Archive for February, 2008

Military snubs American plane maker

Friday, February 29th, 2008

The Air Force announced today that it has chosen Northrup Grumman, which is partnering with European airplane manufacturer Airbus — rather than Boeing — for its new fleet of mid-air refueling planes.

We’re heading into an economic recession — oh I’m sorry, I mean slowdown — our ballooning national debt is being financed predominantly by Chinese banks, and now the Air Force is going to be sending billions of our tax dollars to Airbus.  I’m all for international trade and cooperation, but there’d better be some significant advantages to the Grumman/Airbus offering over the Boeing offering to justify this.

Cornell on verge of Big Dance

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Tomorrow night in Ithaca, New York at 7:00 PM, the Cornell men’s basketball team, currently undefeated in Ivy League play, will host Harvard. Why am I mentioning this? Because if Cornell wins, they’ll clinch this season’s first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament — and will become the first Ivy League champion in 20 years not named Penn or Princeton.

Obama-Bloomberg ’08?

Friday, February 29th, 2008


More here.

Hillary’s self-pity

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Hillary Clinton: "Every so often I just wish that it were a little more of an even
playing field, but, you know, I play on whatever field is
out there."

Andrew Sullivan: "Is she f***ing kidding me? … Clinton has more privilege, more clout, more intrinsic unearned
advantages in this race than any non-incumbent Democrat in living
memory. And still she failed. And still she whines. There are moments
when you almost feel pity; and then you realize what a petty shameless
narcissist she is."

This about sums up the Hillary Ad

Friday, February 29th, 2008

I can’t comment without ruining it. Suffice to say, one of the more amusing campaign ad parodies ever. (Via John Gruber)

Clinton camp portrays March 4 as Obama firewall (!!)

Friday, February 29th, 2008


With an eleven state winning streak coming out of February, Senator Obama is riding a surge of momentum that has enabled him to pour unprecedented resources into Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont. …

If he cannot win all of these states with all this effort, there’s a problem.

Should Senator Obama fail to score decisive victories with all of the resources and effort he is bringing to bear, the message will be clear:

Democrats, the majority of whom have favored Hillary in the primary contests held to date, have their doubts about Senator Obama and are having second thoughts about him as a prospective standard-bearer.

LOL!! So Hillary can "win" on March 4 just by picking off one state from Obama?? And here y’all thought I was kidding when I said Rhode Island is the new firewall!

Oh, and as for the notion that "the majority of [Democrats] have favored Hillary in the primary contests held to date" … that is about the most tortured piece of transparently bogus political spin I’ve ever heard in my life. It strings together, into a logically incoherent whole, the following four pieces of nonsensical Clintonian garbage, each of which is utterly untenable on its own:

1) Caucuses shouldn’t count at all (not just "caucuses should count less than primaries" — this goes much further than that, suggesting that the preferences of individual voters who happen to live in caucus states do not matter at all);

2) Michigan and Florida should count, even though the party definitively stripped those states of their influence for violating the rules, and even though all the candidates agreed in advance not to contest those states, and even though Obama wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan, and even though, according to Hillary, caucuses states which followed the rules, and which both candidates did campaign in, shouldn’t count (see above) — I mean, just think about this: after signing a pledge to the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada not to campaign in Florida and Michigan, she is now arguing that Iowa and Nevada don’t matter, while Florida and Michigan do;

3) Independent and Republican voters don’t matter, and their votes should be retroactively subtracted from the candidates’ actual vote totals based on exit-poll estimates (more on that below), even though the local Democratic parties in many states consciously and deliberately choose to allow them to vote in Democratic primaries, and all candidates actively court their votes, and you can’t win a general election without their support; and

4) Exit polls are completely accurate and can be fairly used to definitively assess — for purposes of determining the rightful nominee — candidates’ relative strength among "Democrats" and "non-Democrats" (even though registered Democrats often self-identify as indepedents, and vice versa, so even if the exit polls were 100% statistically accurate, they’d still be wrong).

The absolute lunacy of this Hillaryland spin is beyond staggering. At this point, there are just no words for it. These people are living in an alternate universe. The nonsense they put out seriously has no relation whatsoever to reality. It is… Just. F***ing. Ridiculous.

P.S. By the end of this campaign, I wouldn’t be surprised if Team Clinton is putting out press releases touting the fact that Hillary Clinton has won 100% of the vote among voters who voted for Hillary Cilnton. That’s how circular and self-serving their spin is becoming. It’s like they say, "Let’s see what logically incoherent combination of criteria we can concoct to prove that Hillary’s winning the nomination." At what point will they realize it’s time to give up? At what point will the empress finally recognize that she has no clothes?

Ricin found at Vegas hotel

Friday, February 29th, 2008

No CNN Breaking News alert for this?

Police in Las Vegas, Nevada, are investigating the discovery of what they said is the deadly poison ricin in a hotel room.

Preliminary tests show the substance is ricin, authorities said, but other tests to confirm it are under way. …

Authorities were called to an Extended Stay America hotel around 3
p.m. PT Thursday after a man brought a bag with a small container to
the manager’s office. The man said he found it while retrieving items
from a hotel room.

The substance is "100 percent ricin," [police captain Joe] Lombardo said.

The FBI says it sees no link to terrorism. I love how they always say that, even before anyone has any idea what’s going on. "We don’t know who did this, or why, in fact we have no clue what’s going on, but we see no link to terrorism." Not that I’m suggesting it is linked to terrorism, I just think sometimes the denials are premature. (Then again, it doesn’t help that the media asks the question about everything. "Excuse me, Mr. FBI Spokesman? Joan Smith’s house in Paducah, Kentucky just burned down. Do you suspect a link to terrorism?")

Hillary: vote for me or I’ll sue!

Friday, February 29th, 2008

If Hillary Clinton loses in Texas because of the state’s bizarre primary-caucus hybrid, will she file a lawsuit challenging the process? (Hat tip: Joe Mama.)

Her campaign has truly become a shining exemplar of unintentional self-parody and self-destructiveness.  It’s like they honestly don’t understand how they look, pulling one self-serving stunt like this after another.

At some point, Hilldog, you’ve gotta recognize that there’s a process, there are rules, and while they may be deeply imperfect, they are what they are, they’re decided beforehand, everybody knows about them in advance (or, if not, it’s their own damn fault for not paying attention), and you can’t change them in the middle of the game because you don’t like the (potential) outcome. Good grief.

Happy Leap Day!

Friday, February 29th, 2008

It’s February 29!

Some people today are celebrating their first birthdays since John Kerry was a presidential candidate. (Quite a few, actually. Apparently there are about 4.5 million Leap Day babies. Some of them even have a website!)

And, as the AP points out, this is the first Friday Leap Day (which I’m sure is significant, uh, somehow or other) since 1980, when Ronald Reagan was a presidential candidate, and the last until 2036, when Chelsea Clinton will be a presidential candidate. (Or at least, that’s what my sources at Diebold tell me.)

Anyway, it’s a good day to be a frog. Ribbit!

Also, if you’re a woman, today is traditionally considered a good day to propose to your man. If you’re a Greek woman, though, set that wedding date for next year; getting married during a leap year is apparently considered bad luck.

You can read about the history of Leap Year here.

CNN Breaking News

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Prince Harry is being withdrawn from service in Afghanistan immediately, Britain’s defense ministry says.

Classy Arizona fans strike again

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Fans in the Arizona student section, a.k.a. the “Zona Zoo,” got themselves in hot water earlier this month for loudly chanting “F*** the refs!” during a nationally televised basketball game against Stanford. The university responded with an effort to crack down on such misbehavior. As part of that effort, interim head coach Kevin O’Neill sent out a video message to his school’s students earlier this week, urging them to “be positive” in their chants:

O’Neill also apparently gave the students an in-person lecture about the vulgarity issue before last night’s game against USC. And he told the Daily Wildcat in an article published yesterday: “I’m going to encourage them not to use vulgar profanity directed at anyone. The bottom line is we have the largest student section I’ve ever seen, but I think we need to carry ourselves in a first-class manner indicative of what our university, athletic department and basketball program are.”

But alas, during the waning moments of USC’s 70-58 win over the Wildcats last night, some bozo in the Zona Zoo decided it would be a good idea to throw a full water bottle at the USC bench — nearly hitting head coach Tim Floyd. Here’s the video:

To his great credit, O’Neill quickly grabbed the microphone, vigorously scolded the perpetrator, and apologized to Floyd and the Trojans. Good for him. Hopefully Arizona can get this nonsense under control.

On an unrelated note, I love how ESPN named O.J. Mayo the “Rogaine Player of the Game.” LOL! I’m sure he deeply appreciates the honor.

The end has come

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Stand, Men of the West! Stand and wait! This is the hour of doom.

The realm of New Line Cinema is ended!

(Perhaps not unrelatedly, in a story I neglected to mention earlier this month, the Tolkien Trust has sued New Line over Lord of the Rings profits, threatening to scuttle The Hobbit.)

Almost March

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

It’s February 28, but who says “March Madness” can’t get started a little early? Check out this wild ending in New Britain, Connecticut:


It’s unlikely we’ll be seeing either Quinnipiac — which is better known for polls than for basketball — or Central Connecticut State in the Big Dance, but they’re certainly doing their best to whet our appetites for it anyway. Anybody else excited for next month?


Thursday, February 28th, 2008


That is all.

UPDATE: Um, so yeah, it’s not going too well. Louisville 42, Notre Dame 27 at halftime.

UPDATE 2: Louisville won, 90-85. They were way ahead for most of the game, but Notre Dame mounted a valiant comeback late, with five three-pointers in the last minute-and-a-half — three of them by Luke Harangody, who hadn’t hit a three all season! Harangody ended up with 40 points.

UPDATE 3: USC-Arizona is now underway on ESPN. The Trojans lead early, 26-14.

UPDATE 4: Trojans pick up a huge road win, 70-58. Sweet!

Is John McCain screwed?

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Maybe. And it has nothing to do with Vicki Iseman:

Bottom line: Either McCain used the promise of public campaign funds as collateral for his loan, in which case he’s locked himself into the public campaign finance system (and its strict spending limits) and is massively screwed until September. Or he didn’t use potential public funds as collateral, which means he didn’t have anything to offer as collateral, which means he received an improper loan. Neither one of those scenarios is very good for the Straight Talk Express.

Interesting. Verrrry interesting.

P.S. Then, unrelatedly, there’s the fact that he was born in Panama. Obviously that one shouldn’t matter, but it’s an interesting ConLaw debate, if nothing else.

(Personally, I continue to maintain that the constitutional requirement should be changed to say that you have to have been a citizen — whether natural-born or otherwise — for 35 years. Thus the citizenship requirement would essentially replace the age requirement, and we’d prevent the obvious absurdity of someone who moved here when they were a toddler, like Jennifer Granholm, being ineligible because they’re considered some sort of dangerous foreigner.)