Monday, June 30, 2008

The Politico: Romney's at top of the short list

It's always tough to take these veepstakes articles too seriously. McCain's assistant's friend's pet told my brother's girlfriend that he's picking Huckabee, etc.

But it's tough to deny Mike Allen. The guy knows what time it is. And whether it's because the campaign is floating a trial balloon, or Mike just got a scoop, the word he's hearing is that Mitt is first in line for V.P.

That's pretty big news.

I'm not 100% sure if it's a great pick from a vote getting perspective. But from a GOP unifying perspective, and a governing perspective, I think it would be a great pick. I'd personally be pretty psyched, because it would resurrect Mitt's presidential chances in 4 years. And let's face it, those are chances that were pretty much dead-and-buried three months ago.

Woodford Reserve and Cheezits

Scrumtuous or sin?
Sunday, June 29, 2008

And people say Halo is a waste of time...

Don't know if I've posted this yet but this is vital survival info:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1QEUegcz-I

In fact, the entire run of Red Vs. Blue is highly recommended. It's 100 episodes total and can be found on youtube (just search for episode 1 to start and follow the narrative--I'm up to 34 and watch them a few at a time...).

Also rather entertaining is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19KoKVkTNF0

Haven't watched the sequels to that yet. At least now I know what I'm doing tomorrow...
Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Love Those Straight Talkin' Texans

It's worth the 5 minutes to watch this whole video, even if it's just to see Tandcredo's expressions in the background. It just goes to show how right some libertarians really are: http://youtube.com/watch?v=e-LOtKIIKcg
Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last thoughts on Heller for today:

On SCOTUS blog, Alan Morrison of Stanford Law details the 3 big open issues that the Court did NOT address in its opinion:

1. Will the ruling apply to states?

This case involved D.C., so it avoided the whole issue of whether the individual right found in the 2nd Amendment keeps the federal government from banning guns, or whether it prevents any state from doing likewise.

2. What standard must the courts apply when determining whether a gun restriction is valid or unconstitutional?

3. What impact does this have on existing gun control rules?

This point seems to derive directly from 1 & 2.

Machine guns/Advanced weaponry not protected, according to Heller

From pgs 55-56, addressing whether machine guns may be banned:

We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely
detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require
sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our nterpretation of the right.

So on this last point, I would infer that Scalia is saying that the "protected right" is specifically tied to rifles and pistols. This fits with the prefatory clause, because rifles and pistols were used by the militia at the time. The right has not changed to encompass machine guns and bombers. The protected right is what it was before (rifles and pistols), so it is merely the connective logic to the militia that breaks down as military weapons have evolved. The "protected right" will not evolve to include new classes of arms--machine guns (or rocket launchers, nukes, etc.)--rather, it only evolves to allow for newer types of guns within the same class.

If I understand him correctly.

More from Heller

From page 11, refuting that the right is limited to 18th century weaponry:

Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.


From page 30, on why the right is not tied to membership in the/a militia:

If, as they [the District of Columbia] believe, the Second Amendment
right is no more than the right to keep and use weapons as a member of an organized militia, see Brief for Petititioners 8—if, that is, the organized militia is the sole institutional beneficiary of the Second Amendment’s guarantee—it does not assure the existence of a “citizens’ militia” as a safeguard against tyranny. For Congress retains plenary authority to organize the militia, which must include the authority to say who will belong to the organized force...

Thus, if petitioners [the District of Columbia] are correct, the Second Amendment protects citizens’ right to use a gun in an organization from which Congress has plenary authority to exclude them. It guarantees a select militia of the sort the Stuart kings found useful, but not the people’s militia that was the concern of the founding generation.

From the Opinion of the Court

Key parts from the syllabus:

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home...

The prefatory clause ["A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State"] comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved...

Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons...

Heller affirmed

According to preliminary reports by the SCOTUS blog, Scalia's opinion, unencumbered by any concurring opinions (here's looking at you, AK), has affirmed the DC Circuit Court, and ruled that the second amendment created an indidivudal right to own a firearm.

Can't wait to read the opinion...

Polls, polls, and more polls

NewsWEAK tries to defend their recent poll claiming Obama has a 15-point lead, in light of Gallup showing dead even. They point out some differences between the way they and Gallup collect data, but in the end cannot provide any reason why you should believe their poll.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1792

Bwwaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!

Line Change!

Check the sidebar...

1792 Ridgemont Reserve is now avail at Occ Obs HQ

Veep Watch: Dark Horse edition

You're still not hearing anything about John Kasich in the press. Novak mentioned him once back in Feb., and Quin Hillyer keeps including him in his personal shortlist up at AmSpec, but no one has even suggested he's on McCain's long list, never mind short list, since Novak.

And yet, I have a weird feeling he might still end up on the short list.

It's a dark horse thing. You wouldn't understand.

Some encouraging poll numbers

for a change.

McCain leading in Mizzou by 7%, according to SUSA. That's huge.

And here's the chart of the daily Gallup tracking poll. As Sean Oxendine at R 4 '08 asked, is this the end of the Obama bounce?

Obama as Energy Policy's "Dr. No"

McCain's new ad below. He's found a good issue and he's sticking with it.

Energy

John McCain announces "The Lexington Project", for energy independence by 2025. Looks like he's on board with trying to take energy away from the Dems as an issue they believe can be a strength for them and instead making it the centerpiece of his campaign.

--------------------------

Text of McCain Memo, from Drudge:

MCCAIN: THE LEXINGTON PROJECT
Wed June 25, 2008 12:50:11 ET

In recent days I have set before the American people an energy plan, the Lexington Project Ð named for the town where Americans asserted their independence once before. And let it begin today with this commitment:Ê In a world of hostile and unstable suppliers of oil, this nation will achieve strategic independence by 2025.

This pledge is addressed to all concerned -- to those abroad whose power flows from an accident of geology, and to you, my fellow Americans, whose strength proceeds from unity of purpose. Together, we will break the power of OPEC over the United States. And never again will we leave our vital interests at the mercy of any foreign power.

Some will say this goal is unattainable within that relatively short span of years -- it's too hard and we need more time. Let me remind them that in the space of half that time -- about eight years -- this nation conceived and carried out a plan to take three Americans to the Moon and bring them safely home. In less than a third of that time, the gathered energies of my father's generation built the industrial might that overcame Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. That is the scale of our achievement when we set our minds to a task. That is what this country can do when we see a danger, and declare a purpose, and find the will to act.

As president, I will turn all the apparatus of government in the direction of energy independence for our country -- authorizing new production, building nuclear plants, perfecting clean coal, improving our electricity grid, and supporting all the new technologies that one day will put the age of fossil fuels behind us. Much will be asked of industry as well, as automakers and others adapt to this great turn toward new sources of power. And a great deal will depend on each one of us, as we learn to make smarter use of energy, and also to draw on the best ideas of both parties, and work together for the common good.

This Project is not a plan calibrated to please every interest group or to meet every objection. That is how we arrived to our present predicament. That is how energy policy in Washington became a long list of subjects avoided, options ruled out, and possibilities foreclosed. Nor can I promise you that the long-term success of this Project will bring instant relief.Ê In the mission of energy security, some tasks are the work of decades and some the work of years. And they will take all the will and resolve of which we are capable. But I can promise you this. Unless we begin this mission now, nothing will change at all, except for the worse. And when we succeed in the hard reform ahead, your children will live in a more prosperous country, in a more peaceful world.

Germany steps up

Sort of..

Under pressure from NATO, Germany announced Tuesday that it would increase the number of soldiers available for duty in Afghanistan by almost one-third to 4,500

Don't hurt yourselves, big guys.

Check me on this, but isn't this the same army that occupied everything from Brittany to Tripoli to the Russian Steppes?

Spare a brigade if you can folks.

Heller is coming tomorrow at 10 AM

And SCOTUS Blog is confident enough to make this predicition: "We can now predict that in addition to Justice Scalia likely writing Heller, Justice Alito is likely writing Davis v. FEC." Scalia writing the decision is basically a best case scenario.

To recap Heller, here's the short, short version:

The case was originally Parker v The District of Columbia, in which Shelley Parker, and 5 others, filed suit against DC saying the District was abridging their Constitutional right to own firearms and defend themselves.

The District Court threw out the case:

"The court held that the Second Amendment does not bestow any rights on individuals except, perhaps, when an individual serves in an organized militia such as today’s National Guard." [text from the apellate decision]


The case was appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the District Court's Decision. A 3 judge panel split 2-1, with Judge Silberman issuing the opinion (Silberman, it should be noted, was passed over as a choice for the Supreme Court seat now held by Justice Kennedy after the Bork defeat and Ginsburg withdrawl). From the NY Times:

The basic question in the case was whether the first clause in the amendment limits the last one. Most federal appeals courts have said that the amendment read as a whole protects only a collective right of the states to maintain militias.

In yesterday’s decision, the majority focused on the final clause, saying that the amendment broadly protects the rights of individuals to own guns.

“It seems passing strange,” Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote for the majority, “that the able lawyers and statesmen in the First Congress (including James Madison) would have expressed a sole concern for state militias with the language of the Second Amendment. Surely there was a more direct locution, such as ‘Congress shall make no law disarming the state militias’ or ‘states have a right to a well-regulated militia.’”

The District chose to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, which accepted the case and is now preparing to rule.

The key constitutional issue is whether the right to own guns is an "individual right" or a "collective right." The language of the 2nd Amendment reads:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."


So it becomes a chicken and egg type of argument. Do you need guns to have a militia? Or do you need a militia to have guns?

It seems to me the very idea of a militia was individual citizens coming together of their own free will to defend themselves. The political power in our democracy rests with the individual citizen (the people). Not with some some official organization ("the militia") that exists to bestow its imprimatur upon the worthy, who are then afforded certain rights as a result.

Of course, as SHK noted, the question then becomes, how do you define "arms". The attorney for the District made the same case before the Court, saying that if you believe the right to own guns is an individual right that State's cannot regulate, everyone has the right to a machine gun.

Scalia said, off the cuff, that machine guns weren't around in the 1780's so they could probably be regulated.

It'll be interesting to see how the Court rules.

Robert Stacy McCain (no relation to John) is one sick B



You can read the rest at AmSpecBlog.

Environmentalists say drilling would endanger Alaska's caribou population, but let's face it, with gas prices this high, any caribou foolish enough to stand between Americans and an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil is likely to become roadkill.

Having done extensive research on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I find that wildlife experts and energy policy analysts agree that caribou don't do anything to improve fuel efficiency. Even if you grind up a caribou and put him in your gas tank, scientists say, your mileage will not be significantly enhanced, regardless of the sadistic pleasure you might get from grinding up a caribou.

Sadistic feelings toward caribou are on the rise, psychologists warn. Increasingly, American motorists are asking themselves, "What have those stinking caribou ever done for us?"

He also gets in a little shot at his home-state Senator:

Say what you will about Hezbollah and al-Qaeda, they've at least been neutral on drilling ANWR, which is more than can be said for Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland).

As a conservationist, I must dissent from Mr. McCain, amusing as he is. A healthy caribou herd is necessary for a caribou hunt. A caribou hunt is necessary for...well, it's just plain old necessary.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dobson slaps down O

So Dr. Dobson, of whom I am no great fan, b-slaps Obama.

Obama retorts, saying Dobson was "making stuff up" (huh?).

But it leaves me wondering: while Obama is the smartest man that ever lived, does he really want to take the bait, and engage James Dobson in a Biblical exegesis tete-a-tete?

Stack-A-Lee

Bob Dylan may have been a liberal in his early days in the '60's. Heck, he may be a liberal now. But ever since '68 or so, his most important role has been that of the bard drifter, the mystery man with the guitar, the narrator, who shows up to tell the tale of real people dealing with real situations.

Manly situations. Like what to do when some foo' tries to take your Stetson.

Listen here.

Hawlin Alley on a dark and drizzly night,
Billy Lyons and Stack-A-Lee had one terrible fight.
All about that John B. Stetson hat.

Stack-A-Lee walked to the bar-room, and he called for a glass of beer,
Turned around to Billy Lyons, said, "What are you doin' here?"
"Waitin' for a train, please bring my woman home.

"Stack-A-Lee, oh Stack-A-Lee. please don't take my life.
Got three little children and a-weepin', lovin' wife.
You're a bad man, bad man, Stack-A-Lee."

"God bless your children and I'll take care of your wife.
You stole my John B., now I'm bound to take your life."
All about that John B. Stetson hat.

Stack-A-Lee turned to Billy Lyons and he shot him right through the head,
Only taking one shot to kill Billy Lyons dead.
All about that John B. Stetson hat.

Pretty rough last words to hear--a whiskey-grizzled gunman telling you, "God bless your children, and I'll take care of your wife..."

More on the Volt

Atlantic Magazine has a long article explaining how the Chevy Volt provides a real opportunity for GM to reclaim the title of the world's most forward-looking auto company, while at the same time challenging their corporate culture of "incrementalism."

It's definitely worth a read.

And, I'd reiterate, it's worth remembering that the electric car vs. hydrogen car battle is no longer a hypothetical discussion. There are winners and losers on both sides (GM & Nissan vs. Honda & Toyota).

The Law of Household Economics

Not quite sure how Adam Smith would have explained this phenomenon, but I'll bet all of you are familiar with this feeling:

If your house is like ours...the $300 to $1,200 that arrives courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service -- and maybe even more if you have children -- will fall victim to the insidious and unforgiving Law of Household Economics.

Haven't encountered this law? It goes like this: For every financial windfall that comes into your home, there will be an equal, unexpected household cost.

Our family first stumbled on this reality several years ago when we cleaned out closets and kids' toys to join in a family garage sale. We loaded up the minivan with stuff the day before the sale and my husband stuck a dolly in the back just in case someone needed it. It shifted, and when he slammed the back door, the handle of the dolly crashed through the rear window.

Some colorful words were shared. But despite the setback, the garage sale went on. When the organizer tallied up the proceeds, she challenged us to guess our take.

"Three hundred and twelve dollars," my husband replied.

She looked stunned. He was off by maybe a couple of bucks. "How did you know?" she asked.

"That's what it cost to fix the minivan window," he sighed.

And this woman has a bunch of other similar examples in her own life. Looks like there is an invisible hand after all.

Obamanation

Great article by Bennett in NRO about top 10 dangers of Obama presidency. Particularly interesting is a link they provide in point #1 to a WaPo article that indicated that European leaders are wary of Obama undermining their recent efforts on Iran.

Iraq

Violence in Iraq continues to be down dramatically since the surge, as discussed here by Brooks and also begrudgingly by CNN here.

Definitely good news; hopefully security responsibility continues to transition to Iraqi soldiers and police.
Monday, June 23, 2008

You have got to be $#!tting me

Good news Fredo. The Obama camp won't really get any mileage out of Rove's comment because it PALES in comparison to the stupidity of McCain adviser Charlie Black's comments:

John McCain distanced himself Monday from a top adviser who said another terrorist attack on U.S. soil this election year would benefit the Republican presidential candidate.

Charlie Black, an adviser already in the spotlight for his past lobbying work, is quoted in the upcoming July 7 edition of Fortune magazine as saying such an attack "certainly would be a big advantage to him."

Can someone please stifle Karl Rove?

Boy is Obama gonna get mileage out of this gem.

ht: Drudge

McCain energy ad

Looks like McCain is a subscriber to OccObs.. New video:

Survey USA Poll Dump

WA: Obama +15
OR: Obama +3
NM: Obama +8
UT: McCain +19

NM and OR are allegedly "swing states." Bush carried NM (in '04, no '00), Kerry carried OR.

A little questionnaire from Race 4 2008

Alex Knepper posted the following a few days ago:

Question of the Week

Since I’ve been fixated on foreign policy lately, I’d like you all to fill out a little survey — this is just out of personal curiosity, and because I’d like to get a sense of where you all are at regarding foreign policy, since it’s a little-discussed issue on this site.

1. Which sect do you feel most closely aligns with your overall view of foreign policy in regard to the war against jihadism? (Neoconservatives, realists, non-interventionists, etc.)

2. Do you view military action against Iran as inevitable?

3. Do you believe, in any way at all, that the Bush Administration was deceitful while making its case for the Iraq War?

4. Where will the war against jihadism rank in priority when casting your vote in November?


I'd be interested in seeing how y'all feel on the topic.

Still waiting on Heller, but with good reason for hope

Those following the Heller/DC 2nd amendment case will be happy to see the following snippet. It's from SCOTUSblog's liveblog of this morning's Supreme Court shindig (my emphasis):

10:12 Tom Goldstein - The only opinion remaining from the March sitting is Heller. The only Justice without a majority opinion from that sitting is Justice Scalia.

10:14 Tom Goldstein - The Court has announced that it will release opinions against at 10am Wednesday. Because seven opinions remain, it will almost certainly have one additional day. Based on past practice, that day likely will be Thursday.


By convention, the Chief Justice tries to give each Justice a case to decide in each session.

Looks like we'll get the opinion later this week.

As a complete long-shot aside, the Court's term will probably end this week. In the unlikely event that a justice is planning to retire, it would probably come down in the next 7 days.

What McCain needs to do

It's not hard to understand why Americans are so readily buying into Obama's "change" mantra, despite the fact that it's a house of cards that all the facts show he doesn't really support. Between rising oil and gas prices, rising food prices, flooding in the Midwest, falling home prices, rising unemployment, constant threat of terrorism, Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran, and natural disasters around the world it's easy to become pessimistic. We've hit one of those bumps in the road where a JFK-like race to the moon or Reagan-like optimism is necessary. The American people need something to be excited about again, something big on a national level.

I think McCain's announcement today that the government should offer a $300 M prize to whoever invents a battery for electric cars that leapfrogs today's best is a solid step in the right direction. The country wants someone who truly believes we are great and will lead us out of the downturn with a tangible development. McCain can combat Obama's generic talk of change by proposing specific ideas for change. Economy is the #1 issue, and right now that means rising energy and food prices. McCain has already jumped ahead of Obama as far as specific ideas for energy and that's good; he needs to make this a centerpiece of his campaign and turn a current negative into a positive. Come up with plans that will lead to America taking ownership of its own sources of energy. This will lead to new jobs, improved security (once we can finally divorce our foreign policy from reliance on Middle East and Venezuelan oil), and restored pride in America by Americans.

It is clear that energy can be McCain's race to the moon or Soviet Union/Berlin Wall centerpiece. It is the only thing big enough and widespread enough to excite and engage the entire country. His #1 focus should be coming up with a plan that is fiscally sound enough to appeal to conservatives, while being exciting enough in scope to motivate the broader voting base.

On a separate note I was watching a Fox Sunday morning show interviewing Tom Douchle (sorry, that's "Daschle") and Tom Ridge. I have to say that unfortunately Ridge didn't do a very good job. I've seen him speak just a few times before and I seem to remember him being somewhat better than he was on Sunday, but maybe not much. He is not the guy McCain needs by his side.
Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hunting Meeting

Great time last nite....food was awesome as usual and i was even able to feed the worm (the other worm that is). Fredo Sr - what an arm esp when aiming at shelps head. Fredo - good thing u left when u did otherwise u would still be sleeping. Beetz - providing and sometimes even obsessing with the good music. and finally Slidy McHump - well done with the choices of milk for the evening. Nice.
Friday, June 20, 2008

Social Security

WSJ Opinion Column on SS tax hike. How many bad ideas can Obama resurrect?

The Most Compelling Case for Light Beer You'll Ever See

A Man's Sandwich

Mmmmm....

I'm getting hungry.

McCain: Obama is wrong and also clueless

ht: RCP

Statement released by the McCain campaign:

Senator Obama is obviously confused about what the United States Supreme Court decided and what he is calling for. After enthusiastically embracing the Supreme Court decision granting habeas in U.S. civilian courts to dangerous terrorist detainees, he is now running away from the consequences of that decision and what it would mean if Osama bin Laden were captured. Senator Obama refuses to clarify whether he believes habeas should be granted to Osama bin Laden, and instead cites the precedent of the Nuremburg war trials. Unfortunately, it is clear Senator Obama does not understand what happened at the Nuremburg trials and what procedures were followed. There was no habeas at Nuremburg and there should be no habeas for Osama bin Laden. Senator Obama cannot have it both ways. In one breath he endorses habeas for terrorists like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and in the next he denies its logical conclusion of habeas for Osama bin Laden. By citing a historical precedent that does not include habeas, he sends a signal of confusion and indecision to our allies and adversaries and the American people.

Let me be clear, under my administration Osama bin Laden will either be killed on the battlefield or executed. Senator Obama's failure to comprehend the implication of the Supreme Court decision he embraced and the historical precedent of Nuremberg raise serious questions about judgment and experience and whether Senator Obama is ready to assume the awesome responsibilities of commander in chief.
Thursday, June 19, 2008

Foreign or Gay?

Another fun game I've been playing to occupy myself on my commute is "Foreign or Gay?". When I see a man dressed in unusual clothes I try to figure out if he's wearing the latest European style or if he gay and fashionable.

I saw this dude the other day in these weird painted jeans and concluded that he was totally Italian or maybe some kind of Slavic ... yeah, Slavic.

Bacon Wrapped Bacon

That is all.

QPac poll

In a follow up to the story on yesterday's Quinnipiac poll (which showed Obama up in PA, OH, and FL), the poll also asked about what the impact would be if a native son was added to the ticket as McCain's Veep.

To my unsurprise, it doesn't help much.

Crist hurts McCain in FL (-5%).
Portman hurts McCain in OH (-5%).
Ridge is a push in PA (+/- 0%).

You don't pick veeps to "win a state," as per my earlier post on the topic.

ht: Dave G, Race 4 '08.

Bonanza o' campaign happenings

There's always a lot of tit-for-tat going on, but the two candidates have been laying down some major positions in the last few days that are going to define the dialogue for months.

1. Fighting terrorism

Obama says we need to return to a law enforcement model of fighting terrorism. He's taking this position as a means to attacking Bush for "subverting the Constitution." To further cement the point that he wants to return to a pre-9/11 viewpoint, he has Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright on his foreign policy/security team.

Dick Morris & Eileen McGann have a column up in today's NY Post which shows why this position could be a huge liability for Obama come November. Obama's banking on the belief that Bush is so widely hated, people will believe that he's a fascist interested in circumventing their rights, and that his policies had nothing to do with keeping us safe the 6.5 years. We'll see if he's right.

Here's what Morris said (my emphasis):

IN an ABC interview on Monday, Sen. Barack Obama urged us to go back to the era of criminal-justice prosecution of terror suspects, citing the successful efforts to imprison those who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993...

"In previous terrorist attacks - for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in US prisons, incapacitated."

This is big - because that prosecution, and the ground rules for it, had more to do with our inability to avert 9/11 than any other single factor.

Because we treated the 1993 WTC bombing as simply a crime, our investigation was slow, sluggish and constrained by the need to acquire admissible evidence to convict the terrorists.

As a result, we didn't know that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were responsible for the attack until 1997 - too late for us to grab Osama when Sudan offered to send him to us in 1996. Clinton and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger turned down the offer, saying we had no grounds on which to hold him or to order his kidnapping or death.

Obama's embrace of the post-'93 approach shows a blindness to the key distinction that has kept us safe since 9/11 - the difference between prosecution and protection.


2. Energy policy

Drudge links to several stories showing the difference between the two approaches to solving high energy prices.

McCain wants a two-billion dollar per year investment in clean coal, and a commitment to 45 nuclear power plants. In other words, increase the supply of domestically generated energy.

Meanwhile, House Dems are calling for the nationalization of oil refineries:

Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), member of the House Appropriations Committee and one of the most-ardent opponents of off-shore drilling:

"We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market."


In other words, it's all about oil companies intentionally reducing supply in order to gouge the consumer. If you believe that, ask yourself why consumers in China are today getting hit with an 18% increase in fuel prices over yesterday's price. Does ExxonMobil serve China? I don't think so.

I think it will be pretty clear to the public who's trying to solve the problem and who's merely playing soak-the-rich politics on this one. Rasmussen confirmed that conclusion in a recent Florida poll (a state that has historically opposed off shore drilling), with 61% of respondents saying that off-shore drilling would reduce oil prices, while only 34% disagreed.

3. Campagin Finance flip-flop

As per SHK's earlier post.

So much for change

And it's official. Apparently "yes we can" reject earlier pledges to accept public financing once we have a huge private fundraising edge (is anything more disingenuous than the explanation Obama gives in this article??).
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The "Now Pouring" sidebar pic

I'll try to keep you guys current on what's being poured at the OccObs HQ. As you know, HQ's liquor cabinet belongs to each and every contributor, so it's important for you to know what's available.

OccObs Quick Quiz

Be the first contributor to correctly answer this question, and you earn a hearty handshake...

Which distinguished member of the US Senate said this:

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday...

...the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Remember--no googling!

Times weren't always this good for OccObs contributors

but once you've hit rock bottom you can appreciate the good times that much more.


L to R:

ManBeast, Dark Commenteer, SheaHeyKid, SingleWing, Worm

A little R&R for Hillary

With a hat tip to Drudge, here's the story from The Hill:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is taking a month off from Congress to recuperate after her marathon run for the presidency.

And good for her!

After 18 months of relentless self-promotion done at the expense of her paid job--representing New Yorkers in the Senate--it's only fitting that she change things up by doing nothing on the public's dime.

After she's fully recovered and back at work, leading a Dem supermajority in the Senate, along with a Dem House and President, we'll be pining for the days where she got paid to do absolutely nothing.

Chalk another one up

So here's another one you can add to the list demonstrating Obama's "break" from traditional politics and "change". Apparently his aids removed two Muslim women in headscarves from appearing behind his podium at an event today. Apparently Obama likes to talk the talk but still has yet to walk the walk.

When will the country realize that he is nothing more than a flaming bleeding-heart liberal? He is not "change". He has no different way.

Hey, look who's joined the OccObs party


It's worm!

For those of you who don't know Worm, he and I go back to my earlier job delivering pizzas in Harlem. Boy those uniforms were goofy!

Worm, of course, is still delivering, but he's in Brooklyn. He also has been known to play a mean jazz trumpet, install plumbing/electrical wiring/wood framing/new roofing/etc. as the situation may require.

And of course, as we all know, he's a card shark.

We welcome your insight, Worm.

The 'Bama Bounce, continued...

Here's the most recent Quinnipiac swing state polling. Obama leading in FL, OH, and PA.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Interesting poll

So a new CNN poll indicates that "67 percent [of Obama supporters] say they're extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president this year. But only about one-third, or 34 percent, of McCain supporters feel fired up."

They then state: Four years ago, there was almost no difference in enthusiasm between George W. Bush supporters and John Kerry supporters. According to the poll, 66 percent of Bush supporters say they were fired up, compared with 65 percent of Kerry supporters.

CNN goes on to suggest that weariness of Bush is posing a real problem for McCain and could spell trouble in November. While I agree that McCain needs to energize the base, and selecting a conservative VP could do so, I find a different story in these numbers than CNN (shocking, I know). Specifically, I think these poll results are potentially bad news for Obama, not McCain, in that there is no apparent uptick in enthusiasm among Dems over '04, despite the fact that Obama is 'the chosen one' and they have the perfect storm in '08 (unpopular president, unpopular war, and sagging economy). If enthusiasm for Kerry was running at 65% in '04, I would've expected Obama to be upwards of 80% the way the MSM writes about it. The fact that he is engendering no more enthusiasm among Dems than Kerry did suggests his support may not be as broad and deep as we are led to believe. It also leads me to believe that a swift-boat like attack may be capable of sinking Obama.

Sorry to be the bearer of dung piles

but Obama's up one in Virginny, according to Scotty R.

Ugly. Plain. ole. ugly.

Looks like McCain's wearing the pearl necklace on this one.
Monday, June 16, 2008

Oh man, that's a dude!

Another fun part of working in Manhattan that you don't get in the 'burbs is seeing transvestites. I saw one today that raised the question of how far you go with being a transvestite. This person was obviously a man, standing about 6'3" with hairy arms and an adam's apple. He was wearing a dress, earings, a pearl necklace (watch the jokes with that one) and makeup. He had shaved his legs and painted his toenails, but had a good couple days of stubble (watch the comments about me "checking him out"). I'd ask, if you're going to try to appear like a woman, shouldn't you have some standards?

Talk about misleading

Just when you think CNN couldn't be any more in the bag for Obama, you get this headline:

McCain defends controversial Texas fundraiser

The controversy, in case you are unaware, pertains to excessively offensive comments about rape made by a Texas oilman whose ranch was originally to be the site of a McCain fundraiser this summer. (You can read his comments in the link above.) The problem is that not only has McCain not defended this person, they have canceled the site and the oilman will not be at the future fundraiser. Furthermore, McCain's spokesman had this to say:

“These were obviously incredibly offensive remarks that the campaign was unaware of at the time it was scheduled. It’s positive that he did apologize at the time, but the comments are nonetheless offensive.”

Interesting, sounds to me quite a bit different than Obama's spokesman's take on it: “It’s clear that John McCain is more concerned with dealing with a ‘perception problem’ than in condemning these despicable remarks..." Sounds like they were pretty well condemned by McCain's camp.

But you wouldn't know that from the CNN article or headline.

Another winning NRO blog


Have you visited Planet Gore recently?

Remember to keep your chinstrap tight, SHK!

VP

So we've done a few polls here about who we think will be the VP choice for McCain. Another interesting question is who do you think it should be? If you were advising McCain, who would you recommend?

I think the first issue to address is whether McCain's odds of winning improve by adding a conservative or moderate VP. Which choice is the bigger net winner for him? It's tough to figure whether conservative voters really will stay home (or vote for Barr) if McCain doesn't add a conservative VP to the ticket. It's also tough to figure whether additional Independents or Dems, beyond those already committed to voting for McCain, would switch over if he added a moderate like Ridge or Rudy. My take on this is: go conservative. I think shoring up the base is a real requirement for McCain, whereas I don't think he'll lose that many Indy votes. (I don't think he has that many solid Indy votes in the first place.)

Next, should he pick a VP based on trying to win swing state(s), or trying to shore up an area of weakness? Specifically, it is clear that economy is #1 issue this election. While Obama certainly has no great claims to economic experience, his populist message is (sadly) resonating with voters. Economy is McCain's weakness, and unless he adds a Romney or Fiorina I think he'll have a hard time convincing people that his economic plan is actually the better choice for long-term US success. So he could go Ridge just to try to put PA into play (or Crist to lock up FL), but he may be better off picking someone based on a specific set of (economic) creds.

Overall, I think Jindal might be the best choice, except for his age. It adds a solid conservative to the ticket, locks up the south, counters Obama's intelligence and eloquence, and somewhat lessens all the hype around Obama being a minority. Downsides to picking Jindal are that he may be perceived as too young, and ironically may cause further scrutiny of McCain's age and scripted-speech speaking ability, given the contrast with Jindal. Also, I liken this a bit to a team calling up a player from AAA too soon. If Jindal runs this year and they lose, it possibly might taint him for the future, whereas if you wait 4 years until he's 41 it might be better. On the other hand, there may be upside to getting him some national exposure this year; it may strengthen his chances in 4 years.

Confronting EnviroAlarmism Head-On

Here's one economist's view on Gang Gore, from the Washington Times:

"Global warming is a religion conceived to suppress human freedom. It is used to justify an enormous scope of government intervention vis-a-vis the markets and personal freedom."

In the video clip on the website (see below), he states "What is endangered? Climate? Or freedom?"

The writer of the article, David Sands, says that the quoted economist feels that "environmentalism...is the new communism."

I appreciate anyone who's willing to take on MSNBC and the NY Times head-on, and stick his neck out against the supposed "consensus" around AGW.

But "communism"? C'mon pal, that's a little much. After all, those who actually DID live in a communist country know how bad it was. Nothing compared to a few rules and regs meant to keep our air clean, right? After all, what would this Vaclav Klaus character know about living under a communist totalitarian state?

Oh, yeah, quite a bit.

He adds this interesting closer:

"Living in the communist era was not just a loss. We learned something. We can appreciate how fragile and vulnerable free society is."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

To all of you with children. I have a son with a child also on the way, so I'm enjoying the day like many of you.

Just a few quick comments on some recent blog postings:

1) Get used to seeing Che and Obama posters on the same wall if McCain doesn't pull this off.

2) I had to recently make a repair to my Char-Broil grill - they wanted to charge me $3.00 + $12.00 shipping for something called a "Pal" nut - this should not cost more than 5 cents. The part also was on 3 week back order even though the part was used on about 40 different grill models. So not only do they rape you on it, but their inventory control is awful.

3) Good day for a glass of scotch.

4) Tigers have won 7 out of 8, and are 7 games out of first ... I hope they keep playing well to make my summer interesting.

Later.
Saturday, June 14, 2008

You couldn't make this stuff up

if you tried.

When it rains it pours.

Just one of those days I guess.

I woke up feeling good, and decided to bang out a few Sat. morning odds-and-ends so I could get on with my weekend.

First up--call Verizon. They botched my billing and it took them a few months to credit me for their overcharges, but now that was resolved. I got an email from them mid-week that said I needed to "approve" their customer agreement again, since my billing rate was different. I could do it online, said the email, by clicking on a hyperlink. The link didn't work. After a few phone calls, I realized I had to get a paper agreement.

After getting transferred a few times, and spending about 30 minutes on hold, they seemingly "resolved" the issue. I'll get a new email on Tuesday with a new link that's going to work. I was skeptical, but at least I was done for today.

______________________________

Second issue: the letter from my homeowner's insurance company stating that we're being cancelled b/c of the risk of "storm related damage." It turns out I've also got to call my insurance agent to make sure that the automatic payment information they have on file for my auto insurance is correct as well, b/c I switched banks.

I get some guy named Bob on the phone I've never spoken to before.

"Hey Bob. I went on the Travelers Insurance website and updated my bank information 3 weeks ago, but I never got a confirm. I think they're goint to do the next bank debit at the end of this week and I want to confirm they have the right number."

"OK," he tells me, "I'll call Travelers and call you right back."

Sure enough, 3 minutes later, the phone rings.

"Travelers is closed. I have no way to verify if the bank info is correct. AND, I can see the debit is going to happen on Monday. I'll have Mary Lou give you a call Monday morning after she double-checks on the bank info."

"Well, Bob, that's a problem, b/c if they debit the wrong bank, the principal curtailment check I just sent my mortgage company is going to bounce. So I sure hope 3 weeks was enough lead time for them."

"Me too, Fredo. Me too.
[Uncomfortable pause]
You said you also had an issue on your homeowners?"

"Yeah. They're cancelling me."

"Well, it's not really cancellation. They're re-rating you. They'll offer you coverage at a higher rate."

"How much higher?"

"A lot higher.
[Uncomfortable pause]
I'll have Mary Lou get you more info Monday morning."

Getting off the phone, it occurs to me that, 20 minutes after my first call, I know nothing that I didn't know 20 minutes earlier.

_______________________________________

Next projectI've got to call the dodge dealer to make an appointment for my van to be serviced. It picked up a steering column rattle last week.

Oh wait! I forgot, I need to go to Ace for some mulch and garden fencing. I get in the trusty old and truck and roll down the windows.

Crunch!

Rear driver window motor/belt is busted, and the window's stuck half way down. OK, so I force the window shut by pushing it up, but now I have two cars that need servicing.

Back inside to make the appointments-- truck on Tuesday, van on Friday.

_______________________________

The phone rings.

A reminder that my Dad's coming over tomorrow and planning on grilling some steaks. Of course, my gas grill is busted. When you light the right-most burner, it doesn't project the fire towards the grill, but rather, towards the griller. A busted burner has to be a manufacturer's defect, so I call Lowe's, where I bought it.

First call:

Hi, I'm trying to get your service department. "I'll put you through."

Hold music. Hold music. Hold music.

"How can I help you?"

Bought my grill there, and it's busted. How do I get it fixed?

"Hang on."

Hold music. Hold music. Hold music.

click.

Second call:

"How can I help you?"

"Just got disconnected w/ your service department--they're helping me with a BBQ."

"I'll reconnect you"

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.Ring. Ring. Ring.Ring. Ring. Ring.Ring. Ring. Ring.Ring. Ring. Ring.Ring. Ring. Ring.Ring. Ring. Ring.

Busy signal...

Third call:

See 1st call. Complete repeat.

Fourth call:

"How can I help you?"

"This is my fourth call, and I keep getting disconnected or hung up on. I need service to fix my BBQ. Can I get connected or not?"

"We're very busy sir, I'll try to connect you."

"Wait a second, it doesn't matter how busy...

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

"Uh, hullo?"

"Who am I speaking with?"

"Leroy."

"Well Leroy, this is my 4th call, and I would like service for grill that I bought from you guys. It shoots flames at me when I use it."

"Wow. That's really messed up. Don't say I told you this, but the manager will probably replace it for you."

"OK, thanks."

"I'll connect you to the manager."

"What's his name?"

"Uh... I'm not sure. There's lots of managers. Probably Dawn. I'll connect you."

"OK, thanks Leroy."

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

"Hey Jimmy, move it over the..." Click.

Fifth call:

Hi, I'm trying to reach the manager, Dawn.

I'll connect you.

Ring. Ring. Ring. Busy signal.

Sixth call:


See fifth call.

Seventh call:

You people keep disconnecting me and it's rude. Just get me the store manager.

"Sorry sir, we're very busy."

That's great.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

"hello?"

Is this the store manager?

No, this is millworks.

"Millworks? OK, that's great. I need to speak to the mgr, here's why [relate story]"

OK, I'll help you out. The manager isn't Dawn, it's Gus. I'll get him for you.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

"Hello?"

Is this Gus?

Yes it is.

Fantastic, Gus. [I relate problem]

OK. The problem is your grill is over 60 days old. We can't help you. You need to call the manufacturer. I'll get you the 800 number for Char Grill...


So I call Char Grill. They take me through a 20 minute self-diagnostic test on the grill. Tell me it sounds like I've got a busted burner, they'll replace it for free but I've got to pay S&H and do the install myself. Whatever, I just want to be done with this.

Next they tell me I've got to go to the Char Grill website, enter a reference number and my name, and scan in the receipt from Lowe's, after which time they'll approve my claim and send me the new burner.

I go online, enter my name and reference number, and get the message "Reference number not valid"

I just put the paperwork aside for the time being.

________________________________________________

I go outside to clean the filth off of my grill so I can replace the burner when it comes. As I'm cleaning, my older son jumps on our new hose-based sprinkler and breaks it.

We were using the hose-based sprinkler instead of the in-ground sprinklers b/c we wanted to water the garden and not the lawn. Now that it's busted, I figure I'll just turn on the IGS to make sure the garden gets enough water.

I flip it on for 10 minutes and make a startling discovery: about 1/4 of my front yard is not getting any coverage from the sprinklers.

OK, another call for the to-do list.

[/Rant]
Friday, June 13, 2008

Obama, the change candidate

So, Obama represents a new breed of politics, one that transcends all the old ways and will rise above to take the US to great places, right? He will reach across the aisle and do things differently than his predecessors, right? Well, let's see.

1. Possible change: use public campaign financing. Proposed and supported by McCain; previously proposed by Obama but no longer supported. So not only no change, but backtracking. Sounds like old politics to me.

2. Possible change: 10 town-hall style debates, not moderated by the press, that would be primarily Q&A type sessions with voters. Definite change from the standard debates, proposed by McCain. Obama's response: "You know what we've said is we are happy to do more than the three typical presidential debates in the fall..." Note the use of the word "typical"; i.e., not change.

3. Wright / Flegler / Rezko / Ayers / Jim Johnson. Change? Not the type I'd like to see.

4. How about conservative/liberal rankings? In 2007 Obama was ranked the #1 most liberal senator with a 95.5% score. #1. That is more liberal than Teddy K, Kerry, Schumer, Reid, Biden, Hillary, etc. How about McCain? Couldn't be ranked in '07 (missed too many votes), but in '06 he was ranked 46th most conservative senator with a 57% composite score. While I'd much prefer to see McCain with a much higher conservative ranking, it certainly sounds like only one of these candidates is truly bipartisan and "change" politics. Not quite sure how an automatic liberal vote represents change.

Sadly, it may take his election combined with a Dem Congress for people to really understand who Obama really is. He's nothing more than your standard-issue big government liberal.

Excellent new political blog, w/ article analyzing PA

The dastardly Soren Dayton and the sublime Patrick Ruffini joined up with a few other folks to start a nice new right wing political blog, called TheNextRight. Check it out. I'll link it in the sidebar.

Up on their front page today is an article breaking down why McCain has the opportunity to win Pennsylvania, with the state broken down region-by-region. I'll quote the last couple of regions they mention here:

Northeastern PABush improved his performance in the Scranton area from 2000 to 2004, but still lost the area by a margin of 20,000 votes. If McCain wants to win Pennsylvania, he needs to run at least even in Luzerne County (Scranton) and Lackawanna County (Wilkes-Barre), if not win them. Fortunately for McCain, the Scranton area was a real problem area for Obama in the primary. Obama got 25% in Luzerne County and 26% in Lackawanna County. The Scranton area is one of the premier conservative Democrat areas in America. It may be a tall task for them to warm to Obama.

Southwestern PA

For McCain, the real opportunity could be in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Consider how close a series of counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania were in 2004 and how poory Obama fared in them in the primary:

Mercer County: Bush 51.0% Kerry 48.2%, Clinton 69% Obama 31%

Beaver County: Kerry 51.1% Bush 48.4%, Clinton 70% Obama 30%

Washington County: Kerry 50.1% Bush 49.6%, Clinton 71% Obama 29%

Cambria County: Bush 50.8% Kerry 48.7%, Clinton 72% Obama 28%

Lawrence County: Bush 50.5% Kerry 49.2%, Clinton 74% Obama 26%

Greene County: Bush 50.0% Kerry 49.3%, Clinton 75% Obama 25%

Fayette County: Kerry 53.2% Bush 45.8%, Clinton 79% Obama 21%

When voters select a candidate by a three to one margin, when the two candidates have no real policy disagreements, this has to be interpreted as a rejection of the loser. I believe that all seven of the above counties would vote against Obama. These seven counties casted a total of 409,000 votes in 2004. Even a five point swing in these counties, which would still have Obama winning Fayette County, would represent a swing of 20,000 votes. A ten point swing, which for example would have McCain winning Washington County 55% to 45%, would represent 40,000 votes. By themselves, these counties cannot overturn Democratic control of Pennsylvania. But ripping off nearly a third of what would need to be made up in such a small space would allow McCain to really have a shot in Pennsylvania.

All of these counties except Cambria County are part of the Pittsburgh media market. I live in suburban Pittsburgh and I am encouraged to see that in the past month I have seen a plethora of McCain ads and no Obama ads. Perhaps someone in the McCain campaign understands these figures and realizes that targeting the area surrounding Pittsburgh is vital towards winning the White House. There is the potential for Western Pennsylvania to be among the best swing areas in the entire country for McCain.

There are other important areas for McCain to target, like the Pittsburgh suburbs, the Lehigh Valley, and the Erie area. It is also important to get greater margins in the wide swaths of rural Pennsylvania. But these three areas represent McCain's best chance to take Pennsylvania in the fall. A Democrat has to win Pennsylvania to win the White House. Democrats have lost the presidency while holding Pennsylvania; it's near impossible to think they can survive the defection of Pennsylvania to the Republican column.

1000!

This coming Monday will be two years, to the day, since OccObs first began its global yawp.

And today we reach a milestone of sorts: post # one thousand.

A few notes on our first 1000:

-At least 30% have used proper grammar,

-17.5% have been spiritually edifying (quintupling the MSM rate!),

-Our average post has 124% more body hair than the average blog on the internets. And that number has come down considerably since Strawberry Girl began posting,

-We have gone months without discussing bourbon, and blog viewership has gone down dramatically as a result (or maybe it's just b/c the outside world got password-blocked, I don't know)

999

Heh.

Dreadful polling numbers

Rasmussen has produced 3 doozy polls in the last two days.

Obama is leading McCain by double-digits in 2 supposedly "swing" states: MN & WI.

And in NC, Obama is trailing McCain by only 2 points.

A 4th ugly poll came out today--Obama up 8 on McCain in another "swing" state, OR.

So much for McCain/Powell

ht: Drudge

Colin Powell, the former Republican secretary of state, says he is not ruling out a vote for Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee for president.

Just Because Caribou Express Loves Talking About It...

Here's the latest on shooting hogs, from Russ Chastain:

Best Shots

Ideally, a shot on a broadside hog should be placed in the shoulder area, and lower is preferable. Just be careful not to aim so low that you shoot under the swine. If the animal is quartering towards or away from you, you'll want to place the shot so the bullet will end up in the vitals between the shoulders. Naturally, this requires a bullet that will penetrate well.

Much talk has been put forth about shooting hogs in the head, and that can definitely be a killing shot, provided you hit the brain. Make note of the fact that a hog's brain is a small target, and is well protected by its thick skull [N.B.--is that why everyone keeps calling me "pig headed?"]. Here again, a tough bullet with good penetration is key.

Use Enough Gun

How much gun is enough? Hmmm. That depends on the hog and bullet placement, mainly. As a rule, I would start with any cartridge in the class of the old reliable 30-30 Winchester. This offers plenty of oomph for most hogs, especially with 170-grain bullets of suitable construction. Smaller hogs can be killed with lesser cartridges, and larger boars would be best approached with something heavier. I would not hunt hogs with any rimfire cartridge, unless I were dealing with very small young pigs.

Overkill

As far as how much gun is too much, there's pretty much no such thing, [How good is that?] in my opinion. You can't kill a critter deader than dead, so claims of "overkill" are usually just so much BS, and should be ignored.

Looks like .375 H&H all the way, right C.E.?

More on Boumediene

From today's WSJ editorial:

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy isn't known for his judicial modesty. But for sheer willfulness, yesterday's 5-4 majority opinion in Boumediene v. Bush may earn him a historic place among the likes of Harry Blackmun. In a stroke, he and four other unelected Justices have declared their war-making supremacy over both Congress and the White House.

Boumediene concerns habeas corpus – the right of Americans to challenge detention by the government. Justice Kennedy has now extended that right to non-American enemy combatants captured abroad trying to kill Americans in the war on terror. We can say with confident horror that more Americans are likely to die as a result.
Thursday, June 12, 2008

A bad day for our country; a wake-up call for voters

I don't know if it will wake the average Joe from his "malaise", but this Supreme Court ruling will undoubtely strike the majority of voters as insane. Another door opens for McCain. Will he walk through it?

From the article:

In a campaign dominated by the economy and the Iraq War, the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling Thursday on detainees at Guantanamo marks a forceful reminder that John McCain promises one course and Barack Obama pledges another in picking future justices.

In the current controversy, McCain quickly expressed his disapproval of the opinion, while Obama issued a statement of support. It fell to outsiders to point out the broader implications in the race for the White House.

And by the bye, Judge Luttig is chortling somewhere in Seattle. You finally got your payback on W for passing you over, eh, Michael?

UPDATE: R 4 '08 had this excerpt from Chief Justice Roberts' dissent. I think it says it all:

So who has won? Not the detainees. The Court’s analysis leaves them with only the prospect of further litigation to determine the content of their new habeas right, followed by further litigation to resolve their particular cases, followed by further litigation before the D. C. Circuit — where they could have started had they invoked the DTA procedure. Not Congress, whose attempt to “determine — through democratic means — how best” to balance the security of the American people with the detainees’ liberty interests, see Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U. S. 557, 636 (2006) (BREYER, J., concurring), has been unceremoniously brushed aside. Not the Great Writ, whose majesty is hardly enhanced by its extension to a jurisdictionally quirky outpost, with no tangible benefit to anyone. Not the rule of law, unless by that is meant the rule of lawyers, who will now arguably have a greater role than military and intelligence officials in shaping policy for alien enemy combatants. And certainly not the American people, who today lose a bit more control over the conduct of this Nation’s foreign policy to unelected, politically unaccountable judges.

Another Day in the Life

The Boy Scouts in Iowa showed us who are the real Americans in this country. Hearing some of the interviews on Fox News today ... Wow, it was hard not to get choked up listening to a bunch of 14 and 15 year olds talk about self-sacrifice and putting their buddies and leaders before themselves. I'm proud that I was a Boy Scout, and on days like this it makes you want to throw down with the PC groups that constantly try to undermine the BSA for staying true to their Christian roots.

Sent my Q2 estimated taxes in today (I'm self employed), and with SHK's extrapolation of our future tax rates, I'm sizing up flat tax countries I might emigrate to such as Singapore or Ireland. Fredo, any suggestions on where we can move to?

Finally! Some campaign sanity from the GOP caucus

From Race 4 '08, here's Rep. Blunt's effective graphic:

Classic Reagan

This is hilarious.. Courtesy of SingleWing through a friend..

Why Some People Hate On the 2nd...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJCUglNpFTU
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Veepstakes, this time from Hewitt

From Townhall:

Mike Allen of Politico.com just told me that indeed retired USMC General Anthony Zinni is near the top of the Obama list, and that there are four on the McCain list: Romney at the top, with Rob Portman, Eric Cantor and Tom Ridge also in the hunt.

If this turns out to be the actual shortlist and not just some trial balloon, it tells me that McCain is prioritizing the EV map over other issues in picking his VP. Mitt (MI, NV), Portman (OH), Cantor (VA), and Ridge (PA) all could affect key swing states.

Confidence is high, repeat, confidence is high

So according to the in-the-know crew over at The Politico, it looks like good ole' Fredo might be on cruise control in the Veepstakes.

Be very afraid

First off, welcome aboard SW. It's always nice to gather with other like-minded progressive liberals.

Ahh, the good 'ol "windfall profit tax" on the oil industry reared its ugly head again in the Senate. Besides the fact that this is just hideously socialist, it is also just poor policy. Where to begin? For starters, how about some statistics. First, the combined proven oil reserves of the "Big 5" (Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, Royal DutchShell) are less than 10% of the world's available supply. 10%. Exxon, BP, and Chevron rank 14th, 17th, and 19th, respectively. How much control do you think Exxon has over oil prices when they are sitting on just a few percent of the world's reserves?

Second, despite their large profit (in absolute dollars), Exxon's net profit margin is only 10%. Yes, they had a $40 B profit, but it is critical to keep scale in mind: they made $400 B in revenues but had $360 B in expenses. These are big top-line numbers, and even a small swing in operating costs could wipe those profits out in an instant. GE made $22 B in profit last year (with a 13% profit margin, BTW). Are they making "too much"? Walmart had $380 B in revenue last year - are they making too much? Bank of America had $21 B in profit in '06, how about them? Google, Intel, and Microsoft have profit margins of 18-27%, perhaps we ought to take their profits away to drop them down to 10% too. You can see that the decision to put a "windfall profit tax" on the oil companies would not only be capricious, it would set a dangerous precedent.

It would also take away ANY chance that the US oil companies (who, by the way, are #3 in world oil production, despite not even being in the top 10 in oil reserves) might invest in extracting additional oil from more difficult sources, to increase our supply. And instead of taxing them, how about opening up the Bakken oil fields in the Dakotas, or the Colorado oil shale, or ANWR, all of which combined could eliminate our dependence on foreign oil (or at least from OPEC and Venezuela, the two worst offenders). Then, just as with coal, we could be energy independent. The greenies are hypocrites for opposing this: the fact is, oil will be drilled and removed from somewhere. If drilling really destroys the environment, why is it ok to make other countries ruin their ecosystems on our behalf, rather than just doing it here?

Bottom line: taxing the US oil companies, who have NO control on world oil prices, is the worst kind of politics. And what is scary is that this is just the beginning. If Obama gets in, and more Dems win seats in Congress, expect not only this to happen, but all corporate tax rates to go up, and personal tax rates as well (increase in Soc. Sec. ceiling; tax brackets; capital gains rates; etc.)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Let's Start from the Beginning, Shall We?



This is my first post, and I'd like to thank the OCCOBS for letting me rant about the coming /continuing demise of our nation and world. The coming months will be very interesting, and I look forward to sharing ideas with some like-minded conservatives.

On a fairly light note, but how cruel is the cosmic fate of our nation that we will look back at this period in history and blame a certain starship captain for the coming Obama regime?

Without Captain Kirk, we would have no Next Generation, no Jeri Hall, and no Jack Ryan demanding his celebrity wife into a menage a trois in a Parisian club. Voile, we have Senator Obama. http://www.tmz.com/2008/02/15/jeri-ryan-the-real-obama-girl/.

Welcome, SingleWing

I hope everyone can take a little time out of their busy schedules to wish a warm welcome to our newest contributor, SingleWing (golf clap).

By way of introduction, he's long been an associate of SHK in the general New England vicinity. Shockingly, he's also an upstanding citizen. I, for one, can personally vouch for the fact that SW is a fan of aged spirits. I can circumstantially vouch for his allegiance to cured meats and Notre Dame football ;)

BTW, SingleWing, is your handle a reference to the B2 or the offensive set? Just wondering...

Picture day at Occ Obs

Glad to see our contributors putting on their Sunday best for the camera.




Clockwise from top left:

Linderman, Mayor Protium, ManBeast, Beetz McDogg

Rudy Republicans take heart!

By way of D.C. and the Leprechaun Enforcer, we've obtained this secret video of power brokers vetting a new Presidential contender on the GOP side. It would seem there's still time to get a brokered convention.

The candidate makes some compelling arguments, although comparing all SoCons to Sen. Craig probably crosses the line a bit.

In the end, he's got my vote on a strong defense of 2nd amendment principles.

video

"Objective" media

At the OSU commencement, Brian Williams begs the graduates to please "fix the country," and then goes on to list the areas in which it is "broken". Sounds like an unbiased objective journalist to me.
Monday, June 09, 2008

An inconvenient truth

Interesting editorial in Washington Post about the Iraq war, and apparently how disingenuous claims of "Bush lied" really are. I highly recommend a full read.
Thursday, June 05, 2008

Charity

For those of you looking for a good charity, read on. I may have previously told you about the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a fairly new (begun in 2000) non-profit dedicated to supporting military vets. They have been one of the most highly-praised military charities, and one of the things I like best is that they provide 100% (really, truly 100%) of all your donations to the cause. This is exceptionally rare in a charity; typically anything over 80% is considered good. They can achieve 100% because all of their admin fees are completely covered by separate donations from their Board of Trustees members.

They have recently completed their first project, a physical rehab center. As they describe it:

...a $40 million world-class state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. The “Center for the Intrepid” serves military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and veterans severely injured in other operations and in the normal performance of their duties. The 60,000 square foot Center provides ample space and facilities for the rehabilitation needs of the patients and their caregivers. It includes state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation equipment and extensive indoor and outdoor facilities.

They are now starting their 2nd project, which is a rehab center for traumatic brain injury, and have raised $15 M of the expected $75 M needed for this project. You can read more about it here. I highly recommend this charity; they will continue to partner with Fisher House, another A+ rated military charity.

As we all have read, the VA is inexcusably underfunded. The government, both Repubs and Dems, have failed our returning vets miserably, and it is up to charities like this one to make up the difference.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008

ManBeast Footage

After being asked to sign another asinine petition.

And who could blame him...

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=db1_1212454812

CNN shows its true colors

Check out this passage from cnn's website today:

She [Hillary] again invoked the popular vote, saying she snared "more votes than any primary candidate in history," but primaries come down to delegates, and according to CNN calculations, Obama has her whipped, 2,156 to 1,923.

Hmmm, do you think CNN is in the bag for someone??? First, I'm not exactly sure that a difference of 233 delegate votes out of 4079 constitutes a "whipping". Second, last time I checked the word "whipped" doesn't exactly conjure up images of impartial, unbiased non-opinionated journalism. Finally, can you imagine the racial uproar if the situation were reversed and CNN wrote that Clinton had "whipped" Obama???

One for DC

Over at RCP an author makes the case for Palin for VP.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Where's the Pepto?

*** Developing story ***

I continue to get nauseous thinking about the possibility of an Obama/Billary ticket.

*** This story is developing. Check back later for further updates on whether my queasiness has subsided or I've completely tossed. ***

I know it's early, but...

...the thought of Obama/Hillary + Dem Congress is making me physically ill. I don't know that this country has ever seen the likes of a regime so liberal as Obama + Hillary + Pelosi + Reid, at least not in recent history.

In preparation, I'd suggest boning up on The Communist Manifesto or similar treatises that should prepare you for the race to the left.

BTW, here's a link to McCain's website for donations. As Ben Stiller says, "Do it!"
Monday, June 02, 2008

A touch of country music- Updated



I don't know if any of you listen to country, but this Brad Paisley tune is worth a quick listen. All you need is to get thru the first chorus (about 1 minute) to get the flavor.

It's one of Mrs. Fredo's faves.



UPDATE: By the way, dillweeds, it's funny! You listen now!

A New Look

I liked the old look of the blog, but you know how it is. The sponsors are demanding ratings. Have to hit the right demos, and all that.
Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Old Pros at Occ Obs

We've been at this a while...



From L to R:

Dark Commenteer, Shea Hey Kid, Fredo

Is somethin' juicy a-brewin'?

Sounds that way...

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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