Monday, June 21, 2010

Cruising the Web

William Galston of The New Republic tells Democrats to start whacking that panic button.

John Hawkins has the dismal story of all the perks and nice pay that teachers in Detroit schools get while the rest of the community is sinking fast. Detroit citizens will not be able to look to their School Board President to bail them out. He has been, er, otherwise occupied.

The oil-drilling moratorium is starting
to hit workers in the Gulf area. But don't worry. The President promises BP-funded welfare. That's better than a job, isn't it?

Jim Geraghty thinks that Congressman "Who are you?" Bob Etheridge is looking vulnerable now, when he was pretty reliably safe before he had his no good, bad, horrible day. There's even a story or a previous incident when he got a mite bit physical with a young man asking him a question. Who knows what the truth is of an incident from 10 years ago, but stories that get a lot of play often bring other stories to light.

Howie Carr has a great column on the double standard from the media on how they covered Bush and Obama. It reminds of those comparisons feminists used to make about how women and men were described - you know a guy is ambitious, but a woman is pushy - that sort of thing. Some examples:
Criticizing Bush - the highest form of patriotism. Criticizing Obama - hate speech. Who caused Bush’s problems? - Bush. Who causes Obama’s problems? - Bush.

When Bush mispronounced a word (like nuclear) - more proof he is a complete cowboy moron.

When Obama mispronounces a word (like corpsman) - how dare you even bring this up, racist?!

Unemployment at 4.6 percent under Bush - a jobless recovery.

Unemployment at 9.7 percent under Obama - the new normal, “steady,” a lagging indicator of the happy days that CNBC says are here again.

Economic woes under Bush - portents of a new Depression. Economic woes under Obama - a blip on the radar screen, surprising.

Cindy Sheehan under Bush - a future recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Sheehan under Obama - give it up already, you old bag.

Bush playing a rare round of golf - complete video coverage, showing his utter indifference to the suffering of the American people.

Obama playing one of his endless rounds of golf - only still photos allowed, yet another glowing indication of our dashing president’s youth and physical fitness.


Claire McCaskill says that she has 67 votes to end anonymous holds in the Senate. While I approve of this change I don't have much confidence that it will do anything to speed up movement of bills through the Senate. One senator can still block a bill by denying unanimous consent; it just can't be done anonymously. Many of them are proud and happy to let us know that they're blocking a bill or nomination that they don't like - that's why they do it.

Looking over the poll on the Obamateurism of the Week it's really hard to choose just one.

Ryan Streeter at the AEI America Blog
links to this way cool map gadget at Forbes. You can pick any county in the country and see a pictorial representation of how many people moved in and out of that county in 2008. You can really see the impact of economic conditions on out-migration. Go play around with it. It's fascinating. And I bet the effects would be even more dramatic for the 2010 data.

The Democrats are going to spend big this year to try to keep young people voting Democratic. The GOP is betting that this will be $50 million that the Democrats are throwing down the rat hole that trying to get young people to the polls usually was before the Advent of The One. The Democrats are betting that the thrill hasn't worn off and all those high school kids who were excited about Obama two years ago will be excited about voting and voting Democratic this year. I know my students, for the most part, are excited but then they're not the typically apathetic demographic.

It's been 80 years since Smoot-Hawley. If only some of today's protectionists would remember that lesson.

Apparently, Strasburg's pitches are not only difficult for batters - they're also tough for umpires.

Sadly, Manute Bol has died. People might have originally seen him as a freak, but he turned out to have a character as outsized as his height.
The Heat once fined Bol $25,000. He missed two exhibition games, so the fine wasn’t out of line, except this: he was in Washington D.C. for Congress-sponsored peace talks between rebel leaders from Sudan.

The team donated the money to Bol’s charity, but he was still annoyed, hinting out loud that trying to bring peace to a war-torn country might be a decent excuse for missing a couple preseason games.

You could do worse than that for an anecdote of Bol’s place in this world. According to reports, he made nearly $6 million in his career, and, aside from a few American comforts, spent it all trying to save lives and educate children back home. He has given so much and received little in comparison.

He was once lured back to his home country with the promise of a cabinet post, only to find out he would be required to convert to Islam. When he refused, he was stranded for nearly five years. His trust and good intentions have been abused so many times.

Even while playing, he went into war zones to help the Lost Boys and other refugees. Sometimes, those visits were interrupted by bombings from warlords who viewed Bol as a threat.

His family was wiped out by Darfurians, but when that country became victims, Bol was one of the first Sudanese to speak out in support. A Christian, he told his people that extremists were the enemy, not Muslims.
Those NBA Cares spots that ran throughout the tournament could have devoted an entire show just to Bol. May he rest in peace in a better place.