Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Depression-proof company

Of the 500 companies that make up the S&P 500, 499 of them lost value yesterday. Yes, one company in the entire S&P 500 index saw their stock rise yesterday. The company?

Campbell Soup.

I guess they'd have the inside track on supplying all those soup lines in the coming depression.


I've been cleaning up the side bar a bit this morning, mostly removing some stuff I like, but has been there pretty much since I started this blog over three years ago.

Added: Blog following and a poll which I'll change from time to time.

House of cards

Spotted today over at American Thinker.

Humor Break

Enough all ready with the impending economic doom. We all know we are all well and truly screwed.

Stolen shamelessly from Texas Gal over at Center Field. Living in Connecticut, ESPN is one of the few only things we can take pride in. Steven King is, well, Steven King. And SportCenter commercials may be some of the all time best in TV advertising.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Confirmed: Media fix is in for Obama

From Instapundit:
A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working."
I'm shocked...shocked I tell you!

The toxicity of Capitol Hill

The partisanship on Capitol Hill has become so rancid that rather than working together to pass a bill which nearly every economic expert agrees is necessary, the Republican minority fell short of the votes necessary to pass because they took offense to Nancy Pelosi's choice of words today. Not that I blame them...much. Pelosi has taken every fucking opportunity to demonstrate statesmanship and turned it into partisanship grandstanding instead. The same goes for Barney Frank, Rahm Emanuel and Chris Dodd.

As is often the case, I'm in agreement with Ace on this.
The Democrats are trying to get their partisan blame in before it passes (and it may yet pass) because [they] know the moment the President's signature is on it McCain and the Republican caucus begin explaining the facts of the situation to America.
And the "facts of the situation" are that the blame for this epic cock-up falls directly in the Democrats' fetid laps, going back to Jimmy Carter.

Follow the money

This link from Open Secrets has been floating around a bit this morning, and I thought it worth posting. It really needs to be blasted on the front pages of the dinosaur media in huge headline fonts, but oh well...wish in one hand and shit in the other and tell me which one fills up first, right?

Without further ado, the top five recipients of campaign donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac employees and PACs:
  1. Dodd, Christopher J, D-CT $133,900
  2. Kerry, John, D-MA $111,000
  3. Obama, Barack, D-IL $105,849
  4. Clinton, Hillary, D-NY $75,550
  5. Kanjorski, Paul E, D-PA $65,500
Yeah, Barney Frank (D-MA) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are on the list, too, but they didn't make the top five.

Oh, great: Chavez going nuclear

With Russia's help, natch.
President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russia will help Venezuela develop nuclear energy — a move likely to raise U.S. concerns over increasingly close cooperation between Caracas and Moscow.

Chavez said he accepted an offer from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for assistance in building a nuclear reactor.

"Russia is ready to support Venezuela in the development of nuclear energy with peaceful purposes and we already have a commission working on it," Chavez said. "We are interested in developing nuclear energy."
The only thing the world needs less than a nuclear-armed Venezuela is a nuclear-armed Iran.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sex offender gets final justice

A man in Indianapolis got more than he bargained for when he entered a home - naked - intending to sexually assault a 17-year-old girl living there.
A man who police said broke into a home with the intention of sexually assault a 17-year-old girl in her bedroom died early Sunday morning after a struggle with the girl's father.

David Meyers, 52, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after officers arrived following a report of a home invasion in the 3500 block of West 79th Street at about 3:20 a.m.

Officers said they found Robert McNally, 64, on the floor with his arm around the neck of Meyers, struggling to hold him down.

When officers told McNally he could let go, they found that Meyers was unresponsive. Medics who were called to the scene then pronounced Meyers dead.

Obama lies even when he's phoning it in

Not content to continue on the campaign trail while his Senate colleagues (including John McCain) were burning the midnight oil on the bailout bill, Barack Obama is taking full credit for the compromise safeguards in the bill while denying McCain any of it.
Asked during an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" whether McCain deserved credit for bringing lawmakers together, Obama said "no."

"Here are the facts: For two weeks I was on the phone everyday with Secretary Paulson and the congressional leaders making sure that the principles that have been ultimately adopted were incorporated in the bill," Obama said.
It was only a little over a week ago that this crisis reared its ugly head and Bush and Paulson put the legislation before Congress, so for Obama to have been on the phone with Paulson every day "for two weeks" is bullshit. But never mind that. While McCain was at the Capitol actually negotiating the compromise, Obama, by his own account, was phoning it in.

Yeah, that's some new kind of politics, alright.

Genesis of the credit mess

I'll take "Worst President Ever" for $1000, Alex.

A: He signed the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977.

Q: Who is Jimmy Carter?

That's right, Eric! You're going to the Final Jeopardy round!

Bailout to pass, sans ACORN provision?

It seems an agreement in principle has been reached on the credit bailout bill, minus the detestable ACORN provision. The link may require a login, so here are the relevant paragraphs:
Congressional leaders and the Bush administration this morning said they had struck an accord to insert the government deeply into the nation's financial markets, agreeing to spend up to $700 billion to relieve Wall Street of troubled assets backed by faltering home mortgages.

[ ... ]

Democrats also made a number of concessions, abandoning demands that bankruptcy judges be empowered to modify home mortgages on primary residences for people in foreclosure. They also agreed not to dedicate a portion of any profits from the bailout program to an affordable housing fund that Republicans claimed would primarily assist social service organizations that support the Democratic Party, the official said.
They don't specifically mention ACORN in the article, but they're one of the groups that would have benefited from the profit carve-out.

Since the provision called for a portion (20% !) of any profits realized from the bailout to be allocated, there's no guarantee that ACORN would have seen any money from it. Just the same, this was a spectacularly sleazy effort on the part of congressional Democrats to reward a group with a history of fraudulently registering Democrats to vote over the past 10 years.

Issues of voter fraud aside, ACORN is also involved in helping low income people in securing financing for home purchases, and it's that fund for which the profits were earmarked. And it's those very same high-risk subprime mortgages that caused this mess in the first place.

Update: Just out of curiosity, I went to ACORN's web site to see what kind of bitching and moaning might be going on there, and got this odd error:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Empty gestures

I caught this exchange during the debate last night in which John McCain mentions the remembrance bracelet given to him by the mother of a fallen soldier with the admonishment to not let her son's death be in vain. I don't know if I was looking away at the moment or what, but I didn't catch Barack Obama surreptitiously looking down at his own bracelet to refresh his memory of the soldier's name for - as Michelle puts it - his 'cringe-inducing "me, too" moment'. The video cuts out too soon, because in Obama's "me, too" moment, the soldier's mom asks Obama to not let another soldier go the way of her son.

Aside from revealing the shallowness of Obama's wearing of a bracelet commemorating a soldier whose name he hasn't bothered to remember, the episode points out the differences between the two moms in question. One wants her son's death not to be made pointless by giving up on his mission while the other wants to use her son's death as the very reason to abandon that mission.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that for the Obama supporter, it's all about her grief, her loss. For the McCain supporter, it's all about her son's sacrifice.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The bailout

My take on this credit bailout is we've got a choice between stepping in a massive, steaming pile of crap or stepping off a cliff. It'll be unpleasant as all hell, but the crap will eventually get cleaned up.

The debate debate

So McCain "suspended" his campaigning so he could remain in Washington to work with his Senate colleagues on the credit bailout legislation, while Obama insists on showing up alone for the debate on Friday night.

Eh, not surprising...Obama's never shown much interest in being a Senator, anyway.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No need to vote

Via Hot Air we get word that there's no need to go and vote this November 4th; Barack Obama has apparently been declared President by acclamation. In Birmingham England, at least.
A company in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter is making commemorative coins for American presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

And if the Democratic candidate is elected to become the most powerful man in the world on November 4, it could open the floodgates for millions of pounds worth of business for the firm.

Windsor, Elizabeth & Windsor has already sold more than 300 limited edition commemorative silver coins to the Democratic Party to hand out to key members of the campaign to elect Obama.
I agree with Ed at Hot Air. This is starting to get creepy.

(Light posting this week due to attendance at an IT geek industry event in San Francisco.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Georgie did it!

Roger at XDA has a great post on who's to blame for the apparent economic meltdown. In it he links to an article from The Hill in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flat out denies the Democrats are to blame for any part of the mess and places the blame solely on George W. Bush.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when asked Tuesday whether Democrats bear some of the responsibility regarding the current crisis on Wall Street, had a one-word answer: “No.”

Pelosi (D-Calif.) ripped President Bush’s “mismanagement” of the economy and a lack of regulation that led to the current situation.
Now, rewind five years to the other article Roger links, this one from the New York Times. From September 11, 2003:
The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

[ ... ]

Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

''I don't see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,'' Mr. Watt said.
So, to set the record straight, the Bush administration wanted to fix the housing credit problem five years ago, but were blocked by the Democrats. Of course, it's all those bad loans that were issued to people for "affordable housing" that got the housing market into the mess it's in.

Should the Bush administration have been more aggressive in pushing this legislation? Probably. That doesn't change the fact that it died due to lack of support from the left side of the aisle.

The Democrats' fingerprints are all over this mess.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Change we ... refuse to define

Roger has this posted over at XDA which I thought was worth shamelessly lifting and re-posting here.


End of world delayed due to technical difficulties

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I suppose you may have noticed that earth-gobbling miniature black holes have failed to appear which would result in a widely-anticipated and certainly spectacular end of Earth and mankind. It seems we've got a little glitch in our Large Hadron Collider's super-cooled magnets. Now, it's nothing to be alarmed about, and our technicians are working on the problem, and we expect to have you back on your way to the End Times by next week. Or a few weeks after that. Or maybe never, who knows.

For now, just sit back, relax, and enjoy what remains of life as you know it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Media view of conservatives and liberals

Spotted over at Conservative Punk...the media's view of conservatives and liberals:
If you have spent time in Washington:

Conservative…you are part of the problem.
Liberal…you have experience.

If you don’t have time in Washington:

Conservative….you have no experience.
Liberal….you represent change.

If you have wealth:

Conservative …you are greedy and a cheat who had advantages in life.
Liberal…you are successful and your life story is an inspiration.

If you don’t have wealth:

Conservative…you are low class.
Liberal…you are disadvantaged.

If you went to college:

Conservative…your academic pedigree is scrutinized.
Liberal….your degree speaks for itself.

If you didn’t go to college:

Conservative…you are un-educated.
Liberal…you are an artist/activist.
Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Speaking of the Constitution...

Today is Constitution Day. It marks the day in 1787 the US Constitution was signed by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention and sent to the states for ratification. The preamble states:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
It took seven articles and 27 amendments to clarify what that means. Damned lawyers.

Logan Act? Yeah, right.

In a NY Post column, Amir Taheri wrote that Barack Obama, during his recent visit to Iraq, tried to persuade the Iraqis to hold off on negotiating an agreement on US forces in Iraq until after George Bush's term ends in January. His exact words:
“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” [Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar] Zebari said in an interview.
The Obama campaign was quick to issue a denial:
Obama’s national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri’s article bore “as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial.”

In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a “Strategic Framework Agreement” governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.
OK. Maybe I, being a knuckle-dragging conservative neanderthal, am incapable of grasping the subtle differences between the two, but they sure sound pretty goddamned similar.

The righty blogs are abuzz with talk of a Logan Act prosecution, but I think that even those who bring it up know that's wishful thinking. According to Wikipedia, "there is no record of any convictions or even prosecutions under the Logan Act." Republicans are unlikely to broach the topic out of fear of setting a precedent and having it backfire on them when the roles are reversed.

This, of course, doesn't negate the fact that Obama, by his campaign's own admission, violated the act and in fact undermined the Presiden't constitutional authority as the sole owner of foreign policy.

How is it that a former professor of constitutional law didn't know that?

These are the ones he's been waiting for

Yes, that's a Bentley. Natch.

Barack Obama raised $9 million in one fell swoop last night just by showing up for dinner and a concert.
Dinner guests seen by reporters, or noted by waiters, included Will Ferrell, Jodie Foster, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Lee Curtis and DreamWorks founders Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenbach.

Obama spent more than an hour before dinner getting his picture taken with guests.
I'm sure that as experts on economics, national security and foreign policy go, these people all make fine celebrities.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Amy Winehouse: Keith Richards' long-lost daughter?

Did Keith Richards sire Amy Winehouse, or does hard-core drug and alcohol abuse just make one look like this?

Red Sox watch

The Boys from Beantown fared well against Tampa Bay last night in the first of a critical three-game series, winning 13-5. We're now zero games behind the Devilrays, but mathematically in second place by .002 percentage points. Tampa Bay has a record of 88-60 while Boston's record is 89-61.

After this series in Tampa, each team's remaining schedule will determine which one takes the AL East title, and I fear that favors Tampa Bay...their last eight games will be against two pushovers in Baltimore and Detroit, while Boston will face Cleveland and the Evil Empire for their last seven games. The difference is that Boston plays their last two series at home while Tampa plays them on the road.

Mixed signals

Pakistan's army has standing orders now to open fire on any US troops entering Pakistan to attack Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in the frontier provinces.
Pakistan's army spokesman says its forces have orders to open fire if U.S. troops launch another raid across the Afghan border.

Pakistani officials issued sharp protests to Washington after helicopters ferried U.S. commandos into Pakistan's South Waziristan region on Sept. 3 for a highly unusual ground attack into a militant stronghold.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration is lobbying Capital Hill to authorize and proceed with a planned upgrade of Pakistan's F-16 fleet on the American taxpayers' dime.
Despite recent territorial tensions with Pakistan, the Bush administration is prepared to fight an uphill battle with Congress over the proposed use of counterterrorism funds to upgrade Pakistan`s F-16 fighters today. The State Department believes it has the authority to implement.
My head hurts.

Monday, September 15, 2008

AoSHQ: "The Beer Factor"

Ace of Spades put up a hilarious post last night using a family barbecue as an analogy for the general election. The attendees at the BBQ:
"Uncle John" McCain: He's that slightly cranky uncle that gets invited to all the family barbecues. "Uncle John" drinks Budweiser. Out of [the] can. He likes to tell his war stories. Over and over and over. Everybody loves him, but nobody wants to get stuck sitting next to him at the table. Some of the family gets uncomfortable when he gets cranky, but you nearly shoot your beer out of your nose when you hear him tell "Uncle Harry" "go f*ck yourself!"

Yeah, sometimes, "Uncle John" is a pretty cool guy. Besides, he did marry "Aunt Cindy" with all those bucks who ain't too shabby for an older lady.

Psuedo-Professor, Professional Community Organizer Obama, MA, BS: Yeah, he's just that ostentatious when your star struck sister introduces him. You have no idea if he has any other name because she's always going on about "Obama this" and "Obama that" for the last year. You hardly know the guy and he already pisses you off just hearing his name.

"Uncle Joe" Biden: He's that uncle that married into the family. You don't know why or to whom he was married, he's just been around a long time. He's kind of creepy. He has a tendency to hug all the women too long and give them that extra squeeze at the end. He's like the persistent used car salesman that has had his teeth whitened too much and wears a bad comb over.

"Cousin Sarah" Palin: You didn't even know you had a cousin Sarah until Uncle John introduces her. Okay, yeah, he did mention something one time about a second cousin, three times removed who lived in an igloo with a bunch of kids, sewed moccasins out of moose hide from a moose she tracked ten miles through a blizzard while simultaneously running the entire state of Alaska, but you never thought you were actually going to meet her.

Wow! She is smokin' hot. Except she's got that husband who won the Iron Dog something or other four times. You're not sure exactly what that entails, but anything with the word "iron" in it makes you try to keep acting like you're not looking at her while you chug your Miller Gold.
As they say, read the whole thing.

Taliban admits Iran supplying weapons

A Taliban commander in Afghanistan has openly acknowledged receiving weapons from Iran in support of their attacks against US and other NATO forces there.
A Taliban commander has credited Iranian-supplied weapons with successful operations against coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The comments by the commander, who would not be named but operates in the south east of the country where there has been a surge in Taliban attacks, were a rare admission of co-operation between elements within the Iranian regime and forces fighting British and American troops in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, I don't think that even this news would be enough to make a President Obama walk back from his "no preconditions" position on having tea with Ahmadinejad.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Honor By August

Went with Ms. Pool Bar and the Daughter Unit to see Honor By August last night at the Colonial Tavern here in Fredericksburg. This was something like the fourth time in the past 10 months or so I've seen them there, and each time they've put on a brilliant show. They perform almost all original material with a cover thrown in here and there. But it's their original music that attracts the crowds. Local saxophonist Young Deveraux joined them for a few tunes during the second set, and as always added great color to those numbers.

The song in the video is "Only In Photographs" which is one of my personal favorites. According to the YouTube page, it was recorded around 2 years ago at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. I actually think they've improved the song greatly since then and their current rendition is even better.

If you get a chance to see them at a bar near you, don't miss it. It's probably only a matter of time before they're playing much larger, less personal venues.

New SiteMeter sucks

Ugh. I've been using SiteMeter's basic service for three years, and it's been pretty good. This weekend SiteMeter migrated all accounts to a new system and they've really diluted the basic (free) service to the point that it's of almost no value at all. I can no longer see a list of referring URLs since that appears to be a "premium" service.

I've had this blog linked to Google Analytics for a while now, so I think I'm going to drop the SiteMeter code and stick with GA.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Democrats on an escalator

A Hot Air reader posted a link to this clip today and I thought it was to good not to post. For your viewing pleasure, Democrats on an escalator.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Freudian slip

While running his suck on the Senate floor today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, his mouth obviously in overdrive but his brain in neutral, referred to John McCain as "President McCain".

Coming up next week:  Harry "The Seer" Reid refers to himself as "Senate Minority Whip".

Obama campaign: Tone deaf

Barack Obama's campaign came out swinging today with a devastating blow against John McCain's lack of, um, computer savvy.

Yeah...I guess all those 20-somethings who were going to vote for McCain are going to jump right over to the Obama column now, huh?

Do they have any idea how ads like this look to, you know, normal people?  What fucking idiots does he have running his campaign, anyway?

Update:  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air enlightens as to why McCain never learned to use a computer - his North Vietnamese captors ensured he'd never be able to type.  Ed's post goes on to say that McCain has been learning how to use a computer and the Internet, and there are apps out there now like Dragon Naturally Speaking that should keep keystroking to a bare minimum.

Unfortunately, it's a pretty fair bet that he'll never be able to throw any ceremonial first pitches after he's elected President.  Yes...my pessimism is waning.

One-way shuttle diplomacy

A new kind of shuttle diplomacy with Venezuela has developed with the US ambassador to Venezuela going home, and Venezuela's ambassador to the US doing the same.
The United States plans to expel Venezuela's ambassador in Washington to retaliate for President Hugo Chavez's decision to expel the U.S. envoy in Caracas, FOX News confirmed Friday.
This latest marks a "new low" in relations between Venezuela and the United States, and comes on the heels of Russia's deployment of two 'Backfire' strategic bombers to Venezuela.

According to the article, Venezuela's husky buffoon Hugo Chavez intends to maintain the rift in relations until George W. Bush leaves office in January, which immediately leads me to believe that this is merely more grandstanding on the part of Generalissimo Assclown, and that he's betting on a victory for Obama in November.  Of course if McCain wins, he may find himself stuck with the diplomatic situation he's created.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 seven years later: The world gets even stranger

Allahpundit posted this at Hot Air last night.  Key takeaways:
  • Nearly a quarter of German citizens think the US government committed the 9/11 attacks
  • A full third of Mexicans don't think Al Qaeda was responsible for 9/11, while nearly a third in Mexico think the US government was
  • Kenyans and Nigerians appear to have a firmer grasp on reality than our west European "allies"
Is it too early in the day to start drinking?

Did Obama plagiarize an editorial cartoon?

A buddy of mine e-mailed me this link from WND, which cites Free Republic as the source.  Just before his "lipstick on a pig" remark, Obama said:
Watch out, George Bush, except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics – we're really going to shake things up in Washington!' That's not change ... you know, you can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.
Compare that with the WaPo editorial cartoon by Tom Toles above, which appeared last week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

dKos, DU, MyDD explained by unified theory

I came across this the other day, and it explains everything.

British post-election meltdown watch

With John McCain surging in the polls (to varying degrees), the chattering classes in Britain have started their drumbeat of warnings to the American public not to elect McCain over Barack Obama.  Hot Air linked this column in their headlines last night in which Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian (natch) warns that if Obama is defeated, "the world's verdict will be harsh".

I saw an online version of the Mirror's front page from the 2004 election shown above, and it captures perfectly the Euopean attitude towards Americans in general.  In their eyes, something like half (or more) of all Americans are Cletus the slack-jawed yokel from the Simpsons.

You know what Jonathan?  Fuck you.  When you guys elect an unqualified ethnic minority with close associates in the IRA and a few years in the House of Lords, half of which were spent running for Prime Minister, then you can lecture us.  Until then, piss off, as my British buddies are fond of saying.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Change of venue

John McCain and Sarah Palin are to make an appearance here in Virginia tomorrow.  Originally slated to be held at a high school in Fairfax, I just got an e-mail update on the event saying that the demand for tickets has forced it to be moved to a larger, outdoor venue.
Due to an overwhelming response from Virginia voters, the campaign has moved the rally outdoors to Van Dyke Park, next to Fairfax High School in Fairfax City, Virginia.
I can get tickets to the rally, and I'd really like to go, but it looks like work might get in the way.  Damn.

A challenge to my pessimism

Much like Allahpundit over at Hot Air, I long ago resigned myself to the inevitability of a Democrat victory in November.  That was in December last year, before the first primaries and the coming of The Messiah.  The adoring public's infatuation with and adulation of Obama over the months that followed did little to assuage my fears.

What a difference a VP pick makes.

Of course, if...if McCain wins, it'll be trumpeted in the press as further proof that America's a racist country who couldn't find it in its heart to elect a president with a "funny name" and who "doesn't look like the other guys on the dollar bills".  If that were the case, the polls cited above would have McCain out to an even further lead and wouldn't have taken until after the conventions (and the pick of Sarah Palin) to materialize.  No.  If Obama loses, it'll be because the American electorate has finally decided that he's too far to the left and just plain wrong on nearly every fucking issue.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Red Sox watch

Wow.  After saying not long ago that we can't seem to make up any ground on the T-Bay D-Rays, we find ourselves half a game out of first after beating them tonight, 3-0.  The Sarah Palin effect?  I'm thinking yes.  Go ahead...prove me wrong.

Whether we pull it off and take the AL East or satisfy ourselves with the wild card, I think we'll ultimately end up facing the Angels for the league title, and they positively pwn3d us all year. Ick.

As for the Evil Empire...Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!  I knew they were stupid for dumping Joe Torre.  If Terry Francona wasn't such a shit-hot manager, I'd love to see him in Boston.

Obama: Tax cuts good for economy

Now, how does Barack Obama square this circle?
Democrat Barack Obama says he would delay rescinding President Bush's tax cuts on wealthy Americans if he becomes the next president and the economy is in a recession, suggesting such an increase would further hurt the economy.
What's the over and under on the number of 'ums' and 'ahs' when he's quizzed about this one?

Update:  Seriously...this one thing could be what loses the election for the Dembots.  The logic of low taxes is now unassailable.  If rescinding tax cuts (more commonly referred to as raising taxes) would be bad for the economy, why raise them?  Wouldn't we be much better off boosting the economy with deeper tax cuts couple with reduced - as opposed to Obama's proposed increased - government spending?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

McCain up by 3 in latest Gallup poll - DUmmies freak

According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, John McCain has a 3-point advantage over Barack Obama.  A single poll doesn't constitute a trend, never mind an irreversible one, but one guy at Democratic Underground is having a patented DU meltdown over it.
The rethug [I just love it when they say that.  --ed.] owners of Gallup must have had their tracking pollsters call people in Alabama or Alaska, so they could cook the numbers and massage them into what they want us to see.

That's the only way the numbers could go this way.

Why aren't their numbers zero? Are so many people that fucking STUPID?

Christ sometimes I hate this country, and am convinced God hates it too. If the fascists steal another one, I'm getting the fuck out of here. If they want America that fucking badly, then they can have it. I'll live somewhere civilized and watch from the sidelines as these assclowns shit in their own nest until the entire country falls apart and they turn on each other violently.
See my post below on lefty drama queens.

Why are lefties such drama queens?

That's not a rhetorical question...I really want to know.  When you read something on Daily Kos, for example, about America being a fascist police state under George W. Bush, it's not simple hyperbole...the writer actually believes his own bullshit, the fact that he can continue to write hate-filled diatribes against the president without fear of arrest notwithstanding.  I've observed here the lefty drama queen phenomenon before:
"After the 2004 election, I was a fucking mess. I think that if we could survive another four years of that administration, we can survive anything."
Thaaaat's right...the Bush administration has been worse for this country than the Civil War, the Great Depression, etc.

So it's entirely without surprise when I read that Candice Bergen found Sarah Palin's speech "scary" and Andrew Sullivan finds her "terrifying".

Get a fucking grip, you creampuffs.

Update:  Add David Ignatius to the list of people who find Palin "terrifying".

Outrage: Palin's church favors converting gays

After the Jeremiah Wright affair, I guess it's only reasonable that the media take a look at the doctrine promoted by Sarah Palin's church.
Gov. Sarah Palin’s church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.

“You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years.
I have a hard time getting exercised over a doctrine observed by a majority of Christian churches. It's not quite the same as -- oh, I don't know -- praying for God to damn America or something like that.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Workin' the phones

I spent a few hours working the phones at John McCain's Fredericksburg area "Victory HQ" today. The office is run by a full-time RNC field man, who also coordinates the local efforts of the Jim Gilmore campaign for Senate as well as Rob Wittman's campaign for Virginia's 1st Congressional District.

They've got a pretty good system for contacting voters in which the phone system and computer system for recording responses is integrated into a single, easy-to-use desktop phone.

Although there were only about half a dozen of us there this morning, Kevin - the RNC field man - was happy with the number of volunteers who came out in the midst of Tropical Storm Hanna to pitch in.

Needless to say, in this day and age with caller ID, I left a whole lot of voice mail messages.  But the vast majority of people who answered were McCain supporters.  One sweet but misguided old lady had me on the phone for 20 minutes explaining in her best labor union terms why she was supporting Obama instead of McCain, and didn't have much nice to say about Sarah Palin, about whom most of what she thinks she knows seemed to come straight from MSNBC.  Oh well.

Friday, September 05, 2008

MSM: Hey...nice VP pick! Wingnuts: Oh, this old thing?

When Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain's running mate a week ago, the geniuses of the MSM were flummoxed. The collective "huh? who?" from newsrooms all over the country must have been audible in Latvia. When Mrs. Pool Bar, who doesn't follow obsess over politics quite as much as I, asked me who she was, I told her she's the one I'd been hoping for months that McCain would pick.

Of course, Palin's been a favorite on right-wing blogs for quite some time and the only cause for surprise to us was that most of us regular readers more or less wrote her off as unlikely months ago. But to the MSM, Sarah Palin "came out of nowhere", and Ace colorfully points out why.
These people are being paid to follow trends in politics, including trends on the conservative side, and yet they absolutely refuse to read right leaning blogs even while being paid for their time.

If they had read right wing blogs, they'd have known that Sarah Palin had become a GOP hero the past six months over her tough, articulate advocacy on drilling, and many people were touting her as a Veep-pick. Including Beldar, and including that guy who set up the Draft Palin website.

Maybe if you stupid fuckers could tear yourself away from your precious Daily Kos and FireDogLake for two fucking seconds and do your jobs, these "out of left field" surprises wouldn't keep sneaking up on you.

McCain knew the Republican base loved Palin. He knew this because the blogosphere, acting as a large ad-hoc (self-selected) focus group, had already indicated its enthusiasm for the choice, and therefore, most likely, the enthusiasm of the base as a whole.
Ace rocks.

Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the ... Fembots of politics

Afraid to take on Sarah Palin directly and confirm to the world his own misogyny, and knowing Joe Biden's no match for her, Barack Obama is turning loose whatever Democratic women he hasn't alienated to act as his surrogates in an attempt to neutralize the Republican VP candidate.
Senator Barack Obama will increasingly lean on prominent Democratic women to undercut Gov. Sarah Palin and Senator John McCain, dispatching Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to Florida on Monday and bolstering his plan to deploy female surrogates to battleground states, Obama advisers said Thursday.
Yeah, this post is slightly sexist. So sue me.

McCain's speech

I'll have to be honest. After a couple of nights staying up late for the other speeches, I found myself nodding off now and then during John McCain's speech. The content was good, but the delivery wasn't enough to keep me awake the whole time. And for the previous two evenings, I'd had a late afternoon nap to help me out.

But I was fully awake during the last few minutes, and they were awesome. "Fight with me! Stand up! Stand up and fight!". Doesn't get much better than that.


Via Hot Air. Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart put the GOP on notice not to use their hit song Barracuda in connection with Sarah Palin. The song was played at full volume at the convention last night after McCain's acceptance speech, but reading the TMZ item, it sort of sounds like the Wilson sisters launched a preemptive first strike, and fired off the cease-and-desist notice before that.

It'd be interesting to get a legal opinion on this. It seems to me an artist has a clear right to forbid use of their works in, say, political advertisements. But what about during what's arguably a private celebration, even when it's covered by the media? Can a copyright holder really prohibit use of their works there? What if I held a political fundraiser at my house? Would I have to worry about whose music I played during the event?

I don't recall members of Fleetwood Mac throwing legal temper tantrums when their classic Don't Stop was played at Clinton's inauguration, and I'll bet Democrats enjoy free use of any pop music they choose without fear of repercussion. One can probably count the number of musical artists sympathetic to Republicans on one hand with a couple of fingers missing, which pretty much leaves the GOP picking through songs in the public domain.

Really, this is pettiness taken to an extreme.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The death of objectivity

With few exceptions, the reaction of the punditocracy to Sarah Palin's address to the RNC has been a Rorschach test informed more by political orientation than by any objective observation of the speech.

As I said, there are exceptions, such as this bit posted by Jerome Armsrong at MyDD (my deranged Democrat? Nah...that'd be redundant):
We have met someone that we will be doing battle against for a decade or more. Seriously. I've never seen a woman, or a man for that matter, speak that way, prime time, national, convention, live, ever. She blows away Hillary Clinton. Sorry, but that's what it is. Palin's deft speaking style is like watching visceral connective tissue being torn-- with a child in arms [understand that the Clinton comparison is within the context of contra Obama].

OK, so my guess. Come November, and Obama's glorious victory, Palin is who they pronounce as the '12 nominee against Obama. Either that, or Palin is Prez after McCain croaks on a pretzel from 2 years of the WH.
Objective, but still he couldn't resist the nasty pretzel bit.

One thing I haven't seen discussed on any of the blogs I read...it appeared Palin was wearing an Israeli flag pin during her speech. That's awesome, but it'd have been better if she'd worn an American flag pin with it. I can't wait to see the howling about this one.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Jumping in

I may end up regretting it, but today I responded affirmatively to a mass-email request from the local Fredericksburg, VA McCain campaign HQ to pitch in this Saturday and do some work for the campaign. This is something I haven't done since I was 20 years old and volunteered for the - wait for it - Jimmy Carter reelection campaign. Yes, I was even dumber then than I am now.

What'll I be doing? Who knows. Best I can tell is we'll be canvassing if the weather is good, working the phones if it's not. If the weather map is to be believed, I'll be spending some time on the phone on Saturday.

So, why did I volunteer? After seeing the treatment of Sarah Palin in the press this week, how could I not?

The party of sheep

A couple years back, I read an essay by retired US Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman titled "On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs". The essay suggests that people are either sheep, wolves or sheepdogs. In the context of the essay, sheep isn't a pejorative term, but describes the every day members of society...teachers, lawyers, construction workers, what have you. Wolves, of course, are the bad guys both within and outside our own society who live to devour sheep. The sheepdogs "live to protect the flock and confront the wolf". In reading it, I recognized that Grossman had articulated in simple terms my own inchoate worldview.

Grossman says that sheep don't like the sheepdogs because they look a lot like the wolf and serve as a constant reminder that there's an existential threat to the flock. But he describes the sheep/sheepdog relationship as a continuum through which people can move, citing United flight 93 as an example in which sheep can quickly slide across the scale and, when needed, assume the role of sheepdog.

When Barack Obama talks about sitting down and talking with our enemies while John McCain takes the hard line against the same, it's clear just where on the continuum Democrats and Republicans fall. To mix up metaphors a bit here, Obama is the lamb who would lie down with the lions without any clue as to their intent.

The party of sheep already control both houses of Congress. We can't afford to put a sheep in the White House, too.

Rupert Murdoch to make more liberal heads explode?

There's a report out that Rupert Murdoch, head of the evil (in the eyes of the left) News Corp. and Fox News, is contemplating buying up the New York Times. I have serious doubts that it'll happen, but this line was good for some laughs:
Wolff speaks of watching Murdoch "go through the numbers, plot out a merger with the Journal's backroom operations, and fantasize about the staff's quitting en masse as soon as he entered the sacred temple."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Nice try, Google

Amid much buzz in the Geekosphere, Google today quietly released "Chrome", their new web browser touted here, oddly, in comic book form. The error above was the result when I tried to actually, you know, run it.

To be fair, Google generally does a great job in their development efforts and this is their very first public beta drop, to my knowledge. I've heard from a few people for whom it actually worked, but at least five times as many who got the same error I did.

Update: It's a conflict with SEP. Fixed with Google's work-around of editing the target property in Chrome's start-up shortcut by adding --no-sandbox after the last quote. So far, it's a pretty nice, clutter-free web browser.

Kos is full of crap

In this Howard Kurtz column in the Washington Post, Kurtz discusses the blog effect in coverage of the non-scandals and scandalettes surrounding vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The column opens with this:
When Markos Moulitsas saw that one of the contributors to his liberal blog was accusing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of lying about her 4-month-old baby, he was a bit skeptical.

"I feel a little weird about the questions being asked," he says. "But I also feel a little weird about saying, 'Shut up, people.' It takes a lot for me to step in and squash what's on Daily Kos."
Yeah...if by "a lot" one means "a Democrat for a target".

When Huffington Post contributor Lee Stranahan tried to post something at Daily Kos about the John Edwards love child story before Edwards himself admitted to it, he got banned. From the HuffPo link:
The irony for me, of course, is that despite making over fifty short political videos with a clear progressive point of view, I was banned on DailyKos for saying that it seemed reasonable that John Edwards was seen at the Beverly Hilton late at night.
Your progressive, "reality-based" community at work!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Scandal v. anti-scandal

Holy crap. I turn away from the news long enough to get a new refrigerator set up and turn around to find out that Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant.

So is this a matter/anti-matter scenario where the rumor of Palin faking her pregnancy to cover up for her daughter's own pregnancy is negated by the anti-scandal of Bristol's actual pregnancy?

Update: Hot Air quotes a New York Post article which says the crap being tossed around by the liberal blogs was the very reason for releasing the news today, but read Allahpundit's whole post for his analysis. From the Post article:
McCain officials said the news of the daughter's pregnancy was being released to rebut what one aide called "mud-slinging and lies" circulating on liberal blog sites.