Saturday, August 23, 2008

Video: Biden in 1988

Via Hot Air:

Next time somebody accuses me of being a loudmouthed, arrogant smart-aleck -- man, that's leadership!

Fournier gets Malkinized

Journalists who contradict the Left's pet narratives are subject to Malkinization: Personal demonization with the object to completely discredit the journalist as a source of facts.

Witness Ron Fournier, a longtime political reporter with the Associated Press and certainly no right-winger, who led his analysis of the choice of Joe Biden's selection as Democratic running-mate thus:
The candidate of change went with the status quo.
In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness -- inexperience in office and on foreign policy -- rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.
He picked a 35-year veteran of the Senate -- the ultimate insider -- rather than a candidate from outside Washington, such as Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia or Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; or from outside his party, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; or from outside the mostly white male club of vice presidential candidates. Hillary Rodham Clinton didn't even make his short list.
The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden pick is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative -- a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.
OK, it's an analysis and, as such, is subject to dispute. Yet even those who praise Obama's choice of Biden do so because Biden brings to the Democratic ticket the exact same qualities Fournier named: His experience in Washington, his credibility on foreign policy, his ferocity as an attack dog.

Yet the online Left cries foul. Why?
McCain campaign staffers are pushing [Fournier's story] fairly aggressively to other reporters, in large part because it mirrors the Republican line with minimal variation.
In other words, any analysis that might reflect a GOP perspective is prima facie illegitimate. Kos calls Fournier "McCain's mole at the Associated Press." Another blogger goes after Fournier for his speaker's fees.

It is only a matter of time before Fournier is totally Malkinized, his personal phone number and home address published online, e-mailed death threats, the works. The purpose of Malkinization is not merely to intimidate the direct object of the attacks, but also (a) to discourage other journalists from quoting or citing the journalist suspected of Republican sympathies and (b) to terrorize into silence any other Republican sympathizers in the media.


Bidenfreude (n.) The joy Republicans feel at Democratic despondency over Obama's vice presidential choice.

Anita Thompson is a wonderful person. I should feel no pleasure at her glum reaction to Old Pluggy as Barack Obama's running-mate pick. Then again, I recall no sympathy from my liberal friends when Maverick somehow foisted himself on the GOP.

Besides, as Philip Klein reports from Denver, many Democrats in the Hyatt Bar think Joe's just dandy:
I struck up a conversation with an Obama volunteer from Portland, Oregon, and told him who I write for. After the speech, he came over and confidently said, "you guys are in trouble."
Though he acknowledged that Biden could be a "loose cannon," he thinks he's a known quantity who will bring experience to the ticket.
He was also convinced that Obama was not going to be like John Kerry, but would be prepared to fight back against Republican attacks -- especially because he took on the Clinton Machine. "That's like taking on the frickin' mafia," he exclaimed.
So cheer up, Anita: Obama's disciples believe the Messiah can do no wrong, including picking a veep candidate who comes complete with an extensive GOP oppo-research dossier.

D Minus-2: Gonzo on Veeps

I had been without sleep for two or three days at the time, and my temper was close to the surface. Beyond that, I had spent the past five or six days brooding angrily over the list of vice-presidential possibilities that McGovern had floated in the New York Times several days before the convention even started. I recall telling Mankiewicz in the coffee shop on Friday night that I had never seen so many bums and hacks listed in a single paragraph in any publication for any reason. . . .
But Frank assured me that my wrath was premature. "Don't worry," he said. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised." . . .
So there was nothing personal in my loud objections to Eagleton a week later. It struck me as a cheap and unncessary concession to the pieced-off ward-heeler syndrom that McGovern had been fighting all along. Tom Eagleton was exactly the kind of VP candidate that Muskie or Humphrey would have chosen: a harmless, Catholic, neo-liberal Rotarian nebbish from one of the border states who presumably wouldn't make any waves.
-- Hunter S. Thompson,
Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72
For some reason, the late Dr. G0nzo's words keep haunting me this year. While so many of the circumstances in this year's election are unprecedented ("vuja de," as George Carlin would say), Team Obama keeps making moves that recall the absurd overconfidence of the McGovern campaign in 1972, when Mankiewicz, Hart & Co. seriously believed that the unpopularity of Nixon and the Vietnam war would guarantee the election of whoever won the Democratic Party nomination.

Obama's choice of Joe Biden strikes me as eerily similar to McGovern's pick of Tom Eagleton 36 years ago. Unlike Eagleton -- a young nobody in '72 when he was tapped for the No. 2 spot -- Biden is a known quantity, and all of Biden's scandals are old news. While there may be some undiscovered conflict-of-interest scandal lurking in Joe's closet, we're unlikely to be shocked (pardon the pun) by any revelation of secret treatment for mental illness.

Yet Biden is definitely a concession to the Old Guard, "the Ultimate Washington Insider," as Patrick Ruffini says, and exactly the sort of Establishment figure that HST would have denounced as a "bum" and a "hack."

Beyond that, naming the choice in the wee hours Saturday completely undercuts the obstensible purpose of the text-message announcement idea. When this idea was originally announced, you could see its brilliance: About 11 a.m. on a weekday, for instance, the text message would go out, everybody would get it on their cellphones or Blackberries, and the name of the nominee would spread via word-of-mouth buzz in the workplace. Supporters would have the exciting memory of one of those "I remember exactly where I was" moments.

Instead, the campaign dawdled so long that (a) there could not possibly be any word-of-mouth factor, and (b) the MSM beat them to the punch. As Ed Morrissey says:
I’m not sure a political campaign could possibly screw up a running-mate announcement as badly as Team Obama.
Well, it could be done, Ed: McGovern waited until 4 p.m. on the Thursday of the convention before making the call to Eagleton. Still, as in '72, the disappointment of many on the Left is palpable, especially among Hillary's supporters like Jeralyn Merritt (who is "underwhelmed and greatly disappointed") and Big Tent Democrat, who says, "Hell of a rollout. Not."

Enough of that. My flight for Denver leaves tomorrow, and between now and then I've got two articles to write, including about 1,400 words of print-only reporting that will require me to transcribe audio (my least favorite job in the world). So I've got to stop blogging and start writing, and you can't expect many updates from me until I've at least made some headway on that stuff.

UPDATE: 350 words into writing the first of two pieces, I take a break to note Michael Goldfarb's observation:

But what's with holding the text message until 3 a.m. for Joe Biden? The only explanation that makes any sense is that Team Obama just couldn't resist one last dig at Hillary.

Allahpundit disagrees:

A likelier explanation: They meant to send it out this morning, but the networks scooped them by confirming the pick around midnight so they had to push it out ahead of schedule to save as much face as possible.

Either way, they've pushed it into the Saturday news cycle and blown whatever word-of-mouth buzz factor they might have gotten by sending the message in the middle of a weekday.

UPDATE II: Linked by Memorandum, Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft, Moe Lane at Red State, and Stephen Green at Vodka Pundit. Thanks all. And hey, Tommy Chong says Joe Biden's a narc -- pass it on, man!

UPDATE III: Ed Driscoll links with "The Enharshening of the Mellow." Wow. Heavy, man.


The text message heard 'round the world.

Why did they wait until after midnight? What was the thinking there?

PJM has a quick rundown of blog reaction. I'll add more after I drink a cup of coffee.

UPDATE: OK, the straight news from Associated Press:
Barack Obama named Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice presidential running mate early Saturday, balancing his ticket with a seasoned congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defense issues.
Obama announced the pick on his Web site with a photo of the two men and an appeal for donations. A text message went out shortly afterward that said, "Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee."
Biden, 65, has twice sought the White House, and is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.
You can say that again. And again.

UPDATE II: Man, that was quick:

UPDATE II: Something tells me the graphics department at Obama HQ wasn't very excited about having to work late Friday night on this announcement.

VodkaPundit's got the slogan:
Change you can believe in -- because it's been in Washington since 1973 already.
Yeah. That works.

UPDATE III: Michelle Malkin dubs it the "Smarmy & Smirky" ticket, probably because "Ren & Stimpy" was already taken.

Linking the story of Biden's notorious plagiarism, Ed Morrissey says:
Now Obama, who supposedly represents a new brand of politics, has instead hitched his wagon to an old-time pol who has trouble coming up with his own words when he campaigns. That’s desperation, and what’s more, it’s obvious desperation. And in politics, just as in dating, desperation is not an aphrodisiac.
Bridget Johnson of the Rocky Mountain News:
Joe Biden, change?? Biden, the sixth-longest-serving and notoriously long-winded senator? Biden, who was named a Face for the Future by Time magazine in his freshman senatorial year -- in 1974, before I was even born? Biden, who withdrew from the 1988 presidential race after speech-plagiarizing and school-grade-exaggerating scandals? Biden, who snagged a whopping 1% of Iowa delegates in January?
But, but, but ... Biden is so beloved by the "progressive netroots community"!

UPDATE IV: Gonzo on Veeps.

UPDATE IV: Linked by Fausta. Thanks.

UPDATE V: Linked by Dad29, who offers what is likely to be a common reaction of Catholic traditionalists to Obama's pick of a pro-choice "Catholic."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Team Obama hits Cindy McCain

Team McCain spokewoman responds:
"It is profoundly disappointing to see surrogates for Barack Obama attacking Cindy McCain, particularly after Obama himself claimed that 'families are off limits' and pledged to 'speak out against' attacks on spouses in this campaign. If Barack Obama expects the American people to believe he is a man of his word, he has a personal responsibility to condemn this ad."
(Via Hot Air.) But this is fine. If Team Obama wants to say spouses and personal income are fair game, then everything Michelle Obama has said or done, including her financial dealings with her husband's campaign donors, is now a reasonable subject of discussion. We'll see if Obama can take it as well as he dishes it out.

Still no Obama veep?

I took my family to a baseball game (the home team lost 6-1) and came home expecting that Obama would have announced his veep. Instead, nothing but rumors.

Everybody's hearing Biden. John McCormack at the Weekly Standard hears it's Biden. NBC says it's Biden.

Meanwhile, Hot Air found a story out of Kansas City that Obama-Bayh '08 bumper stickers were already being printed. But that fizzled and Team Obama says the announcement will come Saturday morning. Then CNN noticed a "flurry of activity" at the Biden residence. I think Allah nailed the general reaction:
Is that really happening? After a week of excruciating suspense, the big revelation is Joe Hairplugs?
Exactly. I mean, after all the wild speculation (hey, what happened to the Chet Edwards bubble?) now it comes down to a guy who made his first White House bid in 1988? Anti-climatic in the extreme. The oddly delayed announcement drew this reaction from Ed Morrisey:
In fact, one has to wonder whether Obama really had made up his mind, or whether his first or even second choice didn’t turn him down. That would explain the delays in the announcement, and the apparent disorganization of Team Obama in handling an event that should have underscored the seriousness of their candidate. After all, they set the expectation that the running mate announcement would come this week, and they missed their own target.
Is it still too late for Obama-Eagleton?

UPDATE 11:35 p.m.: Clinched?
The United States Secret Service has dispatched a protective detail to assume the immediate protection of Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., a source tells ABC News, indicating in all likelihood that Biden has been officially notified that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, has selected him to be his running mate.
Sources also tell ABC News that two others said to be finalists for the position of Obama's running mate -- Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Virginia Gov Tim Kaine -- have been told they have not been selected for the vice presidential slot.
So says Jake Tapper, whose original claim to fame was having once dated Monica Lewinsky.

UPDATE 11:45 p.m.: Seems kind of obvious by now, but Hillary has been informed she's not the running mate. Meanwhile, given Biden's reputation for "clean and articulate"-type quotes, Dan Riehl says:
Secret Service enroute to protect Joe Biden? Better hurry before he shoots himself in the foot before the official announcement. That is, if his foot isn't already in his mouth, of course!
This promises 10 weeks of non-stop gaffes, clarifications, damage control and apologies.

UPDATE 12:20 a.m. Saturday: Politico:
As it now stands, his announcement will land on a weekend and bleed right into the nominating convention -- a time when a nominee can already expect to be nominating national attention.
What’s more, by keeping expectations hanging for so long, Obama makes it harder to deliver on all the anticipation. A weeks-long strip tease, ending with a naked Joe Biden or Evan Bayh -- or some other safe but unsexy choice -- might prove deflating.
The thing is, Joe is old news. Very old news. And he's got no executive experience. To jerk around the national press for a full week, only to deliver Joe Biden -- this is a disappointment. Imagine the reactions of those poor saps getting their text messages: "WTF? Dude. Joe Biden?"

Veep: Obama-Malkin '08

Look, if he's looking for somebody who can go on the attack against McCain, he couldn't do better:
Here is the latest RNC radio ad for John McCain. Message: McCain fought harder for illegal alien shamnesty, so Latinos should vote for him!
Just another reminder, my friends, that the GOP establishment continues to 1) treat Hispanics as a monolithic bloc of open-borders sheep; 2) put p.c. pandering above the rule of law; and 3) thumb its nose at the conservative base in pursuit of votes they’re not going to get anyway.
Besides, she's already in Denver, so . . .

I've got to take my kids to a baseball game now, so if Obama sends a text message while I'm gone, screw it.

Democrats tough on security

Michelle Malkin:
Every person inside the Pepsi Center has to have a badge with a bar code. You scan it to get in and out.
One of the few instances where the Dems believe in, and practice, tough border enforcement.
Yeah, but do they have one of these?

Olympic sex

A former Olympic athlete and journalist:
I am not implying, for one moment, that every athlete in Beijing is at it. Just that 99 per cent of them are.
One heard similar tales from Atlanta in '96. Chicks were like NBA groupies, trying to get into the Olympic village.

'House' attack not new

Seems Democrats have been warming up to this class warfare attack on Maverick for a few days.

UPDATE: Team Maverick keeps up the "celebrity" attack, painting Obama as a tax-raiser:

Via Hot Air.

Denver whine-athon

DNCC press release:
The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and the Obama for America campaign today announced that everyday Americans will speak each night of the Convention in primetime to share their voices as the people who have been powering Barack Obama’s campaign for change. . . .
The speakers selected to be part of the nightly program come from across the nation, but they are all brought together through their personal stories, which address real life challenges. . . .
On Monday night, Mike and Cheryl Fisher of Indiana will speak. After years of working to provide for their three children, the Fishers are facing the possibility of Mike being laid off from his job as an Amtrak mechanic. The Fishers believe Barack Obama is the best hope because he understands what it is like to face every day economic struggles.
"I'm just a poor railroader. I've got a small house and a family I'm trying to raise,”
said Mike. Barack and Michelle can relate to that because of their upbringing."
For crying out loud. Amtrak mechanic? Amtrak gets $1.9 billion -- that's "billion" with a "b" -- a year in subsidies from the American taxpayer. It used to be $1.2 billion, but the Senate voted last year to increase it:
The Senate on Tuesday authorized a sharp increase in federal money for Amtrak for six years. . . .
The Senate voted, 70 to 22, for $11.4 billion, or $1.9 billion a year, up from $1.2 billion that corporation has received in recent years. . . .
So when Mike Fisher goes on stage to sing his sad song -- and don't you just know he's probably got one of those union jobs that pays $65,000 a year with no-deductible health insurance? -- just remember that his job is already subsidized with your taxes.

What next? Unemployed buggywhip makers? Bankrupt purveyors of whalebone corsets?

PollWatch update

UPDATED & BUMPED: Gallup daily reports a 1-point race, Obama 45%, McCain 44%:
The race has clearly tightened and stabilized in recent days. Obama has received exactly 45% of the vote in the past four Gallup Poll Daily tracking reports, and McCain has received 43% or 44% support.
Thus, the candidates enter the high-intensity convention phase of the campaign essentially tied. Political observers are awaiting the news of whom Obama has selected as his vice presidential running mate, which could happen at any moment.
It's Hillary, right?

Rasmussen's Electoral College report finds a narrowing gap between Obama and McCain. For a long time, despite the closeness of the national polls, Team Obama insisted that it had a lead in swing states, which was all that mattered in the Electoral College. But widespread trends in public opinion will eventually be reflected in the state-by-state polls, and that's the case now.

UPDATE: Rasmussen daily tracking poll shows Obama 47%, McCain 46%.

Last night's Fox News poll had Obama 42%, McCain 39%.

In state by state polling, the Detroit Free Press has Obama ahead by 7 points in Michigan, the Reno Gazette Journal has Obama up by 1 in Nevada, and a poll by Minnesota Public Radio shows Obama up 10 points there.


Sorry, just a joke. Quick, text all your friends:
By the time Barack Obama is ready to announce his vice presidential pick, will anyone believe him?
In recent days, as speculation and anticipation has mounted, so too have phony text messages declaring Obama’s supposed running mate -- from Evan Bayh and Hillary Rodham Clinton to Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.
It’s a cruel twist in a prolonged game of guessing that has put political junkies and Democratic supporters on edge since the campaign announced last week that it would disclose Obama’s choice through text messaging, which is expected to happen by Saturday.
In the absence of real information, pranksters have filled the gap with guidance from the website Wonkette.
Cruel, cruel summer.

Another Time cover for Obama?

Seventh time this year:
Another week, another magazine cover devoted to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.
Many bloggers vented their ire at Time magazine this week for publishing its seventh cover story on Obama in 2008 compared to only two for Republican rival John McCain. . . .
Obama and his family were featured on the cover of People magazine this month and he has also been a cover boy for GQ, Vanity Fair, Men's Vogue and Rolling Stone, among others.
Not that there's any bias, right? The actual article inside the magazine is a doozy:
If Barack Obama had not chosen a life in olitics, he might have made a fine psychotherapist. He is a master at taking what you've told him and feeding it right back. What I hear you saying is . . .
He has been called a window into the American psyche. Or you might say he's a mirror -- that you see depends on who you are and where you stand. Obama puts it this way: "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." But those metaphors all suggest that he is some sort of passive instrument, when in fact his elusive quality is an active part of his personality.
A riddle! An enigma! A conundrum! He's just so damned fascinating, don't you know, as to require seven Time magazine covers in a year.

D Minus-3: Malkin in Denver


Via Hot Air. The complete "Recreate '68" protest schedule is here. I just hope that VodkaPundit has already made contact with our inside sources at Shotgun Willie's.

UPDATE: The DNCC just sent out a press release:
In an effort to give back to the community that has been such a gracious host, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) held a Community Open House at the Pepsi Center today, allowing Denver residents and students to be among the first to see the unveiling of the innovative Convention podium up close and in person. . . .
Some 1,500 Denver students visited the Convention hall for a special youth program led by Democratic National Committee (DNC) Secretary Alice Germond and DNC Director of Party Affairs, Phil McNamara, who presented a “Convention 101” lesson on the historical significance of political conventions and the role they play in the democratic process. Additionally, youth were able to see the Convention hall up-close, sit in the same seats as delegates, take photos of the podium and participate in a mock delegate voting exercise.
That's "giving back to the community"? Letting people take a tour and see your convention stage? Like they've been feeding the homeless or something.

On corporal punishment

Michelle Malkin has a column today about the Left's efforts to depict corporal punishment in U.S. schools -- only 13 states still permit paddlings -- as a scandal.

The real scandal? There's not enough corporal punishment in U.S. schools, which is why these young punks are so all-fired arrogant nowadays. Either that, or they're all doped up on Ritalin or something.

The abandonment of corporal punishment is one of the prime causes of the deterioration of American public schools. Before you can get kids to learn, you first have to get them to sit down, shut up and pay attention. It's a waste of time trying to negotiate with the little hellions.

Have you ever seen one of these mothers in the grocery store with a hyperactive little brat who knows she won't spank him? "Jason, please . . . no, I'm not going to buy that . . . come back over here, Jason . . ." Pathetic.

When an adult starts pleading and begging with a child, the moral order has been inverted.

Children are small, weak, helpless and dependent, and it is important that they be occasionally reminded of that fact. If a 5-year-old discovers he can yank his mother's chain by acting up, and without suffering any real consequences for his misbehavior, it's like giving nuclear weapons to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

My wife and I have six kids, and it's surprising how often strangers will praise the good behavior of our children. It's not really a secret how such good behavior is obtained.

Just a little example: From a very early age, if one of our children was misbehaving in church, my wife would take take them to the restroom for a spanking. So now, all she has to do, if they start acting up, is whisper, "Do you want to go to the bathroom?" and the disruption ends.

Psychologically, what makes corporal punishment effective is the child's knowledge that he can be spanked. You don't have to spank a child very often to convey that knowledge, but it's important that they understand: Pain is a potential consequence.

In the confrontation between adult and child, the adult's chief advantage is superior size and strength. To forbid corporal punishment is to deprive the adult of that advantage and thus create an artificial equality between adult and child. Once children are granted this privilege -- to do whatever they want without fear that the adult will employ coercive force --it inspires in many of them a profound contempt toward adult authority.

Elites disdain corporal punishment, but elites tend to live in very secure environments, where they don't have to encounter the consequences of their idiotic ideas.


Sen. Barack Obama called some people on his short-list for the vice presidential slot Thursday night to tell them he had not selected them as running mate, a highly placed Democratic party source told CNN. The source did not say which people got the call.
Obama getting ready to announce his decision, with Democratic sources continuing to say "Watch Biden."
2 Republican sources say McCain has apparently settled on Romney as his pick, but no offer has been made.
Will update as further anonymous speculation becomes available . . .

Drawls, y'all

Joe Windish:
Where I live, the southern drawl can be so thick that I can’t make out what is being said. It’s part of what I like about the place. In 28 years in NYC I neverpicked up an accent.
Sure, Joe. Let me begin by pointing out that Southern, as a description of the American Southeast, should always be capitalized. But you've given me an excuse to hunt up video of Virginia-born Dagen McDowell:

To quote Tygrrrr Express:
Scarlett O’Hara made it to Wall Street. Her accent could melt butter, and her brilliance is overshadowed by her beauty.
I've long feared that living in New York and being on national TV, Dagen might come under pressure to lose her delightful drawl, but so far it's survived. You just don't hear that authentic Appalachian twang enough on TV. I spent 10 years living in North Georgia (Calhoun and Rome), and when I hear Dagen on TV, it's like a little touch of home.

Obama (hearts) Beijing

"Citizen of the world":
Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business you're starting to think, "Beijing looks like a pretty good option."
Yes, he actually said it:

This is a reiteration of the idea that Italian fascists "made the trains run on time." Chinese airports are not "vastly superior" to ours, and if they've invested more in rail transportation, that's simply because so few Chinese own cars. (Europeans also travel more by rail.)

How many houses?

John Hinderaker tries to spin Maverick's inability to say how many houses he owns:
The truth is that McCain isn't out of touch with "ordinary people" because he's rich, he's out of touch with his own domestic arrangements because he cares little about material things, and for many years has devoted his extraordinary energies not to enjoying his wife's money, but to serving the American people. Given the number of nights he's spent in hotels or on military bases over the last few years, it's no wonder he hasn't seen much of his wife's condos.
That's not going to deflect the Obama attack. A more relevant point is that several of the eight "properties" owned by McCain and his wife aren't used by them, but rather are the residences of Cindy McCain's elderly aunts and their daughter. So the McCains are supporting their family members (hey, if they ever want to buy a house for a distant cousin . . .).
Even more relevant: By raising this issue, Obama has attacked Cindy McCain's inherited wealth. If the candidates' spouses are fair game, then everything Michelle Obama's said and done is fair game.

About the pro-life vote

Phil Klein at AmSpecBlog examines why Maverick must have a pro-life running mate:
The idea that John McCain would benefit from picking a pro-choicer is rooted in the assumption that he already has locked up the base. . . .
But examining actual data on the white evangelical vote just released by Pew tells a different story. At first glance, it looks like McCain is doing quite well -- he's beating Obama 68-24 among this group, which is virtually identical to the 71-24 advantage Bush had over Kerry in August of 2004. However, if you take a deeper look at the numbers, it turns out that McCain's support is much softer -- only 28 percent "strongly" support McCain, compared to 57 percent who "strongly" supported Bush. . . .
[T]he less enthusiastic support makes me wonder about turnout. In Ohio, for instance, if evangelical turnout dropped just a few points at the same time that Obama was able to boost black turnout, that could very well be the ball game.
The buzz this week about Joe Lieberman, Tom Ridge and Rudy Giuliani as vice-presidential possibilities is evidence of the tendency among political and media elites to think voters are stupid.

With a 71-year-old candidate, this year's running mate is more obviously than ever about the future direction of the party. Voters know this. That's why appointing a pro-choice running mate -- even to consider such a move -- risks abandonment by the party's base.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not generic candidates

Susan Estrich:
The generic Democrat beats the generic Republican by as much as 15 points in generic match-ups for Congressional seats. But generic candidates don't run: real ones do, and Barack Obama is running behind the generic Democrat and John McCain is running ahead of the generic Republican, at least if you believe the current polls.
Something I've said before: In late 1995, I believed that any Republican could beat Bill Clinton. But in 1996, "any Republican" wasn't on the ballot; Bob Dole was.

Moby: Too cool to capitalize

Writing is not texting, and even if he had something worthwhile to say, the lack of capitalization annoys. Stick to DJing.

(BTW: Don't they have editors at HuffPo? Couldn't someone have at least formatted Moby's "column" for him? Or is it just so much cooler to read it in its original gibberish format?)

New McCain ad: 'Housing Problem'

Background on Tony Rezko:
On June 15, 2005, Obama bought a gorgeous house in Hyde Park for $1.65 million - $300,000 below the list price. Rezko bought the empty but attractive lot next door from the same seller at the same time; Obama would later buy part of Rezko's lot, overpaying him. . . .
Rezko was a genius of corporate welfare who enriched himself at taxpayers' expense, both legally and illegally, via his multiple political connections. . . . Rezko depended on Obama when he wanted legal access to the state treasury. The arrangement was a far cry from Obama's image of "change and hope." . . .
[S]everal of his official acts benefited Rezko, who in turn raised some $250,000 for Obama's campaigns.
In October 1998, Obama wrote city and state officials, urging them to give Rezko $14 million to build an apartment complex outside of Obama's state Senate district.

Old-style Chicago politics.

D Minus-4: 'The One'

A new video to warm you up for the Denver revelation -- a Mile High and an Inch Deep:

Ads hits Obama-Ayers connection

Allah asks:
Was this one set to roll today all along or was it in the chamber and ready to fire in case Obama tried a guilt-by-association ploy of his own first? Either way, acidic stuff.

Devastating, because it's inarguably true. From page 2 of Donkey Cons:

The Weather Underground claimed credit for a dozen bombings from San Francisco to New York. In 1971, they bombed the U.S. Capitol. A year later, they bombed the Pentagon. In December 1980, after living for years as fugitives, [Bernardine] Dohrn and Ayers surrendered to the FBI. They were briefly jailed, but all charges against them were eventually dropped, prompting Ayers to brag later: "Guilty as hell. Free as a bird."

Former terrorists Dorhn and Ayers helped sponsor Obama's entry into politics, and he can't deny it.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin:

No library gatekeepers can keep the lid on the truth forever. It’s out there

Ace of Spades:

Obama says the ad is "despicable."
You know what's despicable, Barack? Befriending an unrepentant terrorist who still supports violent terrorist bombing against your country, Barack.

You have to scroll down through a lot of mocking humor to get to the serious part, but both the humor and the serious stuff are good.

Scheduled anarchy?

The "Recreate '68" protest crew has published its complete schedule of events for the Denver convention, including such highlights as:

9 a.m. "End the Occupation" march, Capitol
1 p.m. "Funk the War" dance party, Pepsi Center.
4 p.m. Copwatch training, Lincoln Park.

9 a.m. March to Freedom Cage, Skyline Park
6:30 p.m. Code Pink concert, Cuernavaca Park

2 p.m. Public Enemy concert, Civic Center Park
4 p.m. Third World Liberation Struggle-First World Alliance Teach-in, Civic Center Park

11 a.m. Rage Against the Machine concert, Coliseum
3:30 p.m. Iraq Veterans Against the War March, from the Coliseum to Cuernavaca Park

11 a.m. "Lockstep Behind the Party" protest, Pepsi Center
2 p.m. March to Invesco Field from Lincoln Park

Of course, if they're trying to "recreate" the protests at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, they're way too organized. The Chicago protest schedule was more like, "Get high, get laid, throw rocks at cops, scream 'police brutality' when the cops try to arrest you."

The Denver protests will include a lot of unscheduled activity. I mean, you don't really expect them to announce in advance when they're going to start smashing windows and looting, do you?

Another Yankee know-it-all

A Salon writer observes:
In his essay "The End of the Long Hot Summer: The Air Conditioner and Southern Culture," historian Raymond Arsenault wrote that air conditioning made factory work tolerable in the South, reduced infant mortality, eliminated malaria and allowed developers to build skyscrapers and apartment blocks. Air conditioning industrialized and urbanized Dixie, lifting it out of its post-Civil War funk. No longer a poor, defeated colony, devoted to government aid and hating on Abe Lincoln, the South could fully indulge its conservative leanings.
(Via Hot Air.) You've got at least one of your facts all wrong, Mr. Yankee know-it-all: Malaria was eliminated as a major illness in the South long before we had air conditioning. Window screens, DDT and swamp drainage.

But as to the larger point, indeed, the combination of air-conditioning and interstate highways ruined the South. Cobb County, Ga., nowadays is full of people who don't even realize they're no longer in Cleveland or Pittsburgh. The virus of Atlantaism has spread in about a 50-mile radius, roughly a circle from Cartersville to Buford to Covington to Griffin to Newnan to Bremen and back up to Cartersville. And they keep paving evetything in sight until, eventually, it's all going to be one gigantic slab of asphalt, except for little clumps of shrubbery in front of those damned townhouse complexes they're building everywhere.

My hometown of Lithia Springs long ago ceased to resemble itself -- the old Umphrey farm where the Boy Scouts camped in my boyhood is now an industrial park/shopping center/hotel development. The Purdy family property, another Boy Scout campsite, is now a housing development with a golf course. What used to be a two-lane dirt roads are now, in many cases. five lanes.

But one thing that hasn't changed about the South: Yankees still look down their noses at us. They can never imagine what thorough contempt a Southerner has for a Yankee's opinion.

'Mr. President, we thank you!'

Ms. Underestimated has video of U.S. women's beach volleyball gold medalists taking time to thank President Bush "for all your inspiration."

Like the man says, "Heh."

Pennsylvania? Bitter!

Nothing like sending a New York Times reporter into the heartland to chronicle the misery of people less fortunate than New York Times reporters -- i.e., 95% of America:
Few want a handout, but fewer want government to abandon them. A simmering hurt suffuses their words, a sense that neither hard work nor their unions could save them.
James Stanford, a retired and still heavily muscled steel worker, stood at his door and spoke of a pension that had evaporated. "Obama got one thing right," he said. "We are bitter here."
John Sylvester, 76, remembers when you could not find a parking space in Beaver Falls. You danced Saturday night at the Sons of Italy Club and drank with Dutch Town and River Rat neighborhood boys.
Mr. Sylvester labored in a steel mill for 42 years. Then the mill owner declared bankruptcy. Now he was bent over a chipped fire hydrant, putting down a coat of yellow paint for $7 an hour.
His blue eyes were piercing beneath a white sun visor. "I got a little money in the end but nothing to speak of," he said.
Decades of job losses have created a youthful diaspora -- you can knock on many doors without finding anyone under age 45. Declining enrollments forced Raccoon Township to close its elementary and middle schools. Political wisdom holds that such fractures favor the Democrats.
But Mr. Obama does not sound like a sure bet.
"Obama's very charismatic but if you listen closely, he hasn't said a whole lot," Mr. Sylvester said.
I wonder if anyone ever pointed out to Mr. Sylvester that maybe the greedy ways of his union bosses had something to do with the bankruptcy of that steel mill.

I wonder, but I wouldn't dare say that in a Pennsylvania steel town, where they have been taught for generations that labor unions are sacred. Unemployed union guys will punch you in the nose if you say anything bad about the unions that have bankrupted their former employers.

RNC beats DNC 10-to-1

Cash on hand totals:

  • Republican National Committee: $75.2 million
  • Democratic National Committee: $7.7 million

Team Obama's sucking up all the liberal money, and when he spends it, it's gone. And a lot of overhead is involved in fundraising, so much of what liberal donors are paying for is for Obama to hire more fund-raising operatives.

Meanwhile, Team Maverick is less than two weeks away from collecting -- in a single lump-sum payment -- $84 million in public financing. By then, there will be barely eight weeks remaining to spend the whole amount, which means the McCain campaign will be operating on a budget of $10 million a week, even while the RNC still has another $75 million to play around with.

All in all, you're going to see more than $20 million a week of coordinated Republican activity from Labor Day through Nov. 4. So much for McCain-Feingold as way to "get the big money out of politics."

Obama and Annenberg

Dan Riehl continues investigating Barack Obama's involvement with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation-funded project to improve Chicago public schools that spent $50 million and yet "had little impact on student outcomes." The project appears to have been basically a full-employment program for left-wing academics.

UPDATE: Riehl also notes the problematic role of Chicago politician Emil Jones in Obama's career. Jones is typical Chicago machine pol.

Not long ago, I called Chicago "one of the most corrupt cities on the planet," and got an angry e-mail from a Chicago resident, insisting with civic pride that his city is THE most corrupt city on the planet. I'll let folks in New Orleans defend their own claim to World's Most Corrupt City.

Shocker: A rich senator!

Politico has great sport with the fact that John McCain can't quite say how many homes he and his wife own:
The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.
In recent weeks, Democrats have stepped up their effort to caricature McCain as living an outlandishly rich lifestyle — a bit of payback to the GOP for portraying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as an elitist, and for turning the spotlight in 2004 on the five homes owned by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Pro-Obama labor groups have sent out mailers highlighting McCain’s wealth, and prominent Democrats have included references to it in comments to reporters.
It won't work, guys. Give it up. The reason it worked with Kerry (and with Al Gore) is because they were liberal Democrats engaged in the usual class-warfare populist game of demonizing the rich. Highlighting the wealth of liberals exposes their hypocrisy, kind of like when "family values" conservatives are caught in sex scandals.

Being a Republican means being in favor of everybody getting rich. It is therefore impossible to accuse a Republican of hypocrisy for the sin of being rich.

UPDATE: Via AOSHQ, if St. Hopey wants to fight over this, Team Maverick's ready to rumble:
Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who's in touch with regular Americans?
Attention Team Obama: Welcome to the big leagues.

Politically correct 'history'

Caitlin Flanagan:
As Avery Island is to Tabasco sauce, so were 1970s Berkeley and San Francisco to white liberal guilt. When I was a fifth-grader in the Berkeley public schools (the first school system in the nation to integrate without a court order), I was taught -- as part of a two-year course in Black History -- that the word picnic had derived from the days of lynching parties, that it stood for "pick a n----" and for the basket lunches that white women would pack for their families to eat while they enjoyed the spectacle. I happened to mention this to one of my parents' academic friends, who sputtered in outrage -- the word had originated from the French verb piquer and had nothing to do with American lynching. But it would not have occurred to her, the mother of two children in the schools, to complain about it. Black History . . . was understood by those white parents who even knew about it . . . to be part of some larger enterprise, some settling of an old debt.
(Hat tip: Lead & Gold.) It is amazing that even etymology could be corrupted by Marxoid nonsense. Anyone could consult an unabridged dictionary to find the origins of "picnic" -- originally piquenique in French -- and yet, apparently, the people who were teaching history in Berkeley schools never thought to do so. To challenge those who were propagating such ignorance, however, would have contradicted the "larger enterprise," and might have incurred accusations of bad faith.

Denver '08: Fear and Loathing?

Hunter S. Thompson's widow, Anita, linked me today at her Owl Farm Blog, noting this Time magazine feature about the 1972 Eagleton debacle, which features a few choice quotes, including this:
Campaign Manager Gary Hart admits: "There were no formal staff meetings, no requests to check people out. I take the blame for not setting up a committee on selection. I should have thought of that."
Heh. Too busy toking up with Warren Beatty, I suppose. Not likely Obama will suffer a similar fate; his staff is mostly a bunch of Starbucks junkies. Large quantities of caffeine can make you a bit jittery and push you into a hypomanic state, if you're prone to that, but you couldn't drink so much coffee as to completely forget to vet the vice-presidential candidates. Or could you?

Anita supported Hillary in the primaries, but is a loyal Democrat, so now she's for Obama. Still, like a lot of Clinton supporters, she has deep doubts about Obama's readiness to face the GOP attack machine. Given the most recent poll results, I'd say those doubts are warranted.

Anita links Cameron Martin's review of Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72, one of the most readable books ever written about politics.

As Martin says:
Next week's Democratic Convention is in Denver, Colorado, just 220 miles from Thompson's former home in Aspen. The creator of Gonzo Journalism won't be there in person, but his addictive spirit will certainly make an appearance.
Just so. Anita will be there with her friend Jeralyn Merritt, and I hope to see them both amid the anarchy in Denver next week. "A Mile High and an Inch Deep."

Just like she likes it

Drill deep until you hit a gusher. Little Miss Atilla says, Drill Here, Drill Now, and I'll Still Respect You in the Morning.

'A Mile High and an Inch Deep'

That's the slogan the GOP has slapped on this year's Democratic convention in Denver:
Two dozen staffers of the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee will head west this weekend to combat the media coverage the nomination of Barack Obama will draw. The slogan for their opponents: Not Ready '08. . . .
"This is an effort to get beyond the glitz and celebrity of Barack Obama's convention and talk about the reality of his record," said Matt McDonald, the McCain campaign's senior adviser in charge of the Denver efforts.
Former McCain opponents Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, along with Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and a host of others, will be in Denver working with the staff in a two-story office within walking distance of the convention site.
Meanwhile, VodkaPundit will be getting the scoop at Shotgun Willie's.

McCain 'closing the gap'?

Newsweek's Andrew Romano:
Right now, much of the political world is obsessing over a series of new polls indicating that the gap between Barack Obama and John McCain is shrinking.
WSJ's Laura Meckler:
Sen. John McCain has all but closed the gap with Sen. Barack Obama, underscoring how international crises -- and some well-placed negative ads -- have boosted the prospects of the Republican presidential candidate.
In fact, if you look at all the recent poll data, McCain hasn't just "closed the gap," he's probably pulled ahead.

Look at yesterday's Gallup daily tracking poll: Obama 45%, McCain 43%. Remember, the Gallup daily poll surveys registered voters, not likely voters. Go back a month ago, and you'll see that when Gallup looked at only likely voters for a USA Today poll, the result was McCain 49%, Obama 45% -- at a time when the Gallup daily (registered voters) poll showed Obama leading by 8 points.

So if Gallup's daily numbers show McCain slightly trailing among registered voters, we should expect McCain actually to be ahead with likely voters -- which is what we see in both the Zogby and Battleground polls.

Barack and the Bible

My sister-in-law sent this to my wife, who sent it to me:

The video above is produced by a 527 group called PhForAmerica. This is the full passage of the speech, from Obama's own Senate Web site:
Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our bibles. Folks haven't been reading their bibles.
Many evangelical Christians have read the Bible cover to cover, and have studied its most important passages extensively in Sunday schools and Bible study classes. Many self-taught fundamentalist laymen can cite chapter and verse all day long. These people would be deeply offended by a politician lecturing them that "Folks haven't been reading their bibles."

UPDATE: Linked at AOSHQ Headlines. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Larry Sabato has a chart noting that in 1972 and 2004, Democrats receive zero bounce from their conventions. The way things are going for Obama lately, he'll lose 5 points in Denver.

Pray for anarchy.


Within the margin of error:
"Whatever momentum that Obama took into the summer, he really appears to have lost it," says Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart. "It is not a dead heat, but it is close." . . .
Obama . . . receives the support of just one in two voters who backed Hillary Clinton in the primaries. . . .
Yadda, yadda. Experts telling us what to think. Welcome to New Media. Just go to the numbers and draw your own conclusions. Here's Allah:
The X factor appears to be Hillary nuts, so devoted to their own cult that they can't quite bring themselves to join the Messiah's. In fact, she leads McCain by six in a hypothetical match-up, twice the margin Obama enjoys. . . . So diehard are her fans, in fact, that she’s had to put together a "whip team" to make sure they don’t do anything nutty to embarrass Barry O at the convention.
Thanks, Allah, for evoking the mental image of Hillary and her "whip team." Brain bleach, anyone?

UPDATE: What is this, National Everybody Release a Poll Day? CBS/NYTimes poll also has it at Obama 45%, McCain 42%.

UPDATE II: And yet another national poll, this one the highly respected bipartisan Battleground Poll, which shows McCain 47%, Obama 46%.

Nudist investment opportunity

This thing just showed up as spam in my inbox the other day:
Cambium is a unique environment in the tropical Caribbean where just such a life is possible. Nearly three square miles of beautiful, lush countryside are to be set aside as a naturist paradise where individuals and families can live in peace amongst like-minded people all year round or as and when the timing suits them. . . .
The site is being specifically created for holistic living with a strong emphasis on living in harmony with Nature. The wearing of clothes is not required at any time or in any place within the territory, which greatly enhances the feeling of freedom and oneness with nature. . . .
Cambium is located in the Dominican Republic (DR). If you can live comfortably on £1,100 per month in the UK after tax, then you should be able to live equally comfortably in the DR for £380 per month, once you have bought your property.
I have no reason to suspect that this is a complete scam, but that's exactly what I suspect, anyway. Even if it were a perfectly legitimate investment, however, I'm thinking your average "naturist" looks nothing at all like the two hotties strolling under the palms in the photo at their Web site. Caveat emptor.


Via Hot Air.

D Minus-5

Five days from now, I'll be in Denver, perhaps rolling into VodkaPundit's place about 2 a.m. Monday. I'm sure he's having a grand time trying to explain this to Mrs. VodkaPundit: "But honey, he's a professional journalist . . ."

There will be many important stories to cover during the Democratic National Convention. Not all of these stories will involve large expense tabs at Shotgun Willie's, although my sources in Denver say that fine establishment is where many delegates and Obama campaign operatives plan to spend most of the week.

"Unofficial HQ," as Barack and his hard-partying crew from Chicago say and, hey, when you're raising $50 million a month, why not? The taco plate's only $9.25, and it's a perfectly legitimate campaign expense: Community outreach.

In between mingling with the political insiders at Shotgun Willie's, we'll also be covering the street carnival of clueless morons dangerous radicals progressive activists engaged in futile gestures pseudo-political wanking constitutionally-protected dissent on the streets of Denver.

Of course, we will also cover the intolerable snoozefest endless demagoguery exciting developments at the convention itself.

This should be one of the most important political events of our lifetime, and we'll be right there at the platform debate the major speeches Shotgun Willie's.

Trust me. I'm a professional, remember?

UPDATE: Badger Blog Alliance:

There is no problem so great it cannot be solved through brute strength and ignorance. And maybe Photoshop.
Indeed. Ruhypnol can also come in handy.

Josh Marshall smears Obama

Liberal blogger on Obama: "silly and weak and achieves nothing." Maybe someone with dog-whistle hearing can decode this for us.

'With the best intentions'

"Even within families with the best intentions, race can intrude in ugly ways. We can't escape ... this historical legacy that this country's created."
-- Barack Obama, 1995

There's probably some kind of profound essay I should write about this, but between the "dog whistle" smears and everything else, I just don't feel like it right now.

What Obama is dealing with here, in his ultra-sincere bien pensant manner, is the nature of identity in a multiethnic society. At some level, we cannot escape who we are -- the subtitle of his book, after all, is "A Story of Race and Inheritance."

Non-Obamamaniacs, I think, will focus on his contextualization of his own identity within "historical legacy that this country's created." What, exactly, does he mean by this? Any conservative, hearing a liberal speak that phrase in such a context -- essentially smearing his own grandmother as a bigot -- automatically senses a classic anti-American sentiment, the idea that racism is something invented by America, a sin of which America is uniquely guilty.

That Obama seemed so drawn toward his Kenyan father, who had abandoned him, and so indifferent to the American family who raised him, is the kind of puzzle that would tempt an armchair psychologist. But as I said, I'm weary of the whole subject, and merely note a few points on the graph, perhaps for future reference.

Please feel free to comment. By the way, there are two other segments of that 1995 interview online: Part 2 and Part 3.


Unless this is one final head-fake, it looks like Obama's picking Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh as his running mate.

Impressive: A Sister Souljah move, dissing the "progressive netroots community"? As Allahpundit notes:
The nutroots threw a tantrum last week over Bayh being on the shortlist, with lefty blogger Steve Clemons claiming a few days ago that he’d been summarily dropped by the campaign in response. It’s worth hoping this rumor’s true just to hear them squeal.
Yeah, and watch the PUMAs burn when St. Hopey disses Hillary by picking some vanilla-bland Midwest corporate white dude. Anarchy in Denver!

Giuliani slams Obama adviser

UPDATE III: Ed Morrissey asks if the concern about lobbyists working on campaigns is "overblown," and Rudy Giuliani mostly agrees, saying, "The focus should be on whether this is disclosed to the American people."

Earlier, Townhall's Matt Lewis got shot down when he tried to ask about McCain's VP pick.

UPDATE II: A left-wing reporter just tried to play "gotcha" with Giuliani and McCain advisor Randy Scheunemann, accusing them of conflicts of interest. Scheunemann points out that his past lobbying activities have been fully disclosed under law, which is not the case with the Obama adviser who reportedly met with Syrian officials in Damascus.

UPDATE: Referring to this story about an Obama advisor who met with Syria's dictatorship, Rudy Giuliani says Americans are "entitled to a president who understands how to conduct foreign policy," speaking in a McCain campaign conference call.

Noting that the Obama campaign has over 300 foreign-policy advisers, Giuliani says, "I think the American people are entitled to know what the other 300 advisers are doing."

More updates to come ....

PREVIOUSLY: I'm on hold waiting for this:
U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign will hold a press conference call with former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani and Randy Scheunemann, McCain 2008 Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to discuss reports that an Obama campaign Middle East adviser was recently in Damascus for meetings with Syrian officials.
Will update. While you wait, enjoy some photos of Kate Beckinsale in an orange bikini (hat tip: Conservative Grapevine.)

'Wise guys and gals'

Joe Gandelman at the Moderate Voice has a nice roundup of reaction to the emergent anti-Obama trend, including this from MSNBC's blog:
Nevertheless, there is no longer this widespread belief among the wise guys and gals of both parties that we're all just sitting around waiting for this race to break in Obama's direction.
By "wise guys and gals" the MSNBC crew actually means "all our sources and press-corps buddies." This is exactly the point in today's article about "the conventional wisdom among the political press that Obama is a sure thing to win in November."

Team Obama has worked very hard to create the impression among political reporters that their guy is unbeatable. This spin was easy to sell to reporters who spent a year covering the Democratic primary, where Hope triumphed so spectacularly over Hillary. A general election is not a primary, however, and as I explained last month, the rookie is up against big-league pitching now.

Now, Team Obama has another problem of their own making: Liberal reporters who've felt they'd climbed aboard a winning bandwagon will now feel that they've been misled, and produce a steady stream of "what went wrong" stories.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

Always pray during takeoff

Always. If you know anything about air travel, you should know that the greatest danger is from V1 (takeoff velocity) until the plane reaches cruising altitude. The fuel tanks are full, the engines are at full power, and once you hit V2 (safety speed) and rotate (lift off), anything that goes wrong is a potential killer.

And here's the thing: If your plane is going to crash because one of those (usually unavoidable) mechanical malfunctions, you were dead the moment you got on the plane.

You need to order The Black Box and read it while you're waiting for your next flight. Always pray during takeoff.

Obama: 'Way too Harvard'

So says Derek Shearer in Thomas Edsall's latest HuffPo column, which includes other tasty quotes:
Democratic lobbyist Lawrence F. Obrien, III said: "People like to say he is a black Jack Kennedy. Fine, up to a point. Kennedy was smart, elegant, very well spoken, slim, handsome -- but, he also was Irish. Sharp, quick and abundant sense of humor, able to make contact with people."
"Obama's fundamental problem with voters is that he sometimes comes across as an elitist who talks down to them, dismissing their worries and telling them what they really should be concerned about. Voters don't like being addressed in this manner," said Emory political scientist Merle Black, an expert on the Republican realignment of the South.
Ron Kaufman, former political aide to George H. W. Bush, acknowledged that Obama clearly connects with a ton of folks, but so did almost-President Howard Dean. The polls continue to say that this is tied. Obama should be 15-20 points ahead. The fact that he is not should worry them . . . . I honestly believe Obama may have a glass jaw."
Read the whole thing.

Enquirer: Rielle and Edwards' Love Child

At a supermarket near you:

(Via Hot Air) Love that blurb: "He begged her NOT to abort the baby." Seems Edwards is a closet pro-lifer. Who knew?


A dramatic reversal:
Republican John McCain has taken a five-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama in the race for President, the latest Reuters/Zogby telephone survey shows.McCain leads Obama by a 46% to 41% margin. . . .
This latest Reuters/Zogby poll is a dramatic reversal from the identical survey taken last month -- in the July 9-13 Reuters/Zogby survey, Obama led McCain, 47% to 40%.
This is surprising, even to me.

UPDATE: We'll have the latest Rasmussen numbers at 9:30, meanwhile remember that yesterday the RCP map showed McCain leading in the Electoral College count for the first time, and that the Intrade trend shows a 15-point trend toward McCain since mid-July.

Ed Morrissey notes that the Zogby poll shows likely voters, rather than registered voters (Gallup and LA Times/Bloomberg), and says:
Obama is in a free-fall. McCain got to the heart of the question about Obama, and especially after the crisis in Georgia, he has voters wondering whether Obama is up to the task of running the presidency as his first executive job in politics.
The shift began during the Europe trip, when Team Maverick went on the attack on drilling, then unleashed the "celebrity" message -- and kept repeating it, even after Team Obama screamed "racism."

And let me remind Allah of his prophecy: "Let Obama’s numbers drop another three or four points and we’ll see how they feel about negative ads then."

UPDATE II: JWF prophesies:
One can only imagine the panic gripping Team Obama this morning. Of course, this will give Obama a perfect excuse (with a free pass from the Obamedia) to go after McCain on a personal level, which will only do more damage to him.
Expect a full-fledged freakout from the nutroots as well.
You think the nutroots are going to freak? What about the PUMAs? They'll be ready to riot in Denver.

UPDATE III: Rasmussen: Obama 47%, McCain 46%.

UPDATE IV: Instapundit: "It's not too late to nominate Hillary! She'll even seem like a fresh face after all the Obama overexposure."

UPDATE V: John Cole whistles past the graveyard. Meanwhile, St. Hopey's half-brother has been found . . . living in a shanty in Kenya. The Audacity of Oppo Research.

Obama: Baby killer?

Fallout from Saturday's Saddleback Forum:

Obama's hesitant statement at the forum that defining the beginning of life is "above my pay grade" took even some supporters by surprise. Since then, the National Right to Life Committee has challenged him on an obscure law that protects babies born alive after failed abortions, saying that his opposition to the measure in the Illinois state legislature proves he is an extremist. . . .
Abortion foes are now accusing Obama of being an abortion-rights extremist. In recent days, the National Right to Life Committee has charged that Obama is misrepresenting his record to broaden his appeal. At issue is a measure in both Illinois and Congress called the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which defines as a protected human any life expelled from a mother. Abortion foes championed the cause when an Illinois nurse and antiabortion activist said some pre-viable fetuses were being aborted by inducing labor and then being allowed to die.
Obama, then a state senator, opposed the measure in 2001, saying it crossed the line of constitutionality and "essentially says that a doctor is required to provide treatment to a pre-viable child, or fetus." . . .
Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, charged that Obama is trying to have it both ways because the Illinois bill he opposed was virtually identical to the federal law he said he would support.
David Freddoso did a column about this Sunday, and conservative blogs have been on this story for several days.

UPDATE: This controversy started with CBN's David Brody interviewing Obama:
Clearly, the conversation over this bill has gotten Obama riled up. He truly believes The National Life to Right Committee is lying about this controversial infanticide bill which he opposed. He is adamant in saying that the bill he opposed in the Illinois State Senate was NOT the same as the federal legislation that pro-choice Senators even voted for. The National Right to Life Committee is pointing to a document that shows how Obama voted against a bill that had the federal language in it so they say Obama is misleading people because of past conflicting stories. The Obama campaign says the Illinois bill had added language that would have watered down Roe.
Hot Air followed up here and here, Freddoso also followed up, and Newsbusters is also on it.