Friday, February 29, 2008

Best of the MOB, February 22-28

Update, Tues am: Congrats to Brad, who came from behind to win this week.

Update, noon, Monday: Voting is tied, so I'll leave the poll up a bit longer...

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Happy Friday!

Please check out the posts below and vote either here or at the sidebar. The poll will stay open until noon on Monday. Vote early and often, and have a great weekend!


Best of the MOB, 2/22 - 2/28/08
  • "To politicize or not politicize," Brad Carlson, February 24. Nominated for noting the Strib's Nick Coleman's hypocrisy (shocking, I know) in covering tragedies in Minnesota.

  • "Barb Davis White Website Open For Business," Freedom Dogs, February 25. Nominated for promoting the candidate with hopes to take down Keith Ellison in CD 5 this year.

  • "Clowntime Is Over," Mr. Dilettante, February 26. Nominated for some hard questions to local representatives who voted to override the transportation bill veto.

  • "Party like its 1992," Casual Sundays with Mr. Curry, February 26. Nominated for recognizing a sort of deja vu in this presidential race.

  • "The Economy," Cold Hearted Truth, February 28. Nominated for correcting the record regarding the casual (mis)use of the "R-word."


  • (poll now closed)

    Thursday, February 28, 2008

    Why I Should Replace Captain Ed in the Northern Alliance

    It seems a scrum has broken out between NIGP and KAR over which should be chosen to replace The Cap'n in the Northern Alliance of Blogs, now that he's left to join Hot Air.

    I would hereby humbly submit that I, yours truly, should be chosen ahead of Nihilist Sisyphus or Foot for this honor. Following are the top reasons why (note: a Top 13 list is clearly better than a Top 12 or Top 11).

    Top 13 Reasons Why Northern Alliance Wannabe Should Be Promoted

    13. There is virtually zero risk of my being hired away by Michelle Malkin.

    12. I'm already a co-blogger with Chad.

    11. I have, on one occasion, been Hugh-lanched.

    10. While I have no experience on talk radio, I do frequently talk to my radio.

    9. I'm currently raising two small children. What better experience is there for dealing with the Fraters?

    8. I'm willing to start reading Nick Coleman columns. ** shudder **

    7. While I'm not a Notre Dame fan, I am willing to go several weeks without washing my Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt.

    6. I already qualify as a Mitch look-alike. Does that mean that Mitch looks like Fecke by induction?


    (photo stolen from Knifeless Ben)


    5. I'm willing to start an "It was 20 years ago today" series (although I was in college then and, therefore, may not remember much).

    4. My presence would double the Northern Alliance representation at the Patriot Golf Open.

    3. My presence would double the Northern Alliance representation at the MilF.

    2. I'm willing to change my "Best of the MOB" feature to "Best of the NARN."

    1. I'm willing to change the name of my blog to Northern Alliance Intern.

    Global warming is still full of crap

    More from the Grapevine:
    Tuesday we told you about several areas around the planet experiencing record cold and snowpack — in the face of all the predictions of global warming.

    Now there is word that all four major global temperature tracking outlets have released data showing that temperatures have dropped significantly over the last year. California meteorologist Anthony Watts says the amount of cooling ranges from 65-hundredths of a degree Centigrade to 75-hundreds of a degree.

    He says that is a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. Watts says it is the single fastest temperature change ever recorded — up or down.

    Some scientists contend the cooling is the result of reduced solar activity — which they say is a larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases.

    This is why so many have stopped using the term, "Global Warming," and are instead hysterical about "Global Climate Change." Which is bad. And still Bush's fault.

    It used to be a common joke, particularly in Minnesota, that if you didn't like the weather, wait five minutes. Now, we're all gonna die!!! Give me a break.

    Let's face it, folks. We aren't any good at predicting what the weather will be like tomorrow -- much less 100 years from now.

    Wednesday, February 27, 2008

    Global warming is full of crap, part ???

    From the Grapevine:
    New information from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center indicates much of the world is suffering through record cold and snow this winter. Snow cover over North America and much of Asia is greater than at any time since 1966. The average January temperature was three-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit colder than the average for the 20th century. China is said to be experiencing its must brutal winter in 100 years.

    And despite fears by some that the Arctic ice pack is melting — one senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service tells the National Post that ice is up to 20 centimeters thicker in many places than at this time last year. Experts from the National Research Council — and the Russian Academy of Natural sciences — both predict global cooling in the near future if sunspot activity does not increase soon.

    Stay tuned for the hysteria in anticipation of the next Ice Age. Which will also be Bush's fault.

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    Donkey fight!

    Is it wrong that I'm enjoying as much as I am the in-fighting between the Democrats this primary season?

    From the raw exploitation of race/gender politics, to phony tears, to the wooing of Superdelegates, to most recently, charges of plagiarism and the outrage following the leaking of old controversial photos, Barry and Hillary have battled in a sort of political cage match that I can only hope run straight through to the Convention, if not beyond.

    I hope I'm wrong, but my fear is that these two are more ruthless in beating up each other than McCain will be toward the eventual nominee.

    So keep it up -- fight, fight, fight!

    Rotten deadbeat kids!

    From the Grapevine:
    Police in the suburban Chicago town of Carpentersville say the Internal Revenue Service is seeking back taxes on $60,000 of income and unemployment benefits from a 7-year-old whose identity was stolen.

    The victim's mother tried to claim the boy as a dependent on her 2007 income tax return. But she was told by the IRS she could not because his Social Security number was being used by someone else. Police say a suspect in custody used the boy's personal information to get work, buy a truck, pay bills and collect benefits.

    Now the IRS is said to be holding the second-grader liable for the taxes and has sent him a notice demanding payment.

    Don't worry, though. Justice was ultimately served. While the kid was forced to pay the back taxes, the identity theft suspect was ruled to be liable for three overdue library books, a milk money tab in excess of $6, and a book report on Abraham Lincoln.

    Thursday, February 21, 2008

    Update re: "Disenfranchised"

    A few weeks ago, I wrote this in frustration over not being able to participate in my caucus on Super Tuesday and, as a result, being seemingly shut out of the political process for this election cycle.

    Both Marty (in the comments of that post) and a kind reader by email indicated that I may have been given some bad information by the state GOP office and that I should instead consult the officers of my BPOU (for me, SD 44). Said the friendly emailer:
    Contrary to what the state GOP told you, you can be nominated for and get elected as a BPOU delegate without being present....

    If you know someone in your precinct, just submit your name to them. Also, if you have any resolutions to submit, they can do so as well.

    If you don't know anyone in your precinct, ask the state GOP who the BPOU officers are. Then just contact one of them and submit your name.

    I am thankful for these tips and expect to employ them in the future.

    Moreover, it looks like there is another opportunity to get involved for this cycle. At the SD 44 blog, Chad posted the details about the BPOU convention next week.

    Thanks, Chad. I'll be there.

    Best of the MOB, February 15-21

    Update: Congrats to Teh (Ex-)Mayer, AAA, for winning this week's BOMOB.

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    Happy Friday!

    Please check out the posts below and vote either here or at the sidebar. The poll will stay open until noon on Monday. Vote early and often, and have a great weekend!

    (And note the correct spelling of "nominated" -- thanks, NW)

    Best of the MOB, 2/15 - 2/21/08
  • "To all parents...," Blonde Moment, February 15. Nominated for a bit of wisdom and encouragement for parents.

  • "New Life," Space Beagle, February 21. Nominated for taking time from a newly chaotic schedule to announce the birth of his son (congrats!!).

  • "Bad data fueling "global warming" hype?," Shock and Blog, February 21. Nominated for calling out more junk science done to promote MMGW.

  • "Absolute Unaccountability - Joint Powers Bureaucracy," Residual Forces, February 21. Nominated for the latest in a series of writings to fight against the "Transit Tax" bill.

  • "You Call This A Scandal?," Jay Reding, February 21. Nominated for analysis of the motives behind the NYT's McCain hit piece.


  • (poll now closed)

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    Like pulling the handle on a nickel slot machine...

    ...I'm hopeful for change in the future.

    Just say, "Yes. We. Can!!" instead of "Cherry. Cherry. Damn it!!," and you've stated the entirety of Barack Obama's policy positions. Top it with a heaping helping of platitudinal goodness, and voila! -- instant presidential material.

    Recently, the Clinton campaign has charged that B. O. may have gotten a little help with his speechifying. Meh. It sounds like an instance where attribution was implied rather than stated. To call it plagiarism is probably an overstatement.

    Over the weekend, there was a collective gasp (Hugh on Friday, NARN on Saturday -- see Mitch's writeup) over Michelle Obama's recent claim that her husband was in a unique position to "save our souls." Feh. Yes, it's a dramatic statement, but no, I do not believe that an Obama presidency would resemble a theocracy.

    And today, the buzz is that M. O. stepped in it again, stating, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." Geh. While certainly hyperbolic and perhaps bordering on stupid, I expect Michelle was trying to convey the merits of her husband, not necessarily to denegrate America, the troops, etc.

    What to me is supremely galling about this campaign, however, is that it is so devoid of substance. Barack Obama is the master of talking for hours without saying anything. To call B. O. an empty suit is offensive to empty suits. There are only so many permutations of the words "hope," "change," and "future" around which to build a sentence, but that alone appears to be the winning formula to get the Democratic nomination for President. It is amazing to behold.

    For this reason, let me be the first (as far as I'm aware) to dub Barack Obama's "the Seinfeld Candidacy." It's about nothing.

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    9-2?

    Last week in Sao Paulo, I had a new experience - or rather, an old experience in a new setting. One of the lab chemists at the plant convened a group to go bowling one night in a nearby city. I found out later that she'd never been before but always wanted to, so it was cool that we could make that happen.

    The venue was like so many alleys in the US -- bowling, billiards, beer, music, and food. However, such establishments are not a dime a dozen there like they are here. This place was hoppin'!

    We arrived between 9 and 10 pm, and there was a huge line outside to get in. After a wait, we entered and got on the waiting lists (yes, waiting lists) for both pool and bowling. We sat for maybe an hour, got to play some pool, and finally made our way to our bowling lane at approximately 12:30 am.

    The experience was quite interesting. The eight (I think) lanes were equipped with automatic pin setters, ball returns, and electronic scoring, but they were old and not working very well. Also, there were no racks of bowling balls from which to select. Instead, each pair of lanes had a half-dozen or so balls allocated to it, and from those, you just grabbed whatever reasonably fit your hand. And while there were a few bowling shoes available for rent, most there bowled in their bare feet (as did everyone in our group, including me -- when in Rome...). It may not have been the most elegant setup in the world, but we had fun.

    I also managed to perform quite a tricky feat. In one particular frame, I knocked down nine pins on the first ball (No, that's not it. There's more.). The pinsetter grabbed the lone remaining pin, swept away its fallen comrades, and laid the pin back down -- along with another one. If I recall, the 10-pin was replaced with the 3-10 split. Despite the added degree of difficulty, though, I managed to clear away both pins with my second ball.

    As I mentioned, there was automated electronic scoring. Sure enough, it gave me credit for nine on the first ball and two on the second. While I did not get credit for the spare (because the total didn't add up to ten, I guess), I did get credit for eleven pins in the frame.

    That was certainly the first time I've ever bowled a "9-2," and it will probably be the last.

    Sunday, February 17, 2008

    It's heading right for us!

    The day before I left town, I treated my daughters to Disney's Hannah Montana concert movie. Really, at this point, I should just start taking automatic deductions to Disney from my paycheck. Let's see... 1/3 for the government, 1/3 for Disney, 1/3 for me. Yeah, that feels about right. (Actually, compared to the several hundred dollars I would have had to shell out to take them to the live concert when Ms. Cyrus was in the Twin Cities, the 15 bucks a head for the movie was a considerable bargain.)

    The girls loved, loved, loved the movie! -- no surprise there. And truth be told, I thought it was pretty cool, too. You see, this concert movie was in "Disney Digital 3-D."

    Now, it's been many years since I've bespectacled myself to enjoy a "3-D" theater experience. I gotta tell you, the technology has substantially improved. Before the movie, there were previews for other 3-D movies coming out soon, and they all looked like they'd be fun to see. As for this movie, it made for a surprisingly realistic experience. You felt like you were right there in the front row with the screaming tweens. (Where'd I put that Advil again?)

    Anyway, look for a wave of 3-D movies to hit during the next year or so (including some for the grownups). Give one a try -- you'll be impressed. And if you've got money burning a hole in your pocket, Disney stock probably wouldn't be a bad bet right now.

    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    Yep, I'm alive

    I hope no one was too concerned during my week-and-a-half cyber-absence. A friend asked whether I was "pissed off and never writing again." Not at all.

    I was traveling (Brazil again), and the combined effects of a very busy business trip, being extra busy with schoolwork, and being sick (Right before I left, my daughters inoculated me with pinkeye. Good times.) made blogging a pretty low priority.

    So if anyone was worried that I was still on the ledge because Romney is out of the presidential race, worry not. I am happy to now return you to your regularly scheduled snark.

    Friday, February 15, 2008

    Best of the MOB, February 8 - 14

    Update: Congrats to Sqotty at Kowabunga for winning this week's BOMOB voting!

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    Happy Friday!

    Please check out the posts below and vote either here or at the sidebar. The poll will stay open until noon on Monday. Vote early and often, and have a great weekend!

    Best of the MOB, 2/8 - 2/14/08
  • "Politics and Emotion," Mr. Dilettante, February 8. Nonimated for analysis of the cult-like phenomenon of Obama Nation.

  • "Linguists get peevish too," The Eclectic Linda, February 8. Nonimated for indulging my inner grammar geek.

  • "Neopopulism.org Birthday on February 11, 2008," John Adams Blog, February 9. Nonimated for announcing the launch of what appears to be an ambitious grassroots political effort.

  • "Global Warming: Natural Causes #7," Kowabunga, February 11. Nonimated for yet more evidence contrary to the global warming "consensus."

  • "Blood In The Streets," Ladies Logic, February 14. Nonimated for busting a misleading lobbying attempt regarding MN gun laws.


  • (poll now closed)

    Monday, February 04, 2008

    Disenfranchised

    Tomorrow, on "Super Tuesday," Minnesotans will caucus to express their preference for the Republican presidential nominee. Other things are decided at these caucuses, too - selection of state convention delegates, for example.

    Unfortunately, I am leaving tomorrow for a business trip, so I will not be able to attend my caucus. I've researched, and I could not find anything that resembles an absentee option for caucus participation. I want to attend, but I am not willing to tell my company to go pound sand so I can stay home and vote.

    I called the state GOP office to double-check, and the person I spoke with confirmed my findings. It goes beyond just not having my vote counted, though. The opportunities to participate in the party's political processes in this election cycle all begin with this caucus, as I learned in 2006 when I found myself in exactly the same situation.

    So I specifically asked the MNGOP rep on the phone, "So does this mean I'm completely shut out of the process for the next two years?," hoping to hear some options I hadn't considered. His response? "Sorry."

    Does this seem right to all of you? Are there others out there for whom this is a problem? And what is the solution? I can see the rationale for requiring in-person attendance for other state party business, but why can't there be absentee voting for the elections?

    Especially since tomorrow's vote is expected to be a close one, and since tomorrow's results are so important to the presidential race nationally, I am particularly frustrated and disappointed.

    (cross-posted at SD44)

    Saturday, February 02, 2008

    Obama on illegal immigration

    Said Barack Obama, who is on record supporting drivers licenses for illegals:
    "I think they [Republicans] will pounce on any issue that has to do with immigration. But as I said, my position has been very similar to John McCain's, who's maybe the likely Republican nominee. And if he wants to try to parse out this one issue of driver's licenses, an issue of public safety, my response is that we have to solve the overall problem." (ABC's "World News Tonight," 2/2/08)

    "Obviously I would entertain it"

    As we approach Super Tuesday, while Republicans try to come to grips with the prospects of a John McCain nomination, let's not forget that McCain had considered being John Kerry's VP on the Democrat ticket in 2004.

    He is quoted as saying he'd "entertain" the idea.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. John McCain allowed a glimmer of hope Wednesday for Democrats fantasizing about a bipartisan dream team to defeat President Bush....

    "John Kerry is a close friend of mine. We have been friends for years," McCain said Wednesday when pressed to squelch speculation about a Kerry-McCain ticket. "Obviously I would entertain it."

    There are also reports that McCain considered switching parties in 2001.
    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

    In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.

    Is McCain really the best candidate to represent conservative Republicans in November?

    Friday, February 01, 2008

    Best of the MOB, January 25 - 31

    UPDATE: Congratulations to Brad Carlson, this week's winner!

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    Happy Friday!

    Please check out the posts below and vote either here or at the sidebar. The poll will stay open until noon on Monday. Vote early and often, and have a great weekend!

    Best of the MOB, 1/25 - 1/31/08
  • "The tax rebates explained," Bike Bubba's Bits, January 25. Nonimated for a bit of snark at the expense of the pending stimulus package.

  • "Sunday Brunch," Casual Sundays with Mr. Curry, January 28. Nonimated for a tale of disappointment, but one that will make you hungry reading it.

  • "Remembering Father," Blogizdat, January 29. Nonimated for a very nice tribute to his late father on his birthday.

  • "Sympathy Foreclosure," Boots On, January 30. Nonimated for a plea for some personal responsibility with regard to the mortgage crisis.

  • "Super Bowl XLII Q&A," Brad Carlson, January 30. Nonimated for providing some pre-game entertainment.


  • (poll now closed)