Saturday, December 11, 2010

“Finally, America has a black President again…”

was the response when Barack Obama put Bill Clinton in charge again. As Fox News’ Andy Levy said, “That was the best episode of VH-1’s I Love The 90s ever!”

Clinton said he was “excited and honored” by the appointment, and would work “day and night” to defeat all the key policy objectives proposed by Mr. Obama during the campaign.

Ed Driscoll linked the above, noting that the above was written November 24, 2008, making Iowahawk, along with IMAO’s Frank J., who predicted the U.S. would slam an explosive warhead into Earth’s satellite, one of the few true prophets of the Internet. /bows head “May death come swiftly to their enemies.”

Jim Treacher asked, apparently watching TV with the sound off, echoing others: “Did Obama just quit?… Say what you want about Sarah Palin quitting her job, but at least she finished her own press conference.

In “Great news: Bill Clinton apparently now president again”:

The depressing truth: Given the alternative, it really would be great news.

I can’t do justice to what you’re about to see. The spectacle of the president bugging out of his own press conference to go to a Christmas party is weird enough, but having Clinton back at the White House podium fielding questions on the hottest domestic issue of the day shoots past deja vu and lands firmly in “am I hallucinating?” territory.

At Pajamas Media, Bryan Preston wrote:

Clinton looks quite a bit older now, true, but he also looks like he’s in charge. He handled the press as well as he ever did, which is a stark contrast to the way the current president mishandled the press — twice — earlier this week.

After Clinton ended the press conference, MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan came on and asked about the “optics” of all this.

Here’s what I saw. I saw a current president who has never looked less interested in doing his job. I also saw a former president who never lost interest in doing that job.

The New York Times tells how it happened. Even MSNBC was shocked.

Thank for the heads-up from the mighty, puppy-drinking Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, in whose great, dark Shadow we all serve. And, of course, more death, more enemies. /unbows head.

p.s. National Reviews @ Goldberg tweeted in agony, “Arrrrrgh!! I missed the whole Clinton-Obama press conference! Was busy buying an X-mas tree.” Andy Levy haughtily scorned: “Worst media-running Jew ever.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Net Neutrality: Threat or Menace?

ETA: Part II here.

But one expert says Net Neutrality isn’t about regulating content on the Internet or the Fairness Doctrine.” via

Stupid, guys. First off, we already have per-GB pricing. Every server hosting account, every home machine is tied to a tier plan, priced and measured for bandwidth. Net Neutrality is very, very late to this battle. Presently the FCC is considering the legality of per-bit pricing, as opposed to tiered service. This is a power the states have already.

Net Neutrality has two different advances: one is outlawing latency billing, the other is outlawing ISPs from blocking or rate-limiting some sites. Latency billing first: I approve of it in principle, though an ISP could abuse it. TCP/IP has a latency protocol built-in. ISPs already charge you more per GB and for GB/s. What, I’m sorry, is it in the Bible that bandwidth pricing is true and holy, but those who charge for latency shall surely die? I don't recall that bit.

Government control of site access: it would allow the U.S. government to choose which least-favored sites get to be hamstrung. In the hands of a corporation, this is a nuisance; in government, it is a menace. Basic Hayek, c’mon.

Most providers now set up a home page for you: AT&T teams with Yahoo for their consumer home page. This can easily be reset. But the government is considering ruling on legal and illegal home pages: a power the states already have and the U.S. government does not need.

Net Neutrality: a power government does not need.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Monumental Stupidity of WackyLeaks

@daveweigel Alas, Leslie Nielsen will never get to star in my comedy about a bunch of bumbling anti-war hackers, WackyLeaks. #toosoon

Michael Ledeen of Pajamas Media is old and wise enough to have his laughs while he can about WackyLeaks, quoting Kissinger: “the only reason to write a memo is to have it leaked.” But again, still wise enough to note:

Second, the leakers should be punished violently. It has to be possible for our leaders to talk privately, both among themselves and with foreigners. If it’s all going to be leaked, candor will vanish and we will be locked into a wilderness of mirrors.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg notes James Rubin of TNR noting that, while some leaks are laudable (his and my valuation differ greatly):

… The essential tool of State Department diplomacy is trust between American officials and their foreign counterparts. Unlike the Pentagon which has military forces, or the Treasury Department which has financial tools, the State Department functions mainly by winning the trust of foreign officials, sharing information, and persuading… Destroying confidentiality means destroying diplomacy…

The Wikileaks document dump, unlike the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s, shows that American private communication with foreign leaders by and large reflects the same sentiments offered by U.S. officials in public… The big hypocrisies here are not being perpetrated by Americans; they are being perpetrated by foreign governments, namely non-democratic ones… The hard left, so quick to demand that America accept other countries’ political systems, now seems blind to the fact that other governments want to have the right to say one thing in public and a different thing in private. By respecting that difference, American diplomats are doing their job.

Important to the Left, certainly. But why did Ledeen recommend punishment? Heather Hurlburt notes (I have greatly condensed, please read the article for the meat of it):

  • Fear of candor in diplomacy,
  • Middle Eastern officials are already getting more skittish about cooperating with America and the West,
  • Even Russia, an infamously hard case, is getting worse,
  • Historical document preservation is damaged,
  • The anti-paranoia movement for classified documents is damaged,
  • Again, the military is undamaged, but the diplomatic corps is pierced in its internals.

Modern Grotesque

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