Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Creepy As Hell

I know I've been using videos as a crutch lately, but I have to add this one to the mix. I think it rather neatly sums up the cult of personality that has mainstream conservatives detecting a whiff of fascism from the Obama Movement:

Teleprompter-Obama 2008

Iowa Hawk does it again:

Musings

1. I'm low on gas this morning, after having stayed up late last night to watch my Beloved Steelers squeak by the Hated Ravens 23-20 in overtime. (It was worth it.) On a related note, I'm presently sitting in first place in my fantasy football league . . . which is unprecedented.

2. This is no surprise to me, but mainstream media outlets are actively suppressing coverage of Obama that may not be positive, while -- literally -- sending teams to rummage through dumpsters in Alaska and Arizona. Depressing.

3. Also depressing is the kindergarten we call Congress, which (thanks to Speaker Pelosi's unhinged rant just before the vote) failed to pass the bailout bill yesterday. The stock market tanked. And it probably isn't done yet (though there's some optimism out there as well). Once again, if you don't understand why this is happening, watch the video in the post below this one.

4. Haven't heard much about global warming lately, have you? Here's why: "The four major agencies tracking Earth’s temperature, including NASA’s Goddard Institute, report that the Earth cooled 0.7 degree Celsius in 2007, the fastest decline in the age of instrumentation, putting us back to where the Earth was in 1930."

5. Only P.J. O'Rourke could write a funny column about cancer.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?

A little amateurish in the presentation, perhaps, but right on the money.

UPDATE: Wow. Video gone. Google (which owns YouTube) and Time Warner sure acted quickly to stamp out this video, which correctly attributes the financial crisis to Dem party politics. Nothing to see here. Move along. Jeff Goldstein has more. He also has a link to another copy of the video, hosted elsewhere.

Game On

Tonight's debate is a go.

Mail Call

I'm so giddy right now. Today I got a letter from . . . SARAH PALIN! And although it's rather coy, I can totally tell she digs me. Some of it is obviously too personal to share online, but I don't think I'd be betraying her trust in sharing a few excerpts.

It begins:
Dear Friend,
Dear Friend! I clutched the letter to my heart for a moment before I could go on reading.
I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be writing to you as John McCain's Vice Presidential running mate.
You see? That's code for, "I'm so glad that at long last I have a plausible excuse to finally put into words how I feel about you." But just wait -- there's more!
I personally want to say thank you for the steadfast support and unstinting generosity you have given the Republican Party and all of our candidates. Thanks to your faith and your commitment, we have the momentum, and from the crowds I see at every stop, our momentum continues to grow daily.
That's right, Sarah. I'm there for you, m'lady. And all that faith and commitment talk? Ordinarily that would send me scurrying for the exit. But not now. Not with you.
The Obama Democrats are coming at us with everything they've got -- fair or unfair, true or false -- because they have one goal this election -- to gain total control of Washington -- anything else for them is failure.
I hear your cries, Fair Lady!
I know this is the first time I've ever written to you, but I hope I can count on you the way John McCain has counted on you. Simply put, our McCain-Palin Victory 2008 effort needs your emergency support -- and we need it now.
Oh. Oh yes. I also need it now. And, while this is but the first time you've ever written to me, I dare hope it won't be the last.
I don't have to tell you how high the stakes are. I only hope that you are as determined to win this challenging election battle as I am. Please show me and all of our candidates that you are with us at this critical hour for our country by sending back your most generous gift of $200, $150 or $100 today.
I, too, am determined. And I am going to show you.
Sincerely Yours,
Sarah Palin
I must write a her a reply immediately. On a check.

Big Day

Brace yourself. Today's going to be a bumpy ride. Reports late last night and this morning suggest that Congress is miles away from agreeing on a bailout plan. That's going to pound the stock market today. I mean, badly. This could end up being one of the worst single days ever on Wall Street.

Relatedly, it's still an open question whether the McCain-Obama debate will go forward tonight in Mississippi. I've got a feeling McCain's not going unless substantial progress is made during daylight hours on the bailout legislation. Obama's vowed that the debate will go on.

Me, I think the debate could wait a few days. This is a real financial crisis, and Congress has not had so important an issue on its docket since it authorized the war in Iraq. And I bet the country is more interested in hearing that an agreement has been reached to prevent an economic meltdown than in being assured that a debate will occur at the scheduled hour.

UPDATE: On the other hand . . . no matter how bad today is, I will just thank my lucky stars I'm not Phillip Seaton of Shelbyville, Kentucky.

UPDATE [3:41 p.m.]: The Dow's up 75 points. I guess the market has more optimism than I do that a deal will be reached before Monday. And I guess I should stop making stock market predictions. (I pay a broker for a reason.)

Warmonger!

Israel apparently wanted to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities earlier this year. President Bush told the Israelis he wouldn't support to move.

Did Bush make the right call? Tough to say. I kind of wish he'd let the Israelis do to Iran what they did to Iraq back in the '80s.

One thing's for sure, though. The liberal caricature of Bush -- as a warmonger enthusiastically seeking any excuse to use military force to solve the world's problems -- has been further discredited.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Russians Are Re-Colonizing The West

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Liberal Fascism Update

Obama threatens stations that air NRA ads.

Free speech indeed.

New politics indeed.

A Tale of Two Obama Supporters

An Obama fundraiser and Ahmadinejad.
Jodi Evans, a founder of the radical anti-war group Code Pink and "bundler" for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday.

“It’s rare for a head of state to take time during an official U.N. visit to meet with the peace community, especially in a situation where the host government—represented by the Bush administration—is so hostile,” Evans said in a statement. “The fact that the meeting took place and was so positive is, in itself, a major step forward.”

During the Democratic primary Obama came under fire from both his Democratic and Republican foes for promising to meet with Ahmadinejad “without preconditions” if he became president.

At the meeting Evans and fellow Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin offered Ahmadinejad a plan to build a “peace park” in Tehran and invest funds in Iranian businesses “that produce green and sustainable products, such as bicycles.” Evans signed on to become a “bundler” for Obama’s presidential campaign last June. As a bundler, she has pledged to raise at least $50,000 for his campaign.
Hmm.

Bailout?

I've yet to write about the proposed $700 billion bailout package, designed to prevent a total credit freeze-up. To be honest, I'm in no position to take a firm position on precisely what medicine is called for or what the effects of any remedial legislation would be.

But I'm convinced that -- distasteful though it may be to fiscal conservatives -- some temporary public acquisition of private debt instruments is preferable to total economic shutdown.

Just keep in mind -- please -- that this problem is not a failure of the market. Congress created the conditions for the mortgage market to implode. The rest is collateral damage.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Suspends Campaign

John McCain has decided that, this week, resolving the grave capital-markets crisis that threatens to bring our economy to its knees is more important than campaigning for the presidency. So he's suspended campaigning, returned to Washington, and has requested that Barack Obama agree to postpone Friday's scheduled debate.

Probably a good idea. Indeed, in the time he's served in the U.S. Senate, McCain has grown accustomed to working on legislative solutions to America's problems.

In the time Barack Obama has served in the U.S. Senate, he's become accustomed to . . . well, for running for president. Maybe it's best if each spends the week doing what he's best at.

Meanwhile, FLASHBACK [May 25, 2006]:

Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]: Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae's regulator reported that the company's quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were "illusions deliberately and systematically created" by the company's senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to fit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae's former chief executive officer, OFHEO's report shows that over half of Mr. Raines' compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.

The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator's examination of the company's accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.

For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs--and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO's report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO's report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.

I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.

Quick Info
S. 190 [109th]: Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005
Last Action: Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably.
Status: Dead
The Democrats killed this bill. Yet they want you to believe our meltdown is the Republicans' fault?

[Aside: This is pretty compelling information, yes? Perhaps the sort of thing major newspapers and networks would be sure to inform you about? Dream on.]

Yes, You're In The Right Place

Was anyone else sick of the old layout? Well, I was.

I thought about consulting Puck before impulsively revamping the whole thing (she being likely to have superior decorating instincts). But then I just decided to take a cue from Democrats and reasoned that Puck can't possibly have a job and be a decent mom . . . let alone have a job, be a decent mom and have time left over to pick out fonts and link colors.

Iran, Israel, and American Jews

The Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick this morning:

American Jews have good reason to be ashamed and angry today. As Iran moves into the final stages of its nuclear weapons development program - nuclear weapons which it will use to destroy the State of Israel, endanger Jews around the world and cow the United States of America - Democratic American Jewish leaders decided that putting Sen. Barack Obama in the White House is more important than protecting the lives of the Jewish people in Israel and around the world.

On Monday, the New York Sun published the speech that Republican vice presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would have delivered at that day's rally outside UN headquarters in New York against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and against Iran's plan to destroy Israel. She would have delivered it, if she hadn't been disinvited.

* * * *

It was a remarkable speech, prepared by a remarkable woman. But it was not heard. It was not heard because the Democratic Party and Jewish Democrats believe that their partisan interest in demonizing Palin and making Americans generally and American Jews in particular hate and fear her to secure their votes for Obama and his running-mate Sen. Joseph Biden in the November election is more important than allowing Palin to elevate the necessity of preventing a second Holocaust to the top of the US's national security agenda.

LIBERAL AMERICAN Jews, like liberal Americans in general, and indeed like their fellow leftists in Israel and throughout the West, uphold themselves as champions of human rights. They claim that they care about the underdog, the wretched of the earth. They care about the environment. They care about securing American women's unfettered access to abortions. They care about keeping Christianity and God out of the public sphere. They care about offering peace to those who are actively seeking their destruction so that they can applaud themselves for their open-mindedness and tell themselves how much better they are than savage conservatives.

Those horrible, war-mongering, Bambi killing, unborn baby defending, God-believing conservatives, who think that there are things worth going to war to protect, must be defeated at all costs. They must intimidate, attack, demonize and defeat those conservatives who think that the free women of the West should be standing shoulder to shoulder not with Planned Parenthood, but with the women of the Islamic world who are enslaved by a misogynist Shari'a legal code that treats them as slaves and deprives them of control not simply of their wombs, but of their faces, their hair, their arms, their legs, their minds and their hearts.

The lives of 6 million Jews in Israel are today tied to the fortunes of those women, to the fortunes of American forces in Iraq, to the willingness of Americans across the political and ideological spectrum to recognize that there is more that unifies them than divides them and to act on that knowledge to defeat the forces of genocide, oppression, hatred and destruction that are led today by the Iranian regime and personified in the brutal personality of Ahmadinejad.

But Jewish Democrats chose to ignore this basic truth in order to silence Palin. They should be ashamed. The Democratic Party should be ashamed. And Jewish American voters should consider carefully whether opposing a woman who opposes the abortion of fetuses is really more important than standing up for the right of already born Jews to continue to live and for the Jewish state to continue to exist. Because this week it came to that.
Hear, hear.

How We Got Into This Mess

A Primer on the current market woes:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf is a feminist writer, former advisor to Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and Huffington Post columnist.

She is also, it appears, completely out of her goddamn mind.

In Case You Missed It

A coalition of the most influencial Jewish groups in America scheduled an anti-nuclear-Iran rally. Hillary Clinton was scheduled to speak. Sarah Palin was invited, and she accepted. When the Democrats heard about this, they went ballistic over the invitation, and Hillary Clinton pulled out. And so the Jewish groups disinvited Palin. Because the approval of the Democratic Party Overlords is more important than, you know, showing solidarity with Israel in the face of an existential threat.

And so I give you a list of Jewish organizations that will not be benefitting from donations from Benedick anytime soon:

Ameinu
American Friends of Likud
American Gathering/Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
America-Israel Friendship League
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
American Sephardi Federation
American Zionist Movement
Americans for Peace Now
AMIT
Anti-Defamation League
Association of Reform Zionists of America
B’nai B’rith International
Bnai Zion
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Development Corporation for Israel / State of Israel Bonds
Emunah of America
Friends of Israel Defense Forces
Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization of America
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
Jewish Community Centers Association
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish National Fund
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Jewish War Veterans of the USA
Jewish Women International
MERCAZ USA, Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement
NA’AMAT USA
NCSJ: Advocates on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Young Israel
ORT America
Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbinical Council of America
Religious Zionists of America
Union for Reform Judaism
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
United Jewish Communities
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
WIZO
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
Women of Reform Judaism
Workmen’s Circle
World Zionist Executive, US
Zionist Organization of America

In more positive news, it appears I can continue to give to the United Jewish Federation in good conscience.

Ayers and Obama

If you're not paying attention to Stanley Kurtz's investigatory journalism on this issue, you should be:
Stanley Kurtz's articles today on NRO and in the Wall Street Journal are must reads. Three takeaways:

* Obama had a long-term working relationship with William Ayers.
* The Chicago Annenberg Challenge ("CAC"), the only executive experience on Obama's resume, was an objective failure despite the expenditure of millions of
dollars.
* Through the CAC, Ayers and Obama financed radical organizations, including one with a history of engaging in voter fraud.

Stanley's work is a challenge to mainstream journalists. A candidate for the presidency has a demonstrated working relationship with — indeed funded — an unrepentant terrorist, yet the media have spent more time reporting about Sarah Palin's hair styles.

Via NRO.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Out Of This World

Japan is getting serious about building a Space Elevator:
First envisioned by the celebrated master of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke, in his 1979 work The Fountains of Paradise, the concept has all the best qualities of great science fiction: it is bold, it is a leap of imagination and it would change life as we know it.

Unlike the warp drives in Star Trek, or H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, the idea of the space elevator does not mess with the laws of science; it just presents a series of very, very complex engineering problems.

More on the concept here.

Fuzzy Math

Like most urban public school districts, Pittsburgh Public Schools have utterly failed to turn out students with acceptable proficiencies in basic math, science and English. To be sure, this problem has some causes that aren't attributable to the schools, but the schools aren't helping.

So what do you do when you run a school district and student performance is lagging? Why, you inflate their grades, of course:
"The "E" is to be recorded no lower than a 50 percent, regardless of the actual percent earned. For example, if the student earns a 20 percent on a class assignment, the grade is recorded as a 50 percent," said the memo from Jerri Lippert, the district's executive director of curriculum, instruction and professional development, and Mary VanHorn, a PFT vice president.

My initial objection is that this system does a poor job of preparing students to live in the real world. Of course, upon further reflection, it actually does a pretty good job of preparing them to live in a world run by liberals.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before each student earning an "A" has several percentage points taken from his or her grade and redistributed to some poor soul who didn't do the work.

Roger Simon to Fellow Jews:

The Democratic Party is not your religion.

Saturday Morning Politics

Saturday morning, my front door buzzer rang (I live on the second floor of a condo building). This is an unusual occurrence unless I'm expecting company or a food delivery. I answered it and was greeted by the cheerful voice of a woman who asked if I had a few minutes to talk about Barack Obama.

I paused. My initial instinct was to politely send her on her way. My second instinct was to invite her in for a full-scale political grudge match. But I settled instead on Option Three. I told Mrs. What's-Her-Name I'd be right down.

I descended to the first floor and let the dowdy, 50ish woman into the foyer of the building, introducing myself cordially. She was terribly friendly. She asked if I planned to vote in the upcoming election. I assured her that I do intend to vote. She then asked if I wouldn't mind telling her whom I plan to vote for. Here's how the rest of the conversation went:

Me: Well, I'm still watching the campaigns and learning everything I can about the candidates, but right now I have to say I think I'll be voting for John McCain.

Her: Oh, I see. Are you just leaning that way, or are you a staunch McCain supporter?

Me: I wouldn't call myself a staunch McCain supporter. It's just that I have some serious reservations about Obama.

Her: Oh my. Well, you know there's a lot of disinformation going around about Senator Obama. A lot of pretty awful, untrue things are being said about him.

Me: I have no doubt, but my concerns really have nothing to do with rumors that he's a Muslim or anything like that. I'm pretty well informed.

Her: Well that's good to hear. So is it a policy thing? Some position of Senator Obama's that makes you uncomfortable?

Me: Not exactly.

Her: Well what are you concerned about?

Me: *pause*

Me: He's just not black enough.

Her:

Me:

Her:

Me:

Her: I'm sorry, did you say he isn't black enough?

Me: Yes.

Her: O...kay. How do you ... mean?

Me: Well, look. I'm as excited as the next guy about the prospect of finally having a black president. But when it happens, I want it to be, you know, like a real black guy -- or woman! -- and not some guy who's kind of black but not really.

Her: What do you mean? How can you say he isn't black?

Me: Not black enough. First, there's the obvious fact that he's only, you know, half-black. What with that white mother of his.

Her: Wait, so you mean he'd have to have 100% black ancestry for you to consider him black enough to be president?

Me: Oh, no! Nothing like that. But, like, maybe 75%.

Her: So you have some kind of problem with mixed-race heritage?

Me: Not at all. Quite the contrary. But if someone wants to be the first black president, I don't think it's too much to ask that he actually be, you know, the first black president. Senator Obama -- despite doing that whole, black-racial-superiority-church thing -- just doesn't really cut it. And listen to the way he talks. He doesn't talk like a black guy either.

Her: Oh, and how exactly is a black man supposed to talk?!

Me: Well if he wants to be president, then I'd say like Al Sharpton. Or maybe Jesse Jackson.

Her: You can't be serious. Please tell me you're pulling my leg.

Me: No, no. Look, it's a question of history. I want the first black president to get elected in my lifetime, and I want to look back on the occasion and be really, really proud of myself for having voted for a real black guy. I'm afraid if it's Obama, the whole experience -- the pride -- will be somehow . . . diluted.

Her: Well, I assure you that not only is Senator Obama a real, honest-to-goodness black man, but that there are plenty of reasons to vote for him other than his race. The economy, Bush's War, health care --

Me: -- No . . . no, I know those things are important, but, let's face it, neither candidate's going to make much of a difference anyway. I want my historical moment, and I just don't think this is it.

Her: I see. Well, thanks for your time. I'm going to ring your neighbors now and see if they'd like to chat a little bit about the election.

Me: Oh, I wouldn't do that if I were you.

Her: Why not?

Me: My neighbors are racists.

Dear Benedick


I don't normally like to do this, and I know I am incurring the wrath of the karma gods, but since I don't anticipate having much else to cheer about this football season, may I just say:

E

A

G

L

E

S

EAGLES!


Love,
Puck

BENEDICK ADDS: Meh. The Steelers have no offensive line. And, for the record, the football gods anticipated your foolishness by dealing Brian Westbrook a nasty little ankle injury.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Palin The Crazy Religious Zealot

Who Knew?

"Blacks Against Obama."

Socialized Medicine Update

A British National Health Service advisor has decided that elderly patients with dementia have a "duty to die" because of the financial burden they put on the system.
Recent figures show there are 700,000 people with degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's in Britain. By 2026 experts predict there will be one million dementia sufferers in the country, costing the NHS an estimated £35billion a year.

Lady Warnock said: "If you're demented, you're wasting people's lives – your family's lives – and you're wasting the resources of the National Health Service.

Just think of the savings!!!

Oh, how I long for the day when a government bureaucrat will be able to decide whether my life is worth living. Vote Democrat!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm A Racist Because I Support McCain. (Or, I Support McCain Because I'm A Racist?)

Says CNN's Jack Cafferty.

The differences between Barack Obama and John McCain couldn't be more well-defined . . . . Yet the polls remain close. Doesn't make sense…unless it's race.
Yep, my intention to vote for McCain couldn't possibly be attributed to those "well-defined" differences. Gotta be that, despite my pro-business, reduced-taxes, strong-defense, hawkish views, what really animates my choice in this election is my yearning for whiteness.

I wonder how this line of argument will play with white, working-class voters. If you're not voting for Obama, you're a racist. I think the answer is obvious, and I think liberals know it. But, of course (all together now): They. Just. Can't. Help. Themselves.

A Public Service Announcement

The waiting room at the hospital is not -- I repeat NOT -- an appropriate place to try out every ring tone melody on your new cell phone.

If I were here for some reason more stressful than the relatively minor procedural being undergone by a family member, I would insert said cell phone into the least-convenient possible orifice of its owner. Horizontally.

UPDATE: I also find it disconcerting and disheartening to see adults pass the time by doing word-search puzzles.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Consequences of Obsessive Multiculturalism and "Tolerance"

It's official. Sharia law in Britain, that is.

ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.
Surely this is good news for the millions of Muslim women in Britain. No longer will they have to worry about the intrusions of a meddling government that for too long perniciously has deprived them of their daily beatings and their second-class citizenship. Finally they can be free of the bonds of property rights and physical safety!

Just think of it -- no more distractions from cooking and breeding.

Soon, perhaps, their daughters can recieve their female genital mutilations without the need for secrecy. And with luck, stonings can finally be brought out into the light of day, which is where Allah intended them to occur -- as a warning to infidels and apostates.

Oh, happy day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Goldberg Exposes Feminists Exposing Themselves

Jonah Goldberg's column today collects some representative examples of what staunch Womyn of the Left have been writing about Sarah Palin. For example:
Feminist author Cintra Wilson writes in Salon (a house organ of the angry left) that the notion of Palin as vice president is “akin to ideological brain rape.” Presumably just before the nurse upped the dosage on her medication, Wilson continued, “Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa have me and my friends retching into our handbags. She’s such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty, it’s easy to write her off and make fun of her. But in reality I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism.”
And . . .
On Tuesday, Salon ran one article calling Palin a dominatrix (“a whip-wielding mistress”) and another labeling her a sexually repressed fundamentalist no different from the Muslim fanatics and terrorists of Hamas.
And . . .
Gloria Steinem, the grand mufti of feminism, issued a fatwa anathematizing Palin. A National Organization for Women spokeswoman proclaimed Palin more of a man than a woman. Wendy Doniger, a feminist academic at the University of Chicago, writes of Palin in Newsweek: “Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman.”
Jonah thinks these agitators -- whom he hilariously refers to as the "Feminist-Industrial Complex" -- are revealing their own extreme (read: out of the American mainstream) nature. I hope he's right. For my part, I find it astonishing that even as Democrats and media types realize their scurrilous attacks on Palin are hurting Obama in the polls, they Just Can't Help Themselves. There are a lot of words that capture this compulsion, and none better than childish.

UPDATE: More from the Just-Can't-Help Themselves Department: The Washington Post has a front-page story today about Cindy McCain's past (read: sixteen years ago) struggles with painkiller dependency. Over at Commentary Magazine, Jennifer Rubin gets it right: "It is hard to fathom. Even as a matter of self-interest, one would think they have some concern about joining their MSNBC colleagues in the Obama tank. And what’s more, they seemed to have learned nothing from their Palin feeding frenzy: these personalized vendetta pieces don’t work. They only engender sympathy for the victim of the malicious press attacks."

Keep shoveling, MSM!

(Aside: I shall hold my breath in anticipation of the Post's front-page story about Obama's past alcoholism and cocaine habit.)

More MSM Palin Distortions

Charlie Gibson had an opportunity to separate himself from the pack and act like a mature, impartial reporter. He failed. Power Line summarizes:
In the interview with Sarah Palin broadcast on ABC last night, Charles Gibson tried to trip her up in the following exchange:

GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?

PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.

GIBSON: Exact words.


As Allahpundit points out, however, what Palin actually said was this:

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

To borrow a Lincolnian formulation in honor of the Lincolnian formulation of Palin's prayer: the difference between what Palin actually said and what Gibson quoted her as saying is akin to the difference between a horse chestnut and a chestnut horse. The distinction may nevertheless be too subtle for Gibson. Gibson got it wrong. He should be embarrassed.

But he's in good company. Bill Kristol catches the Washington Post trying to distort Palin's comments yesterday to soldiers (including her son) departing for Iraq. In addition, Richard Starr illuminates Gibson's exchange with Palin on the Bush Doctrine.
In Gibson's distorted formulation (smugly delivered, I might add), Palin is declaring that the U.S. war in Iraq is a task from God. In the original, Palin exhorts her audience to pray that this is so. Can Primary Reason readers comprehend the difference. Can Gibson? Did Gibson do this intentionally? Draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On This Day

We remember shock.


We remember fear.


We remember rage.


We remember grief.


And, we remember courage.


We remember leadership.


We remember sacrifice.


We remember pride.


September 11, 2001. We remember.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Constitution, Schmonstitution!


That old piece of parchment is so, like, three centuries ago, say 70% of Obama supporters. Via Rasmussen:

While 82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree. Just 11% of McCain supporters say judges should rule based on the judge’s sense of fairness, while nearly half (49%) of Obama supporters agree.


Of course, they are probably just following the example set by former Con Law professor and current Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, who has gone on the record stating his preference for Supreme Court justices who would "protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process, the outsider, the minority, those who are vulnerable, those who don't have a lot of clout....[who] understand what it means to be on the outside, what it means to have the system not work for them." Therefore, Obama would appoint "somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

The Constitution be damned! We need justices who decide based on their feeeeeelings.

That whirring sound you hear is former Chief Justice John Marshall, spinning in his grave.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Even More of the "New Politics" from the Obama Campaign

Today, Obama unveiled the next phase of his ongoing effort to make sure demonstrate his heartfelt respect for female political opponents.

"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said as the crowd cheered. "It's still a pig."

Also, "You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink."

Sheesh.

Lipstick on a pig and the smell of old fish. Really? @#$%ING REALLY?!

PUCK CHIMES IN WITH THE LADY'S POINT OF VIEW: This may sound counterintuitive coming from a girl, but I really think the McCain camp needs to resist the urge to respond too strongly to this -- lest they come across as the hypersensitive dingbats that get offended at such words or phrases as "niggardly" and "black hole." Don't accuse. Keep it classy. And for God's sake, keep Obama's attention on Governor Palin. The more he snarks at her, the smaller he seems by comparison. Dude, Barry, you're running against the old white guy!

If I were Team McCain, here's the statement I'd issue:

"We can't imagine someone in Senator Obama's position stooping to call the opposing vice presidential candidate a pig. Certainly, it would be a sad day for American politics if indeed that's what he meant. It appears to us that Senator Obama was trying to say that Senator McCain and Governor Palin are misrepresenting their long histories of working to effect change in the institutions they serve.

"Senator Obama can say whatever he likes about Sarah Palin -- the fact is that he and Senator Biden voted for the Bridge to Nowhere. John McCain voted against it. And Sarah Palin turned it down. We're confident that the American people know what true change looks like. And it doesn't come in the form of Chicago politics.

"Sweetie."

More "New Politics" From the Obama Campaign

WSJ:
Democrats have airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers into Anchorage, the state capital Juneau and Mrs. Palin's hometown of Wasilla to dig into her record and background. My sources report the first wave arrived in Anchorage less than 24 hours after John McCain selected her on August 29.
I have an idea for any young conservative filmmakers out there who want to have some fun(Evan Coyne Maloney, I'm looking at you): How about a short, in-your-face documentary about these jackals harrassing Wasilla's townfolk in this unholy grail quest? Might make for a nice ad late in the game.

How Will Barack Obama Stand Up To The World's Bad Guys...

...when he won't even stand up to malfeasors on his own staff? Jim Geraghty at NRO reports:


Barack Obama, Sept. 2:

"We don't go after people's families; we don't get them involved in the politics. It's not appropriate, and it's not relevant," he added. "Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they'd be fired."

Howard Gutman, on the Laura Ingraham Show, Sept. 5:

“If my daughter had just come home at 17 years old and said, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant, we have a family problem,’ I wouldn’t say, ‘You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to take this private family problem … I’m going to go on the international stage and broadcast it to the world’,” he said.

Gutman later added: “If you take a daughter who’s got this emotional strife and subject her to the most intense scrutiny of the world at this time in her life, I think you’ve put your career above your family.”

One of his bundlers rushed the stage during Palin's speech at the convention.

The Obama campaign reached out to her ex-brother in law. You know, this guy:

Troopers eventually investigated 13 issues and found four in which Wooten violated policy or broke the law or both:

• Wooten used a Taser on his stepson.

• He illegally shot a moose.

• He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion.

• He told others his father-in-law would "eat a f'ing lead bullet" if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce.

(Obama will have the first administration that won't waterboard Khalid Sheik Mohammad, but Tasering a 11-year-old isn't a dealbreaker.)

The Democratic state senator leading the "investigation" of the trooper firing is a part of Obama's state campaign in Alaska and is an Obama surrogate.

Obama's Florida co-chair, Rep. Robert Wexler, accused her of supporting a Nazi sympathizer, claiming she backed Pat Buchanan, when she hadn't.

I mean really, what the hell do you have to do before Barack Obama says, "that's it, you're off my campaign"?
Hope and change, people. Hope and change.

BENEDICK ADDS: Just like he really meant it when he said Jerusalem should remain undivided.

PUCK ADDS: And like how he really, truly also meant it when he said he would finance his campaign with public funds.

Unsolicited Confession No. 8

If I woke up one day and found myself back in my ten-year-old body, in my parents' house in the year 1985 -- but having retained my full thirty-three years of memories and experience -- I would be very freaked out.

PUCK SAYS: I don't know what weekend antics of yours prompted this confession, and I don't want to know.

All The News That's Fit To Skew

A Detroit Free Press "panel" of Democrats, Republicans, and purportedly independent voters was assembled to analyze the speeches of the Democrat and Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees. More than half of the "independents" had a viscerally negative reaction to Sarah Palin.

Turns out these folks were not so "independent" after all. Two belonged to the radical group Code Pink. One gentleman was a "social justice activist" and anti-war nut, and a fourth "independent" was part of his team.

The best part of this is, my colleague and friend learned all this information in about 20 minutes while tooling around on the Internet. Somehow, though, it just slipped past the Detroit Free Press news team.

A newsroom administrator at the Free Press formed the focus group by using a list of people who were willing to be contacted by a reporter after a poll is conducted, Essex explained. He said he’s pretty sure a newsroom employee suggested the CodePink members.

“The voter panel is still a work in progress,” he said, adding that it was not portrayed as a focus group or a scientific poll. “It’s just an effort to let a range of people talk about key events.”

Essex said the panel won’t be used again until the first presidential debate at the end of the month, giving the newspaper time to work out the kinks and possibly start verifying the political affiliations of panel members.

Essex said the Free Press will continue to refine the voter panel, but he added, “I don’t think it’s wildly out of balance now.”

Asked if a correction would be published, Essex said not until he found evidence that the CodePink members were not political independents. He noted that political independents can have agendas just like members of either political party.


So, it would appear, does the Detroit Free Press. Look, I don't have a problem giving voice to crazy people. Let them talk as much as they want -- but identify their political affiliations so those who don't have the time or inclination to google panel members can better judge how much credence to give their opinions: in all four of the above cases, "anti-war activist" would have been much more honest than the innocuous (and utterly false) "independent."

Your Sarah Palin Myths

Debunked.

UPDATE: See also here.

The second link is to Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom. Lengthy, but well worth it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Checking In

I had a full weekend, what with a social life and the beginning of football season. Hence the no blogging. Today, just a few odds and ends (busy day at the office).

The big news right now: McCain's polling higher than Obama. For the first time ever. The Palin effect continues.

I never cheer injuries to professional athletes. But Tom Brady's knee injury sounds like karma to me.

A French judge is investigating scientologists for fraud. France has historically been pretty tough on Xenu's ilk. Which is refreshing.

A new web site called SideTaker.com enables feuding couples to post their disagreements online and let the public discuss and vote for a "winner." (I don't see any winners posting their marital squabbles online.) Just another step closer to Thunderdome, if you ask me.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Content of his Character, I

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously looked forward to the day when his children were judged not "by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Putting aside (for now) the question whether people actually are voting for Senator Barack Obama solely because of the color of his skin, the more I learn about Obama's character, the more I find its content -- to put it nicely -- utterly lacking.

As we noted earlier, the bounce that Obama gained after the Democratic National Convention has evaporated, and that's before the speeches of Governor Palin and Senator McCain have been completely factored in. So what does Obama do? He plays the race card, yet again:

“I know that I’m not your typical presidential candidate,” Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told executives and employees of the Schott glass company Friday afternoon, “and I just want to be honest with you. I know that. And I know that the temptation is to say, ‘You know what? …The guy hasn’t been there that long in Washington.,’ You know, ‘he’s got funny name,’ You know, ‘we’re not sure about him,’” Obama continued. “And that’s what the Republicans, when they say, ‘This isn’t about issues, it’s about personalities,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘We’re going to try to scare people about Barack. So we’re going to say that you know, maybe he’s got Muslim connections or we’re going to say that, you know, he hangs out with radicals or he’s not patriotic.’


Barack Obama has invoked this strawman before, several times. Oh, he doesn't come out and actually call McCain or the Republicans "racist." He just says that any reference to things like his name, his associations, or even his unpreparedness for office, is, in and of itself, racist.

It's bad enough that Obama is arguing with strawmen. But now he's stacking these strawmen one top of another, like some bizarre rhetorical version of Jenga. The end result is such a wobbly tower of ugly insinuations, half-truths, and flat-out lies that anyone paying the slightest bit of attention ought to call him out as a coward and a fraud. Will they?

Let's take the above statement apart piece by piece. First, can anyone point me to a single instance in which any Republican (much less a Republican from McCain's campaign?) claimed that this race was "not about issues, but about personalities?" That's a new one to me.

Further, are we now to believe -- as Obama's statement suggests -- that the (utterly imaginary, totally conjured, never-actually-uttered) phrase "not issues, but personalities" is some double-secret probation Republican code for "Barack Obama has a funny name, doesn't look like other presidents, is associated with Muslims, isn't a patriot, and hangs out with radicals?"

And , are we also to believe, after four days of hearing the Republicans talk about:
- offshore drilling (in addition to nuclear power, clean coal, as well as solar, wind, and other "green" sources)
- national security (securing a stable democracy in Iraq, staying on offense against Al Qaeda, standing up to an increasingly aggressive Russia, preventing rogue states from obtaining nuclear weapons, obtaining energy independence)
- better education (in the form of school choice, and standing up to teacher's unions),
- a stronger economy (making the current individual tax cuts permanent, cutting corporate taxes to keep jobs here, creating jobs through drilling and investments in other forms of energy, training for workers with obsolete jobs) and
- reforming Washington (reducing wasteful earmarks, ending corruption, making the politicians work for the people, not themselves)

...that Republicans say (much less believe) that this race is "not about issues, but about personalities"?

Barack Obama must hear voices in his head, because he is not responding to any attacks I've heard from Team McCain.

Except, of course, for his radical connections. But Senator Obama, as a self-described constitutional scholar, knows that truth is an absolute defense to libel.

Here is the truth: Senator Obama got his clock cleaned this week, and he knows it. But, rather than respond by debating the issues raised about his ideas, and his lack of qualifications for the presidency, he is debating figments of his imagination. Worse, he is doing so publicly, lying to the American people about what those mean old (racist!) Republicans are saying.

It is the coward's way. And anyone honest enough to judge him by the content of his character would say so.

I'm Every Woman . . .

(. . . except Sarah Palin.)

Oprah will not invite the first female Republican vice-presidential nominee (and the second ever female vice-presidential nominee) to appear on her show.

Is Oprah's audience composed entirely of Democrats? I doubt it. Backlash should ensue.

Speaking of which, thousands of US Weekly subscribers are canceling in the wake of the magazine's shameful anti-Palin cover this week.

Keep it up, liberal media gatekeepers. Your collective tantrum is feeding the justified indignation of millions of centrist American voters.

That's Gotta Hurt!

From the latest Rasmussen poll:

"Voters are evenly divided as to whether Palin or Obama has the better experience to be President."

"Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is viewed favorably by 58%--a point more than either Presidential hopeful. Forty percent (40%) have a Very Favorable opinion of her."
As of early yesterday evening, before McCain's speech, the race was exactly where it was before Obama's post-convention bounce took effect.

More details here.

Via Urgent Agenda.

McCain's Speech

Not a masterpiece of oratory and soaring rhetoric, but an honest presentation of who he is, what he believes, and what he intends to do. Full speech here.

The best part, not surprisingly, is the end, which began with the room in silence as he discussed his captivity and the love of country with which it graced him, and ended with the crowd on its feet in a lusty roar as he asked us to join him in his fight:


A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I’d been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I’d been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.

When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn’t know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.

I’m not running for president because I think I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you’re disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.

I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what’s right for our country.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children’s future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God Bless you.
BENEDICK ADDS: It was a good, not a great speech. But I think it was effective in a a couple of key ways. First, as Giuliani and Palin had already sufficiently gutted Obama, McCain was free to take the high road, expressing respect for his opponents. This, in my view, was a key move vis a vis swing voters. Second, he did what conservative pundits have been yelling for all week -- he got specific about the economy.

For me, the speech made a theme click that had totally blown by me when Fred Thompson raised it Tuesday. The story of McCain's captivity in Vietnam has been thoroughly aired as evidence of his loyalty and honesty. But this week, McCain placed the episode in a different light. He confessed that before he was shot down he was rather immature and self-involved, and didn't think he needed anyone else or owed anything to anyone else. Against that backdrop, his experience of being helplessly dependent on his fellow captives and his personal sacrifice in fealty to code and country evince not just honorable conduct, but the forging of a soul devoted to service.

It's effective. I also happen to believe it's authentic. One of the best things about the selection of Sarah Palin -- and the buzz surrounding her entry into the race -- is that it's given Republicans (and all Americans, frankly) a motivation to reconnect with this rare, humble, earnest public servant.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Barack Obama Opens The Door....


Let's hope McCain pushes it open and yells, "Heeeere's Johnny!"

Here's what Barack Obama said to Bill O'Reilly, in an interview that will air tonight:

“I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated ... I’ve already said it’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”


In ways that nobody anticipated? Nobody? Really? Barack Obama: meet John McCain.

Full story here.

Meanwhile, At The Boston Herald

A critique of Gov. Palin's hair:

“'It’s about 20 years out of date,' said Boston stylist Mario Russo of the Alaska governor’s ’do. 'Which goes to show how off she might be on current events.'”

Did that really just happen?

PUCK SNORTS: Well, Barack Obama's ideas are about 40 years out of date. Which goes to show that those who plan to vote for him have no idea that socialism the likes of which he intends to impose has failed every damn place it's been tried.

So there.

Steyn!

Mark Steyn's one of my favorites, and he popped into The Corner this morning for the first time in a long time to thank the media in his inimitable way:

I would like to thank the US media for doing such a grand job this last week of lowering expectations by portraying Governor Palin - whoops, I mean Hick-Burg Mayor Palin - as a hillbilly know-nothing permapregnant ditz, half of whose 27 kids are the spawn of a stump-toothed uncle who hasn't worked since he was an extra in Deliverance.

How's that narrative holding up, geniuses? Almost as good as your "devoted husband John Edwards" routine?

I trust even now Maureen Dowd is working on a hilarious new column mocking proposed names for the Governor's first grandchild. Perhaps Richard Cohen can just take the week off and they can rerun his insightful analysis comparing the Palin
nomination to Caligula making his horse a consul. Whereas we sophisticates all know that if McCain were as smart as Obama he'd have nominated a dead horse to be his consul. No wait...

Heh.

Reactions

Last night was simply the most fun I've ever had watching a political convention. After pretty good speeches by Romney and Huckabee, Giuliani simply savaged Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Just murdered them (with a smile on his face). I'm not going to summarize all of the speeches, but if you missed them and are curious, you can watch them here.

This morning I want to write about the reactions to Palin's absolutely terrific speech. They generally fall into three categories. And keep in mind that I'm not talking about attitudes toward Palin in general, whether she was a good pick, whether she'd make a good vice-president, or whether she'll enable McCain to win the election. I'm just talking about how Palin performed in last night's test . . . which is exactly what it was:

1. Republicans. However conservative or moderate each of us may be, we are ecstatic. We mostly figured Palin would do at least a sufficient job last night. What she did, however, was absolutely kill. Lights-out. Everywoman. Tough. Smart. Witty. In Command. Consequently, the GOP has not been this united in a very, very long time. We are certainly biased, but you can be sure if Palin had fallen flat last night -- if she had been pretty good instead of great -- there would be an appreciable amount of I-told-you-so's and McCain-blew-it's going around the right-wing blogosphere this morning. But there ain't.

2. Honest Liberals. Liberals who make any effort to objectively assess last night's speech as a political event are forced to acknowledge that Palin delivered a very effective speech, and did so with what many voters, including swing voters, will read as style and charm. One blogger at The New Republic (a liberal version of National Review) called the speech "Alarmingly Strong." Mainstream media coverage has begrudgingly concurred; the AP called it a "Star-Turning Performance." At center-left Slate, John Dickerson cautions that "Sarah Palin should scare Democrats." And she does. Which brings us to the third group . . .

3. Liberals in Denial. Whether it's because they're actually scared she could put the GOP ticket over the top, or whether it's simply dishonest partisanship, there are plenty of liberals who today are crossing their arms, shutting their eyes, stamping their feet, and insisting that Palin's speech was a flop. Too shrill. Didn't address [insert name of policy issue]. A visibly flustered Keith Olbermann pooh-poohed it as the sort of speech that will appeal to people that sort of thing appeals to. A classic example of Group 3 is a close friend (liberal Democrat) with whom I carpool (check me out! I'm a Republican who conserves energy!). He declared this morning that Palin's speech was ineffective and poorly delivered.

Listen, no Republican is going to argue with a straight face that Palin's speech won the election. But on the simple question whether she rose to the challenge last night, anyone who answers "No" is either disingenuous or politically tone-deaf.

This is going to be a long campaign and a close election. But, from a Republican perspective, Palin proved last night that she was a great political choice by McCain. Liberals want her to be a dumb hick; she came across as shrewd. Liberals want her to be weak; she came across as tough. Liberals want her to be a fringe nutcase; she came across as the typical, small-town American woman.

Yes, there's still a great deal of discussion to be had about whether she's qualified. But that discussion will continue to invite similar scrutiny of Obama. Yes, the unpopularity of Bush is still a liability for the GOP, but in choosing Palin McCain has enabled himself to make a compelling case that his ticket is the reform choice, rather than Chicago-political-machine Obama and his Senate-lifer running mate.

This thing can go either way. There will be plenty of days that aren't as great for the McCain-Palin team as yesterday was. But, by golly, this is going to be fun.

Finally this morning, a bit of perspective. Palin certainly has ramped up my excitement about this election. But I'm excited about her for more reasons than just McCain's prospects in 2008. I see in her a young, conservative leader who has actually governed by the principles that make a lot of us self-identify as conservatives. Smaller budgets. Lower taxes. No pork. Hostility to bureaucracy and corruption. Add to those traits charisma and humility.

Forget 2008 for a moment. If the Republicans lose this election, Palin will be back in 2012 with six years as Governor of Alaska under her belt and Bobby Jindal on her ticket. If the Republicans win this election . . . Palin will be back in 2012 with four years as vice-president under her belt . . . and Bobby Jindal on her ticket.

And that's change you can believe in.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

She Did It

Palin did what she needed to do. And how.

Rudy was ON FIRE. It was a great night. More tomorrow.

PUCK ADDS: A great night indeed. Rudy is a hell of a speaker. I am told he generally doesn't use a teleprompter or prepared text -- just notes: the sign of a nimble mind and ample confidence. Plus, he is just a funny, funny guy. I hope the party finds a good, effective use for him.

Sarah Palin seemed to be a bit nervous at the start of her speech, but she settled in admirably. She not only took some smooth, humorous, and well-deserved shots at Barack Obama, she also extended a big fat middle finger to the press. The mainstream media are not going to scare this woman or send her scurrying back to Alaska in tears. She knows she is in for the fight of her life, and she just said to those bastards: "Is that all you got?"

And I'm not usually a sucker for the whole "girl power" thing. It's kind of like excessive end-zone celebrations: cut it out, man; act like you've been there before - act like you belong there. But seeing her on stage, with her family, holding her infant son, and the crowd just loving, loving, loving her, I felt so damn proud and lucky that I got to see and be a part of this moment, even from afar.

Powerful Words

And I quote:
Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become President?... Or where is it written that mere representatives aren’t qualified .... Where is it written that governors and mayors ... are too local, too provincial?... Presidential candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of practical demography, not idealized democracy…. What a splendid system, we say to ourselves, that takes little-known men, tests them in high office and permits them to grow into statesmen.... Why shouldn’t a little-known woman have the same opportunity to grow?... [T]he indispensable credential for a Woman Who [sic] is the same as for a Man Who [sic] – one who helps the ticket.
Quite a noble statement supporting the propriety of the Palin pick. What conservative columnist wrote this? Bill Kristol? Jonah Goldberg? George Will?

Not so fast.

Try The New York Times -- in a 1984 editorial endorsing the selection of little-known Geraldine Ferraro as Walter Mondale's running mate.

Hypocrisy lain bare.

A Few Good Links

There's way too much going on today for me to try to put my thoughts in a long, coherent post this afternoon. But, since I'll likely be on the road tomorrow, I'd like to point out some powerful things I've read today:

On Sarah Palin, the press, and why they hate her so, I give you Peggy Noonan, who writes as tenderly and honestly and movingly as anyone I have read:

Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing -- who is really one of them and who is not -- and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.

She could become a transformative political presence.

So they are going to have to kill her, and kill her quick.


NRO's Yuval Levin, on the press this week:

I have never seen, and I admit that I could never have imagined, such shameful, out-of-control, frenzied, angry, condescending, and pathetic journalistic malpractice. The ignorant assault on Palin’s accomplishments and experience, the breathless careless airing of deranged rumors about her private life, the staggeringly indecent mistreatment of her teenage daughter in a difficult time, the ill-informed piling on about the vetting process, the self-intensifying circle of tisking nodding heads utterly detached from a straightforward political event, have been amazing and eye-opening.

The reigning emotion of it all has been anger—anger at being surprised, anger at being denied the spectacle of a Republican circular firing squad, anger that a conservative pro-life Republican could also be a woman and might represent the aspirations of other women, anger at being handed a person they did not know and who did not know them, anger that this upstart thinks she can ruin their coronation party. And the anger was fed by, and was indicative of, a profound elitism—a sense that we were dealing with some redneck moron from a state with no decent restaurants. The Republican candidate for president chose as his running mate a young, charismatic, female Republican governor—probably the most popular governor in the country—whose attitude and resume ring precisely of McCain’s kind of politics, and who has been on most people’s short-list since he won the nomination, and the press treats it as a symptom of some terrible and reckless madness.


Amen. And finally, a wife, mom, and born-and-bred Democrat (hmmm, sounds like me) explains why she'll be casting a vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin -- and how the Democratic party she once knew has gone for good:

...I will vote, enthusiastically, for Sarah Palin as vice president this November. Even if the media pressure forces her from the ticket, I will vote against the Democratic party—partly because I respect John McCain and believe him to be the better candidate, but equally because I’m tired of the intransigence and condescension of the Democratic leadership on the abortion issue.

I will vote for Sarah Palin because I don’t need the Democratic platform’s belated affirmation of motherhood. Thanks, but I already know that motherhood is good, several times over. Moreover, the party’s rediscovery of motherhood seems rather cynical in the current news cycle, while Democratic-friendly bloggers and media types bash Palin about her daughter’s pregnancy and her own busy schedule while bringing up children. How can a real sympathy for motherhood come from the same people who wrote a platform that hardens the party’s addiction to a phony right to kill the unborn?

I will vote for Sarah Palin because she has guts. We’ve never met, but I suspect I know something about her life, and so do a great many other women. I know what it means to have a son with Down syndrome. I know what it means to talk a good line about religious faith and then be asked to prove it. I know what it means to have a daughter pregnant and unmarried.

In fact, while we’re on the subject, I also know what it means to have two grandchildren born out of wedlock, a son struggling with alcohol, two grandchildren with serious disabilities, putting myself through graduate school while simultaneously caring for a husband and children and teaching full time—and a whole lot more. This is the stuff of real human love; this is the raw material of family life. And those who think that Palin’s beliefs and family struggles are funny or worth jeering at, simply reveal the venality of their own hearts.

I will vote for Sarah Palin because she is intelligent, tenacious and talented. Nobody made her rise easy, and no one is making it easy now. And—is it only moms who notice this?—unlike Senator Biden, she does seem to act consistently on her beliefs about the sanctity of life, at considerable personal cost.

I will vote for Sarah Palin because she doesn’t come from Washington or New York or Chicago or anywhere else the political and media aristoi like to hang out. In fact, I especially like the idea that the state she governs actually produces something—like some of the oil that powers the hair dryers and klieg lights at MSNBC.

I will vote for Sarah Palin because Roe v. Wade is bad law, and it needs to fall. I don’t doubt the intelligence and character of men like Doug Kmiec, the younger Bob Casey, and others who sympathize with the Obama campaign. But I do doubt their judgment. At the end of the day, the Democratic party in 2008 has conceded nothing to pro-life Democrats. The fact that Sen. Obama listens respectfully to pro-lifers without calling them reactionary dunces does not constitute progress. Results and behavior are what matter. On both those counts, the party has again failed to show any real sensitivity to pro-life concerns. In that light, high profile Catholics who support Obama are simply rationalizing their surrender on Roe.

Finally, I will vote for Sarah Palin, not because I’ve left the Democratic party of my youth and young adulthood, but because that party has left me. In fact, it no longer exists. And no amount of elegant speaking, exciting choreography, and moral alibis will bring it back.


Like I said, powerful stuff.

Time Out From Politics

Let me step away from RNC-mania for a moment and heartily congratulate Puck and Mr. G, who learned today that their progeny in progress (whom I gleefully dubbed months ago "The Player To Be Named Later") will be -- in the erudite words of Luca Brazzi -- a masculine child.

Mom, dad, older daughter, younger son . . . you, my friends, are one smart-alecky domestic servant away from a sitcom.

Mazel Tov, y'all.

Okay. Time In.

PUCK SAYS: Thanks, darling. And you know, you've got that smart-alecky insouciance thing down pat. So, if you ever get tired of the law-talking biz, and you wouldn't mind fixing our coffee, walking the dogs every morning, and straightening up after Hurricane Piglet and her kid brother, we could make it worth your while. Think of all the snark you could unleash on me! On a daily basis too. We should discuss this further.

Huge Night

The RNC has now confirmed that tonight's slate of speakers will include Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, in addition to Giuliani and Palin.

We Republigeeks are bouncing up and down in our chairs.

In related news, Power Line has put up a wry post revealing that a certain teenage, soon-to-be-father arrived in Minneapolis today and was greeted by none other than . . . John McCain. John Hinderaker quips:

Any 18-year-old in the position of Levi Johnston must dread more than anything his encounter with his girlfriend's father--here, the very formidable Todd Palin. But Johnston's worries didn't end there. He arrived in Minneapolis today with the Palin family and received this greeting:



Actually, the kid seems to have a lot of guts. No doubt what's happening is a lot more than he bargained for, but it looks like tonight he will be introduced, or at least waved at, as part of the Palin family. Some "scandal."

Newt Defends Palin (Passionately)



Imagine that. The NBC reporter (read: Obama cheerleader) couldn't name one thing Obama has accomplished that compares favorably with Palin.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Republican National Convention: 1

So we got the Piglet to bed at a semi-reasonable hour and turned on the television for our first night of convention-watching. I caught the tail end of President Bush's videotaped remarks: best (perhaps only) memorable line: "If the Hanoi Hilton couldn't break John McCain, the angry Left never will." Amen.

Watched Fred Thompson blow the roof off the joint. Ladies and gentlemen, that's what they call a barnburner. Shame he couldn't find this fire ten months ago on his own behalf, but nice that he put his ample skills to supporting his friend and former colleague. When he described John McCain's time as a POW, you could hear a pin drop. That crowd was mesmerized. Money quote:

Now, being a POW certainly doesn't qualify anyone to be President. But it does reveal character.

This is the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders.

Strength. Courage. Humility. Wisdom. Duty. Honor.

It's pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, "Who is this man?" and "Can we trust this man with the Presidency?"

And then there was Joe Lieberman, whose speech (prepared text) can be found here. At the end of his speech explaining why he believed McCain and Palin were the best man and woman for the job, and why he'd be voting for them, he called on Democrats, Independents and undecided voters to do the same. I don't know what effect it will have, but watching and listening, it's hard to believe this man was the vice-presidential nominee for the other side just eight years ago.

BENEDICK ADDS: Thompson's speech was absolutely lights-out. He spent just a minute ridiculing the left-wing media frenzy over Sarah Palin, but he did it effectively. His recitation of McCain's story was breathtaking, and he took some pithy, pointed shots at Obama and Biden. It's a speech I'll watch again. Lieberman's receiving universal praise from Republicans for his speech, which he admitted right up front was being delivered to Democrats and Independents. I think he did a nice job conveying why he believes McCain is the man for the job. But I have my doubts whether Joe Lieberman will cause anyone otherwise inclined to vote for Obama to change his or her mind. (Maybe he reached some fence-sitters, but I don't think Lieberman's a factor.)

There's some griping on the right about the fact that President Bush was limited to a short speech, delivered by satellite feed from the White House. Some conservatives think it was an inadequate recognition of the man who's served as our president for almost eight years. They have a point, but politically it was necessary to handle it this way. Obama and Biden are (falsely) trying to paint McCain as a Bush clone, and the GOP needs this to clearly be McCain's convention -- particularly as the selection of Palin has made maverickian reform a central tenet of the campaign.

Laura Bush's introduction of her husband, by the way, was characteristically warm and elegant. What a graceful, lovely, charming, compassionate woman we've had as our First Lady. It hurts a little to think Michelle Obama might be her successor.

Of course, last night was just an appetizer. Tonight we get Rudy Giuliani and *drumroll* Sarah Palin herself. I think it's going to go a little differently than the typical Wednesday night program at a national convention. Typically, the formal nomination takes place, a big-ticket figure gives a speech promoting the ticket, and the vice-presidential nominee gives a speech designed primarily to attack the opposition. I'd expect a tweak on this formula. I think Rudy will be the attack dog tonight, which will free Palin up to give a speech that's more biographical in nature and positive in tone. This will be the first time most Americans see her speak, and I think she needs to come across as energetic, optimistic, and magnanimous.

I also think she will be wildly successful in doing so.

I also expect that, Thompson having smacked the liberal media in the mouth last night for its bad behavior, there will be no further mention by any convention speaker about the pregnancy of Palin's daughter (or the coverage thereof). At this point, the McCain campaign is content to let the media execrate themselves in the eyes of Americans, who increasingly will abhor the treatment being meted out to a woman and a family who remind working-class Americans of the best about themselves.

Palin and Israel/Jews

Over at The Corner, Lisa Schiffren lays out the evidence regarding Palin's attitude toward the American Jewish community and Israel. The unsurprising conclusion: Good News.

What Liberal Bias?

Remember when the NY Times refused to cover the John-Edwards-cheats-on-his-wife-and-fathers-a-love-child story? Because that sort of thing is beneath the Times' highbrow journalistic perch?

The perch has been lowered. Today's Times features THREE FRONT PAGE STORIES about Bristol Palin's pregnancy.

Three. Front. Page. Stories.

And it has nothing to do with the campaign. Liberals (and their media surrogates) seem to believe this story will cause conservatives to run from Palin. But like King Edwards the Longshanks' decision to carve William Wallace up and send the pieces of his body to the four corners of Britain as a warning . . . it will not have the effect Longshanks intended.

The only people treating the Bristol Palin sotry like it matters were going to vote Obama anyway. (And they seem so perturbed that she didn't just abort the thing and be done with it, as they would have.) Conservatives -- particularly those who strongly oppose abortion -- understand that things like this happen with teens, no matter what parents may do to try and prevent them, and they see the Palin family handling it exactly the way they would.

By the way? Remember when Al Gore's son got arrested with a whole bunch of dope? Where was the media's hand-wringing about where Al went wrong in raising the boy?

UPDATE: I really don't want to hammer away at this "story" for as long as the MSM is going to keep it in the headlines (read: until the election is over). I'm going to endeavor to make this my only post on the subject. Jeff Goldstein shows us exactly what liberals are doing with it -- and it's nauseating.

I hope when Sarah Palin ends up in her first one-on-one interview with Barbara Walters, and Babs just feels compelled to ask about Bristol's pregnancy (you know, out of a purely journalistic need to satiate the public's appetite for details about a minor's sex life), that Palin produces a hockey stick, cross-checks her in the face, and delivers a stony lecture about how, where she comes from, decent people -- particularly when they're strangers -- know better than to pry into a family's personal affairs.

Monday, September 01, 2008

This Is For Mom

You asked about Obama and the Palestinian cause. Here's some info:

The L.A. Times says Obama's an ally of Palestinians

Obama: "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinians." (And none more than the kids whose parents are strapping bombs to their nine-year-old torsos!)

Palestinian Activist: "I knew Barack Obama for many years as my state senator, when he used to attend events in the Palestinian community in Chicago all the time. I remember personally introducing him on stage in 1999 when we had a major community fundraiser for the community center in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank. And that's just one example of how Barack Obama used to be very comfortable speaking up for and being associated with Palestinian rights and opposing the Israeli occupation."

Let's not forget: When Obama says Jerusalem should be "undivided," what he means is that the division of Jerusalem should be negotiated with the Palestinians. Subtlety, people.

Of course, across America, rabbis will stand at their pulpits during the upcoming High Holy Days and encourage their sheep to vote for the best friend Islamic terror has had in American national politics since Jimmy Carter.

Walking the Walk

It's being reported that Bristol Palin, the 17-year old daughter of GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is five months pregnant. She is planning on keeping the baby and marrying the father. Lest you think this was a major miss by Senator Mccain's vetting team, McCain knew about the baby, and he didn't think it made a damn bit of difference.

The Lunatic Left, no doubt, will be chortling with glee. Hypocrite! They'll shout. Er, not quite. Sarah Palin believes that abortion is wrong. Faced with the knowledge that the son she was carrying at the age of 44 would have Down's Syndrome and would require extra care, not just during his infancy and childhood but for the rest of his life, she put her principles into practice. She had the baby -- and in her mind, extra chromosome or not, she "look[s] at him ... and see[s] perfection."

And, when her daughter came to her with the news of her own pregnancy -- and said she'd decided, on her own, to keep the baby -- Palin and her husband put their principles into practice again: they're standing by their daughter and embracing their future grandchild. Period. That's not hypocrisy, folks. It's the furthest thing from it: it's consistency -- standing on one's convictions even when "fudging" a bit would be easier.

It's easy to be pro-life when the baby is intended and the ultrasound looks perfect. Palin has proven herself to be pro-life even when the circumstances are less than ideal. That's no easy feat: just ask Barack Obama, who's on record as saying he wouldn't want his daughters to be "punished with a baby" if they slipped up.

If people on the Left think this will hurt Sarah Palin, they have no idea what they are up against. Oh, and by the way: had the Left not been spreading rumors that Palin's youngest son is really her grandchild, and that Sarah Palin faked her fifth pregnancy to give cover to her daughter, none of this would have come out today.

The American Left: pro-choice, pro-woman, pro-privacy rights! Unless you are a conservative woman who chooses not to abort. Then, you have no right to privacy at all. That, friends, is hypocrisy.