Tuesday, March 31, 2009

BNN smackdown

Will bloggers be able to keep the feet of politicians to the fire like newspapers think they do? From a short time reading blogs, I'd say yes.
The criticism is bloggers write from a point of view, likely conservative or liberal. The newspaper people are supposedly neutral, and thus a better fit to play the role of watchdog.
But when there's lots of bloggers, several will usually focus on the same issue. With their different viewpoints, an incorrect or biased view will almost immediately be smacked down. It won't last long enough to become conventional wisdom.
As a Republican watching the pro-Moran and pro-McAuliffe sides go at it, there's nothing that will surprise the well-informed reader. Besides giving Bob McDonnell's team plenty of opposition research, these bloggers are combing over past records and future promises. The debates between sides are much more vigorous than a few political reporters at a few big papers looking at the same information.
With these bloggers, the reader knows where the bias comes from. And there's always someone looking to make a name for themselves, who will work harder and dig deeper if there's something there.

International incident

Earth Hour is over for this year, but the internet searching for the "Official Song of Earth Hour Protesters" continues.
I just got a hit from Croatia looking at Trace Adkins' "Every Light in the House is On." That's after getting hits from Vietnam, Malaysia, Canada and Mexico over the weekend.

A sad day

The Staunton News Leader has announced it will no longer print its paper in Staunton, but use the press in Harrisonburg instead. So now, the Waynesboro paper is printed in Lynchburg, the Charlottesville paper is printed in Richmond and Staunton will be done in Harrisonburg.
The newspaper presses are the coolest things. It's what makes a newspaper a newspaper to me. But I guess if they usually run just two hours a night for a nightly press run, sharing a press makes sense. (I know there's maintenance and setup time, but the basic job is pretty quick).
When I started working at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, once a week we had to wait for the press to roll to check on the finished product. About 30 minutes after the last page left the newsroom, you'd hear the warning noises as the press warmed up to run.
We'd get a pile of fresh papers brought to the newsroom, and we'd look at the headlines and ads to make sure there were no major mistakes. Something the L.A. Times could have done recently.
Then it was time to go home, carrying a fresh newspaper that would still be considered fresh seven hours later when the town woke up for the day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

NOW you're in trouble

Augustafreepress reports on Governor Kaine's decision to allow a "Choose Life" license plate and NOW's response to the news as the first comment.
Whoever thought of those "Choose Life" plates was brilliant. How can you not choose life? The best politics is when you tie your opponents in knots and let them fight amongst themselves. If the liberals could just let "Choose Life" slide, it wouldn't get them into trouble. Now NOW is putting out press releases questioning the Democratic party's commitment to their issue.
Allowing "Choose Life" license plates could be part of the Obama/Kaine mission for post-partisan, calm and methodical look at the troubling issues that have divided us. Or it could be another decision that brings forth angry and wild accusations. Choose wisely.

Interesting take

Chris Graham at Augusta Free Press wonders if the Democratic leadership is going too far left instead of working on the program he thought he voted for with Obama and Mark Warner. Since he lets his Democratic leanings known, it's interesting to see the struggle - what I'm getting is not what I thought I'd get. He wanted Warner's "Radical Centrist" and is getting radical instead.

Take a whack

Linked by ToM. Thanks.
The other McCain takes a whack at David Frum on the Spectator's blog this morning. I'll join in.
He quotes Frum:
But on environmental issues, we have to follow the evidence where it leads -- and on social issues we have to take our society as it is. If the world changes, we have to change with it.
There's a word for such thinking, and it's not leader. It's follower. Follower of conventional wisdom. Follower of the crowd. Not leading the crowd where you think it needs to go.
Right now, the majority of the American public sees President Obama as a Jackie Robinson symbol of hope and change. But conservatives have seen his flaws. He can't hit the curve ball. He can't field his position. He's a utility infielder, not an All-Star or Hall of Famer.
The people are ready to be led, just look at the Tea Parties and the 9-12 project. Those things aren't following the Obama path. Republicans shouldn't either.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Choice of a new Glenneration

The big New York Times profile of Glenn Beck is out. Can't wait to hear what he has to say about it Monday morning.

Why we love SUVs

With the Detroit automakers struggling, the Obama administration wants to wean them from big SUVs to smaller, green cars for the future. But why are SUVs and vans such a big part of the inventory of our automakers?
How about a little government intervention?
As the safety requirements have added up, the cars driven in the 60s and 70s couldn't cut it. You couldn't pile the kids into the back of the station wagon since everybody needed seat belts and eventually car seats.
With vans and then SUVs, customers had the space they needed to comfortable carry their two kids and their stuff around. The cars were bigger than the 70s and the families likely smaller, but parents felt safer driving these cars.
When we found out our second child was coming, it was off to Toyota to buy a van. With only one child, we could get by with a two-door Toyota Paseo with no passenger side air bag to cart him around town. Add a second child and it would have been a major pain to strap the infant in a rear-facing seat in the small back seat that car offered. If we put the infant seat in the passenger side front, the older child would have had to go through the driver's side door to get to his booster seat.
The Democrats think increasing the mileage of cars would help the automakers survive. But that's piling on another burden to the long list of requirements already there. GM and Chrysler look unliking to handle the extra weight without collapsing.

Channeling Sen. Bentsen

Republicans know tax cuts.
Tax cuts are our friends.
This isn't much of a tax cut.

Lack of regulation or not enough procreation?

Why is the world economy in such a mess? In the view of the Obama administration, there was not enough regulation of banks and the markets. With their new regulations, things will get better.
But what if that's not it. What if it boils down to Mark Steyn's sentence - Four grandparents have two children have one grandchild.
For an asset to have value, you need someone to sell it to. For the past 25 years, a large number of people have been bidding up the value of assets - stocks and houses - in hopes of having a good retirement. Now the baby boomers are starting to retire and needing to sell those assets. If there's fewer buyers and too many sellers, the value of the item goes down.
Instead of regulation, the Obama administration should encourage procreation. In 20 years, they can buy our houses and stocks. And work to pay down our debt.

Exclusive overload

Watching Saturday's NCAA tournament coverage, CBS was touting an exclusive - President Obama's first Sunday morning interview.
Didn't he just have an exclusive on 60 minutes last week? And a press conference? And a web-based press conference with questions from the people?
And the inbox has a note from the Financial Times. Monday, they have an exclusive with Obama - his first interview with a global publication. When you're talking to everybody, how is it an exclusive? When bits of your interviews spread across the internet like wildfire, where's the exclusive? It's not like he's saying different things to different publications.
I need to try to get my exclusive interview with the president. I would be the only Virginia blogger who shares his birthday to interview him.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lessons for Obama

Just got home from watching the movie "Monsters vs. Aliens." The president is voiced by Stephen Colbert. I guess Dreamworks sent President Obama a copy before the inauguration and he thinks that's the way to be presidential.

In stores now

My niece's birthday is next week, and in the card section I found American Idol greeting cards. Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest were out front. My niece deserves a nice Paula card.
I couldn't find a Simon Cowell card. And my brother's birthday is coming up soon.

Thanks, Smitty

My blog reading list now includes the Other McCain, since I expect him to stick around now that he's reached a million hits.
(btw, Don Surber is nearing four million hits. I wonder if there's a prize for putting him over that number. I know I'll be hitting the refresh button when the time is near.)
McCain's key contributor Smitty provides a weekly roundup of bloggers who link to the blog. And I've made it two weeks in a row without mentioning Jello wrestling.

Quote of the day

Mark Steyn looks at the looming regulation of everything, with the best and brightest in charge. (At least they think they are the best and brightest).
The challenge they face:
When the Bolsheviks chose to introduce Russians to the blessings of a "command economy" 90 years ago, they were dealing with a relatively simple agricultural society largely contained within national borders. Obama and Geithner are trying to do it with a sophisticated global economy in which North American consumers, European bankers, Asian suppliers, Saudi investors and Chinese debt-holders are more tangled than an octopuses' orgy.

Official song update

I like checking sitemeter to see where my blog visitors are coming from. Overnight, I had a visitor from Hanoi, Vietnam.
Why would someone from way over there check my little blog? Because Google had my link for anyone seeking Official Song of Earth Hour. Hope I didn't disappoint.

Elite Eight update

The President got five of the Elite Eight right, but his overall standing in ESPN's bracket challenge remains in the middle of the pack. And he lost one of his Final Four picks - Memphis.
I lead in the small pool sponsored by Augustafreepress.com. Why? I picked the highest seed in each contest. No pride in picking upsets, but no setbacks when an upset I thought would happen doesn't.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Indiana Sarah and the Staffers of Doom

Some former McCain staffers are still upset about Sarah Palin. Surprise.
Palin mentioned that no one would pray with her before the vice presidential debate. The staffer think she is throwing them under the bus.
She is just like Indiana Jones. When someone tries to throw you under the bus, you use your leverage to knock them under the bus. Nobody complained when Indiana Jones got the better of his foes.

Virginia Idol

Terry McAuliffe = Adam
Brian Moran = Danny
Creigh Deeds = everyone else

Eric Cantor's choice

People sure are making a big deal about Rep. Eric Cantor attending Brittany Spears' concert the night of President Obama's press conference. Lip sync vs. teleprompter. What's the difference?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The blog supposedly written by Rush Limbaugh's microphone has been removed. I guess four posts were all it was good for.
You can still check out the blog for President Obama's teleprompter for important updates.

Please check your schedule

So Earth Hour is scheduled for Saturday at 8:30 p.m. What else is scheduled for that time period?
Nick has the Kids Choice Awards. The Jonas Brothers will probably be singing between 8:30 and 9:30. Go ahead and turn off the TV. They won't mind.
CBS has NCAA college basketball, something big enough that ESPN asked for President Obama's bracket. The second game will be ending around 9. The Earth Hour people are hoping for a blowout and not a repeat of the Heidi Game.
And please, don't go to the movies Saturday night. They are awfully dark when all lights are off for an hour.

Gone to pot

Instapundit points out a Politico story about today's Obama on-line press conference. Seems what the people are really interested in is marijuana. How about a 90 percent tax on marijuana users?

Official song of Earth Hour protesters

Don't want to participate in Earth Hour this weekend? Here's your song.

If you need to see it, here's a fan video.

Maryland history

NRO's Corner reminds us that 375 years ago this week, the first colonists landed in Maryland. And it provides a link to calls to change the last verse of the state song. What, they don't like "Huzza. She spurns the Northern scum?"
Our College Republican group produced a newsletter, and when we were almost finished there was a small spot left. Just big enough for three verses of Maryland, My Maryland. We picked the first two and the last.

I hear the distant thunder-hum
Maryland my Maryland
The Old Line's bugle, fife and drum
Maryland my Maryland
She is not dead, nor deaf nor dumb
Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! She burns! She'll come! She'll come!
Maryland my Maryland

They beat me

I tried to write a Tea Party anthem. Then Suzanna Logan had the idea of a Lady Godiva aspect of the tea party protest. And it sparked another parody.
I bow to their wit and wisdom.

Your bottom three?

Dialidol predicts Scott, Megan and Michael are the bottom three after this week's show. Votefortheworst continues to encourage people to vote to keep Megan on the show, and at this stage of the competition, it may be enough to save her.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Settle down, NLS

If anything happened at Terry McAuliffe's fundraiser, the other McCain was on the scene.

Official song of Barack Obama

Behold, it's Cold as Ice by Foreigner. Inspired by Associated Press. And the band name is a favorite for those following the birth certificate story.

I'll sign on with Geithner's bank plan...

...if they put Dogbert in charge.


Some competition

The blogosphere hit of the week is baracksteleprompter.blogspot.com, where the teleprompter shares behind the scenes information from the White House.
Yesterday, some competition rose up. rushlimbaughsgoldeneibmicrophone.blogspot.com Just three posts so far, usual insults of Rush. They'll have to do much better to beat the teleprompter.

Keeping score

The Politico notes who got to ask questions at the Obama press conference. The New York Times and Washington Post got skipped over. Sorry guys.
President Obama has his list and checks it twice before calling on reporters to ask their questions. Ann Compton from ABC radio seemed surprise when it was her turn. I wonder what would happen if the president called for a question for someone who couldn't make it at the last minute?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We postponed Idol for this?

Instead of the top 10 and Simon Cowell, we got an hour of President Obama meeting the press. And not impressing.
In review: Why did we have a primetime news conference tonight? What was the news? What was his message? I'm so confused by WH's strategy.
h/t NRO's Corner

Tea party anthem

With apologies to American Idol champ David Cook. He sings "I'm still standing" and I hear "They're still spending."

As the debt goes up in front of us
It reminds us of things we want to do
To buy your votes again
Hold onto those voting blocs
Keep you in the party
We just need to let you know
And we just need to let you know

We’re not going to slow down
Spending the money
All these zeroes come and go
But we’re still spending
It’s trillions not billions
And taxing more millions
All these zeroes come and go
But we’re still spending

We know the bill’s confusing
We don’t care
The deficit’s high in the atmosphere
We really can’t make it right
That’s all you need to know

We’re not going to slow down
Spending the money
All these zeroes come and go
But we’re still spending
Tea parties rise up
Citizens wise up
As these zeroes come and go
We’re still spending

You believe that we can save you
And we’ll never let you fall
We’re not going to do that
We believe that we’ve shown you
That we’re a zero after all

We’re not going to slow down
Spending the money
But we’re still spending
Tea parties rise up
Citizens wise up
All these zeroes come and go
But we’re still spending

What Obama could have learned while in kindergarten

The American Spectator looks back at the 1966 election cycle. President Obama turned five that year. We'll find out if he learned from what happened then, with his final exam in November 2010.

Basketball firsts

I used to enter both ESPN's mens and womens tournament challenges. With the women, I'd pick all high seeds and usually finish in the top 10 percent. There were very few bracket-busting upsets.
This year, it's the mens tournament where all 1,2 and 3 seeds are in the Sweet 16. Last night, three womens teams seeded either two or three in their regions lost. The women have eight more games tonight, but already have more upsets and parity than the men.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another view

The local newscast reported on the trip stimulus money is taking from Washington through Richmond to some of you.
On April 15, will they show people paying their taxes and say they are paying the interest on the debt from the stimulus bill? Maybe every time a business sends its payroll tax check in to Washington.

Jackie Robinson and Pumpsie Green

We all remember Jackie Robinson, the first player to cross baseball's color barrier. Along with opening a new era of baseball, he was a great player with great skills. He had a 10-year career with the top National League team of his era.
How many people remember Pumpsie Green? He was the first African-American player on the Red Sox, the last team to intergrate. Will the Red Sox have special celebrations on July 21 to make the 50th anniversary of Green joining the team? He played in 344 games over five seasons, hitting .246.
President Obama has done a great job playing up the Jackie Robinson aspects of his run for the presidency. His run, nomination, election and inauguration were historic.
Unfortunately, as president he's playing like Pumpsie Green. Not up to hitting big league pitching. An asterik in the history books, not a game-changer.

Cooking for WordNerds

I was talking about web traffic and rankings with Mrs. Fishersvillemike, and she suggested posting more about David Cook, last year's American Idol winner. Hey, there's a Virginia connection. He's doing a concert at William and Mary Saturday and another at Radford the following Sunday. That works.
You can even relive the ACC basketball tournament with his music.

How to get banks to lend money

Would banks lend more money if -
a. Congress encouraged them to lend
b. Barney Frank and friends were sent to a deserted island in the South Pacific. We would pick them up if we (ever) needed them.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bracket update

President Obama has bounced back into the middle of the ESPN Tournament Challenge. After the first round, 14 of his Sweet Sixteen picks were alive and all of them won over the weekend.
On the other hand, ESPN's Stat Boy - Tony Reali - fell to earth over the weekend. He got only eight of the Sweet Sixteen after starting out Thursday with a 15-1 record. He's down in the bottom 12 percent, and since I picked his bracket in John McCain's Country First group, so am I.
Guess I won't be meeting Senator McCain, or even his daughter. I'm probably stuck hanging out with a low-level, Sarah Palin-bashing staffer.

Circle of link

Each weekend, the Other McCain runs some highlights of people who linked to his blog. This week, I get a mention (scroll down to find me) for mentioning him.
So the rules are:
1. I mention his blog.
2. He mentions my blog's mention.
3. My blog mentions him again.
I picture the opening of "The Lion King." It's the circle of link, moving through the internet.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How about?

I know people are upset about the bonuses at AIG. So Congress passes a law that taxes the bonuses at 90 percent.
Can we tax Congressional pay at 90 percent, since they don't know how to balance the budget?

Look at the bright side

With all the talk about daily newspapers struggling and starting to fold, people forget to remember the positives. Fewer newspapers printed mean fewer trees cut down to be used for newsprint. And fewer miles traveled by the delivery people, since most carry for just one paper. When I worked at the Bluefield WV newspaper, I remember leaving before the press run and seeing a parking lot full of cars waiting to distribute the news.
Less gasoline is being burned in Denver and Seattle. Isn't that what we want? Or is cutting back good only when someone else suffers?

Poor Obama

I entered the ESPN bracket challenge, and they let you pick an ESPN celebrities bracket as your own. I picked Tony Reali, Stat Boy on Pardon the Interruption, and that bracket is in the top 90 percent.
I also selected President Obama's bracket. It's down at 4.5 percent or so. Only 19 of the first 32 games right. The same percentage as his cabinet picks.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Learning from Obama's bracket

ESPN just announced President Obama went 11-for-16 on the first day of the NCAA basketball tournament. Bob McDonnell and I did one better.
Obama's bracket was pretty conventional - three top seeds in the Final Four and no one higher than a fifth seed in the Sweet Sixteen. But there's lessons to be learned.
If you pick an upset in the first round that doesn't happen, it can give you losses throughout the bracket. And if you pick against a team that reaches the Elite Eight, again you're hurting. Your mistakes follow you. You can't rid of them until they work through the system.
In the tournament, you know there's going to be about four upsets in the first round. There's a big difference between predicting the four upsets (16 right) and missing all four (only eight right). President Obama will face troubles. Will he move to the top or put us deeper in the hole?

After one day

Three people got all Thursday's games right in the Bob McDonnell Bracket Challenge. Unfortunately, McDonnell missed four games. But in the world of bracket challenges, getting the Final Four right is what really matters.
There are 664 entrants and 200 of them picked North Carolina to win it all.

Maybe a Blockbuster gift card would have been better

We all had a good laugh that the Obama administration would give British prime minister Gordon Brown 25 DVDs after his state visit. Then Brown went home and the DVDs don't work on British DVD players.
When you don't care enough, you don't give the best.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good investment

Deadline Hollywood Daily first reported that Bank of America has a promotion ongoing with the movie "Monsters vs. Aliens" coming out next Friday. Is this something a bank receiving federal funds should be part of? Well, the movie looks pretty cool. The promo is for 3D tickets, and I doubt we'll have that in the Shenandoah Valley.
Still, it's pretty near impossible to break all contracts made before the stock market went down last fall. At least this one will give us some laughs.

We're gonna miss them?

Thinking about newspapers going under brought to mind this song. Apologies to Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens (I drive through Bolt, WV when visiting the in-laws)

I’m a blogger
I just love to post
I spend all day on my computer
Hell is what I dish
But this morning’s paper’s at the door
Said I would have to choose
If I get news from the computer
It would be packin’ up forever
And closing at noon

Well, I’m not gonna miss it
When morning comes
Right now I’m on my computer
Surfin’ the best sites
I’m sure it’ll hit me
When I wake up tomorrow morn
Ya right I'll miss it
Oh, lookie there, I've got a hit

Now there’s a chance
If I renew
They might print another day
But the net is here
And SWACgirl is posting
No tellin’ what she might link today

Well, I’m not gonna miss it
When morning comes
Right now I’m on my computer
Surfin’ the best sites
I’m sure it’ll hit me
When I wake up tomorrow morn
Ya right I'll miss it
Oh, lookie there, I've got a hit

Ya I'm gonna miss it
Oh, lookie there, I've got a hit.

Bloggers and Elvis

From on High sees one today, and Spark it Up saw one Tuesday. Newspaper writers saying how we'll miss them when they aren't important anymore.
The world is changing, just like it did when Elvis Presley and Rock 'N Roll came on the scene in the 50s. Back then, the establishment didn't like Elvis' swiveling hips and said youth was being corrupted. Didn't stop the young from going to Elvis and those who sang like him.
People enjoy newspapers, just like people enjoyed music before Elvis. They just aren't on the center stage.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Important basketball question

John McCain is sponsoring a NCAA tournament pool group on the ESPN website. And for ease of selection, ESPN lets you pick the bracket of ESPN analysts or President Obama.
Is it OK to use President Obama's bracket in John McCain's group?

Finally, a Jeff Frederick story I can get into

Below the Beltway and Tertium Quids discuss Frederick's time in the College Republicans of Georgia. Brings to mind my lengthy tenure in Maryland College Republicans in 1984. My friend won the election for state chairman at our convention in April. He named me Executive Director. I graduated in May after attending one meeting, although we did attend the Maryland Republican convention that summer, and sold our campaign buttons (Reagan '84, Falwell '88 was one).
We didn't have any troubles with our group, but then again, Reagan won 49 of 50 states that fall.

And they say he's a basketball fan

President Obama has announced plans for a press conference next Tuesday at 8 p.m. What's Fox to do? If they move American Idol back a day, then the results show goes against the Sweet Sixteen NCAA tournament coverage on CBS. I'm sure you can be a fan of both Idol and basketball.
Just as long as he never holds a press conference Monday at 9 p.m. Jack Bauer wouldn't like that.

Advice for bloggers

The Other McCain gives his latest tips to bloggers on doing a better job. I have to follow him because:
1. We both started out as small town sports writers in the South.
2. We both drove '84 Chevettes.
But there's no pictures of me in a Speedo in existence.

My bracket is sunk

President Obama released his NCAA tournament bracket to ESPN today. We both picked Memphis to join Louisville, North Carolina and Pittsburgh in the Final Four. There goes my chance to play basketball against Bob McDonnell.

Who's your top 10?

Dialidol.com predicts Alexis, Allison and Megan Joy as the bottom three this week. Votefortheworst.com had people voting for Megan. We'll see tonight.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let's make a deal

Everyone is unhappy about the bonuses paid out by AIG. But what can President Obama do? They have contracts to get their bonuses. Maybe the President can offer them jobs at the White House. AIG - Obama's programs. Both are risky schemes that are going to cost taxpayers lots of money in the end.

It was 29 years ago today

My high school band marched in the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York. I didn't play an instrument, but marched with the color guard carrying flags in front of the band. Toward the end of the parade, we were joined by an obviously drunk man who was overjoyed to see our Maryland flag. He marched with us for about a half a block.
Wonder if Yankee Philip was at that parade?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Line of the night

Goes to Don Surber.
12. The No. 1 cable TV news show on Friday was… Glenn Beck? Fox beat MSNBC and CNN like baby harp seals.

Maybe Pete Gillen wasn't that bad after all

Dave Leitao is out as UVa basketball coach. Any volunteers?
btw, former UVa coach Jeff Jones is back in the NCAA tournament as head coach at American.

The teleprompter tells me so

From the Children's Church at the First Church of Obama

The economy is good, this I know
For the teleprompter tells me so
Little problems they are gone
Listen to me and not to Rush

Yes, the economy is good
Yes, the economy is good
Yes, the economy is good
The teleprompter tells me so

Will Obama sink McAuliffe?

The question opponents asked of Barack Obama in 2008 was - does he have enough experience to lead? So far, the results of his cabinet appointments and early actions suggest a great campaigner who still needs to work on his administrative skills.

The Democrats have three choices for governor this year, and Terry McAuliffe is the most like Obama. No experience in Richmond, but thinks his business skills and political connections will make up for that.
Can McAuliffe ride the Obama wave to the nomination? If he gets it, there's five more months for the wave to crest and maybe crash.

Menage a trois

What's interesting about the battle over the Employee Free Choice Act is how it's become a three-sided battle.
Those on the pro-side sees the act providing help for employees seeking representation for better wages and work environments. Opponents see the employees and employers together, trying to fend off the union bosses (usually represented like the guys in the movie Goodfellas).
The real question is why unions think the EFCA is needed - because union membership is dropping. In the lingo of the schoolyard, their club isn't popular anymore. And they are blaming another club, the cool kids who have the money. Instead of trying to make their club more popular, they want to make people join up.
So we shouldn't look at the union leaders as mafia types. Instead they are the nerds, wishing they could be cool.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Get cracking

The brackets are being announced now. To fill out brackets for ESPN, local radio stations, Bob McDonnell, John McCain, you're going to be busy most of the way to Thursday at noon. Unless you're waiting for President Obama's picks before you make your choices.

Why we love March basketball

I caught the end of the Pac 10 championship game. Southern Cal came back to beat Arizona State, using four great plays in the final minute to take the win.
1. The guard drove the lane, then kicked to Dwight Lewis for a three.
2. Arizona State drove to the basket, but the USC player got in place to take the charge. USC down only one instead of three.
3. Taj Gibson's great blocked shot, just nudging the ball from behind, then coming down with the ball.
4. On Arizona State's final play, the USC guard raced for the loose ball and knocked it off an Arizona State player who was going out of bounds. USC ball and USC game.
May there be several endings like this in the next three weeks.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Unless the Lord build the house

For film class in college, we had to shoot a scene and put it to music (it was early in the music video era). I shot my scene at a neighborhood house than had burned down and sat untouched for three years, and used this Keith Green song. My film has been long lost, but I found this on YouTube to remind us that the Lord must build the house (or project, or administration) for it to last and do lasting good.

Note for Obama and Frederick

Don't look for other people to blame for your current troubles. Look to yourself.

Do you see what I see

Michael Barone sees the Obama administration losing focus. Lots of people wish he's talk more about the economy. Maybe Carville needs to go to the museum and pull out the old sign "It's the Economy, Stupid."

Contest time

The Other McCain visits American Spectator's blog and offers a contest - describe the Democratic Party in 20 words or less. Something like this
The Democratic Party was on the wrong side of the Civil War. Being wrong is what they do best.

The Brokest Generation

Demography czar Mark Steyn looks at the transfer of wealth from the young to the geezers. Thanks kids.
God bless the youth of America! We of the Greatest Generation, the Boomers, and Generation X salute you, the plucky members of the Brokest Generation, the Gloomers, and Generation Y, as in “Why the hell did you old coots do this to us?”

Goode running again - it's science

Waldo has his thoughts on Virgil Goode filing to run for his old seat in 2010. He's got to run. The hypothesis is Perriello won last time because of a big boost from the Obama candidacy. Run the race again, this time without Obama at the top of the ticket, and see what happens.
Besides, James Garner won the rematch for president in My Fellow Americans.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Get universal healthcare now

These guys make me laugh so hard, my side hurts. I might choke on something.

Grade update

MSNBC's poll grading the president has gone from 40 percent A to 51 percent, and the F grade has gone from 40 to 30 percent. We know which side is working the poll and which side is working (or watching basketball).

More trouble for newspapers

National Review's media blog found the NPR memo that all newspaper subscriptions are being cancelled as of April 1. Sorry, can't catch up on the sales while doing the news.

New website

First, there was RaisingKaine.com. Now there's RaisingMoran.com. Is RaisingTheDead.com next? It could bring in more votes.

Following the polls

President Obama touts his higher poll ratings than President Bush. But how much is the afterglow of being the first African-American president, and how much is liking what he's doing or going to do?

Pollster Scott Rasmussen looks at the question in the Wall Street Journal. Looks like liberal policies were far down on the reasons to vote Obama, behind the fact he was not George W. Bush and the fact his election would be historic.

One hour delay

Schools in Augusta County are starting one hour delay due to one inch of snow. Is this going to be the last of this? You're not supposed to have snow delays after baseball practice has started.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Showing bipartisanship

MSNBC is running a poll for you to grade President Obama's performance so far. After 302,000 votes, it's 40 percent A and 40 percent F.
Where's the line for insufficient progress?

While waiting for soccer season to start

The Wall Street Journal runs the lament of a soccer dad to the soccer craze sweeping the country. Whatever you do, don't print it out and read it at your kid's soccer practice.

Keep moving forward

So the vote didn't go the way you'd hoped. Remember the lesson from Meet the Robinsons.

Watch closely

You can probably watch five or six different conference basketball tournaments on TV today through Sunday. In the first two or so rows off the court, you'll see press row where the newspaper and other reporters watch the games. Bet those press rows will be reduced in size by a row before next year's tournaments roll around.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good words from Obama

From National Review's Corner, a passage from President Obama's education speech.
“Despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we've let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us . . . It's time to start rewarding good teachers, stop making excuses for bad ones.”
Words like this need to be prominently displayed.

On hating Limbaugh

Who's the most hated Major League Baseball team? The Yankees. They may be arrogant, but they also have the most World Series championships.
Who's the most hated NFL teams? The Cowboys and the Steelers. They just happen to be the most successful over the past 40 years.
So of course Rush Limbaugh would be hated. You don't hate something you don't care about. The play was "Damn Yankees," not "Damn St. Louis Browns."

One line is enough

Found this linked at instapundit.com. It's from Confederate Yankee.

At this pace, Obama’s going to be reduced to filling Administration jobs in front of Home Depot.”

If you don't get it, follow the Yankee's links.

How Lincoln did it

President Obama is fond of talking about what domestic policies Abraham Lincoln accomplished during the Civil War.
What was Lincoln's secret? His opponents left Congress. I found this chart of Congress during that era. The Congress went from 83 Democrats in 1859-60 to 44 in 1861-62. There were 55 fewer representatives because of the legislators who left with the Confederacy.
Take away half the Republicans, and President Obama could pass more of his stuff, too.

Dialidol predicts

Dialidol.com predicts the five highest vote-getter from last night are Danny, Adam, Lil, Alexis and Anoop. The other eight have a chance to be voted off tonight.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jeff Frederick on the Quayle-Palin scale

Before I started blogging in the fall, I didn't know Jeff Frederick was chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Now his job is in trouble. Should he stay and fight or give up the job in enough time for the whole thing to be forgotten in November.
Unfortunately, people make initial decisions on a person's ability and stick with them. Dan Quayle had a good record in the Senate from Indiana, but could never overcome his debut as a vice presidential candidate.
Sarah Palin had everything thrown at her last fall, and some people will never see her as a qualified candidate for national office. She has the benefit of being governor of Alaska and can run on her record next year. Those who love her will continue to love her. She has time to build her reputation, but some will never see her as anything except a Tina Fey-lookalike.
If six senior state senators and much of the central committee think he should go, he really ought to consider that counsel. By November, only serious political junkies will remember this if it ends peacefully. If the Republicans do poorly in November, he'll get the blame from political junkies if he's still on the job or not.

Getting your attention

The other McCain links to this thought-provoking piece on the American church. He basically faults the path taken by the evangelical church over the last 30 years, leaving it ill-prepared for future changes. I don't agree with his conclusions, but it's interesting reading.

I'd prefer...

...that the Obama administration worry less about stem cells and more about the looming pension tsunami - shortfalls in public retirement funds. This pain is coming quicker than any benefits of embryonic stem cell research.

Celebrate on Friday

Along with lots of college basketball, this Friday will be filled with celebration. It's been declared Iowahawk Day by the guys at proteinwisdom.com. There's even a Facebook page, so it must be official.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mad money guy

CNBC's Jim Cramer continues his battles against the Obama administration.
President Obama's team, unlike Bush's team, demonstrates a thinness of skin that shocks me. When I somewhat obviously and empirically judged that the populist Obama administration is exacerbating the crisis with its budget and policies, as evidenced by the incredible decline in the averages since his inauguration, I was met immediately with condescension and ridicule rather than constructive debate or even just benign dismissal.

h/t Instapundit

Good job, President Bush

President Obama today changed rules about use of embryonic stem cells in government research. President Bush set the rules in August 2001, and when government changes hands, rules can be changed.
But President Bush's decision helped scientists working with adult stem cells find uses for that kind of cell in fighting diseases. The type of benefits backers of embryonic stem cells used to bash President Bush for his decision.
President Bush based his decision on science and religious belief in the sanctity of human life. And gave time for a better choice than embryonic stem cells to show their usefulness.
h/t American Spectator's blog

Going to Wednesday's meeting?

The long-awaited Augusta County Board of Supervisors meeting is Wednesday. If you're going to protest the assessments, you might need some "catch phrases" when someone makes a good or bad point.
As a public service, here's the top 10 phrases of Pittsburgh Penguins announcer Mike Lange.
You can say "When I got my assessment, it was like scratching my back with a hacksaw."
"He beat that supervisor like a rented mule."
"He smoked him like a bad cigar."
"Buy (the speaker) a drink, and get his dog one too."
"What a terrible comment. Get that dog off my lawnmower."
"The supervisors don't know whether to cry or wind their watches."
Enjoy and think. You've got two more days.

Sad news from Iraq

Peter King of Sports Illustrated has his weekly column on NFL. In recent years, he has corresponded with Army First Sergeant Mike McGuire. McGuire leads a platoon that dismantles improvised explosive devices, especially around Baghdad and loves the St. Louis Rams.
Today, King shares an email that one of McGuire's men was killed by an EFP - an explosively formed penetrator, designed to cut through armor-plated vehicles. A sad day for our brave soldiers trying to bring peace to Iraq.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Help for health care

When planning to expand health care to everyone, it might help to have enough healthcare workers. But there's reports that there are 116,000 opening positions for nurses at hospitals and nearly 100,000 vacant jobs at nursing homes.
Add the increase of the elderly population with the retirement of the baby boom generation, and you're going to need help. Where to get it?
Lawyers. Let's reassign them to patient care, especially on third shift at nursing homes.
The benefits? 1. Less time to sue people.
2. If they make a mistake, they'll find a way not to be sued.
3. Give lawyers a better perspective on health care issues. Since so many legislators are lawyers, that can only be good.
4. Greater appreciation for nurses, after you see what lawyers do in their position.

Bumper snickers

Should they replace the "Obama '08" bumper stickers with "Oh my God '09?"

From the newspapers in London

So President Obama's a bit overwhelmed by his new job. But I can think up song parodies pretty quickly.
Apologies to Little Anthony and the Imperials

Well, I think I’m in over my head
Yes I really need to go to bed,
don’t you know, it’s so true

I want to, do all these things. Change D.C., so badly
I can’t decide what not to do

And I think I’m in over my head
‘Cause I can’t explain why jobs have been shed
To you, have no clue
Saw the Brit guy this morning
But I just walked by him
Didn’t even know why he was here

I’m over my head, all the time
Over my head, don’t you know
Over my head, day and night
The economy is a fright
Not alright

I must think of a way to your wallet
There’s no reason I can’t spend it
Even though my plan won’t mend it

And I think I’m really over my head

SWAC Corps team update

Being a new blogger, it's fun to see all the resources out there. Blognetnews.com has an influence index, which charts your progress in the blogosphere.
This week, I'm ranked ninth among conservative blogs in Virginia. SWACgirl is number one, and Yankee Philip is sixth. Three of the top nine coming from Augusta County. I guess we know what's the center of the conservative universe in Virginia.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Put away your toys and do your homework

The week's kerfuffle not involving Rush Limbaugh - the lousy gift President Obama gave the British prime minister on his state visit. The British papers are looking for an explanation - he's overwhelmed by the job. Boy, that makes me feel better.
I know when you dream of becoming president, you have all these ideas of what you'd like to do. But the bad economy has intruded. That's the homework you have to do. Playing with your Democratic friends and doing the non-essential things you've been dreaming of are the toys, the video games. Put them aside until you finish your homework.
h/t Hot Air

Best post of the day

The other McCain has written rules to get your blog to a million hits. Following his links, I found this. Pretty much sums up today in the Valley.
No time to blog. Being attacked by copious amounts of sunshine.

Unhappy people

The President announces plans to have only 50,000 soldiers in Iraq by the start of the 2010 NFL season (a better name for the end of August). Of course, people on both sides are unhappy. You'd like the left might be happier, since things are going their way. But no. They think we've destroyed enough of Iraq and need to go quicker.
They need to remember getting an army and it's equipment out of Iraq is a bigger logistical challenge than chaining five people to a government building.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Join my union

Two big topics in the blogosphere are the possible renewal of the Fairness Doctrine and the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make unionizing easier. So what's a conservative blogger to do? Why not start a union?
I've got a name - Union of Political Commenters Having Unique Conservative Knowledge (UPCHUCK).
I've got a slogan - UPCHUCK. You can't keep us down.

And I've reworked this song from my past. I didn't dub in the words because I didn't want to be like that "Bright Blue Scrotum" guy.

Look for the union label
When you are reading a comment or blog
Remember somewhere, we’re in pajamas
Not the Bahamas, like those rich guys
When we read those earmarks, we start complaining
We hate to think that we’re paying for this
So always look for the union label
It’s says we’re writing
For a better U.S.A.

Riding the wave

Is President Obama a man of conviction or just a guy who caught the anti-Bush wave and surfed into the White House? He says he wants no earmarks, starting sometime in the future. Today, the Senate has an omnibus spending bill with over 8,500 earmarks to consider. The earmarks were crafted last year, but earmarks are earmarks. He'll be the one signing the bill, not President Bush.
If he doesn't stand up to these earmarks, I can only predict a major wipeout down the road.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Revenge of Investor Nation

The stock market rise since 1982 meant nearly half the population has a stake in the ups and downs. This isn't the 1930s when Mr. Monopoly was the image of a Wall Street investor. Like the companies they demonize, the Obama administration needs to keep the stockholders happy. They just don't seem to realize it yet.

Near the bottom

Aluminum cans are now worth 28 cents per pound at the recycling center. It's just a penny less than late January. I think it's a good indicator of where the economy stands.

Lonely search for truth

Dana Milbank captures the mood as Senator Leahy seeks truth and no one else really cares. I guess it's power speaking the truth to truth.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The undercard

So Rush Limbaugh has asked President Obama to come onto his show - any time he wants - to debate the issues. It would be a battle of leader vs. leader.
But hey, what about Vice President Joe Biden? Who could he debate, that is of equal stature? Me, of course. We can meet in the parking lot behind the library here in Fishersville. Amtrak can drop him off. Conservative nobody vs. Democratic nobody.

How important are their jobs?

American Spectator reports on a conference call that Service Employees Union International (SEIU) members will be taking time off their job to help pass the Obama budget. Hundreds of their members are so unimportant to their real jobs that they won't be missed while they lobby Congress.

Idol group three

Dialidol.com predicts Lil and Scott to advance to the top 12. Ju'Not and Felicia have the best shot at the third slot. Dialidol's top vote-getter for men and women advanced in both the first and second rounds.

Obama has already failed

In his first week in office, President Obama said you don't get things done by listening to Rush Limbaugh. Now, all we're talking about is Rush Limbaugh. Democrats, Republicans, dittoheads and independents.

Fight, fight

Have to cross the border for this one. Southern West Virginia has $32 million in stimulus money to spend on roads. One road in Beckley off I-64 got picked. Supporters of other construction around that area aren't happy. They want their share. Welcome to the Obama era.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Logo stimulus

The Obama administration has plans to put a special logo on items that are part of the stimulus bill spending.
And transportation projects have their own logo. Why not it's own song parody?

With apologies to Rocky III's "Eye of the Tiger"

Fallin’ down, the economy
Voted Obama, took our chances
Watching stocks falling through the floor
He’s just a man with a will to spend more

So many plans, been ready to go
Then the economy got gory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

Here’s the sign of the Tiger, not the cream of the crop
Spending more, even more of your dollars
For the bikepaths, parks and sidewalks you’ll know by sight
Transportation pork is under the sign of the Tiger

Packed in tight, using mass transit
Hangin’ tough when you’re sweaty
We stacked the bill with our kind of pork
For the votes that we need to survive

Here’s the sign of the Tiger, not the cream of the crop
Spending more, even more of your dollars
For the bikepaths, parks and sidewalks you’ll know by sight
Transportation pork is under the sign of the Tiger

Risin’ up, budget over the top
Why pay when I get the glory
Economy’s tankin’ but I’m not gonna stop
I’m a man with a will to spend more
Here’s the sign of the Tiger, not the cream of the crop
Spending more, even more of your dollars
For the bikepaths, parks and sidewalks you’ll know by sight
Transportation pork is under the sign of the tiger

The sign of the Tiger (repeats out)…

Bracket buster

With President Obama promising not to increase taxes for those making $250,000, people who make around that number are thinking about the consequences. That led Jonathan Chait to writer on the New Republic's blog to write about "Wealthy Idiots Meet Idiot Reporter" (with a tasteful picture from 'Dumb and Dumber,' just in case you don't get his point.)

Among the problems unveiled by this report.
1. You have medical personnel thinking about their tax status and whether to cut back their hours due to increased taxation. If, as Democrats, you want to increase access to healthcare, making health care providers think about cutting back their work hours doesn't seem to be the way to go.
2. I don't want to see the health care provider who is working to satisfy the government's need. From the original article-
"The motivation for a lot of people like me — dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers — is that the more you work the more money you make," said [Dr. Sharon] Poczatek. "But if I'm going to be working just to give it back to the government — it's de-motivating and demoralizing."

Part of the crowd

Lots of Simpsons' fans also read Opinion Journal's Best of the Web today. When they made a mistake about the Simpsons Monday, about 350 people emailed to correct them. It's good to be part of such a crowd.

Looking back

Since he took his show national in 1988, when has Rush Limbaugh been more influential than now?
Probably 1993-94, when he had a TV show, two books out and he moved to the biggest talk stations in his 600+ markets. He took the arrows from President Clinton, and Newt took the House.
Hitch your wagon to the star once again.

Obama Home Improvement

Just think of the battle between President Obama and Rush like an episode of "Home Improvement." Obama is Tim, planning on using "more power"
Rush is Al, saying "You know, if you take down that wall, the whole building will collapse."
Obama says "More power," takes down the wall and it all falls down.
We, the taxpayers, are Wilson. We're trying to offer good advice, but we've got to hide our faces.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Something else to worry about

Rod Dreher's Crunchy Con blog adds another possible worry - will the bank credit troubles impact our food supply. Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe something to think about.

Michelle's second amendment

The second amendment to the Constitution gives you the right to bare arms, right?

Chaos and control

Rush Limbaugh has given the Republican party its issue to run on for 2010 and beyond. It's control. The Obama administration wants to control everyone, not just the bad guys they say put the economy in its current bad place.
Control is the term to use. They want to control you. Socialism may be the political term, but control is the word people understand. Especially the younger voters who've been convinced the GOP wants to control their private lives.
The Democrats want to control everything and everyone. And it's control you won't like.

Good news from the cabstand

American Spectator runs a piece today where the writer visits the taxi cab drivers outside the hotel where Rush Limbaugh spoke Saturday. The driver couldn't hear the speech while waiting for fares, so the writer took him inside for a while to watch and listen. Sounds like a good cab to catch in D.C.

Just curious

Are they still having that "global warming" rally in Washington? I've seen Washington TV people making snow angels along Wisconsin Avenue in six inches of snow.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thanks for the memories

The Washington Post asks today, "Can bloggers fill the gap left by a shrinking press corps?"
One of the things mourned is the loss of institutional memory when there's fewer reporters on the scene. Why can't these holders of institutional memory continue on as bloggers? Or impart their memory to younger bloggers like they helped younger reporters in years gone by?
There's always been transitions in news coverage; it's just happening faster nowadays. Should Bob Gibson have stayed with the Charlottesville Daily Progress to keep their memory intact? He's probably still a great resource to his old newspaper at his new position.
If those with institutional memory consider it of such value, there should be a way to earn money on that value in the new media environment. Look to the solutions of the future, instead of just whining that the past ways haven't endured.

You failed. Now shut up

I watched a little of the roundtable on ABC this morning, and think that's the essence of the Democratic talking points to Republicans. Karl Rove was on the panel with the usual Democratic strategists, and that's what I got out of the exchange.

Paul Harvey, RIP

Radio icon Paul Harvey passed away Saturday at age 90. I remember it was a big deal in the 70s when one of the Baltimore stations got him on their airwaves. He had a good news focus, and did it well for many years.