Monday, June 29, 2009

Souter Wrong Again for Old Times' Sake

The Supreme Court made a lot of sense today by siding New Haven firefighters who did well on a promotions exam but had the results thrown out, because those who did poorly didn't like the results. New Hampshire's own David Souter ruled that the city should have put political correctness over public safety, and that firefighters should have been promoted based more on skin color than on ability. His sloppy jurisprudence will not be missed, though likely-Justice Sotomayor's race-based rulings won't be any improvement,

Richard Epstein does into much more detail about the Ricci case, and it's implications for government-sponsored racism in the future.

I'd also recommend the continuing coverage over at the Volokh Conspiracy, the best legal blog on the planet.

And if you've still got the time and interest in the Ricci case, you can check out today's reaction from the worst legal reporter in America.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cline on Sanford

UL editorial guru Andrew Cline has a new piece in the American Spectator on the political suicide of Mark Sanford. Read the whole thing, but I had to clip this paragraph:
Beautiful women can impair men's reasoning faculties. If that was the case here, Sanford's mistress must be the most beautiful woman on earth because she turned his brain into grits.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sanford exits Zipped Pants Caucus

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is the latest politician who can't keep it in his freaking pants!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

We Are All Iranians Now

The future is on the brink right now in Iran. The next few hours may decide whether an oppressive regime hangs onto power or crumbles under the force of freedom. There is little we can from here, but perhaps we can make it just that much easier for Iranian bloggers to remain free from the state security services.

Join Operation Haystack, change your Twitter settings to Tehran, and provide some cover for those telling the world about what's going on in Iran right now.

After 9/11, the world reached out to America. Tonight, my prayers are with the Iranian people. We are all Iranians now.

Help the Iranian People

Two small ways to help Iranians risking their lives for more freedom, one useful and one symbolic.

1) Change your Twitter location to Tehran, and your time to GMT +3:30. The State Security Services are searching Twitter to find protesting bloggers. Adding more hay to the haystack will make it harder for them to find the needles.

2) Change your Twitter and Facebook pictures to make them green in solidarity with the protesters.

It's remarkable how useful new media, and especially Twitter, has been in not only letting the world know what's going on inside Iran, but also helping protesters communicate with each other. I know people like to mock Twitter as just bloggers telling each other what they're eating, but any tool that makes it easier for people to communicate makes for a better world.

NY Times Reporter Escapes Taliban


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Predicting Obama's Reaction to Iran

Last summer, we got a glimpse into Barack Obama's likely response to a foreign policy crisis when he failed miserably to adequately respond to Russia's invasion of Georgia:
Moral relativism, appeasement in the face of aggression, and failed foreign policy: Barack Obama- Change You Can Believe In!
Powerline charts the Obama's weak response to tyranny on public display in Iran:
President Obama has figured out that "something has happened in Iran." Unfortunately, his take on what that "something" is suggests that he is uncaring, clueless, or both:

"I do believe that something has happened in Iran where there is a questioning of the kinds of antagonistic postures towards the international community that have taken place in the past."

In other words, the mass demonstrations aren't about the quest for freedom, they are about being more respectful towards "the international community."

The Zipped Pants Caucus

More details are coming out about Sen. John Ensign's admitted affair with a campagn worker.

Political insiders in Nevada and in the Senate said that Ensign decided to acknowledge the affair publicly after the husband of the woman he had been seeing asked him for a substantial sum of money.

Ensign described the affair Tuesday as “the worst thing I have ever done in my life.”

“If there was ever anything in my life that I could take back, this would be it. I take full responsibility for my actions,” he said.

As the details come out, it shows that Ensign did the absolutely right thing by making this public. That is the proper response to blackmail.

Given the pressures of being a U.S. Senator, and the fact that he and his wife were estranged at the time of the affair, and that Ensign told his wife about the affair and ended it when they got back together....I still don't care.

You're a United State Senator. Until yesterday, you had aspirations to run for President. Keep it in your freaking pants!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Setting a Higher Standard

Seriously! I mean, c'mon. I like John Ensign a lot. He was a great member of the Commerce Committee when I was working there, generally standing up for the right ideas. So was David Vitter.

But keep it in your freaking pants!

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) has acknowledged an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer in a statement released by his office. "I deeply regret and am very sorry for my actions," said Ensign. He is expected to announce the affair at a press conference at 6:30 pm tonight. The affair, which was with a woman who worked for both Ensign's re-election campaign and his Battle Born leadership political action committee, began in December 2007 and ended in August 2008. Ensign's wife, Darlene, said that the couple's "marriage has become stronger" and added: "I love my husband."

The link between sex and power is hardly a partisan phenomenon. How about we start a Third Party based on a platform of not being a cheating scumbag. We'll call it the Zipped Pants Caucus. It's a low threshold, but I think voters might prefer politicians who underpromise and overdeliver.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rob Huxley at Hillsborough GOP Flag Day Picnic

Rob Huxley addresses the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's Flag Day Picnic:

Andrew Hemingway at Hillsborough GOP Flag Day Picnic

Andrew Hemingway addresses the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's Flag Day Picnic:

Robert Bestani at Hillsborough GOP Flag Day Picnic

Robert Bestani addresses the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's Flag Day Picnic:

Ovide Lamontagne at Hillsborough County Flag Day Picnic

Ovide Lamontagne addresses the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's Flag Day Picnic:

Fred Tausch at Hillsborough County Flag Day Picnic

Fred Tausch, founder of STEWARD of Prosperity, addresses the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's Flag Day Picnic:

Jennifer Horn at Hillsborough County Flag Day Picnic

Jennifer Horn addresses the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's Flag Day Picnic:

Charlie Bass at Hillsborough County GOP Flag Day Picnic

Former Republican Congressman Charlie Bass addresses the Hillsborough County GOP's Flag Day Picnic:

Frank Guinta at Hillsborough GOP Flag Day Picnic

Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta addresses the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's Flag Day Picnic:

Bob Giuda announces run for Congress

Republican Bob Giuda announces his Exploratory Committee for Congress in New Hampshire's Second District at the Hillsborough County GOP Flag Day Picnic:

Grant Bosse at Hillsborough GOP Flag Day Picnic

Grant Bosse on the meaning of Flag Day:

Steve Stepanek at the Hillsborough GOP Flag Day Picnic

Chairman Steve Stepanek welcomes the crowd at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee Flag Day Picnic:

A Rainy Flag Day in Greenfield

I'm MCing today's Flag Day Picnic for the Hillsborough County Republican Committee. Luckily, we're indoors at the Barbara C. Harris camp in Greenfield.

Scheduled speakers include:
Congressman Charlie Bass
Ovide Lamontagnge
Jennifer Horn
Mayor Frank Guinta
Fred Tausch
Bill Martel
and several potential Congressional candidates.

We'll post the video as soon as we can.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another good rule

I live my life by a few simple rules. Among them is this:

Never own a dog that can be blown away by a gust of wind.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WaPo- Security Guard Killed at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Washington Post reports that the guard shot at the Holocaust Museum this morning has died.

A gunman armed with a rifle walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in downtown Washington today and fatally wounded a security guard before being shot and seriously wounded by two guards, authorities said.

I've been to the Holocaust Museum just once. It was a powerful and emotionally draining experience. It was like watching Schindler's List or United 93, only much more intense. You're reminded not only of man's capacity for evil, but also our ability to withstand that evil and rise above it. James Lileks has the most insightful comment I've yet heard:

The fact that the Holocaust Museum has several armed guards tells you why we need a Holocaust Museum.

This murder by a man now identified as a white supremicists and anti-semite is an act of terrorism. He used violence and fear for political ends.

The Union Leader reports that this lunatic once lived in Lebanon, and tried to take hostages at the Federal Reserve in 1981.
We don't yet know the murdered guard's name, and we may never know many lives he saved today. My prayers are for his family, and his colleagues who will put their lives at risk again the next time they go to work.
This murder comes ten days after Dr. George Tiller was killed because he performed controversial abortions. I hope these two crimes do not mark a trend. Violence and murder are not legitimate political tools. It's especially grotesque to see such violence at the Holocaust Museum, where we mark on the largest uses of murder as a political weapon in our history.

Monday, June 8, 2009

PJ O'Rourke on Daily Show

I live my life by a few simple rules, among which are these:

*Wait until the whistle to leave or go back to your seat at a hockey game

*Always use fresh cracked black pepper whenever possible

*Whenever a New Hampshire writer goes on a nationally televised cable comedy show to promote his new book, embed the video:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
P.J. O'Rourke
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorEconomic Crisis

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Joe McCarthy's Legacy

The most long-lasting legacy of the McCarthy Era wasn't the damage done to those who were unfairly tarnished as Communists. It was that Joe McCarthy's self-serving, thuggish, and bombastic attacks on imaginary Communist spies made our federal government much safer for the actual Communist spies:
A former U.S. State Department official and his wife have been arrested for spying for the Cuban government for nearly 30 years, the Justice Department said on Friday.

Walter Kendall Myers, 72, aided by his wife Gwendolyn Myers, 71, used his Top Secret security clearance to pass on classified information to the Cuban government and at one point met with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, according to court documents.

The two were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and to communicate classified information to Cuba, the Justice Department said. They were also charged with wire fraud and acting as illegal agents.
Mr. and Mrs. Myers weren't recruited by Castro's regime until the 70's, well after Joe McCarthy left this world. But his buffonery made it hard to credibily run effective counter-intelligence for decades.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Blue Hampshire: When does "New Media" cross into "major nuisance"?

Over at BlueHampshire, Zandra Rice Hawkins debates herself as to whether independent journalists working for think-tanks should be allowed access to state government:
As someone with an organization that routinely films political activity in the state for the benefit of our members, I try to gain access wherever I can. But I don't purport that I'm speaking for new media advocates when I'm asked to move to the gallery. Instead, I'd rather leave that space and make the case for new media that's reporting for general public interest rather than an organizational view.
Obviously, we disagree with Rice Hawkin's line in the sand. We would prefer to be judged by the quality our of work at the Josiah Bartlett Center and at NH Watchdog. At a time when traditional media organizations are cutting back on State House coverage, we are stepping in to fill the gap. The First Amendment has no requirement that the press have no opinions. We prefer to let people know that we are in favor of free markets and smaller government, and let our coverage speak for itself.

D Day Y+65

UPDATE- Nice post by Paul Twomey over at BlueHampshire.

On June 6, 1944 at 6:30 am British Double Summer Time, the Allies launched the largest invasion in military history, breaching Hitler's Fortress Europe on the beaches of Normandy. Though a careful study of history would reveal socio-economic trends suggesting Germany would inevitably lose the war by this time, the cost of victory in Europe and the shape of the post World War II world were far from certain. Germany had lost the war by the summer of 1944, but the Allies still had to win it.

Without surprise, coordination, and above all, the sheer will of the American, British, and Canadian landing forces to hold and advance from five narrow beachheads into the teeth of Wehrmacht, Germany may have delayed the Allied advance on Berlin by months or years. The potential direct cost of this delay in incaluable. The costs of Soviet troops occupying all of Germany and beyond would surely still be felt to this day.

President Obama, French President Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown are marking the anniversary in several historic locations today. It's a shame that Queen Elizabeth, the only living Head of State who served in WWII, hasn't been invited. Her generation faced a challenge that drawfs even the military and economic problems we have before us today. The Queen's presence would have served as a reminder of Britain's resolve in the face of evil, and guided us as we continue to fight for freedom for all mankind.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Remembering the Battle of Midway

I've got a post over at NH Watchdog going up tomorrow about the 60th anniversary of D-Day, but a similarly critical battle took place in the Pacific 67 years ago today. Powerline remembers.

Midway marked the eastern edge of Japanese naval expansion. Just six months after Pearl Harbor, Japan has pushed the U.S. Navy out of the Solomons and was threatening to acquire land bases within range of Hawaii and the American mainland.

The U.S. Navy, relying on intelligence gathered from broken Japanese codes, decided to take a stand at Midway. Using the airstrip on the tiny atoll, his last three carriers in the Pacific, and aging aircraft that were outclassed by their Japanese counterparts, Admiral Chester Nimitz gambled that his forces would be able to spot and attack the Japanese fleet first. He was right. U.S. planes sunk all four large carriers in the Japanese battle group. Japanese planes finally sunk the U.S.S. Yorktown, after mistakenly thinking they had sent the flattop to the bottom twice before. I highly recommend Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully's Shattered Sword, a compelling account of the battle, using primary sources from both the U.S. and Imperial navies.

The amount of skill, courage, and blind luck that took place over a vast stretch of ocean that day is astounding. I've had the opportunity to visit Midway, which is now a research station. The naval base was abandoned years ago, and the massive airplane hangers have been left to decay. But you can still see the bomb damage that they took on June 5, 1942. It's hard to convey the odd feelings of standing on that ground, knowing that this is where the tide turned in the War in the Pacific.

Though less significant in the overall course of the war, Japan also launched a diversionary attack on the Aleutian Islands in Alaska as part of the Midway campaign. Japan's decision to split its superior forces was a key to American victory in the battle. I've also had the chance to visit Kodiak Island, where my grandfather was stationed during the Aleutian campaign. This marked the only time a foreign army occupied American soil in the 20th Century. Brian Garfield's The Thousand-Mile War tells that story.

We need to remember our history. The events of June 5, 1942 were as pivotal to the future of the Pacific Rim as the events of June 6, 1944 were to Europe.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kicked Out of NH Senate

"I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member." - Groucho Marx.

I found out today that the opposite is also true. I never really wanted to be on the floor of the New Hampshire Senate until they kicked me out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Grant Bosse screwing up search engines

Somebody looking for "College Grants" will be sorely disappointed.

Kevin Niparko is making sense: Never Collis

During my junior year, Dartmouth college shut down the Collis student center for a major rehab. They reopened the building halfway through my senior year, and gave the campus a pool hall, a larger and more accessible function room, and a decent on campus pub. But the food at Collis Common Ground was as inedible as it was when I first arrived on campus. Hippie food.

The today's edition of The Dartmouth, Kevin Niparko '11 writes that not much as changed over the past 15 years:

I’ve had this Collis debate with so many people (females), I decided I would do myself (and all men on this campus) a favor and explain why Collis Cafe is not an attractive option for anything but breakfast (and maybe a midnight snack). I’m always dumbfounded when I walk into Collis and see the hordes of Collis-extremists fighting over the last piece of orange poppy seed tea bread, or chewing balsamic vinegar-soaked lettuce like Peter Rabbit. Have our collective campus taste buds really become so dysfunctional that we willingly resign ourselves to Collis’ flavorless foods?

For lunch, our Collis options are made-to-order sandwiches, stir-fry and salad. The sandwich selection at Collis is insultingly limited. It ranks last among our College’s sandwich stations, with “specialty” bread straight from the supermarket that you can’t even get toasted. As for stir-fries, every time I get one, I’m reminded of week-old Chinese food. The chicken is Blimpie quality, and the rice it’s served on is bland and overcooked.

Hey, hippies have the eat, too. I think. I've never really paid that much attention. And I'm glad that Collis is part of the campus dining mix. But Mr. Diparko explains very well why me, and I, would prefer to meet somewhere else for lunch.