On Our President's Manner of Speaking

Barack Obama holds degrees from Ivy League institutions, has taught at a prestigious law school , and has held public office two decades, most recently, the highest office in the land. Why, then, must he adopt that silly adolescent vernacular when he addresses us extemporaneously? Example: "...doing a whole bunch of different stuff." He loves the word "bunch." If there is more than two of something, it's probably a bunch. If something happens a lot, it happens a bunch.

And what's with Obama and "folks"? Whether friend or foe, rich or poor, young or old, a set of two or more human beings constitutes folks.

So, he's at his most irritating when speaks of a 'bunch of folks," which he does frequently. This is even more irritating than "a bunch of stuff," at least to me.

Obama is also said to have that "try and" tic, though that is still undetermined." I refer to the habit that many of you have of saying, for example, that you try and do something when you mean that you try to do something. Isn't it obvious to you that you not saying what you mean? The trying and the doing would be two different efforts, but you will attempt only one act. And it's not as if you were using a contraction to save time or letters. In fact, when writing, you're using an extra letter.



Derek Jeter is not. . .

. . . one of the all time greats of the game of baseball. He is not even one of the top six or seven players in the history of the New York Yankees. He is, or rather has been, a very good player whose career has lasted a long time.  He had the good fortune to play in the media capital of the world, and on what had been, during that time, the best team in baseball. He is, therefore, overrated.

     Now, why do I say that? Am I a jealous Mets fan? Yes. But that unfortunate fact by itself doesn't make Jeter worthy of this tearful, maudlin goodbye tour.

      First, let's look at the numbers. Jeter will finish with a lifetime batting average of .310, about 260 homers, 1300 ribbies, 1900 runs scored and 260 steals. These stats were gathered over a career of 19 years. 2013 obviously doesn't count. Except for his age 39 season, he has been unusually injury-free, especially for a shortstop, which has helped him accumulate those numbers.

      At the end of this month, on the last day of his final season,  he will rank seventh in career batting average among active players (with more than a thousand at bats), a smidgen behind Joey Votto. He will top the active leaderboard in hits and runs scored, which is what you'd expect from the player who also will lead in plate appearances and at bats, all the while batting in the second slot in  the highest paid lineup in baseball. Sixth in both stolen bases and caught stealing. He will  rank 4th in strikeouts, but only 8th in walks. First in singles, 4th in doubles, 9th in triples, 22nd or 23rd in home runs. Do you see a pattern taking shape there?  Seventy-three percent of his hits have been singles.  That's the highest percentage of singles to total hits of any of the top ten active leaders except for the notorious slap-hitter Ichiro Suzuki.

     These are not the offensive numbers of a supernova, but of a very good, durable player. But what of his defensive skills? One commentator has joked that phrase most frequently uttered by an announcer calling a Yankee game is ". . . passed a diving Jeter!" Now, that's unfair. But he's been no Ozzie Smith out there. He has that patented jump-throw for balls hit into the hole; it's fun to watch. But he needed it because he didn't move to his right very well. He won five Gold Gloves.  His contemporary Omar Vizquel won 11 while playing in the same league, so Jeter fans cannot claim that he was the slickest shortstop of his era. And Jeter's last three GG's were on reputation alone. By the time he won them, he was a below average defensive shortstop.

     But what about the way he lives his life! Today was Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium, a way to sell tickets at inflated prices for a game that would otherwise be played in relative obscurity on the Sunday of Week One in the NFL. Oh, the glowing tributes! Televised interviews of both former teammates and adoring fans played the same theme: he's an inspiration to us all. Each of us should emulate his lifestyle, baseball fan or not.

I, for one, would love to.  As best I can tell, our 40 year old mega-millionaire spends the bulk of his off-duty time taking full advantage of his lifelong bachelorhood. But he keeps out of trouble; his name is never in the papers for the things that other athletes who stay out late get caught doing. I guess that's what they mean.

He hates all the attention of this farewell tour, we are told. So I give him credit for making the best of it. The tour features some unique opportunities to be in the presence of the great man.  He and his partner Steiner Sports will let you attend a lunch with him where you can get a photo and an autograph for only twenty-five hundred bucks! For just another two grand, he'll let you talk with him for a moment. And for only four hundred bucks, he'll sell you one of his dirty socks!

Derek Jeter was good enough for long enough that he deserves first ballot election into the Hall of Fame. But if he hadn't played for the Yankees of the nineties and the oughts (or whatever we call that decade), he would be considered to be what he is in fact: about as good as Craig Biggio or Robin Yount. Maybe a little better.  So enough already.


Recent Notable Quotes

“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. I know that is stark. I know that is direct. But that is reality.” Debbie Wasserman Schultz

“Perhaps yes, as a . . .  liberal leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.”  Denis McShane     Who is he? He represents Rotherham in Parliament

"But I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet." Barack Obama   Another instant classic!

The 80's called, they want their smug lefty idiot Columbia undergrad back. David Burge
The word conservative can mean many things; there’s [sic] many definitions to it, but what does it say about about a group, CPAC, where the most popular speaker they had, the one who received the most rousing reception is a moron, Sarah Palin?  Mike Barnicle   I dunno. What does it say about MSNBC that they give this serial fabricator, plagiarist and otherwise despicable man a platform to say these silly things.

"How many friends and/or business associates do you have in federal prison? Compare your answer to the president of the United States." David Burge He was on a serious roll since my last post.
"The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq." Greg Miller,  misleading his readership (without actually lying)as only a skillful journalist can.

“I said to you that the issue of bringing a lawyer in was part of a pattern that caused frustration. I NEVER said that it was part of a pattern that led to her firing because that is just not true.” Eileen Murphy, hairsplitting as only a skillful journalist can.

"Are there guys who kick with both legs?" Mike Francesa



This one would have made the list if a transcription were available, or even possible. the words "like" and "f___" and its conjugates appear frequently, I believe.

The Month in Quotes February 2014

“I saw him last week, and he was clean and sober, his old self.” David Bar Katz

I am interested in Internet evolution, evolutionary network modeling, and adaptive video streaming." Saamer  Akshkabi  Oh, and Molotov Cocktails. Did I mention Molotov cocktails?

“Oh, Bill, you’ve got a long list of problems of my presidency.” Barack Obama

“I would not take her below the ‘Smith & Wesson’ line." Dane Strother

"He's knocking on the bathroom door saying, 'Let's go!' " Unidentified 911 Dispatcher

If they're claiming the tax relief, the tax benefit to be a nonprofit for social relief or social justice, then that's what they should be doing. If it's to give them cover so they can do political activity, that's abusing the tax code." Mark Begich    Seeking "social relief" or "social justice" isn't political activity. Of course not!

“I don’t think he’s that interesting enough." Oliver Stone

"Immigration can also address labor shortages in lesser-skilled fields where there are insufficient numbers of either qualified or willing U.S. workers to fill positions." Tom Donahue   What transparent nonsense! Not enough Americans "qualified" for lesser-skilled fields? And the reason citizens are not "willing" to work for you is that you won't pay them what you would have to pay them without a cheap source of immigrant labor as competition.

“I voted ‘no’, so I’ll let these guys handle that." Amy Klobuchar

“It is not something that I feel is really part of this conversation. I don’t know if it’s really relevant to the conversation. . . . I don’t know that it’s controversial. I don’t know that it’s really relevant to the conversation.” Cecile Richards

"It's time to raise a minimum wage that's worth less than it was when Ronald Reagan was in Congress" "The Democrats" Another entry in the "If Palin had said it" file
“The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.” Barack Obama
“In connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on Ukrainian territory … I submit a proposal on using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine until the normalization of the socio-political situation in the that country.” Vladimir Putin
There isn’t going to be a war over Ukraine. There isn’t even going to be a crisis over Ukraine. David P. Goldman

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/13/3767153/a-steady-flow-of-talented-industrious.html#storylink=cpy



The Month in Quotes - January 2014

"Bette Davis said -- I think it was Bette Davis -- 'What other people think of me is none of my business.'" Roger Ailes

“It is a pivot moment for any oil-producing country that has not diversified. Ninety-two per cent of Saudi Arabia’s annual budget comes from oil. Definitely it is a worry and a concern.” Prince al-Waleed bin Talal

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Anne Kelly (not from this month, but revealed this month)

"We know that when we bring people together, when we work together despite some of our differences, that we also set an example of optimism for every one of the 8.9 million people who live here [in New Jersey]." Chris Christie    I suppose he means "work together with me, or else. . ."

Some evidence suggests that global warming may be contributing to such polar spillovers, as warmer than normal temperatures in the Arctic weaken air circulation in the vortex and make it easier to break apart. Sarah Fecht     So, when it's warm in the winter, that's global warming. And when it's cold, the cause is global warming. Oookaaay! As someone once said, if whatever happens supports your hypothesis, no matter what happens, you're doing something, but it's not science.

"I'm very good at working with Jews." Chen Guangbiao

“I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone,” Barack Obama

“Wendy is tremendously ambitious. She’s not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way.” Anonymous

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president.” Barack Obama, responding to a question about the recent collapse of his approval ratings    Uh huh. Who just told them?

"I’ve never fought the word genius when people have said that about me." Keith Olbermann

“A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy.” Reverend William Barber II


The Year in Quotes

Inclusion herein does not necessarily imply endorsement or disapproval:

“What difference, at this point, does it make?” Hillary Clinton

"Of course, almost no black people today care about Kwanzaa — just white left-wingers who try to shove this down black people’s throats in an effort to divide Americans." Glenn Grothman

In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. Mante Te'o

“You know, talk about something else that’s falling from the sky, and that is an asteroid. What’s coming our way? Is this an effect of perhaps global warming, or is this just some meteoric occasion?" Deborah Feyerick

“Things that you want in life tend to come with a cost.” John Boehner

"You brandish your little book as if I don't know what's in it" Piers Morgan

 “This amount of carnage in the civilian population, this is what we expect from war.”    Alasdair Cahn

“I just see a huge train wreck coming down. You and I have discussed this many times, and I don't see any results yet.” Max Baucus, prescient Democrat

 “The exchange has me furious. He could have come clean. He owed it to me.” Betsy Andreu

“It was, like, post-natural disaster. But stuck on a boat.” Julie Billings

“I want you to pray for me. I’m a little nervous right now.” Jorge Mario Bergoglio

“I’ll tell you what, if there’s anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, if you’re out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me.” Paula Deen

“While I would very much like to answer the committee’s questions today, I have been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject manner of this hearing,” Lois Lerner.

"We anticipate that the 2013 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have enhanced activity compared with the 1981-2010 climatology."  Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray  But yet people continue to believe weather reports that go out more than a couple of days.

"Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate." Susan A. Patton

". . . smash, smash, smash. . . " Caleb Mcgillvary

“I don’t believe I had any more than three.” Anthony Weiner

Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan 'you’re either with us or against us.'” Vladimir Putin

"I am not anti-Russian. I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today." John McCain

"Some will rejoice in today’s decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many. But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better."  Antonin Scalia

"Over my dead body!" Mohammed Morsi  How can you step down over your own dead body?

“I don’t read cursive.” Rachel Jeantel

'That is exactly what we're talking about doing. Unbelievably small, limited kind of effort. John Kerry

"We’re building a complicated piece of technology, and hopefully you’ll give us the same slack you give Apple." Kathleen Sebelius

If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as Obamacare's online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for Tim Cook's head. Ezra Klein

"When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance, she confirms it. If anyone truly qualifies for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate." Martin Bashir

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” Barack Obama

“There have been times when I’ve been in a drunken stupor." Rob Ford

“People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be  lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts—but not all—of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.”  Richard Cohen

“My mom once wrote a romance memoir about men she had dated–and I use that term loosely–and she described one guy she was currently dating––my mom was 85 at the time––as the Nijinsky of cunnilingus. And she made me proofread the book.” Anderson Cooper, the man who coined the term 'tea baggers' as a derisive term for the Tea Party.

""Remember, I didn't want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself. All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed." Edward Snowden



The great Jonathan Winters, a true original, has died.


Shakespeare was a tax-evading food hoarder?

Why anyone would believe that a semi-literate (at best) money grubber wrote the greatest compendium of literature ever produced, other than that their teachers told them so, is the real mystery of the Shakespeare authorship controversy. Grasping at staws yet again, the Stratfordians are ready with the explanation that Coriolanus was inspired by grain riots in the English midland in 1607. Laughable, yes. But it's as close a parallel between the inexplicably scant biography of the Statford man, and the great works he supposedly wrote, as I've ever seen them produce. Keep trying, though. And when you tire of that, examine the works in light of the known, well documented facts of the life of Edward DeVere.


Scott W. Atlas, MD: The Democrat's fallback plan when Obamacare inevitably fails.

The Year in Quotes

"Get back on board, for ____'s sake!" Gregorio Maria De Salvo

"He seems to have confused the national interest with his own interest in pleasing the environmentalists in his political base." Mitt Romney

"We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy." George Zimmerman

"If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn't have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, 'OK, we're going to land somewhere safely. Don't worry." Mark Wahlberg

“The latest data we have on this thing we have been watching for the past few months show that it is not simply ‘like a Higgs’ but is very like a Higgs,” Oliver Buechmuller

“The president has a big stick.” Joe Biden

"This was not a mistake by these men. It was not an oversight. It was not misjudgment on their part. This was a conspiracy of silence by officials actively working to conceal the truth." Linda Kelly

"Buy beer." Logan Morrison

"That's a clown question, bro." Bryce Harper and Harry Reid

"I'm not going for the Sixteenth Chapel." Justin Bieber

"There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives," Mitt Romney, reminding us that a "gaffe" is what you call a truthful statement by a politician. A good man, but too many "binders full of women" blurts.

"Join me in welcoming the next President of the United States, Paul Ryan" Mitt Romney  That statement may yet prove to be true!

"Did you hear what [Pussy Riot] said in the courtroom? 'Even though we're behind bars, we're more free than anyone.'" Antony

"Yeah, good thing it's the year that Adele released the greatest record ever. I don't think we're gonna be walking home with that one." Dave Grohl

"I never asked for and never got any benefit because of my heritage." Elizabeth Warren true only if you know that she has no heritage to "benefit" from.

"If you've got a business — you didn't build that." Barack Obama Leftists complain that that this quote was "taken out of context," and then they hasten to add only some of the supposedly missing context. At the link is all of the context, in which he evinces his belief that success is mostly a matter of dumb luck, and that, therefore. . .

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Todd Akin

"I see an awful lot of wire, trip wires, jars full of ammunition, jars full of liquid and ... things that look like mortar rounds." Dan Oates

I think there’s just something about getting into chlorine water that you just automatically go.” Ryan Lochte

"They're going to put y'all back in chains." Joe Biden

. . .what do you want me to tell Romney? I can’t tell him to do that. I can’t tell him to do that ...to himself.” Clint Eastwood

"This all dates back to when we were growing up in Kenya." Barack Obama

"My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, I could be, I could be Vice President!" Joe Biden  Ya gotta love him!

"I'm an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability." Jill Kelley

"In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now." Joseph Lhota

"Oh why, why do I have a three year old sitting around me. Mariah Carey

“If you watch ‘Two and a Half Men,’ please stop watching ‘Two and a Half Men.’ I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men’ and I don’t want to be on it.” Angus T. Jones

"If there is evil, we need to figure out how to deal with it as best we can; but we cannot eliminate it." Mark Levin

"There's not a minute that goes by that we don't think about her family and what they must be going through," Mel Greig

"We love each other. I felt like I needed to be home and this is home for me." Crystal Hefner



Trivia time. If this happened in real life, and all four these celebrities had achieved at least a certain degree of fame by the time of this meeting, it could only have taken place during one year.
What year would that  have been? If you're one year early, you get half credit. If you're one year late, you're dead wrong.


Post election thoughts

Well, I was wrong. I thought Romney would eke out a win in the popular vote. But Obama not only won by two full points; he actually garnered a majority. As for the electoral vote, I thought Obama would win, but not by that huge margin.

Obama won 8 of the 10 richest counties in America. I almost feel like telling them: OK, you voted for higher taxes on yourselves; here they are. Maybe Obama will do to you what his Socialist buddy Hollande is doing to your counterparts in France. I'd bet Obama would if he could.

I voted in the evening in my diverse neighborhood in Queens. As I reached the front of the line, I noticed that I was one of the few, if not the only, white male obviously over 35 years old waiting to vote. I would not have noticed it at all if, when I told the persons at the desk  my name and address, they had not asked me for photo ID! Yep. Right here in New York. When I reminded them that our state does not have a voter ID law, they said they needed it just because they were having trouble spelling my last name. Weird, since it's quite common. Anyway, instead of showing them my drivers license, I took out my attorney's ID card. That satisfied them, even though it has no address. So maybe they were telling the truth. Or maybe they were intimidated. I'll never know.


A Couple of Stray Thoughts

One day to go. Even political junkies like me are getting weary of it. Anyway, here's my prediction. No, let's call it my hunch. Romney wins the popular vote by a point. Obama is declared the winner of the electoral vote after several days of recounts at a minimum, or several months of litigation at worst.

Here's another hunch. Why do baseball umpires seem so much worse today than they used to?


I'm old enough that, in the first game I remember seeing on TV, Duke Snider hit a home run into the right field stands at Ebbets Field. The screen on that DuMont TV (now forgotten, DuMont Laboratories once held a semi-monopoly on television production) was almost perfectly round, with a diameter of about 9 inches. The picture was black, white and kinda fuzzy.  No viewer could tell from such a presentation whether a fielder missed a tag, or whether a ball bounced one inch fair or foul. Those were the days - for umpires.

Yesterday, I watched the football Giants lose to the Steelers on  a top-of the-line, 50-inch, color, high-definition Samsung. Every close play was re-shown in instant replay with "super-slo" motion from multiple angles. It's good thing that all scoring plays and turnovers are reviewed, and coaches can call for more reviews with only the risk of losing a time out. I could have served as the replay official from my living room

Baseball only allows it for very limited purposes, such as guaging home runs. If they used like they should, Andres Galarraga would not have been robbed of his perfect game, and the Mets would still be awaiting their first no-hitter, and Johan Santana wouldn't have ruined his surgically repaired shoulder by throwing 134 pitches, and lost the rest of yet another season. OK, this is not the most important problem facing humanity, but I can't be serious all the time.


Obama's minions get the message

My favorite line from Obama's speech in the UN this week was this one: "The future must not belong to those who insult the prophet of Islam." Why not? Why does the President of a nation with something like the  First Amendment have any business commenting about religious speech?

But anyway, the Democrats who run New York City have obviously gotten the message.  NYC Prohibits Controversial Ads in Wake of Islamic Vandalism.

Lesson learned. If you see something that offends you on public property, deface it. You may get arrested, but you'll also get your way.


is one of several reasons I love the Olympics.


It's a nuisance. A minor one, but one worth noting, since it happens so often. President Barack Hussain Obama has flown into New York City yet again this evening in furtherance of  his re-election campaign. Why? Well, it's not like the Empire State is up for grabs, like, say Ohio. No, it's because he wants to raise money from rich New Yorkers that he can spent to buy TV ads in Ohio. But it chokes up traffic something fierce. Poor shlubs like us, trying to get home from work, get stuck in traffic, as his caravan whizzes by on the way from JFK airport to the upper east side, where one-percenters will present him with checks with many zeros on them in return for a handshake and a photo.

How's this for a crazy idea, rich liberals? Just give him the money. Put the check in the mail. Don't make him come here to beg for it.  Is the photo with Obama worth that much? Then fly down to D.C., and get your picture taken there. OK? Leave us out of it.


In the Mail

Oh, how often we heard about it! We still do. Bush and Katrina. Bush and Katrina. But this has gone down the MSM's memory hole.


Here are the answers to last month's "are you smarter than a 60 year old?" thing. If you think the answer to the first question means "a can of Coors Light," stop reading.

01..The Lone Ranger left behind a silver bullet. 
02.The Ed Sullivan Show 
03..On Route 66 
04..To protect the innocent. 
05.The Lion Sleeps Tonight 
06.The limbo 
08.Louis Armstrong 
09.The Timex watch 
10..Freddy, The Freeloader and 'Good Night and God Bless.'
11.Draft cards (Bras were also burned. Not flags, as some have guessed) 
12.Beetle or Bug 
13.Buddy Holly
16. Lucky Strike/Means Fine Tobacco 
17. Howdy Doody Time  18. Shadow


Via the Volokh Conspiracy: CBS News has sources that have the inside dope on how this puzzling result from from the Supreme Court on ObamaCare came to be.  Roberts did switch, but he didn't write what turned out to be the dissent, as some speculated.  Note that the dissent was not signed by a single judge, with others joining. It was a joint opinion,  which is an unusual sign of solidarity. I called it the 'Kennedy dissent' below because I was so surprised that he signed on to it. It doesn't respond directly to Roberts arguments not because it was once the majority opinion, but because, these sources say, the dissenters were just tired and frustrated with him and his negotiations. It's a subtle demonstration of how angry they were with him.

He switched because he was concerned about how the public would view the court if it overturned an important, democratically-enacted law. It's funny how liberals never worry about things like that.

But this could  be the bigger consequence: Kennedy may be so ticked off that that he stays more firmly with the conservative wing going forward. We shall see.


Like most news junkies, I've had a plethora of thoughts in reaction to the Supreme Court's opinions on ObamaCare (the OCA, if you insist). Most of them have already been expressed by others on the net, and I don't want to be repititious. But here are a couple of reactions that I haven't heard yet. They won't make sense unless you've read the opinions.

1. Why can Ginsburg get away with saying that  the OCA is a valid regulation of interstate commerce, when, as a practical matter, there is no such thing as interstate commerce in health insurance? Neither you,  nor your employer, Mr. and Ms. America, can buy health insurance from a company that is separated from you by a state boundary. Sure, as Ginsburg writes, the proportion of GDP, and, therefore, the amount of insurance that pays for most of it, is huge. But that doesn't make the insurance "interstate." It seems to me that the only type of health insurance that could even be possibly subject to federal regulation should be the type purchased under the exception described at the link.

2. I've seen a lot of speculation that Kennedy's dissent was originally written as a majority opinion, one that Chief Roberts belatedly abandoned. The fact that Kennedy's opinion responds, not to Roberts, but to Obama's arguments, is evidence of that. But the reference by Kennedy to Ginsburg's opinion as a "dissent," (the supposed implication being that Ginsburg's work was not originally a concurrence) is not. Ginsburg concurred with Roberts on the idea that the individual mandate was a "tax," but dissented from his view that the interstate commerce clause couldn't save the OCA. Kennedy's references to Ginsburg's work refer only to the dissenting portion of her opinion. Unless I missed something - not impossible, since it's a complicated bunch of stuff.

Ok. I agree this is boring. Sorry.


Here's Ronald Reagan being interrupted with questons by reporters. No one was aghast. No one said they were rude.


In the Mail

If you miss even one of these, I wish I were as young as you. For those too lazy to google, I'll post the answers some time when I get around to it. The first one implicates important stuff - or not.

Are you smarter than a 60 year old?    A TEST FOR 'OLDER' KIDS.    
I was picky who I sent this to. It had to be those who might actually  remember. So have some fun, my sharp-witted friends. This is a test for  us ‘older kids’!     
01.After the Lone Ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset,  the grateful citizens would ask, Who was that masked man? Invariably,  someone would answer, I don't know, but he left this behind. What did  he leave behind? ________________.  
02.When the Beatles first came to the U.S. .In early 1964, we all  watched them on The _______________ Show.  
03.'Get your kicks, __________________.'  
04.'The story  you are about to see is true. The names have been changed  to ___________________.'   05.'In the jungle, the mighty jungle, ________________.'  
06. After the Twist, The Mashed Potato, and the Watusi, we 'danced'  under a stick that was lowered as low as we could go in a dance called  the '_____________.'  
07.Nestle's makes the very best . . . . ________________.'  
08..Satchmo was America 's 'Ambassador of Goodwill.' Our parents shared  this great jazz trumpet player with us. His name was _________________.  
09.What takes a licking and keeps on ticking? _______________.  
10. Red Skeleton's hobo character was named __________________ and Red  always ended his television show by saying, 'Good Night, and '________  ________.'  
11.Some Americans who protested the Vietnam War did so by burning   their______________.  
12. The cute little car with the engine in the back and the trunk in  the front was called the VW. What other names did it go by?  ____________ & ________.  
13.In 1971, singer Don MacLean sang a song about, 'the day the music  died.' This was a tribute to ________________.  
14.We can remember the first satellite placed into orbit. The Russians  did it. It was called ___________________.  
15. One of the big fads of the late 50's and 60's was a large plastic  ring that we twirled around our waist. It was called the __  ______________.  
16. Remember LS/MFT _____ _____/_____ _____ _____? 
17. Hey Kids! What time is it? It's _____ ______ _____! 
18. Who knows what secrets lie in the hearts of men? The _____ Knows!


It just got a lot harder to be Mets fan.


This week's ceremony at the White House for the unveiling of Dubya's official portrait reminds me of something that I find striking, but no one evers seems to remark upon.

It was once the unspoken rule that former Presidents never publicly criticized the current holder of the office. Never. Or, at least, not within living memory. That changed with Jimmy Carter, who spent the Reagan years jeering from the sidelines, when he wasn't pretending to be a carpenter. He continues to attack whenever a Republican occupies the White House.

Bill Clinton has followed Carter's example.

Meanwhile, neither Reagan nor the Bushes ever whispered a harsh word about their Democrat successors. Quite the reverse. To this day.

It's a disgrace that the Democrats have unilaterally abandoned this uplifing feature of American political life.


In 1968, LBJ won the New Hampshire primary by a 49.6%  to 41.9% margin over respected, veteran United States Senator Eugene McCarthy. That result was so humiliating that LBJ quit the race within days. Remember that when you consider the result of yesterday's Kentucky primary, which President Barack Obama won with a similar margin over a nobody - literally, a nobody!


After hearing so many snarky remarks from Chris Matthews about how poorly Sarah Palin would do if she were to appear on Jeopardy, it was delightful to watch him make a fool of himself on the show last night. The look on his face when realized he was doomed to finish last - priceless.

I also got a kick out of this handy reference guide to Obama's gaffes and goofs by the Blonde Gator.


Here's an example of why I can't be bothered to blog much anymore. I could have written that, word-for-word, as soon as the Roberts interview concluded. But why bother? Someone else will do it, and, as in this case, did do it.  


I'm back, sort of. After having neglected to blog recently for reasons that would bore you, were I to elaborate.

Anyway, the big phony news of this phony news cycle is that the Commander-in-Chief of America's Armed Forces has finally acknowledged what everyone knew: he supports gay marriage. More on that later, but for now, I, a proud veteran, have one question. Will he bar gay soldiers, who serve "on [his] behalf," from marrying each other? 


Is "transphobic" now a word? If so, when did that happen? And what exactly does it mean? Based on its Greek and Latin  roots, it should mean fear of crossing, or fear of going beyond. Just like "homophobic" should mean fear of sameness. Somebody should be fixing these poorly-derived neologisms.
P.S. Blogger's spellchecker advises that it be broken up into two words: trans phobic. How does that help?


The Year in Quotes

"He was just not the sort of person who would wind up in a landfill." Bayard Marin

"Hope I'm not a toad. :) i'm a very fit fun classy guy." Christopher Lee

"My daughter was born on a tragic day, and she went out on a tragic day," John Green

But our assessment is that the Egyptian Government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people. Hillary Clinton

"We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was." Paul Krugman, who continued to blame the Tea Party even as he admitted that the shooter was a madman.

"There's everything to connect this to partisan politics and talk radio and cable TV except evidence. There's just none of that." James Carville

"I'm in a good place now. I'm taking care of myself and my constitutents. ... I emphatically can do the job." David Wu

"There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer."  Hillary Clinton

“I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did.” Tom Delay

"Why don't you leave this to the boys, sweet cakes?" Ron Frankin

"You know, we have three branches of government. We have a House, we have a Senate, we have a President." Chuck Schumer

“I’d like another glass of wine.” Valerie Jarrett

"Justice has been done." Barack Obama

“I know her very well, and she would be very comfortable with the decision that I made. I have every intention that she’ll be there for launch. I’ve talked to her doctors about that. I obviously weighed time I could spend with her over time I could spend with NASA and my crew.” Mark Kelly.

“Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General MacArthur so delicately put it.” Robert Gates

"It would be uncivilized to try to push and shove, and what good would it do anyway?" Kojo Saeseki

"I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon" Barack Obama

"Listen, all these rights are legislatively created. They didn't come down on tablets from the top of a mountain." Chris Christie

"As the Recovery Act funds that saw through many states over the last two years are phasing out and it is undeniable that the Recovery Act helped every single state represented in this room manage your budgets, whether you admit it or not." Barack Obama,

“I always use the word extreme. That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.” Chuck Schumer

"But I did not not break the law, and I never, ever thought that I was breaking the law." John Edwards

"Now some of you may be thinking about Ron Paul – I promise you his followers are the biggest a-holes of them all." Mark Levin

"There’s just no other word for her." Bill Maher I can think of plenty of words for him.

“That’s the question. How we got from Antigone on her knees crying over the loss of her dead brother to Snooki, crying over the loss of her cellphone.” Colin Quinn

"I thought I was gonna have plenty of cool phones and stuff." Barack Obama

“Two plus two is four. Never five, much less six or seven — as we have sometimes pretended.” Raul Castro

"... most conservatives are wildly stupid." Keith Olbermann who went to the ag school at Cornell so that he could claim to be an Ivy Leaguer

"Well, it's a falsifiable prediction." Glenn Reynolds. Well, I hope that my death falsifies it to my satisfaction.

"The robots can only do so much. Eventually, people will have to enter the buildings." Takeshi Makigami

"And yeah, I hear that she wants to now engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling, versus, I guess, just the straight-on reading-into-that-teleprompter-screen storytelling. So more power to her. I wish her well with her multi-dimensional storytelling." Sarah Palin

"It looks like an atomic bomb went off in a straight line." Brian White

"Anti-immigrant is one thing, anti-illegal-immigrant is quite another. It's like saying that because you don't like people breaking into your home, you are anti-guest." "Voltaire"

“To twerps demanding I cover Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal: Whole thing appears to be faked. Sometimes it pays to wait for the facts.” Howard Kurtz. He says he meant "tweeps"

"Congressman Anthony Weiner was stalked, set up, smeared, and this was coordinated to protect Clarence Thomas from scrutiny." Somebody at the Daily Kos called "Stranded Wind"

"The key is to have a short, thought out statement that tackles the top line questions and then refer people back to it. Have a couple of iterations of: 'This is silly. Like so many others, I follow Rep. Weiner on Twitter. I don't know him and have never met him. He briefly followed me and sent me a dm saying thank you for the follow. That's it.'" Anthony Weiner

“So, I was with some doctors last night and one of them said and ‘You know, we keep saying, why did he do it?' He has a lovely wife. Why is he doing it? This is not my theory. That it is a result of Viagra and what is the other one?” Barbara Walters

"He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him. This man doesn't take a day off." Mrs. You-Know-Who

"The other thing that happened though, this goes to the point you were just making, is there are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. If you see it when you go to a bank you use the ATM, you don't go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport and you use a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate." Barack Obama, in response to a question from Ann Curry about why unemployment remains stubbornly high.

“He took a trillion dollars and where it went, nobody knows. He dismantled healthcare, he weakened America around the world, he sold out the State of Israel. All he’s got to run on is being a Democrat and indicting the other fellow.” David Mamet

"First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously." Barack Obama  Jared Monti was killed in action.

“Imagine how we would feel if there it had been 24 American soldiers killed by Pakistani forces at this moment.” Dick Durbin, who has an uncanny ability to express the anti-American side of any event as soon it occurs, before the smoke clears, even though he purports to be a representative of the United States government. And get re-elected! He is a truly unique talent.

"I guess the joke is on him." Chris Wallace
“[E]mboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell's first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.” Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

“I just started to remember more.” Herman Cain

"That would make him the highest-paid historian in history." Mitt Romney

“Now, sitting next to Gore is taxing. In fact, it’s unpleasant.” Bob Woodward

"We have entered an uncertain moment with North Korea." Michael Breen

"She marries more hot blonds than Charlie Sheen." Mark Simone

"Hey guys, you made it." SFC Rodolfo Ruiz

"First of all I’d like to thank Speaker Pelosi for what I regard as an early Christmas gift." Newt Gingrich

"There is a certain laziness about me." Barack Obama


The most annoying phrase of the millenium so far: at the end of the day.


In the Mail

If this is fake, how did he do it?


Day Tripper

To my knowledge, this is the only Beatle appearance on television featuring Go-Go dancers:


In the Mail

Cagney and Hope, or, how's that Hopey - Cagney stuff workin' out for ya?


A jobs program for lawyers. Jonathan Weil notes how companies bailed out by TARP are now suing each other. In at least one case, the the litigatants are both majority-owned by the taxpayers. And Freddie Mac is suing the IRS! That means you, Mr. and Ms Taxpayer, are paying the lawyers for both sides. And these lawyers make better money than most of us do. What a great country.


The Chairman of the Democratic National Committee refuses to reputiate Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa's "take out those son of a bitches" command, delivered in front of the Presidential seal, immediately before Obama replaced him at the podium:

White House spokesman Jay Carney takes the same position:

By the way, I am alone in believing that Jay Carney is the dumbest ox ever to occupy the position of White House Spokesman? This guy doesn't even know that the Teamsters quite publicly split with the AFL-CIO just a few years ago, after a long history of hostility between the two. He has moments like this seemingly every day:


The Week in Quotes

“There’s no doubt we’re being persecuted. But while I was sitting in my conference room, while agents blocked the door to my office, I decided two things. One, we were going to try and fight this in court. Secondly, we were going to give this issue visibility.” Henry Juszkiewicz

"You can’t design a defense to stop me." Michael Vick

“I don’t claim to be a journalist. I hold myself to higher standards of transparency and disclosure.” Michael Arrington

"The Tenth Amendment . . . That's the slave amendment."  Jesse Jackson

"[I] pulled our country back from the brink." Barack Obama   Of what? Prosperity? Civility?

"As a result of heavy Guard fire, they've asked for a cease-fire. ... A cease-fire with a terrorist group doesn't make any sense. We want them to leave the border region before any dialogue can be held."
Hamid Ahmadi

"This is a man who has devoted his life to the public domain, whose passion is politics, who is committed to the left. How could he stay out of the supreme confrontation when we have Nicolas Sarkozy in front of us and a categorical imperative to beat him?" Pierre Moscovici  His passion is politics?

"Let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong" [sic]. Jimmy Hoffa, the speaker immediately preceding the President of the United States at a Detroit campaign rally

“I’ve seen Detroit prove the cynics and the naysayers wrong.” Barack Obama

“I support him more than 100 percent.” Karen Porter, a Detroit resident who has been unemployed for three years


The Month in Quotes - August, 2011

Sharia law has nothing to do with this at all. It's crazy. It's crazy. … So, this Sharia law business is crap. It's just crazy. And I'm tired of dealing with the crazies. I mean, you know, it's just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background.  Chris Christie (he said it in July, but I didn't hear it till this month)

Governor Christie would have you believe opposition to Mr. Mohammed was sheer bigotry. . ..  It's a narrative Christie fans would like to help cement. It's not true. For the record, Sohail Mohammed is not just an attorney. He served as a board member for an Islamist organization, the American Muslim Union. Andrew McCarthy

"And I have to tell you, I say this to you politely. The media in America has a bigger responsibility than it's exercising today. The media has got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion just because somebody asserts it or simply because somebody says something which everybody knows is not factual.It doesn't deserve the same credit as a legitimate idea about what you do. And the problem is everything is put into this tit-for-tat equal battle and America is losing any sense of what's real, of who's accountable, of who is not accountable, of who's real, who isn't, who's serious, who isn't." John Kerry, with the clarity he usually displays when speaking extemporaneously

"This is a Tea Party downgrade." David Axelrod

“I believe this is without question the Tea Party downgrade.” John Kerry, one hour after Axelrod. They all get the same talking points memo, and follow its instructions. Remember "culture of corruption"?

"When I left I met quite a few soldiers and policemen in hiding who said they had been told to kill the population or be killed by the security forces. Sometimes we would be hiding in the same house." Gaƫtan Vannay

“If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ‘cause you look like you’re crazy. You have damaged your own race.” Michael Nutter

"The model they innovated in that effort was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people — by name, I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists, to pretend to be scientists, to put out the message: 'This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes.' Bulls--t! 'It may be sun spots.' Bulls--t! 'It’s not getting warmer.' Bulls--t!" Al Gore   A list of names? Remind you of anyone, Al?

"It's like the old days. It's bringing the community spirit back. Even though it's a sad way to do it, it's bringing the community together."   "Ariom"

"You dream about it but when it finally happens it's kind of surreal." Jim Thome

"The Tea party can go straight to hell." Maxine Waters

“You don’t want to know. Let’s just say it was me and me. Hell of a way to go, right? Greg Schiano

"Would you consider yourself to be a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community?” Admissions Office, Elmhurst College

"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." Drew Carey

"It is a tragic irony that papal economics mimic those of the Church’s socialist opponents." Richard Epstein, who knows a lot about economics, but little about religion

"Who likes wet people?" Michelle Bachmann

"You are a liberal Democrat who advocates the Democratic Party’s positions on gay rights, abortion, and feminism. Which branch of Islam comports with your position on these issues?" Scott Johnson

"So… who had Vermont in the “State Hardest Hit By Irene” pool?" Brendan Loy

"We're not Manhattan, but we have human lives here in Vermont, too." Peter Shumlin

Liberal With Sanity Mickey Kaus: Top 10 Things Obama Could Have Done Differently  But, Mickey, if he'd done them, he wouldn't have been Obama.


Jonathan Weil on Warren Buffet's idea of shared sacrifice.


If you think democracy is disappearing on this side of the Atlantic, listen to Pat Condell explain what's going on over there.


The first line of a story entitled "U.S. To Deny Taiwan New F-16 Fighters" by Wendell Minnick in Defense News"
"Bowing to Chinese pressure, the U.S. will deny Taiwan's request for 66 new F-16C/D fighter aircraft, a Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND) official said."

Does China ever bow to American pressure?


Can you recall a bad movie that had Gene Hackman in its cast? I can't.


Here's what happens during a mob panic, like the one today on Wall Street. The mob behaves irrationally, doing the exact opposite of what each individual member of the mob would do if he or she stopped for a minute to think.

OMG, said the media all weekend after Standard and Poors reduced Uncle Sam's credit score on Friday evening, the stock market will crash on Monday! And it did.   US debt, also known as bills, notes and bonds, became riskier investments because of S&P's pronouncement the US was less capable of paying its debt than it had been before.

Now, what is a stock market crash? It's what happens when most of the people in the market want to sell. To make the sale, they have to take less for the stock. Supply and demand. No Nobel Prize in economics needed.

But what did those panicked sellers do with the money they got in return for their devalued stocks? They purchased US debt with it! Oy!


When I was about 4 or 5...

I thought that, when they played a record, the artists were actually at the radio station's studio, performing the song.

I also thought that the Ray Charles Singers had something to do with Ray Charles.

I thought that Ozzie and Harriet was what would come to be known as a reality show, sort of like Jersey Shore without the R rated stuff.

I thought that that the Olympic Games had been going on every four years continuously since about 400 BC, with occasional breaks for world wars.

I thought that Mississippi was a young woman: "Miss Issipi."

I didn't understand why nuns never got pregnant, like wives did.

I couldn't figure out why I wasn't Jewish, since Jesus was.

I just assumed that the Dodgers were coming back to Brooklyn, sooner or later.
Akoto Ofori-Atta: What killed the R&B groups?


More cajoling from our president last night. Ergo, another denunciation of tax breaks for "corporate jets." When will somebody remind him to his face that the accellerated depreciation for them was a part of his vaunted stimulus package. I mean, I want to yell at my TV when whenever he says it. It must poll well.


I was going to post that it would not be long until the someone on the left would blame conservatism for the slaughter perpetrated in Norway this weekend by madman Anders Breivik. But first I figured I'd better check the usual left-wing sites to make sure it hadn't happened already. Of course, it had. The first place I looked was the Daiky Kos. There it was. By "Leftcoastbreakdown." And the author makes the inevitable Hitler comparison, beginning with the very first sentence.