September 16th, 2010

#2290: I do believe the elites are offended.

I've been thinking a bit about how the GOP leadership is acting in the wake of RINO Castle's defeat in the primary in Delaware.

It's no secret that I have little respect for the leadership of the GOP. The party leaders are all country club Republicans, inside-the-beltway types who simply don't care what the rank-and-file members think.

This is one way they are just like Democrats: they've been telling us for several years, "Don't think; you'll strain something. Just shut up and vote." Then they're baffled that they lose elections.

Problem is, the American people are a lot smarter than the Ivy League inside-the-beltway types think they are. We know how many beads make five; we can actually retain information for more than a few minutes at a time and several of us actually pay attention to the crap the politicians in D.C. try to pull, thinking we're not watching too closely and that we can be fooled with fancy talk.

I frequently say, of islamic terrorists, that they mistake forbearance for weakness. In the case of the GOP, they mistake forbearance for apathy: "No one screamed too loudly about those huge education funding increases that Bush signed, so we can go ahead and spend more money!" At the time that abomination happened, people were more worried about war in Iraq and Afghanistan than domestic policy; 9/11 had happened a scant handful of years earlier and there was still a palpable sense of danger that there could be another major terror attack on US soil. We had other things to worry about.

But the people who pay the most rapt attention to politics were the ones the GOP needed to pay the most attention to...and the GOP flatly ignored them and their concerns. And support declined, until the Democrats seized control of Congress in the 2006 elections.

The GOP's response was to nominate one of the squishiest, most moderate Republicans they could find: John McCain. McCain's sop to the conservative wing of the party was to select Sarah Palin as his running mate, someone whose politics orbit somewhere near Reagan's. It was exactly the opposite of the 1980 convention, where right-winger Reagan picked George H.W. Bush, whose politics were precisely in line with the country club Republicans, in order to get the squishies' votes.

McCain's campaign: one would have more success sinking a battleship with a butterknife. His campaign was pathetic, particularly the way he tried to run against Obama by not running against him. Only a US Senator could possibly think that it made any sense at all to ignore his opponent's weaknesses. Sure, it made McCain look a little noble; it also made sure he remained a Senator.

Meanwhile, the entire thing catapulted Sarah Palin into national prominence; she turned out to be someone who could galvanize the base pretty effectively. The Democrats and their water carriers collectively shit themselves in abject terror because they recognized what Sarah Palin--with the full backing of the GOP--could mean for them.

The GOP leadership, though, wanted nothing to do with Sarah Palin--not on a national level--because after all she didn't go to any of the right schools and she's not in the country club.

After 18 months of Obamanomics and the Democrat Regime's heavy-handed gonvernance, the people are fed up with the out-of-control spending and the hard-left politics and the rank stupidity of liberalism; they're angry at the crappy economy and they know how it happened despite the Regime's best attempts at spinning it. The people want hard-line conservatives, because they know that hard-line conservatives deal in reality and facts, not wishful thinking.

The American people know:
* You can't spend more money than you earn
* High taxes reduce economic activity
* Federal regulations are far too onerous
* Congress always exempts itself (and government) from the laws the rest of us have to obey
* ObamaCare is socialized medicine, and it will not work
* Government is too big
...and other things besides.

Historically, the hard-right-wing of the GOP--where Reagan and Palin come from--has been the source for all the people who knew how to fix the problems facing the nation. (Really fix, I mean, not just emplace Yet Another Federal Bureaucracy dedicated to perpetuating the solution in order to employ an ever-increasing number of government bureaucrats.) Having seen what a hard-left Democrat President with supermajorities in both houses of Congress can do, people are starting to realize that "gridlock" is not the dirty word the press would have us believe it is.

So the GOP voters--given a choice between conservatives and the country club--are choosing the conservatives, because they know which wing of the party is interested in cutting taxes and spending and making some sense out of a government which has grown far beyond its britches.

And the GOP leadership can't stand it. Because, after all, those voters didn't go to the right schools and they're not part of the elite inside-the-beltway clique. How dare they?

* * *

In that vein, then, here's some cowboy common sense for the political class. (That cowboy should learn how to use commas, though. I'm just sayin'.)

* * *

You know that pesky little "First Amendment" thing? Seems that Andover Township, Ohio, doesn't understand what it means.

* * *

Clinton lost control of Congress to the GOP in 1994 because Newt Gingrich came up with a plan to nationalize Congressional elections, by showing the American people what their local elections meant in the grand scheme of things.

Here's the headline: "Bill Clinton: New-look GOP makes Bush look liberal".

Guess what? Bush is a liberal! He's a Democrat Lite, squishy country club Republican! He always has been; and his father is even worse than he is.

He's not "liberal" in the sense that Barack Hussein "DA PRICK" Obama is liberal, but believe me, he's liberal.

* * *

Ann Coulter demonstrates how thoroughly the Left has lost its shit over Sarah Palin.

* * *

Muzzling scientists keeps them from doing science, dumbasses.

* * *

Solar minimum continues?

Over at Spaceweather.com one can find this information in the sidebar:
Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 41 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 809 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
Although we've had 1/6th of the "spotless days" this year that we had last year, the sunspot counts could not be called "high". I think the height of the pile was when there were five sunspot groups visible; right now there's one.

The sun's magnetic field continues to be weak--the weakest we've ever seen it, since we could even measure the thing--and the other solar trends point to a general decline in solar output that might last a good long time. (Decades. If not longer.)

The comments at that link are full of AGW nonsense, of course, including effluent from one tower of intellect who thinks that another Maunder Minimum can't possibly offset "global warming" due to CO2. *sigh*

Of course, if you think 3% of 0.78% of the atmosphere is causing runaway global warming, you're pretty much immune to anything remotely connected to "science", anyway. Real science, I mean, the stuff where the laws of thermodynamics apply and 2+2=4, not 8 or 16 or 25,000,000.

* * *

I ended up flopping last night around 9-ish, and I slept fitfully, but well enough. I had to get up around 1 AM for food, but otherwise I slept.

Now my arms hurt. That's to be expected; I ran them right to the limit yesterday. I think I spent as much time resting as I did working--I'd work until I couldn't lift my arms, and I'd take a break; then go right back in.

A 5-lb hand sledge gets impossibly heavy when you're working in that mode. Jesus. When it started feeling as if it were neutronium-plated I could no longer effectively control where it went, so I had to stop and rest.

On the plus side, the muscle tone in my arms is gonna rock in a week or so. On the minus side, it hurts a bit right now, to the point that I'm not planning to do anything more strenuous than anime or WoW today.

Tomorrow I may try putting the wiper motor into the Jeep. The trailer hitch will wait at least until next week, 'cause it's going to be days before I can do something that strenuous again.

* * *

Bad news department: Tuesday (before going to the boneyard for the first time) I had a look at the cam position sensor on the Escort, and there's no sign of an oil leak anywhere near it, so I just left it alone. Another beautiful theory, shot to shit.

* * *

Tuesday I also had a look at the Jeep's front axle, and discovered that it's not the type which is disengaged in 2WD mode by a vacuum motor. Therefore, the problem with the dash light must be with a switch at the transfer case.

That's also going to have to wait. I'm tired, dang it.

#2291: 183.0??

Man, today has been screwed up.

I got up this morning after sleeping all night and ate a leftover 6" meatball sub while posting here. Then I got an attack of hypoglycemia.

WTF.

Had a can of Slim-Fast, went to bed, and napped for a little while; woke up after noon starving. Went to KFC for food for Mom and me; I got myself an extra breast and ate everything but the biscuit. Sat down to play WoW, then I got an attack of hypoglycemia.

WTF.

It wasn't as bad as the first time, so I just ignored it. I shut down the computer, though, and listened to some music for a while. Before deciding I was too tired to stay awake, I took my "Shannon's Landing" ballcap over to the kitchen sink and washed it. I hung it up to dry in the bathroom, then hit the hay again around 4-ish.

I slept until 11 and woke up hungry, so I put myself together and headed out. (The ballcap was dry and looking pretty good.)

The fuel level in the Jeep has been dwindling steadily, and it was too low for my comfort, so I stopped at the gas station to fill up. It took 15 gallons; and as usual I clicked the odometer into trip mode to get my fuel mileage.

183.0.

WTF.

That's like 12 MPG and the Jeep normally gets 18. I'm not seeing any difference in power; everything seems to be working all right. But that's just 66% of my normal fuel economy; I've been driving the thing as normal and haven't encountered any unusual conditions. I haven't been running the AC very much of late, nor have I been sitting in traffic and idling.

There are only two possible explanations I can think of:

1) Someone's been stealing gas; or
2) When I reset the computer, it also reset the trip odometer.

See, I pulled the battery's negative terminal while doing some diagnostic work at Og's place; and I pulled it again after I replaced the TPS to make sure the computer wasn't holding any codes. I don't think the trip odometer is kept in nonvolatile memory; that would account for it.

So my plan is to drive on this tankful and fill it again when it gets low, and see what the fuel economy is then. If it's not better/normal, the next step is to invest in a locking gas cap. I hate them; they're a royal pain.

* * *

The other day I made a blood elf death knight named "Slaughther" over on Galakrond. I'm still trying to get her out of the DK starting area, but I don't want to pass up the quests because you get so many skill points from them.

I don't understand why--or even how--people skip the quests in the DK starting area. Since the starting area involves a kind of instance, you can't go back later and make up those quests, as far as I know; and since you start out at 55th level, you need those skill points. Yet somehow I've seen all kinds of DKs running around in Stormwind who are 55th level--and you don't remain 55th long if you do the starting quests.

Besides, there's a progression of quests you have to follow in order to get out of there in the first place. You can't just leave.

Well--not my problem. I notice, this time, that the quests are considerably easier than they were the first time I started a DK. That has to be due to greater experience as a player. Surely they didn't nerf the quests? Right? Right?

* * *

(Actually, I think they did nerf them. And don't call me "Shirley".)

* * *

Because global warming isn't actually taking place they now want to call it "global climate disruption".

"Global climate disruption" doesn't require any particular conditions to be met; it can mean anything at all. Is it too hot? Too cold? Too rainy? Too dry? It's all "climate disruption" and it's all due to human carbon emissions!

It would be funny if it wasn't so disgusting.

* * *

Michelle Malkin discusses the O'Donnell win.

* * *

Ace talks about an article by Peggy Noonan which explains--accurately--why the TEA party is ascendant:
I see two central reasons for the Tea Party's rise. The first is the yardstick, and the second is the clock. First, the yardstick. Imagine that over at the 36-inch end you've got pure liberal thinking—more and larger government programs, a bigger government that costs more in the many ways that cost can be calculated. Over at the other end you've got conservative thinking—a government that is growing smaller and less demanding and is less expensive. You assume that when the two major parties are negotiating bills in Washington, they sort of lay down the yardstick and begin negotiations at the 18-inch line. Each party pulls in the direction it wants, and the dominant party moves the government a few inches in their direction.

But if you look at the past half century or so you have to think: How come even when Republicans are in charge, even when they're dominant, government has always gotten larger and more expensive? It's always grown! It's as if something inexorable in our political reality—with those who think in liberal terms dominating the establishment, the media, the academy—has always tilted the starting point in negotiations away from 18 inches, and always toward liberalism, toward the 36-inch point.

Democrats on the Hill or in the White House try to pull it up to 30, Republicans try to pull it back to 25. A deal is struck at 28. Washington Republicans call it victory: "Hey, it coulda been 29!" But regular conservative-minded or Republican voters see yet another loss. They could live with 18. They'd like 8. Instead it's 28.

For conservatives on the ground, it has often felt as if Democrats (and moderate Republicans) were always saying, "We should spend a trillion dollars," and the Republican Party would respond, "No, too costly. How about $700 billion?" Conservatives on the ground are thinking, "How about nothing? How about we don't spend more money but finally start cutting."

What they want is representatives who'll begin the negotiations at 18 inches and tug the final bill toward 5 inches. And they believe Tea Party candidates will do that.

The second thing is the clock. Here is a great virtue of the Tea Party: They know what time it is. It's getting late. If we don't get the size and cost of government in line now, we won't be able to. We're teetering on the brink of some vast, dark new world—states and cities on the brink of bankruptcy, the federal government too. The issue isn't "big spending" anymore. It's ruinous spending that they fear will end America as we know it, as they promised it to their children.
I blockquoted the same chunk Ace did, because it's correct.

I would make one change to what Ms. Noonan said:
For conservatives on the ground, it has often felt as if Democrats (and moderate Republicans) were always saying, "We should spend a trillion dollars," and the Republican Party would respond, "No, too costly. How about $700 billion?" Conservatives on the ground are thinking, "How about nothing? How about we don't spend more money but finally start cutting."
The liberal Republicans might say "We should spend a trillion dollars" but they are the minority in the party. (There are perhaps two or three of them with actual positions of power. Olympia Snowe, for example.) The party leadership comes entirely from the moderate "country club" Republicans, and these are the people who have given us "GOP as 'Democrat Lite'".

* * *

I have to wonder how real this is. But it sounds real to me:
Looking back, as much fun as the campaign in 2008 was, Hillary Clinton should have been the nominee. Hillary was ready to be president. Obama was not ready. He had never lost a campaign. Everything was handed to him. He doesn’t really understand the idea of work – real, hard, get your heart and soul into it work.
It's an interview with a "A longtime Washington D.C. insider, and former advisor to the Obama election campaign and transition team" who is not named.

If this is true, it does not bode well for us:
...just a few days before I left, I saw first hand the President of the United States yelling at a member of his staff. He was yelling like a spoiled child. And then he pouted for several moments after. I wish I was kidding, or exaggerating, but I am not. The President of the United States threw a temper tantrum. The jobs reports are always setting him off, and he is getting increasingly conspiratorial over the unemployment numbers. I never heard it myself, but was told that Obama thinks the banking system is out to get him now. That they and the big industries are making him pay for trying to regulate them more. That is the frame of mind the President is in these days.
Paranoia in a national leader is never a good thing; it leads to some mighty poor decisions, things like purges and martial law and suspended elections.

*sigh* Wouldn't surprise me, though. I mean, from the first--back when I was calling him "Boss Tweek" because the "stress of the transition" was giving him a facial tic--it's seemed as if Obama was not up to the job; and in fact a lot of us on my side of the aisle said that Obama had no executive experience whatsoever.

"Executive experience" includes having to work at getting what you want; and Obama has never had to do that. His position as the junior Senator from Illinois was handed to him: a cooperative press sued to have his opponent's sealed divorce records unsealed, so he could be smeared into irrelevance; and this had been a pattern with all of Obama's prior elections. No one has so much as said "boo" to this man for his entire adult life.

That's why he's so antagonistic towards Fox News: their coverage of him is less than hagiographic, unlike the rest of the media. Fox has commentors--popular ones!--who dare to be critical of him.

Come on: this is the guy who muffed repeating the oath of office and had to have it re-administered in private, later, to ensure it was legal and constitutional!

* * *

I can't believe how freakin' tired I still am. Of course, I worked pretty hard to get that hitch off that truck in the boneyard; I used a lot of muscles I don't normally use, and I used them pretty hard. My hands still have that peculiar weak/tight feeling and my arms hurt from wrist to elbow. My shoulders are sore and my legs are, too.

No wonder I slept so much today.