Monday, November 26, 2007

The sinking ship that is billary

Great news.
Saturday, November 24, 2007

It is time

for unpopular opinions on OccObs. I happen to know Fredo, D.C. and CaribouExpress will be hunting for a few days, so I can post controversial opinions with relative and temporary impugnity.

Opinion #1: I know that hindsight is 20-20 and that we've already created the mess in Iraq. I know that we can't leave it in the state it's in now. But, considering the budget for the war itself, the cost of proper care for the veterans returning home and all the other costs associated with this war, wouldn't we have been better off spending a fraction of this amount on defense and intelligence? What could state and local governments done with that money to root out terrorists in our midst, who are a real, local threat? What could scientists and engineers done with that money to improve profiling, facial recognition technology, biometrics, and explosive detection technology? Who's to blame? Republicans for not pushing hard enough for this money before a compelling event? Republicans for pushing too hard to go to war? Democrats for not approving/campaigning against this sort of peace-time spending? Democrats for pushing for over-zealous privacy and personal liberty legislation? Who knows?

Opinion #2: What is the problem with passing a permanent ban on personal use of assault weapons? I'm all for normal guns rights. I hope my fellow bloggers have a good time hunting deer using regular hunting rifles and shotguns. I plan on purchasing a shotgun myself in the near future. But why does Joe Public need an assault weapon? There's no legitimate (non-crazy) reason.

Opinion #3: Ron Paul makes a lot of sense a good deal of the time.

Opinion #4: The U.S. should impose tariffs equals to the tariffs imposed by countries on our goods. Duncan Hunter (my longstanding favorite) is the only candidate who seems to get this. Just try going a week without buying something made in China and you'll understand.

Opinion #5: The next time some idiot says the U.S. economy is in terrible shape, so him/her this http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/07/06/135-update-on-the-gdp-map-of-the-usa/. It's a map depicting the GDP of other countries superimposed on states with similar GDPs.

(There are some other interesting maps on this site too
http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/11/01/194-the-united-states-of-islam/
http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/08/05/162-the-united-states-of-florida/
http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/08/03/160-the-united-countries-of-baseball/)

Ok. Ok. So not all of these opinions are all that controversial. But hey, it's just me and SHK for a little while. So what say you SHK?
Sunday, November 18, 2007

This one's for DC

Saturday, November 17, 2007

There are unfortunate events,

and then there are horrors. Color me horrified:

Here's a sobering thought: Hundreds of bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey, some of it almost 100 years old, may be unceremoniously poured down a drain because authorities suspect it was being sold by someone without a license.


The illogicalism and non-common-sensicality of the whole thing is like glass all up in my brain.

Tell them how I feel, Kyle:

"Punish the person, not the whiskey," said an outraged Kyle MacDonald, 28, a Jack Daniel's drinker from British Columbia who promotes the whiskey on his blog. "Jack never did anything wrong, and the whiskey itself is innocent."
Friday, November 16, 2007

Casting Call: Sabotage




Who should play Sir Stewart Wallace?
SHK
Fredo
DC
Caribou Express
ManBeast
  
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Who should play Cochese?
SHK
Fredo
DC
Caribou Express
ManBeast
  
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Who should play Bobby the Rookie?
SHK
Fredo
DC
Caribou Express
ManBeast
  
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Who should play "The Chief"?
SHK
Fredo
DC
Caribou Express
ManBeast
  
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Who should play Bunny?
SHK
Fredo
DC
Caribou Express
ManBeast
  
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Dems: Party of the Rich

John Harwood of the WSJ with more on changes in party loyalty and party "brand":

Driving her city bus through downtown Denver, Angela Williams would seem to be one of those "invisible" people Hillary Clinton and fellow Democrats appeal to. She's a Hispanic union member who earns $39,000 a year.

Jim Kelley, whose office Ms. Williams drives by, looks like one of those plutocrats whom Democrats are talking about taxing more. He buys companies for the $7 billion private-equity firm Vestar Capital Partners, with headquarters on New York's Park Avenue.

Think again. Ms. Williams, 43 years old, is a conservative Christian whose biggest political fear is that fellow Republicans might nominate abortion-rights supporter Rudy Giuliani for president. Mr. Kelley, 53, is writing big campaign checks for Barack Obama and other Democrats -- and taxes don't make his top 10 list of critical political issues.

In this newly competitive state and elsewhere, Republicans are struggling to reassure their nervous religious-right base, while Democrats are profiting from increasing support among high-income voters. And that support may be more impervious to warnings of higher taxes than some Republicans assume.

Why Politicians Suck

Sometimes I see a story that gets me so pissed off I don't even know where to begin. This is such a story. Republicans and Democrats should be embarrassed, disgusted, and sickened by themselves that they have still failed to fix the VA system and provide more-than-sufficient funding for our veterans returning home. For F's sake, can everyone just stop being so beholden to party politics for once and agree that a top priority must be providing as much care as necessary for returning soldiers? I am sickened when I read about stories like this where soldiers are not given adequate medical treatment, or that their houses are foreclosed or utilities shut down while they are overseas b/c they can't pay the bills, or that they can't get jobs or assistance when they return. I'd like to see some real leadership for once from someone to actually DO something rather than just talking up the issue. How can this still be an issue in this day and age?

McCain: Wise

ass. You've got to love the general crankiness in this story:

Moments after a news conference in Sacramento today where he urged
California to return Arizona’s water (good luck with that), Sen. John McCain
left a downtown building to enter a waiting SUV for the trip to a fund-raiser in
San Francisco.

Oops!. The SUV's hood was up. The vehicle wouldn't start.

Sabotage,” McCain muttered after conferring with an
apologetic driver Mallory Franklin. Franklin assured McCain that a replacement
vehicle would arrive within minutes. But not wanting to be late to his next
fund-raiser, McCain hailed a cab.


Sabotage? Where's Cochese when you need him? More from the same LAT article:

...unlike many presidential candidates who blow into the state to gather
California gold, and duck out without talking with reporters, McCain took time
to answer questions on a range of topics from news people, including The Times'
Dan Morain. One reporter asked how much money he had raised in the Golden
state.

“Not enough,” McCain quipped. “There's still a lot of money in
California that I need to get. It's a very rich state. They’ve stolen Arizona’s
water. At least they can pass back in some fashion. The best way, the most
effective way probably, would be to contribute to my campaign.”


PowerLine got in on the act of documenting the wise-assitude as well, with a Johnny Mac quote in this post:

Today, McCain held his more or less weekly blogger conference call. He was his usual direct, irreverent, uncompromising self. McCain began by noting that some bloggers (e.g., Paul Mirengoff) have come on board his bus "in response to my insults," and he encouraged others to do the same. He went on to apologize for the fact that there was no blogger call last week, which he attributed to "incompetent staff...these work release programs aren't what they should be."
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Get ready for a crazy stretch drive

Less than 2 months to the Hawkeye Cauc-eye, and Huckabee has, for all intents and purposes, caught Romney in the polls. The RCP average is something of a lagging indicator, but the trend is clear. For Brody's take on the most recent ARG poll, showing Mitt and Huck within two points of each other (and within the MOE), see here.

Billary

Interesting story-within-a-story to keep an eye on. While Hillary has certainly drawn a lot of heat over her recent inability to commit to a position on Spitzer's IDs for illegal immigrants policy, perhaps the bigger story behind that is that she and her people are starting to attack and alienate the very people she needs on her side: the press. First, she attacked Russert. Now they are apparently issuing veiled warnings to Wolf Blitzer. Interestingly he's not backing down:

“If she can’t handle the heat during a Democratic contest, wait until the Republicans really start going after her,” he told TV Newser. “If she’s the nominee.”

“I think Russert was doing his job,” he said.

Finally, Blitzer took issue with Bill Clinton’s complaint that six “boys” — a reference to the other Democratic presidential candidates —ganged up on one “girl,” his wife.

“Hillary Clinton is the front-runner,” Blitzer said. “No matter if it’s a boy or girl, there’s a tendency to gang up on that person. It’s a natural phenomenon.”


For a family that is supposed to be so politically deft, they have made some rookie mistakes recently.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Freddoso on NRLC & Thompson

I was going to explain the oddity of this endorsement, but it's already been done by a pro. Here's his aptly titled article, "Catch a Falling Star." Mets fans should know what that feels like.
...is Thompson more electable in the primary than, say, Mike Huckabee or Ron
Paul? There is little evidence right now that he is. The NRLC board must have
great faith in Thompson’s campaign team, because its endorsement may be the only
good news for Thompson in at least a month. After a series of unimpressive
appearances on a sparse schedule, one above-par debate performance, and a number
of policy announcements (immigration, Social Security, and expanding the size of
the military) that garnered little coverage, polls have offered Thompson nothing
but bad news since he became a candidate. Can his campaign find the groove it
has never had, or has NRLC just hitched itself to a falling star? Since his
early September debut, Thompson’s national numbers have gone in just one
direction — downward. His Real Clear Politics national poll average peaked
just below 24-percent just after he announced, and since then it has gradually
declined to its current level at 16-percent.

National Right to Life Committee-PAC Endorses Fred Thompson

From the NRLC press release: "As the first major grassroots organization to enter the Republican presidential race, National Right to Life is proud to endorse Fred Thompson," stated Wanda Franz, Ph.D., president of National Right to Life. "Our endorsement is a testament to Senator Thompson's long-standing pro-life record, his commitment to unborn children, and our belief in his ability to win."

"Unlike endorsements by single individuals, this endorsement was made by representatives of statewide pro-life organizations across America which themselves are comprised of local community chapters and grassroots activists," said Dr. Franz.

Fred responded to news of the endorsement by saying:
"I'm deeply appreciative for the past support by the National Right to Life Committee-PAC in my Senate campaigns, and today I am blessed and grateful to have received their endorsement for President of the United States.

"In supporting me, those who have worked tirelessly to defend life are supporting a consistent conservative who has stood with them yesterday, who stands with them today, and will stand with them tomorrow."

Just what I needed

Every once in a while I see something that restores my faith in humanity, and this is that story. Looks like Spitzer has been forced to withdraw his stupid plan to provide illegals with driver's licenses. I'm pleased to see that even in as strong a liberal hotbed as NY some common sense can still prevail, even though these same people elected both Hillary and Spitzer. This is my favorite part of the article:

The decision to wave the white flag was cemented as a Siena Research Institute poll released yesterday showed Spitzer with his lowest approval ratings ever - with just 25 percent of voters saying they would support his re-election if the vote were held today.

One source said Spitzer had failed because he "just tried to push [the plan] down everyone's throats."


Really? Spitzer trying to shove his idea of justice down people's throats? But that seems so unlike all of his previous actions as the AG; who among the electorate could possibly have foreseen this type of brazen power grab???
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The State of Our Monuments

Duncan Maxwell Anderson wrote an interesting piece at The American Thinker that focuses on the scourge of anti-American equivocation, and what's worse, down right ingratitude towards those who gave their lives. Here's a chunk of it:

The Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

Designed by college student Maya Lin, it was unveiled in Washington, D.C., on Veterans' Day 25 years ago. It's a black granite thingy - a long, plain wall that lines a big hole dug 10 feet into the ground. It lists the names of the war's 58,000 fallen Americans and . . . nothing else.

In her first proposal to build the memorial, Lin explained its purpose: "We, the living, are brought to a concrete realization of these deaths." That's it. Not to honor what they did. Just a reminder that they're dead. Thanks.

The Flight 93 National Memorial.

The National Park Service will erect the "Bowl of Embrace" in Somerset County, Pa., where United Flight 93 crashed to earth on 9/11. For their heroism in overpowering four Islamic hijackers and foiling their attempt to destroy the White House or the Capitol, the passengers will be honored with . . . an empty field.

Like the Vietnam memorial, the monument itself has no inscription honoring anyone's actions - just 1970s-style wind chimes and the names of dead people inscribed on glass cubes.

The National 9/11 Memorial.

On the spot where the World Trade Center stood, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.'s anointed designer, Michael Arad, decrees that there be . . . an American eagle? A statue of the three firemen raising the American flag over the rubble? Heck, no. Just two huge, square, "reflecting" pools. Maybe you can gaze at your navel through them.

In a complex slated to cost $1 billion, this urban swamp is called "Reflecting Absence." Absence, indeed. What these modern war memorials have in common with each other is nothing: They portray nothingness. They have no people in them, never mind men carrying guns or swords, statues of Winged Victory or even doves of peace. Just death and names - grief without glory.

Oddly enough, for structures that are purposely barren,
the promotional literature about all of them says their purpose involves
"healing." By "healing," I infer they must mean "sitting in the corner, licking
your wounds and whining pitifully."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Casting Call: LA Confidential

If you were casting L.A. Confidential, what role would you give Fredo?
Officer Bud White
Det. Lt. Edmund Exeley
Capt. Dudley Smith
Sid Hudgens
Det. Jack Vincennes
Pierce Patchett
Det. Dick Stensland
D.A. Ellis Loew
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What role would you cast ManBeast in?
White
Exeley
Smith
Hudgens
Vincennes
Patchett
Stensland
Loew
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What role would you cast Dark Comenteer in?
White
Exeley
Smith
Hudgens
Vincennes
Patchett
Stensland
Loew
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What role would you cast SHK in?
White
Exeley
Smith
Hudgens
Vincennes
Patchett
Stensland
Loew
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What role would you cast Caribou Express in?
White
Exeley
Smith
Hudgens
Vincennes
Patchett
Stensland
Loew
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What role would you cast Beets McDogg in?
White
Exeley
Smith
Hudgens
Vincennes
Patchett
Stensland
Loew
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What role would you cast Scoopy O'Gramps in?
White
Exeley
Smith
Hudgens
Vincennes
Patchett
Stensland
Loew
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I guess we know who Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln don't support for President

Huck gets off a few one-liners

on Face the Nation Sunday, and they were pretty good:

He attributed his rise in polls to his recent Chuck Norris endorsement, joking on "Face the Nation" that “people are now afraid not to vote for me.”

And he deflected criticism of his conservative credentials from actor and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, saying, “as you know, Hollywood writers are on strike and Fred's kinda hurting for lines.”
Sunday, November 11, 2007

NRO on Tancredo's bid

CQ Lincoln sets out the argument that Tancredo has basically won. He was in the election to "forward the ball" on the issue he cares most about, and he has done that. He won't win and never thought he would. From the article:

The greatest irony of all is that it is precisely the ascendancy of the Tancredo’s tough enforcement credo that has denied him the “wedge issue” he needs to garner support in his presidential primary campaign. With Giuliani, Romney, and Thompson all sounding like Tom Tancredo on the issue of illegal immigration, Republican primary voters who agree with Tancredo on the issue see little need to back the unknown Colorado congressman as their standard bearer against Hillary Clinton. His proposals are now indisputably mainstream, much to the chagrin of the liberal media and the open-borders lobby. [my emphasis]

Maybe it's just me, but this piece reads like an epitaph for his campaign. Got the message, Tom? NR says you can fly the "Mission Accomplished" banner and clear the field.
Saturday, November 10, 2007

Continetti on McCain v. Giuliani

From the Weekly Standard's "Campagin Standard" blog:

In the past, McCain and Giuliani have had only good things to say about each other. What happened? Finally: A question to which I'm pretty sure about the answer! Here it is: McCain is gaining ground nationally and in New Hampshire. In my opinion, Giuliani needs to win New Hampshire if he is to have a serious shot at the nomination. A resurgent McCain is the greatest threat to Giuliani's New Hampshire triumph.

Lieberman rips Dems

Bill Kristol continues to beat the drum that Lieberman should be considered for the VP slot by the GOP nominee. As far as I'm concerned, that alone should disqualify Kristol from being taken seriously as a "conservative" voice. As a muscular foreign policy, type, sure. But that's about where his conservatism ends.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Kristol lovingly quotes Joe-mentum's speech yesterday, which had some biting and effective rhetoric. I'll leave you with the money quote:

. . . [T]here is something profoundly wrong--something that should trouble all of us--when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran's murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.
Friday, November 09, 2007

McCain-Giuliani lovefest is over

[SEE UPDATE BELOW - 11/9/07 2146]

After all of the mutual compliments, and Rudy's quip in an earlier debate that he'd be endorsing McCain if he weren't running himself, things are getting testy now. Johnny Mac came out with this broadside on Rudy:

"'I don't know Mr. Kerik. I do know that I went to Baghdad shortly after the initial victory and met in Baghdad with (Ambassador Paul) Bremer and (Lt. Gen. Ricardo) Sanchez. And Kerik was there. Kerik was supposed to be there to help train the police force. He stayed two months and one day left, just up and left,' McCain told reporters traveling on his campaign bus.

'That's why I never would've supported him to be the head of homeland security because of his irresponsible act when he was over in Baghdad to try and help train the police. One of the reasons why we had so much trouble with the initial training of the police was because he came, didn't do anything and then went out to the airport and left.'

He said the situation reflected a fundamental misunderstanding by Giuliani of how the U.S. government works.

'As the tragic deaths of the 343 members of the New York Fire Department on 9/11 make plain, America's first responders are on the front line of this war'...

'It's a fundamental lack of experience. ... I mean it's great to have led a major city. I mean, his post-crisis handling was fine. But that certainly doesn't mean you're qualified to lead.'"

Rudy's book was called "Leadership." This is the kind of dig that goes at the raison d'etre of the Giuliani candidacy. Expect a strongly worded response.

From McCain's vantage point, this shows he's shifting his focus somewhat. Instead of fighting with Romney to become "the conservative alternative to Rudy," McCain might be realizing he'll have more success courting the national security wing of the GOP where Giuliani currently holds a commanding lead. If McCain's calculation works out, and his attacks on Rudy gain traction, we may truly be in a 5-way tie for the race.

Strange times.

UPDATE:

Well, that didn't take long. As predicted, the Giuliani camp took little time responding:

In a press statement today, Giuliani Communications Director Katie Levinson said McCain oversaw a campaign that “spiraled completely out of control and went bankrupt, and now, he wants a questionable $3 million loan.”

“Americans need someone in the White House who knows how to balance their own checkbook before they try to balance the federal government’s,” Levinson added. “They don’t need John McCain; they need Rudy Giuliani -- who has actually balanced a budget and made a payroll.”

On Hill's "Piling on" complaint

Hill wants to complain that the mean boys are ganging up on her. Peggy Noonan, Queen of our pundits, recalls the Queen's own PM, who demonstrated a capacity to lead in ways that Hillary has not (and probably cannot):

The story as I was told it is that in the early years of her prime ministership, Margaret Thatcher held a meeting with her aides and staff, all of whom were dominated by her, even awed. When it was over she invited her cabinet chiefs to join her at dinner in a nearby restaurant. They went, arrayed themselves around the table, jockeyed for her attention. A young waiter came and asked if they'd like to hear the specials. Mrs. Thatcher said, "I will have beef."

Yes, said the waiter. "And the vegetables?"

"They will have beef too."

Too good to check, as they say. It is certainly apocryphal, but I don't want it to be. It captured her singular leadership style, which might be characterized as "unafraid."

She was a leader.

Margaret Thatcher would no more have identified herself as a woman, or claimed special pleading that she was a mere frail girl, or asked you to sympathize with her because of her sex, than she would have called up the Kremlin and asked how quickly she could surrender.

She represented a movement. She was its head. She was great figure, a person in history, and she was a woman. She was in it for serious reasons, not to advance the claims of a gender but to reclaim for England its economic freedom, and return its political culture to common sense. Her rise wasn't symbolic but actual...

A word on toughness. Mrs. Clinton is certainly tough, to the point of hard. But toughness should have a purpose. In Mrs. Thatcher's case, its purpose was to push through a program she thought would make life better in her country. Mrs. Clinton's toughness seems to have no purpose beyond the personal accrual of power. What will she do with the power? Still unclear. It happens to be unclear in the case of several candidates, but with Mrs. Clinton there is a unique chasm between the ferocity and the purpose of the ferocity. There is something deeply unattractive in this, and it would be equally so if she were a man.

Luckily, the Democratic Party has stood strong as the party of mere symbolism over substance for decades now. My advice to Dems: tokenism over all else in '08!

Kerik Indicted

That's Rudy Giuliani ally, crony, and Homeland Security nominee (thanks to Rudy's patronage), Bernard Kerik, who was indicted. That is, indicted by a Grand Jury. That is, the Grand Jury returned a true bill after determining there was probable cause that Bernard Kerik is a felon.

That is all.

I hate these "distraught trader" pix




This one is on Drudge's front page right now. Don't these guys know if they look like this they're just going to be bear propaganda?

Plus, did anyone ever consider it's just coincidence? I mean, who knows. The dude could have a cold and sinus pressure induced headache. Or maybe he was out doing Grey Goose shots at some chic Tribeca club until 4AM. Or maybe he just realized he forgot his anniversary yesterday.

The Devil Came Down to Church...

and got an earful of prayer and songs of praise, not the blood he was seeking. The Pope might not have any divisions, and the Pastor might not have a loaded 9, but the People of God have our Lord. Whom shall we fear?

The "Don't Taze Me, Bro" Candidate,

...as the Weekly Standard has named Ron Paul. Basically, they say he's an anarchist, and gets the support of a bunch of "cranks" as a result.

While I'm not sure the article makes much sense, the pictures they included were priceless:



Thursday, November 08, 2007

Latest and greatest

Apparently the Chinese have graduated from simply poisoning our children with lead to now incorporating the date rape drug. Wow, WTF is going on? Does anyone have any accountability for anything they sell anymore?
Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Flashback

While we're on the topic of McCain, I just saw the video clip of his quip about the Woodstock earmark. It really was a magical moment:


Meanwhile, in the meaningful endorsement category...

Senator Brownback, the most trusted SoCon and Pro-Life voice in the Senate (and former Presidential candidate), has made his choice. Keep in mind that last week, Hizzoner's supporters were telling us a Brownback-endorses-Rudy story was imminent, and that it was the crowning SoCon endorsement available:

Brownback’s advisers...predicted that he would make an endorsement within the next few weeks. It would be a huge boon to any candidate because of the impressive ground operation Brownback has built up in Iowa, site of the first contest of the presidential primary...

One Brownback adviser said that 45,000 Iowans had signed up as campaign supporters.

Giuliani would gain the most from Brownback’s endorsement because he has consistently encountered opposition from social conservatives owing to his views on abortion.


(My emphasis). Note here that this is the opposite of what happened with the Robertson endorsement, where Pat specifically said he's endorsing Rudy for Nat'l Security and Fiscal reasons, and stayed realtively mum on social issues other than to imply Rudy would nominate good judges. (I'm skeptical). More from The Hill:

Brownback’s support, however, could assuage the concerns of many social conservatives and provide him a path to the Republican nomination.

“It would be absolutely huge,” said Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. “It would mean that Giuliani is getting support form a part of the Republican Party that has been hostile to him.
“Brownback is very well-respected,” Baker added. “It would give a lot of social conservatives and evangelicals cover if they want to support Giuliani.”

Karlyn Bowman, a scholar who specializes in public opinion and politics at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, said a Brownback endorsement would help Giuliani enormously.

“If true, that would be an enormous coup for Giuliani, especially given what we’ve heard about Brownback’s organization in Iowa,” she said.


So the B'Back endorses Rudy line had some momentum. The momentum picked up speed when it was reported the two had a meeting and B'Back was seriously considering it.

Finally, National Right to Life seemed to clear the way for a Brownback endorsement, with timing suspiciously near the Rudy/Brownback meeting. Influential Rudy supporters were ripe with anticipation for what they thought would be a "huge" endorsement.

So after all the hype, who did Brownback, a respected an influential SoCon voice (unlike Robertson), actually endorse?

Senator John McCain.

More Robertson Reax

David Dayen had this to say over at The Right's Field:

In recent years, when Pat Robertson has made statements like “We should assassinate Hugo Chavez” or Gays and lesbians are to blame for 9/11″ or “Cities that reject intelligent design deserve to receive a hurricane”, evangelicals would always claim that his influence has been lessened over the years and he is no longer relevant.

On the August 23, 2005 episode of Fox News’ Special Report, Hume declared, “The televangelist Pat Robertson’s political influence may have been declining since he came in second in the Iowa Republican caucuses 17 years ago. And he may have no clout with the Bush administration.”

Morton Kondracke echoed Hume, exclaiming that “Pat Robertson’s day has long since passed.”

Therefore, I guess the least relevant evangelical leader in America just endorsed Rudy Giuliani. (Hey, how’s that “We deserved 9/11″ business square with that?)

I’m not sure what his import is anymore. His influence in creating the law school, Regent University, attended by the likes of Monica Goodling and dozens of other Bush Administration Justice Department officials, is considerable. My point is that this will suddenly be seen as “the most important endorsement EVAH” after years of hearing that Robertson is a crazy old coot and an afterthought. Just a window into how the media works.


Over at R 4 '08, the feedback's coming in, and it isn't exactly unanimous that this was some kind of home run. And remember, these are the conservatives who are actually dialed-in to the campaign. My favorites are here:

33. econ grad stud Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 11:06 am
The hypocrisy here in Rudy accepting an endorsement from a man who blames 911 on abortion and gays and the hypocrisy in Pat offering that endorsement to a man who supports abortion and homosexuality is rank.

It reminds me of the Queen in Alice in Wonderland who “believed six impossible thing before breakfast”. Rudy and Pat have outdone her.

38. WiseGuy Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 11:11 am
Pat Robertson is so out of touch. I have a couple of questions for you, Pat:

Why would you support a presidential candidate who is cozy with NARAL?
Why would you support a presidential candidate who supports abortion?
Why would you support a presidential candidate who has explicitly rejected being characterized as “effectively pro-life”?
Why would you support a presidential candidate who supports embryonic stem cell research?
Why would you support a presidential candidate who has the most skeletons in his closet?
Why would you support a presidential candidate knowing that 25% of Republicans would stay home if he were the nominee?
Why would you support a presidential candidate who believes that a strict constructionist can be pro-Roe?


Here are some more:

2. sampo Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 10:28 am
Translation: Pat likes principles in politicians, almost as much as a like them to be pliable. For me, Giuliani had the best principle-to-pliability ratio in the field, so I chose him.

3. ACT Blog Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 10:29 am
Sadly, another Republican willing to dump Social Conservatism in the trash just to win one election.

4. Conservative Gladiator Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 10:38 am
I just heard on the Glenn Beck show that Rudy Guiliani is a Conservative and that his Pro-Choice stance is the only thing that makes him different. This after they discussed the Pat Robertson endorsement.

It’s happening…the dumbing down of the Conservative movement…Good Luck with that.


6. econ grad stud Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 10:42 am
Pat Robertson is a loon. When the Mayor was standing next to Pat he looked very uncomfortable.

Perhaps that’s because Pat Robertson said we were attacked on 9-11 because of abortion and gays. These are things the Mayor supports. So… Pat has endorsed someone who he thinks contributed to 9-11. The Mayor has accepted an endorsement from someone who blames gays and abortion for the 9-11 attack.

So the hypocrisy on both sides is overwhelming.

24. econ grad stud Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 10:57 am
The bigger issue Peter is that the old leaders no longer have much influence in the religious right.

An endorsement from Pat Robertson would mean a lot in 1996 and even a little in 2000. His embarrassment since then (blaming 911 on abortion and gays) and blaming Hurricane Katrina on abortion also.

That Rudy accepts an endorsement from this loon shows just how desperate he is to get any credibility with religious people.

26. Peter Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 10:58 am
Why is it that moral issues don’t matter???

Rudy Giuliani is not a conservative.

28. UA Razorbacks Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 11:00 am
I figured Robertson would have gone for anyone but Giuliani. I wonder how the Robertson following will react. I’m sure they will not be pleased.

53. UA Razorbacks Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 11:26 am
I have just emailed Pat Robertson regarding this endorsement. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why he is endorsing the most liberal GOP candidate.

I consider myself a social conservative and will never settle for a candidate that is against my moral values. I will not vote for Rudy, no matter what.

106. Conservative Gladiator Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 12:19 pm
continued from 103 in response to 70…

Pat Robertson was the hypocrite in all of this.

108. Keven J Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 12:24 pm
The big question is, who loses the most credibility with this endorsement-
Giuliani or Robertson? Probably Robertson. But to look at it from a non-
cynical point of view, I think Pat Robertson may really have been trying
to do the right thing here, trying to prevent a 3rd so-con party from
forming.

118. Greg Says:
November 7th, 2007 at 12:37 pm
Serious question. Did Giuliani cheat on (commit adultery) both of his first two wives? Or was it just the one> I am trying to figure out if he is a serial cheater, or if he just likes to occasionally fool around outside of wedlock. Thjanks [sic].


I could go on, but you get the point.

Robertson Endorseman Reax

First, from thecarpetbaggerreport.com:

Robertson, even in religious right circles, is considered something of a clown. He has a cult following that keeps the Christian Broadcasting Network afloat, but Robertson’s Christian Coalition has practically been driven out of business, and other leading evangelicals are embarrassed to be seen with him. You’ll notice, for example, that at last month’s “Values Voter Summit,” the largest gathering of the year for the movement, Robertson wasn’t invited and played no role whatsoever.

With that in mind, Giuliani shouldn’t expect a sudden rush of support from Christian fundamentalists. Indeed, as far as the threats about a third-party move go, today changes nothing — Robertson wasn’t part of these talks before, and his endorsement won’t mean anything now.

Indeed, I think the more meaningful trend to watch here is whether Robertson’s support actually becomes a hindrance for Giuliani. The former NYC mayor is cozying up to someone most reasonable people find to be stark raving mad.

Ideally, reporters would start to ask Giuliani about whether he agrees with some of the comments made by his buddy. For example, on Sept. 13, 2001, 48 hours after the Twin Towers fell, Robertson said Americans “deserved” to be attacked. Does Giuliani agree with this? If not, why is he trumpeting Robertson’s endorsement as a major development?

For that matter, Robertson believes the U.S. federal judiciary is more dangerous than “a few bearded-terrorists who fly into buildings.” Does Giuliani have any problem with that?

Robertson told a national television audience a couple of years ago that he’d like to see terrorists hit the State Department headquarters in DC. Does Giuliani find that to be an acceptable comment in our public discourse?

Robertson has said mainline Protestant denominations are “the spirit of the Anti-Christ,” and insisted that he has the ability to move hurricanes with his mind. Is Giuliani comfortable with all of this?

Inquiring minds want to know.


From the punditry, here's Laura Ingraham:

I like all the Republicans running, I really do, I think all of them will be better than Hillary, but get out! I mean, Pat Robertson is endorsing Giuliani, because what, he thinks that…I get it, here it is: you’re standing up for social conservatism because you, Pat Robertson, believe that if Giuliani gets the nomination, you see the train going down the track, the pro-Giuliani train, you want to hop on board because you think you’re going to be riding on that train until what? The glory days? Here’s my view: get ready to be thrown off that train at 65 miles an hour because that’s what’s going to happen to Pat Robertson. That’s my view.

Ru-dy! Ru-dy!

This is a huge blow to Mitt and an enormous boost for Rudy: Pat Robertson officially endorsing Rudy. It's Giuliani time! (Which hopefully in no way resembles Lima time!)

I must say this is surprising. At the very least it forces a change of what SoCons consider as their top priorities and their agenda, at the worst it totally undermines any legitimacy of the SoCon agenda. By saying that terrorism and fiscal policies are BOTH more important than social issues - at least at this time - is a big change for SoCons, especially since the personal life and abortion policies of Rudy in no way mirror the SoCon agenda. I would have expected that a more likely approach would be for Robertson and others to back the candidate they most closely agreed with (e.g. Huckabee, perhaps Romney), and then only rally behind Rudy or McCain (if they got the nomination) to ensure a Republican general election victory in '08. To support Rudy at this juncture is unexpected, at least to me. On the other hand, Robertson may have been making a calculated move that unless the Republicans quickly develop a clear front-runner, they will continue to fall further behind Dems both in fund-raising as well as perception of electability in voters' minds. If Republicans have a clear, strong front-runner now, I think it gives independent voters more faith in that candidate as a possibility.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More Billary Shenanigans

More of Hill's papers that are being hidden from the press and her opponents. And more promises to release those papers. And more broken promises to release those papers.

Catch ABC's coverage of (participation in) the VRWC here.

Put a fork in him

Fred Thompson's done. Not because of this latest gaffe, as embarrassing as this must be to his supporters, but because he really has lived down to his reputation of being lazy and unwilling to dedicate himself to the effort to become president. Any further perception by voters that his reputation of being lazy in Congress was well-deserved and manifesting itself in his presidential run will drop him like a rock.
Monday, November 05, 2007

Wall Street going Dem

Believe it, says the WSJ. This article's about a month old, but I missed posting it before, and it's a central theme to this year's election cycle, which is increasingly busting up and reformulating the political map.

For those of you who are interested in Economics,

please check out the outstanding blog Bounded Irrationality, which is written by Starving Econ Grad, a/k/a Econ Grad Student as he is known over at Race 4 2008. Despite being a proud Protestant (hey, nobody's perfect), his blog is everything that's right about blogs. It is economics with all the hard facts you would expect from a practitioner, but with the heart and humanity of a Christian. Kudos, EGS, and keep up the good work.

Here's a bit of a recent post, if you'd like to get a flavor for the blog:

The Schools of Economic Thought for the Layman

I've noticed most people assume Economists are like Physicists. They assume we agree on the basics and just disagree on few points. In reality the very basic assumptions of economic theory are disputed by Economists.

Over the next few weeks I'll single out a single school of Economic thought and describe what they believe and how they're each different in layman's terms.

I plan on covering the following Schools of Economic Thought:

1) Classical- This is where it all starts. Principles of Economics

2) Keynesian- Reaction to the Death of Classical Economics during the Great Depression.

3) Classical-Keynesian Synthesis- Reaction to the problems of Keynesianism.

4) Marxist- Socially/historically important but empirically weak.

5) Austrian- Classical Economics on steroids.

6) Monetarist- Close relative of Austrian Economics.

and for fun the Institutionalists (Thorstein Veblen).


His follow up posts on the Classical and Keynesian schools have already gone up, as have some other good posts, like this one.

Just to whet your appetite

Opening day. Oh, opening day. You magical, mysterious day. Who can know or understand the wonders you have in store for us?

Right direction

Recent RCP averages have Mitt now leading South Carolina primary. One cannot overstate the importance of this pick-up: if he wins SC it will open the path for other southern evangelical states to vote for Mitt, all but guaranteeing he will win the nomination. I'm not sure if he's been buying TV ads down there or what explains his numbers more than doubling over last two months. He also continues to have a strong and stable lead in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Saturday, November 03, 2007

Johnny Mac finally just comes out and says it

You know he's been thinking it since this thing started. Now, in the context of the debate over AG-nominee Mukasey, he just up and said it (from boston.com):

The Arizona senator's position on an interrogation technique that simulates drowning - he says it constitutes torture and is illegal - puts him at odds with Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson, who haven't taken such a hard line.

"There's a clear division between those who have a military background and experience in these issues and people like Giuliani, Romney and Thompson who...chose to do other things when this nation was fighting its wars," McCain told reporters after touring a shipyard.

I think they're on to me



This was so me, back in my managerial days. I think my group had a higher retention rate though. 45-50% or something like that.
Friday, November 02, 2007

So I used to think...

that Liz Mair was just another squishy moderate GOP libertarian. Then I visited her blog.

Turns out she's the best.

And I guess she wrote some words, too. You can read them. Or not.

Wow

The results are in

A Harvard study providing further confirmation of what we all knew to be true all along: heavy liberal bias in the media.

Really??

- "So, what line of work are you in?"

- "I'm a pirate. And you?"

I'm not sure, but if you're a pirate in 2007 it might be time to log onto monster.com and check out some other lines of work.
Thursday, November 01, 2007

When you're hot...

So, in addition to banging cocktail waitresses two at a time*, it turns out that Fredo is also the all-seeing, all-knowing prophet of the '08 Presidential race.

Check it out.


*It's a movie reference. Please, ladies, no angry feminist rants.

Romney on Technology

It's amazing what a difference there is when an interview is conducted without a political agenda. Take a look at this interview with Mitt Romney about technology issues.

Current Intrade quotes

to win the GOP nomination

Contract Last Transaction Price

2008.GOP.NOM.GIULIANI 40.0
2008.GOP.NOM.ROMNEY 29.3
2008.GOP.NOM.THOMPSON(F) 8.1
2008.GOP.NOM.MCCAIN 7.1
2008.GOP.NOM.PAUL 7.5
2008.GOP.NOM.HUCKABEE 4.5
2008.GOP.NOM.RICE 1.2
2008.GOP.NOM.GINGRICH 0.2
2008.GOP.NOM.HUNTER 0.1
2008.GOP.NOM.TANCREDO 0.1

For anyone unfamiliar w/ how Intrade works, they are options contracts that are worth $10/contract at expiration if they pay off (i.e., if the candidate becomes the nominee), and worth zero if they do not pay off. The price represents the % of full value (e.g. a contract priced at 40.0 can be purchased for $4.00). In addition to being an interesting way to gamble for those who subscribe to that dirty vice, it happens to be the best current indicator of the likelihood that a candidate will win. These votes are made with dollars, not with hype or wishful thinking.

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