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Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Peril of Porous Borders

Federal authorities today released a photograph of members of a terrorist organization that entered the United States recently via Canada. They are suspected of a role in the downing of of US Airways flight 1549, which was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River, off of midtown Manhattan, two weeks ago.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Finally, a Fresh Face for the Republican Party



Michael Steele has been elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee. A good pick, certainly a refreshing change from the RINOs who, these past eight years, showed the Democrats how when it came to plundering the public fisc. Steele is a solid conservative and unlike most politicians described by the media as "devoutly Catholic," actually attends mass regularly and is opposed to abortion.

Steele's one weakness is his opposition to overturning Roe v. Wade, arguing that after 33 years we should defer to stare decisis. Nonsense, no one on the Supreme Court employed stare decisis in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (decided in 1896) upholding segregation laws. Roe v. Wade is one of the weakest decisions ever to come down from the Court, read it for yourself and see. Justice Blackmun, who wrote the opinion, seems to have made up his mind first, then to have gone in search of an argument. He was not successful. I worry Steele is afraid of incurring feminist wrath with his reluctance. He shouldn't be: feminists lost whatever clout they had in this country after they blithely turned their eyes from their hero Bill Clinton's countless sexual escapades. Steele should reconsider taking on Roe v. Wade. He has little to fear.

That aside, Michael Steele is a superb choice for RNC chairman. Delightfully vivacious, he doesn't seem bogged down by the debilitating gravamen afflicting the hacks that comprise Republican leadership these days. Perhaps he can inject some energy into that moribund organization, God knows it needs it if it hopes to counter the idiotic socialist fantasies of Ms. Pelosi and company.

Speaker Pelosi Explains It for Us



Specifically, how spending $335 million for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases will stimulate the economy.

Pay attention, there will a short quiz later.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Kirill's Election Hailed as New Phase"

Further anent Christian unity (see the posting below) is this welcome news, courtesy of Zenit:
Kirill's Election Hailed as New Phase

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 28, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI sent a telegram to the new patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia to congratulate him on his recent election as head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Pope expressed his "spiritual closeness" to Patriarch-elect Kirill and offered his "warm" congratulations in the message, published today by the Holy See. The elections were held Tuesday.

[]

"I wish you every strength and joy in the fulfillment of the great task which lies before you as you guide the Church over which you now preside along the path of spiritual growth and unity," said the Pontiff.

[]

Also in a communiqué published today, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity welcomed the election, describing the patriarch as a man "with whom we have maintained fraternal relations for many years."

"We trust we will be able to continue together down the path of mutual understanding we have already begun," the communiqué added. "We do not, of course, wish to lose sight of the difficulties that still remain, but we are ready and willing to cooperate in the social and cultural fields in order to bear witness to Christian values while, nonetheless, not forgetting that the ultimate aim of dialogue is the realization of the testament of Jesus Christ our Lord: the full communion of all his disciples (emphasis added).
Patriarch Kirill and Pope Benedict are close friends, I am told, so cautious optimism may be in order concerning the reunion of the Russian Church with Rome. We live in interesting times.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For Real This Time?

Yet another story has appeared raising the possibility that the Traditional Anglican Communion, a worldwide Anglo-Catholic organization of disaffected Anglicans who fled the Anglican Church, will be admitted into the Holy Catholic Church, as they formally requested two years ago.

I'm not holding my breath, stories similar to this one have appeared in the past only to be discredited later on. One significant difference, however, between this report and others is it appears in a Catholic journal, the Record, which serves Catholics in Western Australia. Excerpts:
History may be in the making. It appears Rome is on the brink of welcoming close to half a million members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into membership of the Roman Catholic Church, writes Anthony Barich. Such a move would be the most historic development in Anglican-Catholic relations in the last 500 years...

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood...

The TAC’s case appeared to take a significant step forwards in October 2008 when it is understood that the CDF decided not to recommend the creation of a distinct Anglican rite within the Roman Catholic Church – as is the case with the Eastern Catholic Churches - but a personal prelature, a semi-autonomous group with its own clergy and laity.

Opus Dei was the first organisation in the Catholic Church to be recognised as a personal prelature, a new juridical form in the life of the Church. A personal prelature is something like a global diocese without boundaries, headed by its own bishop and with its own membership and clergy.

Because no such juridical form of life in the Church had existed before, the development and recognition of a personal prelature took Opus Dei and Church officials decades to achieve.

An announcement could be made soon after Easter this year. It is understood that Pope Benedict XVI, who has taken a personal interest in the matter, has linked the issue to the year of St Paul, the greatest missionary in the history of the Church.
Seems promising but I'm from Missouri when it comes to the TAC's Roman aspirations; let us wait and see. Still, it would be splendid if it were true.

UPDATE (you knew this was coming, didn't you?): From Catholic Online via Fr. Robert Hart at The Continuum:
By Deacon Keith Fournier
1/29/2009

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – UPDATED: Catholic Online promised to update our readers on this extraordinary story. So, we now pass this on: The National Catholic Register cites a "Vatican Source" as saying that "nothing's been decided" by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Reports abound that the Congregation has recommended the creation of a personal prelature as the vehicle through which to receive the members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Register contends that an official at the Congregation spoke with their correspondent Edward Pentin today saying,“It’s something that has appeared on the blogosphere and then been reiterated, but the truth is nothing’s been decided.” We set forth our original story below believing that the sources reporting this exciting news and the history of the dialogue support its accuracy.
(Thanks to William Tighe.)

Busy, Busy, Busy

Attempting to turn the tables, the lefties are accusing the right of "Obama Derangement Syndrome." Robert Stacy McCain gives the lie to that fantasy, asking (and answering)
Where are the right-wingers mounting anything remotely like the mass demonstrations organized by International ANSWER? Where is the right-wing equivalent of the Code Pink women who disrupted congressional hearings and State of the Union speeches?

No such analogs exist. For better or worse, Republicans don’t much go for the politics of protest.
Of course not, we have to work for a living.

(h/t Instapundit)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Where the Hell Have You Been?

From Politico:
Boehner to GOP: Vote against stimulus

President Barack Obama is coming to the Capitol this afternoon to curry favor with congressional Republicans. But it appears GOP leaders have already made up their minds to oppose his $825 billion stimulus plan.

[]

Democrats are warning that Republicans will continue to be pegged as obstructionists and the “party of ‘no’” if they are unwilling to negotiate.
If the Republicans had been known as the "party of 'no'" the past eight years, they would control both Houses today and have one of their own in the White House.

(Thanks to the Instapundit.)

Steady as She Goes



The Episcopal Church steams full speed ahead on her course to Universalism.
Northern Michigan Bishop Nominee Has Background in Buddhism

The Diocese of Northern Michigan is set to elect as its bishop a priest who once received “lay ordination” in Buddhism. On Jan. 23, a diocesan search committee announced that a single candidate had been put forward to stand for election as bishop at the diocese’s special electing convention Feb. 21 at St. Stephen’s Church, Escanaba.

In recent years, he also was a practicing Buddhist, according to the former Bishop of Northern Michigan...

If Fr. Thew Forrester was an Episcopalian-Zen Buddhist, and if he was elected by the special convention as bishop, objections to his being seated in the House of Bishops would be raised, according to one senior diocesan bishop. That bishop said he hoped the House of Bishops was “still sufficiently faithful to recognize the total self-contradiction this would involve and deny consent” (emphasis added).
You gotta feel for that poor bishop. I wonder if he'll notice the bergs surrounding him before it's too late.

(Thanks to Stand Firm)

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Vulgar Display of Excellence

Passing through Grand Central Terminal on the way back from mass, I noticed a large Plexiglas cage installed in what used to be the waiting room and in it were two men (along with referee) playing Ping Pong. It turns out this was a tournament and moreover, the players were Ping Pong professionals. Who knew there was such a thing?

Ah, well, to each his own. It brings to mind the philosopher Herbert Spencer's famous sour-grapes adage concerning billiards, addressed to his opponent after he was soundly defeated in a game: "A certain dexterity in games of skill argues a well-balanced mind, but such dexterity as you have shown is evidence, I fear, of a misspent youth."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tonight on the Telescreen

Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell (PBS, 9 PM), which contains one of my favorite movie lines ever: a desperately hungover Mame instructs her young charge Patrick to tell Ito, the housekeeper, "bring me a light breakfast: black coffee and Sidecar."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fake But Accurate

From the New York Times.
The somber, elegiac tones before President Obama’s oath of office at the on Tuesday came from the instruments of [Yo-Yo Ma and] Itzhak Perlman...But what the millions on the Mall and watching on television heard was in fact a recording, made two days earlier by the quartet and matched tone for tone by the musicians playing along.

The players and the inauguration organizing committee said the arrangement was necessary because of the extreme cold and wind during Tuesday’s ceremony.

“Truly, weather just made it impossible,” Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said on Thursday. “No one’s trying to fool anybody. This isn’t a matter of Milli Vanilli, Ms. Florman added...”
You're right, Ms. Foreman, it's worse. Milli Vanilli was (were?) a slick marketing creation in an industry rife with them; a couple of zero-talent pretty boys who couldn't sing, lip-synching anodyne pop tunes sung by those who could. Other than legions of teen-aged girls, no one gave a rat's ass when their cover was blown and they quickly faded into obscurity although, tragically, one of the duo did regain fame briefly after he OD'd.

Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman are big names in the music world, they enjoy major reputations and we expect better of them. It was announced with fanfare those two stellar artists would perform at the inauguration (and oh, how the PBS crowd purred its approval) so for them and their colleagues to have faked the performance was gross deception, nothing less. If it was too bloody cold for them to risk the well-being of their precious axes, or they were worried about the event turning into a clambake, the two artists should have withdrawn with an explanation. Reasonable people would have understood. It bears mentioning, however, the Marine Band, which consists mostly of brass and woodwinds--much harder to play in the cold then fiddles--managed to pull off their gig off without a hitch.

"Where Two or Three are Gathered in My Name,

"there am I in the midst of them," promises our Lord in Matthew 18:20. In my Episcopal days when attending a midday mass, I was frequently reminded of and assured by that promise. It was thus gratifying to see well over a hundred souls in prayer at the noon mass at the Church of Our Saviour today.

E-Mail Spam I Didn't Bother Opening

But the subject header was rather droll of its own: "I caught my mom doing some guy on the net!"

The Stuff of Fiction

When I was young and impressionable I devoured the works of Ayn Rand. I have moved on since but still thank God (pace Ms. Rand) for her vivid portrayals of socialism for the monstrous evil it is. In her novels, particularly, Atlas Shrugged, Rand's vilest and most despicable characters are not government bureaucrats, rather captains of big business. Being of a libertarian bent, that used to puzzle me but over the years I have come to see the wisdom of Ms. Rand's characterizations and the recent meltdown on Wall Street has brought them to the fore. Herewith, a splendid example of private sector pond scum:

John Thain, the former Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive officer ousted yesterday, spent $1.2 million redecorating his downtown Manhattan office last year as the company was firing employees, a person familiar with the project said.

Thain hired Los Angeles-based decorator Michael Smith, chosen by President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to redecorate the White House, CNBC reported. Thain paid Smith $837,000 and his purchases included $87,000 for area rugs, $25,000 for a pedestal table and $68,000 for a 19th century credenza, CNBC said.

...Merrill’s $15.4 billion fourth-quarter loss forced Bank of America to seek additional aid from the U.S. government, which last week agreed to provide $20 billion in capital and $118 billion in asset guarantees. (from Bloomberg.com)
Needless to say, stuff like this is grist for the mill for socialist trolls like Michael Moore and his kind. When bumbling millionaire grifters like Thain are seen in the corner suite, one hand pointing to where the credenza goes while the other one scoops up billions in public funds, it makes it lot more difficult for those of us who believe in free markets, limited regulation and taxation to prosecute our argument.

(Thanks to For What it's Worth.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Diary of a Newly Minted Papist: Reconsidering Beggars.

Your Bloviator humbly confesses he has a difficult time slogging through books considered to be what we in the entertainment industry term only semi-mockingly, "full-attention product." Two or three paragraphs into the page and this boomer of a certain age (ours being the first of the post-literate generations) finds his mind wandering here, there and everywhere; to any subject save the one he is reading about.

Happily, I have found a solution to my shallowness, the New York City subway. The trip from northern Manhattan, where I live, to midtown, where I work, takes about about 40 minutes, with one train change, and that time in the train, I find, concentrates the mind wonderfully; sufficient enough to labor through the uplifting and improving stuff. That is how last December I managed to work my way through Fr. George Rutler's superb meditation on St. John Vianney, The Curé d'Ars Today and how I now dutifully have a go at the surprisingly entertaining Confessions of Saint Augustine.

Today's train reading brought me to the chapter in Confessions about Augustine's encounter with a drunken beggar in the streets of Milan. The saint's initial distaste for the fellow is transformed when he notes, with irony, that the bum,
[w]ith the help of the few paltry coins he had collected by begging...was enjoying temporal happiness for which I strove by so bitter, devious and roundabout a contrivance. His joy was no true joy, be sure but what I was seeking in my ambition was a joy far more unreal; and he was undeniably happy while I was full of foreboding...
I am no Augustine, of course, and alas, don't expect to be one, but those words rang sweet and true to me and I resolved to act upon them. I attend (when able) the daily noon mass at the Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue. While there are other churches much nearer to my work (Saint Pat's for one) it is well worth the brisk walk to Our Saviour to hear the erudite and informative homilies given by the aforementioned Fr. Rutler, the pastor (and the priest who received your Bloviator into the Holy Catholic Church, thanks be to God). Parked next to the west door of the church, nearly every day, is a 21st century colleague of Augustine's drunk who cheerfully wishes passersby, especially those going into the church, greetings of the day along with the news (albeit by now somewhat stale) he is receiving donations.

In all my years in New York I have never given a cent to a beggar, finding the usual whinging of wanting something to eat stretching credibility since one cannot walk more than a few blocks, especially in midtown, without bumping into a soup kitchen. The drunk outside Our Saviour, however, makes no such spurious claim: he's boiled and not ashamed of it, downright chipper, in fact. For a drunk, he is quite tidy, never leaving a mess for the sexton to clean up. So today, before ducking into mass, I dropped a paltry quarter into the old fellow's hands and will probably do the same everyday, from now on. If that quarter goes into the general fund with which he lays in a supply of Night Train or Thunderbird, so be it and God bless the old sot. I pray he will be, like Saint Augustine's drunk, undeniably happy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Class with a Capital K

America's left showing grace and dignity at the inauguration (from AP):
People in the crowd booed when Bush's image was flashed on jumbotrons and one contingent near the Capitol sang "Na-na-na-na, hey, hey, goodbye" in a jeering farewell.
How sad to be trapped in perpetual adolescence.

Friday, January 16, 2009

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

From the New York Post:
Officials at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, known as FINRA, told The Post that after examining more than 40 years' worth of financial records from Madoff's now-defunct broker dealer, there are no signs that Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities ever traded shares on behalf of the investment-advisory business at the center of the scandal.

The startling findings contradict statements that Madoff's advisory clients received showing hundreds, if not thousands of trades, completed by the broker dealer every year.
Just for the sake of argument, imagine there were no regulatory authorities like FINRA or the SEC: could the Madoff matter have possibly had a worse outcome? I wonder, in the absence of the regulators, if Madoff would have been able get away with his shenanigans for as long as he did. With no FINRA or SEC, the poor saps who forked their money over to that scoundrel might have actually done a bit of due diligence for themselves had they not been secure in the belief government regulators would do it for them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Scorched Earth in a Freezing Land


The Church of the Good Shepherd, Binghamton, NY

As I become more settled in the Holy Catholic Church, I find my interest in the Episcopal Church slowly waning though there will always be a place for her in my heart. A story appeared a few days ago, however, that illustrates what a sad, petty and, ultimately, strikingly unchristian institution the Episcopal Church has become.

The Rev'd Matt Kennedy some years ago become rector of the small and moribund Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in a depressed neighborhood in depressed Binghamton, a city in depressed upstate New York. With his parishioners, he and his wife turned the church around and it is now a thriving concern that does much good work in this downtrodden area, including the feeding of 40-50 people in its soup kitchen, among them, according to the church's website, "a fairly large number of homeless people who live on the banks of the Susquehanna River which runs across the street from Good Shepherd."

Over a year ago Good Shepherd broke with the Episcopal Church, distressed over her headlong charge into apostasy, and affiliated with a diocese of the Anglican Church in Kenya. Good Shepherd's former diocese, the Diocese of Central New York, sued Good Shepherd to recover the church's property and on January 12th, the state Supreme Court (New York State's lower court) ruled in the Diocese's favor, awarding it the building, the land, the fixtures and every stick of furniture. As I write this, the rector, his wife and parishioners are packing up the few items they are permitted to take away and moving them to their new quarters, an unused Catholic church a mile-and-a-half away. This accommodation is only temporary. From there, the people of Good Shepherd have no idea where they will go.

As a Catholic, I am aware in our Church most property belongs to the local diocese (and am aware also the importance of obedience to one's bishop, no matter how wrong-headed he may seem). While property ownership in the Episcopal Church is a hotly litigated matter these days, what particularly galls about Good Shepherd's plight is after that church elected to split from the Episcopalians, its vestry twice offered to to buy the property from the diocese, offering the market value a year ago, well before the recent real estate collapse.

The Diocese of Central New York turned down both offers and chose instead to sue the little church, no doubt at the behest of Presiding Bishop Schori and her consigliere David Booth Beers. Central New York, like so many dioceses in the Episcopal Church, is comprised mostly of rapidly emptying churches, thus there is no earthly use whatsoever to the diocese for Good Shepherd's property, other than to satisfy the vengeful lusts of Ms. Schori, Mr. Beers and Central New York's ordinary, the Rt. Rev'd Gladstone B. ("Skip") Adams, III.

Meanwhile, Good Shepherd's soup kitchen will soon close, if it hasn't already, and the poor souls living on the banks of the Susquehanna in frigid upstate New York (it is zero degrees in Binghamton right now) will have to find somewhere else to go on Thursday nights for their hot meal.

If It Walks Like a Duck, Quacks Like a Duck...

From Bloomberg News:

Bair Would Be Surprised by U.S. Bank Nationalization

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said today said she would be “very surprised” if the government took over any large U.S. banks.

“I’d be very surprised if that happened,” Bair told reporters in New York, responding to a question about whether the agency would have to nationalize any large banks.

Regulators seized 25 U.S. lenders last year, the most since 1993, as a deepening recession spurred a rise in foreclosures that hurt bank profits. Bank of America Corp., the biggest bank by assets, plunged in New York trading today on concern it may need additional U.S. aid to absorb losses after acquiring Merrill Lynch & Co.

The Car of Yesteryear...

...is here today.



(h/t Iowahawk.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Diseases of the Rich

Only in societies as privileged as ours does one find people living at such remove from day-to-day worries over their survival they can spew forth mind-numbing drivel like the following.
My understanding of reproduction is that it is the basis of the institutions of marriage and family, and those two provide the moorings to the structure of gender and sexual oppression. Family is the social institution that ensures unpaid reproductive and domestic labour, and is concerned with initiating a new generation into the gendered (as I analyzed here) and classed social set-up. Not only that, families prevent money the flow of money from the rich to the poor: wealth accumulates in a few hands to be squandered on and bequeathed to the next generation, and that makes families as economic units selfishly pursue their own interests and become especially prone to consumerism.

So it makes sense to say that if the world has to change, reproduction has to go.
Marxism and feminism are afflictions of the upper-middle class; the poor and the working class have shown us for many years they are largely immune to them. If the recession we have entered turns out to be as severe as predicted, those privileged souls with the time on their hands to churn out twaddle like the above may actually be forced to go out and get real jobs, their grant money having run out or their 501(c)(3) or (4) non-profit employers having gone belly-up. Perhaps, then, we'll see a decrease in their torpid offerings, a minor blessing in difficult times.

(Thanks to Instapundit.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

That Didn't Take Long

While there have been grumblings about President-Elect Barack Obama from the angry left almost from the day he was elected, it took a matter of true importance to them, i.e. their "right" to steal music off the Internet, to jerk them back into characteristic full-blown rage. That has just happened. From cnet:
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama won applause from legal adversaries of the recording industry. Stanford law professor Larry Lessig, the doyen of the "free culture" movement, endorsed the Illinois senator, as did Google CEO Eric Schmidt and even the Pirate Party.

That was then. As president-elect, one of Obama's first tech-related decisions has been to select the Recording Industry Association of America's favorite lawyer to be the third in command at the Justice Department. And Obama's pick as deputy attorney general, the second most senior position, is the lawyer who oversaw the defense of the Copyright Term Extension Act--the same law that Lessig and his allies unsuccessfully sued to overturn.
Those appointments have not gone over well with the cerebral folks over at slashdot.org. Blogger Ben Scheffner has thoughtfully compiled a selection of some the choicer comments found there, replete with the colorful language lefties employ with such deft facility.
* Congratulations on electing a politician. Please enjoy the next 8 years of corporate whoring.

* Obama wants to change the system. But in order to do that, he needs insiders, clinton retreads, lobbyists, and big corporate stooges that know how to get shit done. Once he's surrounded by them, he'll be able to change the system.

* Now I'm laughing at all the drones here that fell for the Messiah's clever PR campaign.

* It could be, that like most lawyers, he doesn't actually believe in the RIAA cause and just wants their money. Murderers and rapists need lawyers that just have to be advocates in court and not true believers in their client's innocence. That being said, when you set your expectations higher than the gutter (especially in politics) there is a chance you'll be disappointed.

* Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

* Between that and this pick [time.com], will all the Slashdot Obama koolaid drinkers who thought he was supposedly pro-tech please stand up and be heard now!

* If Chimpy McBushitler had done this, it'd be business as usual on /. But now that his O'ness has done it, I'm looking forward to a really entertaining read.

* I can't wait to watch all the hardcore supporters roll back expectations, deny all the claims they made about change, and finally blame the system itself for any failures on the chosen ones part.

* And the rest of us who maybe had a little hope for change are just going to be disappointed with more "new boss".

* I'm laughing to myself, because anyone who thought there was going to be serious change in DC was only deluding themselves. Now the truth is becoming apparent, Obama is no different then any other politician except he has a greater personal charisma.

* His picks for the Justice Department are pretty fucking scary. He picks a pro-gun control/pro-war on drugs person to lead it and a former RIAA lawyer for #3? Unless John Ashcroft is #2 I don't really see how this could be any worse.
We have to remind ourselves this is the One at whom these unhappy souls fulminate. It is with certain satisfaction, then, your Bloviator recalls back on November 5th, the day after the election, he predicted Barack Obama's honeymoon with the left would be a brief one. For once, he got one right.

(h/t the Instapundit)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Capstone of His Career


(Image courtesy of reallyboring.net)

Without a doubt, the most entertaining political drama these days is the ongoing Blagojevich scandal. Also without a doubt, the most entertaining aspect of that scandal is the embattled governor's appointment of the wheezy old political hack Roland Burris to the Senate seat formerly occupied by President-Elect Obama; the same Senate seat the disgraced governor is accused of trying to sell to the highest bidder.

While Burris has not one distinguishing characteristic other than his color, and while the Democratic leadership is determined not to let him take Obama's old Senate seat, he is no dummy, certainly smart enough to know that procedure for his appointment was followed to the letter and that his record is clean: not a single conviction (which, I suppose, should be regarded as a major distinguishing characteristic for a Cook County pol), in fact, he even brags about it. He intends and expects to be called the Distinguished Gentleman from Illinois.

Just to make it all perfect, though, Burris is giving the finger to Harry Reid and his pals, playing the race card for their having the temerity to challenge his being seated. The charge of racism is an old tactical favorite of the Democrats and one they are finding, to their utter dismay, as difficult to defend as the Republicans do when similarly charged by the Democrats.

Roland Burris will sit in the Senate, we may be sure of it. The photo you see above is of his own tombstone, built in advance, even though he is the picture of health and should have no difficulty serving out one or several Senate terms. In the center of Burris' monument to himself, underneath the boldly chiseled words "Trail Blazer," (click on the image to enlarge) is a list of his achievements. At the top of that list there still is space for one final entry. The word "Senator" should fit in easily, with room to spare.

(Thanks to Captain Yips.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

La la la! I Can't Hear You So You're Not There!

Ann Coulter has been banished by NBC, apparently the broadcasting dinosaur finds her offensive (Via Drudge).

Coulter was set to unveil her new book, GUILTY.

One network insider claims it was the book's theme -- a brutal examination of liberal bias in the new era -- that got executives to dis-invite the controversialist.

"We are just not interested in anyone so highly critical of President-elect Obama, right now," a TODAY insider reveals. "It's such a downer. It's just not the time, and it's not what our audience wants, either."
NBC is right on one score: Coulter is certainly not what its audience wants, that audience largely being geriatric liberals who want no one harshing their mellow these precious days as Bush goes out and Obama comes in. CBS and ABC would do no differently.

One good flu epidemic, however, and network news is finished in this country.

(Thanks to For What It's Worth.)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Don't Ask Silly Questions

When even the Huffington Post is trashing the idea of "global warming," we may be reasonably sure this idiotic notion (not to mention its imbecillic big brother "climate change") has finally run its course. It probably would have happened earlier had there been a Democrat in the White House these past eight years but never mind, we must still be grateful the exemplar of junk science is seeing its end at last.

Had they been enacted, however, does anybody believe that the foolish yammering proponents of the Kyoto accord and the like, from Al Gore on down, would have later agreed to their rescission as evidence mounted their economically punitive provisions were utterly unwarranted? Anybody?

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Fresh Perspective

One of the reasons for the timing of the Israeli attack on Hamas, apparently, was concern the incoming Obama administration would be less sympathetic to Israel than President Bush's. Last summer, however, Barack Obama, after touring the Israeli town of Sderot, which has borne a large share of the 6464 rockets launched by Hamas in Gaza in thanks to Israel for turning it over to them three years ago, declared: "If someone were sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do anything to stop it."

That seems unequivocal. With the viscerally hated President Bush soon to be out of the picture, it will be interesting to see if some critics of Israel (those who believe in her right to exist, at least) are willing to reconsider their views on whether or not she should be allowed to defend herself when attacked. After all, President-Elect Obama seems to think so. So does the United Nations.