Saturday, January 31, 2009

How to slow Wal-Mart

So there's controversy about the placement of a proposed Wal-Mart near the Wilderness battlefield in northern Orange County. It's near a part of the battle field where soldiers from Vermont held the line in an important 1864 Union victory. Very honorable and needs to be remembered.

How do you slow Wal-Mart? Reduce the federal government. It's that simple.

Wal-Mart is building where there are people. There are people moving into northern Orange as growth from Washington, D.C. expands. Thirteen years ago, it was mostly forest and a few houses along Route 20. And we expect government to grow more with the stimulus bill now under consideration.

Sure, it's okay for four people to share the same West Wing office that Karl Rove once used. But unless they are sharing the same housing, they are part of the government expansion.

It's likely Wal-Mart has no better option for putting a new store in that area than the proposed site. They know the legal challenges that can come from building near battlefields. And face it. Most of Fredericksburg is part of historic Civil War battlefields. We need to honor the past but also deal with the present.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Down memory lane

From the days when TV stations didn't broadcast all night.

Lonely at the top

Facebook allows users to show their loyalty for their favorite teams. The Steelers are fourth among NFL teams with 35,997, trailing the Patriots, Giants and Cowboys. Coming in dead last among the 32 teams - Arizona. Only 1331 friends.

The Prodigal government

As the discussions continue about the bailout and proposed stimulus package, my thought turned to the parable of the Prodigal Son.
Not the end that we all know, or the beginning. The middle. The son, with all his money, goes to town. And really goes to town. He has lots of friends to help him spend his money. Then, one day, the money's gone. And so are his so-called friends.
Our government has been spending like the son when he got to town. When the government runs out of money, who will be its friend. The Prodigal Son had to hit bottom with the pigs. And we don't have the luxury of watching the Prodigal government sink to the bottom from afar.

Bad economy means you too

The New York Times highlights the suffering of lawyers today. Will this be the end of billable hours? Here's one bubble that was due to burst.
With a sigh that is simultaneously proud and pained, lawyers will talk about charging clients for 3,000 or more hours in a year — a figure that means a lawyer spent about 12 hours a day of every weekday drafting motions or contracts and reviewing other lawyers’ motions and contracts.
Lawyers today. Daba girls the other day. I wonder who's next.

He said, he said

President Obama said "I won"
The Republicans said "We're not dead yet"

How to solve this

Politico reports that ads stating "Are you with Obama or Rush?" will be going up this weekend. I've got a solution, from movies of the 1950s - a drag race.
Obama and Rush will drive their hot rods, and Nancy Pelosi will be the girl in the poodle skirt, waving the starter's flag.

Pelosi's problem

The Weekly Standard wonders if support drops for the stimulus package every time Nancy Pelosi gives an interview. She's stumbled over birth control and STD funding so far. With the site up, people are searching with a fine tooth comb and (Congress being Congress) plenty of pork is coming out.
Pelosi and company may think they are doing President Obama's bidding, but making his stimulus look foolish wasn't part of his plan.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm gonna miss him

Blago's gone. Been fun while it lasted. He did a great job crashing Obama's honeymoon suite.

Compare and contrast

Being a newbie on, I thought it was interesting that Left of the Hill linked to the same article by Karl Rove that I did.
I thought Rove's column was more logistical than anything. You only have one president at a time, and that president only has two ears. Besides, to be snarky, Dick Cheney ran everything from an undisclosed location, not the West Wing.
As I remember, Bush began his White House time emphasizing professional business procedure. The image of the Clinton White House was a college frat house, with Clinton cramming late at night and always talking. Obviously, the Obama White House will run differently than Bush. Rove is just giving friendly advice from what he learned while working at the White House.

Hang on, help is on its way

Sarah Palin will be in Washington this weekend, doing her gubernatorial duties and attending a dinner that President Obama is also scheduled to attend. I guess Tampa won't be the only host of a Super Bowl-style clash of titans this weekend.

Look out

George Will highlights the council of Comparative Effectiveness Research from the House's stimulus bill.

CER would identify (this is language from the draft report on the legislation) medical "items, procedures, and interventions" that it deems insufficiently effective or excessively expensive. They "will no longer be prescribed" by federal health programs.

Now, if such a council said half of all lawyers were insufficiently effective and thus would now be trained to work in child care centers, I might support it. It would be scary for the kids, but maybe we have too many lawyers. Can we stimulate a discussion on that?

Fun in Berkeley

Mark Steyn highlighted this story at National Review Online this week. And here's the resolution.
So 3M gets to fix library checkout scanners despite not following the no-nukes policy Berkeley approved in 1986. Further down the story, they say Berkeley uses other 3M products, but that's okay because they don't buy directly from 3M. Guess one degree of separation is important when you need sticky notes.
And others fretted that microchips in the library books could easily be tracked by the government. I don't think it takes a government tracking program to figure out what kind of books people check out of the Berkeley libraries.

Inside baseball advice

Karl Rove's latest column looks at the obscure but important part of the President's life - what other people work in the West Wing. He said his old office will now hold four people, and it's reported that Obama's West Wing will have at least double the 60 people who worked there under George W. Bush.
Rove is skeptical how well the White House will work. Will Obama's policy cxars streamline the operation or just add an unnecessary level? Which side will leak to the press first? Usually it's the losing side of policy fights that leaks.
We'll see how the Obama White House fares on the sliding Bush-Bill Clinton scale of efficiency.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hey, pack mule generation

Hey, pack mule generation. Yeah, you guys under 30 who voted for Obama.
The House wants to another $819 billion you're responsible for paying back. Not the Republicans in the House, but the Democrats. That oughta stimulate you.

Switching places

So we're trying to delay the DTV transition for a few months while pushing through a stimulus (cough, cough) bill in a few weeks. How about sticking with the DTV date of February and giving people a chance to read the stimulus bill before passing it? And it may take until June to get through all the stuff in this stimulus (cough, cough) bill.

What happens when the stimulus fails?

Republicans can't really stop or slow much of the stimulus bill now going through Congress. Not enough votes. They must stand out and warn the cliff is coming. Even if the Democrats don't believe there's a cliff there.
If we were in Vegas, it would be 4 a.m. and we're doubling-down on a bet in hopes of making all our money back. And what usually happens - you lose all your money.
The bailout in the fall was a bad bet. This stimulus is doubling-down on that bad bet. The Republicans need to be ready to pick up the pieces when this bet loses.

Yabba daba doo

The newest troubled group of our economic downturn is profiled in the New York Times. It's women "Dating a Banker Anonymous." Obviously, we haven't given enough money to these poor New York bankers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rush is smart

It's going to be fun listening to Rush Limbaugh as long as there is an Obama administration. He's got a nine-figure contract that doesn't expire until 2016. And he's not hanging around in case Chicago gets the Summer Olympics that year.
Now there's an online petition to express your outrage at his recent comments on his view of President Obama and his success or failure. (h/t
If the Democrats could get President Obama to sign a letter to Rush's radio syndicator, maybe that would have some impact. Rush could raffle it off like he did the Harry Reid letter two years ago. It would make Rush and some charity very happy.

Lesson not learned

The past few springs, we've seen a spike in gasoline prices. While Congress looks for price fixing, the reason for the increase is usually oil refineries trying to produce different gasoline mixtures to meet state demands. And usually California has the highest prices.

Yesterday, the Obama administration said they would look at letting California set its own stricter fuel efficiency standards. Higher prices, anyone?

I'm part of the team

My blog is now three months old, so I've been added to the roll at New readers can check the archive and see what I've been thinking and writing about through the transition.

First snow day

Schools are closed in Augusta County Tuesday, in anticipation of snow and ice today. It's just wet in Fishersville right now, but the schools made the right call. You have snow days available, so you might as well use them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Latest recycling news

The price for recycling aluminum cans in Staunton today was 29 cents per pound. That's down nine cents from early December and more than half the price before the fall.

An alternate history, 1994-2008

As we went from the highs of the Contract with America to today's lows for the GOP, I thought I'd offer a look at what happened and what it might mean.
When the Republicans came to power after the 1994 election, one of the things they tried to do was slow entitlement spending. They looked to the future - 20 to 30 years out - and saw the demand for service outstripping supply of money from taxes. They thought a small reduction now would mean more money later.
But sacrifice now for future benefit isn't the way Washington works. President Clinton fought the government shutdowns that came from the policy battle, the Republicans were blamed as the bad guys and slowing the rate of increase went off the table.
So if you see a future shortfall and you can't slow spending, the thing available is to increase money available for programs. Cutting taxes helped the economy grow, but last fall the bottom dropped out. All the extra money we thought we had for retirement and programs popped with the bubble.
So now we're back to where we were in 1995, but with fewer options. It's probably 10 years or less until the money for entitlements puts a pinch on everything else in the budget. The cuts will have to be harder and deeper than they would have been. There's not enough time to grow out of the problem.
Tough choices will have to be made. Will Washington be up to the task?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kennedy goes under

Lots of interesting reading today about the implosion of Caroline Kennedy's quest to become a United States Senator. The New York magazine and New Yorker both examine the mystery of how the express fell apart and the underlying New York political battles.
The one thing for sure. The 2010 election in New York will be lots of fun.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Don't mess around with Rush

A song parody, apologies to Jim Croce

Capitol's got its hustlers
The Senate's got its bums
Pennsylvania Ave's got Barack Obama
He's a smooth talking son of a gun
Yeah he's big and smart as a man can come
He's better than a Clinton, hoss
And when the Democrats all get together at night
You know they all call Barack boss

And they say
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask of the ol' Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Barack

Well outta south Florida come a talking man
He said I'm looking for a man named Barack
I am a radio talker man
Name is Rush Limbaugh
And no liberal calls me slim
Yeah I'm lookin for the king of the Democrats
He talkin about more spending, Jack
Now we wants to take all our money
And it may sound funny
But I come to get our money back

And everybody say Jack, don't you know
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask of the ol' Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Barack

Well a hush fell over the press room
When Barack come boppin' in off the street
And when the shouting was done
The only plan left on the table
was where to go to eat
Yeah taxes cut in bout a hundred places
And going end a couple more
And you better believe
They sung a diffrent kinda story
When Barack hit the floor, uh huh

Now they say
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask of the ol' Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Rush

Coming this week

Monday starts No Name-calling week. Good to see President Obama and Rush Limbaugh got a jump on the celebration.

Not Bush's fault

Iceland is going to have early elections due to its problems with the global credit crunch. Several other countries are having protests as governments deal with the issue. We're not alone, and it's not all Bush's fault.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Starting the weekend right

The New Republic has a story comparing and contrasting Obama and Bill Clinton's styles based on their law school - Harvard for Obama and Yale for Clinton. The Volokh Conspiracy highlighted the story and mined this nugget from the comments.

As a lawyer who went to a state law school but practices with lawyers from both Harvard and Yale, I can say that graduates of both law schools have their heads up their asses, but Harvard lawyers less so.

Not Caroline

After a month of talking, late Wednesday we found out Caroline Kennedy would not be the next Senator from New York.
Yesterday afternoon, the newspaper where my former boss worked found out the ID of the new Senator - Kirsten Gillibrand - before anyone else. Good job.

Three cheers for consistency

The Politico reports President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press room and got his own surprise - a question about an appointment that seemed to conflict with his new lobbyist policy.
The adversarial press lives. Their jobs now depend on it, so the Obama administration must get used to it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Magnetic personality

If you can't get enough Obama, here's something else for you.
h/t Instapundit

Class assignment

Lots of school children watched the inaugural, since it was historic and inspirational. Some teachers asked their students to write down their thoughts about what they had seen and heard.
I'm inspired to write an essay about today's major action.

Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations on your new job and today's work. If you are closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, what will happen to the prison cells and those who work there?
I have some teachers you could put there. They gave me bad grades.
And there's this boy who misbehaved and made us miss a field trip. Could he be waterboarded? I know he may not like it, but we didn't like missing the field trip.
Keep up the good work. Your facebook friend since January 2008.

Congrats, Secretary Clinton

So Hillary Clinton is now Secretary of State. Did President Obama call the Palestinians and say "You guys better behave and stop launching rockets at Israel. Or I'm going to send her over there. You really don't want that."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kos vs. Disney

Just for fun, I cruised over to He posted a note about the Obama girls meeting the Jonas Brothers as the prize in a White House scavenger hunt last night. Then he noted -

Cute. And we can console ourselves in the knowledge that their musical tastes will have dramatically improved by the time they move out of the White House in eight years.

You can say whatever you want about George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the Republicans. But when you talk bad about Nick, Joe and Kevin, you've gone too far.

The last ride

Mark McKinnon chronicles George W. Bush's plane trip back to Texas.
h/t Instapundit

Arrest Bush watch

Now that President Bush has left the scene, will the Arrest Bush and Cheney groups go away too?
I caught a minute of the lefty talk channel on XM yesterday. They thought Bush didn't pardon everyone for everything about Iraq because he had been lulled into complacency by Obama's statements. Now Obama could unleash the lawyers and try Bush's crew for war crimes.
I think they will be waiting for that bus for a long, long, long time. How long can they last? I'll be watching.

Good News

Bill Bennett opened his radio show this morning talking about his time on the parade route at the inaugural. He said numerous African-Americans came up and asked to take their picture with him. He didn't think any white liberals had done the same.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When thinking of the fiscal stimulus...

...Just think of the Democrats of firefighters, going to put out a fire.... with a tanker full of gasoline. They turn their hoses on and whoosh. A minor fire becomes a major disaster.

Going overboard

The sports award for the biggest stretch of Obamamania goes to ESPN's Jim Rome. He ended his segment with two sports writers Tuesday asking how great it is to have a sports fan in the White House. Hello, didn't George W. Bush own the Texas Rangers at one point? Just because Obama has a better jump shot doesn't make him a better sports fan.

Thought for today

Just because people aren't smart enough to follow doesn't mean you're not leading.
My favorite line from George W. Bush's convention speech in 2000 was this - "They had their chance. They have not led. We will."

Frum's new spot

Bush speechwriter David Frum (of Axis of Evil fame) debuts his website today. He was not impressed by Obama's speechwriters today.

Remember when

I was remembering Rush Limbaugh talking shortly after the Clinton inaugural in 1993. He had been the guest of President George H.W. Bush the last night. He asked the staff to leave a note behind for the guests spending the next day, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and her husband.
He wrote, "I've been here, and I will be back."
The executive orders that President Obama issues to overturn President Bush's orders that overturned President Clinton's orders will eventually be overturned. It just takes time.

Down south

I checked the Weather Channel, and there's snow advisories in most of South Carolina. There isn't any snow in Myrtle Beach on the web cams I checked, but there's some on I-95 in Florence.

Fond farewell

The National Review gathers several experts to assess his presidency.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just remember

Thinking of the Obama administration - the last thing to launch with such great expectations was the Titanic.

What to commemorate

Lots of newspapers are advertising their commemorative issues for the Obama inauguration. Are they commemorating the first African-American president or the last inauguration to be covered by newspapers?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm surprised...

...that no one has titled this inauguration - From swearing at to swearing in.

Interesting reading

Lucianne's links offers a view of what progressives are thinking on the cusp of the Obama inauguaration. They are thinking Obama will do things their way - the right way - if they "make him do it."
When I make my list of people who will pressuring Obama to do things their way, most of them are outside our borders.

Bird brains

The New York Post looks past the hero pilot to the villians of Thursday's crash. Honk if you agree.

What I learned on the plane

Flying back from Orlando yesterday, there were two unhappy preschoolers in front of us. The parents had trouble calming them down at times. One of the boys laid down in the aisle midway through the flight, and his parents left him there until the steward came through. Of course, there was crying at takeoff and landing.
Two unruly preschoolers. Kind of reminded me of the House and Senate. Good luck, president-elect Obama.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Farewell to Bushitler

Here's some video of someone closer to Hitler than George W. Bush.

Ahead of the curve

I drove down Route 28 alongside Dulles Airport today, and the GPS noted it was Sully Road. Now that's quick thinking, naming a road after the hero pilot less than 48 hours after the Miracle on the Hudson.

Friday, January 16, 2009

At the o-naugural

What will Mr. Global Warming (Al Gore) wear at the inaugural? Shorts and a t-shirt? The temperatures in the 30s will be warmer than today, but not quite global warming.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In the news

President-elect Obama reportedly attended a dinner party at George Will's house Tuesday.
President Bush was going to have a farewell dinner with lefty bloggers, but they didn't like the toy that comes with happy meals this week.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I can wait

NBC announced the cast of Celebrity Apprentice 2009 today. Participants include Andrew Dice Clay and Dennis Rodman. Don't think I'll be setting the DVR for that.

Also out of sync

Rush Limbaugh highlighted this review of "24", which starts another season Sunday. Guess this guy hasn't watched the news since the election.

Getting ready for Saturday's game

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Good timing

A panel in the Illinois house voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich today. They also went to the barn to close the door, but the animals had already escaped.

Get your cards now

Thanks to NRO's Corner and a collection of odd links, I see that January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day.
Please shop ahead of the rush.

Thanks but no thanks

The New York Post's Page Six posted Roseanne's opinion on the current Israeli-Palestinian clash. Here's a quarter, call someone who cares.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Joe goes to Israel

Joe the Plumber will be spending 10 days in Israel as correspondent for Pajamas Media TV. Joe owes his fame to Barack Obama walking in the neighborhood, and Pajamas Media got a boost from Dan Rather's 2004 blunders.
Methinks the groups covering the 2012 presidential campaign will be a lot different from those who covered previous campaigns.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Interesting website

The current Gaza Strip clash has brought the conflict into the internet era. The Israeli Defense Forces put videos up on youtube. There's several facebook groups in support of Israel, and this website to put information together.

Another o-naugaral song

Let's have Elton John and Kiki Dee sing their 1976 song "Don't go breakin' my heart." Cause when it's time for governing, Obama's going to have to break some hearts.

Let me sleep on it

ESPN's Tuesday Morning Quarterback column doesn't just highlight football. Today, he notes the campaign of Sara Mednick of the University of California at San Diego that taking naps during the workday improves productivity.
See you later.

Never mind

Citgo and Venezuela pulled their donation to Joe Kennedy's fuel oil assistance program Monday. I guess his "friend" Hugo Chavez doesn't care about the U.S. unless oil prices are high. Now he needs assistance. Good luck, Joe, writing Hugo to get him to reconsider. That money's gone the way of the oil price bubble.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ahead of the curve

Albemarle County Schools have already posted a two-hour delay for Tuesday morning, 13 hours before schools would normally open. I'm surprised. Usually Nelson County gets the first delay of the storm award.

An anvil, not a life preserver

Chicago columnist Jay Mariotti joins and drops a load on his old newspaper and their ways. If newspapers are on a respirator, looks like Jay is ready to pull the plug.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In honor of last night's game

h/t Thomas Harding of

Go to guy

In following the Gov. Blagojevich saga, I've often read columns by John Kass. He has a good feel for all the bad things going down.

Up in space

The two Rovers launched to Mars have been going for five years. Pretty impressive.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bring it on

So Terry McAuliffe will announce plans to run for governor on Wednesday. It's going to be a fun new year.

Things we knew in grade school

In England, they don't want to call a school a school because it has "negative connotations."
My brother and I knew that 35 years ago. On a family vacation, we drove our other brother crazy pointing out all the schools along our route.

Let me think

The American Philosophers Association held its Eastern convention over the Christmas holidays. It appears there was two applicants for every one posted position at philosophy departments, and some posted positions are not going to be filled due to budget cuts.
Does this group need a bailout?
Let me think.

Where Bush was right

You're still alive, right?
New York is still there, right?
A peaceful transfer of power is going on.
David Frum gives his big three reasons. The commenters whine and moan. As usual.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Vote early, vote often

The best of 2008 Darwin Awards are now up for a vote. Some very interesting ways people took themselves permanently out of the gene pool.
h/t Don Surber

Looking out below

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit often focuses on pension plans and their troubles. Today he links to this long and scary post.

Outdoor hockey in Chicago

Now, that's good writing

This story tells you all you need to know in the first paragraph.
The day before a powerful blast sent his headless body flying out of his Gaza home on Thursday, senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayan predicted that the Islamist movement would defeat Israel.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Holding the kids hostage

The kids were watching Nick yesterday when the scrolls came across - Viacom was fighting with Time Warner, not Comcast about its shows. We might lose Spongebob if Viacom didn't get its way.
The two sides came agreement last night, but not before putting pictures of a crying Dora the Explorer in newspapers of impacted areas. So this morning, kids woke up to newspapers with ads saying they didn't have their favorite shows. Never mind. Except the kids the ads were aimed at don't even look at newspapers. Really never mind.


A song parody for the automobile industry. Apologies to Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole.

Unsustainable, that's what you are
Unsustainable, you can't sell a car
Like the pile of debt that clings to you
Makes me want to buy a Suburu
Never before has someone been more
Unsustainable in every way
And forever more, that's how you'll stay
Thats why, Big Three, its incredible
That someone so unsustainable
Thinks that I am going to pay for you