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What is wrong with you?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader knows he is not the greatest speller in the world. But what the hell? His loyal readers let him go nearly 24 hours and not point out that he misspelled “obsession” about 5 billion times in a recent post…

Carry on.

Random Links

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been busy the past few days. Why is it that one goes through periods of quiet followed by periods of furious intensity? Humm… Rhetorical question really… No need to give that one any thought…

Anyhoo…

Your Maximum Leader visited with the Air Marshal over the weekend. Long-time readers will remember the Air Marshal as a sometimes commenter on this blog. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe he’s posted anything in a few months. The Air Marshal is really a busy rocket scientist. He is busy making our air traffic control system more modern and safe. So if you are flying, thank him (and the many others who do similar or related work) for getting you to and from where you are going.

In other news… Your Maximum Leader sees (via Dead Sexy Sadie) that the Confederate Yankee was interviewed by the Washington Post. Very cool. (Excursus: What does it take to get interviewed by the WaPo? Is there a bribe involved? Payola?)

Has your Maximum Leader mentioned to you all that he has been drinking more bourbon of late? That is sort of a strange thing really. Your Maximum Leader is a scotch man. He’s always loved his scotch. Single malts. Blends. Highland. Lowland. Islays. Islands. He just loves his scotch. If you try you can always find a scotch that will match your mood and desires. But lately he’s been drinking lots of bourbon. It is sweeter. It has a completely different texture and character. But it is brown… He can’t quite tell you why he’s been drinking bourbon. Is it some sort of alcoholic patriotism? (You know… It’s made in the USA.) Is it that good bourbon tends to be a little cheaper than good scotch and thus he can indulge himself more for the same cost? He doesn’t know. But he does know that he will try to get his hands on a dram of this stuff that is being bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay. It will not be ready for 10 years… But hell… 184 proof Scotch? Gotta try some of that.

In case any of you reading this are looking for a recommendation when it comes to bourbon… Allow your Maximum Leader to commend to you Pappy Van Winkles 20 year old reserve. The Air Marshal and your Maximum Leader shared a bottle over the weekend. It was great for sipping. Your Maximum Leader is told that all the Van Winkle bourbons are good. But this 20 year old bourbon was truely outstanding. And it was quite reasonable. The bottle cost your Maximum Leader about $36. You don’t find many outstanding liquors for that price. Go get yourself a bottle if you are so inclined.

Moving from alcohol to economics… Did you all see Pete DuPont’s peice in Opinion Journal today? No. Go read it. Very good. Give thanks for Ronald Reagan and his economic policies. Of course, the nitwits in Congress seem to be hell-bent-for-leather to continue their ruinous spending policies. Your Maximum Leader is open to considering voting against his Congressman (Joanne Davi R-Va) as a reaction to profligate spending by the House. Then again… Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe that the Democrats are running anyone against Ms. Davis. Your Maximum Leader might have to write in someone… Perhaps Bill the Cat?

And finally… Do you ever have dreams of winning the lottery? Just read this quick piece and remember that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Carry on.

Obsession

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that Senator Hillary Clinton (D - NY) has said recently that Karl Rove obsesseses about her. Your Maximum Leader will offer the following commentary on this statement. 1) Isn’t Rove busy obessing about staying out of prison for his possible invovlement in the whole Plame thingie? 2) Is Hillary obsessing about Rove and his attack machine coming after her if she chooses to run for President? If so, will her obessing keep her from running? Ad finally 3) Is this just a case of projection? Does Hillary actually find Rove sexy and want to cozy up to him for a round of “bipartisan budget talks?”

Okay… Your Maximum Leader promises not to create that sort of mental image again…

Carry on.

Plane Crash

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader extends his deepest sympathy to the families of the four men who died in the plane crash in Stafford County Virginia on Wednesday night. Your Maximum Leader was friends with one of the victims, Graham Green. This is such a tragedy for his wonderful family.

May God bless Graham, Rick, Buck, and Michael.

Carry on.

Ports

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a free-trader. He means this, he supposes, in a good British Empire 19th Century way. Well… Okay… He is even a 21st Century Free-Trader. So generally his is rather unconcerned when he hears that a British company is being acquired by a UAE-based company.

Of coure, when the companies in question “run” major ports in the US and the sale causes a bit of hullaballoo your Maximum Leader might become a little concerned.

Or not.

In fact, this transaction doesn’t actually concern your Maximum Leader. At least doesn’t concern him for the reasons that seem to bother everyone else. Frankly that bridge was crossed years ago when Chinese companies bought out other companies that run many west coast ports. Pretty much all the major ports in the US are managed by non-US companies. Now should that be a cause for concern or not?

Well lets look at some important facts… No matter who runs them, the ports are physcially located in the US. No foreign nation is going to pack them up and move them somewhere else. Since the ports are physically located in the US, it is likely that they will remain under the jurisdiction of the US government. And the US government is not likely to turn a blind eye to what goes on in the ports. (Although your Maximum Leader doesn’t think that the government is doing enough to “secure” the ports. But that is another post.)

US ports, from what your Maximum Leader reads, seem to be in need of a massive infusion of capital for improvement and upgrade. Further, no American company seems to be interested in infusing that capital or stepping up and running the ports. That is sad. It may fill you with a hollow feeling. But it is a fact of the world economy that US companies don’t want to engage in low-profit capital-intensive businesses if they can avoid them.

The larger issue here, in your Maximum Leader’s mind, is why aren’t US companies more interested in this type of work? He would have to do some research to find out why…

Carry on.

And now, a word from our sponsors…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader will direct your attention to the right side navigation bar. If you look down below the rotating tag line, the Naked Villainy store, and the BlogAds strip; you will see a heading entitled Villainous Sponsors. Below that header are some links for Personal Web Hosting, PHP Web Hosting, Music Video Programs, Medical Billing Coder and Discount Cancun Vacations. If any of these items look like services you may need, your should click through and see if you can find deals that might appeal to you.

Carry on.

What’s Up?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wanted to let you all know that he wasn’t just abandoning you all without warning today. That thing called “real life” - you know the one. All that stuff you do when you’re not blogging? Anyhoo… Real life was sorta busy and your Maximum Leader just had to pass on early blogging today and most of yesterday.

So… You may be wondering what is this “real life” stuff that is so time consuming? Well… It is actually nothing interesting. Just Maximum Leaderly stuff…

In the good news department however… Your Maximum Leader’s dear sister called him yesterday. She had great and miraculous news. She is pregnant. This is very exciting and unexpected news. It is unexpected because for many many years we’ve all been told that getting pregnant would be nearly impossible for her. Of course this is also why this news is extra exciting. If you are inclinded to prayer your Maximum Leader would ask that you keep his sister and her child in your prayers. It is possible that past problems could complicate her pregnancy. (Although there is no evidence of complications up to this point.) So prayer is always helpful in these situations.

In the good news of a much more frivolous nature department… Your Maximum Leader finally decided to bite the bullet and upgrade his cable TV subscription. He now has HD/Digital cable and all the various channels filled with anti-culture that come with an expanded subscription. So that is cool. But it also might mean less blogging…

Carry on.

Calimari

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was thinking about Brian’s Calimari post. Specifically, your Maximum Leader was noticing the recipe called for calimari rings. One imagines that this is a prepackaged precut calimari deal. Frankly, the prepackaged way is probably easiest and best. But it did remind your Maximum Leader of a short story.

Your Maximum Leader was having some people over for dinner once upon a time. He decided to impress them all with a fully home cooked feast. He wanted to have some calimari as an appetizer. So he actually bought some full fledged squid at a fishmongers. He had studied how to cut and prepare the calimari from a cookbook, but it took a few squid before he got it more or less right in practice.

Dinner went off without a hitch. Calimari were fine. The next day the dinner guests invited your Maximum Leader to go out fishing with them. Your Maximum Leader is very fond of fishing, and he gladly accepted the offer. Well, we were out on the Cheasapeake Bay going for Bluefish. The friends mentioned as we headed out that they had bought some high-class bait to entice the Blues to bite since we were getting off to a late start.

After a little cruise we reached the appropriate spot and decided to set our lines to start trying to catch some fish. Your Maximum Leader volunteered to cut some bait. He opened up the fish/bait cooler (as opposed to the beer/food cooler) and what should be sitting on ice waiting to be cut… A whole load of squid that looked almost exactly like the stuff he’d cut up and fried the night before. Indeed, before your knew it your Maximum Leader was cutting and dressing the squid as though he was going to be cooking it for himself. The friends even noticed that the squid was cut up awfully “pretty” just to be put on the end of a hook.

By the way… Blues love squid.

Carry on.

New Songs for your iPod

I saw this… and had to chuckle a little….

I bet the Minister of Propaganda and the Smallholder will laugh just a little more though

http://folksongsofthefarrightwing.cf.huffingtonpost.com/

Back to the Trenches….

February Madness!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader always enjoys reading the Colossus’ site. It is one of those sites hereads pretty much every day. Well, your Maximum Leader just read the great Presidential Madness Bracket post that the Colossus put up yesterday. It is fabulous. You should go and read it. Now. Your Maximum Leader will wait.

Wasn’t that cool. Your Maximum Leader wishes he’d thought it up. While a Washington v Lincoln matchup in the fourth round wasn’t really “unfair” (hey, that is the way the brackets go) it did come a bit too early. Your Maximum Leader really has two beefs.

Beef Number 1 - how the hell did Thomas Jefferson make it so deep? I can see the early round victories (vs G H W Bush and JFK) but beating Truman? Beating Truman (your Maximum Leader types again!)? What the hell? Your Maximum Leader thinks that Thomas Jefferson earned some points for pre-Presidency activities (probably the Declaration of Independence). His presidency, other than the Louisiana Purchase, is one mistake after another. Compare that to Truman and your Maximum Leader just doesn’t see how Jefferson can win that matchup. Then that bye helped out Jefferson as well…

Beef Number 2 - FDR beating out Washington. FDR over THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY? No no no. In how many ways is this wrong? Your Maximum Leader can hardly ennumerate them. While your Maximum Leader acknowledges quite freely that when you are dealing with the three demi-gods of the presidency (Washington, Lincoln, and FDR) you are just parsing; but he doesn’t like this parse. The determining factor for your Maximum Leader comes down to the political legacy and how it shaped the country. Washington’s political legacy in so many way was preserved and continued until FDR. And FDR’s legacy - the bloated all-powerful Federal Government - is a cause for reform and reaction itself. Your Maximum Leader will also grant the herculean efforts required to direct the nation at war in WWII. But by that time the US would only have been beaten by force of arms. In Washington’s day the union was so fragile that it was feasible that some disgruntled farmers in western Pennsylvania could have destroyed the union. Managing the developing factions throughout the nation and setting the country on a firm economic, diplomatic, and political footing was no easy feat.

Regardless of the quibbles… Your Maximum Leader salutes the Colossus for a great (and thought provoking) post.

Your Maximum Leader now returns to his day-long tribute to the dreamy Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Carry on.

She’s Dreamy

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doffs his bejeweled floppy cap today in honour of the birthday girl. Yes, loyal minions the dreamy and oh-so-desireable Jennifer Love Hewitt is 27 years old today. The platonic star of your Maximum Leader’s heart (as well as the big screen, small screen, radio, iPod, runway, and red carpet) has gracefully aged another year.

The dreamy Jennifer Love Hewitt

In the Mike World Order this day will be a paid holiday. All shall be commanded to bring forth the finest meats and cheese in all the land and feast. Wine will flow in abundance. And the masses shall be happy…

Of course, if the dreamy Miss Hewitt had no other dinner plans tonight she could give your Maximum Leader a call and he would call in a few favours and be happy to take her out for a fine meal at Picasso in Vegas. (NB to JLH: In order for your Maximum Leader to make this happen he needs a call sorta quickly…) Last time your Maximum Leader ate at Picasso he had a dish with lobster in a champagne cream sauce with tender sauteed veggies. It was light and refreshing. He would recommend it to you. Of course, you are free to get whatever you like. Your Maximum Leader will take care of everything for you.

Of course your Maximum Leader can arrange that all those nasty paparazzi are kept at a distance so as to not spoil your dinner. Or if you prefer your Maximum Leader will let the paparazzi close - but then have their legs broken. You know… For kicks…

But what is your Maximum Leader doing prattleing on about Picasso… You may want to have dinner somewhere else. That’s okay. You just let him know and the arrangements will be made.

You may want to dress up. Of course dressing down is also fine. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t care. He really liked that white suit you wore to the MTV Fashion awards a while back. You might revisit it.

Anyhoo… Your Maximum Leader hopes that Jennifer Love Hewitt has a fabulous 27th. (NB to JLH: Don’t forget to call if you want your Maximum Leader to make plans… The number is on the restraining order at your agent’s office. Heh.)

Carry on.

President’s Day Part the Second

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader promised you two, or even three, post today. Alas, he’d hoped to write sooner. But events overtook your Maximum Leader’s ability to blog at will… Regardless of that, here is a somewhat abbreviated second post.

Your Maximum Leader, in his previous post, ranked some great presidents of the US. In this post he thought he would shift his gaze somewhat to the founders of our great republic. This is post he wanted to throw out a few (ranked) names in terms of their importance to the founding of our republic. The men in this list will be those who played an important role in the founding of our republic. That is to say the period from 1775 to 1788, the period from Independence to Constitution. So… Here is the list…

1) George Washington. Yes… The (Political) Father of His Country tops another of your Maximum Leader’s lists. Were it not for Washington being able to hold together (against long odds) the rag-tag army there would be no United States of America. Washington was able to fight the British, the Congress, the various states, his officers, and the press and keep himself and the army together. Your Maximum Leader seriously doubts that any military commander had quite as many different factors affecting his ability to wage (much less win) a war than did George Washington. Then after the war, Washington becomes the central figure in the Constitutional Convention. By central your Maximum Leader doesn’t mean that Washington was the intellectual power behind the Convention. But he was the central organizing figure and the man who gave the meeting stature and respectability.

2) John Adams. John Adams was the man most responsible for moving our country towards political independence He urged, cajoled, pushed, shoved, browbeat, and compelled the first Congress towards declaring independence from Britain.

3) Benjamin Franklin. The (biological) father of his country was a seminal figure during the Revolution and Constitutional Convention. His diplomatic efforts (much to the dismay of John Adams) eventually led to French intervention in the war. His counsel at the Constitutional Convention helped bridge the gaps between regional factions. Also his early push for the abolition of slavery (which technically occured outside of the period under review here) is a testament to his dedication to the rights of all men.

4) Thomas Jefferson. He wrote the words that have inspired generations of men across the globe.

5) James Madison. Father of the Constitution. His analysis and knowledge was heavily drawn upon during the Constitutional Convention. He mediated many disputes between delegates, and suggested the framework that eventually became our Consitution.

Your Maximum Leader has other names he would like to add, but he cannot rank them very well. The non-comprehensive list includes: Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, Patrick Henry, and George Mason. Alas, your Maximum Leader has grown weary and finds he can no longer write cogently. (Assuming of course that he could write cogently before.)

Tomorrow is a big day. (Very very big day in fact.) So your Maximum Leader needs a goo night of sleep to prepare.

Carry on.

President’s Day - Part the First

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wishes all of you who are Americans a Happy President’s Day. For those of you who are not Americans, your Maximum Leader hopes that this day is still treating you pretty well. Yes, this is day set aside by the Federal Government to give all Federal Employees (excluding active duty military) a day off to think about the Presidents of our great republic. Of course, if anyone who has the day off is thinking about Presdient’s Day at all they are likely either reading this blog, or thinking about buying something at a President’s Day sale.

Anyho… Last year, or the year before, your Maximum Leader gave you his list of the top 10 US Presidents ever. He’s decided to change the list ad republish it. Here tis (changes in position are noted by each name):

1) George Washington. (No change) The first president, and the overriding shaper of the office. He set down many of the precedents that still function today. He established the cabinet system, and gave shape to the executive branch. He set down the major goals of US foreign policy (shunning entangling alliances) which held until (arguably) the Second World War. He also flexed (for the first time) federal supremacy over the states by putting down rebellions in Pennsylvania.

2) Abraham Lincoln. (No change) He saved the Union.

3) Franklin Roosevelt. (No change) Created the modern presidency (characterized by a strong executive). He also created the modern federal government (characterized by not only supreme federal authority but by an all-intrusive federal government).

4) James Knox Polk. (No change) Your Maximum Leader throws you a fastball here. He has always believed in the greatness of James K. Polk. Polk promised four things would be accomplished during his presidency. 1 - the Indian question in the south would be resolved; 2 - Texas would enter the Union; 3 - California would become part of the US; 4- a northern border with Canada west of the great lakes would be fixed. Polk said if these four things were not done in his four years, he would not seek another term. During his term he: sent the army in to round up and move the Indians in the south, he faught a war with Mexico and acquired Texas, California, and other western lands. He was (thanks to British/Canadian intransigence) unable to negotiate a northern border with Canada. He refused to run for a second term, and retired. (Your Maximum Leader will also add that he died shortly after leaving office - which your Maximum Leader also thinks is a generally good thing for ex-presidents to do.)

5) Theodore Roosevelt. (Number 6 last year) He started moving the nation towards global superpower status. Started necessary progressive changes and sensible regulation of the American economy.

6) Ronald Reagan. (Number 5 last year) He redefined the role of the modern federal government. (If you don’t think so, look at the administration of Bill Clinton and guess again.) And he won the Cold War. He was dropped by one position from last year due to his over-delegation of leadership in his second term - and the trouble it got him into.

7) Harry Truman. (Up from 8th last year) Had a tough act to follow, but did very well at it. Used the Bomb to end the war. Nationalized the Coal industry to break an illegal strike. Suddenly woke up and smelled the coffee concerning Soviet aggression and started defending US interests against communists.
8) Andrew Jackson. (Down from 7th) The first populist president. First to utilize the presidential veto and thereby create the modern system by which laws are made in the US.

9) Thomas Jefferson. (No change) Overall he doesn’t score lots of points with your Maximum Leader for his presidency. But you have to give credit to him for the Louisiana Purchase.

10) John Adams. (New to list) John Adams supplants Lyndon B Johnson on the list this year. This is mostly as a result of your Maximum Leader re-reading David McCoullugh’s “John Adams” not too long ago. Although Adams’ presidency is not noteworthy for many reasons; Adams needs to be given credit for stepping aside peacefully when he lost the Election of 1800. Peaceful transition from one office-holder to another is a little-valued tendency in the US, Britain, Canada, Austrailia and Western Democracies. But it is one that should be given a little more attention.

If you care to debate these choices, your Maximum Leader is up to it.

This is Part 1 of what may be two or three posts today which are all variations on this theme…

Carry on.

Perfect Analogy

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been more or less pretty reticent about the whole “Muslims in uproar about Danish cartoons” story. He hopes that most of you would be able to guess what his comments might be on this subject. If you can’t guess… He’ll just leave you with a link to Ted’s site for a great analogy.

Carry on.

Happy Birthday Thomas Malthus

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader heard/read this morning that today is the day generally considered to be the birthday of Thomas Malthus. Malthus’ theories of population outstripping food supply have not yet (if they ever will) come to pass. As one of the most dismal of the dismal scientists his observations on the necessity of war, famine, and plagues on keeping down human populations make him a favourite of those of us with villainy in our hearts.

Humm… Is it really appropriate for Malthus’ birthday to be a happy one?

Carry on.

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