Feb 272010

Which would be a more appropriate headline if such an accusation were made:

  • Congressman Winger says Obama’s great-grandmother was Karl Marx’s love child.
  • Obama’s great-grandmother is said to be love child of Karl Mark.

Quiz questions:

  1. If you wanted to give a bit of credence to the accusation, which of the above two would be more accurate?
  2. On the other hand, if you wanted to point out that a lone kook was making wild accusations, which would you use?
  3. What would be the effect of leaving out the name of the Congressman?

So what about the following headline:

Toyota Accused of Withholding Records.

What if you read the article under the headline, and find out that it’s just one Congressman who is making these claims?

Feb 272010

I posted the following in response to the Battle Creek Enquirer article, “Stations pull ad critical of Schauer.”

“It just goes to show powerful special interests will say and do anything to maintain the status quo that keeps them rich while Michigan families are struggling,” Andrew Piatt, campaign manager for Schauer for Congress, said in an e-mail Friday.

So the Independent Women’s Voice isn’t allowed to use its own money to distribute an inaccurate statement, but the Enquirer will circulate an irresponsibly inaccurate statement by Andrew Piatt free of charge, with no fact-checking. Interesting.

Feb 262010

One courageous Senator, Jim Bunning, wants to extend unemployment benefits and COBRA to unemployed workers, and at the same time help President Obama bring the budget deficit under control. But the rest of his colleagues are too stingy and short-sighted to do it. So far I haven’t found a single newspaper that has reported on this conflict.

Feb 262010

On rare occasion I wish Democrats would stand up to Republicans in Congress. This is one of those times. I suspect the problem is that the Democrats really aren’t as liberal as they ought to be:

Senate Democrats have retreated from adding new privacy protections to the nation’s primary counterterrorism law, as Republicans refused to lend support and portrayed the majority as willing to harm terror investigations.


Feb 252010


Can’t Rupert Murdoch afford a competent photographer who can get a photo of the subject with his eyes open?

The above photo of Akio Toyoda was in Wednesday’s WSJ (Feb 24). The online version no longer has that photo to go with Holman Jenkins’ article, but it did until a few hours ago.

Feb 242010

Here’s a wild guess: New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg wasn’t actually in the White House Cabinet Room to see this:

WASHINGTON — Tempers were fraying in the White House Cabinet Room as night turned into morning on Jan. 15. President Obama had been cloistered nearly all day with House and Senate Democrats, playing “marriage counselor,” an aide said, as he coaxed, cajoled and prodded them on a health care overhaul.

As the clock neared 1 a.m., the two sides were at an impasse. Mr. Obama stood up.

So how did she get this information? Direct revelation from God? From an impartial eyewitness? Unauthorized surveillance cameras?

I tend to doubt all three of those possibilities.

URL here.

Feb 172010

I was pleased to see John Willson talking up George Washington’s reaction to the Newburgh Conspiracy over at Front Porch Republic. It’s a fitting topic to think about on President’s Day. My response is here:

Now there’s an idea! Let’s abolish the stupid President’s Day holiday and replace it with Newburgh Day on March 15.

King George 3 appreciated the significance of that event. We should, too.

Several years ago when some of us were compiling our lists of the Ten Most Significant Political Events of the Millenium, I put this Newburgh event close to the top of my list, if not at the very top.

Ah, I found it in my e-mail archives. What follows was my contribution back in the closing days of the last millenium.

1. Martin Luther’s speech to Emperor Charles V, ending with “Hier steh’ ich. Ich kann nicht anders.” Actually, he probably didn’t say those exact words, but the meaning was clear. This example paved the way for a later hero such as Linda Tripp to stand tall and resist the full force and fury of a trillion dollar government and its hate-spewing groupies.

2. George Washington’s gentle refusal to take part in the Newburgh Conspiracy in 1783. His willingness to relinquish power, and his refusal to grab more power when it was there for the taking, is an event almost without parallel even in American history, but it was the defining moment for the political history of the United States.

3. The invention of the Printing Press

My response to Dr. Willson’s response is below. I think we’re straying a bit from the original topic.

Dr. Willson, you could have written a lot about Martin Luther vs the Roman Church that could have set a Lutheran like myself to squirming. You could have taken the side of Thomas More in the debates over the issues of authority and unity, for example. You could have poked at Luther’s doctrine of sola scriptura. But to compare the courage of Luther with that of the Holy Roman Emperor? There was little risk of Charles having to give up life and fortune. He knew where his social status and bling-bling came from. He was taking the side that kept his bread buttered. As to his sacred honor, it would have been honorable to honor the safe-conduct that he had used to get Luther to come to Worms. Then he could have had the courage to give his speech to Luther’s face instead of talking behind his back after the good monk had escaped his treachery. Yes, Luther had an escape planned, and good for him. There was no need for him to be a passive martyr, any more than Linda Tripp or any of Clinton’s victims should have been criticized for having a possible “book deal” by which they might support themselves in the face of ostracism and blackballing. Luther needed an escape route. Charles V had no need of one.

It’s unfortunate that we’re not spending more time talking about how to celebrate Newburgh Day. Where do we buy Newburgh Day greeting cards, for example? What would be an appropriate gift for one’s spouse?

Feb 112010

President Obama says he is agnostic about keeping his campaign promises. That’s OK. I’ve been atheistic about him for a long time.

But here are some conditions before we even think about increasing taxes. These items should help offset the damage.

  • Abolish public employee unions and re-instate the Hatch Act.
  • Enact term limits for members of Congress. No, they do not need to be severe limits, but they do need to result in at least a 10 percent turnover. Yes, we need a Constitutional amendment to do it. So get cracking.
  • Eliminate ag subsidies. Cold turkey.

Otherwise there is little point.