Mar
31
2011
2

“Gangsta Folk Rap”

 

(pause)

What the hell is this?

Well, it’s Flight of the Conchords, yes.  But… what the Hell is this?

Mar
31
2011
1

Andrew Cuomo’s alarming New York budget.

It’s ‘alarming’ mostly from the point of view of a partisan Republican, mind you – well, it’s probably alarming to a partisan Democrat, too, if for completely different reasons.  From the point of view of somebody living in New York it’s probably more like ‘a reassuring start.’  My RedState colleague Mark Impomeni breaks it down: 3% reduced state spending (including state worker layoffs), education/health care cuts, closing the budget gap without new taxes – and an end to the 2% extra surcharge on incomes over $200,000 (which also made it effectively a tax on small businesses).  And then there’s this recent quote that Mark found:

“The working families of New York cannot afford tax increases.  The answer is going to have to be that we’re going to have to reduce government spending,” [Cuomo] said.

That’s… unexpectedly sensible, coming from a Northeast Democrat.  It’s not even remotely perfect: the above is the most basic fiscal first aid that Governor Cuomo can apply to New York’s underlying budgetary problems.  Government spending should be cut more; the existing regulatory regime choking the state’s entrepreneurs must be, frankly, gutted; and taxes are too high.  It’s probably too much to expect that Cuomo will be able to fight his own party in curing New York, but at least he’s doing something to stabilize the patient…

Moe Lane

PS: Mark also notes – correctly – that a lot of this sounds a bit like what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey.  I suggest that Governor Cuomo meditate on the words of Mark Twain (apparently we don’t know who said this first):

Immature writers borrow.  Mature writers steal.

Mar
31
2011
1

Time Bandits remake? WHAT?

NO!  BAD HANDMADE FILMS! BAD!

NO BISCUIT!

(pause)

I mean, seriously: “a bigscreen kids action franchise?” Have they actually SEEN Time Bandits?  This is like… like doing the Watchmen graphic novel as a crappy 1980s Saturday cartoon show:

Yes, it’s a funny concept.  It’s funny because it would totally suck, which is why people didn’t actually do it.  These guys are actually threatening to do it.

Moe Lane

Via @jimmiebjr

Mar
31
2011
2

#rsrh I agree, Jim Geraghty, this is creepy.

This is creepy as all hell.

Representative Gabrielle Giffords is still in the hospital, but some of her most ardent backers are so enamored of the idea of her running for the Senate that they describe the inevitable campaign commercials: the deep-voiced narrator recounting what happened to her, the images of her wounded, then recovering and speaking into the camera alongside her astronaut husband to call on Arizonans to unite.

(Via, obviously, Jim Geraghty) Don’t get me wrong: it’s not creepy for Rep. Giffords’ staff to be setting the stage for a possible Senate run in her absence.  Even if she hadn’t been shot, Rep. Giffords would be on the short list* to run for Senator Kyl’s seat anyway: so you cannot fairly say that her staff is taking undue advantage of the Tuscon shootings.  But I think that the New York Times should have expanded a little on those unnamed individuals who are currently fantasizing about the possible campaign commercials.  The lack of information there is what’s causing the creepiness, in my opinion: I’d like to know whether this is just the usual fetid Internet swamp bilge, or whether it’s more… entrenched

Moe Lane

*If not the actual front-runner.  Even before the assassination attempt, Rep. Giffords was easily the most prominent Arizona Democrat in the public eye after Janet Napolitano, who at this point would probably not win a Senate race in 2012.

Mar
31
2011
1

Judge Maryann Sumi (D*) ‘fixes’ anti-reform restraining order. Again.

How many bites at the apple does this judge get, anyway?

Let’s recap what happened in Wisconsin (that link leads to a whole slew of links that track this epic foul-up by the Democratic party in Wisconsin over what should have been a simple enough demonstration of the principle that elections have consequences).

  • Wisconsin Democratic Senators run away rather than do their jobs.  This prevents a quorum for bills that are primarily financial in nature.
  • Wisconsin Republican Senators end up passing what they can, including a critical union reform bill.
  • Having returned from self-imposed Illinois exile, Wisconsin Democrats find a convenient judge (Maryann Sumi) to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), on what is frankly a misunderstanding of the law.
  • Judge Sumi makes a mistake in the TRO by only enjoining the Secretary of State (Democrat) from publishing the law.  For example, she did not enjoin the Legislative Research Bureau (LRB) from publishing the law, despite the fact that they are required to by law.
  • The LRB publishes the law, as per their statutory requirements; as the TRO did not cover that department, they have no choice.
  • On Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DoJ) points this detail out to Judge Sumi and asks her to vacate the order, given that the law is published.
  • On Tuesday, Judge Sumi reissues her TRO to prevent implementation of the law.
  • On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DoA) points out that this ruling was flawed in that it: did not in fact indicate that the law is not in effect; explicitly declined to state that the law was not legally published; and since when did Judge Sumi get to presume to drag the DoA (a non-party in the original dispute) into this mess she made in the first place?
  • On Thursday, Judge Sumi has to fix her TRO again to rule that the law is not published, in a fashion that satisfies the DoA.
  • At some point in all of this Judge Sumi somewhat plaintively (if you’ll pardon the pun) wonders aloud why the legislative branch simply just doesn’t pass the law again.
  • To which Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) effectively replies “Because we did it right the first time, and it’s not like I tell you how to run a courtroom.”  Left off is the unstated “Although I apparently should.”

I agree with Hot Air: the sooner the Wisconsin Supreme Court takes this away from Sumi, the better.  At this rate, I fully expect the next ruling to feature Bozo the Clown.  Come to think of it, if Bozo has space on his judicial docket…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*I am assuming.

Mar
31
2011
8

#rsrh Thought of the Day, Ace on Stupidity Taxes edition.

Not the lottery*, but the price of doing business with people whose vote inexplicably counts as much as yours does.  Ace of Spades, in the process of explaining why positions taken before a consensus changes need to be perhaps given a little forgiveness**:

I give Tim Pawlenty a break on his cap-and-tax nonsense, too, because, if you remember, a short five years ago it seemed like we were pretty much destined to lose completely on this fight. I didn’t (and still don’t, actually) mind a little window-dressing to let Environmental Saps think we’re really working on cars that run on sunshine and pixie-sweat.

I think of that as the Stupidity Tax — the tax we must all pay to the stupid to be left alone from their plodding economic manslaughter. Obviously you want to pay as little in Stupidity Tax as possible, but sometimes, your choice is really between a low-ish Stupidity Tax (offered by a Republican giving dumb squishes some window-dressing) and a very, very high Stupidity Tax (offered by idiotic liberals who really believe this crap).

Anyway, that situation, too, has changed quickly, and I am willing to grant Pawlenty forgiveness — a temporary insanity plea, if you will — so long as I never hear this crap coming from him again. (Except for some window-dressing Stupidity Tax.)

(more…)

Mar
31
2011
4

#rsrh Big Labor Watch: Jon Geenen’s timid heresy.

Saw this posted over at RedState by LaborUnionReport (who lives and breathes union issues; compared to him, I’m a rank amateur and dilettante): Jon Geenen, (current) International Vice President of United Steelworkers has belatedly come to the realization that these awful free-market libertarian Koch brothers* happen to somehow also manage to create jobsGood jobs.  Good union jobs.  Good union jobs in America.  This leads to a somewhat equivocal pushback against his own side’s message:

This presents a dilemma and a paradox. While the Koch brothers are credited with advocating an agenda and groups that are clearly hostile to labor and labor’s agenda, the brothers’ company in practice and in general has positive and productive collective bargaining relationships with its unions.

It’s not a paradox – dilemma, I will grant (if one of Big Labor’s own making), but not a paradox.  The Koch brothers and other practical libertarian types are generally hostile towards labor leadership, to be sure… because labor leadership is generally hostile to them, and their basic operating philosophy.  Individual workers, or even individual private sector unions, may be (and often are) different stories.  It is a particularly pernicious myth among the Left that industrialists and manufacturers wish nothing less than to reduce the American working class to the status of neo-peasantry; that this supposedly policy goal flies in the face of the self-evident truth that prosperous people buy more stuff is never adequately explained, mostly because the people who maintain the Left’s shared ideology take Karl Marx far too seriously**.

Geenen himself never comes close to facing that issue, and while I suppose he gets some credit for even timidly bringing up the subject he picked a fairly obscure venue in which to lapse into heresy.  If he really wants to get the message out then I suggest he try calling up Fox, CNN, ABC, the Washington Post, the New York Times… heck, even a fringe network like MSNBC would have him on in a heartbeat.  I suggest this – but I’m not holding my breath that he will.

Moe Lane

*Whose political contributions are, by the way, dwarfed by the political contributions of Big Labor.  I mention this because Geenen was lading out the anti-Citizen’s United porn again.

**Note that I am not calling them Marxists themselves, only that they take his basic arguments far too seriously.  Because remember, folks: Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people.

 

Mar
31
2011
1

President Obama secretly accepts transparency award.

No, really.  President Obama met with the transparency award givers in private; the award ceremony did not appear on his schedule, and had no press presence whatsoever.  There wasn’t even a staff photographer there, much to the surprise of the transparency/open government people, who are all of them kind of confused that they had to give this award under the rose and in an undisclosed location.

I know that this is a short post, but literally: I got nothing, sorry.  This one is weirder than the time the administration came out in favor of ending whaling bans.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

(Via Hot Air Headlines)

Mar
30
2011
--

‘Closing Time.’

Closing Time, Semisonic

Geez.  I know it’s 1999, but we had cell phones back then, right?

…Well, true, I didn’t; but I was never hip.

Mar
30
2011
--

Not to sound mean-spirited, or anything…

…but this seems to be almost too much work just to win a Cracked.com contest:

I mean, that’s letter-perfect.

Mar
30
2011
--

Missouri redistricting hurts Russ Carnahan.

The below is being floated as a potential redistricting map for Missouri:

I’ll summarize the changes as follows: Missouri loses a district, thanks to the 2010 Census. On the Republican side, Vicki Hartzler is liking this map least: she had some R areas taken away from her and given to Emanuel Cleaver, and has been given some D areas from Luetkemeyer.  On the other hand, on the Democratic side Cleaver’s district is now somewhat less urban.  This is not necessarily a disaster for Cleaver: he’s that rarity, a Democratic African-American that white Democrats will vote for anyway.  But the really nice news?  Russ Carnahan’s district was chopped up like a chicken for the stewpot: half of it went to Jo Ann Emerson (who didn’t break a sweat winning last year with 65% of the vote) and the rest looks like it’s in William Clay’s (majority-minority).  Bottom line: I am not an expert on Missouri county vote totals, but it looks like Missouri’s going to go from 6R/3D to 6R/2D. (more…)

Mar
30
2011
1

So. New Mass Effect 2 DLC.

I somehow missed that “The Arrival” was due to, err, arrive for Mass Effect 2 until the notification that it was now for sale appeared in my inbox last night.  So, being pretty much useless today for anything requiring actual sentience I bought, downloaded and played it.

Short version: not bad, but not “Lair of the Shadow Broker.”  It ties into the upcoming Mass Effect 3 better than DA:O’s “Witch Hunt” ended up tying into Dragon Age 2.  Worth the seven bucks for Admiral Hackett, a surprisingly difficult (at-first) … [spoilers below fold]

(more…)

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