Thursday, March 05, 2009

Short Takes

Hey, we've all got lives, right? (Except, of course, the hardy souls who've been keeping things going in the combox of the last post.) It's been a while, but here are a few quick hits while I've got a minute:

  • It turns out the Mr. Genius, the epitome of articulateness (such a supposedly welcome relief after the sub-simian blunderings of our last president) can't actually put two sentences together without a teleprompter:
    Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual – not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events large and small.

    ...Obama has relied on a teleprompter through even the shortest announcements and when repeating the same lines on his economic stimulus plan that he's been saying for months – whereas past presidents have mostly worked off of notes on the podium except during major speeches, such as the State of the Union.
  • Here's an amazing article on global change from the Discovery Channel:
    …according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, global warming may have hit a speed bump and could go into hiding for decades.

    Earth's climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat.
    I love the “should have” there. They’re mystified. But of course that won’t deter the alarmists:
    "It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970s was due to a free variation in climate," Isaac Held of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Princeton, New Jersey wrote in an email to Discovery News. "Suggesting that the warming might possibly slow down or even stagnate for a few years before rapid warming commences again."
    In other words, it will stop happening. And then it will start happening again. Or maybe not. Where I come from, we call this "weather." (HT: Centuri0n)
  • Bob Greene has an absolutely wonderful commentary at on the death of Paul Harvey. As I mentioned back in the very early days of this blog, I loved the fact that Paul Harvey was always still there doing what he was doing.
  • Speaking of the early days of this blog, Saturday will be the 6th blogoversary of Rabe Ramblings. It started out on March 7, 2003. And I pretty much ran out of stuff to write on March 10, 2003. To give you an idea of how long we've been around, in just the third post here, I mention "the possible war in Iraq." And Janeane Garofolo! She was merely irrelevant then. Now you couldn't pick her out of a lineup.
  • I read two books about the Supreme Court last month. The first, Battle for Justice by Ethan Bronner, chronicles the fight over the Robert Bork nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987. Though the author's liberal bent peeks through in a couple of places, he really makes a commendable effort to be fair to all sides, and I found myself unable to put it down. Far less commendable was Jeffrey Toobin's The Nine. It's a great read packed with fascinating anecdotes about the current (and recently former) justices, but huge chunks of the book are just laughably tendentious, while others are demonstrably wrong. Toobin is writing a novel using real people as characters, and he won't allow any facts contrary to his storyline get through the grid. Well-written and entertaining, yet not worth your time except as a case study on how ridiculously biased people keep winding up as "analysts" on major networks.
So there you have it. Let's plan to meet back here again on the next anniversary,

No comments: