Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Democratic Organization in Oregon Ailing?

We have Republican and Democratic voters in our household. The Republican organization has called for its voters regarding this election. The Democratic organization has made no personal contact.

Comparing the primary ballots in the May 20th election, the Republicans had tons more people willing to serve as precinct committeeperson than the Democrats. Out of ten precincts listed on our ballots this was the breakdown:

Republicans - 32 candidates with only 2 precincts with no candidates
Democrats - 11 candidates with 5 precincts with no candidates.

The ratio is 3 Republicans to 1 Democrat willing to serve unpaid.

Democrats may have a majority in our area, but the evidence isn’t very convincing about how active or committed they are.

The Democratic voter in our household is going to hold off turning in their ballot until a few days before election day just to see if there are any Democrats working out there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama: U.S. Constitution Flawed

How can you take the presidential oath of office to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution" if you think it is flawed?

Oregonian Subscription Loss--Steepest Plunge in 3 Years

According to Editor & Publisher the Oregonian lost more than 21,000 daily subscribers in the last 6 months. This is the steepest plunge in 3 years.

From March 2005 to March 2008 total subscription decline was 33,307. From April to September 2008 the Oregonian lost an additional 21,078 subscribers–a 6.9% drop in total subscriptions in only 6 months. In terms of the previous 3 year loss, the current 6 month loss adds a whopping 60% (21,078 compared to 33,307).

Oregonian woes were shared by other high profile newspapers. The New York Times, whose weakened financial condition has caused a drop in credit rating to junk status, lost 76,591 subscriptions in the last 6 months–a 7% decline.

Among the top 25 newspapers only USA Today and The Wall Street Journal showed slight 1 year increases.

In view of the rampant partisanship of the press, it’s no wonder that subscriptions continue to decline. The Pew Research Center found that an astounding 70% of Americans say the press wants Sen. Obama to win the election. Why pay for slanted news? And for the 45% of Americans who favor John McCain, why pay to be insulted?

Newspaper – total subscriptions – increase/decline from 1 year ago
USA Today -- 2,293,310 -- 0.01%
The Wall Street Journal -- 2,011,999 -- 0.01%
New York Times -- 1,000,665 -- (-3.58%)
Los Angeles Times -- 739,147 -- (-5.20%)
Daily News, New York -- 632,595 -- (-7.16%)

New York Post -- 625,421 -- (-6.25%)
The Washington Post -- 622,714 -- (-1.94%)
Chicago Tribune -- 516,032 -- (-7.75%)
Houston Chronicle -- 448,271 -- (-11.66%)
Newsday -- 377,517 -- (-2.58%)

The Arizona Republic -- 361,333 -- (-5.51%)
San Francisco Chronicle -- 339,430 -- (-7.07%)
The Dallas Morning News -- 338,933 -- (-9.28%)
Boston Globe -- 323,983 -- (-10.18%)
Star Tribune, Minneapolis -- 322,360 -- (-4.26%)

Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J. -- 316,280 -- (-10.40%)
Chicago Sun-Times -- 313,176 -- (-3.94%)
Plain Dealer, Cleveland -- 305,529 -- (-8.58%)
The Philadelphia Inquirer -- 300,674 -- (-11.06%)
Detroit Free Press -- 298,243 -- (-6.84%)

The Oregonian -- 283,321 -- (-8.45%)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- 274,999 -- (-13.62%)
San Diego Union-Tribune -- 269,819 -- (-3.00%)
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times -- 268,935 -- (-6.88%)
The Sacramento Bee -- 253,249 -- (-4.22%)

Hat Tip: Drudge Report

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Blog Site

I'm also blogging at a new conservative site: The Next Right.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mark Levin: The Central Issues

Mark Levin:

In the last presidential debate, some old-fashioned talk about conservative principles might be what the doctor ordered.

"You know, Senator Obama, you're just another tax-and-spend liberal ... actually, let me amend that, you're just another tax-and-spend socialist. Most Americans don't think their government should be 'spreading around the wealth.' They think hard-working people should get to keep most of what they earn. They're willing to pay their fair share in taxes to do that which the government is supposed to do. But they are not willing to fund all the five year plans and scores of schemes and your favorite groups like ACORN. They don't like the NEA destroying their school systems, ACLU-type judges running their country, and anarchy on their nation's borders. They are also patriotic people, and they resent when your Senate leader declares a war lost when we have young Americans winning the war on the battlefield. And you could not bring yourself to stand up for those troops and distance yourself from your leader. Americans are a great people and while they may need a helping hand from time-to-time, they don't want you running their lives. That's not the way our country works."

That's about as concise as it gets.

Associated Press: Lots of Words and Not Much Substance

An Associated Press story dealing with Gov. Palin’s ethics problems is pretty thin gruel. For anyone who takes the time to actually read this flood of words (which desperately need a layout editor), the anonymous reporter(s) has trouble coming up with anything substantive.

The first paragraph lists the AP’s three main points: 1) a report concluded Palin “abused her powers to settle a family score,” 2) “has skirted state ethics rules before for personal benefit,” and 3) “used her office to help friends and supporters.”

AP doesn’t mention that the report on abuse of powers was chaired by a political opponent who supports Sen. Obama and that no governmental action has been taken on it. Not even censure. Which leads one to question the seriousness of the report. If there really is abuse of power, why isn’t any action being taken?

Then comes a supposed big bomb. “To raise money, she improperly used her City Hall office and equipment, city records show . . . .” Many paragraphs down in the article we find a little about this. Actually only two things. 1) she already apologized for 2006 errors (before the intrepid AP got to the story) and 2) the AP dug out that “the city initially paid for a campaign flight in that 2002 race and that weeks later she reimbursed the city” [years before AP got to the story].

It turns out there was a billing error on the campaign flight, and that Gov. Palin personally reimbursed the city as soon as she found out–within weeks of the trip--and then got reimbursed by her campaign. This is an ethics problem? Actually, it shows honesty and ethics. What is the AP thinking of?

AP reports that as governor Palin “has repeatedly taken actions that violated her own stated standards for ethical behavior --if not state law. In the process, the Republican vice presidential nominee has become much like the old-school politicians she attacked during her rise to power.”

Exhibit one is that Palin “pummeled opponents for giving oil companies and other businesses too much control of state government. Yet she appointed the founder of an engineering firm that received $6.8 million in state business as head of the transportation department.”

Again, only many paragraphs down in the story is there any background on this and, surprise!, the AP is forced to admit that the guy appointed “stopped taking a salary and all benefits from the company” and “recused himself on projects pursued by the firm and that others in the agency select companies to receive state business.” But, the AP bulldog won’t let go. He still has stock in the company. Sheesh, if you can’t hold stock and serve in government, that pretty much slims down the candidate pool doesn’t it?

Another bomb: “She has accepted dozens of gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars since taking office, including two free trips last year that she failed to report on disclosure forms, despite criticizing state legislators for the gifts they take.”

But, it turns out that “Palin has, in fact, reported most of her gifts on her annual financial disclosure forms, something her predecessor never did, according to Alaska Public Offices Commission records.” The AP managed to find two unreported free trips. “‘This is simply a rare oversight, nothing more,’ campaign spokesman Griffin said when asked about the omissions by the AP.”

That’s it. The big news is two unreported trips. One worth $2,988. But it turns out that “Palin received the same free trip as dozens of other governors invited over the years to attend the annual summit, institute spokesman April White said.” Apparently, there are lots of governors out there the AP will be investigating.

The second trip involved two $150 lodge suites which not only Palin, but her parents and family used. It involved a family retreat at a lodge which was not open for business at the time but made available to the family by a friend. Is AP really scraping here?

Another charge: “She is under another investigation, accused of misusing her office to campaign against a voter referendum calling for tighter mining regulations. Her husband, Todd, has accepted free trips from a mining company to look at their proposed new site.”

Who is doing the investigating? We’re never told. No more details are given on this. Why a free trip for her husband, who is not on the government payroll and has no official government position, is an issue, the AP doesn’t say. Is he under investigation too? Again, the AP doesn’t say.

Finally, “Another ethics complaint, unresolved, accuses her staff of finding a state job for a friend and campaign contributor.”

Imagine, a politician’s staff finding a state job for a friend and campaign contributor! It’s what the political executive does. I hate to let AP in on the secret, but when the newly elected president takes office, he will bring lots of friends and supporters into his administration. And his staff will do the job finding for them.

That the people Gov. Palin has brought in are doing a pretty good job can be seen by her 80% approval rating as governor.

Doesn’t AP wish it had even half that good a competence and trust rating from its public? Unfortunately, articles like this are bound to drive AP’s approval rating even further into the cellar.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

David Brooks Flimflams Himself

Hat Tip: Jennifer Rubin

David Brooks is awed by Obama’s ability to see through sham writing–actually, David Brooks’ sham writing.

And the other thing that does separate Obama from just a pure intellectual: he has tremendous powers of social perception. And this is why he's a politician, not an academic. A couple of years ago, I was writing columns attacking the Republican congress for spending too much money. And I throw in a few sentences attacking the Democrats to make myself feel better. And one morning I get an email from Obama saying, 'David, if you wanna attack us, fine, but you're only throwing in those sentences to make yourself feel better.' And it was a perfect description of what was going through my mind. And everybody who knows Obama all have these stories to tell about his capacity for social perception.
[emphasis mine]

Imagine any serious thinker not feeling ashamed of being caught writing, not on the basis of facts and values, but in order to “feel better”. Brooks flimflams himself and admires Obama for catching that.

It’s pretty clear that Brooks’ has difficulty praising Republicans and criticizing Democrats. In a recent rant Brooks starts by praising Gov. Palin:

You know very few people risk their careers in their lives. She [Palin] has a . . . quitting this regulatory board in Alaska and taking on the establishment of the Republican party. She did that, and I give her tremendous credit.

Then goes on to say she is not ready to be vice president and is a “fatal cancer” to the Republican party because Brooks thinks she scorns ideas.

But there has been a counter, more populist tradition which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I’m . . . I’m afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.

Though Brooks has never talked to Palin, he is “afraid” she scorns ideas.

And though Sen. Obama surrounds himself with sleazy, fruitcake people (ACORN, Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright), he wows Brooks because he can talk about Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought.

Obama has the great intellect. I was interviewing Obama a couple years ago, and I'm getting nowhere with the interview, it's late in the night, he's on the phone, walking off the Senate floor, he's cranky. Out of the blue I say, 'Ever read a guy named Reinhold Niebuhr?' And he says, 'Yeah.' So i say, 'What did Niebuhr mean to you?' For the next 20 minutes, he gave me a perfect description of Reinhold Niebuhr's thought, which is a very subtle thought process based on the idea that you have to use power while it corrupts you. And I was dazzled, I felt the tingle up my knee as Chris Matthews would say.

Brooks’ self-confessed credulity is astonishing. What matters to him is not what a person believes and does (like actually fighting for ethical reform), but that he can talk about ideas (without any clear commitment to them).

Tingles up the knee are not the stuff of either good government or good thinking. Real scorn for ideas comes in Brooks’ assumption that those who talk about ideas fluently are somehow superior to those who actually put ideas into action.

One can only hope that the socially perceptive Sen. Obama will someday write Brooks an e-mail pointing this out and give Brooks another eureka moment.

Monday, October 13, 2008

David Frum: Incoherent Again

Hat Tip: NewsBusters:

[HARRY] SMITH: Right. Was Sarah Palin a mistake?

[DAVID] FRUM: I think Sarah Palin was a huge mistake. I've been saying that since the first day. In a time of emergency like this, as in 9/11, people turn to Washington and they want to see people in charge know what they're doing. You know, Americans can be pretty jokey about their government when times are good, but when times are bad, they want to know do -- can you do the job? And when you have a candidate who so obviously has never thought about any of the issues that are going to be important to the next administration and whose knowledge is so shallow, it makes people -- it doesn't just make people offended, it makes them afraid.

SMITH: So as a Republican, and if you are going to write a prescription for John McCain, in 30 seconds that are left, he's got three weeks to get this done, what would it be?

FRUM: He needs to pull every Republican with substantial economic experience together. He needs to be campaigning with them, he needs to get -- be delivering a message on that front and then the Republican National Committee needs to be shifting a lot of money into senatorial campaigns.

First David Frum talks about a candidate who "has never thought about any of the issues that are going to be important to the next administration," and then says the most important thing for McCain now is to be campaigning with "every Republican with substantial economic experience."


There's a case to be made that neither Obama nor Palin have foreign policy experience. But, if the issue is the economy, the one expert on both tickets is Sarah Palin. She knows energy upside down and backwards. Gov. Palin is one of the best Republican energy experts around and the top executive of a state that has gazillions of untapped energy reserves. (See Larry Kudlow interview, and Kudlow, unlike Frum, really does know something about the economy.)

Is the important issue 9/11 and foreign policy (which McCain is best on) or the economy (which Palin is best on)? Frum can't even keep his story line straight. So, it's not surprising how far off his judgment is.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Obama Supporter Tolerance

Hat Tip: Drudge Report

For more on political hatred and incivility see Michelle Malkin's review of media and supporter conduct in this election. Her opening paragraph:

The Obamedia is attempting to set yet another false narrative: The narrative of the McCain “mob.” McCain-Palin rallies are out of control, they wheedle. Conservatives are mad! They’re yelling mean things about Obama and calling him names! It’ scaaaaary!

Mark Steyn and Victor Davis Hanson on Conservative Toadyism

Mark Steyn writes:

Hail Victor Davis Hanson, the last conservative pundit not angling for a seat at the table:

On CNN this evening both David Gergen and Ed Rollins echoed the current mantra that the “old” noble McCain is gone, and a “new” nastier one has emerged, largely because of his attacks on Ayers, perhaps his planned future ads on Wright, and a few unhinged people shouting at his campaign stops. Recently Christopher Buckley endorsed Obama, likewise lamenting the loss of the old noble McCain. NY Times columnist David Brooks dubbed Palin a “cancer,” and he suggested that Obama’s instant recall of Niehbuhr sent a tingle up his leg as Obama once did to Chris Matthews as well...

With Obama now with an 6-8 point lead, some in the DC/NY corridor these last three weeks figure it’s time now to jump on, or at least sort of jump, since the train they think is leaving the station and there might be still be some space at the dinner table on the caboose. They also believe as intellectuals that the similarly astute Obamians may on occasion inspire, or admire them as the like-minded who cultivate the life of the mind–in contrast to the “cancer” Sarah Palin, who, with her husband Todd, could hardly discuss Proust with them or could offer little if any sophisticated table-talk other than the chokes on shotguns or optimum RPMs on snow-machines... Should I write a column praising Obama’s wit, taste in books, and metrosexuality I would be dubbed principled rather than cynical, ‘even-handed’ rather than self-serving, and a maverick rather than toadish.

The "cancer" crack was extremely un-gallant of the supposed soul of moderation.

. . .

But, if the combination of gazillions of dollars in illegal foreign donations, Acorn's Dig-Up-The-Vote operation, a doting media that would embarrass Kim Jong-Il and the Republican nominee's inability even to speak up on issues where he was right all along (like Fannie Mae), if all that is now unstoppable, I will be proud to have lost with Sarah Palin, who (unlike Brooks and Buckley) runs a state bigger than most European Union nations, has fought an honorable campaign, and has been responsible for such energy and enthusiasm as the ticket can muster.

Given that neither of us are likely to be in the club-car caboose with Brooks et al come January, if she's ever in New Hampshire, I'll be happy to thank her and buy her dinner at the state's least worst restaurant. Which should set me back all of 12 bucks, but it's the thought that counts.

I’m with Steyn and VDH. I’m proud of how Sarah Palin has elevated the campaign and introduced conservative issues by her record in governing and her rhetoric. She reminds me a lot of Barry Goldwater, without whose conservative authenticity and integrity there would have been no Reagan presidency.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Stuff of Carter-like Presidencies

David Brooks:

You know very few people risk their careers in their lives. She [Palin] has a . . . quitting this regulatory board in Alaska and taking on the establishment of the Republican party. She did that, and I give her tremendous credit. Second, I think she has . . . I mean her family life seems good to me. Her . . . I thought the performances she gave at the speech and the debate were good performances. And I thought analytically she’s got tremendous political talent. That’s a natural talent that believe me 99.9% of Americans do not have. Do I think she’s ready to be vice-president or president? No. Uh, she’s not even close. Uh, the more I follow politicians, the more I think experience matters, the ability to have a template of things in your mind that, uh, that you can refer to on the spot. Because believe me once in office you have no time to think or make decisions. And then the final thing, and then again I’m more Republican than not, she represents a fatal cancer, uh, to the Republican party. When I worked first . . . started journalism . . . I started at National Review for Bill Buckley, and Buckley famously said he’d rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than the Harvard faculty, but he didn’t think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on it. And that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an intense power of ideas . . . power . . . faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I’m . . . I’m afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.

[emphasis mine]

Not a word of proof to back this up. It sounds as though David Brooks, while celebrating his own ideas, scorns digging up the proof to back them up. He intuits Palin’s “prejudices.”

Certainly Bill Buckley did celebrate ideas. One of them was that the common sense ideas of the people give better government than the learned ideas of the elites. Unfortunately, Brooks does not recognize this as a Buckley (and a conservative) “idea”.

Palin obviously believes in the power of ideas. It was the belief that government should rule on behalf of the people and that corruption is a real cancer (as opposed to Brooks’ unproven cancer) that pushed her to risk her career in standing up to Republican corruption and fueled her veto pen in how she actually governed in Alaska.

The cancer that hurts a political party, cause and the standing of ideas is Brooks' assumption that he doesn’t need proof to back up ideas and opinions. Just intuition.

The power of ideas is not merely in their being expressed (as Brooks does), but in their being put into action. That’s what Gov. Palin has done. That's what Ronald Reagan did.

Christopher Buckley:

But having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves. If he raises taxes and throws up tariff walls and opens the coffers of the DNC to bribe-money from the special interest groups against whom he has (somewhat disingenuously) railed during the campaign trail, then he will almost certainly reap a whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a balmy summer zephyr.

Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy “We are the people we have been waiting for” silly rhetoric—the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for.

[emphasis mine]

Again, no proof in terms of Obama’s actions. Just Christopher Buckley’s intuition.

These guys are anti-proof and anti-idea.

Of such is the stuff of Carter-like presidencies.


UPDATE: The context of Buckley's assertion that he thought common people understand essential elements of a good society ("respect for the laws of God and for the wisdom of our ancestors") that educated elites miss due to "intellectual arrogance":

I am obliged to confess that I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University. Not, heaven knows, because I hold lightly the brainpower or knowledge or generosity or even the affability of the Harvard faculty; but because I greatly fear intellectual arrogance, and that is a distinguishing characteristic of the university which refuses to accept any common premise. In the deliberations of two thousand citizens of Boston I think one would discern a respect for the laws of God and for the wisdom of our ancestors which does not characterize the thought of Harvard professors–who, to the extent that they believe in God at all, tend to believe He made some terrible mistakes which they undertake to rectify; and, when they are paying homage to the wisdom of our ancestors, tend to do so with a kind of condescension toward those whose accomplishments we long since surpassed.

William F. Buckley, Jr., “A Reply to Robert Hutchins: The Aimlessness of American Education” (in Rumbles Left and Right)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

David Brooks and Mediocrity

David Brooks on Gov. Palin:

You know, she’s not stupid. So, I think she’ll be mediocre. She will rise to the level of mediocrity.

Mediocrity. That’s the preview that political wisdom and the media gave for Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Reagan was supposed to be a nice, but rather dumb guy with an attractive face and winning public manner. A man who could rise to the level of mediocrity as a president.

Well, Gov. Palin has already risen far above mediocre as governor of Alaska. Taking down corrupt powerful political figures in one’s own party is something only the best of political leaders have succeeded at. (How many even of our greatest presidents have done that?) Negotiating with powerful oil companies and winning concessions is also something few politicians have done. But, Sarah Palin has succeeded at those and more.

So, in what respect is Gov. Palin mediocre? Brooks never defines his terms, so one is left to guess at what he thinks qualifies someone as being mediocre.

One has to feel sorry for Brooks. His job is to be the house conservative at the New York Times and win a hearing for conservative thought there. Though it may be too much to ask that Times’ stories and editorials might be more open to a conservative viewpoint because of Brooks, one can’t even say he has brought in new readers or retained old ones. Readers are slipping away at a pretty good clip.

Brooks’ success has not come not in winning arguments or minds in a liberal bastion (with wit and grace à la William F. Buckley, Jr.). Rather Brooks’ utility comes in contexts like the You Tube clip linked above.

Brooks sits around with liberal commentators and trashes conservatives who are on the political front lines. No one in the group is swayed toward conservative principles. And, in fact, no conservative principles are shared. Nothing about the proper role of government. Not even about the dangers of the liberal policies of Senators Obama and Biden. Nothing here about conservative principles from David Brooks. Just a few ad hominem slashes against a conservative with an impressive political record.

What a sad showing for a conservative commentator–who might do well to aim at analysis which rises to the level of mediocrity in having at least “moderate value.”

Charlie Gibson Shows Bias in Obama Interview

A comparison of Charlie Gibson's September 11, 2008 questions to Gov. Palin with Gibson's October 9, 2008 questions to Sen. Obama (in italics) shows Gibson favoring Sen. Obama.

Of eleven questions Gibson asks Gov. Palin, 63% are direct questions asking for a specific answer (#1-4, 6, 7, 10, 11). Of ten questions Gibson asks Sen. Obama only 40% are direct (#4a, 7a, 9a and 10a). Half (#9a and 10a) of the direct questions asked to Sen. Obama are based on Obama being “unloaded on” and being “come at” by political opponents. Thus, Gibson indicates that Sen. Obama’s answers to the facts involved are not important. None of the questions Gibson asks Palin are based on an assumption that they are politically motivated and the answers unimportant.

Conversely, 60% of the questions Gibson asks Sen. Obama are free association statements that can be handled in any way Sen. Obama cares to respond. Only 37% of the questions Gibson asks Gov. Palin are free association.

Though I haven’t included the last section of Gibson's interview with Gov. Palin, Gibson never thanks her for the interview. Gibson thanks Sen. Obama twice.

Besides throwing a majority of softball format questions to Sen. Obama and clearly indicating that the answers to some questions are not important because the questions are politically motivated, Gibson doesn’t even have the common courtesy to thank Gov. Palin for her interview.

1. GIBSON to Palin: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say "I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?"

1a. GIBSON to Obama: Senator, we're undergoing a global market meltdown, and we -- the basic firmament on which our economy is based has undergone a seismic shock for the last few days and yet last night, you guys had a debate about spending and tax policy and earmarks that you could have had three months ago. That's frustrating to people.

2. GIBSON to Palin: And you didn't say to yourself, "Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I -- will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?"

2a. GIBSON to Obama: But we have to deal with the tools that we have now with this. We've talked to a lot of people as we've traveled around the Midwest. One woman in Dayton said to me, if either one of these guys could tell me succinctly, simply, how they're going to get us out of this mess, that guy would win. It's still to be won. And she said neither has, and it seems as if neither can.

3. GIBSON to Palin: Didn't that take some hubris?

3a. GIBSON to Obama: Somebody else said to us where's the passion in these guys. Where's the anger? People that lost trillions of dollars in their stock accounts, in their pension plans, in their 401(k)s. You said out there at this rally fear and panic cannot pervade us. And yet fear does right now. And people look to leaders to turn that around or to counter that.

4. GIBSON to Palin: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?

4a. GIBSON to Obama: You also said at this rally we need new direction, we need new leadership in Washington. What would you be doing right now that's any different than what the Bush Administration has done and is doing?

5. GIBSON to Palin: I know. I'm just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy.

5a. GIBSON to Obama: That's puts you in a position -- that puts you in a position of essentially saying trust me. I'm a 47-year-old guy with one term in the Senate. You got to put your faith in me.

6. GIBSON to Palin: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?

6a. GIBSON to Obama: But we -- we passed the $700 billion rescue package. The market went down. The Fed said we'll be the primary lenders to bank and to businesses. Market tanked. We now have a worldwide rate cut to try to increase liquidity. The market is yawning at that today. It almost -- and the credit markets remain frozen. It almost seems as if rationality is out the window.

7. GIBSON to Palin: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?

7a. GIBSON to Obama: One woman last night stood up and asked you at the debate why should we trust either one of you with our money. Which was an interesting question. It bespoke a sort of lack of faith in any kind of institution, a systemic breakdown that is indicative of fear. How do you counter that?

8. GIBSON to Palin: And all governors deal with trade delegations.

8a. GIBSON to Obama: The kids at Bowling Green, I watched the debate with them last night. And other kids that we talked to during the day. They said they're not talking about our issues. Right. They're not -- they don't believe the money's going to be there to pay for their loans to get them through four years of college. And then on top of that, I said to them, well, if you don't have any faith in that, how many of you believe Social Security will be there when you get to be 65. Twenty-one kids, three held up their hand. That, again, is a -- is a great doubt of faith in the system.

9. GIBSON to Palin: Who act at the behest of their governments.

9a. GIBSON to Obama: Change the subject for a moment. John McCain has unloaded on you in the last 72, 96 hours as has Sarah Palin. McCain is saying, essentially, we don't know who Barack Obama is, where he came from. I'm an open book, he's not. Were you surprised, A, that he didn't bring it up last night at the debate and use that line of attack? And, B, since you must have prepared for it, what were you going to say?

10. GIBSON to Palin: I'm talking about somebody who's a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?

10a. GIBSON to Obama: And, finally, she's come at you, Sarah Palin has come at you because of the Bill Ayers connection. Are you going to have to address that again? How are you going to explain it? Have you had a continuing connection with it? And why didn't you just cut it off once and for all once when you knew?

11. GIBSON to Palin: You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?

11a. GIBSON to Obama: Senator, thanks. Appreciate talking to you.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Aside from policy issues, it would be so much fun to watch her for the next four years confound the political speak folks in Washington, D. C., and in the mainstream media.

Hat Tip: Hot Air

Monday, October 06, 2008

AP’s Douglass Daniel Fosters Sexist-Tinged “Fluffy Bunny” Analysis of Presidential Race

In an analytical piece published yesterday the Associated Press injected sexist-tinged commentary into the presidential race.

It has been widely noted that Gov. Sarah Palin is the only woman on the Democratic or Republican presidential tickets. Raising fears of AP’s underlying sexism, Douglass Daniel, a man, criticized Palin, rather than the three men in the race, for “racially tinged subtext”.

By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign.

And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.
. . .

"It's a giant changing of the subject," said Jenny Backus, a Democratic strategist. "The problem is the messenger. If you want to start throwing fire bombs, you don't send out the fluffy bunny to do it. I think people don't take Sarah Palin seriously."

The larger purpose behind Palin's broadside is to reintroduce the question of Obama's associations. Millions of voters, many of them open to being swayed to one side or the other, are starting to pay attention to an election a month away.

Despite the fact that AP is aware that "[m]illions of voters" are only now starting to pay attention to the election, Daniel inserted a source calling Palin a “fluffy bunny”–a phrase AP has never allowed to be used against the three men in the race. Even more striking, there is no indication that the AP has ever used a “fluffy bunny” comment referring to any male candidate at any political level.

Some have questioned whether AP has badly damaged it’s analytical and reporting credibility by dabbling in “fluffy bunny” sexist rhetoric. And serious experts wonder if this may be the end of Daniel’s career.

Story developing.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Obama-Biden Claim Surge Victory for Their Own

BIDEN: Gwen, with all due respect, I didn't hear a plan. Barack Obama offered a clear plan. Shift responsibility to Iraqis over the next 16 months. Draw down our combat troops. Ironically the same plan that Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq and George Bush are now negotiating.
[emphasis mine]

Why are they now negotiating it? Because of the success of the surge.

If Iraq were still in the midst of the violence of pre-surge Iraq, there would be no draw down discussions by responsible leaders.

Sen. Obama’s plan is not due to the new factors in Iraq. He was for withdrawing even while violence was high in Iraq and the country was in danger of breaking apart (a three part division was Sen. Biden's plan).

Obama’s plan only sounds reasonable now because the surge has succeeded and Iraqis are showing the ability to take over their own security. But, withdrawal was the Obama plan even when it might have meant civil war and genocide in Iraq.

Peggy Noonan Whines about Being Wrong

One of the interesting elements of this campaign has been the poor judgment of some of the “thinking” people among conservatives. They have a difficult time admitting they were wrong. They find reasons to show they were right all along even though their predictions failed.

Take Peggy Noonan. She declares that Sarah Palin is a person of action not of thought. That’s why Palin succeeded. Palin is as inadequate as Noonan originally thought, but somehow Palin manages to overcome that by being a person “of action.”

The whole debate was about Sarah Palin. She is not a person of thought but of action. Interviews are about thinking, about reflecting, marshaling data and integrating it into an answer. Debates are more active, more propelled—they are thrust and parry. They are for campaigners. She is a campaigner. Her syntax did not hold, but her magnetism did. At one point she literally winked at the nation.

Huh? Palin’s magnetism and ability to wink won the day? Maybe Noonan forgets that Ronald Reagan was also thought to be an idiot as a thinker and only good because of his magnetism and ability to wink and smile at the American people.

Noonan’s distinction between brilliant action and brilliant thought is bankrupt. I suppose there is a chance that someone can continually come up with actions not thought out that turn out brilliant. But, it’s along the line of thinking monkeys in a room with typewriters can come up with a Shakespearean play.

Consider some of the great men of action in American history: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, George Patton, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan. Were they really not people of thought? Success involves showing your thinking through action.

Noonan failed. She did not see the brilliance in Sarah Palin. Noonan’s predictions were woefully wrong. And what is her response? Whining that any one would criticize her:

We saw this week, too, a turn in the McCain campaign's response to criticisms of Mrs. Palin. I find obnoxious the political game in which if you expressed doubts about the vice presidential nominee, or criticized her, you were treated as if you were knocking the real America—small towns, sound values. "It's time that normal Joe Six-Pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency," Mrs. Palin told talk-show host Hugh Hewitt. This left me trying to imagine Abe Lincoln saying he represents "backwoods types," or FDR announcing that the fading New York aristocracy deserves another moment in the sun. I'm not sure the McCain campaign is aware of it—it's possible they are—but this is subtly divisive.

I don’t know about Noonan’s not being in touch with real people, but she is not in touch with reality. And her history is pretty poor too. Maybe she doesn’t remember that the Honest Abe, rail splitter, born in a log cabin image was a major part of Lincoln’s campaign.

My response to criticisms of Gov. Palin is that if they turn out wrong, the people who made them did some poor thinking in making them and poor acting in putting them out for public consumption. Those who don’t have the integrity to admit when their insights and predictions have proved wrong, have both thinking and acting problems. I feel sorry for Peggy Noonan.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sarah Shined! Some Pundits Did Not.

Tonight Sarah Palin showed who has common sense among conservative pundits and who doesn’t.

George Will, David Brooks, David Frum, Kathleen Parker and the straggle of others like them didn’t have common sense. They were mesmerized by two interviews to forget all of Palin’s political and personal accomplishments, her socko speech at the Republican convention and crowd drawing appeal on the campaign trail.

On the other side with real common sense were: Mark Steyn, Rush, Hugh Hewitt, Sean Hannity, Fred Barnes, Bill Kristol, Byron York Jay Nordlinger, Brit Hume, Mara Liasson among others.

What is common sense? The ability to sift through a blizzard of bad information to find what is true. That’s also good judgment. People who have it are the people you want to have watching your back in times of struggle, distress and war.

Unfortunately not only did Will, Brooks, Frum, and Parker crash regarding insight, they also helped to wound the conservative team at a crucial time. However bright they may be, they are not the kind of people I want watching my back or my team's back. They stumbled ever so much worse than Sarah Palin, and their feet of clay remain while Palin's have been shown to be mere illusion. In reality she was rock steady.

Mark Steyn, Rush, Hugh, Sean, Fred, Bill, Byron, Jay, Brit, Mara–what comes from their lips is more golden than ever. Thank you!

Palin's Executive Experience Pays Off

Some commentators are saying that Gov. Palin muffed her interview question on what Supreme Court decisions she disagrees with.

But, Gov. Palin actually showed that she understands the separation of powers and the role of the Executive.

Couric: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?

Palin: Well, let's see. There's, of course in the great history of America there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but …

Couric: Can you think of any?

Palin: Well, I could think of … any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But, you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.

[emphasis mine]

How refreshing that Gov. Palin understands Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Two important phrases stand out: "recommend to their [the Congress] Consideration Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient" and "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

Where there is separation of powers, the role of the Executive is to recommend and to execute laws--not to work to overturn the decisions of the other two branches of government. Except in the rarest of cases, to list differences with decisions of the Legislative and Judicial branches, shows a gross misunderstanding of the role of the Executive branch.

Though Katie Couric did not understand the role of the Executive branch and sought to get a short list of Supreme Court rulings Gov. Palin disagrees with, Palin cut to the central Constitutional issue: the role of the Executive is not to battle against the other two branches, but to execute the laws.

Listing disagreements works to call in to question the diligence and impartiality of an Executive (and his Attorney General) in upholding the laws of the land.

Sen. Biden, not having executive experience, answered Couric's question but missed the Constitutional issue involved.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Couric from the Walter Cronkite Era?

Katie Couric doesn't seem to understand that there is online access to a vast variety of newspapers and magazines--not to mention other news sources.

Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?

Palin: I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

Couric: What, specifically?

Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.

Couric: Can you name a few?

Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested, "Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?" Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

Twenty years ago (in the fading shadows of the Cronkite limited news source era) I could have named the five or six magazines/newspapers I regularly read and got my news from.

No longer. Only a dolt would ignore the hundreds of resources from around the world available on the internet that give a truly world perspective rather than the narrow beltway perspective.

For a broad view of the US, world or particular interest news (Africa, South America, science, energy, etc.) I get almost all my "print" information online from a multitude of sources. There is no "central" set of a few publications.

[Even the CBS interview quoted above is from an online source. I don't have the time or interest each night to wade through a half hour of CBS news two minute summaries of complex issues and some "People" magazine type general interest stories (not to mention that 1/3rd of that time requires watching ads geared to the medical needs of senior citizens--which tells you who watches).]

Network TV and print media keep losing viewers/readers because they no longer meet the information needs of most Americans. Newspapers keep losing older readers and are not attracting young readers. Few young readers find them relevant as news sources. I'm not young anymore--but I agree with the younger generation.

A bonus of online multiple resources is that I don't have to junk up the world with lots of old magazine/newspaper carcasses--most of the pages of which are filled with stories and ads that are of no interest to me.

Katie Couric may have a few central sources she gets her news from, but doesn't seem to get that most serious Americans now get their news online rather than through a few media outlets that are dinosaurs of the past.

I'm with Gov. Palin on this.