October 1, 2011

"Police Arrest About 400 700 Protesters on Brooklyn Bridge."

The NYT reports:
Things came to a head shortly after 4 p.m., as the 1,500 or so marchers reached the foot of the Brooklyn-bound car lanes of the bridge, just east of City Hall....

Where the entrance to the bridge narrowed their path, some marchers, including organizers, stuck to the generally agreed-upon route and headed up onto the wooden walkway....

But about 20 others headed for the Brooklyn-bound roadway, said Christopher T. Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who accompanied the march. Some of them chanted “take the bridge.” They were met by a handful of high-level police supervisors, who blocked the way and announced repeatedly through bullhorns that the marchers were blocking the roadway and that if they continued to do so, they would be subject to arrest.

There were no physical barriers, though, and at one point, the marchers began walking up the roadway with the police commanders in front of them – seeming, from a distance, as if they were leading the way....
Now, there's a controversy about arresting the people who were further back. To some of them, it seems, it looked like they were being given permission to march on the bridge roadway, and then the police captured the whole group with orange nets. Or so the protest folk say.

UPDATE: The number has been revised up to 700.

At the Big Game Café...



... you can see everything from here. And have some corn...

"We will burst open multicolored sparks... and rays prismatic.... and rays prismatic..."

The Big Game Day meets the Marijuana Harvest Festival... today, in Madison, Wisconsin. The crowd on State Street is consuming the legal mind-altering liquid, and over on Library Mall, they're pushing the illegal mind-altering substance, with merchandise and music.



ADDED: The band you see in the clip is Venice Gas House Trolley.

Late Saturday morning, at the Capitol.

There's the Farmers' Market, along with a few protesters, including the hunger striker:


(Enlarge.)

A 9/11 Truther:


(Enlarge.)

Inside, quiet visitors:


(Enlarge.)

At the Golden Café...



... enjoy an open thread!

Bill Clinton, seemingly preening about himself, takes a devious shot at Obama.

This article, "Bill Clinton wants more credit" is topping Drudge under the heading "I want more credit." But let's see what's really going on here. Midway in the piece, there's this quote:
"I’m telling you this to point out that we need a coherent narrative... The No. 1 rule of effective politics, especially if the people you’re running against have a simple narrative — that government is always the problem, there is no such thing as a good tax or a bad tax cut, there’s no such thing as a good program or a bad program cut, no such thing as a good regulation or a bad deregulation — if you’re going to fight that, your counter has to be rooted in the lives of other people...."
So... he wants stories and anecdotes, not a countervailing simple message?
"We need to understand that one of the things that tends to tilt things toward the Republicans’ anti-government narrative is our country was born out of a suspicion of government... King George’s government was not accountable to us. That’s what the Boston tea party was about. When the tea party started out, at least they were against unaccountable behavior from top to bottom. Then it morphed into something different. If you want to go against that grain, you’ve got to tell people you understand it’s a privilege and a responsibility to spend their tax money, but there’s some things we have to do together. And that’s what the purpose of government is, to do the things that we have to do together that we can’t do on our own."
Of course he's right about the purpose of government. The real difference of opinion is about how gigantically huge that pile of "things" is. 
“If we can make that choice credible... then our candidates — starting with the president — and our principles will be fine."
Make it credible....  In other words, get people to believe that the Democrats have a better definition of the things that we can't do on our own that are therefore the purpose of government. That's all! Just do that. Basically: Okay, now, there's your big idea from me. You figure out the details.

If we start at the top the article, we see that he was mostly talking up his own story, his accomplishments, the details from his time, when it was his privilege and responsibility to spend other people's money.

Bill Clinton has explained the big idea — "it’s a privilege and a responsibility to spend [the people's] money, but there’s some things we have to do together" — and each leader in his time must work out the details. And Bill Clinton would like you to know/believe that he did a fabulous job with the details, and life was pretty good back then. If the same Democratic vision of a broad role for government is going badly now then it's the fault of the man who now has the privilege to spend the money, the responsibility to choose the details, and the task to "make that choice credible."

If only more protesters wore uniforms and marched in neat rows....

... like the 700 Continental and United pilots. They'd get more media coverage then the straggly, scraggly folks that predominate in the Occupy Wall Street protest.

A shorter, smaller, niftier protest seems bigger, then, because of the projection into the media. The larger, longer, freer protest will get attention, however, if the media is not on its side.

If that general rule is true, it suggests that protests ought to be well organized. There's a lot of debate at the link about the extent to which the Occupy Wall Street protesters deserve criticism for lack of organization.

I think a big, spontaneous, passionate protest can be effective, but not when it continues day after day. (My opinion is informed by observation of the Wisconsin protests over the many weeks and months.) At some point, people outside of the protests resent the disruption of the flow of ordinary life. If the continuing protest goes well and gathers steam, these outsiders to the protest worry about disorder and chaos.

If a continuing protest declines — and it will ultimately have to decline, unless the authorities break it up — then during the period of decline, the people left in the protest are, more and more, the extremists, the deranged, and the emotionally needy. Few onlookers identify with these people.

September 30, 2011

Memorial Union Terrace, the night before the big game.

Anticipating the big game.

The fans are fortifying themselves with brats and beer:



The merchants are purveying special T-shirts:



This one made us laugh a lot:



And in the background, under the reflection, there's "Shuck You." I heard a guy saying he didn't understand it: "Shuck you?" Dumb! But then I thought, actually, you have to know at least 3 things: 1. that the Nebraska team is called the "Cornhuskers," 2. that "shuck" is another word for "husk," and 3. that "fuck you" is a standard expression. Then you have to get the hang of the way human beings combine things for humorous effect. If you think about it, the dumbest things are really quite sophisticated.

NYT has a big article on the on the Wisconsin-Nebraska game, with copious info about the "Jump Around."

The origin, the history, the engineering. It's all here:
In 1998, during the first night homecoming game for Wisconsin, Kluender was looking for something to keep the crowd energized between the third and fourth quarters. He had a list of suggested songs provided by Ryan Sondrup, an intern in the marketing department and a former Badgers football player. Kluender chose “Jump Around” and looked away from the field to check his notes. When he turned back he said the leaping students looked “like popcorn popping.”
Much, much more at the link, such as why you don't have to worry that all that shaking won't collapse the stadium. (People feel like the deck is moving up to 10 inches, but it really only moves 0.4 inches, and it would have to move 12 inches to cause any damage, but movement like that would make everyone fall down, in which case they would not be jumping around.)

The Brooklyn police officer "pointed at my outfit and said, 'Don't you think your shorts are a little short?'"

"He also stopped two other women wearing dresses... pointed at their dresses and said they were showing a lot of skin."
He said that such clothing could make the suspect think he had "easy access".... She said the officer explained that "you're exactly the kind of girl this guy is targeting."...
Flashback to the Canadian cop who caught hell and sparked the Slutwalk movement. He said, you may remember: "I've been told I'm not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised."

You'd think by now the cops would have figured out how to broach this touchy subject. Look at this response from the woman quoted at the first link: "I can't wear shorts? Besides the fact that I wasn't wearing anything that was inappropriate or provocative…. I don't think that should be part of the problem. At all." Of course, she's right, but the annals of crime are full of innocent victims. The cops would like to encourage people to defend against crime, but advice from an authority figure feels like a restriction of your freedom... which the police know and use to control people.

"Sexist Obama?"

A Bloggingheads clip makes the NYT.

The scholarly press book... "isn’t dead; it is undead."

Says Kathleen Fitzpatrick.

IN THE COMMENTS: Yashu says:
While Fitzpatrick makes some good points (e.g. about problems with the peer review process-- though I'm not sure I buy her solution), the main thrust of her argument makes me break out in hives. It's the Elizabeth Warren political vision, advocating the priority of "community" over "individual achievement." It's Warren's critique of the business world transposed to academia (where "professorial culture is infected by pride in individual achievements and prejudice against publishing models that would de-emphasize them"):

At the Chrysanthemum Café...



... it's still quite early.

"This is a clash of two historically hemp producing states... Both Nebraska and Wisconsin had thriving hemp industries."

When Football Saturday meets the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival.

"History of Lyrics That Aren't Lyrics."



Hey, you missed "Papa Oom Mow Mow" and the doo doo songs... Police... and Stones...

Anybody remember when Yale Law Journal devoted a page to reprinting the sheet music of "De Do Do De Da Da" to make a point about the indeterminacy of law or some such trendy critical theory concept?

If Obama wants a "Nixon goes to China" opportunity, here it is!

Instapundit has this:
NPR: New Boom Reshapes Oil World, Rocks North Dakota. “Two years ago, America was importing about two thirds of its oil. Today, according to the Energy Information Administration, it imports less than half. And by 2017, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts the US could be poised to pass Saudi Arabia and overtake Russia as the world’s largest oil producer. Places like Williston are the reason why.”

Wow, I knew it was big, but I had no idea it was that big. But read the whole thing.
It's big! Go big on oil, Obama. It's the new energy economy. Drill baby, drill! Prosperity lies ahead. Make this one yours. Hope and change! Dreams! Dreams of oil! Can't you taste it?!

"Come on, can’t you hear the keystrokes clicking by somebody over at Fox or Althouse just so eager to defend this next 'brave young person' who dared to 'tell the truth' at Harvard Law School?"

Somebody over at Althouse? I'm the only one here. I've been solo-blogging with nary a guest blogger for nigh on 8 years. If you're talking about somebody over at Althouse, you're talking about me. Or are you dragging my name through the "raaaaccciissssttt!!!!" mud over what you imagine a commenter might say?

Dammit. Now I know Elie Mystal at Above the Law has an old issue with me about calling things racist. Back in 2008, there was a contest — which he won — to determine who would be the new blogger at Above the Law. I was one of a panel of judges — a la "American Idol" — and we were looking a the writing of several competitors without seeing the details of who was writing. Judging one of Mystal's entries, I said: "Racism alert." I didn't know that Mystal is, in fact, African American.

Anyway, in the present case, Mystal is writing about a blog called “Harvard Law Caveman,” which is some kind of satirical blog opposed to affirmative action. I have never linked to it, though the author pitched it to me via email a couple times about 10 days ago. I'm not amused by the crude use of racism even when I think the writer meant to lampoon racism. Mystal's belief that I am "just so eager to defend this next 'brave young person' who dared to 'tell the truth'" is nothing but mudslinging.

As for the Harvard Law Caveman, why give him attention just to trash him? Is it so you can trash somebody who has profile, like me? But I didn't link to him. Maybe back when he pitched his blog to me, the Caveman also pitched it to Above the Law. Maybe Mystal has been waiting to see whether someone like me would link so he could attack. Time passed. Did anyone link? But he nevertheless portrays me as "eager" to link! I call bullshit, Elie.
This guy launched a racist blog using as much HLS branding as he could, but the school is not going to actually do anything about it. 
Like what?! It's free speech, and Mystal must know damned well that taking action would draw attention to this erstwhile unnoticed blog and also turn the writer into a free speech martyr. The criticism of Harvard Law School is thus also bullshit.
... But this is life at Harvard Law School. The school is so big. And there are so many people there who are still pissed that they didn’t get into Yale. The racist crap one hears from the HLS student body on just a casual level I think would blow most people away. I once had a white guy argue to my face that I didn’t “belong” there — and this was after we’d both figured out that I got a better grade in the class we took together.
Shine a light on whatever HLS "racist crap" you really see, but it only undercuts your credibility to make crap up. The way you just treated me makes me wonder what was the whole context of that "belong" quote? Let's talk about what's actually true. It works a whole lot better that way.

Email from Barack Obama, subject line: "Last chance at dinner."

Obama the boyfriend is at it again:



Ann --

Because you and I don't have a lot of chances to have dinner together...
Absurd!

Should Obama hope he loses the Obamacare case in the Supreme Court?

Mickey Kaus says:
If the law is as unpopular as it seems to be, and if the individual mandate is “the most hated piece of the law,” then the Court, by removing the threat of the law, or at least the mandate, on constitutional grounds, would remove a big reason to oppose Obama, no? 
Not only that, but if the Supreme Court upholds the law, Obama's opponents will have a rich opportunity to rail against those terrible liberal justices who don't respect the Constitution and its basic structure of limited, enumerated powers: They've said it's "regulating commerce" to tell a private citizen he has to buy a product that he's chosen not to buy. Alarm! Alarm! Don't let Obama appoint any more Justices!

But if the Court strikes down the individual mandate, Obama will suddenly be able to say: Those terrible activist conservatives on the Court! They've illegitimately grabbed the power to veto a law conservatives don't want! They talk about judicial restraint, but look how they set themselves up as a super-legislature when they don't like what Congress has done.

By the way, I think the decision in the case is likely to track the will of the people, as perceived by the Court. So, it's important to advocates to create the appearance of public acceptance or public outrage over the law. This demonstration of public opinion should happen anyway as the presidential campaigns move forward. It will be fascinating to see what happens when the Supreme Court decision plops into that discourse.

If the Supreme Court upholds the individual mandate, Republicans will say: Now it's crucial to win the presidency and strong majorities in both houses of Congress so we can repeal this thing. If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, is there nothing Democrats can do? Well, the existing form of legislation is out, but there are other ways to extend health care that would not meet the same constitutional problem. But would Democrats want to argue that they need to win the presidency and strong majorities in both houses of Congress so they can push through some new health care reform? I doubt it. What a nightmare it was the first time, devastating the path of the Obama presidency and giving rise to the Tea Party!

Thinking through all these permutations, I'm guessing the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate. The existing doctrine doesn't require that outcome, but I'm reading the political forces at play and assessing the Court's vulnerability to those forces, and that's my interpretation.

IN THE COMMENTS: Garage Mahal asks: "Will Thomas recuse himself?" Here's a better question: Considering my analysis above, if Thomas recuses himself, should we see him as extracting himself from politics or — slyly and deviously — playing politics?

"Did UW-Madison's diversity chief incite students?"

Deborah Ziff asks:
Talk show host Bill O'Reilly called him "a loon." The head of a conservative think tank said he fed students propaganda and egged on a student "mob."

The comments were directed at UW-Madison's chief diversity officer, Damon Williams, who has been at the center of an admissions maelstrom ever since the Virginia-based Center for Equal Opportunity alleged in a report this month that the university gives preferential treatment to black and Hispanic students.

Learning a day early that the center planned to release its findings at a Madison news conference, Williams and Dean of Students Lori Berquam convened a meeting of students to discuss "a threat to our diversity efforts." The next day, a group of students disrupted the news conference, forcing the center's president and a former UW-Madison professor to leave the room.
Read the whole thing. Who knows the causal connection between the meeting one day and the disruption the next? My point — and I'm quoted toward the end of this piece — is that the University should not act scared about this. It should not concede that the CEO's activity is a threat. Presumably, the admissions policies are aligned with the case law and within the range permitted under the Equal Protection Clause. Why stir up negative emotion and anxiety?

The appropriate attitude is confidence and pride, demonstrating a belief in the chosen policy. The organization that has attacked us is serious and hardworking. It's not a random swipe at us that deserves no attention. We should respond in a way that suits a public university and have a reasonable, vigorous debate, including a conversation with the people of the state. The people have the power to trump the University's policy choice by legislation, so simple political sense ought to make us want to make a good argument aimed at them. But quite apart from political pragmatism, we should, as a matter of principle, show that we care about the citizens of Wisconsin who were excluded in the admissions process. As a university, we should take advantage of what is an opportunity to teach and to demonstrate a love for debate and weighing diverse viewpoints.

I mean, diversity is supposed to be the central value. And — here's a lesson in what the Supreme Court has said the Equal Protection Clause means — the diversity that justifies the use of racial classification "is defined by reference to the educational benefits that diversity is designed to produce."

The reason the Court has allowed some flexibility to use race in admissions is that it supposedly connects to the University's educational mission. If that connection is real, it ought to show.

"Republican bigots and the candidates who encourage hate."

Another dishonest, embarrassing editorial in the venerable Madison rag known as the Capitol Times.

A clue to the clueless: One man booed, the surrounding audience tried to shush him, and the candidates on stage couldn't hear it.

September 29, 2011

"A lawyer who donated sperm to pay his way through college has learned that he has fathered an astonishing 70 children."

"More than 15 of those have already attempted to contact 33-year-old Ben Seisler. The donor confessed to his fiancée as part of a new reality show, Sperm Donor...."

"Look, if you put the Internet on the device I am supposed to be using to read, I will never read again."

"Can you blame me? I am only human. I can’t focus. If all these studies about multitasking have taught us anything, it is that we all think we can multitask but no one actually can.... It’s not that people will stop reading. We do vast amounts of reading online every day — the equivalent of a good Hemingway novel. But it’s not deep but broad, not focused but fast."

Oh, now, now... is Hemingway actually deeper than your favorite blog?

***

Show your love for reading and for the Althouse blog by buying your Kindle Fire here.

Mental self-government: "People with a legislative style like to come up with their own ideas and to do things in their own way..."

"... people with an executive style prefer to be given more structure and guidance or even told what to do; people with a judicial style like to evaluate and judge things and especially the work of others."

That theory of mental self-government is:
Bad, but maybe I'm saying that because I'm the judicial type.
Fine for him, but prefer my own ideas, which don't include the notion that my style is legislative.
I fully accept it, and therefore claim the mantle of executive.
  
pollcode.com free polls 

At the Water Lily Café...



... let the conversation flow.

"The Obama Administration's hostility to oil and gas exploration is well known, but last week it took an especially fowl turn."

"The U.S. Attorney for North Dakota hauled seven oil and natural gas companies into federal court for killing 28 migratory birds that were found dead near oil waste lagoons. You may not be surprised to learn that the Administration isn't prosecuting wind companies for similar offenses."

But please take into account that they wind companies aren't killing the same number of birds. They're killing about 440,000 birds (a year). Only 15,714 times as many. What's the big deal? Have you no sense of proportion?

Isn't there some proposition — kind of like the "big lie" — that if you want to get away with something, doing it on a vast scale is a good strategy? There's some aphorism or famous quote that's just beyond my grasp, even using Google.

Anderson Cooper tries coffee for the first time and calls it "watery."

He also eats spinach for the first time and calls it "slithery." 

"If I disagree with someone, then someone says, 'Oh, there goes Justice Prosser violating collegiality.'"

Said Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, resisting taking the "collegiality pledge" proposed by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
The justices voted on the pledge by a show of hands. Six justices raised their hands immediately, but Prosser paused and looked at the ceiling before slowly raising his hand.

Abrahamson, seeing his hesitation, joked that the justices adopted the proposal with six votes "and one additional vote."

Prosser didn't seem amused.

"Is this is in the spirit of what we just adopted?" he asked.
Gotcha! Was that gotcha in in the spirit of what we just adopted?
Abrahamson apologized and said the justices adopted the proposal in seven votes.

Afterward the justices discussed another Abrahamson proposal... to adopt a measure declaring that four justices not be considered a quorum unless their meeting was previously listed on the court calendar. ...

[Justice Annette] Ziegler said she didn't understand where the proposal was coming from...

A brief conversation ensued. As hints of tension became evident, Justice Patience Roggensack asked for and received a 10-minute break. Afterward, she offered only a brief comment.

"I know you've got something in mind. You're sitting there smiling," she told Abrahamson tersely. "I'm not fond of being blindsided and that's what's happening here."

The proposal was tabled without a vote.
The good times roll on at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Death by cantaloupe.

Do you realize that before cutting into a cantaloupe, you're supposed to scrub it with a brush and dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel? Do you even rinse that thing? Or do you think because you're not going to eat the rind, you don't need to worry about the listeria lurking in its rough reticulation?

Obama, the boys' club man who, on graduating from Harvard Law School, felt drawn into "personal journaling."

In a diavlog about Obama's problem with women, I'm trying to figure out what makes a man a man's man, especially when the man isn't all that manly:

"Our deepest wounds surround our greatest gifts."

"I've found that the very qualities we're most ashamed of, the ones we keep trying to reshape or hide, are in fact the key to finding real love. I call them core gifts."

A "more insidious form of racism" — replacing the old "naked, egregious and aggressive" racism — is now undermining Barack Obama.

As perceived in The Nation by polisci prof Melissa Harris-Perry:
Not only did white Democratic voters prove willing to support a black candidate [in 2004]; they overperformed in their repudiation of naked electoral racism, electing Obama with a higher percentage of white votes than either Kerry or Gore earned. 
Overperformed in their repudiation... a fascinating phrase. Harris-Perry, applying some standard political science tests and failing to detect racism, says "electoral racism cannot be reduced solely to its most egregious, explicit form. It has proved more enduring and baffling than these results can capture." So, she posits another form of racism: "the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts."

What is her measure of this form of racism? The fact that Democrats kept supporting Bill Clinton, even though he "failed to pass any kind of meaningful healthcare reform whatsoever, signed onto "don’t ask, don’t tell,” and supported "welfare 'reform.'" But a lot of Democrats, myself included, like the moderate approach, the "triangulation." And, of course, the economy was good back then. Moreover, Obama hasn't gone up for reelection yet. You can't compare the final vote for Clinton in 1996 to the pre-election grousing about Obama.
I believe much of [the decline in support for Obama] can be attributed to [white Americans'] disappointment that choosing a black man for president did not prove to be salvific for them or the nation.
Salvific... a great word. Let's put it together with that fascinating phrase overperformed in their repudiation. Now, tell me what that says about racial politics in America. There is something about race there, whether you want to deploy the powerful word racism or not. The points seems to be, even in the left-wing Nation, that people loaded race into their positive feelings for Obama, and now they have a special race-based disappointment.

But how do we disentangle this insidious new form of racism from American politics? Obama himself stoked delusions of salvation. What would it look like to just stop overperforming the repudiation of racism?

September 28, 2011

At the Tomato Spider Café...



... you can lurk here until dawn.

"I remain unsure that there just are five justices at the high court eager to have the court itself become an election-year issue.."

Says Dahlia Lithwick:
And I am not certain that the short-term gain of striking down some or part of the ACA (embarrassing President Obama even to the point of affecting the election) is the kind of judicial end-game this court really cares about....

That's why I suspect that even if there are five justices who believe the individual mandate is unconstitutional, there probably aren't five votes to decide that question in this instant....

Obama's female trouble.



ADDED: Here, I extract a 2-minute clip in which I question what makes a man a man's man and refer to "Dreams From My Father" as "personal journaling."

"As the testimony proceeded, Mr. Loughner rarely made eye contact with others in the courtroom, sometimes peering at the witness out of the corner of his eye."

"For the most part, he remained stone-faced and still in his seat. Every now and then, his eyes would close for extended periods, then pop open when he heard his name mentioned. Dr. Pietz said the defendant was devastated when doctors told him that he was mentally ill. He did not want to believe it, she said."

On the last night of the baseball season, both wild cards are on the line.

Justin Sablich is live-blogging.
The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are tied for the American League Wild Card lead while the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves are in the exact same situation in the National League. If that wasn’t enough to keep you interested, we still have home field advantage up for grabs in both leagues.
Here at Meadhouse, we're watching the Brewers, who are fighting for the home field advantage. We're also rooting for Ryan Braun to win the NL batting championship, and this news just came in:
Jose Reyes heard the boos when he was lifted for a pinch runner. Mets fans wanted to see more....

After a bunt single in the first inning Wednesday, he was finished. His day and year done, Reyes headed home to watch Milwaukee's Ryan Braun try to overtake him for the NL batting championship.

"It was kind of tough," Reyes said. "I want to stay in the game. They have to understand, too, what's going on. They have to feel happy about it if I win the battling title."
Will Braun leave the game if he gets ahead?

UPDATE: "The greatest day of baseball, in my time" says the announcer, referring to 32 years. So many wild games, with so much riding on it.

At the Deep Gray Café...



... things can't be this gloomy.

No criminal misconduct by the Waukesha County Clerk in the WI Supreme Court election.

Law broken, but not willfully.

Sorry if this seems like inane trivia to most of you out there in the land of not-Madison. It's a big deal around here.

"Democrat Governor Bev Perdue of NC Wasn't Joking: She Wants to Cancel the 2012 Congressional Elections."

I haven't blogged about this story yet because I've been assuming she had to be joking, since it's such an incredibly stupid thing to believe is possible under the Constitution. But here's the argument — from Rush Limbaugh — that the humor excuse is not available. He's got the clip of Perdue speaking and it couldn't be more dour and staid. Rush observes:
No laughter. No applause, either, but there was no laughter; there's no jocularity there. This effort to say that she was just kidding is gonna fall flat because she wasn't. She was dead serious....

The Drive-By Media spends a lot of time and a lot of effort trying to make Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, the South Carolina governor Nikki Haley look dumb. The Drive-Bys try to make them look stupid, bumbling, and foolish; and all the while they have a female politician in their midst who is dumb, stupid, bumbling, and foolish; and they're out there trying to make excuses. "Oh, she was just joking! You shouldn't take this seriously. She was just joking about this." No, she wasn't joking. If they could get away with canceling elections, they would do it...
ADDED: Sorry about the Purdue/Perdue misspelling. It was copied from Rush's site (where it is now corrected).

The new color Kindle.

The Kindle Fire.

Is it better than an iPad? It's clearly cheaper. It's also lighter (413 grams as compared to 601 grams). A big issue is the clarity of the screen. The iPad is excellent. The Kindle Fire isn't out yet, so we'll see. You can use your Amazon Prime membership to stream a lot of movies and TV, so that's pretty cool.

ADDED: Coketown says:
I believe both the iPad and Kindle Fire use IPS panels so color, viewing angles, and contrast should be similar. Kindle's resolution is 1024x600 on a 7" screen while iPad's is 1024x768 on a 9.7" screen, so it seems the Kindle has higher pixel density which usually results in sharper images. But rumor has it that Apple will be using retina displays in the iPad 3.

Weight and size make me favor the Kindle Fire. As a media device, the iPad is too big. I prefer a smaller form factor.
I use my iPad for reading in a chair or in bed. I have a desktop and a laptop which I prefer for the many long hours I put in every day reading and writing. But I switch to the iPad when I need to get comfortable and rest my head. So the size and weight matter very much. I can't really picture getting a Kindle Fire when I already have an iPad, but if I needed a device in this niche, I'd probably go for this new, cheaper device. By the way, I use the Kindle app in my iPad (and on my other computers), and I'm very happy with the format.

ADDED: The NYT report:
... Amazon has an ace up its sleeve that other tablet makers do not, in that the Kindle Fire will offer Amazon’s full spread of digital content, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Gartner who follows the consumer electronics industry.

“Amazon has already nailed the hardest part of the equation: the content,” he said.

Obama's Infrastructure Stimulus — designed to build masculine pride.

Here's a fascinating passage from Ron Suskind's new book "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President" (pp. 18-19)(boldface added). Obama and his advisers are plotting campaign strategy in August 2007 and the subject turned to the problem of jobs for 10 million low- to moderately skilled male workers. What "sunrise" could the government subsize and stimulate. The advisers hit on health care:
That was where the jobs would be: nurse’s aides, companions to infirm seniors, hospital orderlies. The group bandied about ideas for how to channel job-seeking men into this growth industry. A need in one area filling a need in another. Interlocking problems, interlocking solutions. The Holy Grail of systemic change.

But Obama shook his head.

“Look, these are guys,” he said. “A lot of them see health care, being nurse’s aides, as women’s work. They need to do something that fits with how they define themselves as men.” ...

As the room chewed over the non-PC phrase “women’s work,” trying to square the senator’s point with their analytical models, [Alan] Krueger—who was chief economist at the Department of Labor in the mid-1990s at the tender age of thirty-four—sat there silently, thinking that in all his years of studying men and muscle, he had never used that term. But Obama was right. Krueger wondered how his latest research on happiness and well-being might take into account what Obama had put his finger on: that work is identity, that men like to build, to have something to show for their sweat and toil.

“Infrastructure,” he blurted out. “Rebuilding infrastructure.”

Obama nodded and smiled, seeing it instantly. “Now we’re talking. . . . Okay, let’s think about how that would work as a real centerpiece.... Don’t even get me started about potholed highways and collapsing bridges,” Obama said....
Isn't it strange that collapsing bridges are exactly what Obama is back to talking about in September 2011?
And just like that, a policy to repair the nation’s infrastructure was born. The federal government, in partnership with the private sector, would call upon the underemployed men of America to rebuild the country, and in doing so restore their pride
Obama wanted to rebuild masculine pride!

But what happened? Why didn't the original stimulus, in early 2009, rebuild America and America's men? I seem to remember some pushback. There was this NYT op-ed in December 2008, by Linda Hirshman:
Mr. Obama compared his infrastructure plan to the Eisenhower-era construction of the Interstate System of highways. It brings back the Eisenhower era in a less appealing way as well: there are almost no women on this road to recovery....

The bulk of the stimulus program will provide jobs for men, because building projects generate jobs in construction, where women make up only 9 percent of the work force....

Fortunately, jobs for women can be created by concentrating on professions that build the most important infrastructure — human capital. In 2007, women were 83 percent of social workers, 94 percent of child care workers, 74 percent of education, training and library workers (including 98 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers and 92 percent of teachers’ assistants)....
And then what happened? Did Obama ever openly express his enthusiasm for masculine jobs? The terminology became "shovel-ready jobs." He couldn't say "manly jobs" or "men's work." Not only did Obama's abandon his dream of lifting up men, we didn't even get the construction work done.

And now here he is, last week, posing by a bridge that's — what? — falling down and getting accused of using the bridge as a "prop."

Oh! The masculinity!

Florida is about to move its primary up to January.

Is that crazy?
Florida's move would directly violate RNC rules that forbid any state other than the first four "carve-out" states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina -- from holding a primary before March 6....

South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad Connelly said the Republican Party respects "the rule of law" and called on other states to respect the calendar rules that were laid out by RNC officials in 2010.

Connelly said that if Florida moves into January, it would provoke a stampede to the front of the line as each state tries to maximize its influence in the process.

"If Florida moves, it would create chaos," Connelly said "The calendar would be so compressed that the states that are trying to more relevant, that I don't think it would do any good for them."

Anita Perry, "a quiet feminine force," " a nurse first, first lady second."

A profile in the NYT.

"Nearly every professional woman has had the experience of saying something in a meeting, receiving no response..."

"... and then listening as a male colleague offers the same thought or suggestion minutes later to great acclaim. The first time it happens, she feels slightly foolish and is a little unsettled. Did I say that out loud or just in my head? Maybe he made the point better than I did. The second time it happens, she gets frustrated. The third time, she gets angry."

Amy Sullivan, beginning a piece speculating about Obama's woman problem, which, she says, has long been "obvious."

September 27, 2011

At the Water Bird Café...



... it's too soon to leave.

See, this is what happens when you get people's hopes up.



Link.

Obama does a great job reacting to a heckler who calls him the Antichrist.

He waits calmly, while the crowd defty shifts from denouncing the heckler to chanting "4 more years." When he finally deigns to speak, Obama has the presence of mind to say — responding to the heckled "Jesus Christ is God, Barack Obama is the Antichrist!" — "I agree. Jesus Christ is the Lord. I believe in that." And then he evinces concern that the heckler, who was apparently dragged out, has left his jacket behind. This concern about clothing harmonizes nicely with his recent attention to appropriate footwear.

Great job?
He's calm, perhaps because he is the Antichrist.
He's cool, as ever, because he's a cold fish.
He's blank and empty, which is not enough to count as a good job.
Yes, I agree, Althouse. He did a great job here.
  
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"If I don't call you."

Subject line on email from Barack Obama.

"I will buy a pink Segway before I spend a nickle on any goddamn government car.."

"... Including a ZR-1. U.S. OUT OF DETROIT."

I had to Google ZR-1. Then, I screamed.

But I've got to say: If the Segway hadn't already been made, the Obama administration would have funneled hundreds of millions of public money into developing it. And it would still only be ridden by that one guy, and as he scoots by, everybody who sees him thinks: No way!

"Nominees for the 2012 class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Non-Country Popular Music of the 1950s and Beyond Hall of Fame."

"First-time nominees include Heart, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, The Cure, The Spinners, Eric B. & Rakim, Guns N' Roses, the Small Faces/Faces, Rufus with Chaka Khan, and Freddie King. The Beasties and Chilis return to the ballot, as do Donna Summer, Donovan, Laura Nyro, and War. First-time eligibles this year but not nominated include Crowded House, Guided by Voices, the Jayhawks, Lyle Lovett, Salt N Pepa, Soundgarden, They Might Be Giants, and Yo La Tengo."

Says Adam at Throwing Things, pointing to a link to throw in your opinion.

My opinion is just that I love Donovan and Laura Nyro (and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a bit ridiculous, but I always pay attention and I've visited the place more than once).

ADDED: Saffron!

3 happiness paths.

Are you doing any or all of these?
• Feeling good. Seeking pleasurable emotions and sensations, from the hedonistic model of happiness put forth by Epicurus, which focused on reaching happiness by maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.

• Engaging fully. Pursuing activities that engage you fully, from the influential research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. For decades, Csikszentmihalyi explored people's satisfaction in their everyday activities, finding people report the greatest satisfaction when they are totally immersed in and concentrating on what they are doing — he dubbed this state of absorption “flow.”

• Doing good. Searching for meaning outside yourself, tracing back to Aristotle's notion of eudaemonia, which emphasized knowing your true self and acting in accordance with your virtues.

"It is hard to write good songs that are sad without being needlessly dramatic."

"First, he is jilted and this makes him suicidal. I get that. This leads him to flashback to his parents' deaths and how all of this has left him alone. And his loneliness is palpable because there's nothing left for him to grab on to. The unwinding of the simple everyman (in a fortunately non-allegorical sense) is a story that's presented in a simple direct way without being flashy or even really pointing to its emotions. Consequently, I too have cried listening to such simple pain played out over my speakers."

A fine argument in favor of a song
I would never even have considered putting on the list of top 100 songs that ever reached #1, let alone giving the #31 slot. There are so many overblown pop songs, and if you loathe excessive drama, rather than rail against those songs — which is more drama — it's a nice strategy to honor the spare and simple, restrained expression of emotion of a song like this. Still, surely, there must be some other, better songs upon which to exercise this anti-drama strategy.

All right, all you laggards in the drive for gay rights: The good, as symbolized by football, has been defined.

The NFL prohibits discrimination against players based on sexual orientation, and George Atallah, spokesman for the NFLPA, says:
"We certainly believe, speaking for the Players Association, that we have a tremendous social and cultural impact... We definitely understand the effect that we have on society and culture, and we feel we have a responsibility to have very high standards. With something like discrimination of any kind, we just want to make sure we are a symbol for good."

"The Constitution is the rules; politics is the game."

"The alternatives to organized political contention are anarchy or sheep-like passivity."

Richard Brookhiser speaks in one aphorism after another in this dialogue with Kathryn Jean Lopez about his new book about James Madison, "James Madison." (Buy it here. I just did.)

The headline on the interview is "Politics Is Madison," and I was delighted to see, that it wasn't about my crazy little city in the Midwest.

More from the interview:
LOPEZ: What accounts for Madison’s scorn for John Adams and his love for Thomas Jefferson? Does either man’s relationship with Madison provide essential insight into Adams or Jefferson?

BROOKHISER: Madison never spent much time with John Adams, and could not see beyond his obnoxious qualities to the good ones. Thomas Jefferson was the cool older brother Madison never had — brilliant, eloquent, quirky — but at the same time a fellow Virginian and an ideological soul mate....

LOPEZ: What might Madison think about Barack Obama?

BROOKHISER: Jefferson’s vices, without the charm.

"Rick Perry just never does well in debates. He never has. He doesn't win debates, but, boy, does he win elections!"

The standard spin for Rick Perry, as articulated by Rush Limbaugh, who goes on to analyze it this way:
Okay, look, I totally understand spin, but these are not "debates." This is just Q&A. You gotta have some facts at your command, you have to be able to parry (p-a-r-r-y), have to be able to go back and forth, but if you're gonna go out and try to illustrate Romney's flip-flops, rehearse it, or know it. I don't know about you; I just thought it was a little disappointing. And, in fact, I made an observation about Perry last week where he seems to get tired, seems to wear down. The sentences get slower, the words get put together slower. In fact, the Perry campaign has said that it was a product of being tired in these debates.  In fact, last Thursday, this is in Orlando, here is Perry responding to Romney's defense of Romneycare.
I think Americans just don't know sometimes which Mitt Romney they're dealing with.  Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment?  Was it was before he was for these social programs from the standpoint he was standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against Roe v. Wade?  He was for Race to the Top. He's for Obamacare and now he's against it.  I mean we'll wait until tomorrow and see which Mitt Romney we're really talking to tonight.
So they said, "Ah, he was just tired. He had a long day out there, long day of fundraising, long day of campaigning, a bunch of speechifying, and just a little tired out there."  And I'll tell you why this matters.  It's because within the conservative base, call it the Tea Party base, what have you, they just do not want Romney.  There is an active anti-Romney sentiment and Perry represented perhaps somebody that could wrest all this away from Romney.  Romney's the presumptive nominee, based on money and media trying to make this into a two-man race and so forth, it's getting late for anybody else to get in.
In other words, these excuses for Perry are delusion and desperation. But what do you do at that point if you think Romney's not the solid, principled conservative you want? You should hope for Chris Christie to come in. It's not that Christie is the conservative, but that Christie is the one who can draw support from Romney. That would help Perry, Limbaugh predicts.

Help him how far? If Christie comes in and attracts all the attention, Rick Bad-at-Debates Perry will get to relax into his quiet, manly persona. He can conserve his scarce enegy while Christie and Romney compete for the moderate crowd, and then saunter into the nomination without looking relatively fresh. But then what? He'll have to debate Obama! I'm getting flashbacks to 2008. It looked like a little something like this:



Care to live through that with the man whose supporters assure you just never does well in debates?

Is Huntsman about to get McCottered?

He can't seem to hit the threshold — 2% in the polls — for inclusion in the next debate. That's what ended the candidacy of Thaddeus McCotter.

September 26, 2011

About that anti-cheese billboard going up in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

There's some opposition, and not just from cheesemakers. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has a depiction of the Grim Reaper wearing a foam Cheesehead.
Foamation, which makes those cheese hats, says "It's a very negative thing and we don't want to be associated with something like this."...

"Cheese is an unhealthy food product," [said Susan Levin, a registered dietitian with the Physicians Committee.] "Cheese is the antithesis" of what we're supposed to be eating.
By stirring up discord, they've got everyone looking at their damned poster.

It's intermission.



You can talk about anything you want.

Sarah Palin threatens to sue Random House over "Rogue."

Ha. I said it the other day: "Let's focus on Random House, the venerable publishing house."

"The Left – Still Confused by School Choice."

"It is a sign of the sorry state of Wisconsin’s political discourse that a legislator drawing upon professional expertise to create non-controversial legislation to support a program that benefits his taxpayers is viewed as nefarious."

Via David Blaska, who says:
[Bill] Lueders attempts to hobble the burgeoning school choice movement by attributing its success to political intrigue rather than the increasing failure of the unionized public school model. His lengthy piece employs the conspiracy mode of journalism: pour in a spattering of unfamiliar organizations and names, suggest some back room string-pulling, hint at vote buying, and stir with implications of nefarious intention. Voila: an expose that exposes, if anything, the author's own bias.
(Click the Lueders tag if you don't remember where you saw his name before.)

Scalia scoffs at lawsuit challenging sex segregation in dorms.

The lawsuit, against Catholic University, which got rid of coed dorms, is based on D.C.’s Human Rights Act. Scalia, speaking at Duquesne Law School, said:
“Our educational establishment these days, while so tolerant of and even insistent upon diversity in all other aspects of life seems bent on eliminating diversity of moral judgment — particularly moral judgment based on religious views...

“I hope [Duquesne] will not yield — as some Catholic institutions have — to this politically correct insistence upon suppression of moral judgment, to this distorted view of what diversity in America means.”
More on the lawsuit here:
Catholic University spokesman Victor Nakas [said] DC’s Human Rights Act... “forbids a school from denying or conditioning the use of facilities for a discriminatory reason. The single-sex residence policy that we are phasing in treats both sexes equally, so there is no discrimination.”
The reason for the sex segregation, Nakas said, was "to curb the abuse of alcohol and to stymie development of a 'hook-up' culture."

Unlimited, instant streaming of video for Amazon Prime members...

... interesting!

I have Amazon Prime already just for the shipping of actual things. This is really nice.

"'Firefly' and Anti-Fascism Posters Get Professor Threatened with Criminal Charges on University of Wisconsin Campus."

Instapundit highlights this story from UW—Stout, stressing the threat of criminal charges against a professor who put a quote from the TV show "Firefly" on his office door.

If we're going to talk about this, let's face up to what the quote was: "You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed."

I can't fathom why a teacher would put that on an office door. I mean, I can see that this was a theater professor and it's a vividly theatrical line from a character some people are familiar with. I wonder what the whole story is, specifically, how the school attempted to handle the matter internally and cordially.

"Althouse is now bookmarked."

Thanks, Peanutbutter!
The picture of the blonde woman now makes sense also.

Looking at that blog I see that they are talking about a lot of the same issues there that [the Isthmus Daily Page] also talks about, but without the typical liberal hate-fest and name-calling.

At the Snakeroot Café...



... you can find your own path.

(Correction: It's snakeroot, not snakewort.)

Any chance courts might say the West Hollywood ban on selling fur violates the Constitution?

Only in Ilya Somin's dreams:
If the law is challenged, judges will probably conclude that there is at least some “rational basis” for it, such as the need to protect fur-bearing animals from overhunting. Nor will it matter that the law bans the sale of fur clothing, but permits the sale of leather items. Such distinctions are also subject only to minimal scrutiny. Nonetheless, the debate over this case and others like it could help increase public awareness of the need to enforce constitutional protections for economic liberty.

Roger Ebert, quoting John Waters: "If you go home with someone and they don't have books, don't f**k them."

A stark tweet.

In the future, all the books will be ebooks, and it will be so much harder for Ebert and Waters to discern who deserves their sexual ministrations.

ADDED: One thing about books on the shelf is that you can check out the titles and form a rough opinion of the person. But that assumes the person really does read those books and that they don't have a hidden stash of books that — if you saw the titles — would send you running out the door.

What book, spotted on a prospective lover's shelf, would make you turn away and walk out the door?

Accusations of vote buying in the Wisconsin recall elections.

Daniel Bice writes:
[I]t is clear the Milwaukee County district attorney's office is investigating charges that Wisconsin Right to Life offered rewards for volunteers....

During the recall races, [Wisconsin Right to Life] had sent an email that... offered "rewards for volunteers who make an impact over the weekend by educating and encouraging family and friends to vote by absentee ballot."

Those who signed up 15 "pro-life/pro-family voters" by July 5 would get a $25 gift or gas card as a reward. The person signing up the most people in each Senate district would win a $75 gift or gas card....

[Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf] acknowledged in August that he was looking into a complaint by the state Republican Party and Media Trackers, a conservative advocacy group, over what has been dubbed the BBQ-for-votes scandal.

Wisconsin Jobs Now, a coalition of community and labor groups led by the Service Employees International Union, held at least five parties on Milwaukee's northwest side in which it offered voters free food (including chicken and ribs from Speed Queen), drawings for prizes and free shuttles to Milwaukee City Hall so they could cast absentee ballots in the Darling-Pasch contest.
Both groups defend their activities as legal.

"Arad’s inexorably powerful, enigmatically abstract pair of abyss-like pools, which demarcate the foundations of the lost Twin Towers..."

"... comes as a surprise to those of us who doubted that the chaotic and desultory reconstruction of Ground Zero could yield anything of lasting value. It is generally held that great architecture requires the participation of a great client, but just how this stunning result emerged from such a fraught and contentious process will take some time for critics and historians to sort out."

Martin Filler contemplates "Reflecting Absence."

"Mr. Christie's aides say the governor hasn't budged from his months-long insistence that he won't enter the presidential fray..."

"... despite what one described as a 'relentless' stream of calls over the last week from prominent Republicans urging him to run."

ADDED: Nate Silver on Christie's politics:
The ideology of governors can sometimes be hard to measure because they do not take roll call votes, as members of Congress do. But a method devised by Adam Bonica, a political scientist at Stanford, would infer that Mr. Christie was quite moderate based on the political orientation of his campaign contributors....

Here's another, less abstract way to think about the question. What positions has Mr. Christie taken that could potentially give him problems with the conservative base — as Mr. Romney’s stance on health care and Mr. Perry’s on immigration have?

There are actually quite a few of these....

What's going on in Wisconsin?



It's like a hurricane.

(Did that make you think this?)

President Obama and the rhetoric of shoes.

A couple days ago, speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus, President Obama said: "Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We are gonna press on. We've got work to do."



This shoe metaphor resonated for me. I know that that in 2007, candidate Obama told union workers that as President he would "put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself" and walk the picket line with them:



The reason I'm familiar with Obama's shoe rhetoric is that I saw references to it again and again during the Wisconsin protests. There were "Where's Obama?" signs with reference to shoes and even an effort to get people to mail shoes to Obama:



Let's think about the shoe as a political symbol. Where else have we seen that?

I ask that question out loud, and Meade says: Adlai Stevenson! Ah, yes. An iconic photograph:



And then I remember this one:



IN THE COMMENTS: Henry says, "Don't forget Nikita Krushchev." Still photo at the link. Here's video:



Molly recalls:
The word "sabotage" comes from a French protest of throwing shoes into a machine (mill?) so that it would break down.
The word comes from "sabot," which is a wooden shoe, but according to the Online Etymology Dictionary:
[T]he oft-repeated story that the modern meaning derives from strikers' supposed tactic of throwing old shoes into machinery is not supported by the etymology. Likely it was not meant as a literal image; the word was used in French in a variety of "bungling" senses, such as "to play a piece of music badly." 

U.S. News decides — after a 2 year study — that it's not going to change the way it does its rankings.

"That's what the head of the rankings said here Friday at a session of the annual meeting of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling after a special committee from the association presented its final report examining the rankings."

ADDED: The committee had argued against using standardized test scores as the primary indication of student quality. Soft variables matter too, and U.S. News is rewarding the schools that mostly ignore those soft variables. The schools that resist U.S. News — as I well know! — take a hit in the rankings, while other schools scramble over them in the rankings by simply picking the highest test scores they can get. And with every passing year and climb in the rankings, those schools can get higher and higher scores, creating an upward spiral, as the U.S. News-resistant schools sink lower.
The committee’s report takes issue with the way the publication styles the rankings as the “Best Colleges” because the weights assigned to different metrics are essentially arbitrary.... One of their main concerns is that, given the diversity of higher education institutions, having a list of the “best” is impossible.

Robert Morse, who oversees the rankings for U.S. News, said .. [a]s long as colleges and universities continue to weight test scores and class ranking as a crucial component of admissions criteria... it is hypocritical for institutions to ask U.S. News not to do the same. 
That's lumping all schools together. Some emphasize scores more than others. Plus, it's a vicious circle. Who will stop first? If some schools backed off on test scores — as indeed, some schools already do — other schools would see an enhanced opportunity, snatch up the relatively high scorers that higher-ranked schools passed over, and the next ranking would show the results, punishing the school that tried to back off and redoubling the incentive to admit aggressively on test scores.

But what is the alternative? Other metrics of quality are worse, and there's no way to tell people to stop relying on the rankings or prevent U.S. News from continuing to process its imperfect information and publish it.

September 25, 2011

At the Twilight Café...





... crane your attention over here.

Romney crushes Perry in the Michigan straw poll.

"Romney received 51 percent of the 681 votes cast, a whopping 34-percentage point victory over second-place Perry, who garnered 17 percent...."

What's happening to Perry?
He's over.
He's in trouble, but he can bounce back.
He's fine. Straw polls mean little.
  
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King Abdullah, giving women the right to vote: "Balanced modernization, which falls within our Islamic values...."

"... is an important demand in an era where there is no place for defeatist or hesitant people."

The news today, from Saudi Arabia:
"We refuse to marginalize the role of women in Saudi society and in every aspect, within the rules of Sharia...

"Muslim women in our Islamic history have demonstrated positions that expressed correct opinions and advice," he said, citing examples from the era of Islam's Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.

He said the members of Saudi Arabia's clerical council, or Ulema, praised and supported his decision.
It's all a matter of interpreting the text.

I get the feeling you might want to talk about Herman Cain.

He won the Florida straw poll. By a lot.
Cain's landslide victory, with 37 percent of the vote, exceeded the combined total for Perry and Mitt Romney, who only garnered 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

But it was a particularly stinging defeat for Perry, the front-runner in Florida and national polls. He had wooed the nearly 3,000 party faithful with fliers before the Presidency 5 weekend and a free breakfast Saturday.
Is this just a message to Perry and Romney or are we supposed to believe that a man who has never held political office could serve as the President of the United States?

ADDED: From the article:
Ana Navarro, of Miami-Dade and an adviser to candidate Jon Huntsman, said Perry is more show than substance.

"Rick Perry is a Texas stud, a real macho man who looks great in a cowboy hat and boots and was supposed to come galloping on his stallion to rescue Republicans and lead us to the promise land," Navarro said. "But it's become increasingly clear he can't perform. He has electile dysfunction."
Huntsman needs to rein in his quasi-spokespersons. Somebody thinks she's way wittier than she is, and sex jokes simply do not fit the presidential discourse. How is anyone supposed to respond? Take potshots at Huntsman's sexuality?!

"They have taken our democracy and formed it into a 'kleptocracy.'"

Michael Moore explains the "Occupy Wall Street" protest in NYC and incites viewers to take the protest to their local bank:



"The working poor of this country have suffered long enough, and they're not going to take it."

"Take off your bedroom slippers... stop complaining..."

Obama at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Award Dinner.

He's trying to be inspiring but... look at the expression on his face in the last minute of that clip. He is angry.

"Abolishing capital punishment in a kind of despair over its fallibility would... would tell the public that our laws and courts and juries are fundamentally incapable of delivering what most Americans consider genuine justice.."

Ross Douthat write:
It could encourage a more cynical and utilitarian view of why police forces and prisons exist, and what moral standards we should hold them to. And while it would put an end to wrongful executions, it might well lead to more overall injustice.
I've never understood why people who don't trust convictions agonize over the death penalty but blandly accept life imprisonment.