoptera.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:33 PM | Comments (1)

Tulip Mania

Oil nears $123 on $200 oil prediction

My first thought is that somebody has trouble with simple math if this is even remotely close to being true. But then I started thinking... anybody want to take bets on when we'll be asked to respond to the crisis of falling oil prices and have to bail out all the speculators? I mean, the entire economic system might collapse if we don't rescue the financiers and commodity traders who were only trying to efficiently channel resources towards getting more oil, except when they weren't.

Of course, depending on the timing of the fall in crude and its proximity to the election, there'll be a significant clamor from some quarters to use taxation to keep the cost of gasoline where it is. For The Environment™, of course. And The Children™.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

An Emblem of Conformity and Hypocrisy


According to Richard Cohen. Eek, wish I had time for a well-earned Scourge.

DOWNDATE: I picture Richard Cohen stammering and spitting like Niedermayer saying, "Is that a flag pin on your uniform?"

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:28 AM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2008

More 70's Music for Monday

Jackson Browne doing Fountain of Sorrow. As if I needed it, this still depresses me.

Little Feat doing Fat Man In the Bathtub. Well that's happier. Except for the story in the song. And the fact the Lowell is high as a kite, which led to his early death.

Neil Young doing The Needle and the Damage Done. Well, is there a theme developing here?

The Grateful Dead doing Werewolves of London. Ah, good times. Great encore back in 1978.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer doing Karn Evil 9. I worked a show after they had sent the orchestra home because it had become too expensive. Carl Palmer fell backwards off the stage at the end of the show and broke a couple of ribs. After about twenty minutes they came back out and played an encore and then departed.

And, of course, The Boomtown Rats doing I Don't Like Mondays. 'Nuff said.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:45 PM | Comments (1)


Well, to some people:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, announced Monday it would expand its discounted prescription drug program to offer 90-day supplies for $10 and add several women's medications at a discount. It also said it would lower the price of more than 1,000 over-the-counter drugs.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)


Hillary! is going to smash OPEC:

"We’re going to go right at OPEC," she said. "They can no longer be a cartel, a monopoly that get together once every couple of months" at a hotel in "some plush place in the world" to set prices, she told a crowd a volunteer fire house in Merrillville.

Well, at least we know Mark Penn didn't put her up to this.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:18 PM | Comments (1)