Saturday, August 9, 2008

What Fred Baron paid for

Edwards denial can't be denied:
"Rielle will not participate in DNA testing or any other invasion of her or her daughter's privacy now or in the future."
Drew at AOSHQ:
I'm sure Silky is broken up over his inability to clear his name.
Silence is golden, and if you've got enough gold . . .

Random acts of Austrianism

During the YAF national conference this past week, I spoke to a young man who'd read Hayek's The Road to Serfdom but who hadn't read Mises' Socialism, and so I recommended that he amend the omission.

When I came home from the conference, I discovered that (surprise!) my wife had rearranged my office, and it happened that, in the process, my copy of Socialism was placed atop my desk. Any book worth reading is worth re-reading, so even though I've read through Socialism at least three times, today I began to browsing it at leisure, and just now happened on this timely passage:
The theory of increasing poverty among the masses stands at the centre of Marxist thought as well as of older socialist doctrines. The accumulation of poverty parallels the accumulation of capital. . . .
The fact is, that the doctrine of increasing relative social poverty is nothing more than an attempt to give an economic justification to policies based on the resentment of the masses. Growing social poverty means merely growing envy.

Dr. Helen and 'nice guys'

Dr. Helen Smith on "Dating Advice for Men," in which she makes reference to the "nice guys finish last" complaint.

Nice guys, pay attention: The lady doesn't owe you anything. Get it? Your mere "niceness" does not impose on her a reciprocal obligation. You are using your niceness as a Trojan Horse to get yourself inside the walled city, and when she spots this scheme and foils it, you cry foul. You'd be better off to make your play straight-up, accept the rejection and move on, rather than using the ambiguity of "niceness" to avert an immediate rejection.

The complaint that girls mistreat "nice guys" is actually a defense mechanism, a sort of sour-grapes method of projecting responsibility for your own shortcomings onto those who have spurned you: It's not that I'm sexually insecure, socially awkward, and a lousy dancer. No, my problem is that I'm nice -- and they're all cold-hearted, selfish bitches.

Guys, study the Damone 5-Point Plan:

'Truckstop Jim' McGreevey updated

Being gay means not having to pay alimony to the gullible woman who served as your closet door. Let this be a warning to any other woman tempted to assist a Democratic phony trying to pose as an advocate of family values: Democrats' "compassion" toward women is never personal, only political. Don't expect your "services rendered" to proponents of this cause to be reciprocated; the advancement of the cause (i.e., the guy's political career) is the only reward you'll get.

Bush in Beijing: USA! USA!

It's good to be the POTUS.

Via Hot Air, where Ed Morrisey has a caption contest, and urges commenters to "keep it clean." Eh, I'll wait for the AOSHQ caption contest. Rules? We don't need no stinkin' rules!

UPDATE: OK, the caption contest is now underway at "the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in the blogosphere."

Republican media strategery

Treat reporters like scum. Yeah, that will work.

Contra Douthatism

Just reading the latest print issue of Doublethink, which features Donald Yoest's profile of Grand New Party authors Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, and can't help thinking: My God, we're back to 1959 and the "Modern Republicanism" that Buckley denounced in Up From Liberalism.

The essence of Modern Republicanism was making peace with the New Deal; now Douthat and Salam want us to make peace with the Great Society. Peace, peace -- there is no peace.

In case anyone doubted that Douthatism is the bastard offspring of David Brooks' "National Greatness," Yoest traces the DNA sample:
Douthat and Salam admit the influence, at least partly, of New York Times columnist David Brooks on their work. Salama worked for Brooks as a research assistant and calls him "kind of a godfather of reformist conservatism" and points to "national greatness conservatism" --- a phrase coined by Brooks and Weekly Standard editor William Kristol -- as a forerunner of the new reformism. . . . Reform conservatives, like the national greatness conservatives before them, dissent from the anti-government enthusiasms of many on the Right."
While I have already written some about what's so wrongheaded with Douthatism -- and will undoubtedly write more -- the main point is that Douthat, Salam, Brooks & Co. are not interested in advancing a conservative policy agenda, they are interested in electing Republicans. On the question of limited government, they offer an echo, not a choice. They don't differ at all from Democrats in their endorsement of a big, expensive, meddlesome federal government; they differ only only in what sort of meddling the government should do, and in wishing to see Republicans in charge of such an all-powerful centralized state.

This is not the conservatism I signed up for, nor is it a philosophically coherent alternative to Democratic "progressivism." The Douthatist scheme -- wage subsidies for "working families"? -- is nothing but Rockefellerism and Scrantonism in postmodern drag.

I call to the reader's attention this trend: These GOP apologists' appetite for big government has only increased as their party has, in the past dozen years, steadlily abandoned the limited-government ideals espoused by Ronad Reagan and by the 1994 "Republican Revolution." Big-government apologists like Douthat blame every GOP setback on the "anti-government enthusiasms" of conservatives, even though the setbacks only multiply and become more severe as Republicans increasingly sign onto the "national greatness" agenda.

A pox on this destructive apostasy and its misguided advocates, whose influence within the Republican Party is the best possible argument to vote for Bob Barr.

John Edwards: Ruh-roh

Hell hath no fury like a love child denied:
The family of John Edwards' former mistress, Rielle Hunter, is challenging the former senator to take a DNA paternity test after his claim that he did not father Hunter's six-month old child.
In the first reaction from Hunter's family, her younger sister Melissa told ABC News that Edwards should immediately follow through on his pledge to take a paternity test.
"I would challenge him to do so," the sister said. "Somebody must stand up and defend my sister," she said. "I wish that those involved would refrain from bad-mouthing my sister."
Ed Morrisey comments:
Edwards’ attempt to salvage some shred of his personal reputation at the expense of Rielle Hunter has caused this blowback. Let’s consider Melissa’s wrath for a moment. It springs from the notion that Edwards and Hunter didn’t have anything more than a physical affair and that Rielle slept with his campaign manager at nearly the same time -- which certainly paints Hunter as something less than a virtuous woman.
In other words, from the standpoint of Hunter's family, Edwards' claim boils down to, "Rielle, you nasty slut." I wonder what Edwards-worshipping Amanda Marcotte will say about this? Will she accuse Rielle of internalizing the patriarchal condemnation of female promiscuity?

Obama vs. McCain on the Caucasus crisis

Ben Smith of the Politico notes a characteristic difference in the way Barack Obama and John McCain address the Russian invasion of Georgia. Note the diplomatic neutrality of Obama's statement:

"I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war. Georgia's territorial integrity must be respected. All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis."

Obama refers to "the outbreak of violence," calls on "both sides" to seek peace, and invokes "the international community." Meanwhile, McCain bluntly speaks of the Russian invasion and makes prominent mention of the NATO military alliance:

Today, news reports indicate that Russian military forces crossed an internationally-recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia. Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory
We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia's security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation.
So, if getting tough with the Russkies is what you want, Maverick's your man.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

Video: Beijing Olympics opening fireworks

Almost as good as my 4th of July show . . .

Edwards' staged wedding-vow renewal

Michelle Malkin recalls the "major gushing" over the People magazine photos of John and Elizabeth Edwards' 2007 renewal of their wedding vows, by Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America":
[W]e have the very first pictures of a very personal backyard ceremony for John Edwards and his wife.
Elizabeth Edwards is talking in a new chapter for her memoirs 'Saving Graces' about her life right now and the renewal of their vows. And we'll show you those pictures, walking down the aisle again."
Here's Elizabeth Edwards at the July 2007 "BlogHer" conference, talking about "values" and religion and renewing her wedding vows:

Hey, Amanda Marcotte, why don't you tell us again why this really isn't a scandal, because Edwards can't be accused of hypocrisy? I mean, here was Edwards, six months before the Iowa caucuses, getting People magazine coverage of his wedding-vow renewal ceremony and ABC News pitching his wife's book -- but none of this is hypocritical, is it?

UPDATE: Lee Stranahan, the kind of liberal true believer who doesn't disillusion easily, puts it bluntly:
I am left with a very uncomfortable truth -- both John and Elizabeth Edwards cynically used their marriage as a means to help John Edwards win an election. . . .
[I]f you gave John and Elizabeth Edwards time, money, support, or goodwill, they played you.
They made a conscious decision to make their relationship a focus throughout the campaign.
A sucker is born every minute.

UPDATE II: Roger Simon is willing to cut Elizabeth Edwards some slack:
Of course, if she knows it’s all BS and she’s still covering up for her husband, well, we’re all entitled to our personal Stockholm Syndromes.
But ... the personal is political!

Fred Baron, humanitarian

I share Ace of Spades' profound skepticism about the role of John Edwards' campaign finance director Fred Baron in the Rielle Hunter affair. Baron says he paid to move Edwards' mistress and the alleged supposed make-believe father of her child to California (a) for purely charitable reasons and (b) without Edwards' knowledge:
He said she and another campaign aide, Andrew Young, who claimed paternity of Ms. Hunter's child, were being dogged by tabloid reporters who believed she had an affair with Mr. Edwards and fathered the child. . . .
He said Mr. Edwards did not know about the arrangement.
"The money was purely and simply to get them out of North Carolina and to get them into a stable place," he said. "They were unable to afford a second home. It was to give them the ability to live somewhere where they wouldn't be harassed."
Why am I thinking of words like "consigliere" and "hush money" here? And why am I reminded of Vernon Jordan arranging for Monica Lewinsky to get a job in New York?

Beyond that, if Edwards wasn't the baby's father, and if he and Hunter had called it quits in March 2007, why was Edwards visiting Hunter and her baby at the Beverly Hilton in July 2008? Just a courtesy visit? "Hey, Rielle, sorry I didn't make it to the baby shower . . ."

Friday, August 8, 2008

'Beer goggles' -- scientific proof!

The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Center now has online "Sense and Sexuality," a new pamphlet by Dr. Miriam Grossman that will be distributed this fall at colleges and universities. The pamphlet is aimed at helping girls avoid the "hookup" culture on campus. Here's something interesting from the pamphlet:
Science has confirmed the existence of "beer goggles" . . .
In a British study, 80 college students rated photos of unfamiliar faces of men and women their age; alcohol consumption significantly raised the scores given to photos of the opposite sex. Drinking affects the nucleus accumbens, the area of the brain used to determine facial attractiveness. It’s probably one of several reasons that casual, high risk sex is often preceded by alcohol consumption. In the morning, you both look different.
Just in case you were wondering, I married a beautiful teetotaller. A near-sighted teetotaller, but a teetotaller.

White racists for Obama

The media has got every angle covered:
They're not exactly rooting for Barack Obama, but prominent white supremacists anticipate a boost to their cause if he becomes the first black president. His election, they say, would trigger a backlash - whites rising up, a revolution of sorts - that they think is long overdue. He'd be a "visual aid," says former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in trying to bring others around to their view that whites have lost control of America.
So there you have it, whitey: If you oppose Obama, you're a racist. And if you support Obama, you're probably also a racist. However the story ends -- whether Obama wins or loses -- the moral of the story is, white people are racist. Just like Rev. Wright said.

The sacrifices of motherhood

British TV news anchor Ulrika Jonsson speaks bluntly about the physical toll of motherhood:
I really haven't had the world's most extravagant breast augmentation operation. It's just what happens to a woman's body when she has her fourth child. . . .
My body has done something miraculous by giving birth to a fourth baby - and I am proud to show off the after-effects of that, even if it is the kind of body I never thought I would inhabit. . . .
I have spent a small fortune purchasing unfeasibly large brassieres on the internet in an attempt to contain these two overgrown barrage balloons that now pass for my breasts. . . .
I feel I have generously donated my body, including my boobs, over a period of 14 years to the creation of my extraordinary brood.
When you think about it, it's really bizarre that Jonsson should feel the need to explain herself this way. A sane society would not expect a 40-year-old mother of four to retain the figure of her 20-something pre-maternal self, or derogate her for looking like a 40-year-old mother of four.
Yet we do not live in a sane society, so Jonsson and other women are subjected to irrational judgment. And therefore you will not be surprised to learn that, despite her expression of "pride" in her maternal figure, Jonsson plans to seek breast reduction surgery.

Edwards warning to ... whom?

"In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic."
-- John Edwards

Edwards 'fesses up, kinda

Never believe a word a Democrat says -- as if you needed to be told.

UPDATE: A lesbian affair, har har.

UPDATE II: "When you have some very credible people working for John Edwards . . ." Eh? If they were "credible," why were they working for that transparent phony?

(Hat tip: Hot Air) There are two Americas, one of which doesn't bust out laughing at the mere thought of a sentence including both "John Edwards" and "very credible."

UPDATE III: Ace catches Amanda Marcotte making excuses for her ex-boss:
My official stance is that unless it’s a matter of hypocrisy, it's none of your damn business. . . . Edwards, as far as I know, has never been a "sanctity of marriage" wanker, and so this is officially None Of Our Business, and anyone who dogged him on this story should be fired on the principle that they don’t know journalism from rooting around in the trash. Hypocrisy is a story; human weakness is not.
Idiot. Am I the only one who remembers how the John-and-His-Heroic-Cancer-Survivor-Wife story was sold to the public as symbolic of Edwards' incredible sensitivity and caring? That Edwards was engaged in a game of make-believe -- attempting to benefit politically from a reputation as a loyal husband while simultaneously shagging Rielle Hunter -- ought to be hypocrisy enough for anyone, regardless of his political positions.

Amanda Marcotte's feminist "principles" are exposed as self-deception and self-degradation. Here's some advice, sweetheart: When you offer to be a doormat, don't complain about the footprints on your back.

UPDATE IV: Now Edwards shoves his wife out into the 'sphere to help spin the story:
Our family has been through a lot. Some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some – most recently – caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences. . . .
[A] recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.
This is utter crap. Just how "absurd" were those tabloid "lies"? Edwards now denies paternity, but he previously denied the affair he now admits. And exactly why was he meeting with Rielle Hunter in L.A., if this is all old news and he is not the father of her child?

Mrs. Edwards, your husband is a liar. Had he not run for president, his lies would be a "private matter," as you say, but being untrustworthy is problematic for someone who aspires to be leader of the free world, eh?

But please don't blame a "tabloid publication" for your husband's exposure, Mrs. Edwards, since it's pretty doggone obvious that the Enquirer originally got its tip from the campaign of one of your husband's erstwhile rivals for the Democratic nomination.

UPDATE V: Stephen Spruiell nails it:
Overheard in the office: "Why would Edwards admit the affair but deny fathering the child?"
I'll tell you why: Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with incurable cancer in late March of 2007. Rielle Hunter's baby was born in late February of 2008. That means that if Edwards is the father, he was definitely still carrying on the affair with Hunter after he knew his wife's cancer was back.
Remember that thing about doormats and footprints, Mrs. Edwards?

UPDATE VI: Worst Husband of the Year.

GOP vs. Maverick on immigration

Interesting news from Ohio:
The day began with [Cincinnati] Enquirer readers in Butler County picking up copies of the paper's Hometown section and finding an ad paid for by the campaign committee of Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones, a Republican, challenging McCain to speak out on immigration - an issue that has come up infrequently on the campaign trail.
Jones has made a national reputation as a hard-liner on illegal immigrants and is opposed to plans such as the one supported by McCain and the Bush administration giving illegal aliens a path to citizenship.
"Are you avoiding this American issue?" the sheriff asked McCain in his newspaper ad. "We are all ears."
By early afternoon, the McCain campaign put out a statement in response to Jones raising an issue that they had not planned to put on the McCain agenda Thursday.
"John McCain will secure the borders first as president," campaign spokesman Paul Lindsay said. "But he also believes we need a comprehensive solution to the issue of illegal immigration."
(Via TNR.)

Can the GOP get the 'youth vote?

YAF's Jason Mattera:
Thousands of adoring supporters in the under-30 set turned out to hear him speak. Drawn by his infectious optimism and electrified by the message of hope and change, the youthful crowd interrupted his speeches with bursts of uncontrollable cheers and tremendous applause. The man in the spotlight wasn't Barack Obama. It was Ronald Reagan.
If this comes as a surprise, it shouldn't. Long before Mr. Obama began appealing to the elusive youth vote, "The Gipper" attracted thousands of young people to his cause. . . .
Read the whole thing. Jason has some suggestions on how Republicans can recapture the youth vote.

'Painful' attack on Obama

Wow, this hits hard:

(Via Conservative Grapevine.)

A week's vacation for Obama?

Obama's taking a week's vacation in Hawaii? At a time when he's neck-and-neck in the polls? With the PUMA crisis unresolved?

Democrats must be torn between panic and outrage by this move. While McCain keeps stumping through swing states, Obama idles amid palm trees and ocean breezes? The contrast will be damaging. (The RNC's already taking advantage.)

Obviously, Team Obama figures that no one will notice this due to the Olympics, but it's just like Obama vacationing in the Virgin Islands while Hillary kept campaigning in Pennsylvania -- or like his European sojourn, for that matter. It signals overconfidence, as if he could coast downhill to victory.

UPDATE: The New Republic's Michael Crowley compares the tropical vacation to John Kerry's ill-advised windsurfing.

Hillary trouble for Obama

"Unity" in Denver may be more difficult to achieve that some realize:
Brenda Krause is tired of fearmongering among the Democrats.
The 55-year-old delegate to the Democratic National Convention doesn't think the party -- or its unity -- is in any way compromised by her voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton at the roll call. . . .
Though the majority of the Democratic Party backs Sen. Barack Obama, an undercurrent of staunch and loyal Clinton supporters say they'll fight all the way to the national convention, which begins Aug. 25 in Denver, to put her name on the ballot.
While Team Obama was busy jetting The One around Europe, they were failing to quench the PUMA rebellion on the home front:
With the clock running out on preparations for the Democratic convention, advisers to Sen. Barack Obama are scrambling to reach a compromise with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to appease her supporters and find roles for her and her husband.

That they're still "scrambling" two months after Obama clinched the nomination -- and barely two weeks before the convention -- suggests an alarming inattention to the problem. And the fact that Obama still hasn't announced his running mate should also worry Democrats

Lindsay's older girlfriend

Lindsay Lohan, 22, celebrated girlfriend Samantha Ronson's 31st birthday yesterday. Anybody worried that Linsday's being exploited by this older woman?

In utterly unrelated news, a 50-year-old woman has given birth to the child of Clay Aiken.

'Big Oil' hurts Republican

Potential trouble for November?
Being linked to "big oil" turned into a big problem for Tennessee Republican freshman Rep. David Davis, who became the first congressman from that state to lose in a primary in more than four decades.
Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe beat Davis by a 500-vote margin Thursday in the solidly Republican 1st District in the northeastern corner of the state. . . .
The race became increasingly acrimonious as the primary election neared. Roe ran a TV ad accusing Davis of selling out to "Big Oil" by accepting money from industry PACs and backing legislation supporting offshore drilling.
If being linked to "Big Oil" can hurt a candidate in a Republican primary (?!) what would be the effect of linking a Republican to "Big Oil" in the general election? Of course, there are plenty of Democrats in Congress who've taken money from "Big Oil" -- including Exxon's sweetheart Barack Obama -- so Republicans could possibly fight fire with fire.

The bigger problem, in my eyes, is that there appears to be such widespread economic ignorance that demonizing "Big Oil" can gain political traction like this. Does being profitable makes a corporation evil? Does being associated with profitable companies make a politician evil? That such arguments could win in a Republican primary is disturbing.

Blogs: Not a poli-sci class

If you want "insightful, intellectual nuance and persusion," I'm not sure that logging onto Memeorandum is the best approach, especially during an election year.

Sometimes, maybe I'd like to be . . . I don't know, Volokh or somebody heavy like that. But I think it's highly unlikely that anyone wants to read my opinions about Guantanamo. So if you want learned opinions about Guantanamo, go to the guys who do that.

It appears that Donald Douglas's complaint was inspired in part by a "snarky" retort aimed at my "Equality Is For Ugly Losers" post. My post wasn't written as an attack on any person, but as an attack on an ideology. Blogs don't come with bibliographies, but if you haven't read Edmund Burke -- "Believe me, sir, those who attempt to level, never equalize" -- then you may not understand the philosophical nature of my hostility to egalitarianism.

The series of posts that culminated in "Equality Is For Ugly Losers" began with a reaction to a New York Times article on a "women online" conference, and the fact that an organizer of that conference complained about the coverage: Boo-hoo-hoo, I'm being oppressed by the sexists at the New York Times. There are serious problems in the world; having a 1,2oo-work New York Times article about your femblogger conference relegated to the "Fashion" section is not one of them.

So, yeah, I called her an "idiot HuffPo woman." Excuse my lack of nuance. One of the fundamental problems is that, once a radical ideology embeds itself in our culture, it is no longer recognized as ideology. To question "equality" is, in the minds of many people, to question the unquestionable.

Entire books have been written about the "income gap" between men and women, to what avail? As long as "equality" is held up as a universal ideal, any difference in income -- or in education, legal status, etc. -- must be considered a social problem. Yet if perfect equality is unattainable (and it is), then the problem is not in society, but in the ideal of equality itself.

How do you get people to question the unquestionable? First you must get their attention. If an unnuanced putdown serves that purpose, OK. Feminists will never abandon their errors if they are exempted from criticism, if they are not occasionally made aware of how ludicrous they appear to those outside their own intellectual ghetto.

Considering that our universities are now groupthink factories where feminism is sacrosanct, I would suggest that vicious sarcasm aimed at the idiocy of feminism serves the salutory purpose of alerting the "empowered" occupants of academic sinecures that the rest of us are undeceived by their nonsense and unintimidated by their prestige.

That I do not preface every joke with an explanation of my purpose, or structure my posts as persuasive essays, does not mean that I write without purpose or that I do not aim to persuade. This isn't a political science lecture or an academic journal. It's a blog.

The medium is not generally suited for long-form discourse, and I've only gone on at such lengths here in an effort to make clear that I don't believe I'm guilty of "demonization" that contributes to the degradation of the 'sphere.

"Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself. She is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless, by human interposition, disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, August 7, 2008

No need to Name That Party

When a Republican is indicted, be sure that his party affliation will be in the first paragraph:
Missouri state Rep. Scott Muschany, R-Frontenac, was indicted today in connection with a reported sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl on May 17, the day after this year’s Legislative session ended.The alleged victim is the daughter of a state employee.
The girl’s mother and Muschany -– who is married and has two children --were romantically involved, the woman said. A Cole County grand jury returned an indictment today charging Muschany with the Class C felony of "deviate sexual assault." ...
Muschany, 42, was booked into the Cole County Jail today at 2:50 and he was released after posting a $5,000 bond.
The most dangerous man in the world is always "mom's boyfriend."

Murder in NY nightclub

While the jazz combo onstage was playing a peppy swing tune, and the creme de la creme of Manhattan society danced the night away . . . er, not exactly:
A 24-year-old Queens woman was beaten to death at a Times Square club packed with rap royalty celebrating Lil' Kim's birthday, and the prime suspects are club employees, police sources said.
A maintenance worker Wednesday found Ingrid (China) Rivera's battered body stuffed in a rooftop electrical room above Spotlight Live. . . .
She had been missing since Sunday when, wearing a blue dress and silver heels, she spent the night at Lil' Kim's bash, which was attended by Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Lamar Odom and Wyclef Jean.
Kind of like the shooting during the Skynyrd show at that redneck bar down in Georgia . . .

Democrats leak party platform

Marc Ambinder has obtained drafts of the Democratic Party platform:
The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. . . . The bourgeois claptrap about the family and education, about the hallowed correlation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labor.
Oops. Sorry. Wrong party. What Ambinder actually has is the Democratic Party platform, which Allah says is "written carefully and vaguely enough that you can extract whatever you want from it, which of course is the point." Which means that the moonbat left will be disappointed, as they would with any platform calling for anything short of the strangulation of the last Christian with the entrails of the last Republican.

Live at YAF! -- Day Three

Continued liveblogging of the Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference.

9 p.m. -- Allen just said "there is no silver bullet for our energy problem. We need some silver buckshot."

8:10 p.m. -- The banquet entree is penne pasta with chicken in tomato sauce. My tablemates include YAF staffer Flagg Youngblood.

7:40 p.m. -- Former Virginia Sen. George Allen will be the speaker at tonight's banquet.

4:50 p.m. -- Michael Graham just said the ones who really lost the primary were comedians -- Hillary's a much better target.

4:45 p.m. -- Graham just referenced this interview:

4:35 p.m. -- Speaking of Obama's speech in Berlin: "Hey, if you can't trust the German people to pick a strong leader . . ."

4:30 p.m. -- Michael Graham: "I got the memo -- that's not comedy, that's hate. . . . Everything you say about Barack Obama is hate."

4:10 p.m. -- Radio hosts Doug Giles and Michael Graham are preparing to discuss "advancing conservative ideas through humor."

4:25 p.m. -- Doug Giles is also a Christian evangelist, and has a very strong personal presence. He interacts with the audience, teasing with some of his friends Benny Johnson and Rachel Coolidge in the front row. Kidding with Jason Mattera about when they go out for beer and cigars -- not exactly your stereotypical uptight preacher. "I found in Christ an example extraordinaire . . . if you read the scriptures straight, as I do my whiskey, you'll see quickly that Jesus was no bearded lady." He says when he goes to pastors' conferences, he tells them, "Thou shalt not bore should be a commandment."

2:40 p.m. -- Princeton University professor Robert George is talking about natural law theory, and just told students that philosophy requires them to choose between "the Humean or the Aristotlean view" of human nature. (George is Aristotelean, I think.)

UPDATE: Kirby Wilbur is addressing the men's luncheon. He addresses the tradition of chivalry, and says, "There's not really much wrong with that old code. If we still lived by that, he world would be a better place."

This morning the panel on new media features YAF spokesman Jason Mattera, talk radio producer A.J. Rice, National Review Online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez, and Mary Katharine Ham of the Washington Examiner.

K-Lo recalls that when she attended NCSC about 15 years ago, "you could count the girls on one hand."

UPDATE: MK just showed her notorious "Obama On My Shoulder" video and warned students that this song will "be in your head all day":

Blogging of Day One and Day Two.

'Electability' returns

Resurrecting an argument from the Democratic primaries, Victor Davis Hanson says that Hillary Clinton would be the more electable candidate:
If the polls are right, a public tired of Republicans is beginning to think an increasingly bothersome Obama would be no better -- and maybe a lot worse. . . .
In a tough year like this, Democrats could probably have defeated Republican John McCain with a flawed, but seasoned candidate like Hillary Clinton. But long-suffering liberals convinced their party to go with a messiah rather than a dependable nominee -- and thereby they probably will get neither.
This is the real hope of the GOP this year: That liberals have once again demonstrated how smart they are by outsmarting themselves.

UPDATE: The question of whether Hillary is plotting something may answer itself, but the question of whether she should get a convention vote is still open to debate. Would it hurt Obama if her delegates should demonstrate their strength? Or would it hurt Obama worse if he appeared to be suppressing her supporters? Personally, I think Obama has nothing to fear from a roll call that he knows he would win. The imposition of a compulsory consensus makes the undemocratic nature of the process -- with Obama essentially chosen by the "superdelegates" -- too transparent.

WSJ wrong about the South

This is just wrong:
The party's rising prospects point toward a once unthinkable goal: a reversal of the "Great Reversal," the switch in political loyalties in the 1960s that made the South a Republican stronghold for a generation.
It was not until the 1990s that the GOP solidified its dominance in the South. While Republican presidents beginning with Eisenhower did well in the South, but that realignment didn't trickle down to the state and local level until the '90s. As recently as 1994, my native Georgia had two Democratic senators and only three Republican congressmen. It wasn't until 2002 that Georgia elected its first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

Incorrectly placing this realignment in the 1960s is part of a myth promoted by liberals, as a way of falsely suggesting that Republicans succeeded in the South because of race and civil rights. In fact, the South didn't become solidly Republican until two or three decades after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Poll Watch

Gallup: Obama 46%, McCain 43%
Rasmussen: Obama 47%, McCain 46%

Rasmussen has a note about undecided voters:
If the race for the White House remains close, the final decision may be rest in the hands of voters who are not yet paying attention to the campaign. Each night, Rasmussen Reports asks survey participants to let us know how closely they are following the election using a 9-point scale. People answering "9" say they are following the race "on a daily basis." . . .
[A]mong the undecided voters, just 19% say they're paying that much attention. On that nine-point scale, most undecided voters say their interest in the campaign is a "6" or less.
This goes to a basic point: Elections always boil down to independent "swing" voters, who pay less attention to politics -- who are less informed -- than partisans.

UPDATE: Rasmussen also reports the influence of TV news:
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Fox News viewers say they are likely to vote for John McCain, while those who watch CNN and MSNBC plan to support Barack Obama in November by more than two to one.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of CNN voters plan to vote for the Democratic candidate versus 26% who intend to go for the Republican. Similarly, MSNBC watchers plan to vote for Obama over McCain 63% to 30%. ...
Among those who get their information on the presidential campaign from local television, the new survey finds that the amount of time one watches impacts how they plan to vote. Those who watch local news every day support Obama over McCain 52% to 42%. But for those who say they watch several days a week but not every day, it’s McCain over Obama 50% to 43%.
Not surprising.

Racism: Name that party!

The New York Times:
In the culmination of a racially fraught Congressional campaign in Memphis, a black candidate is linking her liberal-leaning white primary opponent in Thursday's contest, Representative Steve Cohen, to the Ku Klux Klan in a television advertisement. . . .
The advertisement for the challenger, Nikki Tinker, juxtaposes Mr. Cohen's picture with that of a hooded Klansman, and criticizes Mr. Cohen for voting against renaming a park in Memphis currently named for the Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Ku Klux Klan founder.
"This makes you wonder," a black former county commissioner, Walter Bailey, says in the advertisement. "Who is the real Steve Cohen?"
Read the whole thing -- 662 words and "Democrat" is not one of them.

UPDATE: Linked by Instapundit and Small Dead Animals -- thanks! Meanwhile, we learn that Emily's List and Keith Olbermann are shocked, shocked that a Democrat would resort to such tactics:
"We were shocked to see the recent ads run by the Nikki Tinker for Congress campaign. We believe the ads are offensive and divisive," said Ellen Malcolm, the group's director. "EMILY's List does not condone or support these types of attacks."
Those ads brought Tinker another blast when MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named her tonight as his "Worst Person in the World," a regular over-the-top satire on his program.
While smearing Republicans is still fair game, Democrats aren't supposed to say such things about each other.

UPDATE II: Jammie Wearing Fool notices that a mayor of "unknown party affiliation" was sent to jail in Detroit.

Second-hand leftism

Routine plagiarism was editorial policy at an "alternative weekly" in Texas:
Like many alt weeklies, the paper's bread-and-butter is politics, and from the spring of 2005 on, its political op-eds comprise an apparently unbroken sequence of pilfered prose. The Bulletin's archives reveal a strong preference for the online magazine Salon -- in particular, the punditry of Joe Conason and Sidney Blumenthal. Compiling a complete annotated list of articles would require the services of a half-dozen unpaid interns, so a few examples will have to suffice.
Plagiarizing Sidney Blumenthal? Talk about desperation.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Keira: OK to be flat

She refuses to get breast implants:
Twenty-three-year-old box-office babe Keira Knightley recently refused to have her boobs enhanced in publicity photos for her new movie "The Duchess."
"She is proud of her body and doesn't want it altered," a source told Britain's Daily Mail last week.
I'm with Bethan Cole: Fake boobs are unnatural. If Hollywood wants skinny movie stars, it can't expect them to be both skinny and buxom.

New ad from Team Maverick

Keeping up the "celebrity" angle:

The message:
Is the biggest celebrity in the world ready to help your family?
The real Obama promises higher taxes, more government spending. So, fewer jobs.
Renewable energy to transform our economy, create jobs and energy independence, that's John McCain.
Simple and direct, reinforcing basic themes.

Poll Watch: Obama +2

Gallup: Obama 46%, McCain 44%
Rasmussen: Obama 47%, McCain 46%

Time magazine sees "trouble" in its latest poll showing Obama leading 46%-41%:
[O]n specific issues, Obama is treading water or sinking a bit. On the number one issue of the campaign right now, the economy, Obama leads McCain 43%-39%, compared to 44%-37% reported by TIME's poll in June. Despite his highly touted tour of Europe, the Middle East and Afghanistan last month, Obama may be in
something of a late summer slump. The poll shows that voters have increased
their faith in McCain's ability to manage the Iraq war, favoring him over Obama by a margin of 51%-36%, a five point jump since June.
Note, of course, that Time describes bad news for Obama as "trouble"; bad news for McCain would be ... Hope?

Live at YAF! Day Two

Former Virginia Republican Party chairwoman Kate Obenshain is the banquet speaker tonight at the Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference. The dinner entree is filet of salmon.

UPDATE: Ms. Obenshain has apparently been cautioned not to get into campaign mode, so she refers to a "very prominent liberal" who lectures Americans that "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."

Ms. Obenshain also quotes the Huffington Post's Steven Posner's denunciation of patriotism as "crude flag-waving fanaticism." She responds to Posner by quoting such famous "fanatics" as Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry and John Paul Jones.

Last night, I had the opportunity to speak to a conservative student superstar, Rebecca Beach. As a community college freshman three years ago, Rebecca decided to bring Iraq war hero Lt. Col. Scott Rutter as a campus speaker. When she sent an e-mail to faculty asking them to help promote the speech in their classes, she got an incredibly nasty (and ungrammatical) reply from an adjunct English instructor John Daly. Rebecca forwarded the e-mail to YAF and, next thing she knows, she's being interviewed by Sean Hannity -- sparking a national controversy that ended with Daly's resignation.

The atmosphere of repression on campuses includes lots of incidents you never hear about in the media, however. I just spoke to another student superstar, Jessica Austin, who told me about the controversy that erupted last year when she scheduled Tammy Bruce as a speaker at the University of Redlands. This resulted in death threats that police traced to the president of a gay student group, who was prosecuted. University administrators agreed to provide extra security for the event.

This kind of stuff never happens to liberal speakers. You can bring Al Gore or Michael Moore to campus, and there are never death threats or security hassles or faculty denunciations.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Polls or prophecies?

My latest column at the American Spectator:
Analogies from sports are often employed to describe the competitive clash of politics and I've used a baseball metaphor myself to describe the current presidential campaign.
However, my eyebrows were raised when I learned that Internet poll guru Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight (538 = total number of Electoral College votes) comes to political punditry from a background of baseball statistics. . . .
The results on Nov. 4 may very well match Silver's projections (currently 295 EVs for Obama, 243 for McCain), but this is merely the extrapolation of current numbers over an imaginary 90-day event-free path to Election Day, which cannot be assumed.
Read the whole thing. (That means you, Dave Weigel.)

She's totally ready to lead

"See you at the debates, bitches!"

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Ben Stein is not amused:

This little tramp, who isn't even close to being pretty, is belittling a man who spent six years in brutal captivity for defending his country.

Live at YAF!

Greetings from the Marvin Center at George Washington University, where I'm covering the 30th National Conservative Student Conference, sponsored by Young America's Foundation. Will be updating regularly . . .

9:20 p.m. -- Rich Lowry was funny. And depressing. The steak was delicious and the carrot cake was good.

8 p.m. -- My tablemates at dinner include Kirby Wilbur, talk radio star of Seattle's KVI, and one of Doug Giles's daughters. Also, two students from Patrick Henry College, and Allison Aldrich of CNS News.

7 p.m. -- Just got back from a brief pre-dinner at TGI Friday's, where I interviewed Dan Flynn, who got his start with YAF as an undergraduate at U-Mass./Amherst back in the 1990s. Among other things, he protested the university's plans to rename the library after W.E.B. DuBois (who joined the Communist Party, praised Stalin and renounced his American citizenship). Flynn had the Flat Iron Steak.

4:50 p.m. -- Brooks just finished. He was introduced by YAF intern Alisa Kassil, Kings College in New York, who said of his speech: "I thought it was a refreshing look at the current state of affairs."

Next up, National Review editor Rich Lowry speaks at tonight's banquet.

4:15 p.m. -- Just met Sgt. Frank Anello, USMC, who is a student at Norwich University in Vermont. Anello, a married father of two, participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and describes the opening day of the war as "the greatest day in my life," and says he "can't wait to get back" to Iraq. With more than 8 years in the service, Sgt. Anello is working toward a commission as a platoon leader. Semper fi!

3:45 p.m. -- David Brooks is speaking now. I've left my recorder in the auditorium for future reference, while I blog some shoutouts for a few of my peeps. Having seen them at previous YAF events and at CPAC, some of these future leaders of conservatism are becoming familiar faces: Sara Mikolajczak, Andrew McIndoe, Ruth Malhotra (who just won her lawsuit against Georgia Tech), Benny Johnson, Dan Lipian, Rachel Coolidge, Tom Qualtere and Gabby Shuster are here, to name just a few.

At any rate, I need to get myself chilled before going back in the room with the originator of "National Greatness" conservatism.

3:10 p.m. -- "You can't trust the Left to write their own history," Dan Flynn, author of A Conservative History of the American Left, told the hundreds of students gathered here. "They don't want to be reminded."

Flynn recounted the history of 19th-century socialist Robert Owen and his "New Harmony" commune, "a complete disaster." Flynn noted that Owen wished to abolish three great evils: private property, religion and marriage. "It is as it was -- not a lot has changed in 180 years," Flynn said.

The notion of "heaven on earth," of men running a godless temporal paradise is "the most harmful delusion in history," Flynn said.

New York Times columnist David Brooks speaks next. Mere coincidence ...

2:25 p.m. -- Just finished a panel on "Status of the Young Conservative Movement in 2008," featuring Charlie Smith, chairmon of the College Republican National Committee; Ron Robinson, president of YAF; Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute; and Douglas Minson, executive director of academic affairs at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

During the Q&A session, Crystal Boyd of UNLV asked a question about "brand damage," students who reject the "conservative" label. She spoke of talking to a fellow student who said, "I'm a libertarian -- I'm voting for Obama" -- rather a non-sequitur. Ron Robinson answered that this is "often more a question of self-identification," with students agreeing more with the conservative position on issues. "You have to engage them," Robinson said. "Do not abandon the conservative label," he advised, citing the fact that "conservative" is far more popular than "liberal" as a political identifier.

Blackwell pointed out that "the vast majority of college students are apathetic" and said conservative students have an "opening to get these people . . . get a good book or magazine in their hands . . . get them involved."

New ad: 'The original Maverick'

The brand independent voters love:

Obviously, this is to make sure Maverick's non-partisan brand ID is not lost due to his sharp attacks on Obama.

Obama NOT a flip-flopper

McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker:
"Senator Obama's stance on offshore oil drilling has been mischaracterized. He has not changed his position. He has continually campaigned against additional drilling, calling the policy a 'gimmick' saying it was a 'scheme' and ridiculing those who support it. With his steadfast opposition to John McCain's 'all of the above' approach to our energy crisis, Americans should know that Barack Obama remains opposed to additional domestic oil drilling. Speaker Pelosi, and the Sierra Club can take comfort from the fact that Barack Obama still opposes additional domestic oil drilling. Meanwhile, the American people can be sure that John McCain will do what is necessary to reduce this country's dependence on Middle East oil and bring down prices at the pump."
That's going to leave a mark.

Obama the rootless

David Brooks puts his finger on something about the disconnect between The One and the many:
His childhood was a peripatetic journey through Kansas, Indonesia, Hawaii and beyond. . . .
His college years were spent on both coasts. He was a community organizer for three years but left before he could be truly effective. He became a state legislator, but he was in the Legislature, not of it. . . .
If Obama is fully a member of any club — and perhaps he isn’t — it is the club of smart post-boomer meritocrats. We now have a cohort of rising leaders, Obama’s age and younger, who climbed quickly through elite schools and now ascend from job to job. They are conscientious and idealistic while also being coldly clever and self-aware. It’s not clear what the rest of America makes of them.
Maybe this is why Obama used the word "planet" eight times in Monday's speech -- his identity is global in scope and, like many of his peers in the cosmopolitan elite, he views national and local attachments as inherently backward and reactionary.

UPDATE: John Zogby:
"The survey results come as Obama, fresh off what had been characterized as a triumphant tour of the Middle East and Europe, including a speech to 200,000 Germans in Berlin. That trip quickly became fodder for an aggressive response ad by the McCain campaign that questioned whether Obama's popularity around the world meant he was ready to lead the U.S."
(Via Instapundit.) Rasmussen shows McCain maintaining a 47%-46% lead for the second day in a row. Since July 21, Obama's lead in the RCP average has shrunk from 4.7 points to 2.3 points.

Headlines from Drudge

Totally random, OK?
Am I the only one thinking that maybe being a "tool of Big Oil" isn't so bad when being a "tool" puts you on the side of increased production that would drive down the price?

But this is just random coincidence ... and now Obama changes his mind about tapping the strategic oil reserve. How long before he endorses a gas-tax holiday?

Yeah, remember, when Team Obama said they were planning to send St. Hopey to Alaska? McCain +6 in Alaska. And remember when Team Obama insisted on disenfranchising Democrats in Florida? McCain +6 in Florida. North Carolina? McCain +4. Missouri? McCain +5.

These are all just isolated items, exhibiting no discernible pattern. It would be wrong to try to see them as remotely related in any way.

UPDATE: Now a "fact check" on Obama's accusation that Maverick's funded by those eeeevil guys at Big Oil. And Ed Morrissey points out, guess who has Big Oil guys as campaign-cash "bundlers"?

'It’s not a cure for cancer, it’s a blog.'

Rachel Lucas doesn't want you to misunderstand.

Josh Marshall loses it

The TPM pundit accuses Team Maverick of a "headlong dive into sleaze, xenophobia and gonzo bamboozlement." Because of a couple of ads. Andrea Mitchell shares this folie a deux:

Mattera vs. 'Cold Cash' Jefferson

'Most ethical Congress ever'!

(H/T: Michelle at Hot Air.)

Jason Mattera is at this week's Young America's Foundation conference in D.C. -- and in a few hours, I will be there, too. I'm spending three days covering the event down at George Washington University.

Obama whines about 'issues'

"Just another liberal Democrat" -- if Team Maverick were smart, that's how they'd tag Obama. For all his talk of Change, and all the talk that he's being hit with racist "code," The One We've Been Waiting For seems to be reading from the standard playbook.

Now, he's recycling the old complaint that Republicans won't talk about "the real issues":
"If you think about this week, what they've been good at is distraction," he said during an expansive and quite humid early morning press conference [in
Florida]. "You've got statistics saying we lost another 50,000 jobs. That Florida is in recession for the first time in a decade and a half. And what was being talked about was Paris and Britney."
Who's been talking about Paris and Britney, Senator? The "Celeb" ad was about your opposition to new oil drilling, and high fuel costs are a major factor in the recession -- Florida's a tourism-dependent state and, at $4 a gallon, folks can't afford to drive to Disney World. So instead of whining about "distraction," why not just tell us again about your plan to fix the energy problem with tire gauges?

Better yet, Captain Planet, how about pandering to the locals by promising more tax money for the space program?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why Obama's losing

Ed Morrissey makes it explicit, for the benefit of lefty bloggers who pretend they don't get what's so stupid about this Obama quote:
We could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You’d actually save just as much.

As Morrissey demonstrates from multiple sources, this is simply untrue, the silliness of the argument goes beyond its falsehood:

  • The additional production from drilling ANWR and offshore would be many times greater than the amount from such improvements in efficiency.
  • Even if conservation -- tire inflation, tuneups, etc. -- could reduce consumption, this doesn't mean that the additional production would be useless. If conservation reduces demand by factor X and additional production could expand supply by the same factor, why would we not choose a potential price savings of 2x from doing both?
  • Checking your tire pressure is a hassle, and tuneups cost money, and thus Obama is demanding we spend our money and time doing these things, rather than simply lift government prohibitions against drilling that would give us cheaper gas without any extra money or effort on our part.
  • There's a class issue and a hypocrisy issue involved. You can best believe that Obama's not checking his tire pressure, and his transportation is provided either by your taxes or by campaign contributors, so the cost of a tune-up doesn't come out of his pocket.
The rich, powerful, successful Harvard Law graduate is telling ordinary Americans how to live their lives, by engaging in expenditures of time and effort that he never has to make himself. Do you lefties think people in Ohio and Pennsylvania are too stupid to understand this?

Keith Olbermann, Kossack

Blogging to criticize The Washington Post's Dana Milbank for failing to kowtow to his demands that he issue a "correction" for a column. Milbank says, "I'm out of here," and Olbermann says that Milbank's failure to kowtow constitute's a "cloud" over Milbank.

I'd call Olbermann "arrogant," but David Gergen has ruled that word "racist."

The Politico: Success and failure

An item today on the Politico's success as a news organization, but Ezra Klein notes its apparent failure as a business model:
The success of Politico actually seems like an incredibly discouraging sign for the media. . . . A year-and-a-half after launch, it's getting 3.5 million unique visitors per month and 25 million page views. And yet not only is it unprofitable, but 60 percent of its revenues come from advertising in the 27,000 circulation print version. In other words: Politico got the online readership it dreamed of, but it hasn't come even close to figuring out how to monetize it.
OK, to start with, the failure of online advertising to create the kind of revenue stream needed to sustain a full-scale news operation is not news. This goes back to the era of the dot-com bubble, when got a huge investment and a lot of hype and produced nothing but red ink -- or should that be "red pixels"?

In their defense, the Politico made some bad business moves during its first year of operation, hiring more staffers than it actually needed (including Amy Doolittle, a feature writer who'd done excellent work at The Washington Times) and then laying them off. So it may be that, with further streamlining to trim costs, they may yet become profitable.

Also, it must be pointed out that the Politico is part of a larger communications company that owns TV stations, etc., and if they can get some synergy happening, the Politico might be sustainable so long as its unit losses are relatively small compared to the overall profitability of the parent firm.

Still, Ezra's basic point is solid. The collapse of print news circulation and advertising has not been matched by the development of comparable profit opportunities online, and thus the news business is hurting. (Note that Klein is, himself, employed by the American Prospect, a non-profit funded with donations from rich liberals.)

My former boss Fran Coombs has some nostalgic thoughts about "The Front Page" and old-fashioned newspaper competition. Washington, D.C., is one of the few places left in America where you still have multiple newspapers (and other news organizations) racing to capture the "scoop." The news business thrives on that kind of competition, and unless we can develop new revenue models to fund reporting, the industry must suffer.

Expats for Obama

(Via Hot Air.)

Obama: Captain Planet

Saw part of this speech today:
Our changing climate is placing our planet in peril. . . .
When it comes to our economy, our security, and the very future of our planet, the choices we make in November and over the next few years will shape the next decade, if not the century. . . .
Without a doubt, this addiction [to oil] is one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced -- from the gas prices that are wiping out your paychecks and straining businesses to the jobs that are disappearing from this state; from the instability and terror bred in the Middle East to the rising oceans and record drought and spreading famine that could engulf our planet. . . .
Will we be the generation that leaves our children a planet in decline, or a world that is clean, and safe, and thriving? . . .
For the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, we must end the age of oil in our time. . . .
Along with the cap-and-trade program I've proposed, we will reduce our dangerous carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and slow the warming of our planet. . . .
So there is a real choice in this election - a choice about what kind of future we want for this country and this planet. . . .
We can watch other countries create the industries and the jobs that will fuel our future, and leave our children a planet that grows more dangerous and unlivable by the day.
Buzz Lightyear for President! Only the Space Ranger of Star Command and the Interstellar Alliance can protect you from Emperor Zug! What a bunch of apocalyptic hooey . . .

UPDATE: Further analysis:
. . . peril . . . turmoil . . . the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced . . . a threat that goes to the very heart of who we are as a nation . . . melting our glaciers and setting off dangerous weather patterns . . . our families and our economy suffer and our future is put in jeopardy . . . crisis we have no control over . . .
Holy crap: He's running as Al Gore!

UPDATE II: Linked by Dean Barnett at Weekly Standard, whose reaction to today's speech is ... well, required reading:
Terrific. The guy who lacks a single day’s experience in the private sector is going to transform our entire economy.
Except, I wouldn't say Obama's got no private sector experience. There was, after all, his magical book deal.

UPDATE III: Linked at Conservative Grapevine.

UPDATE IV: Captain Planet recyles . . . Bill Clinton's 1992 promise of a "middle-class tax cut"!

No 'surge' of hookers . . .

. . . for the GOP and Democratic conventions, police say:
As the Twin Cities and Denver gear up for four days of politics and parties during the Republican and Democratic national conventions, advocacy groups in both cities are getting set to combat what they believe will be a surge in prostitution.
But police in both cities say that the groups are mistaken and that research indicates there will be no increase in the sex trade. . . .
St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh said his department discussed the issue with police in New York and Boston, which hosted the 2004 Republican and Democratic conventions, respectively.
"And what they have reported to us is that is that there is not an increase in that kind of traffic," Walsh said. "There is so much going on, I don't know that there is a lot of unstructured time to be involved in any other activities. ... Is it something we are going to monitor? It is."
Lt. Ron Saunier of the Denver police said that while police in that city have set up several committees to deal with problems anticipated during the Aug. 25-28 Democratic convention, there's no committee on prostitution. "I have not heard of any information at this time about increased prostitution during the event," he said.
The Republicans will have a lot of blonde, busty women buzzing around, but those are just the wives of the Texas delegates. The Democrats will be too busy snorting coke to bother with prostitution.

Nancy says 'no'

No drilling for oil, ever, as long as Pelosi and the Democrats control Congress. If I were asked, "What's the one way Democrats might possibly blow this election?" this might be it.

McCain 47%, Obama 46%

Slept late and woke up to this:
This is the first time McCain has enjoyed even a statistically insignificant advantage of any sort since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3. . . .
A week ago today, Obama had a three-percentage point lead and the candidates were even among unaffiliated voters. Today, McCain leads 52% to 37% among unaffiliateds.
Allah: "It has to be the ads." Perhaps. Or perhaps weeks of relentless pounding by Team Maverick have gradually made Americans aware of the fact that Obama is a liberal who has only been in the Senate for three years and whose energy "plan" consists primarily of a Carteresque "windfall profits tax."

On the other hand, maybe Gergen's right: It's all about the "code."

UPDATE: Gallup has the trend moving the other way, with Obama now ahead 46%-43%, but that's registered voters, not "likely" voters as in the Rasmussen poll. Big difference.

UPDATE II: A good way to verify that I'm not just engaged in self-validated gloating is to check the lefty bloggers:
I've had a bad feeling about the direction of the campaign for the past couple weeks. . . . The latest tracking polls seem to indicate that McCain's negative attacks are having an impact. The corollary is that Obama's response hasn't been working, or at least it hasn't been enough.
The lefty makes the good point that national polls can be misleading because, ultimately, it comes down to getting to 270 the Electoral College and, as Allah noted, "The same Rasmussen poll puts the electoral college at Obama 273, McCain 227."

However, if Obama melts down in national polls, he'll also go down with swing voters in swing states -- and it's these voters who are being targeted heavily by McCain's attack ads. So a steady downward trend for Obama nationally would, eventually, be mirrored in swing-state polls. It would just take more time, because (a) Obama began with a substantial lead in most swing states, (b) states are not polled on a daily basis, and (c) Obama's targeting his own ads in these swing states, too, so that voters are being whipsawed by attack-and-counterattack.

The current poll trend means mainly that Obama's under pressure. His foreign trip was a flop that gained him nothing, while fueling the "arrogance" narrative. A negative poll trend takes the wind of "inevitability" out of his sails, and puts him on the defensive.

This is the point in the campaign when screaming matches at headquarters start to break out, where fingers of blame are being pointed, and people start looking for a scapegoat. Let Obama slip a few more points, and you'll start hearing "shakeup" rumors.

You're guilty of murder

You never even heard of Luis Ramirez. You've never been anywhere near Shenandoah, Pa. But don't try to deny it, says liberal columnist Walter Brasch:
On a street in Shenandoah, Pa., deep in the heart of the anthracite coal region, six White teens took their racial hatred to a higher level. They confronted 25-year-old Luis Ramirez, an undocumented worker, and beat him to death. . . .
Unindicted co-conspirators are millions of Americans and the far-right mass media. . . .
But now, self-aggrandizing politicians and media talk show hosts and pundits, who erroneously believe they are populists, spew hate-filled torrents of bigotry and fear-mongering.
I don’t know if the six teens who murdered Luis Ramirez listen to talk radio, watch Fox News, or read web blogs and anonymous call-ins and letters to the local newspaper. They don’t have to. Their community does.
Right. And immediately after watching "Fox & Friends" this morning, I'll go perpetrate whatever hateful atrocity Steve Doocy suggests. (He's like that, you know.)

Brasch's "argument" reminds me of the Matthew Shepard case, which caused liberals everywhere to blame the murder on the "Religious Right," even though there wasn't a scintilla of evidence that the two petty hoodlums who killed Shepard had ever had anything to do with either religion or the Right. The great thing about liberal belief, as Thomas Sowell has said, is that it renders evidence irrelevant.

UPDATE: Linked at AOSHQ headlines, which explains all the great comments.

Quote of the Year?

"McCain should return the $4,600 that the Hiltons donated and tell them to buy panties for their daughters."
-- Don Surber

Black reporter ousted at McCain event

By Secret Service:
Tallahassee Democrat senior writer Stephen Price on Friday was singled out and asked to leave a media area at the Panama City rally of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.
Price was among at least three other reporters, and the only black reporter, surrounding McCain's campaign bus . . . when a member of the Arizona senator's security detail asked the reporter to identify himself. Price had shown his media credentials to enter the area.
Price showed his employee identification as well as his credentials for the Friday event.
"I explained I was with the state press, but the Secret Service man said that didn't matter and that I would have to go," Price said.
When another reporter asked why Price was being removed, she too was led out of the area.
Having covered Hillary Clinton three times and John McCain once on the campaign trail, I can tell you that the security for McCain's event was much more . . . uptight, I guess you'd say. In Wilkes-Barre, they had "crime scene" tape set up so nobody could get within 50 yards of the McCain bus. And reporters were not exempted.

There must be some training academy where Republican campaign staffers are taught to treat reporters like dangeorous scum. Team Maverick's use of Secret Service to hassle reporters is apparently an innovation that will be studied closely by GOP operatives in future campaigns.