Was at the post office today to quickly pick up stamps since I had a bill or two to pay. I noticed that the stamp machine was down. Fortunately there was no line so I was able to get my stamps quickly.

While there I asked how long the machine was down, the clerk told me that it was down permanently. The order came from on high to shut it.

This didn’t make any sense to me since it would make the normally long lines even longer. It didn’t make much sense to her either but that was the order.

On my way home I stopped at Romano’s Mkt and told the story to Mike. Since the guy who used to maintain those machines lived upstairs of the market he had interesting details to tell.

Apparently my local post office wanted to add another clerk to shorten the lines. As money is tight they needed to move someone to the clerk line. The fellow who maintains the machines was elected.

I asked why he couldn’t just fill the machines in the spare time? Well under the union contract the maintenance of the machine is classified as a full time position, the clerks can’t touch them. This had been a sweet deal for the fellow since it didn’t take 40 hours a week to maintain the machines so he was on easy street.

So the post office had two bad options to choose from: Continuing to give full time pay for part time work, or make him a clerk but eliminate the stamp machines. They choose the later likely figuring at least he would have to work for his pay.

Thus a foolish union rule made a government agency less responsive to the public while appearing as a positive on the accounting books.

As the public sector grows under this president expect to see a lot more of this efficiency all across the board.

I’ve been getting more and more cynical over the years but this story really is a sad one:

“They told me it was not breast cancer, because breast cancer does not happen to children,” said Carrie Auslam, Hannah’s mother.

In mid-April, test results came back with a shocking diagnosis – Hannah has Stage IIA Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, an adult form of breast cancer. The rest of the tumor, which had grown around blood vessels in Hannah’s breast, would have to be removed.

Her uncle’s blog chronicling her fight is here. You can donate to give the family a hand here.

Update: Welcome if you are coming from the our little sweetpea blog. Feel free to take a look around. May I suggest that if you are looking for two charities that are also worth your time check out Marriage Encounter which help people strengthen their marriages:

The First Mate has a great suggestion: try taking a walk through a local cemetery. Read the inscriptions on the markers or headstones. You won’t find any that say: “Drove a really cool car.” “She visited the French Riviera.” “His suits were all tailor-made.” “Got broadband Internet connections before everyone else on his block.” You’re going to see what people will really remember you for: “Beloved husband.” “Devoted wife.” “Loving father and mother.”

It’s all about building families, and that starts with the marriage.

My second suggested charity is called Soldiers Angels. It helps and supports troops deployed overseas in a number of different ways. You can send care packages, adopt a solder or through their project Valor IT help pay for a voice operated laptop for a disabled soldier.

I haven’t even finished today’s Impromptus column and it is necessary to link to it and quote two bits of it.

First on Sen Specter:

Beware the politician who needs the office.

Second on Perez of Israel:

I want to examine something that appeared in an Associated Press report, here. We read, “Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is a world-renowned Mideast peacemaker, while Netanyahu has a hawkish reputation.”

1) Peres is a renowned peacemaker, is he? Okay: What peace has he made? Ms. AP Reporter, please tell me what peace he has made. People in the Middle East will be curious to know, too.

2) Sometimes the hawks are in the best position to make peace — see Menachem Begin.

3) Peres and Rabin shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Yasser Arafat — lest one has forgotten.

Okay, I think three’s enough points for now.

Awesome, simply awesome. You want principled conservatism and straightforward truth? Here it is.

Does anyone remember the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?

When Jeff Smith started his filibuster (this was in the days before the 60 vote rule) all the information getting to his town was from the Taylor machine. This meant that the average people only heard about a young upstart making charges against the well respected “Silver Knight” Joe Paine.

Eventually however when Smith’s boy rangers support him in their newspaper Boys life, the reality of the Taylor machine comes out in the violence against the children to suppress the paper. It caused people to realize something was wrong.

Over the last few months several things have happened that might be an indication that several sleeping giants might be coming together.

Item: The White House Attacks on Rush Limbaugh bring attention to him to the point cumulative in his speech at CPAC. The speech is televised not only on Fox, but on CNN exposing him to an audience that only knew his as a caricature of what he actually is. His audience has not only increased but he finds himself in other public panels where people actually have to deal with what he says rather than what other people say he does.

Item: Rick Santelli gives this rant online:

The Whitehouse and the media go after this guy, but his suggestion of Tea parties lead to hundreds of thousands of locally organized people in hundreds of cities all over the country protesting the government, notably without violence or property destruction. The media dismissed or insulted them with oral sex jokes. The Boston Globe didn’t even cover Boston’s. And yesterday the president who pretended he didn’t know about them attacked as hundreds protested in St. Louis where he was speaking.

There are now 500+ cities preparing to host teaparties on July 4th.

Item: The Culmination of Doug Kemic’s and friends attempts to shoehorn president Obama positions into Catholic acceptability comes as Notre Dame Invites him to not only give the commencement speech but to receive an honorary degree. The somehow unexpected scandal results in 350,000 people signing the petition protesting this. It becomes a cause celeb among believing Catholics, dozens of Bishops publicly come out against Fr. Jenkins’ position and his twisted logic on why the ultimate pro abortion president is an acceptable speaker at the most famous catholic institution in the nation. Finally Mary Ann Glendon, one of the most respected lay people in the American Church declines the Laetare Medal and attendance at the ceremony highlighting the moral choice for Catholics by example as the president finds the abortion question is still above his pay grade.

Item: Beauty pageants are kinda passe but A gay celebrity blogger chooses to inject politics into a question at the Miss USA pageant.

Miss Carrie Prejean echos the president’s position and loses. Hilton attacks her both on his blog and calls her a Cu** on MSNBC live (Norah O’Donnell notably not objecting). Miss Prejean stands by her opinions and offers pity and prayers for him. The media dives into the story. Suddenly Miss. Prejean’s is the face of traditional marriage and Perez Hilton is the face of Gay Marriage. Prejean comes out the winner and Miss USA becomes the 1919 Cincinnati Reds?

Item: A nice sunny day in New York is suddenly shaken by a low flying jet circling near NY buildings. People stream out paniced only to find out later that day that it was all a White House photo opt. Millions of New Yorkers who voted for president Obama are suddenly reminded of one of the worst day of their lives and even Olberman gets it.

I wrote on each of these events over the last few months, individually they are mistakes and oddities, combined in the first 100 days of an administration with a declining economy and now 60 votes it becomes a galvanizing and uniting force.

If the democrats are not worried they should be.

Update:
I’m listening to Rush Limbaugh today and I’m hearing the same general idea that now is the time to strike. If that’s not an endorsement of an idea I’d like to know what is.

Update 2: Noticed I forgot to bold some items corrected. And it just hit me it will be very interesting when the president visits the Pope in July post ND. Particularly since he is still without a Vatican ambassador.

Update 3: Bill Whittle figured this out on November 6th:

So consider this, my fellows in arms:

On Tuesday, the Left – armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of an historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months… who ran against the oldest nominee in the country’s history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded, and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent – that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunity…

Yielded a result of 53%

Folks, we are going to lick these people out of their boots.

There is much to do. That a man with such overt Marxist ideas and such a history of association with virulent anti-Americans can be elected President should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone of this Republic. The great lesson from Ronald Reagan was simply that we can and must gently educate as well as campaign, and explain our ideas with smiles on our faces and real joy in our hearts. For unlike the far-left radical who gained the Presidency on Tuesday, we start with 150 million of the most free and intelligent and hard-working people in the history of the Earth at our backs, with a philosophy that — unlike theirs, which has resulted in 100 million dead in unmarked graves — has liberated and enriched more people and created more joy than any nation or combination of nations in our history.

How can we lose this greater fight, my friends? How can we lose, unless we give up?(emphasis mine)

Update 4: This would have been item 6 if I had not been in bed when it happened. In fairness it is only an item because of the timing but it happening within 90 days of item 1-5 makes it more significant.

In praise of Obama and Specter today.

6:40 a.m. In favor of lack of convictions?

6:45 a.m. Palin was a two week freak show?

7:07 a.m. “Perhaps we should have reasoned with these people.”

7:08 a.m. How come Schultz is so normal on this show?

7:26 a.m. Stay away of Planes Trains and Automobiles; gotta love that Biden

7:35 a.m. I guess Sestak is running for that seat?

7:53 a.m. I’ve never cared for the Scowcroft Brzezinski school of realpolitik

8:20 a.m. Steele is hitting it out of the park, what a difference a month or two makes.

8:27 a.m. Signed copy of the book for Steele, somehow Levin’s book managed to get to 1,000,000 in print without ever being talked about on Morning Joe.

8:33 a.m. Their little bankruptcy?

At the American Papist a poll went up concerning the best solution to the Notre Dame situation. I left the following comment:

The actual best solution would be for the Whitehouse to find a reason why they can’t attend and pull ND’s fat out of the fire.

Imagine my surprise to see Kathleen Parker echo me:

Obama might consider following Glendon’s lead. Although he supports choice, the president also recognizes the moral complexity of those decisions. Out of respect for pro-life Catholics and their beloved institution, he should politely bow out.

This of course assumes a respect for something beyond his own self importance. Parker seems to be very taken by Glendon’s act:

Here on planet “What About Me,” principled people are so rare as to be oddities. Thus, it was a head-swiveling moment Monday when Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, quietly declined Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal.

Kathleen Parker hasn’t been very right lately, but she recognizes an act of principle when she sees one.

Politically the president must be thanking his lucky stars for Sen Specter, the 100 days to distract public attention from Mary Ann Glendon. There is nothing like the shock of reality (planes over NY) to make people see things for what they are, and reality is the biggest danger to the political future of the current administration.

…because this column is one of the best things I’ve read on the role of government in a while:

“…To keep the pace of the game (to maintain “flow” and allow the market to regulate itself)” – This one is important. A hockey referee keeps the pace of the game not only by enforcing the rules, but more importantly by KEEPING HIS WHISTLE IN HIS POCKET. See, that’s key. The referee is not supposed to hover, or have the whistle permanently clenched between his lips in an attempt to intimidate the players. As a matter of fact, the referee isn’t even supposed to call any minor penalties that don’t pertain to direct action around the puck. In hockey, if it’s an “incidental” penalty (ie: a victimless crime or bad personal choice) then it’s of no concern to the referee. This is of course why I picked hockey for my analogy and not a sissified sport like baseball. How a “man” can be a baseball fan, I’ll never know.

If our government were to put its “whistle in its pocket” (or in our case, just stop blowing it for one second), the market would be able to find its groove and eventually establish a quick pace and efficient flow.

Well the baseball line is full of it but other than that, read the whole thing.

…is the inability of Democrats to use his as a sign of “bi-partisan” support for the president’s positions.

Over and over when Specter voted for things the media referred to it as a sign that a measure was “bi-partisan”. Granted it’s not as if the media is going to become any more honest but it does remove that fig leaf.

Here comes the republicans have to change business.

6:44 a.m. The 60th vote makes it harder says Dean

6:46 a.m. Joe echos what I was saying, about who now has the responsibility.

7:11 a.m. Just ran a errand and came back in time to see Tina Brown pretend there is no difference between a 1st term and a 3rd term abortion.

7:16 a.m. They play the Specter quotes from 2001.

7:17 a.m. You and pat get me all riled up.

7:19 a.m. Does she know any other word than delighted?

7:22 a.m. Good line: “You wouldn’t have wanted to be in the room”, Obama knows that flyover is very painful for him.

7:23 a.m. There are no more excuses: Chuck Todd totally echos me on the problems of the Democrats, but plays the republicans are doomed game. He does point to the region rather than the positions.

7:34 a.m. It’s the gloat squad!

7:37 a.m. You are going to use Maxine Waters as an expert? When she runs a statewide campaign and wins in California then tell me how her views have large appeal.

7:41 a.m. TEMPERAMENT? This from the Bush is evil crowd? And the global warming myth business is just funny.

7:42 a.m. The likability factor is very true.

8:07 a.m. Specter has just illustrated another advantage of his departure that I will expand on in another post.

8:31 a.m. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know that Thacher was opposed to the re-unification of Germany.

8:34 a.m. More of the running gag about Joe and Mika’s dad

8:39 a.m. Haines is very funny today.

8:50 a.m. I don’t think we will see anyone ask Courtney about that “acknowledged grandchild” business today.

It might this week. We started with a a game of Robo Rally. Frank won that one, but we finished a tad early so we needed a 2nd game, so we decided to play Nuclear War and Nuclear Proliferation as they are usually rather quick to play.

By an odd coincidence in the middle of the game my nephew Dominic got a call from his kids in Minnesota. He was telling his daughter that he would soon be on a plane from Boston, at the same time the background talk was launching missiles, millions dead and so many megatons and bombs.

If anyone was monitoring that call and not familar with the board game they much have gotten rather excited. If the monitoring is done via computer programs then the alarm bells should be ringing off the hook.

I’ll let you know if the men in dark suits show up.

I think that Apple might actually be a business out for profit:

Reports of cracked hinges on the laptop are nothing new, but we always assumed Apple would eventually ‘fess up to the problem and comp those repairs. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and we just got another report of a hapless MacBook Air owner who has a broken hinge that Apple says will cost $800 to repair, despite the fact the laptop is under warranty. Our own MacBook Air Rev. A had the exact same problem — the hinge becomes loose over time, then suddenly catches and cracks from normal use, it’s not from undue stress — and Apple did the repair for free, but only after we escalated the issue to a manager, who let us know how very nice of them that was. From reading various reports, that seems the exception to Apple’s repair policy, which lists this sort of damage as “accidental,” and we’re wondering how widespread this issue may be.

This would make a very interesting Mac vs PC counter ad.

Via Glenn.

To me the value of a house is as a place to live and to raise my children. The actual price never really mattered to me.

So this story doesn’t bother me in the least:

A widely watched housing index shows home prices dropped in February, but for the first time in 16 months the decline was not a record.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major cities released Tuesday dropped by 18.6 percent from February 2008, slightly better than the 19 percent in January. The 10-city index slid 18.8 percent, compared to 19.4 percent the month before.

For decades I have heard the cry of “affordable housing”. If prices drop doesn’t that mean that housing is more affordable? Isn’t that a good thing?

How do you know a mistake is a REAL mistake. When Keith Olberman calls for the resignation of a member of the Obama administration:

You have to wait for the 1:20 minute mark to see it but it comes.

As national review says:

Okay, so Olbermann’s a maniac, but even broken clocks can be right twice a day.

Yes I don’t think I’ll be writing that Olberman gets it very often.

The biggest result of the Specter party switch is the loss of cover for Democrats.

They can no longer blame the Republicans for anything over the next two years at least.

They have their 60 vote majority in the senate

They have their majority in the white house

they have the presidency.

They OWN the next two years and every problem that takes place during it, from economics, to job loss to terror they own the lot.

Now they won’t even be able to give phony excuses to their base as to why they aren’t doing x y or z. There is no chance of Specter switching back, the nutroots will now have to be appeased with more than words.

In the short run it will mean a lot more pain for the country, in the long run it will mean the country will see what liberal democratic rule does to a free society.

Be careful what you wish for of Democrats.

UPDATE: The campaign spot mimics my line of reasoning in a way:

Arlen Specter has made the right decision to win reelection right now; the problem is, he doesn’t face the voters right now. He faces Democratic voters in May 2010, and he faces Pennsylvanians as a whole in November 2010. Right now, being a Democrat and being affiliated with President Obama is a winning hand in Keystone State politics. Today, Arlen Specter bet his next term that the political environment won’t change significantly in the next 18 months.

We will see. But it is very, very rare for a political environment to remain in stasis for an 18-month period.

I bet it will be a rather exciting time.

Update 2 : Red State and Flopping Aces get it.

Though Democrats will fail and will blame the previous administration for it, the American people won’t buy it. They elected these guys in 2006 and 2008, and now they expect to see something for it. They have been very patient with President Obama and have been quick to forgive his many rookie mistakes. But, as the Rasmussen survey reveals, they are not so willing to forgive Congressional Democrats. But now, at long last, both the White House and the Congress have to show the voters that they can solve problems, not just make them worse.

Democrats spent trillions and have absolute power. What will they be able to show for it? America and the rest of the world are watching. Republicans, that’s your cue. Hit your marks, and don’t forget your lines.

don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Specter knew he couldn’t win his primary so he jumped ship, politically he didn’t have good choices so he is trying his best to save his political skin, that is his primary principle.

In fairness it is the same thing Lieberman did.

If what I think is going to happen over the next year happens it will be very funny. If the administration continues to overreach as it appears to be doing then watch Mr. Arlen on the wrong side of the fence. He will spend his entire campaign defending the Obama administration, its budget and it’s positions and his votes to support it.

Good luck with that.

Update: Mark Hemingway puts it perfectly:

I read that he was switching parties, but I was disappointed to learn he’s still a Democrat.

Amen!

Update 2: Allahpundit comments:

That’s a weaselly lie, and therefore a perfect note for him to depart on. He’d have happily run for re-election as a Republican if not for Toomey getting into the race and quickly jumping out to a 21-point lead. Specter tried to make it an open primary so that the left might rescue him but couldn’t, and Pennsylvania’s election laws prevented him from doing what Lieberman did to Lamont three years ago: In PA, if you compete in a primary and lose, you’re done. No independent candidacy. So his choice, essentially, was either to switch to an independent now and skip the primary or go the whole nine yards by becoming a Democrat, giving the left a presumptive filibuster-proof majority (once Franken is seated), and extracting whatever concessions he could from them in return, e.g. committee chairmanships, DNC fundraising, etc. The Hill actually kinda sorta predicted this last month. It’s pure self-preservation on Specter’s part, expecting that he’ll be able to handle Toomey easily in the general when Democrats and indies can push him through.

He is in his mid 70’s he will never be relevant outside of the senate.

This story out of Pakistan has a good lesson for the Obama administration:

Emboldened by the government’s concessions (emphasis mine) , Taliban fighters began moving into Buner and nearby Shangla district. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said around 450 Taliban were reported to have sneaked into Buner on Monday.

The fighting that has followed is really the result of those concessions:

The Taliban’s creeping advances across Malakand have raised alarm in the United States that the militants were zeroing in on Pakistani capital, Islamabad, and stoked fears that the Washington’s nuclear-armed ally was on the verge of sliding into chaos.

The administration should take this to heart.

Because we can see stories like this:

Relatives and supporters of the late Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein are marking his birthday with tributes in his native village, laying wreaths by his grave and chanting slogans against former President George W. Bush.

Saddam would have turned 72 on Tuesday. He is buried in the Tigris River hamlet of Ouja, where he was born, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

A photo exhibition near the grave chronicles his more than two decades in power.

This should please anyone who supports free expression, then again to our friends on the left dissent isn’t as high a form of patriotism as it once was.

The president gets one right in the field of cyberwar:

With increasing attempts by computer hackers in China, Russia and elsewhere to break into and sabotage federal and private computer systems, Obama is set to propose a far larger cyberwarfare program than the $17 billion, five-year effort approved by Congress last year, unnamed military and intelligence officials told Tuesday’s New York Times.

Some interesting details…

Among the computer warfare innovations reportedly being considered by the Pentagon is one that would allow a U.S. programmer to secretly enter a server in a foreign country and destroy a “botnet” before it could be deployed in the United States. Botnets are malicious programs that let users commandeer PCs and use them to spread code to other machines, creating vast networks of zombie computers that can be controlled remotely.

In a country where information technology rules this is where part of the fight has to take place, logistics are very important and can make or brake things in warfare and infrastructure. I’m glad to see these guys on it.

Oh great Richard (Bigot) Cohen article leads with. I don’t want to compare president Bush to a Nazi but lets compare them to the Nazi’s?

6:41 a.m. I’m not an ends justify the means guy either, I just question if the means is torture.

6:42 a.m. Pat says if the next hit comes without the info, blame Obama, Joe says blame Dana Priest.

6:43 a.m. The LA times hits the president for long range damage.

6:45 a.m. Pat talks about a contrition tour. The Joe team forgets that this stuff is planed long ahead.

6:46 a.m. They show the diplomatic handshake.

6:51 a.m. The Leno thing was funny.

7:02 a.m. The talk about the plane scare and have the Bloomberg press conference.

7:07 a.m. You know Todd DOES look like a young Lenin

7:09 a.m. They are in some serious damage control at the Whitehouse over the planes. Gibbs is floundering on the stage.

7:12 a.m. Mexico doesn’t believe their government as opposed to here? Do I believe the Obama administration on stuff? I think it’s a question on what kind of stuff they would lie about.

7:15 a.m. The meeting between the “progressive caucus” and the president should be interesting. Will he be all talk with them or no?

7:29 a.m. He’s fantastic says Clyburn. Sounds like a Rotman’s commercial.

7:31 a.m. We will use he same methods if people don’t do what we want.

7:41 a.m. It sounds like the administration is going to play financial games, surprise surprise surprise see 7:12 a.m.

7:55 a.m. Shelby says its going to get worse before it gets better.

7:56 a.m. Joe: “Conservatives don’t need the republican party as much as the republican party needs conservatives.”

8:01 a.m. Here is a shot of NYC without planes buzzing it.

8:06 a.m. Mika is just fun isn’t she?

8:09 a.m. Robinson has a great point about the dangers of an epidemic but why couldn’t it be used as a terror weapon? Remember 90% of the indigenous deaths in the Americas during the 1500’s were by smallpox and other disease, not by conquistadors.

8:19 a.m. This is steamroller stuff.

8:40 a.m. Bob Dylan…borrrrring

8:53 a.m. Is Courtney’s day off a coincidence?

8:58 a.m. I learned that Joe has a new book. I didn’t know what I wanted to learn, that is why Hazlett wrote what she wrote.

The corner notices some interesting wordplay on the MSNBC site in a story by Courtney Hazlett:

There’s been plenty of speculation that Levi Johnston, the father of Tripp, Sarah Palin’s first acknowledged grandchild, has been giving interviews to the likes of Larry King and Tyra Banks so that he can land an endorsement or modeling deal.

The line has been rather sloppily removed from the main MSNBC site but it still lives on via sites that syndicated it and haven’t edited the copy, such as here here and here.

Now unless Miss Hazlett has been drinking Andrew Sullivan’s koolaid I think an explanation is in order; what made her decide on that word when this was written? What evidence if any did you have to suggest that there is another grandchild out there. This should be done preferably on Morning Joe.

Because you can have so much fun if you choose to add the word “acknowledged” to any conversation concerning Courtney Hazlett. The mind boggles! Particularly during the morning joe liveblogging.

Mary Ann Glendon showed that you can be a winner without getting a medal.

Miss California Carrie Prejean proves that just because you wear a bikini doesn’t mean you can’t defend your faith:

Miss California Carrie Prejean, who became the bombshell of the Miss USA pageant by saying gay couples should not be allowed to marry, said Sunday that her state sponsors urged her to apologize afterward but she rejected the advice.

Prejean, 21, said officials from the Miss California USA pageant were worried that her comments would cost their contest financial backing and tried to prepare her for a string of post-pageant media interviews by discouraging her from discussing her religious beliefs.

After all we can’t have people talking about her faith, but Miss California nixed that:

If anything, Prejean has solidified her stance in the last week. McPherson, who preaches against homosexuality, has been acting as her adviser and encouraging her to use her newfound fame to persuade other evangelical Christians to share their views, even if they are unpopular.

“I learned that God has a bigger crown than any man can give you,” she said.

Hotair comments:

You need to not talk about your faith. For those who think of beauty pageants as anachronisms for young women in an era of liberation, doesn’t this speak volumes about the attitudes of the organizers? Just shut up and look pretty, even if people are attacking you.

I am really surprised that more feminists are not defending her. Mika seems to be but that’s all I’ve heard on the left. Is it the religious faith? Or is it a question of Sex, that is the “exploitative nature” of beauty patients, too much worry about being sexy on film to gain the notice? Who knows?

If her popularity continues you should expect to see photoshoped Miss California sex photos and a Larry Flynt XXX parody movie any day now…

…and if the combination of words doesn’t cause tons of hits to this post nothing will (:c)

In all the news about the president at Notre Dame the fact that a strong person in the pro-life movement Mary Ann Glendon was supposed to receive the Laetare Medal was supposed to be a counterpoint to affirm the pro-life identity of the college.

However it appears that they didn’t count on the actual faith of Mary Ann Glendon:

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

* “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”
* “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

To say this is a bombshell is the understatement of the year. Hot air comments:

…she’s right to reject that exploitation, as Notre Dame used Glendon in a way that all but said, “Why, some of our best friends are Catholic!”

The public scolding and rejection leaves Notre Dame twisting in the wind. The Laetare Medal is quite prestigious in the Catholic community, and Glendon’s rejection of it will make Rev. Jenkins look even more foolish. Glendon refuses to allow the award to be demeaned into a tool for political purposes, which demonstrates more integrity than Fr. Jenkins has shown in this sorry episode.

The American Papist is all over this.

Ed Peters is impressed.

The evil that ND President Jenkins and his Board of Trustees committed has, Deus laudetur, occasioned one of the most striking displays of episcopal fortitude I can remember, mobilized hundreds of thousands of American Catholics against another quiet surrender to the Culture of Death, and effected notice to several once great Catholic institutions that it’s time, finally, to decide where they stand.

Fr De Souza is impressed:

It could not have been easy for Glendon to decline the Laetare Medal — after all, she is deserving of it, and the people who nominated her for it are now put in an awkward position. Glendon is proud of her Notre Dame connections, including the 1996 honorary degree that she was awarded. No doubt she is proud of her former student Barack Obama for his laudable achievements. No doubt she would have preferred a quieter honor, one which would not have forced her to choose sides. It is to Father Jenkins’s shame that he tried to use Glendon. It is to her great credit that she refused to be used.

In her life of extraordinary accomplishments, the witness given by Glendon by not going to Notre Dame next month is something of a crowning achievement. It matters a great deal that a celebrated laywoman is rejecting this honor. Notre Dame long ago learned how to disregard the advice, admonishment and even the explicit will of the American bishops. For this they paid no apparent price, as there were always those who were willing to take what Notre Dame was offering, including successive presidents of the United States.

Now someone has finally said No. And not just someone, but a woman who has ennobled everything she has lent her name to. It will be noticed on May 17 that someone thought some things more important than Notre Dame’s honors; that someone thought some things more important than basking in the glow of a popular president; that someone thought 25 years of deliberate confusion, evasion, equivocation and deception from Notre Dame on abortion politics was enough.

Glendon will not collect her Laetare Medal. In not doing so, she has proved worthy of the honor; please God, her courageous decision will make Notre Dame more worthy of the honors it seeks to give.

I say, God bless Ambassador Glendon.

The previous paragraphs are a real indictment of the university to this point.

Fr Powell is impressed:

The most telling element of this letter is Prof. Glendon’s assertion that she is declining the medal and the invitation b/c Jenkins used her attendance in his “talking points” to cloud the issue of The One’s invitation with a thin veneer of “balance.” She also spanks him for ignoring the USCCB’s guidelines on not inviting and honoring pro-abortion speakers on Catholic campuses.

Good for her!

William is impressed:

This is one brave Catholic Woman…

The Curt Jester is impressed:

Now it will be interesting to see if Notre Dame decides to award this to someone else or to just not issue it this year. I think they would have a hard time finding somebody authentically pro-life that would accept this as she has declined it. So I would guess that it is not issued this year. It would add another scandal if they picked someone nominally pro-life as they did last year with Martin Sheen. I protested his pick last year since while he calls himself pro-life he does nothing to advance the cause and solidly supports pro-abortion Democrats. So will they be calling Doug Kmiec? — I hope not.

As the Corner reports his hopes are dashed, and I was just thinking of Doug Kmiec as the replacement. It would fit right in with the university’s direction. They also comment and are pleased.

Personally I am very proud. It is so easy to just give in, that is the biggest advantage of sin, it just flows so calmly that you don’t see the gates until you are through them. To do the right thing is always hard, and it will cost her a lot, but that price won’t include her soul.

Pray for her.

Update: At the corner Mike Potemra is disappointed:

If anyone could have made the pro-life case on a podium that would be — on that day, at least — the World’s Greatest Platform, it would have been Mary Ann Glendon. It would have been a tough task — to express a serious disagreement with the most famous man in the world, in his presence, while at the same time not coming across as bullying, confrontational, or point-scoring — but I think she could have done it better than just about anyone else I could imagine. The day is coming when the taking of innocent human life at the fetal stage will be illegal in this country, and I think Ambassador Glendon’s speech could have helped bring that day closer. Are we pro-lifers confident that the pro-life witness at the commencement ceremony will be anywhere near as impressive as her remarks would have been?

The Anchoress seconds the motion:

But part of me wishes Glendon had not pulled back. I had a hope -call me a whimsical dreamer- that somehow the Holy Spirit would use the event, and the shared dais, to give us a real contrast between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death. And I had also hoped that upon meeting Glendon, President Obama would go all “post-partisan” like he said he would and realize she was a terrific Ambassador to the Vatican and send her back there.

Faith in the Holy Spirit is good and I suspect it is that faith that made her decide not to go.

Update 2: Don Surber takes the majority view:

As a Methodist, I am struck by the respectful way people are protesting his speech.

Hey Don we’d be happy to have you anytime.

Update 3: Missed powerline:

The Bishop of South Bend has aleady said he will not attend Norte Dame’s commencement, the first one he has missed in 25 yeras. The Bishop suggested that, by inviting Obama, Notre Dame had placed “prestige” over “truth.” Mary Ann Glendon has demonstrated that, by contrast, she places the fundamental truths of her religion above prestige.

You know there was a time long ago when I would have never missed powerline.

They were trumped by a dose of real life and errands. Add to that a great book (The case for Christ). My discovery of the very fun variant of Civilization Beyond the Sword (Defense), a few family squabbles and posting just takes last place.

I didn’t even get to see Ellsbury steal home against the Yanks.

BTW impressive as that is do you know that a Young Rod Carew stole home seven times in one season?

…it sure sounds like one when you read this paragraph from Damian Thompson on the Anglican communion rescue:

What I didn’t know is that the proposals are tied to an intricate scale of “degrees of communion” – full, impaired, partial and broken – that will ascribed to different provinces by a Lambeth Communion Review Commission, which will itself be multi-layered, supervising Review Sub-Committees based on the Indaba model that will ascribe State of Communion Assessments to individual dioceses, non-territorial episcopal oversight areas and parishes. It would, of course, be inappropriate for the same Review Sub-Committees to cross the boundary between inner and outer circles of the Anglican Communion, and so – in a radical proposal drafted by Dr Rowan Williams himself – the Lambeth Communion Review Commission will divide into inner and outer circle Areas of Special Responsibility that will shadow each other’s assessments.

Well we can now conclude that Sir Humphrey Appleby didn’t die on Boxing Day 2001 after all, apparently he works for the Anglican communion.

Update: And like Sir Humphrey Appleby the paragraph above is a fictional parody of reality. The sad thing is if you read the real thing you really can’t tell the difference.

The captain has talked to the commander of the American Legion after meeting with Secretary Napolitano and apparently she has gotten the message:

Napolitano offered a much more complete apology for the accusation in the DHS report on right-wing extremism that came out earlier this month. He believes that Napolitano will withdraw that report in favor of a better, more specific, and narrower report on actual threats.

Although this news is quite welcome what followed was much more important:

I also asked him whether the Obama administration appears to have learned from this and the previous controversy over medical coverage of service-related injuries and illnesses, and he graciously acknowledged that they do seem to be learning — and to want to learn.

Part of a good administration is to learn from mistakes and act accordingly. Political victory is nice but an administration that does right by our vets is even better.

Charles’ post from yesterday bothered me a lot. The evidence he gave was pretty solid concerning associations and considering my own post yesterday on the Paulians and my response to comments it was something that was on my mind last night, I was trying to roll it through my head.

Since I’ve read Atlas I’m convinced her primary goal is to defend the lives of Jews, come what may. Right now in Europe the normal respectable people are not willing to defend Jews in a Europe that is quickly becoming Islamicised. The way to defend the Jews who are in actual physical danger is to have allies, but what do you do if your only allies are unacceptable?

Robert Stacy McCain writes a post that I wish I had answering the question to a pretty solid degree.

Whence these associations? I’ve explained it before, but I’ll explain it again: The mainstream “conservative” parties in Europe have refused to address effectively the issues of immigration and multiculturalism. (In Europe, multiculturalism takes the form of pandering to their massive number of Islamic immigrants.) Because mainstream politicians have forfeited leadership on these legitimate concerns of their citizens, the vacuum has been filled by the likes of Reitz and Worch. Ergo, if there is a conference in Europe addressing the question of whether Islamicization is a threat, it won’t be organized entirely by “respectable” types.

Thus, Johnson’s guilt-by-association attack on Geller highlights the real problem we face in America: If the Republican Party and the mainstream conservative movement don’t recognize and respond to our own citizens’ concerns about immigration and multiculturalism, then those issues will be taken over by similarly disreputable groups.

What should Geller do? Cancel her trip to Germany? I think not. Rather, she use the occasion to alert Germans to the consequences of cowardice by their leaders. Germans, perhaps better than any other people, are aware of the heinous results when democracy fails in a time of crisis.

If honorable people will not take up the cause then it will be left to the dishonorable. A great example of this is South Africa, because of the cold war, stratigic location and key resources the west was much more deferential to Apartheid then they morally should have been. It is true that the soviets were the greater evil and threat but that didn’t change the moral situation. The Soviets and their proxies took advantage of that situation to support the ANC and use the support of a moral case to buttress themselves. Like Prometheus it was the shining fat hiding the bones offered to the Gods.

Pam Gellar links to the other McCain, her response ends with this line:

And just for the record, nazis do not hang out with Jews, even pretty ones. Ever.

This is actually where I have to disagree with both Pam and Robert. I with John agree that these far right parties are filling the moral vacumn that the mainstream is ceeding to them, however I think that doesn’t make them any less what they are. I DO think think that the modern Nazi will hang out with jews, (particularly pretty ones) if it will gain them power and advantage. I think seeing a bigger (and legitimate) threat from Islamists they will defend the Jews in Europe and even in Israel in fact I think particularly in Israel since they wouldn’t mind in the end for the Jews to end up there instead of in Europe.

I think they are playing the Soviet South Africa game. I think they are exactly what Charles says they are, but I also think that if the European Jews want to survive they need allies and there doesn’t seem to be any others willing to stand up over there.

If Pam can persuade mainline Europeans that this is a threat they need to combat then it is worth the trip but I think Charles alarm is not only justified but needs to be shouted very loudly. If Pam thinks this has to be done then it should be done with eyes wide open. I think both Pam and Charles are acting with honor. I won’t make a lot of friends with that statement but that’s what I think.

Don Corleone may have kept the widow from losing her apartment but it didn’t make him any less mafia. He may have avenged the funeral director’s daughter but it didn’t make him unwilling to kill.
Michael Corleone did what he thought he had to do. It didn’t make him less of a murderer. In the three movies he is preferable to the other thugs he faces, but he is still a thug.

This is why we have to be very careful of the Paul people here in America when it comes to the tea parties. In Europe there might not an ethical good choice to make. We aren’t at that point here which is why we have to act with discretion. I think we ignore Charles warning at our peril but I think we fail to act as Pam is at our peril too.

That is why the title of this post is what it it. And I have the same answer as Tevye. “You know you are also right!”

This story at Big Hollywood struck me because of a something similar that happened to me. As the person in question was rather elderly I put it down to generational stuff but was still very taken aback. This guy didn’t have that excuse:

The brother-in-law started, “You people don’t care about the suffering, don’t care about the weak and under-privileged, you don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to them, because to you and your ilk they’re all just a bunch of Tiggers!”

I was shocked. Even more shocked was the black gentleman sitting at the bar who suddenly took a keen interest in the conversation. After all, this is a word so repulsive it can cut through the static of even the noisiest bar. My friends had their backs to him, so it was impossible for them to see they had attracted an audience.

Never being one to avoid a conflict, I feigned ignorance. “They’re just a bunch of what?”

My friend was happy to clarify, “Tiggers. You think they’re Tiggers. You don’t care about them because they’re just all Tiggers.”

Here were two long-time liberals demonstrating to me the privilege of language accorded only to those on the correct side of the aisle. I asked again, “They’re WHAT?”

The husband spoke, “TIGGERS TIGGERS TIGGERS! How plain do I have to say it for you? T-I-double GUH- ER!!!”

At this point the eavesdropping stranger could remain silent no longer, “Uh, excuse me…”

My liberal friends turned around, and I cannot find the words to describe the shade of red their faces took as their bravado sunk under the table. The moment of silence that followed, seemed to last an eternity. The husband broke, “Um, you don’t understand what’s going on here,” he pointed into my chest and indicted, “You see, he’s a REPUBLICAN!”

The gentleman pretended like he wasn’t listening, so when the husband rushed over to apologize, he had to say the word again, right to his face. It was a very embarrassing moment, almost too painful to watch. On the up side, the gentleman ended up getting a free drink out of the deal, as the husband was eager to put it behind him.

What is that old saying? There is truth in Wine. Give a person a few drinks and they will say what they actually think.

Looking at the debate on who knew what and with the waterboarding and “torture” Michelle Malkin’s book
In Defense of Internment: The World War II Round-Up and What It Means For America’s War on Terror
is looking particularly relevant again.

I would suggest giving it a read. My Amazon review from 2004 is here.

There are quite a few sobering parallels to today.

It has been very interesting watching Mrs. Pelosi plead ignorance then have to back off:

Unlike the pope the other people at the briefings aren’t interested in saving her soul. The Schultz routine is not going to satisfy the monster left that she supported and enabled for all these years.

My gut says the president uses this as a chip, sort of like the AIG bonus stuff. You might remember once the vote took place it died. The president can bring this up at any time and crash and burn this congress. President Obama who as everyone of the left seems to have ignored was only briefly in congress and didn’t have those briefings.

Congressional democrats, particularly leaders, will in my opinion do ANYTHING to avoid this trap.

Finally up early enough to see it!

6:13 a.m. The difference between the two leaders is interesting and everyone notices it.

6:15 a.m. You overreach and have showtrials it will blow up. He doesn’t know the half of it.

6:17 a.m Personally I think the president likes this. I think this gives him power over congressional democrats.

6:23 a.m. Gee they never had a chance until suddenly a major change came to the ticket. Pat mentions seems to remember what actually gave McCain a chance.

6:29 a.m. I’m sorry but seeing that rather statuesque woman talking about going out to play shortly will certainly wake up a certain percentage of the viewing audience.

6:31 a.m. “Honoring” horses? That is going to be a killer lawsuit.

6:32 a.m. Hey they are constantly promoting the Green stuff, lets decide it’s an NBC construct and totally ignore it.

6:34 a.m. The promos for Olberman and Maddow are just hilarious considering the headlines. Apparently this is a problem for Republicans?

6:35 a.m. And then the show comes back on and Gibbs statement and ducking brings the reality. This is unsustainable.

6:40 a.m. Joe hits the nail on the head, you don’t do this while the war is on.

6:43 a.m. FDR and Wilson and Lincoln, Joe is on a roll.

6:45 a.m. Malkin’s book is looking better and better!

6:57 a.m. You know if Blago didn’t exist Willie would have to invent him.

7:01 a.m. Willie who was a judge is saying NC was goign to win everyway. Mika insists that she was discriminated against.

7:02 a.m. Willie won’t answer the Gay Marriage issue. Mika is really hot on this, boy I wish I was up early this week to see it all play out.

7:03 a.m. Pat brings up the Perez c— stuff. Mika points out that people who agree with Hilton are poorly represented by him.

7:05 a.m. Joe: “Some people on the left like to feel morally superior.” It seems this dovetails a lot with the Miss California stuff. This is a great debate.

7:06 a.m. I was very angry and divisive my first year in congress. If you feel yourself getting angry you have to step back and think is his advice. That is a function of experience.

7:16 a.m. What is this wired stuff? This is the Jacksonian side of America.

7:17 a.m. Letter writers figure Mika put a target on herself. Who cares what Perez thinks. She wasn’t shy about hitting Rancic.

7:27 a.m. Hoekstra : “They were for this program before they were against it.”

7:33 a.m. Will this stuff get destroyed? Bureaucracys tend to protect themselves.

7:43 a.m. The democrats running were for this. John Edwards is mentioned.

8:00 a.m. Oh boy more NYT magazine!

8:10 a.m. Gene Robinson is unwilling to take the logical step about war crimes.

8:12 a.m. Gene Robinson: “I’m comfortable with my moral argument but I’m uncomfortable where my legal argument leads me.”

8:14 a.m. The Nixon pardon comes up again. This is going to be the left’s escape clause in the end.

8:28 a.m. The theory is to let the Taliban gain strength to justify taking them down violently? Did I hear that right?

8:58 a.m. What we learned with Pat and Mika were spot on.

Via lgf, Gateway pundit a bit of a danger sign concerning the Ron Paul supporters and the teaparties:

Citing the importance of the taxpayer movement in California, California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring today strongly condemned the use of anti-Semitic material used to promote the recent April 15 TEA party in San Mateo County.

“The taxpayer movement is incredibly important for California, and we applaud the success of the tea parties that took place across the state on April 15. Because we remain intensely interested in the growth and success of the mainstream taxpayer movement, we strongly condemn the use of anti-Semitic imagery in the promotion of the recent event in San Mateo County.

Ron Paul has several good points in terms of small government and unnecessary spending, however that doesn’t and can’t justify anti-semitic garbage like this.

I am very pleased that the California GOP jumped on this to hit it. The group in general issued this response:

Anti-semitism is too real, not to mention despicable, to be charged lightly, and Mr. Nehring’s reactionary charge is regrettable. It amounts to an unjustified smear of Dr. Paul and the people who support him.

One irony in this matter cannot be overlooked. A large, growing contingent of Ron Paul supporters has been elected to Republican County Central Committees throughout California. By indirectly smearing them, Mr. Nehring harms his own party.

I would be a lot more convinced of their group’s good intentions if the spot where the cartoon appeared wasn’t suddenly made private. This looks a lot like the disabling of comments on Huff Po whenever a person of the right is sick or dies. Gotta hide the hate.

Like the Larouche groups the Paulians are going to do their best to co-op the tea party movement. If they want to join in tax protests that’s fine, after all they pay taxes just like everybody else. If they want to argue the US spends too much money on foreign wars that is a legitimate debatable issue. The idea that this is a big Jewish conspiracy is not. If the Paulians want to advance an anti-semitic agenda and use the tea party protests as their vehicle, we must respectfully decline their company.

I expect the media to jump on this hard, in fact I am shocked that it already isn’t’ being reported.

…when people suddenly decided that Gay Marriage was the norm and marriage as it has been practiced for thousands of years became “controversial“? Maybe our brilliant miss USA contestants can answer this question. What year did all of us who maintain this belief, (the majority of the country and the world) suddenly convert into bigots? Can anyone name the year when people could believe this without being a bigot? What was the year? 1990, 1994, 2002? What year did you magically become a bigot by not supporting gay marriage? Were people like Richard Cohen and Frank Rich always bigots without knowing it until they changed their mind or was there a moment where they could remain unbigoted?

Do we have to assume all our parent and grandparents were bigots for their entire lives. Have all of our president been bigots?

It would be interesting to hear the answers to this. Any takers?

Via the Corner the Daily Mail reports that the Rani will return to try to befuddle the new 11th doctor:

The 40-year-old is expected to play a Time Lady, the Rani, a glamorous but evil scientific genius, reprising a role played by actress Kate O’Mara in the 80s.

A source told the Express: ‘Gillian obviously has a massive sci-fi following and it’s felt it would be a major coup to have her appear in Doctor Who.

Gillian refers to Gillian Anderson of x-files fame. The story is also picked up by the telegraph as well so perhaps it is more reliable than the Joan Collins story from 2007.

I always liked the character of the Rani, lets see if she is half as good as Kate O’Mara.