Archive for September 13th, 2008

September 13, 2008

Randi Rhodes goes there

Remember when Air America host Randi Rhodes got so drunk that she fell down on her face, and then the Left started claiming she’d been “mugged” by a right-winger?

Well, Miss Can’t Hold Her Liquor now has some choice words for Sarah Palin:

She’s the woman who shows up at the kid’s birthday party and starts opining about everything from politics to lawn care. This is the woman that knows it all. Will shout you down, will get revenge on you. That’s who she is.
She’s friends with all the teenage boys. You have to say no when your kids say, ‘can we sleep over at the Palin’s? No! NO!’

It’s creepy, isn’t it? With not even the hint of any factual basis for this smear, Randi chugs down her 14th Bloody Mary and calls Sarah Palin a child molester. The folks at Air American need to start giving Randi a Breathalyzer test before she goes on the air.

September 13, 2008

Dad chases boyfriend

Old-fashioned fatherhood:

DELTONA, Fla. — An angry Deltona father whacked his teenage daughter’s boyfriend with a metal pipe after finding the boy naked in his daughter’s room.
Authorities say the father, 45, didn’t even know his daughter had a boyfriend or that the youngster had been sneaking into the home for more than a year.
When he heard noises coming from his daughter’s bedroom Thursday morning and saw a stranger standing naked on the girl’s bed, he swung a metal pipe. He then chased the teen out the front door and called police.
The boy was taken to the hospital where doctors closed a head wound with staples.
The father was charged with aggravated battery on a child and bonded out on $10,000.

The father was charged? What about the boyfriend? Trespassing, at least? But no worry: Assuming there is at least one parent of a teenage girl on the jury, this dad will never be convicted.

September 13, 2008

Poll Watch Update

UPDATED & BUMPED 9/13: McCain’s Gallup lead shrinks to 2 points, a statistical tie, while he remains up by 3 in the Rasmussen poll.

PREVIOUSLY: Today’s Gallup shows McCain continuing to lead by 3 points among registered voters, which translates to a much larger lead among likely voters. Obama hasn’t led the Gallup daily poll since Sept. 5.

UPDATE II: A new Associated Press poll shows McCain ahead 48-45 among likely voters. I’d say this is a Democrat-leaning result because (a) it was conducted over a weekend, Friday through Monday, Sept. 5-8, and weekend results favor Democrats, and (b) the internals show that the number of under-30s surveyed was nearly equal to the 65-and-olders. The results aren’t cross-tabbed, but you know that McCain has a heavy advantage among geezers, and senior citizens are far more likely to turn out than 20-somethings.

PREVIOUSLY: The latest Rasmussen daily tracking poll shows McCain ahead by 3 points, a 9-point swing since Sept. 2, when Obama led by 6 points. Thursday’s Gallup tracking report had McCain +4 (the fifth consecutive day with the Republican ahead by at least 3 points). Of the nine most recent national polls, the only ones not showing McCain ahead are NBC/WSJ (Obama +1) and CNN (tied).

What about the battleground states? The most important news is that several of the “red” states targeted by the Obama campaign (see the 18 states David Plouffe named in June) are trending toward safe Republican status:

Although RCP provides no poll data on North Dakota or Alaska, it’s also safe to scratch from the list those states named by Plouffe as “battlegrounds.” So, if McCain maintains his current leads, that would leave Team Obama with seven chances to pick off “red” states from 2004:

  • IowaObama +15 (CNN); Obama’s strong ground organization from the primary campaign makes this the most likely red-to-blue conversion. Iowa, however, has only 7 electoral votes (EVs).
  • New MexicoMcCain +2 (Rasmussen), Obama +13 (CNN), McCain +4 (Mason-Dixon). A growing Hispanic population has this state trending toward the Democrats, but Maverick’s pro-amnesty stance may blunt that impact. New Mexico has only 5 EVs, so even if McCain lost it and Iowa, he’d still finish with 274 EVs to Obama’s 264.
  • ColoradoObama +3 (Fox). OK, here’s a state where McCain’s got potentially serious trouble. Simply adding Iowa (7 EVs), New Mexico (5 EVs) and Colorado (9 EVs) to Kerry’s 2004 total wins the election for Obama, 273-265.
  • NevadaMcCain +1 (Insider Advantage), Obama +5 (CNN), McCain +7 (Mason-Dixon). Another state out West where McCain has trouble, but only 5 EVs here. If McCain can’t hold Colorado and/or New Mexico, Nevada won’t really matter. If the election is close, expect to be up until the wee hours of N0v. 5 waiting on the results in these three western states.
  • Indiana — No September polling here yet, but McCain was leading by significant margins before the Palin pick, and it is thus unlikely that he’s fallen behind since then. Indiana went narrowly for Hillary in the Democratic primaries, and it’s increasingly looking like a long shot for Obama this fall.
  • VirginiaMcCain +4 (CNN), McCain +2 (Fox), McCain +2 (Survey USA). The Old Dominion might be the new Ohio — or maybe not. The Palin pick has really boosted McCain’s support among traditionally Republican voters here. With 13 EVs, Virginia is more important to the GOP than Nevada and New Mexico combined.
  • OhioMcCain +1 (Insider Advantage), McCain +4 (U. of Cincinnati), Obama +5 (Quinnipiac), McCain +7 (Fox). Once again, the Buckeye State appears set to be the crucial swing state. If only Obama can hold the Kerry states from ’04 and flip Ohio’s 20 EVs,
    he wins 272-266. Having visited Ohio this week, I’ve seen how the choice of Palin as VP fired up the GOP base, and so it looks like Team Obama has got an uphill fight here.

That leaves two key swing states — Pennsylvania and Michigan — that were “blue” in 2004, but where McCain has mounted strong challenges. The Palin bump has made both states more competitive, and one recent poll even shows McCain with a 1-point lead in Michigan, a state with lots of hockey moms, an unpopular Democratic governor, and a recent Democratic scandal involving Detroit’s Kwame Kilpatrick.

McCain will keep pushing in both Pennsylvania and Michigan, but I expect more emphasis on the latter in the final stages of the campaign. Pennsylvania would have been the likelier target if McCain had picked Tom Ridge as his running mate, and if Obama hadn’t picked Scranton native Joe Biden. As it stands now, though, Michigan is the better prospect.

Trying to look at the situation objectively, there’s really no reason for the panic reaction among Democrats that Charles Krauthammer discusses in his latest column. If McCain is merely enjoying a temporary post-convention bounce, then the polls will trend back toward Obama over the next couple of weeks, and there would be every reason for Democratic optimism that they could flip enough “red” states to carry the election.

Ah, but this wasn’t the scenario Team Obama had promised. The triumphant march to victory wasn’t supposed to boil down to the kind of 50-50 nail-biter that Democrats endured in 2000 and 2004. As evidence increasingly points to a close contest decided by a familiar handful of swing states, Democrats are beginning to regret Team Obama’s wasted efforts — e.g., TV ads in Georgia and North Carolina, that vainglorious Berlin speech — and beginning to question the genius reputation of the Axelrod-Plouffe brain trust.

Should the current poll trend continue — if McCain’s bounce should grow into an undeniable advantage — expect the Democratic panic to worsen. Such a reaction would be utterly irrational, but hey, they’re Democrats.

September 13, 2008

Obama: Good-bye, Florida!

Read ’em and weep, Democrats:

Obama allies say he has about 350 paid staffers in the state and about 50 field offices, including in places not known as fertile ground for Democrats, such as Sun City Center, Lake City and Sebring.
But for all the attention to Florida from the Obama campaign, there’s little tangible evidence it’s paying off.
He is farther behind in the state than John Kerry was at this point in 2004, even though McCain began buying Florida TV ads only last week. By this time in 2004, the Bush-Cheney campaign had spent $13-million on Florida TV. In the rolling average of Florida polls compiled by the Web site RealClearPolitics.com, Obama has never taken the lead over McCain in Florida, and the latest average shows him behind by 5 percentage points. They were tied in early August.
Four Florida polls came out this week, with one showing a tied race, the others showing McCain leading by 5 to 8 percentage points.

Three obvious reasons for this:

  • The military vote — Lots of military personnel (especially Navy personnel) and retired veterans in Florida, and they like McCain.
  • The Cuban-American vote — Traditionally Republican, the Cuban vote is rallying to its GOP loyalties after a down cycle in 2006 due to the Mark Foley scandal. Whatever pundits say about Obama’s problems with Hispanic voters, it goes double (or triple) for the Cubans.
  • The geezer vote — Geezers love John McCain. The over-70 vote is his trump card in this election. And you gotta imagine some of the geezers look at Sarah Palin and see either (a) a super-successful woman who exemplifies their ideals, or (b) that hot nurse on the second shift.
Isn’t it amazing that, just eight years after the Gore-Bush deadlock in Florida, Democrats have fallen so low that they can’t even compete there? Hillary, maybe. Obama, no.
You can see the RCP Florida numbers here.

UPDATE: Over at AmSpecBlog, I discuss how the Palin pick has disoriented the Democrats.

UPDATE II: Jim Wooten of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution sees signs of Democratic panic; Commentary‘s Jennifer Rubin warns against GOP overconfidence.

September 13, 2008

Sarah Palin, fashion icon

Wearing red knock-me-downs:

Jay Randhawa, a brand director at House of Brands Inc. in San Diego, says he was surprised to learn that Gov. Palin was introduced as Mr. McCain’s vice-presidential choice wearing a red pair of peep-toe pumps with 3½-inch heels. The shoes, marketed by his company’s Naughty Monkey line, generally are geared to women in their early to mid-20s who go clubbing, he says.
“The age bracket we target is a little younger. It’s a very edgy, very hip, very street brand,” adds Mr. Randhawa.
Celebrities like Paris Hilton had been photographed in the brand’s shoes, but seldom, if ever, a 40-something politician.
Mr. Randhawa says he realized that Gov. Palin’s footwear choice offered the chance to pitch the Naughty Monkey line to a new demographic. The company quickly sent out emails to its retailers with a photo of the Alaska governor wearing the shoes and the slogan “I vote for Naughty Monkey!”
At Amazon.com Inc.’s Endless.com shoe unit, sales of the red Naughty Monkey shoes shot up 50%, to thousands of pairs, says Mr. Randhawa.

As long as she keeps up her “naughty librarian” look, who cares whether she can explain the Bush Doctrine? She’s already boosting economic growth in the apparel industry.

Coldest state. Hottest governor.
September 13, 2008

Ike watch

UPDATED & BUMPED AGAIN: As of 4:10 a.m. — two hours after landfall — Dr. Melissa still had power in the Houston area, which suggests a less-than-catastrophic impact. The Houston Chronicle reports:

As dawn broke, emergency officials were fielding pleas for help from residents along the coast who remained behind and were trapped in their homes. . . .
Wilson Shaffer, chief of the National Weather Service’s evaluation division, said the storm surge was smaller than predicted. . . . The highest surge Saturday morning was about 13.5 feet at Sabine Pass in Texas, according to tidal gauges. The surge at Galveston was 11 feet, about half of what was predicted.

So, there will be wind damage and flooding from rain, but the devastating 20-foot storm surge that was predicted didn’t happen. Let’s face it: TV news hypes these storms to generate ratings. The more scary they can make the storm appear, the more people watch. TV news actually wants a repeat of Hurricane Katrina, especially before the election.

Yes, it’s come to this: Biased weather reports.

UPDATED & RE-BUMPED: Galveston radar loop shows a direct hit on Galveston/Houston, with the eye probably coming ashore about 3 a.m. ET.

UPDATED & BUMPED: Linked in Insty’s roundup and called a “smartass” by Dr. Melissa, who’s gallantly blogging away in suburban Houston. She’s angry that 24,000 people stayed in Galveston. It’s a free country. If they want to try for a Darwin Award, why should we deny them the opportunity? Besides, judging from recent cable news coverage, at least 1,000 of those people are camera-hogging TV reporters, leaning into the wind.

PREVIOUSLY: Since the TV news is all Ike, all the time, I guess I might as well blog the impending catastrophe. If you believe the TV news people, by noon Saturday, half of Texas will be under water. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff did his best to stoke the apocalyptic fears:

I think this certainly falls in the category of pretty much a worst case scenario for having a hurricane impact in the Gulf area.

The greatest natural disaster in human history. The end of the world as we know it. Total disasterville.

Firedoglake predicts Ike will be worse than Katrina. This is good news for Texas, because Firedoglake is always wrong about everything.

September 13, 2008

Joe Cheapskate

Tax Prof Blog:

[T]he returns show that the Bidens have been amazingly tight-fisted when it comes to their charitable giving. Despite income ranging from $210,432 – $321,379 over the ten-year period, the Bidens have given only $120 – $995 per year to charity, which amounts to 0.06% – 0.31% of their income.

Jennifer Rubin:

I’m sure this isn’t what the Obama camp had in mind when they refashioned the man who spent three decades in Washington riding to and from home on taxpayer subsidized Amtrak into A Man of The People.

Man of the Cheaple!

September 13, 2008

School sex gangs in Australia

Six-year-old perverts:

Three boys aged six ran a sex club at a Brisbane state school demanding and receiving sexual favours from Year 2 classmates, a father has claimed. . . .
His revelations came as uproar was sparked by yesterday’s Courier-Mail story, which told how the sexual assault of a seven-year-old girl by a young classmate was dismissed as a “childhood experiment” by a country school principal.
The Courier-Mail revealed how the young victim was forced to perform oral sex on the boy, who had threatened her with violence.

Where does a seven-year-old even get any idea of what oral sex is? Who are these kids? And where are their parents?

September 13, 2008

Snob? Moi?

Sarah Palin “said nucular. Twice.” Liberal blogger runs screaming from the room.

Really, you people need to get a grip.

September 13, 2008

‘I can’t stand her. She can suck it.’

Pamela Anderson doesn’t like Sarah Palin.

But what is the antecedent of that pronoun, Pam?

UPDATE: More Palin Derangement Syndrome from pop singer Pink: “The woman terrifies me.”