Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Picks Palin

Rumors are abounding that McCain's VP selection will be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. apparently the announcement will be today in Ohio, and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will not be in attendance, nor will former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney, both of whom were supposedly on the short list.

Palin, 44, was a TV reporter, is a former beauty queen and mother of five. She was elected Alaska's youngest (and first female) governor in 2006. Her oldest son Track joined the US Army last year and is expected to deploy to Iraq next year. Her youngest child, son Trig is four and suffers from Down's syndrome. Palin and her husband Todd also have three daughters, ranging in age from 17 to 7. Her positives are her youth, her gender, and she is seen as strongly pro-life, fiscally conservative and pro-energy in her public policy positions.

Obviously a play for Hillary supporters, but she also provides some good conservative credentials to the ticket as well.

Late edit: This was confirmed as I was writing the post, the link provided is to Fox's announcement.

Boston Legal Quotes

Alan: Jerry, you know I have a tremendous affection for my own intelligence, and even I think you are smarter than me.
Jerry Espenson: Oh, I am.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Boston Legal Quotes

Melissa: How's my hair? Does my hair work?
Alan: It does appear to grow each month.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Huskers New Depth Chart

HC Bo Pelini and company released a new depth chart last night, and there were a few interesting tidbits heading into the opener against Western Michigan this Saturday. At the beginning of fall practice Lydon Murtha was listed as the top LT and Javario Burkes at RT, but the two players have switched sides this fall, and Burkes is serving as #2 to sophmore Mike Smith. It must be noted that Burkes missed quite a bit if practice time due to a blood pressure issue. Good note on Smith from DE Zach Potter.

"After going against Smith in practice, defensive end Zach Potter seemed impressed, noting that Smith “has given us fits at times.”

Another item of interest is the emergence of two freshman linebackers, Will Compton in the middle and Sean Fisher at Buck as the top backups to Phil Dilliard and Tyler Wortman. Soph Anthony West appears to have the inital edge over fellow soph Prince Akamakura right corner, but it's likely Prince will have the nickel duties. Another frosh appearing on the depth chart was TE Ben Cotton, son of OL Coach Barney, although at #4. Meno Holt and Niles Paul appear to have the second spots wrapped up at WR behind the seniors Todd Peterson and Nate Swift, with Will Henry and Chris Brooks also listed.

On special teams, it looks like senior WR Nate Swift and sophomore WR Niles Paul will be doing the punt return duties, with Paul and safety Larry Asante returning kickoffs. Offensively, the depth chart has the running back position listed as Marlon Lucky OR Roy Helu OR Quentin Castille. Despite making quite a splash in practice, Offensive Guard Ricky Henry may wind up redshirting, and still no word on the status of DT Baker Steinkuhler either. Redshirt freshman Jared Crick is listed as backing up older brother Ty Steinkuhler at defensive tackle.

On the (much) less positive side, TE Hunter Teafatiller is suspended for the opener due to alcohol related issues, and former OL Andy Christiansen's trial for alleged sexual assault began this week.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: What are you doing in my office?
Paul: This is my office, Denny.
Denny: Oh, that must mean I've come to see you...why?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boston Legal Quotes

Dr. Glouberman: She's a vicious, spiteful, treacherous pig. That's what she is.
Denise: I'm not going to lead with that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic VP Candidate Biden

Ken Balckwell has an interesting piece on Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden and what he brings to the Democratic ticket. Biden helps Obama in a couple of ways, primarily in that he brings a wealth of foreign policy experience, having served as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He also has a relatively good relationship with the Clintons, which certainly doesn't hurt but may not be enough to influence Clinton supporters still angry over the primary duel.

On the other hand, Biden doesn't help swing any states in favor of Obama, and it must be noted that Biden's own run left the base decidely unexcited, and went nowhere with Democratic voters, dropping out after Iowa. Blackwell notes that Obama's weakness on foreign policy issues extends to national security issues, where Biden is not exactly an expert, although he may help to a limited degree.

However, Biden may actually hurt Obama in two other areas, one being that Biden really doesn't bring any ideological balance to the ticket. Both men are extreme liberals, and the choice of Biden ia a curious one when Obama's perceived weakness is convincing moderate voters that he shares their values. Both men are anti-gun, pro-abortion, and support higher tax rates and increased Federal spending. Biden alos has no executive experience, something distinctly lacking from Obama as well.

While Biden is known as a tough campaigner and is generally well liked by Senate colleagues, he has been known to shoot off his mouth on occaison, and has a history of "borrowing" words from other political figures, such as Robert Kennedy. The selection is also curious given Senator Obama is running as a transformational figure, so selecting a old-haqnd Senate insider cuts across one of the central themes of his entire campaign.

Blackwell has a pretty good summation of the pick:

"Mr. Biden was not the best choice for Mr. Obama. Sure, Messrs. Bayh and Kaine certainly had problems of their own. But if he wanted someone with broad-spectrum national security/foreign policy credentials who could reach traditional voters, he could have asked Sam Nunn of Georgia. If he wanted executive experience and appeal to new constituencies while still getting foreign policy expertise, he could have asked Bill Richardson. And if he wanted to heal his party, he could have asked Hillary Clinton."

I have to agree, my thought was that Obama would have been wise to select Evan Bayh or possibly Sam Nunn, both of whom bring a lot more to the table, at least in my opinion, particularly if you are trying to switch a red state to blue. To my thinking, Biden isn't a very inspired choice, but I guess Obama could have done worse.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: [to Judge Harvey Cooper[ You're a douchebag. I don't do well with douchebags.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Game Day Just a Week Away

Via the OWH's Big Red Today, Husker LB Coach Mike Ekeler is amped about the beginning of the season, and said yesterday the beginning of game planning made the players feel like it was "Christmas" on Thursday. DC Carl Pelini, having come over from Ohio in the MAC conference, has some idea of the offensive scheme of first opponent Western Michigan, and says the Broncos are a fundamentally sound team that is good up front and very physical.

"Ekeler admitted that he’ll get more and more energetic as the next week progresses – which is almost hard to believe. The first-year coach is the loudest person in preseason camp. He can be heard across both practice fields that sit just outside the Hawks Center. He’s pumped even for the seemingly monotonous individual footwork and blocking drills at the beginning of practice."

On the injury front, it appears that the physical nature of fall camp has not resulted in any serious injuries, although soph CB Anthony Blue is likely to sit out the season as a redshirt due to lingering issues with his knee. On a positive note, apparent starting RT Javario Burkes has been practicing recently after being held out due to a blood pressure issue. Backup LB LaTravis Washington appears to have returned, and reserve DTs Terrence Moore and starter Ty Steinkuhler have also been practicing after missing a few days. Junior safety Major Culbert is recovering from an ankle sprain but should be ready to go, and DE Clayton Sievers, the only other Husker held out of yesterday's scrimmage, probably would have played if it had been gametime.

As far as redshirts go, it appears that there are at least four and possibly seven freshman who appear to be in line for playing time, primarily on the defensive side of the ball. WR Khiry Cooper appears to be in the mix as a return man on special teams, CB John Levorson in the secondary, TE Ben Cotton, and LB Will Compton, along with LB Sean Fsicher, CB Alonzo Dennard, and safety PJ Smith. Baker Steinkuhler? Coaches are keeping it tight to the vest so far, but I have to think that he's ready to play alongside brother Ty.

Some other players making an impact in camp so far: LG Ricky Henry (along with the rest of the O-line), the first four of the RB corps, QB Joe Ganz, WRs Menelik Holt, Curenski Guilleylen, Chris Brooks and Niles Paul, CB Anthony Murillo, safety Larry Asante, LBs Cody Glenn and Phil Dilliard, DE Barry Turner, and DT Ndamukong Suh.

I'm pretty sure that this coaching staff can get the guys to perform at much higher level than the previous one, and the schedule still looks pretty favorable to be undefeated (unless I'm hugely mistaken) when Mizzou comes to Lincoln on Oct. 4th.

Boston Legal Quotes

Shirley: If I agree to help you, one condition. I assume during the course of this case 'breasts' will be referred to in many colorful ways.
Alan: One would hope.
Shirley: Personally, however, I don't ever want to hear them referred to as 'hooters'. I hate that word. Oh, and this is a little off-topic, but I hate the word 'underpants', too.
Alan: If I can have your breasts, I promise not to say 'hooters'.
Shirley: Thank you, Alan.
Alan: Now, as for underpants, if you promise not to wear an...
Shirley: [interrupting] Goodbye, Alan.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Iraqi Oil Production

Michael Makovsky at the Weekly Standard points out another benefit to the troop surge in Iraq: to note, a 500,000 barrel a day increase in Iraqi oil production - the same amount requested by the US government when pleading with the Saudis to increase their own production. The Iraqis are now back to their pre-war production levels of 2.5 million per day, with 80% of that destined for export. Even better, with just a little investment, the nation could produce quite a bit more - even more than the 3.5 million barrels a day it produced prior to the first Gulf War.

"Iraq has great potential as an oil producer and exporter. It is perhaps the least developed oil exporting country in the world with already the third largest proven oil reserves, and produced as much as 3.5 million barrels per day in 1990 before the Kuwait invasion, the Gulf war, and sanctions. Iraqis have long had plans to reach more than 6 million barrels per day of production, which could be achieved within a decade with security and foreign investment. But despite the obvious potential and recent progress, political factors in both the United States and Iraq continue to constrain Iraq's oil sector."

One obstacle has been the Iraqi govenment itself, given that the legislature has still not formulated an agreement over revenue sharing between the country's various factions, and a lack of expertise in the oil ministry. Another issue is meddling by the American government in the form of Senators John Kerry (D- Mass) and Charles Schumer (D-New York). They disingenously argue that without a revenue sharing arrangement, increased production will lead to more factional conflict in Iraq - even as production has increased with an ebb in factional conflict. They also object to Americna firms getting technical service deals in Iraq, (in their minds, this gives the appearance that we really did go to war in Iraq over oil) even though American pil firms are probably the best qualified to help increase production.

If Iraq were to increase their production another 500,000 barrels a day, it would represent a 20% increase in spare global oil prodcution capacity. I have to wonder what the impact of that would be at the pump.

Boston Legal Quotes

Alan: I squeezed a clown's nose today.
Denny: Good for you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Corporations and Taxes

Steven Malanga at RCP points out the dynamism of the American economy and takes issue with the recent media reports indicating most American corporations don't any any taxes. Malanga uses the US 2005 economic numbers to illustrate these themes. By All accounts 2005 was a great year, unemployment averaged under 5%, the economy grew at a solid pace, and overall corporate profits increased 18%.

First he examines the labor market, which added 2 million new jobs, but he notes this number masks the fact that 31 million new jobs were actually created, while 29 million jobs were eliminated. About 1.5 million business were expanding, about the same were contracting, and around 325,000 actually went out of business. So the net numbers substantially mask the rather massive true churn in these labor markets.

On the second note, the GAO report indicating that most corporations (2/3s) do not pay corporate taxes ignore the fact that most US corporations are chartered as small business S-corporations, in which the business owner receieves their profits in the form of wages and thus pay income taxes on their profits rather get taxed under the corporate rate. The reports also indicates that around a quarter of "big businesses" also pay no corporate taxes, but this ignores the fact that not all businesses make any profits that can be taxed.

"The impression one gets from corporate critics is that many are prospering but exploiting loopholes in the tax code and leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab. But that criticism is based on the mistaken notion that in robust years, such as 2005, virtually all businesses do well. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even in good times, there are plenty of losers in a dynamic economy. The BLS’ Business Dynamics Survey, for instance, shows that in 2005 there were 7.3 businesses that were contracting for every 7.6 that were expanding, including 1.3 that were closing their doors for every 1.5 that were starting up. Large businesses were hardly immune to this kind of tumult. For every 5.8 jobs added by firms with more than 500 employees, other firms that big eliminated 4.9 jobs. Among those hit hard in 2005 was General Motors, which despite $193 billion in revenues wracked up a $10.4 billion loss and cut its workforce. It shouldn’t be necessary to remind reporters and editors who cover such matters that businesses pay taxes on their profits, not sales."

Of course, this little factoid is often confused by our betters in the media, who quite often use sales revenue data rather than the net income numbers. As the author notes, many industries have extremely small margins, such the supermarket industry, which has margins around 1-2%. Even mighty Wal-mart had margins of only 3.4%, on revenues of 312 billion, for a profit of 11.7 billion after paying 5.8 billion in taxes. Of course, looking at these numbers, you also should note that the US corporate tax rate is the second highest in the world at 35% (if I recall correctly), which also has a dramatic impact on the competitiveness of US corporations overall and the ability of these businesses to hire.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: I'll take a friend over a wife every time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: I've often found that it's the chubby girls who offend most easily.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Boston Legal Quotes

Judge Peter Harding: And how are we supposed to understand what she's saying?
Malcolm: Well, we have her affidavit. Plus as it happens, I speak cello.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ancient Graveyard Found in Sahara

National Geographic relays a spectacular find in the African Sahara desert: a single graveyard covering two different cultural periods spanning 5000 years near the shores of a now vanished lake.

"The scientists eventually uncovered 200 burials of two vastly different cultures that span five thousand years—the first time such a site has been found at a single site. Called Gobero, the area is a uniquely preserved record of human habitation and burials from the Kiffian (7700 to 6200 B.C.) and the Tenerian (5200 to 2500 B.C.) cultures."

What I find interesting is the research team wasn't in the area looking for human artifacts or remains, but instead was a team of paleontologists looking for dinosaur bones.

The area was a lush grassland during the period of habitation, which gave way to desertification over the historical period and the rains which supported the vegatation withered. The Kiffian culture was previously known to be in the area from artifacts but human remains from the period were exteremly rare if not unknown. This early period appears to have been better able to support human settlement. After an intervening dry spell, the Tenerian culture arrived in the area, making adaptations to exist in the drier climate but eventually forced to move on as the climate continued to shift.

Fred Speaks Foreign Policy

Townhall has a new Fred Thompson column on the dangers the US faces worldwide, and how there really is only one candidate ready to lead. Obama's been on vacation in Hawaii; John McCain ahs been to Georgia on several occaisons, knows the situation there, and was ready to speak to the crisis as it developed.

"This crisis half a world away confirms what I’ve been saying for a while: This election cycle, the traffic in the world is very heavy …and dangerous; it’s no time to give a kid with barely a learner’s permit the keys to the car."

I like the analogy.

10 Years By Today's Rules

John Utley at Reason (HT:RCP) examines the mantra of the anti-drilling forces, which has been "it'll take 10 years" to get any oil out of the ground. In short this is due to the government making it that way due to exessive regulations and litigation by environmental groups.

"In July, CNN repeatedly reported that offshore drilling would take "seven to 10 years" to get into production. Yet Brazil's Petrobras expects its new finds in extraordinarily deep waters to already be producing 100,000 barrels per day in just two years. What is wrong with American oil companies that they would take so long?
In fact, the world oil shortage is political, not geological. In the U.S., the government prohibits drilling offshore."

Utley believes that ANWR in particular holds promise for developing in only 2-3 years - IF laws are changed to fast track leasing rights there and Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman's proposal (who I'm proud to say I contributed to in the 2006 elections) to create special "environmental courts" to expedite litigation is adopted. Under current rules, the actual drilling and production would take only two to three years, with a year or better for the environmental impact study, a year or two to actually sell the leases from the Dept. of the Interior, and double it all due to courtsuits for the "10 years". This also assumes the concurrent construction of the 75 mile pipeline from the area to the existing line located at Prudhoe Bay, doubtful under the current regime, but certainly possible if we have the fortitude to make the necessary changes in the system.

Utley also notes that France and China can build and put a new nuclear plant online in as little as two years as well. Meanwhile, the US continues to rely on foreign energy sources despite having plentiful resources to potentially develop and draw upon, including natural gas, coal liquification, gas hydrates, nuclear and oil shale, all of which are currently prohibited in most areas of the nation, in some cases (such as shale) the entire nation.

The best thing to come out of all of the pain we are experiencing at the pump is that people are finally waking up and beginning to ask the question - what the hell is wrong in Washington DC?

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: Think we’ll ever see the day when the defense lawyer will be legally permitted to shoot the defendant?
Alan: We seem to be making progress.
Denny: Denny Crane. I’ll be your attorney.[imitating to shoot somebody]

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: Denny Crane. My poop doesn't smell. Comes out in pretty colors, pastels. Denny Crane.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bigfoot Carcass Discovered in Georgia

(HT: FoxNews)

Two Georgia men claim to have discovered a carcass they believe to be Bigfoot, the semi-mythical man-like primate theNative Americans referred to as the Sasquatch. The carcass is said to 7 ft tall, weigh over 500 lbs and possess a footprint 16 3/4 inches long.

"Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, Georgia residents who lead Bigfoot-tracking expeditions, say they found the body of what appears to be a Bigfoot in the woods of northern Georgia and will join local Bigfoot researcher Tom Biscardi at the news conference, according to Robert Barrows, who is publicizing the event."

A press conference is currently scheduled for Friday.

Gold-Oil Price Linkage

John Tamny at Real Clear Markets examines the interesting relationship between the price of gold and petroleum. What is of interest to me is that the rise in prices in both commodities recently has been tied to a weak dollar. A strengthening dollar will go a long ways towards reducing the price of both commodities.

"Looked at over a longer timeframe, from 1970 to 1981 the price of gold rose 1,219 percent, versus a rise in the price of oil 1,291 percent. This wasn’t coincidental. With gold and oil both priced in dollars, and with gold serving as the best proxy for the latter’s value, a jump in the gold price neatly foretold the oil “shocks” of the 1970s that were merely dollar shocks.

Given the strong price correlations between the two commodities, many economic commentators wrote of the gold/oil relationship in terms of a 15/1 ounce/barrel ratio. As the late Warren Brookes wrote in his 1982 book, The Economy In Mind, “In 1970 an ounce of gold ($35) would buy 15 barrels OPEC oil ($2.30/bbl). In May 1981 an ounce of gold ($480) still bought 15 barrels of Saudi oil ($32/bbl)."

Another item of note is that when that 15/1 ratio gets out of whack, it's a good bet that the prices will eventually return around back to that ratio. The ratio was 7.3/1 yesterday, giving oil plenty of room the drop even further.


Boston Legal Quotes

Melissa: That was the single sexiest thing I've ever seen a man do.
Alan: You should see me do it naked.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Husker Thoughts

The first week of camp has been completed in Lincoln and we've had a number of stories emerge. The biggest news was the dismissal (due to breaking team rules)of senior defensive tackle Kevin Dixon, who was expected to back up both interior line spots behind Ty Steinkuhler and Ndamukong Suh. Dixon had a pair of off the field incidents over the summer that may have effected his status with the team. Shurkee Barfield, Terrance Moore, Jared Crick and touted frosh recruit Baker Steinkuhler will have to step up and provide meaningful snaps. Crick and Moore have been singled out for praise from both the Pelini brothers, with both Suh and the older Steinkuhler being held out of practice at times due to lingering injury issues, although both practiced yesterday. Suh sat out spring ball with a knee issue and Steinkuhler has supposedly had a gimpy back since winter conditioning. The inside guys should be helped by a quicker more svelt Zach Potter and Barry Turner.

Secondly, there was an "or" at first string I-back between incumbent 1000 yard rusher and 75 reception, 700 plus yard receiving man Marlon Lucky and Roy Helu with the release of the first depth chart, and big back Quentin Castille is also making waves in fall practive, along with blazer Marcus Mendozoza. Kenny Wilson appears to be still recovering from his leg injury of last year and is not listed on the 105 man initial roster.

It sounds as though some of the young receivers behind Todd Petersen and Nate Swift are beginning to step up, with Menelik Holt, Niles Paul and Chris Brooks looking to contribute, along with freshman Tim Marlowe and Khiry Cooper (along with Paul) in the return game. I'd expect Mendoza may get a look here as well, perhaps on KRs. The O-line appears very solid, although RT Javorio Burkes has been held out of practice as a precautinary measure due to a blood pressure issue, allowing reserve Marcel Jones to get lots of reps in the fall. At TE, sophmores Mike McNeil & Dreu Young, along with Redshirt frosh Ryan Hill may give the passing game a boost. QB Joe Ganz is definitely the #1 man, with Patrick Witt and Zac Lee battling for backup duties.

Returning to the defensive side of the ball, questions also remain about the linebacking, with only MLB Phil Dilliard having played meaningful amounts of time last year, and he is backed up by junior walkon Colton Koehler, a guy no one had heard of until the spring. Converted IB senior Cody Glenn appears to have made the switch to defense work, but you have to wonder how effective the former RB will be come game time having never played a down on this side of the ball. Senior walk-on Tyler Wortman starts fall camp at the other "Buck" LB position. Sophs Blake Lawrence and LaTravis Washington back up on the outside, but you have to hope highly touted recruit Will Compton develops quickly.

In the secondary, we've had a setback again at the corner position where Anthony Bleu recovers from a knee injury from last winter, and it might turn out to be a redshirt year for the Texan. Soph Anthony West joins senior Armando Murillo at corner, with fellow sophs Prince Amakumura and Eric Hagg battling for nickelback. At safety, we have probably the best depth and talent in the defensive backfield since 2003 with returning juniors Larry Asante, Ricky Thenarse and Major Culbert along wiht senior Mike O'Hanlon.

What do the Huskers need to do to be more successful this season?

Play harder, particularly with regard to defense, create some takeaways and rank at least in the top half of the NCAA statistically. I'm hopeful we can get to the top 30but in the fast track Big 12, it might be pretty tough. The line has simply got to play better, and early indications from their offensive mates appear to be promising.
I'm worried about the lack of experience at LB. Gotta love Coach Mike Ekeler's attitude, but these guys need to develop right away. The play of the corners and safties should be improved with the return of Coach Marvin Sanders (along with the Pelini brothers), I really didn't like the prvious staff's secondary coaching. Pelini coached teams have a ball hawking reputation and I'm pretty optimistic that will be the case. The conditioning has received very positive reviews, and the slimmer faster Pelini defense should achieve a more Blackshirt like result for 2008.

Offensively, I like the renewed emphasis on running the football, and I believe we have to achieve more balance and also get better in short yardage situations than we were last year. I'm also intrigued by the possibilites of the young TE players contributing to the midrange passing game, which should allow for some vertical stuff to develop for the young speedster wideouts like Paul, Gilleylen, and Holt. I like Swift and Petersen but neither is much of a deep breakaway threat. I imagine Lucky will still be heavily involved in the passing game, but perhaps not to the extent that he was last year given the emergence of the other backs. However, Ganz has to make better decisions about when to put it up for grabs, but it also sounds like we will be seeing more zone read plays for him toting the rock, which I like.

I'm crossing my fingers for 8-4, and hope they overachieve and make me look cautious. I realistically don't see another losing season in the cards, but maybe the red Kool-Aid is just tasty.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: [to Shirley] It's not nice to talk about crazy people behind their backs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Boston Legal Quotes

Alan: The credit card industry is a pack of hyenas crunching on the bones of the poor.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Meet Eric Cantor

Bruce Walkier at The American Thinker has a profile on Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, whose name has come up as a potential VP for the McCain campaign. While not noteworthy outside his home state, Cantor does bring a sizable number of advantages to the table, the first being his conservatism - he had a 100% rating by the ACU (American Conservative Union) for 2007 and has the second highest lifetime rating for any House member from his state's eleven member delegation. Selecting Cantor would greatly cheer the base for McCain and put to rest conservative fears about McCain's moderate approach on many issues.

Secondly, Cantor's is young, handsome, energetic and articulate, all things that people generally do not ascribe to Mac but do ascribe to Obama. Cantor could thus negate some of the advantage that the younger, more visually appealing Obama has with those voters that base their decision on looks alone. Thirdly, he is Jewish, and a serious one who keeps kosher. This fact again aids McCain with the social conservative wing of the Republican base. Cantor could also help the McCain with Jewish voters in more blue leaning states, negating a key Democratic constituency.

"Many Jews feel a bit uneasy about Obama and his anti-Semitic friends. These Jews are also disturbed at the summary dismissal or a serious Jewish liberal Democrat like Joe Lieberman, the Democrat's vice presidential candidate eight years ago. Lieberman is a strong McCain supporter, and that support will provide a strong push for ambivalent Jewish voters to tilt towards McCain. Placing a religiously serious Jew on the Republican ticket with McCain will provide an even stronger push. In a close election, and this looks to be a close election, a swing of Jewish voters to McCain could translate into victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and other states that McCain could either win or lose. Those battleground states are the keys to victory for McCain."

Fourth, Cantor represents Virginia, which is trending purple after years of being solidly red. Obama has targeted Virginia for a takeaway from the Republican column and might even go so far as to select Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as his running mate to do so. Cantor could mitigate the effectiveness of a Kaine selection and help keep the state blue. Another factor to consider is that McCain might only seek a single term, leaving Cantor as the heir apparent for the 2012 elecdtion. Walker suggests the idea of a handsome young conservative Orthodox Jew running for the Presidency (maybe with an Indian-American former Governor of Louisiana as his running mate) would greatly complicate the electoral math for the Democrats in the next election, and I can't see any negatives to the idea myself.

Not sure if there are any better selections, but I can see several who wouldn't be nearly the help to the ticket that Cantor would be for McCain.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: She's always ogling me.
Shirley: Yes, putting reality aside...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Joba on Disabled List

via the OWH, Yankee starting pitcher (and former Husker) Joba Chamberlain has been put on the 15 day DL with shoulder tendinitis. Chamberlain, a budding star in New York, left Monday's game against the Texas Rangers in the fifth innning. He had an MRI the next day and flew to specialist Dr. James Andrews, inventor of the famous "Tommy John" elbow surgery.

"The initial take on Wednesday, which General Manager Brian Cashman relayed via media relations director Jason Zillo, is that doctors recommended that Chamberlain rest for at least one week and then begin a throwing program. He will remain in New York during that time and be evaluated regularly."

Chamberlain is 4-3 with a 2.63 ERA so far this season, his first as a starter after serving as eigth inning setup man for closer Mariano Rivera last year and for the first part of this season.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: I'm sorry, your honor. I have mad cow disease. I think you do, too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Terry Shows He's Serious on Energy

While I've been somewhat critical at times of local Congress critter Lee Terry (on earmarks in particular) he has shown some guts on pending (and hopelessly entangled) energy legislation and issues. From the Congressional record, a partial list of the 106 House members signing the latest in a series of discharge petitions which would force a vote on opening the Outer Continental Shelf to energy exploration and potential production. A House majority of 218 would be required to force the vote over the objections of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (aka, the Wicked Witch of the West) of California.

I'll also note my guy Adrian Smith (I was a contributor to his campaign after noting he was being supported by the Club for Growth) was also quickly on board.

No Jeff Fortenberry (Mom's Congress critter) sightings yet, I may have to turn up the heat, although siccing Mom on the poor slob is a pretty mean thing to do to a guy on a five week vacation.

via the CR (HT to Amanda Carpenter at Townhall):

"Motion to Discharge a Committee from the Consideration of a resolution
July 30, 2008

To the Clerk of the House of Representatives:

Pursuant to clause 2 of rule XV, I, Jon C. Porter, move to discharge the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Science and Technology, and the Committee on the Judiciary from the consideration of the bill (H.R. 6108) entitled, a bill to provide for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf, and for other purposes; which was referred to said committees on May 21, 2008, in support of which motion the undersigned Members of the House of Representatives affix their signatures, to wit:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
1. Jon C. Porter Nevada 03
2. Lee Terry Nebraska 02
3. Bob Goodlatte Virginia 06
4. Dennis R. Rehberg Montana 00
5. Robert E. Latta Ohio 05
6. John Shimkus Illinois 19
7. Marsha Blackburn Tennessee 07
8. John T. Doolittle California 04
9. Phil Gingrey Georgia 11
10. David Davis Tennessee 01
11. Michael T. McCaul Texas 10
12. Peter Hoekstra Michigan 02
13. Bill Sali Idaho 01
14. Mark E. Souder Indiana 03
15. Robert J. Wittman Virginia 01
16. Sue Wilkins Myrick North Carolina 09
17. Roy Blunt Missouri 07
18. Michael K. Simpson Idaho 02
19. Geoff Davis Kentucky 04
20. Mike Pence Indiana 06
21. Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon California 25
22. Darrell E. Issa California 49
23. George Radanovich California 19
24. Dana Rohrabacher California 46
25. Don Young Alaska 00
26. Thaddeus G. McCotter Michigan 11
27. Adrian Smith Nebraska 03 "

These discharge petitions have gathered as many as 153 signatures so far, do what you can to raise the temperature on your own critter. There would be nothign nicer that I could think of than to give Mrs. Pelosi a nice welcome home gift when she returns to the District.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: So, do you like her yet? You promised.
Alan: I did. And I do.
Denny: I thought you would. She has many fine qualities.
Alan: She makes my friend smile. That's the only quality that matters.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Presidential Candidates and Energy

The NY Post editorial section properly takes the presidential candidates to task for their evolving positions on energy issues. However, they correctly point out that while Sen. McCain's position on offshore drilling has changed due to the facts on the ground (high gas prices), Sen. Obama's views have apparently changed due to more political factors. These changed positions include a call for releasing oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve (which is supposed to be for national emergencies, not to manipulate prices) AND now include being "open" to additional drilling if it is coupled with additional subsidies for alternative energy and higher mileage vehicles. He also still wants a windfall profits tax on large energy companies, which is counter productive and leads to higher consumer costs. The Post appears quite suspicious of the Illinois Senator's new views, and spells out the reasons for their skeptism.

"Obama, by contrast, still opposes drilling - but says he'll back it if it leads to a deal on legislation pushing fuel-efficient cars and alternative energy. Right. That might be believable if he hadn't also made popular turnabouts on many other issues, like NAFTA, the terror-monitoring bill and talking to Iran. Obama's new view on drilling, of course, is welcome; environmental concerns pale next to the need for more oil.

His switch on SPR oil, on the other hand, is not. The reserve is meant for national emergencies, not as a tool to ease prices - as even he once noted: "The reserve should only be used in the event of an emergency," he said, not "to provide a small, short-term decrease in gas prices." And he's U-turning on yet a third oil issue: He wants a windfall-profits tax on oil companies, even as he voted to give them breaks in '05. McCain voted against the breaks but is against hikes now....But here's the more important question: What does Obama stand for, besides whatever's popular at the moment?"

Indeed, this has been my question since mcuh earlier in the year. Perhaps due to this issue, Mac has pulled almost even with Obama (only a point or two down, well within the margin of error) in the latest Gallup and Rasmussen temperature checks, and McCain is ratcheting up the pressure on Congress by calling for both houses to return from vacation and address these issues. He is also handing out free tire pressure gauges for a $25 donation (see WSJ article here) after Obama suggested keeping your tires properly inflated as a means of saving energy - which is correct in a sense, but the math he spouted off on how much gasoline it would save was a bit off (he claimed it would save as much as we would ever get from drilling - not likely).

Meanwhile, the House Republican revolt led by Indiana Congressman Mike Pence and Georgian Tom Price Friday against the Wicked Witch of the West appears to be gathering some steam as well, with around twenty Congress critters meeting in the darkened halls of the District on Monday and more likely to join, as witnessed by Human Event's Jed Babbin, article here:

"The Republicans’ action began as a stunt on Friday and by Monday had evolved into a well-organized effort that might just succeed: if enough pressure were brought on Pelosi to force a vote on a comprehensive energy package, she might have to budge either by bringing Congress back in August (admittedly a very long-shot) or by holding a vote when the House reconvenes in September.

Republicans, as Hensarling said, define “comprehensive” as not “drill or, but drill and”, meaning that they would couple conservation measures with opening offshore drilling and on-land oil reserves such as the Colorado oil shale.

By Monday, Pence and Price had gotten about twenty fellow Republicans to come back for the new debate, and more were still being rounded up. As many as one hundred may be back by week’s end. If they are successful in building momentum this week, the debates will go on -- possibly -- all the way into September."

High energy prices and the Democratic leaderships intransigence on the issue may just be the road the Republicans need to turn things around come November.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: Alan, Bev is the woman I've always dreamed of. An angel in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen.
Alan: I think it's the other way around.
Denny: Not last night.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Krugman, Clinton and Bush

The blogfather points to an article by William Anderson critiquing economist Dr. Paul Krugman (of NY Times and Princeton fame) for a failure to connect the dots. Krugman is a notorious Democratic hack who reflexively opposes anything connected to the Repoublicans and the administration. Anderson takes a look at the economy over the last 16 years and finds some distrubing issues involving the Fed and the political classes form the view of a classical Austrian school economist. More or less, it boils down to the Fed artificially manipulating first the financial markets under Clinton, then the housing markets unded Bush.

"If there is a cause-and-effect pattern in this article, it is based solely upon who occupies the White House, according to Krugman. Now, one might expect such talk from the heads of the two main political parties, but a Princeton economist is supposed to operate by higher standards than what prevail in pure, partisan politics."

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: With all that's going on in the world these days, who among us hasn't wanted to take an axe to a priest?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Energy Issue & Congress

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer takes House Leader Nancy "I'm trying to save the planet" Pelosi (and the rest of the Democratic leadership) behind the woodshed in a devastatingly logical critique. The primary argument mustered against domestic oil exploration and production is for (largely symbolic) environmental reasons. However, by importing our energy supplies, aren't we effectively damaging the planet in a far more brutal manner? Venezuela, Nigeria, and the rest of OPEC nations have no where near the consciencious and enlightened environmental regulations and legal policy frameworks that have been so effectivley established by our esteemed Democratic rulers.

"The net environmental effect of Pelosi's no-drilling willfulness is negative. Outsourcing U.S. oil production does nothing to lessen worldwide environmental despoliation. It simply exports it to more corrupt, less efficient, more unstable parts of the world -- thereby increasing net planetary damage."

Adding to the damage is the fact that the world's "lungs" the tropical rainforest, is being burned down to plant sugarcane to make ethanol from crops and you really have the spectre of an planetary catastrophe, Nancy.

Boston Legal Quotes

Denny: Seriously, do I act like I'm the only one in the room?
Alan: Denny, one of the things I love about you is when we talk, often it's as if you're not even in the room.