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December 10, 2004 - December 3, 2004

Friday, December 10, 2004


A Coming Conversion
Peggy Noonan gives us her take on the future of Sen. Hillary Clinton. It is a bit more measured in tone than our last highlight of Ms Noonan's writing. We will all be watching and waiting.

The artist's rendering of Sen. Clinton seems to be from several operations ago. Amusing.





The Quaker Heart of Philadelphia is Only a Memory
It seems that Philadelphia has found the cure for its financial woes. Cancel tours of City Hall (Source Archive).

"The tour program, which attracts 30,000 visitors annually and an additional 6,000 schoolchildren, costs $70,000 to $100,000 to run each year." Wow. That will save at least one paper pusher's job. And, isn't that a relief?





Too Much Television
Something should be said about MSNBC’s Scarborough Country from last night. Congressman Scarborough's back was out of whack again and we guess that the Joe-in-the-den shots weren't working and the Joe-on-the-telephone-talking-for-four-straight-minutes bits that have Pat Buchanan and the four guests sit on the sound stage and grin at each other the entire time weren't working either. So, Pat Buchanan presided over the guests solo with a kind word for Joe's recovery -- and, on with the show.

We know that not many people watch MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, but that didn't stop us from watching the entire hour. For one, we like Pat Buchanan. We don't hear from him enough and even though he looks like one of those plate-spinners from The Ed Sullivan Show while he jockeys the controls, tries to give all four guests their say, and works so very hard to hit his hard breaks for the 29 minutes of commercials shown during the 60 minute program -- we watched.

The other reason we watch is that the whole show seems like something bad is going to happen any minute. It has an amateur feel to it and the chaos has its own appeal all by itself.

The guests last night were Ann Coulter, Al Franken, and some other guy that really didn't get to talk. Al Franken seemed drunk. No kidding. His speech was slurring and when they put his full face on screen he rambled on endlessly. At one point taking a full 90 seconds to say, his father and Mel Gibson's father would not get along. This was presented as a joke he thought about telling upon meeting Mel Gibson (whom he knew from an appearance Mel did on SNL) but never told. Good thing. It wasn't funny and no one knew what to say when he was finished. Thank God there was another commercial break.

Ann Coulter was subdued. She looked like she lost another 15 pounds since we last saw here cooing and gooing with Sean Hannity. We wondered to each other if there was something clinically wrong. We certainly hope not, but we trust the proper medical professionals are being consulted.

Then, there was the matter of Al wanting to go looting with Ann and -- as Slowplay points out -- promising jewlery to Ann. Very odd indeed. Perhaps that was the gin talking.

Al Franken wanted to discuss Sen. Kerry's vote on the $87 Billion appropriations bill that was all the rage during the presidential campaign until Ann pointed out that that topic had been discussed at length and there was this election thing that made the topic old news and they moved on.

Then, the rain poured down and the satellite lost its signal only to come back when Pat was saying good night and wishing Joe a speedy recovery. During the downpour we wondered if Al Franken is really a spokesman for the Democratic Party. If he is they are in deeper excrement than we thought. They really don't know what to talk about and they just keep circling the old topics that they just knew were going to get Sen. Kerry to the White House. The fact that they didn't hasn't seemed to hit them yet. And, is Al Franken supposed to be funny? He just seems like a lost child. Not very funny. Not very informed. But, we watched so you didn't have to -- all you had to do was read this little post. Have a great weekend.





Lots of News -- on the Radio
The Phil Hendrie Show has posted photographs on their website. "Pictures too graphic and shocking for the nightly news. Yet, even with the threat of the FCC looming," they have posted them for your edification (you'll have to scroll down a bit).




Thursday, December 09, 2004


A Hard Case
Sgt. Rafael Peralta's heroics are recounted in Blogs of War from Saturday. There is not much to add except, "Thank You."





No Analysis Needed
Professor Walter Williams feigns shock and surprise over the fraudulent nature of undergraduate education in these United States. He does call for greater accountability of Trustees, but also, suggests that if the people that so desparately want to be told their kids are smart by these people would just keep their money in their pockets -- things might straighten up -- in a hurry.

To me, it just seems like a continuation of the greater fraud being conducted everyday in your local public school house. A similar withholding of cash is in order there, as well.





Having an Easy Life
Everyone is having fun with the remarks made by Spec. Thomas Wilson, a 31-year-old member of a Tennessee Army National Guard unit (278th Regimental Combat Team) (Source Archive).

Here is what the Adjutant General of Tennessee, Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett, Jr. had to say.

InstaPundit has a full survey of what's been being said.




Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Historical Imperative of the Masses
We only mention immigration every now (see point #5) and then just to keep you alert to the coming tussle over this entire issue that awaits us in the new year.

You can travel to Claremont, CA via The Pasadena Star News story filed on Friday (Source Archive). From this little local debate, you can get the sides down. 1. Immigrants drive down wages and drain money from the nation's education and healthcare systems; or 2. Immigrants put much more in the system than they ever take out.

Argument #1 is put forth by Federation for American Immigration Reform or, "FAIR." Argument #2 is presented by Bill Hing, a professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis.

We'll keep mulling this over (although our leanings may be a bit obvious -- see #5), but nobody seems to be talking about the security issues involved and how, exactly they are being addressed by any side of the debate.

Michelle Malkin also added an interesting voice to the debate on Sunday.





The Largest English-speaking Nation on Earth
It doesn't matter if we all speak the same language. Or, does it (Source Archive)?





The God of the Most Chosen Nation
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put the "Christmas" back into, er, Christmas. Last week (Source Archive), Before lighting the tree, Gov. Schwarzenegger "talked about his Christmas traditions growing up in Austria, singing carols in German around a tree trimmed with candy, cookies and real candles." Wow. Compared with another great little sentence in the article, "Four years ago, during the state's power crisis, Gov. Gray Davis lit the tree and then turned it off to save energy." What a girlie-boy.




Tuesday, December 07, 2004


TIME TO GOOF OFF.
The Geek Press has their game of the day -- Reflex -- which you should spend the next hour getting really good at -- HERE. There is a warning that this thing is addictive -- we wouldn't know because our time is so valuable, but turn down your volume if you are at work.





Social Security -- Hot Potato (which is a Yank term for any issue that might require thought and foresight to resolve)

Josh Marshall provides guidance for Democrats on how to "frame" the upcoming debate on Social Security. Because, as he points out, "framing the issue is key." But, no mention of the "projected future spending across all federal programs plus the amount of debt currently held by the public exceeds projected future revenue by $43.4 trillion in present value, as of 2003. That imbalance is over 11 times the $3.8 trillion debt held by the public that the government officially reports. $35.5 trillion of this $43.4 trillion imbalance stems from Medicare (Parts A and B) alone while Social Security accounts for another $7.2 trillion," which we pointed out on Friday from the Testimony by Kent Smetters for the Subcommittee on the Constitution of The United States House of Representatives.

That is "present value." This gives credit for the time-value of money -- meaning, the actual numbers must be enormous. JM points out that historically, Republicans have wanted to abolish Social Security. We agree with that summary, but we're hard pressed to find any Republicans that are standing up and taking credit for past Republicans who claimed that Social Security and Medicare were going to bankrupt the country.

As an aside, that $43.4 trillion is very close to the value we recently heard regarding total household wealth in the U.S. -- what was it? $44 trillion.

UPDATE: Don't miss the clash of Poor and Stupid with Paul Krugman's piece in The New York Times -- they'll give you a link to Krugman's remarks, so we won't have to put one here.





Pearl Harbor -- About as Important as a Snowflake


USS Arizona Memorial

Some dates mean more than others -- at least to us. There is a little Pearl Harbor Tutorial at National Geographic if you want to fill in some of the gaps in your own memory, or not -- "For the past is history, And about as important as a snowflake" (Ned.36.18-19).

After all, it hasn't ever been a good idea to make the Yanks mad, Like with the Alamo, And the Maine, And the Lusitania . . . (Yks.107.5-8). "Why?," you ask.

Well, because, "The Yanks would remember it, Forever, And find a way to get even, No matter how much it cost" (Yks.107.11-14).

The U.S. Navy maintains a site remembering the day with a gaggle of links that you can peruse at your leisure today. Of course, you could always buy a book.

Simply let us intrude upon your work day a bit and ask you to think about this event in our past in terms of what is happening in our country today. Again, the Chain Gang cannot speak much beyond what is already posted. We simply direct you to a rather impressive section of BoomerBible.com which begins HERE.

"And now that you mention it, Remember the Lusitania?" -- Yks.107.15-16

UPDATE: Instalanche underway -- thanks Glenn and welcome to InstaPundit visitors.





UPDATE: A Great Big Mess in a Place Called Vietnam
Glenn Reynolds points out the myths of Vietnam being passed along as news -- Ranting Profs adds emphasis to our previous obeservation.




Monday, December 06, 2004


MORE: Those Who Should Ignore Us Completely
The 2004 WebLogAwards Voting is underway. Unfortunately, you can't vote for us, because we're not on any of the lists. Perhaps a huge outcry from InstaPunk faithful will put us on the ballot so we can be completely humiliated. Anyway, we thought you'd like to know.

Kos and friends got caught cheating anyway. Bill Hobbs alerted us to this sad fact . . .





MORE: Like a Friendly Uncle
Thanks to the work of Jim Treacher, we were pointed to a piece by Cathy Seipp (Source Archive) regarding our favorite non-conservative-non-liberal "news" man -- Bill O'Reilly.

I'm Shrinking . . . We liked Mr. Jim's headline much better than the refinery of Ms Seipp's. It was so good to read quotes about O'Reilly calling himself a conservative since, these days, all he tries to say is he is an independent. On the radio and on the television.

And, speaking of how much we don't like this guy anymore, Ms Seipp points to Mr. O's first tirade against the internet and blogs in particular -- HERE (Source Archive). Get used to it Billy-boy, I think BLOGS are here to stay.

It does seem that everyone is missing the main point of the O'Reilly make over -- namely, the anchor job at CBS. They don't have anyone to fill the spot -- since the entire staff was born on or before WWII, except for their crack producers. Buster-Bill wants his new bosses to come across with the big bucks for a truly conservative/liberal/libertarian/Green/Communist -- you know, objective -- anchor-dude. There can be no other explanation.

What riles us is that the guy would be completely unknown if it were not for his conservative act since he joined Fox News Channel. Now, when opportunity presents itself, he wants to cut and run into the arms of the networks the whole gang at Fox set out to topple -- or at least compete with . . .

Of course, O'Reilly denies all of this and says he would "just die" in a job like that. We shall see.

What an interview. Can't CBS just send over the contract and put us all out of our misery.

UPDATE: Mr. O is at it again, and boy is everybody worked into a lather (from Eschaton).





Especially if You Have a Printing Press
No matter what Professor Bainbridge's friend says, we will never divulge the real name of Puck Punk.





The Only Thing to do was Kill Each Other
Hammorabi doesn't care if it starts WWIV -- air strikes on nations aiding insurgents in Iraq is the call.


Religion of Peace




Friday, December 03, 2004


Have Rights, not Dreams
We have not recently commented on Dr. Rice and Ray Artest as recent events may have demanded, but American Digest called our attention to a thought-experiment proposed by Baldilocks in a reference to James Taranto's recounting of racist remarks made by people regarding conservative blacks, notably Dr. Condolezza Rice (isn't the web complicated?) and her recent nomination as Secretary of State. The experiment being:

Simply consider why those blacks who have been accused of bad behavior or demonstrate questionable character do not have their "blackness" questioned, but those who are conservative and/or preach the virtues of hard work do.

The Boomer Bible contains a book in the Present Testament called "Ult. Joe's Message for the BROAD STREETERS." The bulk of which is on-line at BoomerBible.com starting with Chapter One (In it's entirety in the hard copy). During the summer, RFLaird did take credit for a prophecy made back in 1991 being fulfilled in the words of Bill Cosby -- a wonder to behold.

Now, the Chain Gang cannot really add anything further to what was written down in BROAD STREETERS way back in 1991, but we do wonder that no black reviewer or commentator has ever said a word about this robust treatment of a topic that the appoinment of Dr. Rice seems to bring to the forefront. Perhaps now, with the internet and the new voices it brings, would be a good time.

NOTE: in clicking around the above links we did become aware of a situation regarding Manute Bol and the very hard times he has hit upon. Please read this (Source Archive) and if you are able to help in some way, please do so. You can read an update HERE (Source Archive).





O, Money
Just in case you thought we forgot -- Take a Look.

And, don't miss this little gem.

UPDATE: March 3, 2005 -- these bastards actually took the page down. The link above no longer works. But THIS ONE DOES -- the web never forgets. For searchers -- these are the remarks of Kent Smetters regarding the balooning unrecognized unfunded liability of Social Security.




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