…at least when it comes to space.
T. Coddington weighs in:
Who was this mysterious rival, I inquired – some heretofore unknown Machiavellian prodigy from Harvard poli sci? An old-money interloper from the Philadelphia Mainline? Neither, they said. The challenge, they explained, came in the form of one “Christine O’Donnell,” a financially destitute 37-year old Tea Party schoolgirl whose intellectual heft by comparison made even la Palin look Obamanesque. I then watched in abject horror as they played a video of her crusading against teenage onanism. I admit no great pride in my own occasional participation in that unseemly adolescent pastime, but what sort of person declaims it on MTV? And what sort of party allows her name to appear on an official primary ballot? And that is when it struck me: I was obviously now witnessing the premise of an elaborate practical joke. Delawareans have long been known as the irascible pranksters of East Coast Republicanism, and to be selected as the target of their good-natured japery is in some fashion an honor. Even though the stunt nearly led to his untimely demise, the very first T. Coddington Van Voorhees himself reportedly enjoyed a hearty laugh after his waggish Delaware friend E. I. du Pont replaced his trusty dueling pistol with a replica that egested a comical “BANG” flag. Not wanting to spoil their fun, I did not let on to the Delaware party officials that I was wise to their little joke. Instead, I played along and counseled them to run a last minute, no-holds-barred negative media blitz against their impossibly fictional “Tea Party candidate.”
And thus I awaited with wry anticipation as Farquhar slowly traversed the breakfast room with the cart bearing the punchline to the Delawareans’ clever prank. This was followed by gales of riotous laughter when I discovered the wags had printed an entire mock edition of the New York Times announcing their satirical “Miss O’Donnell” had actually won the race! I was so overcome with mirth that I kicked over the cart, spilling grapefruit across the marble. As Farquhar trembled back to the kitchens to retrieve the mop, I reached for the ringing telephone prepared to hear the voice of the Delaware GOP chairman crowing about his ingenious drollery. Instead I was greeted with the panicked entreaties of none other that Mr. Castle himself, joined by the Republican National Congressional Committee brain trust, insisting against all rational evidence that Miss O’Donnell was in fact real and that she had indeed won the contest. I conducted an incredulous review of the cable news channels, which confirmed their wild story. I called the kitchen intercom and bade Farquhar fetch me a stiff drink on his way back with the mop.
He’ll probably need to make it a double.
[Update a few minutes later]
A rare interview with the Hawk himself.
Home ownership is a lousy investment.
While I don’t dispute the numbers, they are based on averages, and don’t take into account location. Also, there is no accounting for the intangibles of owning your own house, with the ability to make it the way you want it.
Here’s an interesting discussion on forecasting sexual orientation:
We all know the stereotypes: an unusually light, delicate, effeminate air in a little boy’s step, often coupled with solitary bookishness, or a limp wrist, an interest in dolls, makeup, princesses, dresses and a staunch distaste for rough play with other boys; in little girls, there is the outwardly boyish stance, perhaps a penchant for tools, a lumbering gait, a square-jawed readiness for physical tussles with boys, an aversion to all the perfumed, delicate, laced trappings of femininity.
I’m sure that my parents thought, or at least worried, that I was going to be homosexual. I was a bookworm, and didn’t enjoy roughhousing or sports. On the other hand, I never had an interest in girlish things, and was more into pirates and cowboys. In any event, I’ve never had the slightest interest in the same sex, sexually speaking — I’m as heterosexual as they come (so to speak). But I think you have to be in abject denial to think that sexual orientation is a “choice.” The only people for whom that’s the case are bisexuals.
In a roundup of some House races, Jim Geraghty at National Review comments on Suzanne Kosmas’ district:
Kosmas defied her district by voting for health-care reform, and many figured she had traded her vote to the Obama administration for some sort of deal to save Space Coast jobs. Instead, President Obama’s space-policy changes are effectively ending manned spaceflight, disastrous news for workers in her district.
I don’t know who figured that she had made such a trade, or how that was supposed to work, but the new policy is not “effectively ending manned spaceflight.” As I’ve explained myself at National Review, in fact, it was the Bush/Griffin policy that was doing that, in wasting money on an unaffordable and unnecessary new rocket that was extending the post-Shuttle gap into the indefinite future. The new policy could have a (commercial) crew delivery system in as little as four years, given proper (and comparatively modest) funding, while allowing the agency to focus instead on human exploration beyond earth orbit.
None of which is to say, of course, that Kosmas should necessarily be reelected.
[Update a while later]
Jim has updated his post to note that this assessment is that of the Republican candidate, and not necessarily his own.
A review of what looks like an interesting book on mid-twentieth-century advertising, over at Reason.
Now this is what I call federalism:
“Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.”
This would be the solution for legislative atrocities like ObamaCare.
It still remains unresolved. Amanda Carey has the current state of play over at The Daily Caller.
Some perspective for David Brooks, from Charles Murray:
You don’t increase spending by those amounts without changing the role of government in ways that go to the heart of the American project. That truth is reflected in the qualitative record. In 1963, 30 years after the New Deal started, the federal government still played little role in vast swathes of American life, from K-12 education to the way people went about providing goods and services to their fellow citizens. We can argue about which of the subsequent interventions were warranted and which were not, but not about this: The way that presidents and Congresses see their power to intervene in American life in 2010 is profoundly different from the way they saw it in 1963. In 1963, among mainstream Democrats as well as Republicans, it was accepted that an overarching purpose of the American Constitution was to limit the arenas in which government could act. Now, the recognition of that purpose has all but disappeared—in the executive branch, in the Supreme Court, and in Congresses controlled by Republicans as well as by Democrats. There has been big change, reflected in big government.
And that, not racism, is what the Tea Party is about.
An interesting discussion of our ability to impose patterns on randomness.