Friday, May 30, 2008

Just give the Dems enough time

And they'll say something stupid. To wit:

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) believes that on September 11 "we were basically at peace."

Asked to clarify his remarks, specifically asking about the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole during Barack Obama campaign conference call, Kerry said, "well, we hadn't declared war," The Hill's Sam Youngman reports.

Asked if al Qaeda was a threat at the time, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee said, "well yes, obviously they were a threat. But, fundamentally we were not at war at that point in time."

Kerry also called John McCain "out of step with history and facts."

Did he mean that before the first plane hit we were still at peace, or afterwards? Do I even want to know the answer to that question?


ht: Drudge

Harumph

As if we needed another example of what "great works" the terrorists want to accomplish...

Holy Cow

Bob Dole just eviscerated Scotty McClellan:

In an extraordinary message obtained and authenticated by Politico, Dole uses his trademark biting wit to portray McClellan as a classic Washington opportunist.

"There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues," Dole wrote in a message sent yesterday morning. "No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique."

Michael Marshall, Dole's spokesman and colleague at the Alston Bird law firm, confirms the message came from the former senator and presidential candidate. "Yes, it is authentic," Marshall wrote in an email.

"In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you," Dole writes, recounting his years representing Kansas in the House and Senate. "No doubt you will 'clean up' as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, 'Biting The Hand That Fed Me.' Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years"

Dole assures McClellan that he won't read the book -- "because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job"

"That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively," Dole concludes. "You’re a hot ticket now but don’t you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?"

He signs the email simply: "BOB DOLE"

Whiskey

For all you whiskey drinkers out there, I think you should be informed about the risks. Pictures showing the possible permanent damage here.

Sorry. I know if they had shared this with me in high school I would've avoided drinking for years.

"New Politics": Rhetoric vs Reality

Here's one passage from an article on CNN.com about Obama's first run for office:

In his first race for office, seeking a state Senate seat on Chicago's gritty South Side in 1996, Obama effectively used election rules to eliminate his Democratic competition.

As a community organizer, he had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.

The move denied each of them, including incumbent Alice Palmer, a longtime Chicago activist, a place on the ballot. It cleared the way for Obama to run unopposed on the Democratic ticket in a heavily Democrat district.

"That was Chicago politics," said John Kass, a veteran Chicago Tribune columnist. "Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right? It is how Barack Obama destroyed his enemies back in 1996 that conflicts with his message today. He may have gotten his start registering thousands of voters. But in that first race, he made sure voters had just one choice."

Obama's challenge was perfectly legal, said Jay Stewart of the Chicago's Better Government Association. Although records of the challenges are no longer on file for review with the election board, Stewart said Obama is not the only politician to resort to petition challenges to eliminate the competition.

Power to the people? Count every vote?

Or "People's Republic of Chicago"?

We report. You decide.

Poll time!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Ubiquitous Aholery of Manhattan

In each of my first three days at my new job I've been asked to sign a ridiculous petition.

Day 1 - Petition to support the ACLU
Day 2 - Petition to ban horse drawn carriages because they're cruel to horses
Day 3 - Petition to sponsor an independent investigation of 9/11 to uncover the truth

I need to start bringing a barf bag with me...

National political climate

This study of the national political climate makes things look exceptionally bleak for McCain.. Interesting quantitative analysis of factors we all know contribute to public's voting sentiment.

Dem race

According to CNN, "Pelosi prepared to 'step-in' to end democratic process race". That is going to get ugly, since Clinton is making a strong case that Obama can't win key swing states that she can. But why let the democratic process play out, right Nancy?

D.C., prepare to be happy

Behold. The dream is not yet extinguished.

McCain proposes new spending cuts

Watch this video at work at your own peril...


McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ongoing Veepstakes

Medved weighs in with his pros and cons for about 15 or so possible veep choices. He's pro-Jindal big-time, but does a very nice and thorough job vetting the other possibilities. This is definitely worth a read. Sorry DC, he's not as fired up about Palin!

Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska? An intriguing possibility, because this athlete and former beauty queen has already inspired an admiring website called “America’s Hottest Governor.” At 44, she definitely brings youth (and charisma) to the ticket, but experience is a real problem: she’s been governor less than two years, and before that served only as mayor of the town of Wasilla (hardly qualification for leader of the free world).

Two great headlines from Drudge

1. Czech President Klaus ready to debate Gore on climate change...

2. Global warming skeptics plot 'Carbon Belch Day' -- use as much energy as possible!

Latest polls

Latest poll from Rasmussen indicates that 72% of voters perceive Obama as politically liberal while only 45% perceive McCain as conservative. If so, this is great news for Repubs. The Repubs haven't even begun the onslaught of painting Obama as liberal, so if 3/4 of people already think this of him it makes their job that much easier. Historically liberals are losers at the polls, and this could be a big benefit to McCain. Other good news for McCain is that he is viewed as the candidate most likely to reach across the aisle to get stuff done. (Considering he is the ONLY candidate to actually have done this, it at least provides a sanity check on the perceptions of American voters.)

In other polling news, there may be some validity to Hillary's latest claim that Obama is more likely to lose to McCain than she is. The same Rasmussen poll has McCain beating Obama, but currently losing to Hillary.

Mitt & Crist are off the veep-list

According to this article in the American Spectator:

Despite the hype around the Memorial Weekend gathering in Sedona at Sen. John McCain's ranch, only Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is being given serious consideration for the vice presidential nomination, say McCain insiders with knowledge of the ongoing vetting process. And even that serious consideration can only go so far.

"Jindal is the only one, but there seems to be general agreement that we need him to be the best governor he can be and a leader of the Republican Party more," says one McCain campaign adviser. "McCain has gotten a good look at [Mitt] Romney as a competitor and as someone who is running in support of his candidacy, and frankly he can't tell the difference. It's been a very educational process. Let's just leave it at that."

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is not considered a serious candidate, for much the same reason as Jindal.


Good news that Crist is out. I concur on the Jindal comments.

But, ouch, is that one cutting remark about Mitt. I don't think it's a fair criticism, either. Mitt's seemed on point in defending Sen. McCain ever since dropping out of the race.
Friday, May 23, 2008

HillBama

Although the likelihood of it happening is probably less than 10%, rumors are escalating that Hillary is in talks with Obama to become his VP. Of course, she has everything to gain and he has everything to lose. Rumors are that for her exit from the race she'd like to be offered VP slot, and also reimbursed for her personal debt to her campaign. Obama's camp and supporters seem firmly against adding her (and importantly Bill) to his ticket, believing she would drag down the ticket. Furthermore, why in the world would Obama want to deal with the headache of having Hillary AND Bill so close to him during his presidency?

My question is, is a HillBama ticket good or bad for the Dems? Three months ago the uncontested answer was that it would represent a basically unstoppable force; there would be almost no way to overcome the combination of their supporters. However, I'm not sure that answer is still true today. Divisions run very deep between them and their supporters, and might cause fractures for them during the campaign. Furthermore, there is even more Hillary fatigue now than three months ago. While she certainly gives Obama a much better shot at winning key swing states like FL and OH, I'd guess there are others he could add to his ticket to accomplish the same end game, without the baggage of Hillary. My guess is that he is now strong enough and she is weak enough that he can keep her off the ticket if that's what he wants.
Thursday, May 22, 2008

Foreign policy

Looks like the press won't be in the bag for Obama on his foreign policy concept to talk to rogue leaders without preconditions. I mentioned the other day that he had already begun backpedaling on this issue, and if the two latest shots from AP and NYT are any indication, he's going to have to cycle even faster.

Obama's finding himself more and more on the defensive on this issue of talking with rogue leaders. The campaign's surrogates have slowly been walking back his initial declarations and the RNC and McCain folks have been pouncing hard on him. The issue is one the Obama campaign still likes -- because it allows them to tie McCain to Bush’s foreign policy -- but it will have to deal with a couple of challenges today. The first is a critical AP article: “Obama gets cheers at his rallies when he declares there is nothing to fear, and potentially much to gain, from talking to enemies as well as friends. But U.S. diplomacy is not that simple and neither is his position.” The other is a New York Times op-ed noting that Kennedy’s meeting with Khrushchev in ’61 didn’t turn out all that well.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

McCain short list

Crist, Jindal and Romney the three main guys on the short list? Possibly, according to this theory.

Obama-Sebelius?

There's a strong case to be made for just such a ticket. Consider:

1) Obama's need to mollify women voters after kicking Hillary to the curb.
2) Sebelius has her own "post-partisan" story like Obama, as the the Dem governor or a GOP dominated state, where she also has high approval ratings. She's seen as an administrator who gets things done, and not an ideologue. It would bring some executive experience to the Dem ticket.
3) At age 60, she's right in the sweet spot for national politics.
4) Regionally speaking, Sebelius might make a lot of sense. Obama is running much ahead of where Kerry did in big sky country. Obama is just a few points behind McCain in traditionally GOP states such as NM, CO, NE and ND (see here), and also in traditional toss-up IA. I'm guessing O wants to play O, and not D. It would be a defensive move to pick a veep from a traditionally Dem-leaning state (Hillary, for example).

Veepstakes, cont'd.

Lieberman essentially puts in his bid for VP candidate with this very well-penned piece in today's WSJ. I must say it is a concise summary of how the Dem party has fallen on national security, and Obama wants to drag them down further.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I think we've found our veep

I dunno if you've been following May Madness

...but DC will be very excited to see who's made the final round...
Monday, May 19, 2008

March 31 Cash-on-Hand figures

From Rep. Tom Davis' memo to his GOP colleagues.

Read 'em and weep:

Cash On Hand (March 31, 2008)

RNC $31.0 M
DNC $ 5.3 M

NRCC $ 7.2 M
DCCC $44.0 M

RSCC $17.3 M
DSCC $37.8 M

Obama $51.1 M
McCain $11.6 M

Obamessiah: Change Old-style politics you can count on

Today's exhibit can be found here.

Whittling the list of veep possibles

Apparently, McCain has wisely waited for the field to cull itself.

Huckabee shot himself in the foot (pun intended) with his "someone was pointing a gun at Obama" gaffe last week. Now, he's compounded the error by openly campaigning for veep mere days later. Can you say bad timing?

Meanwhile, the Obama tactic of calling McCain "Bush's 3rd term" is clearly effective and also forcing McCain's hand (see his anti-Bush/pro-enviromentalist tour last week). All the Bush-connected possibles seem more unlikely now than ever before (Rice/Portman/Ridge), with the possible exception of Powell who isn't likely to get involved anyway.

With the circumstances lining up nicely for Tim Pawlenty, the time was right for him to unleash his own self-destructive volley. Apparently, when your wife won't have sex with you, Minnesotans find it funny, or else Tim just doesn't have any acceptable outlets to share the bad news.

The Obamessiah: anti-nationalist, hyper-enviromentalist

Captain's log, May 19. In yet another signal of how ObamAmerica will look, the chosen one said this when trying to woo a group of Oregon enviro-wackos:

We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.

Should Americans seek the counsel of foreign governments (better have those embassy phone #'s handy!) before setting their thermostats? Before grocery shopping? Before deciding on whether they'd like to run errands today, or should combine them with tommorrow's?

Perhaps all of the above?

ht: Drudge
Friday, May 16, 2008

This explains a lot


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ah, the good old days...

From Breitbart [bold is my emphasis]:

The California Supreme Court has overturned a ban on gay marriage, paving the way for California to become the second state where gay and lesbian residents can marry.

The case involved a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter-approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.


Ah, yes. The days when the term "voter-approved" carried some weight. I can't wait until all the people's business: elections, tax rates, spending, etc., are all unilaterally changed at the will of the judiciary with complete disregard for actual votes, and the decisions of the people's elected representatives in the legislature.

McCain Ad - 2013

What say you, contributors? Likey?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

David Brooks on the Tories showing us the way

Brooks' column from last Friday makes some great points, and it's worth reading in full.

Here's what I thought was the most crucial passage:

The British conservative renovation begins with this insight: The central political debate of the 20th century was over the role of government. The right stood for individual freedom while the left stood for extending the role of the state. But the central debate of the 21st century is over quality of life. In this new debate, it is necessary but insufficient to talk about individual freedom. Political leaders have to also talk about, as one Tory politician put it, “the whole way we live our lives.”

That means, first, moving beyond the Thatcherite tendency to put economics first. As Oliver Letwin, one of the leading Tory strategists put it: “Politics, once econo-centric, must now become socio-centric.” David Cameron, the Conservative Party leader, makes it clear that his primary focus is sociological. Last year he declared: “The great challenge of the 1970s and 1980s was economic revival. The great challenge in this decade and the next is social revival.” In another speech, he argued: “We used to stand for the individual. We still do. But individual freedoms count for little if society is disintegrating. Now we stand for the family, for the neighborhood — in a word, for society.”

This has led to a lot of talk about community, relationships, civic engagement and social responsibility...

They want voters to think of the Tories as the party of society while Labor is the party of the state. They want the country to see the Tories as the party of decentralized organic networks and the Laborites as the party of top-down mechanistic control. [my emphasis]

Replace Tories with Republicans and Labor with Democrats and you have the makings a campaign narrative, which the GOP completely lacks right now.

Question

Sue Simmons wants to know, What the F are you doing? I've seen some insincere apologies in my day, but this has to take the cake!

November

There is only going to be one thing sweeter to me than McCain's victory over Obama in November, and that's going to be Hillary giving the Dem party and superdelegates a big 'ol "I told you so" middle finger the day after. If McCain beats Obama you can bet she'll all but take out a full page ad in the NYT sticking it in their faces. It sure is going to be fun watching that party implode if they lose this fall.

This is the 4th trumpet or so

A deeply rural Mississippi district elected a Dem in a House special election yesterday.

Consider all the hard evidence pointing to a Dem rout this Nov:

1) Outgoing GOP President is the least popular in the history of polls
2) Obama outfundraising McCain 5-to-1 or thereabouts
3) Right-track/wrong-track figures are 80% wrong track, in a cycle where McCain is a BusHugger and Obama represents both rhetorical change and a generational change.
4) In 3 special elections in traditionally GOP districts so far this year, Dems have taken House seats.
5) GOP is defending twice as many Senate seats this Fall as the Dems.
6) Dems were outdrawing GOP primary voters by huge margins, even when the GOP race was still in question.
7) GOP candidate will be out-of-sync with downticket Republican candidates on a host of issues.

Any of these factors individually would be inconclusive. Together, I think we're starting to see the makings of a once-in-a-generation election cycle in which the landscape is transformed. This could be considered a '32 or '94 by the time all is said and done.

Imagine a filibuster-proof Dem majority in the Senate and a Veto-proof majority in the House, along with a Dem president--it could yet come to pass.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Huck leading Veep candidate?

Yes, according to an insider in this story. When McCain finally announces his choice it will be interesting to see whether he and his campaign think it is more important to shore up conservative base or avoid alienating potential independent and Dem voters.
Monday, May 12, 2008

Are you kidding me?

This broadcast beats "boom goes the dynamite" for all-time worst sports broadcasts, only because pam ward is supposed to be a professional announcer for ESPN. Listen to her calling this Michigan State game, and just sit back and marvel at her ineptness. Listen to the whole clip, she really closes strongly at the end.

Uh-oh

Bob Barr has announced that he will be running for president as a Libertarian. Make no mistake: if he combines forces with Ron Paul, it could have a devastating impact on the outcome of this election. Ron Paul has already demonstrated that while his following is relatively small, they are exceptionally well-funded, highly-motivated, and energized. Barr will similarly attract a passionate crowd that has grown dissatisfied with the direction and policies of the Republican party.

I have mixed feelings about this turn of events. On the one hand, if this move hands the election to Obama this is very bad. On the other hand, if something this dramatic is what it takes to fix the Republican party, then it is good in the long-term. By "fix" I mean return it to its position as the party of small government.

I previously complained that campaigns today were becoming too focused on 30-second sound bites and minutia, rather than providing more comprehensive and honest discussions to increasingly complex and critical problems. Newt Gingrich has made the same point over at AmSol. Possibly the moves by Barr on the right and Nader on the left will force a change in this dynamic.
Friday, May 09, 2008

Everyone calm down.

Comrade Gore had forseen this data.

Next year we will resume with AGW, as called for in his newly revised constant and ever-prescient 500-year plan.

Remember, it must get much, much hotter before our glorious leader can use his personal invention, the internets, to lead our people forward into a gloriously cooler future.

Obama-Webb gets another proponent

From RCP:

Webb fits Obama's true needs. The Illinois Senator's greatest deficiency is his lack of experience in foreign policy and military security. Clinton has made that her chief point of attack -- as in the now-classic "3 A.M. telephone" ad -- and this area is obviously McCain's greatest strength. There is no way for Obama to match McCain, even if he could manufacture some "sniper fire," but the right running mate could give him a measure of credibility, in much the same way as Cheney helped Bush.

Webb is a Naval Academy grad and Vietnam veteran (exactly matching McCain), and a former Secretary of the Navy bringing directly relevant executive experience. He won four military medals in Vietnam, and was wounded twice, a record that, along with awards from the American Legion and VFW, would repel attacks by SwiftBoaters. His term at the Pentagon came under Ronald Reagan, when Webb was a Republican, an advantage in Obama's effort to achieve a new electoral coalition. With this military background, he reinforces the Democrats' case against the Iraqi intervention, a position he has articulated from the beginning of the war and with particular force, including a direct confrontation with President Bush at a White House reception. As a novelist, non-fiction author and Emmy-winning television reporter, he also shows intellectual distinction.

Webb also would bring specific political advantages to the Democratic ticket. His rural roots, vigorous language and championing of working class values would compensate for Obama's evident weaknesses among these voters. Webb provides a populist platform on corporate regulation, trade, taxation and health care that would further extend the party's appeal to its lower-income base. Born in Missouri, educated in Nebraska, California and the Naval Academy in Maryland, he encapsulates a national electoral appeal. Finally, to the limited extent that state residence matters, he would help to switch Virginia into the Democratic column for the first election since 1964.
Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mahmoud strikes again

From the Jerusalem Post:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that the state of Israel is a "stinking corpse" that is destined to disappear, the French news agency AFP reported.

"Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as having said.

"Today the reason for the Zionist regime's existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation."

Ahmadinejad further stated that Israel "has reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese" - referring to the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

I'm not really sure what he means by any of this. He wants to start exporting air freshners to Haifa, perhaps? I'm sure Obama will help sort it out in a friendly, non-confrontational sort of way.

Time for May Madness!!

Go fill in your bracket here.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008

NC Seals the Deal

Clinton can no longer win the popular vote--period. Coupled with the fact that she will be trailing in states and pledged delegates, this means that the race is now effectively over. Obama is the nominee.

How long will Hillary continue to slog on? I sure hope she at least goes into WV and KY, where she'll give him two more black eyes. But that's just the residuals. This game is over.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008

For Our Lawyer Colleagues

When do you know that your deposition has careened way off course?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Global warmings and such

Back after being on vaca for a week.. MB, loved the hand signals, particularly unwashed and pansy. Great stuff!

As for global warming, the current ethanol/food crisis is what you get when you have a bunch of tree huggers who don't understand science driving policy. (Although to be fair, Bush bears a lot of blame here because his energy-independence policy is weak and has a lot of focus on ethanol.) I doubt you'll find anyone who wouldn't be thrilled to snap their fingers and replace our present sources of energy with sources that are 100% renewable and 100% obtainable in the U.S.

The problem is, at what cost? Certain choices (such as corn-derived ethanol) have a huge penalty associated in the form of food impact, while other choices (such as solar) have a huge cost penalty at present. However, in their haste to simply "change" things, you have people racing to implement "solutions" before they have been fully vetted. The upshot is what you see today with the global food crisis. Instead, a more considered and gradual approach needs to be implemented. The new president of MIT has made energy research the #1 priority, but as they have pointed out we typically have ~50 year energy cycles. That is, if you want to go away from oil and coal that's fine, but you have to be thinking along a 50 year timeline, not 5 years. You are simply not going to be able to replace existing infrastructure in a cost-effective fashion in less than 20 years, at a minimum.

Of course, no one in Washington will EVER spell out a policy that takes 1-2 generations to implement. They want something that can be accomplished in a 4-year cycle. However, short of a doubling or tripling of the price of a barrel of oil from its current $120, this is not possible. In my opinion, we have time to continue to develop alternative energy sources and make them more cost-effective before shoving them down the consumer's throat at an inflated price. If we truly needed to make all these changes today to avoid catastrophic climate change, then the reality is we only have one option: conservation. Everyone would have to cut their consumption by 30-50%, period.

And, if the crisis was as imminent as Al Gore claims to believe, why would he continue to own and fly a private jet (one of the biggest sources of pollution pound for pound) and live in an enormous mansion??? The same goes for Schwarzenegger and others, who are complete hypocrites.
Friday, May 02, 2008

What do you do when your SWF has $1 Trillion burning a hole in its pocket?

Build a nuclear submarine fleet and accompanying infrastructure.

Duh.

Why cede the ability to protect your coast and intimidate your neighbors? After all, with the Fed Funds rate at 2%, it's not like saving all those US dollars makes more sense than spending them.

I can gurantee the IRR on a nuclear submarine fleet will be a LOT higher than 2%, when one considers the leverage it will give the Chinese in international negotiations.

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Always sniffing for the truth

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