Topic: Politics

An image crying out for a witty caption

user-pic

Story here (and details about shutting down Main Street USA here). Offer your suggestions below.

Obama at Disney

What's different? At first glance, not much.

2008: The Guardian Ethos
I am America's Maritime Guardian.
I serve the citizens of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am a Guardian.
We are the United States Coast Guard.
2011: The Coast Guard Ethos
I am a Coast Guardsman.
I serve the people of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman.
We are the United States Coast Guard.

Wait a minute. Whom do they serve?

Click on the banner and ponder what you find.

Who's to blame for our debt?

You might be surprised.

This is too simplistic:

OWS vs Tea Party Venn diagram

Here's one that's much more accurate (click it to zoom in):

OWS vs Tea Party

You tell me:

In every category necessary for the endurance of direct ground combat, women are behind men. They rank behind men in every category by large margins except in lower body strength, where they are the least behind.

...

Combat involves physical strength, proper mindset, physical skills, aerobic capability, sharp vision and a killer instinct. ... I personally just want the Feminists to agree that they value women as much as they say they do, because putting them in places that they are even more likely to be violently killed, subject to capture, torture, rape by our enemies, or mostly for not thinking that women are above the day to day drudgery of life not only in an infantry unit in extended ground combat, but the drudgery of the job while not deployed seems to me to be a bit in conflict with the idea of honoring them and their abilities. The idea that women belong in units in the military that participate in direct ground combat makes about as much sense as allowing me into the Feminist Studies Program at Bryn Mawr.


idiotThink. Don't emote. The military exists to kill America's enemies and break their stuff. It does not exist to provide you a career, enhance women's rights, improve society, achieve social justice, counteract sexist stereotypes, pay for your college tuition, or any of a million other progressive pipe dreams. The military's reason for being is to violently kill people. It's an ugly fact, but it's no less true because it's ugly.

Men and women are inherently different physically, mentally, and emotionally. In every relevant respect men are better suited for combat, and especially so for ground combat. If that offends you, I don't care. Don't cry to me. Facts are often unpleasant and unyielding things, so cry to God (or if you're an atheist, cry to nature) to assuage your emotional pain. I am not out to offend you or anyone else. I am out to ensure America's military remains the most powerful and respected force on Earth, the force that gives you the protection and comfort you enjoy (and take for granted) today.

Without America's military, you'd have no leisure time to ponder the social justice implications of banning women from combat. You'd be a slave to a totalitarian government not of your choosing, a government utterly contemptuous of your needs and wants, much less your easily-bruised ego.

Save your social experimentation for arenas that don't revolve around violent death. Go fiddle with the diversity statistics at your local community college, and stop undermining the only shield between you and the barbarians. Construct whatever mental delusion or flimsy rationalization you must, but find a way to cocoon your delicate ego and find any other part of society to tinker with.

A nation that weakens its military by removing all barriers to women serving in combat is asking to be attacked an defeated.

P.S. -- If you want me to entertain your foolish ideas about women in ground combat without laughing in your face, do something first: change the law so that all young women are subject to the military draft just like all men. Once women bear equal responsibility and duty with men, then they can begin to talk about their alleged entitlement to equal goodies.

Democrat petition drive in ... cemeteries?

user-pic

I don't know if this is legit, or whether some smart aleck hacked the Wisconsin Democrats' web site. Click on the image to see the screen shot at full size.

Democrat election fraud

Not surprisingly, the Dems have yanked the page from their site. Here's the cached page on Google. Who knows how long it'll exist?

$15,OOO,OOO,OOO,OOOBAMA

user-pic

Just how much does the federal government owe? Here's a visualization of the national debt as a stack of $100 bills (click to see it at full size):

Obama's $15 trillion debt


That's right, folks. Our national debt just shot past $15 trillion today. We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.

Video: Mark Levin at the Reagan Forum

user-pic

Listen to this, think about it, reflect, and be of good cheer. If you can't spare the time now, bookmark this link.


Ronald Reagan thumbs up

Tea Party terrorists, illustrated

user-pic

Do I understand you correctly, Mr. Vice President and assorted progressive hand-wringers?

Clearly nonviolent practitioner(s) of the Religion of Peace Tea Party terrorists
Clearly nonviolent practitioner(s) of the Religion of Peace Tea Party terrorists
Clearly nonviolent practitioner(s) of the Religion of Peace Tea Party terrorists
Clearly nonviolent practitioner(s) of the Religion of Peace Tea Party terrorists
Clearly nonviolent practitioner(s) of the Religion of Peace Tea Party terrorists

Obama's "Malaise Speech"

user-pic

Barack Obama sounds an awful lot like a previous president who delivered his infamous "Malaise Speech" 32 years ago today.


The more things change ...

Political Compass results (2011)

user-pic

The questions change with the issues of the day, but my results stay consistent.

political compass

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questions the patriotism of Americans who object to our war "time-limited scope-limited kinetic military action" in Libya:

But the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi's side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them? For the Obama Administration, the answer to that question is very easy.

Can somebody please reconcile Secretary Clinton's ever-so-subtle rhetorical question with Senator Clinton's heartfelt beliefs about challenging any president who orders troops to war whatever the heck it is we're doing in Libya? I'm trying to figure out what the guidelines are.

Totally unexpected results from Gallup:

Thirty-seven percent of all active-duty military personnel and veterans surveyed approved of the job Obama is doing during the January 2010 to April 2011 time frame. That compares with 48% of nonveterans interviewed during the same period.

Military members and veterans? Really? I'm shocked.

Take a good look at where the taxable money is. Click on the image:

Middle class tax target

President Obama and the Democrats in Washington, DC are lying to you. It is impossible to pay for their insane levels of spending by taxing "the rich." The rich don't have enough money to pay for that spending binge, even if the federal government confiscated their every last dime. The IRS data is beyond dispute. If he insists on the current insane level of spending, Barack Obama will have to raise massive amounts of taxes on the middle class to pay for it.

He's lying and he knows it. Standard & Poor's just downgraded the U.S. Government's credit outlook to "negative" for the first time in history, and it's all because the fools in Washington won't stop spending. This is awful, awful news.

As I said before, it's too late to fix our enormous deficit without pain. We can either feel some pain now and fix the problem, or we can keep living in Obama's fantasy land until we experience incredible pain a little bit later. Take your pick.

Those draconian cuts, again

user-pic

Remember this? I was way off. Here's the Congressional Budget Office's assessment of the vicious slashing and bloodletting inflicted upon the budget by those heartless Republicans:

Tax Cuts 101

user-pic

Would you rather eat a thick slice from a small pie, or a slightly thinner slice from a much larger pie?

Tax Cuts 101

If you can grasp this concept, then you can figure out why tax cuts increase tax revenue. Mark Goldblatt hammers the point home.

If you think jacking up tax rates on individuals and corporations will fix the deficit, you're dreaming. See for yourself by clicking on these two graphics.

individual income tax receipts   corporate income tax receipts


Before you start talking about the richest Americans "not paying their fair share," click below and play around with the interactive graphic.

Who says the rich don't pay their fair share?


But, hey, let's go after those evil rich people!

When is a budget cut not a budget cut?

user-pic

A cut is not a cut when you're playing games with the federal budget.

Imagine that the Federal Whatchamacallit Administration (FWA) has a current budget of $100 billion for 2011. Now imagine that the happy little piglets in the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Obama Administration propose a 2012 budget that appropriates $150 billion for the FWA -- the better to spread some wealth among their political buddies. Pretty straightforward so far, and sadly very predictable:

Baseline budgeting

Now let's say that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives objects, countering by setting the FWA's 2012 budget at $120 billion, which looks like this:

Baseline budgeting

Naturally, if you're a tax-and-spend Washington politician and you hate being told "no", you immediately call a press conference to denounce the horrible "cut" in the FWA budget.

But wait! How can it be a "cut" if the budget went up? It's a common scare tactic that comes from a system called "baseline budgeting", and it's a deceptively easy way to scare uninformed voters into supporting the tax-and-spend piglets in expensive suits.

The Congressional Budget Office defines the baseline as a benchmark for measuring the budgetary effects of proposed changes in federal revenue or spending, with the assumption that current budgetary policies or current services are continued without change. The baseline includes automatic adjustments for inflation and anticipated increases in program participation. Baseline, or current services, budgeting, therefore builds automatic, future spending increases into Congress's budgetary forecasts.


Baseline budgeting tilts the budget process in favor of increased spending and taxes. For example, if an agency's budget is projected to grow by $100 million, but only grows by $75 million, according to baseline budgeting, that agency sustained a $25 million cut. That is analogous to a person who expects to gain 100 pounds only gaining 75 pounds, and taking credit for losing 25 pounds. The federal government is the only place this absurd logic is employed.

You can also sometimes see the flip side of this silliness in action when politicians try to paint themselves as budget-cutters, while actually spending more. You've heard of stores that fool consumers by artificially raising prices just before a "deep discount sale", right? Politicians pull the same trick regularly.

So the next time you hear scary stories like "Republicans will cut veterans' benefits", or "Republicans want to cut Medicare", don't swallow the bait without thinking. First, find out whether those sneaky politicians are playing the baseline budgeting game again.

Those draconian 2011 budget cuts

user-pic

The Fiscal Year 2011 budget deal announced on Friday reportedly involves cuts of $38 billion. It's hard to keep billions and trillions of anything in perspective. $38 billion is a huge pile of money, after all. So how do you get a sense for that amount?

The world's richest man, Carlos Slim Helu, has a net worth of $74 billion. Bill Gates is number two at $56 billion, followed by Warren Buffett at $50 billion. Charles and David Koch (the hated bogey men of progressives' fever dreams) have $22 billion each, and George Soros (the leftist Sugar Daddy of sugar daddies) has $14.5 billion.

So $38 billion in cuts sounds like a lot, doesn't it?

Andy McCarthy's not impressed.

A mere four months ago, the big controversy in conservative and Republican circles was whether the GOP had reneged on their vaunted pledge to cut $100B in spending in the current fiscal year because they had seemingly come down to $61B. As I noted at the time, there was no question that, if you looked at the fine print of the pledge, the commitment was $61B -- but that if you looked at reality, both $61B and $100B were laughably unserious. No matter. Folks around here pooh-poohed my criticism and insisted that a $61B pledge was a sober first step, showing real fortitude about getting our fiscal house in order.


So now they've stopped short, significantly short, of that purportedly serious step, and the reaction is, "We won!" You've got to be kidding me. The only thing Boehner won is future assurance that GOP leadership can safely promise the moon but then settle for crumbs because their rah-rah corner will spin any paltry accomplishment, no matter how empty it shows the promise to have been, as a tremendous victory.

And what's the rationale for settling? Why, that these numbers are so piddling -- that the $21 billion difference is so meaningless in the context of $14 trillion -- that it's best just to settle, make believe the promise was never made, make believe we didn't flinch, and put this episode behind us so we can begin the "real work" of the next promise, the Ryan Plan.

Regarding that plan, you're to believe that the captains courageous who caved on $21 billion -- and who got elected because of Obamacare but don't even want to discuss holding out for a cancellation of $105 billion in Obamacare funding -- are somehow going to fight to the death for $6 trillion in cuts. Right.

It strikes me that Boehner caved when he had -- as Hugh Hewitt describes it -- a "veto" on all spending. Won't the Democrats feel emboldened during the upcoming fights over the debt ceiling, the FY 2012 budget, and entitlement reform? Boehner eliminated a couple of days' worth of deficits, and got two symbolic votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate on Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Why should the GOP base (much less the Tea Party) feel encouraged?

As an aside, I'm getting really sick of the "1/2 of 1/3 of the government" talking point. It's a weak excuse. Besides, the Judicial Branch isn't even involved in spending decisions whatsoever; Boehner actually runs 1/2 of 1/2 of the spending process.

--

6:00 PM Update: I just came across Mark Levin's take:

John Boehner has said over and over again that the Republican House is only 1/2 of 1/3 of the government - even though, by the way, no spending or taxing bill can pass without the House, period. He has also said that the Republicans will not shut down the government. So tell me, what is his strategy going forward with the debt ceiling and the 2012 budget? If he is already saying House Republicans are too weak to do much, and that we are not going to shut down the government, what is his leverage when these big battles take place? I don't think the man has a strategy at all.

Any regrets yet, lefties?

user-pic

Remember, whenever Barack Obama announces a policy or makes a pronouncement, refer to Geraghty's Rule: "All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them."


Eric Allie toon

Toon by Eric Allie

America's enormous national debt

user-pic

As our employees in the Congress and the White House quibble over insignificant cuts in discretionary spending of between $4 billion and $60 billion, we would be wise to keep things in perspective.

entitlement spending

Are you nervous yet? Yes? Then get the attention of your elected officials -- whose names and contact info are easily found -- and insist on serious entitlement spending reform.

Tribble predictions

user-pic

How many House seats will the GOP gain today? Here's the running tally of predictions from the Tribbles (listeners of the Hugh Hewitt Show who lurk in the #hhrs hashtag on Twitter):

@Mrs_ESTMR: 100
@akonsen: 80
@MongoTribble: 79
@Soopermexican: 75
@Nikkonito & @dirtseller: 68
@michaelbeck: 67
@hazchic: 63
@dbsnyder: 60
@JGtheSheep: 58
@strongthought: 53


At stake: bragging rights for whoever gets closest without going over, of course! As of 4 PM Eastern, the InTrade odds are hovering between 60 and 65 ... and rising.

Make it a Black Swan Event

user-pic

This is doubly true for MSNBC anchors.

pistol     razors

rope     pills

bridge     exhaust pipe

train     Nancy Pelosi

An excellent idea from HillBuzz

user-pic

Ask for suggestions online and you'll get suggestions:

Here's a fun way to screw with the Democrats' internal polling and brand management -- and hopefully convince them to stay the course and keep doing crazy things voters hate instead of pulling towards the middle and trying to put their mask back on before 2012.


The Democrats rely heavily on polling...with an upper tier that is dead-set against moving the party back to the middle. This is suicide for the party, but the Leftists who now control the DNC don't want to believe that. Instead, they want to see polls that tell them the public LOVES what the Democrats have been doing and want them to commit more of this madness between November 3rd, 2010 and November 2012.

It should be our mission to screw with as many Democrat internal polls as possible...to give these nuts the data they want to keep Obama on the wrong track for the party. This will guarantee the Democrats will keep making people furious for the next two years, so the public can wipe even more of them out in the next election (including people like Claire McCaskill in the Senate, and Obama himself in the White House).

...

For each one, we tried to answer while keeping in mind what would do the most damage to the Democrat Party in the long term. So, for questions that asked if we thought the party was on the right track, we said it definitely was. For questions about what issues we wanted Democrats to push, we answered the ones that would alienate Democrats from the most voters. Ie, healthcare, immigration, etc. This is counterintuitive to what YOU personally want to see, so you need to think strategically. Democrats are hurt most when they are talking about things like healthcare, immigration, the environment, etc. So, that's what they need to be encouraged to keep talking about.

Americans really want to deal exclusively with jobs...so the LAST THING we want them to actually ever talk about is jobs. Let the survey indicate Democrats need to talk nonstop about healthcare, immigration, and the environment just to keep making people mad for the next two years. That will greatly benefit conservatives.

Brilliant. You can see the HillBuzz submission at their site.

Video: Democrat thugs in action

user-pic

These are the people who preach endlessly about tolerance and open-mindedness.

A handy visual for independent voters

user-pic

If you find the earlier graphic too confusing, try this:

Employment-Population ratio from 2000-2010


This is what happens to employment when progressives/liberals/left-wingers take charge of federal taxing, spending, and regulation. Without fail. Every. Single. Time.

Barack Obama is Jimmy Carter

A look inside the Obama White House?

user-pic

trap"A longtime Washington D.C. insider, and former advisor to the Obama election campaign and transition team, speaks out on an administration in crisis, and a president increasingly withdrawn from the job of President."

So begins a four-part series claiming to offer a look behind the scenes of an Obama Administration in the throes of amateurism and led by an immature and unqualified narcissist:

The President Is Losing It (9/7/10)
The President Needs To Grow Up (9/15/10)
What The Hell Have We Done? (9/18/10)
The Clintons Are Going For It (9/21/10)

I've read the four pieces, and they sound plausible to me. But then, I'm predisposed to detest everything related to progressives and Democrats (sorry for repeating myself). Until there's something more here than a single sooper sekrit source who's blabbing to an unknown writer, I'm gonna take this with a bucketful of salt. After all, when something seems too good to be true ...

An even newer Democrat logo

user-pic

Democratic Party

Insanity

user-pic

insanity

About those "racist" tea partiers

user-pic

Chime in any time now, progressives.


Speak up, boys.

Vote Democrat

user-pic

They're for "the little guy," after all.


Duane Lester, you're spot on.

The Pelosi-Obama-Reid economy

user-pic

Nice job, Democrats! Click any image to enlarge it.

Change is coming in November.

Ronald Reagan, we miss you

user-pic

Fire McChrystal

user-pic

President Obama must fire General McChrystal and prosecute him for gross insubordination and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Even if McCrystal has valid grounds for objecting to the President's war strategy, the way he went about is was utterly wrong. Every officer knows that when you need to "drop the big one" in a critical dispute with the civilian leadership of the military, you resign your commission. You don't pop off to the press and ridicule your Commander-in-Chief while whining like a brat. You never even hint at challenging the centuries-old principle of civilian control of the U.S. military.

President Obama, drop the hammer on this disgrace of a General. Relieve him, prosecute him, and replace him. You have my support.

--

1:30 PM Update: McChrystal's out, Petraeus is in. Good call.

Dave Harding must have memory problems

user-pic

Why else would Dave be so outrageously outraged at The Weekly Standard for insulting his mini-messiah? You be the judge. Which is worse: a gag toy that pokes fun at Barack Obama's stress-inducing presidency ...

Obama stress toy   Obama stress toy squeezed

... or this?

To hear some tell it, the tea party movement is riddled with minority-hating racists.

Oops.

Among the many reverberations of President Obama's election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.

...

Many of the candidates are trying to align themselves with the Tea Partiers, insisting that the racial dynamics of that movement have been overblown. Videos taken at some Tea Party rallies show some participants holding up signs with racially inflammatory language.

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 25 percent of self-identified Tea Party supporters think that the Obama administration favors blacks over whites, compared with 11 percent of the general public.

The black candidates interviewed overwhelmingly called the racist narrative a news media fiction. "I have been to these rallies, and there are hot dogs and banjos," said Mr. West, the candidate in Florida, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army. "There is no violence or racism there."

Looks like it's time for the Left to try a new futile avenue of attack, since the New York Times isn't exactly a right-wing propaganda rag. Good luck, chumps.

Day By Day cartoon for 4/15/2010

Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann

Video: "A Trip Down Memory Lane"

user-pic

Those awful, hateful, racist Tea Partiers scare me.

Thank Gaia we live in the Era of Hopenchange™ now, huh?

Two piles of trash

Geraghty's Rule is still in effect

user-pic

National Review's Jim Geraghty detected a pattern years ago when he said "All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them." Responding to popular demand, he updated his list of expired Obama statements today.

If Barack Obama's agenda isn't socialist, then what is it? For reference, please consult the Socialist Party USA's platform and the official program of the Communist Party USA

Video: Who is Joe Biden?

user-pic

Behold the people who elected Barack Obama and his running mate, uh ... um ...

Imagine that. Ignoramuses in L.A.! Who'd a thunk it?

Good reporting on the NY-23 race

user-pic

Robert Stacy McCain, Ali Akbar, and Erick Erickson are doing yeoman's work covering the rise of Doug Hoffman and the fall of RINO Dede Scozzafava in the special election for the vacant U.S. House seat in New York's 23rd District. Could it be that the NRCC is finally noticing the priorities expressed by GOP's conservative base?

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich still appears to be stuck in some alternate universe where you can slap an (R) on a ham sandwich and it deserves his hearty endorsement.

--

11:35 AM Update: Scozzafava quits. The Other McCain just doesn't quit.

Picking on Slow Joe Biden

user-pic

I know, I know. It's about as sporting as clubbing baby seals, but I can't resist.

Joe Biden dumbass

Thanks. I feel better now.

I say the following as a retired U.S. Coast Guard commissioned officer who swore and upheld a solemn oath to defend the Constitution.

Newsmax's John L. Perry is either nuts, a naïve fool, or a childish attention-seeker. His latest column speculating on the possibility of a U.S. military coup to unseat President Obama fails the most basic B.S. test. Perry hasn't the first clue about how our military's leadership understands its oath of office, nor does he demonstrate even the most rudimentary comprehension of our Constitution.

By publishing this bilge the editors at Newsmax have forever beclowned themselves.

More commentary:
Cassandra cracks open a can o' whupass

How much education does $300 Billion buy you?

user-pic

We told you Obama worked for ACORN

user-pic

Click on the images below to see them at full size.

Before Obama's site was scrubbed:

Obama's lie about never working for ACORN

After Obama's site was scrubbed:

Obama's spin about working for ACORN

See the difference? Look at the second bullet point.

It's a start. The first one's a matter of semantics, but the third one's still a lie.

A total cutoff of federal funds to ACORN?

user-pic

Boy oh boy, I hope so. These crooks don't understand Americans who value individual liberty and limited government, but we understand them and their entire rotten playbook. Their houses are built on sand, and we're the onrushing tide. Stand by for a collapse.

... according to the not-so-subtle excuse offered by NPR blogger Frank James in defense of ACORN:

Frank JamesMeanwhile, conservatives show no signs of letting up.

...

It's also important to keep in mind that ACORN's workers are coming from the same low-income neighborhoods the organization serves, with all that entails -- poor schools, high crime and the sorts of social problems that have been documented for decades.

So the flaws conservatives are pointing out about ACORN are not so much problems associated with that organization per se but more about the problems of being poor and minority in urban America.

Wow. The sheer chutzpah here is breathtaking. This isn't proof of a problem with ACORN per se? According to his logic, every organization serving poor urban minorities (and employing same) must also be riddled with criminals. I suspect quite a few non-profits based in heavily urbanized areas would vehemently protest Mr. James' blanket slur.

What alternate universe does he live in? In JamesWorld, we are expected to gaze in condescending pity upon community organizers advising would-be politicians how to get away with mortgage fraud, tax evasion, and child prostitution. After all, the community organizers are those people. You know what he means, right? Wink-wink, nudge-nudge ... the ones who have dark skin and no money and live in the 'hood. They don't know any better, the poor dears.

Good Lord, what racist bilge!

--

9/15 Update: Maura Flynn gets it.

9/16 Update: Gregory of Yardale gets it too.

During tonight's joint session, Barack Obama faced a critic brave enough to call his dishonesty what it is:

For yelling "you lie!", I just sent Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina a $10 campaign contribution. If he hadn't apologized for his supposed rudeness in calling a lie a lie, I'd have sent him $50.

More coverage:
Hot Air
Gateway Pundit
Protein Wisdom
Conservative Culture
Ace of Spades

More Cowbell ... oops ... Obama!

user-pic

Another week, another address to a joint session of Congress. When in doubt, David Axelrod has just one prescription:

More cowbell, Obama!Obama's planned address to a joint session of Congress next week "will insert the president into the heated debate in a way he has avoided all summer." The Washington Post informed readers that the "White House is scrambling to take control of the health-care debate after watching from the sidelines." A "senior aide" to Obama says the president will be "much more prescriptive."

Why the White House press corps didn't just change the date on their old copy and run it again is beyond me. And I'll leave it to others to ponder the media's seemingly infinite capacity to give Obama as many do-overs as he might need.

Why the Obama administration is determined to do the time warp again is easier to decipher. Obama's advisers think the answer to every problem is more cowbell, if by "cowbell" you mean "Obama." It's like Obama guru David Axelrod is the Christopher Walken character from the Saturday Night Live skit about Blue Oyster Cult (if you don't know the reference, Google "cowbell").

Every time someone comes up with an alternative to throwing Obama on TV, Axelrod says, "No, no, no. Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription . . . is more Obama!"

Ecce:

Please keep going, Barry. The more America sees of you, the less they like what they see.

Why do we need The Maximum Leader to hector a captive audience of America's children to work hard for the country? His prepared remarks are full of barely-concealed creepy collectivist tripe.

--

Update: The OmniPresident sings in the Key of Me!

Teddy Kennedy died this morning

user-pic

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Teddy Kennedy's hearse

Video: Rahm Emanuel's ties

user-pic

Hey, what's that foul stench? Smells like dead fish ...

Try actually reading the Constitution

user-pic

Washington Post reporter Alec MacGillis doesn't like the power wielded by U.S. Senators from states with small populations. He writes:

The Senate Finance Committee's "Gang of Six" that is drafting health-care legislation that may shape the final deal -- without a public insurance option -- represents six states that are among the least populous in the country: Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Maine, New Mexico and Iowa.

Between them, those six states hold 8.4 million people -- less than New Jersey -- and represent 3 percent of the U.S. population. North Dakota and Wyoming each have fewer than 80,000 uninsured people, in a country where about 47 million lack insurance. In the House, those six states have 13 seats out of 435, 3 percent of the whole. In the Senate, those six members are crafting what may well be the blueprint for reform.

Climate change legislation, which passed in the House, also faces daunting odds. Why? Because agriculture, coal and oil interests hold far more sway in the Senate. In the House, the big coal state of Wyoming has a single vote to New York's 29 and California's 53. In the Senate, each state has two. The two Dakotas (total population: 1.4 million) together have twice as much say in the Senate as does Florida (18.3 million) or Texas (24.3 million) or Illinois (12.9 million).

Was this really what the founders had in mind? One popular story tells of Thomas Jefferson asking George Washington what the Senate's purpose is. "Why did you pour that coffee into your saucer?" Washington asked in return. "To cool it," Jefferson replied. To which Washington said, "Even so, we pour legislation in the senatorial saucer to cool it." A nice tale. But what if the coffee gets so cold that no one bothers to drink it? Or if the Senate takes its coffee black in a country that opted overwhelmingly for sugar and cream?

Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota (pop. 641,481, third smallest), chairman of the Budget Committee and one of the Gang of Six, does not see any problem. Asked whether it is appropriate that his vote counts as much as those of senators from states 20 times as large, he was flummoxed. "One would hope that people would support the Constitution of the United States," said Conrad, who was reelected with 150,000 votes in 2006, when Virginia's Jim Webb needed 1.2 million votes to win. "This was the grand bargain that was struck when the Founding Fathers determined the structure and form of the United States Congress." He added: "Are you proposing changing the Constitution?"

Well, maybe. Regardless, there's nothing wrong with taking a closer look at how things came to be the way they are. The fact remains that, hallowed as it is, the Senate is as much a product of bare-knuckled, self-interested politics as last week's fight over military earmarks.

This is so damn simple to refute that my head hurts (probably due to banging it on my keyboard after reading this garbage). Apparently, neither MacGillis nor his trusty fact-checking editors bothered to read Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which sets forth the rules for changing that Constitution:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Mr. MacGillis, your entire essay was an exercise in futility. To answer your question, yes, the Founding Fathers did actually construct the Constitution with ironclad protection for each State's equal representation in the Senate, even if every other State wants to strip it away through the amendment process.

This ain't rocket science.

Hat tip: This Ain't Hell

Arrogant indifference, thy name is ...

user-pic

... Barack Obama:

Obama ignores Gates' handicap

Great job, Barry.

It might read something like this:

No law, bill, resolution or any act of Congress shall exceed 2000 words, including all footnotes, amendments and signatures. Congress shall not vote on any item longer than that. Each item requiring a vote shall be read aloud in its entirety in session to a majority of members. Those not in attendance may not vote on the item.

Certainly worth discussing, no?

Can you name a single Obama policy decision so far that's had the intended result?

Since when does this ...

The President . . . shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law. . . .

... mean "rubber stamp approval"?

More ads like this one, please.

Hat tip: Brutally Honest

Here's a graphic that illustrates where I stood on the Political Compass on June 25th, 2004:

Political Compass

Here's where I stood on December 11th, 2007:

Political Compass

And here I am today:

Political Compass

Although I quibble with the wording of some of its questions, the quiz is precise and pretty accurate to boot. I wonder where my SOB allies fall on the chart?

On the hilarious Jim Treacher's blog, I found a serious plea to upload a copy of the following video created by Founding Bloggers (yes, that's my copy below):

CNN is abusing copyright law to strong-arm YouTube into removing the clip. CNN's embarrassed, but that's no justification for a b.s. claim of copyright violation. Patterico has the details.

For the record, what Susan Roesgen does is anything but objective reporting.

Flohda mus' be proud

user-pic

Corrine Brown, Demcrat Repuhsentative fo' de Thirr Congreshl Districk uh Flohda:

True dat.

Gradulations, Corrine. Whenevuh I embarrass' bout mah state dellgayshun mos' ridickuhluss membuh, someone like you come 'long and remind me dat it could be worse. Yo' fly constituents been sending you to Wash'ton since 1993, where yo' masstry uh de English language continue to amaze.

Hat tip: Iowahawk

Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)

As proposed in the House, here's the text of the Orwellian legislation. They should name it the "Unionization by Intimidation Act of 2009", but of course there's no requirement for truth in advertising by Congress.

The bill's text will soon be available on THOMAS.

Obama's post-primary strategy, diagrammed

user-pic

If a chart like this looks complicated ...

Obama's post-primary strategy

... the explanation helps (a bit). It's interesting, but it's only a start. We need to throw several monkey wrenches into the Left's works, and quickly.

Parody lyrics: "Welfare"

user-pic

To mark the impending passage of the stimulus package The Generational Theft Act of 2009, I wrote a parody for any good Barack Obama impersonator to sing (with backup vocals by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barney Frank).

"Welfare"
(Tune: "Hang Fire" by The Rolling Stones)


Welfare welfare, welfare welfare, welfare welfare, well well
Welfare welfare, welfare welfare, welfare welfare, well well

In the brand new country we're gonna remake
Nobody has a job, cuz they're all on the take, welfare
Uh welfare

Well running your life is our full time job
We know what's best for you, you're just a helpless slob, welfare
Uh welfare, welfare, sign right there, baby yeah
Uh welfare, welfare, sign right there, baby

Yeah
Uh welfare

We got four short years to spread all of your wealth
This truckload of cash won't spend itself
Here in D.C. we're on a tear
Say what the hell, say what the hell, welfare
Welfare, welfare, welfare, sign right there, baby
Welfare, welfare, welfare, welfare
Welfare, welfare, sign right there baby

Welfare welfare, welfare welfare, welfare welfare, well well
Welfare welfare, welfare welfare, welfare welfare, well well
Welfare welfare, welfare welfare, welfare welfare, well well
Welfare welfare, welfare welfare, welfare welfare, well well

Cough up a trillion dollars for us to burn
Then re-elect us cuz you never learn, welfare
Uh welfare, welfare, sign right there baby
Uh welfare, welfare, sign right there
Welfare welfare welfare welfare
Sign right there
Sign right there

Considering the original song's ironic subject, I fiured it could use an update. After all, Barack Obama is the new James Callaghan.

Read the following text buried in the House version of the Generational Theft Act of 2009 (emphasis mine):

Hopenchange Kool-AidEMERGENCY FUND. -- ''(1) ESTABLISHMENT. -- There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund which shall be known as the 'Emergency Contingency Fund for State Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Programs' (in this subsection referred to as the 'Emergency Fund'). ''(2) DEPOSITS INTO FUND.--Out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are appropriated such sums as are necessary for payment to the Emergency Fund.

That's a blatant return to unlimited direct welfare payments. Remember those? A Republican Congress cut off those hand-outs in 1996 with Bill Clinton's approval years ago, but Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi want to go back to the bad old days of welfare queens.

I searched the text of the Senate's "compromise" version and found this:

'(1) ESTABLISHMENT.--There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund which shall be known as the 'Emergency Contingency Fund for State Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Programs' (in this subsection referred to as the 'Emergency Fund'). ''(2) DEPOSITS INTO FUND.-- ''(A) IN GENERAL.--Out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are appropriated for fiscal year 2009, $3,000,000,000 for payment to the Emergency Fund.

It's a sad day when three billion dollars in welfare payments sounds less insane than the alternative, but here we are. Any bets on what dollar figure will result from the conference committee in which the House and Senate reconcile the differences in their bills and go for final passage?

I'm not betting on anything small.

Hat tip: Mickey Kaus

--

7:00 Update: Tom Blumer points out that this bill is 47% pork.

Courtesy of MSDNC MSNBC:

President Barack Obama issued a withering critique Thursday of Wall Street corporate behavior, calling it "the height of irresponsibility" for Wall Street employees to be paid more than $18 billion in bonuses last year while their financial sector was crumbling.


"It is shameful," Obama said from the Oval Office. "And part of what we're going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint, and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility."

If I've got this "new Obama math" right, paying out $18 billion in executive bonuses is the height of irresponsibility, but spending $1.2 trillion in government pork is a fiscally justifiable use of taxpayer funds.

Am I on track, Mr. President?

PigHmmm. Big numbers are hard to grasp. Maybe if I represented each $1,000,000,000 with a fat little pig, I'd be able to get a better handle on things. Yes, that sounds good.

Ready?

How Boehner and company conduct business

user-pic

You betcha, my fellow hopenchangers. Barack Obama knows who to thank for his rise to power. That's Democrat payoffs kickbacks corruption stimulus for ya!

Boehner, Cantor: vote "no" on stimulus

user-pic

Earlier today a rumor surfaced on Politico.com about House Republican leadership encouraging the Republican members of the House to vote against Barack Obama's monster wasteful pork stimulus bill. I have confirmation from a DC source that this is no mere rumor. Rep. John Boehner and Rep. Eric Cantor urged their caucus to oppose the stimulus-a-palooza when it comes to the floor tomorrow.

Cantor led a working group that came up with a "House Republican Economic Recovery Plan", which they released on Friday in one-page summary form. I received an e-mailed copy of a two-page version of the plan.

Well, not yet. But the Paulbots have certainly spammed the heck out of RNCDebate.org lately. Just look at all the lickspittle paeans mixed into the questions submitted by the Ronulans. Geez, these cranks almost make Obama worshipers look rational.

ron-paul-zombies.jpg

Hats off to Sword At-The-Ready for the image.

Get your Obama Coins!

user-pic

If you think paying fifteen dollars for one of these monstrosities is silly ...

... imagine forking over more than twenty bucks for a secondhand coin. There's a sucker born every minute.

Hat tip: Ben Keeler

Hats off to Brit Hume

user-pic

Brit Hume wrapped up his career as a full-time journalist tonight when he signed off at the end of Special Report. The guy's a no-b.s., fair, balanced, unafraid reporter who has earned his retirement.

America needs more reporters like him. I'll miss watching him in the evenings.

A research team from the Psychology Department at New York University, headed by Professor Yaacov Trope and supported by the National Science Foundation, is investigating the cognitive causes of voting behavior, political preferences, and candidate evaluations throughout the course of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. This stage of the study focuses on the information people use to inform evaluations during the last few weeks before the election. They seek respondents of all political leanings from all over the country (and from the rest of the world) to complete a 15-minute questionnaire, the responses to which will be completely anonymous.

If you're interested, participate here.

When is a budget cut not a budget cut?

user-pic

A cut is not a cut when you're playing games with the federal budget.

Imagine that the Federal Whatchamacallit Administration (FWA) has a current budget of $100 billion for 2006, and the Bush administration requests $120 billion for 2007.

Now imagine that the happy little piglets on the House Appropriations Committee draft their 2007 budget with another $30 billion in the FWA authorization bill ... the better to fund several Congressmen's pet projects. Pretty straightforward so far, and sadly very predictable:

Baseline budgeting

Now let's say that the full House of Representatives, backed by the Bush Administration, objects to the pork. They change the FWA's 2007 budget back to $120 billion, which looks like this:

Baseline budgeting

Naturally, if you're a tax-and-spend Washington politician and you hate being told "no", you immediately call a press conference to denounce the horrible "cut" in the FWA budget.

But wait! How can it be a "cut" if the budget went up? It's a common scare tactic that comes from a system called "baseline budgeting", and it's a deceptively easy way to scare uninformed voters into supporting the tax-and-spend piglets in expensive suits.

The Congressional Budget Office defines the baseline as a benchmark for measuring the budgetary effects of proposed changes in federal revenue or spending, with the assumption that current budgetary policies or current services are continued without change. The baseline includes automatic adjustments for inflation and anticipated increases in program participation. Baseline, or current services, budgeting, therefore builds automatic, future spending increases into Congress's budgetary forecasts.


Baseline budgeting tilts the budget process in favor of increased spending and taxes. For example, if an agency's budget is projected to grow by $100 million, but only grows by $75 million, according to baseline budgeting, that agency sustained a $25 million cut. That is analogous to a person who expects to gain 100 pounds only gaining 75 pounds, and taking credit for losing 25 pounds. The federal government is the only place this absurd logic is employed.

You can also sometimes see the flip side of this silliness in action when politicians try to paint themselves as budget-cutters, while actually spending more. You've heard of stores that fool consumers by artificially raising prices just before a "deep discount sale", right? Politicians pull the same trick regularly.

So the next time you hear scary stories like "Republicans will cut veterans' benefits", or "McCain will cut Medicare", don't swallow the bait without thinking. First, find out whether those sneaky politicians are playing the baseline budgeting game again.

Stay classy, Democrats.

When will an interviewer or a reporter ask Barack Obama whether he believes in Black Liberation Theology? It's definitely not orthodox Christianity.

Imagine that I'm a leading Republican candidate for President, and I've been a member of the Westboro Baptist Church for 20 years, and donated tens of thousands of dollars to the ministry. I've also called the Reverend Fred Phelps my friend and spiritual mentor for years. Furthermore, he presided over my marriage and baptized my two daughters.

Now when embarrassing video clips of Fred Phelps' sermons surface during my campaign, I start distancing myself from the specific offensive statements in the specific videos. I also play down my association with Phelps by likening him to a crazy uncle and claiming "Gosh, he never said stuff like that when I was in the pews; the few times I attended it was all about Jesus and love and faith and family."

My supporters claim the media cherry-picked quotes to serve their own agenda, that people are afraid of me, and that my accusers don't understand the "context" of the rhetoric used in churches that focus primarily on homosexuals.

Would anybody believe a single word I said? Of course not. They'd all call B.S.

So why in the world do the Obamassiah's followers expect me to swallow his line of bull?

--

Update: Spin, baby, spin.

Barack Obama's core beliefs

user-pic

Are you ready for an eye-opening look at the kind of racist bilge that's taught by the church that Obama chose to support and attend for the last twenty years? Make sure you're sitting down first, because this is black liberation theology in its unvarnished ugliness.

10/01/2008 Update: There's much more to learn about Barack Obama's beliefs here.

Whoopsie:

Contrary to Senator Barack Obama's claim that he never heard his pastor Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. preach hatred of America, Obama was in the pews last July 22 when the minister blamed the "white arrogance" of America's Caucasian majority for the world's suffering, especially the oppression of blacks.

...

In fact, Obama was present in the South Side Chicago church on July 22 last year when Jim Davis, a freelance correspondent for Newsmax, attended services along with Obama. [See: "Obama's Church: Cauldron of Division."]

How many of these sermons did Obama attend? More importantly, if he lied about his supposed ignorance of Wright's hateful rhetoric, why should we believe Obama when he "condemns" those sermons?

More analysis at Hot Air.

True Stimulus

user-pic

Is it just me, or are the Congress and the President doing the usual two-step "we must be seen to be doing something about a recession because it is an election year" dance when it comes to "stimulus?" Think about it. As proposed, what would the stimulus really accomplish? We give individuals $600.00 ($1,200.00 to families or couples) to spend as they wish. It will cost approximately $150 Billion dollars. WHY?!?!? From what I have read, people are usually going to do one of two things with their checks, either pay off their credit cards (no new jobs) or go to Wal-Mart and spend it (most of the money going to China). If we are determined to put ourselves in debt that much more (and I personally don't think we should) why don't we address it differently?

If you want to truly stimulate the economy, do something that will help people long-term. This country is beginning to have major infrastructure problems. Why not propose it as a comprehensive Infrastructure Refurbishment Bill instead. Think of how many construction workers and American businesses would be hired with this amount of money? American Steel used to rebuild bridges. American families reaping the benefits of new jobs. All of the money would go into stimulus, and it would stay in the USA.

If you want relief for all Americans, then release 15% of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the course of a year to stabilize (reduce the price) of the oil markets. 15% is equal to 104 million barrels of oil (the current reserve level is at 697.5 million barrels). This would result in lower gasoline costs, lower heating oil costs, lower jet-fuel costs, etc. It would probably knock the price of oil back down into the $50-$60 range, which would translate to a savings of approximately $0.50 per gallon of gasoline for each consumer. Considering each family on average uses 15 gallons of gas a week (conservatively), this translates to a savings of nearly $400.00 per year per family, and jump starts the transportation industries (airlines, shipping, etc) by boosting their profits and allowing them to afford to create new jobs. It's not like we're draining the reserve, it will still be at a higher level than it was in 2001 (when it held 545 million barrels).

I'm becoming more libertarian with age

user-pic

Or maybe it's just my exposure to the blogosphere. Here's a graphic that illustrates where I sat on the Political Compass on June 25th, 2004.

Political Compass

Now here's my current position.

Political Compass

None of this means I'm voting for Ron Paul, though.

James Lewis examines the Neocommunist Left and reaches some startling conclusions.

Today the voters have not yet caught on to the real radicalism of the Left. If they do, Democrats will once again have to choose between the totalitarian impulse and being small d-democrats. Because our Democrats are emphatically not small-d democrats. They will use and manipulate their voters, but they don't listen to them. Whenever possible, they accomplish unpopular policy initiatives through the courts, our least democratic government mechanism, one never designed to lead in formulating social policy.

The NeoCommies may not be conspirators, but they are heirs to an international political movement that was built on conspiracies.

...

The methods of Neocommunism parallel those of Old Communism to an astonishing degree.

The routine use of orchestrated group lying (so that many different people are suddenly making the same accusation);

The constant use of innocent-sounding front groups like MoveOn.org and Media Matters;

The use of stooges (like military retirees, both real and phony);

The need to whip up the rage of the faithful with constant disinformation about the enemy (i.e., America and conservatives);

The infiltration of media and government. Members of the seventies left are sprinkled throughout these institutions, carrying out the long march. These tricks are all straight out of the old, old playbook. Karl Marx really was a genius agitator and revolutionary plotter, though nothing else. Marx is still the model.

Hmmmm ...

Defeat HillaryRedefeat Communism

And you thought Betty Sutton was a disaster?

user-pic

Say hello to Congressman Joe Sestak.

Just crossed paths with Laura Ingraham

user-pic

Laura Ingraham's "Power To The People" book tour pulled into Cleveland today. Here I am at the WHK Meet & Greet over on the East Side.

laura_and_me.jpg

The lady radiates energy. She's on her tenth stop in this book tour, and won't get a break 'til the middle of next month. A three day break. She's gotta be tired but you sure can't tell by looking at her or listening to her. Laura's very friendly, outgoing, and charming ... the kind of person I'd enjoy hanging out with over pizza and beer. I'd love to just sit and hear her talk about the things she's done, the places she's been and the people she's met.

Laura, I hope you get a chance to work out at some point, just to vent some stress from the tour. At least go for a run, girl. You'll go batty by October otherwise. And the next time you roll through town, you and your producers drink on my tab. Never let it be said that this USCGA grad would withhold hospitality from friends of a squid like Joe (tempting though it might be).

Here's more on the author and her work.

 

MoveOn.org's Senators

user-pic

The words of an anonymous Senator on Friday:

No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV ... The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.

"Other groups" clearly means MoveOn.org and its despicable full-page ad. But who's the anonymous Senator? Let's look at some likely suspects ... those Senators who enjoyed MoveOn.org's largesse during the 2006 election cycle (to be updated as I dig through the FEC reports):

Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
    Contributions to Friends of Robert C. Byrd Committee
    $596,100 3/30/2005 (earmarked contributions)
    $186,644 3/31/2005 (earmarked contributions)
    $51,467 3/31/2005 (earmarked contributions)
    $28,200 3/31/2005 (25 earmarked contributions over $1k)

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
$25,899 (independent expenditure)
    Contributions to Friends of Sherrod Brown
    $287,623 9/12/2006 (earmarked contributions)
    $10,281 9/18/2006 (earmarked contributions)
    $4,000 11/1/2006 (earmarked contributions)
    $4,000 9/12/2006 (4 earmarked contributions over $1k)
    $3,325 9/25/2006 (earmarked contributions)
    $2,000 9/12/2006 (earmarked contribution)
    $1,135 10/7/2006 (earmarked contributions)

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
$2,051 (independent expenditure)
    Contributions to Montanans for Tester
    $225,455 11/3/2006 (earmarked contributions)
    $76,333 9/18/2006 (earmarked contributions)
    $36,363 11/6/2006 (earmarked contributions)
    $11,025 9/25/2006 (earmarked contributions)
    $9,200 11/3/2006 (7 earmarked contributions over $1k)

These figures do not cover earmarked contributions under $1000. Why? There were too many to keep track of! Several hundred contributions of $5 or $10 or $50 are significant, but somebody else can run 'em all down; I do have a life. You can still get the sense that certain Senators are wholly-owned subsidiaries of MoveOn.org.

Pete Hegseth asks the Democrats in Congress "Does MoveOn.org speak for you? Do you agree with MoveOn.org? Or do you repudiate this despicable charge?" I'm going to call the Senators above and ask them the same thing, and I'll also ask each one if he or she is the anonymous coward qupoted above who expected MoveOn.org to do the dirty deed.

Just when you think they can't manage to shoot themselves in the foot (again), MoveOn.org runs a full page ad in the NY Times with the title "General Petraeus or General Betray Us." The gist of the ad is that Petraeus is a Bush sympathizer disconnected from the facts, before he has even uttered one word to congress. It's no wonder the american people don't take democratic politics seriously when they are represented by this bunch.

As a former member of the Armed Forces, with a spouse who is currently in Iraq fighting the good fight, this kind of crap only emboldens the enemy and undercuts our military. Take it from someone who's inside source is over there, this guy knows what he is talking about and we finally have an effective military strategy in place, even if it is 4 years late in coming (thanks to the arrogant and incompetent former SecDef). The troops on the ground have faith in the guy, too bad the politicians are more concerned with sound bites than listening to a professional military general give his assessment on how to win the war. It's time for MoveOn to move on.

You can see a copy of the ad here.

--

Puddle Pirate's addendum: Guess who got a sweetheart discount on that ad?

Watch General Petraeus testify live online

user-pic

C-SPAN has streaming video of General David Petraeus' testimony before Congress today.

--

UPDATE: The Tank is liveblogging the circus.

Progress on CENTCOM online news?

user-pic

On Wednesday afternoon, shortly after helping U.S. Central Command improve its news distribution from the war zone, I sent the following e-mail to CENTCOM's Public Affairs Office:

Your CENTCOM podcast feed at ...


[link shortened]

... is broken. You've been uploading new podcasts all the way through 31 AUG 07, but the podcast feed has nothing new after 26 JAN 07. Just go look at ...

[link shortened]

... and you'll see. Please fix this ASAP. CENTCOM needs this podcast to function if America is to win the information war against the jihadis.

Incidentally, the following feeds are also woefully outdated (perhaps dead?):

[link shortened]

[link shortened]

Yesterday afternoon, CENTCOM replied:

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I have contacted our web masters and you should see something new within the next couple of days. Thanks again for your support.


V/R
Master Sgt. S. Crumes
Public Affairs Operations NCO
US Central Command
(813) 827-6761
DSN 312-651-6761
Cell [snipped]
Fax 813-827-2211
parkersy@centcom.mil
www.centcom.mil

CENTCOM's three dead feeds disappeared this morning, but the two good ones remained. That leads me to believe that somebody's working on the problem. Unfortunately CENTCOM's entire site dropped offline this afternoon. I'll be watching to see what happens.

With General Petraeus' progress report on Iraq almost upon us, it's time to revisit the propaganda war (and our military's lack of success therein).

Last year Tom Blumer wondered why CENTCOM's news releases weren't showing up in key places online. I suggested solutions and followed up on Tom's excellent work. Since then, CENTCOM has taken some steps to put out some news feeds and make them available online, but their publicity effort's still woefully lacking.

Enough dilly-dallying. I dug around CENTCOM's site, found 5 feeds, and did their public affairs work for them ... and it took me all of 45 minutes.

Those five feeds are now hooked into several search engines and feed-publicizing web services, so whenever CENTCOM posts a new item, everyone will know. Google Blog Search, My Yahoo, Technorati, Bloglines, Apple's iTunes, Syndic8, FeedBlitz ... it's all covered. You can even subscribe to any feed by e-mail, if you want.

Here are the five feeds:

US CENTCOM News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

US CENTCOM Audio News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

US CENTCOM Press Releases

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

US CENTCOM Video News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

US CENTCOM Photo Feed

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Please spread the word far and wide. I'm only one voice.

--

9/6 Update: If you don't know what a "feed" is (nor why you should care) here's a one-page answer.

Jim Geraghty poses a hypothetical:

Suppose you're an undecided Republican voter, with mixed feelings about the big-name Republican presidential candidates. You respect John McCain, but he doesn't look like a viable option -- which is just as well since he bugged you with his crusade for speech-limiting campaign finance reform, and lost you with the immigration deal with Ted Kennedy.

Mitt Romney's wowed you in the debates, but you can't forget that while you agree with all his positions, he had strikingly different ones not too long ago. And you would prefer a nominee who has won more than just one political race in his life.

You love Rudy Giuliani's crime-fighting record and 9/11 leadership, but the thought of a non-pro-life Republican nominee gives you pause, and the messy home life troubles you a bit.

You were very excited about Fred Thompson, and nearly fainted with anticipation when you saw his smackdown of Michael Moore. But lately you feel like you're playing a character in Waiting for Godot, and you're wondering if he got lost somewhere on the way to the announcement.

Those still shopping for a candidate could do a lot worse than former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who with the second-place finish in Ames is not merely now a "top tier" candidate, as Newt Gingrich recently declared, but arguably belongs in the middle of that first tier.

That describes me to a tee.

Huckabee's record on taxes gives me cause for concern, yet he seems to be on solid ground when addressing national defense and The Long War. He's unabashedly pro-life, and he's an ordained Baptist minister. Thanks to his solid performances in recent debates and in several interviews (like today's with Michael Medved), and also due to his second place finish in the Iowa Straw Pool, I'm giving him a second look.

I'm eager to see whether Huckabee does well in the Texas GOP Straw Poll, especially if Fred Thompson jumps into the race and they go head-to-head. Some say Huckabee's already stolen Thompson's thunder. I suspect that Fred still has time to win the nomination, but he can't wait much longer.

Fred or Mike? Mike or Fred? Hmmmm ...

Texas GOP Straw Poll

user-pic

The Texas Republican Party will conduct a straw poll on Labor Day Weekend with the help of the conservative folks at TownHall.com. That's supposedly the weekend when Fred Thompson will officially declare his candidacy. What a great opportunity for Fred to make a big splash!

One thing's certain: if Fred keeps delaying his entry, I'm going to switch my allegiance to Mike Huckabee (who just got $50 from me yesterday).

Here's the latest clip of Fred Thompson on YouTube. He sent this video greeting to the National Right to Life Convention:

Fellow pro-lifers, don't dismiss any candidate solely because he was once wishy-washy on life ... or was even pro-abortion.

I too was once in favor of abortion rights, back when I didn't think about issues nearly as much as I simply emoted about them. After I graduated from college, some intelligent and persuasive pro-lifers confronted my ignorance in a friendly way, offering lots of facts and logic, and I realized that I had been wrong all along.

Since then I've become an amateur pro-life apologist by reading voraciously, hosting debates, volunteering with local pro-life organizations, sitting on the board of a crisis pregnancy center, studying for an M.A. in Bioethics while simultaneously earning my law degree, publishing a pro-life legal note against embryonic stem cell research, and blogging here on bioethics.

Yet I once supported abortion rights. Does that make me a flip-flopper? According to some narrow definitions I've been hearing lately the answer is yes (good discussions here and here and here). That's ridiculous. The mere fact that I've had a change of mind and heart doesn't justify the flip-flopper label. I've given money to, volunteered for, and argued on behalf of the pro-life movement since my switch. If I had done nothing (or worse, if I'd switched back to being pro-abortion to gain some kind of advantage or benefit like Dennis Kucinich did) then I'd be vulnerable to charges of flip-floppery or a lack of seriousness.

Fred Thompson used to be mushy on abortion. He doesn't deny it. I suspect that his former stance came from his strong federalist tendencies and a lack of serious reflection on whether the unborn is actually a person like us in every morally relevant way. Since those days, Fred's voting record in the Senate and his public writings and speeches have been solidly pro-life. The man gives every indication that he now believes human beings have a right to life from the moment of conception, and that the federal courts overstep their authority when they support a constitutional "right" to abortion.

Becoming a serious pro-lifer is a good thing. We pro-lifers know this because we try to persuade as many people we can to join us, and we heap praise on those who do. I understand the emotional appeal of feeling suspicious every time we hear a politician claim to be on our side. Resist the urge to emote; think instead. Look at the declared pro-life politician's record before you dismiss him out of hand. Some of them really are on our side.

I knew it was just a matter of time before Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi revived their cut-and-run "strategy" for fighting the Islamists. Here we go again:

In light of the additional evidence since your veto that your plan is not working, it is clear that a course correction in Iraq is needed. That is also the view of a substantial majority of the American people. Rather than respond with a new plan immediately, Administration officials as well as Republican congressional leaders suggest that your flawed Iraq strategy not be revisited until September when General Petraeus is scheduled to provide Congress with a progress report on Iraq. The only step you have proposed in the interim is to divest your National Security Advisor of control over Iraq policy and create a “war czar” position, an act that has only served to create further confusion and concerns about your plans for Iraq.

The American people cannot and should not have to wait until later this year for changes in your flawed Iraq policy. There is an obligation to act now. That is why we intend to again send you legislation that would limit the U.S. mission in Iraq, begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces, and bring the war to a responsible end. These are goals consistent with both the national security of the United States and the will of the American people. We respectfully request that you reconsider your previous opposition to proposals that would accomplish these goals, and work with us to give our troops a strategy worthy of their sacrifice. We look forward to discussing these issues with you when we meet at the White House later today to discuss stability in the Middle East.

I warned you. The American Left cares only for its own power, can't (or won't) look past the next election, has its heart set on military defeat, and is now skating just about as close to treason as they can get without crossing the line. Click the graphic:

The Pessimist's Checklist

I eagerly await the GOP presidential candidates' responses. Especially Fred Thompson's.

--

6/15 Update: A hilariously brilliant rebuttal. Thanks for finding this one, Andy.

"Barack The Magic Negro" video

user-pic

No doubt you've heard about this.

Folks, Limbaugh does not produce videos. He didn't create this. It's not available on his site. It was posted on YouTube and was apparently created by some web site called politicalpartypoop.com, got it?

For Heaven's sake, look at the text that opens the video. Read. The. Text.

The SONG is posted on Limbaugh's site, but not the VIDEO. Rush Limbaugh DID NOT CREATE THIS VIDEO.

Morons taken in by the video:
USAToday's Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence
KOVR Channel 13 (CBS affiliate in Sacramento)
DiversityInc Magazine's Aysha Hussain
Joe Gandelman
Tennessee Guerrilla Women
The Mahablog
Radar Online
BlogHer's Laina Dawes
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill
DailyKos' StormBear

GOP straw poll

user-pic

Latest GOP Straw Poll

user-pic

He's scheduled a news conference for noon today to discuss his wife's health. I hope she's OK.

Laura Ingraham interviewed Fred Dalton Thompson this morning (mostly on immigration), and an excerpt of the audio's posted here (also as a downloadable MP3) . The excerpt lasts 4:46, but I don't see it posted anywhere in its entirety. I already pay for Laura's podcast, so I can listen to it but I can't post it myself. Here's the whole interview.

If Fred decides to run, my refrain will be ...

Fred Dalton Thompson

The Draft Fred Thompson site maintains a great collection of background info and news on the former Senator. National Review Online has transcripts and audio of Fred's recent radio commentaries.

Pledge reminder

user-pic

Click, pledge, and spread the word.

I've taken the pledge. Will you?

user-pic

Thanks to Hugh Hewitt, I've heard about the latest boneheaded idea proposed by our Republican Senators in Washington. They're ginning up a "non-binding" resolution that whines about the pending troop surge into Iraq. Not one dimeIt's no surprise that General Petraeus testified that such legislative grandstanding encourages the enemy and endangers our troops.

If the United States Senate passes a resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged, and if the Senate does so after the testimony of General Petraeus on January 23 that such a resolution will be an encouragement to the enemy, I will not contribute to any Republican senator who voted for the resolution.

Further, if any Republican senator who votes for such a resolution is a candidate for re-election in 2008, I will not contribute to the National Republican Senatorial Committee unless the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Ensign, commits in writing that none of the funds of the NRSC will go to support the re-election of any senator supporting the non-binding resolution.

Take the pledge ... and get ready for stormy weather.

The Democrats have been running Congress for a short time now, but they're already living up (down?) to conservative expectations. The Republican Party is reverting to spinelessness, and high-profile Republicans are scampering leftward in a crass effort to win re-election in 2008. When combined with President Bush's inability to persuasively articulate the many good reasons to continue the war on islamism, the near future looks pretty bleak. Although I remain an optimist at heart, I'm also realistic about human nature and the tendency of modern Americans to be short-sighted and self-absorbed.

I just want to get the following predictions on the record. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm confident that I'm right.

Before 2007 ends, I predict all of the following will happen.
  • The Democratic Congress, with the help of feckless Republicans, will pass a "non-binding" resolution opposing the war in Iraq. Period. No qualifications.
  • A few months later, the Democratic Congress will cut off funds for the troop surge in Iraq.
  • Sensing our politicians' weakness, our islamic enemies will step up their attacks on our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The Democratic Congress will abandon all pretense of supporting our troops, and will cut off all funds for the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.
  • Our troops will be forced to leave Iraq and Afghanistan in disgrace.
  • Afghanistan will return to its default state: general lawlessness, with tribal enclaves controlled by warlords.
  • Iraq will descend into an astonishing orgy of inter-tribal and sectarian slaughter, and will come apart at the seams.
    • The Kurds in the north of Iraq will declare their independence. Turkish and Iranian Kurds will try to secede and join the new Kurdistan. Turkey will attack the Kurds to prevent this.
    • The Sunni Triangle will descend into utter lawlessness, making Somalia seem like Disney Land. Either al Qaeda or some other Sunni group will rise from the ashes and set to work plotting international terror attacks, much like Osama bin Laden did in the 1990s in Afghanistan.
    • The Shiite areas of Iraq will assert their independence, but will end up as puppets of the Iranian mullahs. Grand Ayatollah Sistani will be assassinated by Iranian-backed thugs, lest he challenge the Iranian mullahs for authority.
  • The western world's media will blame President Bush and the Republicans for "angering" muslims and "creating" the problem of islamic totalitarianism. The media will ignore twin truths: that western liberalism and political "realists" are to blame for allowing the long-festering cancer of islamism to metastasize after decades of incubation; and that President Bush was actually the first leader to see the danger and try to stop it. Leftist politicians will share the media's delusional worldview.
  • Military re-enlistments will begin a long decline, and senior officers and NCOs will begin retiring in droves.
2008 will see the following:
  • A Democrat will be elected President, proving that the American public still has its collective head in the sand.
  • Thanks to weak-kneed Republican leaders afraid to express conservative principles and policies, Democrats will solidify their hold on Congress and Republicans will return to their comfortable status as the minority party. GOP leaders will be happy because they will again be invited to all of the popular cocktail parties organized by leftist socialites inside the Beltway. 8 ball
  • Democrats will gut the American military.
    • Defense spending will drop below maintenance levels.
    • Research and development will grind to a halt.
    • Military re-enlistments will plummet.
    • Recruiting will wither.
  • American foreign policy and defense strategy will revert to empty posturing and wishful thinking as perfected by Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The all-volunteer military will go back to being a hollowed-out and demoralized institution, and will be misused for UN peacekeeping missions in places where America has no compelling national interest.
  • Once the threat of a Republican President appointing conservative judges evaporates, Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and Stevens will announce their retirements. Their replacements will be young, doctrinaire leftists who will cement the Supreme Court's suicidal leftward drift for another generation.
Before 2020, we'll see the following events:
  • "Moderate" regimes in the islamic world will collapse from within. Islamists of both Sunni and Shiite varieties will fill the vaccuum. Formerly "moderate" rank-and-file muslims will swing toward radicalism en masse.
  • Iran will go nuclear. In response, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will start nuclear weapons drives of their own.
  • Israel will pre-emptively attack Iran's nuclear facilities, electrical power grid, and command & control infrastructure to prevent a nuclear strike on Israel.
  • The Middle East will immediately explode into regional warfare.
  • Newly-confident islamists will successfully attack at least one major civilian target on American soil, whether by using a nuke, a dirty bomb, or a biological/chemical agent.
  • American military enlistments will skyrocket.
  • Muslim immigration to America will drop to zero. Non-citizen muslims will be deported.
  • American muslims will be interned like Japanese Americans were in WWII.
  • The media will again blame President Bush and Republicans for "angering" muslims, but this time the American public will no longer swallow the lie.
  • Democrats will rely on their only solution to every problem: negotiation. Predictably, it will only encourage the enemy, by revealing the spinelessness of America's Democratic leadership. Attacks will increase in number and severity.
  • Islamic suicide bombers will hit several soft targets across America like malls, stadiums, movie theatres, and schools.
  • The American public will finally realize that islam is bent on our destruction. Americans will toss Democrats and liberal Republicans from office.
  • A very muscular and militant conservative American leadership will rebuild the military, drastically increasing its size and lethality.
  • America will either suspend all financial aid to the UN, or will withdraw from the UN completely.
  • Congress will reinstate the draft. The Army and Marine Corps will expand to incredible size. Within two years, the draftees will be as lethal as the career professionals among our warrior class.
  • America (with possible help from Australia, The United Kingdom, and India) will finally go to all-out declared war against islam (in its radicalized forms) and all regimes based on politicized islam and/or sharia law.
  • America and the West will remind the watching world what utter devastation looks like. The Flattened Cities Club (remember Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki?) will welcome new members like Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo, Islamabad, Riyadh, Mecca, and Medina.
  • The western world will not bother to rebuild the destroyed societies it leaves behind, lest the inhabitants there forget that islam has been utterly defeated and discredited. Instead, we will make no bones about our need for oil. We will rebuild only the oil extraction and export infrastructure, and protect it to ensure our own stability and safety. The rest of the erstwhile muslim world will be left in its humbled and humiliated state as punishment.
  • The politicized and totalitarian religion of islam as we now know it will cease to be a major influence on world events.
After 2020:

We will have a few short years of peace until the next popular and poisonous ideology begins to grow. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Charlie Rangel is an asshat

user-pic

Just click the image of Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to find out why:

Charlie Rangel

I'm a veteran, and I'm outraged.

I joined up in 1990 because I wanted to serve my country. I had a full ride scholarship waiting for me at a civilian university, but I dedicated my life to the military because I wanted to protect my family, my friends, and even stupendously condescending jerks like Charlie Rangel. I am white. I came from a middle class family. I got a 1430 on my SAT, and that was in 1989 (before they dumbed it down). I have a law degree and have only a few credits between me and a master's degree in bioethics. My four brothers are (respectively) a doctor headed for a fellowship in cardiology, a hydraulic equipment salesman, a petroleum engineer, and an undergraduate physics student headed for med school. My mother and stepfather have MBAs, are former executives in a Fortune 500 company, and are successful small business owners. My father has an MBA and is a successful CPA and financial advisor.

I had tons of options, and I chose the best: serving my country in the military. Charlie Rangel can kiss my ass.

Exposed: The Extremist Agenda

user-pic

I know what I'll be doing tonight at 7:00. I'll be watching this.

Reagan's heirs: Pence and Shadegg

user-pic

Roy Blunt is part of the problem

user-pic

Representative Roy Blunt (R - MO) wants to be the next Minority Whip, but his responses to questions from the conservative GOP base prove that he's not the man for the job (the audio's posted here). He's been tainted by excessive spending for too long to credibly claim to be a fiscal conservative. He's refused to lead as a conservative while he's been the Majority Whip, so he doesn't deserve a chance to help cause a second electoral train wreck in 2008.

Keep the pressure on the House Republicans by picking the best questions with which the media can grill the candidates for leadership positions. The Republican National Committee just demonstrated its "to hell with conservatives" attitude by making Senator Mel Martinez its new chairman (*groan*), and unless we speak up now the Republicans in the House will choose similar leaders. Unless you want a repeat of this election in 2008, help us pressure the GOP to get back to conservatism.

--

Update: A pithy assessment of Martinez as GOP Chairman.

When conservative Republicans warned the electorate that the Democratic Party would push for a cut and run policy in Iraq, it wasn't enough to keep control of Congress. The Democrats won, and now they and their media buddies are telling anyone who'll listen that they took over because they ran "moderate" candidates whose views reflect those of the majority of Americans (check the poll results here to see what that majority thinks about Iraq).

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Now comes the fulfillment of that conservative prediction:

The Democrats — the incoming majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada; the incoming Armed Services Committee chairman, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan; and the incoming Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware — said a phased redeployment of troops would be their top priority when the new Congress convenes in January, even before an investigation of the conduct of the war.

“We need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four to six months,” Mr. Levin said in an appearance on the ABC News program “This Week.” In a telephone interview later, Mr. Levin added, “The point of this is to signal to the Iraqis that the open-ended commitment is over and that they are going to have to solve their own problems.”

...

“The people have spoken in a very, very strong way that they don’t buy the administration policy,” Mr. Levin said on ABC. Mr. Reid, in an appearance on CBS, said troop redeployment “should start within the next few months.”

There's more here.

Instead of retreating we ought to increase our troop strength and crush the Islamists. Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman are calling for more troops. That makes sense ... but with the Dems in charge, does anybody want to take bets on Congressional funding of even maintaining troop strength in Iraq (much less increasing it)?

If this mess bothers you like it bothers me, speak up and influence the Republican leadership candidates while you can.

--

Update: Oh, crap. President Bush, don't be an idiot.

Yet again we see why our enemies prefer Democrats.

More evidence continues to come in to support the common sense conclusion that conservatism didn't lose last Tuesday. Of course, that won't stop some on the Left from misdiagnosing what happened. Watch for more clashes between the two worldviews.

Meanwhile the GOP prepares to elect new House leaders ... people who will definitely hear from the conservative base. The candidates' responses will be instructive.

Update: Somebody shoot me. The Stupid Party is living up to its nickname:

The depleted House Republican caucus, a minority in the next Congress, convenes at 8 a.m. in the Capitol Friday on the brink of committing an act of supreme irrationality. The House members blame their leadership for tasting the bitter dregs of defeat. Yet, the consensus so far is that, in secret ballot, they will re-elect some or all of those leaders.

In private conversation, Republican members of Congress blame Majority Leader John Boehner and Majority Whip Roy Blunt in no small part for their midterm election debacle. Yet, either Boehner, Blunt or both are expected to be returned to their leadership posts Friday. For good reason, the GOP often is called "the stupid party."

Haven't these morons ever heard the definition of insanity?

Update 2: Apparently they haven't.

Democrats: time to cut and run

user-pic

We warned you it would happen. And you wonder why the Islamists are happy about the election?

--

Update: The electorate is worried about the possibility of cutting and running.

While a bare majority of 51 percent called the Democrats' victory "a good thing," even more said they were concerned about some of the actions a Democratic Congress might take, including 78 percent who were somewhat or very concerned that it would seek too hasty a withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Another 69 percent said they were concerned that the new Congress would keep the administration "from doing what is necessary to combat terrorism," and two-thirds said they were concerned it would spend too much time investigating the administration and Republican scandals.

That's nice to know, but why did the voters support the Democrats then? Apparently, GOP corruption matters more than Democrat fecklessness on national security matters. I wish we Americans would think more than two years ahead.

*sigh*

I say it's time to do something about it.

Tip o' the hat to Michelle Malkin.

Questions for Mike Pence and company

user-pic

We all have questions we'd love to ask the GOP's new House leadership candidates. Surprisingly enough, they might actually have to answer them ... and you can submit and vote on questions thanks to N.Z. Bear.

Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt

What a shock. He'd better not get his hopes up. The GOP's base isn't too keen on his prospects.

November 2008 GOP straw poll

user-pic

Post-election pause

user-pic

I'm holding my tongue for awhile on matters of politics. I'd rather cool off and think for awhile before posting, rather than risk saying something I'll regret later. It's time for conservatives to pause and reflect on our priorities for the next two years.

This defeat of Republicanism is not a rejection of conservatism.

Election predictions

user-pic

Our side will lose seats, but I predict that the Republicans will hold both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. Mike DeWine will barely beat Sherrod Brown.

The Democratic Party will descend into vicious infighting as it tries to assign blame for its failure. John Kerry will be the first and most prominent whipping boy. The left-wing blogs will scream bloody murder about "voter suppression" and "election fraud", since they cannot comprehend the possibility that the majority of voters don't share the left's beliefs.

The Dinosaur Media will breathlessly report electronic voting problems and will try to sway late voters with wildly inaccurate exit polls purporting to show Democrat victory in the offing. Once it becomes clear that the Republicans have squeaked out a win, the media will openly bemoan Democrat ineptness, finally casting aside any illusion of objectivity and impartiality. They will continue to hemorrhage what little credibility they still have, and the next round of newspaper circulation numbers and TV news ratings will show major drops across the board.

My Congressional District, the 13th, will be saddled with Democrat Betty Sutton, which is a no-brainer thanks to the inept and under-funded campaign of RINO Craig Foltin.

Issue 2 (boosting the minimum wage) will pass by a close margin, Issue 3 (legalized gambling) will fail by a close margin, Issue 4 (limited smoking ban) will fail, and Issue 5 (total smoking ban) will fail by a large margin.

I grind my teeth to say it but I think Ted Strickland will be our new Governor ... yet Ken Blackwell will only lose by less than 7%. Most importantly, Blackwell will capture more than 1/3 of the black vote, which will ring alarm bells throughout the Democratic Party.

[Cross-posted at The S.O.B. Alliance]

--

Update: To quote Emily Litella ... never mind.

I'll give you one guess.

If the Democratic Party isn't in favor of cutting and running from Iraq, then please explain these NY Times poll results:

Nearly 75 percent of respondents, including 67 percent of Republicans and 92 percent of Democrats, said they expected that Americans troops would be taken out of Iraq more swiftly under a Democratic-led Congress.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they expected that troop levels would decrease if Democrats won control, while 40 percent said the party would seek to remove all troops.

The voters know the Democrats, even though the party's bigwigs try to hide their pacifist core.

Oh ... one other thing. I have a request for leftists. Please don't even try to claim that the New York Times is biased against Democrats. That paper is unabashedly pro-Democrat.

The troops in Iraq respond to Kerry

user-pic

Seen on FreeRepublic:

Hat tip: NixGuy

--

Update: Direct hit!

Kerry's lonely press conference

user-pic

John Kerry is defiant in his response to America's anger over his slur against our troops, but there's more to it than that. Watch his press conference closely and see if you notice what I noticed.

Did you catch it? None of his fellow Democrats are standing behind him. Cowards.

Remember that the Democratic Party is the home of politicians who despise our troops. Vote accordingly next Tuesday.

John Kerry says our troops are idiots

user-pic

Are you sitting down?

You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.
-- John Kerry
[audio here]

Video hat tip: Michelle Malkin

And this guy wants to make another run at the presidency? I'll make the call right now. Kerry's run in 2008 is D.O.A.

The only difference between this colossal twit and Hillary/Obama/Feingold is that the other contenders know better than to reveal their disdain for our troops. As a veteran, I'm disgusted but not surprised.

Michelle Malkin has the mother of all round-ups of blogosphere reactions.

--

Update: "I apologize to no one." (Hat tip: RedState)

Please, John. Keep talking.

Reflecting on frequent conservative threats to punish the Republican Party by sitting out the 2006 election, Tony Blankley warns against the temptation to be stupid:

Here are some telltale signs of the sort of person who would vote (or not vote) to cause the election of a party that would act to defeat every value and interest he holds dear (merely because the party that will at least try to advance most of those issues has not done as well as he might have hoped):
  1. When offered by a car dealer 25 percent off on a car, he insists on paying the full factory-recommended retail sticker price -- because he is damned if he will accept 25 percent when he deserves 30 percent off.
  2. When the prettiest cheerleader asks the nerd to take her to the prom, he turns her down -- just because he can.
  3. When stopped for doing 70 in a 65 zone, he tells the trooper that's not possible because he had the cruise control set on 90 -- he just resents being falsely charged.
  4. When diagnosed with a serious illness, he promptly cancels his medical insurance -- in order to save the cost of premium payments to help pay for the upcoming hospital stay.

...

This current conservative petulance -- if it actually occurs on Nov. 7 -- will increase the chances of electing Hillary, or worse (if such a thing is possible) in 2008.

There is no rational policy or political basis for conservatives not voting. I'm not sure the country can take the current Democratic mob in power for long.

A realist once observed that the history of mankind is little more than the triumph of the heartless over the mindless.

The Democrats are obviously heartless. Conservatives must guard against falling into the category of the mindless. Ignore your heartfelt peevements, use your brains and vote.

Be optimistic, keep fighting, don't believe the hype, and VOTE.

I'll be attending tonight's town hall meeting featuring Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and Ken Blackwell. If I get a chance to ask a question, what would you folks like me to bring up?

Democratic party in a death spiral?

user-pic

In a fascinating post, J. Peter Mulhern of The American Thinker wonders what might happen if the Democrats fail to take over either the House of Representatives or the Senate:

Predicting what will happen if the Democrats win control in one or both houses of Congress next month is a burgeoning cottage industry. It is, however, both more interesting and probably more useful to consider what will happen if they don’t.

...

Some Democrats will claim that the party must take the war more seriously and appear more moderate to win. Others will argue that the party must be true to its ideological roots on the far left so that it may win a majority by the power of passion and persuasion. Neither side of this debate will grasp the true nature of the Democrat dilemma.

The would-be moderates don’t understand that Democrats can’t win without the left. The ideological purists don’t understand that Democrats can’t win with it.

...

Professional Democrats have tried for years to have their cake and eat it too. They have tried to keep the loyalty of the left without getting identified with it. That worked during the ersatz peace of the Clinton years when they were still winning, at least sometimes.

The pressure of war and defeat has made it much more difficult for Democrats to have it both ways. They have tried desperately to straddle the divide between those who want to defend America from our deadly enemies and those who don’t.

Rush Limbaugh has been making similar points all week, trying to buck up the conservative base. I've found my own reflexive pessimism about the electorate melting away. I really think this election's going to go well for the vast majority of Americans who have deep reserves of common sense. As long as the mainstream media doesn't poison the debate with their desperate left-wing bias, we should be OK come Election Day.

GOP Primary Straw Poll, 10/06

user-pic

Courtesy of GOP Bloggers, here's the GOP Primary Straw Poll for October 2006:

David Zucker's new ad poses the question: "The security of the United States is not a game. Can we afford a party that treats it like one?"

It's hilarious and dead-on accurate! The Republicans are wusses for not running the ad, so I will.

Mark Foley's behavior was revolting

user-pic

The scummy ex-Congressman's sexual predation deserves moral condemnation. Period.

Michelle Malkin tracks the ins and outs of the story. I'm just glad the guy's history. His party affiliation is irrelevant to the severity with which he deserves to be punished.

Two retired Army Major Generals, John Batiste and Paul Eaton, showed up on Capitol Hill again yesterday to grandstand for the cameras and demand that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld resign.

Sound familiar? Yep, we've been here before. The Senate Democratic Policy Committee meeting was not an actual Senate committee meeting. Only one Republican showed up, and he wasn't even a Senator. What was Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina doing there, I wonder?

At any rate, allow me to refresh everyone's memory about the deafening chorus of retired generals and admirals calling for Rummy's head. The folks in blue represent the five or six identified gadflies, multiplied by two because I'm feeling generous. The folks in green represent all of the other retired flag officers.

Of course, I'm being unfair. I failed to mention that Generals Batiste and Eaton had retired Colonel T.X. Hammes sitting beside them.

Feel better now, Democrats?

Deterrence, Democrat-style

user-pic
Deterrence, Democrat-style

Liberals need to breed?

user-pic

Arthur C. Brooks thinks liberals are doomed unless they start having more children:

Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%--explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.

Maybe so, maybe so.

What Mr. Brooks fails to account for in his essay is another way to create new little liberals: conversion. As long as the left has a stranglehold on public education and on the universities, many a moderate or conservative kid will come home spouting liberal claptrap.

Hugh Hewitt nails it:

Trusting the national security to Democrats is like trusting a moving car to a four year old, or the management of a vast company to the junior high school business club. Neither the child nor the preteens want to wreck the car or ruin the corporation, but both results are near inevitable.

The lefty blogs are gonna blow their tops over this one.

Wictory Wednesday

user-pic

This week, Wictory Wednesday present Thomas Kean for the US Senate for the state of New Jersey. Tom is a known conservative supporting sound economic and political policies that will keep America going in the right direction.

Much has been said about the "culture of corruption" that permeates both parties nationally as well as in New Jersey. Recently, the New Jersey Attorney General resigned over ethical violations. Kean is no stranger to the destruction a corrupt government causes and is committed to the cause of reform to clean up not only corrupt politicans, but wasteful bureaucratic spending and expansive government agencies.

Kean understands that funding education is essential but that it must come with accountability. Projects and organizations that are achieving results should be funded and expanded. Bureaucracies and programs that are failing students and parents should be defunded and discarded. Throwing money at a problem without taking the time to ensure results just wastes money and condemns American youth to second-class status in the global economy.

As a supporter of lower taxes, Kean understands that this must come with lower spending. While the economy is growing and reducing the impact that the budget deficit has on the economy, much greater gains would be made if wasteful spending never took place to begin with. Ending absurd taxes such as the marriage penalty and the ever-expansive alternative minumum tax would not shackle the middle class. The best way to create jobs is to keep the cost of running and expanding businesses economical.

Kean would be a solid voice for conservative values in the United States Senate where it seems to be needed the most. Please consider contributing to the Kean campaign.

This has been a production of the Wictory Wednesday blogburst. If you would like to join Wictory Wednesday, please see this post or contact John Bambenek at jcb (dot) blog [at] gmail {dot} com. The following sites are members of the Wictory Wednesday team:

Two questions for Ned Lamont

user-pic

If you listen to Ned Lamont's acceptance speech, he says of our troops in Iraq:

We have 132,000 of our bravest troops stuck in the middle of a bloody civil war in Iraq. And I say it's high time we bring them home to the hero's welcome.

Help me out here, you Lamont zombies. If our troops are doing something bad by fighting in Iraq, why should we regard them as heroes? Conversely, if they are indeed heroes then why should we pull them out before they finish their heroic task?

Totally unscientific straw poll

user-pic

Moral confusion on the Left

user-pic

Amanda Marcotte at the Pandagon blog objects to Israel's tactics in its war on Hezbollah, and laments the "absence" of a more peace-loving viewpoint in the media (and presumably among Americans in general):

The fear of the Wingnutteria whining has turned the mainstream media into the biggest bunch of cowards you ever saw; meanwhile the right wing press is unafraid and this has made them less constrained on the subject of this war.

The mainstream media is most definitely not blindly backing Israel. Take for example CNN correspondent Nic Robertson's gullible participation in a Hezbollah propaganda stunt. No, the MSM is predominantly left-leaning and tends to support the "talk-talk-talk" strategy for warfighting, as advocated by liberals like UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland (who at least condemns Hezbollah, to his credit).

As for the right wing press (whatever that means beyond "Eeeeeevil Fox News") being "less constrained", I have to plead ignorance of exactly what she's complaining about. Is it that conservatives generally support Israel's right to strike back hard against Hezbollah and eliminate that terrorist organization for good? Or is some kook on the right advocating genocide? If so, I'll happily label him a kook of the first order.

The problem with that is when Israel does something so obviously odious as killing innocent civilians and holding them culpable for what an unsanctioned organization does, well, even just straightforward reporting is going to seem critical.

Doesn't the population of a country bear at least some responsibility for what the country does or what it allows to happen inside its borders? A goodly number of liberals seem to think so when the country in question is America. Otherwise why apologize at all?

The Lebanese government was elected by the Lebanese, and it shares some responsibility with the citizens in allowing Hezbollah to rocket Israeli civilians and kidnap Israeli soldiers inside Israel. I don't think it's unreasonable for Israel to hold all of the Lebanese people partly culpable for allowing Hezbollah to start a war. What is it that exempts Lebanese civilians from culpability for their government's behavior, while we're on the hook for America's policies?

And please remember that Hezbollah did start this war. Until this month Israel hasn't occupied a single square inch of Lebanon since 2000. Hezbollah doesn't want to end an occupation; it wants to eliminate Israel. If that doesn't make sense to you, then you're wilfully blind to reality and nothing can persuade you otherwise.

Redraw the borders?

user-pic

To reduce violence in the Middle East, Ralph Peters suggests redrawing the map along ethnic and religious lines.

In each case, this hypothetical redrawing of boundaries reflects ethnic affinities and religious communalism � in some cases, both. Of course, if we could wave a magic wand and amend the borders under discussion, we would certainly prefer to do so selectively. Yet, studying the revised map, in contrast to the map illustrating today's boundaries, offers some sense of the great wrongs borders drawn by Frenchmen and Englishmen in the 20th century did to a region struggling to emerge from the humiliations and defeats of the 19th century.

Correcting borders to reflect the will of the people may be impossible. For now. But given time � and the inevitable attendant bloodshed � new and natural borders will emerge. Babylon has fallen more than once.

Middle East map

Middle East map

We could actually do this if not for the existence of the U.N. (motto: "Obstructing peace and common sense since 1945!") and the west's infatuation with political correctness.

It must suck to be Glenn Greenwald

user-pic

WuzzaDem completely demolishes the schizophrenically-gifted Glenn Greenwald, a NY Times bestselling author of ... oh, nevermind. I'll let the sockpuppets speak for themselves.

When is a budget cut not a cut?

user-pic

A cut is not a cut when you're playing games with the federal budget.

Imagine that the Federal Blog Promotion Administration has a current budget of $100 billion for 2006, and the Bush administration requests $120 billion for 2007.

Now imagine that the happy little piglets on the House Appropriations Committee draft their 2007 budget with another $30 billion in the FBPA authorization bill ... the better to fund several Congressmen's pet projects. Pretty straightforward so far, and sadly very predictable:

Baseline budgeting

Now let's say that the full House of Representatives, backed by the Bush Administration, objects to the pork. They change the FBPA's 2007 budget back to $120 billion, which looks like this:

Baseline budgeting

Naturally, if you're a tax-and-spend Washington politician and you hate being told "no", you immediately call a press conference to denounce the horrible "cut" in the FBPA budget.

But wait! How can it be a "cut" if the budget went up? It's called "baseline budgeting", and it's a deceptively easy way to scare uninformed constituents into supporting the tax-and-spend piglets in expensive suits.

The Congressional Budget Office defines the baseline as a benchmark for measuring the budgetary effects of proposed changes in federal revenue or spending, with the assumption that current budgetary policies or current services are continued without change. The baseline includes automatic adjustments for inflation and anticipated increases in program participation. Baseline, or current services, budgeting, therefore builds automatic, future spending increases into Congress's budgetary forecasts.

Baseline budgeting tilts the budget process in favor of increased spending and taxes. For example, if an agency's budget is projected to grow by $100 million, but only grows by $75 million, according to baseline budgeting, that agency sustained a $25 million cut. That is analogous to a person who expects to gain 100 pounds only gaining 75 pounds, and taking credit for losing 25 pounds. The federal government is the only place this absurd logic is employed.

You can also sometimes see the flip side of this silliness in action when politicians try to paint themselves as budget-cutters, while actually spending more. You've heard of stores that fool consumers by artificially raising prices just before a "deep discount sale", right? Politicians pull the same trick regularly.

So the next time you hear scary stories like "cuts in the Veterans' Administration budget", don't swallow the bait without thinking. First, find out whether those sneaky politicians are playing the baseline budgeting game again.

The new White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, has begun issuing detailed rebuttals to mainstream media myths about the Bush Administration. It's about doggone time that somebody did.

Hat tip: Chuckoblog

Kathleen Willey, Candice E. Jackson, and Juanita Broaddrick remind us that Hillary Clinton's no moderate. Nor is she polite, solicitous, respectful, caring, or modest.

Wolf in sheep's clothing

We on the right know this, but it's good to remind the folks in the center every so often ... and more often as 2008 approaches.

Cliff May has some direct questions for SecDef Rumsfeld's critics:

The question is not whether Donald Rumsfeld should resign. The question is not even who should replace him. The question is: What goals would a new Secretary of Defense set, and what strategies would he implement to achieve them?

If Rumsfeld's critics believe America's military has met its match on the battlefields of Iraq, they should say so forthrightly. But they should talk, too, about the ramifications of an American defeat in the heart of the Arab Middle East.

...

A separate question � one well worth asking � is whether a Pentagon reshaped by Rumsfeld will be all that it can be; whether it will be capable of employing organized violence more effectively than America's adversaries (which is, after all, the mission).

...

Retired generals should be welcomed into the debate on military transformation. But they can't make much of a contribution until and unless they start asking the right questions.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

I'm encouraged by the results of a new Rasmussen poll:

Just 26% of Americans say they will definitely vote for Senator Hillary Clinton if she runs for President in 2008. That matches the lowest level of support ever recorded for the former First Lady and is the sixth consecutive Hillary Meter poll showing her solid support below 30%.

I'm pleased, naturally. But it's only 2006. This is no time to get complacent.

Below you'll find links to stuff I've read lately about the so-called "revolt of the generals."

  • Richard Halloran asks (without answering) if retired military officers should publicly question the decisions of civilians in charge of the military.
  • Charles Krauthammer emphatically replies "no."
  • Unfortunately (but not at all surprisingly) the L.A. Times uses the generals' complaints as an excuse to hunt for unflattering quotes from deployed military members in the war zone. The Times only found one officer, and that coward declined to be identified ... rather than taking the principled approach and either resigning his commission or retiring.
  • Oliver North repeats an increasingly common theme and wonders why the generals waited until now to complain, rather than resigning.
  • David Mastio sees parallels between the current controversy and a seemingly unrelated incident from World War II, namely General Patton's famous slapping incidents.
  • Cassandra at Villainous Company cautions civilians not to read too much into the controversy, suspects that at least one of the disgruntled generals is actually longing for President Bush's head on a platter, and handily debunks the charge that the "swift-boating" of the generals has begun.
  • AcademicElephant thinks SecDef Rumsfeld has taken the wind out of his opponents' sails, and that now is the time to press the P.R. advantage.
  • Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice restrains political speech by active-duty commissioned military officers.

General Zinni contradicts himself

user-pic

Covering the "revolt of the generals" against SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, Fox News' heavy hitter Brit Hume found two contradictory quotes from the revolt's leader:

Former Clinton CENTCOM commander, Anthony Zinni � the most prominent of the retired generals attacking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld � now says that, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, "What bothered me ... [was that] I was hearing a depiction of the intelligence that didn't fit what I knew. There was no solid proof, that I ever saw, that Saddam had WMD."

But in early 2000, Zinni told Congress "Iraq remains the most significant near-term threat to U.S. interests in the Arabian Gulf region," adding, "Iraq probably is continuing clandestine nuclear research, [and] retains stocks of chemical and biological munitions ... Even if Baghdad reversed its course and surrendered all WMD capabilities, it retains scientific, technical, and industrial infrastructure to replace agents and munitions within weeks or months."

Oops. This kind of thing tends to hurt one's credibility.

How many generals oppose Rumsfeld?

user-pic

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation, relishes the controversy over a few retired generals who have called for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign. Joining the media dogpile, Vanden Heuvel asks:

Batiste. Eaton. Newbold. Riggs. Zinni... Is there a retired general left in the States who hasn't called on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to fall on his sword? While The Nation suggested he resign in April, 2003, an unanticipated and unprecedented cast of characters has joined the growing chorus.

So far something like six of these guys have sounded off. Heck, I'll be generous. Let's say a full dozen are out there talking to the mainstream media and urging Rumsfeld's ouster. Where does that leave us? Right here, Katrina:

The dirty dozen Everybody else












































Yes, that's a giant chorus of condemnation. This is only based on the estimate that there are roughly 4,700 retired generals and admirals, so do your own math. Maybe it'll be more persuasive.

--

Update: Welcome, readers of Hugh Hewitt, PoliPundit.com, TKS, Ed Driscoll, Right Wing News and RedState! Enjoy your stay here at Brain Shavings, and be sure to drop by the Buckeye Bloggers before you go.

UC Santa Cruz to lose all tax money?

user-pic

I'm pleased to note that The Mountain States Legal Foundation has officially asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to withhold all federal taxpayer money from The University of California at Santa Cruz because yesterday the university again allowed student mobs to harass military recruiters and hound them from the campus. From the MSLF press release:

"It is outrageous that members of the Armed Forces, who are asked to serve in harm�s way in Afghanistan and Iraq, are driven from a campus by a mob in America," said William Perry Pendley, president and chief legal officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation. "Unless Secretary Rumsfeld responds to this craven violation of federal law, radicals on other campuses will be emboldened, will endanger the lives of men and women in uniform, and will deny students the right to learn how they may serve their country."

The Solomon Amendment, named after the late Congressman Jerry Solomon (R-NY), requires colleges and universities to allow military recruiters on campuses "at least equal in quality and scope to the [degree of] access to campuses and to students that is provided to any other employer." The law was enacted in 1996 but was not enforced by the Clinton Administration.

The Solomon Amendment is on very firm constitutional ground. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a resounding defeat to a liberal group called the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), which had tried to get the courts to overturn the Solomon Amendment. Here's the unanimous (8-0) ruling in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc.

I hope Secretary Rumsfeld triggers the Solomon Amendment. The radical anti-American left needs a good smacking-down.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

Tonight at 8 P.M., Rightalk.com is carrying the audio of a live debate between David Horowitz and Ward Churchill. The topic is "Can Politics Be Taken Out of The Classroom, and Should It Be?" The Windows Media feed is here.

Hat tip: Little Green Footballs

Mark Steyn's latest column on Iraq points out the blind insanity of the Democratic Party's cut-and-run "war strategy." Some good bits:

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, came out with a big statement on Iraq last week. Did you hear about it? Probably not. Everyone was still raving about his Democrat colleague, Rep. Jack Murtha, whose carefully nuanced position on Iraq is: We're all doomed unless we pull out by next Tuesday! (I quote from memory.)

...

It must be awful lonely being Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Party these days. Every time he switches on the news there's John Kerry sonorously droning out his latest pretzel of a position: Insofar as I understand it, he's not calling for a firm 100 percent fixed date of withdrawal -- like, say, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.; meet at Baghdad bus station with two pieces of carry-on. Don't worry, it's not like flying coach on TWA, you'd be able to change the date without paying a surcharge. But Kerry drones that we need to "set benchmarks" for the "transfer of authority." Actually, the administration's been doing that for two years -- setting dates for the return of sovereignty, for electing a national assembly, for approving a constitution, etc, and meeting all of them. And all during those same two years Kerry and his fellow Democrats have huffed that these dates are far too premature, the Iraqis aren't in a position to take over, hold an election, whatever. The Defeaticrats were against the benchmarks before they were for them.

These sad hollow men may yet get their way -- which is to say they may succeed in persuading the American people that a remarkable victory in the Middle East is in fact a humiliating defeat. ... In a week's time, Iraqis will participate in the most open political contest in the history of the Middle East. They're building the freest society in the region, and the only truly federal system. In three-quarters of the country, life has never been better. There's an economic boom in the Shia south and a tourist boom in the Kurdish north, and, while the only thing going boom in the Sunni Triangle are the suicide bombers, there were fewer of those in November than in the previous seven months.

...

So Bush has chosen to embark on a project every other great power of the last half-millennium has shrunk from: the transformation of the Middle East. You can argue the merits of that, but once it's underway it's preposterous to suggest we need to have it all wrapped up by Jan. 24.

Read Steyn's whole column, then give Good News From The Front a look. And you might want to revisit President Bush's speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, too.

Don't get down about the war. We are winning.

Harriet Miers roundup

user-pic

The arguments over Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers show no sign of cooling off. Fortunately for those of us clamoring for more information, some of her writings are now available online thanks to That School Up North (Hat tip: The Volokh Conspiracy). I've not read them yet, but maybe there'll be something there that can reassure me that Miers really is a strong constitutional originalist.

The entire SCOTUS nomination process sure has become a mess, hasn't it? Mark Levin lays a big chunk of the blame for this latest trainwreck at the feet of the Gang of Fourteen, and I have to agree. Paul at Power Line isn't too keen on this bunch either.

While I keep thinking about this, here's a roundup of opinions from conservatives on both sides of the fight:




 
Con
 
Charles Krauthammer: "It will be argued that this criticism is elitist. But this is not about the Ivy League. The issue is not the venue of Miers's constitutional scholarship, experience and engagement. The issue is their nonexistence."
Daniel Henninger:

"Across these many years conservatives have been creating a structured legal edifice to stand against a liberal trend toward aggrandized federal power that began in the 1930s. Chief Justice William Rehnquist's "New Federalism," which devolves many powers back to the states, was one such example. Harriet Miers may share these reformist views, but her contribution to them is zero. Conservatives are upset because they see this choice as frittering away an opportunity of long-term consequence. ... A Miers confirmation validates nothing, gives voice to nothing."



David Limbaugh deflates charges of elitism:

"One wonders whether those crying "elitism" would choose the best available lawyer to represent them if their neck were on the line -- in a criminal or civil matter. If they deserve the best in their individual struggles, don't all Americans in their collective struggle to remain free?

"Picking a justice isn't about rewarding individuals or satisfying gender, race or diversity concerns. It's about protecting our sacred liberties. Since the best way to do that is to find the brightest constitutional scholars with the requisite character and sound judgment, then that is precisely what the president should do. That's not elitism; it's essential constitutional stewardship."



Peggy Noonan, who wraps up with these observations:

"I've noticed that we live in an age in which judges and legal minds seem to hide their own judicial philosophy from themselves. And that might explain why a Harriet Miers has reached the age of 60 and no one seems to know what she thinks. ... Supreme Court justices are more powerful than ever while who and what they are is more mysterious than ever. We have a two part problem. The first is that no one knows what they think until they're there. The other is that they're there forever."



Bill Kristol, who called for Miers to withdraw on this morning's Today Show.


Professor Bainbridge and his baseball analogy


Instapundit isn't impressed:

"Bush raised the bar with Roberts, and then, having set the stage brilliantly for a McConnell, gave us a non-McConnell. Miers might turn out to be a great Justice, of course, but at the moment there's absolutely no reason to expect that. Hope, maybe, but not expect. This isn't the blogosphere's fault, but the Administration's."



Confirm Them, where you shouldn't miss this post, with this key graph:

"All we know is that we must trust the President who tells us that on a checklist of issues, Miers will check the right box. What about the issues that aren�t on the checklist? What about the issues that do not exist now, but will in ten years? By what standard are we now to form an opinion by which we can predicate our current support of her? To which judicial philosphy is Harriet Miers anchored so that she will avoid drifiting like Anthony Kennedy? For now, the President seems to tell us we�ll know it when we see it, but trust him."



Ann Coulter (who even opposed John Roberts' nomination, so this was a guaranteed punching bag for her)

Pro

Beldar: just start at the top and keep scrolling, but don't miss this response to Krauthammer:

"This is not an argument in favor of mediocrity. This is an argument in favor of adding some different kinds of smarts to the Court. Until fairly recently, it was the rule rather than the exception to draw some new Justices from the ranks of practicing lawyers who've been successful and who've demonstrated character, devotion to profession and community, and sound judgment as measured in a wide variety of contexts. I respectfully submit that if you think your menu has only three choices � circuit judges in column A, law professors in column B, and law professors turned circuit judges in column C � then you are indeed being either elitist, unimaginative, or both." (emphasis in original)



Hugh Hewitt, the chief cheerleader for the Miers nomination. Just keep scrolling; he's been prolific this week. I don't buy his worries over an impending electoral implosion for the Republicans if Miers' critics keep complaining:

"There are many persuasive reasons beyond "Party" to support Harriet Miers, but "Party" ought to have at least tempered some of the most strident critics of the nominee. Nothing lasting will be accomplished with SCOTUS unless the GOP remains in power beyond 2008 and 2012. If the current seven veterans linger, and the GOP is crippled because of intra-party quarrels, how will President Hillary's and Vice President Obama's justices rule? There is a great deal to be said for "Party," including the willingness to accept that the good must not be the enemy of the perfect, and that at least 25% of the time you are going to be disappointed with the Party's decision."

...

"The debate ought rather to be an occasion for asking "What does the president know that I do not know?" and even, "Has the president earned my trust in this area?" ... The series of posts she has held -- Texas Bar president, Dallas City Council, and especially managing partner of a large law firm -- all speak to her abilities which disappointment seems to forbid critics from recognizing. There are many hundreds of thousands of GOP faithful who have held similar posts. How wonderful to telegraph to them that their efforts are fine, for a certain class of people."



President Aristotle offers nine reasons to support the nomination.


Marvin Olasky offers a variation of "c'mon, she's an evangelical Christian, she's conservative" ... to which I say "Jimmy Carter's an evangelical Christian."

I'm still willing (barely) to give Bush the benefit of the doubt on this nomination, but my support keeps eroding. After my inital reaction ("Harriet who? What happened to Luttig and McConnell and Alito and ... ?"), I moved toward a position reflected in Fred Barnes' ambivalent column on Monday:

If all goes well, Harriet Miers will turn out to be a less impressive version of John Roberts: that is, a judicial conservative, or constitutionalist, who will cause the ideological balance on the Supreme Court to shift to the right. ... All she needs to do is come off as a credible mainstream conservative, avoid the questions that Democrats will try to trick her on, and persuade senators she's not merely a Bush crony. That accomplished, she should be confirmed.

She'd better be able to do this. If she can't -- if she's not really a conservative -- the political effect will be to shatter President Bush's still-strong relationship with his base. The love affair will be over. The president will have dashed the hopes cherished by conservatives for a conservative Supreme Court. And he will be far weaker as a national political leader as a result.

...

Conservatives shouldn't throw up their hands in despair, at least yet. They should wait until they hear from Miers as a witness before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It's then that we'll begin to find out if Bush was correct in his view that she's the person to fulfill the dreams of so many conservatives and finally shove the Supreme Court to the right.

President Bush had better offer more than "I know her, she's smart, she's conservative ... trust me." And he'd better offer it soon, because movement conservatives like me are getting ready to jump ship over Miers.

I'm still deciding whether to support Harriet Miers, President Bush's nominee to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. However, I just spotted a column by Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post that aims blistering criticism at the nominee and at the president, and demands a withdrawal of the nomination.

Watch Krauthammer fire both barrels:

For half a century, liberals have corrupted the courts by turning them into an instrument of radical social change on questions -- school prayer, abortion, busing, the death penalty -- that properly belong to the elected branches of government. Conservatives have opposed this arrogation of the legislative role and called for restoration of the purely interpretive role of the court. To nominate someone whose adult life reveals no record of even participation in debates about constitutional interpretation is an insult to the institution and to that vision of the institution.

There are 1,084,504 lawyers in the United States. What distinguishes Harriet Miers from any of them, other than her connection with the president? To have selected her, when conservative jurisprudence has J. Harvie Wilkinson, Michael Luttig, Michael McConnell and at least a dozen others on a bench deeper than that of the New York Yankees, is scandalous.

It will be argued that this criticism is elitist. But this is not about the Ivy League. The issue is not the venue of Miers's constitutional scholarship, experience and engagement. The issue is their nonexistence.

...

But what does she bring to the bench?

This, say her advocates: We are now at war, and therefore the great issue of our time is the powers of the president, under Article II, to wage war. For four years Miers has been immersed in war-and-peace decisions and therefore will have a deep familiarity with the tough constitutional issues regarding detention, prisoner treatment and war powers.

Perhaps. We have no idea what her role in these decisions was. But to the extent that there was any role, it becomes a liability. For years -- crucial years in the war on terrorism -- she will have to recuse herself from judging the constitutionality of these decisions because she will have been a party to having made them in the first place. The Supreme Court will be left with an absent chair on precisely the laws-of-war issues to which she is supposed to bring so much.

By choosing a nominee suggested by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and well known only to himself, the president has ducked a fight on the most important domestic question dividing liberals from conservatives: the principles by which one should read and interpret the Constitution. For a presidency marked by a courageous willingness to think and do big things, this nomination is a sorry retreat into smallness.

Wow. I'll bet that this column makes Laura Ingraham's show today. And Rush's.

Norm Pattis at Crime & Federalism thinks House Majority Leader Tom DeLay will plead guilty to the conspiracy charge filed against him today:

So why am I so sure he'll plead? A line in the indictment notes that his lawyer waived the statute of limitations on the conspiracy charge during grand jury proceedings. Why would a competent lawyer waive a complete defense? Because worse was on the way if he did not.

Initiates know the practice as charge-bargaining. You see a funnel cloud barreling at you and you ask your local prosecutor, quietly, "on what charges are you willing to take my client if he pleads?" I suspect DeLay will enter a plea late in the year.

DeLay gets time to step aside. House Republicans get a chance to regroup and spin the cancer out of their midst.

I'll go look for a copy of the indictment online before I say much more. (Update: Found a copy in PDF form at FindLaw.com ... check the bottom of page 3)

Need the latest odds on who President Bush will nominate to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court? New World Man is liveblogging the oddsmaking that's constantly taking place over at Tradesports.

Also, check the latest rumors at ConfirmThem.

Patrick Ruffini's latest straw poll

user-pic

Go participate in Patrick Ruffini's September straw poll on the 2008 Republican presidential primary race. It allows you to see the results grouped by geography, ideology, and political interests.

Hurricane Rita and the race hustlers

user-pic

The Revenue ReverendsAs the race-grievance industry continues to hector the public about the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, we've all by now heard the oft-repeated slander that the feds were slow to react because President Bush "doesn't care about black people." Now Hurricane Rita is heading into the Gulf and everybody from New Orleans to Corpus Christi is ducking and covering. Unless I'm misinformed, there isn't any major metropolitan area there that has a higher percentage of black residents than New Orleans.

So ... a prediction. If Rita follows its predicted track and hits anyplace other than New Orleans, here's what'll happen:

  1. Stung by criticism over their response to Katrina, FEMA and other federal agencies will leap into action.
  2. President Bush will fly down to the impact area as always, and will have an extra-sympathetic speech ready to deliver.
  3. The race hustlers will immediately point out the fast response, wryly shake their heads and say "See? Bush only cares about white people."

You heard it here first.

--

UPDATE: This post has merged into this afternoon's Beltway Traffic Jam.

A lonely Democrat voice

user-pic

Democracy Guy gets it (sort of):

There may, in fact, be some mystery anti-gay neanderthal electorate that abracadabra showed up at the polls who otherwise would have not, but it certainly was small, indeed would have been dwarfed by the higher turnout in general, and simply would not have affected the election to the tune of 120,000 votes, which is double the margin by which Clinton won the state in 1992. Such voters were a ripple in the overall tide that moved the undecided electorate in 2004. We lost Ohio for the same reason we lost the election nationally....security. Not because of some Rove-ian magic wand.

It's a shame that the Democratic Party hasn't got more sane (and vocal) members like this, people who don't suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome. Unfortunately, the Dems have been following the lead of the big-time lefty bloggers. Hugh Hewitt's metaphor of water pipes made of lead or copper illustrates the problem:

The blogosphere is a vast set of information pipes, like water pipes, providing the stuff information/news junkies find essential. The old plumbing is still out there --newspapers, television, radio-- but the blogs have dramatically increased the volume of the information flow.

What [Howard] Dean hints at is that the left side of the blogosphere's pipes have a problem. They are made of lead. They are in fact poisoning the information they are distributing, and the consequence is the slow poisoning of the Democratic Party.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip: Brewed Fresh Daily

... still unknown, but the smart money is on Edith Brown Clement.

Details on Judge Clement here.

Make that John Roberts.

Deep Throat: Rehnquist?

user-pic

I keep hearing the buzz that Deep Throat, the famous secret source for Woodward and Bernstein's story that broke the Watergate scandal wide open, is a very sick man and is near death. Chief Justice Rehnquist was a Nixon appointee to the Supreme Court in 1972, and I think he was in the Nixon Administration before that. Rehnquist has cancer, and certainly looked pretty bad at the inauguration. Bob Woodward keeps saying he won't reveal Deep Throat's identity until the source dies.

Why couldn't it be Rehnquist? I don't think I'm out to lunch here. I recall somebody speculating that it was George H. W. Bush, but he looked hale and hearty at the SuperBowl this past Sunday. Until I hear of another sick Nixon Administration official, my bet's on Rehnquist.

--

UPDATE: In the 1974 case of United States v. Nixon, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that the President had to turn over his secret audiotapes to the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. Justice Rehnquist recused himself, and everybody assumed the reason was his status as a Nixon appointee. Could the reason for his recusal be that he was Deep Throat? I wonder who Rehnquist's law clerks were back then; they might know quite a bit.

UPDATE 2: The lefties at Kevin Drum's blog are speculating. Looks like I'm not the only one pinning the tail on Rehnquist. So far, Google News has got zip for a query with Rehnquist "Deep Throat" ... so far. PPK Blog thinks it's the Chief too.

UPDATE 3: K-Lo wonders about Rehnquist, thanks to D Magazine's quoting Kevin McCarthy.

UPDATE 4: Great minds ...

UPDATE 5: Beth's on the Rehnquist train too.

UPDATE 6: Drumwaster thinks it's Gerald Ford, but I'm not sure Ford was as much of a cipher as Drumwaster makes him out to be. There's really no such thing as a low-profile VP anymore.

Iraq election coverage

user-pic

Friends of Democracy will be rounding up news of the election in Iraq on Sunday. Click on the banner below to get up to speed.

Iraq election news

This post will stay at the top o' the blog through early Sunday evening.

--

UPDATE: Give Live in Baghdad a look, too. It's a blog run by Ayad Rahim, a Clevelander who happens to be of Iraqi descent. He's back in Baghdad as of Friday to cover the election.

Condi's in

user-pic

Condoleezza Rice won confirmation as the next Secretary of State. The vote total: 85 to 13.

Michelle Malkin asks a great question about Social Security and Homeland Security.

Mah na! Mah na!

user-pic

Turn up your volume knob, visit the dissident frogman, and click on the red button sitting on the Kansas-Colorado border.

This Frenchman's my kinda guy.

Bill of Rights v2.0

user-pic

Barking Moonbat Early Warning System has an updated version of the Bill of Rights.

Carnival of the Commies II

user-pic

TigerHawk's masochistic tendencies have resulted in another installment of his service to the right side of the blogosphere: Carnival of the Commies II. TigerHawk wades into the lefty blog cesspool so you don't have to.

Bush's Second Inaugural Address

user-pic

Courtesy of the White House web site: Bush's Second Inaugural Address.

JibJab is back

user-pic

Theyyyy're baaaack! Go see Jib Jab's Second Term for a good chuckle.

JibJab

And yes, Hillary slaps Bill in this one, too.

Carnival of the Commies

user-pic

TigerHawk has slogged through the lefty blogs this week, so you don't have to. Behold the Carnival of the Commies!

Scalia's verbal stiletto

user-pic

Jeremy at Parableman watched a debate on C-SPAN yesterday, where Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer discussed the proper weight to assign to foreign law when deciding controversies in U.S. constitutional law. Jeremy spotted a wonderful example of Scalia's rhetorical skill:

One thing really struck me in his explanation of one small point related to his view, and it displayed his keen rhetorical skill (in the good sense of the term 'rhetoric' and not the sense in which something might be mere rhetoric). It's the sort of thing I would hold up as a model for speaking with those who might disagree. He was explaining why people who disagree with him on this should hesitate to see other countries' moral views as a guide to our own. If you want to avoid being arbitrary and circular, you can't pick and choose which countries to guide you to find ones that agree with you. Then he gives an example. Since very few countries allow abortion-on-demand in the first trimester, the American allowance of exactly that is a minority position. If we were going to allow world opinion to shape our interpretations of rights and laws, we'd have to restrict abortion far more than we do. Most left-thinking types don't want that.

What a great technique for adding extra oomph to an argument. I'll file that one away for future reference. Thanks for catching it, Jeremy.

Armstrong Williams payola

user-pic

I've been thinking about how to express my disapproval of conservative commentator Armstrong Williams, who recently admitted taking money from the Bush Administration to become a booster for the No Child Left Behind Act. But now I don't need to worry about finding the words. They turned up on Michelle Malkin's blog because she thought of them first.

Don't ease off on CBS now

user-pic
We're eyeball to eyeball and the other fellow just blinked.

Hugh Hewitt spent a good part of the day (and all of his radio show) prodding conservative bloggers and asking why we haven't made a bigger fuss over the CBS News report on Rathergate. If you read through Hugh's blog entries today, you'll see that Hugh sees the report as a whitewash, and that he thinks the big guns of the Blogging Right appear overly concerned about their reputations among the mainstream media. Hugh thinks we ought not show mercy in this case. I agree, and here's why.

This situation strikes me as a kind of negotiation. We of the center-right blogosphere expected CBS News to offer something like this:

  1. report released on a Friday (to bury it)
  2. report released after announcing Rather's successor (again, to bury it)
  3. a weak non-apology
  4. thinly-veiled contempt for bloggers
  5. support from ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
  6. denial of any pro-Kerry motivation, much less any actual coordination
  7. Mary Mapes fired

We were hoping for several results from this episode, including:

  1. report released on a Monday
  2. report released without a Rather successor announced
  3. an admission from CBS News that the Killian memos were forgeries
  4. due credit given to the blogosphere for unearthing this mess
  5. Dan Rather fired
  6. Mary Mapes fired
  7. top CBS News executives fired (including the president, Andrew Heyward)
  8. an investigation into possible coordination between CBS News and the Kerry/Edwards campaign
  9. help from CBS' competing news networks in devouring it (motivated by fear)

To our surprise, CBS started off by offering us numbers 1, 2, and 6 on our wish list. Better still, they offered big chunks of numbers 3, 4, 5, and 7.

Think about it. The bigwigs at CBS News are clearly not bargaining from a position of strength, and it's obvious they know it. Now keep in mind that in a negotiation, you never ever reveal your true position right up front. If this is where they've started from, imagine where we could push them to. By giving CBS News (and by extension, all of MSM) a pass on this baldfaced charade they called "news", we'd be letting them return to lie another day.

Another thing: have you noticed the deafening silence among the lefty bloggers today? They tried very hard to ignore the CBS News report, hoping we'd lose interest. If they thought they could win the argument on the merits, they'd be in full cry instead. So the only thing standing between us and resounding vindication is ... us.

Fellow conservative bloggers, stop worrying about what the other side thinks of us and go for the whole wish list, because they'll tut-tut about "blogger triumphalism" no matter what we do. Learn from the GOP, which only climbed out of the electoral gutter after it stopped trying to play footsie with the Democrats. Rather, Mapes, and CBS News are scattered and fleeing. Let's show some spine and mop 'em up.

Don't miss Hugh Hewitt's show tonight

user-pic

Tune in to Hugh Hewitt's radio show right now (or listen online). He's going to spend three hours with the folks who brought down Dan Rather, and they'll dissect the CBS Report released today. Everybody who's anybody among bloggers involved in that mess will be on the air. You'll be glad you listened in.

Don't sweat Newdow's anti-Pledge lawsuit

user-pic

A sharp fellow Christian conservative, Derek at Weapon of Mass Distraction, notes the news of atheist Michael Newdow's renewed attack on the Pledge of Allegiance after his previous lawsuit went down in flames. Derek betrays some uncharacteristic pessimism about our side's chances this time around:

Objection to Electoral Vote

user-pic

By objecting to the Electoral Vote count for Ohio, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) just made a very bad political decision. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) joined her, forcing the Electoral College vote certification to grind to a halt. Jones is up for re-election in 2006, and deserves to be tossed out of Congress on her ear. Boxer just won re-election this time around, so she's obviously hoping the voters forget this when 2010 rolls around.

--

UPDATE: According to National Journal, which notably ranked John Kerry as the Senate's most liberal member, here's how Jones' voting record stacks up since 2001:

2001 2002 2003
Composite Liberal Score - 93 90
Liberal on Economic Policy 83 83 87
Liberal on Foreign Policy 94 94 92
Liberal on Social Policy 78 97 87
 
Composite Conservative Score - 7 11
Conservative on Economic Policy 15 16 9
Conservative on Foreign Policy 5 0 8
Conservative on Social Policy 23 2 12

Read Jones' profile on Project Vote Smart here.

--

UPDATE 2: Here are some of Jones' favorability ratings provided by various liberal groups:

--

UPDATE 3: Well, would ya look at that ...

--

Correction: I misidentified the liberal Democrat Senator from California as Diane Feinstein. It was Barbara Boxer who joined Congresswoman Jones in subverting the Electoral College. After all, there's a huge difference between Boxer and Feinstein. For example, um ... gimme a minute ... I'll think of something ...

Blog swarm gathers around Conyers

user-pic

Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters may well be touching off a blog swarm around Michigan Democrat Congressman John Conyers, whose staff stands accused of taking charity Christmas turkeys and giving them to friends instead of to Detroit's hungry and needy.

Conyers' reaction to press inquiries? Silence.

If he keeps ignoring this story and the blogosphere goes nuclear, you'll be seeing another demonstration of the power of the tail.

More coverage:
Instapundit
Wizbang! (inevitably tagging it "Turkeygate")
Cheese & Crackers
Pejmanesque
hubs and spokes
Three Knockdown Rule
PoliBlog
Turkeygate (too funny!)
Daily Pundit
Urban Republican
You Know What Part
Pajama Journal
BrothersJudd
Chicago Avvocato
The Baron
Florida Pilot
Dinocrat

Impeachapalooza 2005

user-pic

Soon, the 109th Congress will convene for its first session. This time around the Democrats have lost even more seats, and if there's one thing that ticks off a Democrat politician it's losing power. Worse yet, they still seem to think that their message of wacko leftism just didn't get through to the voting public, and that President Bush and the Republicans somehow stole the election.

Democrat outrage is nothing if not predictable, and it's no great stretch to expect petty little snit fits on the floor of Congress once it's back in session. Come to think of it, can calls for impeaching the president be far away? I think not. Which can mean only one thing.

It's contest time!

Be the first to predict the Democrats' calls for political vengeance against President Bush, and you can win expensive and gaudy prizes. That is, if you define "expensive and gaudy" as "affordable by the amateur blogger running this site." Here are the categories and prizes:

  1. Date of first call for President Bush's impeachment: _________ (Prize: a Blogshares portfolio consisting of 5,000 shares of Brain Shavings and 5000 shares of The Buckeye Bloggers)
    Bonus -- Representative making that first call: _________ (Prize: $10 Amazon.com gift certificate)
  2. Date of first article of impeachment referred to House Judiciary Committee: _________ (Prize: a copy of Blog, by Hugh Hewitt)
    Bonus -- First sponsor of this article: _________ (Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)
  3. Date of first article of impeachment to get a House Judiciary Committee vote: _________ (Prize: a copy of Right Turns, by Michael Medved)
    Bonus -- First sponsor of this article: _________ (Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)
    Bonus -- Committee vote tally (yea/nay): _____/_____ (Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)
    Bonus -- Number of Republicans voting "yea" (non-zero guesses only): _____ (Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)
  4. Date of first article of impeachment to reach House floor: _________ (Prize: a copy of Scalia Dissents, by Kevin A. Ring)
    Bonus -- First sponsor of this article: _________ (Prize: $75 Amazon.com gift certificate)
    Bonus -- House vote tally (yea/nay): _____/_____ (Prize: $100 Amazon.com gift certificate)
    Bonus -- Number of Republicans voting "yea" (non-zero guesses only): _____ (Prize: $100 Amazon.com gift certificate)

Contest Rules:

Paul at Wizbang beat me to it, so I'll delete my draft post about the different reactions to the tsunami among politically vocal bloggers with high traffic. We conservatives sure are heartless troglodytes, aren't we?

Help tsunami victims here

 

Coming soon: a contest

user-pic

I'm putting together a little political prediction contest, and it'll actually have prizes. Watch for details over the next few days.

Hugh, I think you've lost this one

user-pic

On Hugh Hewitt's show yesterday, a blogger known as Sabretooth called in and challenged Hugh's support for President Bush's "guest worker" program for illegal aliens. Sabretooth issued a challenge and extracted a commitment of sorts:

I asked Hugh if he would be able to support the President's guest worker program if it allowed legalized illegal aliens access to citizenship.

"I won't like the program," he said.

Uh, Hugh ... with his post today, Sabretooth appears to have won the argument.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

Religion and politics

user-pic

Yesterday I pointed out the correlation between deeply-held Christian belief, knowledge of current events, and antipathy to Islam. Today, Power Line notes a similar connection between religious belief and voting patterns:

This year's election made clear what political leaders have known for some time -- religious belief and degree of religious commitment are closely associated with how people vote. Thus, the extent to which people hold, and are serious about, religious beliefs has a direct bearing on who will hold political power and what our policies will be across the spectrum of key foreign policy and domestic issues. Put another way, the fact that so many Americans believe in God and take religious teachings so seriously is a major reason why our politics and policies are not like those of Europe, where religion has been marginalized.

This is another "duh" moment for most everybody from the center to the right in American politics, but I'm betting that the guys at Power Line felt obligated to point out what ought to be obvious, since otherwise intelligent folks like Jeff Jarvis and Jesse Taylor still just don't seem to get it.

Hugh Hewitt tackles Jarvis' essay on the supposedly exaggerated battles over Christmas in America:

It is too easy to say "everything is fine," and "chill." The place of faith in America is a crucial topic that deserves every bit of attention it receives, even when a particular battle seems overblown when measured against the persecution of the house church in China.

Every time an elitist condemns a person of faith as a "theocrat," or a scientist rejects an argument against embryonic stem cell research as a "fundamentalists' position," the effort to expel faith from the public square advances, and not via debate, but via the sneer. Jeff Jarvis may not care a bit because such steps don't result in bloodshed or any sort of violence. But most public policy disputes don't, and the absence of physical injury doesn't make them any less worthy of debate or attention. Jarvis' jeremiad against focus on conflicts between the sectarian and the secular is itself an attempt to demote issues of faith in the culture to second-class conflicts, beneath the attention of "serious" thinkers -- a back lot drama played out by hayseeds and snake handlers. How convenient, and how wrong.

Read the whole thing.

For more examples of the War on Christmas, keep checking in with Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, and David Limbaugh.

A Torts hypo from Hell

user-pic

Stuff like this gave me hives in law school.

They weren't homeless

user-pic

Power Line reprints an e-mail dialogue between Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman and a reader named David, arguing over Coleman's recent column that claimed Mary and Joseph were homeless when Jesus was born. Coleman's responses get progressively wackier as David makes his point.

Now poor Coleman needs a new example to drive his "homelessness crisis" meme.

Army sneaking women into combat?

user-pic

Mack Owens reports on the Army's possible backdoor attempt to sneak women into combat, as unearthed by Elaine Donnelly's Center for Military Readiness:

The U.S. Army is quietly making a radical change in its personnel policy that may well see the 3rd Infantry Division redeploy to Iraq early next year with mixed-sex support companies collocated with combat units. The move violates not only Defense Department regulations, but also the requirement to notify Congress when such a change goes into effect.

...

The Army's defense of its actions has been disingenuous. On one hand, the Army claimed in May that there were "insufficient male soldiers in the Army to fill forward support companies," and therefore it "cannot support elimination of female soldiers from all units designated to be UA elements." But if the Army knew about this back in May, why didn't it ask Congress for more recruits at the time? One cannot escape the conclusion that the Army's position appears to be that we don't have enough young men to fight our wars, so women must be integrated into fighting units by subterfuge and sleight-of-hand.

But then, on the other hand, an Army spokesman recently told Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times that the policy of prohibiting women from serving in units supporting ground-combat formations is outdated. Today, said the spokesman, the threat is "asymmetrical... There is no front-line threat right now" since all soldiers, support or combat, face rocket, mortar, and roadside-bomb attacks, as well as ambushes.

First and foremost of my objections: if these allegations are true then the Army is breaking the law. Even if I agreed with the Army's goal (which I don't), I'd oppose their methods here. The senior officials responsible for this sleight-of-hand need a public and permanent reminder about civilian control of the American military.

Welcome to the clash of ideas

user-pic

Arthur Chrenkoff compares his own political awakening to that of Iraq The Model and finds surprising similarities. Go read both posts and learn what it's like to step out from behind an iron curtain. It'll warm your heart.

Clarence Thomas, illiterate

user-pic

So says Senator Harry Reid, I suppose. The new Minority Leader had some choice words for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on NBC News' Meet The Press this past Sunday:

MR. RUSSERT: Why couldn't you accept Clarence Thomas?

SEN. REID: I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written. I don't--I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.

The man who delivers speeches like this and writes opinions like this is "an embarrassment"? Senator Reid doesn't say that about Justice Antonin Scalia, another conservative on the Court whose opinions track closely with those of Justice Thomas. In fact, Reid could see himself supporting Scalia's nomination as Chief Justice if it comes right down to it. What could explain the difference in Senator Reid's attitude?

Justice Thomas
Justice Thomas
Justice Scalia
Justice Scalia

Gimme a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me eventually.

--

UPDATE: Told you so.

So is it a crisis or not?

user-pic

Paul Krugman, target of frequent fiskings, takes fire for his latest complaints about Social Security privatization from JustOneMinute:

Oh, it was privatizers on the right that invented the Social Security crisis? Then when Bill CLinton insisted in his State of the Union that we "Save Social Security first", what was that about? And why did Al Gore keep going on (and on,and on) about his "lockbox"?

We all know the answer - Back in the era of budget surpluses Social Security was in a crisis discovered by Bill Clinton so that no one could cut taxes until Social Security was "saved". Well, Republicans (with some Democratic votes) cut taxes without saving Social Security, but the public perception of crisis lingers.

Bill Clinton started this fire, but it was George Bush who brought the hotdogs and marshmallows. My Metaphor-Mixer is pointing towards "Reap what you sow".

That's going to leave a mark.

Hey, I know that guy

user-pic

Billy Tauzin III is the Republican running for Congress in Louisiana's 3rd District. I say "running" because he's facing a runoff on Saturday. I wish him success not only because he's a strong-on-defense conservative, but also because I know from personal experience that he's a genuinely upstanding and honest guy.

I knew him as "Bill" back when he was a year behind me at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He was in my company (the Corps of Cadets had roughly 120 cadets in each of 8 companies) in 1991 when he was a swab. Although word got out that his father had some serious political horsepower as a member of the House committee that controlled the Coast Guard's appropriations, Bill never mentioned it himself. He was determined to make it through 4th Class Year on his own, and it was much tougher in 1991 than it is now in the age of political correctness. Any time his father came up in conversation, Bill deftly changed the subject.

Bill never relied on his dad's position to get himself an easy break. Instead there were times that he caught more than his fair share of flak from the upperclass cadets, just so they could demonstrate to everybody that Bill wasn't getting any extra slack. It happened to all the high-profile kids, including sons of admirals and captains. Some couldn't take it, but I never heard Bill complain.

Although as a 3/c Cadet I wasn't permitted to fraternize with a swab, there was always an unspoken understanding that the 3/c were the unofficial mentors of the 4/c. We in '94 kept an eye on the folks in '95, and we got to know them pretty well. Although Bill didn't graduate from the Academy (he finished at LSU instead), it wasn't for lack of ability or grit. He got through Swab Year, and remained upbeat and personable even as he learned the toughness required to survive that marathon, for which I respect him. The guy was honest and a complete straight shooter.

I've looked at his stances on the issues in this race, and they match what I think is in the best interests of America. When I combine that with my personal experience with the man, I can wholeheartedly endorse Billy Tauzin III for Congress.

Consider contributing to his campaign, and if you're registered in Louisiana's 3rd District give him your vote this Saturday.

Fishing for liberals

user-pic

In an article just published by The Sentinel (a conservative publication at Ohio State University), conservative student columnist Stephen Dronen relates his encounter with volunteers conducting a Democrat voter registration drive ... and his resulting experiment in liberal-baiting.

I took to the streets to see if my appearance had any bearing on their action. First dressing as I normally do; dressed in a pair of khaki chinos, a light blue Oxford, and a pair of brown Doc Martin�s, I entered the hostile territory. Not to my surprise, I walked right past the activists amidst a haze of "Stop the Bush Imperialists", "No Blood for Oil", and "Not My President"! It was as if they didn�t even see me.

...

The first phase of my testing was complete; they had failed to approach me during three opportunities. Enter phase two: undercover. Garbed in a borrowed Pearl Jam t-shirt, a set of torn jeans, a pair of Birkenstocks, some thick rimmed "emo" glasses, and the quintessential hemp jewelry, I returned to the scene of the crime. It is amazing how different the experience was, as I was double teamed from the second I entered the intersection where two hours earlier the same people failed to realize I was even in their presence.

It's an entertaining read, so help yourself.

Hat tip: The Open End

Diplomad's advice to Condi Rice

user-pic

The Diplomad offers advice to the next Secretary of State:

We won't deal with policy issues here. ... Our concern is the Department as an institution and what can be done to rescue it from itself and make it an effective agency, and by that we mean effective at representing and promoting America's interests abroad. We all know that the new Secretary is not going to spend time fixing this broken institution. ... We hope that ... at a minimum a fierce, Neanderthal-like brute will be appointed Undersecretary for Management. It is to this person that we direct ourselves with hope in our hearts and pleading in our eyes.

...

Slash and burn. ... It can take a year or more to assign someone to a posting. Absurd. Reduce the size of the personnel (HR) operation. Put an end to the little empires that exist in HR, empires established by bureaucrats who "homestead" themselves in the HR system, spending years there accumulating power, establishing networks to reward themselves and friends and to punish "enemies." It is tempting to rely on these persons' "expertise," but resist it; rotate them out. Make them stand in a visa line in Mexico City. Get them out of Washington on a regular basis. It's the Foreign Service. They don't want to go? They can go work for the DMV.

...

Until you reform the assignment process, have the Secretary not assume that a person who is, for example, working on Arab-Israeli affairs, actually knows something about Arab-Israeli affairs or that what he knows is actually right or worth knowing. That person could have gotten the job thanks to some complex deal having nothing to do with substance.

Take a hard look at the size and number of embassies abroad. Do we really need an embassy in every African and European country? Do we need them so big?

I wish Condi (and Porter Goss at the CIA) success at smashing obstructionist bureaucrats. Remind them who's the boss.

Hat tip: Chrenkoff

Where'd all the moonbats go?

user-pic

Whatever happened to the breathless coverage of important news stories like the tons of missing ammo in Iraq? George Bush's AWOL escapades and the documents that proved it? Karl Rove's leaking of an undercover CIA operative's name for political advantage? The Bush Administration's reckless indifference to Richard Clarke's prescient warnings about the imminent danger of a 9/11 attack? Bush's nefarious backroom conspiracies in cahoots with the Saudi royal family and the bin Ladens?

Golly, I thought these were all Critically Important Stories™ that the public needed to know about in every detail. Suddenly, after November 2nd, things have gone quiet. I wonder why.

Sec'y of State Rice

user-pic

Condoleezza Rice will be the new Secretary of State. Sounds like an improvement . She strikes me as an American version of Margaret Thatcher. Here's hoping she is.

Red and blue provinces

user-pic

Western Standard offers "A Canadian guide for American exiles." Give it a look, Chet.

--

UPDATE: More advice.

Purple America

user-pic

Robert J. Vanderbei at Princeton takes the red state / blue state meme to a much more informative level, using shades of purple on a county-by-county map to show the results of this election.

Purple America

On another map, he even added false mountains to designate areas with higher population.

Election2004textured_small.gif

What a great way to clearly convey a mountain of complex information. Edwin Tufte would be proud.

--

UPDATE: An apparent Tufte fan found a map of Purple America with highly-populated areas artificially expanded. Groovy.

UPDATE 2: More maps.

UPDATE 3: Another one using elevation for population differences between counties (I'm guessing it's showing population density, not absolute population), and no shades of purple.

Coulter vs. Rove

user-pic

Ann Coulter thinks Karl Rove's no campaign genius:

If Rove is "the architect" -- as Bush called him in his acceptance speech -- then he is the architect of high TV ratings, not a Republican victory. By keeping the race so tight, Rove ensured that a race that should have been a runaway Bush victory would not be over until the wee hours of the morning.

As we now know, the most important issue to voters was not terrorism, but moral values. Marriage amendments won by lopsided majorities in all 11 states where they were on the ballot. Even in Oregon, the state targeted by gay marriage advocates as their best shot of defeating a marriage amendment, the amendment passed by 57 percent -- a figure noticeable for being larger than the percentage of votes cast for Bush in Oregon. In the great state of Mississippi, the marriage amendment passed with 88 percent of the vote.

Seventy percent to 80 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage and partial-birth abortion. Far from appealing exclusively to a narrow Republican base, opposition to gay marriage is strongest among the Democratic base: blacks, Hispanics, blue-collar workers and the elderly. There were marriage amendments on the ballot in Michigan and Ohio. Bush won Ohio narrowly and lost Michigan by only 2 points. How different might that have been if Bush hadn't run from the issue.

But Rove concluded Bush should stay mum on gay marriage and partial-birth abortion -- contravening the politicians' rule of thumb: Talk about your positions that are wildly popular with voters. "Boy Genius" Rove decided Bush shouldn't even run radio ads on gay marriage, and at the last minute, Bush started claiming he was in favor of civil unions, just like John Kerry.

Ouch.

My wish list for the next four years

user-pic

Now that we've won the election, it's time to capitalize. I offer three lists as starting points for thinking about what to do next.

Here's my off-the-cuff list of top political priorities that President Bush and the Republican Congress ought to pursue between now and 2008.

  1. Redouble the war effort. It's no quagmire. We have the initiative now, so let's exploit it.
    • Reaffirm the Bush Doctrine. Then beef it up by repealing Section 2.11 of Executive Order 12333, which forbids assassination as a foreign policy tool.
    • Stick Osama's head on a pike. No arrest. No trial. Sure, as a martyr he'll be an inspiration to terrorists, but he already is. His continued respiration makes us look weak. Kill him, kill his followers, and humiliate his fans.
    • Crush the insurgency in Iraq. That means flattening Fallujah for starters.
    • Seal our borders.
    • Use profiling to catch the enemy here. That means looking more closely at:
      • People from countries that support terrorism
      • Muslims
      • Men of Middle Eastern appearance between the ages of 16 and 40.
    • Topple the governments in Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Use diplomacy, sanctions, and internal instability if possible. Otherwise use force.
    • Field new weapons systems tailored for this war.
    • Kill obsolete weapons systems. Pork be damned.
  2. Stop worrying about offending American leftists and don't let them drive your policies. Unabashed conservatism wins and "the new tone" loses. We won, so start governing like it.
  3. Stop worrying about the media's opinion of you. They'll never like you, so get over it. It's our votes you need, not theirs. Besides, the blogosphere's here to stay, and the media dinosaurs will either evolve or die ... and either way, you win.
  4. Appoint and confirm conservative judges.
  5. Cut taxes, regulation and especially spending.
  6. Pass the Federal Marriage Amendment.
  7. Boost military pay (especially combat pay).
  8. Replace the tax code with a national sales tax (or at worst, a flat tax).
  9. Expand the majority in the Senate and House in 2006.
  10. Europe is about to come crawling for our forgiveness, because they're realists and they know we're in the driver's seat for good. Be polite, give them some of the financial action, but never defer to their judgment on anything.
  11. Move the federal budgeting process to a two-year cycle.
  12. If the Partial Birth Abortion Ban dies in the Supreme Court, pass it again and keep fighting.
  13. Consider a newer, better GI Bill; ask the troops what they want.
  14. Leave the United Nations. It's rotten to the core, and has long outlived its usefulness. This will help with #10, above.

As for the military, there's still a lot of work to be done.

  1. Add at least two divisions to the Army.
  2. Ease up on deployments for the Reserves & National Guard.
  3. In recruiting, continue the shift from "here's what you'll get" to "here's how you can serve", because we want warriors and not half-hearted mercenaries.
  4. Get sophisticated in your recruiting. If your efforts look half-assed, then you'll get the recruits you paid for.
  5. Keep women from combat.
  6. Cultivate frontline warriors among noncoms and junior officers. Get the combat lessons they've learned into institutional memory now, before they leave the service.

Last, a list for the conservative blogosphere.

  1. Destroy the credibility of the mainstream media.
  2. Repeat #1.

I'll add to the lists and expand them as things come to mind.

Guam goes red

user-pic

John at Brown Hound passes the word that Guam is Bush Country. I'm pleasantly surprised, because when I was there from 1994-96, the territory was Democrat turf.

Wictory Wednesday's parting shot

user-pic
Have a nice day!

Finally, a respite

user-pic

President Bush won re-election. Senator Kerry will graciously deliver his concession speech in about an hour (thank you, Senator). I saw record turnout where I served as an observer, but only one minor instance of absentee ballot fraud. The economy's improving. The war on islamism is turning the corner, and there were no terror attacks in the run-up to the election.

I'm knocking off today to take a deep breath, read something frivolous, avoid political news, and quietly celebrate the steadfastness of my ellow citizens.

Off to battle

user-pic

This post from Saturday will stay at the top of the blog through Election Day.

I'll be heavily involved in the Bush/Cheney 72-hour effort, so I won't be blogging much. I made phone calls to undecided voters and possible Bush supporters for a couple of hours on Friday. I'll do it again on Monday, and I'll attend training on Sunday so I can serve as a poll watcher on Tuesday. If you're concerned about how close this election's shaping up to be, turn off your computer and go do something about it.

Go to GeorgeWBush.com and sign up to volunteer in your state (look for the pull-down menu box on the left-hand side labeled "Grassroots" and select your state). The campaign can use all the help you can offer, even if it's just an hour on the phones at your local Bush/Cheney headquarters.

While I'm gone, browse the blogrolls on the right side of the home page, and make time to read these:

Remember, due to the strain on the election system, all Republicans are asked to vote on November 2nd and all Democrats can go to the polls on November 3rd. Thank you for your cooperation.

Brief update from the trenches

user-pic

Today I attended a three-hour training session for Republican election observers in NE Ohio. We hailed from Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Erie Counties (see map), and this was just one of three training sessions taking place today in NE Ohio alone. Although I won't reveal any strategy or data that Democrats might find useful, I do have some interesting tidbits to share.

  • Pay close attention to news about Ohio's new provisional ballots. Remember the dance of the hanging chads? To win Ohio without a court fight, President Bush must take this state by a wide enough margin to make all provisional ballots irrelevant.
  • The GOP expected no more than 300 volunteers at today's poll observer training session in Westlake. Over 400 of us showed up, reportedly blowing away the attendance figures at a corresponding statewide Democrat confab hyped as a demonstration of their grassroots support. Keep in mind that there were two other GOP sessions in progress simultaneously, and you'll begin to get a sense of the scale of our motivation.
  • We 400 observers are mostly average citizens getting involved in a campaign for the very first time. I saw plenty of retirees, college kids, housewives, small business owners, and accomplished professionals. Very few were experienced political operatives. All of us are taking Tuesday off to keep watch over the electoral process. We're well-trained, we're on rock-solid legal ground, and we're motivated. Dear left-leaning friends: you'd be wise not to try any funny business. We won't interfere in the election, but we'll sure as hell catch you if you do. We know how to spot every trick in your playbook. You've gone a bridge too far, and managed to fire up more of the Republican base than in your worst nightmares.
  • Ohio law has permitted poll observers for something like 70+ years, but we've never used them and never challenged a vote ... until the left forced us to react to their blatant intent to win at any cost. Feel free to thank ACORN, the NAACP National Voter Fund, MoveOn.org, America Coming Together, The Media Fund, George Soros, Peter B. Lewis, Senator John McCain, Senator Russ Feingold ...
  • There are 78,000 GOP volunteers hard at work in Ohio. Young Republicans from out of state are knocking on doors (including mine, which is how I know) to get out the vote, and total political neophytes are burning up the outgoing phone lines at jam-packed local Bush/Cheney headquarters.
  • Democrats have filed lawsuits seeking to forbid more than one GOP observer per polling place. This is significant because many polling places contain voting facilities for multiple precincts. If the Democrat lawsuits succeed (as of 5 PM today the outcome was still up in the air), you'll see polling places where a single overworked GOP observer tries to keep an eye on several precincts at once. That'll be a situation ripe for exploitation by fraudsters.
  • At least one person tried to infiltrate today's training session in Westlake by posing as a Republican who dropped in at the last minute to volunteer. His name wasn't on the list and he couldn't identify any references. He threatened to volunteer at the Kucinich call center unless we let him in. Odd threat for a "Republican", eh? He left unhappy.
  • Infiltrating a political campaign carries stiff criminal penalties in Ohio. Mr. I-Love-Dennis-Kucinich ought to thank us for saving him from spending Christmas in the pokey.
  • Watch the Ohio poll results for a last-minute Democrat surge. Conservative SW Ohio and moderate Central Ohio report their results promptly, but heavily Democratic Cleveland always reports its results late in the evening and can tip the balance for the whole state. I'll leave you to speculate about the reasons for foot-dragging by NE Ohio Democrats when they're counting votes.
  • 20,000 Republicans turned up in Westlake last week to hear President Bush speak, and only two dozen lethargic Democrats managed to show up to protest. It'll be raining hard in NE Ohio on Election Day. Rain discourages potential voters who aren't motivated. Re-read all of the bullet points above and ... you do the math.

Buckle your seat belts, folks. It's gonna be a wild ride.

--

UPDATE (11/1, 9:00 AM): Thanks to a Clinton judge, we're on hold. We'll see what the 6th Circuit has to say.

UPDATE (11/1, 9:00 PM): Rock 'n roll. Also, see Power Line for news from a blogger who's an election lawyer in the trenches tomorrow (don't miss their post on the limousine liberal Clinton-appoinrted judge we observers just thumped, too).

Watching TV on Election Night

user-pic

Edison Media Research explains what to watch for on Election Night:

One of the aspects of Election Night viewing that people find the most confusing is watching the tote boards the networks display showing the vote with say, "31% of precincts reporting." Your preferred candidate may be winning at that point, but the networks often do a less-than-adequate job of explaining which votes have been counted. In Ohio, for instance, Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) tends to report extremely late. So there is a chance one will see Bush leading in the vote count throughout the night, only to be eclipsed by Kerry at the wire as heavily Democratic Cleveland's votes come in.

I'll be coming home from poll-watching duty late, but I'll have my nachos & beer waiting by the TV.

Hat tip: The Truth Laid Bear

Why libertarians must vote for Bush

user-pic

In a sequel to my admonition to Democrats, today I take on libertarians. Here's the text of an e-mail that my very libertarian Dad sent me last week.

From: Dad
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2004 5:45 PM
To: Puddle Pirate
Subject: FW: Patrick Buchanan Endorses Bush

This is truly depressing reading, almost as depressing as watching the debates. I have sent over $2,000 to various libertarian type republican candidates but can't bring myself to send George $1.

The scary part is that I disliked dad enough that I decided "How bad can a Clinton presidency be?" and voted my libertarian convictions. I now teeter on the same decision point.

So what is the correct ethical choice -- the candidate without a moral compass or the one without a brain?

Dad

Catch y'all later ...

user-pic

... I'll be at the Bush rally in Westlake all morning and early afternoon.

Too late for terror to derail Bush

user-pic

There's just one week to go. Lately there's been speculation about whether a terror attack might occur on American soil before Election Day, and if so, what effect it might have on the outcome of the presidential election. I've been mulling this over and I think it's too late for any attack here to hurt President Bush's chances. At this point an attack can only help him, and I think the terrorists know it. Let me explain.

Calm down

user-pic

Don't get so exercised about President Bush's supposed loss of 380 tons of explosives in Iraq. It's not what you think.

--

UPDATE: I told you so. Nice try, liberal media.

UPDATE 2: And yet more.

UPDATE 3: And still more.

UPDATE 4: More on the 3rd Infantry Division.

UPDATE 5: This one's for you, Chet.

UPDATE 6: Russian involvement before the war.

UPDATE 7: Power Line delivers the coup de grâce.

Kerry the Diplomat? Uh, no.

user-pic

The Washington Times reports the results of an investigation into John Kerry's repeated claims that he met with all the members on the UN Security Council during the run-up to the war in Iraq:

After conversations with ambassadors from five members of the Security Council in 2002 and calls to all the missions of the countries then on the panel, The Times was only able to confirm directly that Mr. Kerry had met with representatives of France, Singapore and Cameroon.

In addition, second-hand accounts have Mr. Kerry meeting with representatives of Britain.

When reached for comment last week, an official with the Kerry campaign stood by the candidate's previous claims that he had met with the entire Security Council.

But after being told late yesterday of the results of The Times investigation, the Kerry campaign issued a statement that read in part, "It was a closed meeting and a private discussion."

A Kerry aide refused to identify who participated in the meeting.

The statement did not repeat Mr. Kerry's claims of a lengthy meeting with the entire 15-member Security Council, instead saying the candidate "met with a group of representatives of countries sitting on the Security Council."

Asked whether the international body had any records of Mr. Kerry sitting down with the whole council, a U.N. spokesman said that "our office does not have any record of this meeting."

That's gonna hurt.

--

More coverage:
Redstate (and still more)

Mark Steyn is sick of the election ...

user-pic

... but he's hoping he doesn't end up in a Canadian hospital.

Pull your head out

user-pic

In the spirit of animal-themed campaign ads, and in response to John Kerry's ostrich ad, I offer my own small contribution to the fight against leftist naivete and silliness:

Pull your head out!  Read Brain Shavings.

Pull your head out!  Read Brain Shavings.

Now go and be stupid no more.

Direct hit

user-pic

Tom Daschle must be wincing after this ad aired. For more, visit Daschle v. Thune, South Dakota Politics, and Sibby Online. Then go donate ten bucks to John Thune's campaign.

Blogger unearths L.A. voter fraud

user-pic

The Tall Glass of Milk over at Drink this... discovered an attempt to use her identity to vote for a certain political party. You get one guess at which one it was.

Sanity returns

user-pic

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit just restored common sense to Ohio's provisional voting mess. You don't get to vote wherever the heck you want. If you can't keep your registration current, then stay home and let the adults vote.

Now if only we had a law requiring photo ID at the polls, I'd be much less worried about Democrat voter fraud.

Stolen Honor to air for free

user-pic

Yes, you heard right.

Producer Carlton Sherwood said "Stolen Honor" would be available on the Internet Monday and would also be available for screening or broadcasting.

"I want to be sure that every American who wants to see this film is allowed to do so," he said in a news release. "Therefore, I am offering the film publicly to anyone who wants to see it.

"In addition, any media entity brave enough to air 'Stolen Honor' can contact us for a license to air the film, provided the entity will air the film in its entirety, and so too any individual who wants to show or broadcast it."

Watch Stolen Honor

Kinda sucks for these guys, though. Watch for a link to the free video here on Monday.

Hat tip: Drink this...

Democrat voter fraud continues in Ohio

user-pic

Good Lord, now the Dems down in Franklin County, Ohio are registering terrorists to vote.

When word of this gets out, the turnout among GOP voters in the Buckeye State will blow your mind. I'm a hard-core conservative so I'm already volunteering on Election Day ... but if these outrageous shenanigans continue, my fellow Republicans will be willing to crawl through crushed glass while doused in burning gasoline to get to the polls.

Hat tip: Power Line

--

More coverage:
Digital Brown Pajamas
Conservative Revolution
trying to grok

When Liberals Attack

user-pic

When confronted by Swift Boat Veteran John O'Neill, liberal talking head Lawrence O'Donnell went completely nuts on MSNBC's Scarborough Country tonight. I can't wait to watch the video version of this audio clip online, once somebody posts it.

The Swiftees need more donations to drive a stake through the heart of John Kerry's quest for power. Click on the graphic to donate:

Make a donation to the Swift Vets

UPDATE: Here's the video. And a great photoshopped image (good discovery, PoliPundit).

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

More coverage:
PoliPundit (and more still)
Wizbang
Power Line
sisu
The Jawa Report
Truth, Lies & Common Sense
The View From MY Right
Everlasting Phelps
Right On Red
INDC Journal

Wolves

user-pic

Rich Lowry at The Corner says the GOP is readying a new TV ad similar to the famous "Bear In The Woods" Reagan spot, this time with wolves instead of a grizzly. Look out, appeasement lobby.

--

UPDATE: Wow. Here's the narration:

In an increasingly dangerous world ... Even after the first terrorist attack on America ... John Kerry and the liberals in Congress voted to slash America's intelligence operations by $6 billion ... Cuts so deep they would have weakened America's defenses ... And weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm.

The choice is clear.

Conservative media boosts Stolen Honor

user-pic

The New York Times, a right-wing propaganda rag, gave a somewhat positive review to Stolen Honor. A sample:

"Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," the highly contested anti-Kerry documentary, should not be shown by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. It should be shown in its entirety on all the networks, cable stations and on public television.
Watch Stolen Honor

That fishwrapper broadsheet is a Republican mouthpiece!

Brit lefties step in it

user-pic

Nice work in Clark County, idiots. On behalf of all other conservative Ohioans, I offer a heartfelt "thank you."

Oops.

user-pic

The Guardian newspaper's Clark County project has gone awry. Who'd have thought the dimwitted Colonials in Ohio would react so negatively?

Please, you ridiculous British busybodies, do it again. We need more Bush votes in Ohio. Now if only we can get John Kerry to speak French on the stump ...

--

UPDATE: Mark Steyn agrees.

That's why we call him The Silky Pony

user-pic

Why Democrats must vote for Bush

user-pic

My Democrat friends, you face a stark choice. One issue trumps all the rest this year: George Bush is serious about winning the war on radical Islam, and John Kerry isn't. That's really all there is to it.

European approval doesn't matter if you're dead.
Abortion rights don't matter if you're dead.
Restarting the Israeli/Palestinian peace process doesn't matter if you're dead.
Joining the International Criminal Court doesn't matter if you're dead.
Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol doesn't matter if you're dead.
Tougher environmental regulations don't matter if you're dead.
GLBTQ rights don't matter if you're dead.
Higher employment doesn't matter if you're dead.
More education funding doesn't matter if you're dead.
Affirmative action doesn't matter if you're dead.
Alternative fuels don't matter if you're dead.
Cheaper prescription drugs don't matter if you're dead.
Universal health insurance doesn't matter if you're dead.
Social justice doesn't matter if you're dead.

Once we defeat our common enemy, you can vote for Democrats without risking your life. But in 2004 a vote for John Kerry is a vote for appeasement, and appeasement never stopped evil men from attacking. President Kerry will retreat from our enemies, encouraging our enemies to attack us with renewed vigor and with far deadlier weapons than before.

A vote for Kerry is a vote for appeasement. Protect American lives. Vote Bush.

--

UPDATE: Here's a sermon for libertarians.

--

Submitted to Vox Blogoli IV at HughHewitt.com

Kerry's bigot-baiting backfires

user-pic

John Kerry's nasty comment about Mary Cheney keeps on biting him in the butt.

I'm optimistic about Bush's prospects

user-pic

The guys at Power Line read the tea leaves and conclude that Bush is winning (and they don't buy the lastest Gallup poll results, either). RealClearPolitics has been constantly tracking all the major polls and averaging them, which when displayed on a handy chart reinforces the Bush-is-winning point. Outside The Beltway looks at all the polls individually, which is nice if you're into detail. Stephen Den Beste digs into the RCP chart and thinks that the mainstream media have been monkeying with their polling samples and their stories (albeit not actively colluding) to manufacture "bounces" for Kerry; I'm not convinced, but you be the judge.

For an overview of where we stand, try Hugh Hewitt.

Third debate roundup

user-pic

We've had about 18 hours to mull over the final presidential debate, so here's a roundup of the best analysis I've found so far.

PoliPundit applies his usually-reliable snap judgment method of picking a winner to declare "this election is over" ... Bush is going to win.

Hugh Hewitt thinks Kerry's toast. To his way of thinking, Kerry hurt his prospects with voting mothers by using Lynne & Dick Cheney's daughter as a political prop. Hugh also notes the importance of the NRA entering the fray, and thinks that the new Kerry healthcare soundbites can beef up the "Hillarycare" bludgeon enough to allow Bush/Cheney to crush Kerry/Edwards. Don't miss Hugh's list of contrasts, either; copy and e-mail it to your centrist and undecided friends.

Jim Geraghty was on Hugh Hewitt's show yesterday, and responded favorably to the host's optimism. Geraghty's featured post on The Kerry Spot today says "forget the polls."

Stephen Green, the impressive Vodkapundit, hasn't voted a straight Republican ticket since 1988. But he's now convinced that the Democrats value power more than our democratic institutions. The latest round of electoral abuses and fraud lead the Vodkapundit to conclude that the Dems are "trying, however inadvertently, to destroy the Republic in order to rule it." He'll be voting a straight Republican ticket this time.

Arthur Chrenkoff, an Australian who emigrated from Poland, is none too amused over Kerry's "real alliances" meme ... which disses Australia and Poland.

Michelle Malkin debunks both candidates' responses to the flu vaccine question.

James at Outside The Beltway gathers the reactions to Kerry's use of Mary Cheney's homosexuality as an example when answering the question about whether being gay is a choice.

JustOneMinute has insights on Mary Cheney, outsourcing the hunt for Osama, Democrat spin, and Kerry's inflated legislation claims. I won't summarize them; it'd fill this post to overflowing. Just go read 'em.

Arthur Chrenkoff reports on Brits targeting my fellow Ohioans with anti-Bush spam. Who put them up to it and helped them find voters in Clark County? The Guardian newspaper.

Talk about an effort doomed to failure. If it weren't so pathetic, and if I didn't live elsewhere in Ohio, I'd be annoyed. Instead, I'm mildly amused at the thought of undecided voters in Clark County deciding to vote for Bush just to annoy the bejabbers out of some stuffy British busybodies.

--

Clarification: I realize that The Guardian doesn't explicitly advocate sending anti-Bush messages to Clark County voters. However, when you know that the newspaper's slant and the biases of its readership tilt way over toward the left, you can bet the ol' homestead that the vast majority of messages will be anti-Bush.

--

UPDATE: Take that, you nosy foppish twits.

Liveblogging debate #3

user-pic

If liveblogging tonight's debate interests you, I suggest the following choices:

You might even be able to catch it live online at C-Span. Go Dubya!

Stolen Honor: where to see it

user-pic

The Democratic National Committee is trying to get the FEC to stomp on Sinclair Broadcasting because the company plans to broadcast the documentary Stolen Honor, which highlights John Kerry's activities after he left Vietnam and joined the anti-American "peace" movement. The Democrats won't try to refute it, because they can't. I own two copies, and I'm impressed by Stolen Honor's powerful message of truth.

Here's the movie Democrats don't want you to see.

Watch Stolen Honor

Try the pay-per-view option.

Franklin County follies

user-pic

The Columbus area stands in danger of being the Palm Beach County of the 2004 election. Don't be surprised if you find vote fraud in Franklin County at the top of the news on November 3rd.

If it's not close ...

user-pic

... they can't cheat. Who am I talking about? The Democrats, of course.

Hugh Hewitt was right.

Make your money count

user-pic

New polls show that the race between Republican US Senate candidate Tom Coburn and Democrat Brad Carlson in Oklahoma is a tossup.

Coburn is the more talented candidate, but Carson is benefiting from a systematic campaign by Oklahoma media to boost his candidacy. Coburn needs our help to tip the scales. A few dollars can go a long way towards buying advertising that highlights Coburn's conservatism and Carson's liberalism. You can easily contribute to Coburn's campaign online.

Today is Wictory Wednesday. Every Wednesday, hundreds of bloggers ask their readers to donate to an important Republican Senate campaign.

If you're a blogger, you can join Wictory Wednesdays by e-mailing wictory@blogsforbush.com. They'll add you to the Wictory Wednesday blogroll and send you a reminder e-mail every Wednesday, explaining which Senate candidate to support that day.

Here's the list of blogs currently participating in Wictory Wednesdays:

Killing the weak to heal the sick

user-pic

I'd heard just about enough of the blather about a supposed "ban" on stem cell research, but John Edwards' speech about helping the crippled to walk through embryo stem cell research pushed me over the edge.

In 2002 I published a Note (the term for an article by a law student ... mine's available below) on federal funding of human embryo stem cell research in Health Matrix, the health law journal at Case Western Reserve University. My article built on the reasoning of Scott Klusendorf, the most effective pro-life debater I know.

In that article I picked through peer-reviewed studies and the history of stem cell research, analyzed the state of applicable medical research law, and applied scientific and philosophical considerations to the debate. I conclusively demonstrated that federally funded human embryonic stem cell research is illegal, immoral, and unnecessary. To my knowledge, nothing significant has changed. There are no legal restrictions on privately funded stem cell research on human embryos, repugnant though it is.

I expect reporters and even editors to fall for hype now and then, but politicians running for president have science advisors whose job it is to keep their guy from saying stupid and dishonest things. The facts are not in doubt:

  1. There is no ban on stem cell research. The only restriction is on federal funding of research on stem cells derived from embryos destroyed after August 9, 2001.
  2. Embryonic stem cell research derived from destroyed embryos is morally repugnant, especially since those cells are obtainable from umbilical cords and placentas.
  3. Embryonic stem cells hold less scientific promise than stem cells from adult sources.

John Kerry and John Edwards need to fire their advisors and apologize for a shameless lie that cruelly gives false hope to people with spinal cord injuries.

Here's a PDF version of my Note, published in 2002.

Are We Killing The Weak To Heal The Sick?: Federally Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research


More coverage:
Redstate (read the comments; they're great)
Wizblog (a fellow Clevelander)
TigerHawk
Considerettes
Truth, Lies & Common Sense
Just One Minute
Wes Roth
Confessions Of A Political Junkie
Jay Reding
The Corpus Callosum (opposing view)
Evangelical Outpost
Citizen Z
Daniel W. Casey
Power Line
Polipundit
Sean Gleeson
bLogicus
Back of the Envelope
Drink This ...

--

UPDATE (9:33 PM): Arthur Chrenkoff sees a pattern of exploitation in the Kerry/Edwards campaign's use of the handicapped:

John Edwards is engaging in cynical political game at the expense of the sick and the suffering. Not satisfied with using triple amputees to deliver letters for the Kerry campaign, the Dems are now using the chronically ill and the incapacitated to whack Bush over the head: you see, Bush is mean, because he provokes the terrorists, he makes your gas more expensive, and he sends your jobs overseas. He's so mean, in fact, that he will keep the sick sick for the sake of his extremist moral agenda.

And I do mean "use" literally and pejoratively.

--

UPDATE (10:04 PM): This post just merged at high speed into today's Beltway Traffic Jam.

--

UPDATE (10:17 PM): Paul at Wizbang is as pithy as you can hope to be.

--

UPDATE (11:59 PM): Before you revel in embryo stem cell dreams, consider the proven nightmares.

Sinclair in the crosshairs

user-pic

Sinclair Broadcasting, owner of 62 TV stations in several battleground states, plans to broadcast the documentary Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal this month on all of its affiliates. The film features several Vietnam veterans (all former prisoners of war, two of them Medal of Honor recipients) criticizing John Kerry for his anti-war activities.

Watch Stolen Honor

Sinclair CEO David Smith gave the broadcast order to the company's affiliates recently, and the Democratic National Committee immediately sat up and took notice. The DNC will file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging Sinclair's action would be an illegal in-kind contribution to the Bush/Cheney campaign. No word yet on any DNC complaints about in-kind contributions from Dan Rather or the Associated Press.

For a dose of the obligatory leftist handwringing, see this editorial from The Nation, as reprinted by ... wait for it ... CBS News.

--

UPDATE (Oct 13, 1:14 AM): Instapundit rounds up the best blog posts on Sinclair vs. the DNC. Hat tip: Wizbang!

I hope John Kerry doesn't exploit Christopher Reeve's death to flog President Bush about stem cell research on human embryos. There is no ban on stem cell research; you can legally kill all the embryos you like as long as you don't fund your research with taxpayer money.

No matter. I predict Kerry will keep up the lie, and say something close to "George Bush killed Christopher Reeve." He might even get Dana Reeve do it for him on TV.

Unless MoveOn.org beats him to it.

--

UPDATE: Kerry hasn't blatantly painted Bush with responsibility for Reeve's death yet. He's only implied it obliquely. But I'm certain down to my bones that Kerry will find a way to hit Bush with this during the third debate this Wednesday. Watch for it at the end of a Kerry rebuttal, when Bush has little or no time to respond. It'll be something along the lines of "if not for the ban on stem cell research imposed by this Administration, my dear late friend Chris Reeve might be alive and walking tonight." Kerry will deliver the lie with his best attempt at a mournful expression and sympathetic voice.

Watch for new widow Dana Reeve to silently show up at Kerry's side after the debate, too.

UPDATE (Oct 12, 12:22 PM): John Edwards, shameless ambulance chaser, jumped in with both feet today (link to follow). For now, see Drudge. I'm having difficulty choosing the words to accurately describe my contempt for this new low in political pandering.

UPDATE (1:00 PM): Edwards said "When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." Bull. There is no cure for spinal cord injuries. Furthermore, no peer-reviewed embryonic stem cell research study to date has shown promise for finding a cure. Not one. They're still stuck on the scarring problem. Go ahead and look, but you won't find anything, believe me. I keep up to date on this topic, and I'm fairly familiar with the state of the law on federal funding of embryo stem cell research.

UPDATE (1:39 PM): I've been waiting to fire this broadside all year. Hey, Kedwards ... catch!

Take your draft and shove it

user-pic

Hey, Congressman Rangel: not only is your draft bill dead on arrival (thanks in part to your vote against it)... it's utterly unneccessary.

Now kindly shut up and sit down, you unethical hack.

The mother of all debate round-ups

user-pic

Brought to you by ... who else? Allah, Creator of Worlds.

Hat tip: Castle Argghhh!

Howard wins in Australia

user-pic

Prime Minister John Howard of Australia just won reelection ... and brought along an increased share of Parliament for his coalition government. Our staunch ally will be at our side for awhile yet, thank God.

More coverage:
Chrenkoff
Power Line
Mike Jericho
The Diplomad
Tim Blair

UPDATE: Chrenkoff goes in depth

Pretty slick, Charlie

user-pic

Here's a paraphrase of the last question that moderator Charlie Gibson chose for the debate: "Mr. President, name three wrong decisions you've made."

It wasn't even a question. It was a cheap shot at President Bush that forced him to either look like he thinks he never makes mistakes, or look weak for committing errors. The implied question, of course, was "why don't you admit that you screwed up by invading Iraq?"

Kerry must have loved it. He had absolutely zero exposure, since the focus was all on the other guy's mistakes. It was the rhetorical equivalent of giving him a free kick to Bush's nuts.

Gibson chose which questions to use, and he chose the order in which to ask them. He knows darn well that the end of a presentation is what sticks in the mind.

Sneaky little twerp.

Debate coverage

user-pic

If liveblogging tonight's debate interests you, I suggest the following choices:

You can try this link to watch it live, but I don't know for sure whether C-SPAN will stream it online.

Enjoy!

Hugh Hewitt's on a tear

user-pic

He's always been as congenial as Dennis Prager in the past, but today Hugh Hewitt is outraged over John Kerry's latest lies. Listen in here for a looping repeat of his broadcast (until tomorrow at 6PM EDT).

Checks and balances in action

user-pic

The House of Representatives just voted to split the Ninth Circuit. I'm delighted, even though the Senate will kill the bill. After all, that's where good legislation goes to die.

Of course, that can change with some wisely-applied donations.

Hat tip: Jack Fowler at The Corner

Deterrence

user-pic

Bill Whittle of Eject! Eject! Eject! just posted a new essay called Deterrence (Part 1 and Part 2). He rarely posts, but when he puts pixel to screen the distilled thinking is a 200-proof double shot of Mental White Lightning.

Well worth the wait!

Updated: Blogosphere Political Compass

user-pic

Sandor at The Zoo just updated his Blogosphere Political Compass. If you haven't jumped aboard, you ought to.

Especially you libs.

Wictory Wednesday, D minus 27

user-pic

There's a very interesting Senate race in North Carolina. Republican Richard Burr, who was 10 points behind Democrat Erskine Bowles, is rapidly moving up and the race is now dead even. It's only going to get better for Burr. North Carolina has no business electing a Democrat senator and this seat will be an easy GOP pickup in 2004.

However, Burr needs your help. The wealthy Bowles is pouring his own money into the race and Burr needs to counter him. If you don't want Democrats controlling the Senate, then please contribute whatever little you can to Burr�s campaign.

Today is Wictory Wednesday. Every Wednesday, hundreds of bloggers ask their readers to donate to an important Republican Senate campaign.

If you're a blogger, you can join Wictory Wednesdays by e-mailing wictory@blogsforbush.com. They'll add you to the Wictory Wednesday blogroll. They'll also send you a reminder e-mail every Wednesday, explaining which Senate candidate to support that day.

Here's the list of blogs currently participating in Wictory Wednesdays:

Cheating Democrats

user-pic

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the blossoming of voter registration fraud here in NE Ohio:

More than 1,000 voter registration forms and absentee ballot requests may be fraudulent in Lake and Summit counties, where investigations of irregularities are broadening.

...

Lake election and law enforcement officials said their investigation is centered on absentee registration attempts by the nonpartisan NAACP's National Voter Fund and an anti-Bush, nonprofit group called Americans Coming Together, or ACT Ohio.

We've had enough bad P.R. with burning rivers and boy mayors. We don't need to become the next Palm Beach. Find the crooks and jail 'em.

Wictory Wednesday, D minus 42

user-pic

Florida. President Bush has a much better chance of winning it than he did in 2000. But we can improve his chances even more, make the state a lock, and replace a Democrat senator from Florida this year.

Mel Martinez is the Republican candidate for Senate from Florida. He�s a Cuban-American immigrant success story, who will help the president attract a larger share of the Hispanic vote. If Martinez wins, he�ll be replacing the notoriously nutty Democrat Senator Bob Graham, who�s retiring this year.

But he needs your help to make this happen. counts in a large state like Florida. Your contribution could make the difference between a Democrat-controlled Senate that obstructs the president, and a Republican-controlled one that will help him move America forward.

Today is Wictory Wednesday. Every Wednesday, hundreds of bloggers ask their readers to donate to an important Republican Senate campaign.

If you�re a blogger, you can join Wictory Wednesdays by e-mailing me at wictory@blogsforbush.com. I�ll add you to the Wictory Wednesday blogroll. I�ll also send you a reminder e-mail every Wednesday, explaining which Senate candidate to support that day.

Here�s the list of blogs currently participating in Wictory Wednesdays:

Want to apply pressure to CBS?

user-pic

More TANG documents coming?

user-pic

The Washington Post reports that new Texas Air National Guard documents concerning President Bush's flight physical might come to light soon, this time released by the White House.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan hinted that more documents regarding Bush's National Guard service may soon be released. Asked whether officials in the White House have seen unreleased documents, McClellan called that "a very real possibility." Other officials with knowledge of the situation said more documents had indeed been uncovered and would be released in the coming days.

Hat tip: Wizbang

Faxed CBS memos traced to Kinko's in Abilene

user-pic

Backcountry Conservative does his usual bang-up job of rounding up scattered links to breaking news, this time on the origin of the forged Killian memos faxed to CBS and Dan Rather.

--

UPDATE (11:42 PM): Kevin McCullogh is digging into the Kinko's angle.

CBS dives into school of blogging piranhas

user-pic

Here's Drudge's copy of the longer CBS News statement released this evening concerning the obviously forged Killian memos. Watch how quickly the blogosphere dissects and debunks this one. If you thought the first assault on the forgeries was fast, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

--

UPDATE (8:41 PM): It begins.

--

UPDATE (8:54 PM): How's this for fast?

CBS to make a statement at noon

user-pic

Backcountry Conservative caught a teaser on Fox News this morning: apparently CBS will release a statement at noon today about the Killian memos.

--

UPDATE: It's nearly two o'clock and we're still waiting. Neither Wizbang nor The Kerry Spot thinks the announcement will be a retraction. Meanwhile, Congressman Chris Cox is asking for a Congressional hearing on the memos.

--

UPDATE: First they pushed it back to 3:30, and now CBS says 5:00, according to Drudge. They're almost as inept as the Kerry/Edwards campaign.

--

UPDATE: You've got to be kidding me. For Heaven's sake:

Animation by Charles Johnson

More on this animation here.

Rathergate.com

user-pic

Rathergate.com is your one-stop shop for news about self-immolating network anchors.

Your arm's off!
 
"It's just a flesh wound!
CBS stands by its story."

Hat tip: Wizbang

Debate prep

user-pic

With the debates coming soon in the presidential race, I thought that a modern Devil's Dictionary might come in handy for on-the-fly translation of the pablum coming out of John Kerry's mouth.

There's also my handy Kerry Lexicon, in three volumes.

This post has merged into today's Beltway Traffic Jam

Wictory Wednesday in South Dakota

user-pic

Today is Wictory Wednesday, when right-thinking and -voting bloggers implore you to help a key Senate candidate.

When President Bush is re-elected, he can put genuinely conservative judges on the federal bench for the next four years. We need to send a message to Senate Democrats: they cannot obstruct these nominations. We need to make an example of the obstructionist-in-chief, Tom Daschle.

John Thune is our candidate to do this. He has a slight lead in the polls, but he's being vastly outspent by Daschle. If you can give $10, $25, or $100, this would be a good time to donate to Thune's campaign.

I'm not the only one urging you onward:

Forgery funnies

user-pic
Liar Liar

Right Wing News has "The Memo George Bush Doesn't Want You To See"

The Commissar has proof that Kerry was in Cambodia.

ScrappleFace unearths more evidence of Bush perfidy.

Wizbang cribs a photoshopped Dan Rather from Minion of the Great Satan (for the original Baghdad Bob ... a.k.a. "Comical Ali" ... see here). Also see their spoof of Mr. Clipit.

IMAO unearths another memo.

Day By Day slings a beer pun.

Allah issues a comedy fatwa against Dan Rather's paltry band of brothers.

Expect more very soon from Cox & Forkum.

--

UPDATE: 9/12 bump to the top.

Dan Rather chooses scorched earth

user-pic

CBS and Dan Rather stand by their crumbling story, while Captain's Quarters recaps the latest developments in the CBS forged memos scandal, and includes a handy 9-point list of discrepancies in the documents. It ain't all in the superscript, folks.

Meanwhile Power Line gathers several mainstream media stories to paint a picture of Gunga Dan under seige. The three lawyers running Power Line have given Rather a length of rope and they seem content today to watch him tie his own noose. When they pull the lever on the trap door this coming week, it'll be a quick end for CBS. Power Line has new questions about the paper used for CBS' "original" copies, and about incorrect zip codes on the purported memos.

INDC Journal exposes how the Boston Globe misquoted a document analysis expert, and relays the expert's outrage.

In the "put up or shut up department", Defeat JohnJohn is offering at least $17,600 to the first person to $17,600 in cash to the first person who can find a typewriter available in 1972 that reasonably could have produced the documents in question.

For the big picture, rely on The Belmont Club ... as always.

--

UPDATE: Dan Rather would have you believe that the whole forgery story is overblown because a few old typewriters could manage superscript text. Well, look at this flash animation. If that's not proof of forgery, nothing is. No doubt Dan Rather's next statement will be: "Who're ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Hat tip: Power Line

When you're in a hole, Dan ...

user-pic

... stop digging. I've just gotta laugh.

Can they really be that stupid?

user-pic

Captain Ed, the skipper at Captain's Quarters, comments on a story from The Washington Prowler which supposedly alleges that 60 Minutes got the faked Killian memos from the Kerry campaign. I say "supposedly" because at the moment the Prowler page is inaccessible.

From Captain Ed:

But the Kerry campaign has it even worse. Thanks to a barrage of ads from the Swiftvets, Kerry already has suffered damage to his image in voter evaluation of his honesty and integrity. If his campaign passed off forged documents to news organizations to smear George Bush, it will destroy the shreds of his credibility in such a way that he may not even be able to win re-election in his next Senate campaign.

Not only does it paint the entire Democratic party machine from Kerry and Terry McAuliffe down as completely dishonest, but also incredibly incompetent. How long would it have taken to have a document specialist verify the memos, especially given that even the campaign had its doubts? Voters who manage not to be completely put off by the dishonest have to ask themselves whether they want the country run by people this flat-out stupid. And fair or not, the whole mess winds up in John Kerry's lap. It's yet another case of misfiring a grenade, only this time the wounds won't be superficial.

The moonbats have already begun laying the blame at the feet of Svengali ... er, Karl Rove. I'd bet on the simpler, more plausible explanation: Team Kerry's incompetence.

Gerry Canavan says he'll eat his hat ...

user-pic

... if the CBS memos have been forged, and I'm going to hold him to it.

Who forged the Killian memos?

user-pic

Wizbang asks "whodunnit"? The Commisar has a candidate.

--

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin thinks journalists' obligation to protect anonymous sources ought to evaporate if the sources lie.

Let the lefty moonbattery begin

user-pic

Atrios never met a strawman he didn't like, Josh Marshall goes on a superscript "th" hunt, Kevin Drum takes CBS at its word (then hedges), and Kos thinks that the "memos" must be real because the White House simply gave reporters copies of what it received from 60 Minutes. Even more hilariously, the commenters on these sites blame Karl Rove for planting the forgeries just to make the left look silly. What a surprise.

The theme of the moment among the lefty bloggers seems to be "never mind the other problems with the forged memos, just find anything to hang your hat on and then either look smug or whine about right-wing conspiracies." According to the spin from the left today, the "memos" that 60 Minutes faxed to the White House magically became authentic just because the White House gave copies to reporters without comment.

Good luck, fellas.

Folded: CBS's trump card

user-pic

Captain's Quarters shuts off another avenue of escape for CBS and its "secret memos" by Lt Col Killian:

The [Washington] Post even forced CBS to reveal that the documents were "authenticated" via a phone conversation with retired Major General Bobby W. Hodges, Killian's superior:

 

A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network's sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents' alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said that a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone, and that Hodges replied that "these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time." "These documents represent what Killian not only was putting in memoranda, but was telling other people," the CBS News official said. "Journalistically, we've gone several extra miles."

The official said the network regarded Hodges's comments as "the trump card" on the question of authenticity, as he is a Republican who acknowledged that he did not want to hurt Bush. Hodges, who declined to grant an on-camera interview to CBS, did not respond to messages left on his home answering machine in Texas.

I don't think that anyone doubts that CBS went several extra miles, but in what direction? How does the Tiffany Network account for the fact that the 1973 memos reference purported pressure from an Col. Buck Staudt, who had retired in 1972? Did Hodges and Killian invent a word-processing system to write these memos that escaped the notice of document experts, with an ability to produce type-set documents?

So now we have documents typed in a way that was impossible for the time they were made, sourced from personal files of a dead ex-officer whose family angrily deny he ever had, and authenticated by another ex-officer who never actually saw them. Is this journalism?

...

UPDATE: Could this be the Robert Hodges from Texas that claims to be a Republican -- the one who donated $250 to Howard Dean?

Ouch.

Kudos to Buckhead

user-pic

I tip my hat to Buckhead, a poster at FreeRepublic.com who appears to be the first person to notice that the 60 Minutes II "memos" incriminating Texas ANG Lieutenant George W. Bush ... are fakes. Buckhead lit the fuse and the detonation began at Power Line. It continues to ripple outward.

Nice work! He may have unseated Dan Rather himself (CBS is in full retreat).

Feel free to put a sock in it

user-pic

The Kerry Krew just fired two more dud rounds against President Bush this week, and they sound something like this: "Bush was AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard" (gee, that's original) and "Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David." Too bad he earned every point in every year to meet his TANG service obligations, and the "source" of the coke story denies ever making the allegation.

Since we're still looking at old service records, Senator Kerry, how about releasing all of your records?

Double hat tip: Captain's Quarters (here and here)

--

UPDATE: More on Bush's service here.

UPDATE 2: Power Line looks at the "smoking gun" documents from the 60 Minutes episode on the AWOL charge, and uncovers possible forgery.

UPDATE 3: Power Line continues to ram the lance home, this time noting that even the Associated Press is looking askance at CBS.

UPDATE 4: Too funny.

UPDATE 5: The New York Times is reluctantly nibbling.

UPDATE 6: Funnier still.

Stolen Honor

user-pic

The documentary "Stolen Honor" (video clips here) debuts today. John Kerry won't like this any more than he liked the SwiftVets ads, and his polls will take another hit.

Watch Stolen Honor

--

UPDATE (Oct 12): More here.

For the record: Kerry defense cuts

user-pic

As several 24-hour news cycles pass by after the Republican National Convention and blur our memories of who said what at which point in time, a reminder can come in handy.

Lest anyone forget that John Kerry wanted to cut numerous military weapons systems that Zell Miller recited in his RNC speech, I offer two photocopies of a Kerry campaign flyer from the 1980s ... which advocates cutting those very systems.

Page 1

Page 2

Kerry boosters claim that Miller misrepresented their man's vote on a single defense budget bill. According to the lefties, Kerry would have voted for all of these systems, but because the appropriations bill had other really bad stuff hidden in it, poor John was forced to vote "nay."

Now you know better.

Hat tip: Citizen Smash

Wictory Wednesday (D minus 56)

user-pic

There are 56 days to go until Election Day, and John Kerry's campaign is spiraling downward toward a very hard landing.

Ouch!

Don't let Kerry pull out of his nosedive. Today is Wictory Wednesday, when right-thinking and -voting bloggers implore you to volunteer for or donate to the Bush/Cheney campaign. If you're a liberal, contribute money or volunteer work to Ralph Nader. I'm not the only one urging you onward:

Give where it'll do the most good

user-pic

If you're serious about keeping the Senate in the hands of adults who have the judgment to oversee a war, follow Hugh Hewitt's advice. I just did, and it's the most effective $250 I've spent in a long, long time.

I'll be blunt

user-pic

If you vote for John Kerry, you are inviting Islamists to do this here.

Kerry's amazing disappearing press release

user-pic

Captain's Quarters sounds off on the Kerry/Edwards web site's difficulties with press releases that praise Bush/Cheney. Whoever wrote the release in question did such a bad job that it came across as a list of Bush/Cheney achievements. It disappeared for awhile this weekend, reappeared, and disappeared again.

We saw it days ago, fellas. Once you post something on a prominent web site, you can count on someone archiving a copy. Deleting it now is just silly, and makes your press staff look even more stupid than before. You can't un-ring the bell, Senators.

The blogosphere's now going to gnaw on this latest of your self-inflicted wounds. Congratulations.

Well, whaddaya know?

user-pic

Finally! A Kerry/Edwards press release that I almost completely agree with! Who'd have thought they'd publish a list of reasons to vote for Bush/Cheney on their own web site, without refutations? Excerpts:

Lawsuits Are Driving Up Health Care Costs & Hurting Job Growth.

Bush Good for Immigrants.

Bush Has Done A Good Job With Our Allies.

Bush Did It Right Going to War Against Iraq.

Bush Economy is Humming Along & Creating Good Jobs.

Republicans Are Protecting the Environment.

Except for the few points marked "lie", I'd say the Kerry campaign has done us a favor. Must be the new staff. Do you suppose they hired their P.R. people from Rove Staffing Services, Inc.?

Hat tip: LGF

--

UPDATE: Wizbang is on the case.

UPDATE 2: The page disappeared for awhile, then reappeared. An aborted attempt to hide the document from we bloggers of the Republican Attack Machine©? More at Outside The Beltway and Mudville Gazette.

UPDATE 3: It's gone again. Too late, though. I have a copy.

Kerry visits Steubenville ...

user-pic

... and soon regrets it.

Kerry can't take heat, won't leave kitchen

user-pic

Mark Steyn has John Kerry's number:

So we have one candidate running on a platform of ambitious reforms for an ''ownership society'' at home and a pledge to hunt down America's enemies abroad. And we have another candidate running on the platform that no one has the right to say anything mean about him.

...

That seems to be the way John Kerry likes it. Americans should be free to call Bush a moron, a liar, a fraud, a deserter, an agent of the House of Saud, a mass murderer, a mass rapist (according to the speaker at a National Organization for Women rally last week) and the new Hitler (according to just about everyone). But how dare anyone be so impertinent as to insult John Kerry! No one has the right to insult Kerry, except possibly Teresa, and only on the day she gives him his allowance.

...

That's surely why Kerry is running his kamikaze kandidacy on biography rather than any grand themes. Senator Kerrikaze is running for president because he thinks he should be president -- who needs a platform?

...

Sorry, man, that's not the way it works. And if he thinks it does, he's even further removed from the realities of democratic politics than he was from the interior of Cambodia. Instead of those military records the swift boat vets are calling for, I'd be more interested in seeing his medical ones.

Ouch. Read the rest.

Bush's double digit bounce in the polls

user-pic

Boing. And again I say boing.

I don't know if it'll last, but for John Kerry to close this gap in the polls anytime soon he either needs Bill Clinton to die on the operating table or George W. Bush to be caught red-handed with a half-dozen lines of coke on a mirror.

"Either way, Kerry is screwed."

user-pic

The Corner on National Review Online has more on John Kerry under seige. Based on the Democrats' disorganized and highly reactive stance, it's fair to assume that the Bush/Cheney team is inside the Kerry/Edwards OODA loop, as Hugh Hewitt observes.

The post on The Corner grew from this article.

--

UPDATE: More from The Belmont Club:

But the more fascinating historical question is why the two parties should have evolved so differently. One possible reason is that the Democrats are more a coalition than a consistent point of view, the proverbial "Big Tent" defined by nonmembership in the the other party. At first glance, this would appear refute the conventional wisdom that the Democrats are the party of the Left but on closer examination better explains how the Left came to thrive in this ecology. The characteristic of coalitions, or "national united fronts" as they are known abroad, is that they can be more easily manipulated by a minority cadre of activists. That was historically true of Bolshevik-led movements and may be why the Islamic extremists can dominate the agenda of Islam, which unlike Roman Catholicism has no hierarchical clerical structure. If ideological extremism has a natural home, it will be in the midst of the lost.

The Republican mystery is deeper still because unlike the Democrats they were not (if one excludes neoconservatives) believed to have any articulated ideology. To some extent, one became a Republican before joining the party. But however that may be, as Dick Morris demonstrates, America has entered the 21st century with two parties: one with a remarkably united vision of what it wants and the other searching for an answer -- after it searches for the question.

Then, an overview of net-centric warfare and OODA loops, followed by this:

In an earlier, low tech era, this phenomenon was referred to in the German Army as "saddle orders". Because the general principles of the campaign were so well understood by lower-level commanders, Guderian and Rommel could redirect subordinates and trust them to do the "right thing", that is, act consistently within the agreed strategic framework. They could give orders from the "saddle". In contrast, the French High Command had to laboriously consider its reaction to each threat. It was this kind of confidence in the Age of Sail which enabled Nelson to break the French line at Trafalgar. Nelson's captains had served together so long they were like a basketball team that could blind-pass to each other, so that his pre-battle signal consisted simply of "England expects every man to do his duty". Both the German Army of 1940 and Nelson's fleet of 1805 were inferior to the enemy in materiel and numbers. But it did not matter. The surprise of 2004 may be that the Mainstream Media, like the Chars of the French Army or the sailing wonders of Villeneuve, will not matter at all.

L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace.

Was the RNC bloggers' traffic "light"?

user-pic

Investor's Business Daily misses half the story:

GOP blog readership is light

The 16 bloggers accredited to cover the GOP's convention generated little readership during the week.

The New York Daily News characterized them as "unfamiliar men ... bent over laptops [who] tapped out their own takes on the Republican National Convention."

Traffic to their blogs was barely noticeable. Hitwise, an online measurement company, said the interest was miniscule. "This is not to say they aren't important or influential. We're simply saying the masses aren't visiting them," a spokesman said.

During the first three days of the convention, RNC blogs received less than 0.22 percent of Web traffic. On average, Blog.johnkerry.com receives nine times more visits that Blogsforbush.com, Hitwise added.

"Little readership"? Compared to what? Give us the numbers, please.

And what about growth in visitors? What about projected audience size? A tree is bigger than a seedling, but it's worth asking if the former is a dwarf spruce and the latter is an oak. How much did the traffic on each of these sites increase this week?

Answer those questions first, and then you can talk to me about whether interest in blogs is "miniscule."

--

UPDATE: Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but these sure look like spikes at RNC Bloggers (a new site, admittedly) and Slant Point. I'll add more info as I dig it up.

UPDATE 2: I've discovered traffic spikes on Hugh Hewitt's blog, as well as on Wizbang (boy is that a spike!) and Captain's Quarters.

UPDATE 3: How about Red State? Yup ... spike.

Baldfaced bias in AP "news"

user-pic

I dare anyone to deny that the Associated Press has chosen sides ... and do it with a straight face. Note that this isn't an editorial. It's "news."

--

UPDATE: Looks like Calvin Woodward rained on Kerry's parade too. I stand corrected. Kudos to frequent commenter deadscot.

Bill Clinton hospitalized

user-pic

Fox News reports that former president Bill Clinton is in the hospital, admitted for a heart blockage.

Convention wrap-up

user-pic
  • Boing?
     
  • Here's the President's speech: watch it or read it. By contrast, Kerry's midnight rally was shrill and off-kilter. Perhaps he needs some outside advice.
     
  • The newest job numbers from the Labor Department came out today, and they're mildly good. We're up 144,000 jobs in August.
     
  • More anecdotal evidence that Zell Miller's speech worked. Jonah Goldberg weighs in.
     
  • Hugh Hewitt looks at how the Kerry campaign now spends all its time reacting to events instead of taking the initiative. Pay close attention to the concepts of "swarming" and "OODA loops", which sound a bit esoteric but make a lot of sense when you look at how Kerry's opponents (Bush/Cheney, the SwiftVets, Zell Miller) have Kerry running around in circles. I'd forgotten the OODA angle, but I do agree with Hugh's observations.
     

RNC coverage reminder

user-pic

Get yer fresh-brewed convention coverage here:

Because you're here reading this, you know the mainstream media doesn't cover everything. These bloggers pick up the slack, and are worth your time (check RNCBloggers to see 'em all together).

No retreat possible for Kerry

user-pic

When John Kerry tried to run on his Vietnam record, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ran three TV ads that forced him admit his lies and exaggerations during the war, as well as his two-faced political opportunism as a protestor after the war.

So Kerry whined and demanded that he be judged on the issues. Last night at the Republican Convention, Zell Miller and Vice President Cheney granted his wish and exposed him as a soft-on-defense liberal.

Today (amid the smears), Kerry's campaign is desperately talking economics, economics, economics. The campaign just blew $50 million on a TV ad buy here in Ohio. But that can't save them either. Tonight, President Bush will hammer Kerry on economic issues, contrasting Bush's tax cuts, Bush's emphasis on the ownership society, and the current robust economy with Kerry's gloom-and-doom pronouncements of economic woe and Kerry's record of tax hikes and profligate spending.

And now Kerry can't double back and appeal to the voters based on his Vietnam medals, because he's cut off from retreat: the SwiftVets have just released a fourth TV ad that uses Kerry's own televised words to illustrate his contempt for his own medals. This guy's got nothing left to run on.

John Kerry's a roach in a room without hiding places ... and his opponents just flipped on the lights.

--

UPDATE: I neglected to mention that the SwiftVets wrote an open letter to John Kerry offering to end their ad campaign if he'll do four things. Don't hold your breath.

--

UPDATE 2: Hugh Hewitt would probably agree with my cockroach analogy.

If Zell's speech had been the disaster that the old media left and the new media left are proclaiming it to be, why will radio row on the center-right be replaying it for 60 days? The chorus of people who are complaining that Zell was too harsh are violating one of the number one rules of politics -- never let them see you bleed. Zell spoke directly to the widdespread appearance of Moore's Disease within the Democratic Party leadership, and sharply underscored the undeniable 20-year record of anti-defense votes cast by Kerry. The attamept to turn a serious challenge to Kerry's national security credentials into a sort of Pat Buchanan "culture war" speech of 1992 is very amusing and a clear signal that the Dems are scared to death that the Zell remarks will be played again and again before 11/2.

President Bush is shaking his can of rhetorical Raid right now, and tonight the spraying begins.

Moonbat mating call

user-pic

President Bush is coming here to the Cleveland area on the day after tomorrow, and the liberal barking moonbats are putting out the call to gather and agitate. Both the abortion industry and organized labor are running this show. In a blatant case of psychological projection, the moonbats have named Saturday's protest the "Flip-Flop Forum."

From: Debbie Kline [debbiekline@ppao.org]
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 9:28 AM
To: Debbie Kline
Subject: Anti-Bush Rally we need your help!

Planned Parenthood will be participating in this event and would like to have a nice sized turnout of Planned Parenthood volunteers. Please let me know if you would be interested in attending because the location of this event has changed a couple of times. You can either email or call me at the phone number below. The organizers will be sending out a final email on Friday so I will pass the information on to you.

I look forward to seeing you there! Thank you!

Debbie Kline, Field Coordinator
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio
216-695-7657
debbiekline@ppao.org

--

From: John Gallo [jgallo@clevelandaflcio.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 5:41 PM
To: John Gallo
Subject: Anti-Bush Rally this Saturday

The Rapid Response Network, a coalition of many organizations and leaders, is calling upon all people who oppose the policies of President Bush and want to see him retire in November to join together for a media action and rally.

When: Saturday, August 4,2004
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Brecksville-Broadview Hts. High School, 6380 Mill Rd. in Brecksville.

George W. Bush will be speaking at the Brecksville-Broadview Hts. High School this Saturday at what is being billed as an oportunity to ask questions of the president.

Instead of attending this staged indoor event, we will hold an outdoor event called the "Bush Flip-Flop Forum." With serious humor, we will have real people asking a fake president real questions about the war and terrorism, education and issues affecting working people, and hearing the answers from Fip and Flop, the two faces of Dubya.

We know 8 AM is a crazy hour for a media event/rally. But with only two months before Election Day, we must use every opportunity we get to get our message out.

We will send a final e-mail on Friday.

Come see the moonbats flocking, and bring a camera! Here are the directions.

Libs smear messenger, avoid message

user-pic

The Left is scared, and the name of their fear is "Zell."

Ken Layne calls him a "nigger-hater", Andrew Sullivan calls him a crude racist Dixiecrat, Atrios evokes a Nazi theme, and John Harris of the Washington Post describes his face as "twisted in a countenance of contempt and anger" while delivering a message of fear and ferocity and vitriol. But if you can muster the patience to wade through the squealing panic and analyze the authors' points (when they bother to have one, anyway), you'll notice that something's conspicuously missing from all of their attacks.

Proof that Zell Miller is wrong.

You won't see it, because they can't offer it. Keep that in mind, watch the speech again, and vote accordingly.

Zell Miller uncorked a 55-gallon drum of whupass on John Kerry in his keynote speech at the Republican Convention tonight. He didn't wait for applause, he didn't smile, he didn't joke. He looked and spoke like a man on a mission, animated by cold determination to protect his family.

A few key nuggets from a speech I'll be remembering in 2024:

It is not [the Democratic leaders'] patriotism - it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking. They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace. They were wrong. They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war. They were wrong.

And, no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

...

The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40% of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom. The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq. ... I could go on and on and on: Against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel, Against the Aegis air-defense cruiser, Against the Strategic Defense Initiative, Against the Trident missile, against, against, against.

This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?

...

For more than twenty years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure. As a war protestor, Kerry blamed our military.

...

George Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a better grip. From John Kerry, they get a "yes-no-maybe" bowl of mush that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.

...

Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America. Fainthearted self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world.

The Democratic nominee can't even claim that Republicans were smearing him; it was a point-by-point exposure and debunking of Kerry's voting record, administered by a fellow Democrat.

Beautiful.

--

UPDATE: Redstate has anecdotal evidence that Zell's speech worked.

Want to watch Arnold's speech again?

user-pic

Your wish is my command.

Wictory Wednesday, RNC version

user-pic

There are 62 days to go until Election Day, and John Kerry's campaign is spiraling downward toward a very hard landing.

Ouch!

Don't let Kerry pull out of his nosedive. Today is Wictory Wednesday, when right-thinking and -voting bloggers urge you to volunteer for or donate to the Bush/Cheney campaign. If you're a liberal, contribute money or volunteer work to Ralph Nader. I'm not the only one urging you onward:

To join the blogroll of Wictory Wednesday participants above, go here or send an e-mail to wictory@blogsforbush.com.

Hey, John: it's not the fall that hurts. It's the sudden stop at the end.

Thune pulls ahead of Daschle

user-pic

Jan Nelson of RedState collects the good news about the South Dakota Senate race.

The robot bartender

user-pic

Here's a joke that landed in my inbox today.


A man walks into a bar and finds that the bartender is a robot. The man orders a drink, and the robot asks him his IQ. The man replies that his score is 150. With that, the robot begins discussing nuclear physics, hydrogen power cells, and the current state of the global atmosphere.

Impressed, the man decides to find out what happens if he doesn't claim to be quite as bright. He leaves the bar, comes right back in and orders a drink. Again, the robot asks him for his IQ. This time the man tells him it's 100. So the robot starts discussing football, basketball, and the proper way to grill a steak.

The man repeats the experiment one last time. When he comes back in for a third time and orders a drink, he tells the robot that his IQ is 50. The robot replies: "So, are you Democrats really going to vote for Kerry?"

General Tommy Franks just endorsed ...

user-pic

... President Bush, and the bloggers broke the story first. C'mon ... you're not surprised, are you? Details and video here.

DNC chairman grilled by Hugh Hewitt

user-pic

Terry McAuliffe is on Hugh Hewitt's radio show right now. You can hear a live feed here. After 9 PM EDT, it becomes a repeating recording of today's show, and will run for the next 21 hours.

Get ready for some pointed jabs about Cambodia.

--

UPDATE: Hugh's firing questions at ol' Terry left and right, and McAuliffe's sounding like the shameless shill that he is. But then, it's no new situation for the DNC's chairman. This guy keeps getting his lunch handed to him by talk show hosts.

--

UPDATE 2: Contrast McAuliffe's venom with Karl Rove's thoughtful presentation of campaign tactics & strategy. Yup, Hugh Hewitt scored an interview with Rove today, too.

Freefall in progress; crater imminent

user-pic

John Kerry's performance on national security (the only issue that matters this time 'round) always left a lot to be desired. Since the Democrat convention, those chickens have been coming home to roost, to the tune of an 18-point drop in the polls on that issue. Or would those be doves instead?

The new poll found that a slight majority of registered voters -- 53 percent -- say Bush is more qualified than Kerry to be commander in chief, while 43 percent say they prefer the Democratic nominee. At the end of the Democratic convention, Kerry enjoyed an eight-point advantage over Bush on that question.

Incidentally, the polls also indicate Bush leading Kerry in honesty and trustworthiness by six points.

Hat tip: Captain's Quarters

Apologies to Kipling

user-pic

A Rudyard Kipling parody skewers John Kerry ... brought to you by the guys at Fraters Libertas (a.k.a. the "soft underbelly" of the Northern Alliance).

How to embarrass the TV networks

user-pic

I keep hearing rumblings about the major TV networks deciding not to cover the Republican National Convention tonight. It's opening night, for goodness' sake. If this is true, it really puts the networks' bias on display (especially after they refused to cover the SwiftVets controversy for days). If I were running the RNC, I'd be thinking of ways to turn the situation to the GOP's advantage by embarrassing the networks.

So how do you embarrass a news network that's ignoring you? Break a big story. Any story. Just make sure it's something so big that they'll be forced to cover it, and watch the networks scramble (cursing all the while) to get their reporters on the scene.

Republican Convention coverage

user-pic

Here are the credentialed bloggers covering the convention:

I've also added a new blogroll with these links (look on the right side of the home page).

Two good posts, one good blog

user-pic

Robert Tagorda makes three good observations regarding President Bush's non-denunciatory "denunciation" of the SwiftVets ads. See also his thoughts on African immigrants calling themselves "African-American" and finding they've ticked off the civil rights grievance industry (ha ... wait 'til they get a load of this guy).

I'll be checking this blog again soon.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Shredded: Jim Boyd's credibility

user-pic

In the continuing saga of a research-challenged editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune who picked the wrong bloggers to defame, we now witness the coup de grace.

Game, set, and match to Power Line.

Scott Elliott over at Election Projection explains the folly of a Colorado ballot initiative that would divide the state's electoral college votes according to the percentage of popular vote garnered by each candidate. In other words, it would no longer be a winner-take-all state, reducing the state's effective electoral votes from 9 to just 1.

Hey Colorado: pass the initiative and watch the candidates stay away in droves.