Feb
29
2012
1

“When you had left our pirate fold.”

From Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, of course.  You’ll figure out why I picked this one, I’m sure.
(more…)

Feb
29
2012
6

#rsrh The other Snowe-shoe drops?

I’ll be hitting this story about possible legal shenanigans involving Senator Olympia Snowe tomorrow – it’s a bit late to work on it now – but let me note this: if it’s true then I’m hearing that it may be awful news for a certain Member of Congress whose own spouse’s financial activities might not stand up under any kind of similar scrutiny.

Annnnnd that’s all I’m going to write until I have more information.

Feb
29
2012
2

#rsrh Mitt Romney and suburbanites: key to opening up the map?

(H/T Instapundit) Michael Barone has some interesting thoughts on Romney’s Michigan win:

Four years ago Romney carried the five-county metro Detroit area 45%-27% over John McCain; this time he carried it 45%-32% against Rick Santorum. His metro Detroit margin enabled him four years ago to convert a narrow Outstate 35%-32% margin to a convincing 39%-30% victory. His metro Detroit margin this time was enough to overcome a 42%-38% Santorum margin Outstate.

Are there implications here for the general election. I have a hunch there are. Romney has shown in Michigan as elsewhere a capacity to win votes in affluent areas—which is exactly where (at least in the North) Republicans have been weak in presidential general elections over the last 20 years.

Barone goes on to compare Romney’s showing in the Detroit metro area to both Bushes – and to note that Romney looks like he’s emulating more the elder Bush (who won Michigan in 1988) than the younger one (who did not, in either 2000 or 2004).  This detail may not cheer up conservatives, but it is at least interesting for Republican party loyalists – two groups that overlap significantly, but not completely…

Feb
29
2012
2

“A Simple and Convenient Synthesis of Pseudoephedrine From N-Methylamphetamine”

It’s come to this:

Pseudoephedrine, active ingredient of Sudafed®, has long been the most popular nasal decongestant in the United States due to its effectiveness and relatively mild side effects [1]. In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to obtain psuedoephedine in many states because of its use as a precursor for the illegal drug N-methylamphetamine (also known under various names including crystal meth, meth, ice, etc.)[1,2]. While in the past many stores were able to sell pseudoephedrine, new laws in the United States have restricted sales to pharmacies, with the medicine kept behind the counter. The pharmacies require signatures and examination of government issued ID in order to purchase pseudoephedrine. Because the hours of availability of such pharmacies are often limited, it would be of great interest to have a simple synthesis of pseudoephedrine from reagents which can be more readily procured.

A quick search of several neighborhoods of the United States revealed that while pseudoephedrine is difficult to obtain, N-methylamphetamine can be procured at almost any time on short notice and in quantities sufficient for synthesis of useful amounts of the desired material.

Mind you, I’m almost certainly going to end up on a watch list now, just for linking to that article.  Well, I’ll be in good company.

Feb
29
2012
3

#rsrh The major thing to take away from the Michigan results.

Yet, again, we have seen that calls for “strategic” cross-party voting DOES NOT WORK: the call for Democrats to vote for Rick Santorum in the primary came from everybody from the Democrats to Santorum himself, and Mitt Romney won Michigan anyway.  Then again, we already kind of knew that so-called “Operation Chaos” operations work much better on paper than in reality; if that sort of thing had actually been a valid strategy then cynical political operatives would have been routinely resorting to it for the last fifty years.

Sorry if this disappoints.

Feb
29
2012
6

Eric Holder explains why he should be fired over Operation Fast & Furious.

Inadvertently (via @vermontaigne):

And here’s the transcript, just to reinforce the point:

Congressman: Do you believe the program was a mistake?

Holder: I think it was a good, it was a bad attempt at trying to deal with a very pernicious problem where guns are flowing from the United States to Mexico. It was, in its execution, in its conception, it was fundamentally flawed. But, I understand what they were trying to do, but it just did it extremely, extremely poorly.

Congressman: If you had a chance to do it over again, would continue the program or would you have eliminated it before they proceeded?

Holder: I certainly would have modified the program. I mean, allowing guns to walk is a procedure that doesn’t work, it’s bad law enforcement. I think that is the heart of the problem with regard to Fast and Furious. On the other hand, coming up with ways to stop the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico, we need to be aggressive, we need to be creative, and we need to help our Mexican counterparts to the extent that we can.

The short version of my response: the answer that Attorney General Eric Holder should have given to the first question should have been “Yes, and I take responsibility for what happened.” Anything else would simply make it glaringly obvious that Holder is fundamentally unfit for his job… which is what happened here. (more…)

Feb
29
2012
8

Happy Blogger Appreciation Day!

It’s February 29th, which means that it’s time to go to your favorite bloggers and tell them that you appreciate them.  Nothing elaborate, unless you want to; but a simple and general “Thanks for the free ice cream” will go down well.  And, if you’re feeling generous, remember that it’s said that it’s good luck to hit a blogger’s tip jar on Blogger Appreciation Day.

As always, I promise to spend the money frivolously on geekstuff.

Anyway, those celebrating (or at least noting) the day so far:

Moe Lane

Feb
29
2012
12

Ohhhhhhhhh…

CRAP.

I mean, damn, Rich Burlew.

Just… damn.

Feb
28
2012
--
Feb
28
2012
2

Darths and Droids is doing it again.

To wit, having their version of the trilogies make more sense than do George Lucas’s versions of the trilogies.

Dagnabbit.

Feb
28
2012
1

One. More. Week.

But I can maintain.

I can maintain.

(pause)

I’m sure that I can maintain.

Moe Lane (more…)

Feb
28
2012
1

NY redistricting may end in Gary Ackerman (D, NY) cutting and running?

OK, here’s the background: NY is losing two seats in Congress, thanks to the 2010 Census. Well, more accurately, thanks to the urban blue model of governance that has had folks fleeing those urban areas in droves – but never mind that now. As has been noted previously, the New York legislature is having a devil of a time coming up with a map that backstabs the right people and groups, which is why the courts have stepped in and may take over the process of drawing the actual maps.  Given that the Republican Senate and the Democratic Assembly and  whatever-gets-me-a-Presidential-nomination Governor Andrew Cuomo are currently engaged in a three-sided brawl on the subject, this may actually even happen.

What makes this interesting is a report from earlier in the month that one potential plan to handle the downstate/upstate bloodletting – OK, let me explain that.  The upstate districts in NY are where the GOP is strongest; the downstate districts are dominated by Democrats.  The Democrats aren’t really in a position to eliminate two Republican-held seats, so the general assumption has been that one upstate GOP legislator and one downstate Democratic one will get worked over by this deal.

How that would work is complicated by New York’s convoluted recent electoral history.  Right now there are eight Republicans and twenty-one Democrats in the NY delegation.  Of the Republicans, only one – Bob Turner, in Anthony Weiner’s old seat – is a really good pickup opportunity; the rest are either freshmen who took back established Republican seats, or Pete King (and thus probably invulnerable).  Diluting Hinchley – which is what the courts may want to do – probably won’t kill the re-election chances of anybody on the GOP side.  On the other hand, Democrats William Owens and Kathy Hochul are in trouble in the general election: the first one is in office because the Republicans/Conservatives decided to split their strength for two consecutive contests; and the second one is in office because Chris Lee tried to cheat on his wife using Craigslist.   Shorter version: Hinchley’s retirement makes keeping Turner’s downstate seat intact a good thing for the Democratic party, because the GOP probably won’t sit still for eliminating two Republican-held seats AND NY Democrats will need something to offset two possible (and plausible) losses this fall.

Believe me, trying to keep this stuff straight in my own head is difficult; I’m probably getting at least four critical details quite wrong.

(more…)

Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by TheBuckmaker.com