24 February 2010

Clemens learns a new word


No, it's not what you think. In modern slang it means "tan on the outside, white on the inside." Sort of like a Latino Oreo.

Here [from Andrew Sullivan] is a bright light on CNN misusing the term, on so many levels:
"You almost need that blank piece of paper [to be a politician]. That's the new model. Like, you know, this coconut Rubio down in Florida," CNBC commentator Donny Deutsch. If you don't know what a "coconut" is, see Urban Dictionary.

Don't know, but this would make Carmen and her whole family coconuts [must.resist.urge. for. funny.comment] - and they are all about as Europoid as you can get.

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22 February 2010

The more I see of humans ...

I heard this today from Roy Blount Jr's reading of one of his books on the cd player as I commuted:
Dogs, unless they are overbred, are essentially Southern.

Our little lummox had something to say about this when I told him, but it didn't make much sense.

probably that Wilkes County southern accent I have trouble with.

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More excitement at CPAC

That's the conservative (read libertarian) conference going on recently. Here is another blot from Frum:

BEST: The man, Philip Berg, is a lawyer who is suing to have President Obama removed from office. He is shouted out of the room by a blogger, who excoriates Berg for associating himself with conservatism. That’s what we like to see!

Yes sir. A bit of sanity and a sense of appearances.

And, tooting their own horn (Frum Forum that is):
Nicole Glass, a FrumForum reporter, overheard complaining about how tough it is to get a substantive interview at CPAC: “Why are these people even here? They don’t really have any opinions!”

And one I completely agree with:

WORST: Introducing Grover Norquist, Human Events editor Jed Babbin joked about the tragedy in Texas yesterday, saying: “Grover’s been testy in the last couple of weeks… I’m just glad that it wasn’t him who flew that plane into the IRS building yesterday.”

And an acknowledgment of McCain's stand on Medicare D:
WORST: JD Hayworth who voted for medicare part D praising himself as a more consistent conservative than John McCain, who voted against..

And a bit cryptically:
Romney says: Only the private sector can create jobs. Then corrects himself – “in a lasting way.” No pretend information here.

And here are a passel of "Best" comments:

BEST: Tucker Carlson at ‘Saving Freedom Through Technology’ panel: “Take the time to learn. A purely emotional response won’t work. Weeping won’t win the argument… Get informed.”

BEST: Tucker Carlson lectures the CPAC audience: “We need to cease and desist using the term mainstream media. It suggests that anyone not in the mainstream media is not mainstream.”

BEST: Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner: “I love coming to CPAC. It’s like Woodstock for conservatives…except the high is natural.”

And this one, like Gandhi's response to "What do you think of Western Civilization?" sounds like it would be a good idea.

Keene lays out the hard line: “We’re not about winning elections for the sake of winning elections… we’re not about power for the sake of power.” The theme of this conference is “Saving Freedom”, because, as Keene explains, “that’s what we’re all about.”

Well, that's the best and the worst of the best of the worst, or something.

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Weirdest statement about Canada

This is from the Frum Forum, where they are posting the best and the worst of the CPAC. Here's one about Canada.

The First Reference To Canada at CPAC

Jonah Goldberg delivers the first reference To Canada at CPAC: “Canada is a Northern Puerto Rico with an EU sensibility.” Well, at least this time he’s not urging us to bomb it.

Have no understanding what this means, since Puerto Rico is a US territory and its citizens are our citizens. Nor do I know what an EU sensibility is.

But it probably isn't positive.

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20 February 2010

Go for the Gold!!!

Olympic competition like you have never seen it (but a few of us may have imagined it).

This year, a Russian psychologist told a German newspaper that neither gender should abstain. "It’s simple," she said. "More sex means more gold."

I think I'll go back to reading about the Second Punic War now.

Hispanics and the GOP

Hispanics, as a fact I am intimately aware of, are natural born law n order, patriotic conservatives. And yet the Republican party has pissed them away. Here is an article that explains with kid gloves how. It is the damnedest thing I have ever seen in politics, and that includes the current attempted reign of the Dems (apparently pronounced Dims) who are proving feckless. hopeless, spineless and hapless. The Repubs even trashed Bush's own immigration plan in the grossest racialist terms (viz. Tom Tancredo). Texan and Californian Repubs seem to know better.

Oh well, as our friend Jerrythe mensch would say.

19 February 2010


Real ones, apparently. In traditional costume. The song, less so.

G.K. and the boys of Subatai's 10th Tatar Tuman are probably rolling over in their grave.

I suppose I should dedicate this post to Jack's family. maybe not.

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17 February 2010

News of the Deeply Weird

Scanning through TalkingPointsMemo just now I found this headline:

Man infatuated with U.S. VP breaches 2010 security

Joe Biden? Really?

And I thought Michael Jackson was weird.


15 February 2010

Curious coincidence

I was putting up a post on that other blog, shamelessly blaming Canada for our weather in order to avoid taking personal responsibility for the situation here at Clemens' Central, when I noticed a curious little detail of the video link. The unhinged leader of this baseless hate campaign against The Great White North, looks exactly like Virginia Foxx.


I think not.

Have you ever noticed that in English that last little sentence can be read two ways?

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12 February 2010

Only because Carmen loves him so

I present, direct from his TV show via the Daily Dish, the greatest rock singer since Mrs Miller and Tiny Tim,


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The Sheep fight back!

Seems like some TPers are happy with neither Palin nor the Repubs. Something about "Demon Sheep". I don't know. The likes and dislikes of the TPers are hard to keep straight. But it is encouraging that some seem to hate the Repubs just as much as the Demos. As prominent TPer Dale Robertson says of Palin:
She represents a growing insider's attack to the heart of the Tea Party. Very much like a wolf in sheep's clothing entering in at the gate as an ally, but for all intents and purposes there to seize and capture, not only one or two stray sheep, but the whole flock!

What is it with this need to characterize conservatives as sheep? (see previous posts re sheep)

if everyone thinks this way I'd be a fool to think otherwise, as Yossarian once said.

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Fiscal Conservatives

A quote from a Paul Krugman column (despite that the quote is probably accurate):
“Don’t cut Medicare. The reform bills passed by the House and Senate cut Medicare by approximately $500 billion. This is wrong.” So declared Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, in a recent op-ed article written with John Goodman, the president of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Remember: life is a comedy for those who think.

I think I remember a time when irony meant something


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11 February 2010

Jonah Goldberg gets one right!!!!

And is funny to boot.*

He reviews the movie "Valentine's Day." It's short so here it is in its entirety (just so you don't have to go to "The Corner":

No I won't be seeing it, unless some rogue CIA squad, acting on bad intel, mistakes me for an al-Qaeda sleeper agent, kidnaps me, and drags me to the theater on the assumption that exposure to the film is the fastest way to break me.

But, I am fascinated with the fundamental stupidity of films like this. They work on the assumption that super-successful, funny, kind, well-adjusted, and hot-as-magma women can't find dates. I watched a clip on one of the talk shows where Jessica Biel — Queen of Planet Smoking Hot — is wigging out because no one will ask her out.

Meanwhile, these movies assume that absurdly handsome, super-sensitive rich and successful dudes, who love their dogs and mothers, do carpentry for orphans in their spare time but who're still manly enough to punch out jerks who threaten the honor of women, have a really hard time in the dating department, too.

Yes, I know movies are fantasies blah blah blah. But you wouldn't cast a filipino midget in the role of Indiana Jones. And yet these movies cast beautiful people — I mean crazy, designed in an East German lab beautiful people — in roles that only make sense for the basically normal looking. In the play Frankie and Johnny, the female lead was played by Kathy Bates. In the movie, Michelle Pfeiffer got the role. And Pfeiffer couldn't do better than an ex-con short-order cook in a low-rent diner.

Frankly, I find the plot of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel more plausible.

This by the way I found on Matt Yglesias - I was not actually reading the Corner. Don't do that any more. I always thought that out of an act of filial piety Jonah was out to make his mother look good in comparison.

*gad, I'm so embarrassed - I never thought I'd write such words.


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Without Comment

Our Political class

Read this and weep.

And then remember that this is only TWO out of 50 states, and only within the past year or so. Wonder what's up with the other 48.

what did the French have against Marie Antoinette anyway?


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09 February 2010

My home town (almost)

Enjoying a snow day (as am I - canceled class to day and now NO snow, rain, sleet - it will come later this evening)

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07 February 2010

Best one line description of the late John Edwards?

And the winner is:

"this guy didn't tell lies, he was lies," said Eric Dezenhall of Dezenhall Resources.

He fleshes it out in fine form too:
In almost 30 years of doing this, I have never been in a client situation where there was a quixotic and completely immoral and pre-meditated program to lie about virtually everything all the time.

Almost makes me want to apologize to all those sex-scandal Repubs I've made fun of.


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No Comment


Killer sheep.

Someone should alert Carly Fiorina

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06 February 2010

Tea Party time

Good times indeed. As reported by the Frum Forum, Tom Tancredo led off by lamenting the lack of a literacy test for voters. Tancredo, like your faithful correspondent, is old enough to remember when most southern states had just such tests. They were designed to stop blacks from voting. I am not sure, but I think that may be what he had in mind. And then there was this guy, Joseph Farah, chief of World Net Daily:

Farah started fine — heaping praise on the constitution, and urging America’s leaders to be faithful to it. He ended well, too, with a stirring exhortation to “take the offense in this struggle.”

But these flourishes were merely the bread in a lunacy sandwich — the filling of which were 10 solid minutes implicitly questioning whether Barack Obama is an American citizen. In 2012, he declared, every single election lawn sign should say: Show me the birth certificate.

It’s a silly line of attack against Obama — one that’s become the stuff of parody on late night cable shows. Even Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck have turned their back on the Birthers. Yet Farah’s cheap shots on this subject got big ovations. Message for the cameras: This is a room full of conspiracy theorists.

And this:

What’s worse, Farah wrapped up his Birther nonsense in Jesus’ garb, going on in semi-satiric detail about how the Bible documents Jesus’ lineage in a way that Obama cannot.

I believe Jesus is descended from some guy named Jesse.

personally, I'd check our DNA.


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Map Quiz!

Can you locate North Korea on this photo light map?

[thanks to Matt Yglesias]

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If the shoe fits ..

I am now treading uncharted paths of un-coolness by being a blogger. At least if this little post (pointed out by Andrew Sullivan) is true. It is entitled, by the way, "Blogging: A great pastime for the elderly."
I remember when it was kind of cool to be a blogger. You'd walk around with a swagger in your step, a twinkle in your eye. Now it's just humiliating. Blogging has become like mahjong or needlepoint or clipping coupons out of Walgreens circulars: something old folks do while waiting to croak.

Then he is cruel enough to taunt us aging bloggers with STATISTICS! A vile tool of the fact based community.

I never touch the stuff myself


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05 February 2010

Fiscal conservative, meet sheep

From Ezra Klein, an assessment of one Republicans seriousness.
Sen. Richard Shelby has put a hold on all of President Obama's nominees. Yes, you read that right. All of them. And it's not because they're all unqualified, or unwilling to answer the Alabaman's questions. It's because he wants the Obama administration to speed two pork projects set to be built in Alabama: A plant to build air-to-air refueling tankers and an FBI lab.

Update: Shelby explains that he is doing it to fight terrorists.

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The Invincible Japanese

There are reasons why they lost WWII - Imperial overreach on steroids being one of them.
Now the much vaunted Toyota brand has lost some of its luster.

Well, I suppose they could blame it on computer error. It seems to be the excuse for everything else in our civilization.
But a computer is only as good as its software. Some experts believe that Toyota's acceleration problems may actually be caused by faulty programming, not a faulty pedal. And the brakes on the Prius, which are used not only to stop the car but also to recharge the hybrid's battery, have already undergone one software rewrite, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal. So it must be true.

I remember when a Florida State Trooper gunned down a black motorist he'd stopped. The State Troopers blamed it on a computer error (and no, I am not making that up).

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Shearing Time

And the elites are getting their share of the bounty of the Tea Party Convention.
Attendees have paid $549 a ticket (plus hotel and transportation) to gather for three days at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, which critics say is out of reach for many activists. Some of the proceeds will cover former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's reported $100,000 fee for Saturday's keynote address.

And outside the convention hall, entrepreneurs sold souvenirs: sterling silver tea bag necklaces ($89.99), bags of "Freedom Coffee" ($9) and T-shirts emblazoned with a bald eagle ($20).

I use the comparison to sheep shearing advisedly. At least one Republican senatorial candidate has compared Republican fiscal conservatives to a flock of sheep.

Good times.

now if I could just get one of those sterling silver tea bag necklaces.


What's wrong with automobile safety regulation?

Nothing much. Everything is working the way it was supposed to.
The agency and the manufacturers know each other well. Two top officials in Toyota's Washington office, which deals with the NHTSA, are former agency employees.

It is a relationship "built on trust," said Nicole Nason, who was the agency's administrator from 2006 to 2008.

Ah, yes. Trust. Like the banking system. After all, what do the drivers of the cars know.

let's see - 2006-2008. That would be the Bush years. Heckofa job.


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