Daydreaming About Dogsledding?

“It doesn’t matter what it looks like,” he said [of the breed]. “It just matters that it runs fast, pulls hard and can survive in brutal climates. To me the Alaskan husky is the most amazing domesticated animal there is. Anything that can run 150 miles in a single day, nine days in a row and just live on raw meat and water is pretty impressive.”

Jim Wilson / New York Times

Jim Wilson / New York Times

From Greg Breining’s New York Times piece about a doglsedding in Montana.

2009 is not a Rerun of 1993

Daniel Larison is one of the few conservatives not drinking the kool-aid:

There is a widespread and quite wrong conservative interpretation of the present political moment as being very much like 1993, but where Clinton mistook a repudiation of Bush for an endorsement of an aggressive Democratic agenda it is the GOP that has misread what just happened last year. Most of the right seems to expect a replay of ‘93-’94, and so are sticking to the same tactics that they used then (including the turn to Limbaugh and the return of Gingrich)…

Conservatives seem to have spent the last year rapidly regressing from cheering on lame politicians who could at least intelligently recite their platitudes (Romney) to worshipping pseudo-populists who could not even do that (Palin) to elevating random guys who didn’t like taxes (the Plumber) to rallying around a radio host who makes Romney’s own brand of Reagan nostalgia and three-legs-of-the-stoolism seem deep and meaningful by comparison. Of course, there isn’t that much substantively different between Romney’s opportunistic recitations and Limbaugh’s boilerplate, but at least with Romney you knew that he was capable of saying something else and would have said it if he had thought it was to his advantage. The boilerplate is not only all Limbaugh knows how to say, but if you pressed him to elaborate on any of it he would just repeat himself.

Republican David Brooks on GOP Response: “Insane”

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QoD: Tim Pawlenty on Current State of Republican Party

One has to wonder if McCain might have done better with Pawlenty or Crist.

“The Republican Party is going to have to adhere to its principles, because they are foundational and they are important. But they need to be presented in a hopeful, optimistic, up-tempo, modern, practical way, and that’s not what we have been doing recently. We’ve become too petty and angry in many aspects. That’s unappealing to swing voters.”

Tim Pawlenty, 02.23.09

QoD: Anonymous Liberal on Grandstanding Governors Refusing Stimulus Aid

“First there would be nothing principled about refusing Federal stimulus money. These very same governors routinely accept all sorts of federal money. In fact, if you rank states according to the ratio of federal money received per tax dollar contributed, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alaska are all in the top 4. South Carolina and Idaho are in the top 20 and receive significantly more in federal money than they contribute.

These politicians are not standing up for principle. They are grandstanding. Most of them (particularly Palin, Sanford, and Jindal) are trying to raise their national profile and give themselves a talking point to use in a future presidential run.

Moreover, they are doing so in direct contravention of the interests of their own constituents. These folks are not federal office holders. Their duty is to look after the interests of the people of their respective states, not to police the federal budget. If they were CEOs of a corporation or trustees of organization or trust, this kind of action would be seen as a breach of their fiduciary duties. They would get sued. And rightfully so. By turning down federal stimulus money, they would be inflicting harm on their own citizens.”

Anonymous Liberal, 02.20.09

The Continuing Comedy that is the Minnesota Senate Death Match

Eric Kleefeld has been doing a great job chronicling the strange but true saga that is the Norm Coleman-Al Franken Death Match.

The latest:

We’ve now found a case of lead Coleman lawyer Joe Friedberg actually being concerned about ballot fraud, and wanting to keep a vote out as a result — so much so that he’ll speculate about a Franken-voter being mentally disabled.

Really. No joke.

In court just now, lead Franken lawyer Marc Elias went over a rejected ballot envelope for which he said a power of attorney had been granted by a disabled voter, to allow a family member to fill it out. The issue was that the mark made to authorize the family member was not a signature or a conventional “X”, but was instead an amorphous scribble. Elias and Goodhue County elections official Carolyn Holmsted spent some time hashing it out.

Then Friedberg took issue with this whole idea of the power of attorney to fill out a ballot, which is a specifically allowed clause in Minnesota law for disabled voters.

Mileage Tax: Not A Good Idea To Begin With

I am glad that Obama has come out against it.

It would be a regressive move that would hinder the development of  highly fuel efficient cars, whereas the gas tax punishes inefficient cars.