Saturday, August 2, 2008

Violence at Atlanta music festival

Drunken rednecks brawling at a Skynyrd concert . . . well, not actually:
DeKalb County police spokesman Marcus Hodge said gunfire erupted at a celeb-filled party held at Club Dreams at 3595 Clairmont Road around 3:30 a.m.
The party, which kicked off the third annual So So Def Summerfest weekend, was hosted by Atlanta-based music mogul Jermaine Dupri.
Hodge said the shooting occurred after some patrons were allegedly double-charged by security guards to enter the VIP section of the club.
Hodge said some patrons became rowdy after allegedly being double-charged and were escorted outside the nightclub, where the shooting took place. . . .
Hodge said none of the celebrity guests, which included R&B singer Usher, rapper Nelly, actress Regina King, actress Gabrielle Union and actor Larenz Tate, were injured. Many other celebrities were in attendance. . . .
"The shooting was an isolated incident," said a representative for So So Def Summerfest Weekend.
Yet another isolated incidence of hip-hop violence, just like the murders of Tupac, Notorious B.I.G. and Jam Master Jay. These completely random occurences are so mysterious.

McEwan: Christofascists are racist, too

You may remember Melissa McEwan as the gynocentric blogger who was forced to resign from the John Edwards campaign after her rants against "Christofascists" came to light. So, what's she up to, now that she's no longer working for Sen. Baby Daddy? Mass psychoanalysis:
[L]oitering below the ostensibly substantive critique is something more nefarious. . . .
Obama, dog whistles the ad, hitting old racists in the sweet spot, could f--- these white girls – it's practically a Democratic tradition … JFK, Clinton, heck even Carter lusted in his heart – and we don't want that, now, do we?
Let me ask you something, Melissa: If this ad is such a clear-cut subliminal appeal to right-wing Bilboism, how come only left-wingers claim to be able to see it? I mean, it's like a normal guy taking a Rorshach inkblot test administered by Professor Irwin Corey:
Doc: OK, what do you see?
Patient: Hmm. A butterfly, maybe.
Doc: No, it's your mother's vagina.
Patient: What?
Doc: A-ha! Oedipal-denial syndrome!
But lefties are so much smarter and more insightful than us normal people, they can tell us what we're supposed to see in an ad that has generated 1.4 million views at YouTube without inspiring a single lynch mob in Arkansas:

Beer goggles and cocktail napkins. Nudge, nudge.

'I'm Miley Cyrus, for Lifestyle condoms'

Hannah Montana, prophylactic peddler?
LifeStyles Condoms wants Miley Cyrus to be its spokesgirl.
The company says it has offered the 15-year-old Disney star — who has said she won't have sex until she's married — $1 million to represent the brand.
"Pop culture proves that teens are more ready than ever to discuss the subject of sex," says the company's VP of marketing, Carol Carrozza. "We believe that Miley is both influential and relatable to this afflicted set -- and is the obvious choice to get the message of safe sex out to teens across America."
But Cyrus' rep says they never got an offer.
"We never received an offer, nor would she consider the offer," her rep tells E! News.
Meanwhile, Cyrus said the prominent blemish on her lip was "just an ordinary cold sore," and denied rumors that she'd hooked up with the San Antonio Spurs during their May playoff series against the Lakers.
OK, I added that last part. But once a girl starts flashing her underwear via the Internet . . .

Plouffe (n.) -- Con artist, huckster

Barack Obama's incompetent campaign strategist, David Plouffe, has seen his candidate lose a 9-point lead in five days, yet nonsensically claims that it is the John McCain campaign that has suffered:

(Via Politico.) Plouffe suggests that a flurry of online donations represents a generalized reaction against Team Maverick's "attack." But as everyone in the loop knows -- hey, how do you think Ben Smith got this video, anyway? -- these donations were in response to an e-mail solicitation sent out Thursday night to supporters who had already signed up as Obama supporters.

In other words, liberal Democrats responded as expected to a clever appeal to their pre-programmed fear (which Team Obama has been fueling for more than a month) that their candidate would be targeted by the vaunted "Republican attack machine." Contrary to Plouffe's assertion, there was no massive influx of new supporters, only additional exploitation of existing supporters.

What Democrats need to realize is that Axelrod and Plouffe have organized a campaign that very much resembles a pyramid scheme. It's a multi-tiered marketing scam, with "Hope" and "Change" as the product. This was surprisingly effective in the Democratic primaries, where Obama was marketed to pre-sold customers, as it were.

Yet like any Ponzi scheme, Hope Inc. was inevitably due to reach a saturation point at which the failure to add new supporters resulted in collapse.

Democrats who supported Obama in the primaries did so because Axelrod and Plouffe convinced them that he had a magic formual for victory. Maintaining belief in that formula was crucial to the effort, since only an overwhelming electoral juggernaut -- an invincible winner -- could drive the kind of fundraising and volunteer activism needed to make their strategy work.

The primary campaign was about convincing Democrats that Obama had a better chance than Hillary to win in November. This is why I have been so skeptical about the ability of Axelrod and Plouffe to translate their successful primary strategy into a win in November. A general election is not a primary. A general election is about swaying independent voters, who are profoundly different from the type of hard-core partisans who walk through January snow to participate in a caucus in Iowa.

Maintaining an image of insuperability was what that European tour was about -- convincing the True Believers that their belief is valid. But while seeing Obama feted in Berlin excited hard-core progressives, it produced an entirely opposite effect in independent voters, who perceived it as a grandiose overreach by a candidate long on confidence and short on credibility.

Plouffe cannot admit this, nor can he admit what is apparent to any unbiased observer: McCain's attacks are effective, and they are effective because they are essentially true: Obama is an experienced lightweight, his energy plan is unserious, and he is an overhyped phenomenon comparable to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

Plouffe's responds to this past week's meltdown in the characteristic fashion of a hustler: Tell the true believers that, contrary to all evidence, this apparent debacle is actually stunning triumph. You need only understand the meaning of "confidence game" to understand Plouffe's purpose.

Obama may yet win on Nov. 4, merely because of the overwhelming electoral vulnerability of the GOP in this cycle. However, if Obama falls behind and continues to look as incompetent as he has since his Landstuhl blunder, Democrats may be shocked at how quickly his former momentum rolls back down the hill in the manner of Wile E. Coyote on the receiving end of a Newtonian sight-gag.

Steve Schmidt's strategy of relentless aggression has captured the initiative in this campaign, and you can expect to see Team Maverick continue their attacks in the manner of U.S. Grant's famous 1864 declaration: "I intend to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer." The object is to put enough pressure on Obama to force his collapse.

This morning's Rasmussen poll shows a dead heat. Since July 8, McCain has gained 3 points in the Rasmussen daily tracking, while Obama has lost 2 points despite the media swoon during Obama's foreign tour. And this is, Plouffe says, is success. If Obama ever falls behind, I suppose they'll be exchanging high fives at Hope HQ.

'Equality Is For Ugly Losers'

Some ladies are just fed up with feminism. At the request of readers, I've created a Cafe Press account where you can order "Equality Is For Ugly Losers" merchandise.

The "vintage glamour pin up" design is featured on T-shirts, including ladies' spaghetti-strap tops, as well as on refrigerator magnets. The "classic housewife" design is available on coffee mugs.

Origins of the slogan
While mocking whiny feminist bloggers, I was thinking about the folly of feminism as a species of egalitarianism. The notion that all women share the same ideological group interest, and that a mass movement for "equality" is of universal benefit, is a prima facie absurdity.

"Equality" is contrary to human nature. The human spirit naturally desires distinction, and anyone with a scintilla of ambition wishes not to be equal, but rather to be acknowledged in some way as superior. Only a mediocre soul would ever hope merely to be "equal." Does anyone think it a compliment to be told that they are merely adequate, average, or run-of-the-mill?

Furthermore, the identity politics of group solidarity -- the idea that all women, or all men, or all members of some other such category share an identical interest -- is a species of collectivism. Any reader of Atlas Shrugged recognizes collectivism as an anti-life philosophy, essentially hostile to the dignity (and, indeed, the survival) of the individual.

The so-called "backlash" against feminism, which has often been blamed on "the religious right" or some other reactionary force, is actually the natural resistance of the human spirit against soulless collectivism and Procrustean egalitarianism, forces that tend toward atomization, reducing us to faceless ciphers, fungible units without meaning or purpose. The woman who stands up against feminism, therefore, is a Solzhenitsyn, a Patrick Henry, a champion of liberty.

Laughing at Totalitarians
Dogmatic feminism, like any other totalitarian ideology, advances via bullying and intimidation, shouting down its critics and threatening dissenters. While liberal legislation has given feminism some measure of legal, political and economic authority, its chief power is that of psychological terrorism. Mockery is the one thing that such ideologies can never tolerate, and nothing enrages a feminist so much as laughter.

So, I was pondering those whiny feminist bloggers, who got a 1,200-word writeup in the New York Times, but whose sense of entitlement was offended by the placement of the story in the newspaper's "Fashion & Style" section. And the whole article was basically about "boo-hoo, poor me, I'm not getting rich in the blogosphere, because I'm oppressed."

Gag me. What a bunch of . . . losers.

Blogging at Ace of Spades HQ, Gabriel Malor (a recent law-school grad, whose experience in academia must have instilled in him a horrible fear of fembot fascism) marveled that I apparently had "no fear of being cut off for life." To which I eagerly assented.

Frankly, chicks dig a misogynist oppressor. Which is to say, every genuinely intelligent woman recognizes feminism as a stinking heap of pseudo-intellectual manure. A guy who openly scoffs at feminist dogma thereby identifies himself as (a) smart enough to recognize the difference between truth and nonsense, and (b) brave enough not to kneel before false idols. Brains and courage -- like I said, chicks dig it.

Chicks also dig a sense of humor, as signifying the desireable qualities of confidence and cheerfulness. (Fun fact: Laughter and orgasm are both autonomic reflexes.)

Instant demand
OK, so Gabriel was saying I had "no fear of being cut off for life." What else to do, but to double down? Ergo, "Equality Is For Ugly Losers," which was combined with vintage images to heighten the humorous effect.

Within hours, a woman e-mailed asking if there was a T-shirt with the slogan. Similar inquiries followed. And being the greedy capitalist exploiter that I am . . . well, buy it now!

As I explained to one of the ladies, the point of the joke is not to demean women, nor even to demean ugly losers. (I'm not exactly a billionaire pretty boy.) The object is to ridicule the egalitarian idiocy of feminism. And "Equality Is For Stupid Morons" wouldn't be nearly as funny.

Autonomic reflexes . . . chicks dig it.

Site Meter issue reported

Little Green Footballs reports that Site Meter is causing error messages in Internet Explorer 7. I am going to remove Site Meter from the page until the problem is corrected.

UPDATE: It's fixed now, and so the Site Meter has been restarted but not before costing me (a) whatever number of actual visits were lost due to people using IE7 and being unable to access the site, before I removed Site Meter, then (b) about eight hours' worth of uncounted traffic while Site Meter was uninstalled.

As bad as that is, far worse (from my perspective) is that I was unable to "read" my traffic and know who was linking me, which links were driving traffic, etc. Repetitively checking Site Meter my be some kind of pathological obsession, but it's also the only way I can know whether my promotion efforts (e.g., sending Ace yet another e-mail desperately begging him pretty-please to link me, promising to set him up with College Republican chicks who dig the Ewok look) are working.

Friday, August 1, 2008

McCain Web ads = more revenue

This is weird news:
Google predicts that the term "Barack Obama" will generate 153 to 191 clicks per day on related advertisements. But "John McCain" does much better as advertiser bait: Google estimates that those ads get 213 to 266 clicks per day. In other words, the Google advertising market is telling us that "John McCain" is more valuable than "Barack Obama."
Perhaps this is because Obama's online operation is more extensive, and thus his supporters don't are less likely to click Google ads in search of information about the candidate.

July: Another record month

Note to self: Mock feminists more often.

That would seem to be the lesson of traffic statistics for July, when The Other McCain set a new monthly record with 45,143 visits (66,255 page views). This continues five months of phenomenal readership growth since I started blogging full-time in March (6,625 visits that first month). As of today, the daily average is over 3,000 visitors.

The big traffic surge came over the past weekend, after Dr. Helen and Instapundit linked my post mocking feminist bloggers who were whining about the "online glass ceiling." This prompted additional linkage by Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades HQ, Don Surber, Ed Driscoll, James Joyner, Vox Day, Rachel Lucas and others, including some angry feminist bloggers. In all, this drove about 17,000 hits in a three-day period (July 27-29). The daily visit count has stayed above 1,000 in the three days following that surge, with links from National Review Online, Conservative Grapevine, and Michelle Malkin.

As noted earlier, while peak traffic is always driven by links from biggies like Insty, Malkin, Ace, etc., the key to improving average traffic is to have "higher lows" -- residual traffic that keeps the Site Meter from plummeting to zero at times when there is no new linkage. There were only six days in July with less than 500 hits.

Of course, most of what's on the blog is politics, and as attention to the presidential campaign heats up during coming months, it is to be hoped that traffic will continue to increase. But that doesn't mean an end to celebrity babe-blogging.


Say good-bye to inevitability:
[I]t is a substantial turnaround from earlier this week when Obama held a statistically significant lead coming off his high-profile trip to Europe, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. . . .
This suggests that the recent surge in voter support for Obama has truly subsided.
The contrast between Obama's recent advantage over McCain (ranging from six to nine points) and today's result is particularly notable because this is McCain's strongest showing in over a month. (Emphasis added.)
It's also the first time since May 21-25 that Obama has been below 45% in Gallup's tracking poll. Hope (1961-2008) R.I.P.

UPDATE: Hope can't survive ridicule:

(Via Hot Air.) Watch out for that shark, Fonz!

UPDATE II: Just noticed this DNC video at Hot Air:

Allahpundit: "Let Obama’s numbers drop another three or four points and we’ll see how they feel about negative ads then." Of course, an ad accusing your opponent of unfair advertising is ... a negative ad.

Salute to El Rushbo

Michelle Malkin reminds us that today is the 20th anniversary of Excellence in Broadcasting -- it was on this day in 1988 that Rush Limbaugh began what has become the most successful program in radio history.

From Day One, the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Powerful Maharushie was never afraid to be controversial. He drove 'em nuts with the Swiftian suggestion that America should tax the poor:
Now, what's slowing this country down? Tell you who it is. The poor. The poor and the lower classes of this country have gotten a free ride ever since the Great Depression, when it became noble to be poor. . . . My friends, we have the wealthiest poor in the world. They're the ones who get all the benefits in this country. They're the ones that are always pandered to. We have been encouraging poverty because they need government. And Democrats love giving money away to the poor, because it creates a need. And, boy, have we created a dependency class, and do they give anything back, do they pay any taxes? No. They don't have to file any income taxes. They don't pay a thing. They contribute nothing to this country. They do nothing but take from it. It is serious. It is time to get serious about raising taxes on the poor.
Brilliant. At this very moment, Rush is replaying the original call that led to "Dan's Bake Sale."

How the media picked Obama

"Hillary Clinton would prove the perfect opponent for Obama, because the Clintons' long-established reputation as the most calculating political family in modern history obscured how devious Obama could be. As a result, the media -- and Democratic voters -- sided with the nice, innocent-seeming Obama over the nasty, cut-throat Clintons during the primaries."
-- Philip Klein, American Spectator

Rasmussen: Obama 47%, McCain 46%

Another dead-heat poll, indicating (a) Obama's foreign trip was a flop, and/or (b) the newly aggressive strategy of Team Maverick is working.

Evil racist attack ad

Please watch this ad from the McCain campaign and see if you can spot the hateful message:

Yeah. Me, neither. Nor could any reasonable person see "hate" in that ad. Britney, Paris, Obama -- celebrities, famous for being famous -- an ad obviously intended to raise the question of whether Obama (who's only been in the Senate since 2005) has the experience needed to lead the country in this difficult time of crisis at home and abroad.

Yet somehow, the media see a racist message. Why? Well, because the Obama campaign told them the message is there. See, in case you didn't notice, Britney and Paris are both Caucasians, and because Obama's father was Kenyan, this proves that the GOP is being mentored by the departed spirit of Theodore Bilbo ... or something like that.

It's absurd beyond words, a paranoid delusion, a martydom complex on the part of Democrats who (a) insisted on a very inexperienced liberal as their presidential nominee and then (b) cry "racism" the minute Republicans point out that he is ... a very inexperienced liberal. But since it is apparently "racism" to depict Obama in the vicinity of any white female, what are they going to do about this hatemongering image?

Why, it's practically an outtake from "Mandingo"!

UPDATE: Another hateful attack:
I think he could put his entire energy policy on the back of a cocktail napkin with plenty of room for his foreign policy left over.
This is obviously racism. Where do we find cocktail napkins? In bars. And why do guys go to bars? To pick up women. Hint, hint. The racism is subliminal, but it's there. It's got to be. Because the only reason anyone ever criticizes Obama is racism.

UPDATE II: First it was cocktail napkins, now it's "beer goggles"! Oh, these evil racists are everywhere, I tell you . . .

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gallup: Obama 45%, McCain 44%

Holy freaking kamoley -- Obama's lead has slipped by 8 points since Sunday! Just wait until the MSM backseat drivers see this. I can see the headlines already:
HOPE (1961-2008) R.I.P
Getting hard to stay in the No-Gloat Zone.

Will update as further gloating develops ....

UPDATE: I'll let Allah do the gloating for me:

The usual caveat that it’s still too early to read much into any of these still applies, but surely they mean something given (a) the sky-high expectations for Obamamania coming out of the primary, (b) the Democrats’ huge generic advantage this year, (c) the fact that Republicans traditionally trail by a decent margin at this point in the campaign, and (d) most bizarrely, the conventional wisdom that McCain’s had an exceedingly crappy 10 days or so of campaigning.

Folks, excuse my self-congratulatory glee, but I called this one from Day One:

Have a laugh with Dave Letterman:

That's TV: Total Vindication!

'This big honking zephyr of lies'

Thus does my longtime blog buddy Joe describe St. Hopey:
Clinton had to deal with his bimbo eruptions . . . but Obama’s achilles heel is even more in the theme of classic tragedy: HE himself is the bimbo, the nitwit, the increasingly obvious fraud. . . .
It is not even August, and the mainstream media is tanking and desperately hungry, and they can only hate McCain a little bit, and the Obama campaign is this big honking zephyr of lies.
(Zephyr = west wind, i.e., hot air.) I've been doing a lot of back-and-forth, both blogwise and via e-mail, with reporters and commentators who concluded sometime in February that Obama is unbeatable.

Well, nobody is unbeatable, and my annoyance at this Conventional Wisdom has been growing ever since March, when I first went to cover Hillary in Pennsylvania and saw firsthand the "when-is-she-going-to-quit" attitude of the elite media. Here she was, basking in the cheers and applause of more than 1,000 enthusiastic supporters, and the "traveling press" was just waiting for the post-rally "availability" when they could ask her that all-important question: "Hey, you bitter old loser, why don't you pack it in and go back to your coven?" (I exaggerate their phrasing only slightly, and exaggerate their attitude not at all.)

The elite MSM geniuses brought this arrogant know-it-all attitude with them into the general election campaign. They know the outcome already, they've already composed in their minds the "Triumph of Hope" ledes they'll file as soon as the polls close on Nov. 4, and they're getting angry and peevish because John McCain and the GOP won't roll over and play dead.

Ah, but Joe senses the Newtonian equal-and-opposite effect. The MSM geniuses are about to start getting angry at Obama for not living up to their imagined scenarios of how he'd crush those evil Republicans like so many grapes beneath the feet of a Sicilian vintner's daughter.

If Obama starts sliding in the polls, he's going to be like a guy at the steering wheel of a vanload of backseat drivers, with the MSM geniuses endlessly second-guessing his every move, and the likes of Keith Olbermann and David Gregory wondering aloud what the hell is wrong with his campaign. There is nothing more beautiful to behold than the sight of Conventional Wisdom crumbling at it's first collision with reality.
UPDATE: The grumbling from the MSM's backseat drivers has already begun.

NRO on Authors Against Obama

Jim Geraghty of National Review Online's Campaign Spot takes notice:
It's an old point about Obama's early life experience, but when I read about the formation of the book Dreams From My Father, a thought or two similar to Robert Stacy McCain's ran across my mind.
Obama was a 28-year-old student with very little track record as a writer when he got a sweetheart book deal in 1990, a revelation that automatically provokes a "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" reaction from any actual writer who's ever experienced the misery of dealing with the book industry.

Ann Richards once famously said of Bush 41 that he "was born on third base and thought he hit a triple." Yeah? Well, when Obama stepped up to the plate, the ball was on a tee.

Geraghty is welcome to join Authors Against Obama, whose members already include Kirby Wilbur, Phil Kent, Mike Adams, Roger Simon and Doug Giles.

'But we still have hope'

In August 2006, Obama visited his father's hometown in Kenya, and promised assistance to Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School -- built on land donated by his grandfather and renamed in his honor in 2005. Michelle Malkin updates the narrative with this story from the Evening Standard of London:
After addressing the pupils, a third of whom are orphans, and dancing with them as they sang songs in his honour, he was shown a school with four dilapidated classrooms that lacked even basic resources such as water, sanitation and electricity. . . .
[Principal Yuanita] Obiero was not the only one to think that the US Senator from Illinois, who had recently acquired a $1.65 million house in Chicago, would cough up. Obama's own grandmother Sarah confidently told reporters before his visit: "When he comes down here, he will change the face of the school and, believe me, our poverty in Kogelo will be a thing of the past." . . .
Yet there is disappointment and hurt here, too. Granting us access to the school and its records, Principal Obiero, 48, tells us: "Senator Obama has not honoured the promises he gave me when we met in 2006 and in his earlier letter to the school. He has not given us even one shilling. But we still have hope."
A charity to help fund the school has been set up by conservative blogger Baldilocks, and you can send money online via credit card.

Obama Watch

Lisa De Pasquale now has a regular feature at Human Events, Obama Watch:
In Berlin, Obama spoke to 200,000 Germans, giving him the distinct honor of being as popular as the two German bands he followed, but less popular than David Hasselhoff. It’s a shame that German citizens aren’t allowed to vote in American elections, but surely ACORN is working on it.
She also notes that Obama appears to have plagiarized part of his Berlin speech from Bono. You should read the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Not in the LA Times

Circulation plummeting? Check. Ad revenues declining? Check. Newsroom layoffs? Check. But whatever you do, LA Times, don't publish the funniest syndicated columnist in America:
To put it another way, it would appear that ambulances aren't the only things John Edwards has been chasing lately. . . .
Who knew that "my father was a mill worker" could be such a great pickup line? In his defense, Edwards had to do something to kill time between giving $50,000 speeches on poverty. . . .
Just read the whole thing.

"I Am Woman, See Me Blog!"

Having done my share to stir up strife and turmoil amongst the distaff side of the Web, I'm now content to let you ladies fight it out:
In this year when a record percentage of people are going online for political coverage, women who want equality on the web — and by that, apparently, they mean getting as many calls from the mainstream media as well as ad revenue from their blogs -- might want to consider whether there’s really a glass ceiling, or whether they themselves have shut out a wider, more profitable audience. The internet’s 50 most influential women have figured out something that you, apparently, have not.
Call yourselves "Mommy Bloggers" if you want, organize conferences and "online communities for women," and attend conferences supposedly about technology but write only about the "hunky" celebrity chef's cooking demonstration or the cocktail
But don’t blame over half of the internet — in other words men, as well as women looking for serious news coverage — if they assume you aren’t going to offer anything they’re interested in.
It’s not because you’re a female. It’s because you bore them.
What Katherine Berry is saying is, write about subjects of general interest. If the daily tedium of your humdrum existence is boring to you, what makes you think anyone else would be interested?

But wait a minute, ladies -- I feel a rant coming on. Because you know what you people remind me of?

"Writers." That is to say, the type of pretentious fakes who enjoy thinking of themselves as "writers," because that's so much more glamorous and prestigious than having an actual job, even if that actual job might involve ... writing.

"Writers" are people who spend more time going to workshops and seminars and conferences than they spend actually ... writing.

"Writers" count themselves a success if their poem or short story gets published in some "little magazine" that only exists because its editors are academics who've managed to get a bunch of college libraries to subscribe to their literary quarterly, so it has a "circulation" that doesn't actually circulate, but just sits gathering dust on college library shelves.

"Writers" dream of getting published in Harper's or something like that, so that their name might one day be listed in the same index as the big-name "writer" who spoke to the break-out session at a "writers conference" they paid $400 to attend in 1997.

"Writers" don't want to get jobs at newspapers or magazines where (God forbid) they might have to take orders from a boss and do unglamorous stuff they don't want to do, like go cover a school-board meeting or compile "community calendar" items or do any of the other dull-as-dirt stuff that I did for years at low pay for long hours under miserable conditions while trying to work my way up the ladder in a business that -- I don't know if you've noticed this or not -- has been in meltdown mode for the past 10 years.

Oh, no -- they're "writers" and they can't be bothered to do any work that a profit-oriented operation might actually pay them to do. They'd rather sit around bitching and moaning because their latest short story got rejected somewhere, and then go chitchat at another seminar or workshop, just so that when someone asks them what they do, they can have the pleasure of answering, "I'm a writer."

No, you're a fraud, is what you are. You're as phony as that dude at the bar trying to tell me he's in the CIA and has a blackbelt in the martial arts. "Writers" are the Nigerian scam artists of the literary world.

And pretty much the same thing can be said for people who maintain blogs purely for the pleasure of telling other people they're "bloggers." It's a status hobby, a faux career, the Internet equivalent of "writers" whose greatest accomplishment is to be included in one of those stupid short-story anthologies that nobody ever reads.

You self-styled "women bloggers" are merely the most annoying subset of this variety of online chaff. You think that a pair of ovaries entitles you to some special distinction: Oh, I am a mighty champion of my gender, a crusader for The Sacred Cause of Womanhood!

Whine your way into the pages of the New York Freaking Times, then bitch because you're not taken seriously enough? It's a scam, a hustle, a racket -- "discrimination" and "inequality" as euphemisms for the "me, my, mine" of a selfishness that refuses to condescend to the fee-for-service arrangements of the workaday world where us mere mortals have to scratch out our livings.

Well, you can't run that crap on me, sister. Just because you're a woman phony doesn't make you any less of a phony, and you cannot compel my respect as if you were entitled to it.

Who's that dude on my radio?

PJM Political on XM Satellite Radio hosted by Ed Driscoll, and featuring VodkaPundit, with Jennifer Rubin, John Nolte and . . . uh, some guy who says "uh" too much (at the 35-minute mark, discussing "The McCain Contraption").

Thanks, Ed!

John McCain and 'Ordinary Americans'

One of the hardest things for a stone-cold political junkie to do is to step outside his obsession long enough to consider politics from the viewpoint of the non-junkies -- the non-partisan, apolitical people who pay little notice to the continual sturm und drang of Beltway combat.

These so-called "swing" voters, who ultimately decide every presidential election, regularly confound the expectations of us political junkies. Today, I had an exchange with my American Spectator colleague Philip Klein that raised this topic. In response to my AmSpec blog post about Barack Obama's apparent slump in the polls, Phil wrote:
I wonder what it would take to get McCain's numbers up into the high 40s, let alone low 50s. The larger point I'm making is that historically, convincing voters that your opponent is bad can only get you so far. At some point, you have to give voters a reason to vote for you rather than merely against the other guy. . . . Even if he can raise doubts about Obama, what does McCain have to do to get more people to rally behind him? I'm not so sure.
This is a perfectly valid point, and a troubling concern for Republicans. In recent days, I've repeatedly referenced Patrick Ruffini's argument that, in order to win, the McCain campaign must fight the election as a choice between Obama and Not Obama. Given the Republican "brand damage" problem and given Maverick's alienation from the conservative base, his only real shot is to make the election a referendum on his opponent.

Phil is a young political junkie and I felt that he, in seeing an absence of positive arguments in McCain's favor, was overlooking the attitudes of Ordinary Americans. My reply to Phil on AmSpecBlog:
The obvious responses to your doubts, Phil, would be (a) George McGovern and (b) Mike Dukakis.
Richard Nixon was never a beloved hero or a rallying point for the American people. Nor was Bush 41 a charismatic figure. Yet in 1972 and 1988, the Democrats suffered blowout defeats because they nominated candidates whom the Republican Party could portray as outside the political mainstream.
For 40 years, Democrats have refused to face up to an obvious fact: Americans don't want a liberal president. Democrats have won the White House during this four-decade span only when they have nominated Southern governors who could be depicted, however inaccurately, as moderate/centrist types.
As to the positive appeal of John McCain, ideologues like ourselves cannot resist eye-rolling, shoulder-shrugging exasperation over the man's unprincipled Maverickhood. Yet the fact is that the guy's POW biography, his "Straight Talk" shtick, and his non-partisan reformer "brand" have a genuine appeal to independent voters. And the powerful Geezer Vote is a factor not to be dismissed.
I am not guaranteeing that Team Maverick can pull this off, but to see how it could happen, you've got to think in terms of non-ideological "swing" voters out in the sticks -- the people I call "ordinary Americans," who see politics very differently from the way we political junkies do.
That was about as much as I could get into a single AmSpecBlog post (I don't like to clog up a group blog with long-form arguments) but it's an important point. Even if conservative ideologues can't see it, or don't like it, the appeal of McCain's patriotic non-partisan image is quite real to those patriotic non-partisan people, the Ordinary Americans.

A lot of those folks are "seasoned citizens" who've voted for Republican presidents many times before. Since the 2004 election, they've been turned off by the GOP for several reasons -- Bush's 2005 push for Social Security reform, scandals in Congress, high gas prices, etc. -- but this doesn't mean that they're automatically going to pick Obama over McCain. And the fact that McCain is 71 (a negative in the eyes of many) could actually be a big plus for him on Nov. 4.

Media elites are always fascinated by "the youth vote," but in 2004, exit polls show 54% of voters were 45-plus, of whom 24% were 60 or older. If Obama loses the Geezer Vote, it's going to be a sad day in Hopeville Nov. 5.

Despite all the problems of the GOP, despite all of Crazy Cousin John's shortcomings, Obama is the kind of liberal Republicans have beaten before, and since Steve Schmidt's taken charge of Team Maverick, they've made some moves that suggest they still remember how to do it. And one of the most important challenges they face is convincing Republicans that Obama can be beat.

The "we're doomed" vibe coming from within the GOP is a major obstacle that Team Maverick must overcome. This newly aggressive strategy that Schmidt has implemented, and the consquent slump in Obama's poll numbers, are part of knocking down the powerful myth of inevitability that Obama created by knocking off Hillary in the Democratic primaries.

Ask yourself what would happen if, going into the Democratic convention, Team Obama was looking at a string of polls showing Obama behind, with his "negatives" going through the roof? Will Axelrod and Plouffe be able to deal with that? Will Obama? And what kind of holy unshirted hell will the PUMAs unleash if, on the eve of Denver, they have every reason to believe the superdelegates have saddled them with an unpopular candidate who's sure to lose in November?

None of this is likely, but it's entirely possible, because if you talk to those undecided "swing" voters -- the Ordinary Americans -- they'll always tell you proudly, "I vote for the man, not for the party." And what kind of man are the Democrats asking them to vote for?

That's the key question the GOP hopes to ask -- and answer -- between now and Nov. 4. As I said in a follow-up at AmSpec blog, I'm reminded of one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies:
Flounder: Will that work?
Otter: Hey, it's gotta work better than the truth.
Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.


The Huffington Post has decided that it's a scandal for Republicans to wear nice shoes, because Obama wears store-brand sneakers from K-Mart. (I don't think so, but lack the investigative resources of the mighty HuffPo.)

'The World's Biggest Celebrity'

A razor-sharp message from Team McCain:

Allah sez:
This is the third ad in nine days to spoof the cult of Obama but the first one to employ it to any useful end, pairing it with the shots of celebutante nitwits to make him look like a “famous for being famous” lightweight . . .
As I explained at AmSpecBlog, this ad should be seen in the context of the "all about Obama" strategy -- an idea I credit to Patrick Ruffini. It's also in line with the new aggressive strategy Maverick showed last week, for which Steve Schmidt seems to be responsible.

UPDATE: Just in case you missed this:
You May Have Jumped The Shark If . . . .
. . . you begin telling people about your own "symbolic importance."
. . . Washington Post columnists start mocking you as the "presumptuous nominee."
. . . your recent poll trend could be interpreted as a net loss of 19 points in 38 days.
And we have more evidence today that Obama's Trend Is Not His Friend.

UPDATE II: You May Have Jumped The Shark If . . . your campaign staff calls Ludacris "a talented individual" in the process of throwing him under the bus:

Obama's kids vs. your kids

He sends his two kids to private school:
Their daughters attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where annual tuition ranges from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,445 for high school.
That's for his kids. Not your kids:
Speaking recently before the American Federation of Teachers, he described the alternative efforts as "tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice."
Mr. Obama told an interviewer recently that he opposes school choice because, "although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom."
(Via PrestoPundit.)

Live by the poll

. . . die by the poll:
According to a poll conducted June 18-19, Barack Obama had a 15-point lead over John McCain. A poll conducted July 25-27, however, showed McCain with a 4-point lead over the Democrat. Given this 19-point swing in favor of the Republican candidate over a period of 38 days, if the trend continues at the current rate, on what date will Obama's support reach zero?
That's from my latest column for the American Spectator, and you should definitely read the whole thing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Guess who's got a mancrush?

"Obama is a politician of physical genius. He looks great, moves with grace, and holds himself with a natural authority. This always has been and always will be an important element of political leadership. . . . For me, this makes it all the more perverse that some conservatives criticized Romney for being too good looking, although the stiff Romney doesn't have the natural grace of Obama."

Careful, Rich -- Sully's the jealous type.

Barr slams Obama's plan to make taxpayers fund health care for illegals

"Free" health care for 12 million illegals? Obama has promised to "give health insurance to 47 million Americans who are now without coverage," Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr says:
Of course, "Sen. Obama doesn't plan on giving them coverage. He plans on making the taxpayers give them coverage. There's a big difference,” notes Barr.
But there's an even more fundamental issue. Approximately one-quarter of those persons who are uninsured are in America illegally.
"It's not fair to expect U.S. taxpayers to pay for health insurance for the citizens of another nation. America's bloated welfare state is expensive enough, and even after recent reforms it still creates a disincentive to work. Handing out insurance to people who have come to America illegally will encourage even greater illegal immigration," Barr explains. "And that, in turn, will push up government health care expenditures, creating a vicious cycle of more and more spending and more and more illegal immigration."
Barr argues that the federal government "should move in the other direction. It must stop requiring hospital emergency rooms to provide free care for illegal aliens and the courts must stop forcing states to provide free schooling for the children of illegal aliens. This means changing the law and perhaps even the Constitution, but until we do so the government will continue to create a taxpayer-funded draw for illegal immigration," says Barr.
Wonder if John McCain agrees with Barr or with Obama? Somebody should ask Juan Hernandez to tell McCain what his opinon is on this issue.

You're welcome, ma'am!

"Thank you, misogynist blowhards of the Internet, for helping me to demonstrate my point."
Darling, I'm not exactly sure what your point is, and frankly, I don't give a damn. But any time you need a big ol' huggable lug to serve as your token bogeyman -- the demon-object of your particular idee fixe -- you just give me a holler, y'hear? And I'm sure Vox Day is always glad to be of service, too.

Now, how about that cup of coffee?

Hillary invites me to dinner

She's been after me for months:
Dear Robert,
Summer is a time for simple pleasures: family vacations, baseball games, and dinner out under the stars. At least it is if you aren't running for president!
It sure is nice having a little more time on my hands, and I'd love to spend some of it with you. Would you like to join me for dinner? . . .
This is my first chance to sit down and spend some real one-on-one time with you. If you enter today, we could be having dinner together soon! . . .
Let's go to dinner! Contribute now, and you and I could be enjoying a summer dinner together soon! Join me for dinner. Make a contribution today.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful support.
All the best,

Oh, you coy little minx, you. "Dinner under the stars ... real one-on-one time" -- but don't it alway come down to the money, honey? Let me think about it. I'm a busy guy. Obama wants me backstage with him, you know. In the meantime, how 'bout you get me some coffee?

Let's see you scoff now, Don Surber!

Rasmussen: Obama 47%, McCain 46%

A virtual tie. Will update as soon as I can get this urge to do a vindication dance out of my system . . .

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey's not ready to dance yet, sharing Ace's worries about "the wild-eyed zealotry of Obama's cultists" (which I discussed yesterday).

Right now, I've got the radio on El Rushbo, who's mocking the idea of Obama's inevitability, which he sees as an exercise in media self-delusion.

Gallup says Obama 47%, McCain 41% -- a 6-point gap, but the third straight day of Obama's decline in their daily tracking poll. Obama's now exactly where he was on July 20. As I wrote on July 19:
The trip will be over by July 27 and, allowing three weekdays of daily tracking polls to assess the overall impact, we should have a preliminary verdict in the Gallup/Rasmussen numbers of July 31, with other polls released in the following week to verify. So, if Obama's foreign adventure succeeds, he should have a definite lead in the two tracking polls by July 31. Otherwise . . .
We now have one weekday's results in both polls, with two more to go. Let's wait until Thursday and see. So far, however, the trend is not Obama's friend.

Max Blumenthal versus ... Toby Keith?

Yeah, I'm sure this is really going to hurt Toby with the country music audience. It's not exactly an "expose" -- Toby is a known associate of that notorious bigot, Willie Nelson.

UPDATE: I see my old buddy Max has linked me, citing his own flawed reporting with a bogus "quote" from a disgruntled alcoholic former co-worker. Like I told you the first time, Max, I'm too lazy too be evil.

Election 'all about Obama'

Despite the negative spin from the Politico, this is actually good news for the Republican candidate:
McCain's aides recognize that the race is becoming centered on Obama, and hope to leverage that dynamic by bolstering their assault on the Democratic nominee-in-waiting.
As Patrick Ruffini has said, in almost so many words, a referendum on Obama is really the only election John McCain can win. The Democrats want a referendum on Bush and the GOP -- the "Bush-McCain policy" meme. Team McCain is trying to set up a choice between Obama and Not Obama.

Both sides are running nebulous, personality-oriented campaigns. The problem for Team Obama is that their Rorschach inkblot candidate -- the tabula rasa of "Hope" onto whom progressives have projected their internal longings -- is subject to starkly different (and extremely negative) interpretations, whereas Team McCain's "straight-talking Maverick war hero" is a well-established persona who can't be so easily molded in the minds of the electorate.

As any honest observed must acknowledge, the Republicans are at a tremendous disadvantage this year, and John McCain is not exactly a campaign consultants ideal candidate. But Team McCain may yet win, provided that they can fight on the battlefield of their choosing. If the Democrats accept that this election is about the question of Obama's readiness for the job, they will be fighting the only battle the GOP can hope to win.

'Down the Ticket'

A conservative site about elections below the presidential level. Mention of Allen West, who was recently named "Worst Person in the World." (Hat tip: See-Dubya at Malkin.)

Liberal love for Bob Novak

Dramatic readings from the Leftosphere:

(Via Johnny Dollar.) Think Progress:
Vulgarity, bigotry, atrocious lies, and name calling are what they’re about, and ALL THEY’RE ABOUT! So, yes, let’s be gracious, but let’s also not forget that our battle is against soulless, mindless vermin, without a shred of compassion or human decency…
The Prince of Darkness is really a great book, considering it was written by soulless, mindless vermin.

Obama backstage passes for sale

It's a fundraiser:
If you make a donation in any amount before midnight on July 31st, you could be selected to travel to Denver for the last two days of the convention -- including the huge event at the open-air stadium on the final night.
Ten supporters from all over the country will be selected to go Backstage with Barack.
We'll provide airfare, accommodations, and two days of convention activities for each supporter and their guest -- including a private meeting with Barack before his historic speech.
Hmmm. For a mere five dollars, I can have tickets? Free travel? Accomodations for me and a guest? And think of the publicity! "McCain Backstage With Obama . . ."

Honey, where's the Visa card?

Veep rumors du jour

It's Kaine, not Hillary, for the Democrats, and Pawlenty for the GOP. Allah sez:
His working-class pedigree is all to the good, but between the lack of name recognition and the "boring old Republican white guy" effect, I'm underwhelmed. He doesn't even have serious religious cred to reassure antsy evangelicals. Let's hope the report's wrong, although given the general savviness of McCain's campaign these days, it probably isn't.
If naming Pawlenty as running mate could paint Minnesota red in November, that would be good, but my fellow 'Tators hope the Pawlenty rumor is bogus. Why sweat over mere rumors? Given the tone-deaf ineptitude of the Republican Party lately, I'm surprised we haven't heard Dan Quayle's name in the mix.

Meanwhile, I'm reasonably sure there is no truth to the rumor that the Democratic Party has employed a Haitian voodoo practicioner to attempt resurrecting Tom Eagleton as a zombie running mate for Obama. (Hey, Missouri's a swing state, too.)

'The Audacity of Taupe'

David Swerdlick brings the funny:

[J]ust in case [Elizabeth Hasselbeck] gets caught up in the Barapture of Obamamania, I'm here to tell her that the "M-word" is off-limits, too. . . .
Yeah, that word. The M-word. Mulatto. . . .
This is our moment. I hear that CNN's next big series will be called "Beige in America." . . .
"Mulatto" rolls off the tongue a lot smoother than "half breed" or "Strom Thurmond, Jr." . . .
[W]hen people ask me why it's OK for us to use the M-word when they can't, I have to tell them that it's a biracial thing...they wouldn't understand. . . .
Black people can't argue a speeding ticket after sundown, and the only thing in life that white people can't do is use the N-word. To that simple rule, I am now officially adding the M-word. Good news, though -- "Creole" has been approved for everybody's use. . . .
We know that just because we've switched from "Keep Taupe Alive" to "The Audacity of Taupe," it doesn't mean that we have overcome.

That there's funny, I don't care who you are.

Latino racism? ¡Sí!

In a column about "traveling while black," Tamara Walker encounters what she suspects is racism in Mexico:
When I checked into my Mexico City bed and breakfast -- which had received rave reviews on from Trip Advisor -- I sensed a disconnect between the pleasant tone the owner adopted over e-mail (he even complimented my Spanish!), and the cold professionalism with which the staff greeted me when I walked through the door.
Having been here a couple of days, and by now a familiar face, I can't help but notice that the various desk clerks and housekeepers still seem to regard me wearily, if they even look at me at all. None of the "friendly and helpful" attitudes previous guests told me to expect are yet on display.
The not-so-subtle racism Walker encountered undermines the American liberal assumption of "minority" solidarity, an assumption that (like so many other liberal assumptions) has no basis in reality. Hostility between blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. is common enough, but the attitudes about race abroad -- well, that's something else.

For example, American diversity-mongers have fostered the concept of Latinos as a single ethnic group, but nationalism is actually quite a powerful force in Latin America, and there are all kinds of resentments. Ever ask a Mexican how he feels about Guatemalans? Or ask a Cuban about Puerto Ricans?

But the Latinos that all other Latinos seem to hate the most are the Argentines, who are viewed as arrogant because of their predominantly European ancestry (whereas most Latin Americans have a substantial admixture of native ancestry). And for a black person in Argentina? Tamara Walker recalls:
I was one of four black women in my undergraduate program in Argentina, and we all had tremendously varied experiences. One woman, then a student at Spelman, was always surprised to hear my stories of being stared, hissed and laughed at while walking down the street. Not to mention the too-numerous occasions when I was taken for a Brazilian sex worker. Or the time a group of doormen started making monkey noises when I walked past their building.
In her case, many people simply took her light skin and wavy hair to mean she was Colombian or Ecuadorian and pretty much left her alone.
So, two women who are considered equally "black" in an American context encounter quite different reactions in Argentina based on their different appearance. Indeed, contrary to the Kumbayah assumptions of American liberals, Latinos are quite color-conscious. If you've ever seen the Latin American soap operas on Telemundo or Univision, you know that the romantic heroes and leading ladies look nothing like the mestizo peasantry. The most popular music and TV star in Brazil for many years was a blue-eyed blonde, Xuxa.

Liberals promote the notion that the United States is uniquely racist, a notion that Tamara Walker's experiences refute. The Argentines who mistook her for a Brazilian hooker certainly didn't get their stereotypes from any Yanqui source.

The whole complex of behaviors and attitudes Americans call "racism" -- a term nowadays applied not only to harmful stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination, but to even the mildest and most ordinary forms of ethnic consciousness -- is a universal fact of the human condition. The amelioration of harm and hatred is more likely to be accomplished by the acknowledgement of that fact than by its denial.

'A lack of serious thought' for Hillary as VP

Ooooh, feel the burn, PUMAs:
In conversations, Mr. Obama's advisers discuss Mrs. Clinton's role at the Democratic convention next month in a way that suggests they are not thinking of her arriving in Denver as Mr. Obama's running mate.
When Mr. Obama appeared Sunday on "Meet the Press" on NBC he offered a description of the kind of person he was looking for, hinting that it would not be someone who was identified strongly with Washington, a choice that would appear to leave out Mrs. Clinton.
His associates said this description reflected the lack of serious thought being given to Mrs. Clinton for the post. . . .
Mr. Obama’s aides are confident that the passions of the primary season have given way to a more pragmatic view among Mrs. Clinton’s supporters and that Mr. Obama would not risk a major backlash from women or other constituencies associated with her if the vice presidential slot goes to someone else.
Rule of thumb for Democrats: Whenever you read a sentence beginning "Mr. Obama's aides are cconfident that . . ." you should beware of whatever follows.

Prediction: If Obama picks anyone but Hillary as his running mate, disastrous results will follow. Team Clinton will not sit idly by while Obama steals the Democratic Party from them. Do you really think that John Edwards scandal was an accident? Are you stupid? No, they made an example out of him -- kind of a warning shot across the bow of the SS Obama.

Attention Virginia GOP

If you know anything really sleazy, slimy and disgusting about Gov. Tim Kaine, please don't breathe a word of it until after Obama picks him as his running mate. Once the choice is announced, then will be the time to bring out the ex-girlfriends, substance abuse issues, embezzlement, electroshock therapy, gay lovers, whatever.

'That assertion is not correct'

The Obama campaign and the New York Times try to spin the Landstuhl story:
Before his visit to Ramstein Air Base, which is near the medical center, was canceled, the plan called for reporters to stay behind at an airport terminal while Mr. Obama and one adviser met with the troops. Why? The Pentagon does not allow reporters and photographers inside Landstuhl.
For weeks, Mr. Obama had been planning to visit wounded troops in Germany. . . . Yet the Landstuhl visit carried more risk because it was to come in the middle of an overseas campaign trip.
Robert Gibbs, a senior strategist for the campaign, said Mr. Obama thought he could carry out the visit without being perceived as politicizing it.
But two days before the visit, Pentagon officials told the campaign that only Mr. Obama would be allowed inside the medical center in his capacity as a senator. The adviser who had intended to join Mr. Obama, Scott Gration, a retired major general in the Air Force, was told he could not go along because he was a volunteer campaign adviser. . . .
At which point, reports from other sources indicate, Gration threw a tantrum that was the proximate cause of the cancellation of the visit. Gration apparently had not realized that signing up as a adviser to Obama meant that he would be treated like any other campaign aide. A senator can bring his Senate staffers with him to visit military hospitals, but a candidate cannot bring his campaign staffers.

The New York Times article doesn't explain that distinction, nor explain that the Obama campaign put the visit to Landstuhl on the media itinerary for the trip. As the transcript of the Friday news gaggle makes clear, the press plane was scheduled to accompany Obama to the Air Force base. Gibbs tried to tell reporters Friday that the plan all along had been for the media to sit in the plane on the tarmac while Obama visited the hospital, but that story doesn't sound convincing to me.

More likely, I suspect, is that the trip was scheduled by campaign staff who didn't fully understand the rules (as his Senate staff would) regarding media, campaigns and military hospitals. And it's clear that Gration didn't understand the rules, either, or else he would have known that his status as a campaign adviser meant that he wouldn't be able to accompany Obama into the hospital. The original plan to bring a whole planeload of reporters, photographers and TV crews to the Air Force base indicates that the Obama campaign originally had some idea that there would be a "news event" for them to cover there. (I discussed this on Friday.)

So it's pretty obvious that Gration and the campaign staff who scheduled the visit to Ramstuhl screwed up, but for some reason Team Obama doesn't want to come right out and say that. Instead, they keep trying to push back against the McCain campaign's spin, which doesn't do anything in terms of undercutting the fundamental narrative that Obama cancelled a visit with wounded troops and instead went to work out with an awestruck German reporterette.

Behind all this is the inescapable fact that Obama's nine-day foreign trip was never anything other than a gigantic publicity stunt, dreamed up by his campaign staff in a moment of hubris. As I said a month ago, when this trip idea first leaked out to the press:
WTF? Are Plouffe and Axelrod daft? How the heck does it help convince independent voters that Obama can be trusted to fix the economy for ordinary Americans to turn on their TVs and see the candidate in London, Paris or Tel Aviv? . . .
Let me go ahead and predict that one of three things will happen. Either (a) this talk of a foreign trip will be quietly shelved, at the behest of Democratic elders; (b) the plan will be seriously scaled back to no more than 4 days, with maybe a quick London stopover en route to Iraq, and a quick stopover in Paris on the way back; or (c) Team Obama will go ahead with this grandiose scheme and suffer a brutal P.R. beating as a result.
Looks like it's (c), huh?

UPDATE: Rather like the Obama campaign itself, DRJ at Patterico is seeking a sort of objective moral truth in this story. From a strictly political standpoint, however, truth and morality are irrelevant. What counts in politics (and Hunter S. Thompson saw this clearly, if no one else does) is perception.

Politics is a game in which the spectators ultimately choose the winner, and the spectators base their choices on their own perceptions. It's like "American Idol" -- a strictly objective judge might conclude that two or three singers who were eliminated in the quarterfinals were actually better than the guy who wins, but the viewers at home have the final say-so.

So this back-and-forth over the exact decision-making process whereby the Landstuhl visit was canceled -- the quest for verifiable truth, however nuanced and complex -- is almost certainly a waste of time and energy. The political truth (i.e., the perception) is simple enough to sum up in three words: "Obama disses troops."

Liberals have complained for years that their nuanced truth keeps getting stomped by the simple lies of Republicans. But how is "Obama disses troops" less nuanced than "Bush lied, people died" or "war for oil"? Democrats know perfectly well that simple slogans are effective, and they use them whenever they can. It's only when they're on the losing end of one of these narrative conflicts that they start whining about "nuance."

Congratulations, Allen West!

A friend e-mailed to tell me that Iraq war veteran Allen West, Republican candidate for Congress in Florida's 22nd District, has been named "Worst Person in the World" by Keith Olbermann. Congratulations to all those who've worked so hard to help Colonel West win this prestigious honor.

Knoxville killer not guilty, liberal says

That's the gist of this HuffPo column, anyway:
Jim Adkisson of Powell, Tennessee was the man with his finger on the trigger. He had mental health problems, and a hard and bitter life. He apparently left a letter explaining that he hated the church for its liberal beliefs and opinions.
And the church had a sign outside indicating it welcomed gays and lesbians.
Who really killed those Unitarians? Was it the preachers who spread hatred and intolerance? The politicians who court and flatter them instead of condemning their hate speech? The media machine that attacks liberals, calls them "traitors" and suggests you speak to them "with a baseball bat"? The economic system that batters people like Jim Adkisson until they snap, then tells them their real enemies are gays and liberals and secular humanists?
If you ask me, it was all of the above.
You killed them, Pat Robertson. You killed them, Pastor Hagee. You killed them, Ann Coulter. You killed them, Dick Morris and Sean Hannity and the rest of you at Fox News.
We are not responsible for our own actions. We are merely tools in the hands of an "economic system," acting on the "false consciousness" implanted in our heads by Murdoch's minions. It all makes sense, now that our friend at HuffPo has put this in perspective for us.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who's that chick?

In the white bikini at Cabo? Hint: Not looking too shabby for a divorced mother of two who just lost custody of her kids to her former backup dancer.

Getting frisky with some dude sporting what looks like a jailhouse tattoo on his back. The Brits call him a "mystery man." Who is he? A nobody -- I mean, only a nobody would want to be seen with that skanky trash nowadays. Maybe you recognize him from "COPS."

Well, whoever that tattoo-sporting nobody is, I've got one word of advice for him: Disinfectant.

Teens riot in North Carolina mall

I just saw this headline at the Drudge Report and -- in my haste to bring you the breaking news -- haven't yet had time to read the story. I suppose it's middle-school girls upset that tickets sold out for the Miley Cyrus tour. Either that, or unruly preppies showing their disappointment that Izod shirts still haven't been marked down for clearance.

Obama Bounce Watch

UPDATED & BUMPED: Holy freaking kamoley! USA Today poll now has McCain ahead by 4 points among likely voters:
The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.
I'll be back to comment, but first I have to go do my shift as a volunteer at the Progressive Suicide Prevention Hotline. Advice to parents with Obama supporters living in your basement: Hide the whiskey and sleeping pills.

UPDATE: I'm back. Busy night at the hotline. Ace notes that the unknown factor in this election is "the wild-eyed zealotry of Obama's cultists." Indeed. I haven't seen anything this kind of fanaticism since Heaven's Gate or Jonestown. If Squeaky Fromme weren't in federal prison, she'd be walking precincts for Obama.

Slight shrinkage for Obama in the latest Gallup daily tracking poll, as he lead is now 8 points (48%-40%), a decline from yesterday's 9-point lead.

This is minor good news for Crazy Cousin John. Obama's lead had grown from 2 points to 9 points in the span of three days, and if that trend had continued, Maverick would have been looking at a double-digit deficit today.

Remember that these tracking numbers are an average of a three-day rolling sample, so today's slight decline likely represents a fairly major dropoff from Saturday to Sunday. This could mean that Obama's starting to pay a price for skipping the visit to Landstuhl.

Or it could mean nothing at all. A single day's poll results really don't tell us much and, as I've said repeatedly, we won't have a clear snapshot of the state of the campaign until Thursday.

UPDATE: Thomas Edsall examines the dispute over whether polls indicate an inevitable blowout victory for Obama. As for supposedly "inevitable" outcomes, let me share a favorite quote with you:
I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.
The date was January 20, 1981.

PUMA turns McCainiac

You knew it had to happen sooner or later:

(Via AmSpecBlog.) Kicked out for opposing Hope:
Debra Bartoshevich, the duly elected Democratic Party delegate for Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin who vowed undying loyalty to the former first lady, has been dumped by the state party and barred from attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver next month.
Associated Press on the (un)Democratic Party:
The Wisconsin party's administrative committee voted 23-0 to strip Debra Bartoshevich of her status as a delegate to the Denver convention next month.
Bartoshevich, 41, was pledged to Hillary Rodham Clinton. But when the New York senator suspended her campaign in June after Illinois Sen. Barack Obama clinched a majority of delegates, Bartoshevich told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she would support Arizona Sen. McCain.
On Friday, state committee members agreed that Bartoshevich had lost her privilege to be one of the state's 92 delegates because of her comments and her affiliation with Citizens for McCain, a branch of his campaign designed to recruit independents and Democrats.
So much for all that yadda-yadda from progressives about the right to patriotic dissent! Ed Morrissey corrects the record on how Obama has "clinched" the nomination:
Obama has not won sufficient delegates to capture the nomination. Neither he nor Hillary Clinton could reach that point, but Obama has enough pledges from superdelegates to win the nomination, if they don't change their minds. Hillary's supporters want a floor vote in Denver with enough debate to give superdelegates an opportunity to rethink their pledges, but so far the Obama campaign has managed to put a stop to it.
How long before liberals start denouncing Ms. Bartoshevich -- the erstwhile Democrat in good standing -- as a racist?