Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Price, We Hardly Knew Ye



I found out today that one of my favorite TV shows is taking a different direction starting this fall. I come from the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school, and I find the changes rather disappointing.

In light of the recent sniping concerning Drew Carey's job performance as host, I should say that Drew isn't my biggest disappointment. I think that the changes in TPIR mirror larger cultural changes as well as a general trend towards progressivism and away from tradition.

Bob Barker and Johnny Olson were professional broadcasters. Drew Carey is and always will be a comedian. Viewed through those filters, I think the differences between Carey and Barker make a lot more sense. I also believe professionalism in broadcasting is long-gone, and that is unfortunate.

From Rich Fields' open letter to his fans:
Mike [Richards, current TIPR executive producer,] explained to me that he loves having the "house bands" and "live performers" all the time on TPIR and that he hopes to make it more of a "variety show within a game show". He believes that having a comedian at the announcer's position from now on will enhance this new change in direction.

The problem with "new directions" is that they necessarily take the show away from its roots in a sort of golden age for game shows. Mike Richards was born in 1975; Bob Barker started hosting TPIR in 1972. It makes sense, but that doesn't make it any easier for me to live with.

I really hope that Fremantle Media hasn't consigned The Price is Right to a slow, painful death. It used to be one of my favorite TV shows. It's not anymore.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's the Angle, Angle?

I've been fielding a lot of questions about my thoughts on Sharron Angle, and the fairly large amount of friendly fire directed her way.  I don't live in Nevada, so I'm limited in my exposure to Nevada party politics, but I'll do my best to express myself on this rather touchy matter.

I have seen a lot of accusations leveled at Angel from the usual suspects.  The Huffington Post, U.S. News, and The Washington Post are the usual suspects when it comes to criticism of Republicans, but I note the large numbers of conservatives that seem to nod their head in agreement.

Is there a single bit of friendly fire that's involved the quality of Angle's ideas, rather than the quality of her campaign?  I haven't heard it yet. 

These People Want to Run Your Health Care

From the Associated Press via Yahoo! News:

$9,100,000,000 in Iraqi oil money...and $8,700,000,000 is unaccounted for.

As a conservative, I've always believed that the military management is a proper role for government.  If our military can't manage a few billion, how is our civilian government going to manage 1/6 of our entire economy without lousing it all up?  They won't.  They can't.
 The audit found that shoddy record keeping by the Defense Department left the Pentagon unable to fully account for $8.7 billion it withdrew between 2004 and 2007 from a special fund set up by the U.N. Security Council. Of that amount, Pentagon "could not provide documentation to substantiate how it spent $2.6 billion."
 If this doesn't smash the media narrative of "government professionalism," America is truly beyond hope.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No More Apology

There's been a big flap over the Shirley Sherrod affair.  Unfortunately, since I am posting on vacation, I am not currently able to provide a large number of supporting links.  Links and further commentary will be forthcoming when I get back home and have a more functional internet connection.

For sites that broke the story with Brietbart's incomplete video, such as Hotair, I think that the worst thing that can happen is for the Rightosphere to start apologizing where no wrong was committed.  Sherrod didn't, and to the best of my knowledge never has worked for Hotair or any of Breitbart's blogs.  It was only within their power to question her character, which they did.  When the full video was released, the truth was made known and there was nary a peep from Breitbart or anyone else on what kind of person Shirley Sherrod was/is.

For the record, I continue to believe that the only germaine question is whether Shirley Sherrod is more of a racist, or classical Marxist class warrior.  Sounds to me like her inner class warrior won out, but only barely.

My opinion of Shirley Sherrod isn't going to flip because of the video's I-saw-the-light addendum, but my opinion ultimately doesn't matter.  And neither does Andrew Breitbart's, or Ed Morrissey's, or anyone else's except Shirley Sherrod's employer.  The Obama administration brought pressure to bear on Shirley Sherrod with incomplete information.  That doesn't bode well for the first black president, who also happens to be the smartest man in any room he graces with his presence.  [/sarc]

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Plebes and the Pubs

Rush Limbaugh brought something to my attention today.  It's not often that anyone is able to challenge my beliefs, and so far it's always been a conservative giant like Limbaugh who's managed, but he did so today in spades.  El Rushbo quoted quite extensively from a piece by American Spectator writer Angelo Codevilla, from the July-August issue, and reproduced in its entirety at Spectator.org.  Unfortunately, the piece is far too long for me to quote extensively.  For me to quote even a few parts simply doesn't do Codevilla's genius justice, so I will try to explain it the best I can and encourage all of my readers to read it from start to finish.

The thrust of Codevilla's column/article consists of detailing the relationships between what he calls "the ruling class" and "the country class."  It started me thinking about the relationship between the Plebeians and Patricians of ancient Rome.

I also started thinking about the article in terms of broader modern understanding.  Although I still believe in the Overton Window as strongly as ever, until recently I thought that President Obama's administration had been a victim of wrong assumptions.  I was naive enough to believe that Obama saw certain things as culturally acceptable, inside the Overton Window in other words, when they really weren't.  You might want to bookmark this blog entry if you haven't already, just for the shear joy of reading me say that I was probably wrong.

Is it really more likely that Obama is bucking cultural trends because we will learn to love him?  Is it more possible that Obama really doesn't care what anyone thinks of him?  Does he really stand a chance of re-election in 2012?  My inner cynic is screaming to be let out of its cage.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MSNBC Gets Break From Worst Person in the Network

Mediaite reports that King Bathtub is taking a couple weeks off after the keitholbermann.com flap. Lawrence O'Donnell, you've got an awfully big bathtub to fill. I hope you're up to the task.

 Can you believe they pay someone over at The Daily Caller to watch King Bathtub? Every weeknight, from start to finish? I wish I could land a job like that. I could quit my day job catering to beer drinkers and cigarette smokers at that gas station for minimum wage, since I would accept nothing less than a living wage for a job like that.

While you're at it, check out Olbermannwatch.com

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dishonest in Print -- Again

From Boston.com:

The director of ICE, John Morton, is encouraging states to avoid enacting their own immigration laws.

The second-to-last paragraph in this article reeks of journalistic dishonesty:
Opponents have said the law will lead to racial profiling, and so far seven lawsuits, including one from the federal government, have been filed to try to stop its implementation.
The implication is that the federal government has filed a lawsuit on the basis of racial profiling and discrimination, when in reality, there is no mention of racial profiling at all in the federales' complaint.  Try again, Boston libtards.

God Bless Charlotte

From The Las Vegas Review Journal obituary section, July 13, 2010 (emphasis mine):
CHARLOTTE MCCOURT

Charlotte M. Tidwell McCourt, 84, of Pahrump, passed away July 8, 2010, after a long illness. She was born Dec. 25, 1925, in Wellington, Utah, and was a 40-year resident of Nevada. Charlotte held a zest for life and loved serving her family of five children; 20 grandchildren; and 65 great-grandchildren. She had been the wife of Patrick L. McCourt for 67 happy years. Active in her community, she assisted in many political figures' campaign efforts. As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Charlotte served as a leader in the Relief Society for over 20 years. She and her beloved husband also served a full-time mission in the Cabanatuan Mission in the Phillipines. Charlotte is survived by her husband, Patrick; children, Pat and Nellie McCourt, Dan and Lanny Shea, Bill and Marsha Sortor, David and Sherry d'Hulst, and Tom and Ann McMullin; and many grandchildren. A memorial service was held Saturday, July 10, at the LDS Chapel, 921 E. Wilson, in Pahrump.  We believe that Mom would say she was mortified to have taken a large role in the election of Harry Reid to U.S. Congress. Let the record show Charlotte was displeased with his work. Please, in lieu of flowers, vote for another more worthy candidate.
I have no more to say except, RIP Lady Charlotte.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mort Zuckerman: Media Shill

From Ed Driscoll via Hotair.com:

Mort Zuckerman, majority owner of the New York Daily News and editor-in-chief of US News and World Report, isn't a partisan shill.  How do we know?  Cause he said so:



Kidding aside, is this the beginning of the end for the media veneer of impartiality? Or is this going to be written off because Mortie was talking to Neil Cavuto on Fox News? I would think that if Zuckerman was one media-whoring Obama speech writer, he probably wasn't the only one.

An Apple a Day

The Consumer Union released a report yesterday outlining the reasons that they couldn't recommend purchase of the fourth-generation Iphone.  I find it very curious that most of Apple's statements in the last couple of weeks seem to have been smoke and mirrors:

Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4's signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that "mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength."

The tests also indicate that AT&T's network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4's much-reported signal woes.
 But such is life, I suppose, when we live in a world more concerned about image than substance.

Friday, July 9, 2010

How the Game (and the Fan) is Played

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a sports fan.  But for all the completely unwarranted hoopla surrounding Lebron James' decision to play for the Miami Heat, I think the phenomenon speaks to important cultural landmarks, ergo I feel somewhat urged to comment.

From NyMag.com:

...tonight, it felt like everyone involved — LeBron, ESPN, Bing, the University of Phoenix, Stuart Scott, the man who once chastised fans for having the audacity to boo, Jim freaking Gray — treated the millions of people watching like stupid, mindless consumers, empty lemmings ready to follow Sport into the abyss. Here, here are the Boys & Girls Club props. Here, here is your search engine. Here, here is your online college, Here, here is your Athletic Hero. Eat. Eat. Consume. You like it. You love it. You'll always come back for more.
 If we (meaning: Americans) are not mindless consumers of athletics, how else would you describe the state of professional gamesmanship?  The days of kids being plucked from obscurity in some midwest baseball farm team and making the newsreels are over.  We live in the age of instant information.  Love him or hate him -- and I'm really as neutral as you can get -- LeBron James understands that.

That leads me to wonder if the same people complaining about the "hype" are the jerks that complain about LeBron and others "making too much money."  To them I say:  Suck it up.  If you've ever sat down in front of a TV to watch a Cleveland Cavaliers game on cable, that's all it takes to contribute to these guys' salaries.  You can watch commercials; you don't have to buy tickets to see a game live in order to be plunking down your hard-earned cash.  The advertisers are happy to be the middle-men.

So you feel like you got suckered?  We're all getting suckered.  Don't like the hype?  It's always about hype.  LeBron James was just a little more honest this time, and I think he made us confront some uncomfortable truths about ourselves.  As much as I wish it were otherwise, I won't count on our culture to change anytime soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yay. (yawn)

Via USA Today:

John McCain wrote an essay today declaring his opposition to the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.  If I believed this would have any bearing on the outcome of her confirmation hearings, I would be overjoyed.  As things stand, I am more inclined to view this as yet another example of the crass political opportunism that has littered the landscape of John McCain's political career.

"Captain" Ed Morrissey, writing on the subject for HotAir.com, states:

I don’t believe in judicial filibusters except in circumstances of incompetence or corruption.  Barring those conditions, Presidents have the privilege of appointing jurists to the federal courts as a consequence of their election.

Under normal circumstances, I would be inclined to agree.  These circumstances are unfortunately anything but normal.  The fact that Kagan wouldn't admit to writing a memo that she conceded was in her own handwriting speaks directly to questions of competence.  I think you could make a pretty good case that the content of the memo itself speaks to enormous corruption and an absolutely terrible judicial philosophy.

Does this mean that Republicans will do everything in their power to block Elena Kagan's nomination?  I doubt it.  I couldn't help but roll my eyes when I finished reading McCain's essay.  Several fellow conservatives have already asked me, "What else did you expect him to do?"  I reminded them that this McCain is up for reelection, and that's really why I rolled my eyes.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reality-Based Law Enforcement

H/T: From the Washington Post by way of HotAir.com

It looks like The Justice Department's suit over Arizona's SB 1070 is imminent. I cheered Governor Jan Brewer right along with many of her fellow Arizonans, but now will probably be a good time to buy stock in a popcorn company if you haven't already; this could drag out for quite a while, and will definitely raise some interesting legal questions.

As Ed Morrissey points out, Basic Immigration Enforcement Training already seems to assume that local law enforcement will partner with Federal authorities. Immigration policies of non-enforcement, along with Federal-local partnership in drug law enforcement, all serve to weaken the preemption case even further.

In all the reading I've done on matters of federal-state-local preemption, I have yet to find a case where de facto policy was diametrically opposed to the law. At some point, I would imagine that a federal agency is going to have to admit that.

Arizona: Doing the jobs that the Federal Government just won't do!