Archive for March 4th, 2009

March 4, 2009

Her ‘illustrious mentor’

Nyark, nyark, nyark. Suzanna Logan — the Rule 5 answer to the oft-repeated question, “Who was that girl at CPAC?” — is now a blogger.

Frequent commenters will please go over and introduce themselves. Guys, try not to drool on your keyboards. And be gentle — it’s her first post, and it should be a tender moment.

March 4, 2009

Video: ‘Cougar Barbie’

My JSU classmate Gloria Grady recently turned 50, and someone sent her this video:

Apparently this was on the Jay Leno show a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t seen it. If you’ve already seen it, excuse me if it’s kinda old. (NTTAWWT.)

March 4, 2009

Insane news of the day

Philip Klein at the American Spectator:

Hundreds of members of the Service Employees International Union are taking off from their jobs to join the fight to pass President Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget, a union official said on Wednesday.
“SEIU intends to bring the full force of the union and its 2.1 million members to bear,” Khalid Pitts, director of political accountability at the SEIU said on a conference call. “Right now, we have hundreds of our workers, who have taken leave from their jobs in 18 crucial states to moving this budget.”
Pitts said that the members will be going door-to-door to convince their neighbors to support the budget as well as organizing house parties and other events. The hope is that the hundreds will turn into thousands as members of Congress arrive in their districts during Easter recess.

Think about that. Here we are with the economy in the toilet, unemployment above 7% for the first time in many years, the stock market plunging to its lowest point in 12 years, new waves of bankruptcies and foreclosures and layoffs announced every day. And yet, these SEIU members — who are very fortunate actually to have jobs — are going to take time off to go door-to-door campaigning on behalf of Obama’s stagflation-on-steroids budget that will kill jobs like Raid kills roaches.

Nurse, more Thorazine, please!

March 4, 2009

Frank Schaeffer and the barking dogs

After I posted the video of the CNN debate between Jason Mattera and Frank Schaeffer, I got an e-mail from a blog buddy who sent me a link to a September 2008 blog post by some useless idiot who followed Schaeffer into the so-called “Obamacon” camp.

Today, I’ve got a lot on my mind. I’m planning a visit to Alabama soon for an appearance at an event, my personal financial situation sucks, and if I don’t get some serious tip-jar action going, it’ll be even more scary than it already is. And so this idea of Frank Schaeffer being on CNN to peddle his book, making money by pushing the Obama agenda, kind of stuck in my craw, and my e-mail reply to my buddy ran to 1,400 words. Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair, because here is what I wrote:

You see that Schaeffer and others of that ilk were, in large measure, turned off by the cynicism of the Mehlman/Rove/Bush manipulation of evangelical Christians, as well as the shameless flag-waving “be patriotic, vote Republican” use of 9/11 and the Iraq War. Any intelligent, well-informed and politically aware person couldn’t help that. But to jump over into the enemy camp over that, and publicly denounce the GOP in the manner that the soi-dissant “Obamacons” did — that was stupid and dishonorable.
When I left the Democratic party (circa 1994-95), my disillusionment and sense of betrayal was so deep and profound that, as a conservative, I have maintained a very detached, skeptical and, you might say, objective view of the Republican Party. I try to avoid using “we” when speaking of the Republican Party, because I am not part (and have no desire to become a part) of the official electoral apparatus.
Politics is a very dirty and very cynical business, full of self-serving ambitious men who — to give them every benefit of the doubt — hope to do well by doing good. It’s a racket, and if you’ve spent as long as I have watching it at close range, it is impossible to be too idealistic about it.
All that said, however, when push comes to shove, you have to choose sides and keep in mind the fundamental differences between the two parties, differences that have never been clearer than at the present moment, as the Obamanomics agenda devastates the market economy and Democrats enact policies intended to make their political hegemony permanent.
I talked to an old friend Tuesday, a retired fellow who has worked all his life, as has his dear wife, and they had managed to amass sufficient savings that he was set to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Or so he thought.
“Stacy, I’ve lost a half-million dollars in this market,” he told me, and explained that the mortgage payment on his retirement home was becoming problematic. “We might lose our house.”
My friend is an erudite man, who views his plight philosophically, and appreciated my jocular reply.
“Well . . . just think. Eighteen months ago, you could have given me a quarter-million, and whatever I did with that investment, you wouldn’t have been worse off than you are now,” I said. “You gotta go with who you know.”
He laughed, and mused that, indeed, I’d have been a better steward of his investments than Lehmann Brothers. And then I told him that I’d managed by sheer lunatic accident to outsmart the market. When I walked out of the Washington Times in January 2008, I had money in my 401K that, over the course of several months, I withdrew and spent to subsidize the launching of my career as a freelance journalist and blogger.
At this point, although I might be flat broke and faced with all manner of financial woes, my blog has just passed the 1-million hits threshold, I’m being published at The American Spectator, Pajamas Media, Taki’s Magazine and Splice Today, and it appears that investing in myself was the best move I could have made. It was a helluva crazy gamble, but it’s starting to pay off.
Which brings me back to Frank Schaeffer and some of that “evangelicals for Obama” nonsense. Do you remember three weeks ago when Michelle Lee Muccio rocketed to Internet fame with her YouTube video? I’ve known Michelle for a couple of years, just from hanging around libertarian events in D.C. She works at the Acton Institute, which is all about getting Christians to understand that property rights and the free economy are far more consonant with Bible values than the socialist class-envy agenda of the Left.
This is a basic idea I’ve had for years, which I wrote about last fall in a column for the American Spectator called “The Bible vs. the Bailout.” It infuriates me when people like that idiot Ryan Sager claim that there is some kind of conflict within the Republican “Big Tent” between evangelicals and libertarians. It’s not true or, at least, it shouldn’t be true. The idiocy of Frank Schaeffer — and people like Rod Dreher, who can’t seem to find time in their busy lives to read Ludwig Von Mises or Friedrich Hayek — is that they have failed to understand, embrace and proclaim the truth that without economic liberty, we will have no other liberty, not even a free press or freedom of religion.
If the leadership of the Religious Right had proclaimed this truth to their followers — who are “poor, uneducated and easy to command,” we’re told — then evangelical conservatives would have screamed bloody murder over the Bush administration’s deficit-spending ways and the profligacy of Republicans in Congress during those six long years where Bush seemed to have misplaced his veto pen. But the Mehlman/Rove axis was happy to get 51% with their jingoism and token gestures to the “base,” while ignoring the basic maxim of governance that good policy is good politics.
So it is not as if I don’t share the disappointment of effete critics like Schaeffer and Dreher and David Brooks — the dogs who bark while the caravan moves on — but rather that I was as undeceived about the essential nature of politics in 2001 as I am today. There are other maxims of politics that the barking dogs ignore, including this one: You can’t govern if you don’t win.
At a very basic level, politics comes down to the business of who can put the most butts in voting booths on Election Day. And when my libertarian or neocon friends scoff at pro-lifers and the Religious Right, my answer is always, “Yeah, but they can put butts in voting booths.” How many votes can David Brooks deliver? Where is his powerful following? And since the answer is, “Not very many,” then who the hell cares what David Brooks says about anything? He speaks for no important constituency, and his influence is effectively nihil, because the only people who pay attention to him are media types and others of the intelligentsia who vote about 8-to-1 Democrat year after year.
Dreher and Schaeffer and their ilk, however, are far more valuable to advancing the Democratic agenda. Because their dyspeptic obfuscations spread like a squid inking the waters, confusing and demoralizing the Bible believers who by all rights ought to be the staunchest advocates of economic liberty and, thus, the most militant opponents of Obamomics. What they are telling their readers is, “Don’t bother to hope. Don’t try to get involved and make a difference. You don’t need to investigate for yourself what’s going on. Why even bother to vote or contact your congressman? It doesn’t matter what you think or what you do, because you are not important and politicians only care about important people. Just sit here with me, as inert as argon, complaining about everything, and take comfort in the dignity of your irrelevance.”
Well, that ain’t how I roll. Knowledge is more powerful than ignorance, truth is more powerful than a lie, and courage will always triumph over the weakling cowardice of those who sit on the sidelines whining because Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are in the starting lineup.
So I kept talking to my old friend who lost a half-million in the stock market, and I said to him that I have closely watched the signs of the times, and have seen the omens, and have faith that a mighty work is at hand. My friend laughed and remarked that, of course I know he’s utterly unreligious.
“Yeah, I know, you’re a damned pagan and I’m a hillbilly holly roller,” I said. Nevertheless the signs of the times are clear to me, and I see which way this situation is headed. It doesn’t matter whether you believe now, you will see soon enough. We are in the midst of a great sorting, separating the wheat from the chaff, and I don’t plan to be the chaff.
As for Schaeffer and Dreher and those other barking dogs, they can either grow up and confront the realities of coalition politics, or find themselves counted as members of the hostile army encompassing the camp of the saints. I know what side I’m on, and I’m sick and tired of their carping pusillanimity. They can stand with us and fight the enemy, or they can get the hell gone, but the time for deciding is at hand, and they’re not necessarily going to be the ones doing the deciding.
Living like a wild man on tip-jar contributions and freelance assignments isn’t exactly fun, but at least I can tell the truth without having to ask anybody’s permission. WOLVERINES!
— RSM

Now, if you like that attitude and you want more of it, please hit the tip jar. To give you an idea of how bad things suck right now, before I opened my buddy’s e-mail and wrote that reply, I’d been working on a little promotional idea. In college, I minored in art with an emphasis in commercial design, so I know a thing or two about effective messages that grab the reader’s attention.

Exploring new nadirs of blogospheric shamelessness is kind of a hobby. Like I said, I write for money, and I have a lot of fun thinking up imaginative new ways to build traffic and enhance my revenue stream. As amusing as these detours into transparent blogwhoring might be — oh, the joys of Rule 5! — I’d rather be writing about politics, which would be easier to do if I didn’t have to spend so much time coming up with devious new ways of shaking the tip jar.

I’m obliged to John Hawkins at Conservative Grapevine who linked to some smokin’-hot bikini pics of Miranda Kerr that inspired my latest fundraising scheme. So if you’ve been thinking about whether to hit the tip jar, hit it now. I don’t know how much longer the ACORN protesters on the picket line will be able to keep the repo man from towing my car.
March 4, 2009

Mrs. Other McCain and son

Just wanted to show you this picture my wife took with my 8-year-old son, Emerson, on the computer camera.

March 4, 2009

Sir Ted of Chappaquiddick

Infreakingcredible:

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will announce that Sen. Ted Kennedy will receive an honorary knighthood, the Times Online is reporting.
Brown is to make the announcement when he becomes the fifth British prime minister to address both houses of Congress.
Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat and an Irish-American, will be recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for his role in U.S.-British relations and the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Because he is not a British citizen, Kennedy will not be allowed to be called “Sir Ted,” but he will be allowed to place the initials K.B.E.(Knight of the British Empire) after his name.

Drown a girl in an Oldsmobile, wield political influence to get the charges reduced to a minor traffic infraction, and go on to become a Knight of the British Empire! Only a Democrat could get away with that.

March 4, 2009

‘Ed, you’re a butt boy’

Yesterday, I was driving from the Heritage Foundation over to my current part-time day gig as a video editor and listened to the second hour of Rush Limbaugh’s show, in which he was talking about a particularly idiotic question that CNN’s Ed Henry asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs:

The question is from Ed Henry, CNN, of Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman: “The president has spoken a lot about bringing the country together. . . .”
Ed, you’re a butt boy.

That caused me to laugh out loud. You have to hear the audio to appreciate the way Rush delivered that line. He started to read the entire question from Henry, preparatory to playing a sound-bite of Gibbs’s response. As he began to do so, however, he halted, evidently struck by the total tee-ball nature of the question, which had zero to do with White House policy or the real work of the governing process.

That set Rush off on a memorable monologue, and understandably so. Henry was simply giving Gibbs an easy shot at Limbaugh. Here’s the complete question:

“Bob, the president has spoken a lot about bringing the country together. And after the stimulus fight, there was a lot of pandering in both parties about bipartisanship. What’s the White House’s reaction to Rush Limbaugh saying again that he wants the president to fail, specifically on his economic plans, and how does that bode for bipartisanship in the future working with the Republicans?”

Henry asked Gibbs to give “the White House’s reaction” not to any legislation in Congress or economic development on Wall Street, but rather to something said by a radio talk-show host. Imagine Ed Henry asking a White House spokesman to something said by, inter alia, Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews. Never gonna happen.

Butt Boy Ed is not engaged in journalism. Rather, he is promoting a Democratic Party propaganda objective, to set up this “controversial” statement by Limbaugh in order to use Rush as a proxy for the Republican Party. It’s a little game for Butt Boy Ed, to get the White House to officially condemn Limbaugh, so that Republican leaders in Congress can in turn be asked whether they side with the now-denounced radio host.

Butt Boy Ed is doing hammer-and-wedge work intended to divide and/or discredit the GOP, to render the conservative movement’s most influential spokesman persona non grata among Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Butt Boy Ed thinks ordinary Americans are too stupid to see what it is he is doing, and that he is not engaged in genuine news reporting, but is in fact a partisan political operative propagandizing CNN viewers on behalf of the Democratic Party.

If Butt Boy Ed quit his job at CNN and went to work for the Obama administration, the first thing he’d do is collect back pay.

March 4, 2009

Random freaking adults, again

Big headline at MSNBC:

Poll: Obama’s rating at all-time high

And Mark Murray’s story begins:

After Barack Obama’s first six weeks as president, the American public’s attitudes about the two political parties couldn’t be more different, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.
Despite the country’s struggling economy and vocal opposition to some of his policies, President Obama’s favorability rating is at an all-time high. . . .
By comparison, the Republican Party — which resisted Obama’s recently passed stimulus plan and has criticized the spending in his budget — finds its favorability at an all-time low. It also receives most of the blame for the current partisanship in Washington and trails the Democrats by nearly 30 percentage points on the question of which party could best lead the nation out of recession.

What Murray doesn’t tell the reader until the 15th paragraph is who was polled to get these results:

While the poll — which was conducted of 1,007 adults from Feb. 26 to March 1, and which has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points — finds Obama in a strong position after his first six weeks as president, the same isn’t true for Republicans.

Random adults! Not “registered voters.” Certainly not “likely voters.” Just random adults. Look at the poll details (PDF): No effort was expended to determine the voting habits of the respondents. There was no screen at all. Just whatever 1,007 people answered the phone and said they were 18 or old.

This is important. The pollster, Peter Hart, and the folks at NBC/WSJ who commissioned the poll are not so stupid that they don’t understand the importance of the distinction between “random adults” and actual voters.

Anyone who knows anything about public opinion polling knows that non-voters are different than voters. Everything we know about the behaviors and attitudes of non-voters shows that these are people disengaged from, and ignorant of, the political process. Compared to voters, non-voters tend to have lower levels of income and education, to be less informed about politics and current events, to score lower on every measure of civic involvement.

And guess what else we know about non-voters? If they could be motivated toward engagement with the political process, they would overwhelmingly vote Democrat and support liberal economic policies. So when news organization commission random-adult polls about political questions, the results will always skew substantially leftward, giving the false impression that Democrats and liberal policies are more popular than they actually are among actual voters.

Nobody knows this more than Democratic Party political operatives, who expend massive resources to register the unregistered, and to get as many as possible of these unengaged and uninformed people to vote. If you go back and look at 2008 exit polls, you find that Obama got 73% of voters with annual incomes under $15,000, and his strongest educational cohort was high-school dropouts (63%). Yet even with a historic level of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in 2008, there were still many millions who could not be bothered to go to the polls on election day.

Non-voters are irrelevant to the political process. Taking a random-adult about political questions and turning it into a major news story is therefore a fundamentally dishonest action. Polling random adults is fine, if you’re asking about Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonald’s vs. Burger King. But to do a random-adult poll about politics — without even endeavoring to find within the respondents a subsample of registered voters or likely voters — is not honest journalism.

And the fact that Murray buried in the 15th paragraph the fact that the NBC/WSJ poll was of random adults tells you that he understands, and wishes to conceal, the essential bogusness of the result.

March 4, 2009

So, a socialist, a Marlboro smoker and the President of the United State walk into a bar . . .

. . . and they were all the same guy!

“Nearly one in six Tennesseans has told a joke about Barack Obama’s race, and three-fourths say they’ve heard or read at least one, even though only 15 percent of Tennesseans say they would find such a joke funny.”

But seriously, folks — I just flew in from Nairobi and, man, are my arms tired!

BTW, yesterday was my best traffic day in the past 30 days — 17K+ visitors, 20K+ page views. So while I’m thinking about traffic, let me do some belated Rule 2 for Rule 5 Sunday bloggers, as The Patriot Room brings you Danica Patrick bikini AND Faith Hill upskirt.

Also, if you want to hear me on PJM Radio, click here.

March 4, 2009

Evan Sayet at Heritage

By Smitty

Evan Sayet spoke Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation, talking about the themes from his new book, How the Modern Liberal Winds Up on the Wrong Side of Every Issue.

Sayet reprised and updated a talk given two years previously, Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals “Think”. (YouTube version)

Among the key influences on both talks were Allan Bloom, author of The Closing of the American Mind, and Thomas Sowell., author of The Vision of the Anointed.

In today’s outing, Evan built upon a three point thesis about “modern liberals”:

  1. They are raised to believe that the sole virtue is not making discriminate judgments, e.g. promiscuity is bad, chastity is good. Since discriminating between good and bad is the new taboo, coming out in favor of the good and successful choice is to be avoided. This leaves the unsuccessful and bad choice as the way to go.
  2. Evidence of success, e.g. the pre-eminent position occupied by the US, cannot be predicated upon any inherent superiority of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. That would violate the first two premises. Therefore, the modern liberal must conclude that the US is a brutal, imperialist country, and consistently side with her enemies.

Thank heaven for Evan.

UPDATE (by Stacy): Thanks to long-time commenter Smitty for his first post. Click here to download Sayet’s lecture in MP3 format. I arrived late. Among my notes of the lecture, Sayet said that “stupidity is a luxury,” and that in academia, “liberals cannot survive in the fields where truth is truth.” He got a big laugh mocking Rosie O’Donnell’s “9-11 truther” claim that “fire can’t melt steel.” Sayet said O’Donnell must know better: “I know she’s watched ‘Flashdance’ — over and over and over.”