Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Talk about a solid ad...



Now c'mon, Bubba, do your duty, and just say "no comment" when Dems the MSM asks you to refute your own statement.

It's the only thing that might get you back in the good graces of your better half...
Monday, September 29, 2008

Not good

Well, the poll #s for McCain continue to decline, he's been a steady 5 points below Obama in Rasmussen for several days, and is 8 points below in Gallup registered voters. Part of this is surely due to voters punishing him as a Repub for current economic crisis, part may be due to Palin's recent weak interviews. Hopefully they've gotten her answers and message crisper for debate tomorrow night.
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dude, where's my bailout?

My only question is, why do I even bother to pay my mortgage? If I'd pocketed the cash and fallen into arrears, I'd probably be in line to be forgiven right around now.

McCain delay

I'm curious to see how McCain's request to delay both the presidential and VP debates until the bailout is settled will play out. Will voters see this as a move that is in the best interest of the country, that demonstrates the very leadership and bi-partisanship that McCain has been emphasizing? Or will they see it as a move of weakness, suggesting that: (a) McCain is incapable of doing more than one thing at a time, (b) McCain is unprepared for the debate and wants to postpone, (c) he's covering for Palin who is unprepared for her debate, or (d) all of the above?

My guess is voters will be split between the two possibilities, with perhaps a slight edge in McCain's favor.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Biden: Gaffe machine in operation. Please stand clear.

1. From the Politico:

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed," Biden told Couric. "He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"


2. With respect to coal power and the environmental damage they cause, here's Joe's solution:

"No coal plants here in America," he said. "Build them, if they're going to build them, over there [in China]. Make them clean."


I'm sure they'll be thrilled to hear that in PA, VA, WVa, KY, IN, NM, and CO. So much for energy independence. Let's just shift our reliance from Tehran to Beijing.

3. Attacking his own campaign:

Asked whether he’s disappointed with the tone of the campaign, including the ad that Couric characterized as “making fun of John McCain’s inability to use a computer,” Biden said “I thought that was terrible by the way.

“I didn’t know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it”


4. Then, of course, there's the ever-popular:

“Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America,” Mr. Biden said Wednesday in Nashua, N.H. “Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me.”


5. From the convention:

Biden calls Obama "Barack America." He does not correct himself.


6. More from the convention, via HuffPost. Speaking of his first wife, Biden says:

"She also has a doctorate degree, which is a problem." What do you mean, Joe?


7. Explaining Obama's appeal, from the primaries:

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy"


Not like every African American politican before Obama. You know--fringe radicals, dirty, inarticulate, ugly.

WaPo on the 269-269 ticking time bomb

If the EC vote ever came out a tie, we'd be in a world of hurt, with litigation all over the place. Some of the different possible explanantions for what could happen are explored here.

I think the most likely solution is that the incoming House gets to vote, with each state delegation getting one vote. That means the GOP would need to pick up 3 state delegations this fall in the House for McCain to win, since 27 states currently have more Dem Representatives than Republicans.
Monday, September 22, 2008

From Bloomberg.com: How the Dems caused the financial crisis

How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis: Kevin Hassett

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The financial crisis of the past year has provided a number of surprising twists and turns, and from Bear Stearns Cos. to American International Group Inc., ambiguity has been a big part of the story.

Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? It all seems so complex.

But really, it isn't. Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.

Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis. They fueled Wall Street's efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio of mortgages themselves.

In the times that Fannie and Freddie couldn't make the market, they became the market. Over the years, it added up to an enormous obligation. As of last June, Fannie alone owned or guaranteed more than $388 billion in high-risk mortgage investments. Their large presence created an environment within which even mortgage-backed securities assembled by others could find a ready home.

The problem was that the trillions of dollars in play were only low-risk investments if real estate prices continued to rise. Once they began to fall, the entire house of cards came down with them.

Turning Point

Take away Fannie and Freddie, or regulate them more wisely, and it's hard to imagine how these highly liquid markets would ever have emerged. This whole mess would never have happened.

It is easy to identify the historical turning point that marked the beginning of the end.

Back in 2005, Fannie and Freddie were, after years of dominating Washington, on the ropes. They were enmeshed in accounting scandals that led to turnover at the top. At one telling moment in late 2004, captured in an article by my American Enterprise Institute colleague Peter Wallison, the Securities and Exchange Comiission's chief accountant told disgraced Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines that Fannie's position on the relevant accounting issue was not even ``on the page'' of allowable interpretations.

Then legislative momentum emerged for an attempt to create a ``world-class regulator'' that would oversee the pair more like banks, imposing strict requirements on their ability to take excessive risks. Politicians who previously had associated themselves proudly with the two accounting miscreants were less eager to be associated with them. The time was ripe.

Greenspan's Warning

The clear gravity of the situation pushed the legislation forward. Some might say the current mess couldn't be foreseen, yet in 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: If Fannie and Freddie ``continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,'' he said. ``We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.''

What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.

Different World

If that bill had become law, then the world today would be different. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a blizzard of terrible mortgage paper fluttered out of the Fannie and Freddie clouds, burying many of our oldest and most venerable institutions. Without their checkbooks keeping the market liquid and buying up excess supply, the market would likely have not existed.

But the bill didn't become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn't even get the Senate to vote on the matter.

That such a reckless political stand could have been taken by the Democrats was obscene even then. Wallison wrote at the time: ``It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit. The Democrats and the few Republicans who oppose portfolio limitations could not possibly do so if their constituents understood what they were doing.''

Mounds of Materials

Now that the collapse has occurred, the roadblock built by Senate Democrats in 2005 is unforgivable. Many who opposed the bill doubtlessly did so for honorable reasons. Fannie and Freddie provided mounds of materials defending their practices. Perhaps some found their propaganda convincing.

But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.

Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.

Clinton, the 12th-ranked recipient of Fannie and Freddie PAC and employee contributions, has received more than $75,000 from the two enterprises and their employees. The private profit found its way back to the senators who killed the fix.

There has been a lot of talk about who is to blame for this crisis. A look back at the story of 2005 makes the answer pretty clear.

Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that's worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190, the bill that would have averted this mess.

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He is an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)
Sunday, September 21, 2008

While McCain's done a great job as our candidate,

can you imagine the home-field advantage that Mitt would be enjoying on the "market meltdown" issue, had he been the GOP nominee?

I mean, total home run for him.

Of course, chances are the main story will be something different between now and Nov 4, given the attention deficit/drive-by nature of the MSM.
Thursday, September 18, 2008

Culinary Paradise

Maker's Mark on the Rocks
Mesclun salad with lemon & fresh pepper
Another Maker's Mark on the Rocks
Veal Parmagian with Cavatellis
Tartufo with a double espresso

nice
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Makes you stop and think

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nothing to do but laugh

In light of the continuing slaughter of the financial markets this year with no end yet in sight, I offer one of the funniest exchanges of all time:

Jack: So, things are going real, real well for you, aren't they, eh, Kevo?

Kevin: Gosh, things have been going so great lately. I got in early on some wireless I.P.O.s, and the stuff just skyrocketed from there.

Greg: Wow.

Kevin: What about you, Greg? What line of work are you in?

Greg: I'm in health care.

Kevin: Yeah, so you know what I'm talking about. There are a lot of Benjamins to be made now with biotech stuff. I don't have to tell you that. How's your portfolio?

Greg: I'd say strong...to quite strong.
Saturday, September 13, 2008

Feeding frenzy

So the MSM has begun their rabid pursuit to tear down Palin. Gibson shows condescension and ABC a complete lack of balance, Dems airlift 30 or 40 lawyers and investigators into Alaska, and media runs all sorts of stories about her family and personal life. Good news for us, because I believe people have already decided they like Palin and the more they perceive the media as unfairly attacking her (especially stark in contrast to the stroking they give the O!), the stronger support will be for McCain/Palin. And by the way, if Palin was REALLY as bad as the MSM would have you believe, how in the world does she enjoy an 80+% approval rating in Alaska, the highest of any governor in the country?

Obama can only be regretting more and more strongly that he not only didn't pick Hillary as VP, but didn't even vet her, giving her supporters even more reason to consider McCain ticket. Dems must be beside themselves they didn't pick Hillary over Obama, but they have only themselves to blame for that. And by the way, if anyone thinks Hillary will attack Palin, think again. She wants McCain/Palin to win this year so she can run uncontested in 2012.
Friday, September 12, 2008

More good news

Congressional races now looking competitive, at least generically. If we win presidency AND pick up seats in Congress, expect the Clintons to give the Dems a huge middle finger and giant "I told you so."
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick on a pig

Huh.

Now that the conventions are over, we're just going to get stupid for the next two months, eh?

Gerson on Trig Palin and eugenic abortion

Michael Gerson's column, up at RCP, is truly moving. It points out the contradictory positions held by many Dems, and how the "individual choice" (i.e. abortion) they promote has led to a culture of eugenics.

A thought provoking piece that I'll be thinking about for some time, I'm sure.

Give it a read if you have a few minutes. Here's the meat of the column, devoid of the anecdotes that put a human face on his argument, in case you need the short version:

The wrenching diagnosis of 47 chromosomes must seem to parents like the end of a dream instead of the beginning of a life. But children born with Down syndrome -- who learn slowly but love deeply -- are generally not experienced by their parents as a curse but as a complex blessing. And when allowed to survive, men and women with an extra chromosome experience themselves as people with abilities, limits and rights. Yet when Down syndrome is detected through testing, many parents report that genetic counselors and physicians emphasize the difficulties of raising a disabled child and urge abortion.

This is properly called eugenic abortion -- the ending of "imperfect" lives to remove the social, economic and emotional costs of their existence. And this practice cannot be separated from the broader social treatment of the disabled. By eliminating less perfect humans, deformity and disability become more pronounced and less acceptable. Those who escape the net of screening are often viewed as mistakes or burdens. A tragic choice becomes a presumption -- "Didn't you get an amnio?" -- and then a prejudice. And this feeds a social Darwinism in which the stronger are regarded as better, the dependant are viewed as less valuable, and the weak must occasionally be culled...

...the pro-choice radicalism held by Kennedy and many others -- the absolute elevation of individual autonomy over the rights of the weak -- has enabled the new eugenics. It has also created a moral conflict at the heart of the Democratic Party. If traditional Democratic ideology means anything, it is the assertion that America is a single moral community that includes everyone. How can this vision possibly be reconciled with the elimination of Down syndrome children from American society?
Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I go back and forth.

Would I rather conduct Haydn's "Surprise" symphony, or do what this is guy is doing?

A tough call.

Belated Line Change


Old Whiskey River

Buffalo Trace

They was good.

test

test

Serves him right

So, the Mighty O! is having trouble raising funds, and now must split time between campaigning and fundraising, while Johnny Mac can focus exclusively on campaigning. Too bad you will no longer have the fundraising edge over McCain you thought you would by reneging on your initial promise last year to accept public funding if your opponent would also do so.

Looks like that chicken has come home to roost.
Monday, September 08, 2008

A little philosophy for you

CNN: Still towing the party line

Latest CNN poll has McCain and Obama tied up. They comment directly on the fact that they show no bounce for McCain here:

"Other polls are showing 'convention bounces' for McCain, but ours does not. The reason is probably due to the fact that the CNN poll has had a very low number of respondents who say they are undecided for several months. CNN is among the most biased and partial purveyors of "news" today. (Or at least that's what they'd say if they were being honest.)

Let's dig a little further:

Another factor may be gender. "Although Sarah Palin is the first woman on a GOP ticket, women nationwide are sticking with Obama -- 52 percent of women are planning to vote Democratic, while 51 percent of men are in the GOP column," Holland added.

Hmmm, that's an interesting result given that Rasmussen's more trustworthy poll showed Obama's lead among women shrink dramatically from +14 one week ago to +3 today.

Nice try, CNN, but you, Oprah, and US Weekly can take your hatchet jobs elsewhere. The American public isn't having any of this year, and your blatant partiality will be part of the cause for McCain/Palin's success.

Fantastic new McCain ad: Original Mavericks


It’s too bad you didn’t listen to your critics earlier, O. When you run a campaign with a primary theme as nebulous as “change,” your opponent can co-opt your message quickly and easily.

And particularly when your opponent is McCain-Palin.

And BTW, I thought this ad was the most direct embrace yet of the Sarkozy/Gingrich model, embracing the anti-incumbency feeling in the electorate:

"He battled Republicans, and reformed Washington."
"She battled Republicans, and reformed Alaska."

If I was running as a down-ticket Republican, I might not be quite as happy with the ad.

Want to see some actual reporting?

The WaPo is apparently consolidating its hold as the MSM's "newspaper of record", supplanting the NY Times by doing what the Times used to do: a center-left editorial page, coupled with actual hard news.

Check out this story, a "fact-check" of sorts, on Palin's claim to have gotten the ball rolling towards a major new natural gas pipeline.

The story makes a few main points:

1) Points out how Palin took on the BP, Conoco and ExxonMobil when they were trying to cut a sweetheart deal under Gov. Murkowski and with the support of VP Cheney and Sen Stevens.
2) By dictating terms to the industry, and then opening the door to any firm willing to meet their terms, Alaska was able to get an agreement in place that was more favorable than the preliminary agreement Murkowski had struck with the three original firms.
3) Points out how there are still many hurdles for this plan to payoff--much wrangling over getting the pipeline in place, and then forging an agreement for the three petrol companies to ship their gas through another firm's pipeline. Everything that's been accomplished so far is prelude.

What makes this news and different from, say, network TV news or the Times, is where the Post ends the article. I was pretty sure the typical MSM article would have ended here:

BP and Conoco Phillips have announced plans to build a pipeline of their own without the state's backing -- a sign that the political and economic wrangling over this immense and risky project is far from over.

The Post's editors wisely realized that the real story in this case is not was hasn't yet been accomplished, but how much has. So they end it here:

But it is also a sign that Ms. Palin's outflanking of the oil companies injected some competition and urgency into a process that was previously stalled. Perhaps her Democratic opponent for the governorship in 2006, who campaigned on similar ideas, would have achieved these results. Nevertheless, Ms. Palin actually did.

Ding dong, the witch(es) are dead

Well, well, well. MSNBC has finally realized how ABSURD it was to use Olbermann and Matthews as their "news" leads during serious political events. They are done, they will no longer be chairing such events, MSNBC has dropped their pathetic asses as news anchors.

In other extraordinarily good news, McCain/Palin is up across the board. Up by 3 according to Gallup, up by 4 from Zogby, up by 4 from USA Today (and a WHOPPING 10 points among likely voters!), and tied in Rasmussen. Bad news indeed for the Dems today.
Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mad Money 3: Deadline Update

Tonight's the deadline: get your final predictions in tonight or tomorrow for you belated types (this means you SHK). Here's the rules, in case you already done forgot.

Palin / NYT

Not sure what this tease from Drudge will turn out to be about:

NYT PREPARES TO FRONT DETAILED STORY ON PALIN'S BABY, NEWSROOM SOURCES TELL DRUDGE... DEVELOPING...

However, I can guarantee this. Unless someone provides some credible, verified really bad story about Palin (on the order of something like one of her kids was conceived via an affair), these types of reports from NYT and other MSM will only drive up support for McCain/Palin. Good stuff. In the words of Huckabee at the convention:

I'd like to thank the elite media for doing something that, quite frankly, I wasn't sure could be done, and that's unifying the Republican Party and all of America in support of Senator McCain and Governor Palin.

Barack Obama: "My Muslim Faith"

Nice save, Steph...

Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll: All tied up

The conventions have cancelled themselves out, to this point. Can the GOP expect to get any further bounce out of the RNC?
Friday, September 05, 2008

I'm a "Fox-Only" kid now, at least till the election is over

I'll be honest with you...

Fox prime time lineup is not entertaining viewing for me.

O'Reilly is tough to watch.

Hannity is pre-prepped talking points, not dialogue.

Greta van Susteren is...
nothing I want to watch.

That said, after Campbell Brown's week-long assault on Sarah Palin, I simply can't watch the Clinton News Network anymore.

Tonight, I flipped by it quickly to hear Campbell ripping on Palin's claim to have sold the governor's jet on Ebay. Turns out, Brown says, Palin failed to sell it on Ebay. She had to go through a private broker, and sold it for $2.1 Mil when the state had purchased it for $2.6 Mil. Campbell emphasized that Palin had sold the jet for a loss. The unsaid corrollay was: at the taxpayer's expense.

Of course, Campbell forgot to mention that the jet was sunk cost, and by selling it, Palin was merely recouping for the taxpayer some of what had been wasted by the corrupt politicans she had displaced.

Campbell, I'm sure, sells all her used vehicles for a premium to their original sales price. But, if not, at least she still has her outrage.

UPDATE:

As SHK pointed out in the comments, Palin didn't claim to have sold the jet on EBay in her RNC speech. She only claimed to have listed it on EBay. Somehow, I'm not that surprised noone was willing to fork over $2Mil+ for purchase on EBay, but it certainly was worth a shot. And, as we now know, she did manage to get the job done through other means. Here's the quote in question, from RCP:

While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for.

That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.

In Contrast to the Boston Herald's Report,

Palin's style appears to be hot across the pond.

Where's Christopher Walken when you need him...

From TV Week (no idea how I got there) comes this genius comment:

To heck with Obamania. I've got a fever and the only cure is more 'Cuda.

Posted by Tony G | September 5, 2008 8:08 AM


If only I could hear Walken deliver it.

Very, very, very good sign

Rasmussen showing that Palin is viewed more favorably (58%) than Obama (57%). McCain is also at 57%, while Biden is 48%. I think this bodes well, assuming she can keep it up. Splits in the article confirm she has clearly energized the base, which might mean more Repub turnout than Dem.

Her speech was an absolute success.

McCain

McCain acceptance speech was very good, I thought. It should appeal to undecided independents, and I thought it was reasonably well presented, especially after about the halfway point. Importantly, I think it showed that he is indeed the top of the ticket, and it was important that he have a strong speech after two nights of very strong speeches from Thompson, Rudy, and Palin in particular. It was clear what he believes in, what he'll fight for, and that he will always lead based on what he thinks is best for the country, plain and simple.

Now we'll see what the polls say.
Thursday, September 04, 2008

Andrew McCarthy on McCain/Palin

A great article on why conservatives want change, too. From the NRO:

We are in a war against terrorists, and the other side has nominated a man who has been a friend and business partner of an unrepentant, America-hating terrorist. The press lauds Obama as post-partisan when even a cursory glance at his record shows he is as partisan as it gets. The press lauds him as post-racial, but he sat comfortably for years in Trinity Church, drinking in the racist ravings of Jeremiah Wright, and he sat comfortably for years in rough-and-tumble Chicago, playing by-the-numbers race-based politics.

Obama blathers about “change” but then chooses as his running-mate a Washington relic who has managed in 35 years to be wrong on just about everything while compiling a record nearly as slavishly Leftist as Obama’s. In an era of complex, vicious, asymmetrical threats, Democrats give us a “community organizer” without a shred of executive experience who, in his years as a state legislator, voted “present” when it was time to make the tough calls. Except, of course, when it came to life: In a nation repulsed by partial birth abortion, Obama decided to make his stand enabling the practitioners of infanticide.

It is positively absurd that such a candidate should have a snowball’s chance of becoming president of the United States. But he has a very good chance because Americans haven’t been rallied.

Well, they’ve been rallied now. And rallied, at long last, in a way that resonates: By an attractive winner with a smile on her face and steel in her spine. By a proud woman living the ups and downs of an American life — a woman the other side spent a week trying to destroy by coming after those she loves most. With grit and good humor, she brushed those critics aside like so many Styrofoam columns.

It wasn’t snide. Sarah Palin was grace personified. And now, finally, even we American Taliban have hope.

Predictable

There's little in this world more predictable than the MSM. Talk about formulaic writing, you could write their stories for them before they even started. In any case, this is the latest MSNBC headline:

Can McCain live up to Palin's performance?

First Read: Governor's speech shows that the GOP has a new star. But her boss now has to ensure he is not overshadowed.


Unable to minimize Palin's legendary and historic speech last night (although they certainly tried to paint it as "too bitter"), their new tack is all too obvious. They are hoping that after the speeches we've heard from Thompson, Rudy, and Palin, McCain's speech tonight will be an underwhelming letdown. They would just love to be able to lead with a story tomorrow that says "McCain underwhelms: others in party shine brighter".

Something tells me that's not going to happen though. Like I said a few weeks ago, I think after the recent shake-up in his staff, the McCain campaign is very well organized now. They know what message they need to tell in order to win.

ICYMI: Hurricane Sarah Makes Landfall

I warned you about the WaPo

When the chips are down, and the election is in the balance, the Post will cling to the Palin-Not-Ready argument like a pit bull would a T-Bone. No speech, no facts, and no public response will get in the way of their agenda:

To question her readiness is not to doubt her talent or intelligence; nor is it a reflection of gender bias, snobbery or any of the other sins that have been ascribed to those who worry about Ms. Palin as vice president. Ms. Palin last night noted tartly "that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone." It is a good applause line. But the fact is that Ms. Palin has an astonishingly thin résumé -- mayor of a small town, governor of a sparsely populated state for less than two years -- for someone hoping to ascend to national leadership. The country will need to hear much more from Ms. Palin before being convinced of the soundness of Mr. McCain's judgment.

Great points WaPo. And what of The One's astonishingly thin resume? I would assume since experience is all important, the endorsement of McCain is coming any day now.

Best. Speeches. Ever.

I can honestly say I can't remember a convention with better speeches than this one. Between Thompson, Giuliani, and Palin, that had to be even better than the republican committee could ever have hoped for in their wildest dreams. Each one of those speakers was electrifying, hilarious, and sharp in their attacks, and pulled it off without even ONCE seeming angry or bitter. Something that the other side is completely incapable of doing.

There were just so many hilarious lines from Rudy and Palin's speeches I don't even know where to start. Me and Mrs. SHK were rolling, I especially liked Rudy's advice to Biden about "getting that VP thing in writing." He really warmed up the crowd beautifully for her, and she nailed it out of the park. I could just see Keith Olbermann seething. I'm just so glad both Rudy and Palin took the media to task for their horseshit coverage of this election. Maybe we can shame them into having some sense of decency and impartiality. Nah, probably not.

To Fredo's point about Enquirer story, you've got to love how the mainstream media ignored the Enquirer's reports about Edwards for MONTHS, but as soon as they run something about Palin they're all over it. I can't remember who said it last night, but they were dead on when they said the MSM has given the Republicans a gift they could never have dreamed of: enormous party unity and solidarity heading into this election.

It seems that Newt was right when he said Tue night, "When it's all said and done I suspect that the McCain/Palin ticket will prove to be the strongest possible ticket we could have fielded." She has certainly more than held up her end of the bargain, now it's up to McCain to seal the deal tonight. If he does, I'd be SHOCKED if he's not ahead of Obama by 1-2 points next week.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Day Hope Returned

I'll sleep well tonight.

And I might not again, until November.

When Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper say she "hit a home run, maybe a grand slam", I can finally be at peace.

Rudy was killer. Sarah is too.

Expect a big poll bounce, if the Enquirer story doesn't take all the oxygen out of the room.

Quit screwing around, it's crunch time

Unfortunately Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy were apparently caught on open mike recently blasting McCain's pick of Palin. Come on guys, is it REALLY rocket science to figure out if you're near a live mike or not? This is not useful.

On a positive note, check out this hilarious supposed excerpt from Palin's speech tonight, directly sticking it to O!: Contrasting her resume with his, she says: "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."

Newt brings the pain

Gingrich absolutely lowered the boom on this MSDNC (as libertarian radio talk show host Jay Severin properly calls MSNBC) reporter. Love it. LOVE IT! The media is so in the bag for Obama it's nauseating, I love to see the fight back. Now I just gotta find the Lieberman/Mitchell interview...

RNC

I watched the RNC last night, but I really gave myself a treat. Knowing that Thompson and Lieberman had given great speeches, I tuned into my favorite networks on the Dem payroll, MSNBC and CNN. I knew that their reporters would be seething with the solid performances by our speeches, and would simply be unable to restrain their blatant bias and love for Obama.

Boy, was I ever right.

There were so many gems of unbridled media bias last night it's hard to even know where to begin, but I'll just summarize a few here. First was CNN's absolute disgust that the Republicans had purposely not given a break between Bush's speech and the video tribute to Reagan, thus preventing them from having "adequate time" to make the case linking Bush and McCain. Didn't know that was their job.

Next was their absolute bitterness following what can only be described as a brilliant and unbelievably effective speech from Fred Thompson. I counted no fewer than six (6) mentions on CNN and MSNBC that Thompson's speech would absolutely "anger" democrats, as if he was supposed to make a speech supporting Dems. They were beside themselves with how strong and pointed his messages were.

However, the clear-cut winner of the night, and perhaps all-time that I've ever seen, was Andrea Mitchell's SHAM of an interview with Lieberman after his speech. You could tell Dems were going to be beside themselves after his great speech, and she was no exception. I am trying to find a clip of it on youtube, because if you haven't seen it, you must. I have never seen a "reporter" so blatantly show her bias and try to derail an interviewee. Her questions were rude and offensive to Lieberman, but the best part is that he was all class in his responses. His answers to her were sincere, without anger or bitterness, and really, really nailed the key points. I couldn't have crafted better answers for him myself. I highly recommend we try to find a copy of it, because it was absolutely appalling.

Honorable mention goes to Newt Gingrich who in his post-Lieberman interview with CNN got the reporter to bitterly cut the interview short when Newt unloaded on him after a question about Sarah Palin's "experience". Boy, did he rattle off an awesome list of Palin vs. Obama and make that reporter eat it. Also worth seeing.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Campaign in the balance

The next 48 hours may well dictate who becomes the 44th President of the United States. The Democrats and their unofficial surrogates in the MSM, namely CNN, NBC, and the NY Times, have been unabashedly trying to undermine the public's perception of John McCain's judgment, by attacking his selection for V.P., Gov. Sarah Palin.

Lacking any real disqualifying factor with which to attack Gov. Palin, they have instead attempted "death by a thousand cuts." Find any possible line of attack, launch them all at once, and hope voters are too weary to try and sort through the attacks in order to separate the wheat from the chaff (or in this case, the chaff from the chaff).

So let's look at a few of the items that have been raised as disqualifying for Gov Palin.

1) Inexperience.

A quick look at the top of the Dems' ticket should make it clear that, should voters decide Palin is unprepared to be President, it virtually assures that McCain is elected.

2) Her daughter got preganant out of wedlock.

Unfortunate for Bristol and the whole Palin family. But it wasn't Sarah's doing, and she and her husband are saying and doing all the right things to support her daughter, and counsel her into taking the right path.

3) Palin was a member of a fringe Alaskan political party that advocated secession from the U.S.

Bullshit. This came up on dKos and I haven't seen any validation of the claim. Apparently, she's been a registered Republican since '82 and there's no record of her supporting this group. She supposedly addressed them via satellite at their state convention last year, but referenced them as "competitors" in the speech, with the upshot being that competition makes the U.S. political system works. This one actually could have dinged Palin if it were true, but like I said, show me the evidence beyond Olbermann wishing it were so.

4) Her husband got arrested for DUI when he was 22.

Again: not the candidate. And beside, if our ticket's vice (in the distant past) was booze, and their ticket's (in the distant past) was coke, I think we win again.

5) She actually supported the bridge to nowhere.

I'm trying to get to the bottom of this one. It has been reported that Palin wrote a memo saying that Alaska should use the seniority of their Congressional ontingent to secure federal funding for infrasturcture projects before the GOP lost control of Congress. And she also campaigned at one point saying the Bridge to Nowhere was a good idea, before later changing her mind. But I haven't seen the smoking gun at any point where she said "we should secure federal funds to pay for this bridge." If you recall, in her V.P. acceptance speech, she stated that she thought "we [Alaska] could build it ourselves", and that they didn't need earmarks to do it. One could be for the bridge but against federal largesse. I'm not sure if there's any fire behind this smoke or not.

The bottom line: there's not much there there.

The Dems are banking on people's pre-conceived notion that a pretty female, that they haven't heard that much about, couldn't possibly be ready to run the country. Even if she's had more meaningful experience, and regularly exhibits better judgment, than the Messiah that voters are seriously thinking of making President this coming January.

The key point here is that perception trumps reality. People will perceive whether or not Palin is ready based on how forcefully she makes the case for a GOP administration tomorrow night. The speeches of the ticket's surrogates will also be important in refuting the media.

What I do know is that, by one or two weeks from now, people's opinions of Palin will have hardened considerably beyond what they are now. Whether she becomes marginalized, a la Quayle, as Team Obama/CNN/MSNBC would like, or becomes a dynamic female conservative leader that changes the fabric of this election and beyond, may well be riding on the next few days.

If people conclude she's a lightweight, it undercuts McCain's candidacy in any number of ways (his judgment, his vetting process/organizational principles, his stated claim to placing country above politics, etc.), and this year is probably lost.

If she "wins the crowd," it makes the left look hypocritical (feminists?), McCain look prophetic yet again, and the blowback against Obama from female voters for attacking Palin could be huge.

Some, like Alex Knepper at Race 4 2008, are already calling for McCain to force her hand into refusing the nomination, so that McCain could pick a new veep. Doing so would be a fatal error. Everyone would conclude that McCain had done a shoddy job of vetting the candidate, didn't see these "problems" coming, and Mac would end up taking the same hit that he'll take if she stays on the ticket and is marginalized. The bounce Mac would get from a Mitt or Rudy would never compensate for the hit to McCain's own credibility.

This campaign's going to sink or swim with Sarah. If it swims, they'll survive to a later round, where Mac will still have some work to do.

Fredo's Mad Money Challenge, Part 3: The Final Countdown

This will be the last Mad Money Challenge of this election cycle, unless it isn't.

Just as a quick recap, ManBeast crushed all comers in part 1, by doubling (tripling, and quadrupling) down on McCain to take several primaries.

In part 2, D.C. tapped Palin as a high choice, and picked most of the shortlist, ensuring his win.

Now, we will move on to part 3: picking the outcome in the fall.

Each participant will make 2 calls:

1. McCain's share of the popular vote to tenths of a percent (e.g., 43.5%, 52.1%, etc.)

2. McCain's # of Electoral Votes (>269 required to win).

Scoring will go as follows: each participant starts with 200 points. They lose points depending on how far their predictions vary from actual results.

-For each 0.1% off in terms of popular vote, the participant loses 1 point. If you predict McCain to win 50.0% of the vote, and he actually tallies 58.0%, you would lose 80 points, and be down to 120. It doesn't matter whether your estimate is high or low, just how big it is.

-For each EV away from actual results, the participant loses 1 point. If you predict McCain to win 276 EV's, and he actually comes in with 326 EV's, you'd be down 50 points. Again, it is the magnitude of error, not direction, that matters (see below * for an important caveat).

Combine the two predictions to get the final result. In the example above, the participant would lose 80 points in part 1 and 50 points in part 2, leaving them with a final score of 70 points (200-130).

*However, if you do not pick the actual winner in the EV count, you lose an additional 25 points. For example, if you pick McCain to win the election with 270 EV's (to 268), and Obama wins 270-268, you only lose 2 points based on your EV total, but you get docked an additional 25 points for choosing the wrong winner. In the event of a 269-269 tie, everyone who didn't pick a tie loses the 25 points.

All predictions need to be in by Sunday night 9/7/08, at 11:59 PM. As with previous rounds, for it to be fun, try not to check the comments until after you've made your picks, so that your giving it your best guess and not trying to game the results.

Veepstakes: The final tally

Round 1: picking the pick

Dark Commenteer: 14 points
Fredo: 0 points
ManBeast: 0 points
SheaHeyKid: 0 points

Round 2: picking the short-listers (Pawlenty, Romney, Ridge, Lieberman, Palin)

DC: 42 (Palin 2, T-Paw 5, Romney 7, Ridge 8)
Fredo: 39 (Ridge 1, T-Paw 3, Romney 5)
MB: 33 (Romney 2, T-Paw 3, Ridge 11, Lieberman 15)
SHK: 27 (T-Paw 1, Romney 5, Lieberman 15)

I had Condi #2: if only I'd picked the right female!

Congrats to D.C., our resident political soothsayer and Mad Money Part II champion!
Monday, September 01, 2008

Will it matter?

Well, the first big 'scandal' to affect Sarah Palin has broken. Her 17-year-old daughter is ~5 months pregnant, and she will keep the baby and marry the father. I wonder how this might swing things. To his credit, Obama's immediate and unambiguous response was that as far as he is concerned families and especially children are off limits in this campaign, and it should make no difference that she's pregnant. I can't help but wonder if this will hurt support from the base.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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