I absolutely love this Get Religion post. Mollie does a wonderful job dissecting the problems with coverage of Sarah Palin, far better than I could. Read the whole thing.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Protein Wisdom's Jeff has a post up that You Tube and Warner Music Group pulled a very popular video (I linked to it here) ostensibly for copyright violations on the four songs used.
I'm not the world's biggest fan of copyright protection as the thugs at the music industry practice it, but it is at least understandable that Talking Heads might be concerned about misappropriation of their product. But the truth is, Google and Time Warner are huge Obama supporters.
Thank goodness, the producers of that video put it back up, sans offending music. Go to this link.
There are several things that frustrate me about John McCain.
1. He's not really conservative. As my husband says, he's a centrist who leans to the right. This was fairly obvious both in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention and in the debate the other night. I had the "Ooh! Ohh! I know the answer!" syndrome from elementary school (hand waving furiously in the air) going on during much of Jim Lehrer's questioning, then had to groan at McCain's often polite answers. It simply re-emphasizes that John McCain is not Ronald Reagan.
2. He still thinks he can "reach across the aisle" 35 days before the presidential election and not get it chopped off. I don't care how well McCain knows these people, but Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are not his friends (if they ever are). McCain should be running against them as well as Barack Obama. They are not "distinguished colleagues." They are the enemy. Once he's president, he can pretend, again, he's friends with them. But not now.
3. Both McCain and Palin are way too polite when dealing with the Obama campaign and the press. John McCain and Sarah Palin need to be blunt about why we shouldn't make Obama POTUS: he's a liberal who is frighteningly unprepared to be president given his behavior whenever a crisis has arisen in the last nine months (not to mention his lifetime).
The latest example for Point Number 3 is Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric, which is being spun by MSM and the Left as she's an idiot who doesn't read.
In order to say this, the lying liars of the Left ignore virtually everything of substance in the Palin interview to latch onto this exchange:
COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?
PALIN: I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media —
COURIC: But what ones specifically? I’m curious.
PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.
COURIC: Can you name any of them?
PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.
As someone who's asked more than a couple of gotcha questions, I've often fantasized about how I would answer such inane questions.
COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?
ME: You know, Katie, I read a lot of newspapers, from my local paper to the natioanl ones. And I'm smart enough to know a "gotcha" question when I hear it. You've been playing this game the entire interview and I'm not going to give you the name of any specific publication because I know your "fact checkers" will be trying to find something sinister or stupid that was recently published in any news outlet I name. So, let's just say I read all of them. That will give the leftwing lunatics their latest talking point.
Needless to say, I don't think I'd make it to high office, not just because of my checkered past, but because I'm not polite to idiots.
Allahpundit notes that Palin discussed gays, feminism, abortion, and creationism, but her answers don't make her look like a kook, therefore, they don't get any airplay. No surprise there.
UPDATE: Newsbusters shows that, lo and behold, Katie Couric is much sweeter and nicer to Joe Biden than he was to Sarah Palin during interviews with the vice presidential candidates.
There will be a study that comes out about a month after the election which discusses the disparate treatment of Sarah Palin and John McCain with Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Of course, that won't make any difference at that point.
Now that the last banking bill has been rejected by the House, expect Nancy Pelosi to stuff back in all the pro-Democrat crap that was taken out in hopes of bipartisan support, says Larry Kudlow.
As this scenario goes, the House Democrats need 218 votes, and they have to pick up a number of black and Hispanic House members who jumped ship because the Wall Street provisions, in their view, were too benign. So things like the bankruptcy judges setting mortgage terms and rates, the ACORN slush-fund spending, the union proxy for corporate boards, stricter limits on executive compensation, and much larger equity ownership of selling banks through warrants will all find itself back in the new bill. Of course, this scenario will lose more Republican votes. But insiders tell me President Bush will take Secretary Paulson’s advice and sign that kind of legislation.
Worse, Kudlow says we can expect more of this shit from a Democrat Congress and president. He sounds resigned to McCain's defeat in November. I'm not resigned to it because I've still got more faith that Americans won't elect an unrepentant leftwinger, but I have to say that recent polls make me wonder what the hell is wrong with Americans. Do we really have to sit through a disasterous Obama presidency for them to realize what fools they were to vote for this guy?
I haven't decided who I should be mad at. John McCain, who seemingly can't bring himself to call Obama the far-left machine politician he is or at American voters who think Obama is cute.
David Brooks says the House Republicans who voted against the massive government bailout of Wall Street are killing the GOP.
House Republicans led the way and will get most of the blame. It has been interesting to watch them on their single-minded mission to destroy the Republican Party. Not long ago, they led an anti-immigration crusade that drove away Hispanic support. Then, too, they listened to the loudest and angriest voices in their party, oblivious to the complicated anxieties that lurk in most American minds.
Now they have once again confused talk radio with reality. If this economy slides, they will go down in history as the Smoot-Hawleys of the 21st century. With this vote, they’ve taken responsibility for this economy, and they will be held accountable. The short-term blows will fall on John McCain, the long-term stress on the existence of the G.O.P. as we know it.
I hate to be the one to tell Mr. Brooks, but if Republicans had gone along with both the immigration bill and this bailout in current form, then the GOP would already be dead. Why? Because regardless of what elites tell us, our legislators are supposed to do our work, the things we tell them to do.
Perhaps us rubes out here in the sticks just don't understand politics the way those Washington boys do. I'm still trying to figure out why we never hear claims of "the death of the Democrats." When Republicans stand up for the law and core principles such as fiscal responsibility, we hear that the party is dying.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Via Gateway Pundit, comes the news that the Obama Truth Squad is back at work. No, they aren't trying to sic the Justice Department on anyone or threatening stations in Missouri who actually show anti-Obama ads. They've bombed Macsmind for having the temerity to post videos such as this one:
In light of current polls, this video, in which Obama says the things he won't say anymore, must reach as many people as possible. I am posting it both here and at Common Sense Political Thought.
My friend on the coast seems to be doing all right, but another friend sent me this list, which is quite true:
Hurricane Education: What I've learned during our last hurricane . . .
1. Coffee and frozen pizzas can be made on a BBQ grill.
2. No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work without electricity.
3. My car gets 23.21675 miles per gallon, EXACTLY (you can ask the people in line who helped me push it).
4. Kids can survive 4 days or longer without a video game controller in their hand.
5. Cats are even more irritating without power.
6. He who has the biggest generator wins.
7. Women can actually survive without doing their hair- you just wish they weren't around you.
8. A new method of non-lethal torture- showers without hot water.
9. There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.
10. TV is an addiction and the withdrawal symptoms are painful.
11. A 7 lb bag of ice will chill 6-12 oz Budweiser's to a drinkable temperature in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14 lb. turkey frozen for 8 more hours.
12. There are a lot of dang trees around here.
13. Flood plane drawings on some mortgage documents were seriously wrong.
14. Aluminum siding, while aesthetically pleasing, is definitely not required.
15. Crickets can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 14 generators.
16. People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.
17. When required, a Lincoln Continental will float, doesn't steer well but floats just the same.
18. Tele-marketers function no matter what the weather is doing.
19. Cell phones work when land lines are down, but only as long as the battery remains charged.
20. 27 of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer than you, and they are quick to point that out!
21. Hampers were not made to contain such a volume.
22. If my store sold only ice, chainsaws, gas and generators... I'd be rich.
23. Price of a can of soup rises 200 percent in a storm.
24. Your water front property can quickly become someone else's fishing hole.
25. Tree service companies are under appreciated.
26. I learned what happens when you make fun of another states' blackout.
27. MATH 101: 30 days in a month, minus 6 days without power equals 30 percent higher electric bill ?????
28. Drywall is a compound word, take away the "dry" part and it's worthless.
29. I can walk a lot farther than I thought.
What happens when conservatives use the First Amendment in New York? Why, liberals hail them as examples of the greatness of our country! Well, not quite.
There are multiple examples of both the Obama campaign directly and its surrogates indirectly trying to prevent free speech they dislike in this election cycle. How much more free speech will be gone when Obama reimposes the Fairness Doctrine?
Reading Palin Is For Patriarchy Not Against It. That Is The Beginning To Understanding Her Place In This Race by Anthony McCarthy at Echidne's site, I was faced, yet again, with evidence of how liberals completely misunderstand--deliberately or accidentally--what conservatism is all about.
This is probably due to their own viewpoint consisting of oppressors and oppressed, that everyone is a member of one or the other. The idea that people are not necessarily either cannot occur to them. And thus, the liberal emphasis on emotions such as empathy and generosity misses the greater point of conservatism: you can be extremely generous and empathetic and yet make matters worse for those you pity.
Yesterday, I was listening to a Saturday home improvement show on the radio when the group Texas Baptist Men was mentioned as helping to restore the Houston/Galveston areas. My husband had not heard of this group, but I pointed out to him that they did disaster relief work all over the country for victims of hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, fires and so on. Usually, Texas Baptist Men only gets one sentence out of any story, so it is easy to miss. Yet, aren't groups such as this examples of compassion and empathy? Surely Anthony McCarthy would recognize this.
The main difference, of course, is that McCarthy and liberals in general think it is up to the government to show empathy and compassion...with someone else's resources. Conservatives think it is up to individuals to do the work of Christ through their own efforts. Does this mean that there are some who do nothing? Absolutely. But allowing people to be selfish is as necessary as making sure those wishing to do good have the opportunity.
McCarthy's point is that certain members of the oppressed class develop a sort of Stockholm Syndrome where they don't see themselves as oppressed by their capitalistic slave holders, and that the nasty conservatives use these hapless victims to further their evil plans. But the truth is far less exciting; women like Sarah Palin succeed on their own because they have the interest, optimism and confidence to work through difficulties to achieve their success. They do not sit around complaining about Teh Patriarchy keeping them down; they deal with the sexism thrown their way and confound all expectations.
This has been true of virtually every person--male or female, black, brown, or white--throughout American history who started humbly and succeeded. We do not live in a caste system, as anyone visiting Europe can still see the remnants of. Success can come to virtually anyone willing to work for it. You don't need pity for that.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Won't link to this directly, but it's stunningly stupid:
Now the curtain has dropped, and we’re looking directly at how capitalism functions in the US.
I guess the writer means that capitalism in the U.S. functions by way of idiotic Democrat policies which force businesses to engage in increasingly risky behavior.
I didn't watch the debate last night, although I did listen to part of it on the radio in my car. That was a frustrating experience, as all accounts said McCain did worse in the first part of the debate (the part I heard) than in the last.
Reviews were mixed. Those in the MSM and left say Obama won. Those on the Right say McCain won. I don't know whose mind would have been changed by the debate, and from what I understand, there were no major gaffes on which to grade. So, make your own assessments.
McCain has produced an ad from Obama's answers:
This ad isn't hard-hitting enough for me. The ad should have started out saying that even Barack Obama agrees with John McCain. Why shouldn't you?
Friday, September 26, 2008
The National Right to Life Committee has an ad asking Barack Obama to apologize for saying they lied about his position on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
I hope they aren't holding their collective breath on this one.
Abortion isn't going to determine this election, but that doesn't make Obama's lying acceptable.
Don't let Democrats B.S. you about who is responsible for this Wall Street mess.
There's no doubt that some Republicans were involved in the creation of this, but it was Democrats who started it, Democrats who accelerated it, and Democrats who blocked any attempt to rein it in. Now we have Democrats trying to blame John McCain for the collapse of bailout talks when there was no consensus before McCain got there.
Well, if the deal was that good, why didn't Democrats just pass the thing and send it to President Bush to sign? They know the deal they wanted to sign off on was hideous. That's why they want cover by signing up Republicans, as well.
Make no mistake about it, friends. Dems will lie, cheat and steal to get their man Obama in the White House. And they don't care if they have to pick your pocket to do it.
Cross-posted at Common Sense Political Thought.
I was pleasantly surprised to see someone from the Left attempting to discuss its own sexism, even if the post didn't go far enough. In a post titled Caribou Ken, Echidne of the Snakes starts to examine liberal sexism regarding Sarah Palin.
If Sarah Palin was a male governor from Alaska, do you think that she would be treated the same way she has? Would this imaginary Sam Palin be taken to task for his ignorance on foreign politics (coughGiulianicough) or for his weird fundie ideas (coughHuckabeecough)? Would Sam Palin be called Caribou Ken after the penisless boyfriend of the Barbie doll?
These are not comfortable questions for a liberal goddess to ask, especially given Palin's bad platform and the way she is being used by McCain for nefarious ends. Indeed, both the Democratic presidential primaries and the presidential campaigns have been unpleasant moments for me, because I had underestimated the amount of free-wheeling and jokey sexism that still prevails in this country and because I see the term "sexism" itself cheapened and mutating into something that has no meaning at all.
So who are we to thank for these odd gifts, us feminists? There's lots of thanks to go around, layers and layers of sexism, if you wish, and it's extremely difficult to look at the mess and point a finger at one point to say: "There!" Extremely difficult and also frightening, because my attempts to follow the chains lead me to point my finger at all sorts of people I otherwise value. Including some feminists.
Echidne starts out asking the right questions ("Would a male candidate be treated this way?") but, unfortunately, has to excuse the Left's behavior by blaming McCain for picking a woman so "obviously unqualified" for the job of VPOTUS. How do we know she is unqualified? Echidne repeatedly argues that Palin is a bad pick because the McCain campaign has allowed little press access to her.
As has been noted before, Palin's experience at least equals Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's, because she has been in government a similar amount of time. On top of that, as an executive, she has been required to make decisions and been accountable for them. Legislators do not face this pressure, and Obama's "present" votes show his unwillingness to take a stand where it might not help him politically.
What Echidne should have discussed and did not is the way the Left has embraced a different standard for Palin than that expected of Joe Biden or any other male candidate (*cough*John Edwards *cough*). She clearly has adequate experience for the veep job as evidenced from candidates such as John Edwards, yet the Left has continued to insist that she has not, using the "press avoidance" fig leaf to disguise their real opposition to her (as an aside, Patterico makes the point that Palin needs to play hardball with reporters playing gotcha with her).
Because the dirty secret, the third rail of leftwing politics, that Echidne doesn't want to discuss is this: women are not acceptable political candidates if they don't support unfettered abortion rights. If said woman does not genuflect at the knee of NARAL and NOW, then calling her a bad mother, sneering at her as a "beauty queen," calling her every foul-mouthed version of prostitute and holding her to a different standard than men is acceptable. The Left won't consider this sexism, although moms of all stripes will know that it is. The Left will simply call this "vetting."
Echidne isn't comfortable admitting that sexism comes just as easily from the Left as from the Right. I hope she'll become more honest as time goes on.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I took some heat (very little, really) for pointing out at Common Sense Political Thought that Europeans are hypocrites for their lecturing over American elections. Arguing that Americans must elect Barack Obama to escape our "racist past," the nannies of Europe have forgotten one thing: they have never elected a minority, nor have they directly elected a woman to a position of power.
It's one of the major differences between the American system and the parliamentary system of most of the world: We directly elect our officials while other countries elect parties. This difference has good points and bad: Americans are more invested in the individual assets of any particular candidate, whereas parliamentarians are more focused on party philosophies and promises.
This article lays out the differences quite well.
In theory, Europeans find American elections vulgar and plutocratic. In practice, they find them utterly gripping. This is partly because the US is wealthy and powerful, but mainly because American campaigns, being more participatory than European ones, are more interesting.
All organisations grow according to the DNA encoded at the time of their conception. The US was founded in a revolt against a distant and autocratic regime. In consequence, its polity developed according to what we might call Jeffersonian principles: the idea that power should be diffused and that government officials, wherever possible, should be elected.
Most European constitutions, by contrast, were drawn up after the second world war. Their authors believed that democracy had led to fascism, and that the ballot box needed to be tempered by a class of sober functionaries who were invulnerable to public opinion.
The difference between the American and European approaches can be inferred from their foundational charters. The US Constitution, including all 27 amendments, is 7,600 words long, and is mainly preoccupied with the rights of the individual. The Lisbon Treaty contains 76,000 words and is chiefly concerned with the powers of the state. The American Constitution begins, ‘We, the people...’; the Treaty of Rome begins, ‘His Majesty the King of the Belgians...’
America still is the Land of Kings and it's why our system works so well.
WLS has a nice post about how the New York Times came to write such a Obama-friendly piece regarding The One's tenure at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. It all comes out in the e-mails. Here's the e-mail:
Anne and Warren:
I gave your contact info to Sam Dillon, Education Reporter for the NYTimes who is doing a story on McCain vs. Obama’s education platform (McCain has a one-pager; Obama has a 17 page, 10-point platform). Dillon was sent to me from the Obama campaign to discuss Barack’s role in the Annenberg Challenge. – I have spent at least 4 hours in interviews with Sam Dillon who is trying to understand everything he can about the Challenge to see where Barack’s experience with it influenced his education reform views or where Barack had influence on education policy and/or practice during those years. Sam is pretty thorough in his questions and one question or response leads to many other things he is interested in learning about the Challenge. – The Challenge is just one phase of Barack’s ‘education interests’ that Dillon is exploring. He’s also trying to learn about Barack’s community organizing days and how education reform was part of them.
Sam would like to talk with either or both of your to understand how the “ad hoc group” you two and Bill Ayers lead [sic], aarived [sic] at the structure of the founding board and the Collaborative. He is trying to understand how Barack got “picked” for the CAC board, by whom, why, etc. – I have avoided that question head-on though I believe Barack was Debbie Leff’s/Joyce nomination.
I think the article will be friendly and is truly looking to see the influences on or by Barack re: education/school reform in Chicago, ete. [sic]
Let me know if you talk to Dillon? All the best.
For the record, William Ayers, whose relationship with Obama was suspiciously buried in the NYT story, believes in teaching social justice, which essential teaches our kids that America is an evil society because there has been discrimination in the past. As WLS put it:
”Social Justice” is nothing more than a value system that believes in the inherent racist and imperialist nature of the United States from the time of its founding as a nation where slavery was legal, right up to today. Ayers is a self-professed little-”c” communist, who only disassociates himself from the failed Soviet state, and not the political theory behind communism itself. Basically, he wants to begin indoctrinating grade schoolers in his extreme left-wing ideology, so they will all grow up believing capitalism is evil — which makes turning them into communists in college that much easier.
As the conversation with my son that I reproduced in the previous post indicates, this indoctrination is well underway. Teachers don't have to come out and tell their students that America is evil and unfair. If they spend enough time emphasizing the "history-making" nature of the current election--without pointing out all the things about it that are making history--then they convince our kids that we don't allow brown people to be president...because we're racists.
This sort of history spends little time teaching children what makes America both unique and great. It teaches children the Preamble to the Constitution, for instance, without giving them any perspective whatsoever as to why the American experiment was so ground-breaking and why it continues to be the destination of choice for the world's down-trodden.
But I digress. The point here, of course, is that the Left has sneered at the McCain campaign for pointing out the unhidden bias in reporting during this election cycle, yet here we have an e-mail that explains "the article will be friendly" and that the "Obama campaign recommended him."
Reporters should be ashamed at the patsies for the Left they have become. When the history of this election cycle is written, they will not come out as heroes.
"Why can't brown people be president?"
"Huh? Brown people can be president. Who told you they couldn't?"
"My teacher said this is the first time we can elect a brown person as president."
"Well, that's not exactly true, son. Brown people have run for president before. But to become president, you have to get most of the people to vote for you and that hasn't happened before." (Aside: I'm not getting into the nuances of the electoral college with a 10-year-old).
"Why didn't people want to elect a brown person? That doesn't seem fair."
"Honey, we don't elect people based on the color of their skin. We listen to their policies, look at what they've done with their lives and what they say they'll do. Then we decide which person we think will do the best job."
"My teacher says this is a historic election because we can elect a brown person."
"Did your teacher tell you that it's a historic election because you could elect a woman to vice president?"
*puzzled look* "No. What's the big deal about that?"
*sigh* "Right, son. What's the big deal about that."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
That's my mood today, due to several things.
1. Arthritis in my shoulder is acting up, which gives me some understanding of why John McCain might avoid computers, considering his shoulder problems are about 800,000 times worse than mine. But it does make typing difficult, having the same effect as a gag on a chatty woman like me.
2. John McCain suspends his campaign to deal with the financial crisis, then asks to suspend the debate so both candidates can focus on what's important. The usual assholes mock anything that smacks of adult behavior (not of the sexual kind).
3. Latest polls are disturbing. Please don't tell me the American electorate is this dumb.
4. With coverage like this, is it any wonder the McCain campaign has been unwilling to allow the press access to Sarah Palin? I'm sick of hearing how unprepared Sarah Palin is to be president, when the same press ignores Joe Biden's gaffes. It's no wonder John McCain's campaign has said aloud what the rest of us have known for months: the media is in the tank for Obama.
*sigh* Fortunately, both my shoulder pain and the election will be over soon.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Interesting article on Matt Simmons, the god of the peak oil crowd.
Spasms in the market over the summer has to have given anyone pause, even if you think the U.S. can drill a lot more of its own oil.
I've never understood why the argument over alternative fuels has been either/or. There's simply nothing on earth that compares with the energy we can get from oil, so the talk of completely replacing it seems bogus to me (at least for the foreseeable future). Why is there so little talk of both drilling and researching other technology?
The arguments that we are 10 years away from production if we start drilling now aren't true, while it will take that long or longer for alternatives.
So, what to do till then? From the Fortune article on Matt Simmons:
Hint: Learn to garden, and buy some comfortable walking shoes.
Personally, I'd love to do both, except there aren't any real grocery stores within a five-mile radius of my house. There's a billboard advertising a new Target store is supposed to be built about 1/2-mile from the Ponderosa, but I have to wonder if the downturn in the economy has put those plans on hold. Hey, I wouldn't mind walking 1/2 mile to the store. I used to do it when we lived in the Crackerbox.
My problem with the whole "get a pair of comfortable walking shoes" is this:
I can't walk from Fort Worth to Dallas every day.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I've been waiting for the nutroots to compare Sarah Palin's popularity with the Obamessiah, and was surprised that it has taken this long for them to notice. Of course, I guess when you are busy spreading crackpot rumors about her or bashing her mothering skills, you don't have much time to notice that Palin is a phenomenon. Well, until Jesse Taylor's spittle-flecked post.
Effusive praise for her ability to speak without a teleprompter (there’s a reason!), pulling out the mom card, even the giddy promise of road trips to see The Palin...it’s not so much that conservatives are doing every single thing they said Obama supporters were doing in support of their Euro man-god, but that they have no fucking idea what they’ve been saying for over a year.
Well, there are a coupleof differences between Sarah Palin's popularity and Barack Obama's. First, Palin isn't talking about her godlike ability to stop oceans from rising, nor does she gives speeches from a Parthanon-like edifice. And she doesn't have women swooning because of her Palinness. In other words, unlike The One, Palin doesn't behave like she's The One. She behaves like she's just another American, which is probably why so many people identify with her.
See, the problem with Obama is he is the presidential candidate, and he became the candidate by giving vague HopeNChangey speeches that sent his followers into a pentacostal-style trance (except that they don't believe in the Holy Spirit, so there's no way they could be filled with it). And he believed his own rhetoric, offering nothing else.
But Sarah Palin is not the presidential candidate. She's a V.P. candidate. She's not campaigning for commander in chief, no matter how hard the Obamabots try to make her. And people appreciate the fact that she's not all caught up in her own publicity.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Treasury Secretary Paulson has proposed a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, and even I'm skeptical that it can fix things. I tend to agree with Newt Gingrich on this one.
If this were a Democratic administration the Republicans in the House and Senate would be demanding answers and would be organizing for a “no” vote.
If a Democratic administration were proposing this plan, Republicans would realize that having Connecticut Democratic senator Chris Dodd (the largest recipient of political funds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) as chairman of the Banking Committee guarantees that the Obama-Reid-Pelosi-Paulson plan that will emerge will be much worse as legislation than it started out as the Paulson proposal.
If this were a Democratic proposal, Republicans would remember that the Democrats wrote a grotesque housing bailout bill this summer that paid off their left-wing allies with taxpayer money, which despite its price tag of $300 billion has apparently failed as of last week, and could expect even more damage in this bill.
But because this gigantic power shift to Washington and this avalanche of taxpayer money is being proposed by a Republican administration, the normal conservative voices have been silent or confused.
One of the reasons Republicans lost Congress was because they behaved like Democrats, passing out loot and running up deficits without worrying how they would pay for it. Then President Bush couldn't veto anything, which made matters worse.
The fact is, we have a duty to question the way politicians want to spend our money, even when they happen to be from our own party. Gingrich is correct when he says Congress has an obligation not to be railroaded into a plan that won't solve the problems and lacks any oversight provisions.
Not that I really think a Democrat Congress would do that. If Wall Street failing helps elect Obama, I think Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will let it tank.
AP put out a poll which essentially says white Democrats are racists.
Well, it's a refreshing change from the "all Republicans are racists" canard.
The poll says at least 1/3 of white Dems agree with one or more negative adjective about black people (such as "lazy").
I'd be terrible taking these sorts of polls because I'd never be sure how to answer them. Newsbusters has a sample of the questions, and I was left scratching my head.
How often have you felt sympathy for blacks?
How often have you felt admiration for blacks?
How well does each of these words describe most blacks?
Friendly, Determined to succeed, Law abiding, Hard-working, Intelligent at
school, Smart at everyday things, Good neighbors, Dependable, Keep up their
property, Violent, Boastful, Complaining, Lazy, Irresponsible
Some people say that black leaders have been trying to push too fast. Others feel that they haven’t pushed fast enough. What do you think?
How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think blacks are responsible for creating?
How much discrimination against blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead?
Although all of the things listed below are important for a child to have, which do you think is most important for a child to have?
Which is the next most important for a child to have?
Newsbusters argues that many of the questions above were posed to white voters but not black ones as a way to reinforce the notion that whites are racists (but blacks are not). I would agree with that assessment, since a recurring theme of this election is how racist whites are gonna prevent Obama's coronation.
My problem with some of this is that I've known people of all hues who could fit into any and all of these categories. And is it really less racist if the stereotypes you harbor are positive, rather than negative ones? True, such stereotypes might not hurt a group as much, but they are still racist. And if you are voting for Obama based on his race, isn't that still racism?
One has to come to the conclusion that it isn't racism per se that is causing the hand-wringing. It's that someone may use their racism in a way that doesn't benefit Obama.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Feminists are angry about Sarah Palin. Frankly, I think any woman John McCain picked would have been viewed with the same scorn and derision, but the hatred of Sarah Palin, and the millions of American women she typifies, is palpable. Don't believe me? Go read this site and you'll see what I mean.
I started looking at the criticism of Palin--the ones that weren't about calling her a bitch, a c***, a whore, or more--to figure out which women's rights, exactly Sarah Palin would "set back." So far, I can only find reference to abortion (far and away their greatest concern) and comparable worth, an unwieldy and dangerous intrusion on business. And most people don't even bother with the comparable worth stuff.
So, I decided to compile a list of rights Sarah Palin won't take away if she is elected Vice President of the United States:
1. Right to vote. Yep, we have the 19th Amendment to stop that. Not that I've heard Palin say she wants to take away a woman's right to vote, but I'm sure there are some nutburgers out there arguing that she does.
2. Right to equal pay. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 assures equal pay for equal work. This is not to be confused with comparable worth which seeks unequal pay for unequal work.
3. Right not to be fired due to pregnancy. It used to be quite common for employers to fire women when they became pregnant. But the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prevents employers from firing female employees because they become pregnant, or not hiring pregnant prospective employees. Yes, I know employers still do this, but there is a law in place that protects women and Sarah Palin isn't going to rescind that law.
4. Right of married women to own property. Up until the 1960s, many states barred married women from owning property in their own name (property bought after the marriage) due to a legal concept called coverture. Essentially, when a man and woman married, the woman's legal rights merged into her husband's and she had few legal rights of her own. But fear not! Sarah Palin isn't going to "set back women's rights" by rescinding the various state statutes which recognize women's rights to own property.
5. Right to divorce. Sarah Palin will not rescind no-fault divorce, a key concept for equality, according to feminists.
6. Right to sue. Back in the 1950s--the time period feminists say Sarah Palin wants to go back to--married women could not sue for their own torts. This was because women were considered their husbands' property. So, for example, if a woman was in a car wreck, she couldn't sue the other driver for compensation for her injuries. Her husband had to do it. Sarah Palin won't be sending us back to the 1950s when this sort of thing happened.
Granted, these aren't all the rights women have achieved in the last 200 years (or 2000 years, depending on which feminist you talk to), but it's guaranteed Sarah Palin won't rescind any of these rights.
And guess what? Sarah Palin won't overturn Roe or get rid of contraception, either! That Roe was not an executive order is no secret, but to listen to feminists, one would have to believe that it is. That's why every conversation about Sarah Palin discusses her personal opposition to abortion.
Don't let feminists lie about Sarah Palin and women's rights. The problem for feminists is that there are no women's rights outside of the sacrament of abortion. But as my little list shows, there are many more rights women enjoy that will still be in place if Palin is veep.
On the verge of what, you may ask? Why, of of throwing themselves out the window.
Senator McCain's selection of Governor Palin of Alaska as his running mate, which was hailed in some quarters and met with skepticism in others, is sparking intense reactions from some New Yorkers, who report being driven to fits of rage and even all-consuming panic.
"All of my women friends, a week ago Monday, were on the verge of throwing themselves out windows," an author and political activist, Nancy Kricorian of Manhattan, said yesterday. "People were flipping out. ... Every woman I know was in high hysteria over this. Everyone was just beside themselves with terror that this woman could be our president — our potential next president."
The New York Times article doesn't explain what these hysterical (and, yes, that's the right word for it) women are upset about: the fact that a woman of whom they disapprove could make it to the top. You see, they don't believe she's earned the right to be vice president. That's why they spend so much time talking about how unqualified she is, not bothering to hide the hypocrisy of their position that Obama is, somehow, more qualified because he voted present in the legislature while padding his resume and embellishing his accomplishments.
But in a campaign where neither presidential candidate has executive experience, it's hard to countenance that "experience" is what these women are upset about. No, what they are mainly upset about is that Palin doesn't buy into the feminist trifecta: abortion on demand, comparable worth, government handouts based on sex. I mean, at least this guy's honest that it's all about the vagina.
Every white woman I know is positively horrified.
Wait, that's not exactly true. It's more accurate to say that every thoughtful or liberal or intuitive or open-minded white woman I know worth her vagina monologue and her self-determination and two centuries of nonstop striving for equal rights and sexual freedom and exhaustive patriarchal unshackling is right now openly horrified, appalled at what the addition of shrill PTA hockey-mom Sarah Palin seems to have done for the soggy, comatose McCain campaign -- that is, make it not merely remotely interesting and melodramatic, but aggressively hostile to, well, to all intelligent women everywhere.
See, because the only intelligent position to have on abortion is that women should be able to kill their offspring for any or no reason up until after birth (given Obama's position on the subject). And Amanda Marcotte would tell you that those who oppose abortion just want to control women's vaginas. See, it's not that taking human life without conscience or reason is evil and barbaric. Or that you happen to think all life, even inconvenient life, is precious and should be treasured. Nope, it's all about the vaginas.
What leaves me scratching my head in all the P.D.S. is that, as a daughter of the revolution, I was taught that I was no different from men. That sex differences were merely social constructs and that having a vagina made me no more or less human than any man.
But this election has shown that even feminists don't believe that's true.
They hate Sarah Palin because, in her, they see someone who has accomplished everything they've touted women as being capable of without bowing to the abortion god. She became mayor and governor without screaming that the evil, sexist men tried to keep her down. She's gotten to be a vice presidential candidate because she's like millions of American women who work hard and succeed without political ties or money. And worse yet, she's unwilling to at least pay lip service to feminism, as Hillary Clinton has while riding her husband's coattails to political office.
In short, what they hate is that she's accomplished all they say women should do, but she did it without them.
And that's enough to make the shrews jump out the window.
It's always interesting when we turn over the rock that is socialized medicine and watch all the bugs squirm out of the light. Today's installment is from Great Britain where Baroness Warnock declared that those suffering dementia have a duty to die because they suck up too many resources.
The veteran Government adviser said pensioners in mental decline are "wasting people's lives" because of the care they require and should be allowed to opt for euthanasia even if they are not in pain.
She insisted there was "nothing wrong" with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or society.
The 84-year-old added that she hoped people will soon be "licensed to put others down" if they are unable to look after themselves.
Perhaps Nicholas Provenzo will write another stirring column on the morality of killing inconvenient people. After all, according to Provenzo, killing Downs Syndrome babies is the moral thing to do because they are only "marginally productive" and wind up being a burden to family and society.
I am not the first to note that the downside of socialized medicine--aside from the outrageously long waits for procedures and the lack of motivation for innovation--is that somebody must get less care so that somebody else can get more care.
When the State has the burden of providing “free” medical care, that care will get rationed in ways that are, unfortunately, all too predictable. Human life stops being sacred and instead becomes a commodity with a balance sheet. If bureaucrats decide that a particular life, or a class of life, has become a net negative, then eventually they will find ways to eliminate the liability.
Totalitarian governments have always worked this way; the shock comes from the same impulse occuring in supposedly enlightened democracies. We’re seeing a new kind of government these nanny states, though — a democratic totalitarianism that makes all of the choices for its subjects after they willingly give the bureaucracy the power of life and death over them. It’s a voluntary totalitarianism, and it starts by assigning government the role of caretaker from cradle to grave, the latter point coming at their choosing.
We've heard about this obligation of the sick and the elderly to off themselves so that the healthy can live better before. It's similar to Provenzo's argument justifying aborting Downs Syndrome babies. And it's still barbaric.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Barack Obama and his minions have spent a lot of time decrying John McCain for "lying" in various ads, but Obama's Spanish language ad tying McCain to decades-old Rush Limbaugh parodies is completely deceitful.
Rush Limbaugh wrote a nice op-ed explaining the deception and its implications.
I understand the rough and tumble of politics. But Barack Obama -- the supposedly postpartisan, postracial candidate of hope and change -- has gone where few modern candidates have gone before.
Mr. Obama's campaign is now trafficking in prejudice of its own making. And in doing so, it is playing with political dynamite. What kind of potential president would let his campaign knowingly extract two incomplete, out-of-context lines from two radio parodies and build a framework of hate around them in order to exploit racial tensions? The segregationists of the 1950s and 1960s were famous for such vile fear-mongering.
Here's the relevant part of the Spanish-language television commercial Mr. Obama is running in Hispanic communities:
"They want us to forget the insults we've put up with . . . the intolerance . . . they made us feel marginalized in this country we love so much."
Then the commercial flashes two quotes from me: ". . . stupid and unskilled Mexicans" and "You shut your mouth or you get out!"
And then a voice says, "John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote . . . and another, even worse, that continues the policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families. John McCain . . . more of the same old Republican tricks."
Much of the media that is uninterested in Mr. Obama's connections to unrepentant 1970s Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright have so far gone along with the attempt to tie me to Mr. McCain. But Mr. McCain and I have not agreed on how to address illegal immigration. While I am heartened by his willingness to start by securing the borders, it is no secret that we have fundamental differences on illegal immigration.
And more to the point, these sound bites are a deception, and Mr. Obama knows it.
To say Limbaugh has differences with McCain on immigration is an understatement. In fact, as Betsy notes, McCain's immigration position very nearly lost him the nomination, and is yet another example of McCain's tendency to do what he thinks is right versus what the party wants. Yet, Obama's ad accuses McCain of anti-Latino sentiment that is completely false.
The ad is the sort of thing Obama should be ashamed of, particularly when his surrogates whines about racism when legitimate questions of his associations arise.
This law.com article discusses efforts to secure a civil right to counsel, a concept I agree with.
The Constitution provides a right to counsel in criminal matters, but civil procedures, including custody cases, eviction notices, and divorce suits, do not have the same provisions.
This seems to me to be an idea whose time has come.
I have a philosophy, or theory, if you will, that my parents, now dead, visit me in my dreams.
My mother did this with some regularity for years. In the last year, not so much.
But since my father died last March, I haven't had many dreams with him, and the ones I had were not so great. He seemed sad or quiet or not well.
But this dream was different. He was the man I knew. He was cheery and chatty, joking around with all of us and playing with his grandchildren.
In the dream, I was talking to my sister after he'd left and I told her he was doing much better. "Didn't eat much, but I'll have to work on that," I said. Then it slowly dawned on me that my father wasn't living anymore...
Then I woke up.
I don't really know what dreams mean, and I'm sure there are some Christians who would tell me that it was all just a figment of my imagination because that's not what our religion tells us. But that just doesn't seem right to me.
Maybe he is better now and happy again. And that's what the dream meant.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
That's the upshot of this column by Nicholas Provenzo.
Like many, I am troubled by the implications of Alaska governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's decision to knowingly give birth to a child disabled with Down syndrome. Given that Palin's decision is being celebrated in some quarters, it is crucial to reaffirm the morality of aborting a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome (or by extension, any unborn fetus)—a freedom that anti-abortion advocates seek to deny.
A parent has a moral obligation to provide for his or her children until these children are equipped to provide for themselves. Because a person afflicted with Down syndrome is only capable of being marginally productive (if at all) and requires constant care and supervision, unless a parent enjoys the wealth to provide for the lifetime of assistance that their child will require, they are essentially stranding the cost of their child's life upon others.
What a horrendous attitude regarding life. I guess Provenzo would approve of sticking old people on the ice and letting them float out to sea to fend for themselves once they are only "marginally productive."
I welcome columns like this one because it is important for people to understand what "pro-choice" really means. These people aren't just talking about saving a mother's life or babies who will never be able to live outside the womb. They are talking about the preference to get rid of imperfect or unplanned people "for the good of society."
The problem with this line of thought is that (a) testing isn't perfect and (b) who gets to decide who is imperfect?
To the first question, there has been plenty written by others regarding the accuracy rates of some of these tests. There are such things as false positives and there's no way of knowing which aborted babies were false positives and which were not.
Much has been made in some quarters regarding Sarah Palin's amniocentesis. If she hadn't considered abortion, why get the amnio, which can cause an abortion? This question is inappropriate on its face, but let's play that game. Believe it or not, a person can consider abortion, then determine that doing so violates some tenet of morality and reject the idea. This is not "hypocrisy." Suppose Sarah and Todd Palin wanted the amnio to be sure that the baby had Downs Syndrome. Is it unreasonable that they wanted to be sure so that they could be prepared for the birth? I don't think this is far-fetched at all.
But even if the tests were more accurate, who gets to determine what sort of abnormalities are acceptable? There's already evidence that many parents would abort homosexual children if there were tests for it. We know female babies are much more likely to be killed than male ones. There are even cases where babies were aborted for such easily fixed problems as a cleft palate. All of these persons could be productive citizens in one form or fashion, and yet there are people who consider them imperfect enough to kill. Is that really a good rationalization?
Provenzo's column is far more open about why the Left dislikes Sarah and Trig Palin. Their distaste for people who aren't perfect is horrifying.
Dana has a post up at Common Sense Political Thought titled Democrats Are Not Evil. This may or may not have stemmed from a conversation we had in which I had expressed concern that McCain has dropped in the polls. It isn't that I wasn't expecting this; any reasonable person would have predicted it, since the race has been tight all summer. The unreasonable part of me had hoped McCain would blast Obama out of the water by October so we could stop the sort of idiocy and smearing we've watched the Democrats practice for a while now.
In any event, Dana wrote:
One of the things that has really been bothering me in this campaign is that people, from both sides of the aisle — though I do think that our friends on the left are the greater sinners in this — have been writing about the candidates as though they aren’t just wrong in their opinions, but mentally or morally defective. Yeah, I think that Barack Obama’s policies are the wrong ones for us, and yes, I worry about the influences that some of his past associates, such as the Rev Dr Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky, have had on him. And I don’t think that he has been honest about some of his policies: I’ve said, flat out, that I think he is lying about what he intends to do concerning raising taxes.
But wrong does not mean evil, and wrong does not mean stupid. Senators Obama and Biden are wrong on a lot of things, but they are both highly educated, intelligent men. I assume that they both have America’s best interests at heart; I just differ with them on the best way to get there.
I don't believe Barack Obama is stupid by any means. I do,however, think he is duplicitous and untrustworthy, engaging in tactics he was supposedly going to eschew. But such is the nature of hardball politics, I suppose.
But Dana's post made me think for a minute: Are Democrats evil? I know many Democrats, both personally and professionally and I would definitely say they aren't evil. And I can usually understand why they come to the conclusions they come to, even if I disagree with them. I think I can safely say that no one, Right or Left, has malicious intent for the country. No one is deliberately trying to take us down.
But then, I have to ask, what is evil? Is abortion evil? I believe it is, unless it is a life-threatening situation. Are people who support abortion evil? That's a stickier subject.
Unlike so many people I read on the Left, I'm just not willing to ascribe evil intentions to my political adversaries. I won't say the world would be a better place without someone, or wish horrible, painful things to happen to them. That sort of hyperbole seems to be unproductive.
When I first started blogging two years ago, I was rather shocked by some of the nasty, hateful and unhinged talk I uncovered, particularly from the Left. Maybe I just don't spend enough time on extreme rightwing sites (I do spend a disproportionate amount of time on leftwing sites), but I cannot imagine blurting out some of the terrible things I've read from leftwingers.
But to answer my own question, do I think Democrats are evil? No, I don't. Unfortunately, with only a few exceptions, I haven't met on the Internet the types of liberals who make me at least open to their ideas.
For the second time, the Obama campaign has tried to shut down a radio show that had the audacity to interview someone who questions the fitness of the Obamessiah to be POTUS. This time the attack was against David Freddoso, the author of the excellent The Case Against Barack Obama (I've now read this book and The Obama Nation. Freddoso's book is much better).
"The Action Wire serves as a means of arming our supporters with the facts to take on those who spread lies about Barack Obama and respond forcefully with the truth, whether it's an author passing off fiction as biography, a Web site spreading baseless conspiracy theories or a TV station airing an ad that makes demonstrably false claims," said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.
That's not true. What the Obama campaign is afraid of is that an author who actually looked into Obama's life will tell the public who Obama is and what he's done, not allowing the ficitonalized Obama to be elected president.
How do I know this? Well, I heard Glenn Beck interview Freddoso yesterday and the information is definitely not stuff Obama wants people to know about him. Regarding the Born Alive Infant Protection Act:
FREDDOSO: In all the times it came up, in fact, he was the only one to speak against it. And his speech that he gave is very interesting, and I've given it in full in Chapter 10 of The Case Against Barack Obama because the argument is basically this, that if we go and recognize premature babies born alive in what some people call a previable condition, although they were clearly living for a while, if we do this, then it might down the road affect the right to abortion. It might cause it might create some kind of
GLENN: Slippery slope that they always say doesn't exist.
FREDDOSO: I'm sorry?
GLENN: A slippery slope that liberals always say doesn't exist.
GLENN: He was using that argument.
FREDDOSO: And that was his argument was essentially a slippery slope argument. His argument on the floor, it had a few contradictions in it, didn't quite make sense. I mean, he used the word "Fetus" to describe a premature baby for a moment and then corrected himself.
GLENN: All right.
FREDDOSO: But, you know, by his argument you could also say that a premature baby who wasn't born in an abortion, who was just simply born premature. I have a friend who recently gave birth to a premature baby and by his argument you would have to question or deny their personhood as well, as though they are somehow less persons than babies carried nine months.
GLENN: So the first time did he sign the bill?
FREDDOSO: The first time he voted present on the bill, which is in the Illinois legislature is equivalent to no. And it was part of a strategy that he had devised with Planned Parenthood lobbyists...
FREDDOSO: Yes. Senator Obama voted he voted present on that bill. It was part of a strategy that he devised, that he and some Planned Parenthood lobbyists had devised that basically everyone would vote present instead of voting no. And just to you know, it came up the following year; he did it again. The bill, by the way, it passed the state senate and died in the state house committee. In 2003, though, Democrats had taken over the state senate and Obama was now the chairman of the Senate health committee. And as chairman he presided as they made the reason that Obama has ever since said he voted against this bill in committee is that it didn't contain the same language that the federal board of live infants protection act contained. Sort of redundant protection against this law ever effecting the right to abortion. What he didn't realize, didn't or was misleading people about is that, in fact, in 2003 the bill that he voted against in his committee did contain that language, was exactly the same as the bill that had gone to the U.S. Senate floor, that Barbara Boxer had stood up and said, "I support this bill, everyone should vote for this bill." Obama voted against it and that puts him on the very fringes when it comes to issues of human life at its very beginning.
GLENN: So wait a minute. He is Barbara Boxer was on the other side of this issue?
FREDDOSO: Yes, that's right. Hillary Clinton was also on the other side. The vote was 98 0 and the two guys who weren't there to vote were pro life Republicans. So basically every abortion proponent in the United States Senate is more protective of human life in its early stages than Senator Obama.
GLENN: Say that again, please.
FREDDOSO: Every single abortion proponent in the United States Senate at the time they voted on this the roll call vote was in 2001 every single one is more protective of human life in its early stages and more respectful of human life in its early stages than is Senator Obama based on his voting record.
GLENN: Now, Barack Obama will say, no, that's not true, I wasn't I was of course for this. He seems to have an ever evolving but he does believe in evolution an ever evolving story on this.
FREDDOSO: Yes. Because at first his story for the next three years or actually four years was that it didn't contain the language if it had just contained the federal bill language, then he would have voted for it. In fact, it did contain that language and he voted against it. This year when National Right to Life found the records this is just a few weeks ago, found the records of the committee hearing and they found the bill was exactly the same and Obama voted against it in a party line vote in his committee, changed his explanation to say now the thing was there was already a law protecting these babies. And there is an old abortion statute on the books in Illinois and it's a bill that Obama has repeatedly argued that every element of it is unconstitutional. It was enjoined from in most of its aspects it was enjoined from enforcement precisely because of the Roe versus Wade decision. And the decision they clinged it to last as each part of it is being knocked down is a provision that would require a second doctor to be present when such an abortion is performed in order to save the baby that the first doctor is trying to kill. And that's something Obama has specifically argued is unconstitutional because it creates an undue burden on the woman and so that is basically, Senator Obama is grasping at straws when it comes to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. He's making arguments now that don't make sense and arguments, by the way, that he was never making at the time when he voted against it.
Indeed, Obama changes his stories to fit whatever audience it's necessary to please. Take this explanation at a Planned Parenthood event for his sex ed for kindergarteners vote:
AS Orrin Judd points out, there's not a word about "inapproriate touching" in this statement. I guess that's because this audience doesn't diapprove of sex ed for 5-year-olds.
The more you see Obama stripped of his talking points, the more left-leaning and extreme he becomes. This is why their campaign has to try to shut down radio shows who actually want people to know who Obama is.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This needs to be an ad:
I had a giggle at Eric Boehlert's temper tantrum at Media Matters today. The problem? John McCain and Sarah Palin are ignoring the press!
During the past week, virtually every major news outlet has produced welcomed, hard-edged fact-checking pieces about how the Republican ticket goes far beyond bending the truth and just plain snaps it out on the campaign trail.
In the past, that kind of truth-telling would have embarrassed campaigns and likely caused a dramatic change in the rhetoric. But what do McCain and Palin do in response? They pretty much ignore the press and its critiques.
Boehlert's piece is popcorn-worthy,but he suspiciously leaves out the main reason McCain and Palin can ignore the shrieks from the press: Americans know the press wants Obama to win.
If the press wants anyone to take their whinging about "lies" seriously, then they need to start applying the same standard to the Obama campaign, which constantly complains that Republicans are racists and playing on your fears.
Of course, Boehlert has no problem with the press when it was fawning all over Obama during his Grand Tour. But then, Media Matters is a joke to begin with.
Some of the Democrat rhetoric on the stump leaves me scratching my head. It's obvious that the Left smells defeat and is trying to find a message to cover their asses when they lose in November. We've known for a long time than an Obama loss would be couched as racism, but now, Joe Biden is saying that people won't vote for Obama because everybody in their neighborhoods are stupid.
All this stuff about how different Barack Obama is, they're just not used to somebody really smart. (Cheers, applause.) They're just not used to somebody who's really well educated. They just don't know quite how to handle it. Because if he's as smart as Barack is, he mustn't be from my neighborhood.
So, Obama is the first well-educated person to run for the White House? That would come as a surprise to George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, both educated at Ivy League schools. And it comes as a surprise to me that I must live in a stupid neighborhood because a lot of us don't want Obama to be president.
Of course, the flip side to the "they must be stupid" argument is that everyone not voting for Obama must be racist.
Race is arguably the biggest issue in this election, and it's one that nobody's talking about.
Excuse my language, but wtf is he talking about?! Nobody's talking about race? I guess if you define Barack Obama as nobody, then this statement is true. Barack Obama's been talking about race all over the place.
"So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy towards people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
"The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, there's a reaction that's been bred into our experiences that don't go away, and that sometimes comes out in the wrong way, and that's just the nature of race in our society."
"We've got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. We've got a lot of pent-up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding"
"They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"
"Nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He's risky."
Obama talks about race. A lot. Because he knows it makes white people uncomfortable and defensive and, somehow, that will make them vote for him. At least, I think that's the point.
But Jack Cafferty--who made the "nobody's talking abour race" point--went on to make the most ludicrous comparison between Barack Obama and John McCain that I've seen lately.
The differences between Barack Obama and John McCain couldn't be more well-defined. Obama wants to change Washington. McCain is a part of Washington and a part of the Bush legacy. Yet the polls remain close. Doesn't make sense…unless it's race.
What is Cafferty smoking? It's true that Obama hasn't been in Washington long, but he's an old-time Chicago machine politician as David Freddoso explains in his excellent book The Case Against Barack Obama. Obama has always campaigned on reform, but he never delivers any. And when given the opportunity to shake things up in Chicago, he backed the machine candidates.
OTOH, John McCain has earned his reputation as a maverick because he's perfectly willing to stick his finger in the eye of the GOP when it suits him (which is part of the reason his support from the base has been so lackluster until his pick of Sarah Palin). He's supported campaign finance reform, taxing tobacco, eliminating earmarks, preserving the senate filibuster by leading the Gang of 14. He's constantly reached across the aisle to join Democrats on a variety of issues. And as we learned yesterday, he introduced a bill in 2005 that might have prevented the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's simply nonsense to say McCain is Washington and Obama is the reformer when the facts tell us the opposite.
Worse yet, Cafferty jumps to the conclusion that the only reason anyone would vote for John McCain is because of race. This is despicable, because there are plenty of reasons to vote for John McCain and/or vote against Barack Obama without race being one of them. John McCain's record of service to this country alone puts him head and shoulders above Obama.
But most of all, the "it can only be race" meme is an outrageous slur that is designed to stop all debate on the issues of Obama's fitness for office. I've mentioned previously that I voted for Jesse Jackson back in 1988 when I was young and foolish. I sort of look at that as proof that I vote for the person I want to win, not based on race, but on other qualifications. To state that the only reason people wouldn't vote for Obama is his race allows Dems some face-saving, but at the expense of the country.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The latest meme out from the Obama campaign and its willing sycophants in the press and blogosphere is that McCain lied. Down in this thread, I asked what McCain had lied about. The responses were predictable, if sad.
1. McCain "lied" that Barack Obama supported sex ed for kindergarteners. But Barack Obama did, in fact, vote for this legislation. There's debate about what kind of sex ed the kids would receive, but it's still sex ed.
2. Obama will raise taxes on the middle class. It's hard to believe that there are still people out there willing to suspend their disbelief enough to think Obama can give away all the goodies he's promising by taxing only "the rich." But evidently, there are. But even arguing that Obama will only tax "the rich," those taxes will force businesses, investors, and other entities to spend money paying taxes that could otherwise be used hiring people or investing in the business. Dana doesn't buy that Obama will only tax the rich and I tend to agree with him. Haven't we seen this movie already?
3. Iran is a “tiny” country ad. I guess Pandora was referring to this speech:
Even in context, Obama's statement that Iran didn't pose a serious threat to us is ridiculous. Nor does he recognize that the Iranians, who have trained suicide bombers, are not rational regarding war with "the Great Satan" the way the Russians were. Mutually Assured Destruction ensured that neither the U.S. nor the Soviets would launch a first strike. But Iran has leaders anxious to wipe Israel off the map. That Obama fails to recognize the threat a nuclear Iran poses to the world gives us one more example of why POTUS isn't on the job training.
4. Obama would rather go to the gym than visit the troops ad. Democrats seem to hate facts and this is one of them. Obama did not visit troops in Germany when he had the opportunity. Period. He wend to the gym. Period. Obama's ineffective explanations did nothing to counter these facts.
5. McCain is against lobbyists, yet has 159 lobbyists in his campaign. I don't know how big a deal it is if lobbyists or former lobbyists are on your staff, I do know that Obama gets a lot of loot from 'em. I gave Pandora credit for this one.
6. Obama is responsible for the rising gas prices ad. Democrats hate the fact that, since they control Congress, they are in charge of legislation. Which means when they don't support ways to lower gas prices, they are, in effect, responsible for the rise in prices. And since Obama has been against drilling (before he was for it), that puts him in the responsible category.
I wasn't really surprised that it was relatively easy to shoot down all these "lies," since I was pretty sure before I started that they weren't lies, at all. What they are are effective ways of using Obama's words against him. Funny, they don't mind when the shoe is on the other foot.
UPDATE: Byron York gives the facts on Obama's sex education bill.
UPDATE x2: Ann Althouse seems to have some of the same problems I do with the whole "lying" thing.
It seems to me that all the McCain ad does is decline to accept Obama's self-serving characterization of the reason why he voted for the bill. But study the text and the legislative history of the bill, as York has, and try to explain how it can possibly be considered a lie to say that he voted for comprehensive sex education for kindergartners.
What I can get from liberals is that any use of Obama's words that doesn't get him votes constitutes lying. That's not a good enough definition for me.
It's surreal to read stories and see pictures of the devastation in an area that's close to a second home for me.
One of my closest friends has lived all over the Galveston-Houston area for the last 15 years, and usually about once or twice a year (more or less) I've tried to make it down to see her. And that's not including the various trips I took to the region as a kid and in college.
Galveston is a tourist trap as tourist trappy as it gets in Texas. The beach is Galveston, and practically everything worth seeing is on the beach. It was a living memorial to Margaritaville. The construction of some buildings, needless to say, left much to be desired.
Now it's gone. The beach houses, the tiny gift shops perched at the end of long piers, the rows of restaurants, the hotels, apartment complexes, and so on. The pictures look like an alien landscape, not the Galveston I knew.
These were beaches I had just been on in April, about a month after my father died.
"You need to come down here," Gina (not her name) said. "You need a break."
She was right. The death of my father, whom I'd been with every day (or every other day) for months had hit me very hard. Not hard the way my mother's death had. My father had always been a larger-than-life figure, even as he'd aged and shrunk. Fear and worry over his deteriorating health had left me obsessed and fatigued. Now that he was gone, there was a gigantic hole in both my heart and my routine, and the results hadn't been pretty.
"Ok," I said. "I'll bring my youngest daughter. She doesn't remember Galveston. She was just a baby the last time I brought her."
Most of my trips to Galveston were girls weekends, time away from hubby and kids, time to pretend for two days that I was just me, no strings or other appellations attached, free to sleep in, eat what I wanted, snoop through the shops, catch up on gossip, and generally behave like Gina and I had since college. Of course, about 24 hours after leaving home, I could always feel the anxiety and longing for my family rising in me because, after all, I am no longer just me.
This time, I would take the youngest child with me in a mother-daughter adventure that would build some memories and, perhaps take my mind off my grief, if only for a few hours.
Gina doesn't live on the beach in Galveston anymore, like she did 15 years ago, in a tiny apartment on the seawall. These days, she owns a beautiful home in Clear Lake, an upscale neighborhood in Houston close to NASA. She's executive director of what I'd call a "green group," which encourages builders and city planners to buy and use environmentally friendly technology for their projects.
We stayed up late the night I got there, gossiping and drinking coffee while my daughter fell asleep watching Alvin and the Chipmunks. Even so, we were up bright and early to go to the beach Saturday morning.
Even in April, Galveston is warm and sunny, requiring sunscreen and hats. As we drove through the palm tree-lined streets, Gina fills me in on all the local gossip, political machinations, and government soap operas which are so much a part of any city. We drive around, careful not to hit any wayward tourists, looking for a parking space along the seawall.
"These parking spaces are free," she tells me. "So there are people who come and park here, sleep in their cars, buy food from the vendors here, and get a free vacation."
Gina has been down here long enough that she occasionally sounds as snobby as anyone B.O.I. (Born On the Island). It amuses me to watch her wrinkle her nose at "tourists" and all the tourist-y things they do and want.
"They never want to see the really interesting parts of the island," she complains. "All they want is the beach, cheap food, cheap souvenirs."
I can't blame them. Deep down, I'm the same way.
We decide to eat before going to the beach, so we pick one of the many restaurants close to the water. We eat at a table outside in the shade, feeling the breeze and smelling the salt water as we devour giant hamburgers with potato chips. My daughter runs inside to look at the giant fish tank filled with regional animals.
"I remember when you first moved down here," I say. "You were fretting because the humidity played havoc with your hair. You used so much hairspray to keep it plastered down that it looked like a helmet."
Gina laughs. She has her long hair up in a clip to keep it out of the way. "I gave up on all that a long time ago," she sighs. "You get used to the humidity."
After lunch, we go down to the beach, because there's no point in coming to Galveston if you don't walk through the sand and surf and go wade in the Gulf of Mexico.
I notice that there are many beaches that charge to park now.
"They are private beaches now," Gina says, shaking her head. "It's hard to believe that people are actually charging for access to the water."
I've come rather ill-equipped for this beach trip. I wasn't thinking so clearly as I packed our suitcase, and didn't bring swimsuits. But that doesn't deter either my daughter or Gina. As I stand in the wet sand, collecting shells from forgotten sea creatures, Gina and my daughter slowly make their way into the surf. My daughter is hesitant at first, intimidated by the strength of the waves to move her around, splashing into her and trying to suck her out to sea.
I move down the beach a bit, looking for more interesting shells and trying to see if there are any crabs or other creatures washed up on the sand. The tide has started coming in a bit now, as evidenced by the fact that our shoes are much closer to the water than when we started.
By the time I return, Gina and my daughter are both half-soaked, trying to jump over the waves and failing miserably. Their laughter echoes down the sand and makes me smile. This is the daughter who was deathly afraid of water just last year, and now she's complaining that she wants to go farther out.
But it's time to head out and get cleaned up. We were planning to go out to dinner with Gina and her boyfriend, maybe do something more Houston-y. As much as I love Gina's new digs, it's the island that I always come to see.
Well, came to see.
Monday, September 15, 2008
One of the great things about the McCain campaign is that they run timely ads, unlike the Obama campaign, which always seems to be a couple of days behind.
Here's the latest McCain ad:
The ad works because it gives three specific ways the McCain campaign thinks about stabilizing the financial industry. And Barack Obama? Well, he evidently doesn't have any ideas, but he's ready to assign blame.
It's rather stunning that Obama would actually accuse anybody of "not minding the store," when he, in fact, was being handed money hand over fist. In fact, as I pointed out at Delaware Liberal, OpenSecrets.org tells us who those nasty, greedy investment sharks give money to:
In the current Congress, 271 lawmakers have collected nearly $3 million since 1989, with 72 percent going to Democrats. Democratic presidential candidates and senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama top the list of all-time recipients for the company, collecting $410,000 and $395,600 respectively. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of both the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, hauled in $181,450, while Sen. Chris Dodd, chair of the Senate banking committee, has collected $165,800.
Interestingly, the DL folks just aren't interested in this factoid. Nope, they got their talking points for the day and that was it.
I love this Hot Air post. And I love Joe Biden. I'd lay a big, wet, lipstick kiss on him because he's gonna keep talking until John McCain wins in a landslide. Today's talking point? Vote for Obama because he's black.
Biden said the policies of running mate Barack Obama make his presidency even more urgent and declared this to be the most important election that any living person has seen in their lifetime. But he particularly singled out the meaning of electing someone who is black.
"That will be a transformative event in American politics and internationally," Biden said. "That all by itself will be significant."
I can't answer that better than Ed Morrissey did at Hot Air:
It’s an extension of the Identity Politics Primary that the Democrats conducted this year, which boiled down to whether the party would nominate an African-American or a woman rather than look for experience, electability, and individual accomplishments. This has been the subtext of the Obama campaign all along, but Obama and his team have been smart enough to let proxies make that argument at arm’s length from the candidate. Now Biden has made the Obama campaign look like it needs to make overtly racial pleas to garner votes, and to play on fears and guilt of white voters.
This is the beauty of Joe Biden. At least Barack Obama wasn't so open as to tell us we should vote for him because of his blackitude. But I guess accusing your opponent of using the race card hasn't been direct enough to move votes Obama's way. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose. How else to explain Biden begging voters in North Carolina, where Obama is behind by 21 points and which hasn't voted for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter ran in 1976, to vote based on race?