On the road again (various and sundry)

Light posting ahead for a few days as the next leg of our westward-ho begins.  Will attempt to learn to copy and paste on a lilliputian keyboard.  No promises, but will keep the google reader (left sidebar) updated.

Hmm… more Americans identify as pro-life again this year.  Gallup calls it “the new normal.”  What a good one for a change, eh?

Megan McArdle: Obamacare already costs more than we thought it would.  Oops.  She writes:

Henry Waxman canceled his War on Accounting, not because there was a sudden breakout of common sense on Capitol Hill, but because his committee’s investigation revealed that companies had begun exploring whether they should drop their health insurance plans entirely–a move that would cost over $100 billion thanks to the huge new subsidies the government would have to dole out.

Meanwhile, the CBO just came out and said that the health care reform was slated to cost $115 billion more than they said it would.  Why?  Because they didn’t have time to calculate the effects on discretionary spending such as new administrative capacity, demonstration projects, and continuation of successful short-term initiatives.  As my fiance notes, Olympia Snowe’s demands to slow down the process suddenly seem a lot more reasonable.

I’m with you: Pundette feels the world’s gone topsy-turvy with the latest nanny-state nonsense.  Also at the Potluck, NiceDeb has a sharp video contrasting our illustrious Attorney General (whose dog ate his homework) and Lt. Col. Allan West, of whom I’m a fan.

Excellent WSJ reading: The Democrats’ Civil War .  Kim Strassel highlights the current trend in Democrat primaries to push the party further left as the country rights itself.  Of course we only hear via  MSM that the GOP is tearing itself apart.  The DNC staffer I had the privilege of sitting next to on  a three-hour flight relished telling me about the war within the Republican party as she sipped her coke as if that alone were enough to save her party come November.  

More excellent WSJ reading: Detroit razes 10,000 homes including Mitt Romney’s childhood abode.  What’s frightening?  Tear down 10,000 and 80,000 abandoned buildings will remain.


Steyn funnies

It takes a special writer to make you laugh as you read of your own (societal) demise.

Consider Mark Steyn so gifted:

The story of the Times Square bomber reads like some Urdu dinner-theater production of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” that got lost in translation between here and Peshawar: A man sets out to produce the biggest bomb on Broadway since “Dance a Little Closer” closed on its opening night in 1983. Everything goes right: He gets a parking space right next to Viacom, owners of the hated Comedy Central. But then he gets careless. He buys the wrong fertilizer. He fails to open the valve on the propane tank. And next thing you know, his ingenious plot is the nonstop laugh riot of the Great White Way. Ha-ha, what a loser! Why, the whole thing’s totally – what’s the word? – “amateurish,” according to multiple officials. It “looked amateurish,” scoffed New York’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Amateurish,” agreed Janet Napolitano, the White House’s amateurishness czar.

Ha-ha-ha. How many jihadists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: 27. Twenty-six terrorist masterminds to supervise six months of rigorous training at a camp in Waziristan, after which the 27th flies back to Newark, goes to Home Depot and buys a quart of lamp oil and a wick.

Is it so unreasonable to foresee that one day one of these guys will buy the wrong lamp oil and a defective wick and drop the Camp Osama book of matches in a puddle as he’s trying to light the bomb, and yet this time, amazingly, it actually will go off? Not really. Last year, not one, but two “terrorism task forces” discovered that U.S. Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan was in regular e-mail contact with the American-born, Yemeni-based cleric Ayman al-Awlaki but concluded that this was consistent with the major’s “research interests,” so there was no reason to worry about it. A few months later, Maj. Hasan gunned down dozens of his comrades while standing on a table shouting “Allahu Akbar!” That also was consistent with his “research interests,” by the way. A policy of relying on stupid jihadists to screw it up every time inevitably will allow one or two to wiggle through. Hopefully not on a nuclear scale.

Read the rest.  He highlights a novel I had to read in a grad school class I only somewhat jokingly referred to as how-to-become-a-jihadi-in-a-semester-or-less.  The parallels between the protagonist in The Reluctant Fundamentalist and the Times Square bomber are striking and numerous.  Do you remember how it felt to see footage of Muslims the world over dance and cheer as the Towers fell?  Try reading a novel glorifying the reaction and “explaining” the basis of it for a rich, Ivy League educated, fat cat Wall Street Pakistani.   (While you’re pregnant.  What a miserable semester.)


Faisal Shahzad’s curriculum vitae rang a vague bell with me. A couple of years back, I read a best-selling novel by Mohsin Hamid called “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” His protagonist, Changez, is not so very different from young Mr. Shahzad: They’re both young, educated, westernized Muslims from prominent Pakistani families. Changez went to Princeton; Faisal to Connecticut’s non-Ivy University of Bridgeport, but he nevertheless emerged with a master’s degree in business education. Both men graduate to the high-flying sector of Wall Street analysts. On returning to New York from overseas, both men get singled out and questioned by immigration officials. Both men sour on the United States and grow beards. Previously “moderate,” they are now “radicalized.”

The difference is that Faisal tries to blow up midtown Manhattan while Changez becomes the amused, detached narrator of a critically acclaimed novel genially mocking U.S. parochialism and paranoia. If only life were like an elegantly playful novel rich in irony. Instead, the real-life counterpart to the elegant charmer holes up in a jihadist training camp for months, flies back “home” and parks a fully loaded sport utility vehicle in Times Square.


Grand opening of what on 9.11.11 at Ground Zero?!

A mosque.  (Or a mosque-that-isn’t-a-mosque.   A “cultural center” with prayer space.)  Haven’t you heard? 

Mark Steyn, at his eloquent best:

So, in the ruins of a building reduced to rubble in the name of Islam, a temple to Islam will arise.

There is something especially profane about this.  I wonder if the 9.11 families will be able to raise enough of a stink.  Hope so

Allahpundit calls the date a “show of solidarity” with Americans.  Indeed.  The solidarity of rubbing our noses in it.  His praise:

And yet, as repulsive as this is, so ingeniously does it exploit liberal pieties about multiculturalism that I almost want to congratulate the people behind it for their canniness.

Agreed.  Congratulate them and send ’em on their merry way.  With friends like these…

More Allahpundit:

If this is all about “healing the wounds,” then presumably there’ll be no objection to moving the center if the public makes clear that it doesn’t want to be “healed” in this particular way, right?

As with the majority of Americans who agree with the Arizona immigration law, we’ll be told that we’re in the wrong, and to shove it.

Remember in November.  Elect people who reflect the values and common sense of the American public at large. 


My I ♥ Chris Christie post of the week

Seems Allahpundit shares my crush.

Dude, I’m starting to think this might be the guy. A solid first term, then reelection in 2014, and suddenly the wide-open 2016 primaries are right around the corner…

I said the same thing a month ago.  Get with it, man. ; )  Go watch Christie (verbally) thump a reporter.  Worth it.

More today from the Hill:

In a movie version of this important story of our time, the bold, undaunted officeholder would look much like the boyish, handsome David Cameron — Great Britain’s new Conservative prime minister — who called on his countrymen Tuesday to embrace an “age of austerity.”

But this is America. So the fearless leader willing to be honest with voters, to part with what cannot be paid for, is actually not dashing, nor is he eloquent. He is an overweight Bruce Springsteen devotee, a former prosecutor with a remaining trace of a Turnpike accent who is intent on rescuing New Jersey. If he succeeds, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) could become a major political force in the years to come, whether he likes it or not. 

As the United States watches a debt crisis in Greece like a fiscal oil spill, waiting to see where it will spread first and when it will make landfall on our shores, Christie is tackling the nation’s worst state deficit — $10.7 billion of a $29.3 billion budget. In doing so, Christie has become the politician so many Americans crave, one willing to lose his job. Indeed, Christie is doing something unheard of: governing as a Republican in a blue state, just as he campaigned, making good on promises, acting like his last election is behind him. 

And after four years of the Obami, let’s pray folks will be willing to overlook how “dashing” someone is on camera with a ‘prompter and props and vote for the man who can do the job.  Seriously.  RTR.

UPDATE: Linked by Pundette.  Thanks!

Today’s could-have-been-an-Onion-headline Award

Goes to the Navy Times: Hold fire, earn a medal.  Seriously.  No joke–I thought it was.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.

It was a British idea.  (Withholding comment, but our own chain of command has obviously given it thought.  God help us.)

A voice of reason:

A spokesman for the 2.2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation’s largest group of combat veterans, thinks the award would cause confusion among the ranks and send a bad signal.

“The self-protections built into the rules of engagement are clear, and the decision to return fire must be made instantly based on training and the threat,” said Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The enemy already hides among noncombatants, and targets them, too. The creation of such an award will only embolden their actions and put more American and noncombatant lives in jeopardy. Let’s not rush to create something that no one wants to present posthumously.”

My sentiments exactly.

NYT celebrates new reality of Obama’s America

From today’s installment in the series, “The New Poor

Many of the jobs lost during the recession are not coming back.  Period.

For the last two years, the weak economy has provided an opportunity for employers to do what they would have done anyway: dismiss millions of people — like file clerks, ticket agents and autoworkers — who were displaced by technological advances and international trade.

The phasing out of these positions might have been accomplished through less painful means like attrition, buyouts or more incremental layoffs. But because of the recession, winter came early.

Less painful means?  An opportunity to do what they would have done anyway?  Evil bastards!  And so much for bias-free writing. 

The author never mentions the new reality of what the Obami have wrought.

Like millions of other Americans, I have friends and family who have lost their jobs in this economy.  And not because evil employers are out to slash jobs, but because the current administration has made every effort to hurt the private sector as much as possible.  Period.

Government is going green today…

With cap n’ trade.  

It’s back.  Pundette has the scoop.  Me, I need the laughs at this point.

If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium

After two weeks of quasi-homelessness as we make our way West, that’s how it feels.  And we haven’t yet started the-drive-with-a-toddler-who-doesn’t-like-the-car in earnest, either.

Prayers welcome. 

In the meantime, some news of note: More boycotts for Arizona (including a few absolutely ridiculous ones) while Pew finds a growing majority of Americans support the Arizona measures–and that’s after 24/7 negative coverage from the President on down.  Keep it up, Obama, pretty please.

Arizona draws a second well-needed line in the sand, banning ethnic studies classes in K-12

the program, which offers courses from elementary school through high school in topics such as literature, history and social justice, with an emphasis on Latino authors and history.

How long until we can ban “social justice” from curricula, too?

Just a thought.

Surprise: 70% of Massachusetts voters (!) favor banning welfare benefits to illegal immigrants.  I think someone better tell Obama’s illegal-alien-auntie who lives in Boston public housing

Back in the saddle again

Well, for the moment, anyway. 

From Reuters:

Economic incentives to provide inexpensive healthy food and insurance coverage for prevention are among a list of 70 immediate steps that can reduce U.S. childhood obesity, a White House task force recommended in a report on Tuesday.

What happens when the “economic incentives” (read: taxpayer subsidized) for the Obami definition of  “inexpensive healthy food” (read: organic arugula) fail to change the eating habits of poor people? 

Childhood recollection: kids eat the french fries at lunch and throw away the apples.  So I wonder how long it will take for the new free-food-for-all crowd to ban the french fries.  Like salt. Or fat.


The report to U.S. President Barack Obama calls for specific actions that can be taken by government and private industry to battle a national health crisis but does not call for new funding or legislation.

The panel suggests economic incentives could help eradicate so-called “food deserts” — urban and rural areas with few, if any, supermarkets and grocery stores. The incentives would improve access to healthy, affordable food.

How long will the “no new funding” mantra last?  If “food deserts” exist in urban areas, then liberals are to blame: they have fought ever-evil Wal-Mart and others in order to prevent the giants from driving out local mom-and-pop stores.  To blame the local mom-and-pops for not providing enough cheap good eats proves that Wal-mart helps poor people more than it hurts because it increases buying power.  Don’t tell a liberal.

“The sonogram stands as an unimpeachable oracle.”

Via PundetteJeanette Pryor writes of feminism and its defend-abortion-at-all-costs stance in light of a new law in Oklahoma which forces women to have an ultrasound exam before receiving an abortion:

The sonogram stands as an unimpeachable oracle. Turning back to gaze at the perfectly formed toes and fingers, at the beating heart, and cord bonding the baby to the mother who the baby’s whole universe, the nature of the choice at the heart of the “Pro-Choice” question can no longer be camouflaged. The mother can choose to endure temporary suffering, or she can sever the cord, burn and cut the little toes and fingers, and stop the beating heart.

If we establish that women have the right to thus slaughter their babies, we establish as moral one’s right to kill another in order to avoid personal suffering. We cannot, however, destroy another life, without obliterating the very foundation of our rights.

Read the rest.  Pundette calls it intellectual honesty.  I’d say at it’s finest.