Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin vs. Obama

I think we know who wins that battle, but here's the point-by-point.

Simply. Brilliant.


Nope, not Obama's post-convention bounce but rather McCain's post-Palin bounce. According to Zogby flash poll, McCain/Palin LEADS Obama/Biden 47-45%!

Rasmussen has Obama ahead, but only by 3 points. Considering Obama should have really opened a huge gap with a post-convention bounce, he is perhaps in bad shape since that big lead never materialized or stuck.
Friday, August 29, 2008

And at least 1/2 of the Veepstakes Crown

goes to Dark Commenteer, who had Palin #2 on his list.

No one else had her on there at all.

As for the second 1/2 of the crown, we'll wait and see once all of the shortlist is revealed. It might take a while for all the inner workings to come out, but I'm preliminarily guessing it looks something like:

Cantor (Field: not on original list)

If this list turned out to be right, I think D.C. would win the whole crown outright, but I only gave a quick scan. Developing...

McCain-Palin '08!


All the cable news networks are now confirming Sarah Palin will be McCain's V.P.!

D.C.: Rejoice!


Appears Pawlenty is out, since he won't be in Dayton today. On the other hand, both Palin and Romney supposedly are or will be, so it could be them. Also, secret service supposedly scoped out Romney's sister's house in MI yesterday, leading to speculation it could be him.
Thursday, August 28, 2008

What. A. Douche.

Jimmy Carter thinks John McCain has been "milking" his POW time during his campaign.

Tell you what, Jimmy, why don't you spend 5 1/2 years in a Vietnamese prison camp, endure the unfathomable abuse that McCain did, and THEN maybe you can open your mouth. You useless, unmitigated d-bag.


I love it, Obama's campaign couldn't continue to make more mistakes if they tried. The latest will be tonight when Obama speaks from his massive Greek temple set. Have they not yet realized from the faux-presidential-emblem fiasco or the European "victory" tour that these types of massive over-the-top performances are considered unbecoming for someone who at this point is nothing more than a candidate, and actually turn off more voters than they attract?

Hopefully they haven't realized this yet, and keep driving up the votes for McCain with these ridiculous, inappropriate displays.

Eric Erickson finds a nice metaphor for Obama v McCain

See here.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More on Bubba's algebra

Here's the video.

Pretty stark contrast to his speech at the DNC tonight.


Gallup yesterday and Rasmussen today had McCain ahead of Obama by one point each. Statistically insignificant, as they say, but significant in that at a minimum it shows that they are in a dead heat at a time when Obama should be ahead by 8-10 points. We'll see what kind of post-convention bounce Obama gets, but my guess is not much, and it will be short lived once McCain announces his VP choice and Repubs have their convention.

I'm glad it's finally out there

Many years ago I used to enjoy watching both FoxNews and MSNBC. I felt at the time that MSNBC was reasonably balanced and had some interesting coverage. Over the past year or two, however, it has become blatantly obvious to anyone who watches TV or reads news on the net that MSNBC has pulled a hard left, and is now running even more liberal than CNN and perhaps even NYT.

Well, looks like Scarborough agrees, as does Brokaw. I will say this: I knew from the minute he hit the MSNBC airwaves that keith olbermann was a giant d-bag, but I didn't realize he was such a j-hole that he actually considers himself above tom brokaw as a journalist. Good luck with that ego keith. Unfortunately for you, your show has been getting its ass handed to you by O'Reilly for seven straight years.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Major computer glitch snarls air traffic control systems

See here.

Any guesses if there is a computer-warfare element to this?

One of the funnier unintentionally-funny lines ever uttered

Bubba's at it again. Undercutting the Obamassiah. Try this one on for size:

"Suppose you're a voter, and you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?"

Then, perhaps mindful of how his off-the-cuff remarks might be taken, Clinton added after a pause: "This has nothing to do with what's going on now."
Monday, August 25, 2008


So far it seems Obama has misplayed his hand on VP selection. Everything from the choice to the timing is looking negative. I've seen no glowing stories in MSM, and most today are focused either on: a tie in the polls (CNN), suggesting Biden does not give him any boost; stories about how Hillary supporters are even more embittered now and less likely to vote for Obama; stories about why the text message announcement didn't work and why did Obama wait until Sat am; about how the pick of Biden runs contrary to Obama's message of change and going away from Washington insiders; etc. This was a bad pick on many levels, the only positive is it gives Obama his attack dog.

In contrast, per Fredo's earlier post, can you imagine what kind of positive swing and MSM coverage a Rudy pick for McCain would give him?
Sunday, August 24, 2008

In the GOP veepstakes,

my mind is absolutely made up. There is almost zero chance that McCain will pick Rudy.

That said, I'm pretty convinced he's the best choice, hands down.


He doubles down on the major GOP advantage this cycle--who is ready to govern. Rudy has accomplished more in an executive role than McCain, Obama and Biden put together. He's dealt with homeland security in a more hands-on, real way, than Biden has, despite Biden's alleged "foreign policy" experience. Rudy's economic message amplifies McCain's: he enabled an economic turnaround with free-market principles. He's up to the task of hatchet man, and he's not going to be bullied by Biden.

Mitt meets all the same criteria--plus he's pro-life. But for some reason, middle America seems genuinely skeptical about Mitt. Whether it's because they don't like someone that rich, that Mormon, or just that perfect, I don't know. But what's clear is, with the exception of the abortion issues (and a lot of tried and true pro lifers don't give Mitt the benefit of the doubt on that one), Mitt doesn't have any major advantages over Rudy. Rudy's going to come off as much more an every day guy, while still being up to the job. Mitt fails on the former, and Palin and Pawlenty are question marks on the latter.

Finally, Rudy plays well in Eastern PA, and that might counter the Biden impact on the Keystone state. But that's way down the list.

On ideology and uniting the conservative base, there are safer choices than Rudy (think Pawlenty). But when it comes to the average Joe, they're not sure who T-Paw is, and thus if he's up to the job. Rudy is a leader and everyone knows it.

The "text message" scam

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Barack Obama's pledge to supporters that they would be the "first to know" his running mate turned out to be a savvy but unworkable communications strategy.

The Democratic presidential candidate got scooped by the media on his own announcement, done in by dogged reporting, loose-lipped party insiders and the limits of technology.

But all was not lost. He amassed a huge database of cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses for the fall campaign.

Of course, that was really the point, wasn't it? If the Obamabots thought they were going to be "first to get the news," how'd that one work out? If you were toking away at 3AM, I guess you were first. For everyone else, they woke up to the story blasting away on cable news. The texts were a real scoop for believers [\sarcasm].

What a scam!
Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hill just got her 3AM phone call

From Kavon at Race 4 2008:

Throughout the week, many here at R4′08 speculated as to what was holding up the announcement of Obama’s Vice Presidential selection. After all, why would you announce it on the weekend and throw away entire days of (most likely) fawning news coverage?

We received our answer at 3am EST time last night.

The man who wants to be our President is apparently so childish that specifically waited to release his choice at a time that would send a clear message to Hillary Clinton and the 18 million Democrats who voted for her. Last night, at 3am, Barack Obama looked every Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton in the eyes and gave them “The Finger”.

The questions for Hillary’s supporters are as follows: Are you going sit down and take this? Are you going to allow a man that is willing to conduct a presidential campaign in such a childish/infantile manner to become the President of our nation?

Seriously folks, if Obama can’t rise above acting like a 5 year-old towards his competitors in his own party, how the heck will he act if things don’t go his way with Ahmadinejad?

Biden pt II

From Cilizza's piece in today's WaPo, I'm reminded of one of my favorite Biden moments:

During the 2006 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the Post's Dana Milbank wrote this of Biden's performance:

"Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his first 12 minutes of questioning the nominee, managed to get off only one question. Instead, during his 30-minute round of questioning, Biden spoke about his own Irish American roots, his "Grandfather Finnegan," his son's application to Princeton (he attended the University of Pennsylvania instead, Biden said), a speech the senator gave on the Princeton campus, the fact that Biden is "not a Princeton fan," and his views on the eyeglasses of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)."


Biden it is

CNN guessed this late last night, since a lot of activity was seen at his house (police cruiser with his family showed up late). I'm surprised Obama's campaign made the official announcement on a Saturday morning, but I'm sure they had a reason for burying this story.

Biden announcement gives Obama a few things. First, it gives him someone who supposedly will eliminate any claims that his ticket is too naive on foreign policy. Second, it gives Obama someone who supported him early after dropping out of race. Finally, as I suggested a few days ago, it gives him a real pit bull to attack McCain, while Obama can keep his hands clean. One thing is for sure: as Obama's #s continue to tank and the stakes grow, this race will go increasingly negative. Expect attacks from both sides to greatly accelerate going forward.
Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama's veep

I'm feeling fairly vindicated for a change. I have believed right along that there was zero chance of Hill being veep, and it's now being confirmed that she didn't even make the short list. I said on Monday I thought that Kaine was Obama's first choice, I'm sticking to that. Despite the fact that Biden has led the buzz, and Chet Edward's is the flavor du jour, I'm guessing it's Kaine standing next to Obama on the podium tomorrow.

This should help bring the Clintonites back into the fold


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The One - Road to Denver

Now he's done it

It's bad enough when you vote to uphold infanticide. But to then lie about it outright, and get caught in the lie--well, that ain't gonna help the Baummer.

Here's the lie in question:

Mr. Obama contended that he "would have been completely in, fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported," but that he voted against the 2003 Illinois bill because "that was not the bill that was presented at the state level." Except that it was.

As it turns out - and as even Mr. Obama's campaign admitted Monday to the New York Sun - the National Right to Life Committee wasn't lying; Mr. Obama was. The specific difference cited by Mr. Obama in the CBN interview was that the Illinois bill didn't contain the federal legislation's language explicitly stating that it would not "undermine Roe vs. Wade." (This was not merely off-the-cuff, as the campaign had issued a written statement to CNN in June offering the same rationale.) Not only did the bill contain the exact provision from the federal bill, but Mr. Obama voted in favor of adding it as an amendment. After the state bill was changed to be almost identical to the unanimously passed federal law, Mr. Obama voted against it.

I actually saw the interview with Brody that the article references. It's not like Obama just tried to lie in passing. He got very heated, and basically accused his opponents of smearing him. It turns out he was lying right along. This vote will haunt him.


My theory that McCain's team floated Ridge and Lieberman as a ruse to: (a) keep Indies in the fold, and (b) mainly to boost enthusiasm for the real pick, whoever it might be, above and beyond what they'd normally expect may hold some water. According to Heilmann of New Yorker:

"McCain and his people [may be] engaged in a bit of elaborate gamesmanship designed to make Evangelicals more grateful than they otherwise might be for the selection" of "a running mate who, despite being pro-life, the religious right has some qualms about." His name? Mitt Romney... It does have the added benefit of explaining why the McCain machine has suddenly started spreading rumors about Joe Lieberman--a "longshot" who would, in our opinion, "bring little to the ticket." If you think social conservatives will be grateful not to see a pro-choice Republican as veep, the thinking goes, just imagine how they'll react to the absence of a pro-choice Democrat.

So much for the great positive campaigner


Update: McCain camp responds

“Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people “cling” to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?

“The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.”

Update 2: Drudge says McCain is developing a "hard-hitting" ad in response

Here's what a commenter at Race 4 '08 had to say on the topic. I can't verify the trutfulness or source of what he writes, but I wouldn't be suprised if it became the main topic of McCain's counter-strike:

Obama has opened himself up for the Rezko/Auchi commercial now…
He bought his house, with a shady land deal on the side with money from a convicted felon….Rezko btw apparently got money from this guy Nadmi Auchi - who have been a bagman for Saddam Hussein.

Auchi was a member of the Baath Party in Iraq before Saddam Hussein came to power.[2]. While he denies any ties to Hussein’s government, British media rerports indicate he sold naval ships to Hussein’s government in the 1980s.[2]
He is of the largest shareholders in BNP Paribas, a French bank involved in the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme for Iraq.
In 2003, Auchi was convicted of fraud, and given a 15 month suspended sentence and a £1.5m fine for taking illegal payments from French oil company Elf Aquitaine.[3]. Following the verdict, Elf (by now merged with TotalFina and re-named Total) decided to take legal action against Auchi in France; Auchi responded by suing Total for £200m in turn, this time in the UK.[4]
In recent years he has entered into several partnerships with Chicago-area businessman Tony Rezko, effectively coming to his rescue as his various investment schemes began collapsing. Auchi bought about 15 of Rezko’s pizzeria’s in Wisconsin, according to court records.[5] In 2005 he took a stake in Rezko’s South Loop development at Roosevelt Road and Clark Street, a deal estimated by observers familiar with the details at $170 million.[2]
In 2008 Stuart Levine, the government’s star witness in the corruption trial against Rezko, asserted Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, were among the guests at party in Auchi’s honor that took place at Rezko’s residence April 3, 2004.[5] While Obama has acknowledged his ties to Rezko, a spokesman said that the senator responed that “Sen. Obama does not recall meeting Nadhmi Auchi at any time or on any occasion, and this includes any event that may have been held for Mr. Auchi.”[5]
In 2008 the Times of London reported the discovery state documents in Illinois recording that a Panamaian company by the name of Fintrade Services lent money to a funderaiser for Obama in 2005. Fintrade’s directors included Ibtisam Auchi, the name of Mr Auchi’s wife. Spoksespeople declined to answer when questioned about whether he was linked to this business

Res Ipsa Loquitur

ht: Kavon

Money advantage?

A lot was made of Obama's enormous fundraising edge, but it may well turn out to be irrelevant. To this point he has outspent McCain by more than 2:1, and of particular importance is that he doubled McCain's ad spending in July, yet we all know what the current polls say. So McCain can also claim that he will be better on the economy than Obama, as he can point to running even with someone who has spent twice the money.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And speaking of the rich, fertile soil

for attack ads that is Barack Obama, try this one on for size. Oh, the good stuff that can be made of this.

Here's my take #1:

Barack Obama said at Saddleback that the country's greatest moral failing was not acting on Jesus' message that, "you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

If that's true, what about how one treats their own poor half-brother who lives in Kenya? I guess treating Christ well is something that other people should try to do.

McCain is now winning

Who knows whether it will stick, but today, a Reuters/Zogby poll shows McCain with a 5 point lead nationally, and for the first time, the RCP polling average of state-by-state polls shows McCain with the Electoral Vote lead. And the EV is really all that matters. If the election were held today, and the polls are accurate, McCain would win, 274-264.

Could the timing be any better? One week before the Dem Convention, and the pro-Hillary forces have more reason to say "I told you so" to the Obama folks. How ugly could it get?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

McCain VP

New rumors swirling that McCain's VP pick will be Ridge, or perhaps Lieberman. Now, it is abundantly clear that if it were totally up to McCain, those would be the two possible choices for VP. But fortunately it's not totally up to McCain, and so neither of those guys will be the VP.

So why the rumors? I think a bit of strategizing by McCain campaign. If we look at any of the other possible VP picks, each has a group of critics within the base. Romney, Pawlenty, Jindal, Huck, etc. are not 100% supported by the base, each has their critics. One great way to get 100% support from the base no matter who you pick is to first scare the base into thinking you might go as liberal as Ridge or Lieberman. Once they are in a frenzied panic that either of those guys might actually be the pick, they will be so relieved when you finally announce the real pick that they'll provide full throttle support to whoever it is. I think it's a guaranteed way to get a surge from the base once McCain announces his true pick. It also keeps him in favor with Indies or Dems who might vote for him, knowing that he is "considering" Ridge and Lieberman.

Of course, there is always the chance that McCain actually picks Ridge or Lieberman and tanks this thing faster than the Mets with 17 games left in a season (sorry, wrong blog), but I'm not even allowing myself to consider that possibility.

"O" better refine his stump speech when he's going to a VFW Hall

These reactions ain't pretty:

many of the veterans left the hall with frowns on their faces.

"You don't want to know what I think," said one. "I don't have anything nice to say," said another.

Sam Compton, an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam, said Obama "seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth" when he calls for bringing Iraq troops home and focusing more on domestic priorities, then talks about the need to redeploy troops to Afghanistan. "McCain in my personal opinion has more experience on foreign affairs than Obama and has served in the military. I think that's important."

Joe Morton of Ohio, who served as a Marine in the Korean War, also said that he thought McCain better understood world affairs. But as did several veterans there, Morton also admitted he had other concerns about Obama, repeating the false rumor that he's a Muslim. Told that Obama, a Christian, isn't Muslim, Morton said, "but his father was." Told that Obama grew up hardly knowing his father, Morton shrugged and said, "something like that."

More evidence of Global Warming

Of the cooling=warming variety. From now on, in an effort to avoid any confusion over the environmental catastrophe about to engulph us, I'm just going to start calling it "global warmingcooling," or AGWC, for short.

Please! No Coal Power! Save us NAAUUUGHHHHWWWW!

I already knew the MSM was in the tank for Obama,

but I didn't know they were relying on the Obama campaign for the narrative of their "news stories":

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The U.S. presidential election presents a sharp contrast between two types of patriotism: John McCain stands as a war hero. His rival Barack Obama calls Americans back to the can-do spirit of the nation's founders.

Please: the guy who made a point of renouncing wearing an American flag pin on his lapel, the guy whose wife just got proud of her country now that it's thinking about coronating her husband, the guy whose pastor and confidant blames America for 9/11--this man ain't a patriot of any variety. But I'm glad to see the AP willing to equivocate on his behalf against a guy tortured for our freedom.

What a Bigg J-hole.

MN Polls

Recent state polling from Survey USA and Rasmussen have MN back to around the margin or error. This after it looked like it would be double-digit race a month ago.

This surely helps the rationale for a Pawlenty pick.

Perhaps I've underestimated the animal kingdom

Maybe they're more advanced than I thought: I wonder if they were trying to order Chianti or Merlot.

Kite-surfer confronts Fay, loses

There's dumb, and then there's really, really dumb.

Here's hoping this poor guy who tried to wind surf a tropical storm lives to tell the tale. They say he's in critical condition.

Veepstakes: daily update

Two interesting pieces of news this morning:

1. Remember how on Saturday we learned definitively that McCain wasn't picking a pro-choice veep? It's not seeming so definitive now. Re-enter Ridge & Lieberman. And I'm sick of being head-faked and double-head-faked. McCain gets me in the air more easily than Jordan did Charles Smith.

2. Obama has apprarently made his pick and the announcement may come within the next 24 hours.

As you know by now, believe nothing you read. Everyone lies and the liars can't even figure out if there spinning the truth or spinning a lie.

That said, just for the sakes of good ole' fun, a quick scan of the web will show you that the primary names getting bandied about right now are Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, and Tim Kaine.

Biden is the most "do no harm" pick from a bio standpoint: he's got decades of experience, brings foreign policy bona fides, and is a straight down-the-line liberal that the Dem base can't really argue with. He's also a white working-class regular-Joe sounding guy with roots in Scranton, PA, who might be able to reach out to disaffected Clintonites.

Biden may be the only Dem out there who could challenge McCain on his foreign policy judgment and sound credible.

While his bio makes him a do no harm pick, his history of jamming his foot down his throat makes him a potentially dangerous pick. What was he running for President for 2 days this year before his first big gaffe, "cleangate"?

Bayh is an uninspiring, ideologically unmoored (a true DLC/Clintonite triangulator) Senator (and former Governor) from Indiana, a traditionally GOP state that is in play this year. He's widely admired in IN and might be able to help O carry the state. He is likely to shore-up the perception that Obama wants to run a "moderate" administration (this is total B.S. of course, but that's how it will get reported). Bayh is not loved by the far left (since he has to pretend he's moderate to get elected in IN) and would be unlikely to sway too many voters with his stump speech. The guy's milquetoast all the way. He also has been in D.C. a while (2nd or 3rd term as Senator, IIRC), and helps undercut the "Change" mantra. I'm hoping Obama goes in this direction.

Tim Kaine is the most high risk/high reward pick out there. Picking him would show that Obama is not worried about polls, not worried that people are unsure if he's ready to be CIC, and confident that he doesn't need a big brother like Biden to help him through. Kaine, like Obama, is a fresh face. He's never been in D.C., and is only part-way through his first term as governor of VA. But he's got his stump speech about his accomplishments down, and he's a good surrogate, much better than I thought as I've watched his recent on-camera performances. He brings a white southern male onto the ticket, which has always been a necessary component for a Dem to win the white house (every single winning Dem ticket since JFK has had a white southerner on there). He fits the "change" mantra.

However, he has no foreign policy experience, an area where Obama's already weak. He has a short (and possibly thin, depending on who you ask) record as governor. And he's only the second most popular Dem in his own state, with soon-to-be Senator Mark Warner number 1.

Basically, I'm guessing that Obama wants to pick Kaine, but if he feels like he needs a little more cover, he'll fall back on Biden or Bayh. Bayh's the weaker choice, but unlikely to upset the apple cart by saying something stupid.
Monday, August 18, 2008

If I were Obama,

and I knew I would be making my V.P. selection this week, I think I'd want to push up my timetable. I could drown out the media echo chamber about how McCain mopped the floor with me at Saddleback on Saturday and get the chattering classes chattering about my pick.

Current RCP electoral map

has Obama leading 275-263, but as far as I'm concerned, that's basically a lead for Mac. If this election is close, there's no way IN goes for Obama. Flip it to McCain and he's up 274-264.

And given we could still flip MI or NH, or maybe even PA, this is the best projection I've seen for Mac in a long, long time.

Doomsday scenario #1

While I hate to be pessimistic, I do think there's an obvious solution that presents itself to the Russians regarding NATO expansion.

Break NATO completely.

This could be done relatively easily, from a military standpoint.

Invade Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In a week they'd have the 3 Baltic states firmly back under Soviet control.

Then the Tsar could look over to Brussels and say, "et tu, NATO?"

Think Germany, France and Brown's UK are willing to fulfill their NATO obligation and launch a conventional war to liberate the Baltic states?

If not, and I'd say it's a 50/50 proposition (and only that high b/c we would refuse to accept an abdication of our NATO responsibilities--but would still be unlikely to go to war unless our major European partners lived up to their part of the deal), then NATO is effectively a paper tiger. Offer membership wherever you want, if Russia can ignore it why would the Ukraine bother signing up?
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blowback against Russia grows by the day

After Russia's agression moved Poland to accept the missle defense plan that they've been hedging about for years (and some Russian general popped off that Warsaw is now a target for Russian nukes), we now have word that the Ukraine wants in on missile defense as well.

Putin may well go postal if this comes to fruition.

The Ukraine situation is the trickiest of all the former Soviet Republics: there are millions and millions of ethnic Russians within the Ukrainian borders, meaning Moscow will always feel it has a duty to protect its nationals, and that there is always the chance that a government could come to power in Kiev that is more pro-Russian than pro-West.

Chris Kaman: J-Hole

Read 'em and weep.

Boy do I feel for the old man. I'd want to rip my kid's lungs out if I was in that circumstance.

Kobe Bryant: Patriot

There were a lot of words I would have more instinctively placed after the colon, until I read this transcript over at the Opinionated Catholic:

Collinsworth: Tell the story when you first got your USA uniform.

Kobe: Well I had goosebumps and I actually just looked at it for awhile. I just held it there and I laid it across my bed and I just stared at it for a few minutes; just because as a kid growing up this is the ultimate, ultimate in basketball.

Collinsworth: Where does the patriotism come from inside of you? Historically, what is it?

Kobe: Well, you know it’s just our country, it’s... we believe is the greatest country in the world. It has given us so many great opportunities, and it’s just a sense of pride that you have; that you say "You know what? Our country is the best!"

Collinsworth: Is that a ‘cool’ thing to say, in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by(?)

Kobe: No, it’s a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor.

I don't even know how to play this from a curmodgenly angle. Good on you, Kobe.

UPDATE: The WSJ has a nice article up on Kobe.

A shifting tide

Assuming John King can read his emails correctly, it looks like Lieberman and Ridge are officially out of the veepwatch.

This would leave Romney and Pawlenty as the front runners, with Cantor in the mix, and the same old dark horses (Palin, Thune).
Friday, August 15, 2008

The chief editor of the National Review

is more or less the high priest of print conservatism.

So when Lowry says he's taking the idea of a Lieberman veep selection seriously, I'm gonna do so as well.

In other veep news:

-The DNC is launching a major ad-hit on Romney. They still think Mitt's in the running.

-T-Paw continues to be considered one of the favorites

-Cantor was confirmed as being vetted, but any news around him as a possibility has died down over the past few days.

-Lieberman and Ridge are very much front runners: both have close personal ties with McCain, and Mac's respect.

-Jindal & Palin seem not to be under consideration (sorry DC).

-Rudy is out (based on the fact he's speaking at the convention in a time slot other than the v.p.'s slot)

-if there are dark horses out there, e.g. Thune, Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Fred Smith, etc., no-one with the scoop is talking. So chances are, there are no dark horses, since no one in Washington can keep their yap shut.

To my surprise,

the Ossetian war is either not of interest to my co-contributors, or else my contributions are so boring that they are deterring you all from weighing in.

I would like to point out a few of things about this conflict:

1. Profound impact on global energy markets
2. Profound impact on Russia's willingess to support UN/G8 efforts to prevent weapons proliferation
3. A potentially seismic shift in the way global thermonuclearwar politics are played: the end of unipolarism and the rebirth of open opposition to American military hegemony. What client states, parties, etc. will want to join forces with the Russians?

College is a waste for most

So sayeth Charles Murray at the WSJ. I've been meaning to get to this column for a few days now, and I'm not going to have the chance to seriously address this very serious column. So I'll give a couple quick thoughts on the topic after I set the tone with a quote from the beginning of the column:

Imagine that America had no system of post-secondary education, and you were a member of a task force assigned to create one from scratch. One of your colleagues submits this proposal:

First, we will set up a single goal to represent educational success, which will take four years to achieve no matter what is being taught. We will attach an economic reward to it that seldom has anything to do with what has been learned. We will urge large numbers of people who do not possess adequate ability to try to achieve the goal, wait until they have spent a lot of time and money, and then deny it to them. We will stigmatize everyone who doesn't meet the goal. We will call the goal a "BA."

You would conclude that your colleague was cruel, not to say insane. But that's the system we have in place.

His proposed solution?

...not better degrees, but no degrees. Young people entering the job market should have a known, trusted measure of their qualifications they can carry into job interviews. That measure should express what they know, not where they learned it or how long it took them. They need a certification, not a degree.

The model is the CPA exam that qualifies certified public accountants. The same test is used nationwide. It is thorough -- four sections, timed, totaling 14 hours. A passing score indicates authentic competence (the pass rate is below 50%). Actual scores are reported in addition to pass/fail, so that employers can assess where the applicant falls in the distribution of accounting competence. You may have learned accounting at an anonymous online university, but your CPA score gives you a way to show employers you're a stronger applicant than someone from an Ivy League school.

I agree with this column in a number of ways:

1) There is no reason anyone should have to shell out 100K for the privelege of starting to work. The BA degree is a poor proxy for actual knowledge and work habits.

2) This is an issue that ties in directly with school choice at the primary and secondary school levels. It's a political winner for the GOP. By opening the post-secondary education environment to free market ideas, and allowing for programs that we would today think of as non-traditional, young people could establish their employability in ways other than having a degree. For the average middle class family, this could mean saving tons of debt, being able to buy a home sooner, being in a better situation to afford child rearing, etc. As I'm reading this article, the only thing that keeps going through my head is, "if this isn't an issue made for Pawlenty's 'Sam's Club Republicans,' I don't know what is." This is a populist issue, where the GOP can apply the free-market to help the average guy out--a total home run for the country, a total home run politically.

3) I'm not convinced that the traditional college situation doesn't make the average student less prepared to enter the workplace than when they graduated high school. With a few excpetions (like science and engineering, as he noted), most people spend little time learning material that will ultimately apply to their jobs. But many, if not most, college kids, pick up life habits that probably undermine their ultimate productivity.

Gerard Baker on the West's response to Putin

Great stuff:

To some, China's muscular domination of the Olympic medal table is a powerful allegory of the shifting balance of global power. A far better and more literal testimony to the collapse of the West may be seen in the distinctly weak-kneed response to Russian aggression in Georgia by what is still amusingly called the transatlantic alliance.

Once again, the Europeans, and their friends in the pusillanimous wing of the US Left, have demonstrated that, when it come to those postmodern Olympian sports of synchronized self-loathing, team hand-wringing and lightweight posturing, they know how to sweep gold, silver and bronze.

Going Out on a Limb

I'm going to go way out on a thin limb. Lieberman will be McCain's VP. Here's how it helps -

1. Explicit proof of working across the aisle
2. Further distance from Bush
3. Big help with independents and anti-Obama or pro-Hillary Dems
4. Lots and lots of press
5. Backs-up the maverick claim

Ok. Now you can all go ahead and tear this up. But remember I said it if it happens.
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tempting Kool-aid

It was an unusual occurence in NYC today. I was actually tempted to take a pamphlet being shoved in my face. The sign the person had said something about Georgo Soros causing WW III. So at least there are people on the other side harassing the public.

Rudy not on the short list

I'm kinda surprised, but if he's speaking on Tuesday, he's definitely not the veep.

Krauthamer on Russia's Objectives

From RCP:

His [Putin's] objectives are clear. They go beyond detaching South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia and absorbing them into Russia. They go beyond destroying the Georgian army, leaving the country at Russia's mercy.

The real objective is the Finlandization of Georgia through the removal of President Mikheil Saakashvili and his replacement by a Russian puppet...

What everyone overlooks in the cease-fire terms is that all future steps -- troop withdrawals, territorial arrangements, peacekeeping forces -- will have to be negotiated between Russia and Georgia. But Russia says it will not talk to Saakashvili. Thus regime change becomes the first requirement for any movement on any front. This will be Putin's refrain in the coming days. He is counting on Europe to pressure Saakashvili to resign and/or flee to "give peace a chance."

The Finlandization of Georgia would give Russia control of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which is the only significant European-bound route for Caspian Sea oil and gas that does not go through Russia. Pipelines are the economic lifelines of such former Soviet republics as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan that live off energy exports. Moscow would become master of the Caspian basin.

Subduing Georgia has an additional effect. It warns Russia's former Baltic and East European satellites what happens if you get too close to the West. It is the first step to re-establishing Russian hegemony in the region.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chicago: The Big Chill

With a hat-tip to Drudge, the Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago has had the fewest 90-day degree days over the past 8.5 years of any comparable period since the 1930's. Global Cooling in full effect.


Portman not on the Short List?

Apparently not. Good news for Ridge and Pawlenty, and to a lesser extent, for Thune and Kasich.

Cease-fire a head fake?

It would appear to be so. Russia bought a precious day or two of time, with false promises to end hostilities.

The diplomatic situation seems relatively the same as it was two days ago, although the military situation is probably deteriorating by the hour.

Another point to the Soviets.

Gold medal

Sure, Phelps' world record times and non-stop gold medal action gather all the attention. But perhaps he ought to be getting the gold medal for something else: his eating routine. I thought I could put away the calories but check out his schedule for 12,000 (that's TWELVE THOUSAND) calories per day! His breakfast, lunch and dinner are insane.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clinton rises from the grave

She is still continuing to hurt Obama's chances, the latest being this memo from Mark Penn questioning Obama's American-ness and values. Outstanding; this will continue to propagate the huge rift in Dem party.

Buchanan lays the wood to Obama on his support of infanticide

See here. Key part:

Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block a bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste.

How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?

If, as its advocates contend, abortion has to remain legal to protect the life and health, mental and physical, of the mother, how is a mother's life or health in the least threatened by a baby no longer inside her -- but lying on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath?

How is it essential for the life or health of a woman that her baby, who somehow survived the horrible ordeal of abortion, be left to die or put to death? Yet, that is what Obama voted for, thrice, in the Illinois Senate.

Obama's chief counsel: only the best for "the one"

George Clooney.

No. Seriously.

Democratic Party insiders have revealed that Clooney and Obama regularly send texts and emails to each other and speak by phone at least twice a week.

One said last night: ‘They are extremely close. A number of members of the Hollywood community, including Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, offered to help raise funds for Barack but it was with George that he struck up this amazing affinity.

‘George has been giving him advice on things such as presentation, public speaking and body language and he also emails him constantly about policy, especially the Middle East.

‘George is pushing him to be more “balanced” on issues such as US relations with Israel.

'George is pro-Palestinian. And he is also urging Barack to withdraw unconditionally from Iraq if he wins.

With the likely demise of Ted Stevens

it made me wonder, how many US Senators are left who served in WWII?

Surprisingly, there are still 5:

Sen Akaka
Sen Inouye
Sen Lautenberg
Sen (John) Warner
Sen Stevens

Warner will be retiring and Stevens may well go down. Chances are we'll be down to three by January.
Monday, August 11, 2008

McCain statement on Ossetian War

This really explains why the man needs to be President. A great statement from beginning to end. The first half of the statment contains McCain's understanding of the history. The second half has Mac's action steps:

-Continue efforts to have the UN Security Council condemn the attack, despite Russian veto attempts.
-NATO should consider sending peacekeepers to South Ossetia
-NATO should revisit its decision to withold membership from Georgia
-We should work with other nearby nations (Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey) to ensure that regional security is maintained (I'm guessing that's code for prepare a military response should Ukraine or Azerbaijan be attacked).

"Our united purpose should be to persuade the Russian government to cease its attacks, withdraw its troops, and enter into negotiations with Georgia. We must remind Russia's leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world. World history is often made in remote, obscure countries. It is being made in Georgia today. It is the responsibility of the leading nations of the world to ensure that history continues to be a record of humanity's progress toward respecting the values and security of free people.

FWIW, if you'd like to contrast the take of Obama & McCain on this situation, check out this ABC News story from Aug 10:

"Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory," he [McCain] said in a morning statement.

Obama also condemned the Russian invasion. But he cast a wider net for advice -- including Hadley, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and his foreign policy advisors. When he spoke, he was characteristically circumspect.

"I think it is important at this point for all sides to show restraint and to stop this armed conflict," Obama said. The candidates' responses reveal a stark difference in governing style, and both seem carefully calibrated to appeal to American voters.

Which politican knew the situation well enough, intuitively, despite conflicting information coming in from the wires and sources on the ground, to know who was at fault and who was not? And which politician gave a mealy-mouthed response, and refused to take sides in his initial statment, so that he could buy time, and be told what to think so he could give his "full opinion" later?

This may be the best example yet to show the difference between "ready to lead" and "not ready to lead."

P.S. I like how Lowry summed up Obama's initial response:

Obama declared that "now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint."

In their implied moral equivalence, these reactions were a little like urging the Kuwaitis to de-escalate with Saddam's Iraq in August 1990.

Ossetian War: Choose Your Own Adventure

You are President of the United States.

Russia, one of the worlds largest oil producing states, and the only possesors of a nuclear arsenal equal to our own, have used an internal Georgian struggle as pretense for an invasion of their former colony. Two major oil pipleines run through Georgia, and Russia has already targeted one for destruction via airstrikes, but failed.

The Russian are now widening their attack, including using their Black Sea fleet, stationed in the Ukraine, to shell Georgian coastal cities and military positions. The use of the Black Sea fleet threatens to draw Ukraine into the conflict, as the governmnet in Kiev feels Russia's aggressive actions have violated their treaty with Ukraine that allows for the Russian fleet to be stationed in a Ukrainian port.

Additionally, the Russians have signaled their intent to widen the conflict within Georgia. Since the initial invasion brought no substantive resistance from the West, they are now threatening to invade a second Georgian province. Will it stop there? Or will they simply engulph Georgia yet again? And what about Ukraine? Azerbaijian? Or any other former Soviet republic not protected by Nato membership?

Merely 4 months ago, you led a US delegation in pushing Georgia for NATO membership, but were rebuked by France, Germany, and other NATO partners, who were worried about the Russian response should Georgia be offered membership. Georgia was, however, told that they would eventually be offered membership. This middle-ground was supposed to assuage the Kremlin, but apparently it only served notice that Russia would have to move quickly if it was to reassert its control over Georgia, else their former province would be lost to NATO forever.

You have strongly condemned the attack, and called for other democracies to do the same. But what next? What steps to take? Do you risk further alienating Russia, by coordinating a joint military response? Could such an endeavor succeed? What are the possible domino effects, militarily and economically? Even if such a military effort succeeded, and led to a liberation of Georgia with NATO membership, would "success" leave Russia feeling so isolated that it would drive them towards a strategic allinace with China?

Conversely, by doing nothing, would Russia and China get the message that they have carte blanche within their respective "spheres of influence" to conquer, oppress, and annex?

Your move, Mr. President.

Rove: Don't deny, just change the subject

Karl Rove is undeniably a brilliant political mind. And in reviewing the transcript of his appearance yesterday on "Face the Nation", I came across a paragraph that intrigued me:

SCHIEFFER: Does he need to separate himself from your old boss, George Bush? Separate himself more?

Mr. ROVE: You know, he needs to--he needs to recognize that every election is about the future, and he needs to describe who he is. If he--if Senator Obama has wisely attacked him saying, `Third term of George Bush,' Senator McCain has responded badly to that. Rather than saying, `You know what, here's who I am and here's what I'm about,' he's responded by saying, `No, I'm not,' which is the wrong answer. If the question is who is not George Bush, Barack Obama is the answer. If the question is who are you and do you have a vision for the future, the answer could be Senator McCain.

Can Mac respond to the McSame taunts by "changing the topic," without appearing to be validating the charge? I'm not sure, but Rove raises an interesting question. Is Mac setting himself up for a race he can't win by claiming to be (more) real change?
Sunday, August 10, 2008

How does the liberal disinformation machine work?


This is an interesting little case study.

Step 1: Write an article that is purportedly about how hip-hop (and the hip-hop "community") will either be a boon or a millstone for Obama.

Step 2: Before answering the purported main point of the article, fire off a bunch of statements, in the guise of premises, which are of dubious truthfulness (see below, on the nature of hip hop). But since you're still waiting for the "answer", you aren't really paying attention yet.

Step 3: Having filled the reader's brain with false premises, conclude by never answering your own question. There is the hint that hip-hop is probably a boon to Obama, b/c the artists can "build his brand", but the author leaves it in the words of Simmons. Hence, nothing to argue with if you're on media watch.

My favorite part is the false premise, under the cover of a quotation, which has the double-whammy effect of painting those who don't like hip hop as racist, since they "don't udnerstand it" and must be assuming the worst for racial reasons:

"Hip-hop's public image makes it a hot potato," said Bakari Kitwana, of the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago. "People don't know what it is so they equate it with hyper-sexuality, violence and drug culture."

Yeah. Don't know where I got that crazy idea.

Just to put Kitwana's theory to an unscientific test, I surfed over to and sampled from the first few hyperlinks that presented themselves to me. Behold:

Hypersexualized? Nah...
The first 20 seconds of Pitbull, who was #5 on their "hot 5" list. By 20 seconds in, he lets you know that he f**ks like a porn star.

Mike Jones w/ Hurricane Chris. Since I couldn't figure out what he was saying, I took the liberty of going to rap to get the lyrics. This man can rhyme:



Violent? Nah...

Here's my man Ace Hood (at least there's some truth in advertising):

eh knock knock, bang bang
where the cash at
if u ain't got it leave you bloody like a tampax
come up swinging at you thugs aflac
then i fall in the sway back may back
see im back for da money like i left dat
see i be runnin on the route where da cash go (where da cash go)
and any nigga interfering with the cash flow so he can get pumped on like Citgo
make his body bounce bounce like a 64
tall clips chrome lips see the big gold
im a duffle bag boy like i move coke big crack threw tha music so the flow dope
i keep my money ova bitches til da door close
i need money like a bitch need dick mo
im tryna c it like a muhfuckin castro rubber bands in my pants and a swift bankroll

Drug Culture
? Nah...

Enter Huey with his "Tell Me This":

Committee, how we living, never tricking that’s a felony
I stay so hi-i-i-i-i-igh

The amazing part about pulling these lyrics is I didn't have to know a thing about hip hop. I went to BET, and checked out the songs they were featuring ON THEIR FRONT PAGE. Here are the dang screen shots.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Thank you, Johnny boy

Forget Ted Stevens, John Edwards has admitted to the affair (although he denies fathering the child). Wow, talk about a bad turn of events for Dems, you have one of their frontrunners and party faces admitting to an affair while his wife is suffering from incurable cancer. Well played, John, well played. You certainly win d-bag of the month hands down.

Welcome to the You Tube universe

Given how inexpensive it is to air internet ads (vs TV), I guess the campaigns are going to have a continuous flow of new content. Mac's latest continues to hammer away at Obama for his "celebrity", as well as his proposed tax increases.

Dem Reply to "Maverick"

This is a predictable and not wholly ineffective rebuttal. Unfortunately for Dems, I still think McCain wins this tit-for-tat. Their ad has the stink of opportunism all over it: sure Dems think McCain sucks after he wins the nomination. The quotes from the McCain ad were issued when Mac wasn't running for President, which gives them the feel of the "real" opinion of the Dems being quoted.
Thursday, August 07, 2008

They're eating their wheaties at McCain HQ

The ads have just gone to plaid in the last few weeks. Check out this beaut:

Good news

McCain now leads Obama on 9 of 14 key issues, according to latest Rasmussen. Just a month or so ago Obama was preferred on 10 out of 10 key issues according to Rasmussen, so this marks a huge swing.

Don't be shocked to see Billary pull something at Dem Convention, I think they may have some move up their sleeve. The most passive move for them would be to simply sit back and hope Obama loses this year, so she is guaranteed nomination in 2012. But if they think Obama will win this year, I can see them lobbying superdelegates to make a switch.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Best McCain Ad Yet


Monday, August 04, 2008

This, my friends, is what complete, utter, and total capitulation looks like

From the WSJ:

BAGHDAD -- Hit by a government military crackdown and dwindling popular support, anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is planning a major shift in strategy: re-branding and disarming the Mahdi Army by turning the militia into a civic and social service organization, a move that could further enhance the stability of Iraq.

In an introductory brochure obtained by the Journal and confirmed by Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi, Mr. Sadr's chief spokesman, the Mahdi Army will now be guided by Shiites spirituality as opposed to anti-American militancy. It will even get a new philosophy or guiding principle: al-Mumahidoon, meaning his supporters will be the foot soldiers of the Shiites messiah, Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, who Shiites Muslims believe will return to rid the world of evil and injustice.

The brochure states the al-Mumahidoon will undertake an intellectual and scientific jihad that focuses on education, religion and social justice. It also says "It (the army) is not allowed to use arms at all."

My main take away from this is that Sadr came to the determination that every day he persisted in fighting us he was losing manpower and credibility, and that a complete "restructuring" was the only way to attempt to preserve his brand. This did not come to pass because Sadr experienced some sort of religious awakening that Islam does not allow for wanton violence. This came to pass because of our boot on his throat, plain and simple.

Victory. Kudos to the troops, to the President, and to Gen. Petraeus. Hope you all enjoy a tall cold one tonight.
Sunday, August 03, 2008


I'd much rather face Obama/Kaine. But MSNBC and the O! Media brigade seem convinced his schedule for Tuesday indicates that we'll be getting the Bayh pick within 48 hours.

Life is Worth Living

Meet Jack Priestley.

If he were a few decades younger with a lot of free time on his hands, he'd probably be an Occ Obs contributor. Except for one thing: he's far more disciplined than we are. He insists on a shot of whisky each and every day before breakfast:

Since his first puff in 1917 he has smoked 153,000 cigars and 715,400 cigarettes and drunk a shot of whisky in his morning cup of tea every day since the age of 24. He has not suffered any serious health problems related to smoking or drinking.

His mother-in-law got him hooked on whisky, which he drinks without fail as soon as he gets up, before he has even had breakfast.

"She said the best thing for a woman is for her to drink whisky before she does anything, every day," he said. "I don't feel my age. I've still the mind of a young man. But if I had the company of a good woman, I'm sure I'd feel 40 years younger in a flash."

Happy 100th Jack!

Cantor being vetted

Rep Cantor is now confirmed as being on the shortlist.

My guess is that there's no way McCain will go with someone as unknown as Rep Cantor, even though his track record on policy matters is excellent. While Cantor might help in VA (I'm skeptical), I do appreciate his solid, down-the-line conservatism.

The McCain campaign is probably throwing this out there now to remind VA voters that Mac cares about them just as much as Obama/Kaine, as well as for outreach to Jewish voters that will be crucial in FL and elsewhere.

Line Change

With thanks to Beetz, Occ Obs HQ is now pouring Old #7. The Beam Black Label almost made the front page, but ran into a real buzzsaw on Friday night. Thanks though, MB.
Friday, August 01, 2008

More on Beasty's "O=Socialism" article

This must be blockquoted. It's screaming to be blockquoted. Here goes:

Election '08: Before friendly audiences, Barack Obama speaks passionately about something called "economic justice." He uses the term obliquely, though, speaking in code -- socialist code.

During his NAACP speech earlier this month, Sen. Obama repeated the term at least four times...

...Obama never spelled out the meaning of the term, but he didn't have to. His audience knew what he meant, judging from its thumping approval.

It's the rest of the public that remains in the dark...

"Economic justice" simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It's a euphemism for socialism.

In the past, such rhetoric was just that -- rhetoric. But Obama's positioning himself with alarming stealth to put that rhetoric into action on a scale not seen since the birth of the welfare state...

Of course, Obama is too smart to try to smuggle such hoary collectivist garbage through the front door. He's disguising the wealth transfers as "investments" -- "to make America more competitive," he says, or "that give us a fighting chance," whatever that means.

Among his proposed "investments":

"Universal," "guaranteed" health care.

"Free" college tuition.

"Universal national service" (a la Havana).

"Universal 401(k)s" (in which the government would match contributions made by "low- and moderate-income families").

"Free" job training (even for criminals).

"Wage insurance" (to supplement dislocated union workers' old income levels).

"Free" child care and "universal" preschool.

More subsidized public housing.

A fatter earned income tax credit for "working poor."

And even a Global Poverty Act that amounts to a Marshall Plan for the Third World, first and foremost Africa.

His new New Deal also guarantees a "living wage," with a $10 minimum wage indexed to inflation; and "fair trade" and "fair labor practices," with breaks for "patriot employers" who cow-tow to unions, and sticks for "nonpatriot" companies that don't.

That's just for starters -- first-term stuff.

McCain Ad: "The One"

Yup, the Obama arrogance may come back to haunt.

Obama is a Socialist

There. I said it in plain words. What we already knew implicitly. Even if only a fraction of what's said in the article linked below is true, we could be headed for the worst disaster in our country's recent history.


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