Thursday, October 27, 2005

A little of this, a little of that

Harriet Miers has withdrawn herself from the Supreme Court nomination process, according to ABC Radio. Considering she had no federal experience, I don't see how she could have been a serious candidate. A theory offered this morning by a caller on the Don Wade and Roma Show on WLS is that Miers acted as a placeholder until a real candidate could be found. I'm not sure I agree with that theory, but it is worthy of further study.

A since-removed photo of Condi Rice in USA Today showed her with glowing, near-demonic looking eyes. It's been replaced by the unaltered version that an AP photographer submitted a few days ago. Geez, guys, show us what you really think about Republicans, huh?

Patrick Fitzgerald may have some indictments to hand down due to the Valerie Plame issue. The press is salivating, hoping that Karl Rove, their bete noire of the Bush Administration, their One True Nemesis, is indicted. I still don't see how a woman whose name and job were published in Who's Who in America can still be considered secret, but I suppose that journalists are like historians in that respect: if we didn't research it, it can be conveniently ignored for purpose of argument.

In matters of Illinois politics, Ol' Blaggie's "All Kids" plan passed the Senate, providing more state-funded health care for kids without telling us how he's paying for it. Add troubles with CMS "efficiency savings" and their trouble in documenting it, problems with no-bid contracts and a federal investigation into Governor Blagojevich's hiring practices, and we could see the Executive Mansion return to Republican hands next year. Mark Gordon of the Senate Republican Staff has been sending out lots of good information on these issues, and I'm happy to send them along to you if there's interest. For all of Ol' Blaggie's talk about savings, we haven't seen much have we?

And in other news, were I ever to be elected governor, I would ensure that Mel-O-Cream doughnuts would become a fixture at the gubernatorial breakfast table. Funding for this program will come out of the governor's salary, and a possible city-wide ban on doughnuts from establishments who are alliteratively named may also ensue were I to serve in Springfield.

Last night was the final night for beta-testing in City of Villains where the villainous denizens of the Rogue Isles repelled an invasion of numerous heroes led by Statesman and the rest of the Freedom Phalanx. Much fun was had by all, despite all of the lag time during the invasion. Huzzah to the forces of four-color villainy!

Mind you, I'll be bringing my heroes to the Rogue Isles every so often, so any villains out there are obliged to run and hide for fear of being brought to justice.

Finally, congratulations to the Chicago White Sox on their sweep of the Houston Astros in the World Series. I wonder if John at MarathonPundit has finished celebrating? I only have this to say in closing. Next year in St. Louis!

Take it easy, everyone.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In Which the Author Shamelessly Apes the Stylings of Jay Nordlinger'sImpromptus

I'm trying something a little different today, a way to get multiple thoughts into a single post. Mr. Nordlinger's column at National Review Online is one of my must-reads during the week, so today I try to pay a little homage to him.

First things first: Yes, Mom and Dad, I'm fine. Things are boring, but the roommates and I are doing well. You only need to worry if I don't post anything on the blog for a couple of weeks or so. I'll also be heading home for Thanksgiving, so that's one less thing to worry about.

Now, let's get on to business of a less personal nature, shall we?

Terrorists attacked the Palestine Hotel in central Baghdad with three huge car bombs, including one cement truck filled with explosives, according to ABC Radio. The Palestine Hotel is home to many foreign journalists, so this was definitely done with that audience in mind. I wonder what Eason "US Troops Are Deliberately Targeting Journalists" Jordan of CNN thinks of this turn of events? Perhaps "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" does not apply in this case, Mr. Jordan. The enemy of your (ideological) enemy is your enemy as well in this war.

We have a new Federal Reserve head honcho. Will this fellow become a media darling in the manner of Alan Greenspan or will he take the Harriet Miers route and cause more arguments among Republicans? I hope to find out soon.

Rosa Parks has died 50 years after she transformed from tired and grumpy worker to civil-rights icon. Rest in peace, ma'am. There's nothing wrong with being tired and grumpy after a day's work, either. I think it's quite appropriate.

I do wonder if the man who had Mrs. Parks arrested realizes different the civl-rights movement would be had he been a gentleman and deferred to a lady as is only right. It might have postponed the general uproar for a few more years.

Well, while I can't provide any expertise on opera as Mr. Nordlinger does, I can opine about the soon-to-be released video game City of Villains. If you've ever felt like unleashing your inner Dr. Evil with some like-minded friends and be a humorous villain, this probably won't be your game. If you'd rather try your hand at being Doctor Doom or Lex Luthor, though, this will be your game. It's an expansion to the game City of Heroes, made by NCSoft and Cryptic Studios. Both games are an excellent timewaster and stress reliever for the comic book crowd.

Speaking of comic books: you can heap all kinds of literary praise on them, pretend that they're important to the reading public (which will always strike me as funny), and try to sound intelligent when discussing them, but the term "graphic novel" is still an affectation for people who are afraid to admit they read comics. When you need escapism, comics do well at entertaining you. Don't pretend there's anything sophisticated about them, no matter how high-falutin' the creators, fans, or critics act. No matter how serious the subject matter may be, it's still a comic book. There's nothing wrong with that label.

That's it for now. I'm fresh out of ideas.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

MarathonPundit Goes To DePaul

John over at MarathonPundit will be attending the protest tonight at DePaul University. It starts at 5:30pm, which means I'd be late getting there driving from the Northwest 'burbs. If you live close, go support John and those who have had enough with DePaul's rank stupidity.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Two New Blog Links!

First up is Free DePaul, Thomas Klocek's new blog about academic politics at Chicago's DePaul University. I hope the good professor continues to write online.

Next is PostModern Spectator, a fellow conservative's blog from the mean streets (yes, it's meant sarcastically for the humor-impaired out there) of the Chicago suburbs. Go forth and read.
Air Force creates Transparent Aluminum?

For those of you who remember Star Trek IV, transparent aluminum was needed to house enough water to carry two humpback whales to the future. (It was not one of the Star Trek franchise's better movies, and that's saying something. Those movies were lousy.) It looks like there was a serious Trek geek somewhere in the Air Force, because they've created something eerily similar in conjunction with the US Army and the University of Dayton.

It's expensive and seems destined only for military use for the time being. I could easily see this being used as a building material for skyscrapers, as it's lighter and tougher than glass. After all, we got anti-lock brakes from anti-skid systems on military aircraft landing gear, refinements in power steering from fighter technology, GPS systems from military navigation systems and cruise control that came from autopilot speed regulation systems on jet engines. This is another situation where military technology will find its way into civilian life again.

The US Air Force is once again getting competitive in the research field. It's about time they started back on that path.

(Via Jonah Goldberg at The Corner)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Helen Thomas Opens Mouth, Scott McClellan Inserts Foot

This is a lovely exchange between Helen Thomas, the "grand dame" of the White House press corps, ABC News' Terry Moran, and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. Thomas was being her usual center-of-attention self, and McClellan smacked her down. The problem is that he rebutted Terry Moran's defense of Thomas with that weasel word "may." He should have stuck to his guns and reiterated his statement about Thomas' opposition to any US-led war on terrorist groups.

I also love Helen's statement at the end where she states an opposition to unprovoked pre-emptive wars. I am in agreement with her on this. We should not attack sovereign nations who have done nothing to us nor to our allies, and we should not attack nations who do not make threats towards us nor to those who do not provide safety and comfort for those who wish to harm our nation. Sadly for Helen Thomas, Iraq does not fit the bill there. Even after the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein sought to do harm to the people of the United States. Knowing this would be suicidal if he tried it directly through military force, he provided a safe haven for al-Qaeda to such a degree that one of his circle of bodyguards acted as personal chauffeur to various al-Qaeda delegates in the 2000 meeting in Malaysia. Providing support for terrorists and granting safe haven to terrorists such as Abu Nidal is proof enough that the invasion of Iraq was indeed provoked.

Helen Thomas is wrong on the war and Scott McClellan shouldn't have tried to spin his initial statement. Overall, the victory goes to McClellan.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Thomas Sowell on "Spoiled Brat Politics"

Thomas Sowell is one of my favorite op-ed columnists and economics/politics writers out there. Today's column is a good reason why.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

On the Nomination of Harriet Miers to Become a Supreme Court Justice

Huh?

Where's her time actually spent as a judge?

I admit there's nothing in the Constitution that requires a Supreme Court nominee to have any judicial background or even to be a lawyer. Don't we want someome who at least has a little experience trying cases and weighing decisions that affect people's lives?

I could also hazard a guess that President Bush is doing this as a "keep 'em guessing" move on his part, but why would he do something like this now? This nomination doesn't make sense to me.