All posts by Rand Simberg

Sorry, Mr. President, They Won’t Listen To Me

Tenderly wiping tears of regret from his choir-boy eyes, Senator Daschle informs us that the economic “stimulus” bill is dead. He just doesn’t see how either side can come up with the sixty votes needed to pass it.

Never mind the disingenousness of the remark (even arcane Senate rules still allow bills to be passed with a simple majority, if it can get to the floor). What the plurality leader is really saying is either that he doesn’t want it to pass, or that he lacks sufficient control over his own caucus to bring it to a floor vote. If he wanted this bill to get to the floor, he is perfectly capable of making it happen. If not, one has to question his leadership ability.

Not that I care. I do in fact think that no bill is better than this one. I’d just like to see a smidgeon less sanctimony and duplicity from our “leaders.”

Sorry, Mr. President, They Won’t Listen To Me

Tenderly wiping tears of regret from his choir-boy eyes, Senator Daschle informs us that the economic “stimulus” bill is dead. He just doesn’t see how either side can come up with the sixty votes needed to pass it.

Never mind the disingenousness of the remark (even arcane Senate rules still allow bills to be passed with a simple majority, if it can get to the floor). What the plurality leader is really saying is either that he doesn’t want it to pass, or that he lacks sufficient control over his own caucus to bring it to a floor vote. If he wanted this bill to get to the floor, he is perfectly capable of making it happen. If not, one has to question his leadership ability.

Not that I care. I do in fact think that no bill is better than this one. I’d just like to see a smidgeon less sanctimony and duplicity from our “leaders.”

Father Knows Best

There’s a fascinating article in the today’s Macon Telegraph, that illustrates into just what absurd logical knots those who advocate racial politics must tie themselves.

On one side, we have the US Justice Department which, following recent policy dictates and law, claim that districts must be created to ensure that minorities are represented by members of those minorities. In the other corner, we have Democrats arguing that minorities are best represented not by minority representatives but by…(three guesses)…Democrats. Yup, gotta make sure we keep ’em on that liberal plantation.

Thus, it is claimed that it is more important to blacks to have a Democratic state legislature than for them to have blacks represent them. What’s going on here, of course, is that the Dems are recognizing that districts gerrymandered for minority candidates are concentrating Democratic votes that could otherwise go to other swing districts, thust swinging them from Republican to Democratic. If they don’t fix this problem, they’re going to have difficulty holding on to, or regaining, representative majorities in the South.

The Republican lawyers who represent the four intervening voters will have a chance to question Epstein today, but they used opening statements to attack his methods.

“I think this testimony is a slippery rock,” said Mark Braden, attorney for the voters.

I’ll be curious to see how the judge rules in this case. I don’t see how the judge can buy the Dems argument without making the supposedly-judicial, justice-is-blind decision blindly partisan. On the other hand, I hate racial gerrymandering as well. It’s a slippery rock in both directions. It’s too bad that both sides can’t lose…

Satan Files Lack Of Defamation Suit

This just in to Transterrestrial News Network (TNN):

Beelzebub, aka Lucifer, aka the Devil, aka Satan has filed a reverse class-action suit in international civil court against Supreme Leader Ayotollah Khamenei of Iran and the Hizbollah terrorist organization, for impugning his previously-undisputed position as the world’s greatest Satan.

As evidence, he cited the Hizbollah leader’s recent comments:

A senior Hizbollah leader lashed out against President Bush Sunday, labeling him the “Great Satan” and dismissing U.S. accusations that the Lebanese guerrilla group is “terrorist” organization. “Bush is faithful to Satan, was his devotee, and is the greatest devotee in a leadership thirsty for killing and blood and aggression,” Hizbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naeem Kassem told a rally.

He also provided the following verified quote from President Khamenei:

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is proud to be the target of the rage and hatred of the world’s greatest Satan,” Khamenei told journalists at a press briefing.

In addition to insufficient defamation of character, the supreme Evil One is suing for extreme lack of slander and non-libel, as well as trademark infringement. Damages claimed in the preliminary filing are:

  • Loss of potential recruits to the true Cause of Evil, with resultant financial impacts
  • Blurring of the long-established “Evil” (TM) brand recognition
  • Reductions in sales of all satanic merchandise, including Halloween outfits, Red Devil firecrackers, Red Hot candy, and Harry Potter books

The Master of the Underworld is also suing for emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

“Since hearing the false charge that I’m no longer the greatest Satan, I’ve been unable to eat or sleep, and no longer take any joy from tormenting souls throughout eternity. I’ve been botching soul transactions, and gotten taken in several deals, particularly from House Democrats and Hollywood producers.”

The plaintiff has included U.S. President G. W. Bush in the reverse class action, for his refusal to defend himself against the charge of being the greatest Satan, or even acknowledging it.

“I’ve spent millennia establishing a reputation and trademark of ultimate evil, and this Texas cowboy thinks that he can just come in and take the throne in a few months?”

“And what’s with these stupid thugs in the Middle East? You’d think that people who rip womens’ fingernails out for putting polish on them, or who shoot up a young woman’s coming-of-age party would recognize true evil when they see it, but apparently this Bush guy has pulled the asbestos over their eyes.”

He revealed part of his legal strategy at the press conference, bringing forth just one of what are sure to be numerous negative character witnesses.

Biting his lip, Mr. Clinton put his arm over the plaintiff’s shoulder, proclaiming, “I know Satan. Satan is a friend of mine. And George Bush is no great Satan.”

(Copyright Rand Simberg 2002)

Parts Is Parts

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about reviving phonics and arithmetic drills, but Linda Chavez has an interesting column today on the lost art of diagramming sentences, and the dismayingly poor quality of schoolchildren’s writing skills.

I wonder if this is included in the curriculum in jounalism school.

Naawwwww…

But It’s Uphill

According to Sam Dealey, Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is literally a limousine liberal. In contravention of government ethics rules, each morning, she has one of her staffers pick her up in a limo at her Capitol Hill apartment, and drive her to her House office building–one and a half blocks away.

Boy, and they say people in LA don’t like to walk. This reminds me of the scene in LA Story, in which Steve Martin walks out of his front door, down the sidewalk to the street, gets into his car, starts it up, pulls it forward to the next house, gets out, and walks up and knocks on the door.

Of course, we have to consider that she’s not the sharpest tack in the box. This is a woman who, when the Sojourner landed on Mars, asked if it landed near the Apollo landing sites. And she serves on the Subcommittee of Space and Aeronautics.

I have no further comment.

But It’s Uphill

According to Sam Dealey, Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is literally a limousine liberal. In contravention of government ethics rules, each morning, she has one of her staffers pick her up in a limo at her Capitol Hill apartment, and drive her to her House office building–one and a half blocks away.

Boy, and they say people in LA don’t like to walk. This reminds me of the scene in LA Story, in which Steve Martin walks out of his front door, down the sidewalk to the street, gets into his car, starts it up, pulls it forward to the next house, gets out, and walks up and knocks on the door.

Of course, we have to consider that she’s not the sharpest tack in the box. This is a woman who, when the Sojourner landed on Mars, asked if it landed near the Apollo landing sites. And she serves on the Subcommittee of Space and Aeronautics.

I have no further comment.

But It’s Uphill

According to Sam Dealey, Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is literally a limousine liberal. In contravention of government ethics rules, each morning, she has one of her staffers pick her up in a limo at her Capitol Hill apartment, and drive her to her House office building–one and a half blocks away.

Boy, and they say people in LA don’t like to walk. This reminds me of the scene in LA Story, in which Steve Martin walks out of his front door, down the sidewalk to the street, gets into his car, starts it up, pulls it forward to the next house, gets out, and walks up and knocks on the door.

Of course, we have to consider that she’s not the sharpest tack in the box. This is a woman who, when the Sojourner landed on Mars, asked if it landed near the Apollo landing sites. And she serves on the Subcommittee of Space and Aeronautics.

I have no further comment.

Who Watches The Watcher?

I’m almost certainly not the only person to point it out, but we need to keep hammering on this point: the irony of the federal government investigating anyone else’s accounting practice is profound. If I kept my books like these guys, I’d have been locked up long ago.

Time On Our Side, Or Theirs?

There’s a good editorial in today’s Journal by Thomas Bray that expresses some concerns that I’ve had since the undeclared “war” on terrorism began. I’m not as concerned, however, with his main point. He was disconcerted when the President said in the SOTU that “time is not on our side,” and believes that it contradicts his September 20th speech, in which he stated that the terrorists’ ideologies will be consigned to the unmarked grave of history.

I don’t see the contradiction. It’s possible to believe in ultimate inevitable victory, while still being concerned about near-term tactical attacks. The president wasn’t saying that we may lose the war if we are not expeditious–he was simply saying that, in doing so, we may suffer greater casualties than need be, and greater casualties than September 11, if we don’t continue to put pressure on all sources of terrorism.

However, I, like Mr. Bray, have been, and continue to be, disquieted by the seeming lack of any criteria by which we will know that the war is over, and by our continuing refusal to formally declare it. This is particularly troubling in the face of the continued erosion of our civil liberties that is being justified in its name.