we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Sep 4th 2009

Massive Catch-Up Post – The Top 80 Stories We Didn’t Blog This Summer

1. May 22, 2009. Olbermann’s hypocrisy on the Gitmo recidivism rate exposed by John Gibson:

2. May 22, 2009. Privatizing education would provide real stimulus.

3. May 22, 2009. Obama’s defense of his national security policies is rife with hypocrisy:

[O]n one hand, the president claims that the Bush administration and the post-9/11 Congress went “off course,” making hasty decisions motivated by fear. On the other hand, in dealing with the same issues himself years later, on the proverbial “sunny day in April,” Pres. Obama is making almost all of the same choices, correctly noting that they are difficult ones. Asking that we condemn the former while praising the latter is the real false choice Obama presents.

4. May 24, 2009. The New York Times notes Obama’s use of “straw man” arguments. After criticizing President Bush for using straw men, the Times hits his successor:

To listen to President Obama, a veritable army of naysayers has invaded Washington, urging him to sit on his hands at the White House and do nothing to address any of the economic or national security problems facing the country.

“There are those who say these plans are too ambitious, that we should be trying to do less, not more,” Mr. Obama told a town-hall-style meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., on March 18. “Well, I say our challenges are too large to ignore.”

Mr. Obama did not specify who, exactly, was saying America should ignore its challenges.

Similarly, the next day in Los Angeles, Mr. Obama took on Wall Street and Washington, two of his favorite straw men. “I know some folks in Washington and on Wall Street are saying we should just focus on their problems,” Mr. Obama said. “It would be nice if I could just pick and choose what problems to face, when to face them. So I could say, well, no, I don’t want to deal with the war in Afghanistan right now; I’d prefer not having to deal with climate change right now. And if you could just hold on, even though you don’t have health care, just please wait, because I’ve got other things to do.”

Mr. Obama continued on the offensive against straw men that day in Los Angeles, pointing out that critics told him not to go on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on NBC because “I can’t handle that and the economy at the same time.” Then, his audience primed, he delivered his standard kill line: “Listen, here’s what I say. I say our challenges are too big to ignore.”

5. May 26, 2009. Sports Illustrated reported on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s opinion in the 2004 Maurice Clarett case. Sotomayor applied the type of union logic that is best applied to, say, factory jobs, not the entertainment/sports industry.

By 2004, Sotomayor had moved onto the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District when she ruled on a case involving the NFL’s age minimum. Maurice Clarett, a star running back at Ohio State, and Mike Williams, a wide receiver from USC, had sued to be allowed into the NFL Draft before they had been out of high school for three years, as mandated by the NFL’s rules. A lower court had ruled that the age-limit should be overturned, but the appeals court granted the league’s request for a stay of the ruling. During the hearing, Sotomayor asked Clarett’s attorney, Alan Millstein, why players who were already a part of the NFL Players’ Association should risk losing their jobs to non-members. “Those 1,500 players want to protect themselves,” she said. “That’s what unions do: protect those in the union from those not in the union.

The NFL age-minimum remains in place.

Why should players who are already a part of the NFL Players’ Association risk losing their jobs to non-members? Because the NFL is more entertaining and profitable when its less talented players are replaced with electrifying ones like Maurice Clarett. I want to watch the best athletes in the world on that field, not ones who are unmotivated or past their prime, but who nevertheless keep showing up and drawing their paychecks because of union protection.

Looks like Wise Latina has never watched sports. Perhaps it affected the facts she chose to see. Of course, she would never admit this, would she?

6. May 14, 2009. This video exposes the California public employee unions’ tactics, and shows how the groups blocked the California governor’s attempts to cut spending. Even though it is from May, it is kind of timely now given the allegations of astroturfing in the current health care debate. The video also illustrates one reason why government spending tends to grow, not shrink, over time.

7. August 7, 2009. Speaking of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs, this video from Reason TV satirizes the “Cash for Clunkers” program:

8. May 28, 2009. The President of the United States discovers an American intelligence agency at Five Guys burgers.

9. May 7, 2009. A closer look at Sonia Sotomayor:

10. May 30, 2009. Regardless of whether you think Sonia Sotomayor’s repeated assertions that wise Latinas will reach better results in legal matters than white males sound racist, they probably violate Canon 1 of the ABA’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct.

11. May 30, 2009. I enjoy that pompous Bill O’Reilly got a taste of his own medicine respecting the tenor/content of visitor comments on his website.

12. June 2, 2009. Harry Reid made up his mind that there was no one better qualified to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court than Sonia Sotomayor. He came to this conclusion without ever reading a single one of her judicial opinions.

13. June 2, 2009. This post contains the most apropos nickname ever offered for Mike Huckabee. It’s about halfway down in the post. You’ll know it when you see it. [Content Warning]

14. June 1 and June 9, 2009. Politico and Newsbusters contrast the news media coverage of the George Tiller and William Long murders.

15. June 8, 2009. Economic Reporting: Then and Now.

16. June 7, 2009. The Obama Stimulus: Predictions Versus Reality.

17. April 24, 2009. Obama Budget Cuts Visualization.

18. June 11, 2009. Ace notes the news media are quick to brand any racist, traditionalist, or religious wack job as a member of the “far right”, but when a prototypical “far left” wack job is in the news, they keep the “far left” of it, identifying the individual as a member of the particular fringe group (like “environmental extremist,” “animal rights activist,” “peace protester,” “Black Panther,” or “anti-globalism protester”).

19. June 11, 2009. With late night comedy writers seemingly at a loss as to what to do now that the Coolest President Ever(TM) is in the White House, AOSHQ provides a ton of material the fainting writers must have simply missed. Previously: Well, check out virtually every one of our posts tagged ‘Barack Obama’.

20. June 11, 2009. Pick the new Al-Qaeda Slogan: Should it be (a) Wage war on the West; your reward will be paradise in this life, and the next! Or (b) Terrorism: Your all-inclusive trip out of poverty! Or (c) See Palau! Bermuda! Just wage war against the West, and travel the world!.

What is it with the US and sending our detainees to the most beautiful tropical paradises to serve out their detentions? After several years in the Caribbean, now the enemy combatants from the war on terror are going to be moved to the South Pacific island of Palau. What are we thinking? I mean, there are a limited number of the most beautiful places on earth, and these terrorists are now going to see two of them.

Why not follow the old USSR’s lead and send our prisoners to a bad place no one else wants to go? USSR had the bitter cold and desolate Siberia. Why not find these terrorists a place up in northern Canada? Tell Canada, if they take them, we’ll repeal the “buy American” provision in the stimulus bill.

21. June 12, 2009. ‘Distorting history is not truth-telling but the telling of soft lies. Creating false equivalencies is not moral leadership but moral abdication. And hovering above it all, above country and history, is a sign not of transcendence but of a disturbing ambivalence toward one’s own country.’ – Charles Krauthammer. More from the article:

Traveling the world, he brings the gospel of understanding and godly forbearance. We have all sinned against each other. We must now look beyond that and walk together to the sunny uplands of comity and understanding. He shall guide you. Thus:

(A) He told Iran that, on the one hand, America once helped overthrow an Iranian government, while on the other hand “Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians.” (Played a role?!) We have both sinned; let us bury the past and begin anew.

(B) On religious tolerance, he gently referenced the Christians of Lebanon and Egypt, then lamented that the “divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence” (note the use of the passive voice). He then criticized (in the active voice) Western religious intolerance for regulating the wearing of the hijab — after citing America for making it difficult for Muslims to give to charity.

(C) Obama offered Muslims a careful admonition about women’s rights, noting how denying women education impoverishes a country — balanced, of course, with this: “Issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam.” Example? “The struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life.”

Well, yes. On the one hand, there certainly is some American university where the women’s softball team has received insufficient Title IX funds — while, on the other hand, Saudi women showing ankle are beaten in the street, Afghan school girls have acid thrown in their faces, and Iranian women are publicly stoned to death for adultery. (Gays, as well — but then again we have Prop 8.) We all have our shortcomings, our national foibles. Who’s to judge?

That’s the problem with Obama’s transcultural evenhandedness. It gives the veneer of professorial sophistication to the most simple-minded observation: Of course there are rights and wrongs in all human affairs. Our species is a fallen one. But that doesn’t mean that these rights and wrongs are of equal weight.

Yeah. See also Eugene Volokh is Effed Up

22. June 8, 2009. EA Sports: Ode to Joy

23. June 18, 2009. The Most Ethical Administration Ever(TM) fires three Inspectors General within a few days of each other for conducting investigations the Administration did not like.

24. June 21, 2009. NYT editor: We had to keep mum on Afghan abduction. When national security secrets need to be reported on, the NYT has no problem writing the story, even when that reporting is certain to cost American lives. When the NYT’s own becomes a hostage, the paper of record suddenly sees the wisdom in discretion.

the Times did not reveal [its employee’s] abductors. [New York Times executive editor Bill] Keller told CNN, “The more you talk about who did what … the more you’re writing a playbook for the next kidnapping.”

Seriously? What about writing the details of a top secret terrorist monitoring program in your newspaper? Would that information make it into anyone’s playbook?

25. June 20, 2009. The most honest treatment of constitutional law (and the Supreme Court’s role in interpreting it) I have ever read. Cue Robert Bork:

I refuse to teach constitutional law, because it’s so obviously politics and not law. The incoherence of some of those opinions is astounding. If you want to know what the constitution means, you will not learn it from the court.

26. June 27, 2009. You just can’t win with Ahmadinejad. After the Obama administration steadfastly refused to interfere in any way with the bogus Iranian elections, including embarrasingly refusing to criticize Iran’s killing of peaceful civilian protesters, Ahmadinejad accused him of interfering anyway.

27. June 26, 2009. ‘Canadian Health Care: The End of Innovation?’ John Stossel: Government Controlled Health Care Means Waiting Lines, Serious Drawbacks. Watch the video:

28. July 5, 2009. Joe being Joe.

Yesterday, Independence Day, Vice President Joe Biden attended a naturalization ceremony at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. During the ceremony 237 U.S. servicemen from 59 countries, including Iraq, were sworn in as citizens of the United States of America. At the conclusion of this solemn, undoubtedly moving and inspirational occasion, and in the presence of his own son Beau (currently serving in the 261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, Delaware Army National Guard), this is what the Vice President of the United States had to say: ”As corny as it sounds,” he told the troops, “Damn, I’m proud to be an American!”

Where to begin?

OK, if you were really proud to be an American, Mr. Vice President, you wouldn’t find it necessary to preface that declaration with the words, “as corny as it sounds”. If you were really proud to be an American those words wouldn’t sound corny to you. Then again, if you were really proud to be an American you wouldn’t be serving under a President who spent his last trip overseas apologizing to the world on behalf of America. You wouldn’t be serving under a President who either doesn’t recognize or simply doesn’t understand the concept of American exceptionalism. You wouldn’t, it could be reasonably argued, be a member of the current Democrat Party.

Joe Biden is known in Democratic circles as a “shoot-from-the-hip” type of guy, which means he’s known for shooting his mouth off on subjects he knows nothing about without the slightest regard for where he is or who he’s speaking to. You might say that’s his trademark, along with the serial plagiarism and the hair plugs. Well, yesterday’s outburst was vintage Biden. It simply never occurred to America’s Number Two (as he’s known around my house) that it might be sort of…oh, I don’t know, moronic?…to stand up in front of hundreds of U.S. soldiers in a combat theater and tell them you think it’s corny to feel proud of your country. Then again, Biden knows virtually nothing about the military despite his (much boasted-about) service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as any English-speaking adult who’s analyzed Biden’s, uh, “thoughts” on Iraq could tell you. Like Vice President Dick Cheney (who I’m sure doesn’t think it’s corny to be proud to be an American), Vice President Biden sought and was granted five military deferments during the Vietnam War. So like Senator Barbara Boxer, who recently scolded a brigadier general for (correctly and properly, as it turns out) addressing her as “M’am”, Biden might be forgiven for the stupidity of today’s remarks on the grounds that’s he’s simply ignorant of military culture. Which I guess would be something else for him not to be proud of. Then again, it could be worse. Michelle Obama only started being proud of her country about a year and a half ago, and she’s the First Lady!

But let’s say a reasonable person might, under certain circumstances, be feeling somewhat reticent, somewhat bashful about a full-throated declaration of pride in being an American. Like, say, after visiting the Bill Clinton Presidential Library or attending a deceased senator’s memorial service with Al Franken or something like that. OK, fair enough. Personally I don’t get it, but I suppose that, in some hypothetical situation, the words, “I’m proud to be an American” might strike some hypothetical person as being somewhat corny. But if there’s one person, in one scenario, who should never, ever feel that it’s corny to be proud to be an American, it would be:

– The Vice President of the United States.
– Surrounded by hundreds of U.S. servicemen and women.
– Who have just become U.S. citizens.
– In a war zone.
– On Independence Day.

29. July 7, 2009. While delivering the keynote address at the New Economic School in Moscow, President Obama claimed he met his wife while he was attending school. “I dont know if anybody else will meet their future wife or husband in class like I did, but I’m sure that you’re all going to have wonderful careers,” Obama said. Obama actually met his wife at a law firm.

30. July 7, 2009. Obama’s stock speech.

Greetings great and mighty culture, I am the Obama leader of New America. I am a cultured, urbane, black man with a Muslim name and I carry no baggage.
Your culture is great and wonderful, your poets brilliant, I will now quote one I have never read. Your food wonderful, I will now mention a dish I have never eaten.
Our countries have had issues in the past and they were all the fault of the old America, run by old white men.
Your country has done no wrong and any history of atrocities or rapaciousness or repression was just a reaction to Western meddling
I apologize on behalf of the old white men who wronged you.
New America will not judge you, we will not pretend our free culture is better than your backward, tyranny.
We just want you to like me us.

31. July 8, 2009. Democrats: They just like any tax they can pass

32. July 7, 2009. ‘You, sir, are a total defeatocrat surrender-monkey. YOU EMBARRASS ME!’ (Content Warning). Obama edits Cold War history to please his audience.

33. May 7, 2009. Here is a fun game for a rainy day. Read all the good news in 2009 and compare it to the terrible news of 2005! (Hint: the news the media told us was terrible when George Bush was in office was much better than the news they spin as good news today).

34. July 9, 2009. Justice Ginsburg on her original understanding of the purpose of Roe v. Wade.

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

Yes, Ruth! You were right!.

Retired army general William H. Draper, Jr., a leading figure in Planned Parenthood and the Population Crisis Committee, suggested population control as a solution to urban riots. Referring to 1967 riots in Detroit and elsewhere, he told a business executive that “it is pretty obvious that a great many unwanted children have added fuel to the fire.” He said that “to cure the present ghetto problems and deal with the population question among the poorer parts of our own population . . . will require valiant and much greater efforts than any exerted in the past.” [source: Mary Meehan, The road to abortion (II): How government got hooked, Human Life Review (Winter 1999).]

If we can expand access to abortion providers, reinstitute the VA “can’t shake the blues” pamphlets, and implement the Obamacare death panels, we’ll be on the way to offing those undesirable populations and achieving the democrats utopian dream soon enough!

35. July 11, 2009. Oh, the irony of President Obama giving the following advice to third-world nations:

[H]istory offers a clear verdict: Governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable, and more successful than governments that do not.

36. July 19, 2009. David Beckham would fail the most basic Logic course. Beckham says teammate, Landon Donovan, was unprofessional for not speaking to him before criticizing him to the media. BUT IN DOING SO BECKHAM CRITICIZED DONOVAN TO THE MEDIA WITHOUT SPEAKING WITH DONOVAN FIRST.


Also, Beckham did not comment on whether it is professional or unprofessional behavior to breach ones employment contract. And his whole rebuttal was a non-sequitur (“other people from other teams I have not abandoned don’t think I’m unprofessional”). Great article. The author concludes:

For emphasizing his “leadership by example” rhetoric during the interview, Becks sure does not have a lot to show for his words. Perhaps the next question in the interview could shed more light on this. When asked if he would do anything different this year, he coyly answered:

“No, not one thing. Apart from going to more games. That’d be nice.”

Perhaps that was supposed to portray confidence, but it sure sounded foolish: Becks won’t give up the armband on a side that clearly has no confidence in his leadership abilities. And if he’d like to go to more games, he could have shown up to Galaxy fixtures after the Serie A season ended on May 30th, after which time the Galaxy had played five matches.

Ultimately, Landon Donovan has clearly won this war of words. Beckham would be good to swallow some humble pie before having that private conversation with his captain.

But Becks can surely spin himself a good story to save face.

See also: David Beckham has worn out his welcome in the MLS and with the L.A. Galaxy

If he had any doubts left about David Beckham’s future in MLS, then commissioner Don Garber received a strong message Thursday night from New York’s sophisticated soccer audience. A referendum on the English star was emphatically voted down – by the droves of fans who stayed at home, and by those rowdy supporters who threw fake dollar bills at Beckham as he headed for the tunnel.

The Beckham experiment has led to Beckham fatigue, apparently. For Beckham’s one and only visit this season to the metropolitan area – a 3-1 trouncing by the Galaxy over the sad-sack Red Bulls – empty seats were the rule and Beckham jerseys were the exception. Compared to the 66,237 fans who gawked at Beckham in 2007, and the 46,754 fans from last season, this was a non-event witnessed by just 23,238 on a pretty evening, on an ugly turf field.

“The first year was impressive,” Beckham said. “We’re in a recession. Maybe that’s part of it.”

Nothing could fill the red and blue voids in the upper decks of Giants Stadium. Not a new book about Beckham’s flaws; not Beckham’s sit-down with Matt Lauer on the “Today Show”; not Becks’ underwear ads alongside Victoria.

Let it be known that the official countdown to Beckham’s full-time return to Europe began Friday night in East Rutherford, where spectators clearly craved some fresher entertainment.

“I’m not sure I’d agree to that again if that was in front of us,” Garber said, about the loan arrangement MLS made with AC Milan.

With those words, Garber more or less assured the non-return of Beckham, who will only consider sticking with the Galaxy if he is again permitted to play for Milan from January until the 2010 World Cup.

The marriage has three or four months left, nothing more. And this really should come as no great surprise to anyone, considering Beckham’s part-time commitment to America and the relatively short concentration span we have concerning such celebrities.

See also: Beckham, Anywhere but Here, No need for an apology, says dedicated Beckham, Beckham gets rude welcome in return to Los Angeles, and What David Beckham Really Said to LA Galaxy Fan (Proof Beckrap was lying about going over to “shake hands” with the fan. Given what this video reveals, tin balls should have been fined more than $1000).


37. July 11, 2009. $18M for one Web site??I’ll do that!:

Critics of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package have called it a shameful waste of taxpayer dollars. That criticism should get even hotter now, as it was recently reported the government is spending $18 million to revamp the Web site.

Nicholas Hoover, reporting for Information Week magazine, said the fed is paying $9.5 million to the Maryland company, Smartronix, to redesign the Web site over the next seven months, and also paying up to $18 million through 2014 for upgrades and maintenance.

The Web site is designed to offer transparency, allowing citizens to track exactly where the stimulus funds are being spent. It strikes me as ironic that the government needs to spend $18 million of our money, on a single Web site, so we can be able to see just how much more of our money is being wasted — I mean, used for economic recovery.

The upgrade is needed because there are problems with the existing Web site and that data is often out of date or inaccurate. I know, I know, problems with a government-created product — who would have thunk it?

“ 2.0 will use innovative and interactive technologies to help taxpayers see where their dollars are being spent,” James A. Williams, commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service, said in a press release announcing the award. I’m not sure truer words have ever been said.

David Freddoso, a commentary staff writer for the Washington Examiner, points out there are already several Web sites that track federal spending — and do so for far less than the $18 million contract.

In his “Beltway Confidential” blog, Freddoso writes that the Web site already exists to track all non-stimulus federal loans, loan guarantees, grants and contracts. The Office of Management and Budget, which maintains the site, purchased the initial code for just $600,000.

Also, the privately-funded Web site (note it’s “org” and not “gov”) purports to track all government contracts — including those funded by the stimulus package. The Web site was created by the Onvia Corporation, which spent approximately $110,000 to create it.

In essence, the government paying Smartronix $9.5 million to design its new Web site would be the market equivalent of you paying $47.50 for this newspaper.

It’s a great idea for Obama’s administration to inform the public of exactly when and where the stimulus money is being spent. But if it costs $18 million just to accomplish that feat, is it really worth it?

Please note: “Smartronix — which has a mid-October deadline to redesign the site — doesn’t list Web development expertise in its profile on its Web site.”

38. June 2009. Penguins defeat Red Wings for 3rd Stanley Cup Championship

Stanley Cup Parade Hockey

39. June 25, 2009. Eternal Moonwalk: A Tribute to Michael Jackson

40. July 2009. what is the deal with the GOP ads talking about family farms? How many of those still exist? These ads sound silly. Is the “family farm” vote a huge voting bloc?

41. July 14, 2009. Obama versus Obama on the stimulus:

Unbelievably dishonest given the huge investment of money he is lying about.

42. July 2009. Respect.

43. July 10, 2009. No wonder Medicare is broke: Medicare won’t let clients repay government, lawyers say.

44. July 18, 2009. Walter Cronkite Eugoogoly:

Cronkite’s reporting on the Tet Offensive was a signature moment in the evolution of asymmetrical warfare. The Vietcong resembled modern terrorists in many ways – they even had suicide bombers. North Vietnam realized, by the spring of 1968, that they could never defeat the American military in battle. The NVA field commander, General Giap, was said to be despondent over the failure of the Tet offensive, and felt his situation was likely to deteriorate even further. Then, as now, American soldiers were proving highly adaptable, and were developing increasing skill at countering enemy tactics, along with a naturally improved knowledge of Vietnamese terrain. The gallantry and skill of Vietnam’s soldiers paved the way for America’s astonishing battlefield victories in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, much as tomorrow’s soldiers will study the long and painful story of the Iraqi occupation, to perfect their counterinsurgency tactics. The soldiers and commanders of 1968 were learning, too.

I will leave it to military historians to debate whether a full-scale surge of troops in the wake of Tet would have secured the defeat of North Vietnam. For myself, I think it highly likely. We’ll never know, because the age of modern terrorism – tactics designed to sap civilian will and destroy political support for a powerful military – began when Walter Cronkite took to the air on February 27, 1968, and informed the American public it should not “have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds.”

Walter Cronkite was not an active agent of the North Vietnamese, in the sense Jane Fonda was. He spend the rest of his life steadfastly insisting his editorial judgment on Vietnam represented his honest and heartfelt opinion. When measuring an event of such enormous importance, it hardly matters what his deeply felt personal reasons were. What he did not do was simply and clearly report on the outcome of the Tet offensive, and allow his viewers to decide what they made of it. The Communists came to understand the value of their propaganda victory, with General Giap later saying “The most important result of the Ted offensive was it made you de-escalate the bombing, and it brought you to the negotiation table. It was, therefore, a victory… The war was fought on many fronts. At that time the most important one was American public opinion.”

45. July 20, 2009. DeMint to Obama on health care: How’s that stimulus working out, champ? Obama’s track record on speedy trillion-dollar solutions to avert alleged looming catastrophes isn’t real solid so far:

46. July 21, 2009. The New York Times laments that the Supreme Court decision in the New Haven firemen case “dealt a blow to diversity in the American workplace.” The American Spectator points out that the New Haven fire department has a higher percentage of minorities than the New York Times editorial board itself:

The New Haven fire department, according to press accounts, is 43% black and Latino. Or, if you prefer the term of art, 43% of the fire department is “minority.”

The New York Times editorial board, according to the information provided by The New York Times, is — wait for it — 12% black and Latino. Or, again, 12 % “minority” if you prefer the term.

The New York Times Op-Ed page team of columnists, an elite group of which Ms. Dowd is a star, is 19% black and, again according to the Times listing of its Op-Ed page columnists, 0% Latino.
The New York Times editorial board has 17 members….15 of the 17 — are whiter than white on rice…..That’s roughly an 88% white hiring record for Rosenthal. Frank Ricci and his fellow white New Haven firemen would have had a better shot writing editorials for the Times than fighting fires for the dwindling number of Times readers in New Haven. After all, the percentage of whites at the New Haven fire department is just 57%.

47. July 19, 2009. Jill and Kevin’s Wedding Entrance Dance.

Good for them.

48. July 23, 2009. Sometime between March and July, President Obama decides he doesn’t need to know what he is talking about before he speaks:

49. July 24, 2009. The Officer Didn’t Stereotype Henry Louis Gates — Henry Louis Gates Stereotyped the Officer.

50. May 15, 2009. The National Debt Road Trip:

51. July 27, 2009. Obama in 2004: Bush Rushed Legislation Without Allowing Time To Read, Debate. Oh, the irony!

52. July 2009. Ten reasons why America’s health care system is in better condition than you might suppose.

1. Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.
2. Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.
3. Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.
4. Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.
5. Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians.
6. Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom.
7. People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed.
8. Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians.
9. Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain.
10. Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.

53. July 2009. Obama: The Post-Racial President(TM):

Where race is concerned, I sometimes think of the president as the Peter Sellers character in “Dr. Strangelove.” Sellers plays a closet Nazi whose left arm—quite involuntarily—keeps springing up into the Heil Hitler salute. We see him in his wheelchair, his right arm—the good and decent arm—struggling to keep the Nazi arm down so that no one will know the truth of his inner life. These wrestling matches between the good and bad arms were hysterically funny.

When I saw Mr. Obama—with every escape route available to him—wade right into the Gates affair at the end of his health-care news conference, I knew that his demon arm had momentarily won out over his good arm. It broke completely free—into full salute—in the “acted stupidly” comment that he made in reference to the Cambridge police’s handling of the matter. Here was the implication that whites were such clumsy and incorrigible racists that even the most highly achieved blacks lived in constant peril of racial humiliation. This was a cultural narrative, a politics, and in the end it was a bigotry. It let white Americans see a president who doubted them.

Mr. Obama’s “post-racialism” was a promise to operate outside of tired cultural narratives. But he has a demon arm of reflexive racialism—identity politics, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and now Skip Gates. You can only put a demon like this to death by finding out what you really believe. We should hold Mr. Obama to his post-racialism, and he should get to know himself well enough to tell us what he really means by it.

54. August 2, 2009. The Scary, Honest Truth About Race.

55. August 5, 2009. Congress in November 2008: Private jets are bad. Congress in August 2009: Private jets are good.

56. August 6, 2009. Woman, 86, faces shoplifting charge in 61st arrest

CHICAGO (AP) – Authorities said a 86-year-old woman charged with shoplifting wrinkle cream and other items from a Chicago grocery store has been arrested 61 times since 1956. Ella Orko was arrested Sunday afternoon on the North Side after she allegedly stuffed $252 worth of groceries into her pants, including cosmetics, salmon, batteries and instant coffee.

Previously: Forget Three Strikes, Can’t We All Agree on a One Thousand Strike Law?

57. August 7, 2009. Obama: 1 Speech, 2 Faces:

58. These negotiations will be on C-SPAN:

59. August 7, 2009. Apparently, lobbying groups have used the political process to push health reform for special-interest causes like substance abuse and weight loss treatment ahead of treatments for some kinds of cancer on the Oregon Medicare system’s priority list:

60. August 10, 2009. ‘Buried In The Archives,’ The Original Town-Hall Battle feat. Dan Rostenkowski

My favorite soundbite: “He’s supposed to represent the people, not himself!” shouted by an old lady with black hair who sounded like a dead ringer for Estelle Costanza.


The title for this video, “buried in the archives” is a little insensitive, given that the 1989 footage features mostly old people who have long since been buried.

61. n.d. The largest known star: This animated .gif puts the planet Earth up next to various other celestial objects and shows in graphic detail how small and insignificant our world is.

62. July 18, 2008. It is proof that there is something wrong with the system when it takes 15 long years to execute a criminal, Jose Medellin, on these facts. At least Texas did not bend to the ICJ.

63. August 28, 2008. What if Mormons are right and Catholics and Protestants wrong?

64. August 21, 2009. Oops. Journalist discovers that health care protesters are authentic, while health care proponents are astroturf.

65. Black and White Churches Merge in Kentucky. This is a heartwarming story. I hope it all works out:

66. August 21, 2009. Is it possible for me to dislike anyone more than Pat Forde? Not really!

67. August 24, 2009. Looks like someone overestimated the number of Americans without access to health insurance for political gain. The Kaiser Family Foundation puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 8.2 million and 13.9 million. Obama and Democrats say 47 million are without health insurance. However, 47 million includes those who can afford it and chose not to carry it, and those who are not living legally in this country. Oops!

68. August 25, 2009. Transparency FAIL. Contrition FAIL.

69. August 25, 2009. Newly declassified CIA documents show enhanced interrogation techniques led to better information. NPR’s counter-counter terrorism correspondent,* Dina Temple-Raston, in an unbelievably biased piece of reporting, moved the goal posts and said the only way waterboarding would have worked is if it gave us Osama bin Laden. It didn’t, so waterboarding wasn’t effective. Listen to her snotty, 4-minute report that, if you’re like me, you simply will not be able to stop listening to, just like its hard to look away from a train wreck.

Read some of the declassified material yourself and see if you are as confused as the girl NPR paid to read and explain them to us:

The waterboard has been used on three detainees….Prior to the use of EITs, Abu Zubaydah provided information for [redacted] intelligence reports. Interrogators applied the waterboard to Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times during August 2002. [The report explains that each application of water is counted separately, and most of the 83 applications lasted less than ten seconds.] During the period between the end of the use of the waterboard and 30 April 2003, he provided information for approximately [redacted] intelligence reports. It is not possible to say definitively that the waterboard is the reason for Abu Zubaydah’s increased production, or if another factor, such as the length of detention, was the catalyst. Since the use of the waterboard, however, Abu Zubaydah has appeared to be cooperative.

With respect to Al-Nashiri, [redacted] reported two waterboard sessions in November 2002, after which the psychologist/interrogators determined that Al-Nashiri was compliant….Because of the litany of techniques used by different interrogators over a relatively short period of time, it is difficult to identify exactly why Al-Nashiri became more willing to provide information. However, following the use of EITs, he provided information about his most current operational planning and [redacted] as opposed to the historical information he provided before the use of EITs.

On the other hand, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete. As a means of less active resistance, at the beginning of their interrogation, detainees routinely provide information that they know is already known. Khalid Shaykh Muhammad received 183 applications of the waterboard in March 2003. …

He provided information that helped lead to the arrests of terrorists including Sayfullah Paracha and his son Uzair Paracha, businessmen who Khalid Shaykh Muhammad planned to use to smuggle explosives into the United States; Saleh Almari, a sleeper operative in New York; and Majid Khan, an operative who could enter the United States easily and was tasked to research attacks [redacted]. Khalid Shaykh Muhammad’s information also led to the investigation and prosecution of Iyman Faris, the truck driver arrested in early 2003 in Ohio.

Now, read Cheney’s statement about the released docs:

The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.

Who do you think is closer to being right? Cheney or Temple-whatever?

*counter-counter terrorism because she is clearly “against counter-terrorism.”

70. August 26, 2009. Every Obama Critic is a Racist.

71. August 26, 2009. 43 year-old Mercury Comet still going strong with over 540,000 miles on it. Oh, and an awesome 89 year-old grandma owner.

72. August 26, 2009. Good on Jay Bilas.

73. August 2009. The health care advertisement ABC and NBC won’t run, from the League of American Voters:

74. August 26, 2009. Billy Clyde.

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — Former Kentucky men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie was charged with driving under the influence early Thursday after police who pulled him over said his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol.

A police report said the arrest happened at 2:47 a.m. ET along a highway in Lawrenceburg, about 30 miles from Lexington, where Gillispie coached the Wildcats until earlier this year.

Police responded after dispatchers received complaints of a possible intoxicated driver, and pulled over Gillispie, who was driving a white Mercedes with Texas plates.

Lawrenceburg police officer Michael Corley clocked Gillispie doing 63 mph in a 45 mph zone and pulled up behind Gillispie at a red light. When the light turned green, Gillispie’s car stayed motionless for one or two minutes before continuing down the road, Corley wrote in his report.

Corley eventually pulled Gillispie over in a school parking lot.

“Billy had a strong fruity smell coming from his person [possibly wine] and had red, glassy eyes and slow, slurred speech,” Corley wrote.

Corley asked Gillispie for his license. Gillispie said it was in the trunk. The coach appeared to be unsteady on his feet, Corley wrote.

When Corley asked Gillispie if he had been drinking, Gillispie replied no, but that he’d been golfing all day.

The report said Gillispie refused breath and blood tests for alcohol.

Gillispie was taken to the jail in neighboring Franklin County, where he was seen leaving later Thursday morning in the back of a vehicle with a cell phone to his ear. His lawyer, Darren Winslow of Louisville, was driving. He said Gillispie was released on his own recognizance and declined further comment.

75. August 27, 2009. Rick Pitino: Dude is weird. He sounds like he is giving a speech to his players. Except he has no control over the news media. Pointless.

76. Obamacare won’t cover illegal immigrants? Yes it will, says Congressional Research Service.

77. This comedian is such a loser. Write some new jokes and stop whining:

78. Best Ann Coulter column in a while.

79. Jason Mattera infiltrates liberal rallies and gets some pretty scary admissions:

80. An internet addiction center

…opened in July and for $14,000 offers a 45-day program intended to help people wean themselves from pathological computer use, which can include obsessive use of video games, texting, Facebook, eBay, Twitter and any other time-killers brought courtesy of technology.

Sign me up (along with about 60% of Americans under 30). I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in the old days where you go to sleep when it gets dark since there’s nothing to do.

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