Jeb Bush is making the kind of noises one makes when one is about to run for President. Hillary Clinton is already running. The nightmare scenario is Clinton vs. Bush, a situation that would make inevitable another four years of the continuing saga of two American families running (and arguably ruining) the world.
Look, I'm serious here: Life is too important to devolve into some kind of 1970s miniseries. This isn't politics; it's a pathology, a deep sickness in this country that we have to put an end to. Why we're even considering another Bush or another Clinton is absolutely beyond comprehension. I've been working on the problem for a couple of years and I think the reasons are some kind of witches brew of bitterness and anger and lifestyle-based-righteousness that goes back to when Baby Boomers were in high school arguing about which band should play the homecoming dance, the tidy Association cover group or the Jefferson Airplane knock-offs with long hair and overalls. They've been arguing about that in one way or the other for forty years and the only thing left to argue about is the White House. Neither side is going to give up until the other says "uncle," and neither side is going to say "uncle."
It's time for the rest of the country to put an end to this. We have to live in this world, and we'd prefer if it weren't a smoldering cinder under the jackboot of Type "A" know-it-alls. If what they're aiming at is an apocalypse, let the final battle be over something inconsequential, like what color the murals at the shuffleboard court at the retirement village are going to be.
Here's the situation: The right is in a shambles. The unlikely coalition of libertarians and social conservatives is breaking apart, and the middle -- scorned under the Rovian political construct -- has re-asserted itself as a powerful force in politics. Thank God, I say.
The only force that can reverse this is Hillary Clinton. Hillary could take the atomized right and unify it into a highly motivated whole. And she's the only candidate (except Al Sharpton, but be serious) who could drive the middle back into the fascistic arms of the far right. If Hillary is out of the race, the Republicans rip each other apart and settle on one of their badly damaged Big Names: McCain, Giuliani, Romney, Gingrich. And whichever is nominated gets creamed at the polls.
On the other hand, if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, there's a serious chance that Republicans will swallow their ideological differences in order to avoid their own worst-case scenario: President Hillary. The Rad Right, currently purging the ideologically impure from their midst, would decide to make nice. Libertarian Republicans, so disgusted with big government social conservatism that they're actually considering becoming Democrats, would swing right back into the Republican fold. Middle Americans tired of the war and the nasty-tempered Bush nanny state would turn red, literally and figuratively. The compromise candidate would be a consistent, though not obnoxious, social and fiscal conservative from outside Washington with a reputation for competence. That sound like anyone you know?
Sorry, Hillary. I've got nothing
against you, personally. I just think it would be healthy for the
country to move beyond the political soap opera of the last 20 years,
and the key to that is putting an absolute end to your Presidential
hopes. If we can do that, the Republicans will forget about Jeb and the whole ridiculous intra-generational rivalry will come to an end.
Here is a web page of Hillary Clinton for President contact information. Go there, click on an address and plead with whoever is answering email on the other end to get Hillary out of the race. Give money to other candidates and send copies of the receipts to Hillary's Senate office:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Call her and beg her to move on with her life.
Do this for your country, and for the good of all mankind.
Erick at RedState takes a look at the Republican candidates for President and decides "they all suck." RS calls Giuliani a "lecherous adulterer," McCain an "egomaniacal nut job," and Mitt Romney a "flip-flopping opportunist with perfect hair."
But who would be our Ronald Reagan, or in current political vernacular,
the Republican Barack Obama? Well, I don't expect him to appear on the
Presidential scene by 2008. In fact, all things being equal, I expect
no Republican will be elected President in 2008.
You just kind of have to stand in awe of the trail of destruction President Bush is leaving behind himself. Rule of law, Constitutional protections, American standing in the world, our military might, conservatism as a philosophy, the Republican Party...six years of Bush "leadership" has left them all in tatters. By the time he's gone, this country is going to look like a hotel suite after Van Halen passed through town. We're going to need to burn the mattresses, pull up the carpeting and start over.
NewMexiKen over at NewMexiKen has invited his readers to contribute accounts of their encounters with famous people. In the process, he hit the Mother Lode as one of his readers had an actual face-to-face with Tonya Harding in a K-Mart. What could be more perfect?
In the process of listing celebrities I've seen in public, I dmonstrate that I like writing for other people's blogs more than I do my own.
A while ago I went on a tear about "decimalizing" the American monetary system. For a while, people have been talking about eliminating pennies because they're more trouble than they're worth. I took things one step farther and said: Hey, let's get rid of nickels, too. My theory was that we could make the economy a lot more efficient by just rounding everything off at the nearest dime. It was a stupid idea and I got a s certain amount of comedic mileage out of it and then, much to my regular reader's relief, moved on.
So now Fox News quotes an economist with an idea that is even more stupid than the idea I had. I mean, seriously more stupid. The economist, Francois Velde, wants to increase the face value of pennies so that they're worth five cents each. This, Dr. Velde points out, will save the penny! Dr. Velde then points out that, historically, coins worth more than their face value disappear from circulation because people are melting them down and selling the metal.
The best solution, Velde said,
would be to "rebase" the penny by making it worth five cents rather
than one cent. Doing so would increase the amount of five-cent coins in
circulation and do away with the almost worthless one cent coin.
The point Dr. Velde misses is that there are too damned many pennies in the world to begin with. He is, by my shoddy research, the only person in the universe worried about a shortage of pennies. Everyone I know has more pennies than they want or need or can even figure out a way to dispose of. In this nation of 300 million people, there are approximately 140 billion pennies in circulation. That's nearly five rolls of pennies per person.
When silver prices in the 1970s skyrocketed, speculators trying to corner the market were shocked to discover that, the higher prices went, the more silver poured out onto the market. When silver rose from about $2 an ounce to more than $50, it was all the rage to sell unused Sterling tea sets and pickle forks to scrap metal dealers in exchange for ridiculous amounts of money. My own father, who had collected big bags of silver dimes and quarters back when they were made of real silver, made thousands of dollars dumping those coins into the inflated market. I remember him bragging that he had exchanged three rolls of silver quarters -- face value, $30 -- for a full set of Ben hogan irons worth over $500. Far from cornering the market, the speculators found themselves awash in silver.
Which says to me: Leave the face value of pennies alone! If the price of copper rises so high that it becomes worth trading in all those pennies, the penny will disappear and we'll all be better off for it. More likely, the price will rise and all those pennies will come back out of hiding and the price will fall again, and we'll all be exactly where we are now: Flush with coins we have no use for.
Peace-loving Palestinians engaged in a rolling gunfight that killed 20 other peace-loving Palestinians. The battle between militia of ruling party Hamas and political rival Fatah was over...oh, it's hard to tell, really. Mostly fighting among Palestinians is over who has the best plan for eradicating Israel. Hamas wants to just launch some missiles and get on with it, while Fatah wants to pose for pictures while pretending to be reasonable while letting Hamas go ahead and kill as many Israelis as they want in the background.
This particular gun battle started after Hamas accused Fatah of being a tool of the Jews because Fatah is taking money from the United States government. Which begs the question: Why are we giving money to either Hamas or Fatah? Don't we have better things to do with our money? Like, for example, putting it in a pile in the back yard and burning it up like Autumn leaves?
Dr. Robert Bohannon, a scientist in North Carolina who apparently feels that all of life's big problems have been solved, has invented a means of masking the normal bitterness of caffeine so that it can be put into sweet foods. The result of this technological breakthrough: The Caffeinated Donut.
Dr. Bohannon's invention will be marketed under the brand name Buzz Donuts.
The phrase ‘The Customer is Always Right’ is the single worst philosophy that has ever been adopted by American culture. It gave an entire generation of people the green light to be as impolite, unreasonable, and demanding as their little hearts desired because they were always going to be considered right. It destroyed the entire concept of courtesy and rendered manners obsolete. People began to treat their peers in the service industry like incompetent morons, lacking in feelings or human dignity, who deserved to be browbeaten and abused for no other reason than they had the audacity to run out of a particular brand of coffee. Furthermore, instead of suffering negative repercussions for their appallingly disrespectful behavior, they are awarded with free coupons and plenty of ass kissing. In reality, they should be shunned and humiliated for behaving like such self absorbed little children.
Blog subtitle: I’m just like you, only I’m interesting and my life isn’t devoid of meaning.
Jon Bramnick is a New Jersey legislator and sponsor of a law that would ban talking on a cell phone while riding a bicycle. I, personally, would think cell-phone-biking would be a self-correcting problem. Cell-phone-prone bicyclists would veer into traffic and die, thus purging the gene pool of themselves and their progeny. Mr. Bramnick, a Republicanand, apparently, not a big believer in the principles of natural selection, wants to use the law to do what nature would otherwise manage.
So, who is this Jon Bramnick? He's an attorney from Scotch Plains, New Jersey, a hamlet of almost 23,000 west of Elizabeth. According to his law firm's website, Mr. Bramnick specializes in, among other things, animal bites and railroad accidents. I think he sues people who have animals that bite or who cause train accidents; I don't htink he actually does the biting or causes the accidents himself.
Mr. Bramnick's sense of humor is not limited to cell phone legislation. He is also a working stand-up comedian, and has been voted Funniest Lawyer in New Jersey four times. Here is an example of his comedy:
“Everybody’s on the Atkins diet these days,” he said. “I don’t get it. You know the Atkins diet don’t work because there’s fat bears—and ain’t
no pasta in the woods.”
The sports bar turned out to be a bust. It was more like a geriatric cafeteria. The waitresses found me charming, not obnoxious, no matter how hard I tried. My companions were again full of bluster about the local Colts but slow to place actual bets. The staff in the kitchen turned out to be Bear fans, so I got extra blue cheese with my wings.
Best bet made: The winner provides the hat and picks the day, and the loser then wears the hat all day. The person I bet with has some kind of Indianapolis Colts horse's head he thinks it will devastate me to wear. He doesn't understand that I lack an embarrassment gene.
I note, here, that while the betting started out with "you wear a Peyton Manning jersey" and quickly moved to team headgear, at no time was it specified that the hats should be sports-related. So, since I live in Louisville, if the Bears win I think maybe I'll choose for this person -- a big, strapping young man one could easily cast as a lumberjack -- a lovely Derby hat. Like this. Or this.
People here seem oddly confident. It boggles their minds that anyone could even consider that the Colts would loose. This is the same Colt team that lost three of its last four regular season games while stumbling into the playoffs, including falling to the last place Houston Texans. The level of delusion is awe-inspiring, and even the TV sports guys who should know better a brazen in their confidence. This appears to be a whole city absolutely convinced that the hard part is over, and the Bears are just some kind of a ceremonial ritual, like the last day of the Tour de France.