Thursday, December 24, 2009

God Rest Ye Merry

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:8-14

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MSM deciders make the call

We all know that the Tiger Woods marriage is much more important than this:

The Anthrax Case Falls Apart

Even though the public believed that the Anthrax case had been closed more than a year earlier, the FBI investigation was back to square one. If Dr. Ivins had neither the equipment or skills to weaponize anthrax with silicon, then some other party, with access to the anthrax, must have done it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stuart Taylor

The Rot At Duke -- And Beyond

Much of academia appears to have a disregard of due process and a bias against white males

Remembering Myles Brand

From the American Spectator:

There are many underappreciated motivations in history. As mentioned in this column some months ago, one is boredom. Certainly another is quarrelsomeness. Brand and many like him claim to high-mindedness, but au fond they simply are quarrelsome and enjoy stirring things up. Brand from time to time explained his actions as motivated by a love of learning, but I have reviewed his record and though he lived much of his life in academe there is no evidence he loved learning or was in any way learned.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A tale of two seasons

Last year the Steelers were SuperBowl champs. Now we are 6-7 with a five game losing streak.

This post makes the interesting point that the two seasons are not all that different.

Steelers been playing with fire for quite some time

The 2009 Steelers have played 13 games this year; 9 of those games have been decided by one possession (they’ve only won 2 of these “close games”).

Last year the team only lost 2 of their close games and won 7 of them

Milblogs go quiet

Details here:

Radio Silence

Paul Samuelson

William Anderson on the economist and his influence:

Paul Samuelson, RIP

I never was a fan of Samuelson, and while I will try not to speak too much ill of the recently departed, nonetheless I think the guy was bad for economics and he leaves a legacy of economic wreckage and bad theory. However, I will concentrate today on one of his legacies: the transformation of economics from something that an educated layperson could understand to a branch of inferior mathematics.

I started out as an econ major and got a hefty dose of Samuelson. Then, of course, there was business school. If Samuelson turned economics in "a branch of inferior mathematics" then B-schools take it a step farther. The curriculum is chock full of inferior (micro)economics.

From day one, i had the same nagging questions when i looked at the elegant equations and models: "where do we get the data to use these"? As taught they were paragons of precision and mathematical rigour. Unfortunately, they depended on convenient assumptions (e.g. we know the exact price elasticity of oats). Out in the real world, you cannot make those convenient assumptions-- you have to work with incomplete, decaying information. The complex modeling.... just a form of ego-stroking.

In a real sense, much of the mortgage bubble was driven by this naive belief in the power of mathematics and models and their refusal to deal with the limits of that power. (I don't recall my professors spending a lot of time discussing the limits of the methods they taught us.)

See here:

Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street

Is This an Analytics-Driven Financial Crisis?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From narcissistic blogger* to Potemkin blog

Excitable Andi lets slip a secret and Ace delivers the smackdown.

Panic at the Disco: Andrew Sullivan's Ghost-Bloggers Out Him


UPDATE: Confederate Yankee finds cause to worry.

The first strategic task: define the problem

Ron Ashkenas:

A senior manager at Cisco once suggested to me that there are two types of challenges in organizations — capacity problems and complexity problems. Capacity problems are those that require more, fewer or different resources. Complexity problems require new thinking and a creative approach.

For example, increasing market share for your product can often be addressed through additional sales people, or more promotion. It's a question of how many resources to throw at the problem. On the other hand, if the market is changing and different competitors are entering with new value propositions, then throwing more resources at the problem probably won't work

Ashkenas contrasts capacity and complexity. It seems to me that this distinction is similar to the difference Peter Senge sees between detail and dynamic compexity.

The answer lies in the same reason that sophisticated tools of forecasting and business analysis, as well as elegant strategic plans, usually fail to produce dramatic breakthroughs in managing a business. They are all designed to handle the sort of complexity in which there are many variables: detail complexity. But there are two types of complexity. The second type is dynamic complexity, situations where cause and effect are subtle, and where the effects over time of interventions are not obvious. Conventional forecasting, planning, and analysis methods are not equipped to deal with dynamic complexity. Mixing many ingredients in a stew involves detail complexity, as does following a complex set of instructions to assemble a machine, or taking inventory in a discount retail store. But none of these situations is especially complex dynamically.

One could argue that the modern corporation is designed to handle capacity problems/detail complexity and that they do it very well. Dynamic complexity (Ashkenas's "complexity problems") present a completely new set of challenges. I discussed aspects of the challenge here:

Why corporate change is hard and failure almost inevitable

Why corporate change is hard and failure almost inevitable (II)

Why corporate change is hard and failure almost inevitable (III)

UPDATE: Peter Osborne has some thoughts here.

Peter Drucker

Elizabeth Haas Edersheim on the original management Jedi Master:

1. Drucker's work is widely accepted as foundational in creating a theory of management as the foundation of a functioning society, despite not being widely taught in business schools. Leading scholars consistently see him as a source of insight and inspiration, many of whom credit Peter Drucker not only as the creator of the discipline of management but as the basis for their own work. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said, "I can find everything I've written in Peter's work, 25 years before I thought of it." Professor Hideyuki Inoue of Keio University said, "Everything we know about knowledge worker productivity is built on the foundation Peter Drucker wrote about 50 years ago." Phillip Kotler, Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School said, "If I am the father of marketing, Peter Drucker is the grandfather."

It strikes me as significant that Drucker is viewed as "foundational" by leading scholars but is not taught in B-school.

I posted on the paradox of Drucker's career here.

What do they have to hide?

Kevin Carey on higher education:

That Old College Lie

Are our colleges teaching students well? No. But here's how to make them.

The key is bringing transparency to higher education:

There’s a solution to these problems, but it won’t come from more tinkering with student aid programs. The key to giving students a better, more affordable education turns out to be focusing less on college financial aid and more on college itself. We must fundamentally change the relationship between the federal government and higher education, forcing institutions that receive vast amounts of public funding to provide a modicum of useful information in return. The time has come to rip open the veil of secrecy that has shrouded higher education for as long as students have walked next to ivy-covered walls, and to use that information to build far more effective, more egalitarian, and more student-focused colleges than we have today.

Not too surprisingly, the colleges themselves fight the solution tooth and nail:

There’s only one thing standing in the way: One of the most powerful special interests lobbies that nobody’s ever heard of. The most reactionary education lobby in Washington, D.C., isn’t located at the 16th Street headquarters of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union. It’s less than a mile away, at 1 Dupont Circle. That’s where the American Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and a host of other alphabet-soup organizations conspire to maintain higher education secrecy at all costs. Long-established colleges that enjoy the benefits of the existing, information-starved reputation market dominate 1 Dupont.

Three recent examples illustrate the lengths to which they’ll go. To get colleges to participate in their surveys and tests, NSSE and the CLA had to strike a bargain. Colleges would control the results–the data would remain secret unless colleges chose otherwise. Then, in 2006, Mark Schneider, the commissioner of the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, proposed adding some new questions to the annual survey all colleges are required to fill out in exchange for federal funds. Colleges would be asked if they participated in surveys and tests like NSSE and the CLA. If the college answered "yes," and had already chosen to make the data public, it would be asked to provide a link to the appropriate Web address. It would not be required to participate in any test or survey not of its choosing, or disclose any new information. It would just have to tell people where to find the information it had already, voluntarily, disclosed. One Dupont Circle rose up in anger and the proposal was summarily squashed. For his temerity, Schneider was nearly fired

Monday, December 14, 2009

Executive compensation and the financial crash

Cashing in Before the Music Stopped

According to the standard narrative, the meltdown of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers largely wiped out the wealth of their top executives. Many – in the media, academia and the financial sector – have used this account to dismiss the view that pay structures caused excessive risk-taking and that reforming such structures is important. That standard narrative, however, turns out to be incorrect.

It is true that the top executives at both banks suffered significant losses on shares they held when their companies collapsed. But our analysis, using data from Securities and Exchange Commission filings, shows the banks’ top five executives had cashed out such large amounts since the beginning of this decade that, even after the losses, their net pay-offs during this period were substantially positive.

In 2000-07, the top five executives at Bear and Lehman pocketed cash bonuses exceeding $300m and $150m respectively (adjusted to 2009 dollars). Although the financial results on which bonus payments were based were sharply reversed in 2008, pay arrangements allowed executives to keep past bonuses

Fairly important in light of this:

Is the Global Financial System in a “Doom Loop”?

Interesting things you find in surveys

New study: More Democrats than Republicans believe in ghosts, talking with the dead, fortunetellers

A new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals some startling differences between Republicans and Democrats on issues of spirituality and supernatural phenomenon.

The study, "Many Americans Mix Multiple Faiths," reports that a significant number of Americans practice a mixture of religious beliefs, and "many also blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects." The report is not specifically about partisan differences, but the results of the study are broken down by party affiliation, among many other categories. And the news on that front is that Democrats are far more likely to believe in supernatural phenomenon than Republicans

(HT: Ace of Spades)

Anatomy of a lost season

On the Steelers: The End came on a snowy night in Cleveland

Why Arians must go

Should Tomlin Blow Offense Up?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A video interlude

by The Last Hollywood Star

Here's Part One of two of a presentation I made to the Forbes Field Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research. It covers (Early Pirates and Hollywood Stars [Pirates AAA club], Clemente in Puerto Rico, Forbes Field---and Jayne Mansfield, Miss Hollywood Stars, 1955!)

Part I

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tora Bora

Uncle Jimbo explains it all to you.

What, you were going to trust the New York Times?

Not in my name

So the media bottom feeders insist that they only cover the Tiger Woods accident because the "public" demands it.

I guess they are right. Well, right if by "public" you mean the 1 or 2% of Americans who tune into cable news shows. And if by "demand" you mean "will sit through the speculative blather as they wait for news about Afghanistan policy or the health care debate."

Me, I'm a Tiger Woods fan. And contra John Feinstein Tiger doesn't owe me jack.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Steyn on the climate change scams

Cooking the books on climate

The more frantically two prominent global-warming alarmists talked up "peer review" as the only legitimate basis for scientific criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into the Chicago machine politics of international science.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Anatomy of a smear

R. S. McCain is still on the Clay County beat:

Shame and Blame in Kentucky

Thanks to an anonymous source in an Associated Press story and a flurry of speculation by bloggers, however, this quiet community was imagined to be a seething cauldron of hatred stoked by Fox News, talk radio and Republican politicians. Clay County's state Sen. Robert Stivers told the Lexington Herald-Leader that "many in the media owe the county an apology." As Morgan Bowling said Tuesday afternoon, at times it seemed as if pundits were trying to turn Bill Sparkman into a "sacrificial lamb for ObamaCare."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Well, well, well

Looks like the good people of Clay County, Kentucky are not a bunch of blood-thirsty Beckazoids.

The Kentucky State Police Post 11 in London, with the assistance of the FBI, the U.S. Forest Service, the State Medical Examiner's Office and the Clay County Coroner's Office, has concluded the investigation into the death of William E. Sparkman, Jr.

The investigation, based upon evidence and witness testimony, has concluded that Mr. Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide

Early reactions:

R. S. McCain really deserves some credit for doing the reporting that the MSM just would not do in the early days of the story.

Other reactions:
Calling For Sparkman Apologies

When will the Left retract the Kentucky census worker case smear?

Confederate Yankee

Gateway Pundit

Census Worker Killed Himself and the Credibility of Leftwing Bloggers

Weekly Standard has a great round-up of the rush to judgement when this death was first reported.

Follow it on memeorandum All eyes on Excitable Andy.


Politically correct officials put in charge of official Fort Hood investigation

(HT: Hot Air)

Someone worth remembering

1930s journalist Gareth Jones to have story retold

Correspondent who exposed Soviet Ukraine's manmade famine to be focus of new documentary

In death he has become known as "the man who knew too much" – a fearless young British reporter who walked from one desperate, godforsaken village to another exposing the true horror of a famine that was killing millions.

Gareth Jones's accounts of what was happening in Soviet Ukraine in 1932-33 were different from other western accounts. Not only did he reveal the true extent of starvation, he reported on the Stalin regime's failure to deliver aid while exporting grain to the west. The tragedy is now known as the Holodomar and regarded by Ukrainians as genocide

Jones had the story of a lifetime and tried to tell it. The "best minds" in journalism did their best to help preserve Stalin's cover-up. Some of them even won prizes for the effort.

This never happened when Cronkite was around

Best reaction is Jim Treacher's:

Katie Got Back

Others comment on the Perky one:

Ace of Spades

Ed Driscoll

Weasel Zippers

It even has its own thread on memeorandum

Monday, November 23, 2009

The global warming emails

Nice round-up by Ed Driscoll:

All The News That’s Fit To Bury

Good stuff here

Palinphobes hate first, ask questions later

This story is too good to miss:

Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:

“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”

Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”

But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.”

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On not living up to one's reputation

According to the MSM

Elizabeth Drew has been one of the country's most knowledgeable and keen-eyed observers of the American political scene in the 40 years that she has written from the nation's capital.

Yet Neo-neocon looks at her most recent article and pronounces it "curiously naive".

Unfortunately, Neo has the facts to back up that verdict.


The truth seeps out:

A congressional investigation of the volunteer organization AmeriCorps contains charges that D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee handled "damage control" after allegations of sexual misconduct against her now fiance, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star and a prominent ally of President Obama, The Washington Examiner has learned.

The charges are contained in a report prepared by Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

UPDATE: The plot thickens:

Just hours after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa released a report Friday on their investigation into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, the Obama White House gave the lawmakers a trove of new, previously-withheld documents on the affair. It was a twist on the now-familiar White House late-Friday release of bad news; this time, the new evidence was put out not only at the start of a weekend but also hours too late for inclusion in the report.

The new documents support the Republican investigators' conclusion that the White House's explanation for Walpin's dismissal -- that it came after the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, unanimously decided that Walpin must go -- was in fact a public story cobbled together after Walpin was fired, not before

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who was Lee Harvey Oswald?

Edward Jay Epstein:

The Warren Commission concluded– rightly I now believe– that Oswald fired all the shots that killed the President. But conspiracies do not necessarily require multiple rifleman to accomplish their purpose. And what the Warren Commission could not absolutely rule out, as two of its members pointed out to me, was the possibility that Oswald had acted at the behest of others. After all, he had advertised his willingness to undertake a high-profile assassination by circulating photographs connecting himself to the shooting of General Walker. Any party who was monitoring his activities in Dallas, New Orleans or Mexico City could have discerned from them that he was a potential assassin awaiting a mission. With his mind set on such violent actions as hijacking a plane, blowing up the FBI office, or killing "any American," not much would be required to prod him to violence. He had sought liaisons in dangerous quarters and someone could have provided him with an inducement.

Buckle your seatbelts

It going to be a bumpy read.

The McCainosphere catches rogue fever

'Free Medicine, Juanita,' Reid Announced

Thanks to the round-up, i found this priceless gem:

What I find especially amusing is Sullivan’s notion that he is in a position to demand an accounting from Sarah Palin on anything, particularly given his bizarre, embarrassing and highly vocal fascination with Trig Palin’s parentage. I believe he still styles himself a Catholic and a kind of “generalissimo” of “true” conservatism, but the last thing we need – and certainly, a thing we need never pay any serious attention to – is Francisco Franco in a pink uniform.

That just cries out for a Photoshop wizard to pick up the torch.


That's the only way to react to something like this:

The Obama Justice Department is having problems prosecuting terrorist cases because top department attorneys have conflicts of interest.

According to documents obtained exclusively by The Washington Times, Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, No. 3 official in the Justice Department, had to recuse himself on at least 13 active detainee cases and at least 26 cases listed as either closed or mooted

Michelle Malkin has also followed this issue and now tell us:

This is not the end of the story. It’s just the beginning.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Excitable Andy, boy detective

Funny stuff over at Iowahawk

Dial 'M' For Maternity
Excerpts from the new Mike Loads gyno-mystery by Andrew Sullivan

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This explains a lot

Philip Klein
AARP, which has given its full-throated support to Democratic health care legislation even though seniors remain largely opposed, received an $18 million grant in the economic stimulus package for a job training program that has not created any jobs, according to the Obama administration's website.

A point that cannot be made often enough

From Tom Maquire:

And it is clearly not a big deal in itself. However, it is symptomatic of some larger points. We know very little about the true biography of a President who was elected on the basis of his biography, and, perhaps because the gloss is so pretty and so historic, the press has not shown much inclination to seek the truth.

At the root, i suspect that many so-called birthers do not really care where Barak Obama was born. But they do understand the truth of Maguire's point. So, like a good transgressive performance artist they look for a way to shock and mock. Birtherism is a way to tweak journalists for their sloth and liberals for their gullibility.

Why Congress must investigate Ft. Hood

Under normal circumstances, congressional investigations produce more partisan heat than unbiased light. In this case that is a risk worth taking because such hearings are the least bad alternative and offer the best chance to uncover the truth. This great article by Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn provides a great starting point for an enterprising legislator or staffer. Maj. Nidal should have set off more than a few alarm bells. Why did no one in authority listen?
Connecting the Dots
This is especially relevant:
Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood that claimed 13 lives and wounded more than 40. Three hours later, while the base was still in lockdown, an FBI spokesman dismissed suggestions that the attack was terrorism and said that a link between Hasan and terrorist organizations "is not being discussed."
On the day of the shooting all the cable news channels kept repeating this FBI statement. I wondered at the time, "how could they be so sure so fast?" Now we know that they were fast but wrong. We deserve to know why. In addition, we deserve to know why dismissing a terrorist motive was such a high priority when an investigation had not even begun. Most importantly, we must know if the FBI was telling the truth. Did they immediately dismiss the possibility of terrorism? Or was that just PR to calm the public's nerves? The latter might be (might) justifiable, but the former is outrageous. Surely after Beslan and Mumbai, the possibility of terrorism is something the FBI should consider. This article in the Dallas Morning News raises questions about the Army's initial response:
Fort Hood captain: Hasan wanted patients to face war crimes charges Fort Hood massacre suspect Nidal Malik Hasan sought to have some of his patients prosecuted for war crimes based on statements they made during psychiatric sessions with him, a captain who served on the base said Monday. Other psychiatrists complained to superiors that Hasan's actions violated doctor-patient confidentiality, Capt. Shannon Meehan told The Dallas Morning News. One day after the Nov. 5 attack that killed 13 and wounded 29, a Fort Hood official said she had never received complaints about Hasan's job performance. Col. Kimberly Kesling, deputy commander of clinical services at the base's Darnall Army Medical Center, also said he was a "hardworking, dedicated young man who gave great care to his patients."
So, did Col. Kesling receive complaints or not? If she did, why did she lie for a man who had just perpetrated an atrocity?

A gift for any true populist

Peter W. Galbraith is a gift that just keeps on giving.

David Warsh does a great job tracing his career and the scandal over his oil deal in Kurdistan.

Galbraith also helped push corruption in Afghanistan into the headlines in this country. Thus, he helped create the current impasse on Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's recommendations.

Inside the beltway, the deciders might want to downplay the issue because what's a little corruption among the right kind of people. (Hey, he's John Kenneth Galbraith's son, not some hick like Sarah Palin).

Warsh, though, shows why these peccadilloes have big consequences:

Galbraith’s enthusiasm for Kurdish independence always undermined Bash administration war aims in Iraq – there’s nothing new about that. But the the disclosure of his financial involvement in Kurdish affairs muddies the issue because it impairs American credibility in Iraq. Faisal Amin al-Istrabadi, one of the architects of the law that governed Iraq after the US ceded control in 2004, told the Times reporters, “The idea that an oil company was participating in the drafting of the Iraqi Constitution leaves me speechless.”

Of course, the same thing happened with Russia during the 1990s (Warsh discussed that in his article). American interests took a hit while insiders tried to get rich.

Worst of all, the press largely ignored the story. (Lawrence Summers is one of the righteous DC elect you see). How bad is Washington's memory?

Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers provided some measure of cover for his old friend Shleifer when the Harvard scandal broke in 1997. After becoming president of Harvard University, in 2001, he again shielded Shleifer from the consequences of an ultimately successful Justice Department law suit. And as chief economic strategist for the Obama administration, he enlisted Nancy Zimmerman, Shleifer’s wife and a successful hedge fund operator, in a “kitchen cabinet” of informal advisers, according to a Times dispatch earlier this year. The story of Harvard’s Russia scandal is barely known outside a limited circle of specialists in foreign aid.

Yes, by all means. Let's have more stories about Carrie Prejean and her sex tapes. Let's set 11 journalists to work "fact checking" a book by a former VP candidate. Clearly there are no real stories to cover in Washington.

TV News: Biased is the new objective

Robert Lichter

Fox News: Fair And Balanced?

In fact, Obama received the most favorable coverage CMPA has ever recorded for any presidential candidate since we began tracking election news coverage in 1988. The totals were very similar--within a few percentage points--at all three networks. (These figures exclude comments on the candidates' prospects in the campaign horse race, which obviously favored Obama.)

Meanwhile, Fox's Special Report was dramatically tougher on Obama, with only 36% favorable vs. 64% unfavorable evaluations during the same time period. But McCain didn't fare much better, garnering only 40% favorable comments vs. 60% negative ones. So the broadcast networks gave good marks to one candidate and bad marks to another, while Fox was tough on both--and most balanced overall

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why they hate Palin

R. S. McCain is on to something here:

What is it about Palin that sticks in the craw of liberal journalists? Perhaps the same thing that has always annoyed them about Rush Limbaugh: Sarah Palin doesn't need their help, and all their efforts to harm her appear impotent.

David Warsh describes the importance of dispensing favors to traditional journalists:

It is a commonplace among news reporters that they operate in an informal economy of favors. Participation in newsgathering, for example, is usually based almost entirely on the (usually shrewdly) calculated rate of gain. Government officials in particular are experts at deciding which phone calls to return and which to ignore.

A name in the paper, a theory floated, a pet project boosted, a rival quietly gored, a scrap of gossip, even a fistful of clippings from the newspaper’s “morgue” (of greatly diminished value now that the files have long since become digital databases!) — these are some of the favors that newspaper reporters are free to dispense, or attempt to dispense, as they go about their business

The anti-Palin reaction is not the first time we've seen journalists fall victim to rage fueled by impotence. I discussed an attack on the Powerline guys back in 2004:

All of this helps to explain the vicious columns Jim Boyd of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. wrote in response to the op-ed piece by the guys at Powerline.

From Boyd's perspective, it is bad enough that blogging barbarians compete against him in "explanation space." Once, bloggers were easy to dismiss because their readership is small. The situation became worse when the collective weight of blogger opinion and reporting forced the MSM to cover the questions about Kerry, Cambodia, and his war record. That was a sign that his side was losing its ability to determine what was newsworthy.

Hindrocket and The Big Trunk went further. Their op-ed column usurped the journalist's 'rightful role" and appeared on the pages of Boyd's own paper. The barbarians had breached the walls and were roaming free inside the city. Boyd reacted like an Edwardian butler who discovered a group of Welsh miners gathered in the grand dining hall. It is not what they did; it is that they were there at all

Monday, November 16, 2009

More foolishness from David Brooks

Obama is "the most talented political figure of the age."

Expertly dealt with by R.S. McCain and Ryan Cole.

David Brooks and the Obama man-crush

Brooks Again

This reminds me of all the pundits who raved about Bill Clinton as a politician ("the greatest of his time", "the best since FDR", yadda yadda yadda). This still gets repeated even though Clinton was way below average by the measures that count. (See here and here).

One of the biggest problems in Washington and in the MSM, is that pundits and political operators substitute consensus for analysis. Most of them just repeat conventional wisdom instead of thinking things through on their own or digging into the data.

The dangers of symbolic diplomacy

Three worthwhile posts about the presidential bow:


After all I've lived with Korean/Japanese wife for 26 years, and lived for many years in the orient, and I'm not only familiar the custom of bowing, I actually do it from time to time. A bow can mean many things to the oriental way. However Obama's bow was "to the earth" with his eyes looking downward.

My wife gasped when she saw it, "It's a signal of defeat" she continued

Flooding The Memory Hole

Fresh from their triumphant non-coverage of Obama's inappropriate "shout-out" to Dr. Joe Medicine Crow before addressing the nation about the Fort Hood shooting, the MSM (and especially the NY Times) can now not-cover Obama's comical, culturally insensitive bowing handshake to the Japanese emperor.


Behind Obama’s bow: making up to Hirohito for past humiliations

The last is a little speculative but interesting nonetheless.

The MSM has no time for such trivia, of course. The have to get to the serious issues like the fact that mean Sarah Palin accused Steve Schmidt of being fat.


Days like this i hate that i love football so much.

Swept by the Bengals. The only silver lining is that we still have a chance to beat the Ravens.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good idea.

Too bad they are so obsessed with Sarah Palin's book and Carrie Prejean's sex tapes.

From Winds of Change:

At some point it would be nice if there was a decent amount of transparency around what Soros is doing; if he genuinely believes in open societies, he ought to lead it, but since he doesn't - perhaps a decent journalistic project would be to connect the dots and create a map of his involvement in US and foreign affairs.

My hackles go up not only because of the notion that a reclusive, ideological billionaire has decided to reshape the American polity, but because that billionaire makes his billions in part by investing based on changes in international markets - which are in turn effected by national and international politics

Steven Pinker on Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell, Eclectic Detective

An eclectic essayist is necessarily a dilettante, which is not in itself a bad thing. But Gladwell frequently holds forth about statistics and psychology, and his lack of technical grounding in these subjects can be jarring. He provides misleading definitions of “homology,” “saggital plane” and “power law” and quotes an expert speaking about an “igon value” (that’s eigenvalue, a basic concept in linear algebra). In the spirit of Gladwell, who likes to give portentous names to his aper├žus, I will call this the Igon Value Problem: when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ia Drang

They Were Soldiers

Forty-four years ago today, Nov. 14, 1965, 1/7 Cav of the 1st Cavalry Division choppered into LZ X-ray in the Ia Drang Valley in a reconnaissance in force that encountered three regiments of the People’s Army of Vietnam dug in on and around the Chu Pong massif.

What ensued was the first major engagement between U.S. and North Vietnamese regulars, and some of the bloodiest days in American military history; with up to 70 percent battalion-level casualties and some platoons almost entirely wiped out on the single bloodiest day of the Vietnam War, Nov. 17, 1965, when the troopers of 2/7 Cav thought it was over and the enemy was defeated. It wasn’t.


Could it be the best one ever?

Smitty has the latest link-fest of the most interesting posts in the whole wide blogopshere:

Florida Manatee Joins Right-wing Alliance...

Can the First Amendment survive globalization?

Important story in the New York Times:

Two German Killers Demanding Anonymity Sue Wikipedia’s Parent

German law gives them anonymity. Wikipedia has complied with the law in their German language edition. Now, though, the lawyers want their names expunged from the English language edition.

Maybe Wikipedia is judgement proof because they have no assets or operations in Germany. Maybe there is no danger that they will face serious legal challenges in this country with the associated costs.

Here is my scary thought:

Could the lawyers go after telecoms and ISPs to make them block the offending articles? Could a foreign court force a multi-national company to enforce such blocks in all its operations?



She just drives her enemies crazy.

For Palin Book Tour Coverage, Media Tarnishes, Smears, Repeats

My, if I didn't know better, I'd think it's 2008 all over again.

John Ziegler: “AP Blows it in Palin Book Analysis

I have signed a nondisclosure agreement with Harper Collins regarding Sarah Palin’s new book so until it comes out I am limited to discussing only what is currently in the public domain. However, I simply must respond to the Associated Press “report” on Going Rogue.

Even grading on the “Palin Scale” of media bias, the AP’s synopsis is a joke

Gee, I wonder if Ann Althouse feels dumb for relying on the AP's reporting for her attention-grabbing stunt?

UPDATE: Steyn is not to be missed:

No, the Associated Press assigned 11 writers to "fact-check" Sarah Palin's new book, and in return the 11 fact-checkers triumphantly unearthed six errors. That's 1.8333333 writers for each error. What earth-shattering misstatements did they uncover for this impressive investment?

Friday, November 13, 2009

I wondered the same thing

R.S. McCain wonders why Sarah Palin is dissing her natural allies and playing along with those who tried to destroy her:

Why is Sarah Palin dissing conservative media?

He notes:

Sarah Palin suffered so much last year because she was advised by the usual "media strategists," including the self-serving Nicolle Wallace, a torpedo from Team Bush. And yet she allows the P.R. geniuses at Harper Collins to pick and choose their favorites in the media roll-out.

Palin moved the health care debate with a Facebook post. She of all people should understand the power of new media and the pathetic decline of the MSM. Yet she goes the conventional route--- Oprah, Associated Press, etc.

The Couric interview was a disaster for Palin but a life raft for the floundering Couric. As Palin notes in her book, the Nicolle Wallace arguments in favor of CBS had little to do with the benefit to McCain campaign, and everything to do with helping poor Katie.

I wonder if the choice of Oprah is similar. Not that the Big O "needs" Palin, but it is a great "get" for her show. The kind of get that makes producers think highly of the publishers and publicists who arranged it. Those good relations could pay off big for other authors from that publisher even it it does not do much for Sarah Palin.

The view from inside the bubble

CNN is deperately trying to position itself as a straight, unbiased news channel. The New York Times uncritically repeats this spin in this article:

CNN’s Klein Explains the Departure of Lou Dobbs

Jon Klein, the president of CNN/U.S., said Thursday that Lou Dobbs had himself made the decision to end his long association with the cable news network after months of conversations about the direction of the channel away from the kind of opinion-based reporting that Mr. Dobbs preferred.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Klein said Mr. Dobbs had accepted and adapted in recent months to the idea that CNN wanted all of its programs to be free of personal viewpoints. “Lou embraced that but he came to me a few weeks ago and said he’d decided it wasn’t for him,” Mr. Klein said

Cynical spin or sad delusion? Has to be one or the other because the facts are unkind to CNN:

CNN to Lou Dobbs: Don’t Let the Door Hit You….

UPDATE: Nice piece here:

I was Lou Dobbs's last guest

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Speaking of Carrie Prejean

This is the best take on "scandal" i've read so far.

The Real Issue in the Carrie Prejean Fiasco

Gee. CNN and MSNBC have oodles time for Carrie Prejean

Guess they did not know about this:

No Blood For Oil. Well, Unless It Is For Democrats.

The NY Times front-pages a mini-debacle - Peter Galbraith, adviser to John Kerry and Joe Biden, has been getting rich off the advice he has been giving the Kurds

Or was some other agenda at work.

Nah. Everyone knows that a beauty queen's sex video is the most important issue in the world right now.

Not to be missed

From the annals of the struggle for decency and a return to civility. Rightwing Sparkle:

What Have We Come To When The President Slurs Those Who Disagree?

Of special note is the behavior of Ana Marie Cox. We all knew she was a crass attention whore. But now we can add indecent liar to her resume.

Hey, Howie Kurtz loves to use the aging coquette on Reliable Sources as. Maybe he'll ask her about her own ethics next time she is on.

Indecision in Afghanistan:

Someone Tell The Dawdler-in-Chief This Is Not A Term Paper

Will someone tell our President this is not a term paper. You don't get to move the paragraphs around, tweak the punctuation, and cut and paste until it reads just right.

Keep screwing around on this and there will be no Afghan government left to which we can turn over "responsibility

Some useful context for the Hannity video kerfuffle:

Suddenly the left cares about honest visuals!

But let’s not pretend the left really cares about the truthful use of imagery in the media. Sorry, that claim just won’t fly.

UPDATE: I guess not all fake visuals are equal. Or did i miss the reaction to the MSNBC segment?

For Palin Book Tour Coverage, Media Tarnishes, Smears, Repeats

Another Palin book

Interview with the author

Fear of The Mother

In his eye-opening, astute new book, The Persecution of Sarah Palin, Matthew Continetti argues that the "story of Sarah Palin is the story of American political journalism's intellectual bankruptcy," and while Continetti's narrative does include plenty of lesser-known biographical detail it also contextualizes Palin into a fascinating case study of the politics of personal destruction as employed by the left-leaning cultural and media elites who constantly tsk-tsk…the politics of personal destruction. "It's not new for a prominent political figure to be hated," Continetti tells TAS. "But it is novel when a political figure becomes so hated so quickly, and for that hatred to be based on so little information." Appalled by this persistent knowledge gap, the Weekly Standard editor undertook the challenge of setting the record straight and answering, to his mind, "the most outrageous insults, myths, and exaggerations directed at her and her family."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Code Pink is unspeakably vile

From Big

Dressed as ‘zombie soldiers’ killed in combat, ‘ghosts of war victims,’ witches and healthcare fairies, members of Code Pink menacingly paraded in front of a captive audience of children one block from the White House, who waited along the sidewalk in front of Decatur House just off Lafayette Park for a Halloween party hosted by President Obama.

The fruits of Kelo

Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.

But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes' seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London

Bruce Ratner Finally Admits It: "This isn't a public project"
Last month, New York’s highest court heard oral arguments in Goldstein v. New York State Urban Development Corporation, which centered on the state’s controversial use of eminent domain on behalf of real estate tycoon Bruce Ratner, who wants to build a basketball stadium, a hotel, and some office and apartment towers in central Brooklyn. As I’ve previously argued, it’s a blatant case of eminent domain abuse .

And as it turns out, Bruce Ratner himself agrees with that judgement. In a
startling interview with Crain’s New York Business , Ratner finally admitted what his critics have maintained all along: “This isn’t a public project.”

Matt Welch on Obama

Wow, Dude, it's Really Not About You

Monday, November 09, 2009

Today's must read


I’m more than a little angry right now. Yes, I’m irate that some shitbag Major (“shitbag” is often used as a technical term in the Army) opened fire on a group of his fellow Soldiers killing 12 and wounding 30. But that’s not even what is under my skin right now. What is bothering me is the general reaction of our media and those stupid enough to think this was not an act of terrorism, but was caused by supposed PTSD caused at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

It gets even better so RTWT.

Barney Frank

Like Ace says "He Likes Bad Boys"

Atlas Shrugs reviews the history

Barney Frank's Pot Bust

Barney Frank's lover, Stephen L. Gobie, ran a gay prostitution ring out of Frank's home.

Barney Frank's lover, Herb Moses, was a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency’s push to relax lending restrictions. Frank became the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in 2007 after the Democratic Party won a majority in the House. The committee oversees the entire financial services industry, which includes the securities, insurance, banking, and housing industries.

And now Barney is pushing weed legislation while he dallies with his pothead lover.

This track record would doom the career of most politicians. But Frank seems to skate away from every scandal.

He is a member of the club, you see. That select club of the Washington elite that includes Larry Summers and Jamie Gorelick. Membership has its privileges. The most valuable of which is the presumption of righteousness anytime a member is caught up in something unseemly.

Fort Hood

R. S. McCain on the self-styled elite's willful blindness:

Fort Hood Massacre:Jeffrey Goldberg on the See-No-Evil elite

Michelle Malkin notes the similarities with the coverage of the Beltway snipers:

The Beltway snipers and the Fort Hood killer: Peas in a jihad-inspired pod

The Telegraph does reporting work that American reporters just won't do:

Fort Hood shooting: Texas army killer linked to September 11 terrorists

Major Nidal Malik Hasan worshipped at a mosque led by a radical imam said to be a "spiritual adviser" to three of the hijackers who attacked America on Sept 11, 2001.

(HT: Able Danger Blog)

Gateway pundit notes that the imam supports Nidal's murderous actions:
Nidal Hasan’s Imam Praises Fort Hood Massacre

What did CIA know and when did they know it?

Officials: U.S. Aware of Hasan Efforts to Contact al Qaeda

Army Major in Fort Hood Massacre Used 'Electronic Means' to Connect with Terrorists

Cold Fury picks up on one of the most disgusting elements of MSM coverage of these attacks

We’re brushing right past the bleeding bodies of real victims to worry about the danger…to diversity! We lose sleep at night over hypothetically-possible reprisals by "right-wingers" or "white guys" or "Christianists", forgetting the actual victims while we bemoan the potential fate of non-existent future victims.

It’s sick and it’s got to stop.

That’s the Monkey Meat Media; forget the Hate Crime that’s bleeding all over your shoes and worry instead about the Mosque-Burnings that Never Seem to Materialize. Then it blows over until next time, and it’s Lather, Rinse and Repeat

Instead of going to visit the wounded at Ft. Hood, the president went to Camp David;


Why would he not go to be with those whom he is charged to send into battle and who were so horrifyingly betrayed by one of their own?

Because he doesn't give a rat's backside, that's why not

Uncle Jimbo concurs:

When faced with this heinous act, Barack Obama had a solemn duty to serve in his role as Commander in Chief and speak to the American people and the soldiers he commands. Instead he chose to spend his time pandering to a political faction and giving shout outs to members of this accepted victim group. To say this was tone deaf is not accurate, tone dead is more appropriate.That he was unaware of how improper and disrespectful this was is a perfect example of his unfitness. But he does himself one better and then decides that rather than travel to Ft. Hood and comfort the families of the dead or the wounded it is more important to stay in DC and comfort his liberal fellow travelers as they attempt to nationalize our health care system. Former president Bush and his wife found the time to visit, was Michelle too busy to serve as his proxy even? Then while comforting the afflicted politicians who were suffering the tremendous challenge of voting against the wishes of their constituents, he saw fit to disgracefully use the dead and wounded soldiers as a political prop.


Obama Doesn't "Get" the Military He Commands

For the past 8 years, we've heard a lot about how George Bush was too "cowardly" to face the consequences of war. Such bald faced lies are only possible if one is willing to ignore the eyewitness accounts of hundreds of Americans who saw him do just that - with no media fanfare and even less thanks. With every word he speaks and every act he performs, Barack Obama only strengthens the impression that he neither understands nor cares to know the military he must lead as Commander in Chief. Military families are only useful to him as hapless victims of the Bush administration because Obama's entire vision of government rests on the notion that Americans are powerless to rise above misfortune. It's not surprising he spends so little time at Walter Reed, Bethesda, or any of the military medical centers. You see, he wouldn't recognize the spirit of sturdy self reliance that is commonplace there.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Two incidents, different agendas

Generally, i think cable news does a lousy job covering crime stories. They have to fill airtime even when the facts are scarce which means they supply a heavy dose of speculation and misinformation. But as the coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood unfolds, we see how political correctness also shapes the coverage.

CNN and MSNBC have found their narrative-- PTSD by proxy combined with bullying. The Army made the killer do it. No terrorism. None, FBI said so.

No one asks how the FBI could know that three hours after the shooting when no investigation had taken place.

Funny how the MSM had no problem finding a ideological motive for murder in Kentucky. They jumped on that before law enforcement determined the death was a murder.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009



Vietnam: they lost the war, but won the battle

Who are “they?” The Left.

What war? Vietnam.

What battle? The one that determines who gets to write history.

It’s said that history is written by the winners, and that’s true. But Vietnam just may have been the first war in which those who opposed the conflict “won” in the forum of public opinion by convincing their fellow citizens and government to abandon the war itself, and then got to write most of its chronicles.

I think this is a classic example of journalism and the battle for "explanation space". "Everybody knows" means "what journalists agree on."

I've also argued that professional ambition played a role in the writing of the first draft of the history:
What is not often discussed is how professional ambitions make journalists defeatists. When wars go well, the uniformed military receives the praise. It is they who enter into history. We remember Nimitz and Patton, not the correspondents who wrote dispatches about the victories at Midway and Bastogne.

In contrast, Vietnam made the careers of David Halberstam, Seymour Hersh, and Neil Sheehan. Exposing military failure and atrocities makes the journalist the hero not the chronicler. It is a powerful temptation, one which could cause a reporter to lose proportion and distort the meaning of events. Yet this is not something that seems to get discussed much

and that guild loyalty helps explain why journalists are unwilling to revise that draft. Vietnam and Watergate are the "heroic myths" that reporters use to justify their high opinion of themselves and their work.

To World Series Broadcasters: Please---Less Talk About “Short Rest”!

by The Last Hollywood Star

I can’t turn on ESPN without hearing its baseball analysts talk about which World Series pitcher will be going on “short rest,” “long rest,” or “regular rest”


Turn back the pages to 1957 when the Milwaukee Braves’ Lew Burdette pitched three complete game victories over the New York Yankees. After Burdette’s first start in the second game, he pitched on three and two days rest. Burdette’s last two wins were shut outs.

Then in 1968, Detroit Tiger Mickey Lolich repeated Burdette’s feat by winning three games against the St. Louis Cardinals, also on short rest.

Starting the second, fifth and seventh game, with three and two days off between games five and seven, Lolich too pitched three complete games. In the seventh game, Lolich defeated Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.

So announcers, please, stop talking about how many days off the starters have had. This is the World Series! Let the pitchers suck it up and do their job no matter how much or little time they’ve had to rest.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sometimes you get the bear....

Sometimes the bear gets the terrorist

My New Hero: Chase Utley

by The Last Hollywood Star

Sports Illustrated on Chase Utley, last night's Philadelphia Phillie hitting star:

If some Phillies do lack big league industriousness... Utley is beyond reproach, conspicuous in his effort. The 27-year-old second baseman dives for all grounders in his zip code. He grinds out at bats and bursts out of the box as if someone had fired a starter's pistol, even when he's not trying to extend a hitting streak.

Former Phillies' manager Larry Bowa says, 'He plays every game like it's the seventh game of the World Series

["Grime Pays", by Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated, August 14, 2009]

I'm rooting for the Phillies and for all around good guy Utley even though it puts me in the awkward position of also have to pull for Pedro Martinez who I incorrectly predicted---not once but twice---would be a total bust.

Monday, November 02, 2009

I think Smitty should fisk more

He does it so well as we see here:

Rick Moran and the Comatose Nuthouse

Bill Quick is good as well:


Follow the fun at Memeorandum.

Why the crisis of journalism will continue

Wild guesses won’t solve journalism crisis

The Harvard conference tasked with finding new business models for journalism had the impossible mission yesterday of trying to solve a problem no one had the language to describe, the tools to measure or the skills to fix.

In other words, the conference resembled the primitive study of physics before Isaac Newton invented modern calculus at the tender age of 23.

Odd doings in Vienna

British nuclear expert's 17th floor UN death plunge 'was not suicide'

A British nuclear expert who fell from the 17th floor of a United Nations building did not commit suicide and may have been hurled to his death, says a doctor who carried out a second post-mortem examination.

Timothy Hampton, 47, a scientist involved in monitoring nuclear activity, was found dead last week at the bottom of a stairwell in Vienna.
One suicide is a tragedy. But this makes you wonder.

Under a year ago, an American died at the IAEA in strikingly similar circumstances, his body being found at the bottom of a stairwell.

A UN spokeswoman said an investigation into that case continues, though Austrian police have concluded it was suicide

David Treen, RIP

Quin Hillyer in the American Spectator:

Dave Treen, Political Builder

David Connor Treen was a one-term governor (and four-term congressman) of a troubled southern state. He lost or withdrew from far more elections than he won. His nomination for a federal appeals court judgeship fell apart. And he was the butt of two of the most famous put-downs in American political history. Yet, although almost no history books will say so, he was one of the more consequential figures in late 20th century politics, not just in Louisiana, but nationally.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Honoring a hero

Major Garrett of Fox News blogs about Leslie Coffelt, the man who lost his life protecting Harry Truman fifty-nine years ago.

(HT: Ace of Spades)

Garrett states that
Truman was never endangered by the assassination attempt. Collazo and Griselio never made it inside Blair House, thanks to Coffelt and the other White House Police Force officers.

Stephen Hunter, who wrote the book on this assassination attempt, is less certain that HST was never in danger. He believes it likely that Truman was at a window and exposed to Torresola right when Coffelt ended the fight. Had the officer missed, Truman might have been shot. In addition, Hunter doubts that the agent with the Tommy gun was certain to stop the assassins had they made it into the residence.

That is all the more reason to honor Leslie Coffelt: a man who did his duty as his life slipped away.

I discussed Hunter's book here.

In a nutshell

Bill Quick:

I’ve said previously that openly biased journalism is preferable to the hidden bias of the MSM we endure today, but I think henceforth we should always read Allah with the notion in the back of our minds that he’s pretty much in the tank for the Anybody But Palin/Conservatives gang. He’s a lot more understandable from that perspective.

It's kinda' odd. Michelle Malkin is quick to attack Republicans who stray from the conservative straight and narrow. Yet, she hired AllahPundit for Hot Air. And AP is about as squishy as they come on the right.

Wow! Frank Rich is upset that Newt got "slimed"

I wonder what caused that change of heart? (/sarcasm)

Adirondack Doug Gets The Caribou Barbi Treatment

NYT columnist Frank Rich has the heebie-jeebies

Drowned in Blood: Frightening Tales of an Adirondack Halloween

Follow the reaction at Memorandum.

Today on the NFL Network: Rich Eisen wants to have Brett Favre's baby

I used to think that the constant soap opera that turned the NFL into the National Favre League, was just evidence of laziness on the part of the average sports yakker. It's easier to speculate about Favre's next move than it is to do real reporting or analysis.

After reading Steve Sailer, though, i wonder if it is part of a media strategy to reach out to other demographics:

Another chronic problem with shows that don’t reset is creeping soap operaization. Female fascination with relationships tends to crowd out every other subject over time. Even House, with the wonderful Hugh Laurie as a Sherlock Holmes-like genius/misanthrope solving one medical mystery per week, has become more of a soap opera over the years.

The obsession with Favre obscures the fact that Old Yeller is far from the best QB in the NFL and has not been an "elite" QB for many years. Favre is having the best year of his career based on passer rating, yet he is not in the top five in the league.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

What if he goes on strike?

So the Other McCain is traipsing around the Adirondacks hunting for antiques or looking at fall foliage or something. Meanwhile. Smitty is once again forced to spend his Saturday putting together the latest FMJRA linkfest.

Please check it out so the poor guy feels appreciated.

Finally Making Journey to Rugged Adirondacks

"The case against Ivins just gets weaker."

This strikes me as important:

Anthrax investigation still yielding findings: Chemical composition of spores doesn't match suspect flask/Nature

Furthermore, the Bacillus subtilis contaminant present in the letters has not been matched to the strain found in [Bruce] Ivins' lab. The FBI speculates it might have come from another lab at Fort Detrick, but has not yet identified any lab that has it. The case against Ivins just gets weaker.

Maybe this is why they don't want us to read it


The health care bill recently unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi is over 1,900 pages for a reason. It is much easier to dispense goodies to favored interest groups if they are surrounded by a lot of legislative legalese. For example, check out this juicy morsel to the trial lawyers (page 1431-1433 of the bill):

Section 2531, entitled “Medical Liability Alternatives,” establishes an incentive program for states to adopt and implement alternatives to medical liability litigation. [But]…… a state is not eligible for the incentive payments if that state puts a law on the books that limits attorneys’ fees or imposes caps on damages.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I guess war is not like a computer game after all

Some troops have a sixth sense for bombs

Those who hunted or grew up in tough urban areas excel at finding the roadside devices, a study shows.

Military researchers have found that two groups of personnel are particularly good at spotting anomalies: those with hunting backgrounds, who traipsed through the woods as youths looking to bag a deer or turkey; and those who grew up in tough urban neighborhoods, where it is often important to know what gang controls which block.

Personnel who fit neither category, often young men who grew up in the suburbs and developed a liking for video games, do not seem to have the depth perception and peripheral vision of the others, even if their eyesight is 20/20

(HT: Steve Sailer)

All Hail Deacon Phillippe!

By The Last Hollywood Star

The Pittsburgh Pirates got a positive national television mention after Game One of the World Series. Usually, when the Pirates' name surfaces on a major network, it's to heap scorn on the team.

But after Cliff Lee pitched a complete opening game, striking out ten and walking none, researchers went into the archives to dig out Deacon Phillippe's 1903 performances.

Phillippe was the last pitcher to put up those numbers.

Back in 1903, the World Series was a best of nine affair. In the opener, Phillippe out dueled Cy Young in a complete game effort.

Get this---Phillippe pitched four other complete games, two on back-to-back days, and went 3-2 in the Pirates loss to the Boston Americans. For good measure, Phillippe pitched in relief in two other games.

Take that, pitch count crazy Joe Kerrigan!

Phillippe's five complete game decisions are a World Series record that will stand forever unless current format reverts to best of nine.

If that ever happens, the World Series could extend to Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cuban spies

Toby Harnden (of the London Telegraph) has a fascinating article in the Washingtonian on the background of Kendall Myers and Gwendolyn Steingraber Trebilcock Gereaux Myers. It is the best reporting i've seen so far on the case.

Spying for Fidel

Previous posts:

Traitors among us

Cuban spies

Is the congressional watchdog really ACORN's ace in the hole?

Nadler's ACORN Ethics

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who heads a congressional subcommittee that may be investigating ACORN in the not-too-distant future, has been providing advice to ACORN's lawyer, according to a new report.

Michelle and Jill Mug for the World Series Crowd; They Should Stay Home

by The Last Hollywood Star

When Michelle Obama and Jill Biden walked New York Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra out to the mound last night, I was disgusted.

What made me so mad is that Berra is a Yankee hero who has played in 75 World Series games, more than anyone in history. If he had stood before the crowd alone, Berra would have deservedly received a rousing standing ovation.

But with Obama and Biden by Berra's side, the three got only brief token applause.

Biden, by the way, likes to be called Dr. Jill Biden because she has a Ph.D. in education. That's another but lesser annoyance. Doctors are M.D.s; Ph.D.s are just that---Ph.D.s

Political pandering has no place in baseball.

Let Berra, 84, enjoy the moments he has left. The other two will, unfortunately, be mugging for months if not years to come.

Say what?

So now telling the truth about a candidate is a "dirty trick"? What color is the sky in Politico's world?

(HT: The Other McCain)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How the mighty have fallen

CNN Drops to Last Place Among Cable News Networks

CNN, which invented the cable news network more than two decades ago, will hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, finishing fourth – and last – among the cable news networks with the audience that all the networks rely on for their advertising.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Remember the Cuban Spies?

Some new information here:

Alger And Priscilla Hiss, 2009 Model

This is definitely different than the first news stories which portrayed the wife as some sort of naive do-gooder with no firm ideology:

Gwen Myers, as explained in the article, had a thoroughly left-wing background – one of her sons, according to a South Dakota neighbor, made no bones about being, literally, a card-carrying Communist – and it apparently was through her that Kendall Myers took the fateful step from being a liberal State functionary, like thousands who never give a thought to betraying their country, to becoming an operative for Cuba.(The resemblance to the influence that Priscilla Hiss’s views had on Alger in the early years of their marriage, as described in such books as Allen Weinstein’s Perjury and Sam Tanenhaus’s Whittaker Chambers, is quite striking.

I think that this shows the attitude that paves the way to treason:

Harnden also looks into the auto accident which is said to have had such a troubling psychological effect on Kendall Myers. It turns out that, for a man of almost forty, he handled the whole matter as if he were a particularly spoiled seventeen-year-old. He sent Susan Slattery’s family a letter that, although missing an apology, concluded: “It is a tragedy for me too.” During a recess in the civil case brought against him by her family, he told her father: “You people can’t touch me.”

Previous posts:

Traitors among us

Cuban spies

Friday, October 23, 2009

Michael Barone

Obama Hits Opponents With Chicago Brass Knuckles

That's governance, Chicago style. The head of government is friends with the heads of every big business, lobby and union, and together they make decisions on how everyone else will live. Those on the inside get what they want. Those on the outside -- well, they get what the big guys want them to have. That's life in the big city.

The war on Fox News

From Legal Insurrection:

Mainstream Media Confronts The Monster It Created

The Obama administration's attack that Fox News is not a real "news organization" reflects on the psyche not of Fox News but of our Commander in Chief and his emissaries. It also is a pathetic re-write of history in light of the incredibly biased, pro-Obama media coverage during the election, when Fox News was the only news organization subjecting Obama to any level of scrutiny.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good question

Why Is GE Exempt From Government-Ordered Pay Cuts?

Since the government is now deciding who gets paid what at companies that received bailouts, it begs the questions: Why are employees of General Electric, owner of MSNBC, Obama's favorite network, exempt from these pay cuts?