Chevy Camaro Convertible

Since this blog (and blogging generally) seems to be dying, this will probably be my last post. Anyway, I went car shopping yesterday. It’s not that I really need a new car, my current car, a 2003 Honda Civic Si hatchback, is running fine even with 200k on the clock. Still, I will probably be moving back to California soon, which means a convertible would be nice. Plus, reliable as my current car has been, it’s time for something new. Unfortunately, there aren’t many convertibles presently available, and fewer still that meet my basic requirements.

Actually, the only other firm requirement, besides the convertible top itself, is a manual transmission. Automatics are for girls, real men drive sticks. At the bottom end is the Mazda Miata. A fine car in its day, it just hasn’t kept up with the times. 25 years ago, a 0-60 time in the 8 second range was still pretty sporty for an inexpensive car, but I’m not driving something that can be blown away by a mom in a Dodge minivan with a V-6. Somewhat more impressive is the Honda S2000, sort of a halfway point between the Miata and the much more expensive BMW 3 series convertible, but Honda stopped making them about 4 or 5 years ago.

So that has me shifting gears (so to speak) and looking at domestic models. For one, you can still get a big V-8 in an American car without spending a fortune, which nicely solves the lack of power problem. And if you want a convertible, a V-8, and a stick shift, that pretty much leaves you with either a Ford Mustang or a Chevy Camaro. A friend (who lives in Southern California) recently bought a Mustang so configured, and loves it. But I’ve never been keen on the Mustang’s styling, indeed, even going back to the late 60′s, the Camaro was always the better looking car. Also, the Mustang still (still!) has a solid rear axle whereas the Chevy has an independent rear suspension. The latter almost always makes for both better handling and ride, the only excuse for putting the former on any car (and especially one intended for performance/sporty driving) is because you’re too cheap to put a proper suspension on the back end. So the Mustang is out.

So you can get a Camaro with a convertible top, a V-8, and a stick shift. The only remaining question is: which engine? The standard V-8 puts out 426 hp, and yields 0-60 times in the 4.7 second range. Not quite Corvette territory, but pretty impressive still. This will net you around $45,000, which, considering what you get, isnn’t bad at all. Or you can spring an extra $10-15k and get the version with the Superman engine and trick suspension, which gets you a 580 hp V-8 and is still available in both a convertible version and a manual transmission. However, according to both Car & Driver and Chevy’s own brochure, this only lowers 0-60 times to about 4.0 seconds and you pay for it in extra fuel consumption. So why spend the extra money for so little apparent gain? Not to mention the supercharged V-8 in the faster model is likely to be less reliable and more expensive to repair?

Anyway, food for thought. The only other possibility that fits my basic requirements would be a BMW M3 convertible, which can also be had with a manual, but is much more expensive, both to buy and to maintain. And, since I haven’t even begun to research those, no point in writing about that option yet.

From Around the Blogroll

I’ll start with a story which really urinates me off, from The Victory Girls:

Yale Tries to Give a Student an Eating Disorder

Frances Chan is thin. At 5′ 2″, and 92 pounds, she is petite and thin. However, the college junior, according to Yale University, probably has an eating disorder.

Last September, Chan went to Yale Health to have a lump in her breast checked out. Fortunately, it was benign, but she got a callback from health officials anyway, who informed her that they had her scheduled to meet with a nutritionist, a mental-health counselor, and required her to come back for weekly check-ins – because they wanted her to start gaining weight.

As Chan writes in an essay for the Huffington Post:

I’ve always been small. I’ve been 5’2” and 90 pounds since high school, but it has never led to any illnesses related to low weight or malnutrition. My mom was the same; my whole family is skinny. We all enjoy Mom’s fabulous cooking, which included Taiwanese beef noodle soup, tricolor pasta, strawberry cheesecake, and cream puffs, none of which make the Weight Watchers shortlist. I just don’t gain weight easily.

Yet the clinicians at Yale Health think there’s more to it. Every week, I try to convince my clinician that I am healthy but skinny. Over the past several months, however, I’ve realized the futility of arguing with her.

And if she didn’t comply, Chan was told that she could face academic suspension via “medical leave.”  So, being a good student who took her education seriously, she gave it a try.  After months of jumping through their hoops, and finally managing to gain two pounds on a carb-heavy diet, Chan was finally told… that it wasn’t enough:

You can read the rest at the original. But my question is: why is it an of Yale University’s fornicating business whether Miss Chan is thin? This is the kind of busybodiness that has been encouraged by people like former Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and First Lady Michelle Obama. They’ve decided that they have some sort of right or moral authority or whatever to tell people how large a soda they can drink or how much they can weigh. And worse, because of Mrs Obama’s repugnant husband, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

As of January 1, 2014, all public and private healthcare providers and other eligible professionals (EP) must have adopted and demonstrated “meaningful use” of electronic medical records (EMR) in order to maintain their existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also includes financial incentives for healthcare providers who prove meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR). EHR is not only a more comprehensive patient history than EMR, the latter of which contains a patient’s medical history from just one practice, but also the end-goal of the federal mandate. “Meaningful use” of EHR, as defined by, consists of using digital medical and health records to achieve the following:

  • Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
  • Engage patients and family
  • Improve care coordination, and population and public health
  • Maintain privacy and security of patient health information

Translation: Electronic Health Records must be maintained and be available to medical care professionals. The goal, supposedly, is to give physicians more information about a patient’s previous medical treatment, to enable the physician to take better decisions concerning a patient’s health care, but what it does, in the process, is to create searchable records of everyone’s health care which will be available to the government. Oh, doubtlessly, doubtlessly! there will be all sorts of appropriate safeguards to prevent the misuse of such records, but perhaps we might ask Edward Snowden about how impossible it is to crack through that.

And, even if the Department of Health and Human Services doesn’t decide to track Miss Chan’s weight after she is graduated from Yale, every physician that she sees from now on will have medical records telling them that she was suspected of having an eating disorder! What is none of their damned business will now be part of a record which will follow Miss Chan for the rest of her life.

William Teach laughed about a British Lord who actually raised the question of whether Blighty’s consumption of baked beans was resulting in too many flatulent Britons emitting too many greenhouse gasses, leading to global warming.

Phineas on Sister Toldjah wrote about a young woman who has escaped from the worker’s paradise of North Korea being so brainwashed that she used to think that past leader Kim Jong-il could read minds.  While I haven’t heard any similar claims about current leader Kim Jong-un, there have been reports that he had a political opponent executed by flamethrower.

L D Jackson tells us about some local news from Colorado, eminent domain, and why it’s important to pay attention to local elections.

Hube appreciates the honesty of moonbat Democrat Mike Dickenson, who’s running against Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA-7), and I do, too. Mr Dickenson has all the chance of a snowball in Hell of winning that election, so he’s going full-out whacko leftist, declaring war on Fox News, the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association and the TEA Party. He’s saying aloud what a lot of us realize that too many Democrats secretly believe, but are savvy enough not to openly express.

Hube also noted the incident during which someone chucked a shoe at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, mockingly suggesting that the Obama Administration will have to issue regulations concerning the aerodynamics of footwear. Naturally, I thought of the Delaware Liberals, and their reaction to the incident in which an Iraqi “journalist” threw a shoe at President Bush. And it’s somewhat amusing to revisit the reaction of the left to the shoe thrown at President Bush, vis a vis how they are reacting to the incident concerning Mrs Clinton.

On Truth Before Dishonor, DNW philosophizes about narrative problems.

Karen, the Lonely Conservative, wrote about Sharyl Attkisson and her story about how CBS News leadership would routinely squash any attempts to report on Obama Administration scandals. Donald Douglas and Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion also noted the topic.

Finally, Robert Stacey Stacy McCain is rather amused by the strange antics of the left when it comes to pronouns. The oh-so-inclusive left want people to refer to “transgendered” people as being the sex they wish to be, rather than the sex which they were born, unless it becomes a problem. After the “transsexual lesbian” Dana McCallum raped “her” lesbian ex-wife — and can you appreciate all of the irony in a statement like that? — a tweet from someone or someones calling herself/ themselves Actual Dykes said:


The silliness of the left is amazing.

But, but, but, multiculturalism!

We noted here that Brandeis University withdrew its planned honorary doctorate to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an advocate for women’s rights in Muslim societies. Now, via Donald Douglas, I found this story:

Child bride forced into marriage poisons groom and three of his friends in Nigeria

Imagine, for the moment, the horror, the terror that would drive a young girl to murder. Unimaginable.

But Islamic supremacists and islamic apologists are working furiously to make sure that no one talks about it. And quislings like Brandeis University’s President and leftwing activists are doing their bidding.

“Child bride forced into marriage makes poisoned meal which kills groom and three of his friends in Nigeria,” by Chris Pleasance, Daily Mail, April 10, 2014 (thanks to Claude)

  • Wasila Umaru, 14, married to Umaru Sani, 35, a week ago
  • Umaru invited his friends to village in Nigeria to celebrate
  • Wasila bought rat poison from market and put it in rice
  • She has admitted killing Umaru and three of his friends
  • Told police she did it because she was forced to marry him

A child bride forced into marriage in Nigeria killed her husband and three of his friends by lacing a meal with rat poison, police said.

Wasila Umaru, 14, was married last week to 35-year-old Umaru Sani, according to assistant superintendent Musa Magaji Majia.

But when Umaru invited a dozen friends to celebrate in northern Ungwar Yansoro village, near the city of Kano, the teenager slipped the deadly chemical into a rice dish.

Umaru died the same day along with friends Nasiru Mohammed and Alhassan Alhassan, while another female victim, Indo Ibrahim, died in hospital hospital while receiving treatment.

Wasila admitted buying the poison at a local market and putting it into the food.

‘The suspect confessed to committing the crime and said she did it because she was forced to marry a man she did not love,’ Majia said.

Umaru is cooperating with police and likely will be charged with culpable homicide, according to Majia.

ABC News noted:

Early and forced marriage is classified as modern-day slavery by the U.N. labor organization, and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act prohibits marriage before 18. But that federal law competes with Islamic Shariah law that holds in most northern states.

No one in Nigeria has been prosecuted for marrying a child, including Sen. Sani Ahmed Yerima, infamous for divorcing a 17-year-old that he married when she was 15 so he could marry a 14-year-old Egyptian girl in 2010, when he was 49. He had to divorce one of his child brides because Islamic law allows a maximum of four wives at a time.

Note his title, abbreviated in the ABC account, of Senator. Alhaji Ahmed Rufai Sani Yerima was Governor of Zamfara State, Nigeria from May 1999 to May 2007, and is now Senator for Zamfara West and Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate. He is a member of the All Nigeria People’s Party.

Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima Justifies Marriage To 13-year-old Egyptian Girl.
by Felibaby: 6:59am On May 13, 2010

Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, under fire over marrying a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, justified his actions yesterday by saying he was following in the footsteps of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed. “I am only following Prophet Mohammed’s footsteps who married a nine-year-old girl, Aishatu,” Yerima told journalists shortly after his opposition ANPP party paid a visit to President Goodluck Jonathan. Yerima, 49, who was governor of northwestern state of Zamfara when it became the first of 12 Muslim-dominated northern states to introduce Sharia law in 2000, spurned Nigeria’s Child Rights Act of 2003 which forbids marriage with anyone under 18. “I do not work with such law that runs counter to my religion. For clarity, I do not have to obey the Child Rights Act so long as it contravenes my religious belief and I’m sick and tired of repeating myself all the time. I hope I can be left alone now.’’ The Nigerian Senate has ordered a probe after the national rights watchdog and 10 other groups accused him of shaming the country. Media reports have alleged Yerima paid a 100,000-dollar dowry and married the girl at the National Mosque in the capital Abuja.

There are reports indicating that the petition may die a quiet death at the hands of the committee. The ethics panel, headed by Umar Hambagda (ANPP Borno State), has received four public petitions in the last 12 months, but has not submitted a report on any of them. Last week Yerima emphasised that he had done nothing wrong. In an interview with the BBC, he said his fourth wife was not 13, but would not say how old she was. He denied breaking the law but said he would not respect any law that contradicted his religious beliefs. A spokesman for the Egyptian embassy in Nigeria had said the girl is still at school in Egypt. ‘’As a Muslim, as I always say, I consider God’s law and that of his prophet above any other law. I consider all those complaining about this issue as detractors, because since 1999, many people have been waging different kind of wars against me. I don’t care about the issue of age since I have not violated any rule as far as Islam is concerned. History tells us that Prophet Muhammad did marry a young girl as well. Therefore I have not contravened any law. Even if she is 13, as it is being falsely peddled around. If I state the age, they will still use it to smear Islam,” he said.

An officials of the Egyptian embassy in Abuja Mohammed Saber yesterday said the mission “will follow the issue” because it is illegal in Egypt to marry an underage girl.

Roman Polanski was unavailable for comment.

The good people at Brandeis, of course, have been appalled that Ayaan Hirsi Ali connected the oppression of women, including female genital mutilation, with Islam, because, why, that’s just not done, hat’s just not nice, that’s not politically correct, but Mrs Ali, who was born in Somalia, knew a lot more, much of it from having lived in a Muslim country, than the privileged American students at Brandeis.1

Perhaps if we point out that Nigeria isn’t all that nice to homosexuals, even though the African Muslim nations don’t hold a candle to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Note our (current) site tagline: Nobody whines quite so exquisitely about oppression as a millennial twit who lacks absolutely nothing except self-awareness.2 The good people at high-falutin Brandeis University just couldn’t, couldn’t! handle the notion that so many of the things that they see as terrible patriarchal oppression are, in fact, all tied together in one religion and culture, because for them to recognize that would be an affront to political correctness and the goodness of multiculturalism.

I am reminded of Robert Stacey Stacy McCain’s article about the Concerned Asian, Black, Latina, Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled students at Dartmouth College — yes, that is a real group — raging on about the elitist white patriarchal nature of a college which admitted them in the first place. It ought to be obvious: the very presence of “Asian, Black, Latina, Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled students at Dartmouth College” means that Dartmouth has already changed, and is perfectly willing to educate the “Asian, Black, Latina, Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled” to join the ranks of rich, white men as intellectually and economically successful individuals.

Well, maybe not intellectually successful.  The problem seems to be that liberalism is a mental blockage, which prevents otherwise intelligent (?) people from seeing obvious connections.  Jonah Goldberg noted the “confirmation bias” of the (supposedly) intellectual left, in which Paul Krugman famously said that “the facts have a liberal bias,” and that “conservatives are more prone to confirmation bias because he and all the liberals he knows are so much more open-minded than conservatives.”3

Unfortunately for the left, their “confirmation bias” appears to be an unwillingness to entertain any facts which conflict with their political correctness. There are so many things intertwined, but looking at the whole picture, rather than the individual pieces, simply cannot be done, if doing so challenges the the overarching multicultural view.

I will put it very plainly: some cultures and some religions4 are superior to others, in the economic rewards they produce, in the freedom they allow the individual, in the rights they accord their people. The good liberals at Brandeis, and the Concerned Asian, Black, Latina, Native, Undocumented, Queer, and Differently-Abled students at Dartmouth College, all so thoroughly enjoying the rewards and freedoms allowed by the horrible, white patriarchal against which they so nobly protest, seem completely unwilling and unable to look at other cultures and societies with anything like a realistic eye.

Their universities have failed them. Colleges exist not only to teach facts, not only to train for technical professions, but to impart the ability to think critically, and so many of our educated liberal elites just plain lack that.

  1. An incoming freshman for the Fall semester of 2013 would owe $60,950 in tuition, freshman fees, room and board. Different students and living arrangements would have somewhat different fees.
  2. I “borrowed” that tagline from another site, but can’t remember where.
  3. The second quote is from Mr Goldberg, not Dr Krugman.
  4. Culture and religion are not synonyms, but neither exists apart from the other; they are inextricably intertwined.

She has fulfilled her role as scapegoat

I guess that there was no way that they could blame this on George Bush! From The Wall Street Journal:

Kathleen Sebelius to Resign Health Post
Move Comes After Health-Insurance Enrollments Reached 7.5 Million
By Louise Radnofsky and Carol E. Lee | Updated April 10, 2014 11:53 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who led the government’s troubled rollout of the 2010 health-care law, will step down, her spokeswoman confirmed Thursday, capping a rocky five years in the Obama cabinet.

President Barack Obama was expected to announce on Friday that Mrs. Sebelius, 65 years old, will be succeeded by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, according to senior administration officials.

Mrs. Sebelius’s departure came after months of speculation that she would resign over the shaky implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A wave of technical problems initially prevented consumers from buying insurance plans on, while millions of Americans had their plans canceled because they didn’t meet the law’s requirements.

The fallout became one of the greatest political liabilities of Mr. Obama’s presidency and is expected to shape November’s midterm elections.

Mrs. Sebelius appeared to be moving past that rough patch in recent weeks as insurance enrollments surged. On Thursday, she told lawmakers the administration believed at least 7.5 million people had picked plans through and similar state-run exchanges to date. That number exceeded prior enrollment projections.

More at the link.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

It’s not much of a surprise that Secretary Sebelius is leaving; it’s fairly rare for cabinet secretaries, regardless of whether the President is a Republican or Democrat, to stay for two full presidential terms. Now that Mrs Sebelius has taken the heat, her (probable) successor, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget, begins with a clean personal slate: she will be able to take credit for whatever successes HHS has, while Mrs Sebelius will still wind up with all of the blame. The Journal again:

Mrs Burwell has a low public profile but is one of the most experienced officials in the Obama White House. As a young graduate of Harvard University and Oxford University, she worked in the administration of President Bill Clinton, on the National Economic Council and in the Treasury Department before becoming deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. She was a confidante and protégé of Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Mrs Burwell was the official who actually ordered the government shutdown in October of 2013. But even though President Obama said Mrs Burwell, when he nominated her for the position at OMB, was “part of a team that presided over three budget surpluses in a row,” she has since been part of the team which presided over the largest budget deficits in our history.

Mrs Burwell has a strong reputation as a problem solver, but she also has a reputation as someone who knows and understands business, yet is part of a very business unfriendly administration. Her baccalaureate degree from Oxford was in philosophy, politics and economics, but her economics are those of the President she serves . . . and his economic policies have been failures.

The problem was not Kathleen Sebelius, and the solution will not be Sylvia Burwell; the problem is with the entire notion that the federal government is responsible for seeing to it that the individual receives health care coverage. Perhaps Mrs Burwell can slightly ease the problems associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but she will be unable to fix the philosophical problem which underpins the whole thing.

Economics 101: Would you like fries with that?

I suppose that, technically, a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies is the same as a BA in History or Economics, but the obvious question is: for what does it prepare a student after college?

Graduate school, I suppose, to become a Mistress of Arts or even a Doctor of Philosophy in Gender Studies, and hope that you can land a tenure-track professorship at some college.

But if I were a human resources director at some corporation, and I received a résumé from someone who claimed a degree in Gender Studies, it would go straight in the trash: who wants to hire a walking discrimination lawsuit, which is exactly what would be the most probable result of hiring a Gender Studies graduate?

The smart HR director would look for students who were smart enough and serious enough to major in something serious, something which would be of reasonable help in a professional career.

The very obvious question

From the man that Robert Stacey Stacy McCain recently said was in the running to be the Pyrite State’s “most right-wing professor,” Donald Douglas:

Brandeis University Withdraws Honorary Degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A woman with perhaps the world’s most compelling story of escape from radical Islam, now feeling the brunt of the leftist correct thought-enforcers.

From Ed Morrissey, at Hot Air, “Brandeis withdraws honorary degree offer to Ayaan Hirsi Ali“:

Brandeis University originally invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at its spring commencement, and created a storm of controversy on its campus. It has now withdrawn that offer, and may have created a storm of controversy outside of its campus as well. The former Dutch parliamentarian has long spoken out against the excesses of Islam, from her own painful personal experience to the radicalism that fuels terrorism and war. Apparently, Brandeis just figured this out, which raises a number of questions…

Keep reading.

Also at Protein Wisdom, “The totalitarian Left has embraced Islamism, let no one dissent.” (via Memeorandum).

The obvious, but thus far unasked (rhetorical) question: if the speaker in question was a zealous anti-Israeli writer and activist, someone speaking out against Zionism, would Brandeisa Jewish university — have withdrawn the invitation and honorary degree?

Robert Stacey Stacy McCain has a bit more.

Democrisy: Attorney General Kathleen Kane caught lying (again)

Kathleen Kane won the election to become Attorney General in Pennsylvania, basing much of her campaign on a promise to investigate whether political connections dragged out the Commonwealth’s investigation and charging of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on child sexual abuse charges. Mrs Kane cast herself as a fearless crusader against political corruption, but it’s looking like that was a false front. From the front page of today’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

Sources: U.S. prosecutors made no judgment on sting case

Philadelphia’s district attorney rebuked state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane on Friday March 21, 2014. AP (Click to enlarge)

Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers | Last updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 1:08 AM | Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 9:05 PM

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia never deemed a sting operation that targeted public corruption as too weak to prosecute, according to District Attorney Seth Williams and law enforcement sources familiar with the brief federal review of the investigation.

The sources and Williams say the prosecutors never came to a judgment about the investigation one way or another before the state attorney general asked them to halt their review.

Their statements echo a declaration by the Philadelphia office of the FBI, which said it made no judgment about whether the case was suitable for prosecution.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has said “federal authorities” endorsed her view that the sting was fatally damaged. She has declined to identity the federal officials involved, saying they had asked for anonymity.

Read more at here.1 This is from The Philadelphia Inquirer, a newspaper with a liberal editorial orientation, and one which routinely supports Democrats, and the rest of the story paints a very ugly picture of a very pretty woman’s political lies.

So, we have the interesting spectacle of a crusading, crusading! Democrat Attorney General, diligently investigating whether a Republican slow-tracked the investigation into Mr Sandusky, even though the Commonwealth did arrest, bring charges, try and convict the pedophile while the Republicans were still in office, but quashing an investigation which allegedly had four Democrat state legislators and at least one other Democrat official on tape accepting “cash or gifts.”2

This was how Attorney General Kane was described just last December:

Kathleen Kane Is the Democrats’ New ‘It Girl’
By Salena Zito – December 29, 2013

A former midlevel prosecutor’s ambition and rise in Pennsylvania politics is a sign of the times in American politics.

In under a year, Kathleen Kane has gone from an unknown Lackawanna County assistant district attorney to the powerful position of the state’s attorney general. If you believe the gossip surrounding her, she is a prospective candidate for every elected office imaginable, including governor, U.S. senator and president.

When Kane, the wife of a wealthy Scranton businessman, ran for attorney general last year, she benefited from a Bill Clinton political score that needed to be settled. Her better-known, union-endorsed primary opponent, former Congressman Patrick Murphy, had done the unthinkable in 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the state Democrat primary.

Clinton repaid that favor by fundraising, endorsing, cutting ads and bringing out the big guns for Kane over Murphy. He thereby reminded Pennsylvanians and Washington political-watchers that the Clinton machine still has big game in a big state — and that Kane was their girl.

Kane won and, ever since, has dabbled in the politically hot topics that secure wins in bigger Democrat primaries, issues such as gay marriage, climate change and big business.

First, despite her campaign promise to not act like a politician as attorney general, she announced this summer that she would not go to court to defend the state’s ban on gay marriage — even though her job is to defend state laws, regardless of her personal feelings or political ambitions.

More at the link. Governor, senator or president? While The First Street Journal doesn’t see lying and corruption as any bar to a Democrat seeking higher office — note that former Governor Edwin Edwards (D-LA) is running for Congress just three years after his release from the penitentiary — when The Philadelphia Inquirer goes after a Democrat for corruption in Pennsylvania, that Democrat is in some real trouble. When Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, a Democrat, attacks a Democrat state Attorney General who is rumored to have higher political ambitions, it tells you that Mr Williams might have those same ambitions himself.

In the meantime, conservatives like Robert Stacey Stacy McCain are calling for the immediate resignation of a married freshman Republican congressman caught on tape kissing a married part-time staffer. Perhaps conservatives hold Republicans to a higher standard than liberals do to Democrats. The Delaware Liberal has been all over Attorney General Beau Biden (D-DE) and his office accepting a plea bargain and sentence that kept a wealthy child rapist out of prison, but unless I just missed it, I haven’t seen a single call by any of the authors or commenters there for Mr Biden to resign; if Mr Biden runs for re-election (as he is planning to do), you can bet your last farthing that the Delaware Liberals will vote for him again.

As I said, a different standard.

  1. The link under the headline is different, and is sometimes restricted; this link is different, and may last longer.
  2. Mrs Kane said that the five officials had committed crimes, but that the case was too tainted to be successfully prosecuted.

We are not surprised

From The Wall Street Journal:

Pro-Russia Protesters Seize State Buildings in Eastern Ukraine
Demonstrators Storm Regional Government Headquarters in Donetsk and Kharkiv
By James Marson | April 6, 2014 4:41 p.m. ET

KIEV, Ukraine— Anti-government protesters calling for closer ties with Moscow seized regional government headquarters in two cities in Ukraine’s east Sunday in the most serious unrest there in the past month.

Around 200 pro-Russian demonstrators broke into the government building in the industrial city of Donetsk, raising a Russian flag and demanding the local council call a referendum on the industrial region joining Russia. Protesters also seized the regional government building in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

The unrest comes amid a Russian warning, repeated several times in March, that it is prepared to intervene to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine’s east and south from alleged threats of attack by Ukrainian nationalists. Russia says the government in Kiev, swept to power by protests that ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych, a Russian ally, is illegitimate. Moscow last month invaded and annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and has massed tens of thousands of troops on its western border with Ukraine, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

Pro-Russian protests that flared in Ukraine’s eastern cities after Mr. Yanukovych’s ouster late February had appeared to be fading. While the crowds of several hundred demonstrators in Donetsk were no larger than at other protests in recent weeks, Sunday marked the first time in nearly a month that government buildings had been seized in the eastern region of the country.

Russia’s invasion of Crimea came after a group of armed men seized the local parliament building there and appealed for Russian help. As in Crimea, a majority of people in the east speak Russian, but surveys show less than half want their region to join Russia.

As usual, there’s more at the original.

As we have noted previously, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and though it was under consideration for such, Ukraine dropped its application when the now-deposed pro-Russian President, Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, came to power. As we said then, with Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s move to seize the Crimea after President Yanukovych was deposed, there are 28 NATO Presidents and Prime Ministers and Kings and Queens who are very glad that Ukraine opted out of the membership process.

We have seen this before. In a move every bit as authentic and spontaneous as the Gleiwitz incident, pro-Russian Ukrainians and ethnic Russians in Crimea rebelled against the Ukrainian government in Kiev, following President Yanukovych’s removal, and it wasn’t long before Russia seized the Crimea. Now, Russia has some 40,000 troops massed on Ukraine’s eastern border, and Gen. Philip Breedlove, USAF, NATO’s supreme allied commander Europe, has said that Russia is in a position to invade the Ukraine on just twelve hours notice. Given the United States and Europe’s strong, strong! response to the seizure of the Crimea, dripping with sarcasm the possibility exists that President Putin might not believe that seizing the eastern portion of Ukraine holds much risk for him.

It’s like a play in football that works; until the defense manages to stop it, the offense will keep using the play.

Russia nearly doubled natural gas prices for Ukraine, which Ukraine promptly rejected, but all Russia has to do is say, OK, fine, you don’t want to pay the higher prices, then we won’t send you any gas. Ukraine threatened to take Russia to court, but that threat is meaningless; there is no court with any enforcement powers which could compel Russia to behave differently. Given that 40% of the natural gas Russia sells to the rest of Europe travels through pipelines going through Ukraine, the other European nations will pressure Ukraine to surrender; the rest of Europe won’t tolerate seeing factories shut down and homes go cold just to stand by Ukraine.

In the end, Vladimir Putin will win again, because there isn’t anyone willing to stand up to him.

Rule 5 Blogging: From Across the Pond

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Kate Moss in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week, as Piers Morgan returns to Blighty, here are some of the women who carry guns and protect his sorry ass.

Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore (SIC) Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore (31) joined the RAF as a pilot in 1998.  Originally from Lincolnshire she has served as an instructor on the Hawk aircraft at RAF Valley in North Wales and is currently flying Tornado GR4 with XIII Sqn based at RAF Marham in Norfolk. The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is proud to announce that a female pilot is one of two candidates selected to join the world-famous ‘Diamond Nine’ for the 2010 display season.

Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore (SIC)
Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore (31) joined the RAF as a pilot in 1998. Originally from Lincolnshire she has served as an instructor on the Hawk aircraft at RAF Valley in North Wales and is currently flying Tornado GR4 with XIII Sqn based at RAF Marham in Norfolk.
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is proud to announce that a female pilot is one of two candidates selected to join the world-famous ‘Diamond Nine’ for the 2010 display season.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: From Across the Pond’ »

From Around the Blogroll

The Five on Fox put up the above photo; hat tip to Gretchen for it.

Gretchen noted that the Distinguished Gentleman’s money woes began when his wealthy (third) wife kicked him to the curb, and his Wikipedia biography lists four ethical “controversies” associated with Mr Moran.

Jim Moran, a Democrat, represents the eighth district of Virginia, which is the Arlington area. He is one of the few congressmen who are fortunate enough to be able to live in their districts and commute to work in the Capitol, so it’s pretty difficult for me to have a lot of sympathy for his financial plight.1 I have a bit of sympathy for congressmen from Wyoming or Kentucky, who have to maintain a separate residence in the Washington area — and some elect to sleep in their offices rather than buy or rent a separate home:

The Huffington Post contacted every freshman House member of the 113th Congress, and more than two-thirds responded. Of those, four confirmed that their offices would double as their Capitol Hill homes.

Reps. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) are the newest members of Congress who have elected to live in their offices, staff members confirmed.

When asked why, a spokesperson for each of the four declined to give additional reasons.

The concept of lawmakers sleeping in their offices is nothing new. However, the trend — which was a practice popularized in the 1990s by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) — gained new fervor after the 2010 elections.

In 2011, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reported that at least 33 members of Congress — 21 of them freshmen — lived in their offices. Although a few Democrats have taken to sleeping in their offices, the practice is more popular with conservative members: Republicans made up 26 of the 33 representatives taking up residence in their offices, according to CREW.

Some lawmakers who were elected in 2010, like Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), have continued to sleep in their offices despite making an annual congressional salary of $174,000 — roughly four times that of the average American.

But for Mr Moran, no, I have no sympathy at all.

And now on to what’s happening in the blogosphere this week:


  1. I’d point out here that, when he was a Senator, Joe Biden used Amtrak to commute daily to his home in northern Delaware.
  2. In the case cited, the accused would probably have been acquitted by even the looser preponderance of the evidence standard used in civil cases.