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October 22, 2009


Gregory Koster

BR, I'm having a bout of insominia. Burkhas are perfect. But we must consider the effect of the 25th Amendment on our circus:

When The Once gets canned, Biden steps up automatically, and Pelosi is next in line (being next in line will increase her prestige and hence her face will go back to being Frankenstein's monster, not MJ.) But the 25th Amendment allows Biden to nominate a new Veep, to be confirmed by joint vote of House and Senate.

But this misses a point. We've been assuming serial, sequential impeachments. But there's not Constitutional bar to impeaching all five of them at once, and trying to run the trials concurrently. In that case, Chief Justice Roberts would preside over The Once's trial, and Biden over Pelosi, Byrd, and Clinton. Who will preside over Biden's trial? The Constituiton is silent on this matter. The Constitution does give Congress, specifically the Senate, the right to judge its own trials. Practially, this means the majority party can always override the presiding officer. My bet is that Biden will be elected presiding officer in his own trial, to The Once's intense jealousy.

With luck we can rig the trials to convict all on the same day. This would give the Presidency to Bob Gates, to Eric Holder's intense jealousy.

That panting noise you hear is Barnum in the afterlife, struggling to get back and be the impresario for this show, truly The Greatest On Earth.


ROFWL! Oh, my goodness, what fun! I feel so alive and awake, too! We're making a thought-action together and it impinges on real life to form events. B&B are laughing with us :)


Enriched uranium bomb is low-yield, extremely heavy, and could possibly be produced in Iran only at the rate of 1 unit per year. It is, in all practical terms, undeliverable weapon, and totally unsuited for offensive warfare.

Only plutonium warheads are truly offensive weapon, which could tip strategic balance in ME. Iran is actively pursuing plutonium program, but is decade away from any practical results. Hopefully, mad dog Ahmad will be blown into pieces by his internal enemies in much shorter time, and Iranians will be wise enough to exchange their crazy and wasteful nuclear ambitions for something useful. Like NG pipeline to China.

For pure practical purposes, do not count on Israel to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities in near future. It is not just worth the troubles.


I simply think that Sarah is a Team Player---nothing more, nothing less. But for Team America, not for Team Republican's. I don't thinks she complicated. Remember Reagan, "We win, they lose". That's my opinion of Sarah. She is smart enough to understand her appeal, and when she can effectively use it to further both herself and true American Conservatives, she'll do it.
I truly hope she does the NY23 thing and fully rubs it in the eye of the Republican Frumster Leadership. Hard.

As for Oprah. Good luck Sarah. Let's see if you've done your homework. I am hopeful.


Rick (stupid question alert)

What's your definition of populism? I will also assume it is the definition of populism.


That's my impression of Sarah too. I am certainly not convinced she is gaming for political office. If you can make a living leading without all the trappings, why not? I'd rather be Rush than Obama.

peter (Lenten Sunday dispensation)

Which /that

This guy can explain it very well. Since we have so many lawyers here, they have probably heard of him. If not, I commend him highly.


Now some would say 'populism' does tend to degenerate into suspicion of banker, well in this climate, does Goldman, Fannie & Freddie, and zenophobia. That's the easy path, the Buchanan/Perot path. To stand up
for classical liberalism, what my Argentine
historian acquaintance, recognized is the
harder but more satisfying course.


WEll well well:

I don't know about hope, but this is really CHANGE [Michael Graham]

Obama's fundraiser in Boston today isn't sold out.

Tickets still available as local libs protest Obama's appearance. Wow.

Via the Corner

Or maybe a cream pie facial.

Jane, you need to empty your purse and send all the pieces of green paper with pictures of dead white men on them to that fundraiser.


Yeah, that'l happen.



The thing that I find curious is that on the one hand the Iranians are working on some extremely difficult stuff, engineering wise, in their nuclear weapons program. Refining uranium ain't easy and the design of a warhead that could withstand the g-forces of a rocket launch is beyond not easy.

But on the other hand these clowns, Iranians, are incapable of actually building even the simplest of advanced technology or even getting their current rockets to work right. Anybody remember that photoshopped image of several rockets launching? Where one rocket didn't actually launch and the image was retouched to make it look like it did?

That is fairly normal for Iran. Small arms, ammunition and the like is within their capabilities. But Iran has had a long history of announcing the domestic development of some sort of advanced weapon system that actually turned out to be an old Soviet or Russian weapon system that was repainted and renamed. Or had some idiot modification that meant nothing.

I seriously wonder if Iran's nuclear program is more of a Potemkin Village. Leave some traces of enriched uranium around. Build some facilities in secret and don't allow anybody near them. Make big claims.

Let's get real here. The Iranians are still trying to fly the old F-14 Tomcats they got during the Shah reign. And at that they can't manufacture all of the spare parts so they have to deal with the black market.

If you can't manufacture 1970's era turbine blades or landing gear, can you manufacture a suborbital nuclear tipped weapon?

Cecil Turner

Enriched uranium bomb is low-yield, extremely heavy, and could possibly be produced in Iran only at the rate of 1 unit per year. It is, in all practical terms, undeliverable weapon, and totally unsuited for offensive warfare.

Nonsense. Pakistan's program initially relied exclusively on HEU weapons. They're a bit bulkier and clunkier, but they're still nukes. Besides, one has to evaluate the target's vulnerability. If the target is Israel--dense population centers in very limited land space--even a poor nuke capacity will do it. Moreover, once the nuke threshold is crossed, it becomes very difficult politically to hold the line on reactors that can produce plutonium.

If you can't manufacture 1970's era turbine blades or landing gear, can you manufacture a suborbital nuclear tipped weapon?

Well, the obvious rejoinder is that we couldn't create a reliable turbine in 1945 (nor were our rockets reliable for many years afterward). And the hardest part of a nuke is still the same: enrichment. Can they do it? Yes.

Thomas Collins

Rick, I would say that Palin is in the Montesquieu quadrant of your conservative box. What she is promoting is quite consistent with the free, boisterous commercial republic with a vigorous executive defending that republic from foreign enemies that Montesquieu promoted.

Rick Ballard


I would not presume to offer the definition of populism any more than I would the definition of conservatism. My definition of populism is the granting of too high a value to the concept of vox populi, vox dei - Bryan's or Long's willingness to overturn precedent so that the "common man" might escape responsibility and consequence for having entered into formal contracts. There is a whiff of populism in Alaska's immediate distribution of most of the windfall from oil and gas royalty income in lieu of increasing reserves against the time when the windfall will be exhausted.


Montesquieu might well be satisfied by Sarah's actions, my point is that she appears to be operating on an ad hoc basis rather than on a basis informed by study of political philosophy. Her book may reveal a serious misjudgment on my part and I will cheerfully admit so should that prove to be true.


Interesting Rick, I need to think about it. Thank you.

Thomas Collins

Rick, I don't think Palin necessarily has an intellectual grasp of political philosophy in the sense that someone such as Ronald Reagan did (although, during his life, Reagan didn't get enough credit from the left or right side of the spectrum for his intellect). However, I do think Palin is a leader who can protect the Hume/Montesquieu/Kirk/Burke box from the Alinsky/Ayers/Wright/Streisand box better than any other politician today.


TC - shouldn't you be at the Westin protesting. You could hang out with those code pink people.

Rick Ballard


Agreed. Paul did not deny the possibility of salvation for those who had not heard the Word and CS Lewis was rather astute in his observations regarding the Tao. I have seen nothing in her actions which precludes the probability that she would act in accordance with what I understand to be natural law.

I'm as content with that observation as I am with supporting her. I was never surprised or disconcerted by any action taken by Bush and I doubt that I shall be by Palin. She is a "natural" in all the best sense of the word.

Thomas Collins

I didn't realize that Code Pink folks were protesting at the Westin, Jane. What is the topic of their dyspepsia today?


They want us out of Afghanistan. The gays are also expected to show up. It should be fun (you still have time to make it I'm sure).

Thomas Collins

I would, except I have conference calls all day. Code Pink will have to do without me today.

Just as well. If I were there, I would be tempted to ask them what they think would happen to them if they carried on their protests in Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea or Russia.

Dave (in MA)

Jane, I had a comment about Ø's visit in the "Good as it Gets" thread.

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