Archive for October 9th, 2008

October 9, 2008

‘Socialists taking over our country’

Which guy should be running for president?

(Via Hot Air.) Michelle Malkin doesn’t like Maverick’s reply:

McCain gets a softball — and bungles again.
Banging. Head. Against. Wall.

She’s also sick of Republican socialism:

A year ago, I might have gotten as worked up about this as everyone else seems to be.
But after watching a GOP White House and Republican collaborationists fork over billions upon billions in socialist aid to private businesses, presiding over the most massive nationalization efforts I’ve seen in my lifetime over the past year — and then watching John McCain pitch his Treasury Department-as-national loan servicer plan during the debate — it’s hard for me to muster up much more angst than I already have.

This is how bad policy becomes bad politics. Give people a choice between a big-government Republican and a big-government Democrat, and you’ve taken the size-of-government argument off the table. If it’s acceptable for the federal government to take over the mortgage industry, then what’s not acceptable? Instead of arguing about policy, you’re just arguing about personnel: Put Republicans in charge of the massive unconstitutional Leviathan!

“Jobs For The Boys” is not a winning slogan.

October 9, 2008

Hugh Hewitt, Republican albatross

An inerrant harbinger of doom:

One campaign book that has already bitten the dust is right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt’s How Sarah Palin Won the Election … and Saved America, which the literary agent Curtis Yates sent to publishers in New York last week.

Hewitt is not, and has never been, “right-wing.” He’s a Republican. There is a difference. Left-winger Steve Benen of Washington Monthly notes how persistently wrong Hewitt has been:

In 2006, a few months before the midterm elections, conservative blogger/talk-show host Hugh Hewitt published a book on the drive for a “permanent Republican majority.” Soon after, Democrats won a sweeping, historic victory, and reclaimed the majority in both chambers.
In 2007, a few months before the primaries, Hewitt published a book on Mitt Romney and the prospects of a “Mormon in the White House.” Soon after, Romney blew leads in Iowa and New Hampshire, and withdrew from the presidential race after a surprisingly poor showing.

Hewitt is an all-purpose GOP cheerleader who doesn’t distinguish between a useless open-borders RINO like George Voinovich and real conservatives like Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint. So long as they have an “R” beside their name, he’s shaking his pompoms and shouting “Yea, team!”

In 2004, with Republican fortunes on the upswing, he published If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat, and looked like a prophet. But his 2006 book, Painting the Map Red, was published when Bush fatigue, congressional scandals and the McCain-sponsored amnesty destroyed whatever brand advantage the GOP had previously gained.

Being a Professional Republican means you can’t tell the truth about the GOP when it goes off course. Even now, Hewitt is spinning fantasies of how John McCain — who is so deeply implicated in the party’s brand-damage problem — is going to come from behind to win.

The whole purpose of the conservative movement, going back to Up From Liberalism and the Sharon Conference, was to create an independent, external focus of criticism for the failures of the Republican Party. Making GOP electoral fortunes the barometer of the success of conservatism means that the party controls the movement, rather than the other way around.

If anyone who wins a Republican primary is automatically entitled to the uncritical support of conservatives — and this is what the philosophy we might call “Hewittism” boils down to — then the conservative movement is toothless and unprincipled and as such will be disregarded by Republican officials as politically irrelevant.

The salt has lost its savor.

UPDATE: I knew I had written this earlier:

McCain is not a conservative, he will lose in November . . .

But until I looked it up just now, I’d forgotten the context. It was Super Tuesday, and the day before Bill Kristol in his New York Times column more or less accused Maverick’s conservative opponents of treason, as I wrote:

Notice this tactic: To fail to support John McCain — the candidate whom Mr. Kristol and his associates have labored diligently to impose on an unwilling Republican Party — is to unpatriotically endorse defeat in Iraq.

He decides who the candidate is, then slanders those who disapprove. Nice work if you can get it.
Kristol’s Weekly Standard had been all aboard the Straight Talk Express in 2000 — seeing it as a vehicle to “National Greatness” — and on Super Tuesday this year, Kristol went on Fox to call Maverick “the almost prohibitive favorite” for the nomination, which prompted my response:

McCain got 48% in Illinois, 51% in New York , 52% in Connecticut, and 56% in New Jersey — all states that Democrats will carry easily in November. But in Florida he got only 36%, and today, he didn’t even break 50% in Arizona. These aren’t the kind of numbers that indicate a strong Republican candidate. McCain is not a conservative, he will lose in November, and Kristol doesn’t even seem to care.

Some of my prognostications have been way off, but I predicted the Nov. 4 outcome nine months in advance.

October 9, 2008

Free cellphones for the poor!

Did you know there is a government program that provides free cellphone service to poor people?

SafeLink Wireless is a government supported program that provides a free cell phone and airtime each month for income-eligible customers.

Eligibility requirements:

How to Qualify
The process to qualify for Lifeline Service depends on the State you live in. In general, you may qualify if…

  • You already participate in other State or Federal assistance program such as Federal Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid.
    OR
  • Your total household income is at or below 135% of the poverty guidelines set by your State and/or the Federal Government.
    AND
  • No one in your household currently receives Lifeline Service through another phone carrier.
  • You have a valid United States Postal Address. In order for us to ship you your free phone you must live at a residence that can receive mail from the US Post Office. Sorry, but P.O. Boxes cannot be accepted.

In addition to meeting the guidelines above you will also be required to provide proof of your participation in an assistance program, or proof of your income level.

What next? Plasma TVs and hot tubs?

UPDATE: Cellphone service is a right:

“Having a telephone service, just in general, is not a privilege, it should be a right of each one,” said TracFone spokesman Jose Fuentes. “Everyone should be in contact, everybody should have the opportunity to get a phone call, especially if it’s an employer.”

And don’t you just know these people — who rely on government for their food, housing and medical care — are burning up the minutes on their government-provided cellphones trying to get a job. Maybe they can get jobs as community organizers?

UPDATE II: Gee, handing out taxpayer-funded “free” cellphones to 1 million people in the key swing state of Florida. Want to guess how many of these “low-income” people are actually college students working as Obama campaign volunteers? I’m going to guess it’s not zero.

October 9, 2008

Gallup: Obama still +11

Latest tracking poll: Obama 52%, McCain 41%. Tsunami warning remains in effect. And it gets worse with every debate:

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama convinced many more viewers to think more favorably of him during Tuesday night’s presidential debate than did his Republican opponent, John McCain, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll signals.
While 53% of the 735 people surveyed said their opinions of Obama had not changed, 34% said they thought more favorably of him and 12% viewed him less favorably. . . .
The reactions to McCain were almost mirror opposites: 54% said their opinions about him had not changed, 33% felt less favorable and 12% felt more favorable.

Hmmm. Maybe trying to cancel the first debate wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.

UPDATE: Dan Balz interviews Team Maverick honchos Mark Salter and Mike DuHaime, who are in charge of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. And I’m thinking back to Feb. 7 at CPAC. Mitt quit that morning, and Romney supporters were shocked and angry:

The announcement stunned many of Romney’s supporters, especially hundreds of college-age supporters who had been handing out Romney lapel stickers in the hotel lobby just minutes earliers.
“I am incredibly shocked . . . profoundly saddened,” said Ruth Malhotra, an activist with Evangelicals for Mitt. “I can’t support John McCain. He is not a conservative. . . . He’s stabbed his party in the back and he’s betrayed the conservative movement.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Orit Sklar of Jews for Mitt. “There’s no way I’m voting for John McCain,” she said.

The McCain campaign squad arrived triumphantly that afternoon in the lobby of the Omni Shoreham. McCain hadn’t even attended CPAC the previous year, and had somehow won the GOP nomination by running against the conservative movement.

Now that he’s clearly on his way to an embarrassing defeat Nov. 4, many of those same conservatives are subjecting themselves to emotional trauma by heeding Karl Rove’s cynical talk of a miraculous comeback. Ah, what short memories they have!

October 9, 2008

NRA endorses McCain; not vice-versa

So, it’s official:

The National Rifle Association is endorsing Republican presidential nominee John McCain despite differences with the Arizona senator on gun-show rules and campaign finance restrictions.

John McCain on CNN eight years ago:

“The NRA is entitled to their advocacy. I don’t think they help the Republican Party at all, but I don’t think they should in any way play a major role in the Republican Party’s policy making.”
— John McCain, May 12, 2000

Feeding the hand that bites you.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

October 9, 2008

Tsunami warning

A tidal wave of Hope:

Four large states McCain once seemed well-positioned to win — Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida — have in recent weeks shifted toward Obama. If Obama were to win those four states — a scenario that would represent a remarkable turn of events — he would likely surpass 350 electoral votes. Under almost any feasible scenario, McCain cannot win the presidency if he loses any of those four states. And if Obama actually captured all four states, it would almost certainly signal a strong electoral tide that would likely sweep the Southwestern swing states — Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada — not to mention battlegrounds from New Hampshire to Iowa to Missouri.

North Carolina still strikes me as an unlikely pickup for Obama, but the fact that he’s even within single digits there (Bush won North Carolina by 12 points in 2004) indicates how bad the Maverick meltdown has become since Sept. 24.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)
October 9, 2008

Team Maverick ad: ‘Ayers’

Documentation from McCain campaign:

  • Barack Obama’s Relationship With Ayers “Went Much Deeper, Ran Much Longer And Was Much More Political Than Obama Said.” CNN’S DREW GRIFFIN: “Barack Obama confirmed during a primary debate that he knew Ayers and when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together. And Obama condemned Ayers support of violence. But the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said.” (CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” 10/6/08)
  • Barack Obama First Met William Ayers In 1995 During His First State Senate Campaign, When Obama Held Event At Home Of Ayers And Wife Bernardine Dohrn, Which One Attendee Said Was Aimed At “Launching Him” In First Campaign For State Senate. “In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they’re better known nationally as two of the most notorious — and unrepentant — figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement. … ‘I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers’ house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress,’ said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the informal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn. ‘[Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor.’ … Dr. Young and another guest, Maria Warren, described it similarly: as an introduction to Hyde Park liberals of the handpicked successor to Palmer, a well-regarded figure on the left. ‘When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the living room of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn,’ Warren wrote on her blog in 2005. ‘They were launching him — introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.'” (Ben Smith, “Obama Once Visited ’60s Radicals,” The Politico, 1/22/08)
  • CNN: The Meeting Was Widely Considered As “Barack Obama’s Political Coming Out Party And It Was Hosted By Bill Ayers.” CNN’S DREW GRIFFIN: “Anderson, this meeting at Bill Ayers home has been classified in many different ways. What I can tell you from the two people who were actually there, is number one, former Senator Alice Palmer says she, in no way organized this meeting and she was invited and attended it briefly. And Doctor Quentin Young, a retired doctor, told us this indeed was Barack Obama’s political coming out party and it was hosted by Bill Ayers.” (CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” 10/6/08)
  • Barack Obama Led Education Foundation That “Poured More Than $100 Million Into The Hands Of Community Organizers And Radical Education Activists” And “Translated Mr. Ayers’s Radicalism Into Practice.” “Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists. … The CAC’s agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland’s ghetto. … CAC translated Mr . Ayers’s radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with ‘external partners,’ which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).” (Stanley Kurtz, Op-Ed, “Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/23/08)
  • From March Of 1995 Until September Of 1997, Barack Obama And Ayers Attended At Least Seven Meetings Together Relating To The Chicago Annenberg Challenge. (Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Board Of Directors Meeting, Minutes Of The Board, 3/15/95, 3/31/95, 4/13/95, 6/5/95, 9/30/97; National Annenberg Challenge Evaluation Meeting, List Of Participants, 5/24/95; Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Chicago School Reform Collaborative Meeting, Minutes, 10/23/96)
  • CNN: The Paths Of Barack Obama And Ayers “Repeatedly Crossed” At The Annenberg Challenge. CNN’S DREW GRIFFIN: “One place their paths repeatedly crossed, according to a CNN review of board minutes and other records, was Chicago’s Annenberg Challenge project where a $50 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation matched locally raised funds to improve schools. According to participants and project records, Bill Ayers fought to bring the Annenberg grant to Chicago, Barack Obama was recruited as its chair. For seven years, Bill Ayers and Obama among many others, worked on funding for education projects, including some experiments supported by Ayers.” (CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” 10/6/08)
  • Barack Obama “Served On The Board’s Governance Committee With Mr. Obama, And Worked With Him To Craft CAC Bylaws.” “The Daley documents show that Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC’s first year. He also served on the board’s governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.” (Stanley Kurtz, Op-Ed, “Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/23/08)
  • Bill Ayers Was Asked To Help Barack Obama Formulate The Chicago Annenberg Challenge By-Laws. (Chicago Annenberg Challenge Board Of Directors Minutes, 3/15/95)
    Barack Obama “Was The First Chairman Of The Chicago Annenberg Challenge.” “In the 1990s, Ayers was instrumental in starting the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which was awarded nearly $50 million by a foundation to help reform Chicago schools. Obama was the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and Republicans have been highlighting his ties to Ayers through the group.” (Pete Yost, “University Won’t Open Obama-Related Records Now,” The Associated Press, 8/19/08)
  • Chicago Annenberg Challenge: “Distributed More Than $100 Million To Ideological Allies With No Discernible Improvement In Public Education.” “With Ayers directing the project’s operational arm and Obama overseeing its financial affairs until 1999, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge distributed more than $100 million to ideological allies with no discernible improvement in public education.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Friend, America’s Enemy,” National Review, 8/27/08)
  • Barack Obama On Ayers At Democratic Debate: “This Is A Guy Who Lives In My Neighborhood.” “This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.” (Sen. Barack Obama, ABC Democratic Presidential Debate, Philadelphia, PA, 4/16/08)
  • Bill Ayers Was A Leader Of “The Violent Left-Wing Activist Group The Weather Underground.” “Senator Obama’s ties to a former leader of the violent left-wing activist group the Weather Underground are drawing new scrutiny as he battles Senator Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.” (Russell Berman, “Obama’s Ties to Left Come Under Scrutiny,” The New York Sun, 2/19/08)
  • Bill Ayers’ Wife, Weather Underground Leader Bernardine Dohrn, Appeared On FBI’s “Most Wanted” List. “Bernardine Dohrn, the former leader of the militant Weather Underground who turned herself in after 11 years on the run, says she looks forward to spending time with family and friends and intends to continue a rebellion against ‘the system.’ … ‘I remain committed to the struggle ahead,’ Ms. Dohrn told reporters Wednesday after a court appearance. ‘Given the system which perpetuates … harsh oppression and suffering, rebellion is inevitable and continuous.’ Ms. Dohrn, 38, pleaded innocent to nine charges — seven stemming from the 1969 ‘Days of Rage’ anti-war demonstration in Chicago and two more for jumping bail. She was released on $25,000 bond and a hearing was set for Jan. 13. Ms. Dohrn, who once appeared on the FBI’s most-wanted list, arrived in court with a lawyer and William Ayers, another ex-radical who said h e lived with Ms. Dohrn in New York and is the father of her two children.” (James Litke, “Fugitive Leader Surrenders With No Regrets,” The Associated Press, 12/4/80)
  • In The 1970s, Weather Underground Bombed The Capitol And The Pentagon. “As an Illinois state senator in 2001, Mr. Obama accepted a $200 contribution from William Ayers, a founding member of the group that bombed the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon during the 1970s.” (Russell Berman, “Obama’s Ties to Left Come Under Scrutiny,” The New York Sun, 2/19/08)
  • New York State Supreme Court Justice’s House Was Bombed By Weather Underground. “In February 1970, my father, a New York State Supreme Court justice, was presiding over the trial of the so-called “Panther 21,” members of the Black Panther Party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores. Early on the morning of February 21, as my family slept, three gasoline-filled firebombs exploded at our home on the northern tip of Manhattan, two at the front door and the third tucked neatly under the gas tank of the family car. (Today, of course, we’d call that a car bomb.) A neighbor heard the first two blasts and, with the remains of a snowman I had built a few days earlier, managed to douse the flames beneath the car. That was an act whose courage I fully appreciated only as an adult, an act that doubtless saved multiple lives that night. … Though no one was ever caught or tried for the attempt on my family’s life , there was never any doubt who was behind it. Only a few weeks after the attack, the New York contingent of the Weathermen blew themselves up making more bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse. The same cell had bombed my house, writes Ron Jacobs in The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground. And in late November that year, a letter to the Associated Press signed by Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife, promised more bombings.” (John M. Murtagh, “Fire In The Night,” City Journal, 4/30/08)
  • In His Book, Bill Ayers Writes About Participating In The Bombings Of The Capitol And Pentagon. “Now he has written a book, ‘Fugitive Days’ (Beacon Press, September). Mr. Ayers, who is 56, calls it a memoir, somewhat coyly perhaps, since he also says some of it is fiction. He writes that he participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971, the Pentagon in 1972.” (Dinitia Smith, “No Regrets For A Love Of Explosives,” The New York Times, 9/11/01)
  • In The September 11, 2001 New York Times, Ayers Was Quoted Saying “I Don’t Regret Setting Bombs … I Feel We Didn’t Do Enough.” “‘I don’t regret setting bombs,’ Bill Ayers said. ‘I feel we didn’t do enough.’ Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970’s as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago.” (Dinitia Smith, “No Regrets For A Love Of Explosives,” The New York Times, 9/11/01)
October 9, 2008

Love Palin, hate media

Dana Milbank of The Washington Post mocks Republicans in Pennsylvania:

[VIDEO REMOVED DUE TO TECH PROBLEMS]

Milbanks demonstrates the arrogance and condescension that are the chief cause of the MSM’s evil reputation. His entire points is that ordinary Americans aren’t to be taken seriously. The only way that Milbanks ever looks at these people is by looking down his nose.

That kind of attitude doesn’t produce useful reporting. The entire point of a newspaper sending a reporter to a campaign rally (rather than just running the wire-service report) is to try to capture some local color and gauge the mood of the community. People aren’t going to talk to a reporter if he disses them the way Milbanks did. Look at what I did, for instance, when I covered a Hillary Clinton rally near Pittsburgh in March:

Campaign volunteer Vickie Sackett could scarcely contain her excitement Tuesday as she worked the door at Hillary Clinton’s appearance here.
Ms. Sackett’s elderly parents had been selected to share the stage with Hillary at a
“Solutions for America” rally at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, where the former First Lady’s speech focused on her “plan to help families in Pennsylvania have a secure retirement.”
Collecting tickets at the entrance to the gymnasium where the Clinton rally was held, Ms. Sackett beamed with pride that her parents — like her, they’re loyal Democrats — had been chosen for such an honor. “They’re backstage meeting with her right now,” she said. “I’d give anything to be back there myself.”
More than 1,200 Pennsylvanians evidently agreed with Ms. Sackett, waiting in line for hours to gain the privilege of being in the same building with Mrs. Clinton. The Democratic presidential candidate was greeted with a standing ovation that lasted more than a minute, and repeatedly drew cheers by dishing up a red-meat message of economic populism. Clearly, she knows what Democrats in suburban Pittsburgh want to hear.

See? I might not share their enthusiasm, but those Democrats were treated with respect. Do you think I would have found out the part about Ms. Sackett’s parents being backstage if I hadn’t shown some humanity?

Highlight of the Milbank video: Audience member at the rally shouts out to Palin: “You’re a hottie!” To which she laughingly replies: “What does that have to do with anything?”

Ah, but she didn’t deny it, did she?

October 9, 2008

Looking for Macaca

Leftoid blogger takes a video camera to a GOP rally in Ohio:

Leftoid blogger says:

It’s no wonder that the slightest incitement from Sarah Palin or John McCain will turn one of their rallies into a lynch mob. Just talk to the folks who attend. . . .
I’ve been doing blog video for a while, and presidential rallies a lot longer. And this is the most strange, ignorant, uninformed, angry, up-to-no-good, and gullible group of people I’ve ever seen at a political rally.

Don’t worry, lefties — as soon as Obama wins, opposition will be illegal.

October 9, 2008

Sarah Palin: Racist?

Black Democrats are calling her the “r-word,” and I don’t mean “Republican”:

As the McCain campaign ratchets up the intensity of its attacks on Barack Obama, some black elected officials are calling the tactics desperate, unseemly and racist.
“They are trying to throw out these codes,” said Representative Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York.
“He’s ‘not one of us?’” Mr. Meeks said, referring to a comment Sarah Palin made at a campaign rally on Oct. 6 in Florida. “That’s racial. That’s fear. They know they can’t win on the issues, so the last resort they have is race and fear.”
“Racism is alive and well in this country, and McCain and Palin are trying to appeal to that and it’s unfortunate,” said Representative Ed Towns, also from New York.

Hey, Democrats, ease up with that crap, OK? I keep telling you: The election’s over. Conjuring up this “code” nonsense only makes you look paranoid and inflames tensions that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Obama’s got this one in the bag, and you need to start concentrating on trying to look gracious in victory.