Saturday, October 31, 2009

Like my Daddy taught me

"My father offered me some advice from his own career. The key to winning as a lineman, Dad said, was the first play from scrimmage. Come to the line with the determination to fire off as soon as the ball was snapped and hit the other guy as hard as you can. 'Line up and look him in the eye and say, "I'm going to beat you today," and then knock him on his butt. Hit him as hard as you can, then come back on the next play and do it again. Just keep at it until you've got him beat.' "
-- "Championship Season," by Robert Stacy McCain

NY23 VIDEO: Ali Akbar gets the scoop

Thanks to the Campaign Trail crew, I had sofa-surfing privileges at their headquarters in Lake Placid. Shortly after breaking the scoop this morning about Dede Scozzafava's pullout -- my sources confirming their sources -- 73Wire's Ali Akbar took a call from another one of his sources:

Hey, I'm Steve Foley's "personal matchmaker."

NY23 EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Democrat for Bill Owens get-out-the-vote volunteer

Yesterday, I broke the story of the massive Democratic get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort in the crucial upstate New York congressional special election. Today, as Ali Akbar and I rolled into Plattsburgh, we encountered Sean Holmes, a young volunteer canvasser for Democrat Bill Owens:

Possible 'ate crime planned against Pelosi's brain

by Smitty

Interesting News Items reports that the undead are about as displeased with the 2 kilo-page Pelosicare love note to the American people as the not-dead-yet Americans.

Some cruel and inhman provisions carefully described in tiny paragraphs within the document included an overtly punitive tax on human brain consumption. In response:
...the undead plan a march on Washington within the month, where they hope to meet Speaker Pelosi and eat her brains. "If they can find any," joked Saunders. "Just kidding. Hope that's not a hate crime."

The head Zombie will of course dress in his finest rags.

NY23: Dave Weigel is almost right

On how we broke the scoop today:
"We're a little shell-shocked," said Eric Odom, a conservative blogger and Tea Party organizer, who'd been an early Hoffman backer. "It's not what we expected."
Odom was one of the first to hear the news. The Hoffman campaign made the call to Ali Akbar, one of the conservative bloggers rooming in Lake Placid with Odom. The bloggers hustled to get Internet connections to spread the news, then regrouped to head to Scozzafava's Watertown headquarters, based on rumors that the GOP candidate might be about to endorse Hoffman.
OK, while Eric was on the phone with his source, I got a call from my source, officially confirming Dede's withdrawal. While Eric and Steve Foley went west to Watertown, Ali Akbar took the 100 mph thrill-ride with me on State Route 86 to Plattsburgh.

Ali changed his plans, and will now be hanging in through Wednesday. Weigel is flying into NY23 on Sunday, and will hook up with our posse. Because we rock.

Boehner sounds smart on this one

by Smitty (h/t Bluegrass Pundit)

I'm not certain if this is the GOP response to which Sarah Palin referred on her FaceBook page, but John Boehner is succinct:

He points you to, which then forwards you to

Standing by for the "party of NO" and "the GOP hasn't offered any solutions" arguments in 3...2...1...

Even the best blogs miss one now and then

by Smitty

I realize Cassandra's been storming the beaches in support of Project Valour IT, so I don't want to get too heavy with the criticism here.

However, when you have a picture like: question is: How do you not break out the CCR?

NY23: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO - Hoffman campaign staffer Yates Walker interview

Hoffman campaign worker Yates Walker, interviewed this afternoon before the Pataki appearance at VFW Post 125 in Plattsburgh:

And ladies, he's single . . .

NY23: Some reaction on the left

by Smitty

Legal Insurrection surveys five prominent blogs on the left, concluding:
Hoffman has not won the election yet. Expect a full-out media blitz by the Democrats in the last three days of the campaign to portray Hoffman as the reincarnation of Timothy McVeigh.

It's a meme the George Soros crowd is dusting off as we speak.
I'm sure that Joe Biden will be hammering that one thumb and nail, mostly thumb.

Andrew Sullivan was apparently frightened by some scary Halloween costumes or something:
No one knows what might happen now.
Well, Andrew, it's pretty much down to Owens and Hoffman now, isn't it? It might happen that one of the two candidates wins the election. Unless I'm missing something.
For the insurgents, it means a scalp they will surely use to purge the GOP of any further dissidence [Dissidents? Dissonance? I thought Brits were by definition educationally superior to mere colonials.]. But the insurgents were also backed by the establishment, including Tim Pawlenty, who's supposed to be the reasonable center.

What we're seeing, I suspect, is an almost classic example of a political party becoming more ideological after its defeat at the polls.
Awakening from a Progressive slumber, one can hope.
[I]n order for that ideology to win, they will also have to portray the Obama administration as so far to the left that voters have no choice but to back the Poujadists[1] waiting in the wings. And that, of course, is what they're doing. There is a method to the Ailes-Drudge-Cheney-Rove denialism. They create reality, remember?
Remember what, exactly, Andrew? One could find more coherence in a random page from Molloy than this Sullivan post. I hasten to add I'm no regular reader; this may be lucid for him.

At any rate, I'd like to walk back the previous "Boot Newt" recommendation to a "Reconstitute Newt". The full-diaper Left expects big war dances from the Right. Dede, you've done the proper thing, and deserve commendation. Let the conservatives continue to argue positively for the financially sane, Constitutionally sound, strategically sustainable policies, and disagree like adults where necessary. We can watch Sullivan descend further into Beckett-ism, albeit possibly without the underlying sanity to hold it all together.

[1] What some obscure Frenchman has to do with Doug Hoffman is unclear. Perhaps Andrew intends a series.

Latest NY-23 Poll Says...A Blowout for Hoffman?

Guest-posted by Jimmie Bise of The Sundries Shack.

Public Policy Polling started a brand-new NY-23 poll today and the early numbers show a blowout for Hoffman, but let's not get too excited here.
With about 200 interviews down we had Hoffman 45 Owens 26 Scozzafava 17...her withdrawal will just make it that much easier for Hoffman
Here are your two Koh-I-Noor-sized grains of salt. First, the poll only includes 200 people, which is at least a third of what a solid poll should have. Second, the poll started before Scozzafava suspended her campaign and it's going to take a day or so for that news to propagate.

With Scozzafava out of the race, her 17-20 percent are going to be up for grabs and there's no good way to know right now how many will go to Hoffman and how many will roll over to Hoffman. Also, there is still a sizable number of undecided voters. If you add up the early PPP numbers, you come out with 12 percent undecided, who could break one way, the other, or both.

Stacy also just reported to me that a source has said that the NRA is going to flip its endorsement to Hoffman as well. That's not anywhere close to confirmed, but I'd expect it to be so in the relatively near future. Early Scozzafava endorsers like Gingrich and the NRA don't have anything to gain by letting their endorsement simply sit in a dead campaign, so I figure that the NRA will endorse Hoffman sometime today, if not tomorrow. Of course, if the confirmation does come through, you'll see it here.

Also, stay tuned for a tidbit from Stacy later today about the power of Hoffman with the local constabulary. I won't spoil the story, but it involves a certain carload of journalists going 87 MPH in a 65 MPH zone.

Stay tuned...

Our complete coverage of the NY-23 special election.

NY-23: Gingrich Endorses Hoffman

Guest-posted by Jimmie Bise of The Sundries Shack.

Let's call this one a grudging, backhanded endorsement, shall we?
Scozzafava dropping out leaves hoffman as only anti-tax anti-pelosi vote in ny 23 Every voter opposed to tax increases support doug hoffman
It's clear that the only reason Gingrich flipped his endorsement is because Scozzafava suspended her campaign and dropped out of the race. He still holds to the delusion that Scozzafava is actually dedicated to lower taxes (she's not) and opposing the Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda (except where it involves pro-life issues, massive government spending, support for ACORN and big labor, and pork-barrel projects as vote bribes).

Of course, Gingrich could rehabilitate himself with conservatives by hitting the news networks as hard for Hoffman as he did for Scozzafava. The election is Tuesday. Surely Gingrich, who fancies himself a leader of the conservative movement, can spare a bit of shoe leather for Doug. But will he?

More update as the story develops...

UPDATE (2:476 P.M.): According to Jonathan Martin of The Politico, Mike Huckabee has endorsed Doug Hoffman, too. Expect others to come in for Hoffman, too (**coughRomneycough**), now that the fence on which they were all precariously perched has disappeared out from underneath them.

Our complete coverage of the NY-23 special election.

NY23: SCOZZAFAVA QUITS! UPDATE: New poll shows Hoffman in dead heat with Democrat Owens

Just confirmed that Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has quit the race. Speaking to supporters, Scozzafava broke down in tears.

UPDATE: Scozzafava, the hand-picked choice of the New York state GOP in the key 23rd District special election, reportedly will throw her support to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

Scozzafava's withdrawal came shortly after a new Siena College poll was released this morning, showing her in third place, with Hoffman neck-and-neck with Democrat Bill Owens.

UPDATE II: Steven Foley of 73Wire Campaign Trail is also on the story. Foley's crew is over at Starbucks, while I'm poaching the lobby computer at a hotel here in Lake Placid. I am the Poacher King.

My source called this morning to confirm the story while Foley was on the phone with his source. Ali Akbar has text of Dede Scozzafava's farewell.

UPDATE III: Linked at Hot Air where Ed Morrissey comments:
Scozzafava has seen her negatives explode, while her two opponents have only become more accepted as they became more well known. She has no chance of winning this race, and her withdrawal leaves Hoffman with the Republican vote whether she endorses him or not.
My buddy Jude Seymour at the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times also has the story:
Ms. Scozzafava told the Watertown Daily Times that Siena Research Institute poll numbers show her too far behind to catch up - and she lacks enough money to spend on advertising in the last three days to make a difference.
UPDATE IV: Also linked at Right Klik, which is aggregating the news of Scozzafava from all sources. No word yet from Tucker Carlson.

UPDATE V: Also now linked at Paco Enterprises, Underground Conservative, Jammie Wearing Fool, and million-hitter William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection. We're grateful for the link by Michelle Malkin and by Richard McEnroe at Three Beers Later who says:
NEVER believe you don't have power. NEVER let them tell you that. . . .
Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the rest of the thieving, corrupt, smug, lying Democrat Party . . . NEVER believe we aren't coming for you
Note the New York Daily News summary of the Sienna Poll:
Hoffman's voters are the most committed, with 93 percent of them saying that are either absolutely or fairly certain they won't be changing their minds on Election Day, while 84 percent of Owens' voters say the same thing about him and 73 percent of Scozzafava supporters are loyal to her.
There is something about the kind of grassroots underdog campaign that Hoffman is running that creates a resolute determination on the part of the candidate's supporters.

Speaking of resolute determination, now would be a good time to thank Nathan Cossey and all the dozens of other readers whose contributions to the Shoe Leather Fund have made possible this road trip. Please continue to hit the tip jar. Ali Akbar needs a ride to the Buffalo airport on Wednesday.

UPDATE VI: Thanks to Kim Priestap of Wizbang for noting that Eric Odom of 73Wire first reported the news of Dede's withdrawal via Twitter. The generosity of Odom, Foley and Akbar during this trip has been greatly appreciated, and certainly I don't want to glory-hog, given how often they've scooped me -- and will no doubt scoop me again. We're a news-busting posse, and it's a friendly competition.

We're a headline at Big Government and, via Memeorandum, we learn of our linkage from Doug Brady at Conservatives for Palin. Hey, does Sarah deserve credit for answering the call, or what? She's a big-game hunter, and the same skills that bag a moose can obviously be applied to RINOs. While we're handing out kudos, how about The Man Upstairs? Two weeks ago, I wrote at The American Spectator:
Hoffman's pro-life supporters have reportedly launched an e-mail campaign -- including prayer requests -- to secure the endorsement of Palin . . .
Well, those prayers were answered, weren't they? When you pray for angels, keep an eye out for those "angels unawares."

UPDATE VII: Big shout-out to Erick Erickson of Red State, who came out strong and early for Hoffman and pushed hard. The role of CPAC director Lisa De Pasquale -- who got about a dozen conservative bloggers on an Oct. 14 conference call -- must also be acknowledged. (Note to self: Make list of names for Wednesday a.m. discussion panel about NY23.)

Well, time to hit Starbucks, meet up with the crew and go get ready for the trip to Plattsburgh.

Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

Advanced Demonstrations In Not Getting It

by Smitty

Mark Pascal, over at The Moderate Voice serves up the aristocratic softballs:
For over 200 years we developed a preference within our constitutional system for just two parties – essentially the Ying and Yang of our unique history. Some have argued that we could use up to 5 political parties, with a new center and two additional extremes to the left and right along with the Republicans and Democrats. Without sizable financial support and charismatic leaders for all 5 points of view, plus some major changes in how we conduct Federal elections, I am unsure we could ever achieve such a multi-party system. And it might devolve into a free-for-all without effective party control that would result into more paralysis.
Except that we've always had more than two, and the dominant two or three have changed over time. If you're peddling 20/20 hindsight, at least be clear. But you at least hint that control is your main issue here, in addition to willingness to free-base the Constitution.
Over the past 20 years with power shifting between Republicans and Democrats, we have had seen some incremental changes that interrupt the continuous flow of relative inaction. This comports with a political system that is not in control of major events and at best reacts to some. Both our political parties have ossified a bit over the past decade as many elected officials have become captives of large campaign contributors and powerful special interests. Some may argue we already have achieved complete systemic paralysis, but I respectfully disagree.
No, there has been ~100 years of increased Federal control. Look at the action on the debt front. Of course the Federal government is reactive by design. Internationally, the US does not run the world, for all some seem to think that. Domestically, the whole point of the government is to support people figuring out their own destiny, de-conflicting as required.
It may be possible to see the growth of independent candidates that can win with just a plurality in 3-way elections is a distinct possibility for the U.S. Unfortunately, the results on governing our country would be anyone’s guess. After some reflection, most Republicans and Democrats might prefer a known opponent to an undulating group of people whose political, economic and social views are completely chimerical and unpredictable from issue to issue, and who have no party loyalty whatsoever.
Completly chimerical? What chimericals are you smoking? Parties merit as much loyalty as they received Constitutional mention: 0. We're all one 330-million strong United States party, where Federal matters are concenerd, and 50 separate parties below the 10th Amendment waterline.
With a strong independent contingency of elected representatives not aligned with any political pole, and who float back and forth, in and out, around and around, and often completely out of the entire playing field, we might end up with absolute paralysis that would also result in a total inability to articulate any coherent policy positions, whether they be conservative or liberal.
In other words, in a system where the voters elect principled representatives who remain un-owned by non-voter-based blocks like parties the potential for transparency is utterly terrifying.
There are limits to independent thought if it can never be focused anywhere. For each piece of legislation, not only would a dozen Senators need to be convinced, now 100 would be constantly in play. At that point, the only question would be "why bother?"
Exactly. What in the name of Phineas J. Whoopie would we do if Senators were not fretting about the NFL? So, if independent thought makes a fine crap filter, why are you so inimical, Mark?
There may be no party leaders left because no one could exercise any control when the participants cannot reliably calculate any group patterns or loyalties from week to week. Being ruled by a group of pure independents might prove to be exciting and entertaining, but no guarantee anything will ever get accomplished.
I'm willing to have a go at this theory. I want to test it to see if a large external threat will be less reliably managed in the absence of party control than, say, the Axis threat was under FDR. Because he certainly got way out in front of that one and saved millions of lives, didn't he? Oh, and the crushing debt burden brought on by his socialist policies was a big win, too. But you don't seem to notice the bills anywhere, Mark.
Over the past 30 years, Republicans have managed more party unity within their ranks so they have been more successful in promoting their agenda as compared to the Democrats. Due to their size and diversity, Democrats have been particularly poor at enforcing party discipline and that has been evident by their overall poor performance in actually getting their agenda passed, even when they have a clear majority.

Wow, talk about looking at the same facts and arriving at different conclusions. I'd re-state the last 30 decades (Reagan onward) as: those who love liberty are increasingly conscious. Incumbency and careerism amongst the ruling elite and their purportedly two-party system are bankrupting the country. An internet-fueled coalition of people with shred #1 of common sense are increasingly aware of the resurgence of aristocracy on the world stage, as bogus ploys such as government health care, global warming, and hate speech/crime laws are used as tools to crack down on liberty the world over.
However, demanding extreme fealty to a narrowly-defined party identity might shrink a party and permit the opposition to win and govern by default. But if the default winners still can't get their collective act together, then we are faced with continued stalemate and overall inaction. The overall success of any political party depends upon the particular leadership and cooperative talents of its member individuals, and how they can effectively work as a group to achieve specific goals.
Action action action. 1,990 pages of "it's more important to employ bureaucrats than for you to have freedom" isn't enough action for you? Would that the Speaker's Botox would break free and paralyze the whole House of KleptomaniacsRepresentatives, rather than see the action of the 111th Congress continue. The action we need is to streamline laws and dismantle the vast Federal bureaucracy, not enhance it.
This historical and constitutional preference for incremental slow change may have worked for the U.S. in the past when we were relatively isolated from each other and the rest of the world, and we were not a troubled global empire with more than 300 million inhabitants. Furthermore the rapid pace of change during the past decade will only escalate for the rest of the 21st Century. This is simply a result of our global communications and transportation systems, plus the actions of many other countries in an inter-connected global economy.
You bozo. The requirement to preclude tyranny is in no way diminished by globalization. Just because information moves rapidly around the world doesn't mean that the entropy of the human soul has lessened. Far from it. A Madoff can steal more than any non-governmental thief in human history. So, instead of agreeing with your apparent tendency towards centralization, I'd argue the exact opposite. In communications, packet switching trumps circuit switching. Because centralization generally bites. I'd argue that the same holds true for politics.

Finally Making Journey to Rugged Adirondacks

by Smitty

FMJRA tip of the title hat to backronym afficionado Fischersville Mike. This week picks up a khaki clad, sunglass-wearing Stacy on his triumphal return to NY-23.

Overall, it's encouraging to see that the dextrosphere is somehow facing Halloween and this Administration and managing to find the humor in a truly crappy political situation.

Is There Something Going on in New York?
  • Belvedere keeps up the parade of überlinkage. He follows Stacy here and here and here and also here. At that point, even Stacy had to fall down for some sleep.
  • Another Black Conservative linked Stacy while noting "More Nonsense From Newt" for Newt's Dede endorsement. Why do RINOs even mention State's rights when they're impotent (or frigid, as the case may be) about supporting Amendment X when it really matters?
  • Da Tech Guy opines that supporting Stacy, and the reporting value derived thereby, exceeds the value of an Apple computer. He also touts Windows 7. Emacs, I'll note, rides tall in either saddle. He notes that the Morning Joe led with NY-23 within the last week.
  • Daily Pundit agrees that "The GOP cannot remain as the party of Democrat-Lite and hope to survive." Boot Newt!
  • A Newly Conservative Lesbian links us, with some insightful points:
    However, in 2009, for the first time ever, the grassroots have tools they can use to find other like-minded people, communicate, develop a consensus, create a plan of action and implement it easily and cheaply — using just e-mail, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — with almost no leadership required.
    The sweetest thing about this right now is that the Alinsky tactics that Obama and his team employ are founded on a now-obsolete model where there’s a leader to personify, isolate, demonize and destroy.
  • The Reganite Republican Resistance has been tracking Stacy all the way, picking up the moment Hoffman surged ahead. He also noted that, after Scozzafava had turned Gingrich into a Newt, he did not in fact get better, but further transformed into toast.>
  • Pat in Shereveport includes this blog in a fine summary, and notes us again in tracking the Pataki endorsement. Additionally, she notes the impending arrival of Joe Biden, sure to strike some emotion in the heart of some human organ somewhere.
  • The Enterprising Paco has noted Stacy's efforts with approval, and the Sarah Palin endorsement even moreso.
  • Rightofcourse was correctly expected to offer support for the cause. Chance also opined that the left nearly hates Hoffman as much as they hate Sarah.
  • Obi's Sister is tracking progress, and encouraging support.
  • Left Coast Rebel hat tips us while recalling Newt, Princess Pelosi and some sort of used car sale. He notes Stacy's road habits.
  • Adrienne's Catholic Corner offered a Hoffman roundup.
  • Troglopundit found interest in NY-23 through the journalistic virtuosity of Stacy McCain.
  • The Classic Liberal has a thorough overview of the race. I like the inverted elephant graphic. Now, can we make it green, add fins and a tail, and achieve a Loch Ness monster?
  • Instapundit linked Stacy over at The American Spectator.
  • Fischersville Mike: "What's a Z worth in Scrabble?"
  • Not One Red Cent had a post by Pat in Shreveport on the Hoffman surge.
  • The NY Gathering of Eagles linked this blog amidst a Sarah Palin post.
  • The Track-a-'Crat recalls his last Stacy McCain adventure, while regretting not going on the current outing.
  • The Daley Gator noticed the emerging GOP consciousness, as well as the increasingly likely dumping of Dede.
FMJRA would like to thank the following patient readers whose links were overlooked:
  • Boom Boom Boom linked the NY-23 coverage here and here.
  • American Power was also free with the linky-love here.
Czar d'Oz Found Readers!

  • Ruby Slippers has a splendid review of politically-inspired costumes that considers Czars, mentioning this blog's recent jumbo-shrimp epic.
  • Dan Riehl apparently got past the puking to offer the following review:
    It's sort of like the Wizard of Oz meets Firing Line on a day when William F was drunk and opened with, just call me Bill.
We'd Call it Frankenbill, but Al is a Senator
Maybe it's all a head fake. Maybe Princess Pelosi gathers that the whole Progressive project is indeed a vast pile of bollocks, and the only way to kill the Vasa is to keep adding gun decks. Which metaphor also works for the US economy and debt, sadly. Pay attention to your naval architects, who tend towards being a conservative lot.
Other FMJRAs:
Miscellaneous Shouts:
  • Generational Dysfunction has us on the blogroll.
  • Little Miss Attila continues to remember libations owed. Stacy, while it goes against standard operating procedure, it might be cheaper to pay up on this one. Just sayin'.
  • Da Tech Guy hopes that Charles Johnson can un-b0rk himself. Let there always remain paths for repentance and redemption.
  • Paco Enterprises reveals a capacity for tolerating Chris Matthews. The new Paco Enterprises codpiece line must offer excellent protection, indeed.
This is not the browser-buster FMJRA that, deep down in its inner post, it wants to be. Please send updates. Also consider Rule 5 Sunday, and get ready for some full-tilt blogging as Tuesday's elections roll around.

An Immortal Friedman Quote

by Smitty (h/t pedbsktbll in the Google Reader)
Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.--Milton Friedman
That quotation is mentioned in this clip:

Also appearing in the video is Ron Paul, whose End the Fed is well worth your attention, irrespective of your opinion on the rest of his policy positions.
So when the fertilizer hits the air circulator, what will happen? Here are a few speculations for consideration:
  • Some kind of full-on conventional war, with possible scattered fallout of the nuclear variety. Once one of the world hot spots like Iraq or Afghanistan bubbles over, the grave is the limit.
  • Collapse of the US government, through the currency trojan, and assumption of world power by plutocrats, using a UN façade, one presumes. While I don't suspect the vast bulk of the rubes on the left of even knowing of this plan, my gut says this is what the HMFICs are pursuing.
  • A turnabout, where the spirit of the Constitution is resurrected. Details of such might include a phased roll-back of Entitlements to the States. It could start by admitting that Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are, at best, experiments gone awry. Remit all of the data for the loans to the States of which the recipient is resident. Give a couple of years warning to the States, so that they can figure out WTF to do. Then roll backwards in time, kicking every single stupid entitlement back to the States, up to and including that Mother of Abominations, the Social Security Act. After that, you kill the Federal Reserve and the 16th and 17th Amendments.
Would that last scenario buy happiness? Of course not. What it would buy is the additional stability allowing States to turn themselves into Progressive Paradises (Massachusetts, Michigan, California) without taking down the other 47.

There Is No Bulletproof Answer.

What does exist is containment for inevitable policy failures.

NY23: Saturday notebook

If you run a hotel, there's only one way to keep me from poaching your lobby Wi-Fi: Don't have Wi-Fi in your lobby. Somebody here in Lake Placid must have been warned I was coming, so instead of uploading the cool photos I've taken, I'm using the hotel's lobby computer, which doesn't have a slot for me to insert the chip from my camera. Sigh.

The Poacher King's original plan is thus foiled, but I'm thinking I'll have my revenge when I return to poach their free continental breakfast.

The cool news? Instapundit linked my American Spectator item about Democrats pouring in the big money against Doug Hoffman. I don't think it will be enough to elect Bill Owens, and I don't think Joe Biden will make a difference, either. Go back and check the 2008 Democratic primaries. The 23rd District was Hillary territory. Biden carries no weight up here. But I'll try to go see Joe, just in case he makes another one of his classic gaffes.

Friday afternoon, when word got around that NRCC was pulling its resources out of Dede Scozzafava's campaign, I overheard a guy explaining to a buddy what Team Hoffman's basic strategy had been from the start: "Kill Dede and we win."

Simple, brutal and true: The 23rd District is overwhelmingly Republican, and the Hoffman people knew that if Scozzafava couldn't get Republican votes, she couldn't win. Once it became apparent to Republican voters that Dede was a guaranteed loser, the momentum shift to Hoffman was inevitable.

This is where Newt Gingrich really exposed his cluelessness, parroting misleading talking-points provided by the equally clueless Republican "insiders" who handpicked Scozzafava and wasted hundreds of thousands of RNC/NRCC dollars on her doomed campaign.

Like a lot of old, successful guys, Gingrich has evidently gotten into the habit of getting advice from two categories of people:
  • Old friends, like Newt's buddy Tom Reynolds, the upstate New York Republican kingpin whose involvement in the Scozzafava pick was revealed this week by Dan Riehl. It's easy to picture Gingrich on the phone listening to Reynolds justify his own choice of Dede. Newt knows Tom from back in the day, trusts his old buddy's judgment and fails to realize that, alas, Tom's lost the magic touch. (Assuming, that is, that Reynolds actually ever had the magic touch, but that's a tangent I don't want to explore at 4 a.m.)
  • Hired sycophants. Here's the real problem with a guy like Newt. When you get that big, it's hard to find employees who'll call bulls*** on you. Newt's the former Speaker of the House and still, a decade after leaving Congress, one of the most important people in the Republican Party. I don't know any of Gingrich's personnel, but I know plenty of Very Important People in Washington who are surrounded by staffers whose obsequious fawning would bring a blush of shame to the cheeks of a eunuch in the court of an ancient Persian sultan.
Like so much of what's wrong with the Beltway GOP, then, Gingrich's botched call on NY23 is as much a matter of organizational dynamics as anything else. And you can be sure that none of Gingrich's staffers will send Newt a link to this blog post. The cocoon of obsequious second-rate yes-men around a Big Shot ensures that the one criticism the Big Shot never hears is, "Hey, boss, you've got too many obsequious second-rate yes-men on the payroll."

Don't get me wrong. I'm not being judgmental. If I ever get to be such a Big Shot that publishers are offering me fat contracts just to put my name on a book cover -- Seven Keys to a Conservative Colon: The High-Fiber Path to Renewing America and Restoring Digestive Health, by Newt and Calista Gingrich -- I'll probably hire an army of sycophantic staffers to tell me I'm always right.

But it's not just the hired sycophants. Gingrich is also listening to the wrong bunch of old friends. Newt knows David Keene at ACU, who could have set him straight about the situation in NY23, and surely Newt's shared a few TV studio green rooms with Michael Barone and John Fund, either of whom could have clued him in.

Instead, Gingrich was all over Fox News, blabbering second-hand disinformation that directly contradicted the facts Team Hoffman kept hammering home: Dede was a liberal and a mismatch for the conservative 23rd District; she had practically zero grassroots support among area Republicans; she had a disastrously liberal voting record in the New York state assembly; she had only gotten the nomination because of an insider backroom deal; and, most importantly, she couldn't win.

By trying to depict Hoffman as a "spoiler," Gingrich was 180 degrees out of phase with the truth: Scozzafava is actually the "spoiler" in this race. If you find anybody willing to bet money that Dede will break 20% on Tuesday, take that bet. She could finish as low as 15%, but the one thing I can guarantee she won't do is win.

Maybe Gingrich backed Scozzafava because she reminds him of his favorite subject: Dede is history.

Well, what the heck was that long digression into punditry all about? Just more gibberish to chase aways snoopy liberals, you see. Stretch it out for a few paragraphs so the superficial surfers will say, "No news here," and click away. Then it's safe to divulge the real stuff that only hard-core readers will stick around long enough to find:
  • Former Gov. George Pataki will campaign with Doug Hoffman today in NY23. Last I heard -- and the plans were still being arranged late Friday -- Pataki and Hoffman will do some morning photo ops down around Syracuse and then have an afternoon event in Plattsburgh. I'm guessing probably they'll also do something in Watertown and maybe do a visit to Saranac Lake, but we'll see.
  • Scott O'Grady, the hero pilot shot down over Bosnia, will be coming to the district to appear with Hoffman at local VFW and American Legion events.
  • John Rich of the country-rock duo Big And Rich will have an event Monday in Watertown for Hoffman.
  • With all that big Democratic money to throw around, Bill Owens has no shortage of ground troops in the district. He had a half-dozen of them (who looked like graying refugees from Woodstock nation) doing a honk-and-wave on State Route 3 near the Lowe's hardware store in Plattsburgh. Where are the brigades of young conservative hottie volunteers to counter these lefty geezer squads?
  • Naftali Bendavid's doing the "Republicans divided" thing at the Wall Street Journal. "Republicans divided" is every liberal's favorite headline. The MSM always blame the Right-Wing Extremist Fringe Kook Brigades for any division in the GOP. The truth, however, is that the RINOs are the real problem.
  • Ali Akbar (yes, that's his real name) got some razzing Friday after Allahpundit linked his exclusive, but didn't name him, instead describing him only as "bloggers in the area." Feel the love!
What else? Oh, any young conservatives who want to volunteer for the Hoffman campaign should call the Plattsburgh office and ask for Yates. He was a linebacker in high school and was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne. [Joke removed at request of Yates: "Dude, I thought it was funny, until I found out you were serious."]

Speaking of singles, Monique Stewart, meet Steve Foley of Minority Report, a blogger after your own heart. (Hey, the Rev. Moon doesn't have a monopoly on this sight-unseen matchmaking stuff, y'know.)

The reason I'm awake at this ungodly hour? On the way back from Plattsburgh, Ali and I stopped by The Waterhole on Main Street in Saranac Lake, where they've got a pool table and a jukebox full of classic rock tunes, plus enough Johnny Cash to keep Ali happy (he's from Texas and a total fiend for Johnny Cash). We got back to the house here in Lake Placid about 6:30 p.m. Everybody ate pizza and I fell asleep on the sofa.

Then, about 11 p.m., I was awakened by Yates knocking on the window. He was locked out. He wanted to see if anyone was up for going to have beers, but everybody was asleep, so Yates booked it back to Plattsburgh. After about an hour, I still wasn't able to get back to sleep and so . . .

Well, birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and bloggers gotta blog. Even if they can't poach WiFi. But it's nearly dawn now, and soon they'll be cranking up that free continental breakfast. I've spent so much time here in the lobby, now the manager smiles and waves when he walks past. I am the King, baby.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why do we bother with Peggy?

by Smitty

Look, Peggy: go read some history. While you're doing that, let's flog your latest drivel.
The new economic statistics put growth at a healthy 3.5% for the third quarter. We should be dancing in the streets. No one is, because no one has any faith in these numbers.
It's not a religious question. Forget faith. It's a tacit admission that we all know the numbers are a godforsaken lie, a propaganda move, a fart in a thunderstorm.
The biggest threat to America right now is not government spending, huge deficits, foreign ownership of our debt, world terrorism, two wars, potential epidemics or nuts with nukes. The biggest long-term threat is that people are becoming and have become disheartened, that this condition is reaching critical mass, and that it afflicts most broadly and deeply those members of the American leadership class who are not in Washington, most especially those in business.
Nitwit. Forget the mood ring: its color is a function of heat. The chief threat to the country the last century continues to be its slide in the direction of aristocracy. Take Newt's endorsement of Dede. Out back. Ventilate the endorsement with your weapon of choice.
Having some bozo who claims to be smarter than you decide who goes on the ballot should induce a chorus of vomiting from All Real Americans. The river of bile hasn't quite been the GOP-cleansing flood for which one would hope, but the direction of the level over time goes up up up.
I talked this week with a guy from Big Pharma, which we used to call "the drug companies" until we decided that didn't sound menacing enough. He is middle-aged, works in a significant position, and our conversation turned to the last great recession, in the late mid- to late 1970s and early '80s. We talked about how, in terms of numbers, that recession was in some ways worse than the one we're experiencing now. Interest rates were over 20%, and inflation and unemployment hit double digits. America was in what might be called a functional depression, yet there was still a prevalent feeling of hope. Here's why. Everyone thought they could figure a way through. We knew we could find a path through the mess. In 1982 there were people saying, "If only we get rid of this guy Reagan, we can make it better!" Others said, "If we follow Reagan, he'll squeeze out inflation and lower taxes and we'll be America again, we'll be acting like Americans again." Everyone had a path through.
Peggy, have you seen the National Debt Road Trip? Three minutes might wash the filth from your eyes, so that you can see the threat:

This is historic. This is something new in modern political history, and I'm not sure we're fully noticing it. Americans are starting to think the problems we are facing cannot be solved.
Absolutely, they can. Just not by you, not by elite North Easterners, not by Progressive thinking. Get the [debris] out of the way. You're part of the problem, not the solution, Peggy.
Part of the reason is that the problems—debt, spending, war—seem too big. But a larger part is that our federal government, from the White House through Congress, and so many state and local governments, seems to be demonstrating every day that they cannot make things better. They are not offering a new path, they are only offering old paths—spend more, regulate more, tax more in an attempt to make us more healthy locally and nationally. And in the long term everyone—well, not those in government, but most everyone else—seems to know that won't work. It's not a way out. It's not a path through.
Oh, it's going to work all right, Peg. For certain sorry-about-your-liberty, sovereignty-was-overrated, meet-your-transnational-plutocratic-overlords values of "work". The demolition of the States and creation of the Imperial Fed in DC paves the way for the theft of all we hold dear via the Federal Reserve.

Once federal entitlements have finished turning the United States into Europe, imposition of real rule via agreements of the Copenhagen variety can commence. So that's the destination, and thank your flaccid analysis for helping get us there.
When I see those in government, both locally and in Washington, spend and tax and come up each day with new ways to spend and tax—health care, cap and trade, etc.—I think: Why aren't they worried about the impact of what they're doing? Why do they think America is so strong it can take endless abuse?
Peggy, you article goes sailing majestically over the shark here. The only thing our aristocratic overlords feel is boredom at how long it's taking to subjugate the American people.

But let's switch to Janet Daley for a rebuttal, as her mood seems less peevish than mine:
Well America, welcome to the place where Britain and Europe have been for roughly two generations. What you have discovered are the limits of Big Government – the no-hope, tried-everything, dead end of centralised formulae for ever more socially-engineered national "happiness". Please don’t give up. If any nation in the world is capable of seeing the real lesson in this, and of saving itself from the despair and cynicism which are now commonplace on this side of the Atlantic, you are. You could still teach the world to sing.
Janet, it's not going to be easy. We've a century-long bout of Constitutional illiteracy from which we're awakening. The root of every evil before us can be traced to willfully ignoring the advice of our Founding Fathers. About the only thing the Progressives can note with validity is that we've been steering this course these many decades and administrations. They can claim precedent.
That doesn't mean we have to stack up the ship of state in the shoal water, ye Americans! Listen to this and get behind real, American, conservative candidates like Hoffman: The Warrior Song

Dan Riehl also weighed in on Peggy.

Update: A Newly Conservative Lesbian offers similar thoughts, though Cynthia takes a Reagan turn at the end.

NY23: Stacy might as well hang it up

by Smitty

How can the Hoffman campaign survive the onslaught of...The Biden-ator?

Well said, Dan Riehl

by Smitty

On the topic of altering the course of the NY-23 election:
it should only fuel our spirits and inspire us to further growth and activism as we move on toward 2010. This is our time. And we should aim to bring Obama's grand time in the White House with a rubber stamp of a Democrat Congress to an end after 2010.

That may be the one thing he has genuinely earned during his entire short national political career.
These mid-term elections, and the Tea Party Express, have everything to do with building the steam for the 2010 elections.

We can only expect things to worsen for the next year, economically, morally, politically. Every time you think we've surely bottomed out, something weirder happens. The Bush Administration, like the Cold War, seems an oasis of predictability in retrospect.

NY23: Democrats and unions will go
door-to-door in effort to beat Hoffman

From my report at The American Spectator:
The offices of the Clinton County Democratic Party here in Plattsburgh -- Owens' hometown -- were busy this afternoon, as young Democratic staffers were ready to begin a weekend of door-to-door canvassing operations. Staffers were preparing to distribute stacks of door-hanger GOTV cards that tout President Obama's endorsement of Owens, telling voters: "Those standing in the way of Change want you to say home on Tuesday -- don't let them win." . . .
Please read the whole thing. I've got to run over to Hoffman's local campaign office to meet with sources and then make the trip to Lake Placid, so I'll be busy for a few hours. Expect updates here from Jimmie Bise, and also keep an eye out for 73Wire's Campaign Trail -- those guys are breaking exclusive after exclusive up here.

Memeorandum also has news from the Politico, WSYR-TV, And So it Goes in Shreveport, Weekly Standard, Left Coast Rebel and

Thanks to all those readers who have contributed to the Shoe Leather Fund to make this trip possible. If you could give a little extra, that would be nice. Coming through Tupper Lake about 1 a.m. this morning, I had a low-speed encounter with a deer crossing the road. (Speed limit in Tupper Lake is 40 mph and, for once, I was obeying the speed limit, which is bad luck.)

Frightening for me, but rather more unfortunate for the deer -- and it's a rental car. Although the damage was minor and superficial, you know how difficult (and potentially expensive) such things can be.

UPDATE: Linked at TCOT Report.

NY23: Live from Plattsbugh!

Now poaching WiFi (and drinking free coffee) in the lobby of a hotel to be named later. The big news out of last night's WSYR-TV debate? Doug didn't lose.

With the kind of momentum his campaign has -- cf., the 18-point swing vs. Scozzafava in the DKos/Research 2000 poll -- the key for Hoffman in the debate could be summed up in three words: "Don't screw up." And he didn't.

I see that Jimmie blogged the Pataki endorsement for Hoffman (also at NTCNews.) As Michelle Malkin would say, the "snort-worthy" news of the day is that Markos Moulitsas has unendorsed RINO Dede Scozzafava.

Reports that the NRCC is pulling its resources out of the Scozzafava campaign have been variously confirmed and denied, depending on who you ask. But let's face it, Dede is obviously . . .

Put it this way: Today at breakfast in Lake Placid, I asked the waitress for eggs and corned beef hash with a side order of Dede, and the waitress asked, "White Dede or whole wheat Dede?"

Whole wheat, please. At my age, I need the fiber.

How big has the Hoffman campaign gotten? Today at Duke's Diner here in Plattsburgh, Ali from 73Wire was having lunch with the correspondent for the Times of London. That's London, England.

Meanwhile, I'm preparing a report for The American Spectator.

Update (Smitty): Daily Pundit says "Drop out, Dede, drop out!"

And she can tell Newt to scoot, to boot.



Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

NY23: Live from Lake Placid!

I'm sitting here with Steve Foley of The Minority Report. We have to be in Plattsburgh at 10 a.m. It's nearly 4 a.m. Don't worry. These men are professional bloggers.

Update (Smitty): Power Line has an related post, with the following tidibit:
Ironically, the one person who is doing the most harm in the race is Newt Gingrich. Scozzafava has no chance to win any longer. By Newt signaling to conservatives that it's okay to support Scozzafava, he is making it more likely that Owens wins.
Boot Newt!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hoffman Picks Up Pataki;
Summon the Gap Band!

Guest-posted by Jimmie Bise of The Sundries Shack.

One of the big bombs dropped tonight in NY-23. George Pataki has come out and endorsed Doug Hoffman and, let me tell you, he did not spare the thinly-veiled elbow jabs at Dede Scozzafava.
As a businessman, and as a life-long resident of the North Country Doug Hoffman understands the need to lower taxes on working families, the need to stand tall against terror and he won’t back phony stimulus programs that fail to create the jobs we need and leaves a mountain of debt to our children.

When elected to Congress Doug will work to reduce our taxes, he will stand tall against those who despise our freedoms and he will be a vigilant stalwart against those who would substitute government programs for individual initiative.

And Doug Hoffman can win.

Boom! Bombshell.

I think that calls for a stuffed turtle dancing to the Gap Band, it does!

What? If George Pataki endorsing an honest-to-goodness conservative doesn't merit a dancing turtle and the Gap Band, then I don't know what does.

Here's the NTC News post on the endorsement, along with another little tidbit from the debate in Syracuse. There weren't any fireworks, though Dede did get a couple good jabs in on both Hoffman and Owens.

NY23: Live from Watertown, N.Y.

Actually, there's not much happening here. I'm poaching the lobby computer at the Best Western Carriage House Inn where I am not a guest. But Gina the night clerk doesn't know that. She just brought me a fresh cup of coffee. (Shame? We don't need no stinkin' shame!)

That big poll news? Just got off the phone with Pat Austin, who's blogging NY23:
Allahpundit notes the poll with the reminder that this isn't actually a Daily Kos poll - they just paid for it. The pollster, Research 2000 is reliable. In addition, he says "Remember too that the campaigns have been whispering for the past week that internal polls show a two-man race now with Scozzafava fading. Consider this confirmation."
Oh, ye of little faith! We're linked at American Power and, meanwhile, Jimmie's got the complete NY23 roundup at NTC News.

More news at Memeorandum. I'd love to stay and blog more, but Gina (an undecided voter who supported Hillary in the '08 primaries) might start getting suspicious and my buddy Ali and the Campaign Trail crew expect me in Lake Placid before dawn.

The (not-so) public health care announcement

by Smitty (h/t American Glob)

An Eric Cantor staffer was denied access to the first sighting of the hell-th care bill.

This blog's secret sources revealed the shocking, just-in-time-for-Halloween reason why. The following clip of the bill's emergence is safe for work, but arguably in abysmal taste. Voter discretion is advised, now and November 2010:

Wrapping the bill in human skin is quite a fine "abortion" pun, no?

Alan Colmes equates Levi and Sarah

by Smitty

Lefty self-parody comedian Alan Colmes has a post that equates Sarah Palin's beauty contest participation with Levi Johnston, who is "selling his body for money" as Sarah put it, in a statement somewhere.

Alan, if you can't tell the difference between participating in a beauty pageant and Levi's behavior, then you're closer to Sullivan's Disease than I feared.

So the Princess Pelosi takes 1990 pages...

by Smitty (h/t Legal Insurrection) say to the American people what the Governor of her state told Assemblyman Tom Ammiano in the margin of a single page.

Prof. Jacobson:
Obama does not understand the difference between profit margins and wages. This is exactly what you would expect from someone who always has been on the receiving end of wages, and never had to meet a payroll. Wages are not profits and have nothing to do with the success of a business. Just ask the auto companies.

I don't think Obama and the other Democrats are lying about this aspect of the health care tax. They truly do not understand how the private economy works. In their blissful ignorance they are designing job-killings provisions which they do not understand.

It is not an overstatement to say "be afraid, be very afraid" of this monstrosity.
If we can't impeach the Speaker outright, we've got to implore the people of CA-8 to nominate anyone, ANYONE for their representative, instead of this piece of work. I truly think that even Sean Penn would be more competent than the woman, and I type that feeling full Cthulhu-ian horror of the concept.

Update: Dustbury has a splendid idea.

NY23: Worry-warts are worried, and the hand-wringers are wringing their hands

As I noted last night, Allahpundit is having one of his periodic Eeyore episodes, taking counsel of his fears, letting the MSM implant liberal spin in his mind, filled with dark forebodings as the Doug Hoffman campaign stands poised on the brink of a "miracle" victory.


Neurasthenia isn't a problem limited to the blogosphere, however. Some New York Republicans are also listening to their inner Eeyores -- and sending fretful e-mails to Dan Riehl.

There's a lesson here for young people: Those who dare, do. If you pay too much attention to whiners, you'll never accomplish anything great in life. Sensible caution is one thing, but those who are too cautious succumb to the paralysis of fear. Victory is impossible without risk.

Fear is contagious, but confidence is, too. Therefore, if you set out to do something, do it boldly and ignore the worry-warts. Your courageous example will inspire others, and your victories will silence the naysayers.

Newt Gingrich listened to the whiners, as Michael Patrick Leahy explains today at TCOT Report. (Hat-tip: Dan Riehl.) The result? Newt's toast for 2012.

Doug Hoffman didn't listen to the whiners, and now he's striking fear in the hearts of

Be like Doug, kids. He may look like a nerdy accountant, but he's a guy who started out pumping gas at age 14 and ended up as a millionaire -- and now may be just five days away from being elected to Congress.


Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election

Update on the California homecoming gang rape: 'It's not safe there at all'

ABC News reports four suspects arrested and this:
One student, 16-year-old Jennie Steinberg, told the Associated Press that her mother has let her transfer from the school Tuesday.
"It's not safe there at all," she said. "I'm not going back."
Of course it's not safe. It's a California public school. Details of the suspects and the crime:
Manuel Ortega, a 19-year-old former Richmond High School student, has been charged with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, rape in concert [gang rape] and rape with violence, according to Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office is going to ask for a life sentence for Ortega, Gagan said. His bail has been set at $1,230,000
The other three suspects are juveniles, ages 15, 16 and 17, but are to be charged as adults, and the D.A.'s office will seek life sentences for the trio, Gagan said.
The three juveniles are being held without bail on charges of rape in concert and penetration with an foreign object in concert. In addition, the 16-year-old will be charged with robbery.
A fifth suspect, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez, arrested Tuesday night, has not yet been charged, although the district attorney's office continues to investigate his role. . . .
Police now believe that as many as 10 suspects took part in the gang rape, while 20 others stood by and watched the crime occur in a dimly lit corner of the sprawling campus, according to KGO. . . .
"These suspects are monsters. And, I don't understand how this many people capable of such atrocious behavior could be in one place at one time," Gagan told KGO.
To repeat: It's a California public school. If you live in California, don't send your kids into that mess.

American Freedom: Remember Reagan

"45 YEARS AGO Ronald Reagan said 'You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.' That time has come again. As conservatives face off against their own natural party, the GOP, in NY-23, Florida, and elsewhere, we should remember Ronald Reagan's famous speech, 'A Time To Choose.' . . . "
-- Barbara Espinosa, American Freedom

Why am I covering NY23?

"The situation in New York 23 is simply bizarre."
-- Michael Barone, Real Clear Politics

Let's fact it, folks: When the going gets bizarre, there's only one man for the job. And don't miss what Ed Driscoll called the "Scozzafava-palooza."

'I have a cunning plan,' said Baldrick

by Smitty (h/t Left Coast Rebel)

The flap-ette over Arnie's signing statement with the potty-mouth in the margin points the way towards reform in American politics.

We simply have staffers break into the electronic documents and arrange stuff like "Representative X loves animals to a degree you may find shocking" or "Senator Y suffers massive confusion on Father's Day" in the margins, and these elected creeps might Actually Read the Legislation.

Some day you will all thank me for this. I'm waiting.

Alyssa Milano doesn't follow me on Twitter

She is, however, following Mickey Kaus and re-tweeting his Slate posts:
Why do the searches for "tweets" that mention various twitter celebrities -- Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, and Alyssa Milano, and even CEOs like Klein -- almost invariably turn up such pleasant comments?
I don't know the answer to that question, and I don't care. What I do know is that Alyssa Milano has more than 300,000 followers, whereas she's following fewer than 450 people.

If, just once, Alyssa Milano were to re-Tweet one of my blog posts . . . Dude. She's like Instapundit! Except, of course, she's a hottie.

Follow me on Twitter. Even if you're not Alyssa Milano.

NY23: Dede's progressive credentials;
Who's worried about Doug Hoffman?

Conservative TV ad depicting Dede Scozzafava as the liberal she really is? "Dirty tricks!" cries Politico.

Allahpundit links both my American Spectator report and the exclusive report from 73wire. Allah's worried but, then again, Allah's always worried. Steve Doocy? He's not worried:

Me? I'm not worried either. Why? See, there's a guy named Dan working on the Doug Hoffman campaign. Dan's from South Carolina. Compared to a South Carolina GOP primary, this situation in NY23 is s Sunday school picnic. Dan's working hard, but he's not worried. And if Dan's not worried, why worry?

You know who's really worried?
The Sarah Palin wing of the Republican Party could get a big boost if a far right, third party candidate wins a three-way House race in upstate New York. Election Day is Tuesday. Can you contribute to help Democrat Bill Owens pull out a victory?
(Hat-tip to Eric Odom at 73wire.) "The Sarah Palin wing of the Republican Party" -- I like that! Paul Begala's worried, too:
The tea party crowd hopes to use Palin's endorsement in the NY-23 special election to send one of their own to Congress on the very first anniversary of President Obama winning the White House. And we can't let that happen. The inmates have taken over the asylum, and are abandoning the Republican candidate in favor of the extreme conservative.
Dan Riehl acts like he's worried, but I don't think he really is. He's lovin' this "war raging in the GOP" stuff. He's linked by Erick Erickson. Life is good. This is a win-win situation.

Some other NY23 headlines: Mitt Romney punts, but we pretty much expected that, didn't we? Nothing to worry about. Don't worry. Just work.

UPDATE: OK, some people are buying the Scozzafava campaign's spin that Hoffman "ducked" the Plattsburgh debate Wednesday. In September, Hoffman challenged Dede to debate and she turned him down, instead arranging with her NPR friends to do this debate in Plattsburgh. (The NPR station's manager uses his blog to deny that he would be unfair to Hoffman -- and then attacks Hoffman.)

Hoffman's spokesman Rob Ryan told me the Plattsburgh NPR debate was "the perfect venue for Scozzafava and Owens to debate who's more liberal." And if Hoffman is "ducking" debates, how come he's appearing in a TV debate today in Syracuse?
Republican Dede Scozzafava, Democrat Bill Owens, and Conservative Party Candidate Doug Hoffman will all take part in a debate at the NewsChannel 9 studios Thursday night at 7pm on NewsChannel 9.
That's why I'm leaving this morning for Syracuse. It would help if some people would at least learn to make a phone call or two before jumping to the unwarranted conclusion that the liberal MSM spin is always true.

UPDATE II: Just watching that "Dede: The Best Choice for Progressives" ad at Ed Driscoll's blog, and I'm thinking: Genius!

It's a two-carom shot: Scozzafava is identified as the liberal she is, and in a positive way, so as to draw "progressive" votes away from the Democratic candidate, Owens.

Get it? The whole point of the ad is to confuse liberals (as if liberals weren't already confused). Politico is freaking out, but this is one of the most fiendishly clever ad campaigns in American political history -- using Scozzafava as the "spoiler" for the Democrat.

UPDATE III: Jonah Goldberg is not worried. Colorado Republicans are not worried.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NY23: Road Trip Update!

Why should you subscribe to The American Spectator? Well, for starters, if you click that link, your subscription will be processed through my Amazon Associates account, and I'll get a small commission. (Isn't capitalism a beautiful thing?)

You'll also get a year's subscription for only $49 -- nearly a 30% discount off the cover price. Plus, you'll get great writers like Ben Stein, James Bowman, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and, of course, me.

However, there's another reason you should subscribe to The American Spectator, namely, that publisher Al Regnery didn't strangle me this afternoon when I turned in The Mother Of All Expense Reports. He didn't pay the full tab, but he didn't strangle me, and that's the most important thing, so you should definitely subscribe now. I figure if I can sell a few subscriptions off the blog here, maybe next month . . .

Well, we'll cross that shaky bridge when we get there. Tonight is no time to worry about next month's high-anxiety confrontation over the expenses, since my plan is to leave tomorrow morning -- 8 a.m. Thursday -- for another trip up to New York's 23rd District.

My first stop will be WSYR-TV in Syracuse, where Doug Hoffman will be recording a debate with Democrat Bill Owens and RINO Dede Scozzafava. That's 341 miles. Figure 20 cents a mile = $68.20. Google Maps estimates the drive time at 5 hours, 20 minutes, but I'll be driving a rental car, so if I leave about 8 a.m. . . . well, I plan to be there before 1:20 p.m., even stopping for gas and a $2 coffee.

While in Syracuse, I'll probably grab a cheeseburger meal deal ($5) before taking off for Lake Placid (to meet up with the 73wire campaign bloggers). Estimated drive time is 4 hours, 25 minutes, but if I leave Syracuse by 4 p.m., I'm betting I get there long before 8:30, even stopping for another cheeseburger ($5) on the way. It's 196 miles x .20/mile = $39.20.

The 73wire campaign bloggers are said to be a hard-partying crew, so I'll probably have to buy them a beer ($5) or two ($10) and then pay for a cab ($15) to take them back to the place where they're crashing in Lake Placid. The cool part? They've offered to let me crash free at their place through Saturday. So once I get to Lake Placid, my only real expenses for a few days will be local travel, my usual daily two packs of smokes (2 x $5 = $10) and six cups of coffee (6 x $2 = $12).

So there's no need to worry about next month's expense report, but subscribe to The American Spectator anyway. We also won't worry about the overdue electric bill, the heating oil bill, etc. Just help out with the Shoe Leather Fund and we'll worry about all that other stuff later.

I've previously thanked Bill Quick, Nathan in Missouri, Jeff in Walla Walla, Wash., Bryce in Oregon, Richard in Lancaster, Michael in Santa Clarita, Mr. and Mrs. Belvedere, and Brett in New South Wales, Australia, for hitting the tip jar earlier today.

Now, we'll thank this evening's tip-jar hitters: Christopher in D.C., Karen in Jamesville, Earnest in Texas, Mike in El Segundo (more smokes!), James in Cincinnati, Fred in New Jersey, Barry in Florissant and Ms. K in Annapolis. And, finally, here's a special thank you for Alison in Ferndale:

Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election