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Friday: July 30, 2010

The Riddle of the Sphinx, Updated

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:25 PM UTC

What blogs on four buttocks in the morning, as many as ten buttocks in the afternoon, and two buttocks in the evening? Alas, no buttocks are left, and 2Blowhards is shutting down. It (they?) will be missed.

Monday: July 26, 2010

“A Whole Litter of Beagles”

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:48 AM UTC

Indeed. Perhaps some day the JournoListers Cabalists will open their eyes and look around, stop being totally dependent on warm nourishing bland liquid food provided to them just for opening their mouths and looking cute, and learn to crap out in the yard instead of making a mess for the grownups to clean up.

Speaking of messes, I think the worst thing in the JournoList reaction to the stupid rumors about Trig Palin is Brad DeLong’s repeated suggestion (pages 9 and 10, messages posted on 8/30/08 at 8:12pm and 10:18pm) that Trig might have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome rather than Down’s Syndrome, and that that would shift “the balance of probabilities” to Bristol being his mother. Apparently, he’s quite comfortable making gratuitous accusations of teenage alcoholism against someone who’s never done him any harm. Or perhaps the worst thing is that no one else on JournoList objects to his FAS messages: it’s hard to decide.

The stupidest (though not the worst) thing in the latest e-mails is that more than one of the JournoListers (which ones? who cares? they’re all the same) can’t understand why McGovern had to dump Eagleton as his running mate when it was revealed that he had spent time in mental hospitals and been given electroshock therapy. Let’s see: we have someone with a 30% chance of succeeding to the presidency (14 of 47 VPs so far have done it), who had been hospitalized for mental problems three times and given electroshock treatment twice, all in the previous twelve years, and who would as president have primary access to the means of starting a world-wide nuclear war. What could possibly go wrong? The fact is that a severely depressive or mentally unstable person, an alcoholic, or a drug addict may make a fine senator, but cannot be trusted as president. We need someone who is ready at any time to make sensible, sober, sane decisions, even when awakened by the proverbial 3:00 A.M. telephone call. How could any educated person not know that severe depression disqualifies someone from being president of a nuclear power in the nuclear age?

Sunday: July 25, 2010

It’s Way Beyond “Terrible”, Peter

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:44 AM UTC

In Reason, Peter SudermanInstaPundit) writes that the Federal budget is “in terrible shape”, and none of the 212 comments (so far) notes that that’s like saying the Passenger Pigeon is “endangered”. There is no federal budget, because Congress hasn’t bothered to pass one, and has no plans to pass one. Shouldn’t newspapers and other media have running clocks labeled “It is XXX days past the deadline, and Congress still hasn’t passed a budget”?

I read somewhere a few weeks ago that New York state legislators hadn’t been paid since April (I think it was), since they hadn’t passed a state budget, but that they will be paid in full once they do. It seems to me that we need a similar law for federal legislators, but without the retroactive part. Why should we pay them if they can’t, or won’t, do their job?

I also wonder if it would be possible to adjust their pay for the size of the deficit. If they pass a budget (or don’t pass it) in which federal income is only covering 60% (or whatever) of federal outlays, why should Congressmen get more than 60% of their salaries? Of course, the problem is to avoid giving them incentives to destroy the economy with (e.g.) massive tax increases in order to safeguard their salaries. Perhaps their salaries should be inversely related to total outlays. Of course, the even larger problem would be convincing them to pass laws that would punish them for not doing their jobs. For that, an amendment to the Constitution might be needed. How humiliating would that be, to Congress and the nation as a whole?

Saturday: July 24, 2010

Feetnotes Footnotes on a Rat Post

Filed under: — site admin @ 4:56 PM UTC

The Rat links to an elementary school with an interesting name – but not as interesting as the name of this school, which I drive past whenever I go to my favorite Thai restaurant.

Her second link tells of a wine that deserves to be bought at the liquor store mentioned in this post from almost eight years ago.

Friday: July 23, 2010

How Stale Are These Talking Points?

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:06 PM UTC

In The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru quotes some leftie as saying that Sen. Webb’s recent editorial “made him sound like a mossback from the last century” and demanding that Webb “get his head out of the last, sad epoch of covert racist talk and join the rest of America in the 21st century”. The last century was only ten years ago! Is social progress that fast? Is the Clinton administration now a byword for Mediaeval repression? Was the George W. Bush administration the greater part of the new Age of Enlightenment? Or are some lefties working from talking points issued more than ten years ago, when “the last century” referred, much more plausibly, to the 19th? I wonder if any of them are still using faded mimeographs.

Saturday: July 10, 2010

. . . With Both Hands and a Flashlight?

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:24 PM UTC

Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Big Lizards’ sophomoric humor is apparently contagious.

Sunday: July 4, 2010

Domitian and White Castle

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:17 PM UTC

A Volokh Conspiracy post puts me in mind of Suetonius. Jonathan H. Adler reports that the White Castle hamburger chain says that “a single provision” of the recently-passed health insurance reform bill “will eat up roughly 55 percent of its yearly net income after 2014″. In the comments many people sneer at the claim, insisting that White Castle is run by greedy plutocrats who could easily afford the new expenses and are simply lying about the costs of the bill.

That reminded me of a favorite saying of the emperor Domitian. As Suetonius put is (Life of Domitian 21):

He used to say that the lot of princes was most unhappy, since when they discovered a conspiracy, no one believed them unless they had been killed.

Let’s hope we don’t find out how bad the health reform bill is only after it has killed off White Castle and other useful corporations, large and small.

Don’t Do It, Canadians!

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:04 PM UTC

Colby Cosh reports on efforts to rename British Columbia, and adds: “The good news, for those who dread the idea, is that the proposed alternatives so far are almost all unspeakably awful.” One of the names proposed in the linked article is particularly stupid. It’s bad enough having an American state and a Eurasian nation sharing the same name: we really don’t need a third ‘Georgia’ to add to the confusion. Of course, it doesn’t help having to say ‘Eurasian’ instead of ‘European’ or ‘Asian’ for the one whose capital is Tbilisi. The non-peachtree Georgia is on the south slopes of the Caucasus, so it is technically Asian, but seems ethnically and culturally more European: calling it ‘Asian Georgia’ would confuse most listeners. We used to be able to say ‘Soviet Georgia’, but that is no longer true, and ‘Post-Soviet Georgia’ is awkward. We definitely don’t need a third Georgia, even if ‘Canadian Georgia’ would be a clear and distinct way of referring to it.