06/16/2008 - 2:29pm
I practice a zero tolerance policy toward pansy politics. Candidates shouldn't be afraid to open their mouths for fear of offending PC sensibilities, and if you strike back at the hypocrites who promote this form of censorship by giving them a taste of their own medicine, you are inadvertently promoting the standard you abhor.

I feel, though, that I must point out the double standard. Where is the liberal outrage over Barack's gun statements the other night?
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said in Philadelphia last night. “Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”
Where is the outrage from those who abhor violence and seek to control it by controlling our use of the language. Why should the language of street thuggery be part of political dialogue? The McCain camp was quick to pounce.
Barack Obama’s call for ‘new politics’ is officially over. In just 24 hours, Barack Obama attacked one of America’s pioneering women CEOs, rejected a series of joint bipartisan town halls, and said that if there’s a political knife fight, he’d bring a gun," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said, referring also to the Obama campaign's shot at Carly Fiorina's lavish pay package and role in layoffs at Hewlett-Packard.
The answer is, of course, that the PC crowd is so in love with Barack that he can do no wrong - this violation, which would cause fits if committed by McCain, is barely mentioned by the mainstream media. Even the blogs that have being discussing the comments have mostly focussed on the film that is the source of the line.
06/16/2008 - 12:41pm
The Boston Globe is pushing former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn to be Barack's running mate. The two are close, apparently, starting with Barack's request for a meeting when he began his long career in national politics, three years ago.
Nunn, who during a 24-year Senate career earned a reputation as the Democratic Party's foremost defense advocate while amassing a moderate voting record, met Obama at his office in February 2005. There, the two talked for hours about the issue on which Nunn has spent much of the last two decades: preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
What's the big interest in Sam Nunn? He provides what Barack can't.
For two decades, Nunn has been floated as a potential vice presidential candidate by virtue of his national security credentials and conservative southern roots. And each time he has dismissed such talk out of hand, while the party's nominees opted for more liberal choices from states more likely to go Democratic in November.
Nunn could also be part of a possible deal with Hillary that he choose a running mate who would not be seeking the presidency in four years were Barack to lose. Nunn, who endorsed Barack in April, will be turning 74 in 2012.
"He sounds like he may be more open to it," said Arnold Punaro, a retired Marine Corps general who served on Nunn's Senate staff for 24 years and remains in close contact with his former boss. "He has never before endorsed anybody. That was a surprise to me."
Nunn would be a good strategic choice, perhaps having the muscle to swing Georgia to the Democrats for the first time since Bill Clinton's first run.
Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, said he believes Nunn could boost Obama's electoral chances in Georgia. "He is still a heavyweight" in local politics, Black said.
All of this sounds like a pretty picture until you consider the negatives.

Nunn, who will turn 70 before Election Day, could undercut assertions that an Obama administration would bring a youthful vibrancy in stark contrast to his 71-year-old Republican opponent John McCain. Nunn himself cited a lack of "zest and enthusiasm" for politics when retiring from the Senate in 1997. Putting Nunn on the ticket could also take some of the sheen from Obama's image of change.

Meanwhile, his past stance against gays serving openly in the military would probably alienate some elements of the Democratic Party.

And Nunn looks old and geeky - he would support the GOP need to link Barack's youth with his inexperience. It's hard to imagine that seeing the two of them standing together wouldn't trigger odd couple discomfort in just about everyone, with Nunn's presence serving as an impediment to Barack's attempts to stoke age bias against McCain.

Were he a dozen years younger and still serving in the U.S. Senate, the choice would be an obvious one.
06/16/2008 - 7:03am
Last week, the media spent thousands of words making a big deal out of the Obama campaign's launch of a website to correct the record on perceived misrepresentations of Barack. A non-story if there ever was one, this played to a 'Barack as victim' storyline that the media, and the campaign, love, along bringing the web into the conversation.

While making Barack a victim, they have to work the 'Michelle as victim' narrative.

"It's going to be very ugly stuff," Democratic strategist Tad Devine said. "They're going to try to depict her as someone who is angry, outside the mainstream and not proud to be an American."

How did a 44-year-old Harvard Law School graduate become so demonized? One reason is the increasingly viral quality of the Internet.

Yup. You thought it had to do with her saying things like this is a mean country, but it's really got to do with the internet.
Much of the criticism stems from Michelle Obama's artless statement early in the campaign that, "For the first time in my adult lifetime I'm really proud of my country."
But that shouldn't be counted, it seems.
The campaign immediately clarified that to say that she meant she was prouder than ever. And she was defended on "Good Morning America" by first lady Laura Bush, who said, "I think she probably meant 'I'm more proud,' you know, is what she really meant."
Oh, lordy. Where do they find the people to write this crap?
But the statement was lampooned in a Tennessee GOP advertisement that juxtaposed her statement with those of supposedly ordinary citizens, one of whom played pool in a room lined with rifles who said, "I've always been proud to be an American."
Check out this closer for the article.

On "Good Morning America" recently, candidate Obama offered this warning: "These folks should lay off my wife, all right?"

The candidate was expected to offer a very different view of his wife, and his family, in a Father's Day speech in Chicago today, with wife Michelle at his side.

Pins and needles! Get me a copy of that speech!

06/16/2008 - 2:53am
The Obamas spent some of their Father's Day at church, as is said to be their tradition. But they didn't attend their traditional church.
The Obama family attended services at Chicago’s Apostolic Church of God, one of the city’s largest African American congregations and just six and a half miles from Obama’s former place of worship, Trinity Church of Christ.
Just six miles from the scene of so many Sunday Debacles, Barack was greeted warmly, and, it sounds, with a great deal more dignity than one might expect down the street.
Longtime church leader Bishop Arthur Brazier greeted his “good friend” warmly and touchingly noted, “[Obama] has done something [in] this country that I never thought I would live to see.” He continued, “I am filled with emotion because I have lived through some very tough times in America. But the America today is not the America of yesteryear. And I don’t think, I don’t think it behooves us well to keep talking about the past. The Apostle Paul said forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out to the things that are before.”
Barack did a little preaching of his own, delivering his best Bill Cosby imitation.
Obama took to the pulpit to deliver a speech on fatherhood, a tenet that should be strengthened, he observed. “Too many fathers are also missing. Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWAL. Missing from too many lives and too many homes. They’ve abandoned their responsibilities, they’re acting like boys instead of men, and the foundations of our family have suffered because of it. You know and I know this is true everywhere, but nowhere is it more true than in the African American community,” he said, delivering his straight-talking message to the African American congregation.
06/15/2008 - 9:33pm
I'm always looking to reinforce for Democrats the reality that their party is no better than the GOP. Both parties play politics the hardball way - prepared to say and do just about anything to win an election. But Democrats perceive themselves as the good and moral ones, the ones who care, who have compassion. They're truly caught up in this delusion, and blatant hypocrisy slides by them unnoticed.

Consider, please, the case of Clayton "Claytie" Williams, who 18 years ago made a bad joke. It wasn't an original joke, and it's not a particularly funny one, but he said it and some folks remember.

In his race against Ann Richards for Governor of Texas:
Williams compared rape to the weather, saying, "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it." He also compared Richards to the cattle on his ranch, saying he would "head her and hoof her and drag her through the dirt."
Pretty moronic. And pretty gross. And, if the negative stereotypes are accurate, some would say, pretty much standard old school Texas.

Williams' comments made national news at the time and remain easy to find on the Internet. Even so, McCain's campaign said it hadn't known about the remarks.

"These were obviously incredibly offensive remarks that the campaign was unaware of at the time it was scheduled," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said. "It's positive that he did apologize at the time, but the comments are nonetheless offensive."

Because of the 18 year old offense, for which Williams pleaded guilty and took his punishment in the public arena, John McCain last week canceled a fundraiser that Williams was holding for him. But, he's keeping the money that was raised.

The campaign said it would not return money Williams had raised for McCain because the contributions came from other individuals supporting McCain and not from Williams. Williams told his hometown newspaper, the Midland Reporter-Telegram, that he had raised more than $300,000 for McCain.

How happy are Democrats to attack McCain?
Democrats pounced on the comments, for which Williams has previously apologized, with Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney today questioning why McCain would accept money raised by Williams.
But it's just fine in the eyes of Democrats for Barack's career to have been launched with the support of former Weathermen bombers (can't we just focus on the issues?), and they think nothing of his close alliance with the Reverends who like to drop their own form of bombs.

It makes more even parallels, like this one, seem quaint:
RNC spokesman Alex Conant said in an interview today that the Democrats had their own problematic fundraisers, including Jodie Evans, who cofounded the antiwar group CODEPINK and has pledged to raise at least $50,000 for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Earlier this month, Evans suggested on a Kansas radio show that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. were understandable in light of the American presence in the Middle East. "We were attacked because we were in Saudi Arabia," Evans remarked.
Something for self-righteous Dems to chew on.
06/15/2008 - 6:27pm
The great birth certificate controversy - the Obama campaign's refusal to release his in response to media requests - apparently ended this week, but I've been waiting to post on the resolution until the facts became clear.
There's an official certification of Democrat Barack Obama's birth posted over at the liberal website Daily Kos. Site founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga says he asked the campaign for the document and they gave it to him.
Why does it make its appearance on a radical loony tune site when the mainstream media had reportedly been rebuffed in its attempts to get a copy?
It's authentic enough to satisfy Jim Geraghty, a blogger at the conservative Campaign Spot who has suggested release of the document to debunk various rumors about Obama's name and place of birth.
There's something odd about the entire caper, but sadly, there doesn't appear to be any exciting subplot here, and the affair appears to be over. Why was the birth certificate withheld? Is this the Obama campaign toying with the media? Why was it released to a moonbat blog? These questions, I fear, will be left unanswered.
06/15/2008 - 12:44pm
Is Rush a victim of Barackabuse? The Chicago Sun-Times says yes, that his new anti-smear site is smearing Rush.

News item: Barack Obama campaign starts new Web site to fight smears from political opponents at www.fightthesmears.com.

The first smear mentioned:

"LIE: Rush Limbaugh says a tape exists of Michelle Obama using the word 'whitey' from the pulpit of Trinity United."

Can you imagine Rush saying such a thing?

Well. No. This is what Limbaugh said:

"The rumor is -- and we don't like dealing with rumors here -- but the rumor is that Michelle Obama from the pulpit of this church used the term 'whitey.' Some are saying be very careful with this because she might have said 'why'd he,' why did he, the contraction 'why'd he' instead of 'whitey.' "

He added: "I can't find anybody who's seen it."

So Barack is smearing Rush because Rush is such a delightfully polarizing target who draws wackos out of the woodwork - liberals tremor at the mention of his name! More evidence of the campaign's willingness to take the cheap way out if it fires up the base.

So while Limbaugh was happy to wallow in the rumor, he was careful not to claim the tape exists.

More on this when someone gets around to creating www.clarifyfight thesmears.com.

06/15/2008 - 6:15am
Saturday night was date night. Rosalie and I went to the movies, then out to dinner (at a great restaurant in Cambridge, MA called the Blue Room.)

The movie choice was not nearly as good as dinner. The film is called War, Inc., and its the latest in a string of anti-war movies turned out by Hollywood radicals.

Why did I do it? For you. I saw it so that you don't have to.

War, Inc. suffers from the same problem as Robert Redford's horrible anti-war film, "Lions for Lambs." In both cases, the filmmakers seem to have forgotten that a good movie is built on a good story. In Redford's case, the film was just a lecture about how war is bad and this war is super bad.

In the case of War, Inc., the film is a satire designed around the premise of what happens if you take the Dick Cheney (Dan Akroyd) that liberals perceive him to be and make him the former vice president who now runs the company that the U.S. government uses to fight its wars and run its conquered lands in a world in which everything is privatized.

The spoof part is so over the top that the movie has no reality, just funny bits, and the characters aren't part of a cogent story, or subplot, so we never get to know them or connect to them on an emotional level.

If these films are being made just to elevate the Hollywood stature of those who produce them, (in this case, John Cusack stars, co-writes and co-produces) then I'm sure they serve their purpose. If they make them to serve up propaganda to the choir, then they're uninspired successes. If their job is to attract an audience and open their minds to a different view of their government, fagetaboutit.

I saw the film a few miles from Harvard and a few hundred yards from MIT. This is Barack Obama country, with their only reservation being that he's too conservative.

It was the 4pm show on Saturday, and there were perhaps 40 people there, a good crowd considering the show-time. One moron clapped a few times at the end, but no one joined him. A decent anti-war movie would have had this crowd cheering long before the credits could role.

In this case, not even the New York Times could pretend it was good.

You can sense the rage and disgust simmering behind “War, Inc.,” but they seldom reach a full boil. The movie is repeatedly sidetracked as it glimpses new satirical targets. A particularly distracting cause célèbre is a plan to market a pornographic video of Yonica’s (Hillary Duff) wedding night.

The problem with gonzo moviemaking, in this case, is that nothing really adds up. What initially appears whimsical eventually seems sloppy. And when the bleeding heart kicks in, you feel betrayed.

Sorry Cusack, you blew it. Not as bad as Redford, but pretty bad.
06/14/2008 - 11:31pm
The lads, Johnny and Barry, are having a spat over habeas corpus. It's a good fight, too. Goes to fundamental principles. And both have a valid principle that they're defending. Barack believes that the Supreme Court ruling granting Gitmo prisoners access to the U.S. courts is a good one because
a state can't just hold you for any reason without charging you and without giving you any kind of due process -- that’s the essence of who we are. I mean, you remember during the Nuremberg trials, part of what made us different was even after these Nazis had performed atrocities that no one had ever seen before, we still gave them a day in court and that taught the entire world about who we are but also the basic principles of rule of law. Now the Supreme Court upheld that principle yesterday."
And McCain rightly suggests that treating terrorists taken off the battle field to the legal rights that are bestowed upon U.S. citizens is nuts - these guys are dangerous enemy fighters who shouldn't be able to avoid responsibility for their actions, or be empowered to weaken the war on terror, by manipulating our courts.

"These are enemy combatants," McCain said. "These are people who are not citizens. They do not and never have been given the rights that people in this country have. And, my friends, there are some bad people down there, there are some bad people."

McCain predicted that the courts will soon be flooded with habeas corpus cases on behalf of the detainees. His message: "Our first obligation is the safety and security of this nation and the men and women who defend it. This decision will harm their ability to do that."

Both men win points with their core voters with their positions. Liberals can't stand anything that sounds like America being tough on those who hate us. Barack's, I suspect, is the easier sell given attitudes toward the war, but McCain's resonates with those mainstream American voters who Hillary did so well with against Barack.

Which is why both men like the fight. Says Barack:
"If you want to preserve civil liberties, if you want to preserve civil rights, if you want to make sure that the courts are looking out for consumers and not just big business, then that should be a factor in your decision-making in this election."
Jake Tapper thinks McCain gets the best of the argument.

But I don't know if this is a winning political issue for Sen. Obama. A dynamic can be created where Obama is Lt. Daniel Kaffee, McCain is Col. Nathan Jessup.

And McCain's message to America will be: You want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

(Obviously this is a deeply flawed metaphor, especially given McCain's activism against torture. But the disdain Nicholson's character show's for Cruise's in that clip, not to mention the general personas – crabby, cantankerous military man against glib pretty-boy lawyer -- might amuse you on this Saturday afternoon.)

06/14/2008 - 8:17pm
Where does the fire come from? The blaze of energy that has shot Barack Obama into contention for the presidency?

It comes from the geeks and nerds. What sociologist Richard Florida calls the "creative class."
the "creative class" includes people working in the media, advertising, online, music and film industries, as well as designers, artists. and other, often freelance, creative workers who overwhelmingly supported Obama.
This subculture, working at home on their Macs, perhaps, while listening to NPR, can leverage the organizational and fundraising tools of the internet to exponentially increase their influence.
Florida estimates that the rapidly growing creative class makes up around 12 per cent of the US population, or 15million people, but insists that their political influence far outweighs their numbers.
What makes them so powerful?

The benefit for Obama of having this creative class onside is almost inestimable.

For a start, there were high profile music videos like Will.i.am's star-studded Yes We Can - a YouTube sensation, watched online by more than eight million viewers -- and I got a crush on Obama by a singer calling herself Obama Girl, both of which generated reams of free coverage for Obama.

An even more important key to Obama's victory was his success in using the web to fundraise, attracting more than a million small donors. While the policy differences between Clinton and Obama were not that huge, the idea of a candidate not in the pocket of corporate lobbyists added to Obama's appeal among the online community, creating a virtuous circle of support.

Barack is the cool candidate, the one who is young, has written two bestsellers, and who pretends to represent a new kinda politics. But is that enough to swing an election? Florida thinks it possible.

"He can bring in the African-Americans, the young, as well as the creative types in unprecedented numbers," he says. But he doubts Obama's ability to win over the white working class, since "the creative class anticipates the future, while the working class tends to seek protection from it".

The same may also hold true for older voters, for whom Obama's rhetoric of change can feel like a threat.

But Barack gets the media, doesn't he.

Nevertheless, Obama will certainly have the majority of old-style creative industries on his side, including most of Hollywood and the advertising industry, both of which are attracted by his shiny newness. Both industries will have a hand in the key battle to determine the image of the presidential candidates.

I think Florida has something here. Much campaign analysis has focused on old school paradigms that don't take into account this structural change in American culture and the electoral influence this new class of voter represents.

While pundits have looked endlessly at how the Democratic race was split along race, gender or education lines, Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto who has written a bestselling book The Rise Of the Creative Class, was more interested in "looking into how creative-class people were voting in this primary season.
On issue after issue, they preferred Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton or John McCain by wide margins."

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