Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Being ahead of the curve, etc.

First, some housecleaning:

Yesterday’s free play (taken down for contractual reasons) was a loser, in a game with almost no offense from either team – half of what we expected.

Overall, it was a good but not great day, in the limited manner that we normally adhere to in a week 1.


McCain was famously visionary on the Iraq surge, but don’t overlook his prescience on Russia, either. This passage is from a speech he gave at Arizona State University in 1999:

"The mindless slaughter [in Chechnya] is being conducted by a Russian military that seeks to reassert itself not only in the former Soviet Union but also to extend its reach throughout what used to be the former Soviet Union in an attempt to fold back into the Russian empire those countries that have broken away from it, most notably Georgia."

He certainly gets some things wrong, but foreign policy issues are seldom among them.


Plano High School kids pull off a great prank.


Can it just be a coincidence that the stadium (Invesco in Denver) in which Obama gave his acceptance speech opened on September 10, 2001?

How appropriate.


Was Obama’s declaration that he doesn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby” if they “make a mistake” a slip of the tongue or his true feelings?

It is odd to hear any Democrat call underage and/or premarital sex a mistake, that much is certain. Characterizing a baby as punishment may be par for the course on the hard left, but to hear it from a presidential candidate is disturbing, to say the least. Given that he has voted not to allow babies that survive attempted abortions to live, that may very well be from the heart, although it still seems to us like a pretty serious gaffe.

That the Palin family sees their daughter’s pregnancy as a blessing and not punishment stands as a stark contrast between the two young politicians and the movements they represent.


Also from the Dem convention, Rev. Albert Gore gave a speech which included “We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, will really hurt my portfolio.”

Okay, I made up the last part, the quote was really “We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind.” And it was followed not long after by “Americans are tired of appeals based on fear.”

I know he’s not man enough to acknowledge it publicly, what I wonder is if he even realized the self-immolation.


As debate season approaches, you have to wonder if questions will come directly from Democrat campaigns, as they famously did in a Republican You Tube debate last fall.

You would think that the spectacular failure of the media’s anti-Palin offensive would serve as a lesson, but you would also have thought that CBS getting caught openly campaigning for John Kerry in 2004 by using fake documents to drum up fake anti-Bush allegations would have taught the elite media a lesson as well.


Does week 1 matter? In the last 30 years, nearly 53% of teams that won their first game reached the playoffs. Only 23% of teams that lost made the postseason.


A Jay Nordlinger correspondent (fifth item) has a simple but brilliant idea on increasing the availability of fuel-efficient vehicles while, at the same time, saving the US auto industry.

What’s killing GM and Ford right now is the inability to provide highly fuel-efficient vehicles. Both Ford and GM make a lot of very fuel-efficient vehicles in Europe — but, thanks to differences in regulations, it takes a lot of cost and time to modify European designs to bring them to the U.S. This makes no sense at all. Europe is a sophisticated region and their vehicle regulations are roughly equivalent to our own as far as safety and other things go.

I see no reason that we can’t simply have a waiver that says U.S. companies can import any model that meets European standards and sell it in the U.S. We should just recognize their regulations. […]

[This is] a no-cost solution that involves no corporate welfare, enhances trade and consumer choices, reduces fuel consumption, and makes Ford and GM fully competitive in fuel-efficient cars almost immediately. There’s no downside to this except some bureaucrat somewhere would have to accept the regulations promulgated by some other bureaucrat somewhere else.

I can think of another downside: it pits the interests of the American people against the interests of the UAW (I am assuming that the European cars are built in European factories, which is suggested by the use of the word “import” above). And in the current congressional climate, which seems extremely likely to remain after this fall’s elections, the interests of a major labor union will always trump the interests of the people. 100% of the time.

But it is still an interesting argument, and one with which politicians and organizations who are serious about cutting energy usage and reviving the US auto industry should be fully on board.

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