Thursday, July 31, 2008

To Censure Or Not To Censure

It seems that the Dems are a little selective in who they censure. Over the last two days we have reports of two very contrasting examples of censure proposals in Congress.

First we have the story of Senator Tom Coburn, Republican, of Oklahoma as seen here: This is a column by Michelle Malkin. It seems that Mr. Coburn, an OB/GYN physician performs free deliveries at a private hospital in Oklahoma when he is not harassing his fellow Senators on pork barrel spending. Because he is doing these deliveries at a private hospital this evidently violates an obscure Senate rule. Keep in mind he is not only doing these free of charge, he is paying his malpractice insurance out of his pocket. Because of this dastardly crime, the Senate Ethics committee has sent Mr. Coburn a final warning that if he did not stop he would face censure in the Senate.

Now today we have a story on Fox about Representative Charles Rangel, Democrat, of New York. Mr. Rangel has been renting four rent controlled apartments in Manhattan. Three of the apartments are being used by Mr. Rangel as an apartment. The fourth on, since given up, was being used as an office by him. Using a rent controlled apartment as an office violates New York city laws. So he is occupying three rent controlled apartments undoubtedly because of his position, apartments that could be used by him and two other NY families as affordable housing. Then he was breaking the law by using a fourth one as an office, depriving yet another family of affordable housing. Finally, as the censure motion asserts, he appears to have broken House ethics rules by not declaring the rent control apartments as gifts which the motion claims is required. Needless to say, the Democrats would not okay this proposal for censure.

The hypocrisy here is impressive, even by the standards of the Democratic party. I won’t even bother with their campaign pledge to “drain the swamp” of Congress and run it more ethically. This pledge actually became a joke before they were even sworn in after the election. Barely a month after winning the election they were caught in their first embarrassing reversal on their pledge. Newly elected speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had to back down from plans to name Alcee Hastings of Florida to chair the House Intelligence Committee after the media, mostly Fox News, was critical of the fact that he was a former Federal Judge impeached and removed from the bench by the Senate for perjury and conspiracy to obtain a bribe.

The hypocrisy is not only in how the Democrats dispense their justice, they are also forgetting some of their most basic beliefs. First we have them punishing Senator Coburn for providing free healthcare. Aren’t they supposed to be for health care for everyone? On conservative boards I visited today, posters are quipping that if he had been performing free abortions he would be Obama’s running mate instead of facing censure. Second is the affordable housing issue, always a talking point for Democrats. Evidently they want affordable housing for everyone as long as they get theirs first.

So the Democrats essentially want to censure Tom Coburn for performing free deliveries and refuse to censure Charles Rangel for breaking the law in New York city and violating House ethics rules. In the twisted view of right and wrong as seen by the Democrats this probably actually makes sense.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

From One Teen To Another?

I can’t put this any other way, what the Hell is going on in this country. Lifestyles Condoms has announced it wants to make Miley Cyrus it’s spokesperson for their condoms according to this story. For any of you reading this from a cave on Pluto, Miley is the 15 year old star of Hannah Montana, the wildly popular Disney show.

What kind of sick society are we tolerating in which a company feels comfortable enough to propose something as demented as this. If a man were to say something like this, he would likely be beaten out of town with a stick and good riddance to him. But we have a company announce this and they get national exposure. Which, possibly could be their intention. One truism in the news media is that shocking gets you on the front page. This is a company for which their “good name” is not much of an issue, they’re a condom company, so for them any press is good press. This theory is lent even more credibility with the fact that it does not appear that they have approached her or her agents about the sponsorship.

Further, you have to love this quote from their spokesperson "Pop culture proves that teens are more ready than ever to discuss the subject of sex," says the company's VP of marketing, Carol Carrozza. So we are now letting pop culture set our standards? Heaven help us, but she may actually be right. Then we read the article further and we realize that they only care about the kids according to Ms Carrozza "We believe that Miley is both influential and relatable to this afflicted set — and is the obvious choice to get the message of safe sex out to teens across America." Even making an attempt to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are interested in promoting safe sex, I would think there are plenty of young adult stars that could convey their message.

The sad part of this though is that her father may have to take some of the blame. Ms Cyrus, the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, has had a couple of racy pictures of her published. While I was disappointed in this decision by her family, it still does not excuse this attempt by the company.

The reality is that parents like my wife and I that have young daughters, mine is eight, watch Hannah Montana along with them. It’s a good clean show which must drive the progressives mad. All they talk about on the show are things like friendship, morals, responsibility, and strong family bonds. You know, everything the progressives are against. To have this soiled by this company is quite disappointing. I find the whole thing to be not only creepy but akin to child pornography. The idea of a child this age appearing in ads for condoms makes me think that this would be a dream come true for pedophiles. These sickos already get their kicks from seeing young girls. Put one of them in a condom commercial and they will be in pervert heaven. But then I’m probably just a narrow minded, ultra conservative prude who thinks that anything associated with children should be completely devoid of sex.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama The Commander In Chief?

In writing this, I think of a remark by Charles Krauthammer. First I must apologize, I do not have a direct quote and my details are scant about the conversation. I should explain why this is so. I watched Mr. Krauthammer when he was on the panel of Brit Hume’s Special Report. He made a remark, which I will get to in a moment, that I found interesting. At the time though I did not give a lot of thought to it other than it was subtly accurate. Now fast forward to me mowing my lawn. Be patient, there is a point here. I mow approximately 2 – 2.5 acres so I use a riding mower. If you have never done this, it is not very exciting. I spend a lot of time thinking and going around and around. Sometimes my thoughts are simple but sometimes I do some real deep thinking while riding in circles. It is this internal musing that brought this article about so forgive me if my details on the actual conversation are bare, it is my insight that I am actually writing about.

So after that, on to the quote, paraphrased. Like I said they were discussing Obama and his qualifications. Mr. Krauthammer in his dry delivery said that Obama was the single most unqualified candidate for Commander in Chief ever to run. This drew a rebuke from one of the moderate members of the panel and the remark died there. Further it would be easy to dismiss this as hyperbole. These types of remarks are thrown around freely in elections and are just as easily dismissed. Now back to the mower. I’m riding around in circles and I think of this remark. I wonder, is it just an extreme remark during an election or is there some truth to it?

This got me thinking about previous Presidents and their qualifications while running for office. Without doing a dissertation on Presidential history, I decided to look at the second half of the 20th century. In fact, excluding Bill Clinton, you have to go back to Franklin Roosevelt to find a President with no military experience whatsoever before entering office. Since Roosevelt, we have had:

-Harry Truman served in WWI as an artillery officer and served for one year as Vice President to Roosevelt during WWII before assuming the Presidency upon Roosevelt’s death.

-Dwight Eisenhower was General of the Army during World War II and possibly one of the most qualified Presidents to be Commander in Chief.

-John F Kennedy had his PT boat sunk during WWII and helped rescue the survivors.

-Lyndon Johnson served in the Navy as an officer in WWII earning the Silver Star.

-Richard Nixon also a Naval officer in WWII

-Gerald Ford, though not elected, was the 38th President of the US. He also was a Naval officer in WWII.

-Jimmy Carter, again a Naval officer for seven years.

-Ronald Reagan was an officer in the Army stateside during WWII and, as Governor of California, oversaw the National Guard.

-George H W Bush was a naval fighter pilot in WWII and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

-Bill Clinton, did not serve in the military and was actually a draft dodger. With all of this though, he did oversee the National Guard as Governor of Arkansas.

-George W Bush. There has been some discussion over his role as fighter pilot in the Air National Guard. Oversaw Texas National Guard as Governor of Texas.

This brings us to the present election. On one hand we have John McCain, fighter pilot in the Vietnam War. Shot down and spent six years as a POW in the infamous Hanoi Hilton being tortured. On the other hand we have Barack Obama who…

He has absolutely zero experience in anything that would make him qualified to be Commander in Chief. No military experience, has not been a Governor, he has though played basketball with the troops in a war zone. His closest claim to experience is as a member, not chairman, of three Senate committees, Foreign Relations, Veteran’s Affairs, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. It is hard to call three years on these committees a qualifier for Commander in Chief. Further, while the previous two presidents had limited experience, the job of Commander in Chief is too important to have on the job training. Bill Clinton was a dismal failure in his role. Troop morale suffered, the strength of the military was undercut, and Clinton was, ahem distracted, while terrorists ran amok during his administration. George Bush had better success although he could have done a considerably better job managing the Iraq War. Which reinforces the case that it is not one to be undertaken by someone without experience.

Obama’s refusal to admit that the surge in Iraq has helped quell violence in that country, even though the view is shared by most other analysts, speaks to a lack of understanding of events on the ground there. His insistence that Iraq is not the central focus in the war on terror is na├»ve. While it could be argued that it was not originally the front on the war on terror, completely dismissing it considering this is where we are fighting al qaeda, gives the impression that he really does not grasp the fight against terrorism. Finally, we are not comforted by Obama’s recent clumsy cancellation of his visit to wounded troops in Germany. While we are outraged by this, it is more important than just his disdain for the troops. Being Commander in Chief is not just understanding military theory, a President has advisors and the Pentagon for this, it is maintaining troop morale. This is something that Obama really doesn’t seem to get. For Obama troops are photo backdrop when he needs them and somewhat of an embarrassment when talking to his far left friends.

Perhaps being a junior Senator is something that can be done with on the job training. Being the Commander in Chief of the world’s most powerful military at a time in history when the United States faces so much danger from abroad requires someone who can do the job the day they take office. Learning on the job in this position doesn’t risk making bad laws, it risks the lives of American citizens and the men and women of the military. For this reason we need to think about the words of Mr. Krauthammer and take them to heart when voting this November. Being the first new President elected after 9/11, we know now more than ever that this is a job in which those with experience need not apply.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Is It August 30th Yet?


It happens every year at this time. The anticipation, the sleepless nights, the restlessness, the staring at the blank TV. Yes, I am talking about college football season.

I would be anticipating pro football too, but I live in Michigan. We only have the Lions to look forward to. The Detroit Mayor is more physically aggressive than the Detroit Lions. To be fair, they’re not facing an assault charge for pushing a county deputy. Quite frankly though, if is this is what it would take for the Lions to show a little life, we might actually welcome it.

I do like the New England Patriots and were crushed last year when their offensive line was weaker than a Barack Obama excuse for not visiting the troops in Germany and they lost the Super Bowl.

It’s the Michigan Wolverines that get my blood boiling though. I am usually a reserved and rational person but this all changes on football Saturday. You see nothing but pacing up and down, temper tantrums, some occasional colorful language, sometimes the coach acts up too.

This year could be more challenging than most. A new coach, a good one, but new. A new offense, possibly interesting and exciting, but new. You see, change is a dirty word for me. I have been eating the same thing at Taco Bell for the last 20 years. Not to mention, Michigan players were practically the who’s who of the NFL draft last year so to say that we are going to be a little short on talent could be an understatement. I’m not worried though, I’ve been following Michigan for a long time and they do not rebuild, they reload. So I think they’ll be ok. It’s taken six months of therapy to get me to be able to say that without breaking into a cold sweat. I think it’s going well.

So, little over a month to go until Utah visits Michigan and life starts anew for another fall season. There will be the ups and downs culminating in a bowl game. Mostly wins, some loses I’m afraid, but definitely fun. I’m a sick person I know but I will be right there yelling at the TV every Saturday again this year and loving every minute of it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blame It On The Pentagon

Update on yesterdays blog. The issue was Barack Obama not visiting injured troops while in Germany. The Pentagon has released a statement about the canceled visit which the Obama campaign disputes. I won’t pass judgment, I’ll let the reader decide what is going on here (hint: Obama’s lying).

First the Pentagon statement from Chief Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell during an interview with Politico.com.

"Sen. Obama is welcome to visit Landstuhl or any military hospital in his official capacity as a United States senator," Morrell said in a brief interview. "But there is a DoD policy which governs campaigning and electioneering at military facilities that would have to be respected if he were to visit. That distinction was relayed and made clear to campaign, and they made a decision on their own based on that guidance."

Morrell, in a subsequent interview, added that military officials told Obama he could only visit the military facility with his Secret Service detail and Senate staff.

"We made it clear to him that campaign staff and press would not be permitted to accompany him," Morrell said of Obama. "We relayed those ground rules. They made a choice based upon the information we relayed to them. It was their choice. We had nothing to do with it."


The Obama campaign subsequently had a pres release in which they gave their version of the events that led to the canceled visit. This from campaign communications director Robert Gibbs as reported by CBS news.

"He could go as a United States Senator, but it was pretty clear from the guidance that we received from the Pentagon that the trip would be viewed as a campaign stop. Given the info that we had received, Senator Obama made the decision that we were not going have wounded men and women become involved in a campaign trip."

Obama campaign senior adviser Gen. Scott Gration then took the stance a step further and simply blamed the entire thing on the Pentagon.

The one thing about this is, I love being right. I have said all along that Obama only uses the troops for his political gain. When he doesn’t need them or when he’s talking to a crowd from the loony left, he adopts the anti-military stance of his Code Pink supporters. I think it is quite easy to see, reading these two different versions, that Obama views the troops as nothing but a photo backdrop. Reread the Obama press statement and it is clear that they are not saying that the Pentagon told them they could not visit the troops. Without the campaign actually saying it, they are clearly acknowledging that they were told they could not make it a campaign stop.

So, in other words, Obama was free to visit the troops. He just couldn’t take the press along. So, simply put, Obama was not going to waste his time stopping by and seeing how they are doing, letting them know he is grateful for their sacrifice. Or, put another way, he doesn’t care. He had time in his schedule when he thought he could use them as photo props but when the Pentagon ruled this out, he had to catch that flight to the next campaign stop, where, in France.

The second part of this is that CBS news is all too happy to regurgitate the Obama view of the events without making any effort to get the Pentagon’s take on it. I refuse to believe that Politico.com can get a quote from the Pentagon and CBS cannot. Just further proof that the MSM doesn’t care about the truth, just pushing their liberal agenda.

The real issue here though is that Obama wants to be the Commander in Chief. We simply cannot have another president like Bill Clinton whose cynical view of our troops is that they are nothing more than a means to get elected then spend their Presidency showing pure disdain for them.

Obama: Time for 200,000 Germans, No Time For Wounded American Troops

Perusing the news on the internet tonight, I find a striking contrast between two articles about Barrack Obama’s European jaunt. Specifically, I want to look at articles from Foxnews.com and Breitbart.com.

The Fox article was about Obama’s non-political rally in Germany. The rally was before 200,000 adoring Germans in Berlin Thursday. The campaign made every attempt to convince us, with very little success, that this was not a campaign speech. Obviously he was just an ordinary United States Senator putting on a rally. Happens all of the time. One of the things that is hurting his credibility on the whole “not a rally issue” though is that we have had at least two incidences in which his staff have insisted he is the President of the US. Now, they may do things differently over there in fancy, shmansy Europe but in the US of A, we elect our presidents. They don’t get to anoint themselves. Lastly, why is he spending so much time sucking up to people in Germany? Why isn’t he here explaining to us why he opposes measures to lower gas prices?

Now we have the Breitbart article. This article tells us that he scrapped plans to visit wounded American troops in the hospital. What the Hell. These troops need to suck it up and get over this refusal to meet with them. Don’t they understand that he already met with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why he even played basketball with them. I mean, how many troops can one person visit? The troops will just have to understand that he doesn’t need them, he already got enough photo-ops to make him look like a real honest to goodness Commander in Chief.

Quoting Robert Gibbs, Obama’s campaign spokesman, "it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign." Which causes a little confusion since we thought this visit to Germany wasn’t for campaigning. Is he campaigning or is he using campaign funds for a non-campaign trip and if he is, is this legal?

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the issue of whether the ungrateful little bastard should have shown some respect for the troops that were wounded defending the country he wants to be president of. This goes without saying. I mean he could have at least pretended he cares and used them for a photo backdrop. Evidently he was in too much of a hurry to board the plane to go onto France. Don’t even get me started on this.

In his speech to the adoring Germans, Obama proclaimed himself “a fellow citizen of the world”. I personally think that if he wants to be President he should worry less about being a citizen of the world and worry more about being a citizen of the United States. One place to start would be to set a side a little more time for wounded American troops and a little less time for the Germans and the French.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gas Tax Holiday For The Democratic Leadership

The members of the Democratic Host Committee in Denver are buying their gas from the city’s Fleet Maintenance department. By doing this they avoid paying state and federal gas taxes, saving themselves a nice little sum of 40.4 cents a gallon.

You can see the article on this story from the Rocky Mountain News here.

This is the party that ridiculed John McCain for suggesting that we give Americans a gas tax holiday for the summer. The Democrats said that it wouldn’t save Americans money, which of course begs the question why didn’t they just pay it then? The Democrats accused McCain of wanting to undercut funding for roads, something they don’t appear to be that concerned about.

This is the party that is not only against cutting the gas tax for Americans to ease the burden of high fuel prices, they want to raise the tax 10 cents a gallon. Two Democratic Congressmen, James Oberstar Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Peter DeFazio Chairman of the Highway Subcommittee have proposed the tax hike. These men are doing this at the suggestion of the Transportation Construction Coalition comprised of industry companies and unions. So we have the Democrats ducking out on paying the gas tax while they are proposing a tax hike for the benefit of their union buddies.

In defense of this practice, the Democrats used the tried and true excuse that “the Republicans are doing it too”, referring to the RNC leadership in Minneapolis. This was a surprise to the Republicans in Minneapolis because they have been buying their gas at the pump, paying the gas tax along with the rest of America.

The reality is that this is nothing more than absolute arrogance on the part of the Democratic party. The Democrats have always made themselves out to be the party that looks out for the little guy, the average American. What they really want to do is raise our gas tax while they avoid paying it. Remember this when you go to the gas station next and spend 70 dollars to fill your tank up. Keep in mind that if the Democrats have their way, it will cost you another 1 to 2 dollars to fill up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

And The Loser Of The 2008 Election Is:

There has been a lot of discussion of the liberal bias in the media recently. The increased buzz is due to Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East and Europe. The major network news outlets ABC, CBS, and NBC are all sending their anchors along on the trip. This is a level of coverage almost unprecedented in network news. It is being argued that a president does not get this level of coverage for a trip overseas. This is sharply contrasted by the media virtually ignoring McCain when he took the same trip, when they weren’t criticizing him. For further discussion see my previous blog.

Now we have the New York Times rejecting an Op-Ed piece by McCain, telling him to rewrite the article so it is more like one they previously ran by Obama. This story, which goes beyond ridiculous can be seen here.

A quick scan of online news sites, like I said previously I do not watch network news programs, shows that questioning whether the media is biased is a topic of discussion that is becoming more and more prevalent.

MSNBC ran a poll on it’s site today that should send a shiver down the spine of anyone at the major networks. As pretty much anybody reading this knows, MSNBC and MSNBC.com has a decidedly left leaning slant and any visit to the comment sections of their stories shows that the visitors to their site lean with them. With this is in mind, the results of this survey are quite alarming for the MSM.

The question is:

Is Democrat Barack Obama unfairly receiving more coverage than Republican John McCain?

Results from 95881 responses:

79% Yes, the media has a liberal bias. No one should be surprised by this.

14% No, media coverage is based on newsworthiness. McCain is just not as newsy as Obama.

6.2% Sometimes, but it's a long campaign. There weren't a lot of McCain complaints during Obama's problems with Rev. Wright.


MSNBC.com 7/21/08 Link

Again keep in mind these are largely liberal readers, and a lot of them. The sheer lopsidedness of this poll is quite telling.

Finally, we need to remember that this bias is against John McCain. It would be hard to make the case that McCain is a hard core conservative and has always enjoyed a fairly good relationship with the press. So, in other words, they like him and they are treating him this way. The only explanation left therefore is that they are so in the tank for Obama that they have lost any remaining vestiges of objectivity that they had.

So who will be the real loser of the 2008 election? I think it will be the MSM. They have essentially squandered any credibility they had left with the American public. Following this credibility down the toilet is their viewership and readership. One can assume that the latest displays of over the top bias are not doing anything to bring the public swarming back.

I for one will not miss them. More to the point, I welcome their downfall and will devote what tiny bit of reach I have with the public to bring about their demise. While I’ve no doubt that I, as a small blogger, do not have the MSM quaking in their boots. But do not think we have no power individually. Those of us who blog, those who read these blogs and talk about them with others the next day, those of us who go to forums and converse with other people are the MSM’s worst nightmare. We are the ones who will bring them down. They enjoyed decades of safety, not being challenged, not having to face competition. Those days are over. After decades of being ignored and taken for granted, it is our time to bring some balance to the media.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Liberal Media Bias, Today’s Installment

Not to sound like a broken record, but liberal media bias is rearing it’s ugly head yet again. (note: I realize some reading this may not know what a record is. It is a round black thing we used to use to listen to music. These were placed on a record player and would revolve and the music would be picked up with an arm that had a needle in it. We stopped using them when they started putting disco music on them.) Anyways back to the media bias. Today’s example is Barrack Obama’s trip to Europe and the Middle East.

John McCain traveled to Europe and the Middle East in March and how was the trip covered by the media? The networks were highly critical of the trip. Some attacked McCain for wasting taxpayer’s money. Some ridiculed him for jetting around Europe while American’s were hurting financially. Some called it a campaign stunt. This of course was when they were paying attention at all. For the most part, they generally ignored the trip when there was not scorn to pile on him.

Now fast forward to the present, and Obama’s trip to Europe and the Middle East. One would assume in the interest of fairness, the media would have all of the same questions and criticisms for Obama because surely they would apply to him too. If one were to assume this one would be a complete and absolute idiot, or, better known as a liberal.

Obama is traveling to Europe and the Middle East and the media is not attacking him. There have been no questions about taxpayer money although he is using secret service protection. There is no criticism of him jetting around anywhere while Americans are hurting financially. This even though gas is almost a dollar a gallon higher than when McCain went and the stock market is lower. There is no accusations of it being a campaign stunt although there will be large public rallies.

Finally, there is definitely no ignoring the trip by the media. While the media largely ignored McCain’s trip, the big three networks of NBC, CBS, and ABC are sending their nightly news anchors along on the trip. Although I have not heard specifically, I would assume CNN and MSNBC are doing the same.

I have said this before though and I will say it again and again and again. This bias is not their fault. It’s ours. If your unhappy about this type of slanted coverage, stop watching them. I have not watched a big three network news program in years. My wife and I used to watch the Today Show every morning. We were watching the Today Show on 9/11 when the airplanes flew into the World Trade Center. Haven’t watched them in years as they have become more and more liberal.

We need to run them off the air. The bottom line is if people stop watching these slanted news shows, the networks will not be able to afford to air them. Do not think that it will not work. All of the major liberal news organizations, television, radio, daily, and weekly print are losing money and laying off staff. I am calling for an outright boycott of all liberal media. Stop watching the nightly news. Turn off CNN and MSNBC. Demand that your local newspaper starts being more balanced. The bottom line is we don’t need them anymore. We have Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard. Most importantly, we have the internet. For decades, the MSM controlled the flow of news in this country, those days are over. We can get our news unfiltered by the liberal MSM. Just do it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Presidential Campaign Polls Tightening

According to reports, the polls for the presidential campaign are tightening with various polls showing John McCain either even or within the margin of error with Barack Obama. Most previous polls had shown Obama ahead by 6 to 15 points (I never believed this one). Now to be fair, it is way too early to put any stock in the polls but the fact that in a "Democratic year", McCain is able to pull close is significant. Talking heads on cable news have all kinds of theories as to why this is. Not surprisingly, I have my own thoughts.

I think it is hard to give McCain credit. The poll numbers certainly are not because of the spectacular campaign he has run, he hasn’t actually started campaigning yet. He makes occasional speeches but he hasn’t actually formulated a coherent message yet. Here’s hoping he does before December.

One could argue that McCain’s effect on the polls could be from his stability and familiarity. As Obama has become erratic in his message and as it becomes more and more apparent that he has no foreign policy experience, McCain seems a safer choice. One large advantage McCain has over Obama is experience. This may be a significant advantage as the election draws nearer. In the spring when the election is six months away, it’s easy for people to be attracted to Obama’s feel good message of change. As we get closer to the election, it seems more real and people may become more concerned with Obama’s lack of experience.

I think though that the change in numbers is largely because of Obama. Obama is finding the inherent problem with liberalism, people don't buy it. Liberalism works well in the Democratic primary, in fact it's required. But when you move to the general election, a candidate finds that the people who buy into the ultra leftist message are a small minority of the general population. So when moving on to the general election, a candidate has to move to the center to attract moderates. No surprise here, candidates of both parties do it.

Obama’s problem though is he was too good at being an ultra leftist ideologue. He went so far to the left that he cannot come back far enough for the moderates. This was exacerbated this year with the intense and protracted primary between Obama and Hillary Clinton. They were put in the position of trying to ‘out liberal’ each other.

This has also cost him support among his base. He had them believing he was the real deal, one of them, and they are upset with his shift to the center. He has especially angered people on the left with his changing (sometimes in the same day) positions on the Iraq war. He made some comments indicating he may be willing to listen to the Generals commanding the war when deciding how he would proceed with his troop draw down. While this is completely logical and is the only truly safe way to proceed, it was met with howls of protest from the far left. The anti-war crowd is unbending In their approach to the Iraq war. They want it over. They don’t care about the cost, they don’t care about the safety of the Iraqi citizens, they don’t even care about the safety of the US or the troops that would be withdrawing. They just want us out, now. For most of them, this is the only issue of the campaign. Further, this group is extra sensitive because they feel they were betrayed by the Democrats in the 2006 mid-term elections. They were promised in no uncertain terms that the Dems would end the Iraq war if given control of Congress. What happened in reality is that the newly elected Democratic majority effectively became George Bush’s lap dog on the Iraq war. They essentially made no meaningful progress on withdrawal and continued funding the war mostly on his terms. The left is in a very sour mood about this.

To maintain his support on the left he over corrected and turned hard left again, which is costing him with the moderates. More importantly it made him appear indecisive, highlighting his inexperience, and is further feeding into the perception that he is not the “change” candidate, or a new type of leader, but instead a retread of the old style politician who is willing to say anything to get elected. After breaking promises on campaign financing and not being willing to debate McCain in town hall meetings, Obama’s strikes against being an advocate for change are starting to add up. Even more damaging is his constant insistence that he is not changing his position. His Iraq war position follows a typical script for him. Make a statement for/against something, be criticized, change his position, release a statement saying he did not change his position he was for/against this particular issue all along, the media releases a video clip contradicting him. You almost think the Dems haven’t heard of Lexus-Nexus or knew that news networks archive video tape.

Another issue that may be hurting Obama is gas prices. American’s are growing restless on runaway gas prices and Obama, along with the rest of the Democratic party, is stubbornly remaining on the wrong side of the issue. This may cost him and may be reflected in the polls now.

Lastly, the aura surrounding Obama is losing it’s luster. The constant changing positions, the Rev Wright’s, the hateful statements by his wife, and the perception that he is just another politician are taking their toll on Obama’s mystique.

I wondered early on if he maybe was peaking too early. The election cannot come early enough for Obama. It is very possible the slide backwards is not over. There are two real risks for Obama. One, the numbers are even and the Republicans haven’t really started campaigning yet. Once the GOP and the right leaning 527’s start running ads Obama has a real risk of being defined by them. Second, there’s always the chance that McCain might actually campaign. If the polls are tied now with McCain’s campaign asleep, what would happen if he actually came to?

I still maintain that there is not only a chance McCain will beat Obama, I think the Congressional races are not carved in stone yet. Obama’s popularity could be slipping, the Democrats keep ignoring the gas price crunch and stick to the far left positions on the issue, and, am I the only one noting that the Dems are starting to collect scandals? This may not be the Democratic year everyone is forecasting.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The NYT Tells Employees To Remain Politically Neutral

Craig Whitney, the standards editor for the New York Times has sent a memo out to all staff informing them of the NYT’s policy of remaining politically neutral. “Journalists have no place on the playing fields of politics. Staff members are entitled to vote, but they must do nothing that might raise questions about their professional neutrality or that of The Times” story

There are some statements that are so patently absurd you’re not even sure how to proceed.

First, who knew the Times had a standards editor? He must not be very good at his job. Because if the Times have journalistic standards at all they certainly don’t include them in their reporting. This is a newspaper who was so lacking in standards they had to install an ombudsman to police their reporting in an attempt to restore a little of their credibility. The ombudsman, Clark Hoyt, has certainly been busy with their penchant for partially reporting the full story, ignoring facts that contradict the stories, or flat out fabricating stories. The good thing for the Times is they can, and do, simply ignore the ombudsman. I can recall one specific instance in which the ombudsman criticized them for an inaccurate article, confronted them with the facts, and the editors simply ignored the evidence and stated they stood by their story.

Finally, political neutrality? How the hell do you even comment on something like this? The Times sets the standard for liberal bias. They have spent the last seven years dumping on George Bush. Their anti-troop rhetoric is an embarrassment to the country. Lastly, their devotion to the Democratic party is limitless which makes this statement priceless “Given the ease of Internet access to public records of campaign contributors, any political giving by a Times staff member would carry a great risk of feeding a false impression that the paper is taking sides.”

Gasp, they wouldn’t want anyone thinking they are taking sides.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Passing Of A Class Act (and the posting of the classless)

Tony Snow passed away today at the age of 53. This man was a joy to watch on Fox. His commentary was straightforward with a decided rightward tilt. His most memorable moments for me were when he was the Press Secretary for the George W Bush White House. He brought humor and dignity to the job and his sparring with the White House Press Corps was fun to watch. His tenure was the only time I enjoyed watching White House press conferences.

More importantly, he appeared to be a classy individual and a good family man. The courage he showed with his ongoing public battle with cancer was inspiring. At least publicly he appeared to face this battle as he did his skirmishes in the White House press room, with stubbornness and humor. To read more about this man’s life you can read the story at Foxnews.com or read an excellent blog at geeeeeZ!.

As far as the subtitle of this blog, I visited the Huffington Post today. I did this out of curiosity to see how they were reporting the news of Mr. Snow’s passing. I would like to pretend that I was shocked at what I saw. Knowing what this site and the general population on the left is like though, I can’t even pretend to be surprised. The article itself was fairly respectful. They didn’t miss any chances to point out his partisanship and there was some backhanded criticism but overall is was as even as you could expect form this site. The comments though were a different matter. I went to the site this afternoon and there was a sprinkling of defenders of Mr. Snow but the rest was pure hatred. There were over a hundred posts. When I went back this evening, there were only 98 posts and this message “Comments are closed for this entry”. These are some of the posts the site administrators thought were OK to leave on:

So long, Tokyo Rose!

You're not talking about the Tony Snow I knew...he sold out his honesty and integrity to lie for Faux News and the most criminal administration the US has ever known...

It went thru my mind that the wrong FOX commentator is dead, but that's all I'll say


And, in case anyone thinks I am being paranoid about the site cleaning up the posts, there was this one:

I see HP is doing its job to keep these postings PC. Good job I guess?

Finally there was this one:

BUSH INVADED IRAQ...

And was directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, Iraqi and American. But gee, he seems like a really nice guy....


I don’t know what the hell this means. I guess it shows that liberals are not only hateful but also not very bright. Just be thankful I was not able to share some of the mean ones with you. Some of the stuff was downright evil, calling it Karma, cheering it as good news, etc.

I realize the Republicans have been accused of being spiteful in the past and some of it is deserved. There are times that people on the right have gone overboard and I have found their behavior embarrassing as a fellow conservative. I have never seen this type of vitriol from the right though. I do not remember a hard core liberal dying and having it cheered so strongly on the right as has happened with Mr. Snow and recently with Senator Helms. I checked the Huffington Post when Charleton Heston died and they would not even allow comments, knowing what would be spewed forth by their hateful readers.

I do not care to have this type of thing on my site and I would not continue the site if it were to turn into anything nearly as hateful as the Huffington post. It is clear that while the editors of the post sanitized the comments today, they tolerate this type of venom.

This day was definitely study in contrasts. We had the passing of a great and classy man. At the same time we had the worst of human nature and the posting of the most vile venom by the classless.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Comrade Obama: The Government Will Take Care Of Us

John McCain apologized for something Phil Gramm said today,

Barack Obama ridiculed a John McCain economic adviser Thursday who said the United States has become a “nation of whiners” suffering from a “mental recession,” as McCain distanced himself from the remarks.

Phil Gramm, who now is the No. 2 at the Swiss bank UBS, told The Washington Times the U.S. has benefited from globalization but most Americans are misguided by constant reports that the economy is at its worst in 30 years.

“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,” Gramm, a former Texas senator, told the newspaper, adding that the presumptive Republican nominee will face an uphill battle fighting those perceptions.

“We have sort of become a nation of whiners,” he said. “You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline” despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.


Link

First, I agree with Gramm, I have believed all along we have talked ourselves into this economic slowdown. Or, more accurately, we as a country have allowed the Democratic Party and the MSM to talk us into the slowdown.

Further I am disgusted with McCain falling over himself to apologize. He should have stood up and, clarify if he wants, but say that Gramm was fundamentally correct. America is in better shape than we believe and the fact that with all of the things going on, from recovering from the economic hits of 9/11, hurricane Katrina, etc to the slowdown in the housing market, to record gas prices, the American economy is still growing, inflation is stable, and only about 5% of Americans are unemployed. In my mind this means George Bush has developed a fairly resilient economy. Naturally he won’t get credit for it. But McCain has done what I have complained about before, instead of standing up and saying this, he pisses his pants and runs out and apologizes. This is a malady of the entire GOP leadership.

Off the soapbox though. There was a quote by Obama in response to Gramm's remarks that so far has not gotten any notice but is probably more a window into his beliefs than most other things he has said so far.

“Let’s be clear, when people are struggling with the rising costs of everything from gas to groceries, when we’ve lost 438,000 jobs over the past six months, when the typical family has lost $1,000 in income … since George Bush took office … this economic downturn is not in your heads.

“It isn’t whining to ask government to step in and give families some relief.”


Now I don’t want to be accused of taking his comment out of context, but this last statement, that the government will help, should scare us. He isn’t advocating fixing the problem that he thinks exists, his visceral reaction is that the government will take care of it for us. This is on top of his fellow Democratic Congressmen making comments recently about nationalizing the oil industry, Democratic leaders calling for the return of the Fairness Doctrine, and Obama himself wanting to nationalize health care.

The reality is that people better be paying attention to what the Democrats are saying this year. Listen to them and cast your vote by what you hear not based on past party loyalty. The current Democratic Party leadership of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barrack Obama are closer to socialists than people want to believe. They have the definite mindset that the government is there to take care of us. If you work for a living, you could be in a rough time with these people in control of your money.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

In The Middle Of A War, A Divorce Breaks Out

In case you have spent the last week on another planet, let me share this week’s breaking news with you. Pop singer and all around nutcase Madonna is divorcing her husband Guy Ritchie and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is divorcing his wife Cynthia. To make it even more interesting there are rumors that A-Rod and Madonna may have been having an affair at a Kabbalah meeting (or something like that, I lost interest). Why, do you ask, is this news? I don’t know. I can guarantee you though that it is. This has gotten coverage on Fox news on Monday from sunup on Fox and Friends to sundown on On The Record with Greta and practically every minute in between. I only watch Fox at home but I have to assume the other networks cover this or something just as irrelevant with the same in-depth reporting as Fox does. I do watch CNN at work and I know they do the same.

I can understand the importance of this though. It’s not like there was anything else important going on. We only had two wars in progress yesterday. George Bush was at some meeting called the G8 Summit. The Pentagon announced that the Iraqi government was making progress on it’s benchmarks. Gas prices where continuing their climb through the ceiling. We have a presidential election going on. Barrack Obama’s plane had to make an emergency landing. John McCain made an important speech on the economy. Other than that it was a slow news day.

The national media is absolutely obsessed with celebrity gossip. Before we dump on them too much though, we do need to remember who’s fault this all is. It’s ours. Maybe not yours, certainly not mine, but definitely societies as a whole. There is one simple and hard fact about cable news, they report what people want to see. They are businesses first and news organizations second. The owners of the networks want to make money, in doing so they have effectively turned the news into entertainment.

Another reason this is boring is the simple fact that it is a celebrity divorce. I mean, yawn. If they wanted to get my attention, they would run a story on a celebrity marriage that actually made it more than 10 years. I know they exist but they are rare. I would like to hear a story about a celebrity couple that didn’t cheat on each other. Maybe a story about a celebrity who is not abusing some substance. This may actually qualify as news. Ok, maybe more like fantasy, but still news.

We have all made fun of the tabloid magazines sold at the checkouts of the grocery store. I believe most if not all of us have the guilty pleasure of reading the covers of these while standing in line. We love to see the latest Elvis sightings, the latest secret government UFO labs, and the babies raised by (insert your favorite wild animal here). I know I am not the only one who stands there and reads these. The good thing is, I don’t have to anymore. First, my wife does most of the shopping these days. Second, I can just turn on Fox News for my daily fix of tabloid news. Sorry, gotta go, they’re talking about Christie Brinkley’s divorce, seems her husband was caught cheating and spending $3000 a month on porn.

Friday, July 4, 2008

If Your Ever In Chicago, Get Some Lou Malnati’s Pizza

I must admit, I saw this on another blog, but I was so moved I had to mention it here. Lou Malnati’s Pizza in Chicago sent 3000 pizzas to be served on seven different bases in Iraq.

The cost in itself was pretty substantial. Beyond this though is what it did for these men and women in Iraq. These troops are half way around the world and Lou Malnati’s did much more than make a simple contribution, it brought these people a taste of home. These troops are stuck in a desert eating rations. They’re away from their family on another holiday. To give them a brief respite from this is a gift far greater than the monetary cost to the company.

I have a brother stationed in Iraq, another brother less than a year removed from a deployment in Afghanistan so this show of support is personal for me. Whether or not my brother currently in Iraq benefited from this is unimportant. The simple knowledge that there are people out their like the owners and employees of this company makes it feel as if they have given my brother a gift directly.

So I would like to thank Lou Malnati’s Pizza and encourage anyone living in or visiting Chicago to get some pizza from them.

*Note: you can access an article about this in Stars and Stripes

Happy Birthday America

Today we mark the anniversary of the Independence of our great country. From pancake breakfasts in the morning to fireworks at night Americans will celebrate together. Along the way we will go to picnics, parades, the beach, the park, or camping. The manner of observance is not as relevant as the meaning.

For most people this is a day off work, a long weekend to play. This is great and it is my sincere hope that you all enjoy the extra free time. Some believe holidays like the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day should not be looked as ‘just another day off work’. They would believe that the day should be spent in remembrance. I disagree. What better way to celebrate our freedom and honor those who have sacrificed for this freedom than to enjoy the fruits of the freedoms they have given us.

Take a moment though and marvel at the majesty of this great country. Born of the wont to escape tyranny, we have become a beacon for the world. Notwithstanding the critics of America, those from within and without, America is still the standard the rest of the world aspires to. The very fact that people inside America are able to criticize is a testament to our founding fathers. Finally, take a moment of reflection for the men and women throughout the years who have given life and limb to maintain these freedoms we enjoy.

So go to your picnics, the beach, or stay home with family and have a private celebration. Whatever your idea of a good time, have it and have a fun and safe Independence Day weekend.