July 31, 2010

Time wounds all heels..

I want to choose my words carefully here. I want to be sincere.

Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky has turned out to be a beautiful young lady and she has borne the troubles of her father's and mother's tumultuous public life with quiet dignity. She was married yesterday in a ceremony that was to have reportedly cost $3,000,000 and had a guest list of some very distinguished luminaries from the world of government, politics, business, and other realms where cometh rich-and-famous glitterati.

I am sincerely happy for her and -- not ungrudgingly -- am happy for her parents. Whatever anger, fears, dislikes, and other petty hatreds I harbored for the Clintons for their escapades in the last decade of the last century have evaporated -- at least for one day -- and been replaced by a joy for them and a wish that their lovely daughter will begin a wonderful and happy life with her new main squeeze.

You cannot let the black cloud of resentment hang over your heart on such a wonderful day for such a sweet, young lady. You must move on; you must forgive and forget..

..and you must get down on your knees and give thanks to the Lord God Almighty that the elder Clintons, in all of their questionable wisdom, DID NOT EXTEND AN INVITATION TO BARACK OBAMA IN WHAT MUST BE THE ALL-TIME SNUB OF THIS CENTURY AND THE LAST.

(You just know that The Pantload -- eternal narcissist that he is -- is off in some back room, face buried in a pillow, screaming muffled obscenities at being denied the limelight on this august occasion!)  


Deja Vue all over again..

Posted earlier over at Left Coast Rebel a few days a ago that must have gone missing in the rush of news. I love how Wallac makes Dean squirm.

But it also brought up memories of a couple of old favorites of mine from the 60s.

..too funny!

Later, after Dean composed himself, he spun the story -- in Tommy (or is it Dickie?) Smothers style -- that if they didn't talk about the story, they at least ran the clip. Upon hearing that, Brett Baer, on Fox News Tonight one night last week, fast-forwarded through the Fox News day from 0700-2049 when O'Reilly ran the clip for the first time -- well after the lady was fired.

As I said, I Love to watch John Dean squirm!



Halloween's Coming Soon..

..sometimes spam can be a real hoot. I got this offer from an internet store for, among other things, a FLOTUS mask:

..not to be mean, but wouldn't that scare the bejeezus out of trick-or-treaters romping aroudn the neighborhood looking for their rations of Kit-Kat bars and 3 Musketeers?


Support Day by Day...

Today's Strip

I know everyone's got their hand out these days -- especially with the noble and necessary Ten Buck Fridays -- but, if you have some spare gitas around, consider supporting Chris Muir and his effort to get an interesting and piquant conservative strips out..er..day by day.

Some years ago, I had a nice e-mail exchange with Chris -- about rifles and collecting M-1s (I did; he wanted to) -- and he provided some insight into his lifestyle of sorts.

Not revealing any secrets, but he does not get really rich off his DBD efforts. The funds contributed allow him to do the strip and eke out an existence. Let's just say that, according to what he shared with me then, he will not be severely affected by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Next year, when I go on the gummint old-age dole, he get's a much bigger annual stipend from me. I guess you could say, I won't be much affected by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts either..

..except that I will hate the Pantload and Dems all the more for their stupidity.

Anyway, visit and hit the tip jar if you can.


Just sayin'..

July 30, 2010

Damsel in distress..

MA lost this this pic when she posted. So, just click here and scoot over to her site for the 4-1-1.

Here is MA's Post

Friday Night Funnies..

My mentor, The Illustrated Conservative, found this beauty along some road in Texas.

I surely do hope there are some of those brain-dead, mouth-breathing, cement-head paramecia 52-percenters out there who are nodding their head and saying under their breath, "F**king 'A', Bubba!"

Mystery Spot..

..find out here.


New turd in Obama's punchbowl..

The Economy?

..is this latest news that the Q2 economic growth was an anemic 2.4 percent, putting the economy a hair's breadth away from Code Blue and the ICU of a double-dip (emphasis added).

The recovery lost momentum in the spring as growth slowed to a 2.4 percent pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment.

Consumers spent less, companies slowed their restocking of shelves and the nation's trade deficit dragged more on the economy in the April-to-June quarter. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said the recession was deeper than previously estimated.

Together, the reports raise doubts about whether employers will hire enough and consumers will spend enough to invigorate the economy. As unemployment remains near double digits, Congress could feel pressure to pass more stimulus measures to speed the recovery. So far, Republicans and some Democrats have blocked additional spending because of their concerns about the size of the deficit.

So, work with me on this. They blew almost $800 Billions about almost 18 months ago that has produced zero -- zip, zilch, bupkis, nada -- and they want take more of our money and flush it down the terlet? Man, these folks are certifiable.

Cue the usual mantra about increasing the deficit while not creating anymore jobs and putting on a future strain on availability of funds for the private sector if the gummint bellies up to the trough and inhales capital through borrowing. Segue into a riff about success of past tax cuts and their successes..

..which brings me to the point I have been making since June that only now people are picking up on: the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the two-edged sword that is for Obama and the clown troupe handling your and my financial affairs in D.C. Those puppies evaporate in December and come next January, your paycheck will be looking like you wished your over-indulgent, holiday-fatted body looked. They'll start taking it out of your paycheck, the profits from your business, your dividend income, and the capital gains when you sell your stocks. Forbes magazine has a good discussion how you will be affected:

The two major tax-cutting bills from the Bush era were the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001, and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

These two laws cut taxes across the board for earned income, long-term capital gains and dividends. The legislation also expanded the child tax credit and made dozens of other changes and adjustments to the tax code, involving exemptions, deductions and the marriage penalty.

So, here's where it gets tricky for Obama and the Democrats: if they let the tax cuts expire, you, me, and businesses have to send more money to Washington and, therefore, have less to spend on goods and services or capital investment. Economic activity diminishes and the economy shrinks. Want to test that hypos thesis? Let's say you get $2,000 every two weeks from your employer and $300 is taken out for Federal taxers so you have $1,700 in which to pay the mortgage, the second, buy food, pay for the kids, gas, the car, etc. for that two weeks. Come January 1, 2011, let's say you owe the Feds $100 more -- or $300. Are you going to be spending more or less? Bueller? Bueller?

Same sh*t different numbers for businesses. And, with less money to spend, they sure are not going to be doing a lot more hiring, are they? (Hint: nod your head "yes".) Hell, I bet they cut a few jobs to make ends meet at the bottom. Only, in addition to having to give Uncle more of their loot, they're also receiving less of yours -- directly or indirectly -- because, as the exmaple above showed, you have less to spend.

Hey, I am just a dumb-assed computer programmer who has not taken any MBA courses nor have I received any special awards for economic smarts and, if I can figure this out, why can't those morons in Washington figure it out?

On the other hand, if the Dems help the GOP members of congress to extend the tax cuts and Obama does not veto it, then we are odds on favorite to have an economic rebound.

Want to test that hypothesis? Google the history of the effectiveness of tax cuts and read the pro-and-con. A lot of the stuff I read says -- and hsitorical data bears out -- that they tend to help. Reagan cut taxes in the early 80s and it fueled a recovery into the early 90s after having pulled us out of the Malaise morass that Carter I thrust us into. I submit that we were in the dumper around 2000 -- at least the IT sector was -- and it was about to be compounded by the effects of 9/11, fear of flying and all that. Let's face it, if OBL just wanted to send a political message, he would have confined his activities to D.C.

In any case, I think there are enough numbers around to bear up the fact that we were creating jobs 2001-2007 at a vastly more healthy clip that we are now. Pushed by a commenter, I will dig up once-researched figures to back up my assertions. But I an just some pathetic schlumpf micro-blogging ankle-biting civilian and ain't no one giving me dime one to research my stuff. Don't need doctoral thesis work, neither.

But I digress, The main point is this: Obama and those close to him are making sounds like the Bush tax cuts stop in January. Too bad; we suffer, business suffers, no one gets hired and that sack of camel afterbirth will find himself out ion the bricks in 2013.

..you listening, God?


July 29, 2010

Tour de Force..Stage III

Time to get 'er done! The lead group has been dangling off the front long enough; chase them down and swallow them up!

Alberto Contador won the GC ("overall" or general classification) of this year's Tour de France by a slim 31 seconds over Saxto Bank's Andy Schleck in 92 hours and 2,263 miles of riding in the heat, the mountains, the flats, and the winds of Summertime France.

It was the fourth narrowest margin of victory in 93 tours, the closest being Greg LeMond's victory over Albert Fignon by 8 seconds in the 1989 tour.

Having described the rudimentary basics of bicycle racing and the tour here and here, I left you with the question as to why Andy Schleck didn't just overcome the 39-second margin in the last stage into Paris to win one of the most prestigious races of the year.

The answer lies in the dynamics and tactics described previously. Simply put, any attempt -- or attack -- by Andy Schleck would have been met by Contador and his team chasing after him, catching up to him, and beating him senseless with their bicycle pumps.

What? Didn't any of you see Breaking Away?

So he opted to ride the last stage cautiously avoiding any misstep on his part that could have fried him and caused him to get dropped or jeopardize his second place n the podium and his white jersey (Maillot Blanc) as the best young rider in the tour.

But the real story occurred several days earlier in the mountains when Contador seized the yellow jersey from Schleck in the mountains:

During Stage 15, controversy arose when Contador took advantage of a mechanical problem that Andy Schleck, wearing the yellow jersey, had at a pivotal moment on the final climb. Although it is considered good sportsmanship to wait for the leader of the Tour when he has technical trouble, Contador continued and took over the maillot jaune at the end of the stage. Contador claimed that he did not know that Schleck had technical trouble, and that he had already launched an attack by then. Hours later, he apologised for the incident. Although he was criticised by some after the incident, he also found support from notable ex-riders such as Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and Laurent Jalabert, as Schleck's problem – the chain of his bike coming off – was solely due to the Luxembourger rider's mistake.

So, there you have it. You enter in a series of 20 different bike races over 24 days chasing one another down, observing these weird rules of physics, bike racing, and Tour de France customs and you lose the number one spot in the race because -- in the briefest of an instant -- your chain slips off the big ring and you have to dismount to re-thread it.

But, not to cry for Andy Schleck. He is young and Contador showed signs of being raggedy this year -- like the decline was setting in. The money's on Andy in upcoming tours and, because of his youth and strength, he'll probably run off a string of victories.

I told you it was a bleeding soap opera.


Don't wait 95 Days or 14 weeks..act now..

It's almost Friday. So why are you sitting there on the couch watching that sluggo O'reilly when you could be making plans for the contribution you can make on Ten Buck Fridays. Need some incentive? Try this viddy that RightKlik put together on for size. (Warning for visitors with high blood pressure.)

..hat tip to No Sheeples.


Help Wanted..

by The War Planner..

..well, no, actually by Supi over at her blog:


I was teetering on the brink as to posting this and am within a hair's breadth of pulling it -- and I am NOT running this for any sensational value. TIME magazine (yeah, that TIME magazine with that slimeball Journ-o-lister, Joe Klein, writing for it) is running this series on "The Plight of Afghan Women: A Disturbing Picture". The cover is shown at the left; I have made it small and will not provide the link to TIME. If you want to read the article, find it for yourselves.

This depicts a beautiful young girl, brutally disfigured BY THOSE ASSHOLE TALIBANI. As I write this, I am in tears over the savage cruelty these bastards have for their own kind and how they degrade women.

Please remember this poor young women and others who have been tortured, stoned, hanged, and otherwise murdered and disfigured at the hands of these vile, obdurate, puss-laden sacks of camel afterbirth..

..the same people that our president travels far and wide prostrating himself in front of.

If anyone -- particularly my kinder, gentler visitors like Opie, Supi, Bunni, No Sheeples -- wishes me to pull the picture, please leave a comment and I will do so. Hell, I'll probably pull the post in a couple of hours, but I could not bear my rage and sadness alone.

I am sorry.


Right! What's all this then?

..over there on the right.

I belong to Hew Hughitt's (I know, I know..) Hughniverse (the singularly most lame name for an internet service ever devised) and enjoy listening to back editions of Hew's show sans commercials. And, as I have written on this site before, sometimes his offerings border on the plodding, uninspired, and desultory. However, when Hew's on fire, well, he's on fire! But the dirty little secret here is that when he's out of town on a cruise, as he these past two weeks, he has some absolutely fabulous guest hosts take over who -- with the exception of that corpulent pollster, Frank Luntz -- manage to break out of the rigid structure Hughitt imposes on the show format and tear up the real estate with their topics, commentary, interviews, and phone calls. Cases in point were last weeks appearance by my absolutely favorite blogger, Ed Morrissey of Hot Air. This week it has been Guy Benson (who I pray gets a national sow one day) and Mary Katherine Ham ('nuff said).

Not shilling for Hughitt here, but you ought to look into a subscription. I predict with the upcoming election, this service will become a valuable and reasonable resource for about $5 or so per month.

Anyway, wandering back onto the subject sort of, I was listening to one of Ed's sit-in sessions (for July 20th, I believe) where he was discussing the Sherrod incident somewhere in mid-bloom with Jim Geraghty. From the comfy perspective of being perched on July 29th, I began to realize that even Morrissey and Geraghty were getting wrapped around the axle on this story. The worm had to turn a couple of more times before this woman's 15 minutes mercifully played out. However, like the Terminator or Douglas MacArthur, and a case of athlete's foot, she promises to return, re-appear, and/or resurface.

But in the interim I got so-o-o-o-o sick of getting whiplashed by the Sherrods' stories (both of 'em) and the oscillation back-and-forth about whether they're racists or we're racists or whether The POSOTUS is racist (he is) that I decided that I cannot bear to discuss this any more. Consequently, last Sunday evening I did a crude graphic (Woodsterman's domain is safe) and posted it over there..on the right as a warning to all.

No sir! Not gonna discuss this story ever again, not even if this woman switches to the GOP or the Tea Party and starts bagging big-time on The Pantload as the incompetent, narcissistic, self-interested, festering bag of bovine excrement that he truly is...

..well, maybe if it comes to that.

UPDATE: Get out the Desenex..she's ba-a-a-a-a-c-k!

DISLCAIMER: I do like Hughitt; just wish he was on fire 24/7/365 like Mark Levin is. Also, I regard his much-maligned assistant, Duane, to be very humorous and a pretty savvy guy politically. My favorite part of the week is Friday of the week when Duane and Ed Morrisey hook up on Ed's internet show because -- well -- it is Friday and those two guys are fun to listen to when they go at it. It is THE most comprehensive and humorous survey of the week's political events in which no boring inside-the-beltway types participate.


Charlie Rangel may skip a Public Trial but the Three Ring Circus will be Remembered in November

by the Left Coast Rebel

A reader sends breaking news and asks a question. In the LCR mailbox:
Lawyers have reached a tentative deal to settle ethics charges against Rep. Charles Rangel. If approved by the House ethics panel, the deal would stop public hearings on alleged ethics violations.

The buck stops no where with these guys - what do you think?

I simply wrote back, "every infringement stacks up to more electoral losses for the Democrats in November."

To expand upon this - perhaps a public trial would not be as damaging for the Democrat party and leadership (and potentially at the ballot box in November) as yet another smoke-filled-backroom-attorney-power-broker-deal is. I recall similar antics played out during the train-off the-tracks Republican congress and we all recall how that turned out.

Charles Rangel cutting a deal to avoid a public trial may just incite more anger from independents, Tea Partiers, libertarians, moderates and conservatives than the ruling class is estimating.

If only I had photoshop skills, images of Charlie Rangel and a three ring circus are flooding my mind:


Cross posted to War Planner, Proof Positive, Rational Nation, Allied Liberty News.

Prequel followup..

After stumbling upon their first effort -- Thank you, Hot Air! -- and doing some research, I discovered that the Republican Governors' Association has a track record of getting it right. For your enjoyment, a previous excellent effort by those folks:

EXIT QUESTION: ..as AP would say..do you suppose Arnold "BBs" Schwarzenegger is a member fo this group? I'd love to see what kind of unflavored yogurt-and-cottage cheese spot he would produce.


July 28, 2010

O.K., Troop, you know the drill..

Our bud, LCR, has done it again. So don't waste your time here. Get over there and read his stuff!


RGA gets it right..

I'll keep my mouth shut; you click on the thingy..


(PHOTO) Only in America - GM's Electic Car Volt Will Cost over $40,000.00

by the Left Coast Rebel

What to do you do with a failing car company with failed ideas, inferior products, crushing union-pension 'legacy' costs and a business model that is just plain outdated?

Well you take over the company, supersede contract law, don the company Government Motors and with leftists and Obama at the helm you make things like ---


Since you are paying for it, at least it's pretty, no?

It's called the 'Volt' and it's all yours for $41,000 and $44,000 for the 'loaded' model.

It gets worse though. Not only does Obama own the Volt, Government Motors is touting the new electric car's price tag as quite a bit less than $41,000 "because a federal tax credit of $7500.00 applies to it."

So essentially you have a ludicrously overpriced 'electric' car that can go 40 miles on electric power after which gas-powered generators kick in (?!?!), is being heralded as a landmark and is bought and paid for by you and me.

Color me unexcited.

Via Memeorandum, Cross posted to Rational Nation, Proof Positive, War Planner.

Signoff Post

The Conservative Lady was gracious enough to stop by just a few minutes ago and leave a comment. I always enjoy her visits -- as I do all who stop by and poke around the ratty abode here. But it reminded me to remind you to visit her place and read her post on the vacation plans of  The Pantload, Panloadette,  the Pantloadinis.

Disclaimer: That's the furthest I will trespass into Obama's family; politicians' children -- unless they actively campaign for their parent -- are off limits.

To continue, The Conservative lady has done a marvelous job of documenting this and it is a must-visit. Here's a tease:

Believe me, I don't begrudge the POTUS a break from the White House once in a while. It's got to be a stressful job. Playing golf a couple of times a month isn't going to cut it, especially if the rest of the family has to sit in the White House biding their time while Barry's out hitting the links.

Great stuff if you are -- like I am -- a masochist and revel in stuff about Obama that will really nauseate you.


The Enemy Within

When I started this exercise almost a year ago, I was titillated by the "monetize" option Blogger offers. For the sake of layout control (yeah, how's that working out for ya, W.P.?), I passed on it. I did not know how, where, and why the ads would show up and I might even end up huckstering such things as Preparation H or FDS or septic tank cleaning services.

You know, stuff that didn't fit with the manly theme of right-wing, war-loving, ex-blood-thirsty ex-SAC-trained killer and like that.

Well, for once my lackadaisical demeanor paid dividends. I was over at MA's site and noticed this:

Huh! Was it maybe a Carly Clip? A link to a You Tube where Babs Box-a-Rocks mumbles something really stupid like earning military stripes by serving in the senate?

Na, it was a full-blown legit ad for Boxer's campaign.

I'll save any inane post-mortem prattle and spare you my usual over-analysis. But I gotta tell you, it's pretty shocking to see that on MA's site and I am reasonably sure that MA, a Devore backer, would be backing Fiorina and NOT Boxer.

So, I am glad I have not monetized TWP here. Woo knows what shows up? Hemorrhoid medications, feminine douche products, male enhancement commercials, or perhaps something even more embarrassing..

..an ad for the senate campaign of that dumb broad's.


July 27, 2010

Pinball Wizard..

Condemning those who boycott Israel, playing at Rush Limbaugh's wedding because he's a capitalist, and now playing in Arizona and condemning those who boycott that state:

Elton John didn't mince words in slamming his fellow musicians for boycotting Arizona over the controversial SB 1070 immigration law. From the stage at his sold-out Tucson Arena concert Thursday night, John savored a few choice, not-so-family-friendly words:

"We are all very pleased to be playing in Arizona. I have read that some of the artists won't come here. They are (expletive)wits! Let's face it: I still play in California, and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what's the (expletive) with these people?"

..I love Sir Elton because, as one Hot Air! commenter says, "This guy's figured it out." Besides his version of PBW is absolutely better than Daltry's original. It's got zip, pizazz and is wonderfully over the top!

So, who's it gonna be? Sir Elton John or that purifying pile of putrid puke, Paul "ain't seen no libraries" McCartney.

(Last gratuitous opportunity to run that sack's picture.)

July 26, 2010

Stop the presses..I want to get off!

O.K., I tried the promising new frontier of Blogster's improved formats and crashed and burned. Looks like it's going to take a roll-up-my-sleeves effort to make the TicTac template bend to my will.

The main reason for sticking with TicTac is the sexy way it handles block quotes. I'll figger it out and, never fear, when it comes to coding close to the metal, that's what I have been good at these past 40 years. So, Blogster, you will be assimilated!

I want to send out a public display of gratitude to the always-patient Woodsterman, who attempted to guide me through the shoals patiently. Odie even cranked up a couple of sample pages for me -- which means that (1) he has an incredible amount of time on his hands or (b) he knows that I am incredibly stupid.

..I'm thinking the latter.

In any case, Odie, my thanks for your help and encouragement. (Replete with F-Bombs yet!)

For those of you waiting for the third and, mercifully, last in the series about the Tour de France, I'll put that up tomorrow. Judging from the traffic that it generated, would those waiting please wake the others up for me?

Once that is done, though, it's back to politics -- and I am sure glad LCR jumped in to pick up the slack.

UPDATE: This'll probably get buried by other posts, but as a handy reference, I located a URL and placed it on my sidebar for those who suffer under the tyrannical convenience of the evil Blogger Empire. Shown below, it is below the Pantload's Progress link:

..you might also check out the Terminal Lance link; some salty, but authentic USMC humor..or, so I am told by the Leatherneck Scion.


Oliver Stone adds to his Resumé


by the Left Coast Rebel

In the past year and a half I have blogged on and off about far-left director Oliver Stone. Much like useful idiot communist sympathizers Sean Penn, Danny Glover and dozens of others out of Hollywood, Stone typically doesn't dissapoint when he finds himself in the headlines.

Call it a spontaneous Team America-moment when it happens. And an easy topic to blog about too, since he is such a deranged loon.

On cue, the recent Hugo Chavez 'documentary' (read love fest) that Stone shot perhaps pointed to a new level of moonbattery, even for the half-Jewish communist director.

Oh, did I mention half Jewish? Here's why, via Newsbusters:

Director Oliver Stone belittled the Holocaust during a shocking interview with the Sunday Times today, claiming that America's focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the "Jewish domination of the media."

The director also defended Hitler and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and railed against the "powerful lobby" of Jews in America.

Stone said that his upcoming Showtime documentary series "Secret History of America," seeks to put Hitler and Communist dictator Joseph Stalin "in context."


And you thought Mel Gibson had problems,? asks Robert Stacy McCain, (while chalking up a must-read).

To which I ask, in response - why does Oliver Stone have any cred, even in Hollyweird? And aren't most of the power brokers in Hollywood Jewish, too?

There's something about the final evolution of a progressive-collectivist's thought pattern and ideological that also embraces the 'Jews are responsible for x, y and z' outlook as well.

On this, Oliver Stone reminds me of another favorite - Gore Vidal. Cross posted to Rational Nation, Proof Positive, War Planner.

July 25, 2010

Yeah..yeah..yeah..I know..

Yeah..yeah..yeah..I know..I'm working on it.

..who is this Tina Chen and why is she forcing me to plug her in the footer. I guess I'll have to spend some time re-learning HTML and CSS.

Tour de Force..Stage II

Andy Schleck, The Spaniard, and 39 seconds..but first some background on bike racing and The Tour.

The aerodynamics of drafting in bicycle riding and racing are such that any rider in a slipstream can save a great deal of energy expended as opposed to riding alone and in the wind. It is from this one basic fact that most (if not all) bicycle racing strategy flows:

A drafting bike racer will keep his front wheel dangerously close to the rear wheel of the rider in front of him – only 6 inches or so to be most effective. Scientists have demonstrated that a racer riding in another’s slipstream will expend 30 to 40% less energy than the rider in front. That’s a lot of energy over a 3-hour bike race, and it obviously would give a huge edge to the drafting rider, come the finishing sprint. In fact, the power of drafting underlies most of the tactics and strategies of bicycle racing.

In a bike ride or a race, the group (called the Peleton) affords most riders involved almost a bubble sans harsh wind resistance; it is almost surreal to be racing at 30 mph and feel as though you are just gliding and peddling effortlessly.

Leveraging this principle, racers will break away from or go "off the front" of the main peleton -- in a small group -- and work together in what is called a rotating pace line to gain distance and possibly afford themselves a better chance at winning the race. Of course, the group dynamics of such a breakaway disintegrate when the finish line approaches. Similarly, the main peleton, not wanting this to happen, works harder to bridge the gap and and/or reel in any such breaks.

Even though it seems like chaos, there's subtle forces at work in the group chasing down a break. Somehow, most of the riders at the front take a turn in the wind blocking its effects from those behind and then, when tired, they retire to let others take their turn. It's called "taking a pull" but even that is suffused with strategy.  For example, if you have a team mate in the break away group up the road, maybe you don't peddle as fast at the front, essentially retarding the effort of the peleton to catch the break. You can do this subtly or aggressively, the latter being referred to as "blocking". 

Another type of slip stream drafting is called a "lead out" -- that's pronounced "leed" not "led" (as in "get the lead out") -- and is almost like a slingshot effect where one a good sprinter uses a fast rider in front of him as kind of a booster or first stage and then rockets past him to the sprint.

I could go on endlessly about this, but you get the idea.

Now, for those who don't know, the Tour de France is a stage race. That is, it is a series of individual races held over a three week's time in July. All of the races do not occur entirely in France, by the way, but rather have been held in neighboring countries such as Belgium, Luxembourg, and even in England. There was talk of holding the prologue stage -- a short time trial that starts the Tour -- in the U.S. but this madness died away rather quickly when the logistics were considered.

The races are also of differing formats over varying terrain. Most common is the point-to-point road race where everyone rides from once city to another and the winner is awarded a certain time and others finishing behind with a deficit in seconds or minutes. There are individual time trials -- where each rider negotiates a course by himself -- and team time trials as well. As the tour progresses, the GC (general classification) or overall leader is the rider whose collective time is the least of the entire peleton. Trailing riders are assigned by their relative time behind the leader. (At this writing, Fabian Cancellara leads Andy Schlect by the aforementioned 39 seconds.)

Also, certain rules of timing come into play here as well that further dictate strategy and tactics. Riders in any large group crossing the finish line are awarded the same time and rules infractions -- dangerous bike handling or overly aggressive behavior -- can have time penalties assigned to the offending rider. One rider was dropped from the tour this year for attempting to ride a fellow sprinter into the pylons lining the final 500 meters of a stage.

The GC leader in the tour, of course wears the Maillot Juane (yellow jersey) and is a target on each and every stage. There are other subtleties and nuances as well: in addition to the GC, there is the points winner (green jersey or Maillot Vert) for those collecting the most sprint points, Maillot Blanc (white jersey) for the best new rider, and Maillot à pois rouges (polka dot jersey) for best climber. So, basically each stage is a scramble for glory in a number of different categories and you need a score card to determine, as the old limerick about the gay guy arguing with the lesbian, about "who has the right to do what, and with which, and to whom".

Add to this competition for teams (each pro team has nine riders) and the fact that the tour is one big commercial caravan around France and you end up with a month-long cycling carnival at whose center is an athletic endeavor where the leader's fortunes could turn in an instant. Mix in the A-type personalities of competitive cyclists, the hype, and prizes and prestige involved in winning the whole race or merely a stage, and you have a potent recipe for melodrama at its best.

It is a month of General Hospital episodes played out at 50 kilometers per hour. Like my friend calls it:

"As the Wheel Turns"


July 24, 2010

Tour de Force..Stage I

Permit a detour on the political road to November to indulge an old passion, but I always get sentimental around this time. It is one of the first signs of a dying year; that Fall and Winter are soon following.

Tomorrow, the tour de France's 20th stage winds up with the peleton navigating its final two loops along the Champs-Élysées. The final sprint -- and the glory that accrues to the winner of that stage is, by no means, reflective of the melodrama of the previous three weeks. I am here to tell my fellow Americans, you have no clue.

Just as the recent World Cup had its devotees in our ranks -- those inexplicably attached to seeing men cavort around on a large piece of lawn for 90-plus minutes in their underwear for seemingly no apparent reason -- I am one of those curiously addicted to the annual soap opera that eventuates each July in a country that we arguably have disdain for.

I beg your indulgence with some self-serving back-story narrative.

Some years earlier, I decided that running marathons makes one a terminally boring person. Late Seventies and early Eighties running parties consisted of discussions of carbo loading, interval training, and avoiding "hitting the wall". When my legs gave out in preparation for The San Francisco Marathon (not that The San Francisco Marathon, the other The San Francisco Marathon) I took up bicycling to work to augment my training and spare my rapidly disintegrating, 40-year-old knees, in the process discovering the bliss of spinning, and eschewing the madness of running 42 km at a stretch.

Cycling, while not a passion with me (yet), was a marvelous endeavor. The prospect of navigating between two major cities (er, very Southern Los Angeles to San Diego) under human power was a liberating experience. Whereas, before I was doing 35-40 mile training weeks running, now my regimen consisted of multi-hundred mile weekends tours. Life in the saddle was an absolutely blissful escape to  the interminably beautiful Southern California scenery and wonderful conversations with fellow riders. (Ever try meaningful palaver whilst running?)

Then there came that fateful day in 1988 on my way down PCH when I was invited into a passing double paceline of a local racing team. (For the record, Lightening Velo.) It was my first exposure to the aerodynamics of drafting and the economy of energy by sucking on the wheel of the rider ahead. We were motoring South into Laguna doing well over 25 mph and carrying on conversations while the two riders at the front did most of the work. Of course, everyone took their turn and -- at the end of the day -- 60 miles was covered and the only stress was on one's ability to invent interesting topics of conversation.

I was hooked. My faithful Bianchi was refitted with Campy parts and skinnier tires and I added a Bottechia to the quiver. No more if this touring crap for me. Soon the Campy gruppo were shed for Shimano Dura Ace -- the standard du jour and guaranteed never to cause a busted shift -- and I located a great new club forming in Long Beach and rejoicing in the name Velo Alegro. It was there that I suffered under the tutelage of some pretty fair competitive riders, learning the proper etiquette of group dynamics, road racing style.

Forgive a digression, but that club boasted innumerable state champions (the Bear Flag jersey), a few national champions (the U.S. jersey), and even two world champions (the five-band white jersey). So when someone told you to hold your line, you listened. One learned from the best in this club.

It was also here that I started racing and my career -- such as it was -- consisted of numerous "cone crits" (criterium races) around the Los Angeles area and, whenever I could get out of town, the all-too-infrequent road race. Never amounting to much, I was an interminable Cat IV on both the road and on the track (the velodrome) and on the verge of upgrading on experience to Cat III until health matters dictated otherwise. Let's just say that work stress and a hectic lifestyle occasioned one of those natural red alerts that afflicts people negotiating middle age.

So I gave up racing..but never my passion and appreciation for the month-long drama of The Tour.

Again, forgive the self indulgence; I'll continue this with an explanation of the dynamic of stage racing (as much as my pathetic knowledge permits) and continue my attempt to make fans of you all in explaining why Andy Schlect is content to let a Spaniard and 39 seconds remain between him and the top of the podium of the most prestigious bike race in the world.


Late to the dance..

Sometimes things just go skittering by me and I take no note of them. Here is one such example of my somnolence, courtesy of my progenitor in this arena, The Illustrated Conservative. CJ posted this absolutely flawless piece of satirical commentary on The Pantload's pathetic efforts to date:

..always loved the original by Talking Heads; this one adds immeasurably to the joy.


Gratuitous Rule Five Grab..

..courtesy of the lovely and demure MAinfo.com, a novel idea of what to do with the by-products of a jaunt to the seashore:

Thank you, Opie, for the beautiful images.

On another front, it's not turning out to be as beautiful for our old friend Charlie Rangel as a couple of house Democrats have asked for his resignation. The main outcry comes from a lady who apparently has some real chops with it comes to walking the straight and narrow:

In a major development, Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) on Friday night called on beleaguered Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign.

Sutton's statement comes one day after the House ethics committee charged the 80-year-old Democrat with multiple violations.

In a statement to The Hill, Sutton stated, "It is regrettable, but Charlie Rangel needs to resign from his seat in Congress. This isn’t about being a Democrat or Republican, this is about preserving the public trust. Our nation is facing extraordinary challenges and we must be focused on building a sustainable economy that will allow our workers and businesses to flourish."

Sutton has built a reputation as a crusader for congressional ethics. In 2008, she led the fight to pass legislation creating the Office of Congressional Ethics, which now serves as an independent ethics body within the House of Representatives.

..pretty soon, ol' Chuck maybe doing a lot of napping on the beach -- at our expense, of course. If he doesn't resign, on the other hand, maybe he'll be enjoying a stay at the Grey Bar Hotel.

July 23, 2010

Outfall of a Bourbon-fueled Friday evening..

Anyone who has seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off more than once probably has sat through the credits and encountered that last clip of Matthew Broderick wandering out from the shower in his bathrobe querying the audience, "You're still here? The movie's over. Go home! Go! Go!"

Well, I guess that's my advice to you. I am flattered you came back (or just arrived) but you need to know that one of our own has hit the big time:

..I'll spare you the gratuitous remark about The Other McCain Hoovering up some of LCR's limelight. Just Google "Jim Brown + Lou Groza" and see what that tells you.

Anyway, I ran out of the $20-per-carboy CostCo Bourbon I was drinking, I'm standing here in my bathrobe, with my toothbrush in hand waiting for you to rocket over to read Tim's post.

"..you still here?"


I'll see your Shirley Sherrod and raise you..

..an Allen West:

..compare and contrast,class, this fine man -- from Atlanta, Georgia -- with Shirley Sherrod and Erich Holder and the rest of that crowd who thrive on making the color of their skin rather than their abilities the center of attention. O yeah, by the way, how about the tenor of this get together versus the demeanor of the attendees of the patronizing, condescending tone of the incombents' Town Halls meetings last Summer?

See the difference? I sure do!

Support this man; make America great; shove that racist crap back down the throats of those who luxuriate in victim-hood.


This is NOT cheap, shameless promotion..



Must Read Column at the Daily Caller: Left Coast Rebel Rings a Bell and Pages Chris Christie

by the Left Coast Rebel

(Editor's Note - shameless, self-serving promotion imminent, be aware!)

I decided to do it and submit it. Big, shiny, million-reader Daily Caller intimidation be damned!

In about an hour and a half I wrote up a fairly decent opinion piece and then subsequently spent nearly two hours editing and re-editing the darn thing. It was a lot of work but I was proud of the final result. I've learned a lot writing so much in the last year and half and covering (typically with dismay and outrage) the body-politic around us.

So please pass along my first (of hopefully many) Daily Caller pieces, it's titled, "Ringing the bell at the top: Paging Chris Christie"

I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty..

..you know, "duty" like in taxes or tariffs?

Man, stand-up just doesn't work if you gotta explain the jokes! Corollary: don't quit your day job, War Planner.

Anyway, remember that liberal ass-hat? Well, it seems he's not a fan of taxes either, docking his expensive yacht in Rhode Island instead of his beloved Massachusetts so he can save boat sales and use taxes that state imposes:

Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.

Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven - like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau - for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?

Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.

The picture? Well, you younger visitors probably don't remember Kerry's ill-fated campaign back in 2004. The poor bastard could not get a break as conservative bloggers were on him like white on rice and documented ripped him a new one on every misstep that idiot made.

This pic came from a NASA tour he took where he had to don a clean suit and crawl down a tunnel. I think -- hope and pray, actually -- that the bunny ears are photo-shopped on. But, man, was that a hoot when it ran; he was a bleeding and broken man after that.

Talk about a Dukakis moment.

CLUELESS FRIDAY-EVENING BUZZ-INFECTED UPDATE: No Sheeples has a cool variant on this item. (As if you'll ever see this pathetic addendum! I think I'll just go back to perfecting my Foster Brooks impersonation.)


Plugs set to pump iron..

The "heavy lifting is over" when it comes to the Obama administration's legislative priorities this year, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday evening.

..this little bit of bravado brought to you by the guy whose main exercise consists of flapping his lips and creating hurricane-force winds of questionable veracity.

Slow Joe continues with the Gold's Gym metaphor:

“Now that the heavy lifting is over, we can go out and make our case,” Biden said at a fundraiser in North Carolina, according to a pool report.

It would be laughable were it not such a wad of pathetic testosterone-saturated hoo-haa. Just in case you were re-animated from a cryogenic tank and awaiting a brain transplant or other hoped-for new-age medical miracle, you missed (1) the takeover of car companies, banks, and now Wall Street and Main Street, (2) the passage of a so-called stimulus that was to have saved our economy from financial oblivion, (3) the passage of a universal health care that promises to run to ground the best medical system in the world, (4) mishandling of natural and man-made catastrophes -- the Gulf of Mexico is a massive oil slick and we have almost daily Jihadis traipsing into the country with C-4 jammed into briefcases and briefs, and (5) a whirling fusillade of gaffes, knee-jerk policy enactments and pronuncimientos, and outright breathtaking incompetence.

Oh, and that transplant you got thawed out for? Well, any later down the road and you'd be S.O.L.

Anyway, I hope Biden's right. I hope this is the signal to shut down that bull manure production line they call Congress. I hope they put a lid on it instead of running out the promised crap-and-tax and immigration reform.

Let them run on their record to date. Let them spin the prevarications in the face of an American public who, by now, is massing in the city squares with torches and pitch forks and looking for a road map to the Baron's castle. It'll be fun to see them at the town halls speechifyin' to that crowd. Talk about a tough room.

Yeah, it's gonna take some massive cajones to do that. And, while Plugs thinks he's pumped enough iron to frolic around in Speedos and Mazola, I rather suspect that you peek under the briefs and you will see a common characteristic peculiar to all steroid-chugging body builders:

..shriveled plumbing and testicles the size of BBs.


July 22, 2010

Big News Today: Democrat-Socialists Drop Cap and Trade, Charlie Rangel Found Guilty of Ethics Violations

by the Left Coast Rebel

(Editor's Note: LCR from Left Coast Rebel, this post is the first of hopefully many more that I will cross post to the War Planner....TWP has been gracious enough to offer the same and I look forward to his stuff over at my place)

There are a few extremely positve stories today - why is no one talking about either of these things? The War Planner gives us a clue, (her name is media-saturated Shirley):

I mean, the woman has been reviled, revered, fired, re-hired, excoriated, gotten her obligatory interview on left-leaning media, called for Breitbart to be shut down, called FNS biased and racist, gotten her call from The Pantload..

..is there anything left to be done?

I'm thinking speechifyin' in front of a joint-session of congress and maybe convening the U.N. General Assembly?

Spare me.

Let's move on; I have Sherrod fatigue.

..unless, of course, we launch into some other aspect of this sorry episode of peristaltic gesticulations by the White House or some background investigation turning up the fact that she barbecues and serves Pomeranians at her weekend get-togethers.
Does anyone here know what a Pomeranian is? If not:


Awesome - oh the thought! Anyway the good news today that is all-but-forgotten is that, #1, the Democrat-socialists have dropped the holy grail of their neo-Bolshevik agenda and nobody's talking. It's called cap and trade and it's gone the way of the dodo, at least for now (Politico via Memeorandum):

Senate Democrats pulled the plug on climate legislation Thursday, pushing the issue off into an uncertain future ahead of midterm elections where President Barack Obama’s party is girding for a drubbing.

Rather than a long-awaited measure capping greenhouse gases — or even a more limited bill directed only at electric utilities — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will move forward next week on a bipartisan energy-only bill that responds to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and contains other more popular energy items.

So seriously, conservatives, libertarians and indies - you should be popping a cork on this news today, instead of chasing Sherrod-barbecuing-pomeranian-rumors.

#2 - One of the biggest Democrat-socialist crooks finally got his comeuppance (or proverbial slap on the wrist), either way NYT, also via. Memeorandum:

WASHINGTON — After a nearly two-year investigation, a House investigative panel has found that Representative Charles B. Rangel probably violated a range of ethics rules, dealing a serious blow to Mr. Rangel, a Harlem Democrat, in the twilight of his political career.

The investigative subcommitee did not disclose any details about the nature of the violations that it found evidence, but one House official who has been briefed on the findings said that they included some of the most serious allegations that had been examined.
And once again, seriously - conservatives, libertarians, indies and anyone that cares about honesty, transparency, ethics, trustworthiness and otherwise, (not to mention adherence to limited government and the Constitution) should be popping the cork on a top-shelf bottle of something tonight.

Only in the Congress of the United States of America would it take 2 years to prove this:


Cross posted to Proof Positive, War Planner, Left Coast Rebel.

Tour de Force Alert!

..coming soon!

Off Limits..

Michelle Malkin said it best:

Raise your hands: Who else is sick of the Shirley Sherrod circus?

This is getting so-o-o-o-o old that the fact that it is so fifteen minutes ago is so fifteen minutes ago. I am hereby declaring TWP to be a Sherrod-free Zone. I mean, the woman has been reviled, revered, fired, re-hired, excoriated, gotten her obligatory interview on left-leaning media, called for Breitbart to be shut down, called FNS biased and racist, gotten her call from The Pantload..

..is there anything left to be done?

I'm thinking speechifyin' in front of a joint-session of congress and maybe convening the U.N. General Assembly?

Spare me.

Let's move on; I have Sherrod fatigue.

..unless, of course, we launch into some other aspect of this sorry episode of peristaltic gesticulations by the White House or some background investigation turning up the fact that she barbecues and serves Pomeranians at her weekend get-togethers.

Nah, not even that.

HYPOCRITICAL FRACTURING OF BLOG GROUND RULES: O.K., I just this one time..and then it's syonara for Shirley and the Knee-Jerk POTUS. Flagrantly purloined from The Right Scoop and offered for your viewing pleasure, Glenn Beck program segment where our hero has a sniggering meltdown over Olbermann's hyperbolic, drama-queen rant on the stealing of Shirley's honor:

..you ever been in one of those laugh-fests and could not stop? Well this is one of those and the best thing of all is that it is at the expense of that MSDNC douche bag, Olbermann.


July 21, 2010

News Cycle..

(No, this is not it.)

While I do not hang on every perturbation of a story as it wends its way -- from conception to demise -- through the news cycle, I am particularly taken by the story of the USDA political appointee, Shirley Sherrod. It seems that Ms Sherrod has gone from vile racist, to purveyor of a message to a nodding, tittering, agreeing NAACP audience, to post-racial saint and latest victim of a bumbling, gang-that-could-not-shoot-straight Obama regime.

It is absolutely humorous how this story has shape-shifted and been contorted to suit the needs of the conservative, non-racist Tea-party message. When we started out, Ms Sherrod's speech was an example of venomous hate-speech about how she jilted some red-neck cracker farmer in Georgia, did not give him all that he was asking to save his farm from the evil clutches of bank foreclosure -- presumably at the hands of Snidely Whiplash -- and had turned him over to a lawyer who was "one of his own kind". Then in a further transmogrification of the story, the NAACP audience, nodding and chortling at this "get whitey" tale of revenge, was now rendered as the perpetrator of evil Racism.

But what is absolutely delicious is that Ms Sherrod was apparently sacked and is now being considered for reinstatement to her position by virtue of a series of peristaltic convulsions of the White House and the UDSA:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday that he will reconsider the abrupt firing of Shirley Sherrod, a Georgia-based Agriculture Department official who was the victim of a media frenzy over comments that turned out to have been distorted by video editing.

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner,” Vilsack said in a statement e-mailed by USDA at 2:07 a.m.

A White House official said: "Not sure what the ultimate result will be, but it’s clear that with new information through the full speech, a longer look needed to be taken. The White House contacted the Department last night about the case and agreed, based on new evidence, that it should be reviewed.”

And even more delightful is that the left and their propaganda organs are in full fight-or-flight mode on this one. I ventured briefly over to Rachel Madcow's show on MSDNC last night and saw that they had lined up an interview with the Georgia farmer who supposedly suffered at the hands of Sherrod. He was effusing how Ms Sherrod treated him fairly and how they were the best of friends nowadays, Rachel nodding sympathetically in the adjacent split screen.

It was too comedic for words.

Please do not misconstrue. I am perfectly happy with whatever mantle is laid upon Ms Sherrod -- evil racist or helpless victim -- and I could care less how or why the left reacts to this story. The lesson here is one that seemingly has heretofore been lost on the GOP, the right-wing purveyors of these tidbits, and the stodgy OTF (Other Than Fox) right-wing media. It is the lesson of Driving The Narrative.

Without over-elaborating, it seems that the White House got caught with their willies in the wind and got jerked around like a rag doll in a pit bull's jaws. I mean, when the story broke, they sent word down to Vilsack to can her ass and, when it turned out that she may have been a post-racial saint, they started to recant. Plain and simple, this is what the GOP and those GOP members of congress couldn't seem to get right. They used to get man-handled by the Democrats and the left all the time. From this point on, this is what they/we will have to do with the left and their knee-pad clad MSM handmaidens: seize the story and run with it, making the Dems respond, bluster, scramble, and otherwise dance to our tune.

Hey, just because Alinsky wrote the book for the left doesn't mean we can't appropriate some of the tactics.

..besides, using a word like transmogrification in a post? How cool is that?