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Opening Arguments

Signs of the (Sun-)Times

When you're zipping through newspapers, don't forget to stop by the letters to the editor. Here's a bit of clever observation from, of course, a Hoosier in the Chicago Sun-Times. I would add to his list of stupid signs the ones in buildings everywhere, "Thank you for not smoking." Oh, I have a choice?

Get around, get around, we get around

I know you probably think traffic here is just awful at times. But, really, count your blessings.

But they don't have a secret handshake

In their efforts to find something -- anything! -- to use against him, those opposing John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court have zeroed in on the fact that he belongs to the Federalist Society. No, he doesn't! Yes, he does! Stay tuned. And just what is this evil cabal of constitutional scoundrels? Well, its members want the "principles of limited government" to have a fair hearing and "believe and trust that individual citizens can make the best choices for themselves and society." Those monsters!

Stand for something, 'cause we won't fall for just anything

Indiana U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh is the outgoing chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, the group made famous by Bill Clinton for trying to move the party back to the center from the extreme left. That group has been meeting (site also includes video), and there's lots of talk about "finding a message" that the nation desperately wants to hear from Democrats. But they also talk about "appealing to the middle," so I'm not sure they get it yet.

Better change that bed attitude

While we're watching for the big signs of the end of the world as we know it, like drug usage, teen pregnancy and the fact that we seem to have only two families in this nation from which to choose presidents, civilization will probably slip away a little bit at a time, with the small things. First, it was a glass of water in restaurants -- you can have it, but you have to ask for it.

Baghdad Jane

Since I seem to be in the middle of a mean streak this morning anyway . . .

. . . Could I please have a Jane Fonda exception to the First Amendment? Go ahead and violate her constitutional rights; just shut her up. On second thought, let's have the treason trial that's 30 years late, and put her in prison where she belongs. Unless we want her help to find Osama. Just give her a camera crew and point her to the east.

I'll show you mine if you show me yours

Knowing they're fighting a lost cause, Democrats who oppose putting John Roberts on the Supreme are grasping at straws by seeking something they know they can't get  -- the work product of attorney-client privilege. Note in this story that the first one to ask for "full disclosure" was John Kerry.

Please manage to know your subject

Nope, nope, nope. County Assessor Pat Love says it's no big deal that, because math isn't her strong suit, she has flunked the state-required test for assessors three times. She's good at managing people, and that's what really matters. Where have we heard this before?

Posted in: Blogroll, Our town

Pedaling the plucky story

Now that Lance Armstrong has won his seventh big-deal bicycle race, is it OK for me to say I was really getting tired of it, and I hope he really does retreat to a cabin in the woods somewhere for a few years and assess his future, quietly? I admire pluck as much as the next person, but that "perseverance of a cancer survivor" life story started wearing a little thin after the fifth win. Call me mean.

Posted in: Blogroll, Sports

The chips have fallen

I've been staying away from the Valerie Plame/Karl Rove story in part because it's just politics as usual and in part because it's so convoluted it's hard to fathom. People who have followed it far more than I have admit to not understanding it. So I have just been content to watch the investigation go where it goes and let the chips fall where they may.

Spend, spend, spend

Following is another dispatch from libertarian correspondent Mike Sylvester:

I am looking at government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product -- what percent of all money in the United States is spent by federal, state and local governments combined.

Weather I'm right, weather I'm wrong

Did it seem to you that the weather forecasts were wrong far more often than they were right last week? If you were trying to plan your activities around when the rain was or was not going to be here, too bad. The dirty little secret of meteorology is that 48 hours is about the limit of any kind of accuracy; beyond that, they're just making it up as they go along. And I thought editorial writing was the only profession in which we got paid to express outrageous opinions without even having to be right.

Posted in: Our town

Only bumper stickers can prevent war

Saw a bumper sticker on the car in front of me Friday, "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war," attributed to Albert Einstein. Guess he wasn't the smartest man in the world about everything.

Posted in: Our town

Can real people do politics?

If you've read some of my posts here, especially the opening one, you know that I resist trying to wear a single political label. If pressed, I tend to call myself a "moderate conservative with strong libertarian tendencies and a few liberal skeletons in the closet," but protesting that that description doesn't cover everything.

You protect your turf, and I'll protect mine

There's a term some of you may be familiar with -- "turf," as in "not real grassroots" -- that describes the efforts of interest groups to sway public opinion with a blitz of letters to the editor. The group will generate a form letter, which is sent to its own members or to various mailing lists, with the advice to copy the letter and send it to a newspaper with the name of a real person affixed. Some people are smart about it -- they change the wording in the form letter here and there and copy it onto their own stationery.

Posted in: Current Affairs

A true stealth candidate

There is so much claptrap out there about the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court that it's hard to find the worthwhile stuff by people honestly trying to decipher what his addition to the court would mean. Here's a great site -- apparently a relatively new one -- that offers even-handed analyses with what seem to me to be real insights. People who think they know what kind of justice Roberts would be should especially heed these words in one of the posts by  Tim Wu:

Tiiiime is on my side

Masson's Blog has a link to several Indiana blogs that are commenting on the daylight-savings/time zone issue, including a post I made. I seem to be the only one of the bunch that likes DST. Guess Gov. Daniels won't be getting the blogger vote if he runs again.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Haiku? Gesundheit.

I've heard that sending short poetry over handhelds has become very popular in Japan. If you want to get into that sort of thing, check out the Home Repair Haiku posted here for inspiration. Then compose your own.

Coffee and donuts.

The cats lounge on the sofa.

Work outside the door.

A party on The Landing

There's a downtown Block Party on The Landing next week (Wednesday the 27th from 5-7:30 p.m.) with free food and live music.

Posted in: Our town

Better keep 'em out of the new Willy Wonka movie

Just in case you doubted this was becoming a Therapy Culture: Experts are out there now explaining that "these kids need to talk and grieve." No, not because there's been another school shooting or something equally horrific. The children in question need all this help so they don't become undone by the shocking death in ... the new Harry Potter book.