So McCain Wins

Writing. Meet Mr. Wall. Wall. Say hello to The Writing.

 The question I’m pondering this morning is this: “In what meaningful ways would a McCain presidency differ from a Hillary administration?”

I’m not being pedantic or ironic. It’s a question I’m processing in my mind.

Between a Hillary pulled right by events and a McCain drawn left by reflexive deference to the New York Times editorial board—how much space would there be in between? Really? (Current answer? Probably enough to make it “important” that Hillary not win.)

Now, if it’s Obama for the Dems. . . well, that’s a very different calculus. He lands well to the left of HRC.

Bush Lied, People…. blah blah blah

There is a long fascinating interview up over at CBSNews.com (Yes. CBS!) with the FBI interrogator assigned to Saddam Hussein.

Toward the end of the interview, the interrogator, George Piro, is asked whether Saddam had ever indicated his plans to crank up his WMD program again when the heat was off:

In fact, Piro says Saddam intended to produce weapons of mass destruction again, some day. “The folks that he needed to reconstitute his program are still there,” Piro says.

“And that was his intention?” Pelley asks.

“Yes,” Piro says.

“What weapons of mass destruction did he intend to pursue again once he had the opportunity?” Pelley asks.

“He wanted to pursue all of WMD. So he wanted to reconstitute his entire WMD program,” says Piro.

“Chemical, biological, even nuclear,” Pelley asks.

“Yes,” Piro says.

 Well, what do you know about that?

New Homes?

Once again, sorry for the thin gruel I’ve been dishing out that last couple of weeks. By next week I should be shoveling the prodigious chunks of cheese, corn, cheese-infused corn, and corn-encrusted cheese bits you’ve come to expect from this establishment.

I did notice that the headlines are shouting about another big drop in “new home sales.” Like this article, for example.

Apparently the number of Americans buying brand-spanking new homes is a major indicator of our economic health. Or to be more exact, the rate of growth in the sales of brand-spanking new homes… is. (By the way, when swatting your child is criminalized in this country, as a bill introduced in Massachusetts a few months ago would have done in that state, will we be compelled to describe something that has just been constructed as “brand time-outing new”?

Anyway, I always wonder about the assumption that an ever-expanding number of Americans are going to build new homes when I juxtapose it with the fact that we are very close to zero population growth. In fact if it weren’t for the robust birth rates of Hispanics (legal and otherwise) we actually would have a shrinking population, as this graph by John Derbyshire reveals. (You need to know that the all-important replacement rate to at least maintain a population is 2.3 children per household.)

So given a static number of households, just where is this demand for new homes supposed to come from? Are upwardly mobile couples who want a new house in the exurbs going to simply abandon their existing homes in the suburbs if they can’t find a buyer?

If everyone is going to be on a never-ending climb up the property ladder, you need a steady stream of people who want to jump on the bottom rung. Don’t look to illegal immigrants. They send the lion’s share of their money back “home.” (Noticed all the Western Union moneygram storefronts proliferating in the “transitional” areas of the city, lately?)

Given the easy credit and low interest rates that have been in place for a couple of decades now (you know the ones that have fueled the sub-prime loan “crisis”?) pretty much every apartment dweller that is remotely interested in owning a home has one.

What’s the answer?

How about revising our assumptions about sales of new homes? I realize that some of the fastest growing companies in America over the last few years have been the big national home builders.

But maybe those days are over. And maybe the big builders chains should get into the remodeling business.

"First They Came for Piglet. . ."

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Mark Steyn, brilliant as usual, on Britian’s continued appeasement strategy in relation to Islamists.

Here’s another news item out of Britain this week: A new version of The Three Little Pigs was turned down for some “excellence in education” award on the grounds that “the use of pigs raises cultural issues” and, as a result, the judges “had concerns for the Asian community” — i.e., Muslims. Non-Muslim Asians — Hindus and Buddhists – have no “concerns” about anthropomorphized pigs.

This is now a recurring theme in British life. A while back, it was a local government council telling workers not to have knick-knacks on their desks representing Winnie-the-Pooh’s porcine sidekick, Piglet. As Martin Niemöller famously said, first they came for Piglet and I did not speak out because I was not a Disney character and, if I was, I’m more of an Eeyore. So then they came for the Three Little Pigs, and Babe, and by the time I realized my country had turned into a 24/7 Looney Tunes it was too late, because there was no Porky Pig to stammer “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!” and bring the nightmare to an end.

Do read the whole thing.

What a Tragedy Canada Has Become

Canada is, what America would be if it had no conservatives.

Like Mark Steyn, journalist Ezra Levant has been dragged before Canada’s orwellian “Human Rights Commission” for offending Muslims. The horror of political correctitude that Canada now is is precisely what we will be if we continue to hand political control over to the party of Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer.

Please take the time to read Ezra Levant’s op-ed about what he is experiencing and what it portends.

Fred is Out

To no one’s surprise, Fred Thompson has dropped out of the race.

In hindsight, Monday morning quarterbacking, and all that. . .Remember that six month period of time when Fred was doing a fan dance? Teasing everyone about if and when he was going to get into the race?

Early on, there was a huge amount of excitement among rank-and-file conservatives about the prospect of his candidacy. But by the time he actually got around to making it official, a good number of those people had already become emotionally invested in another candidate–some to Huckabee, some to Romney, even some of Ron Paul’s less “eccentric” supporters should have been Fred peeps.

Fred also never built a deep, organized campaign operation. It was a little like he wanted to be nominated by acclamation. And maybe he will be, yet. It’s extremely unlikely, but if we get a brokered convention, Fred could emerge as a large number of folks second choice.

It’s happened before. Back in 1920. Out of a hastily arranged meeting which gave us the term “smoke-filled room, ” Warren G. Harding emerged from nowhere as the man that nobody hated and therefore everyone accepted.

This Used to Be a Problem?

Apparently back in the 1930s urban drivers were plagued by street urchins jumping on their car bumpers to hitch a ride.

Boing Boing has unearthed a an old article from a 1936 Science & Mechanics magazine offering an easy DIY solution:

Electrocute the little buggers. 

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