Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The disownership society

It was most likely politics that brought Obama to Reverend Wright at Trinity United, most likely politics that compelled him to stay for twenty plus years under his teaching, and most likely politics that have now forced him to disown the black community and his white grandmother.

Oh, and Obama, disowned Wright too.

Does Michelle need to watch her step?

MORE: Obama, I wrote the script for you a month ago.

Monday, April 28, 2008

One mystery solved

Answering the question everyone is wondering, we have one mystery solved, based on the information from this story in the NY Times:

But Mr. Obama swatted aside a call by Mrs. Clinton, of New York, for a debate before the primaries on May 6 in Indiana and North Carolina. His performance in the last debate, before the Pennsylvania primary, was widely viewed as flat and uninspired, and his decision not to risk a rematch suggested a desire to try to keep his message more fully under his control. […]

As a result, they said, he had decided — at least for now — not to take on Mrs. Clinton directly. In one sign of that, he has spent more time trying to shore up his own shortcomings and challenges, often to the point of nearly ignoring her, as he intensified his attacks on Mr. McCain.

In the movie version of this year’s Democratic primary campaign, the role of Hillary Clinton will be played by Alex Forrest Glenn Close.

That is, if Obama really intends on playing the “just ignore her” card.

“I won’t be ignored, Dan!”

Obama campaign: Quoting Obama is divisive and distracting

Barack Obama:

I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that [Reverend Wright] had made in the past.

The fact that he is my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.

John McCain:

"Senator Obama himself says it's a legitimate political issue, so I would imagine that many other people will share that view and it will be in the arena," McCain said at a news conference. "But my position that Senator Obama doesn't share those views remains the same."

Obama campaign spokesman:

“By sinking to a level that he specifically said he’d avoid, John McCain has broken his word to the American people and rendered hollow his promise of a respectful campaign. With each passing day, John McCain acts more and more like someone who’s spent twenty-six years learning the divisive, distracting tactics of Washington. That’s not the change that the American people are looking for.”

Whereas distorting McCain’s words about 100 years in Iraq is Speaking Truth to Power. It’s the uniting change of the new politics of hope. Right?

If you can’t see the difference, of course, it’s the NDD.

UPDATE: Note also that this isn’t the first time the Obama campaign took exception to people quoting Obama. We still agree!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

One man's genius come to fruition

Via Memeorandum, we see that Karl Rove has penned an article in the Wall Street Journal today. In it, he assesses the Democratic race and its candidates.

It is well-written. It contains a great amount of information and is a vast trove of political wisdom.

Democrats would be well-served to pay close attention. But they should also be very wary -- afterall, this is Karl Rove.

We wrote the other day advising Democrats of the only way they could save their party. While some may take it as a tongue-in-cheek slap at the current state of the their presidential nomination process, please be assured, no such intent is present. It is serious advice, and it is, as advertised, the only thing that can save them.

But the fact that repealing the Twenty-Second Amendment and facing President Bush in the 2008 election is the only thing that can save the Democratic Party is not, most assuredly not, simply a matter of dumb Republican luck.

It is a matter of one man’s genius come to fruition.

The story itself actually begins back in November of 1973, when a young Karl Rove met a young George W. Bush. Bush was at Harvard, and Rove was an up and coming political operative. Rove understood then that he had met the man through whom he would one day destroy the Democratic Party.

From that point on, Karl Rove has been directing events that ultimately led to Bush’s election as President of the United States in 2000 – and events subsequently to achieve this goal.

In the Presidential election of 2000, Rove intentionally brought about the historically close election. He ensured that his candidate would lose the popular vote, yet win the electoral vote. He saw to it that winning the electoral vote would only come as a result of a long, contested process that would leave opponents claiming that the election had been stolen.

He deliberately executed this plan to inflict collective psychological trauma on the Democratic Party. Though details remain sketchy and unconfirmed, there are strong indications that Rove accomplished this plan using compromised voting machines, pharmaceutically tainted water supplies, time travel, mind rays, brain washing through subliminal messages imbedded in campaign ads, and good old fashioned bribery and extortion at the highest levels.

The Democratic Party, quite confident that it had won the election but quite powerless to prevent it from being stolen, was rendered quite incapable of rational, logical opposition to President Bush. Unable to critically formulate a strategy to oppose President Bush’s agenda, the party critically erred in opposing the President with unchecked emotional aggression. In almost every matter of serious contention, Democrats would overreach in hyper partisanship.

This pattern of events ensured that each emotionally charged loss the Democrats suffered only caused an escalated amount of emotional charge into the next political battle. After years of operating on such emotions, Democrats became almost incapable of calculated strategy.

Further, Rove continued to orchestrate events, which normally would be uncontroversial, but to Democrats would generate cries of high crimes and misdemeanors – ensuring that Democrats would continually be chasing nothing more than their tails.

Rove planted a fake memo to convince Democrats that President Bush dodged the Vietnam War. He performed a non-outing of a non-covert CIA desk agent, to convince Democrats that President Bush ended the career of the most important national security asset this country has ever known as an act of political retaliation, smearing a heroic whistleblower.

Rove’s plan has been executed so successfully that President Bush has been blamed for nearly everything, even far beyond matters political. Bush has been blamed for wildfires, and bad traffic; for broken marriages and even abortions.

Now, Karl Rove has left his formal role in the administration of George W. Bush. Soon, President Bush will leave the White House. However, Rove has accomplished the culmination of his entire political vision – a hatred within the Democratic Party that has become uncontrollable, such that in the absence of President Bush as an electoral opponent, Democrats turn their hatred upon one another.

Facing President Bush in 2008 is the only opportunity for Democrats now to focus their hatred away from their own candidates. Further, defeating President Bush is the only means of exorcising that hatred – a hatred with which they are now defined and without which they have no unifying purpose.

Of course, being now emptied of reason, rendered incapable of coherent strategy and filled entirely with hate, it is certain this advice will go unheeded.

But this should surprise no one. Because Karl Rove, who thirty five years ago found the perfect candidate with which to steal an election and destroy a party, already thought of that too.

NDD at the NY Times

This NYT article is generating buzz today (h/t Instapundit):

For seven years, Democrats have rightfully complained that President Bush has gratuitously antagonized the world, exasperating our allies and eroding America’s standing and influence.

But now the Democrats are doing the same thing on trade. In Latin America, it is Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who are seen as the go-it-alone cowboys, by opposing the United States’ free-trade agreement with Colombia.

But in all the discussion it is generating, will no one express concern over Nicholas Kristof’s Nuance Deficit Disorder (NDD)?

Sure, it looks like the Democrats are hypocritical double-standardists.

But we know that Obama’s ways are higher than our ways, and so we walk by faith and not by sight.

Get well soon, Mr. Kristof.

Crude metaphor alert

From the LA Times:

Obama has taken at least $263,000 from oil company executives, family members and employees since entering the presidential race last year, including $46,000 last month.

That was a well-publicized point of contention in the weeks leading up to the Pennsylvania primary – when Obama ran an ad saying he didn’t take money from oil companies. The article covers that bit of controversy well.

But let’s take another approach.

At today’s prices, Obama’s received approximately 2,250 barrels of oil for the entire campaign, and nearly 400 barrels in just the last month.

It’s a crude metaphor, I admit.

But don't worry. We haven't even begun to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's a monthly thing

Don Surber notes that Hillary now leads Obama in the popular vote – if – Florida and Michigan are included.

Clinton 15,095,663
Obama 14,973,720

For those keeping score at home, that’s a lead of 121,943 for Hillary.

It seems unfair to include Michigan, even in this hypothetical game, since Obama got zero votes because he wasn’t on the ballot. But there is little in the Democratic primary that meets the basic standards of fairness, so we’ll note the problem and move on.

Here’s another way to look at the race, using the figures from RCP:

Hillary won January:

Clinton 1,452,689
Obama 975,927

Hillary net 476,672

Obama won Februrary:

Clinton 9,381,226
Obama 10,176,125

Obama net 794,859

Hillary won March and April:

Clinton 4,261,708
Obama 3,821,668

Hillary net 440,040

Call it momentum. Or, if you are Mickey Kaus, mutnemom.

But whatever you call it, Hillary appears to have an advantage with that monthly thing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Other symptoms may include

With the course the Democratic race has taken in the last couple of days leading to today's Pennsylvania primary, we are given a very good test case for guaging the Politics of Fear.

Bad Politics of Fear:

Senator Hillary Clinton has a new ad that describes the presidency as "the toughest job in the world. You need to be ready for anything-especially now, with two wars, oil prices skyrocketing, and an economy in crisis." The ad quotes Harry Truman-"if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"- and concludes with this question: "Who do you think has what it takes?"

Among the images in the ad is one of Osama bin Laden.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton responds:

"It's ironic that she would borrow the president's tactics in her own campaign and invoke bin Laden to score political points," Burton said.

"We already have a president who plays the politics of fear, and we don't need another."

Got it? Invoking Osama bin Laden to score political points is Bad, Bad, Bad, Politics of Fear.

Now, let's compare and contrast.

Good Politics of Fear:

Obama: The Bush-McCain decision to take our eye off of Afghanistan to launch a misguided war in Iraq diverted resources from the fight against terrorism, allowed Osama bin Laden to escape justice, and has enabled al Qaeda's core leadership to reconstitute a sanctuary in northwest Pakistan.

Really Good Politics of Fear:

Obama: Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan because the Bush-McCain war in Iraq diverted resources from Afghanistan and allowed al Qaeda to escape into Pakistan."

Really, Really Good Politics of Fear:

Obama: Every time we send units to serve tour after tour of duty in Iraq, we limit our ability to deal with other crises. Every month that we're spending $8 billion in Iraq, we neglect other priorities. Every time we hear a plea for more support in Afghanistan or get another message from Osama bin Laden, we're reminded that this war has distracted us from real threats.

If you're confused, you may have a condition called Nuance Deficit Disorder (NDD). Invoking Osama bin Laden to score political points is Bad Politics of Fear when used by Republicans. Invoking Osama bin Laden to score political points is Good Politics of Fear when used against Republicans generally and President Bush specifically.

To further test for the presence of NDD, let's return to Burton:

Senator Clinton voted with President Bush to authorize the war in Iraq, she made a tragically bad decision that diverted our military from the terrorists who attacked us, and allowed Osama bin Laden to escape and regenerate his terrorist network.

Now, is invoking Osama bin Laden to score political points Good Politics of Fear or Bad Politics of Fear when used by a Democrat against a fellow Democrat?

If your answer is some variant of "WTF?", your NDD is completely normal as your nuance deficiency falls within the preferred range for mentally stable and healthy adults.

However, for those who persist in trying to make sense of the various scenarios presented, please consider: when Politics of Fear was used by Hillary against Obama -- Burton cries foul by using Politics of Fear against Hillary.

Does that sound rational? Logical?

If you answer yes, you have Nuance Hyperactivity Disorder (NHD).

If these symptoms last for more than four hours, consult a physician immediately.

Other symptoms of NHD may include: abdominal pain, sore throat, agitation, an inability to feel pride for one's country, constipation, irrational fears of a coming Christofascist theocracy, decreased sex drive, diarrhea or loose stools, sleepiness, dizziness, hallucinations of black helicopters above your house, fatigue, tingling that runs up your leg, gas, visions of impeachment dancing in your head, decreased appetite, anxiety, increased sweating, dreams from your father, uncontrollable cursing at images of Bush, indigestion, an insatiable desire for change, insomnia, dry mouth, headache, fainting, swooning, nausea, nervousness, rash, pain, tremor, vision problems and vomiting.

Two and a half hours

Audrey Caroline spent just two and a half hours on this earth, yet changed the world.

We spent fourteen hours driving to Nashville and back this weekend to spend a little over an hour to join with family and friends, to mourn Audrey’s death, to celebrate her life and to honor the faith and courage of her mom and dad and sisters.

And Audrey Caroline changed our world as well.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's not about the waffle

Via Hot Air, Obama just wants to eat his waffle in peace:

As Sen. Hillary Clinton was preparing to campaign here today, Sen. Barack Obama was meeting with voters at a diner and apparently pretty hungry.

“Why can’t I just eat my waffle?” he said, when asked a foreign policy question by a reporter at the Glider Diner.

There is only one thing important in this story. And it's not about the waffle.

No, the only thing that is important here can be found on the Glider Diner menu:

Assorted Freshly Baked Fruit Pies.....$1.95
Baked Fruit Pie a la Mode...................$2.95
Assorted Cream Pies...........................$2.25

Mmmmm, pie

Barack, I will fight for your right to eat your waffle in peace, so long as you promise to keep your hands off my pie.

Is there anything it can't do?

When it comes to electing a President, conventional wisdom holds that one of the major factors voters consider is the "who would you want to have a beer with" test.

George W. Bush always scored well in that department. Especially when compared with Al Gore and John Kerry.

The Democrats appear to be headed toward another unfavorable matchup in this department. John McCain is married to the chair of the board of one of the largest beer distributorships in the country.

And now, Barack Obama is fighting off questions of being elitist and out of touch. And while the thrust of these charges is due to his distracting words, Obama cannot escape the botched drinking photo-op in Pennsylvania, where he revealed his limited beer knowledge.

[Obama] stopped by a sports bar Friday night to catch a bit of the NCAA basketball tournament. He sipped a Yuengling beer, but his local knowledge fell short when he confessed he didn't know much about the regional brew widely consumed in Pennsylvania.

"You know I got a beer down there," Obama said to a male patron. "What do they call it? A Yuengling?"

"Yuengling," the man confirmed. "Like you didn't know."

"Trying a Pennsylvania beer, that's what I'm talking about," said Obama, his sleeves rolled up, smiling. "Is it expensive, though? ... Wanna make sure it's not some designer beer or something."

And while our natural reaction to any discussion of sitting down and having a drink with a candidate would include a strong revulsion to the idea of doing so with Hillary Clinton - we cannot escape the fact that she has been slamming drinks with abandon.

This has gotten us thinking. In an endless Democratic primary season that feels like it has been running since John McCain's youth, it seems there is little ground yet to be covered. And after twenty-three debates, it would also seem the last thing this race needs is another one.

But perhaps we have the makings of a truly unique opportunity for Democrats to answer the question of who is most electable come November.

Thus let us propose the first "Throw One Back Debate" (sponsorships available!), in which candidates are asked questions by regular people, in a pub-like setting. Whenever a candidate lapses into empty platitudes, meaningless campaign rhetoric, or any other verbal tic that is deemed an attempt to avoid the question or issue at hand - they must take a drink.

Not only would this debate provide us with the invaluable evidence of which candidate would be better to have a beer with, we would see the candidates induced, by virtue both of the format itself and the properties of alcohol unleashed, into having the first open and honest Democratic debate in recorded history.

Alcohol: Is there anything it can't do?

MORE: I QUESTION THE TIMING: Or rue it. Had this idea been implemented in time - this debate could have broken the dead-locked "beer drinker vote" in Pennsylvania.

YOU CAN QUESTION THE TIMING: There was no alcohol involved and the April 27 debate was cancelled right as my post went up. Go ahead, question it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

He who must be middle-named

Tom Maguire, call your office!!!

From Geraghty:

Now let's turn to another ad/web video, this one from AmericansComingTogether, entitled, "Younger Than McCain." As you can guess, this one attacks McCain's age, spotlighting lots of things that are younger than McCain, like velcro, the Republic of Iceland, Dick Cheney, color TV, and Burger King. (Of their list, note that Hillary Clinton is only two years or less younger than Indonesia, Velcro, Pakistan, and Burger King. And she's only six years younger than Dick Cheney!)

(The ad also introduces him as "John Sidney McCain." Hey, guess what guys. "Barack Hussein Obama, Barack Hussein Obama, Barack Hussein Obama." Thanks for making middle names fair game in this contest; I'm sure that will work out well for your side.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stop calling me names

Last we heard from Michelle Obama, she was calling us divisive, lazy, uninformed, uninvolved, isolated, too comfortable, though she did not call us Ray.

Apparently she was just getting warmed up:

"So when people talk about this elitist stuff, I say, 'You couldn't possibly know anything about me.' So let me give you a better sense of who me and Barack are and why we're doing this," she said.

She then proceeds to characterize people she couldn’t possibly know anything about as struggling, cynical, hopeless, disgusted, isolated, lonely, embarrassed, and susceptible to fear.

I think I know her far better than she thinks I do and that she knows people like me far less than she thinks she does.

I mean, she didn’t even know how much we like pie. In fact, we cling to our pie.

(h/t Soylent Red)

Obama: I'm too bitter to be elitist

In the fallout over his remarks about small town Pennsylvanians, Obama challenges the notion that he is elitist:

"I am amused about this notion of elitist, given that when you're raised by a single mom, when you were on food stamps for a while when you were growing up, you went to school on scholarship," he told a town hall meeting of U.S. military veterans in western Pennsylvania. [...]

"We lived for the first 13 years of our marriage up until three years ago in a three-bedroom condo without a garage so if you live in Chicago that means you're scraping ice every morning," he said in rejecting the elitist label.

I think it all makes sense.

No matter their actual economic station in life, the Obamas perceive themselves as being lower than they deserve. If they are making a quarter of a million dollars in 2001, they have crushing student loan burdens. If they are living in a three bedroom condo in Chicago, they don’t have a garage. If they are getting over a million dollars in book royalties, Michelle complains about the struggles of making due on $10,000 a year for extracurricular activities for their kids.

So when Obama says that folks in small town Pennsylvania have become bitter, clinging, among other things, to religion and antipathy for those not like them – what we may be seeing is projection.

When the imbroglio over Reverend Wright unfolded, one of the most asked questions was why did Obama stay in such a church under such a hate-filled pastor for more than twenty years?

And the answer appears to be this – Obama had become bitter through his own perceived economic struggles and he clung to his religion, filled as it is with antipathy for those not like him.

If this is true then surely we should ask, has he changed? Has he overcome the bitterness? Has he transcended it? Or has he just become very adept at hiding the bitterness (Michelle less so), only letting it slip occasionally like at the fundraiser in San Francisco?

Well, Obama has told us that he can no more disown Reverend Wright than he can the black community or his white grandmother.

He clings.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Obama clings to his flag pin

So, when Obama gave his major speech on race, he was flanked by what, 129 US flags?

And now from Politico, when the Obama campaign hits some more big bumps on the trail, Obama the candidate clings to his flag pin.

It's not surprising then that Obama gets bitter, he clings to a "substitute for true patriotism".

UPDATE: I admit error - in his major speech on race, Obama had just eight flags behind him. It only felt like 256.

The trigger of bitterness

Via James Taranto, we have a home state story of a high school marksmanship team:

ZEBULON - For Robert Lumley, the decision to bar his East Wake High School club marksmanship team from a statewide shooting tournament was as arresting as a shotgun blast.

Less than a day before the March 15 district round of the decades-old N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission competition, one of East Wake's principals, with the support of the area superintendent who oversees that school, stopped the team from participating.

The reason: Ammo and students don't mix, the school officials said.

Like districts across the nation, Wake County bans deadly weapons from campuses and prohibits students from carrying them on school trips. But the decision to bar the East Wake team from the tournament extends that prohibition to students participating in an off-campus event sponsored by a state agency and supervised by adults certified in firearms safety. [...]

The East Wake decision nullified months of practice by Lumley, a 17-year-old senior, and the rest of the 16-member marksmanship and orienteering team -- an offshoot of the school-approved FFA club, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America.

The story is headlined from Zebulon, NC, population roughly 4,000. East Wake High School is located in Wendell, NC, population about the same.

It would be fair to say that these students are from one of those small towns Obama has been talking about. Their desire to participate on a marksmanship team in a shooting tournament is no doubt evidence that Obama is on to something: they are clinging to their guns.

Now the school is trying to take that away from them.

This will drive these students to become even further embittered forcing them to cling even more to their religion or their antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Until Obama is elected and they can be freed from such distractions, so that they can cling to the omnibenevolence of the state.

Obama mangles

Obama spoke to editorial writers of the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The problem actually with this most recent episode is not that I was saying one thing behind closed door and saying something else in public. The truth is actually that I’ve made these same comments in a similar way on “The Charlie Rose Show" back in 2004 or 2005, and I had said it in town hall meetings in small towns.

The problem is that I just mangled it, which, you know happens sometimes. The point that I was making was actually two separate points that got conflated.

Sigh, of course it comes to this. When all else fails, use the John Kerry Defense – it was a botched joke:

“You know, the economy, if you make the most of it, you change hard, you have your unity and you make an effort to be hopeful, you can do well. If you get bitter, cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like you or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment, you get stuck in Altoona.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

Obama, I apologize

Geraghty points to these remarks by Obama at the Associated Press' annual meeting:

As I said yesterday, I regret some of the words I chose, partly because the way that these remarks have been interpreted have offended some people and partly because they have served as one more distraction from the critical debate that we must have in this election season.

"Some of the words"? How many words does Obama regret? Which ones?

He regrets some of the words partly because the way they were interpreted.

This is just a quick back of the napkin calculation here, but I think that equates to regretting six words. Maybe seven. It would take more in depth analysis to determine which six or seven words Obama regrets – more time than my limited attention span can endure.

And let’s face it, as small town voter who has been living a lie -- I once was blind to my racist, xenophobic bitterness, but now I see -- I couldn’t possibly be trusted to interpret his words of regret anyway.

Further, I must grant that we all owe Obama an apology as well. The interest that voters show in better understanding his views of voters is "one more distraction from the critical debate we must have in this election season".

Obama, I apologize.

Hope you had a great weekend

We certainly hope your weekend was better than Obama’s. We’re sorry we missed out on all the fun with his gaffe about bitter small town religious racist gun nuts.

Anyway, being this late to the party, I’ll be content just to make one small point.

Yes, Obama really does believe what he said. And yes, it certainly was not in his political interests to divulge such a belief. But no, Obama had no idea that he shouldn’t say such a thing. Even now, he doesn’t understand why people are freaking out.

But, that obviously doesn’t mean that what he said was true.

No, if Obama wanted to get closer to the truth, he would have said something like this:

So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people are most cynical about government Democratic politicians.

Here’s how it is: in a lot of these progressive communities in big industrial states websites like Ohio and Pennsylvania Daily Kos and TalkLeft, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government Democratic politicians that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government the DNC, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. […]

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns progressive websites in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the fact is we’ve lost two presidential elections – to George W. Bush – and Democrats have been out of the White House for eight years. We lost the 2002 Congressional elections. And then, when we won the 2006 Congressional elections, what did these progressive activists see for all their efforts. The war in Iraq continues, the only promise we Democrats campaigned on that has been delivered was raising the minimum wage, and unless you got a post office named after you, you didn’t get squat. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns their online liberal social networking activist progressive communities or religion their faith-based narratives of Bush lied or war for oil or stolen elections or catastrophic anthrophenic global warming or coming Christianist theocratic fascism as a way to explain their frustrations.

Because as soon as the members of the progressive community have the scales removed from their eyes and come to know Obama for who he is: a typical opportunistic, power-hunger, cynical politician – but one who campaigned as something quite the opposite – there is going to be hell to pay.

Question is – when do they snap out of the spell? April, August 29th, or November 5th?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Good vibrations

Obama on the campaign trail:

[Obama] posed for report pictures with the staff when he apparently felt his phone start to vibrate in his pocket on his right thigh – against which one woman was closely pressed.

"Now that’s my phone buzzing there," he said, drawing a laugh. "I don’t want you to think I’m getting fresh or anything."

One woman was closely pressed up against his thigh?


We would have guessed there to have been at least six.

Then again, the others probably had fainted and were lying at his feet.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Of faith, family and pie

Of faith, family and pie

When Michelle Obama said that Barack would demand that I put down my divisions, I thought it was divisive of her to suggest that it was I who promulgated division.

When Michelle Obama said that Barack would demand that I push myself to be better, I thought better of actually telling her I thought she was pushy.

When Michelle Obama said that Barack would never let me go back to my life as usual, uninvolved, uninformed, I laughed that she could be so unusually uninvolved with and uninformed about people like me.

When Michelle Obama said that Barack would demand that I move out of my comfort zone, I simply brushed it off as someone who had become a little too comfortable telling other people what level of comfort they should be willing to enjoy.

When Michelle Obama said that Barack would demand that I come out of my isolation, I thought she must be isolated from the real lives of ordinary people.

When Michelle Obama says this, however:

Most Americans, she said, don't want much.

"They don't want the whole pie," she told the women. "There are some who do, but most Americans feel blessed just being able to thrive a little bit. But that is becoming even more out of reach."...

"The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."

She crossed a line that forces me to take up arms against the Obamas.

You can call me divisive, you can call me lazy, you can call me uninformed, you can call me uninvolved, you can call me isolated, you can call me too comfortable, and you can call me Ray.

You can say just about anything and I will look the other way.

But three things I will not tolerate.

You cannot attack my faith.

You cannot attack my family.

You cannot lay a hand on my pie.

UPDATE: CampaignSpotalanche! Thank you Mr. Geraghty

A LITTLE WHILE LATER (May 19th): Campaign Spot again!

My take on Obama's latest: "Thermostat appeasement"

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sometimes you simply stop

Sometimes you simply stop
Drop to your knees
And cry

Yesterday, when I saw this from K-Lo on the Corner, I recognized the tragedy it represented. I also recognized that I couldn’t read it at work without tearing up.

Audrey Caroline Smith, R.I.P. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

In a blog, a mother shares her love and fear and faith with the world as she chooses to give birth to a daughter who does not live for long, but is treasured all the same. What love, what pain some parents face ...

When I got home, however, and read the email my wife asked me to read, read the pain in her eyes, and then read the blog, I recognized.

Audrey Caroline Smith

And I simply stopped
Dropped to my knees
And cried

God bless you, Angie and Todd.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Carnegie Mellon U., atypical

Via Gateway Pundit, at the recent Michelle Obama and Teresa Heinz-Kerry appearance at Carnegie Mellon University, this report was filed in student newspaper the Tartan:

While the crowd was indeed diverse, some students at the event questioned the practices of Mrs. Obama’s event coordinators, who handpicked the crowd sitting behind Mrs. Obama. The Tartan’s correspondents observed one event coordinator say to another, “Get me more white people, we need more white people.” To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, “We’re moving you, sorry. It’s going to look so pretty, though.”

We can all breathe a sigh of relief that this event seems to have gone off without a hitch. Filling seats with typical white people would have created certain racial tensions, no? Kudos to Carnegie Mellon students for not living down to Senator Obama’s characterization.

The more things change

Originally posted on American Thinker

As General Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill today, Powerline gives us this snippet from Hillary Clinton’s appearance on CBS' Early Show with anchor Harry Smith:

SMITH: David Petraeus is going to come before this committee this morning. He's going to say, in more elaborate words than I will right now, that the surge is working. The number of attacks in Baghdad have more than doubled in the last two months. About a dozen U.S. servicemen have been killed there in just the last several days.

Do you think the surge is working?

CLINTON: Well, Harry, I think you just made a summary argument against the position that it's working.

Speaking of a Harry, we are just a couple weeks shy of the one year anniversary of this Harry’s exchange, from April 22, 2007:

CNN INTERVIEWER: "General Petraeus is going to come to the Hill...and make it clear to you that there is progress going on in Iraq...will you believe him?"

HARRY REID: “No. I won’t believe him because it isn’t happening.”

The more things change, the higher the willing suspension of disbelief is raised.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hillary the modest

H/T K-Lo for this reminder from Hillary:

While listing her credentials to be president, Clinton also said people vote for different reasons, including how a person looks or their hairstyle.

"And that is another difference, you know how long it takes me to get ready than my two opponents — I mean really just think about it," she joked. "I think I should get points for working as hard as I do plus the time it takes to get ready."

Actually, she is understating her case.

As we’ve said before Hillary gets points for being Ready on day one, ready in six rings

We had decided not to reprise that line with Hillary’s 3 am ad on the economy – but since Hillary is apparently intent on pushing it, who are we to stand in her way.

Vote neither

Marc Ambinder points us to the latest dream ticket news, a website called Vote Both

Hillary/Obama '08 becomes official today. In a way.

A Clinton insider who served as ex campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle's executive assistant for several years has set up a new website, www.voteboth.com and plans to register with the Federal Election Commission today.

VoteBoth urges Democrats to support a joint Clinton-Obama ticket.

Its creator, Adam Parkhomenko, resigned from the campaign three weeks ago.

He had been one of the first employees of the 2006 incarnation of Clinton's political action committee, HillPAC, and his proximity to the powers of the campaign will raise the question of whether the effort is sanctioned by the campaign. (Parkhomenko says that the idea was his own.)

The website features a petition to members of the Democratic National Committee "to support a unity ticket with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama."

It is assumed, of course, that being a former Hillary insider, Parkhomenko is pushing for Hillary at the top of the ticket and Obama as VP.

But we’re quite certain that Obama supporters would not see this as acceptable, much less a dream ticket, considering his position in the lead with pledged delegates and the certainty that he will retain that lead after all the votes have been counted.

In fact, in a spirit of continuing the advice to Democrats we have been offering, we would submit the following.

Since one of the most contentious aspects of this race for the Democrats is the tension of the ground-breaking nature of having the first African-American nominee for president vs having the first female nominee – please allow us to suggest the perfect unity candidate:

No! Not this guy.

Run Cynthia Run

Power to the People!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The only way to save the Democratic Party

Originally posted on American Thinker.

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination is a quagmire.

It is a civil war.

It is fratricidal.

It is an act of hara-kiri.

It is a murder-suicide.

No matter which of its two remaining candidates secures the nomination, there appears to be no good end possible for the Democratic Party.

Or is there?

The problem is - over the last eight years the Democratic Party has completely given itself over to unrestrained hatred. Hatred is not something you can just switch on and off. Once you allow yourself to be consumed by it - hatred must find a place to go.

Hatred abhors a vacuum.

Now that George W. Bush is no longer a participant in a presidential election, Democrats have lost the unifying locus of their hatred, and that hatred has found its place in being hurled upon the Democratic Party's own candidates.

The result of this tragic situation leaves the Democratic Party with only one viable option:

Repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment

Democrats everywhere should be working feverishly to ensure that President Bush can be placed on the ballot.

Yes, it has come to this.

The only person who can save the Democratic Party is George W. Bush.

Friday, April 4, 2008

I question the questioning of Obama’s lack of answering the question of patriotism

Joe Klein recounts a scene with Obama at a recent Q&A session after a speech in Pennsylvania:

I noticed it during Obama's response to a young man who remembered how the country had come together after Sept. 11 and lamented "the dangerously low levels of patriotism and pride in our country, the loss of faith in our elected officials."

Klein then tells us that it was understandable that Obama used this “to go after George W. Bush”.

What? Oh, yes, understandable in that it’s a Pavlovian response, and we certainly would not have expect anything else from Obama.

Klein records the response from Obama thusly:

"Cynicism has become the hot stock," he said, "the growth industry during the Bush Administration." He talked about the Administration's mendacity, its incompetence during Hurricane Katrina, its lack of transparency.

Isn’t the talk “about the Administration's mendacity” itself cynical?

Isn’t the talk of the Administration’s “incompetence during Hurricane Katrina” a prime example of “the loss of faith in our elected officials”?

Isn’t Obama feeding, rather than, oh, I don't know, say transcending this young man’s lamentation? Or put another way, did this young man leave this speech more or less cynical about the lack of patriotism, pride in his country and faith in government after hearing Obama answer his question?

Isn’t it Obama who is peddling cynicism as the "hot stock", "the growth industry"?

And as long as we’re using stock market terminology, isn’t Obama simply engaging in a pump and dump scheme? Can we see where he stands to profit if people cynically believe the Bush Administration is mendacious, incompetent and lacks transparency?

Why, yes. Yes We Can!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sex sells

From NRO’s Media Blog, we find poor John Edwards still can't catch a break:

Last year's worst selling issue of Esquire: John Edwards on the cover.

The best selling: Angelina Jolie

I suppose this isn’t entirely surprising. Jolie was named FHM Magazine’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2005 -- and the old adage is “sex sells”.

Further, this helps shed light on the attempt by Esquire editors to convince readers that Edwards was, in fact, not only a woman, but the Sexiest Woman Alive.

The editors have obviously been around the block a time or two.

Unfortunately it didn’t work, since the Edwards cover still underperformed all other issues for the year.

But give them an 'A' for effort.

Dock them for plausibility, though. We’d say a 'B-'

JUST ASKING: Why is the pic of the cover on the Huffington Post cropped so that it omits the “Sexiest Woman Alive” text?

Some days are better than others

I am a hold-your-nose-enthusiastically-for-McCain voter.

There is no doubt that I will vote for him in November. There is no doubt I will not fully enjoy doing so.

Some days are better:
Beer executive could be next first lady

Than others:
Heidi Montag: I'm Voting For John McCain
McCain: I’m honored to have Heidi’s support

Ugh. It would take a lot of Anheuser-Busch product to move the enthusiasm level back up after that.

UPDATE: I am not in any way suggesting Team McCain buy my enthusiasm with free beer.

I would never, ever do that.

FINAL CALL: But I am, of course, not suggesting they not attempt to do so, either.

About that oink buzz

Everybody’s noticing that Hillary loves earmarks. A lot.

The nonpartisan taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste is out with its newest Pig Book, an overwhelming detailing of all 11,610 pork barrel projects inserted in the current fiscal year's appropriations bills by individual members of Congress. ...

According to the Pig Book ("The Book Washington Does Not Want You to Read"), New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is our new grand national oinker among presidential contenders for most pork barrel spending. She inserted a whopping 281 individual spending projects into bills for the benefit of New York interests at the cost of taxpayers everywhere.

That totals $296.2 million.

Brings back some good campaign memories:

Hippies used to say if you remember Woodstock, you weren't really there. Republicans say presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton can forget about getting $1 million in taxpayer funds for a Woodstock museum.

Clinton and Charles Schumer, Democratic senators from New York, want to earmark the federal money for a museum that would commemorate the 1969 music festival in their state. ...

When Schumer and Clinton trumpeted the $1 million earmark for the museum back in June, she said in a statement that it would "continue to promote education, the arts, culture and tourism in the region."

To which McCain responded with this (the quote is from a Republican debate, which McCain then turned into a campaign ad):

MCCAIN: A few days ago, Senator Clinton tried to spend one million dollars on the Woodstock concert museum.

"Now my friends, I wasn't there. I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was, I was tied up at the time."

Old man McCain totally harshed Hillary’s buzz, man.

His ways are higher than your ways

Obama’s Global Reconciliation Tour to Restore America’s Reputation disguised as just a mere presidential campaign has taken a few nuanced, counterintuitive positions in the past:

Obama to Pakistan, "I’m a cowboy"

Pakistan to Obama, "Shut up"


Obama to Canada (and Mexico), "I’m a hammer"

Canada to Obama, "Tone it down"


But we should have known that he was just getting warmed up:

Obama to Columbia, "Yo soy el jefe"

Columbia to Obama, "Grow up"


Obama to Europe, "I’m a military expert"

Europe (NATO) to, "Stand down"

It would be hard to predict who he’ll piss off next to restore America’s reputation. We’ve given up trying:

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are Obama’s ways higher than your ways
and his thoughts than your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I didn’t have the guts, but I revel in the glory

Some time in the last couple of weeks, this April Fool’s prank showed up in headlines side bar at Ace of Spades:

Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Children of all ages! Have we got a killer prank for you, perfect to pull on your co-workers. And, with April 1 just around the corner, you need to have a fresh stock of tricks in your bag.

Skype lets you run a conference call with up to 24 people simultaneously, but the trick is that they can be a mixture of Skype accounts and phone numbers. To setup your call, you need to do is start a conference by clicking on the conference button on the main Contacts tab, then type in the numbers of the people you want to call. For maximum LOLs, I recommend making every phone in your work area ring—desk, fax, and personal cell numbers, if you have everyone’s numbers. When you press the Start Call button at the bottom of the window, all the phones in your office will ring at once. Caller ID will show Unknown Caller or 000-000-0000, and when people pick up, they’ll hear each other talking, but no other callers.

No way.

No way am I going to try and pull that prank.

But that certainly wasn’t going to stop me...

...from seeing this prank pulled.

So I gave it to a friend -- and I asked him to include my number in the prank, so I could listen.

Unfortunately, due to the time difference between us, the prank was pulled at 6 ET. So I wasn't here to take the call.

Bummer, right? Well, it turned out to be perhaps even funnier.

So the normal protocol for holding a conference call is one central number that all participants dial in to. Skype runs it backwards -- one central number calls all of the participants you select.

The best part of Sype’s method is -- if a person selected for the call doesn't answer, the Skype call goes into that person's voicemail, and everyone who has picked up the call gets to hear that person’s voicemail message. And if more than one person doesn’t answer, you hear multiple voicemail messages simultaneously.

And -- since I wasn’t here and Skype reached my voice mail -- I got the whole thing recorded on my voice mail.

For posterity.

On this particular call there must have been 5-6 people who were repeatedly saying "Hello?" … "Can you hear me?" … "Are you there?" … "Who is this?" …etc. While there were probably 5-6 voice mail messages going on in the background -- including the automated voicemail chick voice saying stuff like, "…I do not undestand that command. Please press 1 to repeat the message, or press zero for more options."

Operation Chaos!

In fact, Skype called my number 3 times in the span of 6 minutes, so I have three recorded messages of chaos.

On the third and final call -- at the very end -- a sweet innocent young lady comes on the line and keeps repeating, "Hello? Hello? Hello?"

Then silence.

Followed by my laughter. Honestly – I had forgotten about the prank, and especially since I was listening to the voice mail on April 2nd, it took me until that last call to figure it out.

Now I'm waiting to hear back from my friend on how it went live -- how long it took people to figure it out -- how long it was before he was fingered -- and if he still has a job...

Open Season

Responding to reader demand, I’ve opened up the comments so that no login is required.

DISCLAIMER: Comments left at TheVIMH are the sole responsibility of the person who leaves them and do not necessarily reflect the views of TheVIMH. Unless they are brilliant, in which case I take full credit.

UPDATE: And yes, I am very worried about open comments. Because of you know who.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Release the attack like a lightning bolt from the nine-layered heavens

The key to any good April Fool’s joke is the element of surprise.

Ed Rendell came up with a brilliant strategy – deliver the joke a day early.

Rendell in an appearance on Fox News:

"I think during this entire primary coverage, starting in Iowa and up to the present -- FOX has done the fairest job, and remained the most objective of all the cable networks... But you actually have done a very balanced job of reporting the news”

Heads spinning, jaws agape, eyes popping out of heads, and veins bulging.

But he didn’t want to cause any permanent damage, so he threw this in the middle:

You hate both of our candidates. No, I’m only kidding.

Well played, sir.

UPDATE: Reference for post title here

And they are never wrong

THEY TOLD ME THAT IF BARACK H. OBAMA were to become the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, we would see right-of-center blogs generously linking left-of-center blogs and vice versa in a new spirit of post-partisan unity. And they were right!

(H/T Hugh Hewitt for the link; and Glenn for the stolen formulaic, again)