Sunday, November 30, 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

A year after his attempt at a lifetime power-grab failed and just a week or so after losing political ground in national elections, Venezuela's comic book commie President Hugo Chavez is at it again.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday urged supporters to work on a constitutional reform that would let him stay in office as long he keeps winning elections, a year after voters narrowly rejected this same proposal in a referendum.

The anti-U.S. leader is pushing forward the controversial proposal to eliminate a two-term limit for the president just a week after regional elections in which the OPEC nation's fractured opposition gained ground by beating Chavez allies in key states and the capital of Caracas.
Chavez is now in his second term, and Venezuela's constitution limits him to two terms. His current term expires in 2013. Last year's referendum was marked by large anti-Chavez protests which were put down harshly by Chavez's thugs. The next round will be worse.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Our culture is better'

I think I've posted before about a conversation I had with a lib friend of mine who holds all the usual multi-culti beliefs and moral relativism that goes along with them. To make a point, I asked him if he thought it was possible for one culture to be superior to another...not to just believe itself superior, but to actually be superior. Naturally, he responded with an emphatic "no". Then I asked him if he believed there were universal rights to which all humans were unquestionably entitled, and he acknowledged that I'd backed him into a corner.

The outspoken Dutch politician Geert Wilders believes it is possible for one culture to be superior to another on the basis of universal rights.
Having his own party liberates Mr. Wilders to speak his mind. As he sees it, the West suffers from an excess of toleration for those who do not share its tradition of tolerance. "We believe that -- 'we' means the political elite -- that all cultures are equal," he says. "I believe this is the biggest disease today facing Europe. . . . We should wake up and tell ourselves: You're not a xenophobe, you're not a racist, you're not a crazy guy if you say, 'My culture is better than yours.' A culture based on Christianity, Judaism, humanism is better. Look at how we treat women, look at how we treat apostates, look at how we go with the separation of church and state. I can give you 500 examples why our culture is better."
Read the whole article. I have to admit that I'm apparently brainwashed enough to not be entirely comfortable saying our culture is "better" than others, but if we don't defend our culture and values we'll have no choice but to accept theirs.

Dude looks like a lady



A little Aerosmith in honor of this guy:
Six women and 12 children left the building, but while soldiers were questioning the women they discovered one was actually a man dressed in a burqa, the traditional all-encompassing dress that most Afghan women wear. The man, later identified as the targeted commander Haji Yakub, tried to attack the soldiers and was killed, the military said.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Black Knight

*yawn* The al-Qaeda number 2 man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released another tedious diatribe-on-tape proclaiming that a Muslim victory is near, American gains in Iraq are temporary, al-Qaeda caused the global financial meltdown, the West will accept Islam, and zzzzzz...oh, sorry...where was I?

Every time this goat-raping tool opens his mouth, I'm reminded of the Black Knight from Monty Python And The Holy Grail:




"It's just a flesh wound!"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A classic from the late, great Warren Zevon



It surprised me a few months back to turn up this video clip of Warren Zevon performing Lawyers, Guns And Money in a guitar solo because his performances were almost exclusively (as far as I know) piano performances. This is from his Excitable Boy album, and it helps to remember that the album came out around 1977, and so the song was written some time prior to that, hence the lyrical references to Russians, Cuba and Honduras.

It's my favorite Zevon song and I've been trying to get it right on the guitar, but the chord changes (D-D-D-A-D-D-D-A-D-D-D-A-E) are a bit fast for my aging fingers.

Mumbai trutherism...already


The situation in Mumbai hasn't even finished playing out yet, and already there are people wondering if the attack might have been an American plot. The screen shot above is from my SiteMeter referral log where some douchebag in India googled the words "mumbai attack is an american conspiracy".

I wonder if these lunatic conspiracy theories will stop once Obama takes office. Eh, probably not even then.

Mumbai attack: New and improved terrorism

The situation in Mumbai hasn't yet wrapped up, with hostages being still held at the Oberoi Hotel. I've been watching streaming video from CNN/IBN, so hit the link if you want to track the situation.

It seems that several terrorist teams arrived on small Zodiac-type boats which may have been launched from a cargo ship anchored off Mumbai. All signs point to an operation by the Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is responsible for a long string of terror attacks in India. The main axe they have to grind is India's sovereignty over parts of the disputed Kashmir region, yet the terrorists are reported to have specifically targeted American and British hotel guests for capture.

In any event, this style of terrorism truly represents a shift in tactics from the usual random bombing attacks and is unlike anything we've seen in recent years.

Update: Fixed the cargo ship link...it now links to a longer article, but the mention of Indian navy boarding a cargo ship is further into the article.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Euphemism of the day

Today's euphemism is brought to you by a spokesman for Amy Winehouse:
Amy Winehouse's spokesman says the troubled singer is being treated at a clinic following a reaction to medication.
I guess that's less of a mouthful than "overdose brought on by consuming a 55-gallon drum full of whisky, valium, oxycontin, heroin, beer, Palmolive dishwashing liquid and Drano".

Monday, November 24, 2008

'A nation of men, not laws'

Ace links to another great article by Victor Davis Hanson, in which Hanson says:
For years now we have been preached to that Guantanamo is a gulag where Korans are stomped and flushed (not laptops provided to the chief architect of 9/11), that we waged a foolhardy, amoral, and hopelessly 'lost' war against the Iraqi people, that the rich plundered the economy on the backs of the poor, and that the Constitution was burned so that covert agencies could play James Bond. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Given all that, are we now suddenly — in 1984-fashion — around late January either to be told all that was not quite so, or will we simply hear no more about how these Bush legacies have ruined America — or what exactly is the party line to be? There is still such a thing, after all, as Google.
Ace's closing remark - "A nation of men, not laws" - sums things up perfectly, for this is what we've become. This was evidenced in part by the sudden love among the left for the American flag immediately following the election. Their 'patriotism' seems to be conditioned on who's wielding power.

The more Obama walks back from his campaign positions, the more the Left's objections to George Bush become exposed as objections to the man and not his policies.

And now for some XTC



In which I continue with my 80s & 90s music video motif.

XTC is pure pop in style, but with far more musical complexity than your average pop act, and more clever lyrics. This was one of my favorites by XTC.

In their own words



Lifted shamelessly from Uncommon Sense. I'd heard about Rep. Jim Moran (D- (natch) VA) preaching some good ol' down home Marxism, but I hadn't seen the video clip until today.

Random boat parade not as popular as Christmas boat parade

So as not to exclude those who don't observe Christmas, the eggheads in Patchogue, NY changed the name of their annual Christmas Boat Parade to more inclusive "Boat Parade of Lights". Not everyone was enthused about the change.
About 1,000 people showed up Sunday for the Patchogue (PACH'-awg) Boat Parade of Lights. That's 500 fewer than usually showed up when it was called the Patchogue Christmas Boat Parade.

[ ... ]

Organizers say the parade still was a success.
Well, of course they said that, and it was successful in the sense that a parade actually took place. But driving off a third of your usual audience is hardly a "success".

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cart before the horse

If it's not too early to start naming schools after Barack Obama, I guess it's not too soon to declare his presidency a failure? Or to start impeachment hearings?

If I were Barack Obama, I'd be embarrassed, not honored. But then again, I don't have an ego the size of Mount Rushmore.

Project Valour-IT

Thanks to my sister's prodding, I've finally gotten around to getting on the Project Valour-IT bandwagon - Team Air Force, of course. This is a charity drive that provides voice-enabled laptops and other tech items to wounded veterans to help them in their recovery. The donation button will be on the sidebar for the duration of the campaign. Meanwhile, you can hit the button below and give it up, suckah!

Washington state regulators: Is blogging lobbying?

AoS HQ had this article from Seattle Times up last night.
Blogger beware? State regulators are wondering whether online political activism amounts to lobbying, which could force Web-based activists to file public reports detailing their finances.

In a collision of 21st century media and 1970s political reforms, the inquiry hints at a showdown over press freedoms for bloggers, whose self-published journals can shift between news reporting, opinion writing, political organizing and campaign fundraising.
Not bloody likely, methinks. How is most blogging significantly different from, say, writing editorial columns or hosting an opinion-oriented radio show? Or for that matter, from writing a letter to the editor of your local paper? None of that is regulated as lobbying activity. As for campaign fundraising, what I've seen on blogs is generally limited to having a link to a candidate's campaign website donations page.

Not gonna happen. That's one idea that's DOA.

VI Day


VI - Victory in Iraq Day - is an initiative of the venerable photo-blogger Zombie. The date Zombie chose was actually yesterday, 22 November, 2008. Zombie's rationale:
By every measure, The United States and coalition forces have conclusively defeated all enemies in Iraq, pacified the country, deposed the previous regime, successfully helped to establish a new functioning democratic government, and suppressed any lingering insurgencies. The war has come to an end. And we won.

What more indication do you need? An announcement from the outgoing Bush administration? It's not gonna happen. An announcement from the incoming Obama administration? That's really not gonna happen. A declaration of victory by the media? Please. Don't make me laugh. A concession of surrender by what few remaining insurgents remain in hiding? Forget about it.
I was initially skeptical about this, as evidenced by my being a day late with this. Not because I don't think we won - we clearly did - but because of my fears that the incoming Obama administration might negate that victory. But I see a certain logic in identifying a specific day now on which we mark the successful end of the Iraq war.

As things stand now, a mostly stable Iraq with a functioning government will be turned over to the Obama administration in less than two months. A failure in Iraq after that will fall squarely on the shoulders of Barack Obama.

So, yes. Let's mark 11/22/2008 as Victory in Iraq Day, with a clear message to Obama not to fuck it up.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Globalization


I landed in Richmond last night after my flight back home from the west coast and was standing outside the terminal having a smoke while waiting for the baggage claim belt to start disgorging bags. There was a manhole cover stamped "Made in India", and it occurred to me that I've seen a whole lot of manhole covers lately made there. So this morning I searched Google images for "manhole covers made in india" and for some reason, there are scads of pictures there from various places in the US with Indian-made manhole covers. That's where I grabbed the picture above.

Are Indians really making making cast iron products so cheap that it's worth the shipping costs of importing them? I mean, we're not talking marshmallows here...cast iron is pretty damned heavy. I guess it's another thing we can thank the unions for.

Malaysian Muslim clerics: No Yoga for the faithful

Showing once again how enlightened Islam is, a council of Muslim clerics in Malaysia have issued a non-binding fatwa which rules that Yoga is "inappropriate" and can "destroy the faith" of Muslims who engage in such a sinful act.
Malaysia's top Islamic body on Saturday ruled against Muslims practicing yoga, saying it has elements of other religions that could corrupt Muslims.

The National Fatwa Council's non-binding edict said yoga involves not just physical exercise but also includes Hindu spiritual elements, chanting and worship.
It might be that whole flexibility thing with Yoga they actually object to.

Global warming my ass

Yeah...17.8F here in Fredericksburg, VA this morning. In freakin' November. I hate to think of what it'll be like in January when Obama starts healing the planet.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bad marketing

"Rough Rider" condoms? Who's the genius who came up with that name?

----
A kibitz from Mark:

You know you've been in California too long when you think it's OK to use your camera phone in the men's room.
----
It was a one-holer.

Coastal

Say what you want about about California...I know I do. But they truly have some of the most beautiful coastal areas in the world.

I was driving by this spot just north of Half Moon Bay and had to pull off and pause for a look just now. (Photoed and posted from my cell phone.)

Premature worm food

Possibly the worst thing I've read this week month year. OK, well after the news of Obama's election win.
Doctors in Arizona thought a Phoenix-area woman had a possible brain tumor, but it turned out there was something else penetrating her brain – a worm.
Far be it from me to copy the shtick of a certain blogger at Hot Air, but...dude.

Time for some 'punk for sissies'



"Song For The Dumped"...one of the more amusing songs by Ben Folds Five. I always kind of enjoyed this one. But then again, I've always kind of liked Ben Folds. He once described his music as "punk rock for sissies".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Escalation


I've been following off and on for the past year and a half or so the growing trend in acts of sea piracy off the coast of Somalia, but I had no idea it was this bad. The image above is a zoom of the Google map at the link. Each marker represents a hijacking or attempted hijacking this year.

Now these guys have captured a super tanker and will, in all likelihood, get the ransom they want. As I've said before, this huge increase in piracy got going in full swing after western governments started choking off funds to al Qaeda and their affiliates, and almost certainly represents a new way of putting money into their pipeline.

It's well past time to get serious about stopping this.

Too bad not to link



This clip has already been linked all over the 'net, but what the hell...here it is again. I'd have had it up Monday, but I'm traveling this week so time is scarce.

The video is from these guys, and even at nearly 10 minutes in length, it's well worth the time. Watch it and recall what I said about "idjit voters".

The only stupid thing here was Palin-Alaska-Russia quote thing. Pointing to that as an example of voters getting their information from SNL is weak.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Change we can gag on

Nice. Here's Obama's new transcendent politics for you...picking a Clinton administration retread for Attorney General...the same guy who rammed through the Marc Rich pardon in the closing days of that administration.

Thank you, Captain Bullshit!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How about some Dinosaur Jr.?



I kinda liked this song when I used to hear it on WHFS in Washington DC back in the early '90s. The golf-themed video is appropriate for a song titled "Feel The Pain". Or maybe "Feel The Pain" is an appropriate title with a Democrat moving into the White House.

I hadn't thought about the song for years until I saw my son playing it on "Guitar Hero" the other day. Cool tune with catchy guitars.

Funding the jihad

Let's say there was one street in your town which was well-known for its high rate of armed robbery and nearly complete lack of police presence. Let's also say that on occasion, you had no choice but to travel this street. You just couldn't avoid it. How would you do it? Well, you'd probably do it armed to the teeth (let's assume for the sake of discussion that the robbers on this street are, in general, armed with nothing more than a knife) and you probably wouldn't do it alone. You'd have every buddy of yours with you, and they'd be armed to the teeth, too.

One thing you know you wouldn't do is waltz down the street naked waving your wallet in one hand and your Rolex Submariner in the other, yet that's pretty much what international shipping companies do every day off the coast of Somalia. The most recent cases are described here.

It seems that in most cases I've read about over the past few years, the ship and crew are released unharmed after a ransom is paid by the shipping company or by the government of the shipping company. It seems that the risks and the ransom are viewed as simply a cost of doing business. But in shrugging off these hijackings, the shippers and their governments are aiding and abetting international terrorism. I mean, seriously...where do they think this money is going? Mansions and Ferraris for the hijackers? Please. This is fucking Somalia we're talking about. While I'm sure some ringleaders are being handsomely paid off, it's a sure bet that the lion's share of the ransom money is going into the international Jihadi treasury.

Think about it for a minute. How many of these hijacks-for-ransom did you hear about six, seven, eight years ago? Not a whole lot. But since western nations started getting sophisticated about shutting off the sources of financing for al Qaeda and their ilk, these hijackings have become a nearly daily occurrence.

While the US and other NATO countries have dispatched ships to the waters off Somalia to counter the hijackings, it's time to get tough. Not just with the hijackers, but with the shipping companies. Put them on notice that if a ship is hijacked, we won't permit a ransom to be paid. An effort will be made to rescue the ship and crew but failing that, the ship - along with its crew and the hijackers - will be sunk.

This may sound harsh, and it is. But since it's more likely that these ransoms are paid through murky international funds transfers than by suitcases full of cash, this will have to do until international banking laws catch up with the times and can stop the new flow of money to the jihad.

Update: It seems the pirates are making themselves rich from the ransom money. But I think it's still safe to say that the bulk of the money is going to international terrorism.

Reading between the lines

During last summer's campaigning, Barack Obama called for a "civilian national security force" that is "just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as our military. There are those who say "nah...he didn't really say that" or things to that effect. Well, here's the clip:



And last week, this audio clip surfaced with Obama's soon-to-be Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel discussing three months of "civil defense" training for all 18- to 25-year-olds:



The usually reliable FactCheck.org did their readers a disservice (and revealed their own pro-Obama bias) when they attempted to downplay Obama's statement by addressing this question:
I read a quote from Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia which stated that Obama wants to set up a civilian national security force that was similar to the "Gestapo" or the Nazi Brownshirts.

What is the truth behind Obama's statements that he wants to create a "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded [as the military]"?
Great...pick the worst alarmist hyperbole and respond to that. They respond by providing the broader context of that portion of Obama's speech:
...I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots [from 75,000] and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals, like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their effort connected to a common purpose.

People of all ages, stations and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem – they are the answer. So we are going to send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We'll call on Americans to join an energy corps, to conduct renewable energy and environmental clean-up projects in their neighborhoods all across the country.

We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, and to be there for our military families. And we're going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy.
OK, so that's the context, but how does that constitute a "civilian national security force", unless Obama's definition of "national security" is so broad that it proves he doesn't really know the meaning of the term? Do environmental clean-up projects, mentoring students, and jobs programs for vets really fall under the category of national security?

Clearly when taken together, there's a shared belief between the two in having some form of a domestic quasi-military organization, but what I think Obama's really talking about here is dramatically slashing defense spending in favor of a lot of feel-good bullshit.

On right-wing blogs, the common question is where the hell Obama would get the money for such an organization. Well, that's pretty easy. If you halve the current defense budget and give the other half to this "civilian national security force", they'd be equally funded. And it would probably take that much money to build up the organization and infrastructure to cycle every 18- to 25-year-old through three months of "civil defense" training and to fund all the other things completely unrelated to national security that Obama mentioned in his speech.

Is this really the change we need?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Time for some Dire Straits



Because our economy is in, well, Dire Straits.

By far my favorite song by the band. I prefer the studio version because it's of course a bit cleaner, but no matter...Mark Knopfler is a genius.

And dig those '80s threads.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jason grounded by Mom

Is this really what passes for news these days?

Moonbat DJ fired

The left-wing freakazoid DJ Charles Karel Bouley has been fired from his gig for saying he wanted "motherfuckin' Joe the Plumber dead".
The microphone was hot when Karel went on a swearing tangent and made comments about Joe the Plumber that the audience was not meant to hear. The comments interrupted the ABC Network News at the top of the hour and he quickly apologized for his remarks.

[ ... ]

Karal [sic] claims he is the only openly gay talk show host in the Bay Area.
Uh, I find that last bit hard to believe. Anyway, good riddance to bad rubbish. The first comment (actually the only one as of this writing) on the article is a gem:
Sorry about Karel getting fired. He should be given another chance. Joe Scarbourgh said the "F", word on his MSNBC,Morning Joe program,and he did not get fired. ABC/KGO,has a double standard....
Uh, yeah. Scarborough dropped the F-bomb while quoting someone who dropped the F-bomb, not during a hate-filled tirade, and it appears that he didn't realize it until after. And the double standard accusation is just plain stooopid since we're talking about two different networks here. Typical lefty idiot, comparing apples to oranges rocks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Non serviam


"Non serviam" is the Latin phrase said to have been uttered by Lucifer to God and was the reason for his banishment to Hell. It means "I will not serve".

Roger Fraley at XDA suggested a non-violent, law-abiding movement centered around the phrase, and I thought I'd suggest a logo suitable for t-shirts and what-not. It's really pretty appropriate considering its supposed origin and The One at whom it's directed.

Click the image for a larger version.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Compulsory service coming our way?

Special delivery for Mr. Rahm Emanuel

Hot Air - and everyone else in the righty blogosphere - is linking this audio clip of Rahm Emanuel talking frankly (if a bit flippantly) about his ideas for a national universal service plan.

Like Allahpundit says, "the weeks of fun we’ll have with “Imagine if Bush had proposed this” scenarios will amount to a new golden age for the right-wing blogosphere". But listen to the audio clip. Emanuel's vague and not very well thought out plan is that all Americans age 18-25 will be required to participate in something like three months of "civil defense" training so that they'll have a "common experience" of what it means to be an American. What. The. Fuck?

It's said that Rahm Emanuel once sent a dead fish to a pollster (or some political pundit) who pissed him off. My suggestion? The minute this idea gets floated by the Obama administration, everyone opposed to this idea return the favor and send one to the Office of the Chief of Staff at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Change we can Google


As Charles at Little Green Footballs points out, "The power of Obama has reached out and healed Google." Here's a little background for the confused...

Google often modifies their logo in light-hearted ways to mark various holidays and occasions. Until this year, they've never honored Veteran's Day. Nor, I think, Memorial Day for that matter. Charles Johnson at LGF has taken Google to task for this over and over again. Their excuse, usually, is something along the lines of "We try to be whimsical when taking note of an occasion with our logo, but Veteran's Day and Memorial Day are too solemn...blah...blah...etc." But now? Behold the power of change!

Here's the difference between conservatives and liberals (and have no doubt Google is very liberal): Conservatives love their country unconditionally, no matter who's president. Liberals love their country...as long as there's a liberal in the White House. Other times? Not so much.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day


To all my fellow vets out there, happy Veteran's Day.

The AIG non-scandal

Over at Hot Air, Ed links to an ABC affiliate's investigative report of an AIG training event recently held in Phoenix, Arizona. AIG, of course, was the recent beneficiary of taxpayer largess in the form of billions of dollars in bailout money. Without getting into the merits of whether the taxpayers should be bailing out companies in trouble or just letting them fail (I'm not convinced yet that we should bail them out), the scrutiny of this event is, well, pretty damned silly.

Says Ed:
If we’re footing the bill for this company’s management failures, then we should be seeing them cut costs to the bone. That means training gets done in the most efficient way possible, and not through costly junkets at resort hotels like Squaw Peak. Having lived in Phoenix, I know that is a high-end destination. If they have to travel at all, let them stay at Days Inn, or some other less expensive digs.
Fair enough, but that doesn't take into consideration the fact that these events are typically arranged and contracted for well in advance, sometimes more than a year. If AIG had canceled or moved the event, they'd be subject to heavy cancellation penalties payable to the resort. In the case of a cancellation, they'd have nothing to show for the expense...if they moved, they'd still have the expense of holding the event elsewhere on top of the cancellation penalty.

Another thing to consider is that these events are simply a necessary cost of doing business. It's nothing like the executive retreat a month or so ago that was heavily - and justifiably - criticized. This particular event was a training event for 150 independent financial planners whom AIG relies on to push AIG's financial services products. If these people don't know AIG's products, they'll sell somebody else's.

Now, let's take a closer look at the wretched corporate excess exposed by ABC-15.
The ABC15 Investigators went undercover at the resort and found AIG executives having poolside meetings while drinking coffee and working out at the spa while other attendees were in conference rooms for seminars.

We also watched as half a dozen of the executives went to dinner at McCormick & Schmick's at the Camelback Esplanade, racking up a bill of more than $400 for drinks, appetizers, and meals.

[ ... ]

In a press release provided to ABC15 following our attempt to speak directly with the executives, AIG claims product sponsors were underwriting $320,000 of the total meeting cost of $343,000.
Horrors! Meetings over coffee by the pool! Using exercise facilities! Dinner with drinks!

Gimme a fucking break. First of all, ABC15 has no evidence that these extras were going on anybody's expense report for reimbursement. They're letting their readers make that assumption. Second of all, even if the $400 dinner at McCormick & Schmick was being expensed, big deal. Four hundred bucks for a business dinner with six people is nothing. But I guess they could have gone to Outback Steakhouse instead. Oh, and by the way? Every hotel I've ever stayed at (and I spend about 100 nights a year in hotels) offers exercise facilities free of charge.

And $343,000 for a corporate event? Chump change, most of which is being reimbursed by AIG's event sponsors.

The only fair criticism here is the apparent subterfuge in downplaying it. AIG could have been a bit more open about it, and explained the necessity of holding it as a part of staying in business, rather than having an idiot like me defending them.

Whether one favors the bailout or not, we're de facto shareholders now in AIG. They need to hold events like these if we have any hope of seeing a return on our investment.

Change we can believe in when we see it

Gabriel Malor over at Ace of Spades points out a bit of, er, clarification from the Obama camp on the disposition of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the detainees currently held there.
This morning he was for closing Guantanamo Bay, and having the detainees face criminal charges in U.S. criminal courts, courts using the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or new, specially created national security courts. This evening, he has backtracked yet again.

[ ... ]

One hand doesn't know what the other is doing so we end up with many conflicting statements. Mr. President-elect has to keep "clarifying" the positions his subordinates keep releasing on his behalf. It's almost like he has no leadership experience whatsoever.
Heh...indeed. Gabriel cites other examples of squishiness in Obama's agenda, so read the whole thing.

Maybe Obama's ego and constant need for adulation will paralyze him and the best case scenario is he simply does absolutely nothing for the next four years.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Marines!


Try as I might otherwise, it's impossible to spend 27 years in the Air Force without eventually coming into contact with Marines.

OK, with the obligatory inter-service joke out of the way, I'd like to take a moment to...tell another inter-service joke. Do you know why they put Marines on Navy ships? No? Because sheep would be too obvious. Yeah...I was sure that one was going to get my ass kicked once in an office full of Sailors and Marines until a USMC Master Gunny beat me to the punchline.

Anyway, on the semi-serious side, I want to take the time to honor the Marine Corps on their 233rd birthday, because over the years I've developed a special soft spot in my heart for Marines.

My fondest recollection of encounters with Marines - well, among those that can be related in polite company and that I don't mind my wife or other family members seeing - was this:

In the spring of 1999 during the Kosovo thing, I was TDY (that's TAD to you Navy and Marine Corps guys) at Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany. Because of the large number of incoming aircrews flying tanker, airlift and JSTARS missions for Kosovo operations, I lost my on-base billet and (horrors!) had to check into a nearby hotel for the last week or so before returning home. So on Saturday evening after checking in to the hotel, I headed down to the hotel bar for a couple beers. The bar at the Steigenberger Hotel isn't a typical hotel lobby bar...it's more of a nightclub, and many of the locals were there in their Saturday Night (Fever) best.

At around 22:00 or so, around eight Marines come strolling in...wearing their BDUs. For you civilian types, that's Battle Dress Uniform...the camouflage uniform. The Marines took up a position (Marines never just stand or sit anywhere...they take up positions) near me, and me and a Warrant Officer started chatting.

It turned out they were en route down range (I don't remember now which country neighboring Kosovo it was they were going to...Macedonia, Montenegro, who knows), and their airplane broke, so they were "stuck" in Germany for a couple of days awaiting parts. Of course, it wasn't long before we were taking turns buying rounds of drinks and telling lies, and it was the wee hours of the morning before I made it back to my hotel room.

At around noon the next day (I'm usually a very early riser regardless of the previous evening's festivities), I awoke with a world-class headache. And a big-ass knot in the middle of my forehead. The headache, of course, was easily explained, but the egg on my forehead was a mystery to me. Now, I don't know about you, but waking up with inexplicable injuries after a night of partying is kind of disturbing.

I got in the shower, and as I was gingerly washing my hair, it came back to me...the celebratory head-butting started at around 03:00 that morning. I vaguely remembered that same activity leading to an accelerated departure from the bar, at the request of the management. Which was probably for the best.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to the US Marine Corps. You truly represent the best America has to offer, and the country owes you a great debt of gratitude.

Obamamania...catch it!

As an IT guy working for a large software company, I get around quite a bit. I'm a bit, er, liberal in handing out business cards, whether at meetings with customers or channel partners, at industry events, whatever. So it's no surprise when I get unsolicited e-mails on my corporate e-mail account inviting me to speak at or attend some industry event or another.

Today I got one from some group called Omnikron Systems that opened with this line:
In keeping with our Country's Theme, "We Want Change", the CTC is on it!
What? Do these blithering idiots just assume that I'm one of the 52% of Americans who supported Obama? And isn't it just a bit presumptuous to assume that "We Want Change" is "our Country's Theme"?

How much you wanna bet that the idiots running Omnikron Systems haven't used the phrase "our country" in the past eight years?

Noted Democrat party hack to run for governor in Virgina

May as well pile it on. It looks like former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe will be running next year for governor of our increasingly blue state of Virginia.

McAuliffe could be a canary in the coal mine for the 2010 mid-term elections, at least as far as our fair commonwealth is concerned. If the inevitable disillusionment with Obama has already started to set in McAuliffe may be in for a rough ride. If, however, things are still looking hopey and changey, he'll take it in a landslide.

Dude, you're killing his buzz!

There's a great column in the Jerusalem Post by Barry Rubin in which he tries to bring Obama gently down to earth from his Messiah complex. Rubin hits it spot on, except for his incorrect attribution of the "failure to communicate" line to Paul Newman's "Cool Hand Luke" character -- it was the warden who said that.
In the Middle East, it is not so useful to think yourself popular and show yourself to be friendly. You have to inspire fear in your enemies and confidence in your friends. And if you don't inspire fear in your enemies - if you're too nice to them - then you will indeed foment fear among your friends.

Not everyone thinks the same way. When you talk of "empathy," America's enemies hear the word "fear." When you speak of change, they, too, want change. Unfortunately the change they want means wiping other states off the map, creating radical Islamist dictatorships and kicking the United States out of the region.

This is no misunderstanding: it's a conflict.

[ ... ]

You are going to talk to Iran, negotiate with Syria and try to buy the Palestinians or press the Israelis into making peace. It's your presidency and many Americans think - rightly or not - that this hasn't been tried enough.

But please keep in mind four very important points for when the going gets rough:

1. How much do you offer them and at whose expense? Not too much, please.
2. How closely will you monitor whether or not they are keeping their commitments? Be tough, please.
3. At what point will you conclude that they don't want to end existing conflicts or be America's friends? Don't wait too long, please.
4. What do you do when you figure out this doesn't work? Don't be afraid to admit the truth, blame those responsible and try something else.

[ ... ]

What happens when the Europeans hug and kiss you, then refuse to extend sanctions on Iran further? Will you remain Europe's favorite American president by asking them to do nothing? How will you convince the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese and others that you are their reliable protector against Iranian nuclear weapons and the advance of Iranian-Syrian power when they know how eager you are to make up - possibly at their expense - with Teheran and Damascus?

Westerners are eager to resolve conflicts; revolutionaries want to use conflicts. You think grievances can be resolved; their grievances are insatiable. Make a concession, they ignore it and demand another. Withdraw from a territory, they occupy it and turn it into a base for the next advance. Explain that you feel their pain, and they add to your pain.

This is what it is like to deal with extremists and ideologues.

Right now you don't understand why Bill Clinton and George Bush couldn't solve a little thing like the Arab-Israeli conflict, defuse the massive hatred of America in the Middle East, end terrorism or turn radical Islamism into an ideology of peace.

Don't worry. You will.

Obama and Gitmo: Worst fears realized

Nearly a year and a half ago, I posted this item about the opposition to the Guantanamo Bay prison. In it I suggested a scenario where troops in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan are forced into a "take no prisoners" mode of operating due to the questionable legal status of unlawful enemy combatants captured in combat. That scenario appears to be getting closer to reality.
President-elect Barack Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice.

During his campaign, Obama described Guantanamo as a "sad chapter in American history" and has said generally that the U.S. legal system is equipped to handle the detainees. But he has offered few details on what he planned to do once the facility is closed.

Under plans being put together in Obama's camp, some detainees would be released and many others would be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts.
This is absolute insanity. Released? Are you fucking serious? Where would we release them? As for the others who would be prosecuted through the criminal court system, that's nothing less than a return to the pre-9/11 mentality that gave us 9/11 in the first place. International terrorism is NOT a criminal problem...it's a national security problem. But don't expect a dilettante like Barack Obama to understand that.
The tougher challenge will be allaying fears by Democrats who believe the Bush administration's military commissions were a farce and dislike the idea of giving detainees anything less than the full constitutional rights normally enjoyed by everyone on U.S. soil.
I just don't get this. Why the rush to grant them the same constitutional rights that you and I enjoy? That seems to be the sole purpose for transferring them to U.S. soil. What entitles these dirtbags to those rights?

I stated earlier that this might instill a "take no prisoners" strategy, but it occurs to me that the Obama administration doesn't see this as a problem since his future policy appears to me now to be one of abandoning the war on terrorists.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The world has gone batshit crazy

In Topeka, a movement is underway to establish a national holiday around Barack Obama.
"Yes We Can" planning rallies will be at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the downtown McDonald's restaurant...
Uh, yeah. Somehow I don't think this movement will get very far. And what the hell is a "planning rally", anyway?

The City of Brotherly Love (if you're an Obama supporter)



A guy shows up at a post-election Obama celebration in Philadelphia...wearing a McCain-Palin t-shirt. Crowd doesn't like it, cops don't either, and arrest his reactionary ass.

Before anyone starts hyperventilating over this, the video doesn't show what the guy may have done or said before being packed off for re-education. But no matter what he did or said, this does not look good.

The mob mentality here is particularly ugly.

Update: Longer version of the video clip. I'm not sure what their deal is...truthers, conspiracy nuts, both? Clearly, these guys set out to manufacture an incident. And what's up with the toy sword?

Bali bombers executed - Indonesian Islamists freak

Three co-conspirators in the October, 2002 Bali bombing which killed over 200 people were executed by firing squad. Predictably, their co-religionists are freaking out.
Wild scenes erupted and cries of 'death to infidels' – Westerners – rang out in a village today as the bodies of two of the executed Bali bombers returned home for burial.

'Smiling Assassin' Amrozi and his brother Mukhlas, shot by a firing squad, were carried by helicopter to their village of Tenggulun in central Java – and it was there that a 500-strong crowd unleashed their fury over the executions.

They cried for a holy war and threatened to avenge the deaths of 'our brothers'.

'Change you will submit to'


Yeah, I think I need one of these t-shirts I spotted in an ad over at Chris Muir's Day-by-Day.

Fun times, they are a-comin'!

Sigh of relief: Danish high court affirms right to beach nudity

A Danish Eastern High Court ruling has upheld a lower court's decision that nude sunbathing is to be permitted on all Danish public beaches. But such nudity must be kept at least 50 meters from private residences.

And no public sex.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

'Circle jerks'

John Bergstrom at Attack Cartoons knew early Wednesday morning what was coming vis-a-vis the McCain campaign/RNC finger-pointing. He aptly (and maybe presciently) titled this cartoon "Circle jerks".

Val Kilmer for governor of New Mexico?

You're fucking kidding me, right?
"There's sort of a rumor around that I'm maybe thinking about running to be governor of New Mexico?" the paper's Cindy Adams says he told her by cell phone from Bulgaria. "Well, it's sort of true. It's been my home 25 years. I really love my state."
I guess in Obama Nation we've shown not only that race no longer matters, neither does experience or qualifications. I just hope this doesn't signal a trend of more actors seeking elected office. I shudder to think what a Senator Sean Penn or Congressman George Clooney might be like.

DUer speaks truth to power (already)

This post at Democrat Underground gives a glimpse of what's wrong with today's Democrats. At the same time, I kind of respect the guy for wanting to hold Obama's feet to the fire when all his DU buddies want to do is bask in the afterglow. Referring to an earlier post of his own in which he advocated immediate pressure on Barack Obama to do their bidding and the angry responses he received, he says this:
For the record, there had been nothing hysterical or anything demonstrably crappy about the original post, and there is something very important that I think a lot of us are failing to fully grasp right now. In a democratic republic, the people are in charge and their role is to make their wishes known to those who represent them.
The poor guy must have failed high school civics. We don't live in a "democratic republic"...we live in a Federal Constitutional Republic, otherwise known as a representative republic. The people aren't "in charge", the people elect other people to be in charge. And if they don't like what those people do, they elect other people the next time around.

Remember the German Democratic Republic? Yeah...that was East Germany. The now-unified Germany kept the name of the former West Germany: The Federal Republic of Germany. It's no coincidence that one survived and the other didn't. Just think of states whose formal names contain the words "Democratic Republic" or "People's Republic" and ask yourself if you want to live there. North Korea goes for the double-whammy with the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea".

The whole point of a representative republic is to prevent the worst tendencies of mob rule, such as the marginalization of significant minorities, like the 48% of Americans who didn't vote Democrat.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Hatred of conservatives alive and well at Huffington Post

Not that it should surprise anybody, of course, but some hate-filled windbag wanker named Evan Handler at Huffington Post is horrified that a whole shitload of Americans voted for John McCain. Then again, HuffPo is hate-filled windbag wanker HQ.
And now I find myself thinking in even crasser terms. Like, if you've got some money stashed away in these economically stormy days, if you've got some major purchases anywhere on your horizon, time them out for the first ninety days of the new administration. Need a washer/dryer or an automobile? Thinking of buying a new home? Want to get back into the stock market? Hold off 'till after January 20th, and let the numbers show sudden economic improvement during the first three months of a new Democratic majority. Because I've got a sneaking suspicion that those 56,378,316 misguided souls aren't the most sophisticated sailors on the sea.

I'm not suggesting we'd be successfully addressing any of the serious issues that need to be sorted out. But I am thinking that, if they're crass enough, and easily hoodwinked enough, to have voted Republican after the last eight years, we might as well do a little psychological manipulation of our own. We might not be able to win their hearts and minds, or erase whatever bigotry led them to vote as they did. But we should be able to outwit them. Let 'em read a few positive economic headlines just as they're fearing the wrath of God is about to drop down upon us. Let 'em think that, even if the "Godless," "unreal" Americans have prevailed, it might be good for their pocketbooks. And then, maybe then, they might climb aboard the Peace Train.
I'm guessing this asshole won't be posting any pictures at this place any time soon.

Let the healing begin!

Via Hot Air headlines.

Office of the President-elect?

First there was the web site:


Then there was the podium placard:



Does the "Office of the President-elect" really exist anywhere besides the gargantuan ego of Barack Obama? Is there really such a thing? No, I'm serious...help me out here. I've been through a lot of presidential elections, and can't ever remember anything like this. Did I just miss it?

I checked the index at www.usa.gov, and here's what we've got:


Office of this, that and the other thing, but no "Office of the President-elect". So I did a site search, and turned up a link to Obama's creepy change.gov web site, which as has been pointed out by many others already, looks more like a fund-raising web site for Obama's 2012 re-election bid.

Soooo...when do they knock down the Washington Monument to make room for the Temple of Obama?

Update: Holy crap, even a Kos Kid agrees.

Update: Michelle Malkin has a post on this topic, with an update from a reader that says:
“The Office of the President-elect comes from the Presidential Transition Act of 1963. Stephanopoulos signed letters back in 1992 from the ‘Office of the President-elect.’ That said, I agree that ‘change.gov’ and all of that is ostentatious. Let Obama have his fun now. Come January, the buck stops with him, and no amount of ‘branding’ or voting ‘present’ will save him.”
At the end of the post is the text of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, which authorizes the provision of personnel, funding, equipment, etc. to aid the President and Vice-President elect in the transition. But there's absolutely nothing there that establishes an "Office of the President Elect", and the phrase appears nowhere within the text of the act.

Bumper Stickers

"Somewhere in Chicago, a community is missing its organizer"

I slapped this graphic together and I'm thinking of getting some from Cafe Press. What the hell...the left produced worse than this over the past eight years. And no, this isn't the start of Obama Derangement Syndrome. This is just "speaking truth to power".

Any other bumper sticker suggestions?

Go away...the check's in the mail

Spotted over at my brother's place, so I'll send you over there for the video clip. The net-net is that a bunch (when you see the video, you'll see that it's really a bunch) of paid canvassers at an Obama campaign office in Indianapolis are a bit irate about not having yet been paid for their services.

As Mark says, the Obama campaign surely still exists at least as a corporate entity with bank accounts if for no other purpose than to finish paying its bills, which are sure to be many and large. But what really struck me as strange was this practice of paying people to knock on doors. I know the local McCain campaign didn't do that. Is that a common practice in larger, more densely populated urban areas? I don't know. In any event, the Obama campaign certainly raised enough money to cover the expense.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama gets first intel brief

President-Elect Barack Obama is getting his first official intelligence briefing today, something he'd never be privy to if he'd actually had to get a security clearance. I imagine it goes something like this:

Spook: Our assessment is that Iran will have enough weapons-grade fissile material to produce as many as four low to medium yield weapons within 12 to 18 months, and that --

Obama: Uh...just a second. What's "fissile" mean again?

Spook: Fissile...capable of being split, you know, as in atoms. We think they --

Obama: Oh, so, uh, they want to split these atoms so they can, uh, share them?

Spook: (Sighs) Well, if by "sharing" them you mean "detonating" them over a densely-populated part of --

Obama: OK. I, uh, get it. I think. Go on.

Spook: Right, then. Moving on to the topic of Iraq. We believe we can commence withdrawal of combat troops when --

Obama: Alright! I knew it! (Fist bumps intel spook). Next topic!

Spook: Well, I'm not quite done expl --

Obama: No, no...I got it. Move on (chuckles).

Spook: Well, OK Mr. President-Elect. Our analysis of Russia's decision to move offensive missiles into --

Obama: Why are we still talking about Russia? That's so early 1960s. I mean, I was still crapping in my diapers then. I'm all about the future, man! Next topic.

Spook: Mr. President-Elect, I really think you should hear this...it's pretty impor --

Obama: No, no...I, uh, got it. Next agenda item.

Spook: Right, sir. (Looks at ten more pages in briefing book) Uh, actually, that about wraps it up. Congratulations and best of luck in your new job. (Whips out Blackberry, googles one-way airfares to Australia).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obligatory "what went wrong" post

There's all kinds of navel-gazing going on today, with Republicans and non-aligned conservatives (like myself) trying to figure out how we came to elect a far-left candidate with little experience and ties to people of, er, questionable character for President of the United States. Yeah, I'm kind of wondering about it myself. With the caveat up front that I don't know dick about politics, here's my take on what went wrong and what might be done to fix this cosmic cock-up.

Besides overt media bias, the Republicans had the deck stacked against them from the start. First, there was Bush fatigue factor. After eight years, the general public was hanging everything they didn’t like on Bush, sometimes fairly, most times not.

Second problem was McCain’s campaign, which couldn’t seem to articulate a message of what needed fixing and how they would fix it. For example, I remain convinced that the health care “crisis” is a manufactured one. There is no crisis per se, but clearly things in that area need to be addressed to ensure that the under-employed have coverage and that insurers meet their obligations. But the Republicans allowed the Democrats to (1) make it seem like there was a crisis and (2) convince everyone that only the Dems had the answer to it, even if that answer was nothing more than lofty rhetoric. Obama himself cynically played up this non-crisis with anecdotes of his mother's battle with insurers.

Third was the incredible and often baffling cult of personality built around Obama, with much help from the media. With many of Obama's most zombified cheerleaders being part of the media establishment, I'm not sure how this could have been countered, but certainly a better Republican message with a more energizing candidate would have blunted it.

Fourth was the sub-prime mortgage mess and the economic meltdown it precipitated. When the shit hit the fan, the splatter was all over Democrats like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Barack Obama. Yet the Democrats said all the blame belonged to George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress, and by God, it was so. It was bad enough that a complicit media went along for the ride, but that the Republicans and McCain's campaign just stood there like idiots and let it happen, well, one would almost think they wanted to lose. Take a dive in the last round, kid.

This created the perfect environment for the "idjit" voters, which I'll come back to in a moment. But first, a word about the Republican ground game. I did volunteer work for the local campaign, and while I recognize that phone banking and door knocking are time-honored GOTV methods, they're absolute crap. Just ask yourself if, after taking calls at dinner time and on Saturday afternoons from both campaigns for two months before an election if that has ever made you (1) decide for or against a particular candidate or (2) get out and vote when you weren't particularly inclined to do so. Right...didn't think so. Add to that the modern conveniences of caller ID and voice mail and you've got 2 + 2 = crap. Where it might help some is to politely inform voters that hey, there might be a congressman or senator down ticket, too. By and large, though, I think phone banking and door knocking is a means of getting motivated supporters to feel like they're doing something for the cause.

So here's my advice: Screw phone-banking and door-knocking...hold events. Free food and beer, maybe some entertainment (assuming Republicans can find willing musicians), and weave in candidate introductions and substantive talk about issues. Educate and inform the voters. All those people signing up to make phone calls and knock on doors? Have them pony up a few bucks or cook hot dogs instead. And do this in every stinkin' precinct.

Because whose phones are ringing and doors being knocked on? That 60-80% of the electorate who are idjit voters. Who are idjit voters? A few weeks ago, I came across this post at Politico.com. Here are your idjit voters:
The two most unreal moments of my professional life of watching focus groups:

54 year-old white male, voted Kerry '04, Bush '00, Dole '96, hunter, NASCAR fan...hard for Obama said: "I'm gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He's gonna be a bad president. But I won't ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President."

The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. "Well, I don't know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I'm sick of paying for health insurance at work and that's why I'm supporting Barack."

I felt like I was taking crazy pills. I sat on the other side of the glass and realized...this really is the Apocalypse. The Seventh Seal is broken and its time for eight years of pure, delicious crazy....
That's not to say that "idjit voters" aren't intelligent people. They're just ordinary, every day guys and gals who are too busy with work and kids to be really informed on what's going on, and they get their news in snippets from a national media establishment that's not really interested in actually informing them.

Educate and inform the voters.

Mikki the cat says...

Likking mah butt to get electoral taste out of my mouf.

Tobey the dog says...

I sendz deathrayz to librul media.

Harry the cat says...

Wut u mean Obama's the new prez?

Lady Liberty weeps


Spotted over at Theo Spark's place. How appropriate.

And so it begins

In the European stock markets, pharmaceutical companies took a beating and led the decline on the news of Barack Obama's election.
EUROPEAN shares extended early losses on Wednesday, falling as much as 3 per cent, with pharmaceuticals and banks leading the decline.

At 1025 GMT the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was 2.6 per cent lower 948.97 points after hitting a day's low of 944.97.

The index broke six straight days of gains as investors' focus returned to the economy after Barack Obama's election as US president.

Worries about pressure on US drug prices under a Democrat administration saw European drug stocks lead the losers after Barack Obama's decisive win in the presidential election.
Look for more of this as Obama's policies become more clear and other industries are threatened.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

They own it now

The Democrats now own the White House and a convincing majority of both houses of Congress. The pressure is on. There's no other party to blame for the persistent stream of Democratic failures and the Axis of Taxes - Pelosi, Reid and Obama - will have to take responsibility for those failures.

It remains to be seen whether the Dems have attained the dreaded super-majority in the Senate. A neighbor tonight said he hopes they do so that there's no question come the mid-term elections who's to blame for everything that will inevitably go wrong. I'm inclined to agree with him.

The American voting public has chosen to elect or re-elect the absolute worst of the Democratic party...John Murtha, Al Franken...God only knows what other dregs of humanity...so the picture is complete. We're stuck with them...thanks, idjit voters, you stupid fuckers!

Update: No, I'm not going to join others in offering faux "classy" congratulations. At the same time, I do wish to acknowledge Obama's unsurpassed political ruthlessness in winning this election by any means necessary, such as abandoning his pledge to accept public financing and opening up his credit card donations to any Tom, Dick, Harry, Franz, Ahmed and Ivan who wanted to donate. New politics, indeed.

I'm also not going to make asinine statements like "not my president", because he is, whether I like it or not. That's just how we, as a nation, roll. Obama didn't steal the election, and he sure as hell didn't make idjit voters in Pennsylvania and Minnesota vote for shitbags like Murtha and Franken.

On the other hand, I will say that the one good thing about this election is that a barrier is broken...blown to smithereens, actually...by electing our first black president. That alone speaks volumes about how far we've come.

Anyway, enjoy your one term in office, Barry.

Update: I may have jumped the gun on the Al Franken thing. The last I saw before writing this post had Franken leading Coleman, but they're now in a dead heat according to Politico with 42% each.

Disaster

Not good at all. It looks like even Virginia is going Obama's way.

The douching of Washington begins in 2010.

Chesapeake County, VA: WTF?


What's up in Chesapeake County, VA? According to Politico's map, McCain leads there...with 383.3% of the vote. Obama has 27.3, while Barr, Nader and Other claim 8.something. Now, I could see this with 0.01% of the precincts reporting, but 98.1%?

I say again...what the fuck?

Update: Apparently there was a glitch either in the county's reporting or in Politico's data gathering. It's been fixed:

Early Virginia results look promising...

...McCain 56%, Obama 43% with 5% of precincts reporting, according to CBS Washington DC channel 9.

It's all over but the counting (almost)

Just some random election rambling...

First, a word on exit polls. NRO posted about an item from Virginia Virtucon that said exit pollsters were sampling minorities in the Falmouth district of Stafford County, VA at a ratio of 4:1 over non-minorities. I live not far from there, and rest assured, that's a way lopsided sampling. Probably an inversion of the demographic there. So...DON'T BELIEVE THE EXIT POLLS.

Second, a word about the local GOP organization here. They're great people, but they're not, in my humble opinion, making the best use of their volunteers' time. I cleared my calendar this afternoon to bail early from work and see what I could do to help. Got to the office at around 3PM to see if they had any voters needing rides to the polls. Nope...they had volunteers to drive, but no voters to drive to the polls. I think they've got no mechanism to identify voters needing assistance, and therefore had no way of knowing if any friendly voters needed rides.

Here's how it's done:
I shouldn't have to go to a regional office eight miles from my house. Each county is divided into voting districts/precincts. I should be able to get hold of precinct party captains who've got lists of registered voters in their precinct and there should be a precinct-level GOTV effort in the final days leading up to the election and on election day to call those voters and compile a list of people needing rides. Within a precinct, they're all going to the same place to vote, so it's pretty easy.

Note to field-level party wonks: phone-banking on election day is a waste of time and volunteer resources!

A quote and a thought for today

John at ExurbanLeague posted this as his thought of the day:

If someone would have told me on September 11, 2001, that our next president would be named Barack Hussein Obama, I would have assumed we had lost a war or something.


As a congenital Red Sox fan, I think I may actually retroactively remember this quote:

"The sun will rise, the sun will set, and I'll have lunch."
-Former BoSox GM Lou Gorman, on what to do if things don't work out the way you planned.


---
A kibitz from Mark

Hmmm...


I noticed this strange hit on the blog in my SiteMeter stats. Someone ended up here by googling "explosion manhattan november 2008". The hit they got here was on a post I did on that Manhattan recruiting station bombing a while back. The visitor came from Ajax, Ontario.

Why would someone from Canada be googling an event that hasn't occurred...yet?

Jurassic Park? No, but...


So that I might keep from hitting the bottle too early, a little diversion from the election-day fretting. Scientists in Japan think they may be able to clone a Woolly Mammoth.

Update on an old post

Last December, before Barack Obama won the Iowa caucus that would ultimately lead to his nomination coronation as the Democratic candidate, I posted this top ten list of good things about a Democrat winning the White House today. I was convinced at the time that Fred Thompson was the one GOP candidate who could beat any Democrat in the general election, but there was no way he'd get the nomination. I was half right.

Oh, sure...anyone with a bit of political insight should have known that the national media would abandon all pretense at objectivity and actively work for the Obama campaign. Or that 51% of Americans would fall into a groupie-like swoon over a far left Marxist candidate with no experience to speak of and with ties to unrepentant domestic and international terrorists and criminals and who raked in fraudulent campaign contributions from anonymous donors all over the world. I don't know how the hell I didn't see that coming.

So, let's take a look at that list:
  1. Abrupt withdrawal from Iraq results in chaos in the Persian Gulf region, which leads to $300/barrel oil. Global warming grinds to a halt, and Al Gore finally shuts the hell up.
  2. Unemployment skyrockets to 15%, resulting in increased affordable entertainment by street corner musicians.
  3. With mortgage interest rates at 18%, home and commercial construction industry collapses, halting urban sprawl.
  4. Stock markets collapse, giving day traders more time to spend with their families.
  5. Universal health care turns medical doctors into every day, 9-5 blue-collar workers. Take that, you uppity thoracic surgeon bitch!
  6. Universal pre-K provides employment for tens of thousands of crack-dependent victims of society.
  7. Repeal of second amendment disarms the populace, ensuring only criminals serious about their craft are armed.
  8. Rise of nuclear-armed global Islamic caliphate allows us to stop worrying about Russia. And China.
  9. Illegal immigration problem is reversed by US citizens sneaking into Mexico for work.
  10. Righty bloggers finally get to be the ones "speaking truth to power".
Yeah. I'm thinking most of these will still hold true. We're already well on our way to number 4 and number 6 was more a Hillary Clinton thing, but there's no reason to think Obama won't embrace something similar. Number 10? Most definitely.