Archive for September 24th, 2008

September 24, 2008

Glenn Greenwald’s paranoid style

Following in Naomi Wolf’s footsteps, Glenn Greenwald goes tiptoeing through the tinfoil tulips. Basically, the Army Times reports that a brigade of the Third Infantry Division (which since 2003 has spent 35 months in combat deployment) is returning stateside. The Pentagon frames this as the brigade helping out with “homeland security.”

Quicker than you can say “shortwave radio,” Greenwald and the BDS-infected Chomskyites see a secret plot to subvert posse comitatus. Thus:

  • Deploy the Army to Iraq =
    Cheney/Bush/Halliburton neocon imperialism.
  • Bring the troops home =
    Cheney/Bush/Halliburton neocon imperialism.

You know, I’m old enough to remember about a dozen years ago, when anybody who even said “posse comitatus” out loud was instantly accused by liberals of being a Tim McVeigh wannabe. Whatever else you say about Dubya, at least he’s made anti-government extremism acceptable again. I suspect this season of fashionable dissent might end rather abruptly — say, Nov. 5 — if liberal dreams come true.

September 24, 2008

Wrong answers to real problems

The wrong answer:

Worried that welfare costs are rising as the number of taxpayers declines, state Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, said Tuesday he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied. . . .
LaBruzzo said he worries that people receiving government aid such as food stamps and publicly subsidized housing are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated people who presumably pay more tax revenue to the government. He said he is gathering statistics now. . . .
“The hard part is to sit down and think of some solutions.”

I’ve got a solution: Freedom. If government aid is the problem, eliminate government aid. I’m opposed to taxpayer-subsidized bastardy, but since bastardy can’t be eliminated, let’s eliminate the subsidy. If LaBruzzo proposes zeroing out Louisana’s state housing budget, I’d applaud. But forcing taxpayers to provide free birth control? No way.

And if the problem is that “more affluent, better-educated people” aren’t having enough kids — hey, I’m a father of six. What’s your problem, Mr. 38-Year-Old Father of One?

September 24, 2008

Poll Watch update

All right, it’s been a while, and I see Ed Morrissey fisking the latest ABC/WaPo poll, so let’s do the math on this here election, why don’t we?

OK, as I said Monday at the American Spectator, the recent poll-driven panic among Republicans makes no more sense than the earlier poll-driven panic among Democrats. Currently, we’re looking at either a tie or a slight edge for Obama — and a definite trend toward Obama since Sept. 9 — but it’s generally close enough to say that it’s still up for grabs.

Nobody at this point can predict the result on Nov. 4, and events between now and then will ultimately determine the outcome. Friday’s debate will likely have a huge impact one way or the other. So let’s look at the numbers with that in mind.

NATIONAL POLLS: The two-week trend toward Obama in national polling is clear. If you look at the RCP listing, Obama led every poll from May until late July, when a few polls started to show McCain pulling the occasional narrow lead. Then, after Sarah Palin was announced and the GOP held its convention, there was a definite shift: McCain led nearly every poll taken Sept. 5-11.

Then the momentum shifted back to Obama. The trend is clearest in looking at the Gallup daily tracking poll: In the results reported Sept. 4, it was Obama +7, but by Sept. 9, it was McCain +5, a lead he held for three consecutive days — thus causing the Democratic panic. Then the trend shifted the other direction and, as of yesterday’s report, Gallup had Obama +3.

Gallup and some other polls survey registered voters, where Democrats usually overperform, rather than likely voters, where Republicans have the advantage. Yet Rasmussen, which samples likely voters, also shows Obama ahead.

It would be folly for Republicans to scoff at polls, or to try to cherrypick the results, simply because they don’t like the current trend. It is a reasonable conclusion that Obama is definitely ahead in terms of the nationwide popular vote at this point. (Let’s ignore the so-called “Bradley effect,” since that’s never been tested at this level.)

BATTLEGROUND STATES: Of course, presidential elections aren’t a national plebescite, but are decided by the Electoral College, so let’s look at the state-by-state poll results in the battlegrounds.

The good news for Republicans is that Team Obama’s “map-changer” plans (the so-called “50-state strategy”) appears to have been a flop. The Democrat has already pulled out of North Dakota and may be pulling out of Georgia as well. Montana remains safely GOP, and polls show Maverick with a steady, if not large, lead in Missouri.

OK, marking those off the map, let’s run down the recent results in the real swing states:

  • INDIANA — Looked pretty safe for McCain throughout the summer, but one recent poll showed Obama +3, and it might be close.
  • PENNSYLVANIA — A bitter blue state won by Hillary where McCain has managed to keep it close. If the GOP can flip Pennsylvania’s 21 EVs, that might be the end for Obama.
  • MICHIGAN — Another bitter blue state, where an unpopular Democratic governor and the scandal of Detroit’s ex-mayor have hurt Obama. Probably still safe for the Democrats, but Obama can’t take it for granted.
  • NORTH CAROLINA — Polls show this state surprisingly close, but I just don’t see any Democrat winning in Helms Country. If McCain loses North Carolina, the situation is simply hopeless for Republicans. My money says a double-digit win for McCain Nov. 4.
  • IOWA — The one sure red-to-blue conversion for Obama, who’s capitalized on his 18-month caucus organizing effort.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE — Very close here. The state went for Kerry by a 7,000-vote margin in 2004, but Obama’s not from Massachusetts. Hillary won this primary and, barring a Maverick meltdown (which can’t really be ruled out), New Hampshire should return to Republican red in November.
  • FLORIDA — Obama’s made a bit of a push lately, but I don’t think it will be enough. McCain wins the geezer vote, and the geezer vote’s the decisive factor in God’s Waiting Room.
  • OHIO — McCain’s continued strong performance in the Buckeye State is one of the real bright spots for Republicans so far. It looks close, and some polls show Obama leading, but Ohio is a state full of small towns, and the urban vote in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus doesn’t offset the small-town Ohio love for Sarah Palin, which I’ve seen first-hand. If I were to pick one state to bet where the GOP would outperform its 2004 result, Ohio would be it. (Oh, yeah: Hillary won the primary here.)
  • MINNESOTA — A blue state that Republicans really, really want to turn red. Remember, Minnesota once sent Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale to national leadership in the Democratic Party. Those old loyalties die hard, and the embarrassment of the Bush administration hasn’t helped the GOP here. But Al Franken’s Senate campaign may be enough of a drag on the Democrats to flip this one red.
  • WISCONSIN — OK, if Obama’s “competitive” in North Carolina, then McCain’s “competitive” in Wisconsin. I don’t believe it. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but unless Obama completely melts down, Wisconsin stays blue on Nov. 4.
  • NEW MEXICO — At this point, looks hopeless for McCain or any Republican in the near future. Bill Richardson has turned this state into a Democratic bastion. Fortunately, the bastion has only 5 EVs.
  • NEVADA — This one looked bad before the Palin pick, but at this point, it appears that the GOP will keep this one.
  • COLORADO — Big trouble for Team Maverick here. When I was in Denver for the convention, I talked to a liberal lady who’d moved to Colorado from Marin County, Calif. Colorado is being overrun by liberals fleeing the naturally disastrous results of liberal policies in California, but they haven’t learned anything by the experience.
  • VIRGINIA — This is the really toughie for ’08. As I’ve said, Virginia is the new Ohio. The polls are very mixed, and no one can say for sure what the trend is. But Obama can count on the Fairfax/Loudon/Arlington yuppie vote, and that’s going to make it a real fight here.

At this point, there is no sign of an Electoral College landslide either way, but Friday’s debate may be enough to tip the momentum conclusively in one direction or the other. If Obama “looks presidential,” comes across as likeable and commits no major gaffes, expect to see his current poll lead solidify. On the other hand, Obama’s way over his head here, he’s fared poorly in recent unscripted moments and — if I had to bet — I’d bet that you’ll see the polls shift toward the Republicans after Friday.

UPDATE: Ace offers his own poll update, and mentions the pro-Obama media’s influence. What I think no one is taking into consideration is the backlash potential of Obamamania in the press, which I described seven weeks ago:

The elite MSM geniuses . . . know the outcome already, they’ve already composed in their minds the “Triumph of Hope” ledes they’ll file as soon as the polls close on Nov. 4, and they’re getting angry and peevish because John McCain and the GOP won’t roll over and play dead. . . .
The MSM geniuses are about to start getting angry at Obama for not living up to their imagined scenarios of how he’d crush those evil Republicans like so many grapes beneath the feet of a Sicilian vintner’s daughter.
If Obama starts sliding in the polls, he’s going to be like a guy at the steering wheel of a vanload of backseat drivers, with the MSM geniuses endlessly second-guessing his every move, and the likes of Keith Olbermann and David Gregory wondering aloud what the hell is wrong with his campaign. There is nothing more beautiful to behold than the sight of Conventional Wisdom crumbling at its first collision with reality.

Watch for that backlash phenomenon if Obama underperforms in the debates.

September 24, 2008

Bidenism

“Part of what a leader does is to instill confidence and demonstrate that he or she knows what they’re talking about . . .” Great leadership, Joe! (Via Hot Air, and just in case there are idiot liberals reading this: 1. Franklin Roosevelt wasn’t president in 1929; 2. TV wasn’t invented until 1939 and didn’t become widely available until the late 1940s.)

This morning, “Fox & Friends” did a thing about Joe Biden’s gaffe-a-day campaign and showed the “stand up, Chuck” line, but didn’t explain it. My wife hadn’t heard about that, so I explained to her that Chuck –Missouri State Sen. Chuck Graham — is in a wheelchair.

“God love ya! What am I talking about?”

September 24, 2008

Pull the plug

Barack Obama says the bailout must meet four conditions:

  • a payback plan for taxpayers if the bailout succeeds;
  • a bipartisan board to oversee the bailout;
  • limits on any federal money going to compensate Wall Street executives;
  • and aid to homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages.

OK, so what about Wall Street executives struggling to pay their mortgages? Where’s the compassion for these hard-working CEOs, huh?

Seriously . . . At this point, I say pull the plug. Liberals are always talking about “death with dignity.” The housing market slipped into a coma months ago. So let it die a natural death, rather than trying to keep it hooked up to a bunch of tubes and wires and pumps.

As any reader of Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man knows, one of the reasons the Great Depression was so bad was because of the repeated efforts of government to “fix” the problem. What Obama and the Democrats are demanding is just that kind of phony-baloney “fix.”

So pull the plug. The fallout will be harsh. A lot of retirement funds will get trashed, we’ll have a sharp contraction and a recession that might last six quarters, and . . . so what? You think capitalism is a game where there are never any losers? Should markets always go in only one direction? Do you know enough Latin to get the meaning of caveat emptor?

You buy the ticket, you take the ride. Pull the plug.

UPDATE: Mary Katharine Ham has a rundown of who said what yesterday about the bailout, including this quote from Sen. Richard Shelby:

“What troubles me most is that we have been given no credible assurances that this plan will work. We could very well spend $700 billion and not resolve the crisis.”

Exactly. As Michelle Malkin said last week, this bailout would mean privatizing profits and socializing losses. Pull the plug, I say.

UPDATE II: Great minds, etc.:

It’s no coincidence that most of the areas hardest hit by the foreclosure wave — Loudon County, Virginia, California’s Inland Empire, Stockton, San Joaquin Valley, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, for starters — also happen to be some of the nation’s largest illegal alien sanctuaries. Half of the mortgages to Hispanics are subprime (the accursed species of loan to borrowers with the shadiest credit histories). A quarter of all those subprime loans are in default and foreclosure. . . .
For the last five years, I’ve reported on the rapidly expanding illegal alien home loan racket. The top banks clamoring for their handouts as their profits plummet, led by Wachovia and Bank of America, launched aggressive campaigns to woo illegal alien homebuyers.

Pull the freaking plug.

UPDATE III: When she’s hot, she’s hot, and now Michelle catches this latest from Sen. Richard Shelby:

“I think we’re going down the road of France now,” Mr. Shelby told one television interviewer Tuesday. . . .

NOTE: Just wanted to mention that The Other McCain was Website of the Day yesterday at Conservative Grapevine. I’m grateful for the honor.

September 24, 2008

Exodus from the Examiner?

Two weeks ago, Mary Katharine Ham, who had joined the DC Examiner as online editor in May, joined the Weekly Standard.

Today, Bill Sammon was on “Fox & Friends” and, instead of being introduced as White House correspondent for the Examiner, was listed as Washington deputy managing editor for Fox News. (Apparently, Sammon departed the Examiner last month.) So that’s two of the big names gone.

The Examiner is the Bermuda Triangle of Washington journalism. The paper simply isn’t read and doesn’t have any impact. It’s a tabloid, but the editors have never seemed to understand that a tabloid is not a broadsheet. The layout is wrong — if you want to see what a tabloid is supposed to look at, grab the NY Post or the Daily News — and the Examiner has never had that aggressive, sex/crime/celebrity/scandal approach to news that tabloid readers want.

September 24, 2008

Fox News explains the crisis

I liked it better the way Ace explained it, but this isn’t bad, either.

September 24, 2008

Why he’s Ace of Spades

Not the nine or the jack, but the Ace:

It was Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, ACORN, Franklin Raines, Penny Pritzker, Jim Johnson, and of course Barack Hussein Obama who actually [caused the mortage crisis]. . . .
Even now, the lisping marble-mouthed shufferin’-shucatash socialist moron Barney Frank is still fighting to federally guarantee the zero-money-down “seller financed” down payment mortgages that got us into this mess.
Because he’s f—ing stupid. As are most Democrats. They have no idea how money is made or how services and goods are exchanged. All they know is they want to distribute those services and goods more “fairly.”
He doesn’t agree with the basic idea that People who don’t have enough money to afford a house shouldn’t have one. He honestly believes that idea is “unfair.”
Everyone should have a house. People who can’t afford them most of all.
And if you tell him doing so will cost the government another 1-2 trillion in ten years, and will put the economy in crisis again, he’d say, “Fine.” It’s a fair trade as far as he’s concerned.
Because who’s paying that 1-2 trillion? People who have money. If provoking a crisis is the only manner to get the wealth distribution he craves, that’s fine by him.

There are nationally syndicate columnists, bestselling authors, and about two dozen TV talking heads who will never say anything as truthful as that in their entire f—ing careers. He’s like Hayek or Mises, if Hayek and Mises had been sarcastic a–holes who said f— a lot. And had comment fields full of equally sarcastic a–holes.

September 24, 2008

STOP THE PRESSES!

Clay Aiken to reveal he is gay!

This is astonishing! I’m flabbergasted! At a complete lose for words! I haven’t been shocked like this since Rosie O’Donnell came out of the closet (wow, I just never guessed).

First Liberace, then Elton John, now Clay Aiken — why is it that all of these machismo role models turn out to be homosexual?

September 24, 2008

Support Black Republicans

The Black Republican PAC is soliciting contributions to support three House candidates:

  • Lt. Col. Allen West, U.S. Army, retired — Challenging first-term Democrat Rep. Ron Klein in Florida’s 22nd District.
  • Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, family physician — Challenging incumbent Democrat Rep. David Scott in Georgia’s 13th District.
  • Antoine Members, Chicago Policeman — Challenging incumbent Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush in Illinois’ 1st District.

CONTRIBUTE TODAY